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Haywood County Man Arrested for Fraud

 

Jeremy Ryan Clark

Jeremy Ryan Clark

A Haywood County man was charged with fraud after detectives said he deceived an elderly person into believing he needed money to buy prescriptions for his sick child. Jeremy Ryan Clark a thirty year old of Canton, was arrested on Nov. 2 and served with a warrant for felony obtaining property by false pretense for knowingly defrauding $200 from a 93-year-old man.  The warrant states Clark’s child was not sick, nor was the child in his custody. Deputies arrested Clark at his home without incident, and he is being held in lieu of $5,000 secured bond.  His court date is set for Nov. 13.

Medwest Harris/Swain to Partner with Duke Hospitals

After a several month process the WestCare Board of Trustees has voted to pursue a partnership with Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System and LifePoint Hospitals. This process was initiated by the MedWest Health System board with the support of both the WestCare and Haywood Regional Medical Center boards. Bunny Johns, the chair of the WestCare Board said about the agreement, “This is a game-changing step forward for the WestCare hospitals. This relationship provides us the opportunity to focus on our hospitals and medical community serving Jackson, Swain, Macon and Graham counties in a way that makes sense for local patients, their families, and physicians.  WestCare will be operated independent of Haywood Regional Medical Center. We intend to continue to ensure that our patients have access to the full continuum of quality healthcare services as we develop new services to meet local needs while preserving our long-standing clinical relationship with Mission Health.” WestCare and Duke LifePoint will enter into a memorandum of understanding which is non-binding and signifies the intent of both parties to execute the partnership. Upon completion of a due diligence period, Duke LifePoint will purchase Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital and their respective outpatient facilities.

Grand Jury Indicts Davis

Yesterday investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office presented their evidence to a Jackson County Grand Jury about the child abuse investigation involving the suspect, Eric Lorenzo Davis. On October 11th Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of child abuse at the Qualla Motel in Whittier. When they arrived deputies found four year old Erika Davis suffering from severe bodily injuries for which she was transported to Mission Hospital. She later died of her injuries. Eric Davis was taken into custody at the scene and has been held at the Jackson County Detention Center on $1,000,000 bond. At yesterday’s hearing the Grand Jury issued Indictments against Davis for one count of First Degree Murder and two counts of Felony Child Abuse-Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury. Davis has been served his indictments and is still being held now on no bond.

Cullowhee Planning Meeting Scheduled

 

According to the 2010 US census, Cullowhee is the fastest growing and largest township in Jackson County. With this past and continued growth, Jackson County is undertaking a community planning effort to identify the need and support for the growing of the Cullowhee community. The Cullowhee Community Planning Advisory Committee and the Jackson County Planning Department will be hosting a community planning forum at library of Cullowhee Valley School beginning at 5:30 PM. need The meeting will explore ideas and answer questions regarding the future development of the Cullowhee community.  For more information contact the Jackson County Planning Department at 828-531-2255 or planning@jacksonnc.org

WCU Kacey Musgraves Concert Rescheduled for Spring 2014

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Kacey Musgraves “Same Trailer Different Tour” concert schedule at the Ramsey Center in Cullowhee for Saturday, October 26 has been postponed until a later date in early 2014.  All tickets purchased for the October 26 show will be honored for the rescheduled show.  Full refunds at place of purchase will be available for anyone who is unable to attend the rescheduled date. For information, visit the website ramsey.wcu.edu, or call 828-227-7677.

Jackson County Tourism Tax Paying Off

The Jackson County Travel Development Authority  reported to the Jackson County Commissioners on Monday that revenues from the room tax in Jackson County were up seven point six percent over last year. Chairman Clifford Meads also said that other tourism related tax revenues boosted the increase to 43.4%. He indicated the county was benefiting from free advertising generated by media coverage in the area. One such example an out of market tv station running a feature on fly fishing on the Tuckasegee River. Meads also circulated a sample of how a print advertisement utilizing the new “Play On” theme and logo could be used and stressed how well the slogan captures the notion of coming to Jackson County and leaving one’s cares behind and “Play On”

Play On

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 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

 

Mountain Heritage Day. Saturday, September 28th

Western Carolina University’s 39th Annual Mountain Heritage Day will commence this weekend on Saturday, the 28th. The WCU Mountain Heritage Day festival will be free to the public and feature a full list of mountain music, activities, and many arts & crafts, and food booths. Scott Philyaw had the following to say about the festival’s history, “When this school was started, back in the 1880′s by the people of the Cullowhee valley and Jackson County, they included things that are very similar to mountain heritage day. The very first commencement had music, it had barbecue, it had presentations of the various aspects of the region, much as Mountain Heritage Day does. It attracted a large number at that time of one thousand people for a weekend. In many ways Mountain Heritage day harkens back to those earliest celebrations when what we call Western Carolina University was known as Cullowhee Academy.”

