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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dobyns-Bennett’s Girls Ride 12-0 Run to Tourney Crown -- Morrisette Leads Scorers


NET News Service

GRAY — Down by one at the half, Dobyns-Bennett’s Lady Indians used a 12-0 run in the third quarter to overtake Hampton for a 51-44 victory in Saturday’s championship game of the Johnson City Honda Invitational at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.

After going into the locker room trailing 23-22, the Lady Indians (11-3) held the Lady Bulldogs (13-4) scoreless over a sevenminute stretch.

Once in the lead, the Lady Indians held on after Hampton closed within five and later to four points in the closing minutes.

D-B’s Sasha Morrisette put the final dagger in Hampton’s hopes by breaking to the basket and getting scores. Morrisette, who led all scorers with 23 points in the final, earned tournament MVP honors.

“I like the rush, the momentum and the bond,” Morrisette said of the big moments as she looked toward her sister Cydnee, also an all-tournament selection. “We have a special bond. It shows in a lot of our plays.”

D-B took early command with a 14-8 lead at the end of one quarter only to see the scrappy Lady Bulldogs turn up the pressure in the second quarter and take a 23-22 lead at the half on Monica Olvera’s bucket.

D-B coach Roger France said his team was a little rattled when it entered the locker room.

“In the second quarter, we got really frustrated,” he said. “Hampton played well, the crowd got into it and it was a very physical game. But we played through that. We got our starters in foul trouble, but our other kids picked it up.”

Leading Hampton’s comeback in the fourth quarter, Dorothy Dugger finished with 16 points. Alexis Bowers added a 13-point effort and Paige Montgomery worked inside for a team-best nine rebounds.

Two of Riverview's Finest Will Play Football for Tennessee


KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett gridiron stars Malik Foreman and Devaun Swafford are elite all right — but now with a capital “T.” As in “T-E-N-N-E-S-S-E-E.”

As in “T--O-G-E-T-H-E-R."

On Friday, Foreman, the Times-News Northeast Tennessee Elite Player of the Year for 2012, and Swafford, a running back on this year’s Elite squad, committed to play for new coach Butch Jones at Tennessee. Foreman committed to Vanderbilt in late October, but the change of command in Knoxville brought with it a new opportunity. Jones, hired by UT on Dec. 7, has gone on the record with his commitment to keep instate players in state. He contacted the D-B duo and they made an unofficial visit to campus in the middle of December. Jones is a “great guy with a great attitude,” Swafford told the Times-News on Saturday night. UT offered Swafford a grayshirt opportunity, meaning he would go on full scholarship in January 2014. If an extra scholarship were to open up in the spring, Swafford said, he could get that.

“I’m going to enroll (at Tennessee) in August and practice with the team regardless,” he said.

UT is looking at the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder as a defensive back — and he knows the challenge he faces in the Southeastern Conference.

“I’ll have to get bigger and faster to play in the SEC,” said Swafford, who rushed for 29 touchdowns and more than 1,300 yards in 2012, also hauling in four TD passes.

Foreman, who will be a member of Tennessee’s Class of 2013, began the year as a wide receiver for the Tribe before an injury forced his move to quarterback. The Big 8 Conference player of the year then started nine games as D-B’s signal-caller, compiling more than 1,800 yards of offense while leading the Indians to the TSSAA Class 6A quarterfinals.

On the defensive side of the ball, Foreman had a Big 8-best six interceptions this past season, returning two for touchdowns. He recorded eight pass break-ups, forced seven fumbles and notched five tackles for loss.

Tennessee is looking at Foreman at defensive back or wide receiver.

National signing day is Feb. 6.


Friday, December 28, 2012

One of Kingsport's Own, Helping the Less Fortunate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee introduced the Mobile Food Pantry program in July 2007 to deliver fresh produce, dairy products and other grocery items directly to individuals in need.

Last Friday, with the help of Tennessee Titans’ cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, Second Harvest served more than 250 families in need at the Mobile Food Pantry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Nashville.

Sensabaugh donated $1,500 to underwrite the cost of canned items, staple foods and a seasonal canned ham for the holidays to families in need through the Mobile Food Pantry facilitated through Catholic Charities at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

With the help of this generous donation, the families in need were supplied with five to seven days of nutritious food that they otherwise would not have the means to acquire.

“The Mobile Pantry program that Second Harvest does is a great way to get nutritious food into the hands of those who need it,” said Sensabaugh. “I feel honored to be a part of the food donations for this Mobile Pantry and to have the opportunity to see firsthand the impact it has on the families in need.”

