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Sheriffs’ Office nabs one suspect; second remains at large

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The Ashe County Sheriffs’ Office recently apprehended one of two men wanted on several charges stemming from a wide-ranging drug investigation.Anthony Duane Byers, 40, was taken into custody without incident several nights ago at his parents’ home in Jefferson, according to Sheriff James Williams.Byers is being held in the Ashe County Detention Center under a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday, Aug. 7.Anthony Lee Day, 38, of Crumpler, remains at large.Williams said the ACSO continues to search for Day, but it’s possible he may have fled the county.


Edwards appointed interim chief of staff at ASU

Dr. Randy Edwards has been appointed chief of staff in the Office of the Chancellor at Appalachian State University. Edwards replaces Dr. Lorin Baumhover, who first held the position from 2005 to 2009 and again beginning in fall 2012 through June 2014.Edwards was dean of the Walker College of Business for the last nine years, was chair of the Department of Accounting for 13 years, and first joined the business faculty in 1981. He has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science de...

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Progress despite the objection of our leaders

It seems fitting somehow that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced the decision that marks another major step toward marriage equality in North Carolina this week, just a few days after the General Assembly voted to allow charter schools in the state to discriminate against gay students.It’s a perfect microcosm of what’s happening these days in North Carolina and how out of touch our leaders are with the attitudes of people in the state and across the country...

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Elkville String Band perform in Todd on Saturday, August 2

The 2014 Todd Community Preservation Organization (TCPO) Summer Music Series continues this Saturday, Aug. 2 at Cook Memorial Park in Todd, when the Elkville String Band takes the stage at 6 p.m.Admission is free of charge. There will be food off the grill, snacks and beverages for sale and all proceeds earned will go towards the TCPO. Concert attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.The Elkville String Band hails from Wilkes County, performs old-time mo...

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WCC receives grant to support Ashe Family Literacy program

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded a $6,200 grant to support Wilkes Community College’s Ashe Family Literacy (AFL) program.“This funding is vital for continuing our full range of services to adults in Ashe County trying to complete their secondary education and improve their prospects for employment,” said Debbie Woodard, dean of WCC College Readiness/Basic Skills. “Through Dollar General’s generous grant, we’ll be able to help wi...

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Ashe shooter takes aim against elite competition

Shooting has jumped from a hobby to a full-blown competitive desire for one Ashe teenager.Noah Gouge, who took up shooting at the age of 10 with his grandfather, has taken his passion and skill to a whole new level.Gouge, 15, began his shooting pastime in 4-H competitions. He spent most of his free time learning to shoot shotguns, rifles and archery.In March of this year, the young shooter decided to give competitive trap shooting a try and fell in love with i...

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Read others’ views, so you can decide for yourself

“I don’t read the Washington Post. That is not where I get my ideas.”Many years ago when there were still lots of conservatives voting in Democratic primaries, a congressional candidate pandered to conservatives by trashing a liberal newspaper. But he lost ground with other voters who thought he should keep up with congressional issues covered in that newspaper even if he disagreed with its views.More recently, a widely respected conservative political ...

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Revisions in store for N.C.’s Common Core

Common Core education standards for students in North Carolina’s public schools, in its current form, is in all likelihood history, under a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.While Senate Bill 812 doesn’t specifically call for the complete dissembling and replacement of Common Core, it calls for the creation of a state commission to review and recommend any changes deemed necessary to the Common Core education standards, which were first implemented in 20...

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Aces wrap up season at state tourney

A successful travel league baseball season came to an end at the state tournament for the Ashe Aces 8U Coach Pitch team.The team traveled to Smithfield to compete against the top coach pitch squads in the state and came away with one win in three games.The Aces lost to Whitfield, 11-5 but bounced back to beat Benson, 6-4, before falling to Rolesville, 16-8.The Aces also had a 7U coach pitch team this season that finished strong but fell a bit short of reaching...

