NC DOT Transportation Committee Public Meeting to Be Held In Yancey County

09/23/16 12:35 PM
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hold a Transportation Committee Public Meeting on Monday September 26th at 2:00pm at High Pastures Retreat Center. The full committee will be in attendance at the meeting along with the NC Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla.  This meeting is open to the public and any citizens interested in transportation issues are urged to attend.

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/15 - 9/22/16 (Details)

09/23/16 09:13 AM

Transfer Station Closed Oct 7 & 8

09/22/16 02:16 PM
The Yancey-Mitchell Solid Waste Transfer Station (former landfill) located off of NC Highway 80 North will be closed on Friday and Saturday, October 7th and 8th.  Crews will be working to make concrete repairs to the roadway near the scale house.  No trash will be accepted at this facility on those dates.  The Transfer Station will reopen on Monday, October 10th on the normal operation schedule.

Drug Take Back Day in Burnsville Saturday

09/22/16 02:03 PM
 Do you have outdated or unused prescription drugs or unwanted over- the- counter medications? Drop them off at the Drug Take Back Day Saturday, September 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at The Prescription Pad of Burnsville, 730 E. Main Street, Burnsville.
You are encouraged to leave medications in the original prescription bottle for the purpose of identifying the medication only. (more)

Mitchell County Receives $2 Million for New 911 Center

09/21/16 01:39 PM
In late August the state 911 Board awarded a grant worth $2 million to Mitchell County- This is less than half of the $4.1 million requested by the county- to build a new 911 Center. County Commissioners recently agreed to move forward with the project despite not receiving the full amount. The $2 million grant funds could be used for site development and building construction. Current plans state that the new building will be located adjacent to the county courthouse in Bakersville. The county’s communication center is currently located in a modular building in severe disrepair across from the Mitchell County Sherriff’s Office. The county’s grant application estimated the total cost of the project to be just below $4.8 million, including $2.1 million for construction and $2.6 million for the technology and equipment. The county will have to use its 911 surcharge funds to pay for equipment. That fund balance is currently just shy of $1 million. Currently there is not a time frame for the project as arrangements still need to be finalized.

Public Art Meeting

09/21/16 10:07 AM
There will be a special meeting of the Burnsville Public Art Design Board on Friday, September 23rd  at 10:00 am. The purpose of the meeting is to consider public art for a public project.  The meeting will be held in the upstairs boardroom of the Burnsville Town Hall. 

School Board Releases Statement on Historic Vote

09/20/16 03:39 PM
At a special meeting on September 19th, the Yancey County Board of Education made the historic decision to close three of the county’s oldest elementary schools. Having spent the past month reviewing the impact study as presented by Superintendent Tony Tipton on August 22nd, the school board voted unanimously to close and consolidate Bald Creek, Bee Log, and Clearmont Elementary (more)

Reading Garden at Library Honors James Byrd

09/20/16 12:50 PM
Teacher and librarian James C. Byrd influenced and encouraged many students during his career as an educator with Yancey County Schools. One of those students wanted to thank this kind and caring man that he credits in part for his success in life.  (more)

Yancey School Board Votes for a New School Building

09/20/16 08:55 AM
After many discussions, meetings and studies, the Yancey County School Board has voted to move forward on a project to build a new school building. The building will be built to replace Bee Log, Clearmont and Bald Creek Elementary Schools. Board chairman Mike Orr said, "The issues are maintaining 1930s institutions, with the declining enrollment and therefore less money to operate every year,"  Bee Log, Bald Creek and Clearmont were built in the 1930s. Bald Creek is the largest with 173 students in 2014-15. Bee Log had just 54 students that year. The schools are all in the flood plain, and Bee Log’s septic system has failed. The district is pumping sewage from the school. Other problems identified with the schools included undersized classrooms and wood construction. Orr added that a good portion of students live in the western part of the county, so the new school will likely be built there. The school district does not have a location for the new school yet. One of the next steps will be purchasing land for the new building. The county plans to borrow $10 million for a new school. The school district will put up $1.5 million.

Gas Shortage

09/19/16 06:53 AM
A broken pipeline in Alabama created gas shortage troubles in the mountains over the weekend.  Six states -- Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina are all facing possible gas shortages after a pipeline spill. All of those states have declared states of emergency. (more)

Town of Burnsville- Water System Pressure Advisory Rescinded (Details)

09/16/16 05:49 PM

Playhouse Names New Managing Director

09/16/16 01:32 PM
The Parkway Playhouse has announced that Kristen Livengood will assume the responsibilities of Managing Director at the theatre, effective immediately. As senior officer, she will oversee the management of all administrative and development processes, including all operations for Main Stage productions. For the past several years, she has served as General Manager of Parkway Playhouse. Livengood created  “Get the Hook,” the popular teen improv troupe, and has acted in theater productions at Parkway Playhouse and around the region.

