April 24, 2023 At its annual county convention on Saturday, the Watauga Democratic Party elected long-time activist Emily Bish as its new chair for 2023-2025. Bish has been a part of the party’s executive board as get-out-the-vote coordinator and has also served as precinct chair of the Watauga Precinct and as 2nd Vice Chair of the county party, among other roles.
April 19, 2023 As Boone continues to grow in size, population and businesses, parking has become harder and harder to come by. And though there is a necessity for enforcing parking regulations for residents and businesses alike, there is a growing consensus in the town that the practices of those parking enforcement companies who tow and boot vehicles are becoming increasingly predatory. By Zack Hill
February 27, 2023 The Boone Town Council held a regular meeting session on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Town Council chambers at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. Eric Woolridge of Destination by Design, a local planning and development firm working with the council and county via the Imagine Watauga Initiative to create and enhance various parts of Boone’s public lands and other assets, presented several ideas and proposals ranging from work on the Greenway to creating a green space downtown above a parking deck. By Zack Hill
February 9, 2023 BOONE, NC – The Boone Town Council and Mayor held a regular, open meeting session on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at the Town Council chambers at 1500 Blowing Rock Road. In attendance were Mayor Tim Futrelle, Council members Todd Carter, Dalton George, Becca Nenow, Virginia Roseman, Mayor Pro Tem Edie Tubman, Town Manager Amy Davis and Town Attorney Allison Meade. The meeting started with the announcement of several vacancies on town boards including the boards of adjustments, human relations, and several boards that had positions available to ASU students including sustainability and human relations. By Zack Hill
February 9, 2023 The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 22, at the Blowing Rock Conference Center. The meeting will begin at noon.
November 16, 2022 RALEIGH, NC – The NC State Board of Elections and county boards of elections are responding to requests from Election Day voters about why their “voter history” records are not yet updated to reflect the fact that they voted on Election Day – November 8, 2022. We believe this is the direct result of certain groups spreading false and misleading information about this process in an attempt to sow distrust in our elections.
October 26, 2022 < On Friday, September 30th the candidates for Watauga County Board of Commissioners received an email from the Blowing Rock Civic Association (BRCA) asking them to give their answer to three questions. The BRCA asked candidates to respond no later than Saturday, October 8th. Five of the six candidates responded. The candidates were asked about county-wide expansion of 24/7 ambulance service, the current modified ad valorem sales tax allocation method, and the top three priorities for Watauga County in the next two years.
October 17, 2022 The time period for early voting in Avery County for the 2022 General Election begins on Thursday, October 20 and runs through Saturday, November 5. Saturdays and Sundays are excluded, except for Saturday, November 5 when early voting will also be open. All Early Voting in the county must be done at the Avery County Senior Citizens Center, located at 165 Schultz Street in downtown Newland. By Tim Gardner
September 9, 2022 Letters to the Editor. By TERRY OLDHAM / After reading Jay Fenwick’s response to Mark Murphy, I remained curious with regards to his endorsement of Newsela, the teaching supplement purchased by the Watauga Board of Education. I was neither for nor against Newsela and expected in advance to find both positive and negative aspects. Here’s what I found…
May 18, 2022 Three first-time political candidates were the top vote-getters in their respective races to highlight Tuesday’s primary in Avery County. Mike Henley won the Sheriff’s race. He received 2,843 votes. Lee Buchanan got 1077; and Russell Carver received 173. With three seats open in the County Commissioners race, Robert Burleson received the highest number of votes with 1,963. Incumbents Dennis Aldridge and Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. followed with the next highest voting numbers. Aldridge got 1,853 votes and Young, Jr. 1,812. In the non-partisan Board of Education race, winners to fill the two seats open were: Randy Singleton, who got the most votes with 1,878, and incumbent Patricia (Pat) Edwards with 1,355. By Tim Gardner
January 12, 2022 Candidate filing for North Carolina’s 2022 primary elections, as well as rescheduled municipal elections, will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, February 24, and end at noon on Friday, March 4, under an order issued Tuesday by the Superior Court of Wake County. The order (PDF) by a three-judge panel upheld state legislative and congressional district maps being challenged in redistricting-related lawsuits. “State Board of Elections staff will immediately begin preparing for the continuation of the candidate filing period, including securing a location to ensure the health and safety of staff and candidates,” said Karen Brinson Bell, State Board executive director. “We will provide all details to the public as soon as possible at NCSBE.gov and through an announcement distributed to the media.” County and municipal candidate filing also will resume on February 24 and take place at the county board of elections offices. Contact the specific county office for hours of operation and COVID-19 protocols.
Feb. 28, 2018. The candidate filing period has ended as of February 28, 2018 at noon, and all names are final for this year’s primary elections in North Carolina, according to the Watauga County Board of Elections. Statewide primary elections on May 8 will be voters’ first opportunity to cast their ballots and decide party candidates for the general election on Nov. 6. In Watauga County, the democratic primary ballot will feature one race, while the republican primary ballot will include candidates for five different offices. The Democratic Party’s primary ballot will include only one race: a vote between Jenny Marshall and DD Adams for candidacy as U.S. House Representative in the fifth district. On the republican ballot are three candidates for U.S. House Representative: the incumbent Virginia Foxx, Dillon Gentry and Cortland Meader. By Luke Weir
Feb. 21, 2018. United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ruled last week that the state’s election districts will remain basically the same, according to Republican State Representative Josh Dobson, who serves the 85th District of Avery, Mitchell and McDowell counties. North Carolina’s GOP lawmakers had requested an official Supreme Court stay concerning changing the districts for this year’s state elections, asking that the districts not undergo any changes. Chief Justice Roberts did change districts affecting primarily the Piedmont county of Guilford and the Eastern counties of Bladen and Wayne, all of which are heavily-populated. But the Chief Justice left the remainder of the state’s districts intact. No mountain counties were affected with the ruling. However, the state’s prosecutorial district that includes Avery, Watauga, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties changed in number from the 24th to the 35th. Dobson declared the latest Supreme Court ruling “A victory for our state.” By Tim Gardner
Feb. 14, 20187. Virginia Foxx, republican United States House Representative for North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, filed for re-election Tuesday with the state board of elections in Raleigh, making her the second candidate to enter the race behind democrat Jenny Marshall, who filed Monday. North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District stretches across the northwest part of the state, including Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties. Foxx has been the district’s incumbent representative since 2005. By Luke Weir
Feb. 13, 20187. This year will feature elections for county, state and national offices. At press time, eight have filed for offices that Avery County voters will elect or help elect. Filing for most county and district offices and some for state and federal offices began Monday, February 12 at 12:00 noon and runs through Wednesday, February 28 at 12:00 noon. Avery County offices open this year include: Commissioners, Board of Education, Sheriff, Clerk of Court and Soil and Water Supervisor. There are three seats open on the County Commission. The two candidates with the most votes will serve four-year terms, while the candidate with the third most votes will serve a two-year term. Two seats are open on the Board of Education. The winners for Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Board of Education and Soil and Water will all serve four-year terms By Tim Gardner
Feb 12, 2018. Local government hopefuls lined up outside the Watauga County Board of Elections to file as candidates in the 2018 North Carolina state and local elections Monday at noon. Filing began Monday for the following offices: three positions on the board of commissioners, three positions on the board of education, clerk of superior court, district attorney, and sheriff. After the first day of filing, 14 candidates have signed up to run for public office in 2018, as follows: By Luke Weir
Feb. 6, 20187. Candidate filing begins Monday, February 12, for most offices available in the 2018 North Carolina state and local elections. The following local offices are available for filing starting Feb. 12, according to the Watauga County Board of Elections: three positions on the board of commissioners, three positions on the board of education, superior court judge, clerk of superior court, district attorney, and sheriff. Candidacy may be filed for the above positions at the Watauga County Board of Elections from Feb. 12 at noon until February 28 at noon. By Luke Weir
Nov. 14, 2017. North Carolina State Senator Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) announced her campaign for re-election, setting up a Republican Primary in 2018 with fellow State Senator Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes) after recent court-ordered redistricting redrew the two incumbents into the same district covering Alleghany, Ashe, most of Surry, Watauga, and Wilkes counties.
Nov. 8, 2017. In Watauga County, 11.21 percent of the registered voters in municipalities in Watauga County cast a ballot in the 2017 municipal elections held on Tuesday. Of the 19,915 registered voters in Beech Mountain, Blowing Rock, Boone and Seven Devils, only 2,232 people voted. The turnout in Avery County was higher. In Avery County, 18.46 percent of the voters in municipalities in Avery County cast a ballot. By Jesse Wood
Nov. 8, 2017. Incumbents were taken to the woodshed in most of the contested 2017 municipal elections in Watauga and Avery counties, according to the unofficial elections results from Tuesday. The three incumbents on the Boone Town Council – Jeannine Underdown Collins, Charlotte Mizelle and Quint David – won’t be serving a consecutive term on the council. Taking their place will be Sam Furgiuele, Marshall Ashcraft and Connie Ulmer. By Jesse Wood • Photos by Ken Ketchie
Nov. 7, 2017. Here are the unofficial results for the 2017 municipal elections in Watauga and Avery counties. Story lines from election night include Blowing Rock electing a new mayor after two decades with J.B. Lawrence and council incumbents in towns like Boone, Beech Mountain, Newland and Blowing Rock being voted out of office. By Jesse Wood
Nov. 7, 2017. Today is Election Day. Early voting for the municipal elections ended on Saturday. In Avery County, 86 people voted early, according to Sheila Ollis, director of elections in Avery County. In Watauga County, 951 people cast a ballot prior to Election Day, according to Donna Houck with the Watauga County Board of Elections. By Jesse Wood
Nov. 6, 2017. Due to the flooding that occurred on Oct. 23, and pursuant to G.S. § 163-27.1, N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement Executive Director Kim Strach designated the Appalachian State University Plemmons Student Union as the Boone #2 Precinct voting location for the Nov. 7, 2017, election, according to the Watauga County Board of Elections.
After garnering 38 percent of the vote in the 2015 mayoral race in Blowing Rock, Charlie Sellers, owner of the Blowing Rock attraction, is once again challenging incumbent Mayor J.B. Lawrence. “I feel like a lot of the citizens have realized that maybe their needs have not been met and I feel like a lot of people feel like it’s time for a change,” said Sellers, when asked about not shying away after losing in the previous municipal election. By Jesse Wood
Oct. 30, 2017. Through the first week of early voting in the 2017 municipal elections, 453 people in Watauga County and 44 people in Avery County have cast ballots at the one-stop polls. Early voting ends on Saturday, Nov. 4. In Avery County, the sole one-stop site for the municipals is the elections office in the Avery County Courthouse. Watauga County, on the other hand, has two one-stop sites: the elections office in the Watauga County Courthouse and the Plemmons Student Union on the App State campus. By Jesse Wood