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Avery News Notes — Nov. 23, 2022

Weekly fuel worth replace…

Average retail gasoline costs in North Carolina decreased 7 cents final week to $3.31 as of Monday, Nov. 21. This compares with the nationwide common, which decreased 11 cents final week to $3.65 per gallon, in accordance with www.northcarolinagasprices.com.

National, state debt replace…

As of Monday, Nov. 21, the United States’ nationwide debt was $31,290,564,016,412 in accordance with www.usdebtclock.org. That debt determine breaks all the way down to $93,846 in debt per particular person and $247,882 in debt per taxpayer. Also as of Monday, Nov. 21, North Carolina’s state debt was $52,231,293,660, which breaks all the way down to $5,033 in debt per citizen.

State unemployment and meals stamp replace…

As of Monday, Nov. 21, 186,250 state residents have been registered as unemployed, in accordance with www.usdebtclock.org, and 1,832,737 North Carolinians have been registered as meals stamp recipients out of a complete state inhabitants of 10,335,371.

We need to hear from you…

The AJT prides itself in funding in our group. We make an effort to cowl the whole lot we probably can, and wish the assistance of our readers to proceed to characterize what is occurring in Avery County. We need your submissions, however they should meet just a few standards to be thought of for publication:

  • Submissions might embody {a photograph} with everybody within the picture recognized.
  • All submissions should embody contact info, together with an lively cellphone quantity.
  • All submissions should embody primary info.

Submissions usually are not free promoting. No submission that straight advantages a non-public particular person or for-profit group, both monetarily or for political acquire, shall be printed. Some good examples of acceptable submissions are philanthropic occasions, spiritual occasions, group occasions and any occasions or occurrences of particular curiosity.

The AJT reserves the proper to edit submissions to suit publication tips and reserves the proper to not publish any submission for any purpose.

Senior Center Highlights…

Adult Coloring (12:30 p.m.)

CLOSED for Thanksgiving vacation

Open Pottery Room (9 a.m.)

Blood stress verify with Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge (10 a.m.)

Cardio Drumming (10 a.m.)

Sing-along karaoke (11 a.m.)

National Gingerbread Competition on the Grove Park Inn (should cease by the middle to join this journey) (8:30 a.m.)

Red Cross: Keep a watch on what you fry this Thanksgiving…

CHARLOTTE — Thanksgiving is among the nation’s prime days for cooking fires, and the American Red Cross encourages household cooks to observe easy steps to organize the vacation feast safely.

“Home fires are a real threat over the holidays and represent most of our disaster responses in the Greater Carolinas,” stated Allie Taylor, regional govt. “Help keep your family safe by always keeping an eye on what you fry, testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household.”

Follow these security tips and go to redcross.org/fire for extra info, together with an escape plan to follow with your loved ones. You may obtain the free Red Cross Emergency and First Aid apps by looking “American Red Cross” in app shops:

  • Never go away cooking meals unattended. If it’s essential to go away the kitchen, even for a brief time frame, flip off the range.
  • Move objects that may burn away from the range. This consists of dishtowels, baggage, packing containers, paper and curtains. Also maintain youngsters and pets at the least three ft away.
  • Avoid sporting unfastened clothes or dangling sleeves whereas cooking.
  • When frying meals, flip the burner off in the event you see smoke or if the grease begins to boil. Carefully take away the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet close by. Use it to cowl the pan if it catches on hearth. This will put out the fireplace. Leave the pan lined till it’s fully cooled.

If you can’t afford to buy smoke alarms or are bodily unable to put in one, the Red Cross might be able to assist. Contact your native Red Cross for assist.

Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with group companions has saved greater than 1,400 together with 14 within the Greater Carolinas Region by educating households about hearth security, serving to them create escape plans and putting in free smoke alarms in high-risk areas throughout the nation. Red Cross volunteers and companions have put in greater than 2,000 alarms and helped make 785 households safer thus far this 12 months. To study extra in regards to the marketing campaign and how one can get entangled, go to redcross.org/homefires.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and supplies consolation to victims of disasters; provides about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches expertise that save lives; distributes worldwide humanitarian assist; and helps veterans, navy members and their households. The Red Cross is a nonprofit group that is determined by volunteers and the generosity of the American public to ship its mission.

High Country Caregivers hosts Open House for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Dec. 8…

From 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 8, on the Avery County Center (Heritage Park), High Country Caregivers is internet hosting an Open House for households wherein grandparents are elevating their grandchildren, in addition to different relations who’re elevating their younger kin. Come meet different kinship households over dinner and study in regards to the many alternative applications High Country Caregivers supplies to each the adults and youth in kinship households.

All of HCC’s applications, together with assist teams, their Kinship Navigation Program, Eyes within the Wild nature journey program, area journeys, and The Learning Shack, a skilled-trade enterprise incubator program, are free to kinship households. The December 8 Open House can be free, however reservations are required so we will have an correct headcount for the dinner. Crossnore Presbyterian Church is generously offering the dinner of hen, mashed potatoes and inexperienced beans. All relations are welcome. There shall be enjoyable actions for kids and teenagers whereas workers and households already concerned in this system go to with the adults. Please name (828) 832-6366, ext. 3 to make your reservation.

