May 16, 2022 For this event in the Blue Ridge Mountains, lots of clouds were all around. Got a few glimpses between the clouds including this 20 second, 400 ISO shot at around 12:21AM EDT that caught a plane zooming by. Polaris was also behind clouds most of the night so best guess north was used for polar alignment method. Photo by Todd Bush
May 16, 2022. Touring the United States from Dublin, Ireland, the popular quintet “I Draw Slow” makes their debut performance at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3 with energy that is “truly infectious.” I Draw Slow coaxes the past into the present with original songs that draw from the best of Irish storytelling and American folk music with close-harmony vocals and intriguing instrumentation. Established as perennial festival favorites, they have danced their way across the stages of MerleFest, Pickathon, Wintergrass, RockyGrass, and Grey Fox, in addition to numerous appearances on radio shows, including the syndicated “Mountain Stage.”
May 16, 2022 What an election official termed as a “usual high volume,” 991 votes were cast during the 13-day, 2022 early voting period in Avery County. That was seven more than the 984 who voted early in Avery County in 2020. All 2022 Early Voting had to be conducted solely in the Avery County Senior Citizens Center in Newland. Every Early Voting opened on April 28 and closed on May 14. County races for Clerk of Court, County Commissioner, Register of Deeds, Coroner and non-partisan Board of Education are on the ballot this year as well as several for various regional, state and federal offices. By Tim Gardner
May 13, 2022 The 2022 Run For Holland, held May 7, and yearly since 2014 in the North Carolina High Country Town of Spruce Pine in Mitchell County, was like each of the others in its nine-year history—a major success. When Mitchell County couple Adam and Brooke Burleson discovered that one of their daughters would be born with Down Syndrome, they turned it into an event to positively impact an entire community. The couple organized this 5k run in Spruce Pine to raise awareness for individuals with Down syndrome and other physical and mental disabilities. The event, called Run for Holland, is named after their daughter Holland, who was born with Down syndrome, and has changed their lives and those of all others who participate in the race in a most positive manner. By Tim Gardner
May 13, 2022. Watauga High School Math Teacher Shuan Sikes was named Watauga County Schools district-wide Teacher of the Year May 13 during a surprise visit to his classroom from family, peers and Watauga County Schools Staff. members of the Watauga County Schools central office staff and outgoing WCS Teacher of the Year Misty Hyler.
May 13, 2022 Justice has named High Country native Bret Bullis as the new warden of the Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution, located in the far Southern end of Avery County in the Kalmia Community. Bullis had been the associate warden for custody and operations at the Marion, NC Correctional Institution, a close and minimum custody prison, since 2020. “Warden Bullis is a longtime resident of Spruce Pine and has earned vast experience with all aspects of managing the operations of a large prison,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “He’s an excellent addition to our team of wardens who work so hard to protect the staff, the offenders, and our communities with caring and compassion.” By Tim Gardner
May 13, 2022 After “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” I was a little apprehensive about the Marvel Cinematic Universe exploring more of the Multiverse. Sure, seeing guest stars from two other universes was great and all, but I was (and still am) worried that the MCU will use the Multiverse as an excuse to do whatever it wants. Years of continuity can be undone with the writers just shrugging and saying, “The Multiverse.” Don’t get me wrong, some course corrections may be worth making (can we get Michael B. Jordan’s “Black Panther” villain Erik Killmonger back somehow?), but if they’re overdone, the movies will become stakeless and uninteresting. The good news is that “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” doesn’t fall into this trap. Aside from a rapid-fire sequence in the middle, this movie only spends significant time in four or five universes. We get a variety of settings without the movie overdoing it, like the imaginative-but-cluttered “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” For a movie about the Multiverse, this movie was a lot more grounded than I expected, and I mean that in a good way. The bad news is that I couldn’t really get invested in the story in any universe, and of course I don’t mean that in a good way. By Bob Garver
May 13, 2022. This week, Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) purchased 33 acres of land just outside Boone, providing a critical link for the Middle Fork Greenway, which will connect Boone to Blowing Rock. The property features 2,000 feet of frontage along the Middle Fork New River and will be known as Boone Gorge Park. In addition to the public access and recreational opportunities provided by the property, protecting this portion of the river is hugely important because it is located just upstream of Boone’s primary source of drinking water. The property was purchased from the family of Artie Hollars, and BRC is grateful for their help in conserving this exceptional tract of land. Funding for the project came from the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority and the State Capital Infrastructure Fund.
