Archive for Haywood County – Page 2

Haywood County High Speed Motorcycle Chase

Monday Waynesville Police and Highway Patrol were led on a high speed chase involving a stolen motorcycle. They are still looking for the driver who was involved in a high-speed pursuit along U.S. 23 /19 and U.S. Business 23.

Trooper Hunter Hooper attempted to stop a pair of motorcycles for speeding as they were headed east on U.S. 19/23. One of the riders fled, reaching speeds in excess of 140 mph.

During the chase, a car got between the trooper and the motorcycle who was fleeing and the officer lost sight of it near the 100 mile marker. Another trooper picked up the chase near the 102 mile marker and followed it.

The motorcyclist turned off on Howell Mill Road, which is in the midst of construction renovations. The driver, described only as a white male wearing a white full face helmet and black vest, ditched the bike in a motorcycle-parking shed behind the Evergreen Packaging plant.

He left the cycle running with the keys in the ignition and took off on foot. Despite an extensive search of the surrounding area by Waynesville police officers and Highway Patrol troopers, the suspect could not be found.

The blue Yamaha sport bike was reported stolen from Tennessee, and carried Florida plates set to expire in August 2015.

The incident is still under investigation.

Missing Haywood County Man’s Body Found in Creek

Searchers found the body of a missing Haywood County Man in a creek on Monday afternoon.

Johnnie Rathbone, 67, of Mauney Cove Road was reported missing by family on Monday after not having heard from him since Saturday.

During a routine patrol, a Haywood County deputy found Rathbone’s car around 2:45pm at a parking area off US 19 near Lake Junaluska. Search and Rescue personnel found Rathbone’s body at about 5pm in Richland Creek, about 200 yards away from his car.

An autopsy will be performed to verify his cause of death.

Harmful Algae Bloom Surfaces in Waterville Lake in Haywood County

U.S. Forest Service officials announced today that an algae bloom has been discovered in Waterville Lake on the Appalachian Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County near I-40. The predominant bloom species has been identified as Microcystis aeruginosa, a known toxin-producing harmful alga in North Carolina. It is unknown if it is currently producing toxin. Samples have been sent to the N.C. State Laboratory for Public Health for microcystin toxin testing.

The U.S. Forest Service and public health officials are asking visitors to avoid swimming or wading near bloom waters, especially young children and dogs. Warning signs have been posted where visitors access the lake. No public water supplies are affected and no closures are in effect. Cooperating agencies include the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Haywood County Health Department.

State health and water quality officials recommend the following steps to safeguard pets and children from any potentially harmful algal bloom:
Keep children and pets away from water that appears very green, discolored or scummy.
Do not handle or touch large mats of algae.
Avoid handling, cooking or eating dead fish that may be present.
If you come into contact with an algal bloom, wash thoroughly. Also, use clean water to rinse off pets that may have come into contact with an algal bloom.
If your child appears ill after being in waters containing an algal bloom, seek medical care immediately.
If your pet appears to stumble, stagger or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately. Warning signs have been posted where visitors access the lake. No public water supplies are affected and no closures are in effect. Cooperating agencies include the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Haywood County Health Department.
For information on the bloom please contact Carmine Rocco, Haywood County Health Director at (828) 452-6675.

Haywood County Meth Bust

On July 15, agents with Haywood County Multi-Agency Drug Task Force, The U.N.I.T., along with the North Carolina S.B.I., executed a search warrant at a residence located at 55 Brookside Drive in Canton.

In March agents with the U.N.I.T. began investigating and gathering evidence on individuals living at this location. Upon execution of the search warrant, an active methamphetamine lab was located on the property.

Three men and one woman were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamines, including Phillip Heath Kent, 46; Melanie Creson, 42; Terry Glance, 38; and Justin Hensley, 35.

U.N.I.T. would like to thank the Center Pigeon Fire Department for their assistance during the execution of the search warrant and seizure of evidence.

Maggie Valley Mayor Remembered

On Tuesday, a memorial service was held to remember Maggie Valley Mayor, Ronald DeSimone.

DeSimone was killed in a tragic construction accident on Friday.

DeSimone was a contractor by trade and on Friday, he was helping build a garage onto a friend’s home when a heavy bundle of plywood fell on him.

The 62-year-old mayor was a New York native and moved to Haywood County in 1999, where he established a construction company.

He won the seat as mayor of Maggie Valley in 2011 and was currently holding that position.

Evergreen Foundation announces half-million grant funding

The Evergreen Foundation board of directors voted at its June meeting to provide funding to seven agencies providing programs and services for individuals with behavioral health, substance use and intellectual/developmental disabilities in Haywood County.

