High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Watauga County Deeds – Feb. 6-12: 25 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $8,612,000.00

    Feb. 18, 2020. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. / Read more…



  • Race Results & Team Standings from Fifth Week of SMARL’s 2020 Season – February 17th

    February 18, 2020 There is only one week left in the Sugar Mountain Adult Racing League (SMARL) and it will all come down to next week’s race to decide who takes home first place in the ski standings. Right now, Team Sugar and Ski Country A are tied with 99 points. Good Ole Boys and Banner Elk Cafe are tied for third with 76 points. In the snowboard standings, Edge of the World holds a slim 86-84 lead over Schooch Legs with The Tavern in third with 73 points. Andrew Jochl once again had the fastest skiing time of 30.13 seconds in his first run. Duncan Neilander had the best snowboarding time, crossing the finish line in 36.92 seconds. “We had a big turnout last night. Ski conditions were really good and the snow was awesome,” said Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. “A lot of people stayed out and made extra runs because the conditions were so good.”  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Energy Justice Summit Happening this Saturday at Harvest House in Boone


    February 17, 2020 The High Country Energy Justice Summit will bring together young people, local elected leaders and electric ratepayers from across the region to develop a community vision for local energy systems that support an equitable economy and protect our planet. This participatory event will feature local clean energy experts and youth leaders from local youth-led groups affiliated with the Global Climate Strike movement. Live music will be provided by the Kraut Creek Ramblers. Complimentary snacks, lunch and childcare will also be provided. The summit will feature updates from local youth-led groups affiliated with the Global Climate Strike movement, which has brought millions of young people into the streets across the world to demand an end to the fossil fuel era. Youth leaders from Sunrise Boone and the Climate Action Collaborative will provide an update on their plans to escalate Climate Strikes in the year ahead and offer ideas on how older folks can support their movement. / Read more…



  • Rep. Ray Russell Facing Primary Challenge for N.C. House Seat

    February 17, 2020 There are several primary battles for races in North Carolina, but locally, the only race where an incumbent is being challenged inside the same party is the race for the District 93 seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Democratic incumbent Ray Russell will have to fend off Democratic challenger Turner Doolittle. Doolittle, 21, doesn’t have a lot of candidate info readily available. A quick Google search reveals no campaign website or Twitter account. Based on info from his personal Facebook page, he says he’s a student at Appalachian State University majoring in computer science and is originally from Winston-Salem. Rep. Russell defeated then-incumbent Jonathan Jordan in 2018 and has been busy at work in Raleigh. Some of Russell’s biggest issues to address include healthcare and Medicaid expansion, protecting natural resources, improving education and gerrymandering problems within the state.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Community is the Solution: 2020 WCCI Conference Scheduled for May 16; Registration Now Open


    February 17, 2020 Registration is now open for the annual conference of the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative, scheduled for Saturday, May 16 at Watauga High School. Beginning at 8 a.m. and lasting until around 3:15 p.m., the event is expected to draw 500- 600 community leaders — educators, healthcare professionals, law enforcement personnel, parents and others — coming together to help individuals and families learn how to work through the pain of trauma to reach a state of resiliency. This year’s conference, “Community is the Solution” will include an opening session, three workshop sessions with 40-plus breakout opportunities, lunch, an information fair and a closing keynote address. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Hardee’s to Close its Blowing Rock Road Location on February 22; New Market Site to Stay Open


    February 17, 2020 In a surprise announcement late last week, Hardee’s will be closing on Blowing Rock Road effective this Saturday, February 22. Both Boone Hardee’s locations, 610 Blowing Rock Road and 344 New Market Centre, have been operated by The Hastings Company. “For the past 30 years it has been our privilege to serve you in Boone from two locations,” the statement said. “Effective Saturday, February 22, we will be closing the Blowing Rock Road restaurant to focus our efforts and continue to proudly serve you from our New Market location.” The statement also says that the property has already been leased to another entity and will provide a “wonderful new concept who looks forward to serving the Boone area and will be open soon.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Daniel Boone Rail Jam Returns on March 14 with New Competition Format for Sixth Annual Event


