August 20, 2008
Did You Know that:
While Watauga County's unemployment numbers are up slightly (4.4%) it is still the third lowest in NC. The rise is attributed to the cost of gas, as many folks have to travel from neighboring counties and states to work in Watauga. Avery County actually declined .2% to 5.6%.
Coyotes are making a comeback in Watauga County and the Commissioners are trying to decide what to do about it; evidently the coyotes are killing small pets and small farm animals. One proposal is to trap and relocate them to other less inhabited areas. However - the season for trapping begins Nov 1. There is an exemption for fox trapping, which is allowed year round, so there is now a push to have the state amend the law to allow coyote trapping year round as well. We'll see....
And now a word about our weather. July set a new high and a new low on Grandfather Mountain: on July 2 the temp dipped to 42 degrees, breaking the old record of 44 degrees. Then, on July 23th, the temperature soared to a sweltering 78. The average high for the month was 71.42 degrees, which is 2.18 degrees warmer than normal. The average low was 55.77 degrees and was 0.7 degrees cooler than normal. Now you know why we chose to retire in the High Country and not in Florida!!
The Avery Arts Council's Annual Riverwalk Craft Showin Newland begins Friday, Aug 15th at 6 PM and runs all day Saturday, the 16th. This was a HUGE Success!
If you believe as I do, Groucho Marx was one of the most comedic geniuses of all time, I had the chance to attend An Evening with Grouchoon Last eveining at the Hayes Center - Blowing Rock, NC's new "playhouse". Groucho was portrayed by athe ward winning Frank Ferrante, who's played Groucho on PBS, and the New York and London stages for over 20years!. Tickets are $30. The performance was DELIGHTFUL!! If he comes to your area - go see him!!
The American College of Radiology has awarded a 3year accreditation in vascular, obstetrics, and general diagnostic ultrasound to our own Cannon Memorial Hospital. The accreditation is awarded to facilities for achievement of high practice standards after a peer review evaluation of the practice. Both our medical care and our facilities just keep getting better and better round these parts, Folks!.
Tourism on the upswing in Watauga County! Latest figures show that tourism and travel expenditures rose by 6.7% last year. Watauga ranked 19th in the state of 100 counties in visitor expenditures. We grossed $191 million in 2006 and supported 2,580 jobs. Tourism and travel contributed $7.8 million in tax revenues.
Another feather in our cap: All nine schools in Watauga County achieved the NC standard for expected academic growth by students in the 2007-8 school year. In fact, 6 showed high growth standard. That translates to 100% meeting the standard and 67% exceeding the standard. The state level was only 82% as meeting and 55% for exceeding. So once again, Watauga County schools deliver excellence!
A new museum is proposed for Blowing Rock. The Commissioners moved to allow a conditional use permit to be issued for a 23,188 square foot building that will be dedicated as museum space. The building will be located on Chestnut Street and will include 4 galleries for art and historic displays, a storage area, meeting room, educational facilities, and of course, a gift shop. Construction, however, which was scheduled to begin by August 31, will be delayed for at least six months. Lets keep oyr fingers crossed!