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Apps Nip Marshall 31-30 in Football Classic Thursday Night

September 24, 2021. Appalachian State’s Mister Reliable Kicker Chandler Staton nailed a 45-yard field goal with 5:45 remaining and the Mountaineers defense held Marshall scoreless the rest of the way enroute to a 31-30 victory over their long-time rival Thursday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. The game was played before 28,377 rabid fans and a national ESPN television audience. Appalachian State (3-1) seemed destined to lose for much of the last half. The Mountaineers committed turnovers on their first two possessions of the second half with an interception and a fumble, respectively, and also turned the ball over on down. And the Thundering Herd led by at least two scores heading to the fourth quarter, only to see it erased by Appalachian State. By Tim Gardner

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Explore Boone Announces App State Running Back Camerun Peoples will be their New Brand Ambassador for this Year’s Football Season


September 23, 2021. The Boone & Watauga County Tourism Development Authorities (Explore Boone) are excited to announce that Appalachian State Running Back, Camerun Peoples, will serve as a brand ambassador for Explore Boone during the 2021 football season. Camerun is no stranger to App State football fans. Last season he rushed for a total of 1,124 yards, securing the number one spot in the Sun Belt Conference and number ten nationally. He went on to become the MVP of the Myrtle Beach Bowl, with 317 yards and five touchdowns. That performance broke the App State single-game rushing record in addition to the NCAA single bowl game rushing record. “We are thrilled to have Camerun Peoples as a brand ambassador for Explore Boone this season,” said Executive Director, Wright Tilley.  “We just launched a new ‘Inspiring Awe Since 1849’ ad campaign, and Camerun is certainly awe-inspiring on the football field and in our community.” 

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Free Four-Part Series Examining Ways to Make the Appalachia Region Better for All Ages

September 23, 2021. To help improve Appalachia cities, towns and rural areas, AARP and community collaborators in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee are holding a free four-part series of virtual presentations and discussions aimed at making the region more vibrant for people of all ages. Participants will hear from state and national community planning leaders, create connections, build momentum, and share best practices to support development in the Appalachia region that promotes safety, mobility, affordability, and wellness. All of the sessions are free, but registration is required.

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The Schaefer Center Presents Series Brings Broadway’s Sarah Jones to Boone for a One-Woman Tour de Force on Oct. 7

September 23, 2021. The Schaefer Center Presents (SCP) performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes Tony-winning performer, writer, comedian and activist Sarah Jones, in An Evening with Sarah Jones, on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Called “a master of the genre” by The New York Times, Jones is known for her powerful and wickedly funny multi-character, one-person shows, including Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel, originally produced by Meryl Streep, and the critically-acclaimed show Sell/Buy/Date. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 faculty/staff, $5 students, and free for all App State students (ticket issued in person with proof of student I.D.). A livestream option is also available at $15 per household.

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Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Meet the Candidates Forum on Oct. 5th

September 23, 2021. The annual Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5th, from 6:30 – 9:00pm. Due to COVID-19 considerations, this event will be held in a virtual format and streamed live on the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as WATA Radio (1450/96.5). Discussion with local TV outlets for distribution is ongoing and those details will be announced as soon as possible. As this event is hosted by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, questioning will allow for candidates to inform the local business community about their platform, goals, and objectives. Questions will be asked by a moderator and will come from audience submission as well as suggested topics from the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee.

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Town of Beech Mountain Receives $100K Donation for Startup of a 24-Hour EMS Station

September 23, 2021. Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Chief and Town Manager Robert Pudney announces the receipt of a $100,000 donation from the Mountain Ambulance and Healthcare Foundation. The funds are designated for the startup of a 24-hour Emergency Medical Services Station on Beech Mountain. At the July council meeting, Beech Mountain town council voted to pursue the establishment of an EMS Station. “The Town Council strongly believes that we need to provide top-notch emergency medical services for our residents and visitors,” stated Mayor Barry Kaufman. “We identified this need as one of our top five budget priorities this year.”

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Boone Native Sheri Castle To Host New Televised Cooking Series on PBS Beginning Tonight at 7:30


September 23, 2021. We’ve seen her recipes in some of our favorite state-wide publications and we loved having her return to her hometown in 2019 as special guest speaker for Farm City Banquet. Now, we can all see Boone native Sheri Castle in a new weekly PBS cooking show beginning this Thursday. Episodes will air at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays for eight weeks, then repeat for the following eight weeks. It will also air on Sunday afternoons and will also be available online and through certain steaming platforms. A well-known award-winning author, cook and speaker, Castle will host ‘The Key Ingredient,” premiering September 23 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS North Carolina. — and her first segment will include scenes of her grinding meal with her dad at her parents’ home in Boone. By Sherrie Norris

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Vidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar Hosted Gundlach Bundschu Gunbun Winery for 2016 Vintage Reserve Release Event Luncheon

September 21, 2021. Representatives from Gundlach Bundschu were in Downtown Boone visiting Vidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar to present a private taste-testing luncheon for wine connoisseurs in the High Country, who attended the event that was sponsored by Associated Brands based in Newton, NC on Sept. 16. “This is an appreciation for buyers and people who support Gundlach Bundschu,” said Paula Horton, a manager for Associated Brands. “We are represented by many restaurants, wine shops, country clubs and more that support the brand and make it available for people in Western North Carolina and enjoy Gundlach Bundschu.” By Harley Nefe

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MerleFest Makes A Grand Return For Rescheduled 2021 Event this Past Weekend

September 17, 2021. MerleFest, presented by Window World, officially came to a close on Sunday, but not without a number of unforgettable collaborations, spontaneous sit-ins, and world-class performances at the much anticipated return of North Carolina’s beloved festival. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sturgill Simpson, and Mavis Staples all brought extra MerleFest energy to the Watson Stage over the course of the weekend. MerleFest, held on the campus of Wilkes Community College, is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, which funds scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs. “Once again I want to thank all of our MerleFest family—artists, volunteers, staff, and fans—for their patience and support as we worked together to put on a safe and enjoyable festival that spotlighted the very best in roots-plus music,” says Festival Director Ted Hagaman. “We’ve had a wonderful weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces again in seven short months when MerleFest returns to its usual April weekend in 2022.”  

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Cottages of Boone Wastewater Tank Overflows Due to Mechanical Error

September 20, 2021. The Cottages of Boone, located at 615 Fallview Lane in Boone, North Carolina, experienced a discharge of untreated domestic wastewater. The housing development operates an on-site wastewater treatment system that is permitted through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources and serves 894 bedrooms and ancillary facilities. The Cottage of Boone WWTP facility’s equalization tank overflowed as the result of an emergent mechanical error that occurred at the treatment facility. The discharge is believed to have started late Monday, September 13, and ended at approximately 8:00 p.m. It is estimated that approximately 4,725 gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged to Laurel Fork stream within the Watauga River Basin during the event. A local sludge hauling company arrived on-site and pumped 12,000 gallons of raw wastewater from the equalization tank, stopping the overflow.

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Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Moore Honored with Plaza and Statue Prior to Home Opener Against Elon on Saturday

September 20, 2021. Appalachian State’s Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Moore will forever have a permanent piece of history honoring him outside of Kidd Brewer Stadium. On Saturday before Appalachian State’s victory over Elon, a special plaza and statue were dedicated to honor Coach Moore’s 24 years as head coach of the Mountaineers. Moore, 82, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014 after compiling a career record of 242-135-2 with a record of 215-87 at Appalachian State. Moore helped guide the Mountaineers to 10 Southern Conference Championships (1991, 1995, 1999, 2005-2010, 2012) and three FCS National Championships (2005-2007).  By Nathan Ham

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App State Uses Powerful Second Half to Rout Elon, 44-10 in Front of Sold Out Crowd

September 19, 2021. Appalachian State’s home football opener at sold-out Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone Saturday afternoon featured a 44-10 victory against long-time, fellow-North Carolina rival Elon before 30,224 fans, while special homage was paid beforehand to a colossal contributor to the Mountaineer program’s rich and storied history. The latter occurred during pregame festivities as Appalachian State University officials unveiled the Jerry Moore Plaza, honoring the Hall of Fame head coach who led the Mountaineers for 24 seasons and to three Division I-AA/FCS (Football Bowl Subdivision) championships. By Tim Gardner

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COVID-19 Update: Town of Boone Modifies Mask Ordinance for Businesses that Offer Indoor Fitness and Exercising

