The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the January 9th 2017, arrest of 81-year-old John Frederick Kaufman of Murphy, North Carolina for sexual assaults involving a child.
During the latter part of November 2016, a report was made that Kaufman was suspect in a child sexual assault. Pursuant to that allegation, an investigation was conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office which culminated in the January 2017 arrest of Kaufman.
Kaufman is currently in custody at the Cherokee County Detention Center under a $100,000 secure bond. Kaufman is scheduled to appear in Cherokee County District Court on January 25, 2017.
Because of the age of the victims and the sensitive nature of the incident, no further information is expected to be released from this office.
Sheriff Palmer encourages anyone that has information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County, you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
Murphy, NC — On January 9th, 2017, shortly before 2 am, Cherokee County deputies were dispatched to a Marble, North Carolina residence in reference to an unknown medical problem. Cherokee County Emergency Communications advised that the caller stated “to send an ambulance fast and hung the phone up.”
Upon arriving, deputies and EMS personnel found 28-year-old Louis Raines, a Bryson City, North Carolina resident, suffering from head trauma. Raines was flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga where he later died.
Sheriff Palmer stated, “since we are in the early stages of the investigation, we are not going to speculate as to what may or may not have happened. We are actively pursuing all leads and appreciate any information anyone may have and ask them to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 828-837-2589.”
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office:
Murphy, NC— During the January 2nd, 2017 session of Cherokee County Superior Court, the Honorable Judge William H. Coward sentenced Larry Wayne Reid to over 250 months as part of a plea negotiation by Reid for his participation in the January 30th, 2013 robbery of Parkers Drugs Store located in the Peachtree Community of Cherokee County.
On January 30, 2013 at or about 1:33 pm, the Cherokee County 9-1-1 Communications Center received a call advising that a armed robbery had just occurred at Parkers Drug Store at 4278 Hwy 64 East in Peachtree. After the suspect robbed the store of money and narcotics, he exited the premises through the back door with an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency and a large amount of narcotics particularly Oxycontin.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into the incident which identified Larry Wayne Reid, a registered sex offender, along with Elizabeth Donaldson and Samantha Redford as suspects in the case. Further as the investigation continued, Reid was found in possession of a trafficking level of Oxycontin, an opiate. Additionally, during the investigation Reid led Georgia law enforcement authorities on a high speed chase.
During the sentencing Judge Coward sentenced Reid as follows:
Count 1 – Trafficking in Opiates: 90–120 months and a $100,000.00 fine
Count 2 – Robbery with a dangerous weapon: 78–106 months to run at the expiration of Count 1
Count 3 – Possession of a Firearm by convicted felon: 15–27 months to run at the expiration of Count 2
Reid was currently serving a sentence for a violation of the Sex Offender Registry. The sentences will begin at the expiration of current sentence. The remainder of the Cherokee County charges were dismissed as a result of the plea arrangement. Redford and Donaldson had previously been sentenced at earlier dates.
Sheriff Palmer stated, “Excellent work by all concerned which includes our Deputies, Investigators and our ADA John Hindsman. Because of their hard work, Mr. Reid will have a significant amount of time to reflect on the dangerous aspects of his crime spree. We can only make a guess as to what Reid’s motives were.”
Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County, you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at email@example.com or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.
Tri-County Community College will hold 2017 spring registration for current and prospective students from Jan. 4 to 6, Wednesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.
“Whether a student is planning on transferring to a university, pursuing a new career, or just furthering their education, Tri-County will be able to help them achieve their goals in the New Year,” said Lee Beal, director of enrollment management at Tri-County Community College.
The 2017 spring semester will offer students a wide variety of curriculum and continuing education classes ranging from cosmetology to engineering.
“Spring provides the perfect opportunity to prepare for upcoming semesters,” Beal said. “Our admissions department at the main campus in Peachtree or at the Graham County Center in Robbinsville will be available to answer any questions regarding enrolling at the College for the spring semester.”