Protests at Mountain View Correctional

09/16/16 01:09 PM
Four people were taken into custody by the Avery County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 9, after a protest outside of Mountain View Correctional Institute. The protesters were holding signs  protesting  low wages paid to inmates. There were no problems within the facility and no lockdown occurred. When confronted by prison staff the four protesters tried to leave the scene, but were (more)

Yancey Commissioners Presented Commemorative Artwork

09/16/16 10:28 AM
At their meeting for September, the Yancey County Commissioners were presented with two works of art commissioned by the County earlier in the year.  As part of the Mt. Mitchell and North Carolina State Parks Centennial the commissioners authorized County Manager (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/8 - 9/15/16 (Details)

09/16/16 09:26 AM

Two Juveniles Arrested for Felony Larceny

09/15/16 02:48 PM
(News Release from Yancey Sheriff's Dept)
On the morning of Sunday, September 11th, Yancey County Sheriff's Office received a report of a stolen tractor trailer from a local business owner. Also during this call, the business owner reported that they had received a telephone call stating that someone had located the stolen tractor trailer and that it was thought to be in the area of Blue Rock. Deputies responded to the call and recovered the tractor trailer and made a report with the vehicle owner. Upon investigation, Deputies found that someone called in a complaint about 12:45 am that prior morning about two subjects walking up and down the roadway. With this information, Deputies gathered enough information to get several names and conduct interviews. Throughout the day and several interviews, Deputies gained confessions from two juveniles. The first juvenile was a 17 year old male, and was arrested later that day. He was charged with Felony Larceny, Injury to Personal Property, Break/Enter a Motor Vehicle, Driving While License Revoked and Operating a Commercial Vehicle with No License. He is currently being held at the Yancey County Jail under a $15,000 secured bond. The second juvenile, a 14 year old male, will be charged with Felony Larceny, Break/Enter a Motor Vehicle, and Injury to Personal Property. Sheriff Gary Banks would like to thank all residents of Yancey County for their calls and concerns about their community. With the help of our citizens, you truly make a difference in Yancey County.

White House Drug Policy Office Awards 2016 Grant to Local Coalition

09/15/16 01:59 PM
Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced grant funding for 698 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Programs across the country. The grants will provide funding to local community coalitions for preventing youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. Graham Children's Health Services, a local non-profit that serves (more)

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

09/15/16 10:32 AM
Friday, September 16th,  the third Friday in September of each year is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Americans are called on to pause in remembrance and honor our missing members of the armed forces and their families and those who were prisoners of war. Today 190 North Carolina soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. A Yancey County soldier, J.S. Silvers, with the United States Army is one of the 190 unaccounted for American service members currently classified as Missing in Action in Korea. Thirty-nine of our North Carolina service members are unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. This day of remembrance and honor for our Nation's repatriated prisoners of war and their comrades who remain unaccounted for, is set aside by Act of Congress to remind us to stand behind those who have served and returned, and to do all things possible to account for those who have not returned. 

Town of Burnsville - Water System Pressure Advisory

09/15/16 05:17 AM
The water consumers of Town of Burnsville, in Yancey County are experiencing periods of low pressure and outages in the distribution system due to a water main break at 800 US Hwy 19E near Crest View Road.  (more)

Fish Kill at Lake James

09/14/16 08:31 AM
A fish kill at a Lake James in Marion has hundreds of fish washing up on shore and has state biologists asking questions. The North Carolina Wildlife Commission is testing the water in Lake James, as well as staff from Duke Energy, which operates a hydroelectric damn on the water. (more)

National Publications Give Mars Hill University High Rankings

09/13/16 02:33 PM
Two national magazines which publish respected college ranking guides again have given Mars Hill University high marks. U.S. News and World Report lists Mars Hill among the top colleges in the south, as well as a good choice for veterans. Washington Monthly ranks Mars Hill among the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation and a “Best Bang for the Buck” among (more)

Charges Filed in Traffic Accident Death

09/12/16 03:47 PM
According to District Attorney Seth Banks charges have been filed against  Joshua David Krause in relation to the June wreck on Hwy 80 South that took the life of  Raeanna  McCourry.  Charges against Krause include misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and improper passing. The driver in the wreck, 19-year-old Joshua David Krause and Raeanna McCourry, age 16, of Burnsville, a rising senior at Mountain Heritage High School, were driving northbound on Highway 80 South around 5:30 pm on June 7th of this year when he attempted to pass a car in front of him. While he was in the southbound lane he noticed a pickup truck coming toward him, so he went back into the northbound lane, but overcorrected. This sent the car back in the southbound lane into the path of the oncoming truck. The truck hit the passenger side of the car where Raeanna was sitting. Raeanna was taken to Johnson City Medical Center but died later that day. Krause is expected to turn himself into the Yancey County Detention Center.

