High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • 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



  • The 60th Annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes, July 27, to Benefit Local Charities


    July 20, 2018. Since the late 1950s, visitors from all across the southeast and beyond have made their way to the North Carolina mountains for the annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes. Thanks to the insight and compassion of a few civic-minded women who started it all as a way to draw people into their quaint village to see a variety of architecture and decoration — and those who have continued to carry to torch through the years — over $1 million in tour proceeds has been donated to local charities. The 60th annual Blowing Rock Home Tour is set for Friday, July 27, and promises to be yet another event to remember for all involved. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Cyclo.Via Returns this Sunday for Another Spectacular Festival of Human Power!


    July 20, 2018. This Sunday, July 22, portions of Howard, Depot, and Rivers Streets will be closed for the 8th Annual Boone Cyclo.Via! This is a free festival, celebrating healthy lifestyles and alternatives to vehicle transportation. There will be entertainment, activities, vendors, and non-profits from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then at 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m., BMX will be performing bike stunts and other exciting tricks. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Mountaineers Predicted to Win Sun Belt East Division


    July 20, 2018. After earning a share of the Sun Belt football title each of the past two seasons, Appalachian State was predicted to win the league’s East division in the inaugural year of the divisional format, as voted by league coaches in advance of next week’s Sun Belt Media Day in New Orleans. App State received 46 points and six first-place votes to edge Troy (44 points and four first-place votes) in the East division predictions. Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina rounded out the East side. Arkansas State was picked to win the West division and the overall league championship. The Red Wolves were picked ahead of ULM, South Alabama, Louisiana and Texas State in the East. / Read more…



  • ‘Bee’ Part of Appalachian’s Honeybee Monitoring System Research


    July 20, 2018. Over the past five years, a team of students and faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University has been abuzz, working to create a honeybee monitoring system called Beemon— an abbreviation for “bee monitoring.” The system started with the goal of being a low-cost way to record video at the entrance of a honeybee hive. By Johnna Reisner / Read more…



  • Zoey Brookshire: A New Applause; “Sunday Conversations with the Artist” At Art Cellar July 29

    July 20, 2018.  The ingenious and unrelenting abstract expressionism of artist, Zoey Brookshire will be in the line-up at the much anticipated July summer showing at The Art Cellar in Banner Elk. Lavish ovations are due. Since the late 1990’s. Zoey has been creating, in the mountains of western North Carolina, large provocative works on canvas with paint and powerfully managed ink on paper. Whether figurative, landscape or abstract, large scale or small, each of her paintings comes from the depth of her artistic spirit and the strength of her commitment to intellectual honesty. Over the last 35 years, her exhibition history includes 21 solo exhibitions and 45 group exhibitions and a cadre of loyal followers. Sunday, July 29, 2-4pm, artist Zoey Brookshire will be at the Art Cellar Gallery for the second “Sunday Conversations with the Artist”. Zoey will discuss her current body of work and the release of her new book, Visual Energy. The paintings depicted in Visual Energy show the 50 most recent works from Brookshire. She exposes readers to a new kind of visual language, “a unique kind of awareness that belongs between coherence and absurdity while maintaining a beautiful balance between the two”. Brookshire hopes readers of her book and the viewers of her work, “see the natural elements from a different angle”. By Linda Kramer / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain to Hosts Hang Gliding Reunion July 21


    July 20, 2018. When visiting Grandfather Mountain and crossing the world-famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, many guests feel as though they’re soaring above the clouds. For more than a decade, though, in the 1970s and ’80s, that was, in fact, a literal sensation. From 1974 through 1987, Grandfather Mountain was a popular hang gliding destination, playing host to the annual Masters of Hang Gliding Championship and countless exhibition flights. Although the sport is no longer permitted on Grandfather Mountain, the memories continue to fly high, and a number of hang gliding veterans will return Saturday, July 21, for a special reunion and celebration. / Read more…



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


    July 20, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. Happy Friday! July is “peak produce month” at the Market! It’s a terrific time to come by and stock-up on veggies for the week or for the year.  Tip – buy veggies such as tomatoes at various stages of ripeness so that you can enjoy them all week as they ripen.  It’s also a wonderful time to put veggies away for the winter – canning, freezing, fermenting, pickling, dehydrating – there’s nothing tastier or healthier in December than a pot of delicious vegetable beef soup made with beef and veggies that have been preserved from the Watauga County Farmers Market. There will be some great music on the main stage and a magic show on the lower stage. See you Saturday!  / Read more…



  • The Martin and Doris Rosen Summer Symposium Returns this Saturday with the Theme “Holocaust and Music”


    July 19, 2018. The Martin and Doris Rosen Summer Symposiums, organized by ASU’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, have always focused on educating the people of the High Country about the victims, perpetrators, and consequences of the Nazi Holocaust. This year’s Symposium, which focuses on the uses and abuses of music during the Holocaust, is no different. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Start Your Engines: 39th Annual High Country Crank Up set for July 26-28


    July 19, 2018. The Carolina Fly-Wheelers are back for the 39th Annual High Country Crank Up on U.S. Highway 421 in between Boone and Deep Gap. Each year, antique engines, tractors and other farm equipment are celebrated as a piece of history in a region where farming has been such an important part of the heritage. “It’s a neat show that has been going on for a lot of years. People come from all over to see this stuff and it’s really interesting for just about anybody,” said Lynn Castle, who is one of the many volunteers helping to organize the annual event. “It’s so interesting, yet it’s not something everyone thinks about with these 100-year-old engines. Electricity kind of made them obsolete, but before that, people had to have those engines for pumps, mills, grinders, lots of things that use electric motors now.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – July 13-18: 30 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $7,245,000.00

    July 19, 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…



  • Don’t Miss the Eclectic Mix of Art at Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival this Weekend!


    July 19, 2018. Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival returns this weekend, July 20-22, with a spectacular line up of artists and craftsmen. The festival has provided High Country’s artists with a venue to reach out to their community for over 25 years, as well as a gathering space for people to socialize and get to know each other. The festival is held in Downtown Banner Elk, in the Historic Banner Elk School, and features many different types of handcrafted wares, including photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, blown and stained glass, woodwork, furniture, pottery, and much more. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Hosts Ocean Conservationist Julia Roberson on July 19


    July 19, 2018. The mountains and the sea are closer than you may think. Julia Roberson, vice president of communications for the Ocean Conservancy, will discuss their relationship and much more at a special after-hours event at Grandfather Mountain. Her appearance, taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, is part of the Grandfather Presents lecture series. Refreshments will be served until 6:30 p.m., and guests will have the opportunity to talk with Roberson following the presentation. / Read more…



  • Board of Elections Hold Meeting to Discuss New Early Voting Bills


    July 18, 2018. The Watauga County Board of Elections met Wednesday, July 18 to discuss early voting and Watauga county’s response to recent House Bills 325 and 335. These bills require that all early voting sites in a county be open on the same schedule, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year early voting will start on Wednesday, October 17, and go until Saturday, November 3 at 1 p.m. Keeping all six early voting sites open full time from October 17 to November 3 presents a budget problem for the Board of Elections, but Tuesday night the Watauga County Board of Commissioners agreed to extend the budget to keep all early voting sites open. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Anvil Arts’ “Garden Party” Coming Up on July 21st and 22nd with Seven Representing Sculptors


    July 18, 2018. Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the last place you’d expect, an art studio is hidden among the mountains. Bill Brown, a sculptor who specializes in steel sculptures, and his wife, Liz Brown, who manages the gallery, own Anvil Arts Sculpture Garden and Gallery. “Bill Brown, acclaimed metal sculptor, artist, and owner of the studio, is a meticulous craftsman, but in his creations, it is evident that the soul of the artist plays the first fiddle,” wrote Jan Todd in an article on Anvil Arts titled “Sculpting in Steel.” Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Jordan and Russell Spar Over Gerrymandering Issue at Redistricting Reform 101


    July 17, 2018. Last Saturday community members gathered at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for Redistricting Reform 101, a form on Gerrymandering led by UNC Chapel Hill Student and Watauga High School graduate Nate Fischer. Gerrymandering refers to the unfair drawing of electoral districts in order to favor a particular political party or racial group. North Carolina is widely recognized as one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. In attendance was the state representative for district 93, Watauga and Ashe counties, Johnathan Jordan (Republican), as well as the challenger to his seat Ray Russell (Democrat). At the beginning of the forum Jordan and Russell squared off, both offering statements that expressed disdain for gerrymandering and resolved to work for non-partisan redistricting. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, July 9 – July 16

    July 18, 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



  • State Health Plan Freezes Health Care Premiums without Dipping into Reserves

    July 18, 2018. The State Health Plan Board of Trustees and State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that premiums for individual and family coverage under the State Health Plan will not increase in 2019. In addition, the plan will not use any reserves to cover the freeze. The State Health Plan, a division of the N.C. Department of State Treasurer, provides health care coverage to more than 727,000 teachers, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel and their dependents, including non-Medicare and Medicare retirees.​ “This is the perfect example of using our ‘largeness’ to hold down costs for teachers, law enforcement and other hard-working state and local employees,” said Folwell. “We were able to do this because we’ve been signing our contracts and not theirs.” / Read more…



  • Unimin Corporation With Facilities in Avery and Mitchell Completes Merger With Ohio Company

