Archive for Haywood County – Page 2

Again: More Jobs Coming To Jackson County

The Jackson County Commissioners moved to accept an offer from Consolidated Metco to locate a warehouse and possibly a small manufacturing operation in Sylva in what is known as the Tuckaseigee Mills building. This is a two phase project. First the Commissioners accepted a bid from NEO Corporation of Canton to remove floor tiles containing asbestos. According to County Manager Chuck Wooten, when potential users of the industrial site did a site visit the asbestos question always came up and actually was a deal breaker. Under the current plan NEO will complete the asbestos tiles within two weeks. The project is expected to start immediately. The SECOND PHASE is once the asbestos is removed Con Met will move in behind them with a $350.000 facility upgrade including lighting and bathrooms. There will be other additions including a loading dock and facility upgrades. The lease will be for three years at a base rate of 82 cents a square foot but the improvements make the rent value almost three dollars per square foot. Con Met is expected to have 24 employees at the site by July or early August. Con Met has been on a hiring blitz for the past few weeks and is expected to continue seeking reliable workers for these operations as well as for those in Swain and Haywood counties. The base pay is $12.00 per hour and increases to $15.00 per hour once the trial period is over. The benefits package is worth about one half the base rate once employees are granted full time status.

210th Military Police Unit Set To Return Home On Friday

The NC National Guard has announced the return of the 210th Military Police Company (Forward Detachment) unit with Armories in Franklin, Sylva, and Murphy NC will be greeted with “Welcome Home” ceremony on Friday May 16th at 1:00 p.m at the lake Junaluska Terrance Hotel and Conference Center. The ceremony is open to the public and veteran’s groups are encouraged to attend. This Unit comprised of 30 soldiers was deployed in May 2013 in a ceremony at Southwestern Community College. Their mission was law and order operations and were equipped to provide those services at their assigned base. The 210th National Guard unit is commanded by Captain James Rossi and the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge is First Sargent Timothy Schwab. Their rear Detachment commanders are Captain Jason Porter and First Sargent Willard Lackey. Their primary assigned duty station while deployed was the Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

The accomplishments of the 210th MP unit from the North Carolina National Guard were: Conducted Law and Order operations on the largest strategic base in the Afghanistan theater of operations. Worked directly for the Garrison Commander (O-6), NATO Installation Commander (O-7), and the Division Commanding General (O-8) to protect over 32,000 resident Service Members and Civilians from criminal threats. Deterred criminal activity, which interferes with combat readiness, provided community assistance, developed crime prevention programs, and promoted a safe environment. Directly supported the Base Defense Operations Center by locating and cordoning over 90 Indirect Fire attack Points of Impact. Also operated the only Field Detention Site in Regional Command-East, allowing for the successful detention of several named targets. The unit received numerous awards and commendations including the BSM x3, MSM x3, ARCOM x21, AAM x7. There no Purple Hearts issued during the mission which indicated all the soldiers served their tour of duty with no combat related injuries and no loss of life of any member of the unit. Many felt this was a dangerous mission with the deployment in May 2013, but the fact that the unit returned with no injuries nor loss of life speaks highly of their units leadership, training, and superior service. One of the interesting stories from the deployment is the Unit was co-located at Bagram Airfield with sister NC-ARNG unit, the 211th MP CO. for a portion of deployment. Two brothers SGT Marc Cook(210th) and SSG Brandon Cook (211th) served together.
Special thanks to area businesses and institutions supporting the individuals during deployment included Hayesville American Legion Post #532, and the Western North Carolina Veterans Council.

Verizon Wireless Shooting

4314-RANDOLPH-SHOOTING_19467A cell phone outage across Haywood County Thursday afternoon resulted in a shooting. Just before 5am, Waynesville authorities were called out to the Verizon Store after Lawrence Martin, apparently upset about his phone & cable being out, shot 15 rounds at the building from his vehicle.

Martin’s family members called the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office Thursday evening to report his plans to target the police department and communications companies.9-1-1 calls came in later from people at the Huddle House who said a man was shooting at the Verizon Wireless building across from Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Waynesville officers were vigilant and found Martin still in the parking lot. A chase ensued as the suspect led officers to Main Street where he eventually crashed his truck.

Martin was arrested and charged with felony fleeing to elude, going armed to the terror of the public and several counts damage to property. Martin was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Dog Shooting

Lewin Devoe BurrellHaywood County deputies arrested a man today accused of shooting a dog near Canton.

Lewin Devoe Burrell, 70, of Canton was arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals and misdemeanor going armed to the terror of the people.  Mr. Burrell is accused of shooting a mixed-breed terrier in the face with a gun.  The warrants also charge Mr. Burrell with firing the gun in close proximity to a house.  The incidents are alleged to have occurred Wednesday.

At the time this story was published, the dog was still alive.

Mr. Burrell was arrested without incident and jailed in lieu of $2,000 secured bond.  His court date is slated for May 28.

Tuscola Student Arrested for Threats

Joseph Francis JacobsA sixteen-year-old Tuscola High School student was arrested by Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies Wednesday, accused of threatening the lives of several students.

Deputies arrested Joseph Francis Jacobs, 16, of Maggie Valley, shortly after 10 a.m. upon receiving information from students that Jacobs told them he planned to shoot them.  Jacobs was charged him with making a false report of mass violence on educational property – a Class H felony.  He was also charged with four misdemeanor counts of communicating threats.

Jacobs was jailed in lieu of $10,000 secured bond.  His first court appearance is scheduled for May 21.

Spring Rabies Clinics Held in Haywood County

The clinics encourages everyone to get their pets a rabies shot.

The clinics encourages everyone to get their pets a rabies shot.

Spring rabies clinics will be held throughout Haywood County for five days beginning May 19.

Every spring and fall, Haywood County Animal Services, the Haywood County Health Human Services Agency and veterinarians from several animal hospitals around the county collaborate on a series of Rabies Clinics to encourage citizens to get their pets vaccinated.

According to North Carolina law, in order for a rabies vaccine to be current, all dogs, cats and ferrets ages four months old and older must be vaccinated against rabies. North Carolina courts have ruled that to be in compliance with the law, a licensed veterinarian must administer the rabies vaccination.

The clinics will be held at the following locations:

— Monday, May 19, at Riverbend Elementary School and Old Fines Creek School

— Tuesday, May 20, at Canton Middle School in the bus parking lot

— Wednesday, May 21, at Hazelwood Elementary School

— Thursday, May 22, at Jonathan Valley School

— Friday, May 23, at Bethel Middle School in the bus parking lot

The clinics will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The cost per vaccine is $9. Participating veterinary clinics include Animal Hospital of Waynesville, Balsam Animal Hospital, Canton Animal Hospital, Country Lane Animal Hospital, Junaluska Animal Hospital and Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital. Most veterinary hospitals will also offer rabies shots for $9 during normal business hours on each of the clinic days.

For more information on rabies in Haywood County, call Animal Services at 456-5338 or the county Environmental Health Department at 452-6682.

Haywood County Prescription Drug Arrests

0511_prescription-drugs-500x333The Haywood County multi-agency drug task force recently arrested three men in association with the theft of prescription pain medication from an elderly woman.

Officers with the U.N.I.T. (Unified Narcotics Investigative Team) received information last week that liquid morphine being prescribed for a patient receiving end-of-life care was being stolen from her home on Walnut Trail.  The task force also received information that known drug users and dealers had been frequenting and staying at that location.

The task force conducted a welfare check on the elderly female at the residence, and during the course of the investigation, seized several items of drug paraphernalia and five guns. Arrested on April 22nd in connection with the crimes were James Barnett, Phillip Szostak and Andrew Clubb of Waynesville.

Early Voting Starts April 24th

This is a reminder the opportunities for early voting are getting underway. In order to accommodate voters and avoid the voting rush on May 6th voters can vote now. Below are locations to vote in the counties served bt WRGC Radio.

