Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 11/27/16 - 12/4/16 (Details)

12/05/16 09:16 AM

McCurry Sentenced as Habitual Felon

12/02/16 02:27 PM
On December 1st, 2016, Linda Gail McCurry was convicted of selling a schedule II controlled substance, selling a schedule III controlled substance, delivering a schedule II controlled substance, delivering a schedule III controlled substance, possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule III controlled (more)

Unemployment Rates Remain Steady

12/02/16 12:28 PM
Unemployment rates  increased in 44 of North Carolina’s counties in October, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.  The October  not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.9 percent. In our area rates remained steady with only slight changes. Avery rate for October  was 4.5, Madison 4.4, McDowell 4.5, Mitchell 5.6 and Yancey 4.7 percent. All rates not seasonally adjusted.

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/23 - 12/1/16 (Details)

12/02/16 11:56 AM

Commissioners To Be Sworn In Monday

12/02/16 09:46 AM
Yancey County Commissioners will be convening on Monday, December 5 at 11:00am and re-elected Commissioner Jeff Whitson and newly elected Commissioners Mark Ledford  and John Stallings will be sworn in. The meeting will take place at the Yancey County Courthouse.  Mitchell County Commissioners will meet before their regular 6 pm meeting to swear in new commissioner, Keith Holtzclaw. 

Former McDowell Woman Still Missing in Fires

12/01/16 03:03 PM
Constance Allen Reed, who is missing since fast moving fires ripped through her neighborhood near Gatlinburg Monday night, is formerly of McDowell County. She is a 2000 graduate of McDowell High School.  As of Thursday afternoon, Constance Reed and her two daughters are still missing and her husband, Michael Reid continues the search for his wife and two daughters, 9-year-old Lily and 12-year-old Chloe. Reed and his son - 15-year-old Nicholas - drove away from their home to see if the fire was approaching. By the time they tried to turn around, it was too late - the pair was stuck in traffic and later blocked by authorities. Reed  last spoken to his wife at 8:15 p.m. Monday and she told him she could see flames across the street from the family's home and she didn't know what to do. Reed told her to call 911 and get out. When Reed finally made it back to his street it was completely on fire and his home was engulfed in flames. Reed said there were signs that the family escaped but so far has been unable to locate them. 

Help People in East Tennessee

12/01/16 02:42 PM
Many people in our area spend  a lot of vacation time in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. If you are looking for a way to help those people after the devastating fires, one of the best options for donating money is to give to the American Red Cross of East Tennessee.  You can make a $10 donation to them by texting "REDCROSS' to 90999. Or follow this link. Also The Gatlinburg Relief Fund has been established at SmartBank. Donations can be mailed to: Gatlinburg Relief Fund, SmartBank, P.O. Box 1910,Pigeon Forge, TN 37868.

Farm-City Week Awards - 2016 (more)

12/01/16 01:39 PM
The Farm-City Week award breakfast was held at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Thursday, December 1st. Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented in eleven categories. 

Former MHU President Max Lennon Dies at Age 76

11/30/16 04:04 PM
A. Max Lennon, former president of Mars Hill College (now Mars Hill University), died Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Funeral arrangements are not yet complete. Lennon was a 1960 graduate of Mars Hill College, receiving his associate's degree in agriculture. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and operated a farm for several years (more)

Smoky Mountain Wildfires

11/30/16 07:11 AM
All around Western North Carolina people are in shock with the news of the devastating wildfires in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. (more)

Young Named New Mitchell County Manager

11/29/16 04:19 PM
After several months  of taking applications and interviewing several well qualified applicants, Kathy Young was chosen to take over as Mitchell County Manager on December 1st. Young has worked for Mitchell County for 36 years and previously served as interim County Manager. She plans on continuing an open-door policy for county employees and all Mitchell County citizens. Young has been serving as County Clerk and will continue to do so until a new clerk is appointed. Young is also a member of the Mitchell County Board of Education.  

