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Sustainability strategy outlined in Barrette Outdoor Living’s ESG report

Barrette Outdoor Living, Inc., a leading provider of outdoor living products, recently released its annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.

In the report, Barrette Outdoor Living shares its progress in advancing its sustainability strategy over the course of the 2021 financial year.

Barrette is one of Hawkins County’s biggest industrial employers with more than 700 employees at its Bulls Gap plant.

The report provides a review of performance metrics that provide insights into the company’s dedication to lowering its carbon footprint, manufacturing eco-friendly products and helping to build stronger communities — both internally and externally — at its 14 locations in the United States and Canada.

“It is astounding to see the dramatic shift across all sectors of business to embrace sustainable and environmentally responsible practices,” said Jean desAutels, CEO of Barrette Outdoor Living. “I am incredibly proud of our commitment to these practices and am constantly inspired by the efforts our team is making to further propel our ESG initiatives.”

Highlights of the report

• Establishing “Pillars of Manufacturing Excellence” that encompass the four key areas that uphold the company’s commitment to sustainability

• Enrollment with the EPA’s SmartWay program to help advance supply chain sustainability

• The formation of an ESG Working Committee that has been tasked with monitoring all ESG initiatives and acting as leaders regarding all ESG initiatives

• Establishing a company-wide partnership with a national non-profit to host annual on-site service projects at all locations

• Receiving the 2021 Duke Energy Power Partner Award for Sustainability Excellence

To view the full report and learn more about Barrette Outdoor Living’s sustainability efforts, visit:

About Barrette Outdoor Living, Inc.

Barrette Outdoor Living empowers homeowners to bring their personal outdoor space to life — however they envision it — by providing fencing, railing, decking and complementary outdoor products that beckon people to embrace their Outside SideTM.

Barrette Outdoor Living is proud to be an American manufacturer, with 14 locations throughout North America that provide outdoor products sold through specialty retailers, home centers and lumberyards.

Featuring more than 70 patents, proprietary state-of-the-art machinery and rigorous testing and control standards, Barrette Outdoor Living products are meticulously engineered, designed for flexibility and ease of installation. For more information, visit

Jamey Johnson, Lynyrd Skynyrd headline Kingsport Fun Fest 2022 concert series

Zach Williams kicks off the Kingsport Fun Fest 2022 Sunset Concert Series lineup on Thursday, July 21st, with opener Shane & Shane.

Jamey Johnson headlines the Friday Night Concert on July 22nd with Colt Ford opening. On Saturday, July 23rd, Eastman presents the festival finale with headliner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and opener, Dalton Dover.

“Fun Fest’s theme from the beginning was community unity”, said 2022 Fun Fest Chairman, Jeff Fleming. “Generations of Kingsport area residents have circled these dates in July and look forward to gathering with friends, family, and guests. The pandemic taught us to slow down a bit, appreciate the special attributes of towns our size, and reconsider what’s truly important.”

Cardinal Glass Industries based in Church Hill is sponsoring the stage at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.

“Cardinal Glass is excited to be in this community and even more excited to be a part of Fun Fest,” said Cardinal Glass Church Hill plant manager Shaun Banner. “On behalf of our 700 plus employees, we are proud to support one of the community’s most treasured events.”

Zach Williams is no stranger to Fun Fest. Williams led the rock band Williams & The Reformation before starting his solo career in Contemporary Christian music. In 2016, Williams had a Christian hit single with “Chain Breaker.” Williams won his first Grammy in 2017 with his debut album, “Chain Breakers”. Since then, he has won two more Grammys and is among the CCM’s leading artists and songwriters.

Cold Ford opens the Friday Night Concert. A Georgia native, Ford has had five consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. He has sold more than 3 million albums while reaching one billion-plus streams with hit songs like “Chicken and Biscuits”, “Workin’ On”, “Drivin’ Around Song” and many other award winning collaborations.

Jamey Johnson, a former Marine and Alabama native, headlines the Friday Night Concert. In March he was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnson is most well-known for his popular single “In Color,” which won Song of the Year at the Country Music Awards in 2009. Most recently, Johnson released “High Cost of Living,” “Between Jennings & Jones,” and many more country hits.

Dalton Dover kicks off Saturday’s finale, presented by Eastman. Dover appeared on season 16 of The Voice, where he gained fans with his cover of, “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. His music journey started in church and singing in his grandpa’s living room. His TikTok has gained followers after his singing posts and duets with well-known country singers gained over 1 million likes. His single, “You Got a Small Town”, has reached more than 7 million listens on Spotify.

Lynyrd Skynyrd closes Fun Fest 2022. In Jacksonville, Florida, 41 years ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd began its legacy. Lynyrd Skynyrd is the definitive Southern rock band, fusing the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious Southern image and a hard-rock swagger.

The Eastman Fireworks Spectacular will immediately follow Lynyrd Skynryd’s concert.

Beginning Friday, May 13th at 10 a.m., Sunset Concert Series general admission tickets can be purchased online only at Tickets for Thursday’s Contemporary Christian Concert are $15.

For the Friday Night Concert and Saturday’s Eastman Concert, tickets are $20. Beginning July 15th, ticket prices increase to $20 for Thursday’s concert and $25 for Friday and Saturday’s concerts. Beginning June 24th, tickets will also be available for purchase in addition to festival merchandise, at the Fun Fest Store located at 400 Clinchfield St., Ste. 100.

