High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, August 4 – August 12

    August 15, 2018. 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 Nathan Ham



  • “Anyone Can Dance!” Brings Dance Opportunities to the High Country with New “Heart of Dance”


    August 15, 2018. Anyone Can Dance!, a pay-what-you-can dance program, offers ballet and tap classes to all children regardless of financial ability. Started in January 2018, the program held its first recital with 30 dancers on April 28th, 2018. This fall, Anyone Can Dance! is bringing a new program to the High Country – Heart of Dance. Heart of Dance is a team of 10-12 dancers ages 6-12 who meet once a week for a rehearsal. By Emily Sharpe / Read more…



  • Back to School: Watauga and Avery County Schools Start Back on Monday


    August 15, 2018. Summer break is almost over for students across the High Country. School busses will be rolling on Monday morning, as Watauga County students will head back to their classrooms for the start of the 2018-19. Watauga County teachers were welcomed back with the annual convocation ceremony at the high school with over 700 faculty and staff members in attendance. The event featured three speakers that included Watauga County Board of Education Chairman Ron Henries, Principal of the Year Phil Norman from Green Valley and Blowing Rock School teacher Terri Hodges, who was named as the Watauga County Teacher of the Year. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Go, Granny D! Performance August 18; Story of 89 Year Old Woman Who Walked Across America to Protest Big Money in Politics

    August 15, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY PAULA FINCK / I am writing to encourage your readers to attend “Go Granny D,” a unique one-woman performance by noted actress Barbara Bates Smith at the Watuagua County Public Library thisSaturday, August 18, at 3:00 p.m. “Go Granny D” tells the story of the Doris “Granny D” Haddock, the woman who sparked a national conversation about big money and politics in 1999 by embarking on a 3,200 mile protest walk — at the age of 89 — from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.  This all-but-forgotten woman is credited with stirring up a wave of outrage leading to the McCain-Feingold Act, national legislation against “soft” campaign contributions by big donors. Read more…



  • 35th Annual Valle Crucis Community Park Benefit Auction on Saturday, August 25 at 9 a.m.


    August 15, 2018. Join us for the 35th Annual Valle Crucis Community Park Benefit Auction on Saturday, August 25, at the Apple Barn at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Indulge in scrumptious breakfast fare, sip a morning beverage, and raise your hand for the Park! This year, we welcome auctioneers Jesse Miller and Anne Rasheed to kick off the live bidding. The action will be dynamic, and we always encourage friendly competition! In case you’re shy about raising your hand, we are adding a silent auction to the mix this year, so you can make your bids quietly (but still competitively!). / Read more…



  • Avery Habitat for Humanity to Have Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Wednesday Night

    August 15, 2018. The Avery County Habitat for Humanity will host an open house and ribbon cutting for the newest home it’s constructed on Wednesday, August 15. The ceremony for the new home will start at 6:00 p.m. on its site at 91 Church Farm Lane in Newland. The GPS location for the new home is: 1250 Trice Fork Mountain Road, Newland, NC 28657. All who want to come are welcome at the ceremony and barbecue and refreshments will be offered to those who attend, compliments of the Avery HFH. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Relish: “To take great pleasure in an experience”


    August 15, 2018. In its verb form, the word relish means to enjoy or take great pleasure in an experience. As a noun, it is a spiced side dish or accompaniment to food. This time of year, it’s very easy to combine both meanings into one. I remember my mother and grandmother making relish, which, to me wasn’t very appealing — chopped vegetables marinating in a tangy juice, poured into jars and stored on the pantry shelf between pickles and kraut. It was something the grown-ups ate with pinto beans, and I just didn’t “get it.” Things sure have changed through the years! For those of you fortunate enough this year to have a few garden goods left hanging around to “relish,” perhaps these recipes will come in handy. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Horn in the West Recycling Center to Close; Town of Boone’s New Recycling Program Begins on September 1


    August 14, 2018. Residents in the town of Boone will have a new recycling program coming up at the end of August. The smaller, 18-gallon blue bins will be replaced by 96-gallon roll-out carts from August 27-31 with all single-family residences having these newer, bigger recycling bins by the official program start date of September 1. According to Marsha Owens, Boone’s Sanitation and Recycling Coordinator, the additional corrugated cardboard from residences made this change in the recycling program an important one. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Banner Elk Sees Good Turnout for National Night Out Community Event


    August 14, 2018. For 35 years, towns across America have participated in National Night Out, an event that is designed to bring communities together with their local police departments, sheriff’s departments and other emergency personnel. On August 7, Banner Elk hosted a special event at the Banner Elk School with games, hotdogs, ice cream and music provided by DJ Alan. Residents across the High Country got a chance to meet and greet local law enforcement officials from both Avery County and Watauga County. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • “Go, Granny D!”: Reenactment of Doris “Granny D” Haddock’s March for Campaign Finance Reform


