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ETSU presents new symposium ‘Science and Fictions: Cinema in East Tennessee’


JOHNSON CITY – “Science and Fictions: Cinema in East Tennessee,” a virtual symposium presented by East Tennessee State University’s departments of Media and Communication and Literature and Language is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 14-15, via Zoom.


This free event is focused on artists, filmmakers, researchers and writers who will share insights on key topics for the region using film as a catalyst for conversation and action. It is composed of three seminars, an asynchronous film screening, a film production skills workshop, and a collaborative film and design workshop.


Online panels will engage interdisciplinary panelists around numerous topics, including “Storied Histories: Revisiting Appalachian Myths for the Future,” “Communicating Science: Media, COVID and Public Health” and “What Can Film Do Here?”



Organizers said they expect the symposium’s online format and regional emphasis will contribute to existing dialogue and cultivate new collaborations.


The public may sign up for these free panels and workshops by visiting

Kingsport Public Library & Friends of the Kingsport Public Library to host

Behind the Book Series

Join Kingsport Public Library and the Friends of the Kingsport Public Library for the next in the Behind the Book series on May 6th at 6:30 p.m. Behind the Book will feature discussions with regional authors and illustrators to find out more about their books. The discussion will be held virtually via Zoom (link available at

Hannah B. Olsen is the next author in the series. A Colorado native, Hannah B. Olsen has swapped the Rockies for the Appalachians where she now resides with her husband and two children in Eastern Tennessee. After studying Creative Writing at Valparaiso University, she went on to write for magazines, websites, and blogs, taking pretty much any writing gig she could get her hands on. But her true love of writing has always been that of telling stories. As a fiction writer and full-time mother, Hannah rarely manages to find time that she isn’t reading, writing, or kid-wrangling; however, when she does, Hannah enjoys photography, graphic design, traveling, and doing pretty much anything in the kitchen besides cleaning it. A Knight for a Queen is her YA Fantasy debut.

“The Behind the Book series has been a way to share the work of a wide variety of regional author’s with the community,” said Chris Markley, Manager at Kingsport Public Library.

Upcoming Behind the Book discussions will feature Larry D. Thacker, and J. Dianne Dotson. Visit the Library website, for more information or contact the Kingsport Public Library at 423-224-2539.

The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association will host a litter clean-up day May 22 beginning at 9 a.m. at four locations throughout the area. The first regional event of its kind will join area litter prevention and sustainable tourism partners with hopes of an annual event.


The Litter Clean-Up will take place on May 22 beginning at 9 a.m. at locations in Elizabethton, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol. Advance volunteer registration is highly encouraged in order to provide proper COVID safety measures. To volunteer, visit to select your location and receive details.


Additional partners include Keep Carter County Beautiful, Keep Kingsport Beautiful, Honda of Kingsport, Nolichucky Outdoor Learning Institute, the Northeast Tennessee Outdoor Coalition, Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, Sequoyah Council of Boy Scouts of America, Bristol Forests Rally, as well as invested individuals and activists.


About Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association was named the state’s 2019 Destination Marketing Organization of the Year with a mission to serve as a catalyst to enhance regional economic and community growth through the promotion and development of tourism. The organization was chartered in 1977, is a non-profit tourism promotion agency that serves and supports Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Tennessee, as well as portions of Southwest Virginia and Eastern Tennessee.

Spring Programming at Natural Tunnel State Park


The Wilderness Road Blockhouse

Open every Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The Blockhouse was built in the spring of 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston River by John Anderson. Tour a replica of the Anderson Blockhouse as members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association provide information about the history of the building and area.


Spring Bird Walks


Saturday May 1, 8 and 22 at 9 a.m.

Join volunteer Randy Smith to celebrate spring and enjoy the beautiful birds of Natural Tunnel State Park with an easy guided bird walk. Binoculars and field guides will not be available due to Covid restrictions, so guests are encouraged to bring their own. The hike will take place on the Birding and Wildlife Trail; sturdy shoes are recommended. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot. Free


Tunnel Talk



May 1 and 8 at 1 p.m.

