New Restaurant in West Jefferson

Plans are currently in the works for West Jefferson to be home to a brewery by the end of the year. Frasers Restaurant and Pub is now under new ownership and will soon become Boondocks Brewing Tap Room and Restaurant. New owner Gary Brown hails from Rocky Mount but has owned a home in Creston since the early 1990s. Brown’s vision is to bring a high-quality brewery/brewpub to the Ashe County area, according to Brown’s website. Over the next couple of months, Frasers will continue restaurant and pub operations as it makes the change to Boondocks Cannon said he and Brown are also looking to incorporate local ingredients to the menu, in addition to brewing unique, high-quality beers using North Carolina-grown natural ingredients. According to its website, the new brewery’s plans are to be able to accommodate upwards of 50 taps. They plan to set aside no less than 10 taps for N.C. brewed beers and three to five taps to be used by aspiring brewers, to include home brewers. Other tentative plans include a taproom in the large dining room, an outside patio area, bike parking and a pet-friendly area. The new name and logo will be unveiled soon, while the other changes will be gradual, with the full-scale launch aimed at spring 2013.

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Sky Valley Zip Tours

The course offers Nine zip lines, a cliff jump, a swinging bridge, a leap of faith and countless views later – you have an experience you won’t soon forget. The course is located on 140 acres of pristine environment on which you will get to observe and enjoy diverse flora and fauna and a beautiful waterfall. Groups are small, maximum of 10 zippers, and led by two trained Canopy Rangers who will help you get to know your other zippers and have a great experience in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. The Tour offers a three-hour outdoor adventure, brings you into the heart of Western North Carolina to experience the thrill of zip lines and the natural beauty of the High Country! Your safety is our primary concern and you will begin the trip with our “ground school” where you will learn all the techniques necessary to skillfully traverse the Zip Line Course. Groups are limited to 10 people and each tour is escorted by at least 2 trained professionals. Come prepared for an outdoor adventure – while we recommend checking the weather before your ride, understand that in the High Country forecasting is an art! We recommend bringing layers so you can be comfortable in our constantly changing environment. Closed toed shoes are required. Our full-body harness will wrap around your upper thigh, shoulders, and waist, so shirts and shorts/pants should cover modestly. Long hair must be tied back and secured. Our tours run rain or shine, so feel free to bring along a rain jacket and/or pants. Yes, you’re may get wet… but yes, you will still have a great trip! In cold weather, we suggest you wear thin, liner style gloves that can be worn under the required work-style gloves that we provide. A wind resistant outer layer is helpful, as well as stocking caps or low profile ear warmers that are able to be worn under our helmets. For more Information go too or call 1-855-4-sky-zip.

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All SoCon Preseason

The Mountaineers’ league-high 10 football preseason all-SoCon selections include three first-team honorees: junior quarterback Jamal Jackson from Atlanta GA, senior linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough Cedar Grove GA and defensive back Demetrius McCray from Newton Ga. Appalachian’s second-team honorees include sophomore offensive lineman Kendall Lamn From Charlotte NC, junior wide receivers Andrew Peacock from Durham NC and Tony Washington from High Point NC, sophomore defensive lineman Ronald Blair from Greensboro Ga, senior linebacker Brandon Grier from Charlotte NC, senior defensive back Troy Sanders from Chester SC and senior punter Sam Martin Fayetteville NC . The preseason all-SoCon teams are selected by the league’s coaches, with coaches prohibited from voting for their own team’s players. In the SoCon’s preseason polls, the conference’s coaches picked the Mountaineers to finish second behind Georgia Southern while the league’s media voted Appalachian third behind GSU and Wofford. The Apps received two of the nine first-place votes in the coaches’ poll to finish just six points behind Georgia Southern, who snapped ASU’s record-tying string of six-straight SoCon championships last season, and a comfortable nine points ahead of Wofford. The Boone NC Mountaineers received one first-place nod in the media poll to place just two points behind Wofford. Appalachian Starts off the season with their first match up against East Carolina in Greenville NC at Noon.

