High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC: Coordinating the Emergency Food Response in Watauga County

    April 3, 2020  In response to the recent public health threat, the High Country community is coming together like never before to ensure every individual and family have the resources needed to supply their basic needs. Part of this work is remembering and recognizing programs and organizations that are in-place to support emergency food. “We have a vibrant, adapting emergency food system in the High Country that is prepared and ready to meet the needs of the community, but they cannot do it alone,” explains Amanda Hege with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. “The key to success is collaboration and coordination on all levels.” Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is the primary source of food for a network of more than 470 local food assistance programs (pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and meals programs for children and seniors) throughout 18 counties in Northwest North Carolina, including Casting Bread Ministries, First Baptist Church Boone, Greenway Baptist, Hospitality House, and the Hunger and Health Coalition in Watauga County. / Read more…



  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Seeks Donations of Hand Sanitizer


    April 3, 2020 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is seeking donations of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. “Our normal suppliers are not able to keep up with the demand and have canceled the orders we placed previously,” said Rob Hudspeth, Sr. Vice President. Businesses or individuals with extra hand sanitizer are asked to help. We will gladly accept gifts of any size or container of hand sanitizer, including travel size bottles and spray pens. Donations must be alcohol-based, not homemade, and contain at least 60% alcohol. If you have hand sanitizer to donate, please bring it to the security checkpoint at Watauga Medical Center or the front entrance at Cannon Memorial Hospital. If you have questions, please contact Brian Whitfield at [email protected] or 828-262-9105. / Read more…



  • Unemployment Claims Continue to Skyrocket; North Carolina has had Over 350,000 claims since March 16


    April 3, 2020 While everyone is worried about their health, and rightfully so, how people are going to bounce back to normal when this COVID-19 pandemic ends is going to be a worry for millions of people across the country that have lost their jobs either temporarily or permanently. In North Carolina, a total of 20,710 people file unemployment claims on Wednesday alone, which brings the total in North Carolina to 353,480 since March 16. New data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center shows the percentage of each county’s working population whose jobs are in an at-risk industry. According to the data, Watauga County has 38 percent of its working population in an at-risk profession. 19 percent of those jobs are in the accommodations and foodservice industry, 16 percent are in the retail trade industry and three percent are in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Announcing the “Rock United Relief Fund” to Help Small Businesses

    April 3, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Charlie Sellers – Mayor, Blowing Rock / As difficult and frightening as the COVID-19 virus is to all of us as individuals, it is even more so to the restaurants, hotels, retailers and other small businesses at the heart and core of Blowing Rock. The future and vibrancy of our wonderful Village is dependent upon the continued success and ongoing operation of these small businesses, especially those in the travel and leisure business. Hopefully we as individuals will survive this crisis, but the survival of our small businesses is increasingly at risk as the COVID-19 economic shutdown continues. As a community, there is a growing realization that we must do something to help our small businesses through this unprecedented and difficult time. To this end, I am pleased to announce the creation by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce of the “Rock United Relief Fund”, dedicated solely to helping our small businesses survive. Read more…



  • Chief Justice Beasley Issues Order Postponing Court Proceedings Until June 1, 2020

    April 3, 2020 “Judicial officials and court personnel statewide are going above and beyond to serve the public during this health emergency,” said Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. “My number one priority is to protect them and the public by limiting gatherings and foot traffic in our county courthouses, while making sure our courts stay available to serve the public.” The April 2 order follows Governor Roy Cooper issuance of Executive Order 121 on March 27, 2020, directing all individuals in the state to stay in their place of residence subject to limited exceptions. North Carolina’s courts are a critical government function and are therefore exempt from the Order. Nevertheless, the courts are directed, to the extent practicable, to maintain social distancing requirements, including “facilitating online or remote access by customers if possible.” / Read more…



  • Gas Prices Continue to Tumble Across North Carolina and the Rest of the Country


