Avery News Notes –– Sept. 16, 2020 | Avery News Notes – Avery Journal Times

15September 2020

Weekly gas price update…

Average retail gasoline prices in North Carolina decreased by five cents from last week to $2.03 per gallon as of Monday, Sept. 14. This compares with the national average which decreased by four cent to $2.17 per gallon, according to www.northcarolinagasprices.com.

National, state debt update…

As of Monday, Sept. 14, the United States’ national debt was $26,756,070,347,174 according to www.usdebtclock.org. That debt figure breaks down to $81,031 in debt per person and $214,844 in debt per taxpayer. Also as of Monday, Sept. 14, North Carolina’s state debt was $49,160,073,144, which breaks down to $4,671 in debt per citizen.

State unemployment and food stamp update…

As of Monday, Sept. 14, 933,152 state residents were registered as unemployed, according to www.usdebtclock.org, and 788,701 North Carolinians were registered as food stamp recipients out of a total state population of 10,604,255.

We want to hear from you…

The AJT prides itself in investment in our community. We make an effort to cover everything we possibly can, and want the help of our readers to continue to represent what is happening in Avery County. We want your submissions, but they need to meet a few criteria to be considered for publication:

  • Submissions may include a photograph with everyone in the photo identified.
  • All submissions must include contact information, including an active phone number.
  • All submissions must include basic information.

Submissions are not free advertising. No submission that directly benefits a private individual or for-profit organization, either monetarily or for political gain, will be printed. Some good examples of acceptable submissions are philanthropic events, religious events, community events and any events or occurrences of special interest.

The AJT reserves the right to edit submissions to fit publication guidelines and reserves the right to not publish any submission for any reason.

Senior Center Highlights…

Activities at the Avery County Senior Center are on hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Meals may still be available for drive-through pickup at the Center, however. For more information, call the Center at (828) 733-8220, or visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Newland Volunteer Fire

Department Raffle…

Newland Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its Second Annual Fundraiser. The top prize raffled is a 2021 Honda Foreman 520 with winch and plow, along with a 2020 6×12 carry-on trailer. The second-place prize will be 1 T/C 30-06 Bolt Action Rifle, with the third-place prize a Winchester SXP 12-Gauge Pump Shotgun.

Only 500 tickets are printed, and tickets are available for a tax-deductible donation of $50 each. The drawing will be held live at 7 p.m. on October 31 on Facebook, provided all 500 tickets are sold. Winners must pass a background check to be eligible to win raffled firearms.

Winners do not have to be present to win, and tickets may be purchased from any Newland Volunteer Fire Department member or from any participating retail store. Firearms being raffled may be viewed at Three Nails Hardware in Newland.

For more information, call (828) 733-4011.

News from Avery DSS…

The Avery County DSS Work First Plan is available online at www.AveryDSS.com for the upcoming fiscal year July 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021. The Work First Plan outlines how funds will be spent for eligible families that apply for the Emergency Assistance or 200% Services programs.

Families needing help with winter clothes can apply for a winter clothing allowance beginning Oct. 1, 2020, at Avery County DSS. Applicants must have a child in the home of school age or in daycare, and meet the definition of “caretaker” according to TANF policy. Applications will be available on Oct. 1, 2020, at Avery DSS, and the program will run until October 31, or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

If you are receiving Medicaid or Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps) and you do not file taxes, nor previously received a stimulus check, click to www.irs.gov.

In addition, if you receive Food and Nutrition benefits or SNAP (formerly food stamps,) your household can receive free produce (a $40 value) at Food Lion stores for the next three months (program ends Dec. 31, 2020). You can choose fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables for your family. To enroll, call the Avery County Department of Social Services at (828) 733-8230 and ask to speak with Jennifer Jennings or Alesia Calloway, and we will explain the program further.

Avery County Health Department offers Drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays…

NEWLAND — Weather permitting, the Avery County Health Department is holding drive-thru COVID-19 testing at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday. The Avery County Health Department is located at 545 Schultz Circle in Newland. ACHD requests that interested parties call first to (828) 733-6031 to confirm the event.

Children invited to

visit Avery

Historical Museum…

To parents of children being homeschooled and those who have children with days at home during the coming weeks: If you are looking at ways to introduce your child to new educational opportunities, consider a trip to the Avery County Historical Museum.

We are once again open, in line with Stage 2.5 guidelines for safety, and we would welcome families coming to explore the many artifacts and historical information at the museum. We also have many books about the area and the families that settled here and built Avery County. Since we have limited capacity, we ask that parents call ahead to make reservations for bringing their children. We are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call the museum at (828) 733-7111.

Caldwell Hospice

offers Virtual

Volunteer Training…

Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference? Do you have the compassionate spirit needed to be a companion for someone’s journey? In partnership with Caldwell Hospice staff, volunteers serve an essential role in patient and family support, administrative and community support.

Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care is hosting a two-day virtual training in October for adults who are interested in becoming hospice volunteers. This training will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, via Zoom video conferencing. To reserve a spot in the Zoom training, participants must complete an application at www.caldwellhospice.org/give-volunteer.

An array of topics will be covered to help prepare attendees to become successful volunteers. Participants will learn about the strong community history and commitment of Caldwell Hospice, the physical, spiritual, and psychosocial issues hospice patients face, and much more from Caldwell Hospice’s staff of end-of-life care experts.

Currently, there is a need for volunteers to provide patient and family support in Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga and Wilkes counties. Other specific needs include veteran volunteers to support and make Veterans Honoring Veterans presentations to patients who are veterans.

North Carolina prepares Coronavirus Grants for local communities with up to $28 million available for COVID response…

RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper recently announced the State of North Carolina will provide $28 million to local governments and communities in their response to the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19 through the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) program. The program will be funded through the CARES Act by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support North Carolina’s ongoing effort to fight COVID-19.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce will provide CDBG-CV grants to local governments. This grant program will assist local governments with subsistence payments to prevent evictions and utility disconnections in municipalities with populations under 50,000 and counties with less than 200,000 people. This funding priority includes food distribution, testing and diagnosis, and employment training for frontline health care workers.

“The pandemic has presented difficult challenges to North Carolina’s smaller communities and businesses, and these funds will assist them in getting back on their feet,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland said. “The CDBG-CV program will provide needed relief while also helping set the stage for the post-COVID economic recovery.”

In addition to public utilities and rent assistance, the funds will also provide public facilities support with broadband, communications, and the rehabilitation of buildings as well as financial assistance to small businesses with less than 100 employees and micro-enterprises with no more than five employees.

Local governments began applying for CDBG-CV grants beginning Sept. 1 and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The program guidelines and application are available on the North Carolina Department of Commerce website at NCCommerce.com/covidrelief.

Avery Chamber Golf Tournament coming

October 16…

AVERY COUNTY — The Avery County Chamber of Commerce has announced that its annual Avery Chamber Golf Classic, which is a fall golf tournament to benefit the Avery County Chamber of Commerce.

The morning event will be hosted by the Mountain Glen Golf Club in Newland on Friday, Oct. 16. The schedule for the day’s festivities will begin with registration/breakfast at 8 a.m., with play instruction at 8:45 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. and post-tournament awards and box lunch at the conclusion of the round.

The 2020 Avery Chamber Golf Classic is sponsored by SkyLine SkyBest & Carolina West Wireless. Team player gifts are sponsored by The Lodges at Eagles Nest, with breakfast items and box lunches sponsored by Stonewalls & Crossnore School & Children’s Home. On-course activities are sponsored by Friendship Honda of Boone. Click to the Avery Chamber website at averycounty.com/chamber-events/avery-chamber-golf-classic/ for more information.

NCDA&CS and WNC Communities sign proclamation to continue Hemlock Restoration Initiative…

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently co-signed a proclamation with Jennifer Ferre, the executive director of WNC Communities, in which both leaders pledge continued support for the Hemlock Restoration Initiative.

Troxler first announced the allocation of seed funding for the initiative in March of 2014. Since then, collaboration with WNC Communities has resulted in positive momentum in the effort to restore North Carolina’s hemlock trees to long-term health. Dead hemlocks can negatively affect nesting songbirds, trout populations, plant nurseries and landscapers, homeowners and tourism.

“The hemlock woolly adelgid continues to kill a large number of eastern and Carolina hemlocks in North Carolina, but our combined efforts are making a difference,” said Troxler. “As just one example, we recently recognized dozens of N.C. Forest Service employees for a five-month project that treated nearly 42,000 hemlocks on more than 1,500 acres in the state. It was a huge project, and we’re committed to continuing our efforts in various ways.”

