Sunday, October 30, 2011

Still standing: Central’s Gudger shares story with police across Southeast

‘If she would have gotten there a little later, we’d have had a dead principal.’ — Sheriff Wayne Anderson



It’s been 14 months since a gunman entered Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, igniting a nearly 15-minute standoff with police before he was shot and killed.
But for the Sullivan County officer who stepped between the man and school Principal Melanie Riden, attempting to coax him to hand over his weapon as police swarmed the facility and students huddled in classrooms, time has not dulled the memories.

With that vividness still intact, Officer Carolyn save lives if the nightmare scenario unfolds in their community.
“Some people probably want to know why I didn’t shoot right off,” says Gudger, a 15-year veteran of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and school resource officer. “All of (the presentations and interviews) afterward have been more nerve-racking than the actual event.”

From the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association in Nashville to a national conference for school resource officers in Orlando, Fla. — and many stops in between — Gudger has been sharing her experiences and fielding questions. Anderson accompanies her to outline how the events unfolded and chronicle his department’s response.
“The thing we stress is train, train, train,” said Anderson. Gudger and Sheriff Wayne Anderson have been speaking to law enforcement agencies throughout the Southeast. The goal: Provide insights that can and plan with your schools.

“What we try to do is teach them it will happen. It’s going to happen, in your community, and you have to prepare for it.”
Thomas Richard Cowan, 62, of Kingsport, was fatally shot once two other officers converged on his and Gudger’s position inside the school. Gudger doesn’t profess to have all the answers, or have written the gospel on handling such a situation. As Cowan demanded to speak with the FBI, U.S. marshals and eventually the sheriff, she simply replied it would be done after he handed over his weapon.
But she does concede that sharing her experience can’t hurt her brethren in the field.
“Seeing others’ reactions helps,” she said. “I watch that silly show “Cops.” I say, ‘I wouldn’t have handled it that way.’ Or ‘Here’s what I would have done.’ I think most (officers she speaks with) look at it that way.”

The events of that day have earned Gudger induction into the American Police Hall of Fame in Titusville, Fla. She was one of eight finalists for a national competition from “America’s Most Wanted” and served as grand marshal for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
But Gudger says the biggest changes she’s experienced aren’t the media exposure, both locally and nationally, but how she now internalizes stressful situations she faces.
“One side of me (during the incident) was, ‘Why haven’t you shot?’ The other side was calm,” recalls Gudger. “I listen to the calm more than I used to.”

Gudger and Anderson say they still don’t have a concrete explanation for what motivated Cowan to enter the school with two loaded guns, pointing one at the principal’s head. There’s talk that students had been making fun of his brother, a custodian at the school, and the gunman was angry with the school administration.
But they know the staffing of a school resource officer saved lives. Gudger, one of four SROs within the county, had been dealing with an issue at a middle school and arrived at Sullivan Central minutes before Cowan entered.
“If she would have gotten there a little later, we’d have had a dead principal,” Anderson said.

Ahough the timing that day was serendipitous, police can’t bank on such strokes of luck. That’s why Anderson lobbied this spring for funding to place school resource officers in all county schools, not just the four high schools.
The proposal was not accepted.
“I was so disappointed, not only in the County Commission but the school board,” Anderson said. “At first everyone was really interested and thought it was really needed. Then there were some critics that questioned if (Cowan) really wanted to hurt someone.
“Well, he had two loaded guns and pulled one on an officer and a principal. So he definitely was there to do harm.”
Anderson said the start-up for eight additional SROs would have cost $500,000, then tallied approximately $350,000 in subsequent years. The SCSO applied for grants to fund the positions, but as with many agencies looking for federal funds in a recession, was denied.
Anderson said he’ll again seek the money from the Sullivan County Commission in next year’s budget.
“Everyone says it’s a tight budget time, but to me our children are a priority,” Anderson said. “Maybe there’s a mind-set it won’t happen again, and hopefully it won’t, but it certainly could.”

Friday, October 28, 2011

2012 Scholarship Program for Low-Income Minority Students

Eligibility: Gates' non-profit organization is giving away 1,000 scholarships for the 2012 school season. Bill Gates' Millennium Scholarship Program (GMS) will select 1,000 talented students next year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. Scholars will also be provided with personal and professional development through their leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established to provide outstanding low income minority students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any area of interest. To date, the program has given scholarships to more than 15,000 students. Continuing scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following disciplines: education engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science

To apply, click here .

Deadline: The deadline for submitting an application is Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Elizabeth McMeekin, Program Manager
Neighborhood Opportunity Network Sites
A Partnership of Montgomery County, Maryland DHHS, IMPACT Silver Spring and Anchor Nonprofits
Phone: 240-777-3043

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Vision pageant raises $1,000-plus

• KINGSPORT — Checks were presented Tuesday by New Vision Youth to three organizations that were the recipients of a recent fund-raiser. The Gents to Gentlemen Male Pageant, held on Oct. 15 and sponsored by New Vision Youth, raised more than a $1,000 that was distributed equally to the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department, Kingsport Community Ministry Center and Berry’s Pharmacy.

Breast Cancer Awareness at Central Baptist Church

Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States (men get it, too). 230,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in this country before this year ends.

Many groups, including the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure office located in the V.O. Dobbins Complex Tower, say it's important to catch breast cancer early with self examination.

On October 23, 2011, the Central Baptist Church in Riverview-Kingsport held a Breast Cancer Awareness service for our friends and neighbors who have breast cancer, and also those who lost their lives to the disease.

Click here to see pictures of the Breast Cancer Awareness Service at Central. These pictures were taken by Donna Morrisette.

Please contact the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure agencies, to ask about self-examination techniques to help you spot breast cancer signs.

It could save your life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Open Letter to the Douglass-Riverview Community



The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Executive Board is aware of an appearance scheduled for early November in Kingsport and Johnson City of Dr. Umar Abdullah Johnson, descendant of Frederick Douglass, a name we hold dear to our hearts, as our former School is named in his honor.

While we acknowledge the historical lineage of Dr. Johnson with Frederick Douglass, after further and careful examination of Dr. Johnson's views on race relations and black/white society, we the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Executive Board, on behalf of our alumni, feel that his appearance would not be appropriate for our approval and support.

Therefore, the Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc (also known as the Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport) will NOT be a participant in Dr. Johnson's appearance, nor do we endorse, approve of, or otherwise support his appearance for our community or our children.

We also need to make mention that Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc (also known as the Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport) has no control over the Douglass Community Room, nor the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex that it is housed in, including the ballfield, gymnasiums, rooms and offices. We are tenants in the building and we are governed by the same rules and regulations as all the other tenants.

Respectfully Submitted
Virginia (Jenny) Hankins, President
Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Board Meeting Minutes, October 15, 2011


Members In Attendance: Virginia Hankins, Ruth Russell, Lillian Leeper, Thelma Watterson, Sheila Leeper, Andra Watterson, Calvin Sneed, Ozine Bly, Wallace Ross, Jr., Sandra Wilmer, Pamela Sensabaugh; Andra Watterson, Linda Bly, and Vicki Smith.

Meeting was called to order by President, Virginia Hankins


Financial report given by Lillian Leeper

Old Business/Unfinished Business

Swearing in of Officers – Pam Sensabaugh, - Correspondence Secretary, and Wallace Ross, Jr.,- Seargent-At-Arms was done by Andra Watterson.

Our ad in Shiloh’s anniversary book was shown to the group.

Telephone – Calvin explained the bundle that we are currently using versus changing plans and the cost involved. Weighing options as to whether there will be a savings if we change plans. Changing plans to eliminate the phone and keep the internet will not be a significant savings. Alumni will revisit in January whether or not to continue with the plan we have now.


Pancake Breakfast – Pancakes, Sausage, Coffee on Saturday, November 17, 2011 7:30 – 10:30 @ Applebee’s on E. Stone Drive/Eastman Road. Each member is responsible for 10 tickets (donation of $5.00) total amount of tickets on hand = 300 Volunteers are needed to cook, serve, greet, and publicize the event.