Mars Hill University Dedicates Two New Buildings

09/12/16 10:06 AM
Two new classroom buildings at Mars Hill University have made major impacts to the campus landscape, but even greater impacts on the university’s educational mission and the surrounding communities. Day Hall and Ferguson Health Sciences Center both opened for the fall semester last month, and September 9th the university celebrated the people who made possible the new facilities. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/4 - 9/11/16 (Details)

09/12/16 09:59 AM

Voting by Mail Started Friday

09/12/16 09:54 AM
Elections officials began issuing ballots to voters Friday, September 9th to those who requested to participate by mail.   “North Carolina’s voters are among the first in the nation to make their voices heard in this election,”  said State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach.  To request a ballot, voters must complete the form available at The form must be completed by the voter or by the voter’s near relative.  Requests must be delivered to the county board of elections office no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 1.  Ballots should be returned to the county board of elections office no later than5:00 p.m. on November 8.  Voted ballots delivered between November 9 and November 11 will be counted only if postmarked on or before Election Day. To check registration status, or to view a sample ballot, visit

Special Yancey Commissioners Meeting 9/12 (Details)

09/12/16 09:48 AM

A Marion man wanted on sex offenses is now behind bars

09/12/16 06:51 AM
The McDowell County Sheriff's Department says a Marion man wanted on sex offenses has turned himself. McDowell County sheriff’s deputies were looking for 67-year-old Lloyd Roger “John” Crowder Sr., of 438 Holly Ridge Drive in Marion, on charges of statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child. Crowder turned himself in at the Sheriff’s Office Thursday evening. He is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a female acquaintance who is now 17, but was 13 at the time.

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/1 - 9/8/16 (Details)

09/09/16 09:35 AM

6th Grade Participation In Sports To Be Studied

09/08/16 12:48 PM
At the September 6th school board meeting the board heard from the athletic directors and administrators from both middle schools and the athletic director from the high school about the option for local school boards to allow 6th graders to participate in all middle school sports. In early August the NC State School Board voted to allow individual school systems to decide whether to let 6th (more)

Voter Registration Drive

09/07/16 02:51 PM
The Yancey County Board of Elections will be holding a voter registration drive at the Burnsville Library on Monday, September 12th from 10 am to 2 pm and again on September 17th from 10 am to 1 pm. If you need to register or update any of your voter registration information go by these events or go by the Board of Elections office in the old Forest Service building on the 19 E bypass in Burnsville during regular office hours. The office is open Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm, closed noon to 1 pm for lunch. For questions call 682-3950. 

Free Pesticide Collection Day

09/07/16 02:36 PM
Pesticide Collection Day  is Tuesday, September 20th. The Yancey County Extension Office, in cooperation with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program  will be offering this Pesticide Collection Day for residents in Yancey  and all  surrounding North Carolina counties. This is an opportunity to get rid of any excess or (more)

Mt. Mitchell Doubles in Size

09/07/16 02:03 PM
Mount Mitchell State Park, which currently protects a little under 2,000 acres, will now reach into the western slope of the black mountains. Officials with the Conservation Fund have confirmed that 2,744 acres of land next to Mount Mitchell State Park will be added, allowing the 100-year-old park to more than double in size. The Conservation Fund bought the acreage at a price of $8.6 million and sold it back to the state for a much lower price of $3.2 million. One of the more notable areas contained within the newly purchased land is Cattail Peak. Until now Cattail Peak had been known as the tallest privately owned peak in the Appalachian Mountains. This expansion will also put the Cane River, a well known trout stream, into the care of the park. This will allow visitors more access during the winter months.  

Billy Ray Bailey Bridge Dedication

09/06/16 02:06 PM
This Saturday, September 10, a dedication ceremony will take place to change the Whittington Road bridge name to the Billy R. Bailey Bridge. Whittington Road is the road that turns off of Hwy 19W and leads to the Cane River Recreational Park. The event will be held at 11:00am at the bridge. A US Army Veteran of the Korean war, Mr. Bailey taught school in the Yancey County School System for over 35 years, teaching math at Cane River High School and drafting at Mtn Heritage High School.   Mr. Bailey served a total of 5 terms as Yancey County Commissioner. Billy Ray "B.R." Bailey passed away June 24, 2012. Following the ceremony there will be a reception at the Cane River Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, where Mr. Bailey served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon for many years.  The public is invited to attend.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/28 - 9/4/16 (Details)

09/05/16 09:45 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/25 - 9/1/16 (Details)

09/02/16 09:15 AM

Parkway Chase Driver Identified

09/01/16 03:43 PM
Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye has released the identity of the suspect in the high speed chase down the Blue Ridge Parkway last Friday, August 26th.   Huston Dwayne Hartley, age 22, of Elizabethton, Tennessee  faces numerous charges, including of possession of a stolen vehicle, injury to personal property, possession of marijuana, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, failure to heed lights and sirens, reckless driving to endanger, speed violations and failure to maintain lane control.

Correction of Charges

09/01/16 03:30 PM
On a recent news release from the Yancey County Sheriff's Department Loretta Burleson, age 40 of Burnsville was listed as being charged with multiple drug offenses.  The Yancey Sheriff's Department has issued a retraction stating that Burleson was actually charged with Failure to Appear.  Burleson was not charged with any drug offenses. 

Unemployment Rate Decreases

09/01/16 02:32 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in 90 of North Carolina’s counties in July, increased in two, and remained unchanged in eight. Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.8 percent. Scotland County had the highest at 9 percent. In our area  Avery had 4.8, McDowell had 4.5, Madison 4.8, Mitchell 6 and Yancey 5.3.  The overall July not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.0 percent.