— The Arc of Haywood County: $9,000 to provide continuation and expansion of their community living and supported employment programs serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and $1,000 to support their Arctoberfest fund raising event.

— LifeSpan: $6,260 to provide furnishings and equipment for their sensory room, TEACCH training for staff and parent resource materials to enhance their services for individuals with autism.

— Meridian Behavioral Health: $150,000 to provide continuation funding for the Patient Assistance Program and associated psychiatric services which assists consumers in receiving over $2,000,000 worth of free medications annually; $100,000 to support the merger of Meridian and Jackson/Haywood/Macon Psychological Services; $3,000 for promotional materials to support the National Safety Council program to decrease the use of opiates by substituting a combination of over the counter medications for pain management; $3,500 toward the cost of training for the Sexual Offender Services Team; and $27,000 to provide for the continuation of the jail assessment and treatment programs in Haywood and Jackson Counties.

— Southwestern Child Development Commission: $50,000 to continue the implementation of the Nurse Family Partnership program which provides visiting nurses for first time, high-risk mothers below poverty level in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.

— Mountain Projects: $23,497 to set up distribution sites for Naloxone kits throughout WNC and provide biohazard boxes for IV drug use needle collection throughout WNC.

— Youth for Christ Outdoor Mission Camp: $2,225 to provide art supplies, recreation equipment, boat rides and horseback riding for the Camp Ability program serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

— Family Resource Center of Cherokee: $20,000 to provide transportation for voluntarily committed consumers from throughout WNC who need to have a plan in place for transportation home after discharge from an inpatient psychiatric hospital; $39,366 to provide for the continuation of an alternative service for consumers with behavioral health and substance abuse, replacing the formerly state funded community support team; and $67,500 to provide funding for the jail assessment and treatment programs in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon, and Swain counties.

Applications from nonprofit organizations are accepted on a rolling basis, with the next award cycle in September. 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.

Property reappraisal is under way in Haywood County

The Haywood County’s County Assessor’s Office has begun the process of reappraising all 50,000 residential, commercial/industrial, vacant land, farm and forest properties in Haywood County for the tax year 2017.

Appraisers will be verifying the physical condition of buildings and any additions or deletions to the property since it was last inspected. Most of these inspections are conducted from the exterior of the property.

North Carolina law requires all counties to reappraise real property at least every eight years. Haywood County’s last reappraisal was done in 2011. Due to market conditions, the 2015 reappraisal was postponed until 2017 since there was not a considerable market change from 2011.

County staff will be gathering data and reviewing the activity in the local markets. Market value is not determined by the tax office but is reflective of the sales activity, building and cost data for the county.

To value 50,000 parcels, the county uses different uniform standards to develop estimates of value to complete a mass appraisal from the standards a single fee property appraiser uses; even though techniques may be similar.

All Haywood County Assessor personnel will be driving marked vehicles and carrying Haywood County identification. The Haywood County Assessor’s office is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 452-6654 if you have any questions.

Blasting Set to Start on I-40 in Haywood County

Starting Friday, July 10, blasting operations will cause temporary morning closures on a rural stretch of Interstate 40 in Haywood County near the Tennessee border. The North Carolina Department of Transportation continues a project to make the rockslide-prone area safer, blasting unstable boulders from the mountainside near mile marker 7.

“The contractor can block the road for up to one 30-minute period between sunrise and 10 a.m.,” says Aaron Powell, NCDOT resident engineer. “We initially plan on blasting six days a week to minimize the length of the total project.”

When the contractor is ready for the daily detonation, westbound travelers will encounter a “rolling roadblock” at exit 20 near Maggie Valley. Eastbound travelers will encounter one at Tennessee exit 447, Hartford Road.

“Law enforcement cruisers and contractor vehicles will lead drivers at 10 miles per hour,” Powell explains. “Once crews determine the blasting area is safe, traffic can continue through and resume regular travel.”

During the rolling roadblocks, the on ramps at exit 15 and the I-40 westbound rest area will be closed, to make sure no vehicles end up approaching the blast area before crews give the “all clear”. Travelers should stay alert for stopped or slowed traffic from westbound exit 20 to exit 7, and from Tennessee exit 447 to North Carolina mile marker 5 on I-40 East.

“We appreciate drivers’ patience as we work to make the highway safer. It’s obviously dangerous to be near the area during the blast, so the delays are necessary. While there will be congestion and backups likely at blast time, we are working to get drivers through the rolling roadblocks safely and back up to speed as quickly as possible,” says Powell.

The project is scheduled to be finished in October.

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.