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Pave-Well Paving Company will begin paving selected city roadways near the Tri-Cities Airport on Monday, April 19. The contractor will be conducting lane closures and flagging operations during the duration of this project.

Motorists are urged to use caution and be patient when traveling in the area during this time. The work is expected to be completed by July 31.  If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at 423-229-9451.

For more information about paving in Kingsport, please visit pavekingsport.com.

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It’s official—water park season is on the way. The Kingsport Aquatic Center will open the Outdoor Water Park on Monday, May 10, and season passes for the 2021 summer season are on sale now.

“The KAC is so excited to welcome back our members and guests to the Outdoor Water Park this summer,” KAC Director Kari Matheney said. “We hope our guests are happy to get back to swimming and sunbathing too.”

As the KAC works with the Sullivan County Regional Health Department to evaluate guest safety, the Outdoor Water Park will operate at a reduced capacity of 750 guests at any time to allow for social distancing. The KAC will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in the local area in conjunction with SCRHD, and will evaluate operations as the summer progresses.

“We strongly encourage guests to buy season passes to help us minimize crowding at entry points during the busy first weekends of summer,” Matheney said.

This year, season pass holders and KAC members will have early access to the park 30 minutes before regular opening. All season pass holders and KAC members will receive cards for their duration of their membership or 2021 season, and will receive wrist bands upon entry of the facility for the day for compliance capacity. All pass holders ages 3 and up will have their photo taken for internal authentication.

2021 Outdoor Water Park Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: noon – 6 p.m.

Season passes are valid for entry beginning May 1 to the new outdoor lap pool, and beginning May 10 for the water park. The water park will be open every day through Labor Day, weather permitting, then weekends only through the end of September.

The new outdoor lap pool will be open every day, weather permitting, through the end of October. This pool is currently open, and hours will expand as the weather gets warmer. The current operational schedule is:

  • Monday – Friday
    • Lap swim by reservation 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Open swim at 50% capacity 4 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday
    • Water aerobics on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings
  • Saturday
    • Open swim at 50% capacity 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

At this time, KAC’s indoor facilities are still available for lap swim by reservation.

Season passes and memberships can be purchased on swimkingsport.com or in person at the KAC front desk. To learn more about season pass and membership benefits, call 423-343-9758 or visit swimkingsport.com.

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Kingsport Public Library invites you to “Branching Out: Online Family Trees” presented by professional genealogist and librarian Lori Thornton on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

“When wading through genealogical sources online, it is vitally important to be able to evaluate the accuracy of information,” said Kate Woodworth, adult services librarian at Kingsport Public Library. “This presentation by Lori Thornton will help to equip the audience with the tools they need to do so.”

Genealogical information found in online trees varies greatly in quality and accuracy. Learn to recognize some common errors and critically evaluate their quality. Examine online trees in both paid and free sites and learn tips for entering your data and documentation as you aim for accuracy and work that meets standards.

Registration is required. Visit kingsportlibray.org for more information or to register for the event. You can also contact the Kingsport Public Library to sign up via phone at 423-224-2539. Sign up for the library’s event calendar at the KPL website to stay in the know about all the events at KPL!

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In partnership with the Greater Kingsport Alliance for Development (GKAD), the City of Kingsport will provide much needed relief of rent and/or utility payments for up to three (3) months to alleviate the housing burden for low income households that have lost their employment income as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has allocated $180,874 from its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to assist Kingsport residents. GKAD will take the lead administrative duties for this program.

The program is limited to the city limits of Kingsport and subject to the availability of CARES Act CDBG-CV funds and changes in program guidelines from HUD. The goal of the Emergency Assistance Program is to alleviate financial pressure for low income households as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide greater economic security to renters and rental property owners.

To qualify for the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Payment Program:

  • Applicants MUST be living in the city limits of Kingsport;
  • Household Income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI);
  • Lost household income as a result of Covid-19;
  • Provide documentation of income received as a result of any governmental response program due to Covid-19 (such as unemployment compensation); and
  • A gap exists between household income prior to COVID-19

Applications for assistance should be submitted to:
Greater Kingsport Alliance for Development
Fresh Start Foundation
285 Louis Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
Phone: 423-245-0135 ext. 1700

Visit kingsporthousing.org or kingsporttn.gov/city-services/community-development/ for additional information.

