Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine announced on Twitter that the company has hired 255 new nurses in the wake of eliminating 150 administrative positions last month, a net result of 105 new jobs.
Since the region’s two health care systems merged to form Ballad in February, leaders have been adjusting the business model for efficiencies. That included eliminating 150 filled positions in April and 49 others through attrition, as well as closing four urgent care clinics— in Johnson City, Abingdon, Kingsport and Greeneville — over the coming months.
About 42 currently filled positions will be eliminated as a result of clinics being consolidated. Those positions make up part of the 150 layoffs announced in April.
To remain up to date on future decisions and moves by Ballad, follow the ongoing story in the pages of the Johnson City Press, or here on our website.
After the good news of jobs returning to the area, the rest of the week’s news is not so great.
Federal agents raided the Wilson Avenue home of Nathan Kirkland this week, seizing numerous computers and a rifle while investigating a case of child pornography.
After a lengthy undercover investigation, Kirkland was charged with knowingly receiving child pornography by computer and knowingly possessing material that contained an image of child pornography.
When agents served the search warrant at Kirkland’s residence, he agreed to be interviewed and “confessed to downloading child pornography utilizing a peer-to-peer network, and during an initial forensic review of the content of his personal computer, images consistent with child pornography were observed. More than a dozen federal agents walked in and out of the residence, carrying various items - including several desktop and laptop computers - from the house.
During the undercover operation that led to the search, authorities say Kirkland sent an investigator eight pornographic videos involving several different underage females and males, as well as one girl who agents described as being only 2 to 4 years old.
Kirkland was ordered held without bond.
An Elizabethton couple was arrested Tuesday, charged with abusing and neglecting a 1-year-old child, the Elizabethton Police Department announced Friday.
Alexandria Nelson, 18, and Cory Brett Scalf, 20, were arrested Tuesday after a Carter County grand jury returned a true bill charging each with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect resulting from the department’s investigation into the abuse and neglect of a 1-year-old child.
Nelson and Scalf were held in the Carter County Jail on $50,000 bond each.
A suspended David Crockett High School teacher under investigation after sexual misconduct allegations lodged by a juvenile was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury indicted him last week.
Charles Dillon Roberts was a graphics arts instructor at Crockett for nearly three years when the allegations surfaced in October. At that time, he was immediately suspended without pay from the school system.
A letter sent to Roberts regarding his suspension revealed the allegations involved a minor who was not a student at Crockett and there were “no allegations that any misconduct occurred at or on school property.” A spokesman for the school system said Roberts will remain on unpaid suspension until the case is resolved.
Upon hearing of the indictment, Roberts turned himself in to authorities at the Washington County Detention Center and was later released on a $5,000 bond.