High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Recently Hired App State Football Assistant Takes Job at University of Washington

    January 17, 2019 Junior Adams, who was hired by Appalachian State University as an offensive assistant on January 6, has resigned his position with the Mountaineers to become the new wide receivers coach at the University of Washington. Adams has long-standing ties with the state of Washington. He coached wide receivers at Boise State University from 2014-2016 under head coach Bryan Harsin after Chris Petersen left Boise State as its head coach to take Washington’s head post. Adams had become an assistant at Appalachian State to new Mountaineer head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who also was an assistant coach under Harsin at Boise State in 2014 and 2015.  By Tim Gardner / 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



  • Daniel Boone Parkway Added to Latest NCDOT 2020-2029 Division 11 Project List


    January 17, 2019. The creation of the Daniel Boone Parkway appears to be back on the table in Watauga County. The project was added in the most recent NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for the 2020-2029 10-year plan. This is one of 17 highway projects added in Division 11 the covers Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. “Adding 17 projects to this program shows how much growth our area has, and will continue to experience, and how we will help address transportation needs,” said Mike Pettyjohn, NCDOT Division 11 Engineer. “Every citizen in one of the eight counties in Division 11 will benefit from at least one, and probably several, of the projects we have planned.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Local Health Officials Partner to Combat Widespread Flu in the High Country

    January 17, 2019 Influenza (flu) is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. The “seasonal flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Jennifer Greene, Health Director and CEO of AppHealthCare advised that “the flu season has begun and local public health is monitoring the data.” “We have begun to see a significant increase in flu within the past week,” said Dr. Danielle Mahaffey, Chief Physician Executive for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). “Prior to last week 1 to 2 cases per week was the norm. However, from Friday (December 21) to Wednesday (December 26) eighteen (18) cases had been identified. Seventeen (17) of those cases were influenza A.” / Read more…



  • Town of Newland Receives Positive Audit

    January 17, 2019 The public release of a positive annual audit highlighted the Newland Board of Aldermen meeting January 8. Aldermen (Town Council members)– Kenny Caraway, Lauren Turbyfill,  Dave Calvert and Jamey Johnson were present.  Alderman Greg Seiz was absent. Other town officials present included:  Mayor Valerie Jaynes; Town Administrator Keith Hoilman; Finance Director Lisa Meinhardt; Town Attorney Joe Seegers; and Town Clerk and Board of Aldermen secretary Tammy Gardner. It was the first meeting for Alderman Dave Calvert after he was reappointed to the Board on December 4, 2018 by a 3-2 vote. Calvert will fill the remainder of the two-year term of former Board member Joleta Wise who was killed in a vehicle accident on May 31, 2018. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Jan. 10-16: 30 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $6,605,000.00

    Jan. 17, 2019. 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…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 5 – January 13

    January 16, 2019. 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



  • Volunteers Ready to Help Clean Up the Blue Ridge Parkway Once Government Shutdown Ends


    January 16, 2019. As the government shutdown continues on into yet another week with no end in sight, many of the national parks are suffering. With either no staff or very limited staff on hand, parks all across the country are dealing with trash piles, broken bathrooms and areas being destroyed by illegal off-road driving. Here in the High Country, the Blue Ridge Parkway has been able to avoid situations like that for the most part. The FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway chapters are hoping to be able to bring out more volunteers and build interest in the what the group does while being prepared to help clean up areas as needed when the shutdown ends. Ken and Julie Carpenter are the co-chairs of the High Country Chapter of the FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ken said that the National Park Service has asked that the organization avoid going out to clear debris or clean up trash on the parkway until the shutdown is over. “Since everybody is on furlough, they’re nervous about people going out and doing a lot of work so they’re asking us to stand down as well,” Ken said. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Sweetheart Soiree Senior Valentine’s Dance

