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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Kingsport Public Library + Chef's Pizzeria = Innovator Award!

The Kingsport Public Library was nationally recognized as “Innovator of the Month” for January 2006 by for its “pizza outreach” program.


More than 500 fliers were attached to Chef’s Pizzeria boxes and “served” to Kingsport households advertising the Homework Help line. 


The service is free, live, and online 7 days a week from 3:00-10:00 pm for students in the 4th to 12th grades. 


The service is available in English and Espanol.


Go to:



Kingsport Public Library

Helen Whittaker






Saturday, January 28, 2006

Voices of the Mountains performs at Carnegie Hall

An ensemble from the Symphony of the Mountains chorus, Voice of the Mountains,

Performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City


Symphony of the Mountains chorus, Voices of the Mountains, recently sent an ensemble to perform in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, one of the most revered concert venues in the world.   A group of 25 singers from Voices of the Mountains was part of a 150-voice choir in a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute concert in Carnegie Hall on January 15, 2006.  The concert, directed by Dr. Timothy Sharp of Rhodes College, Memphis TN, included Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom and a selection of spirituals arranged by Michael Tippett. 


The Voices of the Mountains is directed by Dr. Patrick Flannagan, who accompanied the ensemble to New York City.  Chorus members from the greater Tri-Cities TN and Southwest VA area who participated in the concert were: Nancy Barrow, Richard Berg, Terry Coclough, Ellen Corbett, Jeri Countiss, Larry DeYonge, Judy Fischer, Diane Flannagan, Anna Gamble, Bill Gamble, Lisa Gardner, Beth Geno, David James, Lynetta Johnson, Ruth Leonard, Cathy Maine, Roy Maine, Ann Mathews, Bruce Mathews, Katie Mitchell, Larry Pierce, Florence Powell, Anne Pratt-Proctor, Betty Ringley, and Cheri Wine.


This spring, Voices of the Mountains will be in concert with Symphony of the Mountains performing La Boheme, on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3:00 PM in the Southwest VA Higher Education Center in Abingdon VA.  They will perform four movements of Brahms’ Vier Quartette at The Paramount Center in Bristol on Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 PM.  Symphony of the Mountains with Voices of the Mountains will perform Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem at the Reid Eastman Employee Center Auditorium in Kingsport on March 25 at 8:00 pm; and selections from the Carnegie Hall concert on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church, Bristol TN.


For more information about the chorus, please contact Beth Geno (423) 245-3790 and 354-1383 or Pat Flannagan (423) 652-4846.  For tickets to future performances, call the Symphony of the Mountains office at (423)392-8423.




Friday, January 27, 2006

Census releases latest median houehold income data

The Census Bureau recently released its latest small-area income data:


The Kingsport area of Sullivan, Hawkins & Scott Counties outperformed the region as a whole.  Some areas of note:


  • Sullivan County, TN continues to lead the region in household income.
  • Hawkins County, TN outperformed Greene County, TN
  • Scott County, VA outperformed Wise County, VA



2003 Median Household Income (released November/December2005)




Sullivan County, TN            $35,541

Washington County, TN       $34,544

Hawkins County, TN            $33,327

Greene County, TN             $32,356

Unicoi County, TN               $31,997

Carter County, TN              $28,796

Johnson County, TN            $24,142

Hancock County, TN           $19,228




Washington County, VA*     $35,731 

Scott County, VA               $30,011

Bristol City, VA*                 $29,019

Russell County, VA              $28,851

Wise County, VA*              $28,650

Norton City, VA*                $26,966

Lee County, VA                  $24,922




*Virginia is the only state with independent cities and counties.  As a result, the Census Bureau segregates Virginia data.  In order to make and apples-to-apples regional comparison between Tennessee & Virginia, the combination of Bristol-Washington County, VA and Norton-Wise County, VA would be necessary. In all other states, including Tennessee, the city data is included within the county data.




Thursday, January 26, 2006

ETSU to host two-day Diplomacy Forum with international emphasis

TRI-CITIES -- East Tennessee State University’s Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences will host a two-day Diplomacy Forum on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31. All activities are free and open to the public.


The first forum event will feature a panel discussion, “World Trade and Upper East Tennessee,” with representatives of business on one panel and another presenting diplomatic aspects of the topic. The panel will begin at 7 p.m. in the Millennium Centre on State of Franklin Road.