May 12, 2022. Rhubarb is among the fruits of spring that begin to show up about this time every year. Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is especially good when combined with strawberries, my springtime favorite.
Rhubarb is easily recognized by its rosy red and green tinged stalks with green leaves. Once you get a bite of its distinct tart flavor, you will never forget it. When buying rhubarb, look for crisp and firm stalks that have a nice bright color and are free from blemishes and cuts. The leaves, if still attached, should appear fresh and not wilted. Rhubarb can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for a few days before using — stalks become mushy if stored too long. Make sure to cut out tough and stringy fibers and brown spots before using. By Sherrie Norris
May 11, 2022. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosted a Blowing Rock Community Cleanup on May 10. This was a great effort from our residents, and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce is proud to host events that have a positive effect on the beautification of our town.
May 11, 2022. 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.
Compiled by Harley Nefe
May 11, 2022. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland.
May 10, 2022. Fresh from his celebrated appearance at Merlefest, popular folksinger Willie Watson, co-founder of the Old Crow Medicine Show, will make his long-awaited debut at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 16 as a prelude to the Boonerang Music and Arts Festival that weekend. Tickets go on sale to the public at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10 at an “early bird” price of $10 per seat, and rising to $15 per ticket on May 12, 2022.
May 10, 2022. Mountain Home Music and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) are pleased to announce a series of concerts in the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, in partnership with the Watauga Arts Council Mountain Home Music and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) are pleased to announce a series of concerts in the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, in partnership with the Watauga Arts Council. Concerts in the Garden will run from 4 PM – 6 PM. Gates will open at 3 PM to allow time to enjoy the garden and shop. Each program will feature local art & craft vendors curated by the Watauga Arts Council along with beer, wine, food offerings, walking tours, garden history, and live music. Tickets are $10 for Mountain Home Music and BRAHM members, children under 13, and $15 for the public and are available via blowingrockmuseum.org. Patrons should bring a blanket or folding chair.
May 10, 2022. The 40th Annual New River Canoe Race and Family Float will be held Saturday, June 4th, in Jefferson, NC. This Ashe County tradition is sponsored by generous donations from community sponsors. Proceeds from the race support the Friends of High Country State Parks. Whether you compete, float for fun, or just spectate, come enjoy a beautiful day on the banks of the New River!
May 10, 2022. Nearly 4,000 students attained Appalachian State University degrees this spring, which was celebrated at Spring Commencement ceremonies held May 6 and 7 at the Holmes Convocation Center. At six ceremonies held over two days, the university conferred degrees to 3,946 graduates, including 3,296 undergraduate and 650 graduate students. Recordings of the ceremonies are available on App State’s commencement website.
May 6, 2022. Asparagus is a sure sign that spring has arrived. While it’s not everyone’s favorite vegetable, one can acquire a taste for it and eventually learn to love it, as I have done in the past. Perfect for those counting calories and fat grams, asparagus is one of the best choices, with absolutely no fat or cholesterol and only about 50 calories in a 6-stalk serving. Asparagus is recommended for many special diets, including renal, low-sodium, diabetic and low cholesterol. It is rich in Riboflavin (vitamin B2), an important vitamin for smooth skin. Fresh or canned, asparagus may be boiled in a small amount of water in a saucepan or steamer until tender, for approximately 10 minutes for fresh or 7 minutes for frozen. It can also be stir-fried in small pieces in a little hot oil, stirred constantly until tender-crisp, about 3-5- minutes. If microwaving, place in a baking dish with tips toward the center. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Microwave at full-power: 6-9 minutes for spears, 5-7 minutes for pieces. By Sherrie Norris
May 5, 2022 The animated comedy “The Bad Guys” has very quietly been the #1 movie at the domestic box office for the past two weekends. The film follows a group of supposedly unlikeable animals as they do bad, do bad while they pretend to want to do good, then grapple with the decision whether or not to actually do good. Spoiler Alert for this family movie: they do not unanimously decide to remain bad. The leader is the Big Bad Wolf (Sam Rockwell), his best friend is Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), the rest of the team is Miss Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), and Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson). At the start of the movie, they lead a life of crime since no one is willing to give them a chance in life, what with the scariness and portrayals as villains and such. Seriously, the world is afraid of “these” animals? These are the most family-friendly versions of these animals imaginable. I’ve been unnerved around some of the fakest snakes you’ll ever see, and I wasn’t for a second scared of the snake in this movie. The Beast from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” could be legitimately terrifying at times, so his arc about having to overcome his image made sense. To have the characters be so adorable so early just makes the film so… over-sanitized. By Bob Garver
May 5, 2022. Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s leaked majority opinion on Roe v. Wade: “I have experienced the pain of abortion in my own life and know the pain it can cause families. That is a huge reason why I fight so hard for the life of the unborn. The unprecedented leak from our nation’s highest court is an atrocity. The draft that was leaked was not a final decision by the court, and it appears that it was released by a radical leftist to influence the final decision of the court. This person must be found and prosecuted. My sincere prayer is that our Justices stay the course and continue their work without the fear of public backlash. If this draft is truly reflective of the court, then this is indeed a major victory for the pro-life movement. This opinion says that it would give control over abortion back to the states – where it rightfully belongs.
