NEWS & SPORTS

January 28, 2022

NC Tech Paths launches in Wilkes County to Grow Tech Jobs for the Northwest Region

  NC Tech Paths launches in Wilkes County to Grow Tech Jobs for the Northwest Region WILKESBORO, N.C. – NC Tech Paths was officially unveiled to the community on January 27, 2022, in Wilkes County. NC Tech Paths is a new nonprofit serving Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties and is devoted to connecting residents of Northwest North Carolina with high-growth jobs in technology. NC Tech Paths is partnering with companies across North Carolina to develop programs that allow individuals to live, train, and remain in their home counties while working in the digital economy and breathing life into the region’s beautiful downtowns. In this digital age, every company needs technology employees.  Right now, there are over 46,000 open tech jobs in North Carolina, ranging from IT Support and Network Management to Cybersecurity and Software Development. As the numbers continue to grow, companies are increasingly looking to hire remote workers – that is, employees who work where they live, instead of where the company maintains its home office. The northwest region of North Carolina – especially Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties – are well-positioned for remote work with gig-capable fiberoptic internet covering around 90% of the region thanks to rural utility cooperatives such as SkyLine Membership Corp., Wilkes Communications, and Blue Ridge Energy. NC Tech Paths is helping the region leverage this asset by cultivating a rural tech ecosystem. The tech ecosystem includes employer partners willing to hire specialized tech talent prepared by […]
January 27, 2022

Community Health Report Released for Alleghany County

Community Health Report Released for Alleghany County [Sparta, NC] – AppHealthCare, in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has released the Community Health Report for Alleghany County. This report identifies public health priorities and provides a foundation for work that will take place in the following years. The Community Health Report is published every three years in partnership with Alleghany Health, the Alleghany Wellness Coalition, Appalachian District Board of Health and AppHealthCare, including many other partnerships, individuals and agencies. The Community Health Report follows an assessment process involving the community to identify and analyze community health needs and assets, prioritize those needs and then implement a plan to address significant unmet needs. The Community Health Report provides results from a community input opinion survey and review of community data which includes income, poverty, employment, community safety, housing, behavioral health and more. The information is used to guide the work of local health departments and community partnerships to address community concerns and monitor progress toward projected goals. The health priorities below highlight key areas that community coalitions within Alleghany County will focus on and work to improve from 2020-2023: 1. Substance Use and Misuse Prevention – Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; including misuse or abuse of prescription drugs and use of e-cigarettes or other devices for nicotine delivery 2. Mental/Behavioral Health – Depression, anxiety, emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, and support/intervention for those with mental illness 3. Family and Social Supports – […]
January 27, 2022

Community Health Report Released for Watauga County

  Community Health Report Released for Watauga County [Boone, NC] – AppHealthCare, in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has released the Community Health Report for Watauga County. This report identifies public health priorities and provides a foundation for work that will take place in the following years. The Community Health Report is published every three years in partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative, Appalachian District Board of Health and AppHealthCare, including many other partnerships, individuals and agencies. The Community Health Report follows an assessment process involving the community to identify and analyze community health needs and assets, prioritize those needs and then implement a plan to address significant unmet needs. The Community Health Report provides results from a community input opinion survey and review of community data which includes income, poverty, employment, community safety, housing, behavioral health and more. The information is used to guide the work of local health departments and community partnerships to address community concerns and monitor progress toward projected goals. The health priorities below highlight key areas that community coalitions within Watauga County will focus on and work to improve from 2020-2023: 1. Mental/Behavioral Health – Depression, anxiety, emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, and support/intervention for those with mental illness 2. Housing – Promote healthy and safe home environments 3. Family and Social Supports – Increased community and social supports in places where people live, learn, work, play and pray. […]
January 27, 2022

Community Health Report Released for Ashe County

Community Health Report Released for Ashe County [Jefferson, NC] – AppHealthCare, in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has released the Community Health Report for Ashe County. This report identifies public health priorities and provides a foundation for work that will take place in the following years. The Community Health Report is published every three years in partnership with Ashe Memorial Hospital, the Ashe Health Alliance, Appalachian District Board of Health and AppHealthCare, including many other partnerships, individuals and agencies. The Community Health Report follows an assessment process involving the community to identify and analyze community health needs and assets, prioritize those needs and then implement a plan to address significant unmet needs. The Community Health Report provides results from a community input opinion survey and review of community data which includes income, poverty, employment, community safety, housing, behavioral health and more. The information is used to guide the work of local health departments and community partnerships to address community concerns and monitor progress toward projected goals. The health priorities below highlight key areas that community coalitions within Ashe County will focus on and work to improve from 2020-2023: 1. Housing – Promote healthy and safe home environments 2. Mental/Behavioral Health – Depression, anxiety, emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, and support/intervention for those with mental illness 3. Substance Use and Misuse Prevention – Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; including misuse or abuse of prescription drugs and use of e-cigarettes or other […]
January 26, 2022

