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A Night of Folk Fusion: Evie Ladin and The Wilder Flower Live at The Jones House June 21

June 18, 2024 Prepare for an enchanting evening of music as Evie Ladin and The Wilder Flower take the stage for a special concert at The Jones House in downtown Boone, NC. This free event will be held on June 21st at 5:30pm, offering a delightful blend of folk, Americana, and Appalachian traditions. Kicking off the evening is the incomparable Evie Ladin, a multi-talented artist renowned for her skills in banjo playing, singing, percussive dancing, and square-dance calling. Evie’s performances bridge Appalachian music with other cultural traditions, creating a unique and captivating fusion. Following Evie Ladin, The Wilder Flower will continue the musical journey with their dynamic blend of folk, Americana, bluegrass, and Old-time music.

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W.A.M.Y. Community Action Offering Free Weatherization Services to Low-Income Households in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey Counties


June 18, 2024 . WAMY Community Action, a non-profit organization, is actively reaching out to help low-income families improve the energy efficiency of their homes. With the aid of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), WAMY is on a mission to protect homes from weather elements and improve energy conservation through free services to those households that meet the income eligibility criteria. Examples of the services offered under WAMY’s Weatherization Program include installing insulation, air sealing, and duct sealing. The program is not exclusive to homeowners; renters are also eligible for these services, provided they have obtained permission from their landlords. After weatherization services, households could save approximately 30% to 35% on their heating and cooling expenses, thus making a significant impact on their monthly budget

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Book Brigade Young Adult Book Club at the Watauga County Public Library Every Thursday

June 18, 2024 The Watauga County Public Library has brought back our Book Brigade book club for high-school aged teenagers over the summer. Book Brigade will be meeting at the Watauga County Public Library every Thursday at 3:30 PM up through August 1st, alternating between book discussions and hangout days, with video games, board games, and puzzles. Pizza and drinks will be provided at every meeting. The next book is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee on Thursday, June 27. On Thursday, July 11, we’ll be discussing Parachutes by Kelly Yang. The final book, to discuss on Thursday, July 25, has yet to be determined.

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USDA Awards $50 Million to Support Farmworkers and Agricultural Employers

June 18, 2024 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on June 14 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $50 million to 141 awardees in 40 states and Puerto Rico, through the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP Program), reaching 177 unique agricultural operations and over 11,000 workers. The awards will help improve the resiliency of the U.S. food supply chain by addressing agriculture labor challenges and instability, strengthen protections for farmworkers, and expand legal pathways for labor migration. This program delivers on a commitment made as part of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and furthers the Administration’s commitment to a regional approach to migration in the hemisphere.

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Public Comment Period Set for Proposed Changes to Rules About Election Protests and Recounts

June 18, 2024 The State Board of Elections is proposing temporary amendments to rules governing election protests and recounts so that post-election proceedings are completed in a timely fashion. The rules would be in effect on a temporary basis, to ensure that they can become effective before the general election. Gaps in the current timelines for election protests and recounts can lead to unnecessary delays in the final certification of elections. In recent years, election protest decisions and appeals have led to delays in certification for weeks, or even months, after an election. Such delays could be especially problematic in a presidential election, because federal law sets a strict deadline for states to certify their selection of presidential electors, in advance of the Electoral College meeting.

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Watauga Farm Bureau to Host Dr. Temple Grandin at App Theater, July 29

June 17, 2024 Dr. Temple Grandin, prominent speaker, and author on autism, will be in Boone as part of the 2024 Carolina Meat Conference. Watauga County Farm Bureau is sponsoring “An Evening with Temple Grandin” at 6:30pm on Monday, July 29, at the Appalachian Theater of the High Country. Dr. Grandin will introduce the film about her life, Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes, and be available to sign copies of her books following the screening. The film, called riveting by Common Sense Media and well-reviewed across the country when released in 2010, chronicles the life of Temple from the age of three through her introduction to the greater autism community that would provide both a personal and scientifically-informed perspective on living with autism

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Frontline to Farm Training in Boone for its Third Year to Benefit Veterans

June 17, 2024 For three years, Frontline to Farm has brought veterans transitioning from military to sustainable farming to the High Country for training with area agricultural and business experts and farm hosts. The program is an interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty in Appalachian State’s Departments of Sustainable Development and Communication and is funded by a NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program with support from local organizations Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90, American Legion Post #130, and Military Officer’s Association High Country Chapter, Sunrise Rotary, and AgSouth Farm Credit. It is truly a community-based event.

