Transylvania Grand Jury Indicts Stroupe II

08/17/17 02:41 PM
 A Transylvania County  grand jury indicted Phillip Stroupe, II on multiple charges related to the manhunt of Stroupe last month. The case has  now been transferred to superior court. Stroupe, II is scheduled to appear in Henderson County Court next Tuesday, August 22, for the murder of Tommy Bryson of Mills River. Stroupe is accused of killing Bryson while on the run from police. His father, Phillip Stroupe, Sr. is also scheduled to appear that day, he is charged with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder. The District Attorneys from the various counties, including Yancey County where charges are pending, will coordinate schedules so there are no conflicts. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/9 - 8/16/17 (Details)

08/16/17 02:30 PM

A New Year for Mitchell Juvenile Crime Prevention Council

08/16/17 01:13 PM
Richard Gambill of BRP, Misti Silver of Mayland Community College, and Richard Biega of Trinity Episcopal Church kicked off the new year of service for the Mitchell County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council at their August 16 meeting at the Mitchell County Administration (more)

1.5 Million Working North Carolinians Exempt from Income Tax by 2019

08/16/17 01:05 PM
The state Department of Revenue projects 1.5 million working North Carolinians will not owe any state income tax on their earnings by 2019, mostly middle to low-income earners filing 30% of all returns. (more)

Human Trafficking Arrest

08/16/17 07:37 AM
WLOS News is reporting that A Yancey County man is among nearly a dozen people facing felony charges in Tennessee after a human trafficking operation. Those arrested include a youth leader, a coach and a volunteer firefighter. One of the men arrested was Bradley Laws, of Green Mountain. Authorities said those involved attempted to purchase sex from an underage girl in Kingsport during a four-day operation.

Second Court Appearance for Stroupe Sr.

08/16/17 07:35 AM
68 year old Phillip Michael Stroupe Sr., of Burnsville, The father of the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Thomas Bryson made his second appearance in Henderson County Court on Tuesday. Judge Mack Brittain unsecured Stroupe Sr.'s $250,000 bond. Stroupe Sr. still faces a $500,000 secured bond for his charges of accessory after the fact of first-degree murder. His son, Phillip Michael Stroupe II, faces charges of first-degree murder, among other charges, in the death of Thomas Bryson. A grand jury will meet Monday to decide whether to indict Stroupe Sr. on the charges. 

Yancey Sheriff Encourages School Bus Safety (Details)

08/15/17 04:29 PM

Mitchell County Arrests

08/14/17 02:38 PM
In recent arrests by the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department Rodney Adam Forbes, age 28 of Wintergreen Patch Road, Burnsville, was arrested on August 11th after deputies responded to a call of a male subject being shot on Sean Drive in Spruce Pine. The person identified Forbes as the shooter.  Forbes was located coming out of the woods near the scene. He was placed under arrest but (more)

Press Release from BRRH Medical Staff

08/14/17 12:20 PM
The medical staff of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital gathered for a special meeting on July 31, 2017 to discuss the discontinuation of Labor and Delivery Services at BRRH. The following is the statement agreed upon by majority vote: We, the medical providers of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, want the public to know that we believe labor and delivery and surgical services are (more)

View the Eclipse from Earth to Sky Park or Creekwalk

08/14/17 09:53 AM
View the 2017 Solar Eclipse at Mayland Community College's Earth to Sky Park - home of the Bare Dark Sky Observatory! The eclipse will be about 98% at this location. The event begins at 12:30 p.m.  on August 21st. Mayland Community College  will provide eclipse viewing glasses to the first 100 people and there will be a food truck on site. Please note that the eclipse cannot be viewed through the telescope. For more information call 828.766.1233. The Mitchell County Public Library is also sponsoring an All-American Eclipse party in Bakersville on the Creekwalk Soccer field. Free eclipse glasses and a telescope available with special lens filter for viewing. Snacks and drinks available for purchase. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 8/6 - 8/13/17 (Details)

08/14/17 09:31 AM

Cause for Paws Tonight

08/14/17 05:56 AM
You heard the tragic story of how Yancey County Sheriff's Department K-9 Chris was shot and killed at his home.  Now you can help raise money to help fund the training for a new K-9.  Pig and Grits of Burnsville will hold a fundraiser tonight at the restaurant on West Main Street. This Cause for Paws event will be from 5 to 7 pm with a menu of pulled pork with cole slaw, barbecue beans, sweet tea and banana pudding all for just $10.00 per person. All proceeds will go to the Yancey County K-9 Unit. You are invited to be a part of Cause for Paws  benefit  for the Yancey County Sheriff's Department K-9 program tonight at Pig and Grits. 

Disagreement Continues Between Mission and Blue Cross

08/11/17 08:52 AM
There are no signs a potential health care divide will be resolved anytime soon. On Thursday, area news media received dueling statements from the CEO's of Mission Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). Mission was hoping to make some headway for patients covered under the Affordable Care Act, but that's just the latest way they've agreed to disagree. Mission had announced plans to accept existing rates for those who have no other options, since Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only company on the exchange in the mountains. Blue Cross Blue Shield rejected that offer. This chapter comes as a new contract is needed for Mission Health to remain in the Blue Cross network for consumers. The deadline is October 5. Blue Cross NC says it remains ready and willing to negotiate on behalf of members as soon as Mission Health withdraws its termination. Meanwhile, Mission contends it's Blue Cross that's dropped the ball in negotiations. As the impasse continues, BCBSNC said any increase to already high healthcare costs statewide would drive up premiums. Fifty six days away from the October 5 deadline, the tug of war continues to play out in the news media, and the only thing certain is uncertainty.