WCC Board of Trustees Meeting on January 13

  WCC Board of Trustees met on January 13   Wilkesboro, N.C. – The Wilkes Community College (WCC) Board of Trustees met on Thursday, January 13 in the John A. Walker Center. Prior to the start of the business session, WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director-Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness, and Jody Call, Executive Director-Strategy; gave a presentation on enrollment trends at WCC, neighboring colleges, and the state over the last several years. The business session began with the approval of the minutes from the December 9, 2021, Board of Trustees meeting. Jay Vannoy, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, announced the next trustee orientation/education session scheduled for March 30 – April 1, 2022, in Raleigh.  College President’s Report Dr. Cox recognized the 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty-Staff Award recipients. The 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty Award went to Keith Casey, lead instructor of Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Technology. The 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Staff Member of the Year went to Wanda Shore, admissions and placement testing coordinator. Dr. Cox and Jody Call presented the 2021 Annual Progress report and the 2021-2022 Implementation Plan.  Personnel Committee The Personnel Committee  reviewed and approved the following policy revisions for WCC. Policy 1.2 Trustee Legal Status; Policy 2.1.10 Communicable Disease; Policy 3.1.1 Equal Employment Opportunity; Policy 3.1.2 Employment; Policy 3.1.5 Re-Employment Opportunity; Policy 3.1.9 President-Hiring and Duties; Policy 3.2.2 Longevity Pay; Policy 3.2.15 […]
January 24, 2022

Sheriff B. Phil Howell Annouces the Arrest of Hunter Joel Radford, 22 years old of Crumpler, NC.

DATE: Monday, January 24, 2022 Radford Arrested for Trafficking Fentanyl and Marijuana   JEFFERSON, N.C.- Sheriff B. Phil Howell annouces the arrest of Hunter Joel Radford, 22 years old of Crumpler, NC. On Wednesday, January 19th, 2022, Ashe County Deputies along with the NC Highway Patrol initiated a stop on a vehicle in Glendale Springs. Our officers identified one of the passengers as Hunter Joel Radford, age 22 of Crumpler, NC. During the traffic stop, officers located 40 grams of Fentanyl. Detectives with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Mooresville Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security were conducting an investigation on Radford. A search Warrant was then executed on Radford’s residence where detectives located; an additional 32 grams of Fentanyl, several pounds of Marijuana, firearms, and US Currency.  
January 24, 2022

WCC Fall Semester 2021 President’s and Dean’s Lists

  WCC Announces the Fall Semester 2021 President’s and Dean’s Lists WILKESBORO, N.C. – Wilkes Community College recognizes outstanding academic achievement of students through the President’s List and the Dean’s List each fall and spring semester. The students on the fall 2021 semester President’s and Dean’s lists are grouped by home county. To qualify for the President’s List, full-time students must achieve a 4.0-grade point average, complete 12 or more semester hours of college-level courses (excluding credit by examination) and be awarded all “A’s.” To qualify for the Dean’s List, full-time students must complete 12 or more semester hours of college-level courses (excluding credit by examination) and have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, with no grade below a “B.” Alleghany County students qualifying for the fall 2021 semester   President’s List: Nyah Izaie Allen, Colleen Ainsley Cassell, Lindsey Mae Evans, Katherine Leigh Gibson, Abigail Faith Hawks, Simone Gabrielle McFarland, Brandon Thomas Nichols, and Joshua Ryan Taylor. Dean’s List: Jessica Marie Barker, Chelsie Ann Bobbitt, Mason Lee Carrier, Ashley Renae Hart, Joshua Thomas Miller, Sierra Danielle Parks, Kayleigh Renee Pierce, Adam Tyler Pruitt, Chloe Lane Pruitt, Hailie Imagine Sheets, and Elijah Louis Young.   Ashe County students qualifying for the fall 2021 semester   President’s List: Madison M. Avery, Thomas Clark Ballard, Bailey Paige Bennett, Brian Ashley Blanco, Maggie Brooke Blevins, Haley Jordan Bundy, Leah M. Calhoun, Cody Lee Chamberlain, Sophia Joy Cox, Wyatt M. Cox, Melanie Brooke Day, Kristi Drake, Karey […]
January 19, 2022

