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KINGSPORT - Eastman Chemical Co. will conduct a plant-wide test of its hazardous vapor release alerting system Wednesday and Thursday. The annual test, which may be noticed by plant neighbors, is to ensure that Eastman's emergency preparedness systems are operating properly. If a hazardous vapor release should occur, several things would happen at the plant. Emergency telephones ring, pagers go off, blue lights flash in the affected area, and audible alarms sound. A radio-controlled system also shuts down the ventilated systems in designated safe havens where employees can shelter until the incident is resolved. On both days, testing will begin around 8:30 a.m. and conclude around 3 p.m.

Scam imitates free tax filing site

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Internal Revenue Service learned late Friday of a new tax scam on the Internet that lures taxpayers into filing tax information on a site masquerading as a member of the Free File Alliance. The IRS reminds taxpayers the only place to access the Free File program is through the official www.IRS.gov Web site. "The final days of the tax season always bring tax scams," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "Make sure you're really dealing with the IRS. Taxpayers can feel safe using Free File, but the only way to do it is through the secure IRS.gov Web site." The latest twist on tax scams involves tax preparation Web sites that inaccurately say they are part of the Free File Alliance, a partnership between 19 tax software companies and the IRS.

Pennington Gap man sentenced

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JONESVILLE - A Pennington Gap man previously convicted of larceny and alcohol charges was sentenced Monday in Lee County Circuit Court to 90 days in jail and five years of supervised probation. Dustin J. Mullins, 20, 412 Morgan Alley, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing alcohol under the age of 21, public intoxication and grand larceny. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $500 on each of the possession charges, but Judge Tammy McElyea suspended 80 days of the time. He was given 90 more days in jail and a $50 fine on the public intoxication charge, and 80 days of that time was suspended. McElyea ordered that all the sentences be served consecutively. She further sentenced Mullins to five years in the Virginia State Penitentiary on the larceny charge but suspended that time in lieu of five years of supervised probation. Mullins was ordered to pay restitution and allowed to participate in a drug rehabilitation program if he is eligible. If not, he will be allowed to participate in the day reporting program.

Lee IDA to pay $477,000 for remodeling

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JONESVILLE - The Lee County Industrial Development Authority, in a called meeting Monday, authorized Director Tim Long to pay approximately $477,000 for remodeling work at a building in the former Vamco complex, now known as the Patriot Center. Long said the authority recently received funding for the work from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and expects other funds from the Virginia Tobacco Commission within a week or so. The renovation is being done to relocate the KCG Call Center into the facility. Long said the company has signed a five-year contract to lease the building but may purchase it outright later on. The company will also reimburse the IDA for furniture and some renovation costs.

Second Harvest gets $49,500 HUD grant

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. David Davis announced Monday a $49,500 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant being awarded to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. "Second Harvest Food Bank is a model of compassion for our region," Davis said in a prepared release. The Economic Development Initiative Grant is awarded for a specific purpose or project by Congress to be a catalyst for expansion or growth in a defined area.

Local Junior Leagues holding food drive

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GRAY - The Junior Leagues of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City will hold their annual food drive between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at area Food City stores and at the Super Dollar store in Abingdon. Most-needed items are canned and boxed goods such as meats, vegetables, pastas and fruit.

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