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BMS, Food City, Bristol Chamber partner to make Speedway in Lights free for Bristol schoolchildren in lieu of Christmas Parade

Above: Steve Smith, Beth Rhinehart and Jerry Caldwell by Scott Robertson The COVID crisis will not stop schoolchildren in Bristol and eastern Sullivan County from having a public celebration of Christmas.  When Bristol Chamber of Commerce leaders realized there would be no safe way to conduct a Christmas Parade this year, they rejected the notion that the children who love attending the parade every ye ...

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ApprenticeshipTN readies for statewide conference

by Scott Robertson Tyra Copas Tyra Copas has had a full year. When Copas was named state apprenticeship director by the Tennessee Department of Labor in Sept. 2019, she knew she would be working with Tennessee’s employers to help them build registered apprenticeship programs to meet their hiring challenges. She did not know she’d be doing it with a backdrop of COVID-19 complicating matters. When COVID began ...

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An Urgent Joint Statement from Regional Business, Education and Pastoral Leaders

Help Us Support Our Healthcare Workforce as They Support our Region As leaders of organizations touching every part of the Appalachian Highlands, we believe it is important to speak out about issues that affect our team members, their families and our extended communities. Right now, there is no issue more concerning to us than the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We are c ...

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Santa Train program to distribute in southwest Virginia, but without the train

For decades, business throughout southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee have supported the running of the Santa Train, in which Santa Claus rides from eastern Kentucky through southwest Virginia to Kingsport, Tennessee, distributing toys to coalfield children at whistlestops along the way.This year, CSX, Food City, Appalachian Power, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Soles4Souls are being forced by ...

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Pal Barger passes away: Founder of Pal’s Sudden Service was 90 years old

America’s first restaurateur to earn the nation’s highest honor for quality, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, died Oct. 29 at the age of 90. Barger worked in the restaurant industry for more than 70 years as the owner and operator of Pal’s Sudden Service, as well as Olde West Dinner Theater, Skoby’s Restaurant and Sharon’s BBQ. In 1956, Barger opened the first Pal’s location in downtown Kingspor ...

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Northam conducts COVID roundtable with southwest Virginia business, government leaders

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam kicked off a listening tour of Virginia by taking part in a virtual roundtable with southwest Virginia business, education and local government leaders Friday morning. The meeting was hosted by the United Way of Southwest Virginia’s COVID relief council. That council has been meeting since March to coordinate relief efforts across southwest Virginia. To date it has invested m ...

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FTDD Foundation reconfiguration continues for potential economic development hub

By Scott Robertson Legal recommendations have been presented to Mayors Richard Venable of Sullivan County and Joe Grandy regarding potential bylaw changes for the First Tennessee Development District Foundation, though the mayors are not yet in full agreement on when the foundation will be ready to house a regional economic and community development hub. “The attorney is helping reformulate the bylaws into ...

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Food City CEO receives national Employer of the Year award

Steve Smith K-VA-T Food Stores President and CEO Steve Smith received the Employer of the Year award during the Oct. 23 opening ceremonies of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT). The award is presented to an employer or business that has shown remarkable commitment to promoting or providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities. ...

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TRI asks legislators for help with funding to allow airport to build-to-suit potential Aerospace Park tenants

Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) Executive Director Gene Cossey took the occasion of a Tuesday morning Legislator’s Breakfast to make it known that the airport will likely be able to bring tenants to Aerospace Park sooner if it has funds on-hand so it can offer to erect a building as an incentive. Gene Cossey “This is by no means to negate all the money and all the work that was put into making this facility in the ...

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