Local News

Suspected Forger Jailed After Passing 2 $100 Bills at Major Retailers
Grants Pass City Police arrested and lodged a man in jail on a forgery charge after passing multiple $100 bills at different retailers. Friday morning City Police received a call from Grocery Outlet that a man had passed a fake $100 bill and security footage was available along with the bill. City Police contacted the suspect in Riverside Park just before one o’clock Friday afternoon and placed him into custody. According to the City Police narrative Russell Ellis Davis, 36, was identified from surveillance as having passed two fake, $100 bills, one at Fred Meyer and one at Grocery Outlet, where he was initially caught on video. Davis retained the property from Fred Meyer and admitted to the crimes but was only lodged on one count of forgery I because the admissions from the Fred Meyer incident were not yet corroborated
Posted on 2/24/24 7:49AM by Chuck Benson

63-Year-Old Man Jailed Following Alleged Assault
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 63-year-old man Friday afternoon after allegedly assaulting his niece. According to the Sheriff’s log the incident began the female approached the Dutch Bros location in the 200 block of Tech Way in a hysterical state saying she had been assaulted by her uncle. Multiple calls documented the female’s escalating behavior and being in a verbal confrontation with a male. Deputies arrived and placed Dennis Lokken into custody, transported him to the Josephine County Jail and lodged him on a single charge of assault IV. No bail was listed in the jail’s information.
Posted on 2/24/24 6:05AM by Chuck Benson

Sheriff’s Department Asking Help in Locating Missing 14-Year-Old Boy
News Image

The Josephine County Sheriff’s office is asking the public’s help in locating a missing 14-year-old boy.
Thursday the Sheriff’s office received a report that Kaiden Eugene Thayer had left his residence on Hubbard Lane in Grants Pass around 6:30pm that same day on foot. He was wearing black pants, a black sweatshirt over a gray and white sweatshirt and black shoes. Kaiden is described as young white male with black hair and brown eyes. Kaiden stands 5’5” and weighs about 120 pounds.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:44AM by Chuck Benson

Douglas County Sheriff's Office Reporting Familiar Scam is Making a Comeback
Subjects posing as officials from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in an effort to scam community members out of their money. Deputies have once again started receiving reports from people contacted via phone by individuals posing as DCSO employees such as Lieutenant Brad O'Dell and retired-Lieutenant Mike Root. The scammer will tell the intended victim they have missed a court appearance, owe fines or have a warrant for their arrest and then demand payment. The victim is often directed to immediately make payment or they will face consequences including arrest. These tactics are never used by real law enforcement agencies. It is critically important that the community is aware of these tactics and shares them with their family members and friends -- especially those who may be vulnerable to falling victim to the scams such as elderly people. Do not focus too much on specific scam tactics as scammers often change their methods over time. They can easily obtain new phone numbers and change them often. They may use "spoof" programs to make your Caller ID show an agency's actual phone number. They may use the names of actual employees to make the call seem legitimate.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:33AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

US Senator Wyden Urges Park Service to Keep Crater Lake Operations Running
US Senator Ron Wyden is urging the National Park Service to keep Crater Lake operations running as the federal agency decides whether to dissolve a contract with the company that manages lodging, dining, retail and boat tours in the park. The Oregonian reports Wyden's letter comes one week after news that the National Park Service has threatened to terminate a contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark, which has operated in the Southern Oregon park since 2018. Aramark, under its subsidiary Crater Lake Hospitality, is currently under contract through 2030. It also provides services at the Oregon Caves National Monument. Federal officials have accused Aramark's subsidiary of a litany of management issues at the park, including shabby living conditions for park employees, park buildings in a state of disrepair and serious environmental hazards. The National Park Service plans to terminate the contract unless the company "shows cause as to why NPS should not do so." That decision came two months after Wyden sent out his first public letter on the issue, laying bare a number of "serious concerns" about operations by Aramark's subsidiary, and asking the federal agency to "take immediate action to prevent concessionaire mismanagement from continuing to threaten Crater Lake National Park, its visitors, or the employees who live and work there." National Park Service documents released since Wyden’s complaint have backed up the senator's accusations, and former employees have confirmed additional problems in the park, including payroll issues that led to withheld paychecks – an incident filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries. Federal officials have not said how long they're giving Aramark to respond, or what might happen to park services should the termination go through. The National Park Service's concession guidelines note that contract termination can be "time consuming," but offer no specific timeline, as the circumstances can vary.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:32AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP 9-1-1 Communications Center Received More Than 900 Emergency Calls
The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center answered over 900 emergency calls over the past week. In its Week in Review posting on Facebook, the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center reported 904 emergency calls between February 15th and February 22nd. The Grants Pass Police Department received a total of 908 calls regarding both emergency and non-emergency incidents. American Medical Response received 232 calls and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue got 78. A total of 37 calls were dispatched to Rural Metro Fire Department while the Illinois Valley Fire District received 18, Williams Rural Fire Protection District received five and the Oregon Department of Forestry got three.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:30AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

