Local News

National Weather Service Extends and Lowers Elevation of Local Winter Storm Warning
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The National Weather Service has extended the Winter Storm Warning for southwest Oregon through Sunday afternoon and lowered the elevation where snow is likely to fall. The Winter Weather Advisory for the lowest elevations in the region expires at 10 a.m. today. Under the Winter Storm Watch, additional snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches are expected until 4 p.m. Sunday with up to 40 inches possible over the highest terrain. Winds could gust as high as 40 miles per hour. The Warning includes terrain above 1,500 feet including Interstate 5 passes north of Grants Pass along with US Highway 199 from Hayes Hill to the California border including Selma, Cave Junction and O'Brien. Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. High winds could knock down trees and debris onto roadways. Travel is strongly discouraged this weekend because of dangerous conditions. If you must travel, keep tires chains, a flashlight, blankets, food, water, medications and a fully charged phone with you. Do not detour during winter storms. A Winter Storm Warning means that severe winter weather is occurring and poses a threat to life and property. The safest place during a winter storm is indoors.
Posted on 3/2/24 5:46AM by Sam Marsh

Pacific Power Crews Responding to Weather-Related Outages Across SW Oregon
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Pacific Power crews have been responding to multiple scattered outages caused by winter weather across the Southern Oregon service area. As of Friday, roughly 1,300 local customers were affected by power outages. Field crews are actively working to restore electricity in these areas as soon as it's safely possible given the adverse conditions on the ground. For restoration updates, visit "pacificpower.net/outages". Pacific Power's meteorology team has been closely monitoring the storm and crews were on standby in Southern Oregon and Northern California, with snow expected through the weekend. Pacific Power encourages customers to always be prepared for outages, and the utility supports state and local emergency management agencies that recommend Oregonians have an emergency plan for up to 72 hours without essential services. As a reminder, stay away from all downed power and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Customers should avoid both downed trees and powerlines. If you spot a downed line, first call 9-1-1 and then report the outages to Pacific Power at 1-(877)-508-5088.
Posted on 3/2/24 5:44AM by Sam Marsh

Oregonians Donate $5.4 Million to Cultural Trust to Support Nonprofits Across State
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Oregonians investing in the Cultural Tax Credit contributed more than $5.4 million to support arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits in 2023. The Oregon Cultural Trust announced the total -- which represents a 3.5% increase over calendar year 2022 -- will fund grant awards to cultural organizations across the state this summer and continue to build the Trust's permanent fund, now valued at more than $31 million. The $5.4 million fundraising total represents 10,271 donations and 978 donors new to the Cultural Trust. More than half of the money raised will be distributed directly to Oregon's nonprofit cultural community this summer while the remainder will grow the Cultural Trust permanent fund. A total of 86 projects will be supported this year. Locally, Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau of Grants Pass will receive $21,403 to complete the Chateau's Historic Furnishings Report. The report and its accompanying maintenance plan are vital elements to ensure that the restored and reopened Chateau remains a National Historic Landmark.
Posted on 3/2/24 5:42AM by Sam Marsh

