More Casting Calls for Movie

05/03/16 01:03 PM
Here’s one more chance for you to grab your moment in the spotlight. The “Dirty Dancing” remake is now being filmed in Asheville. They are looking for six golfers for filming at Cashiers on Monday the 9th. You must know how to play golf and hit the ball and be able to attend a wardrobe fitting in Hendersonville this week. Also if you are still wearing that 70’s hairstyle they are looking for you for filming on May 18th. For more information search for Tona B. Dahlquist casting  on Facebook. Or email with heading CASHIERS  GOLFER or THE 70’S. "Dirty Dancing" is a three-hour filmed musical TV remake of the 1987 movie originally  filmed in the  Lake Lure area.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/24 - 5/1/16 (Details)

05/03/16 10:04 AM

McDowell Manhunt Ends

05/02/16 07:11 AM
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies were on a manhunt Thursday afternoon and Friday.  31 year old Danny Ray Pinkerton of 265 Caraway Drive in Marion ran from authorities twice Thursday.  Pinkerton was wanted on drug charges and ran from deputies when they tried to stop his vehicle. Deputies tried to stop the vehicle on N.C. 226 South at the intersection of Fairview Road, but Pinkerton sped up. Pinkerton stopped a short distance past Watermelon Lane and fled into the woods.  Deputies set up a perimeter around the vicinity and attempted to get the suspect out of the woods but were unsuccessful. The McDowell Sheriff’s Department reported that Pinkerton was taken into custody around 3pm Friday afternoon. 

McDowell Man Armed and Dangerous On the Run

04/29/16 02:17 PM
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies are actively on the hunt for a Marion man who ran from authorities twice Thursday and is likely armed. Danny Ray Pinkerton, age 31, of 265 Caraway Drive in Marion, is wanted for failure to appear on charges of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. At 11:20 a.m. Thursday, April 28, deputies were (more)

McDowell County to Expand Broadband Infrastructure

04/28/16 03:08 PM
McDowell County has joined with Skyrunner Internet to expand broadband availability in McDowell County. “This is exciting news for the community,” said Jeff Sural, director of the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office. “This is another example of what communities can achieve when they initiate expansion efforts. Across the state, we are seeing an increase in affordable broadband (more)

Three More Subjects Arrested for Drug Charges

04/28/16 02:53 PM
On April 24th  Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call regarding a suspicious vehicle that had been sitting at the Riverside BP Station. Upon the search of the vehicle and subjects within, Edward Steven Lewis, age 37, of Hartford, TN was arrested. Lewis was charged with Simple Possession Schedule IV Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to (more)

Marion Man Brutally Beaten

04/28/16 06:57 AM
Police are investigating a home invasion that left a man severely beaten early Monday morning in Marion. Police received a 911 call around 5am to go to 455 Ann Street. (more)

Autopsy Indicates Drowning

04/27/16 01:49 PM
Preliminary results of the autopsy on the body of 34 year old Marcus Hughes of the Plumtree community in Avery County indicated the cause of his death was drowning. Hughes' body was found in Squirrel Creek on Friday morning, April 22 after deputies responded to a report. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye said a truck driver discovered the victim’s body Friday while crossing a one-lane bridge on Little Squirrel Creek Road, near Newland. They also report that family members and friends suspect foul play in his death. Deputies said they do not know if foul play was involved. The Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation continue their investigation.

Unemployment Rates Released

04/27/16 12:55 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, according to employment figures for March, recently released by the state.  The March (not seasonally adjusted) statewide rate was 5.4 percent. McDowell had the lowest rate in our area at 5.2 percent followed by Madison which had 5.5 percent. Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 7.0 percent. Avery and Yancey fell into the middle of the scale with Yancey having a rate of 5.8 percent and Avery having 6.0 percent. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.3 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.2 percent. Within the North Carolina metro areas, Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate at 7.6 percent while Asheville had the lowest at 4.4 percent.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/17 - 4/24/2016 (Details)

04/26/16 09:41 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/15 - 4/23/16 (Details)

04/26/16 09:37 AM

Earthquake near Weaverville

04/26/16 06:53 AM
An Emergency dispatch operator received calls Monday morning  from residents in Buncombe County reporting a rumbling and feeling vibrations.  The U.S. Geological Survey said it was a 2.5 magnitude earthquake that was centered north of Weaverville, just south of Jupiter Road and west of Interstate 26. The small quake was 2.7 miles deep and hit at 10:43am. No injuries or damage was reported. The slight tremors were felt all the way north to Tennessee and south to areas in and around West Asheville, according to an intensity map and responses from people on the USGS online system. The biggest quake ever measured in the region — which includes the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and parts of South Carolina — was a 5.1 magnitude tremor in 1916.