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 11/20 - 11/27/16 (Details)

11/28/16 09:00 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 1116 - 11/23/16 (Details)

11/25/16 12:22 PM

Yancey Sheriff Office Awarded Two Grants

11/25/16 08:52 AM
The North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission has awarded two grants to the Yancey County Sheriff Office. The $18,000.00 Technology Grant is funded by the Federal 2016 Byrne Justice Assistance grant to North Carolina. The current Server supporting the Yancey County Sheriff Office and Detention Center has been in used since new portion of the Detention Center opened eight years ago. The current Server is taxed to capacity and well past the average time required for replacement. This Grant will provide much needed advanced support software and a CAD system that will provide more capacity for the offices. The $20,000.00 Internet Crimes Against Children Grant is a State appropriated grant funded from the State 2015 HERO/Internet Crimes Against Children Program. This grant will be used to fund the hours required to train a second part-time Internet Crimes Against Children Investigator as well as fund travel and attendance at specialized training events. In addition there are funds to purchase updated equipment as needed to conduct ICAC investigations. This could include, but not be limited to laptop computer, hard disk drives, thumb drives, CD’s/DVD’s, and other computer hardware or accessories. These products could be used to set up a second work station for the new ICAC investigator as well as used to process and store evidence generated in these cases to avoid possible “cross contamination” of cases.

Wildfire Information Center

11/24/16 07:07 AM
The U.S. Forest Service has set up an information center in Asheville to help people in the area deal with the many wildfires across the mountains. On Wednesday they were helping people with travel related questions, like road closures and air quality. (more)

Heavy Smoke from Fires

11/23/16 07:25 AM
Mitchell, Yancey and several surrounding counties got a taste of the smoke Tuesday afternoon from the large Clear Creek fire burning in McDowell County.  Smoky conditions continue today with a code red air quality alert in effect. The wildfire has burned around 1,200 acres so far. About 100 people who live in and around the Clear Creek area went to Greenlee Baptist last night for an update on the fire. An incident management team from Montana is helping with the fight, having just worked fires in Tennessee.  Firefighters believe they are making progress on the blaze. No Structures have been lost at this time in the Clear Creek fire. There was a structure fire in the South Toe Area yesterday at Winterstar Loop off Hwy 80 South.

Smoke Is in the Air

11/22/16 04:52 PM
There is lots of smoke in the area coming from a variety of sources. Heavy smoke in the air in the South Toe  area of Yancey County  is apparently coming from a structure fire on Winterstar Loop off Hwy 80 South.  There is also smoke in the area coming from over 1100 acres burning at Clear Creek in McDowell County and toward Lake Tahoma.  Anyone traveling NC 80 in McDowell County is urged to use caution due to flames near the road.  There are also over 400 acres on fire in Blowing Rock. As far as the heavy smoke in the Spruce Pine area it is probably coming from the McDowell County fire.  

Small Business Saturday This Weekend

11/22/16 11:14 AM
Small Business Saturday is this Saturday, November 26th.  It is the nationally recognized day to support local independent merchants. For every dollar spent locally, 45 cents stays in the local community. For every dollar spent at a chain store, only 15 cents remains in the area. It is also  a great way to escape the traffic and crowds of the major chain stores.  Support  the local small businesses that provide economic vitality and jobs and taxes to our communities. Remember to shop all the small towns in our area this Saturday. Spruce Pine is having special events all day Saturday with merchants   offering special sales and merchandise plus  a treasure hunt , activities and prizes throughout the day, a free performance by the Appalachian Dance Theater “Rockettes” in Central Park, Christmas Tree lighting with cocoa and marshmallows, and the annual Kiwanis Christmas parade on Oak Avenue at 6 pm. There will also be extra stores with Christmas items that will be inside the Spruce Pine visitors' center. 

Low Income Energy Assistance

11/21/16 02:58 PM
The Yancey County Department of Social Services will be taking applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program beginning on December 1.  This will be only for household that contain someone who is age sixty years and older or receive assistance through DAAS.  Applications will be taken from 8:30 am until noon at Bolens Creek Baptist Church on Bolens Creek Road off of Pensacola Road.  Then back at the office at 2 pm to take applications.   Bring the social security numbers for everyone in the household, verification of November income for all household members and bank statements for all household member for November if available.If there is money left in January, they will take applications for all households on January 3, 2017 from 8:30 until noon at the First Baptist Church on town square.  Then back at the office at 2 pm to take applications.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 11/7/16 - 11/13/16 (Details)