The Mountain Heritage Day will start off with a 5-K foot race at 8 am. The Blue Ridge and Balsam Stages will be playing continuous mountain music, clogging, and southern storytelling. There will be demonstrations of Cherokee stickball among other games from the Cherokee Tribe. Directly in front of the Balsam Stage there will be a new platform, created for members of the audience to show off their dance skills. There will be a children’s tent providing activities for the younger attendees, as well as hayrides. Among all the other mentioned events there will also be demonstrations and competitions for: Chainsaw wood cutting, baked and canned goods, period costumes, and contests for beard and mustaches. Expect to see, blacksmithing, black powder shooting, as well as interpretations of Cherokee hunting capabilities. The festival will be rain or shine. No pets allowed though service animals are welcome. “The festival itself starts at 10:00am, the 5-K Race starts at 8:00am. Registration for the chainsaw contest starts at 9:00am. We are recommending people show up around 9:30 so they can find a place to park. The festival closes down at 5:00pm.”

For more information visit MountainHeritageDay.com or call 828-227-7129

Sports Update

It was a huge night for the Smoky Mountain High School Soccer team on Monday at Brevard High School. The Mustangs coming off two impressive wins last week again previously unbeaten Franklin and East Henderson the Mustangs reeled off two solid victories to take sold possession of the  conference lead at 4-0. Coach Brown stressed to his team that on all teams have the potential to have a big night and play tough and Brevard lived up to the Coach’s prediction taking an early lead Monday night, then a couple of minutes later Gabby Fuentes tied the score at one. At the 69 minute mark it was Hunter Karup who gave the Mustangs the lead, then a couple of minutes later Jordan Couch added another goal for the final point spread of three to one.  Zack Bryson had four saves and The Brevard Goal Keeper had eight saves off 20 Mustang shots.  The Blue Devils were able to only get eight shots at the goal indicating the Mustangs defense kept the Blue Devils away from the goal.  The Mustangs are now 9-2-1 and 5-0 in conference play. Next up… Pisgah.

Haywood County Schools Consider Fees for use of School Facilities

Haywood County Schools are currently in debate over whether or not to begin the institution of fees for the use of school facilities to outside groups. For some time now many clubs such as Scouts, Adult Sports, and Youth Cheerleading groups have used the fields and gyms for practice. An estimated 200 groups use school facilities throughout Haywood County. The Haywood County School Board feels that it is un-fair for the school to pay for the cost of electricity and heat among other things. The Haywood County School Board has not made a decision on whether or not to institute fees for groups using school facilities at this time, but they are working on a plan for next year.

Escaped Inmate Captured in Haywood County

In an update to a story WGRC reported last Friday, escaped inmate John R. Fullwood was captured without incident at about 5:20 p.m. Sunday in Clyde, NC. He has been transported to Mountain View Correctional Center in Spruce Pine and will face a charge of felony escape.

Fullwood walked away Friday morning from a work assignment at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville and corrections and law enforcement officers have been searching for him since.

 

Search Underway for Escaped Inmate

John Fullwood

John Fullwood

Corrections and law enforcement officers are seeking inmate John R. Fullwood, who left from a contract labor assignment this morning at the North Carolina Arboretum.

Fullwood, 51, was assigned to Buncombe Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison, and is serving 6 to 8 years for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. He was due for release in September 2016. He is from Haywood County and may attempt to travel there.

Anyone who has seen Fullwood or has knowledge of his location should contact local law enforcement or call Buncombe Correctional Center at (828)645-7630

 

Parking At A Premium At The ICF Freestyle Kayaking World Championships

There are about 750 parking places within five miles of the events on the Nantahala River. Fans are expected to arrive at the river via the Appalachian Trail, floating down the river, paddling up the river, by car, shuttle, trail, and there my even be an adventurous skydiver. Five hundred parking places are located within two miles and east of the site and 250 additional parking places are located at the west end of the gorge which is about five miles away. The cost of the Gorge parking is generally $5.00 per day, Private parking might be more. There will also be shuttles leaving at the top of the hour from the parking lot at the supermarket in Bryson City where parking will be FREE.  There will also be shuttles between the parking areas in the Gorge. The Smoky Mountain Railroad is offering a one way ticket from Bryson City to the Gorge for $10.00. Riders will be required to catch a ride or the shuttle back to Bryson City. Those driving to the Gorge and looking for parking are directed to look for the flaggers and signs which will show available parking. The flaggers will be kept informed when parking places open up closer to the event.