Sponsors needed for Golf Outing on October 6, 2012 (tentative date). This is a listing of the previous sponsors: Green Bank, Eastman, Braden’s Barbeque, Rick Spivey, Food City, WKPT, Nathan Vaughn (State Farm Insurance).

New Business

Report from tenants meeting - Douglass Alumni Association is able to hold a total of four meetings per year without charge. We are non-paying tenants and we have to follow the guidelines the same as all other tenants.

Request to co-sponsor Dr. Umar Johnson - Dion Russell (Dinky) has asked the alumni to co-sponsor the event featuring Dr. Umar Johnson. The only day available open that we can co-sponsor is that Saturday. Motion was made by Peaches to work with Chassy Smiley to reserve the building and Calvin seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Points of Interest from the President

President is asking for all alumni to come out and support the pancake breakfast. This will be our first fundraising event for 2011. Lillian made a motion that funds generated from this event be used to open our account with Green Bank. Calvin seconded the motion and motion carried.

The alumni office would like to catalog all of the past alumni booklets, if any alumni has extras please let us know. There will be a brief meeting after the pancake breakfast on November 19, 2011.

Meeting Adjourned

Minutes submitted by: Vicki Smith, Recording Secretary

Thursday, October 20, 2011

1st Annual "Gents to Gentlemen Pageant" - Showcasing Boys to Men

Who says beauty pageants have to have just women and young ladies as contestants?

The mold was broken on Saturday, October 15, 2011, when the first annual Gents to Gentlemen Pageant was held at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

"Men can be beautiful in their own way," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, who organized the pageant. "This kind of pageant done just like the pageants for women, showcases their abilities and personalities. We always have the pageants for the women, pageants and proms for the little kids, but nothing for the men in the community."

"Hopefully, people will come out and support the men folk when we have the next pageant."

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2011 Gents to Gentlemen Pageant.

The event was sponsored by New Vision Youth, Taylor-Hamilton Insurance, and Kingsport Parks and Recreation, and hosted by Kingsport funnyman Xavier "Tim" Hall. The small admission fee was actually a donation for programs in the community.

"We put this pageant together as a fund raiser to help 3 organizations," Swagerty says. "KCMC, which is the Kingsport Community Ministry organization.. that's the organization that will pay your light bill or your gas bill in the summer or winter months when in need. Then, Kingsport Parks and Recreation for summer equipment, basketballs, tennis, and baseballs. And also, Berry's Pharmaceuticals.. they're the folks who help all the seniors with their prescription medicines. A lot of seniors cannot afford their meds the way the economy is right now, and Berry's sells them either at a discount, or by account."

"Hopefully, the money raised will help our seniors out, when they need it the most."

Judges for the event were Sandi Peters of the Title Max office in Kingsport... Carolyn Clay Gudger with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department... Debbie Arnold, R.N. with the Holston Valley-Wellmont Hospital Emergency Room, and Mary Alexander of Northeast State College.

From ages 4 to 50+, the pageant contestants had a blast, strutting their stuff down the runway of the Auditorium, to the cheers and encouragement of the audience. The categories were Gents, from kindergarten through elementary school: then middle school entrants; and then high school candidates. From there, adult men had their own categories.

The categories were Mr. Gent (kindergarten through high school), Best Total Package (ages 4 to 15 years old), Best Total Package (ages 39 to 50+).. Best Dressed 4 to 15 years old, and 39 to 50+.. also, Mr. Gentleman (middle and high school).. Mr. Man (middle and high school).. Mr. Wiseman (adult men).. Mr. Senior Citizen (adult men).. then, Mr. Smiles, Mr. Photogenic, Mr. Congeniality and Mr. New Vision Youth (all boys and men in these categories).

In the Mr. Gent (Kindergarten-Elementary) category, contestants were Wyatt Peters, Brian Riley, Johnathan Russell, Preston Fullen and Gabriel Marshall. The winner in this category was Gabriel Marshall.

