kiwanis aug 14

Weekly gas price update…

Average retail gasoline prices in North Carolina decreased by three cents to $2.47 per gallon from last week as of Monday, Aug 12. This compares with the national average which decreased by seven cents to $2.63 per gallon, according to www.northcarolinagasprices.com.

National, state debt update…

As of Monday, Aug. 12, the United States’ national debt was $22,501,626,614,782 according to www.usdebtclock.org. That debt figure breaks down to $68,294 in debt per person and $182,900 in debt per taxpayer. Also as of Monday, Aug. 12. North Carolina’s state debt was $42,987,415,272, which breaks down to $4,118 in debt per citizen.

State unemployment

and food stamp update …

As of Monday, Aug. 12, 150,335 state residents were registered as unemployed, according to www.usdebtclock.org, and 673,701 North Carolinians were registered as food stamp recipients out of a total state population of 10,510,587.

The Avery Journal-Times E-Edition…

Readers of The Avery Journal-Times can now receive the news, sports and features they enjoy in the weekly edition of the newspaper via our online E-Edition at www.averyjournal.com. Access to our online content comes at no additional charge for current print subscribers, who can call (828) 733-0401. Online readers can subscribe to this service for $15 per year or a recurring charge of $1.25 per month via the website. We at The AJT thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide excellence in local news coverage as Avery County’s newspaper of record.

Senior Center Highlights…

Aug. 14

Bowling Trip to Johnson City, must sign up prior (8:15 a.m.)

Free Form Pottery (9 a.m.)

Bingo (10:45 a.m.)

Computing with Charlie (1 to 3 p.m.)

Aug. 15

Advanced Line Dancing (9:30 a.m.)

Blood Pressure Check (10 a.m.)

Wii Games (10:30 a.m.)

Men’s Coffee (10:30 a.m.)

Tai Chi for Arthritis (10:45 a.m.)

Fused Glass Class, must be signed up prior, $20 per person (1 p.m.)

Aug. 16

Walking Club (9 a.m.)

Caregiver’s Haven (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Strength and Shaping (10 a.m.)

Karaoke (10:30 a.m.)

iPad Games (10:30 a.m.)

Aug. 19

Clay works (9 a.m.)

Walking Club (9 a.m.)

Computer Skills (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Line Dancing (9:30 a.m.)

Tai Chi (10:30 a.m.)

Trivia (10:45 a.m.)

Learn Mahjong (12:30 p.m.)

Aug. 20

Trip to Storytelling Live, must be signed up prior

Bible Study (10 a.m.)

Learn Mahjong (12:30 p.m.)

Alzheimer’s Support Group (1 p.m)

Vaya Health, emotional and behavioral health (1:30 p.m.)

Vaya Health, enhancing Mental Health (2:30 p.m.)

Aug. 21

Free Form Pottery (9 a.m.)

Shaping with resistance Bands (10 a.m.)

Bingo (10:45 a.m.)

Computing with Charlie (1 to 3 p.m.)

Apple Hill Farm first stop on 2019 Western North Carolina Agritourism Farm Tour…

The 2019 Western North Carolina Agritourism Farm Tour will be held on Friday, Aug. 16, departing from the Valle Crucis Conference Center in Banner Elk. Guests will travel together on a charter bus visiting four very diverse farms.

The first stop on the tour will be Apple Hill Farm near Banner Elk, where educational guided tours are offered of a mountaintop farm featuring alpacas, llamas, angora goats and other animals. From there, the group will visit Shipley Farms Beef in Vilas, F.A.R.M. Cafe High and Country Food Hub in Boone, New River Corn Maze and Heritage Homestead Creamery in Crumpler.

The Summer NC Agritourism Farm Tour is a perfect fit for farmers considering an expansion into welcoming the public, for community members in agriculture, economic development, tourism, local food and farm media representatives to learn more about the growing industry of Agritourism. This is a fun-filled day with networking and educational opportunities available to all participants.

To register for the tour or more information click to http://nc-ana.org, contact Chris Mills at (919) 422-0054, ncana.chris@gmail.com, or Annie Baggett at (919) 707-3120 or by email at annie.baggett@ncagr.govcontact.

Inaugural Avery

County High Reunion

set for October 26…

Did you attend or graduate from Avery County High School? Would you like to reconnect with former classmates and friends? Would you like to visit with old friends in other classes? Then the inaugural Avery County High School Reunion is for you!

The three schools that consolidated to form ACHS (Newland High, Crossnore High and Cranberry High) have had annual reunions for many years. Avery County High School has been in existence now for 50 years and there has never been an annual reunion for all classes.

Big plans are under way for this first reunion to take place on Saturday, Oct. 26, which is the day following Avery’s Homecoming celebration. The reunion will take place in the ACHS Gymnasium and the doors will open for fun and visiting at 1:30 p.m. Danica Goodman, Class of 2000, is spearheading the effort to establish an annual reunion for ACHS.

What can you do to help? Contact information is needed for each of the 50 classes that have graduated. If you have or can get names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc., for your class, please get them to Danica Goodman immediately at: P.O. Box 278, Crossnore, NC 28616, or by email at ACHSalumni@aol.com. Contact information needs to be in by August 31. People who would like to serve on the Avery County Alumni Association should email Danica Goodman at ACHSalumni@aol.com as soon as possible, as the reunion is only two months away.

Also, any people who can donate hors d’oeuvres or snacks for the reunion would be a great help. Money for postage and drinks is also needed and, again, donations would be greatly appreciated.

We look forward to seeing everyone there. Let’s make this gathering a wonderful and well-attended annual event each year!

NCDOL encourages businesses to

participate in ‘Safe + Sound Week’…

RALEIGH — “Safe + Sound” is a year-round federal OSHA campaign to encourage all workplaces to implement safety and health programs. While the state of North Carolina has participated in the national campaign for many years, this year, the week of Aug. 12 to 18 has officially been declared “Safe + Sound Week” in North Carolina.

“We are pleased with the proclamation issued by Gov. Cooper to recognize ‘Safe + Sound Week’ in North Carolina,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “Please visit the USDOL website and join 51 other North Carolina businesses that have already registered as participants in the campaign to help expand the safety and health culture that has taken root throughout our state.”

Last year, more than 2,700 businesses across the country helped raise awareness about workers’ safety and health by joining the campaign to recognize efforts of commitments to safety and health.

“North Carolina has made great strides over the years, but we are seeing an uptick in work-related fatal incidents this year,” said Kevin Beauregard, director of the NCDOL Occupational Safety and Health Division. “It is easy to become complacent in the workplace, especially while North Carolina’s injury and illness rate for private industry is at an historic low 2.3 per 100 full-time workers. Continued safety discussions and strong occupational safety and health programs are extremely important.”

There are many ways that employers and employees can participate in the campaign. Some employers have hosted lunches with games and prizes while others have provided additional breaks to discuss potential hazards and promote safety. Safety and health programs help businesses prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, improve compliance with laws and regulations, reduce costs, engage workers, enhance social responsibility goals, increase productivity and enhance overall business operations.

If your organization is participating this year, be sure to use #SafeAndSound2019 and #SafeAndSoundAtWork on social media. For more information on the campaign, click to www.osha.gov/safeandsound.

AMY Wellness

Foundation opens grant application process…

The AMY Wellness Foundation, a public charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our community, has announced their first inaugural grant cycle. The organization is accepting applications from Aug. 1 through Sept. 15.

The Foundation is dedicated to serving Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties through addressing “Social Determinants of Health” — factors and barriers that influence people’s health and well-being.

In preparation of its first grant cycle, the AMY Wellness Foundation Grants Review Committee studied needs assessment data, health impact factors, and facilitated listening sessions with 30 organizations throughout the three-county region. The information learned was used to inform the Foundation’s first grant cycle, however, the drive to collect more knowledge continues. The Foundation will hold ongoing listening sessions to expand its knowledge and learn the highest areas of needs our communities face.

The AMY Wellness Foundation encourages organizations to submit applications regardless of their attendance at past listening sessions. Guidance and consult will be provided by a third party to encourage success of organizations who apply. Organizations can attend a grant writing workshop on either Aug. 27 or Sept. 9 to learn more about the Foundation’s grant application.

Any organization who is interested in attending can email the Foundation directly at info@amywellnessfoundation.org for more information.

Wilderness 101

in Linville Gorge …

Mayland Community College’s Creative Learning program at its Newland campus invites a party limited to nine hikers to join wilderness host Dr. Christopher Blake on an exciting week-long adventure into the Linville Gorge.

The rugged course begins Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 20. Blake, director of the Friends of Linville Gorge and author of two books on the area, explains that the outings will get more strenuous each day.

