High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Public Health Alert: Confirmed Cases of Foodborne Illness From Barbecue Fundraiser on Friday

    July 20, 2019. Health officials urge individuals who have eaten or purchased food from the Masonic Snow Lodge fundraiser Barbecue held Friday, July 19th at 240 Temple Dr, Boone, NC 28607, to monitor for any gastrointestinal symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. There have been eight laboratory confirmed cases of a foodborne illness and a number of others who have presented with similar symptoms of gastrointestinal complaints who all ate at the Barbecue fundraiser.  “We do not have a confirmed source of the illness but are actively conducting a thorough investigation to determine it with support from the NC Division of Public Health, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Watauga County Emergency Management and the Masonic Lodge.  Any purchased food should be thrown away and not eaten since there is a risk it could be contaminated,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director. / Read more…



  • Twenty-Six Candidates From Avery County File For Municipal Government Seats

    July 19, 2019. City, township and village municipal government seat filings concluded at 12:00 Noon today (Friday, July 19) and a total of twenty-six (26) candidates filed for office in Avery County. Filing began on Friday, July 5 for statewide municipal offices. Seats will be open for some Mayor and Town Council seats in the following Avery townships: Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Village of Sugar Mountain, Village of Grandfather, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Municipal Election Filing Period Ends; 19 Candidates File For Office in Watauga County

    July 19, 2019. The filing period for anyone interested in running for town offices in Boone, Beech Mountain, Blowing Rock, and Seven Devils came to an end at noon on Friday with a total of 19 people hoping to be elected this November. Starting in Blowing Rock, Mayor Charlie Sellers will run unopposed after no other candidates filed. On the Blowing Rock Town Council, incumbents Jim Steele and Albert Yount both filed to run again this year. David Harwood, who filed on July 12 and Ray Pickett who filed on July 17 will challenge them for council seats. The Boone Town Council will have a different look next year as two incumbents, Marshall Ashcraft and Lynne Mason, chose not to seek re-election. Incumbent Loretta Clawson filed for re-election on July 5. Three others have filed to run for council seats: Virginia Roseman, who also filed on July 5, Nancy LaPlaca, who filed on July 15 and Dustin Hicks, who filed on July 17. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Councilwoman Lynne Mason Will Not Seek Re-Election For Boone Town Council Seat


    July 19, 2019. Longtime Boone Town Council member Lynne Mason has decided that after 19 years, it’s time to pass the torch on to another generation of council members. Mason, who is the owner of Lost Province Brewing in downtown Boone, shared this decision with the town council on Thursday night and took the time to speak to the High Country Press about her decision. “It came down to other priorities in my life, including my five wonderful grandsons,” said Mason. “The business also takes so much time and recently the town council has had so many meetings, I just could not juggle it all. It’s about balancing my personal, family and work life.” Mason has been a part of so many decisions and accomplishments that have helped make the town of Boone the bustling mountain town that it has become. In her letter, Mason mentioned several of the items of progress she was a part of, including the New River Water Intake, purchasing the Appalachian Theatre until a non-profit could later preserve the historic building, renovating the downtown Boone post office and the upcoming Howard Street Project. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Purveyors of Art and Design Materials Celebrates 30 Years in Business with Open House July 27


    July 19, 2019. On July 1st, Purveyors of Art & Design Materials, now located at 112 Aldridge Park on Highway 105 South, celebrated their 30th anniversary. Originally launched as an art supply house primarily serving Appalachian State University students. Over the years, owner Mike Hill has morphed the company into a true soup-to-nuts art business. In 2008 he relocated all these various enterprises into one location that is equivalent distant from Boone and Banner Elk and boasts a killer view of Grandfather Mountain. A celebration and open house will be held on Saturday July 27 from 1-4 pm. Art materials will be on sale 40% off, demos, client encounters and libations will be available. / Read more…



  • Boone Woman, Linda Shoemake, Publishes Book of Poetry, “Rhymes for My Reasons”


    July 19, 2019. Linda Shoemake of Boone has released her first book of poetry — “Rhymes for My Reasons,” which includes not only a lifetime of heartfelt, inspired poems, but also photo illustrations that help to tell her story. With a hidden talent for writing that has just recently surfaced in the public eye, Shoemake is perhaps best known for having spent 40 years locally in the banking industry, retiring from Wells Fargo Bank in 2014.For more than 30 years, Shoemake also taught the Senior Adult Women’s Sunday School class at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, which she referred to as one of her life’s greatest delights. Her love for poetry goes back many years, she shared, recalling how, as a child, she began writing poems and tucking them away in a drawer. / Read more…



