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Saturday, April 30, 2005

America's next great population migration -- South and West

Contributed by
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Three states — Florida, California and Texas — would account for nearly one-half (46 percent) of total U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2030, according to Census Bureau state population projections released April 21, 2005. Consequently, Florida, now the fourth most populous state, would edge past New York into third place in total population by 2011; California and Texas would continue to rank first and second, respectively, in 2030. (See attached table.)

These three states would each gain more than 12 million people between 2000 and 2030. Arizona, projected to add 5.6 million people, and North Carolina, with 4.2 million, would round out the top five numerical gainers. As a result, Arizona and North Carolina would move into the top 10 in total population by 2030 — Arizona rising from 20th place in 2000 to 10th place in 2030 and North Carolina from 11th place to seventh place. Michigan and New Jersey are projected to drop out of the top 10. (See attached table.)

The projections indicate that the top five fastest-growing states between 2000 and 2030 would be Nevada (114 percent), Arizona (109 percent), Florida (80 percent), Texas (60 percent) and Utah (56 percent).

Most (88 percent) of the nation’s population growth between 2000 and 2030 would occur in the South and West, which would be home to the 10 fastest-growing states over the period. The share of the population living in the South and West would increase from 58 percent in 2000 to 65 percent in 2030, while the share in the Northeast and Midwest would decline from 42 percent to 35 percent.

Other highlights:

In 2000, each of the nation’s 50 states had more people under 18 than 65 and older. In fact, in about half of the states, the ratio was more than two to one.

In 2030, 10 states are projected to have more people 65 and older than under 18: Florida, Delaware, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In six states, more than one in every four residents would be age 65 and older in 2030: Florida, Wyoming, Maine, New Mexico, Montana and North Dakota.

As the oldest baby boomers become senior citizens in 2011, the population 65 and older is projected to grow faster than the total population in every state.

In fact, 26 states are projected to double their 65- and-older population between 2000 and 2030.

These projections were produced by the Population Division in correspondence with the U.S. interim projections released in March 2004. They were developed for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia by age and sex for the years 2000 to 2030, based on Census 2000 results. These projections differ from forecasts in that they represent the results of the mathematical projection model given that current state-specific trends in fertility, mortality, internal migration and international migration continue. The projections to 2004 have been superseded by population estimates at <>.

Census population projections indicate that Florida will not only surpass New York as the nation's third largest state -- it will beat NY's number by nearly 10,000,000.

Census Bureau's 2030 Population Rankings:
California remains #1
Texas remains #2
Florida rises to #3 from #4
New York falls to #4 from #3
Illinois remains at #5
Pennsylvania remains at #6
North Carolina jumps to #7 from #11
Georgia jumps to #8 from #10
Ohio falls to #9 from #7
Arizona leaps to #10 from #20
Michigan falls to #11 from #8
Virginia remains at #12
New Jersey falls to #13 from #9
Washington moves to #14 from #15
Tennessee moves to #15 from #16
Maryland jumps to #16 from #19
Massachusetts falls to #17 from #13
Indiana falls to #18 from #14
Missouri falls to #19 from #17
Minnesota moves to #20 from #21

Lessons from our big sister city

Contributed by

Below are recent updates on five projects in Downtown Knoxville that you may find of interest. Although the scale may be larger, the concepts also apply to downtowns the size of Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City. For more detailed information (including reports, studies, pdf files, maps) go to

1. Bijou Theatre
2. Regal Cinemas' new 8-screen movie theatre downtown
3. Tennessee Theatre
4. Sundown in the City
5. South Knox waterfront

Mayor details strategy to save Bijou Theatre
Mayor Bill Haslam announced the strategy to ensure the historic Bijou Theatre remains a Knoxville treasure for future generations as a performing arts venue contributing to the energy of downtown. The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation will manage the 188-year-old landmark, with AC Entertainment overseeing the daily operations of both historic theatres. An analysis of the condition of the Gay Street building and the theatre's finances estimates that about $2.1 million is needed to stabilize the property. The cost estimate includes construction that addresses structural deterioration, mechanical systems and accessibility issues; eliminates or reduces past liabilities; and creates a two-year operating reserve. The theatre's board of directors will seek to have a federal grant of $571,000 earmarked for construction costs at the Tennessee Theatre used on behalf of the Bijou. Mayor Haslam will lead a community fundraising effort for the balance.

New 8-screen movie cinema in Downtown Knoxville
Mayor Bill Haslam announced today a movie theater in downtown Knoxville is a go. An escalator and elevator will be built to bring patrons from the State Street parking garage to Gay Street. The City of Knoxville will issue a request for proposals in early May for the development of certain buildings in the 500 block of Gay Street with the condition that the developers preserve the buildings. The buildings could be developed for retail, office and residential use. The budget for the movie theater project includes a $3 million contribution from the City's Industrial Development Board; $2.5 million from Regal Entertainment Group in furniture, fixture and equipment; with the balance of funding to come from third-party investors. The Industrial Development Board will lease the facility to Regal Entertainment. Those lease payments, in turn, will retire the debt financed by third-party investors. The City earmarked $2 million for the project in its budget for fiscal year 2004-2005, and will allocate another $1 million in the 2005-2006 budget. Construction will begin this fall and is expected to take a year. Mayor Haslam believes the movie theater is a strategic investment in downtown that will encourage retailers, including a regional store operator who has already shown strong interest, and restaurants to commit to downtown locations. That, in turn, will enable the City to recapture sales tax revenues generated downtown that would otherwise have gone to the state and apply that money to repaying the debt associated with the Knoxville Convention Center. Developing a movie theater in the 500 block of Gay Street is a cornerstone of the plan for Market Square, which was adopted by City Council in 2002 after an extensive public participation process.

$23.5 Million Renovation Project for Tennessee Theatre
The beautiful Tennessee Theatre is a jewel of historic Knoxville, located in the heart of Downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, "Knoxville's Grand Entertainment Palace" has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, theater, and stellar performances by today's hottest musicians. For more information contact Jennifer Ellington at (865) 523-2665 or visit

Sundown In The City Returns For 2005 Season!
Knoxville's celebrated free outdoor concert series, Sundown in the City, will return to Market Square in downtown Knoxville opening on Thursday, April 21 with a concert by rock legend Steve Winwood. Sundown in the City began on Market Square in 1997 with a single concert and has grown over the years to a weekly event that attracts thousands of people to Knoxville's center city. The series has been cited as one of the major catalysts in helping to spark Knoxville's growing downtown revitalization. Last year's concerts drew capacity crowds estimated at 8,000 - 10,000 people every Thursday evening." Sundown's an exciting event, and we're especially proud of it," says Ashley Capps, President of A. C. Entertainment, which created and produces the series. "It's not just a concert, but a community celebration. It's helped to demonstrate the tremendous spirit and vitality of our city - and that spirit has been contagious. Plus, it's a lot of fun."This year, Sundown in the City will once again run for 12 weeks, every Thursday night beginning at 6:00 p.m. from April 21 through July 7. "Sundown in the City is a tremendous success attracting thousands of people to enjoy and experience the renaissance of downtown Knoxville." For artist additions, new sponsor confirmations and Sundown information, please check or for the latest updates.

Opportunities exist on South Knox waterfront
Development of the South Knoxville waterfront should proceed in incremental steps utilizing a vision of its potential for new housing, commercial and recreational uses. The feasibility study, authored by Fregonese Calthorpe Associates and funded by the City of Knoxville and the East Tennessee Community Design Center, recommends that tax-increment financing - the difference in taxes paid by current development and new development on a specific site - be used for some of the infrastructure needed to support new development.The report also suggests that a master plan be developed that builds upon the Metropolitan Planning Commission's sector plan, neighborhood plans and current development activity and include public involvement.The master plan should address, according to the study: land uses and zoning; urban design guidelines; economic forecasts; transportation; streetscapes; utilities; capital improvements; public access to the waterfront; and archeological surveys.Several factors make the South Knoxville waterfront amenable to development including the views, lake access, proximity to downtown and the University of Tennessee area, and relatively low property values.Obstacles to development, according to the survey, include steep slopes, floodplain, archeological sites and existing industrial uses."This study gives us a good road map on the different options we could consider to stimulate development along the South Knoxville waterfront," Mayor Bill Haslam said. "We will take these recommendations under consideration as we proceed with the budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year and develop financial forecasts for our future needs."The full study is available on the City's website at

Best place to live loses most people

Contributed by

I'm hearing the lyrics from a current pop song, "Even the best fall down sometimes...". Let this be a reminder that every city has it's challenges and we shouldn't be lulled into thinking the grass is always greener somewhere else.

Charlottesville's Population Decline Sharpest in Virginia

By John Yellig / Daily Progress staff writer
April 15, 2005

The city named best place to live in America ironically lost more of its population over the last four years than any other jurisdiction in Virginia.

Charlottesville’s population dropped 8.7 percent, from 40,099 in April 2000 to 36,605 in July 2004, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau.

The drop comes as neighboring counties saw their populations grow, sometimes by double-digit percentages. Fluvanna County grew 17.9 percent, from 20,047 to 23,644, making it the fastest growing county in Central Virginia and the 69th fastest in the United States.

Albemarle County grew 5.4 percent, from 84,186 in April 2000 to 88,726 in July 2004. Greene, Louisa and Orange counties also posted significant growth at 11.7 percent, 12.4 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. Madison and Nelson counties grew more sluggishly, at 4.9 percent and 3.2 percent.

Loudoun County was again the fastest-growing locality in Virginia, but fell to third in the country. Flagler County, on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, took Loudoun’s place at the top of the nationwide growth list.

Only 40 of the 134 jurisdictions in Virginia lost population, and most of those by less than 3 percent.

City Councilor Blake Caravati disputed the Census findings, arguing that they are belied by a recent jump in the number of building permits and vehicle registrations.

“If you put those two together, it just doesn’t make any sense,” he said of the decrease.
Councilor Kevin Lynch agreed.

“Just looking at the new construction and the number of new housing units that have been built in the last four years, it’s hard to believe that the population is shrinking,” he said, adding that volatile student demographics could be to blame. “The college town throws all kinds of Census numbers off.”

Julia Martin, director of the demographics and workforce section at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, said those factors don’t necessarily indicate a rising population.

“It’s pretty common for certain indicators like that to go up while the population goes down,” she said.

A study released in January by the Cooper Center backs up the Census data, to some degree. The study estimates Charlottesville’s population shrank by 1.5 percent from 2000 to 2004, from 40,099 to 39,500.

Martin said Charlottesville, like many cities nationwide, is losing population to the suburbs.
She added that the reputation of Albemarle public schools could draw families into the county. The high price of housing is undoubtedly a factor as well, she said.

The median sales price for a home in Charlottesville rose 88 percent from 2000 to 2004, from $116,500 to $218,500, according to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.

Charlottesville wasn’t alone in the skyrocketing cost of real estate, however. The median sales price in Albemarle rose 48 percent, from $177,375 in 2000 to $262,975 in 2004.

If the Census numbers are correct, they aren’t likely to be welcomed by those who say Charlottesville is being overbuilt, Caravati said.

“It kind of defeats that argument,” he said.

Belk is back in Kingsport / Tri-Cities!

Source: Birmingham Business Journal

Saks to sell Proffitt's/McRae's to Belk for $622M

Saks Inc. is selling its Proffitt's and McRae's department stores to fellow retailer Belk Inc. for $622 million.

The Birmingham-based Saks - one of the city's largest employers - made the announcement Friday. The retailer is seeking alternate plans for its other assets within the Saks Department Store Group, which includes stores such as Club Libby Lu, Bergner's, Boston Store, Herberger and Younkers.

Saks will retain its 38-store Parisian department store chain and its Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises Group, which has more than 100 stores and an on-line retail source.

The stores to be acquired by Belk include 25 McRae's department stores located in Alabama (5), Florida (4), Louisiana (2) and Mississippi (14); and 22 Proffitt's department stores located in Alabama (1), Georgia (2), Kentucky (2), North Carolina (1), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (12), Virginia (1) and West Virginia (2).

A total of 47 Proffitt's/McRae's located throughout 11 states will be sold in the transaction. Those stores, according to a release from Saks, generated $700 million in sales in 2004. The acquisition is slated to close July 5, subject to regulatory approval.

Belk says it will offer employment to Proffitt's and McRae's workers. The chains are based in Alcoa, Tenn. Belk will close the headquarters in September and offer employees positions elsewhere or provide severance packages.

Post-sale, Belk says it will operate 275 stores with projected annual sales of $3.15 billion. Belk is the largest privately owned department store company in the country.

Steve Pernotto, a Belk spokesman for the Charlotte, N.C.-based retailer, says the acquisition puts Belk in a leading position in two new states.

Its presence in Mississippi will grow from two to 16 stores and Tennessee's will increase from eight to 29 stores. In Alabama, Pernotto says, stores will double from six to 12.

McRae's and Proffitt's signs will start making way for Belk signs in spring 2006, Pernotto says. Some services and features particular to McRae's and Proffitt's will remain, while the stores take on a uniquely "Belk flavor," he says.

The newly acquired stores will have free gift wrap, free alterations for Belk charge customers, and a strong cosmetics department. Cosmetics departments are typically front and center in Belk stores, Pernotto says.

The Saks private label will be replaced with the Belk private label, Pernotto says. Among features that will be retained are a strong home merchandise and dress departments.

Befor the sale, Saks Department Store Group operated 241 department stores that included Proffitt's, Parisian, Boston Store, Younkers and McRae's.

King's Port poster wins two awards at State GIS Conference (with photo)

Contributed by Chris Campbell

I recently attended the Tennessee Geographic Information Council's (TNGIC) annual conference. TNGIC is a non-profit group of Geographic Information System users, designers and those who influence the use of GIS in Federal, State and Local Governments within the State of Tennessee. While there I entered a map in a poster contest entitled "Historic Structures Located Within the Proposed King's Port District". It displayed the location of the Proposed King's Port District, Zoning, and Historic Structures in the area. The map was awarded First Place in the category of "Best Data Integration" and Second Place in the category of "Viewer's Choice". TNGIC has placed this map along with some of the other maps from the contest on their website at <> I would like to thank everyone on the committee for allowing me the opportunity to work on such a great project. I truly believe it will help make Kingsport, TN the best place to be.

Christopher Campbell
GIS Analyst
City of Kingsport

Kingsport city employees support March of Dimes with "Kars for Kids" (with photo)


Attached is a picture of our First Annual Kars for Kids Show, that the city's March of Dimes team put on, we raised $550.00 and with the match that we received from Wal-Mart we were able to raise a total of $1,100.00 which will all go to the MOD. Everyone that came out to support our cause seemed to enjoy their selves and asked that we have another one next year. We competed with the largest car show in the region this week-end (the one in Charlotte is the one that everyone goes to in this region, for show, parts, trade, etc.) and considering that we were still able to raise $1,100.00 was a success. We had drawings for things such as Bristol Drag way event tickets to food, car wash, oil change certificates to car wash necessities, hats, etc, with a grand prize of an air compressor. We even had TK's hotdog stand available for those that came hungry (which in turn gave the team 25% of sales).

I would just like to say what a wonderful caring group of people we have working here at the City. These folks went the extra mile to raise money for an organization that they feel is important. The City's team has tried multiple things in the past to try and raise money for the MOD's with no rewards such as this. They really put their heads together and came up with an idea and then took that idea and ran with it.

Please if you see one of our team members (there are 7 in all) tell them what a GREAT JOB they have done.

Our hats off to Dallas Ratliff, Gene Egan and Lesley Christian for all the hard work that they put forth, to get this idea off the ground.

From the desk of ..
Lisa L. Kendrick
Public Transportation-Secretary
City of Kingsport
Web Site:

Kingsport Doors (with photo) -- support Keep Kingsport Beautiful

Kingsport Doors Print by photographer Earl Carter
Proceeds benefit Keep Kingsport Beautiful
$25 - purchase at the following locations:
*Kingsport Chamber of Commerce (also available signed by Earl Carter $35).
Chamber is also able to mail if necessary for approximately additional $5 (tube and postage). For information call 423/392-8800 or e-mail
Carriage House * Picture This Custom Framing * Up Against The Wall

Wellmont Home Health, Hospice Services Accredited

Contributed by Amy Stevens

Wellmont Health System’s Home Health Services, Home Hospice and the Wellmont Hospice House have been accredited for a three-year period by the Community Health Accreditation Program.

Accreditation was granted following an on-site inspection earlier this month. A team of seven surveyors visited all home health offices, conducted home visits with patients, visited the Hospice House and reviewed medical records and all documentation.

The Community Health Accreditation Program is an independent, non-profit accrediting body that was established in 1965. CHAP accreditation publicly certifies that an organization has voluntarily met the highest standards of excellence for home and/or community-based health care.

Wellmont provides personalized home health services that allow patients to receive individualized care and treatment in their homes. Home care provides a continuity of care and convenience to the patient and family. Physician-ordered medical care is provided by a staff of skilled registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, home health aides, physical, occupational and speech therapists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and social workers.

Wellmont Hospice House, located in Bristol, was Tennessee’s first freestanding residential hospice facility.

Volunteers spread cheer with handmade cards (mentions Robinson Middle School Community Club)

Contributed by Amy Stevens

KINGSPORT – Volunteers are helping spread a little cheer at Holston Valley Medical Center by delivering handmade greeting cards to patients.

The Cheer Card program solicits homemade greeting cards from community groups like churches, scouting groups, schools and civic clubs. Volunteers at Holston Valley then deliver the cards to patients.

Launched a year ago, the Cheer Card program has been well received, said Kay Mitchell, director of volunteer services and Planetree coordinator for the hospital.

“A simple card that says ‘thinking of you’ or ‘get well soon’ can really brighten the day of someone in the hospital,” Mitchell said.

Cards made by kids are especially popular with patients.

“Kids really get creative with their cards,” she said. “Some of their artwork is fantastic. They like to embellish their cards with decorative touches. Some of them even decorate the envelope.
“The response to handmade cards from kids is just incredible.”

Some groups even go the extra mile and deliver their handmade cards in person.

“We had the Robinson Middle School Community Club create some cards, and the teacher brought in the students so they could give out the cards in the skilled nursing unit and pediatrics,” Mitchell said. “This is a project that gives kids an opportunity to feel good about doing something good for the community.”

Crafting cheer cards is not limited to kids. Anyone can get involved. For more information on spreading a little cheer, please call Mitchell at 423-224-6042.

Piggy and Ciggy help kids see dangers of smoking

Contributed by Amy Stevens

BRISTOL – In the childhood story, it’s a big bad wolf that does the huffing and puffing. But the saga of “Piggy and Ciggy” is no fairy tale.

Created by two employees at Bristol Regional Medical Center, the Piggy and Ciggy program is an innovative tobacco education tool that uses the exploits of two cartoon hogs to teach kids the dangers of cigarette smoking.

“It’s planting a seed of prevention as far as smoking and tobacco use go,” said Karla Lane, an oncology educator and community events coordinator at Bristol Regional.

Lane and Bristol Regional employee Cassi Stacy created Piggy and Ciggy in 2004, and Lane began presenting the 30-minute program to Sullivan County students in February. The program is designed for students in grades kindergarten through third grade.

The Piggy and Ciggy program tells the tale of Piggy, an athletic young hog, and Ciggy, a perpetually short-of-breath friend. Ciggy demonstrates the health consequences of tobacco use in a way kids can understand, Lane said.

She likes to show Piggy crossing a finish line in a race, while Ciggy, out of breath, is always lagging behind.

“We talk about the effects of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco,” Lane said. “We keep it really basic for younger students.”

To better tell the story of Piggy and Ciggy, Lane takes two sets of pig lungs into classrooms with her. One set of lungs is healthy and pink, while the other is black and diseased to show the consequences of smoking cigarettes.

Because pig lungs are similar to human lungs, Lane said, they definitely grab kids’ attention.

“Oh, they like the lungs,” she said. “When I bring out the lungs, there are always shouts of ‘oh’ and ‘gross’.”

The Piggy and Ciggy program was created when Lane and Stacy applied for a Tobacco Education Funding Grant. Although they didn’t receive the grant, Kingsport Tomorrow and Girls Inc. donated $3,500 of their tobacco grant to bring Piggy and Ciggy to life.

“I feel great doing this,” Lane said. “Kids are so easy to talk to at a young age. I really feel like I make a difference.”

It's Not About Hair -- A Story of Local Breast Cancer Survivors

Contributed by Amy Stevens

KINGSPORT – “Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make or what kind of life you lead. It’s there, and it’s real. Regardless of what type of cancer you have, it’s all ugly and all cancer patients are in the same boat.”

Those are the words of Robin Flores, a local breast-cancer survivor. And while Flores’ words are strong, her image is even more powerful.

Flores is one of three area breast-cancer survivors featured in a series of dramatic portraits captured by photographer David Clapp. Clapp has donated three of the moving, inspiring portraits to the Wellmont Foundation, and the photographs will be permanently displayed in the offices of Kingsport Hematology/Oncology, located on the third floor of the Regional Heart Center at Holston Valley Medical Center.

A portrait-hanging reception, billed as “It’s Not About Hair,” was held on Friday, April 29, at noon in the KHO offices.

In addition to Flores, cancer survivors Gina Valk-Weatherford and Gail Blankenship are featured in the photographs. The three women, each facing a diagnosis of breast cancer, forged a lasting friendship during the course of their treatment and recovery.

“I think it helps to know that you’re not alone,” Valk-Weatherford said. “You know that from your friends and family, but (with Gina and Robin) you know that you’re not the only person in the world who has breast cancer. And I think that’s a big comfort.”

The trio of friends hopes the portraits will provide inspiration and support to other women battling breast cancer.

“When you’re in the chemo room, you want to see something that’s real,” Flores said. “How much more real can you get than three bald-headed women?”

A personal plea on behalf of Wellmont Hospice House

Contributed by Wanda Thorpe

I know that there are lots of opportunities out there to offer support by giving time, money, etc. In the past months, I have had the opportunity to visit a very wonderful place that needs, on a regular basis, food items - food items being for the family members. This is the Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, TN. The staff and volunteers that work there are very wonderful people and have a most difficult job, caring for patients at end of life and offering support to their families. This is a very warm, home-like setting with large patient rooms with sofas, recliners, and table & chairs, where families can be comfortable as they sit with their loved one. They have a fully stocked kitchen with all utensils, pots & pans, stove, fridge, microwave, etc. Recently when I asked how I could help, I was told by their volunteer coordinator that this facility actually houses a majority of its patients from Kingsport, but has very little support from this area. I feel sure that’s because our community is not aware of the need – thus the reason for this note. They have a sign up sheet where churches or individuals can sign up on a one time or regular basis to spend time with patients, read to them, feed them, or to take cooked meals. They accept donations of canned food as well as cooked meals.

The goal of this facility is to make the patients, as well as the families who are staying with a family member, comfortable. On occasion some of the local hotels will bring left over food from banquets to them, which I was told – they let nothing go to waste. They freeze food to use later, if it comes in at a time when their cabinets are full. Some of the local churches come in once a week on a regular weekly basis with home cooked meals. They are more than willing to send one of their volunteers to come and pick up any donations, if they can’t be delivered to them.

Please feel free to call me if you want more information or feel free to call them direct at 844-5252 – ask for their volunteer coordinator.

This link should take you to their website at:

If you feel the need, please pass this information on to your church or any organization you may belong to that may want to get involved.

Thank you.

Wanda Thorpe
Convention Sales Manager
Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau
151 East Main Street
Kingsport, TN 37662
423-392-8821 Direct
423-392-8803 Fax

Luncheon/cooking class in Bristol at Troutdale

Contributed by Carla Molley
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and Troutdale Dining Room in Bristol Tennessee will host “Great Food That’s Good for You!” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. The event is a continuation of the series of informative luncheons sponsored by MSHA at Troutdale. The May 11 theme will be “A Taste of Summer.”

The luncheon and cooking demonstration by Troutdale Chef Greg Saunders will feature nutritional analysis of the prepared foods.

Space is limited; tickets, at $15 per person, may be reserved by calling (423) 764-1113 by May 9. Participants will also have an opportunity to win door prizes.

Troutdale Dining Room is located at 412 Sixth St., Bristol, Tenn.

MSHA facilities include: the Johnson City Medical Center, North Side Hospital, Johnson City Specialty Hospital, James H. & Cecile C. Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at JCMC, all in Washington County, TN; Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Carter County, TN; Johnson County Health Center, located in Mountain City, TN.; Indian Path Medical Center and Indian Path Pavilion in Sullivan County; TN; Blue Ridge Medical Management Corporation – operating the First Assist Urgent Care centers, ValuCare Clinics and numerous primary care offices.

Tri-Cities Civil War Roundtable

Contributed by Jim Finney
Tri-Cities Civil War Roundtable


Dr Charles F Bryan, Jr

President and CEO, Virginia Historical Society

Editor, “Eye of the Storm: A Civil War Odyssey”

Based on the diary of a Union soldier

Monday 9 May 2005, 7 PM

T F Reid Eastman Employee Center, Room 225

For additional information call Wayne Strong,

423, 323-2306, and see

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Although great strides have been made, Tri-Cities' support for business start-ups & entrepreneurs has much room for improvement by national standards

Contributed by Jeff Fleming

When you read that headline, you may have thought I was taking a pot shot. I was not. This is intended to be a friendly reminder (to even myself) that we must stay committed -- even step up the pace -- of any and all efforts that we have underway on this subject. If not, the economic consequences could be dire.

Although there are several initiatives underway to support business start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Tri-Cities region, much work remains to be done according to a U.S. Small Business Administration report released April 25, 2005.

Full report at

According to the study:

30% of the best places for new firm births are in Florida

35% of the worst places for new firm births are in Ohio

Tri-Cities ranked 303 out of 394

55% of the best places for new firms growing rapidly are in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas (Nashville also made the top 20)

35% of the worst places for new firm growth are in New York and Illinois

Tri-Cities ranked 318 out of 394

55% of the places with the best change in annual rate of new firm births are in North Carolina, Utah and Massachusetts

30% of the places with the worst change in annual rate of new firm births are in New York, Ohio, West Virginia and California

Tri-Cities ranked 246 out of 394

Tri-Cities best showing was in “change in annual rate of new firm births” -- perhaps an indication of the success of several initiatives now underway:

Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park, Wise (Jun 2000)
“E-58” initiative along U.S. 58 in Virginia (Dec 2000)
Air Cargo Development Building at Tri-Cities Regional Airport (Mar 2001)
Pioneer Center for Business Opportunity, Duffield (Jul 2001)
Mountain Empire Regional Business Incubator, Norton (Dec 2001)
Tennessee Means Technology initiative for entrepreneurs (Jan 2002)
ETSU Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (May 2002)
ETSU Innovation Laboratory (Oct 2002)
SWVA Entrepreneurial Development Matching Grant Program (Apr 2003)
Holston Business Development Center, Kingsport (Aug 2003)
Kingsport Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (Jul 2004)
Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, Abingdon (Jul 2004)
Tri-Cities World Trade Center (Sep 2004)

According to the study , “The U.S. economy churns within an environment fundamentally changed by technology, global market access and innovation. The structural transformation these changes bring about challenge regions to align their development strategies with the new drivers of economic growth. In today’s increasingly competitive markets, the creation of economic value can only be sustained as firms, large and small, young and old, increase their capacity to generate new marketable ideas, rapidly commercialize those ideas and adjust their competitive offering to changing market conditions. This entrepreneurial spirit, whether observed in the creation of new or the growth of established firms, keeps industries vibrant and maintains the health and prosperity of regions.”

• The most entrepreneurial regions had better local economies from 1990 to 2001 compared to the least entrepreneurial. They had 125 percent higher employment growth, 58 percent higher wage growth and 109 percent higher productivity.

• The most entrepreneurial regions were associated with higher levels of technology. They expended more of R&D, recorded more patents per labor force participant, had a higher percentage of hi-tech establishments and had a higher portion of college educated population than the least entrepreneurial regions.

• The most entrepreneurial regions tended away from manufacturing as an economic base, but not necessarily toward service industries. Over the last 30 years, manufacturing-based regions have struggled economically.

• Econometric models showed regional firm births to be positively correlated with innovation and regional growth (employment, wage and productivity).

• Economic models also showed regional innovation to be positively correlated with regional employment growth.

Mountain Empire Triathlon Races

Contributed by Margaret Feierabend

If you are working out- either cycling or running- you should definitely get involved in Mountain Empire triathlon racing. Area races include:

The Mountain Do Triathlon at Hungry Mother State Park on April 30th

Flint Mill Sprint/Grind on South Holston Lake on June 4th

Bristol Challenge in Bristol, TN on June 25th

Races feature kayaking/canoeing, running and cycling. Individuals, teams and relay teams can compete.

Proceeds benefit local non-profits: Young Life of Smyth County, River’s Way Outdoor Adventure Center and Girls Incorporated of Bristol.

Kindergarten registration for Kingsport City Schools

Contributed by Amy Greear

KINGSPORT– Parents of children who will be attending a Kingsport City School pre-k or kindergarten class in 2005-2006 should attend an upcoming student screening/registration session.

Kingsport residents with children five years of age on or before September 30, 2005, must register for kindergarten at a Kingsport City Elementary School on Tuesday, May 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parents and children must visit the school the child is zoned to attend to register. Parents must bring the child’s social security card, up-to-date immunization record, original birth certificate with seal, and proof of residency (most recent utility bill, mortgage statement, rental receipt or property tax receipt). Children will not be allowed to attend classes beginning August 8, 2005 without providing the documentation listed above. To learn which school your child is zoned for, please visit the Kingsport City School’s website school zone directory listed under the publications link at, or call Kingsport City Schools Central Office at (423) 378-2100.

Kingsport City Schools will conduct pre-kindergarten screenings on Tuesday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. at Robinson Middle School, located at 1517 Jessee Street. The screening is for children who are Kingsport city residents and who will be 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 30, 2005. Parents or legal guardians must bring their child and a copy of the child’s birth certificate, social security card, and immunization record. For more information, contact Sarah Thomasson at (423)378-2171.

For more information on these events, contact the Kingsport City Schools Community Relations Office at (423) 378-2123.

Amy Greear
Community Relations Coordinator
Kingsport City Schools
1701 E. Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 378-2123 or (423) 914-9500

Discovering Our Community: Walk Through Riverview April 30th

Contributed by Rachael Bliss
Kingsport Citizens for a Cleaner Environment
Contact: Johnnie Mae Swagerty (246-6623)

Discovering Our Community has invited community leaders to WALK THROUGH RIVERVIEW Saturday, April 30, at 10 AM.

Residents are invited to walk with the city leaders as we point out to them what successes and challenges the neighborhood has behind it and before it.

Invited guests include elected leaders in the city, as well as those who are running for office. Volunteers have also invited industrial leaders, Chamber of Commerce leaders and financial institution leaders.

After the short walk, invited leaders and neighborhood residents will get a chance to network and converse on how to work together for continued improvement in the community.

DISCOVERING OUR COMMUNITY is a project sponsored by KINGSPORT CITIZENS FOR A CLEANER ENVIRONMENT that focuses on the history,heritage and health of this region of Kingsport.

For more information, call KCCE at 247-2481.

Kingsport's Art Nights City Lights continues with ETSU Opera

Contributed by Cathie Faust
Art Nights City Lights -- a performing arts series featuring music, dance, theatre and storytelling -- continues at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. Tickets are available from the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport, 423-392-8420, or Kingsport’s Cultural Services office, 423-392-8414. A 20% discount is available for purchases of tickets to 3 or more concerts.

Friday May 6 8:00 PM
ETSU Opera
La Divina Dido and Aeneas
Tickets $10, Students/Srs. $5

La Divina is a contemporary American opera by Thomas Pasatieri. The farewell concert of an opera diva turns out to be one of many “farewell” concerts. In addition to his opera works, Pasatiera’s film orchestrations can be heard in “Road to Perdition”, “American Beauty”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Legends of the Fall,” “Scent of a Woman,” and many others.

Dido and Aeneas, a Baroque English opera by Henry Purcell wich is based on Greek mythology, is the most famous early opera featuring the famous aria, “Dido’s lament,” and chorus, “With drooping wings ye cupids come.” Before Aeneas founded Rome, he was a Trojan soldier. When Troy fell, he left with his followers in seven ships. He was shipwrecked on the shores of Carthage, the great African city ruled by Queen Dido. Dido and Aeneas fell deeply in love, but the gods called Aeneas away to fulfill his destiny in Italy, leaving Dido heartbroken.

Major performers in these operas include Eric Hodges of Gray, a voice faculty member at both ETSU and Bristol’s King College; Eddy Herbert, an ETSU junior from Johnson City; and ETSU vocal music majors Candra Savage of Jonesborough, Leslie Anderson and Samuel Crawford of Kingsport, Sara Brimer of Greeneville and Andrea Childress of Elizabethton.

The Art Nights/City Lights series sponsors include:
Arts Council of Greater Kingsport
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance
Bryant Label Co.
Charter Communications
East Tennessee State University
Go Tri-Cities Network
Kingsport Ballet
Kingsport’s Cultural Services Division
Kingsport Theatre Guild
Kingsport Times-News

Date: April 26, 2005
Contact: Bonnie Macdonald, 423-392-8420
Arts Council of Greater Kingsport
Martha Beverly, 423-392-8414
Kingsport’s Cultural Services Division

Cisco Training Opportunity: Grants for Government, Education, Nonprofit

Contributed by Wanda Williams


If you can, please post this for your wonderful readers. This seminar is in Knoxville, but is geared toward government and education. E-rate information will be provided, primarily information on priority two funding (equipment). This is an excellent opportunity for local governments to learn more about what is available. Our local Cisco Systems account manager, June Seaton, is hosting this with her colleagues. They can register thru June Seaton (423) 341-1042 or on the Cisco website noted below. Thank you, I appreciate your website and the updates you provide.

Wanda Williams 423.378.1921 cell: 423.330.3003
Outsource - Sprint Authorized Sales Agent
2105 E. Center St., Kingsport, TN 37664

You will have the opportunity to hear from our Grants Office experts as they share with you valuable information that can help you “connect the dots” to real life solutions available for your business. Grants Office, LLC makes municipalities, nonprofit, and industry partners more successful at obtaining grant funds from government and private sector sources. Its Web database at is updated daily with current grants information and news, and the Grants Office team of Grants Development Consultants provides support to a growing national clientele.


Laughter: medicine for the soul

Contributed by Raj Mehta

Sharmi Mehta will offer a Laughter Yoga Class during the Month of May 2005 for members of the Kingsport Senior Center, 1200 E. Center Street, Kingsport, TN 37660. May 1 is World Laughter Day. For details on Laughter Yoga, see .

The class is free. You do need to belong to Kingsport Senior Center to take the class. Eligibility requirements are at the bottom of this note. Class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for the entire month of May from 9:30 AM to 10:15 AM. Class will begin on May 3. Just wear comfortable clothes.

What is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter yoga emphasizes the importance of laughter in our lives. The healing and therapeutic effects of laughter are increasingly recognized in medical science. Moreover laughing makes us happy, joyful and playful. It is natural to all of us. The class will show that we do not need any reason to laugh. Laughing is contagious. We make each other laugh. Laughter yoga exercises add laughter to familiar movements and mild-moderate yoga stretches. Each exercise and laughter combination may last 30-40 seconds. A session may last for about 30 minutes and have 10-15 such combinations. Loud and forceful laughter replenishes fresh air in our lungs.

Most people are able to do these exercises without any discomfort or pain and enjoy thoroughly. However, for any reason if any posture is uncomfortable or painful to you, please stop or slow down or skip that exercise.

Laughter Yoga involves some physical strain and rise in abdominal pressure. So if you are suffering from hernia, advanced hemorrhoids, heart disease with chest pains, prolapse of uterus or severe cold and flu, please seek medical advice before joining this class. Pregnant women should also seek medical advice before joining.

ELIGIBILITY FOR KINGSPORT SENIOR CENTERMembership is open to anyone who is 50 years of age or older, or who is the spouse of an eligible member.MEMBERSHIP FEESMembership fees are $15.00 per year for city residents,$35.00 per year for Sullivan County residents and $60.00 per year for all other county residents. 392-8400

Wellmont to hold blood drives at area organizations

Contributed by Amy Stevens

Wellmont Health System’s Marsh Regional Blood Center will conduct public blood drives at the following locations next week:

• Tuesday, May 3, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Eastman Chemical Co., Bldg. 409, Kingsport
• Tuesday, May 3, 12:30-5 p.m., Paramont, Coeburn, Va.
• Tuesday, May 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Magic Wand Car Wash Systems, Bristol, Va.
• Wednesday, May 4, 4-8 p.m., Central Presbyterian Church, Bristol, Va.
• Wednesday, May 4, 4:30-8 p.m., Memorial Presbyterian Church, Elizabethton
• Thursday, May 5, noon-5 p.m., King Pharmaceuticals, Bristol
• Thursday, May 5, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Logisticare, Norton, Va.
• Thursday, May 5, 9 a.m-2 p.m., Gate City High School, Gate City, Va.

To donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Persons with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood.
For more information, please call 423-224-5888 or 423-844-3260.

Amy Stevens
System Director of Communications and Public Relations
Wellmont Health System

Wellmont Wellcare plans programs at Mall locations

Contributed by Amy Stevens

Wellmont Wellcare Health Promotion will offer the following health information programs during May at the Wellcare centers located in Kingsport’s Fort Henry Mall and the Bristol Mall:

• Breastfeeding: May 3, 6:30 p.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall
• The Healing Place for Children and Youth: May 5 and 12, 5 p.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, a support group for children who have experienced a loss through death
• Exploring the Weight-Loss Surgery Program: May 5, 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, presented by Stacey Sawicki, Holston Valley Medical Center bariatric program coordinator
• BabySense: May 6, 13, 20, 27, 11 a.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall
• Medicare Prescription Drug Plan: May 9, 9:30 a.m., and May 16, noon, Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, and May 31, 9:30 a.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, presented by John Vogt, district manager of the regional Social Security office
• Why We Have Allergies and How We Can Control Them: May 10, 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, presented by Dr. Jan Kazmier
• Stroke: Get the Facts: May 12, 10 a.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, presented by Wanda Bartholomew, vascular institute coordinator at Holston Valley Medical Center
• Advance Directives – Making Your Healthcare Wishes Known: May 10, noon, Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, and May 16 and 19, noon, Wellcare at Bristol Mall, presented by Lisa Leonard, director of patient access and admissions
• Can Chiropractic Help Me?: May 17 at noon and 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, presented by Dr. Todd Muncy, Muncy Family Chiropractic
• Workout with Resistance Bands: A Simple Way to Strengthen Your Muscles: May 17, noon, Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, and May 19, 6 p.m., and May 25, noon, Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, presented by Jennifer ReMine
• Stand Up to Osteoporosis: May 18, noon, Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, and May 24, 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, presented by Janet Hall, physical therapist
• Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins: May 18, 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, presented by Jill Henritze of Medical Associates of Rogersville
• Bristol Regional Medical Center Community Wellness Fair: May 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall
• Healthy Snacking with Summer-Inspired Snacks: May 23, 6 p.m., Wellcare at the Fort Henry Mall, and May 24, noon, Wellcare at the Bristol Mall
• Stroke: What You Need to Know: May 27, 10 a.m., Wellcare at the Bristol Mall, presented by Theresa Mullins, stroke center coordinator, Bristol Regional Medical Center

Registration is required for all programs, and seating is limited. For more information or to register, please call 423-224-3190 in Kingsport, 423-844-3951 in Bristol or toll-free at 1-800-844-3951.

Amy Stevens
System Director of Communications and Public Relations
Wellmont Health System

Community invited to learn about metabolic syndrome

Contributed by Amy Stevens

BRISTOL – So you’re carrying a few extra pounds around your waistline. And maybe your cholesterol and blood pressure are a little high. But it’s not like you have a serious health problem – right?

Wrong. You may be among the millions of Americans suffering from metabolic syndrome – a potentially dangerous condition that can set the stage for more serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke, later in life.

To help area residents learn more about metabolic syndrome, the cardiology services department at Bristol Regional Medical Center will hold a free metabolic syndrome symposium Thursday, May 5, from 8 a.m.-noon. The informative discussion will take place in the hospital’s Monarch Auditorium.

Drs. Sarfraz Zaidi, Mark Borsch and Matthew Beasey, along with nurse practitioner Mary Jo Hanor and clinical dietitian Lisa Davis, will lead the discussion.

“A person with metabolic syndrome may feel fine now,” said Karen Pennington, Bristol Regional’s director of cardiology services. “But that individual is at an increased risk for significant health problems in the future.”

Because abnormal cholesterol levels are a sign of metabolic syndrome, a cholesterol screening will be offered prior to the symposium from 7-8:30 a.m. Area residents who wish to have their cholesterol checked should not eat after midnight but can take prescribed medications with water. There is a $10 lab fee for the screening.

Metabolic syndrome affects an estimated 47 million adults in the United States. Some people are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance, which is associated with the condition. Along with insulin resistance, other factors like excess body fat and physical inactivity can lead to metabolic syndrome in people who are predisposed to the disorder.

Cholesterol screenings and seminar seating are limited. For more information or to register, please call 423-844-3951 or 1-800-844-3951.

Amy Stevens
System Director of Communications and Public Relations
Wellmont Health System

Now booking excursions for a safari at MeadowView

Contributed by Rhajon Smith

Boys & Girls Club to Hold Benefit Auction

Kingsport, Tenn. (April 27, 2004) — The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport is now booking excursions for the organization’s Starlit Safari annual benefit auction to be held on Saturday, May 14 at Meadowview Conference Resort and Convention Center.

Tickets are $50 and may be purchased from any of the organization’s board members or by contacting the Club.

The silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. with a live auction following dinner.

Items to be auctioned include tickets for the Santa Train, a platinum diamond ring and Delta Airline tickets for anywhere in the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.

For more information or to donate a gift, time or financial support for the auction, contact the Club at 423-230-4160. All proceeds from the auction directly benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport is a United Way agency, serving over 1000 youth in the Kingsport community each year. The Club provides quality programs that encourage educational, character and leadership development to over 250 children each day. In addition to the main unit and teen center located at 213 Lee St., the Club operates three satellite units in Kingsport public housing complexes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New Medical Office Building planned for Indian Path (with photo)

Contributed by James Watson

Contact: Ed Herbert
2000 Brookside Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
(423) 431-1010

Ground was broken Monday for a new $10 million medical office building on the Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC) campus, bringing recent capital investments at the Kingsport hospital to nearly $40 million.

“We’re pleased to be in Kingsport today with another major announcement,” said Dennis Vonderfecht, President and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA), IPMC’s parent company.

“We’ve invested about $28 million in Indian Path since the formation of Mountain States Health Alliance in 1998. This project is going to add another $10 million to that amount, making us one of the larger taxpayers in Sullivan County and the city of Kingsport.”

MSHA pays approximately $500,000 annually in property taxes for its Kingsport facilities.

The new 52,500 square-foot office building, which will front John B. Dennis Highway, will be two levels with underground parking. The project should be completed by mid-2006.

“We are proud Appalachian Orthopedics Associates has chosen to be the anchor in our new office building by consolidating all its services into this facility,” IPMC CEO Monty McLaurin said at Monday’s groundbreaking. “We have other offices already filled and with the number of inquires we’re receiving, we’re fully anticipating to be filled by the time the building is ready to open.”

Expanded RehabPlus facilities as well as a new MRI office are planned for the building.

Kingsport Mayor Jeanette Blazier participated in the groundbreaking and said she believed the new building spoke highly of MSHA’s commitment to Sullivan County and Kingsport.

“It’s an indicator,” Blazier said of the announcement. “It tells us MSHA’s leadership believes in us. They have clearly demonstrated that through everything they’ve done, and they’ve shown they’re interested in serving people. They’re putting their money where their mouth is.”

Indian Path Medical Center and Indian Path Pavilion are proud members of Mountain States Health Alliance. Other MSHA facilities include: Johnson City Medical Center, North Side Hospital, Johnson City Specialty Hospital, James H. & Cecile C. Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital, all in Washington County; Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Carter County; Johnson County Health Center, located in Mountain City, Tenn.; and Blue Ridge Medical Management Corporation -- operating the First Assist Urgent Care centers, ValuCare Clinics and numerous primary care offices.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Downtown Kingsport Farmers Market Opens This Weekend

Contributed by Norman Sobel
The Tri-Cities' largest and longest-running Farmer's Market returns to Downtown Kingsport on Saturday, April 30!!! Located behind the Kingsport Public Library, just off Church Circle. From Center Street turn onto Shelby (at the sign -- shown below). Operated by Tri-Cities FARM (Farmers Association for Retail Marketing). To join as a seller or to review product avalability, visit:

Dogwood Winter (photo)

Contributed by Emily Neeley

An unusual spring snow blankets a pink dogwood
Kiwanis' Kingsport Candidate Forum Replays Tonight & Tomorrow on Charter Channel 16

ETSU Today -- Spring 2005

East Tennessee State University
Enrollment: 12,111
Catchin’ Up With Kenny Chesney, ETSU Alumnus & 2004 CMA Entertainer of the Year
Prescription Filled! ETSU Pharmacy School
Unique Alumni: Business & Technology Hall of Fame Inductees
ETSU/MSHA Announces Study of New Blood Substitute
ETSU College Listed Among 'Best Business Schools'
Ground Broken For Gray Fossil Site Visitors Center
ETSU Bluegrass Students Toured England, Scotland
College of Nursing's B.S.N. Program Turns 50
Tennessee's Buccaneer Caucus (Crowe, Ramsey, Bunch, Davis, Harrison, Hawk, Hill, Odom, Yokley)

DBHS Field House (photo) -- features a 1,700 pound granite block from India

DBHS Field House

DBHS Field House (photo) -- first class training facilities

DBHS Field House

DBHS Field House (photo) -- locker room with motivational photos of former players

DBHS Field House

DBHS Field House (photo) -- unique glass work by Holston Glass Company

DBHS Field House

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Kingsport City Schools presents at National School Board Conference

Contributed by Amy Greear

KINGSPORT – Three Kingsport City School representatives made presentations on the topic of school emergency preparedness at the National School Board Association’s Conference held the week of April 18.

Retired Eastman Chemical Company Principal Chemist/Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and current President of LGH Safety Services Larry Holloway, along with Kingsport Board of Education Member Susan Lodal and Kingsport City Schools Administrative Assistant for Research and Personnel Barbara Moody presented their work involving crisis management at the NSBA conference. The group was invited to hold two presentations at the conference in order to educate other school districts on the crisis management practices Kingsport City Schools has put in place.

The school system began preparing for emergency situations long before the Columbine tragedy brought home the need for crisis management in schools. In 1995, the Kingsport City Schools Safety Advisory Council was formed to examine safety concerns throughout the school system. Following the Columbine tragedy, Kingsport Deputy Police Chief Gale Osborne proposed work on a plan that would help prevent a similar event from escalating to that degree in Kingsport. Kingsport City Schools partnered with Eastman Chemical Company Plant Protection Technical Staff to develop a process for responding to emergencies within Kingsport’s schools.

The plan called for the use of a common industry practice, the Table Top Exercise, to be used as a means for improving security procedures in the schools. A team composed of Kingsport City School representatives (including administrators and staff), Kingsport Police and Fire Departments, Sullivan County Emergency Medical Services and Eastman Chemical Company was assembled to create and implement “Active Shooter” Table Top Exercises for KCS. Participants were brought together in a single room and given a series of messages. A sample message would be: The School is in lockdown mode due to a stranger in the hallway with a gun. The fire alarm sounds. What would be your response? The group to which the message was addressed gives their response based on existing policies, practices and procedures. After each group has had an opportunity to respond, the next message is given and the process is repeated until the end of the exercise.

A summary of each of the exercises was compiled along with recommendations for policy change and reviewed with the principals and the administrators for the entire school system. Modifications and improvements to emergency plans, procedures, and action checklists were identified, based upon the lessons learned from the Table Top Exercises. Each school then revises its "Quick Response" Emergency Handbook to reflect the identified needs.

Several table top exercises have been conducted at Kingsport City Schools, and the schools, police and fire departments and EMS have developed a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities that each would take in an emergency situation following the exercise.

“By working together, these groups have created a safer environment for students and staff in Kingsport City Schools,” said Holloway.

For more information on the National School Board Association presentation, contact Larry Holloway at (423) 677-3768, Barbara Moody at (423) 378-2116 or Susan Lodal at (423) 247-1002.

Amy Greear
Community Relations Coordinator
Kingsport City Schools
1701 E. Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 378-2123 or (423) 914-9500

Gain the tools to make your small business a success!

Contributed by Margaret Feierabend

BRISTOL -- Join the Bristol Chamber of Commerce each Wednesday morning in May from 8:00 - 9:00 am for these free exciting and informative meetings! The workshops are FREE and breakfast will be served. Door Prizes will be given each week courtesy of Office Depot. If you attend all four sessions, your name will be entered into a grand prize drawing supplied by Office Depot!

FREE Seminars, FREE Information, FREE Breakfast, FREE Door Prizes!

· May 4 Employment Law & Your Business: An Update Laura Steel—Hunter Smith & DavisBreakfast: Tailored Feasts
· May 11 Marketing Your Business Jon Lundburg—The Corporate Image Breakfast: Manna Bagel & Java J’s
· May 18 Financing Your Business David Wagner—Bank of Tennessee Debbie Loggins—People, Inc. Breakfast: Let’s Do Lunch & More Catering
· May 25 Tomorrow’s Business Technology in Today’s World Vivian Crymble—Northeast TN Technology Council Breakfast: Virginia Intermont Culinary Department
Breakfast will be served so please RSVP to 423-989-4873 each week by Tuesday at Noon.For more information please contact the Bristol Chamber of Commerce (423) 989-4850.

Thank you to our Sponsors: Bank of Tennessee; Bristol Herald Courier; Hunter, Smith & Davis; Java J’s; Let’s Do Lunch & More Catering; Manna Bagel; Northeast TN Technology Council; Office Depot; People, Inc; Tailored Feasts; The Corporate Image; Virginia Intermont College Culinary Department

Kingsport: What's Up Downtown?

The Downtown Kingsport Association's March-April Newsletter is now online at
Featured Articles:
Redevelopment & Downtown by Tyler Clinch
Director's Deskby Jim Nisbet
Featured Retailer: The Paper Tree Co., LTD, 201 Broad Street by Fred Falin
The Main Arts Center by Lisa Childress
The Original Survivors by Brian Wilson
Broad Street Enhancement Project by Chris McCartt
Featured Restaurant: Karen's Place 808 East Main Street by Tony Wilder

Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority's First Quarter Newsletter

Contributed by Edna Light
Go to and click on "newsletters" in the left column.
Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority Board of Commissoners:
Nedra Griffin, Chair
Mark Freeman,
Vice Chair
John VandeVate
Marty Browder
Linda Calvert
Terry Cunningham, Executive Director
Tyler Clinch, Deputy Executive Director

Kingsport City Schools Accepting Zoning and Tuition Applications

Contributed by Amy Greear

KINGSPORT – Kingsport City Schools will be accepting zoning and tuition applications for students in grades K-12 beginning April 16 through May 15.

Parents who would like to request their child attend a different city school outside the school zone their student is expected to attend must apply for a zoning exception. Parents of students who are not legal residents of the city of Kingsport must submit a tuition application to attend a Kingsport City School. Parents or legal guardians must apply annually for their child’s tuition and zoning status, even if they attended a Kingsport City School in 2004-2005.

Applications will be made available on April 15 at Kingsport City School’s Central Office located at 1701 E. Center Street. New applications should be returned as soon as possible; reapplication forms should be returned by May 15. No student shall be permitted to attend a school out of his/her zone unless space is available. The following are excerpts from the Kingsport Board of Education’s policies and procedures for zoning and tuition:
· Parents or legal guardians must apply annually for their child’s tuition and zoning statuts;
· Students who are not legal residents of the city of Kingsport shall pay tuition charges as approved annually by the Board of Education. Failure to pay tuition will disqualify a student’s application for the next year.
· Tuition students are accepted and zoning exceptions are granted only if current enrollment permits;
· The system does not provide transportation to either tuition students to whom zoning exceptions have been granted;
Criteria for zoning exceptions are as follows:
1. Documented medical reasons;
2. Child Care availability;
3. An expected move to a different zone;
4. Specialized school programs;
5. A fifth or an eighth grade student with a previous zoning exception;
6. A student whose family has moved to a different zone after November 1;
7. Documented justifications related to the child’s specific educational experience.

The school system utilizes the following order when placing students:
1. Zoning exception reapplications;
2. Tuition reapplications for school employees working at the requested school;
3. New zoning exceptions applications;
4. Tuition reapplications;
5. New tuition applications for school employees working a the requested school;
6. New tuition applications for system and city employees;
7. New tuition applications for out of district residents.

For more information, call Tyler Fleming, Director of Student Services, at (423) 378-2155.

Amy Greear
Community Relations Coordinator
Kingsport City Schools
1701 E. Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 378-2123 or (423) 914-9500

Tri-Cities' unique new sound -- Trillium Flute Ensemble


The Tri-Cities is now home to the unique new sound of Trillium Flute Ensemble. This group was formed in 2003 by five Kingsport area flutists who first began playing together in a large church flute choir and wished to challenge their skills and broaden their repertoire in a smaller group setting. Though they lead varied lives, they are united by their long-time love for playing the flute.

Shana Edwards, since receiving her degree in flute performance from ETSU in l999, teaches numerous students in her Edwards Flute Studio and works in the band program at John Sevier Middle School. Cathy Clasen is Associate Minister at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church. Jolly Hill, former flutist and retired music librarian for the Kingsport Symphony, is a grandmother and an avid gardener. Eileen Butler, homemaker and mother to two young boys, is an active area musician and often plays piano accompaniment for the group. Charlotte Ellis owns a bakery, Flour Fancies, teaches flute, and plays with other area ensembles.

Trillium Flute Ensemble plays not only the familiar C flute that one sees in bands and orchestras, but also other members of the flute family that may be unfamiliar to many people. There have been a variety of flutes for centuries, and each size has its own distinctive sound, character, and musical potential. The baby of the flute family is the piccolo, with its high-pitched, sometimes shrill voice, made famous by John Phillip Sousa’s well known march, The Stars and Stripes Forever. The alto flute, larger and longer than the C flute, has a lower and more mellow sound. Undergirding the Ensemble’s music with its deep, resonant voice is the big, curved-neck bass flute.

Trillium’s repertoire is quite varied, embracing works by many timeless classical composers and newer works by contemporary composers, including some of their own arrangements. These works portray a wide range of musical styles and moods -- lovely melodies, lush harmonies,and lively pieces that are fun both to perform and to hear.

The group is available to play for weddings, parties, and special occasions. They perform in numerous venues locally and are also featured at special events at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

For information about Trillium Flute Ensemble or to book an engagement, contact Charlotte Ellis at 423-323-4933.

Eastman's Siirola named president-elect of AIChE

Contributed by Teresa Jordan

Jeffrey J. Siirola has been voted the 2004 President-Elect for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He assumes the presidency of the national AIChE in 2005.

Siirola is a technology fellow in Eastman Research. For more than 30 years he has been involved in process synthesis and sustainability initiatives. He received his BSChE from the University of Utah, and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

An industrial trustee and former president of CACHE Corporation, Siirola is also an ABET international chemical engineering program evaluator, and a member of the Chemical Sciences Roundtable, and several chemical engineering editorial and departmental advisory boards.

He has held a number of offices at the local and national levels in AIChE and has been recognized by the organization with several honors and awards.

Read more about Siirola at

Fun Fest looking for a few good "tomatoes"

Contributed by Fun Fest

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Fun Fest 2005 is looking for a “few good tomatoes” to participate in the event’s first Home-Grown Tomato Fest, sponsored by the Southern Appalachian Plant Society (SAPS).

“This new event is designed to provide information about the different varieties of tomatoes and, at the same time, have fun,” according to Nancy Scott, SAPS.

SAPS is calling upon local gardeners to get their plants out early in preparation for the Home-Grown Tomato Fest. “We hope to have at least 75 tomato varieties with ribbons also for the ugliest and largest tomatoes,” Scott added.

Scott suggested local gardeners begin planting now for the competition. “Tomato seeds need to be planted indoors in starter pots as soon as possible. Plants should be planted by late April to produce plants in time for the Fun Fest competition,” she advised.

Home-Grown Tomato Fest will take place Saturday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Scott Gardens in Riverfront Park, 2305 Netherland Inn Rd. For more information, contact Scott at (423) 230-0654 or via e-mail at

Exchange Place's Spring Garden Fair -- April 30 and May 1

Contributed by Joy Moore

The Exchange Place Spring Garden Fair will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and 12-5 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at Exchange Place Living History Farm, 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport, Tennessee. The Fair will feature thousands of plants with an emphasis on herbs, perennials, native, and heirloom plants and will include garden accessories and related crafts, garden talks, traditional music, and baked goods as well as demonstrations of springtime activities on an 1850s farm such as sheepshearing and plowing. For more information, call 423-288-6071.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

An open letter to the community regarding K-PLAY, soccer, softball & baseball facilities

Contributed by Kitty Frazier, Parks & Recreation Manager, City of Kingsport

K-PLAY (Kingsport Parks, Leisure, & Athletics for you)

In November of 1999 several strategic initiatives were identified for the City of Kingsport as an outcome of the Kingsport Economic Summit. One of the initiatives was the need to further explore opportunities to enhance city recreation/athletic facilities. Subsequently in 2000 the City of Kingsport seized upon an opportunity to fulfill some of these needs.

Willamette industries in 2000 had a need for increased parking due to upgrading the Kingsport plant and the increased labor force needed to accomplish the development. To accommodate this need Willamette proposed to lease a portion of neighboring Cloud Park. In return, Willamette agreed to purchase a property site for potential park development on the Sullivan Gardens parkway plus to transfer ownership of an expanded Heritage Park to the city. Two Kingsport citizen task forces and a professional design firm were assigned the task of assessing how to best utilize these land spaces for recreational purposes. These groups determined that the Baseball/Softball programs that were formerly conducted at Cloud Park should be moved to a retrofitted Heritage park and that a new park should be built on the Sullivan Gardens site to accommodate soccer programs. The development of these park facilities was ambitious and required temporary displacement of existing sports programs while the construction of new facilities took place. Prior to the beginning of this construction project Cloud Park was the home of the Kingsport Parks and Recreation City baseball/softball programs and Heritage Park was the home of the Kingsport Youth Soccer Association (KYSA) programs. In exchange for the inconvenience and difficulty of using displaced/interim sites the City of Kingsport committed to provide these programs with improved facilities. The City then joined with a community fund raising campaign called “Spirit” to make this commitment a reality. Together the City and the Spirit campaign began a quest to improve the quality of life in Kingsport through the development of various new facilities. The first project of this collaborative effort was called K-PLAY (Kingsport Parks, Leisure, & Athletics for you) and focused on the development of sports facilities.

The construction of new K-PLAY sports facilities in Kingsport is nearing completion and excitement is in the air. These facilities will be totally owned, operated, and managed by the City of Kingsport. In addition, the City is proposing to continue its long term (20+ years) working relationship with the Holston Valley Futbol Club (formerly known as KYSA) through a user agreement process. As outlined in the agreement the City of Kingsport will provide a soccer facility in which HVFC will operate a quality recreational soccer program for the residents of Kingsport. Additionally HVFC will assist the City with various operational and maintenance costs of the facility. HVFC will not have exclusive use of the facility but will be allowed priority of scheduling for recreational programs during associated seasons. Other uses of the facility for tournaments, special events, building rentals, etc will be considered and allowed as deemed appropriate by the City of Kingsport. This partnership arrangement between the City and HVFC allows for soccer to be provided to Kingsport citizens while maximizing efficiencies of community and government resources.

Throughout the planning, design and development stages of the K-PLAY project Kingsport’s citizens have been actively involved. Most recently the Athletic Advisory Committee and Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee have been looking from a broad view perspective at the various potentials for usage of these facilities to accommodate recreation leagues, tournaments, and special events. Currently this dedicated group of volunteers is working to complete policies/procedures for all of the new K-PLAY facilities, proposals for fee schedules, and user agreements. With any new facility and/or program the planning process is ongoing. Policies, procedures, usage and contract agreements for K-PLAY facilities will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

Kingsport is proud of the K-PLAY sports venues that have been built to replace the facilities that were formerly at Cloud and Heritage Park. These new facilities, though limited in quantity and size, lack nothing in quality. These facilities will not provide for all of the sports and recreation needs of our community yet they are definitely a huge step forward toward achieving the City of Kingsport’s goal to improve the quality of life for its residents.

