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Holston Camp Preschool Announces Open Enrollment for Spring of 2022

December 6, 2021. Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center announces that Holston Camp Preschool is open for Spring 2022 enrollment. Enrollment is limited to 15 three to five year olds. Class begins on January 4 and concludes May 13 for a total of 18 weeks. Holston Camp Preschool is awarded a letter of compliance with the NC Department of Health and Human Services/Division of Child Development and Early Education licensing requirements. This award represents a high degree of oversight by the state to ensure the Holston Camp Preschool child care program is safe and maintains a superior level of accountability. The program includes a Christian faith component. Children must be out of diapers and able to use the toilet with little assistance. Holston Camp Preschool will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is an option for early drop-off at 7:00 am and late pickup at 6:00 pm. The holiday schedule will follow the  Avery County Schools calendar.

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NTi-High Country Connect Hosting a Gift Drive Benefitting W.A.M.Y. Community Action’s Santa for Seniors Program on December 9

December 6, 2021. Networking Today International-High Country Connect is partnering with WAMY Community Action for a Santa for Seniors Brunch, a gift drive benefitting senior citizens who are shut-in, staying in assisted living or hospice care. The event will take place on Thursday, December 9, 10-11:30am at Cupcrazed of Boone located in The Standard at 773 Blowing Rock Road in Boone. Tickets to the event are $20 and include refreshments, holiday music from DJ Karl Mohr with More Fun Entertainment and free parking. Attendees are asked to bring newly purchased items such as socks, blankets, winter accessories and word puzzle books. All proceeds will help spread holiday cheer to our neighbors in need. In 2020, WAMY (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey) delivered 800 holiday gift bags to senior citizens through the Santa for Seniors program. With hopes of exceeding last year’s goal, WAMY needs your help more than ever.

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Banff Mountain Film Festival Back This Year for Three Days Beginning March 31

December 6, 2021. The Banff Mountain Film Festival is coming back to the Appalachian State campus in Boone, N.C. On Thursday March 31, Friday April 1, and Saturday April 2, 2022 three large public screenings will take place at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. The Banff Film Festival has been inspiring audiences by showcasing the world’s best films highlighting mountain adventure, culture, and the environment. Different film programs will be presented each night. The Banff Mountain Film Festival – a program of The Banff Centre – is the largest, and one of the most prestigious, mountain film festivals in the world featuring films from across the globe. The films this year are chosen from the recently concluded film festival which occurred at the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture in November 2021.

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Appalachian State falls 24-16 to Louisiana-Lafayette in Sun Belt Conference Championship Tilt

December 5, 2021. Louisiana-Lafayette beat Appalachian State for a second time during the 2021 season Saturday-both on the former’s home field-and the latter in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game by a 24-16 tally. The Mountaineers (10-3), who won the Sun Belt’s East Division, will learn their bowl destination Sunday. Appalachian State has won bowl games in all six of its seasons since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision (Major Level). This also marks the fifth time in seven seasons that the Mountaineers have won 10 or more games. By Tim Gardner

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Local Firefighters Receive Live Training During Controlled Burn

December 3, 2021. Shortly before Thanksgiving, firefighters from Boone, Meat Camp, Foscoe, Blowing Rock and Cove Creek all had a chance to take part in live firefighting training on Saturday, November 20 during a controlled burn of a house on Johnson Street behind Watauga Medical Center. Firefighters were in full gear and prepared to learn and experience real-life training scenarios. “It is immeasurable the amount of training and experience that comes from being able to do something like this,” said Mike Teague, who is the Assistant Chief with the Boone Fire Department. “This home had been damaged in the past and was not repairable, but it was still a structurally sound and safe house. We got all the permits and we had fire instructors that set fires and the firefighters go in.” The training exercises give younger firefighters additional training to prepare for when they have to respond to a real emergency. “It allows us to mesh crews together and put people together to come help and suppress these fires. It gives us very valuable experience,” Teague said.  By Nathan Ham

