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Article Published: Oct. 21, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Rivers Street lane closure

Beginning Thursday morning, Oct. 21, a portion of Rivers Street on the Appalachian State University campus will be reduced to two lanes.

One lane in each direction will be taken in order to make utility and storm drainage repairs near the Rivers Street Parking Deck and the Welborn Dining Hall Bridge.

Rivers Street will be opened and returned to four lanes by Sunday evening, Oct. 24, but the area will remain a construction zone while the utility work is completed in the bike lane through Friday, Oct. 29.

For more information, contact Allison Kemp-Sullivan, interim associate director of ASU Design and Construction at (828) 262-6622 or (

Operation Stop Arm continues

Passing a stopped school bus is never a good idea, but especially so this week.

Operation Stop Arm, a statewide initiative to increase awareness and enforcement of traffic violations that occur around school buses, including passing a school bus when its stop arm is active, will take place Monday through Friday.

During this time, Watauga County drivers can expect to see troopers from the N.C. Highway Patrol following or in the area of various school bus routes.

The Highway Patrol has requested information from school administrators about the locations of the most frequent violations and will retool troopers' routes to be in those areas.

Passing a stopped school bus will add five points to your license, the greatest single punishment for any of the traffic laws outlined in Chapter 20 of the N.C. General Statutes. The insurance penalty involved is equal to vehicular manslaughter, said Sgt. Derek Dawson of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

And unlike some other traffic violations, law enforcement will never give only a warning to those caught passing a stopped school bus because of the seriousness of the charge, Dawson said.

Adding to the seriousness of the charge, anyone found guilty in court of passing a stopped school bus may not receive a prayer for judgment continued under any circumstances, according to 2005 state law.

Although paying special attention to problem areas is routine, Dawson said the troopers can be more effective if residents let their local school administrators know when they witness violations near school buses.

"If we know that a school is having a problem with a particular bus or a particular bus route, then we can do something about it," Dawson said.

Ten school bus violations have been reported by Watauga County bus drivers since Jan. 1, Dawson said.

To read the full statute outlining school bus-related laws, visit

For a visual representation describing when you can pass a stopped bus, visit

Bizarre litter could pay off

A bowling ball, plastic baby pool, handmade Christmas quilt and an antique plow: What do these things have in common?

They were all past entries to the Most Unusual Litter Contest, which is currently open to all who participated in the N.C. Department of Transportation's fall Litter Sweep or a similar litter cleanup event.

The contest is jointly sponsored by NCDOT, Keep NC Beautiful and the North Carolina Beverage Association and is held each year during fall and spring Litter Sweeps. 

Winning entries are awarded cash prizes of $250 (first place), $100 (second place) and $50 (third place). To enter the contest, take a photo of the unusual litter found during a litter pickup and complete the entry form available at All entry forms are due by Oct. 31.

Photographs will not be returned and may be used to promote litter prevention programs.

Contest entries must be found on North Carolina roadways, and animals and reptiles are excluded.
For more information on the Most Unusual Litter Contest, contact Keep NC Beautiful deputy director Heather Thompson at (919) 783-6993 or (

Walker College of Business in Princeton Review

Appalachian State University's Walker College of Business has been included in "The Best 300 Business Schools: 2011 Edition" by the Princeton Review for its Master of Business Administration program.

"The Best 300 Business Schools: 2011 Edition" has two-page profiles of each school with write-ups on their academics, selectivity and career placement services.  In the profile on the Walker College of Business MBA program, the Princeton Review editors describe the school as "small, efficient and affordable." 

They also quoted students attending Appalachian's program, who say, "The school has a great administration that is willing to work with students in order to help the students achieve their goals" and "The professors are easy to get along with and are always willing to help the students."

"Being named one of the best 300 business schools in the nation is a great honor for the Walker College of Business," said Dr. Randy Edwards, dean of the business college. "It recognizes the outstanding students and faculty in the college."

Local Food Summit Nov. 12-13

The second annual High Country Local Food Summit will be held Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Valle Crucis Conference Center in Valle Crucis. Registration is $25 and includes the cost of materials used and meals during the summit.

The theme for this year's summit is Sustaining Communities: Bringing economy, ecology and equality to the table.

The event will be filled with education, collaboration and inspiration, as issues, such as economy, ecology and equity within the local food system, will be addressed. The summit will provide ample opportunity for networking, planning and problem solving through a mixture of expert panels, working groups, and lively facilitated discussion as we work toward a more sustainable community in the High Country.

Panel and workshop topics include Food Security and Hunger, Sustainable Forestry, a Meat Processing Facility in the High Country, Farm Access to Appalachian Food Services, Direct Marketing, Land Access for Older and Newer Farmers and Overcoming Obstacles for Farm Profitability.

The event is sponsored by Appalachian's Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program with support from Mazie Jones Levenson. For more information, visit, email ( , or call (828) 262-7248.

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