According to Beal, students may register for classes in person at the Harper Help Desk on the main campus in Peachtree or at the Shope Building in Robbinsville, and currently enrolled students can register online using WebAdvisor.
“We offer day, evening, online, and hybrid courses to make it easy for students to schedule classes around work and other responsibilities,” Beal said.
Classes for the spring semester are scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 9.
For more information regarding the 2017 spring semester at Tri-County Community College, please call (828) 837-6810 or log onto www.tricountycc.edu.
The following press release has been issued by Clay County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Clay County Sheriff Vice Davis said on Thursday December 22, 2016, Clay County deputies stopped a vehicle pursuant to a Be On Look Out (BOLO) issued by Cherokee County. The BOLO had been issued for a Silver Honda Civic with a black faded hood. The vehicle was located and stopped on Truett Camp Road.
The driver, Jeremy Peabody, 36, and the passenger, Constance Richardson, 26, both of Andrews, were detained at the scene pending further information from Cherokee County. A Cherokee County investigator arrived and deployed a K-9 which alerted to the presence of narcotics.
Sheriff Davis said a search of the vehicle was conducted and methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were located in the vehicle. Both were arrested and taken to the Clay County Detention Center. At the detention center, more methamphetamine was located on Richardson.
Peabody was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving on a Revoked License. He is still in the Detention Center under a $7500 secure bond.
Richardson was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Felony Possession of Contraband in the Jail, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana. She is out of jail after making a $7500 bond. Both have a court date of January 3, 2017.
Sheriff Davis said he was glad this stop resulted in getting more drugs off the street to make our communities safer. He is also grateful to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for the use of their K-9 while Clay County’s was unavailable at the time.
Tri-County Community College (TCCC) would like to congratulate the following students on being selected for academic honors for the 2016 Fall Semester. Students are selected for academic honors at the end of each semester in which they have earned 12 or more non-developmental credit hours in a degree, diploma, or certificate program; have earned a current and cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50; and have no grades of F, I, NM, U or WF for that semester.
Andrews, NC: Timothy P. Duggan, Jarrod El-Khouri, Dayna B. Haithcock, Ashley N. Kimble, Erin K. Madden, Emily C. Malin, Morgan M. Mashburn, Karen E. Morin, Cheyenne N. Patterson, Michael C. Scroggs, Shelley J. Silvers, Logan H. Stanley, Nathaniel R. Weaver, Hannah K. West, and Margaret S. White.
Blairsville, GA: Ethan B. Shaffer.
Brasstown, NC: Diana R. Anderson, Billie F. Cook, Jennifer L. Cowan, Cade Marsh, Madison L. Taylor, and April L. Wilson
Copperhill, TN: Angel B. Chastain and Michelle Chastain.
Culberson, NC: Sheri K. Bennett.
Farner, TN: Kayla M. Allen.
Fontana Dam, NC: Christopher S. Locke.
Hayesville, NC: Jacob C. Anderson, Alana J. Becerra, Keith P. Challis, Alyssa D. Cody, River C. Collins, Kolby S. Engelskind, Cheyenne F. Fedder, Justin C. Flanagan, Corinne W. Hanna, Seth L. Hatherly, Callie T. Jamison, Lois P. Johns, Ben A. Kelly, Amanda K. Ledford, Michael T. Lomauro, Tori L. Mills, Bryan J. Murrell, Melissa A. Myers, Hillary D. Owens, Theresa A. Parker, Emory E. Patton, Nathaniel D. Penland, Kelsey G. Phillips, Deborah K. Shira, Lauren A. Shively, Colton W. Thomas, Beth E. Thomason, Emily M. Vandewerker, and Madeline C. Harrison.
Marble, NC: Skyler N. Bolyard, Virginia R. Brown, Erica A. Godfrey, Michael A. Halovsky, Jr., Gregory K. Maxey, Julia E. Mays, Vicki M. Ray, Tory L. Shivers, Jr., and Darrell J. Watkins.
