Total Pageviews

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You Can Help Get Affordable Housing to Folks Who Need It


I have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help with launching an initiative called Legally Occupy, which is intended to facilitate the development of vacant and abandoned properties into affordable housing. I am also working with a programmer to develop an app called "Hidden Value in Abandoned Buildings" that points out amenities such as transit stations, schools, banks etc. located within a half mile radius of a given abandoned property.

You can read more about the program here.

Please feel free to contact me with questions concerning the initiative or the app, and spread the word to your colleagues to help generate buzz! Thanks for any help!

Please note that I am NOT soliciting donations from you. I am only trying to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Audrey Faye Henderson

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

D-B senior commits to Franklin’s ’Dores after hectic weekend

Crazy days’ net Tribe’s Foreman offer from Vandy



KINGSPORT — Talk about a whirlwind weekend.

Not two days after conducting one of the greatest comebacks in Big 8 Conference football history, Malik Foreman was committing his future — football and career — to Vanderbilt University.

Weekends like that don’t come around often. If at all.

“It feels good. Really good,” Foreman said via phone Monday night. “There was the crazy Science Hill game and then I came down to Vanderbilt on Sunday. What a crazy couple of days.”

It all started Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium, where a Vanderbilt scout watched the senior polymath amass 300 yards of offense — 254 yards rushing, another 55 passing — in the Indians’ stunning 37-34 comeback victory.

How impressed was the scout? So much so that he rang Vandy coach James Franklin immediately following the game and suggested the school get Foreman onto campus as soon as possible.

Thus began an impromptu visit to Nashville where, a few hours after the Commodores’ 49-7 dismantling of Massachusetts on Saturday, Foreman received a formal scholarship offer from Franklin.

Vanderbilt is signing the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Foreman as a wide receiver.

Kentucky extended an offer to Foreman as a receiver as well. Middle Tennessee State, Wofford and UT-Chattanooga also were keen. The likes of North Carolina and Penn State showed interest in Foreman as a defensive back.

But it was Vanderbilt that stole the senior speed demon’s attention from the start.

“I really like Coach Franklin and the coaching staff,” he said. “They treat you like family. I really like where the program is headed, too. I really feel like Vanderbilt will be a national championship contender very soon.”

Plus, the university’s academic standing is second to none.

“You cannot get a better education than what you get at Vanderbilt,” Foreman said. “Football after college isn’t promised, and you have to have a backup play.

“You get a degree from Vanderbilt and you’re set for life if you apply yourself — and I will most definitely. School has always been my No. 1 priority.”

Foreman becomes the Commodores’ 21st commitment for the Class of 2013, and the program’s fifth instate commitment.

Through 10 games this season, all wins, Foreman has combined for 1,626 yards of offense. He has carried 54 times for 936 yards (an average 17 yards per rush) and 16 touchdowns, has 14 receptions for 278 yards and is 21-of-31 passing for 412 yards.

As a kick and punt returner — something he said he would like to pursue at the collegiate level — Foreman is averaging 52.5 yards per return with three combined touchdowns.

“This is a great fit, absolutely,” D-B coach Graham Clark said. “Malik’s a great young man and a great student. He’s going down to Vanderbilt, a program on the rise, and will be great for them.

“Plus, he’ll get to listen to B.B. King at least one night a week.”

Foreman plans to make an official visit to campus in January before signing with Vanderbilt on Feb. 6 — National Signing Day.

The focus for Foreman, at least in the immediate, now returns to the field. D-B hosts Bearden on Friday night in the first round of the TSSAA Class 6A playoffs.

“The whole process was pretty nerve-racking, but I’m glad to put it behind me,” Foreman said. “I never lost focus, but this is a big weight off my shoulders.

“Now we can focus on getting a state championship.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fire in the Whole: Shiloh Rebounding after Storage Blaze

"We are thankful that it was not as bad as it could have been."

Pastor Kenneth Calvert pauses to remember the feelings that Shiloh Baptist parishioners felt, when a fire burned one of the church's storage buildings.

According to the Kingsport Fire Department, someone apparently lit a fire behind the building along a fence row, that eventually got up through the floowing and ignited materials inside the building. Walls kept the fire inside the dwelling from spreading, but high winds fanned the flames that consumed much of the building contents.

"It was our food shelter," Pastor Calvert says. "We kept a lot of food items inside, and then decorations that we use all year long. We also had tents that we use at our outdoor activities, back-to-school events.. events both inside and outside the church."

