• Tweetsie Railroad to Hold Auditions for 2020 Season: Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 Dates at Tweetsie


    January 6, 2020. Tweetsie Railroad announces auditions for the park’s 2020 season for entertainment and production crew positions. Open positions include singers, dancers, actors, equestrians, magicians, technicians and costumers. Specific audition requirements including required audition preparation can be found online. Entertainers and production crew applicants interested in becoming a part of North Carolina’s first and longest-running theme park, Tweetsie Railroad. Full season availability is preferred; however, a variety of employment commitments are available. / Read more…



  • Snowfall Chances Increase for Tuesday Morning; Winter Weather Advisory Issued

    January 6, 2020. The next chance for accumulating snowfall appears to be on Tuesday morning as the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the High Country. The advisory will go into effect at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning and continue until 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. The quick-moving storm front is predicted to bring some light snow to the area with most locations receiving between 1-3 inches of snow with higher elevations receiving additional accumulation. According to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Alleghany counties will receive the bulk of the snowfall with areas south of Avery County receiving around an inch of snow with more rain mixed in. A wintry mix of precipitation could also mix in across the area. Ray’s Weather estimates 1-4 inches for the area with some locations at higher elevations receiving higher amounts.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Bill Carter of Blowing Rock Becomes 125th Leader of Oasis Shriners on January 4


    January 3, 2020. A long-time family tradition continues January 4th in Charlotte as Shriner Bill Carter of Blowing Rock, N.C. becomes the Potentate and Chief Executive Officer of Oasis Shriners. Oasis covers 50 of North Carolina’s 100 counties including Greensboro, Winston Salem, Charlotte, Pinehurst, Asheville, Murphy and all points in between. According to Carter, Oasis Shriners is the largest Shrine organization in the world. Carter was proud to add that Oasis members are the largest contributors to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children out of the nearly 200 Shrine temples in the world. Carter is proud of his beautiful mountain hometown so he will bring a large Shriners meeting to Blowing Rock in the spring. The Oasis website describes Shriners International as “a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief for others, and the truth,” and Carter echoed that, saying “We raise the most money for the Shriner’s hospitals throughout the world while having a great time.” / Read more…



  • Highway 105 Watauga River Bridge Replacement Pushed Back to March 2021

    January 3, 2020. For the second time since the North Carolina Department of Transportation began planning for the Highway 105 widening project, the replacement of the Watauga River Bridge has been delayed. The delay was confirmed by the NCDOT and will push the bridge replacement out to March of 2021. The bridge replacement was originally supposed to happen this past fall but was delayed until March of 2020. The NCDOT is now anticipating that the bridge replacement will happen next spring. According to NCDOT Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn, a “statewide cash flow issue” has forced many projects across the state to have their timelines adjusted to meet the budget of available funds.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • A Home Run for Southern Snowsports: World Cup Big Air Competition Sticks a Landing at Atlanta Braves’ Stadium


    January 3, 2020. Atop 30,000 pieces of steel scaffolding, weighing 600,000 pounds and cradling 800 tons of manmade snow, the world’s top ski and snowboard talent reached new heights on December 20-21, 2019. But the elevation and engineering weren’t the main event: the location of this structure and these athletes were even more noteworthy and historic — Atlanta, Ga.’s SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves MLB team. Yes, a World Cup ski and snowboard event featuring 164 athletes from 27 nations has now taken place in the deep South — a feat seemingly inconceivable before now … akin to the advent of Southern skiing more than five decades ago in the High Country. As a testament to those roots and subsequent cultivation and growth, ambassadors and curators of the Southern snowsports scene were there to take it all in, each of whom carved their way to this moment over decades on the slopes of our beloved white giants, Appalachian, Beech, Sugar, and Hawksnest. By Sam Calhoun / Read more…



  • Flu Season Showing Up In Watauga and Avery Counties with 60 Cases Reported at Hospitals

