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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) Jazz Drummer Lewis Nash Performs Feb. 20 at Appalachian

Jazz drummer Lewis Nash will join Appalachian Jazz Ensemble I for a Feb. 20 performance in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The performance is sponsored by The Music Center located in Lenoir, Hickory, Morganton, Gastonia, Statesville and Asheville, and Pearl Drums. Nash has been featured on more than 300 recordings during his 30-plus year career. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, he moved to New York City at age 21 to join jazz singer Betty Carter and her trio. He toured with Carter for four years and was the drummer on three of her recordings. Nash has performed as a member of Branford Marsalis’ quartet, trombonist J.S. Johnson and saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He also has performed with Stan Getz, Art Farmer and Clark Terry. He is a former member of the Tommy Flanagan Trio and featured on seven of the group’s recordings.  Nash also has been featured on recordings by Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson and George Michael. Jazz Ensemble I from the Hayes School of Music is directed by faculty member Todd Wright. Nash will be featured with the ensemble on “Birks Works,” “Caravan Juan,” “Sister Sadie,” “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “Two Bass Hit.” The ensemble also will perform “Strike Up the Band,” “Rivers,” “Twisted Blues” and “Go Go.”

2) Community Care of North Carolina CEO to Speak April 24 at Appalachian

L. Allen Dobson Jr., M.D., president and chief executive officer of Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), will be the speaker for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Distinguished Lecture Series at Appalachian State University. The event, sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, will be held Friday, April 24, at 11 a.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit lectureseries.healthsciences.appstate.edu or call 828-262-8145. Dobson will talk about the changing healthcare landscape in North Carolina and how CCNC helps the state improve care delivery and get more value for its healthcare dollar. A native of North Carolina, Dobson received his undergraduate education at N.C. State University. He attended medical school at the Bowman Grey School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and completed his residency in family medicine at East Carolina University. Dobson has been active in health policy formation on the state and national levels. He was an early leader and developer of the nationally recognized Community Care of North Carolina program, which received the 2007 Annie E. Casey Foundation Innovations in American Government Award, presented by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Dobson also holds a faculty appointment as professor of family medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. He has served as assistant secretary of health for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, where he was responsible for the health divisions of the department. He also served as the state’s Medicaid director.

3) Will Clinic Offered at Lois E. Harrill Senior Center

Law students from UNC law school will be at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center on Wednesday March 11, 9-12 to do simple wills, living wills, powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney for individuals in Watauga County.  Individuals must be at least age 60.  There is no fee for the will clinic but individuals must have an appointment.  Appointments are limited and will go fast.  To schedule an appointment please contact the Senior Center at 828-265-8090.

4) Tweetsie Railroad 2015 Season Passes Now Available

It’s full steam ahead for the 2015 season at North Carolina¹s first theme park, and that means it¹s time to purchase your Tweetsie Railroad Golden Rail Season Passes. For a limited time, adults can enjoy Wild West action, rides, live shows, free parking on July 4th and more all season long for $85, and children ages 3 through 12 for $60. After April 19, rates increase to $95 for adults and $70 for children. Children 2 and under are always admitted for free. The gates open for Tweetsie¹s 59thseason on April 10 and close November 1, giving visitors plenty of time to experience everything Tweetsie has to offer at an affordable price.

Tweetsie Railroad¹s 2015 season includes the return of several popular special events including the July 4thFireworks Extravaganza, Day Out With Thomas, K-9s in Flight Frisbee® Dogs, Tweetsie¹s Ghost Train® Halloween Festival and much more. In addition, the park is excited to add a brand new event to the lineup ­ Nick Jr.¹s mathematician superheroes, Team Umizoomi!

Tweetsie guests can also look forward to all of the other exciting activities offered at the park, including a thrilling Wild West adventure on a train pulled by Tweetsie¹s historic steam-powered locomotives. Spend the day exploring the streets of Tweetsie¹s very own Western town, take a spin on thrilling amusement rides, or catch a scenic chair lift ride to Miner¹s Mountain and pan for gold or visit with the animals at Deer Park zoo. Also, don¹t forget to check out Tweetsie¹s Palace Saloon for live entertainment, music and shows.

To order your tickets conveniently from home, visit Tweetsie.com. Guests looking to renew last year¹s season pass without waiting in line for a new card can easily do so by visiting Tweetsie¹s website or calling 1-877-TWEETSIE.

A 2015 Golden Rail Season Pass includes:

·       A full season of adventure from Wild West train rides and live entertainment, to amusement rides and the Deer Park Zoo

·       Free admission to all special events including Day Out With Thomas, Tweetsie¹s Ghost Train®Halloween Festival, Team Umizoomi, Cool Summer Nights evenings (June 20 and 27 and July 11, 18 and 25), Railroad Heritage weekendŠand more!

  • Free parking for the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, the High Country¹s most popular Independence Day celebration

Season Pass holders also receive discounts at other North Carolina family attractions including:

  • Biltmore Estate
  • Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Mast General Store
  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  • Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway

Tweetsie Railroad will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting April 10, including Memorial Day Monday, and seven days a week from May 29 through August 16. The park returns to the weekend schedule from August 17 through November 1, including Labor Day Monday. The 2015 season ends Sunday, November 1. The park¹s regular hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but will be open until 9:00 p.m. on July 4 for the Fireworks Extravaganza and June 20 and 27 and July 11, 18 and 25 for Cool Summer Nights. Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $41 for adults and $27 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. The Ghost Train® Halloween Festival will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 25 through October 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., with an admission price of $34 for adults and children. Tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available at Tweetsie.com.

Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2015 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.com or call 877.TWEETSIE (877.893.3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tweetsie and Twitter and Instagram, @TweetsieRR.