Cintas’ Friends of Festus reserved seats are a value-added option for concert-goers. A limited number of Friends of Festus tickets can be purchased ONLINE ONLY and will go on sale Friday, May 13th at 10 a.m. at

Friends of Festus reserved seats are priced from $50-$75 each. A reserved parking space located in the stadium parking lot is included with the purchase of two or more Friends of Festus tickets. You can purchase your seats by visiting A limited number of seats are available.

A reminder that Fun Fest has a Clear Bag Policy for the stadium concerts. Coolers are not allowed in the stadium and all items will be subject to search. Clear bags should not exceed 12”x6”x12” and approved bags will be available for purchase outside of the stadium. For additional information, visit

Half of April home sellers in Rogersville pocket an extra $66,500

Fewer Rogersville homes were sold in April, but half of those who did sell pocketed $66,500 or more than those who sold in April last year.

Last month’s median existing-home sales price was $234,000, up 41.4% from last year. The median is the point where half of the sales were for $234,000 or more. There were 16 closings last month, down from 22 last year.

Only three of the Tri-Cities area city or submarkets saw an increase in April sales. They were Bristol TN, Elizabethton, and Erwin. At the same time, sellers in only three markets saw a median price below last year.

Bristol TN and Bristol VA, and Mountain City markets took a price hit, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) Home Sales Report.

So far this year, 85 Rogersville existing home sales have closed. That’s five more than during the first four months of last year. The median sales price is $193,500, up from $161,000 last year. That’s a 6.3% sales and 20.2% four-month price increase. Both are higher than the city’s historical levels.

The city’s supply-demand dynamics are stable. During the first week of the month, there were 22 new listings and 24 pending sales. Since new pending sales outnumber new listings, there’s a slight downward pressure on inventory.

Rogersville had one month’s inventory at the first of the month. Balanced market conditions are five to six months of inventory, so there’s a lot more demand for housing than the inventory just like the rest of the region.

And like the rest of the region, the demand for higher-end homes is high. Seven of last month’s sales were in the $200,000 to $300,000 sweet spot. Four more were in the $300,00 to $500,000 price range.

The Census Bureau’s current population projections put Hawkins’s growth at 1%. That’s the top regional county projected growth rate. That begs the question: where’s that growth coming from?’s data doesn’t offer a precise answer. Still, it offers some insights into who’s looking at property listings.

Sullivan Co. residents topped the share of total view for Hawkins Co. listing (9.2%), followed by Washington Co. residents (5.5%). That fits the typical local migration pattern, but the eye-opener is the percentage of views from those in greater distances.

Hamblen and Davidson Co., Tenn., are high on the list for Tennessee listing views.

Loudoun Co. Va. residents led the out-of-state listing reviews and almost equaled the share from Sullivan Co.

Rounding out the out-of-state views were: Dekalb Co. Ga., Buncombe Co. NC, Cook Co. Ill., King Co. Washington, Fulton Co. Ga., Scott Co. Va. Mecklenburg Co. NC, the District of Columbia, and Maricopa Co. Ariz.

Rogersville is not attracting new out-of-state residents in similar numbers as other local counties but check out license plates in the parking lots of local businesses and you’ll see they’re here.

Don Fenley is a long-time Tri-Cities journalists who now specializes in local economic news and trends. His CoreData website can be accessed at

Smith Auto Parts: Rogersville’s Local Parts Store for more than 70 years

Many people spend their career as auto parts store “counter men”, but few have lived it like Mark Smith.

Mark and his wife Susan are the owners of Smith Auto Parts on Colonial Road in Rogersville. It is a second-generation family business, in the same location for over 60 years.

Susan says that Mark’s father, Luke, got into the auto business in 1949. He owned two service stations. In 1951 he bought the property on Colonial Road and originally had a junkyard there. He sold new and used parts and bought scrap metal. The current building was built in 1974 and the business shifted to new parts.

Mark began coming to work with his did when he was around 10 years old.

Susan says “They say they would turn over a crate so he could see over the counter.”

Luke and his wife Daisy owned the business and worked it together. Along with raising their eight children, Daisy sometimes worked the counter at the store and kept the books until 1985.

Mark graduated from high school in 1974 and began working full time. Susan started working part time in 1984 and now is the bookkeeper for the store. Luke passed away in 1987 and Daisy in 2021.

Today Smith Auto Parts is a full-service parts store. They sell batteries, brake parts, belts and any other parts a customer might need. They also stock tractor parts.

Susan says “if we don’t have it, we can usually get it over night. Smith Auto Parts is an independent operation, and they are associated with “Parts City” which is a collective of independent dealers.

In addition to the Colonial Road location, they own two other local store, Holston Auto/NAPA on Main Street in Rogersville and Mark’s Auto Parts in Surgoinsville.

Smith Auto Parts has an in-house machine shop, and can perform all kinds of machining including turning rotors. They also make hoses in-house, including hydraulic hoses for tractors and big machines.

Mark can answer any questions a customer may have; Susan says “Mark is an encyclopedia of auto parts knowledge.” Long term customers would agree.

Smith Auto Parts has served Rogersville for three generations. Susan says “Since the start of the business in 1949, we want to thank all the customers for their business over the years.”

Smith Auto Parts is located at 342 Colonial Road. Their phone number is (423) 272-7678.