High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Appalachian State Blasts Troy, 47-10 at Home

    November 29, 2020 Appalachian State routed Troy, 47-10, in Saturday in Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. Appalachian State scored on all six of its first half drives–four touchdowns and two field goals–enroute to a 24-point halftime cushion (24-10). The Mountaineers (7-2 over-all; 5-1 Sun Belt) then coasted in the second half. But they will not win a fifth (two shares and back-to-back title game wins) consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship this season. Number 16 Coastal Carolina (9-0, 7-0) locked up the East Division title by romping past Texas State, 49-14, to clinch a spot in the league championship game. As a result, for the first time since the conference introduced a championship game before the 2018 season, it will not be played in Boone.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • App State-Troy Football Game this Saturday Switches to 3:30 p.m. Kickoff on ESPN2

    November 27, 2020 App State’s home football game against Troy on Saturday will now have a kickoff time of 3:30 p.m. and be shown on ESPN2. Kickoff was previously scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPNU. It’s the sixth nationally televised game of 2020 for the Mountaineers, who have a seventh scheduled next Friday for the Dec. 4 visit from Louisiana. With the continued implementation of Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 169, Phase 3 of North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions allows for outdoor venues with 10,000 or more seats to operate at seven percent of seating capacity. With the addition of the club and loge seats in the new north end zone facility that debuted earlier this month, this will allow for the welcoming of 2,170 fans to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Kajillionaire’ is an Inferior Choice with Low Stakes and Uninteresting Characters

    image-3November 25, 2020 The characters at the heart of writer/director Miranda July’s “Kajillionaire” are not as interesting as July thinks they are, but they do raise an interesting question: how have these people managed to survive for so long when they are complete idiots? There are parallels between the downtrodden “Kajillionaire” family and the one from Bong Joon-ho’s Best Picture Oscar-winning “Parasite,” but those were smart, resourceful people who were going to capitalize on an opportunity eventually, it was just a matter of when and how. With “Kajillionaire,” it’s hard to believe that a lifetime of proudly doing the bare minimum in life is just now catching up to these characters. But I’m sorry, I just can’t get excited over a movie where the stakes are so low, and that prides itself on those low stakes. Worst case scenario: these people who should have been thrown out on the street years ago get thrown out on the street. Actually, the worst-case scenario is that Old Dolio gets rejected by her parents, but being separated from these losers is probably in her best interest. At a time when two movies about con-artist families are available On Demand, “Kajillionaire” is the inferior choice. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Comfort Foods For The Seasonal Interlude


    November 25, 2020. By the time you read this column, you’ve likely begun your Thanksgiving meal preparation, or like many of us, you didn’t have an extra minute to spend reading one more recipe before you started cooking the big bird, You may already be contemplating what to do with the leftovers in the days to come, and once those are cleared away, you need a few days to refresh and refuel. Late autumn air in the mountains has been known to become quite nippy as the seasons transition. The forecast for the coming week is no exception. Along with cooler temperatures and a hint of winter comes the craving for warm comfort foods. So, if you’re  looking for a way to take the chill off and heat up from the inside out, you may want to try some of these seasonal treats. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell’s Last Scheduled Newsletter


    November 24, 2020 Due to personnel changes in our office, this will be the last scheduled newsletter from Rep. Russell. However, the office will be open until Dec. 31, 2020, with staff available two days a week. Based on what scientists and public health officials were telling us last March, I knew the coming months would bring unprecedented challenges and believed that that Watauga and Ashe County would need a reliable, regular, non-partisan source of information to help deal with these challenges. That’s why this newsletter starting coming–daily at first and eventually twice per week. So many of you have replied and expressed in person how much you appreciated the newsletter. As I reflect on the past 8 months… I remember reporting the first case of Covid-19 in the district, the closing of schools, App State going to all online instruction, the Stay at Home Order, the first death in the district, etc. These have been trying times in every way. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – November 24, 2020

