High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Girls Go Shred Offers Community for Women Involved in Snow Sports to Network and Meet


    January 19, 2021 Around eight years ago after Kristen Gray graduated college, her brother, Jeff Johnson, offered her a job in Banner Elk at the Edge of World Snowboard Shop, where he is the owner. When Gray started working at the shop, she was the only woman employee, and she noticed this on the slopes too. “Whenever I would go ride, I would always go ride with boys, and I never really saw a big group of girls riding together,” Gray said. “And it was really hard to meet other women who snowboarded.” Being relatively new to the area, Gray didn’t know many snowboarders, and she figured it was time for a change. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • App State Football Season Ticket Renewals Begin Tuesday, Jan. 19 with Six Home Games Planned


    January 11, 2021 App State football season ticket holders can renew their season tickets for the 2021 season beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19. The Mountaineers enter the 2021 campaign with the nation’s longest active streak of bowl wins – six consecutive years – and with the fifth-best record among all FBS teams over the last six seasons (behind only Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma). Among FBS teams in North Carolina, App State has had the most wins every year since 2015. Beginning at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Yosef Club members in good standing can renew their season tickets online when they receive their activation email from Paciolan, App State’s new and improved ticketing platform. You will retain the same account number when you activate your account. / Read more…



  • Race Results and Team Standings from Second Week of SMARL’s 2021 Season


    January 19, 2021 The Sugar Mountain Adult Race League continued their race series Monday night after taking a week off last week due to inadequate conditions. However, after the break and a busy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the racers were back out enjoying a little skiing and snowboarding. Matt Leonard of Ski Country Sports said the second week of racing had fabulous conditions. “Last night was great,” Leonard said. “The course was good as always with tons of snow, and there was a good turnout. Everybody had a busy weekend, so it was fun to get out and ski a little bit.” By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Toe River Health District Has Received 6,000-Plus COVID-19 Vaccine; Has Inoculated 1,817 Citizens

    January 18, 2021 Diane Creek, Director of the Toe River Health District, which encompasses health departments in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey, NC counties said the district has received 6675 doses combined of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine, as of January 17th. Creek provided the following breakdown of the vaccine that has been administered to citizens of those respective counties age 75 years and older as well as their healthcare workers: Avery County:  759, Mitchell County:  482 and Yancey County:  576. Creek noted that the Toe River Health District has only the Moderna vaccine (not the Pfizer vaccine) available. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare Hosts First Mass Vaccination Clinic at Watauga High School Distributing A Total of 1,168 Doses During Saturday’s Event


    January 17, 2021 AppHealthCare hosted its first mass vaccination event at Watauga High School on Jan. 16, where a total of 1,168 eligible people received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. To be eligible for the vaccine, AppHealthCare scheduled people who are health care workers, long-term care staff and residents as well as anyone 65 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation. This is considered Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan. AppHealthCare Health Director Jennifer Greene said the event went well, and they had a big team effort, as folks from Watauga Medical Center, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Boone Fire Department, Boone Police Department as well as members of the rotary club and other local partners were present helping. “We’re really excited about all of the volunteer efforts,” Greene said.   By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare COVID-19 Situation Updates for Watauga County Release on Saturday

    January 17, 2021 “Right now we are receiving limited supplies of vaccine so we are following the priority groups outlined from the state and scheduling appointments based on those who have completed our COVID-19 vaccine interest form. We are prioritizing vaccine deployment and will continue to do everything we can to ensure vaccine gets out to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare. / Read more…



  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Now Offered in Avery County for Citizens Age 65 and Older Beginning Wednesday, January 20th

    January 17, 2021 After starting the distribution of Coronavirus vaccines for anyone age 75 or older in Avery County last week, that age group number has been lowered, following State of North Carolina protocol. Citizens of the county age 65 or older may begin getting the vaccine to combat the potentially deadly disease starting Wednesday, January 20th. Those meeting this age criteria can be vaccinated at the county’s Agriculture Extension Center, located at 661 Vale Road (one-half mile above Ingles Markets) in Newland. Vaccinations will also be given to the age group there again on Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22nd. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Letter that the 5th District Democrats of North Carolina Have Sent to Speaker Pelosi Concerning the Actions of Rep Virginia Foxx

    January 16, 2021 Open Letter From 5th District Democrats of North Carolina / Dear Madam Speaker: On behalf of the Democratic Party of North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, we respectfully request action to address the seditious behavior of our Representative, Virginia Foxx. By objecting to certification of the electors from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Ms. Foxx sought to disenfranchise millions of Pennsylvanian voters in support of the loser of that Commonwealth’s election, Donald J. Trump. By continuing through with the objection, Ms. Foxx sided with those who incited the attack on January 6, 2021, and those insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol facility, threatening the lives of the Vice-President, Members of Congress (including yourself), as well as the Congressional and Capitol facility staff. Ms. Foxx has claimed to object “out of an abiding respect for the Constitution” in reflection of supposed “violations of Article II, Section I of the Constitution” in which there is no stated direction as to how the states’ manage their election process regarding Presidential electors. Read more…



  • Chancellor Sheri Everts Update from Appalachian State University – Week of January 11–15

    January 16, 2021 As we finalize preparations to begin classes on Tuesday, I am mindful that it has been 362 days since our university began planning discussions around COVID-19. We can reflect with pride on the distance we have come in the past year. UNC System President Peter Hans recently lauded the collective efforts of UNC System universities, writing, “Thanks to dedicated work by faculty, staff, and health officials, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have continued making progress toward their educational goals.” His insights are particularly true at App State, where our faculty and staff have gone above and beyond. Across our campus, faculty and staff have been assisting students with the delayed return to campus, ensuring all safety precautions remain in place, reviewing and enhancing our COVID-19 testing strategy and planning, and preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. / Read more…



  • COVID-19 Update: Over 1,200 Vaccinations Have Now Been Distributed in Watauga County, Mass Vaccination Event Still Scheduled for Saturday

    January 15, 2021 In the latest vaccination data provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Watauga County has now distributed 1,233 COVID-19 vaccination doses to its citizens and healthcare workers. A total of 40 people have completed the two-dose vaccine regimen. Avery County has distributed 445 initial doses with eight people who have completed the two-dose regimen. In Ashe County, 349 vaccine doses have been distributed with seven people having both doses and Alleghany County has had 85 people receive their vaccines, one of the lowest countywide totals in the state. AppHealthCare is hoping to build on that vaccination total quite a bit on Saturday with a mass vaccination event scheduled at Watauga High School for individuals 75 years of age or older. The vaccinations are by appointment only, according to what AppHealthCare’s Melissa Bracey said on Monday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Awesome Conditions Await Skiers, Snowboarders and Tubers This Holiday Weekend


    January 15, 2021 Skiers, snowboarders and tubers will have some terrific conditions across the High Country this weekend. That is, if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to get out on the slopes. Beech Mountain is completely booked up for Saturday and Sunday, according to Talia Freeman, Beech Mountain Resort’s Director of Marketing, and Hawksnest snow tubing is booked up Saturday, Sunday and Monday and each of the next two weekends according to owner Lenny Cottom. “We’ve had a lot of natural snow in December and January. This is the most snow we’ve had in January since probably 2012. Conditions are great and everything looks good. The new snowmaking investment has paid off, you can see a notable difference,” said Freeman. “We are sold out Saturday and Sunday. We’re trying to be forthcoming and transparent with our customers so they are not driving up here and not able to get in.” Beech Mountain does offer special weeknight promotions, including student night on Tuesday night, men’s night on Wednesday night and ladies’ night on Thursday night. Tickets for those nights are all $15.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • More Snow Will Come to the High Country in the Next Few Days; Most Areas to See Around 1 Inch

    January 15, 2021 As the past couple of days in the High Country saw seasonably pleasant temperatures with a decent amount of sunshine, a cold front has brought back chillier temperatures and a chance for wintry precipitation today and throughout the weekend going into Monday. According to the latest local weather forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, there was a chance of light snow or a brief mix with rain this morning as well as a chance of possible snow showers or flurries this afternoon. As forecast, there may be more snow showers Saturday, with lingering morning flurries Sunday. In addition, another round of snow showers and flurries could come Monday.  By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Host of Problems Slows Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine Across North Carolina

    January 15, 2021 In the four weeks since a Charlotte doctor became the first in the state to receive a shot of COVID-19 vaccine, federal officials have shipped nearly 1 million doses of the drugs to North Carolina hospitals, long-term care facilities and public health officials. Yet most other states managed to roll out the vaccine more quickly than North Carolina, which has so far administered only about one-third of its allotment. That speed matters, as federal officials have said future distributions may be based on how quickly states are putting shots into arms. But exactly why North Carolina has fallen behind is complicated. By NC Watchdog Reporting Network / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare Statement on Governor’s Anticipated Announcement that will Open Up COVID-19 Vaccine to Those 65 Years or Older

    January 15, 2021 We are anticipating the Governor to make an announcement today that opens up COVID-19 vaccine to those individuals who are 65 years or older. We will follow the NC DHHS guidelines to align with this. If someone is 65 years or older and interested in receiving the vaccine, we request they fill out our interest form on our website – https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-vaccinations/. If they are unable to complete the form online, they are welcome to call our Call Center open 7 days a week at (828) 795-1970 and a staff member will walk through the form over the phone. / Read more…



  • SBA Re-Opening Paycheck Protection Program to Small Lenders on Friday, January 15 and All Lenders on Tuesday, January 19

    January 14, 2021 The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9 a.m. EST. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA. Earlier in the week, SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority small businesses. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: “Recipes and Remembrances” Stir Hometown Memories


    January 14, 2021. Topping my favorite Christmas gift list several years ago was a cookbook from my older sister, Gail, who, like many close to me, knows how I love adding to my collection. “Recipes and Remembrances” still tops my favorites — and for good reason. It’s a collection of recipes and memories from Crossnore Baptist Church, where I grew up in the shadows of some of the world’s kindest people and greatest cooks. I have recently revisited this treasure trove from cover to cover, my heart and mind again transformed with every page. From the opening, containing Roberta Aldridge’s “Spiritual Feast” — a Godly woman’s advice in recipe form for living the good life — to Margaret Ollis’s “Quest for the Quilt,” I was again captivated by the simplicity of it all, while realizing many deep meanings therein. And that, my friends, was just the beginning. Again. Each entry that followed stirred my own memories of its author. As Glenda Cornett wrote about her late mother’s stack cake, I recalled the many cakes that Glenda, herself, baked and decorated for special occasions in the community. I could visualize Frank Vance’s stories of his Aunt Zola Ollis and her large family around the table “where mountains of pancakes” and “the gravy bowl full of chocolate gravy” were waiting; also, of his grandfather, Jim Houston, a hardworking logger who counted on sawmill gravy as part of “a real man’s breakfast” and often supper. Polly Heafner’s “Life on the Farm” took me back in time, as well, and reminded me of my own childhood with her words:“We were probably very poor, but we never knew it because we thought country-cured ham and bacon (from our farm) made us rich.” Tina Jarvis’s tribute to the late Libby Watson found me with tearful eyes, as I thought of each of those ladies and the impact they have had on my life. When the actual recipes for food began to appear, even more sentiment rose to the surface. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 4 – January 10

    January 13, 2021. 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



  • Governor Cooper Mobilizes NC National Guard for Deployment in Raleigh and Washington, DC

    January 13, 2021 Governor Roy Cooper has mobilized approximately 550 North Carolina National Guardsmen to assist with upcoming security needs in Washington, DC and North Carolina. The Governor mobilized approximately 350 National Guard personnel for duty here in North Carolina, beginning this weekend to support state and local authorities and protect the well-being of residents, property, and the right to peacefully assemble and protest. At the request of federal authorities, North Carolina will also send 200 National Guard personnel to assist civil authorities and local law enforcement in Washington, DC prior to and during the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20. This deployment is in addition to an already-planned 10-person joint communications team working to support the inauguration. The Guard will be deployed for approximately seven to eight days. This decision is based on threats of significant large-scale protests in D.C.  / Read more…



  • Boone Drugs Inc. Offers COVID-19 Rapid Testing and Flu Testing at Horn in the West Parking Lot


    January 13, 2021 Boone Drugs Inc. is holding a testing site at the Horn in the West parking lot located at 591 Horn in the West Drive in Boone. At this location, rapid COVID-19 testing and rapid flu testing is being offered, meaning the results are given the same day. If someone wants to get tested, they have to go to https://www.boonedrug.com/ to fill out paperwork, which will then give directions on how to get to the site. Folks can go to Boone Drug’s website in the morning and get tested the same day, and no appointments need to be made. When a person arrives at the testing site, the staff will print off the paperwork and have everything ready. “Once you get tested, you can either wait on your results, which takes about 15-20 minutes once you get swabbed, or some people drive away and we will then call them by 6 p.m. that night. It’s just that simple,” said Jessica Welch, Marketing Coordinator for Boone Drugs, Inc.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Home Sales Set a New Record in 2020 with 3,253 Homes Sold for $1.182 Billion


    January 13, 2021 More area homes were sold in 2020 than during any other year on record, according to the year-end real estate report by the High Country Association of REALTOR®. Real estate professionals in the four-county area sold 3,253 residential listings worth $1.18 billion, both metrics record highs, in a year marked by a national pandemic, historically low interest rates and North Carolina becoming a top destination state for people looking for a new home. At year’s end, the number of High Country homes sold was up 25 percent from 2019 and the sales value was up 48 percent. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. It records all REALTOR® transactions in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. The median sold price – the point at which half of all homes sold above or below – was $285,000. It was $240,500 the year prior. Business was brisk through the year’s end, with 287 homes sold for $124 million in December. Both were record totals for the month. The median sold price was $325,000.  / Read more…



  • Watauga High School Foreign Language Teachers Recognized for Awards


    January 13, 2021 Two Watauga High School foreign language teachers were recognized at the January meeting of the Watauga County Board of Education after being awarded with statewide and national honors for prowess in their area of expertise. WHS Spanish Teacher, Carmen Scoggins, was awarded the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education K- 12. The award is presented yearly to an educator who has demonstrated excellence in the world language classroom and has been a leader at the local, regional, state and national levels. Scoggins was recognized for her leadership and contributions to teaching foreign languages at both Watauga High School and Appalachian State University. She also provides professional development for teachers across the entire United States and has served as president of FLANC (Foreign Language Association of North Carolina) and SCOLT (Southern Conference on Language Teaching).  / Read more…



  • Remote Learning Continues to be a Helpful Tool Dealing with Inclement Weather and COVID-19

    January 13, 2021 The Watauga County School System would like things to be “back to normal” like years past, but for the time being, the addition of remote learning has given the county a useful option for dealing with both COVID-19 infections and days of snowfall in the High Country. So far this year, Watauga County Schools have had just one traditional snow day. Three other inclement weather days became fully remote learning days for students and Election Day was used as a fully remote learning day since voters were using numerous school gymnasiums as voting precincts. “Typically, on inclement weather remote learning days, as we are calling them, teachers and staff who are able to work from home can choose to do so, though many choose to travel to work if conditions allow,” said Garrett Price, the Director of Communications for Watauga County Schools. “Just like a regular snow day, our primary concern is the safety of our students, teachers and staff as they travel, so remote learning has given us a much higher degree of flexibility on days with bad weather.”By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Year Two of WAMY’s Santa for Seniors Program was a Great Success Delivering 724 Gifts


    January 13, 2021 WAMY Community Action, celebrating its 56th year serving the communities of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, just wrapped up year two of its Santa for Seniors program, which was a great success. WAMY Community Action has been working with individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty by offering many programs through the years. It currently offers programs in the following areas: housing repairs, senior services, family development and youth development. “One of the largest gaps in our community is the support and services for the senior population,” said Ashley Cook, Development Director for WAMY Community Action.   By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Expectably and Like Elsewhere, Opinions of Biden-Trump Presidential Election Mixed in High Country

    January 13, 2021 Residents here and others with ties to the North Carolina High Country and political observers have mixed views concerning Democrat Joe Biden being inaugurated as our country’s next president on January 20th as well as about related topics. Several individuals were interviewed for their comments about those topics and one entity released a statement about such. Topics included in their quotes include: 1) Possible election fraud; 2) The attack (trespassing, looting and other violence) on The Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6th to protest certification of the Electoral College count providing Biden’s win; and 3) Current Republican President Donald Trump’s possible removal from office through the 25th Amendment or impeachment.By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Begins Vaccinating Patients Age 75 and Older


    January 13, 2021 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) held its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Monday, January 11 for their patients who qualify according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) four-phase rollout plan. North Carolina is currently in phase 1b, group 1, which includes all adults 75 years or older.  ARHS receives periodic allotments of vaccines from the state during each phase, and will focus efforts on established patients of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA) as they receive supplies. Those who are eligible, but are not established patients of ARMA can attend vaccination clinics through Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) or Toe River (Avery County) Health Department.  / Read more…



  • Local High Country Resident Kimberley Jochl Releases First Young Adult Novel ‘Hardly Easy’


    January 12, 2021 Local High Country resident Kimberley Jochl released her latest book, “Hardly Easy,” to the public today. This is the third book she has written, with the inspiration drawing from her real life experiences. Jochl is a current resident of Sugar Mountain and is the vice president at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. From the age of 16 to 23, she was a member of the United States Alpine Ski Team. Jochl also earned her own pilot’s license in 2013. Her journey in becoming an author started when she decided to take flying lessons. “I took flying lessons because I was fearful of flying, and one of the ways to get through my flying lessons and to continue on and go from one lesson to the next was writing down my experience of that previous flight lesson,” Jochl said. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – January 12, 2021

    January 12, 2021. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • U.S. Small Business Administration Re-Opens PPP to Community Financial Institutions First

    January 12, 2021 The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal today at 9 am ET. SBA is continuing its dedicated commitment to underserved small businesses and to addressing potential access to capital barriers by initially granting PPP access exclusively to community financial institutions (CFIs) that typically serve these concerns. / Read more…



  • Representative Virginia Foxx Issues Statement On Her View of Impeachment of President Trump


    January 12, 2021 “The nation and the world are reeling from the rioting and violence that occurred on January 6th in the United States Capitol. As law enforcement works to bring accountability and swift justice to the perpetrators involved that day, Congress must leave no stone unturned in its quest to examine this event. This tragedy must never happen again. “Joe Biden is the President-Elect. Period. I echo Leader McCarthy’s appeal to President Trump to call Joe Biden and acknowledge him on that basis. Many of my colleagues pointed to the process on January 6th as the day of “ultimate significance” – in the words of the late Justice Ginsburg.  Unfortunately, those words now carry increasing weight and infamy. Truly, the election process is over, and we need to unify. / Read more…



  • Senator Deanna Ballard Appointed Co-Chair of Education Policy Committee As Well As the Appropriations and Pensions Committee

    January 12, 2021 Senator Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) announced that Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) re-appointed her as Co-Chair to both the Education/Higher Education Policy Committee and the Appropriations on Education/Higher Education Committee. As a member of the Education Committees, Senator Ballard will work on issues of importance, including getting students safely back into the classroom, refining virtual learning options, continuing to improve student literacy, addressing student mental health needs, economic recovery for community colleges, as well as public and private college affordability. Senator Ballard was also appointed as Co-Chair of the Pensions Committee where she will work on issues related to the state retirement system and with pension laws that affect state employees, firefighters and law enforcement. / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare and Boone Drug Partner for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Beginning this Week

    January 12, 2021 AppHealthCare is proud to announce the partnership with Boone Drugs, Inc. to help administer COVID-19 vaccines for pre-scheduled appointments this week. Through this partnership, AppHealthCare has utilized the individuals eligible that are 75 years or older to assign their appointment to one of three Boone Drug locations: Boone Drug at New Market, Boone Drug at Deerfield, and the Horn in the West site to receive their vaccine at their appointment time. We are reaching out to individuals directly to confirm their appointment time and location.The clinics will be satellite locations of AppHealthCare vaccine clinics and will utilize supplies garnered by AppHealthCare. / Read more…



  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Available in Avery County for Residents Age 75 and Older Starting Tuesday, Jan. 12th; Toe River Health District Provides General Procedure for Receiving Vaccines

    January 12, 2021 The County of Avery and the Avery County Health Department have collectively announced that Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are now available for any citizen of Avery County who is 75 years or older. Those meeting this age criteria can be vaccinated at the county’s Agriculture Extension Center beginning Tuesday, January 12th and running through Friday, January 15th and again Wednesday, January 20th through Friday, January 22nd. The vaccines will be given from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. during those time spans. The Agriculture Extension Center is located at 661 Vale Road (one-half mile above Ingles Markets) in Newland.By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Appalachian Regional Library is Moving Back Into Curbside and Virtual Services Only on Jan. 13

    January 12, 2021 Appalachian Regional Library, with public libraries in Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes Counties, is moving back into curbside and virtual services only. Beginning Wednesday, January 13, all our libraries will be closed to the public. The library system has chosen this course of action due to the recent spike in positive COVID19 cases across the state and Dr. Mandy Cohen’s directive recommending that people stay at home as much as possible. We want to keep library users and staff as safe as possible during this dangerous time. Curbside service will be available during all open hours. / Read more…



  • Sledding Was a Big Hit Across the Snow Covered High Country This Weekend


    January 11, 2021 Dashing through the snow, over the hills sleds go. Sledding has been a common activity for people in the High Country over the weekend, as many areas received around six inches of snow during last Friday’s winter storm. Due to the soft, fluffy snow that makes for ideal conditions for winter fun, many individuals and families have been taking the opportunity to be out enjoying it. One popular sledding hill along the Blue Ridge Parkway is at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock. The Watauga County Tourism Development Authority wrote on its website that the hill’s “multiple faces offers runs from easy to edgy.” / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare has Received 1,975 COVID-19 Vaccines for Watauga County and Distributed Them to 406 Individuals So Far

    January 11, 2021 Three separate COVID-19 vaccine shipments have arrived at AppHealthCare for Watauga County residents, totaling 1,975 vaccines. According to Melissa Bracey, the Director of Communications and Compliance for AppHealthCare, the health department has distributed vaccines to 406 people. AppHealthCare is anticipating the arrival of another 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week. The first shipment to arrive was 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine on December 22, followed by 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine a week later and 400 additional doses of the Moderna vaccine on January 4. The first round of vaccine distribution went to high-risk healthcare workers (group titled 1A) while the next round of vaccines will go to people in the county aged 75 and older (group titled 1B). By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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