Many canned goods that helped feed the community were also lost in the fire.

"Canned items we cook at Thanksgiving and other holidays," says Pastor Calvert. "We also had the Interfaith Hospitality Network, with a lot of toothpaste, sheets and pillows. The sheets we can probably use again with several good washings, but not the pillows. Books and items that needed storage.. that building kept them from the elements."

"It could have been a lot worse."

Pastor Calvert credits the fire department with a quick response.

"They really did a good job of containing the blaze, despite the windy conditions," he says. "Once we go through and do an inventory, we'll have an idea of what needs to be replaced, and we're confident that we'll be able to do that."

"We know that it was all just material things," says Pastor Calvert. "We teach and believe that God gives and receives.. and it's just one of those stepping stones where we clean up, keep going and press forward. Our faith in God never diminishes.. he allows us to reach just a little deeper, to do a lot more."

"We thank the community for their prayers."

Lamplighter Theater's Mortality Room: New Vision Kids Become Actors

It's the Mortality Room, and it's a place nobody wants to enter.

Unless you need to have your soul saved.

The Halloween play at Kingsport's Lamplighter Theater, has many area teenagers, including the New Vision Youth, thinking about their futures and which paths to follow. Some of the kids are even in the production.

"Some people take Halloween as the dark side," says Billy Wayne Arrington, founder and president of Vision Productions, Inc. and Billy Wayne ministries, who produces the play at the Lamplight Theater in Fall Branch, TN. "We use that fear to say there is a positive message, based on hope, inspiration and faith in God. The enemy, Satan is out to destroy, but at the same time, we show how God can have a greatness and hope in the midst of that darkness."

The story is so inspirational, that the chance to act in it, was too tempting for even the New Vision Youth director.

"I love acting in the play," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, who strained her voice so badly during the scenes that required her to scream at her stage daughter. "It is a joyous thing for the New Vision kids. This is our second year acting and helping in the production of the plays at Lamplight Theater, and I can tell you, Kadeshia, Jevantes, Michael and Tammy just love it. We've just having a good time."

The story brings terror and exposes some light on the history of "All Hallows Eve," which is steeped in pagan customs. Tattie Bogal, an evil scarecrow will introduce you to Samhain, the "Demon of the Dead", also a host of Demon Scarecrows, and of course, Muck Olla, the "Boogey Man – Reaper of Souls).

When you step into the Halloween expose, Tattie Bogal will entice you to enter her twisted world. If you aren’t careful, "Muck Olla" will deceive you into believing his lies as he unleashes his plethora of demonic spirits. When this hellish troupe comes to town, several teenagers are hoodwinked by the power of the "Boogey Man" who is out to reap their souls. Some victims fall prey to his traps. Little do they know the eternal impact that this encounter will have on their mortal lives. Their destiny in the “after-life” hangs in the balance as choices are made under the influence of principalities and dark forces.

"The play deals with things like K-2, drugs, to cutting, suicide and depression that teenagers face and the hearts that break every day," says Wayne. "During the play, a lot of healing takes place, and the teenagers are shown an alternative to the dark side. We try to show the positive messages that are available, through real-life experiences that involve ordinary, everyday people."

Billy Wayne Ministries works with many at-risk youth and families, and Arrington says, the message of hope is easy to convey through music, the theater and the visual arts. 90% of the plays, he writes himself from real-life situations he sees every day and the names "are changed to protect the innocent."

"What looks like entertainment, contains inspiration," he says. "Sometimes, the kids don't even realize they're being messaged."

Arrington says, the New Vision Kids already have positive attitudes, and he says he feeds off that, to get others to follow the right paths.

"They're real role models, that help influence others who have lost their way," he says, "and that's why they fit in well with all of our activities."

"We've gotten to work with the New Vision kids, and we love them so much," says Arrington. "They've been to our camps for junior and senior high students. We show them that you can never use your circumstances as excuses to not rising to be the person that God has intended for you to be. The play is rated PG-13, and the younger New Vision kids can't be used on stage, so we put them in the production backstage.. they contribute well there. Miss Johnnie Mae is just incredible.. she'll get those kids out here to the theater, make sure they're there for rehearsals, and makes sacrifices so they can participate. Afterwards, we pray together, we fellowship together, we make sure they do their homework before they come out, and hold them accountable. We've never had a problem with that."

All of the actors in the play, put their full energy into the performance. Even one actress who does a lot of screaming.

"I just get into it," Swagerty says. "I don't have to pump myself up much. When I get mad at my boys (at home), they get to hear it anyway, so sometimes it's pretty easy. I do have a temper. But we're having such a time with the production and the message is so powerful, that we turn it into fun, too."

"It's part of the New Vision Youth giving back to the community, and we want everybody to come out and see us."


Due to its true-to-life situations and scary images, this show is rated PG-13. Performances will be October 26th through the 31st. There will be two shows nightly at 6:30 PM & 9 PM. The show’s seating is general admission with a suggested donation of $6. No reservations are necessary, however they are recommended in order to guarantee times and seating.

For Reservations and information please contact the LampLight box office at (423) 348-7610, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or click here for the Lamplighter Theater website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heart Walk & Heart Fair in the Community

• KINGSPORT — A heart walk sponsored by the Bethel AME Zion Church Missionary Society will be held Saturday at George Washington School Apartments on East Sevier Avenue from 9 to 11 a.m. It will be followed by a health fair to be held beginning at noon at the church, 812 Maple Oak St.

The fair will feature health professionals and provide advice on preventative care. During the health fair, salads, fruits and drinks will be served.

The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Anti-drug march scheduled for Thursday

• KINGSPORT — A “Red Ribbon” anti-drug march will be held Thursday beginning at 4:15 p.m. in front of the V.O. Dobbins Center in Kingsport. The march is being sponsored by New Vision Youth, Riverview Residents Association, Riverview Boys and Girls Club, and South Central of Kingsport.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Time Change for Douglass Board Meeting on Saturday, October 27th


There is a lot going on Saturday morning at different places so I am moving the Douglass Alumni Board meeting time to 2:00 p.m. in the Eastman Conference Room at V.O. Dobbins.

Please everyone, try your best to make it at that time and pass the word on.

Thanks for your patience,

Virginia Jenny Hankins

"A Tribute to Victor Simon" Thursday, October 25th in Kingsport


Kingsport native Victor Simon formed with artists and musicians from the globe during a music career that more than 30 years.

But his wife, Gretta Maxwell Simon, says it was the performances in his hometown that always meant the most to him.

“He loved coming to Kingsport. He loved doing the Fun Fest events,” said Gretta. “It was always like a homecoming of sorts for him.”

Victor, who used his childhood nickname — Vic Danger — on stage, lost his battle to leukemia in August. He was 59.

Victor had performed twice at Fun Fest’s Rhythm in Riverview — the first time in 2008 and then again in 2011.

Gretta, who is also from Kingsport, said her late husband had a lot of friends in and around the Kingsport area who were unable to attend his funeral services, which were held near Nashville, where the Simons had lived for several years.

“Some of them wanted to do a tribute to Vic to honor him in his hometown. He had played with several local musicians, and they just wanted to be able to show their love and appreciation to Victor and his talent,” Gretta said.

The Music at the Market Series will conclude its 2012 season on Thursday with a tribute to “Vic Danger” at the Kingsport Farmers Market. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with memorial tributes and reflections of “Vic Danger.” And at 7 p.m., the Tyrone Smith Revue — one of the most in-demand dance and show bands in the South — will take the stage. Victor toured extensively with the band for a number of years.

With the Tyrone Smith Revue, Victor 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, four years ago. Victor played 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 12-string basses as well as upright and acoustic. He performed with many artists and musicians from throughout the world, including Larry Coryell, Bernard Purdie 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. He played an eclectic style of music ranging from pop, R&B, country and rock to rave, gospel and funk.

Gretta said throughout her husband’s illness and treatments, they both remained optimistic that he would pull through.

“Our thoughts and beliefs and goals were to recover and come through this. During that time, we began to look into learning more about leukemia. It brought such an awareness to us, and it became one of Victor’s goals to share that awareness with others. We wanted to help with fund-raisers and Be the Match (the National Marrow Donor Program),” said Gretta. “It was shared with us by the hospitals and the doctors that, with leukemia, you often have to have a bone marrow transplant to have a cure. And statistics show, unfortunately, there is a very low percentage for African Americans to find a matching donor. We wanted to do our part to help bring awareness to the importance of donors.”

