Sunday, September 30, 2007

Riverview Resident Passes

Alma Agnes Hamilton

KINGSPORT — Alma Agnes Hamilton, 85, of Kingsport, formerly of Dunbar Street, Riverview, passed away Friday (Sept. 28, 2007) at Brookhaven Healthcare.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport.
Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport is serving the Hamilton family.

An Erin Brockovich In Kingsport


From: "FLOYD PERRY" Sent: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 06:49:20 -0500
To: Floyd

I pray that everyone was able to make the connection between Hinckley and
Kingsport last night?!




Famous Author and Kingsport Native Brings Book Tour To Riverview


"It would be easy to claim that our parents have failed our children, but this would fall short of the truth.
While our parents share a portion of the blame, I think many of our children have betrayed themselves by making ill-informed decisions."

From "Raising My V.O.I.C.E" by Jeffery A. Faulkerson

Author and Masters Level-Social Worker Jeffery Faulkerson came home on Saturday, September 29, 2007 to tell hometown folks of his new book "Raising My V.O.I.C.E," which stands for Verbalizing Orderly Impressions through Creative Endeavors.


Appearing at his home church, the Central Baptist Church in Riverview, Jeff spoke to the group about why we focus so much on our differences, and not enough of our similiarities. The book prompts serious dialog about the way children are brought up these days, and how to use the Power Of God through a two-parent system to make a positive difference in the child's life.

Coming from a single-parent family with two other siblings (headed by our beloved Mary Catherine Dulaney), Jeff was introduced on the program by his father, Alan Faulkerson. Jeff told the group how his struggle to forgive his father for leaving the family, has now developed into a true love and personal yearning for his father to be part of his life. Giving honor to Christ for making that forgiveness happend, Jeff says he discovered the true power of Christ at a critical point in life, after suffering through bad grades at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. It was at that point he developed a rededication of his life to God, changed his focus, and decided to devote his life and career to re-examining mother-father relationships that cause children to lean more to negative influences, rather than positive ones.

His son Caleb, who accompanied his father to the speaker's podium, is a precocious three-year-old, who, like most youngsters his age, is busy testing the limits at which discipline is administered, and in "Raising My V,O.I.C.E," Jeff's expertise in family relationships is relayed in practical solutions that earns respect FROM the child, and at the same time, builds respect in the parent FOR that growing child.

At one point while reading a passage to the audience a chapter in the book "Real Men Change Diapers," Jeff was moved to tears, proclaiming that his son will never know what it's like to not have a dominate male role model in his life, and how he as a father, will always be present. How parents can see the future looking into their children's eyes, and thinking how the possibilities that future may hold, motivates parents to be there for their children, to impart knowledge and wisdom.

The program also featured musical selections from the wonderful voices of Ms. Laynnettee Alley and Ms. Huetta Isom. After the program, Jeff signed copies of the book for local residents.

The book "Raising My V.O.I.C.E" is a must-read, not just for parents raising children to be successful members of society, but also for non-parents seeking to understand why some of our neighborhood children don't live up to their potential, always TAKING FROM from society, and not CONTRIBUTING TO society.

The book is $14.95, and can be ordered from Jeff's website,, or by calling 1-919-604-4585.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Be Sure And Check This Out!


Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 11:41:18 -0500
To: Floyd
Subject: The KINGSPORT Story!!

PLEASE set your DVR's or VCR's to A&E Saturday night [9pm Eastern], and get the word out that ERIN BROCKOVICH [played by oscar winner Julia Roberts] will be airing again!! It is the story of a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Energy, that netted a little community in California a billion dollars, for causing the same type of medical devastation, that so many in Kingsport are either ignoring or in denial about!!


This same law firm is available, and they have won similar cases for others, since this landmark decision was won!

The True Story re-airs Sunday morning at 1am, if you doze off, and wake back up!!



Your brother,
samuel floyd
ps: PLEASE forgive me, and continue to pray for me, if I have offended anyone with this appeal!

Part Five: And Then The Earth Stood Still.. The Day After Eastman Blew Up

The presses were really wound up the day after Tennessee Eastman's aniline plant blew up.

As well, they should be. Up until that time, the Eastman Explosion was the worst disaster caused by Man in terms of lives lost (15 final total), workers injured (at least 60, and many more with cuts and bruises) and property damage (both on-site and off-site), in the history of the state.

The Kingsport Times was the area's morning newspaper, and the Kingsport News was the afternoon paper. They merged in 1980 to form the Kingsport Times-News. Up until then, they were bitter competitors, each determined to cover every angle of the explosion story, and often having the same pictures.

As you'll note, back in 1960, there was practically no general coverage of Kingsport's African-American community; hence, in the articles, there was no mention of the physical damage to the Riverview neighborhood in the aftermath of the Eastman Explosion. There were also not many published eyewitness accounts of what blacks experienced, even though they were the closest to the aniline plant. The only mention found was in one article, where it was written "at the Medical Center, an elderly Negro woman questioned a plant employee as to the safety of her husband. When told the man was safe, the woman seemed near collapse and hysteria."

In another article titled "City Cleans Up After Tragedy," it was noted that windows were knocked out in downtown Kingsport (although Riverview was between the explosion site and downtown), on Garden Drive and Greenfield Avenue (both north of the explosion), and Kenwood Road, Oakwood Drive and Konnarock Road (all northeast of the explosion site).

There is no mention of Riverview in any day-after articles, nor in any subsequent stories on the explosion, even though its citizens were equally as devastated as other Kingsport citizens.

