Flash Flood Warning until 12:30 p.m. today

BREAKING NEWS, WEATHER

Cherokee County North Carolina is facing up to 2 more inches of rain which may cause flash flooding.

The National Weather Service in Morristown has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Cherokee County in southwestern North Carolina and Clay County in southwestern North Carolina until 12:30 p.m. EDT.

At 9:29 a.m. EDT, Doppler radar indicated 1 to 3 inches of rain has already fallen across Cherokee and Clay counties over the last three hours. An additional inch or two will be possible over the next few hours as well, especially over northern Clay and Cherokee county border areas. As a result, flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Andrews, Murphy, Hayesville, Nantahala Lake, Shooting Creek, Tusquitee, Topton, Marble, Brasstown, and Culberson.

Severity:
Severe – Significant threat to life or property

Urgency:
Immediate – Responsive action SHOULD be taken immediately


* AFFECTED AREAS: CLAY, NC … CHEROKEE, NC

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Author

Bicycle Helmets and Watch for Me NC

Press Release

It is Spring and may cyclists will be heading outdoors for a joyous afternoon of exercise and sunshine.

North Carolina Department of Transportation is reminding all motorized vehicle drivers to be on the look out for these cyclists.

Cherokee County is among many North Carolina counties who is participating in the ‘Watch for Me NC’ program.

PRESS RELEASE

RALEIGH, N.C.- A record number of children, more than 3,300, across the state will be receiving lifesaving bicycle helmets through the department’s Bicycle Helmet Initiative. The program is part of ongoing efforts to reduce bicycle injuries and deaths in North Carolina.

Helmets save lives. While less than half of all children typically wear a helmet while biking, they can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by nearly 90 percent.

NCDOT uses funds from the sale of the “Share the Road” specialty license plate to pay for the helmets, which are given to underprivileged children.

In addition to the helmet initiative, the department’s Watch for Me NC program is also working to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and injuries.

Started in 2012, the program educates and engages the community in working to keep people safe on the road. Law enforcement officers are trained in ways to communicate, improve and enforce safety rules in their area.

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Cherokee County NC could experience severe thunderstorms

WEATHER

CHEROKEE COUNTY, N.C. – This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for portions of southwest North Carolina, east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Counties affected are: Cherokee, Clay, Scott, Campbell, Claiborne, Hancock, Hawkins, Sullivan, Johnson, Morgan, Anderson, Union, Grainger, Hamblen, Northwest Cocke, Cocke Smoky Mountains, Northwest Greene, Southeast Greene, Washington, Unicoi, Northwest Carter, Southeast Carter, Roane,Loudon, Knox, Jefferson, Northwest Blount, Blount Smoky Mountains, North Sevier, Sevier Smoky Mountains, Sequatchie, Bledsoe, Rhea, Meigs, McMinn, Northwest Monroe, Southeast Monroe, Marion, Hamilton, Bradley, West Polk, East Polk, Lee, Wise, and Russell.

possible heavy rain fall ahead of cold front expected in Cherokee County NC

Strong to severe thunderstorms could impact the southern plateau and southeast Tennessee tonight ahead of a cold front. The main threat will be damaging straight,line winds in excess of 60 mph, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Locally heavy rainfall will accompany the showers and thunderstorms which could lead to localized flooding of low lying or poor drainage areas. Mountain wave enhancement of the winds is expected late today through tonight, with very strong and gusty winds across some of the higher elevations and foothills of the East Tennessee mountains. A high wind warning has been issued for these areas.

PRESS RELEASE

It will be breezy today with strong to possibly severe thunderstorms and heavy rain tonight.

Rain could total 1 inches to 2 inches and localized amounts up to 3 inches.

Timing will be 10 p.m. tonight through 4:00 a.m. in the morning.

Winds could gust up to 30 mph.

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Cherokee County NC chooses Advanced Disposal Mineral Bluff for temporary waste transfer

BREAKING NEWS

MURPHY, N.C. – The Cherokee Board of Commissioners has agreed to allow its Solid Waste Department to transfer materials to Advanced Disposal Waste Transfer Station in Mineral Bluff.

