High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Ski Resorts Expecting Great Weather and Slope Conditions for the First Weekend of December


    December 6, 2019. It should be a busy weekend on the ski slopes with near-perfect skiing weather for the first full weekend of December. “We were really able to capitalize on this cold front and we’ve made snow the last couple of nights and it’s definitely peak season snow. We’ve got a 28-36 inch base on eight open slopes and going into the weekend, the forecast looks just about perfect for skiing and snowboarding,” says Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at Appalachian Ski Mtn. This weekend also marks the annual anniversary weekend celebration at Appalachian Ski Mtn. Ticket prices for Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. are only $5. “The first full weekend of December we offer 1962 prices, that was our first year of skiing,” said Stanley. “We’re excited to have great conditions for all of the people coming up to celebrate our anniversary.” This year, the special $5 ticket price is available online only. Customers simply purchase their tickets in advance online to get the special anniversary pricing. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • East Boone Connector Multi-Modal Path will be Built by the NCDOT


    December 6, 2019. Harmony Lanes is excited to announce that the East Boone Connector multi-modal path, proposed to the NCDOT in the spring of 2019, has been added to the plan for the Bamboo/Wilson’s Ridge road upgrades by the NCDOT, and will be paid for by the NCDOT.  The East Boone Connector will run on the west side of Bamboo Rd. from US 421 to the Wilson’s Ridge intersection.  The multi-modal path will be separated from traffic by a curb and grass/landscaping to protect users.  The East Boone Connector will be the first on-street protected multi-modal path in Boone.  It will allow East Boone pedestrians and cyclists to access the Boone Greenway, services like the Hospitality House and businesses like Center 45 climbing gym and Hatchet Coffee at Bamboo Rd., the future town complex at Brookshire Park, the future Grove Street connector greenway, and Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park.   / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell to Hold Watauga County Town Hall on December 10

    December 6, 2019. WHAT: Watauga County General Town Hall Meeting with NC Rep. Ray Russell. WHEN: 6-7:30 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 10. WHERE: Boone Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Rd. The 2019 legislative session was the second-longest in North Carolina history but still resulted in significant failures from the General Assembly. No comprehensive budget was passed and the legislature failed to act on the state’s Farm Bill. Education and environmental needs were significantly underfunded. There was some success, however. The Raise the Age law changed state statutes to include 16 and 17-year-olds as juveniles for many nonviolent crimes. In addition, child sexual abuse statutes and sexual assault laws were strengthened. / Read more…



  • Today’s 2020 Candidate Announcements

    December 5, 2019. Note: Each day, the High Country Press will share emails and announcements from candidates that are entering their names into the 2020 primary and general election. Today we received the following announcements from N.C. House Representative Ray Russell, Watauga County School Board candidate Ronny Holste and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx. Hello, my name is Jason Cornett and I am asking you for your vote for Watauga County Board of Education. I am a native of Watauga County living in Vilas with my wife, Brandy, and son, Josh. Brandy serves the Business Officer for Appalachian State University Housing and has worked at ASU for almost 20 years. Josh is a senior at Watauga High School, and was recently accepted into Appalachian State University where he plans to attend next fall. I grew up in the Bethel community where I attended Bethel Elementary School and went on to graduate from Watauga High in 1994. After high school, I entered the workforce at Appalachian State University. I held positions in Food Service and office administration before seeking a career in law enforcement. I began as a security officer at App State in 1999 and attended basic law enforcement training at night while working day shift. / Read more…



  • Six Candidates Have Filed for Avery County Government Offices; Foxx Will No Longer Represent Avery After Judicial Ruling

    December 5, 2019. As of today, six candidates have filed for county-wide government seats that will be open in Avery County in 2020. For Clerk of Court, Interim Clerk of Court Teresa Benfield has filed, along with Theresa Lewis King and Linda Webb. Benfield has served in the interim role since the retirement earlier this year of long-time Clerk of Court Lisa Daniels. All three candidates have worked in various capacities in the judicial system. For Register of Deeds, incumbent Renee DelIinger has filed for re-election as has Incumbent Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. for County Commissioner. Benfield, King, Webb, Dellinger and Young, Jr. are all Republicans. For non-partisan Board of Education, Ruth Shirley is the only candidate to file so far. Shirley is a long-time teacher and principal in the Avery School System.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Jones House Hosting Annual Holiday Festivities Next Two Weekends; Christmas Parade in Downtown Boone Next Saturday


