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Today’s Email Announcements

Tuesday, April 24: Watauga High School Sustainability Club to Receive Recognition as NC Green School of Excellence

Last spring, the Watauga High School Sustainability Club reached a landmark achievement in becoming the first North Carolina high school to receive recognition as a NC Green School of Excellence.
On Tuesday, April 24, the Club will officially accept the award at a public assembly in the high school auditorium at 9:58 a.m. The Club will be recognized by Katie Cavert Ferrell from NC Green Schools for their achievement and officially accept the award. After a brief overview of past and current projects by president Price St. Clair, the Club will welcome guest speaker Dr. Lee Ball, Chief Sustainability Officer at Appalachian State University. Dr. Ball will address what the university has done with sustainability, how that has made an impact, and how a high school system could learn from that and implement sustainable systems and practices. All interested community members are invited to attend.
In addition to becoming a NC Green School, the Club partnered with the Watauga Education Foundation and local businesses Mast General Store, Come Back Shack, and 4 Forty Four to install five water bottle filling stations on the high school campus last spring that have saved over 60,000 plastic water bottles as of this writing. This year, the Club established a fully functional single-stream recycling system at the high school. The Club meets every other Thursday at 8 a.m.

‘Fair Courts / Fair Votes Town Hall’ set for May 1 in Boone

State lawmakers won’t return to Raleigh until May 16, but some have already threatened to gerrymander our state courts, take control of the N.C. Supreme Court and even rewrite our constitution to enshrine limits to voting access. And that could only be the beginning.

On Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30pm, concerned voters and members of the legal community will join NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, NC NAACP, and Progress NC in Boone for a Fair Courts / Fair Votes Town Hall spotlighting attempts by state lawmakers to rig the judicial system and state elections in their favor.

A number of bills have either been passed or are being considered by the General Assembly that would wreak havoc on judicial independence in North Carolina. One proposal would eliminate the election of judges altogether, letting legislators cherry-pick partisan judges with no oversight from voters. Another proposal would hyper-politicize judicial elections by forcing judges to run for re-election every two years (instead of four or eight), unfairly slashing the terms of duly-elected judges and forcing them to campaign and hold political fundraisers instead of dispensing justice.

WHAT: “Fair Courts / Fair Votes Town Hall” spotlighting legislative attacks on North Carolina courts and elections

WHO: NC Voters for Clean Elections, Democracy NC, NC NAACP, Progress NC

WHEN: Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30pm

WHERE: Optimist Clubhouse, 1012 State Farm Rd. in Boone

Here are just a few of the partisan attacks on North Carolina’s court system that will be discussed:

  • HB656 (Already enacted): Canceled primary elections for judges, making general election ballots longer and more confusing. The first step toward canceling judicial elections altogether and letting politicians appoint judges instead of voters.

  • HB717 (Passed by House): Gerrymanders the judicial system, just like they did with the unconstitutional legislative maps. Nearly half of all black judges would be packed into a district with another incumbent, forcing them to run against each other or step down.

  • SB698 (Introduced): Cuts all judges’ terms to two years, forcing judges to campaign and hold political fundraisers instead of dispensing justice. A judge elected to an eight-year term in 2016 would be forced to run again in 2018 after having their term cut.

  • Legislative Appointment (Proposed): Eliminates judicial elections altogether, letting politicians rig the system by cherry-picking judges who will rule based on political ideology rather than fairness.

 LexisNexis InterAction to Host 3rd Annual Accelerate Business Development Summit

LexisNexis® InterAction® software—the legal industry’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) solution—is hosting its 3rd Annual Accelerate Business Development Summit, scheduled to take place June 25 – 27 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina.

This year’s conference will focus on key trends and issues that impact law firms like increasing competition, flat growth, and a rapidly changing market. Accelerate will provide a dynamic forum for legal marketing and business development professionals to come together and discuss ways to shift the industry’s understanding of the role marketing and business development play in law firm success. The Summit will bring together business development and marketing executives—across leading law firms—for a series of interactive presentations, exploring how technology can augment a firm’s innate intelligence.

Speakers at Accelerate 2018 will explore strategies and tactics attendees can immediately apply to help drive law firm growth in an increasingly competitive legal environment. The Summit will feature candid discussions with some of the industry’s brightest legal marketing minds, including confirmed keynote speaker J. Kelly Hoey. Mrs. Hoey is a noted networking expert, business columnist, and author of Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World. She will deliver her keynote address, “Networking and Business Development for Law Firms in the Hyper-Connected 21st Century,” on Tuesday, June 26. During her keynote presentation, Ms. Hoey will share how formal and informal communication tools come together to create a community that can bring anyone closer to achieving their goals.

“There’s a growing recognition that law firms today have to take a proactive approach to business development and marketing to thrive,” said Scott Wallingford, LexisNexis Vice President & General Manager, Law Firm Software Solutions. “With corporate law departments bringing more work in house, working with fewer outside firms, and reducing their legal spend overall, law firms who invest in business development operations are best positioned for success. The Accelerate 2018 Business Development Summit assembles industry thought leaders and provides peer-to-peer networking opportunities to equip attendees with practical knowledge and action plans they can use to fuel their firms’ growth.”

Sessions will be led by marketing and business development leaders on the use of automation, improved data quality, and data-driven decision-making to proactively engage with current and future customers.

Accelerate sessions include:

  • Keynote address: Networking and Business Development for Law Firms in the Hyper-Connected 21st Century
  • 2018 State of the Industry Survey Results
  • Concurrent Business Strategy Breakout Discussions:
  • Growing Your Firm while Protecting Your Data
  • Business Development Operations
  • Concurrent Marketing Strategy Breakout Discussions:
    • Marketing Technology and Operations
    • Comprehensive Go-To-Market Strategy
  • 360° Perspective: Law Firm Business Development
  • InterAction Product Update
  • Concurrent Marketing Tactics Breakout Discussions:
    • End-User Adoption
    • Modern Marketing Plan

“There’s a clear need for an event like this,” said Wallingford. “The attendance has grown each year. With more speakers and networking opportunities than ever before, we anticipate that we’ll see this trend continuing at this year’s event.”

This will mark the third year that LexisNexis InterAction has hosted the Accelerate Business Development Summit. To guarantee your participation in this year’s event and get more details, visitlexisnexisaccelerate.com.

About LexisNexis InterAction
InterAction is the leading solution for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for law and professional services firms. For over two decades, InterAction has helped firms of all sizes drive business relationships, accelerate firm growth, and increase revenue. Discover more about InterAction online: www.interaction.com 

 About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 130 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group plc, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

Cove Creek Preservation & Development Presents Doc & Rosa Lee Watson Scholarship
Cove Creek Preservation & Development awards its annual Doc & Rosa Lee Watson Scholarship Appalachian State University student Kayla Mounce. Mounce is a resident of Wilkes County and received the $1,000 scholarship. Mounce is pictured here with chairman David Tyner. 

Registration for Wayne C. Henderson Guitar Competition Nears End

Guitarists who want to compete in the 24th annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition only have a little time left – applications must be received by May 1.

The winner will go home with a free handmade Henderson guitar. A maximum of 20 contestant applications and 10 alternate contestant applications will be selected. Other prizes are second place, $250; third, $150, fourth, $100; and fifth, $75.

The form can be obtained from www.waynehenderson.org. The family-friendly festival will be Saturday, June 16, at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

RAM Now Taking Applications for Summer 2018 Work Projects

Resort Area Ministries, Inc. (RAM) is now taking applications for Summer Mission work projects. Each summer, RAM hosts church mission groups from the Southeastern United States. These mission groups stay in Boone from three days to a week and assist RAM with work projects and campground ministries. Any low-income family, individual, senior citizen or those who cannot do their own labor because of illnesses or physical impairments may be eligible for RAM’s projects. Many of RAM’s clients are senior citizens who are unable to do their own work or cannot afford to pay for the projects’ expensive labor costs. The work that the RAM crews provide enables these senior members of our community to stay in their own homes longer and keep their independence. They look forward to the company that the work crews provide so RAM is not only helping with the home repairs but also the spiritual and emotional well being of the people. Friendships have been developed and nurtured for several years with the work projects as the catalyst.

The projects that qualify include houses that need painting; simple carpentry or repair jobs on porches, decks, steps or interiors; roofing houses; yard work and cleaning projects. A RAM staff member reviews each project beforehand. A decision will be made as to whether the projects qualify and the clients will be notified as soon as possible.

RAM’s Rack Thrift Shop in Boone helps provide funding for these projects. RAM’s budget for the work projects is limited. If the recipient or their family is able to help pay for the cost of the materials (paint, lumber, etc.), this help is greatly appreciated but not required. If someone would like to donate materials or monies to help with these projects, you may contact the RAM office. RAM is a nonprofit organization so donations are tax deductible.

The projects will take place in June, July and August depending on the groups’ schedules. Projects may have to be rescheduled or canceled due to rainy or cold weather.

If you would like to apply or know someone who would like to apply, contact Mary Dean Silver, Missions Director, 828-264-6605. Applications for the work projects may be picked up at the RAM’s Rack Thrift Shop, 877 West King Street, Boone, NC.

Watauga County Arts Council Offering Vocal Music Scholarships

The Watauga County Arts Council (WCAC) is once again offering scholarships to promote training in the vocal arts. In 2015, the Council developed the new funding program to encourage the art of singing in the High Country. These scholarships are open to individuals of high school age, adult vocalists, and vocal teachers who would like to attend workshops or programs which will help in their vocal music development and performance.

The Arts Council’s scholarship award program was first developed in 1985 and for twenty years annually assisted local individuals in the pursuit of artistic training in a variety of disciplines. In subsequent years the program continued to provide scholarships for summer arts camp participants and, in 2013, was broadened to include applicants of any age who needed financial assistance to participate in the Arts Council’s various tuition based programs and activities. This past year, three benefit concerts have been held to help raise funds to assist student specifically with the costs of music lessons.

In 2015, the Arts Council expanded its scholarship program to include vocal music development and performance. Using funds raised through the annual “Celebrate Singing” event, which is held in the late fall of each year, this initiative is designed to meet a need within the High Country community for the development of opportunities to support vocalists of all kinds. Applications for funding in the range of $100 to $500 will be considered.

Past recipients of this award include:

  • Chris Watson: 2015
  • Lisa Combs: 2015
  • Hope Langston: 2016
  • Rachel Sabo-Hedges: 2016
  • Pat Lanno: 2017

In 2016, Hope Langston, at the age of 15, received the Watauga County Arts Council Vocal Music Scholarship which she used to fund her participation in the Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN. Hope spent her early years in Yunnan, China with her family. While in China she spent much of her time singing and teaching herself how to play guitar. She moved to Boone in the 8th grade and quickly became involved with music and theatre, participating in her first musical at Parkway School. She also began taking piano lessons and taught herself to play the ukulele. During her freshman year at Watauga High School she took drama and chorus classes and participated in the Acapella Club and the Ukulele Club after school. She attended the Fine Arts Summer Academy once before in the Summer of 2015 and had a very positive experience, which prompted her return for a more advanced program in the Summer of 2016. During her first year at the Fine Arts Summer Academy, Hope was given the opportunity to perform at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, as well as on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. In Boone, Hope occasionally performs at the Art Councils during their 2nd Saturday Celebrations of the Arts and also does street performances on King Street in downtown Boone. In 2017, Hope performed at the Art Council’s Artfull Palette event. “Hope is passionate about music and is mostly self-taught in voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano,” says John Langston, Hope’s father. She is also planning to pursue a career in the music arts.

In 2016, Rachel Sabo-Hedges, at the age of 16, received the Watauga County Arts Council Vocal Music Scholarship which she used to participate in the Triple Musical Theatre Intensive at Western Carolina University that Summer. Rachel grew up around theatre, with both her parents being theatre artists, and became involved at a young age. During elementary school she participated in multiple shows in Virginia before moving to Ohio where she attended the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts. During her time there she took classes in musical theatre, acting, and dance and participated in multiple shows at her community theatre. Since her family’s move to Boone, Rachel has been very active in both her school and the community. She continued to participate in theatre and music, while also getting involved in sports and student government at Watauga High School. She is a member of The Playmakers and has received key roles in musical productions. She also plays guitar and sings at open mic nights and for the residents of Appalachian Brian Estates. Her dream is to study musical theatre in college and become a professional performer in musical theatre. “I love musicals most of all, and feel that performing is in my blood,” says Rachel.

When asked about the scholarship, Karen Sabo, Rachel’s mom said “Our family was so grateful that Rachel received the vocal music scholarship. She has sung all her life, but before college really wanted to get more professional training.  We found that the summer intensives were too expensive for our family, but she was able to attend the Triple Arts Musical Theatre Intensive because of the help from the Watauga Arts Council.  Now, she’s excelling in her BFA Musical Theatre program at Western Carolina because of the summer intensive. We think this vocal music scholarship is wonderful!”

Rachel said “I loved the Triple Arts Musical Theatre Intensive, and was really glad to get the scholarship from the Watauga Arts Council that meant that I could attend the program.  I learned so much from working with professionals in that program, and it helped me do well with my college auditions. I’m so glad the scholarship exists!”

Scholarship applications are available at the WCAC office at 377 Shadowline, Dr in Boone, on their website at www.watauga-arts.org, and by email requests sent to wcac@watauga-arts.org. The application deadline is Tuesday, May 1st.

Horizon Bistro Welcomes Award-Winning Author S.E. Smith

S.E. ‘Susan’ Smith, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, will appear on stage at the Horizon Bistro, Saturday, May 5, at 3 p.m. The Bistro is located at 38 S. Main Street, Sparta, NC, in the historic Smithey Building.

In her inspirational talk, “From Lemons to Lemonade,” Susan brings to life her true tale of overcoming challenges and fears to become a bestselling author of science-fiction, paranormal, and romance stories with a national and international following.

Smith’s appearance in Sparta was organized by Alleghany Writers and is part of the new schedule of first Saturday performances on the Horizon Bistro stage.

3pm – Writers At The Bistro – Local talent, regional names, national best sellers.

8pm – Acting Up At The Bistro – Trojan Playmakers take the stage for short plays, monologues, and improv.

Food and beverage service will be available. No cover. For more information: ALLWRITE2017@gmail.com.

About S.E. Smith*

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA Today, International and awarding winning author. She writes science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary works for adults, young adults, and children. She has won the New York Times Best Author Award, USA TODAY Best Author Award, and Library Best Book Top 5 Pick. S.E. Smith encourages her readers to reach for the stats, and to embrace the adventures, romance, and true love she writes about. Sesmithfl.com.

About Alleghany Writers

Alleghany Writers provides support to the Alleghany writing community. They focus on community, education, performance, networking, and community outreach. The writing group meets monthly and organizes workshops and other development opportunities for members.

Contact: Ginger Collins – ALLWRITE2017@gmail.com

About Horizon Bistro

Horizon Bistro opens this season under Chef Garrison Wagoner. Wagoner is part of the Alleghany “new authentic,” a young chef who left a budding career at a New York country club, returning home to take over an existing café in the historic Smithey building in downtown Sparta, NC. He is creating an innovative menu that includes dinner service, and adding a schedule of events that include celebrity chef events and a dinner party with NC food blogger, Georgann Eubanks, the Food Pilgrim, in September.

Location Change for May 1 Watauga County Commissioner’s Meeting

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners’ Board Room serves as an official voting place for One-Stop voting.

Due to the dates of One-Stop voting for the May 2018 Primary Election, the location of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, 2018, has changed to the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center located at 252 Poplar Grove Rd, Boone, North Carolina. The meeting will begin at 8:30 A.M.

For information or questions, please call 828-265-8000.

WCRWC Next Monthly Meeting is April 25

The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 25 at the Sagebrush Steakhouse in Boone. The meeting will begin at noon. All interested in furthering the Republican cause in The High Country are welcome to attend and are invited to join. Call 828-295-9020 for more information. The WCRWC meets the last Wednesday of each month. See us on Facebook and learn more.

Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Next Monthly Meeting is May 1

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 1, at 1 p.m.

We meet in the conference room on the second floor of the Senior Center on Poplar Grove Connector in Boone.

Mona Anderson from the Tennessee Sunrise Quilt Guild will present our program. Mona has taught workshops at her guild and will present our program on “Quilt Embellishments”.

Learn how to enhance your quilt by using beads, buttons, fabric paints, fiber, embroidery and many other interesting techniques.

Call Susan at 263-8399 if you have any questions.

Watauga County Cooperative Extension to Offer Mediterranean Cooking Class Series

The Watauga County office of N.C. Cooperative Extension will be offering a Mediterranean Cooking Class Series: Med Instead of Meds for Better Health.

Join this series of four classes on Friday mornings from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. to prepare foods that fit into the classic Mediterranean way of eating, and then enjoy lunch together.

Classes will be held at the Agricultural Conference Center at 252 Poplar Grove Rd, Boone on April 27May 4May 11 and May 18, 2018.

Eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases.  Eating this way is not only healthy, it is delicious and satisfying.  Check out medinsteadofmeds.com.

Class size is limited so reserve your space in advance.  Fee is $60 for all four classes and includes lunch each day.  Payment can be made at the Cooperative Extension office at 971 West King St, Boone, 28607.  We can accept cash or checks only.  Checks should be made payable to Watauga NCCES.

Contact Margie Mansure at margie_mansure@ncsu.edu or Kirsten Dillman at kirsten_dillman@ncsu.edu or call 828-264-3061.

David Holt and the Lightning Bolts Return to Tweetsie Railroad

David Holt and the Lightning Bolts enlivens old-time music with a new time jolt, and a sound that is full, driving and energetic. Shows are at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 26.

  • Seating is on a first-come/first-seated basis.
  • Reservations are not required for the shows.
  • Shows included with regular park admission.

Sponsored by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Date/Time: Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Location: Tweetsie Railroad, 300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Website: https://tweetsie.com/special-events/david-holt-and-lightning-bolts/

Phone number: 828-264-9061

Upcoming Events at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

Coffee with the Curator: Etchings & Lithographs of American Life, 1905-1943
Tuesday, April 24th at 11:00 a.m.

Take a walk through the galleries with Dianna Cameron, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections Director, and get a behind-the-scenes look into Etchings & Lithographs of American Life, 1905-1943. Guests are invited to converse and pose questions while enjoying complimentary cookies (courtesy of Appalachia Cookie Co.) and coffee (courtesy of Hatchet Coffee Co.) at the Museum.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Appalachia Cookie Company and Hatchet Coffee Co. of Boone, NC.
Coffee with the Curator is complimentary with museum admission.

Coffee with the Curator is free for museum members and $5 for non-members. 

Scholars & Scones: The Green Bean Capital of the World: Johnson County, Tennessee
Thursday, April 26th 11:00 a.m.

In the midst of the Great Depression and amplified by World War II; the practice of raising green beans for the rapidly expanding urban markets quickly exploded into a multi-million dollar industry for Johnson County. By 1947, the county had established reliable marketing networks, constructed large warehouses for storage, and was producing the Wade and Tendergreen bean varieties favored by food packers and urban consumers on 5,000 acres of cropland. 

This talk will explore changes in the economic, social, and agricultural structure of the county before, during, and after the bean industry. 

Speaker Bill Ward lives and works in Johnson County, TN. He earned a B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and an M. A. degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. He is employed as an adjunct instructor at King University, is the Deputy Assessor of Property for Johnson County, and raises hair sheep.

Unless otherwise posted, all Scholars & Scones are free to members and $5 for non-members.

Gentle Yoga

Friday, April 27, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

THIS IS THE LAST FRIDAY OF YOGA. We hope to find a new instructor to continue offering Yoga on Fridays. So please, stay tuned for more details!

Join us for Friday morning gentle yoga with instructor Kristina Cocke. Ease into the weekend with some gentle stretches to make your Friday truly great. Class begins promptly at 9 am. This class is donation based. A limited supply of bolsters, blocks, mats and straps will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own. 

Please make sure to RSVP as we are not open until 10 a.m. on Fridays, but will know to expect you. To reserve your spot, call the museum at (828) 295-9099 ext. 3006 or email Willard Watson at programs@blowingrockmuseum.org.

Cork & Canvas – Savor
May 4-5, 2018 (3 sessions)

Create art in a relaxed atmosphere facilitated by trained instructor Raney Rogers. Each participant goes home with a finished work of art inspired by Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows.” All materials, including canvasses, paint, brushes, and aprons, are provided. Wine and light snacks are complimentary.

$40 for BRAHM members, $45 for museum nonmembers.

We will offer 3 sessions of Cork & Canvas on Savor weekend:

Pre-registration is required. Please visit our website for more details and to register.

2018 BRAHM Member’s Trip to Asheville
June 7-8, 2018

BRAHM Invites You To Experience Chihuly in the Garden at the Historic Biltmore Estate!

Dale Chihuly is perhaps the most famous of the many outstanding American glass artists and his work is exhibited all over the globe. He is well-known for his ambitious and immersive site-specific installations in gardens around the world. This is the first time that Mr. Chihuly has created such an exhibit for a garden in North Carolina. 

Join your fellow members of BRAHM for a special getaway to visit the Chihuly Exhibit at the Biltmore Estate and enjoy the artistic charm of Asheville. 

Learn more about Chihuly at Biltmore or view the FULL TRIP ITINERARY