High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Early Voting for Municipal Elections Officially Underway; Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Interviews Town Council Candidates

    October 16, 2019. Early voting for town council and mayoral elections in Watauga County started on Wednesday with a total of 19 candidates running for elected office in Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils. Early voting will continue through November 2 at 1 p.m. and the final day to request an absentee ballot by mail will be October 29. Election Day this year is November 5 with precinct polls opening at 6:30 a.m. and closing at 7:30 p.m. In Blowing Rock, two town council seats and the mayoral seat will be up for election. Mayor Charlie Sellers is running unopposed while town council incumbents Jim Steele and Albert Yount face challenges from David Harwood and Ray Pickett. In Boone, two current town council members, Marshall Ashcraft and Lynn Mason, chose not to seek reelection. Incumbent Loretta Clawson is seeking another term on the council. Virginia Roseman, Nancy LaPlaca and Dustin Hicks have filed to run as newcomers. Three council seats will be up for election between these four candidates. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, October 7 – October 13

    October 16, 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



  • 41st Annual Valle Country Fair Returns on Saturday, October 19


    October 16, 2019. Mountain music, handmade crafts, barbecue, Brunswick stew, apple cider, apple butter, and peak autumn color all come together in a huge hay field at the heart of Valle Crucis, NC, on Saturday, October 19 at the Valle Country Fair. What started as a little church bazaar in 1978 now welcomes thousands and has raised more than $1 million for local charities over its first 40 years. Always held on the third Saturday in October, the Valle Country Fair takes over the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center on NC Highway 194 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free and ample parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car. Please note that NO PETS are allowed. The tents of 160 craft exhibitors line wide lanes that meander back and forth across the grounds. Bales of hay are stacked in the intersections of these alleys to offer fairgoers a spot to sit as they ponder which craft booths to visit next. / Read more…



  • Weather-Predicting Woolly Worms Race at Banner Elk Festival, Oct. 19-20


    October 16, 2019. For one weekend each fall, the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Banner Elk becomes the woolly worm racing capital. Now in its 42nd year, the Woolly Worm Festival draws cross-country visitors and locals alike for two days of cheering woollybear caterpillars to the finish line. This year’s festival takes place Oct. 19-20. Races are held throughout the day Saturday and Sunday at Historic Banner Elk School in the heart of downtown. The overall winner of Saturday’s races earns a $1,000 grand prize and the honor of predicting the winter weather for North Carolina’s High Country. While Sunday’s races don’t involve forecasting privileges, participants still vie for prestige, along with a $500 prize. “It’s really an all-American small town at its best,” says Mary Jo Brubaker, festival chairperson. “As a society, we go to such extremes to entertain people these days, but the down-home simplicity of this festival is wonderfully refreshing.” / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Ready to Begin its 100th Season of Men’s Basketball


    October 16, 2019. While Appalachian State’s football team began their 2019 season with some hype around Eli Drinkwitz replacing the now Louisville coach Scott Satterfield, they aren’t the only team this year to begin with a new administration. On Monday this week, Appalachian State’s basketball program kicked off its 100 Year Anniversary and Media Day with introductions and a Q&A from their new head coach, Dustin Kerns. After beginning as a student manager with Clemson, Kearns was an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech beginning in 2002, and then Tennessee University from ’03-’04. Kerns also assisted at Wofford University on two separate stints and was there during the 2014 and ’15 seasons where the school made appearances in the NCAA tournament. On May 23, 2017, Kerns was named head coach of Presbyterian University, where he finished 31-37 including a 20-16 overall record and 9-7 in the Big South Conference last year. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage to Perform Radio Adaptation of HG Wells’ Classic, War of the Worlds, Oct. 25-26


