High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • Pandemic Testing Paramount at App State


    December 26, 2020 A total of 31,293 COVID-19 tests were administered by Appalachian State University to faculty, staff and students during the fall 2020 semester — representing the majority of tests conducted in Watauga County. The tests were offered at no cost to participants. App State, which coordinates its COVID-19 response with the University of North Carolina System, held 42 open, campuswide testing events since Aug. 10, in addition to daily testing available for students at the M.S. Shook Student Health Service. There were also targeted testing events for student-athletes and residential students in response to clusters identified by local public health agency AppHealthCare.  / Read more…



  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Winter Storm Warning Issued for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day


    December 23, 2020 If you’re one of the many people who have been begging for a White Christmas over the last few years, it sure looks like you will get your wish. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that will go into effect at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon until 6 a.m. Friday. According to the NWS, moderate to heavy snowfall will fall throughout the evening Thursday and overnight Thursday night. Total snow accumulations will range from 2-4 inches for most areas with higher totals at the higher elevations. Wind and bone-chilling temperatures will also be an issue as the storm rolls through the High Country. Winds will gust up to 45 MPH and wind chills will dip below zero, making travel hazardous, particularly Thursday night. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Christmas in the High Country: Local Church Services on Dec. 24 and 25


    December 23, 2020 With Christmas coming just around the corner, folks can take a break from all the last minute gift shopping and remember the reason for the season. With many local churches offering special services that are open to the community, there are more ways than one for people to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Here is a list of local churches in the High Country with the times of their services and in what format they are being offered including necessary links. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, December 14 – December 20

    December 23, 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



  • Boone Police Department Drops Off Blankets and Care Packages to Senior Citizens


    December 23, 2020 The Boone Police Department delivered holiday cheer today to local retirement and assisted living facilities. Officers from the department delivered blankets as well as care packages containing snacks, treats and hygiene items to Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation, Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living, and Appalachian Brian Estates. A community partnership was started on December 7 and ran through December 18 in an effort to help with various needs in these facilities. Community Resource Officer Kat Eller led the initiative by asking the public to partner with the department to help fill the needs of Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation Center. However, after a two-week Holiday Drive, the Boone Police Department collected over 200 blankets and enough items to also provide care packages to Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living, and Appalachian Brian Estates.  / Read more…



  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s First COVID-19 Vaccines Were Administered on Tuesday at Watauga Medical Center


    December 23, 2020 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s first COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Tuesday, December 22 at Watauga Medical Center. Occupational health nurse, Crystal Minton, RN, vaccinated Kevin Wolfe, MD, a pulmonologist who is treating COVID patients at the hospital, followed by Emergency Department nurse Madison Bakken, RN. “We feel so fortunate to be able to begin vaccinating our frontline workers who are taking care of COVID patients each day,” said Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of ARHS. “Protecting them means they will stay healthy and continue to be available for the community.”   There was an air of excitement in the room as Dr. Wolfe received his dose, and those within view erupted in applause. Many healthcare workers see these vaccinations as a first step in defeating this virus, and have a renewed sense of hope.  / Read more…



  • Appalachian State University’s Reflections on a Year Defined by COVID-19


    December 23, 2020 Three hundred and thirty-five days ago, Appalachian State University began its COVID-19 campus planning discussions, and on March 1 it formally activated its emergency operations center to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Since then, the university has coordinated a universitywide response, guided by App State Chancellor Sheri Everts, to the global COVID-19 pandemic that has involved every department at App State, as well as agencies across the town, region and state. The campus remained open, continuing to deliver instruction remotely, in-person and using hybrids of both methods. Faculty and staff adapted classes, events and experiences to continue App State’s academic mission as safely as possible. By Megan Bruffy / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Ends 2020 Season with 56-28 Romp Over North Texas In Myrtle Beach Bowl

