Clay County Progress, Hayesville, North Carolina - News for Subscribers
Governor Cooper Vetoes HB 370
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    Gov. Roy Cooper
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On Wednesday, Aug. 1 Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the following bill:

Gov. Cooper shared the following statement on his veto of House Bill 370:

"This legislation is simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina. As the former top law enforcement officer of our state, I know that current law allows the state to jail and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status. This bill, in addition to being unconstitutional, weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating sheriffs to do the job of federal agents, using local resources that could hurt their ability to protect their counties. Finally, to elevate their partisan political pandering, the legislature has made a sheriff’s violation of this new immigration duty as the only specifically named duty violation that can result in a sheriff’s removal from office."

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Preliminary Estimates: Motor Vehicle Deaths Projected to Dip Below 40,000 for First Time Since 2015
National Safety Council six-month analysis shows a continuing downward trend in motor vehicle deaths
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Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council indicate the four-year upward trend in motor vehicle deaths that began in 2015 is ebbing, with the number of fatalities in the first six months of 2019 dropping 3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2018. An estimated 18,580 people died on U.S. roadways between January and June of this year, compared to the Council's revised estimate of 19,060 during the same period last year. An additional 2.1 million people are estimated to have sustained serious crash-related injuriesi during the first six months of 2018 – a 1 percent drop from 2018 six-month projections.

The estimate caps a three-year period in which roadway deaths topped 40,000 each year for the first time since the mid-2000s. A total of 118,315 people died on the roadways between 2015 and 2017, and an estimated 40,000 additional people perished last year.ii However, drivers still face the same fatality risk this year as they did when fatalities were eclipsing 40,000 annually, because the estimated annual rate of deaths per miles driven has remained stable – NSC estimates 1.2 deaths per every million vehicle miles traveled, unchanged from 2018 rates.

"While the numbers indicate a slight improvement, the rate of deaths remains stagnant, and 18,580 deaths so far this year is unacceptable," said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "We cannot accept death as the price of mobility. We urge all drivers to slow down, buckle up, pay attention and drive defensively."

The Council's early estimates indicate significant progress in some states. In the first half of this year, several states have experienced at least a 10 percent drop in motor vehicle deaths, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri,Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah. A sample of states with increases through the first six months include Kentucky (6 percent), Hawaii (20 percent), Oregon (6 percent) and New Mexico (15 percent).  A complete list of state results is available here.

To help ensure safer roads, NSC urges motorists to:

  • Practice defensive driving. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions. Visit for defensive driving tips.
  • Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from cannabis and opioids. to understand the impact of the nation's opioid crisis.
  • Stay engaged in teens' driving habits. Visit for resources.
  • Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them. Visit for information.
  • Fix recalls immediately. Visit to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall.
  • Ask lawmakers and state leaders to protect travelers on state roadways. The NSC State of Safety report shows which states have the strongest and weakest traffic safety laws.
  • Get involved in the Road to Zero Coalition, a group of more than 900 organizations across the country focused on eliminating roadway deaths by 2050. Visit to join.

The National Safety Council has tracked fatality trends and issued estimates for nearly 100 years. All estimates are subject to slight increases and decreases as the data mature. NSC collects fatality data every month from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics, so that deaths occurring within one year of the crash and on both public and private roadways – such as parking lots and driveways – are included in the estimates. 

NEWS PROVIDED BY National Safety Council
Training focuses on growing leaders
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    Local residents, from left, Kimberly Worley and Andrew Baten, have been chosen as trainers for Youth Leadership Chatuge. They will be starting the leadership club at Hayesville Middle School this fall. Hinton’s Minister of Church Relations and Development Rev. Karen Kluever had the vision to build youth leaders as part of her role. Lorrie Ross • Clay County Progress
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Twenty-first century leaders need qualities like critical thinking and decisiveness, as well as being humble and open-minded. Effective leaders should also be collaborative, relational, creative, curious and be good communicators and listeners. 