    October 16, 2019. We interrupt this performance to bring you a special bulletin: Volcanic disturbances? Jets of blue flames? Red discs swirling? Clear the fields, the Martians have landed. Or have they? Or will they? Ensemble Stage, the professional theatre located in the Historic Banner Elk School, will perform a radio adaptation of HG Wells’ classic novel War of the Worlds. To celebrate Ensemble Stage’s 10th anniversary, Gary Smith, artistic director, has put together an amazing radio show with smooth scene changes, eerie sound effects, and a cast of local ‘celebrities’ that will make you stop, listen, and ponder the possibilities. You will hear the startling report of mysterious creatures moving forward…Oh No, are they at the field, the pond, the mill? Ensemble Stage presents the radio play War of the Worlds October 25 and 26 at the Historic Banner Elk school, Hahn Auditorium. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – October 15, 2019

    October 15, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Dreams Come True: Great Crowd Celebrates Appalachian Theatre’s Grand Reopening


    October 15, 2019. Before the first musical note was played on Monday night, a boisterous crowd had already set the tone for what a wonderful night it was going to be in downtown Boone. Hundreds of people packed into the Appalachian Theatre for its grand reopening show featuring John McEuen and the String Wizards. John Cooper, the chairman of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees, was greeted with a huge applause and a standing ovation before he had even finished his walk to the microphone to welcome everybody back to the theatre that first opened its doors on November 14, 1938. “It’s been a dozen years since a film was shown in this venue, and almost 58 years since the last stage show when Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys played this theatre on January 19, 1962. Tonight that tradition continues,” Cooper said.
    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



  • Farmers’ Almanac Predicts a Wet Winter and Late Spring for Appalachia


    October 15, 2019. Winter is coming, and recent days have finally seen some lower temperatures, a reminder of the season to come. The question is, what does this year have in store? The Farmers’ Almanac, a weather-predicting publication active since 1818, has made some sweeping predictions, with somewhat dire news. “The worst of the bitterly cold winter conditions will affect areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians.” This, of course, seems to include us. The good news is that the coldest of their predicted “bitterly cold” temperatures will largely affect the Northeast and the Great Lakes, meaning that while we may see a dip in temperature, others will have it worse. And just as well, the coldest point of the season won’t come around until next year, toward the end of January. By Adam Estabrook / Read more…



  • Merrell Footwear & Mast Store Team Up for “Food for Kids” Oct. 21 to Nov. 3

    October 15, 2019. The U. S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Merrell Footwear, an active lifestyle brand, joins the Mast Store for the eleventh year in 2019 to provide Food for Kids (October 21-November 3). During these dates, when you purchase a pair of Merrell Footwear at Mast Store, Merrell will make a donation to the Hunger and Health Coalition to fill a backpack with weekend food for kids. Children are the most at risk with food insecurity. A growling stomach has an effect on a child’s body and also dampens his or her ability to learn or stay focused in the classroom. According to Feeding America, the percentage of children under the age of 18 living in food insecure households is 17.9% in the United States. Sadly, in North Carolina that number rises to 22.6%. / Read more…



  • Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue Dances into Boone as part of “The Schaefer Center Presents…” Performing Arts Series on Friday Nov. 8


    October 15, 2019. Appalachian State University’s performing arts series, “The Schaefer Center Presents…” brings the razzle dazzle of Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue to the Schaefer Center stage on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7pm, as a stop on its North America tour. Through a fusion of film, dance, and music, this dazzling international sensation is a high-energy celebration of contemporary India’s pop music, Bollywood culture, and deep traditions featuring colorful costumes, joyful dance choreographed by one of Bollywood’s top young choreographers, Vaibhavi Merchant, and thrilling live music set to an unforgettable soundtrack featuring the songs of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman. / Read more…



  • Zoe and Cloyd Roll into the High Country on October 17 for Performance at Harvest House