Robert Ward, Cherokee County NC Solid Waste Director speaks to Commissioners urging immediate waste transfer to Mineral Bluff, GA.

Robert Ward, Solid Waste Director, stated there had been an 11 percent increase in local waste in the last five years, helping to fill the current cell faster than was originally planned. But, until the new Phase Five cell can be constructed, waste was needed to be transferred out to another location to ease the burden on the current landfill.

He told the commissioners that as of April 12, 2019, there “was only 12 weeks of air space left”. He further added the loss of the compactor within the last year is the main reason the landfill was being filled to capacity. Landfill track hoes simply “could not compact trash as needed” as a compactor does.

County Manager Randy Wiggins agreed with Ward saying, “The loss of the compactor result(ed) in the loss of air space.”

Ward said immediately transferring waste would be at a cost of $56.14 per ton to the Mineral Bluff facility where Advanced Disposal agreed they would accept all loads.

It was further agreed Cherokee County could cancel the transfer at any time thus not tying the county to a long-term obligation.

A new compactor has recently been purchased, but has not come in time to alleviate the air space situation which is in its critical phase at this time.

Hauling to Mineral Bluff will begin next week.

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Deputy Chief Mark Thigpen terminated

BREAKING NEWS

Press Release

On March 27, 2019 Cherokee County finance made Sheriff Palmer aware of an issue that concerned the use of a county issued cell phone.  Chief Deputy Mark Thigpen was in charge of the issuance of county issued cell phones to employees of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Palmer questioned Chief Deputy Thigpen if he allowed the use of a county issued cell phone to be used by an ex-employee.  The employee in question was his wife Libby Thigpen who was terminated from employment December 20, 2018.  Chief Deputy Thigpen acknowledged that he in fact allowed her to continue to use a county cell phone for personal use approximately three months after her termination.  Sheriff Palmer immediately terminated Chief Deputy Thigpen’s employment.  Chief Thigpen immediately surrendered his firearm and credentials and was escorted from the property.

This conduct is in direct violation of county policy and procedure regarding the conduct and use of county issued property.  See below for county policy:

From page 23 of County Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual

 

Section 4.        Use of County Property

Cherokee County NC Sheriff Derrick Palmer

Use of property owned or leased by the county is intended for official county business only.   Property including supplies, tools, materials, & equipment are not for personal use and should not be removed from
county premises except in the conduct of official county business.

 

 

Former Chief Deputy Thigpen made inquiry to County Manager Randy Wiggins office as to the amount of reimbursement to the county for the use of the cell phone.  On March 28, 2019 Former Chief Deputy Thigpen made reimbursement to Cherokee County in the amount of $190.07.  Attached are all known emails and a receipt for reimbursement.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer
577 Regal Street
Murphy NC 28906
Office-828-837-2589
Cell-828-557-3069
derrick.palmer@cherokeecounty-nc.gov

 

 

 

Author

Cherokee County NC-Gun Sanctuary Resolution adopted

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, BREAKING NEWS

Cherokee County First County in North Carolina to become a Gun Sanctuary County

On March 14, 2019, in Dr. Dan Updates, by FreedomForum

At its regular meeting on March 4, 2019, the Cherokee County (NC) Commission passed a Resolution declaring Cherokee County to be a GUN SANCTUARY COUNTY.

The resolution is patterned after similar resolutions and ordinances already passed by counties in the states of Oregon, Washington, and Illinois and are also being considered in many other locations. 

The resolution passed in our county defines, explains, and affirms the moral and legal basis for local officials to uphold and support the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of North Carolina.  The resolution then designates Cherokee County (NC) as a Gun Sanctuary County to preserve the Second Amendment rights of its citizens as defined by the body of laws outlined in the preamble of the resolution and by governmental authority. 

The resolution concludes by prohibiting the government of Cherokee County from using taxpayer funds to support any actions that infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms as defined by law.  The resolution does not change any state or federal laws.

The Sheriff spoke at the commission meeting in support of the resolution, urging the commission to adopt it.  He further stated that, as a constitutional sheriff, he would not support or assist in actions that infringed on our Second Amendment rights as defined by law. 

