April 5, 2023 Avery County government officials are asking for input from the county’s citizens about National Opioid Settlement Funds during a special meeting on Monday, April 24th in the Board of Commissioners room suite on the second floor of the county’s administration building, located at 175 Linville Street in Newland.
March 20, 2023 The office of Watauga County Register of Deeds was recognized on March 16 by the Watauga County American Legion Post 130 for its ongoing service and support of the local veterans organization. During the post’s first Thursday morning coffee social for 2023, spokesman Ralph Earp said there were numerous people who work behind the scenes to help the veterans stay active and informed of services, programs and benefits of which they might not otherwise know. By Sherrie Norris
March 13, 2023 The Boone Town Council met Wednesday, March 8, with council members Becca Nenow, Dalton George and Virginia Roseman in attendance as well as Mayor Tim Futrelle and Mayor Pro Tem Edie Tugman. The council heard a great deal of public support for the current Boone Greenway Skate Park and for the continuation of the project. JP Pardy, owner of Recess Skate and Snow who is spearheading the project, spoke about how much of a success the park has been for community members. By Zack Hill
March 10, 2023 The Watauga County Commissioners met on Tuesday, March 7, to discuss several agenda items including the introduction of Watauga County First Responders Week, dispersement of an opioid settlement agreement and details of an evolving plan to tackle invasive plant species. Commissioners Ray Russell, Braxton Eggers and Todd Castle were in attendance as well as chairman Larry Turnbow and vice-chairman Charlie Wallin. By Zack Hill
March 6, 2023 Known for her bubbly personality, down-to-earth demeanor and the high principles of Christian living she exemplifies, Renee Dellinger is also noted by her colleagues, Avery citizens and many others for her expertise and being a quintessential fit as the county’s Register of Deeds as well as one of the region’s longest-tenured public servants. By Tim Gardner
February 27, 2023 Raleigh, N.C. — In 2023, county boards of elections across North Carolina will conduct several important and required processes designed to keep the state’s voter rolls accurate and up to date. These routine processes are required by state and federal laws. Accurate voter rolls are maintained by removing voters who have moved or died or are otherwise ineligible to vote in that jurisdiction. Voter roll list maintenance is important because it ensures ineligible voters are not included on poll books during elections.
February 27, 2023 The Boone Town Council held a regular meeting session on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Town Council chambers at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. Eric Woolridge of Destination by Design, a local planning and development firm working with the council and county via the Imagine Watauga Initiative to create and enhance various parts of Boone’s public lands and other assets, presented several ideas and proposals ranging from work on the Greenway to creating a green space downtown above a parking deck. By Zack Hill
February 27, 2023 The Avery County Boards of Education and Commissioners held a joint public meeting on February 21 at the Board of Education Central Office, (775 Cranberry Street) in Newland. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss updates of the federal and local budgets, Avery County High School construction and walk throughs at each public school in the county by both governing bodies. By Tim Gardner
February 16, 2023 Raleigh, NC – Today Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford, Majority Whip) filed HB 98 – Medical Freedom Act – which prohibits state and local government from issuing COVID vaccine mandates.
The bill would prohibit any state and local government agency from issuing COVID vaccine requirements on private citizens and government employees. It would also prohibit government agencies from requiring proof of COVID vaccination records of any person. State and local government agencies or political subdivisions of the state will be unable to discriminate against a person’s refusal to provide proof of COVID vaccination or submit to a COVID vaccination when seeking employment.
February 13, 2023 Erin Grindstaff English has been named to succeed Renee Dellinger as Avery County Register of Deeds by the Avery County Republican (GOP) Executive Committee upon the pending retirement of current Register of Deeds Renee Dellinger. The Executive Committee met February 9 and unanimously approved English for the post. Her appointment will be effective when Dellinger retires at the end of the work day on March 31. English’s first work day as Register of Deeds will be April 3. By Tim Gardner
February 10, 2023 BOONE, NC – The Watauga Economic Development Commission (EDC) met Thursday, February 9, 2023, forits first meeting since the Watauga County Board of Commissioners re-organized the group. Recently appointed at-large members Suzanne Livesay (Appalachian Theatre) and Lee Rankin (Apple Hill Farm) were in attendance for their first meeting while Dan Meyer (Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, retired) was the lone at-large member that previously served on the Watauga EDC.
February 9, 2023 BOONE, NC – The Boone Town Council and Mayor held a regular, open meeting session on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at the Town Council chambers at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. In attendance were Mayor Tim Futrelle, Council members Todd Carter, Dalton George, Becca Nenow, Virginia Roseman, Mayor Pro Tem Edie Tubman, Town Manager Amy Davis and Town Attorney Allison Meade. The meeting started with the announcement of several vacancies on town boards including the boards of adjustments, human relations, and several boards that had positions available to ASU students including sustainability and human relations. By Zack Hill
February 9, 2023 The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 22, at the Blowing Rock Conference Center. The meeting will begin at noon.
February 7, 2023 The Avery Board of Commissioners appointed a new Tax Administrator and approved two service agreements through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to highlight its February 6 regular monthly meeting. Commissioners–Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson–were present. Commissioner Dennis Aldridge was absent from the meeting due to being in Raleigh attending government meetings there. By Tim Gardner
February 2, 2023 Those who know Andrea Turbyfill best and others who come in contact with her often stress how impressed they are with her sincerity, kindness and the Christian manner in which she presents herself. And as Avery County Tax Administrator, Turbyfill is held in high esteem by the citizens she serves as well as her administrative superiors and colleagues for her professionalism, fairness and expertise in the various job duties she holds. By Tim Gardner
February 2, 2023 The County of Avery is currently accepting statements of qualifications from architectural firms interested in contracting with the County for architectural services related to the design and planning of a new Parks & Recreation complex. Avery Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Martha Hicks said the commissioners are “supportive of a new Parks & Recreation complex and will proceed with one as the county can, and can afford to.” By Tim Gardner
February 1, 2023 BOONE, NC –The 2023 class of the Watauga Leadership Institute kicked off their coursework with an all-day retreat at Valle Crucis Conference Center January 25th. The event marks the beginning of a 12-week community development program that includes 44 total participants between two cohorts. Courtesy of Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
January 20, 2023 The Avery County Board of Commissioners discussed a multitude of topics during a workshop session on January 11. All Commissioners-Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson were present. County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. said the board members did not vote on any issues, but they reached a consensus on several—most notably hiring an animal cruelty officer and a developing a new county recreation center
December 15, 2022 As news began to circulate on Tuesday of the death of beloved Judge Alexander Banner Lyerly, tributes started pouring in on social media and through other media outlets across the High Country and all of Western North Carolina. The first official tribute was released as a proclamation by the Town of Banner Elk in memory of its native son, and where his wife, Brenda Lyerly, serves as long-time mayor. The resolution, highlighting some of Judge Lyerly’s contributions to the area, also requested that flags locally be flown at half-mast in his memory and honor. By Sherrie Norris
December 8, 2022 The Avery County Board of Commissioners re-elected Martha Hicks as its chairwoman (chairperson) for the next year during its December 5th regular monthly meeting. Hicks’ fellow commissioners–Tim Phillips, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr., Dennis Aldridge and Robert Burleson–all voted (4-0) to confirm her re-appointment. There were no other nominations for the post. According to Hicks, she has served eight consecutive years as chairwoman and is entering her 15th year on the county commission. By Tim Gardner
December 8, 2022 Avery County-Earlier this month, Sheriff Mike Henley of Avery County finished Week One of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association’s Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute (SLI). Sheriff Mike Henley was one of 33 participants in this year’s training. SLI is a four-week long program completed over the course of 18 months. Graduation for this year’s SLI class will be in Spring 2024. SLI is designed to provide newly elected sheriffs technical skills necessary for assuming the Office of Sheriff. Sheriffs appointed since 2018, known as mid-term sheriffs, are also invited to participate in SLI.
November 16, 2022 RALEIGH, NC – The NC State Board of Elections and county boards of elections are responding to requests from Election Day voters about why their “voter history” records are not yet updated to reflect the fact that they voted on Election Day – November 8, 2022. We believe this is the direct result of certain groups spreading false and misleading information about this process in an attempt to sow distrust in our elections.
November 7, 2022 Like what is expected elsewhere across America, one of the largest mid-term (non-presidential year) voter turnouts ever is expected in Avery County for the 2022 General Election on Tuesday, November 8. According to Avery Board of Elections officials, early voting final totals shattered records in the county. That is generally considered to be an indicator that large number of voters will also cast ballots on General Election Day. By Tim Gardner
October 18, 2022 The Avery County Department of Social Services (DSS) will be relocating its headquarters to a more spacious facility in 2023. On a date next year still to be finalized, the Social Services Department will move from the ground level of the County Administration Building and from the Avery County Health Department in Newland to a building currently being renovated at 358 Beech Street–just a few blocks away. The move will consolidate DSS services into one building and provide much more needed space for its staff and operations By Tim Gardner
October 17, 2022 The time period for early voting in Avery County for the 2022 General Election begins on Thursday, October 20 and runs through Saturday, November 5. Saturdays and Sundays are excluded, except for Saturday, November 5 when early voting will also be open. All Early Voting in the county must be done at the Avery County Senior Citizens Center, located at 165 Schultz Street in downtown Newland. By Tim Gardner