Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.
Sept. 5, 1988
“Brewer honored to have ASU stadium bearing his name,” read the headline of a sports story in the Sept. 5, 1988, Watauga Democrat. The article gave an account of the recent renaming of the 18,000-seat football stadium from William J. Conrad Stadium — its name for its first 26 years — to Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Brewer was ASU’s head football coach for four years from 1935-38, posting a 30-5-3 record, the article stated.
After leaving ASU in the late 1930s, Brewer went on to become a successful businessman and later ran for lieutenant governor and the N.C. Court of Appeals.
In the same issue, an article detailed a meeting where High Country leaders met with state legislators, asking for more support for the region’s tourism industry.
“Acid rain, poor transportation, out-of-state competition and bureaucratic tangles are the major problems facing the tourism industry in North Carolina, area tourism leaders told a legislative study committee meeting in Boone last week,” the article began.
Sept. 4, 1998
The Watauga County Detention Center’s move from its former location on Queen Street had its beginnings in September 1998, when the county commissioners approved funding for a feasibility study examining the potential move, according to a Sept. 4, 1998, article in the Watauga Democrat.
The move was said to be contingent on the expected closing of Watauga County’s state-run correctional facility on Hodges Gap Road in Boone, where the county planned to shift inmates due to space concerns at the Queen Street location, which had a capacity of 34 inmates.
Todd residents voted to form a steering committee to prepare for forming a community council to plan growth, another article in the Sept. 4 issue related.
“Todd is unique, partly because of being on the Ashe and Watauga line, so historically, we’ve felt we were not heard or represented well by either county,” said Joe Morgan, spokesperson for the effort, in the article. “It’s important for us to have a voice in both ... We’re also unique from other groups who’ve formed community councils because we don’t have a particular issue driving our efforts, like the Rutherwood council and the asphalt plant and Valle Crucis and the historic district.”
Sept. 5-7, 2008
In the case of a 12-year-old girl who fell and was severely injured at Glen Burney Falls in 2004, the Superior Court found that the town of Blowing Rock was not liable, according to an article in the Watauga Democrat Weekender called “Blowing Rock exonerated in civil trial.”
The family of the girl appealed to the N.C. Court of Appeals, which found that the trial court erred and ordered a new trial, but the N.C. Supreme Court reversed that decision, according to court records.
The Glen Burney Trail, located close to downtown Blowing Rock, is a popular trail but can be treacherous. A number of accidents and even death have occurred on the trail and near the falls.
In late 2017, the town announced that the trail would be closed indefinitely due to damages from the October 2017 flooding.
The newspaper also announced an upcoming concert by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Holmes Convocation Center in Boone. Tickets ranged from $32.50 to $42.50.