Yancey Board of Education August 7th Meeting

08/10/17 02:28 PM
YCS First Day of School--Due to the educational opportunity of the upcoming solar eclipse, Yancey County Schools would like to inform the public that the first day of school for the 2017-18 school year has been changed from Monday, August 21st to Tuesday, August 22nd.   Tuesday, August 22nd will be the first day of school for students and will be a full day of school. Yancey County (more)

Local Schools and the Solar Eclipse

08/10/17 10:16 AM
With the approach of the Solar Eclipse on Monday August 21st area public schools are either adjusting their school schedules or offering special instruction that morning and then dismissing early so the students will have the opportunity to experience the solar eclipse safely. Yancey County Schools have canceled school on Monday, August 21st which was the original first day of school for the (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 8/2 - 8/9/17 (Details)

08/09/17 12:11 PM

Yancey Deputies Make Drug Arrests

08/09/17 08:57 AM
In the early morning hours of Friday August 4th deputies with the Yancey County Sheriffs office served a search warrant on a camper off of Westside road and subsequently served another related search warrant at a residence off of Grey Squirrel Ln. During these searches deputies located and seized 2.7 ounces of marijuana and 2.3 ounces of methamphetamine as well as over $2,000 in cash. (more)

Two Men Rescued from Linville Falls

08/07/17 04:08 PM

A word of caution when enjoying local rivers and falls. Two men visiting Linville Falls August 3rd found themselves in a difficult situation while swimming. A father and son visiting from Maryland, ventured beyond a warning sign while swimming. They encountered difficulty in the water and climbed up on a ledge but could not get back down. This was  in the water between the Upper Falls and the rough water that cuts through rock into the Lower Falls, where the river drops some 45 feet. Emergency responders were able to use rigging rope to secure lines across the river and pull the two men out. There were only minor abrasions but the pair was issued a number of citations.

Murder Investigation Continues

08/07/17 03:56 PM
The investigation into the murder of Thomas Bryson continues. Documents show that investigators met Phillip Stroupe Sr   at the Starbucks at the Asheville Mall to get his help in finding his son.  At that time they secretly placed  a GPS tracker on his vehicle, hoping he would lead them to the younger Stroupe. Investigators then followed the suspect's father to help finally capture accused killer Phillip Stroupe II. Stroupe's father has been charged with accessory after the fact to first degree murder  and accessory after the fact kidnapping. Court documents also show that   investigators found four different items of interest at the  house on Rocky Lane in Barnardsville, where authorities believe the younger Stroupe  hid during the manhunt. That  house burned down last week. That fire is being investigated as a possible arson. Authorities seized black painted pieces of grass which may be related to  the black painted on Thomas Bryson's silver Honda Ridgeline truck.  They also found a Walmart receipt, a cell phone and shoe impressions from one of the home's bedrooms.  Investigators also searched the vehicle of one of the accessory suspects, seizing two cell phones and a piece of trim.

Mitchell County Sheriff Report 7/30 - 8/6/17 (Details)

08/07/17 09:56 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/27 - 8/3/17 (Details)

08/04/17 09:36 AM

House Fire at Suspects Home

08/04/17 06:51 AM
A house fire broke out late last night at the home of three people charged with felony accessory after the fact of first-degree murder in the Phillip Stroupe II case. The flames broke out at 4 Rocky Lane in Barnardsville, the home of Frederick Badgero Jr., Jennifer Hawkins, and Larry Hawkins III. (more)

Mars Hill Child Abuse Charges

08/04/17 06:49 AM
A man and a woman are accused of child abuse after officials discovered they kept an infant child locked in a cage. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and the social services department responded to a home in Mars Hill, on Wednesday regarding a child neglect complaint, when they found the child in the “self-made” cage upstairs. (more)

Lots of Tourists in Area for Festivals

08/02/17 03:34 PM
It's going to be a busy couple of days in both Spruce Pine and Burnsville.  In Mitchell County the excitement started last Sunday with the opening of the Grassy Creek Mineral and Gem Festival.  This show is free, runs thru Sunday the 6th, and is held outside behind Spruce Pine Chevrolet on Hwy 226 South. Adding to that is the NC Mineral and Gem Festival beginning today and continuing thru Sunday in the Spruce Pine Commons Shopping Center on Hwy 226 South, in the old Food Lion building. There is a $3.00 charge but the building is both air conditioned and rain proof! Thousands more descend upon our area on Friday with the opening of the Mt Mitchell Crafts Fair in downtown Burnsville. The fair is free and open 9 to 5 on Friday and Saturday. With the extra traffic, try to be patient, drive slowly and watch out for people unfamiliar with our roadways and remember these visitors bring lots of extra dollars for our local economy. 

Black Painted on Bryson Truck

08/02/17 02:00 PM
While on the run from authorities last week, Philllip Stroupe II apparently tried to disguise the Honda Ridgeline that he stole from Tommy Bryson. Bryson's truck was solid silver and Stroupe II spray-painted the bottom part black. Henderson County authorities have released a photo of the truck and are asking anyone who may have seen the truck in its altered state to contact the Henderson County (more)

Public Help Needed in K9 Case

08/02/17 07:11 AM
The search continues for the person or persons responsible for the death of the Yancey County Sheriff's Department K9 Chris. Chris was shot Wednesday morning, July 12th in his kennel at his home in the Bald Mountain community.  The reward for any information that leads to the capture and conviction of those responsible has increased to $5700. Anyone with information should contact the Yancey County Sheriff's Office. K9 Officer Chris was remembered for the 7 years of service he gave to Yancey County in a memorial service held last month. 

Charges Upgraded for Phillip Stroupe Sr.

08/01/17 12:58 PM
Charges have been upgraded to accessory after the fact to first degree murder for Phillip Stroupe II's father Phillip Stroupe.  According to District Attorney Greg Newman the father had information that would have helped law enforcement locate Thomas Bryson. Stroupe Sr. already faced charges of accessory after the fact to first-degree kidnapping. His son currently faces more than a dozen charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. The younger Stroupe is accused of kidnapping Tommy Bryson on Wednesday in Mills River. Bryson's body was found Sunday evening and Stroupe II is now charged with the murder. Bond for Phillip Stroupe Sr. is now increased to $750,000. The elder Stroupe was a manger at BiLo in Burnsville during the 80s.

District Attorney wants the Death Penalty for Stroupe

08/01/17 07:17 AM
Phillip Stroupe II has now been charged with murder and District Attorney Greg Newman said he will seek the death penalty in this case. No one  has been put to death in North Carolina since 2006. (more)

Mitchell County Sheriff Report 7/16 - 7/30/17 (Details)

07/31/17 04:20 PM

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Graduation

07/31/17 04:14 PM
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is announcing graduation ceremonies for the 141st Basic Patrol School graduation. The Graduation ends 29 weeks of extensive academic and physical training.  The ceremony will be held this Friday, August 4th at 10 a.m. at the Colonial Baptist Church in Cary. Graduates from our area include James Greene from Mitchell County who will be stationed in Swain County. Austin Payne from Madison County who will be stationed in Mecklenburg County and Robert Carver from McDowell County who will be stationed in Davidson County. 

Avery Co Deputy Receives Medal of Valor

07/31/17 04:07 PM
An Avery County Sheriff's Deputy has been awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor. President Donald Trump will recognize Lieutenant William Buchanan of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office as one of twelve recipients of this prestigious award from 2015-2016.  On February 13, 2016, around 11:30pm on a rural two lane road, Sgt. Buchanan came upon an accident which had just occurred. It was a head-on collision in which both cars became engulfed in flames. Another passerby, Sean Ochenbein, who is an EMT was also on the scene. Together  they determined nothing could be done for one of the drivers and he succumbed at the scene from injuries. The other driver 33 year old Jerry Oaks,  was trapped in his burning car.   Due to the intense flames and smoke, no matter how hard they tried they could not open the door. They got a tow strap and attached it to the door and with a vehicle pulled the door open and were able to extricate Oaks from his fully engulfed vehicle. If not for the actions of Sgt. Buchanan and Sean Ochsenbein, risking their lives, working through an inferno of flames, Oaks would have perished at the scene. The award will be presented at a later date. 

Body of Mills River Man has been found

07/31/17 05:35 AM
(Update) Phillip Stroupe, Sr, 65, the father of Phillip Michael Stroupe, II, has been arrested and charged with accessory after the fact of First Degree Kidnapping in Henderson County.

A member of the Skyland Fire and Rescue Department located the body of 68 year old Thomas Bryson in a corn field off Ledbetter Road in Arden about 8:30 pm Sunday night.  The cause of death is under investigation. (more)

Judge Upholds Bragg Murder Conviction

07/31/17 05:34 AM
Boone, NC – On July 28th, 2017, after a weeklong hearing, a panel of three Superior Court Judges unanimously upheld the 1996 conviction of Robert Charles Bragg in the murder of Coy Hartley. In December of 1994, Marvin “Coy” Hartley, a 76-year-old man, was murdered in his home in Boone, North Carolina. (more)

Manhunt Suspect in Custody

07/27/17 06:08 AM
     The suspect that launched a six-day manhunt spanning two counties is now in custody.
Phillip Michael Stroupe II was taken into custody in McDowell County about 1:30am this morning.
     According to McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene Stroupe was captured on Highway 70 west of Marion, in the Pleasant Gardens community.
     Greene says Stroupe was first sighted in Yancey County on Highway 80 coming into McDowell County.
He says Stroupe tried to evade officers, they deployed stop sticks to end the chase.
Greene says Stroupe abandoned his car and ran on foot, located and taken into custody.
     The sheriff says Stroupe was driving Thomas Bryson’s truck, but Bryson was not with Stroupe when he was captured.
    Authorities are still looking for Bryson. Yesterday evening authorities announced the disappearance of Bryson, as a possible kidnapping by Stroupe.
     Bryson, 68, went missing from his home in the South Mills River Road area on Wednesday around 8:30 a.m., which is in the same area law enforcement officers are looking for Stroupe.
Bryson's family members said he was supposed to take his sister to a doctor's appointment, but he never showed up.
     Stroupe had been on the run since Saturday when authorities say he led officers on a chase, ran into the woods and stole a bike at gunpoint. The manhunt shut down parts of the Pisgah National Forest until Tuesday, July 25, when a possible sighting of Stroupe moved the search to the Mills River area.

