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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


CLICK TO ENLARGE - Consultant (right) and crash victim's mother (left) spontaneously embrace as they review the design concepts in the Indian Springs community. She publicly expressed her preference for a rebuilt 2-lane from Chestnut Ridge to I-81. Others expressed their preference for a 4-lane divided highway to encourage future growth. Still others expressed their preference for a 4-3-2 lane combination of concepts. In spite of differing opinions, "no-build" was expressed by many as "not an option".

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Digitally-altered photos were used to illustrate the impact of possible designs at key intersections. For example, this photo shows the Memorial/Island intersection. "A" is 2-lane facility with bike lanes. "B" is a 3-lane facility with bike lanes and sidewalks. "C" is 4-lane facility with a grassy median.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - A new "upper circle"? This is just one concept for the 5-way intersection of Center, Memorial, Warpath & Miller. Notice the westbound "slip lane" from Memorial to Center, by-passing the circle. Roundabouts (or traffic circles) are sweeping the nation as a popular and efficient solution in lieu of signalized intersections. A roundabout allows traffic to "self-regulate" without attempting sophisticated computerized timing plans for traffic signals.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - A citizen studies alternative concepts for SR126/Memorial Blvd from Center Street to Harbor Chapel Road

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Citizens take time to read, listen and study before providing their comments on road plan options for SR126/Memorial Blvd. Kingsport Board of Education member Susan Lodal studies material (left, back in red/black).

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Sunnyside Baptist Church hosted hundreds of citizens during public input sessions on SR126/Memorial Blvd.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Kingsport Alderman Hoyt Denton observes the SR126/Memorial Blvd public input session at Sunnyside Baptist Church in Cooks Valley

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Kingsport Civic Auditorium's marquee advertises public input session to passers-by

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Kingsport City Manager Ray Griffin (right) explains road concepts during SR126/Memorial Blvd public input session

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Richard Venable, Sullivan County Mayor, discusses SR126/Memorial Blvd road plans with a citizen during recent public hearings

Friday, May 27, 2005


CLICK TO ENLARGE - Broad Street poised for its streetscaping facelift in the coming months. The old First National Bank of Sullivan County building anchors the corner of Broad & Center and it's ripe for redevelopment! For more information, contact Angela Vachon at 1-888-509-0359

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The Bank of Kingsport at Main & Broad in the early 1900s. The buildings fell into disrepair in the 1960s and 70s. Threatened with demolition, the block was redeveloped by Wayne Basler and Fred Cason during the mid-1980s as "Kingsport Centre" without public funds. Their theme? "We can do it ourselves".

CLICK TO ENLARGE - East Main looking from Broad anchored by the old Bank of Kingsport building.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - It's hard to believe that Kingsport's train station at Main & Broad was renovated by the private sector almost 20 years ago! Remember when the blue-and-white metal Lowe's building sat in front of it?

CLICK TO ENLARGE - A new public parking lot near RCAT (Regional Center for Applied Technology) at Shelby & Main - the site of J. Fred Johnson's "Big Store", which burned several years ago. Underground environmental concerns led to installation of a raised planting area to conform to the "Green Ordinance". Low maintenance, heat tolerant (aka xeriscape) plants were selected (Crepe Myrtle, ornamental grasses, daylilies). Notice the RCAT entry tower's architectural similarity to Kingsport's landmark train station.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The northern end of East Stone Commons (aka the old Kingsport Mall) is anchored by Hobby Lobby and McAlister's. Remember when this was the old Montgomery Ward?

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Golden Corral on Eastman Road is framed by parking lot trees. It's amazing what a few trees and a few years growth will do to soften a wide expanse of asphalt. Remember when this was the old Lowe's?

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Chili's opening very soon!

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The center portion of East Stone Commons (formerly Kingsport Mall) is taking shape at Eastman Road and Stone Drive. The flanking wings are expected to open in less than a month! How about some Memorial Day shopping? We'd love to have you!

CLICK TO ENLARGE - East Stone Commons on a normal mid-weeknight (notice the first three cars have front license plates--Tennessee tags are not posted on the front).

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kingsport losing key employees to Indiana, Ohio: "If you need me, you know where I'll be, in Tennessee"

I'm much better at denial than I am in saying a formal goodbye. Sometimes when you least expect it someone unexpectedly breezes into your life and leaves an indelible impression.
Dave Ruller (Kingsport's exiting Public Works Director) & Robert Nemeth (exiting Planner) certainly did that for me. I'm going to miss them so much as Dave becomes Kent, Ohio's City Manager and Robert becomes a planner for South Bend, Indiana, respectively. Many Kingsport employees have traveled to U.Va. for training where we learned a technique that involves the use of song lyrics as a motivational tool. So, one last time, here's a song for you Dave & Robert. It's by Marcel and hit the country music charts in 2003. It's been slightly altered by ommission.
Best wishes...I hope our paths cross again soon.
Tennessee
by Marcel
2003
I left and watched the trees wave goodbye.
It was a hard drive, had to say goodbye to you.
I stopped for some Coca Cola and some corn nuts too.
I thought about turnin' back, I already missed you.

If you need me, burn it up, bend the rules, leave right away.
If you need me, take a four-lane headed my way.
Take a bus, take a plane, take a car, take a train, take a bike, hitch a ride, you decide.
If you need me, you know where I'll be, in Tennessee.
Goin' through my boxes, found a photograph...
Picture perfect point of view.
An' then a postcard dropped from a book you gave me on my birthday,
An' it hit me.
If you need me, burn it up, bend the rules, leave right away.
If you need me, take a four-lane headed my way.
Take a bus, take a plane, take a car, take a train, take a bike, hitch a ride, you decide.
If you need me...we'll take it day-by-day.
All alone, here I am, by the 'phone, understand, it's not too late; what are you watin' for?
If you need me, you know where I'll be, yeah, in Tennessee.
Well, it's a Sunday mornin', I awake, it's just another lonely day.
I lie in bed and wonder how long is this gonna take?
Then I think to myself: "Will I ever get a break?"
Did I make a big mistake?

If you need me, burn it up, bend the rules, leave right away.
If you need me, take a four-lane headed my way.
Take a bus, take a plane, take a car, take a train, take a bike, hitch a ride, you decide.
If you need me, you know where I'll be, in Tennessee.
Na na na, in Tennessee.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

TODAY and Tomorrow: FINAL public sessions for Memorial Boulevard (SR126) Planning -- now's your chance to state your preference for roadway design

Important and informative newsletter with detailed explanation of process and plans:
http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/sr126/newsletter/newsletter0505.pdf

Today (May 25)
Kingsport Civic Auditorium
10:00-Noon: view and study displays
Noon-1:00: formal presentation by TDOT
1:00-2:00: Question and Answer session

Tomorrow (May 26)
Sunnyside Baptist Church
5:00-7:00: view and study displays
7:00-8:00: formal presentation by TDOT
8:00-9:30: Question and Answer session

Fun Fest 2005 announces concert schedule

The 2005 Fun Fest concert schedule is once again packed with big names that will feature something for everyone in the family. From bluegrass to rock, Fun Fest’s concert schedule is as strong as ever.

On Saturday, July 16, the Fun Fest Southern Gospel Concert will take place in the Toy F. Reid Auditorium in the Eastman Employee Center. The concert will feature a performance by The McGlothlins, who are reuniting after five years of retirement, and award winning gospel group, Blue Highway. The concert begins at 7 p.m. It is sponsored by the Kingsport New Car Dealers Association, Eastman Chemical Company, WKIN-AM 1320, WGOC-AM 640, and WJCW-AM 910.

The AFG Community Concert will be held at J. Fred Johnson Stadium on Thursday, July 21 beginning at 7 p.m. The concert features country music artists, Billy Currington ("I got a Feelin’," "Walk a Little Straighter," and "Party For Two," a duet with Shania Twain), and Trace Adkins ("Songs About Me," "Rough and Ready," and "Hot Mama"). The concert is sponsored by AFG Industries, Inc., News Channel 11 and WXBQ 96.9 FM and will offer great country music for fans of all ages.

The 2005 Beach Party at J. Fred Johnson Stadium will begin with beach music provided by BACKSTAGE and then two of rocks biggest acts, Edwin McCain ("I Could Not Ask for More," and "I’ll Be") and Collective Soul ("Shine," "The World I Know," and "December"), will take to the stage at 7 p.m. McCain is supporting his newest album, "Scream and Whisper." Collective Soul is returning to the touring scene on the heels of their new album, "Youth." The Beach Party is sponsored by Weyerhaeuser, Eastman Credit Union, Food City, Coca-Cola, Electric 94.9 and Z-Rock 99.3.

As part of Fun Fest’s grand finale, Travis Tritt will perform at the Eastman Concert on Saturday, July 23 beginning at 7 p.m. at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Tritt will perform two hours of southern rock. Throughout the 90s, Tritt had a string of platinum albums and top ten singles, including three number one singles. His hits include, "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," "It’s a Great Day to Be Alive," and "Best of Intentions." The concert is sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, WGOC AM 640 and News Channel 11. The Eastman Fireworks Spectacular will follow the concert.

