KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An empty 334,000-square-foot building and an eager workforce explain only in part why Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (Nasdaq: GMCR) chose the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley of Tennessee for a major expansion site that eventually will employ 300 workers.”The central location makes us more efficient, reduces our transportation and distribution costs and shortens delivery lead times of our products,” according to Jon Wettstein, Green Mountain’s vice president for supply chain operations.But he says a well-coordinated economic development community also helped seal the deal.The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley economic development partnership between the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Knoxville Chamber, Loudon County Economic Development Agency, Oak Ridge Economic Partnership, the Roane Alliance, and Tellico Reservoir Development Agency, Wettstein says, “provided an incredibly efficient process.”Quality of life considerations also played a major part in attracting the socially-conscious coffee roasting and distributing company. Knoxville has fared well in recent polls by Forbes, Inc. and Site Selection magazines.”The skilled workforce, the prospects for continuous learning, the opportunities for us to partner with the community, the quality of life for employees and the physical beauty of the area all were important factors in our decision to locate here,” Wettstein said.For their part, Innovation Valley officials welcome Green Mountain’s progressive business model. RO Magazine, Forbes and SustainableBusiness.com have recognized Green Mountain as a good corporate citizen and an innovative, high-growth company.”We think they’ll be trendsetters in corporate and social responsibility – both locally and internationally,” said Doug Lawyer, director of economic development for the Knoxville Chamber.Because nearly 100 million people work in the coffee industry worldwide – many of them in developing countries – Green Mountain has ample opportunity “to distribute value more equitably through the supply chain and support sustainability in coffee-growing communities,” said Mike Dupee, the company’s vice president of corporate social responsibility.Dupee said Green Mountain also places a high premium on human capital at home, has aggressive plans to reduce waste and minimize energy use, and continues to increase the percentage of its fair trade products.”In the workplace, a chain reaction occurs when employees are safe, have the opportunity to learn and grow, and have meaningful work: ideas and innovation flow among coworkers, customers are happier with our products, profits grow, and then we have more human and financial capital to invest in sustainable business practices,” he said.SOURCE Innovation Valley Inc.
Earlier Friday, the team said center Kalani Brown tested positive for the coronavirus on July 9 and remains under quarantine as the team prepares to play in the WNBA bubble.In a statement released by the team, Johnson says she tested positive two weeks ago following several negative tests.Johnson averaged 7.3 points per game for Dallas in 2019, her seventh season in the WNBA.Brown says she has battled “challenging” symptoms include headache, sore throat, chills, body aches, fatigue, loss of the sense of taste and shortness of breath.Brown says she is feeling better but won’t be able to play when the Dream opens its season on Sunday against Dallas. ___South Korea says it will allow baseball fans to return to the stands beginning Sunday as health authorities outlined a phased process to bring back spectators in professional sports amid the COVID-19 epidemic.Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho also says fans will be allowed at professional soccer games starting on Aug. 1. But professional golf tournaments will continue without galleries at least until late August.Both baseball and soccer teams will be initially allowed to sell only 10% of the seats for each game as officials plan to control the level of attendance based on the progress of anti-virus efforts.Spectators will continue to be banned in the city of Gwangju and nearby South Jeolla Province towns. ___Michigan State says all members of its football team will quarantine or isolate after another staff member and an athlete tested positive for COVID-19.The team had already paused workouts after a staff member tested positive. The athletic department said Friday that testing conducted over the last week included a second staff member and an athlete testing positive.“All members of the football team will quarantine or isolate, while awaiting completion of a 14-day quarantine,” the athletic department said in a statement.Surveillance testing of athletes was completed Wednesday and is set to be repeated before they are cleared to return to workouts. The U.S. GP was initially scheduled for late October. Brazil and Mexico were then to host races in November. Canada was already postponed from its mid-June date. Promoter Francois Dumontier said the Grand Prix had been tentatively rescheduled for Oct. 9-11 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau, but the turning point came when local public health authorities informed promoters and Formula One that no fans would be allowed entry.“As of that moment, as a private business, it was no longer viable,” said Dumontier, who has a deal with F1 to put on the Canadian Grand Prix until 2029. “It also prevented us from contributing to the costs of the races and the costs of bringing F1 to North America which, amid the pandemic, were much higher than usual. That was the turning point.”The last time the Canadian Grand Prix was canceled was in 2009. At the time, the event promoter and F1 couldn’t come to an agreement over broadcast rights to show the race.The three new races take this season’s total to 13. All of them are in Europe. The Big Sky Conference President’s Council approved the delay, but will assess the start of football at a later date.Men’s and women’s golf can start competition on Sept. 14. Soccer, volleyball and cross country can begin on Sept. 18. The non-championship seasons for tennis and softball also will being on Sept. 18.___Formula One races in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and three others have been added.F1 says the Eifel Grand Prix will host a race at the iconic Nürburgring in Germany on Oct. 11. That will be followed by the Portuguese GP in Portimão two weeks later and the Emilia-Romagna GP in Italy on Nov. 1. Associated Press The Latest: Big Sky delays start of fall Olympic sports ___The Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon in Detroit is joining other large cities in canceling its fall event because of the coronavirus.“In March, when our world as we knew it seemed to change, we were hopeful that we would be able to run together in October. As time has gone on, it has become clear to us that this will not be the case,” organizers said Friday.It would have been the event’s 43rd year. It offers a 26.2-mile race that takes runners over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario, and back to the United States through the Detroit River tunnel.There are also two half-marathons, one that follows the international route and another that stays in Detroit. Runners who had registered can participate in a virtual event, roll their registration to 2021 or 2022 at no cost, or get a 50% refund. Details on the virtual races will be announced July 30.The Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon were also canceled. ___Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe practiced with his teammates Friday for the first time since learning he had tested positive for the coronavirus.Bledsoe had arrived at Walt Disney World for the relaunch of the NBA season on Wednesday, about two weeks after the team got to Florida. Bledsoe said after Friday’s practice that he savored getting “back to my sanctuary.” ___Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora says fans will be allowed back into stadiums in September if the virus is kept under control.Spadafora says “obviously the stadium can’t be filled like before but rather a series of measures currently being studied will need to be respected.”The Serie A soccer season is being completed without fans and is scheduled end on Aug. 2. Next season should start in mid-September.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Big Sky Conference is delaying the competition start date for fall Olympic sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I got up and down the court,” Bledsoe said while wearing a mask throughout his Zoom session. “Just touching the basketball, getting a feel for it again, it was pretty fun.’’The Bucks play the second of their three scrimmages Saturday against the Sacramento Kings as they prepare for the resumption of the season after a 4 ½-month layoff. Donte DiVincenzo replaced Bledsoe in the starting lineup for the Bucks’ first scrimmage, a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Thursday.Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said the team would be patient in working Bledsoe back into action and that they’d see how he progresses over the next several days. The 30-year-old Bledsoe said he never felt sick during his quarantine. ___Atlanta Dream forward Glory Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the start of the season. Atlanta acquired Brown from the Los Angeles Sparks on Feb. 10 in exchange for guard Brittney Sykes and center Marie Gülich.___The next Premier League soccer season will begin on Sept. 12 and finish on May 23.This season will end on Sunday. That is two months later than originally scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The dates for next season were agreed to by the clubs during a conference call. The Chinese basketball league is set to allow limited numbers of spectators into games this Sunday before being fully open to fans from July 31 for playoff games in Qingdao.The Chinese Basketball Association says medical professionals, teachers and police and public security officers will be eligible in the first intake of fans since the league resumed last month following a lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic.The league says fans older than 12 “who have missed the stadium will have the opportunity to enter the Qingdao Guoxin Sports Center Diamond Stadium to cheer for their favorite teams and players” from July 31.Fans will have to buy tickets through an online registration system on a “one ticket, one certificate” basis within 48 hours of testing negative for COVID-19.Physical distancing measures will be in place inside the stadium and spectators will have to show identification, wear face masks and undergo body temperature testing before entry. July 24, 2020 ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports