Public Safety

  • Tougher DUI laws making a difference

    Ten years ago, state lawmakers looked at a high-profile DUI case, listened to law enforcement and said, “Enough is enough.”

    A bipartisan group drafted more than 70 bills seeking to stiffen penalties and enact near-zero-tolerance for repeat offenders.

    Did it work?

    DUI fatalities in Virginia have dropped by 21 percent since 2005, according to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles statistics. Crashes related to drinking and driving have fallen about 30 percent. Convictions for the offense have stayed relatively steady.

  • Police find drugs, stolen property

    Two Galax men were arrested on a number of charges by members of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office on June 27.

    Maurice Antwon Harris, 41, of Beech Grove Lane, Galax, was charged with possession of marijuana; and Quantel James McCall, 19, of Beech Grove Lane, was charged with possession of stolen property.

    Members of the sheriff’s office executed a search warrant at 2511 Beech Grove Lane last Friday, where numerous stolen motorcycles, go-carts and ATVs were found, according to a statement from Sheriff Richard Vaughan on Monday.

  • Rabies case reported in Grayson

    The Mount Rogers Health District reports that a local resident is receiving treatment for rabies following exposure to a rabid fox in Grayson County.

    The report does not identify the person.

    According to the report issued this week, the Grayson County Health Department received lab confirmation of rabies on June 12.

    In addition to the human victim, the report says a dog that fought with the fox has been given a rabies booster and will be under observation. The dog was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination.

  • Two airlifted from motorcycle wreck

    WOODLAWN - Two people were airlifted from the scene of a motorcycle accident on Thursday afternoon on Rt. 58 in Woodlawn.

    According to a police report from Virginia State Trooper C.M. Delp, a driver and one passenger were traveling on a 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle, when a deer ran out in front of the vehicle at approximately 1:25 p.m. that afternoon.

    The accident occurred approximately 211 feet east of Route 787, only one tenth of a mile west of Hawks Carpet.

  • Galax police recording citizen interactions

    Is more surveillance better or worse where the police are concerned?

    There is a popular trend of people recording video of officers, but what if it goes both ways?

    It’s a relevant question, as the Galax Police Department has recently acquired cameras that record video and audio of interactions with the public. The devices are worn by officers on duty.

  • Boy attacked by pit bull


    INDEPENDENCE — A 7-year-old Independence boy was injured June 17 when he was attacked by a pit bull.
    Grayson County Animal Control Officer Jeremy Moss said the boy was playing in his grandmother’s yard on Big Oak Drive when the dog broke free from inside a nearby residence and attacked the boy.
    Moss said the dog’s owner, Gwendolyn Hash of Independence, pulled her dog off the boy.

  • Police searching for hit-and-run suspect

    HILLSVILLE — The Hillsville Police Department is investigating a hit-and-run accident that happened on Main Street last Friday.
    The department was called to the scene at 10 p.m. on June 13, after a witness saw a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee operated by an unknown suspect crash into a Chevrolet Tahoe that was parked in front of a residence on South Main Street.
    “The suspect hit the vehicle so hard, that he basically knocked [the Tahoe] onto the sidewalk,” said Police Chief Greg Bolen.

  • Police say felon tried to sell gun on Facebook

    A posting in a local yard sale page led to the arrest of Kevin Leonardo Mittman, 33, of Galax on June 10.

    Galax Police Department Sgt. Shawny Jones received information that Mittman had posted an ad on a Facebook yard sale page, offering a firearm for sale. As a convicted felon, Mittman is prohibited from owning a gun.

    Police made arrangements to meet with Mittman to complete the transaction for the gun. Mittman was taken into custody and a firearm seized.

  • Supervisor wants piece of police fund

    HILLSVILLE — In hopes of finding a solution to Carroll County’s budget problems, Supervisor At-Large Sam Dixon suggested that they look into the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department funds for extra  money.
    Although he received opposition from the other members of the board at the June 9 meeting, Dixon believed that taking 15 percent of the sheriff’s department’s fines and forfeitures would be a good way to balance out the budget without further burdening the taxpayers.

  • Home destroyed by Memorial Day fire

    Firefighters responded to a home at 2813 Beamer’s Knob Road in Fancy Gap on May 23 during Memorial Day Weekend.

    The house was fully engulfed by the time the fire departments arrived on scene, according to Carroll County Emergency Services Director Mike Mock.

    Carroll County Fire & Rescue and the Hillsville Fire Department worked together at the scene to douse the flames.

    No further information about the fire was available on press time Wednesday.