KINGSPORT – Kingsport Fire Fighter Barry Brickey is‚ one of three finalists for the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Voice of Sparky the Fire Dog Contest.‚ ‚ Barry serves at‚ the Public Education Officer for the Kingsport Fire Dept and is well known in the area as the voice of Sparky the Fire Dog.‚ 

“It is a great honor for the chance to help spread the word about Fire and Life Safety around the nation and the world as the voice of the iconic Sparky The Fire Dog,” said Brickey.‚  If‚ chosen,‚ Brickey will‚ voice the newest Sparky the Fire Dog Video and the KFD will receive a new Sparky the Fire Dog Costume, NFPA Fire and Life Safety Education Materials, and more ‚ to help teach our community about Fire and Life Safety.

To win, contestants must earn the most votes, so its up to the public to vote for Brickey from Monday-Monday, February 21 – 28. on www.facebook.com/sparkythefiredog‚ or if you are not a Facebook user, you can visit www.nfpa.org/SparkysBirthdayfor more information on how to vote. You can vote once per day so spread the word among your friends and family!


KINGSPORTOn Friday, February 25, 2011 members of the Kingsport Police Department will be conducting DUI Sobriety Checkpoints from 10:00 PM until midnight. The Kingsport Police Department is conducting the checkpoints in their ongoing efforts to keep the streets of Kingsport safe for the citizens and visitors.‚ 


KINGSPORT- The winter weather is likely to have left citizens of Northeast Tennessee with a bit of cabin fever. Art Nights/City Lights Performing Arts Series has the perfect solution. Get out and Get Engaged in the Arts! Every Thursday night in March. The Kingsport Cultural Arts Division invites the region to enjoy a series of heritage, arts and entertainment events for 2011. We are so excited about the events this year, said Martha Beverly, coordinator of the Parks and Recreation Cultural Arts Division. We encourage the citizens of our region to engage in their community and hope we will see old and new friends at these events. We want folks to know that the arts are alive and well in Kingsport ‚¬ mark your calendar and come on down every Thursday night. Location: Kingsport Renaissance Center, 1200 E. Center Street, Kingsport, TN 37660. www.KingsportARTS.org

March Art Nights/City Lights will kick off with the Kingsport Art Guilds annual Appalachian Art Show and Reception on March 3. Cindy Saadeh is serving as the chairman of the Appalachian Art Show. Saadeh commented, I am looking forward to seeing all the artwork in this year’s Appalachian Art Show–not only are we are expecting entries from all over the Tri-City area, but also as far away as Abingdon, Erwin and Greeneville. Last year there was one from Arizona, so we’ll see what this year holds! We are very excited to have as the judge this year Jordan Ahlers, who is the Gallery Director of the esteemed Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC. Eastman Chemical sponsors the event, and, along with a gracious anonymous donor, is sponsoring the show again this year. There will be $2300 in prizes awarded. The reception will be at the Main Gallery in the Renaissance Center from 5-7pm on March 3rd and feature a violin duo. The festive occasion continues with an after-party at Cindy Saadeh Fine Art at 128 E. Market St in downtown Kingsport from 7-9pm with live music by Gerald Shepherd.

On March 10 not one but TWO bands from the ETSU Old Time and Country Music Program will entertain and delight the crowds. Kingsport Strings and Hot Biscuits and Jam will warm you up for the return of Bluegrass on Broad later this spring. But why wait? Come to the Renaissance Center Theatre on Thursday, March 10 for a 7 PM show that will have you tapping your toe and give you a spring in your step.