May 5, 2022. Today, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s leaked majority opinion on Roe v. Wade: “I have long held that the truth about abortion and the deceitfulness of Roe would be inevitably revealed to the American people. Until that day comes, I will never yield in my mission of exposing that truth. Former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist once observed that, ‘The Constitution protects judicial independence not to benefit judges, but to promote the rule of law.’ That sentiment rings true to this day even as both the independent judiciary and the Constitution have been subjugated by the actions of a rogue, partisan actor. The Founders foretold of this threat, and they were right. The political predilections of one individual have led to an unprecedented breach of confidentiality within the Supreme Court – one that will yield irreparable damage to the confidence of the American people and the rule of law itself. Politically motivated attacks directed at the Supreme Court, whether it be in the form of court packing or undermining judicial independence, must be opposed to the strongest degree possible. The future of our republic hangs in the balance.”
May 5, 2022. Explore Boone and their marketing agency, Miles Partnership, won an “Outstanding Integrated Ad Campaign” award in the 2022 Internet Advertising Competition from the Web Marketing Association for their “Boone’s Got Awe” campaign. The award was presented in April to Explore Boone and Miles. “For this campaign, we wanted to put the viewer in the scene, capture their attention and inspire them to come experience the ‘awe’ of Boone’s natural surroundings in person rather than a traditional static scenic vista,” said Wright Tilley, Executive Director of the Boone and Watauga County TDAs. “These ads were featured in major feeder markets to our area as a part of our ‘Got Awe’ campaign.” The “Got Awe” campaign launched in the fall of 2021 to inspire visitors to experience the beauty of the Boone area.
May 5, 2022 Letters to the Editor. BY CARRINGTON PERTALION / To the Citizens of the Town of Boone and Watauga County: I would like to share my thoughts and clarify some confusion that may have arisen regarding the County’s project to build a parking deck on property that was known as the Hardin/Turner House, located on Rivers Street in Downtown Boone, across from the County’s Administrative Buildings. To start, I have always been very supportive of any efforts that individuals and the Town have put forth through the years to preserve historical properties. The best examples of those efforts were the purchase of the Post Office and the Appalachian Theatre. If anyone were to believe that I or the County does not see value in preserving historical buildings, such beliefs would be based on misunderstandings and misinformation. All of the facts stated below are contained in the public record.
May 4, 2022. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland.
May 4, 2022 The Board of Directors of the governing body of prep sports in the state — the North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) — has announced that women’s wrestling will officially become a sanctioned high school sport in North Carolina, starting in the 2023-2024 season. North Carolina had a record 594 women participating in high school wrestling for the past 2021-2022 season, making it the 19th largest state in America in terms of total female participation. By Tim Gardner
May 4, 2022 One of the premier yearly sporting events in the North Carolina High Country and even the State of North Carolina is only days away. Eight years ago, husband and wife, Adam and Brooke Burleson of the Mitchell County town of Spruce Pine, formed a foundation that sponsors the yearly “Run For Holland” race named after their daughter, Holland, who has Down syndrome. The race impacts an entire community and region in a zenith manner. It raises awareness and monetary funds for the local community to help other parents who have children with physical and mental disabilities and to support charitable and civic organizations that help disabled persons and their families in various manners. By Tim Gardner