  • Hapner Dominates Women’s Scottish Athletics at 64th Grandfather Games


    July 18, 2019. To her students, she’s known as Ms. Hapner, but in the 64th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, she’s in a class of her own. Elissa Hapner, an elementary school teacher from Aurora, Illinois, schooled the competition in this year’s women’s Scottish athletic events. Hapner won the 14-pound weight (thrown for distance), the sheaf (thrown for height) and the 28-pound weight (thrown for height). She placed second in the clachneart (eight-pound stone for distance), the 28-pound weight (thrown for distance), the 12-pound hammer throw and third in the caber toss. This was Hapner’s first time at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. “I love it,” Hapner said of the Games. “Yeah, it’s great and has beautiful surroundings. There were so many people in the crowd, and the crowd was getting involved, and we love it.” / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, July 8 – July 14

    July 18, 2019. 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



  • Watauga County Deeds – July 11-17: 37 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $9,102,500.00

    July 18, 2019. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. Compiled by Debbie Carter / Read more…



  • A Monumental Exhibition of Sculpture at Chetola Brings A Creative Weekend of Events and Family Friendly Activities, August 9-11


    July 18, 2019. Over 50 large, mid-scale and small sculptures will be exhibited August 9-11 on Chetola Lake. The public is invited to stroll around the lakeside at Chetola Resort to meet renowned sculptors and view their award-winning works of art. Activities all weekend long create a family friendly destination. Special event events feature art icons Bob Timberlake and Joe Miller on Friday night from 6:30-9:30. Sculptors will compete for cash awards totaling $6,000. Dr. Lawrence Wheeler, CEO and Director of NC Museum of Art (ret.) is hosting Saturday’s evening event, “Starry Night” dinner, dancing under the stars with The Starlighters Orchestra and a sculptors awards program. / Read more…



  • Find a Seat This Weekend at Bleu Moon Production’s Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend


    July 18, 2019. Last weekend was opening weekend for “Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend.” This weekend’s performances performances pick back up tonight and continue through Saturday, July 18-20, with performances beginning at 8 p.m. each night. Prepare for a night out under the stars while you hear about a local legend and the mystery surrounding this story. Bleu Moon Productions marks the 151st anniversary of the final trial and hanging of Tom Dooley with its 18th season of “Tom Dooley” by Karen Reynolds. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Tickets Are Available for Blowing Rock’s 2019 “Symphony by the Lake” at Chetola Resort, July 26


    July 18, 2019. The annual “Symphony by the Lake” performance is fast approaching, and it’s not an event that you’ll want to miss. The Symphony of the Mountains, conducted by Cornelia Laemmli Orth, in her 13th year as Music Director, will be performing a splendid variety of pop, show-tunes, film scores, patriotic music, and more. Symphony by the Lake depends on the support of volunteers and sponsors, so if you’d like to be a part of making the event possible, then visit the Symphony by the Lake website to see how you can get involved. The event will take place on Friday, July 26th by the side of Chetola Lake at Chetola Resort. The gates will open at 5:30 pm, and the show will begin at 7:30 pm. By Tzar Wilkerson / Read more…



  • Sixth Annual Dillion Critcher Memorial Bike Ride Coming Up August 3


    July 18, 2019. When 16-year-old Dillion Critcher of Boone lost his life as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident seven years ago, the High Country seemed to come to a standstill. Family, friends and associates of all ages were stunned by the loss of such a vibrant, fun-loving teen whose life, it seemed, was cut way too short.Since that fateful night, June 14, 2012, the community has proved, time after time, that Critcher’s life was not in vain: the efforts to keep his memory alive continue with the annual Dillion Critcher Memorial Bike Ride scheduled for August 3 in Boone. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Yes, It’s Zucchini Time!


