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Sunday, July 31, 2011


Dawn Alane Hickman, daughter of G. Donald and Jan Houston-Hickman, of Maryville, and Alexander LeMonte Hickman, son of Ernest and Carolyn Hickman, of Middleton, Ohio, will be married at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2011, at The Clayton Center for the Arts on the campus of Maryville College in Maryville.

Friday, July 29, 2011


The D-B Band will perform its football show this Friday night at J.Fred Johnson at 7:30. If you plan to come, arrive about 7:15 so you can catch them march into the stadium, too!

Boy, they love that Splash Pad......


Kaity Hess gets a surprise at the Riverview Splash Pad in Kingsport Thursday as the water bucket dumps on her head at an unexpected time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back 2 Skool in Kingsport!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Former Riverview Resident Wins Kingsport Monthly Award

A former Riverview resident has brought her love of gardening and beautification to her new home, and that love has now won her a city-wide award.

The front yard of Helen K. Bunting on Hiwassee Avenue has been recognized with a beautification award.

Keep Kingsport Beautiful and Blue Ridge Properties have recognized for July properties throughout Kingsport with beautification awards.

Each year from May to October, Keep Kingsport Beautiful and Blue Ridge Properties recognize properties which “set positive examples for beautification and cleanliness,” dividing the city into territories. Volunteers for each of these areas pick a winning property each month that “exemplifies the following qualities: litter-free, well maintained buildings, well-groomed, and a good example in their neighborhood.”

In addition to Helen's beautification award, this month's residential winners include Christopher Brackett of Kensington Drive; Jerry and Charlene Trail, Birchwood Road; Dr. and Mrs. Tony Seaton, Coventry Wynd; Todd Meade and Zachary Thomas, West Wanola Avenue; and Sam and Marsha Cole, Pineola Avenue.

The redevelopment award was presented to Food City No. 657, Clinchfield Street. Business winner is Bank of Tennessee, North Eastman Road. Winner in the church category is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Ravine.

Be sure and visit Helen's front yard, and congratulate her on winning this wonderful award!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rhythm In Riverview: A Reason to Parrr-tay!

It was a little warm, and the bugs WANTED to bite, but enthusiam beat back the elements as neighborhood residents joined with folks in Kingsport to "dance to the music" at Rhythm in Riverview.

Rhythm in Riverview is an annual concert event of Fun Fest in Kingsport, usually featuring a rockin' soul music theme, staged on the Douglass Ballfield at the V. O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. It is sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, GKAD, South Central Kingsport Community Development, Inc., Nathan Vaughn, State Farm Insurance, WKPT-TV, Dean Guitars, and UnitedHealthCare Community Plan.

Making a return visit was Vic Danger and his Voo-Doo Band from Nashville, playing many soul favorites.

Click here to see a slideshow of Rhythm In Riverview 2011, from Vic Danger's arrival at the Douglass Ballfield, to the food tents, to spot checks of visitors, to Vic's concert.

The fantastic bass guitarist we all grew up with as Victor Simon, held the crowd estimated at around 1,500, captive with songs we all grew up with, even venturing into the crowd with the kids in tow. They followed him around, whooping and yelling and treating him as a rock star, and he even took time to teach them dance moves during a song, that even had their moms and dads rocking.

Click here to see video of Vic dancing and singing with the kids in the crowd!

Here's an extra! Click here to see a video of 3 of our New Vision Youth kids, who learned some dance moves at a workshop event recently. Here's a hint to the song.. "They will survive!"

Click here to see the World's Longest Soul Train Dance Line attempt during Rhythm in Riverview 2011.

Probably the most exciting segment of Danger's concert, was the formation of "The World's Longest Soul Train Dance Line." The popular musical show featuring African-American singers and musicians is celebrating its 40th year, and although no longer on the air, its popularity was proven when Rhythm in Riverview participants gathered to dance down the famous dance list. This was a Guinness Book of World Records-sanctioned event within Danger's concert, and of the 200 dancers required, 208 were counted. The verification process is now on, so that the first record will hopefully have been established at Kingsport, Tennessee on the evening of July 18, 2011.

The heat did keep many folks from trekking down to "Riv-view" early on, but it was the lure of good food that ultimately won over folks that braved the heat. Fish sandwiches were the early favorites, and as the evening got more festive, grilled beef, pork and chicken took over as the food of choice.

This year for your viewing pleasure, are many, many pictures of Rhythm in Riverview, and the little things that make it special. Also, several pictures were taken while flying over the crowds in a "bucket truck" provided by the city of Kingsport's Traffic Engineering Department.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kingsport may have set World’s Longest Soul Train Line Dance


Contact Vince Staten at or via mail in care of this newspaper. Voicemail may be left at 723-1483. His blog can be found at

It’s not easy to get a record in Guinness World Records. If it were, the book would be as thick as the old Sears catalog. It almost is anyway.

