High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • ‘To Move Mountains’ Non-Profit Group Holding Fundraiser at Local Lion on Friday


    April 23, 2019 A local educational non-profit group “To Move Mountains” has organized a fundraiser that is set to take place this Friday, April 26 from 4-7 p.m. at the Local Lion in Blowing Rock Road in Boone.To Move Mountains was founded by Ryan Boyette, a former Samaritan’s Purse employee that has made it his mission to try and reach young children in Sudan and be able to provide them with an education that they can take back to their communities.“Living 15 years in Sudan’s war zone, I have experienced so much. I have seen the Sudan Air Force planes drop six bombs on a school as the children run to the fox holes, but just after the planes leaves I have seen the same students go back to their classes,” said Boyette. “This fundraiser is to support students in the war zone and give purpose to their resilience and dedication to their education.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Jangling Sparrows Fly Into Blowing Rock Town Tavern on Sunday


    April 23, 2019 Asheville’s Jangling Sparrows fly into Blowing Rock with their Roots-y, Americana-flavored Rock, to perform locally atTown Tavern, 1182 Main St., on Sunday, April 28. Showtime is at 4 p.m. for the free show. Guests must be 21 or over to get in. This will be a solo show featuring ‘Sparrow’s front-person, guitarist-vocalist, Paul Edelman. The Mountain Xpress picked the ‘Sparrow’s recent Mid-December Asheville show as a ‘Smart Bet,’ noting, “the duo (also featuring Dave Baker) are putting some lush, tight harmonies and moody, pulsing bass drops on new, unreleased music and choice cuts from all three (Jangling Sparrows) releases.” Fronted by eclectic guitarist-vocalist, Paul Edelman, the band’s most recent release 140 Nickels was voted a “Best Indie Album” selection by the L.A. Music Critic Awards, who added, “Watch for these guys near the top of the Americana music scene!”. 140 Nickels has received stellar reviews from national publications No Depression, The Alternate Root, Music Connection and more, plus extended national/international airplay.  / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Apr. 11-17: 32 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $7,585,000.00

    Apr. 23, 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…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Just Another Entry Into the ‘Conjuring’ Series

    la
    Apr. 23, 2019  Valek the demonic nun is the stuff of nightmares. Annabelle the possessed doll is a freaky sight. La Llorona is about two-thirds as scary as either of them. Her yellow eyes certainly aren’t inviting, nor is her constant stream of tears that could easily be mistaken for blood. But her face is reasonably well-proportioned and she has to open her mouth really wide to give you the full effect of her ghastliness. By Bob Garver. / 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



  • Town of Boone Special Meeting to Discuss Highway 105 Superstreet Project Happening Tuesday Morning


    April 19, 2019 Town council members are still weighing the pros and cons to the potential Highway 105 Superstreet design provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The town council and representatives from the NCDOT will be available on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. to potentially answer questions from local citizens that are concerned about what the new project could do to the Highway 105 corridor. One councilmember, in particular, has been out knocking on doors and trying to find out what Boone citizens and business owners on Highway 105 know about the project and what they would like to see happen. Loretta Clawson visited 34 different businesses on Highway 105 this week and is hoping to reach a few more this weekend and Monday before the Tuesday morning meeting. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Join Area Chambers of Commerce for Special Mega-Network Business After Hours Event at Linville Falls Winery on April 23


    April 16, 2019 On Tuesday, April 23, seven area chambers of commerce are joining together to present a “Special Mega-Network-Business After Hours Event” at the Linville Falls Winery, located just off US Highway 221 in the Linville Falls Community of Avery County. Its Global Positioning System (GPS) address is: 9557 Linville Falls Highway, Newland, NC. Starting at 5:30 p.m. and lasting until 7:30 p.m., the gathering will be headlined by Chambers of Commerce from Avery, Burke and McDowell counties as well as from the townships of Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and Beech Mountain (Area). Sponsored by Carolina West Wireless and the Linville Falls Winery, the event is free and open to the public. It will include live music from a local music band. Food and general beverages as well as the winery’s famous wines will also be available for purchase. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • York Chester Middle School Students Bravely Complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ at Grandfather Mountain


