Heartbreaker for Avery Meth Suspects

02/12/16 02:44 PM
'Operation Heartbreaker,' was not about Valentine’s Day but rather was about getting drugs off the streets of Avery County. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office and Newland Police department conducted a round-up of methamphetamine suspects last week. Many of the cases were related to Sudafed purchases that are used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The follow persons were (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 2/5 - 2/12/16 (Details)

02/12/16 01:05 PM

Register Now to Vote in March

02/12/16 10:59 AM
Last chance to register for voting in the March primary is Friday February 19th. Absentee voting has already begun. The last day you can request an absentee ballot is March 8th.  March 3rd is when early voting begins. It ends March 12th. The Election Day is Tuesday, March 15th. Local, regional and national candidates are on the ballot along with the Connect NC Bond Referendum.  This is the first election affected by the new voter ID law. Voters will be required to present one of six valid IDs in order to vote. Valid IDs include a North Carolina driver’s license, a state identification card, a U.S. passport, military ID or a tribal enrollment card.  Voters without one of these forms of identification can still cast a provisional ballot after they sign a declaration stating they had an impediment to acquiring the necessary identification. 

Counties Against New Proposed Wilderness Designations

02/12/16 10:35 AM
Mitchell and McDowell counties have joined Yancey in adopting resolutions against the new proposed wilderness designations. The U.S. Forest Service is in the middle of reevaluating the land management program where areas are considered for designation as wilderness. The evaluation is a federal requirement and does not necessarily mean an area will be recommended to Congress for the designation. (more)

Suspected Marshall Bank Robber Caught

02/12/16 09:40 AM
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s office Tony Reems, age 47 has been found and arrested at a motel in North Dakota. Reems is the prime suspect in the robbery at First Citizens Bank in Marshall on February 4th, where he supposedly got away with more than $6000. Reems has family ties to Madison County and has charges ranging from statutory sex and kidnapping on his record. He was wanted by the Department of Corrections for failing to check in with his parole officer and wanted by both the Lenior and Madison County Sheriff’s Offices.  Authorities believe he was traveling to the Canadian border.

BRHS Mauzy-Phillips Center Wins National Award

02/11/16 02:28 PM
The Mauzy-Phillips Center at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital was recently named the Best New Medical Office Building/Outpatient Center in the 25,000 to 49,999 square foot category by Healthcare Real Estate Insights. The award was presented during the 2015 RealShare Healthcare Real Estate conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The design process behind the Mauzy-Phillips Center was highly collaborative and included Mission Health subject matter experts, patients and more than 40 people who now work in the building. Mission staff conducted research with healthcare leaders from across the nation such as the Mayo Clinic and Mercy Health to gain the best design ideas possible for the building from a patient and work flow perspective. Evidence-based principles from the Center for Health Design were also incorporated to help maximize the amount of natural light and natural surfaces in the building. The HREI Insights Awards are the only national awards dedicated entirely to recognition of excellence in the areas of healthcare real estate development and executive leadership.

Yancey and Mitchell Unemployment Up Slightly

02/11/16 01:29 PM
North Carolina’s recently released non seasonally adjusted employment figures for December show Mitchell County’s unemployment rate went from 6.2 to 6.3 percent in December and Yancey’s went from 5.6 to 5.7 percent. Madison County’s rate also rose a tenth of a percent from 5 to 5.1. Avery remained stable at 5.7. Across the state unemployment rates decreased in 70 of North Carolina counties, increased in 21 and remained the same in 9. Buncombe had the lowest rate at 3.9 percent and Graham was the highest at 12 percent.  

Mitchell Approves Hiring Four More at DSS

02/11/16 01:02 PM
Mitchell Commissioners recently approved the hiring of four more people to help the Department of Social Services deal with an ever increasing workload. Foster care cases have risen significantly over the past year due to substance abuse, domestic abuse and mental health issues. DSS case workers are limited by state law to only 15 cases at one time. The four positions to be filled are Foster Care Social Worker, two on-call Child Protective Services Supervisors, and a Medicaid Supervisor. Medicaid cases have increased greatly since the Affordable Care Act went into place and there are problems with the NC Fast computer system which is used for processing of benefits.

Yancey Commissioners Hear About Bond Referendum, Thank Volunteers

02/10/16 12:49 PM
Yancey County Commissioners heard reports on various topics at their February regular meeting and took action on a number of items.The Board heard from Toe River Health District Director Lynda Kinnane. Ms. Kinnane gave an update concerning the financial situation of the health district as well as some opportunities for improvements in the future. The Board also heard from Dr. (more)

Avery County Man Wins Big in Lottery

02/09/16 01:41 PM
Benjamin Stout of Newland didn’t win the big Powerball Jackpot last month but he did win  half of a $226,638 Cash 5 jackpot. Stout has used a combination of birthdays and anniversary dates for the past 5 years when playing the lottery.  Stout works for Baxter Health Care and was on a business trip to Canada the night of the drawing, so he didn’t know  he won for several days.   He claimed his half of the jackpot, $113,319, Monday morning, February 8th. Clifton Thomason of Cary won the other half. He bought the $1 winning ticket at the Three Mile Quick Mart on Linville Falls Highway in Newland.  After required state and federal tax withholdings he received $78,481. Stout plans to pay bills and get his driveway paved. 

