Burnsville Boil Water Advisory (Details)

04/29/17 08:17 PM

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/20 - 4/27/17 (Details)

04/27/17 01:59 PM

Missing Teen Found - Unharmed

04/27/17 07:18 AM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies were intensely searching for a missing 13-year-old girl.  Furie Nikayla Benge was reported missing on Tuesday, April 25 from her residence on 268 Radio Hill Drive in Marion. Her grandmother reported that she went outside to feed the rabbits and didn’t return. Her family was unable to locate her and contacted the Sheriff's Department.  The McDowell County Shefirr's department reports that Benge has been found unharmed. 

13-Year-Old McDowell County Girl Missing

04/26/17 02:02 PM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies are intensely searching for a missing 13-year-old girl.  Furie Nikayla Benge was last seen at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 at her residence on 268 Radio Hill Drive in Marion. Her grandmother reported that she went outside to feed the rabbits and didn’t return. Her family has been unable to locate her since.  Benge is (more)

Madison County Deputies Search for Missing Man

04/25/17 03:34 PM
The Madison County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding a missing man. Theodore (Ted) Fredrick Magnus was last seen around noon on April 17, 2017. Family reported him missing on April 21. Magnus is described as  6 feet tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He walks with the use of a cane and generally wears a cowboy hat. He was last seen driving a red 1997 Ford Explorer with N.C. tags CKM-5654. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 828-649-2721.

YCS Federal Programs Annual Public Input Meeting to be Held

04/25/17 02:23 PM
On Tuesday, May 9th, the Yancey County Schools’ Annual Federal Programs Public Input Meeting will be held at the Yancey County Schools Board of Education Office, 100 School Drive in the YCS Board Room at 4:00pm.  The purpose of the meeting is to receive public input, provide updated information, and discuss the Title I, II, III, VI, and Exceptional Children Programs’ planning documents for the 2017-18 school year.  This will include a review of the Parent Involvement initiatives in each federal program.  If you have questions concerning a particular school’s Federal Program resources or the overall district programs, please feel free to call the Federal Programs Director at YCS Central Office, 682-6101 (ext. 302).  Any non-public school not already contacted that still desires information about these federal grant programs can contact the Federal Programs Director at YCS as well.  We look forward to seeing community stakeholders on May 9th.

What Is Happening with the New Four Lane?

04/25/17 02:15 PM
The question that everyone seems to be asking these days is, "What is happening with the new four lane?"  Area residents were happy to have four beautiful traffic lanes when suddenly the orange cones reappeared in long stretches and workers began tearing up the newly laid roadway.   We reached out to Young McQueen Grading Company for some answers. Here is what they had to say: In an effort to make new highway projects smooth riding and long lasting, the NCDOT has many stringent requirements. Unfortunately, certain sections of the final asphalt surface failed to meet these requirements. Therefore, Young & McQueen's asphalt paving subcontractor, Rogers Group, is removing and replacing these sections. This work should be completed within the next week or so.  Additionally, due to concerns and requests of Yancey County citizens, the NCDOT has agreed to install an additional left turn lane at the Bear Wallow Road intersection. This work is expected to start as soon as the asphalt replacement work in that area is completed. We thank everyone for their patience during this extended portion of the Highway 19 widening project and request that commuters remain alert to maintain safety for both motorists and personnel. 

Rock Slide on 226 North

04/24/17 04:09 PM
Rock slide on Hwy 226 between Loafer's Glory and Bakersville Monday morning. North bound lane closed between Cub Creek Road and John Sparks.

Burnsville Man Found with Meth in Car

04/24/17 04:05 PM
Deputy Jason Quinn of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Scott Edward Sasek, age 31, of 1000 Grindstaff Road in Burnsville, with possession of methamphetamine.  At 3:50 a.m. on Monday, April 3, Quinn responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle at Happy Pappy’s Campground on U.S. 70 West. The deputy located the white Ford at Riverside Food Mart.  A subsequent search of the automobile turned up a small amount of methamphetamine in a syringe.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Public Notice

04/24/17 12:24 PM
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-Part B, Public Law 108.446) Project is presently being amended. The Project describes the special education programs that Yancey County Schools proposes for Federal funding for the 2017-2018 School Year. Interested persons are encouraged to review amendments to the Project and make comments concerning the implementation of special education under this Federal Program. All comments will be considered prior to submission of the amended Project to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, North Carolina. The IDEA-Part B Project is open to the public for review and comments on May 10th from 1:00-4:00 in the office of Angie Anglin, Exceptional Children's Director, located at 100 School Circle, Burnsville NC.

Director of Penland School of Crafts to Retire

04/24/17 10:05 AM
Jean McLaughlin, director of Penland School of Crafts, will retire in December 2017. McLaughlin began working at Penland in May 1998 and has presided over an extraordinary period of growth, development, and stabilization at the school. During these two decades, Penland has built new studios, expanded programs and scholarships, conducted two successful fundraising campaigns, greatly solidified its (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/16 - 4/23/17 (Details)

04/24/17 09:14 AM

Missing Avery County Man

04/24/17 07:40 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/13 - 4/20/17 (Details)

04/20/17 02:28 PM

Madison County 8th Grader Killed in Accident

04/20/17 02:13 PM
Madison County authorities confirm 32-year-old Sarah Shelton, of Alexander, is charged with DWI, felony death by vehicle and reckless driving in the crash that killed Madison County 8th grader, Lillith DeCarlo. The wreck also injured 7th grade student Kara Raby. Raby is in Mission Hospital ICU. Madison County Middle School Principal Nick Honeycutt said she is blind in one eye, (more)

McDowell County Company Expands, Adds Jobs

04/19/17 02:24 PM
American Plastics of  McDowell County has announced its expansion and relocation to a much larger facility. This company designs and makes a wide range of injection-molded projects for the aeronautical, fiber optic, automotive and medical fields working with such companies as BMW, Lockheed Martin, Gibson Guitars and the U.S. military. With this expansion will come more jobs for our area.  The company, owned by James and Sandra Hall has gone from 5000 square feet to over 13,000 square feet facility.  As part of the McDowell County economic development project, American Plastics agreed to employ 15 more people. In exchange, the company will receive free space in the Universal Center for one year.  

