Notice From the Yancey County Sheriffs Office and the Burnsville Police Dept

10/21/14 04:34 PM
Re: Verizon Cellular Scam
On October 20, 2014 hundreds if not thousands of people received telephone calls from number 919-555-5050.  The caller spoke in a broken English accent.  Some people received the call from a male caller while others received the call from a female caller.  The caller stated that he/she was with Verizon Cellular and that they were running a survey.  If the person they had called would answer 3 questions, then they would be credited $20.00 on their upcoming bill.

Question 1: Are you the account holder and how many cellular phones are on your account?
Question 2: How do you rate your Verizon service from 1 to 10?
Question 3: What would you recommend to better cellular service in your area?

After these questions have been answered, the caller will then say that he/she needs you to verify your last 4 numbers of your social security number.

These questions do not seem to be intrusive and a lot of people seem to be comfortable to give this information.  Beware! 

The following day, October, 21, 2014, several citizens of Yancey County have found that their cellular phone account has had primary phones disabled and other devices have been added to the person’s account.  Large monetary amounts have been charged to their Verizon account.  Overseas phone calls have been made.  It is reported that some bank accounts have had attempted access gained by unknown persons.

If you receive a call from the number, 919-555-5050 it is strongly advised that you do not answer this call.  If you have spoken with a person from this number and are having any problems with your cellular phone, please contact Verizon at 828-678-3530.

Two Arrested on Sex Offender Charges

10/21/14 12:54 PM
The Yancey County Sheriffs Office Sex Offender Unit arrested John Powell, age 44, of 66 Whistling Gap Rd in Burnsville on Monday night Oct 20th and charged him with being a Sex Offender on Child Premises, which is a felony. Mr. Powell, a registered sex offender, was reported by a concerned citizen to be on the property of Cane River Middle School. When officers from the Sex Offender (more)

Early Voting Begins Thursday in Mitchell and Yancey

10/21/14 05:54 AM
Voters can begin casting ballots in the General Election 2014 at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 23.  Early voting concludes at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1. (more)

Yancey Co. Hosts Western Regional Clerks Academy

10/17/14 04:22 PM
Yancey County Government and the Burnsville Town Center hosted the Western Regional of the North Carolina County Clerk’s Association on September 26, 2014.  Clerks to the Board of Commissioners from across Western North Carolina came to Yancey County to learn more about county government and to exchange ideas.  This is the second time in five years that Yancey County has been the (more)

Spruce Pine Town Hall Closes to ReLocate

10/17/14 12:48 PM
The Spruce Pine Town Hall will be closed on Friday, October 24, 2014.  They will reopen at their new location, 11050 South Highway 226, on Monday, October 27th. 

South Toe Flooding/Tornado in McDowell

10/17/14 10:27 AM
The Tuesday, October 14th rainstorm brought both flooding and a small tornado in the area. The South Toe area of Yancey County had some flooding from the heavy rain according to Yancey County Emergency Management. Damage was reported at the Toe River Campground where the road was washed out significantly and several picnic tables were carried away but none of the campers were damaged. Emergency personnel also took part in a rescue from flood waters that threatened to sweep a vehicle   down river. The cab of the vehicle, which had driven into a high water area, was being flooded when emergency personnel arrived on scene. The people inside the vehicle were able to get out and emergency personnel pushed the truck out of harm’s way before it was carried downstream. The area received upwards of five inches of rain from the storm. McDowell County confirmed that a tornado touched down in the Montford Cove community around 8:50 pm. It traveled about four tenths of a mile and was on the ground about 30 seconds. No one was injured but several structures were damaged.

BBB Warns About Ebola Scams and Schemes

10/17/14 10:19 AM
Arlington, VA – Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a variety of Ebola-related scams and problematic fundraisers that have emerged recently. (more)

Operation Stop Arm

10/16/14 04:04 PM
In support of Operation Stop Arm the State Highway Patrol will be aggressively enforcing stop arm violations and other traffic violations in and around school zones. The operation will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. on Monday, October 20th through Friday, October 24th. The Patrol expects Operation Stop Arm will decrease violations and reduce school bus incidents involving children.  

Intruder Shot by Homeowner in Buladean

10/16/14 07:22 AM
A Mitchell County man was shot last Saturday while trying to break into a man’s house in Buladean. 27-year-old Joshua Hicks received a gunshot wound to his leg while attempting to forcibly enter the home of Adrian Putman at 172 Arrowood Lane. Putman warned Hicks several times to leave his property and even fired a couple of warning shots after Hicks forced a door open on a screen porch and entered his house. After fleeing the home he was located by Mitchell County authorities seeking treatment for his wound at a hospital in Elizabethton Tenn. Hicks was later transferred to the Johnson City Medical Center and Johnson City police are monitoring him. Hicks will be taken into custody upon his release and held for extradition to North Carolina where he faces felony first degree burglary charges.

Mitchell County Cost Rise with New Rules on Housing Prisoners

10/16/14 07:21 AM
A move by the NC legislature will force Mitchell County to foot more of the bill to house its prison population. Currently counties in the state have been required to pay and house their misdemeanor offenders for the first 90 days after they are sentenced and this year’s budget will require counties to house DWI defenders for the first 90 days of their sentence as well, placing a burden on the county budget. Without a jail of its own, Mitchell County now pays to transport and house prisoners in other counties’ facilities and with an average of four DWI convictions a month the cost is set to rise. The price of jailing inmates has risen from around $231,000 in 2009-10 to over $707,000 this past year. With the cost of caring for inmates soaring near the $1 million dollar mark, county officials may take a look at building a jail of their own in the future. Some Commissioners believe that an in-county jail would reduce the counties’ liability to transport prisoners and would free up more money for the sheriff’s department.    

Untreated Wastewater Reaches North Toe River

10/16/14 07:20 AM
A discharge of untreated wastewater from a sewer main near the intersection of Riverside Drive and Spring Street occurred last week according to a report filed by the Town of Spruce Pine. Approximately 5000 gallons of untreated wastewater entered the North Toe River on October 9th according to the notice. The cause of the incident was traced back to a power failure at the Beaver Creek pump station. The spill was reported to the NC Division of Water Quality which requires notification in the event of a wastewater spill of 1000 gallon or more. 

No Major Storm Damage

10/15/14 07:11 AM
Western North Carolina dodged the major damage yesterday from the storm system that has been marching across the country all week.  There was tornado damage in Georgia and other Southern States and Tornado warnings were posted for many of the counties in WNC.  Minor flooding and power outages were also reported over night.  In Mitchell County the Little Switzerland rain gauge recorded 6.58 inches in rain in 24 hours. In Yancey County the Blue Rock area recorded 4.44 inches in 24 hours.  As a precaution, Yancey, Mitchell and McDowell County Schools are operating on a 2hr Delay this morning. 

Pedestrian Struck on Hwy. 19 Outside of Burnsville

10/14/14 11:27 AM
A Yancey County woman was struck and injured by a vehicle on October 8th near Blossman Gas in Jacks Creek.  According to NC Highway Patrol reports,  a 2001 Toyota driven by John Littleton of McKinney Cove Road Bakersville was traveling west on Hwy 19 and was entering the turn lane when it struck Thelma Williams of Comet Road in Burnsville. Williams was walking across the road and crossed in front of the vehicle in the turn lane when she was struck.  She came to rest in the roadway according to the report. Williams was taken to Mission Hospital by Yancey County EMS where she is being treated for several serious injuries. Littleton and two passengers in his vehicle were not hurt.  The incident happened at around 6 p.m. Wednesday night.

McDowell Teen Dies in Wreck

10/13/14 07:04 AM
The community in McDowell County is showing overwhelming support for a family who lost a loved one over the weekend. North Carolina troopers say a Nebo teenager wrecked his car on his way to take the SAT test. 17 year old Eleck Hensley died when his car left the roadway on Old Greenlee Road after a sharp turn, went down an embankment and hit a tree.  Eleck was among the top in his class at McDowell High. He was also a star tennis player and a devout member of the Grace Community Church. Friends say he carried kindness and leadership in all aspects of his life.

Presnell/Hicks Debate at Mars Hill University 10/13

10/10/14 02:02 PM
The Mars Hill University Political Science Program will host a debate between Michele Presnell and Dean Hicks on Monday, October 13th at 7:00 in Moore Auditorium. Presnell, the Republican incumbent, and Hicks, the Democratic challenger, are candidates for the 118th district seat in the N.C. House of Representatives, representing Madison, Haywood and Yancey counties. Questions for the candidates have been submitted by Mars Hill University faculty, staff and students. Education funding, fracking, and voting laws will factor heavily in the questions to the candidates.

Notice of Discharge of Untreated Sewage

10/10/14 01:23 PM
The Town of Spruce Pine had a discharge of untreated sewage from our sewer main located near the intersection of Riverside Drive and Spring Street of approximately 5,000 gallons.  The discharge occurred on October 09, 2014 at 6:30 PM and lasted for approximately 1.0 hours.  The untreated wastewater entered the North Toe River of the French Broad River basin.  This notice was required by North Carolina General Statutes Article 21 Chapter 143.215.C.  For more information contact Richard Canipe, Town Manager at (828)765-3000.

Yancey Schools Receive Recognition for High Graduation Rate

10/10/14 01:19 PM
On October 3rd State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson presented Yancey County Schools with a Top Ten in the State Award for the high school graduation rate at a banquet in Raleigh.  It marks the first time in Yancey County Schools’ history that the graduation rate has been recognized for such an accomplishment.  The 2014 graduation rate at Mountain Heritage High School was at (more)

NCFA Presents Presnell Friend of Forestry Award

10/09/14 09:20 AM
The North Carolina Forestry Association (NCFA) recognized North Carolina State Representative Michele Presnell (R-Yancey) with its 2014 Friend of Forestry Award last Thursday at the association’s annual meeting at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. “Representative Michele Presnell is a tireless advocate for jobs in North Carolina and, specifically, forestry related jobs in (more)

US Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Same Day Registration

10/09/14 07:40 AM
RALEIGH – Same-day registration won’t be allowed during early voting in North Carolina and Election Day ballots cast in the wrong precinct won’t be counted this fall after the U.S. Supreme Courton Wednesday blocked a ruling that had set aside parts of a 2013 election law. (more)

TRACTOR Produce Aggregation Facility Receives Grant

10/09/14 05:39 AM
The NC Tobacco Trust Commission has awarded the TRACTOR produce aggregation facility overseen by Yancey County a $71,860 grant to enhance the distribution facility and provide support personnel and some additional cold storage equipment for the operation which hopes to soon reach the $1 million mark in sales. The grant will help to enhance the revenue of the framers of Yancey and surrounding counties and along with a recently purchased $15,000 bagger machine will make the job of getting the produce to market easier.  The NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has now awarded just over $2.3 million for 22 new grants for agricultural and economic initiatives across the state.

SBI Releases 2013 Uniform Crime Report

10/09/14 05:37 AM
RALEIGH – The State Bureau of Investigation’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report indicates that overall crime in North Carolina has decreased by 7 percent from the previous year, continuing a six-year downward trend.  (more)

Hunters and Hikers Attend Road Access Discussion

10/08/14 01:24 PM
Around 50 people, mostly bear hunters, attended a special meeting Monday evening at the Yancey County Courthouse about opening the gates through Locust Creek to Forest Service lands to hunters and hikers.  U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows and U. S. Forest Service officials discussed options that they are looking at to resolve the matter. Meadows said that the issue comes down to private property rights and that he is working with Forrest Service officials to hopefully find a different access point to the road that is not on private land. The possibility of finding a piece of land that a property owner would be willing to sell to the government is also an option that is being looked at and Meadows is in the process of appropriating funds from the federal government to make that happen.

Asheville Airport Main Entrance Change

10/08/14 01:22 PM
Asheville Regional Airport's main entrance was to close Wednesday, October 8; however, because of rainy weather, construction delays have occurred.  The main entrance will now close Monday, October 13.   All traffic will access the airport through the south entrance at the light near Fanning Bridge Road, and this traffic pattern will be in place through early 2015 when a new main entrance will open. Signs will be posted to direct traffic.The closure of the main entrance is due to the North Carolina Department of Transportation project on Airport Road. The airport's main entrance will be relocated slightly south of its current location (at the light directly across from J&S Cafeteria and the Fairfield Inn), and is slated to open in early 2015.

