Cooling Off in the New River

As temperatures climb toward triple figures off the mountain, the New River becomes increasingly inviting.  Cool water welcome visitors with a variety of options.

canoes and kayaks navigate the New River Canoes and kayaks navigate the New River

Clear, low water levels make for outstanding Smallmouth bass fishing.  Access for wading can be found at New River State Park and Farmers Fishcamp Road.  Wading anglers are encouraged to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) as water depths can vary greatly.  North Carolina and Virginia have a reciprocal license agreement for the stretch of river from the confluence of the North and South Forks downstream to the confluence of the New and Little River.  This allows anglers with a license from either state to fish this section of river.

Special bass regulations apply to this portion of the river.  There is no minimum size limit and no bass between 14 and 20 inches may be possessed.

A angler tries his luck near the bridge on Farmers Fish A angler tries his luck near the bridge on Farmers Fish

Canoeing, kayaking and tubing offer a sure way to cool off on hot days.  Rentals are available at River Camp USA and New River Campground.  Both offer shuttle service for boaters.  They can tailor trips around skill levels and time restraints.  PFDs are required on canoes and kayaks.  Young boaters under age 13 must wear a properly sized PFDs while afloat.

IMG_3349 Canoes and kayaks await boaters at River Camp USA – Piney Creek, NC


For more information about outdoors opportunities in Alleghany County visit and

Mountains and Valley News – Kacey Caudill, Sydney Jones, Jade Shepherd and Benny Ray

In a groundbreaking move, Alleghany Community Television (ACTV) ventured into new territory on July 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm.  That moment marks Alleghany County’s first television news show, Mountains and Valleys News.  Designed to give a rundown of local news, weather and sports, the program furnishes 30 minutes of news that matters most to the people Alleghany and surrounding counties.  In addition to traditional news coverage, the program will list local obituaries and items of special interest.  Leading this endeavor are a group of talented Alleghany High School (AHS) students and lifelong residents of Alleghany County.

Kasey Caudill

Kasey Caudill

Kacey Caudill is a rising senior at (AHS).  The daughter of local mail carrier Lori Hirschy and former Alleghany County sheriff Mike Caudill, Kacey is active in the AHS Student Council, BETA Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletics (FCA) and varsity volleyball.  She plans to major in communications in college and aspires to become a sportscaster.  She says quite confidently that her goal is to become the next Erin Andrews.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones is also a rising senior at AHS.  Sydney is the daughter of Danny and Rebecca Jones.  She spent three years away from Alleghany County in Boone when both her parents went back to college.  At AHS, Sydney’s athletic talents are utilized on the basketball, volleyball and softball teams.  After high school, she has a path mapped out that takes her to Wilkes Community College, Appalachian State University and then to medical school at Wake Forest.  She plans to become a neurologist.

Jade Shepherd

Jade Shepherd

Jade Shepherd rounds out the broadcast team.  Like Kasey and Sydney, Jade will be a senior this year at AHS.  The daughter of Tony Shepherd and Jenny Lineberry, Jade is the upcoming student body president at AHS.  She is a member of the BETA Club, FCA, and competes in softball and volleyball.  She is also student at the North Carolina School of Science and Math where she takes classes online.  Jade plans to attend Virginia Tech University with the goal of becoming a biomedical engineer.

Benny Ray

Benny Ray

Working behind the camera is Benny Ray.  Benny is a recent graduate of AHS and has chosen to take a year off from college to gain work experience in broadcast production.  The son of Jeff Ray and Sydney Woodie, Benny plans to attend Wilkes Community college next fall and begin working toward a career in graphic design.

Jade and Sydney honing their skills at the 2015 Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention.

The skills and confidence these four are developing will carry them far into their chosen careers.  While ACTV’s primary mission is to train tomorrow’s broadcast professionals while keeping the community informed, it is obvious that these young people are on the path to becoming leaders in a variety of fields.  Developing those leadership skills is a large part of what they do each day whether in front of or behind the camera.