Home Fire Saturday Afternoon

02/08/16 02:53 PM
A fire Saturday afternoon gutted the home of the Campos family at Shoal Creek Road.  The family has two adults and one 5th grade child boy.  Right now they need  a place to rent in the Micaville School District. After that they need either monetary donations to help them furnish the (more)

Burnsville Town Council Public Hearing 2/16

02/08/16 11:10 AM
The Burnsville Town Council will hold a public hearing on February 16th at 3:00 p.m. at the Burnsville Town Center. The purpose of the hearing is to allow public input on an allocation of $24,470 to Winterstar Corporation, a non-profit corporation that serves as an economic development partner with Yancey County EDC. The money will come from either the water and sewer fund and/or general fund monies and is to be used to partially fund a fire suppression water line installation to the Burnsville Business Park. The proposed cost of fire suppression installation is over $40,000.00. The reason for the fire suppression system is to aid in the rehabilitation, modernization, safety and marketability of the industrial facility so that it can be used as a commercial, industrial or business property for Burnsville and Yancey County, thus leading to the creation of jobs, tax revenue, utility revenue and economic growth. The Town of Burnsville has been awarded a Golden Leaf Grant in partnership with the Winterstar Corporation project, to improve the Town’s water lines in the area and increase the Town’s water infrastructure. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/31 - 2/7/2016

02/08/16 09:22 AM

Bakersville To Receive Help with Water

02/06/16 02:12 PM
Bakersville will be receiving nearly $2 million from the state to help upgrade its water system.  After recent water sanitation problems in Flint, Michigan, Gov. Pat McCrory has awarded money to 50 communities across the state to improve their drinking and waste water systems. The money will help to fully replace the outdated system, which has undergone 72 repairs in the last year and a half. The project is expected to begin once schools are out for the summer. Construction and improvement projects are expected to last about 9 months.

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/29 - 2/5/16 (Details)

02/05/16 12:44 PM

Boil Water Alert in Spruce Pine

02/05/16 06:02 AM
The Town of Spruce Pine issued a “Boil Water Alert” for all town water supply customers Thursday.  Low pressure and outages in the distribution system on Forest Service Drive in the Ledger Community because of a water line break was listed as the cause for the alert.  The alert is to boil all water used for human consumption to kill possible disease causing organisms that may be present in the water.  The town is also urging water consumers to conserve water whenever possible. The advisory for the town of Spruce Pine water customers is in effect until further notice. (Boil Water Alert lifted on 2/4/16 at 3:30pm)

Final Suspect Arrested in Counterfeit Money Scam

02/04/16 03:27 PM
After many months and an extensive investigation a four person counterfeit money scam in McDowell County has been wrapped up with the final suspect taken into custody Wednesday night. April Christine Evans, age 35,  of Marion, was arrested in Black Mountain and charged with two felony counts of forgery of instrument. Arrested and charged earlier were Jeffery Daniel Waycaster, age 32, of Triple J Mobile Home Park in Marion, with six felony counts of possessing counterfeit money and two felony counts of forgery/counterfeiting; Jimmy Eugene Lowery Jr., age 33, of U.S. 70 West in Old Fort, with one felony count of forgery/counterfeiting; and Justin Ray Rector, age29, of Johnson Hollow Road in Marion, with one felony count of forgery/counterfeiting. The charges stem back to September when Waycaster was stopped on Tate Street driving a stolen vehicle. Authorities located 11 pages of fake, uncut $20 bills in the vehicle. During the summer McDowell County sheriff’s deputies received numerous reports of bogus money being passed at local businesses.

Search for Marshall Bank Robbery Suspect

02/04/16 03:04 PM
Deputies are searching for a man who robbed a  the First Citizens Bank on Highway 25/70 in Marshall just before 11 a.m. on Thursday morning, February 4th. There is no vehicle description at this time. Anyone with information is urged to call the Madison County Sheriff's Office at (828) 649-2721.

Juvenile Crime Prevention Funds Availability

02/04/16 10:53 AM
The Mitchell County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) announces the availability of $70,417 in intervention and prevention funds for services to delinquent youth and those at risk of delinquency.  JCPC funds require a local cash or in-kind match of 20%. Funds are dependent upon appropriation by the NC Legislature. Based on the JCPC planning process conducted to (more)

NC Board of Nursing Approves BSN Program for MHU

02/03/16 04:14 PM
Mars Hill University has received approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) for its traditional, pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The approval, received on February 1, clears the final hurdle for the opening of the program through the Judge-McRae (more)

MANNA Food Bank Thanks Mitchell Partners

02/02/16 04:06 PM
MANNA FoodBank would like to recognize and thank the Mitchell County partner agencies and food industry donors for their unwavering dedication to ending hunger for the residents of Mitchell County. In Mitchell County, 1 in 6 residents face food insecurity, and 1 in 3 children are living in food-insecure homes. (more)

Man and Woman Charged with Sexual Offenses in Separate Cases

02/02/16 01:30 PM
Edward Almond Buchanan, age 35, of Apache Path in Marion, has been charged with one felony count each of first-degree sexual offense, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree forcible rape. Buchanan supposedly sexually molested a young girl for eight years, from the ages of 8 to 16. Buchanan was also charged in December with one felony count of first-degree sexual offense. Buchanan’s (more)

United Way of Mitchell County to Close Doors

02/02/16 09:47 AM
The United Way of Mitchell County has made the difficult decision to close its doors. Over the past several years, the United Way's fundraising has decreased. There are many reasons for this, including the downturn in the economy and the loss of jobs locally. During this time, the United Way has awarded fewer grants of smaller amounts. In 2012, the United Way awarded $42,455 (more)

Howell Charged with Child Abuse

02/02/16 09:07 AM
On Thursday, January 28, 2016, investigators with the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office were notified by Yancey County Department of Social Services regarding a report alleging possible physical abuse of an infant who resided in Yancey County.  The child was then ultimately seen by several different physicians who all concluded the child had several serious injuries, all of which could (more)

