High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Saloon Studios in West Jefferson Offers a True Music Experience for Artists and Fans


    June 15, 2018. Hidden well off the beaten path lies one of the newest musical sensations in the High Country. Saloon Studios, located in between Fleetwood and West Jefferson in Ashe County, is an intimate, 100-seat mid-19th century saloon replica music hall that features some of the most high-quality sound and studio recording equipment you’ll see anywhere in the country. Owners Mike and Laura Jones moved from Florida to Ashe County and have lived here for 18 years. The saloon-style setting came about because of Mike’s enjoyment of watching Westerns and the memories of sharing those moments watching Westerns with his father. The project started in 2016. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Grandfather Vineyard’s Music in the Vineyard series, this Saturday and Sunday: Don Vallarta and Beacon Heights


    June 15, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over!
    On a radiant summer day down a country road in Banner Elk, excited music lovers begin to arrive for Grandfather Vineyard and Winery’s Music in the Vineyard. The band begins to play out of a small wooden pavilion attached to the winery, and the crowd gathers at tables both under and outside the pavilion. A few people sit on the grass around the winery, enjoying the immense volume of green surrounding them. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • 11-Year-Old Sarrah Kitchell Evaluates Food Insecurity in NC, F.A.R.M. Café Displaying Project all of June


    June 15, 2018. When asked what lead Sarrah to choosing this topic, she responded, “I like to think of myself as a conservationist.” This past year, she also created a science fair project about alternative energy processes. “I want to see what I can do to help people and the environment. I’m interested in world problems.” Sarrah believes there’s plenty of food to go around—the same mindset that F.A.R.M. Café has. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – June 7-13: 30 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $5,672,500.00

    June 15, 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…



  • What’s Happening this Saturday at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market


    June 15, 2018. From Market Manager Michelle Slaton: “It was the most amazing thing. All week I couldn’t help but hear from every father I spoke to that the thing he wanted most this Father’s Day was to go the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. Well you definitely don’t want to disappoint your dad do you? So we’ll see you Saturday! There is so much great stuff happening this weekend you will not want to miss it.”  / Read more…



  • Governor Cooper Announces $1.5 Million in Grant Awards to Combat Opioid Crisis in Communities

    June 15, 2018. Governor Cooper today announced $1.5 million in grant awards to 12 community partners to implement projects that combat the opioid crisis by advancing the goals of the NC Opioid Action Plan. The one-time, state-funded grants of up to $150,000 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services enable partner organizations to implement activities in their community which improve access to harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports. “Community efforts to turn the tide on the opioid crisis deserve our support,” Gov. Cooper said. “These grants are another example of the collaborative effort we need to fight opioid overdoses, save lives, and connect people to treatment statewide.” / Read more…



  • Watauga County’s 24th Annual Relay for Life this Friday, June 15 at Watauga High School


    June 11, 2018. Relay for Life returns to Watauga County for its 24th year this Friday, June 15. Starting at 6:00 p.m., Relay for Life will be held again at Watauga High School for an evening to honor and remember those who have battled or are battling cancer in their lives. Relay for Life has been bringing people together to honor anyone who has passed, survived, or is still battling from cancer nationally since 1985. This year is its 24th year dedicated to those in Watauga County. Relay for Life is a “grass-roots, community-based team event,” states their website. Relay for Life involves masses of support from the community as teams come together to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s efforts in fighting cancer through research and treatments, as well as patient care. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Todd’s Saturday Summer Concerts, this Saturday: Amantha Mill


    June 14, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! The Cook Memorial park in Todd is an absolutely gorgeous scene, filled with plenty of open, green spaces and tons of lively people. The beautiful New River flows ever northward right beside it, and kiddos hop carefully across the stones, laughing with glee when their toes get a little soaked. The performers sing and play out of an elegant wooden gazebo, inviting the crowd to clap along. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Avery County Friends and Neighbors Gather for Opioid Awareness Forum in Banner Elk


    June 14, 2018. Community leaders and concerned citizens got together on Tuesday afternoon at the Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk for a special meeting to learn about and discuss the opioid abuse issues plaguing Avery County. The meeting was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club of Banner Elk and had approximately 110 people there in attendance. A five-person panel as well as a special guest speaker, a recovering opiate addict, were there to share their thoughts on the opioid abuse problem in Avery County and some ways to start trying to fix the problem. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • North Carolina’s Great Opportunity to Make a Unique Mark on National History

