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By Les High Publisher There’s a line from the Apple TV series Ted Lasso in which Ted is told: “The truth will set you free, but first, it will really piss you off.”  The truth, however, is hard to come by today. That’s one of the reasons why we founded the Border Belt Independent in May, and why we need your continued support. Newsrooms like …Read more Continue reading Subscribe to our free newsletter and never miss a story

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Hospital, EMS seeing ‘a lot more’ overdose deaths

Publisher’s note: This is the third in a multi-part series where the Border Belt Independent looks at what has changed since The News Reporter’s six-part series in 2017 that reported on the opioid crisis and associated mental health issues. Today, Publisher Les High looks at the increase in overdose deaths, particularly during the pandemic, and how overdoses and mental crises strain the resources of the …Read more Continue reading Hospital, EMS seeing ‘a lot more’ overdose deaths

The Lumber is one of five ‘Wild and Scenic’ rivers in North Carolina

Editor’s note. This is the third of a three-part series on the Lumber River and its potential as an eco-tourism destination. Even though the Lumber River is one of only five rivers in North Carolina designated as “Wild and Scenic” by Congress, the meandering waterway sees limited use except for locals who were raised on it. The Lumber River runs 115 miles from its headwaters …Read more Continue reading The Lumber is one of five ‘Wild and Scenic’ rivers in North Carolina

Ray with Todd Bryant

The Lumber River defines wilderness and serenity for those who love it

Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series that features the Lumber River. Part I covered ecotourism possibilities for Lumber River State Park and Fair Bluff. In this story, Publisher Les High talks with Fair Bluff residents who frequent the river. For the people of Fair Bluff, love of the Lumber River comes naturally. The Rev. Ray Lundy, pastor at Fair Bluff Baptist …Read more Continue reading The Lumber River defines wilderness and serenity for those who love it

Sarah Nagem named editor of the Border Belt Independent

Sarah Nagem will join the staff of the Border Belt Independent as editor June 1. “Sarah brings with her a passion for journalism that gives voice to the most vulnerable people in society,” said BBI Publisher Les High. “Growing up poor in West Virginia, she saw firsthand how generational poverty can limit access to many basic needs, including health care, transportation and education. She is …Read more Continue reading Sarah Nagem named editor of the Border Belt Independent

Reimagining Lumber River State Park and Fair Bluff to capture the growing trend of ecotourism

This is the first in a series of three stories about the lower section of the Lumber River and the revitalization of Fair Bluff. A future series will feature the upper Lumber River. On any given weekend in the southern mountains of Virginia, hundreds – sometimes thousands – of cyclists pedal the 17 miles from near the peak of Mount Rogers to Damascus, Va. It’s …Read more Continue reading Reimagining Lumber River State Park and Fair Bluff to capture the growing trend of ecotourism