McDowell County Teen Missing

04/17/15 04:03 PM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies need the public’s help locating a local runaway teen. 
Allyson Marie Comar, 17, left her residence at 78 Comar Forge Drive in Marion on Wednesday, April 8 and was supposed to return on Thursday, April 9. Her father reported her missing on Monday, April 13. She is described as a white female who stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. She has medium-length, straight brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information concerning Comar’s whereabouts is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235 or the McDowell County 911 communications center at 652-4000.

Fire Chief Charged With Embezzlement

04/17/15 12:58 PM
On April 14th Clearmont Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Dwayne Byrd, age 39, was charged with five counts of Embezzlement by Public Officer or Trustee after an investigation by Lt.Det. John D. Robinson. These offenses took place between July, 2010 and March, 2015.  A total of $79,465.19 was mis-used. On March 31st the Board of Directors of Clearmont Volunteer Fire Department Inc. met with Yancey County Sheriff Gary Banks and reported that their Chief had been using the fire department's debit card for his own use.  The Sheriff advised them that it needed to be investigated and if it was found to be true, then the person or persons responsible would have to be charged due to the fact that the funds of a volunteer fire department are generated from local tax monies.  These funds are different than those of a private business in that these are the public's monies not an individual's.  These funds could not just be replaced by the person or persons who committed the act nor can they be accepted back by the Board of Directors.  Byrd cooperated and assisted in the investigation.  Byrd has 21 years of service with Clearmont Volunteer Fire Department.  A spokesman from Clearmont Volunteer Fire Department said that this will in no way affect the fire department's service or their ability to respond to calls and that the fire department is financially stable.

Operation Drive to Live 2015

04/16/15 05:18 PM
With the beginning of prom season, North Carolina the Highway Patrol will conduct Operation “Drive to Live” during the week of April 20,  2015.  The operation will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. each day. (more)

NC Wildlife Plan To Restock Trout

04/16/15 03:45 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has implemented a plan to meet goals for stocking numbers and size of catchable trout for the 2015 season. The trout should have come from the Armstrong State Fish Hatchery in Marion however over 168,000 trout were killed over Easter weekend when three men tampered with the water intake at the Armstrong Hatchery.   The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s plan to meet stocking goals includes transferring 9- to 10-inch trout from the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery in Transylvania County. This will offset part of those fish that were scheduled for stocking this year. The remainder will be made up by maximizing growth on fish that were being grown for 2016. 

Last Day of School and MHHS Graduation Date Set

04/14/15 12:24 PM
At the April 13th regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education, Yancey County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton announced the last day of school for Yancey County students and the date for Mountain Heritage High School Graduation. Friday, June 12, 2015, will be the last – half-day – of school for Yancey County students.  Inclement weather in January and (more)

Anspach Awarded the Long Leaf Pine

04/14/15 06:03 AM
North Carolina Governor pat McCrory was in Burnsville yesterday for the grand opening of the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center, located at the Mayland Community College Yancey Learning Center.  At the cermony the Governor also presented Dr William Anspach with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. The new Center offers a degree program in Applied Engineering with skill tracks in CNC programming, machining, robotics, mechatronics, and design. 

Commissioners Honor Jobe, Cort

04/13/15 09:48 PM
 After 30 years and winning eight elections Willoree Jobe retired March 31st as Yancey County Register of Deeds. A large crowd, which included family and friends along with county, district and state officials, filled the courtroom Monday night, April 13th at the regular monthly (more)

Lake James Body Identified

04/13/15 02:27 PM
The human remains found near Lake James in March have been identified through dental records as belonging to a Pennsylvania man, Walter Edward Shirey IV, age 35, who had been living in a makeshift camp on the shore near the spillway. Shirey was reported missing on Feb. 5. Local hunters uncovered what turned out to be Shirey’s skull on March 16. Rescue workers later uncovered several more bones in the area. The remains were sent to the N.C. State Medical Examiner’s Office. On April 10, the medical examiner, after matching dental records from the Shirey’s family confirmed the remains found belonged to him. No sign of foul play was discovered during the investigation.

Governor Cuts Ribbon at Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center

04/13/15 01:27 PM
MCC President Dr. John Boyd and State Representative Michele Presnell and the Mayland Board of Directors look on as Dr. William Anspach (left) and Governor McCrory cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the new Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center.

Rep. Presnell To Speak on Human Trafficking

04/13/15 10:40 AM
Rep. Michele Presnell will be the guest speaker at an upcoming event at Mars Hill University about the topic of human trafficking. Presnell will be joined by Kate Stahlman, co-founder and outreach director for Compassion to Act, a faith-based ministry based in Charlotte, NC, which seeks to liberate and restore victims of human trafficking and exploitation."Human Trafficking in Our Own (more)

NC Governor in Burnsville

04/13/15 07:07 AM
NC Governor Pat McCrory will be in Burnsville today to speak at the The grand opening of the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Mayland Community College Yancey Learning Center at 11 this morning.   The Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center is a 13,000 square-foot addition at the Mayland Yancey Learning Center. The new Center offers a degree program in Applied Engineering with skill tracks in CNC programming, machining, robotics, mechatronics, and design. 

Duke Energy Gives MCC $250,000

04/13/15 06:00 AM
Duke Energy and Mayland Community College announce a $250,000 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology for the college’s newly opened Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School. This 3D metal printing equipment will assist students in creating projects from concept to reality by printing 3D (more)

New Legal Role for Bob Hunter

04/10/15 04:38 PM
Longtime NC Court of Appeals Judge Robert  “Bob” Hunter has become an Associate Justice with the Supreme Court of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Hunter retired from the NC Court of Appeals at the end of his term at the end of 2014. He had been on the Court of Appeals since 1998. Hunter represented the 49th District in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1980 to 1998, which at that time included Yancey and McDowell counties.  At age 71, Hunter still has his law license and will be able to work from his home in Marion most of the time. He was approved unanimously by the Tribal Council. Hunter does not have Cherokee ancestry but he is familiar with the Eastern Band and its laws and issues.