In the Mr. Gentleman (Middle and High School) category, contestants were Jay Petty, Brandon Pruitt, Tyrik Hale, Chris Greer, Savion Camp and Ray Petty. The Mr. Gentleman winner was Brandon Pruitt, and Mr. Man was Savion Camp.

In the Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Senior Citizen (adult men) categories, the contestants were Tony Adams, Chuck Russell, Pastor Lawrence Myrick, Brad McKee, Jason Lester, Jimmy Harrell and B.T. Tartar. Selected Mr. Wiseman was Brad McKee, and Jimmy Harrell was picked as Mr. Senior Citizen.

In the other categories, the Mr. Smiles, Best Total Package (ages 4 to 15), Mr. Photogenic and the People's Choice winner was all Wyatt Peters. Pastor Lawrence Myrick got the award for Mr. Photogenic, ages 39 to 50"+. Myrik Hale received the Best Dressed Award for ages 4 to 15 years old, and Jasn Lester received the Best Dressed Award for ages 39 to 50+. Mr. Congenialty winner was Brad McKee, and Mr. New Vision Youth 2011 winner was Chris Greer.

Swagerty says, she's hoping that folks will come out and support the men in the next pageant. She says, in one case, one woman entered her husband, her son, AND 2 of her nephews in the pageant categories. Another one told us, her daughter has won all kinds of pageant, but this was the first time, her SON ever won a pageant.

"We had a good crowd, and lots of good entrants this year," she says. "I see the Gents to Gentlemen pageant getting bigger and better next year, once folks know about it and come out to support it."

"We are glad to have everybody's support."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Festival at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Herman Cain Comes to Rogersville; Addresses Racial Criticism

"It ain't about race."

Those words from Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to your Douglass website reporter, when his campaign swung through Rogersville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

We asked Cain what he feels about the historical significance that two African-Americans could possibly face each other, representing the country's two top parties for the presidency of the United States.

"It says that America does not care about color.. it ain't about color," he says. "It wasn't about color when Barack Obama got electd. This just puts an exclamation point: it ain't about color. It's going to be ideas and leadership, against ideas and leadership, and I'm going to win that battle."

Cain has drawn criticism from, some in the black community for his views on race.

At an earlier campaign stop in Harriman Saturday, Cain accused liberals of playing the race card "until it's the joker in the deck."

"America isn't worried about color. It's worried about content, character and ideas," he said. "It ain't about race."

In relation to that, Cain was asked what he would differently from President Obama.

"Lead," he said simply. "I'm going to lead. I'm going to surround myself with the right people. That's the problem we have now, I'm going to focus my people, and I'm going to solve stuff."

During the impromptu news conference, Cain was quick to defend his 9-9-9 plan, which would replace the complex U.S. tax code with a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax and a new 9 percent national sales tax. When asked if his 9-9-9 tax plan would place the federal, state and local sales tax at near 20 per cent in Tennessee (including Tennessee's state sales tax between 7 and 9.25%), Cain says his tax proposal would not affect states or municipalities.

"That's an irrelevant comparison," he said. "You're going to have your state tax no matter what. I want to make the federal piece better. The federal piece replaces... the 9-9-9 replaces the federal piece.. doesn't have anything to do with the state piece."

Cain also attacked some of the more conservative magazines, who have been reporting that the 9-9-9 tax plan is going to hurt the middle class.

"They are dead wrong.. sorry about that," he said. "The reason they are dead, dead wrong, is because they're not doing the math correctly. If they understood better taxes that are going to be taken out of products, 9% is simply a visible tax. The embedded taxes that are in products and goods and services right now, we're just going to make it visible."

Riding high in the polls, Cain met enthusiatic supports in the Rogersville City Park. The Kingsport Times-News picks up the story after the news conference, as Cain spoke to the crowd of supporters.



ROGERSVILLE — GOP presidential contender Herman Cain told a cheering crowd of more than 1,000 people Saturday that “message over money” is fueling his surge in the polls.

Click here to see a picture slideshow of the Cain rally at the Rogersville City Park .

