Charges Mount for Four Accused Counterfeiters

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

Spruce Pine Man Dies from Fall

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

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

08/22/16 09:56 AM

Final Floodplain Notice for Micaville Water Line Project

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

Bakersville Community Health Receives Award

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

Gall Resigns from Parkway Playhouse

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

SC Man Arrested After Traffic Stop

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

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

08/18/16 10:13 AM

Mars Hill University to Dedicate New Buildings

08/18/16 09:28 AM
For over a year now, the sights and sounds of construction at Mars Hill University have created a sense of building excitement, as two new buildings have taken shape that will forever change the face of the campus, and broaden the offerings available to its students. On Friday, September 9, the university will dedicate Troy and Pauline Day Hall and Ferguson Health Sciences Center, home of (more)

Wednesday Storms

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

Sheriff Offers Safety Tips for Back to School

08/15/16 02:58 PM
Sheriff Gary Banks of Yancey County offers some safety tips for those youngsters who will be walking back and forth to school this year. “Parents can teach their children the following safety tips which will inform the youngsters of the danger signs to watch for and avoid when walking between school and home,” Sheriff Banks said. “Drivers should be cautious of (more)

Spruce Pine Man Charged with Indecent Liberties

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

Yancey School Lunch Price Increases Slightly

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

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

08/15/16 09:18 AM

Drug Investigation Spans Two Counties

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

Take Precautions, La Crosse Virus in Yancey County

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

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

08/11/16 12:52 PM

School Vandal Caught

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

Unemployment Rates Up Slightly

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

Centennial Celebration at Mt Mitchell August 27, 28

08/09/16 12:59 PM
North Carolina State Parks is hosting a signature Centennial Celebration Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28 at Mount Mitchell State Park. Saturday a day-long celebration of music, mountain crafts, storytelling, history and fellowship will be staged at the summit of Mount Mitchell, where the state parks system began 100 years ago. Sunday will feature more environmental and (more)

Town of Burnsville Public Hearing

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

Yancey Commissioners Meeting

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

Notification of Waste Spill in Yancey County

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

NC Education Ranking Jumps to 19th Best

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

Tanker Truck Overturned

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

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

08/08/16 09:44 AM

Substance Abuse Task Force Provides Containers

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

McDowell Couple Charged After Child Positive for Meth

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

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

08/04/16 04:18 PM

Multiple Signs Stolen in McDowell County

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

Group Calls For Support of Law Enforcement

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

Special Meeting on Tax Matters

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

Court Upholds Murder Conviction

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

Two Big Jobs Open in Mitchell County

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

Fresh Produce from State Employees Credit Union Grant

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

Raising Awareness of the Dangers of Elk River Falls

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

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

07/28/16 01:13 PM

NCDOT Notice on Hwy 19 Project

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

Delaney Arrested on Assault Charge

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

McDowell County Manhunt

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

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

07/25/16 10:32 AM

Boyd To Serve as Chair for CCA

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

Duke Energy Awards $250,000 to Mayland Community College

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

3rd Yancey School Facilities Needs Meeting

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

Marion Couple Charged After Sons Test Positive for Meth

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

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

07/21/16 09:26 AM

Willis Sworn In as Mitchell Commissioner

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

Mountain Air Residents Fund Awards $15,000 in Grants

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

FFA Programs Receive Budget Boost

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

Meals on Wheels Program Needs Help To Expand

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

Curb Water Use, Boil Water

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

Fire on Lick Skillet

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

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

07/18/16 09:47 AM

Lightning Death on Mt Mitchell

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

Mars Hill Woman Arrested for Drugs

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

MCC Honors Mitchell Citizens

07/15/16 10:10 AM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in July. The citizenship award is presented to a community (more)

MCC Honors Yancey Citizens

07/15/16 10:00 AM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in July. The citizenship award is presented to community (more)

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

07/15/16 09:29 AM

Driver Charged in Pickup Truck Accident

07/14/16 03:17 PM
Bryce Austin McKinney has been charged with wanton disregard and exceeding the posted speed limit. McKinney was driving when Avery County High School students Caleb Hicks and Taha Naveed were thrown from the back of a pickup truck on June 22. According to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper B. Young‘s report, McKinney was making a left turn from High School Road into the parking area of Avery County High School when the two 16-year-old boys were thrown from the back of the vehicle. McKinney continued to a parking space after the two were ejected. Young estimated McKinney was going 40 miles per hour at the time.  Both Hicks and Naveed were airlifted to hospitals with serious injuries, but have since recovered. Under North Carolina state law, it is legal for passengers more than 16 years of age to ride in a truck bed. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reminds drivers that “the beds of pickup trucks are designed to carry cargo, not people, and are not designed to provide protection in a crash." McKinney’s court date is scheduled for Aug. 2.

Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force Meeting

07/14/16 09:52 AM
Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force Meeting was held Wednesday July 12, at the Yancey County Library in Burnsville. MYSATF Coordinator, Nancy Lindeman, opened the meeting with announcements: Drug Take Back Day – will be September 24, 10am-2pm, at The Prescription Pad, Burnsville. The MYSATF has a new supply of medication lockboxes that are available to anyone in (more)

Mitchell Schools Receive Duke Energy Grant

07/14/16 09:42 AM
Mitchell County Schools Innovative Discovery STEM Education Program is the recipient of one of Duke Energy’s Education grants. The grant is designated to provide elementary school STEM labs at three elementary schools and a sound and video studio at Mitchell High School. Duke Energy awarded grants totaling $2.7 million to more than 50 education institutions and organizations throughout North Carolina. The grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, enhance programs and initiatives focused on childhood reading proficiency and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/26 - 7/10/16 (Details)

07/11/16 10:02 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/30/16 - 7/7/16 (Details)

07/11/16 09:55 AM

Forest Service Warns About Damage to White Pines

07/08/16 02:49 PM
The N.C. Forest Service is encouraging land owners in our area  to watch for signs of damage in eastern white pines following reports of declining health in some of those trees in  Madison, Mitchell , Ashe, Haywood, Transylvania and Swain counties. Signs to look for are: branch dieback, crown thinning, diseased areas of dead tissue known as cankers, excessive resin outflow, and trees that have died. The cause of all this damage is a tiny scale insect, Matsucoccus macrocicatrices. It was first discovered in North Carolina in 2013, but had not previously caused problems. The reported impact seems to affect trees on the forest edge more frequently. Reports from other states indicate understory trees and lower branches may be most at-risk.  If you have concerns about white pines in your area contact the Forest Service.

Nearly $19 Million Budget Approved by Mitchell County Commissioners

07/06/16 01:56 PM
The Mitchell County Commissioners approved a nearly $19 million dollar 2016-2017 fiscal year budget on June 27 during a special called meeting. The budget does not include any property tax increase. This leaves the county’s tax rate at 53 cents per $100 of valuation. The budget does however include $5.6 million to be given to the Department of Social Services, $2.8 million for County Schools, and $1.4 million for the sheriff’s department which does include funding for a new deputy. The 2016-2017 fiscal year budget is balanced by a $470,500 appropriation from the county’s fund balance. County employees will not receive a raise in this budget.

Spruce Pine Budget Affects Water Rates

07/06/16 01:53 PM
The Spruce Pine Town Council approved its annual budget during the regular meeting on June 27. With the $2.1 million budget the town’s property tax rate will stay at 51 cents for the third year in a row. Water and sewer rates will be increasing slightly to 25 cents for the base rate along with consumption rates increasing to 10 cents at each level. This increase covers service costs inside as well as outside town limits. The new budget also states that TRAC will receive $5,000, the same amount as the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce. This is an increase from the $2,500 TRAC received in 2015.  

New superintendent at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution

07/06/16 07:03 AM
The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has named Carlos Hernandez as the new superintendent at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution in Spruce Pine.  He assumed his new duties this week. (more)

TAPS Program Receives Grant

07/05/16 06:55 AM
Ron Powell, well-known local musician and Traditional Arts Program for Students (TAPS) instructor for the Toe River Arts Council traveled to the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, to accept a $750 check awarded to TRAC. (more)

More Yancey Drug Arrests

07/02/16 01:16 PM
(From Yancey Sheriff's Department)
Continuing with the ongoing drug enforcement effort in Yancey County, deputies completed a Drug Round-Up Operation which resulted in the arrest of thirteen subjects on Thursday, June 30th, 2016.(more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/23/16 - 6/30/16 (Details)

07/01/16 09:27 AM

School Bus Violations Continue in N.C.

06/30/16 07:02 AM
Results are in from a one day school bus stop arm count that was taken in March. The data was collected on the number of times vehicles illegally pass a stopped school bus that has a stop arm out to drop off or pick up students. (more)

Be Careful When Swimming in Lakes and Rivers

06/29/16 01:30 PM
Swimming and water sports are popular summer activities in our local rivers and area lakes. Be aware of recent reports of both a deadly bacteria in the water in Charlotte and e coli in Asheville. Last week a deadly amoeba was found in the water at The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte leading to the death of a teenager from Ohio. She apparently contracted the amoeba when her raft overturned.   Individuals become infected when they injest water while swimming in warm fresh water, such as a lake or river. The amoeba enters the nose and then goes to the brain, where it causes swelling and death.  Earlier this week at least two places in Asheville, the French Broad at the River Arts District, and Cane Creek at Fletcher Park, showed E. coli levels above what the EPA says is a safe level. After Monday's rain, there was likely runoff from nearby farms, putting more E. coli in the water.  Health officials advise that people should be aware of the risks of swimming in lakes and rivers when the water is warm and try to limit how much water goes into their noses by holding it while jumping in or using a nose plug. Also make sure small children and animals do not drink the water.   Anyone with wounds or open sores should avoid freshwater rivers or lakes until they are healed.

Beware of Scammers Targeting Utilities

06/29/16 12:40 PM
The Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department is warning area residents of a utility customer scam. According to the Sherriff’s Department this scam has happened in Mitchell County.  Scammers claim to be from your local power company. They pretend they’re calling to let your know your account is delinquent and unless you pay right away the service will be disconnected. To add credibility to this con, they often use “spoofing technology” that makes your caller ID display the name and phone number of the local utility. Duke Energy recently emailed a Fraud Alert to its customers making them aware of this scam.  The caller might insist he is with your power company. The caller ID on your phone might display the name of your utility. However you need to be aware that the power company will never call you and threaten immediate service disconnection. Multiple written notices are sent to the customer when the account is delinquent. The power company will never call and demand payment via a prepaid debit card. If you get a call and are concerned about your account, call the utility using a number from an old bill or look it up on the web. Don’t use the number that’s on your caller ID.

New Spruce Pine Town Council Member

06/29/16 12:26 PM
Jacqueline Rensink was unanimously chosen on Monday, June 27th by the Spruce Pine Town Council to fill the vacant seat on the Council. The vacant seat was created when Darla Harding was elected Mayor back in November of 2015. At the Council’s April 25th meting Mayor Harding brought the matter up about filling the vacancy. Although the Council is not required by law to fill the vacant seat before the next election, having a four member council gives the potential for an impasse. Rensink is retired after spending 30 years with Mitchell County Schools. She will be sworn in at the July meeting. 

Meeting on School Facilities Set for July 21st

06/28/16 01:46 PM
There will be an informational meeting regarding the Yancey County elementary school facilities needs on Thursday, July 21st in the auditorium of Mountain Heritage High School. This meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and time will be allowed for a question/answer session.   The two previous mid-month meetings allowed for public input, which by policy, prohibited school board members from answering questions from the public.  This informational meeting will allow for a true question and answer session.  Members of the community will be able to ask school board members or the architect firm specific questions regarding the evaluation our elementary schools and future plans.

Body Found Near Lake James

06/28/16 01:35 PM
A body was found near Lake James on Sunday, June 26th.  The body  was found near Crescent Woods Road, off N.C. Highway 126.  Deputies arrived just before 9 p.m. and confirmed the death  and  identified the victim as Demetrius Marcellus Chisholm, age 27, of Charlotte. According to the Sheriff’s Department the death is being investigated as a suspicious death. The SBI was called in to assist. Anyone with information is asked to call the   Criminal Investigation Division at 828-764-9505.  

New Facilities Options Clarification

06/28/16 09:48 AM
On Monday, June 20, the Yancey County Board of Education met in the Mountain Heritage High School Auditorium to hear the second report of the Facilities Needs Assessment. To further clarify our news story from last week the recommendation for an east school was for Micaville and South Toe to go to the “East” school, which would be located somewhere between the current Micaville and South Toe Elementary Schools. Burnsville School would remain where it is. This would leave a total of 3 elementary schools in the county. A “west” school for Bee Log, Bald Creek and Clearmont. An “east” school for Micaville and South Toe. Burnsville Elementary would remain as it is with minor repairs. This option would also more evenly distribute the total number of students per school with the “west” having approximately 289 students, the “east” having 276 and Burnsville Elementary 381. These are all still just options that were presented to the school board. No decisions have been made. A public meeting will be held in July. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/19/16 - 6/26/16

06/27/16 09:55 AM

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/19 - 6/26 (Details)

06/27/16 09:49 AM

Two Students Hurt After Falling From Truck at Avery High

06/23/16 10:06 AM
Two Avery County High School students suffered serious injuries on Wednesday, June 22 after falling from the back of a pickup truck on Avery County High School property.. Apparently the two were flung from the pickup truck, between the field house and baseball field, landing a considerable distance away from where the truck came to a stop. Both teenagers suffered head trauma and were taken to Cannon Memorial Hospital. One was then airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center. Both were conscious on arrival at Cannon Memorial Hospital.