The business group will include Andrew Burke, president of the Tri-Cities Economic Development Alliance; Catherine Hansen, chief of protocol for the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg (N.C.) County; and an executive from the U.S Department of Commerce.       


Those addressing diplomacy will be First Secretary and Consul Dr. Mark Pace of the Embassy of Malta; Dr. David Funderburk, former U.S. ambassador to Romania, former U.S. Congressman from N.C., and honorary consul for the Republic of Albania; and John Butler, honorary consul for the United Kingdom.


The moderator for the evening will be Jerry Brock, consultant with Leadership Technologies.


Tuesday’s schedule consists of presentations of interest to students and members of the public, all held in the ETSU D.P. Culp University Center’s Forum Room.


At 9 a.m., moderator Dr. Ken Mijeski of ETSU’s Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences will preside at “Introduction to Democracy: The Role of Diplomats in a Globalized World,” with panel members Pace, Funderburk and Butler.


“The European Union: Its Role Now and Prospects for Its Future” will be offered at 10 a.m., with Dr. Stephen Fritz of the ETSU Department of History as moderator and featuring Nikolaos Zaimis, counselor and Head of Trade Section of the Delegation of the European Commission, as well as G. Bruce Shine, Esq.,  the Visiting Fellow in European Union Employment Law, with the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta, who is also honorary consul for the Republic of Malta for Tennessee and North Carolina.


At 11:15 a.m., “Globalization: Challenges in a Shrinking World,” will see Pace, Funderburk and Butler return with Catherine Hansen, who will offer ways the city of Charlotte, N.C., is responding to the current greater international emphasis. The moderator will be Dr. Joel Ryman of the ETSU Department of Management and Marketing in the College of Business and Technology.


After a lunch break from 12:15-1:30 p.m., the day will conclude with a discussion of “Careers in Foreign Service” with Ambassador Sylvia Stanfield, Diplomat in Residence in the International Affairs Center at Atlanta’s Spelman College and an agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Douglas Haidle, of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Diplomatic Security in Atlanta. The moderator will be Dr. Rebecca Pyles, dean of ETSU’s Honors College.


For further information or assistance for those with disabilities, contact Dr. Sam McKinstry of ETSU’s Department of Political Science at (423) 439-6632, or via




Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tri-Cities and the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence

Your support and conference attendance is encouraged!  Feb 23-24.  Go to or call 615.889.8323


This year, Tri-Cities region boasts three of the top five statewide awards.


The City of Kingsport will receive the highest honors ever bestowed upon a Tennessee city government.


Kingsport and Tri-Cities are no strangers to the TNCPE.  Pals, Eastman, Siemens, Bristol TN Essential Services, BAE Systems, City of Kingsport, Wellmont, Mountain States Health Alliance, etc. have all either been or are active with the Center. 


Indeed, this year, participants from our region are:


Level 4 (Top Honors):  Quality Excellence Award: Mountain States Health Alliance (the top honor statewide this year)


Level 3:  Quality Achievement Award:  City of Kingsport and BAE Systems (2 of the 4 being given statewide)


Level 2:  Quality Commitment Award:  (No awards from this region this year--12 being given statewide)


Level 1:  Quality Interest Award:  Carter County Adult Education, Northeast Tennessee Career Center, Sullivan County Health Department (3 of 17 statewide awards)



There is a unique learning opportunity coming to middle Tennessee next month.  I encourage you to attend and to send other representatives from your company. 

The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence is sponsoring a conference in Nashville, Feb. 23 and 24, where six winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (including four CEOs) will share their insights:


·         Texas Nameplate Company – Dale Crownover is president of Texas Nameplate Company, a privately-held manufacturer in Dallas, which is the smallest business ever to win the Baldrige Award and the only small business to receive the Award twice.  He is an informal speaker who prefers telling stories over power point presentations.

·         Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business – Joe Alexander is Dean of Monfort College at the University of Northern Colorado, the first business college ever to receive the Baldrige Award.   

·         Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton – Deb Baehser (Sr. VP Clinical Services) and Shashi Madhok (VP Quality) will explain how a New Jersey hospital, RWJ Hamilton, has achieved excellence in service to patients and overall performance, becoming the fifth health care system in the U.S. to win the Baldrige Award. 

·         Sunny Fresh Foods – Ann Burns, Continuous Improvement Facilitator, will talk about how Sunny Fresh in Monticello, MN, has strengthened its competitive position, culminating in a 2005 Baldrige Award. 

