Saturday, January 29, 2011

Riverview Passing

Rev. James Ellis Snapp, 64, 949 Dale St. passed away this morning (Saturday, January 29, 2011) at Holston Valley-Wellmont in Kingsport.

Funeral arrangements are posted in the PASSINGS AND OBITUARIES link.

Rev. James Ellis Snapp and family are in the care of R.A. Clark Funeral Service, Inc.

Please keep the Snapp family in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meeting Reminder!

REMINDER: The Douglass Alumni Association Working/Executive Board will have its next regularly scheduled meeting this coming Saturday at 2 PM, in the United Way conference room at the V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex. NOTE THE CHANGE IN TIME: 2 PM.

From our president, Doug Releford: "Please try to inform everyone that we need them at this meeting. Time is getting short and we have a lot of work to do for the upcoming reunion. Please try and persuade a member that has not been to a meeting in a while to come."

We will also get an update on things from the Events Committee which has been working behind the scenes on several reunion Events.  Also expected in attendance, are members of the Kingsport Ebony Club Association, to see if any of our joint reunion plans are overlapping, and what we can share from each other.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kingsport’s Black History Month festivities start on high note


Stella Robinette says Saturday’s Gospel Fest is the kick-off event for Kingsport’s celebration of Black History Month.

“Our goal is to educate all people about black history and to bring in ethnic artists to showcase our heritage,” said Robinette.

Gospel Fest will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29 in the Kingsport Renaissance Center, 1200 E. Center St. Tickets are $5 for reserved seating.

Some of the performers scheduled to appear include the choirs of Bethel AME Zion Church, the Bristol Lee Street Praise Team and Central Baptist Church and Praise Team, the TCB Singers (Tri-Cities Blessed), ADMC Singers, Greater Commission and Lynette Alley.

Kingsport native and up-and-coming comedian Xavier Hall will emcee the event.

Hall is a 1992 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School and has toured the country with a troupe of comedians that have been featured on BET’s "Comic View.”

But he hasn’t forgotten his roots, making previous stops in his hometown to do a couple of comedy concerts at Rascals. Hall’s brand of comedy, which he has labeled PG-13, draws from everyday life.

Robinette said she hopes an event such as Gospel Fest will touch the younger generations, too.

“This will be an evening of art and music. There will be something for everyone,” Robinette said. “We will have art up in the gallery and the atrium by ethnic artists. We hope some of our youth will come out to this event.

“We want the young people to see that there are other professions out there besides football or basketball. For a lot of kids, especially the boys, their goal is just to play sports. They think art is ‘sissy.’ We want to show them this is not true. I’d love for our youth to start showcasing their own talents more.”

Kingsport’s Black History Month celebration will continue with Barter Theatre’s production of “The Eye of the Storm” at 7 p.m., Feb. 3 in the Renaissance Center. Tickets are $20, or $19 for students and seniors. HOPE (Help Our Potential Evolve), a day featuring free workshops on topics ranging from cooking to drumming, face painting and a Wii competition, will be held from noon to 3 p.m., Feb. 19 at the Renaissance Center.

For more information about Gospel Fest or to order tickets, visit

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prayers for Bro. James Snapp

We've been told that Brother James Snapp, the son of Bro. Ellis Snapp of Riverview suffered a heart attack Thursday, January 20th, and is in the ICU at Holston Valley-Wellmont in Kingsport.

Please keep the Snapp Family in your prayers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blake Leeper Representin'

SYDNEY, Australia—Team USA athletes took to the track at Sydney Olympic Park on Friday night for their final tune-up meet in the lead up to the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships.

Competing against athletes from six other countries, the 51 Americans preparing for next week’s world championships in Christchurch, New Zealand capped a week-long training camp with multiple personal best performances.

Blake Leeper (Church Hill, Tenn.) looked sharp in the men’s 100m (T44), dropping a personal best time of 11.08 seconds. “I’ve been living and training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista since December and this showed that all my work and training are paying off,” said Leeper. “I felt great tonight and after this I feel confident and ready to go for world championships.” Leeper is making his Team USA debut at these world championships and will take on some of the sport’s top competitors in Christchurch. Leeper will face-off against South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius and his U.S. teammate Jerome Singleton (Irmo, S.C.), who won gold and silver medals, respectively, in the 100m at the 2008 Paralympic Games.