    April 3, 2020 The price for a gallon of gas in the High Country is at or below the state average of $1.84 per gallon, according to gas prices from the app GasBuddy. The lowest price in Boone resides at Gastown on Hardin Street where the price if $1.79 a gallon for regular. At the Exxon on Blowing Rock Road and the Carolina Petro on Blowing Rock Road, gas is $1.81 per gallon. The Mobil Circle K stores on Highway 105, King Street and Blowing Rock road have their prices set at $1.85 per gallon. The Speedway locations on Highway 105, Blowing Rock Road and King Street are also showing a price of $1.85 per gallon. In Ashe County, the prices are still a bit above the state average. Backyard Convenience on South Jefferson Avenue in West Jefferson has the lowest price at $1.90 per gallon. Murphy USA at Walmart has a price of $1.91 per gallon. Valero, Ingles, Quality Plus and Speedway in West Jefferson are all charging $1.95 per gallon for regular.By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • COVID-19 Testing Update from AppHealthCare; Over 200 Tests Collected in Watauga County

    April 3, 2020 Testing numbers continue to creep up in each of the three counties that AppHealthCare provides information more. As of Thursday, a total of 222 COVID-19 tests have been collected inside Watauga County with 69 of those tests from AppHealthCare and 153 of those from other agencies. Only one test was collected on Thursday. In Ashe County, 31 tests have been conducted and they had their first positive test announced on Friday morning. AppHealthCare administered five of those 31 tests. In Alleghany County, they have had two positive tests out of 22 tests conducted. AppHealthCare collected five of those samples while 17 samples came from outside agencies. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae May School of Nursing and Health Sciences Donates Medical Supplies to Several High Country Medical Centers

    April 3, 2020 Faculty from the Lees-McRae May School of Nursing and Health Sciences (MSONHS) pooled together extra supplies from the Hart Simulation Lab to donate to several High Country medical centers. “As COVID-19 started marching across the world, [Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences] Dr. Kimberly Priode directed the faculty to start thinking about what supplies we could donate to our clinical partners,” Assistant Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences Dr. Teresa Darnall said. The supplies—which included surgical masks with face shields, infectious disease kits, molded masks, both sterile and non-sterile gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and fluid-impervious gowns—were donated to the Toe River Health District. The district is currently on the front lines for the testing and monitoring of COVID-19 in three Western North Carolina counties—Yancey, Mitchell, and Avery. / Read more…



  • Ashe County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19; Was in Close Contact to Someone with Known Travel History

    April 3, 2020 An Ashe County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This is the first positive case in Ashe County. This case was a close contact to someone with known travel history and is recovering at home. The local health department staff have identified close contacts, who have been in quarantine. “We have been preparing should we see a positive case of COVID-19 in Ashe County. Now that we have a positive case, we will continue to work diligently to protect the public’s health. It is our top priority, and we will work to keep the community informed,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare. AppHealthCare is working closely with local partners and agencies to ensure the public’s health is protected and precautions are being taken to protect all residents of Ashe County. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Announces Campus Operation Updates, Campus Closed to the Public

    April 3, 2020 Following the Stay at Home executive order issued by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper Friday, March 27, Lees-McRae College has made several key updates to campus operations. All in-person classes, both on the main campus in Banner Elk and those held at Surry Community College, will take place remotely for the remainder for the spring semester. Students will continue to receive information from their respective instructors through the learning management system. For the safety of both the employees and the local community, campus is closed to the public, including the Mill Pond and the Athletic Complex and fields. Campus will be monitored regularly by college security. / Read more…



  • NFIB Survey: Coronavirus Impact on Small Businesses; 92% of Small Employers Impacted Negatively by Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus

    April 3, 2020 The NFIB Research Center released the following data today on the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses: The NFIB Research Center’s latest survey on the current impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on small business shows continued deterioration of the small business sector. The severity of the outbreak and regulatory measures that cities and states are taking to control it are having a devastating impact on small businesses.  Currently, 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a continued escalation from 76% of small employers reporting negative impacts 10 days earlier. About 3% are positively impacted. These firms are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services. This will likely ease in the coming weeks as consumers feel more secure about their personal supply levels. / Read more…



