High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Linn Cove Viaduct Will Not Open this Weekend as Scheduled; Highway 221 Detour Remains Closed

    May 23, 2018. The Linn Cove Viaduct, closed since March 1 for some repairs and road resurfacing, had hoped to be reopened in time for Memorial Day Weekend. With the recent heavy rains and wet conditions, unfortunately the popular scenic drive will not be reopened as planned. The paving company will need between 48 and 72 hours of dry weather to complete the last phase of the project. They hope to have it completed within the next two weeks.
    By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Resident Hosts Event For Mental Health Non-Profit Focused On Community Based Peer Support

    Art in the Park
    May 23, 2018.  Out of Your Mind, a newly established non-profit organization, officially launched on Friday, May 18 at Jones House Cultural and Community Center in Boone, North Carolina. Out of Your Mind is a creative resource for mental health in the local community. Founded by local resident, Kat Dolan, Out of Your Mind will serve as a platform to combat social isolation through creative peer support and reframe mental illness as a mental opportunity. The launch was attended by over 60 members of the local community. Out of Your Mind offers donation based local events for those who live with mental opportunity and is also open to those who know someone who is suffering and want to understand how to better support them. Dolan began coordinating different events for locals in August 2017 and what started as weekly potlucks has evolved to two events per month, typically including a group hike and small business collaboration event. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, May 14 – May 21

    May 23, 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



  • 2018 Summer Reading Program at Western Watauga Library Kicks Off on June 8th


    May 23, 2018. Libraries are often the bridge between one school year and the next and we hope to connect, enrich, and support educational endeavors for youth over the summer. The Summer Reading 2018 program at the Watauga County Public Library and Western Watauga Branch Library encourage everyone to get rocking! This year’s theme is Libraries Rock. On Friday June 8th at 2pm at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone, we will have our kickoff for summer reading registration. There will be ice cream, facepainting, balloon art with Twist the Balloon Man, and other activities. Local musician Tommy Smith will also get folks moving with silly music and dance. This is a time for families to get together, visit the library, sign up for summer reading, and for youth to pick up their reading logs. To support our community and build family philanthropy, we are asking families to bring a canned good (peanut butter, cereal, etc.) to assist those in need; items will be donated to the Hunger & Health Coalition of Boone.  / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – May 22, 2018

    May 22, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • The Melanie Thomas Story: Discover the Heart Inside the Vault at the Cancer Center

    Art in the Park
    May 23, 2018.  Do you remember your high school superlative? Although we may not like to admit it, at one point in our lives we all shared a not-so-secret desire to be acknowledged by our peers in the school yearbook. Melanie Thomas, RT(R)(T), the clinical lead for the radiation oncology department at Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone, NC, was appropriately identified in the West Wilkes High School annual as Ms. Dependable.  / Read more…



  • Banner Elk’s Art on the Greene Kicks Off its 2018 Season This Weekend

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Art on the Greene, a popular art show held three times each year, kicks off its 2018 season this Saturday and Sunday (May 26-27) on the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk School. The show converts the green space in front of the school into an art gallery filled with works from local and regional artists. The Memorial Day weekend show is the first of three seasonal shows. The second show takes place July 7-8 and the third show is set for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-2. / Read more…



  • A Memorial Day Salute to Take Place on May 26 at Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Continuing a tradition started by its founder, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music once again presents its annual Memorial Day Salute to help welcome in the summer season in the High Country. This year’s concert, celebrating JSMHM’s 25th Anniversary Season, takes place on Saturday night, May 26th at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone and features the music of one of the hottest emerging young bluegrass bands in America, Cane Mill Road! The concert begins at 7:30pm and pays tribute to the real reason for Memorial Day – to honor the memory of all of those who died while serving our country in our armed forces. / Read more…



  • Watauga Volleyball Standout Taylor Walker Signs with Johnson & Wales University


    May 22, 2018. Watauga High School senior Taylor Walker made her college choice official on Friday afternoon, signing to play volleyball at Johnson & Wales Univeristy in Charlotte. Walker played a key role in Watauga’s success this season. The Pioneers finished the year with a 22-3 overall record and a perfect 14-0 record in the Northwest 3A/4A Conference. Watauga reached the third round of the 3A state playoffs before falling to Cox Mill, 3-1. Walker, a two-year varsity player, finished her senior year with 49 kills, 13 blocked shots and 23 digs. As a junior, she added 21 kills, 22 blocked shots and three serving aces. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Makes USA Today’s Top Ten Small Towns for Adventure


