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YEAR IN REVIEW 2015: December

Vehicle blazes after collision

A two-car collision on Highway 13 in Spruce Pine sent two to the hospital and left one vehicle in flames.

The driver of a brown, Ford F-150 pick-up truck, who was traveling north on Highway 13, near the Highway 43 junction, collided with a white SUV that attempted to enter the northbound lanes from the median, on Highway 20.

The truck’s driver, who was accompanied by her 20-year-old daughter and her mother, said she attempted to move into the outside lane to give the other driver room to enter the roadway, but the driver of the white SUV continued into oncoming traffic.

The truck spun in the roadway. The SUV flipped into the right-hand ditch; its driver was dragged out of the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames.

The mother of the driver of the truck, and the driver of the SUV, were both transported by ambulance to receive medical care.


Sue Raper has served Vina as town clerk for 25 years. The council recognized her recently for her long-lasting dedication.
Sue Raper has served Vina as town clerk for 25 years. The council recognized her recently for her long-lasting dedication.

Vina recognizes clerk for 25 years of service

When Sue Raper first started her job as town clerk of Vina, the fire truck was housed in town hall. Utility billing was done by hand. And the town had never before had a full-time clerk.

That was 25 years ago, and Raper has been working hard for the people of Vina ever since.

The town council recognized her for her years of service Dec. 4. Surprisingly, Raper didn’t initially apply for the job when it came open in 1990 – she was approached for it. Raper said one of the town councilmen asked her to apply, and though she was at first uncertain, he assured her she could handle it.

So Raper became the first full-time clerk ever hired.

“I do whatever the council and the mayor need me to do,” she said. “I’m the go-to person to do that … Taking care of 13 bank accounts keeps me busy. And you have taxes to pay and payroll to meet.”

She also sits on the EMS board and helps with the parade committee, among other duties.

Raper has served under only two mayors during her 25 years with the town, but she has served hundreds of people, the citizens of Vina.

Raper is married to Gary, who is retired. She has two children, Denieta Cantrell and Dewayne Raper, and two granddaughters, Erica, 16, and Hailey, 11.

In addition to baking, Raper enjoys camping at her old stomping grounds – Elliott Branch. She is also active with Vina First Baptist Church, and she and her husband ran Vina Café for several years and rented it out for several additional years, although it is closed currently.

In addition to being recognized for her many years of dedicated services, Raper has also been nominated for Clerk of the Year twice through the League of Municipalities and is a certified municipal clerk.