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  • Rep. Stam: More Lottery Advertising in NC?

    Stam

    April 29, 2016. On opening day, Sen. Jerry Tillman filed Senate Bill 728 (“Lottery – JLOC Recommendations”), which would allow the Lottery Commission to double the money it spends on advertising. Proponents claim that this measure will significantly increase money for education. The 1% of lottery revenue that can already be spent on advertising helps bring in (projected) $580 million in net revenue to the state. The proposed legislation would allow 2% of lottery receipts to be spent on advertising. / Read more…



  • Chappell’s Funeral Set for Saturday, Banner Elk Plane Crash Survivor in Critical Condition

    National Transportation Safety Board official conducting the investigation of the crash at the Boone Golf Course earlier this week.

    April 29, 2016. While the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into Monday’s plane crash that claimed one life and seriously injured two, the crash site at the Boone Golf Course is now clean and the onsite investigation is over, according to Art Adams of the Boone Golf Course. The two survivors, John Field Worsley II, 69, of Lenoir, and Steven Cox Berry, 43 of Banner Elk, were airlifted to regional hospitals following the crash. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Hypnosis Comedy Show at WHS to Support Bethel School Media Center on April 30

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    April 19, 2016. The school may be small, but there’s no doubt that big things are going on in the media center at Bethel. It takes a lot of work to keep those programs going, however, as well as a lot of money. Ready to contribute? Lucky for you, there’s a fun way to help on the horizon. The stand-up comedian and published author known as “The Amazing Cheryl Q” will take the stage at Watauga High’s Ross Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 for a benefit performance that will support Bethel’s media center. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Art in the Park Returns to Blowing Rock May 7 for 54th Season with Exciting Changes

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    April 28, 2016. Formerly held in the parking deck of the American Legion building, the events will now take place right along Park Avenue in downtown. This bigger, better venue will not only accommodate more guests, it will also allow attendants to park in the deck, alleviating some of the traffic. You can also hop right over to Memorial Park and unwind with free yoga sessions led by Art of Living Retreat Center. With the chamber’s office now right in the heart of the festivities, its spacious lawn will act as a hub for activity and will feature tastings from Art of Oil and local wineries and breweries. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Wahoo’s Adventures Takes Going Green to a New Level at its New River Outpost

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    April 28, 2016. The New River Outpost in Todd, NC is sporting a new wrap-around porch with a new 8.1kW PV solar system. This new system will take the New River Outpost to a zero on the electrical grid. In fact, Wahoo’s will be producing more Kwh than it can use, therefore producing a surplus supply to Blue Ridge Electric grid. / Read more…



  • Online Fundraiser Started for Tilley Family After Home Burns Down in Todd

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    April 28, 2016. Through a crowdsourcing fundraising site, more than 200 people have donated to the family of Wright and Tracy Tilley, who “literally lost everything” when the house they were living in burned to the ground on Sunday. A friend of the family of four created the fundraiser in the aftermath of the fire at 340 Grande Oaks Drive in Todd. Wright Tilley is the executive director of the Watauga County Tourism and Development Authority. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Photos From Dedication of Community Solar Station on Depot Street in Downtown Boone

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    April 28, 2016. The Town of Boone, Climate Voices US and Collaborative Solar held a dedication of the Boone Community Solar Station, located in the Depot Street parking lot, last Friday. The Boone Community Solar Station not only creates energy from a renewable source, but it also offers residents and tourists access to an L3 charger where they can sustainably fuel electric vehicles. The solar station is just one example of how sustainable energy practices are being implemented in our community. Photos by Bailey Faulkner / Read more…



  • App Voices Congratulates BREMCO on Launch of Energy SAVER Loan Program

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    April 28, 2016. Members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation (BRE) have a new way to pay for improving the energy efficiency of their homes thanks to BRE’s new Energy SAVER Loan Program. BRE provides electricity to more than 74,000 residents of all or parts of seven counties in western North Carolina. / Read more…



  • MerleFest Makes It Easy To Have Fun, 29th Annual Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow. If You’ve Never Been, You Should Go This Year!

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    April 26, 2016. MerleFest makes it easy to have fun. The festival, which begins tomorrow, Thursday, April 28 and ends Sunday, May 1, has a well-earned reputation of being such a well-run festival. Now in its 29th year, the festival has certainly “figured it out” since the first festival in 1988, when musicians were playing on the back of a flatbed truck in memory of Merle Watson. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Singing and Auction to Support Watauga Native Ryan ‘Possum’ Mullis on May 7

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    April 26, 2016. He’s been receiving dialysis nearly every other day since November, and is now out of work thanks to the consistent need for treatment. Medical bills are stacking up, and his family, friends and neighbors are hoping to see a big show of support at the upcoming event. Mullis is on kidney and pancreas transplant lists with Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, Duke University Hospital in Durham and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Federal Judge Upholds NC’s Voter ID Law

    April 26, 2016. On Monday, a federal judge upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law that went into effect this past primary election cycle. The law requires voters to show an acceptable form of ID. It also eliminated a week of early voting, ended same-day registration and prohibited the counting of out-of-precinct ballots. Here’s what folks are saying about the ruling: Compiled by Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Boone Police ID Plane Crash Victims, Deceased is Ben Chappell of Boone, Two Injured From Banner Elk and Lenoir

    After having notified the victim’s families, Boone Police are releasing the identities of the occupants of the plane that crashed Monday afternoon at Boone Golf Course. The occupants were John Field Worsley II, 68, of Lenoir; Steven Cox Berry, 43, of Banner Elk and Benjamin (Ben) Franklin Chappell, 69, of Boone. At the time of this release both Worsley and Berry are listed in critical condition at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. Ben Chappell was pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.



  • ‘Friend To Many’ in Community Dies in Plane Crash, Two Injured Flown To Regional Hospitals

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    April 25, 2016. A prominent local resident died in the plane crash at the Boone Golf Club that occurred just before 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon, according to Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford. Authorities, however, are waiting to release the name of the deceased and two other injured passengers until extended family members are notified. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Avery Sheriff Hopes Autopsy Provides Clues in Death of Man Found in Creek Near Newland

    Avery County Sheriff's Office

    April 25, 2016. Investigators with the Avery County Sheriff’s Office attended an autopsy performed by the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office in Winston Salem on Monday, April 25 regarding the individual who was found deceased in Squirrel Creek near Newland. Preliminary results of the autopsy on the body of 34-year-old Marcus Hughes of the Plumtree community in Avery County indicated the cause of his death was drowning. / Read more…



  • Aerial Photographer’s Filming Marriage of Proposal With Drone at Grandfather Goes Viral

    April 25, 2016. When Jordan Nelson and his fiancée, Meghan Frye, return from the Caribbean next week, his marriage proposal atop Grandfather Mountain will likely be an international sensation. This morning, Jordan said that Reuters, an international news agency, and the Daily Mail in the UK were the latest publications to reach out regarding the proposal likely to soon be heard ‘round the world. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Portion of Deerfield Road in Watauga County Road To Close This Week

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    April 25, 2016. A drainage improvement project is set to begin this week in Watauga County. The N.C. Department of Transportation will close a portion of Deerfield Road on the morning of April 25 to improve water flow under a short stretch of the road. The construction — removing a 36-inch pipe then installing a 48-inch pipe — is expected to last five days with the road re-opening on the evening of April 29, weather permitting. / Read more…



  • North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund Receives $224 Million

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    April 25, 2016. North Carolina homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages because of job loss, reduction in income or other temporary hardships can still get help through the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund thanks to an additional $224 million in funding. The funds were awarded last week to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program, from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. / Read more…



  • Deanna Ballard Selected To Replace Resigning Sen. Dan Soucek in N.C. Senate

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    April 25, 2016. Deanna Ballard, Republican State Senator nominee for the 45th Senatorial District, was selected on April 23, to serve and complete the term of retiring State Senator Dan Soucek. Republican leaders from Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Caldwell, & Watauga counties met Sat., April 23, and unanimously selected Ballard to serve in the short session of the General Assembly. The meeting was moderated by A.J. Daoud, and Ballard’s name was unopposed when the time came for nominations. / Read more…



  • Early Spring Selling Season Shows Optimism for Real Estate in the High Country

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    April 25, 2016. Winter grudgingly refused to make way for Spring last month, with snow and frost making late appearances in the High Country, but the local real estate market was anything but cold. Regional home sales continued to outpace last year’s activity. Prices were up in March. Interest rates have fallen back to where they were at year’s start. And new listings are being added to the High Country MLS, which tracks realtor activity in Ashe, Alleghany, Avery and Watauga counties. / Read more…



  • Boone Police Continue Search for CCC&TI Student, Possible Sighting Near Trout Lake Area

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    Boone Police are continuing to attempt to locate James Martin Roberts. Investigators have been following numerous leads and tips, but so far have been unable to locate Martin. Martin was last seen on Thursday, April 21, at approximately 12:30 PM near the intersection of Hardin Street and Rivers Street around the ASU Convocation Center.



  • Banner Elk Kiwanis Club: Barinowski, Krege, Swinkola Recognized for Leadership, Service

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 22, 2016. Many organizations around the world work to change lives and communities, and Kiwanis International is among the most effective on both local and global scales. A relentless commitment to impacting lives at home and abroad makes each Kiwanis Club a powerful force for positive change, and the Banner Elk chapter is no exception. In fact, several of its members were recently recognized for their outstanding work in the community. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • After Nearly 10 Days of No Rain Showers Arrive, Should Help Contain Forest Fires

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    April 22, 2016. With firefighters working on containing multiple forest fires across the state and with the N.C. Drought Advisory Council reporting on the “abnormally dry conditions,” the overnight rain was a welcome sight. RaysWeather.com noted that rain will “be with us” through mid-afternoon and possibly through this evening with showers. Looking at RaysWeather.com archives, rain hadn’t fallen in about nine days prior. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • NCDMV Reminds More Than 26,000 Moped Owners About Liability Insurance

    ncdot

    April 22, 2016. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is sending 26,799 letters to moped owners reminding them about a new law that will require the vehicles to carry liability insurance beginning July 1. Letters are being mailed this week to moped owners whose vehicles are registered with NCDMV. / Read more…



  • Watauga Family Appeals Recent BOA Ruling That Allows Asphalt Plant on Scenic Byway

    April 22, 2016. High Country WATCH has learned that Watauga county residents Carolyn and Randall Henion have appealed to Superior Court the recent Watauga County Board of Adjustment (BOA) ruling that overturned a June 2015 decision by the Watauga County planner to revoke a 2011 High Impact Land Use (HILU) issued to Johnny Hampton for an asphalt plant due to a lack of progress. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Announces Commencement Speaker, Honorary Degree Recipients

    LMC

    April 21, 2016. Lees-McRae College is proud to announce that Dianne L. May has been chosen to receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities at this year’s commencement ceremony on May 7, 2016. A resident of Linville, NC and Bonita Springs, Fla., May is a member of the Lees-McRae board of trustees. / Read more…



  • Mount Vernon Celebrates 150 Years of God’s Faithfulness with Six Weeks of Special Events

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    April 20, 2016. One of the county’s largest and longest standing churches, Mount Vernon Baptist, invites you to join a six-week celebration of its past, its present and its future. The festivities begin this week in honor of the church’s 150th birthday and of God’s faithful plan for the church family. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Got Dinner Plans for Thursday Night? Dine with the Culinary Students at Avery High School

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    April 13, 2016. Tired of going to the same restaurants over and over again? Try something new! Join the culinary program on April 21 for a prix fixe dinner prepared and served by local students. Aspiring chefs from Martha Godwin’s foods and culinary courses invite you to join them for a four-course Italian meal. By Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • HeART & Soul Fundraiser to Feature ‘Soul Benefactor,’ Slated for April 23 at BRAHM

    SoulBenefactor

    April 14, 2016. HeART & Soul (formerly Motown in the Mountains) begins at 6:30 p.m., with funk, soul and classic rock band Soul Benefactor once again providing the soundtrack for the dance floor. In addition to music and dancing, the evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live and silent auctions of fantastic items from area and regional businesses. Tickets are $35 each and are selling fast. / Read more…



  • Smoky Mountain MCO, State DMVA Launch New Mental Health Initiative for WNC Vets

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    April 21, 2016. The N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and Smoky Mountain MCO (Smoky) public managed health care organization are teaming up on a new mental health initiative for veterans and their families in six western N.C. counties. / Read more…



  • Rufus Edmisten Donates $5,000 to Mabel School, Donation Becomes Annual Tradition

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 21, 2016. Former North Carolina Attorney General and Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten has donated $5,000 to help families pay attendance fees for the Mabel Elementary School Extended Learning Center (afterschool) program, marking the eighth year in a row he has made a substantial donation to support afterschool services for Mabel families. / Read more…



  • Five Watauga High School Students Selected for Governor’s School

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    April 21, 2016. Watauga High School students Emma Balbier, Collin Linnville, Andrew Nenow, Yoojin Oh, and Aidan Williams have been chosen to attend Governor’s School of North Carolina, a highly selective summer program offered to some of the most academically and artistically gifted students from across the state. High schools are limited in how many students they can nominate for the program and less than half of the highly accomplished students that are nominated receive an invitation to attend. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, April 4 – 17

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    April 20, 2016. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Jessica Isaacs



  • Women Helping Women: WFBR Grantee Luncheon Celebrates the Power of Philanthropy

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    April 19, 2016. Kindness, laughter and warm smiles filled the room on Wednesday as local leading ladies joined for the annual Grantee Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge. The get-together was held at the Blowing Rock Conference Center and gave guests a closer look at how the dollars they raised have been spent in the community.
    Story and Photos by Jessica Isaacs. / Read more…



  • Blue Ridge Conservancy Protects 1.3 Miles of Scenic Ridgeline Along NC 105 Corridor

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 20, 2016. BRC recently purchased 245 acres on Peak Mountain in Watauga and Avery counties from BH Land Acquisition, LLC. The property is highly visible from Seven Devils, the NC Hwy 105 corridor, Grandfather Mountain, Hanging Rock and other mountains and ridges in the vicinity. Its close proximity to other protected lands, such as Grandfather Mountain, Bear Paw State Natural Area, and Otter Falls Trail adds to the conservation significance. / Read more…



  • Boone Town Council Meets on Thursday

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    April 20, 2016. The Boone Town Council will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. View the agenda items inside. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



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