    October 15, 2019. Zoe and Cloyd roll into the High Country Thursday, October 17th, for a performance as a part of Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music’s 2019 Matinee Series. This non-ticketed, “Pay As You Exit” show, takes place at the Harvest House in Boone beginning at 2:00pm. Hailing from opposite ends of the Appalachian mountains, Zoe & Cloyd is renowned fiddler and vocalist Natalya Zoe Weinstein and award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist John Cloyd Miller. Their show is as diverse as their upbringing: coming from a lineage of klezmer and jazz musicians, Natalya trained classically in her home state of Massachusetts before moving south in 2004. John, a twelfth generation North Carolinian and grandson of pioneering bluegrass fiddler, Jim Shumate, is a 1st place winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest as well as an Artist Fellowship recipient for songwriting from the North Carolina Arts Council. / Read more…



  • Sugar Mountain Sees One of Their Largest Crowds Yet For The Weekend Oktoberfest


    October 15, 2019. This past weekend was full of Oktoberfest celebrations at Sugar Mountain Resort. In fact, this year’s events gathered one of the largest crowds yet for Oktoberfest; many people even made trips from several states over just to attend the annual family-friendly beer festival at Sugar Mountain. “It was one of our top Oktoberfests ever for sure,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President/Director of Marketing and Merchandising for Sugar Mountain Resort, “We don’t do a head count because we don’t charge admission, but all of our vendors did very well. The lift rides did amazingly well too; there were also a lot of kids playing in the children’s fun center. We sold a lot of beer and a lot of bratwurst. The parking lots were full and the buses were going back and forth all day long!”
    By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • App State Hosts UL-Monroe for Homecoming in Battle of Sun Belt Division Leaders


    October 15, 2019. Sun Belt Conference Division Leaders clash when Appalachian State hosts Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday, October 19 at Kidd Brewer Stadium for the Mountaineers homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. The game marks the fifth meeting between Appalachian State and Louisiana-Monroe. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 3-1, including a 2-0 record in games played in Boone. In the last meeting between the schools on Nov. 4, 2017, Caleb Evans accounted for 403 yards total offense and five touchdowns to lead Louisiana-Monroe to a 52-45 win. This year’s game will mark the Mountaineers’ first home game as a nationally ranked Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Major Level team. In the midst of an 11-game winning streak and a 5-0 start to the 2019 season, Coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s Appalachian State team received national recognition in the form of its second Top 25 ranking in the program’s brief FBS history. Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Large Parts of the High Country Sees Frost and Cool Temperatures Tuesday Morning


    October 15, 2019. Several parts of the High Country, particularly in the valleys, woke up to frost and the first really chilly temperatures of autumn on Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service reported the morning low at Watauga Medical Center at 32 degrees. Foscoe recorded a low of 30 degrees and data provided by Ray’s Weather Center shows that Valle Crucis also dropped to 30 degrees around 8 a.m. this morning. In Ashe County, Jefferson did not drop quite as low but still fell to 37 degrees. West Jefferson reached a low temperature of 35 degrees and Warrensville fell to 34 degrees. In Banner Elk, the low was 30.7 degrees around 7:45 a.m., and temperatures dropped to 30.9 degrees in Newland. Looking ahead to the rest of the week, Ray’s Weather Center is predicting even cooler temperatures heading into the area on Wednesday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Addams Family’ A Long Legacy Spoiled by This Movie That Falls Flat

    addams
    Oct. 15, 2019 The Addams Family have been a part of American culture since their one-panel cartoons appeared in The New Yorker in 1938. Their history includes a TV series in the 60’s (that of course gave us that snap-happy theme song), two live-action films in the 90’s, countless animated adaptations, and a dearly-departed Broadway musical, important to me because actress Rachel Potter, who played Wednesday in the show, let me buy her a drink in a bar during a Tony Awards party. The new animated film has to live up to a rich legacy, and although it will probably make a decent amount of money between now and Halloween, it is a major creative letdown. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Watauga Riverkeeper Response to “Valle Crucis in Jeopardy” October 11, 2019