While NCDA&CS provides resources such as funding, forestry expertise and manpower, the Asheville-based nonprofit WNC Communities manages grants and other funding sources, recruits research partners and provides administrative support for the program.

“The proclamation further cements the partnership between the Department of Agriculture and WNC Communities, and it serves as a promise for the future of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative,” Ferre said.

Grants for diversifying farms in 2021; WNC AgOptions intent to apply deadline Oct. 23, application deadline Nov. 20…

ASHEVILLE — WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $216,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2021. The application deadline is November 20.

WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers’ risk of trying new ventures and expanding their farms with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. “The WNC AgOptions program is an excellent example of grant funds providing direct support to those who need it most,” said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. “Our farmers are arguably the most important people in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Commission’s interest in supporting western North Carolina agriculture.”

The Commission has supported the mountain region throughout major changes in agriculture, ensuring farmers continue farming. “We are extremely impressed with the innovation and resourcefulness that Western North Carolina farmers exhibit as they improve production efficiencies and continually advance their operations through diversifying and enhancing current operations,” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “ With support from our Board, we continue to build on the long tradition of agricultural excellence in western NC.”

Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension agents by Oct. 23 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. Applications are available at www.wncagoptions.org or at local Cooperative Extension centers. Extension agents remain a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects.

Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has distributed more than $3 million to farmers in western North Carolina who are diversifying their operations. Returns on initial investments are often immediate, as new income typically matches the size of the grants in the first year of the projects. Income continues to increase year after year, often doubling by the third year of the projects.

WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Applicants are encouraged to participate in information sessions, which will be held via the Zoom online video conferencing platform. Details on these meetings can be found on the WNC AgOptions website at www.wncagoptions.org.

“WNC Communities is honored to be the administrator of this annual funding opportunity designed to support farmers in their quest to try new techniques or implement innovative farming practices,” said Jennifer Ferre, Executive Director of WNC Communities. “We are grateful to the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and North Carolina legislators for their support for 15 years.”

Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness.

Folwell urges N.C. residents to return 2020 Census forms or risk loss of Federal funds…

RALEIGH – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, is encouraging North Carolinians to complete their 2020 Census Bureau forms to ensure the state receives its proper share of hundreds of billions of federal dollars.

Federal funding distributions to the state and local governments are critical for everything from education and housing to public works projects and roads.

“Many local governments and utilities are struggling, especially in rural areas, and the economic lockdowns in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic have made their situations worse,” Treasurer Folwell said. The Local Government Commission housed in the Department of State Treasurer has been working to help those towns, cities, counties and municipal utilities at risk of failure and state takeover of their finances.

“If we don’t all do our part to ensure the census count is thorough and accurate, we will forfeit North Carolina’s fair share of money that could be a lifeline to those at-risk governments,” Folwell said.

The census is constitutionally mandated to occur every 10 years. As of Sept. 1, North Carolina had a 77.1% household response. There were only eight states with lower counts. The U.S. rate was 84.1%. If you haven’t done so yet, you can fill out your census form by phone (844-330-2020), by mailing back the paper questionnaires that were sent to households, or online.

The population count determines how the 435 congressional seats are divided among the states, and how state legislative districts are drawn up. But many people are unaware that the census data are used by planners and policymakers when they are considering the need for highway planning and construction, hospitals, schools and other public works investments.

“Businesses and corporations rely on census data when choosing where to locate factories and headquarters, offices and stores. Developers review census figures to determine where to build new homes and subdivisions,” Folwell said. “All of those activities and growth generate tax revenue and jobs, which are the lifeblood of local and state economies, and help them to meet budgetary needs to serve their communities.”

Many local public utilities and services in North Carolina are in disrepair or in need of funds. Census data are used to allocate federal funds to water and waste disposal systems for rural communities, emergency community and water assistance grants, assistance grants to firefighters and rural business enterprise grants. Local governments incorporate census numbers into public safety and emergency preparedness policies.

The decennial population count also is used in allocating unemployment insurance and Community Development Block Grants. As the nation faces the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is instructive to note that epidemiologists and public health officials rely on demographic details from the census to track disease outbreaks, improve health and more.