Facilities Assessment Study Presented to Board

06/23/16 09:56 AM
On Monday, June 20,  the Yancey County Board of Education met in the Mountain Heritage High School Auditorium to hear the second report of the Facilities Needs Assessment from Architect Mike Cox and Associate Amy Dowty of Architectural Design Studios.  Their study shows more needs than there are dollars to cover with critical needs at most of the schools that must be addressed.  The (more)

Breaking and Entering Charges

06/22/16 05:28 AM
Mitchell County Sheriff Lt. Detective Cecil Hobson charged four individuals pertaining to a Breaking & Entering and Larceny from a residence in the Buladean Community. (more)

Life-saving Opioid Reversal Drug Now Available

06/21/16 01:45 PM
Addressing an issue that has become a major problem in our area and across the state, Governor Pat McCrory signed legislation Monday making naloxone, a life-saving opioid reversal drug more accessible. This means that pharmacies in North Carolina will have a standing prescription order for naloxone and will begin making it available without a prescription. North Carolina is the third state in the country to issue such an order. In North Carolina, more than 1,000 people die each year from prescription opioid and heroin overdoses. One out of four autopsies performed by state medical examiners is on those whose deaths are from drug overdose. North Carolina's Good Samaritan Law, signed by Governor McCrory in 2013, cleared the way for law enforcement to carry and use naloxone.   In 2015, North Carolina reached a major milestone when the number of opioid overdose reversals from the use of naloxone exceeded the number of overdose deaths .If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 911. For more information about available services and treatment. 

Yancey Commissioners Adopt New Budget

06/20/16 10:03 AM
At their regular business meeting on June 13th the Yancey County Commissioners adopted the budget plan for county government for the coming fiscal year. Just like North Carolina, Yancey County’s fiscal year begins July 1, 2016. This marks the third year in a row that budget adoption has occurred in early June. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/12 - 6/19/16 (Details)

06/20/16 09:51 AM

Sex Offender Arrested in Yancey County

06/20/16 09:09 AM
On Wednesday, June 8th, the Yancey County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Unit arrested Brandon Wayne Bailey on one charge of accessing Facebook, a felony in NC. Investigators had received information that Mr. Bailey's Facebook account was active and were able to establish that Mr. Bailey had accessed it along with another account under a different name. Mr. Bailey was placed under a $15,000 Secured Bond. Sheriff Gary Banks says that keeping sex offenders accountable by strictly enforcing sex offender laws is a top priority of his office and that he has instructed his sex offender unit to work diligently to insure the safety of the children of Yancey County.

Yancey County Drug Charges

06/20/16 05:18 AM
On June 1st, 2016, 54 year old Randall Dale Chandler, of Burnsville was charged on multiple drug offenses. He had also been charged with a Probation Violation, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance, and Simple Possession Schedule VI Controlled (more)

"Grease" to Replace "Westside Story" in Playhouse Lineup

06/17/16 03:46 PM
Parkway Playhouse has announced that Grease, the popular 1950’s-based musical comedy will replace West Side Story in the theatre’s 2016 Season.  West Side Story was pulled from the season April 29th when the creators of West Side Story imposed a restriction of rights on all theatre companies in the state of North Carolina as a result of the passage of the law known as ‘HB2’. Parkway Playhouse’s production of Grease will run weekends July 30 through August 13.  Grease is one of the most popular musicals in the world with many Broadway and regional productions and it inspired the enormously popular film that featured John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  Tickets for Grease are now on sale and can be purchased on line at  

Burnsville Man Killed in Wreck in Mitchell County

06/17/16 09:42 AM
A head on collision has claimed the life of a Burnsville man.  The accident occurred yesterday morning around 10am on NC 226 in Spruce Pine. According to the highway patrol, a Ford Focus was travelling north when it crossed the center line and hit a van that was heading south. The driver of the Ford Focus, John Casteel, was not wearing a seat belt and was killed in the accident. A passenger was flown to Johnson City Medical Center in serious condition, but is expected to be OK. The passengers in the van were also taken to the hospital, but are expected to be fine.

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

06/17/16 09:41 AM

SHIIP is Not Just for Seniors

06/16/16 09:24 AM
The services of SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, are not only for people aged 65 and older. SHIIP also provides free counseling about Medicare to people on Medicare due to a disability. Before you can receive Medicare due to a disability, you must have received Social Security Disability Insurance for a period of (more)

Giant Gemstone Found

06/15/16 03:44 PM
A large aquamarine crystal has been found in Mitchell County. Recently a perfect aquamarine crystal embedded in smoky quartz and Torbernite, mica and fluorescent Hyalite Opal was discovered. The stone weighs around 20 pounds. The Aquamarine crystal is calculated to contain 13,000 carats. The stone can be seen in the local mineral exhibit in the NC Mining Museum at Emerald Village, located at 331 McKinney Mine Rd in Little Switzerland.  

The Fund for Mitchell County Announces $2,500 in Grants

06/14/16 02:22 PM
The Fund for Mitchell County is pleased to announce $2,500 in grants to local nonprofit organizations providing support for K-3 literacy programs. The grants were made in partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) and include: (more)

Who Dumped This Food?

06/14/16 11:01 AM
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies need help identifying the people who dumped a huge pile of food at Mill Creek. The dumpsite was reported last week and was cleaned up Friday.  Deputy Ronnie Harvey said the 520-plus pounds of meat, bread and miscellaneous food had to have come from a restaurant or deli.An investigation has, thus far, not turned up any suspects.  Anyone with information as to who might be responsible for the dumpsite is asked to call Deputy Ronnie Harvey at the Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). Now, you can also text your tips to Crimestoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Memorial Event Being Organized for Those Lost to Addiction

06/13/16 01:49 PM
The Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force is in the process of organizing a community memorial event to remember those family members, friends and neighbors who have died due to overdose. Such an event can provide support and for families and honor those who have been tragically lost to addiction. If you would like to volunteer to be part of a committee to plan an event you can contact Nancy H. Lindeman, Coordinator, Mitchell-Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force at 682-7899 or go to the Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force facebook page.

Motorcycle Accident on Highway 80

06/13/16 01:35 PM
Another tragic head on accident happened on Friday evening June 10th on Hwy 80.  First Sgt. Mark Cline of the N.C. Highway Patrol, said Roger William Crow, age 74, of Wayne, Michigan died in the crash. He was riding north on N.C. 80 in McDowell County (Buck Creek) on his 1994 Honda motorcycle with a sidecar, when he veered left of center. He collided head on with a white Dodge Ram 3500. Nelvin Bruce Humphries of Gaffney, S.C., and his wife were traveling south in the truck. According to Trooper D.R. Alexander of the N.C. Highway Patrol,  Humphries was rounding the curve in his truck when the cyclist sped up and drifted into the opposite lane. No charges were filed in the accident.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/5 - 6/12/16

06/13/16 09:58 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/2/16 - 6/9/16

06/09/16 01:02 PM

Update On Traffic Accident

06/08/16 01:30 PM
Mountain Heritage High School student Raeanna McCourry,  age 16, has been identified as the fatality in the traffic accident that happened on Hwy 80 near Riddles Storage on Tuesday evening, around 5:30 p.m. McCourry was a passenger in the vehicle. Troopers say the driver of the car was traveling northbound on Highway 80 when he attempted to pass a car in front of him. While he was in the southbound lane, he noticed a pickup truck coming toward him, so he went back into the northbound lane but overcorrected. This sent the car back in the southbound lane but perpendicular. The pickup truck then hit the passenger side of the car where Raeanna was sitting. Raeanna was taken to Johnson City Medical Center but died around 6:30 p.m. The driver of the car was released from Mission Hospital around midnight on Wednesday. (photo courtesy of WLOS News)

Taxes in Town Going Up

06/08/16 10:39 AM
The Burnsville Town Board has voted to increase property taxes by a half cent, making the new rate 50.5 cents. Also the water/sewer rate was increased by two percent for town residents. The property tax increase will go toward maintaining the town’s fund balance, which was decreased significantly with the purchase of land for the new fire station. The water increase was to build reserves for future capital projects.The tax increase was not a unanimous decision. Mayor Theresa Coletta, Ron Powell and Ruth Banks voted for the increase.  Judy Buchanan and Shannon Peterson were opposed to the tax increase.  In its new budget the Town Council also gave town employees and the council a 1.15 percent cost of living increase. A copy of the proposed budget is available at Town Hall.