Enjoy a guided walk with a park interpreter down to the Natural Tunnel. This will be a 1/2 mile hike roundtrip that requires climbing sets of stairs on the way back up the trail. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, snacks and a camera. Meet at the Visitor Center. * Pre-registration required. Free

Saturday, May 15

National Kids to Park Day                                             

9 a.m. – Stock Creek Passage*  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing creeks and rocks, just like the early adventurers. *Pre-registration required. Cost: $5/person


1 p.m. – Critter Crawl*  What’s under that rock? We’ll search the creek for underwater creatures and explain their roles in the environment. Wear closed-toed shoes and expect to get wet. Meet at the Stock Creek Recreation Area.  *Pre-registration required. Free


3 p.m. – Wildlife Olympics*  How would you stand in competition with the wildlife of Virginia? Each animal has a special adaptation making them some of the most elite athletes in the world. Meet at the playground area at Cove View Campground. *Pre-registration required. Free

Saturday, May 22


10 a.m. –  Pioneer Candle Making  Learn and observe the process of candle making and its’ importance to pioneers living on the frontier during the 18th century.  Meet at the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center. Free

1 p.m. – Stock Creek Passage*  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing creeks and rocks, just like the early adventurers. *Pre-registration required. Cost: $5/person


The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities, or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit

Temporary Closure of Greenbelt Boardwalk

A portion of the Kingsport Greenbelt, the Buffalo Grasslands Boardwalk, will be temporarily closed starting  May 6.

The closure is allowing a contractor to replace some of the decking boards. Due to work only being able to be completed when weather permits, there is currently no reopening date set. Once a date is determined, residents can check multiple city Facebook pages, such as Kingsport Alerts, Kingsport Parks and Recreation or Kingsport Public Works, or the city website for the reopening information.

The boardwalk is located at the Greenbelt access point of Indian Trail Drive Trailhead, which is behind PetSmart.

The wooden boardwalk, built with uniquely treated Eastman A wood, is a quarter mile loop located in a wetlands marsh. The elevated walkway design allows the Reedy Creek floodwaters to pass under it while providing local wildlife, such as birds, frogs, and insects, a good home. Birdwatching is a popular hobby that can be done from just about anywhere on the boardwalk.

For more information about the Kingsport Greenbelt, please visit


After holding both spring and fall commencement ceremonies virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, East Tennessee State University is pleased to host ceremonies on campus this week for its expected 2,091 spring 2021 graduates, as well as graduates from both spring and fall 2020.

For the health and well-being of those who will gather for the celebration, the university will host several ceremonies over the course of four days instead of the traditional two Saturday ceremonies. To support a safe environment for graduates, guests and all participants during these events, a number of protocols will be in place. Among these are:

  • Face coverings will be required at all times for graduates, guests and staff while inside the Mini-Dome.

  • Attendance is limited, and each graduate will receive four tickets for guests.

  • All graduate and guest seating will be assigned by section and physically distanced.

  • The graduate experience with check-in and crossing the stage will be contactless.

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place.


Unless otherwise noted, the following activities will be held in the ETSU Mini-Dome on the main campus.


Thursday, May 6

  • 10 a.m. Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy Hooding and Commencement

  • 2 p.m. Quillen College of Medicine Hooding and Commencement, with guest speaker Dr. James Ellzy, Class of 1996


Friday, May 7

  • 10 a.m. Class of 2020 Commencement, with guest speaker Aamir Shaikh, 2019-20 Student Government Association president

  • 1 p.m. ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, with guest speaker Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Leslie Purser. During this ceremony held at the Martin Center for the Arts, 12 ETSU graduates will take the oath of office as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, marking the culmination of their ROTC leadership training.

  • 3 p.m. Class of 2021 CommencementCollege of Arts and Sciences, with guest speaker Dr. Brooks Pond, winner of ETSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching

  • 7 p.m. College of Nursing Convocation – A time-honored tradition, the convocation is the symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the nursing profession or to advanced practice specialties

  • 7 p.m. Multicultural/Lavender Graduation Celebration – This special celebration recognizing and honoring the achievements and diverse identities/ethnicities of graduating seniors from the spring, summer and fall of 2020 and spring 2021 will be held in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium on the lower level of the D.P. Culp Student Center, hosted by the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center and Patricia Robertson Pride Center. (Streaming will be offered via Zoom; email for registration.)


