Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Aug. 16, 1945
The end of World War II with the Japanese surrender was celebrated in the streets of Boone, according to the article, “Boone people are jubilant as war comes to close.”
“Boone received the news of the (Japanese) surrender with jubilance as the fire siren, steam whistles, firecrackers and automobile horns turned the main street into a bedlam of unrestrained job,” the article stated.
The scenes took place around 30 minutes following the announcement by President Harry S. Truman, as people gathered at various churches to join in prayer and thanksgiving, which was previously arranged to occur in such an event.
“Following the merry-making, the crowds on the streets gradually dispersed and before midnight quietude had settled upon the city, as house-holders returned to their radios to hear the varied repetitions of the startling news,” the article ends.
In other news, R.E. Agle took over management of the Appalachian Theatre, having assumed his duties that week.
Aug. 16, 1982
The N.C. Department of Transportation went ahead with its plans to start the widening project to a portion of U.S. 421 and N.C. 105 Extension, according to a Watauga Democrat article titled “Widening project proceeding.”
The project, a joint work between the state and the town of Boone, called for the widening of U.S. 421 between N.C. 194 and N.C. 105 to a four-lane highway and the N.C. 105 Extension widened to three lanes from U.S. 421 to U.S. 321.
“Under an agreement between the town and state, the project will be funded by a $300,000 allocation from (N.C.) DOT and a contribution from Boone equal to its anticipated Powell Bill funding this year.”
Powell Bill funding, an annual state allocation made for street improvements, was expected to be around $157,000.
In other news, Boone residents were soon to get their first taste of filtered, treated water from the town’s new $7.9 million plant, located off Winkler’s Creek, according to the article titled “Water plant to crank up.”
“Consumption now averages 1.5 million gallons per day, and the plant will have an initial capacity of three million gallons per day,” the article stated.
Aug. 13, 2004
The Watauga County Schools’ board was required to make $246,000 in discretionary cuts from its 2004-05 budget by the state, according to an article titled “School board OKs state budget cuts.”
“Going back to what we’ve always said, the (N.C.) General Assembly giveth, and the General Assembly taketh away,” said board Chair Andy Reese at the Aug. 9, 2004, meeting.
The board elected to make the cuts by not filling the equivalent of 4.1 vacant teaching positions and 1.5 vacant teacher assistant positions, plus returning textbook funds to the state.