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Appalachian State Faces Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for the Sun Belt Conference Championship this Saturday; Team Sendoff Happening Friday Morning on King Street

December 2, 2021. Two familiar foes will battle for the Sun Belt Conference Championship this Saturday with the Mountaineers traveling to Lafeyette to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns. This will be the third meeting between the two teams in the conference championship game. App State won the previous two meetings in Boone, first a 30-19 triumph in 2018 and a 45-38 win in 2019. Mountaineer fans are encouraged to come out on Friday morning and line up on King Street as the team will depart Boone at 11:45 a.m. and head to Louisiana to try and capture their fifth Sun Belt Championship. Appalachian closed out the regular season last week with a 27-3 win over rival Georgia Southern at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Mountaineer defense dominated the game, holding Georgia Southern to just 87 rushing yards on 46 carries, less than two yards per carry. App State linebacker D’Marco Jackson was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year as the captain of a stout Mountaineer defense all season long.  By Nathan Ham

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Public Presentation of Sustainable Tourism Management Plan for Blowing Rock on Dec. 8

December 1, 2021. This past summer, the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority (TDA) commissioned an in-depth study of Blowing Rock as a preliminary step toward a Sustainable Tourism Management Plan. Professional researcher and facilitator Roger Brooks of the Destination Development Association was hired to help the TDA and the Town of Blowing Rock coordinate the effort required to create this plan. In July of 2021, Mr. Brooks interviewed numerous residents and business owners while spending the month in town to learn about Blowing Rock first-hand. On Wednesday, December 8, Mr. Brooks will return to present Blowing Rock’s Sustainable Tourism Management Plan to the public.

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Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Holiday Concert to be held Saturday, December 18 at the Appalachian Theater

December 1, 2021. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 18th at 7:30pm! Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is presenting “Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Holiday Concert” at the Appalachian Theater of the High Country. This is JSMHM’s first live concert since before the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown in March of 2020. This special seasonal themed holiday show features two wonderful groups – Zoe and Cloyd and the Mountain Home Blue Grass Boys. Proceeds from this concert will be shared with the Hospitality House and Santa’s Toy Box!

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LETTERS / Second Community Town Hall on App State’s Growth

December 1, 2021 Letters to the Editor. BY CLARK MADDUX / Dear Readers, The second town hall for community members, students, and concerned faculty is scheduled for this Friday, Dec. 3 from 5-6:30 in the New River and Watauga River rooms of the Plemmons Student Union. Your voices are needed and we hope you will attend. A significant new development has occurred since the first town hall. Appalachian State University recently announced the purchase of a new campus in Hickory, NC. Many questions remain to be answered about this purchase.

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Ensemble Stage Presents ‘A Banner Elk Christmas’ Beginning Friday, December 3 with Multiple Dates Throughout the Month

December 1, 2021. Ensemble Stage’s traditional Christmas musical “A Banner Elk Christmas” returns to the theater on Friday, December 3 at 7 p.m. The show will be presented five times this month with additional dates on December 5 at 2 p.m., December 17 at 7 p.m., December 18 at 7 p.m. and December 19 at 2 p.m. The musical variety show has been a High Country holiday tradition for the past 10 years. The show is around 70 minutes in length and features 27 musical numbers including all or parts of nearly 40 yuletide songs that will invigorate everyone’s holiday spirit.  By Harley Nefe

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Keeping the Season Merry and Bright —Anyway


December 1, 2021. This column from the first week of December 2020 had a rather dismal tone attached to it as I talked about all the things that were not going to happen during a usually festive season. And for the first time in many years, I commented, many of our December calendar blocks remained empty. Fast-forward about 52 weeks. While much has changed in the last year, things remain the same in many situations. Our red flags and caution lights, whether in reality or in our minds, are still present. The events calendar may be taking on a personality all its own this year, with a few more blocks colored in for fun — and life is somewhat normal for many — there are still those of us who are taking every turn with care and easing on the brakes when things start to move too fast. Vaxed, boosted, masked, gloved, infused, socially distanced — or not — many of us have learned not to take anything for granted, and are trying with all our might to stay healthy through this continuing time of uncertainty. After all, ‘tis the season to be merry, right? And with that does come increased opportunity for gatherings, and much-needed fellowship and good food. I’m all about that, within reason. And I promise you, my hesitancy does not come from the latest political or scientific forum. We all must do what we feel is the right thing to do for us as individuals and families. So, let’s get the party started in whatever venue you choose — the office, community functions or maybe just in your home with those closest to you opting for another quiet celebration. Here’s hoping we keep close to our hearts the real reason for the season — and everything else will fall into place. By Sherrie Norris

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Filing Period for 2022 Elections Starts on Monday and Ends on December 17

December 1, 2021. Candidate filing for the 2022 statewide primary and rescheduled municipal elections begins at noon on Monday, December 6, and ends at noon on Friday, December 17. Depending on the office sought, candidates will file their Notices of Candidacy with either their county board of elections or the State Board of Elections. Primary candidates for the following offices will file with the State Board of Elections: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. Supreme Court Justice, Judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals, Superior Court judge, District Court judge, District attorney. Primary candidates for the following offices file with their county board of elections: N.C. Senate, N.C. House of Representatives, All county and municipal offices. State-level candidate filing typically takes place at the State Board of Elections office. But due to space constraints at the board office and the pandemic, filing was moved to the Fairgrounds for 2021. Parking is available next to the Exposition Center.

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Appalachian Theatre Rings in the Holidays with Darin and Brooke Aldridge; Husband and Wife Country Duo to Host Holiday Concert on Sunday

December 1, 2021. The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) will kick off their holiday programming with a 3 p.m. matinee concert on December 5 featuring Darin and Brooke Aldridge and their bluegrass band. With roots in the High Country, this husband-and-wife team promise inspired bluegrass just in time for the holidays. “Christmas with Darin and Brooke Aldridge” is a live and in-person concert is sponsored by Mast General Store. “Brooke and I are from western North Carolina, she was actually born and raised in Avery County. Most of my family are from Avery County,” Darin said. The Aldridge’s have placed several tracks at the top of the charts on Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel charts. They have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Inspirational Country Music (ICM). Their music videos “Wildflower,” “Tennessee Flat Top Box,” and most recently, “Every Time You Leave,” all of which were heavily featured on media outlets including CMT, CMT Edge, GAC, Bluegrass Ridge TV and The Bluegrass Situation.

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Community Carol Sing Hosted By Banner Elk Presbyterian Church

November 30, 2021. On Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 3 PM, join in a sing-a-long of familiar Christmas carols inside the beautiful sanctuary of the historic Banner Elk Presbyterian Church. The first annual Community Carol Sing is a 45-minute casual service that includes favorites for adults and children alike, ranging from Let it Snow to Joy to the World. The grand piano and pipe organ provide accompaniment. Soloists and special musicians allow the audience to take a few breaks. Afterwards, tour a display of nativities from around the world and see historic photographs of the area.

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The Carolina Snowbelles to Perform Two Holiday Shows on December 4 and 5

November 30, 2021. A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas returns this December to the stage at Appalachian Theatre of the High Country and Alliance Auditorium. A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas is certain to feature something for everyone!  From beloved classics like Merry and Bright, Sing and Like This by The Carolina Snowbelles director Cheryl Cutlip, to a zesty new work by Brooke Church Handy performed to a rousing rendition of Go Tell it on the Mountain.  Ballet lovers will delight as dolls come to life in an enchanted toy shop scene choreographed by Bradley Parquette, and, to remind us of the true meaning of the holiday season, guest artists, The Turning Point Dance Company from Wilmington, NC, directed by Cory Smith, will be on hand to present an uplifting rendition of Handel’s Messiah.

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‘A New Way’ – Artist William Mangum’s 2021 Holiday Honor Card Now Available Throughout the High Country

November 30, 2021. For the thirteenth consecutive year, Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, the nonprofit agency that serves as the point of entry for all homeless services in Ashe, Avery, Wilkes, Watauga, Alleghany, Mitchell, and Yancey counties, is offering William Mangum’s Honor Card this holiday season. Through a chance meeting in 1987 with Mike Saavedra, a homeless man, North Carolina Watercolor artist William Mangum’s perspective on life was forever changed. That good Samaritan outreach gave Bill a new perspective on how he could use his artistic talent to help those less fortunate. Ever since then, Bill has been a hands-on advocate for the needs of North Carolina’s homeless population, donating his artistic skills and publishing gifts to make The Honor Card program one of the most successful charitable programs in the country. Since its inception in 1998, The Honor Card has raised over to nine million dollars to assist the homeless families and individuals of North Carolina.

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Turchin Center Hosts Winter Exhibition Celebration During Festive First Friday

November 30, 2021. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University invites the community to a Winter Exhibition Celebration on Friday, December 3, 5-9 p.m. Downton Boone will be twinkling for the holidays as this event is being held in conjunction with the annual Festive First Friday with special events happening throughout downtown. The public is invited to engage, discover and connect through the arts at the Turchin Center where the festivities will include live music from Lauren Hayworth and Kim France, holiday cookies and hot chocolate. During this celebration, the Turchin Center will celebrate two new exhibitions and four additional exhibitions. This event is free and open to the public.

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Chetola Resort Festival of Lights Provides Holiday Cheer Through Jan. 30

November 30, 2021. Chetola Resort once again welcomes folks to its drive-through tour known as the Festival of Lights. The display includes close to 30,000 lights throughout the resort and around Chetola Lake. The Festival of Lights is free and open to the public. Drive the resort’s main thoroughfare and see lighted displays of carolers, a Nativity scene and other holiday symbols. Park and walk around Chetola Lake and the property, or just roll down the window to hear a merry melody.

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Blowing Rock Gets the Holiday Season Rolling with Their Christmas Parade on Saturday

November 28, 2021. Blowing Rock’s traditional Christmas celebrations were back this year with plenty of fun on Friday and Saturday. Friday night featured the Lighting of the Town ceremony at sunset with music, games and a visit from Santa Claus held during the day. On Saturday morning, Main Street was lined with folks waiting for the 10:00 am parade to begin. The town moved the parade time to 10 in the morning for 4th of July Parade this summer and kept that time for the Christmas Parade. That has allowed Main Street to be cleared of cars in parking spaces along the street to give everyone a front row seat to view the parade.

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Appalachian State Routs Georgia Southern 27-3 for 10th Win of 2021 Season

November 28, 2021. The Appalachian State Mountaineers won their 10th game of the 2021 season by beating long-time rival Georgia Southern 27-3 Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. It marked the third time in the last six seasons that the Mountaineers (10-2 over-all, 6-1 Sun Belt Conference) have recorded 10 wins in the regular season. They did so in 2019 (finishing 13-1) and 2015 (11-2), and potentially missed out on the sterling accomplishment in 2018 because of a cancellation with Southern Mississippi because of Hurricane Florence. By Tim Gardner

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Beech Mountain Ski Resort Opened This Morning with Several Excited Skiers and Snowboarders Ready to Hit the Trails

November 26, 2021. Beech Mountain Ski Resort officially opened for the 2021-22 season on Friday morning with a good crowd of holiday weekend skiers and snowboarders on hand. “We have had a strong crowd today and we were able to open with four lifts and five trails,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain. “We’re still making snow and the customers seem really excited. The lifts opened at 8 a.m. for season pass holders. A DJ was out there playing music and there were even some prizes given away for people to take home from their first day on the slopes. Freeman said that the plan is to keep making snow with their new snowmaking equipment with the hopes of being able to open more trails next week as well as the terrain park.    By Nathan Ham

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