North Carolina Newspapers

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Yuletide Spirit
The Christmas spirit is running high, despite rainy
weather, icey roads, and worry over postal deadlines. With
only 14 shopping days left until ol’ Saint Nick arrives, the town
has added to the season’s cheer by putting up their annual
decorations on the town square.
Marshall’s Annual
Christmas Pageant
On Friday and Saturday 1
nights, December 10 and 11, 1
at 7:30 o’clock, the courthouse 1
lawn in Marshall will revert
almost 2000 years in time to
resemble the famous streets
and manger scene of Bethle
hem. The annual Christmas
Pageant will be presented for
the 13th time. As in the past,
live animals will be used in
addition to a selected choir,
and a cast composed of
persons from Marshall, Mars
Hill, and other areas.
There is no admission
charged and everyone is
invited to share in and enjoy
Art Council
Film Set
The Toe River Arts Coun
cil will sponsor a film at the
Yancey County Public Library
on Monday, December 13, at
7:00 p.m. The film is “The
Magnificent Ambersons,”
from the novel by Booth
Parkington. Admission is
Choir Here
The Mars Hill College 100-
voice choir will present a
program on Saturday, De
cember 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the
auditorium at Mountain Heri
tage High School. Admission
will be $1.50. The program is
sponsored by the East Yancey
PTA. Proceeds will go to
wards the purchase of school
dictionaries and equipment.
Fire Calls
November 30, Tuesday, at
9:00 a.m. the Avery Higgins
Residence on Hardscrabble
Road caught fire; 1 truck and
10 firemen responded. The
house was completely de
stroyed, with all contents,
when the blaze was dis
Novembei 4, Saturday,
iMichael Bryant's house at
Horseshoe Highlands near
Clearmont School. The house
was completely destroyed. 12
persons answered the call..
tfijft omtgmade ecuuf
the nativity drama. Refres
ments will be served in the
courthouse lobby following
the pageant on both nights.
A beam of light from the
mountain overlooking the
manger scene will spotlight
Joseph's and Mary’s search
for overnight lodging and
their finding the stable. As
the reenactment of the mira
culous Bible story proceeds,
the beam progressively spots
the visit of the shepherds and
the arrival of the Wisemen
from the East.
The inception of this
annual community-sponsored
drama began as a vision of
Don Luckadoo, who noticed
the similarity between the
mountains around Marshall
and the hills of Bethlehem.
The pageant has been
presented yearly since 1963
except for cancellation in 1973
due to the energy shortage.
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, Students Make Courthouse Sien
The Vocational Education [Shop] class at Mountain
Heritage High School has been busy so far this school year
making signs for the grounds and buildings of their school,
including an Impressive entrance sign just off Highway 19E.
The sign voted “most likely to be seen by everyone,” however,
VOL. 4, NO. 49
One Man
Killed In
A two-car collision at 5:55
p.m. last Monday, December
6, took the life of 23-year-old
William Jerry Wilson of
Burnsville, husband of Kathy
Hughes Wilson and father of
Jeremiah Wilsop. He was
pronounced dead on arrival at
Yancey Hospital.
Wilson was a passenger in
a 1965 Pontiac driven by
18-year-old Randall Dale Hon
eycutt of the Windy Gap
Section of Yancey County.
Other passengers in the car
were Melvin Fox, 17, and
Jerry Fox, 15, of Micaville.
The '65 Pontiac was
traveling East on Highway
19E at Riverside and was
passing a vehicle at an
apparently high rate of speed.
When he pulled back into the
correct lane after passing the
vehicle he struck a 1970 Ford
driven by 22-year-old James
Victor Gardner of Burnsville.
Gardner was attempting to
make a left hand turn off 19E
into a private drive.
A passenger in the 1970
Ford, Michael Higgins of the
Coxes Creek section of Yan
cey County was taken to
Yancey Hospital and then to
Memorial Mission Hospital in
Asheville. All others involved
in the accident were treated at
Yancey Hospital and then
Troopers B.R. Owens and
A.T. Morrison investigated
the accident. Charges were
made on Randall Bill Honey
cutt: Driving without an
operator’s license. Driving
under the Influence, and
Causing death by vehicle.
By North Carolina Law all
County Ad-Valcrem Taxes for
1976 which a'e not paid
before January 1.1977 will be
subject to a 2% interest
charge as of January 1, 1977,
with an additional interest
charge of V* of one per cent
for February 1977 and each
month thereafter until paid.
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Newly elected officers and board members for Yancey County were sworn
in last Monday morning in the Yancey County Courthouse, with Superior
Court Judge Ronald Howell officiating. Elected to office on November 2,
these people have all assumed their official duties as of Monday. Pictured left
to right: Edward Yuziuk, Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor; Garrett
Nationwide Brake Check Has Begun:
Cause Os Brake Failure Found
Four weeks after the
school bus accident in Yancey
County which involved 26
school children, school auth
orities all over the country are
taking a closer look at the
school bus maintenance re
quirements in their own
school system. What sparked
off this nationwide school bus
maintenance reform was the
conclusion reached by state
transportation authorities re
garding the accident here,
caused by brake failure on a
13-year-old school bus.
Unknown and unseen by
bus mechanics in their normal
is this new one they have Just created for the Yancey County
Courthouse. Pictured are the students who made the sign; Jack'
Buckner, on the extreme right, who Is head of the Vocational
Education Department at Mountain Heritage; and Mike Orr,
third from right, who teaches the class.
Yancey Officials Sworn In At Courthouse
course of inspection, a portion
of the hydraulic brake line in
the 1963 Yancey school bus
was found to be rusted and
corroded, perhaps by the salt
which the highway depart
ment uses to de-ice the roads,
and the line had developed
pin-point holes. The brake
fluid, always under pressure,
apparently forced a larger
, hole in this weakened portion
of the brake line on the
morning of the accident and
the brake fluid, spewing out
under pressure, caused an
immediate loss of braking
“This type of accident
Give A Gift Subscription To
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Anglin, Board of Education Member; Tommy Robinson, Board of Education
Member; Kenneth Hunter, Board of Education Member; Grace Ayers,
Register of Deeds; Superior Court Judge Ronald Howell; Carl Carter,
Chairman County Commissioners; Alton Robinson, County Commissioner;
and Clay Miller, County Commissioner.
could not have happened with
school buses built after
1967,” said School Bus
Maintenance Supervisor Jim
Simmons, who has held that
position in Yancey County for
four years. "Before 1968," he
said, “buses had a single
braking system. Buses built
since 1968 have a dual
braking system so that even if
a brake line erodes through as
was the case here, the bus will
still have some braking
50 school buses are
authorized to the Yancey
County School System. The
County must initially buy the
necessary number of school
buses, but the state will then
replace old buses with new
ones on a regular schedule. At
present, school authorities
report that replacement is on
an 11-12 year basis; that is,
buses of 1964, 1965 vintage
are being replaced in 1976.
Yancey County received two
new buses last week to
replace two of the 1965 buses..
With this current replacement
we are now using 41 buses
built in 1968 or later (with the
dual braking system), and 9
buses of 1963-66 vintage. The
reason we are still using the
earlier models when the state
is already up to the 1965
replacement level is that the
County, which bought one bus
in 1974, must buy three more
to complete our authorized
50-bus fleet, but until these
are purchased, the school
system must bring earlier
models out of ‘ ‘retirement’ ’ to
be used in their regular bus
schedule. /
It must be noted, however, •
that any bus up to 1968 could
have had the same brake
failure which caused the
accident in Yancey County.
In fact, the North Carolina
Department of Public Instruc
tion issued an order, since the
accident here, to have the
brake lines of all school buses
in the state inspected and the
inspection is turning up the
same rust and corrosion
condition in these lines which
are up under the bus and
difficult to reach for inspec
tion. This has caused other
states to enforce the same
order and has uncovered more
brake-line deterioration all
across the country. >
Simmons states thaCian
cey County school bus me
chanics are inspecting the
brake lines on all older school
buses on a daily basis and
have replaced a lot of lines.
Buses having a dual braking
system have also been in
spected and are being check
ed on a less frequent, but
regular basis.
“We are doing everything
in our power to make our
school buses safe and keep
them that way,” stated
Simmons. “But I’ll admit I
will be very glad when all our
buses are 1968 or later
models, which won’t be for a
couple of years yet.”
“I do want to say
though,” he continued, “that
our student bus drivers are
excellent school bus drivers
and very responsible indivi-
Winter Warning!
The North Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruehy to
Animals [NCSPCA] has issued s winter warning to animal
owners who break s state law when they leave animals
outdoors In sub-beezhig weather without adequate shelter.
Edith G. Raber, president of NCSPCA, warns that warrants
will be served on those who fall to provide adequate shelter for
their animals. The law applies to owners of all animals,
Including farm animals.
Anyone who is aware of animal owners in Yancey County
who are breaking this law should send complete Information to
NCSPCA, P.O. Box 8432, Asheville, N.C. 28804; or call
A movement Is underway to organize a Yancey County
chapter of the NCSPCA. Ail who are interested in helping to
organize a local chapter are asked to mall a postcard with
name, address, and phone number to P.O. Box 545, Burnsville,
North Carolina.
A spokesman for the local group stated that the main
purpose of the organization is not the punishment of man, but
rather the education of our people to be kind and merciful In
their treatment of ail animals.
duals.” Simmons went on to
say that in the accident we
just had, the student driver
did just the right thing-possi
bly preventing a worse
accident. And it wasn’t only a
matter of “keeping cool”
.which has been mentioned,
" but also of using the
information learned in school
bus safety classes which the
bus drivers attend frequently,
and in which they learn what
to do in emergency situations.
“I preach safety constant
ly in these sessions,” says
Simmons, “anjJ the kids
recognize the responsibility of
driving a school bus. Al
though adults have usually
been driving for a longer
period of time, I am sure most
of them haven’t had the
opportunity to attend the kind
of special classes these kids
do that deal exclusively with
safe school bus driving
It is impossible to be too
careful about the safety of
school children. One member
of the Yancey County School
Board has already spoken to a
[Cont’d on page 2]

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