11/21/16 12:39 PM

Yancey School Board Chooses Architectural Firm

11/18/16 12:09 PM
The Yancey County Board of Education held a special meeting on November 14th to review and discuss qualifications' packets received from architects from across the state interested in designing the new West Elementary School. Of the four architect packets of qualifications received, the school board unanimously selected Architectural Design Studios, LLC, as the architect for the new school. “We are very excited to work with Amy Dowty and Mike Cox of ADS,” stated Superintendent Tony Tipton.  “This firm is very familiar with our system, our needs, and the pride and heritage of our county.  They know what is important to us as a school system – but also as a mountain community.” Superintendent Tipton and the School Board look forward to beginning the design process with ADS.

Parkway Playhouse Receives Challenge Grant

11/17/16 02:19 PM
Parkway Playhouse is excited to announce that it has been offered a Challenge Grant by an anonymous donor. With this grant Parkway Playhouse will receive $30,000 if it raises $15,000 for the Operating Fund between October 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. The grant will match $2 for each $1 donated by new donors (those who have not previously donated to Parkway Playhouse) and lapsed (more)

Summer Food Program A Success (Details)

11/16/16 12:42 PM

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/10 - 11/16/16 (Details)

11/16/16 12:38 PM

Special Meeting of Burnsville Town Council 11/17

11/15/16 10:43 AM
The Burnsville Town Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss a business plan for the Burnsville Town Center.  Also they will discuss a contract for removal of a barn on the Fire Department property and review a proposed ordinance of provisions for sidewalk dining and sidewalk merchandise including displays and furniture. 

Six Charged in Mitchell County Murder Case

11/15/16 07:22 AM
A total of six people are now charged in connection with the murder of a man in Mitchell County. 26 year old Joshua Buchanan went missing on Sept. 22. His body was found days later in a shallow grave on private property. (more)

Forest Fires Battle Continues

11/15/16 07:21 AM
Firefighters from 21 different states are continuing their battle with numerous fires around Western North Carolina.  (more)

Burning Ban in Effect for Yancey County

11/14/16 12:06 PM
A burning ban has been issued by Yancey County Fire Marshal Neil McCurry.  Yancey County prohibits all outdoor open burning across Yancey County, including within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling. The ban applies to all open burning regardless of whether a permit was issued. The open burning ban is  to help prevent the potential for increased wildfires due to extremely dry conditions (more)

Western State Parks Closed To Assist Firefighting Effort

11/14/16 10:03 AM
Several state parks in western North Carolina have been closed to allow additional staff and resources to be deployed to fight wildfires in South Mountains State Park and in and around Chimney Rock State Park, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation announced today. In addition to those parks, where fires have burned approximately 1,000 acres in both locations, the division has closed New River, Gorges, Elk Knob, Lake James and Mount Mitchell state parks and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. People planning to visit other state parks in the western part of the state are advised to check the division's web site at before making the trip. The parks will reopen when the fires are contained or extinguished and staff are able to return to their assigned parks. A handful of staff will remain on duty in the closed parks for security purposes.
 "It is never an easy decision to close parks, but our utmost priority is the protection of life and property in the parks and the surrounding communities," Mike Murphy, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, said. "The dedicated park rangers, maintenance staff and other staff from our agency are working diligently and cooperatively with partner agencies and the local communities as part of this effort." The division has also expanded its burning ban on all fire, including charcoal, to all parks west of Interstate 95.

Fire Fighting Progress

11/14/16 07:12 AM
According to the National Forest Service higher humidity helped teams suppress fires on Sunday. (more)

State of Emergency in 25 Counties

11/11/16 07:36 AM
A state of emergency is in effect for 25 western North Carolina counties where active wildfires are burning, and a burn ban is in place in all piedmont counties because of the persistent drought and gusty winds. Yancey, Mitchell and Madison Counties are all included in the state of emergency. Evacuations have been ordered in Clay, Graham, Macon, Rutherford and Swain counties. (more)

Spruce Pine Icon Passes Away

11/10/16 02:05 PM
Spruce Pine icon, O.D. Calhoun passed away Wednesday, November 9th.  O’Barron Delaney Calhoun was 106 years, 10 months  and 4 days on the day of his passing.  Mr. Calhoun was a charter member and past president of the Spruce Pine Lion’s Club, a former member of the American Heart Association’s state board of directors, and a founder of Mitchell (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/3 - 11/10/16 (Details)