Kingsport's Black Community was devastated by the explosion.. being the closest off-site to it, our African-American lives were changed forever. It is unfortunate that the prevailing social winds at the time, did not include pictures from the one neighborhood that was the hardest hit, and interviews from eyewitnesses whom, as you've noted in previous articles on this website, would have provided a meaningful and soulful perspective of what happened that fateful day.

FORTUNATELY, with the Grace of God, we have come a long way towards bridging our social gaps, but UNFORTUNATELY.. there are many MORE miles to go.

---Calvin Sneed

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meet Teddy Gaines, Sports Star and New Social Studies Teacher at John Sevier Middle and Assistant Football Coach at D-B

Teddy Gaines, former Dobyns-Bennett, University of Tennessee and San Francisco 49er-Chicago Bear, has returned home to Kingsport to pursue his first love--teaching Social Studies

Teddy Gaines of Kingsport, Tennessee has been to the Big Time.
A member of the Ebony Club at Dobyns-Bennett High School, he was a star football player and track star for the D-B Indians.. he also played football for the University of Tennessee Volunteers.. in his freshman year in 1998, the Vols went 13 and 0, and won college football's National Championship.
As a result of his abilities on the football field, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, and went on to play for the Chicago Bears and later, NFL Europe.
Today, he has brought a world of knowledge back home to the classroom in Kingsport, so that youngsters coming up may learn from his style of teaching, and his experiences.
Continuing our Profiles in Education series, we have a special exclusive video interview with Teddy as he relates his sports experiences, and his goals for students as he teaches them his first love: Social Studies. This interview is dedicated to the memory of Teddy's grandfather, Hoover Sensabaugh, who passed away recently.


Great Commission Church Rally From August 11, 2007

The Great Commission Church of Kingsport held a Divine Influence Youth Rally back on August 11st at the V.O.. Dobbins ballfield. Sisters Jessie and Jackie Hampton performed for the crowd. They are the daughters of Minister Octavia Hampton, who organized the rally.



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Daughters of Dunbar #344 Fashion Show Fundraiser

It was a star-studded night at the Elks Club in Riverview on Saturday, September 22, 2007, as the Daughters of Dunbar Temple #344 held a fashion show fundraiser for the organization's upcoming events.


Although the event was a little late in starting (you know how we are), the Fashion Show was very worth the wait, as some of our own stars, including Richard Hicks, Jennie Ruth Bristol, Kathryn White, Lonnie Cox, Flossie Maxwell, James Bristol and Dana Skaggs modeled their fashionable outfits for the audience. Our folks never looked soooo GOOD!

Johnnie Mae Swagerty, who also modeled, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies, and music was provided by D.J. Dunn of Johnson City. Members of the Atomic Lodge #1301 of Oak Ridge, Tennessee were special models, and the Five Heartbeats performed special musical numbers to the audience's delight.

Shiloh Baptist Church Pastoral Anniversary Celebraton

16 Years of Dedicated Service - "BE STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE" (1st Corinthians 15:58)

Rev. Linda Calvert
Dr. Kenneth Calvert


The faithful came out to celebrate the 16th Pastoral Anniversary of Dr. Kenneth and Rev. Linda Calbert of the sholoh Baptist Church on Saturday, September 22, 2007. The event was held in the Ballroom of the Ridgefields Country Club.

"A Pastor's Heart"
By Deanna Malawy

A pastor's heart is protective and guards his flock from Satan's snares.
A pastor's heart is attentive and seeks to know his people's cares.
A pastor's heart is sacificial and for his sheep, will give its all.
A pastor's heart is tender, and listens to the Spirit's Call.
A pastor's heart is obedient and heeds The Master's Commands.
A pastor's heart is reflective, and considers he is, but a man.

"The Pastor's Wife"
By Donna Golden

We often hear of Hero's on the news at night,
How someone went into a fire, to save someone else's life.

BUT, there's another hero that we never heard about,
Though her love and dedication are never in doubt.

Often took for granted, never glorified,
Still she keeps on going, for the person by her side.

She stands beside him every day, no matter what is thrown their way.
For he was called from Above, to spread the message of God's Love.

And just as he was called, she was hand-picked too.
For it takes someone special, to do what she must do.

And though he may get the glory, and he may get the fame,
She will stand beside him with love, and help him just the same.

She is the person he turns to, when he needs a friend,
She will always be there, to the glorious end.

I would like to take this moment to introduce to you,
A lovely unsung hero for whom,
God hand-picked to spend her life,
As the Pastor's Wife.

YOUTHBUILD Is Coming To Kingsport!

At YOUTHBUILD, you can:
*Get Your GED
*Learn Job Skills
*Get Paid To Train

Requirements to Participate:
*Must be 18 to 24 years of age
*Do not already have a high school degree or GED

If you're interested, call Jeannie Hodges at the South Central Employment Center at 423-246-6809 or 423-765-8578


Demolition of Sherwood, Hiwassee Houses Begins


HOPE VI project will include 23 homes in the Sherwood-Hiwassee area to replace the doubles there, and 38 homes in Riverview to replace the historic Riverview Apartments.




KINGSPORT — Work to transform one of the more problematic areas of town into a more desirable neighborhood to live began this week with the demolition of 29 houses along the Sherwood/ Hiwassee area of town.
Earlier this year, the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority purchased 29 properties in this area of town to be redeveloped in connection with the HOPE VI project. Twenty-two of the properties were owned by former Alderman Hoyt Denton.

