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KINGSPORT – The time of the Kingsport BMA Work Session session for Monday, October 31st, 2011 has been moved forward from 4:30 to 4:00pm.  As always, the BMA work session will be held in the Council Room located on the Second Floor of Kingsport City Hall 225 West Center Street.

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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. 

-KCS-

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KINGSPORT – The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU and the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) will host a free Small Business Fall Night School on Tuesday, November 15 from 6 – 9 p.m., at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education, 330 W. Market Street, downtown Kingsport.

Primarily, the Small Business Fall Night School provides free training, networking opportunities, group problem-solving and collaboration and access to financing to small business owners and entrepreneurs for start-up and expansion.

The workshop is offered free of cost, but registration is required.‚ 

Four classes will be featured at the Fall Night School: Free Tools & Resources, Finding Capital for Start-up & Expansion, Small Business Certifications and information Especially for Women Business Owners.

Free Tools & Resources: Attendees will explore and learn a wide variety of free tools and resources available online. There will also be a demonstration of the new KOSBE website highlighting each stage of the business life cycle. The free tools and resources discussed will range from the business plan templates, free business listings, the TSBDC Small Business Survival Training Guide, social media channels and effectiveness, free news release distribution services and more. Facilitated by Marybeth McLain, small business services marketing manager, KOSBE.

Finding Capital for Start-up & Expansion: In this class attendees will learn how to get their businesses bank ready to secure financing. In addition, attendees will learn the difference between grants and loans such as the USDA Microloan Program for Rural Entrepreneurs and Business Owners, SBA-backed federal government loan, the Export Express loan program, the Patriot Express loan for veterans and their families along with other opportunities through non-traditional lenders. Facilitated by Aundrea Wilcox, executive director for KOSBE and senior business counselor for TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office.

Small Business Certifications: Attendees will learn how to apply for certifications in the following areas: women-owned, veteran-owned, TDOT and disadvantaged enterprises. Facilitated by Wilcox.

Finally, we will conclude our night with a session Especially for Women Business Owners. In this class, attendees will learn the Five Steps to Business Freedom. Every business goes through stages as they mature. ‚ The Five Steps to Business Freedom is a concept for business owners to use as they evaluate and plan for the future of their companies to ensure greater profitability and greater freedom for the owners.‚ Facilitated by Kathy Richards, business coach and owner of AdviCoach. Richards ‚ was recently named, AdviCoach Franchisee of the Year. Men are also welcome to attend.

The Small Business Fall Night School is designed with new and existing businesses and entrepreneurs in mind (including home-based), however, retirees seeking a second career, part-time workers wanting to supplement their income, upper class high school and college student are encourage to participate.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Advanced registration is required and must be received by Friday, November 11. Anyone interested can‚ register online at kosbe.org or call (423) 392-8825 for more information.

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBAs funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

To schedule your‚ free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.‚ ‚ 

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit tsbdc.org and kosbe.org or call (423) 392.8825. Were social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe ‚¬ The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE – The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.

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KINGSPORT ‚¬ The Netherland Inn Road Roundabout will close at 9 p.m. Wednesday night, October 26, 2011, through 6 a.m. Thursday morning to allow for the repair of a leaking waterline. Detour routes will be posted to help direct motorists around the closure, but the entire intersection with Center Street and Industry Drive will be closed with the single exception of the slip lane from Industry Drive to Center Street. As always, motorists are asked to plan ahead, use caution in the work zone and seek alternative routes in advance.

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KINGSPORT ‚¬ Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is bringing its latest restaurant prototype, dubbed Beefs 2.0, to Kingsport in late 2011 or early 2012 at the new Food City Shopping Center in downtown Kingsport.‚ 

The new Kingsport restaurant will feature many new elements that cant be found at current Beef ‚¬O Bradys restaurants, including updated color schemes, a digital sports ticker and a community bulletin board, according to restaurant owner Tim Way.