    February 17, 2020 The sixth annual Daniel Boone Rail Jam ski and snowboard competition will be returning to the Daniel Boone Amphitheater on Saturday, March 14, with doors opening at 5pm. The Rail Jam will directly follow the St. Patrick’s Parade being held in downtown Boone on the same day. This year’s Rail Jam is going to feature several changes in the competition’s structure, most notably, the participants in the contest must be directly invited to join one of the two teams: Appalachian Ski Mountain or Beech Mountain Resort. Riders who were not invited to join a team will still have a chance to make one of two additional rider slots on each team during the open competition that will begin the evening of the Rail Jam. Men and women riders as well as skiers and snowboarders will all be competing together on the same teams. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • High Country Realtors Report Strong Start to 2020 Home Sales


    February 17, 2020 The new year started with brisk sales for local Realtors, as home purchases in January were up 27 percent compared to a year ago. That’s according to the latest real estate sales report by the High Country Association of Realtors (HCAR). The transactions occurred as buyers took advantage of declining interest rates. They’ve fallen sharply every week but one so far this year. Going into February the average 30-year fixed rate is matching levels last seen in mid-2016. It was 3.45 percent as of February 6. In January, local Realtors sold 181 single-family and multi-family listings worth $63.45 million, as recorded by the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It documents sales activity by Realtors active in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, and Watauga counties. Last January Realtors sold 142 listings worth $38.4 million. The median sold price then was $213,750. The median sold price last month was $232,000, an increase of 8.5 percent year-to-year. / Read more…



  • Watauga Medical Center Earns 5-star Hospital Rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


    February 17, 2020 Watauga Medical Center (WMC) is proud to announce it has received a 5-star rating, the highest achievement level possible, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for hospital quality. WMC is one of only 407 hospitals in the United States and one of thirteen hospitals in North Carolina – to receive a 5-star quality rating. “I am extremely proud of our hospital’s achievement,” said Kim Bianca, President of Watauga Medical Center. “The five-star rating underscores our team’s commitment to providing top quality patient care.” The ratings are based on self-reported hospital data which include more than 50 different quality measurements. Those measures include categories such as mortality, re-admission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and effective use of medical imaging. / Read more…



  • 2019 Round Up for the Greenway Inspires Major Gifts for Middle Fork Greenway Infrastructure


    February 17, 2020 Donations totaling $200,000 came in from 130 Watauga County businesses in 2019 during the 2nd year of the Round Up for the Middle Fork Greenway (MFG). Businesses participated by asking their customers to round up their purchase to the next dollar or give to a donation jar. Some businesses gave a percentage of their sales for the month or made a one-time donation. These funds raised by our High Country community accomplished major milestones to keep momentum on the Middle Fork Greenway.  The extraordinary response from local businesses inspired major gifts from the Wells Fargo Foundation and the BB&T now Truist Charitable Fund, both awarding $100,000 to the project and doubling the community’s impact. This $400,000 leveraged as a match for $430,000 from the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund that secured the money necessary to build another section of the greenway. / Read more…



  • Boone Chamber Hosts East Boone Business After Hours Event at Booneshine Brewing


    February 14, 2020 Boone continues to grow, and so has the popularity of the area that has quickly become known as “East Boone.” The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce held its Business After Hours event on Thursday at Booneshine Brewing to highlight the growth and major changes that are starting to happen. David Jackson, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, told the big crowd that had gathered about many of the upcoming plans in East Boone, including the future location of Boone’s town hall, police department and fire department. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will also be working on construction projects at intersections on Bamboo Road, Deerfield Road and Wilson Ridge Road as well as the addition of sidewalk and bicycle lanes to make travel much easier. All of these projects add up to several million dollars of investment into East Boone. “I feel like as the town begins their project and people start flowing out this way, it’s just going to give people more reason to expand in this direction,” Jackson said. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • The Democratic Ballot for President is Crowded for March 3rd “Super Tuesday” NC Primaries

    February 14, 2020 North Carolina voters will have lots of candidates to choose from in the upcoming Democratic primary, but only half of the Democratic presidential candidates listed on the ballot are still in the race. Alongside major contenders like Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, the ballot lists Andrew Yang (who dropped out this past Tuesday), Patrick Deval (who dropped out Wednesday), and other former candidates that are no longer in the running. Although some of the candidates on the ballot have already ended their campaigns, many are still in the race. The eight remaining Democratic candidates (of the sixteen listed on the ballot) are: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.   By Tzar Wilkerson / Read more…



  • Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge Celebrates its First Birthday in Downtown Boone


    February 14, 2020 Time flies when you’re having fun. The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge celebrated its first birthday on Thursday night with a crowd of visitors and loyal customers have had had nothing but glowing reviews for the boutique hotel. Denise Lovin, who owns the Horton Hotel along with her husband Fulton, said it is hard to believe it has already been a whole year of business in the books for the Horton Hotel. “We’re so happy that we made it to our birthday. We have met our occupancy goals and created a space for customers to enjoy. We are very proud of our customer service and we have guests that return again and again, which feels really good,” said Denise. Rooms have been steadily booked and people have been enjoying the lobby bar and rooftop lounge whether they are hotel guests or not. Denise says that this year they will be focusing more on featuring the rooftop bar as temperatures warm up during the spring and summer. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Moffatt Family Begins Appalachian State Scholarship Fund in Daughter’s Memory


    February 14, 2020. Tyler and Amanda Moffatt of Boone are doing their best to preserve their daughter’s memory with a scholarship fund through Appalachian State University. The Moffatt’s two-year-old daughter, Bexley Svana Moffatt, passed away unexpectedly on February 9 from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The goal is to allow for this scholarship to become an endowed scholarship, meaning it will be awarded every year for an indefinite period of time to students who meet the scholarship’s criteria. For this scholarship to reach an endowment status, a total of $25,000 must be raised. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / A Valentine to Afterschool

    February 14, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY BECKY WEATHERS / This Valentine’s Day, I am writing this letter to tell you how Community Kids Afterschool has been a blessing to me. My granddaughter came to live with me nine months ago. I had to start over, so I needed all the help I could get!  The Afterschool staff at Riverside Elementary helped her with her homework, as well as offer many other activities and projects. She loves it and all the teachers are great. I don’t have to worry! I know where she is and that she is safe. When I pick her up from afterschool, I know her homework is always done. All I have to do is fix her supper and make sure she is bathed, ready for the next day.  I can’t put it all down in words what Afterschool means to me. It is a great program for working parents and grandparents! This Valentine’s Day, I can honestly say that I love my granddaughter’s afterschool program. It’s great! Read more…



  • Public Hearing Continues Wednesday Feb 19 on Violation of Blowing Rock Short Term Rental Regulation; Part of a National Discussion

    February 14, 2020 A quiet Blowing Rock neighborhood has found its tranquility challenged—some say ruined—by noise, traffic, by non-residents’ cars blocking access, and by strangers reportedly seen crossing adjacent properties day and night. Those complaints prompted action on the part of the Town of Blowing Rock, action centering on the apparent illegal use of the property by the owner’s allowing short term renters. In the midst of this controversy, it appears the property is for sale, listed by several on-line sources. The hearing that followed turned into a marathon five-plus hour session last month at Blowing Rock Town Hall attended by Frazier, impacted neighbors and their attorney, and a number of Blowing Rock residents concerned about damage that might result from a precedent setting expansion of short term rentals. But the ramifications surrounding short-term rentals are being felt across the state and country in towns large and small. / Read more…



  • Snow Totals Well Below Average; Mountaintops Still Seeing Fair Share of Snowfall

    February 13, 2020 There have been a few cold days this winter, but for the most part, temperatures have been mild and snowflakes have been few and far between. The precipitation has been there, but for the lower elevations, it has been almost all rainfall. According to data provided by Ray’s Weather Center, Boone has had just 4.3 inches of snowfall this winter. Higher elevations have been able to accumulate some much more measurable snow this winter, which has been a big help to the ski resorts who have also had to deal with plenty of rainfall. Beech Mountain has tallied 26.9 inches of snow while Sugar Mountain has the highest snowfall total in the High Country with 43.2 inches of snow. The 60-year average snowfall for Boone is 40.5 inches of snowfall per year. The average over the last 10 years has been 36.7 inches of snow, making this year’s snowfall total so far an extreme outlier. Rainfall has been the biggest story of this winter season. Boone has had more rainfall in the 13 days of February (4.66 inches) than the amount of snow from November through now (4.3 inches). In January, Boone had 5.86 inches of rain and in December, Boone had 3.76 inches of rain.   By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Show Birds Some Love: Join the Great Backyard Bird Count in N.C. This Valentine’s Day Weekend