Burnsville Man Pinned Against Side of Mountain

02/01/16 03:28 PM
John Keyes of Burnsville was pinned between a rocky embankment and his vehicle Wednesday night, January 27th on Hwy 226 North. Trooper Travis Washburn responded to Coxes Creek in reference to a disabled Jeep in the roadway. Keyes was standing outside of the vehicle when Washburn stopped but before he could help Keyes, a 2007 Lexus, driven by Sabra Rock of Spruce Pine came around the curve, hitting the back of Keyes vehicle, knocking it into Keyes and pinning him against the side of the mountain. He suffered non- life threatening injuries but had obvious leg trauma and was flown to Memorial Mission Hospital.  Sabra Rock suffered minor injuries. The McDowell Rescue Squad hooked a winch from the Woodlawn fire truck to the rear of the vehicle and hooked the crash truck to the front of the vehicle to stabilize it so it wouldn’t roll backward in order to free Keyes. The incident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.

Missing Man

02/01/16 02:46 PM
Madison County Sheriff's Deputies are asking for the public's help to find a missing man. Andrew Dale Smith, age 49, was last seen on River Road in Hot Springs on Wednesday, January 27th. Smith is six feet tall, 195 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Smith's whereabouts should contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 828-649-2721.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/17 - 1/31/2016 (Details)

02/01/16 10:07 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/22 - 1/29/16 (Details)

01/29/16 12:49 PM

Yancey Sheriff Begins Call Care Program

01/29/16 10:07 AM
Sheriff Gary Banks is beginning a new free program that will help make Yancey County senior citizens safer. The call care program is an initiative that will insure that senior citizens or adults with disabilities who live alone are checked on daily by the Sheriffs Office. Sheriff Banks says “the recent winter storm made it apparent to him and his staff that there was a need to check on those who may be unable to care for themselves, we are very excited to offer this program at no cost to the subscriber. “   Through the service, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office places a daily call to each person enrolled in the program.. If the subscriber does not answer the phone the Sheriff’s Office will try to make contact with a family member or key holder to check on the subscriber. If they cannot make contact, a law enforcement officer will be dispatched to their residence. Anyone interested in signing up for Call Care Program is asked to fill out a short form which includes personal, medical and other information which law enforcement may need in the event of an emergency. All information will be kept confidential and secure at the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office. For more information on the Call Care Service, or for assistance with signing someone up, call Chief Deputy Shane Hilliard  at (828)-682-1858  or Chief Telecommunicator Rhonda McMahan  at(828)-682-1851.

Lottery Provides Millions of Dollars to Our Area

01/27/16 01:09 PM
Whether you agree with the lottery or not there is no doubt but that it has provided many millions of dollars for education in our area.  Mitchell County has received more than$5,127,103 and Yancey County has received more than $5,840,188 in lottery funds since the lottery began in March 2006. Avery County has received more than$6,832,618, Madison County has (more)

Burnsville Couple Shoplifts in Spruce Pine

01/26/16 04:10 PM
A Burnsville couple was arrested Sunday, January 24 for attempting to shoplift almost $600 worth of groceries from the Ingles in Spruce Pine. Kandra Buchanan age 24 and Gary Alexander Davis age 19, were charged with larceny. Ingles employees saw two people walking out of the store pushing a cart full of groceries. They yelled at them and the couple ran behind the store. Spruce Pine Police arrived and found them. Buchanan ran again and was subsequently found back inside at the rear of the store hiding. Kandra Buchanan also has arrest warrants in McDowell County. 

State Offers Reward in Murder Case

01/26/16 03:58 PM
The State of North Carolina has offered a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the slaying of James Anglin, age 68 of Burnsville.  On October 13, 2013 Anglin was found shot to death inside his home on Old Mine Fork Road in Burnsville. Anglin lived alone and was discovered by a friend.  Robbery did not appear to be a motive. Anyone with information about the case should contact the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department at 828-682-2124.

Man Struck by Two Vehicles

01/26/16 02:01 PM
In an update to yesterday’s new story of a man being struck by a vehicle. Two vehicles actually struck Nathaniel Webb, who was walking along U.S. 70 East Saturday night, January 23rd.  According to NC State Highway Patrol Troopers, 29-year-old Nathaniel Shawn Webb, of Mooresville, was walking in the westbound lane of U.S. 70 East in dark clothing around 6:30 p.m. when he was struck from behind by a 2004 GMC Envoy, driven by Mistie Sue Edwards, age 35, of Marion. Webb was thrown into the eastbound lane where he was struck again by a 2004 Chevy pickup driven by Stacey Lee Cate, age 30 of Marion. Webb was pronounced dead from his injuries a short time later. No charges are anticipated against either driver.  According to First Sgt. Mark Cline, “They tried to get stopped. They were not injured but they are both taking it pretty hard.”

Pedestrian Struck and Killed in McDowell County

01/25/16 03:56 PM
A man was struck and killed while he was walking along Highway 70 in McDowell County on Saturday, January 23rd.According to North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers, 29-year-old Nathaniel Webb was struck twice at approximately 6:30 p.m. near the Clinchcross Community, just outside Marion. Apparently Webb was not walking on the sidewalk and was wearing dark clothing. No charges will be filed.

Spruce Pine Baptist Church To Start 24-Hour Help Line

01/25/16 02:31 PM
Spruce Pine Baptist Church is starting a 24/7 hour help line staffed with a live volunteer, called “Hope for Mitchell County.” The help line will assist with referrals for mental health issues, addiction struggles and other issues a citizen may need assistance with.  Contact the church for more information at 765-9411.

