Thursday, December 23, 2010

After-Christmas Celebration

Come join "ADMC" and Family and Friends for an After Christmas Celebration of Jesus' Birth, featuring the sparkling vocals of Adrienne Tarter, Deborah Grey, Mia Jamison, Cheryl Rhea with Roslyn Saunders, Taleah Rogers, Jasmine Potter and Brianne Murray.

JESUS IS THE REASON

Merry Christmas and hope to share with you and yours on Sunday, December 26th @ 4:00 p.m. at the Thankful Baptist Church, 1501 East Watauga Ave.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wall of Fame Awards Banquet - Johnson City

INFORMATION FROM HIS PHOTOGRAPHY TOO, VIA BURCHETTE'S MORTUARY:


The 29th Annual Wall of Fame Awards Banquet was held at Carver Recreation Center on December 9, 2010 at 6:00 PM. The event was sponsored by Mountian States Health Alliance.

Click here to see photos of the Wall of Fame Awards Banquet from HIS Production Too Photography

Click here to see a slideshow of the Wall of Fame Awards Banquet from HIS Production Too Photography


The 2010 Wall of Fame Inductees included Sam Barnett, Georgia Carveretta Gillespie, and Ernest D. "Ernie" Reed.

Other Individuals or organization receiving awards were:

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award:  Chris Meadows, Trevor Gage, Mickey Archer, and Nikki Hughes.

Rick Sanjid Most Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award:  Cal Klem

Searl J. Robbins Most Outstanding Official Award:  Tom Whittemore

Most Outstanding Church Award:  First Christian Church

Most Outstanding Civic Club Award:  Morning Rotary Club

Arts & Humanities Award:  Dixie Webb

Friends of Nature Award:  Adam Stitt & Adam Chapman

Media Award:  News & Neighbor

Most Outstanding Employee Award:  Charlie Stahl

Most Outstanding Business Award:   Coca-Cola of Johnson City, TN

Lonnie E. Lowe Most Outstanding Friend of Recreation Award:  Earth Fare

Friends of Recreation Award:   Mary Kate Litchfield, UT Extension of Washington County,  Home Depot, Bill Henderson, Lee Woody, Milligan College Link,.... Dr. Vic Young, Vincent Dial, Beverly Bennett, Elaine Evans, Community Gardeners, RCI Cleaning, and Public Works-Solid Waste Division.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Attention: Honoring All Veterans

Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11th



The following places are offering free meals or free items:


Applebees - free meal 7 entrees to choose from http://www.applebees.com/vetsDay/default.aspx

Chili’s - free meal 6 entrees to choose from http://www.chilis.com/images/fb/veteransday/CUS%2010-053B%20VetDayMenu.pdf

Golden Corral - free meal http://www.goldencorral.com/military/

Outback - free bloomin onion and beverage http://www.outback.com/pressroom/pr_101018.aspx

Hooters - free meal off specialty items menu http://www.hootersveteransday.com/

Chick-fil-a - free spicy chicken sandwich


Veterans must provide proof of military service in the form of an ID Card, VA Card, VFW Card, etc., or any other Veterans ID.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carver Rec Center to hold Halloween fest

• JOHNSON CITY — Carver Recreation Center in Johnson City will host its annual Halloween Festival at 6 p.m. Saturday. The festival features a carnival atmosphere with games, prizes, bingo, costume and karaoke contests, and loads of fun. Admission is $2 per person, and children in costume will be admitted free. Game booth tickets are 50 cents each. For more information, call Carver Recreation Center Supervisor Herb Greenlee at 461-8830.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Price-Swift Makeover Planned

The historic Price Public Community Center and its companion, the Swift Museum are in for a makeover, one of the most extensive the Rogersville-Hawkins County community has ever seen.

"First, we're trying to upgrade the museum to bring it up to a 21st century-designed museum."

Price-Swift Executive Director Stella Gudger has applied for several grants to help with the renovations, and says, she and the museum-community center supporters have their work cut out for them.

""TVA has worked with us," she says. "They've done all the drawings, and they look nice. We're very excited about them and what they'll do for the museum. Eastman Chemical has given us 10-thousand dollars. Humanities Tennessee has also given us a grant of 10-thousand dollars."

With the grants, will also come a lot of work on the grass-roots level.

"People are really using the Price Public Community Center," says Mrs. Gudger. "It's hosted an art show and we're all just excited about that and the exposure it brought to the museum. We do want it to be a first-class museum."

Towards that end, Mrs. Gudger attended the National Conference of Black Museums, held this summer in Pittsburgh.

"It was wonderful," she says. "I got to do a lot of networking, talking to the right people and got to visit a lot of black museums to see what they were doing, and how successful they are. One of them, the August Wilson Cultural Center in downtown Pittsburgh was really nice."

"When I was working with Humanities Tennessee," Mrs. Gudger remembers, "they asked me 'why would people want to come back to the museum after visiting it the first time? Why would you want to spend $10,000 for a permanent exhibit?' I told them that it is very important that African-Americans do not lose their culture, in large cities and small communities like Rogersville, Tennessee. The people of Rogersville know the history of Swift College and what it means to the community, and that spirit needs to be kept alive. And Swift had a huge impact on the community outside Rogersville, too, ultimately all over the United States. Students from all over the country came to Swift..it was a very elite college in the rural town of Rogersville. Most people who don't know the Swift history, are surprised by that."





