VHSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER THREE PROPOSALS, BUT FOOTBALL BEING PLAYED IN THE FALL IS NOT INCLUDED IN THEM
The Virginia High School League will consider three proposals later this month, although football in the fall is not included in any of the proposals. The VHSL Executive Committee met on Wednesday and unanimously decided to meet again on July 27 to vote on the three options. The first option proposed was to leave all of the sports in the current season, which would mean that only golf and cross country will be allowed to compete in the fall due to low contact risk. Football and volleyball would not be played. The second option would switch the fall and spring seasons. Baseball, softball, soccer, track, and tennis would be competed in the fall. While football and volleyball would be played in the spring. The third option, which received the most support, would delay all sports and have winter sports start in December, fall sports would start in February, and spring sports would start in April. The committee will meet again on July 27 to vote on the proposals and also vote on postseason models.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that there were 56,281 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee and Virginia last week. There were 33,850 claims filed in Virginia during the week ending on July 11, an increase of 2,025 claims from the week prior. There were 22,431 new claims filed in Tennessee last week, 3,412 less claims than the week before. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports that last week was the first time in several weeks that the state saw a decrease in new unemployment claims. There were 1,113 new claims filed in Northeast Tennessee last week. Since March 15, there have been 714,329 unemployment claims filed in Tennessee.
The Virginia Department of Health reports that there are 71,570 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. The VDH also reports that there have been 1,903 confirmed deaths and 6,975 confirmed hospitalizations across the state. There are 379 cases in Southwest Virginia:
Washington County has 95 cases with 13 hospitalizations and 4 deaths
Buchanan County has 51 cases with 1 hospitalization
Smyth County has 49 cases with 5 hospitalizations and 1 death
Wise County has 49 cases with 13 hospitalizations and 3 deaths
Tazewell County has 35 cases
Russell County has 27 cases with 5 hospitalizations
Lee County has 26 cases with 1 hospitalization
Scott County has 20 cases with 3 hospitalizations and 2 deaths
City of Bristol has 15 cases with 1 hospitalization
Dickenson County has 8 cases
City of Norton has 4 cases with 2 hospitalizations
The Lee County School Board votes to delay the start of the school year. The school board met Wednesday night and voted to start the school year on August 20, instead of August 6. School district officials report that they will be working on an amended calendar that will be presented to the school board on August 13. Students Pre-K through 12th grade will attend school in two groups. One group will meet for instruction on Monday and Tuesday, while the second group meets on Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays will be dedicated to remote learning, professional development, and extra cleaning. The finalized approved plan will be available on Friday, July 17 with the changes noted. A survey on remote learning will be sent out to parents, as well as one to staff about their intentions to either work in-person or through remote options.
16 people were indicted in a Roan Mountain, Tennessee meth investigation. The Carter County Sheriff's Office reports that on Wednesday authorities began arresting suspects at around noon as part of a two-year-long investigation dubbed "Operation Big Iron." Eight of the 16 suspects have been arrested and authorities are continuing to search for those that are still at large. The CCSO says that all of the suspects were charged with conspiracy to distribute meth within a school zone, which carries a 14-year minimum sentence, and some of the suspects are facing additional charges. The investigation was conducted by the sheriff's office and the Elizabethton Police Department. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is also assisting deputies with the arrests.
Two people were injured in a Wednesday afternoon shooting near Abingdon. The Washington County, Virginia Sheriff's Office reports that at around 1:50 p.m. deputies responded to a possible attempted robbery and gunshot wound at 19430 Lee Highway. Deputies found two men at the scene with gunshot wounds to their legs and administered first aid and applied tourniquets to both men. They were then taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center, one by ambulance and one by med flight. Detectives found a pistol and other evidence at the scene, but they are still trying to figure out what happened, but at this time they believe it only involved the two men who were transported to the hospital with injuries. The WCSO reports that more information will be released at a later time.
A Hampton, Tennessee man was arrested after fleeing police and driving through yards in Johnson City. The Johnson City Police Department reports that 55-year-old Billy Street was traveling north on South Roan Street at around 12:30 a.m. Monday when he crossed the double yellow line and nearly hit a JCPD vehicle. Police attempted a traffic stop, but Street allegedly turned onto East Highland Avenue and drove through several yards before abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot into a wooded area. He was found shortly after and was found to have had a suspended driver's license. Street was transported to the Washington County Detention Center and was placed on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.
All occupants were able to get out safely after a condo fire in the Woodstone subdivision of Johnson City. The Johnson City Fire Department reports that crews were called to the scene of the fire at 8:46 p.m. Sunday. Two condo units were heavily damaged in the fire. Four people were in one unit and one man was in the other unit, but all occupants were able to make it out of the building and no injuries were reported. The JCFD initially responded with three engines and two ladder trucks, but three more engines responded later for backup, as well as Washington County and Johnson City EMS and Johnson City police officers. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A suspicious death investigation is underway after a body was found near a road in Duffield. The Scott County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies were called to Boone Trail Road near the Industrial Park on Saturday after a man's body was found. The body was reportedly decomposing and has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy and identification. The Virginia State Police is assisting in the investigation.
A man has been arrested in Kingsport in connection with a March home robbery. The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reports that 37-year-old Larry Fields was located and arrested in the 100 block of West Wanola Street. Fields was an accomplice of Angela Mae Boswell who robbed a home in the 300 block of West Valley Drive on March 25. Boswell was the grandmother 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell who was found dead in March at the family compound after being reported missing in December 2019. She and Fields reportedly entered the home and concealed items on their bodies as they walked back to their vehicle. They allegedly stole two televisions, a shotgun, pistol, and various tools. Boswell was charged in March with aggravated burglary, theft under $10,000, introduction of drugs into a penal facility, and possession of counterfeit money. Fields has been charged with aggravated burglary and theft under $10,000.