High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – November 19, 2019

    November 19, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx Announces Plans to Run for Re-Election for N.C. 5th District

    November 19, 2019. U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced on November 15th that she plans to run for re-election to the United States House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District in 2020. Foxx made the following statement: “After yet another case of uncertainty and confusion created by the court’s meddling in North Carolina’s congressional district boundaries, the people of western North Carolina deserve certainty and clarity about who is running to represent them in Congress,” Foxx said.  “So I am making my intentions very clear today: I plan to run for re-election in 2020 in the 5th District.”  / 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



  • Third Annual Tweetsie Christmas Returns to Offer Guests the Most Magical Experience of the Season


    November 19, 2019. For families searching for the best place to visit Santa Claus and celebrate the Christmas season, look no further than Tweetsie Christmas at Tweetsie Railroad. North Carolina’s first theme park invites families to take in the Christmas magic as the park completely transforms into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. “We love having the opportunity to celebrate the most joyous time of the year with our guests, and are thrilled to host this event for its third year,” said Cathy Robbins, director of marketing at Tweetsie Railroad. “Christmas is one of the best times of year in the High Country, and seeing children enjoy the festivities at Tweetsie puts everyone in the holiday spirit.” / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ Fine Performances by the Stacked Cast

    ferrari
    Nov. 19, 2019 You won’t find many adults on the planet who are less of a gearhead than yours truly. I live in New York specifically because I don’t drive. I gave up on learning after five lessons, one of which saw a cop car behind me (I can’t say I got “pulled over” because what I did was slam on the breaks in the middle of the road and just remain petrified). Also, I crashed a Power Wheel when I was three and a go-cart when I was fifteen. Though I must say that I am pretty good at not crashing bumper cars. The point is that the subject matter of “Ford v Ferrari” is very foreign to me. You may feel differently if you can sympathize with the adrenaline rush of pushing a racecar to its limit in a battle for automotive world dominance. Me, I can sympathize with driver Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) seemingly losing confidence in his racing ability because the track is wet. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Smoking: Largely Hidden but Still a Major Killer / The 44th Great American Smokeout Focuses on Populations Still Smoking

    November 19, 2019. For the 44th Great American Smokeout (GASO) on Thursday, November 21, 2019, the American Cancer Society is highlighting the hidden epidemic of smoking in some populations.  Smoking is still prominent among different groups of people, including those in lower education and/or socioeconomic groups; individuals in certain racial/ethnic groups; people living with substance abuse issues or mental illness; and those in the military. Smoking rates have dropped so dramatically in the U.S. that many people can go days, weeks, or even months without being exposed to tobacco smoke. Adult smoking rates dropped from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2017. However, in a recent report from the American Cancer Society, tobacco use, and its disease impact are increasingly concentrated among at-risk and frequently overlapping populations.  / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Support LOCAL Businesses Nov. 30 on Small Business Saturday

    November 19, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY GREGG THOMPSON / Dear Editor, I’m no Scrooge, but I usually don’t like Christmas shopping. I love buying things for people, but I don’t like the crowds or the lines or the generic merchandise they stock at the chain stores. That’s why I like Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is the opposite of Black Friday. Black Friday, of course, is the unofficial start of the holiday season, although it seems like the Black Friday sales started the second the last trick-or-treater left the porch. Black Friday is all about moving merchandise. Stores open early and close late. People fight crowds and stand in line to save a few bucks on slow cookers and smart TVs. Black Friday is noisy and stressful. Small Business Saturday, on the other hand, is about supporting your friends and neighbors. It’s about buying gifts and enjoying meals who can’t get from one of the national chains.  Read more…



  • Hickory Ridge Living Museum Brings History Alive


    November 18, 2019. While summer’s long-running outdoor drama, Horn in the West, sleeps off its tale of Dr. Jeffrey Stuart and early settlers’ journey at the time of America’s Revolution, its sister attraction, Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, is basking in the afterglow of a fast and furious Fall Season. As leaves fell on age-old paths, local enthusiasts, museum interpreters and history majors from Appalachian State University commemorated the Battle of Kings Mountain. Reenactors in British red coats and pioneers in scruffy homespun laid siege to the wooded hills. With fire, fury and Instagramed selfies, they sought to prove once again the Patriots’ hard-won victory. When the reenactors’ rebel yells had faded away, they were quickly replaced by the excited shrieks of young visitors who time-travelled back to the 18th century haunts of their forefathers. Eschewing their smart phones and video games, school children of all ages raced through the crackling leaves to explore wonders of times gone by. By Phyllis MacBryde / Read more…



  • Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition Announces Jurors for 17th Annual Competition