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Calling all artists, artisans, creatives and craftspeople of all trades! Applications are now open for those wishing to exhibit at Christmas Connection, a two-day event taking place on November 12 and 13, 2021 at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

“The Christmas Connection – Artistic Creations Fair” is sponsored by the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts and is celebrating its 42nd year of artistic creations in 2021.  A well-established cultural event in Kingsport, the event hosts the region’s best craftspeople, artisans, artists and creatives. People from this region and beyond look forward to The Christmas Connection year after year.

Application deadline is July 1, 2021. There is no cost to apply. Christmas Connection is by invitation only. All applications are reviewed by a selection committee, taking various factors into consideration in order to create a high quality, attractive show having a good mix of artistic and crafting creations.

This year’s Christmas Connection will take place the second weekend in November at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

DATES/HOURS:
FREE Admission to the public!

Friday, Nov. 12:  10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13:  10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

To access the vendor application or for more information, please visit arts.kingsporttn.gov.

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You don’t want to miss being a part of this! The 2021 Kingsport Iron Pour will take place on Saturday, May 8, with workshops taking place in the weeks prior. You have a chance to create your own iron artwork!

You’re not just invited to watch—you’re invited to make your own art. On Saturday, May 8, the furnace will roar, crackle, flame, and spark with power and excitement! Join us for an iron pour demonstration conducted by sculpture artist Tripp Jarvis and a team of master sculptors as they heat 500 pounds of iron until it’s white hot, then pour it into molds made in the Scratch Mold Workshop. Let the fireworks begin!

The iron pour is free to spectate. To participate, it’s only $15 to create your own Iron Art through one of the workshops.

Food trucks will be on site as the iron pour is heating up. Visit the Inventor Center at 118 Shelby Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to join in on the fun!

Scratch Mold Workshops:
Class option 1: Friday, April 30, 10 a.m. – noon        
Class option 2: Friday, April 30, 6 – 8 p.m.    
Class option 3: Friday, May 7, 10 a.m. – noon
Class option  4: Friday, May 7,  6 – 8 p.m.
Class option 5: Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. – noon  (*This is the morning of the Iron Pour event.  All molds must be completed no later than 1 p.m.)

Workshop:
Create your own iron artwork by making a Scratch Mold. In this class that’s suitable for beginners and students of all skill level, you’ll scratch unique designs into an 8-inch sand mold which will be cast with molten iron by professional artists during the main event (held on Saturday, May 8). At the end of the night, take home your one-of-a-kind art. The ticket cost includes all materials needed for the workshop and the casting of your piece in iron on May 8 during the main event. Rain or shine. Advance registration is required. $15 scratch block mold.

Visit www.EngageKingsport.com and click on the “Buy Tickets” tab at the top to reserve your spot! Call 423-392-8414 with any questions.

The Scratch Mold Workshops and Iron Pour are hosted by Engage Kingsport and the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts at the Inventor Center located at 118 Shelby Street.

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Join Kingsport Public Library and the Friends of the Kingsport Public Library for the next in the Behind the Book series with Dr. Kellie Brown on April 8 at 7 p.m. Behind the Book will feature discussions with regional authors and illustrators to find out more about their books. The discussion will be held virtually with the link available at www.kingsportlibrary.org.

Dr. Brown has been a member of the Milligan University music faculty since 1998 and holds the positions of Chair of the Music Department, Professor of Music, and conductor of the Milligan Orchestra. She is a frequent clinician and performer throughout the country and serves as the assistant conductor and associate concertmaster of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her performing and teaching, Dr. Brown is an accomplished writer and researcher who has published in journals such as the American String Teacher, Music Educators Journal, and Contributions to Music Education. As an internationally recognized authority on music during the Holocaust, Dr. Brown has spoken frequently at academic institutions and conferences. Her latest book, “The Sound of Hope: Music as Solace, Resistance, and Salvation during the Holocaust & World War II,” was released by McFarland Publishing in 2020. In their review of this book, The Washington Post has declared that she “…has succeeded admirably in bringing together in one volume so much important research.”

“We want to share the work of regional authors and illustrators with the community and this series will provide us with the opportunity,” said Kate Woodworth, librarian and coordinator of the series. “By beginning the series with virtual talks we are able to safely provide this conversation to the community.”

Upcoming Behind the Book discussions will feature Hannah B. Olsen, Larry D. Thacker, and J. Dianne Dotson. Visit kingsportlibrary.org for more information, or contact the Kingsport Public Library at 423-224-2539.

