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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Caught in the Act of Hospitality

The Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau (KCVB) recognized two local workers who have gone above and beyond their everyday services to make customers and visitors lives easier. Adam Taylor with Enterprise Car Rental, 1616 E. Stone Dr. and Harold Kidd who works for Weyerhaeuser Kingsport Paper Mill, 100 Clinchfield St. were honored for their exceptional hard work, dedication, and good deeds.


A customer of Enterprise Car Rental nominated Taylor for “Caught in the Act of Hospitality,” after receiving exceptional customer service from a previous manager who took the time to listen to her concerns and find a car that suited her needs. She felt that her requests were being met above and beyond before even driving off the lot. “And that is what causes repeat business,” she wrote in the nomination. Little did she know the very next day after returning her rental she would receive a helpful phone call from Taylor, an employee of Enterprise, informing her that a fellow agent had found her wallet inside the rental car. “Taylor took the time to call me and let me know,” she wrote.


A Kingsport resident nominated Harold Kidd who was “Caught in the Act of Hospitality” for giving unselfishly of his time and talent. “Harold assembled a team, procured materials (purchased by Weyerhaeuser) and installed dugout covers on the baseball fields of Weyerhaeuser Park this Spring,” the resident wrote in the nomination. Kidd used his skills to improve the “safety and functionality of the ball park,” the resident wrote. “The enhancement will make this award-winning park even more attractive for future regional and national tournaments. This is true hospitality because neither Harold nor Weyerhaeuser will derive any benefit from this project,” wrote the resident.


Both honorees received certificates, balloons and gift mugs. The award was created to recognize individuals who have been “Caught in the Act of Hospitality.” Ten Awards are presented during National Tourism Week each year to emphasize the economic benefits that tourism brings to the community. And up to three a month will be given out the remainder of 2006.


 The KCVB is a partnership between the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce and the city of Kingsport. Its mission is “to market the city and provide services to meeting and convention planners, tour operators, and business and leisure travelers by serving as a tourists development program of the Kingsport Chamber in partnership with the city of Kingsport.” For more KCVB news, visit



Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kingsport Farmer's Market now open - Wed & Sat


So what are you doing tomorrow morning or this weekend?


Do you like a fresh market?


Mark your calendar now….


The Tri-Cities’ largest, best, and longest-running Farmer’s Market is now open on Wednesdays and Saturdays


Downtown Kingsport.

7 am – 1 pm

Behind the Public Library


Fresh produce and handcrafted items from throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia


For custom directions, go to, click “directions”, enter your address as the starting location, and use the following address as the ending location:  Shelby St & W New St Kingsport, TN


Monday, May 29, 2006

Mamaw's house


My grandmother’s house was a special place.  It’s located in Kingsport on Lynn Garden Drive, just 3 doors down from Higher Ground Baptist Church. 


When she passed in 2001 at the age of 102, we wondered what would become of it.  It was an emotional time for the family, but the result could not have been more fitting to honor her memory. 


The house was acquired by members of the church and converted into “Jerusalem House”, a base for missions in the local community.  Services include employment assistance, job training, ex-offender transition, support services, food pantry, financial assistance, information, referral, medication assistance, parish nurse program, pre-natal education and psychological counseling. (there’s a button for donations, if you’re interested).


Below is a story I wrote about Mamaw when she passed.  I hope it touches you and inspires you to call your loved one today and tell them how much they mean to you.


I hope you have a great Memorial Day!






May 3, 2001


Susan Fleming

 1898 - 2001

Mother’s Day is May 13.  The day was always special for our family because it was one of the few times that all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered together.  It was my grandmother’s special day.  We would all arrive at Lynn Garden Baptist Church and linger on the front steps for a family portrait.  Some came from as far away as Florida to commemorate the special day.


As the years passed and our family grew, the front steps were hardly enough to accommodate the brood.  Inside, regular church members courteously moved from their favorite pew in order for us to sit with Mamaw.  Roses were always placed at the altar in her honor and the preacher recognized her as the oldest member and the member with the most family in attendance that day.  There was never a contest in those categories.


We will gather again at Lynn Garden Baptist Church this year – for the last time.  Mamaw passed away a month ago at the age of 102.  During her 3 years in the nursing home, the bond she had created with her children and grandchildren became evident.  She never ate a meal alone.  In fact, it was not unusual to have 2 or more family members at her side during each meal.  I had the honor of feeding her and spending time during those last days.


When I went to the nursing home for what turned out to be the last time, she had digressed to the point that most of her speech was impossible to understand.  She would always look into my eyes and hold a gaze – like she was examining me – and that nonverbal communication was enough.  This time, I leaned close to her ear and loudly said, “I love you, Mamaw”.  She gripped my forearm and looked into my eyes again and struggled – but she distinctly grunted out “I – love – you”, taking a breath between each word.