National Scholarships Available through SkyLine/SkyBest

  National Scholarships Available through SkyLine/SkyBest WEST JEFFERSON, N.C.–Area high school seniors whose parents are telecommunications customers of SkyLine Membership Corporation and SkyBest Communications may apply for national scholarships available through Foundation for Rural Service (FRS). In 2022, the FRS will award one-year scholarships in each geographic region of the NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association membership (including the service area of SkyLine/SkyBest) to graduating high school seniors whose families are served by NTCA member organizations. This year, 30 one-time, $2,500 FRS scholarships will be awarded with FRS funding $2,000 of each scholarship, with the sponsoring local cooperative of each winning student providing a $500 match. Additional scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 in value to be awarded through this program include the following: Staurulakis Family Scholarships. Students who are majoring in math, science, engineering or medicine will be given preference. TMS Scholarships. Everett Kneece Return to Rural America Scholarship. Roger Alan Cox Memorial Scholarships Sarah Tyree Good Neighbor Scholarship Herbert and Isabel Bitz Memorial Scholarship more     – According to the FRS, more than two-thirds of rural Americans with postsecondary degrees never return to their rural communities, so this program gives particular emphasis to those students who plan to return to their community following college.  The FRS has awarded over $1 million in scholarships since its inception, empowering rural students throughout the country to advance their communities with invaluable skill sets and experiences. Other key eligibility requirements for this scholarship include the […]
January 14, 2022

Town of Boone’s Municipal Power

  Town of Boone’s Municipal Power will be 100% Carbon Neutral by February 2022 The Town of Boone’s Town Council voted during the January 12th, 2022 Town Council Meeting to accept the proposal for all electricity used by the Town’s municipal buildings to be generated using 100% renewable energy. Boone is the first municipality to achieve this in North Carolina. App State’s New River Light and Power’s program, the “Green Power Program” will provide approximately 1,600 MWh of hydroelectric power, which is approximately 25% of Boone’s municipal electric consumption. Blue Ridge Energy is providing the Town of Boone with up to 4,800 MWh from their newly constructed 11 MWh solar array. This solar generated electricity will account for approximately 75% of Boone’s municipal energy consumption. “Boone cannot meet its goal of municipal climate neutrality by 2030 and to transition the entire town to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050 without New River Light and Power and Blue Ridge Energy stepping up and sourcing renewable energy for Boone. We are grateful for their successful efforts.” George Santucci, Sustainability and Special Projects Manager, stated. The Green Power Program is available to all NRLP customers. This enables residents to lower their carbon emissions, reduce the impact their energy usage has on the environment, and helps the Town of Boone reach the 2050 goal. More information regarding the Green Power Program can be found at NRLP’s website: www.nrlp.appstate.edu/green-power-program “I’ve very proud of our […]
January 14, 2022

WCC names John N. Bennett Scholarship recipient

  WCC names John N. Bennett Scholarship recipient WILKESBORO, N.C. – Ryan Wyatt has been named the 2021-2022 recipient of the John N. Bennett Scholarship at Wilkes Community College. Wyatt is a sophomore in the Radiography program and is slated to graduate in May 2022. Wyatt, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, joined the United States Navy in 2009 and served nine years as a Hospital Corpsman with two deployments: Continuing Promise 2011 aboard the USNS Comfort and as part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in 2014 aboard the USS Mesa Verde. While serving as a hospital corpsman, Wyatt worked in many different areas of the medical field but was always drawn to radiography. Wyatt stated, “I have been fascinated with x-rays since I broke my arm at the age of six.” After leaving the Navy and working numerous jobs his desire to help others and his fascination with x-rays led him to seek a career in radiography. Wyatt added, “I chose Wilkes Community College’s Radiography program due to its high success rate. I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the medical profession and upon graduation, I hope to obtain employment locally so I can utilize the skills I learned in the Navy combined with the skills I obtain in the radiography program to make a difference in my community.” Wyatt currently resides in Alleghany County with his wife Anna, his five-year-old daughter, Layla, and his three-year-old son, […]
January 13, 2022

Ashe and Wilkes Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy

  Ashe and Wilkes Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy   West Jefferson, North Carolina (January 13, 2022) – Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to seven local classrooms thanks to $7,435 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to local educators during a special virtual celebration honoring winning teachers and their schools. Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored annually by Blue Ridge Energy. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding. To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $568,000 in Bright Ideas classroom grants impacting over 110,000 local students and teachers. This year, the cooperative is funding winning grants totaling $24,954 to 24 classrooms in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery counties. Ashe/Wilkes counties grant-winning teachers are:   Kevin Miller of Westwood Elementary for “Go Back to the Backyard.” This $811 grant focuses on getting students involved in simple games that can be played at school or home with any age. These traditional games will enhance social interaction and encourage movement and play. Shera Ashley of Mountain View Elementary for “Let the Good Times Roll!” The grant for $1,478 will help students to engage in communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking through new indoor games. Jessica Miller of Westwood Elementary for “Outdoor Sensory Learning Environment for Special Needs Children.” This $950 grant will allow students to expand their learning outside of the classroom walls. This unique outdoor area will provide a safe, […]
January 12, 2022

