Mother bound over on abuse charge
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JOHNSON CITY - A 24-year-old Telford woman was bound over to the next session of the Washington County grand jury on charges of aggravated child neglect and abuse Wednesday. Amanda E. White, 24, 296 Paynetown Road, was bound over after Sessions Judge Jim Nidiffer heard testimony from Judy E. Smith, 237 Archer Road, the grandmother of White's 14-month-old boy. Smith said the child was being held by White, and the toddler was "jumping up and down" on White's lap. Smith said she was going up the steps to her dining room when she turned around as White "propelled Joshua into the air." She said the child landed "probably" three to four feet away from his mother. Smith said after the child hit the floor he lay silent for several minutes. After calling 911, she was told by Washington County sheriff's deputies to take the child to Johnson City Medical Center. Smith also testified that she has had custody of the toddler since 30 minutes after his birth. "Joshua was born severely addicted to cocaine and other drugs," Smith said. Smith also is the custodian for the boy's 2-year-old sister. Smith called White a drug addict in court. She said White had come to the home under the pretense of visiting the children, but in actuality White knew the children's father had recently had surgery. "The only reason she came was because she was begging for pills. She asked how he was doing and did they give him anything and could she have some." White remains free on bond.
Atlanta developer eyeing Johnson City site
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JOHNSON CITY - A major Atlanta-based property developer that has worked with area businessman Bill Gatton on a Murfreesboro project is looking at Johnson City area land for a potential retail development. "I can confirm that we're interested, but not in any specific tract of land," Matt Gove, a spokesman for Cousins Properties Inc., said Wednesday. Another retail developer had an option that has expired on 100 acres off Boones Creek Road just east of Interstate 26, but Gove would not say whether that was the property of interest to Cousins. Cousins describes itself as "one of the country's top diversified development companies ... focused on fast-growing Sunbelt states" and has retail, office, industrial, urban residential and single-family residential developments in its portfolio. Its 4.6 million square feet of retail space includes projects in Atlanta, Florida, California, Minnesota, Virginia, one outside Memphis and one in Murfreesboro that is due to open in October. The two main retail concepts, judging from the company's Web site - www.cousinsproperties.com - appear to be a more upscale "Avenues" concept and a "MarketCenter" concept. Gatton, who sold Cousins 100 acres in Murfreesboro for an "Avenues" development, said his experience with the company has been extremely positive. "If it's going to be done, they will do it first class," Gatton said.
VDOT awards paving contracts
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BRISTOL, Va. - Twelve paving contracts and a guardrail contract were recently awarded in the Virginia Department of Transportation's Bristol District. W-L Construction & Paving Inc. of Chilhowie received eight contracts valued at approximately $6.7 million for paving various locations in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Washington, Smyth, Grayson and Wythe counties. Mac Construction Inc. of Oakwood received two contracts valued at $648,111 for paving various locations in Buchanan and Russell counties. Floyd Asphalt Paving Co. of Bluefield received two contracts valued at approximately $751,360 for paving various locations in Tazewell and Bland counties. Elderlee Inc. of York, Pa., received a $125,928 contract to install guardrail at various locations along Interstate 81 in Smyth County.