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Today’s Email Announcements

1) July Programs at Elk Knob State Park

Trail Work Days: Every Saturday beginning April 4 and running through the middle of November (except June 27 and September 12), staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3 p.m., weather permitting. Tools are provided, but volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent on repair work on the Summit Trail or completing the Maple Run Trail. If you would like to be involved in a fulfilling project that will fill you with a well-deserved sense of pride, then join us on Saturdays at Elk Knob State Park. For more information, please call 828-297-7261.

Snakes of North Carolina: Snakes are often one of the most feared and hated of our creatures yet they are very beneficial and necessary to our environment. Join a park ranger Sunday, July 5 at 2 p.m. and learn, through PowerPoint, more about these wonderful reptiles. Meet at the Park Office.

Black Bears: Come learn about the black bears of the Appalachian Mountains and how to stay safe while you’re out hiking. Meet at the trailhead parking lot Sunday, July 12 at 2 p.m.

Skulls: Are there things you can tell about an animal by examining its skull? Come learn how to “read” the skull of an animal to determine where its place is in the food chain. This is a drop-in program. The ranger will be at the trailhead from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 with the skulls.

Woodland Walk: Come wind around the Beech Tree Trail with a ranger and see the forest in various new ways. Meet at the trailhead parking lot Sunday, July 19 at 2 p.m.

Salamanders: Join a Park Ranger on Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m. to learn about salamanders and how they are great indicators of the state of the environment. Through a PowerPoint program you will learn about the native salamanders found at Elk Knob State Park. Afterwards we will see if we can find any out in the park. Meet at the Elk Knob State Park Office.

2) Organ Recital and Evensong at St. Mary of the Hills on Sunday

A recital showcasing the Lively-Fulcher organ at St. Mary of the Hills in Blowing Rock, given by organist Dr. Charles Brown of Charlotte, will precede the service of Evensong this Sunday, June 28th in the nave of the church.  The recital begins at 3 p.m. and Evensong at 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Brown practices medicine in Charlotte, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Oberlin College and an MMus in Organ Performance from Yale University.

Service music for the June 28th Evensong will include the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis from Weelkes’ Short Service and the Clucas Preces and Responses; the introit will be Bruckner’s lush setting of Os justi (‘The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom’), and the anthem will be O quam gloriosum (“O how glorious’) by Victoria.

The choir of St. Mary’s sings Evensong one Sunday each month through October (there will be no Evensong in July), and everyone is welcome . The choir is currently preparing for it’s biennial sojourn in the U.K. where it will be the choir in residence at Durham Cathedral for a week this summer, singing daily evensong and Sunday morning services.

For more information on this service, please contact St. Mary of the Hills at 828-295-7323.

3) Award-Winning Novelist, Playwright Jim Grimsley to Speak at ASU on July 16

Jim Grimsley, known for his work as a novelist and playwright, will speak July 16 at Appalachian State University.

His talk, sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons, begins at 3:30 p.m. in room 114 in the library. The event is free and the public is invited. A reception and book signing will follow his presentation.

His book “How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood,” published in April by Algonquin Books, has been called “a powerful meditation on race” by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and “a sensitive memoir that probes the past to discover what and how Grimsley learned about race, equality and democracy ‘from the good white people’ in his family and community,” according to Kirkus Reviews.

Grimsley also is the author of the science fiction novels “The Ordinary” and “The Last Green Tree,” and the dark comedy “Forgiveness.”

His other novels include “Winter Birds,” a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; “Dream Boy,” winner of the Award for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature; “My Drowning,” a Lila-Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award winner; and “Comfort and Joy,” a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

He has written 11 full-length and four one-act plays, including “Mr. Universe,” “The Lizard of Tarsus,” “White People” and “The Existentialists.” A collection of his plays, “Mr. Universe and Other Plays,” was published by Algonquin in 1998, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in drama.

Grimsley has been playwright-in-residence at 7Stages Theatre of Atlanta since 1986 and was playwright-in-residence at About Face Theatre of Chicago from 2000-04. In 1988 he was awarded the George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright for his play “Mr. Universe.” He was also awarded the first-ever Bryan Prize for Drama, presented by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1993 for distinguished achievement in playwriting.

A native of eastern North Carolina, Grimsley is a member of the faculty at Emory University.

4) Free Grief Support Offered at Meditation Center in Johnson City

The Appalachian Dharma and Meditation Center invites the public to a free 10-week session called “A Mindful Journey Through Grief: Grief Recovery Support in the Tri-Cities Community,” led by Debra Brewer, a clinically trained chaplain who has experience leading grief support groups for eight years. The support group is for anyone who has lost someone through death; however, the program is open to anyone who has suffered a loss of any kind and wishes to learn more.

The next 10-weekly sessions begin Monday, July 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. at ADMC located at 108 W. 10th Avenue, Suite 3, Johnson City. The sessions involve mindful meditation, group discussion and specific topics to help members demystify grief and gain the support of others going through recent loss. Topics covered are living with grief, your grief and society, the effects of grief, losing your partner, grief and your family, your unique grief, stuck in your grief, spirituality and grief, emerging from grief, and remembrance.

To sign up for the group or learn more about it, please contact Debra Brewer at debibrewer@aol.com or call 423-737-5162.

The Appalachian Dharma and Meditation Center opened in June 2011 and welcomes all to join us for meditation and Buddhist studies. ADMC is located at 108 West 10th Avenue, Suite 3, Johnson City, TN. You can learn more at www.dharma4et.org.

5) SACSCOC Reaffirms Accreditation of Lees-McRae College for 10 Years

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed the accreditation of Lees-McRae College for 10 years. The reaffirmation was announced at a meeting of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees on June 11.

“This is another significant achievement for Lees-McRae,” said College President Barry M. Buxton. “The visiting committee was very complimentary of our progress and reaffirmation only confirms the value of a Lees-McRae degree. I am proud of the work accomplished by the faculty and staff during the lengthy review period.”

SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting agency for institutions of higher education in eleven southern states and Latin America. To ensure institutional quality and accountability, each accredited member must reaffirm its compliance with the principles every 10 years. The principles outlined by SACSCOC include federal requirements and standards in the areas of governance, mission, institutional effectiveness, student learning, curriculum, faculty, academic and student support, and financial and physical resources.

As part of the two-year review process, Lees-McRae College developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). “Your Writing Elevated: Writing for Academic Success and Career Preparation” provides integrated opportunities for students to advance their writing skills in support of their curricular and career-related goals. The plan aligns with the College mission to educate students to approach their life and work from a creative, collaborative, and critical perspective.

“This process has united our College community and made us stronger as an institution,” said Blaine J. Hansen, accreditation liaison and vice president of strategic planning and effectiveness. “We welcomed this opportunity for self-analysis and reflection. We look forward to our continued relationship with SACSCOC and will maintain our efforts to adhere to the accreditation standards now and in the future.”

Lees-McRae College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lees-McRae College.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 950 students hailing from 31 states and more than 8 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.

6) Weekly Events at Lost Province Brewing

Wednesday June 24

8pm-10pm: Join us for an evening of Irish Folk Music with father and son duo Pat and Ricky Kelleher from County Cork Ireland. Pat Kelleher is an accomplished musician and singer and has played and sung for over 30 years and is renowned locally and abroad for his folk singing and five string banjo playing. Ricky is an outstanding up and coming vocalist and guitar player.

Thursday June 25

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

8pm-10pm Live Music: Matt Walsh. Matt Walsh is from Statesville, NC. He does around 200 shows a year with The Low Counts and under his own name. His sound is influenced by anyone from Link Wray to Robert Nighthawk to Black Sabbath. His music has a primary focus is original music and blending his roots with new ideas rather than replicating them. The result reflects many genres of music – early electric and hill country Blues, Rock, old Country, Rockabilly, Soul, Stoner and Garage Rock, Hip-Hop and Psychedelia.

Friday June 26

Freakin’ Firkin Friday at Five continues with a cask aged Strawberry Rhubarb Saison.

8pm-Closing Live Music: Mare Wakefield. “Every star in the sky will shine for you.” In the refrain of Ironwood opener “Enjoy the View,” Mare Wakefield might just be singing from experience. The girl from Southeast Texas went from playing Oregon coffee shops to headlining major Northwest festivals. A songwriting scholarship brought her to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, which boasts alums such as Gillian Welch and Aimee Mann (two of many artists that Mare has been compared to). Currently based in Nashville, Mare—pronounced Mary—continues her upward trajectory by co-writing with hit songwriters and burning up the highways with her fourth studio album in tow.

Saturday June 27- Now Serving Brunch at 10am

8pm-Closing Live Music: Fat Face Band. The Fat Face Band formed 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The trio has since performed throughout the Southern US, including for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Democratic National Convention. Featuring a unique instrumentation (trumpet/melodica, guitar, and tuba), Fat Face blends styles and sounds from New Orleans, traditional Americana, alongside jazz standards, original compositions, and avant-garde. In June 2014 the Fat Face Band traveled to the United Kingdom for a two-week tour sponsored by Apollo Jazz Network and Wessex Tubas.

Sunday June 28- Now serving Brunch at 10am

Lost Province Sunday: Residents of “The Lost Province” (Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Alleghany) receive 10% off food with verification of residency.

6pm-8pm Family Night Live Music: Tom Pillion. Tom Pillion has been playing guitar, singing and songwriting since 11th grade. He grew up on ’50’s/60’s rock, but began playing mostly folk music. In addition to high school and college events, he performed in coffee houses in Hartford CT, Springfield MA, and Cambridge, MA. Tom also played in rock bands during college and in the US Navy. Tom retired from his Navy career in Jan 2014 and moved to Banner Elk, NC. He now plays a mix of acoustic pop, folk, country, and original material at local venues.