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In the News

Article Published: Sep. 1, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 6, 2011

Town, DBDA may purchase Appalachian Theater

The old Appalachian Theater on King Street could have a new owner: The town of Boone.

The town first started discussing acquiring the theater facility in June during closed session.

The town is partnering with the Downtown Boone Development Association to try to purchase the property to prevent further deterioration and possible demolition. The goal is to renovate the building and restore it to a community theater and live performance venue.

The DBDA and town have pulled together a purchase plan for the property, involving a town commitment to front $750,000 in funds to make the offer. The DBDA is mounting a capital campaign to pay off the loan and to renovate the building to its original 1940s art deco style.

Once the building is paid for, the town plans to transfer its title to the DBDA or a new nonprofit that will oversee the actual operation of a community theater.

A written offer to purchase the theater for $750,000 was forwarded to the bankruptcy trustee in late July. Three formal offers are under consideration by the court, and several other inquiries have been made in reference to the theater.

Currently zoned B-1, the theater could be used as anything from a parking lot to a restaurant or mixed-use development. If a private party obtains the property, the only way demolition could be halted would be to declare the building a historic structure, a lengthy procedure.

The property is part of property owner Frank Mongelluzzi's bankruptcy case. Mongelluzzi purchased the building from Carmike Cinemas in 2008.

ASU to test campus-wide alert system Sept. 7

Appalachian State University will test its campus-wide alert system Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 11:55 a.m. as part of Safety Day activities on Sanford Mall.

The test will include activation of the campus siren warning, and text and cell phone alerts. For more information about the comprehensive warning system, visit and

Safety Day information is online at

Watauga County Public Library begins RFID Project

The Watauga County Public Library was awarded a Library Services and Technology Act Grant to implement radio frequency identification technology at the main library in Boone and the Western Watauga Branch in Sugar Grove.

The Friends of the Library contributed $7,000 toward matching funds, which enhanced the grant application.

Library staff and volunteers have begun tagging materials in the collection. The grant award includes tags for 87,000 volumes in the collection, five RFID-enabled workstations, two self-checkout stations with debit/credit card payment, security detection gates and an inventory device.

"We're very excited to have this technology here and we hope to introduce the public to the self-checkout option in January," said Monica Caruso, counthy librarian. "We thank the Friends of the Library for their support of this project. I encourage anyone who would like to support the library to join the Friends."

DMV offices in WNC to close for training Sept. 12 and 13

Eight Division of Motor Vehicles driver license offices located in Western North Carolina will be closed, including the location in Boone, for one-day training, either on Monday, Sept. 12, or Tuesday, Sept. 13. The closures will be for one day only; all offices will re-open on the following business day at 8 a.m.

Offices closing on Monday, Sept. 12, are located in Jefferson, Elkin, Taylorsville and Yadkinville.

Offices closing on Tuesday, Sept. 13, are located in Boone, Hudson, Mount Airy and Wilkesboro.

Other activities scheduled at these offices, such as hearings or school bus training, will continue to be held. Customers are urged to call in advance of the closings with any questions.
The locations and phone numbers for the affected offices are:

Jefferson, 303 Court St., (336) 246-5001
Elkin, 1687 N. Bridge St., (336) 835-5247
Taylorsville, 2390 N.C. 90 East., (828) 632-1159
Yadkinville, 225 Ash St., (336) 679-3232
Boone, 4469 Bamboo Road, Suite 103, (828) 265-5384
Hudson, 309 Pine Mountain Road, (828) 726-2504
Mount Airy, 155 Patrol Station Road, (336) 786-7015
Wilkesboro, 1230 School St., (336) 838-4725

ASU Fall Convocation Sept. 15

The 2011 Fall Convocation at Appalachian State University will be held on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center on campus.

The speaker will be Christopher McDougall, author of the 2011 Summer Reading Program selection, "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen."

In addition to speaking at convocation, McDougall will participate in a panel discussion beginning at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union's Blue Ridge Ballroom. He also will open the university's Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series with a reading and book signing beginning at 7:30 p.m., also in the Blue Ridge Ballroom.

All events are open to the public.

Also, McDougall will present a reading and sign books Friday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m. at the Watauga County Library as part of the library's Watauga Reads program.

McDougall's best-seller follows the achievements of super athletics, such as Mexico's Tarahumara Indians, considered among the world's greatest distance runners.

"Born to Run" was provided to all incoming freshmen at Appalachian.

A graduate of Harvard University, McDougall was a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Outside magazine, Men's Journal Esquire and New York. He is a three-time National Magazine Award finalist. He also is an avid runner.

For more information about McDougall and the Summer Reading Program, visit For information about the visiting writers series, visit

Mountain Alliance breakfast Saturday

Mountain Alliance hosts its last breakfast of the season this Saturday, Sept. 3. The breakfast features local sausage, pancakes and eggs. Mountain Alliance has partnered with Earth Fare to feature antibiotic/hormone free eggs, non bleached or bromated flours, no artificial colors, flavors or corn syrup.

Breakfast costs $5, and proceeds benefit the youth of Watauga County. Cooking takes place under the oak trees of Horn in the West, just down the path from the Watauga Farmers' Market. For more information, visit

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