Support for Ballad Health was nonexistent at Thursday’s public hearing at Northeast State Community College as more than 35 people — including former and current Ballad employees, emergency medical technicians and former patients — expressed dissatisfaction and concern about the hospital system, post-merger.
More than 200 people attended the state-mandated annual public hearing, and all the community feedback gathered will be incorporated into a report the committee has to file in 30 days. Each speaker had three minutes to talk, and nearly every person used up their time during the roughly three-hour meeting.
Speakers cited the trauma center decision concerning Holston Valley Medical Center, the non-acceptance of certain health insurers, transparency issues concerning State Senator Rusty Crowe and others, conflicts of interest and tales of mismanagement and disinterest. The loudest applause of the night came when retired nurse Keltie Kerney explicitly called for the resignation of Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine.
For the full rundown, and more information on the matter, please read Zach Vance’s article on our website, or in the pages of the Johnson City Press.
The two men charged with Monday's fatal shooting of two Kingsport residents were arrested in Kentucky after firing a gun out of the window of their pickup, according to the local sheriff. Joseph Dale Clark II, Alexander M. Hamilton, and a female companion from Kingsport, Samantha Glenn, were taken into custody after bailing from their vehicle near Columbia, Kentucky.
All three face multiple charges, including possession of meth and possession of a stolen firearm, to go along with the expected charges fro Clark and Hamilton related to the Kingsport murders of Trevor L. Reed and Shyane I. Bishop. The victims were shot Monday night at Stonecrest Apartments in Kingsport, with Reed dying shortly after transport to the hospital. Bishop was placed on life support and passed away on Tuesday afternoon.
"You'd think that if you were wanted, especially for a potential double homicide, you think you'd be a little quieter while trying to creep through a town," Adair County Sheriff Josh Brockman told the Kingsport Times News. "They were wild."
More drama surrounding the plans for a Washington County Elementary School, as the decision and vote to move ahead reached what some called an “ugly” conclusion.
Members of Washington County’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee voted yesterday on a resolution to send the Scheme 6 plan to build a new K-8 school in Jonesborough to the county’s Budget Committee.
The 4-1 vote did not include an actual endorsement of Scheme 6 from the HEW Committee, nor does it offer any recommendations on how to fund a project that would require the county to borrow at least $56 million to complete. The motion did, however, include the county’s purchase of 15 acres adjacent to the Jonesborough Elementary School that Washington County school officials have said is key to Scheme 6.
Robert Hook details the plan in his latest article on our website, and if you’d like to know more, please visit that page.
Elizabethton and Washington County Schools have been closed the last two days because of the flu-like illness that is sweeping through our region, so take precautions and make sure you remain healthy this weekend. If you’ve been hit by the sickness, as many of us have, take steps to medicate and heal before heading out to be around people, or returning to work or school.