Special Yancey Commissioners Meeting on Tax Appeals (Details)

10/09/15 01:42 PM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/2 - 10/9/15 (Details)

10/09/15 01:38 PM

Ledger Woman Arrested for Selling Drugs Near a High School

10/09/15 10:10 AM
Mitchell County Detectives have arrested Marsha Diane Vance, age 44, of 251 Ledger School Road, Bakersville, on numerous felony drug charges. Captain R.V. Wiseman said a month long investigation ended Wednesday, October 7th with the arrest of Vance. Captain Wiseman advised after receiving complaints that Vance, whose residence is next to Mitchell High School, was selling prescription (more)

Questions About Avery County Veterans Monument

10/08/15 02:48 PM
Questions are being asked about the Veterans’ Memorial monument in Newland. Hitchcock Memorials of Elizabethton, TN says they were misled into believing that their firm would get the contract for the granite monument. Hitchcock Memorials says they have expended time and resources with assurances from Commissioner Robert Griffith that Hitchcock would be selected to erect the monument. The promise was reportedly made before the project was set to go through the bidding process which is required by law. And when those bids came in, the board unanimously voted on September 17th to award the contract for construction of the monument to Gaulden Memorials and Austin and Barnes Funeral Home of Boone at a price of $163,981.  The Austin and Barnes Funeral Home was not the lowest bid.   Henline-Hughes Funeral Home placed a bid of $159,000 and Hitchcock/Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home placed a bid for $197,013. The contract went to Gaulden/Austin-Barnes after discussions over warranty. Avery County Manager Tim Greene said he was unaware of any problem until he received an email a week after the bid was awarded. 

Mitchell Commissioners Look at Ambulance Shortage

10/07/15 02:41 PM
At their regular monthly meeting, the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners listened to reports about the need for an additional ambulance. Mitchell County runs two ambulance vehicles contracted through Mission Health, but EMS officials are seeing an increase in both vehicles being tied up on calls when another request comes in. One of the main problems, since the hospital is located in Mitchell (more)

Yancey Board of Ed Extends Superintendent Contract

10/06/15 12:34 PM
At its regular monthly meeting on October 5th, the Yancey County Board of Education recognized October as National Principals Appreciation Month.  In unfinished business, the Board authorized Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton to obtain quotes and have a new roof installed on the Bald Creek Elementary Pre-School Building.  “The rain last week has shown us that a roof is the top (more)

Oct 15 Tax Deadline

10/06/15 07:03 AM
IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2015-17
If you are one of the 13 million taxpayers who asked for more time to file your federal tax return and still haven’t filed, your extra time is about to expire. Oct. 15 is the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension. (more)

Yancey Sheriffs Office Arrests Minnesota Fugitive

10/05/15 03:49 PM
On Sept 30th the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office received information from Minneapolis Police Department that a fugitive by the name of Derelle Keith Todd was wanted for Aggravated Robbery in Minnesota. Minneapolis Police told the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office they had reason to believe that Todd was somewhere in Yancey County. Sheriff’s Office Detectives began working on the (more)

Hise, Dobson Honored by NC Nurse Assoc.

10/05/15 10:05 AM
Senator Ralph Hise was named legislator of the year by the North Carolina Nurses Association on Wednesday, September 30. Representative Josh Dobson (Avery, Mitchell & McDowell counties) was the named legislator of the year from the House.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/20 - 10/4/15 (Details)

10/05/15 09:54 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/25 - 10/2/15 (Details)

10/05/15 09:17 AM

North Carolina Sends Flood Relief Help to South Carolina

10/05/15 07:07 AM
Western North Carolina dodged a lot of weather problems this past weekend as the storm stalled out over South Carolina. Most areas had several inches of rain, more than normal, but nothing compared to the double digit numbers recorded in South Carolina. (more)

Mitchell County Arrest Incident

10/04/15 03:53 PM
On 9/30/2015 at approximately 12:45 p.m. Lt. Josh Biddix attempted to stop a Blue Ford Focus on Penland Road after receiving information from a citizen that the vehicle was being operated in a reckless and careless manner.  (more)

Emergency Training Held at Mtn Heritage High School

10/02/15 02:11 PM
After months of planning and extensive coordination by administration of Mountain Heritage High School, members of local law enforcement and emergency response teams, the emergency training held at MHHS on Monday, September 28th was an incredible experience for all (more)

Yancey Election Office and Cooperative Extension Move

10/02/15 09:26 AM
The offices for Yancey County Election Services and the Yancey County Cooperative Extension Service have moved to the new Yancey County Service Center facility located at 30 US Highway 19-E Bypass in Burnsville.  This location is the former U.S. Forest Service facility next to the Rio Mexican Cuisine Restaurant. (more)

Red Cross Urges Preparedness

10/02/15 05:27 AM
Periods of very heavy rainfall are expected to produce flash flooding, and the Western North Carolina Region of the American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to prepare in advance of the storm. (more)

Unemployment Rates Released

10/01/15 01:39 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in 86 of North Carolina’s counties, increased in 4, and remained unchanged in 10 according to employment figures for August, recently released by the state. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.4 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.6 percent. Within the North Carolina metro areas, Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate at 8.8 percent and Asheville had the lowest at 4.8 percent. The August, not seasonally adjusted, statewide rate was 6.1 percent. Avery and McDowell were tied for the lowest rate in our area at 5.7 percent while Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 6.8 percent. Madison had an unemployment rate in the middle of the spectrum at 5.9 percent and Yancey was on the higher end at 6.2 percent.

