Public Safety

  • Vaping suspected cause of lung injuries

    Staff Report

    The Blue Ridge Poison Center at University of Virginia Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued an alert about nearly 100 cases of lung illnesses that appear to be linked to vaping.

    The agencies say no deaths have been reported, “but many have experienced life-threatening symptoms and needed emergency hospital care.”

  • State Police planning Public Safety Day

    HILLSVILLE – Local law enforcement will hold Twin County Public Safety Day next month to provide an opportunity to learn about services and equipment designed to keep the community safe.
    The Virginia State Police Division IV, Area 25, will be coordinating this year’s event, to take place at the Grover King VFW Post 1115 in Hillsville on Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The event is free.

  • GMS adds resource officer

    Staff Reports

    A state grant will pay for a new resource officer at Galax Middle School, the school system announced this week.

    The Galax Police Department has two SROs in place now — Vickie Taylor at Galax High School and Fred Bobbitt at Galax Elementary.

    The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services is providing a $26,750 grant to establish a part-time school resource officer (SRO) at the middle school.

  • School chief, sheriff discuss shooting threat

    INDEPENDENCE — A student who threatened a school shooting at Grayson County High School on Monday is not a danger to the rest of the student body, said Grayson County Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore.

    “We’re still looking into it,” said Wilmore on Monday.

    The threat was made on social media, specifically Instagram, according to Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan.

  • Hillsville PD receives funding for advanced equipment

    HILLSVILLE – Police Chief Wesley Yonce and Town Manager Retta Jackson announced Thursday that the Hillsville Police Department (HPD) received two separate grants during the month of May.
    First, the Hillsville Police Department has received a Walmart Foundation Community Grant in the amount of $2,120, to assist in the purchase of officer safety equipment. HPD partnered with the local Walmart Supercenter in Galax in the application process to successfully obtain these funds.

  • Lockdown drills prepare officers for the worst

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County public school system has partnered with local law enforcement in recent years to further develop and strengthen security measures for students’ well-being.

    In the interest of being prepared for worst case scenarios, a plan of action for any and all threats are consistently discussed. Such was the case for a recent lockdown drill that was held by the county’s tactical team at Grayson County High School.

  • Rabid skunk reported in Galax

    A rabid skunk possibly bit a cat on Parkwood Road in Galax, according to a statement issued by the Virginia Department of Health and circulated among local veterinarians.
    The cat is unidentified. The skunk, which was seen staggering, circling and falling over, may also have interacted with a dog. If anyone or their pets have had recent contact with a suspicious skunk in the Parkwood area, contact the city health department at (276) 236-6127. Please check them for wounds or injuries, and have their rabies vaccinations up to date.

  • Parents, educators discuss school safety

    HILLSVILLE – Parents and citizens of Carroll County capitalized on the opportunity to express their concerns and ideas regarding school safety on a local level at the Parent Connect meeting that was held at Carroll County Middle School on April 5.

  • Officers on lookout for stabbing suspect

    The Grayson County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police are searching for a suspect involved in a reported stabbing on Beech Grove Lane in Galax that occurred Tuesday afternoon.

    David Lee Combs, 39, of 2212 Beech Grove Ln., is a suspect in the incident, which occurred at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to the sheriff's office. Officers were called to the residence, where they found a victim with minor wounds.

    Combs was last seen running into a wooded area near Beech Grove Ln., wearing a camouflage jacket.

  • Local school buses require safety retrofit

    The Virginia Department of Education has notified the Commonwealth’s 132 school divisions that as many as 4,000 school buses may need retrofitting to install a safety device that prevents the parking brake from accidentally disengaging.

    School officials said that a total of 23 buses in Galax, Carroll and Grayson need retrofitting for the brake interlock.