"We’re not going to outraise anybody ... (but) we’re going to raise some cain, that’s what we’re going to do,” the Georgia businessman, ex-radio talk show host and former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive shouted at Rogersville City Park on the last leg of his Tennessee bus tour.

Cain’s main economic message: Throw out the current tax code and implement his “9-9-9” plan — a flat nine percent tax on business, income and sales — in the first 90 days of his administration.

Tax deductions for businesses buying U.S. goods will be allowed, and that should put domestic products on more level footing, Cain insisted.

“We can make stuff just as good as anybody else in the world,” he said. “When you take out those embedded taxes, we can compete anywhere in the world. ... We can leave everybody in the dust with 9-9-9.”

Cain said the plan meets five objectives: transparency, efficiency, fairness, simplicity and being revenue neutral.

State government in Tennessee is mostly paid for by a 7 percent sales tax, and many localities have a local option sales tax of more than 2 percent.

When asked for a response about the possibility of having a combined federal, state and local sales tax rate approaching 20 percent, Cain said: “That’s an irrelevant comparison. You’re going to have your state tax no matter what. I want to make the federal (tax) piece better. ... It doesn’t have anything to do with the state piece.”

Cain, now in a dead heat with GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, told followers they are the reason he’s moving up the ladder in the polls.

“You are part of this sleeping giant that has awakened ... this sleeping giant called ‘We the people,’ ” Cain said. “The skeptics, the pundits and some people in the media, they still don’t get it. I saw it coming a year ago when I first started traveling around the country talking to people. ... It took some folk in the media and in the (Washington, D.C.) beltway, ... it took them until two weeks ago to wake up to what you all already knew. You already knew you were sick and tired of business and politics as usual.”

Cain noted conservative commentator George Will said it best: “When Herman Cain won the Florida Straw Poll, the liberals’ brains exploded. ... The long shot kept moving up and up, and all of a sudden he moved to tie Mitt Romney. ... Not only did all the liberals’ brains explode, all the establishment brains exploded.”

Cain pointed out campaign fund-raising numbers showing four other GOP candidates raising more money than him don’t tell the whole story. (They say) this guy Cain raised a piddling $2.8 million,” he said. “One of the Fox News anchors said ‘He’s winning and he doesn’t have any money.’ ”

Cain said his GOP opponents now try to take him on during debates. “Did y’all notice that big bull’seye on my back?” he joked. “(The other candidates) took a lot of shots at me the other night. I felt like the star of the show. They’re going to try to shoot at 9-9-9, but they’re going to lose.”

Cain said people at the grassroots level, meanwhile, are tired of America being a “nation of crisis” — in the economy, entitlement spending, energy, illegal immigration, foreign policy and leadership.

“The American people are saying we’re sick of it,” Cain stressed. “We are on a track to socialism, and this president (Democrat Barack Obama) knows it and he’s very arrogant about it. ... People went from concern to fear because we have a president and administration that does not care for the voice of the people.”

Obama’s proposed $450 billion jobs plan won’t work for the same reasons the $1 trillion stimulus plan didn’t work, Cain said. “Fourteen million people are still looking for work,” Cain said. “Most of (the stimulus money) was used to pay off his union buddies. And he did it arrogantly. ... He thinks the American people are stupid enough to believe that if a trillion dollars didn’t work, maybe about $450 billion might work. But you ain’t stupid.”

Whitesburg welder David O’Pry, who was at the Rogersville City Park more than three hours before Cain spoke, said Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has killed his business. “I watched my business go to a bust because the regulations this president put into place. ... It’s more difficult, and more expensive for me to operate,” O’Pry said.

Cain said the news media wants people to believe he can’t beat Obama — who is outfundraising all GOP candidates — in a general election contest. “They think I’m in this to get a TV program,” Cain told the crowd.

Cain declared his health would not be an issue. “I’ve been cancer free for five years,” he said.

Hawkins County GOP Chairwoman Cecile Testerman predicted the Republican nomination race in Tennessee would be between Cain and Romney. “I think he’s very electable,” she said of Cain. “Absolutely electable. I think if he was to win the Republican nomination, I think he could win against the current president.”

