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Today’s Email Announcements

Saturday: Watauga County Gospel Singing at Mabel Baptist Church

WHAT:                Watauga County Gospel Singing       

WHERE:              Mabel Baptist Church

                             Old US Highway 421

                             Zionville, NC

WHEN:                May 26, 2018

                             6 p.m.

CONTACT:         Clint Cornett – 828-297-3270

                             Neil Oliver – 828-297-3653

We will be singing from the red book Church Hymnal as well as the new 2018 Jeffress/Phillips song book “A New Song to Sing”.

Low Cost Shot Clinic at Avery County Humane Society June 2

The Avery County Humane Society will be holding a special low coast shot clinic on Saturday, June 2 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Rabies shots will be $10, booster shots will be $15 and feline leukemia shots will be $20. Only cash or checks will be accepted.

The humane society is located at 279 New Vale Road in Newland. For more information, call 828-733-2333.

Blue Ridge Parkway Hosting ‘The Civil War in the Mountains’ Program June 2

On Saturday, June 2, the Blue Ridge Parkway Evening Program will be “The Civil War in the Mountains” with award-winning historian and author, Michael C. Hardy at the Linville Falls Campground Amphitheater at 7 p.m. The amphitheater is located at milepost 316.

The Civil War happened in the mountains of western North Carolina just as it did at Gettysburg and Chickamauga. You will learn more about raiders like the Blalocks, George W. Kirk, and the war in and around Linville Falls.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately 45 minutes.

Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild to Meet June 5

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its meeting on Tuesday, June 5th, at 11:30 a.m. We will meet at the Grace Lutheran Church, 115 King Street (catty corner across from the Daniel Boone Inn).

We are having a luncheon and will be installing our new officers. The Guild will supply soft drinks and there will be salads and desserts for everyone to enjoy. Please bring your favorite quilt for show-and-tell.

Call Dolores at 295-6148 for more information.

Blue Ridge Conservancy Hosting 18th Annual Gamekeeper Auction June 6

The Blue Ridge Conservancy is hosting the 18th annual Gamekeeper Auction on Wednesday, June 6 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Blowing Rock American Legion.

We invite everyone in the community to come out and enjoy an evening of great food and drink provided by local businesses to help support Blue Ridge Conservancy’s mission to protect our North Carolina natural resources.

A silent and live auction and will feature local prizes donated from our community sponsors. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on local art, pottery, vacation packages, and many other items while enjoying food catered by Gamekeeper, and a variety of beer and wines from local vendors including Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Blowing Rock Brewing Company, Booneshine Brewing Company, Lost Province Brewing Company, and Molley Chomper Hard Cider.

Live music is provided by local artist Nate Harris and the Spice Creek Ramblers.

Individual tickets are $30 each or $50 for two. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://blueridgeconservancy.org/ or by calling 828-264-2511. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Nikki, or sign up online

If you are interested in donating an item to auction off at the event, please call the office at 828-264-2511.

The Blowing Rock American Legion is located at 333 Wallingford Street, Blowing Rock.

Watauga County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program Kicks Off June 8

Libraries are often the bridge between one school year and the next and we hope to connect, enrich, and support educational endeavors for youth over the summer. The Summer Reading 2018 program at the Watauga County Public Library and Western Watauga Branch Library encourage everyone to get rocking!

This year’s theme is Libraries Rock. On Friday June 8 at 2 p.m. at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone, we will have our kickoff for summer reading registration; there will be ice cream, face painting, balloon art with Twist the Balloon Man, and other activities. Local musician Tommy Smith will also get folks moving with silly music and dance. This is a time for families to get together, visit the library, sign up for summer reading, and for youth to pick up their reading logs.

To support our community and build family philanthropy, we are asking families to bring a canned good (peanut butter, cereal, etc.) to assist those in need; items will be donated to the Hunger & Health Coalition of Boone. Our summer program is designed to encourage and engage youth to READ, LEARN, and EXPLORE so that valuable skills are sustained over the summer and dare I say, it is also FUN. Where else can you find FREE programs that involve experimental science, magic, game shows, and hissing cockroaches? It may only be at the library.

Parents, grandparents, and caregivers… don’t forget that the Watauga County Public Library has family story time every day at 11 a.m. and Baby Lap Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Library story times help to encourage emergent literacy skills through pre-reading experiences for preschoolers. Parents/caregivers from diverse backgrounds can gain the tools and encouragement to read to, talk, sing, and play with children by participating in family story time. Additionally, awesome alphabet story times with Ms. Lisa Flanigan are happening Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. in June. If you live on the western end of the county, Western Watauga Branch Library has some amazing programs as well. So we hope you join us for some fun and educational activities at your local library!

