High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Avery County Now Up to Eleven Confirmed COVID-19 Cases With 6 Remaining Active

    June 26, 2020 Avery, the last county in the State of North Carolina to have a Novel Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) case had its eleventh case confirmed Thursday, June 25, by the Toe River Health District (TRHD). Avery County now has 11 positive cases, 5 of which have recovered with 6 remaining active. Mitchell (Spruce Pine and Bakersville) and Yancey (Burnsville) counties, also part of the TRHD like Avery, were notified June 25, that one more resident has tested positive for COVID-19 in each county. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Last Weekend for Free Scenic Lift Rides for Watauga & Avery Residents at Beech Mountain Resort


    June 25, 2020 This is the last weekend for free scenic lift rides for Watauga and Avery Residents at Beech Mountain Resort. The popular round-trip scenic lift rides to Beech Mountain Resort’s mountaintop will be available for all other guests for $12 per person. As a special thanks to locals from Watauga and Avery Counties, the resort has been offering free scenic lift rides for the month of June. / Read more…



  • Virtual Fundraiser from Appalachian Theatre Raises $13,621 for Re-Energize Watauga Fund


    June 25, 2020 The first virtual event ever broadcast live from the Doc Watson Stage at the Appalachian Theatre in Boone proved to be a success as $13,621 was raised to benefit the Re-Energize Watauga Fund. The collaboration between Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and the App Theatre on Saturday, June 20 featured live performances by four prominent regional artists with livestreaming available via social media and local access cable channels / Read more…



  • North Carolina Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings

    June 24, 2020 Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.  Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. “North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”  / Read more…



  • Gov. Cooper Announces Face Coverings Must Be Worn Indoors and Outdoors When Six Feet of Social Distancing is Not Possible , NC to Remain in Phase 2 Until July 17

    June 24, 2020 This afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper made the decision to require everyone in North Carolina to wear masks indoors and outdoors when six feet of social distancing is not possible. The announcement included a decision to keep the state in Phase 2 of reopening. Both of these regulations will continue through July 17. “The numbers we see are a stark warning and we must pay attention. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have said that data and science will lead the way. Our numbers keep us from moving forward. The order continues the safer at home Phase 2 for another three weeks,” said Gov. Cooper. “This is not where we planned to be or wanted to be. We are adding (the mask) requirement so that we don’t have to go backward. We have to stop the spread of this virus.” Exceptions will be made for anyone under the age of 11, anyone with health problems, and anyone who is exercising with six feet of social distancing. The data released today by the Coronavirus Taskforce paints a dreary picture for COVID-19 spread in the state. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, June 15 – June 22

    June 24, 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



  • Gov. Cooper to Announce North Carolina’s Plan for the Next Phase of Reopening on Wednesday Afternoon

    June 24, 2020 North Carolina businesses and residents will find out on Wednesday what the next step will be in the state’s reopening phases. According to a release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Governor Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force will be giving media briefing today at 3 p.m. There has been no guarantee that the state will proceed into phase 3, which can happen as early as this Friday at 5 p.m. COVID-19 testing in the state has seen a recent spike in cases and hospitalizations. Currently, 915 people across the state are in the hospital with the virus, which has increased from 587 one month ago. North Carolina had its highest total of positive cases on June 12 with 1,768. After the positive case total dropped from June 14-17, the number spiked back up again with 1,333 positive tests on June 18, 1,652 cases on June 19 and 1,549 on June 20. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Sen. Jeff Jackson: Key Data Points Here in NC; See for Yourself Where Things Now Stand

    June 24, 2020 Many of my constituents have told me they feel like there’s a lot of bad information out there about the COVID situation – but we’ve also reached a point where people are tired of being told what to think. They’re very skeptical about people – especially politicians – making bold claims about what the future holds. So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m just going to show you the key data points here in NC and let you see for yourself where things stand. The biggest number that everyone follows is new daily cases. And that chart certainly looks discouraging.  / Read more…



  • The 2020 Back 2 School Festival Coming Up on Friday and Saturday, August 7 & 8 at Watauga High; Anticipating Even Greater Need This Year


    June 24, 2020 The 2020 Back 2 School Festival will be held over two days this year, on Friday, August 7, and Saturday, August 8th at Watauga High School. While we are still uncertain about how the children will learn, the Back 2 School Festival remains committed to making sure every Watauga County student returns for the 2020/2021 school year confident and prepared with the tools they need to succeed. “Watauga County Schools anticipates even greater need this year due to COVID-19” said festival president Kendra Sink. “Many parents have lost jobs or are working protracted hours while our economy continues to recover. A lot of families in our area may be facing challenges paying for food, housing, and other necessities for the first time. And school supplies are a huge expense they may not be able to handle.” / Read more…



  • Grandfather Mountain Mourns the Loss of Gerry, the 31 Year Old Black Bear


    June 24, 2020 On Saturday, June 20, Grandfather Mountain bid farewell to Gerry the black bear. Gerry was humanely euthanized following a long history of debilitating arthritis. She was 31 years old. In the wild, black bears live into their early 20s, while those in captivity can live up to and beyond 30. “Gerry was loved by everyone who had the chance to meet her,” said Deborah Anderson, assistant habitats curator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature preserve. “She was a sassy bear, always sure to let the other bears know just how she felt about them. She was just the best bear.” / Read more…



  • Live Music Coming Up This Friday at Town Tavern with the Jangling Sparrows Beginning at 5 p.m.


    June 24, 2020 Live Music Returns to North Carolina when the Jangling Sparrows fly into Town Tavern, 1182 Main St., Friday, June 26. Showtime: 5pm-8pm. Free. Gig is outdoors; weather permitting. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Edelman fronts Jangling Sparrows, whose salt-of-the-Earth, Americana-flavored Roots-Rock has been favorably reviewed by such national publications as Glide Magazine, The Alternate Root, and Music Connection, among others. Paul Edelman, singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet and performer, fronts Asheville, North Carolina-based group, Jangling Sparrows. Edelman can be found sitting comfortably in Roots Rock, Country, Folk, Soul or Storyteller. His lyrics have a way of making people feel understood and his emotional vocal delivery underscores that ability.  / Read more…



  • LETTERS / I Begin This Essay With A List of Quote

    June 24, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, I intersperse quotes in this essay by H. L. Mencken that I believe to be quite applicable to our current situation. H.L. Mencken for most of you who won’t recognize his name was a famous editor for a newspaper in Baltimore from about 1900 to about 1940. Among many notable accomplishments he coined the term ‘bible belt’ while covering the Scopes monkey trial in Tennessee in the twenties. He also wrote the definitive history of the English language, still in print last I heard. “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” Read more…



  • Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock Accommodates to Meet COVID-19 Guidelines, Events Continue


    June 24, 2020 Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock continues to host its First Friday Art Walk and Sounds of Summer live music with the same social distancing guidelines in place. First Friday Art Walk is a new local artisan market held the first Friday of the month, and the event features several of the High Country’s local artisans showcasing their unique, handcrafted goods. The event began June 5 and will go until Oct. 2, and it lasts from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. First Friday Art Walk is located in the central courtyard on Shoppes on the Parkway Road and is surrounded by food trucks, ice cream, a fire pit and lawn. Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock also hosts Concerts in the Courtyard every other Saturday that began June 6 and will go on until Oct. 10 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The outdoor concert series includes everything from swing and oldies to folk, beach and shag music. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Honoring the Red, White and Blue