But that didn’t stop the crowd at Rhythm in Riverview earlier this week from trying to earn a spot for World’s Longest Soul Train Line Dance.

“Soul Train” was a popular Saturday music show, and the Soul Train Line Dance — a signature dance performed at the beginning of each show — was similar to the Stroll, a popular 1950s teen dance: boys on one side, girls on the other, boy crosses over, takes girl’s hand, and they sashay down the line and drop back in at the other end.

The record was to be set during a performance by Kingsport native Vic Danger. Vic’s wife, Gretta, contacted the Guinness folks, who told her this would be a new category. Since it was the first attempt to set the record, the Guinness folks set a minimum of 200 dancers.

“If we reached that, everybody after us would have to top whatever we started with,” said Calvin Sneed, another of the organizers of the record attempt.

And there was the rub. After the group got their line going Monday night, the designated spotters started counting. “One spotter counted 205 people. From the tape I shot from the bucket truck, I counted 208 people. When I counted again, I got 209. The third time, I got 208 again.”

It’s going to be close.

“Two-hundred people is a whole lot,” said Calvin, “more people than you think when you sit down and count individual heads. And when everybody’s shaking their collective groove things, little kids are running loose breaking into the line like it’s the end of the school year, and everybody listening to just the music and not the line organizers, it’s difficult to keep people focused.”

Calvin said his experience Monday night makes him wonder how they did it on the original “Soul Train.”

“Surely, with all the flying legs, feet getting stepped on, and everybody wanting to be the best dancer, how in the world did the show coordinators keep them on point?”

Now it’s a waiting game, waiting to coordinate the count from their separate video cameras. And that requires physically matching up individual dancers, no matter what their age, by what they were wearing, in all three video clips. And then submitting the paperwork to Guinness.

“It’s like waiting in the dark on Christmas morning for your parents to get up, so you can tear into the presents under the tree. I feel good about our chances, but again, it is going to be way close — too close for comfort.”

Cross your fingers, everyone.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Board Meeting Announcement

There will be a meeting of importance for the Douglass Alumni Association/Ebony Club (Sons and Daughters of Douglass) on Saturday, August 13, 2011.

The meeting will be held at 1 PM in the Eastman room at the V.O. Dobbins Complex

All interested persons are invited to attend.

Virginia Hankins

Rhythm In Riverview: Working on Pictures & the Longest Soul Train Dance Line

Pictures from the Rhythm In Riverview pictures are in the pipeline.. there are well over 300 of them, and they should be marked and ready shortly.

If you missed it, you missed a most wonderful evening. Our own Vic Danger and his Voo Doo Doctors were, once again, show stoppers.. you'll see that in the pictures. As I write this article on one computer, I am uploading pictures into our photo server on another computer, and labeling pictures on still a third computer.

Also, I'm working to verify the exact number of dancers in the "World's Longest Soul Train Dance Line." Because it has to be an exact number for the Guinness Book of World Records folks, the verification process has me looking at 3 separate videos of the event, then matching up everybody in all three videos, and counting them one person at a time. Because it has to be exact, it is a pain-staking, tedious process, because we have to be exact and accurate, plus making sure that the people in the pictures are actually dancing, and not just walking through the line, like a few folks were.

As of this writing, I am waiting on one other piece of video from ground level to go through.

We needed only 200 dancers to set the standard, and right now, we stand at 208. Folks, that is a whole lot of people, even though it doesn't seem like it. Especially if you are counting heads. Please bear with me.

2011 Job Fair, Saturday, August 2, 2011


Monday, July 18, 2011

Guinness Plans for The Longest Soul Train Dance Line Ever...In Riverview Monday, July 18th

Who doesn't remember "Th' SOOOUULLLL Train." Somewhere in our memories, there's the deep, rich, baritone voice of Don Cornelius, beckoning us to get up off your seat, and shake your groove thing coming down the Dance Line (don't forget, boys on the right, girls on the left). That camera stayed right with you until you reached the bottom of the line, then it switched over to the other dance line.

If you remember dancing (and some of us even participating) in the famous dance line during the "Soul Train" dance program, it's coming to Riverview this coming Monday, July 18th around 8:30 PM.

Only.. this time, we stand to get a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Music legend and master bass guitarist Vic Danger is bringing the famous Soul Train Dance Line to his Rhythm In Rivervier concert, hoping to set the world's record for the LONGEST 'SOUL TRAIN' DANCE LINE ever.