    December 23, 2020 Running back Camerun Peoples set a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) bowl record with 319 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns to lead Appalachian State to a 56-28 rout of North Texas in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl Monday, December 21 in Conway, SC. The Mountaineers scored early and often in the game broadcast nationally on ESPN to begin the 2020 bowl schedule. With the victory, the Mountaineers finished the season with a 9-3 record under the direction of first-year head coach Shawn Clark and earned their sixth straight bowl victory. They also have won at least nine games in each of the last six seasonsBy Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Southern Appalachian Historical Association’s Lamp-Post Carolers Entertain Community by Performing Through the Holiday Season


    December 22, 2020 Residents throughout the local community can bring the spirit of Christmas to their houses or surprise someone dear to them this season with the Southern Appalachian Historical Association’s Lamp-post Carolers. “It is so that we can move off our regular season to bring entertainment within the community and also begin to fundraise outside of our regular season, so that our drama and entertainment can continue,” said Jill Privett, who is a SAHA Board Member and helped create the concept. This is a new concept for SAHA this year, and it is historical, with the carolers being clothed in authentic period costumes. After being hired, the carolers will go into the community and sing, spreading holiday cheer, especially during the challenging times. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – December 22, 2020

    December 22, 2020. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • With Some Luck in Breaks Between Clouds, Todd Bush Captures Last Night’s Great Conjunction


    December 22, 2020 Looking up at the southwestern sky at night the past few days, many people have been seeing the rare astronomical event of the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, more commonly known as the Christmas Star this time of the year. Local photographer Todd Bush is also one of the people who has had some luck in seeing the event through breaks in the clouds and has been capturing pictures of it to share with others. “It was a really fun event to be part of, and I was so glad that the people of planet Earth seemed to be sharing in the enthusiasm for it,” Bush said. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • ‘Ski Well, Be Well’ Initiative Offers Safest Environment for Winter Sports During COVID-19

    December 22, 2020 The winter sports season is upon us in the High Country, and being able to safely navigate the COVID-19 atmosphere that we are living in right now has become a key point to keep skiers, snowboarders, and snow tubers as healthy as possible. The North Carolina Ski Areas Association has announced its “Ski Well, Be Well” initiative for the 2020-21 winter sports season to prioritize the health and safety of visitors, staff members, and folks in the community. “Our commitment to providing a healthy and fun environment is stronger than ever,” said Gunther Jochl, President of Sugar Mountain Resort. The importance of the ski industry in North Carolina cannot be understated, especially for the six ski areas and five counties in the state that are directly impacted. According to data from the NCSAA, the winter sports industry generates approximately $228 million each year and supports 1,500 jobs in these ski areas that are oftentimes the primary support of the winter economy for these small, rural counties. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Appalachian Theatre Joins National Effort; Board Unanimously Endorses Creative Workforce Proposal Putting Creative Workers Back to Work


    December 22, 2020 The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) joined over 725 organizations and individuals across the country endorsing a plan for putting creative workers back to work after the pandemic. Endorsers include major cultural organizations in all genres, national service organizations, and influential individuals in the arts and entertainment industries. The App Theatre, in partnership with Americans for the Arts, has proposed a 15-action national recovery strategy that elected officials and other decisionmakers can use to put creative workers to work—activating the cultural economy and drawing upon the energies of the country’s 5.1 million creative workers to energize Americans, reimagine how communities can thrive, and improve the lives of all. ATHC Executive Director Laura Kratt said that, “The creative economy is an economic driver—an $878-billion industry that supports 5.1 million jobs and represents 4.5% of the nation’s economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.” / Read more…



  • Peoples Runs Wild as App State Improves Bowl Record to 6-0 with 56-28 Victory


    December 22, 2020 A flag for a penalty well behind the play wiped out Marcus Williams Jr.’s 79-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of App State’s bowl matchup with North Texas. No worries. Camerun Peoples rushed for a 76-yard gain on the very next snap, setting up his fourth of five touchdown runs during a 56-28 victory for the Mountaineers in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday. “We found a play that worked,” Williams Jr. said. “I got in and said, ‘OK, let’s run that play Marcus ran,’ ” Peoples said with a laugh. “That looked good.” The Mountaineers found a lot of plays that worked and looked good in an ESPN appearance to begin the 2020 bowl schedule.  / Read more…



