December 31, 2019
The Honorable Rick Ramsey Mayor, Town of Murphy 5 Wofford Street Murphy, NC 28906
Dear Mayor Ramsey:
On behalf of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, I am pleased to announce that Murphy has been selected to participate in the Downtown Associate Community Program, coordinated under the NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. As you are aware, this was a competitive application process and your community was selected as one of six communities that will receive services over the next 12 months. The NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center staff believes that your interest in improving the downtown along with the existing business mix and building stock, make Murphy an excellent candidate for this program.
There were many strong applications to consider during this selection process. Due to limited staff and resources, we have determined the most efficient way to move forward is to take communities in on a staggered basis. We will begin work with Murphy and Graham in early 2020.
We look forward to working with you and your community leaders to develop a sustainable downtown organization that will position your downtown for economic growth and development. We believe that your community’s participation in this program will lead to designation as a North Carolina Main Street community in the next three years.
The NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center staff will be in contact with your town staff to set up an initial kickoff visit. We anticipate that visit will take place in late January or early February 2020.
Congratulations on your acceptance into the Downtown Associate Community program and thank you for your ongoing commitment to improve the vitality of your downtown. If you have any questions, please contact Liz Parham, Director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center at 919-814-4658.
District Attorney's Office asking child sexual abuse victims to come forward in Clergy Member Adelbert “Del” Holmes case
On Monday, December 30, 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte published a list of several clergy the diocese found to have been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse since the diocese’s creation in 1972. Of these clergy members, two worked in the 43rd Prosecutorial District in the 1970s and 1980s.
According to the diocese, Adelbert “Del” Holmes was “credibly accused” of committing child molestation against three minors in Murphy, North Carolina, in 1976 while he was a clergy member. The Catholic church became aware of the allegations against Holmes in 1988. Holmes was removed from the ministry in 1991. He died in 2013. Holmes was a clergy member at the St. William Catholic Church in Murphy and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Mission in Hayesville. There is no recorded documentation that the Catholic church notified local law enforcement nor the District Attorney’s Office of these allegations when the church was notified in 1988. Unfortunately, the lack of notification by the Catholic church to law enforcement authorities during that time period is not surprising. Holmes died in 2013, and his death prevents the District Attorney’s Office from being able to prosecute him for crimes he is alleged to have committed in 1976.
Clergy member Al Behm was “credibly accused” of child sexual offenses in Kentucky during the 1970s. Behm went on to serve as the first campus minister at Western Carolina University in the 1980s. According to the diocese, Behm has not been accused of committing crimes while at Western Carolina. Behm left the ministry in 1993.
There is not a statute of limitations for felonies in North Carolina. If you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, wish to make a report, and explore the possibility of prosecution, please contact your local law enforcement agency. Last year, the District Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted a former Episcopal priest for crimes he committed on children in Waynesville over 20 years ago. “If you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, we are committed to seeking justice for you. North Carolina does not have a statute of limitations on these atrocious crimes which means we are able to prosecute individuals when there is probable cause even decades after the crime.”
District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch
Murphy, N.C. – Internal medicine physician Dr. Brian Mitchell and physician assistant Samantha Thompson will join the Erlanger Medical Group in January 2020. Dr. Mitchell will begin seeing patients on February 3, 2020, at his new office – Erlanger Primary Care Peachtree, located at 125 Medical Park Lane, Suite H, on the Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital campus.
Current patients of Dr. Mitchell may begin scheduling appointments by calling his practice manager, Medra Palmer, at 828-837-8275. Medical records can be mailed to the new Erlanger clinic address, or patients can bring them to their appointments.
Dr. Mitchell is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been serving patients of western North Carolina for almost 45 years. He attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Boston City Hospital. He is a member of the Western North Carolina Medical Society and serves as a clinical assistant professor at UNC School of Medicine.
Samantha Thompson, PA-C, has worked alongside Dr. Mitchell for seven years. She received her Master of Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Certification from Duke University.
Joining the new practice in April will be Stephen Rubendall Jr., MD, a board-certified family medicine physician. An open house to meet all three practitioners will be announced soon.
For more information about Erlanger Medical Group, visit erlanger.org/docs.
Dec 17, 2019 - The opportunity to get access to health insurance through the federal marketplace has been extended. On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the HealthCare.gov 2020 enrollment period reopened and North Carolinians now have until 3 a.m. on Dec. 18 to sign up for health insurance coverage.
North Carolinians are encouraged to log on to HealthCare.gov as soon as possible to sign up for 2020 health insurance before the new deadline.
The Federal Health Insurance Marketplace serves people who do not get coverage from their job or through Medicaid or Medicare. Every health plan in the federal Marketplace offers essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventative care, hospitalization, prescriptions and more. Importantly, coverage cannot be denied because of pre-existing or chronic conditions like cancer or diabetes.
For more information or to sign up for 2020 health insurance coverage, please visit HealthCare.gov
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — At the November Board of Directors meeting, two Board Directors—Danny Henson and Roy Perren—were awarded certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
NRECA’s Director Certificate Programs are specifically designed to help electric cooperative directors, at every stage of their service, understand their roles and responsibilities, stay up-to-date on the key issues and trends in the industry and prepare them to meet the challenges facing electric cooperatives now and in the future. The courses are offered throughout the year and are offered in three parts, taken in progression from fundamental to advanced.
Henson from Union County, Ga., received the Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) Certificate. The CCD is a set of five courses that focuses on basic governance knowledge and the essential skills required of cooperative directors. The CCD prepares directors to fulfill their fiduciary duty as elected officials serving on behalf of their membership. The CCD is required for directors after two years of service on a board. After completing all five CCD courses, Henson was awarded the CCD Certificate by NRECA.
“The process of receiving this certificate has reaffirmed that as a board of director we have an obligation to our members to operate in good faith, how to conduct the business of an electric co-op, and to advocate for the members we serve,” said Henson.
Perren from Towns County, Ga., received the Board Leadership Certificate (BLC). The BLC is the second part of the director education program and consists of a series of courses focusing in greater depth on specific industry and governance issues. These include issues such as risk management, power supply, parliamentary procedure, technology, and policy development. Perren earned the BLC by completing the CCD first and then earning ten credits from a choice of over 20 BLC courses.
“By earning the BLC, I have gained more knowledge on the very complex issues and trends this industry and BRMEMC faces. I can make better decisions and be a positive influence within the board room,” said Perren. “I have been surprised at the complexity involved in being a board member for an electric co-op. Most of us board members are laypeople from varying backgrounds and it takes years to learn this complex industry. I would like to eventually earn the next level of certification which is Director Gold.”
Blue Ridge Mountain EMC’s Board of Directors consists of nine members elected from the five counties BRMEMC serves. Board of Directors are Ray Cook, president, Cherokee County, NC; Bert Rogers, vice president, Towns County, Ga.; Roy Perren, secretary, Towns County. Ga.; Cory Payne, treasurer, Clay County, N.C.; Danny Henson, Georgia EMC Director, Union County, Ga.; Jeff Ledford, Clay County, N.C.; Gayland Trull, Fannin County, Ga.; Jack Lance, Jr., Union County, Ga.; and Gene Mason, Union County, Ga. Directors serve a three year term and elections are held at the Annual Meeting each September.
For more information on Blue Ridge Mountain EMC or the Board of Directors visit brmemc.com.
About Blue Ridge Mountain EMC
Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in Young Harris, Georgia, serving over 53,000 member-customers in Cherokee and Clay Counties in Western North Carolina, and Towns, Union and Fannin Counties in Northeast Georgia. Organized locally in 1937, BRMEMC has invested well over $270 million in physical infrastructure in its mission to provide reliable electric and broadband services to its members where those services would not otherwise have been available. Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
Murphy, N.C. – Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) has appointed Dr. Doris Purvis as Hospitalist Medical Director.
Dr. Purvis has 15 years of experience as a hospitalist, with nearly seven years in a directorship role. In her new role, Dr. Purvis will work alongside Dr. David Alvarez, EWCH chief medical officer, to focus on standardizing care practices, improving quality of care, streamlining hospitalist services, and workflow. Dr. Purvis will oversee all EWCH hospitalists.
“Throughout her career, Dr. Purvis has worked collaboratively with clinical colleagues to improve the quality and efficiency of care,” said EWCH CEO Mark Kimball. “She is very well suited for this directorship role, and we have every confidence she will be extremely successful in the developments she will be pursuing.”
Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the care and treatment of hospitalized patients. They are experts at coordinating the special needs of inpatients around the clock, including working with patients’ primary care physicians to provide continuity of care as they are discharged. Hospitalists allow office-based physicians time to treat patients in their offices.
For more information about Erlanger’s hospitalist providers, call 828-835-7570.
After handling multiple reports of companies using scare tactics or threatening language about fines to sell labor law posters to employers, the N.C. Department of Labor warns businesses across the state to be vigilant about suspicious correspondence they may receive. “These scams surface periodically and business owners, confused and upset about receiving the correspondence, will contact us,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “The threats of fines are bogus and should be ignored. The Department of Labor provides free sets of labor law posters to businesses.”
The scammers often pose as government officials or use company names such as the North Carolina Labor Law Poster Service, a non-regulatory entity that does not operate under any government agency. These companies use public information to contact new and old businesses to try and swindle them into purchasing labor law posters. The N.C. Department of Labor has issued cease and desist letters to these companies, but many are still operating.
Some poster companies threaten fines from $7,000 to as much as $17,000 for non-compliance. Mailings can often appear to be from an official or government source and request fees for posters that cost anywhere from $84 to $200. The letters received from these companies often are printed to look like an invoice. Businesses should be aware that scammers may also attempt to contact them by either email, text or phone.
While labor law posters are required to be displayed at a workplace by law, NCDOL inspectors carry the most up-to-date versions of the posters in their vehicles and will distribute them free of charge. The N.C. Department of Labor will never fine a business that has older versions of the posters displayed.
NCDOL prints new versions anytime a significant law is changed or updated by Congress. Businesses are not required to order a new poster each time a change is made. Employers that wish to order new posters can visit our website or can call 1-800-625-2267.
The Robbinsville Black Knights will take on the Northampton County Jaguars for the State Championship game on Saturday, December 14 at 3 pm at Duke University.
You can get local updates of this game in various formats:
WKRK - Score updates posted on our website at www.wkrk.love via ScoreStream.
WCVP/WCNG - Live play-by-play radio coverage on 95.9 FM (Robbinsville) and 102.7 FM (Murphy)
The Graham Star - Kevin Hensley, editor of The Graham Star, will be tweeting live updates via @KevinHensleyCNI and @thegrahamstar as well as posting them on The Star's Facebook page.
Each game will also be simulcast in its entirety via the NFHS Network (video.) The NFHS Network charges a $10.99 per month subscription fee to access live sporting events including other NCHSAA Championships. You can find additional information about the NFHS Network at www.NFHSNetwork.com.
Join WKRK and local media outlets in wishing best of luck to the Black Knights. Let's bring the State Championship back home to the Smoky Mountain Conference.
Murphy, N.C. – Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) welcomes doctors Karen Davis, Dena Snead and Matthew Snead to its growing list of primary care providers.
Dr. Karen Davis is a board-certified general practitioner who is accepting new patients at Erlanger’s Hayesville Primary Care office, located at 146 Highway 64 E. Dr. Davis attended medical school at NY College of Osteopathic Medicine of NYIT in Old Westbury, N.Y. Following graduation, she completed an internship at Richmond Heights General Hospital in Richmond Heights, Ohio, and a residency in general practice at Rocky Mountain Hospital in Denver, Colo. Dr. Davis has practiced primary care medicine in many settings, including private practices, hospitals, urgent care facilities and correctional facilities. To make an appointment with Dr. Davis, call 828-389-3608.
Drs. Dena and Matthew Snead are board-certified internal medicine physicians who are accepting new patients at Erlanger’s Andrews Primary Care office, located at 2751 Business 19. Before their appointments to Erlanger, they practiced at Shelby Medical Associates in Shelby, N.C. Both physicians enjoy practicing in small communities, where they can better familiarize themselves with their patients and provide comprehensive primary care close to home. To make an appointment with Dr. Dena Snead or Dr. Matthew Snead, call 828-321-4510.
Dr. Dena Snead is originally from Clyde, N.C. After obtaining a master’s degree in medical science, Dr. Snead attended William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Miss. She then completed an internal medicine residency at Southeastern Health in Lumberton, N.C. In addition to her primary care focus, Dr. Snead has extensive experience in dermatology and can perform skin checks and do minor dermatology procedures and biopsies. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Matthew Snead is originally from Boaz, Ala., in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He also attended William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Following medical school, he completed an internal medicine residency at Southeastern Health in Lumberton, N.C.
“One of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital’s initiatives is to provide better access to primary care for the people of western North Carolina,” said EWCH CEO Mark Kimball. “There is a large need for primary care within our community, and we know these exceptional physicians will help satisfy this need.”
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 of the Cherokee County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office reported the November 24th, 2019 arrest of 23 year old Jordan Alex Michelsen for child sexual assault charges.
In September of 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s commenced an investigation into allegations that an adult male had engaged in sexual assaults on a female child sometime during the month of August 2018. During the investigation assistance was given by the Cherokee County Schools, Cherokee County Department of Social Services, and HAVEN Child Advocacy Center. During the investigation Michelsen was identified as a suspect in the sexual assault allegations.
The case was presented to the Cherokee County Grand Jury which handed down indictments for the arrest of Michelsen. At the time of the investigation Michelsen had been living in Andrews North Carolina and had a previous residence in the Culberson Community of Cherokee County. Shortly after the issuance of the indictments Michelsen apparently fled from Cherokee County to Cornelia Georgia and eventually surrendered at the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Jordan Alex Michelsen was arrested for STATUTORY RAPE OF A CHILD BY AN ADULT, FIRST DEGREE KIDNAPPING, INDECENT LIBERTIES WITH CHILD. Michelsen appeared before the Magistrate who set a $250,000.00 secure bond. Michelsen is currently being detained at the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a December 02nd, 2019 Superior Court date.
Sheriff Palmer said “Great team work by all. These crimes are difficult on everyone concerned and often take time to bring to conclusion.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.