A Wise psychiatrist has pleaded guilty to federal healthcare fraud. The Western District U.S. Attorney's Office reports that 52-year-old Uzma Ehtesham pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Abingdon on Thursday. According to court documents, Ehtesham billed Virginia Medicare and Medicaid $500,000 in total fraudulent payments for individual payment office visits between 2010 and 2016. She claimed that it was "extensive, time consuming and costly office visits," while she was actually seeing patients in groups of two to four for only five to six minutes at a time. Ehtesham is required to pay $1 million total in restitution, fines, and forfeiture and her sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 28, 2021.
An individual at Thomas Walker High School has tested positive for COVID-19. Lee County Public Schools report that the positive case was last at the school on October 29. Lee County has been on a remote learning schedule this entire week, and at this time all schools in the district will remain open. The school is working with the LENOWISCO Health District to conduct contact tracing and anyone who may have been exposed will be contacted by the Lee County Health Department.
The Virginia Department of Health reports 173,645 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. The VDH also reports 3,432 confirmed deaths and 12,762 confirmed hospitalizations due to COVID-19 across the state. There are 5,851 cases in Southwest Virginia:
Washington County has 1,188 cases with 96 hospitalizations and 28 deaths
Wise County has 787 cases with 46 hospitalizations and 11 deaths
Smyth County has 708 cases with 57 hospitalizations and 27 deaths
Lee County has 616 cases with 35 hospitalizations and 11 deaths
Russell County has 594 cases with 48 hospitalizations and 8 deaths
Tazewell County has 584 cases with 31 hospitalizations and 2 deaths
Scott County has 512 cases with 33 hospitalizations and 7 deaths
City of Bristol has 350 cases with 21 hospitalizations and 7 deaths
Buchanan County has 284 cases with 17 hospitalizations and 4 deaths
Dickenson County has 169 cases with 10 hospitalizations and 1 death
City of Norton has 59 cases with 5 hospitalizations
MAN ARRESTED IN JOHNSON CITY FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING A TOTAL $65,000 WORTH OF CLOTHING FROM AMERICAN EAGLE AND HOLLISTER
A Fall Branch, Tennessee man has been arrested after being accused of stealing over $65,000 worth of items at clothing stores. The Johnson City Police Department reports that 32-year-old Justin Moody was arrested on Wednesday after an investigation that dates back to February of this year. Moody works for a contracted company that picks up and delivers packages to steal the contents. The merchandise stolen was estimated to amount to $30,000 from American Eagle and $35,000 from Hollister. He was charged with two counts of theft of property over $10,000 and has been transported to the Washington County Detention Center.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports 19,887 new unemployment claims were filed in Tennessee and Virginia last week. There were 12,895 new claims filed in Virginia, an increase from the 12,352 claims filed the week prior. There were 6,992 claims filed in Tennessee during the week ending on October 31, 778 fewer claims than the week before. There were 486 new claims filed in Northeast Tennessee last week. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development there has been 906,360 unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15.
The Virginia Department of Health reports 172,418 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. The VDH also reports 3,426 confirmed deaths and 12,695 confirmed hospitalizations due to COVID-19 across the state. There are 5,715 cases in Southwest Virginia:
Washington County has 1,158 cases with 95 hospitalizations and 28 deaths
Wise County has 767 cases with 46 hospitalizations and 10 deaths
Smyth County has 698 cases with 57 hospitalizations and 27 deaths
Lee County has 610 cases with 33 hospitalizations and 10 deaths
Tazewell County has 577 cases with 31 hospitalizations and 2 deaths
Russell County has 558 cases with 47 hospitalizations and 8 deaths
Scott County has 499 cases with 33 hospitalizations and 7 deaths
City of Bristol has 343 cases with 21 hospitalizations and 7 deaths
Buchanan County has 283 cases with 17 hospitalizations and 4 deaths
Dickenson County has 165 cases with 9 hospitalizations and 1 death
City of Norton has 57 cases with 5 hospitalizations
A driver was transported to a hospital after a crash in Unicoi County, Tennessee involving a deer and tractor-trailer. Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday, a 2001 Honda CR-V was traveling east on Interstate 26 when it hit a deer near mile marker 31. After hitting the deer, the Honda went through the median, collided with the cable barrier, and entered the eastbound lanes colliding with a commercial motor vehicle. The driver of the Honda, 69-year-old Frank Boyd, of Unicoi, had to be extricated from the car and was transported to a nearby medical center in serious condition. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured. No charges have been filed, according to the THP.
A Greene County, Tennessee mobile home was destroyed by a fire on Wednesday morning. The Limestone Fire Department reports that the fire happened at 340 Cannon Road. The mobile home was completely destroyed by the fire, but it was abandoned, so there were no injuries. The Newmansville Volunteer Fire Department and Tusculum Fire Department also responded to the scene with assistance from the Greene County Sheriff's Department and EMS.
Police are searching for a missing man in Leslie County, Kentucky. 48-year-old Byron Thomas Sizemore, of Stinnett, was last seen on Stinnett Wendover Road on Saturday, October 31, at around 6 p.m. Sizemore was last seen driving a green 2005 Honda Foreman ATV with a black storage box on the back. He is a white male, 5'10, around 160 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Sizemore was last seen wearing a green coat with a hood and possibly camo print pants. If anyone has any information on his whereabouts, they are asked to contact the Kentucky State Police post in Hazard at 606-435-6069.
Ballad Health reports 202 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in their facilities. Ballad reports that 45 of those patients are in intensive care and another 24 of the COVID-19 patients are on a ventilator. There are also 10 patients under investigation. There are now 40 designated COVID-19 beds available in Ballad facilities. Over the past 7 days, a 16.8% positivity rate has been reported by Ballad, along with 54 total COVID-19 deaths during the same time period across all of the system's facilities.