• Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge Celebrates its First Birthday in Downtown Boone


    February 14, 2020 Time flies when you’re having fun. The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge celebrated its first birthday on Thursday night with a crowd of visitors and loyal customers have had had nothing but glowing reviews for the boutique hotel. Denise Lovin, who owns the Horton Hotel along with her husband Fulton, said it is hard to believe it has already been a whole year of business in the books for the Horton Hotel. “We’re so happy that we made it to our birthday. We have met our occupancy goals and created a space for customers to enjoy. We are very proud of our customer service and we have guests that return again and again, which feels really good,” said Denise. Rooms have been steadily booked and people have been enjoying the lobby bar and rooftop lounge whether they are hotel guests or not. Denise says that this year they will be focusing more on featuring the rooftop bar as temperatures warm up during the spring and summer. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Moffatt Family Begins Appalachian State Scholarship Fund in Daughter’s Memory


    February 14, 2020. Tyler and Amanda Moffatt of Boone are doing their best to preserve their daughter’s memory with a scholarship fund through Appalachian State University. The Moffatt’s two-year-old daughter, Bexley Svana Moffatt, passed away unexpectedly on February 9 from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The goal is to allow for this scholarship to become an endowed scholarship, meaning it will be awarded every year for an indefinite period of time to students who meet the scholarship’s criteria. For this scholarship to reach an endowment status, a total of $25,000 must be raised. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / A Valentine to Afterschool

    February 14, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY BECKY WEATHERS / This Valentine’s Day, I am writing this letter to tell you how Community Kids Afterschool has been a blessing to me. My granddaughter came to live with me nine months ago. I had to start over, so I needed all the help I could get!  The Afterschool staff at Riverside Elementary helped her with her homework, as well as offer many other activities and projects. She loves it and all the teachers are great. I don’t have to worry! I know where she is and that she is safe. When I pick her up from afterschool, I know her homework is always done. All I have to do is fix her supper and make sure she is bathed, ready for the next day.  I can’t put it all down in words what Afterschool means to me. It is a great program for working parents and grandparents! This Valentine’s Day, I can honestly say that I love my granddaughter’s afterschool program. It’s great! Read more…



  • Public Hearing Continues Wednesday Feb 19 on Violation of Blowing Rock Short Term Rental Regulation; Part of a National Discussion

    February 14, 2020 A quiet Blowing Rock neighborhood has found its tranquility challenged—some say ruined—by noise, traffic, by non-residents’ cars blocking access, and by strangers reportedly seen crossing adjacent properties day and night. Those complaints prompted action on the part of the Town of Blowing Rock, action centering on the apparent illegal use of the property by the owner’s allowing short term renters. In the midst of this controversy, it appears the property is for sale, listed by several on-line sources. The hearing that followed turned into a marathon five-plus hour session last month at Blowing Rock Town Hall attended by Frazier, impacted neighbors and their attorney, and a number of Blowing Rock residents concerned about damage that might result from a precedent setting expansion of short term rentals. But the ramifications surrounding short-term rentals are being felt across the state and country in towns large and small. / Read more…



  • Snow Totals Well Below Average; Mountaintops Still Seeing Fair Share of Snowfall

    February 13, 2020 There have been a few cold days this winter, but for the most part, temperatures have been mild and snowflakes have been few and far between. The precipitation has been there, but for the lower elevations, it has been almost all rainfall. According to data provided by Ray’s Weather Center, Boone has had just 4.3 inches of snowfall this winter. Higher elevations have been able to accumulate some much more measurable snow this winter, which has been a big help to the ski resorts who have also had to deal with plenty of rainfall. Beech Mountain has tallied 26.9 inches of snow while Sugar Mountain has the highest snowfall total in the High Country with 43.2 inches of snow. The 60-year average snowfall for Boone is 40.5 inches of snowfall per year. The average over the last 10 years has been 36.7 inches of snow, making this year’s snowfall total so far an extreme outlier. Rainfall has been the biggest story of this winter season. Boone has had more rainfall in the 13 days of February (4.66 inches) than the amount of snow from November through now (4.3 inches). In January, Boone had 5.86 inches of rain and in December, Boone had 3.76 inches of rain.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Show Birds Some Love: Join the Great Backyard Bird Count in N.C. This Valentine’s Day Weekend


    February 13, 2020. From the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to communities across the state, North Carolinians are showing wild birds some love this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking part in the 23rd Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper is kicking off this year’s count Friday, February 14 by hosting school children to watch birds at the Executive Mansion. The count continues through Monday, February 17. Volunteers will count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, and then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. “Counting birds in your own backyard with friends and family is a lot of fun, but it’s also serious science. Collecting these data tells us important things about the health of bird populations, a service that has only become more critical as birds face existential threats from habitat loss and changes to our climate,” said Andrew Hutson, Audubon North Carolina executive director and National Audubon Society vice president. / Read more…



  • ECRS is Now Accepting Applicants for 2020 Community Grant Program; Deadline April 1st


    February 13, 2020. ECRS has been in Boone since they began in 1989. They take on much larger tech titans like IBM and NCR to deliver technology that helps retailers across North America, including many businesses in the High Country. They also actively support many local causes and will expand this support in 2020. ECRS’ 2020 Community Grant Program is searching for projects that make a major, positive impact on the lives of local children and/or young adults in Appalachia. The program is now accepting applications from local organizations. Three grants will be awarded in 2020: $10,000 for Spring; $5,000 for Summer; and $10,000 for Fall. Applications for all three grants are being accepted until April 1, 2020. Selected recipients will be notified by May 1, 2020 and funds will be distributed to recipients during their respective quarter (Spring, Summer, or Fall). / Read more…



  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Adds Thursday Screening on March 19; Tickets Available


    February 13, 2020. Due to popular demand, the organizers of The Banff Mountain Film Festival in Boone, NC are announcing an additional screening of the World Tour on Thursday March 19th at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are now on sale the Schaefer Center Box Office and online for the Thursday March 19th screening. The Thursday March 19th event is completely different from the Friday and Saturday screenings featuring different films. (The Friday March 20 and Saturday March 21 tickets are sold out.) All screenings start at 7:30pm. As has become a tradition at the Boone screenings, we will have a special guest featured in one of the films this year in attendance at the Thursday and Friday night screenings this year. More information will be available soon about the guest coming this year.. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 3 – February 9

    February 12, 2020. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • In-person Early Voting for 2020 Primary Election Begins Thursday; Seven Early Voting Locations in Watauga County

    February 12, 2020 The in-person early voting period for the 2020 primary election begins Thursday, February 13, and ends Saturday, February 29. Watauga County will have seven different early voting locations: Watauga County Administration Building – 814 West King Street, Boone, ASU Plemmons Student Union, Blue Ridge Ballroom – 263 Locust Street, Boone, Blowing Rock Town Hall – 1036 Main Street, Blowing Rock, Deep Gap Fire Department – 6583 Old 421 South, Deep Gap, Meat Camp Fire Department – 4797 NC HWY 194 North, Meat Camp, Western Watauga Community Center – 1081 Old US 421, Sugar Grove, High Country Vacation Homes – 520 Church Road, Foscoe. Each location will have the same voting hours. February 13-14 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., February 17-21 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m, February 24-28 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and the final day for early voting will be on Saturday, February 29 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.   / Read more…



  • Downtown Boone to Host Third Annual St. Patrick’s Parade on March 14; Float Registration Now Open


    February 12, 2020. Bagpipes, Irish flags, shamrocks, and a sea of green travels through downtown Boone on Saturday, March 14, starting at 2 p.m. for the Town of Boone’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade. The parade begins at Poplar Grove Connector and marches east down King Street, ending at Hardin Street. Local businesses, nonprofits, civic organizations, and performers will have a chance to show off their Irish and High Country pride. Parade-goers can expect a whole lot of fun, with festive floats, talented performers, a good bit of candy, and a few surprises. A leprechaun emcee will be staged in front of the Jones House, and a special panel of guest judges will score entries based upon overall appearance, quality of design or performance, originality, and creativity. Entries receiving the best scores from the judges will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as a generous group sponsor has donated over $10,000 in cash prizes; the prize money will be divided amongst the highest-scored entries, including $2,000 for best in show. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Honors Businesses and Community Members at Annual Awards Luncheon


    February 12, 2020 The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce held its 33rd Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday to celebrate the many wonderful businesses and community members in the High Country. “Today is about celebration — the celebration of the accomplishments of Blowing Rock’s vibrant, engaged business community. Thanks to all of you who have come out to cheer on your fellow business owners in their pursuit of excellence,” said Charles Hardin, the President/CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. The Meadowbrook Inn was the host for the celebration, and they too had plenty to celebrate about their success in 2019 and looking ahead to 2020. “2019 was a fantastic year for Blowing Rock and a fantastic year for us here at the Meadowbrook. We hosted over 35,000 guests from all over. We have been continuing to make updates to the property. We have the first apiary in Blowing Rock. We harvested our first batch of honey in the fall. We received a certified wildlife habitat status from the national wildlife federation for the duck pond area that we have out front so we’re really excited about that,” said Vishal Savani, the managing director of the Meadowbrook Inn ownership group. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Arts Council Earns Four-Year Lease for Blue Ridge ArtSpace from County Commissioners


    February 12, 2020. 50-60 people attended the Watauga County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, February 4, to support the Watauga Arts Council in their endeavors to attain a new lease for the Blue Ridge ArtSpace property off Shadowline Drive. The arts council was successful in receiving a new four-year lease for the ArtSpace property at the price of one dollar per year. The Watauga Arts Council first moved into the Blue Ridge ArtSpace in 2013; they initially had a two-year lease from the county that served as a sort of interim period to see if the arts council would thrive in that location. Sure enough, the arts council feels right at home in the ArtSpace as it is a location directly central to Watauga County with ample space to conduct its day-to-day activities. “There are people who use the ArtSpace as their connecting point to the arts,” said Cherry Johnson, Executive Director of the Watauga Arts Council, “It’s the way that people are able to experience and attain art in the county. It’s important that we have a space that’s accessible, easy to locate, and welcoming for anyone to be a part of.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Longtime Educator Laura Johnson Presented with Servant’s Heart Award by Board of Education


    February 12, 2020. The Watauga County Board of Education has presented the Watauga County Schools Servant’s Heart award to longtime Cove Creek educator Laura Johnson. The award is presented to a WCS employee who is nominated by his or her peers for exemplary service to the school district. Johnson, who taught at Cove Creek School from 1989 to her retirement in 2015, was recognized for her dedicated service to the school — both during her tenure as a teacher and after her retirement as a substitute. Christy Parker, a longtime Watauga County Schools Human Resources staff member said Johnson was always one of the first people she would call on when a school needed support. “If I had to describe her in a few words, I would say she is one of the most passionate educators I have had the opportunity to work with,” Parker said. “She cares deeply for all of her students and their families and her co-workers, alike. She’s usually one of the first ones to show up when there’s a need.” / Read more…



  • Bethel School Cafeteria Manager, Melody Howell, Granted NC Child Hunger Hero Award


    February 12, 2020. Bethel School Cafeteria Manager Melody Howell was recently granted a North Carolina Child Hunger Award by No Kid Hungry NC, a statewide non-profit that works to combat childhood hunger. The NC Child Hunger Hero award is presented to a variety of workers from across the state who operate in various capacities to serve quality meals to children in their areas — from school nutrition staff to community volunteers. Howell, who has worked in Watauga County Schools since 2002, was nominated by Principal Brian Bettis. “I nominated Mrs. Howell for this recognition because of how well-respected she is in our school and community,” Bettis said. “I frequently talk with people that mention how much she does for our students and families and how much she loves our students. Mrs. Howell has worked to create an environment in our cafeteria in which all students feel a part of our school family. They know they are loved, and they know that their stomachs and hearts will be well fed.” / Read more…



  • Atlanta-based Artist Neill Prewitt to Present Exhibition “Tallscreens” in the King-Shivell Gallery at Lees-McRae College Feb. 13


    February 12, 2020. On Thursday, Feb. 13, Atlanta-based multimedia artist Neill Prewitt will present his work titled “Tallscreens” in the King-Shivell Gallery within the Cannon Student Center. An opening reception for his work will begin at noon with an artist lecture following at 12:30 p.m. Prewitt earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina State University and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently serves as a lecturer at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. / Read more…



  • Avery High Wrestling Team Wins First Team State Championship Last Saturday

    February 12, 2020 Avery County High School had never won a state championship in any team sport until last Saturday, February 8. That’s when on a day fueled by emotion and punctuated with ultimate joy, the Vikings defeated Uwharrie Charter 35-30 to conclude a dream season and claim the North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) 1-A Dual Team Wrestling State Title. The State Wrestling Tournament finals were held in the Greensboro Coliseum Field House Annex. “The community support has been amazing,” Avery head coach Matthew Dunn said. “These wrestlers have worked so hard for this and we are so proud of them.” Zachary Vance secured the victory for Avery in the 285-pound division, defeating Sergio Saldana from Uwharrie Charter 7-0 to win by decision and seal the title ahead of Avery’s final two weight classes that were vacant of qualified participants.   By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Sweets for the Sweet: Happy Valentine’s Day


    February 12, 2020. Valentine’s Day is just hours away — and what better way to show your love than with treats from the kitchen. Keep in mind, sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference. In addition to stirring up a little something sweet, spend time reflecting on the good times. Try to reenact your first date. Play a little “romantic trivia” by creating a game based on questions about your relationship. Give rewards for the right answers and lovingly accept the wrong ones. The following are some sample questions you can use: Where was our first kiss? Where did we go on our first date? What kind of car did I own when we first met?. . . you get the idea? And in the meantime, hope these recipes help seal the deal. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – February 11, 2020

    February 11, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • New Data Indices Provide More Accurate Look at Current State of Broadband Access


    February 11, 2020. The N.C. Department of Information Technology on Monday released new data indices that provide a more accurate look at the current state of broadband access, adoption and the digital divide in communities across North Carolina. NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Eric Boyette announced the launch of the North Carolina Broadband Indices and accompanying visualizations of the data at the Institute for Emerging Issues “ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity Forum.”  “One of our goals is to create a better picture of North Carolina’s broadband access limitations and opportunities,” Boyette said. “We are working toward ensuring all North Carolinians have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service.” The indices are two unique measures that will inform the design of programs, policies and tools to align with the specific needs of each community by helping to demonstrate need, identify the most beneficial types of investments and determine where resources should be deployed. / Read more…



  • Irish Roots with a Modern Twist Take Center Stage on February 22 when Trinity Irish Dance Company Steps into Boone


    February 11, 2020. The jig is up! The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, is proud to welcome international dance sensation Trinity Irish Dance Company (TIDC) to Boone as the only North Carolina stop on its national tour on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. A fusion of Ireland’s vibrant and longstanding dance form and elements of American innovation, TIDC dazzles audiences with its hard-driving percussive power, lightning-fast agility, astonishing precision, aerial grace, complex rhythms, and playful dynamics. From across the pond arrives the airborne artistry of Trinity Irish Dance Company, whose work evolves the traditional form of Irish dance without sacrificing its roots. “TIDC’s work has all the technical wizardry of exceptional Irish step dancing and the artistic depth of contemporary dance. When the two are combined, the art form is phenomenally exciting onstage,” says Maure Aronson, Executive Director of World Music/CRASHarts. / Read more…



  • MerleFest Announces Final Lineup Additions For 2020 Festival


    February 11, 2020. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the next round of artist additions for MerleFest 2020, which will be held April 23-26. Greensky Bluegrass, Mavis Staples, Paul Thorn, Cane Mill Road, Sweet Potato Pie, The Barefoot Movement, Nefesh Mountain, and Smitty and the Jumpstarters will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased until February 16, 2020; Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 17 to April 22. The remaining tickets will be sold at the gate during the festival. / Read more…



  • Three Major Events Added to App Theatre Spring Schedule; Balsam Range, Axis Theatre, Malpass Brothers Tickets on Sale Feb. 12


    February 11, 2020. The list of top-flight talent and nationally-prominent artists slated to appear at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) continues to grow as three major events have been added to the spring schedule at the venerable performing arts venue in the heart of Boone. ATHC Executive Director Laura Kratt announced that tickets are now on sale for bluegrass music artists Balsam Range, the national tour of “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” by Axis Theatre, and country music stars The Malpass Brothers. These events are in addition to the previously announced production of “Love Letters,” the “You and Me” tour by Drew and Ellie Holcomb, and concerts by the Wailin’ Jennys and Che Apalache. Information for all these events – and more – may be found at www.apptheatre.org. / Read more…



  • Teen Flatpicking Phenom Presley Barker Returns to the Jones House Feb. 21


    February 11, 2020. On Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m., local flatpicking phenom Presley Barker will delight audiences as he brings his signature rockabilly style and effervescent charm to the stage as a part of the Jones House Spring Indoor Concert Series. “There is a wealth of young gifted musicians here in the High County,” claims Boone Cultural Resources Coordinator Brandon Holder. “We are honored to have talented up-and-coming artists like Presley Barker continue to perform here at the Jones House.” A native of the Appalachian mountain region, Barker first picked up the guitar at the age of 7. Early on, Barker showed an aptitude for flatpicking, a style of playing pioneered by the likes of Doc Watson, whose music Barker grew up listening to. Over the years, Barker has been influenced and mentored by some of the region’s best bluegrass musicians, including Wayne Henderson, Steve Lewis, and Bryan Sutton. / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)’ Doesn’t Have Room for Complex Characters

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    Feb. 11, 2020 I’m writing this review less than three hours removed from Joaquin Phoenix winning an Oscar for “Joker.” It is the second time an actor has won for playing the Clown Prince of Crime, after Heath Ledger’s posthumous win for 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” Other actors known for iconic takes on The Joker include Jack Nicholson in the 80’s, Cesar Romero in the 60’s, and my personal favorite, Mark Hamill in the 90’s animated series. About the only actor whose portrayal of the character was widely panned was Jared Leto in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.” This movie takes place in the Leto continuity. To be fair, Leto’s lousy Joker is nowhere to be seen in this movie. Instead we get to spend a whole movie with one of the high points of “Suicide Squad”: Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Harley is usually inseparable from The Joker, tethered to him in an unhealthy relationship based on obsession and emotional dependence. But here the couple is broken up, to the point where Harley burns the bridge with her ex-lover by blowing up their favorite chemical plant. Her newfound freedom puts her on the bad side of the villainous Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), who in the past wouldn’t have harmed Harley because of her connection to The Joker, but now himself feels free… to do all the harming he wants. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • Gas Prices on the Decline Across the Carolinas; Coronavirus Concerns Could Lower Prices Even More


    February 11, 2020. Gas prices have dropped by double digits throughout the Carolinas over the past month. North Carolina is down by 22 cents – with the average price for a gallon of regular gas at $2.25 on Monday. The price in South Carolina is $2.11 – 25 cents lower than a month ago. “Lower crude oil costs, less demand and a high level of gasoline stocks are the main reasons for cheaper pump prices across the Carolinas,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson. “We expect prices to decrease again this week especially if concerns about the coronavirus continue to weigh on the crude oil market.” Oil Market Dynamics/Coronavirus Impact: Crude prices have dropped for the third consecutive week as market concerns continue to increase due to the growing impact of the coronavirus on global travel. If international travel decreases, global crude demand would likely follow suit and result in lower crude consumption worldwide. / Read more…



  • SURVEY: Small Business Optimism Starts New Year Solid as Ever

    February 11, 2020 The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index began the year in the top 10% of all readings in the 46-year history of the survey. The index rose 1.6 points to 104.3 in the month of January. Six of the 10 Index components improved, two declined, and two were unchanged. The Uncertainty Index edging up slightly. Small business owners expecting business conditions to improve dipped slightly, but sales expectations and earnings trends were up significantly. As was reported last week, job creation surged in January. “2020 is off to an explosive start for the small business economy, with owners expecting increased sales, earnings, and higher wages for employees,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. “Small businesses continue to build on the solid foundation of supportive federal tax policies and a deregulatory environment that allows owners to put an increased focus on operating and growing their businesses.”  / Read more…



  • App State Hires Longtime NFL Assistant Nunn to Coaching Staff


    February 11, 2020. App State head football coach Shawn Clark has hired longtime NFL coach Robert Nunn to the Mountaineers’ staff as an assistant coach with the defense. During his first 31 years coaching football, Nunn spent 19 seasons in the NFL and was a successful junior college head coach for nearly a decade before that. “We’re excited to welcome Robert and his family to Boone,” Clark said. “As a Super Bowl-winning assistant coach in the NFL and a head coach in junior college, he is going to bring a wealth of knowledge to our staff and players.” Most recently the defensive line coach for the New York Jets from 2017-18, Nunn was defensive line coach for the New York Giants when they caught fire in the playoffs and beat the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI. He also worked with the Cleveland Browns (2016), Giants (2010-15), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009), Green Bay Packers (2005-08), Miami Dolphins (2001-02, 04) and Washington Redskins (2003). In addition to the Giants, he also helped the Dolphins to multiple playoff appearances and the Packers to a pair of playoff games. / Read more…



  • Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Cardiopulmonary Staff Credited for Saving Patient’s Life


    February 11, 2020. It has been said that timing is everything. Fortunately for Betty Redman, she has been in the right place at the right time, not just once, but at least twice – at least where her heart health is concerned. Despite a family history of heart problems, Redman had been healthy most of her adult life. “My father died at age 52 with a heart attack, and my mother, although she lived to be 84, was paralyzed from a stroke at the age of 62. She received good therapy, and was able to retain her mobility to a point.” However, things began to change for Redman in the last decade when she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation; she responded well to medication, but had occasional mini-strokes. Still, she said, it wasn’t too serious — until last year. / Read more…



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Fourth Week of SMARL’s 2020 Season – February 10th

    February 11, 2020 With the fourth week of the Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League (SMARL) in the books, the ski standings remain deadlocked and the snowboard first and second place competitors are separated by just one point. Team Sugar and Ski Country A are tied atop the ski standings with 79 points while Edge of the World holds a slim 69-68 lead over second-place Scooch Legs. Andrew Jochl had the best skiing finish, cruising down the trail in 30.43 seconds. Erich Schmidinger had the quickest time in the snowboard race, crossing the finish line in 36.83 seconds. “We had light rain but the snow was really good. We had a ton of snow, the skiing was good, it was just wet out there,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “A lot of people showed up, did their race and had a good time.”   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Romance is in the Air at The Gamekeeper, One of the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the Country


    February 10, 2020 It’s that time of year again for couples to plan out their Valentine’s Day celebrations. The Gamekeeper, entering its 20th year of operation under the ownership of Ken and Wendy Gordon, was named to the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants according to reviewers on the popular restaurant reservation site OpenTable. The restaurant was chosen out of over 28,000 restaurants that had received over 12 million reviews of restaurants all across the nation. Five restaurants out of the 100 were chosen from North Carolina, including Ryan’s Restaurant in Winston-Salem and Caprice Bistro in Wilmington. “It’s a remarkable honor. We have a wonderful staff that does a great job making everybody’s experience special and everyone understands our number one job is to make sure every single person has the best experience that they possibly can,” said Ken. Ken says it’s just in the culture of The Gamekeeper for staff members to treat customers very well and provide them with a great evening out. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • CNN Features Earth Fare in ‘Organic Grocery Chain Collapse’ Article

    February 10, 2020. CNN Business featured an article written by Nathaniel Meyersohn and Alicia Wallace on Friday detailing the abrupt collapse of a beloved organic grocery chain called Lucky’s Market, based in Boulder, Colorado. Kroger, America’s largest supermarket chain, took a majority stake in Lucky’s Market in 2016. Four years later, Kroger has officially ended their support of the organic grocery chain, due to steep competition and cost of upkeep; Lucky’s has filed for bankruptcy. The story of Lucky’s Market bears a striking resemblance to that of Earth Fare, the Asheville-based organic food chain that recently announced it will be liquidating its assets and closing its stores by the end of the month, including the Earth Fare location on King Street.  By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Harriet Carolyn Browning Davant of Blowing Rock Passed Away Peacefully on February 9, 2020


    February 10, 2020. Harriet Carolyn Browning Davant of Blowing Rock, NC passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 9, 2020 at The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock.  She would have celebrated her 97th birthday on February 26. Harriet Browning grew up in Raleigh and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1944.  She was one of the first women to earn this degree.  In later years, she served as a trustee for the University’s Morehead Scholarship Foundation. She married Dr. Charles Davant Jr. of South Carolina in 1944.  In 1948, Dr. and Mrs. Davant moved to Blowing Rock, where Dr. Davant opened a medical clinic. His passion was improving medical care for mountain residents, and Mrs. Davant’s support of him and their two children helped him realize that passion.  Dr. and Mrs. Davant were married for nearly 60 years before his 2003 death.  Mrs. Davant led many projects for the betterment of her beloved mountain community.  She helped lay the foundations and establish the traditions for Blowing Rock residents’ volunteerism.  The Blowing Rock Community Foundation named her “Woman of the Year” in 2016, describing her as a “Steel Magnolia” and “the ultimate Southern Lady.” She was smart, funny, independent, loyal, and dedicated to family, friends, and her community.  She was relentlessly cheerful.  She was beloved by all who were fortunate enough to know her.  Her beauty, compassion, sense of humor, and gentile manner were incomparable.  The “Harriet and Charles Davant Jr. Medical Clinic” at The Foley Center was named in her and her husband’s honor.  / Read more…



  • A Life in the Forest: Coffee with the Curator Explores the Life and Works of Sallie Middleton at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum on Feb. 18


    February 10, 2020. On Tuesday, February 18th, 2020, from 11:00 – 12:00 pm, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will present a behind-the-scenes look into the art exhibition “Sallie Middleton: A Life in the Forest,” on loan from the Asheville Art Museum and courtesy of Sallie Middleton Parker and Mikell Middleton Howington. Before and after the tour, guests are invited to converse and pose questions while enjoying complimentary Hatchet Coffee and baked goods. With little formal training in art, Sallie Ellington Middleton (1926-2009) has long been considered one of the most gifted painters of plants and animals. She possessed a remarkable eye for detail, a skilled hand to record what she saw and a keen imagination to shape her enchanted images. Her detailed paintings required months or even years to complete. / Read more…



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