And that begins the storyline that is the Swift Museum, and the Price Community Center is its backdrop.

""Hopefully with the grants," Mrs. Gudger says, "we'll start with telling the Swift-Price story in a timeline, which will not just bpictures and captions, but it will actually tell the story of the struggles that African-Americans had to go through, just to get a higher education."

"That's going to be our storyline, and I'm excited about that. Hopefully, Rogersville people and the surrounding communities will be, too."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Umoja Festival

These are pictures from the 2010 Umoja Festival, held in downtown Johnson City this year. The pictures were taken by HIS PHOTOGRAPHY TOO.

Click here to see a slideshow from the 2010 Umoja Festival.

Click here for a slideshow from the Friday Umoja festivities.

Click here for a slideshow of the "Carver Back to School Stay in School" event.
PLEASE CLICK TO MAKE THE POSTER LARGER

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Langston Reunion Pictures

Here's a selection of Langston Reunion Pictures from HIS PRODUCTION 2 Photography.
The Langston Reunion was held over the Fourth of July Weekend in Johnson City.

Please click here to see a slideshow of the Langston Reunion.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sullivan Central community gives thanks

THIS STORY COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS

‘Night of Praise and Thanks’ celebrates the school’s life and spirit emerging from the recent gunman incident and the death of a student.


By RICK WAGNER
rwagner@timesnews.net


BLOUNTVILLE — Death came twice to Sullivan Central High School in one week, on a Monday to an armed intruder, and on the following Friday to a senior fighting cancer.
But Principal Melanie Riden says the school is alive and stronger — and its students more spiritual — than anytime in her more than three years there.


David Grace —dgrace@timesnews.net
Kim Kirk, Keith Gibson and Gee Gee White are shown with School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger at Central on Friday during a program honoring Gudger.


More than 250 people came together Friday night for “A Night of Praise and Thanks” at Northeast State Community College.
The hourlong occasion centered around the two traumatic events that have affected the school.
One was the death of 62-year-old gunman, Thomas Richard Cowan, a Kingsport resident who entered the school building the morning of Aug. 30, refused to put down his loaded pistol and eventually was shot by officers.
The second was the Sept. 3 death of Bradley Michael Brock, 18, who had been battling bone cancer. Students gathered around the flag pole at the school frequently to pray for Brock, including the Friday before the gunman shooting, and they held a prayer vigil after that night’s football game.
“I’m very humbled. I know the last three years at Central it seems like every year’s a huge challenge,” Riden said after getting an award before students, parents, school employees and others gathered for the thanksgiving event at the college’s Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.
“I probably haven’t lived up to your expectations. But I love these students,” Riden said, adding that she has a special bond with the class of 2011.
“They’re the first freshman group that came through, so they are truly mine,” Riden said. “We fuss and I’m like their mother sometimes and we yell, but I always tell them I love them.”
Riden also said she “loves the Lord” and is a Christian.
“I’m not allowed to speak about the Lord in school. I don’t have have to. The kids do it,” Riden said.
“I know I made a lot of changes and haven’t always made you happy,” Riden said, adding that she, her fiancĂ© and others prayed throughout the summer the “prayer of Jabez” in I Chronicles 4:12 that she said went something like: “God bless me, indeed, and expand my territory. May your hand be over me, protect me from evil and prevent me from harming others.”
On the Monday of the shooting, Riden said many more students and others were praying during the lockdown of the school. Cowan was lured down a hall by School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger and then shot by Gudger, Lt. Steve Williams and Officer Sam Matney.
Gudger went back to work this Tuesday, and Sheriff Wayne Anderson said the other two were back in uniform officially for the first time Friday night.
“The tides of losing and giving in to circumstances are over at Sullivan Central,” student Justin Calhoun wrote in the program for the event. “In its place have risen attitudes of success, desired achievement and expected victory. It’s great to be a Cougar.”
Many in the crowd wore “The Gudge” T-shirts, designed by a graphics arts class at Central and sold to raise money for a graphics arts club. The back of the shirts reads, “She’s got our back.”
Gudger and Riden each got two standing ovations from the crowd.
“We all know our real hero, our God,” Gudger said. “He got us to it, he took us through it.”
The gunman pointed his pistol at Riden before Gudger came between the two and also pointed it at Gudger and the other two officers.
Director of Schools Jubal Yennie has lauded Riden and her staff for getting the school in lockdown quickly, as well as the work of law enforcement. SROs are in all four county high schools, but Yennie and Anderson said they plan to work toward getting SROs in the county middle schools as well.
“You could write a book on how you reacted,” Anderson told Riden and her staff and faculty. “This is really, really teamwork at its best.”
After the event, Anderson said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has not concluded its probe of the shooting and that multiple theories exist about Cowan’s motive.
More than a decade ago, the incident would likely have been handled by a SWAT team, but Anderson during the event said protocol now is for the first on the scene to take care of the situation, with school personnel instructed to “slow them down” until officers arrive. He also lauded students for staying put in the lockdown and not panicking.
“Your lives were in danger, but you did what you were supposed to do,” Anderson said.
Riden said sheriff’s office personnel are always welcome at Central for drills, and Anderson said his department plans to use the Central response as a model and for training at other schools.
Award plaques were presented to Matney, Williams, Gudger, the faculty and staff, Riden and the student body, accepted by Hunter Stephens, senior class president and leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Central.
As for Brock, event spokesman and moderator Alan Novak said the youth left a lasting impact on his peers.
“Bradley wanted to be a youth minister, and he was and is,” Novak said.
Also during the event, five students presented winning essays on what a hero is to them.
To Holly Nelms, a 14-year-old freshman, a hero has changed from a comic book or TV persona to the three officers who shot the gunman.
Taylor Campbell, a 14-year-old sophomore, said a hero to her was Brock, someone she never personally met or knew but was her brother in Christ.
“My brother meant everything to me,” she said of Brock, who she said kept fighting cancer even with a grim prognosis, outliving doctors’ predictions.
“He has seen the light, held hands with Jesus and sat with God,” she said. “I love my brother, but it must let him sleep.”
Tyler McClain, a 14-year-old freshman said his definition of a hero has evolved.
“Heroes live around us and among us,” McClain said, adding that they are “the kind of people you can trust and trust to be there when you need them.”
“I leave you with a question. Will you be a hero?”
And Savannah Benton, a 16-year-old junior, said a hero is someone who is courageous, takes responsibility for his or her actions, is selfless and leads.
“No one looks at a faculty and says, ‘Oh, I’m sure they would be good during a code red,’ ” Benton said. “When you look at her (Gudger), you see a hero.”
Novak said Brock’s fight with cancer and the way the gunman incident was handled are prime examples of heroes.
“Ordinary people are the ones that make this world a better place,” Novak said. “There are occasions where ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A GOSPEL MUSIC TRIBUTE