    November 18, 2019. The 17th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition (AMPC) is still accepting submissions for the competition. “The deadline is fast approaching, and closes at 5:00pm on Friday Nov. 22” states AMPC organizer Rich Campbell. “We have a lot of submissions coming in, and once the competition closes, jurors will begin the process of going through every image, and narrowing the exhibition to approximately 50 images which will be selected for the AMPC exhibition this year which runs from March 6 – June 1, 2020 in the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.” The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition will showcase images in numerous categories and over $4,000 in cash and prizes for the prize winning photographs. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Tour of Homes Distributes $85,620 to 24 Local Nonprofits from Summer Fundraiser

    November 18, 2019. The Outreach Committee of Blowing Rock’s St. Mary of the Hills Tour of Homes recently announced that 24 local nonprofit agencies and organizations have been named recipients of this year’s event proceeds. According to the 2019 Tour of Homes chairperson, Radie Armstrong, this year’s fundraising event, which marked the 61st of its kind, was an overwhelming success and allowed the funding to be spread well across the area. Known as one of Blowing Rock’s premiere events, the annual Tour of Homes, held each July, has helped support hundreds of worthy causes within the High Country region for decades. Funds from this year’s tour, in addition to the patron’s party, which always precedes the main event, and known this year as the Gala at the Car Barn, brought in $85,620. “We of the St. Mary’s tour committee are most appreciative of the response from church members and the public for their generosity and concern for High Country neighbors in need,” said Armstrong. “We are delighted to be able to award these grants to such deserving organizations.”  By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Blows Out Georgia State, 56-27

    November 17, 2019. No. 24 Appalachian State exploded past Georgia State 56-27 in a Sun Belt Conference game in Atlanta Saturday night in the first visit by a nationally-ranked opponent to the Panthers’ home field. The Mountaineers went on a 49-0 scoring run (seven consecutive touchdowns and extra points) to make the game a rout. The stretch finally was ended by a late Panthers touchdown after both teams had put in their reserve players. During that torrid scoring run, the Mountaineers defense forced seven three-and-outs in nine possessions, and one of the other two possessions ended with defensive back Shaun Jolly’s second interception. Appalachian State’s victory over Coach Shawn Elliott — a former Mountaineers player and assistant — was the third in his three-year tenure as the Panthers head coach as the Mountaineers moved to 9-1 over-all, 5-1 in the conference.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Hawksnest Snow Tubing Opening On Earliest Date in History this Saturday


    November 15, 2019. Snow tubers will be able to hit the tubing lanes on Saturday at Hawksnest as they will open at their earliest date in the 28-year history of Hawksnest. Owner Lenny Cottom is more than ready to get the season off to a big start this early in November. “We’re excited. This is the earliest opening in our history. We’ve been here 28 years now and this is the earliest opening we’ve ever done by at least two weeks,” said Cottom. “We will have all parks open, we won’t be up to our 30 lanes right away but we will be mid-teens probably. It will still make for a fun time this time of year and the weather will still be nice this weekend so it will be good.” Hawksnest has three conveyors to take tubers to the top of the lanes. When the park is at full capabilities, there are 30 different lanes open for tubing. Lane sizes range from 400 feet to 1,000 feet long. Hawksnest is also the largest snow tubing park on the east coast. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Prepare for Winter Weather


    November 15, 2019. With another high country winter well underway, Watauga County Schools would like to remind families how the district makes and communicates decisions about the operation of school during inclement weather. Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said during severe weather, he considers every possibility to keep school open and on a regular schedule, but certain conditions often force delays and cancellations. “Changes in the school schedule have a real impact on our families, so I don’t make the decision to delay or cancel school without serious consideration,” Elliott said. “But when it is necessary for us to make a change to the schedule, I want to be sure we do the best possible job to communicate those changes.” When bad weather begins overnight, the process for making decisions about the operation of school kicks off at 3 a.m. when Elliott and Transportation Director Jeff Lyons begin the process of gathering information about road conditions and the most current weather forecast. / Read more…



  • App State to Play at Georgia State Saturday In Pivotal Sun Belt Conference Clash


    November 15, 2019. Ranked No. 24 in this week’s National Coaches Poll, the Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-1 over-all, 4-1 conference play) will face Georgia State University on “Pete” Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This game, to be broadcast on ESPNU, could ultimately decide the Sun Belt Conference’s Eastern Division champion, which will play in the league championship game. Appalachian State, under first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, will also try to keep its perfect record against the Panthers intact. The Mountaineers are 5-0all-time versus Georgia State. Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott is a 1996 graduate of Appalachian State and is a former player and assistant coach for the Mountaineers. He was a four-year letterman as a defensive lineman from 1992-96. He then spent 13 seasons on the Appalachian State staff under head coach Jerry Moore. He worked two seasons as a defensive assistant (1997-98) and two seasons as tight ends coach (1999-00) before taking over the offensive line (2001-09). By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Officials Discuss Environmental Changes and Climate Threats in WNC with National Audubon Society


