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 5K to Benefit Children’s Council of Watauga County Saturday, April 27 on Boone Greenway

April 12, 2024 The Fraternity and Sorority Life Programming Board and Order of Omega Leadership Honor Society of Appalachian State University are teaming up to present a 5K for the Kids Color Walk/Run on April 27 beginning at 10 a.m. on the Boone Greenway in Boone. According to group spokesperson, Hadley Ladue, “This professionally organized event will allow us to give back to the community we support, while benefiting the Children’s Council of Watauga County.” By Sherrie Norris

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Where Will You Be for the 150th Kentucky Derby? Hopefully in Boone – and Here’s Why…

April 12, 2024 “The Annual Spirit Ride Derby Party is not just the ‘next best thing’ to being at the Kentucky Derby; we would argue that it is the BEST place to be on May 4th! The event will take place at the stunning Hidden Hills Equestrian Center, located in the heart of Valle Crucis. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience.” Guests will be treated to a delicious spread of ‘Derby Style’ food, Mint Juleps, and tasty mocktails by Gadabouts Catering, local beer from Lost Province, and wine courtesy of the Banner Elk Winery. The Gravel ‘n Grit Band will provide live music, while exciting raffles, auctions, and a bourbon pull will keep you entertained. But, at 6:24 pm, the attention turns to the big screen to watch the Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby!

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Statement from App State Concerning a Stabbing that Took Place on Campus Thurdsay; An App State Student Has Been Arrested

April 11, 2024 On Thursday, April 11, at 12:07 p.m., App State Police responded to a report of a stabbing in the area of Peacock Hall. One individual was injured, and after being treated on the scene, was transported to Watauga Medical Center and is receiving treatment. A suspect vehicle was seen leaving campus and two suspects were taken into custody at approximately 12:30 p.m. There is no ongoing threat to campus

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Highway 321 South of Green Hill Road in Blowing Rock is Closed Due to Mud Slide

April 11, 2024 BLOWING ROCK – Hwy. 321 is closed north and south bound south of Green Hill Road just past the Green Park Inn. Earlier Thursday afternoon a small mud slide took over the south bound lanes and the mud, large rocks and debris has continues to make the entire roadway untenable. NCDOT is working with officials from both Caldwell and Watauga county.  The road will need to be cleared and the hill will need to be secured before the road is opened. Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers says “According to DOT, the road will be closed until at least noon on Friday as the geo-engineers assess the situation.”.

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Remembering Local Businessman, Zionville Community Icon, David Miller

April 11, 2024 The Zionville community, as well as the entire High Country region, East Tennessee and beyond, are mourning the death of local businessman, David Miller. Miller died on Monday, April 8, at his home surrounded by his loving family following a brief, but valiant fight with cancer. Miller’s name and his reputation — as not only the driving force behind Miller’s Farm Supply for nearly half a century, but also as a strong community leader, servant and advocate — is one that will not be easily forgotten. Nor should it be. With his wife, Terri, by his side since the mid-1970’s, Miller provided a much-needed service to the western part of Watauga County in more ways than one.  By Sherrie Norris

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Meet-and-Greet Sessions with NASCAR and High Country Legend Waddell Wilson A Success

April 10, 2024 A smashing success was the consensus of how the meet-and-greet sessions sponsored by High Country Press with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) Hall of Famer and Mitchell County native Waddell Wilson that were held in Bakersville and Spruce Pine on Saturday, April 6, transpired. The Mitchell County Historical Society and Mitchell County Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce also assisted with sessions. By Tim Gardner

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: April Showers and National Brunch Month — A Great Combination


April 10, 2024 As I sat down at my desk, hearing the sounds of a soft April shower outside my window, I had a moment of writer’s block until I saw a reminder on my computer that April is National Brunch Month. What a perfect combination, I decided. We can usually make sense of anything if we try hard enough, right? Rarely at most homes these days do we take time to have an organized morning meal together, as everyone is in a hurry to race out the door for school, work or the next big thing. But, once in a while, a rainy day, especially on the weekends, tends to slow us down a bit and just might give us a chance to sit down together, or at least in the same space, to enjoy a late breakfast, brunch or whatever we choose to call it. By Sherrie Norris

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“Carrie: The Musical” Takes to the Valborg Stage April 24 – 28: Join us for a Night of Drama, Killer Vocals, and a Bloody Good Time

April 10, 2024 The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance proudly presents “Carrie: The Musical,” based on the Stephen King novel and Brian De Palma directed film of the same name, with music by Michael Gore, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and book by Lawrence D. Cohen. The cast is comprised of 20 Appalachian students spanning across all grade levels. In addition to the cast, there are several undergraduates working on the technical and design teams under the mentorship of Theatre and Dance faculty and staff members.

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High Country United Way Announces that Avery County Has Been Awarded $6,913 in Phase 41 State Set-Aside Funding

April 10, 2024 April 9th, 2024: High Country United Way is pleased to announce that Avery County was awarded $6,913 in Phase 41 State Set-Aside Funding. EFSP, a Federal program administered by US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services” for the nation’s hungry, homeless and people in economic crisis”. 

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Boone Next: Guide for Our Future Workshops Scheduled for Three-Day Event

April 9, 2024 The Town of Boone is actively engaging its community in shaping the future through the Boone Next initiative. This comprehensive plan update is a collaborative effort, inviting input from residents, business owners, and all other stakeholders across the Town. The Town of Boone will host a series of Guide For Our Future Workshops, between April 29 to May 1, 2024. On April 29 and 30, the Town will host a series of events to engage property owners and people living in one of Boone Next’s four focus areas. On the evening of April 30, everyone is invited to learn about our focus area work. Additionally, on the evening of May 1, we are hosting the second Boone Next community meeting. If you attended our first meeting in January, this is your opportunity to see how we translated your feedback into action. Please continue reading for more information about this three-day event (a schedule is attached). 

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NFIB SURVEY: Small Business Optimism Reaches Lowest Level Since 2012

April 9, 2024 RALEIGH – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased by 0.9 of a point in March to 88.5, the lowest level since December 2012. This is the 27th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices rose seven points from February to a net 28% percent seasonally adjusted. “Small business optimism has reached the lowest level since 2012 as owners continue to manage numerous economic headwinds,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation has once again been reported as the top business problem on Main Street and the labor market has only eased slightly.”

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Deep Gap Ruritan Hosting Spring Fundraiser April 26-27; Proceeds To Benefit Community Needs

April 9, 2024 It’s time once again for the annual Spring fundraiser hosted by Deep Gap Ruritan Club. Every year, for the last three decades, this group of civic-minded citizens has looked for ways to help meet needs of the community and its residents. But, as club president, Leslie Gentry emphasizes, the club members depend largely upon the support of the High Country community, in general, to help make it happen. This year’s upcoming event includes a two-day rummage sale and breakfast, scheduled for Friday, April 26, and Saturday April 27, at the Deep Gap Fire Department, upper level. Doors will be open from 7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.  on Friday; and on Saturday 7 a.m. –1 p.m.. By Sherrie Norris

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App State Welcomes Alaura Sharp as Women’s Ninth Basketball Head Coach

April 8, 2024 Alaura Sharp, who led Presbyterian College to its first NCAA Tournament appearance and win last month, has been named the ninth head coach in App State women’s basketball history, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Friday. “We are thrilled to welcome Alaura to the App State family,” Gillin said. “She is a proven leader who has recruited and developed student-athletes at a high level. Her vision for the program aligns with our core values of academic integrity, competitive excellence, social responsibility and a world-class experience. We are excited about the future of App State Women’s Basketball.”

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Watauga County Public Library Presents: What’s In a Name? Park Ranger Olivia Burke on the Creation of the Blue Ridge Parkway on April 11

April 8, 2024 Olivia Burke, Lead Park Ranger for the Highlands District of the Blue Ridge Parkway, returns to the Watauga County Public Library on Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 PM to discuss the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the context of the larger history of the National Park Service. Come on over to the library to learn about how National Parks came to be, how they’re managed, and where the Blue Ridge Parkway fits into the mix. Ranger Olivia will also dive into how the Parkway was planned and constructed. Light refreshments will be served.

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F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour Joins Lees-McRae College 2023−24 High Country Adventure Film and Speaker Series on April 13

April 8, 2024 For 18 years, the F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour has hit the road annually to bring the best fly fishing films from around the world to eager international audiences. The film tour is back again this year with their latest film lineup, and the Lees-McRae College campus is one of the next stops on the tour’s schedule. This year’s series of short films takes viewers around the world, exploring fly-fishing communities of all kinds and capturing the intricacies of this beloved sport. This is a series of films you truly will not want to miss, so get your tickets now before they are gone.

