News update: Dr. John Marchese died Sunday
Dr. John Marchese, a prominent local obstetrician, died Sunday at age 73. Marchese was the only specialist of nine doctors at the Watauga Hospital when he arrived in 1970, subsequently delivering about 8,000 infants in his 36-year career.
Memorial Day Concert: Community Band performs
The Watauga Community Band will present its annual Memorial Day concert at Rosen Concert Hall on the ASU campus this afternoon at 3. Veterans will be honored with a number of pieces, and a brief ceremony will remember those who have played in the band and have died. ASU music alumni will join in, some playing in the concert, which will also serve to continue fundraising for the Charles Isley scholarship, announced and established with the band's concert last year. Dr. Isley will participate with "The Mountainaires" barbershop quartet as a part of the event. The concert is free and open to the public.
Hammer pleads guilty, receives seven life sentences in the deaths of three men
Frederick Philip Hammer, 49, of Crumpler, N.C., walked into the Grayson County Courthouse in Independence, Va., shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 22, shackled and dressed in a red prison jumpsuit.
Herb and Plant Day at the market
Watauga County Farmers' Market will be celebrating Herb and Plant Day on May 23 with the music of The Sheets Family.
BREAKING NEWS: Third quarter LBTD revenues reported
Liquor-by-the-drink revenues exceeded $34,000 in the third quarter.
Movies: Goodbye Solo comes to the High Country
A critically acclaimed film partially shot in Blowing Rock is coming to the High Country in June. "Goodbye Solo" will premiere at the DragonFly Theater on June 12 and open for a single showing at the Hayes Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 16, at 7 p.m.
Sports: Stranded runners doom Mountaineers
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Appalachian State University baseball stranded 11 baserunners and surrendered four home runs in a 6-5 loss to Georgia Southern in the winners? bracket of the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday.
Vandalism in Deep Gap
Two Deep Gap businesses fell victim to criminal damage to property in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Identities released in Wilkes armed robbery
A man hunt lasting more than six hours resulted in the arrest of five men suspected of armed robbery.
Non-profits search for funding in a shrinking Watauga County budget
A public hearing Tuesday on Wastauga County’s shrunken budget brought forth requests from agencies in the wake of increased demands for services.
Watauga sheriff’s reports
May 11 — A person reported having been struck by unknown male persons at a residence on the 13400 block of U.S. 421 in Zionville.
Boone Police reports
May 13 — Larceny was reported at 8:48 a.m. on the 200 block of Milton Brown Heirs Road. Prescription medication was reported stolen.
Local auto dealers weather corporate storms
Local auto dealers have survived the latest round of corporate closures by Chrysler and GM and have seen some increase in business.
Watauga is entrepreneur certified
Watauga now has a stamp of approval for its job-creation efforts.
Where's the bears?
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a bear statue that was stolen from a residence at 2774 Rich Mountain Road in Zionville. The statue, which weighs several hundred pounds and was cemented to the ground, was stolen sometime between May 18 and May 20. It is wooden and depicts three black bears. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (828) 264-3761.
May 20, 2009
Chiropractic office broken into
Watauga County Crimestoppers requests the public’s help in identifying the person(s) responsible for the following crime: Sometime between the evening hours of Thursday, May 14, and Friday morning, May 15, someone broke into Marathon Chiropractic Clinic, located at 920 West King St. Among the items taken were a Magnavox flat screen TV and an X-Box video game system. Anyone with information on this crime, or any other crime, is asked to call Crimestoppers at 828-268-6959 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. All information will be kept confidential.
Crimestoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs; and the location of wanted persons.
County postpones revaluation
With home sales cooling nationwide, Watauga County has not been immune from the trend, with the Watauga County Board of Commissioners deciding Tuesday to postpone a scheduled property revaluation.The county revaluation for property taxes was scheduled for next year, but county tax administrator Kelvin Byrd warned that there had been few property sales and therefore a schedule of values would be difficult to create. Revaluations are required at least every eight years, though counties can choose to perform them more frequently.The values are used in determining overall tax value for the county and for determining the property-tax rate for the county budget. While the tax value can differ from an appraised value for real estate transactions, the revaluation depends upon close comparison of recent sales with similar properties in the area. Watauga County moved to a four-year cycle in 2002, and Byrd said current sales are close to what they are currently listed at from the 2006 revaluation, suggesting little growth in property values. postponing the revaluation will save about $108,000 next year.
Torch of hope
Joe Knapp of the Boone Police Department and friends take off with the torch during the Special Olympics Flame of Hope run across North Carolina on Monday. The torch run leads up to the 2009 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games opening ceremonies, scheduled for June 5 in Raleigh. Photo by Mark Mitchell
Sections of U.S. 321 will be closed Mondays
Motorists traveling off the mountain toward Lenoir and Hickory will need to steer clear of U.S. 321 on Monday nights.
In odd turn, Boone gas prices creep below state average
In an unusual turnabout, Boone gas prices are now among the lowest in the state, with average prices nearly a dime cheaper per gallon than the state average.
May 18, 2009
||May showers bring spring flowers
An end to the area drought is certainly welcome news to farmers and visitors at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. From left, Genevieve Powell, 3, gets a closer look at the flowers, as she is held by Molly Gilleskie, 11, while Drake Powell, 9, looks on while visiting the market on Saturday. Photo by Mark Mitchell
Dacia Trethewey named top teacher
Art teacher Dacia Trethewey, who teaches at Parkway School four days each week and at Bethel one day each week, has been named the Watauga County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2009-10.
Local drought dries up but tables stay low
It’s no surprise to gardeners who have been battling mud, but for the first time in more than two years, Watauga County is officially out of its drought.
For ski resorts: ‘Best season ever’
The fortuitous timing of holidays, a healthy smattering of natural snow, and improved snow-making technology all combined to make one of last winter’s ski seasons the best on record.
Boone Police reports
May 8 — An incident of disorderly conduct was reported at 1:59 a.m. on the 500 block of West King Street.
Tuesday hearing on budget
The recommended Watauga County budget for the next fiscal year is coming up for a public hearing Tuesday night. The proposed budget features a 10-percent overall cut, including at least a 3 percent cut in most departments and agencies, employee cuts in the Register of Deeds and Planning & Inspections departments, and a freeze on capital projects. The county administration itself is not immune to budget cuts, with reductions in administration, finance, tax administration and tax revaluation. General administration costs could decline by more than $560,000, while expenditures on public buildings could decline by $400,000. The sanitation budget faces a $600,000 reduction, with no change in fees expected. The tax rate is proposed to remain at 31.3 cents per $100 of property valuation, with a proposed 2009-2010 operating budget of $40.4 million, a reduction of $4.2 million from the current fiscal year. No fire tax increase is proposed. The complete 119-page budget is online at www.wataugacounty.org. The public hearing is at 6 p.m. at the Watauga County Administrative Complex in Boone on May 19. Also on the agenda are appointments to the new community housing trust board, an N.C. Cooperative Extension Service building-use policy and discussion of a Hospitality House commitment agreement.