• Avery Board of Commissioners Learn Teenage Foster Care Needed; Receive News About County’s New Innovative Hospital Facilities

    August 8, 2019. Updates about foster care in the county and Charles H. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital and recognition of the Avery Morrison Library Board of Trustees members headlined a light workload during the Avery Commissioners meeting on August 5. Commissioners Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr.; Tim Phillips; and Dennis Aldridge were present. Commissioner Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman) was absent. Other top county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Finance Officer Tim Greene; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. The Library Trustees were introduced and they and the library staff praised for providing the county what Avery Commission Chairperson Hicks called “the highest professional library service available.” The Library Trustees include Steve Bender, Clayton Harpold, Josh Smith, Kathee Massee, Susie Potter, and Aneda Johnson. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • High Country Land Sales Spike in July; 54 Land Tracts Sold for $10.25 Million


    August 8, 2019. As home sales remained brisk throughout the month of July, local Realtors recorded strong sales in both land and commercial property, according to the latest real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors. Local Realtors sold 54 land tracts worth a combined $10.25 million, the highest value recorded in a month in at least nine years. One listing accounted for almost half that value. It was a 7.88-acre site off Shadowline Drive in Boone which sold for a reported $4.875 million. Even accounting for that one listing, the $5.37 million in other July land sales combined with the 45 land tracts sold in June for $5.72 million represented the highest dollar land transactions recorded in back-to-back months since July and August of 2017 ($11.7 million). / Read more…



  • Winners Announced for the 33rd Annual Rosen Sculpture Walk Competition


    August 7, 2019. During the last weekend in July, on a day with beautiful sunny skies and ideal temperatures, art enthusiasts attended the 33rd Annual Rosen Sculpture Walk with the Juror. This year’s juror, regionally beloved sculptor Bill Brown from Anvil Arts, offered participants a compelling narrative of each sculpture as the group visited each of the ten works located on campus in the vicinity of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. For the last 33 years, the annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition has showcased contemporary American sculpture in outdoor settings across the campus of Appalachian State University. The sculptures in this year’s competition represent a diversity of styles. From whimsical to profound, the artists have expressed their three-dimensional concepts with expert craftmanship utilizing a variety of materials, designs and techniques to create their sculptures. The winners of the Martin & Doris Rosen 33rd Rosen Sculpture Competition are as follows: First Place $3,000: Bob Doster A Memorial, 2014-2018, Stainless steel, Lancaster, SC. Second Place $2,000: Glenn Zweygardt, Adam Meets Eve, 2018, Fabricated and cast bronze, steel, cast glass, granite, Alfred Station, NY. Third Place. $1,000: Derek Chalfant, Back Home Again, 2016, Stainless steel, Elmira, NY / Read more…



  • Watauga County Board of Education Announces Appointment of Three New Principals


    August 7, 2019. The Watauga County Board of Education announced the appointment of three new principals at a special called meeting held Aug. 1. The new hires are set to fill vacant positions at Mabel, Green Valley and Valle Crucis Schools. Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said the appointments were a result of the district’s exhaustive interview and vetting process that takes feedback from parents, teachers, students and staff at each school to develop a leadership profile of traits each school would like to see in a leader. / Read more…



  • Riders In The Sky Returns to Tweetsie Railroad for a Weekend of Entertainment August 17-18


    August 7, 2019. In August, America’s Favorite Cowboys, Riders In The Sky, will return to Tweetsie Railroad for a weekend of Western music and comedy. Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18, 2019, catch one (or both!) of two performances at noon and 3:00 p.m. This will be the legendary group’s 22nd anniversary appearance at Tweetsie Railroad. For more than 40 years, Riders In The Sky has been entertaining audiences all over the world “the Cowboy Way.” The group is comprised of Ranger Doug, an incredibly talented guitarist and yodeler; Too Slim, the bass player and star comedian; Woody Paul, the King of Cowboy Fiddlers; and expert accordionist Joey “the CowPolka King.” The group has won two Grammys and is the only exclusively Western group of artists to join the Grand Ole Opry, all while keeping their performances fresh and engaging. / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae College is Named a College of Distinction Earning the National Designation for the Third Year in a Row

