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42nd Mid-Summer Group Exhibition Opening at Carlton Gallery Beginning July 27th

July 22, 2024 Carlton Gallery begins its 42 Mid-Summer Group Exhibition on Saturday, July 27 with an Opening Reception, 2-5 pm. The Opening Reception is always an ideal time to meet attending artists who will be happy to discuss their artwork. Nature’s Symphony: A Multifaceted Landscape Exhibition presents a collaboration of the gallery artists who render the landscape in diverse compositions from contemporary, abstract to impressionistic traditional.This exhibition showcases new paintings exemplifying the beauty and grandeur of scenic locales, vistas, waterfalls, mountain streams, and bucolic barns. Each painting is rendered in the artist’s unique style, color palette, and interpretation of the subject matter.

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Hospitality House 40th Anniversary Luncheon to take Place August 16 at Chetola; Featuring Internationally Recognized Trauma Survivor and Advocate Tonier Cain

July 22, 2024 Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina is thrilled to welcome internationally recognized trauma-informed care expert and survivor Tonier Cain as the guest speaker for its fortieth anniversary Hope Luncheon. Taking place 11:00 a.m. Friday August 16, 2024, lakeside at the award-winning Chetola Resort, individual tickets are $40 to attend or a table of eight may be purchased for $400. This is the agency’s largest annual fundraiser, and guests will be encouraged to give generously to reach their goal of $100,000. 

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Paul Taylor Dance Company and Brad Paisley Wrap Up An Appalachian Summer Festival

July 19, 2024 An Appalachian Summer Festival concludes its milestone 40th anniversary season with performances by two legends of their respective genres: Paul Taylor Dance Company, one of the modern dance world’s most celebrated troupes who is returning to the festival for a remarkable eighth time on July 24, and country-Americana singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, who brings his Son of the Mountains World tour to Boone to play in front of a packed Kidd Brewer Stadium for the festival finale on July 27. A special behind-the-scenes informal chat with some of PTDC’s artistic visionaries will be held on July 23. For information and tickets to the festival’s final events, visit AppSummer.org.

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Guest Column – Why My Sons and I Love the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 19, 2024 Once a year, the second week in July. Tents are raised, kilts are dusted off, sporrans and Sgian-dubh are properly placed. People start pouring in from around the country, even parts of the world to Grandfather Mountain, NC, all with one thing in common–the gathering of the Grandfather Highland Games. It’s a time when those with Scot-Irish heritage and those without can learn and research history.  It’s also a time for my sons–Laiden Gragg-Smith, Cam Gragg-Smith, Mason Gragg-Smith–and me to get in contact with our roots and a way to keep our heritage alive. We are made up of several different clans. On Saturday of last week (July 13), we were in attendance for the 68th annual Highland Games. By Tara Gragg Daniels

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Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Encore as Its Latest Watauga Leadership Institute Program Beginning in September

July 19, 2024 In an effort to expand the course offerings of its Watauga Leadership Institute, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the creation of Encore, a class designed as a professional development enhancement for local business and community leaders. Launching in September 2024, Encore offers attendees the opportunity to expand their leadership knowledge, mindset, and skills. Each 90-minute session will provide deeper insight into topics introduced during previous Watauga Leadership Institute courses while encouraging the self-renewal and reflection toward guiding leadership principles.

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Grandfather Mountain and Kitty Hawk Kites Celebrate 50th Anniversary of First Hang Glider Flight at Grandfather with Commemorative Event at Linville, and Nature Park on July 27

July 18, 2024 Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, and Kitty Hawk Kites are set to celebrate the flight of the latter’s founder and the first person to hang glide off the mountain, John Harris, with programming, a panel discussion and fun on Saturday, July 27. The two iconic North Carolina attractions and businesses are marking 50 years since that “first flight,” with activities open to Grandfather Mountain guests and included with regular admission. There will be no actual hang glider flights from the mountain during this celebration.

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Movie Review: “Twisters” Now Playing at Boone Regal

July 18, 2024 It’s usually at the end of the review that I talk about a film’s MPAA rating, but I’ll twist it up for “Twisters.” Or rather, for its 1996 predecessor “Twister” and its all-time terribly-worded rating justification. The film was rated PG-13 for “intense depiction of very bad weather.” Yes, the depiction was intense, and yes, the weather was very, very bad, but those twisters were so violent and destructive that “weather” seems like the wrong word to describe them. They may as well have used the term “extreme windiness.” The twisters are similarly violent and destructive in “Twisters,” which is much more sensibly rated PG-13 for “intense action and peril, some language and injury images.”

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Take a Look and See How We Are Doing at the Hospitality House of Northwest N.C.

July 18, 2024 Thank you for being one of our valued supporters. We want to convey our thanks and make sure that you know the positive impact that you are having in the community. and make sure that you know the positive impact we are having in the community. Below is our 2023 Annual Summary for you to view and/or download. Hospitality House of Northwest N.C. has been providing housing, shelter, food access, counseling, and crisis assistance to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty-related crises since 1984 – and your support has made this possible. 

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Top to Toe 5K Race Coming to Mitchell County on August 3rd

July 18, 2024 The Top to Toe 5K is an adventurous descent from the top of a quto the bottom of the Toe River valley. Built for record chasers and families alike, this course begins at The Quartz Corp’s Chalk Mountain and ends at Riverside Park in Spruce Pine. The race proceeds benefit Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, NC Mineral and Gem Festival. Each registered participant receives one free admission ticket to the NC Mineral and Gem Festival as well as a t-shirt!

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Let’s Take a Look at the Real Estate Stats for the First Half of the Year

July 9, 2024  t’s difficult to believe 2024 is now more than half over. As Mary Oliver said, “Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.” Hopefully, you’re having fun!  Before we move forward with the second half of 2024, let’s take a look at the stats for the first half. January thru June of 2024 saw 1000 closed single family sales in the High Country Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service. Of those 1000 sales, 867 were in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, the area we look at most closely when analyzing High Country Real Estate. Of those 867, 219 were condos or townhomes and 648 were single family detached. List prices ranged from a minimum of $24,900 to a maximum of $11,885,000 with an average List Price of $606,269 and a median List Price of $460,000.  Sold prices went from a minimum of $37,500 to a maximum of $10,885,000 with an average Sold Price of $583,982 and a median Sold Price of $450,000. By Jay Coble, REALTOR, Blue Ridge Realty & Investments, LLC

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App State’s Frontline to Farm In-Person Training Completes Another Successful Year

July 17, 2024 Appalachian State University’s Frontline to Farm program has been serving Veterans since 2020. To date, 78 participants have completed its in-person training. The program also provides online resources, as well as internships and scholarships for specialized training across the US – all focused on supporting veterans’ transition to farming and promoting sustainable farming practices that mitigate climate change, promote food security, and build community. Funded by a NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant and supported by the Boone community, the 1-week Beginner Training and 2-day Alumni Training included classroom sessions on Appalachian State University’s campus and afternoon farm tours around the High Countr

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Ripe for the Picking!


July 17, 2024 . Summer in the High Country has been hot so far and the gardens are flourishing even with little rain, but there’s relief in sight, so say the meteorologists. A few passing showers have, so far, dampened the ground enough to give us hope that our gardens will survive and thrive. And, as soon as those welcomed drops arrive, it’s almost as if we can see the plants rise up with pride. And underneath the vines are those squash and zucchini, especially, that appear to double in size from one day to the next. We love seeing our grandchildren run to their garden and start looking for veggies that are ripened and ready for harvest. It’s especially endearing when they look in amazement at the goods that, just a few weeks ago, they helped plant as small seeds. I hope the wonder and excitement in their eyes never leave them. And I hope those garden goods continue to grow, despite the intermittent dry  spells, as well as the deer and ground hogs that are also enjoying nature’s buffet. So, let’s begin digging through the files for summer’s bounty and make the most of the fresh produce while we can. By Sherrie Norris

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Mountain Home Music Announces Next Matinee Concert Series on July 23 from 2:00 to 3:15

July 17, 2024 Mountain Home Music is excited to announce the next 2024 Matinee Concert series to be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 115 E King St, Boone from 2 to 3:15 pm.  Join us on July 23 for Tucker Connor and Steve Lewis. Twelve year old Tucker Conner is a long-time member of the Boone Junior Appalachian Musicians and wowed audiences at the inaugural Boone’s Got Talent showcase! He will be joined by national banjo champion Steve Lewis who also holds the title of Walnut Valley National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, and he placed second in their guitar competition in. Lewis is a member of the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boy’s and Tucker’s guitar teacher.

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State Board of Elections Recognizes We The People as Official NC Political Party

July 17, 2024 Raleigh, NC — The State Board of Elections on Tuesday recognized the We The People Party of North Carolina as an official political party in the state. Recognition of this party means voters now have eight choices of party affiliation when registering to vote or updating an existing registration. Voters may register with the Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, No Labels, Republican, or We The People parties, or they can register as unaffiliated. This recognition also means that voters currently registered with a different political party or as unaffiliated may switch their affiliation to the We The People Party if they wish. For information on how to do that, see Updating Registration.

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Celebrate National Farmers Market Week and USA Olympic Team at Beech Mountain’s Farmers Market on Friday, August 2nd

July 17, 2024 We will celebrate National Farmers Market Week and the USA Olympic Team on Friday, August 2nd at the Beech Mountain Farmers’ Market.  40 vendors will showcase their local fresh organic produce, honey, baked goods, plants, flowers, microgreens, gourmet dog treats, fine art, homemade crafts, jewelry, body and hemp products, leather, woodwork, farm raised beef/pork, ice cream and much more. And celebrate with a sample of Mookie’s Kettle Korn while supplies last! Ample parking, Doggie Hospitality, Town Welcome Station and music add to your market experience.

