High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Local Real Estate Sales Remain Strong as Interest Rates Increase

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 25, 2018. The Boone area real estate market continued its strong sales pace in April, as monthly sales hit a 12-year high for the sixth consecutive month. The activity came as interest rates continued to rise. In April, local Realtors® sold 185 homes for a combined $49.48 million, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. That was a 38 percent increase in sales compared to April 2017 (133).  / Read more…



  • What’s Happening this Saturday at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market

    May 25, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday, May 26, from 8 a.m. until noon. Check out what all our fabulous vendors have to offer this week at the Farmers’ Market. Saturday morning looks ready to offer us the first glimpses of blue skies we have seen in quite some time. So it’s an excellent opportunity to come out to shop in the fresh mountain air. Find something to plant in your assuredly moist garden bed. Find something delicious to grill and stay for our always excellent Kids Mini Market. Have a massage (which supports our double bucks program) and enjoy the music with a pastry or pizza. There will also be live music this Saturday on the main stage and lower stage.  / 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



  • Avery Memorial Day Ceremony to be Held May 28 in Honor of Slain Veterans

    Art in the Park
    May 25, 2018.  On Monday, May 28, Avery County will hold its annual Memorial Day celebration between its veterans monument and gardens and the Fallen Officers, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Ten Commandments monuments on the Newland Town Square. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. and honors Avery County natives or residents who perished while fighting for our great nation in a military battle. It is organized and conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary, Pat Ray Post 4286, in Newland. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • York Chester Middle School students complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ at Grandfather Mountain

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 25, 2018. Ten Students from York Chester Middle School in Gastonia, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation was formed to host this unique hiking program, which is designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.  Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges.  / Read more…



  • The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble, Grandfather Mountain Celebrates Rhodo Blooms

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 25, 2018. Few plants signify “summer” in the mountains quite like the vivid pink Catawba rhododendron, and Grandfather Mountain is center stage for the spectacular annual show. “Rhododendron are special because they are attention-grabbing,” said Amy Renfranz, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park. “So many of us get lost in our smartphones, calendars and the rush of modern life. Brightly colored rhododendrons compete for our attention — and often win.” To showcase the beauty and significance of this native plant, Grandfather Mountain naturalists will host the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble from June 1-9. / Read more…



  • Ledah Finck With Her Band “Trio Jinx,” Will Preform May 31 at Valle Crucis Conference Center

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 25, 2018. Trio Jinx has been hailed as “turning the classical concert into a jam session” by KTEP radio broadcaster Dennis Woo. Drawing upon extensive classical training, and excited about pushing the limits of what chamber music is and where it can be found, they have offered high-energy concerts of classical music spiced with dashes of folk, jazz and improvisation everywhere from large-scale performing arts centers to coffee shop patios. Their musical discoveries and arrangements are augmented by works composed by trio member Ledah Finck. Ledah grew up in Valle Crucis and is a former member of the popular local Celtic music band, The-Forget-Me-Nots. / Read more…



  • Landscaping Improvements Continue at Blowing Rock Memorial Park with New Sod and Sidewalk Work


    May 24, 2018. Blowing Rock Memorial Park has come a long way since 12 trees in the park were removed in February. Trees have been planted and now fresh new layers of sod were planted last week and successfully survived the downpours of rain that hit Blowing Rock and the surrounding High Country. “The park has many new improvements, some obvious and some not,” said Ed Evans, Blowing Rock town manager. “We have new trees, we have water for use in the park, we have electricity in the park with more to come. We have completed working up the grounds and have put new sod, just in time for the rains, which so far have been a great help as we have not had to water the grounds at all.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Remains Open Despite Numerous Road Closures and Detours


    May 24, 2018. Heavy rains have taken a toll on several roads and highways across the High Country, including U.S. Highway 221 between Blowing Rock and Linville. The road will be closed for the foreseeable future as a portion of the road was washed out about two miles north of the Grandfather Mountain entrance. “We are collaborating with companies outside of the DOT to fix the problems. We also have our own NCDOT engineering guys coming in to look at it because it’s so steep we can’t do what we would normally do to fix the problem,” said NCDOT worker Josh Wright on Monday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Linn Cove Viaduct Will Not Open this Weekend as Scheduled; Highway 221 Detour Remains Closed