Three Arrested in McDowell Hatchery Incident

04/10/15 07:11 AM
Earlier this week we told you about 150,000 rainbow trout killed at the Armstrong Fish Hatchery in McDowell County over the weekend. Yesterday three men were arrested and charged with causing the damage.  21 year old Jack Brown and Gabriel Miller and Adam Mitchell, who are both 20 years old are charged with injury to personal property, averting water flow to a hatchery or aquatic center and pollution or damage to a hatchery or aquatic center.  Detectives  say the men were "messing around" and had no idea the damage they had done before it was too late. The rainbow trout would have been used to stock area streams and rivers for both this year and in 2016. Armstrong Fish Hatchery stocks fish for 12 counties in western North Carolina. Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say they will do whatever they can to minimize the effects upon anglers in western North Carolina despite the loss of so many fish.

Anspach Grand Opening Monday

04/09/15 04:27 PM
The grand opening of the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center will be held at the Mayland Community College Yancey Learning Center on Monday at 11:00 am. NC Governor Pat McCrory will speak at the event and tours of the facility will be given after the ceremony. The Anspach Advanced Manufacturing Center is a 13,000 square-foot addition at the Mayland Yancey Learning Center. The new Center offers a degree program in Applied Engineering with skill tracks in CNC programming, machining, robotics, mechatronics, and design. The facility will house Direct Metal Laser  technology as well as provide advanced training in welding and basic blacksmithing. The $2.5 million to build the center is all private funding with Altec and BRP investing heavily in the project.  

Unemployment Rates Decrease Slightly

04/09/15 04:24 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in 89 of North Carolina’s counties, increased in five, and remained unchanged in six according to employment figures recently released by the state. Graham County and Hyde County both had the highest unemployment rate at 14.2 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 4.2 percent. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. The February (not seasonally adjusted) statewide rate was 5.7 percent. Yancey’s dropped slightly to 6.4percent, Mitchell dropped to 7.5, Madison dropped to 5.6, Avery remained steady at 6.4 percent and McDowell dropped to 5.8.

Crackdown on Sex Offenders

04/08/15 03:02 PM
Mitchell, Avery and Watauga deputies were part of a three county crackdown April 1st on the area’s registered sex offenders. Joined by U.S. Marshalls, SBI, ATF and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, deputies executed simultaneous searches looking for pornography, firearms, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and other items prohibited by state and federal law and court orders. SBI agents did electronic searches on computers while deputies, US Marshalls and parole officers located and seized drugs and drug paraphernalia. The aim of Operation “No Foolin” was to ensure that registered sex offenders were in compliance with state and federal laws. 

Mitchell DSS To Add Positions

04/08/15 02:26 PM
Mitchell County Department of Social Services will be adding three and a half positions to fulfill state mandates. Mitchell County Commissioners unanimously agreed to funding for the positions plus laptop computers, per a request from Mitchell DSS Director Paula Holtsclaw last Thursday. Mitchell County DSS workers are currently overloaded on both foster kids and in home children’s services. A portion of the salaries is paid by the state. Mitchell County’s part for the year beginning July 1st will be slightly over $78,000.

Mitchell EDC Hires The Goss Agency

04/08/15 01:53 PM
Mitchell County Economic Development Commission has hired The Goss Agency from Asheville to distinguish it among all the other counties in the Western North Carolina region, as well as within North Carolina and the Southeast. Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce and Development Foundation Director Patti Jensen said, “Mitchell County’s selection of The Goss Agency was based on the incredible amount of experience, success and genuine understanding of our needs that Goss brought to their presentation. We appreciated their enthusiasm to partner with us to ensure that the project succeeds and that our results move Mitchell County ahead.” The Goss Agency has been tasked with reaching and exceeding Mitchell County’s objectives in all the areas of economic development opportunities. The Goss Agency, headquartered in Asheville is a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency with over 19 years in the travel/tourism industry. 

Mitchell County Man Missing

04/08/15 09:51 AM
A Mitchell County family is asking for help in locating a family member that was last seen March 28th.  Justin Miller was last seen at his parents’ house near Loafers Glory. He is thirty years old about 5"11,  250 lbs. with prominent scars around his right eye from a car accident. He has numerous health problems and is on a lot of medication. He was wearing a black jacket, ball cap and brown work boots when he was last seen. He does not have a car, his cell phone, money or his medication.  If you have any information please contact the Mitchell County Sheriff's department.

Sand at The Masters Is Spruce Pine Quartz

04/07/15 04:21 PM
According to an article published April 6th on, the unique “sand” that lines the famous Augusta National bunkers is actually quartz from Spruce Pine.  Golfers like the beautiful, white “Spruce Pine sand” because it is so pure that it prevents golf balls from burrowing in and its consistent, soft on top with a firm base. Augusta starting using the “Spruce Pine sand” in 1975.  At first the sand was viewed as a cheap byproduct of feldspar but now the quartz is used in manufacturing computer chips and continues to fill the 44 bunkers at Augusta National. Click here to read the article.

150,000 Trout Killed

04/07/15 01:18 PM
Someone apparently diverted the fresh water away from the hatchery at Armstrong Fish Hatchery in McDowell County over the weekend, which resulted in an estimated 150,000 rainbow trout being suffocated.  Investigators with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office are trying to determine who tampered with the equipment sometime late Saturday afternoon, April 4th. These rainbow trout would have been used to stock area streams and rivers for both this year and in 2016. Armstrong Fish Hatchery stocks fish for 12 counties in western North Carolina. Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say they will do whatever they can to minimize the effects upon anglers in western North Carolina despite the loss of so many fish.

White-Nose Bat Syndrome at Linville Caverns

04/07/15 01:07 PM
Linville Caverns, the only cave in western North Carolina that is operated as a commercial tourist attraction, is doing its part to control the spread of white-nose syndrome and protect the bats that live inside Humpback Mountain and elsewhere in the state. Linville Caverns is home to the tri-colored bat. White-nose syndrome poses no health risks to humans, however, it is important to help minimize the spread of the disease.  People who visit Linville Caverns are asked to disinfect their footwear after their tour by stepping onto a special decontamination mat outside the cave. The mat has a solution with 10 percent bleach. In addition, visitors are asked to thoroughly wash all clothing that they wore into Linville Caverns with Woolite. If an article of clothing is not washable, then they are asked to apply a cleansing spray such as Formula 409 or wipe it down with Clorox or Lysol wipes before going into other vulnerable areas like other caves or mines. Linville Caverns has a special brochure informing the visitors about controlling the spread of white-nose syndrome and the need to protect the bats of western North Carolina.  Just a few years ago, scientists and cave explorers found as many as 200 bats living in the caverns. But recently only seven could be found living there. Bats are essential to the natural control of insects and pests.

State Funded Driver Education Ending

04/07/15 12:33 PM
After June 30, 2015, North Carolina will no longer fund Driver Education for public, private, home or charter schools, yet, Driver Education will still remain a requirement for anyone under age eighteen to get a permit or license. Funded since 1977 with funds from the Highway Trust Fund, NC Legislatures have opted to make Driver Education funding a non-recurring expense as of June 30 (more)

Yancey Commissioners To Honor Retiring Register of Deeds, Appoint New

04/03/15 02:07 PM
Yancey County Commissioners will meet Monday, April 13th at 6:00 p.m. in the courtroom of the Yancey County Courthouse to recognize the public service of Register of Deeds Willoree Jobe as she retires from 30 years as Register of Deeds for Yancey County.  Commissioners also plan to consider the appointment of Susan Jobe as the nominee selected to complete the unexpired term set to expire in December 2016.  Susan Jobe will take the oath of office immediately following the commissioners appointment.   Following the meeting, the public is invited to a reception in their honor.  

Total Lunar Eclipse Will Be Shortest in a Century

04/02/15 05:12 AM
The total lunar eclipse set to take over the skies on Saturday will be the shortest in a century, lasting five minutes and turning the moon red, according to NASA. The sky spectacle will be visible from all parts of the United States, with people in the eastern part of the country seeing the beginning stages of the partial eclipse before sunrise at 6:16 ET. The total eclipse will be visible to people in the Western United States at 7:58 PT. At this time, the moon will turn a shade of blood red as it skims the outskirts of Earth's shadow. The eclipse is the third in a tetrad, a series of four eclipses. The fourth is set for Sept. 28, 2015. The best part of all for Saturday's phenomenon: No telescope is needed. If you're in an area with visibility, all you'll need to do is step outside to enjoy the view -- that is, if you can catch it in time.

Fire on Unaka Mountain

04/01/15 04:23 PM
Fire crews are continuing to battle a fire burning on Unaka Mountain, near the North Carolina/Tennessee state line. Mitchell County firefighters responded and worked the fire on Tuesday. On Wednesday, about 40-50 firefighters and Forestry service members worked to contain the flames. Officials say the cause of the fire is arson. As of Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. fire crews estimated the fire is at 300-500 acres. Tuesday night, officials closed down State Route 395, which is Hwy 197 North on the North Carolina side.  The road was reopened Wednesday morning. 

Mitchell EDC Plans To Hire Fulltime Director

04/01/15 10:58 AM
The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission decided Friday, March 27th to hire a fulltime Director. The Commission will begin looking for a replacement for part time interim director Bill Slagle, who resigned last month to accept a regional job in the state’s commerce department. The Commission will be asking the county to increase funding to cover the cost.  Under Slagle the EDC secured $2.3 million in tax incentives and $600,000 in grant money., most of which is going toward the industrial site at Altapass. 

Watch Out For Bears

04/01/15 10:06 AM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is advising residents that black bear sightings will become more common across the state as temperatures rise. According to the commission, while black bears are not inherently dangerous and rarely aggressive toward people, it advises caution and common sense to reduce the potential for problems. People are urged not to approach or follow bears, or get between a bear and its possible escape route. Also, the commission advises people not to feed bears, whether intentionally or by leaving food and garbage where they can get into it. Bears accustomed to feeding on pet food, table scraps, garbage and birdseed can lose their fear of humans, leading to property damage or more serious problems.

McDowell Man Charged with Underage Tattooing

03/31/15 04:17 PM
The McDowell County Sheriff's Office has charged David Earl Dalton, age30, with one count of tattooing a person under 18. Dalton had allegedly tattooed his 14 year old niece. In North Carolina, you have to be 18 to get a tattoo. The teenage girl's mom did give her permission for her daughter to get three tattoos.  Even with the mother’s consent the tattoos are illegal.  The Sheriff’s Department was contacted by the McDowell County DSS. The Sheriff’s Department is still investigating whether or not they will charge the girl's mother. 

Area Counties Would Benefit from Sales Tax Change

03/30/15 03:46 PM
A measure introduced into the N.C. General Assembly to make the sales tax distribution fairer for rural and struggling counties is causing a split between large and small counties. Small counties want the sales tax distributed by population, as it used to be, whereas larger counties oppose going back to the old system. Under the current system all sales tax monies are distributed to the county   where the sale occurred. Small counties lose out when residents go to larger nearby towns to spend money.  The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Ralph Hise and would see Yancey County getting approximately 67 percent more revenue, Mitchell 32 percent , Madison a 109 percent gain and McDowell a 46.53 percent gain. Buncombe would lose about 11 percent.  The bill proposes a three-year phase-in to a per capita sales tax system.

Grandfather Mountain gets the Google Trekker Treatment

03/30/15 07:14 AM
Grandfather Mountain’s iconic Mile High Swinging Bridge and Grandfather Trail are now among the newest sites available for 360-degree virtual viewing on Google Maps Street View. (more)

Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School Opening

03/27/15 09:55 AM
The grand opening of the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School on April 13 begins at 11:00 AM at Mayland Community College's Yancey Learning Center.  (more)

Mitchell School Board Puts Auxiliary Gym On Hold

03/26/15 01:20 PM
At a recent Mitchell County Board of Education meeting the proposal for an auxiliary gym was postponed indefinitely. The proposed 14,900 square foot facility would have provided additional gym space and classroom space to expand the CNA program at Mitchell High School. It was determined that the projected $1.6 million cost , of which $400,000 had been raised in grant funds, was too much to raise given the tough economic times, the lack of full public support and other more pressing budget priorities. Superintendent Dr. Rick Spurling issued a statement emphasizing that he was the one that had been pushing for the facility not the Board of Education, as he felt it would be a tremendous benefit for the students of Mitchell High and would keep the grant money in the community.  Other groups in the community are still working, hoping to find funding for the facility. 

Yancey Register of Deeds Retires

03/26/15 07:15 AM
After winning eight elections and serving the people of Yancey County for 30 years Willoree Jobe has announced her retirement as of March 31st from the office of Register of Deeds. According to law, since Jobe is a Democrat the Yancey County Democratic Party Executive Committee recommends a nominee to fill the vacancy. They have recommended Susan Jobe to fill the unexpired term for Willoree.  The commissioners will take this matter under consideration and will have official action at the April 13, 2015 regular meeting.

