Cherokee County Announces 106th and 107th COVID-19 Related Deaths

Press Release
Two Cherokee County residents have died from complications of COVID-19. One individual was in their late-forties, and the other individual is was in their mid-seventies. These are the 106th and 107th COVID-19 related deaths in Cherokee County.
Cherokee County Health Department emphasizes that anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:
• At least 24 hours have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND
• At least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and once you stop isolating, you should wear a mask for 5 additional days.
It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine according to latest CDC guidance to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
In addition to isolating as instructed above, if you become sick with a respiratory type illness, please contact the Cherokee County Health Department at 828-837-7486 or your primary care provider to determine if you need to be tested.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus

.

Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information at https://www.facebook.com/cchdnc.gov.
Symptoms for COVID-19 have a wide range reported-ranging from mild to severe illness. Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are having a mild respiratory illness or exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.
If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

Traffic Stop and Search Nets Two Drug Traffickers

Featured News, Featured Stories, Press Release
Murphy, NC—The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reports the December 21, 2021 arrest of 42 year old Barron Jermel Sudderth and 49 year old Tommy Vaughn Dockery Jr both of Murphy North Carolina for violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Statutes.
A week long investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office culminated in a traffic stop of a vehicle occupied by Sudderth and Dockery. During a probable cause search of the vehicle occupied by Sudderth and Dockery a trafficking amount of suspected heroin and fentanyl, suspected methamphetamine, a handgun and ammunition and was seized.
Narcotic investigators then executed a search warrant on the residence of Sudderth, which is in a public housing area of Murphy North Carolina. During that search of Sudderth’s residence additional weapons and ammunition were seized. Both Sudderth and Dockery have previous convictions and are prohibited by North Carolina statutes of possessing firearms.
Baron Jermel Sudderth is incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center for: TRAFFICKING IN OPIUM OR HEROIN X 2, PWIMSD METHAMPHETAMINE, MAINTAIN a PLACE FOR USE/POSSESSION of CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. Sudderth is under a $150,000.00 secure bond and has a January 13, 2022 Cherokee County District Court date.
Tommy Vaughn Dockery Jr is incarcerated in the Cherokee Detention Center for: TRAFFICKING IN OPIUM OR HEROIN X 2, and PWIMSD METHAMPHETAMINE. Dockery is under a $150,000.00 secure bond and has a January 13, 2022 Cherokee County District Court date.
Chief Deputy Joe Wood stated “This operation located at least a mid-level amount of Heroin and Fentanyl and firearms in a public housing area in the residence of one of the charged individuals. This definitely was a recipe for disaster had a child discovered even a small amount of these deadly drugs or had gotten possession of a loaded firearm. We are not resting on this one and will continue to go up the food chain to work to stem the flow of illegal drugs in Cherokee County. As always we continue to appreciate the public’s assistance in this and all of our cases.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at [email protected]

Fifteen Students Pass Their Microsoft PowerPoint Associate 2019 Certification

Murphy High, School Corner

A special shout out to all fifteen students in Mrs. Julie Hughes’ Microsoft Word/PowerPoint class. They passed their Microsoft PowerPoint Associate 2019 certification last week. They are Jaiden Hamby, Kinslie, Campbell, Elizabeth Cowan, Carson Phillips, Cameron Deas, Gracey Sneed, Lauren Hyde, Alex Parker, McKynzie Simmons, Chelsea Dockery, Bailey Greene, John Allen, Treci Deas, Anna Brinke, and not pictured, Andrew Thompson. CONGRATULATIONS!

