High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Winter Storm Warning Issued for Tuesday Evening Through Wednesday Evening


    February 18, 2019 A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to cover the High Country on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The NWS alert says that heavy mixed precipitation is expected through southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, starting late Tuesday afternoon and continuing through most of the day on Wednesday. This is not expected to be a big snow even with just an inch or two of accumulation, however the icing hazard is the main issue with this storm. Ice accumulations up to two tenths of an inch are possible, which will make travel conditions hazardous and increase the chances of tree damage or power outages for downs trees and power lines. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Cheerleader Bethany Bryan Signs with Brevard College


    February 18, 2019 Watauga High School senior cheerleader Bethany Bryan will get to keep sharing her school spirit as a freshman at Brevard College this fall. Bryan signed with Brevard at a special ceremony that took place last Monday at the high school. While Brevard cannot use athletic department money for scholarships since they are a Division III program, Bryan’s academic success will allow for the college to provide her with financial support. The senior has been cheering at Watauga since her freshman year and has been doing it almost all of her life. Bryan and the rest of the cheerleading squad cheer during football and basketball games and with basketball season winding down, so too will her high school cheering career. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 8th Annual Retro ‘80s Weekend Coming Up This Week at Beech Mtn. Ski Resort, February 21-24


    February 18, 2019 Each February, the Town of Beech Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort come together to create a righteously rad celebration of all things ‘80s. The 8th annual Retro ’80s Weekend will take place February 21-24 with live ’80s music nightly, retro skiing daily, and plenty of throwback activities in between. Hop into their “ski slope time machine” to revisit the New Wave era of big hair, leg warmers, and Members Only jackets. This year’s lineup of events is looking to be totally radical.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: “Alita: Battle Angel” Complex and Ambitious After the Long Wait for Its Release


    February 18, 2019 The first trailer “Alita: Battle Angel” appeared over a year ago for a release in July, during the hot summer movie season. But apparently some edits needed to be made, and the film was pushed back to December, where it could take advantage of the Christmas season. Then got yanked away from that too, finally landing this past weekend, where there was a lot of money up for grabs with Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day falling only four days apart. It did claw its way to #1 at the box office despite not exactly fitting the bill of a date movie (there is a romance, but also a ton of violence). Still, there was an unmistakable air of studio nervousness surrounding the film, and if they didn’t have confidence in their own movie, then why should we? I will say that if any of the delays caused the film to be as passable as it is, then the wait was worth it.  By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Presents Dance Theatre of Harlem, February 19


    February 18, 2019 Dance Theatre of Harlem is coming to Appalachian State University’s Schaefer Center on February 19. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was co-founded in 1969 by then-New York City Ballet’s first African-American principal dancer, Arthur Mitchell, and his colleague and acclaimed ballet instructor, Karel Shook. Moved to action by the assassination of civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., they sought to establish a center for excellence in classical dance instruction for the young people in Mitchell’s childhood neighborhood of Harlem. / Read more…



  • App State Adds Decorated Prep Coach and Alumnus Lance Ware to Football Staff


    February 18, 2019 Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz added another member to inaugural staff Saturday with the hire of highly-successful North Carolina high school coach and Appalachian State alumus Lance Ware as senior assistant to the head coach. “We’re excited to welcome Lance back to Appalachian State,” Drinkwitz said. “As a former player, he’ll be a huge asset in continuing our great tradition of championship football. I’m excited to give him an opportunity to join the college football ranks after his success as a high school football coach.” As head coach of Shelby High School, Ware compiled a 99-25 overall record in eight seasons and won five state championships in the last six years. Ware led the Golden Lions to 2A state championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 2AA state titles in 2016 and 2018. During his tenure as head coach, Shelby compiled a sterling 33-3 record in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Appalachian and RISE Sign Paperwork for Multiphase Housing Project