Yancey Sheriff's Department Arrests Six

10/08/14 11:11 AM
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Department recently arrested six from Yancey and Madison counties on various breaking and entering and larceny charges. Travis Lee Bowens, 17 of 15 Hill Rice Road Mars Hill, was arrested and charged with 3 counts of Felony Breaking and Entering, 2 courts of Larceny after Breaking and Entering, 2 counts of Possession of Stolen Goods/Property and 2 courts (more)

Mitchell First Responders Practice

10/08/14 05:51 AM
When you need immediate medical help, a fire breaks out or you need police protection, you call 911 and first responders are sent to help. But what happens when the emergency responders have their own emergency? This week, Mitchell County will find out. (Details)

Yancey Schools Receive $600,000 Grant

10/06/14 09:50 AM
Yancey County Schools received word last week that it will receive approximately $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to support on-going efforts to improve student achievement, address dropout prevention, and improve college access. (more)

Mitchell Candidates Forum

10/03/14 02:54 PM
The 2014 Mitchell County Chamber Candidates' Forum will be held on October 7th at 6:00 PM in the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville.  Candidates from the NC Senate, NC House, Mitchell County Board of Education, and Mitchell County School Board will be in attendance.  Candidates running unopposed have been invited to make a presentation to those in attendance. If you have questions for the candidates that you would like to submit to the Government Affairs Committee for consideration email them to . WTOE will be recording the forum and airing on Wednesday at 1 pm.

Eighty-five Percent of YCS Third Graders Meet Reading Proficiency Standards

10/03/14 01:27 PM
Eighty-five percent (84.7 percent or 155 students) of Yancey County Schools third grade students met the reading proficiency standards under North Carolina’s Read to Achieve program according to the Improve K-3 Literacy Accountability Measures Comprehensive Plan for Reading Achievement report.  In comparison, seventy-nine percent (79.2 percent or 91,919 students) of North Carolina (more)

Authorities Ask for Help in Finding Missing Persons

10/03/14 11:07 AM
Spruce Pine Police are asking the public for help in locating a Hispanic woman and her two children who are missing from the Fairground Apartments. On September 30th Imelda Gerrero Herrera was reported missing by her live in boyfriend Hugo Navaez-Juniez. Imelda was last seen on September 27th in Spruce Pine.  Also missing are the couple’s two children, three –year-old David Gerrero and four-year-old George Gerrero-Naverez.
Authorities have located the vehicle Imelda was driving in Marion. While conducting the
 investigation police believe that the three may be in the Camden, SC area. If you have any information or seen these people please call your local law enforcement or the Spruce
 Pine Police Department at 828-765-2233 or our dispatch center at 828-688-9110. 

Register Now To Vote in Election

10/03/14 09:42 AM
Registration books close for the 2014 General Election on October 10th at 5:00 pm. If you are not registered or need to change a name or address you will need to do so by October 10th at 5:00pm. One stop for the 2014 General Election will begin on October 23rd and run through November 1st at 1:00 pm. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail will be October 28th 5:00 pm.

Watch Out for Scams Perpetrated in Mitchell County

10/03/14 09:41 AM
Mitchell County authorities are warning the public of a number of scams being perpetrated in the area using both the phone and the US mail. Police have received several calls over the past few weeks about two separate scams. One scam involves calls from a group representing Duke Energy demanding that the individuals pay their power bill within 24 hours or their power will be shut off, while another involves letters being sent out to residents saying that they have been selected as a mystery shopper. The mailer ask the recipient to keep a portion of a Western Union check which is included in the letter and send the remainder to an address on the form. Authorities caution residents to use common sense and to never send money to someone before investigating the claims that are being made via the communication. If you have any questions or suspect you are being scammed you are encouraged to contact the Spruce Pine Police Department at 765-2233.  

Paying Underway on Spruce Pine Streets

10/03/14 09:39 AM
Several paving projects are underway on Spruce Pine’s main roads where state crews are milling and patching potholes along the roadways as well as installing around twenty handicap ramps along the streets and crosswalks. Crews will be repaving Highland Avenue, Summit Avenue, Oak Avenue, Ward Street and portions of Hwy. 19E. The deadline for all work to be completed is October 15th according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Save Native Brook Trout

10/03/14 05:15 AM
The NC Department of Transportation is teaming up with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to help save the Brook Trout, the only trout native to North Carolina. Motorists can help support the conservation effort by purchasing a new conservation license plate depicting the cold water trout. The Wildlife Commission will use the money from sales of the plate to fund habitat protection for the Brook Trout and to create public access to Brook Trout waters in the state. It is estimated that some 92,000 mountain trout anglers pump around $174 million into local economies across the mountains. The Commission must receive a minimum of 500 paid applications before July 1, 2015 for the plate to be produced. You can view a prototype of the license plate and place your order by visiting

Yancey Library Asks for Books for Share the Reads Program

10/03/14 05:14 AM
Funding cuts to libraries across the state have forced local and regional libraries to look for other ways of keeping books and other materials on the shelves for their patrons to enjoy. A 25 percent cut in funding has meant a decrease in books checked out in the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library and the same trend is spreading statewide. In order to obtain the books that people want to read the Yancey County Library Board has implemented a program called “Share the Reads” which asks local residents to share books with others that they have purchased, read and enjoyed. The library is looking for newer books with copyrights from 2012 to present. The library is also asking for donations of recent and classic movies for both children and adults in DVD and Blue Ray formats. Donations of multiple copies of books and movies are also welcomed. For more information call 682-4476.

Modest Increase in Unemployment Rates in Our Area

10/03/14 05:12 AM
According to data recently released by the NC Division of Employment Security unemployment rates dropped in 12 counties, stayed the same in 14 and increased in 74. (more)

Watch Out for Construction Crews

10/02/14 03:51 PM
Mitchell County residents should be aware that Country Cablevision now has crews running fiber lines for the upcoming broadband service. They are working on Highway 226 on Grassy Creek; along the main road from Mayland Community College back towards Spruce Pine; and from Ledger School in Bakersville towards Spruce Pine.  This is a part of the $25 million  USDA Rural Utilities Service project to bring broadband internet service to rural areas that are not being served. We remind you to use caution when driving through these construction areas. 

Drunk Driver Hits Marion School Bus

10/01/14 03:32 PM
The NC Highway Patrol is reporting that car collided with a School Bus in Marion Wednesday morning.  Trooper Kelly Rhodes investigated the accident that occurred around 7:30am on Sugarhill Road when a 1998 Buick driven by 40 year old Randall K. Webb of Nebo crossed the center line and struck a School bus from West Marion Elementary School head on.  28 Students were on the bus at the time of the accident.  Mr Webb and 8 children on the bus were transported to McDowell Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Mr. Webb was charged with DWI and driving left of center. 

Yancey Sheriff's Department Charges Four With Drugs

10/01/14 02:42 PM
(Press Release from Yancey Sheriff’s Department)
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Department has announced the following arrests at the end of September. Randy Dale Chandler Jr., 24 of 224 Swiss Loop Burnsville, NC was arrested and charged with Felony Sell and Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance, Felony Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Schedule II Controlled (more)

Yancey Man Charged With Child Sex Offenses

09/30/14 09:40 PM
Yancey County Sheriff’s Office investigators have charged Darrell Ray McMahan age 58, of Micaville with two counts of taking indecent liberties with child victim #1. He was also charged with first-degree sex offense with a child and disseminating obscene material to a minor listed as child victim #2. Both child victim #1 and child victim #2 were under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged offenses according to warrants. McMahan is in the Yancey County jail under a $100,000 bond.

Pot Bust in Madison County

09/30/14 05:24 AM
Madison County Deputies have arrested a Mars Hill Couple for growing Marijuana. Around 400 marijuana plants and a gun were seized during a pot bust Monday at a home located at 526 Bailey Street in Mars Hill. Sheriff Buddy Harwood says Julie Kelly and James Childs were arrested. Kelly and Childs are facing a number of charges including trafficking marijuana and felony possession with the intent to sell. They  are also charged with manufacturing a controlled substance within a 1000 feet of an elementary school because the home is located near Mars Hill Elementary School. The school was placed on temporary lock down while search warrants were executed.

Asheville Regional Airport's Main Entrance Change

09/29/14 10:31 AM
Asheville Regional Airport's main entrance will close Wednesday, October 8. All traffic will then access the airport through the south entrance at the light near Fanning Bridge Road, and this traffic pattern will be in place through early 2015 when a new main entrance will open. Signs will be posted to direct traffic. The closure of the main entrance is due to the North Carolina Department of Transportation project on Airport Road. The airport's main entrance will be relocated slightly south of its current location (at the light directly across from J&S Cafeteria and the Fairfield Inn), and is slated to open by January 2015.

USA Today Names Spruce Pine to Top 10 List of Best Towns

09/29/14 07:02 AM
Spruce Pine has been recognized by USA Today as one of the Top 10 Can’t Miss Towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The article rightly says that traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway should be more about the journey than the destination. (more)

Enrollment at Mitchell County Schools Contributes to Budget Shortfall

09/26/14 07:29 AM
The Mitchell County School system has been seeing a drop in enrollment for quite some time now and recent Average Daily Membership numbers show only 1976 students on the rolls in the entire school system.(more)

Mitchell School Board votes to Sell Buladean Property

09/25/14 06:02 AM
The Mitchell County Board of Education has accepted an offer of $1000 from the Buladean Community Foundation to purchase the old Buladean School property.  Some say that the $1000 asking price seems low but the Foundation officials explained that they have already spent $37,000 in repairs on the property in the past two years and estimate spending another $40,000 to replace the roof on the structure. As part of the agreement the Foundation will allow the school system to park school busses and maintenance vehicles at the facility during the school year and to use the property for public purposes only. The property will now be advertised for ten days to allow for an upset bid but the School Board has the power to reject any possible upset bid. 

Yancey Building Inspectors Office Moves to New Location

09/25/14 06:01 AM
Yancey County Building Inspections office has been relocated from West Main Street to the Yancey County Health Department facility located on 202 Medical Campus Drive off Hwy 19 across from Mountain Heritage High School. The move combines the county building code officials in the same building with the environmental health section of the health department giving citizens a one-stop location to obtain building permits as well as septic and well permits. The county building inspector’s office hours are from 7 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday.  

Moral Monday Rally in Burnsville

09/23/14 09:26 AM
The Yancey-Mitchell NAACP hosted a Moral Monday rally in Burnsville’s Town Square on Monday where nearly 100 people turned out to hear The Forward Together/Moral Monday movement speakers who helped launch a Moral March to the Polls Campaign with Get-Out-The-(more)

Four Arrested From McDowell County

09/22/14 05:15 PM
(Press Release from Yancey County Sheriff's Department)
According to Sheriff Gary Banks, Officers with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office have arrested four individuals from McDowell County on multiple charges.  These charges stem from officers investigating a call of a suspicious vehicle and suspicious persons around a residence located at 409 Lickskillet Road, Burnsville, (more)

NCDOT Accepting Proposals

09/22/14 02:37 PM
RALEIGH — N.C. Department of Transportation is accepting proposals from communities for the 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative. (Details)

State Unemployment Rate Ticks Up Slightly

09/22/14 05:37 AM
The state’s seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, increasing 0.3 of a percentage point from July’s revised rate of 6.5 percent. The national rate decreased 0.1 of a percentage point to 6.1 percent. (more)

Yancey Animal Shelter will open Thursday

09/22/14 05:34 AM
The floor renovation project is running 2 to 3 days behind schedule. This has been a very difficult environment being there are so many corners and kennels to work through. Much of the floor grinding has had to be competed by hand which has taken tremendous time and effort. We realize this has been difficult for folks who have found stay animals and indeed tough on the animals needing sheltering. However we are just simply not in a position to reopen Monday as we had planned. The decision to keep the shelter closed until noon on Thursday, September 25, 2014  has been made. This will allow ample time for the epoxy to cure and for our cages to be rebuilt and reassembled without rushing and possibly damaging the new flooring surface. We have made a sizable investment in our floors. We must now make prudent decisions on using it.  (Tim Tipton, Yancey Humane Society)

Yancey Man Dies From Burns

09/19/14 10:57 PM
(courtsey WLOS News)
A Yancey County man was badly burned when the model airplane he was working on caught fire. It happened inside his camper located on Highway 19 next to Price's Creek Store.  Authorities say Jackie Robinson, 50, suffered burns to 90 percent of his body.  A man driving by the store says he saw smoke coming from Robinson's camper and stopped to help.  He says he had to use a shovel to pry open the front door. Robinson was airlifted to Mission Hospital and then flown to the Burn Unit in Winston Salem.The hospital confirmed at 10:30pm Friday night that Robinson has died from his injuries.

Portion of I-40 in Burke County Closed After Fatal Crash

09/19/14 10:26 AM
The left lane of I-40 westbound is closed at Exit 105 near Morganton while law enforcement investigates a fatal crash that killed a construction worker and injured two others. (more)

Yancey & Mitchell One Stop Voting

09/19/14 07:01 AM
One Stop voting and other information of interest to voters in the November 4 general election. Hours for One Stop voting are: October 23-24 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, October 25 8:00 am till noon, October 27-30 from 7:30 am till 8:00 pm, October 31 from 7: am till 4 pm and on November 1 from 7:00 am till 1:00 pm. (more)

Well Known Spruce Pine Rock Hunter Killed in Mine

09/18/14 02:02 PM
Well-known rock hunter, Terry Lee Ledford, age 56, of Spruce Pine died Wednesday evening while mining for emeralds in Hiddennite in Alexander County.  Officials said he was killed when the hole where he was mining collapsed. Rescue crews were called around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after the owner of the property noticed a part of the hole had collapsed and called 911. It is not known what caused (more)

No Increase in Drivers Education Fees

09/18/14 08:19 AM
The Mitchell County Board of Education has struck a deal with Mountain Professionals Driving School to allow the driver’s education company to purchase gas through the system’s bus garage. This move will allow the company, which has contracts with nine school systems across WNC, to avoid state and federal taxes on the fuel they use which will help the company to avoid a fee increase still charge $40 for the course. A combination of less money from the state for drivers education and an increase in car cost and fuel have forced companies that provide the service to look for new ways to save money. The state recently cut funding for the program by $350,000 and plans to eliminate all funding for drivers education after June 30, 2015. Legislators agreed to allow school systems to increase their fee for the classes up to $65. For decades the state has funded driver’s education which allowed parents to pay little to no money for student driving lessons. But a steady decrease in funding has changed the way the program operates.

BRRH Breaks Ground on New Medical Facility

09/18/14 07:18 AM
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last week for the construction of an $11.6 million medical office building at the Blue Ridge Regional Medical Center in Spruce Pine. The two-story, 30,000 square foot facility will bring a number of primary care services together in one location including women’s health, pediatrics, a lab, occupational medicine facilities as well a retail pharmacy. The facility will also offer a multi-use classroom available for community events and programs. This will allow specialty physicians to rent rooms in the building, thus cutting down on the trips area patients will have to make to Asheville, Marion or Boone to receive the same help. 

HSM Solutions Injury

09/17/14 03:22 PM
An employee at HSM Solutions, formerly Hickory Springs, in Micaville was injured around 11am this morning when a large bale of wire fell on him. He was transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville where he reportedly is being treated for a possible broken arm and a broken leg or ankle. Newdale rescue and EMS responded to the call that came into Emergency Management at 11:06 am.

Spruce Pine Seeks Grant to Upgrade Water and Sewer

09/15/14 06:11 AM
A Community Development Block Grant to upgrade the sewer and water systems near Altapass and areas east of Spruce Pine is currently in the application process as the Town looks to gain funds to install a sewer line and improve the water tower at PRC Industries.  The Town owns two water towers near the site. One of the towers is used for potable water which provides drinkable city water to the local prison and several other properties along Hwy. 19-E, and the other is reserved for fire suppression. The project calls for the two towers to be refurbished and linked together in order to provide 360,000 gallons of potable water that could also be used to suppress fires if they occur. The cost of the project is estimated at $636,000. With the help of the grant and contributions from PRC and the Economic Development Commission it is thought the town would have to kick in about $10,000 to the fund.

Board to Lease Spruce Pine Town Hall

09/12/14 07:21 AM
A resolution passed last week by the Spruce Pine Town Council has struck a deal with Ebenoconcepts of Spruce Pine Inc. to lease the former Town Hall for a period of three years at a price tag of $1,942.50 per month. The lease calls for renting out the portion of the building that formally housed the Spruce Pine Fire Department and the majority of the upper floor. The Town will also retain several parking spaces in the upper and lower parking lots. The new Spruce Pine Town Hall, located at the top of Burleson Hill beside Mike Brown Ford,  is nearing completion and the resolution that was passed states that Town will no longer need the old building on or after October 15th. Ebenconcepts is a consulting and brokerage firm and currently shares a building with Cardinal Insurance on Greenwood Road.

Sale of Buladean Property on Hold

09/11/14 06:57 AM
The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners has made a motion not to purchase the former Buladean School property from the Mitchell Board of Education after it appeared that the deal was complete. The Board of Education passed a resolution in July to begin the process of selling the Buladean School and then offered the property to the County who had first right to the purchase of it. But in the negotiation process an NC General Statute was skipped and the school system’s legal counsel advised that the board was acting contrary to the law. Commission Chair Bill Slagle said that the county wanted to make sure every step was taken to satisfy the legal requirements and that once that process is complete that the county can work on a solution to continue with the purchase of the property for a community center in Buladean.

Yancey School Board Uses Local Funds to Add Nurse

09/11/14 06:56 AM
After traveling to each of the schools this past spring and meeting with the staffs,  the  Yancey School Board has decided  to add a school nurse using local funds. Because of a reduction in funding from the state over recent years, Yancey County Schools actually lost the position of a school nurse three years ago.  (more)

Child Porn Operation in Madison County

09/08/14 04:59 AM
News 13 Report: Madison County Deputies say they uncovered a child pornography operation while searching for stolen property. Deputies say the home they searched on Paint Fork Road in Mars Hill contained an underage tattoo shop stocked with alcohol, marijuana-laced brownies and pornography. (more)

Less Rain This Year at Grandfather Mountain

09/05/14 01:58 PM
By this time last year, Grandfather Mountain had received twice as much rainfall as it has during the same eight-month period this year. (more)

New Technology for Deyton and Greenlee Schools

09/04/14 06:02 AM
With the help of some private funding and grants Mitchell County Schools are trying to stay on top of the innovations in technology for their students and have recently purchased several iPads to be used in classrooms. Thanks to donations from The Quartz Corporation, Unimin Corporation, BRP, High Valley Construction and Underwood and Weld Trucking the school system was able to purchase 50 iPads for Deyton Elementary School. Greenlee Primary School also was able to purchase 125 iPads through a grant that gives all kids at the K-2 school an opportunity to use the technology. At this time Deyton and Greenlee are the only schools in the county with iPads although every student at Mitchell High is provided with a Macbook from their freshman through their senior year. Officials say that the infrastructure is in place in the schools for the devices and that it’s just a matter of finding the funding to purchase the hardware for the other schools.

11 Subjects Arrested for Drug Charges

09/03/14 04:44 PM
The Yancey County Sheriff's Department has reported the following arrest: (Details)

On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink & Drive Totals

09/03/14 04:36 PM
RALEIGH – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol along with the Division of Law Enforcement Wildlife Resources Commission have released the final totals for “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink & Drive” Labor Day campaign. (more)

Labor Day Holiday Fatalities

09/03/14 07:29 AM
The Highway Patrol announces a preliminary number of ten motorists who died on North Carolina highways during the Labor Day holiday period. The holiday weekend officially began at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 28, and ended at midnight, Monday, September 1.  Last year in North Carolina, troopers investigated fourteen fatal collisions during the holiday period. This year troopers investigated (10) ten fatal collisions resulting in (10) deaths on North Carolina highways. 

Unemployment Rates for July Up Slightly

09/01/14 06:40 AM
North Carolina’s unemployment rate for July was 6.9 percent.  Locally, Avery County’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in to 7.0. percent while the rate in Yancey County jumped from  6.8 to 7.3 percent. In Mitchell the unemployment rate rose from 7.5 to 7.8 percent and Madison County saw its rate rise from 6.3 to 6.6 percent. In July McDowell’s unemployment rate was up from 6.8 to 7.0 percent. Scotland County having the highest rate at 12.7 percent and Currituck County the lowest at 3.9 percent. The Unemployment rate increased in 95 of the state’s 100 counties in July, decreased in four and remained the same in one according to recently released figures from the NC Department of Commerce.

Yancey Sheriff's Department Busts Still

08/27/14 05:29 PM
Officers from the Yancey County Sheriff's Department raided a liquor still Tuesday night on Wolf Pen Branch in the Crabtree community near Mitchell County. Twenty-nine year old Rocky Dean Presnell  was charged with making liquor without a permit and possession of non-tax paid liquor.  His arrest was as a result of an investigation by the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office after they received information that Mr. Presnell was manufacturing liquor on property he was renting in the Crabtree area of Yancey County. Officers were assisted in this investigation by Special Agents from NC Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE). Officers seized multiple items of evidence related to the process of manufacturing alcohol that also included a quantity of non-tax paid liquor. Mr. Presnell was taken before a magistrate and was released after posting a $2,500.00 secured bond.

Road Work Over Labor Day

08/27/14 06:03 AM
As the summer travel season comes to an end, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking steps to help ensure motorists save both time and money by suspending most road construction work on major routes across the state over the Labor Day holiday. (more)

Small Quake Shakes Boone and Blowing Rock

08/27/14 05:53 AM
Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed a minor earthquake rattled the Boone and Blowing Rock areas of Watauga County on Sunday evening. The 2.4-magnitude quake happened at 7:16 p.m., centered about two miles northeast of Blowing Rock. (more)

Fatal Accident in McDowell County

08/27/14 05:35 AM
A McDowell County man died Tuesday afternoon when his car crashed into a railroad bridge abutment.  21-year-old Jonathan Luke Brown of Marion was on his way to work at Baxter Manufacturing. The crash occurred on Highway 221 North, near the plant. Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Settlemyre said excessive speed caused the crash, where the CSX railroad tracks cross over the highway and that Brown was wearing a seatbelt and that the airbag in his car deployed, but that the force of the impact was simply too great for either to help save his life.  

County Officials Attend State Commissioners Conference in Asheville

08/26/14 09:24 AM
Yancey County Commissioners Jim Edwards and Randy Ollis recently attended the annual conference of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners held in Asheville.  The conference focused on economic development initiatives by providing training and education (more)

Parent Portal Goes Live

08/26/14 06:57 AM
This year Yancey County Schools will be opening the Home Base Parent Portal.  This state-wide student information system was first implemented in the 2013-14 school year for teachers and administrators.  The second phase of implementation now opens up both the parent and student portals for use this year. (more)

Operation Blue Thunder - Mitchell County Drug Bust - Names Released

08/25/14 10:01 AM
(Press Release from Mitchell Sheriff’s Department) (Photos Here)
Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, Spruce Pine Police Department, NC State Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney Office, and DEA concluded a 7 month undercover operation involving the sale of controlled substances in Mitchell County. Officers were able to purchase everything from marijuana, several different types of prescription (more)

New Owners for The NuWray Inn

08/25/14 07:01 AM
As of August 21st the historic NuWray Inn has new owners. Two couples, Joey and Jill Farmer and Eric and Christy Wilson from Haywood County have purchased the Inn. According to the new owners, they plan to return operation of the inn to a bed and breakfast business model. Both families will be involved in operating the Inn and are looking forward to becoming an active part of the community. For more information you can call 828-682-2329.

21 Arrested in Operation Blue Thunder

08/22/14 06:58 AM
Twenty-one people were arrested yesterday in a Mitchell County drug bust.  The arrest occurred  after an eight month joint investigation involving the Mitchell County Sheriffs Department, Spruce Pine and Bakersville Police Departments, SBI and Federal authorities.  Spruce Pine Police Chief Bill Summerlin said that most of the drugs involved were prescription medications.  Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street said he thinks Mitchell County has a bad drug problem but attempts to stop the abuse are under way. During their 8 month long investigation authorities say they were sold prescription pills, meth and steroids. As a part of Operation Blue Thunder, 10 vehicles and other property were seized. All 21 people are facing drug trafficking charges. Investigators plan to have more operations in the future.

