Local News

Oregon Rulemaking Committee to Meet on Updates to Controversial Wildfire Hazard Map
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A series of three meetings of a rulemaking advisory committee on updating the statewide wildfire hazard map have been scheduled. The committee's focus will be to provide input on whether irrigation for farmland and agricultural crops might be incorporated into the calculations for wildfire hazard assessments. The first meeting is set for Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon on Zoom. Two additional meetings are scheduled for March 28th and April 18th -- also from 9 a.m. to noon. All meetings will be held virtually and are open to the public. The Zoom meetings are at "odf.zoom.us/j/8829567607?omn=94409353162." A post-meeting recording will be posted on the ODF YouTube channel, which is "youtube.com/c/oregondepartmentofforestry." Public outreach meetings will soon be scheduled and announced to discuss the mapping process and related wildfire programs. Outreach will occur during the months of April, May and June. The 2021 Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that include wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022, in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded in August 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts.
Posted on 3/6/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

Total Payroll Employment in Josephine County Plummets by 540 Jobs in First Month of 2024
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Total payroll employment in Josephine County fell by 540 jobs in January as broad-based job losses were estimated in most published industries. According to the Oregon Employment Department, there were 33,705 people working in Josephine County in January for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5.1%, which was up from 4.9% in December and down from 6.5% in 2023. The most notable job declines were posted in leisure & hospitality, retail trade, construction, professional & business services, private education & health services, and transportation, warehousing & utilities. Government lost 50 jobs in January, with declines in local education, state government and federal government. Over the past year, payroll employment in Josephine County slipped by 50 jobs, a decrease of 0.2%. The county is now 570 jobs below the January 2020 total prior to the pandemic. Industries adding jobs since January 2023 included private education & health services (+380), and transportation, warehousing & utilities (+20). Industries with estimated losses were retail trade (-180), leisure & hospitality (-160), professional & business services (-70), wholesale trade (-50) and other services (-50).
Posted on 3/6/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Taps Chuck Rund as Interim CEO of Organization
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The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Charles "Chuck" Rund will serve as interim CEO while the Chamber Board works through the strategic process of hiring its next permanent President and CEO. Rund will temporarily replace former Chamber CEO Josie Malloy who left her post this month to move to Wyoming with her family. Chuck Rund served as President of Charlton Research Company, a public policy and opinion research firm that designs and develops strategies for clients in business, politics and the law. The company conducted extensive, national public opinion research for over 250 corporations with 24 listed in the top 100 of the Fortune 500. He has been an Election Night analyst for CBS News for 32 years and remains abreast of trends in national and state politics. In recent years, Rund has also served on several boards including AllCare Health, Grants Pass Family YMCA, Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Grants Pass. He has also volunteered in numerous community activities.
Posted on 3/6/24 5:54AM by Sam Marsh