Toe River Health Receive State Grant

01/25/16 02:30 PM
Toe River Health District has announced the receipt of state grant monies to assist with decreasing infant mortality and improving child health.  The Health District will be focusing on infants born with addictions.  They plan on working in conjunction with the Mitchell-Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force with this initiative. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/15 - 1/22/16

01/25/16 10:50 AM

Record Snow Fall on Mount Mitchell

01/24/16 03:16 PM
The State Climate Office of North Carolina is reporting that it was a record breaking weekend on the top of Mount Mitchell. With 5 more inches early Sunday, Mount Mitchell State Park recorded 66 inches of snowfall. That broke the previous record of 50 inches that fell in the Blizzard of 1993. Mount Mitchell had 8.5 inches Thursday and 11 inches Friday. On Saturday, the park recorded another 41 inches. During the 1993 storm Mount Mitchell had 50 inches in 24 hours. Crews are using heavy equipment to push the snow from the road and down slopes where they can.

Mission Hospital Winter Storm Update (Details)

01/22/16 06:16 AM
Mission Hospital has been preparing for the anticipated storm predicted to hit our region this evening.  Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of our patients and staff who must be at the hospital.  If you experience a medical emergency, please call 911.  Do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. (more)

New Movie Being Filmed in Avery County

01/21/16 04:46 PM
Avery County is once again the site for another major movie production. “The Winter People” was produced in Avery County in 1989. This time the movie is called “The Legacy of the White Tail Deer”. They are currently on production in the Elk River Falls area with film stars Josh Brolin, Timothy Carr, Danny McBride and Montana Jordan. In the movie Carr plays a cool, confident sixth grade boy who is supposed to be bonding with his father on a hunting trip, but he isn’t interested in doing so.  Filming has already taken place at Wiseman’s View and Long Ridge Church. More filming is planned for Lost Cove Cliffs and  the  Blue Ridge Parkway.

Truck Crash on Madison Mountain

01/21/16 08:25 AM
Highway 19 was blocked Wednesday evening because of a tractor trailer truck crash on Madison Mountain. 

Yancey Commissioners Oppose Forest Service Changes

01/19/16 04:19 PM
Last week at the Yancey County Commissioners’ meeting, they adopted a resolution in opposition to the Pisgah National Forest Land Management Plan Revision that proposes designating approximately 50 percent of the current national forest land use in Yancey County to wilderness area. Commissioners are concerned that less Forest Service management will negatively impact future search and (more)

Record Year for Weather and More at Grandfather Mtn

01/18/16 03:47 PM
2015 a record year for weather and more at Grandfather Mountain. While many folks were dreaming of a white Christmas, Grandfather Mountain was experiencing the warmest holiday in the mountain’s recorded history. According to weather data collected at the Mile High Swinging Bridge, temperatures from December 2015 shattered seven records among Grandfather’s 60 years of weather (more)

Yancey Schools and AMY Library Partner for STEM Program

01/15/16 03:09 PM
The Yancey County Schools after school MAGIC (Making Academic Gains in Children) program has developed a collaborative partnership with the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey public library to provide STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and Literacy sessions to the students of Burnsville, Clearmont, Micaville, Cane River, and East Yancey.  Once a week, MAGIC students travel by school activity bus (more)

Commissioners Receive Good Financial News at their January Meeting

01/15/16 02:08 PM
At their January regular meeting Yancey County Commissioners received good news concerning the condition of county finances for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2015.  Brian Broom, with the accounting firm Dixon, Hughes, Goodman LLP, presented County Commissioners the results of the yearly audit of county government financial standing, which showed much improvement in the overall financial (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 1/08 - 1/15/16

01/15/16 02:04 PM

MHU Gets Grant for Upgrades on Rural Heritage Museum

01/14/16 12:49 PM
Mars Hill University has received $36,000 in grant monies from the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation and the Glass Foundation for renovations to the lower level of the Rural Heritage Museum on the campus. The planned upgrades will allow the museum to store and prepare exhibits consistent with contemporary museum standards and provide opportunities for more exchange opportunities with other (more)

Mitchell Commissioners Face Building Issues

01/13/16 12:56 PM
Outdated computer systems and buildings have left Mitchell commissioners with a potentially huge expenditure. Mission Critical Partners’ recent study showed both the computers and the building at the 911 center is out of date. A new building would be in the $3 million range. A new 911 phone system is estimated at $235,000, new computers over $15,000 and the Computer Assisted Dispatch over $100,000.  The county has a 911 fund with a balance of more than $900,000 and can also apply to the state 911 Board for additional funding. However none of these funds will help with the cost of a new building. Also in need of a new facility is the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department. The cost of for that is estimated around $4 million. The office now is located in what was supposed to be a temporary site after the jail fire in 2002.  The space currently being used is inadequate and lacks basic security. Funding for this would possibly have to come from a tax increase. 

Yancey-Mitchell NAACP To Host Candidates Forum

01/12/16 04:36 PM
Yancey-Mitchell NAACP Branch 54 will host a forum for the candidates for public office in the upcoming primary election. The Forum will be held on Thursday, February 18, beginning at 6 PM in the Burnsville Town Center on South Main Street. Candidates will be present to introduce themselves and discuss their reasons for candidacy. A question-and-answer period will follow their presentations. The forum is free and open to the public.  For more information call 284-8507.