Boone Does Carving for Governor McCrory

08/31/16 04:43 PM
Well known local wood carver David Boone carved a Brown Lab dog for Governor Pat McCrory and presented it to him recently.  David did this carving from a picture of the dog that the Governor and his wife own and love. David said it was an honor to do the work for McCrory. 

Overdose Awareness Day is August 31st

08/29/16 03:54 PM
August 31st is international Overdose Awareness Day.  This is a problem in our area and across North Carolina. drug overdose claims over 1100 lives in North Carolina each year and is on track to surpass motor vehicle fatalities by 2017. The majority of the overdose deaths involve prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Fentanyl and almost all are (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/18/16 - 8/25/16 (Details)

08/29/16 09:33 AM

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/21 - 8/28/16 (Details)

08/29/16 09:16 AM

High Speed Chase on Parkway

08/26/16 02:40 PM
No one was harmed but it was a harrowing 69 mile chase down the Blue Ridge Parkway that began around 1 am on Friday morning, August 26th. The high-speed chase started  with a man stealing a vehicle in Carter County, Tennessee. With authorities in pursuit, the suspect wrecked the vehicle in Avery County and hid in the woods  until daylight. He then stole a GMC pickup and led authorities on a high-speed chase for almost two hours  ending at Webb Cove Road in Asheville.  After passing cars, cyclists, and motorcycles on the Parkway at excessive speeds, police were finally able to stop the truck at 8:30 a.m. using stop sticks. The Mitchell County Sheriff's Department, the Park Service and Buncombe County Sheriff's Office assisted Avery County officers.   Police have not yet released the name of the suspect or what charges he will face after the chase.

Forest Service Wants Your Seeds

08/25/16 02:25 PM
This  time of year  a lot of hardwood species are dropping their nuts or seed. The NC Forest Service is looking to collect those seeds be it black walnut, hickory, persimmon, redbud or any other native hardwood species. They will  collect the seed and send it  to their nursery in Goldsboro to be used to grow more tree seedlings. Each year the NC Forest Service collects nearly 50,000 pounds of seed. It takes an abundance of seed to reach this goal due to near half of the seed collected isn’t viable.  If you aren’t sure what type of tree you have, but you know it has seed on it, then give them a call and they will come out and take a look. The NC Forest Service also offers a variety of other services to private landowners. These include forest management, prescribed burning, tree planting, urban forestry advice, and much more. For seed collection or any other inquires on services call, 828-652-2636 and visit their website

Unimin Schoolhouse Quartz Wins Top Mining Safety Award

08/25/16 01:25 PM
Unimin Schoolhouse Quartz in Spruce Pine has been awarded a top mining safety award for 2015.  Unimin Schoolhouse held a safety celebration on August 16th for employees as well their families in recognition of the award and to thank them for the achievement.  Sentinels of Safety are awards given annually only to the nation’s safest mines with a minimum of 4,000 injury free hours and are widely considered to be the top safety recognition from the National Mining Association.   Unimin Schoolhouse also received the award in 2003, 2011, and 2012. Unimin Corporation is a member of the Sibelco Group, which  is North America's leading industrial mineral producer and a technology partner. Their silica, high purity quartz, feldspar, nepheline syenite, calcium carbonate, clay, kaolin, lime and limestone products are the fundamental building blocks of nearly every industrial and manufacturing process.

Two New Preschools in Yancey County

08/25/16 10:50 AM
On Friday, August 19th, Yancey County School Board and Administrators met with preschool school administrators, staff, and representatives of Woodmen Life Insurance Society to tour the two new preschool locations and celebrate this momentous occasion for Yancey County (more)

Mitchell County Receives Grant to Help Buck Stove

08/24/16 12:38 PM
Mitchell County has received a $46,850 grant from the state's Commerce Rural Infrastructure Authority to help Buck Stove to build an emissions lab. The grant will go toward a $154,000 renovation project to house the new lab and help them meet the new EPA guidelines for smoke emissions from its stoves. Mitchell County will provide the local match part of $2342 and the rest will come from the company. Currently Buck Stove sends their stoves to Oregon to undergo testing. Having this emissions lab will allow them to know if they are meeting the standard before shipping the stoves, making the process more efficient.  Buck Stove employs over 100 people and will add five permanent positions as part of the grant.  

Ten More Arrested on Multiple Felony Drug Charges

08/24/16 09:47 AM
(provided by the Yancey Sheriff's Department)
On July 6th, 2016, Loretta Sunshine Burleson, 40, of Burnsville was charged on multiple drug offenses. She had been charged with Sell/Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance, Maintain Place Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance, and Simple Possession Schedule II Controlled (more)

Charges Mount for Four Accused Counterfeiters

08/23/16 02:48 PM
Detective Billie Brown of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged 33-year-old April Marie Byrd, of 7 P.G. Baptist Church Road in Marion, with possession of counterfeit currency, forgery of instrument and possession of five or more counterfeit currencies; 34-year-old Sylvia June Crain, of 104 Tatertown Road in Nebo, with forgery of instrument and possession of five or more counterfeit (more)