As family members talked at the funeral, we reflected on the hard times she faced – hard times none of us will probably ever know. She lived on a subsistence farm in remote, mountainous Southwest Virginia before even the most basic services were available – paved roads, water, sewer, and telephone.  She was attending Berea College during WWI, about the time Kingsport was incorporated.  She reared 5 small children during the depression.  I was also told that she was able to obtain staples during the depression because her sister (who owned a store) sent a delivery truck over the mountain from Coeburn. The blood ties were the only reason for that treacherous drive.  I was always told that she willed my Daddy to live through a bout with spinal meningytis when every other child in the county who contracted it ultimately died as a result.  She rode a horse to Clintwood – the nearest town – to get crude medication to treat the symptoms.


If all that wasn’t enough, she sent her first two sons (including my dad) to WWII.  Recently, my aunt shared some letters from Dad to Mamaw when he was in service.  Once again, the bond was evident.  I wonder why he never talked about it?


This Mother’s Day, don’t forget your grandmother, mother, wife, or daughter.  Have a blessed day and cherish the time you have together.  You will be creating lasting memories that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives – just as I am sharing with you today.





Sunday, May 28, 2006

ETSU releases Tri-Cities Labor Market Report 1Q06


As seen in today’s Times-News front page article by Sharon Caskey Hayes.

Full Report @


ETSU Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Tri-Cities Labor Market Report

East Tennessee State University + First Quarter 2006 + College of Business and Technology


The favorable labor market trends of 2005 gained momentum during the first quarter of the new year.  Regional employment increased by 1.6% to 223,427, a gain of over 3,500 jobs compared to a year ago!  Reflecting the higher job levels, the number of unemployed workers decreased 14.5% to 11,959.  The jobless rate for the Tri-Cities metro area during the January to March period was 5.1%, compared to 6.0% in the same period of 2005.

Among the fourteen NAICS industrial sectors, higher employment levels were reported by eight, job declines by five, while employment remained stable in one.  Job gains were led by government, education & health services, other services, retail trade, transport & utilities, information services, professional & business services, and wholesale trade.  Job losses occurred in durable manufacturing, nondurable manufacturing, construction, finance, and leisure & hospitality.  Employment was unchanged in mining.


The strong regional performance extended to all three cities during the first quarter.  Job growth exceeded one percent while unemployment levels saw double digit declines.  These conditions marked the best labor market conditions during the past year.  Compared to 2005, job levels were up 1.9% in Johnson City, 1.4% in Bristol, and 1.2% in Kingsport.  Unemployment was down in all three cities, dropping the jobless rate to 4.9% in Johnson City, 5.0% in Kingsport, and 5.1% in Bristol (compared to the regional rate of 5.1%).

Unemployment decreased by 18.49% in Kingsport, by 15.72% in Johnson City and 13.83% in Bristol.

Employment levels by Urbanized Area:
Johnson City
Labor Force =          54,240
Employment =          51,576
Unemployment =       2,664
Kingsport, TN-VA
Labor Force =          44,413
Employment =          42,180
Unemployment =       2,232
Bristol, TN-VA 
Labor Force =          26,922
Employment =          25,552
Unemployment =       1,370


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kingsport Firm Named to Fast 50 List

Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC and RM Technologies Group cited as two of state’s 50 fastest-growing private companies



May 24, 2006




Contact: Betsy Gray, Marketing Director

Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC




(Knoxville) -- Rodefer Moss & Co. PLLC, an accounting firm that has grown in 10 years from 11 employees in one office to more than 150 employees in four Tennessee offices, has been cited as one of the 50 fastest-growing private companies in Tennessee by Business Tennessee Magazine.


Rodefer Moss’s sister company, RM Technologies Group, LLC, was also named to the Fast 50 list. RM Technologies provides information technology business solutions. The two companies earned the designation based on their percentage of revenue growth.


Rodefer Moss, RM Technologies and other Fast 50 companies will be profiled in the August edition of Business Tennessee Magazine.


A company can be considered for the Fast 50 list if it has been in business for three years, generates more than $750,000 in revenue, and employs five or more people.


The Rodefer Moss accounting firm has offices in Knoxville, Nashville, Greeneville, and Kingsport.


“Having our two companies make the Fast 50 list is a gratifying and exciting event,” said Jimmy Rodefer, the accounting firm’s chief executive officer and partner in RM Technologies. “It is a testimony to the team that has been assembled in both companies, and to the great work they do.”


Services offered by Rodefer Moss include audit and tax services, consulting, disaster recovery, employee leasing, and small business entrepreneurial services.


