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Public Safety

  • Lead found in Fries water

    Staff Report

    FRIES ― The Town of Fries alerted residents this month that a recent test of the water system found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes and buildings.

    Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and children 6 years and younger.

    According to a news release from the town, lead was detected in water samples collected during a routine sampling in 2015 and again during special sampling in July.

  • Victim in double shooting dies; suspect caught

    Staff Reports

    A man wanted for shooting two people in Grayson County on Sunday morning was caught early Monday morning in North Carolina, after wrecking his car during a police chase.

    One of the shooting victims, Karen Cates, died.

  • Double shooting in Fairview; suspect at large

    UPDATE:

    The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double shooting in Fairview, which occurred Sunday morning.

    Authorities have not released the names of anyone shot, or their conditions.

    Law enforcement has identified the shooting suspect as Greyling Dwayne “Beany” Davis, 52, of Fries Road in Galax.

  • Courthouse threat linked to inmate

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and special investigators responded to the Grayson County Courthouse on Wednesday, when the Circuit Court Clerk’s office received a threatening letter that also contained an unknown substance.

    The investigation has centered around an inmate at the state prison in Grayson as a suspect.

    According to a news release from Sheriff Richard Vaughan, members of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the courthouse at 10:40 a.m. on March 16.

  • Police warn of scammers claiming to be from IRS

    An IRS scam has been circulating in the Twin Counties area, and local police warn residents to use caution.

    Galax resident Karen Clark notified The Gazette that she received two phone calls last week from a Washington, D.C. phone number. The calls are a recording that state the individual is being sued by the IRS and they need to return the call to prevent being taken to jail. Clark called the number back only to be put on hold by the person who answered and was then disconnected.

  • Sheriff cautioned school of potential danger

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE — A 2012 incident in Grayson County schools still causes concern for many parents, and a letter obtained by a citizens’ group shows those concerns were shared by the sheriff’s office, as well.

    The situation involved a Grayson County High School student who allegedly made a “homicidal threat” to another student and was reportedly seen with a knife at school, according to a letter from Sheriff Richard Vaughan to Grayson Schools Superintendent Kevin Chalfant on Nov. 8, 2012.

  • Health district issues rabies alert

    The Mount Rogers Health District has recently tested four potentially rabid animals.

    The district refused to disclose from which localities the animals were tested in order to “protect the privacy of the individuals involved and because there is no public health reason to do so.”

    The health district includes Carroll, Grayson, Wythe, Smyth, Bland and Washington counties and the cities of Galax and Bristol.

  • Police in Va. could be required to wear cameras

    RICHMOND — Just as one state legislator pulled back his bill to require that police wear body cameras, a second lawmaker said he doesn’t want to wait and will introduce his own legislation.

    Del. Joe Lindsey (D-Norfolk) told a House subcommittee on Jan. 29 that they should table his body camera bill because a study group is planning to review the issue. Others suggested it would be too expensive.

  • School bus-related traffic violations rise

    HILLSVILLE — Virginia State Police charged six motorists in Hillsville last week for passing stopped school buses in Carroll County.

    Several buses in the county’s fleet are equipped with camera systems that record the entire routes daily. As a result of the camera systems, motorists who pass stopped school buses are also recorded, and the state police actively uses the recordings to charge and prosecute motorists who violate those laws.

  • Hospital takes steps to contain spread of flu virus

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 2014-2015 flu season is well underway and flu activity is widespread or active in at least 43 states, with elevated activity in the south.

    In the interests of protecting patients and healthcare workers, Twin County Regional Hospital has announced temporary visitation guidelines to contain the spread of the flu virus in its facilities.

    These guidelines, which will begin immediately and remain in effect until the peak flu season passes, include: