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Article Published: Sep. 16, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

DOT modifies 321 road closures

The N.C. Department of Transportation will close a section of U.S. 321 in Caldwell County at 7 p.m. starting Wednesday, Sept. 15, for blasting to expedite completion of the widening project.

The road had closed at 8 p.m. during the summer to take advantage of the extra daylight.

NCDOT will close the section of U.S. 321 from Kirby Mountain Road to Blackberry Road between Blowing Rock and Lenoir on Mondays at 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. until Thursdays at 5 a.m.

Contractor W.C. English Inc. is still allowed to close this section of road on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon until 2 p.m. for blasting and road clean up.

During the closure, the following signed detour will be in place:
N.C. 18 to Wilkesboro to U.S. 421 North to Boone to U.S. 321 to Blowing Rock
The 6.6-mile project is scheduled to be completed this fall. The contractor is also building 10 retaining walls and installing two box culverts on the mountain road between Blowing Rock and Lenoir.

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. Know before you go by calling 511, the department's free travel information line, or get real-time travel information on line. NCDOT also offers travel information for motorists and ferry passengers on Twitter.

For more information on how to get travel information, visit For more information on this project, contact the resident engineer at (828) 265-5088.

Boone program earns state recognition

The N.C. Division of Forest Resources announced the winners of the 2010 North Carolina Urban Forestry Awards program, with Outstanding Project Merit Award going to the Town of Boone Urban Forest Master Management Plan.

The annual program rewards cities, towns, organizations, businesses and individuals for outstanding work to protect and enhance community forests and raise awareness about the importance of urban forestry.

Winners were selected by a panel that included N.C. Division of Forest Resources' urban forestry staff and members of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council. Entries were judged for impact, quality, innovation and the degree to which the work serves as a worthy example for others to follow. The winners may also be nominated for the National Arbor Day Awards program.

Award recipients were recognized at the N.C. Urban Forest Council's 2010 annual Conference Awards Banquet on Sept. 14 in Raleigh.

To learn more about this year's winners, visit

Humane Society to benefit from concert

The Watauga Humane Society will once again be the featured non-profit organization at the Friday evening, Sept. 17, free concert on the lawn at The Best Cellar/Ragged Garden Inn on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock.

An evening's musical entertainment will be provided by the Harris Brothers. The concert begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.

The Best Cellar will have a cash bar available, along with a menu of tasty appetizers. The Humane Society will have an information table set up in the concert area, with T-shirts available for sale. The shelter will also be sending along a small selection of adoptable animals to visit.

Appalachian Senior Programs hosts fundraiser

A car show, motorcycle ride and barbecue lunch will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Laurel Springs Baptist Church in Deep Gap.

The event is the first-ever fundraiser for the Appalachian Senior Programs that serve area senior citizens who, in turn, serve their peers and youngsters of Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes counties.

Under the umbrella of Appalachian Senior Programs are the more familiar services known as Foster Grandparent and Senior Companions programs that have been providing services to the area for 30 years.

Car show registration starts at 9 a.m. ($10 per car). Motorcycle registration ($20 for one rider, $25 for two) starts at 9 a.m., with the ride at 10 a.m. Awards will be presented at 1 p.m.
The pork barbecue lunch starts at 11 a.m., with plates starting at $5 for kids and $8 for adults. Kids' activities include bingo, ring-toss, face-painting, temporary tattoos, and a slime table.

For more information, contact Appalachian Senior Programs at (336) 846-4898.

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