    November 24, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • N.C. State Board of Elections Certifies Election Results from Historic 2020 General Election

    November 24, 2020 The bipartisan State Board of Elections on Tuesday voted to certify nearly all contests in the 2020 general election, including the presidential contest. “Canvass” means the entire process of determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly, culminating in the authentication of the official election results. The State Board canvasses the votes cast in statewide, multicounty, and judicial contests and authenticates the count in every ballot item in the counties by determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. This certification came after the 100 county boards of elections certified results at the county level and after a series of post-election audits by election officials verified the counts. “Today, we officially recorded the voices of more than 5.5 million North Carolinians in certifying this historic election,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections.  / Read more…



  • With Cases Rising Rapidly, North Carolina Tightens Existing Mask Requirements and Enforcement

    November 24, 2020 Governor Roy Cooper on Monday issued additional COVID-19 safety measures to tighten mask requirements and enforcement as cases continue to rise rapidly in North Carolina and across the country. Executive Order No. 180 goes into effect on Wednesday, November 25 and runs through Friday, December 11.  “I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: We are in danger,” Governor Cooper said. “This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many.” In addition to extending Phase 3 capacity limits and safety requirements, the Order tightens the existing statewide mask requirement – making it clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household. The Order also adds the mask requirement to several additional settings including any public indoor space even when maintaining 6 feet of distance; gyms even when exercising; all schools public and private; and all public or private transportation when travelling with people outside of the household.  / Read more…



  • Avery County Announces Five COVID-19 Deaths the Past Three Days; Total Now Up to 11 for County

    November 24, 2020 The Avery County Health Department, an entity of the Toe River Health District, has released information that four Coronavirus (CoVID-19) associated deaths occurred in Avery County on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22 combined and another on Monday, Monday, November 23. This bring Avery’s total up to 11 deaths due to Coronavirus. Three of these individuals were in his or her 80’s, one was in his or her 90’s and another in his or her 50’s. To protect the privacy of the families of the deceased individuals and due to legal reasons, no further information about the patients will be released. / Read more…



  • Western Youth Network (WYN) is Taking a Modern Twist with Their Festival of Trees Telethon


    November 23, 2020 The Western Youth Network (WYN) is taking a modern twist on the “old-school” telethon! Mark your calendar and tune in for this family friendly event, fun for all ages. This two-hour virtual event is sure to be a good time; featuring a community talent revue, contests, prizes, an auction and lots of ways to give.  Anyone who purchases an auction item, makes a telethon pledge or donates at any level whatsoever is entered into a drawing to win our exciting grand prize “52 Weeks of Christmas”— a gift from the community for every week of the year including restaurant gift certificates, area attraction passes and many other gifts — an estimated value of $3,000! / Read more…



  • Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market is Returning for the 2020-2021 Season on Saturday, Dec. 5th


    November 23, 2020 Now in its fifth season, Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market is returning for the 2020-2021 season to offer delicious healthy, fresh local foods and products all winter long! The farmers’ market will operate from 9:00AM-12:00PM every Saturday from December through April at the Watauga Agricultural Conference Center. Due to COVID-19, the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) will be strictly enforced. Vendors will be spread throughout the Agricultural Center’s parking lot, Conference Center, and Warehouse with a one-way customer traffic pattern and customer limits. Upon arrival to the farmers’ market, patrons will be greeted by market staff and easy-to-follow maps to help you navigate this new system. Masks are required for both vendors and customers and hand sanitizer and masks will be provided to ensure that everyone has a safe shopping experience. / Read more…



  • Remote Learning to Allow for Snow Day Flexibility for Watauga County Schools


    November 23, 2020 With winter quickly approaching, Watauga County Schools would like to remind families how the district makes and communicates decisions about the operation of school during inclement weather. This year, thanks to additional equipment and student laptops purchased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district plans to utilize remote learning on certain school days that would have otherwise been cancelled and later made up due to inclement weather. Superintendent Scott Elliott said the districts’ period of remote learning in the fall had prepared WCS with the equipment and experience it needed to operate school remotely on snow days this winter. “Our experience with remote learning has given us the opportunity for the first time to hold school remotely on days that winter weather would have ordinarily forced us to close our doors,” Elliott said.  / Read more…