The HOPE VI project began in Kingsport when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the KHRA an $11.9 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant last October. The money will be used to help build new mixed-income housing units in the city.
Ninety-two public housing units at Riverview Apartments will be replaced with 32 homes (16 single-family houses and eight duplex units). Six other houses will also be built on scattered sites in the Riverview area.
Another phase, which began this week, calls for the construction of 24 affordable home ownership units in the Sherwood/ Hiwassee area. Two excavators were on site Wednesday morning, knocking down walls and roofs, with HOPE VI and city officials to officially kick off the project.
Doris Ladd, director of the HOPE VI project, said demolition is scheduled for 45 days but would likely be complete soon. Ladd said crews are knocking down houses first, then will go back and dig up the foundations once the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation signs off on the work.
Ladd said the city would be going out to bid on the homes in the Sherwood/Hiwassee area on Oct. 1 and receive bids until Oct. 25, with work beginning by the end of November.
“These houses will be for purchase for medium- and low income households and those who qualify for first-time home ownership — people who have not had a home in their name in the last three years,” Ladd said, adding that Riverview residents would have first shot at these homes.
Maria Catron, the community supportive services coordinator for HOPE VI, said around 90 families have expressed an interest in home ownership. Catron said HOPE VI officials are not concerned that the number of families expressing an interest in home ownership exceeds the number of homes to be available under the project.
“We think there’s going to be good home ownership opportunities throughout the city of Kingsport,” Catron said. “Even if they’re not able to all relocate within the Riverview community, we think there’s a good opportunity for them to be home owners within the city.”
When the new homes are built, they will be located in and around homes that have stood for decades, thus giving the neighborhood a mixed appearance.
Ladd said the city believes this will be an incentive for property owners to either upgrade their homes or for others to come in and do work similar to what HOPE VI officials are trying to do.
Mayor Dennis Phillips, who helped knock down a portion of one of the houses on Wednesday, agreed with Ladd.
“Remodeling and upgrading is a constant, ongoing situation, and when you build new it certainly makes the older look bad. Hopefully it will inspire neighborhoods to do a little extra they’re able to do to bring their property up to standards in a lot of cases,” Phillips said. “I think this is a great day in Kingsport’s future. ... I think we will be a better city and better community when this project is completed.”


NAACP Conference Speaker Reminds Delegates of their Human Rights Responsibilities

Jeannie and Willie Hodges of Kingsport listen to the Reverend Charles White at the NAACP Freedom Dinner Saturday, September 22, 2007 at the Carver Center in Johnson City.


JOHNSON CITY - It was a rousing speech by the Reverend Charles White Jr. that roused lots of applause and occasionly brought the delegates to theri feet, at the NAACP Freedom Dinner Program at the Carver Recreation Center in Johnson City.

The dinner was one of the highlight events of the 61st Annual Convention of the .Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP, which had chosen historic Jonesborough, Tennessee for its annual convention.

Rev. White is the Deputy Direfctiro of the NAACP's National Field Operation in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rev. White reminded the delegates of the mission of the NAACP, and encouraged them to continue fighting for human rights. Regarding the situation of the "Jena 6" in Louisiana, he said it is unfortunate, but not surprising that in the 21st century, African-Americans are still yearning for justice.


NET News Service

JONESBOROUGH — The final day of this year’s NAACP meeting promoted youth issues, and took on overtones of a different era.
Held at Jonesborough this year, the 61st annual Tennessee National Association for the Advancement of Colored People conference focused on the degrading, defaming and disrespect the African-American community faces in the media and those attending offered support for the Jena Six. They are a group of six black students in Jena, La., who have been charged with attempted second-degree murder in the beating of a white classmate in Decemb e r.
The case of the Jena Six brought forward issues of racial inequality in this country decades after the Civil Rights Act was passed, culminating Thursday with a march in the small town of Jena.
“Today the NAACP stands in solidarity as we ask every person of goodwill, from every religious and ethnic group to stand with us in the name of freedom and justice,” said Gloria Sweet-Love, state conference president.
She urged all in attendance to speak to their representatives about the case.
“Continue to gather signatures to send to your congressperson and senators to ask them to pressure the attorney general to intervene in these cases,” Sweet-Love said. “Continue to spread the word and facts of this injustice in your community. Continue to encourage all citizens of goodwill to become a part of NAACP, to fight the injustice in our justice system. Continue to ask everyone everywhere you meet to stand up for justice and civil rights. To stand up for what’s good and right in our America.”
Monet Brown, vice president of the Tennessee state conference’s youth and college division, reminded all in attendance that the 21st century should not be a repeat of the 20th.
“We would like to remind Jena and the rest of the nation that it is 2007, not 1957 and not 1967, but 2007. And the NAACP says, we ain’t going back.”
Christy Turner, with the Tennessee NAACP’s Memphis Youth Council, spoke about the STOP Campaign, which seeks to stop the negative images sometimes portrayed about black history and culture in media.
“It’s a campaign to get violence and degradation of our people out of the media and the minds of American,” Turner said.
Brandon Harris, Youth Council president, said the images in popular media like rap and movies portray poor role models, and do not promote education.
“We’re trying to change the perception of us, because right now we have role models and kids look at them as drug dealers and people in jail,” Harris said. “Role models need to be people like doctors, lawyers, people of upstanding c h a r a c t e r. ”
Alan Prigmore and Whitney Brazell, both East Tennessee State University students, attended the convention.
Prigmore thought that people needed to be more educated about what they hear, especially in music.
“I just personally feel that you don’t have to be influenced by what you hear, because if everybody believed what they heard, the world would be a lot worse than it is,” he said, referring to derogatory and suggestive music lyrics.
Brazell said it’s important to be educated about how to interpret everything in the media, and thought that equality in America is better than it was decades ago, but the NAACP still has a vital function.
“I don’t feel like there’s ever going to be a time when we should stop,” Brazell said, of supporting civil justice and human rights.