    August 14, 2018. On New Year’s Day in 1999, Doris “Granny D” Haddock began a 3,200 miles march across the country at age 89 as a call for campaign finance reform. Her march across the United States started in Pasadena, California and ended on the steps of the Capital in Washington 14 months later. Barbara Bates Smith, an Off-Broadway actress, and musician Jeff Sebens will be reenacting Granny’s D’s journey for bipartisan reform efforts in countrywide voter registration drives. The performance will take place in the Evelyn Johnson Room at the Watauga County Public Library. This free, can’t miss reenactment is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 18th. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – August 14, 2018

    August 14, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Hunters Helping Kids To Host Annual Kids Field Day Saturday, Aug. 25

    August 14, 2018. One of the most exciting, entertaining and educational days of the summer for local children and youth is just days away. On Saturday, Aug. 25, the High Country Chapter of Hunters Helping Kids will host its annual kid’s field day at Appalachian Ski Mountain, which promises to be a day to remember for all involved. For youngsters ages 5-15, the outdoor world comes alive through instruction and hands-on opportunities in various aspects of outdoor life and sporting events. Dozens of adult volunteers will be on hand to help teach youngsters safety skills through a wide range of fun activities including fishing, archery, rifle and fire safety. The daylong event also includes meals and snacks at no cost to participating families. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Holds Convocation Ceremony on Monday Morning


    August 14, 2018. As Watauga County Schools prepares to welcome back students on Monday, Aug. 20, teachers and staff came together to celebrate the system’s annual convocation ceremony. Held at Watauga High School, convocation gives new and returning teachers a chance to meet and connect with community partners, attend health screenings and a benefits fair and prepare to start the new school year together. The ceremony was host to three speakers who addressed the theme of empowerment, Watauga County Board of Education Chairman Ron Henries, Principal of the Year Phil Norman from Green Valley and WCS Teacher of the Year Terri Hodges from Blowing Rock.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Meg’ Tries To Be a Bad-But-Fun Movie, Doesn’t Make It

    meg
    Aug. 14, 2018  Early on in “The Meg”, it occurred to me that sharks just aren’t very scary. I don’t mean this movie’s shark (although some unconvincing CGI doesn’t help), but all sharks. Their teeth are always so small in proportion to the rest of their mouths that they don’t register the way they’re supposed to, and their eyes and faces perpetually have this expression that tells me they’re just minding their own business. Even definitive scary shark movie “Jaws” knew to keep actual shots of the creature to a minimum or else people would stop taking it seriously (and the legendary deficiency of the mechanical shark certainly didn’t help). So this movie is already hurt by being a monster movie with a nonthreatening monster. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Presents its Annual Jeff Little – “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge” Concert


    August 14, 2018. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is excited to announce the return of Jeff Little and his Trio on Saturday, August 18th for a concert at the Harvest House at 7:30 PM. Little, a Boone native, has developed a distinctive piano style all his own – influenced by bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, and rock-n-roll music. Little is one of a kind, that’s why he’s called “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge”.  / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Godspell, an Upbeat Rendition of the Life of Jesus Christ, Comes to Banner Elk Presbyterian on August 21st, 23rd, and 24th


    August 13, 2018. Godspell, an upbeat rendition of the life and death of Jesus Christ, will be performed at the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church on August 21, 23, and 24. This wonderful show was originally written by Stephen Schwartz, who went on to compose Wicked, Pocahontas, and Pippin, among others. It features, as many of his productions do,  a wide variety of music including folk, pop, jazz, vaudeville, and quintessential “broadway.”  By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • You’re Invited to G.O. (Get Outdoors) Grandfather Day on August 15 at Grandfather Mountain


    August 13, 2018. This year will be the 7th annual G.O. (Get Outdoors) Grandfather Day at Grandfather Mountain State Park. The event will be filled with fun learning opportunities for families. Events will begin at the Profile Trail Parking Area. Each year, a theme is adopted for G.O. Grandfather Day, and this year the theme is fish. Learning opportunities will include ranger led hikes, a fisherman knot-tying workshop, discussions of mountain stream ecology, a lesson on how to cast a fishing rod and a demonstration on electrofishing by the Wildlife Commission. Be sure to see the presentations from the different groups attending as well. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • The Bluegrass Showcase Will Rock the Jones House this Friday, August 17th


    August 13, 2018. Bluegrass fans will have the opportunity to hear some of the region’s finest bluegrass music this Friday in downtown Boone as the Town’s Cultural Resources Department continues the 2018 Summer Concerts at the Jones House. This years bluegrass showcase will feature three bands, including Cane Mill Road, The Dollar Brothers, and Surefire.  / Read more…



