Weekly gas price update…

Average retail gasoline prices in North Carolina was unchanged at $2.04 per gallon from last week as of Monday, July 13. This compares with the national average which decreased by three cents to $2.19 per gallon, according to www.northcarolinagasprices.com.

National, state debt update…

As of Monday, July 13, the United States’ national debt was $26,512,663,147,077 according to www.usdebtclock.org. That debt figure breaks down to $80,353 in debt per person and $213,276 in debt per taxpayer. Also as of Monday, July 13, North Carolina’s state debt was $49,004,347,047, which breaks down to $4,656 in debt per citizen.

State unemployment and food stamp update…

As of Monday, July 13, 868,870 state residents were registered as unemployed, according to www.usdebtclock.org, and 798,543 North Carolinians were registered as food stamp recipients out of a total state population of 10,584,743.

We want to hear from you…

The AJT prides itself in investment in our community. We make an effort to cover everything we possibly can, and want the help of our readers to continue to represent what is happening in Avery County. We want your submissions, but they need to meet a few criteria to be considered for publication:

  • Submissions may include a photograph with everyone in the photo identified.
  • All submissions must include contact information, including an active phone number.
  • All submissions must include basic information.

Submissions are not free advertising. No submission that directly benefits a private individual or for-profit organization, either monetarily or for political gain, will be printed. Some good examples of acceptable submissions are philanthropic events, religious events, community events and any events or occurrences of special interest.

The AJT reserves the right to edit submissions to fit publication guidelines and reserves the right to not publish any submission for any reason.

All submissions may be sent to news@averyjournal.com.

Senior Center Highlights…

Activities at the Avery County Senior Center are on hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Meals may still be available for drive-through pickup at the Center, however. For more information, call the Center at (828) 733-8220, or visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Crossnore Alumni

Reunion Saturday…

Crossnore High School Alumni will host its annual reunion on Saturday, July 18. The Class of 1965 will host a casual meeting from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on the porch of the Tudor Vance Meeting House.

A registration and social time will take place at Crossnore First Baptist Church from 3:30 to 5 p.m., with business meeting and program from 5 to 6 p.m. and refreshments, entertainment and time to see old friends and remember the good old days from 6 to 7 p.m.

Historic photos will be on display and class rosters will be available for pickup or purchase. For more information, email crossnorehigh@gmail.com. Donations are welcome and appreciated.

Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival at Sugar this weekend…

SUGAR MOUNTAIN — The Avery County Chamber of Commerce will host the first of its two scheduled Fine Art and Master Crafts Festivals this Friday to Sunday, July 17 to 19, at Sugar Mountain Resort, located at 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive.

Event hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The juried festivals feature an eclectic gathering of unique hand-crafted wares from fine artists and master crafters. Fine art examples are photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, weaving, glass art, wood crafts, wood furniture, specialty candles, body care, soaps and many more. The Avery Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival benefits the Avery County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call the Avery Chamber of Commerce at (828) 898-5605, email chamber@averycounty.com or info@averycounty.com.

Wildlife Commission urges people to be BearWise as bear sightings increase…

RALEIGH – Over the last few weeks, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have experienced an uptick in calls from people who are seeing bears in neighborhoods. This is the time of year when bears are on the move as they search for natural food sources and yearling bears are looking for a new home.

In almost all instances, biologists advise callers to be “BearWise” if they are seeing bear activity. Being BearWise means living responsibly with bears by abiding by six BearWise Basics, the first and most important of which is to never feed or approach a bear — either intentionally or unintentionally. Feeding bears trains them to look for food by approaching homes and people. Bears are particularly attracted to bird seed, hummingbird feeders, garbage and other human-associated foods, like pet food. Bears may defend themselves if a person gets too close, so do not risk your safety or theirs.

“If you see a bear in your yard, your neighborhood, in the woods, wherever, don’t try to feed or approach the bear — we can’t stress this enough,” said Colleen Olfenbuttel, the agency’s black bear biologist. “Approaching or cornering a bear can unnerve it, perhaps causing it to act defensively.”

If left alone, most bears that wander into a neighborhood will quickly retreat to their natural habitat, particularly if no food source is around. While bears are naturally quite wary of people, Olfenbuttel says it is important to be cautious and follow the remaining five BearWise Basics to prevent potential conflicts and live responsibly with bears.

Secure food, garbage and recycling. Food and food odors can attract bears from over a mile away, so don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage. Store bags of trash inside cans in a garage, shed or other secure area; or use garbage cans or trash containers with a secure latching system or that are bear resistant. Place trash outside as late as possible on the morning of trash pick-up — not the night before.

Remove bird feeders when bears are active. Birdseed, other grains and hummingbird feeders have high calorie content making them very attractive to bears.

Never leave pet food outdoors. Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and remove the empty food bowl.

Clean and store grills. Make sure all grease, fat and food particles are removed, even from the drip tray, after each use. Once the grill is clean, store it in a bear-resistant location, like a garage or shed.

Alert neighbors to bear activity. Seen bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to people to adapt to living near bears.

In addition to removing food attractants, residents can:

Install electric fencing, which will protect bee hives, dumpsters, gardens, compost piles and other potential food sources. Find out how to install them at:

When Commission staff receive a report of a bear in an area, they assess the situation to determine if the bear poses a threat to public safety or property. They also assess if people are habituating the bear by purposely or incidentally feeding the bear. In almost all cases, the Commission advises that the best option to keep bears wild and to assure human safety is to remove attractants in the area.

The agency does not trap and relocate bears. If a bear is a threat to public safety, moving the bear only moves the problem to someone else’s community rather than solving the underlying issue.

“Human activities and behavior are usually the cause of the problem and the best solution is to implement the BearWise Basics,” Olfenbuttel said. “There are no remote places to move bears and relocation can be treacherous for the bear, as they are unfamiliar with the new place and where the food resources are. They will often try to return to where they were originally captured, encountering a variety of hazards such as dominant bears, human development, and major roadways in the process.”

For more information about living responsibly with black bears, click to bearwise.org. For more information about black bears in North Carolina, click to ncwildlife.org/bear. For questions regarding bears and other human-wildlife interactions, call the Commission’s N.C. Wildlife Helpline toll-free at (866) 318-2401 to leave a voicemail during operating hours or email the Helpline at wildlifehelpline@ncwildlife.org. The call center is currently open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amateur Radio Virtual Licensing Examinations…

Have you been studying for your amateur (“ham”) radio license examination, either independently, on the web or with a class or group? If you are ready to take the examination, so are we. Volunteer Examiners from the Mayland Amateur Radio Club are conducting Online Testing twice weekly every week. We have an evening session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and an afternoon session on Thursday at 1 p.m. No Morse code is required.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed Amateur Radio Operator simply follow these procedures:

In a web browser on your computer click to

  • In the upper right corner click on “Find A Session.”
  • Locate the KZ5ED – W5YI Exam Session for Tuesday or Thursday. If there are any slots remaining click on the link and then click on register. If the session states session full then you can try again the following week.
  • Important Note: if you want to study for a particular license you can use the resources on the https://hamstudy.org or you can use www.hamradiolicenseexam.com.

    Both of these are excellent resources and www.hamradiolicenseexam.com will actually let you know when you are proficient enough to take the test.

    You, too, can become a licensed operator and get on the air! It is a fun and lifelong hobby and, in addition, provides you with vital skills to serve your family and community in an emergency.

    For more information, call Eric Davenport at (828) 260-0461.

    Orchard at Altapass now open Thursday through Sunday…

    ALTAPASS — Once again, changes abound at the Orchard at Altapass. Doors of the red barn will now be open from Thursday through Sunday, giving folks another day to spend in the sunshine and along the trails that wind through now colorful, trees laden with not quite ripe apples from the 400 in our nursery, not more than two feet tall, to the grand, 100-year old “father trees,” with just enough life in them to keep going and green.

    This past weekend, the Orchard was filled (keeping the required physical distance) with folks coming for our first ripe apple of the season, the Yellow Transparent, now completely gone for this year. Also called a Lodi, this heirloom apple may not a great eating apple, but it is great in applesauce. As most orchards don’t open until fall, the pome was a great summer treat to hold and to be reminded that it grew just a stone’s throw away down that grassy road. Add in the views, the walking trails, the beautiful weather, and not to forget the homemade fudge, hot apple pie, and the ice cream—it was great fun for all.

    The Orchard is located at 1025 Orchard Road near Spruce Pine at mm 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a not-for-profit, 501©(3), working orchard, music and educational venue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., now open Thursday through Sunday. Orchard at Altapass is a family and pet-friendly venue which is wheelchair accessible. For information, click to altapassorchard.org or call (828) 765-9531.

    Treatment for trauma, PTSD available in Western North Carolina…

    ASHEVILLE — Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – known as PTSD – can affect anyone, at any age. Commonly associated with combat veterans, PTSD can result from experiencing or witnessing any traumatic event, such as a physical or sexual assault, a serious accident or a natural disaster.

    Up to eight percent of Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives, according to the National Center for PTSD – nearly one out of every 12 people. The good news is that effective treatments are available, including in western North Carolina.

    Vaya Health, an Asheville-based public managed care organization, joins agencies and other groups nationwide in recognizing June as PTSD Awareness Month. Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don’t get the help they need, said Vaya Chief Medical Officer Dr. Craig Martin.

    “People may consciously or subconsciously attempt to avoid dealing with trauma, or wish to ‘fight the battle’ on their own,” said Martin, who formerly served as chief psychiatrist of the TBI/PTSD Program at Naval Health Clinic New England. “It’s important to keep in mind that while we may have had no control over past traumatic events, we do have a say in how we respond moving forward.

    “Many trauma survivors have found that seeking professional help – which may include counseling or use of non-addictive medications – lessened their symptoms and allowed them to live better alongside past experiences, rather than having the trauma control their lives,” Martin said.

    It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. Individuals with PTSD may find themselves reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding things or places that remind them of the event, experiencing negative changes in beliefs and always feeling ‘on guard.’

    Only a mental health care provider can diagnose PTSD, which is the first step toward finding effective treatment. Western North Carolina residents who receive Medicaid or are uninsured can call Vaya’s toll-free, 24/7 Access to Care Line at 1-(800) 849-6127 for information on nearby treatment options.

    Additionally, anyone in western North Carolina, regardless of insurance carrier or status, can call Vaya day or night for help in a behavioral health crisis.

    Learn more about PTSD from the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov. For more information on local treatment services, click to www.vayahealth.com.

    Russ named to

    University of Alabama Dean’s List …

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tameron Russ of Banner Elk was named to the University of Alabama Dean’s List for spring 2020.

    A total of 16,470 students enrolled during the 2020 spring term at UA were named to the Dean’s List with an academic record of 3.5 or above or the President’s List with an academic record of 4.0 (all A’s).

    The UA Dean’s and President’s lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. The lists do not apply to graduate students or to undergraduate students who take less than a full course load.

    The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.

    Important information from the Office of the District Attorney…

    As we continue to expand court operations, we are working to ensure that the needs of the public are met while we strive to keep the public safe. If you do not have an attorney, please call before coming into the courthouse on your assigned court date. If you have an attorney, please contact your attorney before coming to court. The following phone numbers may be used for the Clerk’s Office and DA’s Office in each county: Avery: (828) 737-6710 (DA), (828) 737-6700 (Clerk); Madison: (828) 649-2240 (DA), (828) 649-2200 (Clerk); Mitchell: (828) 688-5110 (DA), (828) 688-5100 (Clerk); Watauga: (828) 268-6610 (DA), (828) 268-6600 (Clerk); Yancey: (828) 678-5720 (DA), (828) 678-5700 (Clerk).

    For traffic ticket or infractions, click to www.nccourts.org/services and click on “Citation Services.” Many citations can be reduced and paid online. To stay up-to-date on your court matters, sign up for text and email reminders at www.nccourts.gov/services and click on “Court Date Notifications.”

    MEC Operation Pocket Change partners with TVA to donate $24,000 to aid in COVID 19 relief for MEC members…

    Mountain Electric is proud to announce that its Operation Pocket Change program has partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority to award $14,000 to the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency and $10,000 to the Volunteer Avery organization to help our local communities during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Johnson and Avery County communities will each receive $10,000, with the small portion of Carter County that MEC serves getting $4,000. The funds can be used for assistance with rent, food or other miscellaneous necessities. The funds cannot be used to pay for energy bills, due to restrictions in the OPC bylaws that prohibit funds being used for that purpose.

    OPC funded $14,000, while $10,000 was donated by TVA’s COVID-19 Community Care Fund. These funds will help immediate needs in MEC’s communities by providing matching funds for local initiatives addressing hardships created by this pandemic.

    “In the spirit of public power, we are honored to partner with local power companies to address the unprecedented challenges facing those we serve,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer. “TVA has a mission of service to make life better for the people of the Valley, and providing these funds to address immediate needs is one way we can help ease the burdens on families and communities.”

    MEC hopes that members affected by COVID 19 hardships will take advantage of these funds. Johnson County members should contact their local office at (423) 727-6633 and Carter County members call (423) 542-5121. Avery County members need to contact Volunteer Avery at (828) 737-0718. Proof of membership is required and assistance is only permitted one time per membership.

    Airsoft scenario event planned for July 31

    to Aug. 2…

    A free event will take place in Avery County from Friday, July 31, to Sunday, Aug. 2, for any airsoft individuals or organized teams. Individuals who are not a member of an organized team will be placed on a team. For more information, call (828) 387-7818 or (828) 260-3469.

    16th Annual Wildlife in N.C. Magazine Photo Competition now

    accepting entries…

    RALEIGH – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will accept entries to its 16th annual Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition until 5 p.m., Sept. 1, 2020. Potential participants can review details of the contest at ncwildlife.org/contest, and winning photos from previous years can be viewed on the Commission’s website.

    The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, except for employees of the Commission, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses).

    Entrants must be either current magazine subscribers or younger than 18 years old. The Commission will only accept online entries — no slides, negatives or prints will be accepted by mail. Only photographs taken in North Carolina since Sept. 15, 2016, are eligible for the competition. Entrants may submit a maximum of two photos per category, and each photo must be in JPEG format and no larger than 2 megabytes.

    The categories are: Animal Behavior; Birds; Invertebrates; Mammals; Outdoor Recreation; Reptiles and Amphibians Wild Landscapes; Wild Plants and Fungi; Youth Photographer: Any of these subjects, shot by photographers ages 13 to 17; Youth Photographer: Any of the above subjects, shot by photographers age 12 and younger.

    Photos of captive native animals are allowed, but photos of animals that are both captive and non-native to North Carolina will not be accepted. No pets or domestic animals will be accepted, except animals participating with people in an outdoor activity, such as hunting dogs or horses with riders.

    Entries will be judged by a panel comprising staff from the Commission and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as professional wildlife photographers. The grand prize winner will have his or her photo published on the cover of the January/February 2021 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina and will receive a check for $200. All winning photographs will be published in the magazine and exhibited at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Winners will also receive a print of their winning entry from JW Image Company. First place in all categories pays $100; second place, $75; and third place, $50.

    Wildlife in North Carolina is published bimonthly by the Commission in both print and electronic formats. Subscribers to the magazine enjoy exceptional color photography and articles on hunting, fishing, natural areas, wildlife research and the state’s environment in every issue. Subscribers also receive spring and fall outdoor guide special editions, with the latest hunting, fishing and sportsman information. Subscriptions to the printed version of the magazine cost $12 per year or $30 for three years.

    U.S. Forest Service announces Ginseng Permit Lottery for 2020…

    ASHEVILLE — The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests announced that this year’s ginseng harvest permits will be determined again by lottery with an application period through July 27.

    A permit is required to collect wild ginseng in the two national forests during the designated harvest season. Those seeking a permit must call a ranger district office and submit their name and address for the lottery by July 27. Requests by email will not be accepted. The office numbers are as follows — Pisgah National Forest: Appalachian Ranger District (828) 689-9694; Grandfather Ranger District (828) 652-2144; Pisgah Ranger District (828) 634-1031.

    Written notification will be mailed to successful applicants selected by lottery before August 16. District offices will start issuing permits to selected applicants August 25 with an effective date of September 16. The number of permits issued is limited to 136 annual permits.

    Permit numbers for Pisgah National Forest are as follows: Appalachian Ranger District: 29 permits; Grandfather Ranger District: 7 permits; Pisgah Ranger District: 8 permits.

    Permits are issued through a lottery system (selected randomly) by each district office. Individuals may submit their names at more than one district office. A permit allows a person to harvest 1 to 3 wet pounds (at $40 per pound) of wild ginseng in the ranger district where the permit is issued. The permitted harvest season is two weeks. Harvesting will be allowed Sept. 16 to 30, 2020.

    Each District Ranger may further limit ginseng harvests to certain areas of the national forest to allow the plants to regenerate or to protect natural areas. Harvest area descriptions and maps will be provided to permit recipients. Harvest is prohibited in designated wilderness and other natural areas set aside for research purposes, such as Walker Cove and Black Mountain.

    In addition to reducing the legal harvest of wild ginseng, the Forest Service has increased law enforcement efforts to reduce poaching. Removing a wild ginseng plant or its parts from national forests without a permit or outside of the legal harvest season is considered theft of public property. Penalties for plant poaching may include a fine up to $5,000 or six-month sentence in federal prison, or both.

    Ginseng root has been favored as a tonic primarily in East Asia for the past two-and-a-half centuries. In North Carolina, ginseng is more common in the mountains, very infrequent in the piedmont, and very rare in the coastal plain.

    For more information about harvesting ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, click to www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd754651.pdf.

    YMCA announces

    outdoor activities…

    LINVILLE — We are so pleased to welcome members back to some Outdoor Group Exercise classes! While we still cannot hold classes indoors we CAN offer them outdoors. Classes are under way now. Please read the following, as things will look a little different right now:

    • Group exercise classes are for YMCA members only at this time.
    • Schedule is subject to change. Classes are weather permitting – any cancellations or changes will be posted to social media.
    • All classes will be held at the picnic area at the playground in front of the hospital, either under the pavilion or in the adjacent grassy area. Before class you MUST check in at the main YMCA front desk to scan in and have your temperature taken. Each individual’s temperature will be taken before being granted entry. Anyone with a temperature above 99.9 will be denied entry. You will be given a sticker for entry to class. You will be turned away if you do not have a sticker when you arrive at class.
    • A sanitation station will be set up at the pavilion, individuals must sanitize before class.
    • Masks are not required during class but we encourage you to wear one if you choose. All participants must maintain social distancing.
    • Class size is a maximum of 24 participants. Only class participants are allowed to attend, please do not bring children as there will be no childcare available and the playground is closed per governor’s orders.
    • All outdoor classes are weather permitting – any changes or cancellations will be posted on social media.
    • Bring a full water bottle – water fountains will not be available.
    • You must bring your own mat or towel for all classes – mats will not be provided. For some of the classes please bring the following if you have them. Options will be provided for those that do not have the items: Stretch Tone and Balance — bring hand weights and a chair; Boot Camp and Active – Bring hand weights

    For more information, click to ymcaavery.org.

    Avery County Local Food Producers Directory…

    The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center is reaching out to all local food producers in Avery County. In an effort to provide our residents with information about fresh local food available in this area, Bill Hoffman, Extension Agent-ANR, is compiling a directory containing local food producers along with contact information and products that are available for purchase.

    If you are a local food producer in Avery County and would be interested in having your information listed in the upcoming directory, please contact the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center at (828) 733-8270.

    Operation Fan Heat Relief distributing fans to eligible recipients…

    RALEIGH — As the weather starts warming up, the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services is partnering with the NC Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers to distribute fans to eligible recipients through Operation Fan Heat Relief through Oct. 31.

    People 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, are eligible to sign up for assistance through Oct. 31 at local aging agencies across the state. Since 1986, the relief program has purchased fans for older adults and adults with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable living environment and reducing heat-related illnesses.

    As individuals age and develop chronic medical conditions, they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. They may also be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Operation Fan Heat Relief helps vulnerable adults at risk for heat-related illnesses stay safe during the summer.

    In addition to applying for fans, people 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, can take the following steps during high temperatures:

    • Increase fluid intake
    • Spend some time in cool or air-conditioned environments regularly
    • Reduce strenuous activity during the afternoon
    • Spe
    • ak with their physician before summer about how to stay safe while taking medication that can affect the body’s ability to cool itself (e.g., high blood pressure drugs)

    Given the spread of COVID-19, people should check on neighbors and friends aged 60 and older by phone or internet during high temperatures when possible. Visiting a cool space in the house of a neighbor or friend is recommended if one doesn’t have adequate cooling, but physical distancing of at least six feet, wearing a cloth face covering and hand-washing should be practiced.

    The program is made possible by donations from Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, and Dominion Resources, which allow regional area agencies on aging and provider agencies to purchase fans for eligible individuals. Provider agencies can also purchase a limited number of air conditioners based on a person’s specific health conditions.

    Last year, the division received $85,600 in donations, allowing for the distribution of 5,185 fans and 27 air conditioners.

    For more details, individuals may contact their Area Agency on Aging or the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Housing Program Consultant at (919) 855-3419.

    More information about Operation Fan Heat Relief, including tips on preparing for extreme heat and a list of local agencies distributing fans, is available at www.ncdhhs.gov/operation-fan-and-heat-relief.

    Orchard at Altapass GoFundMe campaign…

    The Orchard at Altapass has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $20,000 that will offset the costs of staff and orchard maintenance. Although everyone is keeping their distance and a low profile, the trees at the Orchard are bulging. New apple and peach trees fill the “nursery” alongside the one-year-old blueberry bushes quietly waiting to get just a bit bigger. Blossoms have blown off and the tiniest of apples beginning to peek out of the greening leaves. Grasses tall and weeds are taller, and hopefully the campaign will defray some of the dollars lost due to the mandated but necessary closure. Click to https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/saving-the-good-stuff or click to altapassorchard.org and select the link at the bottom of the home page.

    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 Monday at 7 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.

    Mentors needed for Avery kids and youth…

    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 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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