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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Indian Path named Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Indian Path Medical Center's Women's Diagnostic Center has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

Recycle your Christmas Tree this year

Kingsport Christmas Tree Collection December 3, 2009, Posted by lstevens at 1:36 pm
Please recycle your Christmas tree this year! Keep Kingsport Beautiful joins the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency in collecting Christmas trees to be used as fish habitat in the region’s lakes. Drop off site is: Warriors Path State Park, in the parking lot near the swimming pool.
Collection will begin after Christmas, with the event finale scheduled for Saturday, January 16, 2010 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. For more information, please call 423-392-8814.

Kingsport opens another section of Greenbelt

Model City opens another section of Greenbelt — A new section of the Kingsport Greenbelt is open for business — a small path that connects Cloud Park to Cherokee Village, running along Reedy ...

Did you know the Times-News offers tours?

New businesses: Stadium Dogs, Sophisticated Starlet

New businesses: Stadium Dogs, Sophisticated Starlet — Stadium Dogs is now open in the Green Acres Shopping Center on North Eastman Road. Located next to Planet Sun Tanning and across from the ...

Chronological history of the history of Tennessee landscape architecture

By Kurt Culbertson 1905 General Plan for Kingsport, Tennessee by John Nolen. 1905 Kessler Plan for Vanderbilt University 1905 Memphis Country Club formed (course was redesigned by Donald Ross in 1917) 1906 Thomas J. Felder Residence Nashville by Olmsted ...

Downtown businesses boosted by Black Friday

Downtown Kingsport advertising and incentives brought shoppers. New businesses brought new faces. “They got up at four and five got get their bargains (Black Friday shoppers), and then they wanted to finish off their Christmas lists,“ said Julie Gunn of Style on Market Street, “and they all said, we have things on our lists to get specific items we cant find anywhere else.“ As an enticement to shop local, Kingsport’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau sponsored a drawing for a $1,000 downtown shopping spree. To be eligible, shoppers had to spend at least a hundred dollars at downtown Kingsport stores.


Community raises money to bring 278th soldiers home for Christmas

People Loving People raising money to bring 278th soldiers home for Christmas “Several Kingsport groups and businesses raised approximately $5000 forthe local 278th and the Kingsport division to be able to return home for the ...<>

Haslam tours Kingsport's Academic Village

Tennessee gubernatorial hopeful tours Kingsport's Academic Village KINGSPORT — Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam got a previewMonday of what Tennessee could do to keep workers trained and ready for tomorrow's ...<>

Rita Forrester Family Benefit Concert on Sunday, January 3rd

A benefit concert for the Rita Forrester Family will take place at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia on Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm. The concert will be held to raise funds for the Forrester Family who lost their home and all their worldly possessions in a tragic house fire on December 6th. The concert will feature many top performers in the bluegrass, old time, Celtic and Americana music. On the schedule to perform are the Lost and Found, Melvin Goins, Don Rigsby, the Darrell Webb Band, the VW Boys, Raymond McLain, Whitetop Mountain Band, No Speed Limit, the Jeanette Williams Band, Wayne Henderson and Friends, Tennessee Skyline, Sigean, the Hillbilly Gypsies, Cana Ramblers, Vinny Ringrose, and Ethan Ferguson. The concert will be in an “Opry Style” format with bands performing two songs each. All bands are donating their time and talents to this cause. Food will be available. Sound support will be donated by Sound Check Music of Bristol, Virginia. Tickets are only available at the door. A suggested donation of $10 is appreciated to support the Forrester Family. Rita Forrester’s friends and musicians who have performed at the Fold will present this concert. For information please visit or call 276-645-0035. Early on Sunday morning December 6, 2009 flames destroyed the home of Rita and Bob Forrester on the A.P. Carter Highway near Hiltons, Virginia. Rita and her son Tyler escaped the flames but Bob did not make it out alive. Rita’s oldest son Justin, who lives nearby is safe as well. Everything the family owned was lost in the fire including both of the family automobiles and a family pet.

Rita is the granddaughter of A.P. and Sara Carter of the original Carter Family and her mother was the late Janette Carter who founded the Carter Family Fold in the 1970s. Rita is the director of the Carter Family Fold, which promotes and preserves bluegrass and old time music on the grounds where the original Carter Family lived and raised their families.

Your prayers and support are desperately needed immediately to uplift and help the Forrester family at this time. If you cannot attend the concert, an account has been set up by friends and supporters for donations. No amount is too small in this time of need for this family. Please send contributions to: The Rita Janette Forrester Fundc/o BB&T Bank110 Gateway PlazaGate City, Virginia 24251

New Year's Eve celebration at Kingsport Town Center

The Kingsport Town Center (Formerly Fort Henry Mall) 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. The celebration will include a concert from CBS recording artists J4! ...


Who's moving to Kingsport?

Monthly Relocation Report - December 1, 2009. I continue to tweak this monthly report to make it more user-friendly and realistic. None of the data has changed, only the formatting and presentation. For example, I added a line clarifying that we have added a net of only +270 families since the beginning of MoveToKingsport in 2006. I also attempt to present a more accurate picture by saying, "During the 5 month period (Jul 09-Nov 09), 185 families moved from out-of-state (29 states)" and "1,475 families moved to Kingsport from 48 states since beginning of (Jul 06-Nov 09)." I also added "Top Places Moving to Kingsport" and "Top Places Where Kingsporters Moved" and "net difference for each".

Report uploaded to website:

New York Mets hopeful got start in Kingsport

Mack's Mets: The Keepers - #8 - SS - Wilmer Flores. Observers who saw him play regularly in Kingsport used words like“awkward” when describing his work at shortstop. At 6'3”, and still growing, Flores is unusually tall for a shortstop. There were only three SS in the top twenty VORP for ...<>

Remember your loved ones through the Memorial Trees of Keep Kingsport Beautiful

Click to enlarge. The Keep Kingsport Beautiful Tree Fund is a great memorial to those you love. Memorial trees dot the landscape in Kingsport from the Greenbelt to the Renaissance Center to road medians to a variety of school campuses.

Kingsport receives 10th consecutive Budget Presentation Award

Kingsport’s Fiscal Year 2009 City Budget has been acknowledged for clarity and precision in budgeting by the Government Finance Officers Association.

The 2009 Budget Award marks the 10th consecutive year Kingsport has received the honor. The GFOA is the only national program that evaluates governmental units based on the quality of budgeting.In general, the GFOA examines budget presentations looking for documents that clearly lay out a policy, financial plan and operations guide to aid departments in meeting the budget for the coming fiscal year, as well as employing appropriate communications channels to ensure the public has ready access to the budget document.

To view the City of Kingsport budget, visit, hover the cursor over City Hall and click "budget."

“There is no more important document in local government,” City Manager John Campbell said Wednesday. “The work the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and staff puts into the budget plan sets the tone and plan for the upcoming year. And it must be prepared as transparently as possible and made widely available so our residents can see that their tax dollars are being used wisely.”In 2009, city general fund departments under spent their budgets by $1.36 million, more than offsetting soft revenue collections.“This is the type of performance that is essential to running a solid city that delivers the best possible services at the lowest possible cost,” Campbell said. “At the same time, I know our departments can deliver a similar strong performance by holding down costs in Fiscal Year 2010.”As in 2009, the 2010 fiscal year budget was prepared with a mandatory budget holdback, dollars that cannot be spent unless released by the manager, in order to account for uncertain revenue collections. In 2010, a 3 percent holdback was budgeted.

"Given the economic uncertainty in 2009, we see good reason to budget conservatively," Campbell said. "Still, we see many positive signs heading into 2010. Whether Kingsport Town Center moving ahead with the mall redevelopment, or news that Eastman Chemical Company has restored pay cuts made earlier this year, we're seeing a renewal of momentum as we move into the New Year." The GFOA established the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and GFOA recommended budget practices.