Absconding Sex Offender Captured

Press Release
Murphy, NC—Sheriff Derrick Palmer reports the December 01, 2021 arrest of convicted sex offender Justin Ryan Barber, a 32 year old male of Murphy North Carolina for Violation of the North Carolina Sex Offender registry as well as multiple charges including theft and failure to appear.
In January 2008, Justin Barber plead guilty of the crime of Incest in Cherokee County Superior Court. In accordance with the North Carolina General Statutes governing the registration of offenders convicted of sexual offenses, Barber registered with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office shortly after the conviction in January 2008. One of the duties that Barber was required by statute to abide by was to notify the registering sheriff of any changes of address.
In January 2021, Barber personally appeared at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and made a change of address indicating that he was residing at a residence on Indian Hills drive, Murphy North Carolina.
In March of 2021, while an investigation was being conducted into the theft of several high value coins, information was made known that Barber was no longer at the residence. Attempts were made to locate Barber in Cherokee County. A warrant was issued for Barber’s arrest for failing to notify his change of address. Additionally, assistance was requested with the United States Marshal Service, and the North Carolina Department of Community Corrections to assist in locating Barber. Additionally, the warrant for Barber’s Failure to Report his address change was entered into NCIC with Nationwide Pickup.
In late October 2021, the detective assigned to the case was notified by the officials in Gennessee County NY that Barber was in their jurisdiction. Once the warrant for arrest was confirmed Barber was incarcerated at the Gennessee County Detention Center.
Barber waived Extradition and Deputies of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office made the trip to Gennessee County NY and returned Barber to the Cherokee County Detention Center.
Barber is currently detained at the Cherokee County Detention Center on $145,000.00 secure bond for the following charges: FAIL REPRT NEW ADDRESS-SEX OFF, EXTRADITION/FUGITIVE OTHER STATE, RESISTING PUBLIC OFFICER, BREAKING OR ENTERING, FINANCIAL CARD THEFT, BREAK OR ENTER A MOTOR VEHICLE, FAILURE TO APPEAR ON FELONY. Barber has a December 12, 2021 Cherokee County District Court date.
Chief Deputy Joe Wood stated “The Sex Offender Registry is an outstanding tool in keeping track of those who have offendede against victims, both adult and children. As you can see we have recognized for some time that monitoring and administering the Sex Offender Registry in Cherokee County is a large task and have partnered with State and Federal Agencies to ensure outcomes like with Barber, who not only is suspect in violations of the Sex Offender Registry but is suspect in several other crimes, not only in Cherokee County and Western North Carolina but out of state as well. Outstanding work by all involved.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at [email protected]

New Classes Offered for Murphy High Starting in 2022

Murphy High, School Corner

New classes offered to Cherokee County High School students starting in Spring 2022

Cherokee man plead guilty to drug trafficking and breaking and entering

Business
drug trafficking

MURPHY, NC – A Cherokee County man will spend more than a decade in prison after admitting to five criminal charges, including breaking and entering, trafficking and possessing illegal drugs.

Marble resident Travis Timpson, 41, plead guilty in Cherokee County Superior County Court last month.

The charges included second-degree burglary, breaking and entering, possess schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy to sell and deliver, and Level E trafficking.

North Carolina ensures drug trafficking convictions have some of the harshest penalties in the state. The mandatory minimum is set based on drug type and weight.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Bill Coward handed down the requisite sentence of 90 months and ordered Timpson to pay a $100,000 fine. 470 days of pre-trial confinement were credited toward Timpson’s sentence.

The trafficking and burglary charges were consolidated for sentencing, as were the charges of possession, conspiracy to sell and deliver, and breaking and entering. The latter carried an active sentence to be served consecutively to the first sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Harris prosecuted the case.

Cherokee County announces 2nd COVID-19 death

News, Press Release
resident work-related death
CHEROKEE COUNTY, NC – A resident that was reported to have COVID-19 on Monday, June 29 has died from complications. This individual was in their late eighties. This is the second COVID-19 related death in Cherokee County.
This serves as an unfortunate reminder of the seriousness that surrounds COVID-19 and the potential impacts to those high-risk individuals. We as a community must do our part to help stop the spread of the virus by washing our hands, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask to help protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19. These are important preventative measures that we should all be taking any time we are in areas where maintaining 6 feet of distance may be difficult. It’s also important to remember that just because you feel well, doesn’t mean you can’t transmit the virus to others.
Cherokee County Health Department emphasizes that anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:
• At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND
• At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine to the extent possible for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of a respiratory illness. If household or close contacts become sick during the 14 day monitoring period, it is advised that they then isolate until the criteria for discontinuation of isolation (listed above) are met.
In addition to isolating as instructed above, if you become sick with a respiratory type illness, please contact the Cherokee County Health Department at 828-837-7486 or your primary care provider to determine if you need to be tested.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow. The CDC now recommends that cloth face coverings be worn in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.
Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information at

https://www.facebook.com/cchdnc.gov.
Symptoms for COVID-19 have a wide range reported-ranging from mild to severe illness. Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are having a mild respiratory illness or exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.
If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

Black Lives Matter comes to downtown Murphy in impressive numbers

Community, Featured, News
Black Lives Matter

MURPHY, N.C. – A large, peaceful crowd turned out in downtown Murphy to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on June 4.

