Wednesday, October 18, 2017

APD Press Release - 10-16-17

Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

On Monday afternoon, October 16, 2017, Officer Y. D. Wilmoth was patrolling Cummings Street, when she observed a couple fighting inside a vehicle at a red light. Upon this observation, Officer Wilmoth conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The two occupants of the vehicle were identified as Sheldon B. Gray, 47; and Shannon D. Bingham, 38, both of 2271 Coal Tipple Hollow Road, Lebanon, VA. Both parties were questioned about the incident and gave statements about assaulting each other.

Gray was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia, several small baggies of pills identified as Schedule II substances, and several plastic bags of a white crystal substance consistent with methamphetamine.

A search of the vehicle yielded several empty plastic baggies, and a plastic tube with a white residue consistent with methamphetamine.

Gray and Bingham were placed under arrest and transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail. Gray and Bingham were both charged with Assault and Battery against a family or household member, in violation of § 18.2-57.2 of the Code of Virginia. Both subjects were held on a $1000 secured bond.

All drugs seized will be sent to the lab for testing. Additional charges are pending. 

Sheldon B. Gray
Shannon D. Bingham

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Oral Rabies Vaccine Distribution Notice

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wildlife Services program (WS) will distribute oral rabies vaccine in southwestern Virginia to vaccinate raccoons against the rabies virus.  Bait distribution in Virginia is part of a nationwide, cooperative effort by USDA to prevent the westward spread of raccoon rabies in the eastern United States.  The baiting program is being conducted in part to abate an emergency human health and safety rabies issue affecting the eastern United States.  Implementation of this program in Virginia is a cooperative effort between USDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health, and other state agencies.  The 2017 bait distribution is the fifteenth annual baiting in southwestern Virginia.

Beginning on or about October 6, 2017, approximately 709,000 coated sachet baits containing the oral rabies vaccine will be distributed across an 8,500 square-mile bait zone in southwestern Virginia.  These baits will be distributed by low-flying aircraft throughout a vaccination area that includes parts of the following counties (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Giles, Grayson, Scott, Smyth, Russell, Washington, Wise, Wythe, Tazewell, and Bland) and the cities of Bristol and Abingdon, VA.  The aerial bait drop is expected to last for about 1 week.  As the oral rabies vaccination baits are aerially distributed, a navigator controls the bait machine and turns off the machine as necessary to avoid dropping baits on roadways, structures, large bodies of water, etc.  The oral rabies vaccination baits which will be distributed over the majority of the bait zone are “coated sachets.”  The coated sachet is a plastic packet of vaccine coated with a sticky, scented substance to attract raccoons.  Each bait is marked with a toll-free number (1-877-722-6725) for people to call for assistance or information if they find or come in contact with a bait.

In late September and early October 2017, USDA personnel will also distribute approximately 14,000 oral rabies vaccine baits by helicopter in suburban and developed areas within the bait zone.  The oral rabies vaccine baits used for this hand baiting and helicopter baiting may be either coated sachets or fishmeal polymer baits.  The fishmeal polymer baits are square blocks made of fishmeal and fish oil and the vaccine is contained inside of a plastic packet in the hollow center of the block.

Oral Rabies Vaccine baits: fishmeal polymer (left) and coated sachet (right).

We recommend the following precautions in case ORV baits are found by persons or pets:

·          If your pet finds an ORV bait, do not attempt removal of the bait from your pet’s mouth, as you could be bitten. Eating the baits will not harm your pet.
·          Confine your pet and look for other baits in the area. These baits should be removed from areas where your pet could eat them.
·          Instruct children to leave baits alone.
·          Wear gloves or use a towel when you pick up the bait. Although there is no harm in touching an undamaged bait, they have a strong fishmeal smell. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if there is any chance that the vaccine sachet has been ruptured.
·          If a person or pet is exposed to the vaccine contained within the bait, call the toll-free number on the bait (1-877-722-6725) to report the bait contact.

Please contact the USDA at 804-739-7739 if you have any questions about the Wildlife Services Oral Rabies Vaccination Program.  Enclosed is a map of the 2017 bait distribution zone.  Additional information is also available from the website:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017



The two center lanes of the bridge on Cummings Street will be CLOSED for the next two days. We advise everyone to find an alternate route, due to heavy traffic congestion, because it will be restricted to one lane each way. Also, slow your speed in this area and limit any distractions while in your vehicle. Thank you!