Yellow Mountain Treasure Box pronounces new fall and winter hours…

YME Treasure Box pronounces its new hours for the autumn and winter season. Their schedule is as follows:

  • 1 to 4 p.m. Monday
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Tuesday and Wednesday
  • 9 a.m. to five p.m. Thursday and Friday
  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

Nexsen Ringers Community Handbell Choir efficiency of “Holiday Bells 2022” at Boone UMC Dec. 17…

Enjoy a day with the Nexsen Ringers, High Country’s premier Community Handbell Choir, as they current a enjoyable program full of a lot of your vacation favorites at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Boone United Methodist Church. You shall be amazed to listen to “Jingle Bell Rock,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Joy to the World” and others on this distinctive instrument.

This gifted group consists of musicians from all ages and walks of life. They come collectively to share their distinctive love of handbells throughout all musical genres with the High Country. Don’t miss the technical show of choreographed teamwork as a number of musicians carry out as one.

This is a free live performance and open to the general public. Donations are appreciated and can assist ongoing tools wants. The live performance shall be at Boone United Methodist Church, 471 New Market Blvd, straight behind the New Market Shopping Center, within the church Sanctuary.

Board appointments functions accessible with the Town of Beech Mountain…

The Town of Beech Mountain is looking for and accepting functions for board and committee members to serve on the assorted Boards and Committees on Beech Mountain. Citizens and stakeholder engagement is a vital element of our group’s success. These appointed our bodies oversee and advise the Town Council on a variety of points that have an effect on the welfare of our group. Boards additionally play an important function in selling environment friendly, efficient, and sincere authorities.

There are board vacancies and board time period expirations are staggered on the boards and committees, with some expirations December of 2022. For many, serving on a board is among the most rewarding experiences of their lives.

Lees-McRae rings in vacation season with 2022 tree lighting ceremony…

BANNER ELK ─ The Lees-McRae 2022 annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony shall be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28, in Swank Park on the faculty’s campus. Seasonal treats and festive tunes will set the temper because the Christmas tree is lit and the vacation season is formally begun.

Lees-McRae college students, college, workers, and members of the Banner Elk group are welcome to attend the ceremony and be a part of the faculty in celebrating the beginning of the vacation season. The occasion is free for all and open to the general public.

Avery County Historical Museum open to public, pronounces Christmas Open House Dec. 3 …

The Avery County Museum has just lately obtained a wanted facelift to the outside of the previous Avery County Jail the place historic artifacts from Avery County are housed. It has obtained a contemporary coat of paint and appears excellent.

The Avery County Museum shows medical, navy, and music memorabilia from devoted native docs, troopers and musicians. It has obtained many compliments from our guests. They are amazed at how a lot historical past is housed on this house.

The Avery County Historical Society shall be internet hosting a Christmas Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, on the Avery County Museum and Linville Depot. Each room shall be adorned utilizing Christmas ebook themes reminiscent of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” and many more. There will also be a reading of local author Gloria Houston’s “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.” A particular live performance of Christmas music shall be carried out at 3 p.m., with refreshments shall be served within the Depot.

The museum is a good place to search out Christmas presents. We have many native historical past books accessible. Stop by and discover that particular present. Our winter hours are 10 a.m. to three p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to three p.m. on Saturday, climate allowing.

For extra info chances are you’ll contact the museum at (828) 733-7111 or look us up on Facebook at Avery County Genealogy Society.

Teacher Prep Programs at Mayland Community College…

The Associate in Arts Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science Teacher Preparation (ASTP) applications at Mayland Community College are supposed for these eager about transferring to a four-year establishment to pursue a bachelor’s in schooling and need to train grades kindergarten by way of sixth. The AATP emphasizes humanities, social sciences, and inclusivity. The ASTP is geared towards these eager about instructing in a STEM area, with extra emphasis on math and science.

Mayland is providing this system’s 4 main schooling programs in a HyFlex format. The HyFlex format permits college students to take lessons synchronously (stay instruction) within the classroom, synchronously from residence or work, or asynchronously (on-line and could be accessed anytime). Morgan Burk, the coordinator of this system, believes this format permits instructors to raised attain college students as a result of they will study at their comfort. “These programs set students up for success in obtaining their bachelor’s degree and allow them to work as a substitute teacher while they finish up at a university,” she stated.

For extra details about these applications, please attain out to Morgan Burk, Teacher Preparation Program Coordinator at 766-1309 or mburk@mayland.edu.

Banks awarded Historical Book Award…

Since 1941, the North Carolina Society of Historians has been encouraging and giving recognition to people and organizations devoted to the preservation and perpetuation of North Carolina historical past. Each 12 months an Awards Ceremony celebrates excellence in a broad vary of classes, together with printed works and publishers, multimedia, museums, organizations, occasions, excellent general achievement, scholar historians (Elementary, Middle School, High School), and Historian of the Year.

The Historical Book Awards are given to encourage the writing and publication of:

  • History of a North Carolina County, establishment or particular person, together with well-crafted, in-depth research and histories of NC households.
  • Significant works of fiction based mostly upon precise historic occasions, locations and/or people in NC historical past.
  • In-depth historic accounts of the founding, progress and improvement of non secular actions, homes of worship, or spiritual establishments inside NC.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Tense Banks of the Linville Falls Community and the Avery County Historical Society Board, was awarded the Historical Book Award for her just lately launched, “The Story of Linville Falls.” The 2022 awards have been offered on the historic North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. On show within the Transportation Museum is sort of each sort of car possible from bygone eras, together with a mannequin of the Wright Brothers’ “First in Flight” airplane.

Miss Fraser Fir Pageant 2022…

The inaugural Miss Fraser Fir Pageant shall be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at Williams Academy in Crossnore. There is a chance for girls of all age teams to take part within the pageant. There is a pageant entry price of $25 due on November 25, and anybody eager about taking part ought to fill out the shape at https://form.jotform.com/222868360415155.