Victor also loved working with children and had previously told the Times-News in a 2011 interview, just prior to his final Fun Fest concert, that he had hoped to one day open a creative arts center in Kingsport for the area’s youth.

Without Victor by her side, Gretta hopes to figure out a way to carry on his legacy.

“I want to try to help bring all of his dreams to fruition,” she said.

Since losing her husband of 32 years just two months ago, Gretta says her grief has been intense, but the outpouring of love and support she has received has helped to lessen the pain.

“What Kingsport is doing for Vic means so much to me. It helps my grief. We’d just been together for so long. We both went to D-B High School. It was love at first sight. He was the love of my life. I wish he was here with us to see what everyone’s doing in his honor. I know God has his reasons, and I’m learning to trust that and understand it more each day.”

For more information on Thursday’s concert visit http:// html or call Johnnie Mae Swaggerty at 429-7553.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gents to Gentlemen pageant is Saturday

• KINGSPORT — Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services, New Vision Youth and Taylor-Hamilton Insurance Agency will present the Gents to Gentlemen Male Pageant Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older, and $3 for ages 12 and younger.

Presenting the awards will be Miss Kingsport Jacquelyn Richmond and Alexis Arnold, a model for HOPS Modeling in Atlanta.

Proceeds will benefit the Kingsport Senior Citizens, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Lamplight Theater.

In addition to the many competition categories will a Prettiest Male Legs category from the male audience members.

For more information call 429-7553 or 246-3817

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Leeper advises well-wishers: ‘Show the world anything is possible’




KINGSPORT — When Blake Leeper was born without legs from the knees down because of a congenital birth defect, doctors told his parents he would never walk, much less run.

Leeper has proved those predictions wrong over and over again, walking with the help of prosthetic legs, playing baseball and basketball at Dobyns-Bennett High School. After graduating from D-B in 2007, Leeper attended the University of Tennessee.

After three and a half years into a five-year program there, he left for California, transferring to San Diego State University to continue his quest for a degree in applied physics.

But the transfer was to work toward his dream of competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Although he never competed in track and field at D-B, in London earlier this year he earned the silver medal in the 400-meter dash, setting a U.S. record of 50.14 seconds. He took home a bronze medal in the 200-meter competition with a time of 22.46 seconds. He has plans for a gold medal in 2016.

“I’m not supposed to be able to walk. I’m not supposed to be able to run for my country,” Leeper said.

“They told my father I would never play sports,” Leeper said. “They said I would be bound to a wheelchair my whole life.”

Before a crowd of supporters, friends and family in the athletic field of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. complex Saturday — which Mayor Dennis Phillips and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen proclaimed Blake Leeper Day in Kingsport — Leeper said his next dream is to compete in the regular 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"Welcome Home Blake" Slideshow

Created with flickr slideshow.

“I can do anything through Christ Jesus,” Leeper said. “Life is 10 percent what you deal with and 90 percent how you deal with it.”

Dr. Scott Fowler, president and chief executive officer of Holston Medical Group, was one of a group of people presenting Leeper awards and accolades Saturday.

“You’ve seen his smile. In fact, you’ve seen his winning smile,” Fowler said. “You know Blake Leeper is a winner.”

But Fowler said the runner also is a hero, as are his parents, Edith and Bill Leeper of Church Hill, for helping instill an extraordinary can-do attitude in Leeper, one of two sons. His mother works as a nurse at HMG, while his father works at Eastman Chemical Company.

“Blake is a prime example of what family life is all about,” Phillips said.

“He has got to be one of the most impressive young men I’ve met in my life,” Phillips said, adding with a grin, “You know, if I ever campaign again, I want you to go with me.”

After more presentations from representatives of state Rep. Tony Shipley, D-B and Help Our Potential Evolve (HOPE), Leeper spoke and then shook hands and had photographs made with a seemingly endless group of children, adults, relatives and other well-wishers.

“This is my baby. He will always be Blakey,” said his grandmother, Lillian Leeper, as the two mugged for a photograph between television cameras.

During his talk and later media interviews, he said community support from the greater Kingsport area is why he is proud to say he is from Kingsport, even though training six days a week in California means he has had to miss weddings, birthdays and hospital visits for friends and family.

“You guys are the reason I stand here proud to say I’m from Kingsport,” Leeper told the crowd.

His father said he, a Surgoinsville High School graduate, and his wife, who grew up in Greeneville, visit their son about twice a year in California plus meet him at track competitions when they can.

He also told reporters that during competitions he sometimes thinks back to the time he was laughed at, pointed at and made fun of because he chose to be an athlete despite his disability.

“Find an ability in your disability,” Leeper said. He also said after his athletic career is over, he would like to use his degree in helping design prosthetics.

His father said Blake will be outfitted with new and improved legs for his 2016 Olympic aspirations.

Asked for advice to youth and people in general, he urged people to be active and go for their dreams since if you shoot for the stars and don’t make it “you land in the clouds.”

“Get active. Seize the day,” Leeper said. “Show the world anything is possible.”

Partners in the "Welcome Home Blake Kingsport Olympic Day" were the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, City of Kingsport, DJ Express, Dobyns-Bennett High School, Eastman Chemical Company, Elixir Group, Holston Medical Group, H.O.P.E-Help Our Potential Evolve, Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Riverview Residents Association, and the Fort Henry Drive Wal-Mart.

Sponsors of the event were CASA, Carew Cuts, Chef's Pizza, Girls Inc, Henry's Downtown Grill, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kingsport Cultural Arts, Kingsport Times-News, KMG Graphix, Leaping Lizards, Mark Freeman Associates Inc, VIP SEEN, and WKPT Radio and TV.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Golf Anyone? Douglass Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing Raises Funds for Scholarships

The Douglass Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing appears to have been a huge success.

More than 30 golfers came out on a beautiful fall morning (October 6, 2012), and took to the links at Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport, to raise money for the Douglass High School Alumni scholarship fund. The scholarships benefit descendants of the former Douglass High School of Kingsport, the largest African-American high school in the region, when it closed in 1966.


Created with flickr slideshow.

"The weather was gorgeous," says Frank Horton, one of the organizers of the event. "God was on our side today. Everybody out on the golf course loved the weather. Golfers don't even care if it rains.. they're gonna play no matter what. The fact that they were playing to fund scholarships and they were helping support that, made the whole event worthwhile."

Usually, the scholarship golf outing is held during the alumni reunion every two years, but the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association decided to hold one in the off years as well.

"This outing was very successful, if for no other reason we've never had a golf outing during an off year," Horton says. "We're very proud of our accomplishment this year, and we're very grateful that golfers came out and donated to a very worthy cause."

It seems the golfers had a good time during the fund-raising.

"Warriors Path is a great golf course," says golfer Raymond Bowers of Rogersville. "It's manicured good, and they keep it up. It's reasonable on the wallet, too. A lot of golf courses are expensive, and this one is reasonable."

"Warriors Path State park is one of the players' favorite golf courses," Horton says. "They're supportive in everything we want to do from a fundraising point of view. Everyone has their needs met on the course, and the golf course folks are just outstanding. They work with us in helping meet our goals of raising money."

"Our goal is to make the tournament bigger and better next year," he says. "I would like to see us have at least 100-plus golfers next year at the reunion. That's a lot of work, but it is attainable if everybody puts in the effort. It's just a metter of telling people what your cause is about."

"We think the Sons and Daughters of Douglass scholarship fund is worth it. It's an investment back into our community."


Individual awards were also given at the conclusion of the golf tournament.


Created with flickr slideshow.


Jack Jeter (4)
Phil Rogers (7)
Jim Hickman (11)
Arthur Dunn (14)


Sequn Embry (1)
Buddy Kincaid (17)

Bill Joyner
James Whiteside

Eastman Team
Sequn Embry
John Shaw
John Smith
Charles Chapman

Jim Hickman
Don Hickman
Charles Stover
Raymond Bowers

4th TEAM:
Stan Rogers
Phil Rogers
Buddy Kincaid
Arthur Dunn


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hometown hero headed back to Kingsport for Blake Leeper Olympic Game Day


Xavier Hall, a junior at Sullivan North High School, has met Blake Leeper before. But he’s excited for the chance to talk to Leeper about London — where Leeper won two medals during the 2012 Paralympic Games and where Hall will visit this summer as part of a tour of Europe.

Leeper, a 2007 Dobyns-Bennett High School graduate now living in Chula Vista, Calif., will participate in Blake Leeper Kingsport Olympic Game Day, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex field, 301 Louis St. in the Riverview community.

Co-hosts of the event are Holston Medical Group and HOPE (Help Our Potential Evolve) Youth Leadership.