Manhunt Suspect Has Yancey Charges

07/26/17 02:41 PM
Phillip Michael Stroupe II  remains on the run from law enforcement in the Mills River section of Henderson County. Stroupe is considered armed and dangerous and has been on the run since Saturday, July 22nd.   Stroupe, age 38, is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall. He has a shaved head and a large, distinct tattoo on his neck just under his chin.   Anyone who sees him should call 911. Stroupe has a criminal history in multiple counties, including charges of armed robberies, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official. In McDowell County, Stroupe spent more than 15 years in prison for multiple armed robberies. In Yancey County, he was charged with misdemeanor larceny, possession of stolen goods, identity theft and fleeing and eluding. His charges in Buncombe County include assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, kidnapping charge and an armed robbery.

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/20 - 7/26/17 (Details)

07/26/17 12:28 PM

Thirty Five Candidates File for Avery Municipal Elections

07/25/17 04:09 PM
Thirty five people have filed to run for office in Avery County for the upcoming municipal elections. It seems like a lot until you realize that there are eight townships within the county. Newland has the most people on the ballot with  David P Calvert, Jamey Johnson, Erica McKinney, Roxanna Roberson, Greg Siez, Laren James Turbyfill and Joleta Wise filing to run for town council, and Valerie Calloway Jaynes for Mayor.  Elk Park is close behind with Brand Benfield, Daniel Boone, Tony Eller, Tommy Norman, Michael E. Smith and Joel Whitley for Elk Park Town Council and John Boone filing for Elk Park Mayor. Beech Mountain has J. Weidner Abernethy, Barry Kaufman, E. Rick Miller, Paul Piquet, and Carl Marquardt all running for town council. Even Seven Devils has five people running for town council seats including Brad Lambert, Kay Ehlinger, Bob Dodson, Tina Bailey and Barrie Winn. Michael P. Dunn and Robert Edgar Tufts have filed for reelection to the Banner Elk Town Council. Tudor Vance filed for reelection as Crossnore Mayor, Jessie Smith and Dan Vance filed for Crossnore Alderman. Bob Donovan has filed for Mayor of Grandfather Village and David G. Jones and Andre Tennille set their sights on the Grandfather Village Town Council. David P Ammann and Scott J. Brown filed for Sugar Mountain Town Council.  

New State Park for McDowell County

07/25/17 11:51 AM
McDowell County will be home to a new state park. Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill Tuesday, July 25th that authorizes three new state natural areas for the North Carolina State Parks system and directs a study for a potential state park along the Black River in the southeastern part of the state. The bill authorizes the addition of Bob’s Pocket in McDowell County, Warwick Mill Bay in Robeson County and Salmon Creek in Bertie County to the state parks system as state natural areas. Bob’s Pocket in McDowell County is a series of sheltered coves and ravines with rare flora and geology. Warwick Mill Bay is home to herons, egrets,   alligators, and the federally threatened wood storm among other wildlife. Salmon Creek features cypress-gum swamps, freshwater tidal marshes, and several archaeological sites. These three properties will offer minimal impact access for birdwatching, photography, and scientific research.

Mia Hall Selected as the Next Director of Penland School of Crafts

07/24/17 11:43 AM
Penland School of Crafts is pleased to announce that artist, educator, and administrator Maria “Mia” Hall will be its next director, succeeding Jean McLaughlin, who has led the school since 1998. Hall is currently interim chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where she has been a faculty member for ten years. (more)

Yancey County Man Arrested in Shooting Incident

07/21/17 03:12 PM
A Yancey County man has been arrested for a shooting in Mars Hill that left a 17-year-old injured. The shooting occurred Sunday, July 16, at a house on Carter Lane . David Matthew Harold, age 40, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, shooting into an occupied dwelling, possession of a firearm by a felon and injury to real property. Warrants say Harold had previously been convicted of breaking and entering for an April 2014 incident. The Madison County Sheriff's Office said David Mathew Harold is also wanted in Georgia. A $100,000 bond was set.

Filing Period Ends for Town Elections

07/21/17 01:56 PM
Time is up! The filing period, which began on July 7th,  has ended as of noon today for the upcoming municipal elections.  Unless there is a write-in candidate the mayor seats in both Burnsville and Spruce Pine will be maintained by the current occupants, Theresa Coletta in Burnsville and Darla Harding in Spruce Pine. In Bakersville Darlene Tipton Wise has challenged incumbent Mayor Charles Vines. Once again no changes for Spruce Pine as the town council seats of Larry McKinney and Jackie Rensink are unopposed. In Burnsville neither of the current town board members that were up for re-election, Ron Powell and Ruth Banks, filed to keep those seats.  A slate of five people will vie for those two seats.  Names on the ballot include Russell Fox, Kayti Ledford, Lucy Doll, Gordon Higgins and Bunnie McIntosh. Bakersville also has two current town council members, George Wilson and Mary Sue Ledford, who have decided not to run for reelection.  Three people, Jordan Baker, Perry Wilson and Ronald "Bo" Buckner will go for those two seats.  The election will be held Tuesday, November 7th.