The Walker Center Welcomes Travis LeDoyt and Presley Barker Friday, January 28

  THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL. THE NEW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE TIME IT BECOMES AVAILABLE The Walker Center presents Travis LeDoyt, with local musician Presley Barker opening the show on Friday, January 28     WILKESBORO, N.C. –  The Walker Center proudly presents Travis LeDoyt with local musician Presley Barker opening the show on Friday, January 28, 2022. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by Carolina West Wireless. Travis LeDoyt is known as “the world’s best” at portraying young Elvis Presley in his prime in the 50s and 60s.  His uncanny resemblance to the “King of Rock and Roll” has audiences gasping when he takes the stage.  Once he begins to sing and dance, fans are truly captivated by the authenticity of LeDoyt’s performance, even garnering high praise from those who knew Elvis personally.  Sold out shows and repeat engagements around the world further attest to LeDoyt’s impeccable ability to capture the very essence of “The King” and leave fans waiting more. It all started with a dare to compete in a high school talent show, combined with Travis’s discovery of a video of Elvis performing in the 50s. He was intrigued with the look, moves and voice of the King. Travis soon found himself mimicking Presley in the mirror at home. It was also amazing that when he combed his […]
January 7, 2022

WCC Announces Golden LEAF Scholarship for Spring Semester

    WCC Announces Golden LEAF Scholarship for Spring Semester   Wilkesboro, N.C. – Wilkes Community College is pleased to announce scholarships are available through a grant made by the Golden LEAF Foundation to the North Carolina Community College System. Curriculum students may apply for up to $2,250 annually, and Workforce Development and Community Education students are eligible for up to $1,850. Awards may be applied toward tuition, fees, books, and supplies at the community college where enrolled; transportation; childcare expenses related to attending classes; and mid-skills credential testing upon course completion. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need and reside in rural counties that are tobacco-dependent and/or economically distressed. Scholarships are awarded during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The deadline for applications for the spring 2022 semester is Friday, February 25, 2022. Students interested in applying for a Golden LEAF Scholarship should contact the Wilkes Community College Financial Aid Office at 336-838-6144 or toll free at 866-222-1548 (ask for financial aid). The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The Foundation receives a portion of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded over $44 million […]
January 4, 2022

Advance Care Planning Virtual Workshop

  It’s the GIFT You Give Your Loved Ones… Advance Care Planning Virtual Workshop: Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney and Benefits Overview VIRTUAL—Deciding the kind of health care you want at the end of your life is called ADVANCE CARE PLANNING…and it’s the greatest gift you can give your loved ones. Every day, we make dozens of choices for ourselves. Our friends and family learn these choices over time, remembering everything from our favorite colors to what drink to order for us at dinner. Yet when it comes to some of the most important choices we make—choices about what we would want for our health care if we could not speak for ourselves—few of our friends and family can say for sure what our wishes are. The goal of advance care planning is for you to live well, in a way that is meaningful to you, for as long as you live. If you become unable to make your own decisions, and your wishes are not formally recorded, your physician will consult someone close to you about your care. They will rely on this person to try to guess your wishes. Don’t let a guess guide your health care! These questions are best considered, decided and communicated to others in advance, long before there is a health crisis or illness. AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care & Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, is offering an Advance Care Planning […]
January 4, 2022

Blue Ridge Energy Restoring Power Due to Snow Storm

  Lenoir, NC (10:30 P.M. – January 3, 2022) Blue Ridge Energy line technicians have all power restored as of 10:02 pm Monday night after a snowstorm and high winds left nearly 9,000 members without power.   At the height of the storm (5:00 A.M.), 5,493 members were without power. In total, 8,844 members experienced an outage across the cooperative’s service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Alexander and Avery counties as a result of strong winds and heavy wet snow that led to trees falling into powerlines from outside of right-of-way areas.   In Caldwell County, 563 members were affected by damage to the electric system in six locations throughout the Dudley Shoals, Dry Ponds, and Patterson area.   Watauga County experienced widespread damage to 38 locations affecting 2,555 members.   Ashe County also experienced widespread damage at 24 locations with 5,155 members being affected.   In Alleghany, 15 locations experienced damage primarily the Ellis, Glade Valley, and Bristol areas, impacting 571 members.   To report an outage at any time members have the following options:   Call 1-800-448-2383 On the Blue Ridge Energy mobile app By text when signed up for outage texting (to sign up: be sure your mobile number is listed on your account, then text START to 70216. Then, you can text OUT to 70216 anytime you have an outage)   For outage status at any time: View the cooperative’s online outage map at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com or on our mobile app.   Blue Ridge Energy posts information during major outages on its […]

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