    May 22, 2018. For the second year in a row, readers of USA TODAY have voted Blowing Rock one of its 10 Best…this time in the category of Small Towns for Adventure. In 2017, Blowing Rock was third on the list of Best Southern Small Towns and this year it finished eighth in the nationwide adventure competition. Other 10 Best winners included Sedona, Arizona and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. / Read more…



  • 12th Annual Memorial Day Program at the Boone Mall on May 28

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Memorial Day is more than a day off of work—it’s a holiday dedicated to honoring the military men and women who have served and are serving our country. On Monday, May 28, the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will sponsor the 12th Annual Memorial Day Program in tandem with the Boone Mall and the Watauga Community Band to celebrate our veterans and active military personnel. Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, became a national holiday in 1971 to honor those that have died while serving in the U.S. Military. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Deadpool 2’ Deserves All Success – Hopefully One of Many Sequels To Come

    deadpool2
    May 22, 2018 It has been two years since “Deadpool” turned the superhero movie genre on its head with its excessively crude fourth-wall-breaking humor. There had been R-rated comic book movies before, but none had achieved its level of success. Not only was it a huge hit financially (it is the second biggest R-rated movie of all time at the domestic box office and technically the biggest worldwide), but it scored major points in its acclaim, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, where it lost to “La La Land” in a ceremony where both that movie and “Moonlight” could win Best Picture in harmony. There was no way that kind of success would go unexploited, so here we have the first of what is sure to be many sequels in “Deadpool 2”. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Grand Opening of the Banner Elk Cafe’s Newest Addition Occurred Last Saturday


    May 22, 2018. The Banner Elk Café had its grand opening of its newest addition, the tavern, this past Saturday. Owners Les and Cindy Broussard invited several people to attend the ribbon cutting, including Banner Elk Mayor Brenda Lyerly, North Carolina Senator Deanna Ballard, and a few other important representatives of the high country. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Weekend Flooding Caused Widespread Problems in Avery County


    May 21, 2018. Heavy rains wrecked havoc on Avery County last weekend, causing flooding, mudslides and road closures. Four to seven inches of rain fell across the county Friday and into early Sunday morning. North Carolina Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Avery Fire Departments Coordinator Charlie Franklin. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the county were washed away and the heavy rains ripped large chucks out of various roadways. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • New River Water Intake Project to Receive Additional Funds for Water Treatment Plant Repairs

    May 21, 2018. The New River Water Intake project is nearing the finish line with the project currently sitting at 174 days remaining on the contract. At the May 17 Boone Town Council meeting, a request from the Harper Corporation to add in an additional $1,004,392 to the existing cost of the project was made. According to a letter presented by W.K. Dickson & Co., a consulting group for the project, the funds will go towards “repair and maintenance items at the town’s water treatment plant that have been deferred in the past.” The letter states that some of the various maintenance items consisted of lighting replacement, electrical component replacement, concrete repairs, painting, new equipment installation, roof replacements and overall site improvements. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Two Robbery Suspects Apprehended After Pursuit Ends with Suspects Crashing into a House


    May 21, 2018. On Thursday, May 17, at approximately 11:39 PM, Boone Police responded to a report of an armed robbery in the parking lot of 2575 Highway 105. The victim reported that a black male and a white female had accosted him with a knife and taken his wallet. The victim was acquainted with the suspects. The suspects fled the area in a gold colored Buick sedan. On Sunday, May 20, at approximately 2:50 PM, an off-duty Boone Police officer observed the suspects in the gold Buick at a business on Blowing Rock Road. A Boone Police officer attempted to stop the vehicle on Pride Drive. The driver refused to stop and fled across Boone Heights Drive onto State Farm Road. A brief chase ensued ending when the suspect vehicle struck a residence on Laurel Drive. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle. The female passenger was taken into custody after a short foot chase. The male driver was able to escape into the woods. Boone officers, assisted by a Watauga Sheriff’s K9, located the male suspect hiding in a culvert near State Farm Road and Berkley Avenue. The male driver was taken into custody without incident. / Read more…



  • Flooding Causes Numerous Road Closures; U.S. Highway 221 in Avery County Remains Closed


    May 21, 2018. Last week’s floods brought lots of traffic headaches to areas in the High Country with several road closures from rising waters and mudslides. Bamboo Road near the airport, Deerfield Road next to the golf course and Water Street were all closed at some point on Friday. Heavy rains started falling early Friday morning, causing problems along Blowing Rock Road with high water in front of the Holmes Convocation Center and Hardee’s that impacted the morning commute. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Art in the Park Returns for its 56th Year: A Historic Tradition

    Art in the Park
    May 21, 2018.  Celebrate 56 years of Art in the Park with its return for the summer this Saturday, May 26 in downtown Blowing Rock. This showcase, hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, features local and regional artisans and was originally started in 1962 by a handful of artists. Art in the Park has since grown to encompass nearly one hundred artists from the area working in a variety of mediums. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage to Host “Friend Raiser” on June 2, Free Food and Backstage Tours!


    May 21, 2018. Ensemble Stage will be hosting a “Friend Raiser” on June 2 at 1 p.m. This event is not to raise money for the theatre, but rather to raise awareness and familiarity about the theatre. The event will take place in the courtyard of the Historic Banner Elk School, and free food will be provided, including hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, beer and wine. The staff will also be taking guests on a tour of the rehearsal room and backstage By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Entertaining Music Series FORUM at Lees-McRae College Kicks Off on June 18

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 21, 2018.  Lees-McRae College’s FORUM 2018 Season performances all begin at 7 p.m. at Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m. FORUM was organized in 1979 by a small group of summer residents for the purpose of bringing a stimulating series of cultural programs to the area. With the help of Lees-McRae College, one of the region’s most important resources, FORUM has grown significantly and embarks on its 39th year of providing both cultural enrichment and wholesome entertainment to the community.”  By Hailey Blevins / 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



  • Colorful 36th Spring Group Exhibition at Carlton Gallery with Artists’ Reception on May 26


    May 21, 2018. Carlton Gallery celebrates 36 years with its colorful Spring Group Exhibition on Saturday, May 26 with an Artists’ Reception from 2 to 5 pm. Some of the gallery’s standing artists plan to attend to meet visitors and patrons which affords one the opportunity to enjoy a spring afternoon filled with wonderful ART in Paintings, Glass, Sculpture, Wood, Clay, Fiber and Jewelry. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and this exhibition is without charge. The gallery is filled with new work in abstracted landscapes by Andrew Braitman and Kate Worm; traditional landscapes by Kevin Beck, Egidio Antonaccio, Sharon Rusch Shaver and Freeman Beard; flora and fauna by Trena McNabb and Marion Cloaninger; trees, leaves and florals by Debbie Arnold and Tonya Bottomley; cityscapes and florals by Gina Strumpf; acrylic calligraphic paintings with Chinese ink by Michael Grady; still life by Mary Martha McKinley; acrylic, mixed media outsider art by Mike Ham, along with 3-dimensional clay sculpture by Marty Allran.” / Read more…



  • Saddlebreds Receive Show of the Year Award; National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Recognizes Blowing Rock


    May 21, 2018. For the fifth time in eight years, the Twelfth Chapter of the United Professional Horsemen has selected Blowing Rock as the chapter’s Best Show. The annual award is chosen by a vote of chapter members. To have earned this distinction for so many years is evidence of the affection and appreciation Saddlebred exhibitors hold for this venerable event. In 2018, Alice Brinkley, a long- time exhibitor and volunteer for the Saddlebred show, is serving her first year as Show Chair. On hearing of the Best Show Award she said, “We appreciate the support, time, and energy the village gives the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show.  We are grateful to the many families who have supported this special show for decades.  We are proud to have earned this recognition and look forward to providing a family focused way to celebrate our beautiful horses for many years to come.” / Read more…



  • Flooding, Mudslides Prevalent in Avery County

    May 19, 2018. The National Weather Service reports there has been serious flooding in Avery County after 4 to 6 inches of rain fell Friday evening and overnight into Saturday, with up to two more inches projected to fall Saturday night. There also have been various reports of mudslides in the county. Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Watauga County 911. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the area have been washed away and the heavy rains tore large chucks out of some roadways. Avery County Emergency personnel responded to numerous calls Friday night into Saturday morning due to the inclement weather. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • RaysWeather.com Announces 2019 Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar Photo Winners


    May 18, 2018. The photos that will fill the 2019 version of the RaysWeather.com Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar have been decided with the cover photo winner belonging to area photographer Johnny Davison. Ray Russell, owner and operator of RaysWeather.com, says they’ve been printing the calendar for about 15 years, long enough to forget what the exact date was of the first edition. The calendar features the best shots from places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A portion of the money is donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, headquartered in Asheville. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stages Presents Four New Performances for its Summer Season

