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  • River Bend Middle School Students Climb To Greater Heights As They Complete ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ at Grandfather Mountain

    http://www.hcpress.com/?p=39556
    July 17, 2018. Ten Students from the River Bend Middle School in Claremont, 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 provides outdoor/wilderness and hiking excursions and similar programs which are 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…



  • Saloon Studios Hosting Family Fun Day to Benefit Fleetwood Fire Department on Saturday


    July 17, 2018. The public is invited out to Saloon Studios in West Jefferson for a day of fun for all ages that will also serve as a good cause to the community. The Family Fun Day will be used as a fundraiser for the Fleetwood Fire Department this Saturday, July 21 from noon to 5 p.m. “We will have food trucks, kids activities, face painting, games, a magician, demonstrations and live music,” said Donovan Murray, the Entertainment Director for Saloon Studios. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • ‘Mountain Modern with a Global Twist’: The Ridgeline Food and Spirits Opens in Blowing Rock


    July 17, 2018. An iconic building in Blowing Rock adds yet another tenant to the list of places that called the former spot of Holly’s Tavern, The Big Dollar and Canyon’s Restaurant home. The Ridgeline Food and Spirits officially opened its doors a little over five months after Canyon’s closed for the final time on Feb. 4. Former owner, Bart Conway, sold the business to new owners, Richard and Faisuly Scheurer. Rich and Fai met in Colorado and eventually navigated their way to the High Country after most recently calling Orlando home. The couple has two daughters, Alex and Sarah, and have been married for 17 years. Conway opened Canyon’s in May of 2001 and saw the restaurant become one of the hottest places to be in the High Country with great food, drinks and music. The Scheurer family is hoping to keep that tradition going with The Ridgeline. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • What’s Going on at Mount Bethel? The Restoration of the Oldest Church in Blowing Rock


    July 16, 2018. The Mount Bethel Church, the oldest church still standing in Blowing Rock, is finally getting the repair it needs. Organized in 1886 by Jacob Kluttz, it was originally a German reformed church. Andrew Critcher, the great-great grandson of Jacob Kluttz, explains that, “My great-great grandfather’s the one that gave the property and started the church and the cemetery.” The cemetery behind the church remained under the care of Kluttz’s descendants, but the church itself has changed hands quite a few times. It’s been passed down through different churches throughout the years, but Critcher is proud to say that, “We’ve got it back in our family now.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Wraps Up Another Successful Year of Competition


    July 16, 2018. At last year’s Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Braidy Miller battled it out with his younger brother, Brent, to edge him in seven Scottish heavyweight traditional athletic events to become Scottish Athlete of the Games. Same story this year, except last year’s third place finisher, Wis Kiser, tied with Brent Miller for second. Braidy Miller, from Lebanon, Tenn., finished first in three of the seven competitions: the 56-pound weight throw for distance, 40 feet and eight inches; the 22-pound hammer throw, 107 feet and four inches; and turning the caber with a 50-degree turn (180-degree is perfect). / Read more…



  • Caleb Masland Finishes First in Grandfather Marathon for Second Consecutive Year


    July 16, 2018. Area business owner Caleb Masland finished first in the 51st annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon for the second consecutive year, beating his previous time by 10 minutes and change. The marathon, part of the 63rd annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, took place Saturday, July 14, and saw 279 runners assault a grueling course, spanning from Kidd Brewer Stadium on the Appalachian State University campus in Boone, N.C., to MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C. Masland, 37, of Boone was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 2:43:12. / 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



  • Boone Police Department: Hagaman Facing Two Additional Felony Charges


    July 16, 2018. Two more additional felony charges have been added in the case against Michael Justin Hagaman, 39, of Howards Creek Road in Boone. On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, the Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation of a Boone man for the Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. The Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are members of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet. / Read more…



  • Back 2 School Festival Celebrates Another Year on Aug. 4 at Watauga High School


    July 13, 2018. Community members will come together on Saturday, Aug. 4 for a good cause to help children in need around Watauga County as another school year inches closer to beginning. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Back 2 School Festival enters its sixth year in Watauga County and is designed to help students whose families might not be able to afford the school supplies needed for the upcoming academic year. In addition to school supplies and backpacks, socks and shoes will be given out to children in need and there will be local hair stylists in attendance to provide haircuts and new hairstyles for kids that want a nice, new look for the upcoming school year. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Bayou Smokehouse and Bayou General Store are Hosting Some Awesome Events and Deals