  • App State to Receive New Cold Storage Units Designated for a COVID-19 Vaccine


    December 22, 2020 Appalachian State University will be among 15 University of North Carolina System institutions to receive new cold storage units designated for doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. App State will receive four mobile Stirling Ultracold freezer units that will, collectively, have the capacity to store 116,200 vials of a COVID-19 vaccine. The units, which will be provided by the UNC System, were purchased with funds appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly to support COVID-19 recovery and response efforts across the state. / Read more…



  • High Country Ski Resorts See Strong Turnout With Wonderful Winter Conditions


    December 21, 2020 It’s the first day of winter, but the ski resorts have been enjoying winter conditions for almost the past month as natural snowfall and snow guns have covered the slopes just in time for the Christmas rush. Big crowds have already found their way to the High Country and have given a major economic boost to the area in a time of uncertainty. “Business is good and people want to be out here. Conditions are great and we’re certainly doing pretty good,” said Gunther Jochl, President of Sugar Mountain Resort. As is traditionally the case in the winter months, the success of restaurants and shops in the area often depends on the ski resorts having a great winter season. So far this year, everyone seems to be pleased with the turnout heading into Christmas and New Year’s Day. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Tonight is the Night for the Best Viewing Opportunity to See the Christmas Star


    December 21, 2020 Tonight, the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will happen in the southwest sky, and though there are a few clouds in the High Country, finding a clear area will give you a beautiful view of the planetary conjunction, more commonly called the Christmas Star this time of year. When two planets such as Saturn and Jupiter appear to pass right next to each other in the sky, it’s considered a great conjunction. When it happens around the Christmas holiday, it is known as the Christmas Star or the Star of Bethlehem. This year, Saturn and Jupiter will make their closest pass by earth in almost 800 years and will not be this close again until March 15, 2080. After that, it will be the year 2400 before Saturn and Jupiter are this close to Earth. The last date that Saturn and Jupiter were this closely aligned prior to now was March 4, 1226.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Governor Issues Executive Order that will Allow for To-Go or Delivery Sales for Mixed Beverages

    December 23, 2020 Today Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order authorizing the North Carolina ABC Commission to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption. This Order is effective December 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm through January 31, 2021. “This order will help people avoid settings that can contribute to increased viral spread while giving restaurants and bars a financial boost that they need right now,” said Governor Cooper. “With cases and hospitalizations high around the country, let’s all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 while supporting local, small businesses safely.” Under this Order, establishments holding certain permits from the ABC Commission, including restaurants, hotels, private clubs, private bars, and some distilleries, are allowed to sell mixed beverages to-go or for delivery.  / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Christmas In a Different Light


    December 21, 2020. Christmas will be different for many families this year, and for some, not in a good way at all. There will be vacancies at the table, hearts will feel empty, smiles will be lost and tears will be falling. Granted, that happens every year, but for 2020, we all know the scope is larger and the pain is deeper because of the life-taking and life-altering virus that has hit hard in every corner of the world. In our family alone, to date, six members have tested positive for Covid-19, one spent weeks in the medical center on a respirator and is now in a rehab facility over an hour away from home where visits are prohibited. Others of us have been forced inside our homes as prisoners for days on end, waiting for the green light, if symptom-free, and then moving cautiously into the real world. We’ve learned of so many others who have experienced heart-breaking situations because of this devastating pandemic, if not physically, then mentally, emotionally, certainly financially and yes, sadly enough, even spiritually. But, as I am married to the eternal optimist (who, even this year, has had his moments of despair), I am reminded daily that there is still so much good in our lives and we are blessed immeasurably. It is my hope that we will be able to enjoy Christmas for what it is. In fact, those of us who can be with our families need to realize how very blessed we are. Christmas is a time that I have always cherished— and this year it should mean more than ever before as so much around has changed and very little seems “normal.” Let’s try to focus on what really matters and shut out all the negativity, the politics and regrets. Let’s try to look outside of ourselves and do something to help ease the burden for others. In the meantime, here’s wishing you and your family the most joyous Christmas possible as we share a few breakfast/brunch ideas to start your day. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Santa Sighted in Banner Elk on December 18 Visiting Students at Banner Elk Elementary