    June 14, 2018.      A great opportunity for North Carolina to make a unique mark on national history emerged on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 with the passage by Illinois of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The Amendment states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Illinois is the 37th state to ratify, following Nevada as the 36th in March 2017 – the first to do so since 1982, when the original ratification push died because of Congressional imposition of deadlines on the amendment process. No such deadlines are required by Article V of the Constitution. Now, only one more state is needed to ratify and position the ERA to become part of the Constitution. Currently one of the unratified states, North Carolina could secure a unique place in U.S. history as the state taking the Amendment over the finish line, especially with the General Assembly in session. By Bernadette Cahill / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Celebrates 95 Years in the High Country


    June 14, 2018. Last weekend, June 6-10, the 95th Annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show (BRCHS) kicked off the summer’s three-event series with the Saddlebred Division. Since 1923, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show’s mission has been “supporting education and worthy charities by encouraging and preserving the tradition of horse sports.” This nearly century old Horse Show is the oldest continually run show in the Eastern United States, and still one of the oldest for the whole nation. The BRCHS has two more events lined up for later this summer. Hunter/Jumper Division Week I on July24-29 and Hunter/Jumper Division Week II on August 1-5. By Savannah Watts / 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



  • 8th Annual Doc Watson Day Celebration to Take Place at the Jones House on June 15


    June 14, 2018. The eighth annual Doc Watson Day Celebration takes place at the Jones House Friday, June 15, starting at 4:00 p.m. with free performances by Brooks Forsyth, Presley Barker, Charles Welch and John Kirby, Jay Brown, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Crouch, and The Jeff Little Trio. In 2011, Mayor Loretta Clawson declared the third Friday in June as Doc Watson Day, and the downtown statue of Watson picking his guitar on a bench was unveiled. Watson attended and gave one of his final performances in Boone, passing away the following spring. / Read more…



  • Perseverance Leads to Dream Job for Nurse at The Foley Center


    June 14, 2018. Do you look forward to going to work in the morning? For most of us, the answer is sadly no, because we consider the daily grind of punching-the-clock and working for “the man” a necessary evil. But every once in a while we perk up and pay attention when we hear someone boldly proclaim that they love their job. We lean in and listen, almost as if to try to learn what well-kept secret they have discovered, in hopes that we can discover it, too.  After persevering through unimaginable trials, Holly Spencer BSN, RN, found her dream job as a registered nurse at The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock, NC, a member of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). By Josh Jarman / Read more…



  • Conservationist Tom Butler to speak at Grandfather Mountain


    June 14, 2018. This June, Grandfather Mountain is encouraging folks to embrace their inner eco-hero. To assist, celebrated conservationist, activist and writer Tom Butler will present at Grandfather Mountain on Thursday, June 21. His presentation is part of Grandfather Mountain’s after-hour lecture series, Grandfather Presents. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, June 4 – June 11

    June 13, 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



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Sugar Mountain’s Wednesday Afternoon Concerts, Tonight: The Rockabillys


    June 13, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! It’s a gorgeous sunny Wednesday at Sugar Mountain, and the Golf and Tennis Pro Shop, overlooking the golf course, is hosting the Sugar Mountain Summer Concerts on the Deck. Children play cornhole and ping-pong and stay out of trouble—for a little while anyway. Adults relax on the deck, with enough tables and chairs to seat about 80 to 90 people, and listen to some catchy tunes. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • On to the Next Chapter: Watauga High School Class of 2018 Celebrates Graduation


    June 13, 2018. Graduating Watauga High School seniors got the chance to share one more evening together as high school students and friends at Saturday’s graduation ceremony held at the Holmes Convocation Center. Friends and family members packed the arena to pay tribute to Watauga High School’s Class of 2018. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018 is Pulling into Tweetsie Railroad from June 8 to June 17


    June 13, 2018. All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of friendship and family fun at Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018. Children everywhere can spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Blowing Rock, North Carolina on June 8-17, 2018. Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018 is presented by Mattel. / Read more…



  • Sun Belt Releases Conference Schedules for App State Men’s and Women’s Basketball


    June 13, 2018. The Sun Belt Conference has announced the men’s basketball conference schedule for the 2018-19 season. For the third straight season, the league will use an 18-game conference slate. The conference schedule will feature a mirror schedule format for the first time, as men’s and women’s teams will play at different venues. Games will still be played on a Thursday-Saturday schedule. Appalachian State will open Sun Belt play on the road on Jan. 3 at South Alabama. The Mountaineers also play at Troy on Jan. 5 to conclude the two-game road trip to open league competition.  / Read more…



  • Cove Creek Elementary School Looks Forward to Solar Array Program After Successful Fundraiser


    June 13, 2018. At the beginning of the year, Cove Creek School was chosen to be the fifth recipient of NC GreenPower’s Solar Schools Grant Program. With a $14,000 requirement to have the array system installed, Cove Creek School and the community of Watauga came together to provide their students with a greener education. The school is making efforts to include the students in their efforts to become sustainable by having three to five teachers “attend some professional development workshops that NC GreenPower puts on. They’ll learn how to teach about solar rays specifically and incorporate it into NC teaching standards and curriculum,” according to Grace Plummer. The school wants the children to be able to observe and learn about the system. Plummer adds, “If all goes as expected, it is going to be out in the back of the school, south facing, but near the playground for students to see it.” By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Alta Vista Gallery to Feature Oils from Shelia Hancock for “Blue Ridge Skies” from June 18 to July 14


    June 13, 2018. This Saturday, Alta Vista Gallery will receive 25 new Impressionist oils by Sheila Hancock.  Her show, “Blue Ridge Skies,” will hang from June 18 through July 14.  Meet her at the gallery’s opening reception on June 23, from 11 to 5.  Bring friends to enjoy refreshments and an amazing art show! Hancock has a long list of awards, including a permanent placement in the Governor’s Mansion.  Because she is such an expert at painting clouds, it seems that Hancock might actually know the answer to a question God asked Job, “Do you know how the clouds hang poised?”  / Read more…



  • BRAHM Brings Back Its Newly Coined Art Gala on June 23 with “An Evening in Venice”


    June 13, 2018. The Blowing Rock Art History Museum is bringing back its Art Gala (formerly known as the Art Ball) with a new theme: An Evening in Venice! On June 23, guests are invited to come enjoy a buona sera at BRAHM with cocktails, dolces, desserts and music from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tickets for the dinner parties have already sold out, but tickets for the dessert party at the BRAHM are still available. Appalachian State University and Greystone Insurance sponsor this year’s Art Gala. The evening will be filled with friends, conversation, food and art to celebrate BRAHM fashioned in a new Venice, Italy theme. BRAHM will be shrouded with Venetian decor and desserts while guests are invited to enjoy the exhibits they currently have at the museum. Guests are encouraged to wear Venetian style clothing in honor of the theme. By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • In Watauga County, District Attorney and Clerk of Court Host Breakfast for Local Law Enforcement Officers


    June 13, 2018. Friday, June 9 began on a positive note for local law enforcement officers who were treated to breakfast by District Attorney Seth Banks and Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court Diane Cornett Deal. It was the second year for the Banks and Deal to join forces outside the courtroom to provide breakfast for the officers as a way to thank them for a job well done. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Everybody Say Cheese: It’s National Dairy Month


    June 13, 2018. According to the American Dairy Association, June is National Dairy Month — and the perfect time to celebrate with the 99 percent of US households that make purchases from the dairy aisle of our grocery stores on a regular basis. Everything from milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and more find their way to our refrigerators routinely and provide a base for many of our daily meals and snacks. Make sure to look for special deals, prices and promotions throughout the month on America’s favorite refrigerated dairy foods. In celebration of the June promotion, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) sponsors a $10,000 Sweepstakes (enter at www.EasyHomeMeals.com/giveaway/).. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 12, 2018

    May 22, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Bayou’s Tuesday Afternoon Concerts, Tonight: The Smokin’ Joe Band


    June 12, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! In the heart of Banner Elk, the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill hosts their Concerts in the Courtyard every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. What a good excuse to take a weeknight off, visit Banner Elk and relax with friends! By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Glass Artist Rick Beck Featured at Anvil Arts Studio in Linville Falls this Month


    June 12, 2018. Down in Linville Falls, Bill Brown’s Anvil Arts Studio is featuring the work of Glass Artist Rick Beck for the entire month of June. Beck is known for his untraditional approach to glass art, often using methods of casting, carving and fabricating to make glass sculptures. This Saturday, June 16, Beck will be down in the studio from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and will be giving a Gallery Talk beginning at 10:30 a.m. By Savannah Watts / 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



  • Movie Review: ‘Ocean’s 8’ Never Quite Lives Up to the Clooney Installments

    oceans_eight
    June 12, 2018  I think it was a mistake to call this movie “Ocean’s 8”. The modern-era “Ocean’s” series began in 2001 with “Ocean’s Eleven”, then went to “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004, and then to “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007. Now the franchise is being relaunched with a female-led cast and a problematic title. 8 is about 73% of 11, and it just makes me think of the gender pay gap, which is usually reported to be around 75%. Without giving too much away, this team has enough unofficial members that “Ocean’s Fourteen” would not have been an unreasonable title. But this film’s advertising only wants to push eight actresses, so we’re stuck with a film that tells you right in its title that it’s an insufficient version of the movie you want. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Chetola Resort’s Corkscrew & Brew 5K Awards $1,500 to the Recipient of the Annual Charitable Race


    June 12, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Festivities surrounding Chetola Resort’s annual Corkscrew & Brew 5K are always exciting. The race is held in conjunction with SAVOR Blowing Rock: A Festival of Food and Drink, so the town is pulsing with energy, the participants are indulging in delicious food and beverages, and everyone is having a blast. But the extra spring in this race’s step – aside from the popular “non-hydration” wine and beer stations, of course – is that race director Gary Woolard makes sure someone in the local community benefits from all the fun and games. This year, more than 200 runners and walkers participated in the May 5 race, the net proceeds from which were dedicated to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of local two-year-old Levi Boyter, a kidney transplant recipient. On June 8, Woolard proudly presented a $1,500 check to Levi and his mother, Danielle Boyter. / Read more…



  • 2018 Back 2 School Festival Planning in High Gear; Sponsors and Donors Needed


    June 12, 2018. Planning for the sixth annual Back 2 School Festival is already in full swing. Last year close to 1,100 students received backpacks, school supplies, shoes, haircuts and lunch during the half-day festival. “We are fortunate in Watauga County to have the support of such compassionate and giving community members. Thanks to donations from local businesses, churches, community groups and individuals, more than 1,000 students and families who would otherwise struggle to afford school supplies can start their year confident and well-equipped,” stated Dr. Scott Elliot, Watauga County Schools Superintendent.  / Read more…



  • 12th Annual Farm Tour by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture This Saturday Featuring A Bus Tour


    June 11, 2018. This year on Saturday, June 16, the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture will host their 12th Annual Farm Tours, but this year with an exciting new approach: a bus tour. Dave Walker says, “We’re really excited about this year’s tour because it’s a bus tour, which means more time spent with the farms and a delicious, farm-fresh meal at the last stop on the tour.” For $65, guests can enjoy four different farms and a great local dinner. This exciting adventure features four local farms and some close encounters with cows, pigs, goats and chickens. Participants will also be able to walk through the farms and take a peek at beekeeping, cheese making, fermentation and more! By Savannah Watts / Read more…



  • Blue Ridge Parkway Reopens in Deep Gap; Some Trails Still Remain Closed


    June 11, 2018. The Blue Ridge Parkway is now open in Deep Gap after cracks in the surface of the road forced the closure last week. The parkway was closed between milepost 276 to 280 between Jeffress Park and Deep Gap. The National Park Service stated that heavy rainfall caused the slope instability on the road, causing the cracks to develop and the road to be closed last Tuesday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges


    June 11, 2018. On Wednesday, June 6, the Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation of a Boone man for the Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. The Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are members of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet. As a result of this investigation, Michael Justin Hagaman, 39 years-of-age, of Howards Creek Road, Boone, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.  / Read more…



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