    February 18, 2019 Appalachian State University and RISE: A Real Estate Company (RISE) signed final paperwork this week required for a multiphase, $191 million housing project that will replace seven residence halls. “This is the largest capital project in Appalachian’s history, and we are looking forward to getting the first phase underway,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “It is an important step in our work to ensure we have an appropriate physical infrastructure to support our students, faculty and staff for years to come.” “We couldn’t be more pleased to work with Appalachian,” RISE President Greg Blais said Thursday at the signing with Everts. “We look forward to the ultimate value the project will have for Appalachian students for generations to come.” By Linda Coutant / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Banked Slalom Event Presented by Recess Ride Shop Returning February 23rd


    February 15, 2019 The Beech Mountain Banked Slalom event for skiers and snowboarders is returning to Beech Mountain Resort on February 23rd; marking the sixth year in a row the competition has been held on the mountain. Recess, a local skateboard and snowboard shop in Boone, NC will be sponsoring and presenting the Banked Slalom event again this year. “It’s a little bit different than your typical gate-racing event. You have berms instead of just the gates, so it adds uniqueness as far as banked slalom goes,” said J.P. Pardy, owner of Recess along with his wife Ashley, “Beech Mountain Banked Slalom is going to be both ski and snowboard, timed separately, with different age groups. This is the only individually timed, ‘best-time-wins’ banked slalom in the area. The next closest one would be in West Virginia.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Garrett Riley Named App State Football Assistant


    February 15, 2019 Garrett Riley has been hired as an assistant football coach at Appalachian State University, head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Friday. Riley will coach the Mountaineers’ running backs. “We’re excited to welcome Garrett and his family to the App State family,” Drinkwitz said. “We’re looking to be cutting edge on offense, and we expect him to continue to push that. His experience coaching in North Carolina will also benefit our program.” Drinkwitz, who became Appalachian State’s head coach on December 13, 2018, has completed all his assistant coach hires for his first Mountaineer staff. He also hired Anwar Stewart to coach the defensive line on Friday. Three assistants Drinkwitz previously hired resigned after joining the staff—all in a span of only twenty days. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Ski Slopes Getting Ready for President’s Day Holiday Weekend


    February 15, 2019 Residents and visitors alike will be sure to head to the slopes this weekend with a lot of people taking advantage of the three-day holiday weekend. President’s Day will be recognized on Monday. Appalachian Ski Mountain is once again 100 percent open with all 12 trails as well as six lifts open with a 72-125 inch snow base. The mountain also has a big weekend of plans, starting with Friday night’s Midnight Blast session from 5 p.m. until midnight. On Saturday, Grill on the Hill will be happening from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with burgers, hot dogs and more served right there on the slopes. There will be another Midnight Blast session on Saturday night from 5 p.m. until midnight. In addition to the skiing specials, there will be a pair of ice skating specials happening on Saturday. A special family skate session will happen from 5-6:30 p.m. for a $15 package and a Moonlight Ice Skate session will happen from 9:30-11 p.m. The night wouldn’t be complete without a fantastic fireworks show by the Famous Zambelli at 9 p.m. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Anwar Stewart Named Assistant Coach on Appalachian State Football Staff


    February 15, 2019 On Friday, Appalachian State University head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced the hiring of former Canadian Football League player and coach Anwar Stewart as an assistant coach in charge of the Mountaineers’ defensive linemen. Stewart replaces Buddy Wyatt who resigned after spending only 26 days on the Appalachian State staff to become an assistant at Kansas State University. “Anwar brings great energy, passion, enthusiasm and a standard of championship football from his experience of winning four Grey Cups in the CFL,” Drinkwitz said. “He was a captain of his pro team and at Kentucky. He showed the true spirit of a Mountaineer by recently completing his college degree. Championships are won in the trenches, and I can’t wait to see him lead our defensive line. We’re excited to welcome Anwar, his wife and daughter to our family in Boone.” By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Greg Seiz Resigns as Newland Alderman