    December 21, 2020 It was a Santa parade!  Er, or a parade for Santa?  Or, a parade Santa came to? It was an eager group of kids hanging out of car doors and windows, as their pajama-clad parents and costumed teachers grinned and Santa passed out Christmas goodies.  Instead of a traditional before-Christmas “blowout” at Banner Elk Elementary School, with PJs at breakfast and a holiday movie, COVID-19 prompted Mr. Claus to do an about-face and come to the school early—a “fantastic experience,” according to the old gent himself. “TODAY was one of the best days,” Principal Justin Carver, enthused, “and a new tradition at Banner Elk Elementary School.”  / Read more…



  • Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine and Appalachian Fossil Museum Has Relocated to Tanger Outlets


    December 21, 2020 After 12 years of being at Mystery Hill, Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine has relocated to Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock after being given the opportunity to have a bigger facility for both the gem mine and the Appalachian Fossil Museum. Randy “Doc” McCoy, who is the founder of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine and the Appalachian Fossil Museum, said the business has roughly double the space for the gem mine and triple the space for the museum in addition to a larger parking area and a red light. “We don’t have to worry about people driving off of the road and coming into our parking lot by accident,” Doc said. “We’re not on a blind curve.” Doc further said what they had going on at Mystery Hill was great, but their lease ended the first of October, and the main reason for the move was that the museum needed more space. He explained that he had specimens in storage that he had had in boxes for years that needed to be shown.  By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Greenland’ is a Worthy Disaster Movie with Relatable Characters in an Extraordinary Situation

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    December 21, 2020 “Greenland” was supposed to get a big theatrical release as recently as August. I remember seeing trailers for the film before “Unhinged,” the first movie I’d seen in theaters since March. Come to think of it, it may have been the first theatrical trailer I’d seen in months. I remember robotically thinking, “I’ll see that. I’ll see anything in a theater.” But this being 2020, the film was pushed back and pushed back until finally it was released On Demand. Several movies this year have been denied theatrical releases and dumped On Demand, and most of them turned out to be undeserving of theatrical releases in the first place (looking at you, “Antebellum”), but I think the studio got it wrong with this one. This movie’s high stakes and visual spectacle make it appropriate for the big screen, and it could have held its own at the box office on a weekend without strong competition. Maybe even with strong competition. This movie should have been released in theaters. The only halfway decent reason I can see for deciding otherwise is that maybe the studio thought it would be too depressing. With daily victims of COVID-19 numbering in the thousands, maybe they decided it was a bad idea to release a movie where the deaths number in the millions. I would have recommended another pushback of its theatrical release instead of an On Demand blowoff, and it saddens me that the studio has botched its handling of a potential blockbuster. By Bob Garver / Read more…



  • Jurors Announced for the 18th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition

    December 21, 2020 The 18th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is excited to announce that over 800 submissions were submitted to the competition this year. Amateur and professional photographers submitted their images in hopes of becoming a finalist in this celebrated competition. The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition offers numerous categories with over $4,000 in cash and prizes. A partnership between Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and Virtual Blue Ridge, the AMPC celebrates the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. Attracting entries from across the United States, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition has grown into one the region’s most prestigious photography competitions. / Read more…



  • Appalachian Theatre Receives Major Challenge Grant: $100,000 Gift Provides One-to-One Match for New Contributions


    December 21, 2020 “Santa came early this year to the Appalachian Theatre,” said John Cooper, past chair of the board of trustees and head of the historic landmark’s resource development committee. He was referring to a surprise $100,000 challenge gift made to the theatre by an anonymous donor that provides a one-to-one match for any new contributions received between now and January 31, 2021. “Most of our generous donors make their year-end contributions in the last weeks of December,” Cooper said, “and this unexpected gift provides an incentive to dig a little deeper in their philanthropy knowing that any and all new gifts will be matched dollar- for-dollar.” He hopes that this challenge will also incentivize first-time contributors who may be considering their initial donation to the theatre.  / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare Expected to Receive First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccine This Week