Plane Crash on a Boone Golf Course

04/26/16 06:52 AM
A retired North Carolina state trooper was killed in a plane crash Monday in Boone.
69 year old Ben Chappell of Boone died at the scene of the crash. Two others in the plane, 68 year old John Field Worsley II, of Lenoir and 43 year old Steven Cox Berry, of Banner Elk were in critical condition last night. Officials said the Piper PA-32 crashed on a golf course west-northwest of Runway 13 of the Boone Airport. Witnesses said the small plane clipped some pine trees and exploded into flames on impact.  Two medical helicopters landed next to the crash to airlift Worsley and Berry. One was flown to Winston-Salem and the other to Johnson City.  The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Madison County Fire Continues

04/25/16 08:17 AM
The forest fire in the Hot Springs area is still burning. David McFee, the incident commander for the Forest Service, says the plan this week is to build a wide perimeter line around the fire by using accessible forest service roads. The perimeter created is about 4600 acres. Trails in the area are still closed, and residents can probably expect to see more smoke this week. Containment is still at about 10 percent. The fire has burned about 2500 acres so far. Trails and some roads in the area remain closed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Madison County Fires

04/22/16 07:05 AM
The much needed rain falling across Western North Carolina today is arriving just in time to provide some relief for fire crews battling a wildfire in Madison County, which has now burned 2,000 acres and endangered several homes. (more)

Mitchell-Yancey Rural Teaching Hub Set Up

04/21/16 02:34 PM
Mountain Area Health Education Center’s (MAHEC) WNC Rural Health Initiative is partnering with providers and community leaders in Mitchell and Yancey counties to develop the Mitchell-Yancey Rural Teaching Hub. Blake Fagan, MD, MAHEC’s Chief Education Officer, is (more)

Conservancy Buys Land on Peak Mountain Ridgeline

04/21/16 02:27 PM
Blue Ridge Conservancy has purchased four areas of land to protect the Peak Mountain ridgeline from development. Peak Mountain is an undeveloped ridgeline that can be seen from Seven Devils, N.C. 105 and Grandfather Mountain. One of the important aspects of conserving this land is to preserve the integrity of the water quality. Also tributary of the Watauga River is located on the property and is designated Trout Waters. The area is also home to some species of rare plants. The four areas total 248.58 acres in Avery and Watauga counties. They were purchased from BH Land Acquisitons LLC, an investment company based in Florida, for $805,000.  The land currently does not have public access, but it may be a possibility in the future.

Section of the Blue Ridge Parkway Closed for Repairs

04/20/16 01:35 PM
A section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed for repairs. The closure is from Milepost 316.5 to Milepost 317.5 to make repairs to the historic Linville River Bridge. Both lanes in this section of the Parkway will be closed to all activity including all cars, bicycles, and hikers for approximately six weeks. Access to Linville River Picnic Area and the Linville Falls visitor center, camping, and hiking activities will be available from the north at NC181 near Pineola. Detours signs will be in place to direct travelers through this area. 

Fires on NC/TN Border

04/20/16 01:28 PM
Two fires are burning just across the NC/TN state line and may cause some smoky skies in over into this area. A forest 500 plus acre fire in the Railroad Grade community of Carter County Tennessee is currently being investigated by state officials as arson. Officials have posted a $1,500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest. Capt. Greg Whitehead, an investigator from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, said there is no way this forest fire was accidental. It could spread to as much as 1500 acres before it is contained. A second even larger fire father south along the state line is now covering nearly 1,100 acres near Del Rio, Tennessee, just across the state line from Hot Springs and Marshall.   US Highway 25/70 was closed briefly Tuesday due to the fire.

Parents of Suspect Charged with Intimidating Witness

04/20/16 01:16 PM
Detective Lynn Greene of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged 59-year-old Belinda Jean Buchanan and 64-year-old Jerry William Buchanan, both of 576 Cherokee Way in Marion, with felony intimidating a state’s witness. In January, Greene charged the couple’s son, 35-year-old Edward Almond Buchanan, with first-degree sex offense, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree (more)

New Drug Drop Box at Spruce Pine Police Department

04/19/16 10:32 AM
The Mitchell County Sheriff's Department has placed a drug drop box in the Spruce Pine Police Department located at the new department headquarters, 193 East Valley Road. The public will have access to the drop box Monday – Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.  After hours, the public can (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/03 - 4/17/16 (Details)

04/19/16 10:16 AM

Autrey Sentenced as Habitual Felon

04/18/16 08:38 AM
On April 6th, Rodney Linville Autrey was convicted of felony breaking and entering as well as felony larceny after breaking and entering.  Mr. Autrey broke into a residence in Spruce Pine  and stole cash.  During the course of the break in, Mr. Autrey injured himself and left blood at the home.  The Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office collected a sample of the blood and (more)

