February 2, 2023 Those who know Andrea Turbyfill best and others who come in contact with her often stress how impressed they are with her sincerity, kindness and the Christian manner in which she presents herself. And as Avery County Tax Administrator, Turbyfill is held in high esteem by the citizens she serves as well as her administrative superiors and colleagues for her professionalism, fairness and expertise in the various job duties she holds. By Tim Gardner
February 2, 2023 The County of Avery is currently accepting statements of qualifications from architectural firms interested in contracting with the County for architectural services related to the design and planning of a new Parks & Recreation complex. Avery Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Martha Hicks said the commissioners are “supportive of a new Parks & Recreation complex and will proceed with one as the county can, and can afford to.” By Tim Gardner
February 2, 2023 BOONE, N.C. — Although Alexander Central has one of the best women’s basketball teams in the Northwestern Conference and challenged Watauga on Jan. 10 in a low-scoring defensive battle before losing, 38-25, in Taylorsville, they couldn’t keep up in the Jan. 31 rematch at Lentz Eggers Gym. The Pioneers ran away with this one, 52-39, before a full house of fans on both sides of the gym floor. By David Rogers
February 2, 2023 BOONE, N.C. — Early in the second quarter on Jan. 31 at Lentz Eggers Gym, Watauga’s junior varsity men trailed Alexander Central, 17-7. In the blink of an eye the Pioneers went on an 11-0 run, erased the deficit and took an 18-17 lead into halftime. By David Rogers
February 1, 2023 BOONE, N.C. — After battling back to tie or go ahead of Alexander Central’s men’s basketball team on Jan. 31, at the end there was nothing more Watauga could do. With time ticking away in regulation and the score tied 37-37, the Cougars’ Chad Lasher took pass from the perimeter and laid the ball up and in, beating the buzzer by 0.1 seconds to secure Alexander Central’s win over the Pioneers, 39-37, in front of a packed crowd filling Lentz Eggers Gym. By David Rogers
February 1, 2023 CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While the sentimental favorite as the next Carolina Panthers head coach might well have been Steve Wilks (after leading the team to a near-berth in the NFL playoffs upon taking the reins during a chaotic mid-season), the Frank Reich hire makes a lot of sense — and on a couple of different levels. By David Rogers
February 1, 2023 “Live @AppTheatre” concerts continue at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, when The 3 Redneck Tenors take center stage at the historic Appalachian Theatre of the High Country for their debut performance in Boone, NC.
February 1, 2023 After a successful inaugural season in calendar year 2022, the Mast Store
Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson Stage of the Appalachian Theatre is back in 2023
with an expanded year-round program of artists and events celebrating the musical genre unique
to our country.
February 1, 2023 For the next year, guests entering The Speckled Trout Restaurant and Bottle Shop will see a unique trophy on display– a giant bronze hand holding a red chili pepper between its thumb and middle finger. Saturday afternoon at the WinterFest Chilly Chili Challenge, a secret tasting panel of celebrity judges chose The Speckled Trout’s executive chef Michael Foreman for the “Judges Pick” award. His award-winning chili was a 4440 Ranch and Cattle Company Chuckwagon Chili. The Speckled Trout now holds onto the trophy until next year’s competition. By Kris Testori
February 1, 2023 BOONE, NC – The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day the entire month of February with a Classic Romantic Comedy Film Series of movies suggested by patrons and the public in a recent online audience survey. February 2023 will showcase favorite “Rom-Coms” with three film screenings scheduled at 7 p.m. on the first three Tuesdays of the month. “Dirty Dancing” will lead off the series on February 7, followed by “The Notebook” on February 14, and concluding with “Pretty Woman” on February 21.
February 1, 2023 . I am having a hard time believing that we are now in the month of February. Wasn’t it just last week that I was sharing recipes for Christmas, followed closely by tips to be healthier in the new year? And now, while February is Heart Month —and we will definitely explore that soon — there are two really big celebrations coming up that require a hometown food columnist to dig deep for some great ideas. I believe that Super Bowl happens on the 12th this year, perhaps overshadowing Valentine’s Day arriving two days later. And, many hosts and hostesses will be caught smack-dab in the middle trying to plan parties and celebrations for the crowd and quiet intimate dinners for two. Maybe. By Sherrie Norris
February 1, 2023 BOONE, NC –The 2023 class of the Watauga Leadership Institute kicked off their coursework with an all-day retreat at Valle Crucis Conference Center January 25th. The event marks the beginning of a 12-week community development program that includes 44 total participants between two cohorts. Courtesy of Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
February 1, 2023 It was a bittersweet moment for Rick Ruppert when he signed off Sunday evening, Jan 29, for his last time as a lieutenant with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. His final“10-42” message to the dispatchers in the communications center signaled the end to more than just a regular 12-hour shift. This time, it marked the end of his career as a full-time law enforcement officer in Watauga County. Many of those on the other end of his final call, dispatchers and fellow officers alike, responded with words and audible emotions that confirmed a close brotherhood, fondness for their departing comrade and best wishes for his retirement. By Sherrie Norris
January 31, 2023 With ringing in the new year, there is a lot of focus on resolutions – especially when it comes to wellness and its eight dimensions: financial, vocational, intellectual, social, environmental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. And there is a locally owned Avery County yoga studio that believes in the holistic and multidimensional approach to wellness and strives to provide an inclusive safe space for people of all ages. By Harley Nefe
January 30, 2023 The 2023 Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League’s 17th season completed its fourth night on Monday. Races will be held every Monday night for 2 more weeks. See week four results and team standings all right here!
January 31, 2023 Boonie’s Chicago Style Pizza’s last day of business is January 31, after over two years of business in the High Country. Boonie’s announced its closing on Facebook and Instagram on January 11. “We are heartbroken to announce we are closing at the end of January. We are so appreciative of all of you these past few years,” Boonie’s post said. By Maddie Lipe
January 30, 2023 Downtown Blowing Rock, already aglow with white holiday lights, became even more illuminated with the addition of a 20 feet long and six feet high sign with marquee letters spelling out Blowing Rock WinterFest. Cary resident Stephanie Foster said, “What an amazing addition to the WinterFest celebration. “When we pulled into town, everyone in our group, we were like, we have to take our photo in front of that sign.” She added that when she went to take the photo they had to wait several minutes to get their chance because of the crowds around the sign. By Kris Testori
January 29, 2023 An 88-year-old in a white bear costume was the star of the 2023 Winterfest Polar Bear Plunge. When asked why she took the plunge, Boone resident Joan Hearn replied, “Why wouldn’t I?” Hearn is on the board of directors at High Country Caregivers, one of the Polar Bear Plunge funds recipients. This is my 30th jump,” Hearn said. “It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve done it many years, even back when it was held at the duck pond.” By Kris Testori
January 29, 2023 Feeding Avery Families (FAF), Inc. is a non-profit Christian-based organization in Avery County dedicated to eliminating hunger by any means possible, including monetary donations, volunteerism and food donations. And this most worthwhile and needed ministry will be moving into a new headquarters in late winter or early spring this year. A definite opening date has not been set. By Tim Gardner
January 27, 2023 After a two-year hiatus, local chefs once again had the opportunity to show off their culinary talent at WinterFeast. The dinner, with two seatings, took place at The Green Park Inn Thursday evening. Tickets to WinterFeast sold out fast. “This was our first year back, and we were in a different venue,” said Blowing Rock Chamber’s President and CEO, Charles Hardin. “This is definitely the most popular event of WinterFest, especially with the locals.” By Kris Testori
January 27, 2023 LINVILLE, N.C. — Grandfather Mountain is inviting folks to take their careers to new heights — literally. The Linville, N.C.-based nonprofit nature park and preserve, owned and operated by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, is hiring across its various departments for the 2023 season and beyond, offering mountains of opportunities for job- and career-seekers. The organization is kicking it all off with a job fair on the mountain on Feb. 15 from 2-5 p.m. The event will take place at Mildred’s Grill, the nature park’s restaurant located in the new Wilson Center for Nature Discovery. Nine departments from across the mountain will be represented at the job fair.
January 27, 2023 Friday afternoon, a Penske truck will roll into downtown Blowing Rock around noon, loaded with 30 original ice carvings and more than ten large uncarved blocks of ice, in preparations for WinterFest. The Truck will park at Memorial Park, unload the carvings, and deliver them to each of the local Blowing Rock businesses and establishments that commissioned them. The sculptures are crafted by Artisan Ice Sculptures, one of only five Master Ice Carvers in the United States. By Kris Testori
January 26, 2023 BOONE, N.C. –Due to snow and ice covered roads in parts of the district and the forecast for additional freezing precipitation, Watauga County Schools will operate on an Inclement Weather Remote Learning Day for Thursday, January 26th. No students will report to school buildings. Teachers and other instructional staff may choose to work remotely, if needed, for their safety.
January 25, 2023 LINVILLE, N.C. – A cold snap during Winter Storm Elliott that brought strong winds and subzero temperatures also saw the third-lowest temperature ever recorded on Grandfather Mountain for the month of December, according to data recorded at the park’s official weather reporting stations.
January 25, 2023 A local writer has a winner on her hands — or should we say she has a winner because of her hands, a vivid imagination, an ability to tell stories and write a great little book?
Whatever the case may be, Todd resident, Deborah Worley Holman, has done a great job penning “My Blue Ridge Mountain Stories,” an easy-to-read compilation of everything from her personal experiences to narratives that have been passed down through the years, and a few accounts of which her readers might never know if they should be filed under fact or fiction. And that’s part of the intrigue therein. By Sherrie Norris