Local News

 

SULLIVAN-FACE COVERINGS

SULLIVAN COUNTY MAYOR RICHARD VENABLE TODAY ISSUED AN ORDER THAT REQUIRES MASKS TO BE WORN IN ALL BUSINESSES AND VENUES.  THAT APPLIES TO EMPLOYEES AND PATRONS.  VENABLE SAYS IT’S A NECESSARY STEP—AS THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES CONTINUES TO INCREASE, “WE’RE ASKING PEOPLE FOR COOPERATION AND FOR THEM TO EXPERIENCE POSSIBLY WHAT THEY MIGHT THINK A MINOR INCONVENIENCE FOR THEIR NEIGHBORS.”    VENABLE ALSO SAID HE DOESN’T HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE THE MANDATE.  THE ORDER GOES INTO EFFECT JULY 12TH AND WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR A MONTH.  THE ORDER DOESN’T APPLY TO CHURCHES AND ALSO WON’T BE REQUIRED IN RESTAURANTS THAT OFFER ON-PREMISE DINING.    

HUMAN REMAINS FOUND NEAR JONESBOROUGH

THE WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING—AFTER HUMAN REMAINS WERE FOUND OFF DRY CREEK ROAD NEAR JONESBOROUGH.  THE REMAINS WERE FOUND IN A REMOTE WOODED AREA OFF THE ROAD BY SOMEONE RIDING ON A TRAIL.  THE REMAINS HAVEN’T BEEN IDENTIFIED AND IT’S NOT KNOWN IS FOUL PLAY IS INVOLVED.  THE REMAINS HAVE BEEN SENT FOR ANALYSIS.  IF YOU CAN HELP, CONTACT THE WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

COVID-19—BALLAD

BALLAD HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SOUNDING THE ALARM TODAY ABOUT THE RAPID SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN THE TRI-CITIES REGION.  JAMIE SWIFT IS DIRECTOR OF INFECTION PREVENTION AND SAYS, “WE’RE REALLY ON THE BRINK IN THIS AREA OF THE PANDEMIC BECOMING MUCH WORSE.”    SWIFT ALSO SAYS IT’S NOT A BATTLE THAT BALLAD CAN FIGHT ON ITS OWN—AND SHE’S CALLING FOR COMMUNITY BUY-IN, INCLUDING PEOPLE WEARING FACE COVERINGS.   BALLAD HAS ABOUT 100 TO 125 BEDS AVAILABLE FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS.

TWO FORMER RESIDENTS DIE FROM COVID-19

TWO FORMER RESIDENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN CARE CENTER OF BRISTOL HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19 AT AN AREA HOSPITAL.  THE FACILITY HAS 22 RESIDENTS WHO’VE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.  19 ARE CURRENTLY IN ISOLATION AND TWO HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED.  6 STAFF MEMBERS HAVE ALSO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.  OTHER RESIDENTS AND STAFF HAVE TESTED NEGATIVE.  THE FACILITY SAYS IT WILL CONTINUE TESTING RESIDENTS AND STAFF AND IS ALSO WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE SULLIVAN COUNTY REGIONAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO FOLLOW PRECAUTIONS AND GUIDELINES.

PAIR ARRESTED

TWO PEOPLE BELIEVED TO HAVE ROBBED AN 81-YEAR OLD WOMAN AT KNIFEPOINT WERE ARRESTED AFTER THROWING SAWS AND A GAS JUG FROM A VEHICLE WHILE FLEEING GREENEVILLE POLICE. OFFICERS TRIED TO STOP A VEHICLE THAT HAD BEEN USED IN AN ARMED ROBBERY AND SEVERAL THEFTS—AND A PURSUIT BEGAN ON THE NEWPORT HIGHWAY.  A MALE PASSENGER—MATTHEW MCNUTT OF GREENEVILLE—BEGAN THROWING ITEMS OUT OF THE VEHICLE, INCLUDING A GAS JUG, A TABLE SAW AND TWO POWER SAWS.  THE CHEVY THEN RAN OFF THE ROAD AND HIT A HOUSE.  MCNUTT AND THE DRIVER—CHELSEA CUTSHAW OF GREENVILLE—WERE ARRESTED.

JOHNSON COUNTY REOPENING

REOPENING PLANS FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR HAVE BEEN UNVEILED BY THE JOHNSON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM.  THE NEW YEAR WILL START AUGUST 4TH—WITH EITHER IN-PERSON OR VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION.  THERE ARE TWO PHASES: FULL REOPEN AND FORCED CLOSE:  ALL VIRTUAL.  FULL REOPEN MEANS STUDENTS AND STAFF WILL BE ON CAMPUS, BUT FULL-TIME VIRTUAL LEARNING WILL BE AVAILABLE IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. FULL REOPEN REQUIRES A FLAT OR DECLINING TREND OF COVID-19 CASES.  STAFF WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS ONLY WHEN THEY’RE WORKING CLOSELY WITH STUDENTS.  MASKS WILL BE OPTIONAL FOR STUDENTS.