.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Public Safety

  • State changes crash reporting policy

    RICHMOND — Citing tens of thousands of requests from parties involved in vehicle crashes, attorneys and insurance companies, the Virginia State Police announced July 2 it has turned over releasing all accident reports to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a news release.
    A change made by the General Assembly has led to the DMV becoming the “sole source for distribution of FR300P accident reports completed by state law enforcement agencies in Virginia” through the DMV website, according to Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the state police.

  • Ohio man killed in U.S. 58 wreck

    HILLSVILLE — An Auburn Township, Ohio, man died in a head-on crash Sunday at 6 p.m. on U.S. 58, just east of the Snake Creek bridge.
    Virginia State Police identified the man as 62-year-old Mark C. Brostek, according to a report by Trooper Dean Horton.
    Both the Laurel Fork and Hillsville fire departments were called to the scene to help with extrication of patients from the GMC Sierra driven by Brostek and the other vehicle involved, a Ford Econoline van driven by James A. Martin, 43, of Columbus, Ohio.

  • Beware of 'cloned' Facebook friends

    A Southwest Virginia resident logged on to Facebook and saw a new friend request from an old friend. Normally she would be excited for the invite, but there was one small problem.
    Her friend was blind and no longer owned a computer. Someone was using her account.
    The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia warns consumers about a new Facebook scam that uses clones of profiles to gain personal information.

  • Tougher penalties for texting while driving

    A stricter law on texting while driving took effect in Virginia July 1.
    The General Assembly this year revved up the state’s 4-year-old ban on typing or reading text behind the wheel, making the activity a primary offense and raising the fine for first-time offenders to $125 from $20.
    Subsequent violations are now punishable by a fine of $250, rather than $50.
    Before, police had to have another reason, such as speeding, to stop a driver and issue a ticket for texting. That no longer is required.

  • Grayson men killed in accidents

    Two Grayson County men were killed in separate accidents last week, and both died after being pinned under vehicles.
    On the afternoon of June 26, Earl Bronson Cornett, 70, was mowing his yard on Gem Stream Road in Elk Creek.
    According to a report by Sgt. Arnold Peters of the Grayson County Sheriff's Department, Cornett was mowing a steep bank when his tractor went over a wall, trapping him under it.
    According to the report, an EMT was on the scene in four minutes and found no pulse.

  • Grayson will back new police positions

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Supervisors approved a plan on June 27 that would accept grant money to add two school resource officers and a crime prevention officer to the sheriff department.
    Earlier this month, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that Grayson was among 24 localities that received a grant from the state Criminal Justice Services Board, which would pay a portion of the salaries and benefits for two additional school resource officers (SROs).

  • Police say Howard confessed to killing wife

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A search warrant has revealed that a North Carolina man charged with his wife’s murder confessed to the killing when arrested by police in Galax last year.
    According to a report by Raleigh TV station WRAL, Sonny Howard admitted to the crime just moments before Galax officers found his wife’s body in the back of his pickup truck.
    Howard, 42, of Wake County, N.C., is charged with first-degree murder in the May 23, 2012, death of his wife, 50-year-old Sherry Howard.

  • School chief says drivers' backgrounds are checked

    HILLSVILLE — All Carroll County Public School employees go through an extensive checklist before starting work to protect the safety of students, according to schools Superintendent Strader Blankenship.
    A June 14 incident recently came to light, in which a substitute bus driver got pulled over by police for driving erratically. He was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
    This resulted in questions from the public about background checks for school employees, Blankenship told The Gazette.

  • Authorities find meth lab in Cana

    HILLSVILLE ― Cooperation from Stokes County, N.C., law enforcement led the Carroll Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police to search a Cana home on Tuesday and charge two individuals.
    An informant gave tips to the Stokes County officers about a possible active methamphetamine manufacturing operation. That information resulted in the search warrant being issued for 88 Childrens Lane the morning of June 24, according to Carroll Investigator Donnie Spangler.

  • Motorcycle crashes roadblock during chase

    A Galax man faces multiple charges after allegedly leading police on a pursuit on a motorcycle the night of June 22.
    Grayson County Chief Deputy David Ashby said Deputy Jordan Johnson was on routine patrol on U.S. 58 around midnight near Baywood Market when he noticed a 1986 Honda motorcycle without a taillight. He was following the motorcycle and didn’t see a license plate.
    The motorcycle turned onto Delhart Road, and when Johnson turned on his emergency lights, he reported that the motorcycle took off.