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DA Wants Summit To Help Train County Jailers Following Deaths

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MURPHY, N.C. — A district attorney wants Western Carolina University to hold a training seminar on health and safety problems at county jails after a recent fire and inmate death.

Charles Hipps is the district attorney for seven counties westof Asheville. Hipps says summit participants would work to developan inmate medical plan that could be adopted in all counties.

He says that plan could help ensure that deaths similar to thosein Cherokee and Mitchell county jails won't happen again.

Eight inmates were killed and nine others injured in a May fireat the Mitchell County jail. And diabetic inmate Christopher LeeWood was found dead in his Cherokee County jail cell in Septemberafter becoming ill.

Western Carolina officials are excited about the idea of asummit. One could be held this spring.

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