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The Kingsport Aquatic Center will host a ribbon cutting for its most recent expansion, including the new outdoor lap pool, on Tuesday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m.

“We are so happy to finally have the chance to celebrate these new amenities,” said KAC Director Kari Matheney. “We’re excited to give our guests the opportunity enjoy lap swim and open swim in our newest pool as the weather starts to warm up.”

The expansion was completed in spring 2020 and includes an outdoor lap pool, a shaded pavilion, additional outdoor restrooms, an administrative area and other amenities. The outdoor lap pool is designed for multipurpose use and caters to adults and teens. It includes three 25-yard lanes for outdoor lap swimming, a circular social area with hydrotherapy jets, a seated bench area for outdoor water aerobics classes, and an area for water basketball and volleyball. Around the pool, there is room for additional lounge chair seating.

The pavilion provides additional outdoor seating for waterpark guests, and also includes three family changing rooms. An extension from the Aquatic Center’s Legion Room toward the parking lot will provides a centralized office space for operational, programming and support staff.

Beginning April 5, the outdoor lap pool schedule is as follows:

  • Monday – Friday
    • Lap swim by reservation 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Open swim at 50% capacity 4 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday
    • Water aerobics on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings
  • Saturday
    • Open swim at 50% capacity 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

To make lap swim reservations, guests can call the KAC at 423-343-9758. Reservations open on Wednesdays at noon for the following week. At this time, the KAC is still closed on Sundays for cleaning.

The new outdoor lap pool is also available for private rentals on Friday nights, and guests can also enjoy water aerobics classes hosted in the new pool on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays. For a full water aerobics calendar, visit swimkingsport.com/water-aerobic-classes. For private rental information, visit swimkingsport.com/parties-and-rentals.

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

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As part of the ongoing bicycle and pedestrian plan for the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO), a virtual public hearing is being held to provide an update on development and to collect feedback from the community.

“We are looking for our local citizens for valuable feedback and ideas,” stated MTPO Administrator Bill Albright. “We need our community to make this plan a success.”

With support from its lead consultant Gresham Smith, the agency is studying improving bicycle and pedestrian mobility and safety, including additional bike links and sidewalks, throughout the Kingsport Metropolitan Area. The goal of the plan is to improve non-motorized travel throughout the area in an efficient and safe manner.

Due to the ongoing, though improving, public health situation, the MTPO has decided to host the second round of outreach online.

Residents may participate in two ways.

  1. A live virtual workshop will be held on April 8, 2021, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.  A link to the meeting may be accessed at https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo/meetings-notices/.  The workshop will consist of a live presentation followed by a question-and-answer period.
  2. An asynchronous virtual workshop is also being provided. Residents are encouraged to visit https://wikimapping.com/Kingsport-MTPO-Bicycle-and-Pedestrian-Plan.html to provide their feedback via an interactive map. A recorded presentation providing an overview of the project and progress to date will also be included.

The virtual public workshop will run from April 8 to April 23.  All questions and comments received will be reviewed by project staff and, where applicable, incorporated into the draft study recommendations.

The plan is being conducted in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration, and local jurisdictions within the MTPO area. This includes Gate City, Weber City, Church Hill, Mount Carmel, northern Washington County, western Sullivan County, and the City of Kingsport.

For persons with disabilities requiring special assistance, please contact the Kingsport MTPO at 423.229.9401.

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Next week, the Kingsport Public Library encourages all community members to visit their website to explore and access virtual services and programs in celebration of National Library Week. Kingsport Public Library offers a wide array of online resources that are available from the comfort of home, including Libby, hoopla, Tumblebooks, and Creativebug.

The week of April 4 – 10 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to your library,” which promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services. Whether people visit virtually or in person, libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community through learning, discovery and exploration.

During these challenging times, libraries of all types have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their patrons. Libraries across the country are making a difference in people’s lives by providing electronic learning resources like online homework help and Wi-Fi access for students and workers who may lack internet access at home.

Kingsport Public Library is supporting the community by providing digital access at home with hotspots and Chromebooks available for check out. The library also offers a wide array of online resources that are available from the comfort of home, including Libby, hoopla, Tumblebooks and Creativebug.

This National Library Week, the public can show their appreciation and support for libraries by visiting kingsportlibrary.org, following KPL on Facebook and Instagram and using the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries of all types across the country each April.

For more information, visit the library’s website at kingsportlibrary.org.