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Violin, Piano and Cello; Funk, Soul and R&B, a “Perfect” film, Visual Arts, Take the Stage July 16-21 at An Appalachian Summer Festival

July 16, 2024 This week at An Appalachian Summer Festival, July 16-21, there’s a little something for everyone — from violin, piano and cello, to funk, soul, R&B and more. The festival, now in its 40th year, runs through July 27 and features a diverse mix of music, dance, visual arts, and film programming. For information and tickets, visit AppSummer.org.

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Nik Aston Secures Top Spot in Men’s Heavy Athletics at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 16, 2024 Nik Aston placed in the top four in all seven men’s heavy athletic events during the 2024 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, earning him the top spot overall for the competition. This year marked Aston’s sixth competing at these games and his second as a professional. The 29-year-old from Los Lunas, N.M, is a personal trainer and strength-and-conditioning specialist. During his time as a graduate student at Appalachian State University, he approached someone at his gym with a Grandfather Mountain Highland Games shirt and asked how to get involved. This year, in his second competition as a pro, he notched first-place honors.

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LETTERS: We Can Do Better to Protect Democracy

July 15, 2024 Letters to the Editor. By Charles Stafford / John Roberts when questioned by Senator Leahy (Dem. Of VT) in 2005 at Roberts’ Supreme Court confirmation hearing was asked, “is the president above the LAW?” Roberts said, “No one is above the law under our system and that includes the president. The president is fully bound by the law, the constitution, and statutes.” (Sept. 2005).  Roberts in 2005 would have been consistent with the thinking of the founders of our country. The first grievance against King George III of Britain and his British Governors in America was the King’s failure to accept laws passed by the 13 colonies. A long list of grievances were listed in our Declaration of Independence ending with sentence: “A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” A Tyrant in the modern English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law. It seems in 2005 Roberts was aware of the history as we read in his answer to Senator Leahy. But on July 1, 2024 the Roberts’ decision on immunity was aligning himself closer to a position of a Tyrant.

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Movie Review: “Longlegs” Now Playing at Boone Regal

July15, 2024 The gruesome horror movie “Longlegs” pulled something of an upset at this past weekend’s domestic box office. It wasn’t enough to upset “Despicable Me 4” for the #1 spot, but it did do the best among new releases. Great reviews were seemingly enough to pull the family-unfriendly indie darling into the #2 spot and make it the only movie to pull in half of what “Despicable Me 4” made. And to all the critics whose diligent word of mouth turned this scrappy upstart into a surprise hit, I have to say: you must have seen a different “Longlegs” than I did, because the movie I saw was a joke.

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Blue Ridge Conservancy Awarded NCDOT Grant for Multimodal Feasibility Study for Northern Peaks State Trail

July 14, 2024 Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) was recently awarded $80,000 by NCDOT for a Multimodal Feasibility Study grant, which will give BRC and its partners of Jefferson, West Jefferson, and Ashe County a plan to connect Paddy Mountain Park to Mount Jefferson State Natural Area via a pedestrian pathway. This pathway will ultimately connect Mt Jefferson to the Northern Peaks State Trail (NPST). Charity Shatley, Jefferson Town Manager, says “The Town of Jefferson is eager to partner with BRC, NCDOT, West Jefferson, Ashe County, and other community partners involved in the NPST feasibility study.”

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BRAHM Receives Gift of a Painting “Early Morning Early June,” by Maud Gatewood

July 14, 2024 GSK, a global biopharma company, has gifted a work of art to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM). The gift is a six-panel polyptych, entitled “Early Morning Early June,” by iconic North Carolina artist Maud Gatewood, which will be featured in the upcoming exhibition, “The Hard Edge & The Soft Line: A Retrospective of Maud Gatewood.” The exhibition will be on view in the Fort, Atwell, and Rankin East Galleries of the Museum from June 28, 2024, through January 5, 2025.

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UNC Health Appalachian Announces the Retirement of President and CEO Chuck Mantooth Effective January 1, 2025


July 13, 2024 . After a distinguished career spanning over three decades in healthcare leadership, Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of UNC Health Appalachian (UNCHA) has decided to retire, effective January 1, 2025. “Chuck has been an integral part of UNC Health Appalachian since he joined the organization in 1992. When we began discussing his retirement in Fall 2023, we asked him to give us another year and continue through 2024 and he graciously agreed,” said UNCHA’s Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Deal. “His vision, dedication, and commitment to improving healthcare for the communities of northwest North Carolina have left an indelible mark on the organization. Under his leadership, UNC Health Appalachian has seen significant growth and development while enhancing patient care, expanding services, and fostering a culture of excellence.” Mantooth’s leadership has transformed UNCHA and positively impacted the broader healthcare landscape in northwest North Carolina. His dedication to service and excellence has earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues, patients, and the community.

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