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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tri-Cities Regional Women's Business Summit

Is Northeast TN ‘Women Business-Friendly’ and ranked as one of the ‘Best Places to Work for Professional Women’? It would be great to be able to promote our area as ‘Women Business-Friendly’ and one of the ‘Best Places to Work for Professional Women’ and have the numbers to back it up.

Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Northeast State Technical Community College.

Click here to complete this important survey now!

From: Aundrea Wilcox []
Subject: Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit Needs Survey Feedback Request

Jeff, You were kind enough to send this survey out for us when we first conducted the survey in 2007. With your help, we received 128 responses from women in the region. In 2009, we would like to have an even greater response. The summit was very successful last year (75 attendees), so we know there is interest in women’s services and programs. Would you please help us get the following information out as soon as possible? This project is a collaboration with the State of Tennessee Economic Council on Women.

The inaugural Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit took place at Northeast State Technical Community College, Blountville, Tennessee, on May 22, 2008. In preparation for the upcoming 2009 event, we are asking women throughout the Northeast Tennessee region to complete a short survey especially for:

• Women Small Business Owners
• Entrepreneurial Women Non-Business Owners
• Professional Women

Whether they are a professional woman or own a small business now (or are considering starting a small business enterprise in the future), it is important for us to gain a clear understanding of the constraints and needs of women business owners, female entrepreneurs and professional women in Northeast Tennessee. Wide participation in this assessment is critical to documenting the need for women's services and programs in Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.

This survey is for market research purposes only. Individual responses are confidential and anonymous. Final aggregate results will be presented at the upcoming Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit, on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Northeast State Technical Community College. Click here to complete this important survey now!

Please forward this email to your personal list of women friends and associates, and encourage them to complete the survey. We would like to obtain the widest distribution possible to assure the most representative feedback for the entire Northeast Tennessee region.If anyone is interested in or know someone else who is interested in becoming a member of the 2009 Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit Steering Committee, please contact Aundrea Wilcox, Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) Executive Director, at (423) 392-8801.


Ms. Linda W. Calvert (Blountville)
Northeast State Technical Community College, Evening & Distance Education

Ms. Vivian Crymble (Kingsport)
Business Consultant & Independent Contractor

Ms. Dorothy Dobbins, PhD (Johnson City)
East Tennessee State University, Assoc VP, Cultural Affairs

Ms. Beulah Ferguson (Johnson City)
First Tennessee Development District, Director of Special Projects

Ms. Doris Ladd (Kingsport)
Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Hope VI Director

Ms. Angela Martin (Kingsport)
Integrity Capital Management, Partner & Investment Advisor

Ms. Barbara Mentgen (Johnson City)
Chamber of Commerce, Director of Operations

Ms. Jacqueline F. Merritt (Nashville)
Small Business Administration, Business Development Specialist

Ms. Elliott Moore (Johnson City)
Mountain States Health Alliance, Director of Community & Government Relations

Ms. Jennifer Rawls (Nashville)
Tennessee Economic Council on Women, Executive Director

Ms. Beth D. Rhinehart (Bristol)
Wellmont Health System, Community Affairs Manager

Ms. Susan Reid (Johnson City)
First Tennessee Development District, Executive Director

Ms. Karen Witcher (Bristol) Chamber of Commerce, Business Industry & Education

Ms. Aundrea Wilcox (Kingsport)
Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), Executive Director

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Art wanted to enhance Higher Ed Center in Kingsport

Click here: Art Wanted To Enhance Higher Ed Center in Kingsport - Dave McAvoy
Kingsport hopes that when the Kingsport Center for Higher Education will make the downtown not only smarter, but prettier as well. ...

Vote now to help Tri-Cities family win CBS Early Show competition

OK, folks, a Tri-Cities singing family has made it into the Top 2 in the CBS Early Show singing family competition.

Voting is open until Tuesday March 31 at 3 pm (Eastern)

Click here and follow instructions to vote for J4 (the group's name)

Let's help them win!

Kingsport Community Resurrection Celebration


Easter Sunday April 12, 2009

J. Fred Johnson Stadium
Kingsport, Tennessee
4:00 P.M. til 5:00 P.M.

Not A Church Service
Not A Denominational Event
Not A Demonstration Against Anything
No Offering Will Be Taken
No Recruiting For Churches

It is a time for Christians
to come together in the public arena
outside our Churches
to Praise and Worship with Song, Scripture, and Prayer
in Celebration of
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

For more information call 423.247.5661

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twice Upon a Child

Twice Upon a Child
Join us for
Spring & Summer Event!

KINGSPORT, TN - Twice Upon A Child is the Tri-Cities fastest growing and largest children’s consignment sale. Every spring and fall since 2005 thousands of consignors and shoppers have participated in this extraordinary sale that makes children’s clothing, toys and equipment truly affordable. Here you will find a huge selection of gently used (and some new) children’s name-brand clothing as well as shoes, toys, baby merchandise, sports equipment, video games, maternity and so much more. You will not need to worry about the quality of the merchandise because we do not accept clothing with holes, odors or stains or toys and baby equipment with missing parts. Kids are expensive, but their stuff doesn’t have to be! So come visit us and see what you’ve been missing!

Meadowview Convention Center
Thursday, March 26th 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday, March 27th 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday * , March 28th 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
*(some items half-price)

If you would like more details about our sale and see pictures from our Fall 2008 Event, please visit our website @

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kingsport's MeadowView continues to rank at top of Marriott facilities world-wide

For Immediate Release March 19, 2009


Andy King (423) 578-6540

Tim Whaley (423) 229-9413

KINGSPORT – Despite ongoing construction since July of 2008, MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center has garnered Marriott International Hotel’s top award worldwide for Overall Guest Satisfaction for the second consecutive year in a row.

MeadowView also placed first in 11 other categories, with 24 top 5 rankings for quality. Notably, MeadowView placed first in the world among Marriott properties for Overall Satisfaction; Intent to Return; Quality of Food in Lounge; for Product Upkeep; maintaining a Comfortable Lobby and Working Environment; and Staff Knowledgeable about Local Areas. Rankings are determined by guest surveys as well as internal reviews.

“The fact that MeadowView finished number 1 in Overall Customer Satisfaction is a remarkable achievement given the fact that we have been under construction since July of 2008,” MeadowView General Manager Andy King said. “It speaks volumes about the people we have working at this facility. Customers have been willing to overlook the challenges brought on by the construction project because of the service they receive once they arrive. I’m very proud of my entire team.”

Currently, the privately owned MeadowView Hotel is undergoing a 110 room expansion with a thorough update of all rooms to incorporate the latest technology. Meanwhile, city leaders have also approved a 35,000 square feet expansion of the publicly owned conference center, adding new board meeting rooms, tiered meetings spaces, a new ballroom, and easier access to the Meadows Restaurant.

“We are fortunate that as a premier facility under the management of a leading firm like Marriott, we have a unique niche in the convention center market place,” Campbell said. “As an extremely successful public-private partnership, the new investments by both partners will secure new business for the conference center and the community as a whole, building on Kingsport’s leadership position in regional hospitality traffic.”

MeadowView estimated annual economic impact exceeds $23 million per year, a number that should move up significantly as the new improvements are completed. At the same time, total property value in the MeadowView area has risen to $88.24 million, an increase of 289 percent or $65.54 million since in 1998.

“When you calculate the value of MeadowView to the community, you have to look at all the impacts, including the creation of a premier business office district that continues to thrive as well as the spin-off business generated in the community by events at the facility,” Mayor Dennis Phillips said Thursday. “Those impacts grow the tax base and help keep taxes low for everyone. At the same time, MeadowView builds incalculable goodwill, presenting a positive image of Kingsport to visitors and professionals who might not otherwise discover Kingsport.”

Tim Whaley
City of Kingsport
Community & Government Relations Director
423-229-9413 (ofc)
423-817-0699 (cell)423-229-9350 (fax)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sullivan reappraisals up 23% on average

Click here:
Sullivan County property reappraisals up 23 percent March 16, 2009 BLOUNTVILLE — A “heads up” from Sullivan County Property Assessor Bobby Icenhour: The appraised value of property in Sulli...

A note from Jeff:

While it is good that our property is gaining value, this is just a reminder not to panic. This doesn't necessarily mean your out-of-pocket property taxes are increasing 23%. Tennessee requires that the tax rate rollback so you have the same value-to-tax ratio as before reappraisal. Tax rates can be raised, but it requires specific legislative action by the local governing boards (county or city). In other words, it's not automatic.

