Drug Charges for Mitchell County Man

12/14/17 04:30 PM
The Mitchell County Sheriff's Department has arrested Charles Eugene Banks, age 42 of  NC Hwy 80 in Bakersville.  Banks has been charged with Sell/Deliver Schedule II ,  PWIMSD Schedule II and Maintaining a Vehicle for Sell of Controlled Substance. Bond is set at $26,000 with a court date of January 16, 2018.  

Mitchell High Senior Wins Oratorical Competition

12/14/17 04:04 PM
Mitchell County High School senior, Anna Zheng took first place in the 2018 US Constitution Oratorical Contest sponsored by American Legion Post 122 in Burnsville. Zheng will go on to represent American Legion Post 122 in the District 24 competition in Hendersonville on Saturday, January 20 at 1:00 p.m, hosted by American Legion Post 77 of Hendersonville. The annual competition begins in December at the local level, sponsored by the local American Legion Post, and then continues on to the District level to compete with other District level winners.  Winners of that competition will move to the state level, and then each state level winner will compete at the National level in April. There will be monetary scholarships awarded to the winner at each level, and then the three national finalists will be awarded $18,000, $16,000, and $14,000, respectively. Zheng and her parents reside in Mitchell County. The Zheng’s are the owners of Little Tokyo Asian restaurant of Burnsville.

Feed A Child Fundraiser Winners (Details)

12/13/17 01:35 PM

Washington DC Receives Bakersville Christmas Tree

12/13/17 12:53 PM
Congressman Mark Meadows delivered a Christmas tree to the United States Department of Agriculture on Thursday December 7th.  The Mitchell County Christmas Tree was grown on Buck’s Tree Farm and will be displayed at the agency through the Christmas season.

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/6 -12/13/17 (Details)

12/13/17 12:44 PM

Yancey County Drug Arrest

12/12/17 04:23 PM
On December 1st Officers with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission and deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff's office were investigating a complaint of illegal trapping at a residence in the Micaville area when they discovered Moonshine, drugs and guns.  Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged 56-year-old Gary Allan Hoover, of Burnsville with felony possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintain a dwelling for controlled substance, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, possession and sale of non-taxed alcoholic beverage, manufacturing liquor with no permit, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Officers discovered 67 quarts, and pint jars of marijuana, 22 quarts of moonshine, moonshine still and 9 firearms. Hoover was placed in the Yancey County jail under a $45,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

Boil Water Advisory for Burnsville Rescinded (Details)

12/12/17 04:20 PM

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 12/3 -12/10/17 (Details)

12/11/17 10:04 AM

Mitchell County Woman in Custody for Elderly Abuse

12/11/17 07:14 AM
Authorities reported yesterday that a woman being sought in connection with a disturbing elder abuse case in Mitchell County is in custody. 36 year old Brandie Danielle Tipton was in custody as of Saturday night. (more)

Madison County Man Pleads Guilty

12/07/17 03:14 PM

After pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his mother's ex-boyfriend, Brandon Hogan of Madison County will serve 25 to 30 years in prison. In 2015 sixty-seven year old Edward Praytor was found dead in a driveway with multiple lacerations on his face and neck, and a stab wound.  An autopsy however determined "blunt force trauma to the head" as cause of death. The mother, Nancy Hogan and son led police on a multi-state chase into Raybon County, Georgia, where they were apprehended. Nancy Hogan is charged with first-degree murder.

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/29 - 12/6/17

12/07/17 11:02 AM
Yancey Sheriff Report   11/29 - 12/6/17 (Details)

Mountain Air Residents Give to the Community

12/06/17 02:44 PM
The Mountain Air Residents’ Community Fund has awarded grants totaling $80,350 to twelve separate non-profit organizations in Yancey County.  Among those receiving the grants were: Mayland Community College, receiving a $33,000 grant for the Mountain Air Scholarship Fund; The Southern Reconciliation House to restock their food pantry for the cold season, and the W.A.M.Y. (more)

Mitchell County SafePlace Receives $20,000 Grant

12/06/17 02:01 PM
Mitchell County SafePlace received a $20,000 People in Need Grant from the Fund of Mitchell County toward the construction of a new emergency bridge project.  Connie Sedberry, Executive Director of Mitchell County SafePlace said, “These funds will go toward the construction of a new bridge that provides sole access to services that will save lives and provide a pathway for independence for the victims of domestic and sexual assault in our community.” The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is a nonprofit organization serving an 18-county region whose focus is philanthropy and enriching the lives of those in the local community through much needed funding and resources. The Fund of Mitchell County is an endowment created to support the benevolent needs of the community and is an affiliate of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, with $18 million in charitable giving to its credit in the past year. For more information, contact www.cfwnc.org.

Mission Health and Blue Cross of North Carolina Reach an Agreement

12/06/17 10:07 AM
Mission Health and Blue Cross of North Carolina issued a joint statement on Tuesday, December 5th indicating they had "entered into an agreement" for Mission's participation in Blue Cross networks, to take effect Friday, December 15, 2017. The full official joint statement reads: “Mission Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North have entered into an agreement for (more)

Two Wanted for Elder Abuse

12/04/17 04:33 PM
The Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two individuals on felony warrants. Frank Viola Jr., age 36 and Brandie Danielle Tipton, age 36 on the charge of Felony Elder Abuse. The couple was  last seen at 3929 Snow Creek Road, Bakersville. They may be in the company of (more)

McDowell County Man Leaves Baby in Car

12/04/17 04:23 PM

Alejandro Gabriel Escobar, age 26, of Marion has been charged with child abuse after authorities say he left a 3-month-old alone in a vehicle. At 9:30 pm Saturday, December 2nd the McDowell Sheriff's Department responded to a call from Nebo about a suspicious vehicle with a baby inside and no one else around. They arrived to find a 3-month-old girl in the car belonging to Escobar. A short time later Escobar came out of the woods. An investigation showed that the suspect had been in the woods for approximately an hour while the child was in the vehicle.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/26 - 12/3/17 (Details)

12/04/17 09:28 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/23 - 11/29/17 (Details)

11/30/17 01:10 PM

Avery Superintendent Steps Down

11/30/17 10:27 AM

Avery County Schools Superintendent Ken Townsend has announced his resignation according to an email sent to all Avery County Schools staff members Tuesday afternoon, November 28th, Townsend said after much consideration he had decided to step down from the position just five months after taking over from Dr. David Burleson, who retired in July. Townsend said in the email that the position of superintendent brought some challenges that he did not fully understand until he had the opportunity to do the job, and that he felt he could have a much greater impact in his previous role as human resources director for the school system. The Avery County Board of Education has agreed to let him resume that position and will be naming an interim Superintendent to serve until a permanent replacement can be found. 

More Memorabilia Stolen in McDowell County

11/30/17 10:19 AM
More than $21,000 worth of NASCAR memorabilia was taken from a storage unit last weekend on US 70 West in Marion. Someone broke into Clifird Harris' building at Economy Mini Storage,  and took 1500 small NASCAR Hot Wheels cars; 500 NASCAR diecast race cars (200 Dale Earnhardt cars, 30 Davey Allison, 30 Richard Petty, 15 Bill Elliott and various others); a Davey Allison NASCAR telephone; and 50 figurines. All of the items were still in their original packaging. The total value of the memorabilia is estimated at $21,810. A truck bed toolbox was also found to be missing. Apparently eight units were hit during the break-in. The theft  apparntly occurred sometime between 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 and 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27. The suspect’s vehicle, a light-colored Ford truck, was caught on camera at Economy Mini Storage. Anyone with information concerning the theft, suspect or whereabouts of the memorabilia is asked to call Detective Paul Alkire at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463).   With Crime Stoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Dr. Lloyd Bailey Accepts Award from North Carolina Society of Historians

11/29/17 03:28 PM
Yancey County’s own Dr. Lloyd Bailey was honored in November at the annual banquet of the North Carolina Society of Historians for the thirteenth volume of his series entitled, “Heritage of the Toe River Valley.” Dr. Bailey was recognized at the Stone Center in Winston Salem along with the 24 other submissions chosen for a Historical Book Award.  His latest 599-page installment in the Toe River Valley Heritage series includes elaborate illustrations, and the involvement of Yancey, Mitchell and Avery County troops in World War I.  The President of the society was quoted as saying, “Our distinguished judges were very much impressed by your work.”

TRAC Receives $30,000 Grant for Gateway Project

11/29/17 03:25 PM
The Toe River Arts Council was awarded $30,000 from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for the Burnsville Glass Gateways public artwork project that will connect Highway 19E to downtown. The project’s impressive tall telescope-shaped cylinders at either end of town will depict Yancey County's distinction as one of only 30 Dark Sky projects in the world and Yancey County having the largest telescope in the Southeast.  The Gateway Project will help promote tourism and will employ local and regional artists whose colorful, blown glass creations will fill the cylinders to reflect the rising and the setting sun. The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, which serves  economically-disadvantaged populations across the 18-county service area, distributed more than $1.4 million in grants to non-profits across the region.

Upcoming Swearing-In Ceremonies

11/28/17 01:13 PM
The ceremony to swear in Bakersville Mayor Charles Vines and Town Council Members, Jordon Baker and Bo Buckner will be held on December 1st at 9:00 a.m at the Bakersville Town Hall.  Family and friends are also invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony to be held in Spruce Pine at the first December meeting of the Town Council on December 11th . Mayor Darla Harding, and Town Council members, Jackie Rensink and Larry McKinney will take their Oaths of Office that day.  The ceremony is  at the new Spruce Pine Town Hall.

Six Roadside Fires Set in McDowell County over Thanksgiving Weekend

11/28/17 01:04 PM
Six roadside fires were set over Thanksgiving weekend in McDowell County, along NC 226 North.  According to McDowell County Fire Marshal Craig Walker, one was set on Thursday, November 23 at 12:43 a.m., three were set on Saturday, November 25 at 2:30 a.m., two were set on Sunday, November 26 at 2:00 a.m., and one on Huskins Branch Road, Sunday, November 26, somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. No structures were damaged, but McDowell investigators need help finding the culprit who spent Thanksgiving weekend setting these roadside fires. Anyone having information on the fires or a potential suspect is asked to contact the McDowell Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235, the Fire Marshal’s Office at 652-3241 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463).

Reward Raised to $10,000 for Rare World War II Memorabilia

11/27/17 12:54 PM

We reported last week about the  rare World War II memorabilia that was stolen from Marion Attorney Russell Neighbor's office. Initially Neighbors offered a $2500 reward for return of the items. He has now increased that to $10,000.  The Marion Police Department released a statement on Wednesday, November 22nd, saying, “The items are rare, and only collectors will be interested due to the value of the items.” The items include Lugers, Walthers and Colts, knives, daggers and German helmets.  Neighbors said the items had been with him for over 50 years and that part of the items were things that his great uncles and cousins had brought back or sent to his great-grandparents from the war . Anyone with information concerning the theft, suspect or whereabouts of the memorabilia is asked to call Sgt. Rick Gutierrez at Marion Police Department at 652-5205 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463).   With Crime Stoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/19 - 11/26/17 (Details)

11/27/17 10:40 AM

Town Council and Mayoral Swearing-In Ceremonies

11/24/17 10:42 AM
Family and friends are invited to attend the Town of Burnsville Swearing-In Ceremony for Mayor Theresa Coletta, and new Town Board Members, Bunnie McIntosh and Russell Fox, who were  elected November 7th.  The ceremony will be held at the Burnsville Town Center, South Main Street, on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be served. The swearing-in ceremony for the Spruce Pine Town board will be held  at the first December meeting on the 11th for Mayor Darla Harding, and Town Council members, Jackie Rensink and Larry McKinney.  The ceremony is open to the public at the new Town Hall. Details for the Bakersville ceremony to swear in Mayor Charles Vines and Town Council Members, Jordon Baker and Bo Buckner will be determined at the council meeting on December 1st. 

Disaster Assistance for Flood Victims in Avery County

11/22/17 04:45 PM
Avery is one of the counties covered by the announcement made Wednesday, November 22nd from the Small Business Administration.  According to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, North Carolina businesses and residents affected by the flooding and heavy winds on Oct. 23, 2017, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The declaration (more)

Rare World War II Memorabilia Stolen

11/22/17 03:55 PM
A thief made off with rare, pricey World War II memorabilia, and police hope the public can help them catch the culprit. Russell Neighbors, of Marion, reported that someone swiped WWII firearms (Walters, Lugers and Colts), daggers and knives and German helmets (similar to the ones pictured here) from 28 N. Main Street in Marion, possibly the week of Nov. 11. A press release from Marion (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/15 - 11/22/17 (Details)

11/22/17 01:42 PM

Shop Local for Small Business Saturday

11/22/17 01:31 PM
Small Business Saturday in Spruce Pine begins at 10:00 am this Saturday, November 25, at the Welcome Station in Central Park  with free goodies, coffee and donuts, and a schedule of events. Participating local merchants will serve light refreshments, samples, free gifts, special sales, and drawings for local merchant Gift Certificates.  There will be live music, dancing and a reading of Polar Express with free hot cocoa. Children are encouraged to wear their PJ’s!   Also a Gift Wrapping station in the Visitor’s Center will benefit the Mitchell High School Soccer Team. There will be a  tree-lighting ceremony prior to the beginning of the Christmas parade at 6 p.m. In Burnsville for Small Business Saturday  Christmas Extravaganza will be held in the Burnsville Town Center. Over 40 vendors  of local crafters, artists and direct sellers. will be there from 10 to 2. Free admission. Shop this Saturday to support our local businesses on Small Business Saturday. 

Mitchell Sheriffs Department Offering Training for Churches

11/21/17 03:30 PM
As church leaders across the country consider how to comfort their congregations and make them feel safe in light of the recent church and school shootings, local law enforcement agencies are stepping up to help.  The Mitchell County Sheriff’s department is responding by offering security training that can teach congregations how to deal with violent and potentially armed intruders.  If your church would like to participate in this training please contact Chief Deputy Josh Sparks in Mitchell County at 688-3982. The Yancey County Sheriff's Department announced last week that they would be providing training for churches that are interested. 

New Wildlife at Grandfather Mountain

11/20/17 02:59 PM
Wildlife lovers are going to be happy about the new additions at Grandfather Mountain. Last week two new Western cougars were introduced to the cougar habitat and in December three male elk will arrive at the newly built elk habitat. The brother-sister cougar cubs were actually adopted in March 2016 when they were orphaned in Idaho.  The 2-year-old pair, named Logan and Trinity have lived in (more)

Counterfeit Money in the Area

11/20/17 02:37 PM
Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office and Spruce Pine Police Department have received reports of counterfeit money this week. Sears fell victim to 3 counterfeit $10’s and the old Robo gas station received a counterfeit $20. Be careful when accepting cash since some counterfeit bills are in circulation in our area. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1112 - 11/19/17

11/20/17 10:16 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/8 - 11/15/17 (Details)

11/17/17 09:25 AM

Fire Destroys Unicoi Restaurant

11/16/17 12:32 PM
An accidental fire on Tuesday night, November 14th has destroyed a Tennessee landmark that is well-known to  many people in our area. Clarence's Drive-In in Unicoi burned to the ground after workers for an asphalt company accidentally started a fire while cleaning the cracks in the pavement prior to resealing the parking lot. Workers used a propane burner to get rid of the grass in the cracks and the flames travelled into the restaurant. Three fire departments responded but it was too late to save it. The family owned restaurant opened in 1969 with country cooking. The owners hope to build back and open at a leased location until that time. 

Couple Wanted for 1st Degree Murder Arrested in Yancey County

11/16/17 10:05 AM
On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, officers with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office arrested Donavon Dakota Hargis, 23, and Jamie Nunley, 40, both of Grundy County, Tennessee.  Both individuals were wanted from Grundy County, Tennessee on charges of First Degree Murder and Felony Abuse of a Corpse. On the evening of Wednesday, November 15, 2017, officers with the Yancey County (more)

Sheriff Department Develops Training for Churches

11/15/17 04:38 PM
 Due to the recent church shootings, Yancey County Sheriff Banks and his staff  have developed  a house of worship training program. The program is for church security teams. Through this program a Yancey County deputy, trained in active shooter rapid deployment and house of worship security, can come to your church and conduct a training. If you are interested in finding out more about the program contact Yancey County Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard at   828-682-1858.

Madison County Man Arrested for Tuesday Night Shooting

11/15/17 03:53 PM
 Anthony Jones, age 55 of Madison County, is in custody and being held on $300,000 bond, facing charges resulting from a shooting on Paint Rock Road in Hot Springs on Tuesday night, November 14th. According to Sheriff Buddy Harwood, Jones confessed that he went to his estranged wife’s home around 9:30 pm on Tuesday night and shot her in the chest. The two have been separated for (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/5 - 11/12/17

11/13/17 12:49 PM

Mitchell County Murder Suspect in Court

11/13/17 08:58 AM
One of six people charged in connection with the murder of a Mitchell County man is scheduled to appear in court Today. Travis Bowman is accused of killing Joshua Buchanan, and then burying the victim's body in a shallow grave on private property last October. The body was found in a shallow grave on Fred Sparks Road, just outside of Bakersville on October 7th, 2016. Investigators say Bowman and Felicia Fox were taken into custody in Georgia and charged with first-degree murder. Four other people have been indicted as accessories after the fact.

McCall Selected Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Fellow

11/10/17 12:13 PM
Schell McCall, Executive Director of Partners Aligned Toward Health (PATH), has been selected as a Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellow. Schell is one of eight Fellows selected by the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation for terms that began (more)

Third MS-13 Gang Member Charged in Avery County

11/09/17 02:27 PM
A Federal raid Saturday, November 4th on an apartment building in Banner Elk found three MS-13 gang members. One is a murder suspect, and another who is suspected in a homicide, and yet another who is suspected of serious assault and possibly homicide.   Although the murders happened in Baltimore, Maryland, the suspects all came to Avery County to hide out because they thought it was a “good place to lay low,” suspects told investigators.   All three men were considered armed and dangerous; however, no weapons were discovered during the raid. None of the men had ID but it has been confirmed that the suspects are from El Salvador, undocumented, and all members of the MS-13 gang. Extradition to Maryland for the suspects should happen later in the week.

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/1 - 11/7/17 (Details)

11/09/17 09:31 AM

16 Arrested in a Madison County Prostitution Sting

11/09/17 07:16 AM
 An undercover prostitution sting operation by the Madison County Sheriff’s office and Homeland Security has 16 behind bars facing 53 separate charges. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation began after officials witnessed an influx of the behavior being reported in the county. (more)

Stroupe Trial Date Set

11/09/17 07:15 AM
A trial date has been set for Phillip Michael Stroupe II who is accused of killing Thomas Bryson, a Mills River man, on July 26. Stroupe is also charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree kidnapping. (more)

Town Elections Results

11/08/17 08:01 AM
Town elections were held yesterday and the town of Burnsville has re-elected Mayor Theresa Coletta. Coletta received just over 54% of the vote with 235 votes. Write in Candidate Ron Powell received 189 votes. Russell Fox and Bunny McIntosh were the two top vote getters for town council. Fox received 264 votes and McIntosh 229. In Bakersville it was a close race for Mayor. Charles Vines received 61 votes or 51.26% and  Darlene Tipton Wise had 58 votes, 48.74%. For town council 3 names were on the ballot for the 2 positions, Jordon Baker, 72 votes, Bo Buckner 57 and Perry Wilson, 52 votes.
In Spruce Pine Incumbent Mayor Darla Phillips Harding ran unopposed.  There were 2 names on the ballot for the 2 town council seats, Larry McKinney and Jackie Rensink. There were a few write in votes but all of those were re-elected. The City of Marion had an ABC Election on the ballot and almost 73% of the voters voted in favor of alcohol sales. For all of the election numbers around the state see the link on our web site home page. 

Avery County Airport Receives $1.5 Million for Runway Overhaul

11/07/17 02:59 PM
The Avery County Morrison Airport has received state funding in the amount of $1,549,750.00 for Runway Rehabilitation.  The Runway being 3001 feet by 60 feet, did not meet the specifications for North Carolina runways. As a result, the Airport Authority was able to apply for and receive the state grant for a complete overhaul, to include all new stone, compaction, and four inch asphalt. According to Avery County Airport Authority Chairman, Sam Calvert, they can accommodate bigger planes if they extend the runway to 4,300 feet, which would also be favorable for bringing more business to Avery and Mitchell counties. The project is underway and should be completed in November  with a reopening date of December 15 of this year.  

Low Income Energy Assistance Applications

11/07/17 10:33 AM
The Yancey County Department of Social Services will be taking applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program beginning on December 1, 2017.  This will be only for household that contain someone who is age sixty years and older.  Applications will be taken from 8:30 am until noon at First Baptist Church on Town Square.  We will be back at the office at 2 pm to take (more)

Gang Member Apprehended in Avery County

11/06/17 01:32 PM
A MS13 gang member was apprehended in Avery County Saturday morning, November 4th. According to an Avery Sheriff's Office press release, the Avery County Special Response Team along with the United States Marshals Service executed a high risk fugitive apprehension in the Banner Elk area. Milton A. Portillo-Rodriguez , a known and verified MS13 gang member from Maryland area was captured. Portillo-Rodriguez is wanted for a murder which occurred June 24th in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.Portillo-Rodriguez is 22 years old and was born in El Salvador. Portillo-Rodriguez is being held in the Avery County Jail without bond until his initial hearing on November 9th.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/29 - 11/05/17 (Details)

11/06/17 09:18 AM

Town Elections Tuesday

11/06/17 07:24 AM
Town Elections will be held tomorrow all across the state. In Bakersville Darlene Tipton Wise will face Charles Vines for Mayor. For town council 3 names are on the ballot for the 2 positions, Jordon Baker, Bo Buckner and Perry Wilson. (more)

Mitchell County Deputy Dies

11/02/17 12:46 PM
Press Release from Sheriff Donald Street of the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department:
Yesterday was a sad day for the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office and the family of Deputy Christian (Chris) McClintick. Law enforcements officers responded to a call of a possible suicidal subject in the city limits of Spruce Pine. Officers arrived on scene and found one of our own with gun to his chest, attempts were made to talk him out of it. He died a short time later of a self inflicted gun shot wound. Please remember the family of Chris and the law enforcement officers of our county. You do not get into law enforcement to get rich. It is a dedication and a life long dream to many. In lieu of flowers the Mitchell County Sheriff’s has set up a special fund in our county finance office to pay his funeral expenses any extra will go the kids of the officer. The address is 63 Crimson Laurel Circle Suite 8 Bakersville, NC 28705

Avery Receives Grant to Help With Storm Water

11/01/17 03:34 PM

 Avery County has received $187,000 grant money to develop a storm water mitigation plan at the site of the new swimming pool complex on Shady Street in Newland. The grant   will help address run off on the property and  will help set parameters for development of the property. The funds will give the county a chance to develop a number of innovations that will slow flooding, as well as filter storm water and improve the waters of Kentucky Creek and the North Toe River.

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/24 - 10/31/17 (Details)

11/01/17 12:31 PM

Deadly House Fire in the Buladean

10/31/17 03:52 PM
A Mitchell County man and his dog died as a result of a house fire on Highway 226 North in the Buladean community early Monday morning, October 30th. The victim is believed to be Charles Ray Gardner, age 68, who was living in the home, according to a home health nurse who received a notification from Mr. Gardner’s Medical Alert Device shortly before 6:30 a.m. Authorities at the scene reported dogs barking but no response from Mr. Gardner. Attempts were made to search the house, but efforts were prevented by explosions, possibly from oxygen tanks in the home. Firemen were able to rescue two of the family dogs. Upon further inspection of the home once the fire was under control, remains of a male subject were discovered near the rear exit of the house. The remains will be sent to Winston-Salem for autopsy and positive identification. The exact cause has not yet been determined; however it is believed the fire began near the kitchen where a wood-burning stove was in use and where it appeared the ash door was open and overflowing, according to the press release. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/15 - 10/29/17 (Details)

10/30/17 10:26 AM

Murder Charge Press Release

10/28/17 09:12 PM
Yancey Sheriff's Department Press Release
According to Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard Fifty-six-year-old Allen James "Butch" Buttke, Jr. was taken into custody by the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, October 25th and charged with Second Degree Murder in relation to the shooting death of Sharon Williams Nicklow.  (more)

Mitchell Candidates Forum

10/27/17 12:57 PM
The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce has invited all candidates seeking the offices of Bakersville Mayor, Bakersville Town Council, Spruce Pine Mayor and Spruce Pine Town Council to participate in a forum on Thursday, November 2nd at 6 pm at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville. The candidates for the contested races in Bakersville will be given the opportunity to make an opening statement then be presented with questions submitted by Chamber members.  No one will see these questions prior to the forum. A panel of Chamber members will ask the questions of the candidates. The candidates for the uncontested races in Spruce Pine have been invited to present a 3 minute address to the audience.  The public is invited to attend the event.

Mountain Community Health Partnership Receives WNC Mini-Grant

10/26/17 03:25 PM
Mountain Community Health Partnership (MCHP) is pleased to announce that their Outreach and Enrollment Department has been awarded a $10,500 Mini-Grant Award. The award amount will be used to support our Health Centers Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment efforts. (more)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

10/26/17 01:16 PM
The Family Violence Coalition of Yancey County displayed simple white flags pinned to a clothes line on the Burnsville Town Square Thursday. Each flag bears the names, ages, and how the victim was killed by domestic violence homicide. (more)

Madison County Company To Create 47 New Jobs

10/26/17 01:05 PM
Advanced Superabrasives, Inc. will create 47 new full-time jobs over the next four years as part of a $26 million investment. Advanced Superabrasives started in Mars Hill in 1993 in 3000 square feet. In 2000 they moved into their current 37,000 square foot facility. They now will (more)

State of Emergency for Marshall

10/26/17 07:11 AM
According to a press release from the Town of Marshall, approximately 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater entered the French Broad River on October 24. The Town has declared a state of emergency after a submerged sewer line that travels under the French Broad River is believed to have broken. The release states that the untreated wastewater was discharged between the Redmon Road lift station and the wastewater treatment plant at 149 Blannahassett Island Road.  Environmental and public works officials are assessing the situation to determine next steps. The formal declaration enables the town to seek state or federal aid if needed.

Fatal Shooting in Yancey County

10/25/17 12:48 PM
Allen James "Butch" Buttke, Jr , age 56 has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his longtime girlfriend , Sharon Nicklow.  The fatal shooting happened Tuesday night, October 24th at 448 Bald Mountain Road in Yancey County.  According to the Yancey County Sheriff's Department,  five guns were taken from the mobile home, including a handgun Buttke used to shoot Nicklow several times at close range.   The investigation is ongoing, further details as they become available. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/18 - 10/24/17 (Details)

10/25/17 10:39 AM

Mitchell County Man Charged with Animal Cruelty

10/25/17 10:35 AM
William Arrington, age 59 of  Brummetts Creek Road in Green Mountain has been arrested on four counts of animal cruelty. He allegedly shot  and killed two bear hunting dogs and was charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty. Arrington supposedly shot a third dog that initially survived, but later died, for which he was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Mitchell Deputies discovered another dog on Arrington’s property, buried in a grave beneath a slab of granite. This led to the third count of felony animal cruelty. The dogs are believed to have been in pursuit of a bear when they went on Arrington’s property. Arrington told Mitchell Sheriff Department that he shot the dogs because they were chasing his cows, but several eyewitnesses said they saw Arrington shoot the dogs after chasing them on his ATV. Arrington was arrested and released on a $28,000 bond.  The Mitchell County Sheriff's Department has received complaints in the past from Arrington about bear-hunting dogs on his property.

Flooding on October 23rd 2017

10/23/17 04:53 PM
After several inches of rain on Monday the bridge at Micaville Elementary School was flooded and the road closed. All busses at Micaville and South Toe Elementary Schools were held until the roads were clear. All East Yancey Middle School and Mountain Heritage students that live in Micaville or South Toe school districts were held at East Yancey Middle School until the water receded. (more)      

Small Earthquake in Yancey County

10/23/17 12:56 PM
Most people slept through it but a few night owls may have felt the earthquake that hit our area Sunday morning, October 22nd. at 2:14 a.m,  a 2.5 earthquake struck Yancey County with its epicenter 8.6 miles deep directly under Mt. Mitchell Golf Club, according to the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information. No major damage has been reported. There are at least 80 earthquakes per year that strike along the Tennessee seismic zone, which includes North Carolina. North Carolina has a history of experiencing smaller earthquakes, with the largest recorded February 21,1916 near Waynesville. The largest recorded for Burnsville was 3.6 on December 7, 2005.

New Yancey County K9

10/20/17 09:15 AM
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Department has a new deputy in training. K9 Jackie will be ready for service in late December. Meanwhile the search continues for the person or persons responsible for the death of the Yancey County Sheriff's Department K9 Chris. Chris was shot Wednesday morning, July 12th in his kennel at his home in the Bald Mountain community.   A fundraiser in August had over $5500 in donations for the purchase and training of the new K9 Deputy.

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/11 - 10/18/17 (Details)

10/18/17 12:23 PM

20 Year Additional Sentence

10/18/17 07:55 AM
A Morganton man who is serving time for robbery and attempted murder in Burke County has been sentenced to another 20 years in a similar case in McDowell County.
44 year old Stacey Heatley was found guilty in McDowell County Superior Court of attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony breaking or entering. (more)

Share Your Ideas About Ray-Cort Park

10/17/17 01:26 PM
Coming up this next Tuesday, October 24th is a community gathering at Ray-Cort Park. The event will be held from 4 to 6 pm and its purpose is to get input about revitalizing the park.    The event is sponsored by multiple community organizations including, Partners Aligned Toward Health, Blue Ridge Partnership for Children, Yancey County Parks, and the Yancey Library. There will be live music, crafts, and food provided, along with opportunities for you to share your thoughts, ideas, and stories about the park.  Ray-Cort Park is located on Mitchell Branch in Burnsville. 

Local Sheriff Offers Tips for a Safe Halloween

10/17/17 09:36 AM
Soon our streets will be scattered with little ghosts, goblins, and witches trick-or-treating this Halloween.  “Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” said Sheriff Banks of Yancey County. The Sheriff reminds all Yancey County residents to follow these safety (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/8 - 10/15/17 (Details)

10/16/17 10:49 AM

The Wall That Heals

10/12/17 09:27 AM
The Wall That Heals, traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial opening ceremony was held Thursday morning. The Wall replica and Mobile Education Center open at Heritage High School baseball field 24 hours per day until Sunday at 3 pm. No admission, everyone is invited. (more pics)

Recreational Trails Grants

10/11/17 03:29 PM
One local and a couple of area groups are recipients of Recreational Trails grants.  Twenty-five matching grants for trails projects across North Carolina for 2018 have been awarded for a total of $2.1 million.  The matching grants, recommended by the North Carolina Trails Committee and approved by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, will help fund healthful recreation opportunities for hikers, cyclists, paddlers, equestrians and off-highway vehicle users throughout the state and will promote tourism for the enjoyment of the state’s natural resources. Locally the N.C. High Peaks Trail Association will receive $52,460 for Phase III of the Mount Mitchell Trail Renovation Project. In the broader area, Burke County will receive $100,000 for Fonta Flora State Trail– Northwest Connection Boardwalk along the shore of Lake James,  plus $100,000 for the Mountains to Sea Connector Trail and a new boardwalk. The City of Marion will receive $30,000 for the Upper Catawba River Trail signage, kiosks, and maps for up to 30 access points along the  Trail. And McDowell County will receive $100,000 for Lower Catawba Falls Access safety and accessibility improvements. For a complete list go to ncparks.gov.

Double Murder Suspect Captured in Madison County

10/11/17 02:50 PM
According to the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department double murder suspect Clyde William Banner has been captured in Madison County. He has been charged with fugitive of justice in Madison County and will be brought back to Tennessee on two charges of first-degree murder in Unicoi County. The original crime scene is located at Lower Higgins Creek Road which is about 5 miles outside of Erwin. Unicoi County Schools were on preventative lock down for a period of time on Wednesday as authorities pursued Banner . We will have more information as it becomes available. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/4 - 10/11/17 (Details)

10/11/17 01:08 PM

Zero Tolerance for Speeding in Spruce Pine City Limits

10/10/17 03:39 PM
The Spruce Pine Police Department announced at the October 9th Town Board Meeting that they will begin  zero tolerance for speeding inside the Spruce Pine City limits on Wednesday, November 1st.  It is due to the outpouring of complaints about the speeding on Oak Avenue that has the Town Board and the Police Department concerned about the safety of citizens and businesses inside the city limits. Spruce Pine Town police officers will be issuing NC State citations to any vehicle caught speeding past the posted speed limit within the city limits. Police Chief, Bill Summerlin urges everyone to make their travels to downtown Spruce Pine “a safe and slow trip.” 

Stroupe Sr Denied Lower Bond

10/09/17 04:40 PM
Monday, October 9th  in a Henderson County courtroom, Phillip Stroupe Sr was denied a lower bond.  His bond was left at $500,000. His trial date has not been scheduled.  His son, Stroup II's next court date is December.  Phillip Michael Stroupe Sr. is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, a class C felony, and has been in custody since July 30. Stroupe's son, Phillip Michael Stroupe II, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping in the death of Hendersonville resident Thomas Bryson. He also faces various other charges related to the five day manhunt he led law enforcement personnel on across Western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/1 - 10/8/17

10/09/17 03:42 PM

Local Woman Witnessed Vegas Shooting

10/06/17 07:49 PM
Connie McKinney of Mitchell County was in Las Vegas on October 1st and witnessed the deadly mass shooting incident.  She is back in Spruce Pine and told WLOS News  about the traumatic scene she saw unfold before her eyes. McKinney   was there to celebrate her niece's 30th birthday. She was staying at the Tropicana Hotel, which is across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the concert venue for the  Route 91 Festival, featuring Jason Aldean. She was in her room listening to the concert when sounds like fireworks started going off. She looked out toward the festival and instead of fireworks saw chaos as people were running and screaming. She heard reports of multiple shooters, cut the lights out and stayed in her room, praying. The incident gave McKinney a deeper appreciation for life and for the quick action of the first responders that night. 

Deadline to Register for Burnsville Town Election

10/06/17 01:14 PM
This Friday, October 13th is the deadline for registering if you plan on voting in the upcoming town election on November 7th. All residents of the Town of Burnsville who are currently registered to vote with the Yancey County Board of Elections may vote in this election. Voters will choose a Mayor and two council seats, all for four year terms. Polls will open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm at the Burnsville Town Center. Any town resident who wishes to vote in this election but are not currently registered to vote, must register on or before 5:00 pm on Friday the 13th. Voters, who have moved outside their precinct but still remain within the town of Burnsville, need to notify the Yancey County Board of Elections in writing by 5pm on October 13th. Absentee ballots will not be allowed. For more information   contact the Yancey County Board of Elections at 682-3950, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or by email at yancey.boe@gmail.com  

High Absenteeism in Schools

10/05/17 02:53 PM
According to the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, one in eight students in North Carolina miss more than 15 days each school year, with 26 percent of students chronically absent.  In our area Mitchell County has the lowest rate of absenteeism at  12.5 percent, Yancey is next at 15.8 percent. Madison rate is one of the highest at 18.2 percent. There are various issues that can lead to chronic absences. Mitchell County is serving breakfast each morning in the classrooms to address some of the issues that may be affecting attendance.  They also have started an incentive program this year in order to combat the problem.   

Madison County Woman Steals Vehicle

10/05/17 02:36 PM
According to the  Madison County Sheriff's Department Tiffany Mills of Madison County  stole a vehicle to make her court date. Tiffany, age 29 was arrested Monday, October 2nd in downtown Marshall. She was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Apparently Mills was due in court for a minor traffic offense and stole vehicle from a home in Buncombe County so she wouldn't miss her court date.

Burnsville Visioning Workshop

10/05/17 01:04 PM
There will be a Burnsville Workshop visioning session for Downtown and Main Street presented by “Construction Professional Network Institute” on October 12th & 13th at the Burnsville Town Center.  The purpose of the meeting is to envision the future of Burnsville's Main Street and downtown area. The Construction Professional Network Institute looks at design and construction ideas and uses their expertise to help  communities improve their physical and economic environment.  If you would like to have input into this process you can drop by any time on October 12 from 10:15 am to 12:15 pm or from 3:00 to 5:00 pm or on October 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  For more information  contact Burnsville's mayor at mayor@townofburnsville.org.

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/27 - 10/3/17 (Details)

10/04/17 04:26 PM

Avery Drug Crackdown Continues

10/04/17 02:35 PM
Avery County authorities continue their drug crackdown with three additional arrests as part of Operation Rattlesnake. The most recent arrests bring the total to 30, with more than 70 charges brought so far. (more)

Mountain Community Health Partnerships Receives Quality Improvement Award

10/04/17 01:24 PM
Mountain Community Health Partnership (MCHP) is pleased to announce they have been awarded a $62,021 Quality Improvement Award. The award amount will be used to support our Health Centers with ongoing improvement of patient care and outcomes. MCHP was among 36 Health Centers in North Carolina to receive the Quality Improvement Award. A total of $2,387,571 was presented to Health Centers (more)

Mountain Community Health Partnership Receives AIMS Grant

10/04/17 01:10 PM
Mountain Community Health Partnership (MCHP) is pleased to announce they have been awarded a $175,700 AIMS Grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). MCHP was among 1,178 Health Centers to receive the AIMS Grant. Nationwide, HRSA awarded $200 Million to increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The purpose of these funds is to expand access (more)

Drug Take Back Day Success

10/02/17 04:01 PM
71 pounds of prescription drugs were collected during the recent Drug Take Back Day. On Saturday, September 23rd  between  the drugs collected at Take Back Day and collection of the permanent drug drop boxes 71 pounds were brought in. That is 71 pounds of drugs that will not be diverted and sold illegally, end up in the hands of children or youth or end up in our rivers and streams. Drug Take Back days was sponsored by the Mitchell-Yancey substance Abuse Task force in partnership with the Yancey Sheriff's Department, the Burnsville Police Department and Prescription Pad in Burnsville. To find out more about Mitchell Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force go to their Facebook page or call 682-7899.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/24 - 10/1/17 (Details)

10/02/17 10:19 AM

Operation Rattlesnake Bites 29 People

09/29/17 03:48 PM
The Avery County Sheriff's Department is in the process of  Operation Rattlesnake, an undercover drug operation that has been going on for eight months.  Operation Rattlesnake is seeking to "get the people pushing poison out from under the rocks", according to Avery County deputies.  The undercover investigation came to a head on Tuesday, Sept. 26, as officers (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/21 - 9/26/17 (Details)

09/29/17 12:07 PM

Escaped Inmate Captured

09/27/17 06:59 AM
An escaped inmate is back behind bars. 51 year old Michael Dewayne Clark was captured in McDowell County yesterday and turned over to the N.C. Department of Corrections. Clark escaped from a work assignment at Harnett Correctional Institution on September 14th. (more)

Yancey County Shooting

09/27/17 06:57 AM
One man shot during an argument Tuesday afternoon off North Bee Branch Road in the Green Mountain community. According to Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard multiple shots were fired and Josh Murphy was hit once in collar bone. Murphy was transported to the hospital in stable condition. David Murphy of Burnsville was arrested and charged with one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury and one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury.  Murphy remains in the Yancey County Jail under a $50,000 bond. 

Illegal Prescription Drug Diversion and Money Laundering

09/26/17 04:09 PM
A pharmacy manager from Burnsville, has plead guilty for her role in the fraudulent diversion of prescription drugs and money laundering, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. Karen Ann Turner,  age 37, plead guilty in the Western District of North Carolina to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of money laundering.  Turner was charged in connection with a fraudulent scheme that operated out of pharmacies in Burnsville , and Travelers Rest, South Carolina.  As a part of that scheme, Turner bought prescription drugs at lower prices by falsely stating that the drugs would be used to fill patient prescriptions through the pharmacies that she operated.  Instead of using the drugs for patient prescriptions, Turner sold them at higher prices to unauthorized drug wholesalers.  Some of the prescription drugs that Turner bought and sold were in short supply.  Turner laundered the profits by transferring them through bank accounts that she controlled.  According to the news release, these fraud schemes increase the risk that patients will receive ineffective or unsafe drugs, and can expose hospitals to exorbitant prices for drugs that are in short supply. Court documents say she operated the scheme from 2011 through 2014, with revenue exceeding more than $1.3 million. This case is being prosecuted through the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina and the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch, with assistance from FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel.  The criminal investigation was conducted by FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Avery Forfeited Drug Money Goes to School System

09/26/17 03:41 PM
Avery County Schools have received more than $10,000 from forfeited drug related money. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office turned it over to the Avery County School System in accordance with the  NC Constitution which prohibits the use of fines or forfeitures for any other use. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office has forfeited money to the school system before but this is the largest amount in recent history. The Avery Sheriff’s Office also provides grow lights and other agricultural supplies to the local horticulture departments in the schools when they are turned over by the courts through the forfeiture program. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/10 - 9/24/17 (Details)

09/26/17 10:46 AM