Riverwalk Quilt Guild raffle…

Riverwalk Quilt Guild is holding a raffle for a hand-crafted quilt. The winner shall be introduced December 3. The cash from the raffle permits the group to purchase material for quilts for veterans, meals on wheels placemats, pillowcases for Avery County nursing houses and extra. Tickets are $1 every or 25 for $20. For questions or to buy tickets, name Tiffany Melchers at (515) 494-9963 or Cindy Booth at (828) 429-0690.

Toe River Project Access presents assist for well being wants …

Toe River Project Access helps people with out medical insurance entry main and specialty care, prescription drugs, behavioral well being companies, and group sources that assist them obtain and keep good well being. TRPA serves residents of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties who wouldn’t have medical insurance, are between 18 and 64 years previous, and have incomes beneath 200% of federal poverty tips.

TRPA presents complete assist and help with our individuals’ bodily, behavioral, and social well being together with:

  • Affordable medical insurance by way of the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Access to main and specialty care companies, no matter potential to pay
  • Assistance navigating the healthcare system and group sources
  • Prescription Medication Assistance
  • Low-cost choices for imaginative and prescient and dental companies
  • Help making use of for monetary help for excellent medical payments

To schedule an enrollment appointment or for extra info, name (828) 606-6428, Follow us on Facebook or click on to www.carereachnc.org.

Attorney General Josh Stein pronounces $3.1 billion settlement with Walmart over opioid epidemic allegations…

RALEIGH — NC Attorney General Josh Stein introduced this week that he has reached a settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the corporate contributed to the opioid habit disaster by failing to appropriately oversee the shelling out of opioids at its shops. The settlement will present greater than $3 billion nationally and would require vital enhancements in how Walmart’s pharmacies deal with opioids. State attorneys common on the manager committee, attorneys representing native governments, and Walmart have agreed to this settlement, and it’s now being despatched to different states for assessment and approval.

“Too many families have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic, and too many people have lost years of their lives to addiction,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My fellow attorneys general and I are holding accountable the companies that created and fueled this crisis. As a result of our efforts, working alongside lawyers representing cities and counties, Walmart is committing to pay $3.1 billion and to improve the way it does business. These meaningful resources will help people suffering from opioid addiction get the treatment and recovery services they need, and the changes to the way pharmacies operate will ensure that this never happens again. This deal with Walmart adds to the important progress we’ve already achieved through our settlements with the opioid manufacturers and distributors – and we’re not done yet.”

The settlement will include:

  • $3.1 billion to be divided by states that sign on, local governments, and tribes, which must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder.
  • Broad, court-ordered requirements, including robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

The parties are optimistic that the settlement will gain support of the required 43 states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the deal during the first quarter of 2023. Further details about how the money will be distributed will be forthcoming. Last month, states confirmed that promising negotiations were also underway with Walgreens and CVS. The parties continue their efforts to achieve those agreements.

Attorneys General from North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas have served as the lead negotiators on this deal.

EDC hosts apprenticeship workshop…

Avery County Economic Development Commission held an apprenticeship workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Avery County Cooperative Extension building. The workshop was centered around what options employers have for apprenticeships, and how those apprenticeships can benefit both the employer and the apprentice.

For those who weren’t able to attend, or for those who want to rewatch it, a video of the entire workshop can be found on the Avery County Cooperative Extension’s website, or at https://youtu.be/gFqWIRIChGA.

Brenda Kay’s Crafts collecting gifts for kids…

Be important in the life of a sick child. Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn., is in dire need of Christmas gifts for their young patients ranging in age from birth to 18 years, including from Avery County.

Brenda Kay’s Crafts is again collecting gifts for these youngsters now through December 15. Please bring your unwrapped gifts to the truck which is parked beside Roses Express in Newland, as well as at the following collection sites:

  • Brenda Kay’s Crafts (430 Beech St., beside Newland Pool)
  • Three Nails Hardware in Newland
  • Radio Shack of Newland
  • Talk of the Town Beauty Shop in Roan Mountain, Tenn.

Cash donations to purchase gifts are also being accepted. Gifts will be delivered on December 16. For more information, contact Kenny Melton at (828) 260-6655 or Brenda Melton at (828) 733-1196 and/or (828) 260-6588.

Statewide winter trout stockings provide more angling opportunities…

RALEIGH – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is providing seasonal angling opportunities by stocking surplus trout in 40 small impoundments across central and western North Carolina between Nov. 30 and Dec. 22. Staff will stock more than 60,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout, all 10 inches or longer.

Anglers can harvest up to seven trout per day in the impoundments — with no bait restrictions and no minimum size limits. Requirements include a fishing license, which can be purchased online, or by calling 1-888-248-6834, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visiting a local Wildlife Service Agent.

Stockings will occur in Alexander, Ashe, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caswell, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, Orange, Polk, Richmond, Rowan, Surry, Transylvania, Vance, Wake and Watauga counties. The stocking schedule is available on the agency’s website, and includes fishery locations and stocking dates. Dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances or weather events, so check the website often for the most up-to-date information.

For more information on trout fishing in North Carolina, visit the Wildlife Commission’s trout fishing webpage.

American Red Cross reminds residents on how to heat your home safely…

CHARLOTTE — Temperatures are starting to dip and people are turning their heat on if they live in parts of the country that experience colder weather. The American Red Cross urges families to be safe heating their homes to help prevent home fires, which typically rise during colder months.