4 People Hurt in Three-Vehicle Crash on Redwood Highway in the Selma Area
Four people were injured yesterday in a multi-vehicle crash on Redwood Highway near Selma. On Thursday at 10:42 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police were dispatched to the three-vehicle collision on US Highway 199 at Wild Park Lane. State troopers said a preliminary investigation indicates a Honda Odyssey driven by 66-year-old Randal Roy Town of Cave Junction was traveling north when he lost control on the icy and snow-covered roadway and slid into the opposite travel lane where he struck a southbound Volkswagen van driven by 50-year-old Michael Gonzalez. A southbound Ford Transit van driven by 21-year-old Corban Spangler then struck the Honda. All four occupants of the involved vehicles were transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of various crash-related injuries. One of the occupants had to be extricated from the wreckage. The Oregon Department of Transportation pulled the damaged vehicles off the highway and Jerry's Towing responded to haul them to Cave Junction. Following the investigation, Town was issued either a citation or warning for an unspecified moving violation.
Posted on 3/1/24 12:01PM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited Motorist for Causing Williams Highway Crash that Hurt Two Women
The Oregon State Police cited a motorist for causing a high-speed, head-on crash that injured two young women on Williams Highway near Murphy yesterday. OSP reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle collision on Highway 238 near Crystal Drive on Thursday shortly before 1 p.m.. Troopers said a Honda Accord driven by 25-year-old Angel Decena-Tirado of Springfield was traveling west at 50 miles per hour when it hydroplaned, the driver overcorrected and the car went into the oncoming lane where it crashed into a Mercedes Benz 300 driven by 21-year-old Bailey Wilson of Grants Pass. They said the Mercedes was also traveling at 50 miles per hour at the time of the wreck. According to OSP, both Wilson and her 19-year-old female passenger were transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center due to injuries. Both vehicles were towed due to heavy damage from the high-speed impact. Following an investigation, Deceda-Tirado was cited for Failure to Drive Within Lane and Driving Too Fast for the Conditions.
Posted on 3/1/24 12:00PM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Seeking Driver of Jeep Who Caused Wreck on Interstate 5 near Wolf Creek
The Oregon State Police was looking for the driver of a Jeep who caused a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 5 in northern Josephine County yesterday. According to OSP, troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 76 on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m.. Troopers said a preliminary investigation indicates the driver of a black Jeep recklessly cut off a semi-truck driven by a 33-year-old Gold Beach man who slammed on his brakes and swerved into the adjacent lane and struck a Lexus driven by a 53-year-old Portland woman. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Both victims reported that driver of the Jeep took off at a high rate of speed and law enforcement was unable to locate them. The damaged Lexus was towed into Grants Pass, but the semi-truck was able to continue on its way. Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 3/1/24 11:59AM by Sam Marsh
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No Injuries Reported in 2 Weather-Related Wrecks on I-5 in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police responded to two other weather-related crashes on Interstate 5 in Josephine County yesterday, but there were no injuries reported. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Thursday at 11:06 a.m. when state troopers were alerted to a single-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 55 in east Grants Pass. Troopers said a 22-year-old Medford woman was driving a Hyundai Elantra when she lost control of her vehicle on the southbound on-ramp of the freeway, crashing into the center divider. No one was hurt and the vehicle was towed into town. The second incident happened on Thursday at 10:23 p.m. when troopers responded to a single-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 70. Troopers said a 71-year-old woman from Orland, California, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado when she lost control in the snow and crashed into the concrete median. She was not hurt and her pickup sustained minor damage. She arranged for her own tow through her insurance company.
Posted on 3/1/24 11:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Office Investigation Led to Arrest of Illinois Valley Woman for Theft 2
A Josephine County Sheriff's Office investigation led to the arrest of an Illinois Valley woman on a theft charge yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 40-year-old Stacy Elizabeth Schwarz in the 3500-block of Rockydale Road on Thursday at 3:09 p.m.. Deputies said they had probable cause from an ongoing investigation to arrest Schwarz for 2nd-Degree Theft. No information about the alleged theft was available except that deputies had been looking for her for several days. Stacy Schwarz was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail. Jail records show that Schwarz was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of a Minor twice last year -- on September 8th and November 15th.
Posted on 3/1/24 11:56AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Drugs while Conducting Investigation into Burglaries
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for drug possession yesterday while they were conducting a burglary investigation in the downtown area. The Police Department reports officers responded to the break-in of apartments in the 800-block of SW 5th Street on Thursday around 12:40 p.m.. Police said two apartments had been burglarized after both were entered by force from their back doors. They said approximately $5,000 in household items were stolen from the residences. One tenant reported that her safe was missing. Officers processed both crime scenes and some fingerprints were lifted. The upstairs neighbor -- identified as "Calvin Bertik" -- gave consent to search his apartment where small amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine were found. Bertik was cited to appear in court for the two narcotics violations and released. According to GPPD, the burglary investigation was continuing.
Posted on 3/1/24 11:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Man on Local Warrant after Home Depot Trespassing Call
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding local warrant following a trespassing complaint at Home Depot. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the trespassing call involving 27-year-old Spencer P. Ryder at the home improvement store on NE Mill Street around 10:45 a.m. Thursday. Police said the Home Depot manager called 9-1-1 to report that Ryder had been inside the restroom for hours, using the facility for personal hygiene including bathing in the sink. They said Ryder left the store after being contacted by the manager and he started running. He was detained after being recognized. Ryder reportedly told officers that he swallowed a baggie of fentanyl right before he was apprehended. He was found to be wanted on a Medford Police Department warrant for failing to appear in court for Furnishing False Information to Police. Spencer Ryder was medically cleared and refused transport to the hospital, which was against the advice of paramedics. He was cited to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on the warrant and then released.
Posted on 3/1/24 11:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Sources Report Fatal Crash between Vehicle and Pedestrian on Parkdale
Local law enforcement agencies have not yet confirmed the incident, but a fatal accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian reportedly occurred in the southeast part of the city this week. Trusted sources report a male pedestrian was struck and killed by a female driver on Parkdale Drive between Rogue River Highway and Fruitdale Drive at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. There was no report on the incident from the Grants Pass Police Department or the Oregon State Police yesterday, but the Pulsepoint app shows Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response responded to that location at 8:53 p.m.. Sources said a man was struck by a vehicle and CPR was in progress when emergency responders arrived on scene. The victim's pulse was regained and the trauma system at Three Rivers Medical Center was activated. However, the victim was confirmed to be deceased a short time later. No other details were available and we are still awaiting information from GPPD and/or OSP.
Posted on 3/1/24 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Pair for Entering a Vacant Residence in Cave Junction
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested two people for entering a vacant residence in Cave Junction this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a trespassing complaint at a home in the 300-block of South Kerby Avenue on Wednesday morning. Deputies said the owner called 9-1-1 to report two people and a white van were on his property. The owner lives in Washington state and was alerted to the suspects by a neighbor who said they were removing wiring from the house. Trail cameras took photos of the suspects and minivan that were automatically forwarded to him. Upon arrival, deputies found 38-year-old Anthony Pope and 30-year-old Tara Hanson on the property, which had clearly posted "No Trespassing" signs on the fence and the home. Both suspects had made entry with no right or lawful reason to be there. They were placed into custody. Anthony Pope and Tara Hanson were transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. They were being held without bail.
Posted on 3/1/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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