In The News

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

Starbucks comes to Boone

The rumors are true, sources within local Harris Teeter management confirm: Boone is getting a Starbucks.

The nationally popular coffee shop franchise will be located toward the front entrance of the store as part of an overall store remodeling plan that also includes the addition of a fresh salad bar, a bread and cheese kiosk and a pizza station with pizza by the slice.

While management from nearby Conrad's Coffee Shop had not returned calls by press time, one local vendor isn't worried: Don Cox from Bald Guy Brew.

"It's complicated, because Starbucks has done a good job of raising awareness of specialty coffee around the world, so I'm thankful for them in that perspective," he said. "I think that there are going to be people who are really excited about Starbucks, and I think there are a lot of people who aren't going to be too excited about Starbucks. It's kind of the nature of the beast."

His sales, he said, are strong and might not be affected by Starbucks.

Harris Teeter's management won't release specifics, but we're told the remodel should take place toward the end of the year.

Harris Teeter is located in the Shops of Shadowline off Blowing Rock Road in Boone.

Computer equipment and TVs banned from Watauga Landfill beginning July 1

Computer equipment and televisions will be banned from disposal in North Carolina landfills as of July 1, following a law passed last year by the General Assembly.

Session Law 2010-67 bans from landfill disposal computer equipment, which includes laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, scanners and peripherals, such as mice and keyboards.

Other components of the law are designed to create recycling opportunities for discarded electronics across the state and to place significant responsibilities on electronics manufacturers to help fund and create those opportunities.

"Watauga County has offered electronic recycling to residents and businesses since May 2008, and we have captured more than 130 tons of valuable materials for reuse and reduced our dependence on landfills," Watauga County recycling coordinator Lisa Doty said.

All electronic equipment must be weighed in at the scale house on Landfill Road, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon.

In addition to the county electronics recycling program, all computer manufacturers are required to offer at least free mail-back for their own equipment, and some offer additional kinds of recycling options. A number of retailers also offer recycling of electronics, as do some nonprofit and charitable agencies. A comprehensive list of recycling options can be found online at

Watauga County sends all electronic equipment to Synergy Recycling in Mayodan.

ASU names department chairs

Professors Michael M. Briley, Diane P. Mines and Kathleen Schroeder have been named chairs of academic departments in Appalachian State University's College of Arts and Sciences.

Briley will chair the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mines will chair the Department of Anthropology, and Schroeder will chair the Department of Geography and Planning.

Briley comes to Appalachian from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he was a professor and chairman of the university's Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has a Bachelor of Science in astronomy from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in astronomy both from the University of Maryland. His appointment at Appalachian was effective June 1.

Diane Mines has been a member of the faculty in Appalachian's Department of Anthropology since 1999. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Prior to coming to Appalachian, Mines was a lecturer and a Mellon Fellow and visiting assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and a lecturer at the University of Chicago. She has conducted field research in South India as part of her research interest in cultural anthropology. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Kathleen Schroeder joined the faculty at Appalachian in 1995. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Prior to coming to Appalachian, Schroeder was an instructor at the University of Minnesota.

Schroeder's research has been published in the Journal of Geography, the Journal of Latin American Geography, Geographical Review and Focus on Geography. She also has served as a consultant for several companies that publish geography textbooks. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Blowing Rock nets public Wi-Fi

Through a partnership with the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and Blue Ridge Mountain Club (formerly Reynolds Blue Ridge), downtown Blowing Rock gained access to free Wi-Fi service. The service will enable owners of laptop computers, smart phones and other electronic devices to access the Internet to surf the web, download images and music or to connect with their email providers.

"This new service will be available from Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church to Knights on Main, from the back of Blowing Rock Memorial Park to the intersection of Sunset Drive and Highway 321," said Jim Pitts, a spokesperson for Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

Blue Ridge Mountain Club reportedly spent more than $17,000 for equipment and hardware to make Wi-Fi available to the public in Blowing Rock.

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