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Public Safety

  • Traffic deaths down in Va.

    Traffic deaths have declined this year across the state, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
    From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 481 people were killed this year, compared to 490 during the same time last year, according to a news release from the agency.
    This year, 159 of the deaths have happened on primary roads while 62 occurred on interstates, the agency reported.

  • Explosion rocks Galax furniture plant

     

    An explosion that started in the dust collection system at Vaughan-Bassett Furniture on Tuesday morning damaged a storage trailer used for sawdust, said Galax Fire Chief David Hankley.
    The Galax Volunteer Fire Department stayed on scene for three hours while it tracked down the fire in two silos.
    Most employees were sent home for the day, but the factory was running back to normal on Wednesday. Some Vaughan-Bassett Furniture employees worked to clean out the silos through the night.

  • Stolen truck recovered in N.C.

    INDEPENDENCE — A pickup truck stolen from Lightning Lube on U.S. 58, just outside Independence, has been recovered in a parking lot in Greensboro, N.C.
    Chief Deputy Mike Hash of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department said the 1987 Mazda, owned by Lightning Lube, was taken some time between 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27 and when the business was opened Aug. 29.
    The pickup was reported stolen and a Greensboro police officer spotted it.
    Hash said no arrests had been made in the case and the investigation is continuing.

  • Police warn of scam in Western Grayson

    Police are warning senior citizens living in the western end of Grayson County about flim-flammers working in their area.
    Chief Deputy Mike Hash of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department said a man and woman traveling in a white van recently stopped at homes in the Mouth of Wilson area.
    They told homeowners that they wanted to cut some brush and put flags in their yards.
    Hash said one elderly woman paid $3,500 to get her driveway topped.

  • Grayson teacher charged

    INDEPENDENCE — A Grayson County High School teacher faces three charges following an investigation by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department.
    Chief Deputy Mike Hash said Robert Pope, 37, of Elk Creek, had been charged with indecent liberties (a class 6 felony), misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor buying tobacco for a minor.

  • Labor Day travel likely to increase

    The number of Virginians who will travel this Labor Day holiday is projected to increase 8.8 percent from 2009, AAA Mid-Atlantic said this week.
    Travel growth in the state is expected to lag slightly behind the rest of the country, which will see a nearly 10 percent jump in travel during the long weekend of Thursday-Monday. AAA measures residents who travel at least 50 miles from home.
    In Virginia, AAA anticipates about 929,350 people will take a trip, compared with 853,857 last year.

  • Expect heavy traffic in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — Travelers heading to the annual Hillsville Flea Market & Gun Show during Labor Day weekend should be prepared for considerable traffic delays.

  • Boucher opposes gun show checks

    U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) said last week that he opposes a federal bill to require background checks for buyers of firearms at gun shows.

  • Driver charged in Grayson fatality

    A 22-year-old man has died as the result of a pickup turning over on him Saturday in Grayson County.
    The driver, a 20-year-old from Crockett in Wythe County, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and DUI.
    The incident occurred at about 7:25 p.m. on Clito Road, east of its intersection with Carsonville Road. At that time, the driver of a 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup, Bradlee Erick Hahn, attempted to back up, but went off the edge of the road to the left and overturned, according to a report by Virginia State Police.

  • Local escapee found in N.C.

    INDEPENDENCE — A 36-year-old Galax man who escaped custody at the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department last Monday has been apprehended in Statesville, N.C.
    Sheriff Richard Vaughan said Sylvester Monroe Jackson came to the sheriff’s office after a warrant for domestic violence was sworn out against him.
    Vaughan said Jackson was appearing before a video magistrate and, when the magistrate said there would be no bond, Jackson allegedly ran from the building.