High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Board of Education Expects Court Decision Sometime This Week in Valle Crucis Lawsuit Case

    November 5, 2019. The Watauga County Board of Education could find out as soon as this week what the Watauga County Superior Court will rule on the lawsuit filed by the Mast Farm Inn. The pre-trial hearing took place last Friday and according to Garrett Price, the Director of Communications for Watauga County Schools, the final opinion of the court hasn’t yet been filed, but “we expect it to be completed sometime this week.” The lawsuit was filed on October 10 in Watauga County Superior Court and lists the plaintiffs as The Mast Farm Inn and owners Henri Deschamps, Marie-Henriette Deschamps and Danielle Deschamps as well as Deschamps Holdings, LLC and Deschamps Enterprises, LLC. Defendants in the cast are the Watauga County Board of Education, board chairman Ron Henries, vice-chair Brenda Reese, and board members Dr. Gary Childers, Steve Combs and Dr. Jay Fenwick.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • New River Light and Power Aims to Provide More Choice for Customers with NTE Contract Starting in 2022


    November 5, 2019. New River Light and Power is currently under contract with Blue Ridge Energy, who in turn receives their electricity wholesale from Duke Energy. Starting in 2022, NRLP will be starting a new contract with NTE Carolinas LLC, joining other municipalities in the Carolinas who have already switched their energy provider to NTE. NTE is a company that prides itself on its natural gas-fired plants and its moves into the solar energy business. The company has been on a mission to outbid Duke Energy on its current wholesale energy contracts in the Carolinas; the strategy has worked with 12 out of 12 municipalities approached thus far. NRLP has decided to make the switch to NTE as their energy provider for two main reasons: the deal with NTE will ultimately save customers money on their energy bills and the deal allows NRLP to provide their customers with the power of choice. “We will be seeing substantial savings with our wholesale cost under the NTE contract,” said Ed Miller, General Manager of NRLP, “The range was anywhere between 10% and 14%; those wholesale savings will be passed on to our customers.” By Joe Johnson / 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



  • Movie Review: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Back To It’s Original Goodness – Worth Watching

    dark fate
    Nov. 5, 2019 It has been four years since we’ve had a Terminator movie with 2015’s “Terminator: Genisys.” But it has been 28 years since we’ve had a good Terminator movie with 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” The series’ third, fourth, and fifth installments dragged down the franchise so much that I expected to leave “Terminator: Dark Fate” complaining about a 4:2 bad-to-good ratio with these movies. Instead, I liked the movie, which gives this franchise an even 3:3 ratio, so it’s exactly halfway decent. Given the losing streak it’s been on for nearly three decades, I’m sure it’ll be happy to take “halfway decent.” By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • New Works on Display at the Purveyors of Art and Design Materials; Plus New Wrestling Calendar!


    November 5, 2019. After celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, the Purveyors of Art & Design Materials are featuring two exhibits at their store, the Golden Age of Wrestling 2020 Wall Calendar featuring brush and ink illustrations by Mike Hill, and Places of the Heart, a collection of watercolor landscapes from Leighton Ford’s book, Places of the Heart. A graduate of the Commercial Art program at Appalachian State University, Mike Hill has been creating illustrative diversions for clients since High School, and his newest piece, “Golden Age of Wrestling,” was primarily inspired by Hill’s love for wrestling as a child and the connection the sport provided to his childhood. “I grew up watching all those guys in the calendar on Saturday mornings with my grandparents. On the family farm, my grandparents had a rotary antenna which reached TV stations in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, all with their own little wrestling promotions, so after mowing in the mornings we would watch professional wrestling shows in the afternoon from the three different affiliates.” By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Appalachian Theatre Announces Upcoming Concerts and Film Debut; Dates Set for Sam Bush, “Hollywood in the High Country,” The Gathering


    November 5, 2019. Just three weeks after the successful opening of the venerable Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC), Executive Director Laura Kratt announced details today for the next three public events at the Boone landmark with donor presale beginning Wednesday, November 6 and general public purchase available Thursday, November 7. On the exact 81st birthday of the theatre, the film Hollywood in the High Country: A History of the Appalachian Theatre will have its debut at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 14. This feature-length documentary by Philip Arnold explores the 69-year history of the iconic main- street cinema in Boone, North Carolina. The magic of the movies comes alive through the stories of locals who grew up in front of the theatre’s silver screen. The film also recounts the efforts of the townspeople to purchase and restore the theatre as a performing arts center after it closed and was boarded up in 2007, in order to make the theatre once again the center of community life. / Read more…



  • Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue Heats Up the Stage with Red-Hot Bollywood Song and Dance on Friday Nov. 8


    November 5, 2019. The joyously over-the-top extravaganza that is Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue is a kinetic non-stop evening of song and dance that celebrates the glitz and raucousness of Bollywood, India’s glitzy film industry. The crowd-pleasing North American touring production heats up the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7pm as part of Appalachian State University’s performing arts series, The Schaefer Center Presents. Taj Express rhythmically blends a variety of dance styles — classic Indian to Western ballet and cotemporary — with a collection of music ranging from disco, rock and hip-hop to classical Indian and pop, with a tango and an old-fashioned waltz thrown in for kicks. Dance numbers are delivered at a frenzied pace and with phenomenal precision by the 20-plus person cast of some of India’s most popular actor-dancers. The razzle dazzle is complemented by a bevy of spice market-colored costumes and thrilling live music set to an unforgettable soundtrack featuring the songs of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (“Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire). The result is an unforgettable, high-energy celebration of the spirit of India and Bollywood. / Read more…



  • Avery County To Rally For Afterschool Programs on November 8 for 20th Annual Lights on Afterschool

    November 5, 2019. On Friday, November 8, WAMY Community Action, Inc and The Williams YMCA’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs will join the 20th annual Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide series of rallies for afterschool organized by the Afterschool Alliance. This special event will be held at Avery County’s Old Rock Gymnasium, located at 185 Shady Street in Newland. The program will commence eat 5:00 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m. The Lights On Afterschool rally will feature Sheriff Kevin Frye, County Manager Phillip Barrier, and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Dr. Chris Vecchione, as well as local business leaders, educators and other officials. Event partners include WAMY Community Action, Inc., the YMCA, Avery County Sheriff’s Department, and local churches. Hundreds of parents, educators and community members are expected to attend.  Also, Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier will be issuing a Presentation of Proclamation for Lights On Afterschool that evening. Last year, approximately one million people participated in more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events.  / Read more…



  • Watauga Pioneers Secure Back-to-Back Conference Championships with Victory over Freedom HS


    November 4, 2019. On Friday’s matchup against Freedom High School out of Morganton, NC, Watauga High School secured a 47-33 win, moving them to 10-1 overall this season and 6-0 in conference play. After the win, the team’s statewide ranking shifted +6 as reported by MaxPreps, and ended at #29 in North Carolina situated between Charlotte Country Day School and Christ School. Finishing the season undefeated in the conference has also impacted the team’s placement among 3A schools in the state, coming in at #8 overall with a #6 Strength of Schedule ranking among the 3A top 10. The win came primarily through Watauga’s ability to dominate the rushing game led by quarterback Anderson Castle, who was recently selected to the North Carolina vs. South Carolina Shrine Bowl, The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was first played on December 4, 1937 in Charlotte, N.C., making it the oldest high school football all-star game in the nation.  The annual game features many of the top high school players from North and South Carolina is played to benefit the Greenville (South Carolina) Unit Shriners Hospital for Children and the 21 other Shriners Hospitals for Children across the nation. Castle is the 3rd Watauga player in the last 12 years to be selected for the game. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools Expands Agriculture Classes to Middle School


