• 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…



  • Avery High Renovations and New Construction May Be Delayed Due to Funding Issues

    January 31, 2019 Increased cost estimates for renovations and new construction at Avery County High School has created doubts about whether the project will proceed in the near future. During a recent joint meeting of the Avery County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education, it was revealed that the estimated cost of the project has increased by a hefty $4 million from approximately $19 million to an estimated amount of around $23 million. The project, which the commissioners first started considering in 2018, was later approved to proceed with a bid. The county’s $1.7 million in North Carolina Education Lottery funds was earmarked to fund its first stages. The updated costs presented to both boards at the meeting by Architect Rob Johnson of Boomerang Design, of Charlotte, NC, included various project revisions as well as new equipment that would be necessary for the school, some of which created the increase in cost estimate. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Tweetsie Railroad Auditions for 2019 Season Are Happening This Saturday at the Theme Park

    January 31, 2019 If you want a great summer job, love to sing, dance and act, or have theater tech skills this Saturday is when local auditions and interviews for employment will be conducted for the 2019 season at Tweetsie Railroad’s Wild West Adventure theme park.. Tweetsie’s Entertainment Department will be scouting for musical theater performers, as well as audio/video staff. Singers, technicians, actors, cloggers and dancers are all welcome to these auditions, including those with stage combat and equestrian skills. Applicants should apply online (www.tweetsie.com/employment/application/) or pick an up application at the Ticket Office. Registration will be on-site. Actors, singers/dancers and technicians will register between 9:00 am and 10:00 am. Applicants must be 16 years or older to audition.
    / Read more…



  • A Conversation with Avery Habitat for Humanity’s Melanie Burgin


    January 30, 2019. In this “Conversation” story edition, Avery Habitat for Humanity’s Melanie Burgin was interviewed about that ministry. Avery County Habitat for Humanity is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. The local Habitat ministry strives to eliminate sub-standard housing in Avery County by assisting local, low-income families in grave need who seek home ownership as a means of obtaining financial stability and generational transformation. To achieve this goal, Avery County Habitat partners with community organizations and individuals to build affordable, energy efficient homes that promote healthy living. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 21 – January 27

    January 30, 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



  • Flu Deaths and Cases Climb Statewide, Only 71 Treated Locally as Season Nears its Most Dangerous Phase

    January 30, 2019 The total death toll in North Carolina is currently 23 this 2018-19 flu season, which is now entering its most active period, state health officials reported. The flu season officially begins in October every year and typically runs through March 31, though it has lingered several weeks longer at times. It is generally most active during the coldest winter months of December through March, with the number of confirmed flu cases usually peaking in early-to mid-February each year. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services statistics reveals the number of flu deaths as part of a weekly update. Four deaths from an earlier period that were delayed in being reported are included in that total of 23. The agency does not provide details, such as name of the deceased, age, gender or county of residence, to protect the privacy of the families affected. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Hosting the Perfect Super Bowl Party


    January 30, 2019. With Super Bowl Sunday just hours away, you can plan now to be the big winner at your own gathering. Super Bowl parties are just as unique as their hosts and hostesses. Almost anything and everything works — from subs, chili, chips and dips to wings, ribs, burgers and dogs. Some people spend days preparing for their party, but we want it to be fun for everyone and not labor-intensive. Hopefully, this week’s simple, yet delicious, recipes will help you to relax and have fun, too, while cheering your favorite team to victory. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • The Gamekeeper Restaurant Named in Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants by OpenTable


    January 29, 2019 Just in time for the Valentine’s holiday, OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation serice, just released it’s list of the 100 most romantic restaurants across the U.S., based on their analysis of more than 12,000,000 reviews on more than 26,000 restaurants across the country submitted by verified diners. On that list was the High Country’s own Gamekeeper Restaurant. Gamekeeper owner Ken Gordon commented on making the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants list, “It’s really exciting and humbling to realize what a small percentage of restaurants make the list. It’s funny because we’ve never tried to do anything like this. All we’ve ever tried to do is make sure everybody has a good time, that’s all.” By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • The Carlton Isaacs Story: Hospital Caretaker Receives Lifesaving Care


    January 29, 2019 Have you ever thought about what goes into hospital operations? Oftentimes we spend so much time thinking about doctors, nurses and patients that we tend to overlook those who work behind the scenes to take care of the hospital building itself. Each pipe, ventilation shaft, walkway and lightbulb must be well-maintained in order to keep the hospital up and running.
    No one knows more about hospital operations than Carlton Isaacs. For more than 41 years, Carlton has served as a caretaker for Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC. During that time he has shoveled snow, waxed floors, washed dishes, pulled telephone wire, and even helped out in the operating room. He jokes that he knows the ins and outs of the hospital better than his own home. Recently, roles were reversed however when the 67-year-old caretaker relied on the hospital to provide him with lifesaving care.
    By Josh Jarman / Read more…



