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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My remarks to the Joint City-County Board of Education Work Session

Friday, September 25, 2009

After church, think downtown Kingsport!

On Sundays after church, Bone Fire Smokehouse has LIVE gospel music and a $9.95 buffet (includes drink). One child under 10 can eat free with a parent purchase. Additional kids are $5.95.

Kingsport Grocery is open as well with their regular menu.

If other downtown restaurants have Sunday specials, please let me know at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kingsport Middle School championship Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium


It's Warriors vs. Redskins
Friday, September 25, 2009
6:00 pm
Come see the future the future Dobyns-Bennett Indians

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kingsport girl makes her mark!

This video is circulating on national television during Notre Dame football games.

Anyone who knows the Siirola family in Kingsport knows they are an exceptional, committed family who cares deeply about their community and world.

It should come as no surprise then that daughter Jennifer "Jenn" Siirola Beltramo is following in Mom & Dad's footsteps.

View this video from the University of Notre Dame and see how a girl from Kingsport is making her mark!

Click here

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Promote educational opportunities for women

Dear Jeff,

I am wondering if you would place this information on your web site, regarding a benefit bridge luncheon and a fashion show.

Chapter V of PEO - Philanthropic Educational Organization is hosting a Bridge Luncheon and Fashion Show, Thursday, September 24 at 9:30 AM - at Food City Banquet Room. The cost is $20.00 per person. Door prizes will be given away throughout the event. Prizes for the highest bridge scores will also be awarded. All money from the event, will be used to promote educational opportunities for women. Please call 246-4622 for tickets.

Thank you

Peggy Davis

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall for Downtown Kingsport

Fall for Downtown Kingsport Festival makes its debut on Main Street

The Downtown Kingsport Merchants, Businesses and Restaurants invite you to Downtown Kingsport’s 1st Annual Fall Show and Sale

Saturday, September 26th 11am until 7pm

Great Buys-Good Food-Fabulous Live Music

Art – Crafts – Antiques – Food (Tasted of Downtown) – Live Music – Children’s Activities – Loft Apartment open house – Fashion Show (MAURICES)

Over 40 booths!

Children’s Art Contest Sponsored by Kroger of Kingsport

Fun Story Time by Clifford the Big Red Dog sponsored by the Humane Society

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Annual "Arts Crawl" in Downtown Kingsport

The Arts Council of Greater Kingsport (ACGK) will host the first annual Arts Council Arts Crawl: A Passport to the Arts in Kingsport on September 24, 2009. Start your travels at the State Theater where you will pick up your passport, wrist band, and your commemorative wine glass. Then travel to 5 local galleries and the newly remodeled BANQ building, getting your passport stamped along the way. Enjoy wine and delicious appetizers from area restaurants as you view local art work. Passports stamped by all 6 locations may be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to the participating gallery of your choice. Tickets are on sale now!

Participating galleries and locations include Cindy Saadeh Fine Art Studio and Ripper Arts Studio and Gallery, The Gallery of Local Artists, Downtown Kingsport Association Gallery, Suzanne Barrett Justis Fine Art Studio and Gallery, Up Against the Wall Gallery and The BANQ. Participating restaurants include Stir Fry Cafe, Bone Fire Smokehouse, Cafe' N'Orleans, Divine Cafe & Catering, Kaffé Blue, Kingsport Grocery Company and Rose Cottage Bakery.
Up Against the Wall Gallery will be hosting a book signing by local author and reporter Vince Staten. His Latest book “I Always Wanted to be a Cowboy When I Grew up till I Figured out I was Scared of Cows” will be available for purchase the night of the event. It is a collection of his columns from the Kingsport Times News.

Heidi Mayfield will also be at Up Against the Wall Gallery for the event. Her work is on sale there and has been very well received. Heidi received her Advertising Graphic Arts and Design degree from The Art Institute of Florida. An artist all of her life, Heidi has explored different mediums and techniques, and her style has drifted from graphic to realism to impressionism and now primarily to abstract with a cubist influence. A dominate and recurring theme in her work is the female form and the aura of energy. The rich colors Heidi works with are influenced by the radiant fall colors of the native Virginia and the cool ocean colors of her Florida residence, both juxtaposed in unexpected and compelling ways. Working in thin transparent layers of color and encaustic wax along with a mark making process of scratching and scraping into the painting’s surfaces creates depth and intrigue in her work.

Tickets for this event are $32.00 per person and can be purchased in advance online at Tickets will also be available for purchase on the night of the event under the marquee at the State Theater, 155 Broad Street. For more information contact the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport at 423-392-8420.

The Arts Council of Greater Kingsport is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, as well as, the Kingsport Community Foundation (a fund of the East Tennessee Foundation), Eastman Chemical Co., the City of Kingsport’s Cultural Arts Division, and other local sponsors.

Friday, September 18, 2009

300! - volunteers needed

This opportunity is open to anyone - you don't have to be affiliated with D-B band.

The Dobyns‐Bennett Band is hosting the 2009 Tennessee Valley Showcase Saturday, October 17 th . We would like to again make a superior impression on all the bands and spectators joining us for this event. We need over 300 volunteers to insure our success and cannot make this happen without your help. Please indicate your area(s) of interest by placing a number on the appropriate line.

Questions? Contact Jo Cook by phone 423.288.5925 or email

Click here for detailed information about the Tennessee Valley Showcase Marching Band Competition at J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Second Harvest of NE Tenn needs your help to win a truckload of food

Hey Jeff,

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee needs your help to win a truckload of food! Please read the following and pass along this info to everyone that you can. I know with all your social networks you can really help Second Harvest secure this load of food to help families, individuals, children and the elderly who need food assistance. The more folks we have visit the Hunger Action Center (THIS MONTH!!!) the better chance we have to win a truckload of food. Pass it along to all the employees at your company, friends family, your e-mail list, put it on your face book, twitter, and blog (It has to be PEOPLE WITH ZIP CODES in the local eight county area of Northeast Tennessee) we need your help!

As part of our Hunger Action Month advocacy activities, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee has an opportunity to win a truckload of food! This year, Feeding America is asking advocates to commit their time to help end hunger as part of the Give a Little, Feed a Lot Hunger Action Month campaign.

Throughout the month of September, advocates will be asked to take action on the Hunger Action Center in several different ways. For each action they take, they will accrue “minutes” in the fight against hunger. Actions that take up more time or are more impactful will be worth more minutes. Those minutes will be accumulated and pooled to their local food bank based on service area. We hope this will motivate advocates to take action and give their time and voice to help support our public policy initiatives, specifically Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Now here’s the exciting part. We just learned that Kraft will provide the two food banks in each category that accumulate the most minutes as a result of their advocates’ actions a truckload of food from Kraft!

How The Contest Works
We have assigned all Feeding America food banks to three categories representing the pounds distributed by your food bank, those that distribute less than 5 million pounds, those that distribute 5-20 million pounds, and those that distribute more than 20 million pounds. As an advocate takes action, his or her minutes will be counted towards their local member food bank. At the end of the month, the two food banks in each category that have the most minutes will receive a donation of food from our friends at Kraft.

There will be three main categories to take action: Raise Your Voice (send a letter or call your members of Congress), Spread the Word (tell a friend, blog or tweet about Feeding America, etc), and Do More (become a Hunger Champion, find out what else you can do, etc).

Progress of the contest will be displayed on the Hunger Action Center. We hope this will encourage advocates to open their emails to see the progress of the contest and motivate them to get involved at a higher level.

How To Get Involved
For advocates’ actions to be calculated and count towards your food bank, they must be registered on the Hunger Action Center. We encourage you to ask your advocates, donors, and volunteers to visit the Hunger Action Center and help you accumulate minutes. We will provide a simple toolkit to help answer your questions and communicate with your local supporters. The website is still in the final stages of development, so we will send an update when it is completed. Our goal is to generate thousands of communications to Congress in support of reauthorizing federal child nutrition programs—which are set to expire at the end of September, recruit new advocates, and show supporters of Feeding America and your food bank that they don’t necessarily have to give money to make a difference.


Rhonda P. Chafin
Executive Director
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee
127 Dillon Ct.
Gray, Tennessee 37615
cell: (423)791-2528
fax (423)477-3467

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Realtors, builders, churches, clubs -- reach out to newcomers

4,757 families from 48 states moved to Kingsport during the past 3 years. Many realtors, builders, churches, and clubs have asked how they can reach out to them. The answer: advertise on the website! The City of Kingsport provides nominal funding, but the rest must be raised through private fundraising and ads. Here's your chance to make a difference. Click here for advertising rates.

Monday, September 14, 2009

NE TN / SW VA affordable housing consortium wins national award

Click here. The Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia HOME Consortium has been chosen to receive a National Association of Development Organizations 2009 Innovation Award.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

FREE MOVIE NIGHT (seriously, this Thurs 9/17)

Let's give them an overwhelming welcome to the neighborhood!

You and your family are invited to the Tricities 7 Cinemas for a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening, followed by a VIP FREE MOVIE NIGHT!
Thursday, September 17
5 p.m.