·         Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation – Kent Adams was named president of Cat Financial in Nashville a year after the company won the 2003 Baldrige Award.  He will talk about the impact of leadership transition on Cat Financial’s journey to business excellence.

·         Pal’s Sudden Service – Thom Crosby, president of Pal’s, headquartered in Kingsport and 2001 winner of the Baldrige Award, will join the other Baldrige winners for a panel discussion.

In addition to the keynote presentations, 20 leaders of organizations inside and outside of Tennessee will present breakout sessions on specific tools they have used to help accelerate their organizations’ improvement initiatives.  Presenters include representatives from FedEx, Turner Broadcasting System, Lipscomb University, Bridgestone/Firestone, Nuclear Fuel Services, Tennessee Tech, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, and our newest Tennessee Excellence Award winner, Mountain States Health Alliance.


The cost of the conference is minimal.  Detailed conference information is available at or can be requested by calling the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence at (615) 889-8323. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Geeks and Grief

…the headline probably got your attention, but the two events are not related J -- Jeff





Beginning Tuesday, January 24th from 5:30- 7:00 PM,  a six week session of  Grief Recovery Support  will be offered on Tuesdays until February 28. This collaborative effort with Ann VandeVate, a professional grief counselor, Hamlett Dobson Funeral Home and First Broad Street United Methodist Church is free and open to the community at large. The group will meet in the chapel of First Broad Street United Methodist Church. To register, please call Retta Overturf at 423-224-1546.





If your love of technology has you feeling a bit isolated, fear not. An event planned for Jan. 31 in Kingsport will introduce you to like-minded individuals who share your passion for podcasting, blogging and the latest in Internet coolness.


Those who want to learn more about these Web 2.0 tools and other geeky gadgets are encouraged to join Geek South on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Pacific Grill, 453 E. Main St., Kingsport for a Geek dinner.


January's theme is Gadgets Galore. Come get the latest word in all things technology, including the hottest gadgets to hit MacWorld and CES. Free WiFi is available.


The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. An appetizer buffet will be available for $8.


The event is being promoted by KNETIC, a social and professional networking organization for young professionals in the Kingsport area.


Geek South is a regional gathering focused on providing a fun social event, a network of people interested in technology, a forum to share ideas and resources and ways to promote technology in the MountainSouth region.


For more information or to RSVP, please email visit or

KNETIC is a civic and social group for young leaders and professionals in
Kingsport, Tennessee.
New members are always welcome.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Pullman Square, Huntington, WV

Check this out!


Go to, then click on “Pullman Square” (low or high resolution depending upon your internet connection speed).




I was in Huntington, WV this weekend for a high school wrestling tournament.


They’ve made great strides in downtown redevelopment. 


We often look to Asheville, Roanoke, Chattanooga and Knoxville as models, but Huntington is also our neighbor – and surprisingly it’s only 185 miles on an all-four-lane U.S. 23.


I guess I was amazed that it’s only 3 hours away.  I don’t head due north very often. 


With difficult terrain and limited development opportunities, Huntington squeezes 51,000 people into 60 blocks over 14.9 square miles for a population of 3,454 people per sq mi.  Redevelopment is critical since there is essentially no available land for “greenfields” development (at least not in the City of Huntington).


By comparison, Kingsport has a population of 44,000 spread over 45 square miles.  Huntington’s urban density is 3.5 times greater than Kingsport.  Hence, it “feels” larger.


Anyway, from an outsider’s first impression, Huntington seems to be on the right track to tackling the same issues that face many cities in the southern Appalachian highlands.



Sunday, January 22, 2006

Janette Carter beloved matriarch of the Carter Family dies at 82

Janette Carter matriarch of the Carter Family 82
From the Carter Fold websight Despite heroic attempts to save her life,
Janette Carter, 82, beloved matriarch of the Carter Family, passed away
at 6 am (EST) Sunday, January 22, at
Holston Valley Medical Center in
Kingsport, Tennessee. She had been unconscious ...


You're Invited - Kingsport Chamber 59th Annual Dinner Invitation

This is our invitation for the Kingsport Chamber 59th Annual Dinner. As
you know, this is our big fundraiser. We had 1,200 in attendance last
year (continuing to make it the largest Chamber Annual Dinner in the
state). It's a classy affair with world-class entertainment and a lot
of fun. It's a night to wear your finest attire, enjoy a great meal,
see friends and be entertained by our outstanding symphony and wonderful
guest artists.

