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LETTERS: We Can Do Better to Protect Democracy

July 15, 2024 Letters to the Editor. By Charles Stafford / John Roberts when questioned by Senator Leahy (Dem. Of VT) in 2005 at Roberts’ Supreme Court confirmation hearing was asked, “is the president above the LAW?” Roberts said, “No one is above the law under our system and that includes the president. The president is fully bound by the law, the constitution, and statutes.” (Sept. 2005).  Roberts in 2005 would have been consistent with the thinking of the founders of our country. The first grievance against King George III of Britain and his British Governors in America was the King’s failure to accept laws passed by the 13 colonies. A long list of grievances were listed in our Declaration of Independence ending with sentence: “A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” A Tyrant in the modern English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law. It seems in 2005 Roberts was aware of the history as we read in his answer to Senator Leahy. But on July 1, 2024 the Roberts’ decision on immunity was aligning himself closer to a position of a Tyrant.

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Movie Review: “Longlegs” Now Playing at Boone Regal

July15, 2024 The gruesome horror movie “Longlegs” pulled something of an upset at this past weekend’s domestic box office. It wasn’t enough to upset “Despicable Me 4” for the #1 spot, but it did do the best among new releases. Great reviews were seemingly enough to pull the family-unfriendly indie darling into the #2 spot and make it the only movie to pull in half of what “Despicable Me 4” made. And to all the critics whose diligent word of mouth turned this scrappy upstart into a surprise hit, I have to say: you must have seen a different “Longlegs” than I did, because the movie I saw was a joke.

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Blue Ridge Conservancy Awarded NCDOT Grant for Multimodal Feasibility Study for Northern Peaks State Trail

July 14, 2024 Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) was recently awarded $80,000 by NCDOT for a Multimodal Feasibility Study grant, which will give BRC and its partners of Jefferson, West Jefferson, and Ashe County a plan to connect Paddy Mountain Park to Mount Jefferson State Natural Area via a pedestrian pathway. This pathway will ultimately connect Mt Jefferson to the Northern Peaks State Trail (NPST). Charity Shatley, Jefferson Town Manager, says “The Town of Jefferson is eager to partner with BRC, NCDOT, West Jefferson, Ashe County, and other community partners involved in the NPST feasibility study.”

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BRAHM Receives Gift of a Painting “Early Morning Early June,” by Maud Gatewood

July 14, 2024 GSK, a global biopharma company, has gifted a work of art to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM). The gift is a six-panel polyptych, entitled “Early Morning Early June,” by iconic North Carolina artist Maud Gatewood, which will be featured in the upcoming exhibition, “The Hard Edge & The Soft Line: A Retrospective of Maud Gatewood.” The exhibition will be on view in the Fort, Atwell, and Rankin East Galleries of the Museum from June 28, 2024, through January 5, 2025.

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UNC Health Appalachian Announces the Retirement of President and CEO Chuck Mantooth Effective January 1, 2025


July 13, 2024 . After a distinguished career spanning over three decades in healthcare leadership, Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of UNC Health Appalachian (UNCHA) has decided to retire, effective January 1, 2025. “Chuck has been an integral part of UNC Health Appalachian since he joined the organization in 1992. When we began discussing his retirement in Fall 2023, we asked him to give us another year and continue through 2024 and he graciously agreed,” said UNCHA’s Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Deal. “His vision, dedication, and commitment to improving healthcare for the communities of northwest North Carolina have left an indelible mark on the organization. Under his leadership, UNC Health Appalachian has seen significant growth and development while enhancing patient care, expanding services, and fostering a culture of excellence.” Mantooth’s leadership has transformed UNCHA and positively impacted the broader healthcare landscape in northwest North Carolina. His dedication to service and excellence has earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues, patients, and the community.

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Highland Games Set to Return to Grandfather Mountain’s MacRae Meadows July 11 – July 14

July 3, 2024 The long and storied tradition that is the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games returns to MacRae Meadows on Thursday, July 11, continuing through Sunday, July 14. This marks the 68th year for the beloved and historic celebration of Scottish ancestry and heritage, with the popular festival once again bringing a “wee bit o’ Scotland” to the High Country of North Carolina. Throughout the weekend of events, guests can take in the awe-inspiring spectacle of traditional Scottish athletic competitions, which includes Scottish heavy athletics, track and field competitions, Highland wrestling and more.

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Exhibition of Anna Buckner’s Works to Open at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum on July 20

July 12, 2024 he Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) announces an upcoming exhibition of works by interdisciplinary maker and educator, Anna Buckner. The exhibition, entitled “Anna Buckner: And other Myths” will be on view in the Cannon Gallery at BRAHM from July 20, 2024, to February 22, 2025. Buckner is a painter in the most expanded sense of the word, creating compositions at the intersection of design, textile, and painting. “And other Myths” features a body of work that leverages the storytelling potential of quilting within the context of painterly composition and design precision.

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Tim Turner and Bill Brown Celebrate Old Friends New Art at Anvil Arts Studio and Gallery on July 19th and 20th

July 12, 2024 Over the past 43 years Anvil Arts Studio and Gallery has seen a multitude of changes. It began as Bill Brown’s private iron working studio, where he produces large-scale sculpture as well as architectural commissions. Over the years, we have turned the property into an exquisite sculpture garden and expanded the gallery to include other artistic mediums with painters, glass artists and woodworkers. Bill continues to create work that is at times deeply personal and also pieces that address current world issues. This year we are very excited to welcome local painter and potter Tim Turner to the gallery

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Local Doctor, Dr. Andrew Hordes, Receives Prestigious Award from the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners

July 11, 2024 In the heart of the High Country, where the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains meets our small, close-knit community, we are proud to celebrate one of our own. Dr. Andrew Hordes, a cardiologist at The Heart and Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center in Boone, has been honored with the prestigious Vanguard Award for 2024. This award, from the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE), recognizes his outstanding contributions to heart care.

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Samaritan’s Purse Deploys Disaster Relief Unit to Southeast Texas after Hurricane Beryl

July 11, 2024 Samaritan’s Purse is responding to Southeast Texas after Hurricane Beryl unleashed a barrage of severe weather with damaging wind gusts and torrential rainfall that claimed at least 8 lives and inundated communities. Today, a Disaster Relief Unit—a tractor-trailer filled with tools and equipment—is on the way to Brazoria County, Texas where the hurricane-force winds toppled large trees and damaged hundreds of homes.

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AppHealthCare Ashe Health Center Reopening July 15th After Renovation

July 11, 2024 On July 15th, AppHealthCare will reopen the Ashe Health Center after being closed following water damage sustained to the building in December 2022. “We are thrilled to welcome our patients and community back in the Ashe Health Center to continue providing compassionate and high quality health care. We remain committed to treating the whole person and meeting patients where they are. We know the temporary closure of the Ashe Health Center has presented challenges for our community, and we are appreciative of your patience in this process,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director/CEO, AppHealthCare.

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Symphony by the Lake in Blowing Rock Returns to Chetola Resort on Friday, July 19th

July 11, 2024 Symphony of the Mountains returns to perform at the 2024 Symphony by the Lake in Blowing Rock, NC. Their concert, “Live from Vienna” with soloist Roy Cornelius Smith, will take place outdoors at Chetola Resort on Friday, July 19th at 7:30pm. With Symphony of the Mountains’ electrifying performance, this concert promises to be an unforgettable night for fans of all ages.

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Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp to be held July 15-19 at Old Rock and Newland Elementary School Gymnasiums in Newland

July 11, 2024 The Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp, one of the High Country’s most popular annual sports events, will be held Monday, July 15 through Friday, July 19 in the Old Rock and adjacent auxiliary elementary school gymnasiums, located at 185 Shady Street in Newland. The camp will run from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon each day.  Each of its 41 years of existence, the Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp has been held in collaboration with the Avery Parks and Recreation Department, and it annually attracts many young players from Avery and surrounding counties as well as from several states. By Tim Gardner

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Come See Life in Blowing Rock on the 66th Annual Tour of Homes on Friday, July 26th

July 11, 2024 Four gracious mountain homes are on tap for the 66th annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes on Friday, July 26th.  Sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, with all net proceeds funding local charities, homes are open 9 am to 4 pm.  Advance tickets are on sale now for $35 at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, through the Chamber’s website Events tab (blowingrockncchamber.com), or through the church website (stmaryofthehills.org/tour-of-homes24). Tickets will be $40 on the day of the Tour.  

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Deerfield Ridge’s Rebecca Tester Named 2024 Hero by North Carolina Assisted Living Association 

July 10, 2024 Anyone who has resided at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living in Boone, or anyone who has had a loved one there in recent years, understands clearly why Rebecca Tester has been named a 2024 North Carolina Assisted Living Association Hero. The announcement came recently, much to the delight of the facility staff, residents, their family members and regular visitors — and it certainly came as no surprise. Tester, whose current title is Life Enrichment Director at the facility, was nominated for the prestigious award by her coworkers, recognition that is given by the Raleigh-based NC Assisted Living Association to usually only three individuals across North Carolina each year. By Sherrie Norris

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Cooling Off In and Outside the Kitchen


July 10, 2024 . As I “watered down” the grandkids earlier this week, keeping them cooled off as they made their way down the slippery slide in the front yard —without a care in the world, I might add — I was taken back for just a little while to simpler times. I thought about the days of my own childhood summers that had moments of fun and frivolity, along with the not-so-easy or fun times of picking beans and peas from the garden.  We might’ve had a popsicle or piece of watermelon to cool us off during the day, and a Dixie cup full of Kool-Aid and a cookie or two. I recalled the evenings sitting on the porch, mainly with my mama, granny, and younger sister, after the work was done, supper was over and the dishes were washed (by hand) and put away for another day. We would eventually go to bed and not even bother to lock the front porch screen door, counting on the cool breezes to fan us through the night with no worries of intruders.Times were different, for sure. And that doesn’t seem so long ago, actually. By Sherrie Norris

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NC State Board of Elections Recognizes Constitution Party as Official NC Political Party

July 10, 2024 The State Board of Elections on Tuesday recognized the Constitution Party of North Carolina as an official political party in the state. Recognition of this party means voters now have another choice of party affiliation when registering to vote or updating an existing registration. Voters may register with the Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, No Labels, or Republican parties, or they can register as unaffiliated. This recognition also means that voters currently registered with a different political party or as unaffiliated may switch their affiliation to the Constitution Party if they wish. For information on how to do that, see Updating Registration.

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Cranberry Middle School Students Compile Stellar Finishes at SkillsUSA Championships 

July 10, 2024 Students at Cranberry School in Avery County—formerly at the high school and currently at the middle school–have long been noted for achieving much success in varied endeavors. One of the most recent came at the 2024 National Skills USA Championships, which highlights the achievements and downright prowess of career and technical education (CTE) students. CTE refers to courses and programs designed to prepare students for careers in current or emerging professions. CTE provides students with opportunities to explore a career theme of interest while learning a set of technical and employability skills that integrate into or complement their academic studies. By Tim Gardner

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AMOREM Will Offer Children’s Grief Camp in Boone on July 25th

July 10, 2024 AMOREM will offer an opportunity for grieving children in the summer of 2024. This year, the organization has extended the hours of Good Mourning Children’s Grief Camp and allotted time for drop-offs and pick-ups to accommodate more children and their families. It’s hard to recognize a child’s grief because they tend to express their emotions differently than adults. When children experience death, they may think that they are the only ones in the world who have lost a mother, father, grandparent or other loved one. At Good Mourning Children’s Grief Camp, children will learn that they are not alone, their feelings are normal and it is okay to remember and honor their loved ones.

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Watauga County Farmers’ Market Celebrates 50th Anniversary Throughout July

July 9, 2024 The Watauga County Farmers’ Market is excited to announce a month-long celebration in honor of its 50th anniversary, culminating in a grand anniversary party on Saturday, July 27th. The festivities began this past Saturday, July 6th, commemorating the day North Carolina Governor James E. Holshouser attended the formal dedication of the market in 1974. Throughout July, the market invites the community to immerse themselves in its rich history with the Market Memory Installation. This special exhibit encourages customers to contribute cherished photos, news clippings, and favorite memories, creating a tapestry of shared experiences and community spirit.

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Town of Boone Parking “Brainstorming” Have Three Sessions Coming Up in July

July 9, 2024 The Town of Boone would like to invite the Boone community to attend the Parking “Brainstorming” Sessions. During these sessions, we want to hear from you regarding questions, concerns, and constructive suggestions that you may have regarding parking within the Town. As a Boone community member, we want to hear from you, so we have chosen multiple dates and times so that anyone can attend.

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Statistics for Real Estate in the High Country for June with First Half of Year Over

July 9, 2024  IThe first half of the year is over and we are now on the downhill slide. So hard to believe it’s already July and summer is in full swing! Let’s take a moment and look at the statistics for Real Estate in the High Country for June 2024. June saw 192 closed single family sales in the High Country Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service. Of those 192 sales, 170 were in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, the area we look at most closely when analyzing High Country Real Estate. Of those 170, 38 were condos or townhomes and 132 were single family detached. List prices ranged from a minimum of $24,900 to a maximum of $3,950,000 with an average List Price of $635,644 and a median List Price of $492,000. By Laura Fox, REALTOR, Blue Ridge Realty & Investments, LLC

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The High Country Will Be Cranking it Up With Carolina Flywheelers, July 25-27 

July 9, 2024 If you have a fascination for antique engines, tractors or other old vehicles and equipment — or if you would like to learn more about them, or maybe you just like to mingle with those who already know all about what makes them chug — the 44th annual High Country Crank-Up is the place you ought to be. For three big days — Thursday-Saturday, July 25-27 — one of the premiere events in the southeast for lovers of all things old, hit or miss, will be converging upon the High Country Fairgrounds for this once-a-year event. Sponsored by the Carolina Flywheelers, this attraction draws folks in from all over the country, with something for the young, and especially the young-at-heart. By Sherrie Norris

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