Spruce Pine Man Dies from Fall

08/23/16 02:19 PM
At 9:15am on Friday August 19th, Wayne Pendley, a local taxidermist from Spruce Pine died during a freak accident while moving a tree stand with a hunting buddy. The accident happened in the woods on the property on Cane Creek Road that Pendley was leasing for hunting. Pendley's friend was passing parts to Pendley when he saw Pendley fall head first out of the tree and hit the ground.  Mitchell County Sheriff's Department confirms that the death was completely an accident. Pendley was 63 years old.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/14 - 8/21/16 (Details)

08/22/16 09:56 AM

Final Floodplain Notice for Micaville Water Line Project

08/19/16 03:30 PM
This is to provide notice that the Town of Burnsville has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11988 and 11990, to determine the potential effect that its activity in the 100-year floodplain and floodway will have on the human environment for activities related to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) North Carolina Economic Development program. Burnsville has been awarded (more)

Bakersville Community Health Receives Award

08/19/16 03:14 PM
$93,750 has been awarded to the Bakersville Community Health Center by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Health and Human Services (HHS.) The Bakersville Community Health Center (BCHC) received these awards for their achievements in providing high quality of care and as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH.) (more)

Gall Resigns from Parkway Playhouse

08/19/16 01:58 PM
The Board of Directors of the Parkway Playhouse has accepted the resignation of Andrew Gall, Artistic Director at Parkway Playhouse for the past 12 years.   All current and future productions and activities will proceed without interruption.

SC Man Arrested After Traffic Stop

08/19/16 01:39 PM
(provided by Yancey Sherrif's Department) 
On August 13, officers with the Burnsville Police Department, Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, and State Highway Patrol were conducting a license check point at the intersection of US Hwy 19E and State Hwy 197 N. when a Toyota Tundra pulled up to the check point and rolled down the window, officers made contact with the driver. Upon (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/11 - 8/18/16 (Details)

08/18/16 10:13 AM

Wednesday Storms

08/18/16 07:42 AM
A state worker was in serious condition after being struck by lightning in Marion on Wednesday. Several witnesses said the victim was a Department of Transportation employee. His identity was not released. (more)

Spruce Pine Man Charged with Indecent Liberties

08/15/16 12:55 PM
Travis Martin Allen, age 22, of Spruce Pine, was arrested on Thursday, August 11th and charged with two Counts Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child. Stacey Hughes of the Spruce Pine Police Department was the charging officer. According to court records, Allen also faces one count of Indecent Liberties with a Child in McDowell County. He has no prior convictions in North Carolina. Travis Allen was held under a $130,000.00 secure bond.  

Yancey School Lunch Price Increases Slightly

08/15/16 09:29 AM
With the beginning of the 2016-17 school year just days away, parents of students in Yancey County will once again see an increase in paid lunch prices.  Section 205 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and the Equity in School Lunch Pricing Provision mandate that school systems all across the United States gradually increase the price charged for paid lunches each year to equal the amount (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/7 - 8/14/16 (more)

08/15/16 09:18 AM

Drug Investigation Spans Two Counties

08/11/16 04:33 PM
An Asheville man was arrested in Madison County last week on drug charges.  The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Alcohol Law Enforcement’s Asheville District office. Johnny Keith Helton, age 49, of Asheville was charged with the sale and distribution of marijuana after authorizes seized approximately one pound of (more)

Take Precautions, La Crosse Virus in Yancey County

08/11/16 02:24 PM
The Toe River Health District is warning area residents of  the dangers of mosquito bites. The tiny mosquito is the most lethal animal in the world and as little as ½ cup of water left outside for 3 days can lead to over 1000 mosquito eggs. We’ve heard a lot nationally about the Zika virus but now the sometimes deadly La Crosse virus has shown up in our area. Eleven year old JJ (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/04 - 8/11/16 (Details)

08/11/16 12:52 PM

School Vandal Caught

08/10/16 10:40 AM
A 16 year old Burnsville youth has been charged with breaking in and vandalizing Harris Middle School. The Spruce Pine Police Department arrested Landon Street on Monday, July 22nd. Street allegedly broke a window to gain entry, turned off the switches in the breaker box and emptied the contents of two fire extinguishers, causing about $3500 in damage. Street admitted to the crime and was charged with injury to personal property, breaking and entering and felony after breaking and entering.  Sixteen year old Street is being charged as an adult.

Unemployment Rates Up Slightly

08/09/16 03:16 PM
Unemployment rates increased in 96 of North Carolina’s counties in June and decreased in four.  Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.9 percent. Mitchell County had the highest unemployment rate in this area at 6.2 percent. Yancey was 5.3, Avery 5.2, Madison 5.1 and McDowell 4.8.   The overall June not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 5.2 percent. Compared to last year all 100 counties are down slightly. 

