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Today’s Email Announcements

Seats Still Available for Riley Baugus on Sunday

There are still some seats available for a house-concert performance by master mountain musician and storyteller, Riley Baugus, at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center this Sunday.  Baugus will present an afternoon banjo workshop, starting at 4:00 p.m., followed by an un-amplified evening performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Jones House.
Baugus is hailed as one of the bearers of traditional southern mountain music helping forge American roots music into the next generation. Having been featured on the Cold Mountain soundtrack and tour, Willie Nelson’s Country Music album and tour, and the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Raising Sand album, Baugus is a high-demand American roots musician.
Baugus grew up in the Piedmont after his father left the Surry County mountains for work.
“My parents revered old-time music, and I think a lot of that rubbed off,” Baugus says. His dad shared records of Doc Watson and his love for string band music from the mountains. And, his parents attended a Regular Baptist church, where Riley heard unaccompanied singing with vocal styles similar to the mountain ballad singers.
“I just loved the music,” Baugus recalls. “And I didn’t want to just listen to it; I wanted to play it.” Riley started on fiddle and a homemade banjo that his father helped him make using patterns from a Foxfire book.
Baugus befriended schoolmate Kirk Sutphin, who also had a strong interest in the mountain and rural fiddle and banjo tunes and songs. The two honed their skills together, traveling around the region to spend time with members of the older generation of musicians. They spent many hours with Surry County legend Tommy Jarrell and others from the Round Peak tradition, like Dix Freeman, Paul Sutphin, and Chester McMillion.
Baugus worked as a welder and blacksmith by day and started playing with old-time bands at nights and on weekends. He joined the Old Hollow String Band and helped form The Red Hots. He self-produced a solo recording Life of Riley and continued playing music with regional musicians.
Dirk Powell, a musical friend and cohort, got Baugus hooked up with T. Bone Burnett, and Baugus was invited to build banjos, play, and sing for the film and soundtrack. This opportunity helped launch Baugus into a full-time musical career with many musical collaborations and endeavors following.
Baugus produced his next CD Long Steel Rail with legendary American roots musician Tim O’Brien producing. He has collaborated on albums with a host of old-time, country, and roots musicians, including April Verch, the Lonesome Sisters, Dirk Powell, Willie Nelson, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
In addition to his recording and performing, Baugus has become highly regarded for his teaching. He has been on staff at some of the premier acoustic music camps across the country, including programs at the Augusta Heritage Center, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week, and the Midwest Banjo Camp.
Baugus continues to perform with the Dirk Powell Band, as a duet with Kirk Sutphin, and as a regular guest with Polecat Creek and Tim O’Brien.
“We are really excited to have Riley at the Jones House; it has been several years since he has played in Boone,” says concert organizer, Mark Freed. “Riley’s music and performance has an amazing quality of being both powerful and commanding, while also familiar and comforting, and having him perform in such a small space, un-amplified, will be really special.”
Baugus will be giving an old-time banjo masterclass, starting at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. The workshop is free for students and staff in the Jones House music lessons program (Boone JAMS) and people attending the evening concert.
The evening concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Jones House, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $20, and advanced reservation is recommended.
To make a reservation for the concert, or to learn more about the Jones House, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828-268-6280.
NC Public Safety, National Guard Host Job Fair
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the National Guard hosted a one-day career event at Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday. The job fair was open to all military service members, veterans, spouses and dependents of service members interested in networking or looking for career opportunities throughout the Department of Public Safety.

The career event was designed to match applicants with departmental job openings in the State Highway Patrol, State Capitol Police, Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, Emergency Management, National Guard, the State Bureau of Investigation and others.

“Our military veterans and their families are very familiar with public safety and public service,” Secretary Erik A. Hooks said. “Their skill sets and unique experiences align well with our mission of ensuring public safety and quality of life.”

There are opportunities across the entire department, but an area with greatest need is within Prisons. Secretary Hooks recently unveiled many action steps DPS has taken aimed at improving safety and security at prison facilities across the state to include enhancing its hiring processes of correctional officers. 

“In order to address the vacancy levels at our prisons, we have been examining the hiring process,” said Secretary Hooks. “We are committed to making the necessary changes that will increase the numbers of qualified applicants from which managers can hire new staff.”

The career fair is just one-way DPS will increase its applicant pool.  As of Thursday four correctional employees have been assigned as recruiters focusing solely on filling positions in Prisons.  Another initiative designed to increase the applicant pool is moving the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT) from the beginning of a candidate’s interview process, to after the employee’s hire date.  Newly hired correctional officers  will have their first opportunity to take the COPAT during Basic Correctional Officer Training. If an employee passes Basic Correctional Officer Training but does not successfully complete COPAT initially, he/she will be given two additional attempts to successfully complete COPAT during the probationary status period. 

“We remain committed to hiring candidates who are both mentally and physically able to perform the responsibilities of a certified officer,” said Judge Reuben Young, interim Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice.  

More than 100 prospective applicants attended today’s job fair.  HR representatives from various DPS divisions offered tips on how to complete state government applications and provided networking opportunities for applicants. 

“Providing opportunities like this job fair for Guardsmen, veterans, service members and their spouses to find employment within the Department of Public Safety benefits everyone,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, North Carolina National Guard’s Adjutant General. “The strength of the Guard rests in our citizen-soldiers and airmen staying in the Guard long-term, and without a good civilian job most leave the force. There are many job opportunities in DPS and we look forward to partnering with them and having more of these events across the state.”

Human Resources and leadership from all the divisions will continue to collaborate on the implementation of initiatives designed to bolster recruitment efforts for the entire agency.  

Another career fair open to the general public is set for April 18.


Education Lottery Supports Problem Gambling Awareness Month

The N.C. Education Lottery is supporting efforts this month to raise awareness about problem gambling and let those affected know that help is available.

Throughout March, the lottery is using its communications platforms, including its website, social media channels and video monitors in all 7000 lottery retail locations, to spread news and information about the resources available to someone with a gambling problem. The efforts are part of the state’s observance of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, as recognized in a proclamation issued by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“While most folks who play lottery games do play responsibly, the N.C. Problem Gambling Program can provide help to those who play too much,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery. “With our participation, we want to do our part to let people know that hope and help exist.”

The lottery provides $1 million a year to support problem gambling services ranging from a 24/7 helpline to prevention efforts to free treatment and care. To use the helpline, you can:

“It is important for people to know that the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, in the Department of Health and Human Services, aids individuals with intellectual and or developmental disabilities,” said Smith Worth, program administrator. “Since the inception of the N.C. Problem Gambling Program, thousands of problem gambling calls have been made to the hotline and thousands of teens and young adults have been exposed to prevention programs in middle schools, high schools and college and university campuses across the state. With ongoing material distribution and upcoming education and outreach endeavors, the N.C. Problem Gambling Program is dedicated to building awareness for what has been dubbed the hidden addiction.”

The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that an estimated 2 million U.S. adults, or one percent, meet criteria for pathological gambling, and another 4 to 6 million would be considered problem gamblers.

The lottery’s commitment to build the best practices in responsible gaming into all of its operations recently won it the highest level of responsible gaming certification recognized internationally. It is only the 4th U.S. lottery to obtain the certification and the youngest U.S. lottery to do so. The accreditation from the World Lottery Association attests that the lottery has implemented responsible gaming practices into its day-to-day operations and is committed to continuous improvement of them.


Three New Lees-McRae College Programs Approved by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approved three new Lees-McRae programs and included them in the institution’s existing accreditation. Effective spring 2018, the three programs are health and wellness science, outdoor recreation management and an online business administration completion program.

Health and wellness science, within the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, prepares students for careers in health promotion and client-focused leadership positions. Students in the new program will take courses and practice their skills in the advanced facility featuring $1.4 million in state-of-the-art equipment.

Both housed within the School of Business and Management, outdoor recreation management and the online business administration programs offer a variety of ways to expand on a student’s individual passion. 

The outdoor recreation management program is the nation’s only program of its kind found within a school of business. Students can learn beyond the classroom by venturing outdoors to develop essential skills in leadership, program management and environmental stewardship.

The online business administration completion program gives students the ability to finish a baccalaureate degree or gain new skills to advance their career. Online courses offer working and nontraditional students the convenience to learn on their schedule, at their pace and on their budget.

Provost and Dean of Faculty, Dr. Todd Lidh, shared his excitement over the accreditation of the three new programs.

“The recent approvals mark both an exciting new chapter for the college and students as well as validation of the great work our faculty have put in to make these programs a reality,” Lidh said. “These dynamic programs add to the fabric of the college, providing wonderful and enjoyable opportunities for students, staff, and faculty alike.”

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees, according to the SACSCOC website. To gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges.


Donald Marriott Named Director of Tennis at Yonahlossee Racquet Club

Former Lees-McRae College tennis coach Donald Marriott was recently named Director of Tennis at Yonahlossee Racquet Club in Boone, NC.

Marriott is a former High Point University tennis star from (1991-1995) where he was All-Conference and a Millis-Scholar Athlete. He is a North Carolina State Doubles Champion and has been ranked top 10 in NC in singles and doubles since graduating from HPU with a degree in English Literature.

Marriott is originally from Sea Girt, New Jersey. He attended high school at The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey where he was elected to the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 for excellence in tennis.

Marriott has been the Director of numerous clubs in NC including High Point Country Club, Statesville Country Club, and for the City of Lexington. He has coached high school tennis in NC; Lexington Yellow Jackets, Westchester Country Day and Statesville Christian School. He helped coach HPU Men’s and Women’s Tennis in 1996 and coached both the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams at LMC from 2015-2017. His former students over the last 20 years have gone on to play college tennis, win state championships and coach tennis.

Donald and his family live in Banner Elk, NC. His wife Ann-Charlott Marriott is the Director of the Presbyterian Church Pre-School in Banner Elk. He has three children Cooper 17, Mimi 15, and Katariina 5.

“I’m pleased to be the Tennis Professional at a club like YRC; it is truly one of a kind in its beauty, location and reputation. The community of the club is so affable, the tennis facility is second to none in my opinion. There are many great clubs in the High Country and many great Pro’s, I’m happy to be in the mix. I hope to keep the traditions of YRC, as well as, add some new concepts to the tennis program,” said Marriott.


Appalachian State Campus Emergency Siren Test to be Conducted March 7

Appalachian State University will test its campus siren warning system at 11:55 a.m.Wednesday, March 7.

Examples of the tones that are used in an emergency or during tests can be heard online at https://emergency.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system

Appalachian uses the hi/low tone for emergencies, discontinuous air horn for tests of the system and the alert tone for all-clear signal.

For more information about the university’s AppState ALERT voice/text/email notification system, visit https://emergency.appstate.edu

The siren tests are conducted on the first Wednesday of each month. Scheduled dates for Appalachian’s upcoming tests are April 4 and May 2.