September 17, 2021. The Town of Boone issued a modification to its mask ordinance on September 17 that allows for people inside local gyms, fitness centers and the recreation complex to not have to wear a mask while working out. The amendment to the town’s ordinance states that individuals do not have to wear a mask if they are maintaining 10 feet of social distance from all participants at all times or can provide proof of vaccination and maintain six feet of social distance from all other participants. Face coverings will still be required in areas such as lobbies, hallways and any areas where people are not actively engaged in athletic or physical activities. Active COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the High Country. As of Friday morning, there were 129 active cases in Watauga County with 120 people in quarantine. Ashe County reported 85 active cases with 133 people in quarantine and Alleghany County reported 75 active cases with 77 people in quarantine.  By Nathan Ham

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Mountaineers to Face Former SoCon Rival Elon in Sold Out Home Opener This Saturday

September 17, 2021. Appalachian State will look to bounce back from a close loss at Miami last weekend with the team’s first home game of the 2021 season this Saturday against the Elon Phoenix. The Mountaineers (1-1) are coming off of a 25-23 loss at Miami last week. Elon (1-1) has played two nailbiters, first a 24-22 loss at home to Wofford and then a 24-23 win at Campbell last week. Against Miami, Mountaineer QB Chase Brice completed 21-of-34 passes for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Camerun Peoples carried the ball 17 times for 95 yards and a score while Nate Noel added 51 yards on 16 carries. Through the air, Corey Sutton was App State’s leading receiver with seven receptions for 60 yards. Malik Williams, who was held to just one catch in the season opener against East Carolina, reeled in five passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, and Thomas Hennigan had three catches for 28 yards. Jalen Virgil was held to just one catch, but had one of the biggest plays of the game with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.  By Nathan Ham

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Special Operations Veterans Stop in Boone During 8th Annual Coast-to-Coast Ride for The Fallen

September 17, 2021. A group of veterans on motorcycles representing Coast X Coast stopped in Boone last Tuesday on their cross-country journey to honor fallen members of Special Operations Forces, while attempting to have a positive impact on the lives of those wounded and their families. It wasn’t just a random stop for veteran Jonathan Wilson, the organization’s Director of Operations, but rather a quick visit to his hometown and a chance to see his parents, Johnny and Wanda Wilson. The group came through Boone on September 7 enroute to the Fort Bragg area; they reached their final destination at Arlington National Cemetery three days later. By Sherrie Norris

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Invasive Plants in Our Area Is Bad News for a Variety of Reasons

September 17, 2021. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are few examples where this old saying from Benjamin Franklin rings truer than with invasive plants. An invasive plant as defined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service is: “A plant that is both non-native and able to establish on many sites, grow quickly, and spread to the point of disrupting plant communities or ecosystems.” Most invasive plants here in western NC come from similar environments and ecosystems in Europe and Asia. Many invasive plants are brought here intentionally through nurseries and the landscaping industry. When a plant is moved to a new ecosystem and no longer has any natural checks or balances, its population can expand rapidly at the cost of its new ecosystem. 

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The Blowing Rock Civic Association Presents The Paul H. Broyhill Community Service Award to Members of Harper Family


September 17, 2021. The Blowing Rock Civic Association honored a group of family and friends for their joint efforts to preserve wild and scenic areas in and around Blowing Rock in a ceremony held in the gazebo in Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock Thursday, September 16th. The 2021 Paul H. Broyhill award was announced at the park that bears the Broyhill family name by BRCA Chairman George Wilcox in front of a gathering of participants in the project, family and friends.

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Avery County Mountain-Top Revival In Its Fourth Week, Described As “Sovereign, Supernatural and Sudden’”

September 16, 2021. When Victory Baptist Church in Newland began its week-long mountain-top tent revival on Monday, August 23, no one could’ve known that four weeks later, the meeting would still be going on. For weeks prior to its beginning, the host church and all who supported it were eagerly anticipating great things to happen during the revival, but what has happened has left many in awe of the life-changing experiences they have personally encountered and witnessed in others. In an interview with church pastor, Ethan Greene, before the revival began, we were told, “Only God knows what next week will be like, but if the interest of people I have spoken with is any indication, then it will be beyond amazing.” And, amazing it has been, he said. At that time, Greene said, It was the hope and prayer of his church, that many lives would be impacted for Christ during the revival. “Churches from all around the area have expressed interest in the meeting, and many have made definite plans to attend,” he said. “This is a free event and open to everyone.” By Sherrie Norris

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Grandfather Mountain Staff Expects Uptick in Hikers this Fall, Shares Hiking Tips

September 16, 2021. The call of the wild has been loud and clear during the pandemic with many people looking for a way to escape, get outdoors and connect more with their loved ones and nature. That trend is evident with Grandfather Mountain experiencing record attendance the last two years. With more people visiting, the park has also observed a substantial increase in hikers. In 2019, the Linville, N.C., nature preserve recorded 11,889 hikers between January and August. In 2021, 15,110 hikers hit the trails during that same period, a 27-percent increase. “Having more people on the trails means that people are getting back to nature and specifically seeing the wonders of Grandfather Mountain in a unique way,” said H Patton III, natural resource management specialist for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “Hiking our trails offers one of the most difficult and exciting experiences that our guests can have. The rugged connection to the mountain is one that they will never forget.”

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Payne Branch Park Open and Flourishing Thanks to Middle Fork Greenway Task Force

September 16, 2021. 15 years ago, members of the Middle Fork Greenway task force obtained grants to secure land for three parks along the Middle Fork of the New River: Payne Branch Park, Goldmine Branch Park, and Sterling Creek Park. After removal of the South Fork dam and extensive stream bank restoration, Payne Branch Park is now open to the public. Sterling Creek Park opened in 2014, and Goldmine Branch Park is currently under construction, slated to be finished by the end of the year. Funding for Payne Branch Park was provided by AppHealthCare, ZAP Endurance, Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, and Blue Ridge Conservancy. The South Fork dam, used to produce power for Boone from 1924-1972, was removed in 2020 in a partnership between Resource Institute, Appalachian State University, New River Light & Power (NRLP). Now that the water is flowing freely, fish and other aquatic organisms can migrate up and down the river corridor, and native trees, shrubs and flowers provide wildlife and riverbank protection.  The Middle Fork Greenway task force, a committee of volunteers, is keeping the park clean, pruned, and ready for visitors. 

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LETTERS / Legislative Alert – Attack on Neighborhoods

September 16, 2021 Letters to the Editor. From TIM GUPTON / Dear Editor, The North Carolina League of Municipalities shared this alert. A harmful provision damaging the ability of cities and towns to regulate short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, was included in the North Carolina House of Representatives’ proposed state budget, and the provision is now being negotiated as part of a final budget deal. If you are concerned about this latest backdoor attempt to undermine local regulation of short-term rentals, we urge you to take action now by asking your state legislators to keep this provision out of the final budget agreement.

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Descendant of Daniel Boone to Discuss His Life as a Long Hunter on September 18 at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum


September 16, 2021. On September 18 at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone, Robert Alvin Crum will do two presentations about his direct ancestor Daniel Boone. The topic of discussion is “Daniel Boone – A Long Hunter. Robert is a writer, public speaker and visual artist who tells the stories of his Boone and Bryan ancestors living in North Carolina in the eighteenth century. Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania in 1734 and arrived in North Carolina with his parents in 1751. He learned to hunt as a young boy and was such a great shot that he became a commercial hunter in North Carolina. By 1767, he moved farther up the Yadkin River to live with family and friends in what is now Wilkes County and began his long hunts into areas we now know as Kentucky and Tennessee. Boone was hunting in North Carolina for the last time in 1779 and took his hides to market in Charleston, South Carolina where he could get a higher price. The proceeds from this hunt helped him to lead his last large migration out of North Carolina in 1779.

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COVID-19 Numbers Are Highly Alarming in Toe River Health District Counties

September 16, 2021. The latest COVID-19 numbers for the past seven days in the Toe River Health District clearly display the continued danger that the pandemic is causing in that region which governs the North Carolina High Country counties of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey. Statistics released today (September 14) and ending September 13, 2021 by the Toe River Health District show Yancey County had 139 new positive cases detected; Mitchell County reported 97 and Avery County had 87. The number of COVID deaths in the Toe River Health District counties since mid-July is 24–an average of 12 per month. Of those deaths, 11 are from Avery County, 8 from Yancey and 5 in Mitchell. By Tim Gardner

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Johnny Appleseed Would Be Happy This Year


September 16, 2021. By all accounts, the local apple crops are abundant this year. And that’s a good thing. Area orchards, farmer’s markets and roadside stands are starting to see plenty of these seasonal treats showing up — and in several varieties for eating, cooking and preserving for a cold winter’s day. There’s so much you can do with an apple and we’re happy to help with a few ideas. By Sherrie Norris

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