    January 16, 2019 For the past two years, couples have danced until they couldn’t dance anymore at the Sweetheart Soiree Valentine’s Dance. The first annual Sweetheart Soiree took place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the American Legion. The event was a huge success with dancers and help from the Blowing Rock School, Girl Scout Troop, Watauga High School Student Council, Watauga Community Band, and donations of food and flowers from many local businesses.Blowing Rock’s Sweetheart Soiree is back for its third year. The free dance will feature an afternoon full of music, food, and fun! All members of the community are welcome to attend. The Sweetheart Soiree will be on Saturday, February 16, from 3-6 p.m. at the American Legion in Blowing Rock. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock WinterFest Features More Friendly Competition in 2019; Updated Schedule of Events


    January 16, 2019 From January 24-27, Blowing Rock will be bursting with activity as everyone braves the cold to celebrate the 21st annual WinterFest. The festival brings out the fun side of winter and gets families and friends together for some great memories. Regardless if whether it’s a nice 50 degrees or 30 degrees and snowing, attendees make this annual winter festival a must because of its variety of events and entertainment. “It draws people to the area in a slower time of the year,” noted Harrison Herbst. Each time the annual WinterFest Polar Plunge rolls around, the wacky costumes are always a big highlight. The most elaborate or ridiculous just might get awarded the Golden Plunger. At the 2019 edition of Blowing Rock WinterFest, everyone is invited to enjoy more friendly competition at the Rotary Charity Chili Cook-off, the Silent Auction & Raffle, the WinterPaws Dog Show, and the newest event: the K-9 Keg Pull. / Read more…



  • Avery Chamber Holds Business Afterhours at Carolina Barbeque in Newland Tuesday Night

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Jan. 16, 2018. Avery County Chamber of Commerce held their Business Afterhours at Carolina Barbeque in Newland on Tuesday evening. Chamber members and guests were treated to a buffet of their famous barbeque with all the fixings. Following dinner, chamber executive director Melynda Pepple welcomed the crowd to Carolina Barbeque and introduced Dave Calvert. Dave thanked everyone for coming out to the event and thanked the chamber for all they do for Avery County. He went on to talk about the new outdoor deck that was constructed last year in front of the restaurant. He joked that they built it because, “We thought it would look cool.” He went on to explain that the deck, “has added some space that we hope to use for outdoor music. It also comes in handy when we are at full capacity inside to have the additional space outside.” He said that they look forward to warmer weather to begin outdoor performances again, but for the winter season they have had a snowman-building contest out on the deck during the big December snow, and will have more when snowstorms hit the area. / Read more…



  • Horn in the West Looking for Talented Actors, Singers, Dancers and Technicians at Auditions


    January 16, 2019 Horn in the West is the longest running Revolutionary War outdoor drama in America, and this is its 69th season. As preparations begin for this year’s season, auditions are coming up for all interested actors, singers, dancers and technicians. The 2019 auditions will be held on February 9. Auditions will take place at Chapell Wilson Hall, where the Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance is located. The front of the building can be accessed by parking in the large River Street parking lot and going up the hill at the back of the lot to the rock building. Check-in and registration begins at 9 a.m. in the lobby of Chapell Wilson Hall. Acting and singing auditions begin at 10 a.m., and dance auditions begin at 2 p.m. in the dance studios located in Varsity Gymnasium. All call backs will be at 3 p.m. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • A Conversation with Avery County Solid Waste Director Eric Foster


    January 16, 2019. In his position as Avery Solid Waste Director, Eric Foster is another example of a dedicated county employee who is in the trenches every day making decisions in the best interest of the county and its citizens, without expectation of any credit or recognition. Under Foster’s direction, the Solid Waste Department partners with each community in the county to provide exceptional customer service and outstanding waste collection, recycling and disposal services in a safe, efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound manner. The department truly enhances the appearance of the county and its environment as Foster and his dedicated and hard-working staff are always eager to assist Avery’s citizens with their trash disposal and recycling needs. Continue reading for a interview exchange between this reporter (my questions) and Foster (his answers) about various topics, including details of his specific job duties, recognition of his employees, the top changes he’s witnessed in solid waste collection, disposal and recycling and what items can and cannot be accepted at the county’s material recovery solid waste sites and the transfer station and construction/demolition landfill. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • ECRS Launches Community Grant Program to Benefit Local Causes

    January 16, 2019 2019 marks the 30th anniversary for Boone-based technology firm, ECRS. In celebration of their 30th year, the company will focus on giving back to the community that has been their home for the entirety of their history. ECRS’ 2019 Community Grant Program will be looking for projects that make a major, positive impact on the lives of local children and/or young adults in the North Carolina High Country region. For the past three decades, the company has been on a mission more ambitious than simply making a profit; ECRS has been harnessing the power of free enterprise to positively impact lives both far away and close to home. Since 2008, they have donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to the Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation. The 2019 Community Grant Program is an extension of ECRS’ mission to improve lives in their home community. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Warm Up To A Bowl Of Chili


    January 16, 2019. It’s that time again when a number of organizations host their annual Chili Cook-off competitions, and cooks for miles around are preparing their favorite recipes. I recall, several years ago, participating in the Winterfest event in Blowing Rock and was astounded that there could be so many types of chili. I always thought chili was simply a pot of beans, ground beef, onions, peppers, tomatoes and seasonings. It was surprising to me just how many variations there were! I was also amazed at some of the ingredients that had been thrown into the pots – including chocolate! I was told that chocolate helps decrease the acidity of tomatoes, which proves that an old dog can learn new tricks! Few winter dishes compare to what a good bowl of homemade chili can do to warm you from the inside out. Young and old alike everywhere easily get “fired up” about this zesty classic that originates from the original Mexican dish known as Chili Con Carne, consisting of minced red peppers and meat. Through the years, cooks have learned other ways to enhance the taste and “stretch it out” by adding beans, as well as other interesting ingredients like mentioned above. What does it take to make a perfect bowl of chili? It all depends on who you ask. When meat is in the mix, beef takes the lead, but chicken and pork have become favorites, too. Some folks add tomatoes for color, some insist on the tint and taste of chili powder, while others leave it to the imagination and count on whatever comes out of the pantry. We have just finished our first pot full of chili the new year, with leftovers spread lightly over tortilla chips, sprinkled with shredded cheese, placed in the microwave for a couple of minutes and garnished with salsa and sour cream. Yummy! If you have yet to discover your favorite chili recipe, hopefully this week’s suggestions will help in your quest. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Former App State Director of Athletics Chosen to Lead Boone Area Sports Commission

    January 15, 2019 Roachel Laney, who served as Director of Athletics at Appalachian State for 14 years, will be the first director of the Boone Area Sports Commission. Laney was a member of the athletics staff at Appalachian for 29 years and has experience serving on organizing committees for both the Southern Conference and the NCAA. Outside of his time with the Mountaineers, Laney also worked with the Carolina Panthers as the Director of Gameday Quality Control for the last nine seasons. In addition to this, Laney is an avid volunteer and coach with the Watauga County Special Olympics and has been a referee and umpire for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. “I am excited to get started and look forward to working with the Boone Area Sports Commission board and other community partners as we work to put our best foot forward in the sports tourism arena,” Laney said. “Boone and the High Country have so many built-in advantages that make our area an attractive destination for participants of all ages. As we get this operation moving, it’s important to involve as many stakeholders as possible so we can work with strong local support behind us as we reach out to potential participants and organizers. I look forward to facilitating these conversations and working to establish a brand that can help bring more visitors to our community.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Photos, Race Results & Team Standings from First Week of SMARL’s 2019 Season

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    Jan. 8, 2018. The first race of the 2019 Sugar Mountain Adult Race League (SMARL) took place Monday night at Sugar Mountain Resort on Big Birch slope. SMARL takes place on six Mondays in January and February, is now in its 14th year as an after-work, “beer league” for local skiers and snowboarders in the High Country. SMARL is sponsored by Sugar Mountain Resort and Ski Country Sports. There are 12 teams participating this year; 8 teams comprised of skiers and 4 teams made up of snowboarders. Each team member gets two runs on the course with their fastest time determining their score according to an age handicap system. The top four finishers of each team helps determine the team’s overall score and determines weekly standings and ultimately the overall winner at the end of the season. Over 75 racers were on hand for the first race, which saw Trey Woody post the fastest skiing time at 20.96 seconds on his second run. For the snowboarders, Austin Burr posted the fastest time of26.07 seconds on his second run. / 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



  • Avery Schools Adopt Inclement Weather Missed Days Policy; Spring Break Still On for April 19-26

    January 15, 2019 The Avery County Public School System has adopted a new policy about missed days due to inclement weather during the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, according to the system’s Human Resources Director Ken Townsend. Despite already missing 12 days of school due to inclement winter weather (as of Tuesday, January 15) so far during this school year, students, faculty and staff members are not projected to lose any of their Easter (Spring) Break, which will run on Good Friday, April 19, and then the following Monday through Friday, April 22-26. Last week the Avery Board of Education approved a plan for make-up days in the event the county’s public school system has to cancel more days of classes. No days will be made up until the 17th missed day of classes, which would allow for four more days (as of press time) of missed classes. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Upside’ Good Performances Make It Worthwhile

    upside
    Jan. 15, 2019   “The Upside” pulled off quite the upset at the box office this past weekend. Many pundits predicted that “Aquaman” would be #1 again by a significant margin, and the interesting battle among new releases would be for #2, with “A Dog’s Way Home” being the overdog in the fight. But I couldn’t help but notice that my Thursday night screening of “The Upside” was more crowded than usual, and it came as no surprise that the film not only beat out “A Dog’s Way Home,” it dethroned “Aquaman” as well.
    Hart stars as Dell Scott, an ex-con in need of a job. He sneaks into an interview to be a “life auxiliary” (basically a live-in nurse) for quadriplegic billionaire Philip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston). By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – January 15, 2019

    January 1, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Major Blowing Rock Code Changes Proposed to Promote Downtown Change – Public Hearing Set for February 12, 2019

    January 15, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY WILLIAM H. CARTER / Dear Editor, The Blowing Rock Town Council has set a public hearing Tuesday February 12, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. at Town Hall for consideration of major changes in long standing town codes governing downtown development. Community surveys of residents, property owners and taxpayers have repeatedly listed their top priority to be as spelled out in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan  “…to ensure that the Town’s unique character and quality of life are not compromised.” The question is: How will the major proposed changes, if approved, impact this top resident priority? More information on the proposed code changes is available on our Blowing Rock Civic Association website www.brcivic.com. We urge all interested citizens to attend the February 12, 2019 public hearing and to express your important opinion on these proposed code changes. Read more…



  • MerleFest Adds The Avett Brothers, Molly Tuttle, and Sean McConnell to 2019 Festival


    January 14, 2019. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: The Avett Brothers, Molly Tuttle, and Sean McConnell. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, April 25-28. MerleFest is pleased to welcome these three distinguished artists to the 2019 lineup. “We are extremely excited to be adding these artists to an already stellar lineup for 2019. They represent the diverse talent that Merlefest is famous for,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. The three artists announced today join over 75 artists initially announced in November via Rolling Stone Country and the second wave of artists announced last month. / Read more…



  • Spring Semester Classes Underway at Appalachian State

    January 14, 2019 Monday marked the first day of class for students as they returned to Boone after a long winter break. Students arrived to Boone with about the same view as when they left town back in December with snow on the ground and salt on the roads. 19,108 undergraduate and graduate students will resume their classes for one week before the first holiday of the 2019 spring semester. Next Monday will be Martin Luther King Day, meaning students will be out of class for the day. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery Native, David Singleton, Named NC Library Director of the Year


    January 14, 2019. Avery County native David Singleton was recently named the 2017-18 Library Director of the Year by the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association. This award is given annually to a library director who has contributed to the growth and development of their library by providing leadership, inspiration and creativity to staff, patrons and trustees, and has succeeded in providing excellent service to their library and/or the library community. Thus, Singleton’s award comes as no surprise to those who have known him and worked with him during his lengthy career, as they attest that he has met the criteria — and more. Having most recently served over the past decade as Director of Libraries for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Singleton has been described as one who has exemplified the definition of leadership, not only for the CML community, but for libraries and librarians across the country. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Advance Planning to Aftermath Analysis: How Appalachian’s Campus Units Tackled Winter Storm Diego


    January 14, 2019. As Appalachian State University students took their final exams in December 2018, the university’s Physical Plant, emergency response teams, Food Services and Parking and Transportation personnel were undergoing tests of their own. Winter Storm Diego deposited more than 18 inches of snow on campus in a span of 30 hours, exceeding the total snow accumulation for the entire 2016–17 season. The storm’s magnitude, combined with its timing during exam week and the impending exodus of students leaving for winter break, spurred major efforts by Appalachian’s campus operations personnel, who had plans in place to manage the event. Following the storm, departments met to review issues and discuss best practices for handling future snowstorms of Diego’s caliber. Recognizing the efforts of the support staff, Chancellor Sheri Everts said, “Our campus fared well. Crews worked nonstop to clear roads, sidewalks and parking areas. We are accustomed to the challenges of winter weather, and our campus and community personnel manage snow and ice safely, expertly and efficiently.” By Jan Todd / Read more…



  • Community Comes Together for January 26 Fundraiser to Benefit Watauga Native Luke Short


    January 14, 2019. Love traditional mountain music? Love helping your fellowman? Now is the time to mark your calendars for a dual opportunity as the High Country community comes together to lend a hand for one of its own. A fundraiser to help with the medical needs of Watauga native Luke Short will be held on Saturday, January 26, at Boone United Methodist Church. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is hosted by Short’s home church of Bethany Lutheran Church of Boone and will include a square dance with traditional mountain music and cake walks. Short, who moved to Colorado in 2016 with his wife, local journalist/reporter Kellen Moore Short, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July 2018. He underwent five rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor on Nov. 21, 2018, which includes a lengthy recovery period. Short, 31, is a Deep Gap native, App State graduate and a former 911 tele-communicator for Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • App State Completes 2019 Football Coaching Staff with Hire of Charlie Harbison


    January 13, 2019. Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz has announced the last hire of his inaugural 2019 coaching staff. Drinkwitz tweeted on Saturday that Charlie Harbison would join the Mountaineers as a defensive assistant.  Harbison is the tenth and final hire for this season. Harbison played college football at Gardner–Webb (University) for four seasons. In 1982, he signed as a free agent with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. He later played two seasons with the Boston/New Orleans Breakers of the United States Football League (USFL). Harbison began a long coaching career in 1984 that has included tenures as an assistant at one small-level university, seven major universities, two high schools, one minor league system team, one arena league team and most recently with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Drinkwitz Adds Buddy Wyatt as Defensive Assistant for Mountaineer Football Staff


    January 11, 2019. Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced a second addition to his first staff Friday with the addition of long-time major college assistant coach Buddy Wyatt. Earlier Friday, Drinkwitz announced he had hired Andy Lutz as Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations. During a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Wyatt has worked in the Southeastern, Big 12, Big Ten and American Athletic conferences as a defensive line coach. He will serve in the same capacity for the Appalachian State Mountaineers. “Buddy Wyatt is a man of character and a football coach with a history of player development,” Drinkwitz said. “He will work to enhance our defensive line play. I’m excited to welcome Buddy and his wife to the Appalachian Family.”  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Lutz Named App State’s Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations


    January 11, 2019. Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz made another hire to his first Mountaineer staff Friday with the addition of administrator Andy Lutz. A veteran working in various college sports facets, Lutz will serve as Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations at Appalachian State. “Andy is detailed and organized and has great experience running all the organizational aspects of a football program,” Drinkwitz said. “We’re excited to welcome Andy and his wife and daughter to Boone.” A college football athletics administrator since 1991, Lutz spent the past six seasons (2013-2018) as a member of Georgia Tech’s football staff, including the last four as director of player personnel. The 2014 Yellow Jackets were Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) runners-up and won the Orange Bowl over Mississippi State while Lutz was on their staff. During Lutz’s tenure at Georgia Tech, he worked for head coach Paul Johnson, a native of the North Carolina High Country town of Newland.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Boone Police Make Arrests in Two Breaking and Entering Incidents from November


    January 11, 2019. On November 27, 2018, Farmers Rental and Power Equipment was the victim of a break-in and then on November 28, 2018, High Country 4×4 was the victim of a break-in and thefts from numerous vehicles. As a result of investigations into both incidents three individuals were arrested on charges including felonious breaking and entering, injury to real property, injury to personal property and misdemeanor larceny. Brandon Alan Johnston, 27, of Lenoir, Jonathan Wesley Mays, 35, of Boomer and Ashley Danielle Mays, 34, of Boomer were charged following the investigation. / Read more…



  • USASA Southeastern Series Heading into 3rd Season; Next Event at Beech on January 26


    January 11, 2019. The Southeastern Series is heading into it’s third year with a full calendar of freeski and snowboard competitions. “It’s been a bit of a nerve racking start to this year, we had to cancel this weekend’s event at Ober Gatlinburg, but it looks like winter is back in full force so it’s gonna be another great season!” says Series director, Andy McDaniel. “Last year was awesome despite the weather, we still had a lot of folks come out on contest days. We had a total of 78 athletes join USASA. That was up from our first year when we had 56 members, so we are steadily growing as a series.” / Read more…



  • Half Priced Season Passes for App State Students

    January 11, 2019. Beech Mountain Ski Resort has teamed up with the Appalachian State University Bookstore to offer a mid-week season pass for App State students for only $225, a 50 percent discount on the standard individual student rate. Season passes are only available for purchase at the University Bookstore, located at 219 College St. in Boone. The pass is good from 5 p.m. Sundays to 5 p.m. Fridays during non-holiday hours. On-Mountain Perks: Beech Mountain Resort Season Pass holders receive discounts on the mountain during the ski season when you show your season pass. / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Experiences One of Wettest Years On Record


    January 11, 2019. 2018 made a splash on Grandfather Mountain. As per the recording site at Grandfather’s Nature Museum, where the park’s naturalists gather daily records, some 123.62 inches of precipitation fell on the mountain last year. “That’s 10 feet of water!” said Amy Renfranz, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park. “Though we had several big days of rain and snow, most of it fell in small amounts throughout the year.” The largest precipitation events took place on May 19, 2018, with 6.41 inches of rain and Sept. 17, 2018, with 5.84 inches of rain. “This record year nearly doubles our annual average of 63.13 inches,” Renfranz said. “In comparison, Seattle only received 35.73 inches of precipitation in 2018 — a markedly dry year for the Western states. New York City received 46.78.” / Read more…



  • Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Members Dinner on January 9


    January 11, 2019. The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce had a great turnout on Wednesday, January 9 for the Annual Members Dinner at Stonewalls Restaurant in downtown Banner Elk. Paul and Susie O’Connell were the recipients of the Chamber’s Person of the Year Award. Dick Larson of Feeding Avery Families, Trey Oakley of Williams YMCA, and Gary Smith of Ensemble Stage all related moving stories of how the O’Connell’s have invaluably contributed to their organizations and our local community. Susie O’Connell stated “Paul and I are sincerely honored for the recognition given to us. Our hope is to continue helping with the development and advancement of the Banner Elk community.” / Read more…



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