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

Burnsville Town Council to Hold Public Hearing (Details)

06/13/17 04:26 PM

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

Burnsville Budget Hearing & Special Meeting (Details)

06/09/17 05:09 PM

Miller Recognized as Teacher of the Year at Yancey School Board Meeting

06/09/17 02:49 PM
At the regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education on Monday, June 5 the Board voted to approve Karen Banks as the new Yancey County Schools Technology Director.  Mrs. Banks has been serving as interim technology since March 1st of this school (more)

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.

Mission Closes Labor and Delivery at Spruce Pine Hospital

06/06/17 10:26 AM
To no avail, young and old gathered next to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital with signs on Monday afternoon, urging Mission Health's board of directors to keep the labor and delivery department open.  Mission Health announced plans to end labor and delivery services at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in May. The Blue Ridge Regional Hospital board voted to shut down the department on Monday afternoon. Protesters said if women are forced to travel to Asheville or Marion to have their babies, more children will be born along the side of the road, and they say that puts more babies at risk. Mission Health wants to consolidate Mitchell County's labor and delivery services with McDowell County's.  A new McDowell Hospital that's slated to open near the site of the current one will feature "five state of the art birthing suites, three inpatient/outpatient operating rooms, including a dedicated C-section room." Other protesters expressed concern about the long winding road between Mitchell County and the hospital in Marion. Officials said they plan to stop delivering babies at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital by September 30, 2017. There was a 10 am press conference Tuesday at the hospital that we will bring details to you as they become available. 

Can You Identify This Man?

06/05/17 04:47 PM

Many people in this area have eaten at or at least heard of the historic Daniel Boone Inn in Boone. High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police seek the public’s assistance in identifying a white male who was attempting to set fire to the Inn on Thursday June 1st around 11:25 pm. Anyone with information on this crime   is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268- 6900.  All information will be kept confidential. High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons.

Rhododendron Report Bloom Update 6/5

06/05/17 04:22 PM
By Bob Hensley Old Man From the Mountain report update: Bloom in the gap is on line with last report. Bloom up the AT promises to be in the 75-85% range. Bloom on the top looks to be in the 65-70% range and on line e to peak Festival weekend. All this barring any more heavy rains. And as the valley shot of Flame Azalea shows the Flame patch off the AT on the grassy bald should be stunning Festival weekend. Come join us June 17-18 and before if you can.

Demonstration at Hospital

06/05/17 03:54 PM
A small group of demonstrators were able to make it on short notice to the hospital in Spruce Pine Monday to protest the possible closing of the obstetrics department. There is concern that it would cause people an excessive amount of time and distance to deliver. Also (more)

The Fund for Mitchell County Announces $2,000 in Grants

06/05/17 02:55 PM
The Fund for Mitchell County is pleased to announce $2,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations. The grants include: $1,000 to Mitchell County Animal Rescue for general support., $1,000 to UMC Lamplighters for their After School Reading and Enrichment Program (Spruce Pine United Methodist Church serves as fiscal sponsor) (more)

Demonstration to Save Hospital Services

06/05/17 09:45 AM
A decision will be made later today, Monday June 5, 2017, concerning continuing Labor and Delivery services at the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. Mission Hospitals has proposed closing the department, the local Board of Trustees will vote on that proposal at today’s meeting. The Medical Staff at Blue Ridge Regional is opposed to the proposal, the local board is supportive of keeping Labor and Delivery open but the financial stress of the department, which does not generate income, weighs heavily on the decision. The loss of Labor and Delivery could lead to the loss of other essential services, medical staff and eventually the whole hospital. Time is short but there are opportunities for you to be involved and let your opinion be heard. On Facebook there is an online petition to Mission Hospital Management urging Labor and Delivery Services be continued in Spruce Pine.  That Facebook page is “Save Labor and Delivery”. Also there will be a demonstration of support for Labor and Delivery Services at the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital this afternoon at 3:00.  Everyone that feels this is an important service should be there.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 5/31 - 6/4/17

