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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Graham Clark's eulogy of Tom Coughenour

Below is Graham Clark's eulogy of Coach Tom Coughenour (3 parts): pt 1 pt 2 pt 3

Monday, June 29, 2009

Boys & Girls Club opens new 'Citizens Bank'

Boys & Girls Club opens new 'Citizens Bank' Three Dobyns-Bennett High School marketing students also got involved in the project. Jacqueline Buckles, Kendra Brooks and Kelley Combs, who just graduated ...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It pays to live in Kingsport (pt 2)

How does the cost-of-living in Tennessee cities compare to Kingsport?

How does the cost-of-living in cities outside Tennessee compare to Kingsport (based on top states relocating to Kingsport in the past 3 years) you get internationally-accredited police and fire departments and a public school system whose high school is ranked among the best in America by Newsweek

It pays to live in Kingsport

We've looked at this data before for multiple states, but never really focused on the immediate region (like Gray, Colonial Heights, and Church Hill).

Click here to see how your regional community compares to Kingsport

Click here to see how Kingsport compares to the rest of Tennesssee

Click here to see how Kingsport compares to communties in states that have most-frequently moved to Kingsport in the past three years

Learn more at

Friday, June 26, 2009

D-B seniors become buddies of special needs students

DB seniors become buddies of special needs students From left to right: BUDS volunteer Brandie Gilliam, student Michael Brown and volunteer Bridgette Johnson socialize at Dobyns-Bennett High ...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Olive Garden submits building plans for Kingsport

Plans have been submitted for Olive Garden at 1919 North Eastman Road in East Stone Commons.

Plans call for a 264-seat, 7,529 square foot restaurant. Based on market rates, the investment is projected between $1 to $1.5 million. Olive Garden would create an estimated 165 jobs will be created with the opening of the 264-seat, 7,529 square-foot restaurant.

We are not usually able to get official confirmation from a major national owner/developer due to corporate policy; however, rumors have been so rampant in the community, it’s time to recognize that an official step has been taken.

Submitting construction plans for review is typically a milestone event. The next step is issuance of a building permit, which usually takes about 10 business days or less. I’ve never known a project to reach this stage then fall by the wayside, but then again these are extraordinary economic times.

Olive Garden’s construction will include a full demolition of Cootie Brown’s, which was built in 2004.

While we hate to see Cootie Brown’s closed and demolished, there were circumstances that are beyond our control.

As we have learned in the past few years, when one door closes another opens.

It’s important to have familiar national franchises in your retail portfolio. They are an expected amenity in a community this size; however, it’s also critical to have strong, unique local restaurants.

The community was sad to see Cootie Brown’s close. We would love have them back in Kingsport as quickly as possible.

Does Kingsport have too many restaurants? According to recent retail market leakage reports, there is $77 million in annual retail market demand for full service restaurants within the immediate vicinity of the site. Nearly 10% of that demand remains unmet. Factoring in the outlying areas beyond 20 minutes who traditionally shop in Kingsport, the annual demand for full service restaurants jumps to $385 million with nearly $45.2 million in unmet demand.

East Stone Commons is a 270,000 sf redevelopment partnership between the City of Kingsport, Sullivan County, and Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority. Located at the region’s busiest local intersection, Eastman Road and Stone Drive, co-tenants include Hobby Lobby, Office Depot, Ross, TJ Maxx, PetsMart, Pier 1, and Rack Room. Restaurants include Chili’s, McAllister’s, Tomy Thai, Salsarita’s, Marble Slab and Fazoli’s.

The City and County contributed $2,700,000 in incentives. During its first 3 full years of operation, East Stone Commons is estimated to have generated more than $100 million in new retail sales for the City and County. Half of the sales tax proceeds go to Sullivan County, Bristol City and Kingsport City Schools.

Most new Olive Garden restaurants have been built in the Tuscan Farmhouse-design since February 2000. Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with 653 restaurants, more than 80,000 employees and $3.1 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI), the world’s largest full-service owned and operated restaurant company. For more information, visit Olive Garden’s Web site at

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Indian Path Medical Center opens renovated floor, lab

Kingsport hospital opens renovated floor, lab Indian Path Medical Center in Kingsport has completed a nearly $1 million renovation project that includes updated patient rooms and a new lab. ...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

D-B student named Presidential Scholar

From the Salem, OR newspaper...see the national list

Click here: 2009 Presidential Scholars Announced Salem-News.Com - OR,USA TN - Kingsport - Alice Xiang, Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport, TN. Most influential teacher: Kevin Fielden, Kingsport, TN. ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tennessee-Virginia Scholars Celebrate Achievement

TN/VA Scholars celebrate achievement with picnic Students from 10 high schools participate: Cherokee and Volunteer in Hawkins County; Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport; Sullivan Central, South, North and East in ...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Robinson girls, Sevier boys take Little Big 9 Championships

Robinson, Sevier Take Little Big 9 Track Titles Sevier Boys and Robinson girls were the team winners in Thursday at the Little Big 9 Track and Field Championships held at the Dobyns-Bennett track. ...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tennessee A-AA Boys Track & Field Championships

Final A-AA Team Standings:
6) University School - Johnson City
16) Unicoi County
24) Elizabethton
42) Sullivan North

Pole Vault:
7th - Harrison Becker (Unicoi Co)

Triple Jump:
1st - Cody Forbes (Elizabethton)
3rd - Cameron Miller (Unicoi Co)

Long Jump:
6th - Matt Washington (Sullivan North)

3200 Meter:
7th - Alden Collins (University School - Johnson City)
8th - Trevor Augsburger (University School - Johnson City)

2nd - University School - Johnson City

800 meter:
1st - David Smith (University School - Johnson City)
5th - Carter McVeigh (University School - Johnson City)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sign-up for Fun Fest text message alerts!

We have a new text messaging program that we would like to share with the public. You can receive text message updates about Fun Fest news, events, promotions and TreasureTracker clues during Fun Fest.

All you have to do is visit our website at and click on the “Join our text message list” link or simply text FESTUS to 25827.

Thanks so much!!!

Emily KilgoreCommunications Manager
Kingsport Convention & Visitor's Bureau
(423) 392-8824
151 E. Main St.
Kingsport, TN 37660

Tennessee AAA Boys Track & Field Championships

Final AAA Boys Team Rankings:
15) Science Hill
32) Sullivan South
37) Dobyns-Bennett

Pole Vault
10th - T.J. Dodd (Dobyns-Bennett)

Long Jump:
15th - J.B. Huff (Dobyns-Bennett)

High Jump:
2nd - Andrew Pickwell (Sullivan South)

5th - Bruce Crumley (Science Hill)

3200 Meter:
3rd - Michael Mansy (Science Hill)

3rd - Science Hill
5th - Dobyns-Bennett

State Record Holders:
400 meter dash - Darwin Bond (Dobyns-Bennett 1970 46.74)
800 meter run - Jim Ailshie (Dobyns-Bennett 1981 1:50:20)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tennessee A-AA Girls Track & Field Championships

Final Team Standings (Girls A-AA):
26) Sullivan North
28) Elizabethton

High Jump:
5th - Emilee Ketron (Sullivan North)

Triple Jump:
6th - Emilee Ketron (Sullivan North)

Shot Put:
4th - Arin Anderson (Elizabethton)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tennessee AAA Girls Track & Field Championships


Team Final Rankings AAA (Girls):
1) Science Hill
16) Dobyns-Bennett
40) Tennessee High

Pole Vault
7th - Brittany Linkous (Tennessee High)

Long Jump:
16th - Jamie Rutledge (Dobyns-Bennett)

Shot Put:
2nd - Jasmine Foster (Science Hill)
16th - Alyssa Crum (Greeneville)

Triple Jump:
5th - Lexie Burley (Science Hill)
10th - Jessica Norris (Science Hill)

6th - Jasmine Foster (Science Hill)

1st - Science Hill
2nd - Dobyns-Bennett

16oo meter
1st - Allie Scalf (Science Hill)
9th - Ellen Ehrenfried (Dobyns-Bennett)

3200 Meter
1st - Allie Scalf (Science Hill)
3rd - Mollie Foster (Science Hill)
6th - Ellen Ehrenfried (Dobyns-Bennett)

8th - Dobyns-Bennett

400 meter
8th - Edith Hill (Science Hill)
10th - Jennifer Cannon (Tennessee High)

300 meter hurdles
7th - Diamond Knox (Science Hill)

800 meter
5th - Kayla Kuziola (Science Hill)

200 meter dash
8th - Tori Head (Dobyns-Bennett)

3rd - Science Hill

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tennessee High's Linkous Vaults to the Top

This one's close to home as Brittany Linkous' mom, Terrie, is the mayor's secretary in Kingsport!

Click here: Tennessee High’s Linkous Vaults To The Top ...Linkous wanted more, so she gave it a shot. Two tries later, two pushed-over poles. Nine feet it was. But Linkous had made her mark. And the Tennessee High junior had secured another strong showing as she vaults toward a repeat appearance in the state tournament.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dobyns-Bennett boys, Science Hill girls take Big 9 crowns

DB boys, Science Hill girls take Big 9 track crowns The Dobyns-Bennett boys went on the warpath, winning seven events and using superior depth to amass 221 points and capture the 2009 conference title. ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reminder: Tri-Cities Women's Summit Tomorrow

Attention Professional Women and Women Business Owners: Do you have BIG plans for Thursday, June 11th?

If you don’t already have plans to attend the 2009 Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit, then you should seriously consider taking the day off to reward yourself by attending this empowering event because you deserve it. You will learn:
  • How to negotiate with clients and customers, bosses and colleagues, family members and friends, suppliers and service providers
  • How to market yourself and your company –learn to stand out in order to move up or move out if that’s what you are after
  • What the barriers are that prevent women from attaining gender parity in political offices, and how we can be instrumental in overcoming them
  • How to free yourself from clutter with proven and implementable strategies for prioritizing and following through
  • What the persistent limitations are that marginalized women face in accessing quality women’s healthcare, and how you can help remove significant barriers to appropriate care and compliance
  • How to take advantage of social media (i.e., Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In, Plaxo, Twitter, etc.)
  • How women business owners and entrepreneurs can unlock capital and gain access to new markets
  • How women really feel about working or doing business in the Tri Cities region

    2009 Tri Cities Regional Women's Business Summit
    Northeast State Technical Community College 2425 Highway 75 Blountville, Tennessee 37617Thursday, June 11th 8 AM to 4 PM
    Cost: $79.00
    Aundrea Wilcox, Executive Director
    Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce
    Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE)
    151 East Main St
    Kingsport, TN 37660
    Phone (423) 392-8801
    Fax 1 (888) 936-1221

Sales volumes increase in most NE TN housing markets

Most NE Tennessee regional housing markets post March sales volume ... Kingsport was next with an increase of 16, Bristol had an increase of 10 units while the Greeneville's March sales volume declined by 12 units from the ...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Locals in the pros

LOCALS IN THE PROS: Locals Begin Season In the Minors Bristol Herald Courier - Bristol,TN,USARight-handed pitcher Chris Mobley (Dobyns-Bennett) is on the disabled list. The Florida Marlins farmhand underwent surgery in January to remove a bone chip ...

Friday, June 05, 2009

House Price Appreciation - TN, VA, NC, SC, GA, WV

House Price Appreciation (1Q08-1Q09):
The House Price Index is based on transactions involving conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Only mortgage transactions on single-family properties are included.