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY ANDY HILL / Dear Editor, In a recent letter to the editor (“Valle Crucis in Jeopardy”, October 11, 2019), Bill Pressly, stated that the Watauga County Board of Education does not have the support of the Watauga Riverkeeper for the construction of an elementary school at the Hodges site in Valle Crucis. I think it is important to clarify for your readers that it is not the role of the Watauga Riverkeeper and its host organization, MountainTrue, to take a position for or against the Hodges site.  Our job is to ensure that any project built in the Watauga watershed adheres to Watauga County water standards and all applicable environmental regulations. If the project does move forward, the Watauga Riverkeeper will review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to assess stormwater control measures and design, riparian buffer, wastewater treatment plans and more to ensure that any construction does not negatively impact water quality.   Read more…



  • Avery County Advocate, Business Woman and Trailblazer; Martha Guy Dies at 97


    October 14, 2019. Martha Guy was known as a trailblazer, a forward-thinking business woman who went against the grain as she completed her formal education and followed her father into the banking business. Her death on Saturday, October 12 at the age of 97, has left a void that none will ever fill, but has left many reflecting on a life well lived and the countless contributions she made in this area and beyond. She died quietly at her home, leaving the world much like the way she had lived it — with peace and grace. Guy never wavered in her love for her hometown of Newland, always ready to serve in any capacity she could to make life better for others.. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Unveils Snowmaking and Lighting Improvements for Upcoming Season


    October 14, 2019. The slopes at Beech Mountain Resort will be whiter than ever this winter thanks to major upgrades to the snowmaking system. The resort is in the final stages of phase one of a two-phase project to enhance its ability to produce larger amounts of snow in shorter periods of time, while reducing energy consumption. Upgrades in place for the upcoming season include a new water pumping system housed in a completely renovated pump house. The Torrent Pump Skid automatically engages additional pumps as more guns are needed on the mountain. / Read more…



  • Valle Crucis Activists Send Out Over 1,500 Information Postcards and Create TV Ad Airing on 18 Cable Channels

    October 14, 2019. The activist group Residents & Friends of Historic Valle Crucis is doing everything they can to try and change some people’s minds about the location for constructing a new school in Valle Crucis. According to information provided by the group, information postcards have been or will be sent to a total of 869 property owners, landowners and residents of The Valle Crucis Historic District, and residents of the Valle Crucis area, as well as to 139 publishers, editors and reporters of the 10 biggest daily newspapers in North Carolina from October 6 through October 15. On October 16, the second mailing of 723 postcards will be sent to state government officials, North Carolina watchdog agencies, local and statewide media, state agencies and non-profit organizations with a stake in clean water, environmental, heritage and outdoors tourism, historic and cultural preservation. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain’s Annual Oyster Roast on Saturday Served Over 3000 Oysters, Lots of Fun


    October 14, 2019. It’s the end of the fall season at Beech Mountain. The resort’s annual oyster roast marked an end to the mountain bike season with over 3,000 oysters devoured on a beautiful Saturday in the High Country. “We had a big turnout with a lot of bikers and a lot of people getting one last day at 5506 Skybar. The oyster roast was really busy, we ran out of oysters a lot quicker than we anticipated, but that’s a good problem to have. All the customers seemed pretty happy,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain Resort. “We’re definitely going to have to order a lot more oysters for next year!” The oyster roast featured music from the band Virginia Ground and everybody had a great time. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Post Offices and Financial Institutions Closed for Columbus Day; App State on Fall Break Until Wednesday


    October 14, 2019. You might notice a few extra parking spots downtown and a little less traffic for the next couple of days. Bankers, federal government employees and Appalachian State students all received an extended weekend with banks and post offices closed on Monday for Columbus Day. Appalachian students get another day off on Tuesday as part of the annual fall break from classes. Classes resume as scheduled on Wednesday. For the fall of 2019, Appalachian State has a total of 19,280 total students with 17,518 of those being undergrads and 1,762 enrolled in graduate programs. Looking ahead to the rest of the fall academic calendar, early registration begins on November 1 and lasts through November 14. Thanksgiving break is from November 27-29, the last day of classes is December 3 and final exams begin December 5 and last through December. Fall commencement ceremonies will take place on December 13. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 9th Annual Spooky Duke Race Returns To Benefit Local Parent-to-Parent Organization October 26