TRAC Joins National Study of Economic Impact of the Arts

01/12/16 03:53 PM
“The Arts Mean Business” is the message being delivered today by the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), which is announcing it has just joined the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5,  a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by AFTA, the (more)

Water Main Break Leads to Early Dismissal

01/12/16 02:35 PM
A water main break occurred in Spruce Pine this morning. The break occurred in the Swiss Pine Lake Road area near Highway 226 South.  Town maintenance crews repaired the break by mid afternoon and water service in the affected areas was restored.  The break affected a number of homes and businesses.  Three Mitchell County Schools, Greenlee Primary, Deyton Elementary and Harris Middle were dismissed early due to the water outage.  The water system is back in service with all tests showing normal operations.

Man Charged With Arson

01/12/16 02:05 PM
Deputies in McDowell County have charged Jesse Lee Wilson, age 25, of Marion, of burning down another man's house. Wilson is charged with felony second-degree arson and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon. Investigators say the arson was the result of a lingering dispute between the two men. Deputies say they began investigating on December 27, 2015 when a suspicious fire destroyed a two-story home on Crisp Drive. No one was injured. They say the investigation led to Wilson, who was acquainted with the homeowner and had reportedly had recent disagreements with him.

Protect Your Animals from Coyotes

01/12/16 01:32 PM
According to the NC Wildlife Commission coyotes are becoming an ever increasing problem for North Carolina.   “Coyotes are not native to North Carolina, so one coyote in the state is more than we would like to have,” Daniel Ray, N.C Wildlife Resource Commission biologist said.  They can survive off almost any diet, eating prey as large as deer and as small as earthworms (more)

Stolen Guns and Ammo

01/12/16 12:46 PM
McDowell County investigators are asking for the public’s help to find the suspects who stole seven firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from a Marion home. The break-in occurred sometime between 6:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22. at the home of Michael Ray Wyatt, located at 14335 U.S. 221 North in Marion. Wyatt reported that someone broke into his residence and stole a Thompson Center .50-caliber muzzleloader, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin .22-caliber rifle with scope, a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun, a Star .380-caliber pistol, a New England Fire 20-gauge shotgun, a Winchester .22-caliber rifle with scope, more than 700 rounds of ammo, two backpacks, a wallet, coins and a handheld radio with a total value of $1,900. Anyone with information concerning the crime or suspects is asked to call Detective Paul Alkire of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2237 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Man Missing from Madison County

01/11/16 01:43 PM
Madison County authorities are asking for the public’s help to find a man who has been missing since the end of November.  Johnny Rex Cook, age 37 was last seen at the Walmart in Weaverville on the day after Thanksgiving.  His parents officially reported him missing on December 30th. According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office the parents did not immediately report him missing because they say Cook often left for weeks at a time to stay with his girlfriend in Weaverville. The parents report having a nice Thanksgiving dinner with him but were upset when they could not locate him on his birthday three days before Christmas and did not see or hear from him on Christmas. He also has not contacted his small son. Johnny Cook is described as a white male who is  6'1" weighing less than 200 pounds. He has brown hair, blue eyes, and tribal tattoos on both sides of his neck, as well as a tattoo of "Kim" on the back of his neck. Anyone with any information regarding Cook’s location is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 828-649-2721.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 1/03 - 1/10/2016

01/11/16 09:24 AM

Antifreeze Poisoning

01/11/16 08:40 AM
McDowell County deputies warned dog owners and residents alike Friday to make sure antifreeze is properly stored to keep everyone’s four-legged friends from harm. Public Information Assistant Richelle Bailey said Friday there were six reports of dogs being poisoned by antifreeze. The reports came from the Animal Hospital in Marion. She said according to information she received from the vet’s office, the six dogs did ingest antifreeze and most of them died. Bailey advises folks to keep a close eye on your inside and outside animals, and to make sure any antifreeze is properly stored and any spills are cleaned up.

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

01/08/16 04:02 PM

Yancey School Board Recognizes Achievements

01/08/16 02:31 PM
At its regular meeting on Monday, January 4th, the Yancey County Board of Education recognized the East Yancey Middle School Boys Basketball team.  They are the 2015 Toe River Conference Champions. This is the second year in a row that the East Yancey Middle School Boys were Conference Champions. The Head Coach for the team is Wade Shehan and   Assistant Coach is Jennings Vess. (more)

Attention Owners of Property in Yancey County

01/08/16 01:29 PM
All owners of taxable personal property in Yancey County must submit a listing form to the Yancey County Tax Office in the month of January. Taxable personal property includes but is not limited to vehicles not currently registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, tow-able campers, mobile homes, apportioned (IRP) trucks and buses, permanent tagged trailers, boats, watercraft, aircraft and business personal property assets. Anyone who owns any of these items in Yancey County as of January 1, 2016 must list them with the tax office before five pm Monday February 1, 2016. If you do not receive a listing form in the mail you can stop by the tax office during regular hours.

Interim Public Works Director Named for Burnsville

01/08/16 01:25 PM
On January 7th at the regular monthly meeting, the Burnsville Town Council unanimously appointed Ronnie Tipton as Interim Public Works Director, with full responsibility and authority.   Ronnie will continue to perform his previous duties as Code Enforcement and Operations Director while serving as Public Works Director during the time Council searches for a permanent replacement. Questions and concerns can be directed to Ronnie at 284-8412.

Know These People?

01/08/16 09:12 AM
If anyone has any information regarding the male or female subject in these photographs, please contact the Yancey County Sheriff's Office at 828-682-2124. 

Winter Road Closures

01/07/16 03:53 PM
The Forest Service has closed several roads for the winter season. Closing began January 4th and will continue through April 2nd in the Appalachian Ranger District. Road affected are Neals Creek and Flat Top in Yancey County with closings at both the Spivey Gap and Harm Mill entrances and Hickey Fork in Madison County.  Also two tunnel repair projects will be occurring this winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Repairs to Tanbark Tunnel at Milepost 374.4 will require a closure from Craggy Dome Parking Overlook to Ox Creek Road. Repairs to the Buck Springs Tunnel will require a closure from Milepost 402.6 to Milepost 408.8 near Mt. Pisgah. These two projects will accomplish repairs to deteriorating concrete tunnel liners, drainage systems, stone tunnel portals, and the road surface. Mt. Mitchell State Park will remain open and accessible from the northern approach along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 330, near Spruce Pine, or from Hwy 80 South. For current road conditions and status you can contact the Appalachian Ranger District at 828-689-9694 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am. To 4:30 pm.

Yancey County Rescue Squad Awarded $25,000 Grant

01/07/16 09:05 AM
The Yancey County Rescue Squad has been awarded a $25,000 grant through the 2015 Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund from the State of North Carolina. The check will be mailed to Rescue Chief Danny McIntosh to be used to purchase needed equipment. The equipment is purchased using matching funds and has to be approved by the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. The grant funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to an approved amount, by monies raised locally. Since the program's inception the Department of Insurance has distributed almost $28 million dollars for rescue and EMS squads across the State. Yancey County Rescue Squad has received a total of $322,205.66 from the Fund in the past 26 years. The General Assembly created the Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund in 1989 to help volunteer units raise money for equipment and supplies. 

Public Works Director Resigns

01/06/16 04:54 PM
The Burnsville Town Council accepted the resignation of Public Works Director Anthony Hensley at a special meeting on December 29. The meeting, called at the request of Hensley, who has served as the Town's Public Works Director for the last five years, was to discuss Hensley's resignation and terms he asked of the Board as a condition for his resigning. In a letter to Mayor Theresa Coletta, Hensley asked for the meeting as well as a 6 month severance package as a contingent to his leaving. The Board did not accept the severance package but made an offer for Hensley to stay on with the Town in a different capacity, while he wraps up grants and ordinances that he and his office have been working on. Newly elected Councilman Shannon Peterson has stepped into the role until a new Public Works Director can be found. The Town Council will begin that process at their next scheduled meeting. Mayor Coletta stated that the Board was pleased they could offer Anthony Hensley a counter-offer to his resignation request, which he accepted. The Board members were unanimous in wishing Anthony all the best, and thanked him for his service to the Town of Burnsville and its citizens.

Wesley Vaughn Announces Candidacy

01/06/16 03:26 PM
(submitted by Wesley Vaughn)
​My name is Wesley Vaughn and I would like to announce my candidacy for County Commissioner in the March primary election. I am forty two years old and a life-long resident of Mitchell County.  I attended Mitchell County schools and graduated from Mitchell High in 1992.  I am married with four beautiful children.  My wife is Vonda and my children are Marcus age 22, Megan age 15, and Christian and Kristin (twins) age 14.  I have one grandson Braxton age 10 months. As parents and grandparents, my wife and I worry about the future of our children and grandchild and, in turn I have great concern regarding the condition of our county.  On the local level, there are several issues that deserve immediate attention, these issues are: establishing and securing jobs for citizens (no matter how large or small the company is); strengthening recreational sports programs to give the youth more constructive and healthy ways to spend time; bettering our law enforcement; and, ensuring that our county schools and community colleges receive financial    support so that our children receive the best education possible. I would be proud to serve as your County Commissioner.  If given this great opportunity, I pledge to work with the citizens of this county on these concerns and any further issues to make Mitchell County a thriving and prosperous county for all.

Wondering About Early Dismissal Monday?

01/06/16 12:38 PM
Just in case you were wondering why Yancey County Schools let out early on Monday, take a look at a few of these photos from the area. Pictured above is Green Mountain. (more)

McDowell Man Convicted of Child Abuse

01/05/16 02:49 PM
Scott Lutz age 21 of JR Circle in Nebo has been found guilty of intentional child abuse causing serious injury. Lutz will spend up to two years in prison for beating a 17-month-old baby that was in his care.  Deputies say the baby boy had bruises on his head, abdomen, legs and back. The Sheriff’s Department received the case from the McDowell County Department of Social Services. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 12/27 - 1/3/2016

01/05/16 09:36 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/25 - 1/1/2016 (Details)

01/05/16 09:34 AM

New Laws on Unemployment Insurance Claims

01/05/16 06:54 AM
The Division of Employment Security (DES) has announced that effective January 3, 2016; individuals filing new unemployment insurance claims must make five valid job contacts with potential employers for each week claimed. (more)

Public Photo ID Meeting

01/04/16 06:54 AM
The Yancey County Board of Election will be holding a public Photo ID meeting this evening at 6pm in the court room of the Yancey County Courthouse. This meeting is to inform the public of what they can expect at the polls for the 2016 Elections as the Photo ID process will begin. Representatives from the State Board of Elections will be there to speak and address any concerns voters may have. Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 12/20 - 12/27/15

12/28/15 09:49 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/18 - 12/25/15 (Details)

12/28/15 09:30 AM

Three Dead from House Fire in McDowell County

12/24/15 07:22 AM
Three people are believed to have died in a home fire early Wednesday in the Glenwood community.  A call was received around 7:15am for the residence on the 500 block of White Pine Drive. 38 year old David Michael Staggs, 34 year old Heather Renee Staggs, and their 5-year-old son, Samuel Michael, are thought to have died in the blaze.  The medical examiner determined there were three sets of remains inside the home, but confirmation of their identities is pending autopsy results. The home was burned beyond recognition and so were the bodies. The investigation, which involves the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, remains ongoing, and the cause has not been determined. Authorities have not ruled out foul play.

