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  • Watauga County Schools Holds Convocation Ceremony on Monday Morning


    August 14, 2018. As Watauga County Schools prepares to welcome back students on Monday, Aug. 20, teachers and staff came together to celebrate the system’s annual convocation ceremony. Held at Watauga High School, convocation gives new and returning teachers a chance to meet and connect with community partners, attend health screenings and a benefits fair and prepare to start the new school year together. The ceremony was host to three speakers who addressed the theme of empowerment, Watauga County Board of Education Chairman Ron Henries, Principal of the Year Phil Norman from Green Valley and WCS Teacher of the Year Terri Hodges from Blowing Rock.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Meg’ Tries To Be a Bad-But-Fun Movie, Doesn’t Make It

    meg
    Aug. 14, 2018  Early on in “The Meg”, it occurred to me that sharks just aren’t very scary. I don’t mean this movie’s shark (although some unconvincing CGI doesn’t help), but all sharks. Their teeth are always so small in proportion to the rest of their mouths that they don’t register the way they’re supposed to, and their eyes and faces perpetually have this expression that tells me they’re just minding their own business. Even definitive scary shark movie “Jaws” knew to keep actual shots of the creature to a minimum or else people would stop taking it seriously (and the legendary deficiency of the mechanical shark certainly didn’t help). So this movie is already hurt by being a monster movie with a nonthreatening monster. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Presents its Annual Jeff Little – “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge” Concert


    August 14, 2018. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is excited to announce the return of Jeff Little and his Trio on Saturday, August 18th for a concert at the Harvest House at 7:30 PM. Little, a Boone native, has developed a distinctive piano style all his own – influenced by bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, and rock-n-roll music. Little is one of a kind, that’s why he’s called “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge”.  / 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



  • Godspell, an Upbeat Rendition of the Life of Jesus Christ, Comes to Banner Elk Presbyterian on August 21st, 23rd, and 24th


    August 13, 2018. Godspell, an upbeat rendition of the life and death of Jesus Christ, will be performed at the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church on August 21, 23, and 24. This wonderful show was originally written by Stephen Schwartz, who went on to compose Wicked, Pocahontas, and Pippin, among others. It features, as many of his productions do,  a wide variety of music including folk, pop, jazz, vaudeville, and quintessential “broadway.”  By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • You’re Invited to G.O. (Get Outdoors) Grandfather Day on August 15 at Grandfather Mountain


    August 13, 2018. This year will be the 7th annual G.O. (Get Outdoors) Grandfather Day at Grandfather Mountain State Park. The event will be filled with fun learning opportunities for families. Events will begin at the Profile Trail Parking Area. Each year, a theme is adopted for G.O. Grandfather Day, and this year the theme is fish. Learning opportunities will include ranger led hikes, a fisherman knot-tying workshop, discussions of mountain stream ecology, a lesson on how to cast a fishing rod and a demonstration on electrofishing by the Wildlife Commission. Be sure to see the presentations from the different groups attending as well. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • The Bluegrass Showcase Will Rock the Jones House this Friday, August 17th


    August 13, 2018. Bluegrass fans will have the opportunity to hear some of the region’s finest bluegrass music this Friday in downtown Boone as the Town’s Cultural Resources Department continues the 2018 Summer Concerts at the Jones House. This years bluegrass showcase will feature three bands, including Cane Mill Road, The Dollar Brothers, and Surefire.  / Read more…



  • Boone JAMS Music Lessons for Ages 7-Adults at the Jones House – Fall Enrollment Is Now Open


    August 13, 2018. The fall session of Boone JAMS (Junior Appalachian Musicians) resumes on August 30 at the Jones House, featuring group music lessons in fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and harmony singing taught by local musicians steeped in regional old-time and bluegrass styles. Lessons are open to students ages seven through adults, from beginning through intermediate levels. The Boone JAMS program, formerly Watauga JAM, started in fall 2004, with a TAPS (Traditional Arts Programming for Students) grant from the North Carolina Arts Council.  Boone JAM is one of several other JAM programs in the region, including Alleghany JAM, which was the first program in the 1990s. Today, there are dozens of programs across four states with a regional organization that affiliates the satellite programs, like Boone JAMS.  / Read more…



  • Home-Based Cookie Company Fills Need for Local Wife, Mother and Her Community


    August 13, 2018. A local wife and mother has discovered a unique way of combining her love for her family and others with a longtime hobby and passion for baking. Teesa Klear, who lives in Boone with her husband Bill and four children, Sam (11), Carolina (10), Hudson (7) and Tyndale (2), quickly made a name for herself as a great cookie maker soon after moving to the area a decade ago. Today, thanks to the encouragement of friends, her small home-based cookie business, Nomad Cookie Company, is quickly gaining momentum.
    Anyone who has been lucky enough to run across Teesa’s cookies at the Boone Winter Market or through the High Country Food Hub — or learned about the online ordering opportunities — has certainly become a return customer, time and time again. Offering eight different flavors of cookies — and all available in gluten free form upon request, Teesa’s Nomad Cookie Company has also recently expanded to include brownies. “Not those dense, cake-like brownies, but huge, fudgy brownies that people really love.” By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Town Council Disbands Affordable Housing Task Force: What’s Next?

