Low Income Energy Assistance Program

11/27/15 02:12 PM
Applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program will be taken up by the Yancey County Department of Social Services on Tuesday. December 1 from 8:30 am until noon at the First Baptist Church on the Town Square, then again at the Department of Social Services Office at 2pm. These applications will only be for households that have a resident age sixty or older or receive assistance through DAAS. You are asked to bring with you the social security numbers for everyone in the household as well as verification of November income for all residents and bank statements for all residents for November if available.  

The Fund for Mitchell County Announces $26,400 in Grants

11/25/15 04:41 PM
The Fund for Mitchell County is pleased to announce $26,400 in People in Need grants to local nonprofit organizations providing critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants were made in partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (more)

Swearing in New Town Council Members

11/25/15 03:53 PM
Following the recent town council elections in both Burnsville and Spruce Pine, the new members of each town council will be sworn into office in the coming weeks. Burnsville will be first to hold their official swearing in ceremony on Monday, November 30 starting at 6:00pm in the Burnsville Town Center. In Spruce Pine the ceremony will be held on Monday December 14 during their regular monthly meeting starting at 5:30 pm in the Spruce Pine Town Hall.

McDowell County Man Wanted for Break-Ins

11/24/15 04:59 PM
McDowell County authorities  are asking for the public’s help locating Joseph Lee Ingle age 36, of 15 Old Neal Road in Marion. Ingle is wanted for five counts of felony breaking and entering, five counts of larceny and two counts of possession of stolen goods in connection with two residential break-ins.  He is also a suspect in other similar crimes. Ingle is described as a white male who stands 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information concerning Ingle’s whereabouts is asked to call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2237 or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME (652-7463). With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous, and you could receive a cash reward.

Candidate Filing Period Begins December 1st

11/23/15 01:57 PM
Due to the fact the Primary Election has been moved to March 15 the candidate filing period has been moved from February to December.  It will open on December 1st at 12 noon and close on December 21st at 12 noon.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/15 - 11/22/15

11/23/15 09:35 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/13 - 11/20/15 (Details)

11/20/15 12:59 PM

Micaville Loop Closure

11/19/15 05:01 PM
Motorists on Micaville Loop Road will encounter road closures and flaggers on Friday and Saturday, November 20th and 21st.  Sewer line construction in the Micaville area will require the temporary closure of Micaville Loop Road near the intersection of Double Island Road. (more)

A Mitchell County Mother Charged with Accessory to Murder

11/19/15 07:24 AM
The mother of a man charged with killing two women was charged as an accessory after the fact to murder on Wednesday. Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street reported that Patsy Byrd is in the McDowell County Jail on $100,000 bond. Street says Patsy "had knowledge of Lisa Ann Robbins murder after, and helped to conceal, and dispose of the items found on Iron Mountain." Bone fragments believed to be those of Lisa Ann Robbins were found along a road near the Tennessee border on Nov. 4. Street says no more arrests are expected in the case.

Clearmont Elementary Fuel Leak

11/18/15 04:37 PM
On Tuesday, November 17th, a fuel leak was discovered on the campus of Clearmont Elementary School.Yancey County Schools maintenance found that a heating fuel line had ruptured and was seeping into the ground.  The line was immediately shut off and administration was notified. (more)

Burnsville Drivers License Office Closed Thursday

11/17/15 03:05 PM
The Burnsville Driver’s License office will be temporarily closed on Thursday, November 19th for equipment installation. It is scheduled to reopen on Friday. New equipment installations are being phased in at driver's license offices across the state. The DMV is putting in new cameras, printers, scanners and monitors to support new programming. They also are installing credit and debit card machines at each desk. Customers can call 682-9619 for more information.

Former Sheriff Kermit Banks Honored

11/16/15 04:55 PM
Friday evening, November 13th local and state officials, friends and family gathered at the Burnsville Town Center to honor former Sheriff Kermit Banks. The evening of gratitude and salutes included the presentation of the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina’s top awards, presented by Governor Pat McCrory’s office. Retired North Carolina Supreme Court Judge Bob Orr was the keynote speaker.  Other state dignitaries included NC State Senator Ralph Hise, NC State Representative Michelle Presnell and District Attorney Seth Banks.  Other tributes came from U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows, U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis,  Lt.Governor Dan Forrest and Yancey County Sheriff and son of the honoree Gary Banks. 