    July 18, 2019. Grilled, stuffed and baked are just a few ways to prepare zucchini. It’s a good thing that there are many options since this is one summer crop most of us can count on in abundance. While other produce in the garden might be questionable, chances are zucchini isn’t one of them. I am thrilled that we are getting plenty of zucchini, and it comes as no surprise that they are producing overnight, it seems. We should be grateful (and we are) that anything has survived the unpredictable weather that we’ve all experienced in recent weeks. Our friends in the piedmont are losing crops by the day due to extreme heat and lack of rain, so I’m glad for what we can get. Our beans, corn and tomatoes seem to be taking the slow train this summer, and seeds we purchased for cucumbers are producing something we’re not familiar with – maybe spaghetti squash? Thankfully, the farmer’s markets are still offering a bounty of fresh produce each week that has survived the strange weather pattern that we’ve experienced. Let’s enjoy what we can, while we can — and don’t forget to share the extras with neighbors and the local food pantries. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • LETTERS / An Open Letter to Rep. Virginia Foxx

    July 17, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY Eric W. Plagg / Dear Rep. Foxx, As one of your constituents and someone whose interests you were elected to serve, I was deeply disappointed to see that you and all but four of your fellow GOP members of the US House voted against House Resolution 489 condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress. As a reminder, this resolution was in response to tweets by President Trump, wherein he said of four House members who are American citizens and women of color, So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe…now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States…how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came[?] Then come back and show us how it is done. Read more…



  • Chris Botti and Lily Tomlin Are Scheduled for An Appalachian Summer This Weekend


    July 17, 2019. This weekend, An Appalachian Summer Festival has two exciting performances coming up on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20. At 8 p.m. in the Schaefer Center on July 19, Chris Botti will bring his musical talent to An Appalachian Summer Festival. At 8 p.m. in the Schaefer Center on July 20, Lily Tomlin will be returning to the festival for the 2019 season with her comedy. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Celebrating Sculpture Under the Trees and in the Gallery at Anvil Arts Gallery This Weekend


    July 17, 2019. Join the “Garden Party” this weekend, July 20 and 21, at Anvil Arts Sculpture Garden & Gallery in Linville Falls. Everyone is invited to explore the sculptures thoughtfully placed throughout the open lawn and garden and in the gallery. Enjoy refreshments as you explore the artwork and learn about the diverse group of artists represented and see the working studio of sculptor Bill Brown. Visitors will see the work of accomplished sculptors working in different mediums and styles, from large scale sculptures in stone and metal for outdoor use to pieces for interiors created in clay, glass, copper and steel. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae College Community Members Gather to Unveil Renamed Frankie Ramsey Needham Alumni House


    July 17, 2019. In the midafternoon on Friday, July 12, campus community members and alumni visiting for the Frolic weekend gathered to celebrate the legacy of Frankie Ramsey Needham ’55H and unveil the formerly-named Alumni House as the Frankie Ramsey Needham Alumni House in her honor. Having retired just a few weeks prior, Needham’s tenure of 47 years marked the longest-ever service in the history of the institution. After graduating from Avery County High School in 1972, Needham began at Lees-McRae under the guidance of then-president Dr. H.C. Evans Jr. as a secretary within the alumni affairs office. Working her way up the ranks since her start, Needham retired as the Director of Advancement Services. Both Lees-McRae President Lee King and Chairman of the Board of Trustees W. McNair Tornow shared their thoughts on Needham’s retirement and wished her the best. / Read more…



  • Piano and Double Bass Concert at St. Mary of the Hills on July 21


    July 17, 2019. Dr. Adam Booker and Sally Booker bring their considerable talents to the Summer Concert Series at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock this Sunday, July 21 at 3 p.m. The Bookers have chosen a varied program for double bass and piano, ranging from well-known compositions by Serge Koussevitsky (Humoresque and Chanson Triste) and Ernst Bloch’s hauntingly beautiful Prayer, to more recent compositions by Andres Martin, Michal Bylina and Adam Booker himself. Dr. Booker teaches double bass in the Hayes School of Music at AppState University. Mrs. Booker holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance and has taught in colleges as well as privately. / Read more…



  • Nineteen Candidates Have Filed From Avery County In Municipal Elections

    July 17, 2019. As the filing deadline nears, nineteen candidates have completed the necessary paperwork and paid the $5.00 filing fee to seek municipal government (city, town or village) seats in Avery County as of this morning (July 17). Filing began on Friday, July 5 and ends this Friday, July 19 at Noon. Seats are open for some Mayor and Town Council seats in the following Avery townships: Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Village of Sugar Mountain, Village of Grandfather, Beech Mountain, and Seven Devils. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 16, 2019

    July 16, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Summer Concerts at Fred’s Gazebo Continue Sunday with Amantha Mill

    July 16, 2019. Back in Beech Mountain, Fred’s General Mercantile is hosting their Sunday summer concerts at Fred’s Gazebo. Fred’s has been the gathering place for all of Beech Mountain since it opened in 1979, and the legendary store hosts concerts out of the graceful white gazebo next to it. The gazebo has trimming around the top that looks almost like lace, and the musicians begin to play elegant and inspirational music underneath it at 6:30 p.m. Remaining concerts include performances by Amantha Mill, The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys and Thistle Dew. / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain’s Summer Concert Series Continues this Friday with Performances from Galactic and The Get Right Band


    July 16, 2019. Summer is in full swing at Beech Mountain with round two of the Summer Concert Series happening on Friday night. Galactic will be the featured act with Asheville’s own The Get Right Band opening the show. Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $35 in advance and $45 the day of the show. Children five and under get in free. Talia Freeman, the director of marketing at Beech Mountain Resort, was excited about how the first concert went and thinks this week’s show will be excellent as well. “Our June concert was a huge success. We had a strong crowd and our patrons left happy,” said Freeman. “Galactic is a funk-driven jazz band from New Orleans. I know they will create a fun atmosphere.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • “Homeless to Highflying,” K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs to Perform at Tweetsie Railroad July 20-28


    July 16, 2019. Well known halftime show and television stars The K-9s In Flight Frisbee Dogs are jumping, dashing and flying to Tweetsie Railroad once again to bring their adrenaline pumping performance to the High Country. You may have seen their one-of-a-kind K-9 Sports Show in the NBA, NFL or NCAA Halftime shows or from appearances on ESPN, The Disney Channel, Animal Planet and more. These amazing K-9s have even been featured in Dog Fancy and Dog and Kennel magazines. Now, the K-9s will be bringing their show to Tweetsie for performances July 20-28. These amazing dogs come from all different backgrounds, each star having been rescued or adopted from the streets or a shelter around the country, earning them their “homeless to highflying” title. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • This Friday’s Jones House Summer Concert Features Americana Favorites the Everydays, Alexa Rose and Tom Shirley


    July 15, 2019. The Town of Boone’s Summer Concert Series at the Jones House gains momentum with another concert on the lawn Friday, July 19, including a trio of highly-anticipated performances by the Everydays, Alexa Rose and Tom Shirley, starting at 5 p.m. The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free and open to the public. Concerts start at 5 p.m., and they are held rain or shine. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Town Council Approves Conditional Use Permit for Conversion of Moody Furniture Building

    July 15, 2019. A recent conditional use permit to convert the former Moody Furniture building to a restaurant/retail space in Blowing Rock was approved by a 4-1 town council vote during their meeting on July 9. Councilmember Virginia Powell voted against the application approval. Bob Lovern, who is the property owner and developer, applied for the permit for the restaurant/retail space and to add a surface parking lot. The property is located at 125 Sunset Drive. According to information provided by Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock, the application included the addition of an elevated patio area and a front porch extension to make it handicap accessible. The application also proposed a garage door on the west side of the building that will serve as access to the patio. New awnings at the entryways were proposed as well. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • De la Cruz Farms to Celebrate Honey Harvest with Hoedown on July 27


    July 15, 2019. The second Annual Honey Harvest Hoedown in Deep Gap is just around the corner and promises to be an event you don’t want to miss. On Saturday, July 27, from 4-7 p.m., the High Country community will come together once again for a fundraising event to help with the ongoing needs of the de la Cruz Farms, located just across from Deep Gap Fire Department. If you enjoy good music, food, fun and fellowship while supporting a good cause, this is the place to be. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • JSMHM Features Jeff Little – “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge” – at July 20 Concert


    July 15, 2019. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is pleased to announce the return of Boone native Jeff Little and his Trio on Saturday, July 20, for a concert at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone at 7:30 p.m. Little is a bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, rock-n-roll piano player. He’s one-of-a-kind, that’s why he’s called “The Piano an of the Blue Ridge.” His son Luke, an outstanding mandolin player, has been joining him on stage for years and has now become a full fledge member of the trio. With two time National Banjo Champion and guitar phenom Steve Lewis adding his hot licks to the mix and now with Luke joining in, well you are in for a musical treat! / Read more…



  • Candlelight Ghost Tours This Saturday, July 20, at Wilkes Heritage Museum


    July 15, 2019. The Wilkes Heritage Museum will host Candlelight Ghost Tours in historic downtown Wilkesboro on Saturday, July 20. Ghost tours are 90 minute walking tours that begin at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The tours are led by costumed guides. Cost is $10 per person. Reservations for Ghost Tours are suggested. Highlights of the tour include the Old Wilkes Jail, Cleveland Cabin and Tory Oak Site. Learn all about the hauntings of Historic Downtown Wilkesboro. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – July 5-10: 22 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $6,456,500.00

    July 15, 2019. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. Compiled by Debbie Carter / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Hosts Author and Radio Personality Scott Huler, July 18


    July 15, 2019. After business hours on July 18, Grandfather Mountain invites guests to tune into a special presentation. The Linville, N.C. based nonprofit nature park is keeping summer moving, highlighting its second speaker of he Grandfather Presents evening lecture series for 2019, Scott Huler. Huler is an award-winning radio personality, audio producer, photographer, videographer and author of seven books. Grandfather Presents Scott Huler runs from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, in the park’s nature museum and auditorium. / Read more…



  • High Country Home Sales Up 10 Percent Compared to Last Year


    July 15, 2019. Local real estate activity through the first half of 2019 continued to show signs of a strong sellers’ market, according to the latest sales report from the High Country Association of Realtors®. More than 1,000 homes were sold from January to June by Realtors® active in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. The median sold price for all homes sold continued to rise. Inventory grew. And interest rates fell steadily through the year. According to the New York Times, the Federal Reserve Board is considering a possible interest rate drop in the near future. That would increase affordability for local buyers as a counter to increasing sales prices. In the first half of the year, High Country Realtors® sold 1,091 residential and multi-family homes worth $326.55 million, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It records Realtor® activity in the four-county area. / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Crawl’ No Reason to See This Movie

    crawl
    July 15, 2019 “Crawl” is a horror movie with a simple enough premise: Haley (Kaya Scodelario) has to rescue her father (Barry Pepper) from the basement of their Florida home during a hurricane. Obstacles include steadily rising flood waters, the impending threat of a surge of water if a levee breaks, the father’s injury from an alligator attack, and of course the alligators themselves. It’s mostly about the gators, with the hurricane not helping.
    This is definitely a “creature feature,” where the villain is an animal or group of animals that wants to chow down on our heroes. The king in the genre is “Jaws,” which like this movie primarily takes place in water. Humans may rule the land, but predatory animals rule the two-thirds of the planet that is covered in water, so who’s really in charge? By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Gov. Roy Cooper Presents Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Director Janet Barton Speer the Order of the Long Leaf Pine


    July 12, 2019. With rousing applause and a standing ovation, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Artistic Director Janet Barton Speer was presented with the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine Thursday, July 11 at the opening night of From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story, of which she wrote and directed. Lees-McRae President Lee King and Board of Trustees member Barbara Miller Whitton, who presented the award, nominated Speer for the honor. Created in 1963, the award is one of several civilian-focused honors the governor of North Carolina can bestow. On several occasions, the award has been regarded as the highest-ranking civilian honor achievable even though—legally—that designation is given to the North Carolina Award. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to “persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact on…North Carolina,” according to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society website. / Read more…



  • Stadium Parking Deck On Track to be Completed by the Start of the Fall Semester


    July 12, 2019. Despite record rainfall amounts throughout last fall and this spring, the 477-space parking deck in the Kidd Brewer Stadium lot is expected to be open and ready for the first day of class and the first home football game of the season. Matt Dull, Appalachian State University’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations, shared a construction update on July 8 about the parking deck and student-housing construction happening on the east side of campus. The parking deck is expected to be completed in mid-August. Classes at App State will begin on August 19. According to the university, the new parking deck will still add approximately 250 add parking spots on the east side of campus, despite taking away some of the pavement parking spots in the Stadium Lot. The most recent update said that construction crews are going to start working on the elevator installation. “All the materials needed for that are on site, so they’re installing that elevator over the next three to four weeks or so,” Dull said. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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