WRGC MastHead

Author Archive for Donovan Justice – Page 2

Harris Regional Announces New Service in High-Tech Wound Healing

Harris Regional Hospital announced on Monday the addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for wound healing. The new service will be available in mid-November and is part of the hospital’s established wound care program which will be now be known as the Harris Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy utilizes increased bariatric pressure to treat serious and chronic wounds that fail to respond to traditional wound therapy. Patients are placed inside a pressurized chamber on a stretcher while pure oxygen is delivered in to the chamber. Treatments last for up to two hours per day and occur five days a week for four to six weeks during a patient’s healing regimen. Lori Yerse, the Director of the Harris Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center said, “We’re excited to offer this new service to the region. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help patients with diabetic foot ulcers, wounds with exposed or infected bones, and patients with arterial wounds to the legs. This therapy is also utilized to treat late effects of radiation therapy. It really expands our level of treatment and provides convenience to our patients who might otherwise need to travel outside of the area for this type of care.” The wound care staff at Harris Regional Hospital has been providing comprehensive wound treatment to the community for years. Their previous services include care for surgical wounds, trauma and diabetic wounds, arterial and venous leg wounds, diabetic foot care, and ostomy care. The Harris Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center is located at 37 Medical Loop, Suite 103 in the WestCare Medical Park Loop. You can call 586-7910 for information or visit www.medwesthealth.org.

States will Receive Refund on Donated Park Funding

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened at 8:00 AM on Wednesday due to a collaborative effort between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. Both states donated revenues to a combined total of $375,500 to the US Department of the Interior to fund the operation of the park during the Federal Government shut down. The money donated would have funded the running of the park for five days. However, only one day of funding was needed due to Congress’s passage of a short term spending bill late Wednesday night. With federal funding reestablished, questions have been raised as to what would become of the additional four days of revenue that was contributed by the states. On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory received word that both states would be getting a significant portion of those donations back. The Department of the Interior has not announced when those refunds could be expected.

Cullowhee Lily Sale Under Way

 

The Cullowhee Lily

The Cullowhee Lily

The Cullowhee lily initiative, which works to re-establish the flower in the Cullowhee valley, is hosting its second annual bulb sale through the end of October. The initiative is sponsored by the Western Carolina University Alumni Association and packages of six to eight flower bulbs are being sold for $10 each at various retailers in the area. In addition, bulbs and Cullowhee lily notecards will be for sale before and during two Catamount home football games – the Hall of Fame Weekend game against Wofford on Saturday, Oct. 19, and the Homecoming game against Elon at Saturday, Oct. 26. Proceeds from the bulb sale support the development of Cullowhee lily flowerbeds on the university’s campus and the WCU Alumni Association Scholarship fund. The Cullowhee lily initiative continues to work to re-introduce the once-prevalent six-petal white flower to the Cullowhee valley. “We have written reports from the 1880s of the Cullowhee lily blanketing the valley,” said Susan Belcher, who is leading the effort along with Frances Owl-Smith, president-elect of the Alumni Association, and Betty Allen, past president of the WCU Alumni Association. “I am incredibly excited and look forward to seeing that blanket return and our students cultivated by this effort.” Last year, the Cullowhee lily initiative raised more than $10,000 for the scholarship fund through selling 9,000 bulbs, more than 200 packages of Cullowhee lily notecards and nearly three dozen limited-edition prints, and through donations and memberships in the Cullowhee Lily Society. To see a list of local retailers participating in the Cullowhee lily initiative, visit lily.wcu.edu, and for more information, you can contact Cindi Magill in the Office of Alumni Affairs at magill@wcu.edu or 828-227-7335.

 

EBCI Breaks Ground on New Casino

 

Casino Ground Breaking

Casino Ground Breaking

Today the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a $110 million project to build a new casino in Cherokee County. The construction site for the new facility is located just outside the town of Murphy, about an hour’s drive from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in the town of Cherokee. The casino will be owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (ECBI) and will be managed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and will feature 60,000 square feet of gaming space with slots and traditional table games; a 300-room full service hotel; and a variety of dining options. “Our winning partnership with Caesars Entertainment gives us a proven track record in the gaming industry,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. “This is an ambitious project, but we are confident that it will be a success – for our customers, our tribe and for the surrounding community.” The new gaming facility will is projected to create 900 jobs on-site and inject up to $39 million in wages into the surrounding area.