11/10/16 01:04 PM

Yancey County November School Board Meeting (Details)

11/09/16 02:58 PM

The United Way in Mitchell County Has New Life

11/09/16 01:31 PM
All has not been lost when it comes to the United Ways positive impact on Mitchell County. Following the dissolution of the Mitchell United Way in March 2016, which was voted into effect due to lack of funding, United Way Worldwide made the decision to assign the High Country United Way, based in Boone, to Mitchell County. Prior to disbanding, Mitchell’s Untied Way raised $32,411 in 2015, $44,332 in 2014, and $52,264 in 2013. Those numbers represent a 38 percent decrease in contributions within three years. High Country United Way, which serves Avery and Watauga Counties, is currently in the process of expanding into Mitchell County. The High Country United Way raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year according to available tax documents. $446,000 was raised in 2014 alone with $335,000 of that being given away in grants. High Country United Way has two full time employees and a 20 member strong board. Tom Hughes who works as the director of the Watauga County Department of Social Services is the current chairman of the High Country United Way Board of Directors. The High Country United Way Boone Office can be Reached at (828) 265-2111.

Campfire Ban at NC State Parks

11/09/16 10:41 AM
Due to an extremely high risk of wildfire, 14 state parks in western North Carolina have placed temporary bans on campfires, according to North Carolina State Parks. Restrictions on campfires and cooking fires could be expanded to other parks on short notice, depending on local conditions. Wildfires of less than 100 acres have erupted at Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County and South (more)

November 8th Election Results

11/09/16 05:25 AM
In Yancey County election returns two new commissioners were elected.  Mark Ledford received 4,480 votes and John Stallings had 4,212 votes. Incumbent commissioner Jeff Whitson was the top vote getter with 5,262 votes.  Those three along with Johnny Riddle and Jill Austin will make up the commissioner board. In the Yancey County Register of Deeds Race the Incumbent Susan Jobe was the winner with 4,608 votes. Rachel Austin had 4,017 and Veronica Murphy Gilley had 1,279. In Mitchell County the Unexpired term for County Commissioners was won by Keith Holtsclaw with 5,688 votes over Bruce Koran with 1,643.  
Two seats were up for grabs in the Mitchell County Board of Education race. Sam Blevins had the most votes with 2,993 and Sherry Bell was also elected with 2,425 votes. In other races involving Mitchell and Yancey county voters.. In the US House of Representatives District 11 race Incumbent Mark Meadows was the winner.In the NC House District 118 race Incumbent Michele Presnell was the winner. District 47 in the NC Senate Race was won by Incumbent Ralph Hise.

Burning Ban Issued

11/08/16 06:00 AM
Because of increased fire risk, the N.C. Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits for 25 Western North Carolina Counties, including Yancey, Mitchell and Madison. The burning ban went into effect at 5 p.m., Monday, and will be in effect until further notice. (more)

Election Day is Finally Here

11/08/16 12:01 AM
The long awaited and talked about Election Day is finally here.  Voting polls are open from 6:30am until 7:30pm.  Most of the poll locations are at the schools in Mitchell and Yancey Counties.  There are some exceptions. You can check our website and select the "Election 2016" button for a list of Yancey and Mitchell County voting locations. (more)

Bakersville Comm Health and Celo Health Join Forces

11/07/16 02:48 PM
Bakersville Community Health Center and Celo Health Center are working together to improve access to health care in Yancey county.  The plan, recently approved by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), permits Celo Health Center to provide their services under the umbrella of the Bakersville Community Health Center. Celo Health Center will retain its name and location. (more)

Urgent Care Is Moving (Details)

11/07/16 02:31 PM

Drug Charges Filed Against Two in Avery County

11/07/16 02:24 PM
On the evening of Oct. 29, a traffic checkpoint on U.S. 221 near Land Harbor brought in a large find for deputies at the Avery County Sheriff’s Office as deputies and K-9 units discovered large quantities of cash and drugs in one of the vehicles at the stop. After a K-9 unit alerted, deputies proceeded to search the vehicle where they discovered approximately 30 grams of cocaine along with over $10,000 in cash, leading to charges against two individuals. William Lontz Wilkinson, age 69, of Seven Devils, has been charged with trafficking in cocaine, felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling place for a controlled substance, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, simple possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and possession of marijuana up to 0.5 oz. Tamara Jean Parnell, age 46, of Boone, has been charged with driving while impaired, felony possession of cocaine, misdemeanor possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance and criminal contempt.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 10/30 - 11/06/16 (Details)

11/07/16 09:06 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/27 - 11/3/16 (Details)

11/04/16 09:06 AM

Early Voting Ends

11/04/16 06:01 AM
Early voting for the November 8th election ends tomorrow. One-stop voting begins on the second Thursday prior to Election Day and ends on the last Saturday before the election at 1:00 p.m. One Stop Voting in Mitchell County is at two locations, the Board of Elections office on N. Mitchell Avenue in Bakersville and at Town Hall located on Highland Avenue in Spruce Pine. All Yancey County One Stop Voting is being held at the Board of Elections office on the Burnsville by pass. The One Stop Voting is available in Yancey County through 7pm tonight and from 9am to 1pm tomorrow. In Mitchell County, voting is available from 8am to 5pm today and from 8am to 1pm tomorrow.

Additional Notice on Wastewater Discharge (Details)

11/03/16 09:42 AM

NC Forest Service - Fire Risk Press Release

11/03/16 05:22 AM
The N.C. Forest Service is joining forces with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to warn people in Western North Carolina that the lack of rainfall in the area has increased the probability of wildfires. (more)

School Bus Rules o New Highway (Details)

11/02/16 09:48 AM

Notification of Waste Spill in Yancey County

11/02/16 09:02 AM
House Bill 1160, which the General Assembly enacted in July 1999, requires that municipalities, animal operations, industries and others who operate waste handling systems issue news releases when a waste spill of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters.  In accordance with that regulation, the following news release has been prepared and issued to media in the affected county. The Town of Burnsville had a wastewater spill 11-01-16 of an estimated 20,000 gallons at headwaters of Little Crabtree Creek. The untreated wastewater spilled into Little Crabtree Creek in the French Broad River Basin. The Division of Water Quality was notified of the event on 11-01-16 and is reviewing the matter. For information contact the Town of Burnsville at 828-682-2420.

Fires in the Area

11/01/16 07:25 AM
Just as expected, brush fires have been springing up all around Western North Carolina because of the drought conditions. Cattail Creek in the southern section of Yancey County was the location of a brush fire that started Sunday afternoon, October 30th. Multiple fire engines responded and fought it until about 1 a.m. Around 11 a.m. Monday morning it reignited and Pensacola fire trucks responded. A water carrying helicopter continued to drop water throughout Monday afternoon, helping to contain the fire.  The US Forest Service and Pensacola Volunteer Fire Department cleared debris and leaves away from area structures and set up controlled burns to contain the fire. On Saturday night over 25 acres burned  off of Hwy 80 in McDowell  County near Old Fort. A fire was also reported in Mitchell County. A fire northwest of Sylva has burned over 350 acres.

Hollifield Sentenced as Habitual Felon

10/31/16 03:44 PM
On October 25th, Robin Hollifield was convicted of felony larceny.  His sentence was enhanced because the District Attorney’s Office identified him as being a habitual felon. 
Hollifield stole several thousand dollars’ worth of chainsaws and climbing equipment from a vehicle parked in the Walmart parking lot in Spruce Pine.  Superior Court Judge J. Thomas Davis (more)

Fire on the Mountain (more photos)

10/31/16 02:29 PM
This fire started on Cattail Creek Sunday afternoon. Multiple fire engines responded and fought it until about 1 a.m. Around 11 a.m. Monday morning it reignited and Pensacola fire trucks responded. A water carrying helicopter did at least six trips over the area, dropping water , helping to contain it. Photos by John Elsegood.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 10/23 - 10/31/16

10/31/16 10:38 AM

Four Lanes from Cane River to Micaville

10/31/16 06:44 AM
Today is Halloween, Trick or Treat Day and travelers through Burnsville received a special treat this past weekend as all 4 lanes of Highway 19E were opened Saturday night, from Cane River to Micaville.  Rick Tipton with the North Carolina Department of Transportation said there was no official ribbon cutting and all the lanes are open except for occasional closures of some areas when small projects are being completed. Yancey County residents will still be dealing with a construction zone in the eastern portion of the county as the Micaville to Spruce Pine construction continues.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/20 - 10/27/16 (Details)

10/28/16 02:54 PM

Help for Yancey County Farmers

10/26/16 02:25 PM
Yancey, Madison and McDowell Counties got good news  for their farmers that have been affected by the drought conditions.  These area counties are among the ones that the IRS is giving special tax relief.  For farmers who have been forced to sell livestock because of the drought the IRS has extended the time for replacing the livestock.  If eligible you may be able to defer any tax on gains you received from the forced sales.  Yancey farmers also will receive help from a planned Farm Aid concert. Local musicians are coming together with Artimus Pyle, the legendary Lynyrd  Skynyrd drummer, on November 11th to hold a concert with proceeds going to help Yancey County farmers buy hay. 

Town of Burnsville Water Boil Advisory (Details)

10/24/16 04:36 PM

Four Lane Project in Burnsville Nears Completion

10/24/16 03:39 PM
Rumors have swirled throughout Yancey County as to when the new four lane project through Burnsville will be complete, the cones removed and traffic able to use all four lanes. According to Rick Tipton of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, that should happen next week. There will not be an official ribbon cutting. According to Tipton the permanent signs are being put in place this week. After that the cones will be removed and all the lanes will be open except for occasional closures of some areas when a few sidewalks and other small projects are being completed. Yancey County residents will still be dealing with a construction zone in the eastern portion of the county as the Micaville to Spruce Pine construction continues.  

Mitchell Chamber Candidates Forum

10/24/16 01:30 PM
Every election cycle the Mitchell County Chamber hosts a Candidates Forum to give citizens an opportunity to meet the candidates and hear their platforms and views. On Thursday October 27th at 6 PM at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville the Chamber will host a forum presenting candidates from the NC Senate District 24, NC House District 85, Mitchell County Commissioners and Mitchell County Board of Education. The public is invited to submit questions for the candidates. Not all questions can be used due to time constraints.  Questions can be submitted by clicking here.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 10/16-16 - 10/23/16 (Details)

10/24/16 09:42 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/12 - 10/20/16 (Details)

10/20/16 12:30 PM

Red Ribbon Week to Feature National Speaker

10/20/16 10:33 AM
Since its inception in 1988, millions of people around the world have participated in the National Red Ribbon Campaign – and local youth are no exception. The highlight of this year’s Red Ribbon Week festivities will be a series of fun, youth-oriented presentations at local middle schools.  Ty Sells, a nationally acclaimed speaker from Youth to Youth International with more than (more)

March to the Polls to Kick off Event

10/20/16 09:59 AM
The Yancey / Mitchell Branch of the NC NAACP will lead a March to the Polls to kick-off the first week of Early Voting. The March to the Polls will be part of the statewide "It’s Our Time, It’s Our Vote" campaign to register, educate, mobilize and protect the vote in North Carolina. The March is one of more than 50 marches across the state during the first week of Early Voting. The March is being held Friday at 4pm in the parking lot of Roses in Burnsville. 

Early Voting Begins

10/19/16 06:04 AM
Early voting for the November 8th election begins tomorrow and runs for 17 days. One-stop Absentee Voting or "Early Voting" as it is commonly known allows any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in person on select days prior to Election Day.(more)

Knife Assault at Dollar General in Marion

10/18/16 02:10 PM
 Authorities have arrested Jonathan Derick Mace, age 23 , of Old Morganton Road, Marion and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and resist, obstruct or delay after officers with the Marion Police Department responded to Dollar General on 746 East Court Street in Marion in reference to an assault inside the store last Sunday morning, October 16th.  According to police, Harris was attempting to pay for his items at the register when Mace approached him from behind and apparently knifed him in the back. Harris said to his knowledge he had never met Mace prior to the incident. Another person told police that the suspect thought Harris had assaulted a relative of his. There was no report of an assault by Harris.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 10/9/16 - 10/16-16 (Details)

10/17/16 09:56 AM

Yancey BOE Rules on 6th Grade Sports

10/14/16 03:01 PM
The Yancey County Board of Education has decided to let sixth graders play some middle school sports. This past summer, the state board of education ruled that each local school system can choose to allow sixth graders to participate in all middle school interscholastic sports, excluding football.  Mountain Heritage High School  Athletic Director Joey Robinson led a committee this past month in researching the pros and cons of this topic.  On behalf of this committee, Robinson recommended – and the Board approved - the integration of six graders into the middle school interscholastic sports beginning with the winter (basketball) season.   

