June 7, 2023

Cathy Swanson, AMOREM CEO, Retirement

Cathy Swanson: 35 years of more quality, more compassion, more support. Cathy Swanson, AMOREM CEO, was looking for a career that would not require her to work nights or weekends when she stumbled across Caldwell Hospice, now AMOREM. Initially, Swanson had applied to be a business manager at legacy Caldwell when the executive director at the time, Gibbie Harris, encouraged her to accept a position as a medical social worker for the organization. Though she held the appropriate qualifications, Swanson had never imagined working in healthcare, especially with terminally ill patients and their families. After reflecting on the potential opportunities at Caldwell Hospice and realizing that this position would provide a flexible schedule to raise her three children, Jamey Thomaston, B.T. Simmons and Claudia Simmons (Watson), Swanson knew that Caldwell Hospice was exactly where she needed to be. She quickly made the call to accept the position as a medical social worker and in August of 1988, Swanson was hired as a team member. Within the first 17 months, Swanson fell in love with the work that the organization accomplished. She was intrigued by the kind of care that Caldwell Hospice provided; the way that each patient is treated with the same respect and dignity, the wide parameters around what you could do to help a patient and their family and by the feeling of honor that washed over her as she sat with patients and families during the eleventh-hour. […]
June 2, 2023

Eight Area Students Receive College Scholarships from SkyLine

  Eight Area Students Receive College Scholarships from SkyLine WEST JEFFERSON, N.C. – SkyLine Membership Corporation has announced its 2023 Frank James-SkyLine Scholarship Program winners, providing a total of $20,000 in scholarship awards to 8 area high school graduates.   In memory of the cooperative’s longtime director and former SkyLine President Frank James, this scholarship is presented each year to benefit the children of SkyLine/SkyBest customers who reside in its five-county service area. This year’s scholarships will be awarded over two or four years to students pursuing college transfer programs, trade school programs, two-year degrees or four-year degrees.   Alleghany County recipients are McKenzie Hudson, daughter of William and Kristie Hudson of Sparta, who will attend Wilkes Community College to study business administration; Nicholas Rea, son of Joel and Donna Rea of Sparta, who will attend Ferrum College to study exercise science.   Ashe County recipients are Britny Contador, daughter of Valentin Contador and Martha Mejia of Grassy Creek, who will attend Appalachian State University to study banking and finance; and Austin Hart, son of Mitchell and Jennifer Hart of Lansing, who will enroll in the Kentucky Welding Institute to pursue a welding program.   The Avery County recipient is Bray Guest, son of Benjamil and Teresa Guest, who plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study political science.   The Watauga County recipient is Benjamin Parker, son of Davin and Amber Parker of Fleetwood, […]
June 1, 2023

Raising the Progress Pride Flag in Boone

Raising the Progress Pride Flag in Boone All Town of Boone residents are encouraged to attend the Progress Pride Flag raising event on June 2, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 567 West King Street. During the May 10, 2023 Boone Town Council meeting, the Boone Town Council passed a Pride Month Proclamation for the month of June. In addition, the proclamation declared that the Town of Boone raise the Progress Pride flag on June 2, 2023 in order to recognize all LGBTQIA+ residents in the Town of Boone. “I am proud of Boone for once again recognizing June as Pride Month. It is in keeping with the values of this wonderful town that everyone is welcomed, appreciated and celebrated.” – Councilmember Todd Carter. On June 10, 2022, the Town of Boone first raised the Progress Pride Flag in front of Town Hall. “I am immensely proud of our community for standing together and recognizing Pride Month for the second year. It is a testament to our shared values of compassion, respect, and acceptance. By celebrating diversity, we showcase our commitment to fostering a fellowship where everyone can thrive and be their authentic selves.” – Mayor Tim Futrelle For more information on this event, please contact Laney Pilkington, Administrative Support Specialist/Communications, at la**************@to*********.net.
June 1, 2023

4th of July Fireworks 2023

Ashe County 4th of July Fireworks 2023 Click on Link: Fireworks
June 1, 2023

Probation Search Leads to Drug Charges

Probation Search Leads to Drug Charges. Jefferson, N.C. – Sheriff B. Phil Howell announces the arrest of 46-year-old Travis Layden Bare of Jefferson, NC. On May 24th, 2023, Ashe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Baldwin assisted N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Probation Officers with probation search at the home of Travis Bare. Sgt. Vogler and K9 Rhino assisted with the search inside the residence. K9 Rhino conducted an open-air sniff with a positive alert. After the search was performed, deputies discovered a baggie containing mushrooms, a green leafy substance identified as marijuana, and a baggie with a white crystal substance, later to be identified as methamphetamine. Additional evidence was submitted to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for further analysis, which may result in additional charges at a later date. Bare was placed under arrest and transported to the Ashe County Detention Center, where he was booked on the following charges: • Felony Possession Schedule I Controlled Substance • Felony Possession Schedule II Controlled Substance • Simple Possess Schedule IV Controlled Substance • Possess Drug Paraphernalia • Possess Marijuana Paraphernalia Travis Bare was booked under a $15,000 secured bond and later released.
May 31, 2023


BOONE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ADDS SEVEN MEMBERS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS New members will begin their three-year terms effective July 1, 2023 BOONE, NC – After completing the membership voting process, and consultation with the Nominating Committee, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce it will add seven members to its Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2023. A total of 19 nominees appeared on the ballot for consideration and nearly 200 individual votes were cast by the membership. “We are excited to welcome our new members to the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors,” said Heidi Ragan, Chair Elect, who ascends to Board Chair effective July 1. “I’d like to thank all who put their name on the ballot this year. That number of applicants speaks to the activity and strength of our Chamber. I’d like to thank those whose terms are expiring this year for their leadership and dedication to the Board during their tenure. I look forward to serving alongside our new board members. Each brings invaluable experiences and perspectives to the Board, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together while supporting our incredible Boone Area Chamber of Commerce team.” Each new member was elected to a three-year term from July 1, 2023-June 30, 2026. Upon completion of their initial term, each member is eligible to serve a consecutive three-year term upon mutual agreement of the individual […]
May 30, 2023

Appalachian Theatre June 2023 Events

  Appalachian Theatre June 2023 Events       Friday, June 2, 2023                                     7:30 p.m.            Town Mountain w/ Brooks Forsyth ($30) Saturday, June 3, 2023                               2:00 p.m.            FILM: The Lion King ($6) Tuesday, June 6, 2023                                7:00 p.m.            FILM: Elvis ($6) Wednesday, June 7, 2023                         1:00 p.m.            Guided Tour (FREE) Thursday, June 8, 2023                              7:00 p.m.            FILM: La La Land ($6) Friday, June 9, 2023                                     7:30 p.m.            HCJF: Count Basie Orchestra ($37/$45) Saturday, June 10, 2023                            7:30 p.m.            HCJF: Emmet Cohen Trio ($35/$42) Sunday, June 11, 2023                                5:00 p.m.            HCJF: Reggie Buie Group @ Chetola ($25) Tuesday, June 13, 2023                              7:00 p.m.            FILM: Rocketman ($6) Thursday, June 15, 2023                            7:00 p.m.            Boonerang Kick-off Concert ($20.50) Friday, June 16, 2023                                  9:00 p.m.            FILM: A Mighty Wind ($6) Saturday, June 17, 2023                            ALL DAY              Boonerang Music Festival (FREE) Tuesday, June 20, 2023                              7:00 p.m.            FILM: Mamma Mia! ($6) Wednesday, June 21, 2023                      1:00 p.m.            Guided Tour (FREE) Friday, June 23, 2023                                  7:20 p.m.            Damn Tall Buildings ($25) Saturday, June 24, 2023                            8-11 p.m.           Cabaret Night (FREE) Tuesday, June 27, 2023                              7:00 p.m.            FILM: School of Rock ($6)                       Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 828.865.3000. Questions or further information? Email sl******@ap********.org or phone 828.865.3000 x5
May 24, 2023

Ashe Students Awarded Scholarships from Blue Ridge Energy

Ashe Students Awarded Scholarships from Blue Ridge Energy For Immediate Release Contact: Renee R. Walker, Director of Public Relations, Blue Ridge Energy, (828) 759-8913; or E-mail: rw*****@bl*************.com West Jefferson, North Carolina – (May 24, 2023) Blue Ridge Energy recently awarded $36,000 in college scholarships to nine students across its service area seeking to further their academic goals. The scholarships are part of the Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track program designed to help high school students better prepare for acceptance into the college of their dreams. In Ashe County, three students received a total of $12,000. The recipients are: Abigail McClure, daughter of Derek and Laura McClure, $4,000 to attend East Tennessee State University; Aubreana Lovell, daughter of Travis and Mandy Lovell, $4,000 to attend Wake Forest University; Jackson Keith, son of Brent and Michelle Keith, $4,000 to attend Appalachian State University. Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track students begin college preparations in their freshman or sophomore year and develop leadership skills while preparing for the college acceptance and scholarship interview process. Leadership Track students also receive real-life skills like money management, social etiquette, and public speaking. As seniors, Leadership Track students are invited to apply for renewable scholarships worth up to $4,000 each. This year marks the 64th year Blue Ridge has awarded college scholarships. To date, more than 510 area students and citizens have received over $610,000 to help them attend the college of their choice. For more information about the Blue Ridge Energy […]
May 24, 2023

Count Basie Orchestra Headlines 2023 High Country Jazz Festival

  Count Basie Orchestra Headlines 2023 High Country Jazz Festival  Legendary Ensemble Makes Appalachian Theatre Debut on June 9   BOONE, NC – “We’re bringing 88 years of classic ‘Count Basie Jazz’ directly to you,” said Scotty Barnhart, director of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra about their Appalachian Theatre debut performance that is headlining the 2023 High Country Jazz Festival. “I’ve programmed something from every decade of the orchestra’s existence that will feature each of the 19 artists on stage, including new charts added to your program that haven’t been played in years!”   The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, directed by Barnhart, with guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9 at the Appalachian Theatre in Boone. It is one of 14 separate events in ten different locations throughout Boone and Blowing Rock that are part of the High Country Jazz Festival from June 9 through 11, 2023. Tickets are $37 and $45.   More than half of the 14 events are free of charge to the general public with tickets on sale for headliner performances via the festival website: In the history of jazz music, there is only one bandleader who has the distinction of having his orchestra still performing sold out concerts all over the world, with members personally chosen by him, for over 30 years after his passing. Pianist and bandleader William James “Count” Basie was — and still is — an […]
May 24, 2023

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation Annual Membership Meeting

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation Annual Membership Meeting   Lenoir, North Carolina (May 24, 2022) – Members can participate in the annual meeting of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation by phone or by attending the meeting, which will be held at the corporate office on Thursday, June 22nd at 4 pm. Members may also listen and watch by livestream on the cooperative’s YouTube channel and at To vote on motions or ask a question during the Q&A periods, members must attend the meeting or use the call-in option by dialing 1-866-416-5215 during the meeting and entering their account number.             Members who have not already voted in director elections by mail or online by the deadline of June 14th may come to the corporate office during the annual meeting to vote or change their vote if they wish to do so. A director election kit will be sent by mail, or by email for those who signed up by the deadline, to each member on May 24th. Members received annual meeting and director election information in their May issue of Carolina Country which contains the member newsletter, Membership Matters. The June issue provides full details of how to participate in this year’s annual meeting as well as the 2022 annual report. During the annual meeting, business reports will be delivered from key board and staff members. These reports, as well as director election results, will also be shared on the cooperative’s website and […]
May 23, 2023

Fun for All Ages at Ashe County Safety Day

Fun for All Ages at Ashe County Safety Day [Jefferson, NC] – If you are looking for a fun filled day with family and friends, while learning about safety and interacting with emergency personnel and law enforcement, this is the event for you! The Ashe County Safety Day is an educational event that is free and open to all ages – families included! The event will be held Saturday, June 3rd from 10am to 2pm at the Ashe County High School. The many activities featured at this event include: • Live demonstrations from emergency personnel and law enforcement • Children’s bike rodeo to teach bike and pedestrian safety and proper fit of helmets. We encourage you to bring your bike and remember your helmet too! • Blue Ridge Electric with a live demonstration of the power of electricity • Park and Forest Rangers • Smoke House • Bounce Houses • EMS Helicopter • Climbing Wall The event will also feature police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, rescue vehicles, and a helicopter! Food will be available at the event. All proceeds from the purchase of food will go to help Lt. Joe Francis with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and his battle with leukemia and Jonathan Greer, EMTP with Ashe Medics and Volunteer with Lansing Fire Department, in his recovery from a car accident.
May 22, 2023

Living with Grief: A Shifting Landscape for End-of-Life Ethics

Living with Grief: A Shifting Landscape for End-of-Life Ethics AMOREM, formerly Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, will offer Hospice Foundation of America’s (HFA) annual Living with Grief® Virtual Program, A Shifting Landscape for End-of-Life Ethics, on demand through April 10, 2024. Registered participants will receive a program link, downloadable handouts and a payment code for two Continuing Education credits, if desired. The two-hour program uses a case study approach to review and explore well-established ethical principles of end-of-life care in the presence of emerging legal, social and technological change. A panel of experts will act as an ethics committee, discussing the ethical principles illustrated by six case studies and providing recommendations for resolution. Case studies will include topics such as futile treatment, communication, opioid usage, concurrent care, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, medical aid in dying and more. Frank Sesno, former CNN anchor, will lead the panel of noted authorities that includes: Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C, FGSA; Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, MDiv; Timothy W. Kirk, PhD, HEC-C; and Wendy Walters, LICSW, HEC-C. This program will be practical for individuals and all levels of professionals—entry level, intermediate or advanced. The information provided will be useful to healthcare clinicians, social service clinicians and others working in hospice, palliative care, counseling, hospital, nursing home, funeral home or faith community environments. Two hours of continuing education credits are available at no cost to participants until April 10, […]
May 22, 2023

Waste Spill in West Jefferson

Waste Spill in West Jefferson
May 18, 2023

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award The Ashe County Commissioner’s along with the Ashe County Volunteer Initiative Board were honored to hold The Ashe County Governor’s Award Luncheon on Monday, May 15th at the Midway Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.  The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals and groups that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. The award was created in the Office of the Governor in 1979, to honor outstanding volunteer throughout the state.  Winners are chosen by a statewide panel who review and select the award recipients.   Ashe County had 9 who were chosen as Governor’s Award Winners.  They are as follows: Lilliana Mayberry, Sherry Lambert, Patricia Edwards, Jon Parker, Larry James Lewis, Jessie Dixon, Sally Blevins, Riverview Community Center, and the Ashe County Heart Association.  Each winner was presented with a framed certificate signed by the Governor, a pin, and a gift basket from Ashe County Cheese.    We would like to extend a special ‘Congratulations’ to each of these winners and ‘Thank You’ for your service.    Jennifer Richardson Ashe County Volunteer Coordinator je****************@as***********.com 336-246-4347  
May 16, 2023

The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra at Appalachian Theatre Memorial Day Weekend

The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra kicks-off Memorial Day Weekend in the High Country BOONE, NC – Appalachian Theatre of the High Country honors Memorial Day with a concert featuring the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra on Friday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. The theatre will host the highly sought after big band who will perform their arrangements of patriotic numbers and favorite tunes from the Great American Songbook. Audiences across America and worldwide have fallen in love with the two sophisticated Southern gentlemen who lead the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra and bring their rich camaraderie and charm to the stage. Their high-energy show features the greatest songs, the best original arrangements and phenomenal musicianship. Inspired by the style and swagger of legendary entertainers like Frank, Dean and Sammy, Jeremy “The Kingpin” Davis and Clay “Mr. Showtime” Johnson make an impact with favorite melodies from recent history. Their musical recipe includes a dash of Motown, a shot of country, some folk and rock sprinkled on top, blended with musical back stories resulting in a musical banquet that feeds every soul. The Louisiana via Savannah-based band has been featured in a two-hour PBS special, as guests on HuckabeeTV, and continues to perform extensively across the country. The pandemic provided an opportunity for the group to create weekly virtual concerts, write and record new music including four original songs featured in the film, “Courting Mom and Dad.” Broadway World described the group as, “…a fiery hot and […]


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