Despite grey skies and intermittent rain, nearly 60 teams eagerly revved their engines in the early morning light as they awaited the blast off countdown at the Tri-County Community College Foundation’s 10th Annual Fishing for Scholarships Tournament at Lake Chatuge on April 7.
“We are thrilled to have more than 100 anglers turn out for our 10th annual event this year,” said Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, president of Tri-County Community College, shortly before blast-off. “I want to personally thank every participant today for not only supporting our college, but more importantly, helping our students achieve their educational goals.”
More than $3,500 in prize money was handed out, while proceeds from the registration fees will fund two $1,000 scholarships for future Tri-County Community College students. The annual tournament is a joint effort by the Tri-County Bass Club and the Tri-County Community College Foundation.
The first-place overall prize of $1,000 went to teammates Jason Ash and Chris Blankenship of Whittier, with an impressive total haul of 24.13 pounds.
The remaining teams that placed overall were: second place Brandon and Jaxon Pace, both of Canton; third William Gibson and Danny Caldwell, both of Murphy; fourth place John Hyer of Murphy; and fifth place Johnny Brooks and Ronnie Brewer, of Lake Mount and Tiger, Ga. respectively.
First-place finishers Ash and Blankenship also took home the prize for biggest largemouth bass (8.12), while Skip and Jesse McKeral of Blairsville, Ga. won biggest spotted bass (4.90). Jake Cook and Luke Hunter, both of Sylva, also took home $100 prize money for smallest fish (1.34).
“After 10 fantastic years of support, we hope to see all of you back for our 11th annual tournament on April 6, 2019,” Tipton-Rogers said.
For more information regarding TCCC’s annual fishing tournament, call 837-6810.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a request for applications for community projects to combat the opioid crisis by advancing the goals of the NC Opioid Action Plan.
Organizations can seek one-time, state-funded grants of up to $150,000 to support community activities that improve access to treatment and recovery supports. Grant applications must be received by May 4, 2018.
“These grants will help local communities work together to turn the tide of the opioid crisis through treatment and recovery assistance,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We look forward to collaborating with communities around the state to accomplish the vision set forth in the NC Opioid Action Plan.”
Awards are available to local government agencies, including public health departments, departments of social services, county corrections, EMS agencies, community organizations, hospitals, health centers, clinics, pharmacies and other organizations that have a history of work in population health, substance use disorder prevention, treatment or recovery services, and harm reduction.
The request for applications provides targeted funding for activities to help communities connect people to treatment including:
Applications can also target efforts to expand syringe exchange programs, provide training in naloxone administration, train pharmacists on opioid overdose prevention, conduct training on medication assisted treatment or support capacity building for office-based opioid agonist treatment services.
The NC Opioid Action Plan Implementation Initiative RFA has been posted to the DMHDDSAS Notice of Funding Availability grant opportunities page and has been entered into Open Window under the RFA section using the following identifier: 30-DMH-OAP-2019.
The NC Opioid Action Plan was launched in June 2017, with collaboration from stakeholders across the state. The plan identified key strategies to combat the opioid epidemic, including expanding treatment and recovery oriented systems of care, making naloxone widely available and linking overdose survivors to care.
For more information, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/opioid-epidemic.
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Mark Kimball, FACHE, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, based in Murphy, North Carolina. The announcement was made this week by Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, President & CEO of the Erlanger Health System. The North Carolina-based healthcare facility became Erlanger’s sixth hospital on April 1 and its first in North Carolina. When the Erlanger Behavioral Health Center Hospital opens in July, Erlanger will have five hospitals in Hamilton County, one in Bledsoe County and one in North Carolina.
Prior to his appointment at Erlanger, Mr. Kimball served as Chief Operating Officer with NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield, Tennessee, and was responsible for the overall operations with Houston County Community Hospital located in Erin, Tennessee. In that role he led Houston County Community Hospital to earning its designation of Critical Access Hospital status. “I am excited and honored to be entrusted to take on this new role and join this outstanding contingent of passionate caregivers, providers and team members. I look forward to building on Erlanger Murphy Medical Center’s strong foundation and helping the leadership team continue to advance the hospital’s shared purpose of caring for people’s health and wellness across the region we serve,” Kimball said.
