Trappalachia

Trappalachia To explore the lesser-known facets of Southern Appalachia and its people, crime, courts, culture and politics--the realities of those living in the shadows of the mountains. TrappReport aims to inform and facilitate discourse about and within the region.

Of the 14,730 people living in Swain County, nearly a quarter live in poverty. One in five face food insecurity, despite...
06/03/2019
Hungry People In Swain County And Those Who Help

Of the 14,730 people living in Swain County, nearly a quarter live in poverty. One in five face food insecurity, despite most of them having a job if they don’t have a criminal record.
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/06/03/hungry-people-in-swain-county-and-those-who-help/

Emily Weaver | Carolina Public Press HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES IN SWAIN COUNTY REGULARLY SEEK HELP WITH FOOD AND OTHER NEEDS FROM LIVING WATERS FOOD PANTRY AND THE GIVING SPOON MEALS AGENCY. Paul Cris…

Initiative co-chair Barbara McRae, who also serves as Vice Mayor of the Town of Franklin, reported the group spent more ...
06/03/2019
Released: Tax Returns Of The Nonprofit Nikwasi Initiative

Initiative co-chair Barbara McRae, who also serves as Vice Mayor of the Town of Franklin, reported the group spent more than $26,000 throughout 2017. This includes $25,000 spent on professional services, and more than $1,400 on a "interpretation workshop".

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia We’ve got so much to share with our readers! While we’ve been busy researching, among other things, nonprofits in the region, we thought we’d go…

Will text messages help more people show up for court?A recent study found that the traditional response to FTAs is impl...
05/31/2019
So You Failed To Appear In Court: Improving North Carolina’s Criminal Court Date Notification System

Will text messages help more people show up for court?

A recent study found that the traditional response to FTAs is implementing stricter enforcement, based on the assumption that people don't show up for court because they aren’t deterred by the penalties already in place.

Researchers found many barriers contribute to FTAs, including a perception of a mismatch between minor crimes and having to appear in court and the chance of arrest; over-weighing the immediate hassles of attending court (like taking time off work) and ignoring the downstream consequences (possibility of arrest) (“present bias”); and inattention.

By Jessica Smith | UNC School of Government Blog Failures to appear in court (FTAs) are expensive and inconvenient. There is wasted preparation and court time, along with cost and inconvenie…

North Carolina's Center for Safer Schools organization recently piloted a new mobile app in five school districts. Durin...
05/31/2019
New School Safety Program Implementing Anonymous Reporting Set For 2019-20 In NC

North Carolina's Center for Safer Schools organization recently piloted a new mobile app in five school districts. During that period, the center fielded input from users attending school.

Nearly 40 percent of the students who sent in tips reported incidents of bullying, while 25 percent cited danger. Nearly as many reported drugs as a problem while five percent said weapons were an issue and two percent reported drinking by students.

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia North Carolina’s top public education official announced yesterday that the state’s school system has contracted a national nonprofit organization so …

This is BJS’s first recidivism study on sex offenders with a 9-year follow-up period. Fewer than half of released sex ...
05/30/2019
Convicted Sex Offenders Three Times As Likely As Other Ex-Cons To Re-Offend Once Released

This is BJS’s first recidivism study on sex offenders with a 9-year follow-up period. Fewer than half of released sex offenders were arrested for any crime within the first 3 years of release, while more than two-thirds were arrested within 9 years.

Press Release | Department of Justice WASHINGTON — State prisoners released after serving time for rape or sexual assault were more than three times as likely as other released prisoners to be re-a…

Now, let's see if it protects us from reporting on the misdeeds of criminal justice officials.We definitely have more on...
05/28/2019
Federal Court: First Amendment Protects Sharing Food With Homeless People

Now, let's see if it protects us from reporting on the misdeeds of criminal justice officials.We definitely have more on the way... MUCH more! Now come and get it.

Fort Lauderdale police have even arrested a 90-year-old man and two ministers who were simply trying to share food with the homeless.

