• Two Hikers Rescued by Helicopter at Grandfather Mountain State Park; Incidents Occurred 11 Days Apart


    June 6, 2019. Two separate rescues took place at Grandfather Mountain State Park to bring injured hikers to safety. The first incident happened on May 26 near MacRae Peak. The most recent incident happened on Wednesday, June 5 after a hiker broke his ankle and had to be rescued by members of the North Carolina Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team (NC HART). The injury was reported late Wednesday morning, allowing for area rescuers to reach him on foot to provide on-site treatment. However, with the steep terrain and being roughly 1.5 miles from the nearest parking area, the decision was made to request a helicopter rescue. According to Frank Ruggiero, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the hiker was injured near Attic Window inside Grandfather Mountain State Park. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain’s Animal Birthday Party Returns June 12


    June 6, 2019. This June, visitors to Grandfather Mountain will be able to meet some true party animals. On Wednesday, June 12, the Linville, N.C., nature park will host its annual Animal Birthday Party, a day of celebration and special events designed to honor the black bears, bald eagles, river otters, cougars and elk that call Grandfather Mountain home. Most activities are included with regular admission to Grandfather Mountain. “This is a great way to celebrate all of the habitat animals, from our oldest bear, Gerry, at 30 years old, to Uno, our youngest river otter, who’s only 2,” said Christie Tipton, animal habitats curator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “We want to use this day to thank the animals for all they do to enrich our lives and to educate people about our native wildlife.” / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, May 20 – June 2

    June 5, 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



  • The Jason Project Launches ‘Appalachian Trailblazers’ Program For At-Risk Youth


    June 5, 2019. Although he was struggling with mental illness throughout his mid-teens and young adult life, Jason Matthew Nipper found peace and serenity as he and his parents hiked the beautiful, challenging trails in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Jason passed away in 2014, and his parents James & Cheryl Nipper formed a non-profit entity called The Jason Project, Inc., and launched “The Grandfather Challenge” program in 2015 in honor of their beloved son. James and Cheryl believe that this was a perfect way to fulfill Jason’s desire to help others and to create a legacy for their son and provide meaning to his life. Although The Jason Project programs serve at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/or drug addictions, it also assists any middle and high school youth who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges beyond their control. / Read more…



  • Avery Board of Commissioners Adopt 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Budget at $30-plus Million

    June 5, 2019 The County of Avery will have a $30-plus million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. During their regular monthly June 3rd, the Avery Commissioners approved a new 2019-2020 fiscal year county budget of $30,237,871.00. It includes no tax increase, marking the third consecutive fiscal year Avery County has avoided one. The new budget is a 2 percent increase –$599,560.00–from the 2018-19 fiscal budget of $29,638,311.00. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Recipes From The Heart – A Relay for Life Fundraiser Remembering Randy Buchanan


    June 5, 2019. When Avery County native Randy Buchanan was diagnosed with cancer in November 2017, his coworkers at Lowes Hardware in Banner Elk were devastated. His death, just a few weeks later, on December 28, left them in a state of shock and disbelief. We’ve since learned that the compassionate team members formed a Relay for Life Team in Randy’s memory — Randy’s Warriors — not only to celebrate his life, but also to help lead the fight for a world without cancer. As part of their efforts, the store employees began to compile a cookbook featuring some of their favorite recipes. Today, “Recipes From The Heart” represents a special memorial tribute to someone they all loved and continue to miss today. According to Human Resources Manager, Stephanie White, the cookbook has already begun to help toward the team’s fundraising goals. “Randy was a beloved friend and family member of our Lowe’s team here in Banner Elk,” White said. “Randy was funny, friendly, and a ‘do anything for you’ kind of guy. He was also the one who always put others first; between work and being an avid outdoorsman, he rarely went to the doctor.” After what White describes as “a nagging headache,” Randy did see a doctor and was diagnosed with cancer. “His decline was so quick, there was no time to process or prepare.” White said she will never forget walking around the store a short six weeks after his diagnosis, telling employees of his passing. “The sadness that consumed our little store in the days and weeks to come was unbelievable.” / Read more…



  • With a “Reason to Relay,” Teresa Lawley Shares Her Story of Cancer Survival


    June 4, 2019. With Watauga County Relay for Life just days away, thankfully, many local cancer survivors are still here to share their stories. As a regular participant in Relay for Life, Teresa Jackson Lawley of Boone not only proved stronger than a cancer diagnosis six years ago, but the determined retired nurse has also bounced back more recently from yet another life-threatening illness that would have stopped many others in their tracks. In May, Lawley attended the annual Survivor Dinner and Celebration hosted by Relay for Life of Watauga County and was all smiles as she was joined by her husband, Matthew, in celebrating yet another milestone. By Sherrie Norris / 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 and Hailey Blevins



  • Todd Community Preservation Organization Receives Grant from Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership for Cook Memorial Park

    June 4, 2019 The Todd Community Preservation Organization is one of 19 organizations recently awarded a 2019 matching grant by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHA). The grant, in the amount of $7000, is designated for upgrades and repairs to Cook Memorial Park in downtown historic Todd, NC. Cook Memorial Park is the venue for the Todd Summer Concert Series. Grant and matching funds will be used throughout the year at Cook Memorial Park to upgrade the sound system, refurbish existing structures and grounds, and add a children’s dance floor, Wi-Fi, and a new grill.  / Read more…



  • Subsentio Honors Carolina West Wireless for Role in Rapid Response Rescue of Lost Teens

    June 4, 2019 Subsentio today announced it has honored Carolina West Wireless by presenting the mobile service provider with the Subsentio “Safe Harbor Award” for their role in ensuring the safe rescue of two teenage youths who lost their way while hiking in Stone Mountain State Park in March 2019.  “We are very proud to accept this award from Subsentio,” said Jude O’Sullivan, Chief Customer Officer of Carolina West Wireless. “Thanks to the remarkable technologies we host, a very worrisome incident for the boys and their families was brought to a safe and happy conclusion.”  “This event can help boost awareness of how systems designed to apprehend criminals and terrorists are equally important to the work of first responders,” said Steve Bock, President and CEO of Subsentio. “Not for the first time, advanced technology saved lives.”  / Read more…



  • Parking Enforcement Changes Coming to Downtown Boone

    June 3, 2019 Following months of internal discussions and research into its feasibility, the town of Boone has decided to take over its own parking enforcement matters in downtown. The Boone Town Council approved the measure in its meeting on May 9 to not renew its contract with McLaurin Parking and will instead hire employees to handle all parking issues locally. The movement to consider allowing the town to handle its parking enforcement started to take effect in January of this year after councilman Sam Furgiuele spoke at the council’s annual budget retreat meeting on January 31 that the town could take over parking enforcement while spending less money than the amount that the contract with McLaurin Parking called for. Furgiuele also took issue with the pay that these employees were receiving, believing that they were not paid a decent wage. Complaints about McLaurin’s employees had also been made to the town, according to Furgiuele and he felt that it was another issue worth looking into because the town had no say in who was hired by the company to enforce parking laws in downtown Boone. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Alta Vista Gallery Artist Jeremy Sams Wins at Blowing Rock Competition


    June 3, 2019. Alta Vista Gallery artist Jeremy Sams recently won the Best of Show award at the Blowing Rock plein air painting competition. Sams also won this award last year and was asked to teach the week of painting workshops held last week in Blowing Rock. Sams, who works in acrylics, has been represented by Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis for five years and consistently has at least 25 paintings for sale there. “He has quite a following,” says gallery owner Maria Santomasso-Hyde. “When I get in new paintings from Sams, some of them will sell that day, or even before they arrive here, before the customer has even seen it in person, only on email or Facebook. Customers say they love the lighting in his work and also the details.” / Read more…