    April 22, 2019 Nine students from York Chester Middle School in Gastonia, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation was formed to host this unique hiking program, which is designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.  Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges.  / Read more…



  • 100th Anniversary Celebration of Linville River Railway Happening May 3


    April 22, 2019 Celebrate local history and the anniversary of the Linville River Railway with the Town of Boone on Friday, May 3, during the First Friday Art Crawl in downtown Boone.2019 marks the 100th anniversary of regular passenger and freight service to Boone on the Linville River Railway. The train service to Boone ended after the devastating 1940 Flood, but Boone would not be what it is today without the Linville River Railway. The railway, which first rolled into Boone in 1919, served the community for 20 years. The Linville River Railway, more commonly known as Tweetsie by locals, provided reliable access to Watauga County and Boone. Before the railway, roads in the northwestern corner of North Carolina were infamous for their rough and unreliable conditions, and many local roads mainly served exclusively as wagon trails. The Linville River Railway provided Boone and Watauga County with the first reliable transportation method for moving freight in and out of the region, which proved to be influential in changing the landscape of the town. / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Announces ‘Conservation Campus’ Expansion


    April 22, 2019 Grandfather Mountain is more than a mile high, but plans for a new “Conservation Campus” will take the park’s educational mission above and beyond.In fall 2019, the mountain will break ground on an ambitious project to help guests better explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.“We’re working to share the wonders of Grandfather in ways that are broader and deeper than ever before,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C. nature park.The mountain hopes to accomplish this through the establishment of the Conservation Campus, a venue to “study nature where nature reigns,” Pope said.The addition will nearly double the size of the park’s current Nature Museum — and beyond. / Read more…



  • The Art Cellar Gallery Releases 2019 Schedule


    April 19, 2019 What started as a 1,200 square feet space has grown to more than 4,000 in the last 27 years. The space is home to The Art Cellar Gallery and Framemakers, owned by Pam and Michael McKay. The gallery specializes in fine art, sculpture and other three-dimensional works in clay, glass, wood and stone, working to promote Appalachian artists as often as possible. The in-house frame shop has framed over 20,000 works since opening. In celebration of 27 years, Sarah Myers, the gallery director, says that the Art Cellar is changing up their art shows a bit for the 2019 season. “We’re doing a lot of solo shows this year, and it’s kind of interesting the way we’re doing it.” The Art Cellar is excited for the big shows coming up, starting in May. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Work Continues on Mountain Electric Cooperative’s Sugar Mountain Transmission Line


    April 19, 2019 It’s much on schedule.That describes the progress of a new transmission line that is being constructed to connect the electrical substations between Sugar Mountain and Banner Elk in Northern Avery County.In 2018, Mountain Electric Cooperative began construction on the Sugar Mountain 69,000 volt (69 kV) Line that will connect a new electrical substation in the Village of Sugar Mountain to its 69 kV electrical grid near its Banner Elk Substation. The new substation will be called the Sugar Mountain Substation.The project’s right-of-way preparation was completed by the end of August 2018. Holes were started being dug for the line in March and pole installation is currently underway. All poles are steel and are being assembled on site. Some are massive in height, reaching more than 100 feet. Almost 60 structures are part of the project–some of which include more than one pole. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Apr. 4-10: 35 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $9,182,000.00

    Apr. 19, 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…



  • The Face of Faith in the High Country: Annual Spring Magazine Bridges the Past to the Present


    April 18, 2019 For three years now, High Country Press has produced a unique Spring publication that has fast become a welcome addition to our other well-received projects found throughout the year.Thanks to a great group of local businesses and sponsors who support us and stand behind what we do — in addition to you, our readers who keep coming back for more — we are pleased to announce that our Spring 2019 High Country Faith Magazine is currently available on stands across the area. This current Spring 2019 issue of High Country Faith, in celebration of our mountain churches and the folks who work so hard behind the scenes, is filled with inspiring stories of churches, individuals and community efforts that help make life in the High Country enviable to those around us. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Tickets Now Available Online; Three Shows This Season


