High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Watauga County Deeds – July 5-11: 47 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $8,340,500.00

    July 15, 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…



  • Back 2 School Festival Celebrates Another Year on Aug. 4 at Watauga High School


    July 13, 2018. Community members will come together on Saturday, Aug. 4 for a good cause to help children in need around Watauga County as another school year inches closer to beginning. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Back 2 School Festival enters its sixth year in Watauga County and is designed to help students whose families might not be able to afford the school supplies needed for the upcoming academic year. In addition to school supplies and backpacks, socks and shoes will be given out to children in need and there will be local hair stylists in attendance to provide haircuts and new hairstyles for kids that want a nice, new look for the upcoming school year. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Beech Mountain’s Saturday Summer Concerts at 5506′ Skybar, this Saturday: Rastacoustic


    July 13, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! If you’re a bit of a daredevil, come enjoy live music every Saturday at Beech Mountain’s 5506’ Skybar, located 5,506 feet above sea level. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Bayou Smokehouse and Bayou General Store are Hosting Some Awesome Events and Deals


    July 13, 2018. Local Banner Elk favorite the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill, and the adjacent Bayou General Store have a lot of events and deals for their patrons happening that you should check out! First up, they host their Concerts in the Courtyard every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m., a good excuse to take a weeknight off and relax. Winston Amin of the Bayou General Store says that, “We’ve been here for 15 years, and we may have been doing the summer concerts for that long. It’s something that everyone enjoys. There’s not a cover charge for it, people don’t have to come in and buy dinner or anything like that…It’s open to anybody who wants to come listen, and everybody really enjoys it. There are a lot of the local bands that are very popular, and everybody knows their playlists, so you have a lot of singalongs going on Tuesday nights. It’s a lot of fun.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • House Passes Foxx’s Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act


    July 13, 2018. On Friday, the House passed H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (UMITA) introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) by a bipartisan vote of 230 – 168.  UMITA strengthens the bipartisan Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) by closing loopholes that allow the federal government to work around the transparency process.  It also expands the scope of UMRA cost analyses to the private sector.  / Read more…



  • Appalachian Students Build Tiny House for Local Nonprofit KAMPN


    July 13, 2018. Students in Appalachian State University’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment are spending five weeks this summer embracing a new building trend. The class of 12 has been contracted by a local client to build a tiny house that will become part of a community housing adults with disabilities. By Meghan McCandless / Read more…



  • SpongeBob SquarePants Star of Nickelodeon’s Hit Animated Series Appearing at Tweetsie Railroad on July 13-15


    July 13, 2018. Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids and Tweetsie Railroad invite kids to meet SpongeBob, star of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, on July 13-15 in Blowing Rock. The Nickelodeon costumed character will be available for meet and greet appearances at 11:00 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Patrick Star will also be available to pose with kids and families to take photos. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Renames Theater Stage the Sandi Finci Solomon Stage in Their Broyhill Theatre


    July 13, 2018. At the opening night of The Wiz, Lees-McRae College renamed their theatre stage in honor of Sandi Finci Solomon. Originally from Washington, D.C., Sandi now splits her time spending seven months in Boca Raton, Florida and five months of the year in the High Country. She resides in the Foscoe community while in the High Country which allows her to promote partner dancing to both Lees-McRae College and Appalachian State University, as well as initiating a High Country Community Fall Dance for the last three years. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Baseball’s Watts Thrives in Professional League After Spring Graduation


    July 13, 2018. Recent Appalachian State University Baseball alumni, Luke Watts, brought the heat with his professional pitching debut on June 22. Appearing for one-inning, Watts recorded two strikeouts and one hit for a scoreless inning to contribute to the 7-0 win for the Lake Erie Crushers against the Windy City Thunderbolts. Since then, Watts has continued to dominate the mound throwing a scoreless inning in all but one of his appearances with the Crushers.. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Highland Games Opening Day: Beech Mountain, Boone Residents Finish Tops in The Bear


    July 13, 2018. Approximately 300,000 people visit Grandfather Mountain each year to see the bears. About 930 people visit Grandfather Mountain each year to run The Bear. The five-mile foot race, which serves as a prelude to the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, pits runners against an intimidating foe — the mountain itself. The race, which took place Thursday, July 12, runs uphill from the stoplight in nearby Linville, N.C and up U.S. 221, before veering into the Grandfather Mountain nature park and there up to the topmost parking lot near the Mile High Swinging Bridge — an elevation gain of some 1,600 feet. / Read more…



  • Long Hunter Demonstration at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum July 18th


