High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 2, 2021

    March 2, 2021. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • “The Schaefer Center Presents” Welcomes the Steep Canyon Rangers to Boone, NC for a Free Livestreamed Concert


    March 2, 2021. The Schaefer Center Presents (SCP) virtual performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, proudly welcomes to the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts the Grammy-winning bluegrass septet Steep Canyon Rangers, Thursday, March 11 at 8 p.m. Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, NC’s Grammy winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin. The concert will be performed without a live audience, but livestreamed for free to the general public as the penultimate event in the spring virtual series. The event is free, but registration is required. / Read more…



  • State Board of Elections Voted Feb. 28 to Adopt or Amend Permanent Rules; Public Comment on Changes Can Be Made Through Jun. 1

    March 2, 2021 Pursuant to G.S. § 150B-21.1, notice is hereby given that the State Board of Elections intends to adopt or amend the following permanent rules (see Story). The State Board of Elections voted in an open meeting on February 23, 2021, to publish the proposed text in the North Carolina Register, and the agency invites public comment on this matter from Monday, March 1, 2021, through Tuesday, June 1, 2021.  Public comment may be made through any of the following methods (see Story)  / Read more…



  • New Executive Order from Governor Pushes the Curfew for On-Site Sale of Alcohol at Bars to 11 pm

    March 2, 2021 With North Carolina’s numbers trending to show improvement and vaccine distribution increasing, Governor Roy Cooper has allowed the state to ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 took effect Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. and will expire March 26 at 5 p.m. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption will be pushed from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Some businesses, including bars, will now be open indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions. TApp Room GM, Matt Manley, said, “We expect to see a decent increase in business, especially in a college town where people are looking to drink and eat dinner past 9 o’clock.” By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • William T. Stetzer to Serve as Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina

    March 2, 2021 William T. Stetzer has been named as the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, following the departure of U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray on February 28, 2021. Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer is a career prosecutor who has dedicated his professional life to public service. Mr. Stetzer joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2018 and has since served as the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. “It is a great honor to serve the people of the Western District and to work with an incredible group of dedicated public servants,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a long legacy of fulfilling its mission to seek justice and to protect the rights and safety of the public, which I pledge to continue while serving in this new role.”  / Read more…



  • Watauga Community Recreation Center to Open April 26; Sign Ups for Memberships Now Available


    March 1, 2021. Watauga County Parks and Recreation personnel said they are very excited to announce that the Watauga Community Recreation Center will be opening on Monday, April 26, 2021. This announcement comes after long-awaited anticipation from WCP&R staff and community members alike, as the pandemic delayed the opening of the new WCRC. The facility was completed in late May 2020, but at the time, North Carolina was in the “Safer at Home” Phase II of restrictions, and gyms were not allowed to open. When the state moved to allow 30% capacity in gyms and exercise facilities, it was still not practical to open the WCRC. However, that is about to change in less than 60 days. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Gas Prices Continue to Rise Across the High Country; Prices in Boone Three Cents Higher than North Carolina Average


    March 1, 2021. If you have noticed the steady climb of gas prices in Boone and other areas in North Carolina, you’re certainly not alone. Prices were below $2 per gallon as recent as December and had remained around the $2 mark until roughly a month ago when prices started to rise. As of Monday afternoon, the cheapest price of a gallon of regular gas in Boone is $2.59, three cents above the state average of $2.56, according to the popular travel app GasBuddy. The Exxon at the intersection of Highway 105 and Blowing Rock Road, the Speedway on Blowing Rock Road, the Marathon on E. King Street and the Circle K on Blowing Rock Road are all reporting prices of $2.59 per gallon. In Banner Elk, the Circle K on Shawneehaw Avenue and the Carolina Petro on Tynecastle Highway are both reporting prices of $2.59 per gallon. Typically, gas prices in Banner Elk are a little more than in Boone, but that is not the case right now. In Ashe County, prices range from 15 to 20 cents cheaper per gallon than Boone and Banner Elk. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • One Year Later: The High Country Press Published its First COVID-19 Article on February 28, 2020

    March 1, 2021 It has been one year since the High Country Press first published a story on how Appalachian State University and Samaritan’s Purse are dealing with traveling near areas that had early reports of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The first story published on February 28, 2020, featured comments from Megan Hayes, the Associate Vice-Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer at Appalachian State, in regards to how the university here would be dealing with exchange students from App State’s sister university in China, Wenzhou University. At the time, the study abroad program had been suspended earlier in the spring semester when the first cases of COVID-19 began to spread throughout China. The story also included policy changes at Samaritan’s Purse that were shared by Kaitlyn Lahm, the assistant director of marketing and media relations. At the time, the organization had suspended travel to China but was still able to donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment to Hubei, China to help them deal with the virus. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County’s DOT is On Track to Use 2.5 Times the Amount of Salt Compared to Last Winter


    March 1, 2021. Department of Transportation employees work around the clock to ensure roads are treated for travel throughout the winter weather in their areas. As these weather conditions may be coming to an end this season, the local DOT has provided insight about its operations. The North Carolina DOT has more than 3,200 specially-trained employees and more than 1,900 trucks that can be used to remove snow and ice. Preparations for road treatment are handled by the DOT maintenance yard in each county. Locally, NCDOT Watauga Maintenance has 21 full-time employees including administrative staff. An additional 4-5 employees from other NCDOT units assist Watauga Maintenance during snow removal. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Active Winter Season Has Dropped Over Two Feet of Snow in Boone with Just Under Three Weeks of Winter Remaining on the Calendar


    March 1, 2021. Boone and surrounding areas in the High Country have certainly had their fair share of snow during the 2020-21 winter season. Boone has nearly tripled the amount of snow that fell last winter when only 9.1 inches of snow fell. So far this year, according to snow totals provided by Ray’s Weather Center, Boone has recorded 25.7 inches of snow and ice during the winter months. Snow is possible overnight Tuesday and early morning Wednesday as well. There are still 18 days of winter left until the first day of spring on March 20. Ray’s Weather Center also has updated snowfall totals for Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain. In Beech Mountain, the town has received 52.7 inches since the first snow of the year that was reported on December 1 when three inches fell. Eight inches of snow fell on February 2, the highest single-day total in the town this winter. Sugar Mountain has had 78.5 inches of snow since December 1 when five inches of snow fell. Nine inches of snow fell on Christmas Day, which is the highest single-day total in Sugar Mountain so far this winter. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Tom and Jerry’ Has Too Much Predictable Physical Humor that is Played Out

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    March 1, 2021 I didn’t really grow up with the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon. I was more into Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, but I understand the two pairs have similarly adversarial relationships. The key difference is that while Wile E. definitely wants to eat the Road Runner, I don’t think Tom the Cat would know what to do with Jerry the Mouse if he ever caught him. The two need each other as enemies to give their lives purpose. The new film takes place in a world where all humans are live-action and all animals are animated. At least the animated animals are 2-D cartoons and not CGI abominations. Tom moves to New York City with dreams of becoming a famous pianist. Jerry moves to NYC with dreams of lazing about in a luxury apartment. Frankly it’s hard not to side with Tom here for following his passion, as opposed to Jerry, who wants to get ahead with as little effort as possible. Tom tries to earn a living by playing music for people in Central Park, and it takes just a few seconds of Jerry trying to upstage him by dancing for the entire act to be ruined and Tom’s only keyboard to be destroyed. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Announces Fundraiser “Runs for Buns” Virtual Auction Starts Today


    March 1, 2021 Runs for Buns 2021, hosted by Beech Mountain Resort, is designed to bring the community together in the fight against colon cancer. Runs for Buns will take place on March 6th and directly benefits the Colon Cancer Coalition. This event is open to teams of skiers, snowboarders, or those who would simply like to support the cause. Teams can compete for prizes based on top fundraising, most ski or snowboard runs, best costume, and team spirit. Participation in snow sports is not required to participate and make a difference.  In addition to the events on March 6th, a Virtual Auction will take place from March 1st through March 7th which increases the opportunities to join the fight against Colon Cancer. The silent Virtual Auction has several local sponsors for the event who have donated a wide variety of items and experiences to bid on.  / Read more…



  • Grand Opening Celebrates Blowing Rock’s Village Pharmacy Relocating to Tanger Outlets


    February 26, 2021. Village Pharmacy, a mainstay in the Blowing Rock community, has officially relocated its store from the Foley Center to the Tanger Outlets. An official ribbon-cutting celebrated the move yesterday. The pharmacy has served the Blowing Rock Community for over 20 years. Village Pharmacy was originally located on Sunset Drive before moving to the Foley Center and is now in a very convenient location at the Tanger Outlets off of Valley Boulevard. “We needed a better space and a better location, so it all worked out to be at Tanger. There is better parking and it is much more accessible,” said Jessica Welch, Marketing Coordinator for Boone Drugs, Inc., who owns Village Pharmacy. With the new location, the pharmacy has also added a lot more gift shopping options to fit in better with the other neighboring shops at the outlets, while still serving the area’s pharmaceutical needs. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Appalachian State University Receives Additional $4.1 Million Increase to General Fund; 2020 Audit Shows Four Percent Revenue Decrease

    February 26, 2021 The UNC Board of Governors approved an increase of $4.1 million to the university’s general fund to help offset some of the revenue shortcomings that can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year. An audit in June of 2020 by the state showed a decrease of four percent in total revenue for the school compared to 2019 numbers. That total ended up being $19.1 million. The audit states that prorated housing and dining refunds, as well as revenue losses at the University Bookstore, New River Light and Power and additional losses from not being able to hold camps and conferences on campus, were the key areas that resulted in revenue decreases. Appalachian State’s total operating expenses increased by $6.5 million, which is a change of 1.6 percent from 2019. The audit shows that most of the operating increases came from salary increases for faculty and staff and additional funds for scholarships and fellowships. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Local Community Wakes up to Total Loss of Historic Todd General Store From Fire


    February 26, 2021. As rain falls across the High Country today, Ashe County, the Todd community and surrounding residents are mourning the loss of the Todd General Store, a historical landmark established in 1914. The building had a fire last night, and the Todd Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding fire departments responded to the flames around 10 p.m. The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time. Calls seeking comment from Ashe County Emergency Management and the Todd Volunteer Fire Department have not been returned. The story will be updated should High Country Press hear back. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Crime Stoppers Searching for Suspects Involved in Thefts at Two Local Businesses


    February 26, 2021 High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime: During the daytime hours of February 23, 2021, the Boone Police Department responded to two reports of theft at retail establishments, suspected to have been committed by the same two individuals. Two white males, in their twenties, were observed inside of Mast General Store (630 West King Street) and are suspected of stealing more than $700.00 worth of merchandise. The same two males are suspected of theft, in excess of $2500.00 worth of art supplies, from Cheap Joe’s Art Supply (374 Industrial Park Drive). The two males were captured on surveillance footage and were last observed leaving the area of West King Street, Boone, in a white Kia sedan. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Teachers and Staff Receive COVID-19 Vaccine at Mass Clinic in Boone


    February 26, 2021 A collective sigh of relief was heard among Watauga County’s teachers and public school employees as they received their first COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, February 24 at the Watauga Community Recreation Center. Earlier this month, Governor Roy Cooper announced that childcare workers and pre-K to 12th grade school employees would be eligible for the vaccine under Group 3 of the state’s phased rollout process. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS), AppHealthCare (Appalachian District Health Department), and Watauga County Schools immediately started working together to determine how to vaccinate the remainder of registered seniors and move on to school staff.  / Read more…



  • Todd General Store Burns Down in Late Night Blaze Thursday; Cause of Fire Still Under Investigation


    February 26, 2021. Ashe County and the community of Todd lost a historical landmark Thursday night as the Todd General Store, established in 1914, was a total loss due to a fire. The Todd Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding fire departments responded to the flames around 10 p.m. Authorities say the cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was injured. The 107-year-old, three-story building has changed owners several times through the years, but it was the oldest operating store in Ashe County and one of the oldest operating general stores in North Carolina. The Todd General Store was located 10 miles south of West Jefferson and 11 miles north of Boone, off Hwy 194 at 3866 Todd Railroad Grade Rd. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Avery County Barn Quilt Trail Re-Created


    February 25, 2021. There are many beautiful paintings of quilting squares displayed on buildings and barns around Avery County. Until recently, there was no source of information about these works of art for residents and visitors who wanted to take a driving tour around the county. Most of these pieces were created between 2008 and 2011, when the Avery Arts Council developed a Barn Quilt Trail in the county. The driving trail featured many “quilt squares” showcasing our Appalachian heritage, displayed on historic barns and other buildings. When the arts council disbanded in mid-2012, the website, brochures and all supporting information were lost. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Republican Party Will Hold its 2021 County Convention on March 6th

    February 25, 2021 ​Please take notice that on March 6, 2021 at 7467 Old US 421 S Deep Gap, North Carolina the Watauga County Republican Party will hold its 2021 County Convention.  Precinct Meetings shall be held from 9:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. and the convention shall be begin promptly at 10 a.m.  All registered Republicans are welcome to come and participate.  If you plan to attend the virtual meeting please register at https://www.nc.gop/watauga-convention-2021 by Friday 05MAR. You may register in person at the convention. Voting for virtual attendees will be set up on an individual basis.  / Read more…



  • Remote Learning Through Watauga Virtual Academy Will Continue as Schools Plan Return to the Classroom

    February 24, 2021 After Monday’s unanimous school board vote that will send kindergarten through fifth grade students back to the classroom four days a week starting in March, families wanting to keep their kids enrolled in remote learning will have that opportunity for the foreseeable future. Students in kindergarten, first and second grade will return to in-person learning four days a week beginning on March 8. Third, fourth and fifth graders will return to in-person learning four days a week beginning on March 22. All students will continue remote learning on Wednesdays each week. No changes have been made for middle school and high school students as they will continue operating on the 2×3 Flex Plan with two days in school and three days of remote learning. For the parents and guardians that feel safer with their students learning from home, the Watauga Virtual Academy will keep operating to provide the best education possible. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Governor Cooper Announces Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions as North Carolina Trends Stabilize

    February 24, 2021 As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm. “Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.” “Keep wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands. We’ve seen in the past how fragile progress can be, so we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.  / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 15 – February 21

    February 24, 2021. 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



  • LMC Named One of the Top Transfer-Friendly Schools in the Country by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for the Second Straight Year

    February 24, 2021 The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has selected Lees-McRae as one of the most transfer-friendly schools in the nation. The Transfer Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities that set up pathways to make it easier for community college students to transfer to the institution. To be eligible for the Honor Roll, colleges and universities create a Transfer Profile on PTK Connect, a tool that allows students to compare different institutions and find one that best meets their needs. Only 25% of colleges and universities that create a Transfer Profile are named to the Transfer Honor Roll. “The Transfer Honor Roll reflects the growing importance of recognizing and responding to the needs of transfer students,” Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “This award is given to four-year colleges and universities with proven outcomes for transfer success. They are the best at providing a supportive and smooth transition from community college—equating to increased rates of bachelor’s degree attainment for transfer students.” / Read more…



  • High Country Soccer Association Accepting Spring Registrations for U6, U8, U10 Academy and U9-U15 Challenge Soccer


    February 24, 2021 Are you interested in playing soccer but not quite ready to commit to travel soccer? High Country Soccer Association is accepting registrations for youth players ages U6 to U15 for the spring season. The U6, U8, and U10 Academy programs are designed to teach kids the fundamentals of soccer and prepare them for travel soccer. The U9-U15 Challenge programs are designed for kids who have aged out of Academy but are not ready to commit to travel soccer. All Academy and Challenge Soccer programs will be held at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex on Brookshire Road in Boone. Each team will be assigned a licensed, paid coach. HCSA, which opened in 1986, offers soccer training to youth ranging from U6 to U18 and competes in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. HCSA also operates adult leagues, winter futsal youth training, and summer camps. In all, HCSA has more than 600 youth players and more than 300 adult players from Avery, Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes, and Watauga counties.  / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: March 4 is National Pound Cake Day


    February 24, 2021. Anyone or anything that has a day named in its honor must be something special — and the pound cake is no exception as it has its day coming soon on March 4. There are few desserts that have stood the test of time like the pound cake. It’s one of the first sweet treats I remember seeing at family reunions and church gatherings when I was a child. And while today’s pound cakes have taken on various personalities and flavors, there’s nothing to compare to one of Granny’s original pound cakes, stirred by hand and mixed up with a lot of love from days gone by. Some of today’s popular pound cakes include puddings, fruit, nuts and various extracts. Some even start with a boxed cake mix — and some of us know the difference — but whatever the method, any way or any day is good for a pound cake. My favorite pound cake has, in recent years, transitioned from a sour cream pound cake to a beautiful, luscious lemon-blueberry one that a dear friend makes us for special occasions. I can almost taste that tart/sweet decadence right now and can hardly wait for the next one! By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – February 23, 2021

    February 23, 2021. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Avery School Staff Personnel to Receive Coronavirus Inoculations via Mobile Healthcare Units Thursday; First Doses Only Available to County Residents Friday; and First and Second Doses Anticipated for Distribution March 1st-5th

    February 23, 2021 Avery County will again roll out its new healthcare mobile units this Thursday, February 25th to inoculate its public school teachers, principals and school support staff workers including custodians, cook, bus drivers and secretaries for coronavirus (COVID-19). Additionally, Avery County School Administration officials plan to be vaccinated Thursday. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Life Expectancy in United States Drops A Year Due to Coronavirus Pandemic; Now 77.8 Years for US

    February 23, 2021 Life expectancy in the United States dropped by a whopping one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, according to health officials nationwide. Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, nearly two years, according to preliminary estimates from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who evaluates the numbers for the CDC. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this. What is really bad about these numbers is that they only reflect the first half of 2020 and they may only get worse,” By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Update on Attendance at Spring Sporting Events


    February 23, 2021 A busy spring sports season has arrived for App State Athletics. Scheduled to compete this spring are baseball, field hockey, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field and volleyball. Men’s and women’s basketball, women’s indoor track & field and wrestling are in the stretch runs of their winter seasons. The health and safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority while we provide them the opportunity to continue their education and compete for championships this spring.  / Read more…



  • Icy Temperatures Fuel Spikes at Pump in Carolinas

    February 23, 2021 Motorists in the Carolinas are seeing some of the most expensive gas prices in over a year. With the forced shutdown of Gulf Coast and some Mid-West refineries due to last week’s winter weather, gasoline stocks have tightened and pump prices have skyrocketed. “Crude production is offline because refineries are now closed,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Until operations resume and production is back to normal levels, we can expect to see the spike in prices stick around.” / Read more…



  • Local Children Receive Dental Hygiene Products from OP Smiles as part of Smile Drive Campaign


    February 23, 2021 Tooth decay is the most common chronic untreated disease in America, making it difficult for millions of children to eat, focus in school and smile. One reason for the prevalence of decay is the lack of basic oral care products in many low-income homes. To raise awareness of the importance of oral health and collect oral care products for children in need, OP Smiles held a Smile Drive at their Boone and North Wilkesboro locations on  Feb. 17. Over 1,500 donated items were collected and were then matched by OP Smiles, generating over 3,000 dental health products. These supplies will be delivered to The Wilkes Public Dental Clinic and The Children’s Council of Watauga County for local children  and youth in need.  / Read more…



  • Watauga County School Board Unanimously Approves Four Days of In-Person Classroom Instruction for K-5 Students Beginning March 8

    February 22, 2021 In a step closer to a full-time return to the classroom for all students in Watauga County, the school board voted to approve a measure to send K-2 students back to the classroom four days a week, beginning March 8 and third grade through fifth grade students back into the classroom four days a week beginning on March 22. The county will still continue to offer remote learning for children and families who feel more comfortable with that instead. The motion was supported unanimously by all five board members. If all goes well with the four-day school week without any major increases in COVID-19 cases, the next step would be returning all K-5 students to the classroom five days a week. “I anticipate that if we have the success with our mitigation efforts that we have had all year long that once we have made this transition, I would be prepared at that point to recommend a five day a week schedule,” said superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott. Students in grades 6-12 will continue on 2×3 Flex Plan with two days in school and three days of remote learning. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • COVID-19 Update: Positive Cases Trending Down in Watauga County and Across the High Country


    February 22, 2021 The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Watauga County have started to decline over the last month, a trend that is showing up in many locations across the country as more and more vaccines are given and people continue to wear masks and remain socially distanced. According to the latest data from the CDC, just over 64 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States. According to the latest data from AppHealthCare, Watauga County currently has 112 active COVID-19 cases as of February 22. At the beginning of January, there were over 200 active cases on January 9. The number dropped to 174 during the week of January 10-16 and dropped again to 143 January 17-23. The number remained almost the same with just three additional active cases in the final week of January before dropping to 118 in the first week of February and down to 112 as of February 13. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Nomadland’ Has So Much Passion In Every Scene, Its Brilliance is Appreciated

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    February 22, 2021 Since September of last year when the film won top prizes at both the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, it has been clear that Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” would dominate awards season. Mind you, awards season itself was in question, with all the delays and compromises that affected all institutions in the last year. But whenever awards season was going to take place, “Nomadland” was going to be there to pounce on it and devour its many accolades. Now the film has opened, both in theaters and streaming on Hulu (try to see it in theaters if you can, though with my work schedule I had to settle for Hulu), and it’s frankly it’s not doing too well at the box office. But I have a feeling that things are going to change this coming weekend with the Golden Globe Awards, and even more in a few weeks when Oscar nominations are announced. People are going to want to see this film that is all over those programs. Not much happens in “Nomadland” besides simple conversations and contemplative looks at scenery. Yet so much passion is put into every scene and shot that it seems like there’s zero fat on this movie. It’s like reading Shakespeare – it’s probably not high on the list of things you “want” to do, but if you push yourself to take it in, you’ll appreciate its brilliance. By Bob Garver / Read more…



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