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.
Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated that shortly after 7:30 am on May 1st, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance at a residence on Bryson Branch Road, in the Topton Community of Cherokee County. The nature of the call was a possible domestic situation.
As units were responding to the scene, information was provided that someone may have been shot at the residence. Emergency Services Personnel were dispatched and staged until units from the Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene. Once on scene the arriving Deputy was able to determine that a 39-year-old male had been shot and required medical attention.
EMS arrived and transported the individual to a location where he was later flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. His condition is unknown at this time.
The investigation continued late into the afternoon, as several individuals were interviewed and search warrants were completed at the residence. The investigation is continuing and ongoing and when complete it will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for further review.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “At this time I will not comment further concerning this investigation as it is ongoing. I can say that we are not looking for any additional person(s) of interest in this case. The teamwork displayed today between law enforcement and Emergency Services is outstanding and we appreciate the level of professionalism displayed by all today. As always, these are difficult cases on everyone involved.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note from Julia H Higdon, Principal, Andrews Middle School:
April 25, 2018
Dear AMS family, parents, and community stakeholders,
Andrews Middle School is dedicated to maintaining a strong partnership with parents and believes transparency and open communication among all stakeholders is of paramount importance. There have been recent postings on social media with inaccurate information surrounding a citation sixth grade teacher Amber Ledford received. I sincerely thank you for approaching me directly to express your concerns about Ms. Ledford. As your principal, I wish to convey facts pertaining to her citation and the mitigating circumstances surrounding it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter clarifying this matter. Ms. Ledford and I will be happy to meet with anyone individually who would like to discuss concerns further.
Julia H Higdon
Andrews Middle School
Tri-County Community College held its annual Academic Honors Banquet for students to be recognized for their academic achievements, as well as their induction into national honor societies, in front of family and friends on April 19 at McGuire’s Millrace Farm in Peachtree.
“This event is one my favorite out of the entire year because it allows us to thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” said Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, president of Tri-County Community College. “It is an honor to be with you all tonight.”
The college’s four honor societies -- Alpha Beta Gamma, Phi Theta Kappa, the National Technical Honor Society and Tau Upsilon Alpha -- all had pledges recognized from the student body.
Also recognized at the event were students who had not pledged to an honor society but who had earned the distinction as Honor Students for having a cumulative GPA above 3.5, as well as the students graduating with the highest GPA in their degree program, who were recognized as Top of Class.
“These students have made many sacrifices to achieve the level of excellence on display here tonight,” Tipton-Rogers said. “On behalf of the faculty and staff, I want to wish you the very best going forward.”
Additionally, two students were honored for their nominations for annual state-wide awards. Beth Thomason was nominated for the 2018 Academic Excellence Award for her academic achievements and dedication; and Naeem Ahmed was nominated for the 2018 Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award.
For more information regarding academic honors at Tri-County Community College, contact Holly Hyde at 835-4219 or visit www.tricountycc.edu.
The following press release has been issued by Chief Al Lovingood, Murphy Fire Department
At 3:07:22 pm on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Murphy Fire Department, assisted by Peachtree Fire Department, was dispatched to 672 Valley River Avenue on report of a residential fire.
Upon arrival of the first engine at 3:11:54, firefighters found an approximate 1200 square foot single story house with smoke coming from the attic. Personnel forced entry into the structure and found heavy smoke conditions. Firefighters located and extinguished the fire in a utility room. No one was home at the time of the fire, which appeared to have started behind a clothes dryer. Fire damage was contained to the utility room but the entire structure sustained smoke damage.
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 25th, 2018 arrest of Mason Kelly Nykolajcuyk, a 26-year-old Bradley County, Tennessee fugitive who was captured following a lengthy chase in and around Murphy, North Carolina during the noon time hour.
A little after 1130 am on April 25th, 2018, Lt. Wood with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division spotted a vehicle matching the description of a wanted vehicle which had been involved in an incident in Polk County Tennessee on the previous day where a Polk County Deputy was stabbed. At the time, the vehicle was just west of Murphy on US Highway 64 and headed west.
As Lt. Wood began following the vehicle to make an investigative stop, the vehicle pulled off the side of the road and then fled back east. During the chase, the vehicle reached speeds above 80 miles per hour oftentimes in crowded business areas as well as in residential areas which included an elementary school. Additionally, the driver was driving erratically, which included driving in the east bound lane of US 19 near the Murphy High School into oncoming traffic, and at times almost struck pedestrians in the area as well as striking two law enforcement vehicles and attempting to strike other law enforcement vehicles.
At one point in the chase, a unit from Murphy Police Department setup and deployed stop sticks which damaged one or two of the vehicle’s tires, however Nykolajcuyk continued his high speed flight. Shortly after Nykolajcuyk entered a small two lane road in the Texana Community of Cherokee County, Lt. Wood was able to utilize a pit maneuver to disable the vehicle at which time Nykolajcuyk was captured.
Nykolajcuyk is currently incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center. Nykolajcuyk is charged with Felony Fleeing to Elude Arrest, Felony Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Possession of a Stolen Motor Vechile. Nykolajcuyk is currently under a $100,000.00 secure bond and has a hold placed on him for pending out of state charges.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “Outstanding work and cooperation bringing a very dangerous situation to a safe closure. We appreciate the cooperation of Murphy Police Department.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at email@example.com.
Clarification/Correction: We understand that Mason Kelly Nykolajcuyk and Ashley Hale of Delano, Tennessee, were stopped by a Polk County deputy on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Ashley Hale was the one who allegedly stabbed the deputy. The deputy fell backwards and hit his head on a rock. A BOLO was issued. Click here for more from WRCB-TV.
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.