Women of Excellence: Food in the Spotlight

The Riverview and Tri-Cities communities recently came together to help a local sorority chapter celebrate outstanding women in the area.

It was the 11th Annual Women of Excellence Banquet, held in the Douglass Room of the V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex on Saturday, October 1, 2011. The banquet honored local women in the fields of business, education, community and lifetime achievement. It was sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Pi Omega Omega Chapter.

(to see pictures of the event, click here)

Linda Calvert is one of the eight members of the chapter, which has members in both Kingsport and Johnson City.

"Normally, we have had the banquet at one of the restaurants," she says, but this year we decided to combine it with an event we've held in the past, called 'A Taste of AKA.'

As you can imagine, the 'taste' was all about food.

"This year, we did a taste of the seasons," Calvert says. "At one exhibit was an example of the Christmas influence, with items to eat that you would find at a typical Christmas meal and party. Then we had a Thanksgiving exhibit, and you noticed there were collard greens sweet potato casserole, and various traditional Thanksgiving meats. At the springtime Easter table, was baked ham, potato salad. Then, our summer picnic table of the 4th of July and Labor Day, featured things like watermelon and buns, so you just knew there must be some barbeque somewhere nearby."

The event was a unique one in Riverview's cultural life.

"It gives us the opportunity to show off our culinary skills," says Calvert, "and it also stimulates socal networking with food, which is a natural. It also gives us a chance to bring people together this time of the year in the fall, where we're just off of summer, but it's not really cold yet."

"It gives the people in Riverview and the surrounding communities something to come out to, and celebrate."

The local sorority chapter also handed awards.. Presented the Education Award was Dr. Angela Lewis, associate dean of the College of Education at ETSU... Winner of the Business Award from the chapter was Aundra Wilcox with the office of Small Business Development at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce... Mrs. Alma Brown, community activist, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award because of her associations with several community organizations.... and the Community Service award went to Lottie Ryans with CenturyLink, who is serving a third term with the Johnson City Board of Education. She's active with the Workforce Development agency, as well as the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce. Unfortunately, she was not present for this picture.

Imani Johnson was presented the 2011 Scholarship from the sorority chapter. The award was presented to her parents, as Imani is away, getting settled in at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she is considering career study in Criminology and Psychology. She attends the Thankful Baptist Church in Johnson City. Also, young women in the community were also acknowledged in the sorority chapter's new signature program for the term 2010-2014. It's called Emerging Young Leaders, a leadership program for girls. Several young women taking part in the program were also on hand to be recognized.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Eastman purchases Borden Mill property; no manufacturing plans for the site



KINGSPORT -- Eastman Chemical Company has taken steps to redevelop a former textile plant adjacent to its main campus, recently purchasing Borden Mill, a 37 acre industrial property just off Lincoln Street. The facility will be used to expand Eastman’s growing operations.

Corporate officials say their plans for the site are not final; however, they do not anticipate the site will be used for manufacturing.

"We do not expect to use the property for manufacturing purposes,” said Parker Smith, vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support and Quality. “This large piece of property will provide us with opportunities for additional growth right next to our plant site. At the moment, we are continuing to discuss how best to use the facility going forward, but we have no firm plans at this time."

Borden Mill was constructed in 1924 by the Borden family, founders of American Printing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts, and according to some sources the largest producer of printed cloth in the early 20th Century.

Just 10 years later, by 1934, all the Fall River mills were closed as jobs were moved south, including to Kingsport, in search of cheaper labor, lower transportation costs and greater productivity.

By the late 1940s, according to TENNESSEE -- A Guide to the State, Borden Mills was producing 900,000 yards of cloth a week and employed 1200 people.

Later in its history a succession of owners operated the facility, including JP Stevens (JPS Textiles) and finally Chiquola Fabrics, who purchased the plant in 1999, later closing the plant in 2003.