06/05/17 08:57 AM

Howell Convicted of Child Abuse

06/01/17 04:43 PM
On May 17th  Jacob Daniel Howell, 22 years old, was convicted of felony child abuse inflicting serious physical injury.  The victim was his son who was less than a year old.  The child had over 20 fractures on his ribs, upper arms, and collar bones.  Mr. Howell admitting to squeezing the child until the child’s shoulders compressed after the child would not take a bottle. Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope sentenced Mr. Howell to prison for a minimum of 4 years and 11 months and a maximum of 6 years and 11 months. “This case is a truly tragic one that involves a defenseless child being brutalized by the very person who should have been the first person to come to his aid,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement.  “I would like to thank both the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office and the medical professionals at Mission Hospital for their hard work in keeping the children of Yancey County safe.  We are thankful that the little boy has fully recovered and is in the loving home of a wonderful foster family here in Yancey County.”

Yancey Sheriff Report 5/24 - 5/31/17

06/01/17 02:47 PM

Cannon Receives Grant to Expand Behavioral Health

06/01/17 02:22 PM
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services  has selected Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital (Cannon Hospital) in Avery County,   to receive a $6.5 million grant award, to expand the availability of behavioral health beds in the western region of North (more)

Graduation This Weekend for Area High Schools

05/31/17 02:59 PM
This weekend is graduation at each of the area high schools. Commencement ceremonies will get kicked off on Friday evening  with Graduation for the Mitchell High School class of 2017  at 7:00 pm.  in Memorial Stadium or in the event of inclement weather it will be moved to Mitchell High School gymnasium. Avery County High School Graduating Class will  also hold their  ceremony on Friday,  June 2, at 6:30 pm in the stadium.  In case of bad weather, graduation will be held in the Avery County High School Gym.  Mountain Heritage graduating class of 2017 will hold their cap and gown ceremony in the Mountain Heritage High School Gym on Saturday morning, June 3, at 10:00 am. Madison High School will also graduate on Saturday at 10 a.m. in their high school gymnasium. 

Piedmont Natural Gas Pipeline Inspection

05/31/17 02:46 PM
Piedmont Natural Gas will perform a series of routine pipeline inspection activities June 1 – 7 on Hinson Thomas Road in Spruce Pine. During the testing, which involves the use of an In-Line Inspection Device, it may be necessary for Piedmont to “flare,” or burn off, any excess natural gas used during the inspection process.  A flare stack (large vertical pipe) will be used for any flaring operations, which could produce a loud noise and result in a tall flame being visible to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. People in the area also may notice a whistling sound or the smell of natural gas. Flare stack operation is a controlled process that will be managed and monitored by Piedmont Natural Gas personnel in cooperation with local fire department resources.  These pipeline inspection activities are in compliance with Federal Department of Transportation regulations that require regular pipeline inspection and assessment.

Road Work

05/31/17 02:35 PM
It is going to be a little inconvenient for a while but a lot of people are going to be happy to have this heavily trafficked road fixed.   Beginning this Monday, June 5, The Department of Transportation will be closing a road in Yancey County for some scheduled changes.  The road to be closed is the short connector road on Georges Fork Road from Highway 19E to Burnsville Elementary School. DOT will be widening the road and replacing the bridge with a wider bridge.  Work is expected to be completed before July 4th

Grand Opening of Bare Sky Observatory

05/31/17 08:53 AM
The grand opening of Mayland Community College’s Bare Dark Sky Observatory is tomorrow,  June 1st.  Activities begin at 4:00 pm with the public invited to tour the Bare Dark Sky Observatory and see the telescopes including the 34 inch largest in the Southeast telescope.  There will be educational astronomy videos for viewing, outdoor games to play, and tours of the Earth to Sky Park available. The Earth to Sky Park, formally known as the EnergyXchange, is located at 66 Energy Exchange Drive off of Arbuckle Road in Newdale. Because parking access to the Observatory is limited, MCC will offer shuttle rides to the building for tours. Guests are recommended to wear walking shoes as the ground is uneven. Bring a flashlight if you plan on staying past dark to catch a glimpse through the telescopes because lighting is limited due to the restrictions of being an International Dark Sky Association certified Park. For additional information call 828.766.1233.

