fall leaves around lake

Bays Mountain Park is always a great draw for visitors seeking the crisp, cool air of fall and the vibrant colors of the season. The peak time to view the fall colors is this week and next.

To give residents even more opportunity to view the specular leave colors, extra barge rides will be added to the weekend of October 15-16 to allow visitors additional opportunity to enjoy the colors around the lake. Rides will be at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.  Cost is $5.00 per person.

Below is an excerpt from an article on ‘Autumn in the Southern Appalachians’ by retired Bays Mountain Park Director Tom Bowman:

“We are often asked why autumn in southern Appalachia is so colorful.  It is because of the tremendous species diversity of the trees in our area.  I came originally from western Kansas.  Though beautiful in its own way, there exists in that area fewer than a dozen dominant tree species.  Most exist in riparian communities along streams.  Fall leaf color is pretty much species specific.   Fewer trees and fewer tree varieties amount to less color.  It is said there are more tree species in southern Appalachia than on the entire continent of Europe.  There are 110 species of trees in Bays Mountain alone.  Couple this diversity with some basic leaf ‘chemistry’ and the product is a multi-colored palate.”

Leaf chemistry is happening all year round. Certain chemicals show through as different pigments depending on the species. Brilliant yellows, and oranges in varying degrees are dominant in hickories, ash, maples, birch, and sassafras.

Other pigments are produced late in the summer leaf. These pigments show up as reds, purples, and varying combinations. They show up in the leaves of trees such as sweet gum, oaks, maples, sourwood, dogwood, and persimmons.

It is easy to see how differing pigment levels and combinations, in the 110 tree species of Bays Mountain along, can produce the vast panorama of fall coloration we enjoy in our area.

So get out and enjoy the great leaf colors before they’re gone – it only happens once a year!

For more information on Bays Mountain, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-224-2589.


To participate in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan Survey, CLICK HERE


State Route 93 Safety Improvement Maps can be found by following the links below:

Fall Branch – Washington County

Fall Branch Bluff

Sullivan County Improvements – 1

Sullivan County Improvements -2

Memorial Blvd Improvement information

Please take a minute to complete the following survey about transportation options in the Kingsport Area.

Survey Button


seniors putting together trainset

Are you a fan of trains? Are you interested in model trains? Join the Kingsport Train Club! The Kingsport Train Club meets Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The club meets at Innovation Forge (the old YMCA building) at 1100 Franklin Square, beside Chop House on Eastman Road. The club is open to all in the community and will feature O gauge MTH trains which were graciously donated to the club by the Ned McChrystal Family. In addition, HO and N gauge trains will also be available.

The club is sponsored by Engage Kingsport.  For more information, please contact Dave Stevens at dstevens@kptware.com or (423) 967-1173.

William, son of Russ Ayscue, shows a completed small train layout.

Richard Woelkers, Russ Ayscue, and Robert Myers build a foundation for a larger train layout.

bays mountain lake dam

Modern day Bays Mountain Park began to take its shape in the early 1900’s when a group of businessmen, impressed with the mountain’s unique geological formation, began buying land there to create a water reservoir. In 1914, these men sold more than 1,300 acres to Kingsport Waterworks Corporation and from 1914-1916 land was cleared and the dam was built. Water began flowing to the City of Kingsport in November 1916, just three short months before the city’s incorporation.

The dam served as the City of Kingsport’s water reservoir until 1944 when the population and demand of the city finally outgrew the reservoir’s capability to serve its needs. Once the city outgrew the reservoir needs, the land was preserved as a nature reserve, known today as Bays Mountain Park.

Since opening as a park, the dam received improvements. A railing and fencing over the dam’s walkway allowed visitors safe passage across and enjoyment of the view from the dam. Nearly 30 years ago, as part of routine maintenance, additional support between original stair-stepping stone buttresses was added.

Celebrating 100 years this November, the dam is now slated for additional maintenance/repairs with the preparation of construction documents nearing completion. The necessary maintenance and repairs are those typical of a 100-year-old stone and mortar dam structure.

The anticipated maintenance and needed repairs to the dam include investigation into the condition of the existing bedding sand behind the buttresses and vertical wall faces, and replace as needed. Inspect all mortar joints and repair with high strength repair mortar and/or hydraulic cement as needed. Seal all exposed faces of the stone masonry buttresses and walls with sealant. Repair and replace the structural steel braces and steel support beams (and railing as required) of the walkway bridge over the existing dam over-flow weir.

The maintenance and repairs, an anticipated cost in the range of $1,500,000, are expected to be done in three phases to help budget costs over time.

For more information on Bays Mountain, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-224-2589.dam

Rodney Dye in Public Works

Rodney Dye, a City of Kingsport Public Works employee for over 17 years, has gone above and beyond his job title to inspire and form a bond with a local child.

Dye was first introduced to the little boy, Creed, by attending church with Creed’s grandmother. “She would always ask for prayer requests for him when he was first born, because he was really sick and had a lot of heart issues. So we always prayed for him.” Dye, being part of the city’s waste management team, eventually became in charge of their garbage pick-up, where the boy would always be outside smiling and waving at him during his weekly route.

Creed’s grandmother eventually got in touch with Dye, expressing to him how much his simple smiles and waves meant to the young child. “After knowing his story and all the problems that he had in life, it just touched me, knowing that something that simple was bringing joy to his life,” said Dye about the experience.

After speaking to Creed’s grandmother, Rodney Dye decided to invite him to the City of Kingsport’s Public Works day, a yearly event that helps showcase the City’s Public Works Department and its involvement in the community. When Creed and his family arrived at public works day, Dye showed the boy the garbage truck up-close, helped him inside it, and even let him play with some of the controls.

After seeing the child’s amazement at Public Works Day, Dye decided he wanted to do another small act of kindness for Creed. Calling in a favor, Dye obtained some toy trucks that resembled the garbage trucks driven by him and other city employees.

Dye gave the trucks to the boy, knowing how much they would mean to him.

According to Dye, he and his wife now visit Creed at his grandmother’s house, where Dye and Creed play with the toy trucks together. “He laughs, smiles, and enjoys the fun and the attention. It really is a blessing to see how far he’s come. He’s a sweet child, and it’s good to see him smile after all he’s been through.”

Rodney Dye is a city employee that truly cares for the people within his community. Dye is one of several city employees that collect trash from all city residents, about 20,765 households, of Kingsport every week. His job is to collect waste from those on his route, but he decided to do so much more.

Dye, the second Kingsport employee to be highlighted in the Highlighting Heroes: People Behind the Service campaign, shares his story of how our city employees don’t just come to work to do their job – they go above and beyond the call of duty and have proven that there is more to city employees than meets the eye. These hometown heroes are an example as to why we are known for our community spirit.

Rodney Dye - Highlighting Heroes




kingsport police department logo

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)
kingsport police department

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Investigating Fatal High Speed Motorcycle Crash on West Stone Drive
DATE: September 23, 2016
CASE #: 16-020578
On September 23, 2016 at approximately 2:00 AM, Officers of the Kingsport Police Department Patrol Division and Traffic Unit responded to a fatal motor vehicle collision on West Stone Drive near Grandby Road in Kingsport. The ensuing investigation revealed the following:

A 2001 Dodge Ram pickup, driven by Michael W. Bays, was westbound in the far right lane of West Stone Drive approaching Granby Road. A 2006 Yamaha Motorcycle, ridden by Logan R. Trent, was traveling in the same lane of the same road, in the same direction, approaching the Dodge Ram from behind at what appears to have been an extremely high rate of speed. Mr. Trent’s driver license was suspended at the time of the crash.

The motorcycle rear-ended the Dodge Ram causing Mr. Trent to lose complete control of the motorcycle. The motorcycle then crossed the median and both opposing traffic lanes before coming to rest against a grass embankment. As a result of the high speed impact, debris was strewn over approximately 500 linear feet of West Stone Drive. An eastbound Ford F-150 pickup struck some of that debris resulting in a flat tire.

Mr. Trent died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. None of the occupants of the two pickups were injured. A section of West Stone Drive remained closed for over three hours to allow for a thorough investigation of the crash and the safe removal of vehicles and debris, but it has since been reopened for traffic.

This crash remains under investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit.