Haywood County
Senior Resource Center
81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville
Canton Library
11 Pennsylvania Ave., Canton
Town of Clyde Municipal Building
8437 Carolina Blvd., Clyde
Hours for all three locations:
April 24 – 25: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 26: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
April 28 – May 2: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 3: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Jackson County
Jackson County Board of Elections Office
876 Skyland Drive, #1, Sylva
April 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Aprils 25: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 26: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
April 28 – May 1: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May 2: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 3: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Remote Sites:
Cashiers Recreation Center
355 Frank Allen Drive, Cashiers
April 24: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Aprils 25: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 26: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
April 28 – May 1: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May 2: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 3: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cullowhee Recreation Center
88 Cullowhee Mountain Road, Cullowhee
April 24: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Aprils 25: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 26: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
April 28 – May 1: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May 2: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 3: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Swain County
Swain County Board of Elections Office
1422 S. Hwy. 19, Bryson City
Cherokee One-Stop Site
37 Cherokee Boys Club Loop, Cherokee
Hours for all locations:
April 24 – 26: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
April 28 – 30: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 1 – 2: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
May 3: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sex Offender Violation

Dennis Goodman, Dennis Michael Goodman53, of  Pisgah Drive in Canton, North Carolina failed to register as a Sex Offender. Upon hearing there was a warrant issued for his arrest, Goodman turned himself in to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department.

North Carolina law requires sex offenders who have been convicted of certain offenses to register with their county sheriff. The sheriff collects information from the offender and court documents.  The sheriff then enters the information into the Registry database.  This information is available on a county wide basis at the sheriff’s office.  The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation takes certain information submitted by the sheriffs in all 100 counties in the state and makes it available to the public via the Sex Offender Registry website. Failure to register as a Sex Offender is a Class F Felony.


Evergreen Foundation Allocates $392,917 in Grant Funding

At their March meeting, the Evergreen Foundation board of directors voted to provide $392,917 in funding to support nine agencies that provide programs and services for individuals with Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities. The grants were awarded through a competitive grant process to agencies located throughout Western North Carolina. Fourth quarter grant recipients are:

-Full Spectrum Farms, Sylva, serving the 7 western counties: $16,370 to provide accessible restrooms, pathways and safety modifications which will provide full access to their facilities by all participants.
-30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance, Waynesville, serving the 7 western counties: $7,778 to support phase 2, marketing and fund raising, for their animal assisted therapy project.
-The Arc of Haywood County, Waynesville, serving Haywood County: $52,000 to help purchase security cameras for their group homes and a wheelchair accessible van for their residential programs.
-Barium Springs Services for Children, Barium Springs, serving the 7 western counties: $65,000 to provide a challenge gift which will match dollar for dollar up to $65,000. This will provide funding needed to complete renovations for the Hawthorne Heights youth shelter in Bryson City.
-Pathways for the Future, Sylva, serving the 7 western counties: $4,157 to purchase materials and equipment for use in a new day enrichment program.
-Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Waynesville, serving Haywood County: $27,800 to purchase a 15 passenger van for use in their day program.
-Webster Enterprises, Webster, serving Jackson, Swain and Macon Counties: $8,955 to update their accounting software.
-Meridian Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Sylva, serving the 7 western counties: $204,357 for additional training to expand their Peer Support Services workforce; supplement their current funding for under-funded psychiatric services; and to purchase 2 vans and 3 all-wheel drive vehicles to transport individuals in their programs.
-Mountain Projects, Sylva, serving the 7 western counties: $6,500 to support two teen initiatives, Sticker Shock Underage Drinking Awareness and the Teen Institute Summer Conference.

Evergreen Foundation grants for fiscal year 2013-2014 have totaled $760,675. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on May 31 for the June grant cycle.

The mission of the Evergreen Foundation is to improve access to and public awareness of quality prevention, treatment, and support services by the provider community to individuals and families with intellectual/developmental disabilities, behavioral health, and/or substance abuse needs in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. To learn more about the Evergreen Foundation visit www.evergreenfoundationnc.org.