Currently the total property tax on a $200,000 home is $1,265 per year in Sullivan County and $1,150 per year in City of Kingsport. If you live in city, you pay both (or $2,415 per year). Relative to most of the rest of the U.S., Kingsport-Sullivan property tax rates are very favorable.

County taxes pay for jail, landfill, courts, etc., that we all enjoy. City taxes pay for extras like professional fire/medical services, police protection, garbage/trash/recycling collection, city schools, etc.

Single family residential tax rates per $100 x 25% of appraised value*

Year, Property Tax Rate (County/City)
2008 = $2.53 $2.30
2007 = $2.53/$2.30
2006 = $2.53/$2.26
2005 = $2.53/$2.26
2004 = $2.67/$2.29
2000 = $2.63/$2.39
1997 = $2.58/$2.30

*25% of residential appraised value is called "assessed value" by County Property Assessor's Office

Sullivan County and Kingsport acknowledged in Johns Hopkins study

From the Boston Globe
March 12, 2008

By Jessica M. Pasko
Associated Press Writer

ALBANY, N.Y.—The national high school graduation rate remained flat at about 75 percent between 2002 and 2006, while a dozen states made substantial gains, according to a new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The report, released Thursday by the Baltimore university's Everyone Graduates Center, found the largest gain was in Tennessee, where the rate rose from 61 percent to 72 percent. New York's rate increased from 64 percent to 67 percent.

"Other examples were model efforts in Kingsport and Sullivan counties in which local government paid high school graduates’ tuition at the local community college."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rose Cottage Bakery in Downtown Kingsport

You've got to try Rose Cottage Bakery in downtown Kingsport!
The cream cheese cinnamon rolls are to die for!
113 W Market (between Shelby and Broad)
Look for the marigold-yellow building with the sweet smells!

Check out Ya-Ya's

I recently met Janice Carson "virtually" via my daily blog.

I've heard great things about Ya-Ya's and I need to get in there soon!

The "sweetest shop in Tri-Cities" is located at the corner of Shelby & Sullivan in the historic Shelby Row tudors (many sugar free selections, too!)

Just one of the many hidden gems when you explore downtown Kingsport!

Check out their website at:

Gourmet Truffles, Creams and Meltaways, Other Assorted Chocolates, Fudge, Sugar Free Selection, Custom Gift Baskets and Boxes, Green Mountain Coffee (by the bag), Other Gift Items, Shipping Available (additional cost)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tribe Wrestling 2008-2009 Highlights

Dobyns-Bennett's Tribe Wrestling had a record-breaking year in 2008-2009.

The team faced 34 teams from 9 states and finished 26-8 overall (most wins in school history).

D-B also made it to the state team tournament for the first time in school history and defeated Region 2 champ, Knox Halls, before losing to eventual state champion Bradley Central.

Austin Mann, Craig Carter and Zack Fleming finished as regional champs. Mann and Fleming finished 5th in the State Individual Tournament.

All Conference: Adam Mann, Austin Mann, Mark Erwin, Craig Carter, Zack Fleming

All State: Austin Mann (125), Zack Fleming (285)

Check out the highlights video:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kingsport's journey to sustainability

March is the month of GREEN and Kingsport City Manager shared these environmental highlights at the East Tennessee Environmental Conference held yesterday in Kingsport:

  • Kingsport Center for Higher Education to be first LEED certified publicly-funded green higher education building in Tennessee.
  • Spent an extra $750,000 to use geothermal energy at John Adams Elementary School in Rock Springs
  • Deployed GPS technology to help reduce fuel consumption among service trucks that pick up household trash and brush.
  • Installing automated water meters again increasing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption
  • Piloting household composting
  • Extending sewer wherever possible, including Rock Springs and Bloomingdale, to help those areas with the highest level of septic system failures
  • Authorized $22 million to upgrade sewer plant to ensure compliance during the largest of rainfall events
  • Rolled out Greenbelt Plan seeking to take advantage of the 3,000 plus acres of flood plain along Horse Creek and Reedy Creek before those green areas are developed to protect water quality and improve recreation. Already seen nearly 100 acres donated or acquired.
  • Purchased or purchasing at least a dozen hybrid vehicles to increase fuel efficiency
  • For 23 consecutive years, Kingsport has been recognized as a Tree City USA participant and planted several trees in recognition of Arbor Day.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sullivan County has 3rd lowest unemployment rate in Tennessee

January 2009 Unemployment Rates
Released March 5, 2009
Source: Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development

While the unemployment rate rose in all 95 of Tennessee's counties, Sullivan County has the 3rd lowest unemployment rate and Washington County is 5th.

