It has a Valentine theme, but 'Operation Heartbreaker,' conducted by the Avery County Sheriff’s Office and Newland Police department, was well named as officers conducted a round-up of methamphetamine suspects.

Suspects from as far away as Mexico and as near as Ashe County have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees, handing down prison terms ranging from 21 to 120 months for a dozen methamphetamine traffickers, according to Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

A Caldwell County registered sex offender was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Richard Voorhees to serve 235 months in a federal prison on charges of online enticement of a minor, according to U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose, of the Western District of North Carolina.

It appears a second young man’s death is being blamed on a prescription drug overdose, that from the autopsy report on the death of the teen.

While no one in the High Country took home any of the Powerball Jackpot last month—the largest amount ever up for grabs—a birthday and anniversary added up to a lucky number for an Avery County man, who might find himself with some new friends—maybe some new relatives he wasn’t aware of.

It appears that drivers approaching Boone from Deep Gap on US 421 will, in the near future, see a new asphalt operation, that after the Watauga County Board of Adjustments completed some 60 hours of hearings over ten session on the revocation of the High Impact Land Use Permit that would allow the operation.

There are several area voting issues on the agenda of the North Carolina State Board of Elections tomorrow.

A surprise came from the State Board of Elections meeting yesterday afternoon in Raleigh, as the board voted 4-0 to add an early voting site at Appalachian State for the March primary election.

A dawn accident this morning injured two, a woman passenger from the single-vehicle accident airlifted to the Johnson City Medical Center just before the snow hit. 

With overnight temperatures to be from zero to single digit range—and with a number of fires last year caused by trying to keep animals warm—Watauga Fire Officials sent a bulletin to address safety concerns for keeping your pets, animals and livestock safe during the severe winter weather.

The Avery County Sheriff’s Department supplied some details from the fatal fire from early Saturday morning, identifying the woman who died in the fire.