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Today’s Email Announcements

Community Appearance Commission to Meet on Tuesday, June 26

The Town of Boone Community Appearance Commission will meet on Tuesday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Planning and Inspections Department upstairs conference room located at 680 W. King Street.

The following items will be on the agenda:

  1. Adoption of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Discussion of the Downtown Design Guidelines Workshop
  4. Committee Review
  5. Other Matters by Board Members or Staff
  6. Adjournment

An Evening with Lees-McRae President Lee King: A Stephenson Center for Appalachia lecture

The final Stephenson Center for Appalachia Summer Lecture Series event will cap off with a talk from 16th President of Lees-McRae, Dr. Lee King.

His talk titled, The Life Changing Power of Education: A Personal Story, will take place on Wednesday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium of the Cannon Student Center.

The evening will begin with a reception for the new president to provide an opportunity for High Country community members to meet King. Starting at 7 p.m., King will present his talk to discuss the liberating power of pursuing knowledge and gaining academic credentials.

King received his Doctor of Education in educational leadership from The University of Virginia, his Master of Education in educational administration from Lynchburg College and his Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Hampden-Sydney College. He has held vice-presidential positions at Ferrum College, Hollins University and Hampden-Sydney. 

“I charted a professional path that would allow me to utilize my strengths in leading educational institutions, especially ones where faith is prominent in its historical mission of developing young men and women,” King said.  

“We eagerly anticipate King’s program,” Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, Michael Joslin, said.  “He has brought a sense of excitement and anticipation to our campus.”

Stephenson Center Lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Joslin at joslin@lmc.edu.

Upcoming Blue Ridge Parkway Ranger Programs

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

1:30- 3:00 – Informal Upstairs Tour at Cone Manor

From 1:30 to 3:00, the second floor of Cone Manor will be open for a do-it-yourself tour. Rangers will be on hand to answer questions.

 Thursday June 28, 2018

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

10:00– Children’s Hour

Activities may include storytelling, traditional games, and/or hands on simple crafts. An adult or older responsible attendee must stay with children in order for them to participate (best suited for ages 4 – 12) for more information call the Southern Highland Craft Guild at 828-295-7938.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

1:30-3:00 – Informal Upstairs Tour at Cone Manor

From 1:30-3:00, the second floor of Cone Manor will be open for a do-it-yourself tour. Rangers will be on hand to answer questions.

Saturday June 30, 2018

Bass Lake at Cone Manor – US Highway 221

9:00 – Ranger Guided Walk

Join Ranger Chuck for a program about the history of the Cone country estate as we walk around Bass Lake. Meet at the rest station in the Bass Lake parking area.

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

9:00 am & 1:30 – Informal Upstairs Tour at Cone Manor

From 9:00 to 10:30 and again at 1:30-3:00, the second floor of Cone Manor will be open for a do-it-yourself tour. Rangers will be on hand to answer questions.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

10:00, 11:00, 2:00, 3:00 -Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Ranger led tours of the second floor of the former home of Moses and Bertha Cone.

Tour is approximately 45 minutes long and reservations are required. To reserve a tour: call 828-295-3782 or sign up at the NPS information desk at the Manor House. Reservations are accepted beginning at 10:00am Friday for the upcoming weekend only. No advance reservations, please.


Special thanks to Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Eastern National, and FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway for their financial support of these programs.

What’s Happening This Week at Lost Province Brewing Company

Wednesday June 27

7pm-9pm Trivia Night: Beginning at 7pm, Lost Province will be hosting Trivia Night. Compete on your own or on a team! The competition gets started at 7pm so come a little early for a pizza and a pint and get your seat!

Thursday June 28

$3.00 Thursday and College Night-$3.00 pints on all Lost Province brewed beers (except high gravity).

7:30-10:30pm-Live Music with Taylor Wafford. Taylor Wafford is a Music Industry Studies major at ASU. Hailing from North Carolina’s East coast. Her songwriting style is akin to the indie-folk musings of well-known artists such as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes). She is a classically trained vocalist who has adopted her own unique sound, but has been compared to the likes of Norah Jones, Elena Tonra (Daughter), Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso), and others. She is the front-woman and primary songwriter for local indie-folk band The Blue Wild.

Friday June 29

7:30pm-Closing Live Music: Kyle Sigmon. Located in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina, Kyle is a husband, father of 4, a pastor at Faithbridge, and multiple instrument singer/songwriter whose music is a product of his own creative and contemplative explorations, but exists to do more than entertain. The hope is to inspire and stir listeners to find their own art that is their lives given back to the world.

Saturday June 30

7:30-Closing Live Music: Tom Shirley Band. Born and raised in Boone, North Carolina, Tom Shirley has been composing and playing music since the early 1970s. Most of the songs performed by the band were written and composed by Tom. Due to his southern roots, Tom’s songs are an eclectic blend of blues, rock, and country with a strong gospel influence. Like raw food for the soul, his songs will make you smile, shiver, and dance. Covers include songs from classic greats like Cream, The Blues Breakers, Neil Young, Elton John, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Tom plays electric guitar and lead vocals, and is backed up by Kenny Johnson on electric bass, Buzz Dodge on drums, and Tom Whyte on harmonica. All combined, they have over 150 years of experience in the music business!

Free Eye and Ear Screening by Boone Lions Club is Saturday, June 30

High Country residents are invited to have their eyes and ears examined for free when the Boone Area Lions Club hosts the NC Lions Mobile Screening Unit. The unit will be in the Walmart parking lot in Boone on Saturday, June 30 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

The Screening Unit is a statewide project of North Carolina Lions, Inc. and is actually a 60 foot customized van fully equipped to offer free vision and hearing screening. The service will only be a screening not a full eye examination and includes a visual acuity test to test both near and far vision, a field vision test to see how well a person sees motion in the field of vision while looking at a fixed object, and a pressure check for the possibility of glaucoma.  If other eye problems are discovered by an on-site examination by an eye care professional the person will be referred for further examination to a professional eye care specialist of his or her choice.

Trained Lions club members will administer the tests, and examinations will be given by Dr. Jeff Sutton of the Family Eye Care Center and Dr. Mandy Lanier of Western Carolina Eye Associates.

The screening lasts no more than 20 minutes and is an important part of the early detection of serious eye problems. Participants must be at least 6 years old and minors under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the registration form. 

Watauga County Commissioners Meeting on July 3 has been Canceled

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners’ regular monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 3 has been canceled.

The next regular meeting will be held as scheduled on Tuesday, July 17 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the commissioners’ boardroom of the Watauga County Administration Building, located at 814 W. King Street, Boone.

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

Tater Hill Hike for the Blue Ridge Chapter of the NC Native Plant Society is Sunday, July 15

Join the Blue Ridge Chapter and Marietta Shatleroe on a hike to explore the Geum geniculatum on Tater Hill. Marietta received the Shinn Grant through the Native Plant Society and has a lot to share with us about the species and populations. We will have a van take us up the big hill, so the hike is moderate in difficulty and duration. This is an evening hike; we will stay to see the sunset and head down.

Participants may meet at the parking area under the big oak tree at Tater Hill (see directions, below) at 6:00pm, or meet at the Cash Points in the New Market parking lot at 5:30pm to carpool.

Please wear appropriate footwear for walking on uneven ground and natural trail tread, dress for the weather and expect cooler, windy conditions on Tater Hill, and bring water. We anticipate being out well before dark, but since we’ll be out until sunset, a flash light is a good idea.

*Pre-registration is required, as space is limited; reply to this email to register.

Directions to meet with the steward of Tater Hill

The Tater Hill Plant Preserve is dedicated to the protection of NC native plants and is not open to the public on a regular basis. Guided tours are offered through a stewardship program. In order to participate in a workday or wildflower hike, you will be asked to sign a liability waiver as well as an agreement not to return unescorted. Group sizes are limited to reduce the impact visitors have on the preserve.

The best address to use for GPS directions is “1113 Replogle Drive, Boone NC 28607” – note: cell reception drops out frequently as you get closer to the preserve.

From Boone:

1) Follow 421 W towards Mountain City and turn right at Tater Hill Road (steep gravel road)

2) Follow 194 N towards Todd and turn left onto Howards Creek Rd.

Some groups find meeting at the Lowes food/ Cinema parking lot to be convenient for carpooling up Howards Creek to the preserve.

Once at the very top of Howards Creek Rd. Keep an eye out for Tater Hill Estates, Turn onto Replogle drive (Private road with street sign). Drive approximately ¾ of a mile up the gravel road until you see an open area with a large oak tree. The steward will meet you at the oak tree. Parking is limited and a 4×4 is recommended. 

New Mental Health Crisis Center to Serve Children, Teens in WNC

Mental health advocates gathered last Thursday in Asheville to celebrate the upcoming opening of a crisis center for children from throughout western North Carolina.

The Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center, a facility-based crisis and detox program, will be the only program of its kind in the region and only the second statewide. The 16-bed facility will serve children and teens who need crisis stabilization services and 24-hour supervision due to a mental health crisis, substance use or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. It will also provide crisis care to young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The center provides an alternative to hospitalization for children ages 6 through 17. It is named in memory of Caiyalynn Burrell, a 12-year-old Asheville girl who died in 2014 after taking a lethal amount of medication. Her family believes she accidentally overdosed in a “cry for help” due to bullying at school and on social media.

At a ribbon-cutting Thursday, center Director Pam Coppedge read aloud remarks from the family of Caiyalynn, whose middle name was Hope.

“This is a facility that Caiyalynn would have been very proud of and honored to have her name attached to – a place that will help other children that may have lost hope,” her family said. “… We all knew that Caiyalynn would do amazing things in life, and she did. Now she also gets to do them in the afterlife, as well. The Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center has already become a place of hope for the community that it will serve.”

The project was funded through a $1 million grant to Vaya Health, a regional managed care organization, through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Crisis Solutions Initiative. The initiative aims to improve crisis care while reducing avoidable visits to the emergency department and involvement in the criminal justice system. On Thursday, Kody Kinsley, interim senior director of DHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, called the new center a “beacon of hope.”

“We know that 20 percent of kids in the United States have a mental health condition, many of whom are never diagnosed,” he said. “Facilities like this can make a difference.”

Healthcare provider Family Preservation Services of North Carolina (FPS of NC) will operate the facility, with guidance from Vaya. Carson Ojamaa, FPS of NC interim state director, said planning for the center had been underway for more than three years.

“Our mission has always has been, and continues to be, very simple – to help children and teens find a way to make meaning of, and grow from, a crisis experience – whether that be dangerous intoxication, self-harm, ideation or an attempt at taking one’s life,” she said. “As they say a lot in this field, crisis is an opportunity for change. We worked hard to create an environment, and a program, that holds this belief close to heart.”

The center is scheduled to open this summer. It is located at 277 Biltmore Ave. in the space formerly occupied by the Neil Dobbins Center, a crisis center for adults that is now located at C3356 Comprehensive Care Center. Both the child crisis center and the new Neil Dobbins facility were established as part of Vaya’s multi-year Community Reinvestment Initiative to expand and enhance services throughout the region.

“The child crisis center is such an important alternative to the emergency department,” said Vaya CEO Brian Ingraham. “It’s a place focused on the needs of children, with specially trained staff and a supportive, caring environment designed to comfort young people in crisis.”

As part of a collaborative effort, Mission Health, Buncombe County and nearly 100 community agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals across 23 western N.C. counties worked with FPS of NC and Vaya to establish the center.

The cost of treatment will be covered by Medicaid or North Carolina Health Choice for children covered under those plans. Additionally, the center will work with private insurers and other funding options to serve children in need of treatment, including children with no insurance.