Two Blue Ridge residents arrested in Cherokee NC

Blue Ridge arrested

MURPHY, N.C. – Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies discovered drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen firearm, and cash on tow Blue Ridge, Georgia individuals while conducting a traffic stop on September 1.

Law enforcement stopped Haley Farr, 21, and James Willingham, 36, and after Farr failed to stop at a red light. They shortly uncovered 8.7 oz of methamphetamine in their possession along with various other stolen goods.

Haley Farr

Deputies arrested Farr on charges of trafficking methamphetamine, possession of stolen firearm, carry conceal, failure to stop at a red light, fictitious tag, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine, and Maintain vehicle, dwelling place.  Her bond was set at $100,000.00

Willingham was arrested for conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, possession of stolen goods, failure to appear, and extradition of fugitive from another state. He bond was set at $67,500.00.

James Willingham

CCSO arrest Blue Ridge on suspected drug violations

Business, Featured, News, Police & Government

MURPHY, NC – Cherokee County North Carolina Sheriff Derrick Palmer reported the Dec. 30, 2019 arrest of 26 year old, Blue Ridge, GA man Justin Lee Barnes for alleged drug law violations in NC.

During the early evening hours, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) investigators were continuing an ongoing operation into individuals who have been illegally selling controlled substances in Cherokee County, NC. Acting on provided information, investigators placed a residence suspected of selling controlled substances under surveillance.

A vehicle was observed leaving the residence. The investigators observed a vehicle leaving the residence and commenced surveillance when they observed the vehicle commit a vehicle infraction. Upon stopping the vehicle, Justin Lee Barnes was found as a passenger in the vehicle. A wants and warrants check produced several outstanding warrants on Barnes. During a search of Barnes’ person, investigators discovered a trafficking amount of Methamphetamine, schedule II controlled substances, and a quantity of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Photos are courtesy of CCSO.

Justin Lee Barnes was arrested and taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where he was charged with traffic in Methamphetamine, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance extradition/fugitive in two other states. The North Carolina Magistrate set a $120,000.00 secure bond. Barnes is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court January 15th, 2020.

Sheriff Palmer said “We are continuing our fight against the onslaught of illegal drugs that are entering and being sold in Cherokee County.”

To report suspicious activity or suspected violations, drug or otherwise, please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at [email protected]

Photos courtesy of CCSO Facebook page.

7 pills are visible in the baggy.

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Business, Featured

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Bobby Joe Graves: Obituary


Bobby Joe Graves

March 2, 1941 – January 20, 2019

Mr. Bobby Joe Graves, age 77, of Marble, passed away January 20, 2019, at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga. Mr. Graves was born March 2, 1941 in Cherokee County to the late Robert T. Graves and the late Elva Killian Graves. He was manager of Contel Telephone Company for 23 years and owner of G&G Telephone Contractors until his retirement. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Graves, brother, Don Graves, sisters; Charlsie Kephart, Minnice Dockery, and Lenna Spivey.

Survivors include sons; Keith (Lisa) Graves, Jeff (JoAnne) Graves, and Brandon Graves, brothers; Kermit Graves, Jack Graves, and Godfrey Graves, grandchildren; Krystle Miller, Tyler Anderson, Jonah Graves, Jared Graves, Danielle Graves, and Michelle Graves.

There will be a visitation of family and friends Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy.

Arrangements entrusted to Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy, NC. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at

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Cassandra Underhill Moore: Obituary


Cassandra Underhill Moore, 74, of Vero Beach, Florida and a seasonal resident of Hayesville, passed away Monday, October 15, 2018 in Florida.

Arrangements are incomplete at this time and will be announced by Ivie Funeral Home, Hayesville.

Cline Hicks: Obituary


Cline Hicks, 79, of Hayesville passed away Monday, October 15, 2018 at his residence. He was a native and lifetime resident of Clay County. Cline was a graduate of Hayesville High School class of 1956. He worked in Atlanta briefly before returning to the area. Cline owned and operated Hick’s Service Station for 59 years in downtown Murphy. The service station also served as a local hangout where many good times were had. Cline enjoyed hunting and fishing and loved the outdoors. He was a member of Little Brasstown Baptist Church.

He was the son of the late Harley Robert and Farris Breedlove Hicks. He was also preceded in death by a son, Scott Hicks; and a long-term companion, Debi Brendle.

Surviving are a daughter, Lynn Lowdermilk and husband, Jeff of Asheville, North Carolina; a granddaughter, Shelby Smith of Asheville; four sisters, Doris McCray, Joyce Hogan, and Judy Logan and husband, Clay, all of Hayesville, and Carolyn Dills and husband, Bernell of Duluth, Georgia; a brother, Ray Hicks and wife, Gail of Hayesville; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 26, 2018 in the Chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy with the Rev. Aud Brown officiating. The interment will be in Fires Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Mike, Jamie, Luke, and Coy Logan, Roger Gibson, Mark Ritz, Jimmy Robinson, and Roger West. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Phillips, Bill Hughes, Jack Killian, Donald Coleman, Steve Crawford, L.B. Ledford, James Hogan, Ray Morrow, Rubin Blount, Danny Rich, Reggie Pendley, Ricky Cantrell, and all of his friends from Hick’s Service Station.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 Thursday evening, October 25 at the Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in memory of Cline Hicks to the Fires Creek Cemetery Fund, 448 Rebel Lane, Hayesville, NC 28904.

Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy in charge of all arrangements.

Pearl Chumbley Price: Obituary


Pearl Chumbley Price, 88, of Murphy passed away Friday, October 12, 2018 in a Murphy care facility. She was a native of Cleveland, Ohio and had lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before moving to Murphy in 1974. Pearl worked as a telephone operator for AT&T for several years. She was a member of the Murphy First United Methodist Church where she served as treasurer of the Helping Hands Program and sang in the choir. Pearl was also a member of the Joy Ringers handbell group.


She was the daughter of the late Ralph and Evelyn Cook Chumbley and the wife of the late Zack Stephen Price, who died May 13, 2013.


Surviving are her adopted children, Bob and Theresa Smith of Murphy; three sisters, Evelyn Addison and husband, Lonnie of Palm Bay, Florida, Janet Smith and husband, Robert of Tamarac, Florida, and Lorrain Kinsey and husband, Jerry of Atlantic Beach, Florida; and several nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 20, 2018 in the Murphy First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Wil Posey officiating.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in memory of Pearl Chumbley Price to the Murphy First United Methodist Church (Building and Memorial Fund), PO Box 86, Murphy, NC 28906.


Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy in charge of all arrangements.

Collins Bill to Honor Fallen Marine Sent to President’s Desk

Press Release, State & National


WASHINGTON—The Senate last night voted unanimously to pass H.R. 3821, legislation to rename Georgia’s Clermont Post Office in honor of Zack T. Addington. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the bill this September, and it passed the House in November.

“Lance Corporal Zack Addington represents the selfless courage that’s cultivated in northeast Georgia, and I’m excited to see this bill leave Congress and head to the president’s desk for his signature,” said Collins.

Collins also honored Addington when he spoke about the bill on the House floor.


Known to his neighbors as Zack, Addington joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967. A native of Clermont, he became a rifleman in the 3rd Marine Division of the Fleet Marine Force and deployed to Vietnam that year. Addington was promoted to Lance Corporal and served his country honorably until he was killed in action in May 1968.

That June, Addington received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon in recognition of his service there.

Wynn Anthony Abernathy: Obituary


Wynn Anthony Abernathy, 52, of Murphy passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 16, 2016.

Wynn was born in Murphy, North Carolina on October 3, 1966 to Dr. F.L. (Linford) and Ginger DeWeese Abernathy. He graduated from Murphy High School in 1985. Wynn was an outgoing and friendly person with a loving heart. His most special times were spent with his family and friends. Wynn loved every holiday; planning the celebration and decorating was his fun times.

An avid outdoorsman, Wynn loved fishing, being on the lake and just hanging out with his friends. Another passion was restoring old cars. Wynn always participated in the car shows and traveled to those all over the Eastern United States.

After his graduation, Wynn worked with Steve Forrister and was later employed by Jacky Jones for 20 years in Cleveland, Georgia.

Wynn was preceded in death by his father, Dr. F.L. (Linford) Abernathy; paternal grandparents, “Frosty” and Illma Abernathy; and maternal grandparents, Ralph and Flonnie DeWeese.

Wynn is survived by one daughter, Emma Cowart and husband, Matt of Cleveland, Georgia; his mother, Ginger DeWeese Abernathy; one sister, April Harper and husband, Bill; one nephew, Matthew Harper; and one niece, Isabella Harper, all of Murphy.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, October 21, 2018 in Murphy First Baptist Church with the Revs. Jimmy Tanner and Fred Lunsford officiating. The inurnment will be at a later date in Moss Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Brent Hoover, Richie Hughey, Bill and Matt Harper, Matt Cowart, and Cody Ramey.

The family will receive friends from 2-2:45 Sunday afternoon at the Murphy First Baptist Church prior to the services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in memory of Wynn Abernathy to the Good Neighbors Auto Club Scholarship, c/o Frankie Hughes, 1716 Martins Creek Road, Murphy, NC 28906.

Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy in charge of all arrangements.

Michael Irving Ruff: Obituary


A graveside memorial service will be held for Irving Carl Ruff and his son, Michael Irving Ruff on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Greenlawn Cemetery with the Rev. Jimmy Tanner officiating. Irving, Beverly, and their family spent many memorable and wonderful years in Murphy.

Friends and acquaintances are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to the Gideons International, PO Box 164, Murphy, NC 28906 or First Baptist Church of Murphy, 517 Hiwassee Street, Murphy, NC 28906.

They are in our hearts, forever and always.

Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy in charge of local arrangements.

Kemp defeats Cagle for Republican nomination

Election, Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – After a heated runoff race, the results are in and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp has beat out opponent Lt. Governor Casey Cagle for the Republican nomination.

What was polled as a tight race between the two candidates ended up being what some would consider a landslide victory for Kemp. Kemp received 69.46 percent of the vote statewide with Cagle pulling in 30.54 percent.

Kemp will now face the Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams for the seat of Georgia Governor.

Abrams and Kemp are not strangers, as they have gone head to head over election issues while Kemp has served as Secretary of State.

“All of these liberal groups that are going to be in play in Georgia supporting her (Abrams), I’ve fought,” Kemp said about his past experiences with Abrams.

Citing that he has already faced George Soros, Eric Holder, Thomas Perez, Common Cause Georgia and New Georgia Project, Kemp is confident that he can beat them again.

Kemp explained where some of these groups came into conflict with the Secretary of State office, “They sued us and several counties saying that we weren’t registering voters, 10 different counts. Then they wanted us to settle. I wouldn’t do it. I made them go to court and we won all 10 cases.”

“I know what’s coming,” Kemp said about his preparation for proceeding in the gubernatorial race. “I know how to fight.”

Congressman Doug Collins and Blue Ridge Business Owners Talk Pro-Growth Policies

Politics, State & National

Collins and Blue Ridge Business Owners Talk Pro-Growth Policies

BLUE RIDGE, Ga.—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined the Blue Ridge Business Association recently to hear from business leaders about the local economy and related policy issues.

Collins asked the Fannin County group to share the economic outlook for their operations and invited questions on policy issues affecting the local economic landscape.

“This roundtable brought together a lot of business experience and deep commitment to the economic success of the Fannin community. As I remain committed to supporting pro-growth policies, it’s invaluable to receive feedback from the Blue Ridge Business Association and other job creators on a number of policy issues that my colleagues and I are working on in Congress,” said Collins.

One of the strongest themes at the roundtable was the increasing need for workers to fill job openings being fueled by the expanding economy. Collins explained how the House of Representatives is turning its attention toward workforce development aimed at bringing unemployed Americans into the labor market. Participants seemed to agree that elevating vocational training in community schools would also help equip workers for local job opportunities.

The group also asked Collins about the president’s infrastructure plan and its potential impact on Fannin County and considered how communities should approach potential infrastructure investments.

The White House’s recently released approach to infrastructure emphasizes the needs of rural America, including affordable broadband access. Collins has championed this issue in his work with the Trump Administration and through his introduction of the Gigabit Opportunity (GO) Act, which would incentivize greater investment in broadband infrastructure.

Hurricane Irma prompts school closings in Georgia


*  Union County Schools will be CLOSED Monday, September 11th, 2017 due to Gov. Nathan Deal declaring a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia. Please continue to monitor here for further updates.

  •  Fannin County Schools will be closed for students and all personnel on Monday, September 11.A great deal of consideration has been given to this decision. Governor Deal has us under a State of Emergency. Severe weather conditions, such as severe winds (especially at higher elevations), debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines are all possible for our area beginning tomorrow(Monday) morning.Weather predictions are not always accurate, but this storm is massive and cannot be ignored. It is my hope that our community is spared from this, but it is better to err on the side of caution when safety is in question.  Please stay safe!
  • Pickens County Schools closed   Jasper, Georgia — Due to inclement weather conditions,the Pickens County School District will be closed tomorrow, Monday, September 11th – TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES REPORT AT NORMAL TIME. Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, September 12.  Twelve month employess will be contacted late Monday as to whether they will be required to come to work on Tuesday. All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled.  Information will be posted on the Pickens County School District website at, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district and school websites and social media sites, and sent to local media.

     *  Gilmer County Schools closed   Release from Gilmer County School         School Closed – Monday, September 11, 2017Gilmer County Schools will be closed Monday September 11 due to Hurricane Irma. We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds especially at higher elevations, debris, dangerous road conditions and downed power lines left in its wake. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but this storm is massive and cannot be ignored. It is our hope that our community is spared from the force of this storm, but we will always choose to err on the side of caution when our students’ safety is in question.

    *  Dawson County Schools Closed   Based on information from the NWS, Dawson County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, 2017. Twelve month employees report.

    *  Lumpkin County Schools Closed   Due to the weather forecast for our area, Lumpkin County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, 2017.  The anticipated high winds pose a significant threat to our students and staff. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but we cannot ignore the potentially dangerous situation that this storm poses. Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff safe!  Decisions for future closings will be made as more information becomes available.  Thank you for supporting Lumpkin County Schools!

    *  Towns County Schools will be closed Monday for all students and staff. A decision about Tuesday will be made tomorrow afternoon.

    *  White County Schools Closed Due to the severe weather forecast, White County Schools are closed for students and staff Monday, September 11, 2017. Please be safe!

    *  Murray County Schools Closed Murray County Schools will be closed Monday September 11 and Tuesday September 12, due to the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.   We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds, debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines.  We understand that weather predictions are often incorrect, but the size of this storm cannot be ignored. It is our hope that Murray County is spared from any of this storm’s impact, but we will always choose to error on the side of caution.  All events planned for Monday and Tuesday evenings are also cancelled.  This includes the September 11 MCPS Board meeting.  This meeting will be rescheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 6:15 p.m.  All maintenance, grounds crew, and transportation employees will meet at the transportation office.

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