‘Carry on the legacy:' Marchers in Kingsport celebrate, Remember Dr. King

‘We want people to rejoice in all the legacy (King) left for us, and the actual push is to become brothers and sisters.’

— Pastor Ronnie Collins



KINGSPORT — Martin Luther King Jr. Day should not be a day off, but rather a day on — to do good in the community and to help carry on the legacy of the slain civil rights leader.

Pastor Ronnie Collins gave this message during the annual MLK Day parade in downtown Kingsport on Monday, where this year’s theme was “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off.”

“Remember the legacy of Dr. King, all that he stood for and the great works that he did. Celebrate his 82nd birthday, the national holiday. And the ‘act’ part is to do something. Do something in the community — an act of kindness or love or help someone less fortunate,” Collins said. “It’s not a day off, but it really should be a day on and doing good to carry on the legacy.”

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March through downtown Kingsport.

More than 70 people walked in Monday’s parade, which stretched from East Sevier Avenue to Kingsport’s City Hall. The event drew as many young people and children as adults and seniors, with about half of the participants being Caucasian. Many people carried signs and banners with messages of “Justice, Equity, Compassion for All” and “I Stand on the Side of Love.”

“We want people to rejoice in all the legacy (King) left for us, and the actual push is to become brothers and sisters,” Collins said.

Sullivan County Schools elected to be in session Monday to make up one of the 11 days schools have missed this year due to the weather. Kingsport City Schools, which have missed three days this year due to the weather, were not in session Monday.

Collins said he found it disturbing some school systems elected to be open on MLK Day.

“It sends the wrong message to our youth,” Collins said. “Our goal is to get young people acclimated to what is happening, why (the holiday) is important and the crux of it. (Schools being open) sends a message that the holiday is not important. I know they have to make (the day) up, but today is probably not the best day.”

Collins said he hopes school systems that were in session on Monday offered programs or assemblies on Martin Luther King Jr.

During Monday’s parade, three people brought their canine friends with them to walk, while Jenny Rogers of Kingsport brought several of her Djembes (drums) and maracas for the participants to play during the event.

Rogers, a former worship director at First Broad Street United Methodist Church, said she started the Drum Circle Connection as a form of outreach to the community, using drums to help kids communicate and build teams together.

In recent years, the cold winter weather has kept some people from turning out and resulted in small turnouts for the MLK Day parade. This year, however, more people showed up with the warmer weather.

“Our numbers always increase when the weather is good. Our prayers have always been each year to have reasonable weather. After the last couple of weeks, we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Collins said.

Margaret Smith, who lives on Myrtle Street and attends every year, brought her children down to walk in the parade.

“I like for all of us to get together, and it’s a real nice turnout. Much better than last year; I believe so,” she said.

A special treat this holiday was an afternoon dinner for the community, held in the Riverview Community Room.  Turkey and dressing, fried chicken, vegetables, and cakes and pies were the order of the day, as residents who had just taken part in the the march downtown, sat down to fellowship with each other, and get caught up on the excitement of the day.   Entertainment was provided by the New Vision Youth in the form of song, and the singing was well received by those eating.

Click here to see a slideshow from the Community Dinner on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2011, held at the Riverview Community Center.

During the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day program at the Central Baptist Church, former Kingsport mayor Jeanette Blazier told an enthusiastic audience the city has made many strides since that fateful day in 1994, when 8 year old Jalissa Ferguson was killed by a drug dealer's bullet.

"I'll never forget the tears of anguish as I heard folks in Riverview telling them, they'd had enough of the crime ruining the neighborhood," she said.  "You went from being the worst crime neighborhood in the city, to the safest neighborhood."

That last part, produced a rousing show of applause from an approving crowd.

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program held at the Central Baptist Church.

Mrs. Blazier also talked about how the revitalization of the neighborhood has produced positive results such as the HOPE VI homes, and the renovated V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.  "One of the most exciting moments during the dedication in September," she remembered, "was the unveiling of the historic marker from the Tennessee Historical Commission.  That marker placed the wonderful heritage of Douglass High School on a state and national map of history, and will forever mark the school's place in the state archives."