Yancey Citizen/Alumni Awards Given at MCC Founders Event

09/30/15 12:11 PM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in September. (more)

Mitchell Citizen/Alumni Awards Given at MCC Founders Event

09/30/15 12:08 PM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in September. (more)

Flooding in Yancey County (more photos)

09/29/15 03:06 PM
Photos by Hope Robinson

Parkway Playhouse Announces 2016 Season, Recognizes Board Members and Volunteers

09/29/15 01:34 PM
Parkway Playhouse Artistic Director, Andrew Gall, announced Parkway Playhouse’s 2016 season at the conclusion of its 2015 Season Celebration on Sunday September 27.  At this special event,  volunteers, artists, and students were recognized for their accomplishments on and off the stage, as well as service to the theatre company; which will observe its 70th Anniversary in (more)

Help Paying for Your Prescriptions

09/28/15 09:42 AM
RALEIGH— Do you ever have difficulty paying for your prescription drugs? Do you have limited income and assets? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions and you are a person with Medicare, Extra Help may be available for you. (Details)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/18 - 9/25/15 (Details)

09/28/15 09:32 AM

Mountain Heritage Emergency Event

09/25/15 07:11 AM
Don’t panic if you see or hear about any police and EMS activity at Mountain Heritage High School on Monday, September 28th from 1:00pm to around 3:30pm. The high school is going to be working with local police, EMS, and other organizations to run an emergency drill to train school faculty and staff on what to do if a shooter were to appear on school campus. All Yancey County schools will be dismissing early on Monday at 11:30am, 11:45am, and noon to allow all students to get home safely before the drill begins. Faculty from other Yancey county schools will also be involved in this drill by playing the part of students in the classrooms. The Mountain Heritage campus will reopen around 4:00pm after the drill is over. 

Burnsville Business Park

09/22/15 07:33 AM
The Yancey County Economic Development Commission held a press conference last week to announce the development of a Burnsville Business Park at the former Burnsville Hosiery Mill property. (more)

NCDOT Warns Against Railroad Photography

09/21/15 04:45 PM
Raleigh – The N.C. Department of Transportation Rail Division’s BeRailSafe program urges individuals and professional photographers to stop taking photographs on railroad tracks, property and equipment. There are both safety and legal reasons for this message: (Details)

Mars Hill University Kicks Off $31 Million Fundraising Campaign

09/21/15 10:31 AM
Mars Hill University announced a $31 million capital fundraising campaign Friday evening, September 18, with an event at Lioncrest at Biltmore Estate. The "Building Our University" campaign is designed to enhance the student experience at Mars Hill and targets new and renovated facilities, program development, student scholarships, and faculty development. (more)

Yancey Board of Education Recognizes High Performance

09/18/15 03:11 PM
The Yancey County Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 14, and recognized Bald Creek, Micaville and South Toe Elementary Schools for earning the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s distinction of High Performance (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/11 - 9/18/15 (Details)

09/18/15 02:21 PM

Special Meeting of Yancey Commissioners

09/18/15 02:17 PM
There will be a special meeting of the Yancey County Board of Commissioners Monday, September 21st at 10 am.  The purpose of the meeting is to have a discussion of economic development issues with regional planners, the Town of Burnsville and the Yancey County Economic Development Commission. The meeting will be held at the Burnsville Town Center. 

Boyer Convicted in Two DWI Wrecks

09/18/15 08:31 AM
Christie Boyer of Yancey County, was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle and two counts of felony inflicting serious injury with a motor vehicle on Wednesday, September 16th. Charges of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving to endanger, driving left of center and driving while intoxicated were dropped. The charges stem from two 2013 car accidents that authorities say Boyer caused. In February 2013 troopers say Boyer was driving a Yancey County Transportation Authority van when she slammed into a guardrail, causing the van to tip over and skid down a hill. Three young children were rescued from the vehicle, but 48-year-old Billy Grindstaff, who was mentally handicapped, was trapped inside the van and died from severe burns. In the hours following the accident Boyer tested positive for prescription drugs and methamphetamine. Five months later, out on bond, Boyer hit a car in Mitchell County while under the influence of prescription drugs. The accident sent one driver to the hospital with serious injuries. The convictions carry a minimum sentence of 80 months behind bars.

Burnsville Business Park Announcement

09/18/15 07:24 AM
A non-profit development company named Winter Star Corporation has been going through the planning process for over a year on a new project to purchase the former Burnsville Hosiery Mill property for development of the Burnsville Business Park.  This will be an incubator facility that will have space available for new and startup small business/manufacturing. Wanda  Proffitt, Director of the Yancey County Economic Development Commission has announced a press conference  for 2:00 pm Today at the building located at 54 Ferguson Hill Road in Burnsville. 