For more information, check out our website at www.wataugacountylibrary.com, visit our Facebook Page or call Watauga County Public Library at 828-264-8784 ext. 3, or the Western Watauga Branch at 828-297-5515. We are grateful for the support of the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library and the Friends of the Western Watauga Branch Library!

High Country Caregiver Foundation Hosting Benefit Breakfast at Shatley Springs June 8

The High Country Caregiver Foundation is holding a benefit breakfast on Friday, June 8 at Shatley Springs Inn in Jefferson from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

Tickets are $11 per person and proceeds go to benefit the High Country Caregiver Foundation to provide relief for people caring for loved ones in Ashe and Alleghany counties.

For more information, call Heather at 336-846-1008.

NCDOT Seeks Public Comment on Transportation Projects

Starting June 4, North Carolinians are invited to express their opinions about which regional and local  transportation projects should be top priorities in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) – a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects and schedules them for construction. 

The N.C. Department of Transportation combines data and local input to determine which projects will get built, using a formula established in the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law to focus funding on projects that will reduce congestion, improve safety and promote economic growth.

During a public comment period that runs from June 4 through July 9, NCDOT will collect feedback from citizens who express their views at public meetings, online, by phone or in writing.  

Public Meetings

NCDOT’s 14 local transportation divisions will host informal meetings to present proposed projects and to receive public comment. The first meetings are Monday, June 4, in Winston-Salem (Division 9) andThursday, June 7, in Aberdeen (Division 8).  See below for the schedules and locations of all the public meetings.

At each meeting, citizens are invited to stop in and provide input on how the division plans to rank its project priorities. Please note that these meetings are not for maintenance projects, such as patching potholes, resurfacing roads or improving ditches.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for anyone with disabilities who wants to participate in the public meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Lauren Putnam, Public Involvement Officer, at 919-707-6072 or by email atlnputnam1@ncdot.gov as early as possible, so that these arrangements can be made.

Other Ways to Participate 

In addition to the public meetings, NCDOT is offering other options for citizens to provide input startingMonday, June 4, through the STI website (ncdot.gov/sti).  Citizens can send messages to their local division planning engineers or complete a short, interactive survey to identify priority projects.

The online survey features an interactive state map with the proposed projects up for funding.  Citizens can review project information and provide feedback on which projects they think are important. 

The STI website provides the phone numbers and postal addresses of local division planning engineers, for citizens who want to comment on transportation projects by telephone or mail.

In April, NCDOT released data scores for more than 2,100 transportation improvement projects across the state, in the first round of an evaluation process to determine which projects will be scheduled for construction.  Also in April, NCDOT identified 77 high-scoring Statewide Mobility projects that will be programmed for funding over the next decade.

Next Steps

After the comment period ends on July 9, NCDOT will combine the data scores and local input to produce the total project scores. A draft list of the top-scoring Regional Impact projects is scheduled for release in August. A similar process for local input will take place in the fall for local Division Needs projects. 

Once all project scores are finalized, the top-scoring projects will be programmed for construction based on available funding. Other factors may determine whether a project ultimately moves to construction, including the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending limits prescribed by law, and other federal and state funding restrictions.

This information will be used to create the next STIP for the years 2020-2029. NCDOT will release a draft STIP for public comment in January 2019. The final 2020-2029 STIP is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2019.

The STI law, enacted in 2013, established a data-driven process that allows NCDOT to invest transportation dollars more efficiently and effectively.  NCDOT updates the STIP approximately every two years to ensure that it accurately reflects the state’s current financial situation.

Meeting Dates and Locations



For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White and the Gibson Brothers to play at the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival June 16

Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White headline the 24th annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, a family-friendly event set for Saturday, June 16, at Grayson Highlands State Park near Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

Also performing will be the Gibson Brothers, Rachel Eddy, Richard Smith, the Jane Kramer Band, and Wayne Henderson and Friends. Twenty contestants will play to have the chance to win a handmade Henderson guitar, and scholarships will be presented to young musicians studying Appalachian music and the groups that support them. The festival will present more than $38,900 this year, and has presented more than $237,950 in scholarships since 1995.

The outdoor festival features an impressive variety of acoustic music. The award-winning Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White – married for 36 years – will perform with Andy and Rachel Leftwich (fiddle and vocals). Ricky has just been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Gibson Brothers make their second appearance at the festival after collecting more awards from IBMA. Fiddler Rachel Eddy splits her time teaching and performing in Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Richard Smith has been playing since age 5 and was voted national fingerstyle guitar champion in Winfield and is in the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame. Jane Kramer, from Asheville, NC, is also making her second appearance at the festival, this time bringing her band. Wayne Henderson, of Rubgy, Virginia, is well-known for his guitars crafted for Doc Watson, Eric Clapton and other musicians, a unique picking style and his love of sharing the music. Performances run from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bring a chair or blanket and a chair (though no high-back chairs allowed). Meals, ice cream and a variety of concessions will be available, and picnic lunches are welcome. A children’s area will feature free events including lariat artist Doug Smith and his rope tricks, along with crafts and games. Admission is $20, and children 12 and younger get in free. A portion of proceeds will benefit scholarships for young musicians. A state park parking fee will be charged. The festival is open, rain or shine. Full details at www.waynehenderson.org.

Valle Country Fair Grant Applications Accepted Through June 22

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Valle Country Fair Grant

To Apply for a Valle Country Fair Grant:

The members of the Mission and Outreach Commission (MOC) of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross determine the recipients of Valle Country Fair (VCF) Grants. MOC’s mission statement is “to seek Christ in all persons, answering His call to love others and help those in need.” The deadline to apply for a 2018 VCF grant is June 22, 2018. Recipients are selected during the summer. All applicants will receive a letter via email of their grant status no later than mid-August. The Valle Country Fair takes place this year on Saturday, October 20. Grants are awarded about a week afterwards at our church in Valle Crucis.

Requirements for Applicants:

All applicants must be non-profit, charitable organizations serving people in need in Avery and/or Watauga County. Applications must be submitted as an attached PDF file to vcfgrants@gmail.com (this is a change in address from past years). All applications must be received in the inbox by 5 p.m. local time Friday, June 22, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

  1. Application Requirements: All applications should be no longer than 3 pages. Attachments or documents other than proof of charitable, non-profit status will not be considered. The application must include the following information in this order please:
  2. Organization’s name and mailing address; include physical address if different from mailing address.
    2. Name of contact person (or persons) with title, active/current email address and phone number. Should this contact information change before MOC sends out final notifications, it is your responsibility to provide MOC with updated information.
    3. Evidence of organization’s non-profit, charitable organization status, e.g. 502(c)(3) status.
  3. Name, current email address and phone number(s) of organization’s director (if different from “2”).
    5. Name, email address and phone number(s) of organization’s treasurer.
    6. Organization’s mission statement.
    7. A brief description of organization (e.g. programs, activities, population and geographic area served).
    8. Organization’s sources of income. Please include all sources.
    9. Amount of grant request.
    10. How organization will use grant funds if approved. Be specific.
  4. Other Requirements:
  • Applicants must be willing to receive a site visit by MOC members and/or appear
    either in person or via telephone before MOC if requested.
  • Applicants must be willing to provide their organization’s current annual audit.
  • Organizations selected for grants shall supply a poster or banner that illustrates its work and is suitable for outdoor display.
    (Note: Because hand-made posters are exposed to the elements, they might not be returned in their original condition.)
  • We request that one representative from each grantee’s organization participate in the awards ceremony at Holy Cross Church on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Please notify us who will represent your organization to vcfgrants@gmail.com no later than Thursday, October 11, 2018. If no one from your organization is present on Sunday, October 28 to receive the grant, your organization may run the risk of forfeiting the grant.

III. Optional:
Volunteers are always needed at the Fair to participate in a variety of tasks from a couple of days before the Fair through Fair day. Note in your application if your organization is willing to get together a group of volunteers to join in the fun. Please provide a contact name, email and phone number.

Blue Ridge Mountain Club’s Summer Soulstice set for June 23

Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC) will open its gates to the public on Saturday, June 23 to kick-off the season with its annual Summer Soulstice event hosted on the Great Lawn located at Watson Gap Village. BRMC also plans to unveil the newly-completed Amenity Center—which is poised to be the true social center of the thriving and vibrant community—including the new Jasper Clubhouse and Lookout Grill, the Ascent Wellness & Fitness Center and the Great Lawn during the weekend’s festivities.

“We invite friends and families to ring in summer here with us at Blue Ridge Mountain Club,” Jim Pitts, BRMC’s General Manager, said. “Not only will they experience incredible local talent through the forms of music, food and fun, our attendees will also be the first to see our new Watson Gap Village and all that it offers.”

Summer Soulstice is a free outdoor live musical event opening with the Shelby Rae Moore Band followed by the sounds of Soul Benefactor. Locally-made food and craft beer will be available for purchase. Filled with music and family fun, Summer Soulstice featuring al fresco dining, games on the Great Lawn and a bonfire at the new Jasper Clubhouse and Lookout Grill. This is a family-oriented event including activities such as a bouncy house and face painting.

BRMC’s Summer Soulstice benefits Hospitality House, which serves as a homeless shelter facility for seven rural North Carolina mountain counties. Hospitality House will initiate a Tricky Tray Raffle and food vendors will include Taco Bout It, J&J Shaved Ice and Thai Me Up Ice Cream Rolls.

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour Watson Gap Village in its entirety for the first time. Grady Woods, project architect and recipient of Golf Inc. Magazine’s 2016 Clubhouse of the Year award, designed Watson Gap Village. Adam Rice from New Leaf Homes is the contractor on this development and Steve Wyda and Ryan Blau from Vision Design PA are the landscape architects.

About Blue Ridge Mountain Club

In the heart of the High Country of North Carolina, Blue Ridge Mountain Club is, literally and figuratively, a community on the rise. It spans more than 6,000 acres and offers a sanctuary of picturesque mountaintop living amid some of the highest ridgelines at the crossroads of Blowing Rock’s charm and Boone’s conveniences. The mission of Blue Ridge Mountain Club is to continuously nurture the spirit of community by creating meaningful places that facilitate authentic family experiences that become the hallmarks of heritage and tradition across multiple generations. To learn more, call 828.414.3949, visit www.BlueRidgeMountainClub.com or visit Blue Ridge Mountain Club at the Trailhead Welcome Center at 1116 Main Street Suite 2, in downtown Blowing Rock, N.C.

Cannon Memorial Hospital Volunteers Sponsor $5 Jewelry Sale June 25-26

Cannon Memorial Hospital Volunteers will be holding a special $5 jewelry sale at the Oak Room at Cannon Memorial Hospital on June 25 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on June 26 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

All proceeds go to help support the Cannon Memorial Hospital Volunteer program.

The sale will feature a large selection of rings, scarves, necklace sets, bracelets, handbags and more. All items are only $5. Stone and crystal jewelry is 50 percent off.

For more information about the sale, please call Sallie Woodring at 828-737-7538.

CCC&TI Announces Open Houses on Campuses in Hudson and Boone

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will host Open Houses this summer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson and Tuesday, June 26 on the Watauga Campus in Boone.

Prospective students and their families will have the opportunity to: meet faculty, tour the campus, learn about academic programs, explore Financial Aid and scholarship options, and register for classes. There will be free food and prizes while supplies last.

Rising high school juniors and seniors, including home school and private school students, can also learn about free college credits through the Career and College Promise program, which offers pathways in business, engineering, math, social sciences, health sciences and more.

For more information about the Open House event or how to apply or register for classes at CCC&TI, contact Student Services at 828-726-2200 on the Caldwell Campus and 828-297-2185 on the Watauga Campus.

Swing for Scholarships Golf Tournament is Aug. 4

Paul Hagen’s Swing for Scholarships Golf Tournament will take place at Linville Land Harbor Golf Club on Saturday, Aug. 4. There will also be a dinner to follow.

The golf tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

The tournament, presented by Judy and Mike Lilly in partnership with the Cannon Memorial Hospital Volunteers and Linville Land Harbor, is used to benefit local students studying and aspiring to enter the medical field.

Your support is key in our ability to help students realize their dreams. Our annual golf event and dinner is devoted to making a difference in our community. With your support, we are able to provide scholarships for young men and women as they aspire to obtain health care related educations that allows them to have a better future and to make all our lives better by improving health care locally.

 The Paul Hagen Swing for Scholarships is looking for sponsorships and general donations. Your generosity will allow our beneficiaries to follow their dreams – and your heart will smile! With your help, our goals can be met. Sponsorships, general donations, and gifts for the silent auction all make a powerful statement.

Foxx Supports National Defense Authorization Act

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-NC, voted today in support of the H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA). This legislation sets policies and authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense.

Foxx said of the NDAA, “National security is the primary role of the federal government, and today the House of Representatives fulfilled that role by reauthorizing and strengthening our national defense. After years of negligence under the Obama Administration, our military suffers a readiness crisis leaving it underpaid, overworked and ill-prepared to face security threats from our foreign adversaries. The NDAA for FY19 equips America’s warfighters with the resources they need to defend our country, including the largest pay raise in nearly a decade. While we can never truly repay the selfless sacrifices of our servicemen and women, I was pleased to see the House pass this bipartisan legislation to provide them with adequate funding and much-deserved compensation.