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Article Published: Jun. 2, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month

Someone let the cat out of the bag!

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has designated the month of June as Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, and the Watauga Humane Society is ready to make adoption more attractive than ever.

Beginning June 1 and extending throughout the month, all shelter cats six months and older are available for adoption at a reduced fee of $35.

Kittens up to six months of age may be adopted for the reduced rate of $50. Visit the Watauga Humane Society website,, to preview the many personable felines currently looking for a "fur-ever home."

Better yet, visit the shelter, located at 200 Casey Lane at the end of the Greenway Trail, and spend some time in the cat room.

The Watauga Humane Society Shelter and Adoption Center is open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (closed Monday). For more information, phone (828) 264-7865.

Martha Clark named new principal at Valle Crucis

Martha Clark, currently assistant principal at Watauga High School, has been named principal of Valle Crucis Elementary School effective July 1.

"I am truly honored to be named the principal of Valle Crucis School," Clark said. "Valle Crucis has a long and rich tradition of academic excellence, as well as strong community support, and I am very excited to work with the staff, students and community to continue these strong traditions."

Watauga County Schools superintendent Dr. Marty Hemric announced Clark's appointment and introduced her to the Valle Crucis faculty and staff on Tuesday at the school.

"I am confident that Martha Clark will give Valle Crucis the strong leadership it needs to continue building on its excellent record of student growth and achievement," Hemric said. "We welcome her to this new role and are excited about the skills, knowledge and commitment we know she will bring to bear on behalf of Valle Crucis students, teachers and parents. Her balance of professionalism, effective communication, high expectations and compassion for people will serve the school and community of Valle Crucis very well."

Clark came to the Watauga County Schools last August from her previous position as principal of Lake Forest East Elementary School in Frederica, Del. She served as principal there for five years and has a total of seven years experience as a school principal. Earlier in her career, Clark served in North Carolina school systems for four years as an assistant principal and five years as a teacher.

Clark has a master's degree in educational administration from East Carolina University and a master's degree in elementary education from UNC-Charlotte. She completed her bachelor's degree at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Clark will succeed current principal Dr. Wayne Eberle II, who has been appointed executive director of learning development for the Watauga County Schools. Eberle will finish out the current school year as principal at Valle Crucis before beginning his new role in the central office on July 1.

Valle Crucis Elementary has a current enrollment of 386 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. It is rated a N.C. School of Distinction for 2009-10, the second highest category available on the state's school accountability system for measuring students' academic proficiency and progress in learning.

Lowes Foods helps Bag Childhood Hunger

Throughout the month of June, Lowes Foods will be collecting donations for local food banks across North and South Carolina and Virginia.

Bag Childhood Hunger will take place from June 1 to 30 in all Lowes Foods locations. Donation bins will be placed in all stores, and monetary donations will also be accepted at the register.

During the summer months, donations to the food bank usually decline. Since school is not in session for more than one half of the year, there are many low-income children that have no access to free or reduced-price lunches at this time. Summer can be one of the most difficult times of the year for some families, and as the communities' needs grow, the food banks struggle to keep up with the demands.

"The need within our communities is greater than ever," Steve Hall, president of Lowes Foods, said. "Families that are turning to the food bank never imagined themselves suffering such hardship. Together we can meet those needs and help others get through difficult times."

Lowes Foods is providing several ways to donate when you visit the stores. There will be donation bins located in each store, and several items pre-bagged to make it easy to pick up and purchase. Premade bags can be purchased in all stores and include raisins, cereal, peanut butter and crackers for $6.79. Customers may also donate monetary funds in increments of $2 and $10.

Kraft Foods and Pepsi have also pledged to donate funds to the Bag Childhood Hunger Campaign. Lowes Foods has also partnered with Allegacy Federal Credit Union to collect donations. More information on the food drive can be found at

Harmony Center is moving

Harmony Center for Women's Health & Vitality has outgrown its current offices and will be re-locating to new offices at 381 Deerfield Road, across the street from the Watauga Medical Center parking deck, at the end of June.

Both the OB/GYNs and the midwives will be located in the same office building, with separate entrances and waiting rooms.

The Harmony providers, Drs. Beverly Womack, Summer Gilmer, Nancy Miller and Cecilia Grasinger, along with certified nurse midwives Carrington Pertalion and Lisa Stevens, are looking forward to practicing at their new location, beginning June 28.

For more information, call (828) 268-8970. To learn more about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit

May weather breaks records at Grandfather

The weather data from the month of May recorded at the official U.S. Weather Service reporting station located next to Grandfather Mountain's Mile High Swinging Bridge shows above-average temperatures.

The average high temperature of 63.4 degrees was 2.7 degrees warmer than normal for May, and the average low temperature of 46.6 degrees was 0.9 degrees above normal for this time of year.
Daily high temperature records were broken five times during the month of May.

May 14: 75 degrees Previous: 74 degrees in 1962

May 23: 76 degrees Previous: 72 degrees in 1975

May 25: 76 degrees Previous: 74 degrees in 2004

May 26: 76 degrees Previous: 74 degrees in 1962

May 31: 76 degrees Previous: 74 degrees in 1991

One daily low temperature record was broken during May. The temperature dipped to 26 degrees on May 5. The previous record for the day was 29 degrees set in 1973 and tied in 1992.

The rainfall total of 5.37 inches for the past month was 0.18 inches, or 3 percent, below the 55-year average rainfall total for May of 5.55 inches. Rain for the year-to-date totals 27.65 inches, which is 1.88 inches (or 7 percent) above normal for this time of year.

For more information on Grandfather Mountain and the 55 years of weather data, visit

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