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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) ASU Holds Outdoor Jobs Fair Feb. 18

Over 60 of the top camps, conference centers, outfitters, and resorts throughout the U.S. will be represented.  Great opportunity to secure both summer and year-round employment.  Internships also available. Spend your summer in the great outdoors while gaining skills in teaching, counseling, leading, climbing, boating and more!  All majors encouraged to attend.  For more information visit careers.appstate.edu/outdoorjobsfair.

2) LOCAL Caving Trip Held Jan. 31

High Country Recreation is partnering with River and Earth Adventures for an upcoming LOCAL caving trip to Worley’s Cave on Saturday, Jan. 31. Join other local families for an underground caving adventure you will never forget. Explore this non-commercial cave with helmets, high power headlamps, experienced guides and your imagination. Crawl through tunnels and walk through chambers in one of the largest caves in our revion. This is an ideal experience to get introduced to the interesting and adventurous world of caving. iHigh Country Recreation is sponsoring this event as they are committed to giving local families improved recreational opportunities. Widely known for its passion for the development of a local recreation center, the nonprofit group has been making a name for itself as a resource of information and advocating for the vast recreation resources in the area. For more information about the group, you can check out their website highcountryrec.com or follow them on Facebook. Locals who would like to attend need to email their interest to grant@raftcavehike.com or you can call 828-773-4122 to reserve your spot. The reduced cost for locals is $40 for adults and $10 per child. The group will meet at River and Earth Adventures Outfitters next to Sunrise Grill at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31 and carpool together to the Elizabethton, Tenn. outpost where they will be outfitted with gear and meet their tour guides. The trip inside the cave will be between 2 and 4 hours. Individuals will be responsible for packing their own lunch and water for the day and will be expected back in Boone around 5 p.m.

3) Local Log Home Company Earns ‘Best of Houzz’ Badge for Second Year in a Row

Log Homes of America (LHA) joined the Houzz community with their award winning home designs in 2013. Last year, LHA received a “Best of Houzz 2014 – Customer Satisfaction Badge” for the ‘amount of quality client reviews received.’ This year, LHA was again awarded the “Best of Houzz” in the Design category. This was awarded thanks to our portfolio of pictures including some of the most popular images on Houzz in 2014. Houzz is a website and online community that has quickly become the leading platform for both new and existing home design. According to Houzz, it “connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.” The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz.” Winners receive a “Best of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. “As we enter into the new phase of housing following the ‘Great Recession,’ it is quite evident that social media will be playing a dominant role in how we as new home professionals go to market,” says Log Homes of America President, Joel Robinson. “Houzz is a great avenue for displaying our homes, and we are proud to be recognized for the past two years.” Log Homes of America (LHA) is classified on Houzz as a ‘Pro’ (as opposed to a home owner or other such user). Since joining, Log Homes of America has uploaded nearly 170 photos high quality photos to the site. The amount of users who have shared or added LHA photos to their ‘ideabooks’ is staggering. “We have used Houzz as a clearing house for our top projects with high quality photography, customer reviews, and various design ideas,” says National Sales Manager Jeremy Bertrand. “We are excited by the fact that 2014 brought us several leads who found us directly via the Houzz website. Ultimately, this badge will allow us to be found easier by clients looking for a professional who stands out from others.” To learn more about Log Homes of America on Houzz, go to www.houzz.com/pro/loghomesofamerica, call us at 800-564-8496 or visit www.loghomesofamerica.com.

About Log Homes of America

Log Homes of America, Inc. is an award-winning log and timber home producer that’s large enough to craft any style home, but small enough to know who their customers are when they call. This family-owned company has been making dream homes an affordable reality for nearly a quarter century.  Read more about us via our website or follow our regular updates on Facebook.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com.

4) Watauga Soil and Water Board Meets Jan. 28

The Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Board will hold its regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m. at the Soil and Water office located at 971 West King St. in Boone. The public is invited to attend.

5) Free Blueberry Winter Pruning and Production Workshop Held Jan. 27

The Watauga County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a Blueberry Winter Pruning & Production Field Day in Deep Gap (Watauga Co.), NC on Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 2-5 p.m. Blueberries are a healthful and potentially profitable specialty crop that thrives in the NC High Country climate. On Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 2-5:30 p.m., North Carolina Cooperative Extension will lead a Blueberry Winter Pruning & Production Field Day.  The Field Day will be held at the Kelley farm Deep Gap, NC, where State Blueberry Extension Specialist Bill Cline, and Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan, will guide participants through the decision process for selecting blueberry canes to be removed to maximize plant health and production for the coming years. Environmental factors, including soil drainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also be discussed as bushes are pruned. Participants are welcome to bring pruning tools of their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. In addition to hands-on pruning work on the farm, there will be time for a Q&A on blueberry production challenges with Dr. Cline during the afternoon.

6) Rusling Tabbed Interim Men’s Soccer Coach for LMC

 Thomas Rusling has been named the Lees-McRae men’s soccer interim coach, Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail announced Wednesday afternoon. Lee Squires announced his resignation early Wednesday and a national search will commence immediately. “Leaving LMC was never going to be an easy decision, as it’s been a huge part of my life for the past eight years.  I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to be a student-athlete, to earn my degree, and to lead the men’s soccer program as a coach,” praised Squires. “I am proud of what we have been able achieve and expect the program and the school to continue moving forwards.  I leave behind a fantastic group of young men who I will miss, but who I also expect to stick together and help lead the program into its next era. There is no reason this team cannot win the conference next fall. I will always be an alumni and a supporter.” As the LMC head coach, he posted an overall 40-29-7 record during his four seasons for a .572 winning percentage. The Bobcats were 13-5-2 this past season and reached the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game. During the year, LMC upset nationally-ranked No. 12 Lander and No. 10 Limestone. His 2011 team reached the NCAA Division II national tournament. “Squires has provided quality leadership and brought our program back to the tradition of excellence we are accustomed to. His maturity and growth from a player to coach has been rewarding for me,” praised McPhail. “This is a great opportunity for Lee and Sadie and we are thankful in knowing he got his start at Lees-McRae. We wish them the very best in this new endeavor.” Rusling is no stranger to the Bobcat family and success while he was LMC’s goalkeeper from 2010-2013. The Sheffield, England, native is third in LMC history in goals against average (1.06) and save percentage (.773), tied for third in shutouts (21) and fourth in wins (36). “For us to be able to elevate Rusling into the interim position is a tribute to the quality of people we have in our men’s soccer program. As a player and coach tom has helped be a major reason to the rise of the Bobcats,” said McPhail. “I am looking forward to working with him as we make the transition. This is a great chance for him to get quality experience within a program he helped build.” He won 12 matches in consecutive season (2010 & ’11).

7) Rep. Josh Dobson Visits LMC;s May School of Nursing and Health Sciences

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, Lees-McRae welcomed Rep. Josh Dobson to campus for a private tour of the newly constructed May School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dobson was appointed to the N.C. House of Representatives in January 2013 and represents the 85th District including Avery, McDowell and Mitchell counties. The representative’s connections to the High Country run deep having graduated from Avery County High School and earned his master’s degree at Appalachian State University. While he serves on the Justice and Public Safety and Judicial oversight committees, he is also a strong advocate for better educator support. After meeting with Lees-McRae President Barry M. Buxton, the representative took a tour of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences. This 18,000 square foot facility houses the existing athletic training program and the new emergency medical services and management program, and will soon be home to the pre-licensure nursing program (pending NCBON approval). Collectively, the May School will serve more than 300 Lees-McRae students and generate more than 2,000 clinical hours spent in the local community. “We are so appreciative that Rep. Dobson took time to visit Lees-McRae,” said President Buxton. “With his roots in Avery County, we wanted him to see the transformation Lees-McRae has experienced since the last time he was on campus. We hope he enjoyed his experience, especially the tour of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences. We are hopeful this facility and the students that matriculate through its curriculum will significantly alter healthcare in Avery County and the High Country.” The proposed pre-licensure nursing program has already generated approximately 80 pre-nursing students for fall 2014, and it poses many opportunities for future growth. The nursing curriculum will begin in fall 2015 pending approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing. Currently, students identifying an interest in nursing are completing the core bachelor of science coursework needed for program application. The athletic training program, which has long been a flagship program at Lees-McRae, recently received accreditation with CAATE through 2021. The facility features the latest technology including an EMT Simulation Lab, which houses a full-scale ambulance simulator; the Hart Simulation Suite, which features 3G wireless human simulators and a simulated inpatient hospital unit complete with exam tables, hospital beds and a replicated efficiency apartment; and an Athletic Training Simulation Lab, which will feature a Biodex, treadmills, treatment tables, a bicycle ergometer and modalities.

8) “A Time for Burning” Screening Held Feb. 7 in Todd

“What does it mean to be church in the face of injustice?” A screening of the 1966 documentary film, “A Time for Burning” will be presented at Blackburn’s Chapel at 3986 Todd Railroad Grade Road in Todd on February 7 at 2pm. The film explores the attempts of a minister to persuade his all-white congregation to create dialogue with a neighboring black congregation. Film is one hour long and will be followed by thoughtful discussion.