Mars Hill University Nursing Program Receives Accreditation

05/30/17 02:35 PM
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited Mars Hill University's nursing program. The accreditation follows a site visit by CCNE last September to assess whether the program meets nationally recognized standards for nursing education. (more)

New Political Action Group in Yancey County

05/30/17 09:20 AM
A bi-partisan political action group has presented "The American Anti-Corruption Act" to the mayor of Burnsville and asked the town council to consider endorsing it.  The Yancey County political activist group LeadS formed in February of this year and consists of 110 individuals from all parts of Yancey County. The group is dedicated to reforming problems in the political system. Mayor Coletta has placed the request on the agenda for the June 1st town council meeting. The Act is being presented to government entities across the United States in a grassroots effort to end political campaign corruption. Basis of the act is stop political bribery, end secret money  and fix broken elections. To find out more and read the act in its entirety go to

Strong Storms Saturday Night

05/29/17 07:13 AM
The National Weather Service reported that a line of storms formed in southern Missouri and western Kentucky early Saturday. The storms quickly moved across Tennessee and then moved into Western North Carolina Saturday night.  There were reports of trees down all around WNC including two large trees blown over at a home in Burnsville as well as several other reports around Burnsville of broken limps and trees down. A tree was down in McCraken Cementary adjacent to Holcombe Brothers Cementary on Meadow Road and also at the new Burnsville Library.
There were also scattered power outages around WNC.  The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Yancey and Mitchell Counties around 1am Sunday and there were reports of stream flooding in Mitchell County.    (pictures)

Quilt Presentation to Veterans on Hero Day May 27

05/28/17 05:38 AM
On Saturday, May 27th, approximately 55 veterans were presented with handmade quilts at Hero Day in Burnsville on the Town Square.  This impressive ceremony honored veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam from all branches of service. (more)

Rhododendron Bloom Report

05/26/17 09:38 AM
 By: Bob Hensley "Old Man from the Mountain" report as of 25 May 2017:
The forest service has not opened the gate to the gardens as of today. However​, the rhododendron in the gap is showing good potential for a 70-80% bloom cover. There is some bud swell to the point of pink on a couple of bushes but overall it looks as tho the gap shrubs will start showing lots of pink in 6-10 days and full bloom in 8-12 days.  With this caveat in mind I would guess the bloom on top to follow in 12-17 days making it coincide with the Festival dates.  Naturally the farther up the AT one climbs the later the bloom as well. Hope this helps. Will post more after the gardens are accessible.

Relay of the Blue Ridge Successful

05/25/17 01:21 PM
Relay of the Blue Ridge held their first combined event on Friday, May 19th. Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties have held the  Relay for Life events in the separate counties each year. This year they joined together and held the main event at Mitchell High School in Ledger. The Survivor's Walk kicked off the evening's events. Games, food and entertainment  were followed by the Lighting of the Luminaries. Final totals have not been completed but they did surpass their goal of $30,000. Relay Publicity Chairman Don Ford said, "The local Relay of the Blue Ridge team would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the event."

Bird Knocks Out Power in Avery County

05/25/17 12:40 PM
Mountain Electric's Newland Substation went down around 7:30 Thursday morning, causing power to go out in the Crossnore, Altamont and Newland areas. Mountain Electric  said that their investigation showed a bird had gotten between an insulator and a bus bar in the substation.   About 6500 customers were without power for about 45 minutes. They were able to return service to customers around 8:15 am. According to Mountain Electric, birds and squirrels sometimes do get into substations.When squirrels get on an individual transformer, it usually affects only a few customers, but when animals get into the substation it can affect a lot of people.

