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Email Announcements We Are Receiving Today: See What’s Going On Around The Community

Click here to see our compiled list of emails for the week.

1) BCBSNC CEO Talks at Appalachian Oct. 25

J. Bradley “Brad” Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), will be the speaker at a special co-presentation of the inaugural Blue Cross and Blue Shield Lecture and the 52nd Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture at Appalachian State University. Wilson’s speech is titled “Prescription for a Better Health Care System.” The event, co-sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and the Walker College of Business, will be held Friday, Oct. 25, at. 10 a.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center on Appalachian’s campus. The public is invited. For more information call 828-262-2057. A native of North Carolina, Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. He joined BCBSNC in 1995 and held a range of senior-level positions before being named president in 2010.  Prior to joining BCBSNC, Wilson practiced law and served as general counsel to Gov. Jim Hunt, directing the governor’s legislative strategy and heading his legal department. Wilson chairs the board of directors of the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation and works with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare to address health care challenges at the national level. He is director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), BCS Financial Corporation and Prime Therapeutics. He chairs the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation – an independent charitable organization that has invested nearly $90 million in community-based health and wellness efforts. Wilson is a past chair of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, treasurer of the North Carolina Chamber and board member of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. BCBSNC is a fully taxed, not-for-profit North Carolina company with headquarters in Chapel Hill and major operations centers in Durham and Winston-Salem. The company is the state’s largest health insurer, employing 4,000 North Carolinians and serving 3.7 million customers. The newly created Blue Cross and Blue Shield Lecture Series is funded by a portion of a $2 million grant awarded in 2011 by BCBSNC to the College of Health Sciences. The Harlan E. Boyles Lecture Series was established in 1988 and named in 1991 for the late Harlan E. Boyles, who served for 24 years as N.C. state treasurer.

2) Mountain Alliance Launches Third Annual Outdoor Photo Series

Watauga High School’s Mountain Alliance will be partaking in their third annual Outdoor Photo Series. This series consists of photography lessons, on site photography and a display of the ten best photos from the series. Students from Watauga High School will be able to snap photographs of the surrounding High Country and if selected, present them in the Jones House on Nov. 1 during Boone’s Art Crawl. Come out and support Mountain Alliance and see these amazing pictures taken by high school kids in our community. Come out to the Jones House on Friday, Nov. 1, from 5-7 p.m. and see what this outdoor photo series has to offer. 

3) Community Appearance Commission Meeting

The next community appearance commission meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. 

4) October Specials at the Watauga Humane Society

There is the cat and dog sale.  Cats are $25 and Dogs are $40, thanks to our adoption boosters grants from the Newman and Spector Foundations. There is the SNIPS spay/neuter special.  While funding lasts, only $25 for spay/neuter, including the rabies immunization if needed. Luminaries are on sale now, for the Harvest Festival on Oct. 25. We hope to light up the path to the adoption center with candles of hope for our shelter pets to find a home before the weather turns even colder. Luminaries are only $5 and can be a simple wish for a shelter pet or in honor or memory of a special pet or person in your life. Cards are on sale now at the adoption center, and will be available at other locations this week. The Harvest Festival takes place Oct. 25 with at outrageous costume contest, Top Chef style pumpkin carving contest, and more. 

5) Domestic Violence 101

Come learn how you can be a part of the solution at Domestic Violence 101. Because an informed community can make a difference. October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month in our country since 1987. Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in ten men in the US have experienced physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner. These statistics are the same in Watauga County. Join OASIS in our mission to end domestic and sexual violence in Watauga County. Come learn about volunteer opportunities, how to support survivors and what you can do to increase awareness. This event will be held 6-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Watauga County Library. Call 828-264-1532 for more information.

6) Trunk-or-Treat

Valle Crucis United Methodist Church will host their annual Trunk-or-Treat Festivities on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 5-7 p.m. Lots of treats and activities for kids and free hot dogs for the entire family. Located across from Valle Crucis Elementary School and Mast Store Annex.

7) Project Lazarus to Educate Blue Ridge Prescribers on Pain Issues

To combat North Carolina’s high rate of prescription drug overdoses and to improve the treatment of chronic pain, Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) is partnering with the Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse to offer training sessions on pain management to North Carolina’s health care providers. The training is provided as part of Project Lazarus, a statewide, community-based approach to addressing the state’s growing problems with opioids and related pain medications. The training sessions focus on understanding chronic pain, identifying the role of certain narcotic pain relievers – called opioids – in the safe and effective management of chronic pain and applying training concepts to relevant case studies. Training is available to the medical community in Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Avery counties on Wednesday, October 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Watauga Medical Center Auditorium in Boone. The session, which will be hosted by AccessCare of the Blue Ridge, will address the nature of pain and proper role of opioids, risk stratification and treatment initiation, monitoring and intervention techniques, treatment plans and more. The training should be especially helpful to family doctors, dentists, emergency room physicians and others who regularly prescribe controlled substances. To register for training online, visit the Project Lazarus Trainings page.

