Public Safety

  • Rescue squad requests help for new ambulance

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Rescue Squad is raising money to provide a grant match for the purchase of new ambulance.
    The squad was recently awarded a partial grant from the Virginia Office of Emergency Services’ Rescue Squad Assistance Fund. According to Captain Robby Wingate, the award will allow the rescue squad to replace the oldest of their three ambulances, a 1993 model. The last ambulance purchase for the squad was made in 2007.
    The grant requires a 20 percent match from the rescue squad, which totals $43,000.

  • Fire department introduces 2018 officers

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Volunteer Fire Department has approved its list of officers for 2018.
    According to the slate presented to the Independence Town Council during the Jan. 9 meeting, the following officers were approved by the members of the fire department: Chief Gary Hash, Assistant Chief Terry Osborne, Capt. Matthew Adams, 1st Lt. Mark Taylor, 2nd Lt. Dennis Bobbitt, 3rd Lt. Jeremy Walters, President Roger Hash, Secretary/Public Information Officer Jason Harris, Chaplain Eddie Hensdell and Treasurer Eddie Hensdell (an appointed position).

  • Alleghany sheriffs armed with Narcan

    By Larry Chambers

    SPARTA, N.C. – Deputies with the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department recently completed training and are now armed with Narcan.
    Sheriff Bryan Maines said Narcan is an overdose reversal nasal spray. He described it “as a potentially lifesaving program.”
    Deputies have been using Narcan since mid-December.

  • Officers search 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.

  • 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.