Yancey Sheriff Report 5/17 - 5/24/17 (Details)

05/24/17 01:58 PM

Help Wanted: An EDC Director

05/24/17 01:52 PM
On May 18th Mitchell County Economic Development  Director Laura Verla announced her resignation. This comes on the heels of Yancey County Economic Development Director Wanda Proffitt resigning her part-time position on May 8th. Verla had only been the Director since October of last year. She regrets having to leave the position but is joining her family's business, which is People's Furniture in Spruce Pine.   Both Mitchell and Yancey counties have begun searching for  new EDC directors. 

Yancey Hospice and Palliative Care Named a 2017 Hospice Honors Elite Recipient

05/23/17 01:15 PM
Hospice of Yancey County d/b/a Yancey Hospice and Palliative Care has been named a 2017 Hospice Honors Elite recipient by Deyta Analytics, a division of HEALTHCAREfirst, the leading provider of Web-based home health and hospice software, outsourced billing and coding services, and advanced analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of (more)

Search for Missing Girl (Update)

05/23/17 01:07 PM
Update: Missing 17-year-old Brittany Ledford was located unharmed Tuesday night
McDowell County sheriff’s deputies need the public’s help locating a teen last seen Monday afternoon, May 22.  Brittany Ledford, 17, of 180 Falcon Crest Drive in Old Fort, was reported missing by her mother Monday night. Sherri Blaylock told deputies she last saw her daughter when the teen left their residence at 2:30 p.m. to go eat with a friend. Ledford was then dropped off at another friend’s house on Gable Drive. From there, she reportedly began walking to her boyfriend’s sister’s home on Jacktown Road.  Sheriff’s deputies and Marion police officers searched for the teen throughout the night with no luck. Ledford is described as a white female who stands 4 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has brown shoulder-length hair and hazel eyes. She has a tattoo of an arrow on her right arm and another of a coy fish on her right leg. Anyone with information concerning Ledford’s whereabouts is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235 or the McDowell County 911 communications center at 652-4000.

Austin Selected for French Broad EMC Board

05/22/17 03:20 PM
Jill Austin has been selected to fill Warren Buchanan's seat on the French Broad Electric Membership Board of Directors. Warren Buchanan served on the French Broad   Board  for 37 years in two different terms.  His first term started in 1980 as representative of Mitchell County.  In 1985, he moved to Yancey County and thus had to resign from the Board.  In 1988, he was once again elected to the board of directors as a Yancey County representative, where he served until his recent passing.  Mr. Buchanan served as the assistant treasurer while on the board of directors. On April 25th, 2017, the French Broad Board of Directors selected Jill Austin to fulfill Mr. Buchanan’s vacant seat for the remainder of his term.  Mrs. Austin is a life-long resident of Yancey County, a successful businesswoman and a Yancey County Commissioner. She brings a tremendous amount of leadership and experience to the French Broad Electric Membership Board of Directors.

MCC Curriculum Graduation Ceremony

05/22/17 02:47 PM
Mayland Community College held the 2017 curriculum graduation ceremony on May 13th at First Baptist Church in Crossnore. Over 295 students graduated this academic year. Special speakers during the event included Applied Engineering graduate Teresa Ennis and (more)

Click It or Ticket It Going On Now

05/22/17 01:50 PM
We've all heard "Buckle Up, the life you save may be your own."  You also may save yourself a ticket as this week through June 4th is Click It or Ticket It in North Carolina. When you're not wearing your seat belt, you're risking serious injury or death. Law enforcement across our area  will be stepping up enforcement to crack down on motorists not wearing their (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 5/7 - 5/21/17 (Details)