AUGUST 28, 2010 5 P.M.
GRACE TEMPLE CHURCH
208 GARDEN DRIVE

FEATURING:


AGNES HORTON

CHERYL RHEA

LORETTA BOWERS

SHANA LIVINGSTON

SHIRLEY DUNN

GLENDA TINNNER

NOLAN WOLFE

SHELBY REDD


INCLUDING A SPECIAL TRIBUTE HONORING LOCAL PIONEERING GOSPEL GROUP


“THE HEAVENLY ECHOES”

AND JULIA COUSINS


THIS WILL BE ON THE BEHALF OF THE GRACE TEMPLE CHURCH EXPANSION FUND


COME AND BE A BLESSING AND YOU WILL BE BLESSED

Tri-Cities Ladies Conference

Tri-Cities Ladies Conference
"Falling in Love with Jesus"
September 23 - 25, 2010
Hosted at The Carnegie Hotel
Johnson City, TN
CONFERENCE AGENDA:

Thursday, September 23,2010

4:00 pm - Hotel Check-In & Vendors Set-up

5:00 pm -6:30 pm Vendor Tables Open

6:30 pm - Pre-Service Prayer

7:00 pm - Praise & Worship by Tri-Cities Praise Team

Evening Speaker: Sis. Jina McCool

(Vendor Tables Open immediately following service.)



Friday, September 24, 2010

9:00 - 10:00 am Vendor Tables Open

10:00 am - Music by Sis. Jina McCool

Morning Speaker - Sis. Lori Wagner

11:30 am - 1:30 pm Vendor Tables Open

12:00 noon - Lunch Provided at Carnegie Hotel for all registered conference attendees

1:30 pm - Afternoon Sessions

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Break

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Vendor Tables Open

6:30 pm - Pre-Service Prayer

7:00 pm - Praise & Worship

Evening Speaker: Sis. Lori Wagner



Saturday, September 25, 2010

10:00 am - 1:30 pm Tri-Cities Community Luau Outreach Service. This outreach is open to the public and will be held on the grounds of The Pentecostals of Johnson City. We will have the opportunity to impact the community by inviting them to join us in music, worship, "Kidz Corner", food, and fellowship!

To go along with the "Luau" theme, everyone is encouraged to wear your Hawaiian/ Luau Attire or a colorful shirt/skirt will be great!

1:30 pm Conference Closing

For more information, call 423.742.0346.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Visitors to JC’s Umoja Festival impressed by display of unity

THIS ARTICLE COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS

By MADISON MATHEWS
NET News Service


When Carolyn Abbot, a native of Washington, D.C., began talking about downtown Johnson City and the 14th annual Umoja Festival, the word “impressive” kept popping up.



The unity-themed festival was a nice surprise for Abbott, who was in town Saturday visiting her daughter and other family members.
“This is not something I was really expecting to be perfectly honest with you. I’m impressed with how everybody’s getting along. There is actually a lot of unity,” she said.
Abbott found out the festival was taking place and thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce her grandson, Jaiden Miles, to different cultures.
“African-American events are big in Washington D.C. ... So I wanted to come down and see what it was like. Brought my grandson down so that he could get a feel of African heritage,” she said.
The eclectic music lineup, with everything from gospel to bluegrass, and the laid-back atmosphere of the festival was a welcome change of pace for Abbott.
For Abbott, diversity amongst the crowd was another aspect of the Umoja Festival that stood out. “There is no people separating. It’s really showing the unity and everyone getting together and getting a good time,” she said.
Despite the searing heat, a steady crowd of people kept the downtown streets filled as the festival celebrated its first year in its new location after spending many years at Freedom Hall.
Set up much like the Blue Plum Festival, Umoja’s new location seemed to be hit with just about everyone.
With the location change and expansion of the festival itself, media relations coordinator Wayne Robertson said this year’s festival was a success.
“A lot of people that’s come to this also came to Blue Plum and they’re familiar with this layout and it helps a lot. I think they really like it and it being down here,” he said. “When you do changes there some things that you forget about ... but we’ve not really had any problems at all. It has been a really lovely festival this year.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Umoja Festival moves to downtown Johnson City

THIS ARTICLE COURTESY THE KINDSPORT TIMES-NEWS


By DOUG JANZ
NET News Service




JOHNSON CITY — Following the theme of the Umoja Festival, which promotes unity and diversity, organizers have lined up an entertainment schedule that touches on a lot of genres and demographics.