    July 18, 2018.  A merger of the Unimin Corporation, which has facilities in Avery and Mitchell counties, with the Ohio-based Fairmount Santrol Company, a provider of high-performance sand and related product solutions used by oil and gas exploration and production companies to enhance productivity, is nearing completion. Unimin has one plant in Avery County (Kalmia) and several in Mitchell County— in the Spruce Pine and Bakersville regions. Unimin employs dozens from Avery and Mitchell counties. According to company officials, the merger is on course to be completed at its targeted time of mid-2018. The combined entity will be known as Covia Holdings Corporation. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Second Annual Charity Tennis Tournament to Benefit Local Caregivers Set for Aug. 4

    July 18, 2018. The Second Annual Charity Tennis Tournament to benefit the High Country Caregiver Foundation will be held Saturday, Aug. 4 at Deer Valley Racquet Club in Boone. The event begins with tournament matches starting at 9 a.m. followed by an exhibition match at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Entry fees are $75 per player, spectator tickets are $50, with each one including dinner with beverage of choice. The HCCGF is a non-profit organization passionate about helping family and kinship caregivers in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Need Any Zucchini???


    July 18, 2018. If there is one vegetable that grows abundantly in the garden each year — with always plenty to share with friends and neighbors — it must be the zucchini. I’m convinced that It really does grow overnight! I’m pretty excited that we’re seeing a good crop, so far, and I have lots of ideas to put it to good use. You can shred, slice, dice, stuff, bake, broil, grill, steam and enjoy zucchini in a number of different ways. I am including some of my tried-and-true recipes for zucchini. You may have seen them before, but hope you enjoy trying them again. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 17, 2018

    July 17, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Gardening Expert Brie Arthur Bringing “Foodscape Revolution” to the High Country on July 19th


    July 18, 2018. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, in conjunction with Appalachian State University’s Math and Science Education Center, is sponsoring two public events on edible landscaping with expert Brie Arthur. Arthur is hoping to help expand the conversations the High Country community has about community and school gardens. Arthur has been dubbed a revolutionary for her leadership in the suburban Foodscape movement and her work with public schools across the United States. She appears as correspondent on the PBS Television show “Growing A Greener World,” and her debut book, The Foodscape Revolution, has become a bestseller on Amazon. / Read more…



  • Come to Alleghany County Fiddler’s Convention for Competitions, Music and More on July 20 & 21


    July 17, 2018. Each year, the Sparta-Alleghany Volunteer Fire Department hosts the Alleghany County Fiddler’s Convention. The 2018 Fiddler’s Convention is set to be held at the Alleghany Fairgrounds, 1585 U.S. 21 North in Sparta. The Fiddler’s Convention will begin on Friday, July 20 at 5 p.m. and continue on Saturday at 11 a.m. On Saturday night, there will be a band championship playoff. Admission to the convention is $10 for one or both nights, and admission is free for children 12 and under. This year, there will be new additions to the categories. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • River Bend Middle School Students Climb To Greater Heights As They Complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ at Grandfather Mountain

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    July 17, 2018. Ten Students from the River Bend Middle School in Claremont, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation provides outdoor/wilderness and hiking excursions and similar programs which are designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.  Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges.   / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ Surprisingly Good – Best of the Franchise

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    July 17, 2018  I did not care for the first two “Hotel Transylvania” movies. Basically I felt that Adam Sandler’s style of humor had run its course, and even doing something as unique as applying it to animated monster movies couldn’t make it interesting again. Both films got a One and a Half Star rating out of me (the equivalent of a C- now that I use letter grades) and I remember seriously considering giving One Star to the second film. So “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” was one of the least-anticipated viewings on my summer watchlist. Maybe it was because I was in a good mood or because the movie did something right or the very fact that I came in with such low expectations, but I actually rather enjoyed this entry. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Saloon Studios Hosting Family Fun Day to Benefit Fleetwood Fire Department on Saturday


    July 17, 2018. The public is invited out to Saloon Studios in West Jefferson for a day of fun for all ages that will also serve as a good cause to the community. The Family Fun Day will be used as a fundraiser for the Fleetwood Fire Department this Saturday, July 21 from noon to 5 p.m. “We will have food trucks, kids activities, face painting, games, a magician, demonstrations and live music,” said Donovan Murray, the Entertainment Director for Saloon Studios. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Tweenies and Preschoolers at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School Become Published Authors, Writing and Illustrating Their Own Books


    July 17, 2018. In Sugar Grove, North Carolina, 27 young children have just published their first book. Between the ages of two and five, the children at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School were able to conceptualize, write, and illustrate their own book as a class. Thanks to Studentreasures Publishing, a company that provided free publishing kits to the classes, the students were able to craft a memory that will last a lifetime. By Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz / Read more…



