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No offense to admirers of the red leaves and berries of nandina shrubs and the way butterfly bushes attract pollinators, but these foreign invaders are prime examples of why planting native species is a much better option for the ecosystem.

Traditionally, obituaries told the history and reflected the personality of a place more than any other part of a community newspaper.

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I reached out recently to Joe Mickey of State Road, retired state fisheries biologist, for photos of old moonshine still sites in Stone Mountain State Park for an article.

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When I think about climate change, I think about my brother-in-law Tillman, who spent his career with Big Oil. He traveled the world finding places to drill, baby, drill. He’s now comfortably retired in Dallas, Texas. And he’s a Republican

The Town of Wilkesboro announced a return of its free summer concert series a couple weeks ago, with a stellar five-event lineup that kicks off on May 8.

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The National Park Service’s recent announcement that a woman would be the new superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a reminder of the important role Josephus Daniels played in the Parkway’s location.

Our March 31 article on Pond Mountain in northwestern Ashe County mentioned Wilkes County native Wilburn Waters, for whom Wilburn Ridge in Virginia’s nearby Grayson Highlands State Park is named.

As a Black conservative Republican, Mark Robinson isn’t North Carolina’s traditional lieutenant governor. But he’s squarely in the tradition of lieutenant governors bedeviling governors. 

Social studies education is important because it helps young people make sense of the world around them, become responsible citizens and participate civilly in our democratic society.

Presley Barker, who got his start in music nine years ago as a flatpicking guitar prodigy from Wilkes County, is about to get national exposure under the bright spotlight of an iconic reality-singing competition series.

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Last week, according to Bloomberg News, China’s top military leaders were using a North Carolina native’s concept to justify their commitment to increasing China’s military budget.

There’s a 16-year cycle in modern politics. If it holds, the 2022 and 2024 elections will be good for Democrats — nationally and in North Carolina. But that’s a big if.

True to its title, much of a new history of the Blowing Rock area focuses on notable visitors, waves of settlement and important routes of travel with maps through that part of northwestern North Carolina.

It certainly has been a strange transition for high school football practice this year, going from heat advisories in August to winter storm warnings in February.

My insides have been in knots since I heard Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, on Jan. 6, say that today is the day “we kick ass and take names.” His audience included a significant number of hate groups, and not long after, these groups assaulted the U.S. Capitol. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/1…

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An article about Harmon School in the northern edge of Wilkes County being named to the National Register of Historic Places and a related “Viewpoints” column, both in the Feb. 3 issue, prompted an interesting phone call.

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In 1919, residents of the Sheets Gap area on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Wilkes County petitioned the Wilkes County Board of Education for a new school building.

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Although it fell one win short of making the 2A state finals, the West Wilkes volleyball team has many reasons to hold its head high.

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As your local health director, I would like to share the latest regarding COVID-19 vaccine in Wilkes County.

There’s very few things more frustrating than your mode of transportation breaking down when you’re on your way to a destination.

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This week’s opening of a Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in Lenoir to help Caldwell UNC Health Care (Caldwell Memorial Hospital) and hospitals in Boone, Hickory and Morganton handle COVID-19-related patient overflow was sobering news.

The year 2020 is one of the worst in recent memory, with a pandemic, economic crisis, months of social unrest and a divisive election. Over 300,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19, including nearly 70 in Wilkes County.

The vision that brothers B.B. and D.D. Dougherty had when they created what now is Appalachian State University has been fulfilled by people like Etta Lee Triplett Idol, who died Dec. 7 at age 98.

Baseball fans know that behind every great pitcher is a great catcher, and that’s indeed the case at West Wilkes High School with Riley Ledford and Braxton Church.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci stated in a Wall Street Journal podcast in April that in the interest of public health, it’s time to end the custom of shaking hands.

No stranger sight has greeted my return to covering prep sports than volleyball players wearing masks during indoor games and cross country runners wearing masks during outdoor warmups.

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A potential silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic is that when it’s over we might have greater appreciation of things we never imagined having to do without.

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My favorite local band, the Trailblazers, has a new record coming out Friday. If you’re a fan of great music that pushes boundaries, you should be as excited as I am for the release.