Densely wooded Borden Park, including two acres now owned by Eastman, was established by American Printing decades ago. The City of Kingsport owns and maintains the majority of the site for recreational purposes, including tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

“I cannot imagine a more fitting reuse for Borden Mill than redevelopment for Eastman,” City Manager John Campbell said Friday. “We are very excited about the possibility and look forward to partnering with the company going forward as their management team develops and finalizes their plans for the site.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hickman - Hickman Wedding

One of our Douglass alumni is a proud new in-law.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hickman of Maryville sent us notice of the happy union of their daughter Alane, to Alexander Hickman of Middletown, Ohio on September 10, 2011.

This is the article in the Maryville Daily Times about the wedding. Please click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Click here to see a video of the wedding ceremony.

Donald Hickman is former inspector general for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and is the parlimentarian for the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Executive Board of Directors; and Jan Hickman, regional manager for Continental Airlines, is active in several organizations in the Knoxville community.

Congratulations to the Hickman's!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Douglass Alumni Board Meeting

The working board of Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc. will meet October 15 at 1:00 in the Eastman Board Room at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.

We will be making final plans for our upcoming fund raiser in November. It is important that all active members attend.

Thank you,

Jenny Hankins

Localpalooza: A Local Festival with a 'Lotta-palooza' of Fun!

Local talent... local food... local bands... local flavor.

Visitors to Main Street in downtown Kingsport recently experienced all this at more at the 'local' festival called Localpalooza.

Click here to see pictures from the Localpalooza Festival in downtown Kingsport on September 24th.

Localpalooza is the brainchild of Billy Cody, organizer of the event, who found himself with a lot of time on his hands, but a dedication in his heart.

"I got laid off," he says. "and I had all this time with nothing to do. I had always been thinking that there was a need for a local musical festival to spotlight some of the local bands in this area. Funfest was the only local venue where the smaller, less visible bands could be seen, but Funfest is a once-a-year event. I thought it'd be great if we could showcase them more than time, and the idea for Localpalooza grew out of that."

The festival had a little bit of everything, in addition to the music.

For families, food vendors set up stands, and if it could be fried, spread out, dished up, decorated, whirled around or stuck on a stick, they found it for sale and edible. One of the vendors was the 'food coach' operated by members of the Great Commission Church in Borden Village.

Cody has a specific demographic he wants to reach with the festival.

"I targeted the 30 to 30-something crowd," he says. "We had local bands like Rainroad Angles, Shake Ragg, Wolf Creek and Goldrush in the afternoon, and then Quarter Bounc, Twitch, Sloe Gyn, Tattoo Bruise and Citizen Kane playing in the evening. People got to hear these local folks and they didn't have to wait for Funfest, or try to see them in some of the local bars. It's hard for the 18-to-35 demographic to find a place to enjoy them without a hassle."

Gent to Gentlemen Pageant , Saturday, October 15th

The City of Kingsport Parks and Recreation—Community Centers, New Vision Youth and Taylor Hamilton Insurance, presents:


Saturday, October 15, 2011
7 PM at the Civic Auditorium

Entry Fee $10 per male

Entry fee covers all 10 categories to enter
All proceeds will go to City of Kingsport, Parks and Recreation, Berry’s Pharmacy and KCMC

All Males ages 5-18 yrs of age are welcome to participate

For more information or to pick up an application contact: Johnnie Mae Swaggerty 429-7553, Mary @ Taylor Hamilton Insurance 246-3810, Michelle Turner 817-3293, Chas @ V.O. Dobbins Center 224-2489, and Kristie @ Civic Auditorium 229-9457

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sons & Daughters of Douglass Board Meeting Minutes

September 17, 2011

Members In Attendance: Virginia Hankins, Ruth Russell, Lillian Leeper, Sheila Leeper, Douglas Releford, Andra Watterson, Calvin Sneed, Ozine Bly, Johnnie Mae Swagerty, Wallace Ross, Jr., Joy Hankins, and Vicki Smith.