We’re going to be the place where families, local sports groups and friends can come together and enjoy great bard in a dynamic environment, said local owner, Tim Way.‚  Theres a strong sense of excitement thats built into each Beef ‚¬O Bradys, and the energy at our new restaurant will be unmatched.

In addition to the refreshed prototype, Kingsport residents and visitors will be supporting a restaurant that builds its reputation on strong ties to community, including promoting philanthropic partnerships with local schools, youth sports leagues, and other community organizations and promotion of volunteerism.

Regardless of the national economy, Kingsport continues to build momentum, City Manager John Campbell said. Mr. Way and Beef ‚¬O Bradys location decision in Kingsport highlights that confidence and momentum. Similarly, (Food City CEO) Steve Smith likewise demonstrated great faith in Kingsport when he agreed to build 36,000 square feet of commercial retail space speculatively at the new Downtown Food City. In addition, Beef ‚¬O Bradys will add strength to the growing roster of downtown dining options, while continuing to demonstrate Kingsport is a destination dining location for the region.

In the past twelve months or so, 16 new Kingsport dining options have opened, featuring local, regional and national concepts, including; Biggies Restaurant, Raw Bar & Tavern; Buffalo Wild Wings; Jersey Mikes; Longhorn Steakhouse; Nutty Java; Ozzy’s Gyros; Saltwater Willys; Sakura Japanese; Sweet CeCe’s; Tamikos; Tracys Tea House; and Which Wich; with Babycakes Cupcakery; Heart & Soul Food; Mustard Seed; and The Bagel Exchange all opening downtown locations. ‚ 

In Kingsport, Beef ‚¬O Bradys will be offering a re-engineered menu that features its famous wings, St. Louis-Style ribs with Sweet Baby Rays‚® barbeque sauce, grilled shrimp available as a main dish or as a salad, a build your own Angus burgers option, affordable mix-and-match dessert combinations and more.

Beef `O Bradys is perhaps best known for its Buffalo chicken wings, created by founder Jim Mellody as he expanded on the original concepts beef and sandwich menu roster, while also pumping up the “kid appeal” of this unique concept by featuring a moderately priced kids menu and video games.

The company, headquartered in Tampa, Fla. has more than 210 locations in 21 states. For a virtual tour of the restaurant concept, please visit http://www1.beefobradysfranchise.com/real-estate-a-construction. For more information on Beef ‚¬O Bradys, please visit www.beefobradys.com.

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KINGSPORT Harvest of Hope Community Garden is inviting the public to join them for their first ever Harvest Celebration on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the garden, located at 130 Charlemont Street behind First Presbyterian Church.

Harvest of Hope is a collaborative effort between the United Way of Greater Kingsport, AARP, First Presbyterian, the City of Kingsport, UT Extension and the Tennessee Master Gardeners.

Community gardens represent a growing trend in America, and allow citizens to come together in a common goal, Kingsport City Manager John Campbell said Tuesday. These goals include helping feed the hungry, putting a bit of fresh produce on the table, and bringing people together to build a stronger sense of place and community.

This particular garden provides fresh produce for several local bard kitchens and bard pantries, as well as local residents and consists of 39 raised beds, two of which are wheelchair assessable, and anyone is welcome to plant, tend plots and volunteer.

Planting beds are assigned each season, with committed HOH veteran gardeners first, then newcomers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The mission is multifold, with the first priority being to assist by providing healthy bard to those in need and provide opportunity for those who are hungry to grow bard for themselves and their families, with all gardeners asked to be willing to share their harvest with the hungry.

Beyond that, the HOH Community Garden is helping to raise awareness and combat the increasing incidence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in our region, through exercise, such as gardening, as well as teaching individuals to grow, harvest and eat their homegrown vegetables.

The coalition further hopes to promote community building and friendship all though the simple task of tilling and tending the earth.