"We call it the 'Vic Danger Super Soul Train Line," Danger told us in an interview. "We have the documents from the Guinness people who want us to verify the longest line, get some media coverage of it, and then send it to them to establish the record on Monday the 18th."

The record in Riverview is a guaranteed shoe-in.. there's no way that the record won't be broken, when the Rhythm In Riverview crowd sets it.


Because there is no current record. "The Longest Soul Train Dance Line" has never been done before. Riverview folks will immediately set the record on Monday, once they do it and the documentation sent in.

"Usually, the Guiness people send a representative down to whatever record-breaking event is going on," Danger says. "That representative then makes the official count, or the official verification right there on the spot. This is different, because nobody has ever set this record before.. there's no magic number to go past. If we have 10 dancers or a couple of thousand, we automatically set the record."

The REAL satisfaction, Danger says, will be the mention of Kingsport forever in the Guiness Book of World Records, as being the site of the first time the record was set.

"This type of thing is perfect, for putting Kingsport on the map," he says. "Other cities may come and go surpass us and themselves in the future, but Kingsport will always hold the distinction of where the record began. That can be a moneymaker for the city with tee-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, etc, emblazoned with that historical fact. For that reason, I really just want us to be the first."

"We hope to have people of all races, all cultures, all ages, all backgrounds to come on down to the Douglass Ballfield Monday night around 6 PM so we can rehearse it and get everybody ready by 7 PM. We'll also be warming them up for a really good concert from me and my band," Danger says.

"The Guiness Book of World Records has all kinds of records in it, like the longest kiss, the most people kissing, the longest hot dog, the tallest man, " Danger says, "but nobody has ever done the longest Soul Train dance line. We're looking at several ways to form the line, either, as you said, Calvin, snaking it around the ballfield, or forming it down MLK from the Splash Pad. It depends on what the city lets us do."

Of course, the only way to accomplish the feat, is with people. People with a good sense of humor, people who get excited about having fun, and people who want to be part of history. Pictures of the event, will help document the historical significance.

"It doesn't matter if you can dance or not," says Danger. "If you can dance, that's great.. come on down and do your thing down the line. If you can't dance, just shake what you got and have fun.. that's what it's all about."

"On Monday, July 18th somewhere around 6 or 7 PM, you'll help us make history and put Kingsport on the map."

And it will be an interesting map. One that will recognize the fun we'll all have!

Vic Danger Back Home For Concert

Victor Simon says he was a bit of a daredevil growing up in Kingsport.



“When I was younger, my brothers and I would do everything from bicycle stunts to motorcycle stunts. I crashed so much they started calling me Vic Danger,” Simon said during a recent phone interview from his Nashville home. “Somehow, I didn’t get many broken bones. But I did get a lot of bumps and bruises. That’s what was so funny about it. I always kept getting up and they’d tell me, ‘Wow! That was cool. Can you do it again?’ I’ve crashed lawn mowers, motorcycles, bicycles, you name it. I should’ve had my own ‘Jack Ass’ program.”

It was while a junior high school student at John Sevier that this thrill-seeker found his niche in music. “I was in John Sevier’s band and just moved to the next level in high school,” Simon said.

Simon is a 1971 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School and says in the late 1960s and early 1970s, racial discrimination was still quite prevalent, even in Kingsport.

“I had all kinds of friends, both white and black, but in the general area of living, it was still pretty tough. There was just not really any potential, that I could see, for work or really doing anything that would help me in my adult life. I loved to play music, and I had this gift from God. I thought if I got good enough at it that I could create my own path. You just have to look inside yourself and decide you’re not going to stay down all the time. You’re going to try to do something to better yourself. The Lord built this fire in me and without God, I would not be where I am. He made all of this possible, and I am ever so thankful,” Simon said.

Simon, who uses his childhood nickname –– Vic Danger –– on stage, will make a stop in his hometown tonight for Fun Fest’s Rhythm in Riverview concert.

Vic Danger and the Voo Doo Doctors will perform at 7 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Ball Field, Louis Street. Admission is free.

Simon says the audience can expect to hear a little bit of everything at tonight’s concert — The Temptations, Roger Zapp, Huey Lewis and the News, Cee Lo Green, James Brown and all of today’s latest R&B hits.

“We play for the people. We want them to have a great time. We try to play something for everyone,” he said.

But besides the great music, one of the other highlights of the evening will be the Soul Train dance line, Simon adds.

“We’re going to try to have the longest Soul Train dance line. If we can get the longest one, we can go straight to the ‘Guinness Book of World Records.’ We need a camera, and we’ve got to make it as public as we can. But I think we can do it. I want everybody to come on out and help us set the record,” he said.