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/08 - 11/15/15 (Details)

11/16/15 12:56 PM

Mitchell County Principal of the Year

11/16/15 10:31 AM
Congratulations! Mrs. Jennifer Gregory who has recently been named the Mitchell County Schools 2015-16 Principal of the Year. Mrs. Gregory has spent 18 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal and for the past two years principal at Deyton Elementary School. Jennifer began her career as a fifth grade teacher for the Burke County Schools in 1998. She moved back home to Mitchell (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 11/06 - 11/13/15 (Details)

11/16/15 08:53 AM

Mitchell Students Design Ornaments for Presidents Park

11/12/15 04:11 PM
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced that the Toe River Arts Council has been chosen to create North Carolina’s ornaments for the 2015 America Celebrates: Ornaments from Across the USA display at President’s Park (White (more)

2015 Summer Food Program a Success

11/12/15 02:26 PM
The 2015 Summer Food Program was once again a tremendous success.  Spearheaded by Graham Children’s Health Services, this collaborative effort provided 100 families with 500 boxes of food delivered directly to family doorsteps.  Recipient families all have children who benefit from the free/reduced lunch program at school or Head Start during the school (more)

601 DWI Arrests From Halloween Boo-ze It & Lose It

11/12/15 11:18 AM
The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “BOO-ze It & Lose It” campaign partnered with state and local law enforcement officers resulting in 601 DWI arrests across North Carolina during the Halloween weekend. Around 400 law enforcement agencies took part in the Halloween “BOO-ze It & Lose It” campaign, held Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Those officers issued 16,456 traffic and criminal citations at 1,553 checking stations and saturation patrols throughout the state. In our area the county with the most DWI arrests was McDowell with 6, followed by Madison with 5. Avery had 2 arrests while both Mitchell and Yancey had none. To go along with the increased enforcement efforts, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Governor’s Highway Safety Program used a media during the campaign to remind drivers “Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That.”  This campaign reminded North Carolina drivers that there are a variety of options readily available to safely return home after drinking, including designating a driver, calling a friend, using a taxi or ride service and taking public transportation.  

Search Continues for McDowell Woman

11/12/15 05:22 AM
Investigators are continuing to search for the remains of a missing McDowell County woman. Deputies and state investigators spent hours in the Lenoir Landfill on Tuesday with search dogs looking for Sarah Denise Riddle, but found nothing. Police think Riddle's body was placed in a dumpster then hauled there. Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street said that the landfill was so massive with four different counties dumping trash, that it was probably worse than searching for a needle in a haystack. Bone fragments of a second alleged murder victim, thought to be Lisa Robbins, were found by the side of a road. Cecil Byrd has been charged in both women's deaths.

Veterans Day in Burnsville

11/11/15 04:45 PM
Chapter 57 of the Disabled American Veterans held a Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans monument on the courthouse lawn on Tuesday. Photos by Hope Robinson.

Veterans Events

11/10/15 04:31 PM
The Disabled American Veterans will hold a special service Wednesday, November 11th at 11 am in front of the Yancey County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend. In Mitchell County the Spruce Pine Moose Lodge will host a Veteran's Remembrance Day Saturday November 14th from 3:45 pm-7:30 pm.  This event will include the National Anthem and other Patriotic songs song by the Mitchell High Chorus, a Flag Retirement Ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 501, and a Wall Of Honor.   

Yancey Commissioners November Meeting

11/10/15 03:39 PM
At their regular monthly meeting for November the Yancey County Commissioners took actions on a few items from a brief agenda. The commissioners heard from Tax Administrator Danny McIntosh who informed them that the standards, rules, and schedule of values for the 2016 reappraisal had been completed and a public hearing on these has taken place.  Mr. McIntosh explained that the (more)

Final Vote Count in Both Counties

11/10/15 02:57 PM
It’s official! After canvassing on Tuesday the Mitchell Board of Elections has announced that Darla Phillips is the new mayor of the town of Spruce Pine. This is the first time since the town was founded in 1907 that a woman has been elected mayor. After all provisional ballots were confirmed, Phillips received 260 votes, Larry McKinney received 259. There was also a slight change in the vote count in Yancey County on Tuesday after all the provisional ballots were counted. The final outcome as to who serves on the Town Board remains the same but who received the most votes as changed. Shannon Peterson has become the  top vote getter with 219 followed by Judy Buchanan at 216 then Bill Wheeler at 149 and Bill Whiteside at 119.

Madison Mudslide

11/10/15 02:54 PM
Heavy rains yesterday caused a mudslide that shut down part of NC-63 about a mile from the top of Doggett Mountain in Madison County. The road was closed for most of the day yesterday forcing travelers to make major detours. The slide also took down some power lines. Workers expect one lane of the road to be open today but repairs on that second lane are going to be extensive and require more time. 