    August 7, 2019. Joining alongside 13 of North Carolina’s top institutions—including Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Western Carolina University in the public sector, and private institutions including Elon University and Wake Forest University—Lees-McRae is named a College of Distinction. Additionally, the business, education, and nursing programs were recognized for extraordinary professional programming. Colleges of Distinction, an online resource for students researching both private and public institutions across the U.S., reviews and compiles lists of colleges they believe to be the “best places to learn, grow, and succeed,” according to the website.  / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Watermelons: It’s What the Angels Eat


    August 7, 2019. Mark Twain had the right idea about many things, and in particular one of my favorite summer treats. He once stated, “When one has tasted watermelons, one knows what angels eat.” I have to believe it. And nothing says “summer” better than a big juicy watermelon. With its deep pink flesh, slick black seeds and thick green skin, the simple, sweet watermelon has been enjoyed for centuries around the world. We have certainly eaten our share of watermelons this summer, and are loving that our grandchildren seem to enjoy it as much as we do. History tells us the first recorded harvesting of watermelon was about 5,000 years ago in Egypt, where watermelons were grown and regarded not only for their flavor, but for their beauty, as well, and often depicted in early paintings. From Egypt, watermelon’s popularity spread with traders who sold the seeds along Mediterranean routes as they made their way into Italy and Greece. In later years, watermelon was lauded for its sugary flavor, which intensifies in hotter climates, like those in China. By the 13th century, the harvesting and eating of watermelon had spread into the rest of Europe. Apparently, the word “watermelon” first appeared in the English language at around 1615, according to John Marianis who tell us in his book, “The Dictionary of American Food and Drink,” that watermelons have been cultivated not only in the middle East, but also in Russia, for thousands of years. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Ten Year Old Asha Batchelor Visits Horn in the West Play and the Hickory Ridge Museum


    August 6, 2019. Horn in the West is a play performed and located in Boone NC and is based on what the America’s pioneers had to go through in daily life as well as during the revolutionary war!   There is also a living museum called “Hickory Ridge!” It is an outdoor museum in the forest with original log cabins of the times that the pioneers lived in!  Not only was life difficult in the mountains but dealing with the British soldiers added to their challenges of survival. The pioneers had to bicker against the redcoats, survive in the world and help the Indians!  In this play you will see professional dancing, singing, fighting, drama, romance and a lot more! By Asha Batchelor / Read more…



  • Avery and Ashe Public Airports Receive $3,391,680 in Infrastructure Projects Grant Funding

    August 5, 2019. The North Carolina Board of Transportation has approved state and federal grants for various infrastructure improvement projects at a dozen North Carolina airports–including those in Avery and Ashe counties. Almost $7 million in state and federal funding has been awarded for projects that will improve runway lighting, establish new fueling areas, expand taxiways and otherwise help these airports grow and generally expand their services. An overall total of $6,944,476 was awarded. Avery’s public airport at Morrison Field, located in the far southern section of the county in the Ingalls Community, received the state’s highest grant amount and almost half of the total funds, with $3 million awarded. The money will be used to construct a new partial-length parallel taxiway and to finish the expansion of the aircraft parking apron. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Last Friday’s Blowing Rock Tour of Homes Deemed Another Huge Success


    August 1, 2019. While the proceeds to benefit local charities are still being calculated, one thing is for sure: The 61st Annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes was another huge success. Crowds gathered early on Friday morning, July 26, with 1,245 tickets sold throughout the day — and over 130 volunteers giving of their time and talents, whether by driving, selling, serving, delivering water and ice, setting up or breaking down tents and tables. According to Radie Armstrong, co-chair of the event along with her husband, Ron Armstrong, it was a perfect day with weather cooperating (for the majority of the day!) and patrons gathering in great anticipation at least an hour before the tour began. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Who Wants to be a Wednesday Warrior? Watauga County Habitat Looking for Volunteers

    August 1, 2019. Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers willing to devote at least one Wednesday to help create decent, affordable housing in our community. Watauga Habitat is currently building a home in our eco-friendly GreenWood neighborhood and will “break ground” on another home in September. Since our founding in 1987, thousands of individual volunteers have been fundamental to Watauga Habitat’s impact in the community. We welcome everyone, with or without experience, to volunteer in construction, Watauga Habitat ReStore and other areas. Become a one-time, weekly or monthly Wednesday Warrior by volunteering 9am to 4pm, all day or half-day. More information can be found at wataugahabitat.org/Wednesday or call 828-268-9545. / Read more…



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

    July 31, 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



  • Avery County Board of Education Approves New School Calendar with Earlier Start and End Dates

    July 31, 2019. The Avery County Board of Education held a special meeting last week and affirmed that a previously adopted school calendar with a start date of Wednesday, August 7, will still be used. By a 4-1 vote, Board members approved the new calendar, which circumvents a limitation on how early the system can begin classes. Voting in favor were John Greene, Pat Edwards, Jane Bumgarner, and Kathey Aldridge. Steve Smith voted against. The Board’s action came after a bill anticipated to be signed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would require local boards of education with school calendars that have starting dates earlier than the Monday closest to August 26, while noting the exemption that allows the earlier start date to the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Mount Vernon Baptist Church Welcomes Todd Houston As New Senior Pastor


    July 31, 2019. Following a year-long intensive search for a new leader, Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Boone has welcomed Todd Houston as its new senior pastor. Houston and his family moved to Boone earlier this month where he preached his first official sermon on July 14. A native of Sevierville, Tenn., Houston came to Boone after having served as pastor of Beach Road Baptist Church in Southport since 2012. He and his wife, Allsha, have two children, a daughter, Abigail, 20, and a son, Aaron, 18. Ordained in 1998 at Knob Creek Baptist Church in Seymour, Tenn., Houston began his ministry in the late 90s in the mountains of East Tennessee. Since then, he has pastored churches in Michigan, Texas and North Carolina. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Over $5,000 Raised for Former Watauga County Sheriff’s Deputy K9 for Cancer Treatment


    July 31, 2019. A fundraiser was recently started for the Watauga County Sheriff’s deputy K9, Tanner, a 9-year old German Shepherd who has served with the Watauga County Sheriff’s office for 7 years. Shawn Peele, Chief of Hospital Police for ARHS, stated that Tanner was recently diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his right leg. Due to his medical condition, Tanner will require surgery and chemotherapy treatments in order to survive. Tanner was already scheduled to retire in July, but was retired early in order for him to proceed with his surgery, treatments and medications along with careful follow-up care. He currently is also a patient of Dr. Emily Beard and The Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic of the High Country. By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: The Garden “Argument” Continues


    July 31, 2019. As we are in the midst of an interesting garden season, it seems that the rain and weeds have taken over many of our crops, but we still are able to enjoy some of life’s little pleasures that we have seen mature from seeds to full-grown produce. I love sharing a poem, of sorts, that I found years ago, and hope you will find a little humor, if not a simple life lesson in what is called “The Garden Argument.” The tomato said with a face rosy red, “I’m the queen of the whole garden bed, so tart and delicious, most everyone wishes on my juicy meat to be fed.” Said the onion so strong, “You couldn’t go wrong to partake of my elements rare, with such a sweet savor I give a rich flavor so all who might wish me may share.” Said the carrot so yellow, “I’m a popular fellow, at present I’m having my day! My elements mild are so good for a child, they make him rosy and gay.” The cabbage head from the same garden bed said, “I’m bursting to have my say: so crisp and so white, with flavor just right, I’m fit for a king any day.” The corn pricked his ears and said, “Listen my dears! I have heard every word you have said. For I am so tall, I look down on you all – I’m the king of the whole garden bed!” The celery said, “Look! Here comes the cook. We’ll let her wise judgment decide which one she may choose – the rest of us lose.” “Fair enough! We agree!” They all cried. The cook came along with a smile and a song — the vegetables she viewed as a group. She cut and she sliced with her sharp paring knife, and they all went into the soup. I laughed when I first saw the poem, written by Leona Duggan, and found in one of my many cookbooks. However, the more I pondered on it, the more I realized those vegetables are just like us humans. Anytime we get to thinking we’re more important than others, we need to stop and consider the soup. We’re all in this together. We each may have a little different “seasoning” or “aroma” to offer humanity, but none is more important than the other in the eyes of our creator. Good food for thought, if you’ll pardon the pun. Pickling and preserving and casserole ideas for the season’s family reunions, are just a few of the things we’ll be sharing in the weeks ahead. Hope it helps. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • High Country Charitable Foundation Raises Over $600,000 at Annual Dinner and Dance


    July 30, 2019. Some 200 people came to share their appreciation for the High Country Charitable Foundation at the Fifth Annual High Country Charitable Foundation Dinner and Dance that took place this past Saturday at the Elk River Club in Banner Elk. Donation totals are still coming together but so far a total of $630,000 has been raised from donations and auction items. This year’s auction items once again featured some fantastic jewelry, experiences and a secret auction item that ended up being a “Cavapoo” puppy, which is a cross between a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle. Items included four tickets to “Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road” and two rooms at a luxury hotel, a golf outing in Bermuda, a white gold diamond station necklace, a food truck for 40 prepared by Chef Will Hughes at Robbins Sunset Park in Banner Elk, diamond hoop earrings, two lots of extraordinary bottles of 100 point fine wine, a day of sport fishing and island hopping around Abaco Islands, dinner for 10 at the Inn at Little Pond Farm, a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol led personally by Rep. Virginia Foxx and a diamond tennis bracelet. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Lonnie Webster Shares His Photos from Friday Evening’s Blowing Rock Symphony by the Lake


    July 30, 2019. A picture-perfect weather day in the High Country brought close to 4,000 people out to the annual Symphony by the Lake at Chetola in Blowing Rock on Friday evening. This was the 32nd year that the event has taken place and with low humidity and temperatures in the lower 70s, it was hard to ask for a better day for the musical event. Charles Hardin, the president of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with the turnout and expects to be near their goal for attendance once again. “We felt like we had lots of new faces there this year, we know that our young professionals’ group was there and they were very popular,” Hardin said. That’s one of the reasons we had them there to try and bring that young demographic in and get them exposed to the event. I think it probably paid off.” Hardin also noticed a larger-than-normal crowd on the far end of the lake, taking in the music and waiting to have one of the best seats in the house for the fireworks display. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Karen Sabo Named Recipient of the 2019-2020 Ballew Directing Scholarship from Southeast Theatre Conference

    July 30, 2019. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Karen Sabo that she is destined for greatness — one and off the stage — and her latest in a long line of accomplishments proves that to be true. The announcement came late last week that Sabo, who is a local director, teacher, writer and actor, has been named the 2019-2020 recipient of the esteemed Leighton M. Ballew Directing Scholarship. Awarded to a graduate student studying directing at an accredited university, the scholarship is named after Dr. Leighton M. Ballew who served as chair of the Drama Department, now Theatre and Film Studies, at the University of Georgia, for more than 40 years. / Read more…



  • Chosen Road will be in Concert at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone on Sunday, August 4.


    July 29, 2019. Considered America’s favorite bluegrass gospel band by many, the highly acclaimed Chosen Road is returning to Boone. The multi-talented musicians and vocalists will be in concert at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Sunday, August 4, where they were well received during two earlier performances in recent years. Chosen Road will lead in Sunday morning worship at both the 9:30 and 11 a.m. services, with a full concert scheduled at 6 p.m. that evening. The band was established in July of 2009 when a group of friends came together “to do more than just make music,” they said. Having been raised in the mountains of southern West Virginia and western North Carolina, each member has developed a profound love for the music they were raised on. From this love has stemmed a sense of responsibility to share bluegrass music with potential fans around the world. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Motown Supergroup The Temptations Wrap Up An Appalachian Summer Festival’s Milestone 35th Anniversary Season


    July 29, 2019. An Appalachian Summer Festival’s 35th anniversary season wraps up in spectacular fashion with Motown legends The Temptations, Saturday, August 3 at 7:30 pm at the Holmes Convocation Center. Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for students, and only $5 for children 17 and younger. Billed as a “Concert and Dance Party,” The Temptations show will feature a dance floor in front of the stage for concertgoers to dance and shag to some of music’s biggest hits. This performance, as well as all Schaefer Popular Series events, is sponsored by Westglow Resort & Spa and Rowland’s Restaurant and made possible through the generosity of Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer. For more information, visit http://appsummer.org/schedule/id/the-temptations. New this year, guests have the opportunity to come early and enjoy pre-show food trucks located onsite in the Visitor Lot of John Thomas Hall from 5-7: 30 pm. Betty’s Biscuits, The Cardinal and El Tacorriendo food trucks will be serving a variety of dining options so concertgoers can conveniently grab a pre-show bite to eat, socialize, and then work off any extra calories on the dance floor.  / Read more…



  • Boil Water Advisory Lifted by Town of Boone

    July 29, 2019. The Town of Boone Public Works Department has announced that the boil advisory notice issued yesterday has now been lifted. Water Plant staff have completed testing throughout the system and have not discovered any safety concerns. It has now been verified that the Town water system is safe and no longer needs to be boiled. As a reminder, the boil advisory notice was for precautionary purposes only due to a water main break. Water Department staff repaired the leak late yesterday evening and has conducted testing procedures throughout this morning. Citizens can now use Town water for any and all purposes. If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this matter, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department at 828-268-6250. AppHealthCare (Appalachian District Health Department) is continuing to work with restaurants, care centers, and other institutions to provide guidance now that the boil water advisory is lifted. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock’s Chamber 32nd Symphony by the Lake Enjoys Perfect Weather and Huge Crowds


    July 29, 2019. A picture-perfect weather day in the High Country brought close to 4,000 people out to the annual Symphony by the Lake at Chetola in Blowing Rock on Friday evening. This was the 32nd year that the event has taken place and with low humidity and temperatures in the lower 70s, it was hard to ask for a better day for the musical event. Charles Hardin, the president of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with the turnout and expects to be near their goal for attendance once again. “We felt like we had lots of new faces there this year, we know that our young professionals’ group was there and they were very popular,” Hardin said. That’s one of the reasons we had them there to try and bring that young demographic in and get them exposed to the event. I think it probably paid off.” Hardin also noticed a larger-than-normal crowd on the far end of the lake, taking in the music and waiting to have one of the best seats in the house for the fireworks display. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Boil Water Advisory Issued for Town of Boone After Water Main Break Sunday Morning

    July 28, 2019. At approximately 7:15 am this morning the Town of Boone experienced a eight inch water main break along Meadowview Drive. The highway is currently closed but it is anticipated to be reopened by 3:00 pm. Due to this break, a water system pressure loss occurred throughout the entire Town and due to this, a Boil Water Advisory is issued to the Town customers. We are advising all water consumers to boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water. Vigorous boiling for one (1) minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water. This office is strongly urging the water consumers to conserve water whenever possible. This advisory remains in effect until further written notification is issued. Water Customers may experience some “banging” in the pipes when water service is restored.  This is due to air that has entered the pipes.  It is no cause for alarm.  Also, the water may appear cloudy.  This is also caused by air in the pipes.  What you see are actually many tiny air bubbles.  This discoloration should clear up after the water runs for a few minutes. / Read more…



  • Boone Chamber of Commerce Hosting 70th Annual Meeting at Holmes Convocation Center August 1


    July 26, 2019. Boone area businesses will come together on Thursday for the 70th Annual Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting happening at the Holmes Convocation Center. Each year, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce comes together to celebrate local businesses and hand out awards to business leaders that have played a positive role in the community. “The common thread between all of the folks that we will be honoring is that they really do put community first in their thoughts and efforts, whether it be the back to school festival that satisfies a huge need in the community or someone who has been volunteering in organizations around the community forever,” said David Jackson, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO. “This is the opportunity for the entire business community to get together and really celebrate what been largely a very successful year for so many.” The speaker for this year’s event will be Andrew Davis. Davis is a bestselling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker. Before building and selling a thriving digital marketing agency, Davis produced for NBC’s Today Show, worked for The Muppets in New York and wrote for Charles Kuralt. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State Police Department Honored as NCPEA Law Enforcement Agency of the Year


    July 26, 2019. The Appalachian State University Police Department (APD) was honored as the Law Enforcement Agency of the Year by the North Carolina Police Executives Association (NCPEA). NCPEA officials announced the award at the organization’s 2019 Annual Training Conference, held in Wilmington July 15–17. APD is the inaugural recipient of the award. “This award reflects the Appalachian Police Department’s tremendous success in educating the next generation of law enforcement officers while fostering a safe campus with a culture of mutual respect and community engagement,” Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “Our law enforcement leaders champion policing as a highly principled profession — one that requires critical thinking and innovative ideas.” According to NCPEA, a statewide organization for police leadership, this award was established to honor one North Carolina police agency each year that has pioneered an innovative program, policy or concept that demonstrates the principles of community policing, problem-solving strategies and/or strengthens community trust. / Read more…



  • Tynecastle McDonald’s Restaurant Reopens Following Renovations After December 2018 Fire


    July 26, 2019. The McDonald’s fast-food restaurant located at Tynecastle, off N.C. Highway 105 in Invershield, which was severely damaged by fire last December, reopened on July 20. The location had been closed since the December 6 blaze. Renovations and repairs began at this McDonalds in May. The store was scheduled to undergo remodeling next year, but due to the fire, the store was remodeled ahead of schedule. It features new decor and an ordering kiosk like the one inside of the Newland McDonalds, which is also owned by Patrick and Heather Joyner. Renovations have already been completed on the Zuha Mart convenience store side of the facility, which also suffered extensive damage from the fire. Both businesses are comprehensive or under the same roof. The Zuha Mart also includes an Exxon Gas Island. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Boone Residents May Soon Receive Letters From American Water Resources of North Carolina

    July 26, 2019. The Town of Boone wishes to inform its water and sewer customers of a letter which they may soon receive from American Water Resources of North Carolina, a private company located in New Jersey. This is the same company which has previously sent these types of letters in April 2013, April 2014, December 2015 and March 2016. Although the town was notified of the company’s intention to contact its water and sewer customers, please be aware that the Town of Boone is not affiliated with American Water Resources of North Carolina, has no previous experience with nor knowledge about the company, and the Town does not specifically endorse this or any such program. The letter is expected to address customers’ potential expenses for broken or defective water and sewer lines on their property and offers a program for addressing such line failures. Although Town of Boone water and sewer customers are generally responsible for water line repairs on their side of their water meters and for broken sewer lines on their property, the Town cannot certify that the program offered is legitimate or of benefit to its customer. / Read more…



  • American Red Cross Issues Emergency Plea for Blood; Local Donation Drives Coming Up

    July 26, 2019. The American Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal to blood donors in light of a critically low supply of available blood. According to a recent press release from the ARC, there is a great need for all blood types, as since the busy July 4 weekend, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Blood donors are needed to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care and are asked to respond quickly to your nearest donation site. According to the press release, fewer blood donors and blood drives during the busy summer and recent holiday week have escalated the need for all blood and platelet donors to help ensure hospital needs are met. More than 450 fewer blood drives were held than during a typical week the week of July 4, which may have led to as many as 17,000 fewer blood donations. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell’s Raleigh Report: Newsletter Highlighting Info from NC General Assembly


    July 26, 2019 During the past year meeting with constituents in Ashe and Watauga counties, it’s clear that we need more news from state government in Raleigh. What we do in Raleigh probably has greater impact on your daily life than the 24/7 coverage of events in Washington, DC. But there’s almost no news reaching northwest North Carolina from our state government. To address this void of news coverage from Raleigh, I hope to provide a newsletter every couple of weeks to let you know what important issues are being discussed and to let you know what I am doing. You elected me to represent you. You deserve to know what’s happening! I hope you find them helpful and informative.  / Read more…



  • G&T Communications Helps GreyStone Power Emerged #1 by J.D. Power Among Cooperatives


    July 26, 2019. When J.D. Power announced their annual customer satisfaction rankings in July, GreyStone Power emerged #1 among cooperatives. While this marked a celebratory moment, the achievement was no overnight success. The utility has been working for several years with the agency used by utilities across the nation: local public relations and advertising firm, G&T Communications, Inc. “With their data-driven approach and thoughtful messaging, G&T has been a great resource for us in maintaining a strong communications program,” said GreyStone Public Relations and Communications Manager Ashley Kinnard. The agency, now in its 24th year, is known for its strategic work with energy cooperatives. / Read more…



  • Northern Peaks Trail Bill Signed by Governor Cooper; Trail Would Run Through Watauga and Ashe Counties


    July 25, 2019. The Northern Peaks Trail moved another step closer to creation after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed S.L. 2019-74 into law, effective July 1. Senator Deanna Ballard, who represents both Ashe and Watauga County in the state senate, sponsored the bill. “I am pretty excited about it. I think what is important is that many stakeholders have been involved in the discussion,” said Sen. Ballard. “We’re really working together to make it happen for the district.” Ballard said that many groups have had their input in this project, including the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, the tourism development authority and the chamber of commerce in Ashe County and Watauga County, Blue Ridge Conservancy, as well as plant conservation organizations and wildlife resource organizations. The master plan, designed and presented by a local Boone business, Destination by Design, gives people a rough draft of sorts for what the trail could look like and the locations that it may travel through. Ballard said that the exact route itself has not been determined yet. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Appalachian State to Sell Beer and Wine at Athletic Venues


    July 25, 2019. The Appalachian State Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion allowing the athletics department to pursue beer and wine permits for all its stadiums, which will include Kidd Brewer Stadium as well as the Holmes Center, during a July 25 meeting. “I appreciate the due diligence on the part of our trustees and university staff to ensure we can meet the needs of our university, continue to positively contribute to the local economy and enhance the already outstanding Mountaineer fan experience,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said in a statement on July 25. “Throughout this review, we have prioritized the safety and security of our university community, and we will continue to do so as we work through the logistics related to implementing alcohol sales at our athletics venues.” The motion was initially brought forward by the chair of the board’s Athletics Committee, Trustee Mark Ricks. By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • Seventh Annual Corey Anne Celebration of Women in the Arts Hosted by Florence Thomas Art School Happening Throughout August


    July 25, 2019. Florence Thomas Art School in downtown West Jefferson, N.C., will be hosting the seventh annual Corey Anne Celebration of Women in the Arts throughout the month of August; four female regional artists’ works will be exhibited in the art school’s gallery all month long. Events will be held alongside the exhibition from August 9th to August 17th. The Corey Anne Celebration of Women in the Arts is an annual event designed to celebrate and remember Corey Anne Considine’s life by examining and celebrating women and their influence in the arts while supporting and nurturing young female artists in the process. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, July 15 – July 21

    July 24, 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



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