In addition to the monetary donation, Sensabaugh was onsite at the Mobile Food Pantry on Friday serving as a volunteer to distribute food to those in need.

“Having individuals in our community like Coty Sensabaugh that donate time, money and food to the food bank’s efforts are vital to our success in feeding the hungry throughout Middle Tennessee,” said Jaynee Day, President and CEO of Second Harvest. “We are grateful for Coty’s generosity and appreciate his willingness to not only donate the funds to make this Mobile Food Pantry possible, but to also donate his time to help distribute the food to those in need.”

One in six adults and one in four children are struggling with hunger in Tennessee. Donations to Second Harvest help to fund the Food Bank's feeding programs and food resources for emergency food assistance programs in 46 counties in Middle and West Tennessee.

For more information on supporting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, please visit Updates are also available on Twitter (@2harvestmidtn), Facebook (Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee) and at

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reunion Postponed until 2014


The board of Sons and Daughters of Douglass voted to postpone the upcoming reunion until 2014.

Our funds are low and we want to use 2013 as a fund raiser. We already have several events planned for next year, along with our annual golf outing.

This is not the first time that the reunion has been put off so don't fret, we will still have a reunion. We just want to make it exciting for you and that takes money. Please be patient with us and plan on joining us in 2014 for a school reunion.

I want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year.

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Lights in Riverview

Remember when we all used to walk around the Riverview neighborhood during the holiday season and admire the Christmas lights on our neighbors' homes and in their yards?

Well, if you can't get out at night and admire the lights, as a holiday treat, we are bringing the lights to you.

Sit back, relax and enjoy a slideshow of pictures of your neighbor's Christmas lights, ending with the huge Kingsport Christmas tree on the Church Circle.. pictures that are your website's Christmas present to you!

Happy holidays from the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Christmas Dinner for the Riverview Seniors

Seniors in the Riverview community came out to celebrate the Christmas season on Saturday, December 8, 2012, as the annual Christmas dinner, sponsored by the non-profit South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation.

"The dinner has been held for more than 12 years," says Jeannie Hodges of South Central Kingsport. "It's a community unity event, designed to bring the senior citizens together during the Christmas season."

More 75 seniors came out for the event, and they enjoyed roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, iced tea, coffee and a wide variety of desserts and rolls.

"It's important for the community to come together as one unit, and fellowship," says Mrs. Hodges. "It's good not to have any problems, any worries or any strife.. just coming out, enjoying each other's company and havinge fun together."


Created with flickr slideshow.

The South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation partners with Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services Division, Van Dobbins, Jr, KHRA and the New Vision Youth to bring the dinner to the seniors.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Douglass Alumni Board Meeting on Saturday

Hello everyone,

I hope this note finds you all in good spirits. We will be meeting at the V.O. Dobbins center this Saturday the 15th at 1 PM.

It is imperative that we all do our best to attend because we will be giving out tickets for our fund raiser breakfast in January.

Also those of you who are going to attend the Chamber function, we were given a table but each person will have to pay $100.00. I need to know at this meeting if you still plan to attend. The money has to be in by the first week in January.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Community Locked In: Riverview and the Race


"We were totally caught off guard. There was no way out of Riverview."

No, this was not a remembrance of the Eastman explosion of 1960, during which emergency vehicles blocked the entrance to the Riverview neighborhood for several hours.

Fast forward almost 52 years to the day of that blockade, to where the entrances and exits from Kingsport's black community were once again restricted.

This time, it was for a foot race, not a chemical explosion.


On Saturday, October 27, 2012, both the M.L.K Drive-Wilcox Drive-Lincoln Street crossing and the Industry Drive-Wheatley Street intersection had barricades up, to allow racers in the Haunted Half Marathon and Boo-to-Brew 4-person Relay. At the M.L.K. crossing, a Kingsport city police officer with flashing blue lights stopped traffic to allow the runners to proceed through; meanwhile, a city public works employee with barricades did the same at Industry-Wheatley. The result was extremely long waits to get in and out of Riverview, for about 4 or 5 hours.


Check out the map on the right. It is of the race route. As you can see, it starts in downtown Kingsport at the Food City-Farmers Market parking lot, and after several switchbacks through downtown, the route finally gets to Wilcox Drive, then down and along Industry Drive to Netherland Inn Road and back over to West Center Street to its beginning point.

If you look down in the lower right corner, really close, you'll see... only one neighborhood in Kingsport is completely within the entire route, absolutely, totally inside the race perimeter.