8.5% = U.S.

9.3% = State of Tennessee

6.9% = Sullivan County

Counties with lowest unemployment rates (out of 95 counties):

1. Knox County (6.6%) - Knoxville
1. Lincoln County (6.6%) - Fayetteville
2. Williamson County (6.8%) - Franklin-Brentwood
3. Sullivan County (6.9%) - Kingsport-Bristol
4. Davidson County (7.0%) - Nashville
5. Washington County (7.4%) - Johnson City
5. Hamilton County (7.4%) - Chattanooga
6. Montgomery County (7.6%) - Clarksville

Other counties of regional interest:

14.1% = Greene County (Greeneville)
13.8% = Cocke County (Newport)
12.6% = Sevier County (Sevierville-Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge)
12.6% = Hancock County (Sneedville)
12.4% = Johnson County (Mountain City)
12.4% = Grainger County (Rutledge)
11.8% = Jefferson County (Jefferson City-Dandridge)
11.6% = Claiborne County (Tazewell)
11.3% = Campbell County (LaFollette-Jacksboro)
10.8% = Hawkins County (Church Hill-Mount Carmel-Rogersville)
10.4% = Hamblen County (Morristown)
9.5% = Unicoi County (Erwin)
9.5% = Union County (Maynardville)
9.2% = Blount County (Maryville-Alcoa)
9.1% = Carter County (Elizabethton)
8.4% = Anderson County (Oak Ridge-Clinton)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

East Tennessee Environmental Conference in Kingsport

The program for the East TN Environmental Conference is now online at

It is next Tuesday and Wednesday (March 10-11) at MeadowView in Kingsport and we still have some spaces left.

The website can be used for registration and all information.

Open to the public (registration required)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Press Building - Mountain Region Family Medicine announces $18.5 million project in Downtown Kingsport

Click photo to enlarge (view of The Press Building Phase III (Press St elevation) and Phases I & II (Sullivan/Clinchfield intersection)

Owner: Mountain Region Family Medicine

Design/Construction: Hiram Rash, CainRashWest,

Construction Services: GRC http://www.grcincom/

Real Estate services: TCI Group Jerry Petzoldt Agency

Contact: Charlie Dotson 423.773.6234 cell or Angie Marshall 423.534.9888 cell

KINGSPORT – Sullivan Street could soon see the major renewal evident throughout other areas of downtown Kingsport with Tuesday’s announcement that Mountain Region Family Medicine PC, under the banner of The Press Group LLC, will make up to an $18.5 million initial investment at the former Quebecor location.

Under the Project Friday development plan, at a minimum, Mountain Region will renovate 57,398 square feet of the former Kingsport Press Building fronting on Sullivan Street for medical offices at an estimated cost of $12.7 million.

According to John Linke, with Mountain Region, the first phase could range up to $18.5 million, renovating up to 115,000 square feet.

“With the medical practice alone, that would add 70,000 visits a year in terms of traffic count in the downtown area,” Linke told the Kingsport Economic Development Board at a Tuesday presentation. “Since 1994, we have had a major presence in Kingsport with five offices, as well as practices in Gate City and Nickelsville in Virginia. We look forward to continuing to give back to the community. And certainly, we are very pleased to be an integral part of the rebirth and renewal of downtown Kingsport.”

Depending on interest from other potential tenants, additional phases could add another 71,000 square feet to the project for an estimated total cost of up to $24 million.

Working in conjunction with CainRashWest Architects and GRC Inc., architectural and construction firms, renderings were presented of a proposed renovation of the entire three-story Press Building. The property will be marketed through the TCI Group.

“This is a terrific announcement for Kingsport and the downtown area,” Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips. “Despite tough economic times nationally, we continue to see regional interest in investing in Kingsport and the Northeast Tennessee region.”

Mountain Region Family Medicine consists of 18 physicians and three nurse practitioners, with more than 100 employees in total.