Kimball is a rural healthcare executive with 20 years of leadership experience with several prominent healthcare systems throughout the Southeast, including Behavioral Health Center and Select Specialty Hospital in Memphis, Archbold Medical Center in Camilla, Ga. and Phoebe-Putney Health System in Albany, Ga.
“With his impressive background and vast experience working with critical access hospitals like Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, Mark Kimball is ideally suited for this position at our newest hospital,” said Spiegel. “He has longtime ties to this region and we look forward to introducing him to the staff, physicians, business leaders and the community next month,” Spiegel added. Kimball will officially start his new role in Murphy on June 4.
Kimball received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia and earned a Master’s in Business Administration. He is board-certified in healthcare management and a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and a licensed nursing home administrator.
Erlanger’s new executive has been actively involved with numerous professional and civic organizations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, Georgia Hospital Association, Center for Rural Health, National Association of Occupational Health Executives, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Boys and Girls Clubs.
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 April 14th, 2018 arrest of Benjamin Lee Stanley, a 39-year-old Topton, North Carolina man for domestic violence violations and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Over the past several months, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has several interactions with Stanley, including evading arrest on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Additionally, there were two active warrants for the arrest of Stanley for violation of Domestic Violence Protective Orders. On several occasions, Stanley had evaded arrest including a Friday morning encounter where Stanley led investigators on a chase eventually losing them as Stanley, who was operating a jeep, took an off road trail.
During the early morning hours of April 14th, 2018, deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division travelled to Stanley’s residence and utilized a search warrant to gain entry. Upon entering the residence, it was discovered that Stanley was again attempting escape by dropping down into the crawlspace of the residence and was hiding until discovered by the deputies. Stanley was taken into custody and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Benjamin Lee Stanley was served with an indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm and was placed on at $15,000.00 secure bond. Additionally, two domestic violence protective order violation warrants were served on Stanley in which he was placed on a 48 hour no bond condition. Stanley was also charged with Resist Obstruct and Delay and was placed on a $3,000.00 secure bond. Stanley is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “Great work getting Mr. Stanley off the streets. It is obvious he has no regard for the court or the law. This was some outstanding work by the patrol officers who took this issue to heart, planning out a great mission and ensuring no one was hurt. Job Well Done!”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will be enjoying one of the best things about Thanksgiving Day – going back for a second helping.
But in this case the 500-plus members of the WCU marching band won’t be fighting over who gets the last drumstick. Instead, they will be making a return trip to New York City to perform in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Macy’s Parade officials came to campus Friday, April 13, to surprise band members with news of the invitation to participate in the annual holiday event next year. The Pride of the Mountains previously was selected to lead the parade in 2014.
David Starnes, WCU director of athletic bands, had invited all members of the Pride of the Mountains to a mandatory full band meeting with Carol Burton, WCU’s acting provost, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. After a few introductory remarks from Burton, Wesley Whatley, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade creative producer, stepped out of hiding and into the room to deliver the invitation.
Whatley counted down to lead a cheer of “let’s have a parade,” unveiled a parade banner and presented a commemorative drum head to Starnes as a shower of confetti rained down upon the participants.
“On behalf of the band selection committee, Macy’s is incredibly proud to welcome back Western Carolina University to the streets of New York City,” said Whatley. “David Starnes runs a program known for its artistic storytelling, big sound and highly engaging field shows. The Macy’s Parade audience has a lot to look forward to when the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band returns to our parade in 2019.”
The return of the WCU unit to the parade represents an uncommon occurrence in the history of the event, Whatley said.
“Bands may only reapply for the Macy’s Parade five years after appearing in our event,” he said. “In most cases, it takes much longer for a group to receive another invitation, if at all. WCU is a rare case – delivering such a special combination of artistry and big university sound that the committee couldn’t resist welcoming them back as soon as possible after the band’s five-year hiatus.”
Starnes and other Pride of the Mountains staff members worked hard to try to ensure that the announcement was a surprise to all student band members, a task made trickier because most of the seniors in the unit participated in the event in 2014 and may have recognized Whatley.
“We are thrilled beyond belief to represent Western Carolina University and the great state of North Carolina in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Starnes said. “This event is a life-changer for band students of all ages and, personally, continues to bring out the kid in me. The respect and admiration I have for this parade goes without saying, and we are deeply honored to have been selected for participation in 2019. As they say on parade day – let’s have a parade.”
Founded in 1924, the world-famous event attracts more than 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of New York, and 50 million at-home viewers. The world’s largest parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is televised nationally by NBC.
First Sgt. Chris Wood of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol tells WKRK that a traffic accident Wednesday involving a 1990 Ford log truck and a 2013 Ford Taurus left a Murphy man deceased and a family devastated. The accident happened at 7:38 pm on Tuesday, April 11, 2018.
Justin Alan Jensen, age 33, of Wingate Road, Murphy, NC was reportedly traveling westbound on Highway 64 West near Jacky Jones Chevrolet. The log truck was traveling westbound at a slow speed after pulling onto the highway from a strip mall. The truck had become established in the right hand lane.
Reports indicate that Jensen failed to reduce speed and collided with the logs extending from the back of the truck. The logs penetrated the windshield of the 2013 Ford Taurus. Jensen was transported to Murphy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after the accident.
NCDMV Officials from Asheville, NC verified that the log truck was properly marked and compliant with highway standards.
There are no indications at this time that excessive speed was involved.
A GoFundMe page has been setup to help with expenses for the family. Tammie Marie McDowell shared the photo below of the Jensen family to the WKRK Facebook page. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/muek38-jensen-family.
The page, organized by Bonnie Hughes reads, "Justin Jensen was killed in a terrible car accident this evening and leaves behind a wife and 7 kids. He is a Marine Corp veteran and served many years over seas fighting for our country. He and his family are strong believers in Jesus Christ and an absolutely wonderful people. Please help provide for this family for daily needs as well as prayer!"
WKRK sends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Justin Jensen and all those affected during this time of loss. Our prayers are with you.
WKRK, along with the Cherokee Scout and Andrews Journal, invited all candidates running for office in Cherokee County to debate with their opponent(s) so that voters could learn more about each candidate to aid in making a more informed vote in the May 8th Republican Primary. There is no Democratic Primary this year in Cherokee County. Since there is little Democratic opposition this year, most of the winners in the May 8th Republican Primary will move on to become the elected officials as they may have no opponent in November. It's just the way things lined up this year.
Invitations were sent to each candidate to the registered address on file with the Board of Elections.
We understand that people are busy with various schedules, but we were disappointed that many candidates chose not to participate in debates at all. Legally, for us to conduct a debate, at least 2 people in each race must participate so that we are able maintain a fair and balanced setting. Debates are the only free airtime that WKRK provides to candidates because of that balance. All other political messages are paid, political messages with proper disclaimers noting such.
Many of the candidates were simply unavailable and had no interest in rescheduling, and that is their right to choose. We in no way wish to disrespect that right. However, this means that their opponent was unable to participate in the debate.
In regards to transparency and fairness to those candidates who wanted to debate and weren't able to, we will list all the races we had scheduled and each's candidate's availability. This is not to make any candidate look bad or suggest that they were uncooperative. We have a great relationship with all of these folks. Again, candidates have busy schedules and we could have done a better job by providing invitations with more notice.
Some of the reasons given for being unavailable include:
We are not going to single out each candidate's response to try to influence public opinion. That would be improper.
