• Influenza Surging To Rampant Levels Across the Region; Facilities Placing Restrictions on Visits

    February 22, 2019 The number of flu cases has surged to high levels locally and across North Carolina in the past few weeks, although the number of those for the whole state last week dropped from the previous week, according to figures released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The flu season typically runs from Oct. 1 through March 31, although it can sometimes last into May. It usually peaks during the coldest months, typically between January and March. The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, headquartered in Boone, reported on Thursday that 369 individuals have tested positive for the flu at their facilities since Oct. 1, 2018. That’s a colossal increase of 298 persons in the past 23 days. As of Jan. 30, 2019, just 71persons had been treated for the flu at an ARHS facility this flu season.  By Tim Gardner / 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 Deeds – Feb. 7-13: 25 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $7,251,000.00

    Feb. 21, 2019. 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…



  • Gas Prices Skyrocket Across North Carolina; Prices in the High Country Hovering Near State Average


    February 20, 2019 Gas prices are on the rise in the Carolinas and across the country. North Carolina’s $2.27 average is 12 cents higher than this time last week, four cents higher than yesterday and 16 cents higher than this time last month. South Carolina’s $2.12 average is 12 cents higher on the week and four cents higher than yesterday as well, and 15 cents more than this time last month. In Boone, prices range from $2.25 to $2.39 per gallon for regular gas, according to recent updates from GasBuddy. In nearby West Jefferson, where gas prices are typically lower than in Boone and other parts of Watauga County, prices have already shot up to $2.35 at almost every station, putting them above several reported prices in Boone.  / Read more…Ga



  • Possible Changes to Highway 105 Superstreet Plans Discussed at Meeting Between NCDOT and Town Officials

    February 20, 2019 Representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation as well as Boone Town Manger Doug Ward, Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque and Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss potential changes to the original Highway 105 Superstreet Proposal. “The meeting went well. We’re going to do a local officials meeting in the near future to meet with the town council and county (commissioners) together and get them all in a room for a meeting,” said Ramie Shaw, the Division 11 Project Team Lead. Shaw did not want to comment on any of the potential changes that will be rolled out at this next meeting. According to another DOT spokesperson, the meeting is expected to occur within the next two to three weeks. Messages seeking comment from Geouque and Ward were left on Wednesday afternoon.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 11 – February 17

    February 20, 2019. 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



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Celebrating Healthy Heart Month


    February 20, 2019. February is a month known for matters of the heart. Beyond Valentine’s Day, “Heart Month” goes way beyond the flowers, candy and an evening out on the town. The American Heart Association has designated this as National Heart Month in an effort to increase awareness regarding life-sustaining matters, including healthier eating habits, increased exercise and other preventative measures. A healthy balanced diet means choosing foods from all food groups of the Daily Food Guide Pyramid; a good variety will provide an enjoyable, satisfying diet that could evolve into a long-term, healthy lifestyle — if we stick to it. We have been taught that each of the foods within a particular group provides some, but not all, of the nutrients we need and it’s “heart-smart,” we are told, to follow the pyramid for the healthiest of all diets. Those of us who try one fad diet after another can attest to the fact that it’s really easy to get burned out quickly from eating the same things for an extended period of time. And, even with today’s popular high-fat diets that result in quick weight loss for many, we know they don’t or shouldn’t last forever. Since we’re still in “heart month, let’s review a few simple healthy-eating tips, and, hopefully together, strive to make better health-conscious choices: / Read more…



  • Residents Provide Food for Their Neighbors in Need, One Green Bag at a Time

    February 20, 2019 The Hunger and Health Coalition is launching a continuous canned food drive program to help those most vulnerable in our community. The Hunger and Health Coalition has developed a new initiative that will engage the greater High Country community to provide a sustainable, consistent level of non-perishable food donations for our neighbors in need. Recent changes by the state legislature has made eligibility for food stamps more difficult, and the amount of food that recipients can purchase has decreased. Therefore, the resources at the Hunger and Health Coalition are being stretched to meet the growing demand for food.  / Read more…



  • WCS Teacher Katie Matthews Named Finalist for State Award


    February 20, 2019 Valle Crucis first grade teacher Katie Matthews has been named a North Carolina finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Matthews was honored along with five other finalists at a recent State Board of Education Meeting. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science teaching. The awards —  given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science teachers from each of the 50 states — recognize teachers have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Two finalists from each state will be selected to be honored at the national level. State winners receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – February 19, 2019

    February 19, 2019. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / 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



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Final Week of SMARL’s 2019 Season – See Winners Here


    February 19, 2019 The sixth and final race of the 2019 Sugar Mountain Adult Race League (SMARL) took place Monday night at Sugar Mountain Resort on Oma’s Meadow. SMARL takes place on six Mondays in January and February and is now in its 14th year as an after-work, “beer league” for local skiers and snowboarders in the High Country. The last race of the season brought with it a nail-biting finish that saw the top two ski teams have to settle the victory by a tiebreaker. Team Sugar edged out Ski Country A by the tiebreaker, which went to the team with the most fifth place finishes. Team Sugar had three more of those than Ski Country. Scoring for each race gives out points based on the top four finishers for each team, so for tiebreaking purposes, the fifth place point total was used. “After 14 years it’s still very competitive and very close and it came down to two teams in the bitter end and Sugar won it by tiebreaker,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “Sugar ended up having three more platinums than we did during the course of the season. Congratulations to Sugar, everybody had a great time and we look forward to next year.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae College Theatre Arts Presents ‘Silent Sky’ February 21–24


    February 19, 2019 If you like stories about underdogs and unsung heroes, you’ll love Silent Sky. Lauren Gunderson’s drama focuses on the life of 20th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, who changed the way we see the universe. But despite her monumental discoveries, Leavitt remains largely unknown. The Lees-McRae Theatre Arts program will tell Leavitt’s story later this month in their production ofSilent Sky. The play will be performed Feb. 21–23 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre. When Leavitt began working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she wasn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she and her fellow women “computers” were expected to chart the stars and do the math for their boss—a renowned male astronomer who had no time for women’s theories. Nevertheless, Leavitt persisted, and her discoveries changed the way we understand the heavens. / Read more…



  • Dodge Ball for Hope: Tournament Helps Fund Local Nonprofit on February 23


    February 19, 2019 Fast becoming a favorite winter sporting event locally, Dodge Ball for Hope is returning once again to benefit Hope Pregnancy Center of Boone. The excitement heats up at Watauga High School on Saturday, February 23, with minor league action (co-ed, ages 8-12) starting things off at 2 p.m., followed by women only (ages 13 – plus) at 3:30 p.m. and the major league (co-ed, ages 13 – plus) hitting the floor at 4:30 p.m. Now in its sixth year, and in a new location for 2019, not only does the interest, attendance and fundraising efforts of the event continue to increase annually, but so does the benefit to the clients who enter Hope Center on a daily basis.  By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga Habitat for Humanity is Looking for Future Homeowners


    February 19, 2019 Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is hosting a Homeowner Information Meeting on Monday, February 25 at 6 p.m. at the Watauga County Library located on 140 Queen Street in Boone. Those interested in learning about Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program are encouraged to attend. Habitat is currently accepting applications for the program until March 31, 2019. Eligibility criteria for a Habitat home include a housing need, the ability to pay an affordable mortgage and a willingness to partner with Habitat. Homeowners assist in building their own home and the homes of others. They also attend educational workshops on topics such as financial literacy and home maintenance so they are well prepared to be successful homeowners. The home being built will be a 3-bedroom house. Homeowner applications can be found at https://wataugahabitat.org/homeownership and can be picked up at Watauga County Habitat for Humanity’s office located at 1200 Archie Carroll Road in Boone. For more information, contact Jennifer Ramey at 828-268-9545 or [email protected] / Read more…



  • Artemis Independent to Present ‘Boonies’ Series Viewing Party February 28 at Boone Saloon


    February 19, 2019  Artemis Independent, a production and media company based in Boone, will premier their new short video series ‘boonies’ next month. Artemis Independent will host a viewing party at Boone Saloon, located 489 W King Street, Boone NC. It will take place Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It will consist of a screening of the series and a presentation by the producers. Artemis Independent is a media and production company based in the mountains of North Carolina. / Read more…



  • Winter Storm Warning Issued for Tuesday Evening Through Wednesday Evening


    February 18, 2019 A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to cover the High Country on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The NWS alert says that heavy mixed precipitation is expected through southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, starting late Tuesday afternoon and continuing through most of the day on Wednesday. This is not expected to be a big snow even with just an inch or two of accumulation, however the icing hazard is the main issue with this storm. Ice accumulations up to two tenths of an inch are possible, which will make travel conditions hazardous and increase the chances of tree damage or power outages for downs trees and power lines. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Cheerleader Bethany Bryan Signs with Brevard College


    February 18, 2019 Watauga High School senior cheerleader Bethany Bryan will get to keep sharing her school spirit as a freshman at Brevard College this fall. Bryan signed with Brevard at a special ceremony that took place last Monday at the high school. While Brevard cannot use athletic department money for scholarships since they are a Division III program, Bryan’s academic success will allow for the college to provide her with financial support. The senior has been cheering at Watauga since her freshman year and has been doing it almost all of her life. Bryan and the rest of the cheerleading squad cheer during football and basketball games and with basketball season winding down, so too will her high school cheering career. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 8th Annual Retro ‘80s Weekend Coming Up This Week at Beech Mtn. Ski Resort, February 21-24


    February 18, 2019 Each February, the Town of Beech Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort come together to create a righteously rad celebration of all things ‘80s. The 8th annual Retro ’80s Weekend will take place February 21-24 with live ’80s music nightly, retro skiing daily, and plenty of throwback activities in between. Hop into their “ski slope time machine” to revisit the New Wave era of big hair, leg warmers, and Members Only jackets. This year’s lineup of events is looking to be totally radical.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: “Alita: Battle Angel” Complex and Ambitious After the Long Wait for Its Release


    February 18, 2019 The first trailer “Alita: Battle Angel” appeared over a year ago for a release in July, during the hot summer movie season. But apparently some edits needed to be made, and the film was pushed back to December, where it could take advantage of the Christmas season. Then got yanked away from that too, finally landing this past weekend, where there was a lot of money up for grabs with Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day falling only four days apart. It did claw its way to #1 at the box office despite not exactly fitting the bill of a date movie (there is a romance, but also a ton of violence). Still, there was an unmistakable air of studio nervousness surrounding the film, and if they didn’t have confidence in their own movie, then why should we? I will say that if any of the delays caused the film to be as passable as it is, then the wait was worth it.  By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Presents Dance Theatre of Harlem, February 19


    February 18, 2019 Dance Theatre of Harlem is coming to Appalachian State University’s Schaefer Center on February 19. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was co-founded in 1969 by then-New York City Ballet’s first African-American principal dancer, Arthur Mitchell, and his colleague and acclaimed ballet instructor, Karel Shook. Moved to action by the assassination of civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., they sought to establish a center for excellence in classical dance instruction for the young people in Mitchell’s childhood neighborhood of Harlem. / Read more…



  • App State Adds Decorated Prep Coach and Alumnus Lance Ware to Football Staff


    February 18, 2019 Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz added another member to inaugural staff Saturday with the hire of highly-successful North Carolina high school coach and Appalachian State alumus Lance Ware as senior assistant to the head coach. “We’re excited to welcome Lance back to Appalachian State,” Drinkwitz said. “As a former player, he’ll be a huge asset in continuing our great tradition of championship football. I’m excited to give him an opportunity to join the college football ranks after his success as a high school football coach.” As head coach of Shelby High School, Ware compiled a 99-25 overall record in eight seasons and won five state championships in the last six years. Ware led the Golden Lions to 2A state championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 2AA state titles in 2016 and 2018. During his tenure as head coach, Shelby compiled a sterling 33-3 record in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Appalachian and RISE Sign Paperwork for Multiphase Housing Project


    February 18, 2019 Appalachian State University and RISE: A Real Estate Company (RISE) signed final paperwork this week required for a multiphase, $191 million housing project that will replace seven residence halls. “This is the largest capital project in Appalachian’s history, and we are looking forward to getting the first phase underway,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “It is an important step in our work to ensure we have an appropriate physical infrastructure to support our students, faculty and staff for years to come.” “We couldn’t be more pleased to work with Appalachian,” RISE President Greg Blais said Thursday at the signing with Everts. “We look forward to the ultimate value the project will have for Appalachian students for generations to come.” By Linda Coutant / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Banked Slalom Event Presented by Recess Ride Shop Returning February 23rd


    February 15, 2019 The Beech Mountain Banked Slalom event for skiers and snowboarders is returning to Beech Mountain Resort on February 23rd; marking the sixth year in a row the competition has been held on the mountain. Recess, a local skateboard and snowboard shop in Boone, NC will be sponsoring and presenting the Banked Slalom event again this year. “It’s a little bit different than your typical gate-racing event. You have berms instead of just the gates, so it adds uniqueness as far as banked slalom goes,” said J.P. Pardy, owner of Recess along with his wife Ashley, “Beech Mountain Banked Slalom is going to be both ski and snowboard, timed separately, with different age groups. This is the only individually timed, ‘best-time-wins’ banked slalom in the area. The next closest one would be in West Virginia.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Garrett Riley Named App State Football Assistant


    February 15, 2019 Garrett Riley has been hired as an assistant football coach at Appalachian State University, head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Friday. Riley will coach the Mountaineers’ running backs. “We’re excited to welcome Garrett and his family to the App State family,” Drinkwitz said. “We’re looking to be cutting edge on offense, and we expect him to continue to push that. His experience coaching in North Carolina will also benefit our program.” Drinkwitz, who became Appalachian State’s head coach on December 13, 2018, has completed all his assistant coach hires for his first Mountaineer staff. He also hired Anwar Stewart to coach the defensive line on Friday. Three assistants Drinkwitz previously hired resigned after joining the staff—all in a span of only twenty days. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Ski Slopes Getting Ready for President’s Day Holiday Weekend


    February 15, 2019 Residents and visitors alike will be sure to head to the slopes this weekend with a lot of people taking advantage of the three-day holiday weekend. President’s Day will be recognized on Monday. Appalachian Ski Mountain is once again 100 percent open with all 12 trails as well as six lifts open with a 72-125 inch snow base. The mountain also has a big weekend of plans, starting with Friday night’s Midnight Blast session from 5 p.m. until midnight. On Saturday, Grill on the Hill will be happening from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with burgers, hot dogs and more served right there on the slopes. There will be another Midnight Blast session on Saturday night from 5 p.m. until midnight. In addition to the skiing specials, there will be a pair of ice skating specials happening on Saturday. A special family skate session will happen from 5-6:30 p.m. for a $15 package and a Moonlight Ice Skate session will happen from 9:30-11 p.m. The night wouldn’t be complete without a fantastic fireworks show by the Famous Zambelli at 9 p.m. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Anwar Stewart Named Assistant Coach on Appalachian State Football Staff


    February 15, 2019 On Friday, Appalachian State University head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced the hiring of former Canadian Football League player and coach Anwar Stewart as an assistant coach in charge of the Mountaineers’ defensive linemen. Stewart replaces Buddy Wyatt who resigned after spending only 26 days on the Appalachian State staff to become an assistant at Kansas State University. “Anwar brings great energy, passion, enthusiasm and a standard of championship football from his experience of winning four Grey Cups in the CFL,” Drinkwitz said. “He was a captain of his pro team and at Kentucky. He showed the true spirit of a Mountaineer by recently completing his college degree. Championships are won in the trenches, and I can’t wait to see him lead our defensive line. We’re excited to welcome Anwar, his wife and daughter to our family in Boone.” By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Greg Seiz Resigns as Newland Alderman

    February 15, 2019 During the Town of Newland’s regular monthly meeting, Alderman Greg Seiz announced he is stepping down from the post. His resignation became official then. Mayor Valerie Calloway Jaynes read a letter from Seiz, stating his intentions to resign as an alderman. Seiz said he is moving his residence to Linville Ridge Resort in Linville. When doing so, he would become ineligible to serve as a Newland Alderman as all elected town officials must reside within its limits. Seiz’s resignation marks the third time in only sixteen months that a Newland Alderman’s seat has become open for reasons other than a sitting member not seeking re-election or losing an election. Donetta McKinney also resigned as an alderman in October 2017. The then-Board of Aldermen voted for Seiz to fill McKinney’s two-year term (until 2019’s election) by a 3-0-1 (for-against-abstained) vote.  Seiz’s appointment gave him an automatic win of sorts for a Board seat as he had previously filed as a candidate for one of three other seats open in the November 2017 election.  Aldermen voting in favor of Seiz’s appointment then were Kenny Caraway, Dave Calvert and Roxanna Roberson.  Alderman Thomas Jackson abstained.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Zoning Changes Fail in Town Council Vote This Week

    February 15, 2019 The Blowing Rock Town Council unanimously voted against possible zoning changes for the downtown area that were put forth by Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock. Despite the recommendations from the planning department, public opposition to these zoning changes has grown as the special meeting date grew closer. The Blowing Rock Civic Association was one of the biggest detractors of the zoning changes and sent a letter to the High Country Press that was published on January 15 to let people know what the proposed changes were and providing contact information for how citizens could share their opinions with elected officials. The changes included eliminating the density of residential units on downtown property, increasing the building height above the sidewalk from 30 feet to 35 feet, increasing the allowable total of building height and reducing the amount of green space required in a building setback area from 75 percent to 40 percent.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Linville Resorts Board of Directors Member John Mangan Receives University of Georgia Sports Award


    February 15, 2019 John Mangan, a member of the Board of Directors at Linville Resorts, Inc. has received one of the University of Georgia Athletics Department’s most prestigious honors. Mangan, a letterwinner and All-America tennis player at the University of Georgia, as well as a highly-successful businessman and philanthropist, was named the Hartman Award recipient for the past 2018 year at the university’s annual Circle of Honor Gala February 8th. Named for the late Bill Hartman, Georgia’s longtime kicking coach and chairman of the Georgia Student Educational Fund (Bulldog Club), the Hartman Award is one of the greatest honors given to a former University of Georgia student-athlete. The Hartman Award has been presented annually since 1992 and recognizes former Georgia student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or in service to others by 20 or more years of superior performance after graduation. Only former varsity athletes who have received a baccalaureate degree from Georgia can be considered for the award.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Celebrating Valentine’s Day at The Lois E. Harrill Sr. Center With a Two Hour Party


    February 14, 2019 There is never a boring day at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone, but rarely is there one any more exciting than Valentine’s Day. This year’s celebration of love was no exception, as the center’s regular clients, staff, interns and visitors came together to celebrate the festive occasion on Thursday. A two-hour mid-morning party, complete with refreshments, games, music, dancing, an auction and a lot of fun was enjoyed by all, with the highlight of the event , as usual, surrounding the announcement of the king and queen.  By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Boone and Watauga Officials to Meet With NCDOT Next Week to Discuss Highway 105 Superstreet Project


    February 14, 2019 Public officials from the town of Boone and Watauga County will gather on Tuesday, February 19 to talk about possible changes to the original draft of the Highway 105 Superstreet proposal with officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The meeting is not open to the public, however it will be used to gather information and present possible changes at a later date. “What we may be able to change, we will set up a game plan with the NCDOT to get the word out to the public,” said Ward. “This meeting is in response to the initial letters that the town council, county commissioners and others sent.” Ramie Shaw, the Division 11 Project Team Lead, confirmed the meeting will be taking place and will present possible changes to the town and county officials. “We’re still looking at the process of the project and have taken the public comments and have some adjustments to the design that we would like to have the town and county look at and get their thoughts on it before we move forward with anything and go back to the public with those alternate plans,” said Shaw on Thursday afternoon. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • New River Water Intake Project Awaiting Final USDA Inspection

    February 14, 2019 The Town of Boone is waiting for a final inspection from the USDA for the long-awaited completion of the New River Water Intake project. According to Boone Town Manager John Ward, that inspection should be coming up in the next week. “We are within a week of doing the final walk through with the USDA. Once we are complete with that, then we will be able to potentially announce that at the town council meeting on (February) 19 or 21 the outcome of that inspection,” Ward said. When the new water intake goes online, residents will not notice anything different in their water, according to Ward.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Representative Ray Russell’s Raleigh Report: Newsletter Highlighting Info from NC General Assembly


    February 14, 2019 During the past year meeting with constituents in Ashe and Watauga counties, it’s clear that we need more news from state government in Raleigh. What we do in Raleigh probably has greater impact on your daily life than the 24/7 coverage of events in Washington, DC. But there’s almost no news reaching northwest North Carolina from our state government. To address this void of news coverage from Raleigh, I hope to provide a newsletter every couple of weeks to let you know what important issues are being discussed and to let you know what I am doing. You elected me to represent you. You deserve to know what’s happening! I hope you find them helpful and informative.  / Read more…



  • Center 45 Climbing & Fitness Trains U.S. Bouldering Champion


    February 14, 2019 Boone, North Carolina has a new National Champion as Elijah Kiser won a gold medal at the USA Climbing Bouldering National Tournament, Sunday, February 10 in Redmond, OR. Kiser, an 18-year old Boone native, won the National title in the Youth Division. This competition brought together the top climbers in America that are 18 years and younger, many of which have experience competing in Open Nationals, where the best climbers in the country compete, regardless of age. To qualify for the National tournament, competitors had to place in the top ranks within their State and division. Boone climbers participate within the Southeastern US Division. Kiser trains at Boone Area Chamber of Commerce member Center 45 Climbing & Fitness in Boone and has quickly ascended the ranks as one of the Nation’s top competitors after picking up the sport just 3.5 years ago.  / Read more…



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