Metcalf Cousins Plead Guilty

03/25/15 12:51 PM
Calvin and Phillip Metcalf, cousins from Mitchell County, who were arrested July of 2014 for an assault of an Avery County Deputy and escape from custody have pleaded guilty to Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a law enforcement officer and robbery and have been sentenced to at least 14 years in prison.  Calvin Metcalf, age 21, of Bakersville, and Phillip Metcalf, age 25, of Spruce Pine, also admitted in court that they were habitual felons.  The two men were under arrest for breaking into Bonnie and Clyde’s Restaurant.   Avery Detective Frankie Catalano checked the two Metcalf cousins out of the Mitchell County jail after they told the investigator they could lead him to the stolen property stashed at their grandmother’s house in Avery County. They jumped and assaulted him, stole his sidearm and the county owned truck.  They were found in Calhoun, Georgia July 30th.   Calvin Metcalf fought with lawmen after the truck was found outside a convenience store.  Phillip has already been taken into custody at the truck, but when Calvin came out of the store, he bolted for the truck, managed to get in the passenger’s side, and while struggling with the officers, he started the truck and put it in reverse.  Another lawman managed to knock the truck out of gear while Calvin Metcalf was pepper sprayed and taken into custody. Both were taken to the Gordon County Jail and may still face charges there.

National Work Zone Awareness Week

03/24/15 06:15 AM
This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week through Friday, March 27.
In 2014, more than 4,000 crashes occurred in work zones, killing 22 people and injuring almost 2,000. The National Work Zone Awareness Week campaign aims at preventing work zone fatalities and accidents by encouraging safe driving through highway work zones and construction sites. (more)

McDowell Man Charged with Child Abuse After Wife Dies from Overdose

03/23/15 02:58 PM
Danny Ray Pinkerton, age 29 of Caraway Drive in Marion was arrested Friday, March 20 by McDowell County Sheriff’s Officers. He is charged with three misdemeanor counts each of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and child abuse. After being called to the residence, deputies found 28-year-old  Megan Elaine Pinkerton  deceased, apparently from an overdose. The victim’s husband, Danny Pinkerton, and their three children – 2-year-old twins and a 3-year-old were there. There were used and unused syringes containing controlled substances near the children. The children were unclothed and unbathed and were sleeping in their own urine and feces. Pinkerton was released on $10,000 bond with an April 6th court date. 

Dameron Named Assistant D.A.

03/20/15 01:37 PM
District Attorney Seth Banks has announced the hiring of E. Penn Dameron Jr. as Assistant District Attorney for the 24th Judicial District. The 24th Judicial District covers Avery, Mitchell, Madison, Yancey and Watauga counties. Dameron was born in Marion, graduated UNC Chapel Hill and practiced law in Marion before being appointed as a Superior Court Judge in 2003. After his retirement he served as President of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. His primary responsibility as Assistant D.A. will be to prosecute criminal cases in both District and Superior Courts primarily in Avery County.

Burleson Named to Spruce Pine Town Board

03/18/15 03:11 PM
Roger Burleson has been selected to fill the open position on the Spruce Pine Town board. Burleson fills the vacancy created when board member Rocky Buchanan was chosen to replace Mayor Phillip Hise who resigned to accept the town’s position of public works director. 

Country Cablevision Service Out

03/18/15 02:57 PM
Customers of Country Cablevision are without service at this time in parts of Yancey and Mitchell Counties. The outage involves 2 French Broad EMC Fiber Lines  located at the Asphalt Plant (above the old OMC Building) in Burnsville.  A dump truck driver raised the bed of his truck underneath the lines and broke both of them.  French Broad EMC and Country Cablevision are both on site making repairs but these are large lines and it could take up to 8 to 10 hours to repair all fibers and get all areas of the counties back on.

Wreck Injures Four

03/18/15 02:39 PM
Four people were injured in a two vehicle wreck this afternoon around 12:45 pm on Hwy 226 near Snow Hill Grocery.  Rescue personnel responded to free the victims from the accident. Three people were flown to Johnson City Medical Center and another person was transported to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.

County To Sell Wolf Laurel Property

03/18/15 02:16 PM
Sixteen tracts of land in the Wolf Laurel Development will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on April 22 at 2 pm at the Yancey County Courthouse front doors. Yancey County acquired the land  through tax foreclosures. The highest bidder on a parcel must be present at the auction and make a five percent deposit with cash or certified check.  The money will be held until the County Commissioners either accept or reject the bid.  More information about the property can be found in the Yancey County deed book at the courthouse. 

NC January Employment Figures Released

03/18/15 10:02 AM
RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, remaining unchanged from December’s revised rate of 5.4 percent. The national rate increased 0.1 of a percentage point to 5.7 percent in January. North Carolina’s January 2014 unemployment rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than a year ago. The number of people employed increased 22,658 over the month to 4,397,927, and increased 65,854 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 1,161 over the month to 248,866, and declined 57,145 over the year. Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, remained unchanged at 4,203,100 in January. The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was Leisure & Hospitality Services at 5,200, followed by Manufacturing, 3,400; Construction, 2,800; Other Services, 1,700; Financial Activities, 800; and Professional & Business Services, 600.  Major industries experiencing de- creases were Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 11,700; Government, 2,000; Information, 400; Education & Health Services, 300; and Mining & Logging, 100.

Affordable Care Act Consumer Alert

03/13/15 04:50 PM
The IRS urges taxpayers to choose their tax professional carefully as reports are coming in from around the country describing unscrupulous preparers who instruct their clients to make individual shared responsibility payments directly to the preparer. (more)

Day Booze It & Lose It Campaign Kicks Off

03/13/15 04:44 PM
RALEIGH – St. Patrick's Day brings to mind shamrocks, leprechauns and good luck. But not even the luck of the Irish can protect you from the risks of driving after drinking. The N.C. Department of Transportationand the Governor’s Highway Safety Program encourage those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to ensure they have the best good luck charm of all – a sober designated driver. (More)

Third Big Lottery Winner from McDowell

03/12/15 03:40 PM
Russell Guffey, a sales representative from Nebo won $1 million to become the third McDowell County player to win $1 million or more this month. On Wednesday evening, March 11th,  Guffey stopped at Samirs on U.S. 70 East in Nebo and bought a $20 ticket for the $200 Million Blowout game. He scratched it off in the store – and was shocked to win $1 million. Guffey could have claimed the $1 million prize in 20 annuity payments of $50,000 but opted for the $600,000 lump sum, leaving him $415,506 in after-tax winnings. Guffey said he would take his time in deciding how to spend the amount. The 47 year old doesn’t plan on retiring but hopes to take a year off. Last Wednesday, Jack Piercy Jr., a retired locomotive engineer from Old Fort, won $1 million on a ticket for the $1,000,000 Jackpot game. Two days later Carl Hooper, a manufacturing worker from Marion, won $4 million playing 100X The Cash.

Can You Identify These Men?

03/12/15 09:13 AM
On 02-28-2015 a debit card was stolen, and was used at P&R Grocery in Bakersville, NC. The suspect vehicle appears to be a Dodge Durango (1998-2003). Video surveillance was obtained of the transaction and investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the (more)

One Killed in a Single Car Accident

03/11/15 02:18 PM
The Highway Patrol has reported that one person was killed in a single car accident in Yancey County. 57 year old Patty Street of Bakersville was traveling on Highway 197 North when the vehicle she was driving left the road.  The accident occurred around 11:30am Tuesday.  We will have more details as they become available when a full report is filed by the Highway Patrol. 

U. S. Textiles in Newland to Close

03/11/15 10:59 AM
U.S.Textiles Corporation has announced the closure of its Newland facility. U.S. Textile bought the plant from Glen Raven in 1978 and has continued manufacturing women’s hosiery and shaping products since then. U. S. Textiles main office is in Pennsylvania. The company stated that foreign competition and diminishing product demand forced the action. They will also close the Lancaster, SC plant. The Newland facility was dedicated to knitting and sewing while Lancaster was a dying and packaging unit. The company produces both Silkies and Sculptz brands along with private label national brands. 

Yancey To Begin Countywide Property Imaging Project

03/11/15 10:38 AM
A countywide property-imaging project will be underway in Yancey County beginning March 23, 2015.  Yancey County has contracted Tyler Technologies, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio to provide detailed, high-resolution street level images for the county’s 2016 general reassessment. Tyler (more)

Mt Heritage Earns Lowest Dropout Rate in School History

03/11/15 09:53 AM
In a press release on March 5, 2015 – the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction reported the dropout rate for NC public schools hit a record low of 2.28% for a statewide average.  Mountain Heritage High School can claim a new record low - for the second year in a row – at 1.45%. Last March, the release of the dropout report was certainly a proud moment for the (more)

Waterhouse Indicted

03/10/15 04:31 PM
Kris Ann Waterhouse of Bakersville was indicted on two counts of reckless aggravated assault March 2nd by a Unicoi County grand jury.  According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol the collision that injured 6-year-old Austin Smith and his grandmother, Katherine Bryant, occurred at around 6:30 a.m. on March 6, 2014. A school bus, which was traveling southbound, had stopped to pick up Smith. The bus had on its yellow flashing lights, stop bar out and red lights engaged. The SUV driven by Waterhouse was traveling northbound and continued through the bus' stop signals, striking both Smith and Bryant.  Both victims sustained non-life threatening injuries. Several court hearings leading up to Waterhouse's move last month to waive her preliminary hearing had been postponed, as attorneys on both side of the case were awaiting the results of a blood test taken they day of the alleged collision. Waterhouse is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court on April 6.

Bridge to Be Named After BR Bailey

03/10/15 02:48 PM
Yancey Commissioners passed a resolution at their regular monthly meeting Monday night, March 9th in support of naming a bridge in honor of Billy Ray “BR” Bailey. The resolution asks that the bridge on Whittington Road be named in honor of Bailey. Bailey was a U. S. Army veteran and taught school for 35 years in Yancey County. He was a five term County Commissioner and lifelong resident of the Cane River community. 

Another Big Lottery Win in McDowell County

03/10/15 01:39 PM
McDowell County seems to be the place to be these days if you want to be a big lottery winner. On March 2nd there was a $1 million winner and then on Thursday the 5th Carl Hooper of Marion became the winner of the $4 million grand prize from the lottery’s 100X the Cash scratch-off card game. He says winning $4 million instantly means he can buy a house – and maybe call it (more)

Groundbreaking for New Nursing Facility at Mars Hill University

03/10/15 07:13 AM
The public is invited to a groundbreaking for Ferguson Health Sciences Center, on the campus of Mars Hill University, on March 13 at 11 am. The new building will be located on Hwy 213 (Cascade St.), at the corner of Joe Anderson Drive in Mars Hill. The center is the future home of the planned Judge-McRae School of Nursing. The three-story, 28,731 square foot facility is expected to be completed by the fall of 2016. The planned Judge-McRae School of Nursing will provide a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a liberal arts focus, at a time when the demand for nurses with four-year degrees is growing in the region. The center will be constructed using a low-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, in addition to gifts from alumni and friends of the university.

Toe River Health Receives $3000 from Delta Dental

03/09/15 03:24 PM
On behalf of the Delta Dental Foundation, Delta Dental of North Carolina CEO Curt Ladig delivered a $3,000 check to the Toe River Health District, Monday afternoon. March 9th.  This grant will help support the district’s dental screening and fluoride varnish program, which will (more)

2015-16 State Transportation Map Now Available

03/05/15 05:15 PM
RALEIGH—The 2015-16 North Carolina State Transportation Map was unveiled Thursday today as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Centennial Celebration and is now available free of charge. (Details)

McDowell County Man Wins $1 Million

03/05/15 11:28 AM
A McDowell County man who won $1 million instantly says he and his wife will share their prize money with their four sons and spend more time with their five grandchildren. Jack Piercy Jr.   was on his way to visit a family member in Morganton on Monday morning, March 2nd when he stopped to fuel up at the Gate store on Green Street. There, he bought a $10 ticket for the (more)

Parkway Playhouse Chosen to Produce The Lion King

03/04/15 10:37 AM
The Parkway Playhouse has been chosen by Disney Theatrical to license and produce a student version of the blockbuster phenomena, “The Lion King”.     Students enrolling in the 2015 Parkway Playhouse Jr. Summer production camp will be among the first students in the world to work on a locally produced production of the Broadway musical. The Parkway Playhouse, one of only a few groups in the nation, was selected based on their involvement with the National Junior Theatre Festival.  “We were thrilled,” commented Parkway Playhouse Artistic Director, Andrew Gall. “This is an opportunity unlike anything we have ever been able to offer our community.”  The camp, which will be run during the day in July, is open to students between the ages of 4 to 18.   Students will be involved in creating all the props, scenery, and costumes as well as rehearsing a 60 minute production, which will be performed on July 17 and 18 at Parkway Playhouse.  

Inclement Weather and the Yancey School Calendar

03/04/15 10:29 AM
Warmer weather last week and the time change over the weekend are reminders that spring is just around the corner.  While spring will certainly be a welcome change, the results of the harsh weather since Christmas must still be addressed on the Yancey County Schools calendar. (more)

State Economic Official Visits Mitchell

03/03/15 04:41 PM
Several Mitchell County residents braved the cold weather and 6 to 8 inch snow  on Thursday, February 26th, to meet with Dr. Pat Mitchell, Asst. Secretary for Rural Development for the NC Department of Commerce. Dr. Mitchell met with Chamber and EDC members, local leaders as well as local businesses and organizations to discuss the role of the Rural Development office.Dr. Mitchell met with citizens at the Market on Oak. She then stopped by Mike Brown Ford Subaru and BRP and Buck Stove. For more information about the services of the Rural Development office visit:

Hise Resigns as Mayor, Slagle Resigns as County Chairman

03/03/15 04:23 PM
Two top Mitchell County positions have seen changes. Spruce Pine Mayor Phillip Hise abruptly resigned so as to take the job of the town’s Public Works Director. The town held an emergency session on Wednesday, February 25th to announce the resignation. Mayor pro tem Rocky Buchanan was selected to serve out Hise’s term. Darla Harding was selected to serve as Mayor pro tem. The town council is expected to appoint a replacement for the vacant seat by their first meeting in April. Both Buchanan and the replacement will have to run for re-election in November to retain the seats. The other big change in Mitchell County is Commissioner Bill Slagle resigned his position as Chairman due to his recent announcement of accepting a position as regional industry manager for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Is it expected that Slagle will further resign from the Commission at a later date. Commissioners voted unanimously to make Ken Hollifield the new County Commission Chairman. 

Truck Wreck

03/02/15 10:49 AM
This truck wreck happened early Saturday morning. No one was hurt. The truck landed in the parking lot in back of the Mitchell News Journal. (click to see another pic)

Yancey County Schools to Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill March 4

02/25/15 12:11 PM
As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 1-7, Yancey County Schools will practice its tornado and severe weather plans during a statewide tornado drill March 4 at 9:30 a.m. In 2014, the National Weather Service issued 81 tornado warnings for North Carolina and recorded 36 tornadoes that killed one and injured 34 people. Combined, the tornadoes caused more than $22 million (more)

New Administrator at Mountain View Correctional

02/25/15 12:06 PM
The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has named Mike Slagle as the new administrator at Mountain View Correctional Institution. Slagle is a 20-year corrections veteran who most recently served as assistant superintendent for programs at Mountain View.  He began his state service in 1994 as a counselor at a juvenile evaluation center.  He has also worked as a program (more)

New Principal Hired for Greenlee Elementary

02/25/15 12:02 PM
The Mitchell County Board of Education has hired Julie Weatherman as the new principal for Greenlee Elementary. Weatherman replaces retiring Greenlee principal Alan English. She will begin at Greenlee on March 1st.  Weatherman was the Regional Positive Behavior Support Coordinator for the state’s 16 most western counties before talking the position. 

Slagle Resigns as Mitchell County EDC Director

02/23/15 04:40 PM
Bill Slagle has resigned as Interim Economic Development  Director for Mitchell County effective March 9, 2015.  Slagle has accepted a position as Regional Industry Manager of the Northwest Prosperity Zone for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.  Slagle has served as Interim Director since June of 2013. The search for a permanent director of the Mitchell EDC is continuing. Bill Slagle is also Chairman of the Mitchell County Commissioners. 

Harris Middle School Flooded

02/23/15 03:05 PM
Harris Middle School was closed today as a result of a main water line break during the overnight hours.  As a result of this break the main boiler room at Harris Middle School was flooded.  Both boilers and the main electrical panel were covered in water. The school’s maintenance crew, custodians, WNC Forestry representatives and members of the Spruce Pine, Parkway and Bakersville Fire Department are working to clean up and repair the problems.  This is an ongoing process and at this time they are unsure how long it will be until power is restored.    

Man Arrested After Car Chase

02/23/15 01:22 PM
(Press Release provided by the Yancey Sheriff's Department)
On Saturday, February 21st, Yancey County Deputies received a call of a suspicious male at the intersection of Micaville Loop and 80 South.   When Deputies arrived on scene  26 year old Raymond David Garland of Spruce Pine gave chase fleeing east on US19 to 80 North then to Arbuckle Road.  The chase ended when Garland wrecked his vehicle on Arbuckle Road.  After the chase Deputies discovered that Garland had broken into a vehicle parked at the intersection of Micaville Loop and 80 South.   Garland was charged with felony flee/elude arrest, DWI, Breaking and Entering a motor vehicle, misdemeanor larceny, possession of stolen goods,  2 counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on government official, reckless driving,  unsafe passing, failure to yield for a stop sign, resisting a public officer,  and no operator’s license.  Garland remains in jail under a $25,000 secured bond and is set to appear in court on March, 3 2015.

Insurance Deadline Extended for Those Who Pay Penalty

02/23/15 10:05 AM
People who discover that they have to pay a health insurance fee on 2014 taxes can still apply for help to pay for 2015 insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Between March 15 and April 30, the Marketplace will be open for enrollment for people who want to avoid a much higher fee at the end of 2015. The Bakersville Clinic’s free community service will be available throughApril 30 to help you understand how the Affordable Care Act makes insurance affordable and to help you apply for tax credits to pay for insurance. This service is not limited to clinic patients. You can call 828-678-0531 now for an appointment. 

Mitchell Deputies Respond to Home Invasion

02/20/15 02:10 PM
(Press Release from Mitchell Sheriff's Department)
Mitchell County Deputies have arrested Gregory Alan Street, age 56, of 463 Sparks Road, Bakersville on numerous felonies. At approximately 6:10 a.m., Mitchell County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to 29 Robin Hood Way near Ledger. The woman who lived at the residence with her three children called 911 and told the dispatchers a man had forced his way into her house with a long gun in one hand and a pistol in the other hand. (more)

Water Issues in Bakersville

02/19/15 06:56 AM
Water crews in Bakersville were struggling with frozen pipes and looking for leaks yesterday along Highway 261. The city had to turn off the water in some areas to work on the problems.  Mayor Chuck Vines was asking everyone in Bakersville to keep a small stream of water running from their faucets last night to avoid any more frozen pipes. 

