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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Malachi Hale!

Folks, you have just got to see the "happy birthday" video that Dimingo Hale made for his son Malachi.

It's posted at the "Riverview Random Reactions" link on the Douglass website's main page.

It's one of the best ones around!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Price Public - Swift Museum Celebrates Black History Month

Please see the announcement of Black History Month events at the Price Public School - Swift Museum in Rogersville. The posting is at the Price Public - Swift Museum link on the Douglass main page.

Happy 60th Birthday, Kitten Bond!

Here's a slideshow of pictures from the surprise birthday party for Ellen "Kitten" Bond held in Shelby, North Carolina.

These pictures are from Jenny Hankins.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"An Evening with Blake Leeper"

"Having Kingsport come out and support me during the holidays to support me and my charity group, means a lot because I'm sure they all had something else to do tonight."

"But they came here... that means a lot."


Created with flickr slideshow.

Kingsport's Blake Leeper has a lot to be thankful about going into the new year. His training for the Paralympics is about to continue in Southern California, but before he left, he paused for a moment to sit down with his friends in the Model City, and reflect on his whirlwind life.

"There is so much more I want to do," he told an overflow group of supporters who gathered at the Meadowview Conference and Convention Center on Saturday, December 22nd. "Years ago, doctors told my parents I would never walk and now look where I am. I want to get out there and inspire more kids to go after their dreams. I feel like my mission will never be over, as my goal is to inspire as many kids and even adults as I can.

Adding to the celebration is the special recognition that Blake received from Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips. The mayor, who just announced his bid for re-election to a third term in the Model City's top job, admitted to the group that he had only given away 4 "Keys to the City" in his entire political career.

The fifth one, went to Blake Leeper on this night.

"Yeah, that shocked me," he says. "I got chills down my back. When he presented the key to me, it was a total surprise. I just sat there and said 'wow.'

With Blake on this historic night was his friend and fellow teammate, Lex Gillette.

Elexis "Lex" Gillette is a blind Paralympic athlete from North Carolina in the United States competing in T11 (track) and F11 (field) events.

Gillette, who proved himself an accomplished singer during Leeper's visit, has won several silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics. As of now, his Long Jump world record for F11 classified athletes with a leap of 6.73m in 2011 still stands.

"People say I inspire him, but it's the other way around," Blake says. "Not only is he a good athlete, but he's also an amazing person. We both train at the paralympics facility. We're on the same mission, and we're accomplishing it together."

Where does Blake Leeper go from here? An easy question, with a quick answer.

"Keep training," he says. "I want more. I feel like there is so much more that I can do, not only on the track, but off the track, too. Training for everything, track, life, begins in the classroom.. get out there and keep taling to more people and inspire more kids."

"I feel like my mission will never be over, as my goal is to inspire as many kids and adults as I can every day."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Model City Sports Link

If you love D-B sports, be sure and check out Model City Sports. The link is to the left.

The site has a new look, but the same great coverage of the Dobyns-Bennett Indians and other area sports.


Gospel caroling event canceled

• KINGSPORT — The inaugural New Vision Youth Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Caroling, which was to have been held Saturday, has been canceled because of the winter storm that is expected to move through the region on Friday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013 Inaugural Address to the Nation from President Barack H. Obama




Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

For more than two hundred years, we have.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.


But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.


We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.


We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.


We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are na├»ve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.


We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It was my pleasure to attend the 2nd inauguration of the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. When I attended the 1st inauguration 4 years ago in 2009, I felt I was standing on the shoulders of all of those African-American brothers and sisters who had come before me, who were hosed by law enforcement, set upon by police dogs, shot at, spit upon, assaulted, humiliated, prevented from the schoolhouse door, called the "N" word, even killed over the many years, who could not be there to witness the pinnacle of the Black Struggle -- to see the first black man take the oath of office to be president of ALL of the United States of America. I felt pride and peaceful solace, for standing on their shoulders, I could reach up and touch the sky for them, because for years, society had only permitted them to look up and dream of embracing it.

Four years later in 2013, with the 2nd inauguration and the determination of the Republican Party to make sure that Mr. Obama would be "a one-term president," that pride swelled again when we as African--Americans stood on our lost brethern's strong shoulders and reached up and once again, touched the sky and their hopes and dreams. It was fitting that President Obama's second term began on the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observance -- the quintessimal spiritual leader and spokesman for peace and tolerance, whose teachings still motivate us today. Although we have accomplished a lot, unfortunately, we as a society and we as a people have many more miles to go before our journey to equality is ended. Sadly, it is my belief that the end of the journey will not come in our lifetimes, but happily, our children and our children's children will remember these current days of accomplishment, by remembering the one campaign promise of President Obama -- FORWARD! We will meet our brethren one day with memories of these presidential days, rejoicing in what we have seen on their behalf.

