Have you ever considered how important public notices are to your daily life? You should.

Public notices contain information about activities and events that impact citizens’ lives because of governmental actions or requirements. They include such important actions as government hearings and meetings; zoning, annexation and land use changes; election notices; municipal budgets, taxes and special assessment information; requests for bids on government construction and service contracts; permit and licensing applications, land and water use regulations; judicial and executive sales and disposal of foreclosed and abandoned property.

Equally as important, public notices include information about creditors; notices of public sale; information seeking relief in a divorce; or even the service of process for termination of parental right when a parent is unknown.

Important information indeed — and important because all of these notices are things that happen in Watauga County, every day.

Because of information such as public notices, the North Carolina legislature has recognized the need and right of the public to be informed about these activities and events. As a result, public notices and legal ads are published in print newspapers to effectively disseminate this important information throughout their communities while also providing historical preservation and easy public access.

Consider this: If public notices are so important to your life, shouldn’t those terms, “preservation and access,” have great weight? The North Carolina legislature thinks so, and you should, too.

That’s why public and legal notices are required to be printed in the newspaper of record in the communities they serve — a form of information that can’t be manipulated, altered or lost to time. Each week, public and legal notices are printed — and preserved — in your Watauga Democrat.

But what about access? Of course, many readers find the print version of public notices not only as a means of preservation, but also as a preferable reading format.

Others may prefer the ability of accessing public and legal notices online.

At the Watauga Democrat we recognize that both types of readers deserve the format they desire. Remember, this information is important. This is why that, in addition to our print newspaper, we offer every member of our community the access to search public notices on our website for free via a link at the top of the home page at www.wataugademocrat.com.

Additionally, though, we’ve taken the extra step to partner with the North Carolina Press Association to provide all of our public and legal notices on its statewide database. By visiting ncnotices.com, readers can easily and at no charge access the Watauga Democrat or Watauga County public notices with a minimal number of keystrokes.

Preservation, access and information — three watchwords that guide our commitment to you, our readers, at the Watauga Democrat.

And most importantly, three words that also guide the decisions you make — every single day.

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