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Today’s Email Announcements

This Week Marks National Fire Prevention Week

Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.

The Boone Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ­‑‑ the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years ‑‑ to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”

Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.

Captain Amy Flieg of the Boone Fire Department says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

  • Look for places fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn 2 ways out of every room.

While NFPA and the Boone Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Captain Flieg. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

The Boone Fire Department will be visiting all the area preschools and elementary schools to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn” and to educate on what to do in case of a fire.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

High Country Operation Medicine Cabinet Happening October 13

On Saturday, October 13th, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention (WSAP – wsap.org) coalition are partnering together for an Operation Medicine Cabinet Take Back Event.  It will take place from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM at the following 4 locations:

  • Food Lion, Boone (Blowing Rock Road)
  • Food Lion, Deep Gap (Hwy. 421)
  • Food Lion, Blowing Rock
  • Foscoe Fire Department 

Please help us keep pharmaceuticals and controlled substances off the streets and out of our rivers!  Turn in your unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and medical supplies (this includes syringes and needles, as long as they are capped) – no questions asked.  For questions or more information please call the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office at 828-264-3761.  You can also dispose of your unused and unwanted medication at any of the six, permanent, anonymous drop box locations across Watauga County.  These locations accept prescription and over the counter medications but not syringes and needles (sharps):

Appalachian State University Police Department

461 River Street, Suite B, Boone, NC 28607

Phone: 828-262-2150

Hours: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Blowing Rock Police Department

143 Park Ave, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA

Phone: 828-295-5210

Open 24/7 (Outside), Office is M-F 8-5pm

Boone Drug at Deerfield

345 Deerfield Rd, Boone, NC 28607, USA

Phone: 828-264-3055

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 8a-9p, Sun 12:30p-6p

Boone Drug at New Market

245 New Market Centre, Boone, NC 28607, USA

Phone: 828-264-9144

Hours: Mon-Sat 9a-7p, Closed Sunday

Boone Police Department

1500 Blowing Rock Rd, Boone, NC 28607, USA

Phone: 828-268-6900

Hours: M-F 8-5pm, Lobby Open 24/7

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office

184 Hodges Gap Rd, Boone, NC 28607, USA

Phone: 828-264-3761

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

More on Watauga County

AppHealthCare conducts the Community Health Assessment every three to four years. The number one health priority in Watauga County during this most recent assessment period is substance use and misuse prevention.  In 2016, an estimated 5 individuals died every day for drug overdose in North Carolina.  This is a drastic increase from 363 in 1999 to 1,851 in 2016, a 410% change over the last 17 years.  Across Watauga County, the percent of unintentional overdose deaths between 2012 to 2016 was 11% compared to North Carolina’s rate of 12.2%. Part of the challenge is the amount of opioid pills being dispensed per person in Watauga County: 50.2 pills dispensed per person in 2016.  Although lower in comparison to the 66.5 pills per North Carolina resident, this is still a significant number.

AppHealthCare recently launched SaveALifeNC.com, a website that connects visitors to key resources and shares critical knowledge including a video demonstrating how to use naloxone, the life saving opioid overdose reversal medication. The purpose of the website and broader campaign is to increase awareness of the risks of opioid poisoning, signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, where to access, and how to administer naloxone in the event of an overdose.  This campaign is aimed at reaching individuals with an opioid use disorder and their networks.  It is a consolidated place to learn about resources to foster connection to treatment.

What else can you do to be a part of the solution?

  • We all must do our part to combat the opioid crisis. 
  • Visit savealifenc.com to learn about how to get and administer naloxone in the event of a loved one’s overdose.
  • Help decrease stigma by letting people know that addiction is a chronic disease. Reach out to family members or friends who feel isolated and are struggling. Remember that sharing your own personal story of how addiction has impacted you can be very powerful.
  • Talk with your children and teens about the risks of using substances, including opioids. 
  • Unsecured and improperly disposed of medications are the number one source of access for children, teens, pets, and those seeking to misuse or divert. When medication falls into the wrong hands, those you love can become victim to harm, overdose, and even death by misuse or accidental ingestion.