Marion Man Caught After Five Years

09/17/15 04:34 PM
U. S. Marshalls have tracked down a Marion man that has been eluded authorities for five years. Mark Allen Rawson, 53, of 115 6th EM Street, Marion was found in Marion where he has been living and working under a false name for the past year. Rawson was wanted in Texas and Colorado for absconding probation and failing to register as a sex offender. U.S. Marshals, along with local law enforcement took Rawson into custody around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, September 14th. Rawson was apparently using his deceased brother’s identity, Robert Charles Rawson, who had died in 1974 at the age of 11 in a Texas house fire. On July 9, Rawson was stopped by Trooper Daniel Alexander for a seatbelt violation and was presented with a Texas driver’s license from Rawson. Alexander was able to get an updated address, which alerted marshals to his whereabouts. Authorities said additional charges are pending against Rawson and others at the residence. Rawson was transported to the McDowell County Jail under no bond pending extradition hearings in Asheville’s federal court.

Groundbreaking for Observatory

09/17/15 11:56 AM
Mayland Community College held a groundbreaking for the Bare Dark-Sky Observatory on September 17. The observatory is part of the Blue Ridge Star Park under construction at the EnergyXchange facility. (more)

Groundbreaking of Dark Sky Observatory

09/16/15 11:35 AM
Groundbreaking for the Bare Dark-Sky Observatory will be held tomorrow beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Energy Xchange. The Energy Xchange is located off Hwy 80 North on Landfill Road. The public is invited to join Mayland Community College for this long awaited event. The location was designated as the first International Dark Sky Park in the Southeastern United States in February of 2014. The six acre land is owned by Yancey County and managed by Mayland Community College.  It is also the first park to be operated by an institute of higher learning and to have outdoor lighting consisting entirely of fully-shielded, low temperature LED fixtures. The observatory will be built at atop a peak on the property with an elevation of 2736 feet that will offer a 360 degree view. A roll-off roof observatory will feature a 34” telescope and classroom/meeting space. It will be the largest telescope in the Southeast in dark skies dedicated for public use for educational and public outreach activities. The observatory will be operated by volunteers from the local   Blue Ridge Astronomy Group which has been instrumental in the project.

Yancey Commissioners Receive Good News

09/16/15 09:27 AM
At their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 14th,  the Yancey County Commissioners received good news on a number of fronts.  The first bit of good news was from Tres Magner, Cooperative Extension Director and Linda Semon, 4-H Coordinator (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/06 - 9/13/15

09/14/15 10:23 AM

Work to Start on Lower Doe Bag Road

09/11/15 05:07 PM
Crews will start building a new culvert on Lower Doe Bag Road at Doe Bag Creek in the Green Mountain community of Yancey County on Monday, Sept. 14. The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to keep the road open during most of the construction.  However, there will be occasional, brief road closures of less than 30 minutes during non-peak travel times. The work is expected to be finished by early-spring 2016. The project is part of a $5.2 million contract awarded to Owle Construction of Whittier to replace 11 culverts in Yancey, Buncombe, Madison, McDowell, and Mitchell counties.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/4 - 9/11/15 (Details)

09/11/15 03:42 PM

Two McDowell Football Players Charged with Hazing

09/11/15 02:44 PM
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office has charged two 15-year-old males with assaulting another team member with a broom during a hazing ritual in the locker room. Names were not released due to their ages. One of the suspects was charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hazing. The other faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice, misdemeanor hazing and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon. All three boys were members of the jayvee football team, and the victim was in his first year on the team. The two suspects were returning players. According to Richelle Bailey, public information assistant for the McDowell Sheriff’s Office, the teenage victim reported the assault to his youth pastor, who informed McDowell High’s principal, who then reported it to police. The police investigation revealed that these rituals have been going on for years and that multiple players were aware of what was going on, but there have been no other reports of injuries. According to the investigation report, the felony obstruction charge stems from one of the suspects attempting to cover up the truth about the incident. The Sheriff’s Office has turned the case over to juvenile authorities.

Purse Snatcher Sentenced to Prison

09/10/15 05:00 PM
How often have you left your purse in a shopping cart while looking at item? It only takes a second for someone to snatch your purse and be gone. This happened to 80 year old Rita Guffey while shopping at the produce section in Ingles in Marion back in January.  Jessica Mae Elliott, age 28, of Mount Pleasant Church Drive, Marion snatched Guffey’s purse and then went on a spending spree.  This week she was found guilty of numerous charges including identity theft, obtaining property by false pretense and financial card fraud. She was sentenced 12 to 24 months in jail and 36 months supervised probation.  She must pay $986.35 in restitution to victim, $540 for a court-appointed attorney and pay court costs. Anonymous tips of Elliott’s identity led to the arrest and subsequent sentencing after images from surveillance video at Ingles were released to the media.