A witness attempted to help the struggling swimmer but was unable to bring them back to shore. Marquise Dukes, 21, went ...
05/27/2019
Breaking: 21-Year-Old WCU Student Drowns While Swimming At Popular Lake Glenville Locale

A witness attempted to help the struggling swimmer but was unable to bring them back to shore. Marquise Dukes, 21, went underwater but never resurfaced.

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia A young man passed away yesterday in Western North Carolina after drowning at a popular lakeside retreat. Authorities in Jackson County this morning announced the d…

On Monday, May 6, Franklin's Town Council voted to transfer ownership of the Nikwasi Mound to a nonprofit. By that Frida...
05/27/2019
Unrepentant: Area Man Sought By Franklin Police For Allegedly Authoring Town Council’s Death Threats

On Monday, May 6, Franklin's Town Council voted to transfer ownership of the Nikwasi Mound to a nonprofit. By that Friday, its members were alerted to a series of possible death threats they received online. An investigation was launched, with possible criminal charges pending.
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/26/unrepentant-area-man-sought-by-franklin-police-for-allegedly-authoring-town-councils-death-threats/

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia Editor’s Note: The following article contains some graphic content which may be unsuitable for some readers. Viewer discretion is advised. Three days after …

In all, he fired off 250 machine gun rounds, 180 SA80 rounds, threw six phosphorous grenades and six normal grenades, an...
05/25/2019
That day a lone Gurkha took out 30 Taliban using every weapon within reach

In all, he fired off 250 machine gun rounds, 180 SA80 rounds, threw six phosphorous grenades and six normal grenades, and detonated one claymore mine.

Who's ready for Memorial Day this year? We know we are.

As Dipprasad Pun defended his position, one Taliban fighter climbed the side of the tower adjacent to the guard house, hopped on to the roof, and rushed him.

Shout outs to the powerful Mr. Kyle Perrotti for this solid report on a man accused of several egregious sexual acts aga...
05/25/2019
Accused child sex abuser released on bond

Shout outs to the powerful Mr. Kyle Perrotti for this solid report on a man accused of several egregious sexual acts against minors. Your coverage is important, and appreciated by many in your community, homie.

"Howard White has made bond...

White has been held in Haywood County for over a year now after being charged with a litany of felonies related to the alleged sexual abuse of multiple children spanning almost two decades.

Charges include first-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible sex offense and indecent liberties with a child...

Once White is released, he will be monitored by a satellite tracking company out of South Carolina called Max-Track, which provides 'defendant monitoring services,' via satellite technology."

Howard White has made bond.

"The unintended consequence upon passage of this bill is that marijuana will be legalized in NC because law enforcement ...
05/24/2019
Close! But No Spliff: New Law Could Legalize Pot In NC, Police Urge Lawmakers To Make Revisions

"The unintended consequence upon passage of this bill is that marijuana will be legalized in NC because law enforcement cannot distinguish between hemp and marijuana and prosecutors could not prove the difference in court," reads the letter. "Every quantity of hemp and/or marijuana is important for police investigations, from the cigarette to the “dime” bag to a bale."

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia Driven by a prolonged rise in market forces, legislation passed this year in North Carolina could undermine the very institution of law and order itself by accide…

"We have therefore requested that our Injunction be 'Dismissed Without Prejudice' by the Court, giving us the option to ...
05/20/2019
Plaintiffs Drop Lawsuit Against Town Of Franklin For Transferring Ownership Of Nikwasi Mound

"We have therefore requested that our Injunction be 'Dismissed Without Prejudice' by the Court, giving us the option to renew legal action in the future as we discover more information about the Town Council’s transfer of ownership of the public government-owned Nikwasi Mound to the private non-governmental Nikwasi Initiative Inc."
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/20/plaintiffs-drop-lawsuit-against-town-of-franklin-for-transferring-ownership-of-nikwasi-mound/

Press Release By The Nikwasi Mound Five | Trappalachia PRESS RELEASE May 20, 2019 Our legal counsel advises that many months of discovery and exorbitant expense will be required for us to continue …

The new ending promises to be far better than the one recently seen in record numbers on HBO. It's something to look for...
05/20/2019
Disappointed By The Series Finale Of Thrones? Don’t Worry! A Better Ending Is On The Way!