Approximately 450 or more BLM supporters brandished homemade signs while marching from the train depot to the courthouse. The three young adult organizers created the event on Monday, June 1 with the intention of holding a small gathering with their friends. However, after launching the Murphy BLM Peaceful Protest group, it grew from 10 to 200 people overnight. At the time of the event, the group had 677 members. No one expected such a big crowd, and several protesters expressed the hope they felt at the sight.

“I think it says there are a lot more people out there then you know. Like that support what you’re trying to convey and spread the word. I think it just says a lot about what we don’t know is out there,”  organizer Jake Reed told FYN on the protest’s success.

Reed and his fellow organizers TeLor Allen and Emily Mills all stressed their desire for a peaceful protest leading up to the event. They wanted it to be a safe space for the people from Cherokee County to show solidarity with the BLM movement.

“I am not a rioter. I am not a looter. I am not a thug. I am not a stereotype. I am a student. I go to the University of Tennessee. I am a daughter. I matter. My name is TeLor Allen,” declared Allen. “Thank you for using your voices for a cause that is so much beyond us that we can’t even imagine.”

The event appeared to serve as an outlet for those who wanted to support BLM and share their grief as well as desire for change.

TeLor Allen addresses the crowd of the event she helped to organize.

“[I experienced] a lot of recently feeling helpless, but then hearing oh there’s a protest actually going on here in Murphy, which I was shocked to find out considering how small it is. But I’m so glad that it happened and glad that I am here,” said one protester who goes by Ryvers.

FYN spoke with participants about small towns and the likelihood of protests in support of BLM. Certain individuals discussed that residents in rural communities are “at peace” with how things operate and don’t see a need for change. No one wants to “rock the boat” or take a gamble on controversial topics.

Diversity also plays a part in how communities see BLM protests. One protester talked about moving from Athens, Ga to Murphy, NC, and how one of their classmates told them that they never saw a person of color before.

Another BLM supporter brought up community diversity and the role it plays:

“We grew up in Florida where there was diversity and there was color and to move to a small town and to see how closed it was. This was very important to us for our voices to be heard. Not only for Black Lives Matters, but also for the injustice that the police, there are so many occasions of them getting away with so much stuff,” said Kathryne, “The fact that the police officers were on the side that really meant a lot to everybody.”

“We all wanted it to be peaceful and glad that it’s reaching such small communities too,” responded Lynsey. “This is a matter that affects all of us.”

Many protesters made signs to illustrate their opinions and feelings regarding injustices against African Americans.

When asked why now and why they felt the need to demonstrate, they responded:

“I’m sick and tired of seeing everything happen on the news. I’m tired of watching our black Americans go through everything that they are. I want things to be better for them. They should feel safe and have the same privileges that we do and not feel oppressed or as though, they can’t attain, the same things that we do,” expressed Sierra Butler.

“I’m tired of just standing by and knowing that I have white privilege, but not being able to do anything about it,” added Brenda Hammond. “I know that there are people who have it so much worse than we do simply because they’re darker than us and that’s not right. It makes me hurt so much to see so many people in pain.”

Hammond also addressed how her family has a lot of mixed opinions on the issue, but they are having conversations about race in America to try and understand.

While marching, they continued to chant “No Justice No Peace,” “George Floyd,” “Black Lives Matter,” “This is America,” and “I can’t breathe.” Once reaching their destination, several protesters laid down in the street with their hands behind their back and chanted “I can’t breathe.”

Everyone fell silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to recognize the length of time former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to George Floyd’s neck.

Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer spoke, at times in tears, over the injustices African American’s face and the acts of police brutality. He condemned the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and any officer who didn’t see the wickedness in the four former MPD members.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer addresses change at the Black Lives Matter Protest.

“It’s a long time past that law enforcement and community leaders need to stop, and no longer continue to be silent but speak out when we see injustice occurring,” Palmer stated. “No longer can community members and leaders turn our backs, turn our faces, and pretend these things don’t happen. We don’t only need to speak out for a change, but we need to make changes in our community both Republican and Democrat.”

