There are several graduates of King College, in Bristol, Tenn., in Four Seasons Country. King is an example of a privately run university (they now confer graduate degrees) that has not only held its own during the last several decades, but has continued to grow. At the school’s annual “Dogwood Festival” College President Dr. Gregory Jordan reported to a large gathering of alumni that the school is seeking to establish a medical program. School officials are way past the dream stage and, if their track record is any indication of their future potential, a medical school will become a reality. Jordan has said that the medical school will fill a tremendous shortage of doctors in the Tri-Cities Region.

“If we can address the medically under served counties and produce physicians who will assist in the implementation of health care, so much the better,” Jordan said early last year.

Jordan and King College’s dynamic leadership have pushed the school to new horizons in spite of the recession and other national problems.

Many in the area know King’s former Provost and former President Charles E. “Charlie” Cauthen Jr. After Cauthen retired as president of Acme Markets, he left Bluefield and moved to Bristol to help King College. Cauthen’s vision and business acumen also laid many of the bricks in the foundation upon which King has built its success.


Some folks are saying that Mercer County needs a county administrator. Others are pushing for a new office called the County Building Inspector.


General Motors. It has been often stated that “what is good for GM is good for America.” The quote isn’t exactly correct. In 1953, former GM President Charlie Wilson had been asked by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to become his Secretary of Defense. Wilson was responding to a question directed to him by the Senate Armed Services Committee, “whether he faced a conflict of interest between GM and the United States.”

Wilson responded: “For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country.” GM’s management has taken many hits. Recently the corporations CEO and Chairman Rick Wagoner resigned under pressure. Wagoner, who hails from Richmond, Va., is both a Duke University and Harvard graduate. He also played basketball player for Duke. Former GM boss Roger Smith found himself down on the crayon list of brightest colors when he told Ross Perot that it took GM five years to develop a product. Perot nailed him with, “Heck we won World War II in four years.”

GM, even after making inroads and greatly improving their products, may not overcome three decades of lost brand loyalty to foreign made cars and trucks. If GM, Ford or Chrysler goes out of business, people on the assembly line will not be the only ones that stand to lose. The tidal wave will be felt not only nationally, but locally as well.


Pete Sarver has changed his mind about not running for Bluefield City Board. Sarver said he has filed the necessary papers to become an official write-in candidate. Citing a change in heart after several friends and supporters contacted him, Sarver also acknowledged there was some unfinished business that he wanted to pursue and support. He has announced his write-in candidacy for “member at large.” With several other candidates on the ballot, the city races could get real interesting.


We hear that Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, may petition the Sons of Italy for membership. Shott might make a good governor. At least the party tent in back of the governor’s mansion would be put to some good use. That tent is the topic of many barbs, even down in the Bristol area. I have had to put up with comments such as “Ringling Brothers also has tents” and something about the “greatest show on earth.”


There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. I hope that are enjoying another blue sky day.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.

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