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Appalachian Heritage Week Tradition Returns to Lees-McRae College April 15 – 19

April 8, 2024 The John B. Stephenson Center for Appalachia and Comparative Highland Studies is back with a beloved annual tradition, Appalachian Heritage Week. Each year the college sets aside time in the spring to celebrate the place we all call home through programming that highlights Appalachian culture, food, history, natural resources, and more. This year, the Stephenson Center will host Appalachian Heritage Week Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19 with fun and educational activities each day. Click here for full schedule of community events for Appalachian Heritage Week 2024.

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Dr. Joshua Vova to Give Talk at App State on Family-Centered Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine on April 19

April 8, 2024 Renowned pediatric rehabilitation specialist Dr. Joshua Vova is set to deliver a free talk on “Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: A Focus on Family-Centered Care,” on Friday, April 19, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in room 103 of Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, located at 1179 State Farm Road in Boone. Vova is a prominent figure in the realm of pediatric medicine and currently serves as the division chief of physiatry at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. His credentials include board certifications in pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation medicine and brain injury medicine.

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Grammy-Winning Jazz-Fusion Collective Snarky Puppy Bringing the Joy and the Jam to Boone

April 5, 2024 The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes five-time Grammy-winning American jazz-fusion collective Snarky Puppy on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. The band — who heraldsas many as 20 members in regular rotation— combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, R&B, soul and funk. American trombonist-vocalist Natalie Cressman and Brazilian composer-guitarist Ian Faquini will open the concert. Cressman and Faquini, who have recorded three albums together, were finalists for Duo of the Year in 2023’s Jazz Journalists Critics Poll. 

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Mountaineers Extend Basketball Coach Kerns Contract Through 2029-30 Season

April 5, 2024 On the heels of a record-breaking season, App State head men’s basketball Dustin Kerns has signed a contract extension that runs through the 2029-30 season, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Friday. The extension was approved by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees. “Dustin and his staff have turned App State Men’s Basketball into a perennial contender for conference titles and postseason berths, and we are excited to see the program’s continued upward trajectory under his leadership,” Gillin said. “With 27 wins, the first regular-season Sun Belt title, historic home crowds and national television appearances, Dustin’s team showed App State can compete among the best in college basketball, and we look forward to continued success for the program and our student-athletes both on and off the court.”

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BuildFest for Kids Returns to Watauga High School With A Blast on Saturday, April 13

April 5, 2024 Buildfest is back for another exciting year, thanks to the Children’s Playhouse in Boone, generous sponsors and compassionate volunteers who give of their resources, time, energy and talents to make this one of the most fun-while-you-learn days of the year. Slated for Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Watauga High School in Boone, this event is known for its contribution to helping build healthy, happy and innovative kids. By Sherrie Norris

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Watauga Awarded $19,906 for Phase 41 Through Emergency Food and Shelter National Program

April 5, 2024 April 4th, 2024 – High Country United Way is pleased to announce Watauga County has been awarded $19,906 for Phase 41 through the Emergency Food and Shelter National Program. EFSP is a federal program administered by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services” for the nation’s hungry, homeless and people in economic crisis.”  

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Registration is Open for Sugar Mountain Resort’s Eighth Annual Fourth-of-July Summit Crawl

April 5, 2024 On Thursday, July 4, Sugar Mountain Resort’s eighth annual Summit Crawl kicks off at 9 a.m. The one-and-one-half mile climb to Sugar Mountain’s 5,300-foot peak covers 1,200 feet of vertical via the ski slopes of Easy Street, Gunther’s Way, and Northridge. Crossing the mile-high finish line qualifies hikers for a chance to win a 2024-25 Sugar Mountain Resort season pass while complimentary water & fruit donated by Lowes Foods awaits at the summit.

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Opinion: Bye, Sheri

April 4, 2024 It is undeniable that without Appalachian State University, Boone would not be Boone as we know it. The benefits of having a university in town are numerous and should be celebrated. I am grateful for the opportunities to see world-class artists at the Shaefer Center, nationally ranked sports teams on the field and court, and for access to public lectures and presentations from renowned experts in science, philosophy, business and other disciplines. App State’s positive economic impact is so big that it is difficult to calculate. High Country Press would probably not exist were it not for App State. By Sam Garrett

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