Memorial Service for K9 Officer Chris Held Thursday

07/20/17 03:43 PM
Around 200 people turned out on Thursday afternoon at the Mtn Heritage High School auditorium to honor the life of K9 Officer Chris of the Yancey County Sheriff's Department.  Photos of Chris were displayed along with flags.  Chris' partner, Deputy Austin Wilson and his (more)

Blue Ridge Craft Trails Project Plans Listening Sessions

07/20/17 10:29 AM
People committed to Western North Carolina’s rich craft heritage can help create a new craft trail across our mountains. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area seeks ideas and suggestions to develop the Blue Ridge Craft Trails over the next few years. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s latest trail initiative will encourage cultural tourism and strengthen rural economies by (more)

K9 Chris Memorial Today, Reward Now $5300

07/20/17 08:36 AM
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. today in the auditorium of Mountain Heritage High School for Yancey County K-9 officer Chris. Chris tragically passed away after being shot Wednesday morning, July 12th while in his kennel at the home of Deputy Austin Wilson in the Bald Mtn. community of Yancey County.    Chris, was an eight year old Dutch Shepherd that had served Yancey County for seven years.  Last Wednesday the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department set a $1500 reward for leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved with the shooting. That reward has now grown to $5300.  If you wish contribute checks towards the reward money or to the K-9 program they can be mailed to PO Box 6, Burnsville, NC 28714 attention Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard. You should make checks out to the Yancey County Sheriff's Office. The reward will run for one year. If you choose to donate indicate if you wish for your money to be returned or donated to the K9 program in the event an arrest has not been made within the year. 

Yancey 911 To Implement Priority Dispatch System

07/19/17 01:38 PM
Beginning on July 25th the Yancey 911 Office will start implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch System. This new protocol will follow national standards providing universal, consistent care to each caller. Implementing this system enables dispatchers to accurately assess each emergency situation and send the best response possible. A key benefit will be a constant stream of crucial and updated scene information to field responders in route. All dispatchers working with the news system are National Academies of Emergency Dispatch certified. The dispatch system handles calls for the Sheriff's Department, EMS, Rescue Squad and all seven volunteer fire departments.

Deadly Accident on NC 226

07/18/17 04:17 PM
Two people are dead, and one has been airlifted for medical care in a crash that closed NC-226 in McDowell County in both directions Tuesday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m. Sgt. J.E. Reid with the highway patrol reports that a dump truck traveling down on the hill on NC-226 appeared to be speeding and that the driver, Tony Frye of Hickory was left of center and his truck overturned.  Two women in a Honda were traveling up the hill and were hit by the truck, crushing the Honda and dragging it beneath the truck.  The truck driver and the passenger in the Honda, 15 year old Julie Turpin of Burke County were killed.  The driver of the Honda was airlifted from the scene in serious condition. The scene was cleared and re-opened Tuesday afternoon.

Major Player in Drug Conspiracy Apprehended

07/18/17 01:56 PM
Another major player in a massive drug conspiracy is behind bars. William Jackie Pearson, age 66, of 129 Stephens Drive in Morganton, was arrested on Monday, July 17 in Winston-Salem, and charged with three counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a Schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal (more)

Teenager Charged in Deadly Accident

07/17/17 04:26 PM
A  teenager from Maiden, NC has been charged in the head-on collision in Madison County Sunday afternoon, July 16th. Mackenzie Francheska Schronce, age 18,  was driving a 2008 Honda east on Highway 25-70 near Marshall around 2:00 pm  when she crossed the center line and struck a 1994 GMC four wheel drive extended cab truck head on.  The driver of the truck, 54-year-old Keith Pagel of Sevierville Tennessee; Sandra Kay Lindsley, age 63, of Parrotsville, Tennessee and Pagel's two grandchildren, aged 4 and 6 years, were all transported from the scene for medical care. Sandra Kay Lindsley died from her injuries after transport. Schronce, the 18-year-old driver who troopers say crossed the center line, was also transported to the hospital and was treated and released Sunday night. She has been charged with death by motor vehicle. 

Charters of Freedom Monument Construction Underway

07/17/17 03:39 PM
You may be wondering what is going on at the Yancey County Courthouse lawn near the Veterans' Memorial. The construction of the Charters of Freedom monument is now underway.  Foundation Forward Inc., founded by Vance and Mary Jo Patterson,  is an organization that builds Your Charters of Freedom Monuments in local communities throughout the country.  It is an educational project that gives you access to our country's founding documents. The monument will feature copies of The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights. The originals are in the National Archives in Washington, DC but when the project is complete you will be able to go to the Yancey County Courthouse lawn, view this impressive monument and read copies of these important documents that secured the freedom and rights of the American people. According to Yancey County Manager Nathan Bennett, the project is expected to be complete by the end of July.  To find out more about the Charters of Freedom project click here.

Reward Up to $3500

07/17/17 02:30 PM
The investigation into the shooting of Yancey County K-9 Chris is continuing. According to Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard as of late Friday, July 14th the reward has increased to $3500.00 for the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for Chris' death. If you have any information that would be helpful in the investigation contact the Sheriff's Department.  If you wish contribute to the reward money or to the K-9 program, checks may be mailed to PO Box 6, Burnsville, NC 28714 attention Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard. Please make checks out to the Yancey County Sheriff's Office. The reward will run for one year. If you choose to donate, please indicate if you wish for your money to be returned or donated to the K9 program in the event an arrest has not been made within the year. Or you can go by the Yancey Humane Society to donate to this fund. 