    June 24, 2020. If there was ever a time that we, as Americans, need to honor our country, it is now. Never in my lifetime would I have ever imagined the lack of respect for our great nation as we are now experiencing. As I look out over my front porch at the beautiful American flag blowing in the breeze, my heart and mind are filled with a wide range of emotions — from pride and gratitude to sadness and anger. How our forefathers would grieve over current events in our country today and the total lack of respect for the sacrifices they made and the visions they had for us as a nation. It grieves my heart to think that our grandchildren will grow up without the freedoms we’ve held dear — with little proof of their heritage and history that made America what it has been up until now. I stand on the fact — whether some people like it or not — that we’re still “one nation under God,” despite the efforts being made to destroy it for evil. The American Dream is slipping away from us, little by little, but it has been an honor to have acknowledged these United States as the land of the free and the home of the brave. My prayer is that it can be restored before it’s too late. And, my hope is, in the coming days, that each of us will reflect upon our good fortune to be called an American. It has long been our custom to celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks, barbecues, picnics and family gatherings. Things will look a little different in many places this year, but hopefully, you will still pay tribute to America and think about what that grand old flag represents: Red stands for courage, white for truth and blue for justice. Let’s not forget it and do our part to bring it back. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 23, 2020

    June 23, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • One Additional Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Avery County; Total Now up to 10

    June 22, 2020 Avery County has reached double figures in confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Avery County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified that this tenth resident of the county tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The announcement about the infected individual was made on June 21. The individual is in isolation and this specific case is not related to any of the county’s other COVID-19 cases, according to TRHD officials. To protect individual privacy, no further information about this case will be released. Of Avery County’s 10 COVID-19 cases, 5 are active, while 5 of the individuals who contracted the disease have recovered, the TRHD noted. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Historic Ward Dam on Watauga River in Sugar Grove Planned for Removal This Year


    June 19, 2020 The historic dam at the Ward Mill along Watauga River near Sugar Grove is being removed this year. “That is the plan,” said Virginia Ward, adding that the future removal will be bittersweet. “You know it will be okay to let it go. It will open the river and I believe that will be good … but it’s a bit sad, too. We have multiple emotions. Let’s put it that way.”Virginia is married to Ray Ward, and they have lived along Watauga River Road, directly across from the dam, for decades. Ray’s grandfather initially built the dam out of hemlock logs in 1905 and powered mills with water from the Watauga River. This was the only dam to withstand the historic 1940 flood. By Jesse Wood / Read more…



  • Town of Boone Public Works Department put Experimental Directional Signs on Crosswalks in Downtown Boone Friday Morning


    June 19, 2020 Representatives from the Town of Boone Public Works Center put up experimental directional signs Friday morning on the crosswalks of downtown Boone, specifically at the Howard Street and Depot Street intersection. The signs that were placed urge pedestrians to walk in one direction with pointing arrows to ensure social distancing measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. John Ward, who is the town manager of Boone, said the Boone Town Council has been thinking about ways to alleviate some of the traffic and crowd congestion as the summer season starts kicking in. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Updates its Coronavirus Website to Include Additional COVID-19 Testing Data

    June 19, 2020 On June 5, Chancellor Everts announced an update to the university’s coronavirus website to include a dashboard that gives increased visibility regarding COVID-19 test results, the number of positive COVID-19 cases, and information related to testing sites. This website and dashboard are the most accurate and immediate source for the latest information related to Appalachian’s response to COVID-19. The latest reported numbers include 6 students, 3 employees, and 40 contracted workers. None of the students or employees have been on campus in recent weeks. Public health staff has identified close contacts, who are in quarantine and who are being provided access to testing during their quarantine period. As stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and students, faculty, and staff return to campus, we expect to see an increase in confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. / Read more…



  • Town of Boone Shares Additional Information on the Requirement to Wear a Face Covering in the Town

    June 19, 2020 On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Boone Town Council voted to issue an updated State of Emergency Declaration requiring face coverings. The order requires coverings while indoors in any commercial business or Town office, in an area that is open to the general public for all customers, employees, and any other occupants or users of such area. Included below is a list of frequently asked questions that the town provided answers for, including where face coverings must be worn, what kinds of face coverings are approved, and the exceptions for the face-covering order.   / Read more…



  • Watauga County Schools are Asking Parents to Complete a Survey on Reopening Plans for August

    June 19, 2020 Watauga County Schools are looking for feedback from parents on their thoughts on the current plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year in August. The school system also released a video highlighting North Carolina’s plan for how schools should reopen in the fall. For parents interested in taking the survey, it is available by going to www.wataugaschools.org/coronavirus or clicking the survey direct link here.  / Read more…



  • Statement from Boone Police Department Concerning Questions from the Aftermath of the George Floyd Murder and Protests in Boone

    June 19, 2020 The town of Boone officials and police department have been receiving numerous questions in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and specifically after the awareness to this issue was heightened by two protests in downtown Boone. We are able to report that the questions and concerns raised have been addressed and most of them were addressed many years ago. Some of the questions we have received include: / Read more…



  • Avery County Has Ninth Confirmed COVID-19 Case

    June 19, 2020 Avery, the last of North Carolina’s 100 counties to have a resident to be afflicted with Coronavirus (COVID-19), currently has had nine confirmed to have the disease after the Avery County Health Department was notified Thursday, June 18, that another resident of the county tested positive for it. According to the Toe River Health District, of which the Avery County Health Department is governed by, the afflicted individual is in isolation.By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • SNIPS Plant Sale to Join High Country Food Hub Through Their Website Ordering Process

    June 18, 2020 Still looking for that perfect plant to fill the bare spot in your garden? Now you can shop for a wide variety of perennials and annuals through the High Country Food Hub and support SNIPS in providing low cost spay/neuter services for pets in Watauga and Ashe counties. “The old saying that crisis can create opportunity is working for us right now” said Monique Eckerd, SNIPS chair. “Our biggest fundraiser for the past few years has been our annual plant sale in May. This year, of course, it was canceled and this encouraged us to think about other options.” That prompted a partnership with High Country Food Hub to offer plants for sale all summer through the Food Hub website. / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, June 7 – June 14

    June 18, 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



  • Help, Prayers Sought After Theft of a Tabernacle from St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Tuesday Night


    June 18, 2020 The Diocese of Charlotte is calling for prayers and the safe return of a tabernacle containing the Eucharist stolen from St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Tuesday night. The brass tabernacle (pictured below) was taken from behind the altar inside the church sometime after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Church staff discovered the theft Wednesday morning at about 9 a.m. and immediately alerted Boone police. The Rev. Brendan Buckler, pastor, is appealing to those responsible to return the sacred hosts kept inside the tabernacle, if not the tabernacle itself. Catholics profess that the consecrated Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, and stealing it is considered a desecration.­ “We pray that your hearts may be moved to please return the tabernacle to us, but most especially the contents,” he said. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Thank You to the High Country Caregiver Organization

    June 17, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Brenda Reece / I would like to express my heartfelt love and appreciation to all of the caring, community- minded and generous High Country Caregiver board members that I had the honor and privilege of working with over the past 15 years. I know that for each of you, it was an “add on” to the many other things that you did, including your job, your family, other volunteer opportunities and your social life.  I appreciate that you were willing to serve without compensation and I will always value and appreciate your time, talents, personal donations and your input. Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Make It Special for Dad!


    June 17, 2020. It was just Christmas, it seems, then New Year’s Day. Valentine’s Day followed soon afterward. And that’s about all I remember being fun and festive. My 60th birthday fell on a historic day. March 15 was always special to me, but this year, it took a drastic turn with a downward spiral that quickly spun out of control. Seven people dear to my heart treated with gifts and a nice home-made lunch with my favorite meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup. But, still, a somber atmosphere prevailed, as news headlines of a deadly virus dictated every moment of my already short attention. I think Easter was next, and was thankful for its meaning that brought us a little extra hope. But, still, observed quietly, minus the crowd. Mother’s Day was the next special holiday on the calendar, but that, too, had its own challenges and lacked the opportunity for lunch out at a favorite restaurant. It’s been a tough half-year for all of us, but we have another special day coming up that deserves some positive reinforcements. Hopefully, on Sunday, the sun will shine, families can “safely” gather and we can all enjoy a nice picnic, cookout, or a great meal at one of the restaurants now open. Unbelievable as it may seem, Dad’s day is here. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Boone Town Council Votes to Require Masks to be Worn in Businesses Indoors

