Federal funds for rental assistance
Rental assistance for area residents may be available through federal stimulus funding.
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is funding $1.5 billion nationwide for the new Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) to help families affected by the economic downturn.
About $22 million is budgeted for distribution in North Carolina, according to Martha Are, who heads up homeless policy for the North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.
Socialserve.com supports social workers in North Carolina and 26 other states. It is a national agency headquartered in Charlotte.
The program also provides case management for each renter and access to community resources, including housing search and placement, legal services and credit repair. Service providers will use http://www.nchousingsearch.org as their primary search tool to locate available rental housing.
North Carolina property owners can register properties online at http://www.nchousingsearch.org, or by calling toll-free to (877) 428-8844. NCHousingSearch.org is free and offers several advantages for property owners, including free listing services and property descriptions that include pictures, features, detailed amenities, map links and tools to immediately update and remove property listings when they are rented.
The program also matches renters with landlords. For local information, call the Northwestern Regional Housing Authority at (828) 264-6683.
- Scott Nicholson
Town, county discuss recreation
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners, Boone Town Council, and Watauga County Recreation Commission held a joint meeting Monday night, hashing out trail plans and the town's hacking of recreation funds.
Stephen Phillips, town council representative on the recreation commission, discussed town funding for county recreation programs.
The town had eliminated about $45,000 in recreation funding because of a squeezed budget, leading to downsizing of some programs, and several council members said they were caught between funding recreation programs or trail expansion with a limited budget.
Watauga recreation director Stephen Poulus said the department offered programs and facilities for both town and county residents, and the budget cut last year was the first since he'd begun working there in 1992. He said 25 to 35 percent of the participation for youth sports and programs came from Boone residents, Poulus said, though some uses such as swimming and park use were difficult to track.
The boards will take the comments into their budget-planning sessions this week.
- Scott Nicholson
ASU to test siren warning system March 3
The campus siren warning system at Appalachian State University will be activated Wednesday, March 3, at 11:55 a.m.
The test of the siren system is normally conducted the first Wednesday of each month.
The March 3 siren test will consist of a 75-second discontinuous air horn tone, followed by a prerecorded voice message that says, "This is a test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a test."
The all-clear activation will consist of a 20-second alert tone, followed by a prerecorded voice message that repeats the message, "All clear. The emergency is over."
Appalachian uses multiple methods to notify and communicate emergency information to the campus community. The AppState ALERT siren warning system is designed to provide campus students, staff, faculty and visitors with an audible notification of an emergency event that affects campus.
Other than tests, the siren warning system will only be activated during a high risk, life-threatening emergency such as: An active shooter on or near campus; a major hazardous material spill on or near campus; or a tornado warning for campus.
In the event of an emergency activation, individuals should: Seek safe shelter immediately; seek more information by going to the University Emergency Web page, check your cell phone and e-mail for AppState Alert messages; or remain alert for more information until the "all clear" is given.
Examples of the tones that will used in an emergency or during tests can be heard at http://www.whelen.com under "Mass Notification" and "Warning Tones."
ASU will use the "hi/low" tone for emergencies; "discontinuous air horn" for tests of the system; the "alert" tone for all-clear signal and the "wail" tone for tornado warnings.
For more information about the university's AppState Alert voice/text/e-mail notification system, visit the Emergency Web Page at http://www.emergency.appstate.edu.
ASU artist residency to feature sculptor O'Connor
Artist Trace O'Connor, winner of Appalachian State University's 23rd annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, will be featured in a weeklong residency held on Appalachian State University's campus March 1-5.
O'Connor's sculpture, "Iscariot," was named the Martin and Doris Rosen Award winner during An Appalachian Summer Festival's Sculpture Walk on July 25, and is currently located in front of Wey Hall on ASU's campus.
As part of the Rosen Artist Residency program, O'Connor will present a public lecture on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. in the Turchin Center for the Visual Art's Lecture Hall in room 1102. A reception in honor of the artist will follow the presentation.
In addition to the public lecture, O'Connor will work with students of the university's Department of Art by conducting class lectures, creating a project with students, group and individual critiques, as well as a "meet and greet" with the Facebook group followers on campus.
For additional details about the Turchin Center or the upcoming exhibition program, call 828-262-3017 or visit http://www.tcva.org.