“Along with applying the highest standards of accounting principles, we live our corporate theme, which is to listen better, try harder and care more,” said Rodefer. “Customers understand our commitment to them, and that is a major factor in our growth.”


RM Technologies, which has 50 employees in its Knoxville office, serves hundreds of clients throughout East Tennessee.


RM Technologies’ services include network design and implementation, network monitoring and support, voice and data communications, IT outsourcing and consultation, spam and anti-virus protection, virtual private networking capabilities, and strategic planning and business assessments.


-- END --





Betsy Fleming Gray

Marketing Director



Certified Public Accountants ∙ Business Advisors ∙ Technology Consultants


1729 Midpark Road, Suite C-200

Knoxville, Tennessee 37921

865.251.5527 Direct

865.583.0091 Main

865.583.0560 Fax


An independent member of the BDO Seidman Alliance






Thursday, May 25, 2006

New York Mets future stars may pass through Kingsport, Tennessee


Kingsport is home to the New York Mets’ Appalachian League affiliate.  Go to

The New York Mets will be holding a tryout camp on Tuesday July 25 at Hunter Wright Stadium.  Pitchers and catchers should report at 8:30 a.m. for registration and position players should arrive at 10:00 a.m.  Players between the ages of 15-22 are invited.  Those players under the age of 18 must have a permission slip signed by a parent, guardian, or coach.  Please bring your own equipment.

The Mets open the 2006 season at Hunter Wright Stadium on June 21 vs. Greeneville Astros


May 15, 2006

Minor League Update: MacLane is Pitcher of the Week

An update on yesterday's minor-league report...

Evan MacLane has been named the International League Pitcher of the Week for May 8-14. MacLane went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two Tides starts. He allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out 16 in 14 innings.

May 14, 2006

Mets Minor League Report 5/14

Evan MacLane could have played college baseball at Hawaii. Instead he opted for slightly less exotic Kingsport, Tenn. – home of the Mets’ short-season affiliate in the Appalachian League.

MacLane, a soft-tossing lefthander pitcher, accepted a $7,500 signing bonus and four semesters of future paid education after the Mets drafted him in the 25th round in 2003. Jedd Soto, MacLane’s junior college coach at Feather River in Quincy, Calif., recommended taking the Mets’ opportunity after watching his right fielder, Josh Greene, decline a similar opportunity the previous year, break a foot and not get another chance.

MacLane, 23, has made the most of the opportunity. After beginning the season at Double-A Binghamton, MacLane advanced to Norfolk. He tossed seven scoreless innings in his Tides home debut last night, striking out 12 and issuing no walks in a 6-0 with against Columbus. In his Triple-A debut Monday, MacLane limited Toledo to three runs (one earned) and three hits in seven innings while striking out four and walking one.

Overall, he’s struck out 41 and walked only three batters this season – remarkable control that dates back to his JUCO days.

“My coach hated when we walked people,” MacLane said.

The southpaw draws comparisons to lefthanders Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer because of his solid control and modest fastball velocity (83-86 mph). He speculated that a righthander with similar velocity probably would go undrafted, but credited former Mets scout Chuck Hensley, now an agent, for repeatedly attending his games.

About MacLane’s only blemish since turning pro came in the Arizona Fall League last year. Faced with the increased level of competition from his regular-season experience in ’05, spent mostly at high-A St. Lucie, MacLane overthrew and struggled.

“I saw those guys throwing really hard and thought I needed to do something more,” MacLane said.

He soon concluded: “You’re not going to throw 88, 89 mph by anybody.” And after allowing seven runs in two innings in his AFL debut, he steadily improved – allowing only three earned runs in 16 innings over his final three starts for Grand Canyon.

MacLane may not make an appearance in Flushing this season, with Mike Pelfrey and Alay Soler seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart. But he should get an invite to big-league spring training in 2007, where he presumably would have a chance to make an impression, just like Brian Bannister did this year.

“I’d love it,” MacLane said.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Relay for Life (follow-up)

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Hager

Hey Jeff,


I know this is dear to your heart, too, and wanted to share such good news with you!


Our daughter, Robyn Hager, and three other Dobyns-Bennett graduates, Lauren Turner, Chesney Gannaway, and Meredith Tershansy, are members of Epsilon Sigma Alpha at the University of South Carolina.  This weekend they worked and participated in the Relay for Life.  Their service sorority alone raised over $8,300 and won the Spirit of Relay Award for raising the most money and keeping up team spirit throughout the event!  The University of South Carolina raised over $43,000 for the Relay for Life – these young women and men can (and do) make a difference in this world!!


Thanks, Jeff, for all the wonderful community news you share with us and for letting us share with you!


Pam and Rob Hager


PS.  We certainly hope that you will share this with folks – THANKS SO MUCH!



American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at Bristol Motor Speedway


See notes below from Craig Kilgore (Holston Medical Group) and Ken Maloy (Bank of Tennessee). 


Cancer has touched many of us personally.  Here’s a chance for celebration, remembrance and hope.


Thanks, Jeff






-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Kilgore, Holston Medical Group
Subject: Relay For Life




I know your get many requests to send out notices to your email group so here's another one.  Don't know if you have a policy on sending out emails like this but if not and you get the chance, please send out to help this worthy cause.





Sullivan County Relay For Life:


Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event, bringing communities together in hope, celebration and memory.  It is a unique event that offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.  The overnight event remembers those who have lost the fight against cancer and honors those who have survived.  This year's Sullivan County Relay For Life will be held on June 2-3, 2006 inside the Bristol Motor Speedway. 


Teams from Sullivan County will take to the “track” from 7pm-7am.  Because Relay For Life is a community event, anyone and everyone can participate.  Businesses, clubs, families, friends, hospitals, churches, schools, service organizations, etc. can form teams of 8 to 15 people.  During the event, team members take turns walking on the track and camping out overnight.  Each participant is encouraged to raise at least $100 for the American Cancer Society. 


Survivors are invited to join us as our honorary guest in the Survivors Lap, which begins Relay For Life.  If you are interested in participating in Relay this year either by forming a team or through sponsorship, please contact one of the following people for details:  Lee Chase, Team Recruitment Co-Chair, 578-1510, or Anna Catherine Davenport, ACS Staff, 975-0635,  Please visit the event website:



From Ken Maloy, Bank of Tennessee:


Bank of Tennessee Proudly Supports

The American Cancer Society Of Sullivan County


One day. One night.  The Relay For Life of Sullivan County is about celebration, remembrance, and hope.   The Relay will take place at the Bristol Motor Speedway June 2-3 2006.  The overnight event celebrates survivorship and raises money to help the American Cancer Society save lives, help those who have been touched by cancer, and empower those to fight back against this disease.  Anyone interested in participating in the Relay may contact Anna Catherine Davenport at 


If you wish to make a donation you may do so at any Bank of Tennessee location.  Donations can also be made online. To access please click on link listed below.




Rolling Thunder in Kingsport TODAY

From Sam Jones, Sullivan County Commissioner & VFW Commander-Elect


-----Original Message-----
From: sam jones []
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 3:27 PM


"Spirit of Freedom"


Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3382 will host Rolling Thunder Inc. Chapter 1 of California tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, May 24 around 5:00pm at our post on Ft Henry Drive, Kingsport. This chapter left California on May 18 with stops in Kingman, Arizona; Gallop, New Mexico; Tucumcari, New Mexico; Clinton, Oklahoma; Nashville, Tennessee; Kingsport, Tennessee; and Staunton, Virginia.


On Friday, May 26 they will head into Washington D.C. and in a formal presenting to Arlington National Cemetery at 3:30PM, a handcrafted Eagle Plaque will be presented by National Founder and Executive Director Artie Muller.


They will also have the honor to carry SPC Brad Beards, US Army, KIA, from Raleigh, North Carolina, Iraq Dog Tags, as well as 20 fallen heroes pictures and stories from Modesto that will be honored at Arlington National Cemetery in special ceremonies.


If you have someone you would like to honor let them know.


A program will be presented at each stop to honor each states POW/MIA’s fallen heroes and the   veterans, the military and their families. We will also have Jared Rogers Band, The Secret Public Band from Las Vegas aboard with us at each stop throughout the journey.


The media will be riding with us and additional coverage will be at each stop along the way. Our Honorary Chairman Barb Stanton from 960 AM talk radio will be following us across America daily.


Kingsport VFW Post 3382 expects the Rolling Thunder to arrive around 5:00PM, May 24, we will have a ceremony to honor our fallen heroes at 5:15PM.  Following will be a buffet dinner @ $6.00 per person with proceeds going to help fund the Rolling Thunder.  A concert will follow by the Jared Rogers Band.  Everyone is welcome.



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Liberty Celebration 2006


Children and adult singers
needed now to participate in

A Patriotic Extravaganza Celebrating God and Country

Attend rehearsals being conducted
now at
Kingsport Community Church



PLEASE NOTE: Rehearsals will not be conducted
Memorial Day weekend.

Concerts will be at Toy F. Reid Employee Center

June 30, 7:30    —    July 1, 2:30 & 7:30

For more information or call 239-9415

Co sponsors: EASTMAN and EASTMAN Recreation Club


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.