(EDITOR'S NOTE:  We were able to shoots some panoramic pictures inside the santuary at Central while Mayor Blazier was speaking. 

Click here to see panoramic pictures of the santuary of the Central Baptist Church during former Mayor Blazier's address.

You may have to turn your head to see the panorama shots.. they work better if they're printed off, then displayed tilted).

One highlight of the event at the church, was a presentation made to the new residents of the Riverview Place homes, which replaced the historic Riverview Apartments.  Each head of the household in the new homes was presented with a new Bible, to guide their new lives by.

The program at Central was sponsored by the Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.

Later, at the annual Candlelight Vigil, sponsored by the New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation's Community Services Division, candles were lit to honor many of the Riverview Community's people, events, history and fiture.  Candles were lit for the new HOPE VI homes at Riverview Place, the seniors of the community, the New Vision Youth, Parks and Crecreation, the new V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex, Kingsport City Government, the Kingsport Board of Education, and many family and loved ones still with us and those gone, but not forgotten.

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil, held at the V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex.

The lighting ceremony was held in the parking lot of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, and capped off Riverview and Kingsport's wonderful celebration and tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Young Ambassador has ties to Riverview

 Hunter Muller has been chosen to represent Tennessee as an ambassador to Europe. This entails travel and study in England, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. After being invited, Hunter passed an interview that confirmed this honor.

Hunter Muller is the son of Pepper Muller and the grandson of Gary and Valorie (Davis) Thompson.  He is a sophomore at Volunteer High School.

Some of Hunter's past accomplishments include winning the National History Award Winner, the Tennessee Academic Award, the Citizenship Award, an award from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and several ACE awards. Hunter is also a member of Who's Who Among American High School Students. He has been recognized by the United States Achievement Academy.

Hunter received a personal letter from the President, as a winner of the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

False Report: U.S. Post Office Destroying African-American Stamps?

A recent report sent to the Douglass website, indicating that the Post Office is about to destroy all remaining African-American Heritage stamps at the end of this month, is false.

The Post Office IS NOT destroying these stamps.

Here is the OFFICIAL statement from the U.S. Postal Service:

"A recent Internet rumor saying the Postal Service is discontinuing the Black Heritage series, is another one of those untrue yarns that the Internet is sometimes famous for, as is the rumor that the Postal Service is destroying current Black Heritage series stamps."

"The fact is, the Black Heritage stamp series is one of our most popular.  We have no plans whatsoever to discontinue it.  The Postal Service remains as strongly committed to honoring the historical achievements and contributions of African-Americans on stamps, as we've always been."

A post official official also tells the Douglass Website that if people are not buying the stamps, that's news to the agency.

He reports sales of the Heritage stamps are continuing, and after January 31st, you can still purchase them.

He says, the rumor that they were being destroyed is just another wives' tale, that goes between people, without being checked out first.

Congratulations to Our Young Champions of America Cheerleaders!

The group from Kingsport recently competed in Regional Competition on December 10, 2010 in Maryville, TN and won 2nd place. Amid all the snow and bad weather this past weekend the group competed in the State competition in Nashville, Tennessee AND WON FIRST PLACE!.

Two of our alumni grandchildren participated in the competition. Seated in the first row is Asante Lovelace, granddaughter of Sheila Releford, and seated in second row middle is Ariana Wolfe, granddaughter of Virginia Hankins and Patricia Stokely.

There will be a registration on January 31st at the Renaissance Center for children from ages 4 and older who are interested in becoming a cheerleader.

Submitted by Virginia Hankins

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sign of the Times: Knoxville Has First African-American Mayor


KNOXVILLE - Knoxville City Councilman Daniel Brown made history today when he was selected interim mayor - becoming Knoxville's first black mayor.

He succeeds outgoing Mayor Bill Haslam, who resigned his position at 9:32 a.m. to become governor. He will be inaugurated on Saturday, Jan. 15.
"My challenge will be to serve in the best way possible for all the citizens of Knoxville," Brown said after he was sworn into office. "I thank my colleagues whether they voted for me or not."

He noted that being the city's first black mayor was of special significant with the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday coming up.
"This is going to be a temporary thing," Brown said. "As long as I have a good relationship with council," Brown said, he could do the job. "I plan to be fair and just with all elements of the city."
He said his first step would be to meet with all department heads, then he will begin work on the budget, which is presented in the spring.

Brown was one of five candidates vying for the position. All declared before the voting began that they would serve as a temporary mayor until Dec. 17, when the next elected mayor is sworn in, and that they would not run for office.
Brown was sworn in on the 11th round of council voting. Then, at Councilman Nick Pavlis' request, the council took a 12th vote to unanimously elect Brown as interim mayor.

Brown's biggest competition came from Councilman Duane Grieve. Both councilmen kept getting three or four votes apiece throughout much of the voting until, in the final round of voting, Councilman Joe Bailey voted for Brown instead of himself.
The council was required to elect an interim mayor from among its own ranks, Five votes were needed for a majority of the nine members.

John Stancil, a neighborhood activist from Brown's own neighborhood of Park Ridge, said, "It's a perfect example of democracy at work."
Added Rachel Craig, observer for the League of Women Voters, "This is a wonderful example of our democratic process. The meeting was conducted with dignity and civility."

It took about 20 minutes and a series of 11 votes before Brown - a 6th District councilman for the past 13 months - received a majority of votes from his peers to be named mayor. Five council members - Brown, Becker, Marilyn Roddy, Chris Woodhull and Bailey - selected Brown in the 11th round of voting. In previous rounds, Brown and Grieve of the 2nd District each received the most votes but fewer than the necessary five.

An interim mayor election was necessary because Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam was elected governor in November. The city charter requires the council to elect an interim mayor from among council members to serve until the next mayor can be elected in the fall of 2011.

Brown, a native Knoxvillian and graduate of Austin High school and Tennessee State University, is retired from the U.S. Postal Service. He's also a Vietnam War veteran.  He is serving his first term on City Council, having been elected in the fall of 2009. His district includes East Knoxville, downtown, Mechanicsville and part of Sutherland Avenue.   Brown also is a member of First A.M.E. Zion Church and is a past member of the Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals.

Five council members had had their eye on the interim mayor's position. In addition to Brown and Grieve, an architect, the list of interested mayoral interim servers included Brenda Palmer of the 3rd District (Northwest Knoxville); Bailey, an at-large councilman, who has a marketing and governmental affairs consulting firm; and Woodhull, an at-large council member and former executive director of Tribe One, a Christian ministry to inner-city youth.

Haslam has stayed out of the interim mayor selection, not endorsing any candidate.  Council members Roddy, Nick Pavlis and Nick Della Volpe decided not to seek the appointment. Roddy is running for mayor in the fall elections and said she withdrew her name from consideration because she didn't think the next mayor should have the advantage of having served as interim mayor for almost a year.  Pavlis initially said he was interested, but withdrew his name because he said he needs to concentrate on needs in his South Knoxville and Fort Sanders district.

The mayor earns $130,000 a year.

Ebony Club Conference Call: Tentative Reunion Schedule


Reunion Weekend 2011 will be held Friday, July 1-3 in Kingsport, Tennessee. The purpose of this event is to restore linkages to our glorious past at Dobyns-Bennett High School. We also want to use this time to reconnect with old friends.

Tonight's (Sunday, January 9th) Reunion Weekend Conference Call went well, as we were able to nail down a tentative agenda. Members on the call included Nikki and Trippy Deal, Miesheisa Larkin and me. Here's the agenda that we agreed on:


12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check-In/Registration (@ Meadowview/Jameson Inn)

6:00 p.m. to Whenever Block Party/Mixer (@ Borden Park/Riverview)


(?) Douglass Alumni Association Golf Tournament (Optional)

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Family Day @ Warrior Path State Park


8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendance at Home Churches

The next conference call is scheduled for Sunday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to help with the planning, please join us by dialing (646) 716-5918. The calls usually last 45 minutes to an hour.

Registration materials will be posted as PDF documents on the Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Association Facebook page when they are available. If you have any questions or suggestions about Reunion Weekend 2011, please send an e-mail to

Be blessed, and continue to be a blessing.

