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Today’s Email Announcements

Meeting Board of Trustees of Appalachian State University, 1/29

The Board of Trustees of Appalachian State University will meet for a retreat session on Monday, January 29, 2018, at the NAI Carolantic Reality, Inc. Boardroom, located at 5121 Kingdom Way Suite 200, Raleigh, North Carolina.

  1. Welcome – Chair James M. Barnes
  2. Recognition of Visitors – Chair James. M. Barnes
  3. Approval of Absences – Chair James M. Barnes
  4. Current and Future National Trends Affecting Higher Education – Chancellor Sheri Everts
  5. Closed Session
  6. Open Session
  7. Logistics for March BOT Meeting – Chair James M. Barnes
  8. Adjournment – Chair James M. Barnes


Scholarship Funds for Young Women to Pursue STEM Camp

The Western North Carolina Chapter of WTS International is offering two scholarships for girls ages 10-17 to attend a STEM Camp of their choice in the summer of 2018.  Scholarships will be up to $250 each and are open to young women residing in western North Carolina counties including Alleghany, Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, Swain, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.

The application may be downloaded at https://www.wtsinternational.org/assets/175/7/2018-STEMCamp.pdf Completed applications should be returned by email to WTSofWNC@gmail.com by Wednesday, February 28, 2018.  Please note that awarding of a scholarship does not guarantee a spot at a local camp.  Therefore, students are encouraged to go ahead and apply for or reserve a spot in the camp of their choice as soon as possible.  Transportation to the camp and other associated costs above the $250 tuition award will be the responsibility of the scholar.

WTS (“Women’s Transportation Seminar”) International was founded in 1977 by a group of pioneering women in transportation who realized that women’s careers would benefit from professional development, encouragement, and recognition to support their advancement in transportation professions.  Now, after more than 40 years, WTS is an international organization with more than 6500 members (including women and men) and 79 chapters and is connected to a network of 40,000 transportation professionals. Local chapters generate high-caliber professional development and networking opportunities for WTS members. 

The WTS Chapter of Western North Carolina works to make a difference in the lives of girls by raising money and offering programs and activities that will encourage them to take courses in math, science, and technology, which are the stepping stones to exciting careers in transportation and other planning and engineering professions.  Additionally, they provide education and networking to advance the field of transportation professionals throughout the western region.


Spring Train Excursion

If you are experiencing the winter doldrums, shake off the gloomy days looking forward to a nice, refreshing, and scenic train ride through the mountains of the Southern Appalachian region. Plan an enjoyable spring train with us aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad!

The track follows the route of the former Southern Railway’s Murphy Branch Line, established in 1891, with its five percent grade and many bridges. Much of the route hugs the banks of the Tuckasegee, Little Tennessee, and Nantahala Rivers, and it crosses Fontana Lake on a trestle standing 100 feet above the lake, spanning 780 feet.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has become a favorite of film producers over the years. The train wreck scene in the 1993 movie, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, was filmed in Dillsboro along the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.  [The wreckage of the set can still be viewed on the outbound train excursion from Dillsboro.] The railroad was also used in the filming of the 1996 comedy, My Fellow Americans, starring Jack Lemmon and James Gardner, when they stumble onto a charter train full of UNC-Chapel Hill fans headed for the NCAA Final Four. Train scenes in the 1998 movie, Forces of Nature, starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, also were filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

On Saturday, March 24th, 2018, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum will sponsor its Spring Excursion – a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the majestic mountains and beautiful countryside of western North Carolina from Dillsboro through Bryson City and the Nantahala Gorge. This trip will be the first time we have offered a train ride on all the completed operating trackage of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Our excursion will depart Johnson City, TN, by motor coach at 9:15 am from the parking lot of Liberty Bell Middle School. We will have a passenger pick-up at 9:45 am in the Asheville/Weaverville area for passengers who find that location more convenient. We will also pick up passengers in Greeneville, TN, at 9:45 am and in Morristown, TN, at 10:15 am.  En route to Dillsboro there will be a stop-over at Ryan’s Steak House in Sylva, where passengers may purchase lunch if desired.  [Passengers may choose to drive on their own to Dillsboro but at the same ticket cost.]

Upon arriving in Dillsboro, passengers will have time to see the Jarrett House, a hotel landmark built in 1884, and visit shops before boarding the excursion train at 1:45 pm for the 4.5-hour trip. As we leave Dillsboro, we will see the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad shops and pass the filming location of The Fugitive. The track follows along the Tuckasegee River and travels through the famous Cowee Tunnel on its way to Bryson City. Rising to Fontana Lake we follow the Little Tennessee River, cross the Fontana Lake Trestle, pass the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and enter the breathtaking Nantahala Gorge, following the shore line of the exciting Nantahala River. Play the video clip online at our web site http://www.wataugavalleynrhs.org/ to see the natural beauty that awaits you.

Upon reaching the end of the line, the train will return to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where our busses will meet us. We expect to arrive back in Weaverville and Morristown by 7:30 pm, Greeneville by 8:00 pm, and Johnson City by 8:30 pm.

Tickets and pre-purchased meals may be ordered online by credit card at http://www.wataugavalleynrhs.org/.  

Click on the EXCURSION link.  A printable Ticket/Meal Order Form is available there also. Or you may send a check or money order along with NUMBER OF TICKETS, CLASS OF SERVICE and PRE-PAID MEAL choices to:  Spring 2018 GSMR Excursion, Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN 37605-0432.

TICKETS – Passengers may choose comfortable seating in one of three classes of climate-controlled train cars:

FIRST CLASS ticket price is $156/adult over 21 and includes a diner meal

IMPORTANT NOTE: Passengers ordering tickets separately but wishing to be seated together should specify this on their order forms

CROWN CLASS ticket price is $97/adult and $79/child [2 -12]

COACH CLASS ticket price is $85/adult and $69/child [2-12]

Please indicate if you will accept an alternate class of service, should your choice be sold out.

MEALS – Passengers have several options for meals aboard the train:

DINING CAR MEAL – Diner meals must be pre-purchased with ticket order at $15.00 per meal  

A truly unique, on-board dining experience in the grand tradition.  All dinners include dessert and choice of drink

ENTREES:  [select on Meal Order Form;  included with First Class ticket]

 Pulled Pork Boston Roast rubbed with our special spices, then slow-roasted to perfection;  served with slaw and cinnamon apples

Fire Braised Chicken Salad freshly made gourmet salad of cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, edamame, red onion, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, napa cabbage, and kale tossed with a light pomegranate blueberry dressing and topped with fire-braised seasoned sliced chicken

Veggie Lover Delight freshly made gourmet salad of cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, edamame, red onion, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, napa cabbage, and kale tossed with a light pomegranate blueberry dressing

Pot Roast slow-roasted, melt-in-your-mouth, seasoned pot roast served with flavorful green beans and mashed red-skinned potatoes

BOX LUNCH – must be pre-purchased with ticket order at $11.00 per meal. Includes chips, cookie, and choice of drink.  Passengers will pick up in the Concessions Car

BOX LUNCH OPTION: [select on Meal Order Form]

Turkey and Cheese on Croissant

Baked Chicken Breast on Croissant

CONCESSIONS CAR – sandwiches, drinks, chips, and snacks will be available for purchase on the train

BRING YOUR OWN – a small cooler is acceptable if you wish to bring food with you on the train

Questions about the trip? Go to our web set www.wataugavalleynrhs.org, phone 423-753-5797 or e mail wataugavalley@embarqmail.com.


The Baha’is of Watauga and Ashe Counties Devotional Meeting, 1/28

The Baha’is of Watauga and Ashe counties will hold a devotional meeting in Boone this coming Sunday 28th January in Boone in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the theme:  Towards racial and social justice.  All are welcome.   The meeting will be at 283 Westbrook Drive, Boone:   call 264 5620 for more information.