Beginning on June 25, tickets for all of the concerts may be purchased for $5 at the Fun Fest Store in the Fort Henry Mall. If available, tickets may be purchased at the gate the night of the event.

There are also many free concerts at Fun Fest. Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys will perform following the Fun Fest parade in Glen Bruce Park at 7 p.m. Mustafa with Mystic Meditations will also perform on Monday, July 18 at 6 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Field. Please check the Fun Fest schedule for other free concerts and events.

For more information, please contact the Fun Fest office at 392-8806 or visit the Fun Fest website at www.funfest.net.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

TODAY! Fun Fest 2005 reveals concerts & new events!

If you are in town take a few moments at noon on Tuesday May 24 and come to the Fun Fest press conference. The event will be held at Memorial Park on Fort Henry Drive, across from Dobyns-Bennett High School. The concerts, new events and more will be announced. Hot dogs and drinks will be available while supplies last. See you there....Festus


Fun Fest is a festival providing family oriented entertainment, sporting events and other activities while fostering community and economic development.
Visit our website
www.funfest.net
Named a Top Twenty July 2005 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society
Fun Fest 2005 - July 15-23
Lucy Fleming
Fun Fest Director
P.O.Box 1403
151 East Main Street
Kingsport, TN 37662
fax (423) 392-8829

Monday, May 23, 2005

Friends of the Library Biennial Book Sale May 23-27

Jeff,

Here is the message about the Friends of the Library book sale. Hope you can use it.

Thanks,
Patricia Woodham

Friends of the Library
Biennial BOOK SALE
11,500 Books

Hardbacks $1 Paperbacks 50c
May 23-27
Tuesday, Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 9 AM - Noon
Friday is half-price day

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Kingsport 2006 budget increases funding for City Employee Pay, Public Schools, Downtown Redevelopment, Police, and Riverfront Redevelopment

Editors note: The City Manager previously presented a balanced budget that contained "major gaps" to be determined by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

-----------------------------------------------------------
The following is contributed by A. Ray Griffin, Jr., Kingsport City Manager

MAJOR GAPS IN GENERAL FUND

The Board discussed seven major gaps in the General Fund and achieved majority position as follows:

Advertise for a potential tax increase of a maximum of 15 cents, above the Certified Rate for Sullivan County side of the City and above the Equalized Rate for the Hawkins County side of the City, to fund the following:
a. Public Schools’ operating budget: $992,000
b. One police officer position: $45,000
c. Downtown Redevelopment Seed Funding: $500,000
d. Kingsport on the Holston: $128,000 (riverfront redevelopment)

Alderman Marsh will present a concept to the Board on how to fund the downtown re-development seed funding without a tax increase, thus potentially reducing the tax increase proposal under consideration from 15 cents to 10 cents.

Other gaps that were discussed included:
a. $169,700 for the demolition landfill will be funded via the capital improvements plan
b. Redevelopment, economic development coordinator and engineering storm water manager will be considered during the budget year, as appropriate and depending on the fund balance and other considerations.

ALL OTHER FUNDS NOT PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED

All other funds not previously discussed tonight or at other work sessions were approved, as presented, by the Board.

5-YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN

The Board approved the water and sewer funds’ capital improvements plan as presented.

The Board approved the proposed concept of issuing debt in the General Fund for the next four fiscal years to fund needed facility and infrastructure improvements. Specific projects identified in the recommended plan will be discussed at the first work session of June.

BUDGET REVIEWS CONCLUDE

The Board concluded its FY06 Budget review this evening and no further budget work sessions are planned.

BUDGET ADOPTION SCHEDULE

The Board agreed to amend its budget hearing and adoption schedule if advertisements can be placed in the newspaper in time to allow for a budget hearing and tax rate increase hearing at the first regular business meeting in June and final adoption at the second regular business meeting in June. The budget must be adopted by 1 July.

QUESTIONS AND/OR COMMENTS?

If you have any questions or comments about tonight’s actions by the Board, or about the FY06 Budget, please feel free to contact me via phone, email or visit me in my office.

Sincerely,

A. Ray Griffin, Jr.
City Manager

225 West Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
423.229.9411 office; 423.229.9350 fax
E-mail: griffin@ci.kingsport.tn.us
Web site: www.ci.kingsport.tn.us

Thanks to hard work and commitment, Mayor & Aldermen made great strides on behalf of employees (includes PowerPoint link)

Contributed by A. Ray Griffin, Jr., Kingsport City Manager

The following posts speak to a very complex and expensive issue to resolve. This was made more difficult due to the sluggishness of the local economy and the national recession. Great strides were made on behalf of employees by the BMA during these years as noted above. Please take time to thank each and every member of the Board for what it has done to invest in City employees over the past years and for what it is doing in FY06.

Human Resources Director Hale and the Employee Compensation Committee will be mailing a letter to each city employee in tomorrow’s mail (20 May) explaining this program. Additionally, she will begin scheduling employee information sessions to explain the details of the Plan and respond to your questions. A copy of Mrs. Hale’s power point presentation may be found on the web site at the following address: http://home.ntelos.net/~cityman/fy06payplanpowerpoint.pdf


I sincerely appreciate the excellent work of the Employee Compensation Committee, Mrs. Hale and Alderman Mike O’Neill who represented the BMA on the Committee. Employees that served on this committee were: David Austin, Clara Dulaney, Craig Dye, Jeff Fleming, Roger Hensley, Eddie Lawrence, David Qullin, and Dave Ruller. Please thank your co-workers for the hard work they gave to this effort on your behalf.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as the Board, City Administration and the Employee Compensation Committee have worked through these issues.

Finally, I want to thank the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for their hard work and commitment to City employees and for providing over time the resources to bring us to the point where we are today.

New Pay Plan for City Employees to be implemented in 3 phases

Contributed by A. Ray Griffin, Jr., Kingsport City Manager

The New Pay Plan will be implemented in 3 phases. Major elements of the new pay plan include:

Phase One

A 2% salary adjustment for all employees, effective 1 July 05

Implementation of a new step-grade pay plan with grade movements based on comprehensive salary survey data, effective on 8 Jan 06. This means that all employees will be placed in an appropriate step-grade on 8 January 06.

All positions that are slated to move as a result of the comprehensive salary survey will receive the full amount of the increase during FY06 in two increments: 2% on 1 July 05 and the balance on 8 Jan 06.

Beginning with FY07, employees will see an automatic step increase on 1 July 06.

The one-time Longevity Pay Plan that was budgeted two years ago will not be continued in FY06. The reason for this is that the new step-grade system rewards longevity with its 15 steps, thus allowing employees to progress through the pay plan.

Phase Two, begins FY08 (1 July 07)

A cost of living adjustment will be applied to the grades, using the consumer price index as a guide

Step movements will occur on 1 July 06

A new comprehensive salary survey will be performed in order to ascertain how city positions relate to peer cities relative market pay.

Phase Three

Implementation of a Merit pay plan. This concept is a longer term proposition that will be reviewed by the Employee Compensation Committee, the Human Resources Director and City Manager. First component of this phase will begin with the development of a new evaluation system. It is anticipated that Phase Three recommendations will be developed over the next 3 to 5 years.

What does the new City Employee Pay Plan achieve?

Contributed by A. Ray Griffin, Jr., Kingsport City Manager

Competitive, market pay achieved.
One of the major arguments about the pay plan adopted in 1996 was that it was never fully funded and many positions have not consistently maintained market value. This plan achieves that goal and status. In other words, the New Plan is fully implemented in FY06.

Equity and fairness is achieved.
All positions receive market status at the same time. One of the complaints about the old system was the triennial review of the city’s positions. Basically, one-third was surveyed annually. Some positions would be moved while others would not. This plan provides for a comprehensive salary survey performed by a qualified neutral third party every three years.

All salary adjustments occur on 1 July. In previous years when anniversary increases were provided, pay adjustments were made on an employee’s hire date rather than 1 July. Some employees would get a “12 month increase” while some received only a “one-month” increase. This plan provides for all increases due employees to be distributed on 1 July, except for the phase of the Plan in FY06 on 8 Jan 06.

Easy to Understand.
Under the old system, pay ranges were open ended and employees complained that they never understood how they could progress in their pay ranges. The New Plan resolves that by provides for a defined step-grade system.

Consistency. This plan provides for consistency from year to year.

The past 5 years have been a well-reasoned effort to resolve the City Employee Pay Problem

Contributed by A. Ray Griffin, Jr., Kingsport City Manager

The past 5 years been a well reasoned effort to resolve the Pay Problem. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have been working diligently since FY2001 to resolve the pay plan issues. During this time, truly significant funding has been provided to the pay plan and employee benefits in order to begin resolving the problem. I think it is appropriate to pause and reflect upon what has been achieved prior to this year’s plan implementation.

In FY01, the Board provided funded for a 95% mid-point movement for qualified employees and anniversary increases.

In FY02, the Board funded range movements for two-thirds of the positions, anniversary increases and continuation of the 95% plan. What is significant is the manner in which they were implemented. For the first time, range movements were done in a “compa-ratio” manner which attempted to provide employees with the full benefit of the range movement. Under the old system, employees’’ pay did not “move” unless their salaries were below the new minimum of the range movement. Under the compa-ratio method, employees’ pay DID MOVE with the range movement. The cost to finance this change was $1.5 million. Under the old method, the increase would have been less than $100,000.