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/6 -10/12/16 (Details)

10/14/16 02:25 PM

Tipton Named Principal of the Year

10/14/16 02:11 PM
At its regular monthly meeting the Yancey County Board of Education announced that Dr. Barbara Tipton, Principal at Burnsville Elementary School, has been named the Yancey County Schools 2016-17 Principal of the Year.  Dr. Barbara Tipton is in her fourth year at (more)

Part of Town Center Leased To Brewery

10/12/16 03:50 PM
In a 3 to 2 vote the Burnsville Town Council has decided to allow the Town Center to lease out a portion of the building to be used as a brewery.  The business will lease Section C  for at least three years and house both a brewery and a tasting room.   Shannon Peterson  and Ruth Banks voted against the decision with Mayor Colletta, Ron Powell and Judy Buchanan voting for it. Peterson indicated that he is all for local businesses but that most people feel that the town center should be used for short term rental and that there are other buildings available in the town for lease. Yancey EDC Director Wanda Proffitt believes it is an opportunity for Yancey County to manufacture a product to export, which will help the local economy. 

Mitchell Chooses New EDC Director

10/11/16 02:56 PM
The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission announced today that a selection had been made to fill the vacant EDC Director position. The EDC board announced that Mrs. Laura Verla has accepted their offerto fill the position.  Mrs. Verla received her Master of Business Administration from Appalachian State University and has worked as Federal Tax Associate and Certified Public Accountant during her career. Mrs. Verla will begin work at the EDC office within the next two weeks.

Yancey Sheriffs Office Collecting for Hurricane Victims

10/10/16 05:04 PM
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations to be delivered to the areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Mathew. Donations may be dropped off at the Yancey County Sheriff’s office between the hours of 9am and 5pm. The following Items are needed: (more)

Suspects Arrested in Buchanan Disappearance

10/10/16 03:06 PM
Both suspects in a Mitchell County missing persons case have been apprehended in two separate locations in  Georgia.  According to Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street,  Felicia Fox and Travis Bowman are in custody in Georgia. Both are charged with the first-degree kidnapping of 26-year-old Joshua Buchanan.   Sheriff Street says both could face additional charges related (more)

Body Found in Mitchell County

10/10/16 10:48 AM
Mitchell County authorities believe they have located the body of a Bakersville man who was last seen at his home in Bakersville on September 22nd. The SBI was called to the scene at a location off White Oak Road. A shallow grave was found containing what they believe to be the deceased body of missing 26 year old Joshua Emmanuel Buchanan. Arrest warrants for Felony Second Degree Kidnapping have been secured for two suspects, Felicia Fox and Travis Bowman, who are believed to be connected with his disappearance. Detectives believe the suspects have fled the state and may be in Georgia. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 9/18 - 10/9/16 (Details)

10/10/16 10:41 AM

Mitchell County Helps Those Seeking Refuge from Hurricane Matthew

10/06/16 04:07 PM
Local hotels and individuals are opening up their homes and rooms for those fleeing Hurricane Matthew. Some Mitchell County locals have offered up their homes, rooms and cabins at no charge for those seeking refuge. A list of local hotels that will have rooms available will also be available and updated. If you know of someone fleeing the storm who needs accommodations, please contact our Mitchell County Visitor Center at 828-765-9483. If you have a room or cottage that you would like to make available, please call our Visitor Center to be added to the list. The Mitchell County Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9 am-5 pm.

Crisis Intervention Program Available

10/06/16 03:59 PM
The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) serves individuals and families who are experiencing a heating or cooling related crisis. A household is in a crisis if it is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and sufficient, timely, and appropriate assistance is not available from any other source. (more)

Crisis Intervention Program Available

10/06/16 03:59 PM
The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) serves individuals and families who are experiencing a heating or cooling related crisis. A household is in a crisis if it is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and sufficient, timely, and appropriate assistance is not available from any other source. (more)

Mitchell County Schools Lockdown

10/06/16 03:47 PM
Mitchell County Schools have had several days of a "soft lockdown" since an incident early this week. On Tuesday October 4th around 2:10 pm a person driving a white 2005 Odyssey van with Tennessee tags pulled into the Valero at Grassy Creek and asked a lady in the parking lot if there was a school on that road. The lady pointed out Greenlee Elementary. The person then asked if they had a playground. The lady got concerned and did not answer  and got in her vehicle and called 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 office alerted Greenlee and law enforcement responded along with school personnel.  According to Mitchell County Schools Safety Director Kim Hodshon a soft lockdown was put into place. A soft lockdown is for when there is a threat outside of the school, not inside the school. All doors are locked and only school personnel and law enforcement are allowed in.  On Wednesday all Mitchell County Schools were placed on soft lockdown for student safety.  Thursday  all schools, except the high school were on soft lockdown.  The lockdown has now been lifted.

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/29/16 - 10/6/16 (Details)

10/06/16 03:45 PM

Bakersville Community Health Awarded $44,865

10/03/16 03:30 PM
$44,865 has been awarded to the Bakersville Community Health Center by  The Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA.) This funding will support the health center to make strategic investments in health information technology enhancements.  In the fall of 2015 Bakersville Community Health Center implemented an (more)

McAlister Sentenced as Habitual Felon

09/30/16 12:17 PM
 On September 27th,  Rachel McAlister was convicted by a Yancey County jury of possession of a firearm by a felon.  The District Attorney’s Office also identified McAlister as a habitual felon, thereby enhancing her prison sentence. The case originated on May 2nd, 2016, when Ms. McAlister took a 9mm handgun from Price’s Creek General Store.  After an investigation by Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were able to identify Ms. McAlister as one of the individuals portrayed on the store’s surveillance system.  Deputies later recovered the handgun at Ms. McAlister’s residence.  McAlister had previously been convicted of numerous felonies in both Yancey and Mitchell Counties.Superior Court Judge Gary M. Gavenus sentenced McAlister to a minimum of 6 years and 11 months, and a maximum of 9 years and 4 months in prison.“This case should send a message to the repeat offenders who continually terrorize hardworking people and businesses,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement.  “We as a community will not tolerate this behavior.  I would like to thank the Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, and the folks at Price’s Creek General Store for their help in bringing Ms. McAlister to justice.”

Bald Creek Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

09/29/16 11:53 AM
Eight North Carolina public schools have been named 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.    Bald Creek Elementary School is among the 279 public and 50 private schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
 North Carolina public schools (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/22 - 9/29/16 (Details)

09/29/16 11:49 AM

Notification of Untreated Wastewater Discharge (Details)

09/29/16 11:22 AM

Foothills Conservancy Purchases 208 Acres at Bear Den Overlook

09/27/16 03:01 PM
A key portion of the scenic view from the popular Bear Den Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway is now permanently protected thanks to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina.
Foothills Conservancy moved swiftly to acquire 208 forested acres along 1.6 miles of the parkway between mileposts 323 and 325 in McDowell County. The conservancy purchased the tract on (more)

D.O.T. Committee Comes to Yancey County

09/27/16 12:53 PM
The North Carolina General Assembly’s Transportation House Standing Committee wrapped up a weekend Western North Carolina retreat with their September committee meeting at the High Pastures Christian Retreat and Conference Center in Burnsville yesterday (September 26, 2016).  The majority of the committee members and their staff spent the weekend touring NCDOT Division 13 that includes (more)

Brown Sentenced as Habitual Felon

09/27/16 12:47 PM
 On September 20th,   Eddricco Brown was convicted of felony drug trafficking, 2 felony counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, and one count of felony obtaining property by false pretense.  Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office identified Brown as a habitual felon, which enhanced his punishment.  On December 19, 2014, Mr. Brown, a (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/11 - 9/18/16 (Details)

09/26/16 09:22 AM

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

09/23/16 09:13 AM

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)

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)