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Throwdown in Todd

Since 2010, Cooper’s Farm in Brownwood in Todd has dished-out a beast of a running course. (Don’t let the beauty of the New River Valley fool you, because there is a beast). Now in 2012, athletes can test their moxie on foot, on wheels, and in the water. Yes, the grueling 5-mile Gauntlet has returned, but now with its big brother in tow… the Cooper’s Farm Half Marathon. With a few modifications a beast of a cyclo-cross venue has been roused… And there’s more at the farm…a bike-run-kayak tri (off road) and a run-bike-kayak tri (for the road savvy). But FIRST, the weekend will start with a Friday evening attack on the Monster, an approximate 1-mile running loop for some serious first night bragging rights. And FINALLY, the weekend wraps up with a classic 10-mile time Trial along Railroad Grade Road (Fleetwood to Todd). The Blue Ridge Mountain Throwdown is a 3-day weekend of 7 races, based at Cooper’s Farm on the New River. The Riverside Restaurant will serve as race headquarters and the fields surrounding this historic building will play host to the start/finish venue of the majority of the races. Athletes could compete solo in any of the races. Team relay options are also available in the Cooper’s Farm Half Marathon, Cooper’s Farm Mountain Cross (cyclo-cross), New River Triathlon and the High Country Triathlon.

Gas Price Rise

The state average was $3.18 per gallon on July 4 and it was the first time prices had dipped below $3.20 per gallon since February of 2011. As of Aug. 9, the North Carolina average is $3.59 per gallon according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. This increase, though unwelcomed, should not come as a surprise. Though not nearly as dramatic, the exact same thing happened last year. Prices dropped off in July 2011 to slightly below $3.50 per gallon, spiked heading into autumn to near $3.70 per gallon, then continued to dip until the first of the year. Motorists can only hope that is the case again, and that this rise is temporary. The low here in Ashe County was $3.00 on July 4th at the Hess gas station near Ashe County Ford. Now you are looking at .50 to .60 cents higher depending on what gas station you go to. Also Crude oil prices a barrel is rising which typically if oil prices rise you can expect the gas prices to increase also.

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Last year foreclosure filings dropped nearly 25 percent, and in December, some experts following real estate trends attributed last year’s double-digit drops in foreclosures to backlogged cases – and not because of the health of the real estate market. Though the High Country – Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties – has experienced nearly 250 foreclosure filings this year, the percentage of local foreclosure filings has actually dropped 17 percent during the same period last year – from January through June. This rate – 17 percent – is nearly double the state average, whereas foreclosure filings in all of North Carolina have dropped 9 percent, according to N.C.

Administrative Office of the Courts. So far this year, 130 properties have been filed for foreclosure in Watauga County for a four percent drop over last year; 62 filings in Avery County for a 23 percent drop; and 52 in Ashe County for 34 percent drop. Watauga County recovered from the foreclosure-filing high of 2010 sooner than Ashe and Avery counties. Whereas Watauga County noticed a significant 25 percent drop in 2010, Ashe and Avery counties are seeing that comparable drop this year. But in recent monthly press releases, the High Country Association of Realtors has been touting the market’s recover and great part of this year’s “boom” in particular “to buyers’ market conditions.” A release in July stated, “[The number of realtor-assisted] listings sold are up 31 percent compared to this time last year, and more than 42 percent compared to the first six months of 2010.”

