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Little town with a big problem: Big Stone Gap suffers Virginia’s largest nursing home COVID outbreak

Little town with a big problem: Big Stone Gap suffers Virginia’s largest nursing home COVID outbreak

BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) – The ladies inside a local business on this small Appalachian town’s main drag weren’t aware a COVID outbreak at a nearby nursing home had infected more than 200 residents and staff when they spoke to a reporter on a cold December morning.Two of them were unmasked, having already had the virus. One said COVID was “part of life” and Americans were going to have to learn to live with it.Not far away, staff at Heritage Hall Nursing Home continued to grapple with an outbreak that has cost 33 lives — so far — and recorded 219 total positive cases. It’s the largest of...

December 10, 2020
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As Virginia hospitalizations hit new high, model says some regions could run out of bed space by January

As Virginia hospitalizations hit new high, model says some regions could run out of bed space by January

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- Hospitalizations from coronavirus are at a new high this week in Virginia. Meanwhile, one model projects some regions could run out of bed space by January if the current growth rate continues.On Thursday, put hospitalizations statewide at 1,853, a grim figure representing a gradual increase of more than 800 inpatient admissions over the last month. The total also surpasses previous peaks, including the initial wave last spring that prompted Gov. Ralph Northam’s Administration to begin planning for field hospitals.“Rights are important but we need to emphasize...

December 4, 2020
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Anonymous donor gives nearly $65K to cover layaway items at Bristol Walmart

Anonymous donor gives nearly $65K to cover layaway items at Bristol Walmart

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — An anonymous person donated nearly $65,000 to pay off all layaway items at the Walmart in Bristol, Tennessee.Walmart says the $64,995.51 donation that was made on Monday was enough to cover the store’s entire layaway balance.:I got a notification on my email that my layaway had been paid for,” said shopper Lloyd Leonard. “And I thought ‘well that’s kind of weird.”Leonard was informed by management that the anonymous donation had covered his layaway fees.“She said yeah somebody came in this morning at 6 o’clock and paid everybody’s layaway,” Leonard said. “But he...

December 9, 2020
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Tennessee cracking down on off-road and all-terrain vehicles in state forests

Tennessee cracking down on off-road and all-terrain vehicles in state forests

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — and the are teaming up to enforce stricter regulations against off-road vehicles and all-terrain vehicles in state forests.“When people harm our state forests, it affects visitors and nearby residents, the landscape, drinking water, and the overall health of the forest,” said David Arnold, State Forester and Assistant Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Agriculture.Anyone found using off-road vehicles in unauthorized areas of state forests may be charged with criminal trespass and/or vandalism. The offenses carry penalties as high as one year in jail and a...

March 11, 2021
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Virginia governor, first lady receive Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Monday

Virginia governor, first lady receive Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Monday

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia Governor and First Lady Northam recieved their doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Monday afternoon.The couple received their vaccinations shortly after 1:30 p.m.The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been cleared by health organizations to be administered.Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. However, unlike the two-dose vaccines, the J&J vaccine is somewhat less effective against COVID-19 cases.FDA researchers determined the J&J vaccine to be about 85% effective against the most severe cases of...

March 15, 2021
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TVA increases solar power capacity by 60%, plans on doubling capacity by 2040

TVA increases solar power capacity by 60%, plans on doubling capacity by 2040

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.­­ (WATE) – Solar power is on the rise in the Tennessee Valley.The Tennessee Valley Authority has increased its solar capacity by 60% in the last five months and has plans of doubling its solar energy usage by 2040.“Carbon reduction is at the center of TVA’s sustainability strategy, and TVA is investing in clean, cost-effective and reliable solar energy to revitalize communities,” TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash said. “Our renewables programs push green power to the local level to create jobs and investment across the Valley.” TVA expects to add 7,000 to 10,000 megawatts of...

February 9, 2021
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Tennessee bill would allow people to carry a gun without a permit

Tennessee bill would allow people to carry a gun without a permit

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A proposed law in Tennessee would allow people to openly or conceal carry a gun without a permit.“The constitution does not say that you have to pay money for a permit to have permission to carry a firearm,” said sponsor, state Rep. Scotty Campbell (R-Mountain City). “What this does is allows you under the Constitution to carry your firearm just as the founding fathers intended.”If the bill passes, those who currently can’t own a firearm still won’t be able to.“We’re going to leave the current permitting process in place so it’s easy for you to continue to...

January 26, 2021
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Tennessee bill would require businesses to post notices if it allows ‘either biological sex to use any public restroom’

Tennessee bill would require businesses to post notices if it allows ‘either biological sex to use any public restroom’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — State lawmakers have advanced a bill that would require businesses to notify customers if it allows a “member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the building or facility.”The Tennessee House Public Service Subcommittee on Wednesday recommended for passage and referred it to the State Government Committee.The bill by Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) states: “A public or private entity or business that operates a building or facility open to the general public and that, as a matter of formal or informal policy, allows a member of either...

March 10, 2021
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‘We’re going to try to get it done here in Tennessee’: Local lawmaker proposes 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Act

‘We’re going to try to get it done here in Tennessee’: Local lawmaker proposes 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Act

TENNESSEE (WJHL) – A local lawmaker proposed legislation that could lead to Tennessee becoming the fifth state to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary state.Tennessee State Representative Scotty Campbell (R-Mountain City) told that he proposed this to protect the gun rights of all Tennesseans against any possible action from the federal government.“I had a number of people reach out to me wanting Tennessee to be a second amendment sanctuary state, some other states across the country have done this, and we’re going to try to get it done here in Tennessee,” Campbell said. “With an...

February 14, 2021
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SpaceX internet partnership to extend to more counties after Wise Co. Schools families see success

SpaceX internet partnership to extend to more counties after Wise Co. Schools families see success

WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A constellation of satellites in space is helping several families have reliable internet access for the first time in Wise County.News Channel 11 first reported in December 2020 that the Elon Musk-founded company SpaceX had partnered with Wise County leaders. Launching Starlink satellites for the county made internet connectivity possible in areas where it was previously unreliable, expensive, or unavailable.In wake of the success Wise County families have seen with Starlink, officials plan to bring the space-based broadband to school children in other counties as...

April 9, 2021
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