8) Clearing Ourselves of Spirits

On Sunday, Nov. 17, join Gregory Ashid Possman to participate in a Soul Release Ceremony to clear spirits. If time and facilities allow, we’ll travel to an area in need of cleansing and clear it. If not, then we’ll conduct the ceremony onsite at the workshop. You’ve seen all the television programs about the ghost hunters. Join us and learn the truth, from those on the other side as to why Spirits stay, where they go and what it takes to send them into the light. Gregory has over 20 years experience clearing spirits from the Earth plane raising  the Earth’s frequency.  He has confronted demons, ghosts and spirits throughout the world and will share a few of his experiences if you ask. This will not only be a fascinating day of information,  but it will help you determine if you want to become involved in this kind of work. Clearing cemeteries, battlefields, buildings, burial areas and old houses can be very gratifying spiritual work. We are here not only to serve the living, but to serve the other realms as well. Join us for an interesting and enlightening day of experience, learning and participation. You won’t take any uninvited  spirits home you don’t want to! The Wisdom Tree, The Shops At Shadowline, 240 Shadowline Dr, Boone, NC (near Stone Jewelers and Smart Cuts).  

9) Spotlight on Weatherization 

Serving as the nation’s core program for delivering energy-efficiency services to low-income households (200% of poverty guidelines), the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program prioritizes service to the elderly, persons with disabilities, and households with children. Since its inception in 1976, more than seven million households have experienced energy efficiency, financial, and health and safety gains as a result of weatherization measures.  In 2009 the Weatherization program got a bust in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and North Carolina was awarded $131.9 million dollars to be spent weatherizing homes. Contact WAMY Community Action Inc. 225 Birch St. Suite 2 Boone NC 828 264-2421 or visit our website to download the application and check program income guidelines at wamycommunityaction.org. WAMY Community Action would like to proclaim the month of October as National Weatherization month.  The entire month of October we will be advocating to our local community members, public officials, and legislators that ongoing funding for the program is vital in maintaining energy security to ensure residents can afford to stay safe and warm in their homes. October 30, 2013(National Weatherization Day) we will be teaming up with Carolina Barbeque for a free barbeque awareness-raiser at our Avery office 723 Cranberry St. Newland.  Donations accepted but not expected, keep your neighbors warm this winter!  Come on out and learn about weatherization and how it can work for you! 

 10) Stephenson Center to Host Musician Barton Carroll

While Thomas Wolfe achieved fame with his novel about Western North Carolina You Can’t Go Home Again, Lees-McRae College’s presentation of a native son returning to the mountains in triumph refutes the author’s claim. On October 28 from 7-9 p.m. in Evans Auditorium the Stephenson Center for Appalachia will host Barton Carroll, an Avery native who has lived for several years in Washington State, in a program of eclectic music. The event is free and open to the public. Barton Carroll will entertain you with music from his recently released album, Avery County, I’m Bound to You. Carroll, who grew up in Banner Elk, attended Avery County High School, and graduated from Warren Wilson College, has maintained a loyal following in this area over the years. Carroll’s album echoes mountain themes that have characterized Appalachian music for many generations, yet he renders the stories in a unique combination of folksy, bluesy ballads.  Trains, Beech Mountain, love and betrayal give his songs a local feel both through subject matter and the way these themes are handled, yet his distinctive voice sounds throughout. “My musical memories always echo with Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley and other Old Time voices,” says Carroll about his latest work. “But while working on the songs for Avery County, I’m Bound to You, I had records by Bad Religion and The Jam on the turntable and in my headphones. Bad Religion for directness, clarity and boldness of language, and The Jam for regional loyalty, passion and unashamed use of dialect. Those guys put the vocals up front and sing it like they mean business. It’s something I think they have in common with folk music. The Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College invites the public to join the college community for this exciting program. “We are fortunate to have Barton Carroll as part of our lecture series, and hope that everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to hear a unique brand of our traditional music,” says Dr. Michael Joslin, Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. “His ability to capture mountain heritage in his personal stories brings together the past and the present in a compelling way.  We are pleased to welcome our native son home.” Stephenson Center for Appalachia programs are free and open to the public. Barton Carroll will present his music from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Monday, October 28, in Evans Auditorium.  For information contact Megan Hall at 828.898.8729. For more information on Barton Carroll, visit http://bartoncarroll.com/.  Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 900 students hailing from 35 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241.

11) Oil Legacies and Sustainable Futures on Mexico’s Gulf Coast

On Oct. 23, at 5 p.m. at I.G. Greer Auditorium, Lisa Breglia, Ph.D Global Affairs, George Mason University will visit for this event.  Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is well known for a rich legacy of great cultural achievement of ancient Maya civilization found in a contemporary landscape replete with archaeological ruins. But the legacy that current residents of the Gulf coast of the southern state of Campeche face with consternation rather than celebration is the damage to the marine and coastal environment wrought by three decades of intensive offshore oil exploitation. Now confronted with irrecoverable declines in capture in Gulf fisheries and the loss of the hard-won local revenues that oil production brought to the local level, coastal fishing communities of Campeche’s Laguna de Términos region are turning to nature-based tourism as a last resort for sustainable development. In order to be successful, they must compete with the phenomenal success of the fun-and-sun beach tourism of the Maya Riviera as well as cultural heritage tourism in the Peninsula’s internationally famous archaeological zones.  But perhaps the bigger challenge is the expansion of public and private sector on- and offshore oil and gas drilling. How can the seemingly incompatible projects of fossil fuel exploitation and nature-based tourism in the Laguna de Términos provide a sustainable future for Campeche’s coastal residents?

12) All-Saints Open at Sugar Mountain Golf Club

The Sugar Mountain Golf Club is the site for the 35th Annual All-Saints Open Sunday, October 27. The individual stroke play event begins at noon on the season’s final day of play at the popular par 64 Sugar Mountain Municipal layout. The annual golf season send-off attracts players of all skill levels, but it is the coveted Low Gross trophy that brings the area’s best players to the All Saints Open year after year. Play begins at noon on a day where Mother Nature is always the unpredictable guest of honor. There will be proximity prizes, beverages, and the world’s best Chili included in the $40 entry fee.  The defending champion is Tommy Miller of Boone.  Past champions expected to compete for Low Gross honors include Wesley Crum of Club Shop Peanuts and Golf in Foscoe, Lee Sayre of Mountaineer Golf Center, Eric Larson of Murphy’s Pub, and Avery County favorite James Earnhardt among others. Call 898-6464 for more information or just sign up around noon the day of the event. 

13) Boone Locals to March for Babies

Saturday, November 2 at Appalachian State University, family and corporate teams from Boone and surrounding areas will join together in the March of Dimes annual March for Babies walk. March for Babies is the nation’s oldest fundraising walk honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. David Jackson of ASU Athletics and Broadcasting, and David Burleson, Superintendent of Avery County Schools will be in attendance.  Multiple walks will take place across the state from April to November aiming to raise more than $1 million. Local and national companies as diverse as airlines, insurance companies and retailers are aligning their brands with a cause that’s important to their employees’ and community’s hearts – the health of babies. Locally, March for Babies is supported by ASU, Earthfare, Appalachian Regional Hospital, Frye Regional Medical Center Urgent Care, Modern Toyota of Boone, Modern Toyota of Subaru, Coca-Cola Bottling and Distribution. Nationally, it’s supported by the organization’s number one corporate supporter, Kmart, and top sponsors Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines. Additionally, our 2013 March for Babies Ambassador Family is the Wallace Family of Boone.March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ largest annual fundraiser nationwide, raising over $2 billion since its inception in 1970.  Funds raised helps moms have healthy; full-term pregnancies, fund research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives, and provide comfort to families who have a baby in neonatal intensive care. To register for March for Babies, visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/northcarolina. The event will be held on Stadium Drive at ASU in Boone. Registration is at 9 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10. In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.  Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive.  Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.  About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefited from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.

14) Blaine Hensen Elevated to Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness

Lees-McRae is extremely proud to announce Blane Hansen has been promoted to Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness, effective October 2013. “Vice President Hansen has shown outstanding leadership and service to Lees-McRae College,” said President Barry M. Buxton. “He has been instrumental in helping Lees-McRae become a data-driven institution and has proven to be an invaluable member of our Bobcat family.” A dynamic staff member, Hansen, formerly the Director of Assessment, Effectiveness and Institutional Research for Lees-McRae, has been with the College since December 2011. Prior to his appointment at Lees-McRae, Hansen spent the bulk of his career working for the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design as the Director of Off-campus Programs. He was responsible for the development of more than 10 short-term international and domestic programs while increasing student participation in study abroad programs. Hansen also facilitated orientation sessions for students, staff and faculty which included sessions focused on pre-departure, cultural introduction, language, service opportunities and assessment. Hansen also focused much of his efforts on meeting recruitment goals by using improved marketing materials and leveraging technology which included the website, social media and virtual meetings, while also guiding curriculum development for academic travel programs. During his time in Banner Elk, Hansen has been involved with media relations for the Avery County Farmer’s Market. At Lees-McRae, his responsibilities include serving as accreditation liaison for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and leading assessments to analyze the effectives of programs, operations and services. He also manages all federal and state reporting and data requests. In early 2013, Hansen played a pivotal role in establishing a strategic planning process with measurable goals that was articulated in a twenty-four page publication sent to the Lees-McRae community, and reiterated in a small, pocket-size version available for faculty and staff. This plan now informs each and every decision made by the College. For more information about Lees-McRae College, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 850 students hailing from 40 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.

15) Halloween in Abingdon

With its beautiful natural surroundings, Abingdon is the ideal place to experience the beauty of fall. And the town’s long and fascinating history includes more than just a few ghost stories. Whether you’re looking for pumpkins or ghosts, a day trip with friends or a weekend of family fun, you’ll find it in Abingdon! Barter Theatre, the professional theatre located in Abingdon, is adding to the paranormal activity this fall with “The Ghost in the Meadow,” a present-day ghost story by Joe Simonelli. But if the spooks are too much for you, you can always catch one of the four other productions currently showing at Barter’s two unique theatres on Main Street. For even more paranormal fun, ask about the Haunting Tour package. For $35 per person, see “The Ghost in the Meadow” and take a walking tour of Haunted Abingdon led by the acclaimed storyteller, Donnamarie Emmert, the Haint Mistress herself. Available October 18-30; visit BarterTheatre.com for more info. Besides theatre, the Abingdon area boasts a number of other fall festivities. This includes a local pumpkin patch and the 4-acre Corn-Fusion corn maze just 20 minutes away from downtown Abingdon on Brumley Gap Road. Admission: $7 for Adults, $5 for Kids (free for kids 3 and under). Open October weekends. For info about hours, call 276-623-1326. The Holton Mountain Artisans’ Haunted Jail will be another Halloween event to catch this year! This artists’ association just incorporated the old Abingdon jail, giving them the perfect venue for a thrilling evening. It contains 40 cells full of spirits and spooks. Harvest games and a “trunk or treat” will be taking place Halloween evening. Open 6-9pm October 26 & 31, and November 1 & 2. Admission: $5. For an evening of free, safe Halloween fun, check out the 4th annual Pumpkin Walk on Oct 26th at the Abingdon 4-H center. Over 100 carved pumpkins will be lit and distributed around the grounds. The evening will also include “trick or treat” activities, a costume contest, and a pumpkin auction. If you can’t fit all your fall fun into one day, stay overnight! Abingdon is full of charming hotels and B&Bs, great restaurants and shopping. Visit www.abingdon.com to browse accommodation options and other Abingdon activities. For more info on all these events, contact the Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-435-3440.

16) Astronomical Evening of Stargazing is Nov. 2 in Burnsville

Stars on the Square, an evening full of stargazing for astronomy aficionados, is Saturday, Nov. 2, at Burnsville’s town square. The event, which is free and held quarterly, allows the public to set up telescopes for viewing stars, constellations, planets and satellites. It’s sponsored by the Blue Ridge Astronomy Group, whose members share their high-powered telescopes with everyone who attends. Among the objects to be viewed are the great Andromeda galaxy, Ring Nebula, Swan Nebula, star clusters and multiple star systems. As always the traffic around the square will be detoured and the lights on the square will be turned off to maximize the viewing experience. Attendees will also receive information about a new public astronomical observatory that Mayland Community College is building near Burnsville. “We’ll have the latest blueprints of the roll-off-roof observatory building,” says Bob Hampton, one of the event organizers. “And we’ll have photos of a telescope similar to the giant 34-inch telescope that will be the centerpiece of the observatory.” Starry skies are integral to Burnsville’s heritage as the town derives its name from naval captain Otway Burns, who used the stars to navigate his ships. An iconic statue of Burns – a hero in the War of 1812 – stands sentry over the town square. Hours for Stars on the Square are 7 to 11 p.m., and there’s no charge for admission. In the case of clouds or inclement weather, the event will be moved to Nov. 9. For more information, contact Bob Hampton at (828) 675-4449, or go online to: www.BlueRidgeAstronomyGroup.com.

17) Appalachian RollerGirls Fundraiser

Appalachian RollerGirls will be hosting a fundraiser on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 6-9 p.m. at Cafe Portofino’s. Appalachian RollerGirls will have a merchandise table, recruitment info and trivia! Ten percent of the night’s food sales will benefit Appalachian RollerGirls. “We are hoping to raise funds for our practice space and so that we can host some upcoming fundraisers for others this Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Jennele Vaquera, captain of the team.