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For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today awarded the Attorney General’s Dogwood Award to seven people in western North Carolina. Each year, Attorney General Stein recognizes North Carolinians who help to make their communities safer, stronger, and healthier.

Recipients in western North Carolina are:

Commissioner Johnnie Carswell, Burke County

“Commissioner Carswell was a key leader in our work to ensure that the $750 million my office secured from the national opioid settlement actually gets to the people who need it most,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “His leadership on this issue is going to help deliver more treatment and recovery resources for struggling North Carolinians.”

Commissioner Johnnie Carswell is vice chairman of the Burke County Board of Commissioners and president-elect of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.

Sgt. Candace Burlingame, Boone Police Department

Sergeant Burlingame oversees the Boone Police Department’s General Investigations Unit and has spent much of her career on sexual assault crimes,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She is working hard to get kits tested and help survivors get the justice they deserve.”

Sgt. Candace Burlingame is a sergeant in the Boone Police Department’s General Investigations Unit.

Sarah Gayton, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office

“Sarah helped develop the first-in-the-state medication-assisted treatment program for people incarcerated at the Buncombe Detention Facility,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Her work is helping people get medical care and get out of the criminal justice system so they can lead healthier lives.”

Sarah Gayton is the Medication Assisted Treatment Director for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office’s Detention Facility.

Maia Hughes, Buncombe County MAT Program

“As a peer support specialist, Maia helps ensure that people know they are not alone at some of the lowest points in their lives,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “At a crucial moment in their recovery from addiction, she offers a helping hand and a listening ear, and in the process, helps make their journey to treatment and recovery possible.”

Maia Hughes is a peer support specialist for the Sunrise Community for Wellness and Recovery and works with Buncombe County’s Adult Treatment Court.

Senator Julie Mayfield, District 49

“The people of western North Carolina have a fierce advocate in Sen. Julie Mayfield,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She’s been a strong leader in fighting for western North Carolinians’ access to affordable, quality health care. I’m proud to partner with her in our work to make sure our health care system works for everybody.”

Senator Julie Mayfield represents District 49 (Buncombe County) in the North Carolina Senate.  

Lavita Hill and Mary Crowe, Eastern Band of Cherokee

“Lavita and Mary are working to make sure that their tribe’s history is recognized and honored,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “They are advocating to restore the name Kuwohi, which means Mulberry Place, from Clingman’s Dome, which was named for a confederate general. In doing so, their efforts will help to commemorate the long history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina.”

Lavita Hill and Mary Crowe are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. 


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