(Exit 66 on I-81N)
354 ShadowtownRoad, Blountville, TN 37617

Ribbon Cutting 5:15 -5:30 PM
Wine and Light Hors d’oeuvres 5:30 -6:45 PM
Concession Opens 6:45 PM
Movies Begin 7:00 PM
This Event is entirely FREE

**Please RSVP the number attending to**

Tell your friends and family to join you for a new movie experience!

Friday, September 11, 2009

She won! Kingsport native picked as Kirkland's designer

From Cecilia Hataway Staniec, Pittsburgh, PA (native of Kingsport, TN):

Hey Kingsport! Whew.....the contest is finally over! I can't thank you enough for all that you did to help! Truly a blessing to have your support and encouragement! And of course all the votes were amazing too!! A thousand thank you's for everything!!! BIG hugs!!!

Thanks again for all of the support and time you have devoted to my little "cause". Clearly I couldn't have done this without my AWESOME hometown!!! :) ~Cecilia

Thursday, September 10, 2009

D-B dancers invite K-8 to mini-camp this weekend

Details here

Registration form here

This year the girls will attend camp in the Van Huss Dome on Saturday (September 12) and then perform with the Spirit Shakers at the D-B vs. Daniel Boone football game the following Friday night (September 19).

Parents can contact the coach, Gina Lott at (423) 677-1414

New E.R. opens at Holston Valley Medical Center Today

KINGSPORT – Holston Valley Medical Center will begin serving patients in a new, state-of-the-art emergency department Thursday, Sept. 10, bringing another phase of Project Platinum into focus.

Beginning Thursday morning, patients who visit the emergency department at Holston Valley will receive treatment in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. The new emergency department features a new entrance, a new parking lot for patients and dedicated entrances for regular ambulance traffic and trauma cases. Holston Valley operates a Level I trauma center.
Project Platinum is Wellmont Health System’s $113 million commitment to transform the region’s largest hospital into a newer, larger facility to meet patient demand now and in the future.

Among the features of the new emergency department are 19 private, acute-care treatment rooms and two acute-care triage rooms. Holston Valley’s Level I trauma center will be augmented with a cutting-edge trauma suite that features three treatment bays.
With the opening of the new space, renovations will begin on floor space that has been used by the emergency department since the beginning of Project Platinum. When renovations on the existing space are completed, Holston Valley will offer 63 treatment rooms for emergency care spread out over 29,500 square feet of space – with 18,600 square feet of the facility being new space altogether.

“The new emergency department is a significant step forward for us, as this puts us closer to offering the community what will essentially be a new hospital when Project Platinum is completed,” said Blaine Douglas, president of Holston Valley. “We’re grateful that so many people depend on Holston Valley when they need superior emergency care, so we’re excited to offer our patients a new facility.”

Construction continues on a brand-new roadway that will offer visitors easy access to Holston Valley from Stone Drive. Other components of Project Platinum include a new suite of operating rooms and a new intensive care unit.

Project Platinum is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

D-B vs South - PINK OUT - Play for the Cure

On Thursday, September 10, the Dobyns-Bennett Lady Indians and Sullivan South Lady Rebels will "play for the cure".

Both teams will wear pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness.

Shirts will be available for purchase as a fundraiser.

Come watch some great volleyball for a great cause!

Thurs Sept 10, 6:30 pm, DBHS

MEDIA: Coaches will be available for interview between 5:30-6:15.

Sullivan County has relatively low foreclosure rate

According to, Sullivan County currently has 384 foreclosures. With a population of 153,900, that's 2.5 per 1,000 residents. The foreclosure rate for neighboring Washington County (TN) is more than double (6.2 per 1,000 residents).

Foreclosure rate per 1,000 residents:

2.5 = Sullivan Co (Kingsport-Bristol, TN)
3.8 = Hawkins Co (Rogersville-Church Hill)
4.3 = Williamson Co (Franklin-Brentwood, TN)
4.8 = Davidson Co (Nashville, TN)
4.8 = Montgomery Co (Clarksville, TN)
5.0 = Rutherford Co (Murfreesboro, TN)
5.7 = Buncombe Co (Asheville, NC)
6.2 = Washington Co (Johnson City, TN)
6.8 = Hamilton Co (Chattanooga, TN)
6.9 = Shelby Co (Memphis, TN)
7.6 = Spartanburg Co, SC
7.8 = Roanoke City, VA
7.9 = Knox Co (Knoxville, TN)
9.5 = Greenville Co, SC
9.7 = Sevier Co (Sevierville-Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge, TN)
10.4 = Roanoke Co, VA
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.