Follow by Email

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kingsport Greenbelt featured in August 2009 Southern Living

Front page of the "Tennessee Living" section. This is only a quick teaser. You'll have to buy the magazine for the full article (click to enlarge). You may also visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What 3 independently-owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?

If half the employed population spent $50 each month in independently-owned businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 did?

Here's your challenge. What are your 3 favorite independent Kingsport stores that you would miss if they disappeared?

Tell me. Write to

Is it Kaffe Blue? Finer Things for Her? YaYa's Candy Corner? Broad Street BBQ? Bone Fire Smokehouse? Riverfront Seafood? Kingsport Grocery? others?

Now, will you make a concerted effort to spend $50 per month in a local store?

Now, I'm not bragging by any stretch, but I took a quick look at my visa bill for the last 30 days and I've (mostly my wife) met my quota of local Kingsport stores:

$ 23.91 Kaffe Blue
$123.70 Carriage House
$ 61.50 Barefoot Chameleon
$ 22.59 Kaffe Blue
$ 27.79 Bone Fire Smokehouse
$ 17.47 Chef's Pizzeria
$100.00 Anglen Photography

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why was John Adams Elementary built so close to Rock Springs Elementary?

This question was recently posed to me. It may surprise you to know...

Kingsport's John Adams Elementary is 5.2 miles from Sullivan County's Rock Springs Elementary, 3.8 miles from Miller Perry, and 4.3 miles from Sullivan Elementary.

By comparison, Washington County's new Ridgeview Elementary is 3.2 miles from Gray Elementary and 4.4 miles from Sulphur Springs.

...and Johnson City's relatively new Lake Ridge Elementary is 3.8 miles from Boones Creek Elementary.

Did you know that John Adams is 9.7 miles from Thomas Jefferson, but only 9.0 miles from Gray?

Did you know that John Adams is 12.3 miles from George Washington Elementary, but only 12 miles from Boones Creek Elementary School?

So, while John Adams is technically within the city limits of Kingsport, it is certainly a very convenient regional address for most Tri-Cities residents.

Learn more about John Adams at

Friday, July 24, 2009

My remarks from this morning's Chamber Breakfast

Below is a link my brief from this morning's Fourth Friday Chamber Breakfast.

"Importance of Retail Sales to the Local Economy"

The upcoming back-to-school sales are 2nd only to Christmas in terms of importance to local retailers, so please consider supporting your local schools by shopping locally.

Sales tax is the one tax that is entirely within your control. You choose who gets the revenue by your decision of where to make the purchase.


Remember Tennessee's Sales Tax Holiday Aug 7-9 and shop Kingsport first!

Will you help? Between now and the upcoming Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday Weekend (Aug 7), please consider adding the following to your email signature:


Here's how.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, click "Tools", "Options", "Mail Format", "Signatures"

If you use web-based email, look for "Preferences" and "Signature"

Cut and paste "Visit" into the signature box, then save your settings by clicking "OK" or "save". is an official program of the Kingsport Economic Development Board

We are striving to earn your business and give you a good reason to choose Kingsport as your retail shopping destination.

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of spreading a message. I would appreciate your help in spreading the word with each email that you send!

Friday, July 17, 2009

D-B students score high in National Spanish Exam

While I routinely send these releases about Kingsport City Schools, this one is special because my daughter is included! Way to go, Katelyn!

D-B Students Score High In National Spanish Exam

KINGSPORT -- Several Dobyns-Bennett High School students have received top honors on the National Spanish Exam.

The National Spanish Examination is an online, standardized assessment tool given voluntarily by over 3000 teachers throughout the United States to measure proficiency and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language. Over 115,000 students took the national Spanish exam this year. Dobyns-Bennett students had outstanding results in national rankings with many earning Gold, Silver, Bronze and Excellence awards. Dobyns-Bennett student Celine Alvarado also placed first in the state rankings with outside experience for the examination.

The following students received awards:

Level I Gold Award – Scoring above 95% in the Nation
Chris Dougan – 3rd place in State – Regular Experience
Bella Velasco – 8th place in State – Regular Experience
Celin Alvarado - 1st place in State – Outside Experience

Level I Silver Award – Scoring above 85% in the Nation
Casey Zhu
Mizael Hernandez – 5th place in State - Bilingual
Conner Gunn
Lea Durnin
Drew Mallinak
Brittany Gray
Steven Breen

Level I Bronze Award – Scoring above 75% in the Nation
Nathan Ellis
Karina Morales
Brandon Garrison
Eric Seguin
Ashley Payne
Troy Messina
Ben Melone

Level I Excellence Award – Scoring above 50% in the Nation
Marylou Morales
Neil Delwadia
Samantha Kistner
Katelyn Fleming
Katie Halvorsen
Will Allen
Ryan Shoemaker
Jaclyn Arizmendi
Elizabeth Keizer
Jerica Lane
Emily Anderson
Antonella Mercurio
Mayra Hernandez

Level II Silver Award – Scoring above 75% in the Nation
Robert Looney

Level II Bronze Award – Scoring above 85% in the Nation
Joseph Horton

Level II Excellence Award – Scoring above 50% in the Nation
Anne Marie Teague
Christina Tavarez

Level III Silver Award – Scoring above 75% in the Nation
Teresa Tavarez – 3rd Place in State – Bilingual

Level III Bronze Award – Scoring above 85% in the Nation
Megan Brooker
Lauren Kaiser
Patrick Davis

Level III Excellence Award – Scoring above 50% in the Nation
Jessica Koehler
Olivia Loveless
Katelyn Shaw
Emily Stone
Sydney Collette
Esmeralda Raigoza
Daniel Ramirez
Krispin Gonzales

Level IV Excellence Award – Scoring above 50% in the Nation
Peter Duden
Cammie Browning
Emily Church
Jeff Harkleroad

For more information, contact Elena Allen, Dobyns-Bennett Spanish Teacher at (423) 378-8400.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Pinnacle of Excellence in Northeast Tennessee

Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Click below for all award-winners:

Kingsport's winners of 2009 Pinnacle Awards...

Tennessee Valley Showcase Marching Band Competition
Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sculpture Walk
City of Kingsport Cultural Arts Division

Kingsport Visitors Guide
Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau

National Storytelling Festival Campaign
Hillhouse Graphic Design (Kingsport)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Will you help me with a survey?

This is Jeff Fleming's personal survey to determine the importance of Quality of Life factors in choosing a community. (It is not an official survey of the City of Kingsport). The factors were determined by the American Planning Association and I'm trying to gauge your opinion:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Newcomer to Kingsport?

Are you a newcomer to Kingsport? We'd love for you to stop by the "Move To Kingsport" tent and say hello, meet other newcomers, and just be neighborly!

Taste of Tri-Cities will be taking place in the park, so you can sample local restaurants followed by an outdoor movie, "Madagascar 2".

Bring your favorite chair and enjoy your new community.

Wednesday July 15, 2009
5 pm - 8 pm
Location: Memorial Park on Fort Henry Drive beside Zoomerz (1673 Ft Henry)

I will be there personally and I'd love to meet you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Walk On

A friend shared this with me. Don't let anyone tell you 'no'. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Take one-step-at-a-time and you'll be amazed how far you can go...

Kingsport receives 2009 Rebuild Tennessee Award

For its efforts on the Kingsport Higher Education Center, the City of Kingsport received the 2009 REBUILD TENNESSEE AWARD from the Tennessee Development District Association and the First Tennessee Development District.

REBUILD TENNESSEE is the result of the Public Infrastructure Needs Inventory Act. The program is administered by the Tennessee Development District Assocation and TACIR (Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations).

Friday, July 10, 2009

LIVE Fun Fest coverage streaming on the internet!

check it out:

LIVE Fun Fest Coverage Daily from Kingsport, Tennessee!

Tune in to MyTown Channel 16 everyday at 10AM for our live TV program hosted by Stacey and Jeff. The program will feature highlights from the previous days events as well as a complete guide to that days events. You can also tune in here at everyday to watch the broadcast live as well as watch live coverage of FunFest throughout the day.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

It pays to live in Kingsport!

Check out:

With a low cost of living and high quality of life, Kingsport is an ideal place to live!

According to, you could save $5,454 by moving to Kingsport from Gray, or $6,549 by moving to Kingsport from Chattanooga, or $17,705 by moving to Kingsport from Asheville.

Regional comparison (Gray, Church Hill, Colonial Heights, Bristol, Johnson City, etc.), click below:

State comparison (Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, etc.), click below:

National comparison (Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington, Orlando, etc.), click below:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thanks for making a great success! is the official program of the City of Kingsport and Kingsport Economic Development Board. We're striving to earn your loyalty and let you know we genuinely appreciate your shopping in Kingsport! receives an average 22,000+ clicks per month and growing. By sponsoring a Big Deal, your name becomes prominent throughout the site, and we provide links back to your website.

Are you a local business owner? Got Deals? Get Published for Free! Only on

These are real, local deals from real, local businesses. It's not just a business directory. The better the deal, the higher it's listed in rotation. So check back daily to see the daily buzz (or sign-up for the email service and we'll send the deals directly to you!)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

1,363 new families from 40 states moved to Kingsport in FY2009

Kingsport is located at the intersection of I-26 and I-81 on the Tennessee/Virginia border, 80 miles due north of Asheville, NC. Interested in moving to Kingsport?

During the last 12 months (July 2008-June 2009), there were 1,363 new families from 40 states in Kingsport*. During the past 3 years, that number swells to 4,757 from 48 states.**

The net difference of "moving to" and "moving away" during the 3 year period is 787, which equates to a net increase of 1,084 new residents inside the city limits (1,810 overall). This does not include annexation.

Please welcome our new neighbors! And if you're worried that all of this activity will clog our roads and strain our public facilities, we've seen a very comfortable 1% +/- cumulative population change in the past 9 years (44,475 city/153,900 county), or "just right". Cities/counties in states to our south and east have had double-digit increases that strain resources and jeopardize quality of life ("too hot"), while cities/counties midwestern and northeastern states have seen double-digit decreases that threaten their sustainability ("too cold").

Of the 1,363 new families moving to Kingsport in the past 12 months:

69.75% chose to live inside the city limits
59.9% of new construction was inside city limits

182 moved into new construction
1,181 moved into existing structures

532 relocated from elsewhere in Northeast Tennessee
108 relocated from elsewhere in Tennessee (beyond 35 miles)

111 relocated from Southwest Virginia (within 35 miles of Kingsport)
21 relocated from elsewhere in Virginia (beyond 35 miles)

391 relocated from other states

The local economy is not immune to the national economic downturn. Comparing this year to the past 3:

• New residential construction is down -38.02%
• Out-of-state relocations to Kingsport are down -11.43%

Official Census Bureau Population Estimates:

  • Sullivan County = 153,900 (2008), 151,592 (2004), 153,048 (2000)
  • City of Kingsport = 44,475 (2008), 44,051 (2004), 44,905 (2000)
  • City of Bristol = 25,817 (2008), 25,015 (2004), 24,821 (2000)

*Kingsport zip codes in the city's utility service area in western Sullivan County (includes City of Kingsport, Colonial Heights, Fall Creek, Indian Springs, Rock Springs, Lynn Garden, Sullivan Gardens, Cook's Valley, Carter's Valley). Data does not include Bloomingdale.

**This is not intended to imply a net population gain to the Census population estimate, rather it shows the diverse origin of families relocating to our community. The vast majority move into existing homes and invest their resources into remodeling in an existing neighborhood.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Please VOTE - less than 24 hours left!

Kingsport's Bone Fire Smokehouse is a finalist for Regis & Kelly's Best Ribs Recipe in the Nation.

Go to for the quick instructions and to also be able to enter a top-of-the-line $900 Weber Grill for yourself.

Voting ends at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning - please forward to your friends and contacts

Unfortunately, it is not easy to vote, so please stick with it. You can only vote once per day. Your vote is very much appreciated!


BONE FIRE Smokehouse Invites BBQ Fans to Cast their Votes on
“LIVE with Regis and Kelly”
Executive Chef Erich Soll

KINGSPORT, Tenn., July 3, 2009 – “LIVE with Regis and Kelly’s” producers are kicking-off a nationwide search for the best grill recipe and they’re asking their viewers for help with the “Ultimate Hometown Grill Off.” One regional chef has a good chance, but needs your help. Erich Soll, Executive Chef at BONE FIRE Smokehouse in Downtown Kingsport, Tenn., has been selected as having one of the top 5 ribs recipes in the nation, with his succulent Smoked Ribs with Fightin’ Irish Whiskey Sauce™.

Chef Soll describes the dish, “It combines items such as roasted red and green peppers, Jameson Irish whiskey, poblano peppers, brown sugar, garlic, onions, cumin, Worchester sauce, and more. I can’t give this potentially prize-winning recipe away, but come taste it yourself or order it online.”

This is a great opportunity for foodies and BBQ fans to put their favorite dish on the map. And, when people vote online, they’re automatically entered to win a top-of-the-line Weber Genesis Gas Grill valued at $900.

So, how does it work? Online voters visit and follow the link.