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. . Gary Smith and Lisa Lamont, the artistic director and managing director for Ensemble Stage, are excited to present four astounding new plays this summer, including a suspense thriller, two comedies, and a drama. When asked which summer performance he was most excited for, Smith said, “Asking a director to pick a favorite show he’s going to be working on is like asking a parent ‘Who’s your favorite kid?’.”  By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • When Winning $1 Million isn’t Really Winning $1 Million

    May 18, 2018. The recent North Carolina Education Lottery news release of Boone resident Nancy Eastman winning $1 million on the Carolina Millions scratch-off shows just how much the state gets back from one winning ticket. She could have chosen to take a $50,000 per year payment for 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. With the lump sum, that’s already $400,000 that she’ll never see. None of that even counts the taxes. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Crystal Smith Is Crowned The Big Kahuna for Watauga Habitat’s 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. The 2018 Big Kahuna Campaign is a program through Habitat for Humanity where eleven community leaders, or Kahunas, reach out to their community, family, and friends, and convince them to donate to Watauga Habitat’s home building efforts. The Kahuna who raises the most money is crowned Watauga County Habitat for Humanity’s 2018 Big Kahuna.  By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • The Blowing Rock Attraction is Hosting its Second Annual Shagging at the Rock on June 2

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. The Blowing Rock is hosting its second annual Shagging at the Rock on June 2. The entire day will be dedicated to the appreciation and enjoyment of shagging, a Carolina dance that is a derivative of the Jitterbug and the Charleston. Shagging at the Rock will have four bands playing, including Silk Groove, Eric and the Chill Tones, The Tams, and Wayne Euliss as Elvis.   By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Flash Flooding Hits Boone Friday Morning; Flood Watch Remains in Effect until Midnight

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. Early morning flooding hit the Boone area early Friday morning when roadways became inundated with flood waters. Early morning commuters found roadways blocked with rushing waters.  Emergency personnel were scrambling to direct traffic around affected areas.  These pictures are from 7:30 a.m. on the Blowing Rock Road near Hardees and the Boone Mall area.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Three Upcoming Fundraisers to Help Support the Watauga County Veteran’s Memorial

    May 17, 2018. After a two-year long journey, there are now less than two months before the official unveiling of the Watauga County Veteran’s Memorial in beautiful Downtown Boone. Join the Town of Boone in supporting the men and women who have served and are serving our country by participating in one of the upcoming fundraisers this month with proceeds benefitting the memorial. While we are close to realizing this awesome goal, the community has to come together to support this important cause now more than ever. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – May 10-16: 33 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $6,610,500.00

    May 17, 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…



  • Linda Miller, Executive Housekeeper at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock Celebrates 33 Years

    May 17, 2018.  When Linda Miller began working at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as a housekeeper in 1984, little did she know that it would be less than two months before her leadership skills were put to the test when her supervisor left on maternity leave. Miller stepped up to the challenge and unexpected circumstances led to her promotion of Executive Housekeeper a mere 60 days after her first day on the job. It’s a position the Vilas, NC native proudly celebrates this week, 33 years later. And one she credits to two entities: proprietor Kent Tarbutton, who she says “made me feel like family on the day he bought Chetola (in 1997)” and “my faith and trust in the good Lord above,” says Ms. Miller. “I was divorced with no income when I came here. I think He brought me here.” / Read more…



  • Third Annual Ducky Regatta Offers Duck Racing to Fight Poverty in the High Country on June 2

    May 17, 2018. Bring your family and friends and get splashy in Middle Fork Creek for Casting Bread Ministries’ third annual Ducky Regatta. This year’s regatta will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 194 Aho Road in Blowing Rock on the FaithBridge UMC campus. Proceeds from the day’s festivities support our mission of meeting the food insecurity and scarcity needs of our friends and neighbors in the High Country, while implementing sustainable solutions to poverty. By Jamie Thomasson / Read more…



  • Enjoy a Day of Family Fun with Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie Railroad June 8-17


    May 17, 2018. All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of friendship and family fun at Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018. Children everywhere can spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Blowing Rock, North Carolina on June 8-17, 2018. Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018 is presented by Mattel. Day Out with Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 23rd year, will make 41 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2018. For 10 days, little engineers and their families are invited to take a 25-minute ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun. / Read more…



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