Article Published: Sep. 9, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Pet Show Sunday
The annual Watauga Humane Society Pet Show will take place Sunday at the Boone Mall.

All domesticated animals, including dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits and gerbils, are invited to strut their stuff and complete for ribbons in categories, such as waggiest tail, floppiest ears, fluffiest fur, most winning smile and pet/owner look-alike.

Best of all, every pet entered is a winner!

This year's event also will feature a pet memorial poster, on which families can write the name of beloved pets who have passed, and a raffle with pet-themed prizes. Watauga Humane Society T-shirts, magnets and decals will be available for sale.

Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the center court of Boone Mall.

Anyone who lacks a loving pet can visit a selection of adoptable shelter animals who need homes in front of the mall Sunday.

Boone synagogue set for May groundbreaking

Plans for a Jewish synagogue to serve the High Country are literally on a roll.

Cyclists Marla Gentile and Jamie Schaefer have taken to biking across town to pick up checks for large donations, securing the funding that will allow them to break ground on the Temple of the High Country in May.

Calling themselves the "Check Riders," Gentile and Schaefer have picked up $100,000 from two generous couples in recent days.

In September 2008, Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer, owners of Westglow Resort, gave $1 million to start the temple project and bought property on West King Street in downtown Boone. Since then, those involved with the project have raised more than $1 million more in cash and commitments, Jamie Schaefer said.

Earlier this year, Helene and Stephen Weicholz, a retired couple who split their time between homes in Linville Ridge and Boca Raton, Fla., offered a challenge: They would match any donations for the project up to $50,000.

Sandi and Leonard Soloman, residents of Boone and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., responded. Having already donated $250,000 to the synagogue, they gave an additional $50,000 check to the "Check Riders."

The Temple of the High Country, which will include the Schaefer Jewish Community Center, is meant to serve the Jewish community from Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Caldwell counties. It also will be available for Appalachian State University's Hillel, which has about 30 active members, and for various festivals, classes and community events.

The land is now paid off, but the synagogue is still accepting donations for the building fund. More information is available at or by calling (828) 295-5150.

Boone Clean-Up Day Sept. 18

September is annually a time of community clean-up efforts, with both the state and the town of Boone heading campaigns.

The town of Boone will hold its annual Boone Clean-Up Day on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Residents are encouraged to join the town staff and the Adopt-A-Street and Adopt-A-Stream organizations to remove litter that has accumulated along streets and streams during the summer.

Volunteers can come by the Town of Boone Public Works Center, located at 321 East King St., between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to get clean-up supplies. They can also be picked up prior to the event.
The town will also be awarding monetary prizes to the winners of the "Most Unusual Litter Contest."

People can enter the contest by bringing unusual litter found on roadsides and in streams within the town limits to the Public Works Center on the event day.

Refreshments and stories will be shared between noon and 1:30 p.m.

People who participate by cleaning around their property can call the Public Works Department for an additional free curbside junk or yard debris pick up during the litter sweep, from Sept.18 to Oct. 2.

For more information and to register for the event, contact Boone's Adopt-A-Street/stream/flowerbed coordinator Shannon Isaacs at (828) 268-6230.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is also conducting a litter sweep and Unusual Litter contest from Sept. 18 to Oct. 2.

Cash prizes of $250, $100 or $50 will be awarded for most unusual items collected.
Photos can be sent in with entry forms, with details at

The NCDOT's county maintenance office has trash bags, orange vests and gloves for volunteers, with crews devoting one week to collecting the filled bags on roadsides.

The county office is on Jefferson Highway in Boone, and the phone number is (828) 265-5378.

Avery County Fair Open Through Saturday

The Avery County Agricultural and Horticultural Fair returns to Heritage Park in Newland this week.

The fair will be open 5 to 10 p.m. through this Friday, Sept. 10, and noon until 10 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 11, featuring live music, contests, livestock, exhibits, rides, games of skill and bushels of fruits and vegetables.

More than 20 rides will be available, along with a petting zoo with barnyard and exotic animals.
Events include a zucchini bake-off at 5 p.m. this Thursday and chocolate chip cookie bake-off at 5 p.m. this Friday.

Live entertainment is scheduled for each evening at 8 p.m.: Balsam Range on Thursday and Ryan Pelton on Friday.

Saturday's activities include a chainsaw demonstration at noon, an apple pie bake-off at 2 p.m., a tractor drawing at 3 p.m., a talent show at 6 p.m. and a Rhodes Brothers concert at 8 p.m.
For more information, call (828) 387-7860 or click to

The fair hits Newland's Heritage Park through Sept. 11. Admission costs $5 for persons 13 and older, $2 for children 6 to 12, and free for children five and under. Ride bracelets are $15 per person, or $7 for a kid's day ride bracelet.

Ralph Yates awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Boone native Ralph Yates was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state's highest civilian honor, on Friday for his years of dedicated service to the community and to North Carolina.

Yates, 69, was the longtime postal director for Appalachian State University, has been a sworn law enforcement officer for more than 46 years and continues to be an active volunteer in Watauga County.

Yates joins more than 13,600 people who have received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, including Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan and Billy Graham. The recognition began in the 1960s and recognizes state employees with 30 or more years of service or other extraordinary achievements.

WAC offers Grassroots Grants

Watauga Arts Council is once again offering Grassroots Grants to local community organizations.
Organizations need not be arts organizations, however projects which are funded must be arts-related projects.

Complete information, application forms, and guidelines are available on the Watauga Arts Council's website,, or you may contact the office at (828) 264-1789. The deadline for applications is Sept. 24.

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