Those are just some of what can make a good leader, according to Dr. Alan Nelson, a global expert in young leader development with a masters in psychology-communication and an EdD in leadership. As a teacher at the University of Southern California and the Naval Postgraduate School, as well as the author of more than 20 books and more than 200 articles, he also founded LeadYoung Training Systems, a youth leadership training curriculum for young people ages 3 to 23. 

During his “Nurturing Young Leaders” presentation Saturday, Aug. 17 at Hinton Center, Nelson talked about the O factor or organizational factor. The O Factor happens to be the name of one of his books, but he defines it as a characteristic of young people gifted for organizational leadership. Nelson shared how cultivating youth at a young age could have an immediate and long-term impact on the schools and communities. 

He began with his own biography. He lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., but grew up on a farm in southwest Iowa. 

“Before child labor laws, I had to clean hog stalls, drive the tractor and do farm work,” he said. “I hated farm life. The only leader at home was my father, so school was the one place I could show my leadership.” 

For many years, he had a career in leadership development, but he only worked with adults. In the United States, the average age a person receives formal leadership training is 42 years. Around midlife, Nelson decided he was wasting time working with adults since everyone else does that. “I decided there has to be a better way to grow leaders and I looked for what was available for young people,” he explained. “Of 1,000 kids, about 100 are competent leaders and about 50 are gifted leaders. I’m going to show you how to identify young leaders.

He used the analogy of animals having a lead within their groups. “Certain cows or bulls are followed,” he said. “Even ant colonies, schools of fish and buffalo herds. On every playground in America, there are certain individuals other kids follow. Leaders come in all sizes, genders and ethnicities. When you bring together community, people who have the gift of organizing the community are called leaders. Leaders are influencers and they bring out the best in other people.”

Nelson said some leaders are labeled as trouble-makers in school, but leadership traits can be identified and even developed long before adulthood. There are four developmental stages of young leaders:

• Taking root - two to nine years.

• Submerged - 10 to 13 years.

• Emerging - 14 to 18 years.

• Blooming - 19-25 years.

“Ages 10 to 13 is the optimum time to develop leadership ability,” he continued. “There are three categories of defining leadership. They are personal leadership, management of teams and organizational leadership. That one is what we teach executives.”

Nelson said leadership is a modern study, which did not begin until World War II. He loves sharing this vision, but it is not widespread in the United States. “Other countries are hungrier to develop youth leadership,” he said. “Our first club started in Lebanon.”

He added the definition of leadership his team has written. “Leadership is the process of helping people accomplish together what they would not or could not have done as individuals. Leaders are those who catalyze the social process and what they do to do this, is leading.”

In the fall, Hinton will begin Youth Leadership Chatuge for local middle school students. Hinton’s Minister of Church Relations and Development Rev. Karen Kluever said it is important to develop youth leadership. “One of the things I was hired for was to start some youth leadership initiatives,” she said. “As a former youth pastor, I know you can often tell who the leaders will be.”

Local residents, Kimberly Worley and Andrew Baten, have been trained to lead the middle school group when it begins. 

Worley has worked in education for more than 15 years as a parent educator, high school science teacher, assistant principal and principal, alternative school teacher and Early College instructor. She completed M.A.Ed. from Western Carolina University and Ed.S. from Lincoln Memorial University in School Administration and Leadership and works with the Clay County Schools Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program. 

“Youth Leadership Chatuge immediately caught my attention as a perfect segue for influential students to go beyond character education and to develop the skills to be positive role models,” Worley said. “I encourage anyone who knows a middle schooler with natural leadership abilities to nominate him or her for this opportunity. A student who is gifted in sports needs to practice before the game, influential students need the chance to hone leadership skills to be successful.” 

Andrew Baten has a bachelors in chemistry and an masters in management from the University of Florida. He has been a youth pastor for the nine years and received his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology. “We are all gifted in different ways,” he said. “I’m excited we can identify students for leadership and empower them to develop and use those gifts now while they are young.”

Additional information will be printed in September about Youth Leadership Chatuge and the adult trainers of the group. For details about potential middle school applications email: Hinton Rural Life Center is at 2330 Hinton Center Road in Hayesville. Call (828) 389-8336.
Regional session draws residents
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More than 150 people from faith leaders and law enforcement to school principals and local government representatives sat side by ...

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Accident claims local man’s life
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 A Hiawassee man died last week from injuries sustained in an Aug. 13 motorcycle accident. A local woman faces misdemeanor ...

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How long do water heaters really last?
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How long do tank water heaters last? The answer is, according to most plumbing experts, 8-12 years. That’s quite a range. Which ones will last eight and which ones will last twelve? Angie’s List recommends replacement at ten years. That’s easy to say, but as a home inspector I’ve seen water heaters working just fine after 18 years. It’s not all a result of construction quality. What else could cause a 30 percent swing in longevity?

Maintenance and water quality. What things can you do to provide 30 percent more longevity to your water heater and stave off that day when the first person in the shower shouts, “Honey, no hot water.” Think of it this way; instead of waking up to no hot water every 10 years, you can go 12 or 15 years without that cold-water shock. Here’s what to do.

• Find and read the manual that came with your water heater. I know this is basic, but there is a section that talks about care and maintenance. Tape this booklet to the side of your unit with the sales slip, warranty and service person contact info.

• Check the set temperature. Keeping the heater at 125 degrees will minimize bacterial growth. Most units have a place on the case where you can adjust the temperature. Take a look in the manual for the hot water chart if you have small children. You don’t want to set the temperature too high, as it could be a scalding hazard.

• Check the temperature-pressure relief valve on the side of the unit by placing a pan under the PVC pipe coming off the valve and opening it up a few times to let several quarts of water out. Then watch to make sure there are no leaks from the valve. You are checking to see if the valve works. If it leaks, call for service.

• Drain about a quarter of the tank out every year or two from the bottom. This will require a hose if you don’t have a drain handy and the instructions for the heater. As water flows into your tank, dirt, sediment and minerals settle on the bottom. As this sediment builds up year after year it will cause your heater to work harder and fail earlier.

• There’s a sacrificial anode, rod, inside your heater that protects the inside of the heater from rusting. You should have a professional check it every two or three years. Replacing it if it’s almost gone will really extend the life of your heater.

• Smell something funny coming from the hot water tap? Rotten eggs maybe? Usually it’s not serious — it’s just anaerobic bacteria in a tank not hot enough to kill it. Your plumber can pour a pint of hydrogen peroxide in and turn up the heat. If this doesn’t solve the problem, get a pro to analyze it. It could be Legionella bacteria, which grows between 68 and 120 F. This bacterium causes Legionnaires’ disease or legionella pneumonia, causing flu-like symptoms. It’s serious.

Here’s to hot showers for many years without surprises.

Local columnist Lisa Turner is a manufacturing engineer, contractor and former home inspector. Read her past articles in: Email:
Mountain Community Chorus holding auditions
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    Now in its 45th season, the chorus serves as a medium of artistic outlet for choral performers in the mountain communities of northeast Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and for the cultural enrichment of all who enjoy the performances.
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Upcoming auditions will be held on Monday, Sept. 9 for anyone wanting to sing in the Mountain Community Chorus holiday program. All are welcome to participate. A choral singing background is preferred combined with a willingness to learn new music.

Start time is 6 p.m. on the bottom floor of Clegg Fine Arts Building at Young Harris College followed by the first rehearsal at 7 p.m. Rehearsals will be held at 7-8:30 p.m. every Monday night at Young Harris College. There is a $20 annual membership fee that covers the cost of music. There will be 14 rehearsals in the Christmas season.