  • App State’s Last Day of Classes for Fall Semester is Tuesday; University will Transition to Remote Learning Period After Break for Final Exams

    November 23, 2020  Appalachian State University will hold its last day of classes for the fall semester tomorrow, Nov. 24, before Thanksgiving break which will last through Nov. 27. After Thanksgiving break, the university will transition to its remote learning and teaching period. All school work will be moved online for the remainder of the fall semester including final exams. Exams will be held from Dec. 3 through Dec. 9, with a virtual December Commencement on Dec. 11. Therefore, many students will be leaving Boone for the remainder of the year. By Nathan Ham and Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Falls at Coastal Carolina, 34-23

    November 21, 2020   In the biggest game of the 2020 season so far for both teams, the Appalachian State Mountaineers lost 34-23 to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC. The game was played before a limited audience at the stadium due to Coronavirus, but with perhaps millions watching on the national television ESPN 2 broadcast. Trailing 23-21, Coastal Carolina scored two touchdowns in the final 2:24 of the game to claim the win. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare COVID-19 Situation Update for Watauga County November 20, 2020


    November 21, 2020 This week, NC DHHS released a County Alert System to give counties another tool to understand COVID-19 spread in their community. Watauga County is YELLOW which notes significant community spread. This system outlines actions we can take to lessen the impact and spread in our community. You can read more about the County Alert System on NC DHHS’s website . For the week of November 8-14 (graphs below), we saw an increase in trends for active cases and those who are in quarantine. We have also seen another increase this week in the number of people hospitalized locally for COVID-19. Our case trends have continued to increase with the largest percentage of cases in the 18-24 old age group.  / Read more…



  • First Place in the Sun Belt is On the Line in App State’s Battle At No. 15 Coastal Carolina


    November 20, 2020 There are two Sun Belt Conference teams with no league losses this season. The number will drop to one after Saturday’s first-place showdown. At 6-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play, App State makes a mountains-to-sea trip to face Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers (7-0, 5-0) are tied for the No. 15 spot in the AP Top 25 and are 18th in the Amway Coaches Poll. The matchup of stingy defenses and powerful offenses on the teal “Surf Turf” in Conway, S.C., will kick off Saturday at noon on ESPN2, with Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Dustin Fox (analyst), and Marty Smith (sideline) on the call. In addition to local radio options, the radio call from the Appalachian Sports Network crew will also be available on SiriusXM Channel 382.  / Read more…



  • Watauga Arts Council Announces Gallery Exhibit Opening in Downtown Boone This Weekend!


    November 19, 2020. Watauga Arts Council announces the opening of their second art exhibit in their new space located at 585 W. King Street (Above Doe Ridge Pottery). Their new facility, now named King Street Art Collective, will be open on weekends, Friday’s through Sunday’s from 12-5pm, starting November 20th-December 20th. This newest exhibit highlights the works of three local artists and includes colorful abstract paintings, wood and clay sculptures, alcohol ink paintings, and mixed media metallic wall sculptures. Artists being exhibited are: abstract artist Adam Kahn, who’s bold colored canvases are representative of a multitude of deeper, primal energies; mixed media artist Pegge Laine, who for the past ten years has created beauty by remaining curious and responding to light, color and texture created by everyday items; and wood sculptor Aviva Kahn who derives inspiration from nature’s shapes and textures, combining wood, clay and other materials to express her spiritual being. / Read more…