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Cherokee County Board of Commissioners 2019 meeting schedule

Community, Politics

Cherokee Board of Commissioners meet at the Cherokee County Courthouse, 75 Peachtree Street, Multi-Purpose Room 342, Murphy, NC.

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Cherokee County (NC) Board of Education meeting schedule for 2019

Cherokee County Schools, Community, News

The 2019 Cherokee County Board of Education meeting schedule is now available. For more information, please phone 828-837-2722 for times and school location addresses. You may also visit their website at https://www.cherokee.k12.nc.us/ for more details.

Author

2019 Night to Shine – A night unlike any other

Community

Shine Like the Stars in the Universe

There is one night a year when stars above look down in awe. Friday, February 8, 2019, was that special night.

Excitement filled the air as paparazzi and crowds gathered for the red carpet event hosted by First United Methodist Church of Union County (FUMC) in Blairsville. Honored guests from Fannin, Gilmer, and Union counties in Georgia and Cherokee County, SC, would soon arrive.

On this “Night to Shine”, 108 Kings and Queens in their finest attire were escorted through the cheering crowd by students from Young Harris College, volunteers from FUMC, and from the community. Just the beginning of a very special evening for memories to last a lifetime.

The royal guests were delighted to be pampered by hairdressers or to have their shoes shined before heading off on a thrilling ride in a stretch limousine. Then it was time for dancing, what many attendees had been looking forward to and so they danced the night away.

As the evening came to a close each King and Queen received a gift bag along with a t-shirt commemorating the event.

Former NFL quarterback, Heisman winner, and current New York Mets outfielder, Tim Tebows’ Night to Shine is now in its 5th year. According to the Tim Tebow Foundation website, this special night’s history began in 2014 with a simple vision, “work with churches around the country to provide an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.”

In 2015, the first Night to Shine was held with help from 15,000 volunteers among 44 participating churches in 26 states and 3 countries to make 7,000 honored guests feel like royalty. In 2019 the event now has over 600 churches from around the world to make a memorable event for an estimated 100,000 Kings and Queens with the help of 200,000 volunteers!

This is the second year First United Methodist Church of Union County hosted the event.

Information about sponsoring a 2020 attendee, volunteering or the mission of Tim Tebow foundation can be found online: www.timtebowfoundation.org

Churches wishing to join in the “worldwide movement celebrating God’s love for people with special needs and the value of life” can find more information about hosting, fundraising and financial grants on the website.

Giggles, laughter and smiling faces beaming with pure joy were, without question no match for the heavenly stars on this “Night to Shine”.

Shine Like the Stars in the Universe
Linda Strickland on the Red Carpet
Jonathan Waters and Michelle Queen
Annette Freer on the Red Carpet
Rick Cruse and escort on the Red Carpet
Party Room
The stage is all set!
Kristell Hannah
Sonny Thomas and Shelby Bittenbinder
Amanda King wears her tiara proudly
Kari Castlen with her tiara
Rena Nelson
Eric Morris and Bailey Whitener
At 9 p.m., balloons fell on the Kings and Queens of Night To Shine ending the evenings festivities.
Gini Bell, Fannin County Special Olympics Co-ordinator

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Security training provided for places of worship

News

MURPHY, N.C.- The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office announced via Facebook Sheriff Derrick Palmer will be providing security training to places of worship this holiday season.

The announcement on Facebook reads:

The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association (NCSA) has convened a group of sheriffs and sheriff’s personnel from across the state to develop training materials that will help places of worship create security plans to keep citizens safe during the holiday season.

The group was established by Sheriff Hubert A. Peterkin (Hoke County, N.C.), President of the NCSA, at the suggestion of Sheriff John W. Ingram V (Brunswick County, N.C.) as a result of recent attacks at community gatherings and in places of worship in the U.S. and abroad.

The group’s goal was to prepare materials to be used by sheriffs and their personnel to train places of worship to develop security plans designed to minimize harm done in the event of an active shooter.

