• MerleFest Adds Amos Lee, The Milk Carton Kids, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Del McCoury Band, The Casey Kristofferson Band, and David Holt to 2019 Festival


    February 11, 2019 MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: Amos Lee, The Milk Carton Kids, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Del McCoury Band, The Casey Kristofferson Band, and David Holt. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, April 25-28. MerleFest is pleased to welcome these six distinguished acts to the 2019 lineup: Amos Lee: Singer-songwriter Amos Lee’s creative take on folk and soul style continues to evolve. Over the course of more than a dozen years and six studio albums, Lee has continued to develop and challenge himself as a musician and now producer. Amos Lee will make his MerleFest debut on Friday evening.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” as Funny and Heart-touching as the First


    February 11, 2019 “The Lego Movie” was one of my favorite movies of 2014. It should have won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature that year, its snub in the category only explainable by a sort of unofficial disqualification due to its live-action climax. The finale was the icing on an already-delicious cake, a touching sequence where we learned that the mostly-silly computer-animated adventure that had preceded it was actually a mask for a strained father/son relationship. The father (Will Ferrell) realized that by spending all his free time building elaborate Lego sculptures alone, he was cutting his family out of his life. He decided to allow his son to play with his vast collection of Legos, as well as his daughter with her Duplo blocks. The son wasn’t 100% okay with this, as the Duplos were sure to interfere with his Lego adventures.  By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • The Mary Finley Story of Love: Understanding the Heart of Second Chances


    February 11, 2019 How do you define love? To every retailer’s delight, this question seems to always resurface at Valentine’s Day. For better or worse we have become conditioned as a society to celebrate the “heart holiday” with flowers, chocolates and greeting cards. Although these gifts are certainly appreciated, one could argue that dinner reservations and overstuffed teddy bears do not in and of themselves define love. Mary Finley, the cardiovascular lab manager at Watauga Medical Center defines love differently. At the hospital she and her team work with interventional cardiologists to provide life-saving heart procedures for patients in need of a second chance. After receiving her own share of second chances in life, she defines love as an action, made evident through undeserved and unconditional grace.  / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Outdoor Recreation Management Will Now Offer the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program

    February 11, 2019 The Outdoor Recreation Management program at Lees-McRae now offers a new certification to add to its already growing slew of outdoor-focused certification courses. The North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program (EECP), developed by the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs housed within the NC Department of Environmental Quality will now be offered to both current and future students at Lees-McRae. With the recent addition, Lees-McRae becomes one of the few colleges in North Carolina to offer the certification in an academic setting. Other institutions include Appalachian State University in nearby Boone, North Carolina, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The certification also brings with it partnerships across campus including the Wildlife Biology program. / Read more…



  • Fred’s General Mercantile Celebrates 40 Great Years in the Beech Mountain Community


    February 8, 2019 One of the most iconic businesses in the High Country will celebrate being the heart and soul of Beech Mountain for the last 40 years. Fred and Margie Pfohl have owned and operated Fred’s General Mercantile since February 9, 1979 and have always cherished their role as the true town hub of Beech Mountain. “I’m surprised we lived this long, it has been great,” Fred joked. “It’s relatively easy with a good partner like Margie helping with it and all the other great folks that have helped us through the years. We have been very fortunate to have the best group of people around and it seems like we are able to have good folks that help us on a day-to-day basis and great customers too.” Fred and Margie used to live above the store until 22 years ago when they moved to a larger house just outside the town limits. Before moving, the Pfohls raised five children in that building, prompting a move to the bigger house when their kids started having grandchildren and growing the family to well over 20 members. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Riverkeeper to Hold “Live Staking” Volunteer Days to Stabilize Riverbanks, Prevent Erosion

    February 8, 2019 Over the next few months, Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill will hold a series of “live staking” volunteer days to stabilize riverbanks and prevent erosion in the Watauga River basin. For these events, Hill will team up with volunteers to plant tree cuttings while wading and/or paddling in the Watauga. A live stake is a cutting from a tree species like silky dogwood, black willow, or elderberry that can be planted along riverbanks and eventually reduces sediment erosion. “These stakes will grow into trees that will stabilize the sides of the rivers and creeks where we plant them, and will reduce the overall amount of sediment getting into the river,” Hill explains. Sediment is one of the worst forms of river pollution, as it clogs aquatic habitats, increases water temperature (which is harmful for trout and other species) and transports toxic substances. When spring comes, the stakes’ nodes that were planted underground will sprout roots, helping to hold the riverbank in place. This is the second year Hill has held the live staking days – which are also called “Paddle-n-Plant Days.” Together, Hill and volunteers planted 2,500 live stakes last year, and this year Hill hopes they can plant 3,000 more. / Read more…



  • Flu On the Rise in NC; App Regional Healthcare System Limiting Visitations

    February 8, 2019 As we near the peak of the 2018-19 flu season, the NC Department of Health and Human Services confirmed this week that flu is becoming more widespread throughout the state, and our local healthcare system is limiting visitors. According to the NC DHHS, six influenza-associated deaths were reported during the week ending Feb. 2, bringing the total number of influenza-associated deaths reported so far this season to 35. This does not represent all flu-associated deaths in the state, since many go undiagnosed or unreported. Although vaccination early in the season is preferred, it is never too late to get vaccinated and help protect yourself and others from the spread of this dangerous, sometimes deadly virus. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Sets New Record High Temperature for February 7; Previous Record was 61 Degrees

    February 7, 2019 Today is shaping up to be such a warm day that the previous high temperature for February 7 was broken by 10 a.m. Thursday morning, according to data from Ray’s Weather Center. The previous record of 61 degrees was set in 2017. Morning temperatures in Boone surpassed that number relatively easy. Daytime temperatures will continue to rise and possibly reach as high as 70 degrees around the High Country. The current prediction from Ray’s Weather has the high reaching 68 degrees in Boone. Other records could be in jeopardy as well as the day continues. The current record in Banner Elk for warmest temperature on February 7 is 68 degrees set all the way back in 1937. The record at Beech Mountain is 55 degrees set in 2017. The longest-running record that could be broken today is over in West Jefferson where the high of 65 degrees has been in the record books since 1927. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Valle Crucis Wins WCS Mock Trial Competition


    February 6, 2019 Valle Crucis’ Eighth Grade Mock Trial Team proved its prowess in the courtroom at Appalachian State University recently, taking home the top spot in the Watauga County School Mock Trial Competition. Teams of middle-schoolers from each of Watauga’s K-8 schools met at the Reich College of Education Jan. 18 to hash out the details of the competition’s latest case. Each year, the mock trial contest challenges students to take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a simulated civil or criminal courtroom trial. Teams prepare and present both sides of the case, playing the part of the prosecution and defense over the course of the competition. Mock trials proceed exactly as real trials do: after a student bailiff calls the court to order, student attorneys make opening statements, interview and cross examine student witnesses and offer closing arguments. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 28 – February 3

    February 6, 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



  • Foxx, Burr and Tillis Respond to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address

    February 6, 2019 President Donald Trump shared his take on what is going right and wrong in the United States with the annual State of the Union Address that aired worldwide last night. Several North Carolina politicians, including Rep. Virginia Foxx, Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr weighed in on what Trump had to say. Other interest groups across the country also shared their thoughts on the State of the Union Address. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Conversation with Avery Senior Services Director Philip Adams


    February 6, 2019 Known by his family, friends, colleagues and those who use Avery County Senior Services for his excellent leadership skills as well as his kindness and compassion for others—especially the less fortunate– is the department’s apt director, Reverend Philip Adams. The Avery Senior Services Department in Newland has a most worthwhile reason for existence for the County’s golden citizens. Its mission statement reads: to promote the well-being of the County’s older adults by supporting services and activities which are intended to support their health and independence, enhance their dignity and encourage their involvement in and with the community. Continue reading for an interview exchange between this reporter (my questions) and Adams (his answers) about the multitude of services available to Avery’s senior citizens through his department. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Pathways to Foster Care and Adoption; Saturday’s Luncheon To Provide Information and Answers