Friday, September 21, 2007

March for the Crown Includes A Familiar Face!



Four twenty-somethings sit around a table at a local eatery, reminiscing. Their well-tanned skin tells the story of a summer spent under the blazing sun, their aching joints are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief after the preceding tortuous months.

Life has been hard for Josh Dishner, Devin Lyon, Taylor Sykes and Eric Wolfe since May.

They, along with the 130 other members of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, have endured harsh conditions, 14-hour days outside in extreme temperatures, sleeping on buses and gym floors, and waking up in different states and time zones.

“Every day is pretty much the same schedule,” says Sykes. “You get on the bus, and you wake up at a school at 4 in the morning. You go to sleep on the gym floor until about 9 a.m., then you rehearse until about 4 p.m., and then you do a show at about 7 p.m. Then you get back on the bus, and do the same thing every day for three months.”

The Crown, as most of the members call it, is an elite marching band based in Fort Mill, S.C., that travels the country competing against other drum corps under Drum Corps International, the Major League of marching music.

Think of the movie “Drumline,” only less cheesy.

Our four local members got their start in marching music with area high school bands. Lyon and Sykes marched at Sullivan Central, Dishner at Volunteer and Wolfe at Dobyns-Bennett.

Hopeful members of the Crown audition in November, and those who are accepted get together once a month for practice until May, when all 135 members move into a school gym and begin spring training. After four weeks of grueling practice, to get the show just right, the Crown hits the road, taking the show to stadiums and football fields from coast to coast and everywhere in between.

The Crown’s three-month season ended in August at the DCI Championships, held this year in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., where the best of the best met for three days of fierce competition.

“It’s a big rush when you walk in, and you see 25,000 people from end zone to end zone and they’re all there to watch you,” says Wolfe, a tuba player. “And being the crowd favorite, which we were this year, you walk in an you automatically get applause. There’s no bigger rush than hearing people cheering for what you do.”

The Crown’s show this year, “Triple Crown,” was inspired by the three biggest events in horse racing, The Kentucky Derby, The Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. The show began with a stampede of band members, and then followed the process of training the horses before the big race. The band members then built a human racetrack and color guard members, dressed as horses, raced around the track, ending in a slow motion photo finish.

“Our show this year is going to be talked about for a long time,” says Wolfe. “It had ... that feeling [of] the day of the race. It was amazing.”

The show was amazing enough to earn the Crown a spot in sixth place at the DCI Championships with a score of 94.150, only .025 behind the fifth place Santa Clara Vanguard. The score and the position are the highest the Crown has ever achieved in DCI Division I competition.

Their placement is quite an achievement, considering the 18-year-old Crown is a fairly new corps when compared to the rest of the top six, which are more than two decades older.

“The closest organization to us is 40 years old, so it’s understandable that they would not want to give us the same amount of credit that they give some groups like that,” said Sykes. “DCI is a very political activity. We don’t go out on the field and automatically get the benefit of the doubt just because of what our uniforms look like, which is the case with some of the groups.”

Politics aside, the four members are proud of their work this summer. “We’ve never really marched anything like this,” says Lyon, who is coming out of his fourth season of playing the mellophone for the Crown. “It was a completely different drum corps and a completely different drum corps experience. It’s not something I’ll ever forget.”

This year, DCI added an award, called Hot Chops, a kind of people’s choice award voted on by the audience both at the stadium and online through text message. Crown won its first Hot Chops in Best Brass at the regional competition in Annapolis, Md. During the six weeks that followed, they won five of the Hot Chops awards, one each for Best Colorguard, Best Pit Ensemble and Best Percussion, and two for Best Brass.

The season did end on a sad note for two of the Tri-Cities Crown members. This year Sykes and Wolfe turned 21 and said their good-byes to the corps.

Because DCI is a youth-oriented organization, when a member turns 21, they age out, which means they are no longer eligible to march for a corps.

Sykes, who is majoring in music education at East Tennessee State University, doesn’t see it as an end, but a new beginning.

“It was kind of hard for me, but I don’t think I could have asked for a better end for my experience with the Carolina Crown,” he says. “Now that I’ve aged out, I’m going to take this opportunity to start writing drills for marching bands wherever I can.”

Of course, he will be missed by the rest of the group.

Sykes and Lyon have been marching together since their freshman year of high school, eight years ago.

“It’s going to be pretty interesting next year, because I’ve still got one season to march,” said Lyon, who is a student at Vanderbilt University. “We’ve been marching together for a long time. Next year will be totally different.”

Despite the hard work and harsh conditions, all of them look back on their time with the Crown with fondness.

“In a way, if I had known what it entailed, there’s no way I would have kept doing it,” says Lyon. “But you also have great memories of it as well. The best memories are the friends and accomplishments you’ve made. You grow over the summer in just three months. You look back on that, and you realize it was really a great experience.”

Dishner is a member of the Crown’s highly regarded colorguard and a student at ETSU. He is a man of few words. Maybe he prefers to express himself on the field.

When he does speak however, it’s nothing short of prose.