  • Boone JAMS Music Lessons for Ages 7-Adults at the Jones House – Fall Enrollment Is Now Open


    August 13, 2018. The fall session of Boone JAMS (Junior Appalachian Musicians) resumes on August 30 at the Jones House, featuring group music lessons in fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and harmony singing taught by local musicians steeped in regional old-time and bluegrass styles. Lessons are open to students ages seven through adults, from beginning through intermediate levels. The Boone JAMS program, formerly Watauga JAM, started in fall 2004, with a TAPS (Traditional Arts Programming for Students) grant from the North Carolina Arts Council.  Boone JAM is one of several other JAM programs in the region, including Alleghany JAM, which was the first program in the 1990s. Today, there are dozens of programs across four states with a regional organization that affiliates the satellite programs, like Boone JAMS.  / Read more…



  • Home-Based Cookie Company Fills Need for Local Wife, Mother and Her Community


    August 13, 2018. A local wife and mother has discovered a unique way of combining her love for her family and others with a longtime hobby and passion for baking. Teesa Klear, who lives in Boone with her husband Bill and four children, Sam (11), Carolina (10), Hudson (7) and Tyndale (2), quickly made a name for herself as a great cookie maker soon after moving to the area a decade ago. Today, thanks to the encouragement of friends, her small home-based cookie business, Nomad Cookie Company, is quickly gaining momentum.
    Anyone who has been lucky enough to run across Teesa’s cookies at the Boone Winter Market or through the High Country Food Hub — or learned about the online ordering opportunities — has certainly become a return customer, time and time again. Offering eight different flavors of cookies — and all available in gluten free form upon request, Teesa’s Nomad Cookie Company has also recently expanded to include brownies. “Not those dense, cake-like brownies, but huge, fudgy brownies that people really love.” By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Town Council Disbands Affordable Housing Task Force: What’s Next?

    August 13, 2018. On July 19, the Boone Town Council voted to disband the town’s Affordable Housing Task Force. The Task Force had just wrapped up a study on population and housing demographics when it asked the Town Council for further direction, which led to a conversation about its viability. Joe Furman, a founding member of the Task Force, said early this summer that the Task Force has always had “no staff and no money, so there’s little possibility of success in building [affordable] housing.” Over the past few years what little power it did have has dwindled. Many people on its all-volunteer team have lost interest; many recent meetings have been canceled due to failure to meet quorum. “I wish it hadn’t come to this conclusion,” said Lynne Mason, another founding member of the Task Force and Town Council member. However, she continued saying, “affordable housing is not dead, just on hold for now.” By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • After a Successful Summer, WYN Prepares for their After School and Mentoring Programs


    August 13, 2018. Western Youth Network(WYN), a wonderful non-profit organization that provides programs to support the youth of the High Country, just finished up their summer day camp on July 26th. The summer camp is just one of the many ways that WYN upholds their mission statement, “To build youth of character and confidence so that every young person in the High Country reaches their full potential.” The camp provides tons of opportunities for kids to strengthen their social and leadership skills, and really challenge themselves. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Boone Police Department Fundraiser Features 469-Mile Bicycle Ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway


    August 13, 2018. For the fifth consecutive year, the Boone Police Department is organizing a challenging fundraiser to benefit North Carolina’s Special Olympics athletes- a 469 mile bicycle ride. Joining the Boone Police Department in the effort are members of the Watauga Democrat, Stepping Stone Addiction Treatment, ASU students, and in total about a dozen members of the Boone community. This group will ride from one end of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the other to raise funding and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina. Since 1987, law enforcement officers across North Carolina have worked to raise money for Special Olympics, and last year raised over 1.2 million dollars through t-shirt sales, corporate donations, and various fundraisers such as this one.  / Read more…



  • Reception for Award-Winning Plein Air Painter Jeremy Sams at Alta Vista Gallery on August 25


    August 13, 2018. Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis has a new show by award-winning plein air painter Jeremy Sams. “Looking on the Bright Side” is hanging now through September 12, and it can be previewed on the gallery’s Facebook page. On Saturday, August 25, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to drop in at the gallery to enjoy the new show and to hear Sams discuss his art.  Refreshments will be served.  / Read more…



  • TubeFest, Green Valley Park’s Annual Fundraiser, Returns to the Park Saturday, August 25th


    August 13, 2018. Green Valley Park’s Annual TubeFest Fundraiser will return to Big Hill Road on the New River, Saturday, August 25th, from 10 am to 4 pm. The Green Valley Park is located at 3746 Big Hill Road, between the Green Valley School and Todd. Participants should meet at the Park’s lower parking lot near the canoe ramp for a brief shuttle ride upstream. They will then float down the scenic New River for about an hour in (what else?) tubes. Children must be accompanied by an adult while they float. The cost of the fundraiser is $10 per tube per ride per person and includes the shuttle. The last shuttle of the afternoon will leave at 3:50 p.m. / Read more…



