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Friday, April 30, 2010

Phyllis (Young) Nichols Receives Diversity Award at UT

The University of Tennessee College of Communications and Information (CCI) held its annual Experience Diversity Banquet on April 9th, at the Bearden Banquet Hall in Knoxville, and presented two Diversity Awards.

Keynote speaker and recipient of the 2010 College of Communication and Information Diversity Award was Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League.

Nichols has been involved in the Knoxville Area Urban League since 1994, and has led the organization since 2000. She serves on numerous local boards including Child and Family Tennessee, Leadership Knoxville and the Knoxville Chamber.

"Phyllis Nichols has fought the good fight for civility and human rights," said Alice R. Bowling Wirth, a lecturer in the School of Communication Studies and director of the Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS). "She has made a significant difference in Knoxville by opening doors for so many, helping them get back their dignity and improving their lives. She's been a trailblazer and we were thrilled to have her as our keynote speaker and present her with the 2010 CCI Diversity Award."

The 2009 recipient of the CCI Diversity Award, Theotis Robinson Jr., also attended the banquet to officially receive his award since he was unable to attend last year's banquet. He is UT's vice president for equity and diversity.

Robinson was vice president of economic development for the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. He served on Knoxville City Council from 1970-77—the first African American elected to that office in more than a half century.

Robinson was among the first three black students who enrolled in UT undergraduate courses in 1961. He is a member of the UT Commission for Blacks and a former political opinion columnist whose columns were published in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

He was a charter inductee into the University of Tennessee African American Hall of Fame in 1994. Knoxville’s Metro Pulse newspaper named him one of the 100 most influential Knoxvillians of the 20th century.

The banquet provided an inspirational diversity experience for all attendees. In addition to the keynote speech, the program included creative diversity presentations, music and dancing. The banquet is DSLS’s major fundraiser for the year. "Our main objectives are to open doors for students by giving them the opportunity to network with professionals, to explore career options and to provide a variety of support programs to help diverse students stay in college," Wirth said. The society is also raising funds to begin a scholarship program to encourage students to attend graduate school.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Love that lava


Jackson Elementary School fifth-grader Sierra Jones shows off her Lava Bottles project, based on a lava light. The project is made from soda bottles, food coloring, water, salad oil and Alka-Seltzer. Jones’ display was one of 85 projects entered in the school’s second annual fifth-grade science fair, designed to teach students about the scientific process.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Someone to Laugh With.... And Sometimes, a Shoulder to Lean On."

It's a picnic gathering unlike many gatherings in Kingsport..

Hot dogs and cheeseburgers cooking on the grill.. music blaring from a nearby car stereo.. and the kids jumping on the playground equipment, wrestling with each other as kids do, trying to see how many potato chips they can stuff in their mouths.

This picnic is different.

It's organized and held every once in a while.. by single moms.

The single moms of Riverview.

All told, they say they have three things in common.. kids they love with all their hearts.. fathers who are not 100 per cent in their children's lives... and an occasional need to lean on each other for support.

To see a slideshow of the picnic for the Single Moms of Riverview, please click here.

To see downloadable pictures of the picnic for the Single Moms of Riverview, please click here.

"When I was growing up in Riverview, we always had a way of supporting each other," says Kalena Butts, mother of a little girl, Tamaar. "It was always a positive atmosphere, and the moms were always there for each other. Sometimes, it's somebody to share a laugh with..other times, it's a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, all we got are each other. The good thing about it is, our families understand that sometimes, we need to be around someone our own age to share stuff with."

"One of my best friends has a little boy," she says, "and we help each other out all the time with just about everything..finances, we take turns picking up kids, food. It's just someone to lean on when we get depressed or something. If she needs it, I'm there for her, and she's there for me if I need support."

These picnics are an extention of those friends, magnified many times.

"We have about 7 or 8 single moms in our group," says Anita Harris, who has no children, but lends support to all of the moms whenever possible. "It's good when we can all get together, let the kids play together while we're watching over them, and we can socialize, share our problems, and lift each other up."

"Support is so important when you're single with a child that you love and will do anything to protect."