    February 15, 2019 During the Town of Newland’s regular monthly meeting, Alderman Greg Seiz announced he is stepping down from the post. His resignation became official then. Mayor Valerie Calloway Jaynes read a letter from Seiz, stating his intentions to resign as an alderman. Seiz said he is moving his residence to Linville Ridge Resort in Linville. When doing so, he would become ineligible to serve as a Newland Alderman as all elected town officials must reside within its limits. Seiz’s resignation marks the third time in only sixteen months that a Newland Alderman’s seat has become open for reasons other than a sitting member not seeking re-election or losing an election. Donetta McKinney also resigned as an alderman in October 2017. The then-Board of Aldermen voted for Seiz to fill McKinney’s two-year term (until 2019’s election) by a 3-0-1 (for-against-abstained) vote.  Seiz’s appointment gave him an automatic win of sorts for a Board seat as he had previously filed as a candidate for one of three other seats open in the November 2017 election.  Aldermen voting in favor of Seiz’s appointment then were Kenny Caraway, Dave Calvert and Roxanna Roberson.  Alderman Thomas Jackson abstained.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Zoning Changes Fail in Town Council Vote This Week

    February 15, 2019 The Blowing Rock Town Council unanimously voted against possible zoning changes for the downtown area that were put forth by Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock. Despite the recommendations from the planning department, public opposition to these zoning changes has grown as the special meeting date grew closer. The Blowing Rock Civic Association was one of the biggest detractors of the zoning changes and sent a letter to the High Country Press that was published on January 15 to let people know what the proposed changes were and providing contact information for how citizens could share their opinions with elected officials. The changes included eliminating the density of residential units on downtown property, increasing the building height above the sidewalk from 30 feet to 35 feet, increasing the allowable total of building height and reducing the amount of green space required in a building setback area from 75 percent to 40 percent.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Linville Resorts Board of Directors Member John Mangan Receives University of Georgia Sports Award


    February 15, 2019 John Mangan, a member of the Board of Directors at Linville Resorts, Inc. has received one of the University of Georgia Athletics Department’s most prestigious honors. Mangan, a letterwinner and All-America tennis player at the University of Georgia, as well as a highly-successful businessman and philanthropist, was named the Hartman Award recipient for the past 2018 year at the university’s annual Circle of Honor Gala February 8th. Named for the late Bill Hartman, Georgia’s longtime kicking coach and chairman of the Georgia Student Educational Fund (Bulldog Club), the Hartman Award is one of the greatest honors given to a former University of Georgia student-athlete. The Hartman Award has been presented annually since 1992 and recognizes former Georgia student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or in service to others by 20 or more years of superior performance after graduation. Only former varsity athletes who have received a baccalaureate degree from Georgia can be considered for the award.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Celebrating Valentine’s Day at The Lois E. Harrill Sr. Center With a Two Hour Party


    February 14, 2019 There is never a boring day at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone, but rarely is there one any more exciting than Valentine’s Day. This year’s celebration of love was no exception, as the center’s regular clients, staff, interns and visitors came together to celebrate the festive occasion on Thursday. A two-hour mid-morning party, complete with refreshments, games, music, dancing, an auction and a lot of fun was enjoyed by all, with the highlight of the event , as usual, surrounding the announcement of the king and queen.  By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Boone and Watauga Officials to Meet With NCDOT Next Week to Discuss Highway 105 Superstreet Project


    February 14, 2019 Public officials from the town of Boone and Watauga County will gather on Tuesday, February 19 to talk about possible changes to the original draft of the Highway 105 Superstreet proposal with officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The meeting is not open to the public, however it will be used to gather information and present possible changes at a later date. “What we may be able to change, we will set up a game plan with the NCDOT to get the word out to the public,” said Ward. “This meeting is in response to the initial letters that the town council, county commissioners and others sent.” Ramie Shaw, the Division 11 Project Team Lead, confirmed the meeting will be taking place and will present possible changes to the town and county officials. “We’re still looking at the process of the project and have taken the public comments and have some adjustments to the design that we would like to have the town and county look at and get their thoughts on it before we move forward with anything and go back to the public with those alternate plans,” said Shaw on Thursday afternoon. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • New River Water Intake Project Awaiting Final USDA Inspection