    August 13, 2018. On July 19, the Boone Town Council voted to disband the town’s Affordable Housing Task Force. The Task Force had just wrapped up a study on population and housing demographics when it asked the Town Council for further direction, which led to a conversation about its viability. Joe Furman, a founding member of the Task Force, said early this summer that the Task Force has always had “no staff and no money, so there’s little possibility of success in building [affordable] housing.” Over the past few years what little power it did have has dwindled. Many people on its all-volunteer team have lost interest; many recent meetings have been canceled due to failure to meet quorum. “I wish it hadn’t come to this conclusion,” said Lynne Mason, another founding member of the Task Force and Town Council member. However, she continued saying, “affordable housing is not dead, just on hold for now.” By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • After a Successful Summer, WYN Prepares for their After School and Mentoring Programs


    August 13, 2018. Western Youth Network(WYN), a wonderful non-profit organization that provides programs to support the youth of the High Country, just finished up their summer day camp on July 26th. The summer camp is just one of the many ways that WYN upholds their mission statement, “To build youth of character and confidence so that every young person in the High Country reaches their full potential.” The camp provides tons of opportunities for kids to strengthen their social and leadership skills, and really challenge themselves. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Boone Police Department Fundraiser Features 469-Mile Bicycle Ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway


    August 13, 2018. For the fifth consecutive year, the Boone Police Department is organizing a challenging fundraiser to benefit North Carolina’s Special Olympics athletes- a 469 mile bicycle ride. Joining the Boone Police Department in the effort are members of the Watauga Democrat, Stepping Stone Addiction Treatment, ASU students, and in total about a dozen members of the Boone community. This group will ride from one end of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the other to raise funding and awareness for Special Olympics North Carolina. Since 1987, law enforcement officers across North Carolina have worked to raise money for Special Olympics, and last year raised over 1.2 million dollars through t-shirt sales, corporate donations, and various fundraisers such as this one.  / Read more…



  • Reception for Award-Winning Plein Air Painter Jeremy Sams at Alta Vista Gallery on August 25


    August 13, 2018. Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis has a new show by award-winning plein air painter Jeremy Sams. “Looking on the Bright Side” is hanging now through September 12, and it can be previewed on the gallery’s Facebook page. On Saturday, August 25, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to drop in at the gallery to enjoy the new show and to hear Sams discuss his art.  Refreshments will be served.  / Read more…



  • TubeFest, Green Valley Park’s Annual Fundraiser, Returns to the Park Saturday, August 25th


    August 13, 2018. Green Valley Park’s Annual TubeFest Fundraiser will return to Big Hill Road on the New River, Saturday, August 25th, from 10 am to 4 pm. The Green Valley Park is located at 3746 Big Hill Road, between the Green Valley School and Todd. Participants should meet at the Park’s lower parking lot near the canoe ramp for a brief shuttle ride upstream. They will then float down the scenic New River for about an hour in (what else?) tubes. Children must be accompanied by an adult while they float. The cost of the fundraiser is $10 per tube per ride per person and includes the shuttle. The last shuttle of the afternoon will leave at 3:50 p.m. / Read more…



  • July Home Sales Hit High for the Year; Over 200 Homes Sold in the High Country


    August 13, 2018. Home buyers were busy in the High Country last month, with Realtor® sales the highest recorded so far this year. Sales in the four-county area surpassed 200 for the first time since December. Mortgage rates remained stable, though well above where they were a year ago. According to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, there were 205 homes worth $59.27 million sold in July by Realtors® in Alleghany, Ashe Avery and Watauga counties. The average sold price was $289,102. Sales were up month-to-month by 22 percent (168 homes sold in June), but down a slight 1.4 percent year-to-year (208 sold in July 2017).  / Read more…



  • High Country Soccer Association’s Appalachian Classic Tournament Scheduled for August 25-26


    August 13, 2018. Youth soccer remains one of the highest participating sports among youth in the U.S. Since 2000, annual participation across the country has held steady with around 3 million youth boys and girls, while other youth sports have been on a decline. On August 25-26, people in the North Carolina High Country will get a taste of “the beautiful game’s” popularity as 43 teams will make their way to the annual soccer tournament Appalachian Classic, hosted by Boone-based High Country Soccer Association (HCSA). The tournament, which began in 2015, will be spread across fields at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex (TMSC; home of Appalachian State Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Watauga County’s Parks and Recreation and HCSA) and Watauga High School. In addition to the HCSA staff, it takes about 50 volunteers to run the Appalachian Classic Soccer Tournament.  / Read more…



  • Avery County Agricultural Service Building Grand Opening to be Held August 17


    August 13, 2018. The latest in a marvel showpiece of public service facilities in Avery County will officially open soon. Construction on a new agricultural building has been completed and its grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held at 12:00 noon on August 17. The public is invited to attend. The building is located at 661 Vale Road in Newland and will house the Avery County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. The Cooperative Extension office will be moving from its old facility next to the Mayland Community College Avery Learning Center in Newland. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New AppalCart Shelter at Hospitality House


    August 10, 2018. Hospitality House staff, AppalCart staff and representatives from BB&T Bank were on hand Friday morning for a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the newest covered AppalCart shelter in Boone. Todd Carter, the Hospitality House Director of Development, said that preserving the dignity of the people using the services of the Hospitality House, Hunger and Health Coalition and the Community Care Clinic made this covered shelter important to the community. “When there are people standing here in the pouring rain with a box of food they’re taking to feed their families, we wanted to do something about that,” Carter said. “BB&T and the AppalCart share our values of dignity and helped to make this happen, we could not have made this happen without them. They provided all the funding, all the materials and a lot of the labor.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Denim Ball Raises $115,000 for Repairs and Rehabilitation Work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park


    August 10, 2018. Mother Nature smiled on The Denim Ball on Friday evening, August 3, and parted the rain clouds for the third annual fundraising event at Chetola Resort. The event hosted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation raised $115,000 for ongoing rehabilitation work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. More than 230 guests came out to celebrate the remaking of history at the estate listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Our community loves the Cone estate as last Friday night clearly demonstrated,” said Willa Mays, Chief Development Officer for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “It was wonderful to see so many longtime friends and new supporters decked out in denim and ready to have fun while giving back.” / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Aug. 2-8: 49 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $114,887,500.00

    Aug. 10, 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


    August 10, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. Saturday will be a terrific time have fun at the Market and get your fresh local vegetables, fruits, and meats plenty of wonderful summer goodies.  / Read more…



  • The Lisa Cook Story: There is Always Room for One More at the Table


    August 10, 2018. Does your family have an unspoken agreement to avoid certain topics of conversation at the dinner table? For most of us, political disagreements can drive a wedge between family members faster than a carving knife through turkey. So we choose to embrace civility and pass the gravy. But, some of us can remember when disagreements were not always solved so peacefully. Lisa Cook, a baker at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, can remember when prejudice beliefs determined where you went to school, sat on a bus or were allowed to eat a meal. By Josh Jarman / Read more…



  • LETTERS / NC Court of Appeals Decision: re The Maymead Case

    August 10, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY DAVID SENGEL / On August 7,  A NC Court of Appeals three judge panel ruled that Randall and Carolyn Henion do not have standing to pursue the Maymead/Hampton asphalt plant case.  That means the court did not even bother to look at the substantial legal issues involved.  The issue of standing was addressed in a way that one  attorney described as “all politics aside, one of the worst written findings I have ever read”.  There was no “bald assertion” claiming damages by the Henions, but there was solid evidence ignored by Judge Berger. 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



  • Watauga County Board Holding Public Hearing About Financing New Recreation Center

    August 9, 2018. A public hearing scheduled for August 21 at 5:30 p.m. will be happening as the Watauga County Board of Commissioners is considering authorizing the county to proceed in acquiring the financing needed for a new community recreation center. The meeting will take place at the commissioners’ boardroom at the Watauga County Administration Building located at 814 W. King Street. According to the notice released by John Welch, the chairman of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, the principal amount of the financial contract will not exceed $20 million. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Seven Devils’ Popular ‘Music by the Lake’ Series Returns for their Third Show this Summer!


    August 9, 2018. Notice: The concert has since been rescheduled from August 10th to August 24th. Seven Devils, a little town east of Sugar Mountain, is hosting one of their popular Music by the Lake concerts on Friday, August 24th at 6 p.m. This is the third of four concerts that they will have this summer, and Anne Fontaine, a chair member of the Town of Seven Devils Recreation Commission, says that “everybody’s invited to come.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Stacy Eggers Jr. Passes Away at the Age of 94


    August 9, 2018. Well-known military veteran, attorney and community leader Stacy Eggers Jr. passed way on Tuesday, August 7 at Watauga Medical Center. Eggers was 94. Eggers was born on March 20, 1924 in Watauga County. He served in the United States Army Air Corps and reached the ranking of Sergeant before turning his attention to practicing law. He opened his law practice on June 1, 1950 and at the time was one of only four practicing attorneys in Watauga County. Not only did Eggers serve his country with his time in the military, but he also served the Watauga County Community in numerous capacities, including serving as Trustee for the Watauga County Hospital in 1966 when the hospital moved to its current location. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Small Works Show: A New Exhibition of Paintings in Blowing Rock August 6-20th


    August 9, 2018. Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery has spent over two decades displaying the works of a variety of local and regional artists. This summer, August 6-20, Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery will feature “Small Works: A Group Exhibition” in which all the work on display will be 14″ x 18″ inches and under.  / Read more…



  • Still No Official Start Date for Highway 105 Paving Project South of Boone

    August 9, 2018. Drivers wondering when paving will begin on N.C. Highway 105 south of Boone will have to continue waiting a little longer. According to Todd Spurlin, a Division Maintenance Staff Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there has been no official start date provided by Maymead for this area of roadwork. Previously, paving was expected to start at some point in mid-August. However with the rainfall that has hit the High Country over the last three weeks, the start of paving has been delayed. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Don’t Miss the Eclectic Mix of Art at Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival this Weekend!


    August 9, 2018. Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival returns this weekend, August 10-12, with a spectacular line up of artists and craftsmen. The festival has provided High Country’s artists with a venue to reach out to their community for over 25 years, as well as a gathering space for people to socialize and get to know each other. The festival is held in Downtown Banner Elk, in the Historic Banner Elk School, and features many different types of handcrafted wares, including photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, blown and stained glass, woodwork, furniture, pottery, and much more. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • On the Same Page Literary Festival Features Tracy K. Smith’s ‘Ordinary Light’


    August 9, 2018. On the Same Page Literary Festival’s Festival Read for 2018 is Tracy K. Smith’s memoir “Ordinary Light” a National Book Award Finalist. Smith, the U.S. Poet Laureate, will be a featured author at the On the Same Page Literary Festival in September. Events will begin with the Festival Read Kick-Off on Thursday, August 8, at 2 p.m. at the Ashe County Public Library. Books to “read and share” free of charge are available now at the Ashe County Arts Center, and may be checked out at the Ashe County Public Library. They will also be available at the Kick-Off event, and refreshments will be provided. This year’s kick off will feature Dr. Joseph Bathanti. He will lead a discussion on what makes a riveting memoir and why “Ordinary Light” is such a wonderful example. / Read more…



  • In/Visible Theatre of Boone Presents Shakespeare’s Play “Measure for Measure” August 15-18


    August 9, 2018. Harvey Weinstein. Ryan Seacrest. Charlie Rose. Les Moonves. The long list of men leveraging their power for sex with unwilling, sometimes unwitting partners continues to grow, revealing the sickeningly large statistic of perpetrators and helping to galvanize the Me Too Movement. But their heinous behavior has been with us for much longer than Me Too—in fact, Shakespeare, in his 1604 play Measure for Measure, explores this very topic with disturbing prescience. / Read more…



  • Frady Named Avery County High School Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach


    August 9, 2018. Avery County High School has a new boy’s head basketball coach. Cody Frady has been named to fill the position, with his appointment approved by the Avery County Board of Education. Frady comes to Avery from Carolina Day School in Asheville, where he coached basketball the past five seasons. He has 15 years of prep coaching experience. He is a graduate of Charles D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, where he played basketball. He served as a varsity assistant and head jayvee coach there for several seasons. The Avery job will be his first as a head prep basketball coach. Frady is a graduate of Mars Hill College where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in physical education. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • NC Court of Appeals Dismisses Appeal Concerning Highway 421 Asphalt Plant

    August 8, 2018. In a 3-0 ruling on Tuesday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by Randall and Carolyn Henion hoping to stop the construction of an asphalt plant on Highway 421 near Deep Gap. The appeal was made following a decision by the Watauga County Superior Court upholding the approval of a high-impact land use permit issued by the Watauga County Board of Adjustment to Johnny and Joan Hampton for the construction of an asphalt plant in March of 2017. Judge Philip Berger Jr. issued the opinion on this case with Judges Rick Elmore and Lucy Inman concurring. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • The Watauga Office of NC Cooperative Extension Is Offering Mediterranean Cooking Class Series: “Med Instead of Meds for Better Health”


    August 8, 2018. Join this series of 4 classes on Thursday afternoons from 4:00 until 6:30 p.m. to prepare foods that fit into the classic Mediterranean way of eating and then enjoy dinner together. Classes will be held at the Watauga Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Rd in Boone, August 23rd, 30th, September 6th and 13th. / Read more…



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