During Tri-County Community College’s 2018 commencement ceremony, one faculty and one staff member were honored in front of graduating students, as well as their fellow faculty and staff colleagues as college officials recognized the annual excellence award winners.
According to college administrators, every year one full-time faculty and staff member are nominated by their peers to receive the college’s Excellence Award.
The 2018 recipient for the full-time faculty award was Trevis Hicks, information systems and networking technology instructor.
“The recipient of this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award for full-time faculty embodies the ‘community’ part of Tri-County Community College. He is one of ours in every sense. He began his education here as a student back in the day, and he has been on the faculty here for many years,” said Dr. Steve Wood, vice president for instruction and institutional effectiveness at Tri-County Community College.
Hicks, who has served as an instructor at the college for 22 years, was also recognized for his willingness to help students succeed even after earning their degree at the college.
“He takes a personal interest in his students, doing his best to help them get jobs after completing school. He can normally tell you, off the top of his head, where there are job openings and who to contact for a job application,” Wood said before inviting Hicks to the stage to receive his award from Tri-County Community College President Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers.
Also recognized was part-time faculty member William Coble, who teaches religion classes at Tri-County Community College, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
Helen Kilpatrick, human resources assistant at Tri-County Community College, was the full-time staff member recipient of the award for Excellence in Service.
“She is someone I can honestly say always has a smile on her face,” Tipton-Rogers said. “She is always ready and willing to go above and beyond in anything we might ask her to do.”
Kilpatrick has worked at the college for 20 years, and in her tearful acceptance she thanked her colleagues and college officials.
“Everything we do is for our students,” Kilpatrick said. “I’m honored to receive this award.”
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Official Press Release, May 31, 2018 - On May 2, 2018 an incident occurred at the Cherokee County Detention Center. The incident regarded an allegation of two detention officers involved in an assault of a federal inmate, George Victor Stokes, who was sentenced and awaiting transport to Federal Prison. The Detention Officers involved were identified as Wesley Gage Killian, a part time employee, and Sgt. Josh Gunter.
As the incident was brought to Sheriff Palmer’s attention, he requested that Lt. Joe Wood of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division conduct an internal investigation of the Detention Officers named. Upon conducting interviews and reviewing available physical evidence, Lt. Wood reported back to Sheriff Palmer his preliminary findings. Sheriff Palmer, upon recommendation of Lt. Wood, suspended the two detention officers pending the completion of the internal investigation.
Upon completion of the investigation, Sheriff Palmer then terminated the detention officers due to violation of department policy and procedure regarding the treatment of inmates. The unlawful assault of an inmate is a violation of Cherokee County Detention Center Policy and Procedure.
Sheriff Palmer made immediate contact with District Attorney Ashley Welch. Upon conversation with the District Attorney, it was agreed that a joint request should be made to the State Bureau of Investigation by both the District Attorney’s Office and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office to have a criminal investigation conducted regarding the conduct of the two detention officers. The request was then made and accepted by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Due to the fact that Mr. Stokes was a federal inmate being housed at the Cherokee County Detention Center, the US Marshall’s Office was notified of the incident. The State Bureau of Investigation assigned an Agent to investigate the matter. All evidence gained, including detention center video surveillance, interviews, statements and reports obtained in the internal investigation conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation as part of their ongoing criminal investigation. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with the State Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney’s Office in full cooperation until this matter is to a resolution.
The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests announced today that this year's ginseng harvest permits will be determined again by lottery with an application period from June 4 to July 20.
A permit is required to collect wild ginseng in the two national forests during the designated harvest season. Those seeking a permit must call or visit a ranger district office and submit their name and address for the lottery between June 4 and July 20. Requests by email will not be accepted. Written notification will be mailed to successful applicants selected by lottery before August 17. District offices will start issuing permits to selected applicants August 27 with an effective date of September 1.
Wild ginseng plants on the national forest are sustainably managed by the U.S. Forest Service to meet the needs of present and future generations. In 2013, due to concern over reductions in wild ginseng numbers, the Forest Service implemented changes to wild ginseng harvests on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to conserve wild ginseng populations. These policies remain in place including:
In addition to reducing the legal harvest of wild ginseng, the Forest Service has increased law enforcement efforts to reduce poaching. Removing a wild ginseng plant or its parts from national forests without a permit or outside of the legal harvest season is considered theft of public property. Penalties for plant poaching may include a fine up to $5,000 or 6-month sentence in federal prison, or both.