“This is a true acknowledgement of the hard work at all levels in our city government to stay on budget,” Budget Officer Judy Smith said. “For the past several years, we have consistently out-performed our budget document, spending less than budgeted on the operations side.”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Preston Forest luminaries tonight

If you're in Kingsport tonight, drive through Preston Forest (behind Target) and check out the luminaries. Our neighborhood tradition continues!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

1980-89 D-B informal reunion Dec 27

Hey Jeff, Can you send out a blog regarding the informal D-B reunion for anyone who graduated between 1980 and 1989. It will be held at Rush Street on Sunday, Dec. 27th. We are eating at 6 and social at 7. They can contact me at 384-5127 with any questions. Thanks! Phil Ketron

Population of Major Metros (>250,000) in TN, VA, KY, WV, NC, SC

National ranking:

9 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 5,358,000
24 Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 2,155,000
34 Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 1,702,000
35 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 1,658,000
38 Nashville-Davidson—Murfreesboro—Franklin, TN 1,551,000
41 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 1,286,000
42 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 1,245,000
43 Richmond, VA 1,226,000
50 Raleigh-Cary, NC. 1,089,000
69 Columbia, SC 728,000
71 Greensboro-High Point, NC 706,000
73 Knoxville, TN 691,000
80 Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC 645,000
82 Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC 625,000
95 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 534,000
98 Chattanooga, TN-GA 518,000
103 Durham, NC 490,000
104 Winston-Salem, NC 468,000
108 Lexington-Fayette, KY 453,000
118 Asheville, NC 408,000
138 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 363,000
140 Fayetteville, NC 356,000
142 Evansville, IN-KY 350,000
144 Wilmington, NC 347,000
151 Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA 305,000
152 Charleston, WV 304,000
154 Roanoke, VA 298,000
161 Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH 284,000
162 Spartanburg, SC 281,000
169 Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV 264,000
170 Clarksville, TN-KY 261,000
175 Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC 257,000

Ten Largest Metros in U.S. (2008)

Here are the Top Ten Metros in the U.S. compared to our 6-State Region: TN, VA, KY, WV, NC, SC:

1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 19,007,000
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 12,873,000
3 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 9,570,000
4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 6,300,000
5 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 5,838,000
6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 5,728,000
7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 5,415,000
8 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 5,376,000
9 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 5,358,000
10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 4,523,000

11 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 4,425,000
12 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 4,282,000
13 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 4,275,000
14 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,116,000
15 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 3,345,000
16 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 3,230,000
17 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 3,001,000
18 St. Louis, MO-IL 2,817,000
19 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 2,734,000
20 Baltimore-Towson, MD 2,667,000

Merry Christmas from Kingsport - The Santa Train

View Patty Loveless' documentary of The Santa Train on youtube click here

Buy the children's book "The Santa Train Tradition" - a must for every child who grew up along the route

Do you know the link between Knoxville's Regas, KFC and Wendy's?

I recently saw an episode of Biography on CNBC. On the heels of the Kingsport small business awards dinner, I am fascinated by the human stories behind the business. Hopefully, you will find this inspiring. The seemingly smallest of dreams can result in the biggest results. Maybe the next big idea will come from Kingsport!

Wendy's was the dream of a man named Dave Thomas. Thomas was born in 1932 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was adopted by a couple by the name of Rex and Auleva Thomas. Unfortunately, his adoptive mother Auleva died when he was just five years old. He spent the remainder of his young childhood moving around as his adoptive father looked for employment.

Though life was not looking kindly on the young Dave Thomas, he did have joys in his life. One of Dave's biggest joys was eating at family restaurants. He loved to see the families interacting with one another and having a good time. This would influence Dave heavily, as he was young when he made up his mind that he wanted to open his own.

The young man began working when he was just twelve years old, not even a teenager yet. Dave's first job was delivering groceries. After he was fired from that job, he became a soda jerk at Walgreens. But, he was fired again when his boss found out he was not sixteen years old. Undaunted, Dave Thomas got yet another job at The Regas Restaurant in Knoxville, TN

When Dave was fifteen years old, his family had moved again, and he found himself working at the Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His family moved again, but Dave stayed behind in Fort Wayne where he lived by himself in a room at the local YMCA. He quit high school so that he could work fulltime and continue to pursue his dream.

When Dave Thomas turned eighteen years old, he joined the Army. After the service, he went back to the Hobby House Restaurant. It was there that he net the woman he would marry, a waitress named Lorraine. He and Lorraine were married in 1954.

Two years later, Dave and his boss at that time, a man by the name of Phil Clauss, opened The Ranch House Restaurant. It was there that Dave met the enterprising Colonel Harland Sanders. Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Clauss purchased a franchise from the Colonel, and, Dave Thomas was now selling chicken. Finally, in 1962, Clauss offered Dave the deal of a lifetime. Clauss told Dave that if he could bring four Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants out of their financial woes, then he would give Dave a whopping forty-five per cent of the business. Since he loved challenges, Dave went right to work on reaching his goal.

One of the first things Dave Thomas did was to reduce the menu down to a few choices. The main focus now became chicken. He used advertising techniques, too. Finally, the four restaurants picked-up business and they went on to become money makers. Dave started four more restaurants, also.

In 1968, Dave Thomas was thirty-five years old. He was also a millionaire. Clauss had sold the restaurants back to the corporate Kentucky Fried Chicken and made over a million dollars from the sale.

The following year, after years of hard work and perserverence, Dave's life-long dream came true when he opened his very first Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburger Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. The name was was his youngest daughter's nickname. Her real name was Melinda Lou, but her older siblings nicknamed her "Wendy".

Today, Wendy's has grown into more than five thousand restaurants in the United States and thirty-four countries. And the name "Dave Thomas" can be equated with the terms "success."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tennessee Volunteers achieve perfection again

100% County Participation Reached by Keep Tennessee Beautiful for Third Straight Year

Over a Million Participants for Second Straight Year

Memphis, Tenn. – Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) is fast becoming the national standard of success for Great American Cleanup™ (GAC), Keep America Beautiful’s (KAB) annual spring event, after another remarkable campaign in 2009.

For the third straight year KTnB has achieved 100% county participation during GAC. KTnB was the first in America with 100% participation and also had over a million participants during GAC for the second straight year, which is another first.

“The national success of the Great American Cleanup™ has been achieved at the grassroots, through widespread involvement of communities and their residents at the local level,” said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. “By achieving 100% county participation for three consecutive years, Keep Tennessee Beautiful stands out as a national example of leadership in supporting individual efforts to make communities cleaner, greener, and better.”

Tennessee had 1,093,835 participants and attendees at 706 awareness events, a 265% increase from 2008. Over four million pounds of litter and debris was collected by volunteers, and nearly two million pounds of material collected and recycled. This included 1,926 junk cars and 6,296 tires collected, as over 179 illegal dumpsites were cleaned.

Beautification was once again a key component for the “volunteer state”, as 45,054 trees were planted, a 69% increase, and 141,396 plants and flowers planted, which was a 37% spike.

The 2009 GAC was highlighted by the May 14th Spotlight Event in Nashville where over 800 Tennessee volunteers met at the Bicentennial Mall to plant trees and flowers, pick up litter, paint out graffiti, and learn about “greening”. In addition to these cleanup projects, the event also featured educational exhibits and a “Green Starts Here” rally and ceremony that was attended by several state and local officials as well as nearly 450 Nashville elementary school students.

KTnB State Leader Edith Heller said, “It was awesome to see so many Tennessee volunteers working together on a rainy day in downtown Nashville. Their environmental work in their home counties embraced the state capital projects. On behalf of all the state dignitaries, we thank the volunteers, the students, the planners, the gardeners and the sponsors.”

GAC, sponsored in all 50 states by KAB, is the largest annual community improvement campaign in the nation, held annually March 1-May 31. It began in 1985, and routinely has mobilized community leaders and volunteers nationwide to take action to improve their local environments. Last year an estimated three million volunteers participated in all 50 states, donating nearly seven million hours to clean, beautify and improve more than 17,000 communities during more than 30,000 events.

About Keep Tennessee Beautiful
Keep Tennessee Beautiful is a department of Extended Programs at the University of Memphis, and state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. Funded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, KTnB is the volunteer state’s agency working with all counties, including 25 local KAB affiliates, to make a cleaner, safer Tennessee. For more information on how you can get involved in a Tennessee GAC event, please call (888) 862-5326 or visit our website at

Sullivan South student finalist in national photo contest

Did you see the Kingsport Paper this morning? ---Monday, December 21? Please vote for Matt Brown's photo that is now in the top 14 finalists for"Why I Love Football". The picture has already been picked in the top 14,which is amazing in itself, , out of 10,000 photos, but he needs our help to win it all. you have to cast a vote in every category to be able to vote. Thanks.

Jeff, if you would be interested in rallying others in Kingsport to help Matt Brown at South win this photo contest, I ask that you post this on your blog. I really think it's a great picture. I think if he could win, it would be a blessing for all who knew Jake and honor his memory. I'm not in the picture, but I was on the field that night helping release balloons inthe background. It was a very emotional time for the South family. Thanks, Barry
Below is some additional info from the official rules that you may want topublish, especially the first item. People should only vote once. Also, youmust enter a vote in all categories for your vote to count in any of them Limit one (1) entry/vote per e-mail address. IF THE SAME E-MAIL ADDRESSSUBMITS MORE THAN ONE VOTE/ENTRY, ALL ENTRIES/VOTES FROM SUCH E-MAIL ADDRESSWILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Use of automated/programmed/robotic means ofentry/voting is prohibited. Entries must be received by 5:00 PM ET on 01/08/10. Incomplete and/orinvalid entries are void.Drawing: On or about 01/11/10 a random drawing will be conducted from alleligible entries received.

The Jake Logue Star

Click photo to enlarge:

Kingsport, TN - This picture was taken of the Sullivan South team pointing to the ONE STAR that was shining bright in the sky over each playoff game—only one star, and it was there every single game. (You can see it to the right of the goal post) It was even in Columbia this past weekend watching over the boys. We all called it our Jake Logue Star and knew somehow he was there with us in every way. Someone took this picture after the Boone game- I thought it was worth passing along to my friends that have loved us through this season. Much love- Deena

Monday, December 21, 2009

AEP expects to have majority of Tennessee power restored by Tuesday evening

KINGSPORT – AEP Appalachian Power District Manager Isaac Webb reports that about 6,800 Sullivan County customers, 1,380 Hawkins County customers and 130 Washington County, TN., customers remained without power Monday morning, although Webb expects that numbers to be down to about 1,000 customers in all Tennessee counties served by the company by Tuesday evening.

At its Saturday peak, nearly 20,000 households in Tennessee were without their power in greater Kingsport as well as Mount Carmel and portions of Church Hill.

“We have called in about 120 line contractors working in 30 crews to augment our regular company force of about 90,” Webb said Monday. “We’re finding that everywhere we go, there is something that has to be fixed, whether it’s a wire down, a pole broken or a tree on the line or whatever. So the going is a bit slower than we would like because it’s not simply throwing a breaker and restoring power. But we’re working very hard to get neighborhoods restored as quickly as possible.”

In addition to line contractors, Webb said AEP has also called in additional tree service crews as well. However, while the majority of Tennessee customers should have power restored in the next 36 hours or so, Webb cautioned that a small number may be without power until Christmas.

“And most of those folks know who they are because they can look out their window and see a power line laying in their driveway or some other larger problem to fix,” Webb said. “Or they live out of the way on top of a hill or otherwise isolated. One of the most important things we can ask is that before you call us to report your power is still off, please make sure your power is off. We had a deluge of calls during the windstorm from folks who were staying with relatives or elsewhere and reporting that their power remained off at their residence, when we had already restored power to that area.”

For specifics on AEP’s efforts to restore power, interested persons can visit and click on the link titled “Outages & Problems.”

Meanwhile, Kingsport Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds reports that power has been restored to pumps that keep major outlying water reservoirs supplied. A relatively small number of households served by smaller dedicated water pumps are currently without power, with all efforts being made to restore water service as quickly as possible.

And, the Civic Auditorium in Kingsport continues to operate as an Emergency Shelter under the auspices of the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee. About 14 persons continue to take refuge at the facility while awaiting power to be restored as of early Monday afternoon.


as of 6:45am, AEP reports the following customers without power: 6,820 Sullivan Co (down from 13,600 at 8am yesterday), 1,387 Hawkins Co (down from 2,800). total Tennessee outage = 8,351. Scott Co Va = 6,386 (more than half the county)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


12/19/09 5:00 PM Tenn AEP Customers without power: Hawkins County, TN 4,756 (73%) Sullivan County, TN 14,400 (35%) Washington County, TN 300 (99%) Total:19,456 (in Tennessee), 38,000 (in Virginia) and 135,500 (in West Virginia)

Tennessee status click here


AEP very close to getting power to Water pumping stations in Indian Springs and Fall Creek. It will take all night to refill tanks, but it should begin steady improvement soon. Water to all other areas seem to be in good shape now: Colonial Heights, Fall Branch, Lynn Garden, Ridgefields.


Websites are down (no power): Kingsport Times-News, Johnson City Press, Kingsport City Schools


Sherri Monroe December 19 at 11:44am Rod wanted me to let you know F&L Limo and Livery has two guys back up and running. If roads are passable and wet, we can try to get anyone to Meadowview if they need to go for a small across town fee. If the roads are uncleared then if there is a meeting point.


There is a bad rumor going around that ALL Kingsport water customers will be without service soon. I just talked to the Public Works Director and he said only outlying areas and higher elevations should be experiencing extended water problems (Colonial Heights, Indian Springs, Lynn Garden, Fall Branch and portions of Ridgefields).


For those without power, there is a free emergency shelter at Kingsport Civic Auditorium and Carter's Valley Ruritan. Mayor Phillips asked me to spread the word that MeadowView Marriott is offering a special rate of $79 per room for those wishing to check into a local hotel.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Due to the snow storm that hit the Kingsport region this afternoon and expected to continue throughout tonight, power is out to many of the Kingsport's Water Pumping Stations. This may result in loss of water service for many Kingsport customers. Those areas that loss of service is anticipated are Colonial Heights, Indian Springs, Fall Branch and Lynn Garden. Once service is restored, open all the faucets to bleed any air trapped in the lines and run the water until clear.

Emergency call 911
Non-Emergency 423.246.9111

Mid-Atlantic CPI released

(includes Virginia) - The Philadelphia Regional Office>Consumer Price Index Announcement (Blue Card) for November 2009 is now>available at

U.S. Consumer Price Index

The latest Consumer Price Index news release ( issued today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highlights are below. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U increased 0.4 percent in November after rising 0.3 percent in October. The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in November after increasing 0.2 percent in October.

South U.S. CPI now available

The US, South Region, Atlanta, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Consumer Price Index Summary (Blue Card) for November 2009 is now available at

Still looking for the gift of a lifetime? (from right here in Kingsport?)

You've seen them at Fun Fest. You've wondered what it would be like to ride a hot air balloon!

Give the most unique gift your friends and family will ever receive.

Send them, up, up and away to give them a memory that will last a lifetime!

A gift certificate will ensure them a ride on a hot air balloon!

All they have to do is schedule it and enjoy the adventure.

(423) 416-5981
PS: $25.00 off a certificate for 2 when you mention this ad till the end on of December

Prices are $225.00 for a single passenger or $425 for a couple. This include a First Flight Certificate suitable for framing plus customary champagne toast or non alcoholic cider at the end of the flight. Gift certificates are also available for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or just because. We are also available for parties, reunions and or other special days for tethers which will be explained upon contact.

Please feel free to contact us as we truly look forward to sharing this wonderful experience with you and whomever flies with you. More information is available by contacting Wayne Fortney at 423-416-5981 or via email at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What is your downtown memory?

