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Email Announcements Received Today: See What’s Going On Around The Community

1) MerleFest 2015 Vendor Applications Accepted Beginning Oct. 15

MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 23-26, 2015, will begin soliciting applications on October 15 from vendors and artisans interested in participating in the 2015 festival. “MerleFest prides itself on presenting vendors and artisans offering unique goods and items you don’t see every day,” says Melissa Stanley, Events Logistics Specialist for MerleFest. “In fact, our guests are curious each year to see what vendors are here and what treasures they might find. The distinctive items available in The Shoppes are things that you can’t find in most retail establishments. Our challenge is to keep the surprises coming for our MerleFest shoppers.” MerleFest is accepting applications from vendors and retail merchants for The Shoppes at MerleFest and from demonstrating artisans and crafts persons for the Heritage Crafts tent. Anyone interested in participating in The Shoppes at MerleFest or the Heritage Crafts area should visit www.merlefest.org/vendors/ to review the rules and guidelines for vendors and to download an application. This website offers all information pertinent to vendor participation. MerleFest will accept applications through January 15, 2015. A selection committee reviews all applications and makes the selections. Acceptance letters will be mailed to selected vendors in February 2015. All of The Shoppes are set up on pavement. Located immediately through the Entrance Gate, most of the paying public must walk through The Shoppes to get to the main stage and walk back through The Shoppes when exiting. This greatly increases the foot traffic that vendors have visiting their booths. “MerleFest always aims to provide a unique shopping experience by inviting vendors with diverse product selection. I strongly encourage anyone with inimitable, unusual or highly sought after merchandise to consider participating in MerleFest 2015,” says Stanley. “This year marks our 28th year and is sure to deliver the MerleFest music, moments and memories that we’ve all come to love.” Tickets for MerleFest 2015 go on sale November 11 and may be purchased at www.merlefest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure will be offered for MerleFest 2015. An Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available starting November 11 through February 15, 2015. An Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 16, 2015 through April 22, 2015. The third price tier will be gate pricing. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming ofmusicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

2) Baha’i Devotional Meeting Held Oct. 12

There will be a Baha’i devotional meeting from 10 a.m. until noon in Stony Fork on Sunday, Oct. 12 on the topic “Creating a Just Society.” Baha’is believe that all the world’s religions are divine in origin and that they can unite to create a just and peaceful world. All are welcome. For more information and directions call 828-268-2191.

3) Watauga High School Students Recognized in National Merit Scholarship Competition

Watauga High School students Garrett Barlow and Lily Weeks have been named Semifinalists and Emily Kane and Mary Margaret Zrull have been honored as Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarships competition for 2014-15. National Merit Scholarships are prestigious and highly competitive awards given to exceptionally accomplished high school students each year through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Candidates for a National Merit Scholarship must achieve very high scores on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT), a standardized test taken by about 1.5 million students nationwide. The 16,000 national Semifinalists are chosen based on having a PSAT score that is in approximately the top 1% of scores in their state. Commended Students have scores that place them in the top 5% of students taking the test. Watauga High School Principal Marshall Gasperson said “we are extremely proud of the outstanding achievements of these four students. They are very bright and hardworking young people who are a great credit to this high school and to their families.” About 15,000 of the Semifinalists will become National Merit Finalists. To achieve that status, they must achieve a confirming score on the SAT; show a record of consistently excellent academic performance throughout high school, including in any college courses they may have completed; and document any honors and awards received, jobs they may have held, and their participation in school and community activities. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is expected to choose approximately 8,300 scholarship winners from among the 15,000 Finalists. National Merit Finalists will be chosen in February and scholarship awards will be announced between April and July. The scholarships are paid for by a combination of funding from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the sponsorships of some 240 corporations and business and 200 colleges and universities. This is the 60th year of the National Merit Scholarship Program. Watauga High School has a current enrollment of approximately 1,380 students and a record of strong academic performance. Watauga High students have a graduation rate and End-of-Course test scores above the state average and posted the second highest SAT scores among the 115 school districts in NC for 2013, the most recent year for which this data is available.