The new ending promises to be far better than the one recently seen in record numbers on HBO. It's something to look forward to, according to producers.
"It ends with victory, but it's a bittersweet victory..."
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/20/disappointed-by-the-series-finale-of-thrones-dont-worry-a-better-ending-is-on-the-way/

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia Many fans of HBO’s version of author George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire fantasy series need not be upset about the show’s ending any lon…

The American Bar Association published a formal ethics opinion last week advising prosecutors of their duties in plea ba...
05/16/2019
Prosecutors, Ethics, And Plea Bargaining In Misdemeanor Cases

The American Bar Association published a formal ethics opinion last week advising prosecutors of their duties in plea bargaining with defendants charged with misdemeanor offenses. The opinion is one part scathing indictment of the process for prosecuting petty offenses across the country and one part ethical advice for prosecutors. ­

By Shea Denning | UNC Criminal Law Blog EDITOR’S NOTE: Trappalachia invites any of its readers who know of any cases that have occurred throughout Western North Carolina wherein a defendant w…

Although the State Highway Patrol determined Mitchell was speeding at the time of the accident -- approximately 80 miles...
05/16/2019
Deputy Charged With Single Misdemeanor After Deadly Wreck In February, DA Still Avoids Requests For Information

Although the State Highway Patrol determined Mitchell was speeding at the time of the accident -- approximately 80 miles per hour in a 55 m.p.h. zone -- no other charges were filed against the deputy. The reasons for that remain to be seen, as District Attorney Ashley Welch still refuses to answer any questions asked of her by Trappalachia.
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/15/deputy-charged-with-single-misdemeanor-after-deadly-wreck-in-february-da-still-avoids-requests-for-information/

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia A criminal charge was finally filed this week by prosecutors in Macon County against an area deputy that killed their passenger in a wreck three months ago. On Mond…

05/15/2019
911 Calls From Fatal Officer-Involved Accident In Macon County

This evening, Trappalachia reveals more on February's fatal officer involved accident, which claimed the life of a Macon County man. The deputy responsible has been charged with one count of misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Despite State Highway Patrol reports, which found the officer was driving beyond the threshold of criminal speed, no other charges have been filed by District Attorney Ashley Welch's office. What we've found throughout the last few months is troubling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-pzypBv7ow&t=41s

More on this as it develops.

Along with WYFF, our videos and work will also be aired later today or tonight* on FOX Carolina. Trappalachia invites al...
05/15/2019
Deputy indicted 3 months after crash that killed man he was taking home from hospital, troopers say

Along with WYFF, our videos and work will also be aired later today or tonight* on FOX Carolina. Trappalachia invites all of you to check out either channel's work, as well as our own follow-up on this case later on. It is important for the citizens of Western North Carolina to understand a few things about this prosecutor's office. #wheresbellas

A Western North Carolina deputy has been indicted three months after he was involved in a crash that killed a man he was transporting, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol confirmed Wednesday.

05/14/2019
Listen to TurboTax Lie to Get Out of Refunding Overcharged Customers

'Not-Uh, because you know why? 'Cause ProPublica's a lie--ProPublica's liars! Don't even listen to 'em!'

Deja Vu, anyone? We swear we've heard something like this before.

TurboTax successfully lobbied to keep the IRS from offering free tax prep. Now it’s pretending the government already does it. Read more of our reporting on ...

ACLU: A federal court will hear arguments over pending motions in the lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s 2016 anti-L...
05/13/2019
Court To Hear Arguments On Law That Replaces HB2, A.K.A. “The Bathroom Law”

ACLU: A federal court will hear arguments over pending motions in the lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s 2016 anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, and the discriminatory 2017 law that replaced it on Friday, May 17, in Winston-Salem.
http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/13/court-to-hear-arguments-on-law-that-replaces-hb2-a-k-a-the-bathroom-law/

Press Release | American Civil Liberties Union WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A federal court will hear arguments over pending motions in the lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s 2016 anti-LGBT law, House B…

As you'll come to find tomorrow on Trapp, law enforcement's had a lot of odd and interesting new assignments these days....
05/13/2019
Warrantless Use Of Drones

As you'll come to find tomorrow on Trapp, law enforcement's had a lot of odd and interesting new assignments these days. For now, catch up on some of its use of drone surveillance.