    April 18, 2019 Tickets are now available online for the 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre series, which will kick-off on June 27 with performances of Mamma Mia!, From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story, and Newsies.Individual show tickets range in price, per person, from $38–43 for adults, to $18–20 for students and/or children. Season ticket prices, per person, range from $114 for premium seating to $99 for general seating. “In my years of directing Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, I can’t remember being this excited,” Artistic Director Janet Barton Speer said. “I look forward to working with our 100-plus-member company as we bring magic to the High Country for the 35th season!”  / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, April 6 – April 14

    April 17, 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



  • Linville Mart Convenience Store Avoids Heavy Structural Damage in Tuesday Morning Fire

    April 17, 2019 The Linville Mart Convenience Store located at 4141 Mitchell Avenue caught fire in the early morning of Tuesday, April 16. According to Avery County Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Buchanan, a female employee observed smoke inside the store when she opened it for business at approximately 6:30 a.m. The employee then called Avery 911 to report the blaze. Buchanan said the rush of oxygen from the door being open likely stoked the flames. Buchanan said no one was injured in the fire, and that the building avoided heavy structural damage. However, he noted that the building did have interior smoke and heat damage. Buchanan said the fire was believed to be caused by a malfunctioning drink refrigerator. He added that the unit likely overheated and caused an electrical outlet to catch fire. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Local Man Brought Back to Life After Heart Stops


    April 17, 2019 Are you prepared to die today? Perhaps no question in life is more sobering than the one that causes us to consider our own mortality. Most of us, if given the opportunity, will avoid death and dying conversations like the plague – pun intended. But if faced head on tough questions can also challenge us to make the most out of every opportunity. Tony Weaver, an adventure loving Ashe County resident, knows firsthand the danger of taking life for granted. After experiencing chest pains, he made an appointment at The Cardiology Center in Boone, NC, part of Watauga Medical Center (WMC). It was there, during his appointment, that he went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating for nearly five minutes. When it counted most, his medial team responded with what Tony can only describe as “divine intervention” to save his life. / Read more…



  • RAM Now Taking Applications for Summer 2019 Work Projects

    April 17, 2019 Resort Area Ministries, Inc. (RAM) is now taking applications for Summer Mission Work projects. Each summer, RAM hosts church mission groups from different areas of the United States. These missions groups stay in Boone from three days to a week and assist RAM with work projects and campground ministries. Any low-income family, individual, or senior citizen who own their own homes and cannot do their own labor because of illnesses or physical impairments may be eligible for RAM’s projects. Many of RAM’s clients are senior citizens who are unable to do their own work or cannot afford to pay for the project’s expensive labor costs. The work that the RAM crews provide enables these senior members of our community to stay in their own homes longer and keep their independence. They look forward to the company that the work crews provide, so RAM is not only helping with the home repairs, but also the spiritual and emotional well being of the people. Friendships have developed and nurtured for several years with the work projects as the catalyst. / Read more…



  • Concerned Watauga County Citizens Rally Against Rainbow Trail Asphalt Plant


    April 17, 2019 Over 100 teachers, parents, children and members of the Watauga County community came together on Tuesday afternoon to make their voices heard in the disapproval of the planned asphalt plant construction on Rainbow Trail off of Highway 194 in Boone. The rally took place outside the Watauga County Administration Building on Tuesday afternoon prior to the Watauga County Commissioners’ meeting that was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thanks to a Facebook event page put together by members of High Country WATCH that reminded everyone of a time and a place, interested supporters arrived around 4:30 p.m. and many wore green. Some of the rallying members walked from Hardin Park School to the administration building with their signs. Organizers put the rally together after the North Carolina Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on behalf of Watauga County, High Country WATCH and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Happy Easter


    April 17, 2019. Easter is the most glorious day for Christians all over the world who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a special time for many families who gather to share a meal and have some fun with the kids. Even the Easter egg hunt has some relevance, as eggs symbolize new life. While many tables will be filled with the traditional fare, including ham, potato salad and various egg and springtime dishes, most cooks also enjoy trying something new or different. Hopefully, the following recipes will help put the finishing touches to your brunch or lunch buffet. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – April 16, 2019

    April 9, 2019. 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



  • TODAY: High Country WATCH Organizing Rally Against Rainbow Trail Asphalt Plant at 4:30 p.m.