  • COVID-19 Economic Payment Relief Scams

    April 3, 2020 Watch out for scammers attempting to steal your COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) Economic Impact Payments, is the warring issued today by U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray and Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) in Charlotte. “We continue to warn the public about scammers taking advantage of the Coronavirus crisis to line their own pockets. With economic relief payments soon on the way, scammers will get even more aggressive and more creative to get their hands on your money. Remain vigilant and warn your friends and family about COVID-19 scams. Also, do your part in helping us catch scammers and report suspected fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “I urge the public not to fall victim to fraudsters attempting to steal Economic Impact Payments being sent out. The IRS will not call, text, email or otherwise contact you to ask for your information. This money is meant for you. Don’t fall victim to scammers,” said Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-CI, Charlotte Field Office. / Read more…



  • Ways the Community Can Help in the COVID-19 Response Including Donation Needs


    April 3, 2020 There are ways you can help your fellow community members from afar and while practicing social distancing. The following list includes resources, donation and volunteer needs in Watauga County but this list is certainly not inclusive of all needs. We know as this situation changes in our community, the needs will also change. There are many ways you can help our community during this time.The NC Department of Health and Human Services, AppHealthCare and local agencies are urging people to cooperate with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order to stay home except for essential trips, practice social distancing and good hygiene like handwashing and covering your cough or sneeze. It is critical to keep in mind that during this challenging time of responding to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) public health crisis, following the guidance to stay home as much as possible is the most important mitigation measure the community can take. This situation is affecting each person in our community in different ways, and we are all experiencing disruptions to our normal schedule. / Read more…



  • Final Guidance Issued to Banks on Paycheck Protection Program Explained Here

    April 3, 2020 As we continue to face the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), North Carolina banks are prioritizing the health and well-being of their employees, customers and the communities in which they serve. Banks are taking precautionary measures, while still providing much needed financial services for North Carolina consumers and businesses. North Carolina banks have already implemented loan payment deferrals, loan modifications, fee waivers and many other measures to help their customers through these difficult times. Banks are tailoring their financial assistance for each customer based on their own unique situation. With the enactment of the CARES Act, Congress gave banks an additional tool to utilize in the effort to aid small businesses in urgent need of assistance because of the pandemic. Limited guidance has been provided by the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury since the passage of the CARES Act, and banks have had to wait for final instructions from Washington, D.C. in order to develop the processes necessary to make loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).: / Read more…



  • Blue Ridge Parkway Announces Additional Modifications to Operations with New Closures To Implement Local Health Guidance

    April 2, 2020 Blue Ridge Parkway managers, in response to county and state health guidance in North Carolina and Virginia, announced today additional modifications of planned seasonal facility openings to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to previously announced closures, the following services and operations, originally scheduled to open between now and May 1, 2020, are now postponed until further notice: / Read more…



  • Avery County Government Orders Citizens and Visitors for Overnight Stays to Self-Quarantine for 14 Days; Extends time on Short-Term Rentals

    April 2, 2020 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a looming threat to the health and safety of the people of Avery County.  Avery County Government continues to be proactive in taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of the disease through all appropriate means. Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m., all residents and non-residents of Avery County arriving for overnight stays are ordered, while present in the County, to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or 7 days after symptoms have resolved, whichever time period is longer, if arrival was preceded by overnights outside the County.  The only exceptions to this provision are the commuting “essential” workforce and emergency response responders and workers as coordinated through the Avery County Office of Emergency Management, the Avery County Emergency Management Director, the Toe River Health Department Director, and/or the Avery County Sheriff and their designees. / Read more…



  • Gov. Cooper’s Order Helps Protect Families from Public Service Utility Shutoffs During Pandemic