BCC Scheduled to Hold 3 Public Hearings at Wednesday Business Session
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold three public hearings during its weekly business session tomorrow. The first public hearing is on an ordinance related to meetings of the Board of Commissioners, the second hearing is on an ordinance related to the Finance Department and the third hearing is related to the Unified Board of Appeals. All the hearings are on first readings of the ordinances, with the second readings and possible adoptions tentatively set for March 20th. Under Administrative Actions, the Board will consider approval of certification of the Ambulance Service Plan for Josephine County including incidents involving mass casualties. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Commissioners are expected to approve a personnel policy revision regarding the Elected Officials Compensation Plan. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 3/5/24 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Parole Violation after He Overdosed at NW City Park
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating his post-prison supervision after he overdosed on narcotics at a northwest city park yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 34-year-old Franklin Leroy Lister, III, at Gilbert Creek Park on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Monday at 3:25 p.m.. Police said Lister overdosed on fentanyl at the city park and he was revived with four milligrams of Narcan. Upon the arrival of fire and medical personnel, they said he refused further treatment and transport to the hospital. Lister's corrections officer in Jackson County was contacted and he requested his client be detained. Lister was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Parole Violation and he was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 3/5/24 10:33AM by Sam Marsh
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Pacific Power Truck Crashed into Pole & Dropped Lines on Redwood Highway
In an ironic turn of events, a Pacific Power utility vehicle crashed into a power pole and dropped electrical lines across Redwood Highway in Kerby last night. The Oregon State Police reports troopers, the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Pacific Power were dispatched to the single-vehicle mishap near milepost 26 of US Highway 199 on Monday at 8:18 p.m.. Troopers said an investigation indicates 23-year-old Cyrus James Zumstein was driving a Pacific Power utility truck south when he lost control and struck a power pole. The pole was sheared off and both it and electrical lines fell into the highway. The Oregon Department of Transportation was called in to provide traffic control while Pacific Power crews fix the pole. Redwood Highway traffic was halted during the utility repair operation. According to OSP, the Pacific Power vehicle sustained damage to its body and equipment exceeding $2,500 -- but it was not towed. The driver was employed by Pacific Power and other utility vehicles were on scene at the time of the crash. It was unclear in the report whether any citations were issued.
Posted on 3/5/24 10:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited OSP Trooper for Causing Two-Vehicle Crash at 6th & Midland
Grants Pass Police cited an Oregon State trooper for causing a motor vehicle accident in the north part of the city late yesterday. The Police Department reports officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of NE 6th Street and Midland Avenue on Monday around 5:15 p.m.. Police said an investigation indicates a vehicle was proceeding east across the intersection when the driver of an OSP patrol vehicle turned left in front of the other vehicle and caused the collision. No one was injured, but the other vehicle sustained a broken front axle and was towed. The patrol car did not require towing. Trooper Dolezal was cited for Failure to Yield the Right of Way. His supervisor responded to the scene and was advised of the situation. A crash report was issued to both drivers.
Posted on 3/5/24 10:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist for Traffic Crime after Restaurant Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for a traffic crime after responding to a weekend welfare check at an eastside restaurant. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to two male subjects hunched over in a vehicle parked in the driveway of Shari's Cafe & Pies on NE Agness Avenue around midday Saturday. Police said they contacted the subjects including the driver who was identified as "Anthony Diterlizzi." He was found to be driving with a revoked driver's license. Ditterlizzi was charged with Driving While Revoked. He was cited to appear in court on April 1st and then released. The other man was not identified in the report.
Posted on 3/5/24 10:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Evicted Eight Campers from Three City Parks on Monday
Grants Pass Police evicted a total of eight campers from three city parks on Monday. It all started at Riverside Park, where Ann Warfield and Samantha Brown were cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their previously posted campsites. Both were trespassed from the park for 30 days. At Tussing Park, John Francis was cited for Illegal Camping after he failed to remove his previously posted campsite. Timothy Teige was cited for Buffer Zone Violation and Staking a Tent. Both were issued 30-day park exclusions. At Baker Park, Jeremy Nordstrom, John Hanson and Ashley Hanson were cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their previously posted campsites. Amber Rockwell was cited for Buffer Zone Violation and Misuse of Park Open Spaces. All four were trespassed from the park for 30 days. Others cited for violations but not excluded from city parks yesterday included Connie Scott at Westholm Park, and Kacie Huntley and Michelle Richardson at Baker Park.
Posted on 3/5/24 10:25AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Jailed GP Woman for Violating Court Order after Redwood Highway Crash
The Oregon State Police jailed a Grants Pass woman for violating a court order after she crashed her vehicle on Redwood Highway between Cave Junction and O'Brien. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 30 of US Highway 199 on Saturday night. Troopers said 47-year-old Kimberly Ann Boehm lost control of the Nissan Rogue she was driving and slid off the snow-covered highway. She was not injured, but her damaged SUV was towed into Cave Junction. Further investigation revealed that Boehm and her passenger -- 50-year-old Patrick Henry Boeggeman of Grants Pass -- both have valid restraining orders against each other. Boeggeman had fled the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Boehm was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court/Restraining Order Violation. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 3/5/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Drug Possession after Weekend Call in Redwood Area
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for drug possession after he caused a weekend disturbance at a neighborhood in the Redwood area. The Police Department reports officers responded to a report of suspicious activity in the 2200-block of Gayle Way on Sunday shortly after 5 a.m.. Police said a resident called 9-1-1 to report a dark-colored sport utility vehicle with snow on top parked in the middle of the street with its horn honking for around an hour. The caller said they wished to remain anonymous. Officers arrived on scene, located the SUV and contacted a man they identified only as "Hlavinka." They said he was asleep with a puppy and there was a tooter on the dash which he admitted was used to smoke fentanyl. Hlavinka was charged with Possession of Fentanyl and Unlawful Use of a Horn. He was cited to appear in court and then released, but ordered to remove this SUV from the neighborhood.
Posted on 3/5/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Hot Rodding His Trans Am on Redwood Highway
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for hot rodding around town last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a Trans Am driven by a man they identified only as "Vannoy" in the 600-block of Redwood Highway on Sunday around 2:45 p.m.. Police said they observed Vannoy turning left from Ringuette Street onto US Highway 199 when he intentionally broke traction and drifted through the busy intersection. They said he failed to stay in his lane and drifted to the outer lane. Upon contact with Vannoy, he had no insurance and admitted that he had a prior warning for similar vehicular exploits. He advised his tires were bald, but records showed he had a history of traffic complaints and video of him drifting and burning out around the city. Vannoy was cited for Careless Driving, Improper Left Turn and Failure to Carry Proof of Insurance. He was warned for Reckless Driving and advised he would be arrested if he continues to drive in this manner.
Posted on 3/5/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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