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What’s our place in the universe? Can you “hear” gravity? Two new shows at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium answer these questions and more this November.

The new alternate feature, “Under the Milky Way,” begins on November 2 and highlights our very own Milky Way galaxy. Learn about the structure of our galaxy and how it was formed, and take a look at our continuing understanding of what our galaxy is and how large it is.

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. Viewers will see our current night sky and learn how we fit into the Milky Way. The program concludes 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. “Under the Milky Way” runs for about 35 minutes.

“Einstein’s Gravity Playlist,” the new main feature, premiers on November 12. This program explores the ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, and a century later, scientists detected these waves using incredibly precise laser technology here on Earth. In honor of this long-anticipated detection, the scientists who created the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017. In this show, viewers follow Lucia, a PhD student in physics, on an exploration of how gravitational waves are formed, how they move through the Universe, and how scientists like her work to hear them.

“Einstein’s Gravity Playlist” was created through a collaboration between Montana State University’s eXtreme Gravity Institute, the Department of Physics, the School of Film and Photography, and the School of Music. The runtime is about 35 minutes.

Quick guide to Bays Mountain’s Planetarium
Main Show – Tuesday-Friday at 4 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday at 1 & 4 p.m.

Alternate Show – Saturday & Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $5 for non-members, free for members and children under 6

To learn more about Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, call 423-229-9447 or visit baysmountain.com

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all citizens of the Kingsport Tennessee-Virginia area and the public at large, there will be a Public Meeting of the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) Executive Board on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 1:30 P.M. in the Kingsport City Hall Council Room at 225 West Center Street in Kingsport, Tennessee. Copies of the agenda and supporting documentation can be found in the MTPO office in the Improvement Building or here. The primary items for this meeting include adoption of the FY20-23 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the annual List of Priority Projects, a Resolution of Support for a Multimodal Access Grant Application, and the annual Federal Funds Obligation Reports. A public hearing will also be held in order to receive comments and questions on these or other items pertaining to the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization. Disabled citizens wishing to attend and needing special accommodations or anyone seeking further information on the MTPO meeting should contact William A. Albright at (423) 224-2677. For persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact VDOT’s Civil Rights Division at 804-786-2085 or by mail 1401 E Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23219. In Tennessee you may contact TDOT’s Civil Rights Office at (615) 714-3169. If you have a hearing or speech disability or use a TTD please use the FCC 711 dialing code to access a Telecommunications Relay Service to forward your comment. Kingsport MTPO ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Si usted necesita la traducción por favor entre en contacto con el MTPO en por el teléfono en 423-224-2677.

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The beloved Christmas Connection is celebrating 40 years of bringing some of the region’s best arts and crafts vendors to Kingsport. Whether you are refreshing your home décor, trying to find that perfect gift, or treating your taste buds, the Christmas Connection is here to connect you just in time for the holiday festivities! You can find unique gifts and support artisans in our region. Admission is free all weekend.

As the weather turns colder, the Civic Auditorium will be filled with a warm holiday glow to put customers in a holiday mood for shopping. The sights, sounds and smell of Christmas will surround shoppers as they shop from over 60 artisan vendors.

Country crafts, home décor, fine woodcrafts, leather crafts, handmade soaps and lotions, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, stained glass, herbal products, hand-built pottery, fabric crafts, needlework, American Girl doll clothing, pet accessories and clothing, candles, dichroic glass, handmade greeting cards and paper art, snowmen, santas, reindeer food, candied pecans, lavender products, miniature figurines, baked goods, and much more will be available for purchase from these talented artisans and crafters.

Make sure to take your taste buds into the West Room, where you’ll find the “Sugarplum Café.”  This special café is exclusive to the Christmas Connection, providing mouthwatering sandwiches, soups, and snacks for the shopper on the go, or those wanting to linger longer for a meal. Outside, attendees can purchase treats from the food truck favorite Auntie Ruth’s Doughnuts.

Joining the merry 40th celebration, talented local musical groups will provide live music from the stage, to serenade customers as they shop.  Shoppers also have the opportunity to learn about the replica of the Santa Train being built, as a part of the Kingsport Model Train Project.  Model Train volunteers will be on hand to share their knowledge and talent with the public and explain this craft form in more detail.

Whether you have been visiting the Christmas Connection for 40 years or you are trying it out for the very first time, this artisan and craft fair has something for you!  Kingsport’s Annual Christmas Connection, a free admission event, is to be held November 1-3 at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium and is sponsored by the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts.

DATES/HOURS:
Friday            Nov. 1            12 Noon – 7 PM
Saturday        Nov. 2            10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday           Nov. 3            12 Noon – 4 PM

For more information on the Christmas Connection event, please visit www.EngageKingsport.com or call 423-392-8414.