Dobson to Chair Health and Human Services Oversight

12/23/15 03:18 PM
NC House 85th District Representative Josh Dobson has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. This committee is tasked with examining the system wide issues affecting the development, budgeting, financing, administration, and quality and delivery of health and human services. The committee can make recommendations on how to improve the quality and delivery of services as well as to maintain a high level of effectiveness and efficiency in system administration at the state and local levels. Dobson was also asked to serve as an Advisory Member on the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Local Government, and the Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee. Each committee is made up of both House and Senate members, and meets at the call of the chair. As an Advisory Member Dobson can fully participating in meetings and offering recommendations to voting members. Dobson, a Republican represents the 85th District which is  Avery, Mitchell and McDowell counties.

Election Filing Period Closes

12/23/15 03:04 PM
The filing period to be on the ballot for the March primary ended Monday, December 21, at noon. In Mitchell County those who filed include: for County Commission, incumbent Ken Hollifield, Kay Ellis Pollard, Danny R. Burleson, Wesley Vaughn, David Honeycutt, and Jacob Warren Willis. For Register of Deeds the only person filing was incumbent Kathy Laws.   Incumbent State Senator Ralph Hise filed for re-election in District 47. In Yancey County those who filed include: for County Commission, incumbent Jeff   Whitson, James “Jim” Edwards, John D. Stallings, Kenneth Winters, Steven Wright, and Mark Ledford. For the Board of Education, incumbent Angela “Angie”  Weatherman, incumbent William “Bill” Whiteside Jr., incumbent  Norbert “Norb” McKinney, Anthony Allen, Edwin  Fortner, Gerald Blalock, Andrew Gall, Pete Peterson, and Erica Griffith Edwards. For Register of Deeds, incumbent Susan Jobe, Rachel Ann Austin, and John Randal “Randy” Ollis.

Man Killed in Kayaking Accident in Mitchell County

12/23/15 11:28 AM
Eric Bush, age 59 died Friday, December 18th while kayaking on the Nolichucky River in Mitchell County. Eric Bush and his son, Matthew accessed the river at Poplar Gorge in Mitchell County.  After about a mile and a half, Eric went down a rapid and his kayak overturned. He was pulled by the current to the next rapid, where he was thrown from his kayak. He was under water for several minutes before Matthew Bush was able to reach him and pull him from the water. Matthew performed CPR then ran six miles down railroad tracks to a campground in Erwin, TN to call 911. Eric was transported to Blue Ride Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Eric and Matthew Bush were prepared and suited up for the trip, wearing dry suits and level five flotation devices. An avid kayaker, canoer, backpacker, hiker, skier and angler, Bush went hiking or kayaking nearly every week. Eric Bush was Director of Henderson County Department of Social Services . Originally from Ohio he moved to the area for its abundance of outdoor activities.

Republicans File for Yancey Commissioners Seats

12/21/15 10:23 AM
Friday, December 18th, Republicans Mark Ledford and Steven Wright filed to run with Incumbent Jeff Whitson for the Yancey County Board of Commissioners seats in November 2016. Mark is a native of Yancey County and is Vice-President and Operations Manager at Heritage Grading & Paving, Inc in Burnsville. He and his wife, Chris, along with daughter, Claire, and son, Rory, reside in the Jacks Creek precinct. Steven is also a native of Yancey and is an educator employed with Mayland Community College in the Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education Department. He and his wife, Christy, along with their 8 month old son, Michael, make their home in the Crabtree precinct.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 12/13 - 12/20/15

12/21/15 10:13 AM

Applications for Low Income Energy Assistance Program

12/18/15 01:47 PM
The Yancey County Department of Social Services will take applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program on January 4th at 8:30 am.  Applications will be taken at the fellowship hall of The First Baptist Church from 8:30 am until noon.  Yancey DSS will also take applications at the DSS office from 2:00 pm until the funds are exhausted.  The Mitchell County Department of Social Services will continue taking applications through December at the Mitchell County DSS office from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Please make sure to bring verification of December 2015 income, last bank statement, as well as social security numbers for everyone in the household and your account number if you are applying for electric heat.

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/11 - 12/18/15 (Details)

12/18/15 01:37 PM

Mt Mitchell Makes Cover of 2016 NC Travel Guide

12/17/15 03:27 PM
In recognition of the North Carolina State Park System’s centennial celebration, the “Official 2016 North Carolina Travel Guide” showcases Mount Mitchell State Park and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The guide is available in two versions, one with Mount Mitchell on the cover and one (more)

New Principal for East Yancey Middle School

12/17/15 11:55 AM
The placement of Angie Anglin as the new Yancey County Schools Exceptional Children / Accountability Director resulted in a vacancy of the principal position at East Yancey Middle School. Hoping to provide a smooth transition while the students are out for the holidays, Dr. Tony Tipton and the School Board moved quickly in posting the vacancy and filling this position.  At a special (more)

New Industry for McDowell County

12/16/15 03:59 PM
ORA, Inc is moving most of its company from northern Virginia to McDowell County. They will be taking over the former Marion Manufacturing site at 315 Baldwin Avenue in Marion. The firm conducts engineering research on the effects of blasts and explosions and makes protective products based on that research to improve the safety of personnel, equipment, and structures exposed to blasts. ORA’s customers include the U.S. government, universities, energy companies and other international companies. They will begin hiring soon and plan to open in January.  ORA will employ engineers, welders, metal fabricators and CNC machine tool operators with approximately 25 employees at full capacity. 

Yancey County Farmer Wins State Discussion Meet

12/15/15 04:35 PM
Yancey County young farmer Kevin Wilson took first place honors in North Carolina Farm Bureau’s (NCFB) statewide Discussion Meet. The competition and award ceremony took place during NCFB’s 80th Annual Meeting, Dec. 6-8, at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center at the (more)

New Hand Signals for School Buses Beginning January 1st

12/15/15 03:47 PM
During the summer legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a new law regarding student school bus safety.  Beginning January 1, 2016, all school bus drivers will begin using hand signals to students as they get on or off the school bus.  The school bus driver must hold out his/her hand as a signal to stop and wait at every stop.  When traffic is clear, the (more)

Yancey County Christmas Tree Recycling & Holiday Schedule

12/14/15 01:32 PM
Don’t throw away your natural Christmas tree!  Yancey County recycling and convenience centers will accept Christmas trees to be recycled.  Trees must have all ornaments, tinsel, lights, hooks and wires removed prior to disposal at the center.  Residents are encouraged to drop off trees in the designated areas at any of the county’s community recycling centers until (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 12/6 - 12/13/15 (Details)

12/14/15 09:55 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 12/4 - 12/11/15 (Details)

12/14/15 09:50 AM

New Mitchell Superintendent Announced

12/11/15 03:52 PM
The Mitchell County Schools Board of Education has appointed Mr. Chad T. Calhoun as the new Mitchell County Schools Superintendent.  His contract begins July 1, 2016. Chad Calhoun is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Accountability and Curriculum and has been an administrator with Mitchell County Schools since 2000.  He replaces Dr. Rick Spurling who recently announced his (more)

MCC Golden Leaf Scholarships

12/11/15 02:36 PM
The Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation has announced its scholarship selections the Golden LEAF Scholar for Mayland Community College students. 15 degree seeking students received over $4500 in scholarships to assist with their tuition, books, supplies, childcare, transportation, and credentialing exams. In addition, over $1200 was awarded to (more)

Peterson Retiring / Anglin New EC/Accountability Director

12/10/15 10:26 AM
At its regular monthly meeting on December 7th, the Yancey County Board of Education named East Yancey Middle School Principal Angie Anglin as the new Exceptional Children / Accountability Director for Yancey County Schools. Anglin will begin her new duties on February 1st, bringing 26 years of experience within Yancey County Schools to her new role.  Anglin’s career began at (more)

$26,400 in Grants Awarded in Mitchell County

12/09/15 02:00 PM
The Fund for Mitchell County has awarded $26,400 in People in Need grants   to local nonprofit organizations who supply services for economically disadvantaged people in our community. $20,000 will be given to Mitchell County Safe Place for the purpose of executing a Dating Violence Prevention Education program to encourage healthy, safe relationships with the use of an evidence-based curriculum and will serve 336 middle and high school students in Mitchell County. The other $6,400 will go to the Bakersville United Methodist Church- Mitchell Yancey UMC Food Pantry to provide nutritionally balanced food to 100 families faced with food insecurity in both Mitchell and Yancey County. This grant was co-founded by The Yancey Fund. Both of these generous grants were made possible with the partnership of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC). For more information about The Fund for Mitchell County, contact Advisory Board Chair Jane Crowe at janecrowe@penland.org .

Tier 1 Rating for Yancey County

12/09/15 07:20 AM
The state Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2016 on Monday. The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development. (more)

Small Earthquake in Spruce Pine Tuesday

12/09/15 07:18 AM
A small earthquake Tuesday in Spruce Pine around 5 a.m. measured 2.2 on the Richter scale.   It's one of 13 quakes in Western North Carolina this year.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there were 60 earthquakes in our region of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, NW South Carolina and NE Georgia in 2015. (more)

Susan Jobe First Candidate to File in Yancey

12/07/15 10:44 AM
On Tuesday, December 1 filing for candidates seeking election to public office in the 2016 election began at noon.  Susan Jobe was ready and was the first candidate to file in Yancey County.  Susan has been Register of Deeds for Yancey County since April 2015 and had previously worked in the Register of Deeds office part time for six years. She has also worked for Yancey County attorneys Staunton Norris and Hockaday & Hockaday for fifteen years.

Democrat Candidates File in Yancey Commissioners Race

12/07/15 10:41 AM
On Friday, December 4th, Yancey County Democrats John Stallings, Jim Edwards, and Kenneth Winters filed paperwork with the Yancey County Board of Elections declaring their candidacy for the three seats up for election in the 2016 Yancey County Commissioners Race.  John Stallings is a career educator and athletic coach with the Yancey County School System, Jim Edwards has served in law enforcement in Yancey County as a North Carolina Probation Officer and Kenneth Winters has served the residents of Yancey County as a career employee with French Broad Electric Membership Corporation.

Filing for 2016 NC Primary Election

12/04/15 04:24 PM
2016 NC Primary Elections filing period began at noon on   Tuesday, December 1,   and will be open until noon on Monday, December 21st. Those  who have already filed include: In Mitchell County Cathy Laws filed for Register of Deeds, in Yancey County Rachel Austin, Susan Jobe, and Randy Ollis for Register of Deeds, as well as Jeff Whitson, and Jim Edwards for Board of Commissioners. Across the region: Ralph Hise for NC State Senate District 47, Hal G. Harrison and Ted McEntire for NC District Court Judge District 24  and Michele D. Presnell for NC House of Representatives District 118. Mark Meadows filed for US Congress 11th District.

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/27 - 12/04/15 (Details)

12/04/15 03:59 PM