MEETEING CALLED TO ORDER by Virginia Hankins, President

Prayer by Ruth Russell

Minutes were read by Vicki and Doug made a motion to accept minutes with corrections. Lillian seconded the motion. Minutes were accepted with the following corrections: all correspondence will be mailed to 301 Louis Street, Suite 104 Kingsport, TN 37660 and the bank we’ll change our account to, will be Green County Bank (Green Bank).

Installation of New Officers for 2012-2013 – Andra Watterson asked all newly elected officers to stand and raise their right hand to agree to abide by the bylaws and uphold the offices of the Sons & Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board

Financial Report given by Lillian as follows:

Checking Account Report 7/31/11-9/17/11

Beginning Balance on 8/1/11 $5,670.90 (with the following deductions)

Scholarship Check -$500.00
Church Ad -$50.00
Floral Expense -$40.00
(2) Books of Stamps -$17.60
Silent Auction -$678.35

Balance $4,384.95

Checks that have been sent out but not yet processed are:

2 Scholarship = $1,000
Internet/Phone = $209.64 (2 months)
Scholarship Fund Report 7/31/11-9/17/11
Beginning Balance $3,264.71
Interest Paid $0.34


7/1911 $ 100.00 (donation)
8/15/11 $ 828.35 (donation of $150/silent auction-$678.35)

Balance $4,193.40

Doug made a motion to accept the financial report as a true report and Andra seconded the motion.

Financial report accepted and discussion to use cashier’s checks for the scholarship recipients.


Everyone’s help is needed to keep our mailing list updated. Pam is continually updating the alumni mailing and we need everyone’s help to keep this list current.

Calvin will post a letter regarding alumni dues on the website, e-mail, and Facebook.

Request for alumni to help a student with book fees, who had not applied for a scholarship. Doug made a motion to continue with scholarship committee guidelines and deny the request. Sheila seconded the motion and motion carried.

1 year celebration on completion of the renovation of V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex will be held on Wednesday, September 21, @ 4:00 p.m. in the Douglass room.

Letter was received regarding a tenants meeting in the building to address any concerns.

Suggestion to do online banking and to keep a notebook with all expenses.
File folders and ink for printer are items needed for the office

Letter to be sent to the division of charitable solicitation and gaming on our name change.

We’ll receive a yearly notification from the Chamber every July.

We will continue with Bank of Tennessee until all transactions are completed, and open new account with Green County Bank.

Tax return – Doug will help Jenny with return (short form)

Talked about current operating expenses and Calvin will call David Olterman @ Charter regarding our bundle package.

Fundraising – Calvin explained that grants are not to be used for operating expenses, but grants are available for us. Doug is familiar with the grant-writing process.

Fundraisers suggestions: Fish Fry, Spaghetti, Car Wash, & Pancake Breakfast. Joy made a motion to have a breakfast and Sheila seconded the motion. Motion carried. Pancake breakfast @ Applebee’s on Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Each member will be responsible for a total of 10 tickets @ $5.00 each. Motion made by Vicki to accept this proposal and Calvin seconded. Motion carried. We will purchase a total of 300 tickets. Johnnie Mae volunteered the New Vision Youth as servers for this event as part of their community volunteer services. Publicity will be via flyers, radio, television, newspaper, & churches.

Johnnie Mae updated the alumni regarding the Ebony Club merging and the majority voted not to merge at this time, but continue to work together every reunion year.

Doug made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Calvin seconded the motion. Motion carried and the next meeting to be held Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ 1:00 p.m.


Minutes submitted by: Vicki Smith, Recording Secretary

God's Beautiful Angels


Daughters of the Elks at their Memorial Service at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Kingsport, Sunday, October 9, 2011.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dobyns-Bennett Marching Band "Salute to Heroes" @ the UT-Buffalo Football Game


It was a stirring performance that either raised goose bumps on your arms, or sent tears down your face.

The Dobyns-Bennett band performs its "Salute to Heroes" during halftime at the Tennessee game Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. The performance spotlighted the fight songs from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The tribute was, in a word... wonderful.

Click here to see the D.B. Marching Band "Salute to Heroes, during the half-time show at the UT-Buffalo game. This video from Jeff Fleming.