Murphy High principal arrested, suspended amid allegations of misconduct


MURPHY, N.C. – According to a statement from Cherokee County (N.C.) Schools (CCS) issued Saturday morning, Feb. 10, Thomas Graham, principal of Murphy High School, has been suspended with pay from school duties in response to allegations of misconduct and Graham’s subsequent arrest Thursday, Feb. 8.

In the statement, Graham’s suspension came from CCS Jan. 26. “Mr. Jason Forrister has been acting principal during this time and will continue in that role as long as necessary,” CCS stated.

The statement from the school system continued to say:

“Cherokee County Schools has been working with local and state law enforcement agencies and has fully cooperated with their investigation. Because personnel matters are considered confidential under state law, CCS cannot make any further comment regarding Mr. Graham. Further it is imperative that CCS strive alongside law enforcement agencies to seek the truth and impart fairness to all parties involved … Student safety is the first priority of Cherokee County Schools and CCS takes the appropriate measures necessary to provide a welcoming and safe atmosphere for all students, staff, parents and volunteers. Cherokee County Schools would like to thank the state and local law enforcement officials for the professionalism they have demonstrated thus far. CCS will continue to work with law enforcement throughout the entire process.”

According to CCS, the law requires any suspension taking place during an investigation to be paid.

Graham, 45, was arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Thursday afternoon, Feb. 8, and later released from the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $2,500 bond.

According the booking report from CCSO, Graham is charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student stemming from incidents occurring in January and February of 2016. Graham is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Murphy March 5, at 9 a.m.



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Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Murphy Middle, Martins Creek Elementary will compete at FIRST Lego League State Championship

Cherokee County Schools, Swain County High School


CHEROKEE, N.C.- Forty-eight schools across the state competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League (FLL) robotics competition hosted by Cherokee High School in Cherokee, North Carolina, Saturday, Dec 2., 2017. The Lego League is the elementary and middle school version of FIRST Robotics.

In the state of North Carolina, North Carolina A&T State University (N.C. A&T) serves as the affiliate partner (AP) for FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge.

The theme for this year’s FIRST Lego League competition is hydrodynamics. The teams had to design a robot that would show how to improve the way people find, transport, use or dispose of water.

North Carolina is a two-division championship tournament region between eastern and western North Carolina. The top 13 finalists from both the eastern and western regions, will compete at the state competition.

Only 13 schools from the western division were able to advance to the state competition, and out of those schools, Murphy Middle School and Martins Creek Elementary were two of the schools that will be advancing.

The region that wins at the state competition will then go onto the southeastern competition, which will have teams from several different states in the southeastern United States.

The teams from the western region that will be advancing to the state competition are:

BMS Robotics – Brevard, N.C.
Hydro Knights, Fairview School – Sylva, N.C.
The HydroMechanics, Fairview School – Sylva, N.C.
Minifigures, Cullowhee Valley School – Cullowhee, N.C.
Programming Professionals, Shining Rock Classical Academy – Waynesville, N.C.
Chaotic Robotic, Martin’s Creek School – Murphy, N.C.
Koontz Battering Rams, Koontz Intermediate School – Asheville, N.C.
Circuit Overload, Murphy Middle School – Murphy, N.C.
Accidental Genius, Summit Charter School – Cashiers, N.C.
Tarheel Terminators, Smokey Mountain School – Whittier, N.C.
Lego Lords, Summit Charter – Cashiers, N.C.
Hydrobots, Macon Middle – Franklin, N.C.
Narwhal Nation, Cullowhee Valley – Cullowhee, N.C.

The state championship will be held January 20 and 21, 2018, in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.


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Royce Peterson, Caleb Irwin and Nathan Barolet signs letters of intent for college scholarships

Murphy High, Team FYN Sports

Murphy High School had a impressive turnout for seniors to sign the letters of intent that were handed out on Nov. 8, 2017.

A couple weeks later, I had the privilege of sitting down with a few of Murphy Bulldogs best athletes. Royce Peterson, Caleb Irwin and Nathan Barolet were three of the scholarship recipients, who signed their letters of intent that day.


Royce Peterson love for baseball started at the age of four. He plays third baseman, which he said is his favorite position. Royce credits his success to his family and coaches, but one coach in particular is his one of his travel baseball coaches Tom Paciorek.

Paciorek was a MLB player from the 1960’s-1980’s. Paciorek has used his professional knowledge of baseball to help Peterson with his swing and form at the plate.

Peterson has maintained a 4.15 GPA while staying busy with travel baseball along with playing high school baseball. He signed a 4 yr scholarship to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga. I asked him what he foresees his first year in college to be like, he said that he will be busy with training and his studies.


Caleb Irwin stepped on the baseball diamond at the age of four. Throughout high school, he has maintained a 3.9 GPA while staying busy with his high school and travel baseball activities.

He is a right handed pitcher for the Bulldogs varsity baseball team and his travel baseball team, with a clocked pitch speed of 88 mph. When I asked Caleb how he plans his first year at college to be, he responded with “It will take some adjusting, but I will be focusing on baseball, and my studies. That is the most important.”.

Irwin will be attending Lawson State College, in Birmingham, AL. He will major in sports management along with keeping up with his college baseball career.


Nathan Barolet is a varsity baseball player who came to Murphy High School from Hayesville High, for the possibility for more chances in his baseball career. 

Having changed schools a few times, Barolet has never let it kill his passion for baseball and has kept his GPA up. He has outdone himself by standing out in new schools and proving what he has to offer.

Gardner-Webb along with quite a few other colleges including UNC reached out to Nathan with scholarship offers. However, Gardner-Webb was more appealing to Nathan because he felt it was the best fit for him.

Nathan is undeclared for right now, but he plans to focus his first year of college on prepping himself for the first season of college baseball.

After sitting down and talking with these young men about their dreams and goals in life, I have to say one of the things that stands out about all three of them is how they have their priorities in check. The fact that these young men manage to accomplish this incredible high school baseball career, which led them to college, is absolutely amazing. attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit


Murphy Bulldogs takes the win against East Surry, securing their spot in the last round of the playoffs

Murphy Bulldogs, Sports

MURPHY, N.C.- The Murphy Bulldogs won Friday’s game against the East Surry Cardinals, which secured the bulldogs place in the final regional game being held in Mount Airy this Friday  Dec 1, 2017.

As the team captains took the field, the bulldogs won the coin toss, showing the coaches had great faith in their defense. The coaches would not be disappointed.  After a strong defensive showing by the Bulldogs, Chase Roberts (#40) ran for 1-yard to put Murphy on the board first, with a 7-0 lead following the perfect PAT by Katelyn Jones.

A few plays follow the kickoff, Tanner Creelman (#25) picked off a pass to give the ball back to the explosive Murphy offense.

Joey Curry (#1) and Slade McTaggert (#32) took turns chopping up the Cardinals on the ground as the Bulldogs pounded the ball upfield, until Curry connected with Micah Nelson (#2) for a 54 touchdown strike.  Jones aced the PAT and the Dogs were rolling, 14-0.

Roberts, who plays both sides of the ball, came away with the second interception of the night for the Bulldogs on the next series, and an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Cardinals put the Dogs right back in scoring position, but they were unable to capitalize on this possession.  As the quarter came to a close, Murphy was in control of their own destiny with a 14-0 lead.

With 11:54 remaining in the half, East Surry finally found the end zone, cutting the lead to 7.

It wouldn’t take Murphy long to answer, however, as Devonte Murray (#28) carried the ball from 5 yards out on 3rd down to put Murphy back up by 14. PAT good, 21-7.

Murphy would put another touchdown on the scoreboard before the half, completely dominating on their way to the final four in the 1AA State Championship brackets.

Bulldogs McTaggart (#32) rushed for a team-high 180 yards and two touchdowns. It was the Bulldogs #40 Chase Roberts who lead the team with three touchdowns, of which two being scored in the first half of the game.

Bulldogs senior QB #1 Joey Curry completed 6-of-12 passing attempts with one touchdown in the game.  The Bulldogs once again showed their strength on the ground, with a rush-heavy offense, rushing for 437 yds, with 103 pass yds respectively.

East Surry struggled on the field with several penalty flags being thrown for unsportsmanlike behavior and personal fouls. After all was said and done, East Surry somehow managed to score four player ejections from the game for these penalties, but falling short on the win against Murphy.

In the end, the Bulldogs won the game with a final score of 49-27.

The Murphy Bulldogs will go toe to toe with the Mount Airy Granite Bears (13-0,5-0) for a spot at the state championships. If the Bulldogs defeat Mount Airy on Friday, then this will be the Bulldogs 12th time since 1972 going to the state championships. Below you will find a list of the final four teams who will vie for a spot in the state championship game.

Murphy Bulldogs demolish South Stanly in last night’s game

Murphy Bulldogs, Sports

It was freezing cold last night when the Murphy Bulldogs (10-2,5-1) played against South Stanly (5-7,4-3)in the first round of playoffs. You could tell the Bulldogs were ready for a battle before the game started. The boys were pumped along with the coaches as they embarked on their journey towards the first game of the playoffs.

Murphy won the coin toss, but elected that South Stanly kick off with Murphy to receive the ball. #89 Travis Seabolt returned the ball to the Bulldogs 47 for 12 yards. With 7:50 mins left in the 1st Q, the Bulldogs scored the first touchdown and the PAT was good by #3 Katelyn Jones.

#10 Kaivon Allen scored a 21 yard touchdown. A two-point conversion was attempted and made good by #10 as well. QB #1 Joey Curry scored the third touchdown, but the two-point conversion that was attempted by #32 Slade McTaggart was unsuccessful. This bringing the score to 21-0.

In the 2nd Q, #1 Joey Curry threw a pass incomplete to #12 Hagan Newton to the Bulls 17 yard line for 0 yards . A penalty was handed to South Stanly for defense roughing the passer for 15 yards.

It wasn’t as if the Bulldogs needed any help with scoring, but the Rebel Bulls scored a safety for which brought the already embarrassing score to the 30-0, Bulldogs. It seemed as if South Stanly came back in the second half a little more charged, scoring 13 points. Unfortunately the possibility to win was long gone in the first half of the game.

The final score was 44-13, Bulldogs! Murphy will face off against North Stanly in New London, NC for the second round of playoffs, this Friday November 17th, 2017, with kick off starting at 7:30pm.

Murphy Bulldogs #32 Slade McTaggart

The Murphy Bulldogs snatches The Cherokee Braves Undefeated season record 35-12!

Cherokee County Schools, Murphy Bulldogs, Murphy High

Cherokee, N.C.- The Murphy Bulldogs game Friday night against The Cherokee Braves was an intense game no doubt! Previously, Cherokee was undefeated until the Bulldogs came in and handed them their first loss of the season. A few weeks ago, I interviewed Murphy’s Coach Nelson, a statement I remember was the coach answering with “These boys are a second half team. They come back stronger.” Well, that statement proved to be true.

In the 2nd Q, it was Murphy’s #32, Slade McTaggart who score the first touchdown followed by #3 Katelyn Jones making good on the PAT. It wasn’t until the 3rd Q when the game started to pick up. Murphy scored two more touchdowns, while Cherokee was just making their first touchdown of the game by #5 I Evans. PAT by #30 T Pete was no good. The 4th Q Murphy came in even stronger by scoring three more touchdowns with every single PAT being good. Cherokee was finally able to score their last and final touchdown, again, by #5 I Evans. That PAT was blocked however.

This Friday, The Murphy Bulldogs will have a home non-conference game against South Stanly (5-6,4-3) from Norwood, N.C. @7:30 pm November 10th, 2017. Come cheer on The Murphy Bulldogs and show that Bulldog pride!

The Murphy Bulldogs dominate The Rosman Tigers 48-22

Murphy High, Sports

Murphy, N.C.- Friday night, The Murphy Bulldogs (8-2,4-1) hosted a conference game against The Rosman Tigers (2-8,1-4) for their Senior Night. For many of the players, this would be their last home game as a Senior at MHS. Lot’s of proud parents walked their children onto the field with a look of pure joy. The coaches gleamed with pride and proudful expressions as the Seniors walked onto the field. It was bittersweet.

It was a cold night temperature wise, but the Bulldogs wasted no time at warming up the field with their impressive win against the Tigers. The final score was 48-22! The first TD was scored by #10 Keivon Allen for 16 yds followed by a PAT by #3 Katelyn Jones. In the 2nd Q, #28 Devonte Murray was handed the ball and scored a 21 yard TD. QB #1 Joey Curry followed up with three more TD passes with #3 Katelyn Jones making good on 3 of the 4 PAT’s. The 3rd Q, Murphy score 2 more TD’s bringing them to a score of 48. Despite Rosman’s 3 TD’s and 3 onside kick recoveries, they fell all too short to The Bulldogs dominating defense.

When I asked The Bulldogs, Coach Gentry how he prepared the boys for this game, he stated that he felt he didn’t need to over work them. That you would only over work the players had they not tried in their previous game. Fact is, the boys did try, and they worked hard. However, you may not win every game. Obviously this coach knows what he’s talking about because The Bulldogs came back with a vengeance and took victory over The Rosman Tigers

This Friday, November 3rd, come out and show your Bulldogs support when they face off against Cherokee in a away game. Kick off starts @7:30pm!

Murphy Bulldogs will host Rosman Tigers tonight 10/27/17

Murphy Bulldogs, Sports

Come out and show your Bulldog pride tonight as The Murphy Bulldogs (7-2,3-1) set out to claim victory against The Rosman Tigers (2-7,1-3)! Tonight’s game will be a home conference game with kick off starting at 7:30 pm. Although the Bulldog’s have been in the dog house since falling short against Swain County at last Fridays game, the Bulldog’s will prevail to no end! I’m sure Murphy will rise up with a vengeance, and dominate Rosman as they have done so in the past.  So come out and show your Bulldog pride and team spirit! GO BULLDOGS! - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

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