Attempted Robbery in Marion

11/09/15 04:50 PM
An armed suspect entered Marion’s Wal-Mart around 10 am Monday, pulled out a gun and demanded money from a clerk at the customer service desk, according to Lt. Scott Spratt, of the Marion Police Department. The clerk was unable to open the register and the suspect punched her, knocking her down. He then fled the area and tried the same robbery attempt in Morganton and Hickory. Police are looking for a black male wearing a dark hoodie and dark jeans. He was wearing a blue surgical mask during the robbery and got into a white or silver SUV. He did not get away with any money. If you have any information about the suspect, call the Marion Police Department at 652-5205.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 11/01 - 11/08/15 (Details)

11/09/15 10:51 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/29 - 11/06/15 (Details)

11/06/15 04:29 PM

Byrd Charged with Two Murders

11/06/15 08:12 AM
42 year old Cecil Byrd had his first appearance in Mitchell County court yesterday morning. He's charged with shooting and killing Lisa Robbins, of Mitchell County and Sarah Riddle, of McDowell County. (more)

Recount Held, Results Not Official

11/05/15 04:38 PM
The Mitchell County Board of Elections held the recount of the Spruce Pine mayor votes on Thursday. The machine count on Tuesday was 258 to 258. However two of the votes were marked so light that the machine did not pick them up. After the board studied and confirmed the intent of the voter of the lightly marked ballots the hand count came up Darla Harding 260, Larry Mckinney 258. No results are official however until Tuesday, November 10th, when the Board will meet again to review four provisional ballots and at that time finalize the vote. 

Man Charged with Murder

11/05/15 05:59 AM
Last night, the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office charged Cecil Scott Byrd with murdering Lisa Robbins. Byrd was named as a person-of-interest in connection with two missing women. Wednesday afternoon, McDowell County Deputies arrested Byrd on a charge related to the other missing woman, Sarah Riddle. Deputies say Byrd was using her EBT card. (more)

Police Search for Missing Women

11/04/15 03:01 PM
Authorities have named a person of interest in their search for two missing women in two different counties. Police are searching for Cecil Scott Byrd. Byrd is believed to be driving a black Chevrolet Silverado truck, TAG: DBY-4234. Sarah Denise Riddle was reported missing on Sunday from McDowell County. She is described as a white female who stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 135 (more)

Worker Killed in Madison County

11/04/15 02:44 PM
In a tragic accident Tuesday a 53 year old man was killed when a concrete wall fell on him in Madison County. Superior Walls was delivering concrete walls to a construction site when one of the walls fell while being transferred from one truck to another. The accident occurred in the Spring Creek community at the intersection of Highways 209 and 63. According to Madison County Sheriff’s Sgt Bobby Gosnell, the crane was removing one wall and had actually picked one up off the trailer and had swung around and loaded it onto the other truck. During the course of doing so one of the walls that was unsecured on the other side, fell off, killing the worker.  The worker's name is not being released until his family has been notified. OSHA is investigating the accident. The sheriff’s office says no criminal charges are being filed.

Recount Set for Spruce Pine Mayor Race

11/04/15 10:29 AM
The Chairman of the Spruce Pine Board of Elections has announced that there will be a recount in yesterday’s Spruce Pine Mayor’s race where Darla Harding and Larry McKinney each received 258 votes. The recount will be held tomorrow at 1 pm at the Mitchell Board of Elections office located in the historic courthouse at 11 North Mitchell Avenue in Bakersville. 

Election Results

11/04/15 07:04 AM
Town elections were held yesterday. In the race for Mayor of Spruce Pine it was a tie with Darla Harding and Larry McKinney both receiving 258 votes. On the two seats for Town Council, James Acuff received the most votes with 318. Incumbent Rocky Buchanan was second with 287 votes and incumbent John Boone had 253. There was no opposition for the two council seats in Bakersville. Charles Nash received 15 votes and George Wilson had 8 votes. In Burnsville there were four running for the 2 seats on the town council. Judy Buchanan had 215 votes, Shannon Peterson 214, Bill Wheeler received 148 and Bill Whiteside had 118. 

Bakersville Man Sought in Missing Person Case

11/03/15 02:14 PM
McDowell County Deputies are looking for a Bakersville man who may have information about a missing McDowell woman. Authorities are looking for Cecil Scott Byrd, age 41, of Bad Creek Road, Bakersville. Byrd is driving a black Chevrolet Silverado truck with a tag number of DBY-4234. Sarah Denise Riddle, age 45 has been missing for over two weeks. She is described as a white female who stands 5 (more)

Greenlee Primary Receives Two Grants

11/03/15 01:03 PM
Greenlee Primary School has received both the Learning Links grant for $800.00 from the Community Foundation of Western NC and the Bright Ideas grant from to the NC Electric Cooperatives for $1400.00. Both of these grants will help to support the school improvement goal of integrating different curricula goals within quarterly thematic units of study that flow throughout the school.  Additionally, the inclusion of community and family partners is strongly integrated within this collaboration, addressing another school-wide goal of stronger partnership and communication with the public. 

