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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wellmont earns nine awards in competition sponsored by Tri-Cities chapter of public relations organization

KINGSPORTWellmont Health System earned nine awards in a recent competition sponsored by the Tri-Cities chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
The health system received three Awards of Excellence, the highest accolade available, as well as three Awards of Quality and three Awards of Merit during a ceremony Monday, April 28, at the Eastman Lodge.
The Awards of Excellence honored the marketing communication department's development of a calendar for families of patients in the neonatal intensive care unit at Holston Valley Medical Center; an advertorial about LiveWell, Wellmont's community health initiative; and an internal newsletter highlighting activities pertaining to Wellmont's Healing Environment philosophy.
The Awards of Quality recognized the health system's community benefit report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012. Also receiving this honor were news releases about HeartSHAPE®, a noninvasive test available from the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute to help determine whether a person has too much plaque in his or her coronary arteries; and a case in which caregivers at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital and emergency medical providers in the community restored a patient's heartbeat after 109 minutes.
The Awards of Merit saluted the LiveWell initiative, a campaign to promote the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center at Bristol Regional Medical Center and a news release about the retirement of Dr. David Miller from the Southwest Virginia Cancer Center.
"These awards represent an excellent body of work by our marketing communications professionals, and we appreciate this third-party assessment of its value," said Todd Norris, Wellmont's senior vice president of system advancement. "We have achieved this level of success not only through the abundant talent of these co-workers but also the high caliber of Wellmont's programs and facilities, as well as superior medical professionals who give us so many great stories to tell."

Jeff Fleming
Kingsport Blog

NICU patients, caregivers celebrate 28 years of care at Holston Valley's annual celebration

KINGSPORT – Physicians and staff at Holston Valley Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit are grateful for the opportunity to treat premature and sick babies – and take great pride in watching them grow into healthy children and adults.
They'll have their chance to see just how far their patients have come Sunday, May 4, during Holston Valley's annual NICU reunion.
The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the Holston Valley Outpatient Center on the Eastman Outpatient Campus at 103 W. Stone Drive in Kingsport. All NICU graduates and their families are invited.
Graduates include anyone who has been treated in Holston Valley's NICU during its 28-year history. During the celebration, visitors can enjoy games, door prizes, photos and refreshments.
"The unique bonds our team makes with our patients are truly remarkable," said Laurie Kaudewitz, Holston Valley's director of women's and children's services. "We're there at the beginning of these babies' lives, and we keep our connection to them and their families for years, even into adulthood.
"It's incredible to see our graduates – whether they're 5-year-olds about to enter kindergarten or 25-year-olds planning their weddings – and remember a time when they only weighed a pound or two."
Patients as young as 24 weeks – newborns requiring the very highest level of care – have received care in Holston Valley's Level III NICU, which has 15 dedicated beds with skilled physicians and staff members. A specially certified NICU medical team provides essential services to ensure the safety and well-being of newborns, including hearing screenings and other tests for babies prior to leaving the hospital.
Holston Valley and Wellmont Foundation recently launched a $2.5 million project to enhance the quality of care NICU babies receive. Through the Next Generation fundraising campaign, Holston Valley will add valuable services and provide more space and comfort for patients and families.
"Our first NICU patients are now in their late twenties. As we enter our second generation in the NICU, we are committed to provide patients, their families and our medical professionals with the facilities and space they need," said Todd Norris, Wellmont's senior vice president of system advancement and Wellmont Foundation president. "Through the philanthropy of our friends and neighbors, some of our region's most vulnerable children will continue to heal and live full, thriving lives."
Holston Valley's NICU is a beneficiary of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals funds. Wellmont Health System is the regional affiliate of Children's Miracle Network and uses proceeds to purchase equipment for the NICU and its pediatric and emergency departments and fund community partnerships that advance children's health.
            To learn more about Holston Valley's NICU, please call 423-224-6280. Pledges to the Next Generation campaign can be made at any time by visiting or by calling 423-230-8550. More information about Children's Miracle Network is available at

Jeff Fleming
Kingsport Blog

Bays Mountain Planetarium Announcement: New Planetarium Shows and Astronomy Day

Bays Mountain Planetarium is proud to announce two new shows that will start on May 3, 2014 and Astronomy Day on May 10, 2014.

"Back to the Moon - For Good" (showing May-Aug.)
Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the Moon's resources and discover what humanity's future on the Moon might hold. Narrated by Tim Allen, "Back To The Moon – For Good" presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.

The show is immediately followed by a two-part live presentation. The first highlights the moon and its major features. The second utilizes our Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector in which we'll highlight our current night sky and its major constellations and any Solar System objects visible.

"Appalachian Skies - Spring" (showing May-Jun.)
"Appalachian Skies - Spring" has been updated for this year and will take visitors on a majestic tour of the evening sky using the spectacular Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector instrument. It's fiber-optic generated star field is stunning and a pleasure to see. You don't want to miss it! Led by planetarium staff, learn what fascinating constellations will be easily visible. Marvel at their ancient lore. Find out what planets are easily seen as well. Visitors will take this knowledge home and be able to locate these sights for themselves.

Astronomy Day - 2014 - Saturday, May 10, 2014
Join the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club in celebration of The International Day of Astronomy!

Learn about the science and hobby of astronomy.  Perfect fun for the entire family!

Highlights:  Bays Mountain Astronomy Club members will be providing a number of fascinating displays, demonstrations and hands-on activities. Learn about telescopes, the wonders of astrophotography and more! The club will also be hosting daytime viewing of the sun and nighttime viewing of the Moon, Jupiter, and much more!

All non-planetarium astronomy-related activities are free on May 10th!
Planetarium tickets are $4 per person.

Schedule of Events:

12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Displays, Demonstrations & Information (free!): Walkway in front of Nature Center (Discovery Theater, if raining.)

2 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Solar Viewing (free!):  Observatory.
Thrill at viewing different layers of the Sun up close and in great detail. Safely see sunspots and prominences. Weather dependent.

8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Nighttime Viewing (free!):  Observatory.
Spectacular views of celestial delights await you with the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club's telescopes. Savor a wonderful view of the colorful bands of Jupiter and it's four largest moons, feel like you're flying low over the moon, and be awe-struck by the distance to galaxies. These views and more will be seen at our Observatory. A live presentation about what is up in the night sky will take place in the Planetarium, if the weather does not cooperate.



Heritage Glass announces $15.8M Kingsport plant

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HOPE Fundraiser with Lt Gov Ron Ramsey

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KATS hosting its first-ever customer appreciation week | Kingsport Times-News

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Kingsport Police K-9 Unit Excels at Regional K-9 Trials

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN  37660 • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)


Kingsport Police K-9 Unit Excels at Regional K-9 Trials
April 21, 2014

The United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) held the Region 8 K-9 Field Trials in Loudon County, Tennessee during the week of April 13 through 18, 2014.  Nearly 20 dog/handler teams from across East Tennessee competed in this week long certification event.  All four K.P.D. K-9 Teams participated.

The Kingsport Police Department is pleased to announce that K-9 “Roi” and his handler, Officer Ken Jackson, took “Top Dog” honors, finishing first place overall with an impressive 673.1 out of 700 possible points.  This feat is especially phenomenal considering Officer Jackson is a first time handler, having just been partnered with Roi in January of this year.  Officer Jackson and Roi received a traveling trophy which is passed along to the top dog team each year, as well as an individual plaque for them to keep.

The rest of K.P.D.’s dogs also finished near the top of the pack.  K-9 “Sinko” and his handler, Officer David Johnson, finished third placed overall, and K-9 “Macho” and his handler, Officer Billy Boyd, finished fourth place overall.  Officer Johnson and Sinko also finished first place in the tracking event, scoring a stellar 169.5 out of 170 possible points. 

K-9 “Axyl” and his handler, Officer Brian Taylor, were on course to finish fifth overall; however, they unfortunately lost points late in the trial due to concern over a possible injury.  Axyl was able to finish the bomb detection exercises, finding every available hide, scoring 10 out of 10.  Officer Taylor, a veteran K-9 handler, previously won the top dog award with his former K-9 partner “Zak” in 2007.

All four of the Kingsport Police dog teams finished the trial with National scoring point totals, qualifying them for the National USPCA trials being held in North Carolina later this year.

Kingsport Police Chief David Quillin, a former K-9 handler himself, stated, “I am extremely proud of all of our K-9 Teams.  They do an outstanding job for us.  Being a K-9 handler is not a typical 9-5 job, even in the law enforcement profession.  It is in reality a 24 hour-a-day commitment, because the dogs live with the officers and their families and require constant care and attention.”

The Kingsport Police Department is home to the second oldest Police K-9 Unit in the State of Tennessee.  K.P.D. currently fields four “dual-purpose” K-9 Teams, all four of which are Patrol Dog Certified for tasks such as suspect apprehension, article search, and tracking.  Three of these dogs are additionally certified in the detection of narcotics, with the fourth certified in the detection of explosives.

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

Unsung Heroes: Bob McConnell has established 'a living legacy' | Kingsport Times-News

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kingsport's housing market continued strong gains in March

The Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ Trends Report shows 57 homes sales last month.  That’s 25 more than February and 17 more than the same month last year. March’s average price was $185,259, up $48,325 (35.3 percent) from March 2013.

A comparison of quarterly data shows double-digit gains over the first three months of last year. NETAR President Louie Leach said sales – 117 homes - were 33 percent better while the average Q1 sales price up $30,734 (23 percent). 

Sullivan County followed the pattern. March’s 126 sales were 38.5 percent better than March 2013 and the average price of $153,905 was 10.3 percent ($14,431) better. 

The county’s quarterly report shows 314 sales, 54 better than the first three months of last year.  The $144,485 average quarterly sales price was up 1.7 percent ($2,439) from Q1 last year.

Kingsport and Bristol, TN sales and price data are factored into the Sullivan County report.

The Kingsport-Sullivan County market performance has not been typical of what we’ve seen in other local markets so far this year, Leach said. “Both have outperformed the same months from 2013 consistently so far.”  

Leach said analysts expect a moderate growth pattern as the market moves into its prime buying and selling season. “We’re hearing reports of low inventories in some markets, but the total local listings in early April were almost 7 percent higher than last year.” 

Market watchers are also paying close attention to job creation. Kingsport enjoys a stronger jobs picture than some of the other cities and non-farm job were added in the Tri-Cities during the first two month of this year. But the local labor market has been soft for over a year and a half.  The national outlook is for a jobs pickup. If the local market follows suit home sales should trend up modestly over the course of the year, he added.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased 0.6 point to 4.35 percent during March. The average commitment rate for a five-year adjustable rate mortgage was down 0.01 points to 3.06 percent.

Foreclosure sales continued declining as portion of existing home sales in March. They accounted for 18.3 percent of sales of Sullivan County sales, down from 29.7 percent last year.  Foreclosure rates in the four-county Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area are slightly below 1 percent and nearing their normal market range of a half percent of existing sales.

An average previously owned, single-family home was on the market for 179 days before selling in March. Homes that are competitively priced are selling much quicker, according to Leach.

Friday, April 25, 2014

May 3: Car Show for Cancer Society

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Kingsport-Bristol March sales tax collections lead E. TN, third highest in TN | Core Data

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Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest - News - Plastics News

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Sullivan South, Dobyns-Bennett students named Merit Scholars | Kingsport Times-News

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Tennessee State Library and Archives

Archiventures has posted a new item, 'Field Trip: Tennessee State Library and Archives'
April was a beautiful month for visiting Nashville and the Tennessee State
Library and Archives (TSLA). It is always exciting for me to have the
opportunity to tour an archives.

You may view the latest post at

As a subscriber, you are receiving this e-mail because a new update has been

Liberty Celebration seeking new recruits | Kingsport Times-News

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Holston Valley raising money to increase NICU's services

KINGSPORT – For nearly 30 years, Holston Valley Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit has empowered more than 9,000 newborns to not only to survive but thrive into childhood and adulthood.

Now, the hospital is embarking on a $2.5 million project to enhance the quality of care these babies receive. At a news conference Wednesday, April 23, Holston Valley and Wellmont Foundation leaders unveiled the Next Generation fundraising campaign, which will add valuable services and provide more space and comfort for patients and families.

As part of this project, the NICU will be relocated to the hospital's third floor.

"We have provided a neonatal intensive care unit since 1986 and are proud of our track record of success with these babies, who can come to us in the most fragile of conditions," said Tim Attebery, Holston Valley's president. "It's a key part of our comprehensive and innovative women's and children's program.

"As we enter our second generation in the NICU, we are committed to provide patients, their families and our medical professionals with the facilities and space they need. This campaign will enable us to continue producing desired outcomes for our patients and reinforce that the highest-quality NICU care is available at Kingsport's flagship hospital."

Important advancements Holston Valley will achieve through this initiative include:

·         Doubling the amount of room for each newborn, which gives parents more space to interact with their child

·         Building a specialized procedures room for patients who need invasive treatments

·         Opening a private step-down room for parents to spend the night with their child as they prepare to go home

·         Creating a dedicated isolation room, which will have negative air pressure and specialized filtration

·         Expanding the nurse's station

"We are excited to find new ways to care for some of our most vulnerable children so they can heal and move forward in their development," said Todd Norris, Wellmont's senior vice president for system advancement and president of Wellmont Foundation.

"Our friends and neighbors in the region have consistently backed our NICU program, and we are grateful for their investment in our area's quality of life. By participating in our Next Generation campaign, they will continue to advance the caliber of care for promising young lives."

Construction on the new NICU is expected to start in early 2015.

Holston Valley's tradition of expert NICU care is the product of a partnership between experienced neonatologists and nurses and the community. This unit has benefited considerably from donations to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a national charity that has pumped millions of dollars into children's care at Wellmont Health System hospitals.

Wellmont has been the regional affiliate of Children's Miracle Network since 1987, and all money raised in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia stays here to benefit children's health. Wellmont uses proceeds to purchase equipment for the NICU and its pediatric and emergency departments and fund community partnerships that advance children's health.

Forward-thinking companies such as Walmart, IHOP and Dairy Queen have donated valuable resources to support Children's Miracle Network. Walmart will soon begin its annual campaign to support Children's Miracle Network and will help spread the word about the NICU project.

One person who knows firsthand about the value of Holston Valley's NICU is Bekah Crawford, a 26-year-old Kingsport resident who spent six weeks there in 1987 after she was born at 29 weeks gestation. She was joined by her twin sister, Amanda, who was there for five weeks.

Entering the unit weighing just 3 pounds, these girls had intestinal problems and their lungs were not fully developed. But they eventually recovered through the superior care of their physicians and nurses and are now mothers.

A year ago, Crawford gave birth at Holston Valley to her first child, Bennett, who was at nearly 39 weeks gestation. His temperature was 102.7, and he was experiencing difficulty breathing, so he was transferred to the NICU. During his stay, he underwent a spinal tap, had abnormal liver enzymes and was placed on four antibiotics to fight an infection. Fortunately, his health improved and he was able to go home.

"My son is now almost a year old and thriving," Crawford said. "He is getting into everything, says a few words already and loves to play and read. He is a joy to his father and me. My husband and I are both eternally grateful for this NICU facility, the doctors, the nurses and the funding that goes into it all.

"If it was not for the NICU and these skilled medical providers, I would not be here today. My son would not be here today. We are pleased to have such a fantastic NICU so close to home."

The neonatologist who fought for Crawford as a child and as a mother was Dr. Sharon Lail. Other neonatologists who have joined the Holston Valley NICU team and deliver exemplary care are Drs. P.J. Powers and Christopher Martin. These medical doctors, who practice as part of Pediatrix Medical Group, are joined by other clinicians who earn great praise from Crawford for their attention to detail and loving approach.

"Wellmont and Children's Miracle Network have been wonderful to provide us with a special environment to transform newborns' lives," Dr. Powers said. "But as our NICU program has grown, so has our need for the most up-to-date facilities that will continue to position Holston Valley at the forefront of this care. Donors have a powerful opportunity to leave a footprint on the future of our NICU, and we encourage them to support the next generation."

Anyone who is interested in supporting the campaign or receiving more information can visit or contact Wellmont Foundation at 423-230-8550.


Cutline for NICU campaign 1: Bekah Crawford discusses her experience as a patient and a mother in the neonatal intensive care unit at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Cutline for NICU campaign 2: Dr. P.J. Powers, a neonatologist at Holston Valley Medical Center, visits a family that has had two children in the neonatal intensive care unit. Standing left to right are Dr. Powers and parents Rebecca Spivey (holding Miller Spivey) and Matthew Spivey. Seated is grandfather Rick Spivey (holding Mabel Spivey).



Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Census Bureau Profile America Facts for Features: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2014
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Profile America Facts for Features: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2014

This email was sent to by U.S. Census Bureau · 4600 Silver Hill Road · Washington, DC 20233
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.