JOHNSON CITY – During a joint news conference this morning, East Tennessee State University and the City of Kingsport announced plans for the school to begin offering classes in the downtown Kingsport area beginning in January 2013.

ETSU will lease space from Northeast State Community College at the Regional Center for Applied Technology for the first semester while searching for a permanent location.

The university intends to offer primarily upper-division courses at the downtown site, while mostly freshman and sophomore-level courses will continue to be taught at ETSU at Kingsport, located near Allandale Mansion.

The addition of the downtown site is intended as a major expansion of ETSUs programmatic and student enrollment bartprint in the Model City, said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. Through this new partnership, we will work more closely with Northeast State on course offerings, dual enrollment, and transfer programs, and also assist Kingsport business, industry, city government and health care agencies in responding to workforce needs.

This also presents opportunities to better serve students in the surrounding counties of Virginia where border-county tuition rates are offered, he added.

Noland extended an open invitation to prospective students and other members of the community to attend an Operations Expansion, Partnership Announcement and Celebration event on Thursday, Nov. 8, from noon-2 p.m. at the Kingsport Farmers Market, 308 Clinchfield St.‚  More information about the ETSU expansion will be discussed, and students can meet with various university representatives regarding the admissions process, financial aid, and program offerings.

The presence of ETSU in downtown Kingsport was part of our original higher education plans, said Mayor Dennis Phillips.‚  I want to commend Dr. Noland and the ETSU staff for their outstanding work in making this become a reality. The addition of ETSU can only complement what has been started by Northeast State Community College, the University of Tennessee, King College and Lincoln Memorial University.

This is extremely exciting and should be welcome by the citizens of Kingsport as it is a major step forward toward reaching our higher education academic goals.


KINGSPORT, Tenn.The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) is conducting an anonymous survey of women business owners and professional women in preparation for future programming.  The survey is open to women small business owners and entrepreneurs, and professional women throughout the Northeast Tennessee region.

When asked why this survey is important to women, KOSBE Executive Director Aundrea Y. Wilcox said, Whether they are a professional woman or own a small business now (or are considering starting a small business enterprise in the future), it is important for us to gain a clear understanding of the constraints and needs of women business owners, female entrepreneurs and professional women in Northeast Tennessee.  Wide participation in this assessment is critical to documenting the need for women’s services and programs in Tri-Cities Tennessee.

Women can complete the survey now by visiting http://ow.ly/evPk2 online.

The survey is for market research purposes only.  Individual responses are confidential and anonymous. Final aggregate results will be presented at the upcoming Professional Womens Network lunch meeting on Tuesday, December 4th at 11:30 a.m. at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce (Eastman Board Room).

To become a member of the future Tri Cities Regional Women’s Business Summit Steering Committee, please contact Aundrea Wilcox, Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) Executive Director, at (423) 392-8801.

For more information about KOSBE, visit http://www.kosbe.org.

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.  KOSBE is a program of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and an affiliate of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at East Tennessee State University.

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.


KINGSPORT Kingsport City Schools has received the Tennessees Healthier Schools Challenge Platinum Level award from the Tennessee School Boards Association at its annual conference in Nashville.  Only 11 school systems across the state achieved the Platinum Level award, given by the TSBA to districts that excel in implementing health promotion policies and plans that align with the districts vision and mission.

Schools have a tremendous opportunity to promote and develop healthy lifestyle choices, which plays such an important role in student learning, said KCS Superintendent Dr. Lyle C. Ailshie.  KCS students and staff have been hard at work taking steps to improve our health and well-being.  We are honored to receive this award that recognizes the dedication to healthier living.

The Platinum Level award distinguishes systems that effectively adopt health-related policies that position students for success in school and throughout their lifetimes.  Criteria for the award include implementation of Coordinated School Health goals in the systems strategic plan, active participation of school board members, students, and staff in wellness programs, and effective communication with parents.

I am so proud of the efforts of our students, staff, and families in creating healthier school environments, said KCS Coordinated School Heath Services Coordinator Misty Keller.  It has been exciting to see the results of that work and we are excited to make such a positive impact on our community.

For more information on the Tennessees Healthier Schools Challenge, please contact Kingsport City Schools Coordinated School Health Services Coordinator Misty Keller at (423) 378-2147.



KINGSPORT – Bays Mountain Planetarium is proud to provide a change in its show offerings starting immediately.  “Under the Milky Way” will be shown at 4 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and 1 & 4 p.m. on the weekends.  “The Case of the Disappearing Planet” will be shown at 2 p.m. on the weekends.  Both shows are family-friendly, highly educational, and lots of fun.  Tickets are $4/person, free for those aged 5 and under, and free for Bays Mountain Park Association members.

Our feature planetarium show is a double-feature entitled “Under the Milky Way.” It’s a great show that highlights our very own Milky Way galaxy. We look into the structure of our galaxy and how it was formed. We also look back, starting with an ancient Chinese star lore story, to our continuing understanding of what our galaxy is and how large it is. This program is best for late elementary age and above.

The show was written and directed by Bays Mountain Planetarium’s Jason Dorfman.

The show’s second feature is a live presentation utilizing some of the wonderful capabilities of our Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector as well as our digital projection system. We’ll highlight our current night sky, but relate it to our show’s topic.  Learn about some other celestial delights found within our galaxy. We conclude our program by transforming our position on earth and travel down to the southern hemisphere and spy the two largest dwarf galaxies that orbit us, the Magellanic Clouds.

The show was produced by Bays Mountain staff and we’re proud to present this program for you.

“The Case of the Disappearing Planet” is a double-feature that looks into the changing status of objects we call planets. It not only covers Pluto, but the temporary planetary status of asteroids as well. The tally of planets in our Solar System has been going up and down for hundreds of years!

This program was written by Robin Byrne, Associate Professor of Astronomy & Physics at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, TN.

She had fun with this program as it features a sly, street-smart gumshoe called Skye Watcher. After a frenzied phone call from a 3rd grade teacher, she collects clues to ¯¬nd out what happened to Pluto.

The second feature lets visitors witness the night sky recreated by our extremely accurate ZKP-4 optical star projector from Carl Zeiss. Not only will we tour the current night sky, but we’ll also spy the current position of Pluto.  Pluto itself will be examined for its recent discoveries and how it will affect the New Horizons spacecraft mission.


KINGSPORT Kingsport City Schools has received high marks in both Academic Achievement and Academic Growth, scoring above the state average in all core subject areas on the 2012 Tennessee Department of Education Report Card.

For the second consecutive year, the school system received straight As in student achievement for math, reading/language arts, social studies, and science. The system also received As in all writing categories, with achievement scores increasing from 2011 levels in all subject areas.

KCS students also made significant gains in the area of academic growth.  The system received an A in math and Bs in reading/language arts, social studies, and science. Especially noteworthy in this years results are the increases in value-added growth scores in reading/language arts, social studies, and science.

We are very pleased with the results of this years state report card, said Dr. Lyle C. Ailshie, Superintendent of Schools. KCS students and teachers have shown incredible spirit and determination in striving to meet rigorous standards in our classrooms.  I congratulate and commend our teachers and school staffs for the successes achieved in our schools every day all across Kingsport.  While we are thrilled with the positive results found in this years report card, we are always mindful that there are opportunities for growth and we will continue efforts to provide every student a world class education.

According to the report card results, the school systems student graduation rate of 90.2% continues to far exceed the state average of 87.2%. In addition, the single and three-year average ACT scores for KCS students remained significantly above the state averages in all subject areas.  D-Bs three-year average composite ACT score of 22.0 was over 12% higher than the state average of 19.6.

The results of this years report card are truly a reflection of the great work that has been done across the system to meet the increasing demands of the new Common Core standards, said Director of Performance Excellence Michael Hubbard.  The new standards call for students to have a much deeper level of understanding than has ever been required in the past.  Our teachers have done a masterful job presenting curriculum in a way that allows for high levels of student learning.

The full TN State Report Card, including specific information on Kingsport City Schools and individual schools, can be found on the KCS website at www.k12k.com. For more information on the state report card results, please contact Kingsport City Schools Director of Performance Excellence Michael Hubbard at (423) 378-2125.



KINGSPORT – The end of daylight-saving time on November 4th can be a life saver. The Kingsport Fire Department reminds you the time change is a convenient reminder to change the batteries in your home smoke alarms. The KFD would also like to remind you that other than home sprinkler system, smoke alarms are one of you best defenses in a home fire.

Over 3,000 people die in house fires in the United States every year. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that nearly half of those deaths occur in the 4 percent of homes that do not have working smoke alarms. The NFPA also says that 20 percent of home smoke alarms do not work because of dead or missing batteries.

The importance of smoke alarms is underscored by a statistic from the Consumer Product Safety Commission: your chance of surviving a house fire doubles if there is working smoke alarms in your home.

Although smoke-alarm batteries might last as long as a year, the experts say they should be changed twice yearly: at the return of standard time on the first Sunday in November, and then again when clocks are changed to daylight-saving time on the second Sunday in March.

Even if your smoke alarms are “hard wired” into your home electrical system, they probably have backup batteries to make sure the alarms work during a power failure. It’s also important to use the right kind of batteries. Ordinarily alkaline or lithium batteries are best. Rechargeable batteries designed for high-tech electronics are not suited for smoke alarms.

Besides changing the batteries twice a year, it’s also important to check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. The NFPA recommends that smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years.

There are two kinds of smoke alarms available for home use: Ionization alarms are more responsive to flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms respond more quickly to smoldering fires. Although either type will eventually react to most fires, the NFPA says it is best to use both types in your home. Some manufacturers offer dual-sensor alarms combining ionization and photoelectric sensors in one unit.

There should be one smoke alarm in every bedroom, along with an alarm outside sleeping areas. Make sure you have at least one alarm on each level of your home. To increase the level of protection, consider installing wireless smoke alarms that are interconnected, so all alarms sound as soon as one detects smoke. Because smoke rises, install smoke alarms high on the wall or on the ceiling.

Smoke Alarm Safety Quick Tips from the KFD and NFPA

1.‚  An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric (dual sensor) alarms are recommended.

2.‚  Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. For the best protection, interconnect (hard wired or wireless connection)‚  all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

3.‚  Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

4.‚  Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturers instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturers instructions for testing and maintenance.

5.‚  Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

6.‚  Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use ten year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are ten years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

7.‚  Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.

8.‚  If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with a photoelectric type alarm or an alarm that has a hush button. A hush button will reduce the alarms sensitivity for a short period of time.

9.‚  Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf. These alarms use strobe lights. Vibration equipment is required with these alarms. This equipment is activated by the sound of the smoke alarm.

10.‚  People with mild to severe hearing loss can use a device that will make a mixed, low-pitched sound. This device is activated by the sound of a traditional smoke alarm.

11.‚  When you do shop for a smoke alarm, look for units with the Underwriters Laboratory label, typically the letters “UL” in a circle.