    April 2, 2020 On March 31, Governor Roy Cooper announced an order directing all electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities operating in the state to suspend service shutoffs, late payment fees, and reconnection fees to assist families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, nearly 30 public interest organizations sent a letter to Gov. Cooper calling on him to take immediate action to protect North Carolinians by taking these kinds of measures to halt shutoffs of critical utility services during the crisis. / Read more…



  • Over 7,300 Meals Distributed on the First #KeepBooneHealthy Takeout Tuesday

    April 2, 2020 A collection of 17 local restaurants and food distributors distributed a reported 7,326 meals during the first #KeepBooneHealthy Takeout Tuesday, held on March 31st. The effort was designed to encourage area residents to support local restaurants and food distribution programs during the COVID-19 crisis, while also complying with the directives listed in the State of North Carolina Stay-At-Home order. Customers placed orders with local restaurants, utilized curbside, takeout, and delivery options, and enjoyed their meal in the confines of their home. Customers posted pictures of meals across various social media platforms and tagged posts with the name of the restaurant and the #KeepBooneHealthy hashtag. The community count was generated from the reporting of total meals served from 16 area restaurants and the Watauga County Schools meal distribution program. / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell’s April 1st Newsletter on Coronavirus Updates, Announcements and Info

    April 2, 2020 Across the United States, as of Wednesday evening, April 1, the number of people who are confirmed to have coronavirus is 214,639. Of those, 5099 people have died. The number of people with the virus and the number of deaths continue to grow at an exponential rate, doubling every 2.5 to 3 days. I have been asked, “How many people have recovered?” I know of no accurate data on that point. We know that over 95% of people with the virus recover, most within 2 weeks. If recovery were the issue, we would not be in the mess we’re in. The issue is how many hospitalizations, ICU visits, and deaths occur. In North Carolina the number of people who are confirmed to have coronavirus is 1717. Currently, 209 people are hospitalized with coronavirus. Sadly, 15 North Carolinians have died from coronavirus.. / Read more…



  • Second Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Mitchell County on April 1st

    April 2, 2020 The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District which encompasses Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, was notified at 3:45 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 1st, that a second Mitchell resident has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is in isolation, according to health department officials. It is Mitchell County’s second confirmed case of COVID-19. Mitchell public health staff have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy and for legal purposes, no further information about the case will be released according to the TRHD. / Read more…



  • How Towns Within Watauga County Are Communicating and Working Together During Stay-At-Home Order

    April 1, 2020 Town, county, and state governments have to work together during this scary time, as all three are responsible for their citizens taking the most precautions to limit and hopefully eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here in Watauga County, there is a daily conference call between AppHealthCare, Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque, Boone Town Manager John Ward, Blowing Rock Town Manage Shane Fox and Seven Devils Town Manager Debbie Powers to discuss changes and additional news in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Decisions for each town are left up to the mayor or town manager during the state of emergency. Town councils can weigh in on the issues, but there is no official vote taken on any town measures. “We are trying our best to follow the proper protocol and not make decisions that would adversely affect citizens and business owners,” said Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers. “We’re just trying to make decisions that are best suited for everyone’s health, safety, and awareness.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Additional Case of COVID-19 Identified in Watauga County; Again Travel Related, Bringing Total to 7

    April 1, 2020 An additional Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) which brings the total positive cases of COVID-19 in Watauga County to 7 among residents of the County. This case had travel history and is recovering. The local health department staff have identified close contacts, who have been quarantined. People should stay home to the greatest extent possible, practice social distancing and prevention measures like washing your hands, covering your cough and sneeze, and staying home if you are sick. In general, following Governor Cooper’s Executive Order and the Watauga County State of Emergency is critically important during this time of limiting the spread of the virus.. / Read more…



  • Sen. Gunn, Association of ABC Boards Push for Liquor Buyback Program for Restaurants and Bars