Madison County Couple Charged with Felony Child Abuse

04/19/17 01:57 PM
A Madison County couple has been charged with abusing their seven week old baby girl. Billy Dewayne Taylor is charged with two counts felony child abuse for purposely and cruelly breaking the infants ribs and leg on separate occasions . Jennifer Dawn Davis, the baby's mother  is charged with two Counts of felony child abuse for purposely delaying vital emergency medical treatment for the (more)

Massive Drug Conspiracy Busted in McDowell

04/19/17 01:31 PM
What began as an investigation into a Nebo man’s drug activity has led local, regional, state and federal authorities to dozens of suspects in a massive narcotics conspiracy that spans from McDowell County to California.  The investigation began in July 2016 with a probe of activity at the 100 Stacy Farm Road residence in Neb of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate. It was determined (more)

Avery County Bridge Replacement

04/17/17 12:51 PM
The North Carolina Department of Transportation began a bridge replacement construction project on State Road 1114 (Big Plumtree Creek Road)   Monday April 17. This affects residents and commuters in the Big Plumtree Creek Road and Licklog Road areas of Avery County. The road is closed with a detour from US Hwy. 19E to Big Plumtree Creek Road to Licklog Road to Squirrel Creek Road to Little Plumtree Creek Road back to Big Plumtree Creek Road. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 1st.

Mars Hill University Seeks Input on Search for New President

04/17/17 12:02 PM
As the committee working to find the next president of Mars Hill University moves into the next phase of its search, it is seeking public input to help it develop a profile of the ideal candidate. Along with faculty, staff, and students of the university, the committee also wants to hear from members of the broader community with thoughts about the search process and about criteria to seek in the (more)

Dobson Knob Fire 96% Contained

04/17/17 07:16 AM
The one week old Dobson Knob Fire in McDowell County is now 96% contained.  The fire was first reported on Sunday April 9th. Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, one week later there were about 200 people assigned to the fire. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/9 - 4/16/17 (Details)

04/14/17 10:31 AM

Mitchell EDC Marketing Project Meeting

04/14/17 10:28 AM
Mitchell County EDC will hold a meeting open to the public on Tuesday, April 25th at noon in the EDC conference room in the Mitchell County Administration Building in Bakersville to present the marketing project. This meeting is a follow up to the February 3rd roll out of a new marketing brand for the county. At that time North Star Strategies, the company hired to brand the county, presented the phrase "Seek + Find".  The idea was to reflect both the tourism aspect and  economic development. It will be used in phrases such as "Seek mountain views, find a new perspective. Seek a fun place to take an art class, find an appreciation of century old techniques. Seek an opportunity, find growth. They presented both the new logo and a new website. After the first presentation some backlash to the new idea was noted in the community. Some of the opposition was to the new logo having mountains that represented areas outside of Mitchell County. This follow up meeting is to address those concerns. Everyone is invited to attend but you do need to RSVP to 828-537-1404 or director@mitchellcountyedc.org to ensure sufficient seating.

Marion Man Arrested In Child Porn Investigation

04/13/17 03:23 PM
A federal child porn investigation that spanned many months came to an end Tuesday when Detective Paul Alkire of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Homeland Security agents arrested Carl Jay Whitson, 65, of 2159 Goose Creek Road in Marion, at his residence. Federal authorities contend that Whitson “knowingly received and attempted to receive child pornography” and (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/6 - 4/13/17 (Details)

04/13/17 03:02 PM

Yancey Commissioners Economic Development Issues Meeting 4/24 (Details)

04/13/17 09:31 AM

Yancey Commissioners Budget Meeting April 24 (Details)

04/13/17 09:29 AM

Dobson Knob Fire Covers Over 1400 Acres

04/13/17 06:56 AM
Around 150 firefighters are fighting the growing wildfire on Dobson Knob, in the Woodlawn area of McDowell County.   The fire, which started over the weekend, is only 15 percent contained and now covers over 1,400 acres.  The fire started on private land and made its way into Pisgah National Forest. A NC Forest Service Type 2 Incident Management Team is now managing the fire.  A community informational meeting for people concerned about the fire is scheduled for 7pm tonight  at Woodlawn Baptist Church.

Traffic Light at Ingles

04/12/17 03:17 PM
The Department of Transportation has confirmed that they will be installing another traffic light on the new 19E four lane in Burnsville.  The new light is planned for the  main entrance at Ingles.  This high traffic area is a difficult and dangerous place to make a left turn.  There have been numerous close calls and after a fatal crash in December the Burnsville Town Council petitioned the Department of Transportation to study the intersection to see if changes should be made with regard to safety. Burnsville Police Chief Brian Buchanan received confirmation from Rick Tipton at the Department of Transportation that the study performed determined the need for the red light. The light was not in the original new four lane plans because of its close proximity to the traffic light at the Pensacola Road intersection. D.O.T. has begun work on the project and expects the light to be operational sometime this summer. 

Brandon Peterson Honored

04/12/17 03:05 PM
Hundreds gathered at Mitchell High School on Tuesday afternoon to say goodbye to Brandon Peterson. Trooper Peterson was honored with a giant American flag above U.S. Highway 19 as a procession of more than 100 patrol cars traveled from the high school to the Bethel Missionary Baptist cemetery. Officers from several surrounding towns, sheriff's deputies from at least four offices and troopers (more)

Third Ambulance for Mitchell County

04/12/17 10:46 AM
 As of April 1st Mitchell County residents have access to three ambulances.  Mitchell County Commissioners decided last year that a third ambulance was necessary due to the number of emergency calls coming in and the amount of time the two regular ambulances are  out of county transporting patients or on mutual aid calls. Mitchell Commissioners went ahead with a third ambulance despite the voters rejecting the referendum in  this past November's election that would have raised the sales tax to pay for it.  Cost of the third ambulance will be paid for through the county's General Fund thru the end of the current fiscal in June. Funding for the third ambulance will be a topic of discussion for the upcoming budget meetings. 

Wildfire Grows

04/12/17 07:09 AM
The Dobson Knob fire continues to spread across areas of northern McDowell County, reaching nearly 550 acres as of Tuesday morning. The fire, which is 10 percent contained, was first reported Sunday evening. Crews from McDowell County Emergency Management and volunteer firefighters are fighting the fire, which is burning on private and U.S. Forest Service property. Crews are also trying to protect nearly 45 structures in the vicinity. No structures have been damaged. The fire is located on the north side of Dobson Knob near the North Cove Community, north of Marion, along Highway 221. Smoke and haze has been visible in communities such as North Cove, Woodlawn and Linville Falls. Officials are still trying to determine how the fire started.
A similar wildfire burned in the same area in August 2015. The Bald Knob fire scorched thousands of acres across McDowell County.

Marion Facility Evacuated

04/12/17 07:08 AM
An assisted living facility in Marion was evacuated last night after a carbon monoxide leak. Emergency management officials reported eight people were transported to the hospital for treatment and the remaining 45 were treated at the facility. Emergency workers on the scene said a boiler in the building of Lake James Lodge caused had a leak but it was not a life-threatening situation. The incident in the facility just north of Marion happened around 7:30pm. People were allowed back inside after the boiler was shut off.

New Superintendent for Mt Mitchell

04/11/17 04:10 PM
The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation has named Robert McGraw as the new superintendent of Mount Mitchell State Park. McGraw is a 2007 graduate of Western Carolina University  and veteran state park ranger. A native of Savannah, Georgia, McGraw began as a seasonal employee at Mount Mitchell State Park, he joined the division full time in 2009, serving as a ranger at Lake Norman, Mount Mitchell and Gorges state parks. He is a certified environmental educator. “Robert’s experience at Mount Mitchell and his personal connection to the mountain region will suit him well as he takes on this new role in our oldest state park that is doubling in size with new land acquisitions,” Mike Murphy, State Parks Director, said in a statement. The park more than doubled in size last year, with a purchase by the Conservation Fund, bringing the park to nearly 5,000 acres. Mount Mitchell had nearly 400,000 visitors in 2016. McGraw succeeds Brian Wilder, who transferred to another position earlier this year.

McDowell County Wildfire

04/10/17 02:17 PM
Crews continue to battle a fire near Dobson Knob that began off old Linville Road around 6 p.m. Sunday, April 9th.  Officials warn that there is dense smoke in northern parts of McDowell County. The fire began burning on private land but has spread onto US Forest Service property affecting the Pisgah National Forest near Dobson Knob.  Personnel were on scene throughout the night, battling steep rugged terrain in an effort to protect properties near the fire.  There are 10 structures in the area but no evacuations have been ordered  About 80 firefighters have been working to put the fire out, including the state and U.S. Forest Service. Officials say around 150 acres have been burned at this point, with 0-percent containment at this time. Photo courtesy McDowell Sheriff's Department

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/2 - 4/9/17

04/10/17 09:29 AM

Trooper Brandon Peterson Dies Unexpectedly

04/07/17 02:55 PM
Trooper Brandon Peterson died unexpectedly from an apparent heart attack Friday morning, April 7th. Just a month ago Peterson was honored as Highway Patrolman of the Year by the North Carolina Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  At that time,  District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement, "Trooper Peterson exhibits the highest virtues of professionalism to which someone in law enforcement or public service can aspire. This is a well deserved honor, and a testament to his hard work and dedication."   Trooper Peterson was a part of Highway Patrol Troop G which covers Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and Madison counties. Peterson was involved in schools, churches and civic organizations helping to educate youth about the poor choices of drinking and driving. Trooper Peterson, his wife, Ella and 3 year old daughter, LeighAnna live in Micaville.  

Name, Mascot and Colors Chosen for New Elementary School

04/07/17 12:53 PM
Last month at the regular Board of Education meeting, the Board asked Bald Creek Elementary, Bee Log Elementary, and Clearmont Elementary Schools to each create three names, color schemes, and mascots for the new west elementary school for a total of nine (more)

Last Day of School and MHHS Graduation Dates Set

04/07/17 12:32 PM
Yancey County Schools would like to announce a change in the end of the current school year.  The last day of school for students will be June 2nd, 2017.  June 2nd will be a half-day of school and will follow the normal early dismissal procedure: elementary schools at 11:30 a.m., the high school at 11:45 a.m., and the middle schools at 12 noon.  (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/30 - 4/6/17 (Details)

04/06/17 04:01 PM

Manhunt Ends in Chase, Arrests

04/05/17 04:29 PM
Detective Jason Grindstaff of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Christopher Dwayne Lawing, age 27, of 500 Rockhouse Road in Marion, with three counts of criminal damage to property and one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon, fleeing to elude arrest, possession of methamphetamine and resisting a public officer. Detective Billie Brown charged Tiffany Danielle (more)

McDowell Searching for Suspect Who Stole Trailer

04/04/17 02:26 PM
McDowell County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking for the person who stole a utility trailer from a Marion residence.  Alan Carver, of 5342 Nix Creek Road, reported on Monday, March 27 that someone pulled into his yard, hooked up the trailer and drove away with it.  Cameras on Carver’s property caught this SUV on tape at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21. The suspect vehicle is believed to be around a 2005 silver Chevrolet Trailblazer. The 2006 Lone Wolf lowboy trailer is black with a wooden floor. The tongue is bent, and the trailer has ramps attached to the back. Anyone with information concerning the theft, the suspect vehicle or the whereabouts of the trailer is asked to call Detective Jason Grindstaff at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). Now, you can also text your tips to Crime Stoppers. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and your information to 274637 (CRIMES). With Crime Stoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Madison School Board Accepts Superintendent Resignation

04/04/17 02:16 PM
Madison County Schools released a statement on Tuesday regarding Superintendent Ernest Todd Holden. The statement said that the Madison County Board of Education met on April 3rd and accepted the voluntary resignation of Superintendent Holden.  His resignation was effective April 4th.  The Board will immediately begin searching for a new Superintendent and are considering options for an interim Superintendent. Madison County School Superintendent Ernest Todd Holden, blew a .13 during a traffic stop around midnight on Saturday, February 25th in the city limits of Burnsville. The Madison County school board suspended him on February 27th. Holden had only been superintendent for about eight months, having come to Madison from Ashe County.

Grandfather Mountain Mourns the Loss of Jim Morton

04/03/17 03:30 PM
On April 1, 2017, Grandfather Mountain lost one of its most devoted champions.
James McKay Morton, chairman of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation board of directors, conservationist, trailblazer, photographer and visionary, passed away at the age of 65. Morton leaves behind a mountain-sized legacy, having helped establish the nonprofit foundation to preserve Grandfather Mountain (more)

Fugitive Caught in Georgia

04/03/17 02:49 PM
Nathan Williams, age 37, the man who deputies have been searching for in the South Toe area of Yancey County has been arrested in Georgia.  Williams is a registered sex offender and convicted drug dealer  and was wanted for resisting arrest and drug possession. The Yancey Sheriff's Department located a silver Dodge Ram Williams was driving parked with the hood up on Patton Thicket Road off Highway 80 South on Thursday, March 30th.
The sheriff’s department had received a tip that Williams, who is wanted on drug charges in his home state of Georgia, was in the county. Sheriff Gary Banks said his plainclothes officers went up to the truck and one deputy verified it was Williams. When Williams realized the men were officers, he took off into the thicket. A deputy fell and broke his collarbone as he chased Williams.  Banks said investigators located Williams using infrared technology around 2 a.m. about a half-mile from the original stop, but he was able to run off with several fence lines between himself and the deputies who spotted him. Officers found several guns in Williams’ vehicle, along with ammo for two guns that weren't found. Williams also has a 2014 Mitchell County conviction for selling drugs.

Mars Hill University President Receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine

04/03/17 10:16 AM
Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award presented by the governor of North Carolina. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, presented the award this week during the organization's annual meeting. It recognizes Lunsford's 48 years of service to the state, first in the public (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/26 - 4/2/17 (Details)

04/03/17 09:41 AM

Three Arrested in Mitchell County

04/03/17 09:33 AM
On Saturday April 1st  Mitchell County Deputy Chris McClintick stopped a vehicle at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. As the vehicle was about to stop, he noticed the passenger door opening. As soon as the vehicle stopped the male subject jumped out. A brief foot chase pursued down a embankment after a brief struggle Deputy McClintick was able to take subject into custody. The male (more)

8 Men Charged in a Child Predator Sting

04/03/17 05:31 AM
Detectives in Lincolnton have charged eight men after a three month undercover child predator sting.  The operation involved undercover detectives portraying a child on various social media outlets. During the operation, detectives developed a dialogue in which an agreement was made for offenders to meet a child in Lincolnton in order to have an unlawful sexual relationship. (Details)

Manhunt Update

04/01/17 12:11 PM
Manhunt Update from WLOS (Details)

Manhunt in Yancey County

03/31/17 07:59 AM
A manhunt continues for a man wanted for resisting arrest and drug possession in Yancey County. 37 year old Nathan Williams is described as a white man, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with black hair, green eyes and multiple tattoos. He was on foot and may be armed. According to an online registry of Georgia sex offenders he was convicted in 2002 of indecent liberties with a minor. Yancey Sheriff Department Deputies have been searching the area of N.C. Highway 80 south and Patton Thickett Road since Thursday evening. Anyone with information is asked to call the Yancey County Sheriff's Office at (828) 682-2124.

Eight Arrested at Home in Madison County

03/30/17 01:18 PM
According to the Madison County Sheriff's Department eight people were arrested  after a raid of a home at 157 Mountain Brook Drive on March 29th. According to authorities, the renter of the home, Holly Ann Chandler, had been distributing large amounts of methamphetamine and using the home as a "flop house" for family and friends. Numerous drugs and paraphernalia were found at (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/23 - 3/30/17 (Details)

03/30/17 12:58 PM

Mitchell Commissioners Assume Control of DSS Board

03/29/17 04:19 PM
Mitchell County Commissioners have unanimously voted after a public hearing on March 20th, to assume control of the Board, thereby assuming all powers, duties and responsibilities of the Board. Taking over operation of the Social Services board would not be a reflection of the job that the Social Services board was doing or of the current Director or employees. The action would be to have more insight into DSS since the County funds nearly $2 million a year of the DSS budget and it is the largest item in the county's budget. The DSS budget requests have increased significantly over the past five years as the number of foster children has risen significantly, causing additional staff and attorney fees.

First Court Appearance for Former Newland Town Clerk

03/29/17 03:45 PM
Priscilla Ann Trivette, former Newland Town Clerk  made her first appearance in court on Monday, March 27. Her case was continued until May 1st at her attorney's request. An Avery County grand jury issued a true bill of indictment on Feb. 13, charging Trivette, age 50 of 128 Sugar Hollow Road in Roan Mountain,  with embezzlement of money by a public officer or trustee. The indictment followed a three-month investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation at the request of District Attorney Seth Banks. Newland aldermen were alerted to the missing funds in November 2016 by Newland CPA Doug Tennant, who performed the town’s audit for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The audit revealed that approximately $25,000 was missing. Trivette served in a dual role of clerk and tax collector for the Town of Newland before resigning in July 2016.  

Man Charged in Death of Burnsville Artist

03/28/17 01:09 PM
Police have charged 28-year-old El Hadji Alpha Madiou Toure with first degree murder and theft charges in the death of Corrina Mehiel, who was killed in her apartment in Washington, DC March 21st. The thirty-four year old Burnsville woman was staying in Washington  temporarily while working as a project assistant for internationally known conceptual artist Mel Chin who was a visiting professor at George Washington University's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. According to Washington, D.C. police there were no signs of forced entry in the apartment where her body was found.  A police report said that Mehiel was in her back bedroom and tied with bedding and clothing. She had been bound and stabbed and her car was taken, police said. Newsham said Mehiel and Toure did not know each other and there was no evidence at this time that Mehiel had been sexually assaulted, according to Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham. Newsham said Toure may have been staying in local homeless shelters.  Her missing car was found last week. The chief said authorities received “numerous tips” but one was “instrumental” in leading to an arrest. Toure was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation in Bradley County, Tennessee, Newsham said. The arrest came three days after police found Mehiel's car. 

Event Spotlights Community Colleges Economic Contributions

03/28/17 06:50 AM
Presidents from the six community colleges in North Carolina’s Northwest Prosperity Zone shared details on the regions overabundance of good paying advanced manufacturing jobs, and the challenge of finding people to fill seats in community college classes that build a (more)

State Employees Credit Union Warning

03/27/17 01:40 PM
Officials at the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union are warning customers not to respond to a text message they may get on their cell phones. People reported receiving this message last Thursday: "From:auto-notice@secu.org- State Employees Credit Union urgent notification: unusual activity please verify your online information at 877-336-6029." Investigators say the message is a "phishing" scam, where someone is trying to get personal information and bank account numbers.    Credit Union officials say no bank or credit union would ever ask for personal information  in an email or text message.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/16 - 3/23/17 (Details)

03/27/17 09:28 AM

The body of a missing North Carolina woman has been found

03/27/17 06:58 AM
On March 17th Cecil Scott Byrd was sentenced to two life sentences without parole for the murders of Lisa Ann Robbins and Sarah Denise Riddle in separate events at his residence in 2015. (more)

Police Release Photo of Suspect

03/24/17 12:38 PM
Washington, D.C. police have released this photo of a person of interest in the case of the Burnsville woman found dead in Washington. (see separate news story). The photo is surveillance footage of a man walking into a convenience store in Beltsville, MD. (click on headline to enlarge photo)

Burnsville Woman Found Dead in Washington, DC

03/23/17 09:31 AM
A Burnsville woman was found bound and stabbed to death at her Washington, D.C. apartment Tuesday afternoon, March 21st. Thirty-four year old Corrina Mehiel was a former Art Academy of Cincinnati instructor. She was living in Washington temporarily while working as a project assistant for internationally known conceptual artist Mel Chin who was a visiting professor at George Washington University's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Corrina was helping Chin on an installation at the school's gallery. Chin has a studio on U.S. 19 in Burnsville, where Mehiel worked. Police are searching for a suspect and have issued a lookout for a 2004 blue Toyota Prius with a Kentucky tag of 722 RMY. The vehicle has a yellow bumper sticker under the license plate. A reward of up to $25,000 has been offered to anyone who provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.   Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Washington, D.C. police at 202-727-9099. For more

Area Counties Rank High on Value

03/22/17 01:51 PM
Avery, Madison,  Mitchell  and Yancey counties are ranked among the North Carolina counties getting the most ‘Bang for their Buck’ on property taxes. SmartAsset, a financial technology company, recently released its third annual study on property taxes.  In addition to property taxes, the study analyzed the quality of local schools and the local crime rates to find where people were seeing the most value. Out of the 100 counties all four area counties ranked in the top ten with Mitchell  second, Yancey fifth, Avery seventh and Madison ninth. The full study results, methodology, and interactive map can be found here.

Williford Convicted of Murder and Arson

03/22/17 10:10 AM
On March 21st Benjamin Williford was sentenced on one count of Second Degree Murder, one count of First Degree Arson, three counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury, and three drug related felonies. In the early morning hours of August 12, 2016, fire fighters, Sheriff’s Deputies, and other first responders arrived at the Valle Landing complex in Valle Crucis to (more)

Good Economic News for Area

03/21/17 03:14 PM
Our area received good economic news on Tuesday with Baxter Health Care in Marion planning on adding 90 new jobs. Governor Roy Cooper was at the plant in Marion on Tuesday morning, March 21st to make the announcement. Another 28 jobs will be added at Taylor Stave in Nebo.  New jobs at Baxter's include production techs, supervisors, engineers and machine operators. Baxter Healthcare is a medical supplies company with the majority of production being iv bags. Taylor Stave is a small business that makes components for wooden barrels used in whiskey and wine production. 

Wings Air Rescue Approved for NC Flight

03/20/17 03:13 PM
Wings Air Rescue has been approved to transport North Carolina patients to North Carolina facilities.  Wings is a medical helicopter service provider that is based in Elizabethton, TN. Now that they are a licensed air medical provider for the state of North Carolina it will be a help for people living in or traveling through the NC/TN border counties, such as Yancey, Mitchell and Avery counties. This will allow Wings to pick up and transport patients to the closest facility, regardless of which state the closest facility is in. Previously by law they had to take them to a TN facility.  Wings Air Rescue is a privately owned company in operation for 22 years as a part of Med-Trans Corporation. Wings has three other bases located in Greeneville, Tenn., Jenkins, Ky. and Marion, Va.

Yancey Sheriff Warns of Telephone Scams

03/20/17 09:47 AM
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports of telephone scams in the recent weeks and would like to warn the citizens of Yancey County and the surrounding area to be cautious when they receive a call from someone they do not know.  Never give personal information to individuals that call representing themselves as someone solving a problem that you didn’t (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/12 -3/19/17 (Details)

03/20/17 09:35 AM

Byrd Sentenced to Life in Double Murder

03/18/17 01:59 PM
On March 17, 2017 Cecil Scott Byrd was sentenced on two counts of First Degree Murder.  In October of 2015, Mitchell County Deputies responded to a missing persons report at the residence of Mr. Byrd on Bad Creek in Northern Mitchell County. (more)

Local Woman Honored as Main Street Champion

03/17/17 01:54 PM
Beverly Byerly has been honored as a Main Street Champion in Spruce Pine. Main Street Champions are individuals who work and advocate for downtown revitalization.    Thirty-six individuals across the state received honors for their contributions in 2016 at a breakfast awards ceremony in Shelby. (more)

Graham Childrens Celebrates 20 Years with New Name, Website

03/16/17 04:08 PM
For 20 years, Graham Children’s Health Services (GCHS) has served Mitchell and Yancey county residents with programs and services designed to improve the health of our community. Since 1997, these initiatives and collaborations have included: Toe River Dental (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/8 - 3/16/17 (Details)

03/16/17 03:41 PM

Cane River To Forfeit Championship Title

03/16/17 01:23 PM
The Toe River Conference has notified Cane River Middle School that they have to forfeit  their Middle School Football championship title due to ineligibility of a player.  The ineligible student was over age 15 during the 2016 season. Cane River Principal Miranda Elkins says it was an oversight in their office when they did not double check for eligibility.  The special needs student  went in for only one play at the end of the regular season, not during the championship game. Cane River brought the error to the attention of the Toe River Conference. The Cane River Rebels had an undefeated season and won the Tri-County Bowl 30 to 6.  

Blue Ridge Parkway Breaks Records

03/16/17 10:17 AM
The National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary last year and new numbers show that more people visited America's national park sites in 2016 than ever before. The park service's sites around the country hosted a record-breaking 330.9 million visits, according to NPS data released last month. The Blue Ridge Parkway took the #2 spot and Great Smoky Mountains National Park placed #3 in the National Park Service's list of the 10 most visited sites in the park system, which includes the national parks as well as historic sites, lakeshores, seashores and more. #1 was the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. View the complete annual rankings here.

Missing Spruce Pine Man Found Dead

03/16/17 06:59 AM
21 year old Chris Heath’s blue-silver Toyota Camry was found off Conley Ridge Road down an embankment on the curvy rural road on March 13. On March 8, his family filed a missing person’s report with the Mitchell County Sheriff’s department. The body was found Wednesday, March 15. (more)

New County Manager in Avery

03/15/17 10:33 AM
Avery County will be getting a new County Manager. After 13 years of service to Avery County, County Manager Tim Greene has resigned effective the end of April. Greene will take a position as Vice President of Administrative Services at Mayland Community College on May 1.  As VP of Administrative Services, Greene will serve as Mayland's Chief Financial Officer, overseeing financial aid, the college's maintenance and IT departments, and contracts for custodial and security services. Greene is replacing Gerald Hyde in that position. Greene’s resignation comes during Avery County’s budget  season but Greene has indicated he will have the budget prepared before he leaves

Convicted Sex Offender Charged Again

03/13/17 03:44 PM
Detective Jason Grindstaff of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office has charged Christopher Scott McEntire, age 44, of 84 Camp Creek Road in Old Fort, with six counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.  It is alleged that McEntire had inappropriate sexual contact with a 12-year-old male acquaintance on multiple occasions earlier this year. McEntire is already a registered sex offender, having been convicted of five counts of second-degree sex offense in McDowell County in January 2004. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was released and registered as a sex offender in May 2010. The Sheriff’s Office received the case on a referral from the McDowell County Department of Social Services. 