Mitchell County Man Hikes Entire Appalachian Trail

08/22/14 06:57 AM
A 63-year-old Spruce Pine man has fulfilled a lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail from south to north by summiting the 4100 foot peak of Mt. Katahdin in Maine on July 29th.  Peter King, a retired health insurance salesman, began the quest in 2007 after rehabbing from a knee injury. He hiked around 250 miles a year. King, who volunteers doing trail maintenance work with the Eastman Hiking Club, would hike 8 to 9 hours each day and meet his wife in the late afternoon and a then stay in a private campground at night.  King traveled through 14 states on his 2,168.1 mile journey which began in Springer Mountain Georgia.

Two Burnsville Residents Arrested on Drug Charges

08/21/14 07:09 AM
The Yancey County Sherriff’s department has arrested 48-year-old Charles Rice and 37-year-old Lisa N. Melton, of Cornet Road, Burnsville were arrested on felony drug charges. (more)

Spruce Pine Loses Local Bank Branch

08/21/14 07:08 AM
Bank of America will close its Spruce Pine branch as of November 14th. They have announced that due to a decline in transactions at the location, the decision was made to close the branch on Oak Avenue and help employees find other opportunities within the company. After the closing, the closest Bank of America branch for Spruce Pine customers will be in Marion, Banner Elk , Asheville or Johnson City, TN.  

EMS in Mitchell County Looks for New Home

08/21/14 07:07 AM
After the housing facility for Mitchell County Emergency Management Services personnel was condemned, EMS officials are looking at options for the county’s centrally located ambulance headquarters in Ledger. The base shared a garage with the Ledger Fire Department and used a mobile home located behind the facility to house EMS personnel overnight.  The mobile home was recently condemned. Officials are planning on continuing operating the base in Ledger during the daytime and at night personnel will be required to drive ambulances to Spruce Pine to sleep overnight at the Fire Department there. Mitchell Commissioners will hear a plan by Mission Hospital to build a permanent facility on county owned land, at its next scheduled meeting in September.

Yancey Schools Awarded $1.3 Million for After School Programming

08/20/14 08:53 AM
Yancey County Schools was recently notified that it had been awarded a four-year $1,360,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This funding will provide free afterschool programming at all eight district elementary and middle schools. The grant also (more)

Authorities Arrest Shooting Suspect in Marion

08/20/14 05:20 AM
McDowell County authorities have arrested a man in a weekend shooting death. Investigators say that Lionel Ferguson was shot to death at a home near Nebo on Saturday afternoon. Andrew Clifton Johnson was arrested around 7 a.m. Sunday near Marion and was charged with murder. The sheriff's office said the men knew each other. Detectives are still trying to determine what sparked the shooting. The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the sheriff's office with the case.

Enrollment is Up at Mars Hill University

08/20/14 05:19 AM
Continuing a five-year growth, Mars Hill University achieved yet another high in its traditional-age enrollment when it welcomed 1244 new and continuing students on the first day of classes for the 2014-15 academic year yesterday. Traditional-age enrollment on the first day of class, August 19, is up from last year’s enrollment of 1227.  In fact, over the past five years, Mars Hill’s first-day traditional enrollment numbers have grown by approximately 30 percent. Together with 200 students in Mars Hill Adult and Graduate Studies, total enrollment at Mars Hill as of Tuesday was 1444. The incoming class at Mars Hill University is comprised of 488 students, including 407 first-year freshmen, 63 transfer students, and 18 returning students. · Students from Madison, Buncombe and Yancey counties make up 14 percent of those students.

NC Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

08/20/14 05:17 AM
North Carolina's unemployment rate has inched higher for July as the number of people with jobs dipped from the previous month. The state Commerce Department said Monday that the jobless rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.5 percent in July after remaining flat for two months. North Carolina's unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national rate of 6.2 percent. The state rate is also 1.6 percentage points lower than it was a year ago. The number of people with jobs fell from the previous month by nearly 20,000 to about 4.4 million, while the number of unemployed increased by about 5,300 to just over 304,000. The industry with the biggest gain in jobs from the prior month was professional and business services with an increase of 4,800.

Bridge Replacement Contracts

08/19/14 05:21 AM
The N.C. Department Transportation has awarded an $11.4 million contract to replace 11 bridges in Buncombe, Madison and Mitchell counties. Dane Construction, Inc. of Mooresville was awarded the contract for the bridge replacements. Work can begin as soon as Aug. 25, with completion of all 11 bridges scheduled for November 2017. (more)

Schools Open across the Area

08/18/14 05:12 AM
As students across Western North Carolina begin to head back to school, the NC Department of Public Safety is reminding all drivers to watch out for children walking to and from school or waiting for school buses. Drivers must also obey all traffic laws related to school buses and active school zones. (more)

School Lunch Prices

08/15/14 05:56 AM
The USDA has required school systems across the country to evaluate the price charged for “paid” lunch and adjust the price according the Equity in School Lunch Meals Pricing Provision.  The provision says school systems can’t rely on federal dollars from the free/reduced price lunch program to help cover the cost to produce a lunch for students who pay full price.  School systems are required to increase the price of paid lunches by five or ten cents each to make up the difference between the Federal free and paid reimbursement amounts.
Yancey County Schools are required by law to increase lunch prices by ten cents for the 2014-15 school year, with the price for breakfast remaining the same as last year at $1 for all grades. The reduced price for breakfast and lunch also remains the same for all grades at 40 cents making Yancey County Schools prices  among the lowest in the region.
In Mitchell County there will be no increase in lunch prices thanks to a vote by the school board to use local funds to supplement the offset in price increases. The paid price for lunch for K-5 remains at $1.75 while the students in 6-12 will continue to pay $2.00 for their lunches. Students who qualify for reduced lunch prices will also continue to pay the same price as last year for lunch and breakfast, 40 cents as set by the Federal government. 

Legislation Honoring Area Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp

08/15/14 05:55 AM
On August 12th President Obama signed into law a bill commemorating U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp. Officer Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros, lost their lives in the line of duty in March when ambushed during a manhunt in Burke County. The bill the President signed designates a ranger station within the Grandfather Ranger District as the “Jason Crisp Forest Service Building.” The new Jason Crisp Building will serve as a lasting tribute to his service and a constant reminder of the brave men and women in law enforcement who put their safety at risk to protect our communities every day. Crisp began his career on the Grandfather Ranger District as a timber marker and graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in 2005.

