Local soldiers to return home Saturday
Girls Inc. plans Shrimpfest fund-raiser
ETSU on America's Best Colleges list
Northeast State to hold convocation
ETSU official Franks heading to Alabama
LMU student to perform free concert
GRAY - Local soldiers will be returning home Saturday, some of them fresh off their second tour of duty in Iraq. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, shipped out from Gray last June. They have been in Iraq since September 2006. The 50 or so Marines should return to the Tennessee National Guard Armory in Gray by 6 p.m. on Saturday. For some of the soldiers it was their first time being deployed overseas. Other soldiers were veterans of Iraq. According to Maj. Steve Bickford, about 25 percent of the soldiers volunteered for a second tour. The soldiers are currently in California being debriefed. Lima Company suffered one loss while in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Jonathan Thornsberry, of Kentucky, was killed Oct. 25. Other Marines suffered minor injuries and returned to duty. The Marines served in Al-Anbar province while in Iraq.
KINGSPORT - Girls Inc. of Kingsport will hold its annual "Shrimpfest" fund-raiser from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Domtar Cabin in Colonial Heights. The event includes unlimited food and drink with dinner starting at 7 p.m., followed by dancing and live beach music featuring Mark Larkins. For those who don't like shrimp, alternative meals are available by calling Girls Inc. Tickets cost $45 per person and can be purchased by calling 247-2321. All proceeds benefit Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization serving 100 girls every day.
JOHNSON CITY - East Tennessee State University again has been selected for inclusion in Princeton Review's America's Best Colleges. Selections for the 2008 edition were made on the basis of excellent academics, generous financial aid packages and relatively low costs. ETSU is featured as one of 90 public and 75 private colleges chosen for inclusion based on student opinion data and information obtained from some 650 institutions. A list of the 165 schools is also posted at www.PrincetonReview.com.
KINGSPORT - Northeast State Technical Community College will hold its annual Honors Convocation tonight at 7 p.m. in the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport. The Honors Convocation recognizes the outstanding student in each academic program, all students graduating with honors, and winners of the Outstanding Student Award, Outstanding Alumni Award, and Distinguished Staff Awards for 2006-2007. For more information, call 354-5120 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHNSON CITY - East Tennessee State University Vice President for Health Affairs Ronald Franks tentatively has accepted a similar post at the University of South Alabama. Franks, who has spent nearly a decade at ETSU, traveled to Mobile in March to interview for South Alabama's vice president for health sciences position, one of three searches he was involved in at the time. On Wednesday, he said he had accepted South Alabama's verbal offer and was amid negotiations for salary, benefits and transition dates. He noted that his appointment also would require formal approval from the university's governing board. If all goes as planned, he would relocate in mid-July. ETSU President Paul Stanton on Wednesday called Franks "a class act." "He's done great things for the university and the College of Medicine and the Division of Health Sciences," Stanton said. Stanton said Wednesday he was unsure how he would fill the health affairs vice presidency should Franks leave ETSU. "We'll have to think through that once Ron (Franks) finalizes his decision," Stanton said.
HARROGATE - A new artist will be breaking onto the local music scene next month with his debut compact disc, "Looking Out Your Window." The tri-state community can get a sneak peak at Chris Ellis at 8 p.m. Friday when Lincoln Memorial University hosts his pre-release show in Duke Hall. Admission is free. Ellis is currently studying music production at LMU. Ellis prides himself on energetic shows with a mix of his own material along with various covers and solid crowd communication. "It's all about having fun with the audience and playing the best music I can. I'm going to give 120 percent, regardless if it's five people or 5,000," he said.