A Red Cross survey showed that more than half of us have used a space heater — which is involved in most fatal home heating fires. It’s critical to keep at least three feet of space around all heating equipment, and never leave space heaters unattended. Follow these additional tips:

  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes. And keep children and pets away from the heater.
  • Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets — never an extension cord. Turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave a fire burning in the fireplaces unattended. Make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home. Use a glass or metal fire screen to keep embers in the fireplace.
  • Have furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary.

To help protect your family year-round, test your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.

Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family.

You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores.

Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, with the help of community partners, has saved at least 1,414 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing more than 2.6 million free smoke alarms in high-risk homes across the country.

Rotary Pecan Sale under way…

Avery County Rotary Club is preparing for its annual pecan sale in the area. Members are selling pecans in both plain and chocolate-covered varieties, with a 16 oz. bag of plain pecans at a cost of $14/bag and a 12 oz. bag of chocolate-covered pecans for $14/bag, and two bags or more can be purchased for $12/bag. For more information, see an Avery County Rotarian.

Crisis Intervention Energy Program ongoing…

The Crisis Intervention Energy Program is going on now. If you are out or nearly out of heating fuel, or if you have a delinquent notice on your electric bill, come by Avery County Department of Social Services at 175 Linville St., Newland, NC 28657 and pick up an application, or call (828) 733-8230 to apply. Someone in your home must have a health-related condition that could be LIFE THREATENING without heat.

Farmland preservation grants available through NCDA&CS…

RALEIGH – County governments and nonprofit groups may now apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for farmland preservation projects. Applicants have until Dec. 19 to apply.

“The latest study from the American Farmland Trust projects North Carolina losing more than a million acres of agricultural land over the next 20 years,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “These Farmland Preservation grants provide options for families and are critical in saving family farms across our state.”

Grants are available for agricultural conservation easements on working lands used for agricultural production; to support public-private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; and for the development of agricultural plans.

Landowners interested in preserving their farms through conservation easements must work with county governments or land trusts to apply for grant funds. If awarded a grant in which the application requests funds for the conservation easement purchase value, landowners will be compensated for the purchase of the development rights.

Grant applications and guidelines are available online at www.ncadfp.org/Cycle16.htm. For more information, call the Farmland Preservation office at (919) 707-3074.

Wildlife in North Carolina 2022-23 Photo Competition announced; amateur and professional photographers encouraged to submit entries…

RALEIGH – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is now accepting entries to its 18th annual Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition. The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, except for employees of the Wildlife Commission, and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses). Entries will be accepted now through Jan. 31, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Adult competition entrants must be current magazine subscribers. Photographers in the two youth categories (13-17 years old and 12 and under) may enter without a subscription. Only digital entries in JPEG format and no larger than 2 MB will be considered — no slides, negatives or prints will be accepted. Photographs must have been taken in North Carolina on Sept. 15, 2018, or later.

Entrants may submit a maximum of two photos per category. The competition categories are:

  • Animal Behavior
  • Birds
  • Invertebrates
  • Mammals
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Wild Landscapes
  • Wild Plants and Fungi
  • Youth Photographer, 13-17: Any of the above subjects, shot bychildren ages 13-17.
  • Youth Photographer, 12 and under: Any of the above subjects, shot by children 12 and younger.

Photos of captive native animals are allowed, but photos of animals that are both captive and non-native to North Carolina will not be accepted. No pets or domestic animals will be accepted, except animals participating with people in an outdoor activity, such as hunting dogs or horses with riders.

​Entries will be judged by a panel comprised of staff from the Wildlife Commission and professional wildlife photographers. The grand prize winner’s photo will be published on the cover of the July/August 2023 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina, and they will receive a cash prize of $200. Winners will also receive a print of their winning entry from JW Image Company, and cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the first, second and third place photographers in each category.

Wildlife in North Carolina is published bimonthly by the Wildlife Commission in both print and electronic formats. Subscribers to the magazine enjoy exceptional color photography and articles on hunting, fishing, natural areas, wildlife research and the state’s environment in every issue. Annual subscriptions to the printed version of the magazine are $12, or $30 for three years. A digital subscription is $10; a combination digital/print subscription is $15.

MANNA FoodBank next Community Market Dec. 8…

Manna FoodBank will host its next Community Market in Avery County from 11:30 a.m. until the food runs out on December 8, at the Avery Parks and Recreation’s Rock Gym, located at 185 Shady St. in Newland.

Stop by for grocery staples, produce, and other perishable items, with a touch-free, drive-thru pickup. For more information, call Tammy Woodie at (828) 733-6006 or email tammywoodie@averyschools.net, or call Robbie Willis at (828) 733-8266 or Dick Larson at (828) 260-5389.

MANNA FoodBank is committed to providing food with hope and dignity to any community member struggling to afford groceries. For more information, visit mannafoodbank.org or call MANNA’s help line at (800) 820-1109.

Mandatory CWD testing starts this month in surveillance areas…

RALEIGH – In response to detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in North Carolina’s deer herd, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is mandating CWD testing in both the Primary and Secondary CWD Surveillance Areas this hunting season. Mandatory testing dates vary by Surveillance Area, and testing sites will be widespread across Alleghany, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, all of which fall entirely or partially within the Surveillance Areas.

If you harvest a deer in the CWD Primary or Secondary Surveillance Area during the following dates, you must submit a sample for CWD testing:

  • Primary Surveillance Area: Nov. 5 to Jan. 2, 2023.
  • Secondary Surveillance Area: Nov. 5 to 27.