Jeff "Pac-Man" Faulkerson
DBHS Class of 1986

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dr. King March 2011 - Please Put on Your Calendar


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day Events in Kingsport - Monday, January 17th

12 Noon:   ANNUAL DR. KING MARCH.   

The 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade will be held on Monday, January 17th from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Parade participates will need to assemble at 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of E. Sevier & Center Street (Rikki Rhoton Allstate Insurance Co.'s Parking Lot). The parade route will follow Center Street and end on Shelby Street (City Parking Lot between Kingsport City Hall & The Justice Center).

The theme is "REMEMBER! CELEBRATE! ACT! - A Day On, Not A Day Off.” If you would like to enter a car, float, church/business van, bus, truck, other exhibits or take a 20 minute walk during lunch in the parade, please contact Elder-Elect Gwen Collins (TVFAR) at (423) 753-2345 or General Overseer Ronnie Collins (JGII) at (423) 956-0675 or email or

Parade sponsors include Eastman Chemical Company, Food City, Office Depot, Joshua Generation (JGII), My Brother's Keeper, Putting Babies First, & Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency.

Please take time to help bring about positive change in the community in which we live and help us Change a Generation!

2 PM:  KING COMMUNITY DINNER, sponsored by New Vision Youth and Friends of Distinction.   Dinner will be held in the Riverview Community Room, Carver Street.  The Dinner is free of charge.   MENU:  Ham, turkey & gravy, dressing, fried chicken, macroni & cheese, greens, green beans, corn, sweet potatos, cornbread, rolls, desserts and drinks.

4 PM:  MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR REV. DR. KING:  Sponsored by the Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.  The event will be held at the Central Baptist Church on Douglass Street.  The Guest Speaker is former Kingsport Mayor Jeanette Blazier.

6 PM:  7TH ANNUAL KING CANDLELIGHT VIGIL.  Sponsored by New Vision Youth, and Kingsport Parks & Recreation Community Services Division.  Event will be held in the parking lot of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, Wheatley Street.  Candles will be lit on behalf of the HOPE VI homes and residents, the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, Kingsport Housing and Revelopment Authority, the Riverview Community, In Memory of Seniors, Steve Shipley, and others.   All Kingsport area residents are invited to attend.

Douglass Alumni Association Events Committee November Meeting

Events Committee met Nov. 20, 2010 at the home of Frank Horton. Members present were Calvin Sneed, Joy Hankins, Don Hickman, Dee Dee Horton, and Virginia Hankins.

Frank Horton called the meeting to order and presented an inspirational reading to the group.

The first order of business discussed (more or less as a sidebar discussion) was the process by which the Alumni dues were to be handled. Don Hickman suggested that since the dues were previously included in the registration fee, and that process was working well, to leave it as is.

The Events Committee suggest to the Executive Board Members to solicit separately funds for operating expenses. He also suggested that we post our expenses on the website and allow Alumni members to make separate donations toward those expenses.

The next order of business discussed was a caterer for the events of the reunion in 2011. The Events Committee wants to do business with someone in the community. Several names were suggested. Joy Hankins made a motion to use a particular person and the committee agreed, but we will withhold that information until the person can be contacted and we can ensure that person is able to provide what we need for an acceptable fee.

The Events Committee wants to make the reunion appealing to a wider range of people on field day. Don Hickman suggested perhaps a bid whiz tournament and he and Calvin Sneed suggested to also extend an invitation to the non-profit businesses that are housed in the V.O. Dobbins Complex to have a booth alongside our food vendors. ( All booths will pay $25.00) Dee Dee Horton knows of a 14 year old rapper that she will see about getting to perform on field day. The young man is the son of the rapper that made “865Area Code“. Calvin Sneed also said that he would get in touch with Stella Robinette about the Kingsport Drum Line and the person who was a contestant for American Idol as entertainment.

Calvin Sneed suggested that we begin considering a speaker for our Memorial service. The following people were suggested: Halleran Hilton Hill, a radio talk show host, Walter Williams, a Judge and Skip Brown, entrepreneur and Douglass High school alumnus.

The committee suggested to charge a nominal fee for the golf outing but to have side games for a fee to generate money for the scholarship fund. Frank is contemplating no less that 50 teams to participate. He and Donald suggested several names to make appearances and participate in the golf outing. Those persons are: Skip Brown, Gerald Sensabaugh, Willie Horton, Anthony Hancock, Lester McClain, Stanley Morgan, Wilbur Jones, Leotis Burton, and Condridge Holloway. These men are known athletes from Kingsport and surrounding areas and some are former UT football players.