The sheriff also stressed the need for the community and the nation to love each other citing the Bible and Martin Luther King Jr. Palmer and his staff have started discussions on how to end systemic racism in law enforcement and help their citizens. He added that this discussion only took place because of protesters raising their voices against unjust systems.

Police reform is at the heart of the issue, FYN asked Reed what next steps people could take after the protests:

“I think the next big step for police systems, police departments, and people in power that can really change is realizing that we need change. I think that us being here even in this tiny town is really impactful.”

Jake Allen came up with the idea to hold a protest in Murphy.

Some individuals who disagreed with the protest lined the outskirts of the protest. One even shouted out “all lives matter.” He was quickly shouted down by others in the crowd, who echoed “not until black lives matter.” Others shouted that the disruptor “didn’t have a clue.”

FYN chatted with protesters, Kathyrne, Lynsey, and Talon who encountered him before the event started.

“He looked at us and said are you serious, and I just said yes sir, we are, and thank you, have a nice day,” explained Lynsey. “If you’re here for the wrong reason, go home.”

Once the peaceful assembly ended, the organizers and police handed out water to those in attendance and cleaned the streets of any trash.

To see all photos from the event, click here. 

What consolidation means for County high school sports

Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The long awaited vote for the consolidation of the three Cherokee County High Schools was conducted on May 28th, where the Cherokee County School Board voted 4-2 in favor of consolidation. Thanks to a $15 million dollar grant that the county received back in 2018, Murphy, Andrews and Hiwasee Dam High Schools will all be joined as one on a campus in Peachtree, across from the Tri-County Community College. 

 

There will be 821 total students at the new high school which puts them as of now in the 2A bracket for athletics with the likes of Pisgah, Franklin, and Smoky Mountain. As it is right now, the school should be able to stay in the Smoky Mountain Conference even though they are moving to 2A, as the Western Highlands and Mountain Valley conferences have teams that are in the 1A and 2A classification. 

 

Conference realignment happens every four years including this coming year so this could all change very quickly, and since the school is not projected to be open until 2025 at the earliest we could see 2 different conference realignments before the school opens its doors. 

 

These three schools on their own have been fairly successful against 2A competition when they have met in the past. 

 

Last year Murphy’s football team defeated both Pisgah and Franklin in back to back weeks, and in 2018 defeated both Hendersonville and Gilmer county. Andrews’ basketball team also defeated Brevard in a Christmas tournament just this past year. 

 

Murphy head football coach David Gentry is the first of the 3 consolidated

David Gentry
Photo from Maxpreps.com

schools to publicly come out and say that he will not be a part of the County school. Gentry told the Asheville Citizen Times that it would be an option if he was younger, but that he is on the backend of his career and does not want to coach until he dies. Gentry has already confirmed that he will be leading the Bulldogs for the 2020 season, a season in which he hopes to claim his 9th state title. 

The plan for the new consolidated school is to build a new sports complex alongside the high school, complete with a new football stadium. This means that the historic Murphy football field named after David Gentry will be no more, and that seems to be okay with him, as he told the Citizen Times that he hopes the new school will build new traditions.  

New Cherokee resident tests positive in isolation

Health, News
resident work-related death

CHEROKEE COUNTY, N.C. PRESS RELEASE – One resident of Cherokee County has tested positive for COVID – 19 and is currently isolated in their home in Cherokee County. This individual was tested after presenting to a local Emergency Department requesting care for a respiratory type illness and has remained isolated since being tested. The Cherokee County Health Department is performing a contact investigation in an effort to identify close contacts of this individual and perform testing, as indicated. This individual has not had contact with anyone known to be infected with COVID-19 or linked to other ongoing investigations.

Recent contact investigations related to (previously) reported cases in Cherokee County have left no clear source of infection and are an indication that community spread is occurring. According to the CDC, community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

In an effort to slow community spread, Cherokee County Health Department is continuing to urge anyone who does not have an essential need to go out into the public to Stay at Home and limit all unnecessary contacts.

Cherokee County Health Department also emphasizes that anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine to the extent possible for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of a respiratory illness. If household or close contacts become sick during the 14 day monitoring period, it is advised that they then isolate until the criteria for discontinuation of isolation (listed above) are met.