05/22/17 12:30 PM

Original Land of Oz Costumes Donated to Avery Museum

05/19/17 03:34 PM
If you were living in this area during the 1970's you probably remember Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. The Avery County Historical Museum is now home to four original costumes worn by actors during the early days of the Land Of Oz theme park at Beech Mountain. The Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man costumes and Dorothy’s blue gingham dress, have been donated to the Museum by  Billy Ferguson and David Spurgeon. The Avery County Historical Museum is located in the old jail house in Newland. For more you can call 828-733-7111.  For those Land of Oz fans who want to travel the Yellow Brick Road, the park will be open every Friday this June. Also the annual Autumn at Oz will be September 8, 9 10th. For more information go to 

Possible Service Cut Backs at Spruce Pine Hospital

05/19/17 07:08 AM
Mission Health CEO Ron Paulus confirmed the company is looking at ending some ob/gyn services at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, shifting them to McDowell Hospital about 35 minutes away.  (more)

Winners of the TRAC Paint Out

05/18/17 02:48 PM
The weather held and the Plein Air painters came out to paint in and around Burnsville during the annual event, May 13. Painters arrived early on the Saturday morning, registered, then ventured out—most stayed in town until the clouds broke, but a few went off the beaten  (more)

Caboose Needs New Home

05/17/17 03:28 PM
The Town of Spruce Pine is giving back a gift they received from Altapass Baptist Church. The church donated a Clinchfield Railroad caboose they had received several years ago from Bud Phillips. The church decided the best way to preserve this part of Spruce Pine history was to donate it to the town. However the town says they have not been able to find a place to put it and don't want to repair it unless it has a permanent location.  Some townspeople have suggested putting it near the town's entrance at the clock or at Riverside Park as a way to draw visitors to the town while preserving the town's heritage. The church is now in limbo as to what to do with the caboose. There are museums interested in it but they had hoped to keep it in Mitchell County.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 5/10 -5/17/17 (Details)

05/17/17 02:27 PM

Yancey EDC Director Resigns

05/17/17 12:59 PM
Yancey County Economic Development Commission Director Wanda Proffitt has resigned her position. Proffitt has served as a part-time director since 2010. The county hopes to join with the Town of Burnsville in an effort to fund a full-time position.  A personnel committee has been established to find a replacement.

Scam Costs ASU

05/16/17 12:16 PM
A wire fraud scheme involving the new science building project has led to Appalachian State University being scammed out of nearly two million dollars.  A complaint filed in US District Court May 12th said an ASU controllers' office employee received an email from someone claiming to be Doug McDowell, a finance technician  at Rodgers Builders, with instructions to change Rodgers Builders banking information for a payment. Rodgers Builders is contracted to build the new University's College of Health Sciences building. ASU spokesperson Megan Hayes said more than 1.959 million dollars was sent to an entity known as Royce Hub Trading as the ASU employee was unaware the email address was not legitimate and that it was not really from McDowell. The mistake was found when Rodgers Builders notified the University that the payment had not been received. A criminal investigation is underway. Eighty percent  of the money has been recovered by the FBI.

Cane River park Dedication - (more)

05/13/17 01:57 PM

Milestone Day for Emma

05/12/17 01:52 PM
Friday, May 12th was a milestone day for Emma Peterson.  Emma is celebrating 25 years making those great Hardees made-from -scratch biscuits at the Burnsville Hardees's  Restaurant. County and Town officials, longtime Hardees customers and others in the (more)

Assault on Mount Mitchell and Marion Monday

05/11/17 03:47 PM
Monday is the 42nd Assault on Mount Mitchell and the 24th Assault on Marion. 
Approximately 900 cyclists are expected to make their way through McDowell County beginning around 9:30 a.m. “Be patient with the riders and with law enforcement,” said Deputy Ricky Crisp of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, who works traffic control for the event. “Our objective is to get everyone through safely. Traffic will be backed up and stalled at times. We want people to be mindful of the riders and other motorists.” He added that sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement will be directing traffic at intersections. Most of those riding in the Assault on Marion usually complete the race by 2:30 p.m., and those traveling on to Mount Mitchell are usually out of the county by 5 p.m.  The Assault on Marion route will be as follows: Montford Cove Road to Old Fort-Sugar Hill Road to Zion Hill Road to Nix Creek Road to Tate Street to Old Highway 10 to Old Greenlee Road to Resistoflex Road to U.S. 70 West to Tom Johnson Camping Center. The Assault on Mount Mitchell riders will travel the same route, except they will not stop at Tom Johnson’s. They will continue up N.C. 80 to the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mount Mitchell.

Mountain Air Residents Help Sponsor Habitat Neighborhood Revitalization

05/11/17 01:05 PM
Mitchell-Yancey Habitat for Humanity’s (M-YHFH) vision is to build safer, more durable, comfortable and attractive, and energy efficient homes. Mountain Air residents will help to make this vision more attainable through grant sponsorship to purchase tools and safety equipment for Habitat ‘s new Neighborhood Revitalization Program Gary Ray, M-Y Board President states,  (more)

New Video System for First Appearance Hearings

05/10/17 01:14 PM
According to the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department, the new video system for First Appearance is  up and running. On Thursday , May 4th, after a test run,  the official start occurred with the first appearance of four Mitchell County inmates who are being held at the McDowell County Jail. The video equipment in McDowell County  transmits the live proceeding back to Mitchell County. This saves the Mitchell Sheriff's Department the cost of transporting defendants. This saves both time and gas and is a safer way of handling the inmates.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 5/3 - 5/10/17 (Details)

05/10/17 12:28 PM

Habitat Leaders Meet with NC Legislature

05/09/17 02:46 PM
 On April 2-3 the North Carolina Housing Coalition invited Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the State to attend a Legislative Day in Raleigh, NC. Pictured here with Representative Michelle Presnell are (r-I) Paul Reeves - Director of Construction Services for (more)

Madison County Assistant Clerk of Court

05/09/17 07:47 AM
A former Madison County assistant Clerk of Court has been arrested on embezzlement charges. Tara Nix is charged with one count of felony embezzlement by a government official. She's accused of taking more than $96,000 in court funds between October 2016 and March 2017. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/30 - 5/7/17

05/08/17 09:15 AM

Mitchell County Celebrates National Tourism Week

05/05/17 03:58 PM
Travel and tourism professionals from across the nation celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week to promote the impactful contributions their travel markets and organizations make to the U.S. economy.  National Travel and Tourism Week (May 8-12) unites communities each year to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. “Just look at (more)

Yancey Ranked 8th in State; Drawings of New School

05/05/17 12:01 PM
The 2017 edition of the Roadmap of Need, an in-depth needs assessment produced by the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP), ranked Yancey County as 8th best in the state for Education. Past editions of the Roadmap of Need in 2013, 2014, and 2016 ranked Yancey County Schools at 24th, 16th, and 13th respectively.  The education ranking is based (more)

Update on Arts Branding Initiative

05/04/17 03:48 PM
Last week, the Toe River Arts Council hosted two Studio Tour kick-off events to update the community on the progress of the regional arts branding initiative—Toe River Arts. Both were held at the Arts Resource Center (ARC) on the second floor of the TRAC Spruce Pine Gallery.  Tuesday evening’s event gathered a representative group of artists from the two county region; branding (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/27 - 5/3/17 (Details)

05/03/17 03:54 PM

Cell Phone Text Scam

05/01/17 12:35 PM
Another phone scam is going around. This time it involves cell phone text. The scammer sends text messages to your phone using your bank's phone number, requesting you call the fraud prevention line to confirm your identity. The texts say  "There has been suspicious activity on your account. Do you recognize this transaction, if not call this number." It then gives you a number to click through and call. When you call they'll make you confirm your bank details, which will then give them access to all your funds. Beware, most banks will not reimburse you when they have made no mistake and you have divulged your personal security information.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/23 - 4/30/17 (Details)