    November 14, 2019. Dozens of nature lovers and bird advocates braved the wintry weather Wednesday to hear officials from Audubon North Carolina and Grandfather Mountain talk with N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael S. Regan about the climate challenges facing wildlife and plant communities in the North Carolina mountains. For a variety of bird species, the high-elevation western part of the state holds critical habitat, but these species also face unique climate threats, the speakers said. A new climate report by Audubon, called Survival by Degrees, found that more than 200 bird species in North Carolina are threatened with extinction because of rising temperatures and more extreme weather, and the majority of breeding species at risk are native to western North Carolina.  The list includes iconic and beloved birds like the Wood Thrush, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Ruffed Grouse, Canada Warbler and 20 other warbler species. Native plants face similar threats, including distinctive and important plant communities like beech and hemlock cove forests. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Oct. 31-Nov. 6: 50 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $19,959,500.00

    Nov. 7, 2019. 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…



  • Blue Ridge Blues Revue at the Jones House Featuring the King Bees this Friday at 7:30


    November 14, 2019. In case you missed them during the summer concerts on the lawn, or if you were left wanting an encore, the King Bees will return to the Jones House for an indoor concert on Friday, November 15 at 7:30 PM. This Blue Ridge Blues Revue will also feature Virginia Piedmont-style picker Lynn Foddrell. These two powerhouse acts come together to showcase a wealth of mountain blues music here in Appalachia. American roots and blues duo, the King Bees, first got together in the mid-1980s, made up of Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville and Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni. In that time the pair have performed internationally at festivals and venues large and small and have shared the bill and collaborated with hall-of-fame caliber legends like Bo Didley, James Brown, Leon Russell, and a host of others. The combination of Baskerville’s masterful riffs on the guitar with Zamagni’s scrumptious sultry vocals make this pair a true blues music dynamo. / Read more…



  • Appalachian Ski Mtn. Will Have Its Earliest Opening in 25 Years This Friday, Nov. 15


    November 11, 2019. Friday will mark a new date in history for Appalachian Ski Mtn. This will be the earliest opening day since the early 1990s. “It will be a historic day, it will be the earliest we’ve opened in a quarter-century so that’s pretty cool. Conditions are going to be amazing, November cold fronts aren’t usually quite this perfect for snowmaking so we’re doing as much as we can and we should have several slopes, if not the majority of the slopes open at peak season conditions,” said Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at Appalachian Ski Mtn. There will be at least one and possibly two of the terrain parks open on Friday as well. Stanley said he would know more for sure about the terrain parks on Thursday. As has become a tradition at Appalachian Ski Mtn., the first 100 guests on opening day to purchase their ticket at the cashier window will receive a free ticket for use at a later date. The timing could not have been much better, especially with the first holiday weekend of the ski season quickly approaching. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, November 4 – November 10

    November 13, 2019. 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



  • WAMY Presents Santa for Seniors Gift Drive to Bring Christmas Spirit to Shut-Ins and Hospice Patients Throughout the Community Dec. 3-15


    November 13, 2019. WAMY, celebrating its 55th year serving the communities of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties, is launching their Santa for Seniors program this holiday season. The Santa for Seniors program partners with shut-ins and hospice patients throughout the community and aims to bring them Christmas gifts in order to spread Christmas cheer to those who aren’t able to leave home. Create a box or bag of small gifts or have your Sunday school class or organization put together gifts as a project and drop them off at one of the designated locations during the drop off window! Donations can be dropped off on December 3 – December 15 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m at the WAMY offices located at 225 Birch Street Suite 2, Boone, NC 28607 or at 496 Balsam Ave, Spruce Pine NC. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Boone Breaks Low Temperature Record that Stood for Nearly 70 Years

    November 13, 2019. The brutally cold temperatures on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning led to a new record low temperature for this date in history. The overnight low was recorded at 14 degrees in Boone, breaking the previous record set in 1950 of 15 degrees, according to data provided by Ray’s Weather Center. Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Snake Mountain had the lowest recorded temperatures as each weather station recorded low temperatures of 5 degrees. Schools in Watauga, Avery and Ashe all opened today but were on delays, thanks to some frozen patches of ice on some roadways and the cold temperatures that everyone woke up to across the High Country. For the rest of the week, high temperatures will stay in the mid-40s for the most part with lows hovering in the upper 20s and lower 30s, which might feel like a heatwave compared to the single-digit and below zero wind chills that were felt overnight Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State Enters College Football Playoff Rankings


