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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Breaking News - Kingsport-Bristol named 2nd highest appreciation for House Price Index in Nation

Click here for full report
Record Home Price Declines in Fourth Quarter; Isolated Pockets of Strength

"Significant findings:

4. The MSAs with the greatest appreciation over the past year were: Decatur, AL
(6.6%), Monroe, LA (6.3%), Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA (6.3%)."

Breaking News - It's Official, Zaxby's is coming to Kingsport 2616 East Stone Drive (Kingsport Pavilion)

It's the first parcel east of Verizon

Permits issued 2/23/09

Grading permit: $31,000
Building permit: $587,434

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did you know?

I recently passed a sign reading "Welcome to Franklin, Tennessee, Established 1799" (Franklin is in Williamson County, just south of Nashville). I always think of Franklin as "historic", but I most often think of Kingsport as a 20th century city.

I did a little history refresher for myself that you might enjoy, too.

Kingsport's settlement pre-dates the State of Tennessee by 21 years!

1761 - British Fort Robinson (later taken over by United States and renamed Fort Patrick Henry) was nearing completion

1775 - Land grant awarded to first Kingsport settler

1775-1783 - American Revolutionary War

1779 - Jonesborough founded

1779 - Sullivan County, NC (later TN) formally established

1784-1789 The Lost State of Franklin

1796 - Tennessee statehood from North Carolina

1822 - "Old" Kingsport incorporated

1861-1865 - American Civil War

1856 - City of Bristol incorporated

1869 - City of Johnson City incorporated

1914-1918 World War I

1917 - "New" Kingsport incorporated

Kingsport - King of Hospitality

Have you received exceptional customer service at a restaurant? grocery store? city worker? retailer? any other?

Accepting “Caught in the Act” of Hospitality Nominations

Kingsport, TN. – The Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau (KCVB) is looking for exceptional people who give exemplary service to their customers and visitors. We want to recognize front-line service personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty to make Kingsport – the King of Hospitality.

For more than ten years, the KCVB has been honoring local employees with a "Caught in the Act” of Hospitality Award during National Tourism Week (May 9-17). Over sixty employees have been honored since the program's inception.

"Not only do we want people to visit Kingsport, we want them to return home, telling their friends and family what a wonderful and hospitable place Kingsport is. ‘Caught in the Act’ encourages employees to continue to provide superior customer service," said Barbara Kite, KCVB Director of Finance. The KCVB recognizes the impact that one individual can have on a visitor’s or local customer’s experience. We want to make sure that we reward those who encourage people to visit Kingsport.

Once candidates have been selected for the award, the KCVB staff will visit each honoree's place of business and present the award, along with a gift certificate and a gift package to show our appreciation for their tremendous effort to make Kingsport both a great city to live as well as to visit.

To nominate a deserving individual, please use the attached form or download an online form at Forms can also be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce and can be returned by fax, email or dropped off. The deadline for entries is April 25, 2008.

Local vocalist available for area events

Barbara Cox- has been a professional vocalist for all of her adult years.

She has sung at Shea Stadium for the NY Mets, at Tampa Bay for the Buccaneers, at Baltimore for the Orioles and for the Jacksonville Jaguars. She has even sung at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill, as well as various venues in Washington, D.C.

Barbara is very interested in singing at upcoming regional events

Barbara's contact information:
Home: 423-765-2208 Cell: 423-967-8889

Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

Kingsport Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Saturday February 21, 8:30 am.

Location: Renaissance Center Room 310

Cost: $12.00 per person

Speaker: Former Judge Steve Jones.

Sponsored by Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.

Special prayers for City and Community

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kingsport aquatic center aims to make big splash

Kingsport aquatic center aims to make a big splash Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA... will be better served with more hours of operation — today they only get 30 minutes a day, four days a week, at the pool at Dobyns-Bennett High School. ...

A flamboyant celebration of optimism

Click here:

Chamber Dinner a Flamboyant Celebration of Optimism Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA The 62nd annual Kingsport Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner was a refreshing break from the sliding stock market, corporate layoffs and other bad news we ...

Chamber dinner celebrates Kingsport's accomplishmentsKingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USADobyns-Bennett High School was once again named a top public school by Newsweek magazine, and ranked DB as the No. 1 school in Tennessee based ...

Cost of new housing rises in Kingsport

Click here:
Cost of new housing rises in Kingsport

Kingsport Times News - Kingsport,TN,USA By Sharon Hayes KINGSPORT — Despite the nation’s economic downturn, the cost of new housing continues to rise in Kingsport. The average cost of a new house ...