“This really has the potential of being a cornerstone for redevelopment of the Sullivan Street Corridor,” City Manager John Campbell said. “This group has performed a tremendous amount of due diligence over the last six months or so, and we look forward to them moving forward with a successful project that could well spark additional commercial redevelopment along that corridor.”

Under the current timeline, the building would be complete and occupied by the fourth quarter of 2010.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Kingsport's Waldenbooks offers Educator Appreciation Week

Educator Appreciation Week
March 19th-25th
Kingsport Town Center

Educator Appreciation Weeks are a twice-yearly opportunity to save 25% on regularly priced merchandise (certain exclusions apply). These events are open to all educators/instructors, including current and retired educators, home-schoolers, daycare facilitators, student teachers, fitness instructors, librarians, and religious instructors. Please call 423-246-1818 for more information.

Lane Bryant is back in Kingsport

I spoke with the store manager at the recent Chamber 4th Friday breakfast.

She said she's amazed at how many people are still traveling to Johnson City to shop at Lane Bryant because they don't realize the new store is open.

LANE BRYANT is back in Kingsport!

The Fort Henry Mall location closed several years ago, but a new Lane Bryant opened last year at Kingsport Pavilion, 2626 E Stone Dr beside Old Navy, Target and Kohl's.


Lane Bryant is the leader in women's plus size clothing, sizes 14 to 32. We focus on trendy plus size clothing and classic fashions for full figured women. We carry a great line of Jeans for plus-sizes as well as career suiting, maternity clothes, casual tops and bottoms and much more. Lane Bryant also has an extensive line of plus size lingerie and intimate apparel . Our Cacique line offers bras and panties for plus-sizes, sleepwear and shapewear. Lane Bryant is the most recognized name in plus-size fashions, and our emphasis on fashion-not merely size-makes us a style leader.

Food City donates over $7,000 to Santa Train Scholarship

ABINGDON, VA (Friday, February 20, 2009) – Throughout the previous holiday season, area Food City supermarkets featured the sale of a special children’s book, entitled The Santa Train Tradition. Inspired by one of our region’s most anticipated holiday traditions, the well crafted children’s book was written by local author Leigh Anne W. Hoover of Kingsport, TN and beautifully illustrated by Carol Bates Murray.

“We were thrilled when Leigh Anne asked us to participate in the project,” said Tom Hembree, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Food City. “It gave our customers the opportunity to acquire a wonderful children’s book and provide assistance to a very worthwhile cause at the same time.”

"This is the first children's book about the Santa Train since it began in 1943," Kingsport Chamber President and CEO Miles Burdine said. "We had the utmost confidence that Leigh Anne would truly capture the heart and meaning behind the Santa Train."

The book, which retailed for $11.99 was available in area Food City locations throughout the 2008 Holiday Season. Earlier today, Food City presented a check for the proceeds, which totaled $7,352.41 to representatives of the Kingsport Chamber Foundation to benefit the Santa Train Scholarship.

“Food City is a locally owned and operated company. We live, work and educate our children in the areas where we operate. We’re proud to have an opportunity to aid in the support of such a great tradition that benefits so many of our area children,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City President/CEO.

The check presentation took place at the Eastman Road Food City, where Store Manager, Ed Moore is a long-time participant in the annual Santa Train project, arranging contributions of over $150,000 in toys, candy and food each year.

"This generous presentation will go directly to your Kingsport Chamber's Santa Train Scholarship fund,” said Burdine. “Each year a high school senior along the 110-mile route of the Santa Train is awarded a $5,000 college scholarship and we are most appreciative to Food City and CSX for their tremendous support of this effort."

Months before the Santa Train leaves the station, Moore is busy collecting, separating and packing donated toys and gifts, which are shipped from all-across the country in preparation for the much anticipated event. The weekend before Thanksgiving the Santa Train, loaded with toys for children of all ages, begins it’s yearly 110 mile track from Kingsport, Tennessee, winding its way through the mountains of the Southern Appalachians before returning to Kingsport.

Children flood each stop anxiously awaiting the train’s arrival. Happy smiles light the faces of the children as they receive their special toy or gift. By the journey’s end, over 15 tons of toys, food and gifts are distributed throughout the states of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

“Seeing the children’s faces light up as Santa distributes the gifts makes all of the work worth-while. The Santa Train seems to boost the Christmas spirit of everyone involved,” says Moore.

