Mars Hill University Announces New Trustees

02/20/17 03:37 PM
Four new members joined the Mars Hill University Board of Trustees for 2017. Their four-year terms began January 1. Mary Dawson, M.D., is a family physician at Mountain Magnolia Family Practice in Abingdon, Virginia. A member of the Mars Hill class of 2001, she received her medical degree from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. With her husband, Brian, also a doctor, she (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 2/12 - 2/19/17 (Details)

02/20/17 09:41 AM

Two Mitchell County Women Arrested for Shooting Man

02/17/17 01:03 PM
(News Release from Mitchell Sheriff's Department)
Mitchell County Sheriff's  Detectives arrested Susan Beasley Hogsette, age 59,of 77 Duke Franklin Road, Spruce Pine for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Stacey Jean Clark, age 40, of 118 Frank J. Beam Road, Spruce Pine, for assault by pointing a gun. Captain R.V. Wiseman advised this stemmed from an incident (more)

Yancey County Man Charged with Burning Mobile Home

02/17/17 12:27 PM
On Saturday the 11th of February Newdale Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 216 Motor Sports Lane.  Yancey County Sheriff’s deputies responded as well to aid in the investigation of the origin and cause of the fire. During this investigation it was found that the fire had been intentionally set by Joshua McKinney. Later that night Mr.  McKinney was charged with 1st (more)

February Yancey Commissioners Meeting

02/17/17 12:13 PM
 At their meeting for February, the Yancey County Commissioners received reports and took action on several important items. The commissioners were once again pleased to welcome all of the parents, children, and young adults who were award winners in the 4-H program. As always, Yancey County was well represented at the district and state level by the Yancey County 4-H group. The (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 2/1 - 2/16/17 (Details)

02/16/17 01:25 PM

Public Hearing About Mitchell DSS

02/16/17 10:32 AM
Mitchell Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on March 20th at 5:00 pm  to receive public comments on whether the Mitchell Board of Commissioners should assume direct control of the activities of the Mitchell County Board of Social Services. The Commissioners would assume all powers, duties and responsibilities of the Social Services Board.  The public hearing will be held in the Commissioner's Conference Room, located at 26 Crimson Laurel Circle in Bakersville. Taking over operation of the Social Services board would not be a reflection of the job that current Director or employees of DSS are doing. The action would be to have more insight into DSS since the County funds nearly $2 million a year of the DSS budget and it is the largest item in the county's budget. The DSS budget requests have increased significantly over the past five years as the number of foster children has risen significantly, causing additional staff and attorney fees. 

Hit and Run Fatality

02/14/17 07:44 AM
(News report from WLOS)
A Burnsville woman has been identified as the suspect in a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian dead. Fonda Jane Adkins is wanted for felony hit-and-run and driving with a revoked license.
59 year old Steven Banks was struck and killed along Weaverville Highway on Feb. 9, just three-tenths of a mile from his home. (More)

Million Dollar Lottery Winner

02/13/17 01:17 PM
A ticket worth $1 million was purchased Sunday night February 5th at the Food Lion on Old U.S. Hwy 421 South in Boone. Bobby Hite of Deep Gap claimed his prize Thursday the 9th at lottery headquarters  in Raleigh. He paid $30 for the ticket and will receive $50,000 every year for 20 years as winner of the $1 million in the North Carolina Education Lottery's Ultimate Millions game.  Hite had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the annuity, and after federal and state tax withholdings received his first payment of $34,759. Hite recently retired as an IT specialist, and plans to use the money for retirement.

Mitchell County Man Shot

02/13/17 10:36 AM
(Press Release from the Mitchell Sheriff's Office)
Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting which occurred on J Frank Beam Road in Spruce Pine. On Friday, February 10, 2017, at around 2:55p.m., deputies were dispatched to 459 Vaughn Road. A call came in to the Communication Center of a man being shot. Captain R.V. Wiseman arrived on the scene at 3:00 p.m., to find Michael Cheatham, age 54, lying in driveway with a gunshot to his (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 2/5 - 2/13/17 (Details)

02/13/17 09:47 AM

February Yancey School Board Meeting

02/10/17 02:44 PM
At the February 6, 2017 Yancey County Schools’ Board meeting Monday night, East Yancey Middle School’s basketball players and coaches were honored for the girls’ Toe River Conference and Tournament championships and the boys’ Toe River Conference   (more)

New Alliance To Tackle Drug Epidemic

02/09/17 04:18 PM
To reduce the prevalence of alcohol and drug misuse, as well as the number of fatal overdoses, in 23 western North Carolina counties, Vaya Health has joined with community partners to form the Western North Carolina Substance Use Alliance.  The misuse and abuse of alcohol, prescription medications and illicit drugs affect the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans. In 2015, (more)

Burnsville Town Board Adopts Sidewalk Ordinance

02/09/17 02:39 PM
At the February 2nd meeting of the Burnsville Town Board they voted to amend the Zoning Ordinance  with a new Sidewalk Dining Ordinance.  The Zoning Ordinance was initially adopted in 1969 and has been amended several times since then.  The Sidewalk Dining Ordinance requires businesses to file an application, meet the requirements and pay a fee in order to get a permit. The (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 2/2 - 2/9/17 (Details)

02/09/17 02:24 PM

Grant for Bowman Middle School

02/09/17 09:19 AM
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded a People in Need Grant of $15,000 to Rural Education Partners of Mitchell County to begin implementation of the Bowman Middle School In-School Support Program.  The grant is funded by combining dollars provided through The Fund for Mitchell County, an affiliate of the Community Foundation, and two other CFWNC funds. (more)

New Marketing Plan for Mitchell County

02/08/17 03:09 PM
When it comes to marketing, these days building a "brand" is important.  You need an identifiable symbol that is used on everything from signage to  letterhead to shirts and websites. Mitchell County took a major step in that direction Friday, February 3rd when the new marketing plan was unveiled by North Star Strategies, the  Nashville firm hired last April to work with (more)

Four Arrested for Vandalism

02/07/17 03:20 PM
In a follow up to a story we had last week about some vandalism in Boone on January 22nd, four young women have been arrested.  Police arrested Taryn Bledsoe, age 22, Julia Grainger age 22, Elizabeth Prier, age 22, and Hannah Seay, age 21. All four women were charged with seven counts of misdemeanor graffiti violation and one count of misdemeanor damage to personal property.  The charges were for spray painting obscene anti-Police and anti-Trump messages on a number of businesses and a patrol car, causing approximately $10,000 in damages. Tips from the public through High Country Crime Stoppers led to the incidents being solved.

New eBook Sharing Service Specifically for Children

02/07/17 09:17 AM
 A first of its kind statewide eBook consortium specifically for children has launched in the Tar Heel State. The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) together with OverDrive and the state of North Carolina has created a new digital resource sharing service for kids’ pre-K through 4th grade, NC Kids Digital Library. Over 3,700 eBooks, audiobooks, videos and (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/29 - 2/5/17 (Details)

02/06/17 09:26 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/26 - 2/2/17 (Details)

02/03/17 02:06 PM

McDowell County Man Charged with Manslaughter

02/02/17 04:35 PM
Glenn Edward Gardin, age 63, of 173 Hicks Memorial Baptist Church Road in Marion has been charged  with voluntary manslaughter. Shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies and troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol responded to Gardin’s residence after he called 911 and reported that he shot his neighbor, 63-year-old Todd Alan Swepson, of 184 Hicks Memorial Church Road in Marion.  Detective Paul Alkire said the two men, who have a history of altercations with each other, had been drinking at Gardin’s residence and got into another confrontation that led to the shooting.  Gardin brandished a small-caliber revolver and shot Swepson once in the torso.  Deputies and state troopers performed CPR on Swepson at the scene but were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive him.

Unemployment Rates Up Slightly

02/02/17 12:56 PM
Unemployment rates increased in 71 of North Carolina’s counties in December, decreased in 9, and remained unchanged in 20.  Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.7 percent. The December statewide rate was 4.9 percent. In our area rates were up slightly. Avery rate for December  was 4.9, Madison 4.8, McDowell 4.6, Mitchell 6.1 and Yancey 5.1 percent. All rates not seasonally adjusted.

Marker Honors Lesley Riddle

02/02/17 11:01 AM
A North Carolina Historical Highway marker was placed three weeks ago on Hwy 19E coming into Burnsville from the west side near Young and McQueen Grading. The marker is in honor of Lesley Riddle. Lesley Riddle is an old time musician and song collector who collaborated from 1928 through 1937 with the Carter Family in the early days of country music. Riddle developed an innovative picking and (more)

Town of Burnsville Receives Grant for Water System

02/01/17 12:43 PM
The State Water Infrastructure Authority has announced a $900,000 grant to the town of Burnsville. These funds are allocated for drinking water and wastewater projects and no local matching of funds is required.   Mayor Theresa Coletta requested a year ago for the Town Board to allow her to apply for funds to help with the town's water and sewer system that has some pipes that date back to the 1920's.   The town is now applying for the an additional $1 million, one hundred thousand, which would bring it to a total of $2 million, which is the maximum that can be applied for over 3 years from the State water Infrastructure Authority. Total cost to replace the town's system is $10 million. Efforts will continue to find additional funding. 

Scam Alert for Cell Phone Users

01/31/17 02:16 PM
Beware of answering your cell phone when you do not know who is calling. When you answer your phone a caller may ask you "Can you hear me?" or some other question designed to have you respond "yes". When you do they record your voice and use that recording to add charges to your phone bill or take other actions to steal your money. And when you protest that you never authorized the charges, that recorded “yes” can make it harder to get the charges removed. To protect yourself let any unknown calls go to your voice mailbox. If it is a legitimate call they will leave a message and you can return it. If you do answer and someone asks this type question--just hang up.  Study your bill. Check your phone charges and credit card statements. If you see a charge you don’t recognize, contact the company and dispute the charge. But first off be aware that there are people out there trying to scam you. If in doubt don't answer that unknown phone call. 

Hikers Found

01/31/17 07:09 AM
Rescuers from Yancey County were in the woods most of the day Sunday looking for lost hikers in Mount Mitchell State Park. The three hikers were reported missing Sunday and found later in the day. Yancey County Officials said they departed early Sunday morning. All three were found and taken to the hospital to be checked. 

Anti-Trump Graffiti

01/31/17 07:07 AM
Police have arrested four women and charged them with painting anti-Trump graffiti around Boone. A number of businesses and one police car were painted Jan. 21. The police department said the four Boone women were arrested late last week and charged with seven counts of misdemeanor graffiti and one count of damaging personal property. The women are 22-year-old Taryn Bledsoe, 22-year-old Julia Grainger, 22-year-old Elizabeth Prier and 21-year-old Hannah Seay. Officers had said several people had painted "Black Lives Matter," anti-Trump and anti-police slogans, causing damage of about $10,000. Boone Police chief Dana Crawford said a tip from High Country Crime Stoppers led to the arrests.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/22 - 1/29/17 (Details)

01/30/17 11:36 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/19 - 1/26/17 (Details)

01/26/17 03:58 PM

Mitchell County Receives Grant for Project Lifesaver

01/26/17 01:12 PM
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has awarded a $5000 grant to Mitchell County for Project Lifesaver.  The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide a quick and potentially life- saving response for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer's, autism or other conditions.  The grant money will purchase tracking bracelets and other equipment  and pay for training.  The Mitchell Sheriff's Department and the county's emergency personnel will operate the program in accordance with the Safety Awareness  for Everyone (SAFE) committee.  The SAFE Committee formed last August in order to implement the Project Lifesaver program. 

Petition for Home School Students to Be Eligible for Public School Sports

01/26/17 01:10 PM
A petition is making the rounds in Mitchell County to allow private and home school students to participate in public school athletics. There are approximately 150 students in Mitchell County  who are either  in private schools or are home schooled. Started last October by John Stevenson, the petition has now garnered several hundred signatures.  Currently children that are home (more)

Paving Scam in Mitchell County

01/25/17 01:22 PM
Several reports have been received at the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department about a possible paving scam. People claiming to represent a paving company tell unsuspecting residents that they have just finished a big paving job and have some asphalt left over.  They offer to pave a driveway or other area and say it won't cost much. After the job is complete they send a bill for as much as $10,000. It's a good idea to get a contract when hiring any kind service and to always be sure you are dealing with a reputable company.  The company attempting this scam is not local. If you have been a victim or are contacted by this company call the Mitchell Sheriff's Department at 828-688-3982.

Weatherman, Tyner Chosen to Head New Yancey School Board

01/25/17 12:23 PM
At the regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education on January 9, 2017, Mrs. Angie Weatherman was voted in as School Board Chair and Mrs. Jeanne Tyner was voted in as Vice-Chair.  The vote was 3-2 in favor, with Angie Weatherman, Jeanne Tyner, and Edwin (more)

NC Department of Transportation Customer Survey

01/25/17 10:46 AM
The NC Department of Transportation  second annual customer survey is going on now through the end of the month.  All citizen feedback is collected online. Visit to complete the survey. Survey takes about 15 minutes and is mobile friendly.   Participation can help NCDOT identify ways to make North Carolina's roads safer, more efficient and customer focused. 

Community Needs Assessment Survey (Details)

01/25/17 10:36 AM

New Reentry Council in McDowell County

01/25/17 10:29 AM
The Department of Public  Safety has awarded contracts to four organizations in North Carolina to set up new  Reentry Councils. Reentry Councils assist ex-offenders with housing, employment, food, treatment, transportation and mentoring.  They help to develop and  to coordinate resources  in the community to support the ex-offenders in order to reduce the likelihood of repeat offenders.  Freedom Life Ministries in McDowell County is one of the four in the state to receive up to $150,000. Executive Director Danny Hampton said the contract will allow them to move forward, "to address the physical needs, practical needs, spiritual needs and rehabilitation to those who need help in the transition back into society".

Sign-Up for Possible Drought Assistance

01/25/17 10:09 AM
The US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from livestock producers for drought relief.  Counties eligible in our area include Avery, Buncombe, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey.  Livestock producers with natural resource concerns associated with grazing lands have until February 17th to apply for funds that are available to the drought impacted counties.  For more information call 828-765-4701 ext 5.

Mitchell DSS Board Opening

01/24/17 04:27 PM
The Mitchell County Department of Social Services Board currently has a Board Seat open. Those interested in being nominated to the Mitchell County Department of Social Services Board, please contact 828-688-2175 extension # 302, and a packet will be mailed out to you.

Two McDowell County Men Busted for Drugs

01/24/17 04:09 PM
A traffic stop on West Henderson Street in Marion yielded two men with illegal drugs. Deputy Jason Cook of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Justin James McKinney, age 25, of 1170 Old Toms Creek Road in Marion, with possession of methamphetamine. Cook also charged Austen James Bowie, age 20, of 1136 Burma Road East in Marion, with possession of marijuana. Shortly before (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/15 - 1/22/17 (Details)

01/23/17 09:18 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/12 - 1/19/17 (Details)

01/20/17 09:32 AM

Senior Employment Grant

01/18/17 12:50 PM
The High Country Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging has received  $172,410 to  provide temporary employment to low income older adults living in our area. This is the first year that High Country Council of Governments has received the Senior Service America grant.  The purpose of the grant is to assist unemployed older adults seeking to rejoin  the workforce through on-the-job training at public agencies and local nonprofits. This will also help keep these seniors from feeling isolated from the community. High Country Council of Governments  covers Avery, Mitchell, Yancey, Ashe, Alleghany, Watauga and Wilkes counties. 

Special Meeting for Burnsville Town Council

01/16/17 01:03 PM
There is a special meeting tomorrow at 3 of the Burnsville Town Council. During this meeting they will discuss, among other agenda items, proposed updates ot the zoning ordinance for permitted uses and for sidewalk dining and merchandising. Also to be discussed is using creativity, art, parking etc to revitalize the town.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/8 - 1/15/17 (Details)

01/16/17 10:09 AM

Baxter Healthcare to Pay $18 Million to Resolve Charges

01/13/17 03:01 PM
According to the Department of Justice, Baxter Healthcare Corporation has agreed to pay $18.158 million to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from their failure to follow current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) when manufacturing sterile drug products  at its North Cove facility .  The government charged that, between July 2011 and November 2012, Baxter introduced (more)

Yancey County Agricultural Task Force Report

01/13/17 02:28 PM
Yancey County Commissioners received a report from the Yancey County Agricultural Task Force at their regular meeting on January 9th that provides an action plan to increase local food production and farmer income in Yancey County. This report is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work for the task force funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. (more)

Raising Your grandchildren? Help is on the Way!

01/13/17 01:36 PM
If you are among the thousands of grandparents in the U.S. currently raising your grandchildren, you don’t need anyone reminding you that yours is a challenging and often stressful situation. However, you do need to know that you are not alone, and more importantly, that help is on the way. (more)

Respiratory and Stomach Viruses, Flu Widespread

01/12/17 04:11 PM
Influenza is now widespread throughout most of North Carolina. State health officials encourage all residents to protect themselves and others against the flu.   The best way to stay healthy and combat a respiratory (flu) virus, stomach virus and other viruses is through preventive measures.  Getting the flu vaccine,  washing your hands frequently, especially after (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/5 - 1/12/17 (Details)

01/12/17 03:48 PM

Annual Count of Homeless January 25

01/12/17 10:17 AM
Wednesday, January 25, marks the annual Point-in-Time Count. The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, coordinated by the Northwest Continuum of Care, is the annual documentation of the extent of homelessness in our region, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties. The information from the PIT Count provides a valuable snapshot of the state and extent of (more)

Mitchell Receives $30,000 Demolition Grant

01/11/17 03:33 PM
The NC Department of Commerce has approved a $30,000 grant to help pay for the demolition of a vacant building behind Grassy Creek Shopping Center.  Formerly a T-shirt factory and known as the Phillips building the removal would make room for the 4.2 acre site to be developed. The Phillips family would have to pay any additional costs over the $30,000. A stipulation in the grant is that the site cannot be for public use, which means for parking lots or parks and recreational facilities. This grant program is for encouraging site rehabilitation and site availability for economic development purposes. 

Public Meeting on Carolina Theatre

01/11/17 03:18 PM
Thursday afternoon, January 12,  from 4 to 7 pm there will be a public meeting about reviving the iconic Carolina Theatre in downtown Spruce Pine. Ron Cohen will share his vision of how to purchase and renovate the theatre through crowdfunding, fundraising and grants. Cohen hopes the project will become a community space for performance arts, movies, community events and forums.  The meeting will be held in the upstairs room of the TRAC Gallery on Upper Street in Spruce Pine. All interested persons are invited to attend.

Fund for Mitchell County Announces $50,000 in Grants

01/11/17 02:46 PM
The Fund for Mitchell County is pleased to announce $50,000 in People in Need grants to local nonprofit organizations providing critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants were made in partnership with The Community Foundation of Western (more)

Mitchell Detectives Stop 3-County Crime Spree

01/10/17 12:48 PM
(Press Release from Mitchell County Sheriff's Department)
Mitchell County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Monuel Nicodemius Johnson, age 39, of Mollies Branch Road, Newland, Shawn O’Brian Riddle, age 43, of 49 Loggy Hollow Road, Bakersville, and Haley Brooke Renfro, age 21, of 938 Plum Branch Road, Burnsville. All three individuals face numerous felony charges in Avery, Mitchell, (more)

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

01/10/17 09:53 AM

Magana-Velasquez Sentenced for Rape

01/06/17 01:46 PM
On January 3rd, 2017, Heriberto Magana-Velasquez, 21 years old, was convicted of First Degree Forcible Rape, First Degree Burglary, and Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury. During the early morning hours of December 19th, 2015, Mr. Magana-Velasquez left his home and drove around Yancey County to hunt for the victim’s residence.  While Mr. Magana-Velasquez had (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/29/16 - 1/5/17 (Details)

01/05/17 01:21 PM

ScaleUp WNC Looks for Small Businesses

01/04/17 11:56 AM
ScaleUp WNC is currently seeking applications from our area of growth-oriented small businesses to begin programs in February and June.   Mountain BizWorks and its partners were selected as one of eight teams in the nation who are a part of the Small Business Administration's ScaleUp America. There are 15 such communities across the country. ScaleUp WNC is the organization in our area. They will provide intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to two groups of 15 small businesses annually through 2019. In total, 150 Western North Carolina businesses with strong potential for growth and job creation will have the opportunity to participate.  Applications are due by January 29. Fifteen businesses will be selected for each program this year. If you are interested in applying for your small business click here

Mitchell County Man Accused of Shooting another Man

01/04/17 07:09 AM
A Mitchell County man is accused of shooting another man. Gaylon Byrd is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of meth. Byrd is being held on a $500,000 bond.  Investigators say that Byrd got into an argument with the victim at Byrd's home on Shady Lane in Bakersville and Byrd shot him.  The victim is listed in stable condition at Mission Hospital.

Mother and Son Arrested for Fraud

01/03/17 02:05 PM
An Avery County mother and son were arrested for trying to return unsold products at Wal-Mart in Marion. Annette Pagano Wallace, age 62, of 417 Licklog Road, Newland, was charged with misdemeanor larceny obtaining money under false pretense and conspiracy to commit obtaining money under false pretense. Her son Anthony Charles Wallace, age 40,  was charged with aiding and abetting to obtain money under false pretense and conspiracy to commit obtaining money under false pretense. Apparently Annette Wallace and her son entered Wal-Mart of Sugar Hill Road, Marion on Dec. 22 and attempted to return items that were previously unsold. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 12/25 - 1/1/17 (Details)

01/03/17 09:44 AM

Yancey County Man Charged for Shooting into a Residence

01/02/17 01:18 PM
Mitchell County Sheriff's Department
Mitchell County Sheriff’s Deputies arrest Stephen Scott, age 55, of McCurry Road, Burnsville for shooting into a residence on Renfro Road, in Green Mountain. (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/22 - 12/29/16 (Details)

12/30/16 03:39 PM

Weaverville Man Wins Half of Cash 5 Jackpot

12/29/16 01:43 PM
Norman Rogers of Weaverville is the first player to claim one of two winning tickets for a $435,216 Cash 5 jackpot. Rogers beat the odds of 1 in 749,398 to match all five numbers in the Dec. 21 drawing. He’ll split the jackpot and get $217,608. He claimed his prize Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $150,693.  He bought the $1 Quick Pick ticket at the Handy Mart on North Main Street in Weaverville.  The second winning Cash 5 ticket was sold at the Murphy Express on North Howe Street in Southport.  

Bear Attacks Yancey County Man

12/29/16 01:33 PM
Mike Wilson of Yancey County was attacked this week by a bear. Wilson was in the woods in Mitchell County,  bear hunting with dogs when he came face to face with a 390 pound bear.  The bear swiped Mike Wilson's face and neck, just missing his jugular vein. Wilson shot the bear and while trying to reload his gun was overrun by it. The bear hid in a hole, but not before injuring two dogs and killing another. Another hunter in Mike's group arrived and put the bear down. Wilson was able to get up and get out of the woods, and friends took him to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. He was released after nearly receiving 30 stitches. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission advises when you see a bear, face it and slowly walk away. You don't want to turn your back to a bear.
Piece by Michael Kline

Regional Artist Project Grants

12/28/16 03:19 PM
The Toe River Arts Council, Asheville Area Arts Council, and the Madison County Arts Council are pleased to announce the 2016/2017 Regional Artist Project Grant recipients. The Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG) is an annual grant program that (more)

Yancey Sheriff Department Apprehends Fugitive

12/28/16 02:42 PM
Joshua Dale Garland, a fugitive from Unicoi County, Tennessee wanted on felony offences was apprehended by Yancey County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday December 28th and is being extradited back to Unicoi County  today. Garland was apprehended on Toe River Road  near North Bee Branch. 

Spruce Pine Boil Notice Cancelled

12/28/16 12:10 PM

High Peaks Awarded $60,000 Grant to Rebuild Mt. Mitchell Trail

12/28/16 10:19 AM
State officials have awarded the NC High Peaks Trail Association a $60,000 grant to rebuild a badly-eroded section of the Mt. Mitchell Trail, one of the most popular and iconic hiking trails in the Eastern U.S. Along with the grant, the club announced a fund-raising campaign to create a permanently endowed fund to cover short-term expenses for the project and other future projects like it. (more)

Stay Safe and Healthy Through The Winter Season

12/27/16 07:09 AM
RALEIGH, N.C. – State health officials encourage North Carolinians to take health and safety precautions during the winter months. (more)

Mission Limits Visitors

12/26/16 02:07 PM
Mission Health has  implemented  its Visitor Limitation Policy due to increase in reported influenza-like illnesses. Patients’ family members and friends are asked  to limit their hospital visits. Those under  age 12 and those who do not feel well are encouraged to call patients rather than visit them in the hospital.  This precaution is being implemented at Mission Hospital in Asheville and all their affiliates including Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and  McDowell Hospital in Marion.  All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visit to help prevent the spreading of any influenza.  In addition, hand sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings.

