In recognition of the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tri-County Community College will hold its annual Patriot Day memorial ceremony on Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in front of the McSwain Building flag pole on the main campus.
“Our annual memorial event allows us the opportunity to come together as a college and community to not only pause and reflect on those who lost their lives or were injured on Sept. 1, 2001, but also to recognize the freedoms we all have in this great country,” said Bo Gray, vice president for college and community initiatives.
The college held its first 9/11 remembrance on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002, and it has been an annual event ever since, Gray said.
The ceremony will feature a display with a recovered piece of steel from the World Trade Center Twin Towers, which was presented to the college to memorialize and honor those who died in the attacks.
“This event is free and open to the public,” Gray said. “On behalf of President Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers and our board of trustees members, we would also like to invite all local public safety personnel to attend our memorial ceremony.”
The most recent ceremony attracted more than 100 students, faculty, staff and community members to the main campus, where attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem before observing a moment of silence.
“Because Tri-County Community College trains and prepares public safety professionals and volunteers on an almost-daily basis, I can promise that we will never forget,” Gray said.
For more information regarding the Patriot Day memorial ceremony at Tri-County Community College, call 837-6810.
Jewelry from leading shopping stores will be sold up to 75% off retail price September 4-6 to raise money for the Auxiliary group at Erlanger Murphy Medical Center.
The Jewelry Sale will feature accessories from Chico’s, White House Black Market, Guess, Alfani, HSN, GVC and many more. Customers will have an opportunity to save on retail price while also contributing to an important cause for the community. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the hospital to help serve patients and family members at Erlanger Murphy Medical Center.
Members of the community are invited to attend. The sale will take place September 4 in the hospital lobby and on September 5 and September 6 in the lobby and conference room from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
If the warmer and wetter than normal conditions prevalent across Western North Carolina over the summer continue into September, fall leaf colors in the mountains are likely to be muted, but a transition into a normal weather pattern would result in a brighter tapestry of hues across the region.
That’s the word from Beverly Collins, Western Carolina University’s autumnal season soothsayer and prognosticator of leaf pigment potency. A professor of biology at WCU, Collins combines her knowledge of forest ecology with observations of weather trends to assess the potential for a big leaf color season.
“Warm and wet conditions are great for photosynthesis, but the sugars that are made tend to be used in tree stem and leaf growth, rather than accumulated in leaves, where they can trigger the tree to make less chlorophyll (the green pigment) or produce anthocyanins, the red color we see in fall,” she said.
The weather typically becomes drier in the WNC mountains during autumn, which is what long-range forecasts are indicating for this year. “If that comes to pass, leaf color could very well turn out to be brighter, but still a little more muted than normal because photosynthesis and chlorophyll production slow in the fall as the days get shorter and temperatures cool,” Collins said.
Leaf fanatics want to know when the color will be at its peak. Collins said the declining daylight of late summer and autumn is the primary factor affecting the timing of the colors. “In the Western North Carolina mountains, colors begin to appear in early September as the shortening days cue color change in plants such as sumac and sourwood,” she said.
However, weather also contributes to the timing of fall color, and if the weather stays warmer than normal, the peak could be delayed and more spread out over time, Collins said. For example, many of the towns in WNC’s southwestern mountains are located in valleys at around 2,000 feet in elevation, and peak color there might be delayed until the fourth week of October, rather than happening the week before. Generally, the peak occurs at higher elevations north of Asheville in early October, and then works its way down the mountainsides and to the southwest across the region, she said.
The quality of the fall leaf season isn’t just related to the sharpness of the hues, but also is influenced by the spectacular variety of tree species in WNC that create a patchwork quilt of color that blankets the mountains, Collins said. The highest elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Great Smoky Mountains National Park feature red spruce and Fraser fir trees that retain their green needles all year, but below those trees is the northern hardwood forest of maple, cherry and birch trees that often shows its red and yellow colors early.
Even lower down, the mixed oak and hardwood forest usually retains its red, orange and yellow colors for a longer period. Overall, the high species diversity and varied topography of WNC is likely to provide some inspiring scenery for the typical traveler who visits the region through October and into early November, Collins said.
Tri-County Community College kicked off the new academic year with more than 50 students attending a new student orientation session at the main campus on July 31, ahead of the official beginning of the fall semester on Aug. 16.
President Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers was present to welcome students to the college campus and encourage attendees to take advantage of all the services the College offers.
“We always want you to know that you come first here at Tri-County Community College,” Tipton-Rogers said.
Students at the session gained the opportunity to meet with key staff members and get a feel for the campus.
“A goal or a dream led you to be in this room today,” said Dr. Steve Wood, vice president for instruction and institutional effectiveness. “What matters to us the most is seeing each of you succeed during your journey here.”
The focus of this year’s new student orientation session was “Start to Finish,” and the five-hour, multi-tiered, all-inclusive session was designed to equip the new students with the tools and information they would need to succeed.
In reviewing the programs of study available, Wood also said the college is constantly looking to expand its offerings to meet the social and employer needs in the surrounding community.
“We have several new programs beginning this fall, including a human services substance abuse counselor degree track and our data center technologies program,” Wood said. “Both programs are a direct result of working with individuals and businesses in our community to assess their needs.”
Students at the new student orientation session culminated their day-long introduction to the college by registering for their fall classes and obtaining their student identification badges.
“We always love seeing new students on campus,” said Lee Beal, director of enrollment management. “The entire purpose of new student orientation is to set these students up for success before they begin attending their classes this fall.”
Fall semester at Tri-County Community College is underway, but there is still time to register for classes and set a course for your future. For more information, call 837-6810 or visit www.tricountycc.edu.
The U.S. Forest Service announced that it is opening the Panther Top Fire Tower to the public for viewing on selected dates in October and November. This Forest Service fire tower is normally closed to the public.
The Panther Top Fire Tower is located in Cherokee County near Hiwassee Lake. The 40-foot tall lookout tower was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940.
Standing atop a 2,293-foot summit, the Panther Top Fire Tower is the lowest situated lookout tower in western North Carolina, and it is also the most western tower in the state.
The tower will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday: October 27-28 and November 3-4. Hours will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
For details, call the Tusquitee Ranger District Office at 837-5152.
DIRECTIONS TO PANTHER TOP TOWER FROM MURPHY:
– Take Hwy 64 West for approx. 7 miles. Turn right onto NC 294, then go 0.8 miles to Panther Top road (SR1303), and go 2 miles. The road forks and the pavement becomes gravel. Take a right, continuing on Panther Top Road for another 1 mile. At the top of the hill, turn left. Continue approx. ½ mile to the tower.
The shooting range is in the general area. If you traveled about 0.7 of a mile on Panther Top Road, you’ll see the entrance is on the left, up the hill and through the gate with another 0.2 miles to the range.
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office:
Murphy, NC— On August 13th, 2018 at about 8:20 pm, Cherokee County E-911 Communications received a call indicating that a female had possibly been shot at a residence on Twin Pond Road, in the Hiwassee Dam Community of Cherokee County, North Carolina. Further, the caller stated that the shooter was actively engaged in shooting inside the residence at the time of the call. The report came from neighbors who reside across the street who had gone to check the welfare of the female. The shooter was reportedly barricaded in the residence at the time of the call.
Deputies from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene of the reported incident. While on scene, numerous shots were heard along with breaking glass. At one point a deputy was able to check the condition of the female, later identified as Tamma Lee, a 57-year-old female of Blairsville Georgia, and found that she was already deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies then contained the perimeter of the residence. During this time, Cherokee County Emergency Management Administration placed a reverse 911 call to residents in the immediate area notifying them to stay in place.
Additional resources were called which included the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Cherokee Tribal Police Department’s SWAT team along with Jackson County’s SWAT team, Cherokee County Emergency Medical Services, Ranger Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered assistance. Apparently as the Cherokee Tribal Police Department’s SWAT team approached in a Bearcat vehicle the male inside the residence fired several shots at the vehicle.
As the incident progressed into the early morning hours, several attempts occurred to make contact the male in the house with no contact being made. Utilizing the SBI’s robot, the male individual later identified as Nathan Mashburn, a 27-year-old Fannin County, Georgia resident, was located deceased in the residence from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cherokee Tribal and Jackson County’s SWAT teams were able to clear the residence and did not locate any other persons at the residence.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “This is a great tragedy and loss for all concerned. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the family members of those involved in this unfortunate incident. My Office and I want to thank all the Agencies and our great public for the assistance we received during this lengthy ordeal. ”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at email@example.com.
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – On Thursday, August 2, 2018, Jose Hector Alvarado, 44, a citizen of El Salvador who was residing in Cherokee County, N.C., was sentenced to 78 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release, for traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct with two minors, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. also ordered Alvarado to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, on March 19, 2016, Alvarado drove a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl from Cherokee County, N.C., to Anderson, S.C. for the purpose of engaging in sex with the minors there. Upon arriving in Anderson, Alvarado bought gifts for the minors and then rented a motel room. Court records show that the minors contacted their parents and informed them of their whereabouts. The parents alerted local law enforcement and the minors were rescued.
Alvarado pleaded guilty on October 26, 2017, to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. Alvarado will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon the completion of his federal sentence.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked ICE/Homeland Security Investigations and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office:
Murphy, NC— On August 1st, 2018 Dawson Michael Burris, an 18-year-old Murphy, North Carolina man was sentenced to 13 months to 25 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Athena F Brooks for taking Indecent Liberties with a Child. Burris was placed on Supervised Probation for a period of 36 months and is required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.
On or about May 13th, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into a reported child sexual assault which happened in the Marble Community of Cherokee County. During the investigation, assistance was provided by the HAVEN Child Advocacy Center. As the investigation progressed, information was gained and presented to the June 4th, 2018 Cherokee County Grand Jury which returned a true bill of indictment against Burris for an Indecent Liberty with a Child.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “Great team work by our Patrol Deputies, our Investigators and HAVEN. It is this kind of teamwork that allows us to be successful in these most difficult of crimes.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.