Mitchell County Sheriff Report 7/9 - 7/16/17 (Details)

07/17/17 10:03 AM

Investigators Looking for Arsonists

07/14/17 03:47 PM
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies need the public’s help pinpointing a suspect that set fire to a Marion home on Sunday, July 9. Pat Connor, who lives with his wife, Judy, at 239 Stroud St., reported that he took his dogs outside Sunday afternoon and came back to find smoke rolling out a front window. After some searching, he discovered his basement door on fire. He was able to extinguish the blaze. The crime occurred sometime between 3 and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Anyone with information about the arson or suspect is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Branch at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463).   With Crime Stoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Yancey School Board Reassignments, Lunch Prices Up, Testing Results

07/14/17 09:40 AM
At its regular monthly meeting on July 3rd, the Yancey County Board of Education voted to reassign duties of the assistant principals at Burnsville Elementary School/YCLA, East Yancey Middle School, and Cane River Middle School in a 3-2 vote. The assistant principals have been assigned to an available teacher position at their respective schools.  Board members Angie Weatherman, Jeanne (more)

Investigation into Killing Continues

07/13/17 01:27 PM
The investigation of the Yancey County K-9 Chris’s shooting continues. Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard states that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to assist in the investigation. Chief Hilliard also says that the reward has increased to $2,800 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. A memorial service (more)

Yancey County Police Dog Shot and Killed

07/12/17 01:48 PM
The Yancey Sheriff’s Office is looking for the person who shot and killed a K-9 officer while in his kennel at the home of Deputy Austin Wilson.  The canine named Chris, was an eight year old Dutch Shepherd that was shot in the neck Wednesday morning in the Bald Mtn. community of Yancey County. The canine Chris passed away due to his injuries while at the Reach Animal Hospital in Asheville. This incident occurred between the hours of 8:30 pm and 5:20 am. Chris was a beloved member of the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office for the past 7 years. The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1500 award that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved.

Yancey Sheriff Report 7/5 - 7/12/17 (Details)

07/12/17 01:46 PM

Scammers Claiming to be with the SBI

07/12/17 05:31 AM
Last month Yancey County residents reported getting phone calls from a number that matched that of the Yancey Sheriff's Department and now the SBI has learned that their main phone number, 919-662-4500, is being used in a scam asking for money.  SBI Assistant Director Chris Laws who oversees the agency’s Information Technology section says the public should know that the SBI would never solicit money from a private citizen.  Laws also said. “Unfortunately there is no way to prevent spoofing of a phone number, in the event you receive such a call, simply hang up.” The State Bureau of Investigation provides expert criminal investigative assistance to local law enforcement agencies when requested by police, sheriffs, district attorneys or judges.  

Man Accused in Woman's Overdose Death Charged

07/10/17 03:29 PM
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office has charged Shane Allen Parker, age 27, of 41 Austin Drive in Marion, with second-degree murder. On Feb. 2, Sydney Dara Nanney, age 22, of Marion, was found deceased in her vehicle from an apparent drug overdose of fentanyl and heroin sold to her by Parker. Parker was just recently charged with trafficking heroin and possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin after deputies and state probation/parole officers conducted a search of his residence and located 5.5 grams of heroin.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 7/2 - 7/9/17 (Details)

07/10/17 10:33 AM

Recent Mitchell County Arrests

07/07/17 03:47 PM
Mitchell County Sheriff's Department has recently charged the following:  On June 27th Dustin Paul Hughes, age 31 of 3103 Hughes Gap Road, Bakersville,  was charged with two counts of  Sell/Deliver Schedule IV , two counts of Sell/Deliver Schedule I , Possession Of Marijuana Paraphernalia. Tony Russell Banks, age 49 of  1026 Rockdale Rd Bakersville was arrested by (more)

Agenda for Yancey Commissioners Meeting July 10 (Details)

07/07/17 10:16 AM

Petco Gives $4000 Grant to Mitchell Animal Rescue

07/06/17 04:03 PM
Mitchell County Animal Rescue (MCAR) of Spruce Pine has announced it has been awarded a $4,000.00 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its Adoption Preparation program. The Petco Foundation investment will help MCAR to subsidize the cost of Adoption Preparation for homeless, neglected and abused animals in Mitchell County. Their Adoption Preparation Program makes sure that every dog or (more)

Mission Health New Release

07/06/17 08:53 AM
News Release from Mission Health:ASHEVILLE, N.C. (July 5, 2017) – Today, Mission Health announced it has delivered  notice of intent to terminate its contracts with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) if ongoing negotiations fail to reach an agreement.  The notice establishes a specific deadline for new contracts to be in place by midnight October (more)

Mitchell Commissioners Reluctantly Raise Taxes

07/05/17 04:10 PM
Mitchell County Commissioners voted to go up 5 cents per $100 valuation for the 2017-18 fiscal year. That brings the Mitchell County property tax rate to 58 cents. The main uses for the extra money include  funding a third ambulance for the county, providing every student in the county with an electronic device and increasing the Social Services funding because of the substantial increase in number of children taken into foster care.  Commissioners expressed opposition but after much discussion four commissioners determined it was necessary and voted for it.  The lone dissenting vote was cast by Ken Hollifield.  

The Quartz Corp Receives Awards for Outstanding Safety Record

07/05/17 02:29 PM
On the 20th of June 2017, the Quartz Corp’s USA team attended the North Carolina Department of Labor Safety Awards Banquet, held in Asheville, NC, and received three awards for outstanding commitment to safety.  The banquet is in recognition of private and public firms (more)

Filing Period for Town Elections Begins Friday

07/05/17 02:17 PM
The filing period for the upcoming town elections begins Friday, July 7th at noon and continues through July 21st at noon.  To file a candidate needs to submit a Notice of Candidacy to the county Board of Elections during the filing period, along with the $5.00 filing fee. In Burnsville up for election are the town board seats that Ron Powell and Ruth Banks currently occupy and the position of Town Mayor that is currently held by Theresa Coletta. In Mitchell County the election will consist of  the mayors' seats in both the Town of Spruce Pine and the Town of Bakersville. Currently Darla Harding is Mayor of Spruce Pine and Chuck Vines is Mayor of Bakersville.  Also in Spruce Pine up for election are the town council seats that are currently held by Larry McKinney and Jackie Rensink.  In Bakersville the two council seats that are currently held by George Wilson and Mary Sue Ledford will be on the ballot.