  • 12th Annual Watauga County Community Plant Sale is Set to Unveil Native and Exotic Plants and Gorgeous Sculptures on Saturday, June 8th


    June 3, 2019. This year’s Watauga County Community Plant Sale will be offering between 10,000 and 12,000 plants, including many nursery-grown trees and shrubs and flowering perennials, annuals, rare native specimens, vegetables, herbs, and houseplants. The sale will also feature many unique container plantings, miniature gardens, “broken-pot gardens,” antique garden decorative items, and vintage garden furniture. Held at 375 Old 421 South in Boone (at the former Aunt Pymm’s Table Antiques), free parking for the sale will be available at the Hollar and Greene Trucking Co. 230 Cabbage Row (about a block away). The event begins this Saturday at 7 AM and lasts until 2 PM, with a break to enjoy coffee and scones and tour the extensive perennial gardens at 375 Old 421 South.. By Tzar Wilkerson / Read more…



  • Blue Scholarship Awarded to Jacob William Ganley


    June 3, 2019. The John & Ruth Blue Scholarship Endowment, a fund of the Watauga County Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Blue Scholarship for 2019. Jake Ganley was selected this year to become a Blue Scholar. Ganley is one of the top academic students at Watauga High School, a talented soccer player and gifted musician. Jake is the son of Tim and Eve Ganley. He will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the National Honor Society, was a Junior Marshall and received an Academic Honors Award. He earned Varsity letters in soccer and lacrosse and is an accomplished musician playing the Violin and Classical Guitar. / Read more…



  • From the Mayor’s Desk: Senior Living Campus to be Developed in Blowing Rock


    June 3, 2019 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared an announcement that Blowing Rock will be home to a new senior living campus. Mission Accomplished: Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has agreed to a partnership with Wilmington, N.C.-based Liberty Senior Living (Liberty) to develop a senior living campus on the 68-acre tract at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock, N.C. Details of the partnership are still developing, but ARHS President and CEO Chuck Mantooth is very optimistic. He commented, “We have a contract and are awaiting just a few regulatory approvals. In the meantime, Liberty is consulting on the operation of The Foley Center and developing a milestone-based approach toward building the retirement facility. Eventually, The Foley Center and the retirement facility will operate together seamlessly as a full continuum of care.”  / Read more…



  • Tickets Are Still Available for the Third Annual High Country Toast Happening June 7

    May 31, 2019 The backdrop of Music in the Valle at Valle Crucis Community Park will provide the setting for the third annual High Country Toast. This event will take place Friday, June 7, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and will be presented by Creekside Electronics as well as Mast General Store. Local musician Shay M. Lovette will provide some of the music for the event with two sets of blues and country. Although Music in the Valle remains free, a ticket to High Country Toast will provide guests access to an entree as well as a dessert from inside Peak Insurance Food Truck Village whilst also providing samples of brewed craft beers and wines from varying Watauga County local vendors. There is also the option to purchase a VIP ticket, which provides admission to an exclusive tented area that includes separate beer and wines along with hors d’oeuvres, an entire BBQ dinner, and several desserts from regional restaurants. By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • 39th Annual New River Canoe Race Happening This Saturday in Jefferson


    May 30, 2019. The 39th Annual New River Canoe Race and FAMILY FLOAT will be held Saturday, June 1, in Jefferson, NC on the banks of the New River. This Ashe County tradition, originally a local 4H event, is now sponsored by Friends of High Country State Parks with proceeds supporting the Friends of High Country State Parks. Entry Fee is $15 per adult, children under 12, $5. A $5 fee will be attached to any additional race. The first 200 registrants will receive a FREE T-Shirt. In addition, registration includes an opportunity to enter one’s name for one of many fabulous door prizes that will be given at the 3 pm awards ceremony (you must be present to win a door prize).Gates open at 8:30 am at Zaloo’s Canoes in Jefferson (336 246 3066) where you START. Boats enter the water from 9am-1: 30 pm except for boats with children which must be launched by 1 pm. There is NO shotgun start. Paddlers will end the course at New River State Park, Wagoner Access. The awards ceremony will be held at 3 pm. / Read more…



  • Avery County Memorial Day Ceremony Held To Honor and Remember Fallen Veterans

    May 30, 2019 On May 27 Avery County held its annual Memorial Day celebration to remember and honor its natives or residents who perished while fighting for our nation. The ceremony was held on the Newland Town Square its veterans monument, Armed Forces flags displays and gardens and the Fallen Officers, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Ten Commandments monuments.  Avery County’s Memorial Day Ceremony is organized and conducted every year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary, Pat Ray Post 4286, in Newland. Approximately 250 attended this year’s event, including various Avery County government officials. This year’s program began with an invocation from Reverend Larry Dale Stamey, a veteran of the US Army who served during the Vietnam Conflict. Next was a Posting of Colors by the Avery High School JROTC, followed by the National Anthem sung by county resident Tara Andrews and Avery High School Chorus. Other patriotic Music during the ceremony was supplied by Dee Raby and the Avery High School Band. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Strawberries – Get ‘Em While You Can


    May 30, 2019. A favorite seasonal fruit of many is now available on local produce stands, but will be disappearing quickly due to a limited growing season nearby. Sure, we can find strawberries in the stores year‘round, but never as good as those just picked out of the field an hour or two from the High Country. Some of us can’t seem to get enough of them; it’s something we anticipate greatly each spring and we are rarely disappointed. I ran across a bit of related trivia that I thought you might enjoy, along with a few recipes to whet your appetite: Did you know that strawberries – were cultivated in ancient Rome? – were used as a medicinal herb in the 1200s? – are grown in every U.S. state and Canadian province? – are a member of the rose family? / Read more…



  • Heat Wave and Dry Conditions Continue Through Final Week of May


    May 28, 2019 With last year being the wettest season on record in Boone and surrounding areas, having a warm and dry ending to the month of May has been a welcome feeling for a lot of High Country residents. High temperatures in the lower 80s will continue through Thursday with a slight chance of rain and cooler temperatures after a front moves through the area on Friday. High temperatures will get a bit more seasonal in the mid-70s this weekend, according to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center. It wasn’t long ago that low temperatures in the High Country were in the 30s and 40s. Boone reached a low temperature of 35.7 degrees on May 15 and had high temperatures of 56 degrees and 58 degrees the two days prior to that morning low temperatures. Shift gears to two weeks later and high temperatures reached 80.8 degrees on Saturday, 80 degrees on Sunday and 79.7 degrees on Monday in Boone. The record high temperature for Boone in May was 88 degrees, reached twice on May 21, 1941, and May 28, 1941. The average high temperature for May is 69.5 degrees. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boone Mall’s 13th Annual Memorial Day Event Celebrates Service and Remembers Sacrifices


    May 27, 2019 Today the Boone Mall hosted a gathering of the High Country’s veteran community, government officials, police officers, firefighters, and grateful Americans for a ceremony of appreciation and remembrance. Federal, state and local officials were in attendance, including Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and members of the Watauga County Commissioner’s Office and Boone Town Council.After the ceremony’s opening remarks by Captain Doug May and the posting of the colors by Watauga High School MCJROTC, guest speaker Chief Petty Officer Rick Cornejo made a visibly stirring speech about the purpose of Memorial Day. By Tzar Wilkerson / Read more…



  • UPDATE: Missing Man Reportedly Found Safe on Monday Afternoon


    May 27, 2019 UPDATE: Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has reported that Bret Bond has been located safely. ARHS would like to thank everyone for their help spreading the word to help locate Mr. Bond. On Monday morning, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) Police Department said that they were seeking the public’s help in locating Bret Bond, a white male last seen in the area of Birch Street in Boone.He was reportedly last seen wearing purple scrub pants and no shirt. ARHS Police were concerned for his welfare related to an undisclosed medical condition.  / Read more…



  • Noah Garland Receives Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award


    May 27, 2019 On Wednesday, May 22, members of the Crossnore Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) paid a visit to Avery County High School to honor a very deserving graduating senior. Noah Baily Garland was presented the NSDAR Good Citizenship Award by Nancy Stroupe Morrison, Regent of the Crossnore DAR Chapter, together with DAR members Marilyn Ball and Gayle CulbreathNoah was selected to receive the award by his teachers and his peers who feel he exemplifies the outstanding qualities of good citizenship such as honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism. Noah, who is the son of Shane and Karen Garland, is planning to attend Guildford Tech to obtain a degree in fire protection. He will be the fourth generation in his family to be a firefighter. Currently, he is a volunteer firefighter and also a rescue squad volunteer and, two weeks ago, he was certified as an EMT. / Read more…



  • Avery 4-H Summer W.O.W. Program to be Held June 17-26

    May 24, 2019 The Avery County 4-H Summer W.O.W. (Wonderful Opportunities Waiting) Program has begun accepting applications for the upcoming summer. The Avery County 4-H staff has planned another exciting, fun and educational summer program for youth, ages 5 to 13 years old through this unique program, licensed by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Education. The 4-H Summer W.O.W. will run June 17 to July 26, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The participation fee is $25 per day. That fee covers all activity costs, transportation to and from the main site, breakfast, lunch and a healthy snack each day of the program. Children from other nearby counties such as Watauga, Mitchell, and Burke as well as some from out-of-state have enrolled in the program in past years and it again opens this year to children of the proper ages from outside Avery County to enlist.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • 2019 Art in the Park Starts this Saturday Celebrating Traditional Crafts and More


    May 24, 2019 Now in its 57th year, Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park continues to present an incredible diversity of artistic media. The monthly Saturday event, which runs from May through October, sets up downtown on Park Avenue. More than 90 artisans will be at each show, adjacent to Main Street and central shops and restaurants in Blowing Rock, creating an incredible stroll-and-shop experience.“Some of the unique art forms featured this year include puzzle and pipe making, fabric processing and glass blowing, basket weaving and pottery of all types- true Village Craft,” said Loni Miller, Art in the Park Director. “Old favorites are returning and new artists are added each year, so repeat visitors will find fresh appeal at each show.”2019 Art in the Park dates are May 25, June 15, July 13, August 10, September 7 and October 5. Prices for objects, from a handmade card to a large sculpture, range from $5 to $10,000. Free parking is available downtown, along with frequent free trolley service from the Tanger Outlets and Food Lion for parking at larger lots. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Man Found Dead Outside Burning Home; Investigation Concluded Fire was Intentionally Set

    May 24, 2019 A Blowing Rock man was found dead outside of his home in Blowing Rock after fire and rescue personnel discovered his body outside of a structure fire. According to details provided by Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman, on Thursday, May 23, units were dispatched to 1694 Flat Top Road at 2:43 p.m. in reference to a residential structure fire. Upon arriving on scene units found smoke and flames coming from the structure. While fire suppression efforts were underway, units on the scene also located a deceased male on the property outside the residence. The deceased male was identified as Dennis Charles Coffey, 63, who was the owner of the residence. An investigation into the fire has concluded and indications show that the fire was intentionally set.  / Read more…



  • Green Valley Students Raise $3,000 to Build Water Filters with Wine to Water


    May 23, 2019 Over the past several weeks, Green Valley School’s fifth grade students read Linda Sue Park’s “A Long Walk to Water,” a novel that tells the story of Nya, a fictional South Sudanese girl, who must walk several hours each day over great distances to supply her family with drinking water.In the book, the Nya’s life is changed dramatically when a well and school are constructed in her village. “A Long Walk to Water” ends with a message of hope, one Green Valley’s fifth-graders wanted to carry outside the realm of fiction and translate into real-world impact. After finishing the book, the students banded together to search for ways they could help those affected by the water crisis in Sudan. With the help of their teacher, Carly Mize, they found their way to Boone-based non-profit Wine to Water, an organization that works to provide access to clean drinking water across the world. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Mayor Hopes to Bring Town and County Together Over Budget Concerns


    May 22, 2019 Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers spoke briefly at Tuesday night’s Watauga County Commissioner’s meeting and left with a bit of optimism for how his town, and other towns in Watauga County, can work together with the county on future budget requests. “I stated going into it I thought they (the commissioners) were doing a good job, and it’s a tough job. I know everybody wants a piece of the pie and being the mayor of Blowing Rock, I understand,” Sellers said. “There was nothing negative said by them or myself. I think they expected me to come in loaded for bear but I lightened up. Sellers added that he feels like the county commissioners will be more open to future requests made by towns for funding help. “We’ve got a new town manager coming into Blowing Rock. I think we can all work together, Blowing Rock, Boone, Beech Mountain, Seven Devils, and the county, we can all work together as one with the common goal of improving our communities moving forward,” Sellers said. “I think if we continue a positive dialogue, and everybody has a positive dialogue, it will continue well.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 2019 Survivor Dinner and Celebration Lays Foundation for Upcoming Relay for Life on June 14


    May 22, 2019 When nearly 200 cancer survivors —along with their closest family members and caregivers — gather in one location, there will inevitably be a lot of smiles, tears, hugs and words of encouragement spoken. Tuesday evening’s Relay for Life Survivor Dinner and Celebration proved all that to be true — and that was just the beginning! Hosted annually by Watauga County Relay for Life, the event was held once again at the Family Life Center of Greenway Baptist Church in Boone where 180 registered survivors joined together to celebrate their victories.” By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Keeping the Memory Alive


    May 22, 2019. Memorial Day ushers into the High Country a season of outdoor dining, when many families and friends gather for the year’s first “official” picnics and cookouts.It’s a great weekend for food and fellowship, but more importantly, a time to reflect upon the supreme sacrifice that countless American soldiers gave for our freedom. Let’s not forget what it’s all about.. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, May 13 – May 19

    May 22, 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



  • Tynecastle Zuha Mart Convenience Store & Exxon Gas Station to Reopen Soon as McDonalds Remodeling Set to Start


    May 22, 2019  The Tynecastle Zuha Mart that includes a convenience store and a Exxon Gas island, located at 3980 Highway 105 in Invershield, will soon be reopening and will later be joined by the adjacent McDonalds fast food restaurant that will also be opening again this summer or fall. Both closed after being damaged by a fire on December 6, 2018. The fire started in the kitchen part of McDonalds, according to the Avery County Fire Marshal’s Office.“ It was a pretty major loss for the establishment there,” Avery Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Buchanan said following the incident. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Enjoy a Day of Family Fun with Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie June 7-16


    May 21, 2019 All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to go full steam ahead for a day of engaging activities and fun adventures at Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019. Children will spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock on June 7. Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 is presented by Mattel. Day Out With Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 24th year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019. For two back-to-back weekends, little engineers and their families are invited to take a three-mile ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops and more. / Read more…



  • Appalachian Keeps an Old White Oak Alive and Well, Estimated Around 225-300 Years Old


    May 21, 2019 As a young man, Daniel Boone may have courted his bride under the white oak still standing near Wey Hall off Rivers Street. By the time Watauga Academy — the institution that would become Appalachian State University — opened in 1899, the tree had already weathered close to 200 High Country winters. According to Appalachian arborist Chris Erickson, the tree is healthy, despite time and a changing campus. It might not be the oldest tree on campus, but it’s close — there are likely older trees in Appalachian’s Nature Preserve, he said. Erickson said the age of a white oak can be estimated by measuring its diameter and multiplying by five, although the calculations vary by species and many factors skew the results. With a circumference of approximately 16.5 feet and a diameter of 60.1 inches, and allowing for other age factors, he estimates the massive Quercus alba clocks in at between 225 and 300 years. By Elisabeth Wall / 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



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