There is more good than evil in this world, and when good men and women fight for what is right, evil will disappear into the darkness where it belongs.


Three Emergencies in Madison over the last few days…

A stabbing- a missing person on the French Broad River and a heinous kidnapping.

Kimberly King of WLOS posted this first story below it is inaccurate as to the response of Madison County Government, the Sheriff’s Department, and other area emergency response teams.

First King’s story

by Kimberly King- Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

MADISON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) Philip Shelton, 64, has been missing since Saturday afternoon.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Ron Linville, one of Shelton’s best friends in Madison County. “We didn’t see him. We didn’t see his boat. We knew something was wrong. I just hate that he came down here all by himself.”

Linville found Shelton’s burgundy Ford Explorer about 5:30 p.m. Saturday parked at the pull-off where he said Shelton typically puts in his canoe in the French Broad River. He said Shelton had asked if he wanted to join him fishing, but Linville said he wasn’t able to go.

Shelton’s dog Zip was found running loose near his car, Linville said. Friends found his canoe along the shoreline.

“We did have a couple of rafts go down yesterday,” close friend Becky Shipman said. “But it’s like we go to law enforcement and they say we’re going to have mutual aid, but nobody has shown up. It’s just family and friends.”

“They (Madison County Sheriff’s Office) said they’d get Buncombe County to come this morning,” Shelton’s brother Edward Shelton said. “I told ’em I just want my brother out of the river.”

A spokeswoman for Buncombe County’s Sheriff’s Office said the department wasn’t contacted until Monday morning. Hardwood said via text that “Louis Roberts with emergency management was in charge of the incident.” When contacted by News 13, Roberts said he wasn’t in charge and referred News 13 back to Harwood for information. Harwood then referred News 13 to Madison County Manager Rod Honeycutt, who said boats searched a 3-mile stretch of the French Broad River on Sunday.

FEB. 20, 2023 – Friends found Philip Shelton’s canoe along the shoreline of the French Broad River. But Shelton has not been found. (Photo credit: Becky Shipman)

But friends of Shelton said they saw no urgency or significant effort by local fire or emergency response crews.

“We flew the drones on Saturday and all day Sunday,” Honeycutt said. “A total of six passes. We’ve had a presence.”

At 3 p.m. Monday, News 13 saw one swift boat team come to the river with a crew from Buncombe County and Asheville Fire.

State Rep. Mark Pless, who represents Madison County, drove to the scene to learn more about what happened after hearing there was sparse manpower Sunday in the river to search for Shelton.

Pless spoke with Shelton’s family, as well as local law enforcement officials. Pless said he would find out what happened.

Three days after his disappearance, Shelton’s family and friends said they are hurt no one stepped up to get more people to the river Sunday and or call in mutual aid.

“To me, he was a good man,” Ron Linville said. “And I know he was a good man to a lot of other people. I just wish there were more people out on the river looking. I really do.” Shelton’s case is also being investigated as a missing person case.

Kimberly King WLOS

Madison County man missing, his canoe recovered in French Broad River (

My Retort to King’s Hit Piece

The truth about what happened here, I contacted Rod Honneycutt – County Manager for Madison County, early this morning to find out about this story.

I asked him when it was the county manager’s job to respond to rescue calls. He was forthright in his response to me and stated it was typical for the County manager to work in unison with other Government officials; this made all resources active to help.

This included flying drones with heat sensors etc., over the area. You cannot jeopardize emergency personnel and first responders’ lives when it deals with dangerous conditions.

The truth at the time of this call is that no body has been recovered; the river was at a 6.8-foot flood stage is 7.2. No one saw Mr. Shelton get into the river with his canoe.

Even if the flood stage was not reached, it was dangerous for anyone, especially for a 62-year-old man.

Still too many unknowns as to what happened here, as ATT is supporting the investigation.

For the record, Asheville- Buncombe -Hendersonville- Madison-Mitchell were all involved in this emergency, so King’s story is a bit of an embellished hit piece against Madison County Government and Madison County Sheriff’s department.

The County is doing everything possible to comfort and communicate with the family.  All available law enforcement was on the job- All emergency personnel was quick to respond and help.

Update – The Family has only one wish; they should have been notified immediately, and there should be more organization in the first response concerning search and rescue efforts.

Kidnap victim tied to a chair, cut, beaten in Madison Co.; 3 charged

Robert Cox

MADISON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Three people are accused of kidnapping a person, tying them to a chair with barbed wire, beating them, and carving crosses into their body in Madison County.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said a person showed up to a home in the East Fork community Sunday saying that they had been kidnapped.

Deputies said the victim had numerous cuts to the face, body, and arms and had multiple cross symbols carved into their face and body.

The sheriff’s office said investigators searched the area and found the home where they said the kidnapping occurred.

After a search of the home, detectives determined that the victim had been imprisoned in the basement of the home and their hands had been tied to a chair with barbed wire.

Detectives said the victim’s feet were also tied up and chest was tied to a beam of the home, both with barbed wire, while their mouth had been taped.

Investigators said the victim was also punched and kicked in the head, struck multiple times with a crowbar, sliced with knives, and hit in the head with guns.

Three people were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.

The sheriff’s office said Patrick Colby Banks, James Angel, and Nicole Sawyer were each charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury with intent to kill, first degree kidnapping, and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Banks was also wanted on a parole violation charge along with larceny and possession of marijuana charges from another county, the sheriff’s office said.

The victim was taken to the hospital for their injuries.

Robert Cox

Kidnap victim tied to chair, cut, beaten in Madison Co.; 3 charged (

I have been told there is also another stabbing that happened within the last few days in Madison.

This is more reason why it is imperative that the people of this county receive updated INCIDENT REPORT information regularly from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. It is the only Sherriff’s department in Western NC that does not provide this PUBLIC information service.

The people of Madison county deserve to know and be aware of where the hot spots are and proactively protect themselves.

A new addition to Save Madison County:

I am searching for Guest Commentary on this blog for all of you who wish to speak about local and national issues. I have some ground rules. I want Concise-Reasonable commentary, so no bashing of CH or my Lord Jesus.

You have to supply a name with no anonymous submissions. I know a great deal of you are frustrated by the press in our area and their censuring of your voice; well, here’s your chance – CH