Mineral Bluff, GA: Ivy M. Collins.
Murphy, NC: Michelle P. Clouser, Dillon C. Acevedo, Kamryn B. Adams, Naeem Ahmed, April L. Allen, Mark L. Allen, Krystal E. Baker, Samantha L. Barnes, Emily A. Beaster, Zane P. Beaster, Alexandria C. Bickel, Robin L. Bickel, Lillian G. Blomeley, Melissa L. Bohler-Munz, Catherine B. Breazeale, Jonathan A. Brege, Kameron M. Brown, Derek B. Burrell, Andrew J. Carroll, Sarah E. Carroll, Sarah B. Carter, Kacey M. Chandler, Angela D. Chapman, Mollie R. Cornwell, Samantha N. Dalrymple, Zachary W. Davis, Evan T. Deweese, Misty D. Dittman, Krystle L. Donald,William R. Donald, Ronney D. Freeman, Casey A. Gibbs, William L. Grove, Zachery M. Hales, Taylor L. Hamby, Joseph E. Helton, Colby K. Hensley, Raymond T. Hollenbeck, Molly J. Howard, David R. Hughes, Paul J. Jenkins, Trista L. Jones, Olivia J. Jordan, Matthew W. Kilpatrick, Pamela L. Kitchens, Connor B. Lance, Kayla S. Ledford, Kennedy Lee, Andrea Lentz, Allison S. Lequire, Jacob L. Lescalleet, James J. Lew, Kimberly J. Limon, Barbara W. Lovett, Shelby L. Lovingood, Keaton B. Marasco, Erin M. Martin, Veronica A. McMahon, Richard S. Mitchell, Ethan A. Moore, Joseph O. Morin, Kyle P. Newland, Erin N. Nicholson, Luther E. Nifong, Ruby M. O'Brien, Paul M. Oakowsky, Susanna B. Oberg, Gabrielle A. Payne, Stephanie L. Raper, John W. Rateliff, Emily B. Reid, Shannon L. Rhyne, Rachael I. Robinson, Billie I. Rudgers, Megan E. Shields, Jennifer D. Slucher, Jason L. Stalcup, Rebekah L. Stiles, Megan M. Swafford, April K. Twiggs, Kevin J. Ventura, Tamara K. Walker, Daniel N. Watkins, and James M. Wiley.
Robbinsville, NC: Cain A. Ammons, Carleigh R. Anderson, Carden A. Collins, Logan T. Crawford, Lydia L. Crowe, Amy E. Dockery, Shanda A. Dooley, Savanna R. Gladden, Shelby R. Hancock, Blaine C. Holland, Gloria F. Hyde, Holly S. Jackson, Jasmine F. Jiang, Tracey G. Jones, Terran O. Jordan, Brianna R. Jumper, Tyler P. Long, Jorge U. Martinez Leon, Cheri C. Massey, Kandace P. Matheson, Emily C. Nelms, Karli S. Odom, Tiffany D. Phillips, Ashley N. Riddle, Tyler Rivera, William S. Rogers, Lisa M. Saunders, Erica N. Stewart, Kammi D. Tacket, and Kinsley H. Werner.
Topton, NC: Taylor L. McCormick and Robert A. Wojdylo.
Warne, NC: Aaron L. Edrington, Amber N. Gilreath, Joseph R. Miller, Juliet H. Spafford, and Jamie R. Tiblis.
At the conclusion of a 5 day jury trial that began last week in Clay County Superior Court John Graham, 52, of Hayesville was convicted of Sexual Offense on a Child. He was sentenced yesterday to a maximum of 38 and a half years in prison, and he will serve at least 27 years and 11 months before he is eligible for release. If he is ever released from prison, he will be monitored by a satellite GPS tracking system and will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. The case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Haven Child Advocacy Center, the Sheriff of Union County, Georgia and the US Marshall’s Service.