05/01/17 08:52 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/20 - 4/27/17 (Details)

04/27/17 01:59 PM

Missing Teen Found - Unharmed

04/27/17 07:18 AM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies were intensely searching for a missing 13-year-old girl.  Furie Nikayla Benge was reported missing on Tuesday, April 25 from her residence on 268 Radio Hill Drive in Marion. Her grandmother reported that she went outside to feed the rabbits and didn’t return. Her family was unable to locate her and contacted the Sheriff's Department.  The McDowell County Shefirr's department reports that Benge has been found unharmed. 

13-Year-Old McDowell County Girl Missing

04/26/17 02:02 PM
McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies are intensely searching for a missing 13-year-old girl.  Furie Nikayla Benge was last seen at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 at her residence on 268 Radio Hill Drive in Marion. Her grandmother reported that she went outside to feed the rabbits and didn’t return. Her family has been unable to locate her since.  Benge is (more)

Madison County Deputies Search for Missing Man

04/25/17 03:34 PM
The Madison County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding a missing man. Theodore (Ted) Fredrick Magnus was last seen around noon on April 17, 2017. Family reported him missing on April 21. Magnus is described as  6 feet tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He walks with the use of a cane and generally wears a cowboy hat. He was last seen driving a red 1997 Ford Explorer with N.C. tags CKM-5654. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 828-649-2721.

What Is Happening with the New Four Lane?

04/25/17 02:15 PM
The question that everyone seems to be asking these days is, "What is happening with the new four lane?"  Area residents were happy to have four beautiful traffic lanes when suddenly the orange cones reappeared in long stretches and workers began tearing up the newly laid roadway.   We reached out to Young McQueen Grading Company for some answers. Here is what they had to say: In an effort to make new highway projects smooth riding and long lasting, the NCDOT has many stringent requirements. Unfortunately, certain sections of the final asphalt surface failed to meet these requirements. Therefore, Young & McQueen's asphalt paving subcontractor, Rogers Group, is removing and replacing these sections. This work should be completed within the next week or so.  Additionally, due to concerns and requests of Yancey County citizens, the NCDOT has agreed to install an additional left turn lane at the Bear Wallow Road intersection. This work is expected to start as soon as the asphalt replacement work in that area is completed. We thank everyone for their patience during this extended portion of the Highway 19 widening project and request that commuters remain alert to maintain safety for both motorists and personnel. 

Rock Slide on 226 North

04/24/17 04:09 PM
Rock slide on Hwy 226 between Loafer's Glory and Bakersville Monday morning. North bound lane closed between Cub Creek Road and John Sparks.

Burnsville Man Found with Meth in Car

04/24/17 04:05 PM
Deputy Jason Quinn of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Scott Edward Sasek, age 31, of 1000 Grindstaff Road in Burnsville, with possession of methamphetamine.  At 3:50 a.m. on Monday, April 3, Quinn responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle at Happy Pappy’s Campground on U.S. 70 West. The deputy located the white Ford at Riverside Food Mart.  A subsequent search of the automobile turned up a small amount of methamphetamine in a syringe.

Director of Penland School of Crafts to Retire

04/24/17 10:05 AM
Jean McLaughlin, director of Penland School of Crafts, will retire in December 2017. McLaughlin began working at Penland in May 1998 and has presided over an extraordinary period of growth, development, and stabilization at the school. During these two decades, Penland has built new studios, expanded programs and scholarships, conducted two successful fundraising campaigns, greatly solidified its (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/16 - 4/23/17 (Details)

04/24/17 09:14 AM

Missing Avery County Man

04/24/17 07:40 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 4/13 - 4/20/17 (Details)

