High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • App State Coaching Search Update: Ledford Out of Contention; McNeill, Gattis and Woody Listed as Possible Top Candidates

    December 11, 2018 FootballScoop.com is reporting that North Carolina State’s Dwayne Ledford has pulled himself out of contention for the Appalachian State head coaching job and has joined Scott Satterfield’s staff at Louisville. Ledford, a former Appalachian State assistant, most recently has been N.C. State’s offensive line coach and running game coordinator. With the news that Ledford is out of the process, FootballScoop.com has listed three candidates that Athletics Director Doug Gillin is considering at Appalachian State. Those include: Ruffin McNeill, associate head coach and interim defensive coordinator at Oklahoma; Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis; and Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Nate Woody. McNeill was East Carolina University’s head coach from 2010-15 and was Appalachian State’s defensive coordinator from 1993-96. Gattis has been offered the offensive coordinator position at Maryland and could also be a candidate for Temple’s head coaching position. Woody has previously been Defensive Coordinator at Appalachian State under Satterfield, but took the same post at Georgia Tech this past season. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • High Country Charitable Foundation Provides Four Grants for Avery County Nonprofit Organizations


    December 11, 2018. ‘Tis the season for giving, and a local foundation has been generous with holiday gifts to make life better for people and animals in Avery County. This December, gifts from the High Country Charitable Foundation have enhanced the efforts of four Avery County based nonprofits. Food insecure individuals will receive hams for their Christmas dinner tables, through Feeding Avery Families. Needy children will find toys, educational supplies and clothing under their Christmas tree thanks to the Avery County Sheriff’s Office program of Christmas for Kids and the efforts of Reaching Avery Ministry and Avery Project Christmas. Even the dogs and cats at the Avery Humane Society will benefit from a commercial clothes washer and dryer to keep their bedding clean and fresh.  / Read more…



  • Avery Commissioners Retain Officers and Approve Delay of County’s Audit

    December 11, 2018  Election of new county officers and a delay in the preparation of the county’s 2017-18 fiscal year audit were among the action approved at the regular monthly meeting of the Avery County Board of Commissioners December 3. All commissioners-Martha Hicks; Blake Vance; Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr.; Tim Phillips; and Dennis Aldridge were present. County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Commissioners Cindy Turbyfill; Finance Officer Tim Greene; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore also were present. It was the first meeting for Aldridge as a commissioner. He was the high vote-getter in the November General Election, being elected to serve a four-year term. He replaces Faith (Faye) Lacey, who did not seek re-election to the Board. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Todd Resident Gets Creative With the Nearly Two Feet of Snow that Fell Across the High Country


    December 11, 2018. The biggest snowfall that the High Country has seen for several years was a headache to many residents and visitors. For one Todd man, he took advantage of the the powdery white stuff that fell to the ground and built one spectacular Snow Santa. Lee Cahill lives on Railroad Grade Road in Todd and took the time to create this masterpiece over the last couple of days of snowfall across the area. If you need a lift into the Christmas spirit after being snowbound for the last few days, venture out to see the Snow Santa before he melts away.   / Read more…



  • Two App State Assistants Join Satterfield’s Louisville Staff

    December 11, 2018  Appalachian State assistant coaches Bryan Brown and Frank Ponce are joining the University of Louisville football coaching staff right away. They will become the first hires made by Scott Satterfield, the six-year Mountaineers head coach who was named earlier this week as the new head coach of the Cardinals. Brown was thought to be a possible candidate to replace Satterfield as Appalachian State’s head coach, but instead will be the defensive coordinator at Louisville. He filled the same role this past season for Satterfield at Appalachian State. His appointment at Louisville may mean he was not going to be under consideration for the Appalachian State head job. It’s unclear what role Ponce will fill at Louisville. Brown and Ponce were members of Satterfield’s original Appalachian State staff, when he became head coach in late 2012, with the 2013 season his first as head coach. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Banner Elk’s Saturday Night Christmas Parade and Festivities Finishes Up Before Snowstorm Hit


    December 10, 2018. The snowstorm held off just long enough for Banner Elk to have their Christmas Parade Saturday night followed by some Christmas cheer in the Tate-Evans Park. Crowds gathered along Main Street for the parade procession with floats and lots of candy for the kids. Santa Claus’s float traveled to Tate-Evans Park where Santa took his place in his chair to greet kids and to listen what they wanted for Christmas. The miniature train had a large line of families waiting for a turn for a ride through the park. “Every year we try to make A Small Town Christmas a little bigger and a little better,” says organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. “It’s an old-fashioned, small-town Christmas. It reminds me of how nice Christmas was when I was growing up and how much we all looked forward to it.”  / Read more…



  • High Country Begins Digging Out From 16 Plus Inches of Snow as Skies Start to Clear on Monday


    December 10, 2018. Snow flurries ended Monday morning after dropping another couple of inches of snow throughout the night. Skies are clearing and temperatures are rising above freezing. The main roads are in good shape this morning with back roads still very snow covered and fairly slick. Town of Boone crews were busy in Downtown Boone moving out massive piles of snow. Jim Cantore and his Weather Channel crew were packing up this morning and heading back to Atlanta.  / Read more…



  • Boone Christmas Parade Makes Its Way Down King Street Saturday Morning


    December 9, 2018. Chilly temperatures and cloudy skies were on hand for Boone’s Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday. King Street was lined with parade watchers who were treated to a 40 minute parade. The parade made it on the national airways because Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel was on hand to report on the upcoming snowstorm and used the parade as a backdrop to his reporting.  / Read more…



  • Heavy Snow Continues To Fall in the High Country With 16 to 24 Inches Now Forecasted


    December 8, 2018. The High Country woke up to at least a foot of snow this morning with heavy snow still coming down. Ray’s Weather Site says the forecast in right on track for another 3 to 6 inches as the day unfold. “The event is unfolding as expected. Temperatures aloft will get ever so close to freezing bringing the potential for sleet into play later today. The basic story line remains in place. Expect 15″-20″ across NW NC, with a few spots just above that 20 inch mark.” says Ray Weather at 7:00 a.m. this morning.  / Read more…



  • The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore Picks Boone As His Location for Reporting On The Upcoming Snowstorm


    December 8, 2018. Weather Channel meteorologist and TV personality Jim Cantore and crew members were on King Street this morning broadcasting live for the Weather Channel. In between his time on the air, Cantore poised for pictures and talked wth folks on hand for the Boone Christmas Parade. The parade became a backdrop for some of Cantore’s reporting. The weather team picked Boone for their reporting location for the potential impact Boone has for total snowfall. For anyone who follows Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel, you know he’s general in the best place for the worst weather that is happening at the time!  / Read more…



  • Upcoming Snowstorm is Good News for the Area Ski Resorts


    December 7, 2018. With predictions of well over a foot of snow coming to the High Country this weekend, ski resorts in the area are gearing up for big crowds and having lots of snow for the upcoming holiday weekends. “Even with the cold weather we’ve been making snow 24/7 so our main trails do have a terrific base so that probably is going to allow us to move snowmaking over to the other slopes to make snow on top of the all the natural snow we’re going to get,” said Kim Jochl, the Vice President and Director of Marketing as Sugar Mountain. “We did open Gunther’s Way a couple of days ago and we opened Big Birch so we do have a lot of terrain open already.” Jochl says they will be open no matter what. “Even if we have to dig the lifts out,” she joked. With SugarFest happening this weekend, the big snow is coming at a perfect time for that event as well. There will be 10 slopes open for SugarFest this weekend in addition to Olympian Paul Wylie’s ice skating performance tonight. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • WHS Softball Player Kloie Greene Signs with Lees-McRae College


    December 7, 2018. Watauga High School senior Kloie Greene made her college choice official on Monday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her softball career at Lees-McRae College. “Kloie has been a dedicated, hard working and selfless teammate since her freshman year of high school. She has the ‘team first’ mentality which she has demonstrated by playing numerous positions when asked,” said Watauga varsity softball head coach April Yandle. Greene’s main position has been catcher, however she has also spent time playing in the infield at second base and even positions in the outfield. At the plate, Greene has a reputation of being able to do a little bit of everything. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone TDA Shares New Master Plan for Howard Knob Redevelopment


    December 7, 2018. The Boone Tourism Development Authority has added another project to its continually growing list of ways to invest in tourism in Watauga County. The TDA recently released its Howard Knob Master Plan for redeveloping the park that stands high above downtown Boone. “This came out of the discussion that started a couple years ago about the Northern Peaks Trail, and the interest by some in the area of trying to get a new state trail designation for the Northern Peaks Trail that would ultimately connect Watauga and Ashe like a mini Appalachian Trail,” said Wright Tilley, the Executive Director of the Boone and Watauga TDA. “Howard Knob would be an anchor point of that, so that started the discussion of having a great resource up there that has not gotten a lot of attention lately and needs some cleaning up, maintenance work and refurbishing.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • McDonald’s Catches Fire in Avery County; Fire is Still Under Investigation


    December 7, 2018. The McDonald’s location at 3890 Highway 105 in the Invershield community near Sugar Mountain caught fire on Thursday. The fire is still under investigation according to Avery County Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Buchanan. Banner Elk and Linville Fire Departments responded to a possible structure fire after a caller advised that there was smoke coming from the roof of McDonald’s and it smelled like something was burning. Upon arrival, fire crews found smoke inside the building that also shares space with an Exxon gas station and convenience store. Fire crews discovered a fire in the kitchen of the McDonald’s and were able to contain the fire. / Read more…



  • Local Photographer Bob Caldwell Passes Away Unexpectedly On December 5th


    December 7, 2018. Bob went in sleep in death unexpectedly, December 5th, 2018 at 68 years of age at Frye Regional Hospital in Hickory NC. Bob was born in Charlotte NC on September 18, 1950 to William Hunter Caldwell and Mildred Marion Perkins Caldwell. He was the youngest of three children, his sister, Mary Susan Caldwell Wilkie and brother William “Bill” Hunter Caldwell Jr. and they were grew up in a loving home in Gastonia, NC. Bob was predeceased by his parents, William and Mildred and his brother Bill. Surviving is his wife of 35 years, Sharon Schofield Caldwell of Boone, his sister Mary Susan and companion Bob Ausborne of Reidsville NC, sister-in-law Sarah Schofield Luciano & husband Ron of West Haven, CT, brothers-in-law, David Schofield and son, Songkran of Germany, Nathan Schofield of Virginia along with nephews, nieces and cousins. / Read more…



  • Olympic Skiing Medalist Andrew Weibrecht Coming to Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk December 9; SMARL Registration Underway


    November 30, 2018. A three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic Medalist Andrew Weibrecht will take part in a special meet and greet at Ski Country Sports on Sunday, December 9. The meet and greet will happen from 4-6 p.m. Weibrecht, 32, competed in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics before announcing his retirement earlier this year. The Lake Placid native won the bronze in Super-G at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and followed that up with a silver in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi in the same event. “He’s going to be at Sugar for a race clinic for the weekend so we invited him over with us to do a meet and greet,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “We will have posters of him available and he’s going to autograph the posters for whoever wants one, take pictures with people and talk about skiing and ski racing and let these kids associate with the athletes that are in their sport.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekend Full of Fun Events Scheduled for SugarFest December 7-9


    December 4, 2018. The annual SugarFest celebration at Sugar Mountain Resort is sure to be a great time for skiers and snowboarders with a special added treat this year of getting the chance to see two Olympians in action. “We’ve got a lot going on with two Olympians coming. Paul Wylie is performing Friday night at 7 p.m. and Andrew Weibrecht, a two-time Olympic medalist will be here Thursday through Monday,” said Kim Jochl, the Vice President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain. Wylie will perform a show at the ice skating rink and will follow that with an ice skating clinic as well as a meet and greet session that will include getting a chance to hold his 1992 silver medal from the Olympics in France. Weibrecht was a two-time medalist, taking home the bronze in the Super-G at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and ended up winning silver at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, once again in the Super-G. He recently announced his retirement from competitive skiing after competing in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. He will be hosting a ski clinic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Tourism Development Authority Relocates to Larger Office on Queen Street


    December 6, 2018. Visitors coming to Boone will not have to go far to find the new location of the Boone Tourism Development Authority. The TDA has relocated across the street from their former location to what used to be the Boone Planning and Inspections Office at 333 Queen Street. The Boone TDA had been renting office space across the road on King Street. “We moved over here in August. We had been looking for some more office space along King Street, said Wright Tilley, the Executive Director for the Boone and Watauga TDA. “After planning and inspections moved up the road to the health department building and this sat empty for a little while, we asked the county about the possibility of this space. We lease it from the county which I think is a win-win for both of us.” By Nathan Ham / 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



  • Santa’s Toy Box Accepting Donations and Looking for Volunteers This Christmas Season

    December 6, 2018. Santa’s Toy Box is celebrating its 32nd year of operation by providing gifts to families who would otherwise struggle to provide Christmas presents for their children. Santa’s Toy Box has shelves and tables full of new toys and books for parents to choose from for their children. The project began in 1986 by the Deerfield United Methodist men and has grown to include many volunteers throughout the community. Families are identified by word of mouth, through churches, doctors’ offices, Social Services, the Health Department, as well as other organizations. 719 children were served in 2017. This year, like every year, the location was offered for free by a local business. Starting this weekend, families will come to Santa’s Toy Box at their designated times, spread across the next couple of weeks, to choose gifts for each of their children from birth to age 15. / Read more…



  • This Friday: Blowing Rock Downtown Holiday Stroll


    December 6, 2018. The town of Blowing Rock invites you to join them tomorrow, December 7, as they celebrate winter and kick of the Christmas season. The celebration is town-wide, with many activities happening throughout Blowing Rock beginning at 5 p.m. On the town’s website, www.blowingrock.com, the event is described as an evening where “local businesses and organizations present an evening of fun surrounded by the twinkling lights of the season.” Throughout the evening, Santa will be strolling around Blowing Rock to spread Christmas cheer and keep an eye out for children behaving. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Major Snowstorm to Impact the High Country This Weekend; Snow Accumulations of Over One Foot Expected


    December 6, 2018. It appears that the High Country is about to face a huge snow event this weekend and Monday, according to the National Weather Service and forecasts from Ray’s Weather Center. The latest forecast from Ray’s Weather says that the High Country should expect double-digit snowfall totals. They will be posting a snowfall prediction map on Saturday morning before the storm arrives Saturday evening. Snow is expected to continue it tapers off Monday afternoon. Ray’s Weather Center also shared a bit of recent historical context for some of the biggest snowfalls in Boone after the Blizzard of 1993. On January 5-7 in 1996, Boone experienced a three-day total snowfall event of 26 inches. A little over two years later on January 26, 1998, Boone experienced its highest single day snow event on record with 19 inches of snow that poured down in 24 hours. On December 18-19, 2009, Boone received 15 inches of snow in 48 hours. The most recent snowfall that measured over a foot of snow was December 12-14, 2010 when 14 inches of snow hit the ground. This was also the snowiest December ever recorded with 28.7 inches of snow falling in Boone during the month. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • CANCELLED: Ebenezer Scrooge Comes to Boone for Three Shows This Saturday at Hickory Ridge Museum


    December 6, 2018. The Southern Appalachian Historical Association’s heartwarming holiday experience based on the Charles Dickens play, A Christmas Carol originally scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum has been cancelled. The event will not be rescheduled.  / Read more…



  • Gas Prices Drop to Lowest Level of 2018; Prices in Boone Still Above State Average


    December 6, 2018. The price you are paying at the gas pump continues to drop across North Carolina. The state average dropped to $2.34 per gallon for regular gasoline, the lowest average price so far in 2018. “Cheap crude oil prices are driving the fuel savings at the pump, as last week crude dropped to its lowest point of the year. However, this week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting could cause crude prices to jump if the organization decides to reduce crude production,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson for AAA Carolinas. Prices vary somewhat across the state with the lowest average price of $2.25 being found in the Fayetteville area and the highest average price of $2.58 being found in the Asheville region. In Boone, prices are hovering a little bit above the state average but are still below the national average of $2.46 per gallon. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Lost Province Brewing Company Announces First Can Release on December 13


    December 6, 2018. Lost Province Brewing Company is pleased to announce the company’s first can release on Thursday, December 13. Join everyone at 5 p.m. for the can release and for a special announcement regarding expansion plans. Lost Province is releasing the Lost Province IPA in 12-ounce cans and The Tubby Monk 2018 in 16-ounce cans. Lost Province IPA is a light-golden colored IPA that exhibits intense juicy and citrus notes in the aroma and on the palate. A firm hop bitterness gives this beer a dry finish, making you ready for the next sip. Lost Province IPA is available in 12-ounce can six packs. Tubby Monk 2018 is a Belgian-Style “Dark Strong Ale”. This special annual holiday and winter seasonal is only brewed once each year. The 2018 vintage is a medium-brown color with deep red highlights. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Nov. 22-28: 25 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $5,349,000.00

    Dec. 6, 2018. 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…



  • Watauga and Avery County Schools Closed For Students on Thursday

    December 6, 2018  Following yesterday’s snowfall and cold overnight temperatures, both Watauga and Avery County Schools decided to close for the day. It will be an optional teacher workday in both counties. Schools in both counties were also closed on Wednesday. In Ashe County, schools are operating on a two-hour delay with limited bus routes after being closed on Wednesday.  / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, November 19 – December 3

    December 5, 2018. 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



  • Tonight: Launch Party and Woolly Worm Festival Fundraiser at Bodegas


    December 7, 2018. Bodegas, Beech Mountain Brewery & Sierra Nevada invite you to join them tonight from 5-9 p.m. as they present Beer Camp Beech Season IPA Launch Party & Fundraiser! There will have a silent auction and raffle giveaways with all proceeds going to the Banner Elk Kiwanis Club and the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce. We will also have live music featuring the awesome Appalachian folk band, Handlebar Betty. The event also features food specials, drink specials and no cover! The address for the event is 488 Main St. W. Banner Elk. For more information, call 828-898-7773. / Read more…



  • The Carolina Snowbelles Perform for Family and Friends at Dress Rehearsal for Upcoming Kennedy Center Performance on December 15th


    December 5, 2018. The Carolina Snowbelles had a dress rehearsal of A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas on Dec. 2, where friends and family were invited to watch the performance and provide support. On Dec. 15, The Carolina Snowbelles will be performing A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas at the esteemed Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. The dancers have been preparing for the show since August and, through the dress rehearsal, finally have a taste of what it will be like to fully perform the show. Cheryl Cutlip, director and choreographer, and her creative team have worked together to develop a show that showcases the dancers’ versatility in performing; other than incredible dancing, there will be components of singing, storytelling and interactivity within the audience. By Kelyn Wilhoit / Read more…



  • Wednesday Morning Snowstorm Won’t Go Away


    December 5, 2018. Snow showers with heavy downpours at times have continued to pound the High Country on Wednesday morning. Numerous wrecks from all ends of Watauga County have been reported and roads still remain snow-covered in many locations around noon. A Facebook post by the Boone Police Department around 11:30 a.m. said, “Weather continues to degrade, roads are even more slick than usual. Use great caution or stay in place.” This round of snow came as a bit of a surprise to the High County. “Northwest flow snow showers, blustery winds, and cold temperatures are the issues today. Obviously this is more than what we thought at sunrise. No guidance I can find suggested this much snow; so, we’re in ‘seat of your pants’ mode now,” said the latest weather update from Ray’s Weather Center at 11:25 a.m. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State Alternative Energy Classes Opens New Doors With Betty’s Biscuits Truck Project


    December 4, 2018. With Appalachian State oftentimes being called a “sustainability campus”, it is no surprise that members of the community have made bolder attempts at renewable energy sources. For a class project, students from Appalachian State outfitted a food truck from Reid’s Cafe with solar panels. The project was undergone by a class from the Appalachian State Sustainable Technology program. Tina Houston, the owner of Reid’s Cafe in Banner Elk, wanted to be able to promote good food in the area in a way she felt was community-supported and creative. By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • SAHA presents ‘An Appalachian Christmas Carol’ at Hickory Ridge Dec. 8


    December 5, 2018. Seeing a live production of “A Christmas Carol” is one thing. Living the show is another. On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, producers of the popular “Horn in the West” outdoor drama and Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, will host “An Appalachian Christmas Carol,” a unique and interactive spin on the Charles Dickens classic. Rather than watch the play from a theater seat, guests will witness the story unfold as they tour the outdoor museum’s historic cabins. By Frank Ruggiero / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: A Candy Christmas


    December 5, 2018. Kitchen cupboards are becoming well stocked with sugars, nuts and all those other ingredients needed for our favorite Christmas candy recipes. Making candy doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take time and patience, both of which are often in short supply this time of year. Skill is not an absolute necessity, but a desire to please those who will be indulging is very important. Add just a pinch of humility and forgiveness to everything you attempt, and I promise — it will be a success, whether in or out of the kitchen. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Mark Ivey named Appalachian State Interim Head Football Coach

    December 5, 2018  Appalachian State University has a new head football coach—at least through Dec. 15. Athletics Director Doug Gillin has named Mark Ivey interim head football coach, effective immediately, pending approval by the school’s Board of Trustees, which is considered only a formality. Gillin met with the school’s football players at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon to inform them of Ivey’s appointment. Ivey replaces Scott Satterfield on the interim basis. Satterfield was named head coach at the University of Louisville Tuesday afternoon. Satterfield met with the Appalachian State team Tuesday morning before traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to be announced as the Cardinals new coach at a press conference. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



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