    June 17, 2020 The Boone Town Council met remotely on Tuesday and passed a mandate requiring face coverings for anyone choosing to enter an indoor establishment. The vote passed by a 3-2 margin with Sam Furgiuele, Loretta Clawson, and Connie Ulmer voting in favor of the mandate while Nancy LaPlaca and Dustin Hicks voted against the motion. The mask requirement will go into effect this Saturday, June 20. This is the second time that a mask requirement vote has taken place in a council meeting in the last month. This time, however, the motion passed after a previous 3-2 vote against the motion. Ulmer’s vote changed from the previous vote to yesterday’s vote. Councilman Furgiuele put the motion up for a vote in each circumstance. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 16, 2020

    June 16, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • This 4th of July Let’s Crawl to Sugar Mountain’s Summit Together for Fourth Annual Event


    June 15, 2020 Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, North Carolina. Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Run, hike, climb, or crawl to Sugar Mountain’s 5,300-foot peak by way of the Easy Street, Gunther’s Way, and Northridge slopes on Saturday, July 4 when Sugar Mountain Resort hosts its fourth annual Summit Crawl. The Summit Express chairlift operates from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (for 4th of July fireworks viewing) and The Rockabilly’s jam from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger with food and refreshments in the base lodge all day long. Visit Sugar Mountain Sports Shop anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Return later for a spectacular fireworks show which can be viewed from Sugar’s 5,300’ peak and the Typical Mountain Boys perform on the deck of the base lodge from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. / Read more…



  • Red Cross Now Testing All Blood Donations for COVID-19 Antibodies for a Limited Time

    June 15, 2020 Beginning today and for a limited time, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. At the same time, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that require blood products. Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. / Read more…



  • Boone To Celebrate 10th Annual Doc Watson Day Virtually With Never-Before-Seen Videos


    June 15, 2020 On Friday, June 19, the Town of Boone will observe Doc Watson Day, marking the tenth celebration of the occasion. Doc Watson Day is observed annually on the third Friday of June to honor the life and legacy of local guitarist and singer, Doc Watson. “Since we have not yet been able to hold our summer concert series as usual at the Jones House, we have been releasing clips of past performances online,” says Freed. “After the level of positive feedback and support we have received, we hope to continue doing this throughout the summer until it is safe for us to have concerts live and in-person.” Accordingly, Boone’s Cultural Resources Department will release never-before-seen videos of some previous Doc Watson Day shows, including a few of Doc’s performances from the very first Doc Watson Day Celebration in 2011. / Read more…



  • High Country Real Estate Activity Steady in May; 148 Area Homes Sold During the Month


    June 12, 2020 Regional home sales were down almost 40 percent in May compared to a year ago but were higher than in April as High Country REALTORS™ continued adapting to serving their clients in the midst of the COVID pandemic. North Carolina’s Phase 2 opening in mid-May, as directed by Gov. Roy Cooper, allowed increased movement in the state. This encouraged more potential buyers and sellers to engage with members of the High Country Association of REALTORS™ (HCAR), who have all been deemed an essential service. “Inventory remains low, down about 34 percent from where it was last year at this time,” said Pam J. Vines, 2020 HCAR president. “The lack of listings is expected to keep sales growth down in the near future, but at the moment attractive listings are going fast.” / Read more…



  • Avery County Has Additional Confirmed Case of COVID-19 To Increase Its Number of Cases to Nine

    June 11, 2020 Today, June 11, the Avery County Health Department (ACHD), part of the Toe River Health District (TRHD), has confirmed that another Avery County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing its number of cases of the disease to nine. Health Department officials have ruled that this positive case of the virus is not related to any of the other COVID-19 cases in the county and have indicated that this latest person confirmed to have the disease is in isolation. Seven of those COVID-19 cases in Avery County are active and two persons afflicted with the virus have recovered, according to the ACHD and TRHD. / Read more…



300 x 260
restoration house new

OUR PRINTED PUBLICATIONS

High Country Visitor GuideHigh Country Magazine

OUR 2020 FAITH MAGAZINE


Home-2018-Cover

Find Previous Articles

Privacy Policy | Rights & Permissions | Discussion Guidelines

Website Management by Outer Banks Media