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(WASHINGTON) The Federal Trade Commission is continuing to look at the planned merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System.

Hospital executives said Friday, the FTC is conducting a 30-day review of the merger’s terms and conditions in both Virginia and Tennessee. Tennessee gave the planned merged company a Certificate of Public Advantage in September and Virginia approved a Cooperative Agreement in October, both effectively giving the merger state-action antitrust immunity.

A Mountain States spokeswoman confirmed to the Johnson City Press that the review will be completed Nov. 29.

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(KNOXVILLE) A study is examining the effectiveness of a fund established by famed country music artist Dolly Parton for victims impacted by deadly Tennessee wildfires last year.

The Dollywood Foundation says its My People Fund helped 900 families with roughly $9 million in the first six months after the fires.

University of Tennessee professor Stacia West tells the Knoxville News Sentinel she and two graduate students surveyed 100 fund recipients who volunteered. A preliminary report about the findings was released on Thursday. West says she “was surprised by the big increase” in how much recipients had to spend on rent. She also says recipients were grateful to receive checks as opposed to in-kind donations.

A woman indicted Sept. 12 became the sixth person accused in a scheme to defraud the fund.

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The high school playoffs continued in Tennessee and Virginia last night. Greeneville was the last team standing in NE Tennessee, while SW Virginia still had four teams still playing. Anderson County jumped out to a 21-0 lead over Greenville last night, but a furious comeback saw Greeneville survive and advance, 35-31. Greenville will take on Marshall County in the state semifinal next Friday night.

In Virginia, Union had an easy time with Marion, winning 49-15. They’ll take on Graham for the right to go onto the state semis. Chilhowie rolled over Hurley, 35-0. The Warriors will now take on J.I. Burton, who knocked off Patrick Henry last night, 36-28.

Posted to wxis.vncnews.com
Nov. 18, 2017 8:39 AM CST
by achappelle

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The high school playoffs continued in Tennessee and Virginia last night. Greeneville was the last team standing in NE Tennessee, while SW Virginia still had four teams still playing. Anderson County jumped out to a 21-0 lead over Greenville last night, but a furious comeback saw Greeneville survive and advance, 35-31. Greenville will take on Marshall County in the state semifinal next Friday night.

In Virginia, Union had an easy time with Marion, winning 49-15. They’ll take on Graham for the right to go onto the state semis. Chil-Howie rolled over Hurley, 35-0. The Warriors will now take on J.I. Burton, who knocked off Patrick Henry last night, 36-28.

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(RICHMOND) The Virginia Board of Education has approved new standards that will determine how schools are accredited.

The Daily Press reports the state’s approval came during a meeting Thursday morning.

The standards acknowledge progress made toward reaching benchmarks instead of a specific target, such as a minimum percent pass rate for exams.

Public Instruction superintendent Steven Staples said in a statement, “This addresses an inequity in our current system, which sometimes labels schools serving children in poverty as failing when in fact students are making great strides and showing high growth from one year to the next.”

Schools will be given accreditation ratings next year under either the old or new system, depending which is a more favorable outcome.

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(BRISTOL, Va.) There will be a new retailer and some new jobs coming to Bristol, VA next spring.

City officials announced at a Friday news conference that Hobby Lobby plans to move into The Falls. The store is expected to open sometime in the spring- no official grand opening date has yet been set.

City leaders say they hope the new addition will further development at The Falls.

The craft store chain currently has one other store in the area, in Kingsport.

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(SULLIVAN COUNTY) Officials and students broke ground at the future site of Sullivan East Middle School Friday. Schools officials expect the cost of the new building to be about $20 million, and it is scheduled to open in Fall 2019.

The 700-some students that will eventually be in the building will come from Bluff City Middle, Holston Valley Middle, and the middle school component of Mary Hughes elementary and middle schools.

Meanwhile, Kingsport will begin using the current Sullivan North building as a middle school, possibly as early as 2021.

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(KNOXVILLE) Prosecutors want to have former Tennessee football teammates A.J Johnson and Michael Williams tried together in their pending aggravated rape cases.

Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Leslie Nassios cited the long delay in these cases while saying Friday she will file a motion requesting both men go on trial together.J

Johnson was a linebacker and Williams a defensive back for Tennessee when a woman told police both men raped her in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2014.

A July 16, 2018, trial date was set Friday in this case.

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(RICHMOND) A federal judge has refused to order that 55 absentee ballots be counted in the election of a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

The Washington Post reports Judge Claude Hilton said Friday in Alexandria that while the ballots that arrived the day after the Nov. 7 election were late, he saw no evidence of improprieties. The election in Stafford County has Republican Robert Thomas ahead of Joshua Cole by 82 votes. Cole’s campaign argued in a lawsuit that the ballots were late because of post office problems and should be counted.

The Virginia House Democratic Caucus said in a statement that the ruling was disappointing and the caucus is assessing its options.

The Stafford County race is one of three that may be headed for a recount.

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(ABINGDON) Four of the 32 people arrested and charged for their part in a meth distribution ring that ran from Southwest Virginia to Las Vegas have been convicted in federal court in Abingdon.

Two Glade Spring residents, 48-year old Tracy Callihan and 50-year old John Williams…along with 51-year old Rebecca Williams of Abingdon and 55-year old Richard Kayian of Las Vegas were in court Friday.

They will all be sentenced in February.

Williams was working for UPS at the time of the operation, and would make sure the drug packages were delivered to one of the dealers. In all, 30 of the 32 people arrested as part of the investigation have been convicted.

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