McDowell Access to Care and Health Grant Received

09/09/15 01:53 PM
The McDowell County Health Coalition and its partners will soon implement a county-wide program called McDowell Access to Care and Health (MATCH).  MATCH is being funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust with additional in-kind support from the McDowell Hospital, Carolinas Medical, Community Care of Western North Carolina, McDowell County, Department of Social Services, and the (more)

Mars Hill University Ranked 36th in Best College Rankings

09/09/15 09:16 AM
Mars Hill University moved up one spot in the 2015 “Best Colleges” rankings compiled by U.S.News & World Report magazine. Mars Hill ranked 36th among Best Regional Colleges in the South.Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford said, "This ranking is a combination of hard data input and the result of an opinion survey from higher education personnel across (more)

Three TRAC Friends Challenge Community

09/07/15 01:07 PM
Three Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Friends have offered a Challenge to the community.  Inspired by the work the arts council provides for our communities:  from school programs, exhibitions, performing arts events, and supporting and promoting local artists. These three individuals have said they will match each dollar donated this month and in turn will donate a total of $5,000 to (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/30 - 9/06/15

09/07/15 09:00 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/28 - 9/3/15 (Details)

09/04/15 09:57 AM

Mitchell Couple Arrested on Animal Abuse Charges

09/03/15 01:45 PM
An elderly Mitchell County couple has been arrested on charges of animal cruelty. On September 2nd Boyd and Grace Davis of Tipton Hill surrendered dogs, cats and chickens to Mitchell County after their rescue from unsafe and unsanitary conditions.  (more)

Unemployment Rates Released

09/02/15 02:38 PM
Unemployment rates increased in 79 of North Carolina’s counties, decreased in 6, and remained unchanged in 15 according to unemployment figures for July, recently released by the state.  In our area Avery  had the lowest rate at 5.8 percent while Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 7.2 percent. McDowell had an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent, Madison was in the middle of the spectrum for our area at 6.2 percent, and Yancey was on the higher side at 6.5 percent. Graham and Scotland Counties had the highest unemployment rate at 11.7 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.8 percent. Within the North Carolina metro areas, Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate at 9.1 percent and Asheville had the lowest at 5.1 percent. The July, not seasonally adjusted, statewide rate was 6.3 percent. 

Local NAACP Delivers Letter

09/02/15 11:15 AM
The Yancey Mitchell Branch of NAACP  held a news conference and presentation of letter  to  Congressman Mark Meadows' local office in Spruce Pine on Tuesday,September 1st.

Avery County Man Killed in Crash

09/01/15 01:35 PM
A 20-year-old Avery County man was killed in a traffic accident Friday afternoon, August 28. Harley Dakota Foster of Old Plumtree Road, Newland, died in a head-on crash between his 1998 Subaru wagon and a large truck.  Trooper Daniel Hughes’ report said that Harley Foster went left of center as he was driving south on 105 near the entrance to Grandfather Golf and Country Club at about 2:45pm hitting the truck. Foster was trapped in the upside down vehicle and when emergency personnel reached him there was no pulse or respiration. The driver of the truck, Ronnie Mitchell Duckworth, age 58, was treated and released from Canon Memorial Hospital. The crash was in the middle of the four miles between Tynecastle and Linville.

New Agreement Helps Students Transfer Colleges

09/01/15 12:34 PM
The presidents of the NC Community College System and NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) have signed a revised Independent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (ICAA) that better defines transfer options for students between the two systems, saving North Carolinians money and potentially shortening the time to degree attainment. Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford was among (more)

Mitchell's Sheriff Report 8/23 - 8/30/15 (Details)

08/31/15 04:10 PM

NAACP To Deliver Letter to Meadows Spruce Pine Office

08/31/15 01:29 PM
The local NAACP will participate in a statewide event Tuesday morning, September 1st at 10 a.m. NAACP branches from all across the state of North Carolina will be participating in 17 simultaneous news conferences and letter deliveries to the offices of North Carolina Congress members on September 1st  to demand that they support the Voting Rights Advancement Act to strengthen, advance and restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The simultaneous deliveries will be held in Wilson, Asheboro, Greenville, Chapel Hill, Clemmons, Graham, Bolivia, Concord, Moorseville, Gastonia, Greensboro, Fremont, Wilmington, Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and  locally in Spruce Pine. In Spruce Pine, the news conference will be held at Congressman Mark Meadows office and will be followed by the letter delivery.   

Missing Person (Details) FOUND

08/30/15 02:39 PM

Plane Lands on Highway in Windom

08/30/15 02:20 PM
Around 9:30am Sunday morning a skilled pilot landed a small plane on the highway beside Boone's Body Shop in Windom.  Witnesses said that the two men left from Concord with plans to deliver the plane to Washington State. They reported that the carburetor was icing and (more)

Credit Card Debt Low in Yancey

08/28/15 01:54 PM
Yancey County residents are among the most responsible with their credit cards in North Carolina, with one of the lowest per capita credit card debts, compared to income and net wealth. A new study from SmartAsset shows the top ten counties in North Carolina where people have the least credit card debt. Yancey County ranks specifically as number two on the list right after Transylvania. (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/21 - 8/28/15

08/28/15 01:18 PM

Mitchell Ties With Buncombe

08/27/15 12:35 PM
Mitchell County is tied with Buncombe County in one very important statistic. DWI statistics for the western part of the state were released on Wednesday showing that Mitchell and Buncombe are tied for having the best conviction rate in Western North Carolina for driving while impaired.  The DWI statistics are for the fiscal year ended June 30th. Both Mitchell and Buncombe counties have an 82 % conviction rate for impaired driving. That is 20 percent higher than the state average.