New Judge for 24th District

03/13/17 01:32 PM
A new district court judge has been appointed for the 24th District which includes Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties.  Larry Leake was sworn in at the Madison County Courthouse on March 2nd. Judge Leake has been appointed by Governor Cooper to complete the unexpired term of Warren Hughes, who retired on January 1st. Leake has worked as an attorney for more than 40 years. He has represented various government entities in Western North Carolina, including the County of Madison and the Towns of Mars Hill, Marshall, and Hot Springs. He is licensed in all of North Carolina’s Federal Courts, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Leake joins Judges Ted McIntyre, Hal Harrison and Becca Eggers-Gryder in the 24th judicial district.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 3/5 - 3/12/17

03/13/17 09:59 AM

Yancey County Board of Education March Meeting

03/10/17 02:52 PM
At the regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education on Monday, March 6, Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton asked the Board of Education to allow Bald Creek Elementary School, Bee Log Elementary School, and Clearmont Elementary School to each (more)

Yancey Eligible for Disaster Funds

03/09/17 03:09 PM
As of February 23rd Yancey County is one of the counties that is eligible for disaster assistance. There are nine designated counties in North Carolina that are eligible due to losses and damages caused by recent drought.  Yancey is not one of those nine but it has land contingent with Buncombe County, which is one of the nine, so it also qualifies for assistance.  This means that farmers who are eligible have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.  Interested farmers can contact the Mitchell-Yancey Farm Service Agency office on Hwy 226 South in Spruce Pine or call  682-0774.

Video-Conferencing for Mitchell Sheriff Department

03/08/17 02:35 PM
The Mitchell Sheriff's Department is looking at an innovative new way to save time and money.  County Commissioners approved the funding for a video-conferencing system at the Mitchell County Courthouse in Bakersville that will reduce the number of trips the sheriff's department has to make to McDowell County.  Since the Mitchell jail fire in 2002,  the county has had a contract with McDowell County to house prisoners.  Currently Mitchell deputies must go get the inmates from  McDowell County for their first appearance and then return them to McDowell.  With this new system the inmates can make their appearances by video through the internet instead of being transported to the courthouse.  A one-time cost of $19,738 should pay for itself and even save the county money in the long run. According to Sheriff Street, sometimes deputies make three trips a day to Marion. This adds up in manpower costs plus wear and tear on vehicles. 

Area Community Foundation Grants

03/08/17 02:11 PM
Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization, know as TRACTOR, has been approved by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to receive $49,600. The funds will be used to add a fulltime sales and a part-time bookkeeper. Adding these positions will expand operational capacity to increase sales channels and actual sales. The salesperson will continue sales to the current 44 TRACTOR markets and oversee a new pilot project with the local hospital. Madison County was awarded $50,000 over five years from the Community Foundation to create an art sculpture park along the greenway in Mars Hill. The Manufacturing Art Park would be an outdoor gallery designed to enliven the rural landscape, create a dynamic visual experience for residents and visitors and connect a manufacturing history to an economic future. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 3/2 - 3/8/17 (Details)

03/08/17 12:50 PM

Mission Health Further Restricts Visits

03/07/17 02:42 PM
Mission Health is further restricting visitors to its hospitals because of an increase in influenza-like illness throughout North Carolina. According to a press release issued, only partners and immediate family members over the age of 12 will be permitted in patient care areas. This precaution is in place at Mission Hospital and all Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in western (more)

Peterson Named Highway Patrolman of the Year

03/07/17 01:59 PM
Trooper Brandon Peterson has been named Highway Patrolman of the Year by the North Carolina Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement, "Trooper Peterson exhibits the highest virtues of professionalism to which someone in law enforcement or public service can aspire. This is a well deserved honor, and a testament to his hard work and dedication. We in the District Attorney's Office are thankful to have Trooper Peterson and so many other dedicated officers working to keep the roads in the 24th Prosecutorial District safe."

Parkway Rock Slide

03/07/17 06:52 AM
National Park Service officials report that a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway remains closed after a rock slide. The Parkway is closed from mile post 355, near the entrance to Mount Mitchell, through mile post 368 at Craggy Gardens Visitor Center for several weeks. (more)

Gas Truck Overturns Causing Evacuation

03/03/17 02:08 PM
A Bumgarner Oil truck carrying 8500 gallons of gas overturned Friday morning in McDowell County.  The truck, driven by fifty-eight-year-old Harold Crump Sr. turned onto its side in a curve at 7:36 a.m. around the 1600 block of Harmony Grove Road.  The gas leak was described as a "slow drizzle", but fumes and flammability caused evacuation of the residents in 42 homes in the area. Power was cutoff because of high winds that could cause power lines to be knocked down and for emergency worker safety. A second tanker from Bumgarner Oil in Hickory was brought in to help with transporting the gas. No gas got into any waterways and cleanup was turned over to a regional hazmat crew. The driver of the overturned gas tanker was charged with exceeding a safe speed.

Free Seeds at the Yancey County Public Library

03/03/17 01:45 PM
The Yancey County Public Library now has a Seed Library available for free to the public. All you need is a AMY Regional Library card, which by the way,  is also free.  Seed Savers Exchange has donated organic, heirloom varieties of a wide variety of seeds including beets, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Cabbage, cauliflower and carrots. Peas, pumpkins and prairie flowers. Asian greens, lettuce and spinach. Melons, pumpkins and squash. A large selection of tomatoes and peppers.  Choose the seeds you would like and take them to the check-out desk. They will track what seeds you are taking. If you choose seed packets with a green dot they ask that you save seeds from those plants to give back to the seed library. You will find a wide variety of seeds  and they are FREE at the Yancey County Public Library Seed Library.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 2/19 - 2/26/17 (Details)

03/03/17 10:08 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 2/23 - 3/2/17 (Details)

03/02/17 03:26 PM

Lawsuit Filed Against Sugar Mountain Resort

03/02/17 03:24 PM
A lawsuit has been filed against Sugar Mountain Resort in Avery County claiming a16 year old  boy from Tennessee was left  stranded on a chairlift on February 14th of 2016   and had to jump down more than 30 feet. Cold temperatures and a wind chill made the boy fear for his life. He was there for what is believed to be two hours until he decided he should jump off. He hung off (more)

Shots Fired During a Bank Robbery in Marshall

03/02/17 07:16 AM
Multiple shots were fired during an armed robbery at First Citizens Bank in Marshall on Wednesday. The robbery occurred at about 4 p.m., as a suspect carrying trash bags and wearing a camouflage hoodie entered the bank. (more)

Georgia Man Sentenced for Killing Spruce Pine Man

03/01/17 02:13 PM
Kevin Palmer, age 25 of Savannah, Georgia has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole  plus 25 years for additional charges for the 2014 shooting death of William Whitsett, age 21 of Spruce Pine. Whitsett was shot 5 times and his body dumped behind a Savannah apartment complex where Whitsett lived with his girlfriend, Genevieve Meeks. Meeks plead guilty to drug charges in the case and testified against Palmer.  According to WSAV.com, prosecutors called dozens of witnesses and presented a week’s worth of evidence during the trial. They said Palmer envisioned himself as a drug kingpin. They say he killed Whitsett, a known drug dealer, in order to take over his business. Palmer was found guilty on seven counts, including felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, concealing the death of another and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. A third defendant, Bradley Bates, also faces multiple charges related to the murder.

New Mental Health Screening Kiosk at Yancey Library

03/01/17 01:49 PM
You can now get a confidential screening for anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorders thru a new kiosk at the Yancey County Public Library.  Vaya Health has recently placed a touch screen device in the library that allows you to learn about behavioral health conditions, participate in a confidential assessment and find local treatment resources. The kiosks aim to reduce the stigma of mental  health problems by making screenings  as commonplace as blood pressure screenings.  Vaya Health is a public managed health organization. They plan on placing these kiosks in 23 counties throughout the mountains and foothills of North Carolina. 

Severe Weather Alert

03/01/17 01:00 PM
Yancey and Madison Schools released students during the 1 o'clock hour today, ahead of an impending severe weather alert. Some storms could have winds greater than 58 mph and hail larger than 1 inch in diameter. Straight line winds could cause trees to fall or other damage. Isolated tornadoes are also possible. Storms are expected to be out of the region by midnight.   Mobile homes, covered picnic areas and vehicles are not considered safe options for storm protection. Seek shelter in a sturdy structure during severe thunderstorms. 

Amber Alert

03/01/17 07:00 AM
You may have been awaked from a loud alarm on your phone around 4 o’clock this morning.  Emergency services activated an Amber alert asking for public help to locate a 2003 Gold Toyota Corolla in the Candler area. The Amber Alert System was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas, in 1996. The Amber Alert Activation is an optional setting on your cell phone that can be turned on or off.  The default setting on new phones is the on position. 

Update: Bailey Lynn Queen has been located. She is safe and in good condition. Bailey was initially the subject of an Amber Alert after being taken last night by her father, Joshua Randy Queen. Joshua Randy Queen was taken into custody at approximately 7:43 am this morning at the Travel America truck stop located at Exit 37 on I-40. Queen was taken without incident. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Massive Service Outage on the Internet

03/01/17 06:58 AM
A four hour outage of Amazon's AWS cloud computing division caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of websites across the United States Tuesday afternoon. Little known to consumers familiar with Amazon's online shopping site, Amazon Web Services is a giant provider of the back-end of the Internet. For sites like Netflix, Spotify, Pinterest and Buzzfeed, as well as tens of thousands of smaller sites, it provides cloud-based storage and web services for companies. The S3 system is used by almost 150,000 sites around the country.  Through Amazon, Intertech Media provides services for thousands of radio station web sites including wtoe.com and wkyk.com.  The outage started around 12:30pm and operations were fully recovered by 4:49 pm Tuesday.

Former Newland Town Clerk Indicted

02/28/17 04:45 PM
On February 13th an  Avery County grand jury issued a true bill of indictment charging Priscilla Ann Trivette, age 50, of 128 Sugar Hollow Road in Roan Mountain, with embezzlement of money by a public officer or trustee, a class F felony.  Trivette served in a dual role of clerk and tax collector for the Town of Newland before resigning  in July 2016. The Newland Board of Aldermen first became aware of discrepancies in the town’s finances through an audit conducted by Doug Tennant, a certified public accountant with the firm of Combs, Tennant and Carpenter. The audit revealed that approximately $25,000 was missing. District Attorney Seth Banks was made aware of the situation and contacted  the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to assist in the investigation involving an alleged misappropriation of governmental funds. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office booked Trivette on Feb. 15 and she was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. She is scheduled to appear in Avery County Superior Court on March 27.

Madison Superintendent Charged With DWI

02/27/17 03:35 PM
Madison County School Superintendent Ernest Holden, blew a .13 during a traffic stop on Sunday, February 25th in the city limits of Burnsville. The stop happened at 11:29 p.m. on US-19E. Burnsville  Police Chief  Brian Buchanan confirmed that his officer made the stop and then referred the case to North Carolina Highway Patrol, who followed through on the investigation. Christian Ramsey, spokesperson for Madison County Schools, said the Board of Education is investigating. Holden was cited with a DWI in Yancey County, and taken to jail. Holden immediately bonded out after the magistrate required a $1000 unsecured bond.