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Fall is here and while not many leaves have hit the ground yet, the City of Kingsport loose leaf pick-up crews are ready. The city has six routes that progress across city limits from west to east and it takes roughly 6-15 working days for crews to get through all routes. The routes are posted on the City of Kingsport website. To access the route listings, search ‘leaf line’ on the homepage of www.kingsporttn.gov or visit the sanitation webpage.

“The most efficient way for loose leaves to be picked up is in a line along the front of the property,” said Ronnie Hammonds, streets and sanitation manager. “If residents can rake their leaves into a line along the front of their property, but not in the street, it makes it easier for the crews to pick them up.”

Leaves racked into the street wash into storm drains where they can clog up storm sewer pipes. Leaves should be free of debris, such as trash, rocks and sticks.

Citizens will not receive a specific date for their loose leaf removal, but can follow the routes online to get an approximate date. Bagged leaves will be picked up on the regular yardwaste pick-up day. To determine when your next yardwaste pick-up day is, search your address in the Find My Services function on the homepage of www.kingsporttn.gov.

For more information, please call 423-224-242.

Notice is hereby given that the City of Kingsport will be holding a public hearing in the Conference Room of the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee on Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to receive comments and questions from the public concerning the City’s applications to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for federal grants to assist in the development of two separate projects, including (1) the “West End Greenbelt”, and (2) the “Brickyard Bridge and Trail”.  The West End project extends the current Greenbelt from Rotherwood Drive to Lewis Lane along the south side of Netherland Inn Road and West Stone Drive (SR 1 / US 11-W). The Brickyard Bridge and Trail project includes construction of an ADA-compatible bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the CSX Railroad tracks in Downtown Kingsport, which will be connected to a multi-use mobility path that will extend to Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Citizens are encouraged to attend and provide input on these proposed projects and grant applications.  Note ADA facilities are available, including transportation to and from this meeting. The project will be under the guidance of federal and state regulations, including Equal Opportunity and Title VI requirements.  For further information about this public hearing and related questions regarding ADA facilities and transportation, please call William A. Albright with the City of Kingsport at (423) 224-2677 or e-mail billalbright@kingsporttn.gov.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all citizens of the Kingsport Tennessee-Virginia area and the public at large, the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization’s (MTPO) DRAFT FY20-23 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is available for public review and comment through October 25, 2019. The TIP is a 4-year program that lists all highway and public transit transportation projects proposed for funding under Title 23 (highways) and Title 49 (transit) of the US Code or regionally significant transportation projects regardless of funding source. Click here to view a draft copy of the TIP. Hard copies of the draft TIP are available for public review at Kingsport City Hall, the Kingsport Public Library, and the MTPO office (201 W Market St, Kingsport, TN). If you have any questions, comments, or would like more information please call Kingsport MTPO at (423) 224-2670 or email MTPO@KingsportTN.gov.

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October is spooky season, and the Kingsport Aquatic Center is celebrating with the annual Pumpkin Plunge from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on October 12.

Join your favorite Toy Story characters for a party in the KAC’s indoor pool area. There will be pumpkin decorating, treat bags, and all kinds of games to play—and, of course, plenty of swimming fun. Don’t forget to stop by Little Bo Peep’s sheep petting zoo!

All ages are welcome, but pumpkins and treat bags are for children ages 12 and under. Pumpkins will be first come, first serve. Tickets are $5 per swimmer if purchased in advance, or $7 on the day of the event. Adults are welcome to swim, too, but any adult who only wants to spectate should purchase a $2 spectator ticket. Visit swimkingsport.com/special-events to get your tickets!

To learn more about the Kingsport Aquatic Center, visit www.swimkingsport.com or call 423-343-9758.

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StarWatch, Bays Mountain Park’s night sky observing sessions, begin this Saturday, October 5.

StarWatch is an hour-long program that allows the public to enjoy the splendor of the night sky at Bays Mountain’s observatories. Attendees can typically see star clusters, nebulous gas clouds, colorful multiple-star systems, distant galaxies and the Moon and planets if up.

Hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club & Bays Mountain Planetarium, StarWatch offers you the chance to get a look through the park’s large telescopes.

The observing sessions are held each Saturday night in October and November. Viewing starts at 7:30 p.m. on October 5 and 12, 7 p.m. on October 19, 26 and November 2, and 6 p.m. on November 9, 16, 23 and 20.

These programs are free to the public. If there is inclement weather, a free alternate live tour of the night sky in the planetarium theater will be available.

For more information, visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.