He sums up this year’s season with three short sentences.

“It was the most rewarding feeling in the world,” he said about the color guard’s second-place finish. “You will always remember the fun times and the people that you meet. It’s a privilege to work with all these amazing and talented people.”

Kingsport activist: ‘Injustice for one is really injustice for all of us’



KINGSPORT — Ronnie Collins, overseer of special services and events for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, said the Jena situation gives African-Americans something to rally around locally and nationally.
“We need to support any person or persons that find themselves in a situation where justice can be served,” said Collins, who is also associated with the Tennessee/Virginia Fellowship Against Racism.
The hanging nooses that touched off the fight leading to arrests of the “Jena Six” told African-Americans that racial injustice is not over, Collins said.
“We still have people who have an idea that if you put up a noose and intimidate folk that it’s still ‘white this and white that,’ and that’s not really the way America feels about things,” he said. “The opinion we have is if you see these things, do you sit back and watch it as a silent onlooker? Martin Luther King talked about quite often in his speeches that most of black America are silent onlookers. We don’t get involved unless we have to. From a positive standpoint, if we can do something positive and peaceful, we will try to support those activities. That’s what they are doing in Jena.”
Collins hailed the fairness of former Sullivan County Juvenile Court Judge Steve Jones in dealing with both white and black juveniles.
“We are looking for that to happen all across America where justice is put to the test. ... We need to do it right and do it consistent. That is not happening in Jena. ... Injustice for one is really injustice for all of us,” Collins said.
Collins added the Jena situation has prompted the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to put together an event calling attention to what is happening to young African-Americans, especially males.
“There’s too many going to jail and to prison,” he said. “There’s too many still trying to sell drugs. ... We need more programs they can participate in that may deter them from getting involved in criminal activity and dropping out of school.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fashion Show Fund-raiser Set For Saturday

• KINGSPORT — Daughters of Dunbar Temple #344 will hold an “Evening With the Stars” fashion show fund-raiser Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. at 1018 Lincoln St., Kingsport. Tickets are $7 at the door. Entertainment will be provided by D.J. Dunn of Johnson City and the Five Heartbeats. For more information contact Clinch Mountain Lodge #561 at 246-3282.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Friday, October 5, 2007
V.O. Dobbins Center, Riverview
Grades K-5 - 10:00a.m. - 12:00
Middle School/High School - 12:00 - 3:00
Lunch will be provided.
Games, prizes, food and more!
Sponsored by South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation/Weed &
Seed/Kingsport Parks & Recreation.

Coach: Sensabaugh Likely Out For Season

Please keep one of our hometown Riverview-South Central Kingsport heros in your thoughts and prayers


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars safety Gerald Sensabaugh is probably out for the season after injuring his shoulder during Sunday’s 13-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Sensabaugh, a Kingsport native and Dobyns-Bennett High School alumnus, was to get a second opinion Monday, but Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said he expected the third-year player to be placed on injured reserve.
“We think he’s going to need surgery,” Del Rio said.
Sensabaugh started the first two games for Jacksonville, but was benched against the Falcons after missing a tackle on the opening play. He later returned to the field but didn’t make a tackle.
Veteran Sammy Knight, signed just before the season, will replace him and play alongside first-round draft pick Reggie Nelson.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Meet Eric Lyons, New Assistant Principal at Dobyns-Bennett

"Each child has the right to reach their full potential, and I am determined to help them reach that."

As our young African-American students at Dobyns-Bennett get ready to "face the music" and graduate into working society, one of the last faces they'll see is that of D-B Assistant Principal Eric Lyons. They'll get life lessons and helpful advice from a former D-B student that has been in the real world they're about to face.

A Kingsporter, born and bred, Eric always wanted to be an educator, and says he was blessed to have great teachers from elementary (George Washington) to middle (John Sevier) to high school at Dobyns-Bennett, where he also played basketball, football and ran on the D-B track team.

"Coach Eggleston was an inspiration to me," Erio says. "I saw something in him that was very positive, that I admired. It was the way he carried himself, how he represented his life and career. I wanted to be just like him," says Eric.

Eric comes back to Kingsport with a broad knowledge of the teaching profession. After graduating D-B in 1990, and later from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, Eric did his graduate work in teaching at Cambridge University"my first three years of teaching were at Austin-East High School in Knoxville," Eric says. He taught Social Studies, American History, Psychology, and Geography to many inner-city children. "You had to have a thick skin," he says, "because many of the kids had street smarts that were difficult to control. They learned very quickly from me that things they learned in the streets, were unappropriate and unacceptable in the classroom."

Later, he joined the faculty at Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he was also the head basketball coach and at the same time, head of the Social Studies Department. That experience convinced him that management and administration was his destiny. "At that point," he says, "I began looking for a school that focused more on education than graduation, and I was fortunate to talk with former D-B and Douglass teacher Jill Ellis, who helped me focus on the right administrative goals."

"Before 'No Child Left Behind,'" Eric says, "the teaching attitude was to just get the child across the stage with a diploma. Problem was, the child could not read. I knew we had to do better than that."

When his mom, our beloved Ann Lyons of Kingsport passed away, Eric and his wife, the former Stephanie Rutherford, started looking closely at coming back home (Stephanie is also from Kingsport). "I came back home with the expectation of making a difference in the children's lives, and I felt if I COULD make a difference, there would be no better place to do that, than the place that made a difference for me."

Once he interviewed at Dobyns-Bennett, Eric says, "just walking the halls reminded him of all the good things he'd appreciated when he was a student. The Lord was very good to me, and I feel blessed to be back home."