    November 13, 2019. App State Football received another accolade in its season of firsts as the College Football Playoff committee placed the Mountaineers at No. 25 in this week’s rankings. App State (8-1) once again achieves something no Sun Belt Conference school had before, becoming the first league school to crack the CFP rankings. The Mountaineers are at No. 24 in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll and are one spot shy of an Associated Press Top 25 ranking this week. Two weeks ago, their No. 20 ranking in the AP poll was the highest ever by a Sun Belt school. At the end of the season, the CFP poll’s highest-ranked conference champion from Group of Five leagues will earn a berth to the New Year’s Six Cotton Bowl. App State joined fellow Group of Five schools No. 17 Cincinnati, No. 18 Memphis, No. 21 Boise State and No. 23 Navy in this week’s rankings. The Mountaineers, led by first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, won 20-15 at South Carolina last week to become the first Sun Belt school to capture two victories over Power Five opponents in the same season. They also won 34-31 at North Carolina on Sept. 21. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – November 12, 2019

    November 5, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Creatures Of Habit We Are – All the Way to Pumpkin Pie


    November 13, 2019. Isn’t it amazing how we become such creatures of habit? I mean, how many of us really do eat pumpkin pie in the summer? I’m sure it’s just as good in July as it is in November. Do we enjoy pickled eggs and potato salad at any other time of year as much as we do at Easter? What about red velvet cakes, fudge and peppermint candy — does it really taste the same in August as it does at Christmas? How many of us plan a picnic for New Year’s Eve — even if it just means spreading a blanket in the living room floor by the fireplace? You get my drift, because we do have those long-standing traditions that are not easily broken. So, now, as we do every November, we’ve got to get those pumpkin pies rolling! Enjoy the season and make every moment count — regardless of what you do, when or how By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Annual Holiday Parade Taking Place in West Jefferson This Saturday November 16th at 3:00


    November 13, 2019. On Saturday, November 16th, at 3 PM through 4:30 PM, the West Jefferson Christmas Holiday Parade will begin, marking the start of the holiday shopping season. The parade is coordinated and organized by the West Jefferson Lions Club, an organization dedicated to helping individuals in need of eye care. The parade is sponsored by the town of West Jefferson and the Parker Tie Company. The Ashe County High School Husky Vanguard Band will be performing during the event, along with a variety of other bands. In addition to the musical talent, the parade will include creative community entries, ranging from horse owners, civic clubs, dance teams, and fire & rescue displays. Serving as grand marshal for the parade will be WBTV’s John Carter. By Adam Estabrook / 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



  • High Country Community Health Prepared to Help You Navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace

    November 12, 2019. If you have ever had questions or concerns about signing up for the right health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, now is the time to put those concerns to rest. Alex Noriega at High Country Community Health in Boone is here to help. “We don’t pressure people to sign up for anything. We’re not brokers, so we’re not making a commission or anything. We are certified application counselors here to help people,” said Noriega. Each year, uninsured individuals visit the online health insurance marketplace to look at the numerous plans available and choose the one that best fits their needs. However, many times it is much easier and cheaper if you use the free help offered by these certified counselors to make sure you are getting the coverage you want. “It’s through the marketplace where people can sign up for their health insurance and apply for a tax credit based on household income and household size,” said Noriega. “Once we finish the application, it is a real-time process so they are able to immediately see the plans offered to them through the marketplace. I highly recommend people come in and look at all the options being offered, you never know if you might be able to save some money.”  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State Theater and Dance Ensemble Ends Year on the Right Foot with 2019 FADE from Nov. 20-24


    November 12, 2019. The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance presents the 2019 Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble (FADE). This dance showcases features eight pieces having world premiere performances this month. The production takes place in the Valborg Theatre  at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 through Saturday, Nov. 23, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 24. All shows are general admission and ticket prices are $17 for adults, $15 for faculty and staff, and $10 for students. For more information, call the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-ARTS (2787) or visit the website. / Read more…



  • High Country Home Sales for the Year Peak in October; Over 2,100 Homes Sold So Far in 2019


    November 12, 2019. The busy summer selling season has yet to end for local Realtors, with sales in October at a 14-month high. It was the third consecutive month of near-record sales for members of the High Country Association of Realtors, which represents real estate professionals in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. They sold more homes in August, September and October than all but one other month since 2005. The median sold price in each of those three months – the price point at which half of all homes sold above or below – was above $240,000. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Going back to May, local Realtors have sold more than 200 homes each month, peaking in October when they sold 290 residential and multi-family homes worth $86.12 million. Dating back to 2005, only in August 2018 have Realtors sold as many homes in a month (295). / Read more…



  • Reaching The World With A Shoebox Nov. 18-25: National Collection Week For Operation Christmas Child Sponsored by Samaritans Purse


    November 12, 2019. If you ever thought it was impossible to make a difference in the world from the comfort of your home, think again. One of the easiest opportunities to impact the world — and especially, its children — is practically at your fingertips and at your front door. By participating in the annual Operation Christmas Child Shoebox project, sponsored by the Boone-based ministry of Samaritans Purse, you might give a child the first gift he or she has ever received. OCC is considered the world’s largest Christmas outreach of its kind, having delivered more than 168 million gift -filled shoeboxes to millions of children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters and other crisis in more than 160 countries and territories. Last year alone, more than 8.8 million shoeboxes were collected in the United States for distribution, with more than 10.6 worldwide. In 2019, the project hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children.. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Midway’ Film is Confusing and Only Mediocre, But Well-Intentioned

    midway
    Nov. 12, 2019 Veterans Day is not a holiday one typically associates with new movies, either in terms of box office or subject matter. With box office, there’s a clamor over which movie gets to dominate Christmas weekend, Thanksgiving, Easter, even the similarly military-themed Memorial Day, but ironically there’s not much of a battle over Veterans Day. In terms of subject matter, every year is going to bring a few war movies, but barely any of them choose to capitalize on Veterans Day, usually opting to open as a summer blockbuster or December awards-season darling. This year is different, however. This year, Veterans Day weekend was won by “Midway,” a war movie whose business strategy included conquering Veterans Day and not much beyond that. It beat out the too-late-for-Halloween “Shining” sequel “Doctor Sleep” by an estimated $3 million and the too-early-for-Christmas “Last Christmas” by an estimated $6 million. I guess the lesson is to open at the appropriate holiday. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Willie Nelson & Family, Alison Krauss, and More to Perform at MerleFest 2020


    November 12, 2019. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2020, which will be held April 23-26. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the 4-day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2020 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers, and we look forward to another successful festival in April.” The complete lineup for MerleFest 2020 will be announced over the next few months. / Read more…



  • Snow and Frigid Temperatures Arrive in the High Country with Low Temps Nearing Single Digits; Watauga, Avery and Ashe Schools Cancel Classes

    November 12, 2019. The High Country saw its first real widespread snowfall on Tuesday morning with Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties all canceling school for students. Some higher elevations saw between three and four inches of snow while areas around Boone, West Jefferson and Banner Elk saw a couple of inches that led to some slushy road conditions throughout the area. Classes at Appalachian State University were not affected by the weather, however, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Watauga Campus will delay its opening until noon today. The wintry precipitation will leave the area this afternoon, but the bone-chilling temperatures are just now arriving. According to the latest weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, the low temperature in Boone tonight is expected to drop down to 14 degrees. Higher elevations such as Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain and areas around Grandfather Mountain will see low temperatures drop into the single digits.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • SMARL Racing Action Returns for a 13th Year on the Slopes; Registration Now Open


    November 11, 2019. The popular Monday night Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League (SMARL) is back for another wild ride down the mountain for the 13th year of good times, cold beer and friendly competition. Registration just began for a spot in the 2020 racing league which will begin on January 6 and takes place on six consecutive Mondays in January and February. Registration forms can be picked up in person at Ski Country Sports located at 3149 Tynecastle Highway in Banner Elk or give them a call at 828-898-9786 to register. The cost to join the league has remained the same for each of the 13 years at $40 per person. “We will typically fill up by the first of December so if anybody is interested in signing up, now is the time. This is our 13th year and it has filled up every year,” said Bill Leonard, the owner of Ski Country Sports and founder of the racing league. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Chapter of MOAA Presents Their 13th Annual Veterans Day Event at the Boone Mall


    November 11, 2019. Today, November 11, 2019 is Veterans Day. To celebrate the lives of those who have served and sacrificed in the military, the 13th annual Veterans Day Commemoration was held at the Boone Mall, and sponsored by the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, the Boone Mall and the Watauga Community Band. The Watauga Community Band also led the event with a prelude of patriotic music, as well as the service branch theme songs, and the closing ceremonies. Veterans from decades of service were in attendance, stretching from WW2 up until more recently, those who fought against the war on terror. By Colby Gable / Read more…



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