• Rainfall Totals Vary Across the High Country as Some Areas Received Eight Inches of Rain

    October 12, 2018 Hurricane Michael is long gone, but it certainly had a lasting impact on the High Country over the last couple of days. According to the National Weather Service, Linville, Seven Devils and areas near Deep Gap received upwards of eight inches of rain on Thursday. Boone, Newland and Vilas all received between five and six inches of rain while Blowing Rock and Banner Elk saw over four inches of rain. On Grandfather Mountain, it was certainly an active day of weather. The weather station at the Mile High Swinging Bridge received a wind gust that reached 88 MPH and temperatures dipped to near freezing at 34 degrees. The NWS had rainfall totals reaching as high as eight inches on the mountain as well. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Community Band Seeks to Help Young Musicians in Watauga Schools Get Instruments


    October 12, 2018. The song, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” is a Michel Legrand composition that asks a question for which a local group of musicians would like to provide at least a local answer. The High Country and Foothills have long been the cradle of great music, with many notable musicians and bands born and nurtured in the area. And the Hayes School of Music at ASU has, for decades, fielded many outstanding professional musicians and teachers. School systems are seeing more pressure for academic courses, sometimes squeezing arts and music, so the danger seen by the Watauga Community Band is that some talented student musician may miss a lifelong opportunity. / Read more…



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


    October 12, 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. From market manager Michelle Slaton: “As I write this I can help but notice that it is raining yet again. However come this Saturday it will be a beautiful and sunny Fall day. The forecast called it “seasonably cool” which means it’s finally “SWEATER WEATHER”! So pull out your favorite Fall sweater, grab your grocery list and head out to the Market for all your seasonal favorites. We have Jest Country performing on the Main Stage, our Kid’s Market and plenty more. Also next week we will be welcoming back Chef Back for his sorely missed cooking demonstrations. Looking forward to seeing you at the Market!” / Read more…



  • Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum Happening October 23


    October 12, 2018. Voters in Watauga County have a chance to hear what county commissioner candidates, sheriff candidates and other state and federal election hopefuls have to say about issues that affect their lives. The annual Watauga County Meet the Candidates Forum is set to take place on Tuesday, October 23 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. inside the large courtroom at the Watauga County Courthouse. The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce typically sponsors the event, but this year, the chamber is co-sponsoring this event with the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “The Boone chamber and Blowing Rock chamber combined to co-host the event this year because the races have such a big county-wide impact,” said David Jackson, President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “In this particular cycle with county commissioners, school board and the U.S. House race, it’s a much larger forum.” By Nathan Ham / 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



  • Valle Country Fair Celebrates 40 Years on Oct. 20


    October 12, 2018 “Fellowship” and “fun” were the catchwords in October of 1978 when the parishioners of Holy Cross Episcopal Church jumped headlong into the adventure that was the first Valle Country Fair. The little church fete has grown by an undreamt-of extent in its first 40 years, but the friendships and community built as the people of the Valle come together to put on the 2018 celebration are as strong, enduring and rooted in a sense of place as those from the first Fair. Alongside fellowship and fun, the Valle Crucis community is on a mission to raise funds for helping people in need. Over the past 39 years, the Fair has raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars for area charities and families in crisis. Admission to the Fair is FREE and paid parking is available in the adjoining field. / Read more…



  • Banner Elk’s Famous Woolly Worm Festival is Oct. 20-21. Will You Have the Winning Woolly Worm?


    October 12, 2018 Banner Elk’s famed Woolly Worm Festival celebrates its 41st year the weekend of Oct. 20-21. The festival is known worldwide for its quirky mission of conducting races among woollybear caterpillars, known locally as woolly worms. Races are held both days, with Saturday’s winner getting the honor of forecasting the winter weather in North Carolina’s High Country. Saturday’s winning worm also receives $1,000, while Sunday’s champion wins $500. / Read more…



  • Jalin Moore’s Injury to Require Season-Ending Surgery


    October 12, 2018 Appalachian State senior running back and team captain Jalin Moore will miss the remainder of the 2018 season after suffering a fracture and dislocation of his right ankle at the end of a 27-yard touchdown run during Tuesday’s 35-9 win at Arkansas State. After surgery, Moore is expected to need eight to 12 weeks for a full recovery. One of the best runners in school history, Moore ends his App State career with 3,570 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns, as well as 235 receiving yards and a score through the air. He ranks sixth in the school record books in rushing yards, seventh in rushing touchdowns and sixth with 17 100-yard rushing efforts. The Shelby, N.C., native rushed for 400 yards and six scores through five games this season. He piled up 119 yards in one quarter vs. Gardner-Webb and 123 yards through three quarters in a Sun Belt-opening win over South Alabama.  / Read more…