“When you’re a sheriff, you have to be prepared for many different types of events in order to effectively protect the citizens that you serve. In light of last summer’s tragic attack in a Charleston (S.C.) church, North Carolina sheriffs from the mountains to the coast have received requests to provide training at churches and other places of worship regarding appropriate security measures,” said Peterkin.

The NCSA Church Security Group worked this fall to develop materials that all sheriff’s offices in North Carolina can use to provide training, upon request, to places of worship in their county. The training is designed to teach church personnel and members how to attempt to prevent critical incidents and how to react if a critical incident occurs during worship services.

“We have typically felt safe in our communities without much thought of danger in our places of worship. However, recent events have shown that no community is safe. From Charleston, South Carolina, to Sutherland Springs, Texas, we see that no community is exempt from tragedy. It is our duty to provide training to any place of worship that desires to be proactive and help make our communities as safe as possible,” said Sheriff Palmer.

Topics discussed in the training materials include:

– Conducting a Security Risk Assessment;

– Developing a Place of Worship Security Plan;

– What to do during the Critical Incident;

– What to do immediately after the Critical Incident; and

– The need to provide Crisis Intervention Stress Management afterward.

“The sheriff’s of North Carolina are dedicated to assisting the churches and houses of worship in their counties with security and safety training to improve public safety across our state. A place of worship should be a place of peace and a safe haven,” said Peterkin.

Sheriff Palmer will be leading this training on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, at 7 p.m. The location will be at Little Brasstown Baptist Church 6120 Harshaw Rd, Brasstown, NC 28902. All citizens are invited to attend.

Anyone with questions concerning the training seminar can contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 828-837-2589.

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Widespread power outages reported in Tri-State area

News

MURPHY, N.C.- UPDATE: Union County, Georgia, EMA in conjunction with the American Red Cross and House of Prayer has opened a temporary emergency shelter at House of Prayer Family Life Center located at 145 Bible Camp Circle in Blairsville.

If you are without power, have no alternate heat and need shelter, please travel to the shelter. Please make sure it is safe to travel before doing so as road conditions may be hazardous.

As of 12:50 p.m. Sunday, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) reported via Facebook that there are still 338 power outages affecting 6,426 members in its coverage area.

 

This weekend’s winter storm left thousands without power in the Tri-State area. Many have been without power since Friday afternoon.

Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) announced via Facebook that crews are working diligently to restore power to the service area.

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, there were a reported 401 outages affecting 13,203 members. Below is a list of areas BRMEMC crews will be working in today:

Ranger

Mineral Bluff

Skeenah Gap

Old Blue Ridge Hwy

Hwy 180 / Richard Russell

Woodsgrove

Warne

Fires Creek

Shooting Creek

Macedonia

Hightower

Young Harris

 

BRMEMC updated their facebook at 10 a.m. letting customers know that outages are down to 370 with 8,768 customers affected. Crews are making progress in this cold weather.

Continue to check back with us at FetchYourNews to find out up-to-date information on this issue. Remember to like and share our Facebook page Fetch Your News.

 

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Winter Storm Warning for Cherokee and Clay Counties, North Carolina

News

Winter Storm Warning for Cherokee and Clay counties, North Carolina

 

Posted at 3:15 pm from the National Weather Service:

Accumulating snowfall expected on Friday across Southwest North Carolina and the mountains of Eastern Tennessee…

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST

SATURDAY…

Light to moderate snow occurring. Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute.

Additional snow accumulations of one to three inches are expected.

 

Additional Details

Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.

 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions are occurring. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 511.

 

Ways to prepare and stay safe:

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
    Prolonged exposure to cold can cause hypothermia.
  • Walk and drive carefully on icy sidewalks and roads.                                                                                           Many injuries and accidents are caused by slippery conditions.
  •  Before driving, let someone know your destination, route and expected time of arrival.
     If your car gets stuck, it’ll be easier to find you. 
  •  If you lose feeling and color in your nose, ears, hands or feet, cover the exposed area, avoid         rubbing your skin and seek medical help immediately.                                                                                             You may have frostbite.                                                                                                                                                         
  • When shoveling snow, take breaks and lift lighter loads.                                                                                 Working too hard can lead to heart attacks.                                                                                                                      
  •  Stay Dry.                                                                                                                                                                       Wet clothes makes you lose body heat, increasing your risk for hypothermia.                                                            

School closings and traffic reports

News

UPDATE: All Cherokee County Schools’ athletic events scheduled for this evening are cancelled.