  • N.C. REAL ID Requirements to be Enforced Beginning October 1, 2020

    January 29, 2019 North Carolina is one of many states that will begin enforcing federally established REAL ID requirements beginning October 1, 2020. According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, “In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum-security standards for state-issued driver licenses and IDs to help prevent fraudulent identification.” The N.C. REAL ID is identical to the license or identification normally issued by the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, however the N.C. REAL ID has a yellow star located in the top right corner of the ID. Regular N.C. ID cards issued beginning October 1, 2020 will include the words “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION”. By Joe Johnson / 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



  • NCDOT Still Awaiting Next Meeting with Town of Boone Officials to Discuss Highway 105 Superstreet Proposal


    January 29, 2019 Following up a large collection of public comments and input from town and county officials, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Boone have yet to come together for a meeting to discuss potential changes for the project. According to Ramie Shaw, the Division Project Team Lead for Highway Division 11, as of now the meeting has not been scheduled. “We have just received some requested revisions to the N.C. 105 project from our consultant that we are reviewing. We are planning to meet with the town and county soon to discuss and review these changes with them,” Shaw said in an email. Public and business support for changes to the original draft grew quickly after business owners, town residents and town officials spoke out at several different meetings, including a public meeting with the NCDOT held in October of 2018 and followed up in Boone Town Council and Watauga County Commissioner meetings. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



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

    January 29, 2019 The third 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. Temperatures were not nearly as cold as they were last week when they reached nearly single digits. However, the ski conditions were still excellent for the racers. “It’s always fun when everybody gets out there and wants to keep skiing because the snow conditions are were just that good last night,” said Mark Russ of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. Russ is also one of the many competitors in the SMARL races each week. A delicious dinner for the racers was provided by Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Boone.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Close on Tuesday; Day Will Be Made Up on Saturday

    January 29, 2019 With the weather forecast predicting a brief burst of snow today, Watauga County Schools chose to be proactive and go head and cancel school for the day. Schools are closed for students, teachers and all 10-month employees. Due to this cancellation, schools will now be in session this Saturday, February 2.  On Saturday schools and itinerant teachers will follow a Tuesday schedule and will also follow an early release schedule with K-8 schools dismissing at noon and Watauga High School dismissing at 1 p.m. Lunch will be served and the buses will run their usual routes. Please remember that the Afterschool Program will not operate on Saturday. The weather forecast also impacted classes at the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute. The CCC&TI Campus will be closed for all classes on Tuesday.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Photos from Blowing Rock WinterFest 2019’s Polar Plunge by Lonnie Webster


    January 28, 2019 Though it was nice weather for January with the sun shining and no snow or ice, everyone braced themselves for the cold as crowds gathered for the Polar Plunge on Saturday morning. “The water was right at a little below 30 degrees. They had to break the ice two or three times. It kept refreezing,” said Hardin, executive director of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Calculations are still being made, but Hardin said around 120 jumpers participated. “As normal, it was a good turnout there.” John Carter, WBTV news anchor, covered The Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, which is one of the highlights at WinterFest. Chetola started cutting through the layer of ice well in advance, so Plungers felt the full impact. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • A Weekend of Fun at This Year’s 21st Annual Blowing Rock WinterFest, the Best Attended Ever!


    January 28, 2019 Each year, thousands of people gather in the High Country in January for WinterFest. This year was no different as Sunday marked the end of WinterFest 2019 and totals are still being calculated on Monday. This year, WinterFest featured old favorites and new events alike, including the Polar Plunge, the Chili Challenge, the K9 Keg Pull, a Silent Auction, and more. Charles Hardin, executive director of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, commented that this year’s WinterFest was “probably the best I’ve ever seen in the 21 years it’s been going on. I think it was because of the weather more than anything. The weather was perfect. It was cold, but it wasn’t bitter cold and there wasn’t any rain, fog or ice. It was just a really nice day for those folks who come from off the mountain.” By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Winter Weather Advisory Issued as Next Round of Snowfall Expected to Arrive Tuesday Morning in the High Country

    January 28, 2019 The early morning commute on Tuesday could be a bit of a mess for area motorists. According to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, a cold front moves through the area on Monday night and Tuesday. Clouds will start building up on Monday with snow starting around sunrise on Tuesday morning. The snowfall will be short-lived as it is expected to be out of the area by Tuesday evening. Snowfall predictions are expected to range from 1-3 inches for most of the High Country with areas of 3-6 inches possible on the western slopes and at higher elevations. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties that will last through 7 p.m. Tuesday evening. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Movie Review: “The Kid Who Would Be King” a Disaster Commercially and Creatively


    Jan. 28, 2019  Unless they’re part of a huge franchise like “Harry Potter,” live-action kids’ movies are a tough sell. True, Steven Spielberg had good fortune with some family-friendly hits, and “Home Alone” and its various knockoffs did some decent business in the 90’s, but the general rule is that if you want to bring in kids and you don’t have a character they can recognize in the first ten seconds of the trailer, you’d better be animated. This rule leaves films like “The Kid Who Would Be King” coughing in the dust. The film opened on over 3,500 screens and made a dismal estimated $7.25 million, a record low for that big a release. The film is obviously a disaster commercially and I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t fare much better creatively. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Busy Fall Lifts High Country Realtors to Another Year of Sales Growth


    January 28, 2019 Thanks in great part to an active selling season in the fall, local Realtors® sold more than 2,300 homes in 2018, the busiest year for sales in more than a decade. Sales were brisk even as interest rates rose throughout the year, including a sharp spike in early fall. Rates reversed course in mid-November. They declined every week through the end of year. With regard to overall sales, Realtors® sold 2,348 homes worth $652.1 million in 2018, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is maintained by the High Country Association of Realtors® (HCAR), which is comprised of real estate professionals active within Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. In December of 2018, Bill Aceto was installed as the 2019 president of the HCAR and Marcella Coley was installed as the 2019 president of the High Country MLS. 2018 was the eighth consecutive year of overall sales growth in the region, surpassing 2017 by 7.5 percent (2,185) and 2016 by 9.9 percent (2,136). / Read more…



  • One Foot in Front of the Other: Boone Woman, Lisa Shelton, Preparing for Boston Marathon

    January 28, 2019 Boone’s own Lisa Shelton believes that it’s every runner’s dream to run the Boston Marathon, and if that’s the case, she’s getting ready to see a dream come true. Just weeks away from participating in what she describes as “such an elite and historic race,” Shelton is running toward the mark, literally, as she prepares for this monumental opportunity. Lisa Shelton will be representing Team V at the Boston Marathon while raising money for cancer research in honor of her brother-in-law who continues his fight against cancer, and others, including her mother-in-law, who lost their battle.
    Shelton learned on December 18, 2018 that she had been selected, along with nine other runners, to represent Team V at the Boston Marathon, running in honor of her brother-in-law, Christopher, who continues to fight the battle against cancer, and in memory of others, including her mother-in-law, Ann Shelton who died in January, 1976 from lung cancer. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Saloon Recognized as No. 5 in PBR Sales Worldwide and the Known Universe in 2018


    January 25, 2019 Boone Saloon, located in Boone, North Carolina, has officially become the 5th largest seller of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in the known universe. Skip Sinanian, owner of Boone Saloon, is ecstatic with the results since Boone Saloon has placed on the top PBR seller list several times in the past, “Back in 2012 we broke the top 100 at #85 and at that time we were only selling PBR in the bottle. Then we missed 2013, but 2014 we got #83! Then sometime in 2015, someone was like ‘Hey! This Friday is the International Talk Like A Pirate Day…Are you going to have a special?’” Sinanian replied to this customer affirmatively, stating, “Oh I can do ‘PBArrrgh’ on draft! So we did, and I came in for work the next Saturday. Usually we have 10 recycling bins but we only had about 4. I was like ‘Oh, we must have been really slow…’ but when I came in it was actually like ‘No! We just sold a lot of draft!’” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Avery County Native Jason Burleson – Bad All the Way to the Bluegrass Bone


    January 25, 2019 The North Carolina High Country is known as a music haven, with many talented singers, musicians, singing duets and groups, songwriters and other contributors to the industry living in, or having roots to the region. One of its most noted musical personalities is Jason Burleson, who hails from Avery County. With a genuine gift for vocals, playing instruments and also songwriting, Jason’s musical finesse and versatility makes him one of the most explosive and dynamic performers on the Bluegrass circuit. A founder of the nationally-acclaimed Blue Highway Band and its original banjo player, Burleson has a distinctive banjo-picking style and anchors the group’s sound with his growling bass vocals.  In 2019, Blue Highway celebrates 25 years of touring, with three of its other original members still intact. The quintet that makes up the Blue Highway Band has gone on to be one of the most celebrated in its genre. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Downtown Boone Development Association Working on New Branding Campaigns and Ideas to Bring Visitors to Downtown


    January 25, 2019 The Downtown Boone Development Association held their first board meeting of 2019 and highlighted a few items to consider for marketing and branding for downtown Boone. Some of the items discussed were very broad, however the board did unanimously approve a new tag line for their branding project, “Elevation 3333, Live it Up.” Local company Destination by Design is working on the new design for the marketing campaign. As for the ideas of bringing people to downtown, those will take a little more refining to nail down plans for those events. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Announces 2019 Schedule


    January 25, 2019 With 2019 underway, Grandfather Mountain’s calendar of events is in peak condition. With a mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain, the nonprofit nature park and its staff are readying for a fun and eventful year. “2019 is going to be an incredible year on Grandfather Mountain,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “Our schedule is packed with special events, all of them bridging education with outdoor fun, while allowing us to share the wonders of Grandfather Mountain with guests of all ages.” / Read more…



  • Anna Ulery ’04 Captures Fun Moments in Her Career as a Professional Photographer


    January 25, 2019 Anna (Hanselman) Ulery, an ’04 graduate, describes her job as “capturing moments of fun.” As a portrait photographer and the owner/operator of Boone Photo Booth, Ulery said, “Encouraging people to laugh, be themselves and come out of their shell is what I do best!” While at Appalachian State University, Ulery earned a B.S. in industrial technology with a concentration in technical photography — equivalent to today’s major in commercial photography. Ulery and her husband created Boone Photo Booth in 2014. They set up their booth at weddings, parties, company gatherings and community events, using a professional camera, lighting and printing technology to provide prints on-site for instant mementos for guests at the events. By Jan Todd / Read more…



  • Governments Weigh in With Feds on Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Land Management Plan


    January 25, 2019 In the six years since the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest land management plan revision began, the U.S. Forest Service has collected thousands of comments. The public record includes remarks from individuals, special interest groups and collaborative groups. The comments submitted to the federal government also include many from state and local government entities. This, the third of three articles on the results of a Carolina Public Press Freedom of Information Act request for the more than 6,000 comments, focuses on these governmental emails. / Read more…



  • Airbnb Hosts in the High Country Bring in $10 Million in Supplemental Income


    January 25, 2019 Airbnb, one of the world’s largest home-sharing rental companies, has allowed property owners in the High Country to earn an estimated $10 million by renting to tourists coming in for vacations. The numbers released by Airbnb for the year 2018 showed that Watauga County was second in the Charlotte region, bringing in $5.2 million. Right behind Watauga was Avery County with $4.4 million in extra income. 10th on the list was Ashe County with a total of $404,000 earned through Airbnb. The data also broke down those numbers even further, indicating how many different guests were served by Airbnb hosts in the High Country. Watauga County had 46,000 total guest arrivals, Avery County had 39,000 guests and Ashe County had 4,500 guests. Much like if a tourist stayed in a hotel or used a local rental management company, an occupancy tax is collected during this stay, which benefits each county through their respective Tourism Development Authority. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Let’s Make Everyone Count! Point-in-Time Count January 30th of Homeless Individuals


    January 25, 2019 Wednesday, January 30, 2019, marks the annual Point-in-Time Count. The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, coordinated by the Northwest Continuum of Care (CoC), is the annual documentation of the extent of homelessness in the High Country region, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties. The information from the PIT Count provides a valuable snapshot of the state and extent of homelessness in our region and informs support service providers on the priorities to prevent and end homelessness. The Point in Time Count is a requirement of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently supports the Northwest CoC member agencies with $289,952 in competitive grant funding. / Read more…



  • Boone Chamber of Commerce Hands Out 2018 Business of the Year Awards at High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast


    January 24, 2019 Over 160 local business leaders gathered at Appalachian Ski Mountain for the 3rd annual High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast, co-hosted by the Boone Area and Blowing Rock Chambers of Commerce. The event was presented by PeakGroup.insure and further sponsorship support was provided by Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and Skyline National Bank. Dr. Harry Davis, North Carolina Bankers Association Professor of Banking and Economist, presented a summary of trends related to regional and nationwide economic growth, housing, employment, and education. He then predicted the current economic recovery period will continue through 2019 and into 2020. “The economy is going to grow around 2.6% this year, down from the 3% over the last 12-months, but above the 2.3% levels that we saw before,” Davis stated. “The unemployment rates for the Nation and for North Carolina will remain at historically low levels. We are going to have greater wage and salary growth over the next 12-months because of the tightness of the labor market. And if these things do happen, which I think they will, it will be a real positive for housing. It may take a while to show up, maybe a few of months, but I think housing will mirror last year’s numbers, which showed to be a pretty good year. I think this year the housing market has the chance to be better based on these trends.”  / Read more…



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