    April 16, 2019 High Country WATCH (Wataugans Against Toxins Close to Home) is hoping to make their voices heard loud and clear with a protest on April 16. The public demonstration/protest rally organizers are asking everyone to wear green and be at the Watauga Courthouse, located at 814 W. King St. on April 16 at 4:30 p.m. immediately prior to the County Commissioners’ 5:30 meeting. The public is encouraged to attend the demonstration and lend support to commissioners as they seek a solution. Individuals can speak during the public comment at the meeting and write the county commissioners. A group of concerned citizens, environmental groups and affected property owners gathered to discuss options following the recent Supreme Court ruling that seems to give permission for Radford Quarries to move forward with plans for an asphalt plant on Rainbow Trail in the middle of a neighborhood and near several schools, which stand less than one mile from the proposed site including Hardin Park Elementary, Grace Academy and Boone United Methodist Preschool.  / Read more…



  • ‘Our Parents Made the World Better’: Funeral Services Announced for Deep Gap Murder Victims


    April 15, 2019 The funeral services for Jeff and Tanya Borlase, the parents who were killed in Deep Gap last week, will take place on Wednesday, April 17 at 2 p.m. at Alliance Bible Fellowship. Jeff, 43, and Tanya, 44, were found dead on Wednesday night after deputies from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1174 Orchard Road to investigate a suspicious incident. Tristan Noah Borlase, 17, was later apprehended in Johnson County, Tennessee and charged with two counts of murder. Tristan is one of eight children in the family. As the community mourns the tragic incident that took place almost a week ago, the children who are dealing with the untimely loss of their parents at such an early age found the strength inside to write the obituary for both of their parents. A memorial fund has also been set up for the Borlase family. Memorial contributions may be made to a fund for the family, established by Blowing Rock Parks & Rec, in care of Autumn, PO Box 47, Blowing Rock North Carolina, 28605 (Please make checks payable to Alexis Borlase), or to the MSC Education Fund, in care of Manhatten Supply Company, 525 Harbour Place, Davidson, North Carolina, 28036. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • First Quarter Realtor Sales Up for Ninth Consecutive Year


    April 15, 2019 The local real estate market continues to do brisk business, as sales in the first quarter of 2019 increased for the ninth consecutive year, according to the monthly real estate report by the High County Association of Realtors. Local Realtors sold 473 homes valued at $141.4 million from January to March, as recorded in the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which tracks all Realtor activity in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. That was an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the same time last year (444 homes sold), and up 19 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017 (398). Sales have increased in the first quarter every year since 2010, when only 146 homes worth $37.17 million were sold. / Read more…



  • Appalachian’s First Solar Vehicle — Apperion — Featured in 2019 Triangle SciTech Expo


    April 15, 2019  Fourth grade student Lance Shepherd, a young admirer of science and technology who attends Audrey W. Garrett Elementary School in Mebane, had a chance encounter with Apperion — the premier solar car of Appalachian State University’s Team Sunergy — when the car was installed Monday in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Apperion is one of more than 50 exhibits to be featured in the museum’s 2019 Triangle SciTech Expo Saturday. The expo showcases the state’s advancements in various technologies and scientific disciplines, and assembles scientists and technical professionals from both industry and universities to engage visitors of all ages in the world of STEM. By Jessica Stump / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Little’ Better Than Expected, But Predictable

    little
    April 15, 2019  The top two movies in the country right now have the exact opposite premise. “Shazam!” is about a young boy who is happy when he turns into an adult. “Little” is about a grown woman who is miserable when she turns into a child. I guess a good companion piece would be “The Hot Chick,” where overgrown teenager Rachel McAdams turns into man-child Rob Schneider. Eh, probably best just to stick to the two new films. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Celebrate North Carolina’s Unique Musical History at MerleFest, Come Hear NC Sponsors Stage


    April 12, 2019 North Carolina’s groundbreaking contributions to American music stretch across bluegrass, gospel, jazz, R&B and beyond. And this year at MerleFest, the state’s rich musical history will be on full display with over 35 N.C. based acts set to grace the stages in Wilkesboro, N.C. and several special North Carolina moments planned throughout the weekend. Come Hear North Carolina, a program of the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Arts Council, has sponsored the festival’s Creekside Stage to celebrate the state’s Year of Music in 2019. MerleFest — which started in 1988 as a tribute to Doc Watson’s son and famed guitarist, Merle — is the largest Americana festival in the country, and Come Hear NC’s Creekside Stage will spotlight a long list of North Carolina musicians influenced by the rich traditions and sounds of the Blue Ridge landscape. / Read more…