That neighborhood is Riverview.


"There are only two ways to get in and out of Riverview, and our neighborhood was completely isolated," says Jeannie Hodges with the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation. "I don't want to think of what would have happened if there had been an emergency when seconds count. What if fire trucks had run up against the runners? Would they have stopped?"


"With any course we run, police are instructed to let emergency vehicles have top priority by completely halting the race whereever the runners are," says Hank Brown, race organizer, who says his organization puts on at least 50 races all over the Tri-Cities and the surrounding area. "Police are told to absolutely let people come in or go out at prominent intersections, with the understanding there might be a delay while runners go through."

This writer experienced the delay firsthand.

While coming back from a photo shoot at Cleek's Corn Maze enroute back to the Central Baptist Church for its Fall Halloween Festival, I sat at the Lincoln-MLK-Wilcox intersection 10 minutes watching runners have the right-of-way along Wilcox. After 10 minutes, I gave up and had to take a circular route around downtown, up to Stone Drive, down to Fort Robinson, down to Netherland Inn Road, to Industry Drive to Wheatley. At Wheatley, I ran into more runners, plus the city worker and his barricade. I finally had to cut through the crowd of runners quickly and cut through the Johnson-Hilliard parking lot in a crowd of dust to get to Wheatley, while drawing a dirty look from the city worker.

My roundabout route around Riverview and downtown Kingsport added 15 minutes onto the 10 minutes I had already waited at the MLK-Wilcox-Lincoln Street intersection.

So what happened when I got to my destination inside Riverview?

At the Central Baptist Church where the Fall Festival was in full swing, organizer Jenece Williams was wondering why attendance at the event was down over last year.. there just didn't seem to be many children enjoying the fun and games, and not that many adults for that matter.

Her question about low attendance was answered, when one of her friends came up and told her that she couldn't drive into Riverview right away.

"She saw the runners at Wilcox and M.L.K. and motioned to the officer that she needed to get through. He told her that the entrance was blocked off, and she asked him 'well, how am I supposed to get through?' She said they went back and forth for a few minutes and so finally, she went up to the entrance to the Eastman parking lot, which is a private entrance, but goes through to Wheatley, and she cut through
right there. It was dangerous, but she did it."

"I realized there was an issue at that point."

"It hurt us," she said. "For this kind of event, I normally buy 40 pounds of fish and 40 pounds of chicken to fry up to sell to visitors, so that the Youth Department can make money to fund field trips and special activities for the kids up to age 18. Because nobody could get into Riverview, we didn't make nearly as much as we needed to break even. We ended up taking a big loss because we didn't sell as much. We can't keep that much food in the church freezers, so we'll just have to fry it up and give it away soon. Having the roads blocked really hurt our event."

"I'm so sorry for that," Brown said, when told of the loss. "We don't want that, or any complaints. We'll be glad to work with anyone around town having issues or problems and see what we can do. We want to make our event better because it looks good for the city, but not at the expense of an entire neighborhood. We don't want to paralyze anybody."

When faced with the map that shows Riverview inside the race perimeter, and the only two ways to get in or out of the neighborhood, Brown said he recognized how people might have felt shut in.


"It was definitely a communications failure on our part," he says. "Police are told to let people in and out during the race, and apparently we didn't communicate that strongly enough. We don't want people to think they can't get into Riverview."

When asked if it were possible to include a couple of Riverview people on the course planning and organizing committee for next year's race, Brown thought that was a good idea.

"It will include the neighborhood in the process and keep us as race organizers mindful of the impact on the community. We can definitely get insights from the Riverview community, because we are indeed encircling their neighborhood. With the popularity of the race course, we can definitely work together with Riverview to help us do a better job of getting people in and out."

"I can promise you that."

For Riverview folks either blocked in or kept out, that's one olive branch that will be accepted.

"I don't think anybody here in Riverview wants to keep the race from coming by," says Jeannie Hodges. "We just don't want it to keep us from doing the things we would normally do on a Saturday, like go to the grocery store, or go to the mall, or go visit somebody. Eastman doesn't block us out whenever they have their race, because there's at least one way out for us."

Jenece Williams echoed those sentiments.

"Our little Fall Festival wasn't as big a deal as a race with thousands of participants in it," she says. "But I would ask the race organizers to just be mindful of our needs, too, since their race route completely surrounded Riverview," she says. "I mean, Kingsport is a city where we all work together, we work out issues."

"We and our little event are important, too."