Saturday, May 8

  • 10 a.m. Class of 2021 CommencementClemmer College and College of Public Health, with guest speaker Dr. Lisa Piercey, Tennessee Commissioner of Health

  • 3 p.m. Class of 2021 CommencementCollege of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences and College of Nursing, with guest speaker Beth Bass, U.S. director of Women’s Sport Marketing, adidas


Sunday, May 9

  • 1 p.m. Class of 2021 CommencementCollege of Business and Technology, Cross-Disciplinary Studies, Pharmacy Studies, and Global Sport Leadership, with guest speaker Dr. Wilsie Bishop, provost and senior vice president for academics


Media wishing to cover the commencement ceremonies should contact Joe Smith at or 423-439-4317. Photos and video clips from the ceremonies available by request.


For more information and to access livestreams of the commencement ceremonies, visit

26th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga 

May 15 – 16, 2021 


 On Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 26th annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.  


Join us from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm each day as Sycamore Shoals once again becomes the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. Be immersed in the 18th century as you witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:30 pm.  


During the event, take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator. Vendors this year include; Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Windhil Woolens offering hand processed and dyed woolen goods such as yarn, blankets, and clothing, Walnut Hill Embellishments specializing in 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts, and Wintergreen Farms specializing in antique and original items. Several other vendors will offer everything from 18th century reproduction clothing and gear, to replica housewares and military accouterments.   


Precautions will be taken to minimize the spread of Covid-19. All event activities will occur outdoors. Visitors are asked to stay 6 feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. Restrooms will also close periodically for cleaning.  


For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808, visit the park’s websites at and Visit us on Facebook at for a detailed schedule available soon. 

‘Fantastic Fungi’ to be explored in film at ETSU

JOHNSON CITY – The documentary film “Fantastic Fungi” will be shown at East Tennessee State University on Monday, May 3, at 7 p.m. in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium on the lower level of the D.P. Culp Student Center.

This critically acclaimed film by Louie Schwartzberg is a descriptive time-lapse journey into the magical, mysterious and medicinal world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth that began 3.5 billion years ago.

Hosted by ETSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Sustainability, this free screening is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Attendance is limited to the first 120 people, and social distancing and masks will be required.

For more information, contact the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences at 423-439-5671 or For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

Come Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty!


May 2021- Programs and Tours


*** COVID-19 GUIDELINES: While visiting the park please stay 6 feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. The park visitors center closes Mon. – Sat. between the hours of 11:30 and 1:30 for cleaning and disinfecting. Restrooms close periodically for cleaning. Please help us stop the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. ***


Tenn Essential Trees

Saturday, May 1, 2021                                                                                       2:00 pm

Admission: Free                                                                                                 Max:  15

Registration required –


Join Sycamore Shoals intern Lauren Thompson to learn about some of Tennessee’s Essential Trees! This guided hike will feature outstanding trees and a guided walk along the Watauga River. Learn how to recognize a tree with or without leaves, how our ancestors used the trees, and other unique facts. Experience the state park by hearing basic hiking tips such as, what is good to pack for a day hike, avoiding poison ivy, and what to wear on a hike. If you want to learn something new or just enjoy an easy hike, the Tenn Essential Trees has something for everyone.

Meet at the Picnic Area Information Kiosk
Please no pets.


Misunderstood Animals:  Awesome Opossum

Saturday, May 5, 2021                                                                                       2:00 pm

Admission: Free                                                                                                 Max:  15

Registration required –


Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside of a opossum mind? Can an Opossum hang on a tree upside down by the tail? Come find out with intern Lauren Thompson and learn about how awesome the Opossum can be. From eating ticks that may carry Lyme disease, to being mother nature’s clean-up crew. The opossum has history and tall tales to share with everyone.   

Meet at the Picnic Area Information Kiosk
Please no pets.