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Free Summer Meals Offered for Avery County School Students and YMCA Participants

June 17, 2024 A nutrition program sponsored by the Avery Public School System is currently underway that provides free meals for children and teenagers who attend a county school, as well as those who may not be students, but are active in any local YMCA program.School officials invite all those ages 18 and under to participate in the nutrition program, which includes both breakfast and lunch.  The meals are served at Newland Elementary School, located at 750 Linville Road. Breakfast is served from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. each weekday, Monday through Friday, through July 26th except on Thursday, July 4th (Independence Day) and Friday, July 5th By Tim Gardner

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Avery County Man Receives Federal Prison Sentence for Making a Destructive Device

June 17, 2024 An Avery County man has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for making a destructive device and on related criminal offenses. The 97 months equates to 12 years and one month.Thomas Dewey Taylor, Jr., 45, whose last known home address is 316 Snowshoe Loop, Newland, previously pleaded guilty to attempting to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce by fire and explosives, possession of an unregistered National Firearms Act weapon, and making a destructive device. By Tim Gardner

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Movie Review: “Inside Out 2” Now Playing at Boone Regal

June 17, 2024 Back in 2015, Disney and Pixar introduced us to 11-year-old Riley and the squabbling emotions inside her prepubescent head. To make a long story short, Joy (Amy Poehler) tried to retain dominance over the girl, but Sadness (Phyllis Smith) kept creeping her way in. The struggle led to both emotions getting kicked out of Riley’s conscience. Following an adventure through the girl’s psyche, both emotions made their way back and Joy realized that she had to share Riley with other emotions, even unpleasant ones, in order for her to get the most out of life. In this new movie, Riley’s five core emotions want to retain dominance over the girl, but new emotions creep their way in. This leads to a struggle where the old emotions get kicked out of Riley’s conscience. They’ll have to go on an adventure through the girl’s psyche to make their way back and hopefully obliterate the new emotions. Or maybe they’ll learn to share and the message will be exactly the same as in the first movie. 

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LETTERS: Another Successful Boonerang is in the Books!

June 17, 2024 Letters to the Editor. By David Jackson / On behalf of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff, we would like to say thank you to the Town of Boone, the hundreds of festival staff and volunteers, local law enforcement partners, and the Downtown business community for the role each of you played in making this year’s Boonerang the best yet! Communities across North Carolina strive to find something to call their own. There is no mistaking that Boonerang brings out the best in our community and brings back people who have this place sewn into their heart for one reason or another.

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Watauga County GOP Women’s Club Next Monthly Meeting is Wednesday June 26

June 17, 2024 The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on  Wednesday June 26th at The Dan’l Boone Inn, 130 Hardin Street, Boone, NC. Lunch at 11:30 AM for $14.00, with meeting to follow. All interested in furthering the Republican cause in The High Country are welcome to attend and are invited to join. Call 828-832-6864 for more information. The WCRWC usually meets the last Wednesday of each month. See us on Facebook and learn more.

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Mast Store Expands Business Family with Addition of Locally Owned Partner, M-Prints

June 14, 2024 Mast General Store is pleased to announce its purchase of a long-time vendor located in Boone, North Carolina. The Mast Store recently acquired M-Prints, an apparel graphics printer and embroiderer, whose founder and owner, Stuart Mangum, put the business on the market in preparation for the next chapter of his life. As family-owned businesses, Mast Store and M-Prints have partnered together for nearly four decades. M-Prints has printed over 300,000 t-shirts and sweatshirts for the Mast Store over the course of the businesses’ enduring relationship. 