I recently heard a presentation from Kimberly Nyberg of Tennessee Main Street. She asked, "What is your downtown memory?" Downtowns have a way of leaving an indelible memory. What's yours? Write to

Habitat for Humanity

Here's some good news about Kingsport and Habitat for Humanity. The Resale Store has been awarded a 2009 Best of Kingsport Award in the secondhand furniture category. The award comes from the US Commerce Association which identifies companies that achieve exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. We will feature the award in our up-coming newsletter and the award itself will be on display at the Resale Store. Be sure to compliment the volunteers on your next visit to the Resale Store, 5-Points (Sullivan/Cherokee/Boone) in Downtown Kingsport. - Jane Boyd

Bluegrass in Downtown Kingsport TONIGHT

Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokey's
Historic Strand Theatre at Restoration Church
Broad Street - Downtown Kingsport

Doors open at 6:00pm
Show at 7:00pm
General Admission Seating
December the 18th, 2009 Show featuring Tennessee Skyline
Tickets are $5.00 with children under 12 FREE
Tickets for both events may be obtained at the Downtown Kingsport Association Office 140 West Main Street 423 246 6550 credit cards are accepted

Tickets also availiable from:
TK's Big Dogs
Mark Freeman Associates
P & J Antiques
Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau

Kaffe Blue set to close Dec 29 with plans to re-open in April, 2010 at new location

Local singer a hit in England

Jeff - not sure if you are aware of a song recorded by Kingsport's own Monzas back in the 60's called "Stubborn Kinda Fellow" that has become a new favorite of the kidsin England. They call it an example of "northern soul." Al Wilkes is the lead singer on this song. It's on Youtube at

Earl Carter

Follow-up on "From Dobyns-Bennett to Clemson"

More stats on Coty Sensabaugh if anybody is interested… - from Ben DeGreen

Tennessee's Miss 2009-2010 from Kingsport

Jeff, Deanna is a DBHS grad, SHOUT! grad and Kingsport native- we should all be very proud that she has been selected to represent the entire state of Tennessee. Will you please consider sending this announcement out to your list-serve? I am sure Kingsport folks will want to contact her for appearances at upcoming events. In yet another area, Kingsport is leading the state! Thanks so much, Lorrie Q. Cooper

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Princess America Pageants, in conjunction with Perspectives Productions, has crowned 22 year old Deanna Stamper, TENNESSEE'S MISS 2009-2010.

Deanna is the 22 year old daughter of Michael and Jann Stamper, and is currently a senior at East Tennessee State University. She will represent the Volunteer State at the Princess America Pageants national competition in Orlando, Florida June 1st - 5th, 2010.

While in Orlando Deanna will compete against state representatives from across the country in four phases of competition which include Interview, Casual Wear, Physical Fitness, and Evening Wear. Contestants will be awarded over $10,000 in cash, prizes, scholarships, and awards.

Deanna is an avid volunteer and she lists shooting trap and skeet, cooking, camping, traveling and spending time with family and friends as some of her favorite hobbies.

For more information or to support Deanna as she prepares to represent Tennessee in June, please visit the national website at or for appearances please email

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daniel Boone students prove the next Microsoft or Google could be in our own backyard

Students who participated in the annual “Will This Float?” competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November receive 4-gig iPods from Will This Float organizers Daniel Boone High School students received 4-gig iPods on Tuesday for their participation in “Will This Float?” on November 19.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, students worked together to organize a business model, working with East Tennessee State University Innovation Lab Executive Director Rayford Johnson.

Johnson, a Will This Float board member, hosted students at the Innovation Lab on Nov. 16, and later asked the students to “pitch” their idea among the finalists at “Will This Float?”

The group did well: so well that Will This Float organizers decided they would be remiss not to reward the students with something special. The group’s business idea – to replace paper receipts with electronic e-mails and/or text messages – was innovative and exuded real business potential.

“The Daniel Boone High School team presentation proves entrepreneurship can happen at any age,” said Todd Smith, Will This Float board member.

“Our region is full of creative young minds full of entrepreneurial potential. The next Microsoft or Google could be evolving in the mind of one these young entrepreneurs today. We need to foster that creativity and allow it to drive our future economic growth.”

For more information about “Will This Float?” or its finalists, please visit

Photo Caption: Kneeling: Jose Castillo and Rayford Johnson - Will This Float Board, Standing from left to right – Todd Smith, Will This Float Board, Economics Teacher Sara Faulkner, Students: Hannah Tipton, Jared Howard, Adam Wedemeyer, Kyle HIcks, Zach Reynolds, Kelsy Silvers, Sarah Taylor; Dwaine Raiper – Will This Float Board, Stephen McInturff, Princpal Roger Jackson
-- Rachel A. Horton423.737.2241

CareSpark improves healthcare through information networking

KINGSPORT, Tenn., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a staff of just six, CareSpark ( provides a network for sharing of medical information and a national model for improving health outcomes in rural communities and across state lines. Click for full story: <>

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kingsport Deals on YouTube

Go to to advertise a deal or find a deal in Kingsport!

Dobyns-Bennett's Patrick Hansen commits to Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina notebook: Tennessee lineman becomes Chants third commitment
Myrtle Beach Sun News

Dobyns-Bennett (Tenn.) offensive lineman Patrick Hansen has pledged hisservices to the Chanticleers, his prep coach said Wednesday. Read more at:

Kingsport native came home to share business success story

Michael Strickland grew up in Kingsport and attended Robinson Middle School and Dobyns-Bennett High-School. Strickland is founder and chairman of the board of Knoxville-based Bandit Lites, one of the biggest companies in the entertainment lighting industry. The business has worked with some of the world’s top stars, and Strickland has received various awards through the years, including being named the CNN/USA Today National Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. Read more at

Missons of Fire and Mercy

Sullivan County resident William "Bill" Peterson was raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where he learned how to hunt, and was taught by his father to make every shot count. Little did he know at the time, that this training would be extremely useful within just a few short years.
His father Gene was a B-17 pilot who often spoke of his hitch in the U.S. Air Corp during WWII. He instilled in his family a great sense of patriotism. At the age of 18, Bill not only enlisted and signed up to be a Huey helicopter crew chief, but when asked in Basic Training for his first and second choice of assignment, he said "Vietnam". The sergeant asking the question was very surprised, but said that would be guaranteed. After watching helicopters in action on the nightly news, he wanted a part of it.

After 36 Air medals (2 with Valor), 3 Purple Hearts, and numerous other awards, he got more than he had hoped for.

Missions of Fire and Mercy is the story of Bill Peterson's unit in Vietnam.The goal of Bill's story is to reach out to families and loved ones who never understood why their "warrior" has been so quiet about Vietnam. The book will help us to have a better firsthand view of those men and women, and what they went through. The author also hopes this will bring healing to those who served in combat, and help them realize that their memories are not faulty. These things did happen, and they can and should be proud to have served so honorably and bravely.

Newly released from the author, Missions of Fire and Mercy is now available from the author's website at and from

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave..." - Patrick Henry

East Tennessee Tipton Family Bible donated to Sullivan County Archives

Without a doubt, the early Tipton family of East Tennessee had a major impact on the history of our region. In its preservation efforts and in honor of the Tipton family, the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism recently received a rare find for its Manuscripts Collection, an old family Bible formerly belong to Abraham B. Tipton and wife Margaret Snapp. Published in 1821, the Tipton family Bible is of great significance for those researching Col. John Tipton (1730-1813) of East Tennessee and his descendants. The Bible was initially owned by Abraham B. Tipton (1794-1865), grandson of the famed Col. John Tipton.

The Bible's handwritten pages primarily chronicle the genealogy of the Tipton family, and contain some genealogy of the Snapp and Carmack families. The Bible also contains an 1823 transcription by Margaret Tipton of one paragraph copied from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to John Tipton II upon hearing about the death of John's father, Col. John Tipton, who died in 1813. [Thomas Jefferson had served as U.S. President from 1801-1809.] The main title page and copyright page are missing from the Bible; however, the New Testament section has its own title and copyright page dated 1821. The binding for this oversized family Bible has come apart and is in very poor condition; yet, the handwritten pages are highly legible at the time of processing. Due to the fragility and age of the Bible, researchers are asked to refer to facsimiles of the handwritten pages. The Bible may be viewed at the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism, Mon. thru Fri., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you have donations for the Manuscript Collections of the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism, please call us at (423) 323-4660.

FREE audio books available for download at

Go to and click on 'downloads' button on the bottom right. The downloads of audio books and eBooks are free. All you needs is a Kingsport Public Library card. Formats include iPod, Sony, and a variety of MP3 and PDAs.

Dale Carter Papers added to Manuscript Collection of Sullivan County Archives

W. Dale Carter Papers added to Manuscript Collections The Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism is pleased to announce the addition of the W. Dale Carter Papers to its Manuscript Collections. The collection is comprised of research papers and maps documenting various aspects of history in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

An exemplary historian committed to preserving the facts, W. Dale Carter is well-known for his documented research based on early land grants, patents and deeds. Born in 1926 in Hiltons, Virginia to Rev. Thomas Raleigh Carter and Clara Maude Carroll, Mr. Carter graduated from Hiltons High School and attended Berea College for one year before enlisting in the Army Air Corps aviation cadet program during WWII. After the war, he graduated from the University of Missouri School of Mines with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He was employed by Eastman Kodak and retired in 1986 after 36 years of employment. Mr. Carter has conducted extensive historical and genealogical research in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The W. Dale Carter Papers include documentation regarding, but not limited to, James Brigham (1735-1820); Moses Looney's Fort; Shipley Ferry; John Cawood; Wolf Hill Patent; the Boone Massacre; Yancey's Tavern; Edward Cox home; Blackwater, VA; Carter Fold and A. P. Carter Ancestral home sites in Scott Co., VA; Daniel Boone cabin; Edward Callaham; and more. Example from W. Dale Carter Papers: Map showing Carter Fold and Carter ancestry homes in Southwest Virginia. W. Dale Carter shown in inset at right.

The W. Dale Carter Papers [MSS 0062] may be viewed at the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism, Monday thru Friday. The finding aid for the collection is viewable online at

Genealogical Research Database added to Sullivan County Special Collections

Genealogical Research Database added to Special CollectionsConducting genealogical research in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia? You're in luck! The Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism is proud to announce its newest addition of the Lane Genealogical Research Database to its Special Collections.

Sullivan County resident, Donald W. Lane, Ph.D., has recently donated his research database containing names and genealogical information on approximately 350,000 individuals and over 139,000 families primarily from the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region. Containing links to over 7,400 images, the database is invaluable for genealogists and family historians researching ancestors across the Appalachian region.

The Donald W. Lane Genealogical Research Database represents several years of compiled research. Major emphasis has been placed on, but is not limited to, the following family names, with over 500 occurrences of each surname in the database: Allen, Alley, Anderson, Arnold, Babb, Bailey, Baker, Baldwin, Ball, Barker, Barnes, Barnett(e), Begley, Bellamy, Berry, Bishop, Blair, Bledsoe, Blevins, Bowen, Brickey, Brown, Burke, Campbell, Carter, Castle, Childress, Christian, Clark, Cole, Collins, Compton, Combs, Cox, Crawford, Cross, Culbertson, Darnell, Davidson, Davis, Dean, Dingus, Dockery, Dougherty, Edwards, Elliott, Estep, Fields, Flanary/Flannery, Fleenor, Fletcher, Ford, Frazier, Gibson, Gillenwater, Gilliam, Graham, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hammond(s), Harris, Hensley, Herron, Hicks, Hill, Hillman, Hilton, Hood, Horne, Horton, Jennings, Jessee, Johnson, Jones, Ketron, Kilgore, Lane, Lawson, Light, McClellan, McConnell, McDavid, McMurray, Meade, Miller, Moody, Moore, Mullins, Nickels, Osborn(e), Owens, Pendleton, Penley, Pennington, Peters, Phillips, Pierson, Porter, Powers, Price, Quillen/Quillin, Ramey, Reed, Rhoton, Roberts, Robinette, Robinson, Rogers, Roller, Salyer, Sanders, Shelton, Smith, Stallard, Stanley, Stapleton, Starnes, Stewart, Strong, Taylor, Templeton, Thompson, Tipton, Vaughn, Walker, Webb, Wells, White, Williams, Wilson, Wolfe, Wood.

The database is available for viewing Mon. thru Fri. at the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism in downtown Blountville. For further information, contact the Department of Archives and Tourism at (423) 323-4660 or visit the website at

Kingsport Chamber hosts ribbon-cuttings for 2 new businesses

Sprint Store
2600 E. Stone Drive
Kingsport Pavilion Shopping Center (Target, Kohl's, Best Buy, Dick's, etc)
Ph: 423-245-5838

Red Apple Buffet & Grill
2404 Memorial Boulevard
near Robinson Middle School and Kingsport Town Center
Ph: 423-239-8888

Doing business with Volkswagen's new plant in Chattanooga

Volkswagen has a lot of projects underway as they complete their building of the new plant in Chattanooga. In order to best be prepared to do business with them here are some key steps all businesses should complete in order to be in position to get work:

1. Register with Volkswagen at . Note that the website will appear in German. On the left hand side of the website you will notice the two words “Deutch” and “Englisch”. Click where on the word “Englisch” and the website will convert to English. Next click on the “TEAM UP WITH US” tab on the left and that will take you to the registration page. You will need to have a Duns Number to complete the process. It generally takes a few days to process your registration so please register in advance. You will be assigned a vendor number with VW when your registration is complete. If you do not get a number you should contact them to check your status.

2. VW will contact you either by phone or email with opportunities. We also get calls here at the Kingsport Chamber from buyers asking for particular companies to do certain jobs. We will then make a list of all companies that are interested in the opportunity and forward it to them.

3. It is important to note that VW does encourage businesses to “TEAM” together on jobs especially as it relates to Minority Owned companies teaming with others.

4. MINORITY COMPANIES PLEASE NOTE: VW has a goal of 10% minority business participation. If you are a woman or ethnic minority owned company you MUST be certified by one of the following agencies:

a. State of Tennessee – Governor’s Office of Diversity Business -
b. Tennessee Department of Transportation –
c. National Minority Supplier Development Council –

5. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me and we will update you as to various opportunities communicated to us by VW.

6. The key contact VW supplier diversity is Keith Eakins. His email is

7. The Kingsport Chamber works with several agencies to communicate these opportunities such as SBA, BERO, TSBDC, HBDC, UT-PTAC, USDA and several others. Keep in contact with us.


Aundrea Wilcox, Executive Director
Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce
Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE)
151 E Main Street Kingsport, TN 37660Ph (423) 392-8801 Direct Fx 1 (888) 936-1221

Are you a local business owner? Get listed for FREE in our B2B online e-directory:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Regional Alliance Pledges Funds Toward Enhanced Air Service to TRI

Blountville, TN - The Regional Alliance for Economic Development has partnered with Tri-Cities Regional Airport to pledge $10,000 toward air service development efforts in the form of matching money should TRI be awarded a Small Community Air Service Development grant for up to $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation. TRI is one of more than 80 small airports nationwide that applied for money in August from DOT to be used for air service recruitment. A maximum of 40 airports will be selected based on the application and community contributions. A decision is expected in late December.

According to Newt Raff, Chairman of the Alliance Board, “We can’t afford not to participate in this initiative as air service is critical to our Region’s industrial recruitment efforts.”
The Airport has long had an air service incentive program in place as part of ongoing air service development efforts. However, the air service environment is becoming increasingly more competitive.

“The latest announcement regarding Cincinnati underscores the importance of having a competitive incentive program for air service development,” says Patrick Wilson, TCRA executive director. “The Airport Commission regularly meets with current and prospective carriers regarding additional service to the community, and incentive programs are becoming increasingly important to recruiting air service.”

A core objective of the grant program is to promote community involvement in addressing air service issues through public/private partnerships; therefore, financial participation from the community is key to being selected as a grant recipient. In addition to the Regional Alliance’s pledge, several airport-based businesses jointly pledged $15,000 to bring the community’s contribution to $25,000, should TRI be selected. Additionally, the Airport Commission would provide other incentives, including $50,000 in marketing funds. If awarded, the $500,000 grant would be used for start up costs for service to a new hub.

For additional information, please contact Tom Ferguson at 423-323-8102 or

Tom Ferguson, President/CEO
The Regional Alliance for Economic Development

Kingsport Town Center (formerly Fort Henry Mall) on YouTube

Free computer classes at Kingsport Library in January

Here’s a list/description of the free computer classes we’ll have in January.

Helen Whittaker
Library Manager
Kingsport Public Library
400 Broad Street Kingsport, TN 37660

Workshop 1: Basics of Microsoft Word
In this workshop, you will learn the basics to create, edit, and print simple documents in Microsoft Word 2007. Learn about menu bars, toolbars, cutting & pasting, and help functions. Also, you will learn to save and retrieve your documents, as well as additional skills and tips for using the Word program. Participants must have basic PC, mouse and keyboarding skills.
Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 5:30 (Program Length 2 hrs)
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 10:00 (Program Length 2hrs)
Registration Required
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Workshop 1: Excel I
Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to organize data, complete calculations, and create graphs. In this workshop you will create a simple worksheet using Microsoft Excel 2007. Participants must be comfortable working in the Windows environment and have a basic knowledge of word processing programs.
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 5:30 (Program Length 2 hrs)
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 10:00 (Program Length 2 hrs)
Registration Required
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Workshop 2: Excel II
This workshop serves as a follow-up to the introductory class. After a review of Excel I, we will go on to discuss writing formulas, modifying a spreadsheet, and creating charts and graphs. Participant must have taken the Excel I class. Registration preference is given to those who attended the Excel I class.
Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 5:30 (Program Length 2 hrs)
Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:00 (Program Length 2 hrs)
Registration Required
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Workshop 3: Computer Basics
In this workshop, we will cover basic skills like using the mouse and identifying key icons on the desktop.
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 2:00pm – 4:00pm (Program Length 2 hrs)
Registration Required
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact: Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Workshop 4: Windows XP BasicIn this workshop, we will learn to navigate in the Windows environment, work with folders, files, saving devices, and use the keyboard for shortcuts. Participants should be familiar with using a mouse.
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:00 – 4:00 (Program Length 2hrs)
Registration Required
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact: Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Technology Program 1: Recipes Online
Don’t know what to cook for dinner? Are you tired of the same lunch each day? Let’s find some fun and creative recipes online.
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 1:00-2:00
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Technology Program 2: Free Coupons Online
Why clip coupons out of the Sunday paper? Find the coupons online and print them at your convenience or email them to yourself or a friend. Registration Required
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:00-2:00
Location: Main Level – Auditorium
Contact Reference Department at 224-2539 to register

Winners of 2009 Small Business Awards Announced

Kingsport, Tenn. - The winners of the 2009 Annual KOSBE Awards have been named by the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE).

1. Edo Sushi Bar & Grill (May Ling Hu-Lai & Benson Lai) took First Place in the category for Young Entrepreneur Award (under age 40). The owners have been in their new location at the intersection of I-26 and W Stone Drive in Kingsport for over two and a half years, and opened a second location in Johnson City in September 2009. The runner up for young entrepreneur was StudioTan (Reid & Kristin Burton), which opened in the new Food City Shopping Center on Eastman Road in October 2007. Studio Tan is looking at opening a second location in 2010.

2. Phil's Dream Pit LLC (Phil & Dianna Pipkin) took First Place for New Business (in operation for at least 12 months but not more than 36 months). In addition to running the restaurant and catering business, Phil’s Dream Pit has begun bottling their Original Sweet BBQ and Sweet Fire BBQ sauces to sell in retail stores. Pinnacle Ranch LLC (Holly Hopson & Ellen Stroud) was runner up for a new business. The main services offered by Pinnacle are equine-assisted psychotherapy, growth and learning, and organizational development.

3. Maxwell Coach Company, Inc. (Charles W. Maxwell) was awarded First Place for Business Excellence Employing Under 10 Employees. Maxwell has four vehicles: a 56-passenger motorcoach, a 50-passenger motorcoach, a 15-passenger van, and a 7-passenger van for business, sports and leisure trips and tours. A Team Real Estate Professionals (Pam Addington) was named runner up. A Team has remained in the top five real estate agencies in Kingsport, and is 10th in the entire Northeast Tennessee.

4. Clean + Safe Janitorial Services (John Humphries) received the sole award for Business Excellence Employing 10 Employees and Up. Clean + Safe, employing 50 employees, is also known throughout the region as “The Happy Janitors.” In the last year, post-construction cleanup has been the biggest area of growth for the company. This is the second KOSBE Award presented to Clean + Safe. The company was also named a winner in 2005. Selections were made based on reported past financial performance, growth in number of employees, business staying power and history, story of success overcoming adversity, community involvement, marketing creativity, and presented strategies for growth.

The recipient of the Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate was presented to Joyce Grills, The Haggle Shop. Debbie Dykes of River Mtn. Antiques & Primitives nominated Joyce Grills because she tells everyone she meets how wonderful downtown is. “Joyce made a point of visiting River Mtn. Antiques often, and checking to make sure that everything was going well for me,” said the new business owner, Debbie Dykes. “She takes the time to talk with people and get to know them. Joyce has been instrumental in helping River Mtn. Antiques get started in our new location. She sees downtown Kingsport as a vibrant business community with a diversity of service and retail merchants.”

Also during the ceremony, Kingsport City Mayor Dennis Phillips and KOSBE Chair Ken Frohlich of GTS Refreshment Services presented Michael Strickland, keynote speaker and Chairman of Knoxville-based Bandit Lites --the second largest lighting hire company in the world –with the key to the city, for setting the example and inspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to succeed. Bill Dudney, Citizens Bank, introduced Strickland, who told attendees that they must believe in themselves first, above anything or anyone else. He said, “Just go ahead and buy the big shoes, and grow into them.” He also said that much of his success was built on learning, earning, and returning. Strickland has been involved in myriad charities and nonprofits. According to Strickland, “To have continued success, you need opportunity, luck and determination.”

The title sponsor of the 2009 Annual KOSBE Awards is Southeast Community Capital. Additional sponsors include Citizens Bank, Clark & Company Development, GTS Refreshment Services, Integrity Capital Management, Kingsport Times-News, Leinbach Building Services, Pal’s Business Excellence Institute, Plastic Surgery Center of East Tennessee, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Triten Insurance & Financial Services Inc., Urban Synergy, and Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout PC. The awards ceremony was recorded by Elixir Media Group - Web Design Media Marketing Group in Tri-Cities, and will be shown on the City of Kingsport's government access channel, MyTown Channel 16 TV, in the coming weeks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Safe for the holiday

F & L Limo & Livery wants everyone to be safe for all the holiday parties. Don't drive, F&L will pick you up and get you back safe and sound. Call Sherrie Or Rob at 423-245-0856. Service throughout Tri-Cities, Tennessee-Virginia and western NC.

New Year's Eve is off the chain in Downtown Kingsport

biG bIG BIG PARTIES at both the BUS PIT and KINGSPORT GROCERY & GRAY SEAL! BUS PIT has the region's most popular 80's Band SPANK! (always spelled w/capital letters and an exclamation point) and from the response on Halloween it will be freeking awesome!Then... Kingsport Grocery has the Super-Talented band WOLFCREEK while upstairs in the GRAY SEAL is a DJ Dance Party featuring dance music from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today!Champagne everywhere! Questions? Contact Jeff Lane

The salad bar is back at Kingsport Grocery Co.!

Hey everyone - just wanted to let you know about the NEW Kingsport Grocery SOUP & SALAD BAR! It's beautiful, fresh, and most importantly......FAST! We know how important having a FAST & delicious lunch is to everyone - so we are there for you! Awesome Soup & Salad Bar $6.99, always featuring hot soups by Chef Erich Soll and a great selection of veggies, meats and cheeses (and homemade salad dressings)!