Election Day

11/03/15 07:09 AM
Town elections are under way today around the state. Voting polls opened at 6:30am and will close at 7:30pm. In Spruce Pine the candidates include for Spruce Pine Mayor, Darla Harding and Larry McKinney.  For the two available town council seats, James Acuff, as well as John Boone and Rocky Buchanan who are both incumbents. In Bakersville Charles Nash and George Wilson are the only two running for the two seats on Town Council. In Burnsville there are 4 running for the 2 seats on the town council. Those include Judy Buchanan, Shannon Peterson, Bill Wheeler and Bill Whiteside. For sample Ballots and election returns click on the “Election” link on our home page.

Avery Woman Killed in Car Crash

11/02/15 03:23 PM
Jessica Puckett, age 40, of Newland died in a single vehicle crash early Sunday morning, November 1st.    The accident occurred on Spanish Oak Road just over two miles south of Newland at about 2:45am.   Christopher Bertolini was driving a 2006 Toyota truck when he ran off the road and the vehicle overturned, throwing Puckett out of the sunroof and the vehicle rolled over onto her. According to Trooper Boone of the NC Highway Patrol, Jessica Puckett, was in the rear seat but unbuckled to reach the radio in the front of the truck startling the driver who ran off of the road.    Chris Bertolini and his wife, Ashlyn, were not seriously hurt in the crash. Bertolini was charged with DWI.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/25 - 11/01/15 (Details)

11/02/15 09:15 AM

Burnsville Town Board Elections

11/02/15 06:58 AM
Municipal elections for the town of Burnsville will be held tomorrow. Candidates for this election include: Judy Buchanan, born and raised in Yancey County with residency in the town of Burnsville for 38 years, who has served on the Town Council for two terms. (more)

Mitchell Election Candidates

11/02/15 06:56 AM
Spruce Pine town elections will be held tomorrow and the candidates include for Spruce Pine Mayor, Darla Harding and Larry McKinney, both of whom are coming off of the Town Council Board to run for the position, as well as those running for the two available town council seats which include James Acuff, a new face to the local political scene, as well as John Boone and Rocky Buchanan who are both incumbents. In Bakersville Charles Nash and George Wilson are the only two running for the two seats on Town Council. 

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/22 - 10/29/15

10/30/15 09:18 AM

High Peaks Elects New Officers and Announces 2016 Hikes

10/29/15 10:02 AM
The N.C. High Peaks Trail Association Board of Directors recently elected new officers for the 2015-2016 hiking season. Dennis Smith agreed to serve as President, Bob Williams as Vice President, Susan Weller as Treasurer and Nancy Fitzgibbon, a newly elected Board Member, as Secretary.  Other Board Members include Jake Blood, Robert Branch and Mike Williams. (more)

Mitchell County Chamber Candidates Forum

10/28/15 01:38 PM
Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Candidates’ Forum for those individuals running for office in Spruce Pine at 6:00 pm Thursday, October 29th at the Spruce Pine Fire Department. This forum will be open to the public. Candidates in each race have been invited to participate as a way to give local citizens an opportunity to hear from them. Participating candidates will have questions presented to them by a panel of questioners. Questions will be provided by Chamber Members as well as the general public prior to the forum. The order of the forum will be Spruce Pine Town Council candidates followed by candidates for the office of Mayor. WTOE will record the forum and replay it at 1:00 pm on Friday.  

Morrow Sentenced for Murder

10/28/15 05:16 AM
On October 26, 2015, Robyn Ann Morrow, 42, plead guilty to one count of Second Degree Murder in the shooting death of Sgt. William Michael Morrow.  Sgt. Morrow was found unresponsive at his home on December 18th, 2013.  Sgt. Morrow was transported to Mission Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.  An investigation by the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation led to the arrest of Ms. Morrow. (more)

Grand Opening New Yancey Senior Center

10/26/15 12:54 PM
Friday evening, October 23rd was the grand opening of the new Yancey County Senior Center. State, County and Town officials were on hand along with a large outpouring of local citizens to see the beautiful new center. (more pics)

Operation Summer Ice Storm Nabs Drug Suspects

10/26/15 10:37 AM
On October 23, 2015,at 4:00a.m., Mitchell County Sheriffs Captain R.V. Wiseman began briefing Mitchell Deputies, Spruce Pine Police Officers, and Bakersville Police Chief J.D. Ramsey. Captain Wiseman began the briefing by reading a passage of Scripture and praying for the God to place His hedge of protection around the officers and their families. Captain Wiseman also asked God to (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/18 - 10/25/15 (Details)

10/26/15 10:29 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/16 - 10/23/15 (Details)

10/26/15 10:25 AM

Madison County Traffic Fatality

10/23/15 07:07 AM
One person was killed in a single-vehicle wreck in Madison County.  The crash occurred yesterday afternoon on NC-209 near Howard Moore Road. The road was shut down around 5:30 p.m.  No additional information on the wreck has been released at this time.

