Blake Lipton, WJHL

Blake Lipton


Johnson City, TN, United States

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Past articles by Blake:

Mall at Johnson City announces retailer Palmetto Moon set to open June 5

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials with the Mall at Johnson City announced on social media Tuesday that the retailer Palmetto Moo is set to open June 5 at 11 a.m. The store will be in just over 8,000 square feet in the mall’s upper level near J.C. Penney in space most recently operated by Mercantile […] → Read More

Multi-agency operation leads to dozens of drug arrests in Southwest Virginia

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL)- Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Blake Andis announced Tuesday that dozens of people have been indicted on drug-related charges after what they called ‘Operation Pandemic.’ In a release issued Tuesday Sheriff Andis said the operation resulted in, “101 indictments on 48 people for individuals charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Southwest […] → Read More

Watauga Lake marina preparing for rising lake levels

HAMPTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Employees at a marina on Watauga Lake said they have been taking questions about operations and lake conditions for this coming Memorial Day weekend. “We’ve had plenty of people ask if they could even make it here,” said Lakeshore Marina Dock Manager Blaine Allara. Allara said the marina plans to operate […] → Read More

Tennessee & Virginia parks prep for Memorial Day weekend with COVID-19 precautions in place

TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Municipal and state parks in Tennessee and Virginia are gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend. Now, they are under added pressure to make sure visitors are ready for the outdoors with COVID-19 measures in place. Bristol Parks and Rec Director Terry Napier said overall park attendance is up and […] → Read More

Rogersville town square tabbed as site for Cherokee High School prom

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Students at Cherokee High School were disappointed when their prom was cancelled due to coronavirus. Now, with preliminary approval from the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Alderman, the town square in Rogersville looks to be the site of the school’s unofficial prom on Friday, July 17th for both juniors and seniors. […] → Read More

Ballad Health doctor regains strength, looks forward to work following COVID-19 battle

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Greeneville doctor who contracted COVID-19 tells News Channel 11’s Blake Lipton he is doing better. Dr. Daniel Lewis is Ballad Health’s Chief Medical Officer for the Greeneville Market. He tested positive for COVID-19 in early April and was later put on a ventilator before being released from Johnson City […] → Read More

Boones Creek annexation proposal heads to Johnson City Commission for final approval

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – An annexation proposal in the Boones Creek community is one step closer to becoming a reality. Tuesday night, the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission voted to approve the annexation of more than 19 acres of a 35-acre stretch of land near the intersection of Christian Church Road and Boones Station […] → Read More

Washington County, Tennessee schools to hold graduation parades, looking to larger event at area football stadiums

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Washington County, Tennessee Department of Education is putting together its plans for high school graduation, in order to give students a memorable end to their senior year. Among the events planned, a pair of parades slated for this weekend, as well as larger community events. “We try to make […] → Read More

Sullivan County to hold graduation at Bristol Motor Speedway, traditional ceremony to be held at later date

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – COVID-19 has put a damper on a number of graduation celebrations across the region. However, in Sullivan County, graduates could be saying, “It’s Bristol Baby,” by the time they grab their certificate, as the county school system plans to hold a graduation event at the World’s Fastest Half Mile, also […] → Read More

Hawkins BOE approves measure that could close Keplar, McPheeters Bend schools

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Hawkins County school leaders have approved a measure that could lead to the closure of Keplar and McPheeters Bend elementary schools. The Board of Education voted 6-1 Thursday night to close the two schools at the end of the 2020-2021 school year if student enrollment numbers do not rise to current […] → Read More

TCAT Elizabethton resumes in-person classes

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton opened Monday after closing March 23rd. This comes after restrictions by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on classroom use expired April 30th. Now, students, staff and visitors are being asked to wear masks. Those who do not wear masks will not be allowed on […] → Read More

Local boys & girls clubs altering summer programs, operations

TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – COVID-19 is changing the way local boys and girls clubs operate this summer. Many are having to alter their programs and limit the number of participants. “We’re going to have to have masks and we’re going to have thermometers and we’re going to have to have hand sanitation and we’re going […] → Read More

Sullivan County to issue revised reopening order following attorney general’s opinion

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable said the county is planning on releasing a revised reopening order. This follows the Tennessee attorney general’s opinion on Monday that said local health departments may not be in conflict with the governor’s emergency management orders. Venable said Dr. Stephen May of the Sullivan County […] → Read More

Summer programs being evaluated by local parks & recreation departments

TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Summer programs will remain suspended for at least another month in a number of local municipalities. News Channel 11 spoke with several parks and recreation directors who said they are constantly evaluating the advice from governing authorities and health officials in determining whether to resume with the usual programs or cancel […] → Read More

Dairy industry hit hard by school & restaurant closures

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – The impact COVID-19 has had on the food service industry and schools is affecting dairy farms in the Tri-Cities. Third generation farmer Mike Saylor tells News Channel 11 that while grocery sales have gone up, food service sales of dairy products have dropped. Saylor works for Sayland Farms in Jonesborough, Tennessee. […] → Read More

Local restaurants plan for reboot of economy

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Many area restaurants are wondering how they will fit in to Tennessee’s gradual reopening of the economy. Some of them, like Sahib in Johnson City, said they are going to continue curb-side services for the next few weeks, then gradually reopen parts of their restaurant based on their interest and […] → Read More

Health officials respond to reopening of economy, continue to urge precautions & planning for businesses

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – While local health officials differ on whether the right tools are in place for an increase in COVID-19 cases, they continue to urge caution for individuals and businesses as Tennessee reopens. Ballad Health President & CEO Alan Levine said Tuesday during a media briefing he supports the governor’s approach to […] → Read More

Local lawmakers discuss reopening economy

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Local lawmakers said getting the economy back on track is necessary for our local governments and businesses. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Monday he will allow his “Safer at Home” order to expire April 30th and most businesses can reopen May 1st. “For the good of our state, social distancing […] → Read More

Elizabethton VFW teams up with Second Harvest to provide meals to veterans

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2166 in Elizabethton teamed up with the Second Harvest Food Bank to provide meals to veterans and their families amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, 12 families participated. This week, more than 80 preregistered. The VFW post expected to hand out more than 100 boxes […] → Read More

Local leaders & organizations launch Region AHEAD Local Business Recovery Fund

TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – A fundraiser for local businesses in the region directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia was announced Friday. The Local Business Recovery Fund was set up by local organizations and will will award grants to businesses in desperate need of financial assistance. This effort comes as […] → Read More