Students Can Begin Filing for Financial Aid

Beginning Oct. 1, incoming and current college students may complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, students seeking in-state tuition or state grants in North Carolina may complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS).

To determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid, college-bound students should complete the FAFSA. The first step is to obtain a Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) for the student and one parent/legal guardian. The FSA ID will give students access to the Federal Student Aid online system and can also serve as a legal signature. Oct. 1 is the first day that the FAFSA may be completed for the 2019-2020 academic year; tax information from 2017 should be used to complete the form. Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible because North Carolina will make awards until grant funds are depleted.

Another important step for receiving financial aid is establishing in-state residency through RDS. It’s important to confirm residency regardless of what North Carolina college or university a student plans to attend.  RDS determines a student’s eligibility for in-state tuition and state grants. It is ideal for students to use RDS before applying to North Carolina schools. After completing the form, students should save their Residency Certification Number (RCN) for their records. RDS may be completed at any time, and the RCN will be valid for 15 months, so students planning to attend college in the fall are well within that time frame.

 “Completing the FAFSA and RDS early will help students take advantage of important financial aid opportunities. Because North Carolina state financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, now is the time to apply to ensure you receive the aid for which you are eligible,” says Laura Morgan, Vice President of Communications, Savings, & Legal Affairs at College Foundation, Inc.  “Financial aid is a very important piece of the college application process, and students should apply right away even if they haven’t yet determined where they may attend school.”

During the month of October, CFNC is hosting its annual college access event, now known as NC Countdown to College. The first two weeks of the event will focus on RDS and FAFSA completion. Students and families are encouraged to visit the NC Countdown to College website and consult with high school counselors to receive assistance to successfully apply for financial aid, both on a state and federal level. In addition to NC Countdown to College, CFNC collaborates with the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the State Employees’ Credit Union to sponsor FAFSA Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Visit CFNC.org/FAFSADay to find more information on locations around the state where students and families can go to receive assistance on completing the FAFSA.

Students interested in participating in NC Countdown to College should first make a profile with College Foundation of North Carolina.  CFNC assists students and families as they plan, apply and pay for college. To access additional resources and information, learn more about CFNC and prepare for NC Countdown to College, visit CFNC.org.

High Country Jazz Society Hosting Final Concert of the Season October 14

This Sunday, October 14, will be the final concert of the 2018 season, featuring the ASU Jazz Ensemble. The concert will be happening at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock at 5 p.m.

For reservations, call 828-264-6860 and leave your name and how many are going to be in your party. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis. There will also be sandwich and salad options to eat, which is also a first-come-first-served basis.

Tickets are $20 per person, $5 per student and tickets are free for all High Country Jazz Society members.

Tenor to Sing Final Performance of the Season in St. Mary’s Concert Series October 14 

Jacob Smith

Tenor Jacob Smith will present the last concert in the Sunday afternoon concert series at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 14th, at 3 pm.  Smith is a Vocal Performance / Sacred Music major at Appalachian State University, where he studies voice with Dr. Gennard Lombardozzi and double bass with Dr. Adam Booker.  Smith will present a wide-ranging program, including selections from Handel’s Messiah, works by Ralph Vaughn Williams, and favorite songs from Broadway musicals.

Smith grew up in Carteret County, where he discovered his love of musical theater, and went on to study voice with Dr. Jessie Wright Martin at Wingate University, before coming to AppState to continue his studies. Smith has performed in H.M.S. Pinafore, Pippin, Grease, Annie, Dream Girls, and Honk! The Musical, as well as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. He was a state and regional finalist in the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Vocal Competition.  Smith is currently a choral Section Leader at St. Mary of the Hills, where he is a frequent soloist as well as Director of the Youth Choir.

St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church is on Main Street in Blowing Rock and presents a series of Sunday afternoon concerts featuring students and faculty from Appalachian State, as well as other regional musicians, throughout the season. For more information, please contact St. Mary’s at 828.295.7323, or follow us on Facebook @ MusicfromStMaryoftheHills.

Watauga County Parks and Recreation Now Hosting Pickleball on Sundays

People interested in playing pickleball now have another day during the week to have that opportunity. In addition to each Monday and Wednesday from 1-4 p.m., pickleball will now be played on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at Old Cove Creek. Players can play for $2 per session and games are open to beginners and advanced players.

Watauga Parks and Recreation also has two more trips scheduled before the end of 2018. The first trip will be on Tuesday, November 13 to the Southern Christmas Show. The trip leaves the parks and recreation office at 8 a.m. The cost of the trip is $15 and you will be responsible for your own lunch. The final trip will be on Thursday, December 13 to see Elk at the Barter Theater. The trip leaves the parks and rec office at 10 a.m. The cost for this trip is $35 and you are responsible for your own lunch.

Goodnight Brothers Issues Statement Regarding Johnston County Ham Product Recall

You may already be aware that on October 3, 2018 Johnston County Ham Company, USDA Est.# 2646 located in Smithfield, North Carolina issued a recall on one of their products. The product that is being recalled is a Fully Cooked Country Ham Deli Loaf that carries the Est# 2646. One of the labels used on this product produced by Johnston County Ham Company is blue and white Goodnight Brothers Fully Cooked Boneless Ham label. This product was the only item affected by the recall that was produced for Goodnight Brothers. All items produced and distributed by Goodnight Brothers, USDA Est# 7431 which include any of the brands listed below are not affected in this recall. The following brands are produced by Goodnight Brothers EST# 7431 and are NOT affected by the recall: Watauga Country Ham, Watauga County Mountain Cured Ham, Blue Ridge Country Ham, Dan’l Boone Inn Brand Country Ham, Goodnight Brothers All Natural Country Ham, Goodnight’s Dry Cured Bacon, Goodnight Brothers Pork Skins and any other product or brand stamped with our USDA Est# 7431. If you have any questions, feel free contact us directly. Once again, the only product affected carries the USDA Est# 2646 and was NOT produced by Goodnight Brothers.

Bill Goodnight, Vice President, 828-265-8566

Tony Snow, Sales Manager, 336-414-3110

Heather Messer, Customer Service, 800-828-4934


Bill Goodnight Vice President Goodnight Brothers

Watauga County High School Hosting Senior Family Night on October 18

Watauga High School is hosting a Senior Family Night on Thursday, October 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Seniors who are considering any form of post-secondary education and their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to attend. Members of the student services department will be here to help you secure financial aid, fill out applications, and answer any questions you may have; representatives from Appalachian State, Caldwell Community College, and State Employees’ Credit Union will also be in attendance.

This should be a valuable and informative event; we look forward to seeing you there!

Teaching Math and Literacy in the Garden 

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is pleased to announce a workshop on Teaching Math and Literacy in the Garden. The workshop will occur on October 27th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Mountain Pathways school.

At the workshop, participants will learn hands-on skills that will help them complete school garden projects, come away with easy to implement lesson plans that teach curriculum standards, and earn CEUs. Participants will be grouped based on the age group they work with and will rotate through three learning stations. The first learning station will focus on season extension and will be taught by Lon Coulter of Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy. “Growing Success in your School Garden” will be taught by Mountain Pathways teacher and Farm Camp director Kristy Hackler. “Reading, Writing, and Relaxing in the Garden” will be taught by Lettuce Learn founder and BRWIA Executive Director, Courtney Baines. Continuing education credits (.6 CEUs) will be offered through Appalachian State University’s Math and Science Education Center for K-8 North Carolina school teachers (in Math, Science, Literacy and/or Technology). Lunch will be provided by Lost Province Brewing Company.

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture wanted to host this workshop to showcase the possibilities for teaching curriculum standards to children of all ages in a school garden. “We want to encourage teachers to bring students to the garden as frequently as possible” says Luci Hancock of BRWIA. “ That being said, we know what a challenge it can be to fit garden time into an already packed schedule. So we want to highlight how teachers how they can use the garden as a tool to teach STEM, literacy, social studies, and more. Our goal is to make teaching in the garden as easy as possible for teachers, and we hope teachers will leave this workshop feeling like it’s not just doable to bring their students to the garden, but valuable and important.”

This workshop is a part of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s Lettuce Learn school garden support program, which works to support teachers, child care professionals, and school leaders to create and maintain edible landscapes for learning, by providing help where they need it most: staff, training, and resources. Lettuce Learns goal is to create impactful educational opportunities that engage children with their natural world, enable them to make healthy choices, and encourage them to help build sustainable communities.

Workshop Details

Location: 453 Howard’s Creek Road, Boone NC 28607

Date: October 27th, 2018

Time: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: Suggested donation of $10-$30. Scholarships are available for public school teachers. Email luci@brwia.org for more information on receiving a scholarship.

Registration: https://www.lettucelearn.org/teaching-math-and-literacy.html or by calling 828-386-1537

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is dedicated to strengthening the High Country’s local food system by supporting women and their families with resources, education, and skills related to sustainable food and agriculture. We do this by providing opportunities for women farmers to share knowledge, hosting a Farm Tour, providing opportunities for consumers to learn about self-sufficiency and connecting everyone to our local agricultural heritage and landscape. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture currently serves: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, Wilkes, Watauga, and Yancey Counties in North Carolina as well as Johnson County, Tennessee.

For more information about this workshop, please contact Luci Hancock at luci@brwia.org

Friends of the Ashe County Public Library Receives $25,000 Grant

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation has provided $25,000 to Friends of the Ashe County Public Library for the Appalachian Regional Library through its Ribbon of Hope grant. Grant funds will be used to construct three Story Walks, one in each county of the regional public library system – Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes.

A Story Walk is a deconstructed storybook mounted on a series of posts along an outside path. The colorful story entices children to walk along the path, and they or their caregivers read the story aloud as they follow from story board to story board. Activity and literacy tips are included on the picture boards and parents can enrich the reading experience by asking questions, challenging the child to something like skip or hop to the next picture board, or stopping to closely examine the page to find a particular object. Story Walks can be described as self-service story times.

The Watauga County Public Library is partnering with Watauga County to locate a new Story Walk at the Tot Lot in Boone (231 Complex Drive). The grand opening for this Story Walk will be on Saturday, October 20 at 11:30, with the featured book Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel. Snacks will be provided and children can create their own spider under the pavilion. In case of inclement weather, the grand opening event will be at the Watauga County Public Library, 140 Queen Street, Boone.

For questions, contact Monica Caruso at 828-264-8784, ext. 4.

Attorney General Josh Stein Fights to Stop Illegal Robocalls and Spoofing that Plague Consumers

Attorney General Josh Stein today called on the Federal Communications Commission to create new rules to allow telephone service providers to block more illegal robocalls being made to North Carolinians. In addition to taking today’s action, Attorney General Stein is leading a bipartisan working group of forty State Attorneys General to tackle this problem.

“Robocalls are not only extremely annoying, they’re also a way to scam North Carolinians, including seniors and other vulnerable people, out of their hard earned money,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That is why I am calling on the FCC to create new rules that will allow telephone service providers to block illegal robocalls.” 

The formal comment to the FCC explains that scammers using illegal robocalls have found ways to evade a call blocking order entered last year by the FCC. Despite the FCC’s order, robocalls continue to be a major irritant to North Carolinians. In the last three years, telemarketing and do-not-call complaints have ranked as either the first or second most frequent consumer complaints filed with our office. In many years, we have received more than 5,000 complaints about telemarketing and do not call violations – out of an approximate 20,000 complaints each year.

“Spoofing” allows scammers to disguise their identities, making it difficult for law enforcement to bring them to justice. One tactic on the rise is “neighbor spoofing,” a technique that allows calls – no matter where they originate – to appear on a consumer’s caller ID as being made from a phone number that has the same local area code as the consumer. This manipulation of caller ID information increases the likelihood that the consumer will answer the call.

To date, the FCC has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning additional provider-initiated call blocking. The Attorneys General anticipate that further requests for comments will take place on this subject.

Attorney General Stein was joined on the comment by the Attorneys General of Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection.

For a copy of the comment, click here.

Patricia Alexander Honored as Founder Emeritus of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) Board of Trustees honored long-time supporter Patricia Alexander as museum Founder Emeritus at the Alexander Arts Lecture on Sunday, October 7.

Husband and current Founder Emeritus Welborn Alexander was in attendance and accepted the honor with her. Mrs. Alexander has been an active and gracious advocate of the museum long before it opened its doors in 2011. She helped keep building contributions flowing in even during the economic crisis. Her dedication to artistic expression, education, and the Blowing Rock community has enlivened the town and made BRAHM a cornerstone of culture in the local area. We thank Mrs. Alexander for her continued service to the arts in the High Country.

Public Art Sculpture Washed and Waxed; Girl Scout Troop Rises to the Challenge 

Girl Scouts are known for their community service, engaging in challenging and fun activities, while learning new life skills, connecting with the community and fostering talent.  On Sunday afternoon, Troop 10004 of the Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont council rose to the occasion when asked if they would like to participate in a new and different project initiated by artist/sculptor, Brenda Councill, a former girl scout.  

The Elliott Daingerfield sculpture was permanently installed on the grounds of Edgewood Cottage and was dedicated in 2017 by Dr. Lawrence Wheeler, CEO of the North Carolina Museum of Art.  Troop leader, Tammie Hill assembled the girls who were particularly interested in art and wanted to learn more about the famous artist Elliott Daingerfield and about the creation of bronze sculptures.  The girls, Kyler McPeters, Annabelle Stewart and Ellie Hege performed the important process, “ conservation of public art ”.  They followed Ms. Councill who initiated a step-by-step best practices approach to properly cleaning and maintaining the bronze.  And it was no easy task.  The bronze must be meticulously cleaned of surface dirt using special brushes, lint-free cloth and even a toothbrush. It is then washed using special cleaners and rinsed with distilled water.  And then an application of clear wax covers and protects the surface for another 6 months.  Each step the girls learned the importance of why all public art needs to be maintained.  And they learned about Mr. Daingerfield’s artwork, his rise to national recognition and visited Edgewood Cottage, his first studio in Blowing Rock. 

“As part of their commitment to being active community members, these girls completed a service project to benefit the Town of Blowing Rock and The Blowing Rock Historical Society that maintains the sculpture.  They earned a fun patch for their uniforms that will be a momento of their hard work.” Troop Leader Hill related. The girls were proud to be a part of this important task and they learned about the artist who sculpted the artist!

Horizon Bistro Welcomes Southern Novelist Kathleen Grissom to the Bistro stage November 3


Kathleen Grissom, New York Times Bestselling novelist, will appear on stage at the Horizon Bistro, Saturday, November 3, at 3 pm. Recognized for book  club favorite, The  Kitchen House, and follow up novel, Glory Over Everything, Grissom  is known as an engaging speaker  and presenter. She will read excerpts from her work and share research on her latest project, the true life story of Native woman, Mary Crow. Grissom is especially interested in meeting local and regional book club members while in the area.

The program is open to the public. An afternoon dessert menu will be available with beverage service. Reservations available: 336-372-7444. Horizon Bistro is located at 38 S. Main Street, Sparta,  NC, in the historic Smithey Building. Parking on Main Street or in parking lot at rear of building.

Grissom’s appearance was organized by Alleghany Writers as part of their ongoing schedule of art and literary programs on the Horizon Bistro stage. AW also offers educational workshops and a monthly meeting for local writers. They are active supporters of Writing Across the Curriculum in Alleghany County  Schools. Visit AlleghanyWriters.com for more information.

ABOUT KATHLEEN GRISSOM: Born and raised in Saskatchewan,  Kathleen Grissom is now happily rooted  in south-side Virginia, where she and her  husband live in the plantation tavern they renovated. This will be her first visit to Alleghany County. Learn more at KathleenGrissom.com

Email us: info@AlleghanyWriters.com