Plans to build a crisis stabilization unit in Cherokee for people battling addictions stalled this month when Tribal Council, for the second month running, voted to delay approval of the $31.5 million expenditure. 

Ruth Marie Sequoyah McCoy, former deputy superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Cherokee agency, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud during a hearing at the U.S. District Court in Asheville Friday, March 2.

The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers.

First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935 to 1940, is best remembered for his suspense novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, a grandfather in the genre of intrigue. Alfred Hitchcock later made Buchan’s tale of a manhunt, a precursor to “The Bourne Identity,” into a film. 

(Editor’s Note: Readers should be cautioned that several of the descriptions of scalping and related practices presented in this column are graphic.)     

When I was a boy, incidents of scalping by Native Americans were a staple in the old-time movies about the “Wild West.” And there is no doubt whatsoever that the western tribes utilized that practice. But what about the Cherokee, Creek, Catawba and other southeastern tribes — to what extent was scalping a part of their warfare and ritual?

Four people accused of entering into fraudulent marriages with non-U.S. citizens will plead guilty to the charge of marriage fraud, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Charges against two Charlotte teens arrested following the shooting of 21-year-old Jacob Alexander Ray, of Hendersonville, have been upgraded from attempted murder to first-degree murder as of Monday, Oct. 16.

Jury acquits in rape case

Nearly three years after a Sylva Halloween party resulted in his indictment for statutory rape, Cody Jenkins is a free man following a two-week trial culminating with a not guilty verdict Aug. 25.

After two weeks of testimony, a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty on all counts in the case of Cody Jenkins, who in 2014 was accused of statutory rape following a Sylva Halloween party that involved underage drinking.

Numerous law enforcement agencies led by the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office are engaged in a search for Phillip Michael Stroupe II, a suspect who is known to be armed and dangerous.

Court-appointed lawyers are the crux of the U.S justice system because it is their duty to ensure every U.S. citizen is granted their constitutional right to a fair trial, but many lawyers in Western North Carolina are concerned a new pilot program implemented by the state could threaten that right.

Macon is one of six counties across the state that is being included in a pilot program in which court-appointed lawyers are compensated using a flat-fee schedule instead of an hourly rate. According to data from the Indigent Defense Office of North Carolina, indigent defense costs increased 168 percent between 1989 and 1999 while caseloads increased by 90 percent. Capital defense costs rose 338 percent during the same time period.

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