On Thursday, March 17 ‚¬- yes, we know its St. Patricks day — the folks from 18 South in Nashville, TN will bring their soulful southern-roots sound to the RenCen. 18 South’s music is created by a wide array of influences. The organic and earthy quality of their sound rings with overtones of Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz and Gospel. It lends itself perfectly to their stripped down acoustic approach that is truly “Americana”. The Band member rƒ©sumƒ©s read like an Encyclopedia of Musical History and once you see them live, you’ll know why they are individually some of the most well respected musicians on the scene today. Renaissance Centers Theatre 7PM. Tickets available online (reserved seating)

The tradition of storytelling is imbedded in Appalachian life. On Thursday, March 24 at 7PM, bring your stories and/or a listening ear and join Tellabration! A group of Rogersville tellers will celebrate the legacy of Doc McConnell and World Storytelling Day. The theme of this years World Storytelling day is Water. Storytellers will be encouraged to tell stories about water of any type. Five professional storytellers will keep the tales flowing, with a special introduction by Guerry McConnell. The Doc
McConnell Yarnspinners invite all to come and will open the mike for audience participation. Free admission.

Lightnin Charlie will wrap‚ up the month of Thursday excitement and exciting is exactly what Charlie delivers. No wonder hes been named Favorite Musician of the Year 2005 ‚¬ 2010 for the Mountain South! So cure your blues with some great arts activities. Join LC and the Upsetters Band as they take you on a Journey Through 80 Years of American Music. This exciting journey begins with music from the 1927 Sixth Street Recording Session in Bristol. The excitement starts at 7PM in the
Renaissance Centers Theatre.

Performances are made possible through grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, SouthARTS and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Book your seats ONLINE at www.KingsportARTS.org or call 423-392-8414 (M-F, 8am-5pm) Tickets will also be available at the door each Thursday night, beginning at 6pm.

2011 Save the Dates

Engage in the Arts Every Thursday in March!

3/3/11 Appalachian Art Show & Reception, 5 ‚¬ 7 PM
Main Art Gallery, Renaissance Center, Reception is free and open to the public.
3/10/11 ETSU Blue Grass Bands Kingsport Strings and Hot Biscuits and Jam Renaissance Center / 7PM / $8 – $10

3/17/11 18 South from Nashville, TN Larry Atamanuik [Drums] and Mike Bub [Doghouse Bass] hold down a deep and unmovable groove behind Jimmy Wallace’s rich vocals and slamming Orleans Style Piano that in turn gives Guthrie Trapp the opportunity to freely express his fluid and versatile guitar style.
With Jon Randall’s mournful tenor vocals and solid guitar playing, the band provides a perfect venue for Jessi Alexander to nail the audience to the wall with her smoky heart wrenching vocals. Renaissance Center Theatre / 7PM / $13 – $15

3/24/11 Tellabration! Tellers Rela Edwards and the Doc McConnell Yarnspinners present an evening of Storytelling, open mic opportunities and membership invitation. Renaissance Center Theatre / 7PM / Free Admission.

3/31/11 Lightnin Charlie and the Upsetters Band will take the Audience on a Journey Through 80 Years of American Music, beginning with the 1927 6th Street Recording Session in Bristol Renaissance Center / 7PM / $8 – $10


About Kingsport Renaissance Center Kingsport Renaissance Center is one of the citys most prominent landmarks, serving as a center for the arts, senior citizens activities, and as a facility for meetings, weddings, receptions and seminars.
For directions and more information about the Renaissance Center call (423) 392-8416 or visit http://www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org/ or ww.KingsportARTS.org.



KINGSPORT ‚¬ City and Chamber of Commerce officials kicked off construction of the new Shelby Street parking garage Thursday with an official groundbreaking for the project, set to be completed by June 2011.

This is a facility that the community can be proud of, and will alleviate decades old concerns about the lack of parking available to downtown small business owners, their employees and their customers, Mayor Dennis Phillips said at the event. At the same time, we are continuing to grow our downtown Academic Village, and as new institutions and programs come online, these new parking slots will become even more important.

The structure is still on schedule for a June completion, despite weather which delayed the anticipated mid-January start date. Upon completion, the facility will offer 364 new parking spaces on three decks. The majority of spaces will be available free of charge.