As an administrator, Eric says he's still figuring many of the principal-student relationships out, but one thing is certain: "I tell the kids that I never want to feel sorry for them, because freguently as educators, we start feeling sorry for the economic circumstances or ethnicity they have and because of that, we sometimes expect less than the best. I do want to understand how to help the child achieve, but I will set a high standard that is reachable."

"I tell each child that I will show you the way to those goals and help you get there, but much of the work will be your responsibility.. you CAN do it."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Legends In White---How It Came To Be

Sisterly Love is a Christian non-profit social organization, whose goal is to help and give back to the community in a loving and godly way. This group was formed by the late Karen Schofield seven years ago.

In Karen's Honor, Sisterly Love gives a scholarship each year to a deserving local high school graduate, and this year's Legends Ball will serve as a fundraiser for this cause.

Other charitable projects that Sisterly Love has contributed to in the past include, supporting local battered women's shelters, donated backpacks filled with school supplies to underprivileged children at local elementary schools, provided financial assistance to fire and flood victims, prepared Thanksgiving baskets for needy families, made financial donations toward funeral costs, and sponsored a contest in the Litte Miss Vision Pageant.

The Kingsport members that would eventually former Sisterly Love, had an opportunity to watch an episode of "Oprah" entitled "Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball." Oprah threw a spectacular event to honor African-American Woman who have paved the way for others.

Kingsport Sisterly Love members felt this Ball was so powerful and heartfelt, that it sparked them to hold a similar ball honoring women who have made a difference in their lives. Like Oprah, local Sisterly Love members spent a year planning this Ball, knowing it would be just as heartfelt.

Each of Sister Love's eight members were given an opportunity to chose three women to be honored. They choose women who had worked hard, women with backbone, not afraid to look life in the eye, women who offered them friendship, women with a ministering spirit, women who had encouraged them, women who prayed for them, and many other inspirational qualities within. Also, an honorary honoree, Kathryn "Chi Chi" White, who has been there for them time and time again, will be included in the celebration.

Kingsport Sisterly Love--Legends In White Celebration

OUR ANGELS IN WHITE: All of the Sisterly Love Honorees looked like Heavenly Angels in white, at the first ceremony for the Legends In White service this past Saturday

MORE PHOTOS IN THE PHOTO GALLERIES (if you also have photos of the event to share, please email them to me)

To begin the grand event, Sisterly Love had the Legends In White honorees dressed in formal white picked by limosine at the Shiloh Baptist Church on a beautiful Saturday morning the Lord provided, and they were then taken to the Meadowview Conference Center, where a lovely luncheon was held in their honor.

Sister Janet Black served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the Legends In White event, which drew people from all over the area this past Saturday, September 15th, to the Meadowview Conference and Convention Center in Kingsport.

After the welcome from Sister Chynet Hale, the local chapter president, Sister Black introduced the Sisterly Love honorees, some 33 strong, who were escorted in to the front of the gathering. It was a solemn occasion, as these lovely women of our community were recognized, worthy of our respect.

There was a wonderful hat ceremony, where come members of the audience were selected to model their beautiful hats, to the admiration of the audience (PLEASE WATCH FOR A VIDEO LINK TO THE HAT FASHION SHOW IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS ON THE WEBSITE).

Kingsport's own American Idol Sister Laynette Alley dazzled the audience with two inspirational song selections (PLEASE WATCH FOR A VIDEO LINK TO SISTER ALLEY'S BEAUTIFUL, HEART-FELT SONGS IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS ON THE WEBSITE).

And oh, what an inspirational message, directed to the women in the audience from Elder Tina Jones of the New Covenant Family Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The guest speaker spoke from the Holy Word of God from a personal point of view, using today's terminology in a way that everybody could relate to. Her words were moving, as she spoke of the trials and tribulations that every woman faces, and how to LEAN ON THE LORD for strength and guidance (PLEASE WATCH FOR A VIDEO LINK TO EXCERPTS FROM ELDER JONES' INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS ON THE WEBSITE).

Later on Saturday night, Sisterly Love Honorees, their families and friends in the community attended a non-alcoholic formal ball, where the music played by D-J Express moved many to "put on their dancing shoes," enjoying each other's company in a spirit of good fellowship and harmony.

Congradulations to the Sisterly Love Committee who organized the event on a job well done:

Sis. Chynet Hale, President
Sis. Mary Lee Watterson, Publicity
Sis. Ramona (Twinkle) McClintock, Assistant Secretary
Sis. Pat Winton, Secretary/Chaplain
Sis. Linda Wade, Decorations
Sis. Joni Hughes, Member
Sis. Sabrina Turner, Member
Sis. Carolyn Smith, Member

These are the Sisterly Love Legends In White Honorees:

Kathryn White

Kathryn McCroskey
Dr. Edwinna Collins-Hale
Roberta Dugger

Rev. Sandra Jones
Mary Alice Burney
Barbara Poole

Pastor Robyn Turner (in her absense, Selina Hairston)
Pastor Lillie Turner
Jean Ann Moore

Barbara Adams
Landa Moss
Gladys Gambrell

Rev. Linda Calvert
Pat McClintock
Edith Gilbraith

Mary Blackman (in her absense, Linda Subbs)
Lucy Turner
Amanda Turner

Beatrice Turner
Dr. Teri Hunter
Wilbrena Thomas

Leola Campbell
Elizabeth Wood
Lakaisha Bond


Monday, September 10, 2007

Meet Jocelyn Lyons, New Principal Of John Sevier Middle School

"Whatever you need to do to make those children successful in life, that's what you wake up and go to work for."