  • High Country REALTORS® Report; Home Sales Through October Surpass All of 2019

    November 19, 2020 In 2019, High Country REALTORS® sold a record number of homes in a year. They surpassed that mark with two months still to go in 2020, according to the latest monthly real estate report by the High Country Association of REALTORS®. At the end of the October REALTORS® recorded, year to date, 2,634 homes sold for $923.48 million. That just surpassed the year-end totals for 2019; 2,608 homes with $804.59 million. Even more impressive, for the year so far the median sold price is up 16 percent compared to the entirety of last year, $280,000 to $240,500. In October, REALTORS® sold 414 residential listings worth $166.7 million. It was the second consecutive month – and only the second time ever – regional homes sales broke the 400 mark. / Read more…



  • ARHS Thanks Local Businesses and Organizations for Outpouring of Support


    November 19, 2020 Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” If her theory is correct, then the High Country community is among the greatest. Like the rest of America’s healthcare systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and unimaginable scenarios for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). While ARHS healthcare professionals worked the front line, local businesses, organizations and individuals immediately stepped up to help.  They donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N-95 masks, face shields, hand-sewn face coverings, hand sanitizer, and protective suits. They dropped off food, treats and special meals for employees. They offered special discounts or perks to ARHS employees, such as free soft drinks at their establishments. The Watauga and Avery County first responders and emergency personnel even paraded by Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital in a show of solidarity and support.  / Read more…



  • It’s a Beautiful Day for Skiing as Sugar Mountain Resort Opens for their First Day of the Season


    November 18, 2020 Today, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort welcomes guests to enjoy the great outdoors as it is the first day of skiing and snowboarding. Skiers and snowboarders were lined up by 7:30 a.m. waiting to get on the lifts, and Sugar Mountain opened their lifts at 8:15 a.m since so many people were ready to go instead of their traditional 9 a.m. opening. Sugar Mountain had 130 skiing days in their season last year, which was cut a little short because of COVID-19. In 2019, Sugar Mountain opened for skiing on Nov. 9, which is 10 days earlier than this year. Sugar Mountain Resort’s Vice President Kimberley Jochl said it has been fantastic out there. “The conditions are great — snow is nice and packed and temperatures are really pleasant,” Jochl said. / Read more…



  • Sugar Mountain Resort to Open for Skiing and Snowboarding Thursday Morning at 9 a.m.


    November 18, 2020 Sugar Mountain Resort will be the first ski resort in the High Country to open when the slopes open to the public for skiing and snowboarding Thursday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. This opening comes after the ski resort saw good snowmaking temperatures the last few days. Sunday was the first opportunity they had to be able to make snow. “It was a little slow Sunday and Monday, but then (Tuesday night) it actually got down to 16 degrees and it’s extremely dry, so that makes the temperatures even lower and we had a really good night of snowmaking,” said Kimberley Jochl, Vice President at Sugar Mountain Resort.  By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • North Carolina Expands Pre-Thanksgiving No-Cost COVID-19 Testing in Partnership with Retailers, Test Vendors; AppHealthCare Offers Free Testing in Boone

    November 18, 2020   This weekend, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is offering more than 120 no-cost COVID-19 community testing events, including new locations in partnership with retailers to help North Carolinians protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities as they prepare for Thanksgiving. In Boone there will be six more free testing dates held at Appalachian District Health Department on November 19, 20 and 21 from 8:30 to 5:00 and then on November 24 from 8:30 to 5:00, and then again on November 25 from 9:30 to 6:30. And the last one will take place on Friday the 27th from 8:30 to 5:00.  / Read more…



  • Seven Watauga Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy Totaling Close to $5000

    November 18, 2020   Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to local Watauga classrooms thanks to $4,994 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to local educators during a special virtual celebration honoring winning teachers and their schools. Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored annually by Blue Ridge Energy. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding. For its 26th year of grant making, Blue Ridge Energy is awarding $25,139 to 28 classrooms in its service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery counties. To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $544,000 in Bright Ideas classroom grants that has impacted over 100,000 local students and teachers. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Cooperative Extension Announces 2020 Farm City Award Winners


    November 18, 2020 For the first time in event history, the 65th Farm-City Banquet had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, farming in the community must go on, and with that continued the tradition of honoring the annual award winners for their work in the community promoting and honoring the long-time farming traditions of the High Country. “It was disappointing that we weren’t able to hold the event in person, Farm-City has been a great way to annually bring the rural and urban community together for a meal, but we felt like we needed to continue the tradition after 64 years. Hopefully, the situation improves and we’ll be able to come back with a bang in 2021 for banquet number 66,” said Jim Hamilton, Watauga County Extension Director. “Our Farm-City committee which is made up of extension agents, extension staff, and volunteers, we decided that the one thing we could do was recognize the award recipients we had even if we’re doing it from a distance.”   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • North Carolina Introduces COVID-19 County Alert System; State to Work with Key Counties to Bring Numbers Down


    November 18, 2020 Governor Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offer specific recommendations to bring numbers down. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks.  “By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking everyone in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow the spread of the virus, we can succeed,” Governor Cooper said. “It can help bring down their case rates, keep their communities safer, save lives and keep their hospital systems working.”  / Read more…



  • Chetola Resort Festival of Lights Provides Holiday Cheer Through January; Lights on November 27


    November 18, 2020 Chetola Resort once again greets the holidays with its drive-through tour of the Festival of Lights. The free display includes close to 30,000 lights throughout the resort and around Chetola Lake. In an effort to keep you (and Santa) safe this year, Chetola Resort will offer visits with Santa and carriage rides to resort guests only on Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28.  Chetola Resort will open the free, drive-through light show to the public beginning Sunday night, November 29. / Read more…



  • The Rehabilitation Center in Boone Receives Donation for Breast Cancer Treatment


    November 18, 2020 Rehabilitation Center, the outpatient physical and occupational therapy arm of Watauga Medical Center, received a donation of a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) device from the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation last week. The American Food and Drug Administration has cleared this device – the Riancorp LTU-904 laser therapy unit – as a tool to be used in the treatment of postmastectomy lymphedema. Founded in 2017 by breast cancer survivor Irene Sawyer, the mission of the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation is to support breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families in the High Country of North Carolina. All of the funds raised by the HCBCF go to helping local patients   / Read more…



  • Carlton’s Gallery 38th Winter Group Exhibition with Small Works; Holiday Open House is Nov. 27-28


    November 18, 2020 Carlton Gallery’s 38th Winter Group Exhibition with Small Works begins with a Holiday Open House on Friday and Saturday, November 27-28 from 10 am to 5 pm. This exhibition features small works in paintings, decorative and functional pottery, basketry, gourds, wearable fiber, wood, glass, and jewelry by the many talented artisans in the gallery. Social distancing with safety protocols are practiced throughout the gallery. Paintings reflecting the beauty and serenity of the winter landscape by Freeman Beard, Egidio Antonaccio and Sharon Rusch Shaver are some of the many art works of various styles and subject matter in this exhibit.   / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Preparing for Thanksgiving


    November 18, 2020. We’re just days away from my second favorite annual observance, with my first following soon afterward. It’s no surprise, however, that neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas 2020 will look or feel the same for many of us as they have in the past. Thanks to the corona virus, the toll it’s taken on many families— and its associated restrictions — so much about how we do life these days has changed. But, in the midst of all our uncertainties and pain, we need to try to stay focused and realize that we still have much for which to be thankful. Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 and has, for about 157 years, been observed on the fourth Thursday in November,. History tells us that Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony appointed a day for feasting and for giving thanks for all that had been bestowed upon the colonists. The first Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by President George Washington in 1789. More and more states began to celebrate the holiday, and in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set the official day for Thanksgiving Day. As one of the true American holidays , Thanksgiving has been a special time for gatherings among families and friends, and, as we all know, a time for good food. It’s also been a time for many American cooks to showcase their culinary talents. Accounts of the earliest recorded Thanksgivings include turkey, as well as roast pork, goose, deer, and seafood as main entrees. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – November 17, 2020

    November 17, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Statewide Recount in Supreme Court Race Begins This Week; Just 400 Votes Separate the Candidates Out of 5.4 Million Cast

    November 17, 2020  A statewide recount of more than five million ballots cast in North Carolina’s Supreme Court chief justice contest will begin later this week. The recount likely will take several days in some counties, and county boards of elections must complete their recounts by Wednesday, November 25. It is North Carolina’s first statewide recount since the 2016 state auditor’s race, which confirmed the results in that contest. Democrat Cheri Beasley requested the recount in a letter to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday. Beasley trails Republican Paul Newby by fewer than 400 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast in the race for the state’s highest court. That puts the race within the 10,000-vote threshold for the trailing candidate to demand a recount. / Read more…



  • Valle Crucis Park Trail Extended Through Blue Ridge Conservancy Farmland


    November 17, 2020 In 2015, Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) received a donation of 21.7 acres of farmland located within the Valle Crucis Historic District along NC Scenic Byway 194. Thanks to the generosity of John and Faye Cooper, longtime residents, conservationists and owners of Mast General Store, this scenic property will forever remain as agricultural and recreational land along Dutch Creek and the Watauga River. Last spring a major stream restoration project improved the integrity Dutch Creek. The property is now more conducive for agriculture and is safer for public access. A new, unpaved trail extends from the Valle Crucis Park loop through the field offering additional opportunities for fishing, exercising, bird watching, and more. / Read more…



  • App State Opens First Phase of Kidd Brewer Stadium North End Zone Facility on Friday


    November 17, 2020 Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts led a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Nov. 13, for the Kidd Brewer Stadium north end zone facility — referred to generally as the End Zone Project — which will accommodate various athletic, academic and community uses. “This building represents another tremendous milestone as we build infrastructure that supports and elevates Appalachian’s mission,” Everts said. “It is a space where members of the App State Community, and so many others, will host academic conferences, hold meetings, watch athletic events, gather socially and meaningfully engage with our university.”  / Read more…



  • High Country Turkey Trot Week November 19 – 26 on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook


    November 17, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic is making everything look a lot different this year and that includes the High Country Turkey Trot 5K. The annual Thanksgiving Day event, benefitting Hospitality House of Northwest N.C., has been taking place on the Boone Greenway Trail since 2011. This year, its tenth anniversary, the High Country Turkey Trot will take place virtually, for an entire week, with contests across multiple social media platforms. Hospitality House has dubbed November 19 through November 26, ‘High Country Turkey Trot Week’ with contests, sponsored by Mast General Store and The Winkler Organization, taking place on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with prize packages totaling $1,000.   / Read more…



  • Obituary for Spencer Robbins Who Died on Friday at Age of 93; An Entrepreneur, Developer, and Visionary Leader of Tourism


    November 16, 2020 Spencer Robbins, age 93, of Boone, passed away Friday, November 13, 2020 at Watauga Medical Center. Spencer was an entrepreneur, developer, and visionary leader of tourism, whose ability to create lasting impressions lives on in the places he helped to build, manage, and influence throughout his life. Working alongside his brothers, Grover and Harry, Spencer brought a number of landmark businesses to his beloved High Country, including Tweetsie Railroad, the Land of Oz, Beech Mountain, Linville Land Harbor, Hound Ears Club, and Elk River Club. In addition to bringing thousands of jobs, creating residential neighborhoods like University Village in Boone, and resurrecting historical properties like The Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock, he worked to improve the quality of life for everyone in this area, and was a huge advocate for elevating health care options. He served a number of years on the Board of Directors for Watauga Medical Center. And, following their brother Grover’s death in 1970, Spencer and Harry initiated the annual Grover C. Robbins Memorial Golf Tournament, which has raised more than $10 million to support the creation of the Cancer Imaging Center at the hospital. / Read more…



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