Great positive news for our housing market

Kingsport mentioned in Mobile, AL Real Estate Blog...

A city-by-city look at unemployment rates

This is a report from HR Morning released February 12, 2009. Check out Kingsport in relation to other cities nationwide.

Now's the time to buy a house!

From: Anne Alexander

Hi Everyone,

I came across this article written by another Epcon Communities franchisee today, thought it was so interesting I wanted to pass it along. Please forward to as many people as you like and let's create our own economic recovery!

If you'd like more information about our homes you can email me at or visit or .

Have a super day and let me know if you enjoyed the article!


Don't Buy Now! -Tom Joyner, Villas At Timber Run

Haven't you heard we're in a recession? Haven't you heard our nation is suffering from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? Haven't you heard about all of the turmoil on Wall Street?

How could you not? The 24-hour news channels are thriving on all of this doom and gloom and their ratings have never been higher. It's no secret that the economy could be much better; however, recessions are the natural growing pains of a strong nation. Historically they have occurred about every 50 months almost like clockwork, but we always rebound stronger than we were before!

With all of this uncertainty, it might seem odd to some that our New Home Specialist has been so overwhelmed with customers that she's hardly had time to put on coffee the past several weekends. Or that sixteen families have already invested in a new home and a new lifestyle at the Villas At Timber Run, An Epcon Community with others joining in all the time. But these smart & savvy buyers have recognized that a "perfect storm" of circumstances has formed to make this THE MOST PROFITABLE time to invest in a new home, possibly ever! Here's what they know:

1.) 30 Year Mortgage Rates are at ALL TIME LOWS! A conventional mortgage on a $180,000 home at a rate of 6.5% (last year, and probably next year) vs. 5% (today) would cost you over $137.00 per month more! This adds up to almost $50,000.00 in additional interest costs over the life of the loan! Can you afford to lose out on this opportunity?

2.) Home values are - kind of irrelevant? That's right, whether values are historically high or historically low, everyone is on a level playing field. For most of our customers, the possibility receiving a lower than expected price for their existing residence is more than offset by the lower price they are receiving on their new home from a Builder. Subcontractors and suppliers are very hungry for business and are slashing the input costs for new construction allowing Builders to price homes aggressively low. Guess what? THIS WON'T LAST!

3.) Which investment would you choose? If you're like most people, the choice isn't whether or not you are going to own a home, it's whether you keep investing in your existing home or invest in a new one. Which investment is more likely to appreciate: your current older home or a home freshly designed and built to be relevant for today's and tomorrow's buyer? After all, while you wait for the market to recover, wouldn't you rather be waiting in a new maintenance-free home, customized to your taste and style rather than wondering if your lawnmower is going to start this spring? Sometimes "playing it safe" isn't very safe at all.

4.) Buy Low, Sell High. It's the first rule of investing. Home purchases are not meant to be short-term investments and smart buyers know that waiting for a stronger market means paying higher prices. You've heard the news that new housing starts have been falling for the past two
years. This means the supply is rapidly decreasing. This also means that when the demand returns to normal levels and new homes are in short supply, prices will undoubtedly skyrocket-it's Economics 101! Don't lose out your chance to invest near the bottom.

5.) Experience the difference! Builders are rolling out the red carpet for their customers these days. The Customer is King, now more than ever before. Custom changes, no problem! Don't miss out the chance to have a great buying experience with a customer focused builder before they get too busy to go that extra mile!

6.) Save Green, Be Green. Our customers are enjoying a savings of around 40% on their heating and cooling bills because of our Energy Star Certified construction and they'll take pride in living in a more environmentally friendly home. What would you do with an extra 125 bucks a month?

7.) Quality Counts. Homes built in slower housing markets are constructed with more care and by more highly talented craftsman. A lot was overlooked in the old days of "How fast can we build?" - not on purpose of course, but at the break-neck pace of a few years ago, builders just didn't have the time to be picky. Now builders are able to be a lot more "hands on" and make sure attention is paid to the details. Plus with a lighter workload, only the best tradesmen have retained by subcontractors, which in effect "weeds out" the amateurs - AND THE DIFFERENCE SHOWS.

8.) Made in the U.S.A. With the housing industry comprising 1/5 of America's GDP, it's no wonder the economy is struggling. Indiana lost 7,500 housing jobs in 2008 alone. Most Americans feel a patriotic draw toward buying American made products, but does it really make a difference? Think about this - virtually ALL of the dollars spent building and buying a new home stay in your local community. Now that’s what I call a stimulus package (where it counts)! JFK said it best, "Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country." Simply put, those who wait on the sidelines are continuing to compound the problem, but those who CAN afford to purchase a car or a home during a time of recession and actually DO IT are Patriots and should be applauded.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All D-B wrestlers still alive after Day 1 of Regionals

After Day 1, all D-B wrestlers are still alive in the Regional Tournament

Wrestling resumes today at 10 a.m. with Championship finals beginning around 5:30 or 6:00

Regional Individual Tournament
Greeneville High School

Several had byes which resulted in 1 win or 1 loss

Undefeated and advancing in Championship bracket are:
112 - Adam Mann (2-0)
125 - Austin Mann (2-0)
140 - Brad Hoover (1-0)
145 - Keith Gilliam (1-0)
160 - Mark Erwin (1-0)
189 - Craig Carter (2-0)
285 - Zack Fleming (2-0)

One loss and advancing in Consolation bracket are:
103 - Brandon Joyner, FFT first match due to injury
130 - Trent O'Brien (1-1)
135 - Bobby Lemaster (0-1)
152 - J.J. Jordan (1-1)
171 - Steven Breen (0-1)
215 - Evan Earles (0-1)

*D-B currently has no wrestler in the 119 weight class

Friday, February 13, 2009

City of Kingsport, TN - Sales Tax Collections FY2009 through February

click to view larger graph

City of Kingsport, Tennessee
Fiscal Year 2009-to-date (Jul 2008-Feb 2009), sales tax collections are up 5.51%
Compared to sales during the same month one year ago, collections are up 1.3%.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

D-B's Zack Fleming signs with Carson-Newman

February 11, 2009

KINGSPORT, TN - Today, Dobyns-Bennett's Zack Fleming officially signed to play football for the Carson-Newman Eagles.

The signing comes after an extensive search involving more than 40 colleges and universities with varying levels of interest.

"I've been blessed with opportunities from schools as far away as Chicago, West Texas, North Dakota, Indiana and Iowa," Fleming explained, "but my heart and my momma are in East Tennessee."

"I've been praying for the Lord's direction," said Fleming. "I know I can't do it on my own."

"After my visit to Carson-Newman, I realized that sometimes there are some very special things happening in your own backyard that you may not be completely aware of," he added.

"For example, (Carson-Newman) Coach (Ken) Sparks is the winningest coach in NCAA Division II -- and fourth winningest coach in the entire NCAA," Fleming explained.

"He cares about you athletically, but more importantly, he cares about you spiritually and academically," said Fleming. "Coach Sparks asks the question, 'Can you grow with the Lord at Carson-Newman'? and 'Can He use you here'."

Fleming was named to the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association's All State Team, Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Kingsport Times-News Elite Defensive Player of the Year, Big East Conference First Team Defense (2x), and played in the Toyota East-West Tennessee All Star Game and the Kentucky-Tennessee Border Bowl.

But his most cherished accomplishment was being selected by his teammates as one of 4 team captains on a Dobyns-Bennett team that finished the regular season undefeated.

Fleming joins 7 other regional signees: Isaac Kinley (Science Hill), Christian McFall (Jefferson County), Larry Smith (Science Hill), Patrick Miller (Sevier County), Jaycob Coleman (Norton, VA), Corey Headley (Unicoi County), and Jamie Plont (Jefferson County).

Carson-Newman has won 20 South Atlantic Conference titles. In 2008, the Eagles reached the NCAA playoffs and finished the season ranked #18 in the nation.

"I would like to say thanks to Coach (Graham) Clark and all of the assistants at Dobyns-Bennett," said Fleming. "They gave me the opportunity to play at J Fred -- something all kids in Kingsport dream of. I hope I can make them proud at the next level."

In addition to football, Fleming is also a Dobyns-Bennett wrestler and was named to the Northeast Tennessee All Region Wrestling Team and "Super 14" two years running.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kingsport Center for Higher Education - Aerials 1/29/09


Kingsport Center for Higher Education
300 W Market St (at Clay St)
January 29, 2009

Click on photo to enlarge:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Kingsport, Johnson City headed to State Wrestling Tournament

Note: D-B team send-off Thursday at 12:50, cafeteria/bus stop entrance from Center Street

By Ron Bliss
February 2, 2009

Dobyns-Bennett (Kingsport) will face Region 2 champion Knox Halls in the TSSAA State Wrestling Duals in Clarksville, while Region 1 champion Science Hill (Johnson City)will take on Region 5 champion Mt. Juliet.

"There are 10 region champions,'' explained Science Hill coach Jeff Price, "and six wrestle-in teams and we just happened to draw a region champion.''

Price said it is hard to find much information on Mt. Juliet, though it drew votes in the state poll as recently as Jan. 5. Science Hill was 12th in the state when it wrestled and beat Dobyns-Bennett to win the district and the Hilltoppers went on to win the Region I duals, but have inexplicably dropped out of the rankings.

The Hilltoppers, 32-1, are headed to state for a ninth straight season.

"The highest we've finished is fourth, twice,'' said Price.

Top wrestlers for Science Hill include Brett Usary, who is 37-2 at 140; Steven Goldstein, who is 40-6 at 112; Jonathan Pearce, who is 37-8 at 119; Josh Lewis, who is 37-7 at 215; Cole Schurlknight, who is 28-7 at 103; and Justin Snyder, who is 31-12 at 130 pounds.

"They are pretty good,'' said Price, who has gotten come information on Mt. Juliet. "They have some good lower-weight guys and also some good upper-weight guys. It will come down to avoiding pins for us.''

The winner of the Science Hill vs. Mt. Juliet match will meet the winner of the Blackman vs. Brentwood match in the next round. Blackman is ranked No. 8 in the state.

The winner of the D-B vs. Knox Halls match will likely face tournament favorite Bradley Central in the second round.

"That's okay,'' said D-B coach Buzzy Mann. "I like going against the best. They beat Cleveland pretty bad in the region finals. They are a good team.''

First, D-B has to handle Halls and it should be a good match. Halls beat South-Doyle, 50-27, and then D-B beat the Cherokees, 57-18, in the state qualifying match two nights later.

"There's not much difference between our score against South-Doyle and Halls' score, so it should be a good match,'' said Mann.

D-B's top wrestlers include Zack Fleming (35-2), who has wrestled at 215 and Heavyweight (285); Craig Carter (41-5), who has wrestled at 189 and 215; Mark Erwin (39-12) at 160 and Mann's sons, Adam and Austin. Adam is 36-9 and will go at 112 and Austin is 41-6 and will wrestle at 125.

"We're told they have a good heavyweight, Caleb Leonard -- a guy who is ranked No. 2 in the state. They also have the LaRue brothers -- Alex and Trent -- at 112 and 119,'' said Mann. "If we win, we will wrestle against a 7:30 p.m., Friday.''

In addition to Bradley Central, Mann says Cleveland and Independence are very good. In this week's rankings, Bradley Central is No. 2, Cleveland is No. 3, Independence is No. 7, Blackman is No. 8, Soddy-Daisy -- a team Science Hill beat head-to-head -- is No. 9, Clarksville is No. 10 and Walker Valley is No. 12. The other teams in the rankings are private schools who will wrestle in the Division II championships.

Teams that lose will drop to the consolation round and will stay alive as long as they keep winning. The tournament is set for Friday and Saturday in Clarksville.

Here are the first-round pairings for the state duals:

State Dual Meet Wrestling Tournament
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8
Clarksville, Tenn.

Round of 16
Bradley Central vs. Hendersonville
Dobyns-Bennett (Kingsport) vs. Knoxville Halls
Independence vs. Collierville
Tullahoma vs. Soddy-Daisy
Clarksville vs. Cordova
Glencliff vs. Cleveland
Blackman vs. Brentwood
Mt. Juliet vs. Science Hill (Johnson City)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Senior Night

Will you please come?

Admittedly, this is a shameless plug for my son and his senior teammates. I'd love to see you come out to send them off in their last wrestling match at Dobyns-Bennett.

These 8 seniors are the first D-B wrestlers to have progressed through the newly-created Robinson & Sevier middle school programs. As a result of the feeder programs, D-B has 41 members on the wrestling team this year. Also, revenue from KCVB's hosting of AAU National Wrestling Tournaments have provided facilities for these student-athletes that are unparalleled in the region ($12,500 last year alone).

As of Jan 24, D-B is 20-5 as a team and individual Tribe wrestlers have faced competition from 10 states (PA, OH, KY, WV, VA, TN, NC, SC, GA and AL).

D-B Wrestling Senior Night

Tue Feb 3 5:30, D-B Dome

D-B & Greeneville vs Elizabethton & Chuckey-Doak

Carter, Craig
Earles, Evan
Erwin, Mark
Fleming, Zack
Hoover, Bradley
Joyner, Brandon
Marshall, Greg
Metzger, Adam
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.