Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
July 23, 1953
Acquiring funds to construct three miles of paved roads through the Moses H. Cone Estate were likely to happen, according to Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Sam. P Weems as reported in the Watauga Democrat.
“The additional funds, Weems said, will make the park ‘one of the finest recreation centers’ in this country,” the article stated.
The funds, totaling $481,000, were added to the National Park Service appropriation for the current fiscal year and were awaiting confirmation, according to the article.
The report came during a meeting of the N.C. National Park-Parkway and Forest Development Commission at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Boone.
In other news, a newborn baby was successfully given a complete change of blood at Watauga hospital in what the article called a rare procedure. The newborn had the rare condition known as erythroblastosis fetalis, in which the blood type of the newborn is incomparable with the mother’s and causes the white blood cells absorbed from the mother in utero to attack the red blood cells of the unborn child.
The procedure, according to the article, lasted well into the night with donor blood coming from a male doctor. The article stated it is rare that a child born with the condition is still alive.
July 26, 1976
A plane that skidded off the runway at the Boone airport on Bamboo Road resulted in no injuries, according to a Watauga Democrat article titled ‘Two escape injury in plane crash.”
According to the plane owner and pilot, the plane began sliding on wet grass at the airport after making its landing. The plane ended up in a ditch on the right side of Bamboo Road, according to the article.
The damages to the right wing, right propeller and broken landing gear was estimated at $8,000.
The pilot told the Watauga Democrat he didn’t know there had been thunderstorms in the area and didn’t know about the wet grass. It estimated the plane hit the ditch at about 10 mph.
In other news, Watauga County Hospital received final approval from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare for a $1 million grant for 78 new beds and expanded hospital facilities.
July 24, 2003
Then-N.C. Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue implored Watauga County to join other rural counties in working on a common public policy agenda during the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet at Chetola Resort, according to a Watauga Democrat article titled “Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue tells areas to pull together.”
“(Perdue) said that Watauga County’s education system, employment and growth must be exported to the rural counties in the eastern part of the state to form a coalition that will help both parts of the state and ensure that rural and mountain areas are strong enough politically and economically to complete in the nation with the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh,” the article states.
In other news, Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties were part of an agricultural disaster area declared by Gov. Mike Easley due to an ongoing drought. The High Country were three of 73 counties across the state a part of the declaration. Drought losses in N.C. were estimated at $170 million at the time.