The 14th annual unity-themed festival opens Friday in downtown Johnson City. It will offer plenty of music, food, and arts and crafts, much of it with an African-American theme. But the idea is to attract people from across the social and ethnic spectrum.
“That’s why our lineup is so diverse. We’ve got something for everybody,” said Elmer Washington, one of Umoja’s main organizers and director of the entertainment lineup. “There’s Mexican, there’s Latin jazz, there’s rock, there’s roll, there’s soul, there’s old-time, there’s blues.
“We’ve got storytelling, comedians, dancers — something for everyone. The entertainment is as top-notch as it possibly could be.”
It’s the first time for Umoja downtown after a long stay at Freedom Hall Civic Center. Organizers are hoping the shift in location is a boost for the event as it follows the same outlines and general plan as the successful Blue Plum Festival held downtown each June.
“By coming downtown, we’re hoping to get more exposure and more sponsorship, which will help us bring in better entertainment,” Washington said. “We just think it’s a great thing to come down and be a part of helping to grow downtown.
“So far everything is going very smooth. All the businesses are very supportive, the people are kind, and they just want to help — to make a better festival.”
The festival’s opening ceremony is Friday at 3 p.m., and then the music kicks in and includes the Call to Drums with the Rev. Vincent Dial and Zulu Connection.
Then it’s on to a night of music and comedy featuring local bluegrass/traditional artist Amythyst Phillips, rock oldies cover band Bag a’ Cats, acclaimed old-time group the Brother Boys, the young local jazz/funk band Unlimited, and headliner Plunky and Oneness playing horn-based soul, smooth jazz and funk.
“The reason we chose Plunky as our headliner is because he has a following here,” Washington said. “He’s played here, and people remember him and like him.”
tinged style of soul and R&B.
“Everybody pretty much knows them,” Washington said. “And if they don’t remember, then once people hear them they’ll remember them. They’ll probably remember where they were back then and probably get that same good feeling again.”
For the first time in the festival’s history, beer will be sold, and people who have bought a wristband can take their beer outside into the streets, as long as it’s in a plastic cup and they stay within festival boundaries.
Umoja organizers have followed the same city ordinance and guidelines as Blue Plum on beer and boundaries.
For more on the festival, visit www.umojajc.org.
The lineup includes popular local comedian Xavier as well as Atlanta’s touring professional, MC Lightfoot, who sets the stage for Plunky.
Lightfoot also performs on Saturday night.
“We thought it would be a good avenue to have a big-time professional comedian come in. So we’re real happy to have MC Lightfoot,” Washington said. “We saw him in Las Vegas and thought he’d be a good one for Umoja.”
The Main Stage will be set up at the same place as Blue Plum’s Main Street Stage, while Umoja will have Stage Two at the other end of the festival featuring several acts each day, including Zulu Connection, JaB Band, the 4.0 Band, the mariachi band Mombra de Mexico, and even a drum circle percussion ensemble from Lake Ridge Elementary School.
Saturday’s schedule is packed, with the annual parade at 10 a.m. starting at Carver Recreation Area, a free Health Fair from noon to 5 p.m., Water Wars and a Children’s Carnival going from 4 to 9 p.m., a Gospel Fest from 1 to 4 p.m., and a lineup of more live entertainment on the Main Stage.
There’s Appalachian dance (Stoney Creek Cloggers) and Latin jazz (local jazz hit Frito Puente), blues (Bleu Jackson, “godfather” of the local blues scene) and the Heartbeats, a Johnson City R&B/ Motown group.
The headliner SOS Band had some big hits in the 1980s and still plays a smooth, danceable disco.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 Douglass-Slater Reunion: "Proud Traditions Forever United"

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO MAKE THEM BIGGER



Neither Fred Delaney with the Douglass High School Alumni Association in Bristol, Virginia, nor John Hogans with the Slater High School Alumni Association in Bristol, Tennessee expected a big turnout at the 2010 Douglass-Slater Reunion. The economy and dwindling alumni numbers were obstacles difficult to overcome.

They were wrong.. and pleasantly surprised at the same time.

The reunion was a huge success, with numbers that were up over the last reunion in 2008.



"When the folks arrived, they immediately started looking for their friends," says Mr. Delaney. "They start asking about everybody and talking about what they used to do. Some great memories are brought back, by old friends just getting back together."

"Nobody ever reads the newsletters we send out," laughs Mr. Hogans, "so the first thing they want to know is 'where is such-and-such event happening, what do we need to do, where do we need to go?' The only thing that really sticks in their minds is 'when do I need to be there?"



For years, Bristol, Virginia's only African-American high school and Bristol, Tennessee's only African-American high school held separate reunions, despite the schools being less than a mile apart. The state line has always divided the school districts, but not the black community of both Bristol's.




