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Seeing their kids scurry around the playground in Blowing Rock Memorial Park searching for Easter eggs, parents around the perimeter had to be wondering, “if only it were this easy to make them clean their rooms.”

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RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service is urging North Carolina residents to think safety and to exercise extra caution when burning materials during the spring fire season. The spring fire season typically runs from March through May, and is historically the time when wildfires are most likely t…

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Editor’s note: The following is a chapter from the manuscript titled “Ole Mean Carrie Buck,” written by Thomas Buxton of Columbia, S.C. The manuscript is based on interviews with his mother, Carrie Miller Buxton, about her life in Blowing Rock in the middle of the 20th century.

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I do my botanizing walking our dog. New Puppy isn’t very patient so I have to be quick about it, but I regularly manage to find interesting plants.

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BANNER ELK — Volunteers are invited to join Blue Ridge Conservancy and the Hemlock Restoration Initiative for a hemlock tree treatment session at the Valle Crucis Conference Center in Banner Elk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Earth Day, Friday, April 19.

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ASHEVILLE — National Park Service staff, volunteers, concession operators, and partners are working together to open facilities for the 2019 visitor season on the Blue Ridge Parkway; and the full schedule of operating dates is now available on the park website. Some park concession facilitie…

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BLOWING ROCK — After 18 months of introspection and search, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church has called the Rev. Andrew J. Hege of Lexington, Ky., to be the next rector, the church announced April 11.

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“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a Father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who call you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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BLOWING ROCK — Despite rainy conditions, families still gathered for the doors to open at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 5, for the first day of the 2019 Tweetsie Railroad season.

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BLOWING ROCK — The 40th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby saw dozens of children try their angling skills in Mayview Lake in Broyhill Park and other trout waters across Watauga County on the first day that hatchery supported waters opened.

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“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands; sing forth the honor of His name; make His praise glorious.” Psalm 66:1-2

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Last spring, Grandfather Mountain State Park experienced heavy, prolonged rains that severely damaged and eroded park trails, making some areas impassable. Damage to the Nuwati and Cragway trails was so extensive that repairs will require contracting outside work.

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There was a time when gardeners could actually garden without the deer problem. There was a time when Bambi stayed in the forests where gardens don’t exist. This really was what gardening was all about a mere quarter century ago in many parts of North Carolina. In a way this sounds like the …

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BOONE — Local land trusts, elected representatives, municipal managers, interested and concerned citizens alike gathered in Boone for a High Country Conservation Roundtable organized by Western North Carolina conservation collective Blue Ridge Forever on April 5.

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It was a scene from a horror film. Two innocent, ignorant women fumbled through the moonlit forest to the old house. At the door to the cellar stood a woman in all black.

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Editor’s note: The following is a chapter from the manuscript titled “Ole Mean Carrie Buck,” written by Thomas Buxton of Columbia, S.C. The manuscript is based on interviews with his mother, Carrie Miller Buxton, about her life in Blowing Rock in the middle of the 20th century.

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LINVILLE — Aspen, the Western cougar who had lived at Grandfather Mountain for almost all of its life, died March 25 at the age of 15, the park’s nonprofit owners announced.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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There comes a time when gardeners have to think about fertilizing their plants — a topic that makes us squirm, primarily because there are so many choices out there. How much? Organic or inorganic? Slow or quick release? When should we fertilize? Then there are those three numbers on the bot…

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WATAUGA COUNTY — Hatchery supported trout waters in Watauga County streams and other bodies of water across the state will be open for fishing as of April 6. The streams were closed for restocking, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

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Editor’s note: The following is a chapter from the manuscript titled “Ole Mean Carrie Buck,” written by Thomas Buxton of Columbia, S.C. The manuscript is based on interviews with his mother, Carrie Miller Buxton, about her life in Blowing Rock in the middle of the 20th century.

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Whenever I hear a good quote, I like to write it down on my phone or in a notepad. During the years I’ve collected quite a few quotes on any of a number of topics or themes.

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BLOWING ROCK — The 40th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby will take place in Blowing Rock on Saturday, April 6, from sunrise to 4 p.m. No entry fees are required and no pre-registration is necessary.

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BOONE — After losing her daughter to a drug addiction in 2015, one woman has made it her mission to help others in similar situations and has planned an event to bring awareness.

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BOONE — Members of the Boone Area Cyclists are coming together on April 3 to celebrate its 10-year anniversary at Appalachian Regional Health. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m., where officers will report on all aspects of the club.

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“I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me.” Psalm 16: 7-8

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There was a book written a number of years ago which was later adapted into a film entitled “The Deer Hunter.” The movie depicts the support and affection that existed among prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.

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“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Revelation 1:5

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There are so many great tools at the naturalist’s fingertips. Smartphone applications such as iNaturalist have enabled people from all over the world to help you identify any and every flower, tree, snake, frog and bird that cross your path.

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Soon the poison ivy season will be upon us, and so it behooves us to know something about this native vine. Poison ivy is neither ivy nor does it have poisonous leaves. Urushiol, the oil found in poison ivy is an allergen, not an irritant — humans are the only creatures allergic to urushiol.

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BOONE — The 1899 streets of New York will be brought by students to the Watauga High School auditorium stage for the musical “Newsies” at 7 p.m. April 4-6.

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Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture was recently awarded a grant through Carolina Farm Credit’s Corporate Mission Fund. Grant funds will help the group buy a large glass-front refrigerator, two stainless steel tables, and organizing bins, which will allow farmers to store and sell their products…

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LINVILLE — Grandfather Mountain will open its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April, as the park’s “Dollar Days” promotion returns in time for spring.

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Editor’s note: The following is a chapter from the manuscript titled “Ole Mean Carrie Buck,” written by Thomas Buxton of Columbia, S.C. The manuscript is based on interviews with his mother, Carrie Miller Buxton, about her life in Blowing Rock in the middle of the 20th century.

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BOONE — Hospitality House, the regional nonprofit housing and hunger relief agency serving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Avery, Alleghany, Mitchell and Yancey counties, recently launched an ambitious campaign to more than double the size of its existing food pantry.