    February 13, 2020. From the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to communities across the state, North Carolinians are showing wild birds some love this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking part in the 23rd Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper is kicking off this year’s count Friday, February 14 by hosting school children to watch birds at the Executive Mansion. The count continues through Monday, February 17. Volunteers will count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, and then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. “Counting birds in your own backyard with friends and family is a lot of fun, but it’s also serious science. Collecting these data tells us important things about the health of bird populations, a service that has only become more critical as birds face existential threats from habitat loss and changes to our climate,” said Andrew Hutson, Audubon North Carolina executive director and National Audubon Society vice president. / Read more…



  • ECRS is Now Accepting Applicants for 2020 Community Grant Program; Deadline April 1st


    February 13, 2020. ECRS has been in Boone since they began in 1989. They take on much larger tech titans like IBM and NCR to deliver technology that helps retailers across North America, including many businesses in the High Country. They also actively support many local causes and will expand this support in 2020. ECRS’ 2020 Community Grant Program is searching for projects that make a major, positive impact on the lives of local children and/or young adults in Appalachia. The program is now accepting applications from local organizations. Three grants will be awarded in 2020: $10,000 for Spring; $5,000 for Summer; and $10,000 for Fall. Applications for all three grants are being accepted until April 1, 2020. Selected recipients will be notified by May 1, 2020 and funds will be distributed to recipients during their respective quarter (Spring, Summer, or Fall). / Read more…



  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Adds Thursday Screening on March 19; Tickets Available


    February 13, 2020. Due to popular demand, the organizers of The Banff Mountain Film Festival in Boone, NC are announcing an additional screening of the World Tour on Thursday March 19th at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are now on sale the Schaefer Center Box Office and online for the Thursday March 19th screening. The Thursday March 19th event is completely different from the Friday and Saturday screenings featuring different films. (The Friday March 20 and Saturday March 21 tickets are sold out.) All screenings start at 7:30pm. As has become a tradition at the Boone screenings, we will have a special guest featured in one of the films this year in attendance at the Thursday and Friday night screenings this year. More information will be available soon about the guest coming this year.. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, February 3 – February 9

    February 12, 2020. 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



  • In-person Early Voting for 2020 Primary Election Begins Thursday; Seven Early Voting Locations in Watauga County

    February 12, 2020 The in-person early voting period for the 2020 primary election begins Thursday, February 13, and ends Saturday, February 29. Watauga County will have seven different early voting locations: Watauga County Administration Building – 814 West King Street, Boone, ASU Plemmons Student Union, Blue Ridge Ballroom – 263 Locust Street, Boone, Blowing Rock Town Hall – 1036 Main Street, Blowing Rock, Deep Gap Fire Department – 6583 Old 421 South, Deep Gap, Meat Camp Fire Department – 4797 NC HWY 194 North, Meat Camp, Western Watauga Community Center – 1081 Old US 421, Sugar Grove, High Country Vacation Homes – 520 Church Road, Foscoe. Each location will have the same voting hours. February 13-14 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., February 17-21 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m, February 24-28 voting times are 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and the final day for early voting will be on Saturday, February 29 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.   / Read more…



  • Downtown Boone to Host Third Annual St. Patrick’s Parade on March 14; Float Registration Now Open


    February 12, 2020. Bagpipes, Irish flags, shamrocks, and a sea of green travels through downtown Boone on Saturday, March 14, starting at 2 p.m. for the Town of Boone’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade. The parade begins at Poplar Grove Connector and marches east down King Street, ending at Hardin Street. Local businesses, nonprofits, civic organizations, and performers will have a chance to show off their Irish and High Country pride. Parade-goers can expect a whole lot of fun, with festive floats, talented performers, a good bit of candy, and a few surprises. A leprechaun emcee will be staged in front of the Jones House, and a special panel of guest judges will score entries based upon overall appearance, quality of design or performance, originality, and creativity. Entries receiving the best scores from the judges will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as a generous group sponsor has donated over $10,000 in cash prizes; the prize money will be divided amongst the highest-scored entries, including $2,000 for best in show. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Honors Businesses and Community Members at Annual Awards Luncheon


    February 12, 2020 The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce held its 33rd Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday to celebrate the many wonderful businesses and community members in the High Country. “Today is about celebration — the celebration of the accomplishments of Blowing Rock’s vibrant, engaged business community. Thanks to all of you who have come out to cheer on your fellow business owners in their pursuit of excellence,” said Charles Hardin, the President/CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. The Meadowbrook Inn was the host for the celebration, and they too had plenty to celebrate about their success in 2019 and looking ahead to 2020. “2019 was a fantastic year for Blowing Rock and a fantastic year for us here at the Meadowbrook. We hosted over 35,000 guests from all over. We have been continuing to make updates to the property. We have the first apiary in Blowing Rock. We harvested our first batch of honey in the fall. We received a certified wildlife habitat status from the national wildlife federation for the duck pond area that we have out front so we’re really excited about that,” said Vishal Savani, the managing director of the Meadowbrook Inn ownership group. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga Arts Council Earns Four-Year Lease for Blue Ridge ArtSpace from County Commissioners


    February 12, 2020. 50-60 people attended the Watauga County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, February 4, to support the Watauga Arts Council in their endeavors to attain a new lease for the Blue Ridge ArtSpace property off Shadowline Drive. The arts council was successful in receiving a new four-year lease for the ArtSpace property at the price of one dollar per year. The Watauga Arts Council first moved into the Blue Ridge ArtSpace in 2013; they initially had a two-year lease from the county that served as a sort of interim period to see if the arts council would thrive in that location. Sure enough, the arts council feels right at home in the ArtSpace as it is a location directly central to Watauga County with ample space to conduct its day-to-day activities. “There are people who use the ArtSpace as their connecting point to the arts,” said Cherry Johnson, Executive Director of the Watauga Arts Council, “It’s the way that people are able to experience and attain art in the county. It’s important that we have a space that’s accessible, easy to locate, and welcoming for anyone to be a part of.” By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Longtime Educator Laura Johnson Presented with Servant’s Heart Award by Board of Education


    February 12, 2020. The Watauga County Board of Education has presented the Watauga County Schools Servant’s Heart award to longtime Cove Creek educator Laura Johnson. The award is presented to a WCS employee who is nominated by his or her peers for exemplary service to the school district. Johnson, who taught at Cove Creek School from 1989 to her retirement in 2015, was recognized for her dedicated service to the school — both during her tenure as a teacher and after her retirement as a substitute. Christy Parker, a longtime Watauga County Schools Human Resources staff member said Johnson was always one of the first people she would call on when a school needed support. “If I had to describe her in a few words, I would say she is one of the most passionate educators I have had the opportunity to work with,” Parker said. “She cares deeply for all of her students and their families and her co-workers, alike. She’s usually one of the first ones to show up when there’s a need.” / Read more…



  • Bethel School Cafeteria Manager, Melody Howell, Granted NC Child Hunger Hero Award


    February 12, 2020. Bethel School Cafeteria Manager Melody Howell was recently granted a North Carolina Child Hunger Award by No Kid Hungry NC, a statewide non-profit that works to combat childhood hunger. The NC Child Hunger Hero award is presented to a variety of workers from across the state who operate in various capacities to serve quality meals to children in their areas — from school nutrition staff to community volunteers. Howell, who has worked in Watauga County Schools since 2002, was nominated by Principal Brian Bettis. “I nominated Mrs. Howell for this recognition because of how well-respected she is in our school and community,” Bettis said. “I frequently talk with people that mention how much she does for our students and families and how much she loves our students. Mrs. Howell has worked to create an environment in our cafeteria in which all students feel a part of our school family. They know they are loved, and they know that their stomachs and hearts will be well fed.” / Read more…



  • Atlanta-based Artist Neill Prewitt to Present Exhibition “Tallscreens” in the King-Shivell Gallery at Lees-McRae College Feb. 13


    February 12, 2020. On Thursday, Feb. 13, Atlanta-based multimedia artist Neill Prewitt will present his work titled “Tallscreens” in the King-Shivell Gallery within the Cannon Student Center. An opening reception for his work will begin at noon with an artist lecture following at 12:30 p.m. Prewitt earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina State University and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently serves as a lecturer at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. / Read more…



  • Avery High Wrestling Team Wins First Team State Championship Last Saturday

    February 12, 2020 Avery County High School had never won a state championship in any team sport until last Saturday, February 8. That’s when on a day fueled by emotion and punctuated with ultimate joy, the Vikings defeated Uwharrie Charter 35-30 to conclude a dream season and claim the North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) 1-A Dual Team Wrestling State Title. The State Wrestling Tournament finals were held in the Greensboro Coliseum Field House Annex. “The community support has been amazing,” Avery head coach Matthew Dunn said. “These wrestlers have worked so hard for this and we are so proud of them.” Zachary Vance secured the victory for Avery in the 285-pound division, defeating Sergio Saldana from Uwharrie Charter 7-0 to win by decision and seal the title ahead of Avery’s final two weight classes that were vacant of qualified participants.   By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Sweets for the Sweet: Happy Valentine’s Day


    February 12, 2020. Valentine’s Day is just hours away — and what better way to show your love than with treats from the kitchen. Keep in mind, sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference. In addition to stirring up a little something sweet, spend time reflecting on the good times. Try to reenact your first date. Play a little “romantic trivia” by creating a game based on questions about your relationship. Give rewards for the right answers and lovingly accept the wrong ones. The following are some sample questions you can use: Where was our first kiss? Where did we go on our first date? What kind of car did I own when we first met?. . . you get the idea? And in the meantime, hope these recipes help seal the deal. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – February 11, 2020

    February 11, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / 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



  • New Data Indices Provide More Accurate Look at Current State of Broadband Access


    February 11, 2020. The N.C. Department of Information Technology on Monday released new data indices that provide a more accurate look at the current state of broadband access, adoption and the digital divide in communities across North Carolina. NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Eric Boyette announced the launch of the North Carolina Broadband Indices and accompanying visualizations of the data at the Institute for Emerging Issues “ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity Forum.”  “One of our goals is to create a better picture of North Carolina’s broadband access limitations and opportunities,” Boyette said. “We are working toward ensuring all North Carolinians have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service.” The indices are two unique measures that will inform the design of programs, policies and tools to align with the specific needs of each community by helping to demonstrate need, identify the most beneficial types of investments and determine where resources should be deployed. / Read more…



  • Irish Roots with a Modern Twist Take Center Stage on February 22 when Trinity Irish Dance Company Steps into Boone


    February 11, 2020. The jig is up! The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, is proud to welcome international dance sensation Trinity Irish Dance Company (TIDC) to Boone as the only North Carolina stop on its national tour on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. A fusion of Ireland’s vibrant and longstanding dance form and elements of American innovation, TIDC dazzles audiences with its hard-driving percussive power, lightning-fast agility, astonishing precision, aerial grace, complex rhythms, and playful dynamics. From across the pond arrives the airborne artistry of Trinity Irish Dance Company, whose work evolves the traditional form of Irish dance without sacrificing its roots. “TIDC’s work has all the technical wizardry of exceptional Irish step dancing and the artistic depth of contemporary dance. When the two are combined, the art form is phenomenally exciting onstage,” says Maure Aronson, Executive Director of World Music/CRASHarts. / Read more…



  • MerleFest Announces Final Lineup Additions For 2020 Festival


    February 11, 2020. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the next round of artist additions for MerleFest 2020, which will be held April 23-26. Greensky Bluegrass, Mavis Staples, Paul Thorn, Cane Mill Road, Sweet Potato Pie, The Barefoot Movement, Nefesh Mountain, and Smitty and the Jumpstarters will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased until February 16, 2020; Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 17 to April 22. The remaining tickets will be sold at the gate during the festival. / Read more…



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