Friends, classmates gather to remember Mount Gilead accident victim

Family, friends and fellow classmates gathered last night for a candlelight vigil to remember Shayla Dawn McKinnon of Mount Gilead.

Shayla Dawn McKinnon (family photo via Facebook)

Shayla Dawn McKinnon (family photo via Facebook)

The 16-year-old McKinnon died Friday as the result of a two-vehicle accident on N.C. Hwy. 109, just north of the Mount Gilead town limit and south of the intersection of McKinnon Rd. Last night’s vigil was held at Garmon Field at West Montgomery High School, which will also be the site of the funeral service for McKinnon, Tue., Oct. 21, at 4 p.m.

Also injured in the accident was 33-year-old Brandon Heath Parnell, driver of the second vehicle. Parnell was airlifted to the hospital Friday, and a family member said he had surgery Saturday to insert a metal rod in his leg.

Law enforcement told media that McKinnon was traveling south on Hwy. 109 and crossed the center line. Parnell swerved, but the vehicles collided head-on. State Troopers say the drivers were alone in their respective vehicles, and neither was wearing a seat belt.

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Community Calendar, Oct. 18, 2014

There are lots of things going on in the area today…

130502_WMTG_Community_Calendar– Friends of Uwharrie will have a trail workday today in the Uwharrie National Forest. Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at the Hunt Camp. Information at

– The Uwharrie Mountain Jamboree, a family-friendly event for off-road enthusiasts, starting at 9 a.m. and running all day at the Uwharrie Off-Road Training Center, across from the Eldorado Outpost on Hwy. 109 North. All are invited, and details are online at

– It’s International Archaeology Day, and Town Creek Indian Mound will celebrate with demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the State Historic Site, just east of Mount Gilead. Details at 910-439-6802, or

– There will be a benefit for David Hurley, including a hamburger and hot dog supper, Thickety Creek Bluegrass, and an auction, 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Ag Center on Glen Rd. in Troy.

– A chicken and dumpling supper, live music and an auction will be held 5 to 7 p.m. at the Little River Community Center on Okeewemee Rd. Proceeds go toward upkeep of the building.

– Trinity Music Academy will host Sophia Pavlenko & Friends in concert tonight at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Troy. Information at 910-572-2583.

– The Cedar Plantation will host Broken Yesterday and JayWill live in concert tonight. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Saturday for the all-ages event at 518 N. Main St. in Troy.

– Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will be in concert tonight at the Garner Center in Troy. The show will start at 7 p.m., and information is available at 704-985-6987.

– The Movin’ On bluegrass band will play tonight at the Mount Gilead Music Barn. Showtime is 7:30, and details are online at

See and share event details from our Community Calendar page, or call us toll-free at 1-855-881-WMTG (9684). We also air the calendar at about half past the hour at 88.1 FM in Mount Gilead, or listen online at and with the TuneIn mobile app.

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International Archaeology Day Oct. 18 at Town Creek

This sign marks the entrance to Town Creek Indian Mound, a North Carolina State Historic Site just east of Mount Gilead. (Town Creek photo)

This sign marks the entrance to Town Creek Indian Mound, a North Carolina State Historic Site just east of Mount Gilead. (Town Creek photo)

MOUNT GILEAD (contributed) – Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site invites the public to join in the global celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery during International Archaeology Day. On Sat., Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Town Creek staff will provide hands-on activities for the young & young-at-heart using techniques and skills employed by archaeologists today. Visitors will be able to try their hand at throwing an atlatl or experience the thrill of excavation by carefully extracting chocolate chips from a cookie.  Clay pots and cord bracelets can be made using the same methods as the Pee Dee Culture, then taken home as a souvenir.

Every October the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones and become an archaeologist for the day. More information about the AIA and International Archaeology Day can be found at

This event is free and open to the public, though Town Creek always welcomes donations to help with its work. More information is available from the site at 910-439-6802 or by email at

For more than 1,000 years, American Indians farmed lands later known as North Carolina. Around A.D. 1000, a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley. Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and western and southern Piedmont North Carolina, inhabitants built earthen mounds for their leaders, engaged in widespread trade, supported craftspeople, and celebrated a new religion.

The mission of Town Creek is to interpret the history of the American Indians who once lived here.  The visitor center features interpretive exhibits and audiovisual displays.  A national historic landmark, Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site is North Carolina’s only state historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage.  Tour groups are welcome and encouraged.  The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.  It is closed to the public Mondays and most major holidays.

The historic site is within the Division of State Historic Sites and located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead, NC, 27306.  For more information on Town Creek, visit

–contributed by Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site

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Uwharrie Jamboree set for Oct. 18

Off-road enthusiasts will gather Sat., Oct. 18, in the Uwharrie National Forest for the third annual Uwharrie Mountain Jamboree.

141016_Uwharrie_JamboreeIt’s the third year for the annual fall event, organized and promoted by Uwharrie Off-Road Training Center, JAARS Bible Translators and the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association.

According to information released by planners, the event will feature exhibits and activities aimed especially at those who enjoy off-road recreation, including Jeep, four wheel drive, dirt bikes, all-terrain and other off-highway vehicles. The Uwharrie Mountain Jamboree is described as a “family-friendly” event, and organizers say alcohol and public ATVs are not permitted.

Gates open Saturday at 9 a.m. at Uwharrie Off-Road Training Center, across from the Eldorado Outpost on N.C. Hwy. 109 N. More information is available at 336-906-1644, or online at

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