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Linda Elksnin, Lisa Pepper and Bob Meier are the Artists in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through September 12

September 7, 2021. Artists Linda Elksnin, Lisa Pepper and Bob Meier will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through September 12 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Linda’s colorful, whimsical paintings are inspired by eclectic sources such as textiles, self-taught and outsider artists, and mainstream artists such as Mark Rothko, Romare Bearden and Marc Chagall. She incorporates symbols, shapes, and subject matter from a variety of cultures, including those of the American South, Appalachia, and Haiti, as well as the aboriginal people of Panama and Australia. Linda uses a variety of media (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, color pencil, pastel) to work on paper, canvas, and wood. Whether abstract or loosely based on reality, the common thread of all her work is color and graphically pleasing design. Her work is often described as whimsical and happy. Want to see art to make you smile? Come meet Linda from September 6 through September 12 at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.

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Serving Others and Showing Kindness: Three Forks Baptist Association Hosting “High Country Impact” This Saturday, Sept. 11

September 7, 2021. If ever there’s been a time when a little extra kindness and community service is needed, it is now. On Saturday, Sept. 11, Three Forks Baptist Association in Boone is hosting a one-day mission blitz to impact the High Country for Jesus, said Wesley Smith, Association Director. “We are super excited about High Country Impact this year, especially since we were not able to have it last year.” Currently 10 churches within the Three Forks Baptist Association are planning to participate in the event, either on September 11 or at a later date.    By Sherrie Norris

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Fatal Collision Occurred in Ashe County on Monday; Multiple Injuries and One Death

September 7, 2021. On Monday, August 6, at approximately 3:25 p.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated a fatal collision in Ashe County on NC 16 near Sussex Road.  A 2012 Jeep Wrangler was traveling north on NC 16, crossed the centerline, and collided head-on with a southbound 2010 Ford Econoline van.  The Jeep ran off the road and overturned.

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Updated Toe River Health District COVID-19 Numbers; Avery County Board of Education Votes 3-2 for all Teachers to Wear Masks and for Plexiglass Dividers Between Teachers and Students to be Installed

September 7, 2021. Of the counties making up the Toe River Health District in the North Carolina High County–Avery, Mitchell and Yancey–Avery County has had 2,347 COVID cases and 22 deaths from the disease. Mitchell has had 1,713 cases with 16 deaths. And Yancey has had 2,268 cases with 28 deaths. But since the COVID resurge this summer after it had previously had a huge decline in numbers for a few weeks in the Toe River region, Yancey and Mitchell have had far greater numbers infected with the disease than Avery. And during the past fourteen days, Avery has had 513 cases. Yancey had had 1,550 and Mitchell has had 882 during the same time period.   By Tim Gardner

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September is Library Card Sign-up Month at Watauga County Public Library

September 7, 2021. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when Watauga County Public Library joins the American Library Association and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to achieving your goals and lifelong learning. There is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources, books, and educational programs, a library card gives people of all ages the tools to succeed.

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Annual Run For Holland for Down Syndrome Awareness Another Colossal Success

September 7, 2021. The 2021 Run For Holland, held on August 21 and yearly since 2014 in the North Carolina High Country Town of Spruce Pine in Mitchell County, was like each of the others in its eight-year history—highly-successful. When Mitchell County couple Adam and Brooke Burleson discovered that one of their daughters would be born with Down Syndrome, they turned it into an event to positively impact an entire community. The couple organized this 5k run in Spruce Pine to raise awareness for individuals with Down syndrome and other physical and mental disabilities. The event, called Run for Holland, is named after their daughter Holland, who was born with Down syndrome, and has changed their lives and those of all others who participate in the race in a most positive manner.   By Tim Gardner

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Troy’s 105 Diner Featured in New Music Video for Luke Combs’s Song ‘Cold As You’

September 3, 2021. While many country music fans are being brought to Boone this weekend for Luke Combs’s concert Saturday, Sept. 4, there’s an interesting fact floating around the town revolving around the country music star. The latest music video for Luke Combs’s song “Cold As You” includes scenes featuring a local-favorite restaurant. The video, which premiered on August 24, opens with three trucks in the parking lot of Troy’s 105 Diner and then continues inside the dining hotspot with a man sitting at the counter. Justin “J.B” Byrum, who is the co-owner of Troy’s Diner, remembers how this opportunity came about. “It was a Friday night, and one of our staff members got a phone call from the production team asking if we would be willing to let them shoot part of the video here,” Byrum recalled. “I don’t think anybody actually believed it was true, but it got around to me, and when I talked to them on the phone, they said the restaurant was the perfect place.” By Harley Nefe

