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Up on Huckleberry Knob, where the spring water is pure and raccoons say blessings before meals, I recently lost a friend and neighbor. Deaths of friends and family are difficult in these days when we cannot gather for funerals.

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BETHEL — Bethel School Principal Brian Bettis was named Watauga County Schools 2020-21 Principal of the Year during a surprise award presentation by a delegation of family, peers and Watauga County Schools leadership on May 22 at his school.

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Gardeners are quick to claim Thomas Jefferson as one of our own. An ardent horticulturist, Jefferson sought plants with economic value that could help propel our young nation’s economy forward. Capitalizing on his vast network, Jefferson persuaded correspondents in distant locales to send hi…

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BOONE — Despite COVID-19, remote learning and social distancing, Watauga High School and the Watauga Innovation Academy has presented a number 2020 WHS seniors with awards to recognize their achievements.

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SPRUCE PINE — The Orchard at Altapass announced on May 21 that it will reopen its doors “on a limited and restrictive basis” on Saturday, June 13. Additionally, it has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $20,000 to offset the costs of staff and orchard maintenance during COVID-19-related closures.

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BOONE — Watauga Habitat for Humanity is encouraging the community to donate to the four teams participating in the sixth year of its Big Kahuna Campaign to raise money for affordable housing.

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The Blowing Rock Farmers Market returns Thursday, May 21, and will run every Thursday until Sept. 24, from 3-6 p.m.. The farmers market is located on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock.

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Recently, friends who have come over to see the garden have commented on my Japanese roof irises, Iris tectorum, that are in full bloom. While I’m not an iris aficionado, I am quite fond of these irises, having planted them throughout the garden.

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BLOWING ROCK — When the Chef & Somm restaurant in Blowing Rock closed at the beginning of March due to COVID-19, the owners of the establishment decided to take the opportunity to rework and reimagine their restaurant, completing the transformation with the restaurant’s new name, Café Violette.

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Gardeners are quick to claim Thomas Jefferson as one of our own. An ardent horticulturist, Jefferson sought plants with economic value that could help propel our young nation’s economy forward. Capitalizing on his vast network, Jefferson persuaded correspondents in distant locales to send hi…

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BLOWING ROCK — The executive committee of the Tour of Homes Blowing Rock — an event held annually by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church to raise money for High Country nonprofits — has decided to postpone this year’s tour until July 2021.

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Substantial information has been published on keeping healthy during our current climate. This article is a summary of best practices around food safety from NC State Extension resources. At this point, there is no evidence that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted through foo…

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When Gov. Roy Cooper announced on April 24 that North Carolina public schools would not be returning for in-person instruction this school year, many turned their thoughts to the senior Class of 2020 and their unconventional ending to high school.

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SUGAR GROVE — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove announced on April 24 that the 2020 festival is canceled. This year’s festival was set to be the return of the event after a multi-year hiatus.

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BLOWING ROCK – The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce announced on April 29 that the Art in the Park show scheduled for May 23 has been canceled due to COVID-19. According to the announcement, this is the first cancelation in 58 seasons of Art in the Park.

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A pretty insect lays its eggs on a stone. That stone is part of a global supply chain that starts in Asia, arrives in Pennsylvania and now threatens North Carolina’s tourism, wine and Christmas tree industries. A thin line of North Carolinians stands between us and this invading menace.

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

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I’ve grown weary of living in fear of things I can’t see. Happily, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is raising a call for help — they need our collective eyes watching for the arrival of Lycorma delicatula, commonly known as the spotted lanternfly — at least this is a foe I can spot.

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WEST JEFFERSON — LifeStore Bank has announced that, beginning on May 1, it will donate $10 to either the Heath & Hunger Coalition of Boone or the Ashe County Sharing Center when customers sign up for paperless statements.

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BOONE — The Watauga County Democratic Party held its spring convention virtually for the first time in its history on Saturday, April 26, to discuss its plans for election season and meet the Democratic Party nominees on the national, state and local levels.

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My wife says I’m becoming deaf, or as the old folks say, “hard of hearing.” Of course she’s been saying that ever since we married — that I have selective deafness. She says I can hear other people, but cannot hear her when there’s a “honey-do” project ahead. That’s really not true ... well,…

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NEWLAND — A wise man once said, “Life’s a garden; dig it” and W.A.M.Y Community Action is doing just that by beginning the organization’s first community garden in Newland.

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LINVILLE — Officials with Grandfather Mountain announced on Saturday evening, April 25, that the 2020 edition of the annual Singing on the Mountain and the 65th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games have both been canceled in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Just like aerosols people are so worried about these days, there is a lot of information floating around concerning the coronavirus. Much of it is proven and accurate. Yet, a lot of information is not proven and remains either unknown or is simply wishful thinking.

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BLOWING ROCK — Chris Wetmore recently joined the elite group of community association managers who have earned the Professional Community Association Manager credential from Community Associations Institute. Wetmore is one of more than 2,200 managers worldwide who have earned the highest lev…

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BLOWING ROCK — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Janet Calhoun, an owner of Bolick Traditions and Pottery in Blowing Rock, felt the desire to help small retail businesses who were made to shut their doors as “nonessential businesses.” She created the Blowing Rock Retailers Facebook page…

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BOONE — The Watauga Farmers Market at Horn in the West Drive in Boone is typically a sign for locals that the harsh High Country winter has passed, but in this year’s opening on Saturday, May 2, visitors will see stark differences from years passed.

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BOONE — As the state moves closer to reopening the economy, area business owners of all sizes are encouraged to learn more about the latest marketing methods, as Mountain Times Publications is hosting a free virtual advertising workshop May 5, facilitated by Digital Marketing Leader Mike Martoccia.

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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BOONE — April is Autism Awareness Month across the country, and LIFE Village of Boone is taking the opportunity to celebrate adults with autism in the community and provide an update on its most recent project, LIFE House.

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LINVILLE — A staple and significant economic boon to Avery County that celebrates all things Scottish, the commencement of the 65th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in July is uncertain due to the current global coronavirus pandemic.

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BOONE — Based on a concern for the health and safety of the university campus, community and audience members, festival organizers for Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts event, An Appalachian Summer Festival, have announced the cancelation of the 2020 season. The festival, whi…

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NEWLAND — Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” To see where that sentiment holds true, look no further than today’s current state of affairs and a few of the pandemics of the past.