Hall, 16, served as emcee for an event hosted by HOPE last December honoring Leeper and spent time with the 23-year-old athlete. Now he’s anxious to ask Leeper for recommendations of what to see in London.

“I’m excited to ask him how it was,” Hall said. “I’ll be going this summer to Rome, London, Paris and Florence. I want to get tips on where to go.”

In London, Leeper earned a silver medal in the 400-meter dash, setting a U.S. record with a time of 50.14 seconds. He took home a bronze medal in the 200-meter competition with a time of 22.46 seconds.

Leeper was born without legs from the knees down but played baseball and basketball in high school. He was in his fourth year of a five-year program in applied physics at the University of Tennessee when he got the opportunity to move to California and train for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Blake Leeper Kingsport Olympic Game Day will begin at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony. Presentations will be made by Holston Medical Group, the city of Kingsport, the Dobyns-Bennett High School basketball team, and HOPE Youth Leadership. At 10:45 a.m., Leeper will speak.

Children’s Olympic games will start at 11 a.m., and a closing ceremony is set for 1 p.m.

All kids should sign up at the information tent to get a ticket for door prize drawings.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We want him to see how many people followed him, love him, supported him,” explained HOPE founder Stella Robinette. “I know he’s seen the love on Facebook ... but those who aren’t on Facebook, I want him to see how much his hometown really, really loves him.”

Leeper will return to Kingsport in December for another HOPE program, Robinette said. That event will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Renaissance Center.

HOPE helps young leaders, ages 14 to 18, develop lifelong skills in their future careers and promotes community service and outreach skills.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saluting Excellence: AKA Celebrates Honorees with Food

It was the chance to sample some good food and celebrate folks in the community at the same time.

The Pi Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. used the occasion of its Salute to Excellence Banquet to also award its annual scholarship to a deserving student.

The event was held in the Douglass Community Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex on Saturday, September 29, 2012.

Created with flickr slideshow.

"This is the annual fundraiser for our scholarship," says Chapter Treasurer Mary Jordan. "Every year, we give a student a scholarship, and the banquet is our opportunity to raise funds for that, and also to honor folks in the community, folks that have contributed to the community, folks who have worked with us."

"It's been our tradition to celebrate Women of Excellence," she says, "but this year, we wanted to expand that because we indeed had men in the community that we wanted to honor as well. This year, we are honoring 'Persons of Excellence.' We combined both the scholarship fundraiser and our Celebration of Excellence."

Before the ceremony announcing the honorees, patrons got to enjoy traditional meals in the spirit of the four seasons in the African-American community. Turkey and dressing and foods from the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated the fall season, barbeque pork, cole slaw and deviled eggs were available for the 4th of July summer season, the spring season of Easter was celebrated with ham, green beans and potato salad, and winter was remembered by meatballs, veggie-fruit trays and cocktail smokies.

"We were lucky enough to pick a date for the banquet where everybody could come out, with so many events going on," says Mrs. Jordan. The people who come out and support us and our scholarship mission, help us celebrate the people that we are honoring."

This year's scholarship honoree is D-B grad Kelsie Dulaney, daughter of Michael and Kelly Dulaney, and granddaughter of Clara Dulaney. Kelsie is a student at ETSU, majoring in graphic design.

The 2012 Salute to Excellence honorees are:

In the field of Education, Mrs. Jan Mills Russaw, retired educator....

also, Dr. Keith John, professor and department chair at East Tennessee State University....

And, Ms. Chrsita Reid, educator at the Liberty Bell Middle School.

In the field of Economics and Business, the 2012 honoree is Mr. Stephen Dixon, Vice-President, Bank of Tennessee.

In the area of Community Outreach, Mr. Robert Lynn Whie, Chief PUblic Relations Officer at the Johnson City Power Board.

For Social Justice, the 2012 honoree is Mr. Calvin Sneed, news anchor at WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 in Chattanooga, and the Webmaster for the Douglass Alumni website,, Kingsport.

And honoring a lifetime of achievement of volunteering in the Riverview Community and the city of Kingsport, community colunteer Mr. Van Dobbins Jr., retired, was present a lifetime achievement award.

"Sometimes, folks serve in the community doing their jobs," says Mrs. Jordan, "and a lot of times, they don't get much recognition. We want to recognize that they have continued to provide excellent service to our community behind the scenes, but definitely noticeable."

"We're very proud to do this type of recognition in our communities."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Are You Ready for Some Soul Food?