This gathering at the Dale Street City Park is the 4th time the group has gotten together. The atmosphere is festive, folks passing by, slow down and honk their horns in greetings.. other people stop by, just to share some food, and to help watch the kids. "Today, there's more children than we've seen in a while, says Anita. "There's a few more moms here, a couple of them that are not usually here, but today, they've come out."

The togetherness aspect is not lost on the fact that the same atmosphere was present in Riverview, before the Apartments were torn down.

"Since Riverview died down," Kalena says, "there just hasn't been any place for us."

"The projects were special to us because everybody lived so close together," says Anita. "Special, because we all grew up there, and it was easy for our parents to watch the kids. It was a disappointment to lose the apartments. Now, we don't have no meeting spot anymore. You could go to Riverview and see just about everybody, because they were close by."

"The mama's were there," Kalena remembers, "the grandmama's, the aunts and uncles, everybody. When they torn the homes down, we didn't have a spot anymore to meet and talk. Our spot is gone now."

But optimism for the future remains.

"It will eventually come back around," Anita says, "and when it does, it will be a good thing. Until then, we have to make stuff happen for ourselves, and the picnic today is that. We still have a good time, the fellowship is good, and everybody's there for everybody else. And the kids wear us out."

"If our get-togethers and picnics get bigger, it's probably all right," she says. "we invite any single mother that pulls up to join us. We don't deny anybody any food, in case somebody's child comes. We always buy more food than we need, because it's spur of the moment. Even today, it was a last minute thing. We had just come back from a baby shower and usually we all hang out on my daddy's porch. Somebody suggested, 'let's cook out,' and it was off to the grocery store."

Staying positive is a key factor to the single moms getting through the days.

"I just want my little girl to be around positive things," Kalena says, "so that when she gets older, she'll know how to keep it together with positive things in her life."

It can be difficult for single moms to be positive sometimes. Many of them fight an uphill battle every day. But with this group, there'll always be a friend to share a laugh with..

And a shoulder to lean on.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"The 12 Tribes of Israel" Comes to Life at Bethel AME Zion Church in Kingsport

The story of the 12 tribes of Israel, are all about family. In a way, they mirror the relationships of the families of the Riverview Community, long ago. The 12 Tribes, as related in the 49th chapter of Genesis in the Bible, demonstrate the closeness of family, and how members comfort, console and support each other.

That closeness of family was demonstrated by a wonderful exhibition of "The 12 Tribes of Israel," at the Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church in Kingsport. The event was held Saturday, April 17, 2010, and was organized by church member Dawnella Ellis.

To see a slideshow from the event at Bethel, please click here.

To see downloadable pictures of the event at Bethel, please click here.

The 12 Tribes of Israel represent the 12 sons of Israel, whose former name was Jacob, son of Issac, grandson of Abraham and twin brother of Esau. Those 12 sons were named Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, Manesseh, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.

"The story of the 12 Tribes is a very important passage in the Bible Old Testament," Dawnella says. "We've done it twice now, the first time last year, was in pageant form. There wasn't very much interaction with the audience. This year, we decided to broaden it, to include more songs and testimonials, and direct contact with the audience."

The event was also a fundraiser, in that the 12 men are to contribute 1 dollar, and each tribe was to report 144 dollars.

"I hope the event will become an annual thing," says Dawnella, "once people see how much fun and how the Holy Spirit moves among the people."

That spirit is the inspiration behind the very foundation of modern Israel.

That's the description given to the 12 Tribes of Israel by Reverend Charles Hawkins, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church.

"Of course, we know that the Jewish tradition is a forerunner of the Christian tradition," says Reverend Hawkins, "understanding that Jesus Christ himself was born a Jew. In light of that, Christianity as we know it today came through that."

The Bethel church chose a unique way to introduce the families to the congregation and to each other.

"I will recognize the head of the tribe by calling out his name," Reverend Hawkins said. "I will then read the Holy interpretation of the tribal head, and then he will present his tribe to the faithful of God. They will stand at that point, and march through the aisles of the sanctuary, singing a song that is inspirational to the head of the tribe."

