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1) Watauga GOP Executive Committee Meeting
The Watauga County Republican Party will hold its monthly Executive Committee meeting Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6-7 p.m. at the Golden Corral in Boone. Special guests N.C. Senator Dan Soucek, Blowing Rock Councilman Dan Phillips, Blowing Rock Councilman Tommy Klutz and Laurin Carter.
2) Mitchell County Highway Named in Honor of Bluegrass Legend Del McCoury
Bluegrass legend Del McCoury will become a part of Mitchell County lore when a stretch of N.C. 261, north of Bakersville bears his name. A ceremony to commemorate the naming of the road will take place on Oct. 26 starting at 9:30 a.m. at Lavonia Crest north of Bakersville. McCoury, guitarist, a lead vocalist and leader of the Del McCoury Band is scheduled to attend the event, as well as North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “He is world-famous in bluegrass and has a childhood connection with Mitchell County,” said Mitchell County Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Slagle. McCoury was born in York, Pa., but both his parents and his wife’s parents are Mitchell County natives. “Del McCoury has deep roots in WNC,” said Mitchell County Chamber Director Shirley Hise. “He is related to a lot of folks here. He is one of the most accomplished and renowned bluegrass musicians in the United States.” Hise said McCoury identifies with the community and with the state of North Carolina. “McCoury’s name is synonymous with bluegrass,” said Angie Chandler, Executive Director of Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership, which is collaborating with counties in Western North Carolina and the North Carolina Arts Council to develop the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. “Our Mountains and foothills have a national reputation as a music-rich region, and our traditions of old-time string band music, ballad singing and bluegrass are internationally renowned,” she said. “No other area of the country has had more impact on the development of the banjo as a bluegrass instrument than here in Western North Carolina. Del McCoury has exemplified that musical heritage through his 50-year career, his ability to appeal to younger and older audiences and his innovation of various music styles.” McCoury is honored by the attention. He said he has a National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and is in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, but this is something more. It is a great honor to have a road named after you,” he said. “That stands forever.”
3) November and December Programs for Elk Knob State Park
- Trail Work Days: Volunteer Trail Work Days will be running Saturdays through the middle of November. Staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. Tools are provided but volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent building the new one mile loop trail, the Beech Tree Trail, although it may include some repair work on the Summit Trail. If you would like to be involved meet Saturdays at Elk Knob State Park.
- Salamanders of the N.C. Mountains: What do Northern Gray-Cheeked, Eastern Red-backed, Blue Ridge Two-lined and Carolina Mountain have in common? They are all varous names of our native salamanders found at Elk Knob State Park. Come to this one-hour program and learn about the different species found in this area. Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3 for a PowerPoint presentation about our wonderful salamanders.
- Now Nature Predicts Weather: Benjamin Franklin once said “some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.” Come find out how to predict weather by observing nature. Are some of the old wives tales about weather true? We will examine some of those to find out. This program will be held indoors. Meet at the park office on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
- Hibernation: Are you sleeping? Which animals bunk down for the winter and which stay active? How does hibernation work and how is this significant to humans? Come hear these questions and more answered. Meet at the park office on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.
- Winter Tree ID: Lets face it, the easiest way to identify a tree by looking at its leaves. But how can we identify trees in the winter when they are bare. Come by the park office for a lesson on what to look for in identifying trees in the winter. After some pointers, we will practice what we have learned with some hands-on identification. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Meet at the park office on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.
- Elk Knob-The Long Hope: Come find out what it was like to grow up in Meat Camp, Pottertown and Sutherland areas back when there were very few cars to get around. First, we will view a 30 minute video produced by the Appalachian Studies Program at ASU featuring interviews with local folks who were born and raised in the area. Pat Beaver, Chair of the Appalachian Studies Program, will be on hand to answer questions about what life was like in a simpler time based on the many stories related to her over the years. Meet at the Park Office on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
- Snow: For humans, snow can be pretty, fun, annoying, dangerous and many other things. What does it mean for the natural world? How does it form such intricate shapes? Cut out a scientifically correct flake and learn how to preserve real ones. Come find more about this magnificent crystalline wonder. Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.
4) Fall Festival at Mount Vernon Baptist Church
The Fall Festival at Mount Vernon Baptist Church is just around the cornfield and we invite you to come join us for a Family Friendly evening of food, games and fellowship on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5:30-8 p.m. Can’t wait to see you there. No scary costumes please.
5) Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Nurse Gets Great 100 Nurse Award
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital’s Pam McClure, RN, has been recognized as a Great 100 Nurse in North Carolina. Pam demonstrates nursing excellence not only through her clinical competency but through her compassion to her patients and their families assuring their needs come first. McClure has been a nurse for nearly 20 years and works in the Medical Surgical Nursing area of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. She was recognized and received her award at a gala on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.”As her co-worker, I have been in awe of Pam for years. Like many others, I am inspired by her complete dedication to her patients, her boundless energy on night shift, the qualities she radiates of selflessness, empathy and patience, and by her refreshing good humor, technical skills and the spirit of caring that marks her indelibly as an outstanding person, a true professional, and a model for other nurses to emulate,” Rob Grennell, McClure’s nominating co-worker. The Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina is a grassroots peer recognition organization honoring the nursing profession in North Carolina. The organization annually selects 100 North Carolina nurses who demonstrate excellence in practice and commitment to their profession and contributes scholarship funds for registered nurse education.
6) Otto Wood Hike
Join a ranger as he presents Otto Wood, celebrated Appalachian folk hero and convicted felon. Participants will hike as they learn how the criminal genius broke the law, escaped from prison and captured the imagination of the American public. Hike is weather dependent. Hiking attire including boots is recommended. Meet at the summit trailhead on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.