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“Stateless” Opens App Theatre’s BOONE DOCS Series on September 12; Film Explores Racism and Anti-Blackness in the Dominican Republic

September 3, 2021. p.m. on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The documentary film shines a light on the crisis in the Dominican Republic where those of Haitian descent have been stripped of citizenship and the grassroots campaign of electoral
hopeful Rosa Iris. The App Theatre is hosting an exclusive online screening followed by a
conversation with Director/Producer Michèle Stephenson, who will discuss the film and the
filmmaking process.

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NFIB SURVEY: 50% of Small Businesses Have Positions They Can’t Fill

September 3, 2021. Fifty percent of all small business owners nationwide reported job openings they couldn’t fill, a record high reading according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. The number of unfilled job openings has remained far above the 48-year historical average of 22%. “Small employers are struggling to fill open positions and find qualified workers resulting in record-high levels of owners raising compensation,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are raising compensation in an attempt to attract workers and these costs are being passed on to consumers through price hikes for goods and services, creating inflation pressures.”

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The Stage is Being Set for Saturday’s Luke Combs Concert at Kidd Brewer Stadium

September 3, 2021. Live Nation stage setup crews are putting the final pieces together for what should be a great atmosphere for the Luke Combs concert at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday evening. Tickets are still on sale for the show and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. As part of Appalachian State’s incentive to increase vaccination rates on campus, any fully vaccinated student can purchase discounted tickets for the show. Students can purchase up to two tickets each, and each ticket will cost $33.33. Upon purchasing, students must present a valid Appalachian State ID and their vaccine card. Appalachian State will operate paid parking lots in and around the stadium area. Lots closer to the immediate downtown area will open at 10 a.m. for attendees at a cost of $40 per vehicle. ​​Numerous off-campus lots will be available for paid parking for concert attendees.  By Nathan Ham

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App State Storms to Big Lead in Win Over ECU in the Duke’s Mayo Classic at Carolina Panthers Stadium with a Crowd of 36,752 On Hand

September 3, 2021. Country music star and App State alum Luke Combs will perform Saturday at The Rock, with fans filling Kidd Brewer Stadium for his highly anticipated concert. Consider his song-leading cameo in a triumphant App State locker room at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday night a memorable warmup. “I’m pretty parched right now,” App State head coach Shawn Clark said to open his postgame press conference. “Had a chance to sing with Luke Combs in the locker room, so I enjoyed that.” Playing at the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the Mountaineers had mayo-covered mojo on their side as they went on a roll to claim a big lead and post a 33-19 victory against East Carolina of the American Athletic Conference. A crowd of 36,752 was on hand as App State built a 33-9 lead in the Duke’s Mayo Classic.

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Apps Open 2021 Football Season With 33-19 Victory Over East Carolina in Charlotte

September 3, 2021. The Appalachian State University Mountaineers kicked off the 2021 football season with a 33-19 win over the East Carolina University Pirates Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium in the neutral site of Charlotte, NC before 36,752 spectators and a ESPNU National Television audience. Rolling up 489 yards of offense against one of college football’s weakest returning defenses won’t make Appalachian State as a National Championship contender. But various indications from the game point to the Mountaineers having a stellar season.   By Tim Gardner

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Luke Combs Concert Expected to Bring Over 32,000 People to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday; Fully Vaccinated Students Can Purchase Tickets at a Discounted Price

September 2, 2021. The Town of Boone is anticipating over 32,000 country music fans will pack into Kidd Brewer Stadium this weekend to see Luke Combs put on a show that many have waited for since they first bought tickets almost two years ago. Tickets for the show originally went on sale in September of 2019 with the concert first scheduled for May 2, 2020. The concert was then moved to May 1, 2021 due to COVID-19. The concert was postponed again because of North Carolina safety restrictions, but will finally happen on Saturday. Gates open for the show at 4:30 p.m. Live Nation is producing this show and there will be a significant number of trucks, tractor-trailers, and delivery vehicles that will be in and around the stadium area, thus providing additional traffic to Rivers Street These operations will be continuous through Sunday following the concert. Appalachian State will operate paid parking lots in and around the stadium area. Lots closer to the immediate downtown area will open at 10 am for attendees at a cost of $40 per vehicle. ​​Numerous off-campus lots will be available for paid parking for concert attendees.  By Nathan Ham