294 major metropolitan areas (Kingsport-Bristol is considered major, Johnson City is considered minor)

Rankings of Regional Interest:

6. Spartanburg, SC 3.18%
14. Fayetteville, NC 2.39%
18. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC 2.23%
21. Charleston, WV 2.08%
30. Florence, SC 1.65%
35. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 1.51%
39. Augusta, GA-SC 1.42%
42. Columbia, SC 1.32%
44. Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA 1.27%
45. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 1.27%
51. Raleigh-Cary, NC 1.16%
58. Burlington, NC 0.89%
61. Bowling Green, KY 0.84%
65. Lexington, KY 0.78%
68. Huntington, WV-KY-OH 0.74%
78. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 0.39%
79. Asheville, NC 0.31%
80. Lynchburg, VA 0.26%
81. Greensboro-High Point, NC 0.26%
83. Louisville, KY-IN 0.15%
89. Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN 0.00%
90. Knoxville, TN -0.03%
92. Chattanooga, TN-GA -0.07%
100. Roanoke, VA -0.27%
109. Macon, GA -0.50%
114. Winston-Salem, NC -0.53%
115. Anderson, SC -0.56%
116. Columbus, GA-AL -0.58%
121. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN -0.78%
125. Memphis, TN-MS-AR -0.82%
127. Athens, GA -0.89%
137. Savannah, GA -1.28%
150. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA -1.65%
174. Richmond, VA -3.01%
178. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC -3.19%
179. Gainesville, GA -3.46%
184. Wilmington, NC -3.70%
187. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC -4.02%
233. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC -7.10%
245. Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV -9.98%
254. Winchester, VA-WV -12.15%

Unranked minor metros:
3.24% Danville, VA
3.15% Rocky Mount, NC
1.57% Goldsboro, NC
1.33% Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
1.32% Jacksonville, NC
1.24% Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH
1.11% Rome, GA
1.05% Clarksville, TN-KY
0.87% Greenville, NC
0.73% Morgantown, WV
0.58% Sumter, SC
0.09% Jackson, TN
-0.04% Johnson City, TN
-1.20% Harrisonburg, VA
-1.35% Morristown, TN
-2.63% Dalton, GA
-2.69% Albany, GA
-3.23% Brunswick, GA
-4.19% Charlottesville, VA
-1.36% Cleveland, TN

Full report:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Woofstock dog festival this weekend

Woofstock - "dogs, love & happiness" - this weekend at Sugar Hollow Park (Exit 7, Bristol VA)

Woofstock details at

Normally I don't advertise events, but the thing about having your own blog is that you get to bend the rules when you want! My friend, Susan Taylor, asked me to consider this (and she is just one of the best people I know). It helped that I watched Marley & Me this weekend, so my heart was tenderized (more so than usual).

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mmmmm - another new bakery in Downtown Kingsport!

Check out the new bakery in Downtown Kingsport!

Location: 316 Cumberland St (between Center & Sullivan behind First Community Bank)

$2.75 Breads - Assorted Varieties
$1.39 Muffins - Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Morning Glory
$1.89 Danish - Cherry, Blueberry, Peach, Cheese
$1.69 (or 3 for $5) Cookies - Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Sugar, Thumbprints
$1.89 (or 3 for $5.50) Iced Cookies with buttercream icing
Pies - assorted varieties - ask for price
2 for $1 - Homeade Biscuits, light, fluffy
$2.25 Biscuits & Gravy

$1.95 Cinnamon Rolls ($22.50 per dozen)
Cakes - ask for price - variety available daily and by special order
$1.50 ea/$16.50 dz - Cupcakes

House Price Appreciation - Tennessee metros

House Price Appreciation (1Q08-1Q09):
The House Price Index is based on transactions involving conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Only mortgage transactions on single-family properties are included.

1.27% Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
1.05% Clarksville, TN-KY
0.09% Jackson, TN
0.00% Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
-0.03% Knoxville, TN
-0.04% Johnson City, TN
-0.07% Chattanooga, TN-GA
-0.82% Memphis, TN-MS-AR
-1.35% Morristown, TN
-1.36% Cleveland, TN

Full report:

Monday, June 01, 2009

Though economy is in transition, Kingsport-Bristol's per capita income rises

Source: Federal Reserve Bank

Like most metropolitan areas in the U.S., manufacturing employment in Kingsport-Bristol decreased consistently since 1990, which is the earliest available data. (click graph below to enlarge).

During the same time period as the economy continues its transition, per capita income in Kingsport-Bristol increased steadily (click graph below to enlarge).

The greatest increase is education/healthcare (click graph below to enlarge).

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.