High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Watauga County’s Economic Successes Highlighted at High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast


    January 17, 2020. Area business owners and community supporters gathered on Thursday morning at Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock for the fourth annual High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast that featured the latest economic news for the High Country. Dr. Harry Davis, Dean of the North Carolina School of Banking and Finance Professor at Appalachian State University, was the keynote speaker and took a look at the economic success, shortcomings and future for the country, North Carolina and Watauga County. Overall, Davis says the national economy is in its 11th year of growth and the sense is that there are no signs of a recession in the near future. At the state and local levels, the economy is also running strong.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • LMC Students Come Together to Sew Wildlife Pouches for Those Affected by Australian Wildfires


    January 17, 2020. Students at Lees-McRae took matters into their own hands this week bringing relief to those affected by Australian wildfires. On Tuesday, Jan. 14 and Thursday, Jan. 16, 25 students lead by Director of Library Services Jess Bellemer sewed 21 pouches for baby marsupials. Held in the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons Makerspace—a dedicated space where students can design, craft, sew, podcast, and more—Bellemer guided students of all skill levels through the process. “The goal of the makerspace is to connect students with making skills that they’ll take with them beyond their Lees-McRae experience,” Bellemer said. “The pouch making workshops showed them how they can use a skill such as sewing to support victims in a terrible crisis on the other side of the world. I think learning to sew and making usable materials for animals in need really clicked with the students.” / Read more…



  • Dedication Ceremony for Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Boone Happening Monday at 4 p.m.


    January 16, 2020. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Boone will have a little extra meaning this year with the dedication of the newly renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Street. On August 15, the Boone Town Council unanimously approved the renaming the front portion of Hunting Hills Lane, from State Farm Road to the bridge, after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What a better time to hold a dedication ceremony than on January 20 when the country pauses to reflect on Dr. King and his many accomplishments. According to the town of Boone, the location of where the street will be renamed is near the county’s new recreation center, a playground and ball fields and will be used to serve as a reminder of the impact of Dr. King’s legacy around the world. The dedication ceremony will be taking place at 4 p.m. at Boone Fire Station #2 located at 1075 State Farm Road. The ceremony will feature light refreshments and music from the Boone Mennonite Bretheren Church Choir. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State Football Makes More History By Ending Season with Top 25 Rankings


    January 16, 2019. A record-breaking season marked by firsts ends with more history — Top 25 rankings in both major polls for App State Football.The Mountaineers (13-1) are No. 18 in the final Amway Coaches Poll of the 2019 college football season and No. 19 in the final AP Top 25. They finished with the best record among the nation’s Group of Five conference teams — and tied for the third-best record nationally — while winning a fourth straight Sun Belt Conference title and improving their bowl record to 5-0. After totaling the 26th-most voting points in the final AP poll of the 2018 season, App State becomes the first Sun Belt team to conclude a season in the Top 25, and it has claimed the top spot among FBS teams from North Carolina for the second straight year. The Mountaineers’ first-ever appearances in the season-ending Top 25 polls double as their highest FBS rankings and the highest final rankings by a North Carolina team since UNC closed the 2015 season at No. 15 in both polls.  / Read more…



  • Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Awards 2019 Businesses of the Year During Thursday Event


    January 16, 2020. The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce announced its winners of the 2019 Business of the Year Awards during the 4th Annual High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast Thursday morning at Meadowbrook Inn. The awards were sponsored by the Watauga County Economic Development Commission and Skyline National Bank. Nominations were submitted by Chamber and community members and winners were selected by the Chamber’s Business Development committee. Businesses were awarded based on criteria that includes staying power, growth in sales and/or workforce, innovative products and services, strong response to adversity, contributions to community-oriented projects, and use of local resources in business operations. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 6 – January 13

    January 15, 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



  • Suspect Dies Following Eight Hour Standoff with Police in Ashe County


    January 16, 2020. A standoff between a suspect and numerous local law enforcement agencies ended during the early hours of Thursday morning with the death of the unnamed suspect. “At approximately 6:00 pm on January 15, our 911 center received information related to a welfare check in the Fleetwood area. Just before arriving on scene, Ashe County Deputies were shot at multiple times. Phone calls and communication from the suspect indicated he wanted to cause harm to any law enforcement individual,” said Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell in a statement. After approximately eight hours the situation ended with a deceased male suspect located at the scene. All officers, first responders and support personnel were unharmed even though law enforcement was fired upon multiple times during the incident. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds -Jan. 9-16: 25 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $9,241,000.00

    Jan. 16, 2020. 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…



  • Cold Temperatures Returning Just in Time for Area Ski Resorts Expecting a Big Crowd this Weekend

    January 15, 2020. The last couple of weeks have been hard on the ski slopes in the High Country with unseasonably warm weather and pockets of heavy rainfall. With more than four inches of rain falling at Appalachian Ski Mtn. on Saturday, Brad Moretz made the difficult decision to close for a couple of days just before a big change in the weather happens on Thursday. “We had an unusual weather situation where we got over four inches of rain Saturday night. It’s been since December 20 since we have had significant snowmaking. We’ve had a couple of times where we had a few hours for part of a night but we have gotten along fantastic without snowmaking and rain falling, but there is a limit to how much of that you can take without having a little winter weather,” said Moretz, who is the co-owner of Appalachian Ski Mtn. “We’re going to be excited to get things looking like mid-winter again. These are pretty ideal conditions coming up so it will look like normal again in a big hurry.” Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain are also looking forward to the changing weather this week as temperatures will drop throughout the day on Thursday into the 20s. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell’s Raleigh Report: Newsletter Highlighting Info from NC General Assembly


    January 15, 2020 Legislators returned to Raleigh on Tuesday, Jan. 14, for a continuation of the 2019 session. Two pieces of legislation were voted on in the House. And with that, the session ended. The adjournment motion sends state legislators home until April 28. I voted “No” on the adjournment motion because our job is far from finished. We should have been working on compromise solutions for teacher, faculty, and staff pay, funding for universities and community colleges, funding for school and infrastructure construction, and making healthcare more available and affordable. Instead Legislative leadership held a press conference, refused to work with Gov. Cooper on a compromise, and proverbially “took their ball and went home.”  / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Celebrating Slow Cooker Month: Crockpot Cooking Making A Come Back


    January 15, 2020. I read recently that January is National Slow Cooking Month, and yes, acknowledging that one way to increase quality mealtime at home and ditch the daily drive-through is to use a slow cooker. So, kitchen mates, I guess it’s time to dust off the old crockpot and fill it up, turn it on and forget it. That seems to be the idea these days as the “new” cooking method from the ‘70’s is making a comeback. It seems that, for a while, we pushed the crockpot to the back of the cabinet, but its popularity has begun to surge, once again. There’s no better for a busy woman to make sure her family has a hot meal at the end of the day. Let’s drag those slow cookers out and get crocking. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Completion of Sunset Drive Streetscape Project in Blowing Rock


    January 15, 2020. Sunset Drive’s fresh new look in Blowing Rock received a lot of praise and positive reviews as the town gathered on Tuesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the finished product. “This project has needed to be done for many years. It’s done, it’s now a focal point of our town. It has taken us to a new level and hopefully, we will have more of this to come,” said Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie sellers. “This is the first street you come up where you have a view of the park. This accentuates the park, this accentuates the gazebo. Turning off of Valley Boulevard onto Sunset, you look up this street and it’s a world of difference. I’ve heard nothing but positive comments about how good it looks and how it means so much to the presentation of the town of Blowing Rock. The mayor extended his gratitude to the contractors including Iron Mountain, Greene Construction and McGill engineering for the work that they did up and down the street and doing their best to “make things as bearable for the business owners as possible.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Blue Ridge Conservancy Purchased 91 Acres Including Prominent Peak Above Tynecastle