    October 14, 2019. Anytime is a good time to support local nonprofit organizations — and especially the families they serve. As it does every year, the upcoming annual Spooky Duke Race and Costume March will prove that to be true very soon. Back for another successful fundraiser for the Parent to Parent Family Support Network, The Spooky Duke 5k, 10k and Costume March will be held Saturday, October 26, at the Peacock Parking Lot, located at 416 Howard St. in Boone, on the campus of Appalachian State University It’s an exciting time for everyone involved, said Parent to Parent FSN director, Kaaren Hayes, with proceeds going a long way to support the ongoing efforts of a much-needed program in the High Country. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Mount Vernon Baptist Church Hosting Annual Country Fall Fair Oct. 30


    October 14, 2019. It’s not your typical fall fair, but the annual Halloween alternative at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone brings in a fair crowd, for certain. For over 25 years, the event has attracted hundreds of guests for a fun-filled evening — and this year should be no exception. The 2019 Country Fall Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the gymnasium and first floor area of the church; it promises to be a time to remember for all members of the family — from the young to the young at heart. It’s all about food, fellowship, games and the reminder that Mount Vernon loves you – and so does God. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Unbeaten Appalachian State Earns Top 25 Ranking in AP and Coaches Poll


    October 14, 2019. In the midst of an 11-game winning streak and a 5-0 start to the 2019 season, Appalachian State received national recognition Sunday in the form of its second Top 25 ranking in the program’s brief FBS history. At 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league play heading into Saturday’s homecoming game against Sun Belt west division leader ULM (3-3, 2-0), App State is No. 24 in both the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. It’s the highest ranking in any poll in the Mountaineers’ FBS history and the first ranking of App State by the coaches. It also marks the highest ranking for any Sun Belt team since the league was established as an FBS conference in 2001. App State joined the Sun Belt in 2014. As one of 12 unbeaten FBS teams and one of three Group of Five conference teams with an unblemished record, the Mountaineers have defeated East Tennessee State, Charlotte, in-state ACC program North Carolina on the road and Sun Belt foes Coastal Carolina (at home) and Louisiana (on the road). / Read more…



  • Watauga County Mourns Loss of Former Commissioner, Educator and Businessman, Carl Fidler Who Passed Away October 7th


    October 14, 2019. As news of the October 7 death of Carl Fidler began circulating on social media early Tuesday morning, it proved that Watauga County had not only lost a valued educator and civic leader, but also a dear friend and mentor to many. Not only was Fidler a beloved coach and school principal who touched many lives in and around Watauga County during his storied lifetime, but he was also a veteran who served his country with honor during World War II. Many people expressing their condolences on Facebook shared how FIdler was an encourager, one who could be trusted with anything, a mentor, a fine gentleman who truly cared about his students — and so much more. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Ten People Charged After Federal Warrants Break Up High Country Drug Ring


    October 11, 2019. Sheriff B. Phil Howell announces the interruption of a complex and far-reaching narcotics trafficking network based in Ashe County. The federal conspiracy began and ended in Ashe County with ten individuals being arraigned in Federal & State court. “Horton Hears a Who” is the operation name for the conspiracy named by local and federal investigating agencies assigned to this case. “Our investigation began in December of 2018 jointly between the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation. After a few months, many of our local agencies joined forces to assist us in the entire investigation. West Jefferson Police Department, Jefferson Police Department, Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkesboro Police Department, North Wilkesboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) played a huge part in bringing our investigation closer to being finished,” Sheriff Howell said. / Read more…



  • Only Three Days Until Opening Night at the Appalachian Theatre; Limited Tickets Still On Sale Friday Afternoon