Lusk Sentenced for Habitual DWI

04/18/16 08:35 AM
On April 6th, Pamela Lusk was convicted of felony Habitual Driving While Impaired.  On August 26th, 2015, Ms. Lusk was driving on Oak Avenue in Spruce Pine with a blood alcohol level of .10.  Ms. Lusk has previously been convicted of Driving While Impaired on four separate occasions.  Lusk’s sentence was further enhanced by the District Attorney’s Office who identified (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/8 -4/15/16 (Details)

04/15/16 04:29 PM

McKinney Sentenced as Habitual Felon

04/15/16 03:53 PM
On April 6th, 2016, Angela McKinney was convicted of felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle.  In September of 2015, Ms. McKinney was driving a stolen vehicle on Highway 19 E in Mitchell County.  After Ms. McKinney noticed a patrol car behind her, she began speeding to get away.  She reached speeds that exceed 90 miles per (more)

Two Sentenced to Prison as Habitual Felons

04/15/16 03:14 PM
William Doris Byrd, Jr. and Clinton Dowis were sentenced as habitual felons in Yancey County Superior Court.  Byrd was convicted of two counts of delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, two counts of possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule III controlled substance, and two counts of maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of keeping or selling a controlled (more)

Yancey Precincts Moved for June 7th Primary

04/15/16 09:01 AM
For the June 7th Congressional Primary Yancey Board of Elections  will be temporarily moving some precincts out of schools because the End of Grade testing will be going on and schools can not close.  They will be moving Burnsville Precinct from Burnsville Elementary School to The Burnsville Town Center, Section C located at 6 South Main Street.  Cane River will be moved (more)

Early Voting Hours for June 7th Primary (details)

04/14/16 04:38 PM

Community Health Assessments

04/13/16 04:29 PM
The Toe River Health District has completed the 2015 Community Health Assessment for Mitchell and Yancey Counties.  The top three health concerns for our counties happen to be exactly the same for both Mitchell and Yancey. The top 3 priorities are # 1. Substance Abuse Prevention and Increasing Availability/ Access of Mental Health Services, #2. Health Living Behaviors/Lifestyles and Chronic Disease Prevention,  and #3. Social Determinants of Health.   

Mitchell County Assessment          Yancey County Assessment

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty

04/13/16 02:03 PM
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Cecil Scott Byrd, who is charged with the killing of two women in separate instances. Byrd of 493 Bad Creek Road, in Red Hill was charged with killing Sarah Denise Riddle of Marion and Lisa Ann Robbins of Deep Gap. Byrd was indicted February 6 and prosecutors announced their intention to go for the death penalty in Superior Court April 6th. Byrd admitted killing Sarah Riddle at his residence and burning her remains. Byrd’s mother, Patsy has been charged with accessory for helping her son dispose of Lisa Robbins’ remains.  

Mobile Trash Service Suspended May 1st

04/12/16 12:24 PM
Mitchell County Sanitation has announced that effective May 1st  Estatoe mobile unit services will be suspended due to the road construction and safety concerns related to that. They have asked that citizens use the Yancey-Mitchell Transfer station at 555 Landfill Road or the Altapass Convenience Center at 2097 Altapass Highway.

45th District State Senator Resigns

04/11/16 03:08 PM
State Sen. Dan Soucek, a Republican from Boone, resigned from the State legislature effective last Friday, April 8th. Soucek represents the 45th district which includes Avery, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell and Watauga counties. Soucek wasn’t running for re-election in November. The news release from State Senate Leader Phil Berger’s office didn’t list a reason however when Soucek announced in December that he would not seek another term, he cited the strain of being away from his family and that  said he couldn not continue to faithfully serve both his family and constituents. Republican Party leaders in the 45th  District  will nominate someone to finish Soucek’s term and Gov. Pat McCrory will make the formal appointment. The legislature returns to Raleigh on April 25.

Narcotics Investigation Results in Vehicle Pursuit

04/08/16 02:09 PM
On April 5th at approximately 10:20 PM, officers with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office were conducting a narcotics investigation on William Mark Cole, age 27, of Spruce Pine.  This investigation involved a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Mr. Cole.  During their investigation, officers had determined that Mr. Cole had outstanding felony warrants from other counties (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/1 - 4/8/16 (Details)

04/08/16 02:02 PM

Unemployment Rates Released

04/07/16 04:27 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in 32, increased in 30 and remained unchanged in 38 of North Carolina’s counties, according to employment figures for February, recently released by the state. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.4 percent.   The February (not seasonally adjusted) statewide rate was 5.7 percent. McDowell had the lowest rate in our area at 5.5 percent followed by Madison which had 6.0 percent. Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 7.7 percent. Avery and Yancey were tied in February with 6.4 percent.

