National Child Passenger Safety Certification Program

The Highway Safety Office at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced their service, the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Program. This Standardized Nation Course is designed to educate individuals to become Child Passenger Safety Technicians. The training date and location are planned for October 14th-17th, 2019 at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is located at 5605 Patriot Drive in Wise, Virginia.
The 32 hour course is taught through a combination of lectures, role playing and hands on practice with child safety seats and vehicle belt systems, Students should be prepared for the substantial physical activity needed to install safety seats. They will take both written and hands on tests, and participate in a “real world” safety seat checkup.
Registration is open to the public unless other arrangements are made in advance. Registration is available online or by phone. There is a $95 fee, paid to SAFE KIDS, to cover the training manual, a two year certification and periodic updates. Fee payment may be made by check, credit card or purchase order by contacting consumer service for assistance at 1-877-366-8154.
You may also register only at look on the right side of the page for “Find a Course” icon and click on it. Search in Virginia for the course dates and follow the prompts. If online service is unavailable, please use the Consumer Service number 1-877-366-8154.
Transportation, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student. Classes will be from 8am-5pm each day. Each student is expected to furnish a passenger vehicle for use in the training exercises. Students must attend all sessions.
For additional information, you may contact John Messina at or by phone at 1-804-497-5338

Hunter B. Culbertson Dies in Fatal Motorcycle Crash

The Virginia State Police released additional information on the motorcycle crash that resulted in one fatality. Hunter B. Culbertson age 20 of Wise, Virginia perished at the scene according to authorities. The fatal accident occurred on Route 646 Coeburn Mountain Road, and officials are investigating speed as the possible cause.

Culbertson was wearing a helmet at the time his 2008 Ducati SBK 1098 veered off the left side of the road, striking an embankment and then a tree.

Daniel Bauer Shot in the Face

According to the Kentucky State Police in the Cumberland Community of Harlan County, an altercation between a boyfriend and girlfriend resulted in two individuals being incarcerated and another individual being hospitalized.
Officials state that 49 year old Daniel Bauer of Ohio, was shot in the face. Bauer was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center, but it was with non-life threatening injuries.
Investigators say that Stephanie Brock, age 46, is alleged to have shot Bauer while Kevin Brock, age 24, has been charged with tampering with physical evidence. Both individuals were jailed.


Virginia’s Ginseng Harvest Season

With Virginia’s ginseng harvest season underway, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reminds residents about regulations that are created to protect the plant. While growing wild in Virginia’s forests the plant is listed as a threatened species under the state’s Endangered Plant and Insect Species Act.

Ginseng collection is prohibited on most public lands in Virginia. On those public lands that do allow harvesting, harvesters are required to obtain a permit. On privately owned property, harvesters must obtain permission from property owner. The ginseng harvest season which began on September 1st will end on December 31, 2019.

Ginseng plants younger than five years old cannot be harvested. Anyone harvesting wild ginseng must plant the seeds of the harvested plant at the harvest site at the same time of the harvest.

Press Release Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lee County H. Fuller Cridlin

In the most recent Press Release from the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lee County, H. Fuller Cridlin regarding the official conclusion of the shooting/vehicle crash that occurred in the Jasper Section of Lee County this past March. Fuller stated,
My office has reviewed all the evidence collected by the Virginia State Police, and other assisting agencies in the investigation of a vehicle crash that occurred on March 10th, 2019, in which the occupants of the vehicle, Bailey Smith (Smith age 21) and Emeri Connery (Connery age 26), first cousins were found deceased with gunshot injuries causing both deaths. Earlier that afternoon the cousins had attended a wedding in Big Stone Gap, Va. They had also spent time in Johnson City with friends, visiting a couple of bars.
An opened container of alcohol was found in the vehicle. Blood samples collected from two separate areas of Smith’s body showed his blood alcohol content or BAC at .134 and .158 respectively. The legal limit is .08 meaning that Smith’s BAC was nearly double the legal limit. Connery’s BAC was below the legal limit.
Shortly before 4:00am (time had advanced 2 hours, due to Daylight Savings), Smith’s vehicle crashed into a culvert near mile marker 28.3 on Highway 23 North in the Jasper Section of Lee County. A forensic examination of the vehicle’s event data recorder or EDR revealed that there was no acceleration or intentional braking in the seconds before the crash. Analysis of physical evidence on scene revealed that the driver took no evasive maneuvers to prevent the crash, indicating that the driver Smith, was incapacitated before the crash.
Blood spatter analysis confirmed that the shooting occurred in the vehicle before the crash. This is due to no significant visible indications of blood stains on either side of the air bags, but a great deal of blood spatter on the windows directly behind the airbags. This indicates that the shots were fired before the airbags deployed.
We conclude, in agreement with investigators, forensic scientists, and medical examiners, that Connery’s death was a homicide and that Smith’s death was a suicide, and that no other individuals or vehicles were involved in the shooting.
The autopsies, ballistics report, event data recorder from the vehicle, blood spatter analysis, and physical evidence from the scene collectively and definitely show that all activity was confined to the vehicle, that Smith and Connery were the only occupants of the vehicle; that Smith was highly intoxicated and operating the motor vehicle; that Smith’s firearm discharged and killed Connery; and that Smith died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound from his firearm before the vehicle crashed.  The case is now officially closed.