There are three ways to get your deer tested:

  • Testing Drop-off Stations (freezers)
  • Wildlife Commission Staffed Check Stations
  • Meat processors & taxidermists registered as Cervid Health Cooperators with the agency

Testing locations across the state are searchable via an interactive map at ncwildlife.org/CWD. If you harvest a deer outside of the Surveillance Areas, or the mandatory dates, testing is voluntary, but highly encouraged.

In addition to mandatory testing, hunters who harvest deer in the Surveillance Areas must follow special regulations outlined on the agency’s CWD webpage and in the 2022-23 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting & Trapping Regulations Digest.

“The biggest message we want to stress to hunters who successfully harvest a deer in the Surveillance Areas is, Don’t Give CWD a Ride,” said Moriah Boggess, the Wildlife Commission’s deer biologist. “The disease is highly transmissible and spreads by the saliva, urine and feces of infected deer, and it can be spread by people moving dead deer or carcass parts to new areas. Transporting deer carcasses out of either Surveillance Area is strictly prohibited, with few exceptions.”

Proper disposal of deer carcasses is also essential. Since deer in the early stages of CWD infection may appear healthy, it is imperative to take precautions when disposing of all deer carcasses. Responsible disposal methods include:

  • Bury the deer remains where you harvest the animal when possible.
  • Double bag deer remains for disposal at the closest landfill.
  • Leave the deer remains on the ground where the animal was harvested.

“With increased surveillance efforts and the continued help of hunters and cooperators, we are confident that together we can address the threat of CWD to our deer herd,” said Boggess.

Deer season dates and hunting regulations are available at ncwildlife.org.

Eighth annual WYN Festival of Trees …

HIGH COUNTRY — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with more than 100 trees and wreaths displayed across the High Country as part of the Western Youth Network (WYN) annual Festival of Trees.

The trees are decorated by designers, retailers, High Country businesses and individuals — and displayed at public locations in West Jefferson, Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and the Linville area. Decorated trees, many with extra gifts and gift certificates, will be sold on an online auction which opened on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

A selection of festive holiday wreaths, most of which will be on display at the Watauga County Recreation Center, will be added to the auction on Nov. 29. The auction runs through 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. The Festival of Trees is presented by the Leslie Eason Real Estate Team with Keller Williams. Key events of the festival include:

This is the eighth year for the festival, which raises funds for WYN (Western Youth Network), a nonprofit agency that provides programs for children and adolescents in order to build a better future and stronger community for the High Country.

“Displaying trees in the community gives us the opportunity to introduce more people to the mission of WYN,” said Jennifer Warren, executive director of WYN.

Warren said she has seen the needs of area youth increase in the past couple of years. The annual Festival of Trees fundraiser provides necessary funds for helping children, plus educates the community about ways to support WYN — including opportunities to volunteer as mentors to the children.

“It’s a great way to spread holiday cheer,” Warren added. “The trees are always beautiful and make people smile.”

Volunteer opportunity on Blue Ridge Parkway…

Do you love being outdoors on the trails and overlooks of the Blue Ridge Parkway? Volunteers do a great deal of maintaining them and more. Would you like to learn more about how to share your time volunteering? The official group of Parkway volunteers work closely with Park staff in a program called Volunteers in Parks (VIP). Contact us for more information at viphighcountryvolunteers@gmail.com.

Free dog house program from Avery County Animal Support…

Avery County Animal Support provides free dog houses for those who need an upgrade. The program is judgment-free and is aimed at improving living conditions for animals in Avery County. Avery County Animal Support can also provide collars, as dogs wandering during storms or cold weather are often mistakenly assumed to be lost or strays. There is a brief screening process to ensure that the houses go to those with the most need for an upgrade first.

Delta Dental Foundation seeks applications for 2023 grants through Smiles for Kids Grant program…

RALEIGH – The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) is seeking applications from community-based oral health nonprofit programs and organizations in North Carolina for its 2023 Smiles for Kids grants program.

This year, DDF will award up to $130,000 to organizations across the state that specifically focus on children’s oral health, particularly among populations who are underserved. This is a 50% increase in giving from last year and the largest year of giving to date!

“Tooth decay is the most common, chronic childhood disease, and children in North Carolina are three times more likely to miss school due to oral health-related issues,” said Curt Ladig, chief executive officer of Delta Dental of North Carolina. “This year, we are delighted that our level of available funding has grown so that we might help more children who are lacking in resources receive better access to dental care and oral health education.” Over the last 11 years, the Foundation has received applications from and granted awards to organizations representing 40% of the counties in North Carolina. “I would like to see the Smiles for Kids program grow to impact oral health initiatives in all 100 counties in the state,” said Ladig.

Upon submission, the Delta Dental Foundation will evaluate each application based on factors such as the program’s focus on children, potential value to the community, measurable results and the level of local community support it attracts.

Firearm safety reminders for hunting seasons…

RALEIGH – It’s a busy time of year for the North Carolina hunting community. Blackpowder and gun deer hunting seasons begin to open this month, as well as duck, bear, small game and other hunting seasons. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home from the Hunt campaign reminds hunters of firearm safety tips.

“Always positively identify your target before pulling the trigger,” said Carissa Daniels, engagement & education manager at the Wildlife Commission. “Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to let anticipation and excitement cloud your judgment. Collect yourself and be aware of your surroundings. To ensure the safest shot, make sure there are no houses, vehicles, power lines, livestock or people in front of or behind your target.”