In FY03, the Board provided anniversary increases and a significant increase (from 8.06% to 11.45%) in the Retirement plan costs. It was during this year that the economy suffered setbacks and funding was not available to continue range movements or the 95% plan.

In FY04, the Board provided a 2% cost of living adjustment for all employees on 1 July in lieu of the anniversary increases. In fact, the old anniversary pay increases were suspended and the Employee Compensation Committee was established to develop a new pay plan. Additionally, the Board approved the one-time longevity pay benefits for all employees based on tenure. $500,000 was provided to this plan. The consultant to perform the comprehensive salary survey was hired. Also, the Board approved the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

In FY05, the Board provided a 2% cost of living adjustment and continued the Longevity Plan. Additionally, the Board approved the remaining one-third of the positions that were not moved in FY03 due to the sagging economy. This range movement completed the old study movement.

The foregoing paragraphs speak to a very complex and expensive issue to resolve. This was made more difficult due to the sluggishness of the local economy and the national recession. Great strides were made on behalf of employees by the BMA during these years as noted above. Please take time to thank each and every member of the Board for what it has done to invest in City employees over the past years and for what it is doing in FY06.

Friday, May 20, 2005

What are the essential characteristics of great cities? How does Kingsport stack up?

Recently while reading a community/economic development website, I came across this article and decided to apply these criteria to Kingsport:


What are the essential characteristics of our great cities?

The three major characteristics of great cities are that they are sacred, safe and busy.

"Being sacred is really the sense that a city is unique, which engenders loyalty and pride. If city leaders and the populace don’t have a sense of passion about where they live, then people will not invest in it. This characteristic is the one that perhaps is most easily lost."

Kingsport's community pride is legendary. By the author's definition, it is also a community's most "at risk" characteristic. That's the main reason I do this blogspot. To remind us every day of the positive attributes that surround us and, most likely, we take for granted. There are literally hundreds of examples. From the recent awarding of the Sudler Flag to D-B's band to Keep Kingsport Beautiful's pacesetting environmental programs to KCVB's plethora of national AAU tournaments to Fun Fest to the Church Circle Tree Lighting Ceremony. I could go on and on! J. Fred Johnson's "Kingsport Spirit" is alive and well in the hundreds of community volunteers, little league coaches, children, grandparents, employees and retirees. How many towns of any size have 2 national Malcolm Baldride Quality Award winners?


"A sense of safety is also critical for great cities. When the sense of security is lost, cities dissipate."

The Kingsport Police & Fire Departments are both internationally accredited. This year, both departments received reaccreditation. I am confident that we as a community do not fully appreciate the magnitude of this task! It seems as they raise the bar, they also raise expectations that "every community is like this". Every community is not like this! Having 2 internationally accredited agencies is almost unheard of -- particularly for a community our size. Hats off to the hard working men and women of KPD/KFD for setting high standards for themselves and reaching those goals!


"As for being busy, great cities must have flourishing economies. Cities function as mechanisms for upward mobility, particularly for the working and middle classes, and this function cannot be fulfilled without the generation of excess wealth. Otherwise, you end up regulating the wealth producers, and they move to locales that are less regulated. A great city must have a functioning marketplace with all the things that a marketplace needs to function: tolerance, rules, and law and order."

Admittedly, Kingsport has some work to do here -- work that has been going on in earnest since 1999. As all American cities move away from manufacturing-based economies, Kingsport is particularly at-risk due to it's longtime dependence on a few large industries. Recent sales tax collections indicate that Kingsport has begun to recover from the major downsizing of the late 1990's. This year's collections will exceed the years preceding the downsizing. Change is inevitable. We have to adapt. There is a focus on incubating and nurturing small businesses. There is a focus on Redevelopment -- most recently Downtown Redevelopment. There is a focus on healthcare and finance (that support the many early retirees who chose to remain in Kingsport). There is a focus on higher education and workforce retraining -- from the establishment of RCAT in Downtown Kingsport to the Educate & Grow Scholarship Program. And there continues to be a drive for excellence in our public schools. And we have much more work to do....that's what makes my job exciting and fulfilling!

Kingsport isn't perfect, but in my estimation it is a great city -- and one I'm proud to call home!

Link to full article at
http://www.planningreport.com/article/1069

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Your feedback

Well, the spammers have done it again. They've found my blogspot and now I receive 20-30 "anonymous" emails a day advertising everything imaginable.

As a result, I ask that you not post Anonymous comments. If you wish to make a comment, please click "other" and enter your name.

You can still post as "anonymous", but I probably won't see it because of the volume of spam.

I'm sorry!
Jeff

Fordtown Road clarification - "the rest of the story"

Based on a few responses to yesterday's post, there is some confusion about the BMA's prioritization to rebuild Fordtown Road. Some felt it suddenly jumped up in priority due to recent development announcements in the newspaper.

Although this project has not been discussed in awhile, it was part of an overall contractual agreement with TDOT as part of the Exit 56 project (which was authorized circa 1988-1990).

I know it may sound unbelievable, but yes it really does take 15-25 years for a transportation project to evolve from concept to reality. At one time, we calculated the local average as 12-years.

Exit 56 was a commitment that resulted from development of Miller Parke (now known as Interstate Park South), which was annexed in 1985.

Commitments to extend water, sewer and road infrastructure were made at the time. This resulted in the Kendrick Creek sewer trunkline, which now serves as the backbone for Colonial Heights' wastewater system.

The initial interstate interchange proposal called for a new exit at mile marker 58, which placed it squarely opposite Quail Creek. Due to neighborhood opposition, an agreement was made to relocate the interchange to mile marker 56 but local roads must be improved to provide the originally-intended access to Interstate Park South. Also, the Eastern Star interchange was committed for upgrade at the time (and it has since been implemented).

Also, the new cross-section for Fordtown Road calls for a 3-lane facility with bike lanes, sidewalks, and curb/gutter.

These projects are just beginning to bear the fruit of seeds planted years ago by folks like Congressman Jimmy Quillen and a host of city and county elected leaders who paid their civic duty and moved on -- like Jimmy Quillen, Lon Boyd (in both a city and county role), Keith Westmoreland (in both a county and state role), Hunter Wright, Ruth Montgomery (in both a city, county and state role), and many more too numerous to name.

At one time, Chamber President Keith Wilson said "a city's progress should be measured in quarter centuries, not quarters". This is a good example.

Reader Feedback from Mark Freeman

From: Freeman, Mark [mailto:bufree@mfa-arch.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 7:54 AM
RE: We don't appreciate how good we have it here!

Jeff,

I am at the National Main Street Program Conference in Baltimore and since the last email I was privileged to get to hear one of the keynote speaches by the Mayor of Baltimore. He was elected in 1999 at the age of 36 and was just reelected again last year. As I stated in the earlier reply to this email the logic doesn't prove a positive but a negative and the indication of a systemic problem.This is one of our problems in perception, Why aren't people coming in droves? Why aren't we growing instead of losing population? Why are they leaving for places like you describe. Reality is they believe the investment in a house in those cities is better and don't worry about selling at a profit most likely. We can't be sure the house will not depreciate or go unsold for extended times in Kingsport. Moving back to Mayor Martin O'Malley's discussion about Baltimore, one of his primary points of measure was the increase of the average housing cost from $69,000.00 per unit to over $150,000.00 per unit. The old row housed in the Highland area of Baltimore where a cousin of mine has lived for 30 years has seen great movements in price. Note this was a working class neighboorhood of Greek, Polish and Italian imagrants.

One other point of interest from Mayor O'Malley was the referencees to Th "Rise of the Creative Class" book by Richard Florida and the belief in the concepts and the actions they are making to put Arts & Entertainment venues at the forfront to try and "Attract" the brightest and most creative individuals. Looking at the stats from Baltimore relative to the turnaround would be eyeopening. He also said that they are Cleptocrats which translates into "Stealing" ideas from other cities is a good thing. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Here is where our young people are going. I am trying to get a video of the Presentation. He is a tremendously energetic and vibrant person.

If we love this city we need to start looking inward and then go out to see success.

Thanks
Mark Freeman

Kingsport's Holston Valley Medical Center first hospital in region to offer new treatment for breast cancer

Contact: Amy Stevens
423-230-8235


HVMC FIRST HOSPITAL IN REGION TO OFFER NEW TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER

KINGSPORT – Holston Valley Medical Center this week became the first hospital in the region to utilize the MammoSite radiation therapy system for the treatment of breast cancer.

Dr. Byron May, a radiation oncologist, began the breast conservation therapy with a 68-year-old female patient Monday. The outpatient procedure delivers radiation from inside the breast directly to the tissue where cancer is most likely to recur.

Breast conservation therapy, used when cancer is detected in its early stages, allows many women with breast cancer to avoid mastectomy by undergoing removal of the cancerous tumor and treatment of the whole breast with radiation therapy.

