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Public Safety

  • Chief: drugs drive city's rising crime rate

    Drugs continue to be the motivating factor in the increase of property and violent crimes in the city, Galax Police Chief Rick Clark told Galax City Council on Feb. 13.
    During 2011, the Galax Police Department recorded 1,375 crimes, compared to 1,242 in 2010 — a 10.7 percent increase.
    “Many are using burglary to feed their drug habit,” said Clark.
    The police department recorded 18,951 calls for service last year — an 18.7 percent increase from 15,965 in 2010.

  • Woman sought in case of two missing teens

     

  • Two charged with possession of pills, pot

    HILLSVILLE — A 21-year-old Claudeville man has been charged with dealing drugs and 195 Oxycontin pills were seized after a Carroll County deputy initiated a traffic stop Feb. 9.
    Carroll Sheriff J.B. Gardner said that Phillip Christopher Sias, a passenger in the vehicle, faces a charge of possessing schedule II drugs with the intent to distribute after the traffic stop near St. Paul Elementary School.

  • Vehicle hits bus head-on in Galax

     

    UPDATED 2/3/12:

    A car collided head-on with a Galax school bus that was carrying eight students on Thursday afternoon.

  • Sheriff's department makes arrests

    Officers with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office have made several arrests in the past three weeks, for drug offenses, a weapons charge and larceny.
    According to police reports, Richard Edward Newman, 41, and Christie Diane Glass, 32, of 309 Chestnut Lane in Fries, were arrested Jan. 4 after a search warrant was executed at their residence.
    Both Newman and Glass were charged with distribution of marijuana to a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

  • Citizens can certify to help in emergencies

    A new program in Galax teaches citizens emergency skills necessary to keep their families safe and take care of their neighbors during crisis situations.
    A $6,000 grant from Homeland Security funds the nationwide Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which pays for training for the instructors and equipment to teach the course.

  • Police say man shot while trying to steal car

     

  • Home owner is safe after Tuesday fire

    LAUREL FORK — Firefighters searched into Tuesday evening for the owner of a home at 21 Ivas Lane after his doublewide was destroyed in an afternoon blaze.
    Friends and family did not know the whereabouts of the man after firefighters from Laurel Fork and Hillsville spent much of the afternoon extinguishing the flames.
    Fortunately, the home owner, Kenneth Handy, returned home after being out of town for the day as firefighters were leaving for the night, according to Larry Sykes of Laurel Fork Fire Department.

  • Crouse among five Virginia police officers lost in 2011

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Virginia lost five law enforcement officers during 2011, a year when gun violence against police spiked nationwide, according to a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
    Preliminary information released Dec. 28 found that 173 officers had been killed in the line of duty in the past year.
    This is up 13 percent from the 153 officers who died in 2010, according to the report.

  • Woodlawn fire destroys home

    WOODLAWN — A Wednesday afternoon fire destroyed a home at 173 Arabian Lane.

    Hillsville and Galax firefighters responded to the scene, but much of the home was already consumed by the flames by the time they arrived.

    Hillsville Fire Chief Donnie Spangler said there were no injuries reported and no one was in the house at the time of the fire.

    The cause is undetermined. The house is a total loss.

    The Gazette will post more details as they become available.