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Quiet Givers Announces Return of Heat Up the High Country Fundraiser

September 28, 2022 BOONE, N.C. – Local non-profit Quiet Givers is once again raising money to cover heating  fuel bills for families in need this fall and winter through their Heat Up the High Country  campaign. “This has historically been one of our most successful fundraisers,” said Executive Director,  Mattie Lucas, “and with the cost of fuel so much higher than usual this year we are  expecting more need than ever before.” 

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Boone 150 Celebration Continues with Sacred Sounds

September 28, 2022 The Town of Boone’s sesquicentennial celebration, Boone 150, continues on Saturday, October 1, at Three Forks Baptist Church, with Sacred Sounds, featuring performances by local church groups and choirs, starting at 2:00 p.m. The concert will feature a number of local musicians and a special choir with members from several Baptist and Methodist churches in the area. 

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MerleFest, Presented by Window World, Opens Volunteer Applications on October 1 and Vendor Applications on November 1

September 28, 2022 WILKESBORO, N.C. – MerleFest, presented by Window World, will begin accepting online applications for its popular volunteer program on October 1. MerleFest, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, occurs on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. The 2023 festival will be held on April 27-30, 2023. Volunteers may choose to work a specific number of days or the entire four-day festival. In exchange for working a four-hour shift, volunteers will receive free entry into the festival for that day, free volunteer parking and shuttle, and a 10% discount on camping at the River’s Edge Campground. Those who are interested in volunteering can apply online at www.merlefest.org/volunteer.

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Movie Review: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Is A Film Whose Poor Reputation Precedes It

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September 28, 2022 “Don’t Worry Darling” is a film whose poor reputation precedes it. It’s going to be remembered not for anything that happens in the film, but for being the source of news stories about animosity between various players in its production. But I can look beyond all the gossip and behind-the-scenes drama and focus on what’s on screen. Unfortunately, what’s on screen is a movie that had no business making as much money as it did this past weekend. The film takes place in a desert-based housing development in an unknown location at an unknown time, though everything about it suggests the 1950’s or 60’s. Alice (Florence Pugh) is a housewife who devotes herself to doting over her house, her cooking duties, and of course her husband Jack (Harry Styles). He spends his days at a secretive workplace run by community leader Frank (Chris Pine) while she cooks, cleans, shops, goes to dancing lessons, and socializes with other wives like Bunny (Olivia Wilde, also the film’s director). It’s a life of domestic bliss that seems too good to be true, which of course means it won’t be long before it descends into chaos. By Bob Garver

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Virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel Featured on Fall Concert Series

September 28, 2022 BOONE, N.C. – The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is welcoming Australian native  and award-winning recording artist Tommy Emmanuel, C.G.P. to the mountains for a  live appearance and debut performance at its historic venue in downtown Boone at 7:30  p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2022.

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“Little Shop of Horrors” Opens App Theatre Sci-Fi Series on Oct. 4


September 28, 2022. BOONE, N.C. – The recently-announced Cinema Classic Sci-Fi Film Series at the Appalachian  Theatre of the High Country will screen its first film at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4 with a modern cult classic that celebrates several beloved film genres. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a horror musical comedy film directed by Frank Oz, who began his  career as a master puppeteer. Oz created, voiced, and played Muppet characters Miss Piggy,  Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle in “The Muppet Show,” and Cookie Monster, Bert, and  Grover in “Sesame Street.” He also puppeteered and provided the voice for Yoda in the “Star  Wars” film series.

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Pumpkin Spice, So Nice — and It’s Everywhere!


September 28, 2022. I don’t know of another seasonal food item that has created quite the frenzy as has the pumpkin. Or should we say the pumpkin spice? It’s everywhere and on business marquees that would normally not have pumpkin in their ads. But, for some reason, pumpkin spice has become quite the phenomena and for the next couple of months will be seen and heard far and wide. I don’t mind a few pumpkins for decoration this time of year, and I certainly enjoy my share of pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure I understand the fanfare related to the spice of it all. I’m not going to rain on anyone’s pumpkin parade, so we’ll carry on with a bit of background on the big orange gourd/squash relative and see what we can add to its growing popularity. One thing for sure, when we start seeing pumpkins coming out of the fields and finding their way to roadside stands and in the grocery stores, we know that autumn has arrived or is on its way. The pumpkin gets its name from the French word “pompion” and the Greek word “pepon” meaning “cooked by the sun.” The stringy flesh of the pumpkin can be used in many recipes and is often compatible with those calling for winter squash. Indigenous to the United States, the pumpkin’s origin is thought to have come from Native Americans who used it as a staple food item hundreds of years ago. Often associated with the traditional first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, pumpkin has always been a popular holiday side-dish, whether as a dessert, soup, bread or pudding. By Sherrie Norris