Simon, whose music career has now spanned more than 30 years, plays 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 12-string basses as well as upright and acoustic. He has performed with many artists and musicians from throughout the world, including Larry Coryell, Bernard Purdee and The Motown Sounds and has opened for numerous well-known artists, including Olivia Newton John, Iggy Pop, The Beach Boys, and KC and the Sunshine Band .

Simon plays an eclectic style of music, ranging from pop, R&B, country and rock to rave, gospel and funk.

Vic Danger and the Voo Doo Doctors host the R&B/Blues Jam in Nashville and perform at the Boardwalk Cafe on Tuesday nights.

Simon also tours extensively with The Tyrone Smith Revue –– one of the most in-demand dance and show bands in the south. With The Tyrone Smith Revue, Simon has had the opportunity to play at events for some of the most-recognized celebrities in the country. He even played at the inauguration of former President George W. Bush, and at the wedding reception of President Bush’s daughter, Jenna, three years ago.

Simon is also the founder and chairman for the National Alliance Musicians Network, an organization that has started several bands and helped musicians find work. He has also given music lessons at Nashville’s Music School on Music Row as well as private lessons for various artists.

Simon says he wants to be an inspiration to his younger fans.
“I have worked hard and diligently at keeping myself together and have tried to remain well-respected and do things the right way and keep myself out of trouble. I want to show these younger kids that if I can do it, the world is certainly open for them,” he said.

Opening a creative arts center right here in Kingsport is just one way that Simon says he would like to give back to his hometown.

“I can’t do it by myself. But if I had some help and people who would be willing to back me up, I’d love to do this for the young people of Kingsport. We’ve got too many young, creative minds that are just being wasted. They don’t know what to do with themselves. I’d love to offer them opportunities to learn about music, theater, the arts, dancing. I’d love to bring in directors who could talk to them about how movies are made. I’ve met a lot of really generous people through the years who wouldn’t mind coming in to lend their talents, especially to a young mind,” he said.

And although Simon says he is super excited to be coming back to Kingsport to play in Riverview for all of his friends and family tonight, this musician who’s played for presidents and countless celebrities, does admit there’s one item on his bucket list yet to be checked off.

“I’d love to be given the opportunity to play in the stadium (J. Fred Johnson) during Fun Fest. I’d be happy to just be the opening act for someone,” he said.

Rhythm in Riverview is sponsored by Eastman Chemical Co., GKAD, South Central Kingsport Community Development Inc., Nathan Vaughn, State Farm Insurance, WKPT-TV, Dean Guitars and UnitedHealth-Care Community Plan.

For more information on Rhythm in Riverview, visit

For more information on Simon, visit

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Child Has Been Taken From Us, But Heaven Has Gained Another Angel...

Our hearts are saddened today by the passing of one of our Riverview children.

7-year-old Jaleisa Dulaney was tragically taken from us in a car accident in the rain on I-26 on the Meadowview side of Bays Mountain Thursday, July 14, 2011.

"Jai Jai" was very active in the community, as a member of the New Vision Youth. She was a second grader at Jackson Elementary, and she loved to dress nice, and dance with her friends. She also loved going to the Riverview Splash Pad, and visiting her grandmother Mary Beatty, her other grandmother Clara Dulaney, and her great-grandmother Gloria-Dean Beatty, and her favorite great aunt, Patty Ferguson.

For three years, her date and escort to the New Vision Proms has been Michael Bell. Jai Jai and Mike-Mike were inseparable during the dances, and they really enjoyed each other's company. She always made sure to get her picture taken at the prom.

"She always would tell her grandmother Mary Beaty, to make sure to get her dress for the prom," remembers Johnnie Mae Swaggerty, New Vision Youth Director. "She was very active in the program, went on all the field trips, all the camps and had tons of energy and excitement.. she was always asking questions. She was very inquisitive about things, and wasn't afraid to speak up if she didn't understand something. She enjoyed the field trips, and usually you could count on Jai to ask questions. She had a marvelous curiosity"

"She was just a joy to be around."

As we have covered events for the New Vision Youth, your Douglass website editor always noticed that she had a smile. Always smiling.

"That's the one thing I will miss the most," Swagerty says. "She had the nicest smile.. she had a glow about her, that made all the other children want to be near her. And very obedient.. always did what she was told."

"You couldn't ask for a better child to work with."

Funeral arrangements for Jaleisa will be Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 12 Noon, with the receiving of friends beginning at 11 AM. The obituary is posted at the PASSINGS AND OBITUARIES link of your website.

Please keep the families in your prayers.

Kingsport crash kills 7-year-old girl


A 7-year-old girl was killed Thursday after being ejected from a car during a crash on Interstate 26 in Kingsport.

