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Today’s Email Announcements

American Red Cross to Collect Donations for Hurricane Florence Relief at Saturday’s Appalachian State-Gardner Webb Game

The American Red Cross serving the Blue Ridge Piedmont will be collecting donations for Hurricane Florence Relief during the game between Appalachian State and Gardner Webb on Saturday September 22 at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, NC. The game will begin at 3:30pm.

American Red Cross volunteers and Appalachian State students will be passing buckets in the crowd during the game.

“The effects of Hurricane Florence are still being felt around North and South Carolina and recovery from this storm will take time and resources. We appreciate our partnership with Appalachian State and the generosity of the university’s supporters,” said Scott Loudermelt, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Anyone interested in making a gift to Hurricane Florence Relief can go to www.redcross.org, call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669.

American Red Cross Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter is a United Way agency.

Dog Wash Fundraiser at Bistro Roca Happening This Saturday 

Watauga High School’s volleyball team and the Watauga Humane Society are teaming up for a dog wash fundraiser this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. after Mayview Madness in the parking lot of Bistro Roca.

Bring your dogs by and have the Watauga Pioneers’ volleyball team wash them. The suggested donation is $10 and all proceeds go to help the Watauga Humane Society and the Watauga High School volleyball team.

Please have all dogs on a leash.

High Country United Way Helping Communities Affected by Hurricane Florence

High Country United Way continues to assist our neighbors in need. To aid in this effort, the UWHelpsNC Fund has been established to help High Country residents respond to immediate, and long term, storm and flooding relief requests by local agencies in the areas affected by hurricane Florence. Donations can be made by texting UWHELPSNC to 41444, going to www.highcountryunitedway.org or http://www.unitedwaync.org and clicking on UWHelpsNC. (There a drop-down menu in the link allows you to focus your donations to specific areas of NC.) You may also send a check made out to High Country United Way with Hurricane Florence Relief written in the memo line.

About High Country United way

High Country United Way reaches out to those in need across the area, funding a wide range of programs meeting immediate needs and improving people lives. Our territory is centered in Boone, but stretches to Mitchell County, working in Avery, Watauga, with some resources serving residents in adjoining counties.

Tanger Outlets Hosting App State Homecoming Tailgate September 29


Visit the Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock for the App State Homecoming tailgate event to help kick-off the season of breast cancer awareness from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 29.

Aptly named, the Black, Gold & Pink Tailgate Event, all proceeds will benefit the local High Country Breast Cancer Foundation. They will be accepting registrations for their 5K run on October 27 and selling #TangerPINK cards for $10!

The TangerPINK card is a 25% OFF unlimited use discount lanyard that can be used throughout the month of October at participating Tanger Outlets, Blowing Rock stores.

Also PLANNED to be on site:
Twist The Balloon Man
Fireflies chili, chips and aoili, PINK wine and more….
High Country Grizzlies meet and greet
Appalachian State University Women’s Basketball Team meet and greet
Face Painting ASU Delta Zeta
DJ by Steve Frank

High Country Breast Cancer Foundation 5K Registration Tent

Register to Win Prizes:
Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery gift basket
Signed High Country Grizzlies Football
Signed PINK ASU Women’s Basketball Team basketballs
Linville Falls Winery gift basket

The Appalcart will be driving its regular weekend loop between Tanger Outlets, Blowing Rock and Downtown Blowing Rock, North Carolina, so come for the festivities and conveniently park at Tagner then hop on the Appalcart and stroll beautiful Downtown Blowing Rock!

Boone Water Intake Update

On Feb. 13, 2017 the Harper Corporation and Garney Construction Company, Inc. were provided with the Notice to Proceed on the Boone Water Line, Water Treatment Plant, Intake and Booster Pump Station Project. The following is a project update summarizing recent and future work. There are currently 50 days remaining in the project contract for the Harper Corporation.

The Harper Corporation continues to complete items at the Water Treatment Plant, the Water Intake site and at the Brownwood Road booster pump station. The focus at the Water Treatment Plant has been the completion of filter #4 of 5. Work will now focus on replacement of the filter the 5th and final filter. New roofs will be installed on existing buildings and new pumps have been installed at the High Service Pump Station. At the intake site on the New River, intake screens have been installed and all building slabs have been poured. Work will now focus on construction of the pre-engineered intake building. At the booster pump station, the masonry walls are nearly complete and upon completion, trusses and roofing will be added.

The Garney Construction Company has completed all pipe installation along Brownwood Road, Hwy 421 and New River Hills. The contractor has completed pressure testing section by section of the installed water line. The only significant item remaining involves final testing of the full water line.

‘I Started Screaming and Hollering’, Wilkes County Woman Says of $1 Million Win

April Lee

April Lee of Boomer said a lucky feeling led her to a $1 million lottery prize.

On Tuesday, Lee stopped at the Ashley Farms II on N.C. 268 West in Wilkesboro on her way to work. While she was there, she bought a Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket.

“I normally play the crossword tickets,” said Lee, who works at a packaging plant. “But I was looking at this ticket and something just said to go and get it.”

Lee put the ticket in her lunch bag and forgot about it until her lunch break.

“I started screaming and hollering,” Lee said. “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.”

Lee claimed her prize Wednesday at lotter headquarters in Raleigh. She had the choice of taking an annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. She chose the lump sum. After required state and federal tax withholdings, she took home $423,009. She plans to use some of the money to buy a new home.

“We rent a home right now,” Lee said. “It would be nice to get something closer to where my husband and I work.”

The $10 ticket launched in October 2016 with eight top prizes of $1 million. Since Lee claimed the last top prize, the lottery will take steps to end the game.

Ticket sales from games like Carolina Millions help the lottery raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds are making a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, https://www.nclottery.com.

State Sees Surge in Malicious Email; NC DIT Reminds Email Users to Eye Electronic Communications Closely

Malicious emails sent to the state of North Carolina increased more than 60 percent during the days leading up to the landfall of Hurricane Florence, State Chief Risk Officer Maria Thompson said Thursday. During the week of Sept. 8-14, the state saw significant increases in the number of spam and phishing emails, and in attempts to send viruses to the state’s network. 

Cybercriminals often take advantage of natural disasters such as hurricanes to solicit personal information illegally and to take advantage of vulnerable infrastructures, disaster victims, and volunteers. People should remain skeptical about any email solicitations they receive at home or work, Thompson said.

“Criminals posing as volunteers or disaster relief agencies will try to cheat you during a disaster, and especially during relief efforts,” Thompson said. “Make sure you are donating to legitimate agencies if you choose to help. Don’t let your guard down.”

Taking the following steps will help stop cybercriminals:

  • Carefully look at email and web addresses since cybercriminals will make them look as legitimate as possible, often using variations of spellings. The URL may have a different domain, such as .gov instead of .net.
  • Do not click on links in emails from anyone unless you know and have verified the sender of the email.
  • Take time to look at the sender’s email address. Do not click on any links until you are certain the organization is real. Check the organization’s website for its contact information and use sites such as www.charitynavigator.org to verify a charity organization.
  • Make sure your all anti-virus software is up to date and that you have enacted the anti-phishing software provided by your email client.
  • Phishing emails and phone calls may also try to pose as official disaster aid organizations such as FEMA. A true FEMA representative will never ask for personal banking information, a Social Security number, or a registration number.

The Governor’s Office has activated the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund to accept donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit https://governor.nc.gov/ or text FLORENCE to 20222.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Accepting Entries Beginning October 1

MerleFest, presented by Window World, will begin accepting entries for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC) on October 1. CASC is one of the most acclaimed songwriting contests in roots and Americana music and has a reputation for launching careers as well as drawing attention to important new talent. The contest is split into four genre-based categories including bluegrass, general, gospel, and country. First through third place winners will be chosen in each category at Merlefest 2019, set to take place on April 25 – 28, 2019. MerleFest is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Now in its 27th year, CASC is an extraordinary opportunity for songwriters to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. Aspiring songwriters may submit entries to the contest using the online entry form or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697. All entries received during October and November will receive an early entry discount price of $25 per entry, while submissions received in December and January will require a $30 fee per entry. All lyrics must be written in English and no instrumental entries will be accepted. The deadline to enter is February 1, 2019

Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, which takes place Friday, April 26, during MerleFest. First place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 20-30 minute set on Saturday morning or afternoon.

“We are extremely proud of the career successes achieved by many CASC alumni. Among these are Gillian Welch (1993), David Via (1997, 2001), Johnny Williams (1998, 1999), Tift Merritt (2000), Becky Buller (2001), Michael Reno Harrell (2003), Adrienne Young (2003), Martha Scanlan (2003), Sam Quinn (2006) and Jeanette Williams (2007),” said Lee K. Cornett, coordinator of MerleFest’s CASC. “More recent alumni include Lara Lynn (2011) and Gary Alan Ferguson (2014). Other recent discoveries from the contest are Melody Walker of Front Country and Joseph Terrell of Mipso. I encourage all songwriters to put the final touches on your masterpiece and submit it to the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest!”

MerleFest 2018 Bluegrass winners include: Vickie Austin (1st Place), James Woolsey (2nd Place), and Frank D. Ray (3rd Place) Gospel winners: Beth Lee (1st Place), Bob Hight (2nd Place), and Andy Owens (3rd Place). Country winners: Amanda Fields (1st Place), Marie Bradshaw (2nd Place), Cliff Westfall (3rd Place). General winners: Cliff Ritchey (1st Place), Bryan Elijah Smith (2nd Place), Zander Michigan (3rd Place).

Net proceeds from the contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded over $42,500 to deserving students. For contest rules, ways to enter, and more details about the contest, visit http://merlefest.org/chris-austin-songwriting-contest/

About MerleFest

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

About Chris Austin

Chris Austin, from Boone, North Carolina, worked as a sideman for Ricky Skaggs for three years, singing and playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. During that time, he was discovered by executives at Warner Bros. who offered him a recording contract. While releasing singles including “Blues Stay Away from Me,” “I Know There’s a Heart in There Somewhere” and “Out of Step,” Austin also developed his songwriting skills, as evidenced in “Same Ol’ Love,” recorded by Skaggs in 1991. On March 16, 1991, Austin’s life was cut tragically short when the private plane carrying him and six other members of Reba McEntire’s band, as well as her tour manager, crashed near San Diego. Pete Fisher, then of Warner Songs and former general manager of The Grand Ole Opry, and Kari Estrin, previous “Pickin’ for Merle” video associate producer, initiated the songwriting contest to honor Austin’s memory.

About Window World

Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned offices nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 15 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, the Window World family provides funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which honored the foundation with its Organizational Support Award in 2017. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $8 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports the Veterans Airlift Command, a nonprofit organization that facilitates free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families. Window World has flown over 100 missions and surpassed $1 million in flights and in-kind donations since it began its partnership with the VAC in 2008. For more information, visit www.WindowWorld.com or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, visit www.MerleFest.org.