    February 6, 2019 Currently, there are more than 12,000 children in foster care in North Carolina. Let that sink in. Just as startling as the stats is the fact that 70 of those are in Watauga County, alone — and only 25 licensed foster care homes are available locally to meet the ongoing, ever-growing needs. In an effort to increase awareness and opportunities for families to become involved in caring for these precious children, an information-packed luncheon is planned for this coming Saturday, Feb. 9, from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Perkinsville Baptist Church in Boone. Special guest speakers will be Gretchen Goers, assistant director of foster care at the Crossnore School, and Jessica Winebarger, licensing and adoptions social worker at Watauga County Department of Social Services. According to event facilitator, Celia Marsh, Goers and Winebarger will share how critical the need is for foster families in the High Country, as well as information on becoming certified as a foster home. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Avery County Government’s Highly-Favorable Audit Announced at Commissioners Meeting

    February 6, 2019 During the regular monthly meeting of the Avery Commissioners on February 4, it was revealed that the county received a highly-positive audit for the 2017-18 fiscal year.   Sharon Gillespie of the Young, Miller & Gillespie Public Accountants Company in Spruce Pine addressed the commissioners about the past fiscal year’s county audit report that the accounting firm conducted. Gillespie said the county received excellent ratings in its audit, running from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. According to Greene, the county has a total governmental fund balance of $21,664,962.00. He noted that not all that money is available as pre-paid assets and restricted funds are taken from that amount. He said the total amount available to the county in the General Fund’s Unrestricted Fund Balance is $15,158,370.00. There had been speculation raised about some of the county’s fire funds possibly missing. Commissioner Young, Jr. specifically asked about any such missing funds.   Gillespie noted that the audit revealed that no fire funds were missing or unaccounted for. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: There’s More Than One Way to Eat Girl Scout Cookies!


    February 6, 2019. For just a few more weeks, we can still enjoy those mouth-watering once-a-year treats that we’re seeing on nearly every corner of the High Country. Unfortunately, we can only find them this time every year, but we’ve discovered a few good ways to extend the life of Girl Scout Cookies. Remember, too, that most of the cookies freeze well – so don’t think you have to devour them all at one time. In fact, just as they returned this year, I pulled the last sleeve of Thin Mints from its hiding place in the back of the freezer — and they tasted nearly as good as the fresh ones! Few things in this world make a difference like this annual fundraiser for Girl Scouts, so do yourself (and your favorite Girl Scout!) a favor while you still can. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Pop Superstar Kesha Performing at Appalachian State University on March 29


    February 5, 2019 The Appalachian Popular Programming Society announced that singer-songwriter Kesha is scheduled to perform in the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University on March 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets for ASU students went on sale today online and in the Plemmons Student Union. Tickets will be available tomorrow in-person at Holmes Convocation Center, Plemmons Student Union, and online. All floor tickets will be sold only in-person and with a valid ASU student ID until the floor tickets sell out. Tickets for the public will go on sale starting Monday, February 11 at 9 a.m. Seated tickets for ASU students are $38, floor tickets (only for ASU students) are $50, and seated tickets for non-ASU students will be 55$. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Gas Prices in Boone Rising Back Above North Carolina State Average


    February 5, 2019 For all of January and the first few days of February, gas prices in Boone had settled in below the state average of $2.15 for a gallon of regular gasoline in North Carolina. Unfortunately for commuters around Boone and other parts of the High Country, gas prices have shot up again over the last couple of days at several stations in the area. Both Speedway stations on Highway 421 entering and exiting Boone, the Speedway on Blowing Rock Road and the Speedway on Highway 105 have gas prices that jumped to $2.24 a gallon according to reports from GasBuddy earlier on Tuesday. The Citgo at the intersection of Highway 105 and E. King Street had prices reported at 2.15 a gallon around noon. According to other reports, the Quality Plus on Highway 421 North still has regular gas for $2.09 a gallon, the Mobil stations on Highway 105 and Bamboo Rod, the Exxon on Blowing Rock Road, Gastown at the intersection of Hardin Street and Howard Street and the Carolina Petro on Blowing Rock Road all still have gasoline prices at $2.07 per gallon for regular. 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



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Fourth Week of SMARL’s 2019 Season

    February 5, 2019 The fourth race of the 2019 Sugar Mountain Adult Race League (SMARL) took place Monday night at Sugar Mountain Resort on Oma’s Meadow. SMARL takes place on six Mondays in January and February and is now in its 14th year as an after-work, “beer league” for local skiers and snowboarders in the High Country. SMARL is sponsored by Sugar Mountain Resort and Ski Country Sports. It was unseasonably warm yesterday, but racers still got to enjoy some great snow conditions. “The skiing was awesome. It was a little on the warm side but the snow as really good. I think Sugar has as much snow as I’ve ever seen them have,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “We had a great turnout.” This week’s dinner for the racers was BBQ, slaw, chips and rolls provided by Ski Country Sports.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Registration Now Open for May 4 State of the Child, State of the Community Event

    February 5, 2019 Registration began February 1 for the May 4 State of the Child, State of the Community Event, hosted by the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative. This year’s conference will be held from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Watauga High School with space to accommodate at least 600 attendees and offering four sessions of classes, with 18 possible class topics from which to choose. Cost for the event is only $25 and includes a full day of informative presentations, inspiring speeches, a delicious lunch by Reid’s Catering and more. This year’s event theme, “What’s Strong in You?” will help participants explore ways to not only identify, but also be able to overcome, some of life’s greatest challenges — not only for themselves, but also for those with whom they work on a daily basis. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Two Teachers at Two Rivers Community School Have Been Recognized by the NC State Department of Public Instruction


    February 5, 2019 Two teachers at Two Rivers Community School (TRCS) have been awarded bonuses from the NC State Department of Public Instruction for fostering outstanding achievement growth (top 25% of state teachers) on the End of Grade tests in their classrooms. Dr. Natalie Oransky earned the bonus for the last two years (the first years it was offered) for facilitating growth in 5th grade students’ math scores. She has taught at TRCS for 13 years. Ms. Lindsay Carroll earned the bonus from NCPDI for outstanding growth in reading as a third-grade teacher. She has loved teaching at TRCS for seven years.  / Read more…



  • Grandfather Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Franc Given Score of 89 in Review by James Suckling


    February 4, 2019 On October 12-17, 2018 Senior Editor James Suckling and Contributing Editors Nick Stock, William McIlhenny, and Stuart Pigott of the internationally renowned jamessuckling.com gathered at historic Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia to conduct The Great American Tasting. The Grandfather Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Franc was among the reviewed wines and was ultimately rewarded a score of 89. The tasters from jamessuckling.com left notes about the Cabernet Franc commenting on its nice freshness, soft tannins, and a rich and ripe overall flavor profile. A score of 89 out of 100 is impressive and the notes were punctuated with a call for wine enthusiasts across the nation to “Drink now!” Though Grandfather Vineyard has sold out of the 2015 Cabernet Franc, a 2016 Cabernet Franc is soon to be released.  / Read more…



  • Movie Review: “Miss Bala” Bland, Forgettable and Overshadowed by the Super Bowl


    February 4, 2019  “Miss Bala” found a modicum of success this past weekend purely because it was a medium-sized fish in a small pond. Namely, it was the only new wide release on Super Bowl weekend. Opening on Super Bowl weekend means you can kiss your Sunday ticket sales goodbye, so most studios stay away from it. But the people behind “Miss Bala” must have seen that there was nothing else scheduled for the slot, and said “We may not be the biggest, and we may not be the best, but we can be the only game in town. Okay, except for a few pesky holdovers.” Two of those pesky holdovers did beat out “Miss Bala”: “Glass” in its third weekend and “The Upside” in its fourth, but it did beat out the twelfth weekend of “Green Book,” so I’m stuck having to pretend that it matters. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Warm Weather Arrives in the High Country for the First Full Week of February

    February 4, 2019 Unseasonably warm weather will be the trend this week in the High Country with temperatures shooting into to 60s through the first four days of the week. A lot has certainly changed in the last seven days, as temperatures at this time last week were downright cold with wind chills below zero. According to Monday morning’s forecast update from Ray’s Weather Center, it looks like the warm weather will be here to stay, at least through Thursday. In addition to the warmer temperatures, most of the week will be dry with just a slight chance of a shower on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ruritan Club Provides Little Free Libraries for Deep Gap Community


    February 4, 2019 In a continued effort to serve their community, members of the Deep Gap Ruritan Club have recently joined thousands of other groups and individuals in what has become known as the world’s largest book-sharing movement. While Little Free Libraries have begun springing up around the globe, it is only natural for the compassionate club representing the High Country, and in particular, the eastern section of Watauga County, to jump on board and help spread the love for reading in and around its neighborhood. Little Free Library, like Ruritan, is a nonprofit organization, and is described as one that “inspires a love of reading, builds community and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges.” By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • The 21st Annual Cycle North Carolina “Mountains to Coast” Route Will Start in Blowing Rock September 28


    February 4, 2019 Cycle North Carolina will begin its full-service, cross-state ride on September 28th in Blowing Rock, and will arrive at the Atlantic Beach Boardwalk on October 5th, with 1,100 bicyclists expected to participate. Over the course of the week, riders will bike an average of 60 miles per day. Additional overnight stays are planned for the towns of Hickory, Spencer, Siler City, Clayton, Greenville and New Bern. The Cycle North Carolina “Mountains to Coast” Tour is the state’s only cross-state, fully-supported ride created in 1999. Cycle North Carolina was developed to promote North Carolina’s scenic beauty, heritage tourism, visitor attractions, historic sites, state parks, fitness, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of bicycling to individuals and our state. During the past 20 years, Cycle North Carolina has stopped overnight in more than 100 North Carolina towns and visited over 700 North Carolina communities. / Read more…



  • Area Farmers Learn About Hemp Growing and Production During Special Meeting in Ashe County


    February 1, 2019 It was a standing-room-only crowd at Family Central in Jefferson as local farmers took part in a hemp production and marketing meeting organized by the North Carolina State Extension that specializes in agricultural and horticultural science in the state. The speakers on Wednesday included researchers from NC State University, experienced growers, hemp processing companies and the NC Industrial Hemp Association. Margaret Bloomquist and Leonora Stefanile, researchers with the NC State New Crops & Organics Program, spoke at length about the information that they have compiled so far from growing and testing hemp at their research farm located in Mills River. “We have been doing research with hemp since the beginning of the pilot program at NC State and we have collaborated with NC A&T and other research institutes across the state,” Bloomquist said. “Hemp is bringing in a lot of enthusiasm as well as a lot of research opportunities and economic dollars.” Some of their research presented included testing how hemp grows with certain types of mulch, plant spacing and the success of different varieties of the plant in this climate. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Ski Conditions Are Excellent Heading Into the First Weekend of February


    February 1, 2019 For anyone wanting to get on their skies and snowboards this weekend, the conditions are among the best of the season for each of the ski resorts in the High Country. “We have a fantastic weekend outlook, the weather looks terrific and the only trail that we don’t have open is the Sugar Bear trail. We’ve got a nice, solid, deep base,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain. Resort. 20 of 21 trails are open with a 49-90 inch base. The Rockabilly’s will be playing live from 4-6 p.m. at Sugar Mountain on Saturday. The band plays classic country hits and rock hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. At Beech Mountain, big crowds are expected to show up for some of the best conditions they have seen yet this winter. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Hosts First USASA Event of the Season; Appalachian Ski Mtn This Weekend


    February 1, 2019 Last weekend, the 2019 USASA Southeastern Series kicked off with a slopestyle event at Beech Mtn. Over 40 competitors came out to showcase their talents and via for a chance to compete at the National Championships held in Colorado in early April. “We had a great turn-out, the weather co-operated, and the park set-up was on point!” say’s series director Andy McDaniel. “ The first year at the same event, we had like 12 kids. Last year, despite single digit temps and howling wind, we had around 20. This year we had 43 competitors, so we know we are growing, and headed in the right direction!” Next stop for the Southeastern Series is a two day boardercross/ skiercross evnt at App Ski Mtn. this weekend. Widely considered to be one of the most thrilling disciplines, cross racing features groups of four riders or skiers racing through a course consisting or motocross style berms, rollers, and jumps. / Read more…



  • Keller Williams Performing on February 9th at Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Taproom and Grill


    February 1, 2019 Weekends at Beech Mountain Resort are packed full of events to attend this winter season. Next Saturday, February 9, Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Taproom and Grill will be hosting a performance by the multitalented musician Keller Williams. Keller Williams is a self-proclaimed “Acoustic Dance Music” artist whose performances must be seen live and in-person to fully appreciate. Williams himself explains Acoustic Dance Music as, “solo acoustic guitar and voice with every other song walking the line of electronica. If you need a title to file under try ‘electro-hippie acoustic downtempo.’ What kind of definition is that? It’s the kind of definition that will take you actually going to a show to decide for yourself and put it into your own words. This element of my life is what I refer to as my day job. Which is essentially me finding new ways to entertain myself on stage in front of an audience. Using technology and a technique, described by Dr. Didg, as live phrase sampling or looping, I am able to entertain myself for two sets. Nothing is prerecorded and all sounds and beats are created live by layering loops on top of one another and then singing or soloing over top of all of it.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell Co-Sponsors His First Bill


    February 1, 2019 Rep. Ray Russell (D-Watauga) co-sponsored the first bill of his legislative career, House Bill 5 “Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap.” Today, about 2000 people in Ashe and Watauga County cannot get health care when they need it because they can’t afford health insurance. These working families are in a “coverage gap,” meaning their incomes are too low to afford coverage through healthcare.gov, but too high to qualify for traditional Medicaid. If enacted, the bill would provide much-needed health care coverage for 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians, including more than 3,300 Ashe and Watauga county residents. Additionally, it would provide a financial boost for rural hospitals. Appalachian Regional Medical Center and Ashe Memorial Hospital (and other local medical providers) would receive a boost of roughly $4.2 million per year in previously unreimbursed medical costs. The effort to expand Medicaid has the support of at least one local hospital official. “We recognize the tremendous need to increase access to quality health care and support efforts that allow all members of our community to have access to care,” said Ashe Memorial Hospital CEO Laura Lambeth. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Habitat for Humanity Recruiting 2019 Big Kahuna Campaign Contestants


    February 1, 2019 Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is currently recruiting participants for their 2019 Big Kahuna Campaign. A Kahuna is a community minded person who volunteers to help raise money for Watauga Habitat’s affordable housing program by soliciting their network of personal and business contacts to donate to Watauga Habitat in their name. This friendly competition kicks off March 1st, 2019. At the conclusion of the contest, the results will be announced at a fun social event known as the “Don Ho-Down” on May 15th. At this event, the Kahuna raising the most money will be crowned the “BIG KAHUNA”. / Read more…



  • Call of the Horn Outdoor Drama, Nonprofit Hosts 2019 Membership Drive


    January 31, 2019 With climactic battle sequences and the booming report of musket and cannon fire, “Horn in the West” has brought explosive outdoor drama to the High Country for almost seven decades. Organizers would like to see it continue for another seven and, to that end, are hosting a membership drive in 2019. Produced and presented by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA), “Horn in the West” draws regulars and newcomers every summer to Daniel Boone Park, where they witness a tale of the Revolutionary War unfold beneath the High Country sky. By Frank Ruggiero / 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



  • Hawksnest Enjoying Great Snow Conditions and is Shaping Up As Their Best Year Ever


    January 31, 2019 This winter has been a great one so far for Hawksnest. In its 12th year of snow tubing, Hawksnest has taken advantage of a cold and snowy winter so far to offer some of the best snow tubing anywhere in the United States. “It has been awesome so far, if it keeps going the way it has, this will be one of the better years we’ve ever had. Snow tubing continues to grow for us,” said Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawksnest. Hawksnest has been in business for over 50 years and first opened as a ski slope in 1964. After deciding to close the slopes for skiing in 2007, snow tubing was quick to take off. The snow tubing park in Seven Devils is the second largest park in the country and the largest in the south. “The only tubing park I know that’s bigger is Chip Perfect’s near Indianapolis that does it the way we do,” Cottom said. “They don’t really do it as big as we do it out west. I guess they’re all skiers out there. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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