Misunderstood Animals:  The Corn Snake

Thursday, May 6, 2021                                                                                       2:00 pm

Admission: Free                                                                                                 Max:  15

Registration required –


Come join intern Lauren Thompson for a friendly discussion on one of the most misunderstood animals, the corn snake. Snakes have been portrayed as a villain in history for as long as anyone can remember. In this program visitors will have the opportunity to learn about native snake species and how they benefit the ecosystem. Gain a basic understanding of the difference between venomous, non-venomous, and poisonous reptiles. Even if you don’t like snakes this is an excellent opportunity to learn something new and gain a better understanding of our native neighbor.

Meet at the Picnic Area Information Kiosk
Please no pets.


Bird Walk with the Lee & Lois Herndon TOS Chapter

Saturday, May 8, 2021                                                                                       8:00 am


Meet other birders and naturalists at Sycamore Shoals for a morning of birding during the migratory season.



27th Annual Siege at Fort Watauga

Saturday & Sunday, May 15 & 16, 2021                                                            10:00 am – 4:00 pm


It is the summer of 1776 and the Watauga settlement is at war.  Join us as 200 colonial and Native reenactors present this dramatic retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley.  Visit the living history camps, shop and period vendors, and witness battle reenactments both days.  Hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and see history come to life at the Siege of Fort Watauga.  Contact the park for detailed schedule. 


Sabine Hill Guided Tour      

Saturday, May 27, 2021                                                                                          1:00 pm

Adults – $9.00; Ages 7 to 17 years – $5.00; 6 and under free

Tax included                                                                                                             Max:  6

Registration required –


Join Park Ranger Cory Franklin for a guided tour of this stately home built by Mary Patton Taylor, widow of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor. The site has been described as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the State of Tennessee. During your tour you will have the opportunity to take in the colorful and architecturally detailed interior while learning about the influential Taylor family who called Sabine Hill home in the early 19th century.


Sabine Hill is located at 2328 West G Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643

Please note, only portable toilet facilities are available at this time. Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be subject to cancelation in the event of severely inclement weather.


Tomahawk Throwing Workshop

Thursday, May 27                                                                    2 pm – 3pm

Cost: $5.00                                                                                  Max: 6

Discover the unique skill of 18th century tomahawk throwing by joining Ranger Jason Davis for a hands-on tutorial.  Topics will include the versatile applications of the tomahawk on the early American Frontier as well as proper technique and release for throwing with safety and accuracy.  No children younger than 12. Parents who wish to be present but not participate do not need to register. Please dress appropriately for the weather.  Bring your own water, all other supplies will be provided. Please don’t bring your own tomahawk. Meet inside Fort Watauga, subject to cancellation due to significantly inclement weather.


Carter Mansion Tour

Friday, May 28, 2021                                                                                     1:00 pm

Adults – $9.00; Ages 7 to 17 years – $5.00; 6 and under free                    

Tax included                                                                                                             Max:  6

Registration required –


Join Park Ranger Cory Franklin for a tour of Tennessee’s oldest frame house! Discover the secrets of this elegant frontier home and learn the history of the family who built it between 1775 and 1780.


The John and Landon Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643

Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be subject to cancelation in the event of severely inclement weather.


Visitors Center Hours:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday (closed 11:00 -12:00 for lunch & cleaning)        

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Sunday

Our Visitors Center is closed on most State holidays.   Park grounds are open from dawn until dusk.

In the event of extremely inclement winter weather, contact the park about program cancelations and park office closings.


1651 W. Elk Avenue- Elizabethton, TN 37643             423-543-5808

ETSU Health hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics for anyone age 18 and older
Free clinics set for April 30, May 1, May 4

JOHNSON CITY – ETSU Health will host three Janssen Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinics, which are free and open to anyone age 18 or older. Two of the three clinics will be available to walk-in patients, with no appointments required.

The upcoming clinics are as follows (please note the new location for April 30 and May 4):

  • Friday, April 30, noon-2 p.m.

    Martha Street Culp Auditorium, D.P. Culp Student Center

    No appointment is required.

  • Saturday, May 1, noon- 2 p.m.

    Millennium Center, 2001 Millennium Place

    Appointments are required at org. Those without access to the internet may call 423-439-EVAX (3829) to assist with scheduling.

  • Tuesday, May 4, noon- 2 p.m.

    Martha Street Culp Auditorium, D.P. Culp Student Center

    No appointment is required.

The ETSU Health vaccine clinic will administer Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, which only requires one shot.