Single Car Accident Kills Two

08/26/15 10:26 AM
A single car accident killed two people Sunday evening, August 23rd.  The accident happened on Old Mine Fork Road when the 1999 Grand Prix, driven by Donald Hall Jr of Old Mine Ford Road left the highway at a high rate of speed and crashed into a tree, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Both Hall, age 35 and his passenger, 33 year old Tiffany Cox of Spruce Pine, were killed in the accident.  

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/16 - 8/23/15 (Details)

08/24/15 12:36 PM

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/14 - 8/21/15 (Details)

08/24/15 09:14 AM

Yancey Senior Center Moving

08/21/15 04:09 PM
The Yancey County Senior Center will be closed the week of August 24-30 while they make the much anticipated moved to their new facilities.  The new facility will open to the public on August 31st.  The Yancey Senior Center’s new facility is located at 503 Medical Campus Drive in Burnsville, behind the Anspach Building on the Mayland Campus near the Health Department.  

Yancey Commissioners Support In God We Trust Motto

08/19/15 01:06 PM
Yancey Commissioners have voted to display the words “In God We Trust” at the Yancey County Courthouse. Yancey joins Mitchell and several other counties and municipalities throughout the state in displaying the national motto. In July Mitchell County passed the resolution to display the motto on the exteriors of both the new and old Courthouses plus inside the Courtroom and Commissioner’s Chamber in the Administration building. The project in both counties will be paid for through private donations. The action came as a result of a request from Rick Lanier, co-founder and vice chairman of U.S Motto Action Committee. “In God We Trust” is the national motto and the words are inscribed on the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives Chambers and on all U.S. currency.

Mitchell Puts All Schools On Same Scale

08/19/15 12:53 PM
The state Board of Education mandated that high schools go to a new grading scale and Mitchell County is taking that one step further by instating the new scale in other grades also. In order to be consistent with the new high school scale, Mitchell will use the 10 point scale in third through eighth grades. The new system will make grading consistent across the state, allowing students to more easily move from one school system to another and also is consistent with the grading scale that colleges use. 

Sheriff Banks Encourages School Bus Safety Measures

08/17/15 12:17 PM
Every day millions of students use school buses as transportation to and from school.  Although school buses represent the safest form of highway transportation, there are a number of safety factors of which both student and drivers should be aware.  Hoping to ensure school bus safety, Sheriff Gary Banks of Yancey County encourages caution whenever school buses are (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/9 - 8/16

08/17/15 10:01 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/7 - 8/14

08/17/15 09:58 AM

Another Waterfall Accident

08/17/15 05:59 AM
Another weekend and another waterfall accident.  A man in his mid-30s slipped on the rock face of Catawba Falls in McDowell County around 11 a.m. Sunday and fell about 30 feet to the ground after bouncing off other rocks. EMS workers were called to the scene and it took several hours to get the man to safety, primarily because of the remote and rugged terrain. The man was airlifted to Mission Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be ok. Last weekend a 26 year old University of Charlotte student died in Avery County after jumping off of Elk River Falls.  

MCC S.O.A.R. Program Receives Grant

08/14/15 09:39 AM
S.O.A.R. (Support Options for Achievement and Retention), a Student Support Services TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, has received a grant award of $1,474,965, continuing the program that has been in operation at Mayland Community College since 1988. (more)

Detoured School Traffic

08/14/15 05:36 AM
With schools around the mountains starting back on Monday,  all traffic going to Bald Creek Elementary School in Yancey County will have to make a detour because of a damaged bridge. While paving the bridge at Bald Creek, the asphalt truck broke through the bridge floor. Traffic is being detoured on to Possum Trot and over to Pleasant Valley Hill Road to reach the Bald Creek Elementary School.  The repairs are expected to take several weeks for completion. 

McDowell County Forest Fires

08/14/15 05:35 AM
A community meeting was held yesterday for an update on the forest fires burning in McDowell County. Community members were reassured no structures are in danger. The closest structure to the Bald Knob fire is three quarters of a mile from one home. Community meetings will be scheduled for updates as long as the fire is still burning. The Bald Knob fire was started by a lightning strike on July 17 and now has burned more than 1,000 acres in the Pisgah National Forest. According to U.S. Forest officials, that fire is 30 percent contained and more than 200 firefighters are helping contain the fire. . The Wolf Creek fire near Old Fort is 60 percent contained and has burned 305 acres. As of Thursday, crews are just monitoring that fire from helicopters. Forest officials say two to three days of consistent rain will knock out both wildfires. Until that happens, out-of-state crews will remain on the scene to help battle the blazes.