  • Appalachian State University Welcome Sign Under Construction to Become a Founders Plaza


    July 17, 2018. As freshman and transfer orientation wrapped up at the end of June, the Appalachian State University welcome sign went under construction. The sign is a favored spot of visitors, incoming students, and graduating seniors for photographs as it stands bold against the lush green trees of Durham Park and historic brick buildings on the university’s campus. The new construction is part of the Founders Plaza being created to honor B.B. and D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty. This plaza will be the new resting home for the B.B. Dougherty sculpture, as well as provide a new outdoor space for studying, small gatherings and scheduled campus events. Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • JSMHM Presents Puddingstone, “Celtic Time Machine,” This Saturday, July 21st


    July 17, 2018. Puddingstone will present their “Celtic Time Machine” show as a part of Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music’s 25th Silver Anniversary 2018 Concert Series on Saturday, July 21st. The concert, hosted by the affable Patrick Crouch, takes place at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium in beautiful downtown Blowing Rock beginning at 7:30pm. Puddingstone is a Lenoir based ensemble, which first formed as a trio consisting of percussion, hammered dulcimer, harp and flutes. It has grown to a seven-member band and now includes vocals, guitar, synthesizer and fiddle. / Read more…



  • ‘Mountain Modern with a Global Twist’: The Ridgeline Food and Spirits Opens in Blowing Rock


    July 17, 2018. An iconic building in Blowing Rock adds yet another tenant to the list of places that called the former spot of Holly’s Tavern, The Big Dollar and Canyon’s Restaurant home. The Ridgeline Food and Spirits officially opened its doors a little over five months after Canyon’s closed for the final time on Feb. 4. Former owner, Bart Conway, sold the business to new owners, Richard and Faisuly Scheurer. Rich and Fai met in Colorado and eventually navigated their way to the High Country after most recently calling Orlando home. The couple has two daughters, Alex and Sarah, and have been married for 17 years. Conway opened Canyon’s in May of 2001 and saw the restaurant become one of the hottest places to be in the High Country with great food, drinks and music. The Scheurer family is hoping to keep that tradition going with The Ridgeline. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Community Comes Together For Denny and Charlotte Norris; Fundraiser This Saturday, July 21

    July 16, 2018. Since losing their home, vehicle and personal possessions in an April 23 fire — and still in limbo as the recovery process continues — Denny and Charlotte Norris of Boone recently said they have been overwhelmed by the kindness of the High Country, in general. “We are humbled and extremely grateful by the response of our local community, our family, friends, churches and others who have offered to help us get back on our feet.” A fundraising committee was recently established to assist the Norris couple with their ongoing needs and is hosting an event on Saturday, July 21, from 5- 8 p.m. Watauga High School will be the setting for an evening of live music, good food and fellowship as friends surround the Norris couple and their family in a show of support during this difficult time. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • The Prayer Tree: A Healing Vine of Hope Touches the Lives of Nearly 1,000 People in Blowing Rock


    July 16, 2018. What started as a bowl of hearts and a pen has since blossomed into nearly 1,000 notes displaying the prayers, hopes and wishes of people in Blowing Rock. The result of this small, outreaching act became what owner Sheri Furman calls The Prayer Tree: A Healing Vine of Hope. Residents and visitors alike over the past few weeks have been pausing to hang their prayers in the tree or pray over the others there as they pass by the wonder of the Holy Spirit overflowing from the vine and branches into the hearts of many. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • What’s Going on at Mount Bethel? The Restoration of the Oldest Church in Blowing Rock


    July 16, 2018. The Mount Bethel Church, the oldest church still standing in Blowing Rock, is finally getting the repair it needs. Organized in 1886 by Jacob Kluttz, it was originally a German reformed church. Andrew Critcher, the great-great grandson of Jacob Kluttz, explains that, “My great-great grandfather’s the one that gave the property and started the church and the cemetery.” The cemetery behind the church remained under the care of Kluttz’s descendants, but the church itself has changed hands quite a few times. It’s been passed down through different churches throughout the years, but Critcher is proud to say that, “We’ve got it back in our family now.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Wraps Up Another Successful Year of Competition


    July 16, 2018. At last year’s Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Braidy Miller battled it out with his younger brother, Brent, to edge him in seven Scottish heavyweight traditional athletic events to become Scottish Athlete of the Games. Same story this year, except last year’s third place finisher, Wis Kiser, tied with Brent Miller for second. Braidy Miller, from Lebanon, Tenn., finished first in three of the seven competitions: the 56-pound weight throw for distance, 40 feet and eight inches; the 22-pound hammer throw, 107 feet and four inches; and turning the caber with a 50-degree turn (180-degree is perfect). / Read more…



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