Police report she was not restrained in the vehicle, while two adults and a toddler were transported to the hospital with injuries.

According to Kingsport police, the wreck occurred at 7:25 p.m. at mile marker 2.8 of I-26. An eastbound 1996 Pontiac Sunfire, traveling through light rain and on wet pavement, reportedly lost control and entered the grass median.

Police say the Pontiac rotated and struck a cable barrier then a concrete ditch line, ejecting the 7-year-old backseat passenger through the rear window. The girl received fatal injuries.

The driver of the car is identified as Ronisha Shaneen Dully, 22, of 3412 Statford St.. Kingsport, and the adult passenger as Keyonna Dulaney, 26, of 44 Milam St. Kingsport. They, along with the 22-month-old boy who was in a child seat, were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

An investigation by the Kingsport Police Traffic Unit is continuing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Riverview Throws a Party... For Itself

For several months now, people have brought the party to Riverview.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2011, Riverview returned the favor and brought the party to the people.

This year's Riverview Block Party was a special one. It's the first celebration of the homes at Riverview Place, the new dwellings that replaced the historic Riverview Apartments that came down two years ago.

Click here to see a slideshow of the Riverview Place Community Block Party in Kingsport.

Of course, the children of Riverview had a blast!

There were hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, chips and plenty of covered dishes to go around.

What wasn't available to the kids, they improvised on their own. Tossed footballs became the norm as they made the most of getting together with their friends.. Papa John's Pizza offered pizzas as prizes for whomever could toss a bean bag through the right hole.

And what better way to shed those extra pounds than a line dance.. the kids went ahead and formed one, not waiting for the adults.

Click here for a "thriller" of a line dance video by the Riverview Kids.

Click here to see a video that proves that "Billie Jean is not my lover, she's just a girl who claims that I am the one, but the kid is not my son."

Click here for video of just random jammin'!

Area agencies also stopped by with booths and exhibits, from the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, the Sullivan County Regional Health Department and United Health Care.

Click here to find out about health care coverage and changes to the system that you may not know about yet from Judy Debord of United Health Care.

All in all, a wonderful event celebrating the rebirth of Riverview, rapidly becoming what we have always known it as: a great place to live and raise a family!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kingsport's 4th of July Parade Pictures

Get the popcorn ready, and prepare to kick back!

The pictures from Kingsport's Independence Day Parade are ready for viewing. We got all the floats, and some smiling faces in the crowd, too!

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the 4th of July parade in Kingsport!


Fun Fest Workshop & Musical This Weekend

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Letter from Kingsport's Mayor: Fireworks Need to Fizzle Out


While it was my intent to appoint an impartial committee to study the fireworks issue inside the City of Kingsport, it has become very apparent to me that the revenue derived from the sales does not come close to offsetting the inconvenience of our citizens. This inconvenience is caused by a small percentage of the population that cannot or will not respect their neighbors thus continuing to set off fireworks at all hours of the day and night. This situation is compounded by the close proximity of housing within the city limits. While fireworks are enjoyed by thousands, we in Kingsport do not appear to be willing to exercise reasonable control over what would be reasonable hours to enjoy fireworks within the City.

For this reason, I am asking City Attorney Mike Billingsley to prepare an ordinance to be considered by the BMA on Tuesday, July 19 that would ban the sale and use of fireworks within the city limits of Kingsport. This item will also be discussed at the BMA work session at 4:30pm Monday, July 18 in the Council Room of City Hall. I will be present at 3:30pm in the council room for those citizens wishing to voice their concern and would appreciate your presence as well. We have heard from those in support of the ban to the point we are proposing the ordinance to ban. Please be advised only those against the ordinance to ban fireworks should use this time to address the Board.

As Mayor, it would have been impossible to return every phone call received in opposition to fireworks within the City, however I want to let everyone know that their message was heard loud and clear. I appreciate your patience while we address this situation and realize this is a situation in which everyone will not be in agreement.

Dennis Phillips, Mayor of Kingsport

Monday, July 11, 2011

Riverview Block Party: Celebration of A Community's Rebirth!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I Feel Like Bustin' Loose (Gimme th' bridge, y'all)"


As I was reviewing and cleaning up all the pictures and information from the Douglass-Ebony Club reunions, I ran across this jam I got, down on the Douglass Ballfield late Saturday afternoon, as folks were getting ready for the Ebony Club Block Party.

"Bustin' Loose" is my generation, but the Ebony Club folks jammin' to it, are the next generation.. who says we don't like the same things?