  • Avery Commissioners and School Board Conduct Joint Meeting to Discuss High School Construction and Renovation Project

    April 12, 2019 The Avery County Boards of Commissioners and Education conducted a joint meeting at the latter’s central offices on April 4 to discuss the proposed construction and renovation project at Avery County High School, as well as its bids that were originally scheduled to be opened that day. However, bid opening was cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday, April 16. Schools Superintendent Bryan Taylor said the bid opening postponement was to provide needed time for the contractors bidding on the project to get estimates from additional subcontractors. The project’s estimated cost has risen from $19.1 million to $23 million. Part of the estimate increase has been attributed to the need to replace equipment at the school, which includes $20,000 for a new boiler. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church Calls New Rector After 18 Months of Introspection & Search


    April 12, 2019 After an intensive 18 months of introspection and search, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church has called the Rev. Andrew J. Hege of Lexington, Kentucky to be her next rector.  In his announcement to the congregation, Sr. Warden Chip Myers characterized Fr. Andrew as “a passionate follower of Jesus, committed to the belief that we are all called to the holy work of sharing God’s love, mercy, and justice in the world.” A native of Thomasville, North Carolina, Fr. Andrew is a graduate of Montreat College, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and Virginia Theological Seminary. He has spent the past five years at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, KY, where he led the formation of a Justice Ministry team that brought together nearly 2,000 people from twenty congregations in that city, to work on the root causes of poverty and other community problems. / Read more…



  • The Easter Bunny is Getting Closer with Easter Egg Hunts In Store, Updates on Events


    April 12, 2019 The Easter Bunny is getting closer! The Towns of Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain have been busy planning this year’s Easter egg hunts. The Easter Bunny will be at Tweetsie as well. Boone’s Eggstravaganza will take place at Watauga County Public Library at 2 p.m. on April 13. Banner Elk’s Eggstravanga will take place at Historic Banner Elk School at 10 a.m. on April 13. Blowing Rock’s Easter Festival and Egg Hunt will take place in Memorial Park at 10 a.m. on April 13. Beech Mountain’s Hoppy Easter Party will take place at Buckeye Rec Center at 10 a.m. on April 20. Visit the Easter Bunny at Tweetsie on April 19-21. Head out and join the fun before the eggs are gone! By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Boone Woman Found Dead in Her Apartment; No Foul Play was Indicated

    April 12, 2019 On April 9, 2019, at approximately 1:15 PM, the Boone Police Department received a 911 report of a deceased woman found in an apartment, located at 165 Robin Lane in Boone. The woman was identified as Patricia Louise Everett, age 59, and the apartment in question was her residence. Boone Police Department detectives responded and investigated, and no foul play was observed. A medical examiner also responded to the scene to assist law enforcement.  / Read more…



  • Teen Charged With Murder in Slaying of Parents in Deep Gap

    April 12, 2019 The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office has officially identified the victims and the suspect in Wednesday night’s murder in Deep Gap. According to Sheriff Len Hagaman, Jeffrey David Borlase, 43, and Tanya Mae Borlase, 44, were found dead on Wednesday night after deputies from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1174 Orchard Road in Deep Gap in reference to a suspicious incident. The incident has sense been ruled a double homicide. On Thursday, the Borlase’s 17-year-old son, Tristan Noah Borlase, was found and arrested in Johnson County, Tennessee. The teen was charged with two counts of murder. The investigation is still continuing, according to Sheriff Hagaman.  / Read more…



  • UPDATE: Teen in Custody Following the Deaths of Two People in Deep Gap Wednesday Night

    April 11, 2019 On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at 10:32PM, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1174 Orchard Road in Deep Gap in reference to a suspicious incident. While officers were on scene, deputies discovered a deceased adult male outside the house and a deceased adult female inside. According to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman, the incident appears to have been domestic in nature, however the investigation is currently ongoing. In additional updates provided by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday afternoon, a 17-year-old has been taken into custody in Tennessee and was living in the house where the two adults were found dead.  / Read more…



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