Ginseng root has been favored as a tonic primarily in East Asia for the past two-and-a-half centuries. In North Carolina, ginseng is more common in the mountains, very infrequent in the piedmont, and very rare in the coastal plain.
Ranger District contact information may be found at the National Forests in North Carolina website, www.fs.usda.gov/main/nfsnc/about-forest/districts.
For more information about harvesting ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, see https://go.usa.gov/xQdwt.
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 May 25th, 2018 arrest of 33-year-old Ryan Alexander Hamilton of Andrews, North Carolina for charges stemming from a sexual assault investigation.
Following a May 5th, 2018 report of a sexual assault of a minor female child committed in the Town of Andrews, North Carolina, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation which included the assistance of the HAVEN Child Advocacy Center. From that investigation, Hamilton was identified as the suspect in the case. Information gathered during the investigation was presented to the North Carolina Magistrate who issued warrants for the arrest of Hamilton.
Ryan Alexander Hamilton was arrested at his residence without incident. He was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where the Magistrate set a $10,000.00 secure bond for the charges of Sexual Battery and Assault on a Female. Hamilton is currently incarcerated at the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a June 12th, 2018 District Court date.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “We want to reach out and thank the staff of HAVEN for the invaluable assistance they provide, not only in this particular case, but in all the cases involving our youth!”
To report suspicious activity or suspected violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following press release has been issued by Andrews Police Department. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On Friday May 18, 2018, Town of Andrews Police Officers pursued the pictured vehicle in a high speed chase which ended on Tatham Street. The vehicle had been observed conducting suspicious activity by Officers, and when the Officer got behind the vehicle, the vehicle fled at a high speed before the blue lights even came on. The Officer closely pursued the car until the car was traveling too fast to make a hard left turn and the vehicle wrecked into a ditch. Three individuals fled in which two were caught and arrested at the scene. The identity is well known of the third person still on the run.
Methamphetamine, paraphernalia, and other contraband was located and active warrants were discovered on one passenger.
Andrews Police will continue and increase an aggressive enforcement strategy on drugs, theft, and violent crimes in our town. We will pursue and bring criminals to justice.
Arrested by Andrews Police Department on May 18th were the following individuals as posted on the Cherokee County Detention Center website: Marcelite Jones Daniels and Patrick Eddie Scott Carringer.
Cherokee County students are encouraged to "take over" by developing a flyer that would represent the anti-litter efforts of the Cherokee County students and schools. Below, you will see the current flyer in circulation. Gary Chamberlain from the North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition says it's time to start working on next year's flyer.
Students are encouraged to send their designs to Martins Creek School, Principal Paul Wilson so they can be considered for next year. The final design should represent the anti-litter effort of all Cherokee county schools.
The flyer should mention the school "America the Beautiful Clubs" and the North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition anti-litter contest.
Students should focus on their anti-litter efforts and mention what they are doing, why they are doing what they do, who benefits from their efforts, and why they want others to join them.
Watch Superintendent Dr. Jeana Conley and Gary Chamberlain discuss the current litter-free efforts by clicking https://www.facebook.com/CountryGold/videos/2263748276976366/
Forks and Corks, a Taste of Cherokee County event is fast approaching! Now in its fourth year, it has become a favorite event in the community. It will be held on Thursday, June 7th, at the Historic Hackney Warehouse, next to the L & N Depot in Murphy. This is a drop in event between 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
Advance tickets are $25 each and may be purchased at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce office, located at 805 West U.S. 64, Murphy, NC. Tickets sold at the door the night of the event will be $30. There will only be 300 tickets sold for the event, so everyone is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance , as it is expected to be a sell-out.
Forks and Corks, a taste of Cherokee County is hosted by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. This first rate event offers an enjoyable evening of local entertainment, delectable sample tastes from local restaurants or caterers, and beverage vendors, ranging from local wineries to breweries to wine distributors supplying local restaurants. A take home souvenir wine glass will be given to each ticket holder and the ever popular brown bag auction will again be available. Guests will have an opportunity to win bottles of wine, restaurant gift certificates and other items donated by Chamber members.
As a special added feature this year, there will be a variety of food and drink demonstrations that will begin at 5:00 pm (weather permitting), including how to roll sushi, cooking various dishes and even making home brew.
Take time to decompress. Come on out and enjoy the music, the great food and drink, networking and meeting new acquaintances. Buy your tickets today for yourself, your family and friends. For more information about the event and purchasing tickets, contact the Chamber at (828) 837-2242.
The following press release has been issued by Town County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On Thursday, May 10, 2018, Towns County Sheriff’s Office Investigators concluded an extensive joint investigation, assisted by investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, along with personnel from the Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. The investigation concluded with the execution of a search warrant at a residence located off Sims Road in Hiawassee, Georgia. Numerous drug purchases were made during the course of the undercover investigation. The search warrant executed also yielded a substantial quantity of drugs seized; the total street value of illegal drugs seized being over $7000.
Towns County Sheriff's Office Investigators arrested Samuel Dwayne Hedden, age 63 of Hiawassee, Georgia. Hedden was arrested on the following charges:
Five (5) Counts of Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act involving the sale of marijuana;
Four (4) Counts of Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act involving the sale of Xanax;
Three (3) Counts of Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act involving the sale of Methamphetamine;
One (1) Count of Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act Possession of Drug Related Objects;
One (1) Count of Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The investigation is active and ongoing and additional charges are likely.
Hiawassee, GA – May 8, 2018 – While on patrol on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at approximately 3:15 pm, Hiawassee Police Department (HPD) Detective Brandon Barrett observed a subject known to have an active arrest warrant driving eastbound on S Main St. Detective Barrett and the Towns County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) initiated a traffic stop on S Main St near Chatuge Way. After initially stopping for the officers, the driver of the vehicle made a U-turn and struck the front of Detective Barrett’s patrol vehicle. The driver, Angela Michelle Capozzoli of Hiawassee, then fled westbound on S Main St at a high rate of speed.
HPD and TCSO pursued the fleeing vehicle to Bugscuffle Rd, where Capozzoli struck both patrol vehicles with her vehicle, disabling one. HPD continued to pursue Capozzoli to Bugscuffle Spur, where she turned onto a dirt road and was no longer able to proceed in her vehicle. She exited the vehicle and fled on foot into a heavily wooded area where officers lost contact with her. At approximately 9:00 pm, Capozzoli was located and apprehended after a short foot pursuit by HPD Sergeant Tracy James and Officer John Carter.
“I am incredibly thankful that no one was injured during the pursuit,” said HPD Chief Paul Smith. “Acts of aggression towards law enforcement officers of this extreme are rare in Hiawassee, but obviously not impossible. Working together with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office, we were able to apprehend and bring charges against Capozzoli.”
The Towns County Sheriff’s Office has obtained arrest warrants for Capozzoli. She has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault Against a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, Willful Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer, and two counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The District Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce that prosecutor Kimberly Hayes Harris has joined our staff. Kimberly is a native of Cherokee County, North Carolina. Upon graduating from Murphy High School she served 4 years of Active duty with the U.S. Army’s 2d Stryker Brigade as an intelligence analyst stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tocoma, Washington. During her time on Active duty she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies from American Military University and graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in December 2017. She took and passed the North Carolina Bar Exam in February 2018.
Mrs. Harris was sworn in today by Chief District Court Judge Richard K. Walker, with her parents Allen and Teresa Hayes, sister Abby Hayes, and husband Jacob S. Harris in attendance. Kimberly will focus on District Court and Misdemeanor appeals to Superior Court in Cherokee and Clay Counties.
“We are exceptionally pleased to have both a Veteran and native of Cherokee County joining our staff with the addition of Mrs. Harris. She demonstrated her professionalism, work ethic, and legal ability as an intern in our office during the summer of 2017 and will be an immediate asset in both Cherokee and Clay Counties,” said District Attorney Ashley Welch.