    November 4, 2019. At Mabel School, sixth-graders in Benjamin Brown’s agriculture class are stationed in the school’s vegetable patch. The field that plays host to the small garden shares duty as a playground for Mabel’s younger students, but the sprinting group of seven-year-olds in the distance are no distraction to Brown’s middle-schoolers, who are hard at work harvesting dried green beans to be replanted in the Spring. The students are among the first groups at Mabel and Cove Creek schools to take advantage of agriculture classes at the middle school level, which until this school year, were only available at Watauga High School. While WHS has a long tradition of strong agricultural education and one of the most successful FFA programs in the state, it’s Brown’s hope that by expanding the program to students in middle school, Watauga County Schools can improve ag education across the district and further connect younger students to their world. / Read more…



  • Early Voting Concludes With 896 Votes; Polls Open at 6:30 A.M. on Tuesday

    November 4, 2019. Early voting for municipal elections in Watauga County came to an end last Friday with a total of 896 early votes counted at the Watauga County Administration Building and the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State. Looking at the voting breakdown, 647 of the votes were counted at the student union while 249 votes were counted at the administration building. The vast majority of votes were for the municipality of Boone with 832 votes counted. In Blowing Rock, 38 early votes were counted while 15 votes were counted in Beech Mountain and 11 votes were counted in Seven Devils. Precinct polls open at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and will close at 7:30 p.m. for the four municipal elections happening in Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • From the Mayor’s Desk: Updates on Town Projects and Blowing Rock TDA Occupancy Tax Report


    November 4, 2019 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on the Sunset Drive Project, Bass Lake Sidewalk Project, Valley Boulevard landscape plantings and money collected through the Blowing Rock TDA Occupancy Tax. Sunset Drive Project: Next week (11/4-11/8) the remaining sections of concrete work will be completed. This work will conclude the sidewalks, curbing, and gutter. On Tuesday the sod will be delivered for the landscaping areas and later in the week, weather permitting, the trees and plantings will be delivered. Street signs are scheduled to be installed throughout the week along with some additional smoothing and filling in work. Maymead is scheduled to begin milling the week of November 11th, with paving to begin immediately following the week of November the 18th. We continue to work on schedule and within project completion dates.   / Read more…



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


    November 4, 2019. After the completion of their grueling, rigorous, eight-hour “Grand-Daddy” hike as the final trek of “The Grandfather Challenge,” hike series, middle and high school students from all over Western North Carolina are always excited to arrive at Bella’s Italian Restaurant in Banner Elk, NC 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 graciously 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, Christine Cornett, Jordin, and Tee, all of whom have provided an attractive venue and wonderful food and service for these kids! By James L. Nipper / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Earns Top 15 Spot in the AORE Campus Challenge for Outdoor Recreation and Education


    November 4, 2019. After Moving up from 21st place to 13th, Lees-McRae earned a top spot in the AORE Campus Challenge that encourages colleges across the U.S. to get outdoors and active. The ranking meant that not only did the college become the highest-ranked school among peer institutions in North Carolina, but also the smallest school in the Division 1 top 15. The AORE, or The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, is a premier organization made for serving the needs of recreation and education professionals among non-profit settings. Through AORE, members have a way to connect with and impact decisions made by public land managers as well as the human powered outdoor recreation industry. Their mission as stated, “is to provide opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs.” By Colby Gable / Read more…



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


    November 4, 2019
    North Carolina remains without a State Budget. Four months ago Gov. Cooper and legislative Democrats offered a counter proposal to legislative leaders but they have simply rejected it and refused to negotiate further. Legislative leaders have now moved “mini-budget” bills through the General Assembly. Some of these bills are non-controversial and have passed into law with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, others continue the policy of advancing corporate tax cuts rather than investing in teacher and public employee compensation. To add insult to injury, the House and Senate adjourned on Thursday without a state budget in place and won’t return to the legislature until Nov. 13. Even then, legislative leadership is limiting the bills we will be able to consider. For this body to adjourn four months into the fiscal year without a budget in place is unconscionable. It means that the General Assembly is failing at its most fundamental job.  / Read more…