Four Children Test Positive for Meth

04/07/16 01:27 PM
A McDowell county couple was arrested after four children in their home tested positive for methamphetamine. Detective Lynn Greene of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged 29-year-old Kimberly Dawn Lowery and 27-year-old Nathan Todd Vallini, of 81 East Hunt Drive in Nebo, each with four misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.  Greene said four (more)

Murder Charge (Details)

04/07/16 07:17 AM
Two persons have now been charged in connection to a home invasion in Madison County on Tuesday night. Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood reports that Dean Shelton has been charged with felony murder, first-degree burglary and possession of firearm by a convicted felon. (more)

Final Days of School Year, Graduations

04/06/16 01:30 PM
The last day of school for Mitchell County students is June 7th. Yancey County students finish up with a half day of school on June 9th.  Graduation for both Mitchell and Mountain Heritage High Schools is Saturday, June 11th at 10:00 a.m. June 3rd is both the last day of school and graduation in Avery County.  Mayland Early College graduation is June the 4th at 6 pm on the Mayland College Campus in Spruce Pine.

Daniels Sentenced to Prison as Habitual Felon

04/05/16 03:22 PM
On April 4th, 2016, Aaron Charles Daniels was convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine.  Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office identified Mr. Daniels as a habitual felon, thereby enhancing his sentence.   Daniels had previously been convicted of five felonies (Breaking and Entering and Larceny twice, Possession of Methamphetamine, Sale and Delivery of a (more)

Last Day of School and MHHS Graduation Dates Set

04/05/16 10:36 AM
At the April 4th regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education, Yancey County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton announced the last day of school for Yancey County students and the date for Mountain Heritage High School Graduation.Thursday, June 9, 2016, will be the last – half-day – of school for Yancey County students.  Inclement weather in January and (more)

Golden LEAF Announces Scholarships

04/04/16 10:21 AM
The Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation) has announced its scholarship selections for the Golden LEAF Scholar for Mayland Community College students. Nineteen overall degree seeking students and those enrolled in continuing education programs received a combined total of $5,775 for the Spring semester. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/27 - 4/03/16

04/04/16 09:23 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/25 - 4/1/16 (Details)

04/01/16 03:17 PM

Crash Victims Identified

04/01/16 03:15 PM
The three people who died in a multi-car crash March 24th on U.S. 221 North have been identified. According to Trooper Kelly Rhodes of the N.C. Highway Patrol the driver of the pickup truck was Terry Dixon, age 61, of Fletcher Creek in Wilkes County. His passenger was 44-year-old Lori Tindel, of Greenville, S.C.The driver of the van was Robert Gragg, age 48, of Gragg Hollow Lane in Newland. When emergency workers arrived, both vehicles were engulfed in flames and the victims could not be rescued. Troopers said the pickup truck was heading southbound on U.S. 221 when it crossed left of center and hit the van head on.  

Five Arrests made at a Driver License Check Point

04/01/16 06:08 AM
In the early morning hours on March 26, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office and Burnsville Police Department were conducting a drivers license check point on US 19E Bypass at the intersection of South Main Street. (more)

Boone Best Western Corporation Pleads Guilty

03/29/16 01:39 PM
On Monday, March 28th, Appalachian Hospitality Management, Inc., the corporation that owned the Best Western Hotel in Boone in 2013 when there were three deaths there, plead guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter.  On April 16, 2013, Daryl and Shirley Jenkins were found deceased in Room 225 of the hotel. 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams and his mother Jeannie Williams stayed in (more)

Avery County School Custodian Arrested

03/29/16 01:03 PM
Following an investigation conducted by the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, Avery County High School custodian Jude Dayton Hughes, age 50, of 551 Little Elk River Road in Elk Park, was charged on March 24 with one count of taking indecent liberties with a student, a class I felony.   Avery County School system and Sheriff’s Office worked together to insure no harm or contact was actually made between the perpetrator and the victim. “Once we found out about the improper contact from the school system, the student’s parents allowed us complete use of the student’s accounts and we were able to portray ourselves as the student the whole time. The student never actually was part of the investigation other than the initial social media contact and was kept safe and clear from this investigation”, according to Sheriff Frye  The SBI also was called to assist in collection of all social media and electronic evidence. Hughes is being held in the Avery County Jail on a $75,000 secured bond. Hughes had no prior criminal record.

Marion Murder Charge

03/29/16 06:50 AM
An early Monday morning shooting investigation at a downtown apartment complex in Marion has led to murder charges for a Marion man. 71 year old Howard Ferguson, of 348 South Main Street Apt. 4, Marion, has been charged with one count of murder. He is in custody under no bond. (more)

USDA Affordable Housing Funds Available

03/28/16 02:14 PM
USDA funding is available for guaranteed single-family housing loans and applications are being accepted for the low and moderate income citizens in rural North Carolina applicants may obtain 100-percent financing to purchase an existing dwelling, purchase a site and construct a dwelling or purchase newly constructed dwellings located in rural areas. Eligibility is based on household income, repayment ability, and credit history. With a USDA guaranteed loan, it is a fixed interest rate with no down payment required. The loans can be used by first-time buyers and repeat home buyers alike.  The guaranteed loan program provides homeownership loans through approved lenders. The local office for Mitchell, Yancey, Avery andMadison counties is located in Spruce Pine. Call 765-0889.Additional information on the USDA guaranteed housing loan program can be found at the agency website:

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/18 -3/25/16

03/28/16 10:07 AM

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/20 - 3/27/16

03/28/16 09:26 AM

Felony Drug Arrests and Animal Cruelty Arrest

03/25/16 10:43 AM
On March 24th, 2016 Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence at 42 David Park Dr. The search warrant was issued after Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating the residence for the sale of drugs. The search of the residence turned up 4 grams of Methamphetamine, Drug Paraphernalia and (more)

Autopsies for Accident Victims

03/25/16 07:13 AM
The highway patrol says that autopsies will be performed on the three people that were killed in a head on collision Wednesday afternoon near the entrance to Baxter Healthcare.  Patrol Trooper Sgt. Kevin Owens said they are 99 percent positive they know who the victims are, but they are awaiting confirmation from the coroner. In the accident a pickup truck drove left of center and hit a commercial van head-on. The vehicles burst into flames and rescuers were not able to retrieve the victims. Both vehicles were traveling around 55 mph. A man and a woman were in the truck and another man was driving the van. Troopers said they believe the three victims were killed upon impact prior to the fire, and that the victims did not suffer.

Wildfire in McDowell County

03/24/16 01:39 PM
A wildfire in McDowell County has spread to over 300 acres and is only 30% contained. The fire is burning through rugged terrain north of Lake James Road, East of Hankins Road, and south of Bald Knob, just north of Lake James and 5 miles northeast of Marion. The fire was reported Wednesday morning, March 23rd. As of Thursday morning, 71 firefighters are assigned to the fire with a scout plane and helicopter assisting. High winds and low humidity are hampering the efforts to contain the blaze. The cause of the wildfire is currently under investigation.

Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine

03/24/16 01:33 PM

Police in North Carolina are cracking down on speeders with a simple message: Obey the posted speed limit or pay a fine. The N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program announced its "Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine" campaign on Thursday, March 24th. Both state and local law enforcement are participating. The aim is to remind people that it is against the law to drive faster than what is posted and you can be fined for going beyond that posted limit. Troopers assess each circumstance to decide if citations are warranted.

Three Killed in an Accident near Baxter Healthcare

03/24/16 06:49 AM
The highway patrol has confirmed three fatalities from an accident that occurred Wednesday afternoon on US 221 North just above Baxter Healthcare in McDowell County.  The accident happened around 3:30pm when a pickup truck went left of center and ran into an oncoming van. Several fire departments were called to the scene as both vehicles were engulfed in flames. Highway 221 was shut down for about four hours. Troopers say the vehicle that caused the wreck was a pickup truck with two people inside, a man and woman. None of the three victims have been identified.

Presnell to attend Special Session to Protect Children

03/23/16 06:47 AM
The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 in February to pass an ordinance that allows transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity rather than their birth gender. (more)

Presnell to attend Special Session to Protect Children

03/22/16 04:39 PM
The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 in February to pass an ordinance that allows transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity rather than their birth gender. Rep. Michele Presnell (R – Yancey) will join her colleagues in Raleigh on Wednesday for a Special Session to address the Charlotte ordinance.“Protecting children is one of my top priorities as a (more)

Mount Mitchell State Park Expansion

03/22/16 01:50 PM
The Conservation Fund, a non-profit conservation group, has recently purchased 2,744 acres along Mount Mitchell’s northern side and this year plans to begin conveying the land to expand the Mount Mitchell State Park from its current 1,996 acres. The acreage consists of three tracts purchased by the Conservation Fund. The group acquired the tracts for $13 million by bargain sales, (more)

Unemployment Rates Rise

03/22/16 10:33 AM
Unemployment rates increased in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, according to employment figures for January, just released by the state. The January (not seasonally adjusted) statewide rate was 5.8 percent. McDowell had the lowest rate in our area at 5.6 percent followed by Madison which had 5.8 percent. Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 7.6 percent. Avery and Yancey were tied in January with 6.4 percent. Across the state, Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 15.5 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.5 percent. Within the North Carolina metro areas, Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate at 8 percent while Asheville and Raleigh shared the lowest at 4.8 percent. 

Shortbus Studio Wins Literary Festival Art Contest

03/22/16 10:14 AM
The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 Art Contest which searched for an image to accompany this year’s theme Journey Out  Journey In. The judges selected a collaborative piece created by the Shortbus Studio artists. (more)

Best Selling Author Gloria Houston Dies

03/21/16 02:48 PM
Internationally known educator and an author of multi-award winning, best selling books for young readers Dr. Gloria Houston has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Born in Avery County and educated at Appalachian State she became best known for her best selling books but she also wrote textbooks and other teaching materials. She described herself as “first, last and always, a teacher." (more)

Boone Reappointed to NCCAT Board of Trustees

03/21/16 10:26 AM
Governor Pat McCrory has reappointed Elaine Boone of Burnsville to the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT), a recognized national leader in professional development programming for our state’s teachers.Boone had a (more)

Tipton Completes Superintendent Development Program

03/21/16 10:03 AM
Dr. Tony Tipton, Superintendent of the Yancey County Schools, was among 18 superintendents from across the state to graduate from the North Carolina Next Generation Superintendent Development Program Cohort III. The program is designed to support the growth, expansion and enhancement of superintendents using the North Carolina Superintendents Standards, through a formative process that advances (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/13 - 3/20/16

03/21/16 09:50 AM

More Felony Methamphetamine Drug Arrests

03/18/16 01:44 PM
Yancey County Sheriff Office Deputies, with the assistance of Burnsville Police Department, arrested Danny Lee Whitson, 46 of Burnsville.   Whitson was arrested in the parking lot of the Quality Plus Gas Station on warrants taken out by the Sheriff’s Office.  Whitson was served with warrants for Carrying Concealed Weapon, Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/11 - 3/18/16

03/18/16 01:40 PM

Governor Appoints Laws to NC Fire and Rescue Commission

03/18/16 10:23 AM
The Governor of North Carolina is entitled to appoint one member to the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission. This year, Governor Pat McCrory has selected Jerry K. Laws to serve in this post and his appointment shall last for the term of 3 years.  At the Yancey County (more)

Economic Impact of Arts

03/18/16 09:29 AM
"The Arts Mean Business" is the message being delivered today by the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), which is announcing it has joined the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by AFTA, the nation's (more)

Fatal House Fire Update

03/16/16 04:24 PM
Autopsy reports confirm that the two people killed in a house fire this past Sunday, March 13 in Glenwood were , the occupants of the home, 20-year-old Cera Jade Newton and 23-year-old Victor Ivan Hernandez. Their house caught on fire at approximately 8 a.m. They were found deceased inside once firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. The preliminary autopsies, conducted Tuesday in Winston-Salem, showed both individuals died of smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and McDowell County Emergency Management, officials have stated that no foul play is suspected.

Prison Sentence for Driver in Accident

03/16/16 04:17 PM
Jeremy Wayne Greene has pleaded guilty in Mitchell County Court on two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Vickie Burleson Rumfelt and her son Jeremy Rumfelt. Both Rumfelts died from injuries suffered in a September 2013 automobile accident in Spruce Pine. Greene has been sentenced on one count to an active sentence of 11 to 23 months in prison. On the other count, he has received a suspended sentence of 11 to 23 months and two years of supervised probation, to begin at the end of the active sentence.   

Election Returns

03/16/16 05:28 AM
Just over 2.3 million North Carolina Voters participated in the Primary Election held yesterday. That number represents 35% of the registered voters. (more)

Election Day in North Carolina

03/15/16 07:16 AM
Voting is underway across the state at this hour. Polls opened at 6:30am and close at 7:30pm. For the first time, a photo ID is required to vote. Those voting will have Presidential Choices and several regional and state offices to decide on. (more)

Fatal House Fire in Marion

03/14/16 03:51 PM
After a call to 911 from a bystander, firefighters responded to 536 Glenwood Drive, off Old U.S. 221 South, around 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 13th to find the back portion of the home engulfed in flames.  The fire was eventually extinguished and upon searching the building authorities found the remains of two people inside. Victor Hernandez and Cera Newton occupy the residence, although the remains have not yet been positively identified at this time. Members of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and McDowell Emergency Management continue to investigate the case to find the reason for the fire.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/6 - 3/13/16

03/14/16 10:56 AM

19E Road Project

03/14/16 06:54 AM
The completion of the widening of US 19-East in Burnsville that started in July of 2011 has now been delayed until September of this year. Nelson Hathcock, project supervisor with Young and McQueen, and supervisor over the road widening of US 19-E, said his road crews have encountered numerous problems with pipes and other lines near Burnsville that had to be re-routed or changed. He said Young and McQueen will be fined $2,800 a day by NCDOT after May 28, which was the last agreed upon contract completion date. The contract was revised and the deadline extended once to that date.

Search Warrant Leads to Drug Arrests

03/11/16 03:56 PM
On March 8th, deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on an apartment located at 340 Bowditch Street in Burnsville.The search yielded methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a large sum of cash, and other items indicative of drug trafficking.   As a result, Deann Monroe, age 47 of Burnsville was arrested and charged with Possession with (more)

Yancey Sheriff Deputy Certified Fire Investigator

03/11/16 03:29 PM
Sgt. Bradley Boone of the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office has been attending classes for the last year to receive a certification from the NC Office of State Fire Marshall to be certified in the area of Fire Investigation. Sgt. Boone has a background in the fire service being a 20 year veteran of Pensacola VFD and a Level 2 Fire Instructor. Sgt Boone received over 500 hours of instruction in the field of fire investigation before sitting for and passing the state exam. Sgt. Boone is the first deputy at the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office to receive this certification from the Office Of State Fire Marshall which will help lower insurance rates for citizens across Yancey County as this certification scores points for the State’s ISO program, a system of rating Fire Departments. Sheriff Banks says “We are committed as an agency to working with the Fire Departments in Yancey County and Fire Marshall Neil McCurry in making Yancey County a safer place to live, if we can add another tool to their tool box by offering a sworn officer who can assist in the investigation process, then we are glad to help.”

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/4 - 3/11/16 (Details)

03/11/16 01:32 PM

Animal Cruelty Hotline

03/11/16 01:19 PM
North Carolinians now can report animal cruelty to the state attorney general's Animal Welfare Hotline. Under state law, acts of animal cruelty include wounding, injuring, tormenting or killing an animal, depriving an animal of nourishment or causing any of those to occur. Witnesses to animal cruelty can file reports online, over the phone or through written complaints in the mail. The General Assembly created the hotline during the 2015 session and placed it in the Attorney General's Office effective March 1. The office will review animal welfare complaints submitted through the hotline,855-290-6915, and refer them to the appropriate authority.

Familiar Scams Going Around Again

03/11/16 09:08 AM
A couple of familiar scams are making their way around our area again. Citizens are urged to steer clear of these false claims. Residents have reported being contacted by workers from Publishers Clearing House telling them they’ve won cars and even millions of dollars. The callers tell people that, in order for them to claim their prizes, they must send Publishers Clearing House a certain amount of money. Other people are receiving calls claiming to be from the IRS, telling them they owe money and giving them instructions as to how to pay. The IRS does business through the mail, not over the phone. Residents are to ignore these calls and don’t send money or give any information. Anyone with questions or concerns can call your local Sheriff’s Office. 

Be Aware of Hellbender Salamander Habitat

03/10/16 02:19 PM
Biologists with the National Forest Service are asking people in Western North Carolina to help save the Hellbender Salamander. They're the largest salamanders in the United States, and they live in cold mountain streams in this part of North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. They are not yet labeled endangered but are considered a species of special concern. As the weather turns warmer and fishing season opens next month experts are warning about going into cold streams and overturning large river rocks. The rocks could be a home for the Hellbenders, and once the rocks are disturbed, it's very hard for the Hellbenders to exist in a place where they don't have a home. Hellbender Salamanders are important to our area because they're an indicator species, showing the water they live in is some of the healthiest.

Movie Seeking Dancers and Old Cars

03/09/16 04:32 PM
This is your chance for you or your old car to be a star! Get out your dancing shoes and pull out your old cars, the remake of the 1987 movie "Dirty Dancing" is being filmed in Western North Carolina and they are seeking extras and dancers for onscreen roles as well as cars from 1950 to 1975. The movie will supposedly be filmed this spring, and will employ about 900 extras of all ages from North Carolina. Parts of the movie will be filmed at High Hampton Inn & Country Club in Cashiers.  Other possible locations include Asheville, Hendersonville, Cashiers and Saluda.  The new "Dirty Dancing" is a three-hour TV special for ABC which will star Abigail Breslin, Debra Messing and others. For more information about casting, people can search for Tona B. Dahlquist Casting on Facebook.

Marion Police Look for Shooting Suspects

03/09/16 04:01 PM
Police are looking for three suspects who were supposedly involved in a shooting Monday afternoon, March 7th on Ridge Street in Marion. The Marion Police Department is searching for two Hispanic males and a white female with long, red hair traveling in a gray or silver four-door Mitsubishi. Police were called  about shots being fired into a residence.  Nine bullet holes were discovered in the front door that went through a wall inside the home. No one was at home at the time of the shooting. If you have any information on the suspects or the shooting, contact the Marion Police Department at 652-5205, or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME. With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous and you could receive a cash reward.

Prescribed Burn Causes Smoke

03/08/16 10:25 AM
While in the Avery or McDowell County area you may see some smoke from a 3,100-acre prescribed burn in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. The  Forest Service is beginning a three-day burn on today at Roses Mountain, north of Morganton, N.C. and south of Table Rock. The objectives of the burn are fuel reduction and habitat restoration.  (more)

Early Voting Gets Underway

03/08/16 06:59 AM
Early voting, for the March 15th Election,  is in full swing in North Carolina. As of noon Monday around 300 individuals had voted in the Burnsville precinct of Yancey County, 203 had voted in Spruce Pine and 161 had voted in Bakersville. Early voting continues through Saturday. Sample Ballots and Early Voting Hours are available here

Clark Charitable Trust grants MHU Music Department $5,000

03/07/16 10:54 AM
The Mars Hill University Music Department has received a $5,000 grant from Clark Charitable Trust of Lincoln, MA. The grant monies will be used for new instruments for students in the music programs at MHU. The grant will compliment an earlier $5,000 grant, also for instruments, from the Stonecutter Foundation of Spindale, NC. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 2/28 - 3/6/16 (Details)

03/07/16 09:40 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 2/26 - 3/4/16 (Details)

03/07/16 09:37 AM

Felony Drug Arrests by Yancey Sheriffs Office

03/03/16 02:47 PM
The Yancey County Sheriff's Office has arrested the following individuals as a part of the continuing drug operation in Yancey County. Richard Shaun Stockton, age 30 of Burnsville was charged with Felony Possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Stockton was released from jail after posting a $6,000 secured bond. Shannon Leon Crocker, age 36 of Johnson City, TN was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia . Crocker remains in jail under a $5,000 secured bond. Eric Todd Owenby, age 54 of Marion charged with possession drug paraphernalia, maintain place for controlled substance, possession of schedule II, possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver schedule II, possession of firearm by felon, and sell deliver schedule II controlled substance. Owenby remains in Jail under a $40,000 secured bond. All 3 defendants are schedule to appear in court later this month.

Lots of New State Taxes as of March 1st

03/01/16 03:41 PM
It’s not your imagination; there are a lot of new state taxes that took effect March 1st. The new taxes will impose a 4.75 percent state tax plus a local tax on the labor for things like repair, maintenance, and installation services. These include services like auto repairs or watch, clock, and jewelry repairs, tire recapping and car washes or detailing. For a complete list of the new taxes click here. 

Yancey County and Board of Ed Take Action on Aging Schools

03/01/16 02:41 PM
Over the past two years, a joint task force from the Yancey County Board of Education and the Yancey County Commissioners has met often to discuss building/renovation options and funding possibilities. Both boards have looked at their financial situations, and at the recommendation of the task force, have determined that they have the financial ability to make an $11.5 million investment in capital improvements for school facilities. At a special joint meeting on February 29th, facility needs were discussed regarding the aging elementary schools. Both boards unanimously voted that it was time to take action. Yancey County Schools will contract for a needs assessment study to determine the highest level of capital improvements needed in the elementary schools within available funding and return this study to a joint meeting of the commissioners and school board as soon as possible.

Mission Health Limits Visitations for Patient Safety

03/01/16 07:44 AM
Due to an increase in influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina, Mission Health asks that family and friends limit their visits to patients in the hospital. In particular, Mission Health suggests that children under age 12 and people who do not feel well should call patients rather than visit them at the hospital. (more)

Earthquake near Burnsville

03/01/16 07:12 AM
According to the USGS, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake occurred Monday night, about 4 miles NNW of Burnsville at about 9:38 p.m. That location is between Burnsville and Cane River.  There have been no reports of damage from the earthquake. (USGS Web)

Woman Missing from McDowell County

02/29/16 03:08 PM
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help finding a Melanie Nichole Ramsey Burleson, age 37, whose permanent address is unknown, who was reported missing by her mother at 8:37 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. She was last seen at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22. She is described as a white female who stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. She has black, purple and blonde hair. Burleson is driving a 2012 red Kia Soul with North Carolina license plate DBJ-4167. Anyone with information concerning Burleson’s whereabouts is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235.

Mitchell County Man Sentenced For Rape

02/29/16 03:02 PM
A Mitchell County jury found Jeffery Lynn Dye Jr. guilty of statutory rape on February 25th. According to a release from District Attorney Seth Banks, at the time of the offense, the defendant was 23 years old. The victim was 14 and had just completed the seventh grade. Dye was sentenced to prison for a minimum of 21 years and 2 months and a maximum of 30 years and 5 months. Additionally, upon release from prison, Dye must register as a sex offender for a period of 30 years. Judge William H. Coward also ordered that Dye have the highest level of supervision upon release, which requires him to wear a bracelet around his ankle that monitors his movements. District Attorney Seth Banks said, “It is important that we as a community speak with one voice in condemning those who would prey on the most vulnerable among us.  My office will not rest until predators like Jeffery Lynn Dye Jr. are brought to justice. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher for his hard work on this case. I would also like to thank the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office as well as the State Bureau of Investigations for their work in bringing justice to those who sexually abuse children.”

New Jobs Coming to Micaville

02/29/16 11:40 AM
At a News Conference Monday morning, Wanda Proffitt, Chairman of the Yancey County EDC announced new jobs coming to the old Taylor Toggs Building in Micaville. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 2/21 - 2/28/2016 (Details)

02/29/16 08:58 AM

MCC At Top of College Rankings

02/29/16 08:50 AM
Mayland Community College’s transfer students' success continues to place the college at the top of the two-year colleges list for North Carolina for 2016. Student success at four-year programs and student opportunities to learn a trade, earn continuing education credits, earn a two year degree, and offers distance education courses helped rank MCC the top community college in NC according (more)