For more information on The Santa Train Tradition visit Headquartered in Abingdon, Food City operates 102 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state region of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

Fun Fest continues as Top 20 Event

Go to bottom for list of all Southeast Events

Kingsport, TN – Fun Fest staff and supporters are geared-up for an exciting 2009 after receiving numerous awards highlighting 2008’s successes.

Kingsport’s nine-day festival looks forward to distracting this community from the struggles of a tough economy. “Kingsport is the type of community that during tough times we all pull together and raise each others spirits,” said Lucy Fleming, director of Fun Fest. “This is the time to remember why Fun Fest was started in the first place and focus on the importance of taking pride in our community.”

Fun Fest has been awarded the prominent "Top 20 Events" designation from the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) for July 2009 as well as three Kaleidoscope Awards from the Southeast Festival and Events Association. “This is the fifth consecutive year that Fun Fest has been awarded a Top 20 Events designation from STS and its seventh award since 2000,” said Fleming.

During the SFEA’s Kaleidoscope Awards, Fun Fest’s Crazy 8s Race received the Gold Award in the “Best Event within an Event”.

“We are extremely excited and honored to receive this award,” says Hank Brown, Crazy 8s Race Director. “2008 was a banner year for Crazy 8s with two very prestigious awards – first, being named the Top Road Race of 2008 by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and now the Kaleidoscope Award honoring Crazy 8s and Fun Fest as the Best Event Within an Event. We want to thank this community for supporting Crazy 8s and making it such a success. The Crazy 8s committee is working hard to make 2009 even better.”

In addition to Crazy 8’s award, the “Friends of Festus” program received the Bronze Award in the “Best Solicitation Package” category and the Silver Award in the “Best Event Photography” category for Jeffery Stoner’s photo from the Hot Air Balloon Rally.

“I’m not surprised this festival has received this kind of recognition,” said Wanda Valentine, Chairman of Fun Fest 2009. “Fun Fest houses such a great diversity of events and something for everyone. I certainly believe this recognition proves the amount of organization put forth by the Fun Fest staff, 1000’s of volunteers and the Kingsport community.”

The list of this quarter’s Top 20 Events can be found at

Fun Fest 2009 will take place on July 10-18. For more information about Fun Fest, visit

Fun Fest is a program of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce. The Kingsport Chamber is a membership organization comprised of nearly 1,000 members. The Chamber’s mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area. The Kingsport Chamber has been accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 25 years.

Media Contact:
Carolyn Morris, Executive Director
Georgia Festivals and Events Association
P O. Box 965296
Marietta, GA 30066

February 19, 2009

Southeast Festivals & Events Conference
Announces 2009 Kaleidoscope Award Winners

Marietta, GA – The Annual Southeast Festivals & Events Conference was held in, Knoxville TN, February 16-18, 2009. “The conference was a huge success providing educational session and panel discussions to 150 event professionals”, said Rick Lott, GFEA Chairman. Lott attributes the success to outstanding speakers and a well-rounded program plus a super core of volunteers. During the awards program, top festivals & events throughout the southeast were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the festivals and events industry by receiving the prestigious Kaleidoscope Award, which is sponsored by RCS Productions.

The name Kaleidoscope was selected because the award committee felt the colors & changes in the image represent the many different festivals and facets within the events. “The quality of submissions continues to go up each year making it harder and harder to choose only one winner”, says Nia Foster, Award Coordinator, IFEA. “It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your event or community and award those who have worked hard creating the perfect event or festival.”

Winners include:

Under $75,000
Bronze: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Smokey Mountain Storytelling Festival, “Youth Storytelling Showcase
Silver: Pit Stop, Art in the Park, “Paint A Pot”
Gold: City of Suwanee, “Party in de Park”

Over $75,000
Bronze: City of Clarksville, Riverfest, “Riverfest Regatta”
Silver: 3fold Consulting, Ukrop’s Christmas Parade, “Comcast Character Lunch”
Gold: Kingsport Fun Fest, “Crazy 8’s”


Under $75,000
Bronze: City of Gatlinburg Special Events, Gatlinburg’s “Ribfest & Wings”
Silver: Oxfords Town BBQ Throwdown
Gold: Madison The City, Freedom Fest 2008