    February 14, 2019 The Town of Boone is waiting for a final inspection from the USDA for the long-awaited completion of the New River Water Intake project. According to Boone Town Manager John Ward, that inspection should be coming up in the next week. “We are within a week of doing the final walk through with the USDA. Once we are complete with that, then we will be able to potentially announce that at the town council meeting on (February) 19 or 21 the outcome of that inspection,” Ward said. When the new water intake goes online, residents will not notice anything different in their water, according to Ward.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Representative Ray Russell’s Raleigh Report: Newsletter Highlighting Info from NC General Assembly


    February 14, 2019 During the past year meeting with constituents in Ashe and Watauga counties, it’s clear that we need more news from state government in Raleigh. What we do in Raleigh probably has greater impact on your daily life than the 24/7 coverage of events in Washington, DC. But there’s almost no news reaching northwest North Carolina from our state government. To address this void of news coverage from Raleigh, I hope to provide a newsletter every couple of weeks to let you know what important issues are being discussed and to let you know what I am doing. You elected me to represent you. You deserve to know what’s happening! I hope you find them helpful and informative.  / Read more…



  • Center 45 Climbing & Fitness Trains U.S. Bouldering Champion


    February 14, 2019 Boone, North Carolina has a new National Champion as Elijah Kiser won a gold medal at the USA Climbing Bouldering National Tournament, Sunday, February 10 in Redmond, OR. Kiser, an 18-year old Boone native, won the National title in the Youth Division. This competition brought together the top climbers in America that are 18 years and younger, many of which have experience competing in Open Nationals, where the best climbers in the country compete, regardless of age. To qualify for the National tournament, competitors had to place in the top ranks within their State and division. Boone climbers participate within the Southeastern US Division. Kiser trains at Boone Area Chamber of Commerce member Center 45 Climbing & Fitness in Boone and has quickly ascended the ranks as one of the Nation’s top competitors after picking up the sport just 3.5 years ago.  / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 4 – February 11

    February 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



  • SAVOR Blowing Rock Wine and Food Festival Moves to Main Street This Year for May 2nd Event


    February 13, 2019 SAVOR Blowing Rock Wine and Food Festival will be returning this year from May 2nd to May 5th to showcase the greatest food, wine, craft beer, and distilled spirits the Blowing Rock and High Country regions have to offer. “It started as the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival back in 2007. In 2016 we changed it from Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival to ‘SAVOR’ and we’ve been SAVOR now for 3 years,” said Charles Hardin, President & CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, “It started as a North Carolina wine festival. Over the years it has evolved into also having craft beer and distilled spirits. SAVOR has evolved and had various different components over the years. But now, this year, we are going to move the main Saturday tasting event to Main Street. We’re going to close Main Street from Sunset Drive to Morris Street and make it pedestrian-only. We’re going to go back to our basic, original wine-dominant focus with food. We will still have craft beer but they will be done by partner businesses in town. We will also have distilled spirits featured at partner businesses in town. But our main event on Saturday will be focused on wine.”  By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Flu Cases Forced Ashe County Schools to Close Last Friday; Crews Spent the Weekend Disinfecting School Buildings

    February 13, 2019 Schools are always a breeding ground for the flu, colds and stomach viruses, however one area county seems to have been hit extremely hard. Ashe County Superintendent Phyllis Yates made the decision to close all public schools this past Friday following increases in cases of the flu, strep throat and a stomach virus. “All intense cleanings were completed over the weekend, so I plan to have school on a regular schedule barring any inclement weather. The flu virus only lives 24 hours so I feel good about our process. We continue to encourage those who do not feel well to please stay home,” Yates said in a statement. Over 450 students and 30 teachers across the county’s five public schools were out of school last week due to illness. With that many teachers sick as well, it was a frantic search to find substitute teachers to fill in, another reason for the decision to close school on Friday.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 32nd Annual Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon and Annual Meeting