We sincerely appreciate the support that has been shown by our community throughout this project. In addition we would like to encourage everyone to be actively involved in the “Spirit” campaign, which will help with further development of these new facilities. Together we can achieve great things. The City of Kingsport looks forward to the opening of these new facilities this year as we continue to provide recreational opportunities for the needs of our community.

Kitty Frazier
Manager, City of Kingsport Parks and Recreation

Wellmont offers ergonomic tips for laptop computers

Contributed by

The convenience of laptop computers can enhance productivity away from the office. But at what ergonomic price? Share these tips with your employees, compliments of Wellmont Occupational Health Services. Doing our business well means good business for you.

Ergonomic tips for laptop computer users

The ideal "ergonomic" computer workstation includes an adjustable desk and chair with a separate computer screen, keyboard and mouse. Adjustable furniture and separate computer components can be made to "fit" your needs, rather than you trying to adjust to the limitations of the workstation.

But the design of laptop computers defies these basic ergonomic guidelines. Laptop users set up shop on any available surface, often in cramped spaces -- a classroom desk, a conference table, an airplane tray, a hotel bed or their own laps. Chairs are anything available to sit on from a folding chair to a lobby couch to a park bench. The computer screen, keyboard and mouse are all-in-one units that create a single, fixed design with typically smaller features than in a standard computer set-up.

Despite the poor ergonomic design of laptop computers, there are some guidelines you can follow to avoid musculoskeletal discomfort and injury. This fact sheet from the Department of Defense Ergonomics Working Group offers some practical tips.

· Use an external keyboard and mouse -- it is the single best thing you can do to make your laptop friendlier.

· Position your keyboard so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and your wrists are not bent.

· Do not pound the keys on either an external keyboard or a laptop keyboard -- especially with laptops, the touch is often lighter and the keyboard bed is shallow.

· Adjust the screen so that the top is even with your eye level (you may need to put your laptop on a computer pedestal or a phone book). A specially designed laptop holder which is portable and lightweight may also be used. There are many different designs available commercially.

· Make sure your screen is at least 18 inches away (ideally 24 to 30 inches between your eyes and the screen).

· Clean your screen frequently; dust on the screen can make it difficult to read and increase eye strain. Be sure to use an appropriate anti-static cleaning material that is safe for laptop computers.

· Use a document holder so that you don't have to constantly twist or bend your neck (there are several lightweight, compact document holders that you can take wherever you go). The most popular document holders for laptops are portable clip-on or sidemounting styles.

· If you can't find a good surface to work on, try your lap

o Sit with your knees and hips level to make a flat surface for your computer.

o Angle the screen so that you can see it comfortably.

o Use a chair that doesn't have armrests so that you have more room for your elbows.

o Try using pillows to support your arms while typing.

o Protect your lap from any possible burns from contact with the laptop -- place a buffer of material between you and the computer.

· Position your laptop 90 degrees from windows or bright light sources to reduce glare.

· Change your position occasionally; sitting in one position or leaning on your arms for an extended period of time can interfere with circulation.

· Take frequent short breaks to rest your eyes and stretch your muscles.

Finally, a laptop is often heavy so you should avoid carrying one with a handle. Use a bag with a padded shoulder strap, remove unnecessary accessories to lighten your load, and switch the laptop bag from shoulder to shoulder to relieve the weight. Better yet, newer laptops are small enough to fit in backpacks, which allows you to carry your laptop on your back and two shoulders, distributing the weight. And best of all, use a laptop bag with wheels or a wheeled luggage cart and roll your computer with you!

Bristol Regional plans free skin-cancer screenings

Contributed by Amy Stevens

BRISTOL – Bristol Regional Medical Center will offer free skin-cancer screenings for area residents Saturday, May 7.

Free screenings will be available from 9 a.m.-noon in the hospital’s cancer center, located on the ground floor. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please call Karla Lane at 423-844-2316.

Most forms of skin cancer are curable with early detection and treatment. Anyone can develop skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are particularly susceptible. A fair or light complexion, a family history of skin cancer, chronic exposure to the sun, a history of sunburns early in life, atypical moles and a large number of moles and freckles are all characteristics of individuals who may be at risk.

Amy Stevens
System Director of Communications and Public Relations
Wellmont Health System
423-578-5951 (pager)

Lonesome Pine Hospital donates $70,000 to support nursing education in Southwest Virginia

Contributed by Amy Stevens

BIG STONE GAP, Va. – Nursing students in Southwest Virginia will benefit from $70,000 in grants provided by Lonesome Pine Hospital through the Lonesome Pine Community Fund of the Wellmont Foundation.

A $50,000 grant has been awarded to the nursing program at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Half the grant – or $25,000 – will be used to provide scholarships to nursing students. The other $25,000 will help meet the operational needs of the school’s nursing department.

“This is an important investment in the future of our hospital and Wise County,” said Robert Polahar, president of Lonesome Pine.

The grant is a continuation of Lonesome Pine’s long history of support for the nursing program at UVA-Wise. The Big Stone Gap hospital established a scholarship fund in 1999 for students planning careers in health care.

“We are very excited about this generous contribution from Lonesome Pine Hospital,” said Angela Wilson, chair of the UVA-Wise Department of Nursing. “Not only is the hospital supporting our nursing students through scholarships, it has also welcomed our students for hands-on clinical experiences. We are deeply thankful for the support and look forward to continuing to build the relationship between Wellmont and UVA-Wise.”

In addition to the $50,000 provide to UVA-Wise, the Lonesome Pine board of directors has also awarded $15,000 to Mountain Empire Community College’s School of Nursing. An additional $5,000 grant was made to the Lonesome Pine Library to enhance the facility’s medical collection.

Lonesome Pine provides state-of-the-art medical care to residents of Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. The 60-bed facility, which is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, has served the community since 1973.

Amy Stevens
System Director of Communications and Public Relations
Wellmont Health System
423-578-5951 (pager)

Keep Kingsport Beautiful donates environmental books

Contributed by Amy Greear

KINGSPORT – Members of Keep Kingsport Beautiful, an organization dedicated to promoting community awareness of environmental issues in Kingsport, visited Washington Elementary School on Wednesday, April 13 to donate environmental education books to students.

Once volunteer readers from KKB visited with Washington Elementary classes and read the books, they were donated to the school library.

The project will be continued at other Kingsport City Schools during April and is an effort by the organization to promote civic responsibility toward environmental issues with students.

For more information on the program, please contact Traci Harris at (423) 378-2480.

Amy Greear
Community Relations Coordinator
Kingsport City Schools
1701 E. Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 378-2123 or (423) 914-9500

Celebrity sighting in Kingsport!

Matthew McConaughey was recently spotted in Kingsport. While traveling throughout the country promoting his new movie, Sahara, he apparently planned to camp at Warrior's Path State Park just off Interstate 81. Since the campground was full, he stayed at the nearby Holiday Inn Express and bumped into some very giddy local fans (one of whom is pictured here).

For more information on the movie, go to

D-B Future Farmers Hold Spring Plant Sale

Contributed by Amy Greear

KINGSPORT – The Dobyns-Bennett Future Farmers of America will sponsor their first annual Spring Plant Sale from April 18-May 12.

The sale will take place at the school greenhouse, which is located behind room 319 in the Career and Technical Education building on East Center Street.

The sale will include houseplants and annuals that have been grown by the students. Special orders will be taken before April 22.

The greenhouse will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, some classes have projects that will take them away from the classroom, so please call Kerrie Bradford at (423) 378-8503 prior to visiting the greenhouse.

The proceeds from the sale will help send representatives from Dobyns-Bennett to the 2005 FFA State Convention in Gatlinburg April 30-May 2.

For more information, contact Kerrie Bradford at (423) 378-8503.

Amy Greear
Community Relations Coordinator
Kingsport City Schools
1701 E. Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37664
(423) 378-2123 or (423) 914-9500
Kingsport is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the Eastern U.S. This city of 50,000 in a metro of 308,000, was planned by renowned American planner John Nolen in his office at Harvard Square. Located in the lush green foothills of the Tennessee Valley, it is surrounded by the Southern Highlands and mountain lakes. Kingsport is home to Marriott’s and thousands of acres of unique, natural amenities at Bays Mountain and Warriors Path Parks. The natural geography provides a temperate, well-balanced climate with four seasons and a natural shelter from extreme weather. Population growth has also been well-balanced, ensuring you will not outgrow your decision to relocate. With no personal property taxes, special assessments, or state income taxes on salaries/wages, you’ll find that Kingsport has a very low cost of living coupled with an exceptionally high quality of life (see for yourself at The regional airport (TRI) has direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater with easy access, parking, and virtually no security lines. The public education system was planned by Columbia University and Newsweek has repeatedly recognized the local high school as one of the best in America. Year in and year out our graduates go on to the top colleges and universities (and without costly private school tuition fees). Harvard also recognized Kingsport in 2009 with the Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiative. What are you waiting for? It’s time to leave the high costs, traffic jams, and stress behind and discover this hidden gem.