"Both Douglass and Slater held separate reunions since the 80's," says Mr. Hogans, "but since our families were always visiting the other school's reunion, we decided to join both reunions in the year 2000. We've been having reunions together ever since."



Both schools still hold separate business meetings while together for the combined reunion, and are fortunate enough to still have their old school buildings to celebrate, although both buildings have different purposes now. The Douglass building on Oakview Avenue is now the "Douglass School Apartments" and the Slater building on McDowell Street is now the Slater Community Center. Both buildings have undergone extensive renovations, but still resemble the learning institutions of old.



Please click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 Douglass-Bristol Alumni Business Meeting.

Please click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 Slater Alumni Business Meeting.

One cannot look at the buildings, and not think of fellow classmates.

"We also look back at the ones we have lost over the past two years," says Mr. Hogans. "I can think of at least 4 right now that are missing, that have passed. At our picnic at Steele Creek Park, we have a memorial service for the ones who have gone on. It's the last thing we do before we all go home."



A special treat for the reunion attendees was the 2010 Bristol 4th of July parade. This year, the Douglass-Slater Reunion group was in the huge parade.

Please click here to see a slideshow of Douglass-Slater in the 2010 Bristol 4th of July parade.

Click here to see downloadable pictures of Douglass-Slater in the 2010 Bristol 4th of July Parade.

"Last reunion, we had our own parade by ourselves, that went from Slater through downtown to Douglass and then back, but this past year, the city invited us to have a few cars in the big Bristol 4th of July Parade downtown," Mr. Hogans says. "We'd never done that before, and appreciated the invitation. We had three cars and it worked out really well. This year, they invited the whole group to be in it. We usually have a lot of people in our separate parade, so to have that many in the big parade was really good. The whole community got to see us, and it was a great experience."



And then, there was the big banquet. It is always a dress-up affair that reunites all the alumni at one time for a wonderful dinner.

Please click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 Douglass-Slater Reunion Banquet.

Click here for downloadable pictures of the 2010 Douglass-Slater Reunion Banquet.

"There's one of our alumni who brought her daughter and son to the reunion this time," says Mr. Delaney. "She said she just wanted to bring them to a black affair, because they had never been to one. Before the reception was over, I went up to the young lady who was about 21 or 22, and I said 'how do you like this event, and she said 'man, this is great..you all do this all the time?' I told her we do something this big every two years. She said, 'she was so excited about being there and she was out there dancing and having a good time. Her mother told me she knew she'd enjoy it."

Both Mr. Delaney and Mr. Hogans say, getting the young people interested in continuing the traditions of the schools, is always a challenge.



"Some of the young people are receptive to what we're trying to do," Mr. Delaney says. "Of course, once you start talking about it, they don't realize it....they just don't understand the history of the school, so what I've been thinking about, is having a tye of career club for the young people. We can help them with their careers, plus introduce them more to our history. If we did that and get them involved, hopefully they'll think 'well, we just can't take things for granted. Somebody sacrificed for us to be able to be here in Bristol to be and do what we want to do."



"We always had a tradition when we were in the black school, and we think it is important to carry on that tradition," says Mr. Hogans. "We're more cohesive now than we were back then, 'cause when we played basketball and football, it wasn't really like it is now. It's a better sense of cooperation now, and we love it."

And the message to the alumni from the other African-American school alumni in the area? Mr. Hogans has a quick answer to that one.

"I hope they're having as much fun as we are."


DOUGLASS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2010-2012 OFFICERS
Lillian Davis, National President
Fred Delaney, President
Margo White, Vice President
Mary Hardin, Recording Secretary
Verdia Bradley, Correspondence Secretary
Norman Cook, Treasurer
Mae Duff, Chaplain & Historian
Frederica Cook, Scholarship Chairperson




SLATER ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2010-2012 OFFICERS
John Ed Hogans, President
Rita Howard, Vice President
Penny Walker, Secretary
Hattye Broady, Treasurer & Historian
Thomas McDaniels, Chaplain
Drucilla Hogans, Scholarship Chairperson


COMING UP IN A FUTURE ARTICLE: Proposals for the "REUNION OF ALL REUNIONS" that hopefully will reunite all of the African-American schools in the area at one big gathering to talk over shared times, old rivalries and wonderful traditions. Please watch for the article.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2010 Langston School Reunion: Enter to Learn - Depart to Serve

A VISIT TO THE GRAY FOSSIL MUSEUM WAS ONE OF THE BIG HIGHLIGHTS OF LANGSTON'S 2010 REUNION

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO MAKE THEM BIGGER



"Everybody's had a good time."

That pronouncement from Langston High School Reunion Chairperson Barbara (Bobbie) Watterson, only underscores the excellent turnout for the 2010 Reunion.

And no wonder.. it was a free reunion.

Yes friends, you heard correctly... The entire 2010 Langston Reunion was free of charge.



"Because we're crazy," laughs Mrs. Watterson. "Years ago, we promised the alumni that one day we would have a free reunion, with just the 25 dollars for dues. Lo and behold, back in March at one of our organizational meetings, Reverend James (Litt'l Man) Whiteside, a Langston alumnus, stood up in the group. I had my agenda all laid out and ready, and in the agenda where it called for suggestions, he gets up and says 'I think this time we ought to have a free reunion.' Well when he said that, everybody just went ape. I said, 'well we'll table this until the next meeting and I told everybody to just be thinking about what they wanted to do about this free reunion."