Following a pause of the Janssen Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a thorough safety review, the CDC and the FDA determined that the recommended pause of the vaccine in the U.S. should be lifted and use of the vaccine should resume. The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. More details about the decision is available here.

Faculty, students and staff from ETSU Health colleges, including Quillen College of Medicine, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health, will be administering the vaccines and assisting with patient intake and registration.

To register for the ETSU Health vaccine clinic on Saturday, May 1, visit Those without internet access may call 423-439-EVAX (3829) to assist with scheduling. Patients with questions about the vaccine should contact their physician.

Kingsport Farmers Market Opens April 24
Season officially kicks off May 1, safety protocols still in place

The Kingsport Farmers Market will begin its 2021 season on Saturday, April 24. The season officially kicks off on May 1, with some fun activities to get you in the farmers market mood.

“We are glad to welcome people back to the market this season,” said Kristie Leonard, market manager and Special Events Coordinator for Kingsport. “This last year has given us all a new appreciation for local goods and services, and the Kingsport Farmers Market is one of the best places to shop local.”

Market goers should prepare to follow similar safety protocols as last year, as long as the Kingsport Farmers Market and Sullivan County Regional Health Department deem them necessary. The market has designated, clearly marked entry and exit points, as well as signage inside the market to help visitors navigate the layout. To create adequate space between vendors, parking has been modified. Overflow parking is available in the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce lot.

The CDC and the SCRHD recommend that people wear masks when visiting public places like the market. Anyone who needs to redeem SNAP benefits may do so at the market kiosk.

Preparing for your visit
– If you feel sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.
– Be alert and follow all posted signage in the market.
– Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and others. Look for physical cues like tape,
   chalk and signage to help you remember.
– Be prepared to shop quickly and efficiently.
– Only touch produce you intend to purchase. Allow vendors to help you with produce.
– Wash all produce when you arrive home.
– Please respect vendors by leaving adequate space between yourself and them. Do not go
   behind a vendor table.
– Wash and sanitize your hands often.

On May 1, join the market for a celebration of the new season, featuring live music from Mike Milhorn and friends. Leadership Kingsport, in partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development, will also host “Diggin’ in the Dirt.” During two free sessions at 9 and 10:30 a.m., participants will get to transplant either tomato or sunflower seedlings from trays into pots to take home, while supplies last. Leadership Kingsport will also have educational posts on display and an interactive, educational produce-sorting game available 9 a.m. to noon.

Wednesday markets will begin on May 5. To learn more about the Kingsport Farmers Market, please visit

ETSU offering free pharmacy summer day camp, June 26 and July 17

JOHNSON CITY – Students interested in learning more about the pharmacy profession can attend East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s annual summer camp, “Gatton Pharmacy Footprints.” This year, because of limited space due to COVID-19 restrictions, students can choose to attend a free day camp one of two days: June 26 or July 17, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

The camp is open to rising high school juniors, seniors and college students. Other levels may be considered on an individual basis. The registration deadline is June 19, 2021. Each camp includes a free boxed lunch.

Activities include learning about the pharmacy profession from expert faculty; conducting patient assessment procedures; discovering pharmacy compounding techniques; practicing pharmacotherapy on human simulators; hearing from students about their experience at Gatton; admissions workshop sessions; and tours of the Gatton College of Pharmacy building and ETSU Interprofessional Education and Research Center.

Learn more and register at For questions, contact or 423-439-6338.

Bristol, Tennessee announces plans for Slater Center reopening


Approximately 13 months after closing to the public in response to the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol, Tennessee Parks and Recreation staff have announced plans for the reopening of the Slater Community Center. Beginning Monday, May 3, activities at the center will resume, though users of the facility can anticipate a number of modifications that will be in place.

Hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Participants whose birth year is an even number will be able to access the center on Mondays and Wednesdays, while those with odd-numbered birth years will be able to attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The center will be closed to the public on Fridays to allow for thorough cleaning.

Additionally, program participants should be aware of the following modifications:

  • Face masks will be required inside the building and proper social distancing should be practiced.

  • Upon entry, all participants will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure, including a temperature check. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will not be permitted to participate in programs.