    December 20, 2020 Last week we were notified we will likely receive our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine early next week. We are anticipating receiving the Moderna vaccine for each of the counties we serve – 100 doses for Alleghany, 300 doses for Ashe and 600 doses for Watauga. Our local hospitals will likely also be receiving some vaccine supply next week and will use their supply to vaccinate hospital staff who qualify in the first phase of rollout. The COVID-19 vaccine will be rolling out in phases and will be given to those who are most at risk first. The first doses of vaccine will go to frontline healthcare workers who are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and those who are working and living in long term care facilities and group homes. Supplies will be limited at first but will increase throughout 2021. / Read more…



  • Winter Solstice Marks the Shortest Day of the Year on Monday, December 21; Falls on Same Day as Christmas Star and the New Age of Aquarius


    December 18, 2020 The Winter Solstice will officially happen at 5:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday morning, which marks the official start of winter. This is the day where areas in the Northern Hemisphere have the shortest day and longest night of the year in terms of daylight. Monday will have 9 hours, 41 minutes and 38 seconds of sunshine, making it the shortest day of the year. After the Winter Solstice, days will get longer with sunsets happening at later times. On Monday, the sun will rise at 7:34 a.m. and will set at 5:15 p.m. The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because, during the solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator appears to stand still. Upon the Winter Solstice, the sun appears at its lowest in the sky, and its noontime elevation seems to stay the same for several days before and after this day. The sun’s gradual decrease in the sky reverses upon the Winter Solstice, marking what many cultures believe to be a “rebirth” of the sun as the hours of daylight become longer. By Harley Nefe and Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Mountaineers Host North Texas Mean Green on Monday in the Inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl


    December 18, 2020 The Appalachian State Mountaineers are going for a sixth straight bowl game victory when the team faces off against the North Texas Mean Green in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl played at Coastal Carolina’s stadium in Conway, South Carolina. App State finished the regular season at 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. North Texas ended the year at 4-5 overall and 3-4 in Conference USA. This will be the second game against a Conference USA foe for Appalachian this season. The Mountaineers lost a hard-fought defensive struggle 17-7 at Marshall in the second game of the regular season. This is the first time these two programs have met on the field, however, there is a brief connection between the two teams. App State’s Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Moore’s first head coaching job was at North Texas for two seasons in 1979 and 1980. Moore is a Texas native and had spent eight years as an assistant coach at SMU and six years as an assistant coach at Nebraska before taking his first head coaching job. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Historical Turner House to be Torn Down Following Unanimous Vote by Board of Commissioners

    December 18, 2020 After two years of uncertainty, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners voted on Tuesday to demolish the Turner House property in downtown Boone with the intention of adding more downtown parking on the property. The Turner House property (also known as the Oscar and Suma Hardin House), located at 136 North Water Street, was purchased by the county in November of 2018. After discussions with the Town of Boone, it was believed that the building would remain standing on the property and parking expansion would take place elsewhere in downtown Boone. However, after this week’s vote, it appears that is no longer the case. Eric Plaag, founder of the Digital Watauga Project and treasurer of the Watauga County Historical Society, was dismayed with the decision made by the commissioners. He shared a public comment with the commissioners and sent the High Country Press a letter to the editor highlighting some of the historical significance of the property and the lack of transparency from the county in how they came to this decision. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Kicks off the Sledding Season with Youth Sledding Hill; Second Sledding Hill Opens to Provide More Free Winter Fun


    December 18, 2020 In the heart of Beech Mountain, families are welcoming back winter by enjoying a youth sledding hill that is open daily from early December through early March for residents and visitors alike to have some winter fun in the snow. Sledding conditions are a result of natural winter precipitation and are enhanced by snow gun made snow when needed. Therefore, the opportunity for sledding lasts throughout the winter season. “The sledding hill is functional,” said Armando Garcia, Town of Beech Mountain’s Visitor Center Administration Assistant. “It has a whole lot of snow on it right now.” Due to the recent snowfall and flurries the past few days, the sledding hill has a decent amount of snow on it and a good base from the man-made snow. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Family of App State Student Chad Dorrill Creates Memorial Scholarship for High School Seniors