“This is a very patient-centered new treatment,” Dr. May said. “Traditional breast conservation therapy can require six weeks of treatment. That’s a huge time constraint, especially if the patient has to travel from out of town to receive the treatment each week.
“The MammoSite treatment, though, is completed in only five days. In most cases, the woman can be back to work the week after treatment begins.”

The MammoSite system works by inserting the radiation source inside the cavity left by the removal of the tumor. This limits the amount of healthy breast tissue exposed to the radiation, while maintaining a success rate comparable to traditional breast conservation therapy and mastectomy.

“This treatment may not be the best option for all breast cancer patients, but it gives physicians an attractive new weapon in our fight against this disease,” Dr. May said. “The most important factor in curing any breast cancer is early detection, so we still urge regular self-exams and mammography.”

Tri-Cities Regional Airport announces parking lot improvements

For further information contact
Melissa Thomas, Marketing Director
Tri-Cities Regional Airport, TN/VA
P.O. Box 1055
Blountville, TN 37617-1055
(423) 325-6030
FAX: (423) 325-6037

Blountville, TN: Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TCRA or TRI) staff has been working feverishly to expand the public parking lots to address demand created by months of double digit passenger growth. Addressing the parking shortage is a high priority for the Tri-Cities Airport Commission. In June, the Airport will open its phase one expansion, adding 200 spaces to the long-term parking lot and alleviating some of the congestion.

“The completion of phase one will provide a total of 710 public parking spaces; however, that’s still short of the more than 1,000 spaces needed in the main lot,” says Patrick Wilson, TCRA executive director. “Our goal is to have sufficient capacity so that finding a vacant space is easy. We don’t want people to experience any delay in finding a place to park.”

To meet projected parking demand, the Airport is currently developing plans for an additional 1.1 million dollar expansion of the public parking lots to reach the 1,000-space level. In the meantime, the Airport is asking for the public’s patience until the expansion is complete. As a service to passengers, the Airport provides complementary shuttle service from the lots to the terminal. With the additional parking demand, the shuttle drivers are assisting passengers in finding vacant spaces and steering them to the overflow lots when both the long- and short-term lots are full so they don’t waste time cruising for a nonexistent space. The shuttle also serves the overflow lots and provides help with baggage.

Continuing the growth trend, the number of passengers using TCRA this past April increased 24.6 percent over April 2004. The Airport has experienced an increase in passenger numbers every month since April 2004 and has broken parking records twice since August 2004. The short-term parking lot reached capacity 20 times in April.

Lack of public parking is a challenge that many airports across the country are facing as renewed confidence in travel, an improved economy, and nearly record low fares have resulted in an upswing in air travel.

Mothers and daughters especially invited to Kingsport's formal Red Dress Fashion Show/Dinner at MeadowView

Men aren’t the only ones affected by heart disease. It is the number one killer of women in the United States. Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC) and The Center for Cardiovascular Health at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) are teaming up to raise awareness about women’s cardiovascular health by hosting a formal Red Dress Fashion Show and Dinner on May 31 at MeadowView Conference Center in Kingsport. Mothers and daughters are especially invited to attend.

Dr. William Walker, cardiologist, will speak on the importance of knowledge about heart disease.

Eight teams of mothers, daughters and in some families, granddaughters, will model the formal fashions from The Encounter as a special tribute to women and heart health.

“We want to invite the entire community, but especially all the mothers and daughters all over the region who appreciate each other and their awareness of heart disease, the number 1 killer of women,” said Cindy Salyer, Vice President of Cardiovascular Health. “We appreciate Dr. Walker taking time from his extensive schedule to speak at the show and dinner. His vast knowledge will, no doubt, add insight into the most serious health problem that women face today.”
The Red Dress is the symbol of the American Heart Association’s national campaign to raise awareness about women and heart disease and it indicates that cardiovascular disease does not care what you wear. It is a non-discriminating killer of women.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. Formal fashions will also be featured from Moon Tuxedo. Those who attend are invited to wear red.
Cost of the fashion show and dinner is $15. Registration is required and seating is limited. To reserve tickets, call The Health Professionals toll free at (800) 888-5551. Registration deadline is May 25.
Indian Path Medical Center is a proud member of the Mountain States Health Alliance. Other MSHA facilities include: the Johnson City Medical Center, North Side Hospital, Johnson City Specialty, James H. & Cecil C. Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital and Woodridge Hospital, a service of Johnson City Medical Center, 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.

Bristol Regional Medical Center first hospital in state to offer new treatment for back pain

Contact: Amy Stevens
423-230-8235


BRMC FIRST HOSPITAL IN STATE TO OFFER NEW TREATMENT FOR BACK PAIN

BRISTOL – Patients who have been unable to find relief from chronic back and leg pain now have an alternative to fusion surgery thanks to a new procedure available at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

The Dynesys Spinal System uses spacers and tension bands that are screwed into the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the nerves that cause back and leg pain. Dr. Morgan Lorio, a board-certified surgeon with Neuro-Spine Solutions in Bristol, is one of just 20 surgeons in the nation selected to launch the new technology.

Dr. Lorio and Dr. Victor Freund, a neurosurgeon with Neuro-Spine Solutions, successfully implanted the new device for the first time in March, the first such surgery in Tennessee. The patient, a 49-year-old man, was able to get relief from his back pain without undergoing spinal fusion, a complex surgery in which vertebrae are fused together.

Unlike fusion surgery, the Dynesys system preserves the natural anatomy of the spine by using metal screws and flexible connecting pieces to limit movement and add strength to the spine.
“This helps protect the surrounding discs and joints from increased stress, which also decreases the stress on the injured disc and joints,” Dr. Lorio said.

Chronic back pain in the lumbar region, caused by problems with the intervertebral discs, is usually given noninvasive treatment for as long as possible. When such treatment no longer provides relief, the primary solution until now has been removal of the affected discs and fusion of the vertebral segments. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people in the United States undergo fusion procedures each year.

The new Dynesys system offers patients an alternative to fusion surgery, resulting in a shorter recovery time and increased mobility.

“This is a significant advancement in the treatment of chronic back pain,” Dr. Lorio said.

May 20: EMS Building Dedication at Kingsport's Indian Path Medical Center


EMS at Indian Path

May 22: Public invited to Antique Appraisal at Netherland Inn

Jeff,

Netherland Inn is having an Antique Appraisal on Sunday, May 22, 2005 from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.
There is a $7.00 charge for each item appraised and a tour of the Inn is included. The Inn will feature some of our antiques not normally exhibited. The appraisers are Mary and Michael Logan who are two of the most qualified appraisers in the area. Just thought you would like to know what is going on this weekend.

Jane Gibson, Curator
Netherland Inn Complex
www.netherlandinn.com

May 24: Employment and Business Law Seminar -- "Navigating Treacherous Legal Waters" -- at MeadowView

Dear Jeff,

Would you be so kind to post our news release on your site for our upcoming Employment and Business Law Seminar May 24 at Meadowview. The people who read your blog may be interested in attending some or all of the day. Or you may just want to point them to our web site at www.hsdlaw.com to register and to read the brochure.

Thanks in advance.

Mary Ellen Miller
Director of Marketing
Hunter, Smith & Davis, LLP
1321 Sunset Drive, B-201
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 283-6308 (Phone)
(423) 283-6301 (FAX)
mmiller@hsdlaw.com
www.hsdlaw.com


“Navigating Treacherous Legal Waters” theme of Hunter, Smith & Davis’ Business and Employment Law Update

Jim Bradford to keynote

Hunter, Smith & Davis Employment and Business lawyers are teaming up for their first-ever joint seminar Tuesday, May 24 from 8 am-4 pm at Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport. “There are so many legal items of interest to area business leaders from both a business and employment perspective that we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to put them all together in a one day seminar,” said Hunter, Smith & Davis Employment and Labor Team Chair Steve Darden. “We know that in today’s environment navigating legal waters can sometimes be treacherous. That gave us the idea for the nautical theme. You definitely want to plan ahead before setting sail so you can avoid trouble, and need a strong team behind you if you must be bailed out!”
The luncheon keynote speaker is Jim Bradford, a former partner with Hunter, Smith & Davis who is now the Dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt. Mr. Bradford is the former General Counsel and President of AFG in Kingsport.
Legal topics will include: The Developing Law of Workplace Harassment, Avoiding Defamation and Retaliation Suits by Current and Former Employees, Workers’ Compensation Update, FMLA Update, Privacy Rights, FLSA and Maintaining the “Independence” of Independent Contractors. The business session will include, Raising Private Equity Capital, Selecting a Form of Business Entity and Shareholder Agreements for Private Businesses. By popular demand guests will have an opportunity to attend and choose topics of interest to them from several breakout sessions. They can also choose from the full or half day sessions.
Three hours of HRCI credit will be provided to participants.
Early bird discounts apply through May 17. The half day session is $35 and full day is $60 including lunch. After May 17 those rates go to $45 and $70 respectively. To register please visit the Hunter, Smith & Davis web site at www.hsdlaw.com or call Mary Ellen Miller at (423) 283-6308.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kingsport BMA adopts Downtown Redevelopment District

The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved an ambitious, innovative and aggressive redevelopment program for Downtown Kingsport.

