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Public Safety

  • Two charged with thefts from vehicles

    Two Galax men have been arrested and charged with four counts of grand larceny and tampering with a motor vehicle.
    Rhyan Lee Isom and David W. Rodriguez, both age 18, were charged on July 22 with breaking in to four cars parked in residences' driveways. All the vehicles were left unlocked, with valuables in plain sight, said Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.
    The suspects took $3,000 worth of items — most of which have been recovered. The items stolen included cash, credit cards and electronic devices.

  • Charges pending against driver

    Juanita Burnette of Galax was traveling east on Stuart Drive on July 22 when she came upon a work zone maintained by American Electric Power, according to a Galax Police Department report.

    She tried to merge into the left lane and struck Mary Smith of Hillsville, also traveling east.

    After she hit Smith’s vehicle, she hit an AEP truck and her vehicle overturned.

    Charges are pending against Burnette.

  • Pot-like products get state's attention

    It goes by many names: K2, Cloud 9, Spice, Magic Gold, Buzz, Smoke, Skunk.
    The melange of herbs sprayed with a synthetic marijuana substitute is blooming in popularity, and making users sick and being outlawed as it does.
    The stuff, still legal in Virginia, is the latest in the cycle of designer drugs to hit the market, only to be banned as the law catches up to them.

  • Man killed in U.S. 52 crash

    HILLSVILLE — A 74-year-old Greensboro, N.C., man died as a result of a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 52 Wednesday, according to a Virginia State Police report.
    Melvin Wayne Black died after being taken to the hospital.
    The accident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. when a 1998 Toyota 4Runner, heading south on 52, crossed the center line, ran off the side of the road and struck a tree, according to the report by Trooper R.B. Phipps.
    The victim had a severe head trauma, even though he was belted in and the airbag deployed during the accident.

  • Motorcycle chases ends with drug arrest

    HILLSVILLE — A 32-year-old Austinville man faces illegal drug and traffic charges after he tried to elude a Carroll deputy during a traffic stop last Thursday, according to Sheriff Warren Manning.
    The chase occurred as Sgt. Bobby Lyons was patrolling the area near U.S. 52 and Pleasant View Road. The deputy saw a motorcycle being operated in a reckless manner, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.
    Lyons tried to stop the motorcycle for reckless driving, but it sped off, heading south on U.S. 52.

  • Cause of baby's death still unknown

    The investigation of an infant who died July 16 is continuing by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department.
    Sheriff Richard Vaughan said an autopsy was performed on 1-month-old Caidance Adare Skoski at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke but no report had been received.
    “It will probably take several weeks to get all the test results back so we can determine the cause of death,” Vaughan said.
    He also said they were awaiting the results of toxicology and other tests. The baby had no signs of trauma.

  • Galax teen injured in ATV accident

    A 16-year-old Galax boy was seriously injured last Wednesday after the 4-wheeler-ATV vehicle he was operating ran off the road and struck a tree.
    State Trooper Jerry Sowers said the accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. on Columbine Road in the Fairview community of Grayson County.
    Sowers said the ATV ran off the right side of the highway and hit a tree, throwing the driver against the tree. He was not wearing a helmet, according to Sowers.

  • Police capture python in Galax

    Police officers have to go after some slippery characters in their line of work, but none like the slithering suspect nabbed last week.

    Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said the department "had numerous calls of a python in and on Clover Street."

    Police were dispatched to the area, and Officer Chris Hines was able to wrangle the snake into a bag.

    Clark said a member of the police department "is boarding the snake until
    someone claims it."

    The animal shelter does not house reptiles.

  • New speed limit could boost reckless driving charges

    Going 11 miles per hour over the speed limit on some interstate sections in Virginia could lead to a reckless driving charge later this summer.
    Virginia has begun a process of evaluating whether to increase the speed  limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on its interstate highways. Several parts of interstates 77 and 81 in Western Virginia are under consideration.
    Because the legal definition of reckless driving includes going faster than 80 mph, the custom of some drivers to exceed the limit by 10 mph will bring them dangerously close to a major legal sanction.

  • Two injured after paint truck loses brakes

    WHITETOP — Two Virginia Department of Transportation workers were injured Monday after their truck lost its brakes and overturned.
    State Trooper Jessie Tilson said Harold Dalton, 59, of Ivanhoe, was operating a truck painting lines on Virginia 600 in Whitetop when the truck lost its brakes.