Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.

Dec. 2, 1965

Up to 12 channels and FM radio reception were proposed by two private enterprises to the town of Boone, according to an article titled ‘Two firms seek TV antenna franchise.”

“Mayor Wade Brown said CATV would not be compulsory to the public should the town board pass an ordinance granting a franchise,” the article stated.

The proposal would give the town of Boone three and a half cents of profits or a minimum of $1,000 a year, whichever is greater. Installation fees for the service would be $10, Brown told the Watauga Democrat. The cost of installing the system would be $150,000.

In other news, as much as $1,200 was raised by the Appalachian Shrine Club in their doll sale on King Street. The proceeeds would go to the Shrine Crippled Children’s Hospital in Greenville, S.C, according to president James B. Graham.

Dec. 5, 1988

The spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, resulted in then-Appalachian State University Chancellor John Thomas approving the sale of condoms in men’s and women’s restrooms, becoming the first state university to do so, according to a feature story titled “Thomas backs condom sales.”

Thomas noted that he had heard opposition to the idea, but that he made his decision based on medical concerns and what he thought was best for the student population.

“The object is not to promote promiscuity or to shock the sensibilities of those opposed to the project,” Thomas told the ASU Board of Trustees, according to the article.

The article states that condoms had been available at no charge at the ASU student health center, but student leaders said many of their fellow students were embarrassed to ask for them.

“It may not be popular, but it could save some lives,“ ASU BOT Chairman Richard Davis was quoted as saying.

An independent contractor would install the machines, with the profits returned to the university to provide educational programs and materials on STDs.

Dec. 5, 2001

The former Heilig-Meyers warehouse, next to the Watauga County Courthouse, was approved for renovations by the Watauga County Commissioners, an article titled “Former Heilig-Meyers building to be renovated at a cost of $1 million” said.

The building, built in the late 1920s or early 1930s according to the article, was to be gutted and completely renovated.

“Based on spot checks, the structural system appears to be square, plum and level,” an evaluation by Draper Aden Associations of Blacksburg, Va. Said, according to the article. “Without further additional testing and investigation there is no way to determine the competency of the building’s materials. Of particular concern is the integrity of the masonry units that make up the retaining wall.”

The renovated space was to include a new board room, public work room, restrooms and an elevator, among other amenities.

“The Capital Improvement Plan envisions, on completion of the renovation, that the county’s finance, administration, a conference room, a board room and storage space for the register of deeds will occupy the building,” the article states.

The building is now the site of the Watauga County Administration Building, which houses Watauga County Commissioner meetings.

In other news, Jimmy Hodges was unanimously re-elected as chair of the Watauga County Commissioners before the meeting.

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