The plan establishes a "Downtown Development Fund" and authorizes the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority to expeditiously approve projects up to $5-to-$7 million by cutting time-consuming red tape that could unnecessarily delay projects.

Contact: Terry Cunningham, Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority, 423.392.2512 or Tyler Clinch 423-392-2515

Kingsport BMA clears the way for Fordtown Road to open areas for economic development

Last night, the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen set a plan in motion to invest over $4 million in widening, rebuilding and realigning Fordtown Road from Exit 56 of I-81 (Tri-Cities Crossing) to I-26, opening up hundreds of acres of the southwest quadrant of the interstate crossroads for economic development. The BMA had previously annexed the area.

Contact: Bill Albright, Transportation Planning Manager, 423.224.2677

In the 21 years of the Award's history, a total of 57 schools, including Dobyns-Bennett, have received the award

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Hager [mailto:rhager@chartertn.net]

Thank you all for your help with the Sudler Flag of Honor concert this past Monday. I thought I would pass along some of the “Details”.

The Dobyns- Bennett High School Band was presented the Sudler Flag of Honor Award Monday, May 16, by Dr. John N. Culvahouse, Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Georgia. Dr. Culvahouse represented the Board of Directors for the John Philip Sousa Foundation in the presentation.

In his award remarks, Dr. Culvahouse, a laureate of the award, helped the audience better understand the prestige of the award. To receive the award:

> Music programs with National respect are selected to receive a nomination form.
> The Director of the selected program has to have been at the School at least 7 years.
> Those receiving the nomination form return a CD of their music and a portfolio for review.
> The CD is reviewed by a jury of 12 laureates in a blind panel, eliminating the names of those performing.
> The jury ranks the applicants.
> Only those applicants receiving a recommendation for receipt of the award by 75% or more of the jury receive the award.

In the 21 years of the Award’s history, a total of 57 schools, including Dobyns-Bennett, have received the award.

Knowing this, when we see the Sudler Flag of Honor posted at future concert performances, we will all have a much better understanding of the recognition of the great tradition of this Band!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kingsport's "Friendly Hijacking" at Bristol Welcome Center Snags Travelers from Canada, La, Ga, Va, Penn, Rhode Island & Mass

Jeff,

The KCVB staff and some volunteers spent about 4 hours at the Bristol Welcome Center on Friday, giving a free night’s stay plus dinner and breakfast to 9 couples. This was a partnership between several of our hotels and restaurants. As you know we do this once a year and it is our way of getting people off the interstate and into Kingsport. We had some fascinating stories that I thought you might be interested in. The people we hijacked are as follows:

Katherine Zimmerman – Baton Rouge, LA
Doug & Gloria Bateman – Penbroke, Ontario, Canada
Patricia Hankins & Jean Lykens – Barnsville, GA
Mr. & Mrs. James A. Dalton – Mechanicsville, VA – This couple spent their honeymoon in Kingsport 46 years ago and had not been back.
Sterling & Audrey Garrett – York, PA – Vicki Reeser was with us as an Allandale Belle. Vicki’s husband is from York, PA. Mr. & Mrs. Garrett lived in the same neighborhood as Vicki’s in-laws and knew them. Small world isn’t it?
Jim & Jody Barna – Westfield, MA
William and Maria Monk – Lincoln, RI
Maynard and Dorothy Thompson – Lakemont, VA
Anne and Al Visser – Niagra on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

This was the first time since we had been doing this hijacking that we captured someone from Canada and we actually got two couples.

Also, the Golden Strings Bluegrass Band played from 2-4:30. One couple who stopped was headed to Pigeon Forge to play Saturday at the Boyd’s Bear Country. They got their instruments out and joined the Golden Strings in a few songs. Plus, there was another lady who stopped to rest and ended up singing with the group.

Barbara Kite
Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau
151 E. Main Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
Phone: 423-392-8830
Fax: 423-392-8833

Indian Path constructs new Sullivan County EMS Building

IPMC and EMS: Building a new station and more

A new Sullivan County Emergency Medical Services station built by Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC) and located on the hospital’s campus will be finished this week in time to honor National EMS Week.

“EMS is a vital part of the healthcare community,” said IPMC CEO Monty McLaurin. “It is part of the continuum of care. We’ve always had an extremely good working relationship with EMS and are pleased to be able to continue it with this new station.”

EMS Assistant Director Mark Vance said the new station represents the dedication IPMC and its parent company, Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA), have made to emergency services.

“This support is very important. IPMC made the commitment in 1993 to house an EMS station and this is continuing that commitment,” Vance said.

The three-bay station was constructed by IPMC at a cost of $280,000 to replace an older, smaller station which had been at the hospital. Ambulance crews are expected to begin operating from the station on May 23 after a dedication to be held Friday.

“This station serves the western part of the county,” Vance said. “It is a very important location to create quicker responses to the highly populated communities in this area.”

The station represents the strong relationship which has been built between Indian Path and the local emergency services. As part of National EMS Week, IPMC also holds an annual golf tournament specifically for those in the first responder field. This year’s tournament will be held Thursday at Warrior’s Path State Park.

“This is the seventh golf tournament for EMS and it has all stemmed on Indian Path,” Vance said. “We thought this would be a good thing to do for our men and women who serve in the emergency services throughout the region.”

The tournament is popular not only with emergency service personnel in Sullivan County, but throughout the region.

“Since the first tournament, the event has grown each year and we have more corporate sponsors,” Vance said. It’s a well recognized event in the region.”

Red Apple School Supply opens in Kingsport

THE RED APPLE SCHOOL SUPPLY OPENS IN KINGSPORT

Developing the minds of our youth for the future requires having the correct tools. On June 1, 2005, The Red Apple School Supply, located in at 935 South Wilcox Court, Suite #135, opens in Kingsport. The establishment is an educational supply store, specializing in providing the educators and parents of the area with thousands of items such as bulletin boards, books, games, banners, manipulatives, and Christian products. In addition, The Red Apple will feature laminating services as well as a fully stocked die-cutting area with over 170 die-cuts ranging from letters and numbers to seasonal. For those who wish to save even more money, The Red Apple School Supply announces the “Core Club” – a free membership program that features extra discounts on items and entitles the member to special events such as private sales and free educational idea seminars.

Owners Jeff and Karen Hostetler have developed the business with the mindset that all educators and parents deserve an extensive selection of educational tools as all teaching styles and curricula are different. With over 11 years of teaching experience in the elementary school system arena, Karen knew the necessity of formulating a team that knows what they are talking about. That is why Karen has brought Jeff’s mother, Susie Hostetler, a veteran teacher of 33 years with experience in the elementary and middle school environments to oversee the day-to-day operations of the store. In addition, the Hostetlers added two other employees with teaching experience – one who has experience as a teacher’s assistant and another who has over 30 years in special education. “We understand that in order to provide the optimal items and services for our customers, those items have to be chosen by those who have been exposed to them themselves”, says Karen Hostetler. “All of our employees can relate to the educators of today and help provide ideas.”

In addition to its opening date of June 1, the store’s Grand Opening is June 11th. There will be a drawing on the 11th for several shopping sprees to be spent in the store. The Red Apple School Supply is open from 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. Monday-Saturday and can be reached by calling (423) 247-2296. Also, check them out on the web at http://www.theredappleschoolsupply.com/

Phillips Announces Post-Election Get Together at Chef's Pizza

Kingsport Mayoral candidate Dennis Phillips announced that the public is invited to a post-election get together tonight at Chef's Pizza, corner of New & Clay Streets, Downtown Kingsport, 7:45 pm

For more information, call Phillips at 292-6449

Institute for Legal Reform gauges businesses' perception of the reasonableness of state tort liability systems

Jeff-

Miles Burdine suggested that I pass this along for you to distribute as you see fit. I became aware today through a legal publication that the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform has conducted its fourth annual poll of in-house general counsel and other senior litigators. The poll gauges U.S. businesses’ perception of the reasonableness of state tort liability systems.

To summarize the findings, Tennessee ranks 22nd overall in perception, higher than all but two of its contiguous states: Virginia (4th), North Carolina (20th), Georgia (28th), Kentucky (36th), Missouri (40th), Arkansas (43rd), Alabama (48th), Mississippi (50th). Full results can be viewed at http://www.instituteforlegalreform.org/.

Thanks.

Russell W. Adkins
Attorney at Law
Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout PC
P.O. Box 88
Kingsport, TN 37662
(423) 723-0401

TOSHA 101

TOSHA 101: The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee TOSHA will present TOSHA 101, Thursday, May 26, 2005, Morristown Holiday Inn Conference Center, 1-81 & 25E South, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $99 for members and $125 for non-members. To register, please call 615-256-5141. For more information, contact Suzie Lusk, events coordinator for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce at the same phone number.

Jill Davenport
Director, Occupational Health Services
Wellmont Health System
(423) 844-3372 (phone)
(423) 230-7493 (pager)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Kingsport's Water and Sewer Budget - A Message from the City Manager

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Board met on May 5 in a budget work session to review the water and sewer funds’ operating and capital budgets.

