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Early morning pursuit ends in K-9 track to arrest

JEFFERSON — Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell announced the arrest of Paul Milton Emmons at the conclusion of an early morning vehicle pursuit which ended in a manhunt in Crumpler area.

At approximately 5:15 a.m. on Monday, June 21, Deputy Brandon Shatley, of the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Mountain View Elementary School. The driver of the vehicle, a green Ford Ranger, initially stopped for Deputy Shatley. During the course of the traffic stop the driver fled in the vehicle, headed Northbound on Highway 16 North at a high rate of speed.

Deputy Shatley continued to pursue the fleeing vehicle until the driver jumped out of the moving truck, which eventually struck a nearby creek bank in the area of the ten thousand block of Old Highway 16. The driver then fled on foot, out of the sight of Shatley. Sgt. James McNeill and Deputy Charlie Howard arrived to the scene within minutes and began to search for the suspect.

McNeill eventually called for K-9 Deputy Lee Johnson to respond to the scene. Johnson and his K-9 partner Condor were able to track the suspect into the creek where they found the suspect attempting to hide in bushes alongside the creek. The suspect, later identified as Emmons, was taken into custody without further incident.

Charges against Emmons, 42, of Jonesville, include:

Felony Flee and Elude Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, Fail to Heed Light and Siren, Aggressive Driving, Driving While License Revoked, Resisting Public Officer, Operate with No Insurance, Fictitious Tag, Expired Inspection, Possess Marijuana Paraphernalia, Simple Possess SCH VI, Felony Possession of SCH II, Possess Drug Paraphernalia and Simple Possess SCH IV.

Emmons was also wanted out of Yadkinville, for Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury and Parole Violation.

Emmons is being held in the Ashe County Detention Center with no bond and is currently under a hold from Yadkin County for the outstanding charges.

Officials: West Jefferson roadwork set to be complete by July 4th

WEST JEFFERSON — The roadwork which began earlier this month along West Jefferson’s Jefferson Avenue is set to be complete by the Fourth of July holiday, town officials said.

According to West Jefferson’s Town Manager Brantley Price, the NCDOT finished the section of road from McDonald’s to the ABC store on June 25. The DOT then began paving downtown June 27 and was planned to be finished by June 30.

All roadwork should be complete in time for the July 4 weekend, if the weather cooperates.

The Ashe Post & Times will update this story as more information is released.

NC Sen. Jeff Jackson makes a stop in Ashe County as part of 100 county campaign

WEST JEFFERSON — Access to broadband internet, teacher’s salaries and affordable childcare were all topics of discussion during a special town hall meeting held by NC Sen. Jeff Jackson on the afternoon of June 27, in West Jefferson — part of Jackson’s 100 town halls, 100 counties, in 100 days campaign.

Jackson is currently one of eight Democratic candidates making a run for the U.S. Senate in 2022, following the announcement by Republican Sen. Richard Burr that he would not be seeking reelection.

At 1:30 p.m. Jackson spoke to a crowd of around 50 people in West Jefferson’s Town Park, where he answered questions from the crowd and gave Ashe County residents the opportunity voice their concerns.

“Showing up and listening — is, I think — a different approach than folks in Ashe County are used to from federal officials,” Jackson said. “Folks in counties like Ashe keep telling me that they’re used to being forgotten and overlooked. So, we’re going to put them front and center in our campaign.”

During the Q&A, session some members of crowd raised concerns about attracting better paying jobs to rural areas, new legislation that may decide how racism and diversity are taught in schools, and our nation’s current immigration policies.

Addressing the public’s questions, Jackson stressed the importance of bringing broadband internet to rural communities in order to attract industry, likened the current state of the country’s immigration policy “to a car that had gone too long without an oil change” and stated that many legislators opposed to diversity centered discourse such as Critical Race Theory probably couldn’t even tell you what it is.

During his talk, Jackson also explained to the crowd that his campaign would not be accepting any corporate PAC money, noting that accepting corporate money diminishes trust between representatives and their constituents. Instead, Jackson’s campaign is more centered on localization. Throughout his 100 county campaign, the 38-year-old state legislator from Charlotte has had the opportunity to hear individuals from all walks of life speak on issues effecting their region of the state. According to Jackson, this information is key to forming a legislative agenda later down the road.

“It’s about telling them upfront, ‘I’m not asking for your support, I’m here to earn it.’ This campaign is trying to be a shock of good faith to the system. Everyone is deeply cynical about politicians and they have every right to be,” Jackson said, regarding individuals who may view his campaign with a partisan slant. “What would you do if you wanted to rebuild some credibility with folks irrespective of political party? You would come to Ashe and you would invite everyone to come and talk to you and that would be the beginning. Then you take what you hear and you use it to build a agenda that actually reflects this part of the state. Again, that’s not rocket science, but it’s a totally different approach. And if I can do that, if I can make this campaign as local as possible then I think it will give people pause. I think it will give them a reason to branch out of their partisan path and see that we’re doing something genuinely different.”

According to his biography, Jackson enlisted in the military following the 9/11 attacks, serving a one-year deployment in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard. Jackson is still serving as a captain in the National Guard and is currently in his 18th year of service.

Jackson attended law school at UNC-Chapel Hill with help from the G.I. bill, before serving as the assistant district attorney in Gaston County. In 2014, Jackson became the second youngest senator in the North Carolina Senate.

When asked what we can do to help heal the nation following the 2020 election cycle Jackson suggested rallying around principles such as honesty and decency.

“I think we unite behind basic principles like honesty and decency,” Jackson said. “The idea is that these are very basic principles that we should be able to agree on. And if there are politicians who grossly violate principles such as honesty and decency they don’t get unity, they get accountability. Because unity is really important, but so is accountability.”

To learn more about Sen. Jackson and his 100 county town hall campaign visit www.jeffjacksonnc.com/.

The 2022 General Election takes place Nov. 8.

Four lane to open back up on 221 but remains heavily constructed in Jefferson

ASHE COUNTY — As the newly built four lane on US 221 toward Boone sees new pavements and closures, the tail end of the highway in Jefferson is set to take up to four more years to complete.

Tourists and locals have been riding along the 221 highway for years, seeing the final touches of the new four lane from Boone to West Jefferson b completed earlier this year. However, due to heavy traffic flow and inclement weather, the contractor is having to repave certain parts.

“The R-2915C (S. Fork New River to NC 194) is almost complete,” said NCDOT Division Construction Engineer Trent Beaver. “The contractor should be completing the final layer of asphalt pavement in the next few days. Remaining work consists of final pavement markings and a few minor erosion control and maintenance type items. The project should be totally complete late this summer. There is also one drive reconnection that needs to be constructed.”

As for the widening from West Jefferson to Jefferson, Beaver said it is currently only 15 percent complete.

“R-2915E (NC 194 to NC 88/US 221 Bus.) is approximately 15 percent complete,” Beaver said. “The contractor is currently installing drainage pipes and structures. The contractor has recently installed a temporary traffic shift near the north end of the project to allow for the first phase of culvert work to be performed. The contract completion date is Dec. 15 of 2025.”

The Ashe Post and Times will continue to give updates on the project as it progresses.