New Yancey Senior Center Grand Opening

10/23/15 07:06 AM
The Grand Opening of the new Yancey Senior Center is this evening from 4 until 7 pm. The Yancey County Committee on Aging's Board, Staff and Seniors, invite the public to attend the Grand Opening event. The new Yancey Senior Center is located at 503 Medical Campus Drive, across from Mountain Heritage High School.    Food, entertainment and a silent auction will be available as well as tours of the new facility and demonstrations of some of the classes.   

Hazing Incident Ends in Probation

10/21/15 03:45 PM
Two McDowell High JV football players accused of hazing another member of the JV team were sentenced in juvenile court on Tuesday, October 20th. In September, they were charged with misdemeanor hazing, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, and one of the boys was charged with obstruction of justice. Both defendants pleaded guilty. The defendants’ attorney asked for the hearing to be closed but was denied by because an investigation showed similar incidents had been going on for years. The victim was reportedly hit on the buttocks but there was no penetration and thus no sex crime charges could be filed. The teenagers were both given 12 months of supervised probation, ordered to have no contact with the victim, and to pay $250 in restitution which will go toward counseling for the victim. The defendant who was charged with obstruction of justice was given 110 community service hours; the other juvenile received 100 hours. A juvenile services worker in the courtroom said the teens would both be under a curfew and be drug tested.  The victim said he was not happy with the outcome that he doesn’t think any of the hazing rituals will stop as a result of the hearing.  

Search for Missing McDowell County Woman

10/21/15 03:20 PM
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a Marion woman who hasn’t been seen since Friday, October 16th. Marie Isabell Saylor Clawson age 41, of Holly Street, Marion, was reported missing by her brother on Sunday, October 18th. Her brother said he last saw her at 2:30 a.m. Friday. Marie Clawson is described as a white female who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs approximately 140 pounds. She has long, straight brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information concerning Clawson’s whereabouts is asked to call Lt. Andy Manis at the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 652-2235 or the McDowell County 911 communications center at 652-4000.

Keep Alert for Deer

10/21/15 05:09 AM
RALEIGH — As the temperature starts dropping and leaves start falling, another sign of the changing season is more deer along North Carolina roadways, and in turn a greater chance of a collision with a deer. (more)

TRAC Completes Branding Surveys

10/20/15 04:22 PM
The Toe River Arts Council recently completed two important surveys which comprise a key element of its current area rebranding project. The project, funded by a series of grants including one from the National Endowment for the Arts, will allow TRAC to undertake a several year (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/11 - 10/18/15

10/19/15 09:38 AM

CSX Cuts 300 Jobs, Reduces Operations

10/16/15 03:49 PM
Without any warning the CSX Corporation announced Thursday morning, October 15th that after 135 years they will cease train operations in Erwin, TN.  The final coal train rolled out of Erwin at 3 pm the same day.   About 300 employees are affected by the closures, although some will be offered relocations. Employees will receive at least 60 days of pay and benefits. The combination of low natural gas prices and regulatory action has significantly decreased CSX's coal movements over the past four years, with more than $1 billion in coal revenue declines during that time. The closing will have a regional impact on both our local people who worked at CSX in Erwin and the reduction of   trains coming through Mitchell and McDowell counties which serve the shipping needs of local industries.  

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/9 - 10/16/15 (Details)

10/16/15 03:19 PM

Operation Stop Arm

10/15/15 02:43 PM
State Highway Patrol will aggressively be enforcing stop arm violations as well as other traffic violations around school zones in support of Operation Stop Arm week. This operation will be held from 6:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19th through Friday, October 23rd. Highway Patrol anticipates that Operation Stop Arm will decrease violations and reduce school bus incidents involving children.    

Arrest Made in Deadly Shooting Incident

10/14/15 01:31 PM
Marion Police have arrested Myron Oral Martens, age 30 around 1 am Wednesday for the shooting death of 33 year old Coty Barker. Barker was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound at the Kwik Mart on East Court Street I Marion on Tuesday, October 13th. According to Marion Police Chief Allen Lawrence the two men had arranged a meeting through an internet site, they met, got inside the vehicle and then left and were gone for an hour or so and then when they returned back, that's when the incident happened. Several McDowell County schools were put on lockdown for several hours as a precautionary measure while police searched for Martens. Martens was located at a nearby men’s homeless shelter where he was a resident. He has confessed to the murder however authorities are still searching for the handgun and ask for anyone with information to call them. He remains in jail without bond. Police say he has an outstanding warrant out of Gaston County and has misdemeanor charges on his record, but nothing this serious.

