– HI STORY OF A MOUNTAIN PL ACE – Leicester Post Office Rural Carrier receives “Million Mile” Award Rex Cole was born and raised

in the Newfound community of L e ic e s t er. His Mom, N a n c y , was

BY Greg Brookshire

Prin- cipal Swan

Paynes’ secretary at Leices- ter School and his dad “Crom” carried the mail on Route 3 in Leicester. On January 7, 1984, Rex fol-

lowed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the Leicester Post Office as a relief carrier, substitut- ing for his dad. Rex remembers being in “High Cotton” mak- ing $7.79 an hour. At that time David Plemmons was carrying Route 1, Glen Rogers was car- rying Route 2, and Crom Cole was carrying Route 3. In 1984 the Leicester Post Of-

fice only had three routes com- pared to having seven routes in 2017. Rex survived his time as a substitute by working construc- tion jobs, carrying the newspa- per, among other jobs. On March 26, 1989, with

the retirement of Glen Rogers, a full-time job opened up and Rex was just the man for the job. Larry Jones switched to Route 2 and Rex became the regular rural carrier for Route 1. Leicester grew and Route 4 was added in 1989. When his

dad retired on March 23, 1991, Rex switched to the same route that his dad had carried since the 1960s, Route 3. The job has seen many chang-

es over the years. One of the biggest changes is from car- rying mostly letter mail and magazines with only a few small packages to the huge increase in the number and size of packages that the Postal Service delivers. Rex has been dedicated to his

job and goes above and beyond to serve his customers. A rural carrier faces many obstacles on a daily basis. Rough roads, mean dogs, bad weather and traffic. Rex has been mindful of safety over his years as a carrier and that paid off. On March 8th, the Postal Ser-

vice surprised Rex by awarding him the prestigious “Million Mile” Award. This award is presented by the United States Postal Service to carriers who have served their route for 30 years, or a million miles, with- out any preventable accidents. Only a few carriers reach

this milestone during their ca- reer with the Postal Service. Rex is truly a role model for his coworkers. Rex is currently working on his two million mile award. We all hope he continues his appointed rounds till then.

Above: Leicester Post Office crew 2017: (Back row left to right:) Dusty Bowlin, David Sams, Donna McCall, Pete Manness (Postmaster), Suzy Hedden, Lorna Wolfe, Josh Huntley, (Front row left to right:) Amanda Barnes, Nancy Cole (Rex’s mom), James “Crom” Cole (Rex’s dad), Rex Cole, Jackie Cole (Rex’s wife), Mavis Braswell (Rex’s sister who also works for the Postal Service), and Sandie Cassidy. Not Pictured: Matt Robbins, Eddie Wheeler, Greg Brookshire, and Kyle Gevedon.

– SPECI AL LEICESTER LEADER INVESTIGATION – What’s happened to prostitution arrests? Buncombe County - If you

are a native of Buncombe Coun- ty and ever attended an event at the Asheville Civic Center in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s you couldn’t

BY Chad Nesbitt

have missed them. As you pulled out of the Civic Center park- ing deck there they were, five to seven prostitutes leaning over cars and hooking on the street. Lexington and Asheland Avenue

was another one of their hang- outs. Now you don’t see them any-

more. Have they disappeared? Well, according to one police of- ficer that contacted the Leicester Leader, they are everywhere and he says Asheville has become a “sanctuary city” for them. Ar- rest reports seem to back up his statement. This police officer wanted to

remain anonymous, but he told us to simply Google Asheville

escort services. He said the web- sites for the Asheville prostitutes will be listed. He said, “Just click on one and look at how many prostitutes are there.” So we did and we found hun-

dreds upon hundreds of prosti- tutes selling themselves online in Asheville. Most of them post pictures of themselves from the neck down with contact infor- mation of how to meet them. Former Asheville Police Of- ficer Mike Lanning said they

Deadly accident A morning commute turned

deadly at the intersection of New Leicester Highway and New- found Road on Mon- day (Mar. 13). North

BY Chad Nesbitt

Carolina State Trooper Kelly Rhodes confirmed that 57-year- old Cecilia Cook died in a car crash. Trooper Rhodes said that

Cook failed to yield while turn- ing left from Leicester Highway on to Newfound Road and a car hit her. She was driving a Nis- san truck. According to Trooper Rhodes, Cook died because she was not wearing her seatbelt. Two other people involved in

the accident, Shane Rogers and Alicia Barret, were taken to the hospital but will be ok.

used to set up sting operations. He said in order to arrest a pros- titute “they had to tell an un- dercover officer what services they were going to offer and for how much.” Lanning also said sex trafficking would take place in the Asheville area and that they busted a group on Sulphur Springs Road a few years back that was prostituting young La- tino girls. When was the last time a pros-

titute was arrested in Asheville? The Leicester Leader asked

that question to Asheville Police Department Public Relations Officer Wallace Welch who said, “I can’t remember the last time a prostitute was arrested” Welch said, “I will have to research it.” We haven’t heard back from

Welch as of press time but in our own investigation we found for the year 2016 no arrests were made for prostitution. We also found that the last arrest made for sex trafficking in Asheville was in 2015. The arrests were made by the FBI of which they arrested four individuals for prostituting young girls of the age of 12- and 13-years-old. Why haven’t any prostitution

arrests been made in over a year or longer? Retired Officer Lan- ning said he thinks the Asheville Police Department is “under- funded” and “they are short po- lice officers.” Leicester resident Joel

Sprouse said, “This is what the leadership of Asheville wants. I mean they even advertised Any Way You Like It.” Sprouse said, “Asheville will be a sanctuary city for this kind of thing until voters start electing responsible council members that are con- cerned about crime.”

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