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High Country Charitable Foundation Grant Checks Released: Over Half a Million Dollars

September 27, 2022 BANNER ELK, N.C. — More than half a million dollars changed hands in Banner Elk Monday morning, as some 34 non-profit representatives of agencies serving Avery County stepped forward to accept a grant check from the High Country Charitable Foundation (HCCF). A child of Banner Elk’s Elk River Club, founder Jim Ward and multiple other members of the local club Monday blessed needy animals and people across the county. The largest number of recipients and the biggest number of dollars ever were counted, as the 8-year total donation from the foundation approached $4 million “since we started,” Ward said. “I never thought we’d be able to help do all the things you do,” he noted.. 

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Watauga County Historical Society Announces Sandra Marie Hagler As Next Inductee to the WCHS Hall of Fame 

September 27, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — As part of ongoing activities associated with the Boone 150 celebrations in 2022, marking the 150th anniversary of Boone’s official incorporation as a town on January 23, 1872, the Watauga County Historical Society (WCHS) has established the Watauga County Historical Society Hall of Fame. Throughout 2022, WCHS will name twelve individuals or groups—one each month—as members of the inaugural class of the WCHS Hall of Fame. For the month of September 2022, the WCHS is delighted to announce that Sandra Marie Hagler (1948-2021) has been named as the next inductee of this inaugural class of the WCHS Hall of Fame. 

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App State’s Office of Sustainability Announces App State’s Climate Justice events

September 26, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Office of Sustainability announces a series of events to raise awareness about climate justice. All events are free and open to the public. “This series is designed to bring attention to the effects of the climate crisis on frontline communities,” said Dr. Lee J. Ball, App State’s chief sustainability officer.

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Watauga County Republican Women’s Club to Meet Wednesday, September 28


September 26, 2022. The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 28 at the Watauga County GOP Headquarters, located at 140 W King Street (next to Earth Fare) in Boone, NC. The meeting will begin at noon. 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 meets the last Wednesday of each month.

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Watauga middle schoolers sweep High Country Classic

September 25, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — On a perfect day (cool and dry) for long distance running in the North Carolina mountains, Watauga’s Cali Townsend and Grady Gates took top honors in the girls’ and boys’ middle school divisions, respectively, in the High Country Cross Country Classic. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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Plan Your Autumn Adventure at Grandfather Mountain

September 22, 2022 LINVILLE, N.C. – Fall is officially here, and the foliage on Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, is showing signs that the seasonal color change is already underway.

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Pioneer VB holds back Hibriten, 3-0

September 22, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — Visiting Hibriten was a vastly more competitive team than in previous years, but Watauga still had their volleyball number on Sept. 21, winning 3-0, at Lentz Eggers Gym, 25-16, 25-11, 25-10. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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Lipham earns second career Sun Belt XC “Runner of the Week” nod

September 22, 2022 NEW ORLEANS, La. — Freshman Ethan Lipham earned his second career Sun Belt Cross Country Men’s Runner of the Week honor on Wednesday. Lipham clocked a personal best 8K time of 25:19.13 to garner gold at the Firetower Project Run (Sept. 16), leading the Mountaineer men’s squad to a first-place team finish with a score of 20. His time was a 30-second improvement from his season debut on Sept. 2.

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App Theatre Announces TWO New Classic Film Series in October

September 22, 2022 BOONE, N.C. – “We just have to do it,” said Appalachian Theatre Executive Director Suzanne  Livesay. “With audience members and the general public submitting more Halloween and  Science Fiction suggestions than in any other movie genre, we are responding with not one, but  two classic film series in October to give our loyal patrons exactly what they most want to see in  our historic venue.” 

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Movie Review: ‘Barbarian’ is Not a Creative Game-Changer or Box Office Powerhouse

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September 22, 2022 With “Barbarian,” writer/director Zach Cregger of “The Whitest Kids U Know” becomes the latest performer primarily known for comedy to take a stab at the horror genre. The gold standard is of course Jordan Peele, whose “Get Out” in 2017 was an out-of-nowhere success both at the box office and awards podiums. Then there’s John Krasinski, who led “A Quiet Place” to critical and commercial success in 2018, and perhaps even more impressively, “A Quiet Place Part II” to becoming arguably the first post-pandemic blockbuster last year. “Barbarian” isn’t a creative game-changer or a box office powerhouse, but it gets Cregger’s foot in the door for what might be a rewarding career in horror. The film (at first) follows Tess (Georgina Campbell), a woman traveling under unenviable circumstances. It’s dark, it’s rainy, she’s not familiar with the area, and she’s in a bad part of Detroit. All she wants to do is check into her rental home, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s no key in the drop box. But there is a light on inside. It’s a skittish man named Keith (Bill Skarsgard), who claims that he’s the one renting the house this weekend. He offers to share the house, and the out-of-options Tess agrees. But something is off about Keith. He suffers from night terrors, he insists way too hard that he’s not a threat, and he’s played by Pennywise from “It.” Tess finds her way into the basement, and clearly someone has been doing more than laundry down there. She finds an unlit passage and enlists the moderately-suspicious Keith to go ahead of her to investigate. Something horrific happens.   By Bob Garver

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Sierra Hull Performs Live in Boone on Thursday, Sept. 29; Award-Winning Bluegrass Singer-Songwriter Makes App Theatre Debut

September 22, 2022 BOONE, N.C. – The Mast Store Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson Stage of  the Appalachian Theatre continues on September 29 with multi-award-winning bluegrass  singer-songwriter, mandolinist, and guitarist Sierra Hull performing live at the historic  venue in downtown Boone, NC. Hull won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s  (IBMA) “Mandolin Player of the Year” award three years in a row, and will be performing  with special guest artist Taylor Rae. The concert begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.  

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Avery County Board of Commissioners to Pursue Community Development Block Grant Funding for New Reentry Housing Facility


September 22, 2022. During their bi-monthly meeting in the County Administration Building in Newland on September 19, the Avery Commissioners voted to pursue Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a new reentry housing facility in the county. The Avery County Commissioners include: Martha Hicks, Chairwoman; Tim Phillips, Vice-Chairman; Dennis Aldridge; Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr.; and Blake Vance. The commissioners’ action followed a public hearing and was taken was by a 3-0 vote. Hicks, Phillips and Aldridge were present for the meeting. Young, Jr. and Vance were absent. The commissioners adopted a resolution for the Avery County Application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding for the 2022 Neighborhood Revitalization Project to provide funds for the new reentry housing facility in Avery County. The resolution reads as follows… By Tim Gardner

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Hardin Park stays unbeaten, Blowing Rock sweeps at home

September 22, 2022 BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — Several split decisions marked the Watauga County middle school volleyball action on Sept. 20. Hardin Park and Parkway continued to roll through opponents, while the standings in the bottom two-thirds of the league got more muddled as teams that lost in the first two weeks seem to have gotten stronger and more confident with experience.  By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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Avery Vikings Romp Past Rosman 51-13 In Homecoming for First Win of Season

September 21, 2022 On September 16th, MacDonald Stadium in Newland was filled with former, present, and future Vikings all gathered excitedly for football homecoming, anticipating the Western Highlands 2-A, 1-A Conference battle of Avery and the Rosman Tigers. The game did not disappoint for Viking enthusiasts as Avery rolled to 51-13 win—its first of the 2022 season and the inaugural one for rookie head coach Ethan Farmer.  By Leah Potter

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The Art Cellar Gallery’s Walter Stanford Exhibition on Display until October 8

September 21, 2022 As the first leaves begin to fade from vibrant greens to golden yellows, the Art Cellar Gallery is winding down their Summer Exhibition schedule. A large portion of the season was dedicated to realism with exhibitions for David Birmingham’s landscapes and Loren DiBenedetto’s still lifes. The theme continues through the last show of the season with Walter Stanford’s animal portraits gracing the walls Wednesday, September 21st through Saturday, October 8th.  By Lauren Olds

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Town of Newland to Host Fall Festival on Saturday, October 1st

September 21, 2022 The Town of Newland’s Annual Fall Festival will be held Saturday, October 1st, on the town’s River Walk. The Fall Festival will be held at the precise address of 288 Calvary Street. The Fall Festival will be held at the precise address of 288 Calvary Street. By Tim Gardner

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