• Appalachian State University to Conduct Full-Scale Emergency Exercise Tuesday, May 16

    May. 9, 2017. Appalachian State University will conduct a full-scale emergency exercise in and around the Plemmons Student Union from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 16. The exercise will simulate an active shooter on campus, and is designed to test response and communication during an emergency. / Read more…



  • A Potter’s Story: Artisan Caron Baker Wike Comes to the Mountaintop for Healing

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=158019&preview=true
    May 9, 2017. Can you recall what first attracted you to the mountains of North Carolina? For generations, community staples like Appalachian State University, Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad have welcomed visitors in search of education, adventure, family entertainment and nowadays healing. Thanks to The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s new post-acute care center in Blowing Rock, NC visitors have started planning what is referred to as “Medical Tourism” trips to the High Country. Caron Baker Wike is one such visitor. Photo Courtesy of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System / Read more…



  • High Country Audubon Society Erects Chimney Swift Tower in Valle Crucis Community Park

    May. 9, 2017. Visitors to Valle Crucis Community Park this spring will notice a new structure in the corner of the park behind the Visitors Center. It looks like a wooden chimney on metal legs and is designed to serve as a nest site for some of the park’s chimney swifts. / Read more…



  • High Country Jazz Society Kicks off 2017 Season with Chad Eby Group this Mother’s Day, May 14

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May. 2, 2017. The High Country Jazz Society will kick off its summer concert series at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock this Mother’s Day, May 14 with the Chad Eby Group. Eby, a renowned saxophonist and jazz faculty member at UNC Greensboro, and his band will perform as the first installment in the High Country Jazz Society’s 2017 season, which includes six concerts that will take place between Mother’s Day and October 8. By Bailey Faulkner / Read more…



  • High Country Audubon Society Announces Research Grant for High School, College Students

    May. 2, 2017. High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) is pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support bird research in the High Country of North Carolina. HCAS is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society and Audubon North Carolina, serving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Alleghany and Avery counties. / Read more…



  • Local Students from AHS, Blue Ridge Academy Complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 27, 2017. Nine Students from Avery High School and the Blue Ridge Academy, joined by one student from Mitchell County High School, recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. / Read more…



  • Gates: Campus Speech in Contentious Times

    April 26, 2017. In an address to the campus community, Appalachian State University’s Dr. Paul Gates offers reasons universities are the “home of ideas” and why students should not fear free speech. Gates teaches communication law in the Department of Communication. Speech by Dr. Paul Gates / Read more…



  • BRAHM Hosts “History of Tweetsie Railroad” Exhibit in Celebration of No. 12’s 100th Birthday

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=157677&preview=true
    Apr. 25, 2017. In celebration of a landmark year for the region, the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) is offering a unique opportunity to learn about one of the most transformative forces in the history of the High Country: the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad now lovingly known by visitors and locals as the Tweetsie Railroad. No. 12, the famous original engine nicknamed “Tweetsie” after its signature steam whistle call, will turn 100 years old this year, and BRAHM wants to commemorate the event by taking guests on a trip back through the 100 years that have changed and shaped the High Country. By Bailey Faulkner – Photo Courtesy of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum / Read more…



  • ASU to Host “Flight from the Mahabharath” World Premier Apr. 26-30, Todd Bush Composes All-Original Indian Score

    Apr. 25, 2017. ASU’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host the world premier of South African author and playwright Muthal Naidoo’s Flight from the Mahabharath on Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Valborg Theater on ASU’s campus. Considering that the ASU Department of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming production of Flight from the Mahabharath is based around an ancient Indian epic, audience members might not realize that the play’s musical compositions also have roots in the High Country. Banner Elk’s Todd Bush, a lifelong student of Indian music and culture, has worked alongside of the play’s cast to create all-original score for the play’s world premier on Wednesday, April 26 at the Valborg Theater on ASU’s campus. By Bailey Faulkner / Read more…



  • Sustainability Club Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations in Watauga High School

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 24, 2017. Through hard work, patience, and partnerships with local businesses, the Watauga High School Sustainability Club has installed five water bottle filling stations on the high school campus. The process began two years ago when the club was just getting started. / Read more…



  • BRAHM Educational Outreach Program Presents Young at Art Student Spectacular May 4

    Apr. 20, 2017. The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will host their Young at Art Student Spectacular during the Summer Exhibition Celebration on May 4 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. It will showcase various art pieces created by kindergarten to second grade students at Blowing Rock Elementary School through BRAHM’s Educational Outreach Program. The event is free and open to the public. / Read more…



  • ASU Dept. of Theatre and Dance to Host “Flight from the Mahabharath” World Premier Apr. 26-30

