December 8, 2023 Raleigh, NC – Former Sen. Deanna Ballard today filed her paperwork to be a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor.She was joined by a number of supporters, including Kelly Mann, a Wake County mom, and her daughter, Gray. In 2021, when Gray was in fifth grade, Kelly partnered with Sen. Ballard and other parents in the school reopening fight.Sen. Ballard said, “In the Senate, I grounded every decision in my middle-class, Christian upbringing. I championed policies like the Parents’ of Bill of Rights to recenter the conversation on the family, not government. Liberal Democrats have been at war with our conservative, constitutional values, and 2024 is the year we stand up to the woke mob and fight back.”
December 8, 2023 BOONE, N.C. December 08, 2023: Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, the nonprofit housing agency that serves as the point of entry for all homeless services in Ashe, Avery, Wilkes, Watauga, Alleghany, Mitchell, and Yancey counties, is once again offering a Holiday Honor Card this season.Since 2009, Hospitality House of Northwest N.C. has presented a Holiday Honor Card each year as a meaningful way for individuals to recognize friends, neighbors, family members, colleagues, and loved ones while at the same time giving a meaningful gift to someone in need. In 2022, as the year came to a close, the agency found themselves moving into a new era of the Honor Card.
December 7, 2023 The Nexsen Ringers, a community handbell choir will present “Holiday Bells” on Saturday, December 16th at 4:00pm.You will be amazed to hear the holiday classics on this unique instrument. This talented group consists of musicians from all ages and walks of life. They come together to share their unique love of handbells across all musical genres with the High Country. Don’t miss the technical display of choreographed teamwork as multiple musicians perform as one.
December 7, 2023 Watauga County Schools recently received notification from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction that Mr. Erik Mortensen was selected as the 2024 Northwest Regional Teacher of the Year. Mortensen was named the 2023 WCS Teacher of the Year in May and was one of 16 teachers in the district 7 region in the running for this title.Mortensen was one of the first people superintendent of schools Dr. Leslie Alexander met when she joined the district. She shared that she was impressed by him because he was such a kind person.“He is optimistic and very helpful,” Alexander said. “He wants the best for others and to help in any way possible. I think that is what his students feel. He cares about them as individuals, and he will do anything he can to help. He is obviously an expert in his field, but his ability to combine his expertise with his genuine concern for each student is why he is the Teacher of the Year. We are so proud of him.”
December 7, 2023 Letters to the Editor.Over the last few years, national controversies have spread into North Carolina and many local K-12 school districts, as to whether “woke” ideologies, identity and sexual politics, and Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) are or should be taught in the Public Schools, and what rights or input parents should have on those issues.Last year the NC State House and Senate, having attained a new Republican super-majority in both NC Houses, passed (over the veto of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper) a new “Parent’s Bill of Rights” that will make some major changes in NC public education, including in local school districts such as Watauga County. The new NC statute became legally effective Friday December 1, 2023.
December 6, 2023 Letters to the Editor. By Craig Dudley/Israel is committing suicide and America is destroying its influence supporting Israel’s mass murder in Palestine as we condemn it in others. I’ve often heard people wonder why the Germans kept quiet in the thirties but now with Gaza we see how it happens. Many Americans don’t know comprehensive history or current events, or we might oppose the genocide in Palestine. ‘Our free press’ presents half-truths at best and sometimes outright lies. Examine who owns and operates the mockingbird media, ‘our free press’ that present us with the Israeli version of events and history, the only version we have, to understand why.
December 6, 2023 We’re less than three weeks away from Christmas and many of us are prepping what we can as time allows to prevent the last-minute rush. There are many cookies, candies and other holiday favorites –casseroles, cakes and more — that can be made in advance and frozen, so we are not caught up in the frenzy before our special gatherings. Recent conversations have helped me realize that I am not the only one who becomes a bit overwhelmed when pulling out my recipe files for something different, or doing an online search for new holiday foodsstrong> By Sherrie Norris
December 6, 2023 Are you interested in learning more about law enforcement to include patrol officer functions, criminal investigations, K9 operations, community policing, or just want to become more familiar with the Boone Police Department in general? Now is your opportunity!The Boone Police Department is now accepting applications for the Spring 2024 session of the Citizens Police Academy (CPA). Class meetings are held at the Boone Police Department each Thursday from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The CPA will begin on February 1st, 2024, and will conclude on March 21st, 2024, with a graduation from the program.
December 6, 2023 LINVILLE, N.C. – Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has revamped its Adopt-an-Animal Program, with gift-level revisions that include the addition of unique artwork created by adopted animals and a new $1,000 donation level featuring personalized videos of the adoptee.“The changes made to our Adopt-an-Animal Program provide a more personal touch for adopters, as they receive more items related specifically to the individual animal that they have chosen to symbolically adopt,” said Margaret Thiele, vice president of development for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.
December 6, 2023 FLOYD, VA — Limited tickets remain for FloydFest 24~Horizon, the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 24 to 28, 2024, at its new home, FestivalPark, located at 5826 Floyd Highway North in Check, Va. To bolster the call to action to secure tickets before they’re gone, Blue Cow Arts Foundation, Inc. and Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. announce the THIRD round of artist additions for the 2024 festival, topped by Austin, Texas’ psychedelic-soul outfit and seven-time Grammy Award nominees Black Pumas. Also added to the emerging lineup for the award-winning festival are Allen Stone, Leftover Salmon, KellerGrass ft. The Hillbenders, Little Stranger, S.G. Goodman, The Wilder Blue,Próxima Parada, J & The Causeways, Isaac Hadden Organ Trio and Music Road Co.
December 5, 2023 The Avery County Commissioners elected Tim Phillips as the Board’s Chairman during their December 4 regular monthly meeting.Phillips and three of his fellow-commissioners–Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr., and Robert Burleson–were present for the meeting. Commissioner Martha Hicks was absent due to illness. County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr., Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill, County Finance Officer Caleb Hogan, and County Attorney Michaelle Poore were also in attendance. Aldridge nominated Phillips to serve as Board Chairman. Young, Jr., Aldridge, and Burleson voted for Phillips to fill the post. Phillips also voted for himself, making it a unanimous approval (4-0 of members present). There were no other nominations for the position. By Tim Gardner
December 5, 2023 Friends of the Watauga County Library — and all their friends far and wide — have been counting down the days to the annual Holiday Used Book Sale. And it’s just hours now until the two-day event of the year arrives for book lovers of all ages.As one of two book sales the Friends group hosts each year, the upcoming holiday sale will be held in the meeting room of the library in Boone; it begins with a private event on Thursday, Dec. 7 for members of the Friends organization only, but the public will be welcomed from 1-7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. –3 p.m. on Saturday. By Sherrie Norris
December 5, 2023 We’ve heard about it, read about it and now the High Country has a unique opportunity to participate locally in the nation-wide program known as Wreaths Across America. On Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m., Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens in Boone will, for the first time, be among 3,700 designated locations across the country participating in Wreaths Across America Day. Area residents will be among more than 2 million volunteers coming together to “remember, honor and teach.” By Sherrie Norris
December 4, 2023 National, state, and local offices will be on the ballot across North Carolina for a highly-anticipated 2024 election, and it all begins soon, as candidates will begin submitting the required paperwork to launch their campaigns. In North Carolina, candidate filing starts at 12:00 noon on Monday, December 4, and ends at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 15. By Tim Gardner
December 4, 2023 Beyond Pilates, a premier Pilates studio nestled in the heart of Boone, is thrilled to announce its upcoming Winter Wellness Event on December 8th, from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. This event will bring together a diverse array of wellness-based businesses for a transformative evening of rejuvenation and holistic health.The Winter Wellness Event promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience, providing participants with an opportunity to explore various facets of well-being through a carefully curated lineup of activities, demonstrations, and collaborations with local businesses dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Highlights of the even include:
December 4, 2023 BOONE, N.C. — The Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Appalachian State University at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, March 21, to Saturday, March 23, 2024, and tickets will go on sale Monday, Dec. 4.Hosted by App State University Recreation, the festival’s World Tour has been making stops in Boone for 27 years, inspiring audiences with the world’s best films that highlight mountain adventure, culture and the environment.
December 4, 2023 When the writers’ and actors’ strikes of 2023 forced several movies off the fall schedule, it was a pair of musicians that came to the rescue with two of the most heavily-promoted concert movies of all time. “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” got the box office through a rough patch back in October. Now comes “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” to get it through early December. The box office shouldn’t need Beyoncé to get it through early December, Thanksgiving weekend should have brought about some hits with staying power, but where the slate of traditional blockbusters failed, the concert documentary is here to thrive. By Bob Carver
December 4, 2023 BOONE, N.C. — App State is going bowling again, this time with the program’s first postseason visit to Orlando, Fla., for the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16.Champions of the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division, the Mountaineers will face MAC champion Miami (Ohio) at 3:30 p.m. in UCF’s FBC Mortgage Stadium. The game, which will be televised by ABC, will be the first football meeting between App State (8-5) and the RedHawks (11-2).”Orlando is a great destination for the App State football team and our passionate Mountaineer fan base,” App State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said. “Thank you to Alan Gooch and his team for the invitation. We are thrilled to represent Appalachian State University and the Sun Belt Conference in the Cure Bowl.”
December 4, 2023 VPC Builders has been awarded North Carolina’s 2023 Small Business of the Year by Business North Carolina.Out of the 70 or more nominees who topped the judges list, VPC Builders and three other small businesses (one from each region) were selected for their outstanding entrepreneurial spirit that is a catalyst to North Carolina’s economic prosperity.Judges for the contest were Byron Hicks, the state director of the N.C. Small Business and Technology Center; Jennifer Curtis, co-founder and CEO of Firsthand Foods, a Durham distributor for local farms and meat processors, and one of the 2022 Small Businesses of the Year; and Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney.
December 2, 2023 The State Board of Elections invites the public to comment on three proposed temporary rules: two governing challenges and appeals regarding political party-appointed election observers, and one addressing the requirement for observers to wear identification at the polls, so voters and election officials are aware of the observer’s role in the voting site.
November 30, 2023 Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Boone loves to take its message outside the walls of brick and mortar — and it’s especially true during this Christmas season. Among the church’s numerous outreach programs this year is the upcoming premiere of “Christmas Comes to the Mountains,” a unique presentation celebrating the birth of Jesus.Following months of preparation and long hours of rehearsals by the church choir and orchestra, the celebration will be offered not only during three separate occasions at the church, but also during the Christmas on King Street event at the Appalachian Theatre. By Sherrie Norris
November 30, 2023 An Old-Fashioned Christmas Open House will be held at the Avery County Historical Museum on Saturday, December 2 from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. The museum is located in the old Avery County Jail building at 1829 Schultz Circle, next to the Avery County Court House, in Newland. By Tim Gardner
Nov. 30, 2023 Letters to the Editor. By Christina Moore / In response to Jacquie Barker’s Nov 29 letter of concern about a drag show/drag bingo performance funded in part by AppState’s APPS at Appalachian Theater, I am pleased to inform her that she, nor anyone at ASU nor the community, is required to attend events Jacquie Barker doesn’t believe are “appropriate”. Ms Barker will be pleased to know that other people may attend the events, even though Jacquie doesn’t find the events appropriate.