NCDOT Clearing the Roads

02/19/15 06:54 AM
Across the state, 2,474 department employees are currently responding to winter weather, with 1,316 NCDOT trucks and 213 motor graders being used to remove ice and snow from the roads. (more)

More Cold

02/18/15 07:02 AM
Old man winter continues its grip on Western North Carolina. Saturday afternoon, on Valentines Day the high was 38 degrees and then as we slipped below freezing in the evening we have stayed below the freezing mark.  Record low temperatures are expected tonight and tomorrow night with low temperatures that may be near -10 in the higher elevations. During 2013 and 2014 the low temperature for February was 15 degrees, both of those years. January 8 of 2015 we recorded a low of -1.  January 30 of 2014 the low was -7.  Even though we are expecting more below zero temperatures we are still a long way from the all time record low of -25 on January 21st 1985.

Yancey Woman Sentenced for Child Porn

02/16/15 11:24 AM
On Thursday, February 12th, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Tabatha Dianne Black to 210 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. According to court records, from May to June 2012, Black enticed and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of it which she then distributed. Black pleaded guilty in June 2014 to one count of production of child pornography and has been in federal custody since April 2014. The case was prosecuted by Homeland Security, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office.  

MCC Receives Grant to Establish Crafts Training Center

02/16/15 06:14 AM
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced an award of $15,000 to Mayland Community College for architectural designs to establish a heritage crafts training center on its Mitchell Campus.Mayland Community College is working to develop a center that would house training and classes in fiber arts, woodworking, ceramics and additional heritage arts and crafts. It would (more)

Lawsuit Filed in Best Western Deaths

02/12/15 06:07 AM
Lawyers representing family members of a Washington State couple killed in the Boone Best Western in April of 2013 outlined their law suit Tuesday, February 10th, against a number of parties they believe responsible for the deaths. (more)

Marion Police Looking for Robbery Suspect

02/11/15 01:47 PM
Marion Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a suspect who they say attempted to rob a local convenience store Wednesday morning around 1:20 am and assaulted someone in the process. The attempted armed robbery took place at  the Stop & Save #10, on 226 South in Marion. The store clerk told authorities that what appeared to be a black female, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up and tightened around her face, entered the store and demanded money. The suspect pulled a knife , came around the counter and a scuffle followed. The clerk received a minor cut from the weapon. A store patron realized what was happening and attempted to chase down the subject on foot, but the suspect escaped. No cash or property was taken. The suspect is described as a possible black female standing approximately 5-feet, 10-inches tall and weighing over 200 pounds. She was last seen wearing a grey-hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Anyone with information call the Marion Police Department at 828-652-5205.

What to do after a Data Breach

02/06/15 10:03 AM
Tens of millions of Americans could be victims of the latest corporate data breach, this one at Anthem Insurance. Unknown hackers apparently stole personal identifying information (PII) from current and former Anthem customers, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other information that can be used for identity theft. (more)

North Carolina Connections Academy Approved to Open in the 2015-2016 School Year

02/05/15 01:11 PM
Durham, NC - Families with children in grades K-9 from across North Carolina will have an exciting new public school option in the 2015-2016 school year. North Carolina Connections Academy (NCCA) has been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education to deliver full-time, tuition-free, public education to students from across the state through a public virtual charter school pilot program. Information sessions for families are being planned across the state. (more)

More Hwy 19E Project Set to Begin in February

02/04/15 02:08 PM
More of the Hwy 19E project is slated to begin in February. The contractor for the next section will be Wright Brothers Construction out of Charleston TN.  The contract for this section is for $64,819,884.00. The project starts at the western end of the NC 80 Micaville Loop and ends at the start of the four lane section just west of Spruce Pine.  The start date is February (more)

Meeting To Discuss Forest Service Plans

02/04/15 07:19 AM
Barnardsville residents have concerns about the US Forest Service plans to open up the Big Ivy area to logging. The controversial draft plan will be discussed at a meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Big Ivy Community Center, 540 Dillingham Road in Barnardsville. (more)

Deyton Elementary Receives $15,000 Grant

02/03/15 01:38 PM
Deyton Elementary School has been awarded a $15,000 Play Construction Grant from Dr. Pepper, Snapple and the National Non-Profit Kaboom.  This grant money will be used to purchase and install a new piece of playground equipment for Deyton Elementary School.  Principal Jennifer Gregory said about the grant, "We are very excited about making improvements to our playground.  We want our students and the community to have a fun and safe place to play."  "We appreciate the work of our PTO in helping us to receive this funding and look forward to working with the entire community on this project."  

Mitchell Deputies Uncover Meth Lab During Welfare Check

02/03/15 11:08 AM
(News Release provided by Mitchell Sheriff's Department)
Mitchell County Deputies charge a Buladean woman for manufacturing methamphetamine. Stephanie Tara Lujan, age 30, of 14764 NC 226 North, Bakersville faces several felony charges. Captain R.V. Wiseman said a call came into the Sheriff’s Office from the mother of Lujan. The mother said Lujan showed up at their house a few days (more)

Bald Creek Elementary Awarded $80,000 NC Title I Reward School Grant

01/30/15 03:59 PM
Last week, Yancey County Schools was informed that Bald Creek Elementary School has been awarded an $80,000 NC Title I Reward School Grant.  Bald Creek Elementary has been named a NC Title I Reward School for the 2013-14 school year, a distinction given to the Top 10% of NC (more)

ECU Dental Facility Opens, Wind Destroys Tent

01/30/15 10:32 AM
The ribbon cutting for the new Eastern Carolina University School of Dental Medicine was held this morning at the new facility in Spruce Pine. The new 7700 square ft building is located on the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital campus. High winds at 8 o’clock  this morning ripped the tent that was set up for the ceremony down and blew it up against the building. The fire department was able to get the tent off the building and the event was held in the lobby with approximately 75 people in attendance.   

ECU Dental Facility Opens in Spruce Pine

01/29/15 10:26 AM
The ribbon cutting for the new Eastern Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is tomorrow at the new facility in Spruce Pine. The new 7700 square ft building is located on the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital campus. Full time dental school faculty will staff the center along with dental hygienists and other support staff. Fourth year dental students will train at the center offering low cost dental care to area residents. With 16 dental chairs and brand new state of the art equipment the center will be able to accommodate 40 to 50 patients per day. Dental services will cost approximately 30% less than private practices. The center will serve Medicaid patients as well as other payment plans and offers  sliding scale rates for those 150 percent below the federal poverty line. Tours of the facility begin at 9 am tomorrow. At 10:00 there will be comments from the Dean of Eastern Carolina, followed by the official ribbon cutting at 10:30.

Man Killed in Crash Near Tennessee Border

01/29/15 07:01 AM
A North Carolina man was killed Saturday morning, January 24th, in a crash just inside Tennessee as his sedan collided head-on with a tractor trailer.  The crash occurred on US 19E near the state line around 10 am when 37 year old John S. Mann, of Spring Lake NC, crossed the center line in his 2013 Toyota Prius. The small car hit the front of a 2007 Kenworth tractor trailer, driven by Howard C. Burleson, age 58, of Roan Mountain Tennessee.  Tennessee Trooper Edward Tester said that John Mann was dead at the scene and that Burleson was injured in the crash.  Burleson was hauling a load of grass seed which blocked US Highway 19E for some time due to the wreckage and the investigation into the fatality.  

Graham Children's Health Receives NC 2015 Public Health Partner of the Year

01/27/15 10:13 AM
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors named Graham Children’s Health Services of Burnsville as the 2015 Public Health Partner of the year. This award was created to recognize organizations, businesses and professional associations that (more)

Record Year at Asheville Airport

01/27/15 08:28 AM
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) served a record number of passengers in 2014: 378,124 passengers enplaned at the airport in 2014, and 378,301 passengers deplaned, an 11.5% increase compared to 2013, and a 2.3% increase compared to 2010, the previous best year on record. (more)

Biddix Charged with Selling Marijuana

01/26/15 12:08 PM
(Press release from the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department)
Mitchell County Deputies have charged a Spruce Pine man for selling marijuana. Johnny Hubert Biddix, age 55, of 7394 US19E, Spruce Pine faces several felony charges involving the sale of marijuana. (more)

Asst. Secretary of Commerce Coming to Mitchell County

01/26/15 11:50 AM
Dr. Pat Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Rural Development, North Carolina Department of Commerce will be in Mitchell County to review the area and the opportunities that exist for Mitchell County. Dr. Mitchell will be at The Market on Oak, located at 11 Crystal Street in Spruce Pine, Wednesday, January 28 from 11:30 to 12:15 for those interested in talking with her. 

Yancey Sheriffs Department Has Unique Patrol Car

01/26/15 10:03 AM
The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office has made a unique purchase of a new patrol car. The Sheriff’s Office contacted Burnsville Chevrolet to find a Police Package Caprice. Burnsville Chevrolet contacted Terry Lebonte Chevrolet in Greensboro about a car they had in stock.

McDowell County Teen Father Charged with Child Abuse

01/23/15 07:23 AM
A McDowell County teen father has been charged after his 2-month-old son suffered bone fractures while in his care. 19 year old Byron Cole Pace is charged with felony intentional child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the sheriff's office, Pace was watching the child while the baby's mother was at work. At some point the baby turned blue and was non-respondent. Deputies have not said what happened to the child that caused the injuries, but Pace's father says Byron accidently dropped the baby.  The baby was released from Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville yesterday. Detectives say the boy sustained five bone fractures. The investigation continues.

Dr Carl Mundy Dies

01/23/15 07:22 AM
Dr. Carl Mundy, 102, of Mitchell County passed away yesterday (thurs.1-22-15). Dr. Mundy was a World War 2 veteran, practiced dentistry in Buncombe county and retired several years ago to Mitchell County. He touched many lives and was highly respected.

Mayland'€™s Anspach School Nears Completion

01/22/15 12:58 PM
The Yancey County Commissioners heard an update from Mayland Community College President Dr. John Boyd on the progress that has been made on the colleges’ new Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School during the regular business meeting on Monday night. Dr. Boyd told Commissioners that the $2.6 million project is nearing completion and that workers should begin moving furniture into the offices and classrooms this week. Boyd said that the heavy equipment and specialty units that will be used to train students in the latest manufacturing techniques would be installed in the next few weeks. The expansion of the Yancey Campus was sparked by a generous contribution from Yancey County resident Dr. William Anspach Jr.  The Anspach School will offer a degree program in applied engineering with skill tracks in CNC programming, machining, robotics and design. Boyd expects the new school to begin offering classes at the beginning of February.

Fees For Water Test Goes Up

01/22/15 12:51 PM
Allen Hughes, an Environmental Health Supervisor at the Toe River Health District came before the Yancey Commissioners at their recent meeting to inform them of new price changes for the service of analyzing water samples in Yancey, Mitchell and Avery Counties. He presented a proposal to ok the price hikes that are mandated by the state. The Board voted unanimously to approve the request. Hughes said that an increase in the cost of the bottles used to analyze water samples is the reason for the up tick in cost. The new fees will raise the cost of a microbiology total coli form P/A test from $50 to $75, move the fee for an inorganic chemistry full organic panel from the current $50 to $125 and organic chemistry test for pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products and volatile organic chemicals from the current price of $75 to $125. The price of a new well sample kit will remain the same at $75 and the well abandonment fee will rise from $25 to $50.

Yancey Commissioners Get Wastewater/Sewer Update

01/22/15 12:47 PM
Yancey County Manager Nathan Bennett updated the Commissioners on the progress on the Micaville wastewater treatment plant and the remaining line work for the sewer project at the latest Commissioners meeting. He said that the company that is doing the construction of the plant has agreed to expedite the completion of the project so that the line work can be completed.  Bennett said that plans are to begin the remaining line work by April 15 and that he expects the entire project to be completed by mid October.

Avery County Woman Winner of $1 Million Lottery

01/20/15 12:26 PM
An Avery County woman  has come forward to claim the $1 million dollar North Carolina Education Lottery ticket sold at the Murphy USA on Halltown Road in Spruce Pine. Rachel Hoilman, of Newland, matched all five white balls but not the red Powerball in the Jan. 3rd drawing to win the prize after purchasing the $2 Quick Pick ticket. Hoilman bought the $2 ticket at the Murphy USA on Halltown Road in Spruce Pine. In a release from the North Carolina Education Lottery, Hoilman said that, "It feels surreal to win something like this," and called it "A blessing. This money will help us and it will help others."