The Events Committee agrees that immediately after the first of the year we need to step it up and get rolling with our plans for the 2011 reunion. Don Hickman will draft letters to solicit donations from area businesses, invite the non profit organizations to put up booths for field day, and contact Meadow View to confirm our usage of the golf course. Calvin Sneed will contact the city of Kingsport Parks and Recreation through James (Moose) Henry to see about getting a stage and sound system set up for field day entertainment. Frank and Donald will contact the former athletes.

Calvin made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Joy Hankins seconded.

Respectfully Submitted,

Virginia Hankins

DB Basketball

Don't forget---all your Dobyns-Bennett boys and girls basketball highlights, at Model City Sports!  Click on the icon in the left column!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Wallace Powers' 50th Anniversary Celebration

Shirley Burnette of Kingsport met Wallace Powers of Chattanooga at a teacher's meeting in Chattanooga back in 1958.  It was a match made in Heaven.

After a year-long courtship, the couple were married in Kingsport on June 4, 1960.  They made their home in Chattanooga, and were blessed with three children, Denise, Ben and Cindy, who have been a joy to their lives.

This past year, the happy couple were made even happier, with a celebration commemorating their 50th wedding anniversary.  The event was held at the prestigious Walden Club in Chattanooga, given by their three children.

Click here to see a slide show of the Powers' 50th Anniversary Celebration held on June 4, 2010. The photos were taken by Nate Cox.

Wallace and Shirley's love for God, training in Christian Homes, and service in the church have been the motivating factors in their lives.  Wallace has served on the Deacon Board, and Shirley is a Deaconess in the New Emmanuel Baptist Church, where they have been dedicated members for many years.  They both teach Sunday School classes, and volunteer with the Angel Food Ministry.  Wallace is a member of the Men's Ministry, and Shirley is a member of the Virtuous Women of Excellence Women's Ministry.

The couple attributes the success of their union to the love of God and each other, mutual respect, understanding, trust, friendship, communication, devotion, and the love of their children.  One of the scriptures that has been a main guiding force in their lives is: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not onto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Construction takes toll on Riverview roads



Erica Yoon
Lewis, Douglass and Carver streets suffered damage and had to be reconstructed.


KINGSPORT — A lot of traffic in a short amount of time took its toll on three key roads in the Riverview community, resulting in the city of Kingsport recently spending more than $34,000 on repairs.

Over the past four years, the Riverview neighborhood experienced a major overhaul and face-lift — demolishing the old Riverview Apartments complex and replacing it with 32 rental homes and expanding and renovating the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.

Both projects cost about $8.4 million each, during which time numerous construction vehicles, dump trucks, supply trucks and other heavy equipment came in and out of the neighborhood on a regular basis.

This resulted in three roads suffering damage — Lewis, Douglass and Carver — and having to be reconstructed, said Ronnie Hammonds, streets and sanitation manager for the city. The work included some curb repairs, but no sidewalks needed to be repaired.

“Due to several different circumstances we had to do some reconstruction of portions of all three streets and the repaving of the three streets,” Hammonds said. “There was a lot of concentrated work in a short period of time over those sections of the roadway.”

The reconstruction work was done using a technique called full-depth reclamation with a cement stabilized base. More than 300 tons of asphalt was also used on the project.

“It’s a process where we take our asphalt zipper, rip up the road about 12 inches, and add cement in front of the machine and till the cement into the work we’ve done,” Hammonds said. “It brings a cement stabilized base, then we repave over the top of that.”

In addition to the traffic, other factors played into the damage to the road, including the age of the streets and the bad subsurface conditions of the ground, Hammonds said.

“Several sections of town there are soils not conducive to construction, that area being one. The base is not the best in the world. But the roads are not substandard and have held up fairly well over time,” Hammonds said. “Before construction started we noticed we were getting alligator cracking over sections of the roadway, which is an indication of base failure. The contractor had no fault; it’s just one of those things. Hauling in the brick and cement trucks, we just had a road failure happen.”

Kingsport crews performed the work, which took about eight days to complete, wrapping up a few weeks ago. The material cost of the project came in around $34,000 and was paid for by the city. Hammonds said labor costs were estimated to be $10,000.