"The tribe will march around with the tribal head, singing with him, encouraging the congregation and the other families to sing along, thus uplifting the Name of God, and how we look forward to having a good time in the Lord."

"Because of the forebearers, Issac and Abraham of the Faith," Reverend Hawkins says, "we continue the tradition of trusting and believing God."

"Sometimes when the people see the truth of the Bible coming to life and the spirit of God moving amongst them," he says, "it does something more to the people than just reading the words themselves or hearing it in a sermon. When they actually see it in motion, people dressed in somewhat period attire, people can see the dignity that our forefathers in the Faith had, and how they believed and trusted."

Because of the family atmosphere, the relevance of Genesis 49 is realized in the presentation.

"After the 12 tribal families have been reunited," Reverend Hawkins says, "we understand through Scripture, how the brothers had treated Joseph, but also how Joseph ultimately ended up in a position to help the entire family. Before Jacob passed away, he blessed all of his sons and the family was reunited."

Reverend Hawkins says, family should never be forsaken in modern times, because the Bible ordains the reuniting of family by the 12 Tribes of Israel.

"So many times, people need to understand that, even though we go through our trials and tribulations, family is family," he says. "It's not just a family in your bloodline, but... the Family of God."

"We need to stick together as children in the Family of God."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pot Luck Lunch at the DKA: Riverview Foods With a "Local Flavor"

It's food that has been around African-American families for generations.

Now, there's a new way to prepare it, to make it healthy.

The "new" food dishes were showcased at a pot luck lunch held at the Downtown Kingsport Association offices on Main Street on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

To see a slideshow of the Pot Luck Lunch at the Downtown Kingsport Association, please click here.

To see downloadable pictures of the Pot Luck Lunch at the Downtown Kingsport Association, please click here.

The recipes are included in a new cookbook spotlighted by Channel 16, the local Charter Cable TV channel in Kingsport in a cooking segment on the "Local Flavor" TV show. Cookbook sales will provide money to bring artists to the various workshops for Kingsport's annual Black History Month celebration.

The cookbook began from an idea born during a cooking workshop featuring traditional African-American foods, during the recent Black History Month at the Renaissance Center, and organizer Stella Robinette says, you'll recognize many of the ingredients that were prepared for the pot luck lunch dishes.

"For this pot luck lunch, we've tried to use familiar foods," she said. "Folks could sample the foods made by others, copy the recipies and make the dishes at home. Folks have told me since the Black History food demonstration, that if they were going to buy a cookbook, they'd rather get it from local people."

The homemade food prepared for the Pot Luck Lunch and the folks who prepared them were:

Kathy Evans - Pea & Bean Salad
Linda Kincaid - No Fail Orange Salad
Gail Evans - Pineapple Dream Pie
Nancy Hart - Cherry Pizza
Shaun Evans - Rotel Cheese Dip
Stella Robinette - Lemon Pound Cake
Victoria Butts - Hot Slaw - Oven-Style Ribs

Local cooking guru Gerry Harrison also provided homemade Brocoli Chicken Casserole.

"It's baked in layers," she said. "It has the cheese sauce on top, chicken in the middle, and the brocoli on the bottom. What makes it really, really good is, it tastes great, but it's also healthy. When you think about using brocoli which you can eat anytime, it's a vegetable that you can eat a lot, and not ever worry about. The sauce has sour cream and mayo, but you use lite, the lite form of the mayo. Go with the fat-free,a nd then the cheese on top and when you put all those together, it makes a very tasty meal, and there's no added salt. You do use a lot of musroom soup, but get the kind that's healthy. I encourage always buying the health brands and be sure and check the labels."

"We were all raised on TV dinners," Stella says, "and kids don't get to get a good homecooked meal too much anymore. By trying different ways of fixing familiar foods, it creates something to talk about at the dinner table. Parents can sit around the dinner table and talk about the new way the chicken was fixed, and that creates other conversation."

"It gets back to basics for the family," she says. "Food is a wonderful comfort zone for people. They relax when they're eating, and they open up more, especially when it's good food.