    December 5, 2019. The Jones House will be stretching its holiday festivities and Christmas parade over the course of two weekends this year. This coming weekend will include the Festive Friday and solar Christmas tree lighting events; the Christmas parade itself will be held next Saturday, December 14, at 11:00 a.m. in part to accommodate the Sun Belt Championship game at App State this Saturday. “It’s a great tradition we have,” said Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director for the Jones House, “It’s a fun experience that you can only get when you live in a small town like Boone that has a community who likes to get out and celebrate! We always have strong support from our civic organizations, our schools, and the nonprofit organizations in the community. We’re hoping for good weather, but either way, we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a winter afternoon with us in the mountains!” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • High Winds Bring Down Trees and Power Lines Across the High Country; Gusts over 100 MPH Recorded at Grandfather Mountain


    December 5, 2019. Overnight winds on Wednesday night and Thursday morning left several trees down and even a few power lines as crews have been working to restore power to customers. As of 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, crews from Blue Ridge Energy are still attempting to restore power to 280 members in Watauga County, 88 members in Ashe County, 19 members in Caldwell County and 3 members in Alleghany County. Overall, nearly 6,000 customers lived in areas where winds caused damage to the electrical lines. At the time of the worst conditions around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, a total of 2,529 customers were without power, according to information provided by Blue Ridge Energy. The worst-hit county was in Ashe where 47 locations were damaged that impacted over 1,800 members in the Obids, Timber Ridge, Shatley Springs and Highway 16 areas of the county. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • No. 20 Appalachian State seeks Sun Belt and State of North Carolina Season Record For Wins In Saturday’s Conference Championship Game In Boone


    December 5, 2019. The Appalachian State Mountaineers seeking to become the first Sun Belt Conference team and the first Football Bowl Subdivision Championship team from the state of North Carolina to win 12 games in a season when they play Louisiana-LaFayette this coming Saturday, Dec. 7. The game will be played on their home field at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone for the league crown. A win then or in their bowl game will ensure the Mountaineers of those lofty milestones. Saturday’s game will kickoff at 12:00 noon and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Needing a conference championship game win to remain in contention for the Cotton Bowl, Appalachian State’s case is also bolstered by an FBS-leading six road wins that are part of the nation’s only 6-0 road record. With road wins against the likes of bowl-eligible Appalachian State has the best road record since Western Michigan went 6-0 en route to a Cotton Bowl berth at the end of the 2016 season. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Nov. 21-27: 50 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $12,817,500.00

    Dec. 5, 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…



  • Mr. WHS Fundraiser Returns for 20th Birthday Celebration at Watauga High School this Saturday

    December 5, 2019. Boone’s most heartwarming fundraiser is back again, celebrating a very special occasion this year! The Mr. WHS show, a fundraiser that helps raise thousands of dollars every year for three local families in the form of a male beauty pageant is marking its 20th Annual Show! Because of the special occasion, the theme this year is “Happy Birthday Mr. WHS!”. The pageant was created in 2000 as a way to help raise money for Mr. Lan O’Loughlin, a science teacher and swim coach at Watauga High School. The first show raised $4,000 and has only grown since then. Last year’s show raised over $21,000 and this year’s goal is to raise over $25,000. Each year Mr. WHS raises money for three local families in our community. The recipients are always very close to our hearts and mean a lot to this town. / Read more…



  • The Fred Vannoy Family of Todd Celebrates Five Generations With Baby Girl’s Birth in October