08/13/15 03:26 PM
While paving the bridge at Bald Creek, the asphalt truck went through the bridge floor. Traffic is being detoured on to Possum Trot. 

Woman Dies at Avery County Waterfall

08/13/15 02:01 PM
Over the weekend a 26 year old University of Charlotte student died in Avery County after jumping off of Elk River Falls.  People were spotted jumping from the same place that the lady died, less than 24 hours after her death. Numerous warning signs have been stolen from the area over the past few years. The falls are about 50 feet high and people do not realize the rocks beneath the surface come out into the water. Local people know of the danger of the waterfalls while visitors and tourists seem to ignore the warnings and decide to jump from high atop the rocks anyway. Local firefighters report that there have been at least 10 deaths at Elk River Falls since 1985.

New Grading Scale for Mtn Heritage High Students

08/12/15 02:18 PM
In October 2014 the North Carolina State Board of Education mandated a new 10 point grading scale for all North Carolina high schools beginning with the 2015-16 school year.  With this new grading scale, the quality points which students earn for Honors and Advance Placement classes have been changed from 5 to 4.5 for honors classes and from 6 to 5 in AP classes.  This change will be in (more)

Gas Prices Continue to Drop

08/12/15 12:56 PM
Wondering about the changing gas prices? The national price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 26 consecutive days and gas is definitely cheaper than it was a year ago. In our local area on Wednesday gas was cheapest in Spruce Pine at Walmart with a charge of $2.28 per gallon. In Bakersville both Exxon and Valero were $2.35. In Burnsville four stations. Citgo, Andy’s, Fastop and QP posted $2.39 per gallon. In Newland the BP and the Valero were each charging $2.25.  In Mars Hill the Ingles was lowest at $2.44. However drive on to Asheville at the Ingles at Leicester to find it for $2.14. The average price is North Carolina is $2.38 and nationwide it is $2.59. Compared to last year gas is an average of 89 cents per gallon cheaper. 

McDowell Authorities Looking for Little Debbie Snack Cakes

08/11/15 03:40 PM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a black SUV pulling a white enclosed cargo trailer filled with Little Debbie snack cakes.  65 cases of Little Debbie snack cakes were stolen from a truck earlier this month. John Wrenn, of Marion, who works for Rector Distributing of Rutherfordton, reported that someone forced their way into his 1994 Chevrolet box van that he parks at Economy Mini Storage on U.S. 70 West when he’s not working. A hole was cut in the fence surrounding the storage units, the van broken into and peanut butter cookies, caramel cookies, donuts, brownies, fudge rounds, honey buns, Swiss rolls, nutty bars, donut sticks, oatmeal pies and granola bars taken. The crime, which was caught on a surveillance camera, occurred sometime between 2 p.m. on Friday, July 31 and 5:55 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. Anyone with information about the crime, the vehicle or the suspects is asked to call Lt. Andy Manis of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Walking Against Domestic Violence (more pics)

08/11/15 10:10 AM
On Saturday, August 8th Mitchell County men stepped up and stepped out  in red shoes and silver high-heeled boots to  bring awareness and raise funds for Domestic Violence Prevention. 

Brush Fires Update

08/11/15 08:19 AM
Fire Fighting Crews fighting two wildfires in McDowell County enjoyed the weather yesterday. Higher humidity and cooler temperatures slowed advancing flames of two big brush fires. Both fires are burning on Pisgah National Forest land. The 305-acre Wolf Creek fire is 60-percent contained. The Bald Knob fire is larger. It has grown to a thousand acres and is at zero-percent containment. Crews started fighting it back on July 17th; a fire they believe was likely caused by a lightning strike. Crews will continue setting back-fires to cut off the fuel supply, trying to stop the flames from advancing beyond the national forest boundary. The closest structures are still about three-quarters of a mile away. Officials say it could take two-to-three weeks to get the Bald Knob fire under control.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 07/26 - 08/09/2015 (Details)

08/10/15 10:05 AM

Dedication of Central Park in Spruce Pine (more photos)

08/10/15 09:59 AM
The ribbon cutting for the Central Park Project on Lower Street in Spruce Pine was held Friday evening, August 7th. The first Friday night concert band was The Alligators from Morganton.

Water Fall Accident

08/10/15 06:12 AM
A Henderson County man is being treated in Asheville after taking a tumble from lower Catawba Falls in McDowell County. The accident was reported around 5pm yesterday afternoon. Because of steep terrain, it took several hours before the patient was able to be airlifted to Mission Hospital. 19-year-old Devin Rhinehart, from Fletcher, fell about 30 feet from the lower falls. Crews had to use ATVs to reach the victim, and it took almost three hours to get him to the waiting helicopter, staged just off I-40 at the Old Fort exit. Rhinehart suffered a leg injury and was in stable condition at the time he was airlifted to Mission Hospital.

Sheriff Deputies Apprehend Another Florida Fugitive

08/07/15 03:25 PM
On August 6, 2015 Yancey County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina Highway Patrol were conducting a drivers license check-point at the intersection of State Hwy 197N and Double Island Rd. The fugitive, Jarah Paul Goldman, attempted to evade the license check-point. Deputies stopped Goldman on Toe River Rd and it was discovered that Goldman had outstanding warrants in the State of Florida for Felonious Possession of Firearm and Aggravated Assault. In addition to the Florida charges, Yancey County Deputies charged him with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Felony Flee to Allude Arrest, Careless and Reckless Driving and No Operators License. Goldman remains in the Yancey County Jail under a Secured Bond, scheduled to appear in court on August 18th, 2015.

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/31 - 8/6/15 (Details)

08/06/15 04:58 PM

TRAC Seeks Community Feedback For Branding Project

08/06/15 04:07 PM
A year ago the Toe River Arts Council was awarded an Our Town grant of $75,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.  That grant along with funding from four other sources is allowing TRAC to carry out a multi-year initiative to bring attention to the rich arts resources of (more)

Burnsville American Legion Post 122 Reactivated

08/06/15 01:35 PM
On Tuesday Evening, August 4th, twenty-one local area veterans from Burnsville, Spruce Pine, and Bakersville met in the Army Junior ROTC Classroom at Mountain Heritage High School to stop forth coming action by the National Headquarters to close the historic post. Burnsville Post 122 had been classified as inactive for five or more years. Had not the men and women who “stood up” for (more)

Warning of Area Scam

08/06/15 12:34 PM
Yancey County Sheriff Gary Banks is warning area residents of a breaking and entering scam that has been reported in North Asheville and Weaverville. According to reports, a Hispanic male and female targeted elderly citizens by posing as utility employees. The couple knocks on the door and lures the victims outside to discuss work taking place around their residence. The male suspect then walks away from the conversation pretending to survey the area and makes his way into the residence. Once inside he starts stealing valuables. The male is described as 5’3”-5’6” with dark hair and olive skin. The female is described as being 5’3” with dark hair and olive skin. The couple was seen driving a newer model, light colored, GMC Silverado. If any utility service worker visits your home contact the utility company in order to verify that service is being done in the area. If individuals matching this description and utilizing this method visit your home call the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department at 682-2124. 

Avery County Police K9 in Training Killed

08/05/15 01:31 PM
A five month old K9 in training has been killed by a stray dog after a training session at his partner’s residence just across the Tennessee line. Gunner, a yellow lab, was in training to work for the Avery County Sheriff’s Office and was in line to become partners with Avery County Sheriff Deputy Brett Stockton. The incident happened on July 25th when a stray dog apparently came out of the wooded area close by and attacked Gunner as he was playing off the leash while Stockton was packing training aids in his patrol SUV. After hearing his dog yelp, Stockton ran to his aid, kicked the attacking dog unconscious and hurried Gunner into the SUV before rushing him to veterinarians’ office where he ultimately succumbed to massive hemorrhaging. When SRO Stockton returned to the scene of the incident, the stray dog was nowhere to be found.  

Yancey Schools Issue Retiree Badge of Honor

08/05/15 01:17 PM
In recognition of a lifetime of educating the children of Yancey County, retirees of Yancey County Schools can now stop by the YCS Central Office at 100 School Circle on Tuesdays and Thursdays, have their picture made, and receive a Retiree Badge of Honor. This ID badge is a YCS Events Pass giving retirees free admittance to any Yancey County School-sponsored event.  (Because of NCHSAA (more)

Mt Mitchell 100th Birthday Celebration

08/05/15 01:00 PM
Governor Pat McCrory has issued a Proclamation for Mt Mitchell’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. The Proclamation will be presented at the Mt Mitchell Crafts Fair on Friday at 10:45 am on the Burnsville Town Square. The Proclamation proclaims August 7, 2015 as a day to recognize Mt Mitchell 100th Anniversary in North Carolina and commends its observances by all citizens. NC House Representative Michele Presnell and NC State Senator Ralph Hise will be a part of the Anniversary Celebration along with North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson who will present a poem he has written commemorating the event. Part of the celebration includes singing “Happy Birthday” to Mt Mitchell, releasing Monarch butterflies and free ice cream to everyone, while it lasts. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this very special, once in every 100 years event.  

Three Charged with Murder in Madison County

08/05/15 08:16 AM
Three people are facing murder charges in Madison County where a heroin overdose turned deadly. Glenda James, Anthony Justice and Edward "Taco" Whitsitt appeared in Madison County court Tuesday. They're charged with second degree murder in the death of 46 year old Anthony Melville. Investigators say toxicology reports helped get an indictment. Those reports showed the heroin Melville injected was cut with another powerful painkiller, Fentanyl. On Feb. 28, Melville's body was found in the bathtub of a home on Dry Pond Road in Marshall. Investigators believe Glenda James gave Melville the heroin, and the deal was traced back to Anthony Justice and Edward Whitsitt. All are being held on a $500,000 bond in the Madison County jail.

Two Fires Continue to Burn in McDowell County

08/04/15 10:47 AM
Two fires in McDowell County have consumed nearly 300 acres of wooded terrain.  The causes of both fires are still under investigation but are believed to be as a result of lightning.  The Wolf Creek area fire in Old Fort was reported on Friday, July 31. It is over 75 acres. The fire is located northwest of Old Fort in steep terrain between Heartbreak Ridge and Jarrett Creek. Heartbreak (more)

Stolen Fuel Card

08/03/15 01:55 PM
Two men have been charged with using a stolen gas card. Branson Harrison and Daryl Bennett were charged after they were caught on a convenience store camera using a lost Fleet fuel card to put gas in their personal vehicles. Daryl Bennett claimed that he got the fuel card from Branson Harrison who is from Alabama. Harrison was charged with Obtaining Property by False Pretense and released on a $1000 bond. Bennett was charged with Conspiracy to Obtain Property by False Pretense and released under a $500 bond. Both men have an August 10th court date. 

Yancey County Sheriffs Deputies Capture Fugitive from Florida

07/31/15 07:00 AM
At approximately 5 P.M on Sunday July 23rd, Yancey county deputies located and arrested 51 year old Jonathon Bernard Miller, of Lee County Florida. Florida authorities had listed Mr. Miller as a fugitive from justice in 2014. Acting on a tip, Yancey County Deputies found Mr. Miller at 11270 Hwy 19w and took him into custody without incident. Mr. Miller is currently in the Yancey County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida.

Ribbon Cutting at Mauzy-Phillips Center

07/30/15 03:58 PM
The ribbon cutting was held Thursday for the new Mauzy-Phillips Center at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. The Center will offer a centralized location of services including family care physicians, surgical specialists, lab, general diagnostics and retail pharmacy. (more)

McDowell Man Held on Firearms Charges

07/29/15 04:08 PM
A McDowell County man remains in custody on federal firearms charges. Mark Schmidt, age 49, of Quail Hollow Road, Marion was arrested Monday, July 27 and is charged with possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon. Investigators say seven firearms were found in Schmidt's apartment and three inside his parents’ home, which is on the same property. Two bullet proof vests, a journal, a book about making explosives, ball bearings and a type of powder were also seized. According to the FBI there were too many boxes of ammo to count. A witness said that Schmidt dressed in a Nazi uniform and would take the weapons into the woods to "train," and also made comments about being unhappy at work and planned to kill his co-workers. Schmidt worked at a marina in Nebo and as a cook at several Marion restaurants. In 1992 Schmidt was accused of planning a bank robbery while using a pipe bomb at Black Mountain Town Hall as a diversion. He was arrested before that plan was carried out and served 30 months in prison.

Unemployment Up in June in Area Counties

07/29/15 02:26 PM
Unemployment rates rose in 95 of North Carolina’s counties, decreased in four, and remained unchanged in one according to employment figures recently released by the state. The June, not seasonally adjusted, statewide rate was 6.1 percent. Yancey’s rose to 6.5 percent, Mitchell rose to 7.2, Madison was up to 6 percent, Avery was up slightly to 5.8 percent and McDowell rose to 5.9 percent. Graham County   had the highest unemployment rate at 12.3 percent while Buncombe had the lowest at 4.7 percent.  

Mitchell County Adds More School Bus Cameras

07/29/15 02:10 PM
Mitchell County Schools has received four high-definition camera systems to equip their buses for the new school year. Eight of the school system’s 27  yellow buses will now be equipped with cameras from all angles with the hope of catching drivers passing stopped buses. Each bus is equipped with cameras covering the front, sides, and rear. All are taking video in real-time. The camera (more)

New Mauzy Phillips Center at Blue Ridge Regional Grand Opening

07/29/15 06:52 AM
The new Mauzy-Phillips Center at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Grand Opening Ceremony will be held at 2 pm tomorrow. Guided tours will be held every 15 minutes from 1:30 to 6 pm. The new center offers a centralized location of services including primary and family care physicians to a full-spectrum of surgical specialists, lab, general diagnostics and a retail pharmacy.  

Sources of North Fork Fish Kill

07/27/15 03:50 PM
The Environmental Resources Group has found three possible sources for the five hundred pounds of dead fish that led to the closing of part of Lake James and the injury of a fireman earlier this month. Environmental Resources Group was hired to investigate by Coats North American after the dead fish were found floating near the thread company. The first cause stated in their report was that six floor drains in the Coats filtration plant were routed to the storm drain, even though facility personnel believed that these floor drains had been re-routed to the waste water treatment plant. The report says that steps have been taken to stop discharges to the floor drains and Coats has retained contractors to connect all floor drains in the filter plant to the wastewater treatment system. Another potential cause of the backed up substance in the beaver dam could be seeps from the wastewater treatment plant lagoons that were slow flowing. And thirdly the beaver dam retaining contaminants.  Coats Regional Finance Director Steve Kinsey said that the company is taking active steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again on their property.   The plant will do ongoing monitoring and inspections, ongoing vegetation removal, wastewater screening, dye testing, floor drain disconnect and storm water audit.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/24 (Details)

07/27/15 12:36 PM