In addition to isolating as instructed above, if you become sick with a respiratory type illness and are in one of the following categories, please contact the Cherokee County Health Department at 828-837-7486 or your primary care provider to determine if you need to be tested:

  • Healthcare worker
  • 65 years and older
  • Underlying health conditions such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; people with weakened immune systems, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease.
    • First Responder
    • Essential worker

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow. It is also recommended that all individuals only go into public areas for essential activities. The CDC now recommends that cloth face coverings be worn in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you are having a mild respiratory illness, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.
If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

Ninth Cherokee County resident tests positive for COVID-19

Health, News, Press Release
Covid-19

CHEROKEE COUNTY, N.C. – A resident of Cherokee County has tested positive for COVID – 19 and is currently isolated in their home in Cherokee County. This individual is a household contact to the previously reported case believed to have been infected during a visit to Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino. Cherokee County Health Department staff have continued working to identify the source of the infection and contacts. This individual has been isolated since the household member was tested and only came out of isolation to receive medical care.

The CDC is now urging anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine to the extent possible for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of a respiratory illness. If household or close contacts become sick during the 14 day monitoring period, it is advised that they then isolate until the criteria for discontinuation of isolation (listed above) are met.

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow. It is also recommended that all individuals only go into public areas for essential activities. The CDC now recommends that cloth face coverings be worn in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit
the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you are having a mild respiratory illness, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.
If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

Two Cherokee County Residents Test Positive for COVID-19, Currently Isolated in Cherokee County

Business
Georgia Cherokee County Residents

Two Cherokee County residents that tested positive for COVID – 19 are currently isolated in their homes in Cherokee County. These individuals have been linked to the first case identified in Cherokee County with the commonality being the John C. Campbell Folk School event that was attended by the index case. Cherokee County Health Department is working diligently to identify contacts of these cases.

The CDC is now urging anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:
• At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND
• At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine to the extent possible for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of a respiratory illness. If household or close contacts become sick during the 14 day monitoring period, it is advised that they then isolate until the criteria for discontinuation of isolation (listed above) are met.

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow. It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit
the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you are having a mild respiratory illness, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.
If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

Cherokee County Business and Restaurant operations

Community

Cherokee County, NC- (Updated 3/20) On March 17th at 5 p.m. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper gave the order that all restaurants and bars were to be closed to sit-down services and open to curbside takeout and delivery only. Since then, many local businesses have followed suite and modified the way that they are operating on a day to day bases, in an effort to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus. Below is a list of businesses in and around Cherokee County and how they will be operating during this time. 

GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC SERVICES

The Town of Murphy and The Town of Andrews have declared a State of Emergency as of Friday, March 20, 2020. Curfews have been implemented barring pedestrian traffic within the city limits from 9:00pm to 6:00 am. 

Valley River Humane Society- During this time of concern please do not forget about the Animals. Valley River Humane Society Animal Shelter is still open to the public. They are very close to full capacity and have lowered some of the adoption costs hoping to place animals with new families.

John C Campbell Folk School- Suspending all classes, events, dances and concerts until April 18th. EMPTY BOWLS, our annual fundraiser for Cherokee and Clay county food banks (initially scheduled for March 21), has been postponed.

Peachtree Community Center- Grocery bingo at Peachtree Community Club canceled 3/20, 2020. Also the facility is temporarily unavailable for rental until further notice due to federal and state government recommendations.

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce- Closed to the public, available via phone

NC Works Career Center- Closed to the public, available via phone

Cherokee County Senior Games- Senior Games registration and events have been canceled until further notice.

First United Methodist Church- Worship services are online, under “Worship” on their homepage.

Shepherd of the Mountain Church- Sunday Morning livestream services at https://shepherdchurchnc.com/media and on the Shepherd Church facebook page. 

Village Church- Sunday Morning livestream services on Facebook. 

BUSINESSES

Cherokee Valley River Casino- Closed for 2 weeks effective March 18th.

Jim Miller State Farm- Not meeting face to face with clients at this time. 

Steven Aft State Farm- Closed to Public until further notice. 

Farley Insurance- Agency has decided to close all our lobbies until further notice. We are committed to servicing our policies and helping our customers in the best way possible; and in order to remain open to do this, we ask that you try phone and email contact prior to visiting our locations for the time-being.

