• WHS Spanish Teacher Carmen Scoggins Named App State Outstanding Alumni Award Winner


    November 6, 2018. The College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University has named Carmen Leigh Scoggins ’94 ’98 as the Outstanding Alumni Award winner for 2017–18. Scoggins teaches Spanish at Watauga High School and is an adjunct Spanish and foreign language methodology instructor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian. “I have had the pleasure of co-teaching a language methodology course with Carmen and can confirm with my own eyes that she truly is a passionate educator and powerful leader in our broader professional community,” said Dr. Paul Sebastian, assistant professor of Spanish and TESL/applied linguistics in Appalachian’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Scoggins earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Spanish education from Appalachian and was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow (1990–94). She is a National Board Certified Teacher (2010–current) and an active member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) and the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC). She is a past president of FLANC and current SCOLT board president. By Ellen Gwin Burnette / 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



  • Boone Police Are Searching For Armed Suspect Who Stole an SUV at Gunpoint

    November 6, 2018 High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime: On November 5 at approximately 6:19 PM, a black male wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, and a bandana with a white pattern over his face, accosted a female at gunpoint in the parking area of 369 Madison Avenue. The suspect demanded the victim’s vehicle keys. The suspect left in her silver 2002 Nissan Xterra with North Carolina registration plate BHX-4369. The vehicle has an App State sticker across the top of the rear windows. The rear window also has a monogram sticker, a sigma alpha omega sticker, a red adventure sticker, and a contra dance sticker. 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. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text “NCTIP plus your tip” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.  / Read more…



  • Election Day: Voters Head to the Polls This Morning; Polls Will Remain Open in North Carolina Until 7:30 p.m.

    November 6, 2018 It’s officially Election Day all across the country with voters making their voices heard in thousands of races from coast to coast. In North Carolina, polls opened at 6:30 a.m. this morning and will remain open until 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget that as long as you are in line to vote by 7:30, you are allowed to vote.  If you are unsure of what precinct you are registered to vote at, visit this website and enter your address. Unlike early voting, those that have chosen to vote on Election Day will need to go to the precinct that they are registered at to vote. Watauga County has 20 different precincts. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Moose Charity Ride for HCBCF Raises Over $3,000


    November 6, 2018. The Boone Moose Lodge 1805 and the Boone Moose Riders held their first benefit ride for the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation on Saturday, October 6th and through its efforts, raised $3,178 for the local charity. The motorcycle ride will become an annual event replacing the decade old Hospice Charity Ride that has raised more than $31,000 over the years. Organizers expect to surpass the old totals going forward with new momentum and focus. Motorcycle riders from the Boone Moose Lodge rode 120 miles across the region visiting other Moose Lodges along the way while collecting donations and visiting with friends. / Read more…



  • CCC&TI Receives Grant to Help Students with Financial Challenges

    November 6, 2018 Students at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute who are close to finishing their credential but are facing unforeseen financial emergencies jeopardizing their ability to stay in school may be eligible for help from the new Finish Line Grant program. CCC&TI is one of 34 community colleges statewide chosen for $1.8 million in Finish Line Grant funds, which are administered in partnership with local Workforce Development Boards. CCC&TI was awarded $30,000 for the 2018-2019 school year. To be eligible for the grant, students must have completed 75 percent or more of a Workforce Development Board-approved training program and be meeting satisfactory progress through their education program.  / Read more…



  • Early Voting Concludes in Avery County with Extremely High Volume

    November 5, 2018 Final Early Voting statistics released by Elections Boards from the State of North Carolina and Avery County indicate that Avery’s voters have as much interest in the 2018 North Carolina General Election as perhaps any election in memory. This interest seems spurred by several factors that include a sharp ideological divide among some candidates for the same office as well as Donald Trump’s performance as United States President and which local, regional and state/national office candidates support or do not support him and his policies and actions during his two years of his current four-year term. According to Avery Board of Elections Deputy Director Caleb Hogan, early voting in the county was “in extremely large volume” since it began Wednesday, October 17 and ended on Saturday, November 3. A total of 2,010 of the county’s more than 12,000 registered voters cast their ballots early. 1,921 were cast at the Elections Board Office and 89 by mail. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Western Watauga Community Center and Branch Library To Celebrate 30 Years of Success Nov. 14


    November 5, 2018. The coming week marks an incredible milestone for the Western Watauga Community Center/Project on Aging and the Western Watauga Branch Library, as together, they celebrate 30 years of service to the community. A celebration to commemorate the successful venture — “while looking forward to the next 30 years,” organizers said — will take place on Wednesday, November 14 from noon- 2 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by two senior musical groups, and hopefully, some of the senior crafters will display their talents, with lots of good food served and great door prizes available. An interesting power point presentation will depict life at the center/library, including scenes from those early days to the present. The drop-in event is free and open to the public. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Over 15,000 Watauga County Residents Took Advantage of Early Voting for the 2018 Midterm Election

    November 5, 2018 Early voting officially wrapped up on Saturday afternoon and 15,238 voters in Watauga County went ahead and made their votes official prior to Election Day this Tuesday. A total of 767 voters made it to the polls on Saturday. Overall, 5,744 people voted at the early voting site on Appalachian State’s campus, 4,821 voters voted at the Watauga County Administration Building, 1,375 people voted in Blowing Rock, 1,293 voted at the Western Watauga Community Center in Sugar Grove, 1,161 votes were counted in Deep Gap and 844 votes were counted in Meat Camp. Unaffiliated voters had the highest turnout for early voting with 5,700 votes counted. Democrats were second with 5,295 votes and Republicans had the third highest total with 4,104 votes. The Libertarian Party had 83 early votes, the Green Party had five early votes and the Constitution Party had two early votes. Of the 47,231 registered voters in Watauga County, 32 percent of those voted early. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • 63rd Annual Farm-City Banquet Honors Agricultural Excellence Across Watauga County


    November 2, 2018. A sellout crowd gathered at Boone United Methodist Church on Thursday for the 63rd Annual Farm-City Banquet. The theme for this year’s banquet was “High Country Grown” that included even the catering and the gift baskets with all items from somewhere in the High Country. The Farm-City movement started in 1955 when a train conversation between Charles Dana Bennett, a Vermont businessman and Merle H. Tucker, the Chairman of the Kiwanis International Agriculture and Conservation Committee, discussed the troubles that agricultural business were facing, the strong urban influence on agricultural policies and the decline in family farming. Both men felt that the relationships between “the farm and the city” needed to be better, thus the creation of the National Farm-City Committee created by Kiwanis International. The Kiwanis Club continued to lead the committee until 1988 when the American Farm Bureau Federation took over coordination of the committee. “This banquet and this tradition here in Watauga has a history behind it that we’re proud to continue, and we’re proud of the many organizations and businesses in the community that support this banquet and what it represents,” said David Jackson, who was the emcee for the event. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • U.S. House: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Virginia Foxx and DD Adams Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of Virginia Foxx and DD Adams from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Foxx’s segment is 6 minutes long, Adams’ segment is 5 minutes long. / Read more…



  • N.C. House: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Jonathan Jordan and Ray Russell Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of Jonathan Jordan and Ray Russell from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Jordan’s segment is 5 minutes long, Russell’s segment is 5 minutes long. / Read more…



  • N.C. Senate: IN HIS OWN WORDS: Wes Luther’s Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Him

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of North Carolina Senate candidate Wes Luther from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Luther’s segment is 2 minutes and 34 seconds long. / Read more…



  • County Commissioners: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Larry Turnbow, David Blust, Billy Kennedy, Tim Hodges, Charlie Wallin and Tommy Sofield Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    November 1, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of Larry Turnbow, David Blust, Billy Kennedy, Tim Hodges, Charlie Wallin and Tommy Sofield from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Turnbow’s segment is 2 minutes long, Blust’s segment is 2 minutes long, Kennedy’s segment is 4 minutes long, Hodges’ segment is 4 minutes, 30 seconds long, Wallin’s segment is 6 minutes long and Sofield’s segment is 5 minutes long. / Read more…



  • School Board: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Jason Cornett, Danny Watts, Steve Combs, Jay Fenwick and Gary Childers Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    November 1, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of Jason Cornett, Danny Watts, Steve Combs, Jay Fenwick and Gary Childers from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Cornett’s segment is 2 minutes, 30 seconds long, Watts’ segment is 2 minutes long, Combs’ segment is 3 minutes, 30 seconds long, Fenwick’s segment is 3 minutes, 30 seconds long and Childers’ segment is 3 minutes, 30 seconds long. / Read more…



  • Watauga Sheriff: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Len Hagaman and David Searcy Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the opening and closing statements of Len “L.D.” Hagaman and David Searcy from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Hagaman’s segment is 3 minutes long, Searcy’s segment is 4 minutes long. / Read more…



  • Soil & Water Supervisor: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Chris Hughes and Bill Moretz Introductory Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the introductory statements of Chris Hughes and Bill Moretz from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Hughes’ segment is 2 minutes long, Moretz’s segment is 2 minutes long. / Read more…



  • Clerk of Court: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Diane Cornett Deal and Travis Critcher Introductory Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

    October 31, 2018. Featured here are the introductory statements of Diane Cornett Deal and Travis Critcher from the Election Forum held at the Watauga County Courthouse on October 23. Deal’s segment is 2 minutes long, Critcher’s segment is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. / Read more…



  • Higher Elevations of The High Country See Their First Snow of the Season


    November 3, 2018. The higher elevations of the High Country saw their first sites of snow this morning. Ray’s Weather reported on their site this morning, “Flurries made their way down from the higher elevations this morning to give us our first widespread glance of snow this season. It’s a solid coating for the higher elevations.” While there was just a dusting at the higher elevations surrounding Boone, Fred Pfohl of Fred’s General Mercantile on top of Beech Mountain reported that close to an inch of snow fell on Beech Mountain. Fred said this morning. “We got almost an inch of snow this morning and the ground is covered and flurries were still coming down until about 9:00 this morning.” Fred said the folks on Beech were excited about their first snow of the season especially since the Beech Mountain Resort just had final inspection done on their new ski lifts. Fred said it looked like winter time on Beech. “I just ran into a family from Greensboro who drove up this morning just to see the snow.” Low temperatures around the High Country were 25.7 degrees on Beech, 31.8 in Banner Elk and a little above 33 in Boone and Blowing Rock. / Read more…



  • Early Voting Ends on Saturday; Over 27 Percent of Registered Voters Have Already Voted in Watauga County

    November 2, 2018 Early Voting will officially come to a close on Saturday and it has been a strong turnout so far in Watauga County. A total of 12,915 citizens have already voted in Watauga County and over 1,000 people voted on Thursday alone. 4,933 votes have been counted at the early voting site on Appalachian State’s campus. 4,114 voters cast their ballots at the Watauga County Administration building, 1,173 people have voted early in Blowing Rock and 1,086 voters have voted early at the Western Watauga Community Center. 924 votes have been counted at Deep Gap and 685 votes have been counted at Meat Camp. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Preparing for Winter Weather


    November 2, 2018. With another High Country winter well on its way, Watauga County Schools would like to remind families how we make and communicate decisions about the operation of school during inclement weather. Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said during severe weather, he considers every possibility to keep school open and on a regular schedule, but certain conditions often force delays and cancellations. “I don’t take the decision to delay or cancel school lightly,” Elliott said. “We know changes in the school schedule have a huge effect on our families, so I want to be sure we do the best-possible job to communicate those changes when they are necessary.”  / Read more…



  • Picture Perfect Day For Halloween In Downtown Boone With Hundreds Dressed For The Occasion


    November 1, 2018. Yesterday evening, Downtown Boone’s King Street was closed off from Appalachian Street down to Water Street starting at 4:30 p.m. for the 18th annual Boone BOO! Over 70 businesses participated in the event, handing out candy, dressing up and decorating. Boone experienced a warmer Halloween that usual this year. The wind that has plagued the High Country for the past few weeks seemed to let up for the event, though it is back today. Lane commented on this, “It was a perfect day, perfect weather. Just a wonderful event!” By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Set Your Clocks Back an Hour: Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday Morning


    November 1, 2018. Everybody gets an extra hour of sleep this weekend with the end of Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. That does mean that it will get darker earlier on in the evening as winter approaches. On November 4, the sun will rise at 7:02 a.m. and will set at 5:18 p.m. Daylight Saving Time was first used in Ontario, Canada in 1908 but really became popular in 1916 when Germany instituted Daylight Saving Time in for the entire country. In the United States, Daylight Saving Time dates all the way back to March 31, 1918 when people first set their clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall. The belief was that Daylight Saving Time would allow for people to have more daylight to work in while also conserving energy. The initial rollout of Daylight Saving Time was not overly popular with some states and cities abiding by the time change and others not doing it. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, October 22 – October 28

    October 31, 2018. 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



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Sweet ‘Taters And Memories


    October 25, 2018. Around this same time every year, I think of my late Aunt Sylvia Biggerstaff and her family in the red-dirt piedmont area of Rutherford County, where sweet potatoes have always grown in abundance, along with gigantic pumpkins, gourds and other fall specialties. I recall, as a young girl, spending as much time there as possible — and all I have to do now is close my eyes for just a moment, and I’m there once again — swinging in the huge tree in the yard of the regal colonial home perched on the hill, surrounded by lush fields overlooking the family dairy; the back porch filled with fruits of the family’s labor as harvest time arrived, the old cook stove heating up the most mouthwatering delicacies, and especially the best creamed corn on the planet, the quilting frames in the front room weighted down by a colorful project near completion, and on and on. As we get older, those “good old days” seem to mean more than they once did, and while those times may be gone, the memories remain as a priceless treasure. You don’t necessarily have to go to Rutherford County for a sweet tater (I just wanted to share why they were special to me!), and you can enjoy these delectable dishes, just the same. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga County School Board Candidates Share Thoughts on Funding, Safety and Other Issues


    October 31, 2018. Five candidates are hoping to secure one of three open spots on the Watauga County Board of Education in this year’s election. Current board members Dr. Gary Childers, Dr. Jay Fenwick and Jason Cornett are seeking re-election while challengers Steve Combs and Danny Watts hope to take one of those open positions. All five candidates were present at the Meet the Candidates forum held on Tuesday, October 23 at the Watauga County Courthouse. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Crime Stoppers Needs Your Help


    October 31, 2018. High Country Crime Stoppers and Watauga Sheriff’s Office seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime: On October 22, 2018, at approximately 5:44 PM, a white male is seen in surveillance photos damaging signs at the Watauga County Public Library – 140 Queen Street. 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 Watauga Sheriff’s Office at 828-264-3761. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text “NCTIP plus your tip” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential. / Read more…



  • A Conversation with Elk Park Mayor Daniel Boone


    October 31, 2018. The Town of Elk Park’s Mayor is Daniel Boone, who is from one of the Town’s and Avery County’s most prominent families.   Boone’s father, John, was Elk Park’s mayor until his passing last spring. Daniel Boone succeeded his father in the position. Daniel Boone also serves as a State Highway Patrolman for this region. Additionally, he is known as one of Avery County High School’s all-time greatest football standouts. As a running back, he rushed for 1,569 yards on 201 carries and scored 23 touchdowns while averaging a stellar 7.8 yards per carry as a senior in 1998. That season, he helped the Vikings win their first conference championship since 1979, their first-ever outright Western Highlands 2-A Conference Championship and achieve the first 10-win season in school history. And Boone currently leads the government of a small town with a big history. By Tim Gardner / 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



  • Big Crowd Gathers for Candlelight Vigil Mourning Shooting Victims and Peacefully Rallying Against Hate


    October 30, 2018. Peaceful marchers walked from First Baptist Church on King Street to the Temple of the High Country on Monday evening to show support for the lives lost in Saturday’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers, 46, is facing 29 criminal charges and could face the death penalty after Saturday’s shooting that left 11 people dead. In addition to the candlelight vigil, prayers and songs were shared to remember those that have lost their lives and those who have been impacted by hate in their lives. “Hate has no place in this world,” said Rev. Roy Dobyns, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Boone. “We offer love and support and a pledge of solidarity to our Jewish neighbors and friends in our hometown and in cities and towns across the country in the aftermath of this useless hatred and violence.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Early Voting Numbers Surpass 10,000 votes, Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot is Today

    October 30, 2018 After Monday’s votes were tallied across Watauga County, over 10,000 residents have already made their ballots official for the 2018 election. 905 votes were counted on Monday, bringing the total in Watauga County to 10,054 since early voting started two weeks ago. Of the 905 votes counted on Monday, 302 were at the Watauga County Administration Building. 268 votes were counted at the Plemmons Student Union on Appalachian State’s campus. 103 votes took place in Blowing Rock, 95 were counted at the Western Watauga Community Center, 76 votes were counted in Deep Gap and 61 votes were counted at Meat Camp. Overall, 3,895 early voters have cast their ballots at App State with another 3,222 ballots being counted from the administration building on King Street. Blowing Rock has seen 916 early votes, Western Watauga Community Center has had 844 votes, Deep Gap has had 668 votes and Meat Camp has had 509 votes. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Fall Colors at Grandfather Mountain, Vibrant Yellows at Peak Color Around the Linville River


    October 30, 2018. The Fall Color Guy, Dr. Neufeld, expects that the colors are nearing their end for this year, not quite reaching the peak everyone hoped for this year. The trees have lost some of their leaves in the past week, but there are still many bold colors to be found in the High Country. In his Fall Color Report last week, the Fall Color Guy wrote, “Below the Parkway, forests are still primarily green, although I did see color extending down to about 2,000’ in some locations today. These areas usually peak at the end of October, and sometimes into the first week of November, so if conditions get more conducive for producing fall colors, the best colors may be in the foothills instead of the High Country.” The area surrounding the Linville River is seeing an abundance of yellows, as the picture above, taken on October 29th, shows. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Summer Real Estate Sales in the High Country Up Five percent


    October 30, 2018. The summer months are known for being the busiest time of the year in the local real estate market. The season just completed followed that trend. Local Realtors recorded sales 5 percent higher this summer than in the same period last year. The average sale price was also up. This occurred as interest rates climbed. They’ve been tending up since mid-August and recently hit a seven-year high. That didn’t discourage local buyers. From June to September there were 897 homes worth $255.02 million sold in the region, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It documents all Realtor sales within Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. The average sold price in that four-month span was $284,301. Last summer, Realtors sold 852 homes worth $222.17 million. The average sale price was $260,767.   / Read more…



  • Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Banner Elk Hosts Awards Dinners for ‘The Grandfather Challenge’ Hiking Program for At-Risk Kids


    October 30, 2018. After the completion of their eight-hour, grueling, and rigorous “Grand-Daddy” hike as the final trek of “The Grandfather Challenge,” hike series, the kids are always excited to arrive at Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Banner Elk for their coveted Awards Dinner! This celebratory event at this wonderful venue is always full of excitement, celebration, and outstanding food! Since the inception of this program in 2015, Bella’s has hosted these celebrations in their intimate Banquet Room, and has fully supported and accommodated these school groups that come from Avery, Catawba, Caldwell, Lincoln, and Gaston County Schools. As our local community knows, Bella’s is the ultimate “go to” place for the very best, superb Italian food, including pizzas, lasagna, and other delectable Italian dishes. Our hiking program kids always love having a fine meal and celebrating at Bella’s, and consider this to be a very special occasion that they cherish, and will long remember!  Our deepest thanks and appreciation goes out to owners Craig and Nicole Simmons, as well as employees Liz Terra, Tony Broyles, and Christine Cornett, all of whom have provided an attractive venue and wonderful food and service for these kids!   / Read more…



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