  • July Home Sales Hit High for the Year; Over 200 Homes Sold in the High Country


    August 13, 2018. Home buyers were busy in the High Country last month, with Realtor® sales the highest recorded so far this year. Sales in the four-county area surpassed 200 for the first time since December. Mortgage rates remained stable, though well above where they were a year ago. According to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, there were 205 homes worth $59.27 million sold in July by Realtors® in Alleghany, Ashe Avery and Watauga counties. The average sold price was $289,102. Sales were up month-to-month by 22 percent (168 homes sold in June), but down a slight 1.4 percent year-to-year (208 sold in July 2017).  / Read more…



  • High Country Soccer Association’s Appalachian Classic Tournament Scheduled for August 25-26


    August 13, 2018. Youth soccer remains one of the highest participating sports among youth in the U.S. Since 2000, annual participation across the country has held steady with around 3 million youth boys and girls, while other youth sports have been on a decline. On August 25-26, people in the North Carolina High Country will get a taste of “the beautiful game’s” popularity as 43 teams will make their way to the annual soccer tournament Appalachian Classic, hosted by Boone-based High Country Soccer Association (HCSA). The tournament, which began in 2015, will be spread across fields at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex (TMSC; home of Appalachian State Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Watauga County’s Parks and Recreation and HCSA) and Watauga High School. In addition to the HCSA staff, it takes about 50 volunteers to run the Appalachian Classic Soccer Tournament.  / Read more…



  • Avery County Agricultural Service Building Grand Opening to be Held August 17


    August 13, 2018. The latest in a marvel showpiece of public service facilities in Avery County will officially open soon. Construction on a new agricultural building has been completed and its grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held at 12:00 noon on August 17. The public is invited to attend. The building is located at 661 Vale Road in Newland and will house the Avery County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. The Cooperative Extension office will be moving from its old facility next to the Mayland Community College Avery Learning Center in Newland. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New AppalCart Shelter at Hospitality House


    August 10, 2018. Hospitality House staff, AppalCart staff and representatives from BB&T Bank were on hand Friday morning for a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the newest covered AppalCart shelter in Boone. Todd Carter, the Hospitality House Director of Development, said that preserving the dignity of the people using the services of the Hospitality House, Hunger and Health Coalition and the Community Care Clinic made this covered shelter important to the community. “When there are people standing here in the pouring rain with a box of food they’re taking to feed their families, we wanted to do something about that,” Carter said. “BB&T and the AppalCart share our values of dignity and helped to make this happen, we could not have made this happen without them. They provided all the funding, all the materials and a lot of the labor.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Denim Ball Raises $115,000 for Repairs and Rehabilitation Work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park


    August 10, 2018. Mother Nature smiled on The Denim Ball on Friday evening, August 3, and parted the rain clouds for the third annual fundraising event at Chetola Resort. The event hosted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation raised $115,000 for ongoing rehabilitation work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. More than 230 guests came out to celebrate the remaking of history at the estate listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Our community loves the Cone estate as last Friday night clearly demonstrated,” said Willa Mays, Chief Development Officer for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “It was wonderful to see so many longtime friends and new supporters decked out in denim and ready to have fun while giving back.” / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Aug. 2-8: 49 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $114,887,500.00

    Aug. 10, 2018. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. Compiled by Debbie Carter / Read more…



  • What’s Happening this Saturday at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market


    August 10, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. Saturday will be a terrific time have fun at the Market and get your fresh local vegetables, fruits, and meats plenty of wonderful summer goodies.  / Read more…



  • The Lisa Cook Story: There is Always Room for One More at the Table


    August 10, 2018. Does your family have an unspoken agreement to avoid certain topics of conversation at the dinner table? For most of us, political disagreements can drive a wedge between family members faster than a carving knife through turkey. So we choose to embrace civility and pass the gravy. But, some of us can remember when disagreements were not always solved so peacefully. Lisa Cook, a baker at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, can remember when prejudice beliefs determined where you went to school, sat on a bus or were allowed to eat a meal. By Josh Jarman / Read more…



  • LETTERS / NC Court of Appeals Decision: re The Maymead Case

    August 10, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY DAVID SENGEL / On August 7,  A NC Court of Appeals three judge panel ruled that Randall and Carolyn Henion do not have standing to pursue the Maymead/Hampton asphalt plant case.  That means the court did not even bother to look at the substantial legal issues involved.  The issue of standing was addressed in a way that one  attorney described as “all politics aside, one of the worst written findings I have ever read”.  There was no “bald assertion” claiming damages by the Henions, but there was solid evidence ignored by Judge Berger. Read more…



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