Public Safety

  • Sheriff offers safety training for churches

    Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan announced Friday that his office will be offering free safety trainings for churches throughout the county.  
    The trainings have been available through the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit since 2014; however, recent events have spurred an increase in requests for the trainings, according to the sheriff.
    “The church shooting in Texas, which claimed 26 innocent lives and injured several others, have many church leaders concerned about their safety,” said Vaughan.

  • Survey completed for fire, rescue services

    INDEPENDENCE — A survey to assist local fire and rescue departments in providing local services was recently completed for Grayson County by a state board.
    The survey team, which included representatives of the Virginia Fire Services Board, Office of EMS, and Virginia Department of Forestry, met with local fire and rescue volunteers on April 13, in the board room of the Grayson County Courthouse.
    The purpose of the survey was to address concerns with local fire and rescue services, and design a plan to make their efforts more successful.

  • Town, police seek safe speed limit near trail

    INDEPENDENCE — With the construction of Grayson County’s new recreation trail in place, and the presence of nearby businesses, the town is looking into a resolution to potentially lower the speed limit on the eastern side of Independence.
    During the Feb. 14 meeting of the Independence Town Council, Independence Police Chief James Wagoner addressed the issue, saying, “With the new bike trail and walking trail being so close to the road, and the speed limit at 45-55 miles per hour, that scares me a little bit.”

  • Independence Fire Department announces 2017 officers

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Town Council heard an update from the Independence Volunteer Fire Department; and approved their 2017 list of officers during their first meeting of the year on Jan. 10.
    “Through 2016, we had one of the busiest years we’ve ever had since we started keeping record,” said Fire Chief Gary Hash, who spoke to council at the beginning of the meeting. According to his data, Hash said the department answered around 160 calls for service.

  • Suspect causes crash while fleeing police custody


    After a brief pursuit and a dangerous crash, Travis Dale Coulson, 37, of Galax — wanted for malicious wounding and unauthorized use of a vehicle — was apprehended by the Galax Police Department last  Tuesday at about 1:40 p.m. on Greenville Road, according to Capt. James Cox.
    The crash involved Coulson chasing a car and then allegedly forcing it off the road. It went off a bank and plowed into the back of a house.

  • Renovations part of plan to fix mold problem


    After receiving complaints filed via the Virginia Department of Labor about possible mold contamination, Carilion Clinic of Galax proceeded to test the facility and is developing a plan to address it, according to a report released by the company.
    On Nov. 3, the practice got a notice from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding an employee complaint about a possible mold problem and the building’s indoor air quality. The clinic is home to family and internal medicine practices.

  • Burning ban lifted in Grayson County

    INDEPENDENCE – The Grayson County Board of Supervisors approved a motion last Thursday during their December meeting, to ratify and then discontinue the county’s burning ban, which has been in effect since late November.
    The ban was placed in response to significant fire hazard conditions throughout the county. Rainfall had not blanketed the county in weeks, resulting in extremely dry conditions.

  • Abduction, robbery suspect captured

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Sheriff's Office confirmed Thursday that the second suspect in an armed robbery and abduction has been located.

  • State, locals address opioid addiction crisis

    Landmark News Service
    and Staff Reports

    RICHMOND – The state health commissioner has declared the Virginia opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency.
    The declaration comes in response to the growing number of overdoses attributed use of opioid painkillers, and evidence that Carfentanil, a highly dangerous synthetic opioid used to sedate large animals such as elephants, has made its way its way into Virginia.

  • County declares emergency burning ban

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County last week declared a local emergency, issuing a burning ban that will remain in place until further notice.
    In a news release from the County Administration Office, the emergency ban was declared in response to significant fire hazard conditions throughout the county.
    “This ban is the result of extremely dry conditions, with no rainfall predicted for weeks,” the release said.