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KINGSPORT – The Dobyns-Bennett High School Percussion Ensemble is one of two high schools in the nation recently selected to perform at the prestigious 2010 Percussion Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, IN.

PASIC is the largest percussion event in the world featuring over 120 concerts, clinics, master classes, labs, workshops, panels and presentations by international artists. The event will be held November 10-13 at the Indianapolis Convention Center, with Dobyns-Bennetts performance scheduled for Friday, November 12. Dobyns-Bennett is the first school (high school or college) to represent the state of Tennessee at PASIC since it began in 1976.

The Dobyns-Bennett Percussion ensemble is led by Jason Walsh, Director of Percussion and Assistant Director of Bands. The ensemble was formed in 2002 and has performed at the Tennessee Music Education Association State Convention and the Music for All National Percussion Festival. The group has performed with artists such as Paul Wertico, Arthur Lipner, Jeff Queen and Andy Harnsberger. The ensemble has also sponsored the Days of Percussion event for several years, enhancing percussion education in the region. In addition, several members of the ensemble have participated in both the regional honor band and the Tennessee All-State Band and Orchestras.

Members of the 2010-11 Dobyns-Bennett Percussion Ensemble include: Hannah Easley, Katie Easley, Austin Breeding, Sarah Burleson, Andrew Naylor, Breonna Moles, John Fleming, Jeffrey Upshaw, Emily Seaton, Jimmy Cooper, Maria Baker, Brett Hamilton, Kelly Parker, Brian Smith and alternates Matt Chapman, Bonnie Parker, Rachel Winstead and Jackson May.

For more information on the Dobyns-Bennett Percussion Ensemble, please contact Jason Walsh at (423) 378-8400.

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KINGSPORT – Cleek Road between Orebank Road and Stone Drive will be closed to traffic beginning Monday, August 30, 2010 and remain closed for the next 90 days.

The closure will accommodate the upcoming realignment and reconstruction of the Stone Drive/Cleek Road intersection, with work having already begun on the Cleek Road side of the intersection and New Beasonwell Road on the opposite side of the intersection.

The project will widen approach lanes at both New Beasonwell and Cleek, allowing for the separation of left, thru and right turn lanes. The project will also add a left turn lane onto Cleek Road from Stone Drive, and adding stacking depth extend the eastbound left turn lane from Stone onto Beasonwell, adding traffic stacking depth.

In all, the project improves approximately 500 feet of New Beasonwell Road and 770 feet of Cleek Road.

A future, second phase of the project will reconstruct Cleek from the new intersection all the way up to Orebank Road.


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KINGSPORT Dobyns-Bennett High School students outperformed the state and national averages on the 2010 ACT, with a record number of students taking the test.

Beginning in the 2009- 2010 school year, all 11th grade students in the state of Tennessee were required to complete the ACT test. Approximately 387 Dobyns-Bennett High School 2010 graduates completed the test, an increase of 13.5 %.

Administrators anticipated that scores would decrease across the board with more students completing the college-entrance exam. However, scores actually increased in science, and remained steady in English, reading and math.‚  The scores are as follows:

We are definitely beginning to see the positive effects of the increased rigor that has been and that will continue to be incorporated into the curriculum throughout Kingsport City Schools, said Dr. Chris Hampton, Secondary Curriculum Coordinator. That becomes obvious when we test 13.5% more students and our college-readiness rates for students meeting all four ACT benchmarks increases as well. We are going to be very intentional in the work that we do so that graduates from Kingsport City Schools have the necessary skills to succeed and advance in college and/or the workplace.

Kingsport City Schools has outlined improving college readiness measures as one of the systems top goals for the Race to the Top initiative. To reach this goal, the school system has hired a system-wide science coordinator, a secondary curriculum director and a Project Lead the Way teacher at the middle school level. These positions will actively seek ways to increase student achievement and prepare students for college and careers by improving instruction in core content areas.

The Tennessee Board of Education recently adopted new curriculum standards which are aligned to national standards tested in the eighth grade EXPLORE test, the tenth grade PLAN test and the 11th grade ACT test. The state department also set new proficiency cut scores for student assessments.‚  The goal is to more adequately prepare students and accurately measure their progress toward graduating with a college and career ready knowledge base.

According to ACT officials, the 2010 national report indicates there is much room for improvement, with many students likely lacking skills needed to be ready to succeed in credit-bearing first-year college courses and in workforce training programs. The number of ACT-tested graduates has grown steadily and substantially, and there has been increasing diversity in the demographic makeup of the testing pool‚  Nearly 1.6 million students almost half (47 percent) of all 2010 U.S. high school graduates‚ took the ACT, up from 1.2 million (40 percent of all graduates) in 2006.

For more information, contact the Kingsport City Schools Office of Community Relations at (423) 378-2123.

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Kingsport TN and Weber City VA – The Kingsport Metropolitan Planning Organization (Kingsport MPO) will hold a public information meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at Gate City High School from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to gather citizen input and share ideas about the future transformation of US 23 and Route 224.

This study is a cooperative partnership between the Kingsport MPO, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).  Working together, a transportation plan for US 23 and Route 224 is being developed to address vehicular and pedestrian mobility, access and safety.  

US 23 and Route 224 play an important role in north-south regional transportation within the Kingsport MPO region between Gate City and Kingsport. The goal of this study is to efficiently connect southwest Virginia to Northeast Tennessee, allowing for continued growth by anticipating future travel patterns and land use changes.