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/28 - 7/4/17 (Details)

07/05/17 01:48 PM

No Fireworks Allowed in National Forest

07/03/17 02:22 PM
US Forest Service officials remind you that fireworks are prohibited in National Forests in North Carolina. The possession or discharge of all types of fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices is prohibited on all national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest visitors are also reminded to ensure that all fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/25 - 7/2/17 (Details)

07/03/17 09:15 AM

Lake James Drowning

07/03/17 06:57 AM
Deputies have identified the man who drowned Saturday at Lake James in McDowell County. According to authorities, 28-year-old Jeremy Terran Benjamin of Savannah, Ga. was pronounced dead at the scene. The drowning occurred outside of the boundaries of the state park in an area known as Black Bear cove. First responders received the call just after 4 p.m. Saturday for a possible drowning. Divers from McDowell Rescue found Benjamin underwater just before 5 p.m. North Carolina Wildlife and the McDowell County Sheriff's office are investigating.

Unwelcome New Residents in Our Area

06/30/17 02:24 PM
The Emerald Ashe Borer, which is a metallic green beetle that bores into ash trees and eventually kills the tree, has officially arrived in our area. Trees affected include all native ash trees and native white fringe trees.   The signs and symptoms of the Emerald Ashe Borer aren’t always immediately noticeable because they damage the inside of the tree. Adult borers lay (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/21 - 6/28/17 (Details)

06/28/17 01:11 PM

Two New Members of Mitchell EDC Board

06/28/17 10:41 AM
The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission Board has approved two new members.  Patti Jensen of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce will replace Shirley Hise.  Bill Blackmore, Operation Manager of Quartz Corp  will replace Bud Young , who is stepping down.

MHU Nursing School Receives $2 Million Grant to Increase Nursing Diversity

06/26/17 12:57 PM
Mars Hill University has been awarded a federal grant of up to $2 million over the next four years to help train Western North Carolina nurses. The Nursing Workforce Diversity grant will provide $500,000 for Mars Hill in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and is expected to be renewed for three more years. The goal of the Nursing Workforce Diversity program, administered through (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/18 - 6/25/17 (Details)

06/23/17 12:10 PM

ASU Ranked 15th Safest College in United States

06/22/17 04:27 PM
Many people from this area have attended or have children who attend Appalachian State University in Boone. You will be happy to know that The National Council for Home Safety and Security has announced their annual Top 100 Safest Colleges Report for 2017 and ASU comes in at number 15 on that list. Appalachian State is the only North Carolina University to make the list. The report is based on data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. Population, criminal crimes such as murder, manslaughter and robbery, as well as domestic violence crimes and weapons, drug and liquor violations were considered in the study. Those colleges and towns that did not have crime information listed were excluded.

Three More Drug Dealers in Custody

06/22/17 01:26 PM
The McDowell County Sherriff's Department continues the massive drug conspiracy roundup that began June 15th. Three more mid-level drug dealers are now in custody. 
Ray Jackson Welch Jr., age 55, of 964 Stacy Hill Road in Marion, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday and was charged with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to traffic (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/14 - 6/21/17 (Details)

06/22/17 01:07 PM
Nealy Ray Silvers

Yancey Sheriff's Office Makes Methamphetamine Trafficking Arrest

06/22/17 05:19 AM
On June 13, 2017 Deputies with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Yancey County men after conducting a vehicle stop.  Nealy Ray Silvers Jr. and Bradley Darrell Gurley were each charged with two counts Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver Methamphetamine, Maintaining a vehicle to keep and sell controlled substances, and Possession Drug Paraphernalia.  Both men remain in the Yancey County Jail under $100,000.00 secure bonds.  Sheriff Gary Banks says “The Sheriff’s office will continue to strive to reduce the availability of illegal drugs by targeting individuals involved in the sale and distribution of these illegal substances”. 

New Permanent Exhibit at Mars Hill University Honors Liston Ramsey

06/20/17 02:27 PM
A new exhibit in the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies honors the center's namesake. The exhibit is called "Mr. Speaker: The Life and Career of Liston B. Ramsey." Ramsey was a native of Madison County and a longtime member of the North Carolina legislature, including several terms as speaker of the state house of representatives. The exhibit contains papers and other (more)

Mitchell Deputies Arrest Burnsville Woman

06/20/17 01:37 PM
Mitchell County Sheriff's Department  arrested Lisa Marie Honeycutt, age 47 of 490 Cane River School Road in Burnsville on June 17th. Honeycutt was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. A $12,500 bond was set and a court date of July 26th.

State Insurance Commissioner in WNC

06/19/17 02:19 PM
North Carolina State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is attending the High School Fire Academy Firefighter Camp at the Buncombe County Training Center on Tuesday, June 20th.  On Monday he visited Burnsville Fire Department and West Yancey Fire Department as well as several other fire departments in Western North Carolina. The main focus of the visit was to highlight the need and discuss ways to improve firefighter recruitment and retention across North Carolina.  Some of the reasons mentioned for declining recruitment and retention is youth involvement in other activities and the increased number of hours and training required to be a volunteer firefighter. The Commissioner said that the problem is serious enough in some eastern counties of the state, like New Hanover County, that the county had to take over all the volunteer fire departments because of the lack of volunteers. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/11 - 6/18/17 (Details)

06/19/17 11:24 AM

Rhododendron Queens 2018 (more)

06/19/17 07:24 AM
Madelyn Duncan, 2018 NC Junior Rhododendron Queen and Anna-Claire Musick, 2018 NC Rhododendron Queen crowned Saturday evening at the Rhododendron Pageant in Bakersville. 

