Tag Archives: Donald Smith

I-81 Chase: Augusta County Sheriff Responds to News Leader

By Lynn R. Mitchell

People in the Staunton area will remember that earlier this week there was a police chase on I-81 that began in Shenandoah County and ended in Augusta County. The interstate at Exit 225 — where Rowe’s, Texas Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart are located — was ground zero for the finale with traffic at a standstill. Local friends were stuck on the interstate as law enforcement successfully worked to end the chase.

follow-up article in the Staunton News Leader on Thursday by reporter Brad Zinn raised some eyebrows and caused Sheriff Donald Smith to put out a response to correct the record. Well-known Harrisonburg radio personality Karl Magenhofer even wrote on Facebook, “Appreciate this response to what amounted to a hit piece by the News Leader. I’m surprised because the NL folks are usually very good.”

Here is the response from Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith:

To The Citizens of Augusta County,

I apologize for this letter’s length but please read. After the recent article that the News Leader printed, I wanted to address those of you that I serve directly.

I was contacted by the News Leader yesterday after being out most of the night and working the day before. When I received their questions regarding the policies of my office, I informed them that I was on my way home to get some rest and that I would respond today. I am extremely disappointed that our local newspaper, that I or one of my admin staff members speaks to almost on a daily basis, would take the stance to immediately address policy concerns and report that my deputies were in the wrong. Why not a story on how the suspect was arrested the day before and released? I am not interested in getting into a debate or argument with the media, but I do want to put the facts out there so there are no questions.

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Snowmegeddon 2016: Augusta County’s Sheriff Donald Smith urges preparation, caution with storm

Augusta County mapBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Thursday Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith urged the community to be prepared for the impending snowstorm:

As we brace for the storm to move into Augusta County on Friday morning and possibly last into Sunday, we as a community need to pull together.

Please plan accordingly and stay off the roads as workers plow to open the highways.

Stock up on supplies ahead of the storm.

Be mindful of the elderly and please keep a check on family members and neighbors that may not have family close to the area.

Please bring pets inside and don’t leave them out in this extreme storm.

Stay off the highways if at all possible once the storm starts.

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and first responders will be working diligently to keep the county safe and provide service. Please help us as much as possible by staying inside and keeping a check on loved ones and neighbors. Stay safe everyone and call us if you need us!

Stay safe out there.

Augusta County Sheriff’s Department: (540) 942-5113

See also Snowmegeddon 2016: Are we about to have the snow event of the decade?

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Donald Smith elected new Augusta County sheriff

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Hundreds of Donald Smith supporters turned out Tuesday night at the Verona Fire Department to enjoy a roast pig, tables full of homemade goodies, and to listen to election results. They weren’t disappointed. As soon as the numbers began rolling in for the four sheriff candidates, Smith led and never let up. As the night went on, excitement rose as a win was anticipated and finally realized.

When Smith, 31, was declared the winner, the air was electric as the capacity crowd cheered. A new shirt was donned by dozens — navy blue with the words, “There’s a new SHERIFF in town,” across the back.


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