This study will take into consideration roadway, transit, pedestrian and bikeway improvements being initiated by the states and localities.  The study team needs public input to develop an innovative transportation plan that effectively merges existing and future street network and land uses.

At this workshop, the team will introduce the project, explain the study process and collect citizen comments to gain understanding of public needs for the corridor.  Two identical 10-minute presentations will be offered by the team at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  In addition, graphic displays will provide key study elements and plans, including a summary of the existing conditions of the corridors.

Citizens may comment on the plan by Thursday, September 9, 2010 in one of the following ways:

Online:

www.route23-224corridor.com

Mail:

Chris Campbell
Kingsport MPO,
225 West Center Street
Kingsport, TN 37660

For more information or to be added to the study mailing list, visit the study website at www.Route23-224Corridor.com.


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KINGSPORT ‚¬ Utility crews will need to close Stone Drive for about 15 minutes on Thursday, August 19, at the intersection with Gibson Mill Road beginning at 9 a.m. During the closure, all five lanes of the roadway will be shut to traffic. The brief closure is required to allow new utilities to be installed above Stone Drive. Motorists are asked to seek alternative routes during the brief closure.


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KINGSPORT – Parents of private and home-schooled special needs students are invited to an information session to learn more about services that Kingsport City Schools can provide to them.

The information session will be held on Thursday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the Palmer Center, located at 1609 Fort Henry Drive. The session should last about one hour.

For more information on the special needs services information session, contact Child Find Coordinator/Homebound Teacher Kathy Parham at (423) 378-2172.

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KINGSPORT – Kingsport City Schools is currently attempting to identify children and youth ages 3 to 21 years who may qualify for special education services.

Children who are suspected of being developmentally delayed, learning disabled, physically impaired, hearing and/or speech impaired, health impaired, multi-disabled, autistic, or gifted and reside in Kingsport may be eligible for services. A continuum of services is provided based on the students individual needs.  These educational needs are determined by a multi-disciplinary team which includes the parent(s).

Parents who have questions or need more information about the available services should contact Kathy Parham, Kingsport City Schools Child Find Coordinator, at (423) 378-2172.

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KINGSPORT – Each year from May to October, Keep Kingsport Beautiful and Blue Ridge Properties strive to recognize properties which set positive examples for beautification and cleanliness.  Keep Kingsport Beautiful has divided the city into different territories and has a volunteer designated to each area pick a winning property each month that exemplifies the following qualities: litter-free, well maintained, well-groomed, and is a good example within the neighborhood.

This months residential winners are: Jewell McKinney, 1076 Wellington Boulevard; Keith and Brenda Gibson, 2329 Rivermont; Mike and Barbara Creasman, 1310 Chestnut Street; Gary and Linne Taylor, 3276 Ashley Street; Harold Horton, 728 Holston Street; and Sharon Bass-Callahan, 2732 Prestwick Court.

The beautification award for local businesses goes to Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, located at 6518 Stone Drive.
First Presbyterian Church, located at 100 West Church Circle, is this months church award winner.

Finally, the redevelopment award goes to Korner-Copia, located at 200 E. Center Street, Suite A.

Keep Kingsport Beautiful is an award-winning affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and a program of the City of Kingsport and the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce.  Keep Kingsport Beautifuls mission is to involve the community in responsible solutions for a clean and beautiful environment.


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KINGSPORT – Tennessee Department of Transportation contractors conducting repairs on the Center Street bridge over Reedy Creek between Lynn Garden Drive and Clinchfield Street will require the temporary closure of the Greenbelt connection beneath the bridge beginning Thursday and continuing for the next few days while crews remove concrete walls along the outside of the bridge. Greenbelt pedestrians are asked to be aware of the construction and use extreme caution when crossing Center Street to resume their recreation and exercise.


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KINGSPORT – More than $1 million in building permits have been issued for the construction of the two Tri-Cities area restaurant firsts — Dunkin Donuts and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Dunkin Donuts, which is expanding into the region, will open its first location at 120 West Stone Drive in the RoadRunner Market across from Holston Medical Group/Wellmont Health System outpatient campus. The building permit, purchased by Hampton Development, was valued at $250,000 to construct 1,474 square feet for the shop. Dunkins menu includes breakfast items, coffee and, of course, doughnuts.

Ground breaking for this project is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the site.
We continue to hear a healthy interest level in Kingsport as a destination for restaurants of all kinds, from high-end on down, City Manager John Campbell said Tuesday. We are also heartened by the strong opening of Olive Garden and continue actively pursuing additional opportunities in the hospitality/retail segment. We are also realizing success with locally developed restaurant concepts such as the soon-to-open Salt Water Willys Bayou Cafĩ, which opens in September at the former Amatos location.

Meanwhile, Venture Construction from Memphis recently purchased an $800,000 building permit to construct a new 6,000 square feet building that will house the future Buffalo Wild Wings. This sports bar concept features a menu covering barbeque wings, wraps, salads, burgers and sandwiches.

Buffalo Wild Wings will be located at 1721 East Stone Drive in the East Stone Commons shopping center. This location is significant for several reasons.

This is a major reuse and redevelopment of the former Montgomery Wards Auto Center, Assistant City Manager for Development Jeff Fleming said. At the same time, redevelopment is turning the corner from North Eastman Road to Stone Drive and working its way back towards Kingsport Pavilion. Its exciting to see this infill development continue what the commercial market started when the East Stone Commons project began some seven years ago.