"You can tell by the dishes today, that we've got some good cooks in this room right now."

"We all love to eat," Gerry says, "and because we're all on this kick of being healthy, when you think about what you're eating, how much you're eating and how it's prepared, it almost gives you an extra appetite: 'let's see if I can make that, can I fix that up?'.. it's O-K to be health conscious, but we love to eat, and there are so many ways to prepare food."

"Put all three of those together, and you've got the recipe to a really good meal."

If you'd like to purchase the cookbook with these and other tempting recipes, contact Stella Robinette at or Doug Releford at

K-12 Art Show Reception Set for Sunday, April 25th

• KINGSPORT — A reception for the Kingsport City Schools K-12 art show will be held at the Downtown Kingsport Association art gallery at 140 Main Street from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25, 2010. Art will be featured from all age groups and all schools. For more information, call 378-2123.

To see a slideshow of the K-12 Students Artwork at the Downtown Kingsport Association, please click here.

To see downloadable pictures of the K-12 Students Artwork at the Downtown Kingsport Association, please click here.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Neighborhood Watch meeting scheduled

• KINGSPORT — South Central Kingsport Weed & Seed will hold a Neighborhood Watch meeting Monday, April 25th at 6:30 p.m. at 1140 Martin L. King Drive. For more information, contact Mary Alexander at 392-2578.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Douglass Alumni Executive/Working Board Meeting Minutes

April 17, 2010

Those in attendance: Sheila Leeper, Linda Bly, Pamela Sensabaugh, Ozine Bly, Virginia Hankins, Andra Watterson, Sandra Wilmer, Lillian Leeper, Douglas Releford, Calvin Sneed, Thelma Watterson, Wallace W. Ross, Jr., Kathy Evans. Quorum met.

Meeting was called to order by President Douglas Releford, prayer by V.P. Lillian Leeper.

Minutes of the last meeting were read. Motion to accept the reading of the last minutes was made by Calvin Sneed, second by Virginia Hankins. Motion carried.

Financial Report was read by Sandra Wilmer, we have $5,382 in the treasury. Motion to accept the financial report was made by Andra Watterson, second by Pamela Sensabaugh. Motion carried.

Old Business:

Virginia Hankins stated that the alumni gave the impression that we were going to put half of the money that we raised with the ads in the scholarship fund. Linda Bly was under the same impression. The association votes to transfer half of the money raised to the scholarship fund and it was voted down. Ozine Bly made a motion that we transfer $1500 to the scholarship fund it was seconded by Lillian Leeper, but he resended his motion and decided on $2000 to be transferred instead. Motion was seconded by Linda Bly. Ozine stated that the reason he low-balled his motion was because we are getting ready to move into our new location and he would like for us to be able to pay our phone and internet for six months or so in advance. Motion carried.

Andra Watterson stated that we need to clean out our storage unit and she needs help in doing so, if you would like to help Andra contact her.

Calvin Sneed said that the only place to put the historical marker is the island on Wheatley Street, the suggestion that Virginia Hankins and Wallace W. Ross, Jr. had made. Calvin also stated that the Douglass Alumni Association of Kingsport's new address will be 301 Louis St, Suite 104, Kingsport, TN 37660.

The City of Kingsport has paid $4000 for a bust of Fredrick Douglass, which will be memorialized in the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. There were several discussions about why Frederick Douglass was chosen. Virginia Hankins made a motion that we move on and accept the gift graciously.

Calvin Sneed gave an update on when we will occupy the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex.. The Douglass Alumni Association should be able to move into its office around July 1, 2010 and by the third week in July, the entire facility will be at full occupancy. Calvin said that the city recommends that the last week in July would be a good time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ribbon-cutting ceremony committee consists of Calvin Sneed, Johnnie Mae Swagerty, Parks & Recreation, The City of Kingsport, Lillian Leeper and Thelma Watterson. That committee is not part of the Douglass Alumni Association.

New Business:

Douglas Releford stated that he closed out the alumni’s P.O. Box, and the mail will be forwarded to our new address.

Douglas Releford had requested that a poll be put on the website for alumni to vote on whether they wanted to change the date of our reunion. After the votes were tallied, 79% of the vote was to leave the reunion where it is, around July 4th. Linda Bly suggested that we put it back on the website and add Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Virginia suggested that since we have already voted to keep it where it has always been, that we hold that date until our next reunion around July 4th next year, and vote on it again. Motion was second by Andra Watterson. Motion carried.

Sandra Wilmer suggested that we plan a cruise. A Cruise Committee was appointed, Linda Bly, Virginia Hankins, Lillian Leeper, Thelma Watterson and Sandra Wilmer. The committee will present details at our next meeting.

Andra Watterson suggested that we need to have a fund raiser for our kids.

There was some discussion concerning Jeffrey Faulkerson. A suggestion was made that we should give him more money for the preparation of our non-profit paperwork to the IRS. After the votes were tallied, it was voted not to give Jeffrey any more money because a total amount was never specified for the work. A letter will be sent to Jeffrey, explaining why we voted not to give him any more money.

Our next meeting will be May 15, 2010, the place is TBA. Motion to adjourn was made by Douglas Releford, seconded by Linda Bly.

Respectfully Submitted,

Recording Secretary, Thelma Watterson

Sunday, April 18, 2010

South Central Kingsport's "2010 Great American Clean-up"

South Central Kingsport residents, take note..

Your neighborhood is a little cleaner today.

Volunteers from the Kingsport community got together to pick up trash littering the streets, alleys and public areas. The event is part of the nationwide "Great American Clean-up" program, with several national sponsors.

To see a slideshow of the neighborhood cleanup, please click here.

To see downloadable pictures, please click here.

Locally, the clean-up efforts were sponsored by Weed and Seed of South Central Kingsport. 25 to 30 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning, to come out and help the community rid itself of the blight of trash and litter.

"We do this twice a year," says Reverend Kenneth Calvert of South Central Weed and Seed. "It's once in the spring and once in the fall. This year, we partnered with the Borden Mills community, becuase they're trying to develop a Weed and Seed program for their neighborhood. This was a good way for them to show how much commitment there is in their community, to qualify for the same type of program that changed the Riverview neighborhood."

This year, clean up crews were spread out from Borden Park, and northwestward back over to Wilcox Drive. The area included up to East Sevier Avenue, and both sides of Lamont Street, then over to Wilcox. Trash included in the pickup included discarded plastic bottles, cigarette wrappers, pieces of cardboard.. just about any kind of trash that people would just throw down along the streets and in the parking areas.

The search for litter also stretched to the Dale, Maple, Oak and East Sevier Avenue, along with Myrtle and Cherry Streets, on either side of East Center Street. Dogs in pens in the alleys made the volunteers unwelcome, but undoubtedly, the folks who threw down the trash and garbage to begin with, felt just as unwelcome.

Previous trash finds have included discarded drug needles, that required great care in their recovery from the ground, and their storage in the trash bags volunteers carried. Even discarded drugs and drug paraphanalia were found strewn along the alleys of South Central. None of those were found in this year's trash pickup.

And then, there was the unused bullet.

Reverend Calvert says, this unspent bullet was found during the trash collection in Riverview. It was discovered in the gravel parking lot of the Fresh Start office on MLK Drive/Lincoln Street.

Despite the find, he says, trash collection along the streets and alleys of South Central Kingsport have actually decreased, since the program began about 10 years ago, and the 5 years that Weed and Seed has been involved.

"Over the years, there seems to be a direct correlation to the amount of trash we pick up and the amount of crime that's being reported," he says. "South Central Kingsport is not totally crime free, but the crime has decreased significantly, and we've noticed, so has the amount of trash."

He points to the fact that the city expected to collect about 7 to 8 tons of trash during this collection drive. The first year of Weed and Seed involvement, volunteers picked up and turned in about 28 tons of trash and garbage from South Central streets and alleys, and that did not include Borden Village.

"We're pleased that the citizens of Riverview and now Borden Village have done a wonderful job of maintaining their property, and keeping their eyes open for lawbreakers," says Rev. Calvert.

Volunteers who collected trash and garbage this year included members of Weed and Seed, civic leaders, representatives from Kingsport Parks and Recreation, the Kingsport Police Department, the Rotary Club, the United Way, the Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport, and residents of the Riverview and Borden Village neighborhoods.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Message from the NAACP President

Dear Calvin,

Yesterday, America lost a hero.

Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks was among the greatest Americans of the 20th century. A crusading lawyer who fought against oppression and a courageous, committed organizer who used communication to move mountains -- Dr. Hooks lifted the Civil Rights movement, breaking down racial barriers.

But above all else, he was a believer -- a believer in righteousness, justice and truth.

I'll never forget being a young organizer, watching Dr. Hooks address the '93 March on Washington. He stood there in front of the Washington Monument in his blue blazer and starched white shirt. In my eyes, Dr. Hooks was Superman. For those of us who came of age in the '70s and '80s, he was the most visible advocate for civil and human rights, the man who dared to push corporate America to opens doors to people who looked like us.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Hooks family in this tragic time. Will you take a moment to share your stories or sympathies with them?

Click here to visit the NAACP website and share your stories or sympathies with the Hooks family.

As we grieve over the loss of this incredible individual, we must remember to be thankful for the legacy he leaves behind and continue to honor Dr. Hooks by fighting with 'truth, justice and righteousness on our side.'

Yesterday, we lost a hero, a patriot and above all a friend. But in Dr. Hooks' passing his legacy remains -- a legacy that will improve the lives of generations to come.


Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun Fest event practices scheduled


• KINGSPORT — Practices for Fun Fest’s “Thriller,” “ABC” and “We are the World” performances will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium April 22 and 29, May 6, 13 and 20, and June 3, 17 and 24. The performances during Fun Fest will be July 16 at the downtown Mardi Gras, July 19 at Rhythm in Riverview at 6 p.m., and July 22 at the Renaissance Center at 10:30 a.m. All youths ages 6 to 17 years old are invited to participate. No audition is required. The event is being sponsored by New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department community services division. For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or Mark Kilgore at 367-2921.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Meth Awareness Program Scheduled

• KINGSPORT — South Central Kingsport Weed and Seed will present “Meth Awareness” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education.

The speaker will be Master Sgt. James Derry, a criminal analyst for the Tennessee National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, Tennessee Meth Task Force. Topics to be discussed include a history of methamphetamine, current meth trends in Tennessee, lab identification, effects of meth on users, and effects of meth on the community. For more information contact Mary H. Alexander at 392-2578.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

V. O. Dobbins Complex Update

The day is rapidly approaching for the reopening of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex in Riverview. There are not as many workers tending to the building as there were 2 or 3 months ago, signaling the winding down of the construction process. We are working to get an exact date from the architect, the construction company and the city right now.

Click here to view a slide show picture update of the renovations, area-by-area, from April 1, 2010.

.Click here to view the downloadable pictures of the renovations, area-by-area, from April 1, 2010.

Some new offices are already occupied in the UETHRA offices.. the last things to be finished, are the Douglass Room, rapidly under renovation right now, the old Douglass-Dobbins Gymnasium, new gym seats in the new Douglass-Dobbins Gymnasium, and the accounting office (where the old Douglass library used to be). Other small detailed work is also being completed.

Construction is also in full force on the Riverview Community Center, outside the gymnasiums on the ballfield side.

We will continue to follow the progress of the building renovation and keep you updated.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Feel the ‘Thriller’


Members of the Kingsport New Vision Youth rehearse for their production of ‘Thriller’ planned for this summer’s Fun Fest. School children between the ages of 6 and 17 who would like to be part of the ‘Thriller’ and ‘We Are the World’ performances during Fun Fest should attend the practice Thursday at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive, beginning at 6 p.m. The performance will be choreographed by Brooke Taylor, and the music director is Angel Pruitt. Johnnie Mae Swagerty will be working with youth ages 6 to 10 on a dance routine to the Jackson 5’s ‘ABC.’ The ‘Thriller’ show will be performed three times during Fun Fest. It is being sponsored by New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department Community Services Division. For more information, contact Swagerty at 429-7553, Taylor at 202-4368 or Mark Kilgore at 224-2489.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 Seniors Easter Egg Hunt Video

The annual Easter Egg Hunt for Seniors was held on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. WCYB-TV, Channel 5 covered the event.

Click the PLAY button to see the story.

The 2010 Seniors Easter Egg Hunt was sponsored by New Vision Youth Kids and the Kingsport Senior Center.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.


Hi Calvin:

The month of April marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are commemorating the life and work of Dr. King by creating a memorial in our nation's capital. The Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial will honor his life and contributions to the world through non-violent social change. I'm reaching out to ask if you and your readers would help spread the word by posting about this wonderful project on News Of Our Douglass Friends And Neighbors.

I've put together this blogger-friendly micro-site to help get the message out - there are videos, photos, banners, and even a web toolbar that, when used, donates money to the creation of the memorial:

Click here to go to the memorial's website.

After years of fund raising, the memorial is now $14 million away from its $120 million goal. This will be more than a monument to a great humanitarian, the National Memorial will be a place for visitors from around the world to share the spirit of love, freedom, and peace. If you are able to post or tweet about this please let me know so I can share it with the team. If you have any questions please pop me an email. And if you are able to help, thank you so much.


Lowell Dempsey,
Twitter @mlkmemorial

Fraudulent Emails

Here's a great example of a wonderful spam filter, provided by Google.

Floyd Perry alerted us to an email he "allegedly" got from Calvin Sneed at today (Monday, 4/5/10).

With a return address of, the message directed the receiver to click on a link, that unknowingly sent them to a Canadian drug site, to buy Cialis and Viagra.

Floyd wanted to know if we had indeed sent the email, which we had not. It was then, I checked the Douglass website mailbox on Google.

There, I found lots of "failure to deliver notices" on emails returned as undeliverable, like this one:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.2.0 1rLR1e00E4L1cqR01rLRCZ Message identified as SPAM

Basically, our name was hijacked and attempts were made to send out fraudulent emails to everybody in our address book. But the reason there were so many email FAILURES, is, there was a bug inside the email to be sent out, that Google recognized as spam, and refused to deliver the message to the recipients (most of you all). Hooray for Google!

But here's how you'll know an email is from your Douglass Alumni Association. In the header line, it ALWAYS says "New Items (Articles, Stories, etc) or News From your Douglass Alumni Association," or "on your Douglass Website." Again, the subject line will ALWAYS say that. If you see anything else, DO NOT OPEN IT.. just delete it.

None of us really knows how computer technology works, but sometimes, it works in our favor, and these buzzards will stop at nothing to take over somebody else's work.
Hopefully, none of you received the fraudulent email. If you did and you recognize it as what we described above, just delete it.

BUT DO NOT MARK IT AS SPAM. If you do, it will consider ANYTHING you get from douglassriverview@gmail as spam (even legitimate emails from me), and your spam blocker won't let the legitimate ones through. Again, just delete it, if it doesn't say "News From Your Douglass Alumni Association" in the header or subject line. Eventually, the spammer will get enough of those "failure to deliver" messages that they will give up, and move on to the next unsuspecting victim.

Thanks, Floyd for tipping us off to this fraud.

‘Spring Break, Spring Fling’ scheduled

• KINGSPORT — “Spring Break, Spring Fling,” sponsored by the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department, South Central Kingsport Weed and Seed, the Sullivan County Health Department and New Vision Youth, will be held for school-age children Wednesday through Friday, April 7, 8 and 9, 2010 (this week) from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium. The program is free, and lunch will be provided. Wednesday’s activities include a hygiene class presented by the Sullivan County Health Department and a self-esteem class presented by Edward and Tish Hayes. Following lunch there will be bingo and games with prizes. Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until noon will be the “Thriller” dance workshop, and following lunch there will be a movie and popcorn. On Friday a tour will be taken of the city jail. Participants should meet at the Civic Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. For more information contact Mark Kilgore at 224-2489, Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or Jeannie Hodges at 246-6809.