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Watauga capitalizes after South Caldwell turnovers, 56-7

September 30, 2022 HUDSON, N.C. — Turnovers can define momentum in football. Watauga took advantage of five miscues by South Caldwell — in just the first half — on Sept. 29, the Pioneers storming to a decisive, 56-7 win in the opening game of Northwestern Conference play By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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AMOREM Welcomes Director of Development, Jake Benfield

September 30, 2022 VALDESE, NC – AMOREM welcomes Jake Benfield as its new director of development. “We are thrilled to have Jake join AMOREM,” said Kerri McFalls, vice president of community engagement for AMOREM. “Jake recently completed his internship with AMOREM as a student with Appalachian State University. We knew right away that we wanted to retain him. He brings energy, enthusiasm and passion for AMOREM’s mission. Jake is a valuable resource not only to AMOREM but to those that we serve.”

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Feeding Avery Families Gives Half Million Pounds of Good and Expands to Meet Needs

September 30, 2022 NEWLAND, NC – It’s been a busy year at Feeding Avery Families as they expand initiatives and space to help eliminate hunger in Avery County. During the past 12 months, the non-profit provided more than half a million pounds of groceries, produce, bread and frozen meats at no cost to thousands of local families in need. Their much larger operations center in Newland should be completed by year’s end.

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Town of Newland’s Fall Festival Rescheduled; Moved to Saturday, October 8th

September 29, 2022 The Town of Newland’s Annual Fall Festival, originally to be held Saturday, October 1st, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 8th due to predicted heavy rain, possible flooding and powerful winds in the town and region this weekend from Hurricane Ian. With guidance from Avery County’s Emergency Management Department, Newland town officials believe the date change is necessary because of potential dangers from the hurricane. By Tim Gardner

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Toe River Health District Director Warns of Possible Coronavirus Surge This Fall and Winter, But Believes Disease Should Be Less Severe Than the Past Two Years


September 29, 2022. Whatever you may be doing to transition to the fall and winter, health experts say you may also want to brace yourself for another possible surge of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic. It was first identified from an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of China and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020 and a pandemic on March 11, 2020. As of September, 27 2022, the pandemic has had 615 million cases and 6.53 million confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history. Medical experts warn there could potentially be 100 million new infections world-wide and hundreds or thousands more in the High Country this fall and winter. By Tim Gardner

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Avery County Manager Declares County’s Government’s “By The Numbers” Reflects Stellar Service Provided to its Citizens

September 29, 2022 Avery County Government’s service to its citizens “By The Numbers” from the last fiscal year of 2021-2002 were released this week by County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.  They are the most current county government service numbers, which are updated yearly. Barrier. Jr. said they aptly and accurately reflect the county’s “commitment to its citizens to ensure excellent service and a high quality of life to them.” The service numbers include… By Tim Gardner

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Pumpkin Spice, So Nice – and It’s Everywhere!


September 29, 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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Time for Beech Mountain’s FALL Farmers Market!

September 29, 2022 It’s FALL Ya’ll!  The Town of Beech Mountain will be holding its Fall Farmers Market on Friday, October 7th, 2pm to 6pm, at the paved parking lot across from Fred’s General Mercantile. In addition to fresh organic produce there will be vendors with honey, baked goods, cut flowers, plants, hemp products, gourmet dog treats, farm raised beef, poultry, eggs and a wide assortment of fabulous fall favorites!

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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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Blowing Rock volleyball topples Bethel, 2-0

September 28, 2022 BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — It was 8th Grader Night at Blowing Rock School for the Rockets’ volleyball duel against Bethel. The home team celebrated with a 2-0 sweep over the team from western Watauga County, 25-9, 25-18. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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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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Watauga volleyball sweeps Freedom, 3-0

September 27, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — Caroline Farthing’s 16 kills and fellow senior Brooke Scheffler’s 12 kills and 18 assists helped host Watauga to a dominant, 3-0 women’s volleyball sweep over visiting Morganton-Freedom on Sept. 26, 25-7, 25-11, 25-4, at Lentz Eggers Gym. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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Attacking Watauga “takes” 1-0 OT win in conference opener vs. South Caldwell

September 27, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — A barrage of second half shots on goal by Watauga were rewarded by the most unlikely of outcomes: an “own goal” scored when the South Caldwell goalkeeper whiffed on a clearing kick. It was the only score in the Pioneers’ 1-0 overtime win over the visiting South Caldwell Spartans. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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Watauga MS golfers capture Oakwoods CC event

September 27, 2022 WILKESBORO, N.C. — Competing against four Wilkes County middle schools and one from Ashe County at Oakwoods Country Club, Watauga’s middle school golf team captured another tournament on Sept. 26. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net

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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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