    October 11, 2019. Volunteers are still hard at work Friday afternoon putting the final touches on the Appalachian Theatre in preparation for Monday’s grand reopening. The newly-renovated 1938 downtown Boone landmark will welcome guests back at 7 p.m. on Monday with a performance featuring John McEuen, the founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his new band, The String Wizards. “We have a handful of tickets left as of Friday afternoon. We’re working hard and it’s going to be a great show,” said Laura Kratt, the Executive Director of the Appalachian Theatre. John Cooper, the chairman of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees, was on hand Friday afternoon pitching in with the final details of work. “We’re excited, the community is excited, it’s going to be a fabulous gift and a gem for the community,” Cooper said. “A lot of volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the theatre. It will be a sellout crowd for the opening event and it will be an amazing concert.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Donates ‘Fidget’ Quilts to the Foley Center


    October 11, 2019. A group of ladies from the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild made a touching donation on Wednesday morning by bringing “fidget” quilts to the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock. Fidget quilts have become very popular over the last few years, particularly for elderly residents and patients across the country with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These quilts feature pieces of textile fabrics and ornaments such as zippers, buttons and ribbons that can be fidgeted with and give these patients something to do with their hands. The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild was founded over 30 years ago in 1987. They focus on promoting the appreciation and education of the fine art of quilt making. Members of the club meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone. Guest speakers often come to share their quilt stories and many members show their most recent projects with group members. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Oct. 3-9: 40 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $10,153,000.00

    Oct. 11, 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…



  • Watauga County Public Library to Screen Documentary that Explores the Life of Fiction Writer Flannery O’Connor This Saturday at 1:00


    October 11, 2019. Beata Productions announces that the first-ever feature length documentary about Flannery O’Connor, one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th Century, is scheduled to screen at the Watauga County Public Library on Saturday, October 12th 2019. The film has been featured in several film festivals, was broadcast on PBS in 2017, and won a 2018 Gabriel Award for excellence in broadcasting. An icon of Southern literature, O’Connor is best known for works such as “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “The Displaced Person,” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” Uncommon Grace: The Life of Flannery O’Connor traces the people and events that would help shape her remarkable career, including her upbringing in the class-conscious South of the 1930s and her battle with the autoimmune disease lupus, which would ultimately take her life at age 39. / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare, Mediation & Restorative Justice Center and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Receive Funding to Respond to Opioid Epidemic

    October 11, 2019 AppHealthCare and the Mediation and Restorative Justice Center (MRJC) were among the 2019 recipients awarded funding through the federal Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program (COAP) under the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice (more information about the COAP here). This award is a three year allocation that will provide long-lasting positive change in our community and reflects a paradigm shift in our community’s readiness and capacity to respond to the opioid epidemic within our local criminal justice system. Over the past two years, AppHealthCare, MRJC, and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), along with many other community partners, have worked together to build a coalition to strategically address the opioid and substance use disorder crisis in our communities. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Valle Crucis in Jeopardy

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY BILL PRESSLY / Dear Editor, In March the Watauga County Board Of Education (BOE) entered into a contract to purchase 14.4 acres (the Hodges site) for 1.105 million dollars as a possible site for a new Valle Crucis School grades 1-8. They are offering to pay 2-3 times the market value of that land. 13 of the 14.4 acres are designated Special Hazard Flood Area and thus requires mitigation in order to build. Much of the reason that a new school is needed is due to flooding of the current school. It makes no sense to spend 35 million dollars to build a new school on a property with a high potential of flooding. The Board of Education has disregarded the State recommendation that calls for a school of that size to be built on a minimum of 25 acres.  Read more…



  • Submissions Coming In for 17th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition; Deadline Nov. 22


    October 11, 2019. It’s that time again! The 17th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is open for registrations and submissions. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to submit at www.appmtnphotocomp.org prior to the competition’s close at 5pm on Friday November 22, 2019. The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition offers numerous categories that will be chosen as winners with over $4,000 in cash and prizes.   A partnership between Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and Virtual Blue Ridge, the AMPC celebrates the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. Attracting entries from across the United States, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition has grown into one the region’s most prestigious photography competitions with almost 1,000 submissions last year and viewed in person by over 6,000 people at the Turchin Center for Visual Arts / Read more…



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