High Country News, Weather, and Bulletins

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Home Sales Up, Prices Down in 2013

Local real estate sales were up and prices were down in 2013, as buyers’ market conditions continued in the High Country area. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which tracks all Realtor®-assisted home sales within Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. Realtor® sales were up 2.6 Full Story

Wall Falls as Cold Still Causing Troubles

There’s still fallout from the last blast of cold weather to hit the area last week, as a frozen pipe may have contributed to the collapsing of a wall at a Highway 321 business Saturday. The two men escaped injury as the wall collapsed, nearly trapping them in the Caldwell gun store. Heavy rain and bitterly cold Full Story

Fire Damages Home Being Renovated

Patterson firefighters who responded to the collapse call found themselves dealing with a structure fire only a couple of miles up 321 while still working at the scene of the collapse.  Fire investigators in Caldwell County are trying to determine what started a fire that damaged a home feet behind Full Story

Mallatere Surrenders, Set $40,000 Bond

Barry Damon Mallatere turned himself in at the Watauga Magistrate’s office just before noon Friday.  Winston-Salem attorney David Friedman was there to represent the president of Appalachian Hospitality Management, operators of the Best Western in Boone when three people died in room 225 Full Story

Mallatere Attorney Releases Proof of Town Permits

While paperwork from the Town of Boone in the case against Barry Damon Mallatere has been locked away as part of the investigation, the now defendant’s attorney provided some proof of their assertion that the town and another company bear some culpability in the deaths of three people last spring. Full Story

Burns to Retire from Wilkes Community College

After 18 years of coming to the office with a renewed sense of excitement and zeal each day, Dr. Gordon Burns, president of Wilkes Community College, says it is time to retire as the college celebrates its 50th anniversary. “As of March, I will have been privileged to serve as president Full Story

Defendant's Statement Raises Points

The now defendant in the case of three deaths at the Best Western Blue Ridge Plaza issued a statement through his attorney, Paul Culpepper, of Hickory, making a number of points that, if true, raise questions about the case.  The press release, dated yesterday, says that Barry Damon Mallatere

Full Story
Ambulance Involved in US 421 Crash

An ambulance responding to an emergency call was involved in a collision on US 421 in Wilkesboro late Tuesday afternoon, leading to charges for a North Wilkesboro driver. The 5:45pm crash occurred as Wilkes EMS driver John David Cox Jr. was traveling 421 approaching Curtis Bridge Road, police saying that Full Story

Leaking Fire Systems Busy Fire Departments

Area fire departments—especially the Boone Fire Department—responded to many calls of fire alarms since mid-day Monday as pipes began to thaw from the extreme cold of Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the pipes tied to fire suppression and sprinkler systems in many cases, setting off the alarm systems Full Story

Indictments Handed Down in Best Western Deaths

“The DA’s office decided to submit to the Grand Jury one name, and that name being Barry Damon Mallatere.”  Assistant District Attorney Britt Springer announced to a press conference late yesterday indictments handed down in the case of three deaths from the Best Western Hotel Full Story

Cold Causes Massive Water Spew

The blast of cold may release its grip on us today, but not before leaving us with reminders of its visit—like hundreds of frozen pipes—pipes that will, unfortunately, begin to thaw. Fire officials who ran many calls to fire alarms caused by frozen pipes said yesterday that it was unusual for the calls to come before Full Story

Houston Takes Over At The Citadel

Footballscoop.com is reporting that Lenoir-Rhyne head coach Mike Houston has now formally accepted the new head coaching position at The Citadel. Full Story

Foscoe Church Destroyed in Overnight Fire

Foscoe Christian Church was destroyed in a late night fire last night, causing firemen to spend hours in the sub zero cold and 50-plus mile per hour winds.  Foscoe Fire, Boone Fire and Watauga Medics and rescue were all called out just after 11:30 last night to the church at Camp Rainbow Road off NC 105, Full Story

BREMCO Says Local Demand at All-Time High

Linemen with Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation are restoring the final outages that occurred Tuesday morning in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties.

Full Story
Best Western Deaths Press Conference Wednesday

The weather delay of Watauga Superior Court will end tomorrow, and the process of selecting new members for the Grand Jury will get underway with jurors reporting. Boone Police announced Friday afternoon that they scheduled a press briefing for Monday afternoon in reference to the three deaths Full Story

NCDOT Crews Battle Extreme Cold to Clear Roads

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s snow and ice removal efforts went smoothly Monday night, despite arctic temperatures throughout the mountains and foothills.

Full Story
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