Thumbs-up: to current and ongoing efforts to restore more than half of a mile of eroded banks along the South Fork New River in Boone. Project contractors have been hard at work since last fall — and through the winter — and the first phase is scheduled to be completed this summer. Well done to all those involved, from those who work to gain the funding to those who “fund” the manual efforts.

Thumbs-up: to a successful end to an 18-month search for a new rector of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock. The Rev. Andrew Hege and his family will join the Blowing Rock community in June. We welcome Hege, his wife, Amanda and their toddler, Eleanor, to their new home.

Thumbs-up: to singing for your community. A benefit concert April 15 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone will be hosted by the student chapter of the Hayes School of Music American String Teacher Association will be a win-win. Students get to hone their skills and the organization App Builds a Home, working alongside Habitat for Humanity, will make a move toward its current $60,000 fundraising goal.

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