The Board achieved consensus to accept the recommended water and sewer budgets as presented. It will next review the smaller funds (Regional Sales Tax, MeadowView, State Street Aid, etc.) after the regular work session on May 16.

A link to the full water-sewer budget presentation, including comparisons to neighboring cities may be found at:

http://home.ntelos.net/~cityman/fy06utilitypres.pdf

If you have any questions or comments about the budget, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

A. Ray Griffin, Jr.
City Manager

225 West Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
423.229.9411 office; 423.229.9350 fax
E-mail: griffin@ci.kingsport.tn.us
Web site: www.ci.kingsport.tn.us

Ryan McReynolds Named Kingsport's Interim Public Works Director

KINGSPORT - Ryan McReynolds has been selected to be interim public works director, Kingsport officials announced Wednesday. McReynolds, a civil engineer who has been with the city since June 2004, will begin working with outgoing Assistant City Manager for Public Works Dave Ruller this week to learn about ongoing projects. He will assume the role of interim director when Ruller leaves in mid-May to assume the role of city manager for Kent, Ohio. McReynolds holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master of business administration degree. He was previously employed with Lamar Dunn and Associates as a client representative and project engineer. He has also worked as the assistant director for the engineering division, water and sewer department in neighboring Johnson City.

Public Works consists of Water, Sewer, Streets, Sanitation, Facilities, Grounds, Engineering and Traffic Engineering

Create A Mosaic: Collect Festival T-Shirts

ABINGDON, VA -- In keeping with this year's theme, "Mountain Mosaic," the Virginia Highlands Festival invites you to create your own mosaic -- by collecting Festival T-shirts.

If you need Festival T-shirts from previous years, they will be available on Saturday, May 28, starting at 9 a.m., as part of the Plumb Alley Day celebration in Historic Abingdon. Sales will take place on the porch of the Festival Office at the intersection of Court Street and Plumb Alley.

Come buy a piece of the past. If you missed getting one from a previous Festival, now is your chance. T-shirts will be $1 each -- buy one, get one free.

After visiting the Festival Office, enjoy the main event. Plumb Alley Day is one of the largest one-day festivals in the Southeast, with 175 booths offering antiques, yard sale goods, arts, crafts, and food. Also featured will be a children¹s sidewalk art program, face painting, and free balloons.

Music will be provided by the Appalachian Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band, the Sagegrass Bluegrass Band, and The Earth Angels.

If you would like to add a new-for-2005 T-shirt to your collection, come to the Virginia Highlands Festival July 30 – August 14. Shirts and other promotional items will be on sale at the Barter Green downtown and at the Antiques Market on the campus of Virginia Highlands Community College. For more information on the Festival, call 800-435-3440 or visit
www.VaHighlandsFestival.org

Erna Wilkin, Coordinator
Virginia Highlands Festival
PO Box 801
Abingdon, VA 24212
Phone/fax: 276-623-5266
E-mail: vhf@eva.org
www.vahighlandsfestival.org
2005 Festival: July 30-August 14

Arts Alliance Launches Website, One Goal is to Improve Recognition of the Economic Value of the Arts

To better serve our region, Arts Alliance Mountain Empire (AAME) has launched a newly designed website: www.AAME.info

On www.AAME.info, you will find:

Arts Calendar
Art Resources (including Opportunities for Artists and links to news about the local, regional and national arts scene)
Archives for "A! Magazine for the Arts," published monthly by the Arts Alliance and distributed by the Bristol Herald Courier

Examples of NEWS (for the full story, go to www.AAME.info):

Brochure of Historical and Cultural Events and Sites

Arts Alliance Mountain Empire is producing a "Cultural Crossroads" brochure linking area cultural attractions, historic sites, events and festivals in the two-county region of Sullivan County, TN and Washington County, VA. Distribution of the publication is expected in June 2005....

Tennessee Portrait Project
The Tennessee State Museum is documenting portraits that were painted before 1941. To that end, the museum is asking individuals, organizations and institutions to submit digital photographs and documentation about their portraits.....

The Public Art Process: A Workshop for Artists
Durham, NC -- Over the last two years, North Carolina municipalities and organizations advertised and held competitions for more than $5 million in public art commissions. To learn more, the Durham Arts Council is offering "The Public Art Process: A Workshop for Artists".....

Examples of OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS (for the full story, go to www.AAME.info):

Creative Capital Foundation
A New York City-based non-profit organization that provides grant opportunities for artists.....
Awards for Young Artists

Simply registering provides the opportunity for young artists to qualify for $3 million in college scholarships in the disciplines of dance, film, video, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice, and writing.....

AAME is an arts council formed as a service organization for artists, arts organizations and other cultural endeavors throughout the Mountain Empire.

Our Mission
To nurture, advocate, and celebrate the arts across the Mountain Empire.

Our Goals
To support artists and arts organizations throughout the Mountain Empire.
To promote collaboration among artists, arts organizations, and the community.
To improve recognition of the aesthetic, educational and economic value of the arts.

Jefferson Elementary 5th Graders Buy New Refrigerator for Contact-Concern

This was in the paper...

D. Lynn Sorrell
Executive Director
CONTACT-CONCERN of Northeast TN, Inc.
P. O. Box 3336, Kingsport, TN 37664
423.246.2273 or just dial 2-1-1

Jefferson fifth-graders buy new refrigerator for Contact-Concern
Source: Kingsport Times-News
By CLIFFORD JEFFERY

KINGSPORT - Fifth-grade students from Jefferson Elementary School spent a month's worth of candy money and allowances to make sure area volunteers would have something nice.
One day in March, Jefferson teacher Regina Gullion told her class of 18 fifth-graders that Contact-Concern needed a new refrigerator.

Gullion is one of the 70 volunteers who man phones at Contact-Concern. She helps callers find the agencies or people they need in a crisis. She also listens to their problems with a sympathetic ear. Contact-Concern's help line - 211 - operates 15 hours a day, 365 days a year. With only three staff members, volunteer support is a must, said Contact-Concern Executive Director Lynn Sorrell.

Volunteers bring their own lunch or dinner to the Contact-Concern headquarters. There are no vending machines at the office, but the organization has always provided a refrigerator for the volunteers to store drinks and food.

Sorrell said the agency has had several donated refrigerators since its inception in 1976, but the appliance bought by Gullion's class will be the first new one in the office's 29-year history. Gullion said her students started giving the same afternoon she told them of the need.
"The day I announced that we needed a new refrigerator, they gave $15," Gullion said.
By this week, the class had donated about $310, enough to buy Contact-Concern a new refrigerator.

May 23: Theatre Bristol Wine Tasting Fundraiser

Jeff, Perhaps you can find it in your heart to post this. It is a very worthy cause and promises to be a great evening. Paulina Ley

Theatre Bristol
512 State Street Bristol, TN 37620
info@theatrebristol.com
www.theatrebristol.org
Phone: (432) 968-4977
Fax: (423) 986-4978

Theatre Bristol's Turning the BIG 40!

(Bristol) Come celebrate with Theatre Bristol the beginning of our 40th Anniversary Season with a special Birthday Party Wine Tasting Fundraiser.

Theatre Bristol is holding a Wine Tasting Fundraiser on Monday, May 23rd from 7 to 9 p.m. at Stateline Bar and Grille. The Wine Tasting will be comprised of a 4 course meal with an appropriate wine to go with each course. The cost is $75 per person with limited space available and reservations are required. Please RSVP no later than Tuesday, May 17 by calling Theatre Bristol (423) 968-4977.

Theatre Bristol is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization whose activities are made possible in part by generous financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Tennessee Arts Commission; Virginia Commission for the Arts; Johnson City Area Arts Council; Rose Center & Council for the Arts; City of Bristol, Tennessee; City of Bristol, Virginia; and corporations, foundations and individuals from throughout the region. Theatre Bristol is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Kingsport's Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park (architectural rendering)

Location: W Center St at Lynn Garden Dr (along the Kingsport Greenbelt)
Photo source: The Moore Group Architects-Planners, 214 Commerce St, Ste 102
Story source: Kingsport Times-News, April 28, 2005
Author: MATTHEW LANE


KINGSPORT - The Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Earthwork began Thursday morning at Cloud Park - the site where the new skate park is to be built.

"This is the earth-moving part of the project in order to get the site ready for construction," said Kitty Frazier, Kingsport's parks and recreation director. "We'll be clearing out the old asphalt and prepping the ground in order to build the skate park."

This first phase of the project is expected to take about three or four weeks to complete. Construction of the actual skate park will then begin and take between three to four months to complete. The third phase of the project - installing fencing between the park and Center Street and transition areas to the adjacent parking lot - will take place after the park is available for use.

Frazier said the city hopes to open the skate park by late summer or early fall and have a formal dedication of the park at that time.

"It's pretty exciting to get started on it," Frazier said. "We're going to get this part of it done and really do the stuff people can see and understand. Right now we're just moving dirt, and it's hard to figure out what's going on."

Efforts to create a skate park in the Model City date back five years when a group of young people presented a petition to City Manager A. Ray Griffin Jr., asking that a park be built.

A volunteer team was convened in September 2001 by Kingsport Tomorrow, and the project gained momentum in October 2002 when friends and family of Scott Adams began raising money to build the park. Adams, 13, was accidentally killed while trying to retrieve his skateboard from Stone Drive.

Since then $350,000 has been raised or allocated to cover the cost of the construction. Approximately $160,000 came from private sources. Kingsport allocated $150,000 and awarded a Community Development Block Grant of $40,000 to the project.

The roughly 10,000-square-foot skate park will include two bowls - one is multi-depth and the other is 5 feet deep - a street course and an area for BMX bikes. Since the skate park is being built at an existing full-service park, rest rooms, a basketball court and picnic shelters are already located at the site.

When the project went out for bids last fall, the two bids came in higher than expected, which put the project in jeopardy.

However, the Kingsport Community Foundation donated the needed $100,000 to make the project happen. The funds were raised through the Kingsport Renewal! The Spirit Campaign, a private effort to raise money for several community projects, which includes the new YMCA, the baseball and softball fields at Weyerhaeuser Park, and the new soccer complex in Sullivan Gardens.

City officials have said the skate park team is still looking for donations of cash as well as services so that additional features can be added to the park in the future.

Wellmont Blood Drives (May 17-May 20)

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

• Tuesday, May 17, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Eastman Chemical Co., Bldg. 359T, Kingsport
• Tuesday, May 17, 1-4 p.m., Strongwell, Bristol, Va.
• Wednesday, May 18, 6:30-8:30 a.m., Dana Corp., Bristol, Va.
• Wednesday, May 18, 9 a.m.-noon, Spring PCS, 135 Commerce Ct., Bristol, Va.
• Wednesday, May 18, 3-7 p.m., Cassidy United Methodist Church, Kingsport
• Thursday, May 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Elizabethton High School
• Thursday, May 19, 10 a.m-3:30 p.m., Buchanan General Hospital, Grundy, Va.
• Thursday, May 19, 2-6 p.m., Mary’s Chapel Church, Coeburn, Va.
• Friday, May 20, 1-4 p.m., SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation – Hillside, Kingsport


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.

Wellmont To Sponsor Free Diabetes Seminar For Healtcare Providers

BRISTOL – A free seminar at Bristol Regional Medical Center will help medical professionals better understand the devastating effects of diabetes and how to best facilitate the care of people with the disease.

Sponsored by Wellmont Health System’s Diabetes Treatment Centers, the “Diabetes Educational Symposium” will be held Thursday, May 19, from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Bristol Regional’s Monarch Auditorium. The event is designed for physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, registered dietitians, physical therapists and pharmacists. Participants will receive educational credits.

At any point in time, 20 to 25 percent of inpatients at Wellmont hospitals have diabetes, and 21,000 of the 375,000 Tennesseans living with diabetes are Tri-Cities residents.

Because so many local residents have diabetes, it’s important for healthcare providers to be educated about the disease, said Jim Perkins, program director of Wellmont’s Diabetes Treatment Centers.

Seminar topics will include “Assessment of the Diabetes Patient,” presented by Barb Bancroft, RN, a national speaker and author, “What’s New in Diabetes Medications,” presented by pharmacist Dave Joffe, president of the Florida West Coast Diabetes Educators Association, and “Intensive Insulin Therapy,” presented by Dr. Casey Page, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and medical director of the facility’s diabetes center.

For more information or to register, please call 423-844-2954. Seating is limited.

First Tennessee Bank Donates $100,000 to Children's Hospital

As part of its ongoing philanthropic efforts in Northeast Tennessee, First Tennessee Bank has donated $100,000 toward the building of a new Regional Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC).

“It is exciting for us at First Tennessee to know that we can play a part in improving the health care of our children for generations to come through a ‘state of the art’ children’s hospital in our local community,” said Newt Raff, President of the Northeast Market for First Tennessee. “We look forward to the completion of the children’s hospital and the positive impact it will have on the consumers of our area.”

The Mountain States Foundation (MSF) is working to raise $25 million for the construction of a new hospital, which will be built next to JCMC. Approximately $6 million has been raised, and MSF officials said a total of $16 million is needed for the first phase of the project.

“We are thrilled that First Tennessee understands the importance of the work taking place here inside the Children’s Hospital, and that they want to become involved in improving the health care of the 250,000 children served by our facility,” said MSF Board Chair Marcy Walker. “One of every 13 children in the region is treated at the Children’s Hospital, so this effort and the money donated will impact every neighborhood, every school and families in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.”

As part of the announcement, First Tennessee officials took a tour of the current facility at JCMC to gain an understanding of the work taking place there and the need for a new regional children’s hospital.

“We are proud to take a leadership role to raise money for a much needed, full-service, children’s hospital,” said Maureen MacIver, Wealth Management Regional Director for First Tennessee. “The Mountain States Children’s Hospital currently serves children throughout the area. With the support of the community, we can make the difference in the lives of our children.”

Patient rooms in the new facility will be three times larger. There will be family education areas, expanded play areas and special rooms for teenage patients so they are not constantly surrounded by younger peers.

“We really believe this will create a much stronger and healthier healing environment,” Walker said.

First Tennessee sponsors many events in Northeast Tennessee that help the community generate millions of dollars in our economy. Each year, First Tennessee Bank gives more than $500,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions to more than 200 local charitable causes in Northeast Tennessee. First Tennessee Bank is a patron of the arts, sponsoring the First Tennessee Bank Arts Show for more than 25 years. First Tennessee also sponsors local events that attract thousands of people from all over the world, including The Blue Plum Festival, The National Storytelling Festival, Fun Fest and the Apple Festival.

Mountain States Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Mountain States Health Alliance, providing financial support through private and public donations to The Children’s Hospital and numerous other causes and services of the healthcare system.

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

First Tennessee is one of three major business lines under the umbrella of the parent company First Horizon National Corporation (FHNC). The 13,000 employees of First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE:FHN) provide financial services to individuals and business customers through hundreds of offices located in more than 40 states. The corporation's three major business lines -- FTN Financial, First Horizon and First Tennessee - provide customers with a broad range of products and services including:
> Capital markets, with one of the nation's top underwriters of U.S. government agency securities
> Mortgage banking, with one of the nation's top 20 mortgage originators and top 15 servicers, which earned a top-10 ranking in customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates
> Retail/commercial banking, with the largest market share inTennessee and one of the highest customer retention rates of any bank in the country

More information can be found at www.FirstHorizon.com.
SOURCE: First Horizon National Corporation

Cancer Survivors Take Center Stage At Fashion Show

KINGSPORT – When is a fashion show about more than clothes? When it’s intended to raise public awareness of breast cancer, a disease that affects more than 200,000 women each year.
Holston Valley Medical Center’s third annual Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion Show and Brunch was held Saturday, May 14, at Ridgefields Country Club.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life,” said Tammy Wright, Holston Valley’s oncology breast care coordinator. “The key is early detection. Breast cancer, if caught early, is 98 percent curable.”

Sponsored by the Christine LaGuardia Phillips Cancer Center, the fashion show and brunch provide a fun way to educate the public about the importance of early detection methods like self-exams and regular mammograms, Wright said.

The fashion show also gives breast cancer survivors, who will serve as models, a chance to strut their stuff.

“We ask members of our Take Time Support Group and our Sisters Breast Cancer Support Group to serve as models in the show,” Wright said. “They're always excited about participating and eager to help.”

Two physicians will serve as escorts for the models. Dr. Scott Coen, a radiation oncologist, and Dr. Manoel Moraes, a medical oncologist, will take turns as runway escorts.

Fashions for the models will be provided by Stefinel, while Moon Tuxedos will outfit the physician escorts.

Dr. Moraes will present “Making Strides in Breast Cancer: A Discussion of Prevention and Treatment” during the event.

Indian Path Nurses Recognized During "National Nurses Week"

To cap National Nurses Week, nurses from Northeast Tennessee were honored Thursday night with dinner, and several were awarded plaques in recognition of their superior work and dedication to the nursing profession

Sponsorship of the evening included District 5, Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA), as well as East Tennessee State University (ETSU) College of Nursing, Epsilon Sigma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA), Northeast Tennessee AACN Chapter 178, Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society, Northeast Tennessee Nurse Practitioners Association, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

Kathleen Jones, RN, president of District 5, welcomed the 250 nurses and their guests. She said the awards being given were to nurses who exhibit qualities of Patient-Centered Care, the nurses’ hallmark of excellence.

Co-winners of the coveted Betsy Brogan Award were Rhonda Mann, Director of Nursing and Operations at Johnson City Specialty Hospital (JCSH), and Rebecca Morin, Director of Operations at Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital. The Brogan Award is given to nurses in recognition of the “Value of Continued Learning.”

Josh Smith, anchor for WJHL-News channel 11, served as host for the awards presentation. Award recipients and their presenters included:

Johnson City Specialty Hospital (JCSH) award recipients Lisa Holley, RN, and Susan Hartley, RN, Nursing Excellence in Leadership, presented by Rhonda Mann; North Side Hospital, award recipients Stacie Mashburn, RN, Sherry Barnett, RN, Nursing Excellence in Leadership, also presented by Rhonda Mann.