It's a signature event for Kingsport and one in which we all take great

You're Invited!
> Please mail your reply card as soon as possible or
> e-mail this form to Amber Webb at or
> FAX this form to 246-7234.
> Kingsport Chamber
> 59th Annual Dinner
> Kingsport> '> s Social Event of the Year!
> Hosted by
> Eastman Chemical Company
> and
> WJHL News Channel 11
> Saturday, February 4, 2006
> MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center
> 6 p.m. - Reception
> 7 p.m. - Dinner and Program
> The Pops Rock!
> Featuring
> Canadian Rock Band
> Jeans n' Classics
> and our
> Symphony of the Mountains Orchestra
> in a
> Musical Tribute to Hit Songs of the 1970s!
> Entertainment Presented by
> Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center
> Concert Hall and Stage Sponsored by
> Eastman Credit Union
> Reception Sponsored by
> Oak Hill Memorial Park, Funerals & Cremations
> Kingsport Chamber and Symphony Special
> This year> '> s Annual Dinner ticket will also be good as a FREE
TICKET to any
> Symphony of the Mountains Orchestra concert during the 2006 season.
> Send your Reply Card in today or FAX this form to 246-7234.
> Or call the Kingsport Chamber at 392-8800 to reserve your spot for
this great event!
> Kingsport Chamber 59th Annual Dinner Reply Form
> City____________________ State____________________
> Number attending:_____ Names of those
> _____________________________________________________________________
> Tickets are $50 each.
> MeadowView Wine Special
> Beringer White Zinfandel ($37) # of
> Penfold's Rawson's Retreat Chardonnay ($37) # of bottles____
> Penfold's Rawson's Retreat Merlot ($37) # of
> (cost includes tax & reservation fee for each bottle)
> Credit Card: (circle one) Visa MasterCard
> Total Amount: $_____
> Card #_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Exp. Date_ _ - _
> Signature_______________________________
> Please reserve ______ vegetarian dinners in our name. Tickets are $50
per person.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Volunteer opportunities - your community needs you!

Being a volunteer is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences anyone can have!  Perhaps you are sitting inside on this cold January day feeling a little lonely and bored.  Get out!  Make a difference!  Your community needs you! – Thanks, Jeff



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Boushley []


The local Habitat for Humanity Resale Store has "lost" almost 25% of their dedicated volunteers the last year and a half.  These great volunteers "retired' again. We need additional dedicated volunteers.  We also hope that one of a new crew of dedicated volunteers will also be able to assume the duties of volunteer manager on Saturday.

I would appreciate you getting the following out in hopes of recruiting new volunteers.


Jim Boushley





Can’t pound a nail, can’t saw a straight line and still want to help the local Holston Habitat for Humanity? Then volunteer at the Habitat Resale store located at 301 E. Sullivan Street, Kingsport.  It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  The store is staffed and managed solely by volunteers and is stocked entirely with donations.  Volunteers sort, price and sell the merchandise at the store.  The Resale Store has raised over $1 million that has been reinvested in our communities. These dollars have provided over 30 homes to deserving Habitat families.


Please call 378-4760, leave your name and someone from the store will contact you.  If you call during store hours tell the person you are interested in volunteering and they will take your name and phone number. Of course, you can always drop in and say you would like to see one of the managers and tell them you want to volunteer and you may also find a great bargain to take home with you.



-----Original Message-----
From: Connie Steere []


If you can, please distribute this alert to your e-mail participants.


Looking for a worthwhile endeavor in 2006?


CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is preparing now to conduct its next class to train concerned citizens to represent the best interests of abused/neglected children in and out of court.  Becoming a Special Advocate is definitely a volunteering experience where one can make a real hands-on difference in our community. 


To find out more about CASA for KIds, Inc. you may check out our website,, where you can also access an application to become a Special Advocate.  If you would like more information, you may also call Jamie Fuller, Greater Kingsport Program Coordinator at 247-1171, Ext. 12.


With CASA, you will not be bored and you are desperately needed.



Connie C. Steere
Executive Director
CASA for Kids, Inc.
317 Shelby St., Suite 206
Kingsport, TN  37660
Office 247-1161 -  Fax - 247-1156





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.