The top billing for the concert is “Ceremony of Carols” written by Benjamin Britten. This major work is now a classical music favorite during the Christmas season. Written while crossing the Atlantic in 1942 aboard a cargo ship endangered by Nazi subs, this work is composed of 11 movements. Originally composed for children this group of carols often remind us of rounds or call and response pieces. The words are written in middle English. 

The composition will be accompanied by Liesl Hagan, classic harpist from the Atlanta area.

Other holiday songs are “Twas the Night Before Christmas” arranged by Harry Simeone, part of the Fred Waring band in the 1940s. Current American composer Howard Helvey, arranged “Patapan” a French carol the words of which mimic the sound of a drum much like “The Little Drummer Boy.”

“And the Glory of the Lord” is one of the 53 pieces of music written by Handel in 1741 that make up the “Messiah.” It is the first full chorus that appears in the “Messiah.” Additional favorites are “Winter Wonderland” by Mark Hayes and “What Sweeter Music” by John Rutter. One of the highlights of the program will be the Chamber Choir’s rendition of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” which was written for the Dr. Seuss cartoon special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Now in its 45th season, the chorus serves as a medium of artistic outlet for choral performers in the mountain communities of northeast Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and for the cultural enrichment of all who enjoy the performances. This season will be an exciting and demanding schedule for those that choose to participate.

The Christmas concert will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Glenn-McGinnis Performing Arts Center on the campus of Young Harris College. 

For details email Laura Stooksbury at:

Laurie Colombo Guest Writer
County gets boost from ABC funds
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    The Clay County ABC board met Tuesday, Aug. 13 to discuss needed building improvements, personnel evaluations and budgets. From left, board chairman Tommy Moore, Hayesville ABC store manager Denny Patterson, board member Buck Shaver and board member Carl Patterson. Lorrie Ross • Clay County Progress
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Clay County’s ABC store continues to contribute to the county’s coffers. During the regular meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 13, ABC board finance officer Olivia Anderson shared financial reports for both June and July, showing a profit distribution of $146,250 given to Clay County from the June budget. That is $5,000 more than what was paid to the county in June 2018. It is also in addition to the mandatory quarterly distributions of $4,500 and $3,500 for alcohol education and law enforcement, respectively. 

In a follow-up with Clay County Manager Mark Pullium, he said the $146,250 June profit distribution from the ABC store was budgeted into the county’s general fund. North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission laws do not permit ABC boards to retain profits other than small cushions of money which may be retained to be used for building maintenance or repairs as well as other miscellaneous business expenses for the times when business is slower. ABC boards are voluntary boards who help make financial decisions such as building and employment needs, based on advice from the store manager. 

Anderson presented the complete financial reports, including these details. Total income for June was $224, 801.26, which was $1,475.19 more than June 2018, even though 2019 had one less business day. After the cost of goods sold, June 2019 gross profit was $55,926, while gross profit for June 2018 was $54, 060.80. 

For July, total income was $260,040.23, which is $19,690.22 higher than the 2018 July total income of $240,350.01. After costs of goods sold, July 2019 gross profit was $63,449.80 more than 24 percent higher than July 2018 which was $58,753.62. No distributions were made in July; therefore, the net income was $30, 552.31 after expenses. That is 11.7 percent higher than July 2018 net income of $27,689.87. July 2019 had one more business day than July 2018, according to Anderson. 

Board member Buck Shaver asked Clay County ABC store manager Denny Patterson if the increase is because people are buying more expensive products than in the past. Patterson said that is some of it, but he believes the increase is for another reason, too. “There are a lot of people in the area now,” Patterson said. 

In addition to the financial reports, board chair Tommy Moore, board members Carl Patterson and Shaver heard manger Denny Patterson’s report. “I’ve got good employees,” the manager said. “Everything’s going good.” He said they had placed the first holiday orders. 

The group discussed potential building upgrades and issues with cooling the ABC store’s warehouse during hot summers months, as well. “September tends to be slower,” Patterson said. “That would probably be the best time to make some improvements.” 

After the regular meeting, the board went into executive session to review personnel evaluations. 

Denny Patterson said the board gave employee raises ranging between three and five percent. 

The Clay County ABC board meets bi-monthly in the Clay County Building Inspector’s meeting room.
Back to school
Classrooms open for business on Monday
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    Hayesville High School staff meet on Tuesday, Aug.13 to go over final preparations before students arrive on Monday, Aug. 19. Travis Dockery • Clay County Progress
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About 1,500 students will enter the various doors of Clay County Schools for the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 19. Interim school superintendent Scott Penland said enrollment numbers are never final until school starts. “Some people move in and have not enrolled their children yet, while others have moved away and have not withdrawn their kids,” he explained.

Hayesville Elementary School will have the largest number of students with about 650 from pre-k through fourth grade. Hayesville Mid- dle School and Hayesville High School should each have about 450 students. Regardless of how many students there are, Clay County Schools will be working harder to enforce attendance policies for all of them. Some policies are the same, but others have been changed and all students and their parents or guardians need to be aware. To reiterate this, the schools placed an ad with complete information in the Clay County Progress.

Penland shared the most important aspects of Clay County Schools Policy Code: 4400 Attendance. According to the policy, North Carolina law requires all children from kindergarten through age 16 to attend school. When students do not attend regularly, academic progress is harder to maintain. Ultimately, parents and legal guardians are held accountable for student attendance. For preschool students, slots are very limited; therefore, a student may lose a preschool spot if attendance is not regular. Two changes which may impact attendance is the amount of time a student must be present when only attending for a partial day. Students who are tardy or coming in late for any reason must report to school by 10:30 a.m. and remain the rest of the day in order to be counted present for the day. Students who need to leave school early must arrive on time that day and are not al- lowed to leave prior to 12:30 p.m. Otherwise, he or she will not be counted present.

In addition, students who miss school must provide a written excuse to the student’s teacher within two days of returning to school after being absent and no excuses will be accepted after the second day of returning to school. The excuse must be signed by a parent or guard- ian, but absences related to extended illness may require a physician’s statement. No more than 10 absences, tar- dies or early dismissals excused by a parent note will be accepted.

After the tenth parent note excuse, any additional absences, tardies or early dismissals will require a doctor’s excuse to be excused as sick or medical appointment. Acceptable excused absences are listed on the attendance policy. Not only can grades suffer, but students who are excessively tardy to school or class may be suspended for up to two days.

If absences are excessive, the individual principal will notify the parents and take other steps required by gen- eral statutes. The student and student’s family may be re- quired to meet with the Clay County Early Intervention Team in order to determine

the circumstances and find a solution for the student’s excessive absences or tardiness. This team includes the assistant district attor- ney, a juvenile justice court counselor, Department of Social Services, school nurse, counselor, principal, social worker, along with others who may be able to help improve student attendance. “The group’s goal is to find out why this is happening. It will be ‘can we help you?” Penland continued. “In the end, the assistant D.A. will prosecute if it is not resolved, but that’s not what we want to do. We can’t do our job if this is happening too much.”

Another change to the schools is the addition of a day treatment program. “It was approved and services will be offered through Appalachian Counseling Services,” Penland said. “This will help a lot.”

Adult family members sometimes need help of a different kind. With all students listed on PowerSchool, it is important for guardians to be able to access the information there. Students are often more tech savvy than adults who did not grow up with the same technology. For those parents and guardians who need some assistance, contact your student’s school. “Every school has a data manager,” Penland said. “The data manager for your school can lead you through the technology and even help you set it up,” Penland added. “Ask your child’s teacher, the school principal or assistant principal.”

School information, such as contact information, at- tendance policy and more can be found at:
Open event held at downtown garden
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The Master Gardener’s As- sociation held an open gar- den event at the Downtown Discovery Garden this past Friday, Aug.

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