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Annual Newland Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show to be held on Independence Day

June 14, 2024 On Independence Day each year, many people enjoy cookouts with family and friends during the day and evening and fireworks after dark. There’s also an annual event on that day in the North Carolina High Country that many area people also eagerly anticipate– the 4th of July Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show in the Town of Newland, the county seat of Avery County. The car, truck, and motorcycle show will be in its 16th year in 2024 and will be held on the field next to the Old Rock Gymnasium at 185 Shady Street. By Tim Gardner

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Back 2 School Festival to be Held at Watauga High School on Saturday, August 10

June 14, 2024 The 2024 Back 2 School Festival will be held at Watauga High School on Saturday, August the 10th. Watauga County students whose families are struggling to meet the high cost of back-to-school shopping are invited to attend to receive school supplies for the 2024-2025 school year. “We’re so excited to be able to bring the festival back for another year,” said festival coordinator, Kendra Sink. “The way the community steps up to help our students is incredible.” Last year, the festival served over 1,800 students, and expects to once again face higher demand.

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Habitat Enhancements Offer New Behind-the-Scenes Views of Grandfather Mountain’s Resident Cougars with Live Video Kiosk

June 14, 2024 Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has added behind-the-scenes habitat cameras and a new kiosk with television screens at its cougar overlook, enhancing visitors’ experience and their chance to see these elusive animals. Cougars are crepuscular, meaning they are most active around dusk and dawn, and they spend a large portion of the day sleeping. Grandfather’s resident cougars, Logan and Trinity, follow this same pattern and are typically most active first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. In addition, the cougars are elusive and shy toward park guests, often choosing to sleep or lounge in sections of the habitat that can’t be seen by the public.

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Visual Arts On Display at An Appalachian Summer Festival Summer ’24

June 14, 2024 During An Appalachian Summer Festival, visit the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) as it hosts a variety of contemporary art exhibitions and programs that complement the performing arts being celebrated this July. Join us for the Summer Exhibition Celebration on July 5 from 5 – 9 pm, a trademark festival event honoring the visual arts. TCVA will unveil three new exhibitions, offering guests a chance to engage with the artists and delve into the excitement of the featured exhibitions. The Belle Peppers will be performing live on the plaza; refreshments and a cash bar are available. Admission is free and open to all, thanks to our community arts supporters.

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Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation Annual Membership Meeting is June 27; Deadline to Vote for Board of Directors is June 20

June 14, 2024 Members can participate in the annual meeting of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation by phone or by attending the meeting, which will be held at the corporate office in Lenoir on Thursday, June 27th at 4 pm. Members may also listen and watch by livestream on the Blue Ridge Energy YouTube channel. To vote on motions or ask a question during the Q&A periods, members must attend the meeting or use the call-in option by dialing 1-866-416-5215 during the meeting and entering their account number when prompted.

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Ensemble Stage Professional Summer Season Opens this Friday with “Moon Over the Brewery”

June 13, 2024 Newcomers Megan Hasse and Kyleigh Hogan join Ensemble Stage Audience favorites, Scott Douglas Wilson and Mark Woodard in this charmingly sweet, funny play. Don’t let the title fool you. This show has nothing to do with a brewery or drinking, but it’s sure to put a smile on your face all the same.  The show is approx. 1 hour and 50 minutes in length including intermission. Performed in the Hahn Auditorium at the Historic Banner Elk School.

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Four Mountain Counties Among Those Slated for Operation Fan Heat Relief

June 13, 2024 With the summer heat soon expected to crank up, four mountain counties will be taking part in the state-wide Operation Fan Heat Relief, which helps at-risk adults stay cool and safe during summer. From May 1 to October 31, qualifying adults in the counties of Avery, Mitchell, Wilkes and Yancey will be among those across North Carolina able to participate in a summer program designed to offer a more comfortable living environment — and reduce heat related illnesses for older adults and adults with disabilities. By Sherrie Norris

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: A Spoonful of Comfort Starts Here


June 13, 2024 . Most everyone who knows me knows, by now, that the first five months of this year have been quite a roller-coaster ride for my family and me. First, a fall on January 2 resulted in a mild brain bleed and a brief stay at the local hospital’s intensive care unit. About seven weeks later, as I was beginning to feel “normal” again, my first cousin and dear friend died at the age of 68. Just a week later, my brother had a serious reaction to a medication that ultimately claimed his life 12 weeks later.  In the meantime, my husband and I joined his wife and other relatives at his bedside as much as possible, three hours from home. To say that I have been mentally and physically exhausted, with no motivation to write, is an understatement. I wasn’t sure that I could do any of this again, but, I’m slowly gaining strength and remembering/desiring/needing the satisfaction I’ve always gotten from sharing the written word. By Sherrie Norris

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