See you there! And please spread the word....
Jeff Lane / Kingsport Grocery Co / Bone Fire Smokehouse

New Years Eve at MeadowView in Kingsport

Click pic to enlarge. New Year's Eve Event at MeadowView Convention Center to support Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport. $75 per person. Includes valet parking, seated dinner, party favors, video feed from NYC, balloon drop and champaign toast at midnight. For more info, contact Lindsay Hammitt at

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thanks for a great year!

It's been a year since I switched to the "click this link" format at I did so in order to track analytics of the site. I thought you might be interested in some of the numbers. Scroll down for top content, top cities, top states, and top countries (yes, 108 foreign countries visited the site):

Dec 8, 2008-Dec 8, 2009:
171,026 pageviews
145,777 unique pageviews

Most 'clicked':
1. The Press Building - March 3, 2009
2. Kingsport Girl Needs a Hand - August 9, 2009
3. Fun Fest Continues as Top 20 Event - March 1, 2009
4. Bald Eagles Nesting in Kingsport - February 18, 2009
5. It's Official Zaxby's Coming to Kingsport - February 24, 2009
6. Tomoko Japanese Restaurant Now Open - March 1, 2009
7. Kingsport's Agota Springs Offers Spa, Event and Wedding Venue - September 1, 2009
8. The Club at Kingsport Town Center - January 17, 2009
9. Wages for Kingsport-Bristol Metro - December 5, 2008
10. $40,000 in Kingsport is Worth How Much in Other Cities? - January 4, 2009
11. Vote Now to Help Tri-Cities Family Win CBS Early Show Competition - March 29, 2009
12. Mmm..Another New Bakery in Downtown Kingsport - June 2, 2009
13. A City by City Look at Unemployment Rates - February 16, 2009
14. 2,026 Jobs Advertised Within 25 Miles of Kingsport - December 27, 2009
15. Historic! - January 29, 2009
16. Kingsport Photographer Wins Appalachian Mountain Contest - April 21, 2009
17. Kingsport Center for Higher Education Aerials - February 9, 2009
18. Kingsport Code Red - January 4, 2009
19. D-B Band Fiesta Bowl Coverage - January 5, 2009
20. Special Invitation from the Mayor - January 23, 2009
21. Your List of Kingsport Favorites - August 2, 2009
22. Rose Cottage Bakery in Downtown Kingsport - March 16, 2009
23. Explore Downtown Kingsport - March 1, 2009
24. Kingsport-Bristol Named 2nd Highest House Price Appreciation - February 24, 2009
25. Olive Garden Submits Building Plans - June 25, 2009

Top cities:
1. Kingsport
2. Johnson City
3. Knoxville
4. New York
5. Bristol
6. Piney Flats
7. Nashville
8. Atlanta
9. Weber City
10. Washington, DC
11. Montreal
12. Chicago
13. Abingdon
14. Greeneville
15. Elizabethton
16. Chattanooga
17. Blountville
18. North Metro (Atlanta)
19. Norton
20. San Francisco
21. Morristown
22. Roanoke
23. Jonesborough
24. Raleigh
25. Richmond
26. Miami
27. Murfreesboro
28. Alcoa
29. Huntersville
30. Lynchburg
31. Charlottesville
32. Los Angeles
33. Durham
34. Dallas
35. Brentwood
36. Brooklyn
37. Charlotte
38. Bloomington
39. Graysville
40. Houston

Top States:
1. Tennessee
2. New York
3. Virginia
4. Georgia
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. California
8. Illinois
9. South Carolina
10. Texas

Top Countries:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. France
4. United Kingdom
5. Belgiuim
6. India
7. Germany
8. Ireland
9. Phillipines
10. Australia

Angel Tree kids still awaiting adoption

Kingsport's Douglass-Riverview News

Give a piece of Kingsport History for Christmas

Kingsport native named publisher of St. Augustine newspaper

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A Florida Times-Union executive has been named publisher of The St. Augustine Record.

Ron Davidson takes over Jan. 4 from current publisher Derek May.

Davidson has been vice president of sales and marketing at the Times-Union for more than two years. May was recently named assistant to the president of Georgia-based Morris Communications Co.

The 59-year-old Davidson got his first job in newspaper advertising by answering a classified ad for a sales position at his hometown paper in Kingsport, Tenn. He has been an advertising executive at newspapers in Georgia, Kansas and Alabama.

Morris Communications owns both the Record and the Times-Union, along with other daily newspapers and publications in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Alaska.

Visit great local savings

Visit for great local savings! For example, Bear and Friends Toy Shop, East Stone Commons, $5 off purchase of $25 OR $10 off purchase of $50 OR $20 off purchase of $100 (through Dec 21)...or 15% off all cosmetic cases at Variety Printing & Gifts, 112 E Market St (through Dec 21)...and register for the Big Deal giveaway, a 1-year membership to Great Body Company

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Vote for H.S. Football Player of the Year (through Wed Dec 9)

Click here to vote (through Wed Dec 9) or go to keyword: player

Kingsport area players in the running:
  • Chris Sensabaugh, Dobyns-Bennett
  • Ashton Zanoni, Sullivan South
  • Eric Pearcy, Sullivan North
  • Dusty Clark, Gate City

Public invited to reception celebrating Harvard Award (5:30 Wed Dec 9 Kingsport Center for Higher Education, 300 W Market)

Kingsport to host reception to celebrate winning Harvard Award KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The city of Kingsport and Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce will host a celebration reception honoring Kingsport’s winning the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The event will take place Wednesday, December 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kingsport Higher Education Center in downtown Kingsport.

The public is invited to attend.

Kingsport garnered the prestigious honor for its efforts to enhance higher education in the community.

The celebration event will honor and thank the hundreds of Kingsport leaders and citizens who helped and supported the city’s efforts in creating the Kingsport Academic Village.

“This prestigious award is the finest example of what can be accomplished when no one is concerned about who gets the credit,” Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips said. “But we realized that literally hundreds of people who had made the Harvard award possible had not been properly thanked. It would have never been possible without the involvement and support of the vast majority of the citizens of Kingsport. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you Kingsport for what each of you did in making the Academic Village and Harvard award possible.”

“In today's challenging global economy, the quality of a community's local workforce is invaluable to ensuring a community's long-term livelihood and economic success,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School. “As a 2009 Innovations in American Government Award winner, the city of Kingsport has demonstrated an impressive commitment to revitalizing its community through a host of creative measures that municipalities nationwide can adopt to similarly achieve their economic potential.”

The Ash Institute describes the Innovations in American Government Award as “a significant force in recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. Through its annual awards competition, the program provides concrete evidence that government can work to improve the quality of life for citizens and that it deserves greater public trust. By highlighting exemplary models of governments’ innovative performance, the program serves as a catalyst for continued progress in addressing the nation’s most pressing public concerns.”

“The competition for this year's award was intense and all the citizens of Kingsport should be very proud of what they have accomplished together,” said Pearl Sims, director of Vanderbilt University’s Leadership Development Center and the onsite evaluator for the Harvard Award. “Kingsport offers to other cities concrete evidence that government can work to improve the quality of life for citizens and models for our nation how to address some of our most pressing public concerns. As a researcher at Vanderbilt University and as a native Tennessean, I wish to add my heartfelt congratulations to the city of Kingsport for winning the Innovations in American Government Awards Program.”

To receive this award, Kingsport presented achievements in the Higher Education program and developments in educational policy over the past ten years and emphasized the improvements in the economic and educational base since implementation of programs such as the Educate and Grow scholarship program and the creation of the Regional Center for Applied Technology.

These initiatives have been fundamental to the revitalization of the downtown area and have produced more jobs, higher property values, and most importantly a more educated citizenry and workforce.

Under the Educate and Grow plan, city of Kingsport officials collaborated with various partners to develop and finance a host of new programs to enhance academic outcomes of Kingsport students and build a more qualified workforce.

K-14: A first in the nation, the city’s K-14 program extends public high school by an optional two years to provide students with additional training and technical skills requested by local employers.

Dual Enrollment: Through established partnerships with the area’s local colleges, high school students now have the opportunity to take college-level classes and receive both college and high school credit for their work.

Scholarships: Any Kingsport high school graduate is eligible for a four-semester scholarship at the city’s Northeast State Community College. Such funding allows students to earn a two-year associate’s degree or transfer credits towards a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Curriculum: Officials have developed new areas of medical and technical study at the college level that better reflect the growing number of industries in the region along with attracting new industries.

New Infrastructure
Kingsport underwent a series of infrastructure enhancements, building an “academic village” in close proximity to the city’s business center. Officials project the new building plans will increase the downtown student population to 2,500 over the next few years.

Regional Center for Applied Technology (RCAT): Launched in 2002 as a branch of Northeast State Community College, RCAT offers high school graduates and continuing education students courses in computer science and information technology; office administration; business management; and on-demand industry-specific job training.

Regional Center for Health Professions: In addition to enhancing the technology skills of Kingsport’s labor force, the city opened the Regional Center for Health Professionals in 2008 to draw new health care opportunities to the region. Students can earn two-year degrees in medical technology and nursing.

Kingsport Center for Higher Education: Opened this August, the center offer courses towards associate up to doctoral degrees through a unique partnership with five local colleges and universities – Northeast State, Carson-Newman College, King College, Lincoln Memorial University and the University of Tennessee.

Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM): This public-private partnership between the state of Tennessee, Northeast State, and two of Kingsport’s largest manufacturers, Eastman Chemical Company and Domtar, will offer certifications and associate of applied science programs in electrical, fabrication and chemical process technologies.

Pal Barger Automotive Technology Center: A fifth facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, will be dedicated to state-of-the-art automotive technology training programs.

Kingsport’s Educate and Grow initiative cites much success in bringing new industry to the region and improving the skills of its workforce.

Industry Diversification: Formerly dependent solely on the manufacturing industry, the greater Kingsport region now reports a more diversified economy including new jobs in healthcare (8,000), hospitality (5,000), construction (3,900), professional services (2,500) and information technology (600).

Sales Tax Revenues: Sales tax revenues have increased by nearly $950,000 since 2005 and property values are increasing.

Investment: The city cites an increase of $370 million in new construction since 2006 including 12 new restaurants and regional education buildings.

Population: 2,700 families have moved to Kingsport over the last two years and the city is experiencing an increase in young adults aged 20-24. The number of residents earning college degrees has increased by two percent.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Carson-Newman LIVE on ESPN Saturday at 3:30 in NCAA D2 Final Four

ESPN 3:30 12/5/09 Carson-Newman vs Grand Valley in the National Semifinals (Final Four). Winner advances to the national championship game next week! Tune in.

This Saturday (Dec 5), Carson-Newman (enrollment 2,320) will play at Grand Valley State (enrollment 23,295) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while California, PA (enrollment 8,206) will play at NW Missouri (enrollment 8,206) in Maryville, MO. The winners will play for the NCAA D2 National Championship on Dec 12 in Florence, Alabama.

Carson-Newman and Tusculum are the only NCAA D2 programs in the region. Emory & Henry is D3 and UVA-Wise is NAIA.

Carson-Newman roster of NETN/SWVA regional team members:

Matthew Arnold (Abingdon, VA/Abingdon)
Miles Hite (Bristol, Tenn./Tennessee High)
Cody Calloway (Bristol, Va./John S. Battle)
Joe Cadle (Bristol, Va./John S. Battle)
Thomas Turnbull (Bristol. Tenn./Tennessee High)
Chris Robinson (Clintwood, VA/Clintwood)
Russell Hull (Clintwood, VA/Clintwood)
Corey Headley (Erwin, Tenn./Unicoi County)
Drew Rice (Erwin, Tenn./Unicoi County)
Adam Venters (Fall Branch, Tenn. / Daniel Boone)
Tyler Stewart (Greeneville, Tenn./Greeneville)
Christian McFall (Jefferson City, Tenn./Jefferson County H.S.)
Issac Kinley (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill)
Larry Smith (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill)
Zack Fleming (Kingsport, Tenn./Dobyns-Bennett)
Jaycob Coleman (Norton, Va./John I. Burton)

YMCA FREE Military Memberships

Jeff, I wanted to pass along to you that the YMCA has partnered with the Department of Defense to offer FREE military memberships to eligible military families. Especially in light of the recent news of Army National Guard and Reservists being deployed from our area, I think this is a great opportunity for folks of our region.The following are eligible for totally free memberships: 1. Immediate family of deployed Army National Guard and Reservists of all military branches. 2. Active Duty Independent Duty personnel and their families as approved by their Military Service POC. 3. Relocated spouses of deployed Active Duty personnel.We are happy to answer questions for interested families and to give them more information on the details of this great opportunity. Any help spreading the word about this would be greatly appreciated!


Abigail Simmons
Membership/Marketing Director
Greater Kingsport Family YMCA Wellmont Center
(423) 578-2193
1100 Franklin Square
Kingsport, TN 37664

Dec 5-6 Christmas at Allandale Mansion

Click to enlarge:

Dec 5 - Christmas at Exchange Place

Exchange Place "Christmas in the Country""Christmas In the Country " at Exchange Place Living History Farm, 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport will be held Saturday, December 5, from 10 am - 4:00 p.m. The celebration features the sales of fresh greenery and trees, hand crafted wreaths and roping, traditional foods and folk arts. From 12 to 4 p.m. visitors can step back in time and see costumed interpreters demonstrating December activities on the mid 19th century farm. The traditional Yule Log Ceremony with carol singing around the bonfire begins at 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information or to preregister for corn shuck angel workshops, please call 423-288-6071.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dec 11 - Rep. Shipley to host toy drive for needy at concert

Country Christmas Concert & Toy Drive

Friday, December 11, 2009
Time:7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:Renaissance Center, 1200 E Center ST, Kingsport

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s office is once again collecting toys for needy children in Sullivan County through the “Toys from Cops” program. Toys are being collected by the Sheriff’s office again this year and will be distributed on December 19th & 20th. Rep. Tony Shipley is hosting a toy drive at the Renaissance Center Theatre, during a special holiday concert. Concert-goers are asked to bring a new toy to the event.

The concert features Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, singer/songwriter/legislator from Lancaster. Terri Lynn is a remarkable gospel singer, and she will be singing many of her own hits, as well as some special holiday tunes. Prior to entering her political career, Terri Lynn produced nine CD’s of numerous number one songs, like “Old Gideon Bible,” “Mama Prays”, “He’s the One on the White Horse”, among others. Weaver will be in Kingsport to support the re-election of Rep. Shipley, and the concert admission is a campaign fund-raising event for him.

Also participating in the concert will be local artist, McKenna Andrews. McKenna (also known as “Rock Angel”) is a talented 13-year old singer, song-writer and guitarist, as well as an author. Her book, “Riding the Storm Out”, is an amazing tale inspired by the true story of captive dolphins swept from their Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, and out to sea by Hurricane Katrina. McKenna and her family experienced Katrina first-hand prior to re-locating to Tennessee. She received a 2006 Mom’s Choice Award for this publication. She will be autographing her books following the concert.

Sheriff Wayne Anderson (or a Deputy) will be on hand to assist Rep. Shipley in gathering the toys for needy Sullivan County children. He requested that the toys not be wrapped so they can be distributed appropriate to age.

The concert will be on December 11th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Center Theatre, located at 1200 E. Center Street, in Kingsport. A reception will be held following the concert, at which attendees can meet the performers and purchase their music. Admission to the concert is $20 for adults, $5 for students, and children under 5 are free. Active duty military personnel immediate families will be admitted for free (green ID required). Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the concert. For questions regarding this event, call or text: 423/817-1047.
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.