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Originally published: 2012-11-26 13:17:15
Last modified: 2012-11-26 13:17:15

Our View: Paying attention to poverty in the High Country

Thumbs-up: to a cautionary tale from local fire departments about the potential hazards of seasonal fires. November through February are peak times for home and chimney fires, and this, coupled with high heating costs that will drive more of us to use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, leads to the need for heightened awareness. Before using such alternate heating sources, ensure that the equipment has been properly cleaned and serviced and ensure smoke detectors are in working order.

Thumbs-up: to Watauga High School's Pioneer Playmakers for a group Excellence in Costume design award from the recent State High School Play Festival, in addition to individual awards in design and prodcution. Only 18 productions were chosen for competition at the state level.

Thumbs-up: to the holiday kickoff beginning today in Blowing Rock. Tree- and town-lightings, carriage rides and a parade will fill Memorial Park today and Main Street on Saturday. Round out Saturday with a book signing with Bob Timberlake at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Thumbs-down: to poverty in the High Country, but thumbs-up to a poverty simulation event at Boone United Methodist Church planned for Nov. 29 to call attention to the concern. At 25 percent, Watauga County has one of the highest poverty rates in North Carolina. To sign up for the event, email (