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News Roundup

Article Published: Mar. 25, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain

All those who work and reside in the six High Country counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, are invited to visit Grandfather Mountain for $1 during the month of April with proof of local employment or residency.

The special April Dollar Days $1 admission is offered to residents and those working in the six counties represented by the N.C. High Country Host regional travel promotion organization: Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes.

The discount is also extended to students attending colleges and universities in the High Country and to guests traveling in the same vehicle with those eligible for the April discount. Present a driver's license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to show employment at a High Country business.

The mountain is open every day in April, weather permitting. The hours of operation April 1 through April 16 are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with ticket sales ending at 5 p.m.

Starting April 17 hours extend from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with ticket sales ending at 6 p.m. For current conditions, phone the Grandfather Mountain entrance gate at (828) 733-4337.

ASU Spring Open House set for April 17

On Saturday, April 17, prospective students and their families can experience university life during Appalachian State University's 2010 Spring Open House. The event will be held from 9 a.m. until noon.
Activities begin with a family assembly and Information Fair in the George M. Holmes Convocation Center.

The Information Fair will give prospective students and their families an opportunity to speak with representatives from admissions, financial aid, academic areas, athletics and other campus support areas.

The open house also includes tours of the campus and residence halls led by student ambassadors. Academic departments will conduct open houses, and mini- information sessions will be provided on topics such as academics, service learning, undergraduate research, scholarships and leadership development.

For more information on the 2010 Spring Open House, including parking instructions, visit

From Beretta to Glock
The Boone Police Department (BPD) is switching service weapons, from the current standard issue Beretta to Glock.

In a resolution passed this month at the Boone Town Council's regular meeting, the town approved the trade in of 87 firearms for new Glock 22 .40-caliber models.

A majority of the firearms to be traded are .40-caliber Beretta models.

Capt. Jim Wilson, firearms instructor for BPD, said this is a much needed transition for the department.
"Some of the Berettas are up to 15 years old," he said. "The maintenance can be expensive and labor intensive. By trading these and getting new, we will actually be saving the taxpayers money."

A public notice has been made for the disposal of the older guns as town property. The private sale has been set for a negotiated price as a trade-in with the same company the town will purchase the Glocks from.

The transition will take place during the May firearms qualifications training for officers, Wilson said.

- Melanie Marshall

ASU trustees approve campus master plan

The look of Appalachian State University's campus could change in the next 10 years as the university seeks to add new academic and research buildings, parking decks, and continue to make campus pedestrian friendly.

The Campus Master Plan 2020, approved Friday by Appalachian's Board of Trustees, looks at appropriate use of campus property, ecological responsibility and sustainability, and a transportation network that encourages walking, biking and use of AppalCart transit system, and by adding parking to the edges of campus. Protection of and the expansion of open space also is a priority in the master plan.

The plan was facilitated by numerous discussions and workshops with members of the Boone and campus communities that began in summer 2008 and was facilitated by the Lawrence Group Architects in Davidson. It is online at

Interim Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Greg Lovins explained that the plan addresses the major themes that arose from the planning workshops: Parking and Traffic, Student Housing, Academic and Research Buildings, and Sustainability.

For instance, the plan identifies areas on the perimeter of campus, such as the Legends parking lot and the Holmes Center parking lot, where parking decks could be added to address the parking squeeze on campus, as well as traffic congestion.

With the expansion of on-campus housing on the site of Mountaineer Apartments, and construction of a new living-learning facility near Plemmons Student Union, the university will be able to increase on-campus housing by 600 beds, or 38 percent of the student population. The goal is to provide on-campus housing to 50 percent of the student body.

The master plan also looks at where future university growth could occur if property became available for purchase. One suggestion would have mixed use development along the eastern edge of campus that would combine retail and residential buildings.

Research centers might be located near the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center. Space for future academic buildings includes potential locations along Locust or Howard streets. A new building would replace Edwin Duncan Hall. The potential to expand several of existing academic buildings is also noted in the master plan.

To continue the university's focus on sustainability, the plan recommends encouragement of ride sharing, the purchase of electric cars for use by the Physical Plant, on-street and off-street bike routes, hybrid plug-in stations in new and existing parking decks, and use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for new campus construction.

Ticket sales under way at Wilkes speedway

Bright lights are shining at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and we're not just talking about in the eyes of race fans.
"Some of the lights at the scoreboard still work ... the list of cars on victory lane still works," speedway spokesman Steven Wilson said.

It's an exciting month for those waiting for the track's revival, which, administrators promise, is only months away.

Electricity returned to the facility just last week, and Monday marked the opening of the ticket office.
"It's a huge deal," Wilson said. "This is the first time in 14 years that tickets have been sold at the speedway for anything."

Events include the Pro All Star Series (PASS) race Labor Day weekend and the premiere of racing movie, Red Dirt Rising, May 15.

Before the fans come back, however, there's repair and maintenance work to be done, including roof and restroom renovation.

"We're going to be working on most of this all along, but we'll definitely have everything done here within the next couple of months," Wilson said, just in time for Labor Day weekend's 200-lap race.

Race tickets start at $17 and can be purchased at Tickets are currently on sale for Pro All Star Series (PASS), Sept. 4, 12 p.m.; USARacing Pro Cup Series, Oct. 3, 11 a.m.; Short Track Shootout 3-Day Weekend Pass, Oct. 29, 12 p.m.; Short Track Shootout featuring ASA Late Models- Kings Ransom 300, Oct. 31, 12 p.m.

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