    May 23, 2018. The Linn Cove Viaduct, closed since March 1 for some repairs and road resurfacing, had hoped to be reopened in time for Memorial Day Weekend. With the recent heavy rains and wet conditions, unfortunately the popular scenic drive will not be reopened as planned. The paving company will need between 48 and 72 hours of dry weather to complete the last phase of the project. They hope to have it completed within the next two weeks.
    By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Resident Hosts Event For Mental Health Non-Profit Focused On Community Based Peer Support

    Art in the Park
    May 23, 2018.  Out of Your Mind, a newly established non-profit organization, officially launched on Friday, May 18 at Jones House Cultural and Community Center in Boone, North Carolina. Out of Your Mind is a creative resource for mental health in the local community. Founded by local resident, Kat Dolan, Out of Your Mind will serve as a platform to combat social isolation through creative peer support and reframe mental illness as a mental opportunity. The launch was attended by over 60 members of the local community. Out of Your Mind offers donation based local events for those who live with mental opportunity and is also open to those who know someone who is suffering and want to understand how to better support them. Dolan began coordinating different events for locals in August 2017 and what started as weekly potlucks has evolved to two events per month, typically including a group hike and small business collaboration event. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, May 14 – May 21

    May 23, 2018. 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



  • 2018 Summer Reading Program at Western Watauga Library Kicks Off on June 8th


    May 23, 2018. Libraries are often the bridge between one school year and the next and we hope to connect, enrich, and support educational endeavors for youth over the summer. The Summer Reading 2018 program at the Watauga County Public Library and Western Watauga Branch Library encourage everyone to get rocking! This year’s theme is Libraries Rock. On Friday June 8th at 2pm at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone, we will have our kickoff for summer reading registration. There will be ice cream, facepainting, balloon art with Twist the Balloon Man, and other activities. Local musician Tommy Smith will also get folks moving with silly music and dance. This is a time for families to get together, visit the library, sign up for summer reading, and for youth to pick up their reading logs. To support our community and build family philanthropy, we are asking families to bring a canned good (peanut butter, cereal, etc.) to assist those in need; items will be donated to the Hunger & Health Coalition of Boone.  / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – May 22, 2018

    May 22, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • The Melanie Thomas Story: Discover the Heart Inside the Vault at the Cancer Center

    Art in the Park
    May 23, 2018.  Do you remember your high school superlative? Although we may not like to admit it, at one point in our lives we all shared a not-so-secret desire to be acknowledged by our peers in the school yearbook. Melanie Thomas, RT(R)(T), the clinical lead for the radiation oncology department at Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone, NC, was appropriately identified in the West Wilkes High School annual as Ms. Dependable.  / Read more…



  • Banner Elk’s Art on the Greene Kicks Off its 2018 Season This Weekend

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Art on the Greene, a popular art show held three times each year, kicks off its 2018 season this Saturday and Sunday (May 26-27) on the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk School. The show converts the green space in front of the school into an art gallery filled with works from local and regional artists. The Memorial Day weekend show is the first of three seasonal shows. The second show takes place July 7-8 and the third show is set for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-2. / Read more…



  • A Memorial Day Salute to Take Place on May 26 at Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Continuing a tradition started by its founder, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music once again presents its annual Memorial Day Salute to help welcome in the summer season in the High Country. This year’s concert, celebrating JSMHM’s 25th Anniversary Season, takes place on Saturday night, May 26th at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone and features the music of one of the hottest emerging young bluegrass bands in America, Cane Mill Road! The concert begins at 7:30pm and pays tribute to the real reason for Memorial Day – to honor the memory of all of those who died while serving our country in our armed forces. / Read more…



  • Watauga Volleyball Standout Taylor Walker Signs with Johnson & Wales University


    May 22, 2018. Watauga High School senior Taylor Walker made her college choice official on Friday afternoon, signing to play volleyball at Johnson & Wales Univeristy in Charlotte. Walker played a key role in Watauga’s success this season. The Pioneers finished the year with a 22-3 overall record and a perfect 14-0 record in the Northwest 3A/4A Conference. Watauga reached the third round of the 3A state playoffs before falling to Cox Mill, 3-1. Walker, a two-year varsity player, finished her senior year with 49 kills, 13 blocked shots and 23 digs. As a junior, she added 21 kills, 22 blocked shots and three serving aces. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Makes USA Today’s Top Ten Small Towns for Adventure


    May 22, 2018. For the second year in a row, readers of USA TODAY have voted Blowing Rock one of its 10 Best…this time in the category of Small Towns for Adventure. In 2017, Blowing Rock was third on the list of Best Southern Small Towns and this year it finished eighth in the nationwide adventure competition. Other 10 Best winners included Sedona, Arizona and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. / Read more…



  • 12th Annual Memorial Day Program at the Boone Mall on May 28

    Art in the Park
    May 22, 2018.  Memorial Day is more than a day off of work—it’s a holiday dedicated to honoring the military men and women who have served and are serving our country. On Monday, May 28, the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will sponsor the 12th Annual Memorial Day Program in tandem with the Boone Mall and the Watauga Community Band to celebrate our veterans and active military personnel. Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, became a national holiday in 1971 to honor those that have died while serving in the U.S. Military. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Deadpool 2’ Deserves All Success – Hopefully One of Many Sequels To Come

    deadpool2
    May 22, 2018 It has been two years since “Deadpool” turned the superhero movie genre on its head with its excessively crude fourth-wall-breaking humor. There had been R-rated comic book movies before, but none had achieved its level of success. Not only was it a huge hit financially (it is the second biggest R-rated movie of all time at the domestic box office and technically the biggest worldwide), but it scored major points in its acclaim, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, where it lost to “La La Land” in a ceremony where both that movie and “Moonlight” could win Best Picture in harmony. There was no way that kind of success would go unexploited, so here we have the first of what is sure to be many sequels in “Deadpool 2”. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Grand Opening of the Banner Elk Cafe’s Newest Addition Occurred Last Saturday


    May 22, 2018. The Banner Elk Café had its grand opening of its newest addition, the tavern, this past Saturday. Owners Les and Cindy Broussard invited several people to attend the ribbon cutting, including Banner Elk Mayor Brenda Lyerly, North Carolina Senator Deanna Ballard, and a few other important representatives of the high country. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Weekend Flooding Caused Widespread Problems in Avery County


    May 21, 2018. Heavy rains wrecked havoc on Avery County last weekend, causing flooding, mudslides and road closures. Four to seven inches of rain fell across the county Friday and into early Sunday morning. North Carolina Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Avery Fire Departments Coordinator Charlie Franklin. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the county were washed away and the heavy rains ripped large chucks out of various roadways. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • New River Water Intake Project to Receive Additional Funds for Water Treatment Plant Repairs

    May 21, 2018. The New River Water Intake project is nearing the finish line with the project currently sitting at 174 days remaining on the contract. At the May 17 Boone Town Council meeting, a request from the Harper Corporation to add in an additional $1,004,392 to the existing cost of the project was made. According to a letter presented by W.K. Dickson & Co., a consulting group for the project, the funds will go towards “repair and maintenance items at the town’s water treatment plant that have been deferred in the past.” The letter states that some of the various maintenance items consisted of lighting replacement, electrical component replacement, concrete repairs, painting, new equipment installation, roof replacements and overall site improvements. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Two Robbery Suspects Apprehended After Pursuit Ends with Suspects Crashing into a House


    May 21, 2018. On Thursday, May 17, at approximately 11:39 PM, Boone Police responded to a report of an armed robbery in the parking lot of 2575 Highway 105. The victim reported that a black male and a white female had accosted him with a knife and taken his wallet. The victim was acquainted with the suspects. The suspects fled the area in a gold colored Buick sedan. On Sunday, May 20, at approximately 2:50 PM, an off-duty Boone Police officer observed the suspects in the gold Buick at a business on Blowing Rock Road. A Boone Police officer attempted to stop the vehicle on Pride Drive. The driver refused to stop and fled across Boone Heights Drive onto State Farm Road. A brief chase ensued ending when the suspect vehicle struck a residence on Laurel Drive. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle. The female passenger was taken into custody after a short foot chase. The male driver was able to escape into the woods. Boone officers, assisted by a Watauga Sheriff’s K9, located the male suspect hiding in a culvert near State Farm Road and Berkley Avenue. The male driver was taken into custody without incident. / Read more…



  • Flooding Causes Numerous Road Closures; U.S. Highway 221 in Avery County Remains Closed


    May 21, 2018. Last week’s floods brought lots of traffic headaches to areas in the High Country with several road closures from rising waters and mudslides. Bamboo Road near the airport, Deerfield Road next to the golf course and Water Street were all closed at some point on Friday. Heavy rains started falling early Friday morning, causing problems along Blowing Rock Road with high water in front of the Holmes Convocation Center and Hardee’s that impacted the morning commute. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Art in the Park Returns for its 56th Year: A Historic Tradition

    Art in the Park
    May 21, 2018.  Celebrate 56 years of Art in the Park with its return for the summer this Saturday, May 26 in downtown Blowing Rock. This showcase, hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, features local and regional artisans and was originally started in 1962 by a handful of artists. Art in the Park has since grown to encompass nearly one hundred artists from the area working in a variety of mediums. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage to Host “Friend Raiser” on June 2, Free Food and Backstage Tours!


    May 21, 2018. Ensemble Stage will be hosting a “Friend Raiser” on June 2 at 1 p.m. This event is not to raise money for the theatre, but rather to raise awareness and familiarity about the theatre. The event will take place in the courtyard of the Historic Banner Elk School, and free food will be provided, including hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, beer and wine. The staff will also be taking guests on a tour of the rehearsal room and backstage By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Entertaining Music Series FORUM at Lees-McRae College Kicks Off on June 18

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 21, 2018.  Lees-McRae College’s FORUM 2018 Season performances all begin at 7 p.m. at Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m. FORUM was organized in 1979 by a small group of summer residents for the purpose of bringing a stimulating series of cultural programs to the area. With the help of Lees-McRae College, one of the region’s most important resources, FORUM has grown significantly and embarks on its 39th year of providing both cultural enrichment and wholesome entertainment to the community.”  By Hailey Blevins / 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



  • Colorful 36th Spring Group Exhibition at Carlton Gallery with Artists’ Reception on May 26


    May 21, 2018. Carlton Gallery celebrates 36 years with its colorful Spring Group Exhibition on Saturday, May 26 with an Artists’ Reception from 2 to 5 pm. Some of the gallery’s standing artists plan to attend to meet visitors and patrons which affords one the opportunity to enjoy a spring afternoon filled with wonderful ART in Paintings, Glass, Sculpture, Wood, Clay, Fiber and Jewelry. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and this exhibition is without charge. The gallery is filled with new work in abstracted landscapes by Andrew Braitman and Kate Worm; traditional landscapes by Kevin Beck, Egidio Antonaccio, Sharon Rusch Shaver and Freeman Beard; flora and fauna by Trena McNabb and Marion Cloaninger; trees, leaves and florals by Debbie Arnold and Tonya Bottomley; cityscapes and florals by Gina Strumpf; acrylic calligraphic paintings with Chinese ink by Michael Grady; still life by Mary Martha McKinley; acrylic, mixed media outsider art by Mike Ham, along with 3-dimensional clay sculpture by Marty Allran.” / Read more…



  • Saddlebreds Receive Show of the Year Award; National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Recognizes Blowing Rock


    May 21, 2018. For the fifth time in eight years, the Twelfth Chapter of the United Professional Horsemen has selected Blowing Rock as the chapter’s Best Show. The annual award is chosen by a vote of chapter members. To have earned this distinction for so many years is evidence of the affection and appreciation Saddlebred exhibitors hold for this venerable event. In 2018, Alice Brinkley, a long- time exhibitor and volunteer for the Saddlebred show, is serving her first year as Show Chair. On hearing of the Best Show Award she said, “We appreciate the support, time, and energy the village gives the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show.  We are grateful to the many families who have supported this special show for decades.  We are proud to have earned this recognition and look forward to providing a family focused way to celebrate our beautiful horses for many years to come.” / Read more…



  • Flooding, Mudslides Prevalent in Avery County

    May 19, 2018. The National Weather Service reports there has been serious flooding in Avery County after 4 to 6 inches of rain fell Friday evening and overnight into Saturday, with up to two more inches projected to fall Saturday night. There also have been various reports of mudslides in the county. Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Watauga County 911. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the area have been washed away and the heavy rains tore large chucks out of some roadways. Avery County Emergency personnel responded to numerous calls Friday night into Saturday morning due to the inclement weather. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • RaysWeather.com Announces 2019 Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar Photo Winners


    May 18, 2018. The photos that will fill the 2019 version of the RaysWeather.com Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar have been decided with the cover photo winner belonging to area photographer Johnny Davison. Ray Russell, owner and operator of RaysWeather.com, says they’ve been printing the calendar for about 15 years, long enough to forget what the exact date was of the first edition. The calendar features the best shots from places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A portion of the money is donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, headquartered in Asheville. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stages Presents Four New Performances for its Summer Season

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. . Gary Smith and Lisa Lamont, the artistic director and managing director for Ensemble Stage, are excited to present four astounding new plays this summer, including a suspense thriller, two comedies, and a drama. When asked which summer performance he was most excited for, Smith said, “Asking a director to pick a favorite show he’s going to be working on is like asking a parent ‘Who’s your favorite kid?’.”  By Elly Murray / Read more…



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