    February 13, 2019 The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce held their 32nd annual assembly yesterday, February 12, at the Meadowbrook Inn. The assembly serves as both an awards luncheon and the organization’s annual meeting. After calling the meeting to order, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce welcomed the special guests: Charlie Selllers, Mayor; Albert Yount, Mayor Pro-tem; Doug Matheson, member of the Town Council; Virginia Powell, member of the Town Council; and Tracy Brown, Executive director of the TDA. David Barker, outgoing Chairman of the Board, was also recognized.  By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Jan. 31-Feb. 6: 22 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $5,382,500.00

    Feb. 13, 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…



  • Fred’s General Mercantile Honored With Special Proclamation by Beech Mountain


    February 13, 2019 At Tuesday’s Beech Mountain town council meeting, Fred and Margie Pfohl were surprised with a proclamation celebrating the 40th year of Fred’s General Mercantile in the Beech Mountain community. Fred, who is a committee member for recreation in the town, came to the meeting believing there was an issue involving recreation that was added to the agenda. The event came as a total surprise for the Pfohls. Longtime friend and former employee Jim Brooks was there to speak about the store and its importance to everyone in the community. “It’s been fun following the store from the ground breaking and through the years. We are very lucky that Margie and her family moved here permanently to the vacation home on Pond Creek Road and married Fred,” said Brooks. Fred’s General Mercantile came into fruition after the couple noticed the high cost of food and the limited inventory of items available at the 7-11, which happened to the only store in town. Having to pay those high prices was hard on families, Brooks said. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • New York Bestselling Author, Beth Macy, Brings Powerful Message to Boone on February 28


    February 13, 2019 As part of its Visiting Writers Series, on Thursday, Feb. 28, Appalachian State University will host Beth Macy, author of the recent New York Times bestseller “DOPESICK: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.” Macy’s book has been described as a “terrific, highly readable book about many facets of the opioid crisis in Appalachia and Southwest Virginia, in particular.” Macy’s afternoon and evening presentations are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with a strong community response expected, said Susan Weinberg, representing App State’s English Department/Creative Writing Dept., and the Visiting Writers Series. In light of the current opioid crisis that is plaguing America — not excluding the High Country in destroying individual lives, families, hopes and dreams — it is Weinberg’s hope that Macy’s visit will resonate within our community.  By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Gifts From The Heart – And Kitchen – Make The Difference


    February 13, 2019. Valentine’s Day is huge in the retail world. A recent consumer report indicates average spending in the U.S. for that day alone tops $13 billion, with the average person spending $130.97. The top three gifts are cards, candy and dinner, with 85 percent of cards purchased by women. The report further stated that annual revenue from jewelry store sales for Valentine’s Day is $2.2 billion, with over $400 million in flower sales, alone. Roses, 196 million of which are produced for Valentine’s Day, is the bloom of choice, of course, and yes, 73 percent of those are purchased by men. Something we need to all keep in mind, however, is the fact that it’s not always the money we spend on others that makes the difference. It’s usually the gifts from the heart that have the greatest impact – and a few treats from the kitchen never hurt. Here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day spent with those you love the most. / Read more…



  • Town of Boone Celebrates 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 16

    February 13, 2019 The luck of the Irish returns to Boone on March 16, 2019, for the Town of Boone’s second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Make plans to come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boone; you might even get a chance to see a real leprechaun! The celebration kicks off on March 16, at 2:00 P.M. on King Street in Boone with the parade. The parade begins at the Poplar Grove Extension traveling east on King Street through Boone, concluding at Appalachian State University’s Legends parking lot, located on Hardin Street.  / Read more…



  • Tweetsie Railroad Hosts Annual Job Fair on February 23 for 2019 Season

    February 13, 2019 If you’re looking for employment that provides a fun and rewarding work experience, Tweetsie Railroad may be the perfect fit. Come to the park’s annual Job Fair Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tweetsie Palace (300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane, Blowing Rock) to learn more about seasonal employment for 2019, including special events positions. Tweetsie hires approximately 250 employees to operate the park and entertain guests.  A diverse range of opportunities are available in ticket sales, accounting, entertainment, ride operations, food service, retail sales, security, ground maintenance, custodial services, first aid, and the Deer Park Zoo.  / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Recognize Several Students, Teachers and Staff Members at February Board Meeting


    February 13, 2019 WHS Principal Dr. Chris Blanton, art teacher Dacia Trethewey, Watauga County Hunger and Health Coalition Director Elizabeth Young and craft teacher Brett McDonough with WHS students Caroline Edwards, Sadye Franklin and Vann Small attended the board meeting to give information on Empty Bowls, a charity event that raises money for the local hunger coalition. Empty Bowls will be held March 30 at WHS from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The board recognized the work of school counselors. Board Chairman Ron Henries thanked the counselors for the tireless work — both in their assigned roles and countless other lesser known capacities in their schools. Left to right are Sandra Ruppert from Green Valley, Sheryl Little from Bethel and Lindsay Gough.  / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Sets New Record for Highest Recorded Wind Gust of 121.3 MPH


    February 13, 2019 The high winds that continue to blow in the High Country brought a new record wind gust to Grandfather Mountain early Wednesday Morning. At around 4 a.m. this morning, the weather station at Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge had a gust recorded at 121.3 MPH, breaking the previous record of 120.7 MPH set at 7 a.m. on December 21, 2012. Over a 24-hour span at Grandfather Mountain, wind gusts jumped from 34 MPH at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning to the new record o 121.3 MPH this morning. The first triple digit wind gust of the morning was recorded just after midnight with a gust of 106.2. A wind gust of 100.6 MPH was recorded as late at 7 a.m. By Nathan Ham / 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



  • Watauga County Schools Named Second Best in North Carolina by Niche.com

    February 12, 2019 The Watauga County School System has something else to be proud of after it was named as the second best school system in the state by a project compiled at Niche.com. Watauga finished with an A- grade behind only Chapel Hill/Carrboro city schools that got an A+ grade. The rating system was based on different factors including student grades, teacher absenteeism and salary, parent surveys, per pupil spending, extracurricular activities, class size and diversity. According to the data provided, Watauga County’s 10 schools and 4,402 students received grades of A in Teachers and College Prep, A- in Academics, Clubs and Activities and Health and safety and a B- in Diversity. The student-teacher ratio of 13:1 earned some positive points for Watauga County. That is below the national level of 17:1. The data also took a look at the teachers serving Watauga County and they too got an exceptional rating. Watauga County was ranked at the third best place to teach in North Carolina and third out of 115 districts with the best teachers in North Carolina. The average teacher salary in the county came in at $41,642.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Fifth Week of SMARL’s 2019 Season

    February 12, 2019 The fifth race of the 2019 Sugar Mountain Adult Race League (SMARL) took place Monday night at Sugar Mountain Resort on Oma’s Meadow. SMARL takes place on six Mondays in January and February and is now in its 14th year as an after-work, “beer league” for local skiers and snowboarders in the High Country. SMARL is sponsored by Sugar Mountain Resort and Ski Country Sports. Temperatures were a little on the warm side of early February skiing, however that did not slow down the racers in the next to last week of the SMARL season. “Skiing was awesome, we really had a ton of snow. We’re excited, it has really been a good season,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “Going into the last week it is tied up and everybody is going to be in full force next week to determine who ends up being in first place.” This week’s dinner for the racers was provided by Banner Elk Cafe.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ashe County Little Theatre to Present Four Shows in 2019

    February 12, 2019 Each year since 1972, the Ashe County Little Theatre has been a staple of the arts community in the county. The theatre presents three to four plays each year, and this year, the group is expecting to present four productions for your enjoyment. “It’s a wonderful line up with some really diverse offerings,” said Jane Lonon, Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council. All shows will be presented at the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. The season will begin with the production of “Is He Dead” from March 29-31. Next up will be the summer performance of the Braodway musical “Gypsy” from June 20-24. The third show of the year is set for August 22-25 and will be the production of “Calendar Girls.” The final show of the 2019 Ashe County Little Theatre season will be “Who’s On First” presented October 13-15. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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