RAM in Lee County September 21-22, 2019

The Remote Area Medical Clinic or RAM, will once again hold a free medical clinic this weekend, September 21st and 22nd at Lee High School, located at 200 General Lane. RAM was created to benefit those with no insurance or not enough insurance. RAM allows free health care to those who otherwise would not be able to attain any.

Remote Area Medical will open the clinic parking lot no later than midnight on the first night of the event. Ticket distribution usually commences at 3am, and patients are then served in numerical order according to their ticket number when the clinic doors open at 6am.

This orderly process will repeat throughout the clinic days. In situations beyond their control, such as inclement weather, volunteer cancellations etcetera, ticket distribution will begin earlier than 3am. RAM encourages everyone who may like services, especially dental services to arrive as early as possible.

Dental, vision and medical services are provided on a first come, first serve basis. Due to time constraints, be prepared to choose between dental and vision services. Medical services are offered to every patient attending the clinic. This RAM event is entirely free and open to the public.

RAM offers free, high quality vision, dental and medical services with no insurance or identification required. Dental services will include cleanings, fillings and extractions. Vision services include, glaucoma testing, diabetic retinopathy screening and eyeglasses. Remember to take in your current eyeglass prescription, within the past year to avoid the wait for an eye exam.


Medical services to be offered will include specialist exams, EKGs, breathing tests, diabetes screenings and education, chest x-rays, medication assistance, pediatric exams, physical exams, hepatitis and HIV screening, sports physicals and skin screenings.
For additional information please visit their website at


Randy Castles Speeding Leads to Drug Charges

Also in Scott County, another Scott County Deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding. The K9 Officer alerted to the passenger side of the vehicle and a search was conducted. The deputy located a small black zip up case under the front passenger seat. Inside the case the deputy found 1.3 grams of meth and two glass smoking devices. Randy Castle was placed under arrested and charged with Possession of Schedule I and II Drugs.

Tyler Milhorn Arrested on Drug Charges

A Scott County Sheriff's Office Deputy was dispatched to the Marathon Station in reference to a male subject that was slumped over in a vehicle. When the Deputy arrived on site, he had to wake the subject up. When the subject, identified as Tyler Milhorn stepped out of the vehicle, he was very unsteady on his feet.
Milhorn pulled out his wallet to show the Deputy some indentification. When he did, a small baggie containing a brown substance inside fell out. The brown substance field tested positive for Heroin.
During the subsequent search of the vehicle, the Deputy found a blue bag in the driver's side floor board that contained a baggie with "crack" cocaine, a baggie of marijuana, and two digital scales.
Charges for Milhorn include Possesion of Schedule I/II Drugs and Possession of Marijuana First Offense.


2nd annual Southwest Virginia Veterans Expo

The 2nd annual Southwest Virginia Veterans Expo will be held Friday, September 20th, from 10am-2pm. The event will take place at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Learning Center in Abingdon, Virginia. The annual Expo event offers free health screenings, hepatitis A vaccinations and flu shots.

Representatives from the DMV will be available to help with the addition of a veteran indicator on driver’s licenses at the standard cost, with no additional cost to add a veteran indicator. Numerous other vendors, including Department of Veterans Services, Regional VA Medical Centers and representatives of local, state and federal government will be on site.

Along with information, services, resources, healthcare, employment, education, transportation and housing, veterans are also invited to partake of a free lunch. Proof of veteran status may be required for some of these services. For additional information on the Expo, please contact Delegate Pillion’s office at 276-220-1209.


Sergeant Mavredes New Lee County School Security Director

Lee County Schools have a new School Security Director in the person of Louis Mavredes. Mavredes is a retired Virginia State Police and Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office veteran of more than thirty years of service. Sergeant Mavredes will be a sworn in officer of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Gary Parsons, Sheriff for Lee County, clarified that Mavredes as the School Security Director will be a regular presence, having already visited the school recently when some “writing” was found at Lee High School. In additions to having an office at the School Board, Mavredes will also visit each school in our community regularly.
The new Sergeant will also be available to fill in for current and future School Resource Officers, as well as being able to provide support if necessary. Mavredes has already noticed an issue on his first official day that if corrected would increase the effectiveness of security at one local school.