High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • AAA Survey: Traveler Optimism Grows as Summer Approaches; Vaccinations Fuel Traveler Confidence

    April 7, 2021 Traveler confidence is growing as COVID-19 vaccinations become more readily available. A new AAA survey reveals that nearly half of North Carolinians (48%) are comfortable taking a trip. That’s a 12 percentage-point increase compared to our previous survey in January. North Carolinians cite the vaccine and increased safety measures, as the top two reasons they feel comfortable traveling now. More than a third (35%) say they have received the vaccine. Even more (42%) base their confidence on masks and sanitization. “After a full year in a global pandemic, there is a lot of pent-up demand for travel that our AAA travel agents are seeing tremendous enthusiasm from North Carolinians who are eager to plan a trip,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “While many want to wait until the summer, some have already received their vaccine and are motivated to travel now.” / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Rhubarb Returns For Spring


    April 7, 2021. Those who’ve been around awhile know that the bright red stalks of a plant called rhubarb indicated that spring has arrived. A lot of “old-timers,” especially, look forward to its arrival around this same time each year. Some have already mentioned to me seeing it rising up out of the cold dark ground. Recognized as a stout, coarse perennial with large leaves and small clusters of flowers, rhubarb was brought to America in the late 1700s, migrating from older and colder countries by way of Italy. While the stalk is edible and the leaves are poisonous, there is some hisotry of it having been used for medicinal purposes in the early days. Most agree that its sour bitter taste in raw form is not something one likes immediately, but rather, rhubarb is one of those things for which an acquired taste is necessary. In most recipes I’ve seen, it is almost always coupled with some type of fruit, strawberry being its most popular mate. Although rhubarb grows in abundance, it doesn’t stay around for very long and is best when found in crisp, plump, medium-size stalks. Rhubarb can be kept fresh for about a week when wrapped it in a damp paper towel and placed in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be frozen, whole or sliced, and packed in a moisture-proof, freezer-proof container or bag, with about ½-inch headspace. Then, even in the middle of winter, its springtime taste can be enjoyed in cakes, pies, muffins and more. In all recipes, frozen rhubarb can be substituted for the fresh; just be sure to thaw and drain well before using.. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – April 6, 2021

    April 6, 2021. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Haircut 101 Staff Fundraise and Present $1,000 Check Donation to Western Youth Network


    April 6, 2021 COVID-19 has impacted everybody in some way, shape or form; however, during the pandemic, many people have been stepping up to support the community around them. Downtown Boone’s local salon, Haircut 101, is one business that is striving to make a positive difference. The staff of Haircut 101 spent time asking for contributions, giving away haircuts and gift certificates in order to fundraise for Western Youth Network. Recently, Haircut 101 was able to present a donation check of $1,000 to the organization. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Free Speech

    April 6, 2021 Letters to the Editor. By CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, Conspiracy theory is another term for critical thinking though it isn’t intended to be by those who use it. When government questions citizens about suspicious activity it’s called investigation. When you question government it’s called conspiracy theory. We’ve been trained not to question government and ‘our free press’ reinforces this conditioning. “Confirmation bias” is a psychological behavior where individuals disregard any information which conflicts with their beliefs.  If it was unpatriotic to question government, we’d still be an English colony. People have been educated just enough to believe what they’re taught but not enough to question. Operation mockingbird was/is a CIA operation to spread disinformation throughout ‘our free press’. CIA director Colby testified before congress that this was ongoing.  Read more…



  • Appalachian State University’s Belk Library’s Lynn Patterson — A Role Model and Mentor


    April 6, 2021 To many Appalachian State University students over the years, Lynn Patterson ’89 has been known for her nurturing spirit. Patterson, who has been employed for 30 years in various roles in App State’s Belk Library and Information Commons, said her relationships with students are as important as her job. As a university program specialist, Patterson is responsible for the library’s communications, outreach, social media, event planning and donor relations. She also coordinates the library’s scholarship program. Because community was important to Patterson as a student at App State, she said her door is always open. “People I went to college with are now sending their own kids to Appalachian, and they often send their kids to the library to connect with me. Some even call me ‘Mama Lynn,’” Patterson said. By Jan Todd / Read more…