She continued, "I was so mad," laughing again. "When he said that, two or three people joined in. Nobody realized the preparation that would go into this thing, so at the next meeting, I said 'well, let's put it to a vote.' The folks I needed to help defeat it didn't show up to the meeting, so it passed 5 to 4."



But Mrs. Watterson says, once the process got started, things began falling into place.

"I asked around and contacted Herb Greenly, the director of the Carver Recreation Center to see if we could use the center for three days on the July 4th weekend. He said he was happy to reserve it for us.

Please click here to see a slideshow of the Langston Alumni activities at the Carver Recreation Center on Saturday of the 2010 Reunion.

Click here to see downloadable pictures of the alumni activities at the Carver Rec Center.

And then there were the little things that make up a reunion.




"When we had a hotel, if somebody got tired or needed to freshen up, they could always go upstairs to their or somebody else's room and rest, but where could we do that at Carver? I asked Herb about a hospitality room.. if we could take one of the Carver rooms and make it a lounge area. He said we could take the Community Room and he's got some friends in the rent-to-own business, and he had them bring in lounge chairs, couches, tables, a big-screen TV set and that was settled."



Oh yeah.. the food. How could the reunion organizers possibly feed dozens of guests.. on a continuous basis.. for 3 straight days?

Turns out, the solution to that problem turned up in a true volunteer.






"Irma Smith decided she would do the cooking just like back in the old days," says Mrs. Waterson, "so we made up a menu, checked all the prices, decided what we all wanted, and she went and bought it. But since we had to have some kind of food all day long to feed the people, I thought 'well, let's ask the churches because they've got connections to feed a lot of people during funerals and receptions. I wrote a letter and sent it to the churches, reminding them how in yesteryear, the churches all worked together with us, to feed the alumni. We only asked for two trays of food from each church and all 15 of them stepped forward to help.. we had five trays from each one. Friday morning (July 2nd), it all started coming in."

Mrs. Smith was reimbursed for the food she purchased. "The alumni board voted to split the food cost between the board members and reimburse her for her generosity."



Even the music ended up being free of charge.

"Miss Irma, she's the cook, and the D-J was her nephew, Paul Faw," Mrs. Watterson says. "He supplied the music for our reception, and the sound system for our banquet, and he donated his time and equipment. He was wonderful, and had a great musical selection."

One of the big tasks was deciding on a nearby event that would give the alumni something extra to do during this year's reunion.



"This year, we decided to go to the Gray Fossil Museum in Gray, Tennessee," Mrs. Watterson says. "Turns out, nobody realized what a jewel that was.. fossils, bones and evidence of prehistoric life discovered right in our own backyard. It's amazing that we had that many prehistoric animals in this part of the state, right in our back door. It did cost at the door for those alumni who went, something like 10 dollars, and we let them know up front, so they could have their money ready. They said it was well worth it."

Please click here to see a slideshow of the Langston Alumni touring the Gray Fossil Museum in Gray, TN, and the old Langston School building in Johnson City on the Saturday of the 2010 Reunion.

Click here to see downloadable pictures of the tour.

The reunion committee also arranged a bus tour of many landmarks to their memories, both past and present. Those included the historic buildings at the Winged Deer Park, the sports complex there, Freedom Hall Civic Center, the new Science Hill football stadium, ETSU, the new Sherrod Library, the old Seavers Bakery.



Certainly, many good memories were stirred up by a visit and stop by the old Langston High School building at 225 Myrtle Avenue. The tour spent several minutes there with most visitors remembering favorite classrooms, favorite teachers, and favorite school events the building brought back to memory. The building is now used for storage by the Johnson City Board of Education, and is flanked by the Langston historical marker from the Tennessee Historical Commission.



The Langston Alumni Banquet was held in the large multi-purpose room and easily held all of the visitors to the Reunion. Besides the dinner, highlights included two spiritual selections from Ms. Denise Greenlee, and the main speaker Norman Howard, Langston Class of '65, retired from the Kellogg Foundation of the famous cereal name, whose foundation motto stands for "helping communities stand up for children."

Please click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 Langston High School Alumni Banquet at the Carver Recreation Center.

Click here to see downloadable pictures of the banquet.

The reunion was quite an accomplishment, considering it didn't cost anything.

A FREE REUNION.


"We didn't want to get carried away with the freeness of it all," says Mrs. Watterson. "Our big reunion will come up next time in 2010, and we don't want to take anything away from that. If we give out too much free, folks might not want to pay the 95 dollars next time, and if we do what we need to do for the next reunion, which is the 112th anniversity of Langston School, we might not get things done that need to be done.. things do cost money."

But Mrs. Watterson promises a return to business in 2012.

"It was so good to see everybody once again, and now we're working on 2012," she says. "That one's going to be a biggie."


COMING SOON... AN ARTICLE ON THE POSSIBILITY OF "THE REUNION OF ALL REUNIONS:" A homecoming for all the alumni from all the African-American schools in the area.

Owens to challenge Crowe for Tennessee Senate seat

From staff reports at the Kingsport Times News

Former 1st Congressional District candidate T.K. Owens of Johnson City has announced his candidacy to run for Tennessee’s 3rd Senatorial District seat.

Owens will run as a Democrat against two-decade Republican incumbent state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City in the November general election.
Owens, like Crowe, is unopposed in the August primary, according to the Tennessee Division of Elections.
Two years ago, Owens ran for Congress as an independent and finished fifth.
The 3rd Senatorial District includes all of Washington and Carter counties in Northeast Tennessee.
“Some of the district’s needs are simple,” Owens said. “It needs infrastructure and roads. The quality of water in Carter County is less than what it needs to be. So those are things I can vie for in Nashville ... and then I can be open-minded to some of the initiatives that have already been started, like the (federal) stimulus package and the health care (reform) bill and get folks on the list who are not currently on a health care package.”
Owens did not want to talk about Crowe’s job performance.
“What I know that I can do is be an excellent spokesperson (for the district),” Owens said.
Owens’ resume includes interning for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and holding a bachelor’s degree in political science from East Tennessee State University.
He served as a videographer and reporter at WJHL-TV and did some substitute teaching while he ran for Congress.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tri-Cities Ladies Conference

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Langston High School Yesterday Celebration Weekend

LANGSTON HIGH SCHOOL

GOLDEN TIGERS

YESTERYEAR CELEBRATION WEEKEND

JULY 2-4, 2010

CARVER RECREATION CENTER


Friday, July 2nd
Registration 9:00AM-4:30PM
Membership Fee $25.00

Events beginning @6:00PM, Music, getting reacquainted @7:30PM.

Saturday, July 3rd
Registration 9:00AM-11:00AM

Bowling, Golf, Corn Toss, Bid Whist
Bus Tour of Gray Fossil Site


Sunday, July 4th
Memorial Service 1:30PM
St. Paul AME Zion Church
Lunch will be served on the grounds at Carver Center


Contact Mrs. Barbara (Bobbie) Watterson
Home # 423/282-8895
Cell # 423/483-8611

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Letter to the Douglass-Slater Alumni!

PLEASE CLICK ON PICTURES TO DISPLAY AND PRINT OFF REGISTRATION FORMS FOR THE 2010 DOUGLASS/SLATER REUNION IN BRISTOL, JULY 2,3, AND 4.




















FROM 2008 DOUGLASS/SLATER REUNION, BRISTOL

Dear Douglass/Slater Alumni and Teachers:

We are working hard to make sure everything is as it should be for Reunion 2010. Our Committees are in place and working. All we need is for our Alumni to start to send your monies for your dues and for the activities that we have planned for you. Enclosed you will find all the schedules, fees and dates for the Reunion.

We all know that this is not the best of economic times but we hope you have been putting a little aside in preparation for this Reunion.

It will be worth it. As always we have one or two pleasant surprises that we hope you enjoy.

Hope to see you in July. Have a safe trip here.

Sincerely,


John Edwards III John Ed Hogans III
President, DSAA President, SHSAA



REUNION – 2010 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


FRIDAY JULY 2, 2010 - REGISTRATION – RECEPTION/COCKTAIL PARTY

THEME “OUR TRANSITION TO SUCCESS – 44 YEARS OF CHANGE”

2:00 – 6:00 P.M. REGISTRATION – HOLIDAY INN

6:30 P.M. DOORS WILL OPEN - HOLIDAY INN BALL ROOM

7:00 P.M. WELCOME ASSOCIATIONS VICE PRESIDENTS

7:15 P.M. HORS D’OEUVRES – CASH BAR

8:00 p.m. LOOK AT DISPLAYS

SIGN UP FOR CARD GAMES

9:00 P.M. - DANCE WITH THE DJ - MR. JOE SAUNDERS

9:00 P.M. – UNTIL PRIZES RUN OUT – BINGO, SPADES, BID WIST, HEARTS



SATURDAY JULY 3, 2010



7:30 A.M. PARADE – MEET AT SLATER TO DECORATE CARS

8:30 A.M. LEAVE SLATER AND GO TO MORRISONS BLVD AND LINE UP

10:00 A.M. - PARADE

12:30 P.M. TO 1:30 P.M. ALUMNI MEETINGS, AT RESPECTIVE SCHOOLS


9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. GOLF TOURNAMENT

1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. BOWLING TOURNAMENT



6:00 P.M. BANQUET & DANCE

6:00 P.M. DOORS OPEN AT THE HOLIDAY INN BALL ROOM

6:30 P.M. DINNER BEGINS

7:30 P.M. AWARDS PROGRAM

8:30 P.M. EMPTY THE BALL ROOM

9.00 P.M. TO 12:30 A.M. - DANCE WITH THE SCAT KATS / WELLS BROTHERS


SUNDAY JULY 4, 2010


8:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M. – ATTEND THE CHURCH OF YOUR CHOICE AND VISIT WITH FRIENDS AND RELATIVES

2:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. PICNIC AND MEMORIAL SERVICE AT STEELE CREEK PARK – LODGE

3:00 – 4:30 P.M. PICNIC LUNCH

5:00 P.M. MEMORIAL SERVICES

7:00 P.M. PICNIC ENDS

WE WILL CLOSE WITH A MEMORIAL SERVICE AT STEEL CREEK PARK

Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 Debutant Ball in Johnson City


These are unedited photos from the 2010 Debutante Ball that was held at the Holiday Inn June 12 in Johnson City, TN. This was truly an elegant affair. The perfect event to get all dressed up and honor 10 beautiful young ladies, the escorts and their parents.

Contact Paul Braxton if you would like to get edited copies of the pictures. contact email: paul@pbrax.com or phone: 423.218.0201.