    January 15, 2020. Land conservation is off to an exciting start in 2020 with Blue Ridge Conservancy’s (BRC) purchase of 91 acres on Peak Mountain in Avery County. The land includes the summit of Peak Mountain, originally part of the planned Tynecastle development. The prominent rock outcropping is familiar to residents and visitors of the Banner Elk area, and is quite visible from Sugar Mountain and Seven Devils. The property was previously owned by the Schwebke Family of Avery County, and is known by several other names including Tynecastle Peak, Invershiel Peak and Dunvegan Peak. “The Schwebke family is thankful to work with Blue Ridge Conservancy to protect Tynecastle Peak in loving memory of Robert C. Schwebke, an amazing husband, father and grandfather,” said Judith Schwebke.  “He loved the peak of this mountain and knowing that it is protected and enjoyed by others now is very special to our family.” / Read more…



  • Boone’s Chief of Police Dana Crawford Reelected to 2020 Board of Directors For North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police


    January 15, 2020. During the recent 2020 Conference of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, Boone’s Chief of Police Dana Crawford was reelected to serve an additional year as one of 10 Regional Directors in the state. Along with his constituents, Crawford received his oath of office from Lt. Governor Dan Forest. Crawford was elected last year to serve as a director for Region II, which represents several counties from Watauga through Iredell and over to Burke By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – January 14, 2020

    January 7, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / 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



  • Appalachian State Finishes Football Season Ranked in Top 25 in AP and Coaches Poll


    January 14, 2019. For the first time in program history, Appalachian State finished a season ranked in the top 25 in both the Associated Press Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. The Mountaineers finished the year 18th in the Coaches Poll and 19th in the AP Poll. The polls were released this morning following last night’s national championship game that saw LSU defeat Clemson 42-25. The Mountaineers completed the 2019 season with a 13-1 record that included the team’s fifth bowl game victory in as many tries and the best record of any Group of Five conference team. This is also the first time a Sun Belt team has finished the season ranked in one of the two polls. The Mountaineers just missed that record after the 2018 season, finishing with the 26th most votes in the AP Poll.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • From the Mayor’s Desk: Blowing Rock Town Council Holds Annual Retreat


    January 14, 2020 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on some items discussed at the town council’s annual retreat. Town of Blowing Rock Council Retreat was held on January 6, 7 and 8 at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Listed below are the top ten items that are the focus of the council and Department supervisors over the next 12 months and items that were discussed that were previously approved and are ongoing projects.   / Read more…



  • High Country Citizens Hosts Successful Winter Coat Drive for Avery County Residents on Sunday


    January 14, 2019. As 2020’s winter weather begins to make its stride here in the High Country, residents of Avery County have collectively taken to the task of helping out those in need by hosting a Winter Coat Drive on January 12th. Avery County native Elizabeth Hempfling along with the High Country Charitable Foundation and Feeding Avery Families, are among those responsible for spearheading this idea, which has resulted in huge donation amounts from businesses and individuals alike. “Not only did we have individual donations from people who had purchased new items just to drop them off, but for example, we had the Leonard family from Ski Country Sports donate a whole bunch of brand new gloves from the shop, Footsloggers and the Miller family donated new items including jackets as well,” Hempfling commented. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘1917’ A Wonderful Film With Terrors Aplenty – Oscar Contender

    1917
    Jan. 14, 2020 Back in 2014, my favorite movie of the year was “Birdman,” a chaotic comedy about a Broadway show gone wrong. The Academy agreed with me, awarding it the Oscar for Best Picture. The film took a unique approach to storytelling, making several weeks’ worth of action appear to take place in one unbroken shot. The idea was that the characters had no time to rest in preparation for their show, and consequently neither did we. Now comes Sam Mendes’ “1917,” a film with a similar one-shot no-rest approach. But the similarities to “Birdman” end there. Whereas that film was tight and funny, this film is expansive and merciless. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • “For Such a Time As This” Rev. Bill Warren, at 86, Holding a One-Day Revival, Saturday, Jan. 25


    January 14, 2019. Anyone who knows the Rev. Bill Warren knows that he doesn’t waste any opportunity to share his faith and to tell others about Jesus. A recent vision has led the 86-year-old retired minister to return to the pulpit, if for just one day, to follow what he said is something special God is leading him to do. “For Such A Time as This, a one-day revival, is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, beginning at 2 p.m. at Beech Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Sugar Grove. The theme of this historic event is simple: “Whosoever will, let them come — today is the day.” According to his family, this could possibly be one of the greatest days, if not the greatest, in Warren’s lengthy ministry, as he makes the effort to reach out to those who need the Lord. “Preacher Bill,” as he is known throughout the High Country area and beyond, will be assisted at this event by his grandson, the Rev. Toby Oliver, current pastor of Liberty Grove Baptist Church in Ashe County, and other family members who will be helping with music. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Heritage Homestead Featured in F.A.R.M. Cafe’s First ‘Local Lunch’ of 2020 on Thursday, Jan. 16


    January 14, 2020. F.A.R.M. Cafe is excited to feature Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy for the first ‘Local Lunch’ of 2020. Not only does our organization strive to feed all, regardless of means- F.A.R.M. Cafe believes in increasing access to high quality, locally sourced meals and supporting our local food system and economy.  While we offer a selection of local ingredients whenever possible, the upcoming ‘Local Lunch’ event allows us to showcase some of the amazing products grown and available right here in the High Country. On Thursday, January 16, from 11-2pm the lunch menu will feature ingredients sourced from Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy, located in Crumpler, NC.   In addition to pimento cheese and a special ginger-mango goat cheese dessert, lunch will include a Southwest inspired entree highlighting the farm’s pork. The well-fed pigs at Heritage Homestead enjoy a diet of whey from the cheesemaking process and a variety of garden vegetables before being finished on apples and chestnuts. This diet leads to a flavorful and unique product which we can’t wait for you to try. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is Recruiting Teams for 2020 Big Kahuna Campaign


    January 14, 2019. Do your friends or place of business have what it takes to be crowned “The Big Kahuna”? Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is currently recruiting teams for their 2020 Annual Big Kahuna Campaign. A Kahuna Team is a group of four community- minded people who volunteer to help raise money for Watauga Habitat’s affordable housing program. Teams solicit their network of personal and business contacts to donate to Watauga Habitat in their name. “This will be our 6th Kahuna Campaign,” said Allison Jennings, Director of Development at Watauga Habitat for Humanity. “In the past, participants have been local, individual ‘movers and shakers’.  This year we are changing things up a bit and recruiting teams instead of individuals.” This friendly competition kicks off March 2nd, 2020. At the conclusion of the contest, the results will be announced at a fun social event known as the “Don Ho-Down” on May 15th at Appalachian Mountain Brewery. / Read more…



  • The N.C. Education Lottery Develops New Responsible Gaming and Prevention Program


    January 14, 2020. The N.C. Education Lottery begins a new program today called Play Smart™, becoming the first U.S. lottery to start an original player-focused responsible gaming and prevention program centered on the education, encouragement and empowerment of lottery players. “Most people who play the lottery play responsibly and do not develop a problem,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery. “To ensure responsible play continues, we needed a program that not only provides the resources and tools players need to make smart decisions before they play, but also encourages players to adopt behaviors that can reduce the risk of developing a problem.” Play Smart is like a lottery coach, educating players on how its games work, encouraging sensible and responsible play, and empowering players to recognize when playing the lottery is no longer fun and what to do if that happens. / Read more…



  • The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock Approves Grant Requests, Announces New Directors and Officers for 2020


    January 14, 2020. At its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting on December 5, 2019, The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock announced that two new members will join its Board of Directors in 2020. Melissa Pickett, who previously served on the Foundation board, will rejoin the board. In addition, Zak Ammar, the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, will join the Foundation Board as an ex-officio member. The Foundation also announced that the following officers will serve the foundation in 2020: Jim Pitts, President; Cathy Robbins, Vice President; Kent Tarbutton, Secretary/Treasurer; and Jim Clabough, Immediate Past President.The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock is a 501c3, a North Carolina non-profit corporation dedicated to economic development and business education in Blowing Rock. / Read more…



  • WAMY’s Santa for Seniors Drive Exceeded Expectations Bringing Smiles and Holiday Cheer to Community’s Shut-Ins this Christmas Season


    January 13, 2019. WAMY’s inaugural Santa for Seniors program exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2019, bringing over 750 gifts and Christmas joy to those around the community who were not able to leave their homes during the holiday season. WAMY (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Community Action Inc.) began the Santa for Seniors program to partner with shut-ins and hospice patients throughout the community; the program aims to bring these isolated people Christmas cheer in the form of gifts containing basic items that are useful to those who cannot leave their home such as socks, lotion, chapstick, and other items. “The Santa for Seniors program came about because we wanted to help those in our community who are elderly; specifically those who are shut-ins,” said Ashley Cook, Development Director of WAMY. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Classes Resume at Appalachian State and AppalCart Returns to Normal Route Schedule

    January 13, 2020. Appalachian State University students headed back to their dorms and classrooms on Monday with spring semester classes getting underway. A total of 19,280 students were enrolled to begin the 2019-20 academic year and approximately 1,300 students graduated in December’s commencement ceremony. Looking at the rest of the 2020 spring calendar, the university will be closed next Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Spring break is scheduled for March 9-13 and early enrollment for the 2020 fall semester will begin on April 1 and continue through April 15. The university will be closed on Friday, April 10 for Good Friday. The last day of classes will be April 29 and final exams will start on May 1 and continue through May 7. Commencement ceremonies will take place on May 8-9.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • MerleFest Announces Lineup Additions For 2020 Festival: Melissa Etheridge, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, The Marcus King Band, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and John Cowan


    January 13, 2020. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the next round of artist additions for MerleFest 2020, which will be held April 23-26. Melissa Etheridge, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, The Marcus King Band, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, and John Cowan will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today’s lineup announcement adds five great artists to MerleFest’s already stacked lineup. Tickets for next year’s festival are on sale now and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. / Read more…



  • MerleFest Announces Trent Wagler (of The Steel Wheels), Darrell Scott, and David Holt as Judges for 28th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest


    January 13, 2020. MerleFest, presented by Window World®, is pleased to announce Trent Wagler (of The Steel Wheels), Darrell Scott, and David Holt as judges for the 28th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC). CASC is one of the most acclaimed songwriting contests in roots and Americana music and has a reputation for launching careers as well as drawing attention to important new talent. The contest is split into four genre-based categories including bluegrass, general, gospel, and country. First through third place winners will be chosen in each category at MerleFest 2020, set to take place on April 23 – 26, 2020. Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, which takes place Friday, April 24, during MerleFest. First-place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a shared 30 minute set on Saturday. / Read more…



  • Number of High Country Homes Sold up 11 Percent in 2019


    January 13, 2020. Homebuyers could not get enough of the High Country market in 2019, according to the year-end real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors. Realtors set a new high mark in home sales, registering 11 percent growth over 2018. The total sales dollar value was up 34 percent thanks in great part to the demand in high dollar homes. Realtors sold more million-dollar homes last year than in all of 2018 and 2017, combined. Sales occurred as interest rates fell to near-record lows in September. At the start of 2019, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.51 percent. They remain below 3.75 percent heading into 2020. The falling rates helped spur year-long activity in the High Country. Realtors sold a total of 2,617 residential and multi-family homes worth $809.07 million. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which records all Realtor activity in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. / Read more…



  • Under Dick Larson’s Leadership, Feeding Avery Families Continues Bountiful Accomplishments and Anticipates Another Productive Year In 2020


    January 13, 2019. While expanding its services and adding new programs, the Feeding Avery Families organization has achieved milestones of astounding proportions the past two-and-a-half years.  This was especially true in 2019, and FAF expects another record-breaking year in 2020 with even more future growth in the following years. Founded in 2005, Feeding Avery Families (FAF), Inc. is a non-profit Christian-based organization in Avery County dedicated to eliminating hunger by any means possible including monetary donations, volunteerism, or food donations. While FAF requires a total team effort from its dozens of volunteers, its Executive Director Dick Larson is given credit by those most familiar with the organization for much of its success. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Flu Cases Decreased Locally and Throughout North Carolina Last Week, But Deaths Statewide from the Disease Had Dramatic Increase

    January 13, 2020. Officials from the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, based in Boone, released the following numbers of patients have been treated for Influenza (flu) at its hospital facilities from Sept. 30, 2019 through Jan. 9, 2020: 34 at Watauga Medical Center on Boone and 29 at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville. The Watauga and Linville hospitals reported only one flu case combined this week from the previous week. There were 4,836 flu-like cases reported throughout North Carolina last week, down from 4,883 during the week that ended Dec. 28 and 3,360 during the week that ended Dec. 21. Fortunately, this region has not suffered any fatalities stricken with the disease. But sadly, the number of North Carolinians who have died during the current 2019-2020 influenza (flu) season more than doubled over the past week to 21. That number included the state’s first youth victim, the N.C. Division of Public Health reported Thursday, Jan.9. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Eagles Nest Group Honored by Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce with Person of the Year Award


    January 10, 2019. The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting at Stonewalls on Wednesday, which included the person of the year award and a couple of other awards that brought some laughter to the crowd. “Every year, the Banner Elk Chamber presents an award to the person or persons of the year. This year we have gone a step further, giving the award to Mary Sue Street and Will and Mark Adkins of the Eagles Nest group,” said Jo-Anne McMurray, the President of the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, during the award presentation. McMurray got emotional when speaking of the late Chris Adkins, who passed away in 2018 and was also an integral part of the Lodges at Eagles Nest. Jo-Anne’s husband, Tom, shared some of the highlights of what the group has accomplished. “Eagles Nest came in and took over a project that was not doing great and have turned it into one of the premier gated community developments in the High Country,” he said. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock WinterFest Returns Jan. 23-26 with Various Seasonal Events and Volunteers Needed


    January 10, 2019. The first Blowing Rock WinterFest was presented in 1998, created to bring celebration to a sleepy season. More than two decades later, the festival continues with a refresh of past events and a reprise of the newest ones. At the 2020 edition of Blowing Rock WinterFest on Thursday, January 23 through Sunday, January 26, everyone is again encouraged: don’t hibernate; celebrate! This year’s WinterFest events include old favorites and new traditions alike such as the chili challenge, the Polar Bear Plunge, the K-9 Keg Pull, the winter fashion show, a benefit concert for the Blowing Rock School auditorium, a wine tasting and auction at Green Park Inn, Cork and Canvas hosted by BRAHM, and more events being hosted throughout the weekend in Memorial Park. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Our State Magazine Features Boone, Beech Mountain and Blowing Rock in its January Issue


    January 10, 2019. Three locations in the High Country got some extra publicity this month with the release of the January issue of Our State magazine. The Horton Hotel in downtown Boone, Blowing Rock’s WinterFest and Beech Mountain’s cover story were all included in this edition. “They reached out to us expressing more interest in the hotel so we had them come and stay and oriented them to who we are and what we have to offer,” said Denise Lovin, co-owner of the Horton Hotel. “The editor stayed with us and another writer came and spent some time here. They really got to know us and the hotel, and they frequented other places downtown and in the High Country.” The hotel story also featured the trendy rooftop bar that so many visitors rave about, even when the weather isn’t always perfect outside. Denise says they have already had guests come in with a copy of the magazine that stayed a couple of nights and was carrying the magazine with them to try and do everything mentioned in the articles.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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