    July 13, 2018. Local Banner Elk favorite the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill, and the adjacent Bayou General Store have a lot of events and deals for their patrons happening that you should check out! First up, they host their Concerts in the Courtyard every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m., a good excuse to take a weeknight off and relax. Winston Ammann of the Bayou General Store says that, “We’ve been here for 15 years, and we may have been doing the summer concerts for that long. It’s something that everyone enjoys. There’s not a cover charge for it, people don’t have to come in and buy dinner or anything like that…It’s open to anybody who wants to come listen, and everybody really enjoys it. There are a lot of the local bands that are very popular, and everybody knows their playlists, so you have a lot of singalongs going on Tuesday nights. It’s a lot of fun.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • House Passes Foxx’s Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act


    July 13, 2018. On Friday, the House passed H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (UMITA) introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) by a bipartisan vote of 230 – 168.  UMITA strengthens the bipartisan Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) by closing loopholes that allow the federal government to work around the transparency process.  It also expands the scope of UMRA cost analyses to the private sector.  / Read more…



  • Appalachian Students Build Tiny House for Local Nonprofit KAMPN


    July 13, 2018. Students in Appalachian State University’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment are spending five weeks this summer embracing a new building trend. The class of 12 has been contracted by a local client to build a tiny house that will become part of a community housing adults with disabilities. By Meghan McCandless / Read more…



  • SpongeBob SquarePants Star of Nickelodeon’s Hit Animated Series Appearing at Tweetsie Railroad on July 13-15


    July 13, 2018. Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids and Tweetsie Railroad invite kids to meet SpongeBob, star of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, on July 13-15 in Blowing Rock. The Nickelodeon costumed character will be available for meet and greet appearances at 11:00 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Patrick Star will also be available to pose with kids and families to take photos. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Renames Theater Stage the Sandi Finci Solomon Stage in Their Broyhill Theatre


    July 13, 2018. At the opening night of The Wiz, Lees-McRae College renamed their theatre stage in honor of Sandi Finci Solomon. Originally from Washington, D.C., Sandi now splits her time spending seven months in Boca Raton, Florida and five months of the year in the High Country. She resides in the Foscoe community while in the High Country which allows her to promote partner dancing to both Lees-McRae College and Appalachian State University, as well as initiating a High Country Community Fall Dance for the last three years. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Highland Games Opening Day: Beech Mountain, Boone Residents Finish Tops in The Bear


    July 13, 2018. Approximately 300,000 people visit Grandfather Mountain each year to see the bears. About 930 people visit Grandfather Mountain each year to run The Bear. The five-mile foot race, which serves as a prelude to the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, pits runners against an intimidating foe — the mountain itself. The race, which took place Thursday, July 12, runs uphill from the stoplight in nearby Linville, N.C and up U.S. 221, before veering into the Grandfather Mountain nature park and there up to the topmost parking lot near the Mile High Swinging Bridge — an elevation gain of some 1,600 feet. / Read more…



  • Second Minor 1.9 Earthquake Recorded In Avery County This Week on Wednesday

    July 13, 2018. Another minor earthquake was recorded in Avery County marking the second one to strike the area this week. The 1.9 magnitude quake was recorded at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday and was located 1.1 miles west-northwest of Heaton and 16.4 miles west-southwest of Boone. This follows a 2.0 magnitude quake that was measured on Monday morning near the same area. In the last 38 years, there have been 28 earthquakes of at least a 1.0 magnitude recorded within a 62-mile radius (100 kilometers) of Boone, according to data from the United States Geological Society (USGS). Six struck the region in 2014 alone.. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • On the Same Page Literary Festival Presents 2018 Author Events


    July 12, 2018. Plans for the 2018 On the Same Page Literary Festival are taking shape and many outstanding opportunities for readers, writers, and book fans of all ages continue to be scheduled for the Festival in its 11th year in North Carolina’s Ashe County. Once again, opportunities for attendees to hear and interact with renowned authors through readings, workshops, and keynote events are on the schedule. And, it’s not too early to begin looking through the lineup and begin reading! Of special note for 2018, On the Same Page Literary Festival will present the Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. Smith will be on hand to deliver a keynote presentation and will work with students at Ashe County High School. / Read more…



  • Phase Two of Laurel Lane Beautification Project in Blowing Rock Now Complete


    July 12, 2018. The Mayview Plaza construction work recently finished up in Blowing Rock, signaling the completion of the second phase of the Laurel Lane Beautification Project. The project, which is a three-phase project that started in 2017, was put together as a public and private partnership between the Town of Blowing Rock, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and The Village Foundation. “Our economic development committee spearheaded this along with the Village Foundation doing a lot of the fundraising for it,” said Charles Hardin, the president of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “We got it open and dedicated and it’s beautiful.” Hardin says there is no official start date yet for phase three of the project. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Update: Rep. Jonathan Jordan and Candidate Ray Russell to Speak at Redistricting Forum 101


    July 11, 2018. On Saturday, July 14, Nate Fischer will be leading Redistricting Reform 101, a forum on gerrymandering and non-partisan map making in North Carolina. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. It aims to help people understand the complicated issue of gerrymandering and what goes into drawing unbiased electoral districts. The forum will include a discussion of the legal requirements and standards for producing a non-partisan fair map of North Carolina, as well as the subjective considerations that inevitably shape electoral districts. After that, Nate will lead people through the Dave’s Redistricting program, an app that allows users to draw their own congressional districts. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Newland Finance Officer Resigns at Aldermen Meeting

    July 11, 2018. Town of Newland Finance Officer Lisa Meinhardt submitted her resignation during the last regular monthly meeting of its Board of Aldermen July 3. Aldermen (Town Council members)– Kenny Caraway, Lauren Turbyfill, Greg Seiz and Jamey Johnson were present. Other town officials present included: Mayor Valerie Jaynes; Town Administrator Keith Hoilman; Town Attorney Joe Seegers; and Town Clerk and Board of Aldermen secretary Tammy Gardner. Meinhardt had served in the position slightly less than two years. She cited July 12 as her last day on the job. However, she said she would remain in the post a short while longer if the Board desired to help with the transition to the hiring of a new finance officer. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Avery County Commissioners Adopt Resolution for Sales Tax Referendum

    July 11, 2018. By a 4-0 vote, the Avery County Commissioners adopted a resolution to add a sales and use tax referendum to the ballot in November’s General Election during their regular monthly meeting July 2. Commissioners– Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman); Wood Hall (Woody) Young, Jr.; and Faye Lacey were present at the meeting. Commissioner Tim Phillips was absent due to family illness. Other top county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; Finance Director Nancy Johnson; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. The Board of Commissioners will formally ask the Avery County Board of Elections to conduct an advisory referendum on the question of whether to levy local sales and use tax of one-fourth cent in Avery County in accordance with state statues. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, July 2 – July 9

    July 11, 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



  • Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Return July 12-15 for the 63rd Year


    July 11, 2018. Scotland returns to Grandfather Mountain July 12-15 for the 63rd annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Boasting bagpipes, Scottish athletics, Highland melodies, Celtic cuisine, crafts aplenty and tons of tartans, the Games hearken back to the rich cultural traditions of Scotland in a setting not so different from the mountains and glens some 3,600 miles away. The event begins Thursday afternoon, July 12, with border collie sheepherding demonstrations, Celtic entertainment, the running of “The Bear” and the opening ceremonies. “The Bear” pits approximately 700 runners against the steep switchbacks of Grandfather Mountain in a five-mile run that climbs 1,568 feet from the town of Linville to the mountain summit. / Read more…



  • Round Up For The Middle Fork Greenway Hopes to Raise $100,000 for the Project


    July 11, 2018. If you haven’t heard of the plans to build a new section of Greenway between Boone and Blowing Rock, by the end of this July you probably will. That’s because this July a huge coalition of 118 local businesses in Boone and Blowing Rock have teamed up for the Round Up For The Middle Fork Greenway fundraiser. During the month of July many businesses in Boone and Blowing Rock will be asking customers if they’d like to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the change to the Middle Fork Greenway. The goal is to raise $100,000 to be leveraged for state grants. The new Middle Fork Greenway is planned to be 6.5 miles long, running from the current greenway beside the Watauga Medical Center to the outskirts of Blowing Rock. One mile of the Middle Fork Greenway is already completed, with another 1.3 miles funded and ready to go in Blowing Rock and 2.2 miles being planned out. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • AppalCart Debuts Weekend Route in Blowing Rock to Help Alleviate Traffic Congestion Downtown


    July 10, 2018. Visitors in Blowing Rock might not have to spend their whole trip driving around Main Street looking for a convenient parking spot. The AppalCart recently started its weekend shuttle service on July 6 that will make it easier for people to navigate their way through Blowing Rock. “What we have are people that just circle the block over and over looking for parking spaces. Hopefully this will help take those cars off the street and shuttle those people up from other parking areas to Main Street,” said Charles Hardin, the President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “If this goes well, it could be expanded to include other areas such as Chetola, the Green Park Inn and other hotels so folks can leave their cars parked.” The shuttle will run from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m on Friday and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays with 10 stops along the route. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Native Ryan Woods Wins U.S. Spartan Series Race in Chicago


    July 9, 2018. Ryan Woods keeps making a name for himself on the Spartan racing circuit. The Boone native brought home the championship in the Men’s Elite Division in Chicago, June 23-24, finishing the grueling Spartan race in a little over an hour with a time of 1:03:52. This is the second Spartan National Series race that Woods has won this year and if he finishes in fourth place or higher in the final race of the season, he will finish with the top spot overall in the U.S. National Series headed into the 2018 Spartan North American Championship and Spartan World Championship. If you’ve never watched a Spartan race either in-person or on television, it’s hard to appreciate just how hard these races are. Competitors are challenged with numerous tasks like carrying sand bags, barbed wire crawls, running and jumping over walls and many other obstacles all over several miles of running across different terrains. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Small 2.0 Earthquake Reported in Avery County Monday Morning

    July 9, 2018. If you were in Avery County Monday morning and felt something tremble and sake for a few seconds, it wasn’t your imagination. At 7:00 a.m., the United States Geological Survey detected an earthquake in the Northwest Avery County town of Elk Park. The USGS listed the earthquake as only 7.8 kilometers in depth and 2.0 in magnitude. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • US Supreme Court Declines to Review NC Voting Districts; Sends Districting Map Back to Lower Court for More Work

    July 9, 2018.     The United States Supreme Court has announced it will not immediately take on new arguments whether North Carolina Republican lawmakers went too far in 2016 when they redrew the state’s 13 congressional election districts to intentionally give their party a 10 to 3 advantage on partisan redistricting. Instead, the justices are sending the districting map back to a lower court for more work. The court’s order follows a ruling June 25 in which it declared that Wisconsin voters who sued over the state’s GOP-drawn legislative districts had not proven they have the right to bring their case in court. The justices ordered the court in North Carolina to examine the same issue.. By Tim Gardner / 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



  • Pictures from Blowing Rock’s Weekend Independence Day Celebration: Closing out the Fourth of July Season with a Bang


    July 9, 2018. Blowing Rock’s Independence Day celebrations this past Saturday closed out the Fourth of July season with a bang—literally. It was an all day celebration in Memorial Park, with upbeat live performances from the Summer Daze Band, Brian Collins, and the Cockman Family. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, June 25 – July 2

    July 6, 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



  • 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



  • What’s Happening this Saturday at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market


    July 6, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their Independence Day here in the High Country. What better way to roll into the weekend than with a trip to the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. As always the market will have the best selection of produce, crafts, sweet treats, coffee, food trucks and more. Looking forward to seeing you there.  / Read more…



  • Pictures of the Banner Elk 4th July Parade: Another Successful Year


    July 5, 2018. The Banner Elk Fourth of July Parade, one of the most sensational Fourth of July celebrations in the High Country, was absolutely packed yesterday. Jim Swinkola, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk, says that, “There were more people in Banner Elk than I’ve ever seen except for Woolly Worm Festival. There were thousands and thousands, going from infants to those who were over 80 years old, lining the street on both sides of Main Street.” By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Watauga County Veterans Memorial Officially Unveiled to Honor Military Members


    July 5, 2018. Military service members, families and friends gathered together on Wednesday morning for the unveiling of the Watauga County Veterans Memorial. The dream of creating this memorial started roughly two and a half years ago and was completed this summer. The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America led the fundraising efforts that allowed this dream to become a reality. The ceremony started with the HCCMOAA President Capt. Fred Schmitt (Ret.) of the United States Coast Guard welcoming guests and military veterans to this very special moment. “We would not be here today without the generous support of hundreds of individuals and organizations, corporations and government bodies,” said Capt. Schmitt. “We express our heartfelt appreciation for everything that you have done for us.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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