"The situation is even hazier as to drones specifically, because drones are not subject to any minimum altitude of flight. They are often operated only a few dozen feet up. In fact, FAA regulations mostly prohibit them from flying above 400 feet. This calls into question whether the concept of navigable airspace retains any meaning for drones, as noted here and here.

For all these reasons, it is impossible to say what limits the Fourth Amendment puts on drone flights. The lower the flight, the greater the intrusion, but we just don’t know how low is too low."

By Jeff Welty | UNC Criminal Law Blog WRAL recently reported that “the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office . . . flew a drone over [private] property . . . to locate [stolen construction] equipment.” …

Well that explains a lot...
05/10/2019

Well that explains a lot...

Some say this was a failed attempt at land grabbing by Vice Mayor Barbara McRae, a full year before she successfully hel...
05/07/2019
Town Of Franklin Transfers Ownership Of Indian Mound To Nonprofit With Questionable Accountability

Some say this was a failed attempt at land grabbing by Vice Mayor Barbara McRae, a full year before she successfully helped the nonprofit she chairs gobble up another historical property. When local newspapers print fake news, what are your local politicians really up to? #trappuppapersdown

http://trappalachia.com/index.php/2019/05/06/town-of-franklin-transfers-ownership-of-indian-mound-to-nonprofit-with-questionable-accountability/

Visit the post for more.

Many in Franklin, North Carolina tonight are still uncertain about the accountability of certain Nikwasi Initiative boar...
05/07/2019
Town Of Franklin Transfers Ownership Of Indian Mound To Nonprofit With Questionable Accountability

Many in Franklin, North Carolina tonight are still uncertain about the accountability of certain Nikwasi Initiative board members. A closer look into some of their lesser known exploits from their past might confirm a few fears.

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia Franklin’s Town Council voted unanimously tonight to transfer ownership of the historic Indian Mound to the Nikwasi Initiative, a nonprofit chaired by Vice Ma…

05/06/2019

Soon, children! Oh so very soon! Tonight, Trapp gives you all the gift of Fire.
But will it be soon enough?
#fireforthepeople

The debate about whether or not the town of Franklin should retain ownership of its Indian Mound may soon, at long last,...
05/06/2019
Indeed: Many Questions Remain In Macon County About The Transfer Of Ownership Of The Franklin Indian Mound

The debate about whether or not the town of Franklin should retain ownership of its Indian Mound may soon, at long last, be over.

Despite a pending lawsuit filed by those opposed to the transfer, the Town Council will nonetheless proceed with the measure by putting it to a vote at its regularly held meeting on May 6.

Regardless of how things play-out among board members, tension is sure to build tonight at Town Hall. Plaintiffs from the case not only plan to attend the meeting in anticipation of the vote, they and many others still feel strongly that their concerns remain largely unaddressed.

Should the town really be the official steward of this ancient site?

For those that say "no", they point to an alternative option in the form of a nonprofit poised to manage the mound as the better available choice.

For those on the other side of the mound, that question is answered with a number of other questions:

How is relinquishing ownership of the mound truly best for all?

What does the public really know about the mound's proposed owner, the Nikwasi Initiative?

How are the citizens of Macon County and Cherokee best served by this decision?

On what grounds is any of this legal?

How come interested parties in this deal won't release basic information about the use of public money to taxpayers?

These and other questions lingered in the minds of a handful who filed suit against the town and its elected officials. They've since raised a specter of doubt within many others throughout the area regarding the transfer.

Meanwhile, those pushing for the change are found in equal measure as well elsewhere. They say their actions come with the best of intentions, and insist their detractors are making a mound out of a molehill.

By Davin Eldridge | Trappalachia Things have heated up throughout Macon County in recent months regarding the fate of the ownership of the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin, North Carolina. Thursday’…

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