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.
The May 8th Primary Election will be here before you know it here in North Carolina. Here are some important dates to keep in mind:
April 13, 2018: Voter Registration Deadline
April 19 - May 5, 2018: One Stope (Early Voting)
May 8, 2018 - Election Day - May Primary
WKRK Political Advertising Deadlines:
Thank you to all of the candidates who have already shown trust in WKRK to get their message out to the voting public. If you are interested in WKRK advertising, please stop by our business office between 8 am and Noon weekdays or call (828) 837-4332. Our office is located at 90 Tennessee Street, Suite B, Murphy, NC 28906.
To look up sample ballots or find out about your voter registration or polling location, visit https://www.ncsbe.gov/ .
The following press release has been issued by Town of Murphy Police Department.
Around March of this year, the Murphy Police Department learned through social media that the River Walk area in Murphy had been vandalized. The vandalism took place around the Leech Place area of the River Walk. The Murphy Police Department started an investigating of incident and utilized extra foot patrols on the River Walk area.
During the investigation, officers identified several suspects and determined them to be juveniles. Officers conducted several interviews in this case and this case is still ongoing. The disposition of this case is still pending but due to the suspects being juveniles there will be no further press release on this case. The juvenile suspects are cooperating with law enforcement in this case.
The River Walk area is a beautiful area and a great asset for our community. We, along with our community, take pride in the River Walk. We ask the public to assist us in taking care of the area by notifying the Murphy Police Department of suspicious activity in this area or any area as soon as possible.
The Murphy Police Department would like to thank the workers of the River Walk for their hard and dedicated work so we, the community, can enjoy it.
Dustin D. Smith
Assistant Chief of Police
Murphy Police Department