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Blowing Rock School to Host New Annual Event “Rocket Run” at Davant Field May 24


May 14, 2024 Blowing Rock School is set to host a new annual event with its first-ever Rocket Run on May 24, 2024 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Davant Field. As a start to the summer, the fun-run style event will include a bubble run, food trucks, music, games, bounce houses, a photo booth and more. The event is free and open to the public, with proceeds benefiting a newly endowed Playground Maintenance Fund. When the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization was reestablished following the pandemic, it came to the board’s attention that the school playground – widely enjoyed by residents and visitors alike – had no plan for ongoing maintenance. The needs are vast and costly, from the turf surface to the beams and ropes that make up the play space so many children and families enjoy year-round.

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Watauga County Republican Women’s Club Next Monthly Meeting is Wednesday May 29

May 14, 2024 The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday May 29 at The Dan’l Boone Inn, 130 Hardin Street, Boone, NC. Lunch at 11:30 AM for $14.00, with meeting to follow. All interested in furthering the Republican cause in The High Country are welcome to attend and are invited to join. Call 828-832-6864 for more information. The WCRWC usually meets the last Wednesday of each month. See us on Facebook and learn more.

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Representative Virginia Foxx Introduces the Grant Integrity and Border Security Act


May 11, 2024 On Monday, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 8334, the Grant Integrity and Border Security Act, legislation that would require all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that apply for a federal grant to certify, as part of their application, that they have not, will not, and are not engaging in acts related to the smuggling and transportation of illegal aliens into the United States – and that they are not engaging in a conspiracy to take any of these actions. “Border security remains one of the most pressing issues of our time – the circumstances in which the nation finds itself warrant immediate, targeted solutions. The Grant Integrity and Border Security Act is one such solution that I am placing squarely upon the table,” said Representative Foxx. “There are already documented incidents in which NGOs have allocated funds to accelerate the entry of illegal aliens into our country, all the while corrupting public trust and thumbing their noses at the rule of law.

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NFIB’s APRIL SURVEY: Inflation Continues to Hinder Small Business Operations

May 14, 2024 NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index rose by 1.2 points in April to 89.7, marking the first increase of this year but the 28th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98. Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in their business, down three points from March but still the number one problem for small business owners. “Cost pressures remain the top issue for small business owners, including historically high levels of owners raising compensation to keep and attract employees,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist. “Overall, small business owners remain historically very pessimistic as they continue to navigate these challenges.

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Spruce Pine Alien Festival Prepares for a RETURNAlien Invasion of Massive Proportions on June 8th with Experts & Researchers

May 14, 2024 The Small Town of Spruce Pine North Carolina prepares for a RETURNAlien Invasion of massive proportions! On June 8th the town of Spruce Pine awaits the visitation of 10’s of thousands of show guests and Alien Interstellar visitors to the downtown Main Street Spruce Pine, NC on Oak Avenue.  Alien Lovers and UFO believers don’t want to miss the Spruce Pine Alien Festival and hear the latest information from the Spruce Pine Alien experts, scientist & researchers on the local area sighting, as well as, the recent shoot downs of Unidentified flying objects over Alaska, the US and Canada and recent sightings in Spruce Pine and surrounding Mountain towns and woodlands.

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Watauga County Schools Announces New Principals for Blowing Rock and Parkway

May 14, 2024 The Watauga County Board of Education has named two new principals for the district. Madison Hollar will be the principal of Blowing Rock School and Martha Trimble will be the principal of Parkway School. Hollar and Trimble will fill the vacancies which follow the retirement of Patrick Sukow at Blowing Rock School and Patty Buckner at Parkway School.

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St. Mary of the Hills Announces Summer Concert Series; Kicks Off on May 26th

May 14, 2024 St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church is pleased to announce an exciting and diverse series of Sunday afternoon summer concerts featuring local and AppState musicians every month through October. Sponsored by the Friends of Music at St. Mary’s, the season kicks off on May 26th with the genre-bending group ‘High Country Improv Collective’ – an eclectic group of musicians promising a fun performance that has been described as “a crazy, beautiful, musical experience…an afternoon of spontaneous musical exploration.”  The group includes Karen Caldwell on vocals, Jim Banks – trumpet and flugelhorn, Rob Falvo – percussion, Jim Lodin – Piano, Harold McKinney – trombone, and Cindy Tate-Gibson – accordion. Prepare to be entertained and surprised!

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MOAA Will Conduct the 16th Annual Memorial Day Commemoration at the Boone Mall May 27th

May 14, 2024 Your High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will conduct the 16th Annual Memorial Day Commemoration at the Boone Mall. The ceremony will include participation of the Watauga Community Band offering a prelude concert commencing at 1030. At 1100, Watauga High School Marine Corps JROTC Color Guard will present the Colors. The Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and Invocation will follow with brief remarks honoring those who have served our Nation. Deceased veterans of our military services suffered the discipline to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They dedicated their life to our country and deserve to be recognized for their patriotism and willingness to serve in war or peace

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Madeline Stewart of Blowing Rock Crowned Mrs. North Carolina American

May 13, 2024 Mrs. Blue Ridge Valley, Madeline Stewart, from Blowing Rock, NC, was crowned the 2024 Mrs. North Carolina American at the annual Mrs. North Carolina pageant held on May 5th, 2024, at the James Warren Citizens Center Theatre in Lincolnton, NC. The delegates competed in three areas of competition, including interview, swimsuit, and evening gown. This is the 5th year of the Mrs. North Carolina American pageant, the sister pageant to Mrs. North Carolina America, directed by Executive Director’s Wendy & Frederick C. Galle III.

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The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble to Kick Off at Grandfather Mountain on May 25

May 13, 2024 Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, is welcoming guests to celebrate the beauty of this season by partaking in our Rhododendron Rambles, a series of guided strolls that showcase the park’s blossoming rhododendron and other native species. The easygoing rambles take place at 1 p.m. daily May 25 through June 2. These short, guided strolls are led by the park’s naturalists and are included with the price of admission. If the rhododendrons continue to bloom beyond early June, Grandfather Mountain naturalists may extend the event date

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Beech Mountain Resort Announces the Return of its Annual Outdoor Concert Summer Series

May 13, 2024 North Carolina’s Beech Mountain Resort has announced the return of its annual outdoor concert series this summer. The series will kick off June 8 with performances by The String Cheese Incident and The Wood Brothers; followed by an extended Party on the Mountain weekend July 19-21 with NEEDTOBREATHE, Dispatch, Greensky Bluegrass, Yola, and Maggie Rose; with Sylvan Esso and Soccer Mommy rounding out the season on August 10. 

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Movement Mortgage to Host Sixth Annual High Country Top 50 Realtor Gala on May 30th

May 13, 2024 This coming May, the premier top 50 local real estate professionals in the High Country will gather to be honored for their 2023 success. This annual event was founded by The Angela McLean Team of Movement Mortgage in 2018 and has become the premier event for the Top Realtors in the High Country.  Movement Mortgage is one of the fastest growing mortgage companies in the United States.  This year’s celebration will be a magical one and an event not to be missed. This event has quickly become the Who’s Who of local real estate.  In fact, many local real estate agents often set this accomplishment as one of their annual objectives.

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Movie Review: “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” Now Playing at Boone Regal

May 13, 2024 In this era of constant reboots and re-imaginings and the like, “Planet of the Apes” has had a pretty successful run. 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was such a big hit both commercially and critically that pundits were talking about an unprecedented motion-capture-based Oscar nomination for Andy Serkis as lead ape Caesar (it didn’t happen, but it was fun to speculate). Two follow-up films in 2014 and 2017 weren’t shabby either, and it looked like the series was going to stop at a taut little trilogy. But now we’re back with “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” which takes place in the same continuity as Caesar without overextending the neatly-wrapped arc. 

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Suspect in Custody for Armed Robbery in Boone on Thursday


May 11, 2024 On Thursday, May 9, 2024, at approximately 3:00 PM, Boone Officers were alerted to a reported armed robbery in the parking area of 545 Hwy 105 Extension. The suspect had fled the area on foot. Officers responded and quickly identified the suspect. A short time later a Boone Police Officer located the suspect behind a hotel on US 421 South. A short foot chase ensued before the suspect was taken into custody with the help of a Watauga Sheriff’s Office deputy.  The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Mario Rafael Gonzalez of Zionville, North Carolina.  Gonzalez was charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon (Felony), Resisting an Officer (Misdemeanor), Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Misdemeanor

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Appalachian Theatre of the High Country Presents Cocktail Hour: The Show by Ballets with a Twist Coming July 6 at 7:00pm

May 10, 2024 From coast-to-coast, Ballets with a Twist is turning heads and setting trends with its sparkling style. The company’s signature production, Cocktail Hour: The Show, makes its North Carolina debut at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country. Watch as Champagne, Hot Toddy, mocktail Shirley Temple, and more spring off the menu and onto the stage in a series of dazzling vignettes. Suitable for audiences of all ages, the fun and fast-paced show transports theatergoers around the world with original music, choreography, and costume design. You’ve never seen cocktails like these!

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Movement Mortgage to Host Sixth Annual High Country Top 50 Realtor Gala on May 30th

May 10, 2024 This coming May, the premier top 50 local real estate professionals in the High Country will gather to be honored for their 2023 success. This annual event was founded by The Angela McLean Team of Movement Mortgage in 2018 and has become the premier event for the Top Realtors in the High Country.  Movement Mortgage is one of the fastest growing mortgage companies in the United States.  This year’s celebration will be a magical one and an event not to be missed. This event has quickly become the Who’s Who of local real estate.  In fact, many local real estate agents often set this accomplishment as one of their annual objectives.

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Avery Board of Commissioners Adopt County New Emergency Operations Plan 

May 10, 2024 The Avery County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the County’s 2024 Emergency Operations Plan during their regular monthly meeting May 6. The 2024 Emergency Operations Plan was prepared by Avery’s Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshall Paul Buchanan, his staff, and the County’s emergency support personnel and agencies.  The development of this plan was funded by a grant through the High Country Council of Government.

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Pertussis Cases Confirmed in Ashe County, All Among Ashe County High School Students

May 10, 2024 AppHealthCare has confirmed four cases of pertussis, all among Ashe County High School students. AppHealthCare and Ashe County Schools are working closely together to identify individuals who may have been exposed to the cases and are communicating directly with them so they can take actions to protect themselves and their families, and to identify the individuals like pregnant women and infants who may be at the highest risk of severe illness. School and health officials report all individuals diagnosed with pertussis are being treated, per guidelines established by the State of North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control, and are fully cooperating in following isolation instructions to prevent further spread of the illness.

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Largest in Its History: Crossnore Communities for Children Receives $5 Million Anonymous Pledge

May 10, 2024 Crossnore Communities for Children has received a $5 million anonymous pledge—the largest gift in the organization’s more than 110-year history. The gift will go toward Crossnore’s $41 million comprehensive campaign to expand and enhance where children served by the organization live, learn, and heal and will be specifically used for a trauma-informed charter school in Winston-Salem. The $5 million gift requires Crossnore to secure an additional $3 million in matching funds for its charter school. The matching gifts must be made with a minimum of $500,000 or more per individual commitment

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Community Making Mosaics for “My Watauga” for Middle Fork Greenway Trail Project

May 10, 2024 As development of the Middle Fork Greenway progresses to connect Boone to Blowing Rock, groups of community members are gathering to collectively create a piece of public art for the trailhead at Sterling Creek Park. Named “My Watauga,” the sculpture will be a square column about 6 feet in height featuring mosaic squares depicting differing aspects of living in our unique area. One of the first “make it” events occurred with the staff of the Blue Ridge Conservancy, the group responsible for acquiring the land and overseeing its development.

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Full Music Schedule, New Disc Golf Course, VIP Liquor Lineup Announced for FloydFest 24~Horizon Coming July 24 to 28

May 8, 2024 In addition to the full schedule (which is subject to change), Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. & Blue Cow Arts Foundation, Inc. formally announce a new disc golf course that will debut during the 2024 festival, curated and crafted in concert with its longtime partner Innova Discs. The FloydFest DGC will be open for free play throughout all five days of ‘Horizon,’ but will also serve as host to two opportunities for organized play: Innova’s Disc Golf Glow Round at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 25; and Innova’s Disc Golf Tournament, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.

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Avery County Transportation Has 2024 State Driver of The Year and Wins State Roadeo Transit Van Competition

May 7, 2024. Avery County Transportation helps to provide safe, quality and low-cost transportation to the county’s citizens as a demand response, general public transportation service.  This agency provides transportation, not only within the county, but also to the other areas. And Avery County Transportation has earned many milestone accolades with two of its most prestigious happening this year.  One came during the 2024 North Carolina Public Transportation Association’s Roadeo Transit Operator Driving Competition held on April 6 at the world-renown ZMAX Dragway in Concord and the other was officially announced there. .  By Tim Gardner

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Boone Junior Appalachian Musicians Spring Recital at the Appalachian Theatre on May 14th

May 7, 2024 Boone Junior Appalachian Musicians (Boone JAM) is thrilled to announce its Spring Semester Recital, scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th, at the historic Appalachian Theatre in downtown Boone. The event is free to attend and will begin at 5:30 PM. Boone JAM is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich musical heritage of Appalachia among the youth of the region through group music lessons. This semester’s recital promises to be a delightful showcase of talent, featuring performances from twenty different classes focusing on traditional music genres, including Guitar, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin, and Ukulele.

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