  • Watauga County Public Library Celebrates National Library Week April 4-10


    April 5, 2021 April 4-10, 2021 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to your library,” which promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services, whether in person or virtually. Celebrating, supporting and funding libraries has become even more important during this pandemic.
    / Read more…



  • Empty Bowls is Back! Watauga High School, Watauga County Arts Council, and the Hunger and Health Coalition Partner to Bring Back a Beloved Community Event


    April 5, 2021 Potters, get to your wheels. Empty Bowls is Back! The 

Watauga Arts Council is teaming up with the Watauga High School Art Department and the Hunger and Health Coalition to host Empty Bowls*. Empty Bowls is an annual fundraising event organized by the High School art department. Proceeds of Empty Bowls go to the Hunger and Health Coalition – a large-scale local food pantry serving High Country residents who struggle with food insecurity.

 For the first time since its inception in 2001, Watauga High School Empty Bowls had to be canceled in 2020. “Because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic, an event at the high school was not plausible and we were searching for possibilities to continue with the spirit of the event”, says Brett McDonough, High School Ceramics Teacher. “Our event is built 100% on donations from generous local potters, restaurant owners, and artists. We were sensitive to even ask for donations due to the challenges many have faced this year. So, when Amber, the Director of the Watauga County Arts Council, reached out offering to help we were thrilled”, shares Dacia Trethewey, Watauga High School art teacher. / Read more…



  • Appalachian State to Hold Community COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on April 8


    April 5, 2021 App State will hold a community COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Thursday, April 8 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  App State’s community vaccine clinic is currently administering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) “one-shot” vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is approved for adults ages 18 and older. Register for an appointment time at appstate.edu/coronavirus/vaccine/. Call 828-262-6578 or email [email protected] if you have questions or need assistance. App State’s Community Vaccine Clinics are held at the Holmes Convocation Center and are open to students, faculty, staff and community members. / Read more…



  • App State’s 2021 Homecoming Football Game Set for Oct. 30 Against Louisiana-Monroe


    April 5, 2021 App State will welcome alumni and fans back to Boone this fall for its annual Homecoming football game, set for Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Kickoff for the Mountaineers’ Sun Belt Conference game against ULM is slated for 3:30 p.m., subject to change for national television. Activities for students and alumni can be found at homecoming.appstate.edu in the coming months. App State Athletics will also hold its annual football alumni reunion that weekend. More information will be provided directly to football alumni. If you are a former player or staff member of the football program and would like to give your updated contact information to the Mountaineers Athletic Fund staff, please email [email protected] or call 828-262-3108. / Read more…



  • Sugar Mountain Resort to Replace Ski Lift on the Big Birch Slope This Summer

    April 5, 2021 Building new ski lifts makes Sugar Mountain Resort happy. That is why come the start of the 2021-22 winter season skiers and riders can enjoy a new four-seater, fixed-grip chairlift to take them midway up Sugar Mountain. The green triple chairlift, which tunnels under tall Maples and around lush Rhododendron along the mountain’s East side services the Big Birch slope and provides access to Oma’s Meadow, will be replaced by a Doppelmayr, quad chairlift. The new 2,000 foot long Big Birch chairlift, the resort’s fourth installation in six years, doubles in speed over the old triple and carries 1,792 passengers per hour. The Resort’s overall uphill capacity goes from transporting 11,270 passengers per hour to 11,660 passengers per hour. / Read more…



  • Luke Combs Announces Postponement of Kidd Brewer Stadium Performance, New Date Unknown


    April 5, 2021 Country star and former App State student Luke Combs announced on social media today that his stadium show at The Rock has been postponed because of North Carolina restrictions. Combs’s Kidd Brewer Stadium performance was originally scheduled for May 2, 2020 and was moved to May 1, 2021 due to COVID-19. The concert has now been rescheduled, once again, and the new date has not been released yet. His Facebook post read, “I’m sorry y’all, but due to North Carolina restrictions, we’re not able to have the show in Boone, NC just yet. So, the show scheduled for May 1, 2021 is being postponed. The new date is TBD, but all original tickets will be valid, so hold on to them and we’ll let y’all know the new date real soon. Keep an eye on your email and my social media.” By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Watauga High School to Hold Graduation Ceremony at Jack Groce Stadium on May 28