Click here to see a slide show of the 2010 Debutant Ball held in Johnson City.

Click here to see pictures of the 2010 Debutant Ball held in Johnson City.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carver Recreation Center Community Service Awards

PICTURES AND TEXT COURTESY OF HIS PRODUCTION TOO PHOTOGRAPHY


Click here to see pictures of the Carver Recreation Center Scholarship Awards Banquet.

On May 20, 2010 Carver Recreation had a celebration acknowledging community service members for their help, as well as the academic progress made by its youth and the community. The guest speaker was Pastor Vincent Dial who spoke to the students under the title of "And Then They Were Gone." He was referring to the students that were graduating and moving on to college, the next grade, and in life. He stated that they need to have a relationship with their God, faith in their belief, and the right attitude in order to be successful.

Awards were also given out to the undefeated kickball team; and the T-Ball championship team.

The William Melvin Stevens Scholarship Award were given out to 8 deserving students.

Awards in the following categories were also given out:

Paul E. Christman Award
Charles McConnell Award
Progressive Young Men Award
Robert McKinney Award
Charles F. Moncrief Award
Dorthy Christman Award

Congratulations and Best Wishes for a successful future.
From: Carver Recreation Center, Johnson City Parks and Recreation, and the William M. Stevens Scholarship Committee.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Times-News Wants Our Input on Use of Rebel Flag at South High

THE TIMES-NEWS NEEDS OUR OPINIONS ON THE USE OF THE REBEL FLAG AT SULLIVAN SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL. SULLIVAN SOUTH IS LOCATED ABOUT 2 MILES FROM RIVERVIEW. SCIENCE HILL HIGH SCHOOL HAS ALREADY ASKED THEM NOT TO BRING THE FLAG TO GAMES PLAYED IN JOHNSON CITY. WE NEED TO RESPOND ACCORDINGLY TO THE USE OF THE FLAG AT SULLIVAN SOUTH. PLEASE SEND YOUR OPINIONS TO THE NEWSPAPER AT THE ADDRESS BELOW:

FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS, MAY 20, 2010


In schools here and elsewhere, mascots are beloved symbols that are used to identify and rally support for various sports teams.
But what if the choice of a sports mascot is more divisive than unifying? Should it be changed?
That, in essence, is the question outgoing Sullivan County Director of Schools Jack Barnes says a special committee at Sullivan South High School will be examining over the summer.
Sullivan South’s nickname of longstanding is the Rebels, and its mascot is known as Col. Reb, a caricature of a gray-uniformed colonel with a mustache and goatee in the Confederate Army. Although the school has never officially adopted the rebel flag’s use, fans commonly wave them at home football games and display them on vehicles outside the school on game days. Barnes says the school system has received a complaint from at least one individual who finds display of the flag as part of a school-sponsored activity offensive.
That’s why, Barnes says, that a committee consisting of South faculty, South administrators, a Board of Education member as well as a Central Office representative has been tasked to address the issue.
“Our whole point is to try to have an environment people don’t consider hostile or harassing,” Barnes explains, adding that applies to South students, the community, and students and community members who visit the school for football and other events.
One possible option, Barnes says, would be to substitute the school’s official flag for the rebel flag at football games.
No matter what the Sullivan South committee eventually decides, it’s a sure bet the choice will be an emotional and controversial one.
On one side are students and other longtime fans who embrace the rebel flag as a positive symbol of courage, tenacity and spirit. On the other side are those who regard the rebel flag as a painful reminder of slavery, or at least as a racially insensitive symbol that has no place in a modern and culturally diverse society.
In the interests of beginning a public discussion, we’d like to know what readers have to say about this controversial subject.
Is display of the rebel flag at South High School a harmless, even positive example of school spirit or an unacceptable example of bigotry that needs to be eradicated?
We believe this issue, like all public issues, is best served by a rigorous, respectful dialogue where everyone’s views and concerns are given a chance to compete in the marketplace of ideas.
We’re eager to hear from you.
Send us your letter (less than 300 words) to the editor to 701 Lynn Garden Dr., Kingsport, TN. 37660 or contact Managing Editor Ted Como at tcomo@timesnews.net. Please be sure to include your address and phone number. We call to verify all letters to the editor.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Johnson City Transit offers Free Ride Week

• JOHNSON CITY — Johnson City Transit is offering citizens a chance to try public transportation for free. All fixed-route fares will be waived from Monday through May 29. May monthly passes have been reduced to $16.50 because of Free Ride Week. For more information, call 929-7119 or visit www.johnsoncitytransit.org.

Saturday, May 8, 2010



Top high school athletes from across the region converged at Sullivan North on Friday for the 32nd Times-News Relays. At left: Science Hill’s Ryan Mitchell completes his winning leap in the boys long jump. Just below: Dobyns-Bennett’s Haley Phipps, center, reaches for the baton while starting the final leg of the girls 4x100 meter relay — which D-B won;









At Bottom: From left, Nick Groves of Patrick Henry, Sullivan South’s Seth Watterson and Appalachia’s Forrest Stuart vie for the lead in the boys 110-meter hurdles at the
32nd Times-News Relays at Sullivan North on Friday. Stuart won the event.

Monday, May 3, 2010

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Message from the NAACP President

Dear Calvin,

Yesterday, America lost a hero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sincerely,

Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO
NAACP

Sunday, April 11, 2010

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