    Apr. 18, 2017. ASU’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host the world premier of South African author and playwright Muthal Naidoo’s Flight from the Mahabharath on Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Valborg Theater on ASU’s campus. The production, which explores one of ancient India’s two major Sanskrit epics, will continue through Sunday, April 30 with 7 p.m. performances held Thursday through Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. By Bailey Faulkner / Read more…



  • ASU’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies to Host Events on April 20 and April 24

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=157398&preview=true
    April 18, 2017. Organized by the Peace and Genocide Education Club, a panel of ASU students and faculty affiliated with the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies will discuss anti-Semitism in its past and present forms. The panel will take place on Thursday, April 20, from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at PSU’s 416 Rough Ridge, Room 415. The event is open to the public and no tickets are required. On Monday, April 24, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), the Center for Judaic Holocaust, and Peace Studies along with the Temple of the High Country and ASU’s Hillel chapter will organize a public reading of the names of European Jews murdered by the Germans and their allies during the Holocaust. / Read more…



  • Keith Knight, Renowned Cartoonist, to Appear at Appalachian for Two Events on Monday, April 24

    Apr. 18, 2017. On April 24, nationally-renowned cartoonist Keith Knight will visit Appalachian State University. While on campus, he will be the focus of two events that are free and open to the public. The first event is “Fear of a Black Magic Marker: Cartooning as Art and Practice,” where Knight will speak about his career as a comics artist with Dr. Craig Fischer, a professor of English at Appalachian. This interview will take place at 2 p.m. in Room 155 (Tater Hill Room) in the Plemmons Student Union. / Read more…



  • ‘One Amazing Thing’ Selected for ’17-18 Common Reading Program, Divakaruni To Speak Aug. 21

    April 17, 2017. All incoming first-year students at Appalachian State University will receive a copy of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novel “One Amazing Thing” during summer orientation as part of the university’s Common Reading Program for the 2017-18 academic year. / Read more…



  • Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and Partners Blaze New Trail for Craft Artists and Collectors

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=157292&preview=true
    Apr. 13, 2017. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is blazing a new trail to boost the region’s craft industry across Western North Carolina, thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. “Today we are pleased to launch the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina, a digital project that will help more visitors discover the rich heritage of crafts and connect with artisans in our mountain communities,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Presents Adult Field Courses April 29 – September 30

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=157282&preview=true
    Apr. 13, 2017. When your classroom is a mile high, every student has their head in the clouds. Grandfather Mountain is introducing a series of Adult Field Courses in 2017, offering day-long sessions on various topics, including birds, salamanders, history, wildlife drawing and geology. / Read more…



  • WHS Student wins Harley-Davidson for School in National SkillsUSA Competition

    April 13, 2017. After taking home the top prize at the statewide North Carolina SkillsUSA motorcycle competition, Jacob Miller, now a graduate of WHS, went on to net a third place finish in national contest that awarded the top three participants — of 50, one from each state — a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle for their school. / Read more…



  • Watauga County School Board Recognitions

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 11, 2017. The Watauga County Board of Education recognized a number of students and teachers at its board meeting on Monday. The school board also welcomed new Watauga High School Principal Dr. Chris Blanton. See the photos inside. / Read more…



  • BRAHM’s Educational Outreach Program to Present Young at Art Student Spectacular May 4

    Apr. 11, 2017. Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will host their Young at Art Student Spectacular during the Summer Exhibition Celebration on May 4 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. It will showcase various art pieces created by kindergarten to second grade students at Blowing Rock Elementary School through BRAHM’s Educational Outreach Program. The event is free and open to the public. / Read more…



  • Educational Leaders Share Thoughts on Challenges, Solutions in K-12 Schools, Community Colleges

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 11, 2017. Decreased funding, increased accountability measures that take time away from teaching and shifts toward greater business-like operational models are among many challenges facing education, according to regional educational leaders. Yet, the leaders say they are finding strength in meeting those challenges through collaboration – whether between public and private schools, high schools and community colleges, or other creative solutions. / Read more…



  • Mumps Diagnosis on Campus Remains Isolated, Health Officials Continue To Urge Public Vigilance

    April 11, 2017. Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) and Appalachian State University are continuing to monitor one case of mumps in an Appalachian State University student, which was confirmed on April 7. / Read more…



  • School Board Approves Hire of New WHS Principal

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 11, 2017. The Watauga County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday, April 10 to appoint Dr. Chris Blanton Principal of Watauga High School. Blanton takes the lead at WHS after a rigorous vetting process led by Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott that Watauga County Schools has used to evaluate candidates for its administrative roles for the past three years. / Read more…



  • Watauga School Board Passes Resolution in Support of New Recreation Center

    April 11, 2017. The Watauga County Board of Education voted unanimously at its March meeting to pass a resolution in support of construction of a new recreation center for the citizens of Watauga County. The county plans to build a recreation center on property it acquired from Appalachian State University in a deal earlier this month. / Read more…



  • One Case of Mumps Confirmed, Watauga County & ASU Officials Urge Vigilance

    April 10, 2017. On April 7, 2017 Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) and Appalachian State University confirmed one case of mumps in an Appalachian State University student. The individual diagnosed with the virus is being treated, and actions are in effect to minimize contact with this person, per guidelines established by the State of North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control. / Read more…



  • Hardin Park Wins Battle of Books, WHS Marine Corps JROTC Places 2nd in Regional Competition

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 7, 2017. The Hardin Park Middle School Battle of the Books Team won the regional competition last Thursday — earning the trip to regionals after winning the top spot in the Watauga County Schools competition. The Watauga High School Marine Corps JROTC wrapped up its competitive season last week, placing second overall in its at the Appalachian Regional JROTC Championships hosted by Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn. / Read more…



  • U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx Visits Lees-McRae College Campus, Shares Her Day-to-Day Life

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    April 6, 2017. Currently serving as the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s fifth district, Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., spent the afternoon Friday, March 31 answering students’ questions and discussing her childhood in Avery County. Hosted by Lees-McRae’s Sport Management program, the discussion took place in Evans Auditorium and housed a mixture of students both within the program and without, as well as various faculty and staff. / Read more…



  • Son of U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers to Host Presentation at Sagebrush Steakhouse April 14

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=157019&preview=true
    Apr. 4, 2017. The High Country Lifelong Learners are inviting the public to attend a special presentation hosted by Francis Gary Powers, Jr. entitled “Operation Overflight: The True Story of Francis Gary Powers” at Sagebrush Steakhouse in Boone on Friday, April 14 at noon. The son of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, whom was shot down in his spy plane over the USSR in 1960, will shed light on the events surrounding his father and the climate of the United States and the world during the Cold War. By Bailey Faulkner – Photo Courtesy of garypowers.org / Read more…



  • 38th Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby Day Draws Most Participants in Derby’s History

    https://www.hcpress.com/?p=156982&preview=true
    Apr. 4, 2017. Blowing Rock celebrated the beginning of warmer weather in the High Country on Saturday with the 38th Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby Day at Broyhill Lake. Like each year, the family event drew kids and their parents from the High Country and beyond as they competed for various prizes based on their catches for the day. By Bailey Faulkner – Photos Courtesy of Lonnie Webster / Read more…



  • Avery High Key Club Wins Several Awards at the Carolinas Key Club District Convention in Durham

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    March 29, 2017. Just like the past couple of years, the Avery High Key Club and its members brought home several awards from the Key Club District Convention at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham this past weekend. For one, the Avery High Key Club was named a Distinguished Club. Only one other club out of 241 in the Carolinas received this award. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Watauga School Board, Commissioners Adopt Joint Resolution for School Calendar Flexibility

    March 28, 2017. The Watauga County Board of Education, in conjunction with the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, unanimously passed a joint resolution March 23 in support of legislation allowing greater local control over setting and establishing the school calendar. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae to Commence Seventh Annual Appalachian Heritage Week Starting April 3

    Mar. 28, 2017. Sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, Lees-McRae will kick-off the start of spring and highlight the unique aspects of mountain living during its seventh annual Appalachian Heritage Week. The weeklong event will begin on Monday, April 3, with the New Opportunity School for Women Open House from 1–5 p.m. / Read more…



  • Watauga School Board Recognitions in March

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    March 24, 2017. Watauga County Board of Education recognized several individuals at its March meeting, including Watauga County Schools Spanish Language Interpreter Yolanda Adams, WCS Principal of the Year Valle Crucis’ Preston Clarke and school social workers Megan Langdon and Heather Holbrook. / Read more…



  • Fifth Annual Boone Birding Festival to Celebrate High Country Spring Migration on Saturday, April 8

    Mar. 21, 2017. With winter on its way out and spring beginning to take over, the High Country is beginning to see and hear the unique birdlife that draws many tourists and outdoors lovers to the area. Fans of the High Country’s avian populations should mark their calendars for Saturday, April 8 when the Fifth Annual Boone Birding Festival is set to take place at the Valle Crucis Community Park. By Bailey Faulkner / Read more…



  • New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae Accepting Applications for Summer 2017 Session

    March 17, 2017. The New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College is accepting applications for the program’s annual summer session. The program’s mission is to improve the educational, financial and personal circumstances of low-income women–who live in or come from the Southern Appalachian region. / Read more…



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