Additional important rules of firearm safety are:

  • Always point a firearm in a safe direction.
  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Never assume a firearm is unloaded.
  • Use binoculars, rather than a rifle scope, to identify the target.
  • Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target­, as well as what’s in front of and behind it.

Any person hunting bear, feral swine, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with the use of firearms must wear a cap or hat made of hunter orange material or an outer garment of hunter orange visible from all sides. Anyone hunting deer during a deer firearm season, regard­less of weapon, must wear hunter orange visible from all sides. This includes archery hunters that hunt on Sunday during the deer firearm season. This requirement does not apply to a landholder, his or her spouse and children if they are hunting on the landholder’s property.

Non-hunters using game lands, such as hikers and birders, are also encouraged to wear blaze orange so they can easily be seen by hunters and other users.

For more information about general hunting regulations, hunting seasons, hunting licenses, Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permits and the Hunter Education Program, go to ncwildlife.org or call (888) 248-6834.

Beacon Center of Spruce Pine opening as warming station this winter, seeks volunteers…

SPRUCE PINE — Spruce Pine United Methodist Church is opening a warming station, The Beacon Center of Spruce Pine, in its fellowship hall this winter.

There are those in our community for whom warmth in the winter months is a real problem. It may be a family that has had their electricity cut off or can’t afford enough home heating oil or gas. It may be an isolated elderly person whose house lacks sufficient insulation to keep warm.

What is a Warming Station?

A warming station is a temporary facility that operates when extreme cold weather creates dangerously inclement conditions and normal coping mechanisms are ineffective or unavailable. Incidences of extreme temperature conditions are designated “Code Purple.” The purpose of the Beacon Center of Spruce Pine is to meet this critical need in the community thereby preventing death and injury due to exposure to the elements.

Warming stations are not homeless shelters. They are open for a limited number of hours for a limited number of days and provide limited services. Stations are not day care for children, the elderly or others who cannot care for themselves. It is assumed that individuals who use the station can return to their homes when the station is closed.

When the overnight temperature is forecast to be consistently below 30° Fahrenheit, the decision will be made to open the Beacon Center of Spruce Pine. The center will operate overnight from 6 p.m. in the evening to 8 a.m. the following morning. It will inform local law enforcement and emergency management that it will be open, and make announcements on local radio stations, newspapers and social media. The Beacon Center of Spruce Pine will also place a purple banner at its location on Hwy. 226 when it is open.

There will be hosts present at the center to assist our neighbors in need at the warming station. It will provide partitioned sleeping areas in the church Fellowship Hall equipped with cots and single-use bedding for guests’ comfort. Meals will not be served.

The Beacon Center of Spruce Pine is seeking volunteers to serve as hosts to stay at the shelter during emergencies. There will be training that covers everything volunteers need to know in order to serve the needs of guests seeking shelter at the center. All volunteers are subject to a background check. For more information or to volunteer please contact the Beacon Center of Spruce Pine at (828) 675-8511 or email beaconcenterofsprucepine@gmail.com.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you believe, or what you don’t believe – you are welcome. You are among friends, and we want you to feel at home with us.

Wildlife Commission restricts use of attractants for deer hunting in CWD areas …

RALEIGH – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted at its business meeting on August 18 to adopt an emergency amendment to restrict the use of some natural deer attractants/scents in the Primary and Secondary Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Areas.

The Wildlife Commission’s emergency rule builds off the General Assembly’s Session Law 2021-176 that took effect on Dec. 1, 2021, which defines the attractants/scents that may be used while hunting statewide. The session law stipulates that possession or use of substances containing a cervid excretion, including feces, urine, blood, gland oil, or other bodily fluid for the purposes of taking or attempting to take, attract or scout wildlife are prohibited. However, the following substances may be used:

  • Synthetic products that are labeled as such.
  • Products containing natural substances collected by a hunter from a cervid legally harvested in North Carolina.
  • Natural deer urine and other substances collected from a facility in North Carolina with a valid Farmed Cervid License from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and identified/labeled as such.
  • Products labeled as participating in the Responsible Hunting Scent Association’s Deer Protection Program.

The emergency amendment, applicable only to the CWD Surveillance Areas, prohibits possession and use of any excretion collected by a hunter from a harvested deer. This is in addition to regulations already established, restricting the transport of deer carcasses and carcass parts from the CWD Surveillance Areas. The intent of these rules is to help the agency determine the extent of CWD and reduce the risk that CWD prions are moved and distributed within and outside of the Surveillance Areas.

What this means for hunters: Statewide, outside of CWD Surveillance Areas, hunters can continue using deer attractants/scents if they are synthetic, collected from a legally harvested deer within North Carolina, contain excretions from North Carolina facilities with a valid Farmed Cervid License from the NCDA&CS and are labeled as such, or are products labeled as participating in the Responsible Hunting Scent Association’s Deer Protection Program. Hunters hunting within the CWD Surveillance Areas may NOT use or possess urine or other substances collected from deer harvested within North Carolina for hunting.

For more information on Chronic Wasting Disease and related regulations, visit the KNOW CWD webpage, ncwildlife.org/CWD.

Kiwanis Club meeting on Dec. 6…

The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk will meet at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Miller Commons at Lees-McRae College. Justin Carver, principal of Banner Elk Elementary, and Emily Dellinger, principal of Freedom Trail Elementary, will be the guest speakers. They plan to talk about the Ron Clark Academy House System that they have implemented at their schools this year. Guests and those interested in joining Kiwanis are always welcome for a $10 lunch fee.