    December 17, 2020 Chad Dorrill, the Appalachian State University student who passed away from complications of COVID-19, will have a memorial scholarship in his name dedicated to providing college opportunities to high school students. Dorrill, 19, died on September 28. Dorrill was a sophomore at App State and was majoring in Exercise Science. His goal was to eventually become a physical therapist. The Chad Dorrill Memorial Scholarship Fund will be awarded to two high school seniors to help pay for their college education. The scholarship will be awarded for the next 10 years to honor Dorrill’s basketball jersey number of 10. He was an avid basketball player and played basketball throughout his high school career at Ledford Senior High School. As of December 17, the GoFundMe page shows a total of $5,700 has been raised with a goal of at least $10,000. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, December 7 – December 13

    December 17, 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



  • Chief Justice Announces All Non-Essential North Carolina Court Proceedings Postponed for 30 Days

    December 17, 2020 North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced on Monday that all non-essential North Carolina Court proceedings will be postponed for 30 days due to the rising cases of COVID-19.“In light of the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina and in our courts, this pause is necessary to protect the health and safety of our court personnel and the public,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “Throughout the pandemic, we have moved an unprecedented amount of court work online, including hearings. Those efforts will allow us to limit in-person proceedings for the next few weeks while making sure our courts stay available to serve the public.” More than 80 counties are experiencing substantial or critical community spread of COVID-19. This recent surge in COVID-19 cases, percent positivity, and hospitalizations have strained court operations. Since the onset of the pandemic, Judicial Branch officials and employees have reported 291 confirmed positive cases, and over half of North Carolina’s county courthouses have been partially or completely closed due to COVID-19. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Appalachian State Adds 22 in Record-Setting Signing Class on National Signing Day


    December 17, 2020 App State Football has assembled another record-setting recruiting class with the addition of 22 newcomers Wednesday on the first day of the December early signing period. With head coach Shawn Clark, recruiting coordinator Justin Watts and the rest of the staff preparing the Mountaineers (8-3) for a Myrtle Beach Bowl matchup against North Texas on Monday, the program’s 2021 signing class is ranked first among Sun Belt Conference schools and sixth among Group of 5 schools, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. With all 22 December signees earning a three-star rating from 247Sports, the average player rating of 83.08 is also the school’s best mark. “Today was a great day for the future of App State Football,” Clark said. “The players who signed with us today are tough and talented competitors on the field. They are dedicated students in the classroom who come from great families. These young men will help us continue our pursuit of championships into the next few years, and we are excited for them to officially join the App Family.” / Read more…



  • ‘Tis the Season! High Country Charitable Foundation Brings Cheer to Avery County Families


    December 17, 2020 Santa’s elves could take a lesson! The elves at High Country Charitable Foundation have been busy so that as many families as possible could experience some happiness during this Christmas season. Avery County’s elves hauled and toted heavy loads—loads of surprises for Avery residents who needed some extra cheer this year. Gifts galore for families and kids, coordinated by elves through Reaching Avery Ministry and Avery Project Christmas. Groceries galore, collected and distributed by the elves at Feeding Avery Families. And elves with sheriff’s badges from Cops for Kids, armed with gifts, friendly smiles and very special friendships. All of these happy activities have taken place for a number of years—but this year the elves had to repack the sleigh and route the reindeer around the COVID grinch lurking in the shadows. / Read more…



  • The Village Foundation Raises Over $35K for Rock Star Campaign, Announces New Directors and Officers for 2021


    December 17, 2020 At its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting on December 7, 2020, The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock announced that two new members will join its Board of Directors for the 2021-2023 term: Sam Glover and J.B Lawrence. In addition, Ronnie Mark, in-coming Chairman of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will serve on the Board of Directors in an Ex Officio position. The Foundation also announced that the following officers will serve the foundation in 2021: Jim Pitts, President; Cathy Robbins, Vice President; and Kent Tarbutton, Secretary/Treasurer. In other action, The Foundation announced that its annual “Blowing Rock Star” Campaign raised over $35,000 from residents and friends of Blowing Rock. All donors received a “Rock Star” decal to affix to their car or window. / Read more…



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