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Gas heat pump guru hoping for breakthrough year

Success could mean up to 200 local production jobs Story and photos by Jeff Keeling Their blue-clad components in various states of exposure, Michael Garrabrant's “babies” receive some last-minute testing and adjustment in a Johnson City shop. A handful of engineers and technicians tweak and monitor the four gas heat pumps connected to 80-gallon water heaters before their big debut in Pacific Northwest test ...

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S & ME acquiring Littlejohn Engineering

By Scott Robertson Two engineering firms that have taken part in several major projects in the Tri-Cities over the last few years are merging. S&ME, which has a Tri-Cities office on Eastern Star Road in Kingsport, is acquiring Littlejohn Engineering, which has an office on Sunset Drive in Johnson City, as a wholly owned subsidiary. S&ME is headquartered in Raleigh. Littlejohn is headquartered in Nas ...

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Legislature to consider Insure Tennessee

By Scott Robertson Before the Tennessee General Assembly gets down to regular business this year, it will already have debated what is likely to be one of the most contentious issues it will face. Governor Bill Haslam has called a special session during which no other issues may be discussed in order to vote his Insure Tennessee plan up or down. That session is slated to begin at 4 p.m., Feb.2. “If you had ...

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Mr. Scott goes to Washington

Credit union CEO serving on CFPB advisory council By Jeff Keeling ‘From the conservative side, I’m not wild about the big government piece. But seeing the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau from the inside, I’m very impressed with how conscientiously they’re proceeding with their mission.’ Ron Scott A credit union executive based in the Tri-Cities is now serving on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau adv ...

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Tri-Cities Crossing Re-Enters the Fray

The Business Journal Q&A: Stewart Taylor By Scott Robertson In all the sound and fury created by the dueling retail developments in Bristol, it’s been easy to forget the development that made them both possible. The original tax incentive plan that was used by Bristol, Tenn., and inspired the plan used by Bristol, Va., was written to help develop what was then called Heritage Point in Kingsport. Develop ...

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From the Editor: A Day Late, But Not A Dollar Short

In the last issue of The Business Journal, we reported on the circulation of at least two different sets of plans for the Cabela’s retail location at The Falls development in Bristol, Va. You may recall that we shared our editorial deadline for that issue with Bristol city leaders but they declined to meet with us on four separate occasions. The questions we wished to ask were germane to the issue of whethe ...

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Foot on the throttle: NN Inc. prepares for move to new corporate HQ

Story and photos by Jeff Keeling Things haven't slowed down at NN Inc. since the global manufacturing company's early July announcement it would stay in Johnson City as it expanded its headquarters to match an aggressive growth plan. As the year draws to a close, local management is preparing to move into the former SunTrust building, and key executives are putting the pieces in place from four acquisitions ...

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It’s December. Do you know what your tax laws are?

Accountants had to wait more than 11 months before Washington could agree on its filing rules for 2014 By Scott Robertson As of Dec. 31, 2013, some 55 tax breaks that had been part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 had expired. As of Dec. 1, 2014, Congress had yet to act on whether to retroactively reinstate any or all of them. That news was disappointing, but not necessarily surprising for those ...

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Wellmont: Decision on strategic options/merger unlikely before January

 KINGSPORT – Meaningful work by Wellmont Health System’s board of directors is enabling the group to fully explore the best path forward for the organization. Roger Leonard, the board’s chairman, said the panel continues its examination of Wellmont’s options, a process that will likely extend into the new year. With the holiday season in full swing and the need for the board to further review information it ...

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Gerald O’Connor and Impact Plastics: The American Manufacturer and the Impact of Vision

By Scott Robertson Where there is no vision, the people perish… - Proverbs 29:18 A little over a year ago, while some were still bemoaning the death of American manufacturing, Gerald O’Connor, founder of Impact Plastics in Unicoi County, Tenn., announced plans to expand his local operations to the tune of $1.3 million. That expansion, O’Connor said at the time, would result in the creation of 83 new jobs an ...

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