Uphill Bike Race

Pirate Race Productions is thrilled to announce The Ascent Bike and Run Hill Climbs this Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club in Blowing Rock. The Hardest Bicycle Hill Climb in the South is 9.25-miles, with 3,200 feet of ascending, yielding an average grade of 5.9 percent with a maximum pitch of 17.5 percent. Presented by Magic Cycles, the High country’s premier bicycle shop, the Ascent course has a “Category 1″ rating on, the most difficult rating of any paved road in the Southern United States. The course records are held by pro racers Brian Sheedy (45:07) and Alison Arensman (1:01:41). The Ascent bike race is the second stop in the Capo Cycling Apparel King of Pain Series following Boone-Roubaix this past April and Three Peaks USA Ultra Cross at the Banner Elk Winery on September 23. New for this year is a running race that will start at the mid-point for 3.7 miles with 1,300 feet of ascending. The Ascent Run is the second stop in the High Country Summit Series along with the infamous Bear 5-Mile Run held in July and The Knob hill climb in Boone on October 5.Both the bike and run courses use a brand new, buttery smooth road with incredible scenery around every bend. Unlike other hill climbs, we have the luxury of a two lane road that we can close, meaning your friends and family can watch from anywhere on the course, and you can ride, walk, or drive down from the top. Registration for both the run and the bike are available at for only $30 and $35 until 3PM, Thursday, August 8 with no processing fees or you can sign up on race day for an additional $5. The Ascent Facebook page will have updates about both the running and bike races in Western North Carolina.

ASU Big Annual Sale on Campus

The 12th annual BIG Sale, sponsored by the ACT program at Appalachian State University, will be held at Legends on campus from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.

ACT is Appalachian and the Community Together, the university’s volunteer clearinghouse. Items gathered at the end of spring semester during a Don’t Throw it Away campaign will be sold. Proceeds will fund energy-efficiency mini-grants for The Children’s Playhouse, Watauga County Agricultural Extension, Hospitality House and NC AIRE. The sale will include items such as carpets, furniture, printers, televisions, books, clothes, kitchen and household goods and more. For the best selection, it is recommended that people come early. Sales beginat 8 a.m. Last year, $19,701 was raised at the 11th annual BIG Sale. The four local community partners that benefitted from it were: N.C. Cooperative Extension, Farm at Mollie’s Branch, Mountain Alliance and Uphill Ministries at Cherokee Cove. The recipients received energy efficient mini-grants for new energy conservation initiatives. A portion of the proceeds also supported an international service-learning scholarship for Appalachian students.

For more information, contact Kate Johnson at ( or Amy Holway at (

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Unemployment Rates of NC’s Counties

Unemployment rates rose in 84 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in June, fell in 11 and were unchanged in five. When compared to the same month in 2011, unemployment rates declined in 91 counties, increased in six, and remained the same in three. June of last year, rates are down in nearly all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Job announcements continue to be made across our state and we remain focused on getting people back to work. Working with employer’s statewide and providing assistance in our employment service offices is critical to finding opportunities for our customers. So the positive outlook here is that people are finding more jobs and staying on the job since last year. North Carolina job market is trying to market jobs better to where people know that there is a job opening and how to apply for it. Best way to look for jobs here in Ashe County is the local news paper, second hand news, and the employment security commission website which is The employment security commission is the best way to find local jobs. Check back with your #1 West Jefferson realtor for more updates.

Charity Golf Event

For the sixth year in a row Casa Rustica the Italian-American cuisine restaurant located in Boone NC will be holding a Charity Golf Event at the RedTail Mountain Golf Club in Mountain City TN. The Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Thursday, Aug. 23. Registration costs are $125 per person and $600 per team, and all the proceeds go to charity after the costs. This year’s beneficiary of the money raised is the High Country Caregivers Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to giving caregivers a break from helping their loved ones through voucher programs, strictly run on donations. The Owner is looking to raise $15,000 this year. Tee times have been split between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – and a lunch in between – to accommodate the amount of golfers he anticipates, based on how many have signed up already and last year’s attendance. Gift certificates to RedTail Mountain, with the amount still to be decided, will be given to the top three teams in the tournament. Additionally, the dinner and raffle will be held at Appalachian State University’s Kidd Brewer Stadium club level (the fifth level), with food provided by Casa Rustica with the help of Sysco Foods and US Foods. Golf tournament participants can bring a guest to the dinner at no additional cost. The raffle is sponsored by Bridgestone Golf and is also accepting gift certificates from businesses in the area.