    December 5, 2019. The birth of a baby girl is always exciting, but especially so when she becomes the first of a family’s fifth generation. That’s the latest news in the Fred Vannoy family, happening when Vannoy’s great-granddaughter, Indya Moretz, gave birth to her daughter, Italya Renee, on October 23. The little girl’s birth brought smiles for several miles to the family, now spread from Todd to Marion. It was especially heart-warming to the family patriarch, Vannoy, himself, who became a great-great grandfather at the age of 93; just a few short months earlier, the death of Nancy Vannoy, his wife of 73 years, had left a painful void in all of their lives. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Author Jimmie Daniels Pens New Comprehensive Review of The Town of Newland Book


    December 5, 2019. One of the best books published in many years—if not ever—about the county seat town of Avery County is Jimmie Daniels’ new release: The Story of Newland-From the Old Fields of Toe to the Highest County Seat East of The Rockies. Daniels wrote the book in collaboration with the Avery County as part of its latest Avery County Heritage Volume. First copies of the book were sold at a book signing and reception held at the museum on November 9th. Daniels is considered by many as one of the premier historians for the Town of Newland. She has written or co-written other books, but she took on, perhaps, her most ambitious work with this book-writing effort. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • High Country Community Groups Recognized at 70th Annual WNC Honors Program in Asheville


    December 4, 2019. Three High Country Ruritan clubs were among 65 community groups recently recognized at the WNC Communities 70th annual WNC Honors Awards Program at the Doubletree by Hilton Biltmore-Asheville in Asheville. According to Terri Wells, Director of Community and Agricultural Programs for WNC Communities, the awards program is built on a 70-year tradition of recognizing rural community development clubs for their innovative ideas and grassroots solutions. “These centers and clubs are the backbone running through our beloved mountains,” she said, adding that 250 community leaders from 13 Western North Carolina Counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians attended the November 2 awards luncheon. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Today’s 2020 Candidate Announcements

    December 4, 2019. Note: Each day, the High Country Press will share emails and announcements from candidates that are entering their names into the 2020 primary and general election. Today we received the following announcements from N.C. House Representative Ray Russell, Watauga County School Board candidate Ronny Holste and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx. Rep. Ray Russell Files for Re-Election to N.C. House – Most people in Western North Carolina know Ray Russell as the founder and president of RaysWeather.com. But his professional experience expands across business, education, ministry, science, and government. Ray was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in November 2018. In his first run for political office, he defeated a 4-term incumbent. Since arriving in Raleigh in January 2019, Ray has sponsored or co-sponsored 125 bills in the NC House and was the first Freshman Democrat to have sponsored a bill signed into law. His legislative work has focused on the issues most frequently voiced by voters in 2018: public education, health care, clean air and water, better government, and rural economic development. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, November 25 – December 1

    December 4, 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



  • Lessons and Carols at St. Mary of the Hills Dec. 8


    December 4, 2019. While the secular world prepares for the ‘Retail High Holidays’ with massive consumerism, the choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church presents a calm center for your holiday preparations with a service of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday afternoon, December 8th at 2 pm. Based on the medieval vigil service in preparation for the holiest night of the Christian year, Lessons and Carols follows the story of the fall of Adam, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus, as told in short Bible readings interspersed with carols and hymns.  Sung in Anglican churches all over the world since the 1880’s, the service is a lovely part of the Advent season (the four Sundays before Christmas), the traditional season of repentance and preparation for the birth of Jesus. / Read more…



  • SNIPS Holiday Craft Sales & “It’s a Wrap” – December 6, 7, 8, 13, & 14 at Boone Mall


    December 4, 2019. As the holidays draw nearer, SNIPS Holiday Craft Sales & “It’s a Wrap” at Boone Mall on December 6, 7, 8, 13 & 14, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., can be the your one-stop-shop for special, handmade treasures AND holiday gift wrap! Like Santa’s elves, SNIPS crafters are up at all hours of the day and night, creating beautiful ornaments and decorations to grace your home, your tree, and the people (and animals!) on your gift list. You’ll find holiday & pet-themed mugs & wine glasses, bowl & cup cozies, fairy light wine bottles, snow-measuring sticks, toaster tongs, holiday sachets, and beautiful scarves & hats for bundling up against the winter weather.   / Read more…