    April 1, 2020 Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) and the North Carolina Association of ABC Boards today pushed for bars and restaurants to be permitted to sell their alcohol back to ABC stores. Sen. Gunn said, “This program would help struggling bar and restaurant owners raise needed cash to withstand the economic shutdown. This is the hardest hit sector in our economy, and this is a simple step we can take now to help deliver some relief.” Miles Davis, President of the NC Association of ABC Boards, said, “During this time of crisis all North Carolinians must do what we can to help our friends and neighbors in need. As a vital part of communities across North Carolina, the North Carolina Association of ABC Boards’ Board of Directors unanimously voted today to ask all local ABC Boards implement a mixed beverage permittee buyback policy due to the hardship that mixed beverage permittees are experiencing due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Governor’s subsequent Executive Order #118.” / Read more…



  • April 1 Update From NC Senator Jeff Jackson from District 37 – Mecklenburg; About Testing, U.S. Corps of Engineers and Unemployment

    April 1, 2020 CURRENT STATS (as of 4/1 at 2:00 p.m.) 1,600+ cases / 26,000+ tests completed / 200+ hospitalizations / 10 deaths / NC has roughly 2,800 ventilators (more on the way) with 2,100 currently available. The bend at the top may be encouraging, but it’s based on only half the day’s worth of new cases. “HOW BAD WILL THIS BE IN NC?” That’s the big question. There’s a new estimate of how this is likely to go in NC and I want to share it with you – not because I’m certain it’s completely accurate, but because it’s the best effort that’s been made public and it gives us at least a sense of what we’re in for. / Read more…



  • Sharing a Smile in Uncertain Times: Teddy Bear Hunt Hits the High Country


    April 1, 2020 It’s hard to imagine having children at home with not much to do and nowhere to go. The High Country Teddy Bear Hunt is working steadily on changing that. A group of creative moms has come together to reach out to homeowners and business owners to see if they have any interest in putting a teddy bear at their front door, in the windows or somewhere around the house for children to spot from the safety of their parent’s vehicle. Ashoff, who has three sons of her own, says that her own children were part of her inspiration to start this bear hunt in the High Country. “We have heard of this happening in other places. My sister’s town did it so I thought it would be a fun thing to do in the High Country,” Ashoff said. “I talked to some mom friends and everybody got on board, so we started a Facebook page and I’m hoping it will catch on and more people will get involved.” Several homeowners have already gotten their teddy bears out and two local businesses, Krispy Kreme and Arby’s, both had their teddy bears up in the window on Wednesday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Current State of the 2020 Census in North Carolina on National 2020 Census Day – April 1st


    March 31, 2020 The Census happens once every decade with the mission of counting every person living in the United States once, only once and in the right place. The 2020 Census is a huge opportunity for North Carolina, especially because North Carolina’s population has increased by 10 percent since 2010. North Carolina is now the ninth most populated state, the fifth fastest growing state by numeric growth and the 10th fastest growing state by percent. To add to the already existing challenges of counting communities, the 2020 Census operation started for North Carolina amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Coronavirus is disrupting most of NC Counts Coalition’s education and outreach program for the Census,” said Stacey Carless, Executive Director of NC Counts Coalition. “Our programs are based on data, touches and relationships. It is about using data to determine where to target outreach, and then going into the communities highlighted by the data to build relationships with community members and educate and engage them for 2020 Census participation. Our organization and our partners are having to pivot and utilize other tactics, such as online and digital outreach and phone banks.” / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – March 19-25: 33 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $8,591,000.00

    April 1, 2020. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Wakes Up to a Snowy White Scene on this April 1st April Fool’s Day


    April 1, 2020 Beech Mountain residents were greeted with a nice wintry landscape to open the month of April. Snow fell across Beech Mountain overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing and yesterday’s rainfall quickly turned to snow. According to Fred Pfohl, owner of Fred’s General Mercantile, Beech Mountain got about an inch of snow overnight and saw some snowflakes falling yesterday as well. “The town started using salt on paved streets within the town. The roads seem fine,” Pfohl said. Those driving to or from Beech Mountain should be cautious just in case there are some slick spots left on the roads as temperatures will not warm up until later this afternoon. If you are out and about, drop in at Fred’s General Mercantile and say hello as they are staying open and trying to make it through the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Celebrating April As Month of the Young Child


