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Article Published: Feb. 24, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Ohnesorge wins NCPA awards

"What's happening."

It's The Mountain Times' specialty - even in Chapel Hill.

MT staff writer Lauren K. Ohnesorge was honored by the N.C. Press Association (NCPA) at last Thursday's 2010 News, Editorial and Photojournalism Contest awards ceremony in Chapel Hill.

She received first place in the criticism category for her review of the High Country's inaugural Sqworm Festival and third place in the profile feature category for her story, "Area vet finds therapy in sculpture," detailing the life and times of an area Vietnam veteran who finds solace through art.
A judge called her criticism piece "easy to read and informative," adding, "Her smartly written music previews and reviews are fresh with good use of direct quotes."

For her profile feature accolade, the judge said, "I feel like I can see what the subject went through."
Both awards were presented in the contest's Community Division C category for newspapers with circulations of more than 10,000.

"Lauren has Mountain Times written all over her - sometimes literally," MT editor Frank Ruggiero said. "You'd be hard pressed to find anyone more in tune with what's happening in the High Country. Add to that her clever delivery and engrossing means of storytelling, and this welcome recognition comes as no surprise."

For more information on the NCPA, visit

Humane Society needs your help 

The Watauga Humane Society is performing some necessary spring cleaning at its shelter, located at 200 Casey Lane in Boone. 

The organization is seeking replacement items for its cat room, such as cat condos, cat towers and trees, scratching posts, play tunnels, etc.

Play is essential to cats' health and wellbeing, and the society assures donors that any new or gently used items would be a "purr-fect" way for its feline residents to welcome spring.

For more information, or to donate, call the shelter at (828) 264-7865. Shelter hours are Tuesday through Friday, from12:30 to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 to 5 p.m.; and closed on Monday.

Hospital Visitation Restrictions Requested 

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) hospitals are seeing an increase in patients with Influenza-like illnesses and positive flu screening tests.

As a result, ARHS asks the public to voluntarily refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends, as well as those persons at the hospital for an outpatient procedure, if the visitor is sick with flu-like symptoms.

"We appeal to the community regarding visitation restrictions in an effort to protect our patients," said Claire Cline, vice president of patient care services. "Patients can be extremely vulnerable to influenza, so our facilities want to take every appropriate precaution."     

Blowing Rock Hospital, Cannon Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center are working diligently to prevent the spread of the flu and appreciates any assistance the public can provide, she added.

Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes the virus can be spread when a person touches something infected with the flu and then touches their nose or mouth.

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