Editor’s Note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Aug. 4, 1960
“The new Watauga Consolidated School building was completed last month, and will be ready for occupancy when schools open in the county on Aug. 24, W. Guy Angell, county school superintendent said, last week,” stated an Aug. 4, 1960, article in the Watauga Democrat.
The article stated that, “The building is of brick construction and contains 6,000 square feet. A six-foot wide terrace running the full length of the front, covered with fiberglas, gives the building a modern look. The building is located on property acquired by the Councill Estate on the Mountain Road, leading off and running parallel to the Junaluska Road. Total cost of the site, building and new furniture amounts to $55,000, Angell said.”
The building had three modern classrooms equipped with new furniture, cloakrooms, supply cabinets, bathrooms, lavatories and chalk boards. The building also had a principals office, a book storage room, a multi-purpose room and a kitchen. The school had 60 pupils enrolled. Walter E. Henderson was a principal and a teacher, Marjorie B. Lowery and Margie Bohannan were to be teaching elementary grades and Leroy Kirkpatrick was employed as a custodian, according to the article.
July 31, 1980
“The town of Blowing Rock, which has allowed the sale of beer and wine since 1976, will hold a referendum Friday, Aug. 8, on the issue of liquor by the drink,” stated an article in the July 31, 1980, edition of the Watauga Democrat. At the the time, Blowing Rock was the only municipality in Watauga County that had voted to go “wet.”
“The referendum, the first such vote on mixed drinks in Watauga County since the N.C. General Assembly authorized local governments to hold liquor-by-the-drink elections in 1978, was initiated by town residents,” the article stated. “The referendum was called by the Blowing Rock Board of Elections last month after it validated a petition bearing the signatures of 171 residents requesting the vote. At that time, the 171 signatures were 11 more than the 20 percent of the registered voters required by state law for validation.”
“The referendum has gained support from the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and drawn fire from some area churches and others opposed to alcohol,” according to the article. “Two weeks ago, the board of directors of the chamber voted unanimously to endorse the vote on the grounds that the sale of mixed drinks would be in the best interests of the town. The board cited economic advantages as one reason it endorsed the election, as well as better control of the town’s ABC laws.”
“Liquor-by-the-drink critics, though, have said that additional revenues gained from the sale of mixed drinks would not offset the costs of hiring more policemen to keep the peace and that enforcement of the ABC laws would not improve,” the article stated.
July 21, 2000
“A Watauga County man was hospitalized briefly Wednesday night in Lenoir after he apparently tried to stop a verbal confrontation turned ugly in the Hibriten High School parking lot following a senior division Little League tournament game,” stated a July 21, 2000, article in the Watauga Democrat.
“The fight — which reportedly involved some combination of Watauga and Caldwell county parents, coaches and players — marred what spectators called a great game between two teams made up of 15- and 16-year-old players. The Watauga squad beat Caldwell 10-3, to advance to the state senior league championship tournament this weekend in Charlotte,” the article stated.
“The fight broke out nearly 45 minutes after the game’s conclusion, said (Tim Marley, captain of the patrol division of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department), and apparently started when a family member of a Watauga player got into a shouting match with a Caldwell County player. (District Administrator of the Senior Little League Joe) Cook said that he thought the players had been taunting each other during the game, which could have led to the eventual confrontation,” the article stated.
An assistant Caldwell County coach was charged with simple assault, assault on a female and assault inflicting serious injury as a result of the incident, according to the article.