Convicted Felon

Shannon Mack Owens

Shannon Mack Owens

Cooperative efforts between federal and local law enforcement agencies have led to the arrest of a Haywood County man charged with firearms violations.   Shannon Mack Owens, 36, of Sutton Town Road, Waynesville, is accused of possessing and selling a .22-caliber pistol while being a convicted felon.  Detectives with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office worked together with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the investigation.  Owens was charged with Possession of a Firearm by Felon and with User in Possession.  Each of the two charges can carry up to a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.   Owens was arrested March 28 and transported to the Buncombe County Detention Center, where he has been placed on federal hold pending trial.

Prostitution Arrests In Clyde

James Lee Ramsey

James Lee Ramsey

A man and woman accused of promoting prostitution from an apartment in Clyde were arrested Monday. James Ramsey, 29, of Clyde and Vicky Cecero, 25, of Waynesville, are both accused of advertising prostitution through social media and attracting people to the apartment for sex acts. The apartment was fronted by a storefront called Wild Things Plantation, where they were selling animals such as ducks, chickens and goats, said new Clyde Police Chief Terry Troutman. The two weren’t residing at the apartment, which wasn’t in livable condition, he said. “That was just their secondary business location,” Troutman said. Law enforcement have been conducting surveillance at the apartment at 7937 Carolina Blvd. in Clyde since early March, according to a press release from the Clyde Police Department. Through investigation, police found the location has been advertised through social media as a business in what investigators believe has been conducting acts of prostitution. Surveillance and subsequent investigation revealed the business was attracting individuals from several counties and even from out of state, including several people who were registered sex offenders. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the apartment Monday. The arrests were the effort of multiple law enforcement agencies called the Unified Narcotics Investigative Team, a multi-jurisdictional task force in Haywood County. Both suspects face felony charges for promoting prostitution. Ramsey is also charged with maintaining a place for prostitution, felony conspiracy and is a fugitive out of Georgia. Ramsey remains in custody under $60,000 bond and Cecero was released on a written promise to appear in court. The investigation is still ongoing and other charges and arrests are possible, Troutman said. “This operation is just another example of all the law enforcement agencies in the county working together to address criminal concerns that plague our communities,” Troutman said in the press release.

Tuscola Prom Problems

Tuscola High School

Tuscola High School

Organizers at Tuscola High School moved the prom from the Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore, to the much smaller Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. Prom organizer Maggie Melville says the prom was moved because it had gotten too expensive to have in Asheville. She says in February, they limited ticket sales to Juniors and Seniors, and told students about the change. But by mid-March, only three tickets had been bought. Then sales opened up to the whole school and they quickly sold out. Prom organizers say they may consider finding a different venue next year.

Haywood County Bank Robbery

Matthew Mark Lloyd

Matthew Mark Lloyd

A local bank was robbed today and the quick thinking of the tellers helped deputies catch the suspect. The robbery happened at the BB&T Bank on Soco Road in Maggie Valley. The suspect, 36-year-old Matthew Lloyd of Lenoir, was arrested just seven minutes later on Highway 276. Deputies say the tellers took down his license plate number and direction of travel which helped deputies locate him. Lloyd is being held on $30,000 bond.

Haywood Co. Man Pleads Guilty

James Daniel Sawyer

James Daniel Sawyer

A Canton man faces nearly 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual assaults that left a 3-year-old boy with a sexually transmitted disease. James Daniel Sawyer, 33, was arrested in October of last year after Sgt. Shawn Gaddis with the Canton Police Department received a report from the Haywood County Department of Social Services involving the little boy. The boy and his then 7-year-old sister were examined and interviewed at Mission Hospital. Though the girl did not have any physical illness, she did speak of Sawyer’s sexual behavior. Authorities believe the crimes occurred on and off between January 2012 and September 2013, based on statements by the mother, children and Sawyer himself. Sawyer has never even had so much as a traffic ticket, comes from a well-respected family, is a lifelong local resident and has a stable employment history.  Sawyer’s father and pastor were present in the courtroom as well. His father teared up as he stood to speak. Judge William Coward did not recognize any mitigating factors and sentenced him to 240 months to 348 months in prison and fined him $10,000 to go to the state. He also granted the defense’s request to allow Sawyer work release so he can help support his 5-year-old daughter, despite adamant disagreement from prosecutors. Upon his release, Sawyer will be a registered sex offender and required to wear satellite based monitoring for life.

Haywood Bridge Replacement

NCDOT LogoTheN.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close part of Hemphill Road in Haywood County beginning next week for a bridge replacement project. During construction, crews will be replacing a bridge over a branch of Jonathan Creek with a culvert. The $331,162 project also includes grading, drainage, paving and installing signage around the new structure. The existing bridge was built in 1955 and is considered functionally obsolete, which means that although the bridge is safe, it was built to design standards no longer in use. The project contractor, NHM Constructors, LLC, will begin installing the detour during the first week of April. The detour will remain in place until mid-July. Motorists will take Hemphill Road to N.C. 276, and then take Grindstone Road back to Hemphill Road. For real-time travel information any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.

NCHP Information Sessions Planned

Troop GThe North Carolina State Highway Patrol Troop G  Invites you to their open house at Reynolds Fire Department for informational sessions regarding employment with the Highway Patrol.  These sessions will be held at Reynolds Fire Department on April 26th and May 3rd from 9 am until 12 noon.  Troopers will discuss everything from basic qualifications of an applicant to retirement from the organization.  If being a North Carolina State Trooper has ever crossed your mind, or if it is something you have always wanted to do, come by and see us at one of these two sessions.  If you would like to speak to a recruiter, call Trooper Metcalf at (828) 234-5603.

Haywood County Church Fire

Sutton Town Baptist Church

Sutton Town Baptist Church

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office says a man accidentally burned down the historic Sutton Town Baptist Church in Waynesville Friday. Deputies say the fire started when the man’s burn pile got out of control. Deputies say dry conditions and wind helped the fire spread quickly. The church hadn’t been operational in several years and was destroyed by the flames. Deputies say the fire was ruled accidental and no charges will be filed.

Haywood County Murder

Crystal Brook Howell

Crystal Brook Howell

A 17-year-old MaggieValley teen has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her father. Crystal Brooke Howell was arrested Sunday in Richmond County, Georgia, on a HaywoodCounty warrant initially charging her with concealing the death of her father, 50-year-old Micheal Joseph Howell. Mr. Howell’s body was discovered by potential renters of his property at 497 Pless Underwood Road in the SheepbackMountain community near MaggieValley.  Local law enforcement received information about the incident Saturday afternoon. According to this morning’s preliminary autopsy findings, Howell died from a single shotgun wound to the head.  A murder warrant for Crystal Howell was issued a short time later. “This tragic event appears to have been an isolated incident,” said Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher.  “There is no evidence to suggest any risk to other HaywoodCounty citizens.” The investigation unfolded quickly as Haywood County officers worked together on the case with Waynesville Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney’s office and Maggie Valley Fire Department, as well as sheriff’s offices in Richmond and Columbia counties, Georgia. “Hard work and cooperative effort brought this matter to a rapid conclusion,” said Sheriff Christopher.  Ms. Howell is being held in jail in Georgia while awaiting extradition proceedings.

Haywood County Video Gambling Busts

Video Gambling Machine's

Video Gambling Machine’s

Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Waynesville Police Department, served two search warrants on business establishments believed to have been housing electronic video gaming machines in violation of state laws. The searches were conducted at 1190 Asheville Highway outside Canton and at 1659 South Main Street in Waynesville.  A total of 34 machines were seized from the locations, as well as U.S. currency and related business records. The investigation was prompted by numerous complaints to law enforcement from citizens throughout the county concerned about illegal video gaming and the negative impact it has had on the community. There have been no arrests made at this time, but individual cases are being forwarded to the grand jury.  The investigation is ongoing.