Soul Food to be had in Rogersville! Go back to the website main page, and click on the Swift Memorial - Price Public School link in the list!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Make Sure You Have A Photo ID So You Can Vote!




Driver service center to open on Saturday to issue photo IDs
From staff reports

If folks in the Riverview Community and the surrounding Kingsport area without photo I-Ds need to get a Picture Voter I-D card in order to cast ballots on November 6th, you can visit the Tennessee Driver Services Center for Sullivan County on the Bristol Highway (correct address: 3769 Highway 11-W, Blountville).

Hours of the center are from 8:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. The center is closed on Saturdays. Other driver license services will be going on, so your wait may be a little longer.

If you cannot make it during the week, you can still get a Voter I-D card on Saturday, but the place to get it, is different.

On Saturdays, you will have to go to the Driver's License center in Johnson City. That office is located at 4717 Lake Park Drive, Johnson City, off Boones Creek Road on the north end of town. That center's hours on Saturday ONLY are 8 AM to 4 PM. No other services are available on Saturday, just the Voter I-D card.

To minimize the possibility of wait times during Saturday hours, groups or organizations planning to make a group visit to a driver service center should schedule an appointment by calling Melissa Long at (865) 712-4908 (East Tennessee contact) or Rochelle Bryant at (931) 242-7282 (West Tennessee contact). Your Douglass website has called those numbers and gotten voicemail, so you'll have to leave your name, number, and the time on Saturday when you'd like to schedule an appointment for you or your group.

BEING ABLE TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE OF YOUR CHOICE IS IMPORTANT! If you don't have a driver's license with your picture on it, a military I-D, or some other type of legal picture I-D, make sure to get a picture Voter I-D card, and let your voice be heard in the election.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blake Leeper Kingsport Olympic Game Day - October 13, 2012


Monday, October 1, 2012

Look Who Stopped by the Kingsport City Hall!

Assistant City Manager for Development Jeff Fleming and paralympian Blake Leeper

Rev. Anthony Daniels: "The Love of the People is Amazing"

"I never dreamed being in Kingsport, that I would have such an impact on the people."

These days, it's easy for the Reverend Anthony Daniels to be warmed by the presense of people he's known and grew up with in the Model City.

It was only 3 short months ago that he saw his life flash in front of him, the result of a serious auto accident that almost took his life.

Photo by Anthony Cloud|Middlesboro (KY) Daily News

Reverend Daniels sat down and spoke with the Douglass website recently, at the occasion of a 5-K run/walk held in his honor along the Kingsport Greenway on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

"I don't remember anything about the accident.. nothing at all," he says. "Pastor Farris, a member of the church that I pastor in Barbourville, Kentucky, told me all about it, and I just didn't know anything about it at all."

"Honestly, I didn't even know I was in the world," Reverend Daniels says. "I know it was a shock when people found out and Calvin, I mean, I'm telling you.. it just didn't seem real to me."

"In a way, I think that was a blessing," he says, "because it allowed me to know that God is on the Throne. He kept me from remembering things that were too shocking."

After a short stay at the hospital in Pineville, Kentucky, Reverend Daniels was transferred to the U-T Medical Center in Knoxville. After his condition was stabilized, he is continuing his recovery at HealthSouth in Kingsport, surrounded by friends and family.

"This one would come by, and then that one. God sent them in droves. When Beulah (Banner), my aunt came by to tell me that she loved me, it just touched me. She's just amazing. And she's not all. I've been touched by all the people who have been coming by steadily. Not a day goes by that somebody doesn't come by and express their feelings and their concerns. Calvin, that's what God is all about. I never really knew how much that meant."

"You realize that they don't have to do what they do," he says. "That's what makes me so proud. I thank God that he allowed me to make that kind of impact on people that I never knew I made."

Reverend Daniels says, his rehabilitation from the car wreck is progressing.

"The rate I'm going, I hope to be back in the pulpit in the next month or so," he says, with a chuckling glance over to his daughter for approval. "And I want you to tell people through the website that they'll never know how much their visits and prayers have meant to one saint. I told my daughter thatI hope I have been as faithful to them, because they have shown me so much love."

In his recovery, Reverend Daniels has not lost his sense of humor, admitting to being a little spoiled.

"I told my daughter, these folks are turning me into one royal crybaby," he laughed.

Don't forget Upcoming Golf Outing.... Fish/Chicken Dinner Fundraiser



I hope all of you are aware that the golf tournament is this Saturday. Volunteers are welcomed to join us. I am not sure what all we will have to do, but I am sure there will be something. If you can't be there by 8:00 a.m. please try to come some time after that. I have no idea how long the tournament will last but some of us will need to be there.

Also if you have any money to report please let me know by phone or e-mail. If you have checks, we need to get them to the bank as soon as possible, You can bring checks to me, Lillian or Ozine, who ever is closest to you.


Golf outing to benefit Sons and Daughters of Douglass scholarship fund

From staff reports

KINGSPORT — The Sons and Daughters of Douglass High School Alumni Association will hold its 2012 golf outing Saturday at Warriors Path State Park. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund scholarships for area students.

Calvin Sneed, with Sons and Daughters of Douglass Inc., said the golf outing has been held for about 10 years to raise money for scholarships. “We’re trying to get the word out now because it’s really a fun event, and it’s really going to benefit kids, and that’s what it’s all about. And the golfers can come out and just have fun,” Sneed said.

Tee time is at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start. Trophies will be awarded for first-place teams, closest to the pin, and longest drive. Individual entry fees are $75, and foursome teams can sign up for $300. Sponsors are needed, and donations are needed for awards, gifts and prizes.

For more information contact John Hardy at (423) 378-5572 or Frank Horton Jr. at (865) 382-4144.

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that has awarded more than 25 scholarships to deserving students in the past 20 years. For more information on the organization visit

At the last Board meeting we voted to have a fish/chicken dinner sale. Judy Phillips is in charge of getting things lined up for that including cooks and servers She should be calling you soon.

Please sign up for whatever she needs from you. Thanks in advance for all that you do for the association.

Jenny Hankins

A 5-K Walk Run for One of Riverview's Own

A few of Riverview's faithful come out to support one of their own.

They took part in a 5-K Run-Walk to support the Reverend Anthony Daniels. Reverend Daniels is doing well recovering in rehab, after a serious auto accident on July 20th near his home in Barbourville, Kentucky.

About 50 to 60 people ran and walked to support Reverend Daniels in the event, sponsored by the Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.

Click here to see pictures of the 5K Walk-Run for Reverend Anthony Daniels.

"The ministers decided to be a blessing to our very own Reverend Daniels," says Central Baptist pastor Ricardo Dorcean. "He used to be president of the Alliance, and also a member, and also pastor at Central. He grew in Central, and we just felt the need to raise funds and be a blessing to him. All the churches came together, and we are here to show him love."

Starting at the measured 5-K point on the Kingsport Greenway just behind Petsmart, the participants found a cool, sunny late summer morning awaiting them, as they advanced towards the halfway point eastward, up the ridge just past the John B. Dennis overpass, then back the same route. Upon their return, they found the Reverend Daniels waiting to greet them, in the parking lot at the begin point.

"I was very much suprised and appreciative of the event," Reverend Daniels says. "You know, they didn't have to do it, and I express my gratitude to the committee, thanks to the pastors, thanks to the people who came out and walked and ran, and just thanks to everybody. Please express my appreciation, and just let them know that I really appreciate everything they've done. It's going to make me more determined to get better and be a more faithful member of the community."

Reverend Daniels pastors the First Baptist Church of Barbourville, Kentucky, near the scene of the accident.

"The relationship with him is very close-knit," says Reverend Dorcean. "He's a son of this community and it was just natural for us to be a blessing to him.. to make sure we took care of our own, because he is still one of us."

Folks who couldn't be present for the run-walk, had ghost runners for them. "It was a very successful event, very positive and very supportive," Reverend Dorcean said.

"At Central Baptist Church, we have a Health Ministry,' he says, "headed by Jackie Sylvester. One of the things we've been doing for the last 6 months is walking every Sunday, after church. People would meet around 6 PM and they'll walk, they'll run or whatever makes them feel comfortable. When we were sitting around thinking about how to creatively help Reverend Daniels, a walk-a-thon was a natural suggestion for me to make, because of what we already do. People were excited about the idea since we have a lot of runners and walkers in the community in general, so it was just something we just said 'O-K, we can do this.'"

The Greater Kingspor Ministerial Alliance helped spread the word among their individual churches.

"The measure of God's Love and Compassion is how he works through people," says Reverend Dorcean."

"God used us to be a blessing to Reverend Daniels."