Calvin Sneed, Douglass Website Editor

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Missing Loved Ones on a Special Day

Jai-Lesa & Davon Birthday Cake

From Mary Beatty

Message of Sympathy

Got this from Samantha Campbell:

I want to give my condolences to Evangelist Willie B. Evans Bond.. she was and is a very nice lady and she will be missed dearly.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Riverview Snow Pictures - January 16, 2012

RIVERVIEW SNOW, JAN. 16, 2012 - Thanks to Shelia Leeper, Jenny Hankins, Tina Gaines Stokley and Jeff Fleming for these pictures from Facebook

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March in Kingsport

The 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March will be held on Monday, January 21, 2013 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Coincidentally, this year's event coincides with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, also at 12 Noon in Washington, D.C.

Parade participants will need to assemble at 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of E. Sevier & Center Street (Rikki Rhoton Allstate Insurance Co.'s Parking Lot).

The parade route will follow Center Street and end on Shelby Street (City Parking Lot between Kingsport City Hall & The Justice Center).

For more information, and to enter a car, float, church/business van, bus, truck, other exhibits or take a 20 minute walk during lunch in the parade, please contact Rev. Ronnie Collins at (423) 956-0675 or email:

2013 MLK Day Luncheon In Riverview

The annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Luncheon will be held on Monday, January 21, 2013, in the Riverview Community Room at K.H.R.A., Wheatley Street, Kingsport.

The luncheon begins at 1:15 PM, right after the MLK Day March, and is free to the public.

The event is sponsored by the New Vision Youth, in partnership with Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services Division and South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation.

This year's menu consists of homemade chili beans, soup beans, cornbread, crdackers, cole slaw, drinks and dessert.

2013 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil

Please bring a candle and lots of love and hugs to the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil on Monday, January 21, 2013.

The theme of this year's Candlelight Vigil is "Shouldering Our Homeless," and coincidentally, happens on Inauguration Day of President Barack Obama's second term of office in Washington, D.C.

The Candlelight Vigil will be held in the Central Baptist Church parking lot, 301 Carver Street, Kingsport, Rev. Ricardo Dorcean, pastor. It begins at 6 PM, and in case of rain, the event will be held inside the church.

The event is sponsored by the New Vision Youth. Everyone is welcome to come out and remember loved ones lost over the past year, as we celebrate the life and times of Dr. King.

For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 423-429-7553.

Fish Fry Fundraiser for New Vision Youth Trip

There will be a fish fry fundraiser for the New Vision Youth, on Saturday, January 12, 2013. The event will be held at the Dale Street Park in Kingsport, beginning at 12 Noon.

The fundraiser will be raising money for the Youth's upcoming trip to DisneyWorld in Florida. The group will be performing at one of the Disney theme parks from July 20th to 28th, 2013.

The fundraiser begins at 12 Nooon on Saturday, and will feature fish sandwiches for 3 dollars apiece, hot dogs for 1 dollar each, drinks for a dollar, and also baked goods at various prices.

Also at the event will be a clothing and handbag sale by Pete's Fashions of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Proceeds from that sale will also go to the New Vision Youth trip.

For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 423-429-7553.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Douglass Alumni Pancake Breakfast


LOCATION: Sagebrush Steakhouse, 1600 E. Stone Drive, Kingsport

January 19, 2013
8 AM to 10 AM
Donation: $7.00

Menu: pancakes with syrup, scrambled eggs and sausage, and coffee.


Obama Inauguration Ball

January 21, 2013
6-10 P.M.
Holiday Inn - Johnson City, TN
Join Us As We Celebrate
The Inauguration Of Our President, Barack Obama



This event is a fundraiser for the Northeast Tennessee Democrat Resource Center and is hosted
by our incredible volunteers.

Special Rate for Attendees - $77.00
Holiday Inn
101 West Springbrook Drive, Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone:(423) 282-4611

Dinner-Music-Outstanding Entertainment-Dancing-Silent Auction-Memorabilia
$25.00 Per Person

Over 700 people attended this event in 2009….This is one night you do not want to miss!

