• Local Author Glenn A. Bruce Shares His Experience with Writing as He Releases Two New Novels


    February 15, 2021 Having previously self-published nine novels and two collections of short stories, local author Glenn A. Bruce now has two new novels out with traditional publishers. Being a longtime Writers Guild of America and International Thriller Writers member, Bruce is now the author of his first western novel, “He Rode,” published by Dusty Saddle Publications in December 2020, with a contract for 1 to 4 more books in two years, and political thriller “Last Blast,” scheduled for release on Feb. 15, by World Castle Publishing. He recently completed a prequel novel to “He Rode” titled “Three Rode” and is currently editing a third in the series, “Three Rode On.” By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare COVID-19 Situation Update for Watauga County February 12, 2021


    February 15, 2021 “We are encouraged by the many partners and volunteers who have been critical in coming together to help administer COVID-19 vaccine to our community. We could not do it without the local support and willingness to get shots in arms. We are still receiving limited supplies of vaccine but are hopeful this will increase so more people can be vaccinated. Due to the limited supplies, you may have to wait to get the vaccine but everyone will have a spot to get their shot,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare. Our next allocation of vaccine will include 200 first doses of Moderna and 2,925 first doses of Pfizer. We will also be receiving 500 second doses for Watauga. / Read more…



  • Avery County to Continue Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations Feb. 15th-19th; Just 200 Doses Available as of Today

    February 15, 2021 The County of Avery and the Avery County Health Department have announced that the county’s First Dose vaccine appointment call center (828) 733-8273 will re-open on Monday Feb. 15th from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. (or until appointments are filled). The State of North Carolina has only allotted a minimum number of First Dose vaccine to the county for the week of February 15th to 19th. An appointment to receive a first dose vaccination is required. First dose vaccine is only available to those age 65 or older. Second Dose vaccines for the 65 and older group is scheduled for Feb. 17th to 19th. Those taking that dose should attend the clinic day as noted on their paperwork. No appointment is needed for the Second Dose. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Snow is Piling Up at the Ski Slopes, with 10 Feet in Some Spots, Making for Great Ski Conditions


    February 12, 2021 Wintry precipitation and near-perfect snowmaking conditions have allowed for tremendous snow depths and great coverage at each of the ski resorts in the High Country. Snow depths have reached over 10 feet at some locations on the slopes. “I’m amazed at the piles of snow we have in certain places. We’ve always had seasons where we make a lot of snow but this season the snow is sticking around,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President at Sugar Mountain Resort. “We are only making snow at night right now, we’ve stopped daytime snowmaking.” So far this winter, there have not been any warm weather spurts or large rainfall events that have melted the snow. Jochl says that Sugar Mountain has a 41 to 90-inch base with parts of the slopes with much more than that. Beech Mountain is currently reporting a snow depth of 44 to 80 inches. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Vaccine Clinics Underway at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Dependent on Supply From State; “We Could Easily Administer 1,000 First and Second Doses or More a Week”


    February 12, 2021 There’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the fight against COVID-19. Vaccines have been rolling out for those most vulnerable, and healthcare workers say vaccination is the number one thing we can do right now to save lives and slow the spread. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) began its COVID-19 vaccination clinics in January and they are fully underway for first and second doses. Community members in Groups 1 and 2 of North Carolina’s rollout plan are currently receiving vaccines – frontline healthcare workers and those age 65 and over. As of February 5, ARHS has given a total of 3,504 first-dose vaccines and has used 100% of the supply it has received from the state. After a drastic reduction in weekly supply to Watauga County, only 190 first-dose vaccines were scheduled for the week of February 8-12 through ARHS. / Read more…



  • Individual from Gastonia Charged with Threatening the President of the United States Appears in Federal Court on Thursday

