Gov. Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper is pictured during an August 2017 visit to the High Country.

Gov. Roy Cooper will visit two communities in the High Country Friday, June 28, to discuss local issues. The governor will visit Ashe and Watauga counties for separate events.

The governor is scheduled to meet with an invitation-only group at 3 p.m. at Ashe Memorial Hospital to discuss Medicaid expansion, according to N.C. Rep. Ray Russell. The event is not open to the public, according to hospital officials.

After his Ashe visit, Cooper will make his way to a private event at Appalachian Ski Mtn. That event is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m., as confirmed by ASM’s Brad Moretz and Appalachian Theatre Board of Trustees Chairman John Cooper.

“We’re pleased to have him come,” Moretz said. “Glad he’s interested in the High Country.”

Cooper visited Watauga in August 2017, when the governor toured the Watauga campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute as well as the F.A.R.M Cafe and the Appalachian Theatre on King Street. Cooper spoke to a crowd in front of the theater on his family’s love for the arts and encouraged municipal governments and citizens to contribute to its renovation.

Cooper has not previously visited Ashe County as governor. The last gubernatorial visit to Ashe was made by then-Gov. Pat McCrory on Feb. 1, 2016, to tour American Emergency Vehicles. Before this, McCrory had visited Ashe County for a ribbon cutting on July 9, 2015, announcing GE Aviation’s new expansion.

Thomas Sherrill contributed to this story.

Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, a group of five news newspapers, six websites and one monthly periodical in the High Country of North Carolina.

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