Town of Burnsville Public Hearing

08/09/16 10:43 AM
The Town of Burnsville will hold a public hearing tomorrow evening at 6:00 PM, at the Burnsville Town Center.  The meeting is in regards to submitting an application for a grant of approximately $900,000 to replace existing sewer lines and associated piping for homes on David Park Dr., Bridgette Lane, and Brooke Lane and reconnect to the existing sewer line on Love Fox Road. The project will assist approximately 45 residential homes. The proposed project will provide benefits to residents in the Peterson’s Trailer Park on Love Fox Lane, No individuals will be displaced nor will any require temporary relocation assistance as a result of the proposed project.  If additional information is needed, please contact the Town of Burnsville at 682-2420. 

Yancey Commissioners Meeting

08/09/16 09:12 AM
A large crowd gathered Monday evening, August 8th at the Yancey County Commissioners meeting in support of area law enforcement personnel. The public was asked to go to this meeting to show support for a resolution honoring local law enforcement. The resolution states that law enforcement is essential for protecting Yancey citizens and Yancey County is fortunate to have highly skilled and trained (more)

Notification of Waste Spill in Yancey County

08/08/16 04:13 PM
The Town of Burnsville issued a notification on Monday stating that an estimated 80,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled at the headwaters of Little Crabtree Creek in the French Broad River Basin. The spill occurred on August 6th. The Division of Water Quality was notified and is reviewing the matter. The town is required by law to issue a news release when a waste spill of 1000 gallons or more reaches surface waters. For more information contact the Town of Burnsville at 682-2420.

NC Education Ranking Jumps to 19th Best

08/08/16 01:21 PM
Over the past two years, North Carolina has improved 18-spots in Wallet Hub's rankings of the quality of education, breaking through to the top-20 best schools in the country. In 2014,   North Carolina schools were ranked 37 out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia. But in newly released rankings for 2016, North Carolina improved to No. 19. North Carolina's latest budget will raise average teacher pay in North Carolina to more than $50,000 plus benefits for the first time in state history. Textbook funding has tripled and education spending overall has increased 13 percent.  Wallet Hub also found that North Carolina now ranks 11th in the country for safe schools. Wallet Hub's study measured the quality and safety of each state's schools across 17 key metrics.

Tanker Truck Overturned

08/08/16 10:23 AM
A Tanker Truck overturned this morning around 6:45am near Covey Rock Church on 197N in Green Mountain.  Authorities reported that the truck driver sustained minor injuries and the tanker did not spill it's contents. Traffic was rerouted on 197 through Double Island for several hours this morning because of the wreck. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 7/17 - 8/7/16 (Details)

08/08/16 09:44 AM

Substance Abuse Task Force Provides Containers

08/05/16 03:02 PM
The Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force recently provided the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department and the Burnsville Police Department with crush-proof, leak-proof biohazard containers for safely disposing of used syringes. These containers are safer than putting the dirty needles in plastic soda bottles because the container plastic can not be punctured under pressure. Local law (more)

McDowell Couple Charged After Child Positive for Meth

08/05/16 02:25 PM
A McDowell County couple has been arrested after their one year old child tested positive for methamphetamine. Bryan Orman Holley III, age 28, and DaLee Renee Yearwood, age 21, are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to McDowell County detectives, the couple’s one year old daughter tested positive for methamphetamine while living in a home with them on (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/28 - 8/4/16 (Details)

08/04/16 04:18 PM

Multiple Signs Stolen in McDowell County

08/04/16 01:35 PM
McDowell County is asking for the public’s help and offering a cash reward to anyone who has information about the crimes or culprits who have stolen dozens of road signs.   .McDowell County Emergency Management reported that 59 signs were stolen in July, and 32 more were taken on other occasions. The thefts have been though out  the county, with the Sugar Hill and Nebo areas taking the biggest hits. Linville Road, Toms Creek Road off of N.C. 80 and Blackhawk Drive off of Old Fort-Sugar Hill Road have been victimized on multiple occasions. Craig Walker, Deputy Director of Emergency Management, said it costs his department and the taxpayers, $108 to replace one sign, meaning the 91 stolen so far have cost a total of $9,828. Anyone with information about the sign thefts or suspects is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Branch at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463).   With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Group Calls For Support of Law Enforcement

08/04/16 01:18 PM
Yancey County Commissioners regular monthly meeting is Monday, August 8th at 6 pm in the Yancey County Courthouse. On the agenda at that meeting is a resolution brought forth for the commissioners’ consideration in support of local law enforcement. The Facebook group “Shield A Badge With Prayer” is asking the public to go to this meeting to show support for this resolution and local law enforcement officers. The resolution honoring local law enforcement states that law enforcement is essential for protecting Yancey citizens and Yancey County is fortunate to have highly skilled and trained officers who have a positive record and reputation for excellence in working with and protecting Yancey citizens. It calls for support of the law enforcement personnel including the Sheriff’s Department, Burnsville Police Department and State agency personnel who make many personal sacrifices, enduring long hours and stressful situations and putting their lives in jeopardy to keep the community safe.  

Special Meeting on Tax Matters

08/04/16 12:47 PM
The Yancey County Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 5 pm on Monday, August 8 prior to their regular monthly meeting at 6 pm. This special meeting will be for tax appeals and other property tax matters. The meeting will be held in the Commissioners Board Room in the Yancey County Courthouse. 