  • Flapjack Flip and Holiday Market Fundraisers at WHS on Dec. 7 Benefit Watauga Ed Foundation, Boone Service League


    December 4, 2019. The Watauga Education Foundation will hold its annual pancake breakfast — the Flapjack Flip — at Watauga High School from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. A full breakfast of delicious pancakes and other items will be served by cheerful volunteers for a ticket price of $10. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. While you’re at the Flapjack Flip, do some holiday gift shopping at the Boone Service League’s Holiday Market, which will feature craft and product vendors. Items include pottery, home decor, beauty products, gourmet food items, candles, textiles, accessories and more. The Boone Service League will also offer gift wrapping for a small donation — bring your gifts and let Boone Service League volunteers wrap them in beautiful papers and ribbons. / Read more…



  • Up-And-Coming Singer-Songwriter Alexa Rose to Perform at the Jones House on Dec. 15


    December 4, 2019. Fresh off her critically-acclaimed debut album Medicine for Living, Alexa Rose returns to the Jones House for an indoor concert on Sunday, December 15, starting at 4:00 PM in the Mazie Jones Gallery. “Those who have had the pleasure to see Alexa Rose perform already know what an incredible talent she is,” says Boone’s Cultural Resources Coordinator, Brandon Holder. “And those who haven’t had a chance to hear her live should take this opportunity before she starts filling rooms more than ten times this size.” Born and raised in the Alleghany Highlands of western Virginia, Alexa Rose’s musical roots run deep, an atavistic heritage passed down from great-grandfather. A deep connection to her mountain roots inspires both the sound and subject matter of her music. / Read more…



  • Carlton Gallery Hosted Holiday Open House Last Weekend Beginning its 37th Winter Group Exhibition with Small Works


    December 4, 2019. Carlton Gallery is currently hosting its 37th Winter Group Exhibition with Small Works which began with a Holiday Open House on Friday and Saturday, November 29th and 30th. Gallery owner/artist, Toni Carlton, gathered the community to start the season of Love and Light at the Holiday Open House to view the engaging art in paintings, glass, sculpture, glass, wood, clay and jewelry while enjoying hot cider or tea and seasonal treats. Paintings reflecting the beauty and serenity of the landscape by Freeman Beard, Egidio Antonaccio, Linda Apriletti, Kevin Beck, Connie Winters, Holly Glasscock,  Sharon Rusch Shaver, Carol Bodiford, Allison Chambers, Andrew Braitman, Eddie Kent Tallent and Ralph James, along with alcohol ink paintings by Leigh Williams are some of the many artworks on exhibit. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Holidays the Healthy Way


    December 4, 2019. The holidays are in full swing, which means family, fun and — yes, food! But, it doesn’t have to mean extra pounds. Even holiday treats can fit into a healthy eating plan with balance and moderation. To avoid holiday weight gain, balance the calories you consume with the calories you burn. Physical activity and moderate food choices will help. The following tips are gifts you can give to yourself, your family and friends to maintain a healthy lifestyle while enjoying your special occasions By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – December 3, 2019

    December 3, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / 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



  • Studio K Youth Ballet Company Performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 6-8


    December 3, 2019. Studio K Youth Ballet Company will be performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts (733 Rivers Street) on December 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and on December 8 at 2 p.m. Local youth ballet company, Studio K, transforms the Schaefer Center stage into a magical world where the beloved holiday ballet, The Nutcracker, comes alive. A cast of over 350 local dancers bring Clara’s dazzling holiday fairy tale to life. Throughout the show, the stage sparkles with playful mice, a court of soldiers, guardian angels, graceful snowflakes, waltzing flowers, precious bonbons, party guests, ginger kids, and sugar plums. The show is a wonderful way for families to start off the Christmas season. From the hundreds of glamorous costumes and colorful backdrops to the amazing growing Christmas tree and enchanting snowfall, this show takes the audience on an extraordinary journey to far away lands. / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage Presents A Banner Elk Christmas 2 Holiday Show on Dec. 6, 8, 20-22


    December 3, 2019. Ensemble Stage presents A Banner Elk Christmas 2 on December 6, 20, and 21 @ 7 pm and on December 8 and 22 @ 2 pm at the Historic Banner Elk School Hahn Auditorium (185 Azalea Circle SE) in Banner Elk, NC. This family friendly annual holiday variety show is patterned after the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby television Christmas specials from the 60s and 70s. A Banner Elk Christmas 2 features over 40 songs, including traditional, contemporary, secular and non-secular songs, dancing and storytelling over the course of about an hour and five minutes. “We keep the same format, but the songs always change,” said Gary Smith, Artistic Director at Ensemble Stage, “The choreography is usually a little bit different, especially with songs we haven’t done. Even though it’s called Banner Elk Christmas 2, it is not a repeat of last year’s Banner Elk Christmas.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Candidate Filing Period Underway for State and Local Races in 2020 Election Cycle

    December 3, 2019. The filing period for the 2020 election season officially started on Monday for candidates at the local level as well as statewide elections. Locally, three commissioner candidates, one register of deeds candidate and one school board candidate filed in Watauga County. John Welch (D) is running for re-election in the Watauga County Board of Commissioners District 2 race. Charlie Wallin (D) is also seeking re-election for District 5 and Carrington Pertalion (D) is challenging for the District 1 seat. Ronny Holste is challenging for a spot on the Watauga County Board of Education and Amy Shook (R) is running for re-election as Watauga County’s Register of Deeds. Incumbent Rep. Ray Russell filed for re-election on Monday as well for his District 93 N.C. House seat.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • The Town of Boone Opens the Christmas Season with Festive First Friday on December 6


    December 3, 2019. In what may be record time, tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Boone have already sold out, even with online ticket sales being discontinued for this year. “I had no idea it was going to sell out this fast. We stopped online sales specifically to slow down ticket sales and the box office gave me a call at 10 a.m. and said we’re done. It’s wild,” said Rich Campbell, the Associate Director for Outdoor Programs at Appalachian State University. Campbell said that they had not even made any social media posts announcing ticket sales before the Schaefer Center had informed him that they had already sold out. “We heard from the community last year that they were blown away that the tickets went so fast and it has always been a community event so we really wanted to enable ASU students and the local community the first shot, and if there were tickets that remained available we were going to put those online December 6. They just totally sold out in about an hour today,” Campbell said.  By Adam Estabrook / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Nov. 14-20: 40 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $12,090,500.00

    Dec. 3, 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…



  • Movie Review: ‘Frozen II’ Story is Good – Animation is Fantastic

    frozen2
    Dec. 3, 2019 There were things about 2013’s “Frozen” that instantly made it a Disney classic: the spectacular ice-and-snow animation, the engaging princesses Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), and of course, the rightfully iconic Oscar-winning musical number “Let It Go.” And yet, the film only got Two and a Half Stars out of Five, the equivalent of a B-, from me. I certainly wasn’t missing what other people were seeing in the film, but I did feel that I was seeing what other people were overlooking. Elsa’s powers were poorly defined and at the mercy of the whims of the screenplay, one villain was introduced in about the laziest manner I’d ever seen and another seemingly turned heel just for the sake of turning heel, and the Rock Trolls… should have stayed rocks. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Knives Out’ Enjoy the Ride With This Fun Movie

    knives
    Dec. 3, 2019 “Knives Out” bills itself as a whodunit mystery, and to a degree it is, but the “it” in question isn’t what it appears to be. The advertising has let it be known that the film revolves around the death of wealthy mystery author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) from an apparent suicide. This being a mystery movie, I went in ready to ask who killed Harlan and staged it to look like a suicide. At the very least, I really hoped that the movie wasn’t going to take the route where Harlan actually killed himself just to make idiots out of people who suspected murder. But it turned out that I had fallen for just one of the movie’s many misdirections. The mystery of the film isn’t so much about who was responsible for Harlan’s death, but more about who hired renowned private investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate the death, who is interfering in Blanc’s investigation, and of course the why of it all. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • “Christmas in Blowing Rock: An Evening with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder,” Two Shows Set for Dec. 14 Hosted by Samaritan’s Purse


    December 3, 2019. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will be coming to Blowing Rock on Saturday, Dec. 14, for two shows at the Samaritan’s Purse Training and Conference Center. That’s quite the Christmas present for the High Country, and especially to those who love bluegrass/gospel music. ‘Christmas in Blowing Rock: An Evening with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder” is hosted by the Boone-based international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, which, along with its President and CEO, Franklin Graham, has a personal place in the heart of the 15-time Grammy award winner and beloved entertainer. “I’ve known Franklin and the Graham family for over 30 years now,” Skaggs told High Country Press. “ We’ve hunted, fished and done ministry together during all those years. He’s a dear friend and I would do anything for him. I’m really looking forward to coming back to Blowing Rock to play some music and visit with Franklin and the family. They’re just the best.”  By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Be Present: Slow Down for the Holidays, Local Organizations Here to Help


    December 3, 2019. It’s no secret that the holidays can be stressful in many ways, but thanks to a partnership of three local organizations, they don’t have to be all-consuming. According to Amber Chapman, Family Caregiver and Health Promotions Specialist with High Country Area of Aging, an opportunity is available for area residents to learn how to recharge and take charge during an upcoming event. “Be Present: Slow Down for the Holidays” will be held next Friday, Dec. 13, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock. Sponsored by The High Country Area Agency on Aging, Western Piedmont Area Agency on Aging, and Rumple Memorial, the event will focus on the needs of family caregivers, but will also prove helpful to others who find themselves in stressful situations. In addition to learning how to use meditation as a relaxation technique, attendees will also enjoy other tips for self-care. By Sherrrie Norris / Read more…



  • Banff Mountain Film Festival Tickets Already Sold Out Despite No Online Sales


    December 2, 2019. In what may be record time, tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Boone have already sold out, even with online ticket sales being discontinued for this year. “I had no idea it was going to sell out this fast. We stopped online sales specifically to slow down ticket sales and the box office gave me a call at 10 a.m. and said we’re done. It’s wild,” said Rich Campbell, the Associate Director for Outdoor Programs at Appalachian State University. Campbell said that they had not even made any social media posts announcing ticket sales before the Schaefer Center had informed him that they had already sold out. “We heard from the community last year that they were blown away that the tickets went so fast and it has always been a community event so we really wanted to enable ASU students and the local community the first shot, and if there were tickets that remained available we were going to put those online December 6. They just totally sold out in about an hour today,” Campbell said.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Art Exhibit Features Local Cancer Survivors, Encourages Healing Environment at Seby B. Jones Cancer Center


    December 2, 2019. Cancer survivors and caregivers from Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Wilkes and Caldwell counties, as well as Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center staff, were invited to share artwork they created during or after a cancer diagnosis. The collection contains artwork created by professional and amateur artists of all ages. When talking about her painting entitled “Beyond,” cancer survivor and exhibiting artist, Tara Belk said, “Going through cancer and the healing process was truly a journey of the soul, learning much and it seemed passing into another realm of existence.” Through art, individuals can share their stories in a different way, in a creative way, and in the process express emotions that words alone cannot. The process of viewing and/or creating art has been known to have beneficial effects for people, especially those living with cancer. In addition to providing a relaxing escape from treatment as well as anxiety and fear about the future, painting or drawing may help to express emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis.  / Read more…



  • December Begins with Snow Showers and Gusty Winds in the High Country

    December 2, 2019. Almost right on cue with the first day of December, winter weather showed up late Sunday night and Monday morning with some snow and sleet across the High Country, enough to close schools in Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties. A Winter Storm Warning was issued by the National Weather Service that said a storm system will be moving slowly across the central Appalachians during the remainder of today into tonight. Gusty west to northwest winds and much colder air will bring periods of accumulating snow showers to the mountains along with occasional blowing snow and reduced visibilities. The NWS forecast predicted anywhere between 4-10 inches of snow for elevations at 3,500 feet and above.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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