 

Authorities Searching For Hit-And-Run Suspect

Investigators say 56 year old Timothy Allison was crossing US 441 with another man around 9:30pm on Saturday when he was struck and killed by a vehicle near the Catamount Travel Center near the Cherokee Reservation. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop. Citizens who witnessed the crash or can help troopers locate the driver ase asked to call the North Carolina Highway Patrol at 828-627-2851.

Sheriffs Deputies Respond to Reports of Child Abuse

Today around 7:05 a.m. the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Qualla Motel in Whittier after receiving reports of unexplained physical injuries on a four year old child.  Deputies were requested after first responders and EMS arrived on scene and noted the injuries to the child.  The child was transported to MedWest Harris and then transferred to Mission Hospital. The child is currently listed in critical condition.  The Sheriff’s Office has one person related to this case in custody at this time. Investigators are working the case and WRGC will bring you updates as they become available.

Princeton Review Rates WCU College of Business One of Best in the Nation

The Princeton Review has listed Western Carolina University’s College of Business as one of the best schools in the United States at which to earn a degree in business. The education services company profiled the WCU college in the 2014 edition of its guidebook, “The Best 295 Business Schools,” which is based on surveys of more than 20,000 students in business programs around the world. Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher, said, “We recommend Western Carolina as one of the best institutions a student could attend to earn a business school degree. We chose the schools we profile in this book based on our high regard for their academic programs and our reviews of institutional data we collect from the schools. We also solicit and greatly respect the opinions of students attending the schools who rate and report on their experiences at them on our 80-question survey for the book.” WCU’s College of Business and its MBA program has been recognized by the Princeton Review for several consecutive years and this represents a point of pride, College of Business dean, Darrell Parker. He said, “This important external examination of our college lets us know we are offering programs of high quality that are meeting the needs of our students and of the region’s businesses that will hire them once they graduate.” The College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is widely regarded as the international benchmark for business school quality.For more information about the College of Business at WCU, visit the website business.wcu.edu or call 828-227-7412.

Sheriff’s Office Makes Burglary Arrest

Adam Bradley Bryant

Adam Bradley Bryant

Yesterday evening the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office took Adam Bradley Bryant into custody after issuing warrants for his arrest in connection with a string of burglaries in Cashiers and Glenville over the past weeks. Bryant has been charged with five counts of Breaking and Entering, four counts of Injury to Personal Property, and three counts of Larceny after Breaking and Entering.

Sheriff’s Office Looking for Burglary Suspect

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has issued warrants for 32 year old Adam Bradley Bryant in connection with several breaking-and-entering and larceny cases in Cashiers and Glenville that have been under investigation. Bryant is described as a white male, around 5’7”, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with any information about the suspect or any break-ins is asked to contact Detective Charles Crisp at 586-1382 or clcrisp@jacksonnc.org, or contact crime stoppers at 631-1125 or crimestoppers@jacksonnc.org

Adam Bradley Bryant

Adam Bradley Bryant

 

School Librarian Suspended Pending Embezzlement Investigation

A Jackson County School System employee has been suspended without pay after being accused of stealing from school funds. Authorities say Patricia Dunford, 45, a librarian at Cullowhee Valley School, has been charged with Larceny by Employee for embezzling money from the school system from August of 2012 to May of 2013. Dunford will remain suspended pending the outcome of the investigation and is scheduled to appear in court to face these charges on September 24th.

Governor McCrory Signs Voter ID into Law

Today Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 589, also known as the Voter Photo ID bill, into law. With this, North Carolina joins the majority of states, 34 out of 50, that require some form of  ID to vote.  The photo ID requirement will go into effect in North Carolina for the 2016 elections. Among acceptable forms of identification are a valid North Carolina driver’s license, U.S. passport and various military IDs. Also, voters can obtain a state-issued photo-ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles at no charge, and if a voter comes to the polls without a photo-ID, they will still be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. The bill also mandates that hours available to cast an early ballot remain the same and there will be 10 days for voters to cast their ballot early.  County board of elections will calculate the number of early voting hours offered in the 2012 presidential and the 2010 non-presidential voting years, and the same amount of early voting hours in those years must be made available in presidential and non-presidential elections going forward. Also, all early voting sites within a county must have the same days and hours of operation. Also, like most states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina will require voters to cast a ballot for a candidate, and not for a political party, by doing away with straight-ticket voting. This new law also aligns North Carolina with the majority of states (37) that do not allow a person to register and vote on the same day. To read the bill in its entirety, you can visit www.ncga.state.nc.us.