Court Upholds Murder Conviction

08/03/16 01:10 PM
The state Court of Appeals has upheld the second-degree murder conviction of John Herbert Pritchard, age 64, of Burnsville, who supplied the morphine that led to the March 2011 fatal drug overdose of Jonathan Russell Whitson Jr., age 29, also of Burnsville. Pritchard was indicted in December 2011 and convicted in 2014.  Pritchard appealed saying that the state did not demonstrate sufficient malice to support a murder conviction. Charges against him say he gave Whitson ten morphine pills and that led to his death the next day. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz upheld prosecutors’ evidence that Pritchard knew of the drug's properties because of his previous use of it and the labeling on the bottle and that he knew Whitson would probably abuse the morphine. According to Dietz, Pritchard knew how dangerous it was to give so many morphine pills to the victim but recklessly disregarded this substantial risk to the victim's life. That recklessness is enough to support a second-degree murder conviction, according to Judge Dietz.

Two Big Jobs Open in Mitchell County

08/03/16 10:52 AM
Mitchell County Commissioners now have two major jobs to fill for the county. County Manager Charles Vines announced his resignation as of the end of August. He has been County Manager for the past ten years but is leaving to have more time for his wife and family. He will remain in his elected position as Mayor of Bakersville for the two years remaining in his term. Commissioners will meet at 4 pm tomorrow to begin finding his replacement. Commissioners have been taking applications for several months for a new Economic Development Commission Director. So far they have not found anyone who meets all the qualifications. They have been without a director since 2013. The deadline for submitting an application is August 31st.  

Fresh Produce from State Employees Credit Union Grant

08/02/16 09:49 AM
Yancey and Mitchell Counties have received over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation’s three-year grant supporting food purchases.  In Western North Carolina, the first-year portion of the grant purchased over 420,000 pounds of fresh produce to support residents in MANNA FoodBank’s 16-county service area.  In Yancey County, (more)

Raising Awareness of the Dangers of Elk River Falls

07/29/16 02:53 PM
The Avery County Sherriff’s Department and the U.S. Forest Service are joining together in an effort to make people more aware of the dangers of jumping from the top of Elk River Falls. It seems that people arrive at the falls unaware of the deaths over past years that have come from jumping.  Online videos showing people jumping do not mention these dangers. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye estimates that there have been 15 fatalities from the falls over the past 20 years.  They also hope to make some physical changes at the property that will warn people but due to it being government land that takes time to get approval. In the meantime they hope to get the word out to the public that Elk River Falls is a beautiful place to visit but one should be aware of the danger. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/21 - 7/28/16 (Details)

07/28/16 01:13 PM

NCDOT Notice on Hwy 19 Project

07/28/16 12:06 PM
The NC Deptartment of Transportation has issued the following notice:
The US 19 project from Jacks Creek to NC 80 (Micaville) has reached the phase of construction where traffic will be placed into the final traffic pattern.  Beginning on August 1, 2016 the transition from the current traffic pattern to a four lane divided highway will begin.  This will mean major changes (more)

Delaney Arrested on Assault Charge

07/26/16 04:38 PM
(Provided by the Yancey Sheriff's Department) During the evening hours of July 20, 2016, Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence located off of Saw Mill Hollow Road to secure the scene for EMS after a 911 call had been made from that residence requesting an ambulance for an unknown medical condition.  Officers secured the scene and the (more)

McDowell County Manhunt

07/26/16 06:56 AM
The McDowell County Sheriff's office is looking for 23-year-old Dylan Ryan Grindstaff. They are offering a cash reward for information that leads his location. Grindstaff is wanted for breaking into a home and stealing thousands of dollars worth of items, then attempting to break into the same home again the following week. (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/14 - 7/21/16 Details)

07/25/16 10:32 AM

Boyd To Serve as Chair for CCA

07/25/16 10:26 AM
Mayland Community College President Dr. John Boyd has been chosen to serve as the chairperson for the Community Colleges of the Appalachia (CCA). Boyd will serve in this capacity for a two-year term. The CCA is a voluntary organization of public community colleges who serve the common interests of member colleges and their communities through programs and services beneficial to the (more)

Duke Energy Awards $250,000 to Mayland Community College

07/25/16 07:45 AM
Duke Energy and Mayland Community College today announced a $250,000 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation. The funds will be used in developing skills for today's industry jobs through robotics and mechatronics training. The investment from the Duke Energy Foundation will be used to purchase equipment for a robotics and mechatronics program at the Anspach (more)

3rd Yancey School Facilities Needs Meeting

07/22/16 05:03 AM
There was a question and answer session regarding the Yancey County Elementary School facilities needs last night in the auditorium of Mountain Heritage High School. This was the third meeting on the school needs and was conducted by Yancey School Board Chair Mike Orr. (more)

Marion Couple Charged After Sons Test Positive for Meth

07/21/16 04:35 PM
Detective Lynn Greene of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged 29-year-old Jesse Jayne Riddle, of 3123 Ashworth Road in Marion, and 32-year-old Barry Lee Sanders Jr. of 99 Alabama Avenue in Marion, each with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.  Greene said the couple’s two sons, ages 4 and 6 tested positive for methamphetamine. The (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 713/16 - 7/20/16 (Details)

07/21/16 09:26 AM

Willis Sworn In as Mitchell Commissioner

07/20/16 12:54 PM
At the July 11th Mitchell County Commissioners’ meeting Jacob W. Willis was sworn in to replace Commissioner Joe Street, who has moved to Georgia. Willis placed second behind Danny Burleson in the March Republican primary. Burleson replaced Bill Slagle, who resigned to take a regional economic development job. Democrat Bruce Koran will join Republicans Danny Burleson, Ken Hollifield and Jacob Willis on the ballot in November. The term for Commissioner Keith Holtsclaw expires at the end of the year. Holtsclaw is not running for re-election.