    January 3, 2020. Flu season is well underway, and many regions of the country, including North Carolina, are having elevated levels of the illness. Influenza (the flu) has even reached near-epidemic levels in many parts of the United States. While not reaching such levels it’s still struck hard in North Carolina, including in Watauga and Avery counties, According to Vicki Stevens, Director of Marketing for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, headquartered in Boone, there have been 33 flu cases treated at the Watauga Medical Center in Boone from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and 29 cases at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville during the same time span.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Chetola Employees “Pay It Forward” This Holiday Season with Donation to Casting Bread Ministries


    January 3, 2020. Chetola Resort’s staff happily announces their donation to Casting Bread Ministries, a food pantry located on Aho Road in Blowing Rock. The donation weighing in at 700lbs was gratefully received by Casting Bread’s Executive Director, Sam Garrett, on the day after Christmas. This donation was the result of over 200 employees coming together to benefit the community. “I’m so proud of the Chetola team for taking the time to make a positive impact on our local community” says Chetola’s food drive coordinator, Dalton Kilby. “We’re excited about establishing an ongoing relationship with Casting Bread Ministries and look forward to other opportunities that allow us to serve others”. Casting Bread’s food pantry allows their clients to channel their income towards other needs for their families including transportation to work and school, paying utility bills, or paying for medical needs. This service is increasingly beneficial to locals around the holidays. / Read more…



  • U.S. Census Bureau Hiring in the High Country for Upcoming 2020 Census


    January 3, 2020. As the 2020 Census is beginning to approach, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to add onto its staff and hire thousands of people across the United States, including the High Country. Census–taking positions provide the perfect chance for students, retirees, and part-time or seasonal workers, to earn some extra income while helping their community Pay will vary anywhere from $13.50 to $22.00 per hour, depending on where the candidate lives. Census takers also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where it is applicable. For Ashe County, the pay rate for a census-worker position comes in at $16.00 an hour with area offices in Winston – Salem, $17.00 for those living in Avery County with area census offices in Asheville, and $17.00 for those in Watauga County with area census offices in Asheville as well. Data from the US Census Bureau states that job offers and background checks will begin in January and take place through April. Census-taker training and work will begin in March and finish at the end of July. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Newland Flick Video Closes After 29 Years


    January 2, 2020. A much-loved Newland video rental business closed for good this month as Flick Video shut down its store on Pineola Street after 29 years in business. By catering to both the older and younger market with old-fashioned customer service, as well as competitive pricing, Newland Flick Video maintained its place in an age of streaming for as long as possible. Gen Xers in particular grew up with video stores, spending an inordinate amount of time contorting themselves to connect their VCRs and later their DVD players to the back of the television set. But there are now cheaper and easier ways to watch movies at home. Also, sporting events and other related television shows can be accessed via the Internet. But the store’s closing shouldn’t be a surprise, according to Luther Stamey of Stamey Enterprises in Spruce Pine, NC, which owned Newland Flick Video.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Looking Ahead in 2020: Dates Set for Favorite Events Across the High Country

    January 2, 2020. A new year has just started, but it’s never too early to take a peek at some of the events happening in and around the High Country coming up in 2020. January – Winterfest Beer Festival January 11, 5-9 p.m. Beech Mountain Resort. Come celebrate winter indoors with an array of beers and good music at the 2020 WinterFest Beer Festival. Over 40 different regional beers and ciders will be available to sample. Live music by The Harris Brothers and The Common Heart. Tickets: $35 in advance, $45 day-of, $15 designated driver tickets. Blowing Rock Winterfest January 23-26, Blowing Rock celebrates winter with four days of fun and events for the whole family from the Polar Plunge to Ice Carving, hayrides to wine tasting.  Events Compiled By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • ‘Bad Boys for Life’ Premiere: Will Smith Reflects regarding Timing over Third Film

    “Of the movies I’ve done where people walk up on the street and say, ‘Hey, man, when are you going to do another one?,’ ‘Bad Boys’ is the one. Nobody is asking for ‘Pursuit of Happyness 2,’” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys for Life, the latest installment in the action-packed 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



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: A Healthy, Happy New Year Begins Now