Caldwell Hospice

virtual ‘Lunch

and Learn’ series…

Caldwell Hospice Serving the High Country will offer a virtual lunch and learn series on six different topics from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through October 14.

Programs offered will include the following:

  • “Starting the Conversation” (Sept. 23, 2020). Interactive discussion to equip participants to have conversations with loved ones about healthcare wishes, presented by Erica Andrews, BS, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator.
  • “Advance Care Planning” (Sept. 30, 2020). An explanation of Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney. Receive links to documents or pick up booklet prior to this event. Event presented by Erica Andrews, BS, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, and Kathy Eddy, BSN, Clinical and Provider Relations Coordinator.

“I Just Want to Help” (Oct. 7, 2020). Guidance on how to help those around you grieve, including what to say and what not to say, presented by Kimberly Setzer, MSW, LCSW, Bereavement Coordinator

  • “Becoming a Caldwell Hospice Volunteer” (Oct. 14, 2020). An overview of volunteer services and what it takes to become a Caldwell Hospice volunteer, presented by Erica Andrews, BS, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, and featuring a High Country volunteer panel.

Register for the any of these virtual lunch and learn opportunities by contacting Erica Andrews at (828) 754-0101, 1 (844) MY-JOURNEY, or eandrews@caldwellhospice.org. A Zoom link will be sent to registered participants. This series is provided by Caldwell Hospice at no cost to participants.

Art Cellar Gallery’s new exhibition of Raymond Chorneau running through Sept. 19…

BANNER ELK — Raymond Chorneau’s works are focused on geometric form as well as layers. He works with wax and oil on paper and canvas by adding and subtracting layers of medium to create pictographic symbols and lines to expose a fuller realization of the subject matter. Often it is difficult to tell whether the image is merging from or emerging into the background.

“Layers” by Raymond Chorneau will hang in the gallery through September 19. This exhibition will feature brand new works on canvas and paper. For more information, click to www.artcellaronline.com/raymond-chorneau.

Wayne Benfield

Memorial canceled…

Based on the recommendation of Avery County Health Department, the annual Wayne Benfield Memorial Benefit will not take place this year due to COVID-19. The annual event features live music, food and a silent auction.

In previous years, the benefit has donated thousands of dollars to local individuals and families. “We are working on continuing the have the event next year,” event representative Teresa Benfield said. “It has been such a blessing helping people of Avery County in Wayne’s memory. Wayne had such a loving heart for everyone. We look forward to having fellowship and coming together to help those who have a great need. I want to thank all the people who have supported this memorial in the past. We look forward to next year and pray everyone stays well.”

Blue Ridge Partnership for Children among

programs awarded

CFWNC grants…

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina recently approved grants totaling $216,811 to nonprofits across the region. The awards were made in CFWNC’s Early Childhood Development, Food and Farming and Natural and Cultural Resources focus areas.

“With these awards, CFWNC resumes making grants in its focus areas after redirecting resources to COVID relief earlier this year,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “As the pandemic continues to disrupt all aspects of our lives, CFWNC is pleased to be able to support nonprofits working to mitigate its effects on children and families, the region’s farmers and important cultural institutions.”

Early Childhood Development grants include:

  • $72,000 over two years to Blue Ridge Partnership for Children/Alliance for Young Children of the Blue Ridge to extend the benefits of the initiative to Avery and Mitchell counties. Since 2014, CFWNC has supported the Alliance in coordinating the efforts of agencies and citizens across Yancey County to achieve the systemic changes needed to prepare the region’s children for school and life success. The project ensures the availability and affordability of health, education and parent support services. The Crutchfield Charitable Fund and John and Janet Garrett Charitable Fund provided co-investment for this grant.
  • $14,811 to Grace Community Church to build a playground that meets North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education standards so that the Church can operate a Preschool for McDowell County. The Grace Preschool will enroll 50 percent of children from high need populations and, therefore, will receive NC Child Care subsidy support. Grace Preschool will work with McDowell County Schools and will not be focused on Church members. The Matthew Terrence Lee One Love Fund provided co-investment for this grant.
  • The Organic Growers School was awarded a $25,000 Food and Farming grant to implement programming that provides WNC farmers with individualized support, advanced education and mentoring services to enhance success and sustainability. The services target farmers in years 3-10 of their farming careers, critical years that help small farmers overcome the challenges of scale and burnout that often break farm businesses. The John and Janet Garrett Charitable Fund, Little Acorn Fund – W and an anonymous fund provided co-investment for this grant.