The Murphy versus Hiawassee Dam high school basketball game will be played Monday. The Andrews versus Robbinsville high school game will be rescheduled for a later time.

All wrestling matches are cancelled as well.

We are now under a winter weather warning, so please use caution and judgement when traveling.

 

MURPHY, N.C.- A winter weather advisory for Cherokee County, North Carolina, is in effect until Saturday, December 8. One to three inches of snow accumulation in the lower elevations with more in the higher elevations are expected, and roads will be treacherous, so please use caution.

Road Reports
North Carolina: 877-511-4662
Tennessee: 877-244-0065
Georgia: 888-635-8287
You can also dial 511 from your phone or visit the state link here: NC DOT GA DOT TN DOT

Closing and Delays

Below are a list of schools that are closed today, Dec. 8, 2017:

Cherokee County Schools    CLOSED (OPTIONAL TEACHER WORKDAY)
Clay County Schools     CLOSED (OPTIONAL TEACHER WORKDAY)
​Fannin County Schools     CLOSED
Graham County Schools      CLOSED (OPTIONAL TEACHER WORKDAY)
​Murphy Adventist Christian School   CLOSED (YARD SALE ALSO CANCELLED)
Nantahala School    CLOSED (OPTIONAL TEACHER WORKDAY)
North Georgia Technical College    Monitor www.northgatech.edu for updates
Polk County Schools     COPPER BASIN SCHOOLS CLOSED
Southwestern Community College    Monitor www.southwesterncc.edu for updates or on

Facebook

The Learning Center Charter School    Follows Cherokee County Schools closings/delays
TCCC: Peachtree/Marble     CLOSED
TCCC: Graham County    CLOSED
Towns County Schools     CLOSED
Tri-County Early College    CLOSED
Union County Schools    CLOSED

Expect occasional snow to continue for the next several hours. Continue to check back with us for possible updates.

If you have any traffic reports, please email us at Tiffany@FetchYourNews.com.

Have a great day and stay safe if you venture out today.

 

Holiday Events in Murphy and surrounding areas

Community

MURPHY, N.C.- Here is a list of holiday events happening in Murphy and the surrounding areas:

The annual Harshaw Rd. synchronized Christmas light display will be taking place from now until New Year’s Eve with weather permitting. Any proceeds made will go directly to Toys for Tots. Hours of the display are Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The display is located at 3351 Harshaw Rd. in Murphy.

The Polar Express began Nov. 10 and will operate through December 31.
The round-trip excursion is a little over an hour long and is set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack. Guest will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while enjoying the train ride. Santa Claus joins riders on The Polar Express for each ride, greeting all children and presenting them with a special gift, just as in the story, along with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols are sung on the return trip back to the Bryson City Depot. For more information about the schedule and ticket pricing, please follow this link: Schedule and ticket information

Murphy First Baptist Church will hold its 41st annual Singing Christmas Tree. This event is free to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Dec. 9 through 11. Saturday’s performance is a matinee beginning at 4 p.m. while Sunday and Monday performances are slated to start at 7 p.m. First Baptist Church is located at 517 Hiwassee St. in Murphy.

Santa Claus will be at Bojangles in Murphy from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Attendees bringing a toy for Toys for Tots will receive a free sausage, ham, gravy or jelly biscuit for children ages 12 and under. Murphy High School will be setting the tone for the special visit with the school chorus singing Christmas carols.

If you would like us to add additional events, let us know at Tiffany@FetchYourNews.com

 

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BOLO: Missing Teen from Andrews, N.C.

News

ANDREWS, N.C.- The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance in locating a 17-year-old caucasian male, Brenden Witt, who is listed as a runaway.

Current information is that Brenden may be in the Andrews community.

Anyone having information concerning the location of Brenden please call the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 828-837-2589 or Cherokee County Dispatch at 911.

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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