Two troopers suffer minor injuries in accident today on I-81 in Pulaski County

The vehicle driven by Trooper W.L. Stumbo III sits along I-81 earlier today. (State Police photo)

The vehicle driven by Trooper W.L. Stumbo III sits along I-81 earlier today. (State Police photo)

By Corinne N. Geller

Public Relations Director

Virginia State Police

Two troopers are recovering from minor injuries sustained in a crash on Interstate 81 Tuesday morning in Pulaski County.

At approximately 5:30 a.m., a tractor-trailer traveling north on I-81 became disabled and had to stop along the left shoulder and travel lane at the 96 mile marker. Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper R.W. Hughes stopped out behind the tractor-trailer for the safety of the tractor-trailer and northbound traffic. Sr. Trooper Hughes’ patrol vehicle had its emergency lights activated and was parked in the left lane behind the tractor-trailer.

Trooper W.L. Stumbo III, pulled in and parked his marked state police patrol car approximately 500 feet behind Hughes’ vehicle, so as to provide northbound traffic more advance warning of the lane closure. While parked in the left lane with its emergency lights activated, the state police 2013 Ford Taurus was struck by a northbound 2002 Chevrolet Silverado at about 6 a.m. The Silverado then struck a 2015 Kia Forte that was traveling north in the right lane.

Trooper Stumbo was seated in his patrol car at the time of impact. Stumbo was wearing a seat belt. Stumbo was transported to New River Valley Medical Center, and has been treated and released.

Sr. Trooper Hughes was outside his patrol car and on foot when the crash occurred and was forced to leap over the guardrail to avoid being struck by the vehicles. Hughes suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The driver of the Silverado, Andrew B. Caldwell, 41, of Elk Creek, Va, was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt. Caldwell was charged with reckless driving.

The driver of the Kia, a 54-year-old woman from Alabama, was transported to Lewis Gale Hospital in Pulaski for treatment of minor injuries. She was wearing a seat belt.

$9.4 million price tag put on middle school work



$9.4 million – that is the amount Spectrum Design estimates it will cost to replace windows and make necessary electrical and HVAC improvements at both Pulaski and Dublin middle schools.

The Pulaski County School Board and Board of Supervisors commissioned Spectrum Design, out of Roanoke, to conduct a study at both schools on the feasibility and probable costs to make the upgrades.

Following the decision to move forward with the $3.4 million project currently underway at Dublin Elementary School – which involves a classroom expansion, window replacement, electrical and HVAC improvements – both boards expressed the desire to take a look at what could be done to improve conditions at the middle schools.

According to the Board of Supervisors, it will be several years before the county can afford the added expense of constructing a new, consolidated middle school to replace the two existing schools.

The boards sought cost estimates on replacing exterior windows in both middle schools; replacing HVAC systems in classrooms, computer labs, administrative offices and library facilities, and improving the electrical systems at both schools to support the new HVAC systems.

The study did not include the addition of new HVAC systems in auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias and common areas at both schools – each of which were substantially constructed in the early to mid-1950’s.

Spectrum estimated the cost of work as follows:

Pulaski Middle School

-HVAC improvements: $1,717,500

-Electrical Improvements: $563,334

-Window Replacements: $2,929,980

Total Cost: $5,210,814

Dublin Middle School

-HVAC Improvements: $1,420,500

-Electrical Improvements: $456,523

-Window Replacements: $2,303,190

Total Cost: $4,180,213

School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Brewster said this week members of both boards have copies of the Spectrum report and are looking it over.

Brewster said he is hopeful the two boards can meet together in a future joint meeting to discuss where to go from here.

PCHS, LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski sign agreement for trainer, sports medicine services

7-24 PC Schools LG Hospital

Pulaski County School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Brewster and LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski CEO Derek Vance sign a Memorandum of Understanding for athletic trainer and sports medicine services for Cougar athletes during the 2015-16 school year. Also attending the signing ceremony were (front row from left) School Board member Joe Guthrie, Brewster, Vance and Dr. Michael Simpson. (Back row from left) Michel R. Heifferson, head of the VCOM Athletic Trainer division; Hospital Board Vice Chairman Angie Covey, Hospital Board Chairman Dr. Don Stowers, PCHS Principal Michael Grim, PCHS Assistant Principal Mark Hanks and PCHS Head Football Coach Stephen James. (Mike Williams photo)



Pulaski County High School and LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski have entered into an agreement that will enhance athletic trainer and sports medicine services this school year for athletes at PCHS.

School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Brewster and hospital CEO Derek Vance on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the partnership.

Brewster called the partnership “a tremendous opportunity” for the student athletes at PCHS.  Vance noted he is “super excited” about the partnership.

Both men agreed that the safety of students is the top goal at all times at the school and on the ball field.

The agreement calls for LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski to provide a certified athletic trainer full-time to PCHS to provide athletic training services to the school’s athletes, and to assist with injury prevention and recovery.

Those services begin August 1 and extend through the spring sports season during the upcoming school year.

The athletic trainer will be available on-site at mutually agreed upon activities that may include both practice and game coverage.

The agreement notes the hospital with provide on-site athletic support at all home football games this season, as well as sports medicine clinics on Saturday mornings during the football season to assist with sports related injuries.