  • Georgia Southern Upsets Appalachian State, 24-21

    November 4, 2019. Appalachian State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on a frigid Thursday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone and may drop out of the college football’s Top 25 after suffering a 24-21 Sun Belt Conference loss to long-time rival Georgia Southern. The game was played before an announced crowd of 18,796 and a ESPNU national television audience. The run-heavy Eagles rolled up 335 rushing yards to key their upset victory over the No. 20 Mountaineers (7-1 over-all; 4-1 conference) during a game complete with a mix of rain, snow and high winds. Georgia Southern only attempted four passes the whole game, completing one for 16 yards. Running back Wesley Kennedy III led the way for the Eagles, rushing for 145 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Appalachian State mounted a furious rally, scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull within three points. But the Eagles were able to hold off the Mountaineers in the end to improve their record to 5-3 over-all and 3-1 in league play.  By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Health Insurance Open Enrollment Officially Begins; Signups Continue Through December 15

    November 1, 2019. The annual open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov started on Friday for residents in the High Country that need to secure their health insurance for 2020. Over 11 million Americans signed up for health insurance last year through the Affordable Care Act, more commonly called “Obamacare.” According to the Department of Health and Humane Services, 90 percent of people that purchased their insurance through the marketplace qualified for financial assistance to make the premium prices cheaper. The data also shows that premium prices will decrease by four percent on average from 2019 to 2020 and people will have three to four different company plans to choose from instead of previous years where they had just one or two choices. Locally, there are several ways for residents in the High Country to find an insurance agent or what is called a “marketplace assister” that will guide you through the process. High Country Community Health is one of the most popular locations for help in Boone.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Looking at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum Events for November


    November 1, 2019. This month, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum are holding a variety of events where the public is invited to come enjoy and in some ways, connect with curators, artists, and the art itself. The museum has made growing efforts to include visitors and audience members in exhibits, which involve a deeper psychological, and sometimes even physical interaction with the art displayed. This is reflected in a statement from the museum, mentioning, “At the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum we believe that our community is made stronger by promoting inclusivity and by making the arts and the exploration of heritage available to all. We believe in sharing our resources with the entire community, and we are proud to have several robust outreach programs that help us serve our community, including several hundred children each year.” By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • November Comes Roaring In With High Winds and Low Temps; Ski Slopes Working on Snow Making


    November 1, 2019. Rarely do you see a day begin with temperatures in the mid-60s and end up below freezing with snowflakes and 50 MPH wind gusts, but that was what the High Country saw on Thursday. A weather front moved through the area yesterday, bringing nearly an inch and a half of rain, a tornado watch and a high wind warning to Boone during the day, followed with a low temperature that dropped below freezing and wind gusts that routinely peaked over 40 MPH. The high temperature in Boone on Thursday was recorded at 66.5 degrees at 1:36 p.m. The low dropped all the way to 31.6 degrees at 11:51 p.m., according to data provided by Ray’s Weather Center. The biggest wind gust in Boone was recorded at 44 MPH and the town officially received 1.46 inches of rain in the 24-hour span. Another interesting piece of data for Boone during the month of October was that the difference between the warmest temperature (84.1 degrees on October 3) to the coldest temperature (30.9 degrees on October 24) was 53.2 degrees. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Southeast Tourism Society Selects Beech Mountain Resort’s 9th Annual Retro 80s Ski Weekend as an ‘STS Top 20 Event’


