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Thanks to modern technologies, you and more people are reading the Watauga Democrat than ever before. Freedom of the press is essential to preserving democracy: But a free press isn't free. It takes significant resources for Mountain Times Publications' 8 full-time journalists and editors to provide credible, fact-based and ethical journalism in the High Country. So, we are asking you to join our advertisers and print subscribers in supporting local journalism with your dollar. Your financial support will help sustain these services that you use to inform your decisions and engage with your community.