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Aquatic Center's outdoor water park opening soon

KINGSPORT — Water park season is just around the corner. It’s time to dig out your swimsuits.

The Kingsport Aquatic Center will officially open its outdoor water park May 10. Season passes for summer are on sale now. Passes and memberships can be purchased at swimkingsport.com or in person at the facility’s front desk.

“We’re so excited to welcome back our members and guests to the outdoor water park this summer,” said KAC Director Kari Matheney. “We hope our guests are happy to get back to swimming and sunbathing too.”


As the KAC works with the Sullivan County Regional Health Department to evaluate guest safety, Matheney said the outdoor water park will operate at a reduced capacity of 750 guests at any time to allow for social distancing.

Staff will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in the local area in conjunction with the health department and will evaluate operations as the summer progresses, Matheney added.

“We strongly encourage guests to buy season passes to help us minimize crowding at entry points during the busy first weekends of summer,” Matheney said.

This year, season pass holders and KAC members will be able to access the park 30 minutes before regular opening 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. Its current schedule is:


• 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


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

Scott County makes plans for graduations, cancels proms

GATE CITY — Scott County’s Class of 2021 will have a more traditional graduation ceremony than last year, but things won’t quite be back to normal.

The Scott County School Board recently approved this year’s graduation dates for the three high schools. Plans for the ceremonies will be approved next month, but some health and safety guidelines have already been established.

“All three graduations will be outdoor ceremonies,” said Assistant Superintendent Jason Smith.

“At this time, each high school is developing their plan on how that graduation will look on their campus,” he said.

When are the graduation dates?

Rye Cove High School

  • May 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date one: May 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date two: May 27 at 7 p.m.

Gate City High School

  • May 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date one: May 27 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date two: May 28 at 7 p.m.

Twin Springs High School

  • May 27 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date one: June 1 at 7 p.m.
  • Rain date two: June 2 at 7 p.m.

What are the ceremony plans?

Smith said leaders at each school are working on the details of their ceremonies, but some guidelines have been established by Gov. Ralph Northam through executive order. These guidelines include the following:

• Graduation events held outdoors will be capped at 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less.

• Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.

• Require 10 feet of physical distancing between parties. This includes handshakes, hugs and other physical interactions.

Smith said this year’s ceremonies will look more normal than last year’s, when graduates either scheduled times to walk the stage individually or participated in a drive-thru graduation. This year, all students will graduate in the stadiums, and a certain number of tickets will be given to each graduate for family and friends.

“Our folks now are in the process of measuring in their stadiums, getting seating capacity and getting a final number of how many will actually be allowed to come in person,” Smith said, “but they will be in-person graduations, and families will be able to attend those graduations.”

What about proms?

Due to continued health and safety concerns about COVID-19, none of Scott County’s high schools will hold school-sponsored proms this year. Last year’s proms were also canceled, Smith said.

Kingsport man charged with shooting at officers

KINGSPORT — A Kingsport man has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer after allegedly shooting at officers Saturday night.

According to a news release from Capt. Andy Seabolt of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, officers with the SCSO responded to a report of a shooting incident in the 500 block of Wadlow Gap Road in Kingsport just after 7:30 Saturday evening.

Upon arrival, deputies learned that Edward B. Zanes failed to stop at a checkpoint in Scott County, Seabolt said. A pursuit ensued, resulting in Zanes leading a deputy with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and a Virginia State Trooper into Sullivan County.

Zanes crashed his vehicle just over the Sullivan County line. Upon exiting the vehicle, Zanes fired a shot at the officers, according to the release.

Zanes was taken into custody a short time later. No one was injured during the incident.

Zanes, 46, has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and felony evading arrest.

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