CFWNC works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages more than 1,100 funds and facilitated $22 million in grants last year bringing total giving to more than $276 million since its founding in 1978. Learn more at www.cfwnc.org.

Banner Elk Artists

Gallery open…

While the Historic Banner Elk School remains closed to the general public, the BE Artists Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Please call the number on the sign at the front door and we will promptly let you in.

Please note that masks are required, capacity is limited to a maximum of six guests at one time, and that no public restrooms are available at this time. You can also schedule an appointment to visit the gallery by emailing art@beartistsgallery.com, or calling (828) 898-6767.

CDC issues temporary moratorium on renter evictions to prevent spread of COVID-19; PLS urges WNC to contact attorneys, know

their rights…

As a means to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a nationwide order recently to temporarily halt evictions for millions of renters who meet certain criteria. The order takes effect through Dec. 31.

The order requires that renters meet certain criteria, including:

  • Have an income of $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or up to $99,000 for individuals.
  • Show they have sought government assistance to pay their rent.
  • Declare they are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19.
  • Affirm they are likely to become homeless if they are evicted.

Nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services is receiving approximately 1,000 phone calls each week, with more than half of those calls related to housing issues. While this news is a welcome step forward for people in our mountains who are facing homelessness during the pandemic, experts say the moratorium will not completely solve the eviction crisis.

“Renters can still be evicted for a variety of other reasons other than lack of payment. And those who do qualify for the moratorium will still be responsible for paying their rent,” Pisgah Legal Services Executive Director Jim Barrett said.

Barrett also worries about what will happen when the moratorium expires. “When that final bill comes due in the dead of winter it will be impossible for many low-income people to pay,” Barrett added. “We urge renters to continue to work with their landlords, pay what they can, and contact Pisgah Legal Services to get the legal guidance they need. Free legal aid is more important than ever, as is the need for rental assistance funding. This funding is already available in some mountain communities, and the hope is that more will be available throughout WNC in the near future.”

In addition to the moratorium, renters should also know these basic rights:

  • A tenant cannot be made to move from a rental home without a court order. Tenants have a right to appear in court and defend themselves. Any attempt made to remove a tenant by anyone or any means except the Sheriff’s Department is illegal.
  • In most cases, landlords cannot legally terminate a tenant’s electricity, water or heat source as a method of forcing them to leave a rental unit.
  • Do not move out without talking to an attorney. Tenants may have rights and defenses that they do not know about. There may be financial resources available tenants are unaware of. Even if a tenant is behind in rent, do not move out without finding out your options. Eviction actions can happen quickly without an attorney, and they can be slowed down to prevent homelessness with the aid of an attorney.

Pisgah Legal Services, a nonprofit that provides free, civil legal aid in Western North Carolina, continues to assist people with low incomes during COVID-19. Staff and volunteer attorneys are helping clients and taking new applications for assistance with critical needs that include:

  • evictions and foreclosures
  • domestic violence
  • coping with debts and avoiding scams
  • unemployment and other government benefits and health care.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Pisgah Legal’s main phone lines at (828) 253-0406, or (800) 489-6144. Online applications are also being accepted at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance. Pisgah Legal staff and volunteer attorneys continue to work remotely, and will be in touch via phone and/or email.

Pisgah Legal’s website also offers helpful information including resources, and frequently asked questions during COVID-19.

Avery County Local Food Producers Directory…

The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center is reaching out to all local food producers in Avery County. In an effort to provide our residents with information about fresh local food available in this area, Bill Hoffman, Extension Agent-ANR, is compiling a directory containing local food producers along with contact information and products that are available for purchase.

If you are a local food producer in Avery County and would be interested in having your information listed in the upcoming directory, contact the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center at (828) 733-8270.

Operation Fan Heat Relief distributing fans to eligible

recipients…

RALEIGH — As the weather remains warm, the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services is partnering with the NC Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers to distribute fans to eligible recipients through Operation Fan Heat Relief through Oct. 31.

People 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, are eligible to sign up for assistance through Oct. 31 at local aging agencies across the state. Since 1986, the relief program has purchased fans for older adults and adults with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable living environment and reducing heat-related illnesses.

As individuals age and develop chronic medical conditions, they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. They may also be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Operation Fan Heat Relief helps vulnerable adults at risk for heat-related illnesses stay safe during the summer.

In addition to applying for fans, people 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, can take the following steps during high temperatures:

  • Increase fluid intake
  • Spend some time in cool or air-conditioned environments regularly
  • Reduce strenuous activity during the afternoon
  • Speak with their physician before summer about how to stay safe while taking medication that can affect the body’s ability to cool itself (e.g., high blood pressure drugs)

Given the spread of COVID-19, people should check on neighbors and friends aged 60 and older by phone or internet during high temperatures when possible. Visiting a cool space in the house of a neighbor or friend is recommended if one doesn’t have adequate cooling, but physical distancing of at least six feet, wearing a cloth face covering and hand-washing should be practiced.

The program is made possible by donations from Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, and Dominion Resources, which allow regional area agencies on aging and provider agencies to purchase fans for eligible individuals. Provider agencies can also purchase a limited number of air conditioners based on a person’s specific health conditions.

Last year, the division received $85,600 in donations, allowing for the distribution of 5,185 fans and 27 air conditioners.

For more details, individuals may contact their Area Agency on Aging or the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Housing Program Consultant at (919) 855-3419.

Prayer Vigil at

Newland Square September 26…

The churches of Avery County will be holding a prayer vigil at noon on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Newland Town Square. The event will coincide with the Prayer March that Franklin Graham will have in Washington, DC on that same day at the same time to pray for America.

Everyone is welcome, and attendees may stand in the Town Square or stay in their car.

Recovery…

Each Monday at 7 p.m., Heaton Christian Church, located at 221 Curtis Creek Road, offers help for anyone struggling with addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), or other undesirable habits or compulsions, to overcome their battles and find their relationship with Jesus Christ.

No one will be judged. This is a ministry of loving, caring people, some who have experienced the same struggles. Family and friends of those needing help are encouraged to participate and support their efforts. For more information, call Butch or Courtney at (828) 528-5476.

Mentors needed for Avery kids and youth…

Western Youth Network, in partnership with Williams YMCA, is accepting applications for mentors for Avery County youth ages six to 17, who are in need of a positive role model in their lives. Mentors serve a unique role in the life of a child that is different from that of a parent, teacher or friend. After spending time with a mentor (an average of two hours per week for one year), young people show improvements in their academic performance, school attendance and behaviors. Most of all, they know someone cares about them.

Mentoring opportunities are also available through the program’s lunch buddy program at local elementary schools. For more information, or to fill out an application, call or email Avery Mentoring Coordinator Sabena Maiden at (828) 264-5174 or maidens@westernyouthnetwork.org or Williams YMCA Community Outreach Director Sheila Bauer at (828) 737-5500 or sheilab@ymcaavery.org.

Avery County Volunteer Communications Club…

Avery County Volunteer Communications Club (AC4VC) holds meetings on the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 6 p.m., at Linville Land Harbor Mountain View Activity Center (22 Twin Tree Lane, Newland). Any and all who are interested in Amateur Radio are welcome to attend. There will be a general meeting and training. Following training, the group will be conducting testing of all three types of Amateur Radio licenses. For more information, contact Jay Glen, N4HOP and ACVC Club President, at (828) 305-9851, or email AC4VC.Club@gmail.com.

Caregiver’s Haven…

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from memory loss? Are you a caregiver who could use a day out? Caregiver’s Haven is a safe, welcoming, and fun environment for your loved one to spend their Fridays at between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This time can be beneficial for a caregiver to get their own needs met and to have a few hours of the day to themselves. A trained staff provides a nutritious lunch, fun activities, day trips, stimulating mind and body exercises, socialization for your loved one, and even counseling for you as a caregiver. The senior center also offers an Alzheimer’s Support Group where caregivers and professionals can meet and share the struggles that come along with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia. That group meets every third Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. Both of these groups will meet at the Avery County Senior Center in Newland. Call Avery Senior Services at (828) 733-8220 for more information.

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Source: averyjournal.com

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