Below is the proposed recording sessions we had lined up:
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
3 PM - Cherokee County Board of Education District 2 (1 seat open)
- Jeannie Gaddis - UNAVAILABLE
- Jeff Martin - UNAVAILABLE
4 PM - Cherokee County Board of Education District 3 (2 seats open)
- Paul Brown - PARTICIPATED
- Mark Patterson - PARTICIAPTED
- Joe Wood - PARTICIPATED
5 PM - Cherokee County Board of Education At-large (1 seat open)
- Keesha Curtis - PARTICIPATED
- Tylor Dockery - PARTICIPATED
THURSDAY, APRIL 12
3 PM - Cherokee County Board of Commissioners District 1
- Cal Stiles - UNAVAILABLE
- Tim West - UNAVAILABLE
4 PM - Cherokee County Board of Commissioners District 3
- Corey Bailey - AVAILABLE
- Hippie Westmoreland - UNAVAILABLE
FRIDAY, APRIL 13
3 PM - Cherokee County Sheriff
- Derrick Palmer - UNAVAILABLE
- Dan Sherrill - AVAILABLE
4 PM - Cherokee County Board of Commissioners District 4
- Winfield Clonts - AVAILABLE
- Dan Eichenbaum - UNAVAILABLE
We very much appreciate the candidates in the Cherokee County Board of Education At-Large and District 3 seats for taking time out of their busy schedules to allow us to get to know them better and how they stand on certain issues. Those debate videos are posted below. Thanks for watching!
The following press releases have been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Narcotics Unit was conducting surveillance in the Marble area that resulted in the recovery of another truck stolen last week. Timothy McCoy was occupying the vehicle at the time Mccoy has several arrests for larceny of motor vehicles/possession of stolen motor vehicles. The courts set a $75000.00 bond
Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at 5823 Fairview Road. As a result Christopher Michael Rhodes was taken into custody on numerous warrants both in North Carolina and Georgia. A quantity of Methamphetamine was seized along with paraphernalia and numerous stolen goods. Charges are pending.
6 charged on Federal Indictments
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Murphy, NC-- Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced following a 2 year investigation, 6 individuals were charged on federal indictments for the illegal possession and distribution of controlled substances in Cherokee County.
In early 2016 Detectives with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit received information regarding the Trafficking of Methamphetamine into Cherokee County from the Metro Atlanta Area. Detectives initiated an investigation into the source of the Methamphetamine being brought into Cherokee County. During the course of the investigation Detectives conducted numerous hours of surveillance, undercover purchases of Methamphetamine, multiple interviews and traffic stops resulting in multiple seizures of Methamphetamine. It was later determined during the course of the investigation that the contact for this source of Methamphetamine was an inmate in the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Detectives from the Cherokee County Narcotics Unit began a joint investigation with agents from the Georgia Department of Corrections, the GBI, FBI, DEA and the US Attorney’s Office. As a result of that investigation, six federal indictments were issued for Conspiracy to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine and for the Sale and Delivery of Methamphetamine for the following persons:
Glen McTaggart (confined Georgia Prison)
Dale Hamilton Dutto (confined Georgia Prison)
Isaac Daniel Hughes (not yet arrested)
Carla Blair Lloyd (currently being held)
Candice Brooke Cole (currently being held)
James Donald Taylor (currently being held)
McTaggart and Dutto are currently incarcerated in the Georgia Department of Corrections, federal detainers have been issued for both. Taylor and Cole are currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center on other charges, federal detainers have been issued for both. Lloyd was taken into federal custody and is being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center for the US Marshals. Hughes is currently at large.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Again, these investigations are not completed over night. This is a push in the right direction as we continue our war against drugs!”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at email@example.com.
The National Forests of North Carolina will sponsor a series of "Kids Fishing Days" on each ranger district to teach kids about fishing. The first event open to the public is on May 19.
These annual events allow children ages 15 years and younger to fish for free, although some events are extremely popular and may adjust age and creel limits or stagger fishing time to insure participant safety. All children must be accompanied by an adult. No experience is needed to participate.
Volunteers and employees from the U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will provide free fishing assistance and loaned equipment. Kids will be educated on how to use a rod and reel, as well as how to bait a hook. No fishing license is required at this event. A free lunch will be provided to all participants.
This fishing event allows families and friends to share fun, quality time together while learning about one of our nation's favorite pastimes - fishing.
Kids Fishing Events:
NOTE: These events are unrelated to the Kid's Fishing Day sponsored by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Fishing Day. See note below about the rescheduled date for that event.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Kid’s Fishing Day has been postponed until Saturday, April 14, due to inclement weather in the forecast for this Saturday.