    December 31, 2019. Countless individuals, myself included, plan to improve our way of life in this New Year. Many of us begin the same way — year after year – with a resolution to lose weight and put in more time on the treadmill or track. For most of us, too, it must be more than simply a January 1 plan that’s too easy to break. Many of us could write a book on healthy eating, and most would agree it would be much easier to write it than to practice it, but let’s look at a few ideas that will help us kick-start this “new beginning!” I hope you will join me on the journey, again. And most of all, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Avery County Citizens Come Together to Organize a Winter Coat Drive with Special Event January 12


    December 31, 2019. As the ball drops on another year in the High Country, it’s never too late to consider how you might be able to help those less fortunate in your community. Avery County native Elizabeth Hempfling along with the High Country Charitable Foundation and Feeding Avery Families are pooling their resources together and asking the community to help out by donating new coats, jackets, gloves, hats, and other winter items to help make life a little easier for those that may be struggling to stay warm. “I grew up in Banner Elk so this is home to me. I’m not ashamed to admit I put socks on my hands to go play outside in the winter. It hit me that as it turns to winter up here, I don’t think there’s much attention given to the fact that there are people that don’t have jackets, don’t have gloves and don’t have the essentials to stay warm throughout the winter,” said Hempfling. Hempfling reached out to Jim Ward with the High Country Charitable Foundation to help launch this coat drive and get the word out.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Kevin Gardner Named Police Officer for The Town of Beech Mountain


    December 30, 2019. A town that lies in both Avery and Watauga counties has hired a new police officer who is a familiar face in area law enforcement. Kevin Gardner has been sworn in as a police officer for the Town of Beech Mountain. “I’m excited to be a Beech Mountain police officer and very appreciative for the opportunity,” Gardner said. Gardner is a former jailer and deputy with the Avery County Sheriff’s Department and a former police officer with the Village of Sugar Mountain. He worked one year and seven months as a jailer and then three years as a road deputy with the Sheriff’s Department. He last served one year and five months as a Village of Sugar Mountain police officer, before beginning employment with the Town of Beech Mountain. / Read more…



  • End-of-the-Year Gifts to Hospitality House Will Help Change Lives For Many Years To Come


    December 30, 2019. The hours are counting down. You have been blessed financially and are searching for a place to put those extra dollars. You want your gift to make a difference, not just for a little while, but for a long time to come. You don’t have to look far, friends. All it takes is a visit to Hospitality House in Boone and you will know that you have made the right decision. But, if you don’t have the time to drop in at this late date, let us help you visualize the face of homelessness as you prepare to make an online donation or write your check today. According to Tina Krause, the shelter’s Executive Director, your support is critical to helping continue the mission of providing housing, hunger relief, counseling, critical services and crisis assistance to the most vulnerable members of our community. If you haven’t already done so, Krause and her staff ask that you please consider an end-of-year gift to Hospitality House. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Charlotte Diocese Publishes List of 14 Clergy Credibly Accused of Child Sexual Abuse Including Former Boone Clergy


    December 30, 2019. The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte today published a list of 14 clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse in western North Carolina since the diocese was established in 1972. The list is the result of a year-long process that included a comprehensive, independent review of more than 1,600 files dating back almost 50 years to ensure a full accounting of credibly accused clergy in the diocese’s history. The file review confirmed that no clergy member serving in the Charlotte diocese today has a credible allegation of sexual abuse against him. Records also show that all 14 clergy named on the list were long ago removed from ministry or died before allegations arose. Most of their names also were made known publicly years ago by the diocese and others. Reflecting national trends, the review found that instances of alleged abuse in the Charlotte diocese peaked in the 1970s and dropped sharply in the 2000s as new protections were put in place by the Church. In the last 20 years, one credible case of abuse is alleged to have occurred in the diocese.   / Read more…



  • Cold Weather is Back in the Forecast After an Unseasonably Warm Christmas Week; Snow Possible this Weekend