Voting takes place Friday, July 3rd at 10 a.m. through Sunday, July 5th at 10 a.m. Each week, the chef with the greatest number of votes will be invited to appear on LIVE in New York City to demonstrate their recipe.

On August 17th, the top two grillers will be announced – one will be named the “Ultimate Hometown Grill Off” winner and he or she will have the opportunity to appear in an upcoming issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Visit BONE FIRE Smokehouse at: for location, hours of operation, and online shopping.

About Erich Soll

Chef Soll originally hails from New Jersey, but has lived in the south for most of his life. He is self-trained and was taught by numerous chefs through “on-the-job” training which gave him the confidence to try new things. He often relates to people that he was “cooking before cooking was cool.” Soll considers smoking foods an art and enjoys experimenting with different types of woods and flavors. He says that smoking foods is where his true passion lies and can often be found twirling his handlebar mustache while contemplating his next smoking challenge. (He only waxes for special occasions.) As the Corporate Chef for Adapt Core, an umbrella organization that oversees an array of projects that include restaurant consulting, commercial general contracting, event promotions and business development, Chef Soll oversees all menu development, kitchen operations, value-added product development and special events for
BONE FIRE Smokehouse and Kingsport Grocery Company.

###Media Only Contact:

Kanishka Biddanda
of Adapt Core
for BONE FIRE Smokehouse

Friday, July 03, 2009

CORRECTION: Text Msg Updates for Kingsport's Downtown Concert Series

Text MUSIC to 25827

You will receive timely information, last-minute changes due to weather, etc.

Live concerts in Downtown Kingsport every Thursday and Friday

For schedule, go to

A special request of all Kingsporters

AAU Girls Basketball National Championship participants in town July 3-8 will have white "car flags" as identification. Please wave, smile, or say hello to confirm Kingsport's reputation as 'King of Hospitality'

-----Original Message-----
From: Emily Kilgore
Sent: Jul 2, 2009 9:12 AM
Subject: AAU Girls Basketball Tournament Visitors

Hey Jeff,

We just wanted to spread the word that our AAU Girls Basketball National Championship begins tomorrow and runs through July 8th.

We are expecting more than 3,000 visitors to Kingsport and hope that our city proves to once again be the "King of Hospitality".

The AAU participants will have flags on their car this year signaling that they are a visitor for AAU. We hope that area residents will lend them a wave and a smile....or directions if they are unsure of where they are. It is our hospitality that keeps these tournaments coming back each year and we hope to continue that for many years to come!!!!

Thanks!! Hope you will share!!!

For more info about the AAU Division I 12 & under Girls Basketball National Championship, visit


Kingsport's 4th of July Parade, Concert & Fireworks

Saturday, July 4, 2009

10 a.m. – Kingsport’s Mack Riddle 4th of July Parade (Route: 1200 E Center to 1644 Fort Henry Dr) Sponsor: American Legion


Event is FREE!!!

4-7 pm – World War 2 Photo Exhibit-by Dr. James Phillips- DKA (140 W. Main St.)

4-7 pm – Community Yard Sale – DKA (140 W Main St) Furniture, Toys, Decorations and More

5 pm - Food Vendors Open

6 pm – Concert: Full Circle Band (Broad Street)

8 pm – Concert: Benny Wilson (Broad Street)

9:45 pm – Fireworks by Dynamic Effects from Domtar's Cement Hill

*Food Drive- Bring non-perishable food items to done to the Second Harvest Food Bank


Thanks to our Sponsors!: Eastman Chemical, Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center, Christ Fellowship Church, Paul Bellamy Furniture, WKPT tv, WKPT radio, 98.5 WTFM, Domtar, Mark Freeman Associates, Eastman Credit Union, Classic Hits 102.7, 95.9 the HOG

For More information visit our website at

Downtown...The Heart of Kingsport

DKA's mission is to make Downtown Kingsport a preferred destination to live, work, shop, learn, and relax.

If you have questions or comments, please email

For additional DKA information, call 423-246-6550 or go to our website,

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

House Price Appreciation - by state

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.

47 states had depreciation, Tennessee ranked #26, Virginia #44, US average would rank between #41 and #42

Top 5 States:
  1. Alaska 4.79%
  2. Oklahoma 0.3%
  3. North Dakota 0.3%
  4. South Dakota 0.29%
  5. Kentucky -0.54%
Bottom 5:
  1. Nevada -31.10%
  2. Florida -22.46%
  3. California -22.46%
  4. Arizona -19.51%
  5. DC -15.28%
  6. Maryland -10.06%

Full report:

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.