    February 12, 2021 A federal criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court on Thursday, charging David Kyle Reeves, 27, of, Gastonia, N.C., with threatening the President of the United States, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Reeves was arrested on Friday, February 5, 2021, and had a court hearing this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler. According allegations in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, between January 28 and February 1, 2021, Reeves contacted multiple times the White House switchboard via telephone and made threats against President Biden and others. The criminal complaint alleges that, on February 1, 2021, a Secret Service agent contacted Reeves to discuss the threats. Reeves allegedly called back the Secret Service agent multiple times throughout the day, and repeated the threats against the President, the Secret Service agent, and others. / Read more…



  • Coronavirus Drop from Red Alert Classification in Toe River Health District Counties of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey: Avery Vaccine Call Center Reopens as First and Second Doses Given This Week

    February 12, 2021 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be rampant, although not as bad as in previous months and weeks in the North Carolina High Country counties of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey. According to the most recently updated statistics released by the Toe River Health District, which governs health departments in the three counties as of Wednesday, February 3, Avery County had 37 active positive cases and has had 27 COVID-related deaths. Mitchell County has 20 active positive cases, and like Avery, has suffered 27 COVID-related deaths. Yancey County has 15 active positives and has had 25 COVID-related deaths. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Announces 34th Annual Awards Ceremony Winners


    February 11, 2021 On Thursday, February 11th the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce released the 34th Annual Award Ceremony. For the first time ever, the Awards Ceremony & Luncheon was not held in person. The pre-recorded Awards Presentation can be viewed on LoveBlowingRock.com. All Awards were given to businesses that were nominated by Chamber Members and voted on by Chamber Members. It is a great honor to be selected by others in the business community for excelling in this marketplace and during a pandemic. The Awards Ceremony is an annual opportunity to honor businesses voted “the best” in each of the eight categories, along with a special recognition award given by the Chamber of Commerce. Click here for the 2020 winners: / Read more…



  • Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System Is Joining NC Cardinal Library System

    February 11, 2021 The Avery-Mitchell-Yancey (AMY) Regional Library System is broadening and expanding its services at each of the libraries it governs in the three North Carolina High Country counties in colossal ways. This is made possible by the regional system joining the North Carolina Cardinal Library Consortium, starting February 15th. NC Cardinal is a growing consortium of public libraries in more than 50 North Carolina counties dedicated to sharing resources and expanding access to library materials through the use of a single online catalog and a statewide library card. Currently, the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library offers approximately 160,000 items in its collection. NC Cardinal has a whopping 7.2 million in its catalog to share and when the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System fully migrates to NC Cardinal, patrons will gain access to all those catalog items. / Read more…



  • The Town of Beech Mountain Celebrates 40 Years

    February 11, 2021 The Town of Beech Mountain is celebrating 40 years as a municipality in 2021. The highest town in eastern America was formed in 1981, and lots of progress has taken place since then. There will be a year-long celebration, with activities and events for residents and visitors alike. Each month, we’ll have new feature, or “present” for the town. In January, the highlighted aspect of the town was the second sledding hill, which has been developed behind the Brick Oven Pizzeria. For February, the highlighted feature is the newly revitalized Avery County Barn Quilt Trail. / Read more…



  • High Country Association of REALTORS® Reports Sale Prices Remain Strong for High Country Homes


    February 11, 2021 After a record setting 2020, High Country home sales remained robust going into the new year. The median sold price was especially strong, hitting the highest mark ever recorded in a month. There were 237 homes worth $94.88 million sold by REALTORS® in January, the most ever sold during the month. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. It records all REALTOR® transactions in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties dating back to 2005. It was the eighth consecutive month in which more than 230 homes were sold by REALTORS® in the four-county area. That’s the longest such streak ever recorded in the MLS. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 1 – February 8

    February 10, 2021. 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



  • Over 2,400 COVID-19 Vaccines Administered in Avery County; Officials and Community Members Hoping That Number Continues to Increase


    February 10, 2021 When Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier spoke to members of the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk last Tuesday, the message was simple when it came to the number of Avery County residents that have held off on getting the vaccine. “It’s a trust issue.” Barrier spoke at the club’s monthly meeting held at Holston Presbytery Camp, both to people in person and a lot of others attending the meeting via Zoom. “It’s an individual choice to get the vaccine,” Barrier said. “It’s the same with masks, you can’t send anyone to jail for not wearing a mask.” Barrier is rightfully proud of his county’s efforts in getting COVID-19 vaccines out to several thousands of county residents. He also is rightfully saddened by the illness and death the virus is causing, and the bitter feelings breaking friends, families and even churches apart because of misinformation about both the virus and the vaccine. “Together we are Avery County,” he said. “Together we are strong!” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Gov. Cooper Outlines Timeline on Group 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization for Teachers

    February 10, 2021 Today Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. outlined a timeline for Group 3 frontline workers becoming eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, beginning with anyone working in child care or in PreK – 12 schools on February 24. Because vaccine supply continues to be limited and the Group 3 population of frontline essential workers is so large, the state needs to move to the next group gradually. Those working in child care and schools, such as teachers, bus and van drivers, custodial and maintenance staff, and food service workers, will be eligible first. This includes staff in child care centers and homes, Head Start Programs, Preschool and PreK programs, traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools. / Read more…



  • App State and Banfield Pet Hospital® Announce New Online Vet Tech Program Aimed at Addressing Veterinary Shortage


    February 10, 2021 Appalachian State University and Banfield Pet Hospital® — the leading provider of preventive veterinary care in the U.S. and part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of practices — have announced a partnership aimed at strengthening the pipeline of licensed veterinary technicians and creating a more sustainable future for the veterinary profession. This is in direct response to a recent study from Banfield, which finds an estimated 75 million pets in the U.S. may not have access to the veterinary care they need by 2030, with an important factor being a critical shortage of veterinary professionals. By Elisabeth Wall / Read more…



  • Crime Stoppers Seeks Help Identifying Suspect in Boone Drug Breaking and Entering


    February 10, 2021 High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime: On Saturday Morning February 6 an unknown suspect broke into Boone Drug at New Market Centre. After gaining entry to the store, the suspect took items from the pharmacy and fled in a black passenger car. The suspect is described as having a thin build, around five feet ten inches tall. He is wearing a dark hooded jacket with a zipper in the front, athletic pants, black shoes with white soles, and a blue medical mask. If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact High County Crimestoppers or the Boone Police Department. Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. / Read more…



  • Podcast + Inspirational Poster, Collide for Good = Fruit for Families for Casting Bread Pantry


    February 10, 2021 Most people listen to podcasts to be entertained, inspired or educated. The podcast your Boone neighbor, Sarah Holmes, fits into her busy schedule is called “The Daily,” hosted by New York Times political journalist Michael Barbaro. On Nov. 25, 2020, Sarah listened to the episode entitled “A Day at the Food Pantry” which addressed the current reality of food pantries across the country. She learned how the need continues to increase while the number of service providers shrinks nationwide. What really caught Sarah’s attention was the host’s interview with a 32-year-old mother named Natasha who visited a New York food pantry for the first time in September after losing her job due to the pandemic. Natasha mentioned how much she missed being able to provide fruit, especially cantaloupe, for her kids. For weeks, Sarah could not stop thinking about that interview. / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Show A Little Love This Weekend


    February 10, 2021. Another special occasion with limited celebration options is just a few days away. Don’t despair — we’re getting good at coming up with alternatives to holiday traditions, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. There are multiple take-out opportunities in and around the High Country if you want to grab something and bring home for a safe, intimate dinner by the fire. (Or a free-for-all for the whole family!) And, there are still plenty of Covid-compliant places where you can actually go in and sit down, if that’s what you prefer. Whatever you choose, a little lovin’ from the oven, or the kitchen in general, goes a long way. We’ll help with the “sweets” and you can do the rest. Beyond your own home, remember that this world could use a little more love, so let’s do our best to spread it around (safely!) in the coming days. Make a front porch drop-off for an elderly neighbor, friend or family member. Fill a bag or box with goodies, ring the doorbell and walk away with a wave and a smile. Pick up the phone and place that call to someone who’s lost a loved one recently or who has otherwise been on your mind. Walk the outside parameters of your local nursing home, waving to the residents as you pass by, or deliver Valentine’s cards and candies to the front door for the residents and staff. Take food to your local food pantry or homeless shelter. Be creative and let the kids help make a difference this weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day! By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • BRAHM Partners with Small and Mighty Acts for Black History Month Programs and the Altar for Black Lives Exhibition


    February 9, 2021 Over the next five weeks BRAHM will celebrate Black History Month and explore the intersections between social justice and creative expression. The program series has been organized around the current exhibition, Small and Mighty Acts Altar for Black Lives. Small and Mighty Acts serve as a platform to bolster the High Country of North Carolina and beyond toward a more peaceful, just, and productive future. In the summer of 2020 they put that into praxis by creating their altar for Black lives on king street in Downtown Boone. The murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 sparked a global outcry and a resurgence of interest in the Black Lives Matter Movement. In response to the murders, Small and Mighty Acts constructed an Altar for Black Lives as a call to action and place for our community to come together, grieve, and co-create an equitable future. The Altar for Black Lives is a recognition of the power in ritual in socio-political turmoil, as social change is not only a matter of policy, it is a matter of imagination and of the spirit.  / Read more…



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Fifth Week of SMARL’s 2021 Season – February 8, 2021

    February 9, 2021 The fifth week of the 2021 Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League presented itself as another good night of racing. Matt Leonard of Ski Country Sports said the weather was great, and the snow and course conditions on Oma’s Meadow were good. Leonard added that a lot of people stayed after the race to continue skiing. There is only one week left in the Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League, and it will all come down to next week’s race to decide who takes home first place in the standings. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Elon Poll Finds North Carolina Residents Increasingly Favor Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

    February 9, 2021 The Elon University Poll has found that a growing number of North Carolina adults are in favor of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, with 12 percent saying they have already received the vaccine and another 45 percent saying they will get the shots once they are available to them. That’s an increase from 33 percent in favor of the vaccine in October and 40.5 percent in December, with 67 percent of N.C. adults now saying they have received the vaccine or will take it once it’s available. The survey of 1,455 N.C. adult residents conducted Jan. 29-31 found that 20 percent say they will not get the vaccine and 24 percent say they are not sure whether they will. The percent of respondents saying they will not get the vaccine has remained relatively level, moving from 25 percent in October to 20.5 percent in December. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Habitat for Humanity to Meet with NC Federal Policymakers About Critical Need for Affordable Homes at Virtual Legislative Conference


    February 9, 2021 Watauga County Habitat for Humanity will join hundreds of local Habitat organizations and home affordability advocates Tuesday for Habitat for Humanity’s annual legislative conference, held virtually for the first time: Habitat on the Hill 2021: For home, from home. The three-day event, normally held in Washington, D.C., gives advocates an opportunity to convene with congressional leaders, address and discuss actionable solutions to the underlying policies and systems that hinder access to housing affordability and rally with one another. / Read more…



  • Foggy Pine Books Receives Ad from Stephen Colbert Featuring Tom Hanks and Sam Elliott


    February 8, 2021 During Sunday night’s episode of CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert spotlighted the small, locally-owned, independent bookstore Foggy Pine Books in an ad that featured the voice of Sam Elliott and the endorsement of Tom Hanks. While introducing the ad, Colbert said during his show that “big companies aren’t the ones that need our support the most right now. It’s small businesses that have been hurt the most in this pandemic. Of course, a small business could never afford the millions of dollars it would cost to produce and run an ad on CBS tonight, which is why we here at The Late Show have decided to just pick one and just give it to them. Tonight an actual small business that has been struggling during the pandemic will get their very own, very real, high-octane Super Sunday ad.” By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Florida Couple Rescued by Hampton’s Body Shop Employee While Trapped in Motorhome in Icy Winter Conditions on Mountain in Todd


    February 5, 2021 Wayne May and Shirleyann May’s first vacation as a married couple did not go as expected when they got stuck on an ice-covered gravel mountain road in their motorhome in the middle of the night during 16-degree weather and 50 mph wind gusts in Todd on Feb. 2. However, they both said their lives were saved by Jason Miller, an employee of Hampton’s Body Shop, Inc. in Boone. Wayne and Shirleyann are from Middleburg, Florida, which is about 20 miles south of Jacksonville. They have been married for less than a year as their anniversary falls on May 28. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they said it’s been rough and they haven’t been able to travel together like they would like to. All that was to change as they planned their first vacation spending a week together with their dog at the Blue Bear Mountain Camp, which is a campground in Todd. This first vacation became one that the couple said they will always remember. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • COVID-19 Vaccines Administered to 6,365 People in Watauga County; Over 9,000 People in Watauga County Eligible For Vaccine Right Now

    February 5, 2021 As every state, county and city in the country is trying to figure out how to best vaccinate their respective populations, Watauga County is running into the same issues as most everyone else nationwide. The interest for the vaccine is there, but the vaccine shipments simply aren’t enough to satisfy the demand. According to NCDHHS Watauga County, the county has administered the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine to 5,480 and has given the second round of the vaccine to 885 people. According to the United States Census Bureau, the most recent population estimate for Watauga County was 56,177. Of that total, 16.4 percent, or 9,213 people, are age 65 or over and are eligible for the vaccine. Of the 5,480 people that have had the first round of vaccinations, 66 percent, or approximately 3,617 individuals that have gotten the vaccine are 65 years of age or older. The other 34 percent are healthcare workers. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Snow Expected to Blanket the High Country; National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Watch for this Weekend Predicting 4-8 Inches


    February 5, 2021 Another round of snow and wintry precipitation will hit the High Country Saturday and Sunday with the National Weather Service issuing a Winter Storm Watch through Sunday afternoon. According to Friday’s weekend weather update from Ray’s Weather Center, snow will start to develop on Saturday afternoon and will continue falling overnight and into the day on Sunday. The current forecast is 3-6 inches. The National Weather Service says the High Country should expect moderate to heavy snowfall Saturday night and Sunday with 4-8 inches of snow possible. Roads will become slippery, especially during the overnight hours Saturday night and Sunday morning. The storm is expected to drop snow from northwest North Carolina through southwest Virginia and southeast West Virginia. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Expanding EMS Services to Blowing Rock

    February 5, 2021 Letters to the Editor. By Tim C. Gupton / Honorable County Commissioners, The Blowing Rock Civic Association engaged Joe Lord to prepare an independent report on the EMS Ambulance System in the County and Blowing Rock. His report is attached and confirms the conclusion of our research and meetings this summer. The taxpayers of Blowing Rock have invested substantially to provide first class paramedic 1st Responder services to manage the health care risks of our citizens and visitors. We again ask the County Commission to re-evaluate your public policy to provide quality ambulance services throughout the County and adopt a Fractal Success Measurement that includes both geography and response time. The taxpayers throughout the County should receive the same level of service, especially when dealing with the lives of our citizens.  Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, January 25 – January 31

    February 5, 2021. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Grandfather Mountain Sees Frigid, Snowy January


    February 5, 2021 2021 is off to a chilly start on Grandfather Mountain. Weather data recorded at the official National Weather Service reporting station at Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge showed high winds and low wind chills in January. The lowest temperature observed was 5.9° Fahrenheit on Jan. 29, while a wind chill of -16.3° was recorded on Jan. 28. January’s highest wind gust was observed on Jan. 20, clocking in at 92.9 mph, while the highest sustained wind speed was 59.8 mph on Jan. 28. / Read more…



  • Elon Poll Finds NC Divided on Trump’s Responsibility for U.S. Capitol Violence

    February 5, 2021 The Elon University Poll has found that nearly 60 percent of North Carolina residents believe former President Donald J. Trump was very or somewhat responsible for the violence at the U.S. Capitol last month, but are less supportive of his impeachment related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. The survey found that 47 percent support the impeachment proceedings against him, while 43 percent oppose them and 10 percent say they don’t know. The survey results follow the impeachment of the former president by the U.S. House last month, with the U.S. Senate now preparing to try Trump on a charge of inciting violence against the U.S. government. / Read more…



  • Loretta Clawson Reflects on her Experience as Mayor and Council Member as she Steps Down after 20 Years of Public Service


    February 3, 2021 After spending over 20 years serving on the Boone Town Council and as the Mayor of Boone, Loretta Clawson has made the tough decision to step down from the council due to health issues. “I chose to retire on January 31 because we go into budget and planning and everything in February so I thought it was best to do it now,” Clawson said on Friday. She was first elected to the town council in 1997 and was elected as mayor in 2005. Clawson served as mayor until 2013 when she decided not to seek re-election, but was later appointed to fill a town council seat that had been vacated by former member Jennifer Pena. Clawson won re-election in 2015 and once again in 2019. “It has all been a pleasure for me. I have lived in Boone since 1966 and I’ve always been involved with kids at Hardin Park, at the high school and students at ASU. I think it’s the most wonderful community that we could ever have,” Clawson said. “We are a vibrant community and everybody loves to come and see us.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Country Star and App State Alumnus Eric Church to Perform National Anthem at Super Bowl LV


    February 3, 2021 Country music star Eric Church is pairing up with R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan to perform the national anthem as a duet at Super Bowl LV this Sunday. Church, 43, is from nearby Granite Falls and began singing when he was a child. At the age of 13, he bought a guitar, taught himself how to play, and began writing songs of his own. Church would play gigs at local restaurants and bars before graduating from South Caldwell High School. Church then attended Appalachian State University majoring in business and marketing. During his college years, he formed a band titled the Mountain Boys consisting of his college roommate, brother and a fellow guitarist, and the band played around western North Carolina. After graduating with his degree in 2000, Church moved to Nashville, Tennessee to further pursue his career in country music. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. Stresses County’s ‘Total Team Effort’ in Combating Coronavirus During Banner Elk Kiwanis Club Meeting Tuesday


    February 3, 2021 Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. addressed the Banner Elk Kiwanians during their regular monthly meeting, Tuesday, February 2 at the Holston Presbyterian Camp Dining Hall and others via online Zoom broadcast. He provided comprehensive details concerning how the county’s is combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus pandemic and fielded questions from the audience and Zoom viewers about specifics involving the county’s efforts in that battle. The meeting and Zoom broadcast were a collaboration between the Kiwanis Club, the Avery County Rotary Club and the county’s ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and eventually end it, while ensuring equitable access to timely information, resources and its vaccine details. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Students Return to App State’s Residence Halls Over the Weekend for Spring Semester 2021


    February 3, 2021 The first group of Appalachian State University students who live in campus residence halls blew into town for spring semester on Thursday, Jan. 28 — amid high winds, a sprinkling of snow and continued health and safety precautions regarding COVID-19. More than 3,700 students were scheduled to arrive between Jan. 28–31 at pre-assigned appointment times issued by University Housing. The university’s COVID-19 dedensification strategy for on-campus student housing included allowing students to rework their schedules for all online classes and opt out of their housing contracts if they preferred to live with their parents or guardians for the spring semester. / Read more…



  • Watauga County Public Library Announces Free Tax Assistance Options for 2021 Filing Season

    February 3, 2021 The (VITA) Volunteer for Income Tax Assistance program provides free income tax preparation and electronic filing for eligible low to moderate-income residents who had a gross income of $57,000 or less in 2020. The programs below operate in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The Watauga and Ashe County Public Library both receive financial support from their Friends groups. All locations receive support from the IRS. All volunteers are trained to be certified tax preparers through the IRS. Covid safety protocols will be in place.  / Read more…



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