    April 1, 2020. April 1 has long been considered April Fool’s Day, a fun day to play innocent tricks on family and friends. I feel quite sure, and hope it’s the case, anyway, that these shenanigans will still take place today — probably on overload! We have to do our best to try to maintain a normalcy (or even better!) within our homes, as difficult as it might seem. April 1 also signals the beginning of a special month to celebrate children, and that’s also something we need to do as much as possible — every day! Those precious “littles’ can’t help what’s happening all around them. They rely on us adults for the reassurance and security they need to get through these uncertain times. We need to try hard not to feed into their fears. While being as honest and open as we can be with them, let’s try to alleviate added stress in their little lives. Sadly, those special events and observances that are usually scheduled in April for “Month of the Young Child” are on hold, as most everything is for all of us. But, let’s not miss the opportunity to make this as pleasant for our children and grandchildren as we can. As part of the month-long focus, April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. Try to keep the disagreements at a minimum, overlook some of those pesky habits of your family members that usually drive you up a wall. Look for the good in each other. We can usually discover that for which we are searching! By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, March 23 – March 29

    April 1, 2020. 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



  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Announces Inaugural Class of Medical Residents

    April 1, 2020 The third Friday of each March is known as Match Day in the medical school community. Match Day culminates a long process which “matches” soon to be medical school graduates with programs offering residency training. This year, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) was a part of Match Day as they prepare to welcome the inaugural class of medical residents to the new Boone Rural Family Medicine Residency Program that begins in June. Molly Benedum, M.D., Director of the Boone Rural Family Medicine Residency Program commented: “We are enormously excited to welcome the first class of residents whom we are especially pleased are all from North Carolina. Their interest in our program indicates their strong commitment to spending their careers meeting the primary healthcare needs of communities across the state. We look forward to what they will accomplish in the years to come and to welcoming them to the High Country this summer.” / Read more…



  • Hospitality House Food Pantry has New Hours Beginning Today, April 1


    April 1, 2020 Effective April 1, the Hospitality House Food Pantry hours will shift to 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. daily. This change temporarily eliminates the morning hours and adds an additional hour to the afternoon. The Hospitality House Food Pantry will continue to operate as the only local food pantry providing food boxes seven days a week. Hospitality House executive director Tina B. Krause states,” As we continue to balance the needs of High Country families, students and individuals facing homelessness and food insecurity with the reality of operating a 24-hour-a-day agency during a pandemic, we needed to make these adjustments.” Regarding COVID-19, Krause remains in consistent communication with AppHealthCare and the agency continues to follow the county-wide protocols put in place by them. Hospitality House continues to follow the lead and directives of AppHealthCare and Governor Roy Cooper as they come. It is important to note that no one staying at Hospitality House has tested positive for COVID-19. / Read more…



  • Two More Cases of COVID-19 Identified in Watauga

    March 31, 2020 Additional positive cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) have been identified for Watauga County.  A Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 which brings the total positive cases of COVID-19 in Watauga County to 6. This case had travel history and contact investigation is underway. In addition to the sixth Watauga resident, there is an additional case of a person whose primary residence is outside the area that has been identified, which is currently in isolation in Watauga County. Public health staff have identified the close contacts, who have been in quarantine. / Read more…



  • Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market Returns on Saturday, April 4th at Daniel Boone Park


    March 31, 2020 Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market, powered by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, returns to Boone this Saturday, April 4th after several weeks due to COVID-19. Operating from 9-12 PM, Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market offers fresh, healthy food for the High Country community. “Farmers’ markets are essential ways for our community to access local food. After several weeks of working with our partners across our region, the Town of Boone, and the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture developed new protocols that will ensure that farmers, consumers, and our community are supported during this pandemic,” says Dave Walker, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s Development Director. Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market — in an outdoor setting — will look different from the typical Winter Farmers’ Market, but it will still have flavorful and nutrient-dense local foods available. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 31, 2020

    March 31, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



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