DeSimone dies in construction accident

fr desimonefuneralLast Friday started out just like many other workdays for Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone.

Write-in likely to run for mayor in Maggie following tragic death

haywoodThe tragic accident that killed Mayor Ron DeSimone last week has left a hole in upcoming town elections this fall.

Family mourns much-loved victim of unsolved hit-and-run

fr hitandrunLisa Preston Clark wasn’t surprised to see the CD amid the items recovered from Cole Preston’s crashed car. The disc was all about living life from the heart, and that’s just how Clark’s 22-year-old nephew lived.

This must be the place

art theplaceMy dog died.

Not to be Debbie Downer or anything, but that sentence has been ricocheting around my head all weekend. She’s gone. Sixteen years old, with 15 of those as a member of our family.

Jail suicide investigation on D.A.’s desk

jacksonAn investigative report looking into the March suicide of Steve Ross, who at the time was incarcerated at the Jackson County Detention Center, is now in the hands of District Attorney Ashley Welch.

Big boots to fill: Beloved backcountry trailblazer dies during solo hike

fr hikerA wonderful writer. A fearless explorer. A fascinating person. An endless optimist.

Jackson jail didn’t follow detoxification, monitoring rules prior to inmate suicide

A state investigation into jail conditions in Jackson County turned up a passel of compliance issues and a mandate that Sheriff Chip Hall submit a plan of correction by the end of the month.

Jail death sparks state investigations

It was about 5:15 p.m. on March 13 and Mark Leamon, a jailer at the Jackson County Jail, was in the midst of his routine visual check of the male inmates incarcerated there. It’s an oft-repeated exercise, a quick check to make sure that everybody’s safe and obeying the rules.

This must be the place

art theplaceMy friend died yesterday.

Way up in New York State, 1,000 miles or so away from me, my friend passed away. And he left us all for no reason. He didn’t save a kitten from a burning building. He didn’t rescue a baby from a car wreck. He didn’t give his life in an attempt to save others. He died, simply, because of drugs.

The only lesson may be that there is no lesson

op frOne of my wife’s childhood friends lives near Wilmington. Her daughter, a senior at Appalachian State, died last week in a tragic car accident. We went to the service two days after Christmas. 

One of the young lady’s sorority sisters had the courage and strength to speak, but could only do so with six or seven of her friends surrounding her, literally helping her keep standing and keep talking at times when she was overcome. When they got to the podium — most of them in tears — it was as if the grief, already overwhelming, was multiplied by 10.

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