  • All classes will be held in the large gymnasium.

  • No equipment will be provided for yoga classes. Participants must bring their own.

  • Exercise rooms will be open with a one-hour time limit per user.

  • No food or drinks will be permitted in the building with the exception of water bottles. Water fountains will not be in operation.

  • Patrons will be able to play billiards with a limit of two players per table, though no spectators will be permitted.

  • The cafeteria will be open for fellowship with appropriate social distancing, though no meals or snacks will be served.

  • One-on-one fitness classes will resume on May 17 with prior registration required.

  • At any point, should the number of participants in the building or adequate space become a concern, staff may limit additional individuals from entering.

All participants will be required to fill out new information and release forms. Registration will be available for two weeks from Monday, April 19 through Friday, April 30. Participants are encouraged to register online at In-person registrations may also be completed at the Slater Center office during this period from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Individuals with even-numbered birth years may register in person on Mondays and Wednesdays, and those with odd-numbered birth years on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays during this two-week period will be open for any in-person registrations.

For more information, please contact the Bristol, Tennessee Department of Parks and Recreation at (423) 764-4023 or email

ETSU College of Nursing offering online Forensic Nurse Certificate

JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing now offers an online Forensic Nurse Certificate, a graduate certificate designed for nurses who want to expand their training beyond the education acquired as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). 

Sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of the patient who has experienced sexual assault or abuse, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). 

“ETSU’s Forensic Nurse Certificate program builds on SANE training and prepares nurses for many of the issues that arise when dealing with patients who have experienced human violence,” said Dr. Judy McCook, professor in the College of Nursing and director of the Forensic Nurse Certificate program. 

Coursework in the certificate program examines how intentional human violence intersects with health care and the criminal justice system, while integrating forensic science and social services.  

Forensic course content will include the neurobiology of trauma, child and elder maltreatment, dating violence, intimate partner violence, strangulation, sexual assault, commercial sexual exploitation, technology facilitated sexual violence, perpetrator behaviors, death investigation and court testimony. 

The Forensic Nurse Certificate Program was designed with working professionals in mind, offering the flexibility and convenience of online coursework. It can be completed in two semesters, with two courses in the fall and two in the spring or one course per semester over two years.  

To be admitted to the certificate program, students must have a baccalaureate degree and have completed a prerequisite of 41-hours of IAFN SANE-A (Adult/Adolescent) training. Over the past two years, ETSU has provided the SANE-A training at no cost to more than 100 nurses using funding from a Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) grant. Additional grant funds are available to continue SANE-A for qualified nurses from Northeast Tennessee or Southwest Virginia. 

“Since January of 2019, we have provided SANE-A training for more than 100 nurses and we have additional funds to help others earn that prerequisite,” McCook said. “Once they complete the initial online SANE-A course, our new Forensics Certificate Program is the perfect next step for those nurses who want detailed knowledge in this specialty.” 

Applications are now being accepted for fall 2021. To learn more about admissions requirements and how to apply, visit or email Dr. Judy McCook at  

Season passes are on sale now for 2021 summer season

It’s official—water park season is on the way. The Kingsport Aquatic Center will open the Outdoor Water Park on Monday, May 10, and season passes for the 2021 summer season are on sale now.


As the KAC works with the Sullivan County Regional Health Department to evaluate guest safety, the Outdoor Water Park will operate at a reduced capacity of 750 guests at any time to allow for social distancing. The KAC will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in the local area in conjunction with SCRHD, and will evaluate operations as the summer progresses.



2021 Outdoor Water Park Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Wednesday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Sunday: noon – 6 p.m.


Season passes are valid for entry beginning May 1 to the new outdoor lap pool, and beginning May 10 for the water park. The water park will be open every day through Labor Day, weather permitting, then weekends only through the end of September.


The new outdoor lap pool will be open every day, weather permitting, through the end of October. This pool is currently open, and hours will expand as the weather gets warmer. The current operational schedule is:

  • Monday – Friday

    • Lap swim by reservation 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    • Open swim at 50% capacity 4 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday

    • Water aerobics on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings

  • Saturday

    • Open swim at 50% capacity 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.


At this time, KAC’s indoor facilities are still available for lap swim by reservation.


Season passes and memberships can be purchased on or in person at the KAC front desk. To learn more about season pass and membership benefits, call 423-343-9758 or visit

Kingsport Hosts 2021 Iron Pour and Scratch Mold Workshops
Fun, food, flames & white-hot iron!

You don’t want to miss being a part of this! The 2021 Kingsport Iron Pour will take place on Saturday, May 8, with workshops taking place in the weeks prior. You have a chance to create your own iron artwork!

You’re not just invited to watch—you’re invited to make your own art. On Saturday, May 8, the furnace will roar, crackle, flame, and spark with power and excitement! Join us for an iron pour demonstration conducted by sculpture artist Tripp Jarvis and a team of master sculptors as they heat 500 pounds of iron until it’s white hot, then pour it into molds made in the Scratch Mold Workshop. Let the fireworks begin! 

The iron pour is free to spectate. To participate, it’s only $15 to create your own Iron Art through one of the workshops.

Food trucks will be on site as the iron pour is heating up. Visit the Inventor Center at 118 Shelby Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to join in on the fun!

Scratch Mold Workshops:
Class option 1: Friday, April 30, 10 a.m. – noon        
Class option 2: Friday, April 30, 6 – 8 p.m.    
Class option 3: Friday, May 7, 10 a.m. – noon
Class option  4: Friday, May 7,  6 – 8 p.m.
Class option 5: Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. – noon  (*This is the morning of the Iron Pour event.  All molds must be completed no later than 1 p.m.)

Create your own iron artwork by making a Scratch Mold. In this class that’s suitable for beginners and students of all skill level, you’ll scratch unique designs into an 8-inch sand mold which will be cast with molten iron by professional artists during the main event (held on Saturday, May 8). At the end of the night, take home your one-of-a-kind art. The ticket cost includes all materials needed for the workshop and the casting of your piece in iron on May 8 during the main event. Rain or shine. Advance registration is required. $15 scratch block mold.

Visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” tab at the top to reserve your spot! Call 423-392-8414 with any questions.

The Scratch Mold Workshops and Iron Pour are hosted by Engage Kingsport and the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts at the Inventor Center located at 118 Shelby Street.

ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine to host medical summer camp for rural students

JOHNSON CITY – Rural high school students already eyeing a career in medicine can get an early glimpse into the field by attending the Rural High School Medical Camp hosted by East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. 

The camp is geared toward rising juniors and seniors or recent graduates of high schools in rural areas who want to pursue a career in medicine or any other health related career. The camp will be a single-day camp offered on both June 8 and 15. The Rural High School Medical Camp will include information about the various health sciences fields for which there are programs at ETSU, hands-on lectures and a short tour of main campus.

The camp is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of ETSU, Quillen College of Medicine and Tennessee Workforce Development. Campers will receive a free T-shirt and lunch provided in the dining hall of the newly renovated D.P. Culp Student Center.

To apply, visit Space is limited to 30 attendees. The deadline for applications is April 19.

For more information, contact Skylar Moore, rural programs coordinator for Quillen College of Medicine, at 423-439-6719 or via email at

Unicoi Learning Center at 425 Unicoi Drive in Unicoi, Tennessee, is proud to announce their participation in the Child & Adult Food Care program. Meals are provided at no charge to qualified children and adults without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or reprisal for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA, at their facility.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication, such as braille, American sign language or other means, should contact the state or local agency where they applied for benefits.

For more information, call Unicoi Learning Center at 423-743-5052.

Unicoi Learning Center is an equal opportunity provider.

BFA Exhibitions on display at the Reece Museum


JOHNSON CITY – The East Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design and the Reece Museum present the “Spring 2021 BFA Senior Exhibition” now through April 30 featuring works by nine Bachelor of Fine Arts students.


The ETSU Department of Art and Design offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in both studio art and graphic design. Studio art seniors are William Arrowood, Camila Edye, Loki Gardner, Lindsey Goddard and Jess Uhl. Seniors in graphic design are Hank Collie, Haley McBrayer, Laura Rogers and Emilee Storie. All nine students will graduate from ETSU in May.


The Reece Museum, located on the ETSU campus, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit or phone 423-439-4392.