    July 13, 2018. Join Mike Campbell and Max Stone on July 18th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum for a demonstration and talk on tactics and weapons used by Long Hunters such as Daniel Boone. Mike is a longtime volunteer at the museum whose specialty is backcountry woodsmen skills. This summer, Max has been completing an internship from Flager College under Mike’s guidance. The two of them will demonstrate and discuss the lifestyle of Long Hunters. Long Hunters braved the frontier and beyond with nothing more than minimal provisions for journeys that lasted upwards of a year. Max says, “The resourcefulness of long-hunters cannot be understated enough.” Long Hunters faced many challenges in addition to running out of supplies such as the dangers of encountering Native American attacks, animal attacks, theft, and injuries. The demonstration by Mike and Max will include examples of Long Hunter equipment and provide a black powder firing demonstration. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Second Minor 1.9 Earthquake Recorded In Avery County This Week on Wednesday

    July 13, 2018. Another minor earthquake was recorded in Avery County marking the second one to strike the area this week. The 1.9 magnitude quake was recorded at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday and was located 1.1 miles west-northwest of Heaton and 16.4 miles west-southwest of Boone. This follows a 2.0 magnitude quake that was measured on Monday morning near the same area. In the last 38 years, there have been 28 earthquakes of at least a 1.0 magnitude recorded within a 62-mile radius (100 kilometers) of Boone, according to data from the United States Geological Society (USGS). Six struck the region in 2014 alone.. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Join the Revolution — Daniel Boone Chapter of the DAR Hosting “Tea and Toddies” Aug. 5


    July 13, 2018. History will come alive in Blowing Rock on August 5 when the Daniel Boone Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution hosts one of its most unique fundraisers, to date. “Teas and Toddies, a traditional 18th century tea party will take the women’s ongoing efforts to support local service projects to a new level when the Blowing Rock Country Club is transformed to an earlier time and place. Festivities get under way at 5 p.m. and promises to be a highlight of your High Country summer. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Celebrates 50 Years with a Picturesque Concert Series, Trampled by Turtles on Stage This Saturday


    July 12, 2018. Beech Mountain Resort continues celebrating their 50th Anniversary with two shows left in their Summer Concert Series. Last weekend, they started the series featuring The Wood Brothers with Sean McConnell and have two more great concerts lined up for July 14th and August 11th. The Beech Mountain Resort Concert Series is not the first time that Beech Mountain has featured musicians, but it is the first live music they have had in this magnitude. To celebrate their 50th year, they have amplified their music scene by adding a stage and lighting at the bottom of the ski slope, surrounding visitors with the beauty of Beech Mountain. And the audience seems to love it. Talia Freeman, Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain Resort, says ticket sales are strong and the picturesque scene really adds to the value of the concert series. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Blowing Rock’s Sunday Night Concerts in the Park, this Sunday: Swing Set


    July 12, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! On a calm Sunday afternoon in the delightful Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, everything is so fresh and green, you almost forget bustling Main Street is right behind you. Artists are just beginning to pack up after another successful Art in the Park, as a crowd moves in for the Blowing Rock Concerts in the Park. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • The Denim Ball to Benefit Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is Less Than a Month Away


    July 12, 2018. In tribute to the Denim King himself, Moses H. Cone, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is inviting guests to attend The Denim Ball at 6 p.m., Friday, August 3, at Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock. Attendees are in for a fun summer evening to benefit Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The third annual event will feature a musical performance by the Jeff Little Trio, led by the namesake, Boone-raised musician who translates Appalachian and Americana music for the piano. The night also includes an auction, buffet dinner, and cash bar. Tickets for both previous events sold out, so early purchases are recommended. / Read more…



  • Beanstalk Theatre Brings “The Addams Family” to Boone July 26-28


    July 12, 2018. On the heels of another successful spring production that wooed and won its audiences with “The Last Round Up of the Guacamole Queens,” Beanstalk Community Theatre is at it again and bringing to the local stage yet another incredible weekend of performances later this month. Another of our all-time favorite story lines, “The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy,” will be presented July 26-28 in the Ross Auditorium at Watauga High School by the Boone-based theatre group, and promises to be one more success in a long line of the troupe’s great accomplishments. According to Amy Beane, Beanstalk’s creative director, The Addams Family features an original story — and it’s every father’s nightmare. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • On the Same Page Literary Festival Presents 2018 Author Events


    July 12, 2018. Plans for the 2018 On the Same Page Literary Festival are taking shape and many outstanding opportunities for readers, writers, and book fans of all ages continue to be scheduled for the Festival in its 11th year in North Carolina’s Ashe County. Once again, opportunities for attendees to hear and interact with renowned authors through readings, workshops, and keynote events are on the schedule. And, it’s not too early to begin looking through the lineup and begin reading! Of special note for 2018, On the Same Page Literary Festival will present the Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. Smith will be on hand to deliver a keynote presentation and will work with students at Ashe County High School. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Pass the (Squash) Casserole, Please!