Make Yamaha
Model Motorcycle
Year 2006
Type Motorcycle
Color Black
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Logan R. Trent
Age 23 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Rogersville, TN
Injuries Fatal
Make Dodge
Model Ram
Year 2001
Type Pickup Truck
Color Green
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Michael W. Bays
Age 54 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries No Injury
Make Ford
Model F-150
Year 2010
Type Pickup Truck
Color Silver
Damage Minor
Driver Name Owen L. Hetrick
Age 65 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries No Injury
Passenger Name Leona F. Blackburn
Age 67 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries No Injury
kingsport police department Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit
kingsport police department police cheif

kingsport police department logo Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)
kingsport police department
SUBJECT: Underwear Masked Suspect Sought in Botched Zoomerz Robbery
DATE: September 23, 2016
CASE #: 16-020370
On September 21, 2016, shortly after midnight, an unidentified white male suspect unsuccessfully attempted to rob the Zoomerz gas station and convenience store, located at 3717 Memorial Boulevard in Kingsport. He had his face covered by a makeshift mask that he had crudely fashioned by cutting eye holes in a pair of underwear.

The suspect feigned having a gun by keeping his right hand concealed behind his back and threatening, “Don’t make me pull it out!” He initially demanded cash, then demanded cigarettes, but ultimately left empty-handed in frustration proclaiming, “This is stupid!”

The entire incident was captured on store surveillance video, with photos taken from that footage included in this release. A clip of the actual video has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the link below:


Anyone who recognizes him is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:


kingsport police department Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit
kingsport police department police cheif
raw water project

Water is a precious resource needed by all living things. Kingsport is lucky to have such a great water source right here in our city and it’s our job to make sure it stays clean for years to come. One way our city is ensuring this is through the Raw Water Intake project.

The purpose of the Raw Water Intake Project is to ensure a safe, reliable and continuous supply of drinking water to meet the needs of our current customers and for generations to come. It includes construction of a new raw water tunnel and a new raw water pump station at the water treatment plant, eliminating of the use of existing pumps and transmission lines.

Our drinking water comes from the South Fork Holston River. The intake is located approximately two miles below the dam and upstream from industry. Water is pumped through raw water pumps and then flows through three transmission pipes to the water treatment plant for treatment.

The existing pump station was built in 1970. The three current transmission pipes were installed in 1928, 1946 and 1977 respectively. The transmission pipes run vertically up an 85 foot rock bluff and are exposed to all the elements, such as snow, rain and summer heat. The configuration of the pipes also has potential for single points of failure. The age, layout and condition of these pipes are what makes this a critical project.

In 2010, a master plan was developed for the water treatment plant and distribution system. The city hired the engineering firm, Hazen and Sawyer, to evaluate existing facilities, current/impending water regulations and water usage. The master plan is the source used to identify and plan for infrastructure replacement. The Raw Water Project was identified as a serious need and the first project to roll out of the master plan.

Several alternatives to the Raw Water Intake Project were evaluated before deciding on the current project solution. In 2012, another engineering firm, CDM Smith, was hired to evaluate alternative solutions. A total of nine alternatives were evaluated and their solutions ranged from replacing the pipes to utilizing an existing storm water drain. In the end, the most practical and safe solution was to bring the river to the plant by gravity instead on transmission pipes and relocate one of the pump stations to the water treatment plant.

The raw water will flow by gravity through a new 7.5 feet high and 7.7 feet wide horseshoe shaped tunnel from the South Fork Holston River to the water treatment plant. The tunnel will replace the existing pipes that have reached the end of their useful life. One of the existing pump stations will continue to serve as the intake structure and convey water from the river to the vertical shaft at the head of the tunnel. The vertical shaft is 24 feet in diameter and 38 feet deep. Water will flow 1100 feet from the vertical shaft through the raw water tunnel to the water plant. The tunnel terminates approximately 130 feet below the surface at the water plant. Four vertical shafts connect the tunnel to the raw water pump station and four vertical turbine pumps lift the water to the water plant for treatment.

The $13.7 million project is funded through a 1.78 percent low interest Tennessee State Revolving Loan and a $1.5 million EDA grant. It has a 20-month construction schedule. Construction on the project began last fall and the tunnel is nearly complete, with the estimated completion of the project being middle of October. The new pump station project will be completed in May of next year.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant is Kingsport’s only water treatment facility. It will remain the primary source of drinking water for the area for many years to come. Therefore, its continued reliable operation is both necessary and vital for protection of human health and continued growth and sustainability for this region.

For more information about the Raw Water Intake project, check out the video here.


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