ODOT Reports Geology Team to be Drilling along Larson Creek Path Next Week
The Oregon Department of Transportation has announced that a geology tech team will be conducting drilling along the Larson Creek Path in Medford next week, but the multi-use path will still be accessible during the project. ODOT officials said the work will be conducted between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. starting Monday. They anticipate the work will take a couple of days.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:28AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Britt Festival Orchestra Season Highlights Film Music and Classical Favorites
The Britt Festival Orchestra has announced its 2024 season, with three weeks of exciting outdoor programming in historic Jacksonville from June 13th-29th. Under the leadership of Artistic Advisory Peter Bay and Guest Conductor Alexandra Arrieche, the Britt Festival Orchestra's 62nd season highlights film music alongside beloved classical favorites. The season features four extraordinary soloists: pianist Gabriela Montero, violinist Geneva Lewis, violinist Alex Gonzalez and cellist Joshua Roman. The season will be anchored by two evenings of "Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert" following 2023's sold-out production of "The Princess Bride." John Williams' score will be performed live-to-picture by the full orchestra in one of the most iconic films of the 20th century. The Britt Festival Orchestra is well-known for showcasing living composers, and this season features works by many of the greatest composers still working today. Tickets went on sale Friday on the Britt website "brittfest.org." There will be no member pre-sale for the Britt Festival Orchestra concerts.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:27AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

IVFD Crews Extinguished Small Vegetation Fire Caused by Downed Power Line
The Illinois Valley Fire District extinguished a small vegetation fire caused by a downed power line near Selma early yesterday. On Friday at 6:58 a.m., IVFD and Pacific Power crews responded to the power line issue in an unspecified location of the Selma area. First arriving units reported a small vegetation fire that had started from a downed power line. Utility crews temporarily cut off the electricity so firefighters could put out the small blaze. There were no injuries reported.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:26AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP Police Incarcerated Young Man for Causing Disturbance at Sobering Center
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for causing a disturbance at the Sobering Center early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident involving 20-year-old Jackson David Sutton at the facility on SW Foundry Street on Friday at about 2:20 a.m.. Police said Sutton walked to the Sobering Center and began kicking the front door, demanding to be arrested. They said he previously had been trespassed from the detox center on January 31st. He was lodged in jail for Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:25AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP Police Jailed Man for Trying to Steal Hundreds in Merchandise from Walmart
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for attempting to steal hundreds of dollars' worth of merchandise from Walmart this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 35-year-old Kory William Russell for the incident at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane on Thursday afternoon. Police said Russell passed all points of sale with more than $483 worth of pilfered items, with the intent to deprive the store of its property. He was detained by loss prevention and then placed into custody by responding officers.
Kory Russell was lodged at the nearby Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail. He was also trespassed from Walmart.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:24AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP Police Corralled Out of Compliance Sex Offender after Residential Complaint
Grants Pass Police arrested an out-of-compliance sex offender while investigating a complaint in a west-side neighborhood this week. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the parking/littering complaint in the 700-block of SW 5th Street on Thursday morning. Police said a resident called 9-1-1 to report ongoing issues with a male subject in a Ford Explorer parking for long periods of time in their neighborhood and leaving his trash all over. Responding officers found 36-year-old Kevin Marshall Reeves hiding in the SUV and discovered that he was a convicted sex offender who had not registered as such for the past four years. He told officers he was intentionally not registering because he considered it to be an admission of guilt.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:22AM by Chuck Benson
Read more