Special Session House Update (Details)

12/26/16 10:42 AM

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 12/18 - 12/25/16 (Details)

12/26/16 10:09 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/15 - 12/22/16 (Details)

12/26/16 10:07 AM

FEMA/SBA Registration Center Opens in Gatlinburg

12/23/16 03:42 PM
KNOXVILLE, TN –The State of Tennessee, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have opened a joint Registration Center to help residents affected by the recent wildfires in Sevier County register for federal assistance. (more)

Yancey County School Board Purchases Land for New Elementary School

12/20/16 12:36 PM
At the special, called school board meeting on Monday, December 19th, the Yancey County School Board voted 5-0 to purchase a 30-acre tract of land near the Cane River Middle School. The school board has completed all required tests for the land, including a boundary survey, topographical survey, and soil boring and rock tests, all of which came back with excellent results. (more)

Special Session NC House Update (Details)

12/19/16 10:47 AM

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 12/11 - 12/18/16 (Details)

12/19/16 09:37 AM

Mayes Sentenced to 21 Years for Making Meth

12/16/16 12:52 PM
On December 15th a Mitchell County Jury convicted Patrick Michael Mayes, age 33, of Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, and Possession of Precursor Chemicals with the Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine.  Additionally, Mr. Mayes was identified by the District Attorney’s Office as a Habitual Felon, which enhanced his sentence. At the time of the (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/8 - 12/15/16 (Details)

12/15/16 01:47 PM

Burnsville Town Sign Ordinance Back in Effect January 1st

12/14/16 01:08 PM
Beginning January 1st the Town of Burnsville will once again enforce the Town Signage Ordinance. Last January the Town Council placed a moratorium on signage restrictions inside the city limits to help businesses that were affected by the four lane construction.  The Town will remove any signage that does not meet the requirements beginning January 1st . Copies of the ordinance are available at Town Hall or click here  or call Jon England, the Zoning Administrator at 682-2420.

Christmas For The Smokies

12/14/16 12:21 PM
A special Bluegrass event  to raise funds for victims of the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area fires, is coming up this Sunday at Buck Stove in Spruce Pine. Christmas for the Smokies will be hosted by Nu-Blu, joined by Sideline, Tim Shelton and Rob Baker, The Garret Newton Band with Lorraine Jordan, and Darin and Brooke Aldridge. The event begins at 1:00pm at the Buck Stove Factory, 200 Ethan Allen Drive in Spruce Pine. Artists who are not able to attend the event have generously offered merchandise for silent auction. All proceeds will go to the Dollywood Foundation, for  the  wildfire assistance fund. For more information email or call 828-765-6144.

Sex Charges against a 65 year old Mars Hill Man

12/14/16 08:30 AM
A 65-year-old Mars Hill man was arrested yesterday after authorities say he confessed to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy. Danny Henderson is charged with two counts of statutory sex offense with a child. The child's father spoke out and said it was a horrifying experience for his son who now can’t sleep alone and won’t go outside by himself. According to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Henderson is in jail on a $250,000 bond after confessing to the crime.

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 12/4 - 12/11/16 (Details)

12/12/16 10:03 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/1 - 12/8/16 (Details)

12/09/16 10:51 AM

Yancey County Schools Rank High in the State and Region

12/08/16 02:01 PM
At the December 5th School Board Meeting, Angie Anglin, Director of Accountability and Exceptional Children, presented the Yancey County Board of Education with the results of the 2015-2016 EOC/EOG, regarding how Yancey County Schools rank among our Northwestern and Western Regions, and the State of NC.  Until recent years, YCS has belonged to the Western Region, but economic redistricting (more)

Yancey School Board Meeting

12/08/16 10:07 AM
At the regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education on Monday, December 5, 2016, Yancey County Clerk of Court, Tammy McEntyre, conducted the swearing-in ceremony for incumbent school board member, Norb McKinney, and newly-elected member, Edwin   (more)

Auditor Recount

12/08/16 07:18 AM
The Election was a month ago and the recount continues. Yancey and Mitchell Counties are a part of the state wide recount for NC Auditor. The recount is going on today and is open for the public to view.  The NC Auditor race was between Democrat Beth Wood and Republican Chuck Stuber. With over 5 million votes cast there is a difference of less than 6000 votes between the two candidates. 

Yancey Sheriff Office Makes Heroin Arrests

12/05/16 02:50 PM
On November 24 Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Angelina Josephine Rigney of Asheville with Possession of Heroin, Simple Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was released from jail after posting a $8,000 secured bond. Then on November 29 Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office arrest and charged (more)

McDowell Women and Children Confirmed Dead in Fires

12/05/16 01:57 PM
In an update to the Gatlinburg fires from last week, on Saturday the former McDowell County woman, Constance Reed, age 34  and two of her children were confirmed dead.  The two daughters, Chloe, age 12 and Lily, age 9 were found by the mother's side as they attempted to flee from the flames making it part way up a hill.  If you would like to make a donation to Parkway Church of God, 1103 Dolly Parton Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862, Attention Fire Victims Fund. As of Monday afternoon a total of 14 people have died and 134 injured  in the Gatlinburg fires.

Yancey County Swearing In Cermony

12/05/16 01:48 PM
The recently elected Yancey County Board of County Commissioners and the Yancey County Register of Deeds candidates were sworn in during a ceremony in the Courtroom of the Yancey County Courthouse on Monday, Dec 1st at 11am.  The honorable F. WarrenHughes District Court Judge, 24th Judicial District presided. 

Mitchell Sheriff's Activity Report 11/27/16 - 12/4/16 (Details)

12/05/16 09:16 AM

McCurry Sentenced as Habitual Felon

12/02/16 02:27 PM
On December 1st, 2016, Linda Gail McCurry was convicted of selling a schedule II controlled substance, selling a schedule III controlled substance, delivering a schedule II controlled substance, delivering a schedule III controlled substance, possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule III controlled (more)

Unemployment Rates Remain Steady

12/02/16 12:28 PM
Unemployment rates  increased in 44 of North Carolina’s counties in October, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.  The October  not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 4.9 percent. In our area rates remained steady with only slight changes. Avery rate for October  was 4.5, Madison 4.4, McDowell 4.5, Mitchell 5.6 and Yancey 4.7 percent. All rates not seasonally adjusted.

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/23 - 12/1/16 (Details)

12/02/16 11:56 AM

Commissioners To Be Sworn In Monday

12/02/16 09:46 AM
Yancey County Commissioners will be convening on Monday, December 5 at 11:00am and re-elected Commissioner Jeff Whitson and newly elected Commissioners Mark Ledford  and John Stallings will be sworn in. The meeting will take place at the Yancey County Courthouse.  Mitchell County Commissioners will meet before their regular 6 pm meeting to swear in new commissioner, Keith Holtzclaw. 

Former McDowell Woman Still Missing in Fires

12/01/16 03:03 PM
Constance Allen Reed, who is missing since fast moving fires ripped through her neighborhood near Gatlinburg Monday night, is formerly of McDowell County. She is a 2000 graduate of McDowell High School.  As of Thursday afternoon, Constance Reed and her two daughters are still missing and her husband, Michael Reid continues the search for his wife and two daughters, 9-year-old Lily and 12-year-old Chloe. Reed and his son - 15-year-old Nicholas - drove away from their home to see if the fire was approaching. By the time they tried to turn around, it was too late - the pair was stuck in traffic and later blocked by authorities. Reed  last spoken to his wife at 8:15 p.m. Monday and she told him she could see flames across the street from the family's home and she didn't know what to do. Reed told her to call 911 and get out. When Reed finally made it back to his street it was completely on fire and his home was engulfed in flames. Reed said there were signs that the family escaped but so far has been unable to locate them. 

Help People in East Tennessee

12/01/16 02:42 PM
Many people in our area spend  a lot of vacation time in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area. If you are looking for a way to help those people after the devastating fires, one of the best options for donating money is to give to the American Red Cross of East Tennessee.  You can make a $10 donation to them by texting "REDCROSS' to 90999. Or follow this link. Also The Gatlinburg Relief Fund has been established at SmartBank. Donations can be mailed to: Gatlinburg Relief Fund, SmartBank, P.O. Box 1910,Pigeon Forge, TN 37868.

Former MHU President Max Lennon Dies at Age 76

11/30/16 04:04 PM
A. Max Lennon, former president of Mars Hill College (now Mars Hill University), died Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Funeral arrangements are not yet complete. Lennon was a 1960 graduate of Mars Hill College, receiving his associate's degree in agriculture. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in animal science from North Carolina State University and operated a farm for several years (more)