Lenoir Health Facility

08/14/14 07:06 AM
Details of a new facility have been presented to McDowell County Commissioners. People from McDowell, Caldwell and Alexander counties who are experiencing a mental health crisis or need medical detox from alcohol or drugs will soon be served by a new behavioral health crisis stabilization facility set to open by the fall of 2015 in Lenoir. It is estimated that this new facility could save McDowell County $10,000 a year in local law enforcement time and expense and relieve some of the congestion at McDowell Hospital's emergency department.  It will be constructed and operated at no cost to McDowell or the other counties.

New Law Requires All Mopeds Be Registered

08/13/14 08:12 AM
Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill this week that requires all mopeds now be registered with the state. This means scooters will have to be registered and tagged, just like any car or motorcycle. Before the law was passed there was little regulation. The riders of most mopeds or scooters are those who are non-licensed drivers, who have lost their license or have never been licensed, but still need transportation to go to work to support their families it is argued. Right now, moped riders don't need insurance but lawmakers are studying whether that requirement should be added eventually.

Brandon Bailey Arrested

08/11/14 10:42 AM
The Yancey County Sheriff's Office is reporting that 49 year old Brandon Wayne Bailey,  of 8820 NC Highway 197 North, Green Mountain,  has been arrested and charged with one count of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child.  Mr. Bailey was taken before a magistrate and was held under a $25,000 secured bond in the Yancey County Jail. This arrest is a result of an investigation conducted by the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office in which a child came forward alleging inappropriate contact by Mr. Bailey.  The investigation into this incident is ongoing and Sheriff Gary Banks requests that anyone who possibly has information regarding this incident contact the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office at 682-2124.

Rick Bacon Passed Away August 7th (more pics)

08/10/14 05:40 PM
Richard “Rick” Norton Bacon passed  away Thursday, August 7th.  Rick was living in Lumberton, NC but spent many years as a well known character  in our community.  He was the voice waking people up and sharing his “Bacon’s Bits” each morning on WKYK from the early 70s to late 80s. He enjoyed local sports broadcasting and he worked as Sales Manager at WKYK until he left to pursue his own endeavors beginning, the Toe Valley Shopper.  Rick sold the Shopper to the Mitchell News Journal and went on to spend 26 years in the newspaper business across several states.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer in March of this year. His online obituary, which was written with Rick’s flair for humor and sarcasm can be viewed here. Rick requested in lieu of flowers that you pass along an unexpected act of kindness in his memory.

Madison Man Dies in Yancey Logging Accident

08/08/14 05:00 PM
A Madison County man died this morning after a tree fell on him.  32 year old Matthew Gregory Reha of Black Ridge Road Marshall was cutting down a tree at a logging site on Indian Creek in Yancey County when the tree fell and knocked another tree on top of him.  Other workers nearby quickly cut the tree off of Reha and started CPR until help arrived.  The rescue operation from the remote site involved West Yancey Fire Department, Yancey Rescue Squad and EMS.  Reha was transported to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

USDA Extends Deadline for ELAP Program

08/06/14 05:32 PM
The USDA has announced the enrollment deadline for the 2012 and 2013 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) has been extended to August 15, 2014.  The new deadline gives livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who experienced losses because of disease, adverse weather, wildfires or colony collapse disorder between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013, an additonal two weeks to enroll in ELAP.  For more information contact the Mitchell-Yancey FSA Office at (828)765-5049 or 682-0774.

Twenty-Three-Year-Old Marion Man Charged with Murder

08/05/14 06:43 AM
Detectives at the McDowell County Sheriff's Office have charged 23-year-old Roger Tully Frady, of 427 Cherokee Way in Marion with murder. At approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday, McDowell County sheriff's deputies were called to Frady's residence in reference to a gunshot wound. Authorities arrived to find the victim, 41-year-old Ronnie Eugene Lewis, of 623 Cherokee Way, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the torso.  Lewis was later pronounced dead at McDowell Hospital.  An investigation led to Frady's arrest. Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the case. 

Unemployment Rates for June Show Some Progress in Region

08/04/14 05:17 AM
North Carolina’s unemployment rate for June was 6.5 percent with area counties making some gains in employment. Locally, with the exception of Mitchell County, in which the unemployment rate remained unchanged in June at 7.6 percent, unemployment rates fell across the area. In Yancey County the unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 to 6.9 percent while in neighboring Madison County the rate fell from 5.6 to 5.3 percent. In McDowell County citizens saw the rate drop from 7.1 to 6.8 percent in June while Avery County’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent. Scotland County had the highest rate at 12.1 percent and Currituck County the lowest at 4.2 percent. â€‹Unemployment rates decreased in 81 of the state’s counties, increased in 10 and remained unchanged in nine according  to recently released figures from the  NC Department of Commerce.

Candidate Field is shaping up for Local and State Elections

08/04/14 05:16 AM
Candidates who are interested in throwing their hats into the ring for the Nov. 6 general elections are doing so in Mitchell County and Yancey Counties. (more)

Micaville Accident

08/01/14 05:18 AM
A two car accident near the Micaville Loop on Hwy. 19E Wednesday afternoon sent three people to the hospital with injuries and snarled traffic for hours. The accident occured around 3:30 p.m. when a Subaru driven by 17-year-old Cody Buchanan of Burnsville crossed the center line and struck a 1995 Lincoln driven by 88-year-old Tommy Hollifield of Spruce Pine. The head-on collision sent Mr. Hollifield and a 13-year-old passenger in Buchanan's vehicle to Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville while Buchanan was transported to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. A passenger in Hollifield's vehicle, his wife Lillian, escaped without injury and there were no life threating injuries sustained in the incident according to NCHPD Trooper Fox who cited Buchanan for driving left of center.

County Takes Buladean School to Sell to Foundation

07/31/14 06:50 AM
A resolution passed last week by the Mitchell County Commissioners will allow the board to sell the old Buladean School property back to the community. The resolution authorizes the county to take the former K-8 school from the Mitchell Board of Education and sell it to the nonprofit Buleadean Community Foundation for the sum of $100. Since the closing of the school in 2012 the building has been maintained as the school system worked to sell off both Buladean and Tipton Hill Schools. Tipton Hill was sold to the Bradshaw Fire Department last fall and now Buladean will also go back to the community which it has served for many years. The school board is expected to finalize the transfer of the property during its August 11th meeting.