Archive for January, 2022

1-27-2022 – 1st Homeowners connected to high-speed internet in NE Caldwell County thanks to GREAT Grant

Posted on: January 27th, 2022 by admin No Comments


January 27, 2022



Caldwell Journal

By Blue Ridge Energy Last updated Jan 13, 2022


LENOIR, NC (January 13, 2022) — Recently, the first Caldwell County homeowner was connected to high-speed internet as part of the GREAT (Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology) grant project led by Blue Ridge Energy and SkyBest Communications.


To date, more than 20 homes are connected and residents in Phase I are eligible for service to be connected at their location. To determine eligibility and sign up, interested residents are encouraged to visit or call SkyBest Communications at 1-800-759-2226. Phase I includes Charlie Triplett Road, O’hennesy Lane, Yadkin Lane, Mariah Drive, Quinella Lane and Chetola Drive as well as parts of Steeltown and Indian Grave Roads in that area.



Fiber-optic infrastructure construction is well underway in Phases II and III, which includes the Buffalo Cove area and extends east to the Wilkes County line.  With no weather or supply chain delays, SkyBest High-Speed Internet is expected to become available in Phase II in fall 2022 and Phase III in early 2023.


The extensive project requires approximately 60 miles of above ground construction and eight miles of underground construction of fiber in the rocky, mountainous terrain of northern Caldwell County. Due to the size of the project and challenging topography, work will be completed in three phases over approximately two years. After Blue Ridge Energy completes construction to a community, SkyBest Communications will begin offering its high-speed internet there.


The grant-funded area includes more than 400 homes and businesses located off Hwy 268 from Indian Grave Road to the Wilkes County line where no internet service is currently available, other than satellite or cellular service.


As a member-owned cooperative serving some 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Wilkes and Alexander counties, Blue Ridge Energy has a long history of supporting economic development and other initiatives in communities served by the cooperative.


The grant is especially critical because of the expense to build infrastructure to serve rural communities: nationally based internet service providers have not extended high-speed internet service to areas like northern Caldwell County because it’s extremely expensive to build the infrastructure in sparsely populated rural areas, especially those with rocky, mountainous terrain. As a result, some local communities don’t have access to digital services that most people rely on for basic needs such as education and job opportunities.


Blue Ridge Energy plans to continue working with SkyBest Communications to pursue additional state or federal grants for other parts of northern Caldwell County and across Blue Ridge Energy’s service area that do not have high-speed internet access.

1-26-2022 – No cost COVID-19 testing

Posted on: January 26th, 2022 by admin No Comments


January 26, 2022


1-19-2022 – CCCTI Classes

Posted on: January 19th, 2022 by admin No Comments


January 19, 2022



Jan 17, 2022 Updated 12 hrs ago


Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is now registering for several upcoming workforce training courses. For more information on these courses or to register, call 828-726-2242.


Free Training for Advanced Manufacturing Careers — Feb. 7 to Mar. 3, Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — IMPACT Institute prepares students for entry-level advanced manufacturing jobs and qualifies them for scholarships to continue their education in Industrial Maintenance, Machining, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering, and Welding. Students must be at least 18 years old and have earned a high school credential. Space for the free course is limited. Classes are free at the Caldwell Campus in Hudson.


Furniture Technology Institute: Intro to Upholstery — Jan. 24 to April 25, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — The course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to become an entry-level upholsterer. In addition, students will learn the soft skills needed for employment. The course includes core skills, training in upholstery manufacturing concepts, tools and safety, and training in employability skills, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. Classes are in J-118 on the Caldwell Campus. The cost of the class is $182.


Massage Therapy Course — Feb. 2, 2022 to Feb. 22, 2023, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m and each third Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This course is designed to prepare students for the certification examination required for the North Carolina licensure application process. The course will include anatomy and physiology, multiple massage styles, multiple therapy styles, ethics, North Carolina laws and regulations, and wellness and self-care. Students who successfully complete this massage therapy training will receive three points toward competitive admission into the Physical Therapist Assistant program at CCC&TI. Classes are at the Caldwell Campus in Hudson. The cost of the class is $200.


Manicurist/Nail Technician — Jan. 18 to May 20, Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. — The class prepares students to become licensed nail technicians in North Carolina. Classes are at the Caldwell Campus in Hudson. The cost of the class is $182.


Electrical Lineworker I — Feb. 21 to May 5, Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — The Electrical Lineworker Institute prepares students for a career as an apprentice for a Journeyman Lineworker. In this program, students will develop the knowledge and skills to install, operate, maintain, and repair outdoor residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems and associated power transmission lines. Classes are at the Caldwell Campus.


General Contractor Exam Prep — Feb. 8 to Apr. 14, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — This 54-hour course prepares students for the General Contractor’s licensing examination. Emphasis is placed on blueprints, laws and regulations, employment security laws, and workers’ compensation. Upon successful completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the N.C. Contractor’s licensing examination. Cost for the course is $182

1-14-2022 – Significant Weather Event Expected for Caldwell County Saturday Through Sunday Night

Posted on: January 14th, 2022 by admin No Comments


January 14, 2022


1-13-2022 – Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses

Posted on: January 13th, 2022 by admin No Comments


January 13, 2022





WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.


At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.


The court’s orders Thursday during a spike in coronavirus cases was a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to boost the vaccination rate among Americans.


The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.


“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.


In dissent, the court’s three liberals argued that it was the court that was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts. “Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies,” Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a joint dissent.


When crafting the OSHA rule, White House officials always anticipated legal challenges — and privately some harbored doubts that it could withstand them. The administration nonetheless still views the rule as a success at already driving millions of people to get vaccinated and for private businesses to implement their own requirements that are unaffected by the legal challenge.


Both rules had been challenged by Republican-led states. In addition, business groups attacked the OSHA emergency regulation as too expensive and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when finding new employees already is difficult.


The vaccine mandate that the court will allow to be enforced nationwide scraped by on a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the liberals to form a majority. The mandate covers virtually all health care workers in the country, applying to providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. It potentially affects 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.


The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion, saying the “latter principle governs” in the healthcare cases.


Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in dissent that the case was about whether the administration has the authority “to force healthcare workers, by coercing their employers, to undergo a medical procedure they do not want and cannot undo.” He said the administration hadn’t shown convincingly that Congress gave it that authority.


Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett signed onto Thomas’ opinion. Alito wrote a separate dissent that the other three conservatives also joined.


Decisions by federal appeals courts in New Orleans and St. Louis had blocked the mandate in about half the states. The administration already was taking steps to enforce it elsewhere.


More than 208 million Americans, 62.7% of the population, are fully vaccinated, and more than a third of those have received booster shots, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All nine justices have gotten booster shots.


The justices heard arguments on the challenges last week. Their questions then hinted at the split verdict that they issued Thursday.


A separate vaccine mandate for federal contractors, on hold after lower courts blocked it, has not been considered by the Supreme Court.




Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

This story corrects that four justices noted dissents in the health care vaccine case, not just Alito and Thomas.

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