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  • Watauga Volleyball Standout Taylor Walker Signs with Johnson & Wales University


    May 22, 2018. Watauga High School senior Taylor Walker made her college choice official on Friday afternoon, signing to play volleyball at Johnson & Wales Univeristy in Charlotte. Walker played a key role in Watauga’s success this season. The Pioneers finished the year with a 22-3 overall record and a perfect 14-0 record in the Northwest 3A/4A Conference. Watauga reached the third round of the 3A state playoffs before falling to Cox Mill, 3-1. Walker, a two-year varsity player, finished her senior year with 49 kills, 13 blocked shots and 23 digs. As a junior, she added 21 kills, 22 blocked shots and three serving aces. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Makes USA Today’s Top Ten Small Towns for Adventure


    May 22, 2018. For the second year in a row, readers of USA TODAY have voted Blowing Rock one of its 10 Best…this time in the category of Small Towns for Adventure. In 2017, Blowing Rock was third on the list of Best Southern Small Towns and this year it finished eighth in the nationwide adventure competition. Other 10 Best winners included Sedona, Arizona and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. / Read more…



  • Grand Opening of the Banner Elk Cafe’s Newest Addition Occurred Last Saturday


    May 22, 2018. The Banner Elk Café had its grand opening of its newest addition, the tavern, this past Saturday. Owners Les and Cindy Broussard invited several people to attend the ribbon cutting, including Banner Elk Mayor Brenda Lyerly, North Carolina Senator Deanna Ballard, and a few other important representatives of the high country. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Weekend Flooding Caused Widespread Problems in Avery County


    May 21, 2018. Heavy rains wrecked havoc on Avery County last weekend, causing flooding, mudslides and road closures. Four to seven inches of rain fell across the county Friday and into early Sunday morning. North Carolina Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Avery Fire Departments Coordinator Charlie Franklin. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the county were washed away and the heavy rains ripped large chucks out of various roadways. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • New River Water Intake Project to Receive Additional Funds for Water Treatment Plant Repairs

    May 21, 2018. The New River Water Intake project is nearing the finish line with the project currently sitting at 174 days remaining on the contract. At the May 17 Boone Town Council meeting, a request from the Harper Corporation to add in an additional $1,004,392 to the existing cost of the project was made. According to a letter presented by W.K. Dickson & Co., a consulting group for the project, the funds will go towards “repair and maintenance items at the town’s water treatment plant that have been deferred in the past.” The letter states that some of the various maintenance items consisted of lighting replacement, electrical component replacement, concrete repairs, painting, new equipment installation, roof replacements and overall site improvements. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Two Robbery Suspects Apprehended After Pursuit Ends with Suspects Crashing into a House


    May 21, 2018. On Thursday, May 17, at approximately 11:39 PM, Boone Police responded to a report of an armed robbery in the parking lot of 2575 Highway 105. The victim reported that a black male and a white female had accosted him with a knife and taken his wallet. The victim was acquainted with the suspects. The suspects fled the area in a gold colored Buick sedan. On Sunday, May 20, at approximately 2:50 PM, an off-duty Boone Police officer observed the suspects in the gold Buick at a business on Blowing Rock Road. A Boone Police officer attempted to stop the vehicle on Pride Drive. The driver refused to stop and fled across Boone Heights Drive onto State Farm Road. A brief chase ensued ending when the suspect vehicle struck a residence on Laurel Drive. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle. The female passenger was taken into custody after a short foot chase. The male driver was able to escape into the woods. Boone officers, assisted by a Watauga Sheriff’s K9, located the male suspect hiding in a culvert near State Farm Road and Berkley Avenue. The male driver was taken into custody without incident. / Read more…



  • Flooding Causes Numerous Road Closures; U.S. Highway 221 in Avery County Remains Closed


    May 21, 2018. Last week’s floods brought lots of traffic headaches to areas in the High Country with several road closures from rising waters and mudslides. Bamboo Road near the airport, Deerfield Road next to the golf course and Water Street were all closed at some point on Friday. Heavy rains started falling early Friday morning, causing problems along Blowing Rock Road with high water in front of the Holmes Convocation Center and Hardee’s that impacted the morning commute. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Flooding, Mudslides Prevalent in Avery County

    May 19, 2018. The National Weather Service reports there has been serious flooding in Avery County after 4 to 6 inches of rain fell Friday evening and overnight into Saturday, with up to two more inches projected to fall Saturday night. There also have been various reports of mudslides in the county. Highway 105 near the Avery-Watauga County line was closed Friday night because of a mudslide, according to Watauga County 911. Some bridges or low-water crossings in the area have been washed away and the heavy rains tore large chucks out of some roadways. Avery County Emergency personnel responded to numerous calls Friday night into Saturday morning due to the inclement weather. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • RaysWeather.com Announces 2019 Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar Photo Winners


    May 18, 2018. The photos that will fill the 2019 version of the RaysWeather.com Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar have been decided with the cover photo winner belonging to area photographer Johnny Davison. Ray Russell, owner and operator of RaysWeather.com, says they’ve been printing the calendar for about 15 years, long enough to forget what the exact date was of the first edition. The calendar features the best shots from places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A portion of the money is donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, headquartered in Asheville. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • When Winning $1 Million isn’t Really Winning $1 Million

    May 18, 2018. The recent North Carolina Education Lottery news release of Boone resident Nancy Eastman winning $1 million on the Carolina Millions scratch-off shows just how much the state gets back from one winning ticket. She could have chosen to take a $50,000 per year payment for 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. With the lump sum, that’s already $400,000 that she’ll never see. None of that even counts the taxes. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Crystal Smith Is Crowned The Big Kahuna for Watauga Habitat’s 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. The 2018 Big Kahuna Campaign is a program through Habitat for Humanity where eleven community leaders, or Kahunas, reach out to their community, family, and friends, and convince them to donate to Watauga Habitat’s home building efforts. The Kahuna who raises the most money is crowned Watauga County Habitat for Humanity’s 2018 Big Kahuna.  By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Flash Flooding Hits Boone Friday Morning; Flood Watch Remains in Effect until Midnight

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 18, 2018. Early morning flooding hit the Boone area early Friday morning when roadways became inundated with flood waters. Early morning commuters found roadways blocked with rushing waters.  Emergency personnel were scrambling to direct traffic around affected areas.  These pictures are from 7:30 a.m. on the Blowing Rock Road near Hardees and the Boone Mall area.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Three Upcoming Fundraisers to Help Support the Watauga County Veteran’s Memorial

    May 17, 2018. After a two-year long journey, there are now less than two months before the official unveiling of the Watauga County Veteran’s Memorial in beautiful Downtown Boone. Join the Town of Boone in supporting the men and women who have served and are serving our country by participating in one of the upcoming fundraisers this month with proceeds benefitting the memorial. While we are close to realizing this awesome goal, the community has to come together to support this important cause now more than ever. / Read more…



  • Linda Miller, Executive Housekeeper at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock Celebrates 33 Years

    May 17, 2018.  When Linda Miller began working at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as a housekeeper in 1984, little did she know that it would be less than two months before her leadership skills were put to the test when her supervisor left on maternity leave. Miller stepped up to the challenge and unexpected circumstances led to her promotion of Executive Housekeeper a mere 60 days after her first day on the job. It’s a position the Vilas, NC native proudly celebrates this week, 33 years later. And one she credits to two entities: proprietor Kent Tarbutton, who she says “made me feel like family on the day he bought Chetola (in 1997)” and “my faith and trust in the good Lord above,” says Ms. Miller. “I was divorced with no income when I came here. I think He brought me here.” / Read more…



  • Enjoy a Day of Family Fun with Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie Railroad June 8-17


    May 17, 2018. All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of friendship and family fun at Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018. Children everywhere can spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Blowing Rock, North Carolina on June 8-17, 2018. Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018 is presented by Mattel. Day Out with Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 23rd year, will make 41 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2018. For 10 days, little engineers and their families are invited to take a 25-minute ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun. / Read more…



  • Flash Flood Watch Issued as More Rain Expected in the High Country Thursday and Friday

    May 17, 2018. The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes counties until 8 p.m. Friday evening. Avery County is also under a Flash Flood Watch until 8 a.m. Friday morning. After a soaking rainfall for most of the High Country on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday look to have the same amount of rainfall in the forecast. According to the National Weather Service, another two to four inches of rain could fall over the next two days. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 34th Season of An Appalachian Summer Festival Announced; Taking Place July 1 – August 4

    May 17, 2018.  Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts attraction, An Appalachian Summer Festival, announces the 34th season to take place July 1- Aug. 4, 2018. The 2018 schedule presents a diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film events and attracts over 27,000 visitors to the High Country each summer. Tickets for festival events go on sale online and at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office on Tuesday, May 1. For more information, visit www.appsummer.org or call the box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. / Read more…



  • Boone Woman Wins $1 million Lottery Prize

    May 17, 2018.  Nancy Eastman is the latest person to play the Carolina Millions scratch-off game and win $1 million. Her good fortune happened when she bought the $10 ticket at the Circle K on State Farm Road in Boone. She claimed her prize Tuesday at lottery 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. / Read more…



  • Boone Resident Launches Mental Health Non-Profit Focused On Community Based Peer Support

    May 16, 2018. This Friday, Out of Your Mind, a newly established non-profit organization, is launching an 18-month pilot program in the town of Boone. Out of Your Mind is a creative resource to mental health in the local community. Founded by local resident, Kat Dolan, Out of Your Mind will serve as a platform to combat social isolation through creative peer support and reframe mental illness as a mental opportunity. Members of the community are invited to The Jones House Cultural and Community Center on Friday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the official launch. “I grew up repeatedly hearing the tired phrase, ‘You are not alone’ without any physical evidence to back this. Out of Your Mind provides a space for others to see how ‘not alone’ they truly are,” said Dolan. “This is not a ‘tell all’ space. Out of Your Mind intends to provide exactly what the name implies—a chance to step outside the rabbit hole of circular thinking and share an experience with others who understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset and growing in emotional intelligence.” / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, May 7 – May 14

    May 16, 2018. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Special Night Flight Tour this Saturday at Sky Valley Zip Tours; First of its Kind in the Area


    May 16, 2018. If you’ve ever wanted the opportunity to zip through the trees and jump off a rock cliff at nightfall, this Saturday is your chance. Sky Valley Zip Tours between Boone and Blowing Rock is offering their first ever “Night Flight” zipline tour. “One of the things we came up with a couple years ago that we’ve been working on is a night flight,” said owner Jack Sharp. “We’re providing the opportunity to get a zipline experience in the woods at night.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Third Annual Marathon Jam Coming to the Ashe County Arts Center this Saturday, May 19


    May 15, 2018. Ashe County musicians and quilt makers will come together for a good cause this Saturday, May 19 for the third annual Marathon Jam to honor veterans and raise money for the Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune Fisher House Foundation. The Marathon Jam will take place at the Ashe County Arts Center and musicians will start playing at noon and jam until midnight Sunday morning. The Jam will feature acoustic musicians of all different ages playing several different instruments all day and evening long. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Senior Adults Honored During Friday’s 16th Annual Adult Services Expo at Boone Mall

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 14, 2018. The 16th Annual Adult Services Expo attracted a large crowd to Boone Mall on Friday, May 11, during which several seniors were recognized, local agency representatives shared valuable information and others came to learn more about available services in the High Country. Now in its 16th year, the expo is always held in May, which is celebrated across the nation as Older Americans Month. The event, free and open to the public, is hosted annually by the Adult Services Coalition of Watauga County. “The Adult Services Coalition is a group of service agencies — non-nonprofit organizations and businesses — that work with aging adults,” said Charity Curlee, with Watauga County Project on Aging, who helped serve as emcee on Friday. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • North Lincoln Middle School students complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ at Grandfather Mountain

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 14, 2018. Nine Students from North Lincoln Middle School in Denver, NC recently completed “The Grandfather Challenge” hiking program at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. “The Grandfather Challenge” program is sponsored by The Jason Project, Inc., which was formed by the parents of Jason Matthew Nipper, who passed away in June of 2014 at age 26. This private foundation was formed to host this unique hiking program, which is designed to build self-confidence in struggling youth, as well as trust and positive rapport with adult mentors. Because of Jason’s abiding love of the outdoors and mountain hiking, James & Cheryl have established “The Grandfather Challenge,” through which students navigate all of the hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain.  Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges.  / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock School’s Terri Hodges Named Watauga County Schools District-Wide Teacher of the Year


    May 11, 2018. Blowing Rock School’s Terri Hodges was named Watauga County Schools district-wide Teacher of the Year in surprise ceremony held Friday morning at the school. Hodges was presented the award by Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott along with Blowing Rock and WCS central office staff. Each year, Watauga County School celebrates its Teacher of the Year candidate with a surprise ceremony. Hodges was honored in front of the school’s students and staff who awaited her entrance in the gym. This year marks Hodges’ fourth teacher of the year nomination since 1990, and Blowing Rock’s third-consecutive teacher of the year award.. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center Throws Fundraising Event, A Kentucky Derby Party

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 11, 2018. Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center just held their first fundraising event, a Kentucky Derby Party, , at the beautiful Rising Star Equestrian Center in Boone, NC. People came from near and far to attend this much anticipated event. Many locals, as well as part-time residents, attended the first annual Derby Party benefitting Spirit Ride. Ladies donned beautifully designed hats and intricate fascinators while the men sported bowties, classic seersucker plaid sport coats and colorful pocket squares. “The High Country really showed up for this event!” says Patty Adams, Executive Director of Spirit Ride. Adams continues, “So many people told us how excited they were to dress up for such a fun charity benefit, and I’ve heard that people are already shopping for their hats for next year!” / Read more…



  • Town and Business Leaders Provide Update on Middle Fork Greenway Project in Blowing Rock


    May 10, 2018. Boone and Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce as well as local business leaders and project supporters came to Appalachian Ski Mountain on Monday to hear about the progress of the Middle Fork Greenway Project. The Blue Ridge Conservancy has spearheaded the project that will eventually connect to the existing Boone Greenway. The Middle Fork Greenway is designed to follow along the Middle Fork of the New River and connect Blowing Rock to Boone. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Crime Stoppers Crime Alert

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 10, 2018. High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crimes: On Thursday, March 29, 2018, at approximately 10 a.m., an unknown male entered Macado’s of Boone, 539 West King Street. This male then took an employee’s wallet and exited the business. On Saturday, April 14, 2018, sometime around 3:30 p.m., an unknown male suspect entered Mast General Store, 630 West King Street, and concealed several items of merchandise, before leaving the premises. High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons. / Read more…



  • Sales Tax Nixed by Voters in Primaries, County Projects to be Funded by Property Tax Instead

    May 10, 2018. Watauga County residents voted against raising the local sales tax by one quarter of a percent during primary elections Tuesday. As a result, the property tax will not be correspondingly lowered, thus allowing the county to continue paying for upcoming multi-million dollar community projects, according to members of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners. Jimmy Hodges, Watauga County Board of Commissioners representative for District 5, said he believed the public did not understand the wording of the tax referendum on the ballot.. By Luke Weir / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage Was Front and Center for Another Outstanding Performance in Banner Elk on May 9

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 10, 2018. Rather than a performance of one of his signature theatrical productions, Gary Smith directed the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce’s after hours/networking for a near capacity crowd.  Ensemble Stage, complete with props and a blinding spotlight, hosted the event with artistic flair.  Community news, great food and scattered humor were all part of the fun of the evening.  A clear highlight for artistic director Smith, bringing tears to his eyes, was the presentation of a $10,000 contribution from Paul and Susie O’Connell.  Updates from chamber members were plentiful.  Bayou Smokehouse provided a buffet of fine food items and an ample beverage service.  The schedule of upcoming performances was detailed.. / Read more…



  • Glenn and Lula Bolick to be Honored May 23 at the 2018 North Carolina Heritage Awards Ceremony

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 10, 2018. Few couples have done more to preserve and celebrate traditional mountain heritage more so than Glenn and Lula Bolick. Their efforts have gained attention throughout the south and beyond for a number of years, but perhaps one of their greatest honors will come Wednesday, May 23, when they are among a select group of talented individuals receiving the 2018 North Carolina Arts Council Heritage Award. The awards ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh, in partnership with North Carolina Arts Council. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Parkway Elementary’s Grace Young Takes First Place in State Math Fair

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    May 10, 2018. Four local students well represented the High Country this past weekend at the North Carolina State Math Fair, having earlier qualified as winners in regional competitions. While all did remarkably well at the finals, held at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, two of the four students came home with impressive awards. Grace Young took top honors as first place winner in the third-fourth grade category; Valerie Kitchell won an honorable mention By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Primary Election Breakdown and a Look at the Midterm Election Ballot for November 6

    May 9, 2018. North Carolina midterm primary elections determined one Democratic and five Republican races in Watauga County on Tuesday, as well as a one quarter cent sales tax increase that did not pass. With primaries over, candidates have until midterm election day on November 6 to campaign against opposing party candidates. By Luke Weir / Read more…



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