    December 30, 2019. So far it has been a very mild winter in the High Country with the warmest temperatures of December being recorded just last week. According to David Still at Ray’s Weather Center, temperatures flirted with record highs last week but came up just a bit shy. The record for Christmas Eve in Boone is 63 degrees. Last week, the high on Christmas Eve reached 61 degrees. The warmest Christmas on record was at 62 degrees and the temperature just missed tying that record coming in at 61 degrees. Last week’s temperatures fell well short of the all-time December high record in Boone which was 73 degrees in 1939. The average high for this time of year in Boone is 45 degrees and the average low is 26 degrees. Temperatures have been well above those averages for seven straight days.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery County Sheriff’s Office Made Christmas Joyous for Local Children


    December 27, 2019. Megan Phillips’ husband, Ridge Phillips, is a narcotics detective for the Avery County Sheriff’s Office.  Quoting Megan: “I have had the privilege to be a part of Shop with a Cop for 3 years now. It is truly one of the most rewarding traditions I get to experience during the holiday season. “Being a teacher at Banner Elk Elementary, I get to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they come into school wearing their new clothes, coats, and boots. Many of these kids don’t ask for much, some ask for a battery-powered toothbrush, pillows, play dough, socks and underwear, things that most of us take for granted every day.” In addition to helping kids have a Merry Christmas, participating officers also help give children a positive impression of law enforcement personnel as friends and neighbors who care for them. Avery Sheriff Kevin Frye believes the program is good not only for local children but also for his personnel and family members.  It is a way they can give back to the community. / Read more…



  • Paulette Marty Presents to High Country Writers on January 9


    December 26, 2019. High Country Writers welcomes Paulette Marty as the presenter at their meeting on Thursday, January 9 at the Watauga County Library at 10 a.m. Her topic will be “Following your interests into the unknown.” Programs are co-sponsored by the library and the public is invited. Dr. Paulette Marty is a professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Appalachian State University. Her most recent publication is a book titled “Contemporary Women Stage Directors” where she interviewed 27 female directors and “gathered their comments into a book.” She has published in various theatre journals and periodicals, including Medieval English Theatre, Theatre Survey, Theatre Symposium, and American Theatre. Dr. Marty is also a dramaturg, a theatrical editor, and director. “As a director myself, I’m really interested in the process other directors follow in their work,” Marty explained. “I’ve seen a lot of great work over the past decade by mid-career female directors, but noticed they were woefully underrepresented in the literature on the subject.” / Read more…



  • Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce Donates Funds Collected at Inaugural Polar Plunge


    December 26, 2019. Banner Elk Chamber President Jo-Ann McMurray announced the donation of funds collected at inaugural Polar Plunge to Banner Elk Fire Chief Tyler Burr. Pictured here, left to right: Megan Lewis, Joseph Silver, Tyler Burr, Jo-Ann McMurray, Carol Seitz and JC Steinbaugh. The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce is located on 100 Main Street at the streetlight in downtown Banner Elk and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Summer) and 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Winter). / Read more…



  • Western Youth Network Receives Grant for Avery County to Focus on Primary Prevention

    December 26, 2019. Avery County was one of ten communities in North Carolina selected to receive a Partnership for Success (PFS) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Over the next four years, dedicated staff in Avery County will focus on preventing the onset and progression of underage alcohol use and e-cigarette use/vaping. The PFS grant is managed by the Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services (DMHDDSAS) in collaboration with Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC). Addressing health disparities at the community scale is also a central component of the work of this grant. To ensure positive outcomes, the selected communities will be working with various local and state partners to collaborate in data collection to identify the underlying causes of substance use and planning interventions to decrease related consequences.  / Read more…



  • Piedmont Federal Charity Event at Appalachian Theatre Draws Full House on December 20


    December 26, 2019. The community rallied to support Hunger and Health Coalition on Friday evening filling The Appalachian Theatre to capacity for a showing of the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Piedmont Federal Savings Bank sponsored the event opening the newly renovated theatre to the public for a free showing of the movie in exchange for donations to support Hunger and Health Coalition of Watauga County. Monetary donations went to the Backpack Food Program for children at risk and non-perishable food items were accepted for the Food Pantry Program.. / Read more…



  • Gunther Jochl Receives Surprise Award at Sugar Mountain’s 50th Anniversary Celebration


    December 23, 2019. Gunther Jochl isn’t the type of person who seeks the spotlight. On Saturday night December 14th at Sugar Mountain Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the spotlight was all on him when he was humbled to hear that he was being awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. Tracy Minton, the Park Superintendent at Elk Knob State Park, presented the award on behalf of Governor Roy Cooper to Gunther, owner and operator of Sugar Mountain Resort. “We all know that Gunther is the current owner and president of Sugar Mountain Resort, but he has served in a leadership capacity within the ski industry all over the U.S. and yes even Germany,” Minton said during the award presentation. “In the words of noted author and pastor, John C. Maxwell, ‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.’ One thing is for sure. Gunther knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the highest civilian honor in the state of North Carolina, and it dates back to 1963. The award is reserved for persons who “have made a significant contribution to their state and community through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.”  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • North Carolina Ranks Second in National Study of Christmas Trees Grown and Harvested


    December 23, 2019. Last year, Americans decorated more than 32 million Christmas trees. No, not artificial trees from a box or Amazon, real Christmas living trees. This year is expected to be another banner year for Christmas trees. With evergreen on our minds, we here at Zippia set out to see which state was making the most green from all these Christmas tree sales- and which states have the most jobs created from the Christmas tree biz. We chopped through the data like it was a towering evergreen, and here’s what we found about the biggest Christmas tree producing states in America: / Read more…



  • High Country Association of Realtors Donates to Watauga Habitat for Humanity


    December 23, 2019. The High Country Association of Realtors (HCAR) recently presented Watauga County Habitat for Humanity a check for $1000. This donation will support the App Builds a Home project being built in Watauga Habitat’s eco-friendly GreenWood neighborhood. App Builds a Home is a student-led, campus-wide partnership building a Habitat home for a local family. The students, faculty, and staff of Appalachian State University have come together to design, fund, and build the home. “The High Country Association of Realtors is not only committed to helping people become homeowners but is also investing in affordable homeownership opportunities for our Habitat families,” said Allison Jennings, Director of Development at Watauga Habitat. “By supporting us, they are helping families build and buy their own home and achieve the American Dream of owning a home,” said Jennings. The donation from HCAR will be matched by Curt and Linda Gillespie of Blowing Rock, NC and Naples, Florida. / Read more…



  • Multitude of Candidates Have Filed for Avery County, State and Federal Government Offices; Foxx No Longer Will Represent Avery Following Court Ruling

    December 20, 2019. Filing for the 2020 government elections ended at 12:00 Noon on Friday, Dec. 20 and dozens of candidates from the area filed for Federal, State and local offices, including sixteen for county-wide government seats that will be open in Avery County. For Clerk of Court, Interim Clerk of Court Teresa Benfield filed, along with Theresa Lewis King, Lisa Vance and Linda Webb.  Benfield has served in the interim role since the retirement earlier this year of longtime Clerk of Court Lisa Daniels. All four candidates have worked in various capacities in the judicial system.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga County Candidate Filing Ends for 2020 Election Season; Primary Set For March 3


    December 20, 2019. A pair of last-minute filers made it to the Watauga County Board of Elections by the noon deadline today to file for the 2020 elections. Turner Doolittle has decided to challenge N.C. Representative Ray Russell in the Democratic primary while republican Bart Keller will challenge incumbent Charlie Wallin for the Watauga County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat. Now that candidate registration is over, voters can turn their attention towards choosing the candidate that they see as the best fit for the position. March 3, 2020, is the date for the North Carolina Primary, however, there are numerous one-stop early voting dates before the actual primary date. Early voting begins on Thursday, February 13 and will conclude on Saturday, February 29. The voting hours will be from 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 29. That is the only Saturday that early voting will be happening.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Saturday Marks the First Day of Winter and Shortest Day of the Year

    December 20, 2019. While winter temperatures have been hanging around for a little while already, the first day of winter does not arrive until Saturday. The Winter Solstice will take place at 11:19 p.m. EST Saturday night. This is also the shortest amount of daylight during the year with just 9 hours, 41 minutes, 39 seconds of daylight. The sun will rise at 7:33 a.m. and will set at 5:15 p.m. All days after this will begin to get longer by a few seconds until the first day of Summer in 2020 when the cycle of slowly losing daylight starts over. From a scientific perspective, the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere happens when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky. At the exact same time on Saturday, the Southern Hemisphere of the planet will be experiencing its Summer Solstice. Most times, the Winter Solstice will happen on December 21 or December 22, but can rarely happen on December 20 or December 23.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ski Conditions Remain Terrific Heading into Christmas Holiday Week


    December 20, 2019. This prolonged streak of cool daytime weather and cold nights for snowmaking have left the area ski resorts with plenty of snow for what should be a busy next couple of weeks with Christmas and New Year’s ride around the corner. Appalachian Ski Mtn. will be continuing their new tradition of offering 50 percent off ski tickets on Christmas Day. According to Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at Appalachian Ski Mountain, this is the third year that they have offered the discount that is used as a fundraiser for the Appalachian Ski Patrol. The Appalachian Ski Patrol will be volunteering their time to help staff the ski area in order to raise funds for a new First Aid and Ski Patrol facility. The ski area will be donating ski ticket and rental receipts for that day towards this project. Tickets must be purchased online by noon on Christmas Day to take advantage of the skiing discount from 1-10 p.m. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Jack Sheldon, Famed Trumpeter yet Merv Griffin Sidekick, Dies at 88

    He also voiced singing characters on ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ and was an actor on the 1960s comedy ‘Run, Buddy Run.’ Jack Sheldon, the extraordinary West Coast jazz trumpeter and singer who played “The Shadow of Your Smile” for the big screen, served as Merv Griffin’s sidekick and voiced characters on Schoolhouse Rock!, died Friday, his longtime manager, Dianne Jimenez, reported. He was 88. Sheldon performed the haunting “The Shadow of Your Smile” on the Elizabeth Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, December 9 – December 15

    December 19, 2019. 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



  • Watauga Medical Center Named Among Top 10 Percent for Patient Safety


    December 19, 2019. Watauga Medical Center has received the 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award, which recognizes hospital excellence in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay. “I’m so proud of our team for being named among the nation’s top 10% for patient safety,” said Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “This recognition validates our efforts and dedication toward providing excellent healthcare for our community.” Variation in hospital quality can have a significant impact on the quality of care a patient receives. / Read more…



  • Rep. Foxx Votes in Opposition to Articles of Impeachment

    December 19, 2019. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) voted in opposition to the articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump that were considered in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Foxx stated, “When Congress sees fit to exercise its solemn power of impeachment, it is imperative that it does so in genuine pursuit of justice: fairly, transparently, and objectively.  This partisan impeachment has fallen far short of that.  After years of investigations, hearings, and millions of taxpayer dollars, Democrats found no proof that the President committed a crime, as the vague accusations in the articles of impeachment clearly reflected.  These empty, baseless articles exposed for the American people what this is, a desperate, partisan attempt to avenge the loss of the Democrats’ preferred candidate in 2016.” / Read more…



  • Lynne Mason and Marshall Ashcraft Bid Farewell to the Boone Town Council


    December 18, 2019. Two town council members chose not to seek re-election during last month’s election period. Lynne Mason and Marshall Ashcraft both decided to step away from their council responsibilities to pursue other endeavors. Mason had been on the town council for five terms that spanned across 18 years. Ashcraft won a seat on the board in 2017 after retiring from his role as the Public Information Director for Watauga County Schools. Both departing council members were presented with plaques for their service to the town and resolutions of appreciation from Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz. In a previous interview with the High Country Press, Mason said that she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and still remaining an active member in the community. Mason spoke to the remaining board members as well as the large crowd in attendance that included some of her family. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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