A medical provider will visit the athletic training room at least weekly during the winter and spring athletic seasons to assist in the prevention and treatment of sports injuries.

The agreement also states that the hospital will ensure all support coverage necessary to complete the spring sports physicals for the 2016-17 school year, and will help to procure athletic training room supplies to support PCHS athletic programs.

In return to the services provided by the hospital, PCHS agrees to provide advertisements for LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski in event programs, public announcements during events and space for banners that display the hospital’s name during sporting events.

The school will also provide public announcements at each home game recognizing medical providers who are providing coverage for the game, and the partnership between the hospital and high school.

Pack the Bus events planned for August

From Pulaski County United Way

There are several opportunities this year to help Pulaski County students in need. These opportunities are a collaborative effort between Pulaski County Public Schools, Dublin Wal-Mart store, Pulaski County United Way, and Calfee Park.

There are three PACK THE BUS events scheduled for Pulaski County. The goal is to fill the seats of the bus with school supplies for Pulaski County students during these events.

A  Bus will be located at the Dublin Wal-Mart on:

 Saturday, August 1st from 1 – 5:00 PM

Tuesday, August 4th from 3 – 6:00 PM 

Thursday, August 6th from 3– 6:00 PM  

The Back to School Night at the Yankees game at Calfee Park will be on Saturday, August 15.  Donations of school supplies will be accepted and placed on buses.  Students will be admitted free.

The most needed supplies this year include the following:

Pencils and Pens                                                              Notebook paper

Glue sticks                                                                          Spiral notebooks

Highlighters                                                                       Crayons

Back packs                                                                          Hand sanitizer

Gallon size storage bags                                                               Quart size storage bags

Beach towels (kg)                                                            Lysol wipes

Wet wipes                                                                          Tissues

Pencil bags/boxes                                                           3 Ring Binders

Hand Soap                                                                          3 prong folders

Folders                                                                                 Pencil erasers

Scissors                                                                                                Dry Erase markers

Sharpie permanent markers

Having these supplies makes a big difference in a student’s school success. Let’s give our children the confidence to succeed in the new school year. The schools will distribute the supplies to needy children to help set them up for success after the start of the school year.

(web) Deanie Better Teen Driving 3-27

VDOT: Interstate 81 Pulaski County lane closures planned for this week

Southbound lane closure planned to start at 6 p.m., Monday, July 27    

SALEM – Weather permitting, work on bridges on southbound Interstate 81 in Pulaski County will cause lane closures this week.  Drivers should expect lane closures from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. the following morning on southbound I-81 between mile markers 95 and 93.

  • A left lane closure is planned from 6 p.m. on Monday, July 27 until approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28.
  • A left lane closure is planned from 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28 until approximately 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29.
  • A right lane closure in planned for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29 until 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 30.

Work crews will be pouring concrete as part of replacing the riding surface on the bridge over the New River Trail and on bridge over Route 99.

These lane closures are weather dependent and times are approximate. Each lane closure must remain in place until concrete sets.

For updates, visit or follow us on twitter at @511southwestva.

Verizon workers vote to authorize strike, if necessary

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon workers in nine states have voted to go on strike if necessary over a dispute about a new contract, a union official said at a rally Saturday.

“Our members are clear and they are determined,” said Dennis Trainor, an official with the Communications Workers of America union. “They reject management’s harsh concessionary demands.”

At the rally in New York, the CWA announced that 86 percent of Verizon workers who voted in a recent poll backed strike action if required. A contract that covers 39,000 workers represented by the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers expires at midnight on August 1.

The contract covers employees the nine states from Massachusetts to Virginia who work for Verizon’s wireline business, which provides fixed-line phone services and FiOS Internet service.

The unions say the telecom giant is demanding that workers sharply increase their health care contributions and make concession on pensions.

Verizon spokesman Rich Young said that the company had made the unions “a solid proposal that recognizes the changing communications landscape and offers a path toward success.”

Many of the aspects of the contracts that were set “decades ago” were no longer relevant in an industry that was facing increased pressure and structural change, Young said. He also said that the company had been training non-union employees to take on additional roles to ensure that there was no disruption to customers in the event of a strike.

The contract also affects wireline workers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, as well as Washington, D.C.

About 45,000 Verizon workers went on strike in August 2011 for about two weeks.

Pulaski Police, Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force bust meth lab

From Pulaski Police Dept.

Frday at approximately 7:00 A.M., Corporal D. F. Grim developed information regarding a possible clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in the 700 block of Dillon Street in the town of Pulaski, Virginia.

The ensuing inquiry developed probable cause for a Search Warrant to be issued to allow the search of that residence and the surrounding curtilage.

The Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force was contacted to assist in the service of the warrant and entry was made into the dwelling.

Items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine were recovered from the scene.

Four individuals were arrested on the property and each one charged with the following offenses:

Manufacturing Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of Precursors

Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine

The four individuals arrested were:

Elizabeth Harvey, 19 years of age, of Pulaski, VA.

Kimberly D. Smith, 19 years of age, of Pulaski, VA

Paige E. Roop, 20 years of age, of Pulaski, VA

Jonathan E. Morris, 33 years of age, of Pulaski, VA

The above individuals arrested in this case were transported to the New River Valley Regional Jail by corrections personnel.  They were processed there and photographs would be available from that facility.

By Authority:

G.W. Roche

Chief of Police