Yancey Schools Receive 3-Year $1.2 Million After-School Grant

06/16/17 02:54 PM
At the May 4th meeting of the North Carolina State Board of Education, Yancey County Schools, along with 44 other applicants, were approved as grantees of a three year, $1.2 million 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant beginning in the 2017-18 school year.  YCS will now join the Cohort 12 list of grantees in addition to completing the final year of their Cohort 11 grant from (more)

Yancey Commissioners Ask State to Reinstate Funding

06/16/17 02:51 PM
Yancey County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution at their June 12 meeting expressing concern with a recent analysis of the severe reductions of state funds for mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities and substance use disorder services.  The commissioner’s action was taken following the release of the Senate and House versions of the state budget which (more)

Yancey Sheriff Dept. Felony Drug Arrests (Details)

06/16/17 11:51 AM

Yancey Commissioners Urge Hospital to Reconsider Labor & Delivery Decision

06/16/17 10:24 AM
Yancey County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution at their June 12 meeting expressing concern with a recent decision to eliminate vital services at a local hospital.  The commissioner’s action was taken following the announcement from Blue Ridge Regional Hospital and Mission Health of their plan to stop providing labor and delivery services at the Spruce Pine (more)

Grant to Support Civil War Exhibition at Mars Hill University

06/16/17 09:45 AM
A grant from the Madison County Tourism Development Authority will support an upcoming exhibition at Mars Hill University's Rural Heritage Museum. The museum will display "The Civil War in the Southern Highlands: A Human Perspective" from August 19, 2017, through March 4, 2018. Museum director Les Reker says the $15,000 grant will help the museum offer an important (more)

Phone Scam with Yancey Sheriff's Department Number

06/16/17 08:03 AM
Several Yancey Count residents have reported getting phone calls from a number that matched that of the sheriff's office, and the caller wanted to verify credit card information. The Calls started on Wednesday. (more)

Yancey Commissioners Adopt Budget, Pass Resolutions

06/15/17 09:18 AM
At their regular business meeting on June 12, 2017 the Yancey County Commissioners adopted the budget plan for county government for the coming fiscal year.  Just like North Carolina, Yancey County’s fiscal year begins July 1, 2017.  This marks the fourth year in a row that budget adoption has occurred in early (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 6/7 - 6/14/17 (Details)

06/15/17 09:16 AM

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica Coming to Burnsville

06/13/17 11:44 AM
The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Burnsville, NC on October 12-15, 2017 at Mountain Heritage High School and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.  The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 6/4 - 6/11/17 (Details)

06/12/17 09:37 AM

Grand Opening of Bare Sky Observatory Held

06/08/17 05:54 AM
Mayland Community College held the grand opening of the Bare Dark Sky Observatory on June 1. Named for Warren and Larissa Bare, the observatory is located at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park (formally the EnergyXchange) in Yancey County. The observatory will allow (more)

McDowell Man Killed in Tractor Accident

06/07/17 04:00 PM
A McDowell County man died in a tractor accident Wednesday morning. Jack Davis   died after getting pinned to his tractor seat while trying to clear a tree in his hay field on Pine Cove Road, just south of Old Fort around 8:30 a.m. A friend next door heard a commotion and found the tractor still running. He cut the tractor off but Davis died at the scene. 

$30,000 Grant for Waterways

06/07/17 03:49 PM
Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development has received a $30,00 grant from Duke Energy's Water Resource Fund.  The Duke Energy award along with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be used to expand restoration work along Grassy Creek and to extend Mitchell County's section of the Overmountain Victory Trail. Duke's Water Resources Fund is a multi-year $10 million commitment to improve water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 5/31 - 6/7/17 (Details)

06/07/17 01:23 PM

Human Remains Found in Avery County

06/07/17 08:44 AM
According to a June 6th press release from the Avery County Sheriff’s Department after over 1, 800 man hours of investigation and searching in the area, human remains have been found at the site of a fire on Harper’s Creek in Avery County.  The fire scene was investigated as a fire initially but soon escalated in to a missing person search after the last person known to be at the cabin, George Richardson, could not be located.  Detectives, deputies, SBI agents, Linville Central Rescue Squad, various Avery County fire departments, Avery County Emergency Management and the Department of Correction’s PERT (Prison Emergency Response Team) have been searching the area.   During a search on June 5th human remains were found in the area.   They are in the process of being identified and the investigation is continuing.

Blue Ridge Regional Press Conference

06/06/17 12:17 PM
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital called a 10 am press conference Tuesday morning to confirm closure of the labor and delivery department at the hospital in Spruce Pine.  In mid-May of this year Mission Health CEO Ron Paulus confirmed that the company was looking at ending these services at Blue Ridge Regional due to low volume and a new facility at McDowell Hospital. The local hospital board voted Monday afternoon to close the department. Fifteen employees of Blue Ridge were notified Monday night that they will be affected and can apply for open positions in the Mission Health System.  Officials said they plan to stop delivering babies at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital by September 30, 2017. You can view the press conference agenda here.