KINGSPORT – Among the many interesting, challenging and down right entertaining events at the annual FunFest in Downtown Kingsport, the Crazy Cardboard Boat race is among the top.  This year’s race will be held at the Legion Pool on Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 9:00am until 1:00pm.  The sponsors of the event are Armstrong Construction and St. Dominics School.  Pre-registration is required and will be accepted at the FunFest Store in the Kingsport Town Center (formerly the Fort Henry Mall) until the first race begins on Saturday, July 17th.  There will be six different awards presented at the conclusion of the races.  These awards will be:

Design Award – most creative and best use of cardboard

Pretty Award – most attractive/spectacular looking boat

Sponsor Award – best use of the sponsor logo

Team Spirit Award – for the team that has the most fun participating

Best Dressed Team Award – must be creative

Titanic Award – most spectacular sinking

The contest will also have first, second and third place winners, along with special cardboard trophies.

*Ages 9-17 must have parent or guardian consent to participate, and ages 9-12 must have parent of guardian present.

The event is sure t be a lot of laughs so be sure to be there.

To download the registration form, please click here.

To download instructions on how to build a cardboard boat for the race please click here.


KINGSPORT – As one of FunFests kickoff events, the Keep Kingsport Beautiful Trash Barrel Paint-in will be held at the Allandale Mansion lawn on Tuesday, July 13.  The event is sponsored by BB&T.

Kids of all ages are invited to decorate trash barrels that will be used during FunFest as colorful receptacles encouraging funfesters to help keep events litter-free.  The barrels are also used at other city events throughout the year.

Barrel painting begins at 10:00 A.M. and will continue until 12:30 P.M. Judging will begin at 12:45 P.M.

Participants should wear old clothes and bring water-based paint, brushes, stencils, etc.  Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Awards are given out by age group to the winners of the trash barrels that best represent a fun or green theme. Age groups include:‚  Under 6; 6-8 years old; 9-11 years old; 12-17 years old; 18 and over; and Special Friends. The participant with the best overall barrel will receive the Terry Light Memorial Award.

Walmart in Colonial Heights will provide one can of spray paint per barrel while supplies last.

The event is free and registration is not required.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.

For more information, contact Keep Kingsport Beautiful at (423) 392-8814 or visit


KINGSPORT – Bricks are set to fly at the former Quebecor Press Building on Sullivan Street as a major $9 million Sullivan Street redevelopment anchor project gets underway Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 6 p.m., with a public Brick-Breaking; everyone is invited to take a sledge hammer swing at the old brick front wall to initiate the start of the project.

The project entails Press Group LLC tearing off the old facade and gutting the interior of building, then adapting the core of the facility to accommodate modern commercial-medical needs. Mountain Region Family Medicine, a 17-physican practice group, is the major prime tenant, set to occupy 66,000 square feet of the facility on one entire floor of the former book plant.
In all, upon completion late in 2011, Mountain Region, with as many as 100 employees, will generate as much as 70,000 office visits a year to the property.

As the site develops over the next few years, another 132,000 square feet will be available for additional medical service, retail and possibly even a few residential units. The Press Group LLC, including Hiram Rash of Goins Rash Cain, indicates that a half-dozen other potential tenants are interested in the project. At full build-out, the project will represent a $24 million reinvestment in downtown Kingsport. In fact, at build out, the rejuvenated facility will generate nearly as much property tax as the entire Quebecor plant did in its last full year of operation.

For more information, please contact John Paul Linke at 423-224-3346 or by email


KINGSPORT – Kingsport City Schools is alerting parents of pre-school, kindergarten and upcoming seventh grade students of new Tennessee immunization requirements for the 2010-11 school year.

The Tennessee Department of Health has adopted new immunization requirements for child care and school entry effective July 1, 2010 and has introduced a new Tennessee Immunization Certificate. This is the first update of state immunization rules in a decade.

For children entering pre-school and pre-Kindergarten, four new additional immunizations are required. All new requirements are routinely recommended immunizations and most children are already receiving these immunizations from their medical provider. In addition, students must provide the new Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization form (RDA-N/A: revised 3/10) in order to attend school in August, 2010.

For children entering kindergarten additional doses of existing vaccines are now required, and one new vaccine will be required beginning in 2011. In addition, these students must provide the new Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization form (RDA-N/A: revised 3/10) in order to attend school in August, 2010.

Children entering the seventh grade must show proof of two new immunizations, the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (Tdap), and a second dose of the varicella (var-ih-SEL’-uh), or chicken pox, vaccine. These students must provide the new Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization form (RDA-N/A: revised 3/10) in order to attend school in August, 2010.

In addition, any new student who plans to enroll in a Kingsport City School will be required to bring to the school the new Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization form (RDA-N/A: revised 3/10) prior to the first day of school.

For more information, please contact your family physician or the Sullivan County Health Department at (423) 279-2777. More information on required immunizations is also available at the Sullivan County Health Departments website at



KINGSPORT ‚¬ More than 180 local and out-of-town volunteers are hard at work improving a dozen homes in and around Kingsport under a program that unites public resources with private manpower.

What began a few years ago with a chance conversation about a touring choir group looking for a community project in Kingsport has grown to this weeks Community Build event with 102 volunteers from Denton, Texas and 80 more volunteers from local churches and mission groups.

I think it speaks highly of where we are as a community and where we are going that volunteers from elsewhere are willing to join hands with local volunteers to help build a better Kingsport, Mayor Dennis Phillips said Tuesday. A couple of years ago, we put in place the Kingsport Alliance for Home Revitalization (KAHR) that really set the stage to help those who need a hand improving the livability of their homes.

KAHR is a City umbrella group that provides funding and materials for housing rehabilitation programs carried out by the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Carpenters Helpers program at First Broad Street United Methodist and Appalachia Service Project.

With this many volunteers available, it is a great opportunity to sort of blitz some of these homes on the rehab list, First Broad Street Director of Missions Danny Howe said. Carpenters Helpers have been working on homes in the city since 1987, and by bringing everyone together, in this case with HSM taking the lead on this project, we can really make a dramatic impact on the community in a hurry.

Community Build joins the KAHR program with HSM, a program that started as Home School Missions and has expanded dramatically in the community service area, although there is no paid staff.

Community Build started three years ago, and the number of volunteers from Texas has doubled, HSM Director Russ Rogers said. The city develops the list of persons who qualify and spearheads the funding and the Kingsport Conventions & Visitors Bureau helped us get hotels for the people coming in. And it takes a ton of volunteers to do the work and lots and lots of volunteers to take care of the volunteers.

We have churches now volunteering to provide lunches. We have another 10 people in five vehicles doing nothing but running water and snacks and Gatorade. And we have another eight people or so running back and forth to Home Depot to purchase and deliver supplies.

Of the dozen projects this year, three involve entire roofs, while others entail painting and water heater installations, construction of handicap ramps and assessable bathrooms.

There is lots and lots of painting and lots of hot water heater replacements, Rogers said. We have one retaining wall being reconstructed and a couple of wheelchair ramps. Were also rebuilding a couple of porches and tearing down one unsafe garage and hauling it away.

Volunteers will be in the community through Thursday. Going forward, Rogers hopes to generate even more local participation with HSM and the KAHR partners. For more information, Rogers can be reached at 782-7001 or visit


KINGSPORT – The KHRA & City of Kingsport
Employee Dependent Scholarship Program announced the 2010 scholarship recipients at the June 15th Kingsport BMA meeting.‚  This year six scholarships were awarded.‚  The $500 Sarah Edline Campbell Scholarship was awarded to Patrick Davis, son of David Davis.‚  Five other graduating seniors received a $200 scholarship.‚  These recipients were Amber Banks – daughter of David, Ramey, Jessica Bausell – daughter of Lewis Bausell, Daniel Davis – son of Keith Davis, Zachary Murnane – son of John Murnane, and Taylor Winegar – daughter of Jeff Winegar.

The scholarship program is administered by the Greater Kingsport Alliance for Development (GKAD) and governed by a Board of Directors.‚  To be eligible to apply, scholarship applicants must be graduating high school seniors who are a dependent of a current Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) or City of Kingsport employee.‚ 

Funding for these scholarships are provided through voluntary employee payroll deduction and direct donations.‚  Donations may be sent to:

Attn: Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 44
Kingsport, TN 37662
Make checks payable to GKAD

For more information, contact Lesley Christian at 423-229-9402.

Scholarship Recipients

$500 Sarah Edline Campbell Scholarship
Patrick Davis
Attending University of Tennessee
Son of David Davis
Water Reading and Service

$200 Scholarship
Amber Banks
Attending East TN State University
Daughter of David Ramey
Grounds Maintenance

$200 Scholarship
Jessica Bausell
Attending East TN State University
Daughter of Lewis Bausell
Streets and Sanitation

$200 Scholarship
Daniel Davis
Attending Northeast State
Son of Keith Davis

$200 Scholarship
Zachary Murnane
Attending East TN State University
Son of John Murnane

$200 Scholarship
Taylor Winegar
Attending Northeast State
Daughter of Jeff Winegar
Park Maintenance


KINGSPORT - Two educators with 71 combined years of experience are retiring from the Kingsport City School System come months end.
Delores Richmond, assistant superintendent for human resources, is leaving after a 32-year career with the system, while Carolyn McPherson, assistant superintendent for academic initiative and support, is retiring after 39 years.

If I enjoy my retirement as much as I enjoyed my work, it will be good, Richmond said during a Thursday afternoon reception a the Dobyns-Bennett Field House Alumni Hall to honor her and McPherson.

Richmond has spent 16 years supervising human resources for the system. Before that, she was principal of Johnson Elementary School for six years and assistant principal one year. She started her career as a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.

McPherson has been in charge of ….

To read the rest of this Times-News story click here.


BIRMINGHAM, AL – Tri-Cities, TN has received a significant honor as one of the Top Ten Mid-sized Markets of the Decade, announced by Southern Business & Development magazine (SB&D) in this month’s issue. The SB&D ranking recognizes 10 communities in the South that have had tremendous success in industrial recruitment over the last 10 years. The award is based on total points in the SB&D 100, the magazine’s annual listing of the top 100 economic development projects of the year in the South in terms of investment and job creation.

"The Tri-Cities has exhibited forward-thinking strategies and flexibility in meeting industry needs," explains SB&D’s publisher Mike Randle. "Combine that with their low-cost, central East Coast location and they have a recipe for continued success."

Tom Ferguson, president/CEO of the Regional Alliance for Economic Development, expounded on his area’s sales attributes. "Not only are we halfway between NYC and Orlando, but we are an interstate hub – located on key transportation corridors: I-81 which leads from the Northeast to the Midwest and I-26 which goes right past BMW’s manufacturing facility in SC, down to the port at Charleston. Our prime location and low cost electricity has been a factor as we recruit companies supplying to BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan." Ferguson adds, "Another major factor is our region’s longstanding workforce experience in plastics and rubber production." Together, plastics and rubber manufacturers account for nearly 9,000 regional jobs.

In mid-2007 Eastman Chemical committed to spend an average of $265 million each year for five years, a total of $1.3 billion. "Project Reinvest" built a stronger partnership between Eastman and Northeast State Technical Community College (NSTCC). "Our hope is this partnership between one of Tennessee’s largest employers and our higher education system will become a model for developing the workforce of the future in our state," said Tennessee’s Governor Bredesen. Northeast State developed custom programs which trained mechanics, lab analysts and chemical operators.

Eastman is a leader in regional workforce training. Recently joining forces with paper manufacturer Domtar to create the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing in downtown Kingsport, the new center houses training and apprenticeship programs as well as NSTCC’s electrical-, mechanical- and technical- degree programs, and is part of the Academic Village, a downtown cluster of educational facilities.

DTR Tennessee, Inc, with 1500 employees and an investment of $200 million in the region, supplies anti-vibration and hose products to Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford.

"We were looking for a location in the Southeast since a lot of our customers moved here," said Cal Doty, DTR Vice President for Human Resources. "We looked around all over and felt most comfortable here because of the workforce and the economic development folks who assisted us in finding property."

"One advantage of being headquartered in East Tennessee is the caring, can-do culture of the people in this area," said Brian Ferguson, Eastman’s executive chairman, and a member of the Regional Alliance board of directors, who speaks of "a pipeline of skilled workers for generations to come."

Cities represented in the Alliance include Bristol (situated on the TN/VA line), perhaps best known as a hotbed for short-track NASCAR racing, but also a VA city that was touted in 2009 as one of the top seven cities worldwide (and the only US city) to be deemed an "intelligent community" for its strategic use of advanced broadband. Accolades continue with Johnson City, TN named by Business Week as one of the "best places to raise children." And a growing reputation in the medical and biomedical community with a recent $9.1 million federal grant to East Tennessee State University to upgrade their biomed research facility and the graduation of the first pharmaceutical class at the Gatton College of Pharmacy.

"We have to remember that economic development is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash. So when you view our region over a 10-year period, some really great things have happened," says Ferguson. "As the economy recovers, we are still trying to understand which industries will be winners and losers. We expect the automotive sector to grow and come back along with rubber and plastics.  We are working to prepare our work force for the demands of tomorrow so that our region can continue to be a Top 10 Mid-sized Market."  

The following are the top 10 mid-markets in the South based on points earned in the annual SB&D 100 over the last ten years:

1.  Huntsville, Ala.
2.  Baton Rouge, La.
3.  McAllen, Tex.
4.  Tri-Cities, Tenn.
5.  Gulfport/Biloxi, Miss.
6.  Knoxville, Tenn.
7.  Little Rock, Ark.
8.  Mobile, Ala.
9.  Tulsa, Okla.
10. Charleston, S.C.

About SB&D: SB&D is the leading publication promoting corporate investment and job creation in the American South, the world’s fourth largest economy. The magazine’s websites are,, and

About The Regional Alliance for Economic Development: Representing 2 Virginia counties: Scott and Washington, and 8 Tennessee counties: Hancock, Hawkins, Sullivan, Johnson, Carter, Washington, Greene and Unicoi, the Alliance works to position the Region to successfully compete in the global marketplace. For more information contact Tom Ferguson, President/CEO, or call 423-323-8102.


KINGSPORT – The Kingsport Area Transit System congratulates Zoe Hall (age 9), Rylee Cowden (age 5), and Rory Mendenhall (age 10) for their winning advertisement now being featured on MyTown 16, Kingsports Government access station hosted on Charter Channel 16.

The youths created a commercial titled Where the Bus Goes, and earned $100 for the rights to feature their commercial on Channel 16. Their advertisement was selected as the best of seven submitted entries.

"We certainly want to thank everyone who participated in this event," Transportation Coordinator Jack Qualls said. "We’ve seen tremendous growth in ridership during the past 12 months and we continue to look for methods to build interest in the system. At the same time, we are pleased to offer multiple opportunities for our riders to express their opinions and suggest improvements."

KATS offers several easy, low-cost transportation alternatives, including the Express Ticket for $15 month that allows unlimited ridership for the month. Students ride free with the presentation of a student identification card.

Our staff continues to work hard to develop innovative ways to promote KATS, City Manager John Campbell said Friday. On behalf of Kingsport, I want to taken Zoe, Rylee and Rory for doing their part to help us promote the efficiency and reduced environmental impact that is a major reason for developing mass transit in Kingsport. In the future, with rising fuel costs and stricter air quality standards, I am convinced that mass transit will become a major part of everyday life, particularly for our young people.

Kingsport Area Transit Service offers five routes to popular destinations throughout Kingsport, and operates from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on KATS, please visit To view the top video, please visit later Friday afternoon. KATS looks forward to future contests and asks supporters to follow on


KINGSPORT ‚¬ City officials accepted the transfer of the Idle Hour Road Animal Shelter from the Greater Kingsport Humane Society today, and reopened the facility on an interim basis while a new city-county partnership is forged to provide shelter and adoption services.

We deeply appreciate the years of hard work and dedication by the Humane Society in offering this important service to the citizens of Kingsport, City

Manager John Campbell said Thursday. We would also like to thank the staff that stayed on to help us operate the facility in the interim while a new partnership is formed with the Sullivan County Animal Shelter.

Last year, the City asked the Municipal Technical Advisory Service and County Technical Advisory Service to study the most effective way of delivering animal shelter services. That report concluded a partnership with Sullivan County would likely provide a stronger foundation, improved services and greater efficiency.

In the past, donations, city contributions and animal adoption fees accounted for most of the Animal Shelter budget, although Humane Society officials said that adoption fees and volunteerism have fallen dramatically to a point that they could no longer operate the shelter without a six-figure increase in taxpayer funding.

Going forward, Campbell said he also looks for an improved community outreach program to recruit new volunteers and bard donations as well as increased promotion of the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the unwanted pet population.

It is critical that we get out the word that the only way to stop the tragic destruction of homeless cats and dogs is to ensure theyre not created in the first place, Campbell said.

Donations to the shelter are tax deductible. To adopt a new pet today, please call the Animal Shelter at 423-247-1671 or for more information, hours of operation and directions to the shelter, please visit