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NCDOT offers advice for Labor Day Holiday

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As the summer travel season comes to an end, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking steps to help ensure motorists save both time and money by suspending most road construction work on major routes across the state over the Labor Day holiday. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.Most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2, with the following exceptions:

 

State awards Ashe Medics $50,000 grant

Ashe Medics has finally been awarded a Building Reuse Program grant in the amount of $50,000 from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA).This comes after the county was originally denied the grant several months ago, due to what was described as an incomplete application.North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Dr. Pat Mitchell announced on Aug. 21 that Ashe Medics and seven other organizations in the ...

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Huskies to face rival Pioneers

For the second straight season, there is a pretty strong chance that the Huskies will get to face Watauga playing without its top player.As first reported by the Watauga Democrat, Pioneer star quarterback Aaron Dobbins sustained an ankle injury in what is being called a “non-football” incident. Dobbins is unlikely to play Friday night.The Pioneers used a strong rushing attack to get by Alexander Central in its first game of the year. Watauga ran for ...

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Ashe County unemployment up in July

Ashe County’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.4 percent in July, according to the latest data released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce on Wednesday, Aug. 27.The county’s unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percent from June, when the rate was at 7.4 percent. In July of 2013, the unemployment rate was at 10.2 percent.According to the data provided by the Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security, Ashe County has a labor fo...

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Volleyball team drops three matches

A trio of non-conference matches have all gone the opponent’s way early in the 2014 volleyball season.The Lady Huskies started the year at Alexander Central and came away with a 3-0 defeat. The Cougars won the first set, 25-13, the second set, 25-15 and the final set, 25-11.Next up, Ashe had its first home match of the year against Avery County last Thursday. The match was extremely close in the first and third sets, but it would be the Vikings that scored the 3-0 ...

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JV Huskies fall to North Surry

It was a tough start to the season for the junior varsity football team, taking a 34-26 loss in game one.North Surry scored first on a 23-yard TD pass to go ahead at the 5:49 mark of the first quarter. Ashe answered back with runs from Matthew Greer and John Reavis as well as a pass from quarterback Grant Thompson. Reavis pounded the ball in from one yard out. The two-point conversion was no good, making the score 7-6 with 2:11 left in the first half.The Greyhounds were ...

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A non-lawyer on the Supreme Court?

President Obama plans to appoint National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg to the United States Supreme Court.Not really, of course.Totenberg may know more than most lawyers about the Supreme Court from her experience as an award-winning legal affairs correspondent for NPR.But she is not a lawyer, and you have to be a lawyer to be on the court.Don’t you?No. The Constitution sets forth no such requirement. Article Two provides sim...

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Golfers finish runner-up in first match

The Lady Huskies opened the season with a second place finish at Cross Creek Country Club on Tuesday, the first non-conference tuneup for the upcoming Mountain Valley Athletic Conference season.South Stokes finished first followed by Ashe, East Surry, Mount Airy, Elkin, Surry Central and North Surry.Ashe had all four golfers finish par or better. Sarah Hardin had the top score of 51, a total of 12 shots under par. Savannah Brooks shot 55 (8-under), Olivia Barr shot 56 (7...

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Sales bounce back in July

After a soft June, local realtors were kept busy in July with sales hitting their best mark in nine months. At the same time the number of homes for sale hit a high for the year, while mortgage rates hit a low.There were 125 homes sold worth $30.54 million last month, a 37 percent increase over the 91 homes sold in June and the most sold since 147 sold last October. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which tracks realtor-assisted sales in Ashe, Ave...

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There has to be a better way to run a state

Exhausted legislators finally saw the closing gavel and heard the fat lady sing the “sine die,” followed quickly by the Hallelujah chorus striking up the perennial tune, “There has to be a better way to run a state.”

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Ashe County wreck report

The following are collision reports posted by the N.C. Highway Patrol in Ashe County and are considered public record.Aug. 8Highway 221A single-vehicle accident occurred at 12:06 p.m. on Highway 221 near the Watauga County line.According to the narrative, a vehicle driven by Kathryn Lumpkin of Blowing Rock was traveling south when she ran off the right shoulder of the road and struck a fence. The vehicle came to res...

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The foolish choice for Medicaid expansion

When you consider all the bad choices made by the General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory in the last two years—and there have been too many to mention—the one that may make the least sense was the decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and therefore provide health coverage for more than 400,000 low income adults who are currently uninsured.That point was reinforced dramatically recently by a national report that quantified how much federal fund...

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North Carolina’s July employment figures released

The state’s seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, increasing 0.1 of a percentage point from June’s revised rate of 6.4 percent.The national rate increased 0.1 of a percentage point to 6.2 percent.North Carolina’s July 2014 unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points lower than a year ago.The number of people employed decreased 19,848 over the month to 4,369,632, and increased 59,498 over the year.The number of...

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Who should decide if a judge is ‘too old’ to serve?

At the end of this month, N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker will retire from her position on the bench, which she has held since 2006. Gov. Pat McCrory has already announced that current Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin will be appointed to fill the remainder of her term.Parker ultimately didn’t have any choice in stepping down from the court. In North Carolina, judges and justices are forced to retire when they turn 72, which Parker did this month.

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Wastewater incident occurs in West Jefferson

An estimated total volume of 8000 gallons of untreated wastewater escaped from a manhole at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in West Jefferson on Aug. 21, which caused an estimated 6000 gallons, of the 8000 gallons spilled, to flow into an unnamed tributary that flows into Little Buffalo Creek in the New River Basin.“We had a few issues and have people in who are working on it,” Town Manager Brantley Price said. “It happened where it comes in to the plant. The pumps...

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Huskies win shootout, 50-42

Ashe County’s season opener got off to a slow start with North Surry, but both offenses found their high gear after the first quarter.The Huskies held on to win, 50-42.After a pair of offensive possessions ended with turnovers in the first quarter, Ashe finally got on the board with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Connor Bowers to Jacob Blevins. Kendall Richardson’s extra point was good to take a 7-0 lead with 4:56 left in the first.North Surry respo...

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KAB Shoe Drive exceeds goal

Keep Ashe Beautiful wrapped up its Shoe Drive earlier this month.The shoe drive was a collaboration with Goodwill Industries.“We reached our goal of 100 bags with 25 pairs of shoes plus,” Elaine Graham, executive director of Keep Ashe Beautiful, said. “The total was 158 bags. We will use the funds from this collection for educational programs mostly in our schools.”“Goodwill was honored to be a part of helping to keep Ashe beautif...

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Stick with the winning playbook

Gov. Pat McCrory and some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly say they need more “tools” for economic development in North Carolina — by which they mean targeted tax breaks and corporate subsidies. They often point to South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and other states in our neighborhood that, they say, are more aggressive in using economic incentives to recruit or retain businesses.I disagree with incentive advocates on policy grounds. Govern...

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