That's the goal Jocelyn Lyons lives for. The Kingsport native is the new principal at John Sevier Middle School, and she's the first African-American principal since the Kingsport City School System integrated back in 1966.

"The pressure in today's educational world is such that the world is changing so fast, and as teachers, we have a goal to move the children further along in reading, math and the sciences," Ms. Lyons says. "Our colleges are telling us we have to start getting the children ready for college in middle school now; no longer can we wait until 10th, 11th or 12th grade anymore, and we share that pressure with the parents."

Ms. Lyons is no stranger to pressure. She was born into the same school system she now leads, her mom being Mrs. Janice Mills Russaw, a well-known, well-like teacher at Lincoln Elementary. "I'm seeing students at Sevier now, who were taught by my mom and they tell me she was one of the best teachers they ever had. That helps them feel at home at John Sevier."

While at Dobyns-Bennett, she joined the Ebony Club and among its various activities, she was also one of its past presidents. "The Ebony Club was wonderful in instilling pride in everything I and my fellow club members did. That's when I found out I had leadership potential."

After getting her masters degree in teaching from East Tennessee State in 1997, she taught a year at Tennessee High in Bristol (she was also the head girls' basketball coach), and then taught six years at a school near Louisville, Kentucky. It was there, she was introduced to a new kind of teaching, the kind that produces leaders and administrators.

"The program I came through was through the Southern Regional Education Board (SRED), which emphasizes leadership teaching instead of managerial teaching," she says. "Our focus concentrated on teaching children to be leaders in the classroom."

She heard about the opening at John Sevier Middle School, and had no hesitation in applying for the job. "If you're going to be afraid of challenge," she says, "you probably don't want to go into teaching. The SRED program requires you to have courage and not be afraid to stretch past your limitations. In that sense, I knew I was ready for anything, because I knew I would be doing my best."

She came back to John Sevier Middle School as "a principal on a mission."

"The SAT and ACT folks tell us, college readiness begins in the 8th grade now," she says. If you want to know whether a child is going to college, look at where they are in the 8th grade. Parents are key in this observation, because we want them to talk to us, as well as talk to their children. Sometimes, we wait too late to have those conversations."

"Literacy is the key to success," says Ms. Lyons. "Most state legislatures determine where they're going to be prisons, based on the literacy rate of the people who live in that area. If you have a high literacy rate, the chances of a new prison being built in your backyard are very slim. If Bill Gates is going to build a Microsoft plant in your area, he bases his decision on the education level of the folks who live there. He certainly cannot afford to have an uneducated work force for the kind of business he's building."

Jocelyn Lyons is ready for the future of the students of Kingsport. "Communities need to know that education is one of the most important qualities a child can have."

"Education really DOES make a difference."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Central Baptist Church, Kingsport To Host “Raising My V.O.I.C.E” Author Jeffery Faulkerson

Two area singers also scheduled to perform at event

Kingsport, TN – The Kingsport Cultural Diversity Team will sponsor a special event to promote Jeffery A. Faulkerson’s new book Raising My V.O.I.C.E. (Verbalizing Orderly Impressions through Creative Endeavors). Faulkerson is a 1986 graduate of DobynsBennett High School, who also earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Raising My V.O.I.C.E. Tour event will be held at Central Baptist Church (301 Carver Street in Kingsport on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. It is the first in a series of informal assemblies that Mr. Faulkerson is using to engage audiences in candid conversations about functional families, racial reconciliation, civic engagement and collective prosperity.

Up and coming gospel recording artists Laynnetee Bly Alley of Church Hill and Huetta
Jane Collre Isom of Johnson City are also scheduled to perform. The duo recently had a successful audition with representatives from Blackberry Records, a Jackson,
Mississippi-based recording label.

The event will be somewhat of a homecoming for Faulkerson. He was baptized at
Central Baptist Church by former pastor Frederick Gordon in 1977, when he was nine
years of age.

Jeffery A. Faulkerson, MSSW Raising My V.O.I.C.E. (Verbalizing Orderly Impressions through Creative Endeavors) is a collection of writings that chronicles Mr. Faulkerson’s sixteen-year quest to understand why Americans focus so much on their differences, not enough on their similarities. It is a book that pulls from the headlines of yesterday and today, offering sound advice to Black Americans for how they can prosper individually and collectively through their love of God and neighbor. Ultimately, Raising My V.O.I.C.E. is one man using the power of
the pen to prompt serious dialogue about the issues that bind us.

The self-published title – produced and distributed by Infinity Publishing – will be
available for purchase and signing at the event.

Jeffery A. Faulkerson is the Founder, President & CEO of PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS, a
faith-based social service practice with for-profit offerings in communications/media relations and nonprofit offerings in parent education and support, postsecondary advising and planning, and conference planning, coordination and implementation. A stay-at-home parent since August 2005, he has dedicated himself to "promoting functional families through words and deeds."

Raised by his single-parent mother in one of Kingsport, Tennessee’s poorest
communities, Mr. Faulkerson graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1986 to
earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of
Tennessee, Knoxville in 1991 and 1998, respectively. He has over 16 years of
professional experience in nonprofit administration and direct service delivery to children and their parents.

Jeffery A. Faulkerson has been a born-again Christian for over 30 years. He has been
happily married to his wife Regina for over 14 years, and is the proud father to three-year-old Caleb. He and his family currently reside in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Visit him online at

Historic Riverview Apartment Days Are Numbered


"I hate to see them go.. this is history to us."

The words of Janet Hoard talking about the Riverview Apartments. She's one of the last residents still living in the apartments, which are scheduled to be torn down soon, as part of the HOPE VI project renovations.

Ms. Hoard, whose family has lived in the Riverview Apartments for more than 40 years, says, originally she had planned to come back when the new single and multi-family housing units are built to replace the Apartments.

"Everybody thought the Riverview Apartments would be replaced with other apartment complexes," she says, "and they all talked about how good it'd be to live in new apartments. They were all taking about coming back.. We felt good about the city helping us with our credit, as long as we had jobs. Then, we found out they were going to build houses on the property instead of apartments, and when we discovered how much they would be to own or rent, some of our credit histories didn't qualify us for the price range of the new houses."

"Anyone with questions are always welcome to contact the Fresh Start Foundation," says Maria Catron, the HOPE VI CSS Coordinator. "It's been an involved process, and we have tried to answer as many concerns as we can."

Of the almost 90 families that were in the Riverview Apartments, 58 families have now relocated to either temporary or permanent housing elsewhere, Ms. Catron says. 30 families are yet to move.

Somewhat unusual are the number of families that moved with a voucher that allows them to move back into the new housing that will replace the Riverview Apartments.
That number is only 2 so far. 20 to 25 families are interested in using vouchers to move back.

Ms. Catron says, once relocation is complete, demolition of the Riverview Apartments will begin, and right now, that is scheduled for the spring of next year.
On another topic, she says the City of Kingsport is leading the efforts on the planned renovation of the Douglass School building. Several funding sources are being pursued, and a definite time frame for its renovation has not been established yet.

"We certainly encourage as many families to return to the renovated Riverview housing as possible," says Ms. Catron.

Meanwhile, Ms. Hoard says she doesn't plan to come back.
"Even though I have a job, there's no way I could afford the rent or the house note on one of the new houses to be built," saying that she thinks many of those new houses may go to Eastman employees. Meanwhile, she says she's nervous about moving from Riverview, since "most of my friends and neighbors have already gone." She's hoping to get into either the Robert E. Lee Apartments or the Dogwood Apartments, which is closer to her job, she says.

"I hope my new neighbors are nice," she says. "But I'm sure gonna miss Riverview."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Work nearing completion on Washington School Apartments





KINGSPORT — Work to transform the old Washington Elementary School into affordable senior housing is nearing completion, and according to the project manager, he hopes to have people living in the new facility by Christmas.
Two years ago, Kingsport entered into an agreement with The Landmark Group — a North Carolina development company — to redevelop the aging school building into a senior housing facility.
Landmark received $4.8 million in low-income housing tax credits from the Tennessee Housing and Development Agency, which allowed the company to exercise its option on the building. Under the agreement, Landmark will own, build, manage and maintain the property and has until Nov. 1 to complete the project or the property reverts back to the city.
Clint Sellers, project manager for Landmark, said the company is planning on be- ing complete by the end of October. The cost of the project is estimated to be $6 million to $7 million. The project was stalled for about a month after thieves stole copper pipes and other equipment from the site, Sellers said.
“The project is in the finishing stages now,” Sellers said. “We’re putting down carpet and tile, putting on the last coats of paint, and the landscaping will start out there next week.”
Over the past two years, Landmark has transformed the interior of the old school into one- and two-bedroom apartments of roughly 900 square feet while maintaining the exterior of the building. In addition, Landmark built a new three-story wing to the main building, turning the entire structure into a U-shaped facility with a courtyard in the middle.
The adjacent ball field on the site has been deeded back to the city; an asphalt walking track has been laid around the perimeter of the field.
“We saved the auditorium in the same shape it was in, added air conditioning, heat, re-sanded all of the floors and added a kitchenette where they can have things like flower club meetings,” Sellers said. “The old gym has been brought up to fire and life safety standards, and we plan in the future to do more, but it’s not really part of the project right n o w. ”
Sellers said there are a total of 47 units in the old school, which will be renamed George Washington School Apartments once complete. Within the next three or four weeks, representatives from Landmark will come out to the new apartments and begin taking applications and screening potential renters, with the goal being to have tenants living there before Christmas.
“The building had some roof problems, but we got a roofing permit early on — several months in advance of the construction — and we went in and repaired the roof to stave off any further damage,” Seller said. “The building is in good shape, and most of it has been retained in its original shape. The classrooms, we tried not to change. We just kind of broke them down into apartments.
“The footprint of the building is distinguishable, and anybody who went to school there could find their classroom and where they sat.”
The Landmark Group works with local governments and public housing authorities to redevelop old buildings for residential and commercial use. Landmark officials said these projects frequently ignite community plans to revive dormant downtowns or rundown neighborhoods.
Sellers, who has done projects like these for 25 years, said Landmark normally has 10 to 16 or 18 jobs in the works, at one stage or another.
“As far as I know the project is well-received. We’re always looking to create a good relationship with the neighbors right off the bat, during the construction phase, and I don’t know if we’ve had any complaints from anyone.”

EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM CALVIN: Luckily, our Kingsport City Administration still sees, as most Riverview and South Central residents do, that our OWN Douglass High School is still a viable EDUCATIONAL AND COMMUNITY building, instead of apartments. They are to be applauded for their vision, and we are to be applauded for our perserverance.