We have an array of folks helping sponsor the garden, but there is always room to grow, says the United Way of Greater Kingsports Jill Salyers. There is plenty of work to do nearly year round, and we look forward to growing our partners, in addition to our produce!

In addition, garden coordinators are hopeful of that other neighborhoods will become interested in starting community gardens elsewhere in the City.

For more information, to volunteer or contribute, or apply for a raised bed, please contact Salyers at the United Way of Greater Kingsport, at 378-3409 extension 16 or jsalyers@uwaykpt.org.

There is also a blog to keep up on the latest garden happenings at http://hohkingsport.blogspot.com

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KINGSPORT – Water service will be interupted on Monday, October 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the area of West Carters Valley Road from Harrison Avenue to North Holston Drive to permit water line work. Residents are asked to take necessary precautions including turning off hot water heaters. As always, motorists are asked to use the utmost caution in the work zone.

City_News_33

KINGSPORT – Eastman Chemical Company has taken steps to redevelop a former textile plant adjacent to its main campus, recently purchasing Borden Mill, a 37 acre industrial property just off Lincoln Street. The facility will be used to expand Eastmans growing operations.

Corporate officials say their plans for the site are not final; however, they do not anticipate the site will be used for manufacturing.

“We do not expect to use the property for manufacturing purposes, said Parker Smith, vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support and Quality. This large piece of property will provide us with opportunities for additional growth right next to our plant site. ‚ At the moment, we are continuing to discuss how best to use the facility going forward, but we have no firm plans at this time.”

Borden Mill was constructed in 1924 by the Borden family, founders of American Printing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts, and according to some sources the largest producer of printed cloth in the early 20th Century.

Just 10 years later, by 1934, all the Fall River mills were closed as jobs were moved south, including to Kingsport, in search of cheaper labor, lower transportation costs and greater productivity.

By the late 1940s, according to TENNESSEE — A Guide to the State, Borden Mills was producing 900,000 yards of cloth a week and employed 1200 people.

Later in its history a succession of owners operated the facility, including JP Stevens (JPS Textiles) and finally Chiquola Fabrics, who purchased the plant in 1999, later closing the plant in 2003.

Densely wooded Borden Park, including two acres now owned by Eastman, was established by American Printing decades ago. The City of Kingsport owns and maintains the majority of the site for recreational purposes, including tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

I cannot imagine a more fitting reuse for Borden Mill than redevelopment for Eastman, City Manager John Campbell said Friday. We are very excited about the possibility and look forward to partnering with the company going forward as their management team develops and finalizes their plans for the site.

City_News-1

KINGSPORT ‚¬ Three avid electric vehicle enthusiasts will be on hand Sunday from 2‚¬4 p.m. at the new Shelby Street garage electric vehicle charging stations and offering static displays of their personal vehicles — a Nissan Leaf, Plug-in Toyota Prius (consisting of a much larger than stock battery pack), as well as a high-performance Tesla Roadster — as part of the national Plug-in Day sponsored by Plug-in America.

Electric Vehicles have arrived in Northeast Tennessee, said David Hrvinak, a member of East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and the national Electric Auto Association. I could not be more proud that my home, Kingsport, had the forethought to help us all begin kicking our foreign oil habit by installing six J-1772 chargers and making them available free to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We plan to have several owners of electric vehicle available at the garage Sunday afternoon to show the vehicles plugged into the charging infrastructure and to answer any questions people may have.

Hrivnak also hopes to have a version of the new Chevrolet Volt on hand as well, if possible, to demonstrate the latest in extended-range hybrid vehicles.

What was once an automotive enthusiast niche mostly populated by environmental activists, engineers and tinkerers, such as Hrivnak, himself an engineer, is rapidly going main stream with a number of new hybrid and all‚¬electric models focusing on efficiency, and yes, even performance.

The benefit, according to Hrivnak and Plug In America, is a move towards helping America begin to wean itself from its dependence on foreign oil, creating new jobs and reducing Americas trade in-balance.

The event is sponsored by Plug In America, which was formed in January 2008 to raise public awareness and advocate for plug-in transportation, as well as the Sierra Club. Inspiration for PIA came from a number of earlier campaigns, including several that focused on saving early electric automobiles, which were often lease-only vehicles, from the scrap heap, as well as efforts by groups such as the non-profit Electric Auto Association.

At least 26 cities across the country are participating in the event, although Kingsport appears to be the smallest City with an event, according to Hrivnak.

Kingsport City Manager John Campbell said Friday that he continues to push staff initiatives focusing on greater fuel efficiency, deploying electric and hybrid vehicles wherever possible, as well as alternative fuels.

Under a grant program with Virginia Clean Cities and James Madison University, Kingsports Fleet Maintenance Department has converted two police cruisers to propane-power, with 10 more cruisers scheduled for conversions. Three pickup-trucks have also been converted to propane in a partnership with East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition.

We realize that from a cost perspective, meeting our citizens need for services consumes a great deal of fossil fuel at a high annual cost to taxpayers, Campbell said. We certainly thank Mr. Hrivnak and Plug In America for providing an opportunity to highlight the alternative to gas-powered vehicles as well as the features we have built into our new garage to accommodate these new alternatives. ‚ 

City_News_54

KINGSPORT ‚¬ The City of Kingsport has mailed property tax statements for the 2011 tax covering $5.24 billion in property located inside the city limits.

Property taxes fund about half of all general city services, including K-12 education, police protection, fire and emergency services, development services, recreation and street maintenance.

Our city staff continues to place its strongest focus on providing the best possible services at the lowest possible cost, enhancing residential value and creating an attractive environment for jobs and industry, City Manager John Campbell said Wednesday. At the same time, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen continue to make strategic investments in infrastructure and education that build a stronger workforce and more attractive community. As demonstrated in the past, these investments will continue to encourage growth inside the City, which is essential to keeping tax rates low well into the future.

In all, $31.29 million in tax statements were mailed on October 1, with more than 60 percent of that sum paid by commercial businesses and industry. Utilities are assessed separately by the state of Tennessee, so the final sum will be somewhat higher.

City taxes are now due, and payable without penalty through November 30th. Payment may be mailed or paid in person at the City’s Customer Service Center, located in the City Hall Building, 225 West Center Street.

Mailed payments must be postmarked on or before November 30th to avoid penalties. If paying in person, taxpayers are encouraged to make their payments early in order to avoid long lines which tend to develop closer to November 30th deadline.

Property taxes become delinquent beginning December 1st and incur a penalty of 2 percent on that date. Taxes remaining delinquent on January 1st will incur an additional 2 percent penalty, with a further 1 percent penalty accruing monthly thereafter until paid in full.

Our citizens have an awesome track record of supporting their local government on a timely basis, Campbell said. We do not want our residents to pay one penny more than necessary. With that in mind, we encourage our citizens to pay on or before November 30th to avoid late penalties.

In addition, seniors above age 65 or greater, persons rated totally and permanently disabled, or veterans with a 100 percent service-related disability, may qualify for property tax relief on their 2011 property taxes.

For those aged 65 or greater or those who are totally and permanently disabled, qualifications for the program require an annual total income of $26,830 or less (including spousal income) based on calendar year 2010 income sources. Disabled veterans or spouses of a deceased disabled veteran also may be eligible for assistance on their 2011 property taxes, without having to provide income amounts.

To enroll in the Property Tax Relief program, applicants must bring their City property tax notice, proof of 2010 income, Social Security Card, Medicare Card, and deed information if they are new property owners.

New qualifying applicants must pay their property taxes in full and subsequently will receive a reimbursement from the State of Tennessee for the amount of their qualifying assistance.

If you have not received a tax statement, have any questions concerning your property tax bill or want to discuss property tax relief eligibility, please phone the Customer Service Center at (423) 229-9418.