Deadly Shooting in Marion (Update)

10/14/15 07:00 AM
A deadly shooting at the Kwik Mart on East Court Street in Marion yesterday morning led to four schools in McDowell County being on lockdown for about 5 hours. The schools on lockdown were Marion Elementary, Eastfield, East McDowell Middle and new MANNA Christian School.  Emergency officials say the shooting happened at 9:20 a.m. (more)

Yancey Commissioners October Meeting

10/13/15 03:42 PM
At their regular monthly meeting for October the Yancey County Commissioners received important information from a number of county and regional officials.  The commissioners heard from Toe River Health Director Lynda Kinnane regarding cancer in Yancey County.  This report came at the request of County Commissioner Randy Ollis.  Mrs. Kinnane reported that cancer was the number one (more)

Statewide Online Driver License Renewals Announced

10/13/15 03:11 PM
Governor Pat McCrory has announced that online driver license renewal will now be available across the state by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. This improvement comes as part of the governor’s “Driving Change” initiative; focused on improving customer service at the DMV through technology and increased efficiencies. The online process will be available for drivers every (more)

Deadly Shooting in Marion

10/13/15 01:28 PM
A deadly shooting at the Kwik Mart on East Court Street in Marion this morning led to four schools in McDowell County being on lockdown for about 5 hours. The schools on lockdown were Marion Elementary, Eastfield, East McDowell Middle and new MANNA Christian School. Police were called about a man suffering a gunshot wound around 9 am. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  According to police when they looked at surveillance video there had been someone else in the vehicle with the victim. They say that person took off running. Police are still searching for a man, who was wearing dark shoes or boots, blue jeans and a dark colored top, possibly dark green. The suspect is a male but video surveillance did not pick up much from the incident and whether the man is white or black could not be determined. Investigators and police have set up a command post at Clinchfield Baptist Church on East Court Street. Burke County and McDowell County K-9 deputies are currently searching the area, along with other law enforcement, including the SBI. If you have any information on the shooting or the suspect, contact Communications at 652-4000, or McDowell County Crimestoppers at 65-CRIME. With Crimestoppers, your identity remains anonymous and you could receive a cash reward. Residents in the East Marion area are urged to take caution and report any suspicious activity.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 10/4 - 10/11/15 (Details)

10/12/15 11:14 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 10/2 - 10/9/15 (Details)

10/09/15 01:38 PM

Yancey Schools Recognized with Top Ten in State Award

10/09/15 10:31 AM
On October 6th, State Superintendent June Atkinson presented Yancey County Schools with a Top Ten in the State Award for the high school graduation rate at a banquet in Raleigh.  The 2015 graduation rate of 92.4% is a slight increase over last year’s rate of 92.1% which shows  (more)

Ledger Woman Arrested for Selling Drugs Near a High School

10/09/15 10:10 AM
Mitchell County Detectives have arrested Marsha Diane Vance, age 44, of 251 Ledger School Road, Bakersville, on numerous felony drug charges. Captain R.V. Wiseman said a month long investigation ended Wednesday, October 7th with the arrest of Vance. Captain Wiseman advised after receiving complaints that Vance, whose residence is next to Mitchell High School, was selling prescription (more)

Questions About Avery County Veterans Monument

10/08/15 02:48 PM
Questions are being asked about the Veterans’ Memorial monument in Newland. Hitchcock Memorials of Elizabethton, TN says they were misled into believing that their firm would get the contract for the granite monument. Hitchcock Memorials says they have expended time and resources with assurances from Commissioner Robert Griffith that Hitchcock would be selected to erect the monument. The promise was reportedly made before the project was set to go through the bidding process which is required by law. And when those bids came in, the board unanimously voted on September 17th to award the contract for construction of the monument to Gaulden Memorials and Austin and Barnes Funeral Home of Boone at a price of $163,981.  The Austin and Barnes Funeral Home was not the lowest bid.   Henline-Hughes Funeral Home placed a bid of $159,000 and Hitchcock/Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home placed a bid for $197,013. The contract went to Gaulden/Austin-Barnes after discussions over warranty. Avery County Manager Tim Greene said he was unaware of any problem until he received an email a week after the bid was awarded. 

Mitchell Commissioners Look at Ambulance Shortage

10/07/15 02:41 PM
At their regular monthly meeting, the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners listened to reports about the need for an additional ambulance. Mitchell County runs two ambulance vehicles contracted through Mission Health, but EMS officials are seeing an increase in both vehicles being tied up on calls when another request comes in. One of the main problems, since the hospital is located in Mitchell (more)

Yancey Board of Ed Extends Superintendent Contract

10/06/15 12:34 PM
At its regular monthly meeting on October 5th, the Yancey County Board of Education recognized October as National Principals Appreciation Month.  In unfinished business, the Board authorized Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton to obtain quotes and have a new roof installed on the Bald Creek Elementary Pre-School Building.  “The rain last week has shown us that a roof is the top (more)

Oct 15 Tax Deadline

10/06/15 07:03 AM
IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2015-17
If you are one of the 13 million taxpayers who asked for more time to file your federal tax return and still haven’t filed, your extra time is about to expire. Oct. 15 is the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension. (more)

Yancey Sheriffs Office Arrests Minnesota Fugitive

10/05/15 03:49 PM
On Sept 30th the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office received information from Minneapolis Police Department that a fugitive by the name of Derelle Keith Todd was wanted for Aggravated Robbery in Minnesota. Minneapolis Police told the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office they had reason to believe that Todd was somewhere in Yancey County. Sheriff’s Office Detectives began working on the (more)

Hise, Dobson Honored by NC Nurse Assoc.