Click here to do some "Bustin' Loose" on the ballfield.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ruckus in Riverview: Police Arrest on Douglass Street

If you noticed a lot of police cars in Riverview on Friday, (July 9, 2011), we know what it was all about: Suspect unfazed by pepper spray during arrest



KINGSPORT — Police have arrested a man after he allegedly made non-emergency 911 calls from the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex in Riverview, then fought responding officers and kicked out a squad car’s window.
A Kingsport Police Department arrest report states the suspect, who was pepper sprayed in the face and had to be put in a choke hold to detain, appeared to “not feel any pain.”
“He was probably, as far as just resisting arrest, the worst I’ve ever seen,” said KPD Officer Seth Brumfield, one of five officers who struggled approximately 20 minutes to place the man in the back of a cruiser.
A Kingsport police report says the incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Dobbins Complex, 301 Louis St., as police were responding to a disturbance.
On Friday, Brumfield added the suspect was within an agency at the center making repeated calls to 911. He reportedly wanted to speak with U.S. marshals and ignored instructions from dispatchers to call the non-emergency number.
Police arrived to find the suspect, Nicholas D. Trout, 23, of 738 Fleetwood Ave., Church Hill, standing outside with a cell phone to his ear. When approaching officers asked to speak with Trout, according to Brumfield, he brushed them off, saying he was on the phone. Police report the phone was later discovered to be stolen from a vehicle at the center.
The arrest report states Trout then took off running toward Douglass Street, ignoring repeated commands to stop. While fleeing he allegedly threw a black case containing a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun and a small baggie of marijuana.
Police report that during the foot chase, which lasted a couple hundred yards, Tasers were deployed, to no avail. When Trout tripped and fell on Douglass Street, officers descended upon him.
Trout allegedly resisted arrest, kicking and screaming that police were trying to kill him. Police say he kept ignoring commands and reaching toward his waistband, as if he was trying to retrieve something, prompting strikes to his abdomen and face. Trout allegedly struck back, grabbing one officer in the face and grasping for another’s groin.
He was eventually pepper sprayed in the face but was reportedly unfazed.
“We continued to wrestle with the subject for several seconds,” reads the police report. “It appeared as if the subject did not feel pain.”
Brumfield was able to grasp Trout in a carotid restraint, or choke hold, until he passed out. He was immediately handcuffed, according to police, then woke up about five seconds later.
Cuffed and surrounded by police, Trout allegedly continued to resist arrest. Brumfield reports it took five officers approximately 20 minutes to successfully place him in the back of a cruiser, as he kept stretching his body out across the seat to prevent officers from closing the doors.
Once the squad car doors were closed, police said Trout began kicking a back window, knocking it out. The report says he was then restrained on a stretcher and transported to the jail by EMS.
Trout is charged with two counts of simple assault on an officer, two counts of resisting arrest, making non-emergency calls to 911, vandalism, theft from a motor vehicle, public intoxication, possession of Schedule VI drugs, and unlawful possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school (the HeadStart Center at Dobbins). He was released from jail Thursday morning after posting bond and has a court date set for Sept. 8.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The 2011 Douglass Alumni Reunion & the Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Reunion: PICTURES

Here's a breakdown of the pictures of the events from the Douglass Alumni Reunion and the Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Reunion.

The combined event was a first for both organizations, with a pledge from both governing boards that from this point forward, future reunions will be held together, coordinated by both groups.


The excitement of the weekend began here, in the Douglass Community Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. This was the first time Douglass Alumni and Ebony Club Alumni had ever mingled together, and there was plenty of hugs while registering each of their members for the Reunions. Everything went rather smoothly (except for a mix-up over the starting times).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass-Ebony Club Reunion Registrations.


Crepe Myrtles, native to China, have flourished well in the United States, notedly in the temperate regions that are south of the Ohio River. Well known for its beautiful blooms, it's valued as a landscaping plant, and now a special crepe myrtle tree is gracing the courtyard of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. Dedicated by the Kingsport Ebony Club at the 2011 Reunion as a living memorial to the history of the club at Dobyns-Bennett High School, club members also launched balloons as a tribute to the former alumni who have passed on in the past two years since the 2009 Reunion.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Alumni's Tree Dedication and Balloon Launch.


There was some high-struttin' at the Riverview Splashpad on Friday afternoon, as models from the community showed off the latest fashions. The concrete sidewalks along the Splashpad adequatedly served as runways, in a scene just as good as what you'd see in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome and London. As folks heard about the fashion show and rushed to see it, it was over, leaving folks hoping that more displays of fashion will provide our folks with a chance at "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Fashion Show at the Splashpad.


Riverview always throws a good party, and the Ebony Club took advantage of the fact that in years past, the Douglass Alumni Association itself has hosted a street party. The roads were blocked off in front of the Douglass Ballfield, and both Ebony Club and Douglass Alumni shared music, food and fellowship with the residents of the new Riverview Place Homes nearby. The Block Party carried on into the night, as the ballfield lights were turned on and folks didn't seem to want the party to end.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the Ebony Club Block Party.


After registration, it's traditional for Douglass Alumni to commune with each other in a sense of togetherness. For a long time, that event was held in one of the small meeting rooms at Meadowview, but this year, it was held in the Douglass Community Room. This venue offered more room to move around and no other events (weddings, meetings, etc) going on. Interesting to note that many Douglass Alumni spent time both at this event and the Ebony Club Block Party, within walking distance down Louis Street.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the Douglass Friday Night Get-Together.


The largest group of golfers ever fielded for a Douglass Reunion golf tournament, Warriors Path State Park was virtually a playground for experienced, and not-so-experienced golfers, whose fees were donated for the benefit of scholarships for the descendants of Douglass Alumni. Ironically, some of them are also children of Ebony Club Alumni, too. Although everybody did reasonably well on the golf course, we did notice "a lot of cussing" among players, all of it good-natured. It's no secret that all the golfers had a great time!

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament.

Winners in the A Group are: G. Mann, 1st place with a 76.. James Cornett, 2nd place with a 78.. Author Dunn, 3rd place with 79.. and Jim Hickman, 4th place with an 82.

Winners in the B Group are: Robert Lytel, 1st place with a 78.. Daniel Jones, 2nd place with a 78.. George Hall, 3rd place with an 80.. and Steve Hanes, 4th place with an 83.

Winners in the C Group are: Scotty Dykes, 1st place with an 85.. Charles Hartsell, 2nd place with an 86.. Rev. Kenneth Calvert, 3rd place with an 86.. and John Young, 4th place with a 91.

Winners in the D Group are: G. J. Hickman, 1st place with a 91.. Ronnie Stover, 2nd place with a 99.. Gary McKesson, 3rd place with a 100.. and Rick Spivey, 4th place with a 104.

All the golfers above were presented trophies.


Borden Park was one of just two off-campus events during the 2011 Reunions. With music, hamburgers, hot dogs and chips among other goodies, it was possible to get full and start nodding off because it was so comfortable sitting in the shade. For the kids, we saw face-painting, basketball and a giant, inflatable for kids to jump around in (and not just the kids enjoyed this one--some of the big kids got in some exercise time, too).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Alumni Family Cookout.


Although Douglass Reunion Field Days in the ballfield always get a crowd relaxing under the tents and sampling food from the vendors, field days also have a tendency to attract people just driving by on Louis Street and Lincoln Street.. many of those folks drive by slowly, seeing who's out, and then parking nearby and coming over to say hello. It's considered the "family reunion" part of the Reunions, because at these things, everybody is related to everybody else.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Reunion Field Day.



The meeting was to elect new officers for the Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc. Executive Board for the . The 2011-2013 officers are: President, Virginia Hankins... Vice-President, Andra Watterson.. Treasurer, Lillian Leeper... Financial Secretary, Ozine Bly... Corresponding Secretary, Pam Sensabaugh... Recording Secretary, Vici Smith... Sergeant-At-Arms, Wallace Ross, Jr... Chaplain, Louetta Hall... along with permament Executive Board Member Van Dobbins, Jr. (food service & hospitality)... and permanent Executive Board Member Calvin Sneed (Public and Media Relations, Website Manager).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Business Meeting.


It's no secret that the Douglass Alumni were happier, not having to dress up for a banquet. Everybody let their hair down, and then got down with the music of "The Jazzmaster." This was also the time when bids were tallied up for the silent auction, and the winners were announced. Newly-elected alumni treasurer Lillian Leeper got a crash course in balancing the books as winning bidder after bidder came forward with their monies, as their names were announced as winners of the donated merchandise.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Saturday Night Get-Together.



The second of two off-campus venues for the 2011 Reunion, Rascals became a popular haven for the Ebony Club Alumni two years ago, and this time around, even many of the Douglass Alumni stopped by to once again, hear the humor of our own Xavier "Tim" Hall. The band also had many people dancing the night away. The fact that everybody was dressed in white, lent an air of elegance to the festivities.

Click here to see the video of Xavier "Tim" Hall showing out at Rascals

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club All-White Party at Rascals.


Always a solemn occasion, the 2011 memorial service featured the traditional reading of names of the Douglass alumni who have passed on since the last reunion, symbolized with the lighting of a single candle in their memory. Guest speaker Rev. Helen Horton Styles reminded the group of the togetherness that bound Douglass alumni with the Riverview Community, and the humble beginnings where we all came from, dictate how we should represent ourselves in life. It was also a joyous reunion for former Douglass Tigerettes when former women's basketball player Johnnie Mae Nash stopped by. Some of her fellow Tigerettes spent quality time talking old times and experiences. Johnnie Mae has had health problems are just recently moved back to the Tri-Cities area from Michigan.

Click here to see some of the former Douglass Tigerettes singing their fight song.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass-Ebony Club Alumni Memorial Service.

At the gathering, the 2011 Douglass Scholarship winners were announced. They are: Brenton T. Leeper, son of Tonya Leeper and his 'nanna' Shelia Leeper, who receives a $500 scholarship. He is attending Brevard College in North Carolina. His major is undecided, but he says, he's leaning towards studying psychology. Also awarded a $500 scholarship is Briasha D. Russell, daughter of Dion Russell and the granddaughter of Monique Henry will be majoring in exercise science at Carson-Newman College.
And D-B football standout Chris Sensabaugh is also the recipient of a $500 scholarship. Chris is the son of Pam and Brandon Sensabaugh and he plans to major in health science.

Also held this year, was the Ebony Club Alumni Association's business meeting at the Golden Corral, where the pursuit of a united reunion with the Douglass Alumni in two years, was discussed in a very positive direction.

BTW.. Donna Sensabaugh Morrisette was out taking pictures of the Reunions, too. Click here to see the pictures that Donna took on Reunion weekend.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: On a personal note, everybody had a good time at the reunions.. even your Douglass website manager capturing the events on camera for your enjoyment. I was glad to see everybody, and as you can see, somebody pegged me at either the Douglass get-together or the All-White party Saturday night, and left a calling card of lipstick on my cheek. I must have worn it for a couple of hours before it was noticed. I don't know who the culprit is.. I kissed so many women that Saturday night LOL!).

Start getting ready for Reunion 2013. It's going to be a beaut!

Lost Hope? Kingsport in Danger of Closing Soup Kitchen

Donations to help the facility can be sent to: Kitchen of Hope, c/o Full Gospel Mission Church; 740 E. Sevier Ave.; Kingsport, Tenn. 37660.



Pictures by ERICA YOON

Below, Sherry Harris hugs the Rev. Geraldine Swagerty after eating at the Kitchen of Hope on Thursday afternoon. Swagerty founded the kitchen and has been operating it in the basement of Full Gospel Mission Church on Sevier Avenue since 1999.

KINGSPORT — A soup kitchen that has helped feed the needy in downtown Kingsport for more than a decade is in danger of being shut down due to insurance company code requirements.

Kitchen of Hope founder and operator Geraldine Swagerty said Thursday that an insurance company providing a policy for the group is requiring the facility’s kitchen to be outfitted with a new venting hood exhaust system in cooking areas or face a recommended shutdown.

Jerry Ford and Jim Belgeri of Cassidy United Methodist Church stir food on the stove at the Kitchen of Hope on Thursday.

“This might be a mountain I can’t face,” said Swagerty, who founded the kitchen in the basement of her Full Gospel Mission Church on Sevier Avenue in 1999.

“We’ve barely been surviving, and I’ve been hummin’ and bummin’ for that,” Swagerty said. “We’ve probably got $700 in the treasury right now, and the estimates that I have gotten for the vents and the system have been at least $6,000, and that’s the cheapest.”

Single mother Sherry Harris and her son Tyler, 8, eat at the Kitchen of Hope on Thursday, center. They eat at the kitchen every day and have been since 2005.

Swagerty’s outreach program to feed those less fortunate has been driven by the donations of supporters and other Kingsport churches over the years.

Even local businesses have donated their time and services to Swagerty, at reduced or no cost, just as a way to say “thank you” to a service that serves thousands, especially in the winter months.

“People make it on less, but we help them get a meal when things are a little bit lean. No doubt we would not be here unless we had people who do plumbing, construction work or just want to dish out meals and want to help us out,” Swagerty said.

Phyllis Ford of Cassidy United Methodist serves food at the kitchen.

Providing a facility that helps anyone who comes in off the street has put Swagerty’s dedication to the verse “turn the other cheek” to the test.

“Salt shakers, toilet paper, they will take anything sometimes. You don’t know if that is a legitimate need or just meanness, but we have survived worse,” she said.

Swagerty continues to be hampered by health problems that have taken her out of the kitchen full time, and along with medical bills and paying off loans for improvements made to bring the kitchen up to code years ago, another personal financial investment is not feasible.

“Just too much piling up right now. I just cannot take on any more debt right now, but I don’t want to see this kitchen go away. We just hope that folks can help us out again,” she said.

Donations to help the facility can be sent to: Kitchen of Hope, c/o Full Gospel Mission Church; 740 E. Sevier Ave.; Kingsport, Tenn. 37660.