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Speakers at COVID-19 Care Vigil at Watauga Medical Center Thursday Morning Encourage Everyone to Get Vaccinated

September 2, 2021. Hospital doctors, nurses and staff members gathered outside of Watauga Medical Center on Thursday morning to speak to community members about the dire conditions that exist for COVID-19 patients and encourage everyone to get vaccinated to fight this terrible virus. The care vigil was also live-streamed on Facebook for those that could not be there or want to watch at a later time. Speakers at the event included Dr. Lisa Kaufmann (Inpatient Physician Group), Dr. Kevin Wolfe (Pulmonologist), Dr. Beverly Womack (AppFamily Medicine), Dr. Jennifer Nelson (Emergency Department), Jimmy Phillips (Respiratory Therapist), Amy Hempfling (Nurse Leader) and Melanie Childers (Spiritual Care). Speakers talked about not only the struggles that patients go through dealing with the illness but also how hard it is on them personally to witness people having such a hard time battling COVID-19.   By Nathan Ham

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Appalachian State Takes On ECU in Season Opener Thursday Night in Charlotte

September 1, 2021. College football season is officially here for fans of Appalachian State University. The Mountaineers will be on the field at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday night to take on the East Carolina Pirates. The Duke’s Mayo Classic features the Mountaineers coming off of a sixth straight season with a bowl victory taking on East Carolina, who enters the third season under head coach Mike Houston. App State finished last year at 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. ECU struggled to a 3-6 season and a 3-5 record in the American Athletic Conference. Overall, the Mountaineers lead the head-to-head series 19-12, but the Pirates are won the last contest between the two programs, a 35-13 win in Greenville. Appalachian State last beat ECU in 1975, 41-25 in Boone. This is the first time the two teams will meet as members of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).   By Nathan Ham

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“Mountain Majesty:” Mitzi Moody Brings History Alive With Area’s Latest Regionally-Inspired Novel


September 1, 2021. High Country native and longtime media representative Mitzi Aldridge Moody has taken her writing skills to a new level — while fulfilling her life’s dream — in publishing a delightful regionally-inspired book titled “Mountain Majesty.” “Mountain Majesty” centers around the life of spoiled heiress Abigail Wilder, who against her better judgement — or so she thinks — begins her new life far from her Charleston home as owner and operator of the majestic Cloudland Hotel, miles away on top of Roan Mountain. The palatial hotel was left to her care by her father upon his death. May 1, 1889 signaled the beginning of her new life, but she wasn’t happy about it, in the least. By Sherrie Norris

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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: For Labor Day This Year, Let’s Honor Those Who Show Up


September 1, 2021. Labor Day, always the first Monday in September, has long been honored as a day of rest for those who labor. In my opinion, this year there should be set aside for those who have continued to work during a very difficult time. Most in that category have worked hard and endured a lot of extra stress and unnecessary hardships. I’ve heard — and seen with my own eyes — that many in the service industry, especially, have been overworked, under-appreciated and have had to endure unfair treatment from those they serve. It’s been an interesting year-plus in the wake of the pandemic that has affected every corner of our world. It is sad to think that people who work hard in an effort to make an honest living for themselves and their families have had to face such ridicule, while the handouts keep coming for others who choose not to work. I know there are many who cannot work, but would love to. This is not about those folks. It’s about those who can, but won’t. There’s a big difference. Last year, and again even in recent days, we’ve seen how local businesses are being affected by the far-reaching arm of COVID-19; even when it felt “safe” to be out enjoying a meal in some of our restaurants again, we cannot because they have no help. They must open on limited schedules or not at all. It’s just not right. Signs are posted all over town, social media lights up daily with business owners begging people to come to work. It’s a sad world in which we are living these days, in more ways than one. So, as Labor Day approaches, I implore you to honor those who have shown up for work this year. If you go out for a meal, make sure you tip your wait staff just a little more generously. If you are at a drive-through window, or at the grocery store, or any other place of business, be a bit more patient with that tired, flustered worker on the other side of the counter or window. If you are in line with a public servant, offer to pay for their meal; if you pass one on the street, throw up your hand with all five fingers and a smile. By Sherrie Norris

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Remembering Bill Warren: A Preacher, a Soldier, a True American Hero Laid to Rest


August 31, 2021. He was no stranger, most likely never met a stranger and the crowd that gathered in the pastoral valley outside Union Baptist Church to bid him farewell on Friday, August 27, was no surprise to anyone. Family, friends and associates came by the hundreds to the picturesque  Zionville community to pay their final respects to a man who wore many hats in his lifetime, literally and figuratively. Bill Warren was a career military man, a retired Sergeant Major in the United States Army at that, but he was also a soldier of the cross and he bore both those titles well and for all the right reasons. were many. Representatives from every walk of life came to honor Warren and to console his family who stood beneath a tent in the hot summer sun for about four hours receiving friends, and then sat for nearly two more hours for a fitting and final departure. By Sherrie Norris

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Watauga Medical Center Will Host a COVID-19 Care Vigil This Thursday at 6:45 am

August 31, 2021. ARHS medical providers and staff will speak about their experiences in treating COVID patients. “This forum provides the community with an opportunity to hear directly from our medical providers who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic every day. People will get an unfiltered, unedited perspective about what is happening inside the walls of this hospital,” said Rob Hudspeth, Senior VP of System Advancement for ARHS. The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

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Students Put Their Trust in App State During Pandemic: Landmark Enrollment of 20,641 Students, Record-High Number of Underrepresented Students

August 30, 2021. Appalachian State University announces a landmark enrollment of 20,641 students in fall 2021 — the largest enrollment to date — which includes historic numbers of first-year and underrepresented students. The 3.1% increase in overall enrollment supports the university’s continued slow and steady growth since 2014. “The data speak directly to the dedication of our faculty and staff in supporting and encouraging future generations of Mountaineers,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “Our steady increases in the enrollment of underrepresented and transfer students reflect our university’s commitment to making higher education accessible for all students.” She continued, “These enrollment successes are particularly meaningful since they were accomplished amid the immense challenges presented by a global pandemic.” App State has a total of 4,099 first-year students, marking the first time the university has enrolled more than 4,000 first-year students. Of note, underrepresented students compose 19.1% of the total first-year population, or 784 students, an increase of 5.7% since 2020.

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Fredrick Craig Franz is the Artist in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through September 5

August 30, 2021. Artist Fredrick Craig Franz will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 29 as part of their Artists in Residency program. A 42-year resident of Western North Carolina’s High Country, Frederick ‘Craig’ Franz’s home in Avery County is a landscape artist’s dream. His home is at the foot of rugged Grandfather Mountain and on the northern border of the Pisgah National Forest. Four true seasons visit the High Country each year and provide Craig with unlimited inspiration from which to paint. Working in soft pastels and oils, his award-winning paintings are created both plein air and in the studio.

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43rd Annual Valle Country Fair Returns Live This Year on October 16th

August 30, 2021. The celebratory shouts that went up when it was announced that the 2021 Valle Country Fair would be back live and in-person could have rivaled the enthusiasm that burst forth when Noah threw open the doors and let all his passengers off of the ark! Now in its 43rd year, the fun and fellowship enjoyed by the volunteers who put on the Valle Country Fair is almost as meaningful as knowing that their efforts manifest the tagline “Community Supporting Community.” “A community is about people,” said John Heiss, Co-chair of the 2021 Valle Country Fair. “This Fair provides a perfect venue for the people of our community to come together, talk, smile, laugh and enjoy the camaraderie of neighbors, friends and visitors with a common goal – supporting those in need within our community.”

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Benefit Clinic for Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center Held at Broyhill Equestrian Preserve

August 30, 2021. Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center hosted a unique fundraiser recently at the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve in Blowing Rock. Clinician Robbie Potter, conducted a two-day horsemanship clinic to benefit this popular therapeutic riding program located in Banner Elk. Attendees from as far away as Georgia traveled to the clinic to improve their equestrian skills, but left with much, much more

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