Archives for March 2018

Health Administrator At Local Event

(NASHVILLE) — A Medicaid administrator was in town.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, Seema Verma declined to say whether imposing work requirements on certain beneficiaries is better suited for states that expanded Medicaid than those that didn’t, saying her agency is assessing state proposals on a case-by-case basis.

At an area engagement, Verma told reporters the program is about helping people rise out of poverty. The Trump administration has approved work-requirement plans in Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas, all Medicaid expansion states under the Affordable Care Act.

UT Board Vote In Nashville

(NASHVILLE) — The Republican-led state House approves a bill that would reshape the University of Tennessee’s board of trustees…Jim O’Reilly…

The House cast a 51-41 vote for Gov. Haslam’s proposal. The Senate has already passed it, but a House change sends it back to the Senate before it heads to Haslam’s desk. The plan would shrink the board from 27 to 11 voting members, and would add one non-voting student member.

Bill To Trim UT Trustees Passes

(NASHVILLE) — The Republican-led state House approves a bill that would reshape the University of Tennessee’s board of trustees.

The House cast a 51-41 vote for Gov. Haslam’s proposal. The Senate has already passed it, but a House change sends it back to the Senate before it heads to Haslam’s desk.

The plan would shrink the board from 27 to 11 voting members, and would add one non-voting student member.

Rolen Thrown In Jail

(WISE) — A Wise County man is in jail, accused of taking indecent liberties with a minor by a person in a supervisory position…Jim O’Reilly…

Jeffery Rolen was indicted by a grand jury after being arrested by Virginia State Police earlier this week. Investigators uncovered Rolen’s alleged sexual involvement with a female teenager, who was working at his place of employment in the 1980s. He is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.

Wise Man Faces Sex Charges

(WISE) — A Wise County man is in jail, accused of taking indecent liberties with a minor by a person in a supervisory position.

Jeffery Rolen was indicted by a grand jury after being arrested by Virginia State Police earlier this week. Investigators uncovered Rolen’s alleged sexual involvement with a female teenager, who was working at his place of employment in the 1980s.

He is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.

Bribery Common In Capital According To Testimony

(ALEXANDRIA) – A Virginia trial shows the ugly side of politics…Jim O’Reilly…

Seven people who pled guilty to a bribery scheme involving Virginia Department of Transportation officials and snowplow contractors say corruption is endemic to the agency. The officials and contractors alike indicated during the trial that corruption extended beyond the scheme that put all seven behinds bars for terms ranging from three months to seven years.

Snowplow Scheme May Be A Drop In The Bucket

(ALEXANDRIA) – A Virginia trial shows the ugly side of politics.

Seven people who pled guilty to a bribery scheme involving Virginia Department of Transportation officials and snowplow contractors say corruption is endemic to the agency.

The officials and contractors alike indicated during the trial that corruption extended beyond the scheme that put all seven behinds bars for terms ranging from three months to seven years.

Body Found in Wautaga River Near Elizabethton

(ELIZABETHTON) A death investigation is underway after a passerby spotted a body in the Watauga River.

A person called 911 Thursday afternoon after spotting a body about 15 feet from shore near Riverside Drive in Elizabethton. Officials launched recovery equipment and found the body of a white male.

The body has already been sent for an autopsy to try and confirm both his identity and cause of death.

$500K in Grants Coming to Mountain Empire Community College Foundation

(WISE) The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will receive a half-million dollar grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority for students to undergo workforce development training.
That money will be used for -among other things- scholarships, tuition assistance, and starting classes that will train or retrain the workforce in the area.

In order to qualify for financial aid through the grant, students must come from the VCEDA region.

Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Dominion Energy Request

(RICHMOND) The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a case that makes it easier for big electric users to shop around for renewable energy.

The court upheld an earlier decision by state regulators allowing large customers to purchase 100 percent renewable energy from an independent producer without restrictions.

Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, had argued that big customers who go elsewhere for power should have to give five years’ notice before they could return to the utility.

Dominion said it needs that time to properly plan for its power generation needs, while critics said the company is trying to squeeze out independent competitors unfairly.