    July 12, 2018. There hasn’t been a kid in a candy store any more pleased than I have been in my garden these past couple of weeks. Watching as our squash, zucchini and cucumber vines have not only grown at rapid speed, it seems, but transitioning from blossoms to veggies overnight, has been delightful. The very first squash I picked this year turned into a sliced oven-baked delicacy, with a little olive oil and a few herbs sprinkled on top for good measure. Ahhh, it was delicious. There is no shortage of ways to prepare summer squash, so sit back for the next week or so, and we will dive into a few of the more appealing and familiar ways to prepare it — for the health-conscious as well as those who love it in its pan-fried or creamy casserole form. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Phase Two of Laurel Lane Beautification Project in Blowing Rock Now Complete


    July 12, 2018. The Mayview Plaza construction work recently finished up in Blowing Rock, signaling the completion of the second phase of the Laurel Lane Beautification Project. The project, which is a three-phase project that started in 2017, was put together as a public and private partnership between the Town of Blowing Rock, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and The Village Foundation. “Our economic development committee spearheaded this along with the Village Foundation doing a lot of the fundraising for it,” said Charles Hardin, the president of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “We got it open and dedicated and it’s beautiful.” Hardin says there is no official start date yet for phase three of the project. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Update: Rep. Jonathan Jordan and Candidate Ray Russell to Speak at Redistricting Forum 101


    July 11, 2018. On Saturday, July 14, Nate Fischer will be leading Redistricting Reform 101, a forum on gerrymandering and non-partisan map making in North Carolina. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. It aims to help people understand the complicated issue of gerrymandering and what goes into drawing unbiased electoral districts. The forum will include a discussion of the legal requirements and standards for producing a non-partisan fair map of North Carolina, as well as the subjective considerations that inevitably shape electoral districts. After that, Nate will lead people through the Dave’s Redistricting program, an app that allows users to draw their own congressional districts. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Vintage Valle Music Returns to Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church Sunday for a Jam-Packed Performance!


    July 11, 2018. The Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church will be lit up this Sunday July 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. for their Vintage Valle Music series. This jam-packed performance features music from three different local bands: the Dollar Brothers, the Burnett Sisters, and the Junaluska Gospel Choir. Jinx Miller, who is often the MC for these events, says, “This is a really dynamite line up, I’m so excited to have them all.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Newland Finance Officer Resigns at Aldermen Meeting

    July 11, 2018. Town of Newland Finance Officer Lisa Meinhardt submitted her resignation during the last regular monthly meeting of its Board of Aldermen July 3. Aldermen (Town Council members)– Kenny Caraway, Lauren Turbyfill, Greg Seiz and Jamey Johnson were present. Other town officials present included: Mayor Valerie Jaynes; Town Administrator Keith Hoilman; Town Attorney Joe Seegers; and Town Clerk and Board of Aldermen secretary Tammy Gardner. Meinhardt had served in the position slightly less than two years. She cited July 12 as her last day on the job. However, she said she would remain in the post a short while longer if the Board desired to help with the transition to the hiring of a new finance officer. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Avery County Commissioners Adopt Resolution for Sales Tax Referendum

    July 11, 2018. By a 4-0 vote, the Avery County Commissioners adopted a resolution to add a sales and use tax referendum to the ballot in November’s General Election during their regular monthly meeting July 2. Commissioners– Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman); Wood Hall (Woody) Young, Jr.; and Faye Lacey were present at the meeting. Commissioner Tim Phillips was absent due to family illness. Other top county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; Finance Director Nancy Johnson; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. The Board of Commissioners will formally ask the Avery County Board of Elections to conduct an advisory referendum on the question of whether to levy local sales and use tax of one-fourth cent in Avery County in accordance with state statues. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, July 2 – July 9

    July 11, 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



  • Tickets on Sale for Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend. Who really killed Laura Foster?


    July 11, 2018. It has been 150 years since Tom Dooley was hanged for the murder of Laura Foster. For the 17th year, Bleu Moon Productions is sharing the story of the crime as an outdoor drama. Although they were common punishments then, today we view hangings as harsh punishments. And they were. It’s still widely debated whether Tom was guilty or innocent, but Bleu Moon invites you to experience the story and decide for yourself whether another suspicious character was truly to blame. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Sunday Afternoons with the Artist: “An Approach to the Meaning of Art” with Noyes Capehart is this Sunday


    July 11, 2018. Sunday, July 15th from 2 – 4pm, artist Noyes Capehart will be at the Art Cellar Gallery for our popular Sunday Afternoons with the Artists series. During this special event with the artist, Noyes Capehart will give his personal thoughts and ideas on the “meaning” of art and what art means to the viewer. / Read more…



  • Banner Elk’s Woolly Worm Festival Named Official State Woolly Worm Festival, Set to Celebrate 41 Years of Woolly Worm Races this October


    July 11, 2018. This year, the Woolly Worm Festival of Banner Elk has an abundance of achievements to celebrate. Founded in 1978 by Jim Morton, the Woolly Worm Festival is celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, honoring 41 years of worm racing, charity, and family fun. Not only is the Woolly Worm Festival inching up its middle ages, the Banner Elk festival has just been named the official Woolly Worm Festival of North Carolina. The bill was signed into law on June 25th of 2018 by the North Carolina General Assembly. By Andrea Rodriguez-ortiz / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Return July 12-15 for the 63rd Year


    July 11, 2018. Scotland returns to Grandfather Mountain July 12-15 for the 63rd annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Boasting bagpipes, Scottish athletics, Highland melodies, Celtic cuisine, crafts aplenty and tons of tartans, the Games hearken back to the rich cultural traditions of Scotland in a setting not so different from the mountains and glens some 3,600 miles away. The event begins Thursday afternoon, July 12, with border collie sheepherding demonstrations, Celtic entertainment, the running of “The Bear” and the opening ceremonies. “The Bear” pits approximately 700 runners against the steep switchbacks of Grandfather Mountain in a five-mile run that climbs 1,568 feet from the town of Linville to the mountain summit. / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Joins TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame in June 2018


    July 11, 2018. Grandfather Mountain isn’t about moving mountains; it’s about moving people. And the people have spoken. Again. This summer, Grandfather Mountain was inducted into the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, having received five consecutive Certificate of Excellence awards since 2014, including 2018. In total, since 2012, Grandfather Mountain has received seven consecutive Certificates of Excellence. / Read more…



  • Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Enters 4th Decade Friday July 27


    July 11, 2018. After celebrating its 30th anniversary last year, the Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort begins a fourth decade of summer centerpiece events in 2018. This year’s Symphony by the Lake will take place Friday, July 27th. The theme, Colors of the Mountains, will be reflected in the musical selections as well as the décor of patron tents that line the lake. / Read more…



  • Round Up For The Middle Fork Greenway Hopes to Raise $100,000 for the Project


    July 11, 2018. If you haven’t heard of the plans to build a new section of Greenway between Boone and Blowing Rock, by the end of this July you probably will. That’s because this July a huge coalition of 118 local businesses in Boone and Blowing Rock have teamed up for the Round Up For The Middle Fork Greenway fundraiser. During the month of July many businesses in Boone and Blowing Rock will be asking customers if they’d like to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the change to the Middle Fork Greenway. The goal is to raise $100,000 to be leveraged for state grants. The new Middle Fork Greenway is planned to be 6.5 miles long, running from the current greenway beside the Watauga Medical Center to the outskirts of Blowing Rock. One mile of the Middle Fork Greenway is already completed, with another 1.3 miles funded and ready to go in Blowing Rock and 2.2 miles being planned out. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • AppalCart Debuts Weekend Route in Blowing Rock to Help Alleviate Traffic Congestion Downtown


    July 10, 2018. Visitors in Blowing Rock might not have to spend their whole trip driving around Main Street looking for a convenient parking spot. The AppalCart recently started its weekend shuttle service on July 6 that will make it easier for people to navigate their way through Blowing Rock. “What we have are people that just circle the block over and over looking for parking spaces. Hopefully this will help take those cars off the street and shuttle those people up from other parking areas to Main Street,” said Charles Hardin, the President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “If this goes well, it could be expanded to include other areas such as Chetola, the Green Park Inn and other hotels so folks can leave their cars parked.” The shuttle will run from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m on Friday and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays with 10 stops along the route. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Beech Mountain’s Sunday Sunset Concerts at Fred’s Gazebo, this Sunday: Cane Mill Road


    July 10, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! Back in Beech Mountain, Fred’s General Mercantile is hosting their Sunday summer concerts at Fred’s Gazebo. Fred’s has been the gathering place for all of Beech Mountain since it opened in 1979, and the legendary store hosts concerts out of the graceful white gazebo next to it. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Occasionally Fun, but Ultimately Flimsy Superhero Movie

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    July 10, 2018 We last saw Scott “Ant-Man” Lang (Paul Rudd) in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” where he fought on Cap’s side, lost, and went to prison. It was briefly mentioned in this year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” that he took a plea deal where he was released in exchange for promising not to do any more superhero work, making him one of the few MCU heroes not to appear in the film. Now we’re getting “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” where we find out what’s been going on in his neck of the woods. Like a response you’d expect from a laid-back casual friend, the answer is “not much.” By Bob Garver. / Read more…



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