10/05/15 10:05 AM
Senator Ralph Hise was named legislator of the year by the North Carolina Nurses Association on Wednesday, September 30. Representative Josh Dobson (Avery, Mitchell & McDowell counties) was the named legislator of the year from the House.

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/20 - 10/4/15 (Details)

10/05/15 09:54 AM

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/25 - 10/2/15 (Details)

10/05/15 09:17 AM

North Carolina Sends Flood Relief Help to South Carolina

10/05/15 07:07 AM
Western North Carolina dodged a lot of weather problems this past weekend as the storm stalled out over South Carolina. Most areas had several inches of rain, more than normal, but nothing compared to the double digit numbers recorded in South Carolina. (more)

Mitchell County Arrest Incident

10/04/15 03:53 PM
On 9/30/2015 at approximately 12:45 p.m. Lt. Josh Biddix attempted to stop a Blue Ford Focus on Penland Road after receiving information from a citizen that the vehicle was being operated in a reckless and careless manner.  (more)

Emergency Training Held at Mtn Heritage High School

10/02/15 02:11 PM
After months of planning and extensive coordination by administration of Mountain Heritage High School, members of local law enforcement and emergency response teams, the emergency training held at MHHS on Monday, September 28th was an incredible experience for all (more)

Yancey Election Office and Cooperative Extension Move

10/02/15 09:26 AM
The offices for Yancey County Election Services and the Yancey County Cooperative Extension Service have moved to the new Yancey County Service Center facility located at 30 US Highway 19-E Bypass in Burnsville.  This location is the former U.S. Forest Service facility next to the Rio Mexican Cuisine Restaurant. (more)

Red Cross Urges Preparedness

10/02/15 05:27 AM
Periods of very heavy rainfall are expected to produce flash flooding, and the Western North Carolina Region of the American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to prepare in advance of the storm. (more)

Unemployment Rates Released

10/01/15 01:39 PM
Unemployment rates decreased in 86 of North Carolina’s counties, increased in 4, and remained unchanged in 10 according to employment figures for August, recently released by the state. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.4 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.6 percent. Within the North Carolina metro areas, Rocky Mount experienced the highest rate at 8.8 percent and Asheville had the lowest at 4.8 percent. The August, not seasonally adjusted, statewide rate was 6.1 percent. Avery and McDowell were tied for the lowest rate in our area at 5.7 percent while Mitchell had the highest rate for our area at 6.8 percent. Madison had an unemployment rate in the middle of the spectrum at 5.9 percent and Yancey was on the higher end at 6.2 percent.

Yancey Citizen/Alumni Awards Given at MCC Founders Event

09/30/15 12:11 PM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in September. (more)

Mitchell Citizen/Alumni Awards Given at MCC Founders Event

09/30/15 12:08 PM
Mayland Community College Board of Trustees celebrated community members and alumni who have went above and beyond in their work. Board members honored individuals during the College’s Founders’ Day event in September. (more)

Flooding in Yancey County (more photos)

09/29/15 03:06 PM
Photos by Hope Robinson

Parkway Playhouse Announces 2016 Season, Recognizes Board Members and Volunteers

09/29/15 01:34 PM
Parkway Playhouse Artistic Director, Andrew Gall, announced Parkway Playhouse’s 2016 season at the conclusion of its 2015 Season Celebration on Sunday September 27.  At this special event,  volunteers, artists, and students were recognized for their accomplishments on and off the stage, as well as service to the theatre company; which will observe its 70th Anniversary in (more)

Help Paying for Your Prescriptions

09/28/15 09:42 AM
RALEIGH— Do you ever have difficulty paying for your prescription drugs? Do you have limited income and assets? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions and you are a person with Medicare, Extra Help may be available for you. (Details)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/18 - 9/25/15 (Details)

09/28/15 09:32 AM

Mountain Heritage Emergency Event

09/25/15 07:11 AM
Don’t panic if you see or hear about any police and EMS activity at Mountain Heritage High School on Monday, September 28th from 1:00pm to around 3:30pm. The high school is going to be working with local police, EMS, and other organizations to run an emergency drill to train school faculty and staff on what to do if a shooter were to appear on school campus. All Yancey County schools will be dismissing early on Monday at 11:30am, 11:45am, and noon to allow all students to get home safely before the drill begins. Faculty from other Yancey county schools will also be involved in this drill by playing the part of students in the classrooms. The Mountain Heritage campus will reopen around 4:00pm after the drill is over. 