NCDHHS establishing community access points to provide free at-home COVID tests…

RALEIGH — NCDHHS is establishing Community Access Points in all 100 counties where North Carolinians can find free and easy at-home tests, in an effort to meet people where they are, with the tools they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Community organizations interested in becoming a Community Access Point can register online. Information on where to find at-home tests is available at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/PickUpTests. Information on how and where to find all testing locations in North Carolina is available at: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTests.

Home tests are now widely available, unlike in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their ease has made them the test of choice. At-home testing access through community distribution sites across the state is key to NCDHHS’ Moving Forward Together strategy.

In addition, NCDHHS remains prepared to support a surge in testing demand in all 100 counties if needed. The department will continue to evaluate and react to feedback and trends in COVID-19 spread and will continue to adapt as needs change.

Staying up to date on vaccination and boosters offers the best protection against COVID-19 for anyone 6 months of age and older. Find a vaccine location near you at MySpot.nc.gov or by calling (888) 675-4567.

Moderna COVID-19 booster shots available in Avery County…

COVID-19 Moderna boosters are available for Avery County residents if:

  • Your second/final vaccine dose was more than six months ago, and
  • You are 65 or older, or
  • You live or work in a nursing home or long-term care residential facility, or
  • You have a medical condition that puts you at high risk for severe illness (for example, obesity, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes), or
  • You work in a high-risk profession, or
  • You live or work in a place where many people live together.

Appointments may be made 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily by calling the Avery County COVID line (828) 733-8273. Please bring your insurance and vaccine cards if available. Wear appropriate clothing for easy access to the upper arm. Masks are recommended.

Booster vaccinations are also available at the following locations:

  • The Baker Center (Moderna) (call (828) 737-7711 for appt.)
  • Avery Pharmacy (Moderna) (click to boonedrug.com for appt.)
  • Crossnore Drug (Moderna) (click to boonedrug.com for appt.)
  • Premier Pharmacy (Moderna) (call (828) 733-0061 for appt.)
  • High Country Community Care (Moderna and J&J) (call (828) 737-0221 for appt.)
  • CVS (Pfizer) (click to CVS.com for appt.)
  • Walgreens (Moderna) (click to walgreens.com for appt.)

COVID at-home testing opportunities…

Avery County and the Avery County Health Department, with recommendations from state officials, announce the use of “home tests” for COVID 19.

The public is encouraged to use home test kits when they have symptoms of COVID 19. The public is encouraged to pick up home tests at local pharmacies and stores. Test kits will be available at several locations as soon as they are received by the county. We will share those locations as soon as the tests are distributed. Please visit www.averycountync.gov or call the COVID line at (828) 733-8273 for a recorded message for more information.

The Baker Clinic at Cannon Hospital still has first-dose COVID vaccines available for anyone age 16 and up. Appointments are necessary. The Health Department (545 Schultz Circle, Newland) will also offer vaccines Monday through Friday. Call (828) 733-8273 to schedule an appointment. The Baker Center at Cannon Hospital (436 Hospital Drive, Suite 230, Linville) will offer vaccines from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. Call (828) 737-7711 to schedule an appointment.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each week at Baker Center…

“If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop drinking, that’s our business.” Alcoholics Anonymous hosts meetings at 7 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday evening at the Oak Room of the Baker Center, adjacent to Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville.

Banner Elk Book Exchange open, adds books to its library …

Banner Elk Book Exchange is open year round, operating with the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Masks are not required, but you may wear one if you prefer.

Banner Elk Book Exchange is a community-based, volunteer-run book exchange for Banner Elk and Avery County, operating on a “carry a ebook, take a ebook” policy. Bring a book, take a book! There is no check-out or return of books. Simply bring a book or books and exchange them for the same number of different books. No books to trade-in? In lieu of a book to exchange, you may make a small donation to take a book home.

The Book Exchange is more than just a library! We offer the following programs to the community:

  • Book Discussion Groups
  • BE Readers (Children’s book discussion)
  • Play & Learn Sessions
  • Science/Nature Programs for Children
  • Music Jams

Many people have contributed the books in the Book Exchange that fill our shelves, and a year of being sequestered at home will probably produce an abundance of book donations. We are grateful for the donations that allow others to enjoy reading, but please consider these guidelines for book donations:

  • We cannot accept textbooks, reference books (dictionaries, thesaurus, etc.), outdated magazines or self-help books, or books that are damaged, mildewed, smelling of smoke, or otherwise unable to be placed on our shelves.
  • We accept paperbacks in good condition.
  • We keep the larger, high-quality ones on the shelves of the Book Exchange, and share those we cannot use with organizations like the V.A. hospital in Asheville. Some books also are sent to the correctional facility in Spruce Pine.

When in doubt, ask yourself if you would like to take home the books you are donating. Please do not be offended if we cannot accept your books – we are not a repository for everything! Outdated books and magazines, or those in poor condition can be taken to the recycling center on Norwood Hollow Road at the base of Sugar Mountain or on Hwy. 194 at the Three Lane between Elk Park and Newland.

Thanks to the generous funding by High Country Charitable Foundation, the Banner Elk Book Exchange has purchased more than 120 new books for its collection. These were ordered to add to the Exchange’s children and young adult collections, which always need extra books. Our focus was on Caldecott and Newberry Award winners for our young readers — please come and “exchange” some books with us!

