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RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 65 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in 34, and remained unchanged in one. Swain County had the highest unemployment rate at 19.7 percent, while Bertie and Chowan counties each had the lowest at 8.1 percent.

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FRANK — Frank Volunteer Fire Department has successfully improved the district’s insurance rating as announced by North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey during a visit to the department on Wednesday, July 1, in which he personally delivered a grant check worth $5,000.

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NEWLAND — After school programs in Avery County will be short on funding by the end of the year after grants administered by the Department of Public Instruction were denied to W.A.M.Y. Community Action and Williams YMCA.

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NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Education and the Avery County Board of Commissioners held a joint meeting to tie up loose ends related to several capital projects that are ongoing at schools across the county.

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RALEIGH — North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest announced via social media and through his office on June 25 that he plans to pursue legal action against the administration of Gov. Roy Cooper in what he contends are the implementation of unlawful executive orders for the state.

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NEWLAND — During the Avery County Board of Education’s end of the year board meeting on Wednesday, June 24, members discussed the governor’s school reopening plan as well as recent cleaning at school facilities after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

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Construction crews have laid the foundation for Avery County’s new community building to be located next to the Agricultural Extension Office at Heritage Park in Newland. The building’s stage has already begun to take shape. The county received the first applications for payments related to …

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NEWLAND — Overcoming the endorsement of his opponent by both the sitting President of the United States Donald Trump and current White House Chief of Staff and previous Congressional seatholder Mark Meadows, Republican newcomer politician Madison Cawthorn was victorious in the North Carolina…

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RALEIGH — Statistical trends continue to trend upward regarding coronavirus-related cases, deaths and hospitalizations across the state of North Carolina, according to the latest daily report from the NC Department of Health and Human Resources.

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RALEIGH — As of Wednesday afternoon, June 17, North Carolina health officials report there have been a total of 46,855 lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, according to statistics posted from NCDHHS. The state also has reported 1,168 virus-related deaths.

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The local municipalities of Beech Mountain and Seven Devils each recently held their respective monthly council meetings.

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NEWLAND — As voters in Avery and 16 additional Western North Carolina counties vote at the ballot box for the Republican Second Primary election for the US 11th Congressional District, those voting in person at the Avery County Board of Elections and at precinct locations will encounter a st…

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NEWLAND — As per new health guidelines released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Avery County Schools and school systems across the state are expecting to hold in-person instruction once school begins in August.

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RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper has not announced a decision regarding whether a number of businesses closed due to COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen, stating during a Monday, June 15, media briefing that a decision will come early next week.

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NEWLAND — The Town of Newland approved its 2020-2021 proposed budget during its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 4. It was the first time the Newland Board of Aldermen met in person since COVID-19-related shutdowns closed town halls across the state.

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RALEIGH — New health guidelines released Monday, June 8, represent a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, health and education leaders announced.

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CRANBERRY — Madison Cawthorn and Lynda Bennett are running in the Republican Second Primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District on June 23, and in order to drum up support, Cawthorn visited Cranberry the evening of Tuesday, June 2, to speak with local voters.

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BANNER ELK — In keeping with social distancing guidelines, the Banner Elk Town Council held its monthly meeting online on Monday, June 8, and Town Manager Rick Owen presented the town’s budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

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NEWLAND — Protests have erupted across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, and while the long-term repercussions of Floyd’s killing are unknown, these protests have sparked discussions related to policing, community well-being and systemic biases within society.

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RALEIGH — State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) is pleased to announce the approval of $500,000 for renovations to the historic pedestrian bridge connecting downtown with the Mayland Community College satellite campus, according to a media release from Rep. Josh Dobson.

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RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in April. Dare County had the highest unemployment rate at 24.5 percent, while Bertie County had the lowest at 6.4 percent.

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NEWLAND — Avery County Schools will be moving to a traditional school calendar, as decided on by the Board of Education during a meeting on Thursday, May 28.

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Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a correction of date for the COVID-19 drive-through testing event to Tuesday, June 9.

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North Carolina has an open meetings law guaranteeing that the public have access to the transparent workings of our public bodies — elected or appointed authorities, boards, commissions, councils, school administrative units and public corporations, among those.

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Editor’s Note: The following is the first article of a series resulting from an exclusive AJT interview with North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell.

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RALEIGH — North Carolina will move into the second phase of its reopening strategy beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22, Governor Roy Cooper announced at press conference on May 20.

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RALEIGH — A federal judge issued an order on Saturday, May 16, that temporarily halts restrictions placed as part an executive order from NC Governor Roy Cooper that bans indoor religious congregations of more than 10 people and encourages worship meetings held with social distancing “outdoo…

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NEWLAND — Despite already having its 2020-2021 school calendar firmly in place, Avery County Schools must now approve a new calendar for the upcoming school year due to changes made by the North Carolina Legislature.

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NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Commissioners are in the process of finalizing the county’s fiscal year budget in conjunction with its various departments, including the Fire Association, Sheriff’s Office and school system.

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RALEIGH — A federal judge issued an order on Saturday, May 16, that temporarily halts restrictions placed as part an executive order from NC Governor Roy Cooper that bans indoor religious congregations of more than 10 people and encourages worship meetings held with social distancing "outdoo…

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RALEIGH — According to new data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that 11,637 people in NC have recovered from COVID-19 as of Monday, May 18.

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RALEIGH — To assist N.C. Division of Motor Vehicle customers and partners in dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a provision included in the COVID-19 bill signed into law May 4 by Gov. Roy Cooper grants a five-month extension of the expiration date on more than two dozen DMV…

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BANNER ELK — During the Town of Banner Elk’s monthly meeting on Monday, May 11, board members recognized the International Ride of Silence, which will be commemorated at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, in Banner Elk.

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RALEIGH — More information about the people applying for unemployment insurance benefits in North Carolina in March was published recently by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The new data regarding claims for benefits include details about the applicants’ demographics, the industri…

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NEWLAND — The town of Newland held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 5, in which the alderman discussed its plans to celebrate high school seniors by hanging banners throughout town, as well as decided upon a tentative date for Fourth of July festivities.

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NEWLAND — Avery County still remains the only county in North Carolina without a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, but that narrative could change after the Toe River Health District is finished receiving the results of the approximately 280 tests it conducted during drive-through testing…

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The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial located in Washington, D.C., is our nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. This week, National Police Week, that monument takes on special significance for those of us in the High Country and throughout …

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ELK PARK — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the state’s response to the outbreak continues to keep a number of plans in flux, as the Elk Park Board of Aldermen tabled any decisions on upcoming events.

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RALEIGH – Sharp decline in revenue has resulted in the N.C. Department of Transportation falling below the statutorily mandated “cash floor” of $293 million, NCDOT announced on May 4. According to state law, once the department falls below the cash floor, the department can no longer enter i…