Johnson County Health Center (JCHC), award recipient Joan Williams, RN, Nursing Excellence, presented by Lisa Heaton, RN, Director of Nursing and Administrator for Johnson County Health Center; MSHA Home Health Care Services, award recipients, Melissa Brown, RN, Kim Hogston, RN, Sandi McVeigh, RN, Nursing Excellence, presented by Melissa Cooper, RN; Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital, award recipients Joyce K. Neal, RN, Regina L. Rosenbaum, RN, Kim Neal, RN, Nursing Excellence, presented by Carol Thornburg, RN Clinical Leader at Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital.

Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC), award recipients, Glenda Chake, RN and Carol Bittinger, RN, Martha E. Holbrook, RN, Practice Council awards, Brandy A. Kisner, RN, PEP Council award, Dru M. Malcolm, RN, P.I. Training Council, presented by Pam Wenger, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at IPMC; Indian Path Pavilion (IPP) award recipients, Diana J. Moffet, RN, Amanda R. Bowery, RN, Caren B. Larocque, RN, Nursing Excellence, presented by Pam Wenger and Sherri Arrants, RN, IPMC.

Woodridge Hospital, award recipients, Belinda McCoy, RN, and Dianne Tittle, RN, Nursing Excellence, presented by Pam Wenger and Marjorie Swiney, RN, Woodridge Hospital.

Sycamore Shoals Hospital (SSH), award recipient, Joy Ketterman, RN, Nurse Excellence of the Year, presented by Lewis Perkins, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at SSH; Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), award recipients, Joetta Matney, RN, Washington County Research Council award, Ruth A. McFadden, RN, Washington County PEP Council, Myra L. Jones, RN, Washington County P.I. Training Council award, Regina L. Barkley, RN, Shirley M. Deakins, RN, Patricia Moody, RN, Mary C. Farrington, RN, Nursing Excellence in Leadership, presented by Rebecca Morin; Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA), award recipients, Gary Bayne, RN, Patient Care Practice Council, Janet Lawson, RN, Value Analysis Team, Judy Ingala, RN and Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Washington County, Leadership Excellence in the Pursuit of Magnet, presented by Hollie Vaughn, RN, Alliance Nurse Recruiter.

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, Woodridge Hospital, a service of 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.

Internship Program Allows Nursing Students to Gain Real World Experience at Holston Valley

KINGSPORT – Thirteen nursing students participating in an internship program at Holston Valley Medical Center this spring will walk away from the experience with a better idea of what their days will be like once they graduate and start working full time.

That way, the demands of the job won’t come as such as surprise during the first year of their nursing careers.

“The workplace environment challenges the newly graduated nurse to perform competently and proficiently in a short period of time,” said Barbara Brewer, a registered nurse and clinical director at Holston Valley. “The stresses of these expectations and lack of preparation for the realities of the workplace can contribute to a high turnover rate.”

Nationally, between 35 and 60 percent of nurses change their place of employment with one year of graduation. Brewer said Holston Valley created the nursing internship program to help counter the factors that lead to nursing staff turnover.

The program allows students to customize a track so they can work in their areas of interest. For example, if a student wants to work with cardiac patients, he or she might spend time on the cardiac telemetry unit, the coronary care unit and coronary step-down unit. Since interns follow the patient, the student would likely get to spend time in the catheterization lab, cardiac testing, open-heart surgery and rehabilitation, as well. At the end of the semester, students can choose a unit and interview for a nursing position at Holston Valley.

“The program gives the students an idea of what it will be like every day,” Brewer said.

The nursing internship program began this spring, and another set of students will enter in the fall. Senior nursing students from all area universities and colleges are eligible to participate.

Southwest Virginia Regional Cancer Center Celebrates 10 Years of Lifesaving Service to Community

NORTON, Va. – A decade ago, Southwest Virginia cancer patients whose doctors prescribed radiation treatment had two choices: drive an hour or more to Kingsport’s Holston Valley Medical Center five days a week for six weeks or simply forego treatment.

To better serve patients by allowing them to receive treatment closer to home, the Southwest Virginia Regional Cancer Center in Norton opened in 1995. The cancer center celebrated its 10th anniversary Friday.

“When you’re sick, you obviously want the best treatment available to be close to home,” said Robert Polahar, president of Lonesome Pine Hospital, which owns and operates the cancer center. “With this facility, we’ve given our physicians the tools and facilities they need to manage the care of cancer patients locally.”

In 1991, when the cancer center was still a dream, 30 percent of oncology patients at Holston Valley were Southwest Virginia residents, said Greg Neal, vice president of operations at the Kingsport hospital. Neal played a large role in the cancer center’s creation.

“We had an opportunity to better serve our patients,” Neal said. “If you have cancer and are feeling sick anyway, it’s adding insult to injury to have to drive an hour away to receive what is effectively a 15- to 30-minute procedure.”

Holston Valley led the charge to create the cancer center by partnering with four community hospitals in Southwest Virginia. The hospitals collectively filed a certificate-of-need application with the state of Virginia, and the center, located at 611 Trent St., saw its first patient on April 25, 1995.

Lonesome Pine Hospital and Wellmont Health System eventually assumed 100 percent ownership of the facility.

Much has changed at the cancer center these days. A 3,800-square-foot expansion completed earlier this year allows space for physicians to see patients five days a week. The addition of the latest cancer-fighting technology, including a new linear accelerator in 2004, helps caregivers target tumors that would have been difficult or even impossible to treat otherwise.

The center serves as a “one-stop shop” for Southwest Virginia cancer patients, offering a team approach to cancer therapy. Services include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, laboratory services, gynecological oncology consultations and access to new therapies being researched at major cancer centers.

Dr. David Miller serves as the cancer center’s medical director.

Neal said Dr. Miller’s full-time presence, along with an accessible location and great staff, has made the cancer center a success.

“It’s just an awesome place,” he said. “In the 14 years I’ve been in hospital administration, there are few projects that have been more rewarding than this one.

“The center provides such a relief for patients, knowing they don’t have to drive an hour or more for treatment. There are undoubtedly some patients who wouldn’t have made that sacrifice. I truly believe there are people alive today simply because the facility was there to provide them treatment."

Walkers witness patient-centered care in action at Indian Path

May 9, 2005

Scores of community members throughout Northeast Tennessee spent Monday morning testing their walking shoes and learning more about local hospitals by spending time at the elbows of nursing at work. The 16th Annual Walk a Mile with a Nurse event was held at facilities throughout the Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) system to kick off National Nurses’ Week.

As walkers talked about the things they were seeing during the morning, several words continued to pop up: impressive, innovative and knowledgeable. Standing in the Stress Lab at Indian Path Medical Center (IPMC), Karen Guidi said she was thrilled with the professionalism and patient care she observed.

“Basically, as a consumer, I wanted to see what’s available,” said Guidi, who works for Cardiovascular Associates in Kingsport. “The people I’ve seen working in all the departments at Indian Path are incredibly experienced and informed.”

Tommy Burleson has participated in the Walk a Mile with a Nurse event at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) four times, but on Monday he witnessed a presentation to the hospital during the luncheon commemorating National Nurses Week that has put JCMC in elite status.

Peggy Strong, Associate Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist Extended Care Hospital in Memphis, presented JCMC with an oblisque in honor of JCMC having been named a Magnet Hospital - the only Magnet Hospital in Tennessee. Strong is a member of the Magnet Committee in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an arm of the American Nurses Association. The ANCC awards Magnet status to hospitals, both nationally and internationally. JCMC is among only 100 hospitals known as Magnet Hospitals.

Burleson, an MSHA board member, joined a group of community and civic leaders who toured JCMC. Others walking with nurses at JCMC included Newt Raff, Ralph Lindsey, Ruth Robinson, Pat Wolfe and Joe Wilson. Burleson Construction Co. built the new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at JCMC and Burleson was back to walk with Linda Jablonski, RN, who has been a nurse since 1975.

Burleson was intrigued with the Intellidrive Total Care beds in the ICU, which, Jablonski explained, can contain modules for patient vibration percussion and rotation - state-of-the-art concepts in patient beds.

“This ICU is phenomenal,” Burleson said, adding “and the Patient-Centered Care (PCC) is unsurpassed. You don’t have to go far to realize what we have here…we’re very fortunate.” Jablonski explained that the use of Family Advocates at JCMC really “brings Patient-Centered Care all together.”

Burleson added, “My company was very proud to have been involved in the building of the ICU; it has the finest technology in the region. It gives the high quality team members we have the place they need, as well as the families…”

He added, “You can sit in board meetings and talk about MSHA all day long, but until you experience (the hospital at work), you don’t get the head to toe picture.”

Walk a Mile ended with luncheons in each facility where walkers spoke of their experiences.

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, Woodridge Hospital, a service of 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.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Pier 1 Imports now open in Kingsport at East Stone Commons

East Stone Commons is a project of Ball Realty, supported by the City of Kingsport, Sullivan County and the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority.

Shop & Dine in Kingsport first!

Have you visited Fort Henry Mall lately? www.forthenrymall.com

or Downtown Kingsport? www.downtownkingsport.org

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 www.MeadowViewResort.com 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 www.BestPlaces.net). 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.