September 29, 2023 Justice Allison Riggs, newly appointed to the NC Supreme Court by Governor Roy Cooper, will give the keynote address at the Fall Rally of the Watauga County Democratic Party on October 7. The rally will take place at Boone United Methodist Church on New Market Blvd. in the church gymnasium. Tickets to the rally and barbecue are $15 and available online at WataugaDems.com.
September 19, 2023 In perhaps one of the shortest meetings ever by an Avery County Board Commissioners (thirteen minutes and thirty-four seconds) on September 18, a new Strategic Economic Development Committee was named to highlight action taken on an agenda with only a few itemsCommissioners present for the bi-monthly meeting were: Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, and Dennis Aldridge. Other top Avery officials present were: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr., Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill, County Finance Officer Caleb Hogan, and County Attorney Michaelle Poore.
July 27, 2023 The two-week filing period for Tuesday, November 7, 2023 partisan and non-partisan municipal (city, town and village) General Election in North Carolina began at 12:00 noon Friday, July 7 and closed on Friday, July 21 at 12:00 noon. A total of 33 candidates filed in Avery County.All those who filed for a municipal government position in the state were required do so in person at the Board of Election Office in the county in which he or she resides. By Tim Gardner
July 24, 2023 New officers take oath to enforce criminal laws, which include conservation and boating laws, and to faithfully and impartially execute the duties of a law enforcement officer. N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Law Enforcement Division now has16 new wildlife law enforcement officers. The recruits were sworn in during a graduation ceremony held this week in Pinehurst.
July 24, 2023 The two-week filing period for Tuesday, November 7, 2023 partisan and non-partisan municipal (city, town and village) General Election in North Carolina began at 12:00 noon Friday, July 7 and closed on Friday, July 21 at 12:00 noon. A total of 33 candidates filed in Avery County. All those who filed for a municipal government position in the state were required do so in person at the Board of Election Office in the county in which he or she resides By Tim Gardner
July 12, 2023 The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 25th at the Dan’l Boone Inn in Boone, NC. The meeting will begin at 6:00:PM. All interested in furthering the Republican cause in The High Country are welcome to attend and are invited to join. Call 828-832-6864 for more information. See us on Facebook and learn more.
July 10, 2023 Governor Roy Cooper (D) stopped in Jefferson Thursday to tour Ashe Developmental Day School and highlight the need to make investments in early childhood education. Cooper toured the center as he spoke with staff and met children in their classrooms. “I know you all have really done good things with the schools and programs here in Ashe County,” Cooper told staff members. “This is such important work you’re doing and I want to get you more help.” By Zack Hill
July 10, 2023 At noon on July 7, candidate filing for High Country municipal elections officially opened. Catherine “Cat” Perry was first in line. Cat announced her candidacy for Blowing Rock Town Council at a campaign launch in Blowing Rock on June 12, but filing on Friday felt different.
June 30, 2023 Governor Roy Cooper has re-appointed Dr. Michael Behrent to a two- year term as Chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections. The North Carolina State Board of Elections has re-appointed Eric Eller and Matt Walpole and appointed Leta Council and Elaine Rothenberg to two- year terms to serve as Members of the Watauga County Board of Elections.
June 30, 2023 For several years, the Avery Board of Commissioners have worked feverishly to establish Broadband Internet Service throughout the county as state officials have done the same to get it all across North Carolina. Avery County Commission Chairwoman Martha Hicks said obtaining Broadband Internet service throughout Avery County is one of her and her fellow-commissioners’ top priorities. In addition to Hicks, Avery’s commissioners currently consist of Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr., Dennis Aldridge, and Robert Burleson.strong> By Tim Gardner
June 29, 2023 Raleigh, N.C. — The State Board of Elections on Tuesday unanimously approved temporary rules related to the implementation of the photo ID requirement for voting in North Carolina elections.Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in person and via absentee ballot, starting with this fall’s municipal elections. The agency is proposing rules to ensure uniform, standard implementation of the photo ID requirements in all 3,000-plus polling locations and among all 100 county boards of elections.
June 29, 2023 The Boone Town Council unanimously approved the 2023-24 fiscal year budget at a regular meeting Wednesday. The balanced budget totals $36,624,708, a 0.98 percent decrease from last year’s, with a tax rate of 37.5 cents per $100 based on a total valuation of $2,240,547,669 for the general fund and 15.75 cents per $100 for the municipal service district based on a total valuation of $149,777,930. It also includes a 10 percent cost of living increase for all town employees that takes effect July 1. By Zack Hill
June 27, 2023 RALEIGH, N.C. – The State Board of Elections is reminding educational institutions and government agencies of this week’s deadline to apply to have their student or employee photo IDs approved for voting purposes in the 2023 municipal elections.
June 26, 2023 The Watauga County Commissioners approved a revised budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year at a special meeting Thursday night. A previous iteration of the budget had been rejected in a 3-2 vote earlier this month. The 3.18 cent property tax and overall $94 million dollar budget remain the same as initially proposed but changes were made elsewhere to bring the commissioners’ differing priorities into agreement. By Zack Hill
June 14, 2023 Raleigh, N.C. — The State Board of Elections later this month will host a public demonstration of a new voting system under consideration for use in North Carolina elections.The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 27 in Room 2009 (OSBM Commission Room) on the Second Floor of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., downtown Raleigh.system
June 7, 2023 In a county commission form of government, a body of elected commissioners is responsible for both the executive and the legislative duties, meaning they enact local policies by adopting
resolutions and ordinances and then administering them. They also set a county’s property tax
rate, adopt budgets, oversee spending and supervise county employees. By Tim Gardner
May 31, 2023 Approval of the county’s $37,131,681.00 Fiscal Year 2023-2024 General Fund budget highlighted the Avery Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, June 5. All commissioners–Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson–were present for the meeting, as were County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr., Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill, County Finance Officer Caleb Hogan and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. By Tim Gardner
June 5, 2023 Raleigh, N.C. The State Board of Elections invites the public to comment on two temporary rules proposed to implement the photo ID requirement for in-person and absentee-by-mail voters in North Carolina, beginning with the 2023 municipal elections.These rules are necessary to ensure uniform implementation of the photo ID requirement by all 100 county boards of elections and in all 3,000-plus polling locations. They are similar to rules adopted by the State Board and approved by the Rules Review Commission in prior iterations of the photo ID law.
May 25, 2023 After spending months in deliberation about the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget, the Avery County Board of Commissioners, which consists of Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson, has finished a proposed 2023-2024 fiscal year budget.The proposed General Fund budget totals $37,131,691.00 and includes $2,625,210.00 in appropriated fund balance. Under its terms, the county’s tax rate will be 40 cents per $100 valuation. That includes 33.5 percent in general tax and 6.5 percent in fire tax. The proposed budget includes no over-all tax increase. But the fire tax was increased by one cent from 5.5 cents. By Tim Gardner
May 23, 2023 WATAUGA- A recent Business Session held on May 17th, 2023 at the New Hanover County Government Center in Wilmington, NC solidified votes for Jennie Hanifan to be appointed to Watauga Supervisor for Soil and Water Conservation.
May 23, 2023 RALEIGH, NC – The following are 10 facts about North Carolina’s photo ID requirement for voting:
1. Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the 2023 municipal elections. Those elections occur in September, October, and November, depending on the town or city. (Find your local election details at ncsbe.gov/voting/upcoming-election.)
2. Most voters will simply show their NC driver’s license, but many other types of photo ID will be accepted. See the list of acceptable IDs atncsbe.gov/voter-id.
May 15, 2023 A local community group is asking Watauga County Commissioners to adopt a minimum housing standard. 27 counties have adopted similar standards that give renters a viable way to handle unaddressed maintenance or safety issues with the county, instead of pursuing legal action.Counties employ minimum housing standards to ensure renters have basic needs met by addressing things like:Safe and functional electric, plumbing, and heating systems Intact floors, foundations, and stairs
Windows and doors that are weather-tight and pest-proof
May 15, 2023 The Boone Town Council took up two controversial pieces of state legislation at its meeting Tuesday, May 8th, voting to oppose a Senate measure that would reduce local control of housing development and agreeing to support a House bill that would remove the literacy requirement for voting from the state’s constitution.
Senate Bill 317 is known as the “Addressing the Workforce Housing Crisis” bill. Its stated aim is to “address housing shortages for firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, nurses, first-responders, and other vital workers and first-time homebuyers.” Critics of the bill argue that it strips oversight of planning and development from local government and places it in the hands of state regulators who are less familiar with community needs. By Zack Hill
May 15, 2023 During their 2023-2024 fiscal year budget workshop on May 11th, the Avery County Board of Commissioners approved selling the old Avery CARES Building and the property on which it sits in Newland.
All commissioners-Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson were present at the workshop.
Unlike a regular monthly, bi-monthly, special called or emergency meeting, a Board of Commissioners cannot take a vote on any issue or issues during a workshop by State of North Carolina law. However, commissioners can take action concerning an issue or issues by a consensus. By Tim Gardner
May 3, 2023 Avery County Commissioners received several inquiries from prospective buyers of the Avery CARES Building and the land where it sits during their regular monthly meeting, May 1st in their Board Room in the County Administration Building in Newland.
All commissioners were present for the meeting–Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson. Before the meeting the commissioners, County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. and Department of Social Services officials broke ground on the new DSS office complex. By Tim Gardner