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Archive for Haywood County

NCDOT improvements in Haywood County

You might think of NCDOT crews tackling jobs such as patching or paving, but there’s also plumbing. Workers are focusing on making the I-40 rest areas in Haywood County more water efficient.

“With an increase in travelers coming through this summer, we want to make sure there’s enough supply to meet the demand,” says Richard Queen, roadside environmental engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The eastbound North Carolina Welcome Center and westbound rest area, nestled in the Pisgah National Forest near the Tennessee border, are unique for more than their scenic surroundings.

“Those facilities are 15 miles away from the nearest municipal water system,” says Queen. “We have to use six wells that pump into a reservoir to serve both sides.”

Crews are working to keep those reservoir levels up. That means isolating some flush valves, and replacing fixtures that are using more water than they should. The work may occasionally require one of the two rest areas to temporarily close. “We want to get that reservoir as full as we can going into weekends,” says Queen, “when we know there are even more people coming through.”

For westbound travelers, the next closest rest area is the Tennessee Welcome Center, 15 miles away. Eastbound travelers who continue through Asheville will come to another rest area on I-40 near Marion, or on I-26 East just beyond the Asheville Regional Airport.

Haywood County Sheriff offers tips for a safe Fourth of July weekend

With the July Fourth weekend approaching, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher asks all citizens to join him in making this Fourth of July holiday happy, enjoyable and safe for everyone.

Citizens should remember that fireworks, as enjoyable as they are to watch, can be dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks each year. You can enjoy a safe Fourth of July by following these safety tips:

Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Sheriff Christopher also wants citizens to use caution when swimming at a lake, river or pool.

Sheriff Christopher said, “Sadly, most deaths from drowning occur within a few feet of safety.”

The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. The Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. To find out where lessons are offered, or to enroll in a CPR/AED or first aid course, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

At a swimming pool, take the following precautions:

If no lifeguard is on duty, do not let children swim unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult who knows lifesaving techniques and first aid.
Post CPR instructions and directions to call 911 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
Look around the pool area to be certain lifesaving devices are readily available for emergency use.
Be sure covers are installed on all drains of a swimming pool or in a wading pool. The suction created by the pool’s circulating pumps can be very dangerous unless it is reduced by covers.
Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.
If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
To reduce the risk of eye, ear, nose or throat infection from contaminated water, swim only in pools in which water quality is properly maintained. The water should appear crystal clear, be continuously circulated and be maintained at a level that allows free overflow into the gutter or skimmer. There should not be a strong odor of ammonia or chlorine.
At the lake or river, take the following precautions:

Swim in a supervised area and swim with others. Never swim alone. Life vests are always recommended.
If you are caught in a strong current, swim parallel to the riverbank until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward land. If you can’t swim to the bank, float or tread water until you are free of the current and then head toward land.
Watch out for the “dangerous too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun and too much strenuous activity.
Look for movement in the water; it helps keep the water clean. Do not swim in stagnant or still water.
Do not swim right after a heavy rain. Runoff following a heavy rain may result in strong currents and a high bacteria level.
Do not dive into lakes or rivers.
Avoid getting lake or river water in your mouth or nose.
Sheriff Christopher said, “Following these precautions will help the children and citizens of Haywood County stay safe and healthy this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.”

Traditionally during the July Fourth holiday, highways experience one of the highest traffic flows of the year. The Sheriff reminds all Haywood County residents to follow these safety tips:

Always shift your attention every few seconds, constantly scanning the road ahead and behind you. Never blankly stare ahead nor fix your gaze on one point on the road.
When passing an automobile, always glance at the ground beside the front wheel of the car you intend to pass. You will know instantly if the car is about to veer – giving you an extra few seconds to respond.
You should pull out into the opposite lane of traffic when passing while you are still well behind the car in front. This should give you some time and space to build up speed and will enable you to pull back into your own lane should the need arise. Never cut abruptly out of your lane into the opposite lane when passing.
Always signal your intentions with your brake lights, turn signals, horn and/or headlights so that other drivers will see you well before you change course.
Drivers should always “aim high” in steering. That is, you should glance frequently at points well ahead of you. Not only will this help your steering, but it will also help you check the position of vehicles in front of you as well as on-coming ones.
Never follow too close. Remember that, as your speed increases, it takes you substantially longer to stop. Also remember that it’s good to have an extra cushion of space in front of you if you’re being tail-gated, on a slippery road or in low visibility conditions.
“Lastly, I would remind all motorists to practice the Golden rule when driving. Be courteous and tolerant of other drivers. Please don’t get angry with bad drivers or reckless ones – just get out of their way,” Sheriff Christopher said in closing. “Let’s make this summer a safe one on the roads in Haywood County.”

Beef cattle field day is July 18 at Mountain Research Station

North Carolina’s annual Beef Cattle Field Day will take place July 18 at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. The event, designed for cattle producers and those interested in cattle production, will feature research-based educational sessions focusing on forage management, reproduction and nutrition.

This event is sponsored by N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Cattlemen’s Association. It is free and open to the public.

The event starts with registration and a trade show from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m., followed by introductory remarks from Dr. Roger Crickenberger of the N.C. Agricultural Research Service at N.C. State, and Dr. Sandy Stewart of the NCDA&CS’s Research Stations Division.

Field day participants will then have the opportunity to take part in three sessions, led by N.C. State scientists, on how to extend the grazing season, which steps are needed for successful reproductive performance and how to feed and store wet brewers’ grains.

Lunch takes place from noon to 1 p.m., and then a panel discussion on different cattle production systems follows.

“The panel discussion will focus on what are the definitions of natural, grass-fed, pasture-raised, grass-finished beef production,” said Dr. Philipe Moriel, an N.C. State assistant professor of animal science. “It will be followed by a discussion among local producers about the advantages of each production system.”

Moriel says that the goal is to show producers that opportunities exist for each of the production systems.

The Mountain Research Station is located at 265 Test Farm Road, Waynesville. Research activities at the 407-acre station reflect the diversity of Western North Carolina agriculture, including field and forage crops, horticultural crops, Christmas trees, livestock and more. Directions to the station are available at http://www.ncagr.gov/research/MountainResearchStationWaynesville.htm.

Folkmoot USA seeks volunteers

Folkmoot USA depends on hundreds of volunteers to pull off the 10-day international folk dance festival. This year, Folkmoot is seeking volunteers for the Parade of Nations, International Day, in-office and cafeteria support, guides and souvenir vendors.

The 2015 festival begins July 16 and closes July 26. The full schedule is available at www.FolkmootUSA.org.

Needed volunteer positions are as follows:

— Volunteers for the Parade of Nations

The parade takes place beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, July 17, in downtown Waynesville. Volunteers will be asked to keep parade watchers off the streets and on the sidewalks, direct parade participants and pass out schedules and brochures for upcoming performances.

— Volunteers for International Festival Day

International Day is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 18, on Main Street, Waynesville. Volunteers are needed to transport, set up and takedown tables, chairs and Folkmoot merchandise. Volunteers will also serve in the information booth and will be asked to assist international performers.

— Volunteers for the cafeteria will assist with any of the four meals given to performers each day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and 11 p.m. snack). Volunteers will help clean after meals and do cafeteria chores with supervision from cafeteria staff.

— Volunteers for office support are needed after 5:30 to 10 p.m. to answer phones and take over-the-phone ticket orders. Volunteers for souvenir sales will help sell Folkmoot merchandise onsite and at each performance venue.

A call for guides

Each international group attending Folkmoot will have one man and one woman guide over the ages of 18-years old. The guide’s duty is to act as a liaison between the performers and the Folkmoot organization, accompanying the groups to all scheduled venues and helping plan fun events during the group’s free time. The job is a 24/7 commitment, requiring guides to stay with their group for the duration of the 10-day festival. A small stipend is given to each guide.

To apply as a volunteer or a guide, contact Doug Garrett at dgarrett@folkmoot.com or download and submit an application at FolkmootUSA.org. To purchase tickets for Folkmoot events, contact the ticket office at 452-2997.

Former Congressman Heath Shuler to Sell Waynesville Estate

Heath Shuler, former North Carolina Congressman, is selling his 7,000-square-foot Waynesville, N.C., mountain estate at auction on June 25.

The property is assessed at more than $1.7 million and includes its own trout creek and pond. The home itself has five bedrooms, along with five full and four half bathrooms. The house also includes a home theater, recreation room and gym. An adjacent barn adds another 2,400 square feet of space.

Shuler, a former N.C. congressman who is now a senior vice president for Duke Energy, built the 7,230 square-foot home in 2006 on 11 acres, according to J.P. King Auction Co., which will conduct the sale.

A $50,000 deposit is required to be eligible to bid and there is no established reserve. However, it is not an absolute auction. The sale is subject to the owner’s approval.

Property tours are available from June 16, through auction day.

Shuler in January purchased a home in Asheville, N.C.’s Biltmore Forest community for $985,000.

Sheriff Issues Safety Warning After Assault

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a safety alert and requesting information regarding an assault that occurred at Lake Junaluska Saturday afternoon.

Haywood County Communications received a 911 call Saturday from a female jogger who reported she was running on the lake grounds shortly after 2 p.m. when she was pursued and then grabbed by a stranger. She said the man fled when she screamed and turned to confront him.

The man is described as a white male in his twenties, standing approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds with a stocky build, and having a square face with large, wide-set eyes. The man was wearing a white shirt with a gray hoodie, a gray or black hat, dark black jeans and flat VAN-style shoes.

The man is believed to have fled the scene in a green early- to mid-2000s model Ford pickup truck with a silver band and chrome-colored toolbox in the bed.

Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher said law enforcement presence has been intensified at the lake grounds and the incident is being actively investigated.

The Sheriff’s Office is working closely with Lake Junaluska officials to attempt to identify and locate the suspect. Anyone with any information about the incident or suspect is asked to contact Haywood County Communications at (828) 452-6666.

To help ensure the safety of citizens and visitors in any part of Haywood County, Sheriff Christopher advises members of the public should:

– Run or walk with a trusted friend rather than alone,
– Not use earbuds, or at least have the volume turned down so hearing is not impaired,
– Let friends or family know where you are going and when you plan to return,
– Carry a mobile telephone or other method of quick communication, and,
– Be aware of your surroundings.

Reducing Rockslide Risk on I-40: Haywood County Lane Closures Start After Memorial Day

A construction project on Interstate 40 in Haywood County will help cut the risk of rockslides. Crews will be removing loose rock and further stabilizing the area in the Pigeon River Gorge.

To prepare for the work, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will be shifting traffic and reducing travel to one lane each direction near the Tennessee border, from mile marker 6 to 8, starting May 26. The lane closures could last up to three weeks, with all lanes expected to re-open by June 15.

“We’ll be shifting both directions of travel toward the river side of the existing median wall,” said Aaron Powell, NCDOT resident engineer. “We’ve widened the shoulder on the eastbound side, and will be installing a temporary concrete barrier wall to separate the directions of travel.”

The speed limit through the construction zone is lowered to 45, and travelers should expect delays from increased congestion. The westbound on-ramp at Exit 7, Harmon Den, has also been closed. Drivers on Cold Springs Creek Road wanting to access I-40 West into Tennessee can travel east to Exit 15, Fine’s Creek. The North Carolina Welcome Center on I-40 East, just beyond the work zone, will remain open.

“We appreciate drivers’ patience during the project, which when finished, will make this a safer stretch of highway,” said Powell.

Missing Georgia Man Found

A Georgia man who had been missing since Monday was found dead from what authorities believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Crabtree community of northern Haywood County Saturday afternoon.

The body of 46-year-old Douglas Michael Shockley was found by search and rescue personnel at 1:42 p.m. approximately three-fourths of a mile from where his pickup truck was found Thursday. An autopsy will be performed to verify cause of death.

“This is a sad and tragic situation that has changed a family’s dynamics forever,” said Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher. “Our prayers are with the family.”

More than fifty search and rescue personnel from numerous area law enforcement, fire, rescue squad, emergency services and canine handlers had been combing the woods and rocky terrain of the Crabtree/Fines Creek area daily since Thursday in an attempt to locate Mr. Shockley.

Mr. Shockley was reported missing from the Bridgemill area in Cherokee County, Georgia, around 9 a.m. Monday, May 11. On Thursday, May 14, Haywood County Sheriff’s deputies received a call reporting an unoccupied vehicle on the side of a road in the Crabtree/Fines Creek area. Deputies checked the white 2015 Nissan Frontier pickup truck and found it was registered to Shockley.

“This was a total team effort that included many agencies I am thankful to have as partners,” Sheriff Christopher said. “I appreciate every agency and individual who has assisted us these last three days.”

Search and rescue personnel from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services, 911 and Rescue Squad were joined by others from Waynesville and Canton police departments, as well as Henderson, Jackson and Buncombe County rescue squads, N.C. State Highway Patrol, fire departments from Fines Creek, Crabtree, Cruso and Asheville, the State Bureau of Investigation, NC Search and Rescue Dog teams and the Independent Search & Rescue Canine Handlers in the three-day attempt to locate Mr. Shockley

Missing GA Man Vehicle Found in Haywood County

On May 14, Haywood County Sheriff’s deputies received a call in reference to a suspicious unoccupied vehicle on the side of a road in the Fines Creek area. Deputies checked the vehicle and found it was registered to a man listed as missing from Cherokee County, Georgia.

Search and rescue personnel were dispatched and continue to search the area for the missing man, Douglas Michael Shockley. He was last seen at 9 a.m. leaving the Bridgemill area in Georgia wearing blue jeans and a blue-green shirt. He left driving a white 2015 Nissan Frontier pickup.

Shockley is described as a Caucasian male, 46 years of age, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, 235 pounds with a muscular build, blue eyes and reddish-blond hair.

Anyone who has any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact either the Haywood County Communications center at 452-6666 or the Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office at (678) 493-4080.

If you have any information please call 678-493-4080.

Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call the Haywood Communications Center at (828) 452-6666.

School lock down in Haywood County

Waynesville Middle School has implemented a minimum lockdown for precautionary purposes on Wednesday.
A vague and non-specific written threat was discovered on campus. After conferring with local law enforcement, school administrators implemented a minimum lockdown to follow up on investigative leads in a secure setting.

There was no apparent danger to students, staff or property. Additional information will follow as the investigation proceeds.

Haywood County Car Chase Ends in Arrests

A car chase that ended in a single-vehicle wreck in a pond on the Junaluska Golf Course this morning led to several felony charges for the vehicle’s occupants.

Haywood County Communications received a call shortly after 5:30 a.m. reporting two Duke Energy trucks had been stolen from the plant at the Waterville Dam in northern Haywood County. One truck had been abandoned in the nearby construction zone on Interstate 40, but the other was still missing.

A Haywood County deputy spotted a Duke Energy truck matching the stolen truck’s description near Lake Junaluska around 7:30 a.m. and attempted to stop the vehicle. Instead of stopping, the Quad-cab F250 increased speed and drove at high rates of speed on U.S. 19/23/74, Jones Cove Road and Interstate 40, driving the wrong way into on-coming traffic on at least two occasions.

Due to the recklessness and endangerment to which the driver had subjected the public, a deputy used his shotgun in an attempt to disable the vehicle near the Clyde exit. The truck sustained damage to the left rear tire and exited the interstate. The damaged truck continued down U.S. 19/23/74 and proceeded toward Lake Junaluska. The truck then drove out onto the Junaluska Golf Course and into a pond.

There were no injuries.

Deputies arrested 30-year-old Matthew Neal McCullough and 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Brainard; both of Travelers Rest, SC. Each was charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony possession of a motor vehicle, and felony flee to elude arrest. Each was jailed in lieu of $15,000 secured bond.

Their court date has been set for May 28. The case remains under investigation.

Couple Sought In Stolen Equipment Case

Deputies are asking for the public’s help in locating two people they believe are stealing and trading heavy equipment in Haywood County and in surrounding states.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has drawn warrants against 44-year-old Robert Eugene Woodward, of Gastonia, and 19-year-old Madison Brooke Hall, of Anderson County, South Carolina on charges of feloniously obtaining property by false pretense and felonious larceny and possession of a motor vehicle.

Detectives believe the pair rented a small excavator from an equipment rental business in Columbia, South Carolina, and then instead of returning it, traded it for a motorhome in Haywood County. The 2005 Trail Light motorhome is still missing.

The couple is wanted elsewhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia in reference to similar crimes.

Equipment rental companies in the area are advised to be vigilant and watchful concerning rentals at this time.

Anyone with any information regarding Woodward or Hall SHOULD NOT APPROACH them, but instead consider them potentially dangerous and contact Haywood County Communications at (828) 452-6666 or their local law enforcement agency immediately.

Haywood County Man Killed in Lawn Mower Accident

At approximately 9 p.m. Sunday, Haywood Communications Center received a 911 call in reference to an accident with injuries on Pot Leg Road in the Jonathan Creek community. First Responders, Emergency Medical Services and Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded.
Upon arrival, responders attended 64-year-old Ronald Ray Brown, who sustained injuries when the lawn mower on which he had been riding slid off a bank and rolled over on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other persons were involved.

Man Arrested For Holding Teen at Knifepoint

t600-mugA man accused of holding a teen at knifepoint, in her car in Waynesville, has been arrested.

Bradley Scott Reece is charged with 2nd degree kidnapping and breaking & entering into a vehicle.

Reece allegedly followed the 18-year-old to a parking lot, got into her backseat and demanded she drive him to a location a mile away.

According to the Haywood County Detention Center, Reece is being held under a $35,000 bond.

His next court date is scheduled for June 10th at 8:30am.

4 Arrested in Haywood County Stabbing

Four women have been arrested and another is being sought in the stabbing of a Haywood County woman Sunday.
Haywood County investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Jamie Marie Long Sutton, 36, of Bryson City in connection with the assault. Sutton is described as American Indian, between 5 ‘3” and 5’6” tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Haywood County deputies were dispatched emergency to 61 Fisher Lane in the Balsam community shortly after 2 p.m. in response to a 911 call reporting a woman had been stabbed. Officers arriving on the scene discovered a female victim who had sustained injury consistent with wounds from a bladed weapon. The victim was taken to Haywood Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Investigation later led to the arrest of four suspects:
Brooke Lynn Bushyhead, 34, of Clyde;
Ashley Jean Godbee, 22, of Waynesville;
Justice Rochelle Godbee, 20, of Waynesville; and,
Christina Setzer, 34, of Waynesville.
The women were each charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Each was jailed in lieu of $30,000 secured bond. They are scheduled to appear in court May 13.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Jamie Sutton should not approach her, but instead immediately contact Haywood County Communications at (828) 452-6666 or their local law enforcement and speak with an officer.

Burglary Ends In Deadly Shooting

Two men have been arrested and another was fatally shot in a reported burglary in Haywood County late Friday night.
Haywood County deputies were dispatched emergency to 1126 Sonoma Road in the Bethel community around 11 p.m. in response to a burglary in progress. A woman in the home called 911 reporting a man was in the house trying to rob her and her husband.

Officers arriving on the scene found one of the suspects injured, having sustained a gunshot wound. A second suspect had fled the scene on foot. Emergency medical personnel arrived and attended to the wounded man. William “Bill” Worley, 49, of Canton succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers searched for the second suspect and located Charles Henson, 47, of Canton. Henson was arrested and charged with felonious 1st degree burglary.

Detectives took a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol from the scene into evidence. During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered marijuana plants growing on the homeowners’ property and evidence of drug sales.

Homeowner Michael Hurst, 58, was arrested and charged with felony manufacturing marijuana, as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hurst and Henson were each jailed in lieu of $100,000 secured bond. Both are scheduled to appear in court April 22.
The investigation is continuing.

Arrests Made in Haywood County Breaking and Entering

Two Haywood County residents have been arrested in connection with a breaking, entering and larceny from a home in the Little East Fork Community.

On March 26, detectives with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office arrested 38-year-old Charles Bradford Arrington, of Waynesville, and 37-year-old Amanda Faith Fortner, of Canton, in connection with the March 3 breaking and entering of a home on Panther Branch.

Arrington had outstanding warrants for a separate incident. When detectives located Arrington riding in a car with Fortner, they conducted a traffic stop and saw in the vehicle a television believed to be from the Panther Branch theft. A search of the vehicle led to the further discovery of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Arrington was arrested and charged with felony breaking entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods, as well as felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also served with the outstanding warrants for felony obtaining money by false pretense, in addition to misdemeanor larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Fortner was charged with felony breaking entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods, as well as felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Arrington jailed in lieu of $35,000 secured bond. Fortner was jailed in lieu of $20,000 secured bond. The court date for each has been set for April 8.

Expect traffic delays on I-40

Safety improvements are coming to a stretch of Interstate 40 in Haywood County prone to rockslides.

Beginning Monday, March 16, traffic along mile marker 7 on Interstate 40 in the Pigeon River Gorge will be stopped for up to 30 minutes at a time between 30 minutes after sunrise and 10 a.m. The closure will help crews safely remove timber from the rock slope. The work is part of a $6.4 million project that will remove potential rockfall hazards and help prevent future slides from happening.

During the road closure, the contractor will be performing rolling road blocks in both directions with assistance from law enforcement between the North Carolina/Tennessee state line and Exit 15. Due to the limited time frame in which the contractor has to work, the removal of the timber will take several days to complete.

Motorists are encouraged to adjust their travel plans to avoid this area during the time frames mentioned above if possible. An alternative route would be to take I-240 in Asheville to I-26 West toward Johnson City and then I-81 South back to I-40. However, this route adds a considerable amount of travel time for anyone traveling from the Asheville area to Knoxville, Tenn.

Mile marker 7 has seen several rockfall events in recent years. The area was closed briefly in early June 2014 while crews scaled the rock wall and removed potential rockfall hazards. In 2009, a major rockslide closed I-40 westbound at mile marker 3. During cleanup and repair from that rockslide, another rockfall event occuured at mile marker 7 that would have closed I-40 westbound had it not already been closed.

Due to its location in a sharp downhill turn, mile marker 7 on I-40 is seen as the most beneficial location for a slope stabilization project. The new engineered slope will have state-of-the-art design and construction and bring it up to the safety standards of new interstate slopes, similar to those on I-26 in northern Madison County.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. You can also access NCDOT Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.

Child Injury Under Investigation in Haywood County

Haywood County emergency responders were called to 11 Wildwood Way in the Jonathan Creek area of the county at approximately 6:15 p.m. Thursday evening in reference to a traumatic injury, possibly from a gunshot.

According to a law enforcement report at the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrived on scene to find EMS workers treating a three-year-old girl for an injury to her right index finger. The child was transported to Mission Hospital for further treatment.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Legal Help Available to Clear Records

Attorneys will be on hand next week in Canton to help those with a criminal record find out if they’re eligible for a court order that clears their record.
Attorneys from Legal Aid of North Carolina will be in Canton on Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 to help people find out if they’re eligible for expunction.
Expunction is a court order that clears past offenses from a criminal record that may get in the way of potential jobs, renting an apartment or getting a loan.
Past mistakes prevent individuals from being able to rent a suitable place or get a job or loan. Under certain circumstances, the criminal record can be cleared.

Those eligible for an expunction include:
• A first-time, nonviolent offense committed more than 15 years ago;
• A first-time offense committed under the age of 18
• A first-time drug offense committed under the age of 22
• A charge that was dismissed or you were found “not guilty” of
Colwell encouraged individuals to call Legal Aid so their records can be researched to determine eligibility. For more information or to schedule a free meeting with a Legal Aid attorney, call (828) 586-8931 and press number 2 and then number 6. The line is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.