Over $75,000
Bronze: Dooly County Chamber, Big Pig Jig
Silver: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival
Gold: Stone Mountain Park, The Yellow Daisy Festival


Under $75,000
Bronze: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, A Mountain Quiltfest
Silver: City of Decatur, Decatur Holiday Candle Light Tour of Homes
Gold: The Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur Wine Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: The Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur Arts Festival
Silver: 3fold Consulting, Ukrop’s Christmas Parade
Gold: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival


Under $75,000
Bronze: Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown
Silver: City of Decatur, Decatur Holiday Candle Light Tour of Homes
Gold: City of Decatur, The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: Fayetteville Dogwood Festival
Silver: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival
Gold: The Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur Arts Festival


Over $75,000
Bronze: The Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur Arts Festival
Silver: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival
Gold: Fayetteville Dogwood Festival

Over $75,000
Silver: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival
Gold: Dooly County Chamber, Big Pig Jig

Under $75,000
Gold: City of Suwanee, Melissa Fernandez

Over $75,000
Sliver: City of Oak Ridge, Mike Bradshaw
Gold: City of Winchester, Brenda Long


Under $75,000
Bronze: City of Suwanee
Silver: City of Gatlinburg Special Events
Gold: The Georgia International Horse Park, The Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: Centennial Olympic Park
Silver: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival
Gold: Taste of Atlanta


Under $75,000
Bronze: The Georgia International Horse Park, The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
Silver: Madison the City, Freedom Fest 2008
Gold: Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown

Over $75,000
Bronze: 3fold Consulting, Ukrop’s Christmas Parade
Silver: Centennial Olympic Park
Gold: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Pigeon Forge Winterfest


Under $75,000
Silver City of Decatur
Gold: Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown

Over $75,000
Bronze: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival
Silver: Taste of Atlanta
Gold: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival


Under $75,000
Silver: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, A Mountain Quiltfest, “Every Stitch Tells a Story”
Gold: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Saddle Up! Celebration

Over $75,000
Silver: City of Winchester, International Dogwood Festival
Gold: Fayetteville Dogwood Festival

Over $75,000
Gold: City of Winchester


Under $75,000
Sliver: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, AppalachiaFest
Gold: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Pigeon Forge Winterfest

Over $75,000
Gold: Stone Mountain Park, The Yellow Daisy Festival


Under $75,000
Silver: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Dolly Homecoming Parade
Gold: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Wilderness Wildlife Week

Over $75,000
Bronze: City of Winchester
Sliver: Dooly County Chamber, Big Pig Jig
Gold: Stone Mountain Park, The 39th Annual Yellow Daisy Festival


Under $75,000
Bronze: City of Suwanee, Suwanee Day
Silver: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Quiltfest
Gold: Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events, Wilderness Wildlife Week

Over $75,000
Bronze: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival
Silver: Stone Mountain Park, The Yellow Daisy Festival
Gold: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival


Under $75,000
Gold: The Georgia International Horse Park, The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: Kingsport Fun Fest
Silver: 3fold Consulting, Ukrop’s Christmas Parade
Gold: Fayetteville Dogwood Festival


Under $75,000
Gold: Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown, Domino’s Pizza

Over $75,000
Bronze: Oxford CVB, Double Decker Festival, AT&T
Silver: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival, Dairyland Ice Cream
Gold: City of Winchester, International Dogwood Festival, Winchester Utilities


Under $75,000
Gold: The Georgia International Horse Park, The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, Fun-Fare

Over $75,000
Gold: City of Winchester, Hannah Express


Under $75,000
Bronze: City of Decatur, Decatur Beach Party
Silver: Madison the City, Family Fourth Celebration
Gold: City of Decatur, The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: Centennial Olympic Park, SoCo Music Experience
Silver: Kingsport Fun Fest
Gold: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival


Under $75,000
Silver: Madison the City, Mother & Daughter Tea
Gold: Pit Stop, Paint A Pot

Over $75,000
Bronze: Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, Bloom & Boom Kick Off Party
Silver: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival, Let’s Go Racing Ya’ll
Gold: City of Winchester, Festival Exchange Program


Under $75,000
Bronze: City of Decatur, The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival
Silver: City of Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Gold: The Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival

Over $75,000
Bronze: Taste of Atlanta
Silver: 3fold Consulting, Ukrop’s Christmas Parade
Gold: Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival

Explore Downtown Kingsport!

Downtown merchants launch new website containing business directory, events, and specials in Downtown Kingsport

If you're a downtown business, you can submit your own content, restaurant menu, specials, etc.

Go to

A rare opportunity for first-time home buyers

Forwarded with permission...

From: Bonner, J. Andy


You should send this out for all to hear. The new stimulus act allows a unique feature that a lot of families can take advantage of in the Tri-Cities due to the lower prices of homes that we see in our housing market. Not a lot of people understand that you can get this credit back now on your 2008 tax return even if the house is bought in 2009.


A young couple currently rents a house/apartment in the area for $600.00 per month. They are either a first time buyer or have not owned a house for the last 3 years. They find a house for $ 90,000. If they finance $85,500 at 6.0% for 30 years (95 % loan to value and may actually be able to get a lower rate due to current market). Their estimated monthly payment would only be approximately $682.00 ($512.00 principal and interest, plus insurance, taxes and PMI of $170.00). Then the couple can file a 2008 tax return, or file an amended tax return for 2008, to show the purchase as of 12-31-08 (as long as purchased before 12-1-09). The government would allow a credit on their 2008 tax return and would send them a refund check back on the purchase of the house for $8,000. Even if the couple has no tax liability, they would get the money back on their 2008 tax return. As long as they keep the house more than three years, no repayment of the credit would be required. Unlike the previous approved first time home buyers credit, the couple would not have to pay the money back over 15 years. This would more than cover the down payment of 5% and the closing cost on the house. What a great opportunity for a young couple to obtain their first home!

There are some income limitations and other restrictions for which they may need to research, but based on my experience most people who are renting would qualify. I have attached the new law which explains this in more detail.

Jack A. (Andy) Bonner, Jr. CPA
Dent K. Burk Associates, P.C.
P. O. Box 629
Kingsport, TN 37662
voice: 423-246-6104, ext. 107
fax: 423-378-4109

Tomoko Japanese Restaurant now open in Kingsport

1801 East Stone Drive at Indian Trail Dr
(in front of K-Mart)


Tomoko Fan - Church Hill, TN
Feb 28, 2009

"I just ate there yesterday and it is delicious! Tomoko's is just as good as Moto's, as a matter of fact I am pretty sure one of the chef's from Moto's opened Tomoko! Go try it! I promise you will enjoy it!"

Japanese Rest Diner - Murphysboro, IL
Saturday Feb 14

"I was over by there last night because my wife wanted to eat at Fazoli's. We could smell the food all the way over at Fazoli's. If it tastes a third as good as the smell was, the place will be phenominal. Hope that helps!"

Fleet Feet Sports coming to Kingsport


Kingsport, TN- Fleet Feet Sports is coming to Kingsport! Fleet Feet Sports is a specialty running and walking store serving Kingsport and northeast TN and southwest VA. Owners Phil and Melissa Horner are opening this exciting store in early March, at Reedy Creek Terrace, across from Panera Bread and Starbucks. The specialty retailer will carry running shoes, apparel and related accessories. Fleet Feet’s custom shoe-fitting process involves analyzing a customer’s foot and stride by watching them run or walk, either on the sidewalk or in-store treadmill. They also offer videotaped gait analysis. Owner, Phil Horner, says "Most people don’t realize that lack of proper fit in footwear is linked to many common aches and pains. We truly love sports and running and are excited to help people find the right fit and support in their shoes so that they can reach their fitness goals. You don’t have to be a runner to come into our store.”

Fleet Feet will also serve as a gathering place for area runners and walkers where group runs and walks will take advantage of the adjacent Greenbelt trail.

Fleet Feet Sports Kingsport is a locally owned and operated franchise of Fleet Feet, Inc., which has 90 stores throughout the country. Other Tennessee locations include Knoxville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Memphis. Local runners, familiar with Fleet Feet’s reputation for unsurpassed customer service, are delighted that Fleet Feet has arrived in Kingsport. “We are so excited that Kingsport now has a store that specializes in all the needs of runners and walkers, including products, advice, and information,” says Shaun and Julie Potts, both avid runners. “I know we will come to rely on Fleet Feet’s expertise in choosing shoes and apparel and planning our training schedule.” For more information on Fleet Feet Sports, visit their websites at or

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.