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Unemployment in Ashe drops slightly in June

Ashe County’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in June 2014, according to data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce on Wednesday, July 30.The rate dropped by 0.1 percent from May 2014, when the unemployment rate was at 7.5 percent. In June of 2013, the unemployment rate was at 10.7 percent, meaning the rate has dropped 3.3 percent over the course of a year.According to the data provided by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of...

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Hospitality House hosts ‘Pig Pickin’ for Ashe County residents

BOONE — On Tuesday, July 29, the Hospitality House of Boone hosted a Pig Pickin’ and open house for Ashe County residents, providing free meals and tours for the community to learn more about the homeless situation in the High Country region.At any given time, the Hospitality House is assisting approximately 100 individuals and families in the High Country. Of that, approximately 15 percent of those helped are from Ashe County.According to statistics from the...

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Ashe County Schools holds 13th annual golf tournament

The Ashe County Board of Education’s 13th Annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament was held July 16 with a field of 32 teams participating in a captain’s choice round of golf at the beautiful Jefferson Landing Resort.While the final dollar total for the tournament is still to be determined, it is very likely this tournament will equal or surpass all others in its long history.The Ashe County Schools Endowment Board and the Ashe County Board of Education extends ...

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Ashe County Arts Council hosts 45th Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention Aug. 1-2

The Ashe County Arts Council is excited to present the 45th annual Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention.The bluegrass and old time music competition for adults and youth will take place Aug. 1-2, 2014 at Ashe County Park, in Jefferson.Friday’s competitions will start at 4 p.m. and will run through 11 p.m. Saturday’s competition will start at 11 a.m. and run through 11 p.m.Admission for the fiddlers convention is $10 per night or $...

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Taken for a ride

Critics of a just-passed Senate bill complain that it limits the ability of Wake, Guilford, and Forsyth counties to raise sales taxes to fund proposed rail transit systems in the Triangle and Triad.What’s bad news to some can be seen as good news to others. My colleagues and I have made no secret of our skepticism concerning the wisdom of spending general tax dollars to subsidize high-cost, low-capacity forms of transportation such as rail transit. Today I commend to your att...

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ASU Fan Fest set for Aug. 16

Mountaineer fans will pack Kidd-Brewer Stadium for the yearly visit to Fan Fest, hosted by the Appalachian State Football Program.App State Fan Fest will take place on Aug. 16 with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. for the general public with a special 5 p.m. opening time for members of the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club and their parents to take photos and get autographs from their favorite players.Membership to the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club is only $25 per child that is in e...

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Motorcycle accident claims the life of an Ashe County man

A weekend motorcycle accident resulted in the death of an Ashe County man and the injury of another.The accident occurred on Parker Eller Road in Lansing at approximately 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 27.According to N.C. State Trooper Kevin Aldridge, the investigating officer, Tanner Pruitt, 19, of Crumpler and Elijah Bledsoe, 19, of Todd, were riding together on a red 2005 Kawasaki Ninja when the driver, Pruitt, traveled off the right side of the roadway. The motorcyc...

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The missing numbers in the maddening budget soap opera

These are fascinating times in Raleigh for political junkies and folks in the public policy world, as House and Senate leaders of the same political party trade budget offers back and forth and Gov. Pat McCrory weighs in with strong words and photo ops and veto threats. But there is a devastating subplot for public schools just below the surface of all the legislative intrigue.Most of the current public dispute is about teacher pay, teacher assistants and Medicaid.The or...

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State unemployment rate remains unchanged

North Carolina’s unemployment rate remained steady at 6.4 percent for the month of June 2014, according to a release sent out Friday, July 18 by the N.C. Department of Commerce.“North Carolina’s June 2014 unemployment rate was 1.9 percentage points lower than a year ago,” according to the release sent out by the N.C. DOC’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division. “The number of people employed decreased 8,577over the month to 4,389,167 and increased...

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