    November 1, 2019. Southeast Tourism Society has named Beech Mountain Resort’s 9th Annual Retro 80s Ski Weekend one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for February 2020. This year’s Retro 80s Ski Weekend is February 20-22, 2020. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985. Buckle up tight for a blast to the past via this year’s ‘80s Retro Ski Weekend. This year’s eighth annual ‘80s Retro Ski Weekend will feature a can’t miss parade of visitors from all over the Southeast along with residents dressed in their best 1980s garb along with a long list of nightly performances by popular artists and tribute bands. Touted as one of the Southeast’s top events for a reason, this year’s larger than life event is not to be missed. Hosted by the town of Beech Mountain and the Beech Mountain Resort, visitors are privy to a long list of events and activities from cosmic tubing, neon Day-Glo rides down the slopes, live concerts and so much more. Many of the events happening during the weekend are free to visitors and participants / Read more…



  • Return to Ann Arbor: Appalachian State Basketball Begins Season Versus Michigan


    November 1, 2019. On November 5, the App State basketball team will kick its season off against the Wolverines of Michigan. While the short history of these athletic programs facing off against one another usually centers on the historic win from Appalachian’s football team at the Big House in 2007, this year, App is hoping to recapture a similar upset only this time on the hardwood. For both teams, this will be the first opportunity for newly hired coaches Dustin Kerns of Appalachian, and Juwan Howard of Michigan, to set a standard for the rest of the season, and establish the beginning precedents of what their team’s identity is all about. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Comeback Falls Short for No. 20 App State


    November 1, 2019. A windy and spooky Halloween night included plenty of rain, flurries of snow and a rare home setback for App State. The first-place and 20th-ranked Mountaineers became the last Sun Belt team to suffer a league loss in 2019, as Georgia Southern used two long touchdown runs early in the second half to gain separation before holding on for a 24-21 victory Thursday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium. App State receiver Corey Sutton’s touchdown catches with 8:22 and 4:47 remaining cut the deficit from 17 points to three, and the Mountaineers had possession twice in the final four minutes. A fourth-and-4 pass from midfield fell incomplete to end one series with 2:16 left, and App State got the ball back at its 16 with 1:10 remaining but no timeouts at their disposal. The game ended with a completion and multi-lateral effort near midfield. At 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference, App State is a half-game ahead the Eagles (5-3, 3-1) and Georgia State (6-2, 3-1) in the Sun Belt standings. The Mountaineers return to action next weekend with a Nov. 9 night game at South Carolina on ESPN2. / Read more…



  • Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday Morning, Be Sure to Set Your Clocks Back One Hour


    November 1, 2019. It’s that time of year again to set your watches and clocks back one hour and snag an extra hour of sleep with the end of Daylight Saving Time in the United States. Daylight Saving Time (DST) officially ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, November 3. While the popularity of Daylight Saving Time has started to drop over the years, 48 of the 50 states in America still participate in springing an hour forward and falling one our back each year at the start and end of DST. Hawaii and Arizona no longer participate in Daylight Saving Time, neither do the United States territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You will notice that with the time change, it will get darker much earlier during the late fall and winter months. On Sunday, the sun will rise at 6:51 a.m. and set at 5:28 p.m. In total, the day length will be 10 hours, 37 minutes and 26 seconds. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • App State’s Fans Weathered Rainy, Windy, Snowy Conditions on a Halloween Evening at The Rock


    October 31, 2019. Temperatures dropped more than 30 degrees from mid-afternoon until the end of the game, but that didn’t stop the fans from coming out in their favorite Halloween costumes and all bundled up to watch Appalachian State take on Georgia Southern Thursday night. Fans dealt with steady rainfall, gusty winds and then some light snowfall throughout the night. The scoreboard might not have gone App State’s way, but a lot of fans still made the most of a rough weather night for football in the High Country. Here are some of the best fan shots from Thursday night’s game.  Photos by Ken Ketchie / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae Theatre Arts to Perform Award-Winning Comedy Mash-Up The Good Doctor Nov. 14–17

    October 31, 2019.  Experience the classic comedy that is The Good Doctor as Lees-McRae Theatre Arts takes to the stage to perform the award-winning Broadway play Nov. 14–17. The Good Doctor was a hit when it debuted on Broadway in 1973 and has continued to delight and captivate audiences through the years. The play consists of 10 short scenes adapted from and inspired by the short stories of 19th-century Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov. “Audiences can expect absurdity, wordplay, and lots of fun,” Joshua Yoder, show director and assistant professor of Theatre Arts, said. “It’s sort of a mash-up,” Yoder said. “Simon wrote it as an homage to Chekhov, and the play combines Simon’s wit and silliness with Chekhov’s depth and humanity.” The play begins with an unnamed writer alone on stage, surprised to find his work interrupted by an auditorium full of spectators. He proceeds to narrate his stories to the audience, becoming more and more animated as the comic sketches spring to life around him. / Read more…



  • Flash Mob Shows Up at Downtown Boone Boo’s Rainy Halloween Celebration on Thursday


    October 31, 2019. The annual Boone Boo! Halloween event might have had some rough weather to deal with, but don’t tell that to the many children and adults dressed in their favorite costumes that packed King Street and the Jones House on Wednesday evening. “It was amazing and I loved seeing how awesome our community is. We’re enthusiastic and we are weather resistant. I don’t think we were waterproof but we were definitely weather resistant,” laughed Lane Moody, the Downtown Development Coordinator for the Town of Boone. “It was one of those evenings that makes your heart full for how much fun it was downtown and having that sense of community. It was wonderful.” Appalachian State University student-athletes, Student Government Association (SGA) members, Town of Boone employees and many others were on hand giving out candy and providing plenty of scares inside the haunted Jones House. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • SNIPS of Watauga Humane Society Holding Three Fundraisers This Week; Fall Mall Fling November 2


    October 31, 2019. SNIPS*, the spay-neuter committee of Watauga Humane Society, raises funds through craft sales, restaurant fundraisers and special events, and with the generous support of individual patrons, to provide low-cost spay/neuter programs for animals in Watauga and Ashe Counties. Since the fall of 2017, SNIPS has helped fund more than 1500 surgeries, greatly reducing the number of unwanted animals turned in to local shelters, found wandering in the streets, or abandoned to die. “SNIPS is a huge part of Watauga Humane Society because the organization is not just about taking in animals, it’s about helping our local community and everyone in it,” said Melissa Morgan, Administrator of Watauga Humane Society, “We want to make sure the county and community are taken care of, not just the animals we have in the shelter.” / Read more…



  • The History and Terrain of the High Country Featured in October Issue of Our State Magazine


    October 31, 2019. In Our State Magazine’s Annual Mountain Issue released in October this year, a variety of highlighted areas used to show the wide-ranging beauty and diversity of North Carolina’s mountains were spots around the High Country and Watauga County in general. Natural scenery, history, and how the two fall hand-in-hand, are shown throughout the issue in a way that connects the grandiose nature of physical space in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the past and the people who have made a life among them. Perhaps some of the most important scenery, photography, and overall aesthetic capturing of the High Country in this Mountain Issue came from the town of Linville as the primary focus, including the “Grand Canyon of the East,” the Linville Gorge. The issue features a beautiful six-shot panorama from the top of Hawksbill mountain displaying the almost entirety of the 12,000-acre expanse with cartographed depiction by illustrator Dan Williams. The piece goes on to mention the “natural wonder” of the gorge itself as it has geological shifts in the topography to thank for its formation. By Cobly Gable / Read more…



  • Election Security Forum Happening at Appalachian State on November 1

    October 31, 2019. A special forum will be taking place on Friday that will include information sharing and discussion about the worrisome issue of election security, particularly in North Carolina. The forum will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the Gordon Gathering Hall inside the Reich College of Education Building, located at 151 College Street. The event is co-sponsored by Appalachian State’s Department of Computer Science and the Department of Government and Justice Studies. 99 percent of the votes tallied across the country will be done either on computers or by using the paper ballot-scanning machines, meaning that making sure these computer systems are modern and secure. According to information provided by Dr. Ray Russell, who will moderate the forum, the federal government recently allocated $250 million to make these systems secure. There will be three speakers at the forum who have a vast amount of knowledge of the subject of elections and election security. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – Oct. 17-23: 41 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $12,538,500.00

    Oct. 31, 2019. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. Compiled by Debbie Carter / Read more…



  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to Open a New Family Practice


    October 30, 2019. “Let our family take care of your family.” Boone will soon have a new family practice in town. AppFamily Medicine, a practice of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates will open on November 4, 2019. AppFamily Medicine will be a true “family practice” that will provide comprehensive care for all ages, from infants to adults. AppFamily’s primary care providers will be your family’s healthcare partner. In addition to providing general care for the entire family, AppFamily Medicine will also provide treatment for a wide range of medical issues including complicated chronic disease management, acute illnesses, care of children, depression and anxiety, as well as both prenatal and routine gynecological care. Same-day acute care (sick or injured) appointments are available for established patients only.   / Read more…



  • High Country’s Largest 5K Returns Thanksgiving Day to Benefit the Hospitality House


    October 30, 2019. For the ninth consecutive year the High Country Turkey Trot 5K, presented by Mast General Store, will take place Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 28, on the Boone Greenway Trail at the Clawson-Burnley Park entrance. Coach John Weaver, retired Director of Track, Field and Cross Country for Appalachian State University, and Big Kahuna Timing will be assisting with the event, utilizing fully automatic chip timing for the 5K Race. The race will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with the Fun Run / Walk, for casual runners, joggers and walkers following fifteen minutes later. Named a Top Ten Holiday 5K race by Our State magazine back in 2016, this destination race attracted over 1,100 participants from twenty-five different states and over fifty North Carolina cities and towns last year. “We are looking forward to another successful event,” stated Hospitality House director of development Todd Carter. “Boone is such a beautiful place to run a 5K on Thanksgiving Day. It is our privilege to offer this opportunity for runners from all over the United States to experience Boone and the High Country at the beginning of the holiday season.” / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, October 21 – October 27

    October 30, 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



  • Recess 10-Year Video Premiere Party Drew Big Crowds to the Beacon on Friday; Successful Raffle Raised Funds for Boone Greenway Skatepark


    October 30, 2019. Recess Skate and Snow celebrated their tenth anniversary on Friday, October 25 at The Beacon with a 10-Year video premiere party that also served as a fundraiser for Boone Greenway Skatepark. Over 200 people attended the free event and enjoyed watching snowboarding films, indulged in refreshments, and participated in a raffle to raise funds for the highly-anticipated skatepark. Recess has been a staple in the Boone community since it was established in 2009; every year, the skate and snowboard shop releases a short film consisting of footage from the shop’s sponsored riders. This year’s film was unique because it served as the 10th anniversary benchmark for the ride shop. The popular snowboarder movie “Everybody” was also shown during the event’s proceedings. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Brenda’s Pie Filling And A Little About Life


    October 30, 2019. I was gathering my apples and all the other ingredients needed to make Brenda Gragg’s apple pie filling at about the same time I learned she was nearing life’s end earlier this week. I put the project on hold and decided, instead, to spend a few moments with the Gragg family as they lovingly stood vigil by her bedside. They had been “called in” as so often happens when medical professionals deem it time for the last goodbyes, the final hugs, the last possible declarations of love and devotion — and the release, as painful as it is. The Graggs never failed their loved one, neither during her journey nor as she slipped peacefully from this earth on Tuesday into what they know in their hearts to be her eternal resting place in heaven. There’s just some things you know to be true. Brenda Gragg knew. Her family knew — and all of us who knew her knew. Yes, I know this is a cooking column, and yes, it’s often served as a place to honor special people, whether as a living tribute or as a memorial. Brenda Gragg deserves her place in my column. I am saddened by her departure today as I write these words.
    By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



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