Parent of drowning victim addresses council
Joseph Cox, whose 7-year-old son, Bryson Cox, died Friday after drowning in a local culvert, asked the Boone Town Council to review local culverts to prevent more tragedies.
He called it a "senseless death" that was caused by "a dangerous, unmarked, and unprotected culvert."
He said the area wasn't posted, and that the town of Boone's position was that the culverts were the responsibility of property owners.
Cox said he returned to the culvert site at the Red Carpet Inn the day after his son drowned and tracked the "patchwork of drainage pipes and culvert systems" from town, state and private pipes and culverts.
"I personally don't care whose responsibility it is, as long as it's fixed and no other children die there," Cox said to the council Tuesday night. "My child's death could have easily been prevented with a chain link fence."
Choking up at times, Cox said he wasn't at the meeting to place blame, but to see that problem areas are fixed.
Boone regulates Saturday parking
The Boone Town Council voted to change code and extend enforcement of parking limits to Saturdays.
The change begins Aug. 28 and is a reaction to problems handling traffic from Appalachian State University home football games.
Regular street parking spaces will have two-hour time limits, a change from the Monday-through-Friday limits of one hour at most spots.
The town will also charge for game-day parking in some lots, while the lot next to Town Hall will be limited for use by retail shoppers only. McLaurin Parking will administer the Saturday parking plan.
The move grew out of a parking task force recommendation that was formed to address a lack of retail parking spaces during football games.
Blowing Rock offers weekly recycling pickup
The town of Blowing Rock has begun weekly residential pickup of recyclable materials. Half of the homes will have their recyclables picked up on Thursday morning and the other half on Friday morning.
The pickup and recycling is being contracted through GDS Inc. to all Blowing Rock residences that are on the city water supply.
GDS distributed green recycling bins to Blowing Rock residences earlier this summer.
Recycling pick-up will take place for all residences east of Valley Blvd. (U.S. 321) on Thursday and for all residences west of Valley Blvd. on Friday. Residents should not put recyclables in plastic or paper bags, instead using an open box to store overflow material. The box will be left for future use.
If you feel you are eligible for recycling pickup, but did not receive a recycling container, call Blowing Rock Town Hall at (828) 295-5200.
County commits to recreation
In response to what chairman Jim Deal called "misinformation" regarding the proposed sales tax referendum, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday night committing the revenue to recreation.
The resolution reads: "The Watauga County Board of Commissioners do hereby commit to use the proceeds, upon adoption, of the quarter cent sales tax recreation referendum to: Fully fund the construction of a recreational center with aquatics center and fully fund the construction of the Eastern Watauga Community Center."
The resolution also states any excess revenue generated with be used for operational costs at the two centers and to improve recreational opportunities throughout the county.
Motorcylce pursuit leads to pot bust
As law enforcement officers pursued a motorcycle attempting to avoid a checkpoint on N.C. 105, an outdoor marijuana grow operation was discovered in Foscoe.
According to Capt. Kelly Redmon of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, the motorcyclist turned around when approaching the DWI checkpoint at the intersection N.C. 105 and Church Road. Officers attempted to stop the motorcycle and the driver sped away.
The person abandoned the motorcycle on a side road near the N.C. 105 convenience center and officers pursued the driver on foot. While attempting the chase the driver, officers came across the outdoor growing operation.
The motorcycle driver was not apprehended.
The investigation into the owner of the motorcycle, those responsible for the growing operation and whether or not the two are connected is ongoing.
ASU nets $250,000 grant for Brazil initiative
Appalachian State University has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program to implement a four-year U.S.-Brazil Sustainability and Sustainable Development Education Initiative.
Appalachian will implement the program in collaboration with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, University of Fortaleza, and State University of Amazonas in Brazil.
Appalachian's was one of 15 projects selected for funding by the U.S. Department of Education.
The goal of the project is to improve the quality of undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on sustainability and sustainable development through the exchange of curricula and language acquisition, faculty and staff, students and cultural experiences.
The grant will facilitate cross-national education opportunities for students in sustainability and sustainable development; encourage U.S. and Brazilian students to acquire Portuguese and English language skills; develop innovative models for undergraduate and graduate education through internships and service learning experiences; and encourage participating faculty to develop new collaborative research, educational and outreach projects that include students.
Table at Crestwood earns state honors
The Table at Crestwood of Boone took second place in the Best Dish in NC contest. The winning dish was field greens with almond encrusted goat cheese, tomato bisque with crab and basil salad, Hickory Nut Gap Farms rib-eye with summer squash fries, cheese cake with wild berry compote.
The Best Dish in NC competition is an annual statewide contest that recognizes and rewards the efforts of restaurants and chefs who use North Carolina products regularly in their menus. It also raises awareness about local foods, restaurants and chefs. For more information, visit http://www.bestdishnc.com.