Mountains and Valleys News can be seen on Skybest TV on channels 21 and 22 and ACTV Broadband channel 98 at 7:00 am. 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm.  The show can be viewed on demand at

Sponsorships are available.  For more information about these opportunities to support community television, contact station manager Charles Scott at 336-657-0825.

Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention


This weekend marks the 21th anniversary of the Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention.  A fundraiser for the Sparta Fire Department and the Alleghany County fairgrounds, the festival brings in some of the best musicians in the area and often from abroad.  The festivities kick off at 5:00 pm on Friday, July 17th.  Events begin on Saturday at 10:00 am and wrap up around 11:30 pm.

1st Alleghany Fiddlers Convention 1995

1st Alleghany Fiddlers Convention 1995

Alleghany County has a rich history of traditional music.  Whether you taste leans toward bluegrass or old-time music, you are certain to find that taste satisfied in Sparta this weekend.


For more information click here

Arvie Perry – CJ Hardware

For those that lean toward a nostalgic view of life, it is often difficult to reconcile a desire to view life through the rearview mirror against the current and future realities.  We sometimes cling to the past with the hope that the “good ole days” will circle back around.

Businesses aren’t immune to this mindset.  Their challenge is to hold to those past practices that generated their success while adapting to the future.  Arvie Perry continues to demonstrate this adaptable mindset in both his personal and professional roles.

Arvie is a native of Alleghany County in its purest form.  He was born at Alleghany Memorial Hospital and has lived in the area his whole life.  He spent 28 years as a mason laying brick, block and stone.  Masonry is a vocation that requires repetitive movements, heavy lifting, and exposure to all types of weather.  By 2008, Arvie was facing surgery and described himself as “worn out.”  An opportunity to change careers presented itself in the form of CJ Hardware.

CJ Hardware was opened in 1950 by its namesake, Clarence J. Hendrix.  The store passed from Clarence to his son, Roger and then on to Jackie Billings.  In 2008, as Arvie was looking for a change, the store became available.

As Arvie and Jackie worked out the details of the transition, Arvie spent many evenings and Saturdays learning about the hardware business.  Arvie’s wife, Lynn, came on board to help with the administrative duties.  Lynn setup the bookkeeping and payroll system.  She handled much of the stock orders which are now almost completely web based.  Arvie says without a hint of doubt that he could never made it all work without Lynn.

CJ’s continues to maintain the look and feel of a traditional hardware store.  A bench out front encourages loafers to sit a while.  The smell of livestock feed and fertilizer feels the air.  Muskrat traps, hand tools and fence posts are available.  Chain saws can be bought, serviced or sharpened.  As a member of the Southern States Coop, the store offers those that farm for a living or as a hobby just about anything they need.


It is not unusual for customers to have to step over or around one of two large German Shepherds that hangout in the store.  The dogs generally ignore the resident cat, CJ.  Arvie considers the store pet friendly and describes how virtually every type of pet has wandered the aisles at some point in time.  He tells of a customer who brought in a chick in the hopes of the store’s staff diagnosing the chick’s aliment.


When asked what others, especially those who don’t know him well, would be surprised to know about Arvie, one of his employees said that although “Arvie can come across as gruff and tough, he is actually very caring.”  He points out that Arvie is quick to offer help to any number of local charitable and community groups.


Arvie Perry has struck a near perfect balance of holding to traditions while embracing a changing business and social environment.  He has surrounded himself with those that can help him make CJ Hardware successful.  His two sons, Jacob and Derek, assist customers and manned the computer.  Bilingual staff assists Spanish speaking patrons and help them feel welcome.  Practical advice on a wide range of farm and garden activity is given freely.  Customer service is a value that is demonstrated as opposed to one that is simply talked about.

CJ Hardware is a 1950s store firmly aware of what it takes to succeed in 2015.  While the store is stocked with a fascinating mixture of goods for sale, adaptability and innovation are the most valuable commodities found at CJs.  But those aren’t tucked away on a shelf – Arvie and his staff display them every day in a way that is Absolutely Alleghany.




CJ map

CJ Hardware is located 124 Memorial Drive, Sparta, NC