Burnsville Business Park

09/22/15 07:33 AM
The Yancey County Economic Development Commission held a press conference last week to announce the development of a Burnsville Business Park at the former Burnsville Hosiery Mill property. (more)

NCDOT Warns Against Railroad Photography

09/21/15 04:45 PM
Raleigh – The N.C. Department of Transportation Rail Division’s BeRailSafe program urges individuals and professional photographers to stop taking photographs on railroad tracks, property and equipment. There are both safety and legal reasons for this message: (Details)

Mars Hill University Kicks Off $31 Million Fundraising Campaign

09/21/15 10:31 AM
Mars Hill University announced a $31 million capital fundraising campaign Friday evening, September 18, with an event at Lioncrest at Biltmore Estate. The "Building Our University" campaign is designed to enhance the student experience at Mars Hill and targets new and renovated facilities, program development, student scholarships, and faculty development. (more)

Yancey Board of Education Recognizes High Performance

09/18/15 03:11 PM
The Yancey County Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 14, and recognized Bald Creek, Micaville and South Toe Elementary Schools for earning the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s distinction of High Performance (more)

Yancey Sheriff Report 9/11 - 9/18/15 (Details)

09/18/15 02:21 PM

Boyer Convicted in Two DWI Wrecks

09/18/15 08:31 AM
Christie Boyer of Yancey County, was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle and two counts of felony inflicting serious injury with a motor vehicle on Wednesday, September 16th. Charges of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving to endanger, driving left of center and driving while intoxicated were dropped. The charges stem from two 2013 car accidents that authorities say Boyer caused. In February 2013 troopers say Boyer was driving a Yancey County Transportation Authority van when she slammed into a guardrail, causing the van to tip over and skid down a hill. Three young children were rescued from the vehicle, but 48-year-old Billy Grindstaff, who was mentally handicapped, was trapped inside the van and died from severe burns. In the hours following the accident Boyer tested positive for prescription drugs and methamphetamine. Five months later, out on bond, Boyer hit a car in Mitchell County while under the influence of prescription drugs. The accident sent one driver to the hospital with serious injuries. The convictions carry a minimum sentence of 80 months behind bars.

Burnsville Business Park Announcement

09/18/15 07:24 AM
A non-profit development company named Winter Star Corporation has been going through the planning process for over a year on a new project to purchase the former Burnsville Hosiery Mill property for development of the Burnsville Business Park.  This will be an incubator facility that will have space available for new and startup small business/manufacturing. Wanda  Proffitt, Director of the Yancey County Economic Development Commission has announced a press conference  for 2:00 pm Today at the building located at 54 Ferguson Hill Road in Burnsville. 

Marion Man Caught After Five Years

09/17/15 04:34 PM
U. S. Marshalls have tracked down a Marion man that has been eluded authorities for five years. Mark Allen Rawson, 53, of 115 6th EM Street, Marion was found in Marion where he has been living and working under a false name for the past year. Rawson was wanted in Texas and Colorado for absconding probation and failing to register as a sex offender. U.S. Marshals, along with local law enforcement took Rawson into custody around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, September 14th. Rawson was apparently using his deceased brother’s identity, Robert Charles Rawson, who had died in 1974 at the age of 11 in a Texas house fire. On July 9, Rawson was stopped by Trooper Daniel Alexander for a seatbelt violation and was presented with a Texas driver’s license from Rawson. Alexander was able to get an updated address, which alerted marshals to his whereabouts. Authorities said additional charges are pending against Rawson and others at the residence. Rawson was transported to the McDowell County Jail under no bond pending extradition hearings in Asheville’s federal court.

Groundbreaking of Dark Sky Observatory

09/16/15 11:35 AM
Groundbreaking for the Bare Dark-Sky Observatory will be held tomorrow beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Energy Xchange. The Energy Xchange is located off Hwy 80 North on Landfill Road. The public is invited to join Mayland Community College for this long awaited event. The location was designated as the first International Dark Sky Park in the Southeastern United States in February of 2014. The six acre land is owned by Yancey County and managed by Mayland Community College.  It is also the first park to be operated by an institute of higher learning and to have outdoor lighting consisting entirely of fully-shielded, low temperature LED fixtures. The observatory will be built at atop a peak on the property with an elevation of 2736 feet that will offer a 360 degree view. A roll-off roof observatory will feature a 34” telescope and classroom/meeting space. It will be the largest telescope in the Southeast in dark skies dedicated for public use for educational and public outreach activities. The observatory will be operated by volunteers from the local   Blue Ridge Astronomy Group which has been instrumental in the project.

Yancey Commissioners Receive Good News

09/16/15 09:27 AM
At their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 14th,  the Yancey County Commissioners received good news on a number of fronts.  The first bit of good news was from Tres Magner, Cooperative Extension Director and Linda Semon, 4-H Coordinator (more)

Mitchell Sheriff Activity Report 9/06 - 9/13/15

09/14/15 10:23 AM