WestCare Foundation Honors Local Students

Pictured, left to right, are: Jonathan Bridley, graduate of Smoky Mountain High School; Mellanie Parton, of Swain Middle School; Madeline Carter, of Smokey Mountain Elementary School; Kimberly Mason, graduate of Swain County High School; Eva Palacios-Poxtan, of Cullowhee Valley Elementary School; Adele Gurevich; and Morgan Carpenter, of Scotts Creek Elementary School

 
Pictured, left to right, are: Jonathan Bridley, graduate of Smoky Mountain High School; Mellanie Parton, of Swain Middle School; Madeline Carter, of Smokey Mountain Elementary School; Kimberly Mason, graduate of Swain County High School; Eva Palacios-Poxtan, of Cullowhee Valley Elementary School; Adele Gurevich; and Morgan Carpenter, of Scotts Creek Elementary School

MedWest’s WestCare Foundation recently honored 7 students from schools in Jackson and Swain counties with the Anne and Robert Landsman Fund Award. Students are nominated by their school’s guidance counselors and must meet criteria set by former teacher Adele Gurevich, daughter of Anne and Robert Landsman, who established the Landsman Fund through the WestCare Foundation. Gurevich selects students who are not typically recognized in an academic setting, and who have overcome personal obstacles to achieve academic success. The award consists of a commemorative certificate and a monetary prize. The WestCare Foundation is a non-profit committee of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital that raises and allocates funds for benefit programs and services of MedWest. The primary goal of the Foundation is to garner financial support that directly benefits the community through the provision of quality local healthcare. All donations are tax deductible. To make a donation, call (828) 631-8924.

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure in Jackson County

The Jackson County Department of Public Health is reporting an isolated case of Hepatitis A at the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers. As a precaution, people who may have been exposed by eating at their restaurant between April 26 and May1, 2013 are being asked to contact the Department of Public Health for information on where to obtain vaccines or shots to help prevent them from getting sick. The possible exposure is due to an infection in an employee who was diagnosed on May 6, 2013. Symptoms, which include fever, a feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, and more, appear 2–7 weeks after exposure. This means that anyone potentially exposed could experience symptoms as early as May 10, 2013 and as late as June 20, 2013.    The Department of Health says High Hampton Inn has been extremely proactive and cooperative with local and state health officials.  They have been fully cooperative in contacting their guests and members once the situation became apparent. Anyone with exposure concerns or questions is asked to call the Jackson County Department of Public Health at 586-8994.

WCU Professor Nominated for Tony Award

 

Terrence Mann on stage with WCU students

Terrence Mann on stage with WCU students

Last week the nominees for the 2013 Tony Awards were announced and one nomination in particular has people at Western Carolina University excited. Terrence Mann, WCUs Carolyn Plemmons Phillips and Ben R. Phillips Distinguished Professorship in Musical Theatre, was nominated for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical” for his role as King Charlemagne in the Broadway revival of “Pippin”.

Even more impressive is the fact that this is not Professor Mann’s only Tony Nomination. His first came from his performance as the Beast in musical adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast, and his portrayal of Javert in the Broadway classic “Les Miserables” earned him his second nomination. Nathan Thomas, director of WCU’s Musical Theatre Program, said, “Congratulations to Terrence Mann on his third Tony nomination, proof that nice guys can succeed. Our students are extremely fortunate to be able to work with artists of Terry’s caliber.”

 WRGC had the opportunity to speak to Mann, and ask him about the challenge of maintaining a teaching career as well as an acting career in New York City. Mann said, “Well I have a really amazing group of folks, from the Chancellor on down to those who run the theater department. I am able to travel down to North Carolina and direct the major musicals, and when I am in New York students come up and I try to mentor them around here, show them performances, behind the scenes, and give them a feeling of what it will be like once they are in the profession. I have had a little bit of my cake and eaten it too, by being able to be in New York and work, but also come back to North Carolina and remember why I love what I do.”

The 2013 Tony Awards will be held in New York City on June 9th, and Terrence Mann will not only be in attendance, but will also be preforming with the cast of “Pippin”. There are many at WCU that are hoping that after the night’s festivities Professor Mann will be able to swap “Tony Award Nominee” for a newer “Tony Award Winner”.

Governor McCrory Signs Kilah’s Law

On Wednesday, April 24, Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill that has come to be known as Kilah’s Law into law in Raleigh. The bill increases the penalties for convicted child abusers to a Class D felony and requires their official record show that the abused was younger than 16 years of age. Before this law, child abuse was classified as “domestic violence” on official records. Said the Governor, “It is our duty to protect North Carolina’s children to the best of our abilities. It is my hope that Kilah’s Law will help stop child abuse in our state.” Kilah’s Law is named after 4-year-old Kilah Davenport, a child  brutally abused while in her step-father’s care. Kilah suffered serious brain damage, a fractured skull, a broken collarbone and other injuries as a result of the attack in 2012.  Her step-father, Joshua Houser,  is currently imprisoned and awaiting trial. Kilah survived the attack.  She and her family joined Governor McCrory along with lawmakers for the bill signing Wednesday afternoon. Senator Tommy Tucker, who was one of the sponsors of the bill said, “No one can undo the acts of violence committed upon Kilah Davenport. We can, however, send a very clear message that North Carolina, as a civil and just society, will not allow this child’s suffering to continue in vain.”

Reading With Ringling Comes to Our Area

readingWith Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus coming to Ashville in May, local children will have an opportunity to learn and receive a free ticket to the “Greatest Show on Earth” all at the same time. Children ages 2 to 12 can go to their local libraries and pick up their free “Reading with Ringling” cards. Each card has five slots, and when a child checks out, reads, and returns a book to the library, librarians will stamp the card in one of those spaces. When the card is full, it is good for a free child’s admission to the circus which will be held at the Ashville U.S. Cellular Center from May 9-12. For more information you can visit www.readingwithringling.com

Newfound Gap Road Reopens

From left to right: Chief Hicks, Park Superintendent Ditmanson, and Congressman Meadows

From left to right: Chief Hicks, Park Superintendent Ditmanson, and Congressman Meadows

Today, park officials and local politicians, held a press conference to announce the reopening of US 441/Newfound Gap Road, the main thoroughfare that runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and connects Eastern Tennessee to Western North Carolina. On January 16, 2013, a major landslide due to heavy rainfall, destroyed a large section of the road leaving it closed for months. Local contractors Phillips & Jordan were awarded a $3.9 million contract to begin the rebuilding process on February 20, 2013. In that contract, officials agreed to a daily incentive of an additional $18,000 dollars, up to $500,000, for early completion before the May 15 deadline. With today’s reopening announced, Phillips & Jordan completed the project 30 days early and will be awarded the full $500,000 as agreed. Local politicians Congressman Mike Meadows, and Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian were at the press conference to add their words of praise to Phillips & Jordan’s efforts. When asked about the $250,000 of the $500,000 early completion award that the tribe contributed, Chief Hicks said, “It was money well spent.”

The newly constructed stretch of Newfound Gap Road

The newly constructed stretch of Newfound Gap Road

Santa’s Land Petition

If you are interested in signing the online petition supporting Santa’s Land, the link we told you about in our news cast is http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/i-support-santas-land/

JCSO Looking For Info On Illegal Dumping

Additional Trash

Additional Trash

 

Garbage at Dump Site

Garbage at Dump Site

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says they have responded to complaints about illegal dumping occurring at the end of Locust Creek Road in Cullowhee.  This past Friday the Sheriff’s Office Inmate Work Crew cleaned up the dump site in that location. Anyone with any information about the illegal dumping is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 631-1125 or email at crimestoppers@jacksonnc.org

Haywood County Deputies Find Man Dead After a Standoff Resulting From Shooting

Authorities say Jeremy Shipman, a 27 year old resident of Haywood County, took his own life after he fired shots at a Deputy resulting in an extended standoff with law enforcement. The entire scenario began on the morning of Thursday, April 4. A concerned co-worker called police when Shipman failed to show up for work. Deputy Doug Carver of the Haywood County Sherriff’s Office responded to Shipman’s residence to verify his wellbeing. Reports say when the deputy made contact with Shipman, Shipman fired several shots at him with a rifle. Deputy Carver was not struck, and did not return fire. After calling for backup, a standoff ensued during which officers tried to communicate with Shipman but received no response. After tear gassing the house and deploying a flash bang grenade, SWAT team members entered the home where they found Jeremy Shipman dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to officials. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the case since an officer was involved in a fatal shooting, even though the responding deputy reported firing no shots. Investigators have yet to determine any motive on Jeremy Shipman’s part in this case.