“On day one, we’ll hunt for mushrooms along the Linville River above the falls, and we end at the site near Table Rock Mountain from which the closing sequence of the film ‘Last of the Mohicans’ (1992) was filmed.”

Mushroom farmer and former President of the Asheville Mushroom Club, Pete Whelihan, leads the first day’s class on a foray or hunt. Following the creation of a colorful fungi ID and classification design on a picnic table top, edible species gathered by students will be served up stir-fried. Succeeding hikes will visit Bynum Bluff Trail to the river, ascend Hawksbill Mountain, and explore trail systems close to the Falls.

In an orientation scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at MCC’s Avery Learning Center, students will be instructed in safety and rescue techniques and the following week’s schedule of hikes. Participants should be in reasonably good health and fitness. All outings will assemble at 1 p.m. in the community of Linville Falls, outside the General Store at the intersection of Hwys. 221 and 183. Hydration and head cover are both important.

“We’ll be crossing from one gorge system such as the river to exposed conditions on the rock peaks. End of hike times will be approximate, but we will be out before dark,” Blake explained. Photo ops will abound but cell-phone reception is variable.

The cost for the course is $100 and includes membership in Friends of Linville Gorge. For more information, call Mayland Community College or email Dr. Blake at gorgestalker@gmail.com.

Tickets on sale for

Autumn at Oz,

Dinner with

Dorothy…

BEECH MOUNTAIN — Tickets are available for the Land of Oz’s 26th annual Autumn at Oz Festival, which takes place Sept. 6 to 8 and 13 to 15, as well as the Dining with Dorothy events

“Skip down the Yellow Brick Road atop Beech Mountain – one mile high in the sky – where you will literally be over the rainbow. If you’ve ever gone searching for your heart’s desire, look no further,” a statement from Land of Oz said. “You will experience the magic of Oz during this two-week event where the Scarecrow, TinMan, and Lion are ready to greet you on your travels, along with all of your other favorite characters from the classic story. This is the only event of its kind where you are immersed into the actual Land of Oz and may run into a Munchkin, Flying Monkey, or Toto, too.”

In addition, the Dining with Dorothy events take place on the same dates and times at Sorrento’s in Banner Elk.

The tours and dinner takes place on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 6 and 13, both Fridays, and hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept 7, 8, 14 and 15, both Saturdays and Sundays. Autumn at Oz tickets are $45 each and Dining with Dorothy is $35, both plus tax.

The semi-defunct park opens a select few days each year and often sells out.

For more information including a link to purchase tickets, click to www.landofoznc.com/autumnatoz.

American Red Cross reports

emergency blood shortage,

offers gift card

to blood donors…

ASHEVILLE — To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who come to give blood or platelets with the American Red Cross from now through Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give now by activating Amazon’s Alexa Red Cross Blood Skill by saying, “Alexa, find a blood drive,” or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, clicking to redcrossblood.org, or calling 1 (800) RED CROSS (1 (800) 733-2767).

When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients. The need for blood is constant. In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross hopes to motivate donors to roll up a sleeve and alleviate the blood shortage across the country. Amazon’s partnership with the Red Cross is part of their commitment to “Right Now Needs” to help increase blood donations to ensure patient needs are met.

“We are grateful to Amazon for their support in addressing a ‘Right Now Need’ for blood donations,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Each donation truly matters to those counting on blood products to battle illness and injury. Today, we are asking the public to donate as soon as possible to ensure blood is available on hospital shelves for those in need.”

Blood transfusion is one of the most common inpatient hospital procedures in the U.S., and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the United States give blood. The Red Cross urges individuals across the country to roll up a sleeve today to ensure blood is available for patients across the country. The next Avery County donation opportunity will be at Lowe’s Hardware, located at 2014 Tynecastle Hwy. in Banner Elk, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, click to redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Wells Fargo

awards $52,500

to High Country United Way…

High Country United Way accepted a $52,500 donation from Wells Fargo on Aug. 8 in support of local nonprofits working to end poverty in the High Country.

The purpose of the Wells Fargo funding is to equip low income individuals and families with the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency, according to HCUW. High Country United Way commits 100 percent of the funding received to the work of three nonprofit programs: WAMY’s Total Family Development program serving Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties; Hospitality House’s RISE of the High Country serving Watauga; and Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission’s Family Self Sufficiency serving Ashe and Alleghany counties.

“These programs are instrumental in creating opportunities for economic mobility, and the Wells Fargo investment has the potential to transform future generations in our community,” said Marti Phillips, HCUW executive director, in a statement. “Wells Fargo is proud to support the High Country United Way and their efforts to provide support programs that help alleviate poverty,” said Karen Lambert, the region bank president for Wells Fargo in Western North Carolina. “Working to create a better financial outcome for individuals is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo. We want to do our part to help individuals succeed.”

Each of these programs are designed to help individuals and families reach self-sufficiency through focus on the areas of education, employment and life skills and strategies to establish financial stability, according to HCUW. According to American Community Survey data, the poverty rate in High Country counties ranges from 15 to 28 percent, and this funding ensures that local organizations have the resources to service those in need.

YME Bocce ball activities…

The clients at Yellow Mountain Enterprises will begin playing Bocce ball each Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Get outdoor cats fixed and vaccinated at no cost …

If you have strays in your neighborhood, you can get trap-fix-release them for free through a grant with the Avery Humane Society. Call (828) 733-2333 for more information. Offer is valid for residents of Avery County with a valid photo ID.

Celebrate

Recovery …

Each Sunday at 6 p.m., Heaton Christian Church, located at 221 Curtis Creek Road, offers help for anyone struggling with addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), or other undesirable habits or compulsions, to overcome their battles and find their relationship with Jesus Christ.

No one will be judged. This is a ministry of loving, caring people, some who have experienced the same struggles. Family and friends of those needing help are encouraged to participate and support their efforts. For more information, call Butch or Courtney at (828) 528-5476.

Banner Elk

Book Exchange …

The Banner Elk Book Exchange is a community-based, volunteer-run book exchange for Banner Elk and Avery County, operating on a “bring a book, take a book” policy. The exchange is located in the Cultural Arts Center at the Historic Banner Elk School and is open. Winter operating hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, click to www.bannerelkbookexchange.com.

Mentors needed …

Western Youth Network, in partnership with Williams YMCA, is accepting applications for mentors for Avery County youth ages six to 17, who are in need of a positive role model in their lives. Mentors serve a unique role in the life of a child that is different from that of a parent, teacher or friend. After spending time with a mentor (an average of two hours per week for one year), young people show improvements in their academic performance, school attendance and behaviors. Most of all, they know someone cares about them.

Mentoring opportunities are also available through the program’s lunch buddy program at local elementary schools. For more information, or to fill out an application, call or email Avery Mentoring Coordinator Sabena Maiden at (828) 264-5174 or maidens@westernyouthnetwork.org or Williams YMCA Community Outreach Director Sheila Bauer at (828) 737-5500 or sheilab@ymcaavery.org.

Avery Museum hours …

The number of visitors to the Avery County Historical Museum and ET&WNC Railroad Depot and Caboose has increased greatly due to expanded hours and updated displays. The Museum is now open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and when volunteers are available on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Special tours may be arranged by calling (828) 733-7111. There are also opportunities to volunteer. To find out more, call us at the Museum.

The museum features many exhibits with artifacts that belonged to local residents. The history and culture of the area is of interest to local residents as well as visitors. The public is invited to take advantage of this free resource. The museum is located next to the Avery County Courthouse.

Avery County Volunteer

Communications Club…

Avery County Volunteer Communications Club (AC4VC) holds meetings on the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 6 p.m., at Linville Land Harbor Mountain View Activity Center (22 Twin Tree Lane, Newland). Any and all who are interested in Amateur Radio are welcome to attend. There will be a general meeting and training. Following training, the group will be conducting testing of all three types of Amateur Radio licenses. For more information, contact Jay Glen, N4HOP and ACVC Club President, at (828) 305-9851, or email AC4VC.Club@gmail.com.

Caregiver’s Haven …

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from memory loss? Are you a caregiver who could use a day out? Caregiver’s Haven is a safe, welcoming, and fun environment for your loved one to spend their Fridays at between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This time can be beneficial for a caregiver to get their own needs met and to have a few hours of the day to themselves. A trained staff provides a nutritious lunch, fun activities, day trips, stimulating mind and body exercises, socialization for your loved one, and even counseling for you as a caregiver. The senior center also offers an Alzheimer’s Support Group where caregivers and professionals can meet and share the struggles that come along with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia. That group meets every third Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. Both of these groups will meet at the Avery County Senior Center in Newland. Call Avery Senior Services at (828) 733-8220 for more information.

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