Order your tickets now by calling 423-282-2081 or email:
Order using a credit card at:
$25.00 Per Person

Tickets available at the DRC January 2nd

The Democrat Resource is a Political Action Committee,
Bill Jones, Treasurer

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master" - President Abraham Lincoln



"I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal."

President Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Vision Youth Work Hard Year-round


Each year, the Times-News and the INK Advisory Board invites area residents to nominate individuals or groups of “Students Who Make a Difference” to be honored in a holiday edition of INK ... news for teens.

The criteria is simple — tell us about a student or group of students who you believe make a difference in their community, school, church or the world at large.

And each year, we get letters from readers telling us about students who have brought about change in their community, stood up for a great cause, moved their school or families forward, or who have gone above and beyond in their service to others.

This year, one group made such a difference that they were nominated twice. Two different readers helped shine a light on the vast impact these young people are making in their community and our city — leaving little doubt that they are, in fact, Students Who Make a Difference.

“As I read over the qualifications for nominating students or groups who make a difference in our community, I was compelled to nominate the members of the New Vision Youth of Kingsport,” wrote Calvin Sneed.

“I cover their activities for the Douglass-Riverview community website, www.son  , in the course of covering news in the community, and I am touched and amazed at the things these youth do for Riverview and for Kingsport.”

Wellness coordinator Kevin Lytle couldn’t agree more. He’s seen the group in action as well.

New Vision Youth currently has 47 members ranging in age from elementary school to college. However, the majority of members are in middle school or attend Dobyns-Bennett High School.

The group has a special connection to the elders of the Kingsport community — partnering with them on several events and providing many hours of service in their honor.

Each year, the New Vision Youth partner with the Kingsport Senior Citizens organization to sponsor an annual Easter Egg Hunt for both children and seniors. In addition, through that partnership, the youth celebrate Fun Fest with area senior citizens, accompanying them and assisting them at Fun Fest events.

Their annual Grandparents Day Luncheon, held in cooperation and through partnerships with the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services Division, is one of the highlights of the year — as is the annual “Gents to Gentlemen” Pageant, the proceeds of which go to non-profits each year.

The New Vision Youth also do programs at nursing homes, singing Christmas carols and praise dancing during the holidays. Even when the holidays are over, the group regularly visits Kingsport area nursing homes — singing to residents and performing.

Twice a month, the youth of New Vision set aside time to participate in area cleanups for Keep Kingsport Beautiful, targeting specific areas around Kingsport prone for trash and litter. Among the areas where they pick up trash on a regular basis are downtown Kingsport, the V.O. Dobbins playground and park, and the Dale Street Children’s Park. They are also part of the Fun Fest “Trash Busters,” cleaning up litter and helping to empty the various painted trash receptacles at Fun Fest events on an annual basis.

Members also volunteer their time to give out gifts on the Santa Train, to work with the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, and help hand out gift baskets of food at Thanksgiving and Christmas to a family in need for an area school, Lytle said.

Each year, the New Vision Youth also sponsor and participate in numerous educational programs and initiatives designed to enrich the communities in which they live. They present annual programs for Black History Month, including a full program at various churches, and sponsor trips to museums in Bristol, Greeneville and Rogersville highlighting African-Americans who contributed to the history of East Tennessee.

Led by their director, Johnnie Mae Swagerty, the New Vision Youth also participate in occasional drug intervention initiatives, sponsored by the Kingsport Police Department, and the “Take Back Our Streets” program — holding marches every year to emphasize those initiatives. Those programs are also done in Bristol and Johnson City.

“For the past eight years, the New Vision Youth have performed singing, praise dancing and drama programs at the Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church every third Sunday of the month,” Sneed wrote. “Bethel reports an increase in attendance on those days, because parishioners apparently love to see the children praising the Lord.”

Every two years, youth members of New Vision participate in the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Youth Conference, which teaches teenagers of driving age the rules of the road and driver safety. The conference is held in Nashville. In addition, youth members have also attended the Tennessee Teen Institute, which teaches kids how to be role models. The institute is held at the Tennessee Air National Guard Base at Smyrna.

All of the activities are organized and directed by Swagerty, who keeps the kids on a strict schedule — emphasizing homework and school activities, as well as the service, performance and fun of New Vision on weekends and after school.

“The Kingsport community and the Riverview neighborhood are a better society because of the New Vision Youth,” Sneed wrote, “and I personally feel that people who come in contact with these future adult leaders are enriched by the activities and programs that they participate in.”