04/20/17 02:28 PM

Madison County 8th Grader Killed in Accident

04/20/17 02:13 PM
Madison County authorities confirm 32-year-old Sarah Shelton, of Alexander, is charged with DWI, felony death by vehicle and reckless driving in the crash that killed Madison County 8th grader, Lillith DeCarlo. The wreck also injured 7th grade student Kara Raby. Raby is in Mission Hospital ICU. Madison County Middle School Principal Nick Honeycutt said she is blind in one eye, (more)

McDowell County Company Expands, Adds Jobs

04/19/17 02:24 PM
American Plastics of  McDowell County has announced its expansion and relocation to a much larger facility. This company designs and makes a wide range of injection-molded projects for the aeronautical, fiber optic, automotive and medical fields working with such companies as BMW, Lockheed Martin, Gibson Guitars and the U.S. military. With this expansion will come more jobs for our area.  The company, owned by James and Sandra Hall has gone from 5000 square feet to over 13,000 square feet facility.  As part of the McDowell County economic development project, American Plastics agreed to employ 15 more people. In exchange, the company will receive free space in the Universal Center for one year.  

Madison County Couple Charged with Felony Child Abuse

04/19/17 01:57 PM
A Madison County couple has been charged with abusing their seven week old baby girl. Billy Dewayne Taylor is charged with two counts felony child abuse for purposely and cruelly breaking the infants ribs and leg on separate occasions . Jennifer Dawn Davis, the baby's mother  is charged with two Counts of felony child abuse for purposely delaying vital emergency medical treatment for the (more)

Massive Drug Conspiracy Busted in McDowell

04/19/17 01:31 PM
What began as an investigation into a Nebo man’s drug activity has led local, regional, state and federal authorities to dozens of suspects in a massive narcotics conspiracy that spans from McDowell County to California.  The investigation began in July 2016 with a probe of activity at the 100 Stacy Farm Road residence in Neb of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate. It was determined (more)

Avery County Bridge Replacement

04/17/17 12:51 PM
The North Carolina Department of Transportation began a bridge replacement construction project on State Road 1114 (Big Plumtree Creek Road)   Monday April 17. This affects residents and commuters in the Big Plumtree Creek Road and Licklog Road areas of Avery County. The road is closed with a detour from US Hwy. 19E to Big Plumtree Creek Road to Licklog Road to Squirrel Creek Road to Little Plumtree Creek Road back to Big Plumtree Creek Road. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 1st.

Mars Hill University Seeks Input on Search for New President

04/17/17 12:02 PM
As the committee working to find the next president of Mars Hill University moves into the next phase of its search, it is seeking public input to help it develop a profile of the ideal candidate. Along with faculty, staff, and students of the university, the committee also wants to hear from members of the broader community with thoughts about the search process and about criteria to seek in the (more)

Dobson Knob Fire 96% Contained

04/17/17 07:16 AM
The one week old Dobson Knob Fire in McDowell County is now 96% contained.  The fire was first reported on Sunday April 9th. Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, one week later there were about 200 people assigned to the fire. (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 4/9 - 4/16/17 (Details)

04/14/17 10:31 AM

Mitchell EDC Marketing Project Meeting

04/14/17 10:28 AM
Mitchell County EDC will hold a meeting open to the public on Tuesday, April 25th at noon in the EDC conference room in the Mitchell County Administration Building in Bakersville to present the marketing project. This meeting is a follow up to the February 3rd roll out of a new marketing brand for the county. At that time North Star Strategies, the company hired to brand the county, presented the phrase "Seek + Find".  The idea was to reflect both the tourism aspect and  economic development. It will be used in phrases such as "Seek mountain views, find a new perspective. Seek a fun place to take an art class, find an appreciation of century old techniques. Seek an opportunity, find growth. They presented both the new logo and a new website. After the first presentation some backlash to the new idea was noted in the community. Some of the opposition was to the new logo having mountains that represented areas outside of Mitchell County. This follow up meeting is to address those concerns. Everyone is invited to attend but you do need to RSVP to 828-537-1404 or to ensure sufficient seating.