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Appalachian Grains brings back barley in southwest Virginia

by Scott Robertson When Will Payne headlined the event introducing InvestSWVA 16 months ago in Abingdon, he talked about creating, “big idea projects.” One of those big idea projects is coming into its own. In economic development terms, it’s known as “Operation Calypso.” In real world language, it’s Appalachian Grains, an attempt to make southwest Virginia a player in the craft beverage supply chain for al ...

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Kingsport joins Boyd baseball family

Boyd Sports, LLC has announced it will assume the management contract of the Kingsport franchise in the Appalachian League. Boyd Sports, which also owns the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Baseball, Greeneville Baseball, and Elizabethton Baseball will assume all business operations of Kingsport Baseball. “We are ecstatic that upper-level baseball will continue in Kingsport with the new look Appy League. We ...

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Crowe to chair Health & Welfare Committee in Nashville

Tennessee State Senator Rusty Crowe of Johnson City will chair the Health & Welfare Committee during the 2021 legislative session. Crowe’s name was on a long list of committee chairs announced by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally’s office Wednesday. “Rusty Crowe’s leadership of the Health and Welfare Committee has been outstanding. Rusty's steady hand and experience will continue to keep the committee on course,” ...

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Miners Exchange Bank sale to close in Q2

In a Jan. 8 letter to shareholders, Miners Exchange Bank (MEB) President and CEO Charles Ward announced the bank is selling all outstanding shares to Salvosa Group, of Winston-Salem, NC for $49.87 per share in cash. Salvosa will become the bank’s parent holding company. The transaction is unanimously supported by the MEB board, Ward said. Ward told shareholders the transaction would close sometime in Q2, an ...

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Bristol Dragway serving as COVID-19 vaccination location

Bristol Dragway will serve as one of the Sullivan County COVID-19 vaccination locations for the next two months it was announced today by officials from the track and Sullivan County Health Department. Vaccinations for Phase 1a1 and 1a2, for individuals who are 75 years of age and older, will be distributed at the Dragway starting Thursday, Jan. 7, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The daily schedule is subject to change ...

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U-Haul data indicates region is attracting residents

There has been anecdotal evidence in recent months indicating the Appalachian Highlands is becoming an attractive option for those looking to relocate. The Johnson City Area Home Builders Association and various quasi-governmental agencies have reported an influx of phone calls from people around the United States looking to move to our region. Now there is some tangible data to support those anecdotal repo ...

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AAA: Gas prices hold steady in Tennessee

Despite steady rises during the month of December, gas prices remained unchanged during the first week of 2021 according to AAA. As a result, Tennessee remains the 10th least expensive market in the nation. “Holiday road travel was down at least 25 percent,” said AAA spokeswomen Megan Cooper. “With fewer people on the road, Tennessee motorists saw little change at the pump from the last week of 2020 to the ...

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AAA: Tennessee gas prices jump another six cents

For the first time since March, Tennessee motorists are finding prices at the pump over $2 per gallon. Tennessee gas prices, on average, continue to trend upward, rising another six cents over last week. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $2.04 which is nearly 15 cents more than one month ago and 28 cents less than one year ago.  Tennesseans who took a holiday road tri ...

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General Shale announces acquisition of Meridian Brick

General Shale, a leading U.S. producer of building material solutions, recently announced that it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Meridian Brick, the nation’s largest manufacturer of masonry solutions. With the announcement, General Shale will become the leading supplier of innovative and sustainable masonry solutions in North America. The acquisition is a continuation of General Shale’s value-dr ...

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Niswonger Foundation receives $8 million grant focused on STEM

Scott M. Niswonger, Chairman and Founder of the Niswonger Foundation, announced the award of an Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will focus on educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  This five-year grant, with the required matching funds, will provide $8.8 million dollars to serve schools in 21 school ...

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