    April 5, 2021 Watauga High School will hold a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28. So the school can allow students to have as many guests as safely possible while adhering to state restrictions on large gatherings, the ceremony will be held outdoors at the Jack Groce Stadium on the campus of Watauga High School. With the current COVID-19 restrictions in place, students will be allowed to have up to four guests attend the ceremony. Students will receive information from the high school on how guests can be registered soon. Every effort will be made to hold the ceremony on Friday evening weather permitting, but if inclement weather cannot be avoided, a rain date is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 29.  / Read more…



  • Multi-Award Winning Film “Cured” on BOONE DOCS Series April 18 Film Illuminates Hidden Chapter in the Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights


    April 1, 2021 “Cured,” a multiple award-wining documentary film illuminating the pivotal but largely unknown chapter in the struggle for LGBT equality, will be screened online prior to its upcoming broadcast on PBS by the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. This free online event is part of the popular BOONE DOCS film series and the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Co-Producers and Co-Directors Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer will take part in a post-screening discussion along with the Reverend Magora Kennedy, one of the film’s storytellers, moderated by John Cunningham and Roddy Williams of the National AIDS Memorial. Tickets for both events are available at no cost to participants on the theatre’s website at www.apptheatre.org.  / Read more…



  • Avery County GOP Holds Annual Convention


    April 1, 2021 With election season only four months past and another one just a year away, the Avery County Republican Party held its annual convention at the county’s Agricultural Extension Community Center in Newland on Saturday, March 27.  The event included various speakers and past and likely-future candidates from Avery County and the western part of the state, including North Carolina District 11 Congressman Madison Cawthorn. The Avery Republican Party also recognized the recent passing of former chairman Don Baker, passing a Memorial Resolution in his honor during its official business segment. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 30, 2021

    March 23, 2021. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Temperatures Turn Cold and Snow is in the Forecast for Wednesday Night and Thursday


    March 30, 2021 Spring temperatures will revert back to some cold, wintery conditions over the next couple of days in the High Country with lows in the teens and snowfall expected. According to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center, highs will reach near 60 on Wednesday before a sharp decline in temperatures in the evening and overnight. Showers and thunderstorms will turn to snow showers overnight and winds will pick up, gusting up to 50 MPH. On Thursday, the high will struggle to get above freezing with a high of 33 predicted for Boone. Snow showers will continue throughout the day before clearing off overnight. Friday will be clear but cold with a high of 39. Most areas will receive just a light dusting of snow, however, higher elevations could see up to three inches near the North Carolina and Tennessee border. This is the second straight year that snow and cold have invaded the High Country on April Fool’s Day. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Carlton Gallery is Anticipating Upcoming 2021 Workshop Season with Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor-Gouache, and Mixed Media Painting Classes


    March 30, 2021 Carlton Gallery is starting to prepare for its upcoming painting workshops that begin on May 25. There are many different types of classes including Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor-Gouache, Mixed Media Painting along with Drawing Workshops. People can surely find something they want to try. These workshops give participants an opportunity to be out again and to be a part of something by using creativity as an emotional outlet for all the things everybody has been through in the last year or so. These classes are designed to inspire and lift spirits while highlighting everyone’s creativity. / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Nobody’ is a Sporadically Awesome Violent Action Movie with Extended Fight Scenes

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    March 30, 2021 NOTE: This review is coming from a person who loves a good violent action movie. If the genre isn’t for you, this movie isn’t for you. “Nobody” wears its resemblance to the “John Wick” movies on its sleeve. David Leitch, director of the first “Wick” film, is a producer for this movie, and the advertising hasn’t been shy about playing up that connection. Like the “Wick” series, this movie takes place in a world of sophisticated gangsters and assassins. I’d say it could be a shared universe, but the characters in this movie use gold bars and paper money (which can be burned dramatically) for currency instead of those cute doubloons, so… not the same. Bob Odenkirk stars as Hutch Mansell, a seemingly-lame suburban dad who is stuck in a rut. He’s unhappy in his job working for his father-in-law (Michael Ironside), his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) isn’t affectionate, and everybody thinks he’s a wimp, including his own son Blake (Gage Munroe). When a pair of burglars break into his house and assault Blake, nobody is surprised that Hutch takes a path of inaction and lets them get away. The official word from the police is that he did the right thing, but even some of the officers think he should have taken more steps to protect his family, to say nothing of his neighbors, co-workers, and Blake. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Lees-McRae College Names Alyson Gill as New Provost

    March 30, 2021 Alyson Gill, PhD, has accepted the position of provost for Lees-McRae College. She comes to the college from the University of the Ozarks in Clarkson, Arkansas, where she held the titles of provost and chief academic officer. Her anticipated start date is July 1. President Lee King said of Gill, “Throughout the search process, she impressed me with her experience, her record of academic innovation, and her skills at using assessment and data to strengthen the academic cultures of the institutions where she has served. After meeting her on campus, our community seemed particularly impressed, as well, by her warmth of personality, humor, and her track record of bringing together the community for collaboration. I am confident she is the right choice to lead Lees-McRae academics to a bright and dynamic future.” / Read more…



  • ‘Dollar Days’ Begin April 1 at Grandfather Mountain; Tickets $3 for High Country Residents


    March 29, 2021. Grandfather Mountain will open its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each April 1-18, as the park’s “Dollar Days” promotion returns in time for spring. The promotion allows anyone who lives or works in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate. Students attending a local college or university are also eligible for the discount. Due to COVID-19, however, Dollar Days guests must book their visit online at www.grandfather.com. To take advantage of the reduced rate, guests must choose the Dollar Days admission rate when reserving their visit. Upon arrival to the Grandfather entrance gate, Dollar Days ticketholders must present a valid driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to demonstrate employment at a High Country business. / Read more…



  • Hatchery Supported Trout Waters Open April 3

    March 29, 2021 The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 900 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters at 7 a.m. on April 3. The season will run through Feb. 28, 2022. To give trout anglers opportunities to plan fishing trips in advance, the Wildlife Commission has posted the full Hatchery Supported Trout Waters stocking schedule on its website that provides information on what days each water is being stocked. Anglers can search by county and by month. Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, which are marked by green-and-white signs, have been closed since Feb. 28 so that Commission staff can stock the waters with trout. Staff will continue to stock certain streams through August. Staff will stock many of these waters monthly, although they will stock some heavily fished waters more frequently.  / Read more…



  • Proposed Northern Peaks Trail May Threaten Biodiversity in Western NC Depending on Route

    March 29, 2021 Western North Carolina is famous for its mountains and its biodiversity. Its beautiful views and rare plants draw tourists. Now, a proposed state trail designed to draw more tourists could endanger plants that are an important part of the ecosystem. The Northern Peaks Trail would be a 40-mile-long corridor that connects Boone and two state parks — Elk Knob and Mount Jefferson. The trail’s master plan estimates that the trail could generate $2.5 million in annual economic impact from visitors, said Wright Tilley, executive director of the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority. “Leaders in both Watauga and Ashe continue to hear from residents and visitors that they want public access to outdoor recreation areas, specifically hiking trails and river access,” Tilley wrote in an email. But some people are concerned that the trail could run through the habitats of rare plants, threatening the biodiversity that would make it a tourist destination in the first place. A final location has yet to be determined.  By Dominick Ferrara / Read more…



  • North Carolinians First Chance to Play the Lottery Was 15 years Ago on March 30, 2006; Since Then the Games Have Raised $8 Billion for Education

    March 29, 2021 North Carolinians got their first chance to play the lottery 15 years ago on Tuesday – March 30, 2006 − and since then the fun and games have raised $8 billion for education programs in North Carolina. At the current level of sales, the lottery raises on average $2 million a day for education. Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery, said the lottery’s record of success results directly from the strong support of North Carolinians who enjoy playing lottery games and winning prizes while at the same time helping a good cause − public education. “Every ticket that is purchased provides money for education,” Michalko said. “We’re proud to play our part in supporting our students and schools and will work to continue this success for the next 15 years.”  / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Letter of Support of Asian Americans by the Congressional District 5 Democrats

    March 29, 2021 Letters to the Editor. From Charlie Wallin – Chair-Watauga / Dear Readers, Congressional District 5 Democrats condemn all forms of violence, discrimination, racism, harassment, and xenophobia. We are saddened by the violence against the Asian American community in Atlanta and around the country. Misinformation about COVID-19 has spread and unfortunately has caused a vital segment of the American population to become targets of hate. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that anti-Asian American hate crimes reported to police rose 149% in just the last year. *  Experts tell us that, for various reasons, these crimes often go under-reported. The violence in Atlanta, brings awareness to the escalating violence against Asian Americans. We, the Democrats of Congressional District 5, stand with our Asian American brothers, sisters, friends, family and others in denouncing such violence against any member of our society.   This violence is escalating across this Country.  We call for unity and peace.  The Asian American community, like all others, wants to live in a Country where they can work, worship, send their children to school and form friendships.  With the growing threat of violence, this is becoming difficult if not impossible.   Read more…



  • 2021 is the Year of the Cicada: After 17 years, Millions of Large Cicada Brood Will Emerge Aboveground Throughout the High Country


    March 26, 2021. Be listening for a constant loud, piercing and humming sound across the North Carolina High Country because you’ll soon hear it when you’re outdoors. During the spring, this region, as well as the entire eastern United States will host one of nature’s most unique creatures — periodical cicadas.  These mysterious insects live underground either 13 or 17 years before emerging for a few weeks of furious mating, while making the famous or infamous sound (depending on your point of view).  These insects mating is then closely followed by mass death.  The 17-year cicadas are divided into 12 different broods, each of which emerge on a different schedule and occupy different geographic areas. The 13-year cicadas, comprised of a separate set of species, are divided into three broods.  / Read more…



  • FloydFest 21 Outdoor Music Festival Scheduled for July 21-25; Covid Safety Plan in Place


    March 16, 2021. Across-the-Way Productions, Inc. invites patrons to embark on an ‘Odyssey’ to celebrate FloydFest 21, the latest annual offering of the Southeast’s premier summer outdoor music festival, taking place Wednesday to Sunday, July 21 to 25, 2021, at Milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Va.  Across-the-Way Productions released its Covid Safety Plan. A portion of the plan includes a decision by Across-the-Way Productions to voluntarily reduce the amount of tickets sold to FloydFest 21~Odyssey, as a proactive measure to ensure that the festival is safe for all attendees. The plan also features a detailed list of vetted Covid protocols and precautions, the intention to hire a ‘Covid Czar’ to serve as point-person for the protocols and precautions and the unveiling of the FloydFest.com webpage dedicated to disseminating crucial, need-to-know information. / Read more…



  • Inmates Assist Avery County Detention Officer in Jail Attack; Inmates Treated to Pizza For Their Help

    March 26, 2021 On March 4th, three inmates in the Avery County Jail in Newland rapidly came to the aid of a Detention Officer when another inmate attacked the officer in the main cell block of the Avery County Jail. Inmate Daniel Bledsoe attacked an Avery Detention officer knocking him to the ground and reportedly began trying to choke the officer. The name of the detention officer was not released. Without any hesitation, the three inmates, Jonathan Potter, Colby Flynn and Gustavo Rojas, helped the detention officer and assisted other detention officers in getting Bledsoe under control.   By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Busy 2020-21 Ski Season Closes With a Bang This Weekend with Celebrations at Each Area Resort


    March 26, 2021. A record-setting ski season will come to an end this weekend at Appalachian Ski Mtn., Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain with all three slopes calling it a year. “It’s been an incredible season. We are really thankful for such a loyal staff and customer base,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing at Beech Mountain. “We will operate from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and our party will be from 4-7 p.m.” The end of year party at Beech Mountain for season pass holders and staff members will take place at the lodge cafeteria and will include complimentary barbecue, beer and wine. At Sugar Mountain and Appalachian Ski Mtn., both will have their final day of the season on Sunday and will close with popular annual events. Sugar Mountain will have its snow burning event while Appalachian Ski Mtn. will close with its annual Meltdown Games. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Governor Cooper Announces Accelerated Timeline for Vaccination Eligibility; All NC Adults will be Eligible to be Vaccinated Beginning April 7

    March 26, 2021 Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., announced today an accelerated timeline for moving to Groups 4 and 5 for vaccine eligibility with the rest of Group 4 eligible on March 31st and all adults eligible beginning April 7th. The move will allow the state and vaccine providers to continue to get vaccines into arms quickly and continue to reach underserved and historically marginalized populations. A new public private partnership, Healthier Together: Health Equity Action Network, will enhance the state’s work to deliver equitable access to vaccines, and DHHS released a new biweekly equity data report to provide another avenue for transparency.   / Read more…



  • App State Makes Vaccines More Available for the Community; Second Clinic Was Held March 25th

    March 26, 2021 On Thursday, March 26, App State hosted their second vaccine clinic for students, faculty, staff and community members. “We are so pleased to be a part of the public health vaccine distribution process and proud to help in efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccines more accessible and our campus and community safer for everyone,” said Chancellor Everts. App State’s coronavirus dashboard now includes weekly totals for the vaccines administered at App State’s vaccine clinics. This past week, App State conducted 1,110 COVID-19 tests and surpassed a landmark 50,000 on-campus COVID-19 tests.  By Gianna Holiday / Read more…



  • Making Farmers’ Markets for All: Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Announces Double Up Food Bucks Fundraising Week


    March 25, 2021. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is excited to announce its first ever Double Up Food Bucks Fundraising Week from March 27 to April 3, 2021. The week will include opportunities to learn more about the Double Up Food Bucks program, how it supports local farmers, new college student SNAP eligibility policies, volunteer opportunities, and more! Double Up Food Bucks is a healthy food incentive program that doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits (such as SNAP/EBT, WIC Farmers’ Market Vouchers, and Senior Farmers’ Market Vouchers) when people shop at our local farmers’ markets and Food Hub. The program helps families have healthier choices, supports local farmers, and keeps food dollars in our community. It’s a win-win-win on market day! / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘The Courier’ Has Actors Who Worked Hard to Craft Suspense and Despair

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    March 24, 2021 “The Courier” would have done well to open last month, before the cutoff date to qualify for the Academy Awards. I doubt it would have gotten a Best Picture nomination, and Chadwick Boseman is such a lock for a posthumous Best Actor Oscar for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” that nobody would care if Benedict Cumberbatch eked out a nomination for this film. But it could have been a factor in the Best Supporting Actress race. That field is so scattershot that the Academy omitted Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”) and nominated Razzie contender Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”). I would not have been surprised if Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, or possibly both pulled in a nomination for this film. And then the awards buzz could have given this film its best shot at commercial success, because as it is, this is a bleak film whose bleakness doesn’t translate into Oscar gold or box office green. By Bob Garver / Read more…



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

    March 24, 2021. 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



  • Valle Crucis, Parkway Teams Win Battle of the Books Competition


    March 24, 2021. For the first time in an online format, Watauga County School’s best readers met earlier this month to test their skills at the district-wide Battle of the Books competition. Valle Crucis took home the win in the elementary contest, while Parkway edged out the competition at the middle school event. Parkway’s team was coached by School Librarian Owen Gray and Jess Palmer. The Valle Crucis group was led by Valle Crucis librarian Jane Brown. A long-standing tradition in Watauga County Schools, each year Battle of the Books tasks teams from each school in the district to a competition that tests students ability to recall specific details and answer questions on books from a state promoted list they’ve read over the past year. Each team plays every other team once in the competition and each round consists of 12 questions — six posed to each team.  / Read more…



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