1000 x 90

Dr. Heather Norris Has Been Named as Interim Chancellor for Appalachian State University


April 20, 2024 University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans announced an interim chancellor for Appalachian State University. Heather Hulburt Norris, provost and executive vice chancellor at App State, will succeed Sheri Everts, who stepped down as chancellor after 10 years. The appointment became effective April 19. “Dr. Norris is an experienced and talented leader who is well regarded in the App State community,” Hans said. “She has served in various roles at the university, from faculty member to dean to provost, and she has excelled at all of them because of her collaborative style and her commitment to public service. I’m grateful to her for taking on the position of interim chancellor.”

Read more

The 2023 State of the County’s Health Report Has Been Released for Watauga County

April 20, 2024 AppHealthCare, in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has released the State of the County Health (SOTCH) Report for Watauga County. This report provides an update on public health priorities, county demographics, leading causes of death and information on emerging issues. The SOTCH report is released each year between cycles of conducting a Community Health Report. The most recent Community Health Report was published in January 2022.  The next Community Health Report will be released this summer.The health priorities below were identified and chosen by the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative collaborative in August 2021 and the SOTCH report provides an update on progress for each area.

Read more

“The Mystery of the Little Tree”


April 20, 2024 It happened one night, not long after Thanksgiving, and around the same time as the town of Blowing Rock lit itself up in holiday lights . . .all white holiday lights, as Blowing Rock will do. And then, one night, there it was. There she stood, a lonely little Fir tree, totally at home, all by herself, standing proudly at the edge of the John’s River gorge along Highway 321 southbound. Suddenly this little fir was sparkling with celebratory, holiday lights. But this charming little tree wasn’t lit in white lights, as was the rest of Hwy 321, as well as most of the town of Blowing Rock. This lonely, lovely little Fir was lit up in multi-colored lights; a holiday tree version of “Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. And in a winter of (beautiful and wonderous) crisp, white lights suddenly we had sprouted holiday color along 321. And as of this writing our pretty little Fir is still standing, and still lit in Jospeh’s amazing technicolor.  By Dolores Smith

Read more

Berry Sweet Fun: Patterson Farm’s Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Season is Here

April 20, 2024 Patterson Farm Market & Tours celebrates the start of the highly anticipated Pick-Your-Own Strawberries! This year, the farm has 94 acres of strawberries in production. Visitors are invited to come out to the farm to pick berries, eat ice cream, and enjoy Spring Fun on the Farm activities! Patterson Farm Market & Tours provides endless fun for the whole family. Feed the animals and have an adventure at PawPaw Carl’s Playground & Barnyard. There are so many attractions to enjoy from Big Red’s Slide and the Spider Web to the Tractor Tire Mountain and Sand Pit Area. Cool off from play time with the farm’s seasonal homemade ice cream. Seasonal flavors include: Lemon, Cookie Monster, Strawberry Shortcake, and Violet Vanilla.

Read more

Summer Concerts at the Jones House Announces 2024 Lineup Beginning June 7

April 20, 2024  Get ready to groove and unwind as the Town of Boone presents the 2024 Summer Concerts at the Jones House series, spicing up downtown every Friday evening in June, July, and August. Starting at 5:30 p.m. each week, enjoy performances by talented local musicians and regionally acclaimed artists alike. Admission is free, so simply bring your favorite blanket or lawn chair and settle in the Jones House lawn for an evening of live music. Concert goers can feel free to pack a picnic and bring their own drinks, including alcohol for those 21 and up. Parking is free in downtown Boone metered spaces and lots after 5 p.m.

Read more

Beech Mountain’s Farmers’ Market Keeps GROWING in 2024 Starting This June

April 19, 2024  Nearly 3,000 people visited Beech Mountain’s Farmers’ Markets in 2023;  doubling the market’s first year attendance. “We have a great market day, time slot, tons of community support and one of the best views in the high country,” remarked Sandy Carr, Volunteer Market Manager.  “Our farmers, artists and local craft vendors bring us such a wide assortment of homegrown and handmade products…there really is something for everyone at the market.” Markets will be held on the first Friday of the month, June – October, from 2 – 6pm in the public parking lot across from Fred’s General Mercantile.  The theme for the June 7th market is “Watch Us Grow”.  The first 100 attendees will receive free white pine seedlings to plant.

Read more

Early Voting Hours Set in Avery County during April 25-May 11 Period for Second North Carolina Republican Primary 

April 19, 2024 Early Voting for the second 2024 North Carolina Republican Primary (runoff) begins April 25 and runs through May 11.  And the Avery County Board of Elections has announced hours when Early Voting may be done in the county. Those will be from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday (April 25 through May 10) and from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. That last day during that period is the only Saturday when voting can be conducted during the second Republican primary election in Avery County. There will be no Early Voting on any Sunday during the period. By Tim Gardner

Read more

NC Wildlife Agency Responds to Incident Involving Harassment of Black Bear Cubs

April 19, 2024 RALEIGH, N.C. (April 18, 2024) – In response to the recent incident in which a group of people were videotaped pulling two very young cubs out of a tree at an Asheville apartment complex, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) reminds the public to never approach or handle bear cubs.On Tuesday, April 16, NCWRC staff were contacted by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department regarding a group of people at an apartment complex seen pulling two bear cubs from a tree and taking photos of themselves with the cubs. NCWRC staff arrived and were told both cubs had escaped after a cub bit one of the people.

Read more

Joy Prom Returns to Boone on Saturday, April 20

April 18, 2024 Roll  out the red carpet — Joy Prom is returning to Boone!One of the most impressive festive events of the year is just days away and it’s not something you want to miss, whether as an honored guest, family member, community sponsor and/or volunteer.Joy Prom is all about celebrating some of the area’s most deserving citizens as they walk down the red carpet for their moment in the spotlight and enjoy all that follows.Hosted annually as part of the Special Needs Ministry of Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone, Joy Prom 2024 will be held Saturday, April 20, from 1- 4:30 p.m. at the church.

Read more

High Country Real Estate: First Quarter 2024

April 18, 2024 The first quarter of 2024 has slipped away and we are now in the second, but let’s take a brief look back at the first to see how it all shaped up.First quarter saw 378 closed single family sales (all data taken from the High Country Association of REALTORS) in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, the area we look at most closely when analyzing High Country Real Estate.List prices ranged from a minimum of $75,000 to a maximum of $11,885,000 with an average List Price of $619,482 and a median List Price of $450,000.  Sold prices went from a minimum of $72,100 to a maximum of $10,885,000 with an average Sold Price of $592,727 and a median Sold Price of $436,000.   By Tracy Simms, REALTOR, Blue Ridge Realty & Investments, LLC

Read more

Spring is Definitely In the Air, In Our Eyes and On The Table


April 18, 2024 There’s no question that Spring is here. We see signs of it all around us; that is, if we can see at all. It’s a favorite time for many who choose to literally run out into the beauty of nature and enjoy all that’s new, and green and blooming, while also dealing with the seasonal allergies that many of us experience this time every year. Regardless, we know that this, too, shall pass, and better days are coming when the pollen departs and we can see clearly once again.   By Sherrie Norris

Read more

Opinion: Step 1: Bye, Sheri. Step 2: Overcommunicate a Unified Resolve

April 18, 2024 April 15 is typically known as Tax Day. In 2024, April 15 will be remembered as a day the High Country received a gift and an opportunity. At 11:05 a.m., Appalachian State University announced that Sheri Everts’ time as chancellor would conclude Friday, April 19. According to University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans, “The last decade has been a time of growth and momentum for Appalachian State.” He went on to say, “I’m very grateful for her devoted service.” Devoted service is what he demanded and devoted service is precisely what he got. Written by Sam Garrett

Read more

Tickets for An Appalachian Summer Festival’s 40th Anniversary Season on Sale Now! 

April 17, 2024 Tickets are on sale now for Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts celebration, An Appalachian Summer Festival, celebrating 40 years June 29-July 27 with an exciting mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and film programming. Performances will take place at numerous venues on the campus of App State. From alt-rock, bluegrass and blues, to soul, Broadway, classical and more, the festival has something for everyone. Purchase tickets online at AppSummer.org, by calling 828-262-4046, or in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office, 733 Rivers St.

Read more

NC State Lottery Commission Releases March Sports Wagering Activity Report

April 17, 2024 RALEIGH – The North Carolina State Lottery Commission on Tuesday released its first monthly sports wagering activity report. The report compiles the sports wagering activity in March as submitted by the eight licensed interactive sports wagering operators. Between the start of sports wagering in North Carolina at noon on March 11 through March 31, North Carolinians wagered $659,308,541 on sports events, including paid wagering revenue and promo wagering revenue. From those wagers, North Carolinians won $590,750,303.

Read more

Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Invites You to the 8th Annual 4 Under 40 Awards Ceremony!

April 17, 2024 This year’s event takes place at the The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country on Wednesday, April 24 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. This annual showcase of emerging leaders is presented by title sponsor Appalachian Commercial Real Estate. Come meet, mingle, and celebrate with 16 emerging High Country leaders honored across four categories: Business Owner, Rising Star, Non-Profit Professional, and Education Professional.

Read more

App State, Blue Cross NC Partner to Expand Outreach Programs for Aging Adults

April 17, 2024 Appalachian State University has received $320,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) to expand the Aging Well program, an initiative by Appalachian Institute for Health and Wellness (App Well) housed in App State’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) that aims to equip older adults to successfully navigate the aging process. The Blue Cross NC funding creates resources to grow the existing program in the High Country and extend the program’s reach to the Greater Hickory area, with services mirroring those available in Boone.

Read more

Join the Town of Boone in Unveiling New Solar Arrays on April 19 at the Clawson-Burnley Park

April 16, 2024 The Town of Boone is excited to announce the unveiling of two solar arrays at the Clawson-Burnley Park picnic shelters. The community is invited to join us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 19 at 11:00 a.m., located at 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, as we celebrate this milestone in sustainable energy.These two solar arrays will help the Town of Boone reach the goals outlined in the Boone Community Climate Action Plan

Read more

The 36th Annual MerleFest is Just One Week Away! Kicks Off Next Thursday, April 25 

April 16, 2024 The countdown is on! MerleFest, presented by Window World, is almost here. With just one week to go until music fans from all walks of life gather for the annual springtime pilgrimage to Wilkesboro, NC, the anticipation is as palpable as ever. As an enthusiastic crew of staff and volunteers make the final preparations for this year’s event, first timers and longtime attendees alike are busy reviewing the recently-announced stage schedules, downloading the official MerleFest mobile app, and planning their ideal, music-filled weekend. 

Read more

App State Chancellor Sheri Everts Steps Down After a Decade of Leadership Effective April 19

April 15, 2024 After 10 years as Chancellor of Appalachian State University, Dr. Sheri Everts announced she is stepping down, effective April 19. In a message to students, faculty and staff on April 15, Everts said, “Over the last few months, I have been experiencing significant health challenges, and I must now focus on my personal health and wellbeing.” “The last decade has been a time of growth and momentum for Appalachian State,” said University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans. Hans said he would announce an interim chancellor for the university by April 19.

Read more

Chetola Resort’s Dustin Coffey Wins International Fly-Fishing Guide of Year Award from Orvis

April 15, 2024 Chetola Resort’s manager of fly fishing and head guide Dustin Coffey has landed a prestigious award. Coffey was named the 2024 Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year on April 5 during the organization’s annual owners and partners meeting in Manchester, Vermont. Coffey calls the award the “heavyweight championship of the world for fly fishing guides.” It goes annually to the Orvis-endorsed guide who earns the highest customer satisfaction rating, while also excelling in the areas of conservation and recruitment of new people to the sport.

Read more

Watauga County Childcare Study Released

April 15, 2024 The Watauga Economic Development Commission and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce announce the results of a comprehensive study of the childcare landscape in Watauga County.  The Watauga County Childcare Study includes a full 51-page report along with an executive summary. This information was presented to two groups of local childcare industry practitioners, business leaders, elected officials, and parents on April 9, 2024. In late 2023, the organizations partnered with Dancy Research to conduct the study. After surveying parents and local employers and conducting focus groups and one-on-one interviews, over 700 stakeholder engagements were analyzed over a three-month time period.

Read more

Friends of the Watauga County Public Library to Sponsor the Swingbillies of Boonetown: Musical Symbolism and Sufi Poetry at Grace Lutheran Church on Tuesday, April 23 at 4 pm

April 15, 2024 In honor of National Poetry Month, the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library will sponsor The Swingbillies of Boonetown: Musical Symbolism and Sufi Poetry. This FREE educational concert will be focused on the Sufi tradition of composing music for ancient poetry (represented by guitar player, Savash Altuntash, who is a practicing Sufi and Turkish immigrant) and how musicians go about composing and arranging music to fit the symbolism, tone, and mood of these poems. Different cultural elements will be brought to light in the music, melding traditions of Appalachia and The Middle East.  The audience will also learn about how to achieve and interpret symbolism in music and the history of music in Sufi poetry

Read more

Movie Review: “Civil War” Now Playing at Boone Regal

April 15, 2024 “Civil War” presents one of the most intriguing premises of the year, maybe of the last several years: what if Texas and California were to secede from the United States and join forces to wage war against their former home country? In short, everyone would lose. The economy would tank so badly that $300 would buy you a ham sandwich or cheese sandwich – but not both. There wouldn’t be a sports stadium left for sports and not crisis centers. Violence and death would lurk around every corner. And needless to say, things would be a nightmare for the press

Read more