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In The News

Article Published: Sep. 30, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011


One of the state's most hotly contested congressional races will take center stage Tuesday night, Oct. 12, when U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-NC, and Democratic challenger Billy Kennedy square off at the Ashe County Civic Center, located on U.S. 221 in West Jefferson.

The 90-minute debate, sponsored by the New River Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), gets under way at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Questions will be asked by a panel of three local media personalities: Ashe Mountain Times editor Ron Fitzwater; Jefferson Post editor Lonnie Adamson; and Watauga Democrat senior political writer Scott Nicholson.

Readers are highly encouraged to submit questions they'd like to hear asked and can submit them to any panelist via e-mail or mail. To be considered, questions must be received no later than noon, Oct. 11.

Retired Air Force Col. Ken Lynn stressed that MOAA is strictly a non-partisan association, and its role is merely that of event sponsor and facilitator. "The panel of questioners are completely independent of our organization and have indicated they'll cover a wide-range of topics," Lynn said.

Readers should submit their questions to one of the following; please include your name and telephone number: Ron Fitzwater, Ashe Mountain Times, P.O. Box 327, West Jefferson, NC 28694, ( ; Lonnie Adamson, Jefferson Post, P.O. Box 808, West Jefferson, NC 28694, ( ; Scott Nicholson, Watauga Democrat, 474 Industrial Park Drive, Boone, NC 28607, ( For more information, contact Col. Lynn at (336) 877-2279.


Officers from the Watauga County Sheriff's Office arrested a man earlier this week after seizing 95 marijuana plants from his house off Junaluska Road in Boone.

As part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, detectives searched a house at 634 Running Deer Trail and found a large-scale, highly sophisticated hydroponic growing operation inside, according to a press release.

Ryan Matthew Melville, 24, of 634 Running Deer Trail, Boone, was found inside and was charged with trafficking in marijuana, manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana.

Melville was held at the Watauga Detention Center in lieu of a $10,000 secured bond.
The growing operation took up about three-quarters of the home and included plants of various stages of growth and maturity.

The finished marijuana taken from the residence weighed about 45 pounds and had a street value of $152,000.

Officers believe Melville was acting alone, but the investigation is ongoing, the press release states.


Watauga County voters have only about a week and a half remaining to register if they plan to vote in the Nov. 2 elections.

Registration ends at 5 p.m. Oct. 8. Any registration forms delivered in person or postmarked by that deadline will be considered valid, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections website.

As of Tuesday, 41,626 people were registered to vote in Watauga County.

Requirements: Voters must be United States citizens, residents of Watauga County for at least 30 days prior to Nov. 2 and at least 18 years old by Election Day.

How to register: Registration forms can be picked up at various public buildings throughout the county or printed online at

Forms must be returned in person to 842 W. King St., Suite 6, or mailed to the Board of Elections office at P.O. Box 528, Boone, NC 28607.

You need to register if: You have not previously registered in this county; your registration was cancelled because you registered in another county or state; or your registration was cancelled after a felony conviction and your citizenship rights have been restored.

You need to update your registration if: You have moved to Watauga County since you registered; you have changed your name; you wish to change your party affiliation.

If you forget to register: You can still register in person with proof of residency and vote at one-stop voting sites between Oct. 14 and 1 p.m. Oct 30. Registration is not permitted on Election Day.
Questions: Contact the county Board of Elections at (828) 265-8061 or visit

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