  • New Elon Poll After Hurricane Florence Says North Carolinians Believe Climate Change Impacting Coast, Support Environmental Policy Changes

    October 11, 2018 As the remnants of Hurricane Michael enter North Carolina and the state experiences its second major storm in a month, a new Elon University Poll explores how threats to coastal communities and potential environmental disasters are being viewed by N.C. voters and how they are approaching policy questions related to climate change. The Elon Poll also sought to find out how people throughout the state were impacted by Hurricane Florence, what they did to prepare and what they might do differently next time. In its exploration of climate change and environmental regulation policy, the poll found strong support for restricting real estate development in flood-prone areas (76 percent) and for increasing environmental regulations for coal ash ponds (72 percent). Sixty-two percent support incorporating findings from climate change scientists into local government planning and ordinances and 59 percent support increasing environmental regulation for hog farms. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Cycling Captures SECCC Mountain Bike Championship


    October 11, 2018 The Lees-McRae College cycling team recently captured the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) championship, winning the conference’s mountain bike discipline. “This was the closest finish that I can recall in the history of the conference,” said head cycling coach Tim Hall. Lees-McRae finished with 1,620 points and separated from second-place Brevard by just 62 points (1,558), while Union College (Ky.) finished narrowly behind Brevard with 1,545 points. Auburn took fourth with 1,453 points, while Lindsey Wilson finished fifth with 1,342. Milligan finished in sixth with 1,331 points, while King (Tenn.) took seventh with 1,058 points. The University of Tennessee (876), Georgia Tech (825) and Kennesaw State (782) rounded out the top 10 finishers in the conference.  / Read more…



  • ECRS to Buy Boone Lunch at F.A.R.M. Cafe Wednesday October 17


    October 11, 2018 F.A.R.M. Cafe, Boone’s donate-what-you-can community cafe, welcomes its downtown neighbor ECRS as the newest sponsor for the ‘Buy Boone Lunch’ program.   On Wednesday October 17, between 11-2, ECRS staff members will be serving in the various volunteer roles and welcoming the community to join them in supporting F.A.R.M. Cafe. As a ‘Buy Boone Lunch’ sponsor, ECRS has committed a donation to cover the basic cost of Wednesday’s lunch. ECRS is headquartered on Howard Street just behind F.A.R.M. Cafe’s King Street location.   “We are very pleased that our neighbors at ECRS will be participating in the ‘Buy Boone Lunch’ program,” said Tommy Brown, Volunteer Coordinator at F.A.R.M. Cafe. ECRS has previously supported F.A.R.M. Cafe with donations and many of their staff including Pete Catoe (ECRS President & CEO) have come in for lunch. Yet, we are really looking forward to having staff from ECRS volunteer with us because there is no better way than the hands-on experience of volunteering to really learn what F.A.R.M. Cafe is all about – bringing the whole community together and making sure everyone is fed really good food.” / Read more…



  • Election Update: Less Than a Month Until the 2018 General Election


    October 11, 2018. With just 26 days until the 2018 general election, time is running out for voters who want to cast their ballot on Election Day. The final opportunity to register to vote in the November 6 general election will be this Friday for 72 counties in North Carolina, including all counties in the High Country. 28 counties in the eastern part of the state that were the most affected by Hurricane Florence have had their voter registration deadline moved to Monday, October 15. One-stop early voting will begin on Wednesday, October 17 and will continue through Saturday, November 3. North Carolina does allow voters to register and vote during this time period all at once. Voters cannot register to vote on Election Day. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Resort Coming Up, Music, Dancing and Fun for Everyone, 0ct. 13-14


    October11, 2018. Coming up this Saturday and Sunday, Sugar Mountain Resort invites you to don your lederhosen or your dirndl and grab your beer stein and join them for the 2018 Oktoberfest, where you can take in the beautiful fall foliage, cool mountain temperatures and a weekend full of activities. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 13-14, join everyone at Sugar Mountain for a day of fun, music and food. This festival celebrates both fall and with a variety of activities for all ages. Sit back and listen to live Bavarian music by the Harbour Towne Fest band and Valle Crucis Middle School band. They encourage everyone to join in on the festivities by dancing along. The Harbour Towne Fest band plays all types of music, from traditional Bavarian tunes to the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning. They are a favorite because of the energy they bring to the festival. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Flooding Creating Havoc in Avery County


    October 11, 2018. Heavy rains from Hurricane Michael have created many problems in Avery County, where extensive flooding has occurred. As much as six inches of rain has fallen across the region in the last couple days. Runoff from the heavy rains into creeks and streams caused sudden increases in water levels and flows, even in areas where rainfall has been lighter. Streets, other roadways and parking lots became rivers of moving water, while various bridges were weakened or washed out. The flooding also has created mudslides and rockslides in some places. Avery County Emergency personnel have responded to a few dozen calls, some of which have been vehicle accidents as a result of the flooding. Avery County’s public schools dismissed at 2:00 p.m. today and Newland Elementary dismissed at 1:30 p.m. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Oct. 4-10: 35 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $8,826,000.00

    Oct. 11, 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…



  • High Country Wakes Up To Flooding Thursday Morning; Over Five Inches of Rain Has Fallen in Boone


    October 10, 2018. The High Country has been hit by two tropical systems in less than a month as heavy rains from Tropical Storm Michael are pounding the area Thursday morning. Michael is currently centered near Columbia, South Carolina, but has been dumping large amounts of rain across all of North Carolina. The effects of the rain were felt in Boone as early as Wednesday afternoon with the front parking lot of the Boone Mall being closed off around lunchtime, as well as other normal flood-prone areas like Deerfield Road at the Moose Lodge and on Bamboo Road near the airport. Those roads are still closed. Hunting Hills Lane off of State Farm Road is another road currently closed due to flooding. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – October 9, 2018

    October 2, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Soup’s On!


    October 10, 2018. Creatures of habit that we are, we start thinking about comfort foods as soon as the leaves begin to turn and the thermometer begins to dip. While both of those events are a little slower coming to the High Country this year, we know that the inevitable is at hand, so we need to start thinking about what’s on the way.
    There’s no better way to get through the chilly days of Autumn than with soup for lunch or dinner. Not only is it satisfying, but many soups are filled with nutritious vegetables that will stick with you when nothing else will. And, of course, a sandwich (grilled cheese for me!), a loaf of homemade bread or a “cake” of cornbread is the perfect accompaniment. Hope these quick and simple soups help take the chill off in the coming days. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, October 1 – October 7

    October 10, 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



  • Retelling the American Civil War: A Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture on Oct. 11 at Lees-McRae College


    October 10, 2018. Former professor of history Allen Speer and director of Lees-McRae Summer Theatre and wife Janet Speer will come together in Evans Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. to share stories of the Civil War in a whole new way. The presentation is based on Allen Speer’s award-winning book Voices Trilogy, “Fractured Republic: The Civil War in the North Carolina Quaker Belt,” which explores the ways in which religion, attitudes toward slavery, and the conflict between allegiance to state versus country roiled communities and families in the Yadkin Valley. / Read more…



  • Craft Brew Alliance Acquires Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Two Other Breweries


    October 10, 2018. Craft Brew Alliance announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers and Wyndwood Brewing Company through three separate purchase agreements. The financial terms of the purchase of Appalachian Mountain Brewery were undisclosed. AMB has been in Boone since 2013 and will continue to be a part of the community, that according to a letter from AMB Brewmaster, Nathan Kelischek. “Just over seven years ago, my cousin Chris and I were fortunate to connect with a small, passionate family of people who wanted to build the first craft brewery in Boone. Our dream required that we work with the local government to change legislation, and it took us almost two years before we were ready to open our doors. That experience, and the many people who helped us along the way, have made us even closer to our local community here. From the beginning, we were committed to brewing sustainably and supporting our Appalachian Mountain community through our beers,” said Kelischek. “Are we part of a bigger brewery? Yes. Does that mean we’re leaving Boone or changing who we are? Not at all. It means that we’ve got the support and flexibility and resources to do even more of what we want.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage Hosts John Posey’s “Father, Son & Holy Coach” Until October 14


    October 10, 2018. Ensemble Stage has been showcasing John Posey’s one-man play, “Father, Son & Holy Coach” since Oct. 5 and will continue until Oct. 14, making this weekend the last to see this fantastic show. According to Gary Smith, artistic director and vice president of Ensemble Stage, there have been standing ovations every night and effusive praise over Posey’s performance. Posey is an acclaimed screenwriter, playwright, actor and comedian. By Kelyn Wilhoit / Read more…



  • Watauga Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Blueprints and Bow Ties Live Auction Fundraiser to be Held Oct. 18


    October 10, 2018. Watauga Habitat for Humanity will hold its 7th annual Blueprints and Bow Ties Live Auction and Gala Reception on Thursday, Oct. 18. The acclaimed auctioneer Jesse Miller, of First Security Insurance, will be soliciting the bids for items. including a week-long beach getaway at Ocean Isle beach, one-week Endless Vacation with locations worldwide, golf packages, catered shopping sprees, Montana ranch week, gift certificates to the trendiest local eateries and much more. This once-a-year event promises some exhilarating, high energy bidding with great food from Gadabouts Catering and music provided by Gadabouts Catering. / Read more…



  • NCDOT Officials Answer Questions and Concerns About Highway 105 Superstreet Project


    October 10, 2018. A crowd of over 100 concerned citizens and business owners came out to Tuesday’s North Carolina Department of Transportation public meeting at Caldwell Community College. NCDOT officials as well as representatives from Mott MacDonald, an engineering and development consulting firm, were on hand to answer questions in hopes of alleviating some of the concerns that have been raised by the recent release of the Highway 105 Superstreet plans, particularly from business owners along the road. According to the NCDOT, the purpose of the project is to alleviate traffic congestion, improve travel conditions, improve access management and enhance bicycle accommodations. The overall goal of any Superstreet project is to improve safety by limiting the number of “conflict points” between vehicles by limiting the number of left turns and make traveling through intersections more efficient. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery Not Among Counties to Receive Monies From Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund

    October 10, 2018 North Carolina Public Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson has announced that $141 million in grant funds from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund will be awarded this year to thirteen school districts, including those in Anson, Ashe, Caldwell, Caswell, Cherokee, Columbus, Martin, McDowell, Mitchell, Nash, Swain and Tyrrell counties. The grant awards will allow for construction of new school buildings in these economically distressed areas. The County of Avery and its public school system jointly applied for grant monies through the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund program, but that application was rejected. Had the application been approved, the fund could have provided the County with up to $10 million for capital projects. That amount is more than half of the estimated $19.5 million total cost for the pending Avery High School new construction and renovation project which was approved by the Avery Board of Commissioners earlier this year. However, the county was not guaranteed to receive that amount of funding, and is not promised any other funding. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • App State Routs Arkansas State 35-9 in Pivotal Sun Belt Conference game


    October 10, 2018. The preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division looked far more impressive than the pick to win the league’s West Division Tuesday night as Appalachian State rolled to a 35-9 win over Arkansas State at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, AR before 21,421 fans and a ESPN2 national television audience. With the victory, the Mountaineers (4-1 over-all; 2-0 conference) stake an early claim to the Sun Belt championship. It also was their 14th win in the last 16 conference road games. Appalachian State improved to 40-10 in its last 50 games overall. Quarterback Zac Thomas had a hand in three touchdowns for the Mountaineers while accounting for 220 yards of offense–76 rushing and 144 through the air. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County School Board Recognizes Governor’s School Attendees and Principal Appreciation Month


    October 9, 2018. At the October meeting of the Watauga County Board of Education, the school board recognized four groups of individuals for various achievements. Those groups include Watauga High School students attending Governor’s School, each principal in the county as part of Principal Appreciation Month, board of education members for completing training with the North Carolina School Board Association and Appalachian State University’s 2018 Teaching Excellence and Achievement Fellows. / Read more…



  • “Best of Old Time Mountain Music” Presented by Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music, October 13


    October 9, 2018. Why not gather up your family and friends and head on over to the Blowing Rock School Auditorium this Saturday night, October 13th, for what promises to be a lively show that will appeal to folks of all ages. This week’s Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Concert, “The Best of Old Time Mountain Music”, coincides with the peak of the fall foliage leaf peeping, offering a chance to see and hear the colorful line-up of musicians who will grace the stage for this JSMHM fall concert here in the High Country. This is the last show of the year in Blowing Rock as a part of its 25th Silver Anniversary Concert Season. It features two outstanding traditional mountain music acts – The Sheets Family Band and the duo of Trevor McKenzie and Steve Kruger. The performance gets underway at 7:30pm. / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Venom’ Single Dullest Superhero Movie of This Era

    venom
    Oct. 9, 2017 “Venom” is based on a character from Marvel comics (best known as an enemy of Spider-Man), but his standalone film is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s akin to that “Catwoman” movie from 2004 that had nothing to do with Batman. It’s all part of a complicated rights issue between Disney (owners of the MCU), Marvel, and Sony (owners of this film). My guess is that the people at Disney could have gotten their hands on this movie if they really wanted to, but they decided that this was simply not a battle worth choosing. Given the shoddiness of the film, I can’t say I blame them. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Sugar Grove Man Arrested Following Stabbing Incident Near Publix on Sunday Afternoon


    October 9, 2018. On October 7, at approximately 4:42 PM, Boone Police, Fire, and Watauga Medics responded to a report of a stabbing in the vicinity of Publix Super Market at 1620 Blowing Rock Road. The victim was identified as Harley Justin Mills, 25, of Boone. Mr. Mills was transported for medical treatment to Johnson City Medical Center. The current post-surgery status of Mr. Mills is that he is in stable condition. The suspect in this case was identified as Jeffrey Lee Warren, 41, of Sugar Grove. Mr. Warren was arrested and taken before a Watauga County Magistrate who issued a $200,000.00 secured bond for his release. Mr. Warren is currently in the custody of the Watauga County Detention Center. / Read more…



  • NCDOT’s Public Meeting About Highway 105 Superstreet Proposal Begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesday


    October 8, 2018. A big crowd is expected to show up at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute on Tuesday evening for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s first public meeting to hear input and questions about the proposed Highway 105 Superstreet construction project. The public meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. in building W732 at CCC&TI, located at 372 Community College Drive in Boone. There will not be a formal presentation at the meeting, however project information and materials can be viewed online at https://www.ncdot.gov/news/public-meetings. Prior to the meeting, the Boone Town Council has scheduled a special meeting with NCDOT officials at 2 p.m. to also get a sense of what the project entails. According to comments last week from Boone Town Manager John Ward, no one from the town had seen the proposed plan until the NCDOT released them in a press release two weeks ago. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Film Festival Hosts 3rd Annual Festival, Beginning Friday, Oct. 12


    October 8, 2018. Boone Film Festival will be hosting its third annual festival this year, beginning this Friday, Oct. 12. The festival will showcase films with three different thematic categories: adventure, culture and environment. There is also a youth category for filmmakers 17 and under. There is an admission charge for the public. While deadlines for film submissions have passed, the Boone Film Festival still encourages both filmmakers and those who enjoy film to attend events. Last year, over 600 people came to see films that had been screened. This year, over 50 films have been submitted; of those 50, 31 have been selected for screening. / Read more…



  • Corde Cantanti to Perform at Chapel of Rest in Lenoir on Sunday, Oct. 14


    October 8, 2018. On Sunday, Oct. 14, Corde Cantanti will be performing at the Chapel of Rest, located at 1964 Highway 268 in Lenoir. The concert begins at 4 p.m. Admission is $15 and there will be a reception after the concert. Corde Cantanti (Singing Strings) combines the diverse talents of Corinne Cassini, Douglas James and Hazel Ketchum. Featuring the vocals of Hazel, the group focuses extensively but not exclusively on Baroque music, and performs on a variety of historical and modern instruments including lute, guitar, cello, theorbo and percussion. / Read more…



  • Shady Valley Elementary School Hosts 26th Annual Cranberry Festival Oct. 12 through Oct. 13


    October 8, 2018. This Friday, Oct. 12, through Saturday, Oct. 13, Shady Valley Elementary School will be hosting the 26th annual Cranberry Festival. This year, the school is celebrating its 80th year of educating young students. Shady Valley Elementary School has quite the history. It was built in 1936 with the purpose of consolidating four schools: Crandull, Shady Flats, Harmon and Winchester. This consolidation brought the people of Shady Valley together, instilling a rich feeling of community that is still present today. By Kelyn Wilhoit / Read more…



  • Watauga County Names William Holt as New Emergency Services Director


    October 8, 2018. United States Air Force veteran William Holt was recently named the new Emergency Services Director for Watauga County. Holt started the position on September 24. He was a Staff Sergeant supervising field paramedics, disaster management teams and trauma teams for mass casualty conditions during his time in the USAF. Outside of his military service, Holt also worked for various emergency service agencies including the Charlotte Fire Department and Forsyth County Emergency Services. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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