We have also added to our regional collection – books written by regional authors or about regional subjects. If you have borrowed any of our regional titles with the white “Please return” labels on the front, please return them so others can also enjoy them. These are the only books we ask that you bring back once you’ve finished reading them, as they are in high demand. We have moved most of our regional books to a larger bookcase in the large backroom. Look for some new favorites there.

We appreciate your consideration, cooperation and generosity!

Mayland high school equivalency diploma classes return to campuses…

SPRUCE PINE — Mayland Community College is holding classes in-person and online to help students earn a high school equivalency diploma. Mayland Community College offers preparation classes for the GED and HiSET tests, and also offers Adult High School classes.

Mayland Community College does not charge tuition for the classes. However, a commitment of at least 8 hours a week is necessary to be successful. Although there are no fees associated with attending the classes, there may be a small fee for taking the equivalency tests.

Classes are offered at all three campuses in Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties. Evening classes are available at the Mitchell Campus, located in Spruce Pine. Online classes require dependable access to the internet and the use of a computer in a quiet setting.

Riverwalk Quilt Guild holds monthly meetings…

Riverwalk Quilt Guild in Newland meets the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 6 p.m. Our meeting location is at Newland Christian Church, located at 2800 Millers Gap Hwy./Hwy. 194 in Newland. For more information call BJ Mickel-Close at (828) 260-3204.

The group’s mission is to preserve our mountain heritage of quilting, to be a source of education and inspiration for quilters, to encourage excellence in quilting and related arts, to be of service to the community, and to provide fellowship to people with a common interest.

Local students invited to join JAM program…

Avery students are invited to join the Avery Junior Appalachian Musicians program. The program accommodates musicians at all levels. If you’re an accomplished player or wishing to learn or improve your skills this program is for you! One of our initial goals is to form a JAM band. We’ll help guide you to reach the playing level you will enjoy. For more information, contact Bobby Willard, Extension Agent with 4-H Youth Development at (828) 733-8270, or bobbie_willard@ncsu.edu.

Caregiver Haven at Avery Senior Center…

Caregiver Haven is a project of the Avery County Senior Center that seeks to give family caregivers of dementia and memory loss loved ones a break by offering respite care every Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Your loved one will be attended by our caring staff and stimulated with a variety of activities, programs and games. Often we take clients on field trips and out to lunch. Lunch and snacks are provided as part of the program.

Currently there is space available for new clients. We would love to help you in your caregiving journey. While we do encourage cost sharing through donation, no one is turned away because of not making cost sharing donations. Also, transportation through Avery County Transportation can be arranged at little to no cost. If this is a program you are interested in please contact the Avery County Senior Center at (828) 733-8220.

This program is currently operating. Let us assist you in your caregiving journey.

Banner Elk Artists Gallery open…

BE Artists Gallery is located in the Historic Banner Elk School in downtown Banner Elk. The Gallery’s summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. This cooperative of artists features work from more than 30 local artists and craftspeople, and is a featured gallery on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails (www.blueridgeheritage.com/blue-ridge-craft-trails/). For BE Artists Gallery event listings and updates, click to BEartistsgallery.com.

Get outdoor cats fixed and vaccinated at no cost…

If you have strays in your neighborhood, you can get trap-fix-release them for free through a grant with the Avery Humane Society. Call (828) 733-2333 for more information. Offer is valid for residents of Avery County with a valid photo ID.

Anne Ministries support groups available…

Anne Ministries hosts a pregnancy and infant loss support group, offering a safe place to connect with others who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or an infant, every third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, Anne Ministries also offers a new and expectant mothers support group, which takes place the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. There is also a post-abortion support group available for those who are suffering and seek hope and healing. Time and date for that meeting varies, so please contact the ministry for more information.

All three groups meet at 305 West Mitchell Street in Newland, and child care is provided for both groups’ weekly meetings. For more information, call (828) 742-1973 or contact Chastity at (919) 499-3083.

Each Monday at 7 p.m., Heaton Christian Church, located at 221 Curtis Creek Road, offers help for anyone struggling with addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), or other undesirable habits or compulsions, to overcome their battles and find their relationship with Jesus Christ.

No one will be judged. This is a ministry of loving, caring people, some who have experienced the same struggles. Family and friends of those needing help are encouraged to participate and support their efforts. For more information, call Butch or Courtney at (828) 528-5476.

Mentors needed for Avery kids and youth…

Western Youth Network, in partnership with Williams YMCA, is accepting applications for mentors for Avery County youth ages six to 17, who are in need of a positive role model in their lives. Mentors serve a unique role in the life of a child that is different from that of a parent, teacher or friend. After spending time with a mentor (an average of two hours per week for one year), young people show improvements in their academic performance, school attendance and behaviors. Most of all, they know someone cares about them.

Mentoring opportunities are also available through the program’s lunch buddy program at local elementary schools. For more information, or to fill out an application, call or email Avery Mentoring Program Manager Haley McKinney at (828) 387-7124 or mckinneyh@westernyouthnetwork.org or Williams YMCA Community Outreach Director Sheila Bauer at (828) 737-5500 or sheilab@ymcaavery.org.

Avery County Volunteer Communications Club…

Avery County Volunteer Communications Club (AC4VC) holds meetings on the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 6 p.m., at Linville Land Harbor Mountain View Activity Center (22 Twin Tree Lane, Newland). Any and all who are interested in Amateur Radio are welcome to attend. There will be a general meeting and training. Following training, the group will be conducting testing of all three types of Amateur Radio licenses. For more information, contact Jay Glen, N4HOP and ACVC Club President, at (828) 305-9851, or email AC4VC.Club@gmail.com.

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