Mountain Air Residents Fund Awards $15,000 in Grants

07/20/16 12:13 PM
Four Yancey County non-profits have been awarded over $15,000 from the Mountain Air Residents’ Community Fund. Recipients include: Mayland Community College’s Mountain Air Endowed Scholarship, TRACTOR Food and Farms for a computer to manage accounts, Yancey County Sheriff’s Office for the D.A.R.E. program and the Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center for summer camp. Mountain Air Residents’ Community Fund will also be awarding grants in the fall. Any non-profits interested in finding out more about the program can email Rebecca Schmidt at In the last nine years the Mountain Air Residents’ Community Fund has given over $395,000 to Yancey County non-profits.

FFA Programs Receive Budget Boost

07/20/16 11:01 AM
Future Farmer of America (FFA) programs in  Yancey, Madison and Haywood Counties will receive $12,000 each as part of the state budget signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on July 14. Due to efforts by the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriations Committee, on which Rep. Michele Presnell (R-Yancey) serves, students in FFA programs will receive a program boost. Money (more)

Meals on Wheels Program Needs Help To Expand

07/19/16 10:48 AM
The “Meals on Wheels” program in Yancey County is seeking additional funds to potentially serve 110 in home meals four days per week to hungry and shut in clients.  Currently they prepare and deliver 60 in home meals three days per week.   The additional funds   would allow them to nearly triple their current output. For many of their clients this is the only hot meal they receive all day. The Senior Center has received a grant to help with funding this additional day per week. However they need to raise $7,000.00.  They are one third of the way there.  The latest economic downturn has many of Yancey County senior’s children and grandchildren leaving the area to find jobs.  This leaves seniors here with little or no assistance as they become feeble.   Currently     “Meals on Wheels” is unable to serve the Bald Mountain Community and the Brushy Creek Community.  These two communities are primarily aging communities.   Additional funds raised would help provide the gas money needed to get these meals into these sections of the county. To make a donation to “Meals on Wheels”, contact Vivian Hollifield at:  828-682-6011.

Curb Water Use, Boil Water

07/18/16 04:47 PM
The Town of Burnsville has issued a notice to all town water customers. The notice strongly urges all water users to reduce their water use and to improve water use efficiency. According to the notice water supply conditions indicate a potential for shortages. This notice comes with a renewed Boil Water notice for Burnsville water customers as they are experiencing periods of low pressure and outages in the distribution system due to a water line break at US Hwy 19E and George’s Fork Road. Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system. Therefore, the Division of Water Resources advises that when water is restored consumers boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water. Vigorous boiling for one minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water. 

Fire on Lick Skillet

07/18/16 04:41 PM
West Yancey Fire Department was called out Monday afternoon at 2:45 to respond to a trailer fire at 207 Zack Lane. Zack Lane is located off of Lickskillet Road. The occupant of the trailer was able to get out of it apparently without injury.According to reports the fire started on the deck.  

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 7/10 - 7/17/16 (Details)

07/18/16 09:47 AM

Lightning Death on Mt Mitchell

07/18/16 05:20 AM
A Gaston County business owner and lay minister died Saturday afternoon after being struck by lightning near the entrance to Mt Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Scott Pasour of Dallas NC, owner of Pasour Auto Repair and a lay minister at Venture Church, was on a motorcycle trip with two other riders at Mount Mitchell. Just before getting on the Blue Ridge Parkway about 1 p.m., they stopped to put on rain gear. The men with Pasour told the Gaston Gazette that they did not hear thunder or see lightning until a bolt suddenly struck Pasour’s helmet. Pasour was transported by helicopter to Mission Hospital in Asheville, where he was pronounced dead. The two men with him, standing just feet away, were not hurt. Friends said Pasour was known for a Tuesday night Bible study group at his auto shop that would attract other motorcycle enthusiasts. He had owned Pasour Auto Repair for 30 years.

Mars Hill Woman Arrested for Drugs

07/15/16 01:47 PM
(From Madison Sheriff's Department)
Madison County Detectives arrested Sybil Carter at her residence on Hwy. 23, Mars Hill on July 5th. The Sheriff's Office had received numerous complaints about Carter distributing numerous amounts of drugs in the Mars Hill community. Sybil Carter age 55 was charged with 4 counts of Trafficking, 2 counts of Sell/ Deliver, 2 counts of possession with intent to manufacture sell and deliver, and 2 counts of Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances.