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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kingsport Sales Boost Sullivan Revenue

50% of Kingsport Sales Tax Revenue Goes to Schools (Including Bristol TN City)But Majority Goes to Sullivan County Schools

Sullivan County sales tax revenues up 7 percent

Kingsport Times-News
Published 09/21/2008 By J.H. Osborne

BLOUNTVILLE — Sales tax revenues continued to grow this month in Sullivan County, with a year-to-date growth of nearly 7 percent over last year, according to a report released last week by the county’s accounting department.

In the two months since the fiscal year began, countywide sales tax revenues have been up both months compared to the same months a year ago.

Cumulatively, sales tax revenues in Sullivan County are running about $508,000 above last year at this point, according to the report.

The boost appears to be thanks mainly to the Kingsport city area, where sales tax revenues are up about $683,000 from last year at this point.

And that helps affect budgets countywide, not just in the Model City.

According to Sullivan County’s current budget document, Kingsport businesses collected 63 percent of all sales taxes in the county in fiscal year 2007 — but the cash flow back to the city and the city’s school system accounted for only 45 percent of the money.

In contrast, 12 percent of all sales taxes collected in the county in fiscal year 2007 were collected at businesses located outside any of the cities — but cash flow back to the county and the county’s school system accounted for 34 percent of the money.

A two-month spreadsheet by the county’s accounting department shows sales tax revenues from September this year, countywide, came in about $244,000 above September 2007.

That’s following on a gain of about $264,000 in August, compared to August 2007.

Sales tax revenues are generated when money is spent on goods and services at businesses throughout the county and its cities. The money is used by local governments, largely, to support school systems.

When a consumer pays sales tax locally, it is sent to the state, which redistributes it back to the county and its cities based on collection site.

Sales tax revenue is typically distributed back to localities two months after being collected.
Taxes collected during July, for example, come back to the localities in September.

Local option sales tax revenues are split 50/50 — with half going to school systems in the county, and the other half going to the local government where the collecting business is located.
Each $1 of local option sales taxes collected in Kingsport, for example, generates 50 cents for the county’s three school systems (the money is split based on average daily attendance) and 50 cents for city coffers.

For the two-month period of August and September, sales tax revenues from non-city portions of the county are down about 5.3 percent — about $33,000 — compared to this time last year, according to the report — which also indicates:

•Sales tax revenues received by local governments in Sullivan County for the two-month period totaled more than $7.84 million. That’s up from about $7.33 million compared to a year ago.

•For the same period last year, the state sent about $4.36 million total back for sales taxes collected within the city of Kingsport — with half, or about $2.18 million — going to the city of Kingsport’s coffers and the other half being split among local school systems.

•This year the Kingsport total for the two-month period was a little more than $5.04 million, with half — roughly $2.52 million — going to city coffers, and the other half going to the school systems.

•The Sullivan County school system’s year-to-date share is about $2.15 million, up about $123,000 compared to this point last year.

•The Bristol City Schools system’s year-to-date share is about $704,000, up about $58,000 compared to this point last year.

•The Kingsport City Schools system’s year-to-date share is about $1.06 million, up about $73,000 compared to this point last year.

•The city of Bristol’s year-to-date non-school share is about $770,000, down about $34,000 compared to this point last year.

•Bluff City’s year-to-date share is about $36,500, down about $21,100 compared to this point last year.

Fiscal year 2008 began July 1 and covers the county’s finances — and that of other local governments — through June 30, 2008

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Kingsport's Panera Now Open

Reedy Creek Terrace (behind Starbucks)
1880 North Eastman Road

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kingsport facade grant program gets $25,000 boost

Kingsport Facade Grant Program gets $25000 boost Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA KINGSPORT — A grant program that has helped renovate facades in downtown Kingsport is set to get another financial boost. The Facade Grant Program, ...

Developers, city team up to fix dangerous roads

Developers, city team up to fix dangerous road Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA KINGSPORT — The developers of a 330-home neighborhood in the Rock Springs community recently made a goodwill gesture and led the charge on repairing a ...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rail Grass honors region's railroad, music heritage

Rail Grass honors region’s railroad, music heritageKingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USAKINGSPORT — It’s not every day that Jim Barbarito, Mitzie Douglas and Lynn Jobe walk across the parking lot of Holston Builders Supply into a railroad ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kingsport Featured in Wall Street Journal

Kingsport Featured in Wall Street Journal

Exports Prop Up Local Economies

By TIMOTHY AEPPELSeptember 11, 2008; Page A1

Much of the world may be struggling with the economic downturn, but life has been getting better in Columbus, Ind., Kingsport, Tenn., and Waterloo, Iowa.

These out-of-the-way places have become trade hot spots as U.S. exports, fueled by the dollar's
fall, continue to provide a rare spark in an otherwise gloomy economy.

While many economists expect a recent snapback in the value of the dollar and a spreading global slowdown to soften that growth, exports have become a key to greater local prosperity more than at any time in decades.

Columbus, population 40,000, is an export powerhouse thanks largely to diesel-engine maker Cummins Inc., which has added 1,000 jobs there since 2003. Kingsport, population 44,000, is home to Eastman Chemical Co., which is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade its sprawling chemical plant there on the strength of its global sales of plastics and fibers. And Waterloo, population 68,000, owes its healthy export economy to Deere & Co., which has announced its second major investment this year of its tractor plant there

Link to full article:

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Layoff Not End of Work for 30-Year Employee

Layoff Not End Of Work For 30-Year Employee
Kingsport Times-News

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- Two years ago this month, Michael Vaughn was laid off from Quebecor World after working 30 years as a machine operator at the plant.

At 47, Vaughn faced an uncertain future, with no education and no job prospects.

"It was scary," Vaughn said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought I was going to lose everything I had."

In 1977, Vaughn was a high school dropout when he landed a job at the Kingsport Press, which later became Arcata Graphics and then Quebecor.

"Back then you didn't need no education. Didn't matter," Vaughn said.

A few years ago, the book manufacturer started to downscale operations, announcing a series of layoffs that ultimately led to the plant's closure in late 2006. Vaughn was among those laid off in September 2006.

He visited the Tennessee Career Center on Center Street in Kingsport, expecting to be told where to find a low-skilled, low-paying job.

He was wrong. Vaughn was advised to attend adult education classes to get his GED as a first step. Education, he soon learned, had become an integral part in preparing for today's job market.

"It's everything now," he said. "People won't even acknowledge you unless you've got that piece of paper now."

He completed his GED earlier this year, and on May 1 started a 20-month course at the Tennessee Technology Center in Elizabethton to become a master technician in the heating and cooling industry. His son, Frank, is attending the same course, and together father and son hope to eventually open their own heating and cooling business.

"I've always wanted to work for myself," said Vaughn, now 49. "I'm in my last stretch. So I'm going for it. I believe I can do it."

Steve Vinsant, manager of the Tennessee Career Center in Kingsport, said he's seeing more and more older workers like Vaughn who need to upgrade their education and skill levels.

"Rather than directing students just out of high school into careers, we are seeing adults coming back into the system to receive assistance in becoming competitive with those students who are graduating now," Vinsant said.

He said older workers are often discouraged "because they feel like they don't have anything to offer."

"But the thing about it is -- they're the ones with those soft skills. They come to work on time. There's not an attendance issue. They're trustworthy, loyal. But it's their skills that have become antiquated," Vinsant said.

"It's not their age -- it's their skills."

The Career Center, formerly the unemployment claims office, now is strictly a job service center designed to connect job seekers with employers needing workers. If candidates lack education, the center directs them to adult education, or vocational or technical training through the Alliance for Business and Training.

The center also works with local employers to help make sure their existing employees receive the necessary training and certifications.

Just last month, the Career Center in Kingsport worked with 1,900 people who were either seeking employment or additional training and certifications.

Some of those folks are former AGC plant employees who were laid off earlier this year. Others are hoping to make a career change. And others are looking to upgrade their skills.

Vinsant said some need basic computer education. He noted that many employers today are looking for workers with more technical skills. For instance, LeClerc, a Canada-based bakery that plans to open in the Northeast Tennessee Business Park this year, will soon be looking for job candidates with such skills.

"That's where we are headed," Vinsant said.

For employees with the right skills, jobs are available. Vinsant said the Career Center currently has 60 to 65 job orders from local employers.

But for some workers who've just been laid off, the thought of learning new skills can be intimidating.

"There are a lot of hands to help move that individual from that scary situation back into the work force. The amount of courage it takes to do that is just amazing," Vinsant said.

He said Michael Vaughn is one of the success stories.

"He's done it. And we're all so proud of him," he said.

Information from: Kingsport Times-News,

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Will It Float?

Have you ever had an idea you thought could fundamentally change the way people live? Could your idea make you the next Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook), Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak (creators of Apple)?

All aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals are invited to attend this event on Thursday, November 20, 2008, to help decide who has the best business idea, or elevator pitch.

Ten competitors will be selected to compete in the challenge, to be held at the Carnegie Hotel Ballroom, from 5:30 p.m., to 11 p.m. Presenters will have no more than five minutes to pitch his or her idea to the audience and a panel of three judges, all to find out … Will This Float?

Presenters will be pre-screened and judged based on the following criteria: few or no direct competitors; low adoption/switching costs for users; on-time (timely entry to market, considering environmental factors and market maturity); addresses unfilled need or want/solves a real problem (useful); and target market is identified and large.

The event will also showcase existing entrepreneurs and the regional technology-based group geeksouth to feature some of its most unique technologies happening right now. Local companies will provide services including online, live voting technology and streaming video of the event online. Participants will be able to vote on their favorite pitch and prizes will be awarded at the end of the night.

Tickets are just $25, or $15 for students. Tickets include heavy hors d'Ĺ“uvres and a chance to mix and mingle with some of the best minds in our area. For more information, please visit

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Oakley Pointe Condominiums Kingsport, TN

You send out the best tips from around our area. Here's one for you .... Hal Calhoun developer of Oakley Pointe Condos is giving away a car or truck from Toyota of Kingsport to all homeowners who purchase by the end of October.

That's a deal - new home and new car!!!

Please share with others.

Angie Sybert
Calhoun Construction
3855 Memorial Boulevard
Kingsport, TN 37664
423.341.4665 cell
423.288.9000 office

DIRECTIONS: From Fort Henry Drive at Wal-Mart, turn onto Thornton Drive. Continue past Apple Grove Condos. Oakley Drive will be next right.At Oakley Pointe everyone will have a panoramic view including Bays Mountain and Chimney Top and the Kingsport area. From the beginning, this development was planned to be one of the most elegant, yet affordable residences.

Oakley Pointe is in a private, quiet setting. A paved scenic walking trail will also be included. City features and services consists of underground utilities, street lights, and the Kingsport Area Transit Services (KATS). Oakley Pointe is located conveniently within four miles of everything you’ll need such as: Hospitals, shopping, dining, churches,and Warriors Path State Park.

2BR 2BA $180,000
3BR 3BA $193,000

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Kingsport Store

The Kingsport Store

Show your Kingsport pride by visiting

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Monday, September 15, 2008

ETSU Regional Sales Tax Report - 2 Q 2008

ETSU Bureau of Business and Economic Research
Tri-Cities Retail Sales Report

East Tennessee State University + Second Quarter 2008 + College of Business and Technology

Retail performance was very mixed among the three cities during the second quarter.

Kingsport saw a large jump in retail sales which rose by 9.9% to reach $343 million. Sales revenues were up 4.5% in Johnson City to $442 million, while Bristol sales decreased 4.4% to $256 million.

During the past year retail prices have risen by more than four percent. So adjusted for inflation, sales volume was up 5.3% in Kingsport, but only higher by 0.1% in Johnson City. Real sales in Bristol were down by 8.4%. In comparison, retail sales volume was down 4.1% in Tennessee, and 1.8% in the United States.

Full report at

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Stir Fry Cafe in Downtown Kingsport

Check out this promo on YouTube for Stir Fry Cafe in Downtown Kingsport

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

WBIR Coverage of D-B Football Fans

Look for some of our hometown favorites on camera...Buddy Brewster, Susan Dukart, Amy Doran, Pam Sensabaugh and more! Click the link below, then click "play" on the video on the upper right side of the screen.

Feature story on Kingsport fans and gas prices:

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Kingsport receives $30k to improve roadscape of City's gateways

Nashville, TN -- Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide a Tennessee Roadscapes Grant in the amount of $30,000 to the city of Kingsport to assist with improvements to important gateways into the city.

“The development of well-planned landscaping programs create inviting surroundings that boost local economies and improve the quality of life for citizens,” said Bredesen. “It’s important to create welcoming places for people to live and work and to build a sense of pride in one’s community.”

“This project will enhance and improve entrances into the city of Kingsport,” added Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey. “This grant will allow us to create a beautiful environment for the residents who use these gateways every day and give a warm welcome to tourists who visit the area.”

“Projects like this improve the aesthetics of a community,” said Representative Nathan Vaughn. “I am pleased that the state could assist with this valuable investment in our city.”

The Kingsport Roadscapes project includes landscaping the gateways into the city along State Route 36 and State Route 93 featuring native trees and shrubs that will be easily maintained. It will also include new welcome signage.

The Tennessee Roadscapes initiative was developed in 2006 as a partnership between community organizations across the state and TDOT to create inviting spaces through an integrated approach to roadside landscaping. TDOT funds 80 percent of the cost of a project with the grant recipient contributing the remaining 20 percent. Grants are derived from federal funds that are specifically earmarked for roadway enhancement projects.

“These grants will assist in improvements to the roadways that serve as the front door to our communities,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “The program will also create the opportunity to showcase our roads and the natural beauty of our state.”

The Tennessee Roadscapes program includes a variety of environmental stewardship and beautification programs:

Landscaping with naturalized flowers and native flowering trees
Memorials and parks
Roadside tree planting
Exotic and invasive plant removal
Litter cleanup and prevention education programs
Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Spot programs
Community landscaping at intersections, street corners, medians, entrances, and gateways

Representatives Jason Mumpower and Jon Lundberg also serve Kingsport in the Tennessee General Assembly.

For more information about the Tennessee Roadscapes program, please visit us online at

Chris Campbell
MPO Coordinator
201 W. Market St.
Kingsport, TN 37660

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Kingsport is booming

Kingsport Is BoomingBy Jerry Fuhrman(Jerry Fuhrman) Kingsport, population 44000, is home to Eastman Chemical Co., which is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade its sprawling chemical plant there on the strength of its global sales of plastics and fibers. (link) ...

United Way kicks off with red, white and...

Video Report - United Way campaign kicks off with red, white and ...Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USAKINGSPORT — The United Way of Greater Kingsport kicked off its annual community fund-raising campaign Thursday afternoon with some patriotic flair and many ...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kingsport's Crazy 8's Goes To Iraq

Kingsport, TN & Tikrit, Iraq

The Crazy 8s 8K Run is branching out to Iraq. The popular road race in Kingsport, TN, renowned for its world records, unique figure-8 course,and late-night festive atmosphere during Kingsport's Fun Fest festival, will lend its name to a sister race in Iraq. The race will be calledthe Tikrit Running Club Crazy 8s 8K Run, and will be held on November1st on the Contingency Operating Base (COB) Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq, just north of Baghdad.

The race is the brainchild of Major Russell Stewart from the 1st Armored Division (1AD) based out of Wiesbaden, Germany. Major Stewart'shometown is Greenville, SC, and he got the idea for hosting a siblingrace in Iraq after running the Crazy 8s 8K in Kingsport in 2007. He'sexpecting 250-300 participants in the Iraq version of Crazy 8s.

"I was able to run the Crazy 8s Road Race in summer 2007," said MajorStewart in a recent email to Crazy 8s race officials. "I fell in lovewith the whole event. My son ran in the children's race (Little 8s) andmy wife/son pushed my daughter in the 3k (Neil's Walk). The sense of community and the execution of the various events really sold me onwanting to be a part of Crazy 8s in the future. Therefore; I wanted toexecute the fastest 8K in Iraq with the Crazy 8s name."

Major Stewart was deployed to Iraq in September of 2007 for a 15-monthassignment. An avid runner, he decided to form the Tikrit Running Cluband emulate several North American races for his unit in Iraq. TheCrazy 8s 8k will be one of the final running events before completingtheir deployment in early December.

"We're honored the 8K in Iraq wants to use our name," said Crazy 8sco-director Hank Brown. "As you can imagine, we are very protective ofthe name Crazy 8s, so we don't give permission to just anyone. We wantto do what we can to support the troops in Iraq, and we see this as justa small contribution on our part. In addition, we're going to partnerwith Reebok and send them some caps and shirts to give away to theparticipants."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kingsport Sculpture Walk

For more information call 423-392-8416. The Sculpture Walk is a project of the Kingsport Public Art Committee administered by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Kingsport and sponsored through private donations from area businesses and individuals and by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In With The Old

In With the Old Business Tennessee - Nashville,TN,USA By Alexei Smirnov As researchers aggressively seek ways to hone new technology to deal with rising energy demands, Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical is happy ...

Memory Box Interred at Kingsport Veteran's Memorial

Video Report - Memory box interred at Kingsport Veterans Memorial Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA Ernie Romsby places a note in the ‘memory box’ at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial Monday. The stainless box, seen below, containing notes, pictures and ...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pennington Gap, VA Woman Wins August's Big Deal from

Kingsport is working hard to EARN your business!

Kathy Music of Pennington Gap, VA won a $200 gift card from Kingsport Town Center (formerly Fort Henry Mall).Be sure to visit and sign-up for September's Big
Deal: A catering event for 20 people from Kingsport Grocery Co. in Downtown Kingsport!

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New Courses at Kingsport Academy for Continued Learning

New courses being offered by the KACL East Tennessean Online Edition (subscription) - Johnson City,TN,USA The Kingsport Alliance for Continued Learning (KACL), in partnership with East Tennessee State University, has put together a series of courses for fall. ...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Kingsport wish list for road projects nears $10 million

Kingsport wish list for road projects nears $10 million Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA KINGSPORT — Kingsport’s transportation department has crafted a list of local road projects — nearly $10 million worth — to be considered by the Board of ...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Kingsport posts 20% increase in August sales tax collections

KINGSPORT – Three straight months of solid sales tax growth in Kingsport could be the leading edge of an expected surge given solid commercial/retail growth over the last three years.

Sales tax figures provided by the State of Tennessee for the month of August, covering June sales in Kingsport, indicate a phenomenal 20 percent growth over the previous June 2007. June and July were also strong months for Kingsport, with sales taxes up 3.63 percent in July and 5.87 percent in June.

City Manager John Campbell attributed the strong August report to several factors, including shifting regional buying patterns, economic stimulus checks from the federal government and greater shopping amenities offered by new stores in Kingsport.

"With more than $100 million in new commercial/retail investment recently completed, underway or planned going forward, the community should begin to see this type of positive trend," Campbell said Thursday. "But we know economic conditions are difficult, and there could be some bumps in the road ahead."

Even adjusting for August 2007, when $170,000 in sales taxes were audited away from Kingsport by the state and distributed to other jurisdictions, sales tax collections for August are still up 11.5 percent over the adjusted rate.

Adjustment or not, the $2.71 million in August 2008 collections is the highest single-month sales tax collection in the past decade, excluding Christmas sales.

"Three months is a short period of time, but this certainly beats the difficult year we saw last year," Mayor Dennis Phillips said. "The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have worked very hard the past couple of years to retain existing retail and recruit new shopping opportunities to Kingsport. I believe we are beginning to see the results of those efforts."

Half of all sales tax collections in Kingsport go directly to fund school systems throughout Sullivan County, with the remainder going to the City’s general fund. Through two months of fiscal 2009, the city’s general fund revenue from sales taxes is up $163,369 over budget.

On a fiscal year basis, from July 2007 through June 2008, Kingsport logged $180.93 million in new residential, commercial and industrial construction, well ahead of the $123.35 million logged in the previous fiscal year.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kingsport House Price Appreciateon Ranks 14th Nationally

Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and MSN Money

National Ranking of House Price Appreciation 2nd Quarter 2008
4. Greenville, SC
14. Kingsport, TN
31. Asheville,NC
39. Huntington, WV
50. Winston-Salem, NC
52. Nashville, TN
56. Lexington, KY
59. Greensboro, NC
67. Roanoke, VA
81. Chattanooga, TN
90. Knoxville, TN
94. Spartanburg, SC
98. Blacksburg, VA
122. Memphis, TN

Home prices across the country fell 4.8% in the second quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2007 -- a record drop, according to a government report released today.

The report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, or OFHEO, includes sales of existing homes and refinances but not new-home sales or so-called jumbo loans, leaving out many of the riskiest mortgages. Previously, the biggest year-over-year drop was 3%, in the first quarter of this year.

Prices fell 1.4% from the first quarter of 2008 to the second, not as bad as the previous quarter's 1.7% drop.

The largest declines were in the states where prices had risen highest and overbuilding had been concentrated during the 2003-07 real-estate boom. In California, which had the biggest declines, prices fell 6.9% year over year and 15.8% between the first and second quarter of this year. In Nevada, prices were down 5.6% from a year ago and 14.1% from the first quarter. Florida prices were off 5.3% from last year and 12.4% from the previous quarter.

Prices also fell year over year in Rhode Island (3.3%), Michigan (2.9%), Maryland (2.2%) and Massachusetts (2.3%).

The states with the greatest year-over-year appreciation were Oklahoma (4.9%), Wyoming (4.4%), South Dakota (3.8%), North Carolina (3.6%) and North Dakota (3.6%).

In 208 of the 292 metropolitan areas tracked by the OFHEO, prices dropped at least somewhat in the second quarter. The metro areas with the biggest price decreases were in California (Merced, Stockton, Modesto, Salinas, Vallejo, San Bernardino-Ontario, Bakersfield and Fresno), Florida (Naples, Port St. Lucie, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Bradenton-Sarasota) and Nevada (Las Vegas). Those are cities where values increased enormously in the boom.

Values in the metro area around Houma and Thibodaux, La., rose fastest (9%) compared with the second quarter of 2007, followed by Decatur, Ala. (6.4%), Charleston, W.Va. (5.9%), and the Greenville, S.C., area (1.9%).

Price growth was concentrated in smaller cities that had not seen huge appreciation during the housing boom. Second-quarter prices rose the most in cities in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, where oil economies are strong. They also rose in the Western cities of Idaho Falls and Grand Junction, Colo., where local growth is steady and solid. Quarterly prices rose, too, in cities in the Carolinas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

The region with the most price growth last quarter was the West South-Central Census Division, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. There, prices rose 0.7%.

In the Pacific region -- Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington -- prices fell 5%, the most overall.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Regional County Populations Released for 2007

1 Sullivan County Tennessee 153,519
2 Washington County Tennessee 116,657
3 Sevier County Tennessee 83,527
4 Greene County Tennessee 65,971
5 Hamblen County Tennessee 59,236
6 Carter County Tennessee 59,198
7 Hawkins County Tennessee 57,054
8 Washington County Virginia 52,733
9 Jefferson County Tennessee 50,221
10 Tazewell County Virginia 43,855
11 Wise County Virginia 41,666
12 Cocke County Tennessee 34,484
13 Smyth County Virginia 32,050
14 Russell County Virginia 28,838
15 Buchanan County Virginia 23,900
16 Lee County Virginia 23,461
17 Scott County Virginia 22,787
18 Grainger County Tennessee 22,546
19 Johnson County Tennessee 18,107
20 Unicoi County Tennessee 17,699
21 Dickenson County Virginia 16,168
22 Hancock County Tennessee 6,733

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Facts about Kingsport Aquatic Center

Kingsport Aquatic Center Facts
Source: Kingsport Office of Community Relations


COST:  $14 to $15 million

LOCATION:  MeadowView Parkway at Wilcox Drive (adjoining the Golf Driving Range)

TIMELINE:  Start April 2009, Open in Summer 2010

2 indoor pools (lap pool and warm pool)
2 outdoor pools (activity pool with 2 slides and zero-depth children's water area)


o     The Aquatic Center will be open to anyone in the region. You do not have to be a YMCA member to use the facility.

n      Co-location could cut estimated $260,000 operating subsidy by $120,000 or more according to Markey & Associates aquatic engineering firm

n      Co-location reduces competing aquatic facilities

n      YMCA is a non-profit group

Study by Markey & Associates budget based on general admission of $5 for adults and $3 for children.

BMA & Public Input

o     Parks & Recreation Committee considers concept and possible locations – Votes unanimously in favor of hybrid model; recommends MeadowView if hybrid

o     Mayoral Advisory Committee considers possible locations – Votes 11-1 in favor of MeadowView location; no votes for Legion site (Note: Mayoral committee consisted of members from a cross-section of community interests from Lynn Garden to Riverview to Fairacres to Preston Woods to Public Housing)

Demographic analysis favored MeadowView

n      50 locations around the city measured for average drive time

n      15 demographic groups examined including:

p     Closest proximity to youngest population

p     Closest proximity to home owners

p     Closest proximity to Recent & Projected Population Growth

Engineering study & acquisition costs favored MeadowView

o     MeadowView cheapest at $3,730,000

o     Legion Pool = $4,970,000

o     Downtown = $7,005,000

Don Schumacher Report

o     Don Schumacher & Associates, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio conducting KCVB study of sports facility needs in Kingsport;

n      8 aquatic sites reviewed

n      Recommended Meadowview based upon future expansion space, view shed, access and desirability as a regional attraction to reduce local subsidy

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Jeff Fleming |

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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.