Rumors Clothing- Open as of now

Peacock Performing Arts Center- rescheduled “Legacy Motown Review” from April 4th 2020 to November 7th 2020. Tickets already purchased  for April 4th show have been switched as valid for the November 7th rescheduled date. Peacock Performing Arts Center has rescheduled “The Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens” from May 2020 to May 21st- May 30th of 2021. Tickets already purchased  for May of 2020 show have been switched as valid for the May 2021 rescheduled dates. 

LUV N Mountain Soaps located in downtown Murphy staying open with precautions.  Hours will be Friday and Saturday 10pm- 4pm. 

Great Smoky Mountain RailRoad- Suspended until April 1st

Camp Happy Dog- Providing full services including day care from 8am-6pm and over night boarding. 

Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital- Appointments are encouraged and limited space in the lobby is available. Curbside patient pickup available on request.

Tri-County Animal Clinic- open by appointment only. The lobby has been closed with the exception of a one owner rule accompanied by the patient. Payments can be done over the phone and Curbside medication assistance is available.   

Black and White Market- open Monday through Friday 11am-4pm and on Saturdays 11am-3pm.

Ameriprise Financial Advisor Carmen Lance- Closed to walk ins and open by appointment only

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Charlie Spence- Closed to walk ins and open by appointment only during the COVID-19 response

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Christie Standish- Closed to walk ins and open by appointment only during the COVID-19 response. 

First Citizens Bank- encourages drive through services, However many of our branch lobbies remain open for business and you can also feel free to call your banker for an appointment.  

Murphy Farmers Market- Cancelled until further notice

WagonMaster Ranch Fun Park- We ask that if you have a sick family member, please don’t come during this time. We are open Wednesday – Saturday 11 am – 5 pm.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Trevor Walker- Closed to walk ins and open by appointment only during the COVID-19 response.

Restaurants Offering Takeout-

  • Copper Door
  • Ronnies Bar & Grill
  • Graneri’s Italian Restaurant 
  • Bojangles 
  • So’s Good Kitchen
  • Zaxbys 
  • Monte Alban Mexican Restaurant 
  • Ingles Markets 
  • Grandpa Charlies Country Cookin
  • Chik-Fil-A
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Parson Pub
  • Rib Country
  • Rods Rockin Rolls
  • The Bake Shop
  • Captain D’s
  • Shoebooties
  • McDonalds
  • Valley River Eatery and Brewery
  • Chevelles
  • Sals Brooklyn Pizza
  • Hoppy Trout
  • Calaboose Cellars
  • Julie’s Place
  • Arby’s 
  • Burger Boy
  • Wendy’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Waffle King
  • Waffle House
  • Subway at Fatbacks & Walmart
  • Hardee’s 
  • Mainstreet USA

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE COVID-19

If you think you may have contracted SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 please call your primary healthcare provider first. Your doctor will advise you as to whether you need to come in for testing. Do visit an Emergency Room if you feel that you have life threatening symptoms. It is advised to call hospitals or doctor’s offices ahead of time to let them know that you are on your way. This allows time for staff to prepare for your arrival and minimize the possibility of contact with patients in high risk categories.

NC High School & Middle School Sports Postponed Indefinitely

Community, Press Release, Sports
sports postponed

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Due to the threat from COVID-19, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has made the decision to postpone the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball State Championships and all interscholastic athletics indefinitely.

“As much as we would like this opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches, and their communities, we know that ultimately any decision we make must err on the side of caution,” said Commissioner Que Tucker.

The Board of Directors also moved to suspend interscholastic athletics beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, through Monday, April 6th, 2020. The NCHSAA Board of Directors will assess this situation regularly over the next few weeks. This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests.

Armed robbery suspect arrested in Cherokee

News, Police & Government
armed robbery

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Nc – Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) arrested Jason Burrell, the suspect in the Jan. 21, 2020 armed robbery at Marble Quick Pantry.

Burrell was identified as a suspect in the robbery and CCSO issued warrants for his arrest before eventually locating him. He was considered armed and dangerous and had stolen a vehicle the night before the robbery.

FYN is awaiting more information as the CCSO has promised a press release on the situation.

The image is taken from the Quick Pantry security camera.

Images courtesy of CCSO Facebook page.

 

CCSO arrest Blue Ridge on suspected drug violations

Business, Featured, News, Police & Government
drug

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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