“This conviction keeps a dangerous child predator off the streets for the rest of his life and sends a strong message to the community that the District Attorney’s Office places the highest priority on protecting our children and other especially vulnerable victims. I commend all of the dedicated professionals who partner with the District Attorney’s Office to give a strong voice to our littlest victims. Congratulations on a job well done,” said District Attorney Ashley Welch.
The following press release has been issued by Union County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On December 11, 2016 Union County Sheriffs Office received information that two dangerous fugitives from Missouri were staying at the Lakeside Inn.
When Deputies arrived, the couple had fled the premises. The S. E. R. T. Team along with CID personnel and K-9 Team were called and a search of the area began. Shortly thereafter, Deputy McConnell and K-9 Lacey tracked the fugitives to an abandoned house behind Lakeside Inn and they were taken into custody without incident.
The fugitives have been identified as Timothy Perkins and Angela Laycock of Leadwood, Missouri. They were wanted for 1st Degree Assault and three counts each of Armed Criminal Action.
Special thanks to Union County 911 dispatch and all Deputies for a job well done and a quick end to a dangerous situation.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will officially reopen to the public on Friday, December 9 in conjunction with the reopening of the city of Gatlinburg. Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, and several visitor areas have been closed since the evening of Monday, November 28 due to the Chimney Tops 2 wildfire.
"The past eleven days have been the most challenging and emotional days our community has likely ever had to endure," said Superintendent Cassius Cash. "The amount of love, strength, and support offered to our community has been inspirational not only to us, but also to those watching from across the world. Our community has shone brightly in the midst of this disaster and proven that we are truly mountain tough."
The National Park Service joins Gatlinburg in welcoming visitors back to the area. Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, the Gatlinburg Bypass, and the Spur will reopen at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9. Park visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove will resume their regularly scheduled operating hours. Cherokee Orchard Road will remain closed at this time.
The following trails are closed due to wind or fire damage: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Huskey Gap Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Bull Head Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail from Campsite 32 to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, the Sugarlands Horse Concession trails, and the quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road.
The safety of our visitors is our primary concern and we ask that everyone explore only areas of the park that remain open and abide by trail closures. Visitors are required to remain in their vehicles when passing through the burned areas and should not enter any burned areas by foot. Visitors are reminded that though the area has received heavy rains in recent days, firefighters are still actively establishing containment lines to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.
Motorists are reminded to carefully travel along the roadways and to allow crews safe work space. Public Information Officers will be on site near the Gatlinburg entrance of the park and at overlooks along Newfound Gap Road to answer questions regarding the fire.
Several upcoming park events have been postponed or cancelled. The Festival of Christmas Past, scheduled for December 10, has been cancelled. The Hike 100 Centennial Challenge celebration, scheduled for December 9 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, has been postponed. The Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Mountain Farm will take place as planned on December 17. Details regarding each of these events will be released to the public as soon as they become available.
For more information on temporary road and trail closures, please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm.
Sevier County, City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park Joint News Release
Sevier County Fires Update, 12/8/16
On Friday, December 9, the city of Gatlinburg will be reopened for business and to the general public at 7:00 a.m. Motorists may enter the city through the all major roadways including the Spur, East Parkway (Hwy. 321), and Newfound Gap Road. Major roadways are expected to be open throughout the city, but some side roads may remain closed to accommodate utility work.
"I am proud of how hard our community has worked to provide assistance to those devastated by the fires," said Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle. "We focused this week on allowing our residents and business owners the opportunity to return to their properties in privacy as we started the cleanup and healing process together as a community. We have much more work ahead of us, but for now, I look forward to standing behind our business community as we reopen tomorrow to the public and get people back to work."
In coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDEC), Sevier Solid Waste, Inc. has established a temporary landfill site that will accommodate all debris associated with the recent disaster. The debris landfill will be open, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. via the current landfill entrance on Ridge Road.
Local officials have provided the following update: