This week in the archives: voters go to the polls, early snow, toxic chemical killing | Community
Editor’s Note: This article features news and photos from previous editions of the Watauga Democrat.
October 16, 1947
“Municipality voters turned out in relatively small numbers on Tuesday to reject the proposal to raise an additional tax to institute a summer recreation program for Boone,” according to an article from October 16, 1947, edition of the Watauga Democrat.
“But the rejection of the plan was by an unimpressive margin, as only 30 more votes would have been needed to get the proposal approved.
“The city council called the elections a few weeks ago on petition from various civic and private clubs, the proposition being whether a special levy of 10 cents on the valuation of the hundred dollar tax book should be made for start a little recreation program here.
“Those looking for the project thought that a fairly adequate summer activity program could be crafted with the few hundred dollars made available in this way,” the article states.
October 17, 1977
According to Monday, October 17, 1977, publication of Watauga Democrat, “the first snow-frozen fall tourists to the Boone area, racking up to 5 inches on Beech Mountain.” Monday’s temperatures “dropped to 16 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 40 knots and a chill factor of minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The Watauga Democrat also reported on a preparedness exercise in which most of the region’s first responders participated. The exercise “began following a simulated severe weather warning that caused fires and wrecks throughout the county, setting off alarms in several schools and a bank.” For some participating departments, the training consisted of responding to emergency calls and searching for flood victims. Members of the Watauga County Rescue Team responded to an explosion scenario.
October 2, 1987
“Environmental officials believe that an unidentified toxic chemical killed about 1,000 fish in the section of Boone Creek, which runs through Boone from the outer edges of Appalachian State University along Blowing Rock Road,” according to an October 2, 1987 edition of the Watauga. Democrat.
Peter Nathanson, a representative for NC Natural Resources and Community Development, said the bleeding gills of dead fish found in the creek was evidence that the death was caused by a toxic chemical rather than an environmental change.
“He does not believe the death was caused by an oil spill as he did not observe obvious reflections on the surface of the water when he came to Boone on Tuesday at the request of John Alley, supervisor of the environment, “the article says.
Nathanson said analysis of water samples taken from the creek on Monday by local authorities was not complete.
“Based on the extent of death, the contamination could have occurred as early as Friday of last week,” Nathanson said.
“Authorities were alerted to the problem Monday when Michael Fox, an employee of High Country Honda, saw several 15-inch-long minnow-sized fish wading through foamy brown water,” the report said.