The facility replaces 110 surface parking spaces in the Shelby lot, and is designed to fit into the surrounding downtown streetscape, as opposed to being a monolithic stand-alone structure.

The facade facing Center Street will feature at least 10,000 square feet of leasable space for commercial/retail/office uses, City Manager John Campbell said Thursday. We are in the fortunate position of having a private developer construct those spaces at this own expense, and will help blend the facility nicely with the rest of Center Street. I also believe it will help provide even more momentum for downtown adaptive reuse as well.

To be constructed at a cost of $4.5 million, the structure could potentially offer additional but more limited lease space on Market Street, but will be finished to blend with other Market Street structures at a minimum.

In addition, at least two electrical charging stations will be provided in the garage for electric vehicles, and restrooms will be provided in the facility for use during special downtown events such as the Twilight Alive and Bluegrass on Broad concert series.

To alleviate the shortage of parking created during construction, additional free public parking has been secured on New Street across from Chef’s Pizza, about a half-block from City Hall.

For a map of free parking areas in and around City Hall, please click here.

For a larger view of the garage renderings, please click here.


KINGSPORT ‚¬ Kingsports Social Event of the Year celebrated another great year of achievement for the model city with more than 1,700 business and civic leaders amid a Party On the Moon.

Kingsport continues to move forward with great momentum, said Charlie Floyd, 2010 Kingsport Chamber chair and vice president and mill manager for Domtar.‚  Kingsports continued focus on education and its critical and life-long impact on this community and her residents continues to be a model of excellence around the nation and, indeed, around the world.‚  The success of the Kingsport Academic Village and particularly the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing and its tremendous impact on the companies of our region is truly phenomenal and so vital to where we are headed as a community.

This great city has been built by progressive thinking leaders with vision, said Pat Kane, 2011 Kingsport Chamber chair and senior vice president of marketing and communications with Wellmont Health System.‚  And its progressive thinking that will continue to move Kingsport into a prosperous and vibrant future and have an unprecedented impact on our community for years to come.

Eastman Chemical Company served as title sponsor and WJHL 11 Connects as host sponsor. ‚ Holston Valley Medical Center was the entertainment sponsor, Eastman Credit Union served as concert hall and stage sponsor, King College served as education sponsor and Oak Hill Memorial Park, Funerals & Cremations served as reception sponsor.

The event remains the largest Chamber annual dinner in the nation, and proved an outstanding venue for the night’s entertainment, The Number One Party Band in the Nation– Party On The Moon.

As part of the celebration, the Kingsport Chamber showcased some of the many accomplishments achieved in Kingsport in 2010 and set the stage for continued growth and development in 2011.‚ 

Some of the 2010 Kingsport highlights included:


  • Kingsport was chosen as one of only eight cities nationwide to receive the prestigious Gold Award for Municipal Excellence from the National League of Cities.‚  The Kingsport Academic Village includes the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Regional Center for Health Professions, Regional Center for Applied Technology, Kingsport Higher Education Center and the Pal Barger School of Automotive Technology.‚ 
  • Eastman Chemical Company continued with its $1.3 billion Project Reinvest.‚ 
  • Food City broke ground on a new $8 million store on the former Quebecor property in downtown Kingsport.‚  The 48,500-square-bart store, which will adjoin the Kingsport Farmers Market and a 24,000-square-bart retail courtyard, will generate $60,000 to $70,000 in property taxes annually.
  • Kingsport approved plans to build a $4.4 million, 3-story parking garage containing 364 spaces in downtown Kingsport.‚  A 10,000-square-bart multi-purpose facility will be built adjacent to the parking garage and will include retail, office and/or residential space.
  • The Kingsport Aquatics Center continues to move forward as the Kingsport BMA gave final approval for the recreational facility.‚  The $15 million, 46,400-square-bart swimming venue will be co-located with the new $6 million, 35,000-square-bart Greater Kingsport Family YMCA on an 18-acre site across from the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.‚ ‚ Construction will begin in 2011 with the grand opening set for 2012.‚ ‚ 
  • Kingsports Holston Valley Medical Center (Wellmont Health System) completed its Project Platinum initiative, a $114 million investment into Kingsport and its future.‚  Holston Valley has been designated as‚ a top hospital‚ for cardiology services and heart bypass surgery in the state and nation by groups such as Consumer Reports magazine and‚ Thomson Reuters.‚ 
  • Mountain Region Family Medicine and Press Group LLC. broke ground on an $18.5 million facility on the former Quebecor property.‚  Expected to be a catalyst for future development at the site, the new medical complex will occupy 66,000 square feet of nearly 200,000 square feet being redeveloped in the former Press Building on Sullivan Street in Downtown Kingsport. The medical practice will welcome some 70,000 visits per year to downtown.
  • MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center, in partnership with the city of Kingsport, opened its new Executive Conference Center.‚  The $15 million expansion, combined with the $15 million addition of 110 new guest rooms, in partnership with Eastman Chemical Company, last year, will greatly increase business at the global award-winning resort.‚  MeadowView is continues to hold‚ the title as top Marriott property‚ world-wide for customer service, guest satisfaction and‚ intent to return.‚ 
  • Kingsports Dobyns-Bennett High School was named by Newsweek magazine as one of the top high schools in the nation for the‚ seventh time.
  • Kingsport School Superintendent Dr. Richard Kitzmiller was named Superintendent of the Year and Kingsport Board of Education member Susan Lodal was named School Board Member of the Year.
  • The Kingsport Public Library announced a major $12 million expansion and renovation project.
  • The Kingsport Times-News completed a $3 million, 5,000-square-bart expansion.‚ 
  • Indian Path Medical Center (Mountain States Health Alliance) invested $4.4 million into its facility and campus, including its new Mountain States Outpatient Rehabilitation; Outpatient Cardio-Diagnostic Center; Oncology and Outpatient Chemotherapy; Cardiac Catheterization Lab; and Surgery.
  • The United Way of Greater Kingsport surpassed its $3.8 million campaign goal.
  • Kingsport celebrated the opening of the new $8.2 million V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Complex in the Riverview community.
  • Saltwater Willys Bayou Cafƒ©, Olive Garden, Dunkin Donuts and Buffalo Wild Wings broke ground‚ or opened in 2010.
  • Kingsports House Price Appreciation was ranked 12th strongest in the nation, while approx. 3,053 new residents from 43 states moved to Kingsport in 2010.
  • The Chambers small business program, Kingsport Office of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), supported more than 104 new small business clients, conducted more than 225 one-on-one private counseling sessions, facilitated small business micro lending totaling more than $440,000, retained 160 jobs and created nearly 50 new jobs for the Kingsport economy.
  • Fun Fest celebrated its 30th festival with the production of two books, a‚ pre-show sellout crowd for Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band and more than 500 hotel room nights related to Fun Fest activities.‚  Fun Fest also garnered two awards from the International Festivals and Events Association.‚ 
  • The Chambers legislative affairs committee reviewed more than 2,000 pieces of legislation that impacted business and hosted events with Governor Bredesen, Governor Haslam, Congressman Roe, Comptroller Wilson, Tennessee Small Business Counsel Josh Helton, candidates for House District 2, Lt. Governor Ramsey, Majority Leader Mumpower, Senator Faulk, Senator Crowe, Representatives Shipley, Lundberg, Ford, Hawk and Hill.
  • Kingsport Chambers Tennessee/Virginia Scholars program graduated more than 500 students.
  • More than 20,000 people visited Kingsport for 20 sports tournaments and other events by the Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau, injecting an estimated $7 million into the local economy.

At the Annual Dinner, the Kingsport Chamber also presented the prestigious Lifetime Member Award to Food City Store Manager Ed Moore.

The accolade honors an individual for a lifetime of outstanding service to the Kingsport community.‚ 

In all, the event had nearly 100 corporate sponsors.‚ 

‚ For more information on the Kingsport Chamber, go to KingsportChamber.org or call (423) 392-8800.‚ 


“Kingsport is consistently ranked as one of Money Magazines Best Places in the South to live!”


KINGSPORT – Three ongoing Rock Springs area projects ‚¬ the State Route 347 water improvement project; Phase 1 Rock Springs Road Improvements; and Church View Drive Area Sanitary Sewer Extension and Waterline Improvements – will significantly impact water service and road access in coming weeks during workday hours.

Were excited at the rapid pace in which we are able roll out substantial quality life improvements and essential services to the greater Rock Springs area, Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds said Monday. We do understand this will make for some major inconveniences for motorists and households while we work to get this new infrastructure in place, and apologize in advance for the disruption of daily routines. But in the end, we will be providing a much improved roadway and much higher level of water service, not to mention the positive environmental impacts of the new sanitary sewer service.

The State Route 347 (Rock Springs Area) Water Improvement project will provide improved water service and fire protection to the Rock Springs community by installing larger water lines, fire hydrants and associated equipment, with a project completion date of May 2011.

In order to construct these improvements, several roads will close intermittently and water service may possibly be interrupted. Water outages and road closures will for the most part be limited to daytime hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition, detour signs will be posted in advance of any road closure.
Phase 1 Rock Springs Road Improvements will improve pedestrian mobility, safety and stormwater collection from west of Cox Hollow Road to Edinburgh Channel Road.

This project includes the widening of approximately .6 miles of road widening, curve realignment, road elevation improvements, installation of stormwater collection infrastructure, sanitary sewer extension and water system improvements, as well as asphalt paving and a new pedestrian mobility path. This project has a completion date of early August 2011.

Again, in order to construct these improvements, several roads will be intermittently closed and water service may possibly be interrupted.

Finally, the Church View Drive Area Sanitary Sewer Extension and Waterline Improvements will construct 2 miles of new sanitary sewer line and 1.5 miles of water line improvements, including fire hydrant installation. This project has a completion date of early April 2012.

As with the other projects, several roads will be intermittently closed and water service may possibly be interrupted.

Residents who have any questions or concerns about the project are welcome to contact the City of Kingsports Engineering Department at 423-229-9475 for more information. And as always, motorists are asked to use extra caution and plan ahead while work is underway.


KINGSPORT – Dobyns-Bennett High School students took top honors in the Fifth Annual Northeast Tennessee Science Bowl, held this week at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center in Kingsport.

The competition included regional teams from Cherokee High School in Rogersville, Volunteer High School in Church Hill, Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee High School in Bristol, Greeneville High School in Greeneville and Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport.

The National Science Bowl‚® competition, launched by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1991, helps develop the workforce that America requires to remain at the forefront of scientific advances, technological innovation and economic competitiveness. The regional competitions are designed to prepare students for state and national science bowl competitions. Questions are pulled from a wide-range of academic areas including astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, general science and mathematics.

Since the National Science Bowl‚® started in 1991, more than 160,000 students from all over the country have taken part in the fast-paced, question and answer tournament. Each year the number of regional competitions continues to grow.
Regional teams consisted of four students and one alternate from grades 10 through 12.‚  Dobyns-Bennetts Team #2 placed first and received a $300 cash prize and plaque.‚  Second place was awarded to Volunteer High School Team #1 which received a $200 cash award and plaque.‚  Greeneville High School team #2 took third place and received a $100 cash prize and plaque.

The winning team from Dobyns-Bennett included students:‚  Farrah Carter, Casey Zhu, Scott Zhou, Phil Habegger and Teacher/Coach Katie Jenkins.

All of the regional teams competing in the Science Bowl are eligible to compete in the state competition scheduled for February 18-19, 2011 at Pellissippi State Community College Blount County campus, Friendsville, TN.‚  The winning team from Tennessee will receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl‚® in Washington, DC to be held April 28- May 2.‚ ‚ ‚