Local News

Friends of Josephine County Search & Rescue Asking Residents for Donations of Support
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Did you know that Josephine County Search & Rescue receives no state funding? The Sheriff's Office relies upon citizen donations and grants to keep the county's Search & Rescue program up and running. Friends of Josephine County Search & Rescue is the nonprofit organization that supports its financial needs. Search & Rescue is an all-volunteer program that has grown from just a handful of people to a group of about 90 trained people and dogs. You may have seen them out in their bright orange uniforms. These volunteers are on-call 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. Josephine County Search & Rescue averages about 50 missions each year, finding missing children, elders, hunters and hikers, often in harsh weather conditions and darkness. They carry the injured out of danger and find those who have succumbed to injury. Friends of Josephine County Search & Rescue is asking for your help. Your tax-deductible donation can be sent by check to 250 Tech Way, Grants Pass, OR 97526. You may also use PayPal. For more information about how to support this important volunteer group, visit "sar@josephinecounty.gov."
Posted on 1/31/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh

Medford Police Captured Laundromat Murder Suspect in Savage Creek Area
Following a multiple day manhunt, a Medford murder suspect is now in custody. The Medford Police Department reports 18-year-old Jesus Armando Pena, Jr., was arrested today in the 300-block of Savage Creek Road -- between the City of Rogue River and Grants Pass along the Jackson-Josephine county line. MPD detectives and officers had been following up on leads and tracking down the suspect for three days. The MPD SWAT team was used for numerous operations including an attempted contact with the suspect at a residence in the 800-block of Pennsylvania Avenue this morning. Pena was not located there, but investigators continued to develop information that led them on the Savage Creek Road residence where he was located unarmed and he surrendered peacefully. He was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of Murder and other related crimes.

We'll have more information on this breaking news story tomorrow morning...
Posted on 1/30/24 3:07PM by Sam Marsh

BCC Set to Consider New Fees for Assessors Office & Recreation Department
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is set to hold a public hearing on setting new fees for two departments during its weekly business session tomorrow. The Commissioners will then consider making changes to the fee schedules for the Assessor's Office and Recreation Department -- which includes Parks and the Fairgrounds. The Board will also hear a presentation on the current state of the Josephine County Animal Shelter as well as a citizen proposal for a new funding levy. Following Requests and Comments from Citizens, the Commissioners will consider the Consent Calendar which contains various minutes of previous meetings along with resolutions for an appointment to the Fair Board and a reappointment to the Bikeways & Walkways Committee. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium
Posted on 1/30/24 1:02PM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed Felon for Weapons Violation after He Fired Rifle at Rural Home
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a felon for a weapons violation after he allegedly shot a firearm toward a rural residence west of Merlin last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 48-year-old William McCurdy Spangler for the incident in the 2200-block of Galice Road at 7:37 p.m. Monday. Deputies said a resident in that area reported that they got a call from a neighbor who advised a male subject was "lurking around." The resident and his friends started yelling at the man when he fired shots from a rifle at them. No one was hurt and the man -- later identified as Spangler -- started walking toward Hog Creek. Responding deputies contacted Spangler and disarmed him. The resident and his friends did not want to pursue charges, but the suspect was placed into custody due his status as a convicted felon. The rifle was seized as evidence. William Spangler was transported to Grants Pass and booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Weekend Animal Complaint Led to Arrest of GP Man on Local Felony Warrant
A weekend animal complaint on the east side of Grants Pass led to the arrest of a man wanted on a local felony warrant. Grants Pass Police responded to the complaint involving 41-year-old Jonathan Laverne Wells in the 200-block of NE Terry Lane on Sunday shortly after 2 p.m.. Police said Wells was in a blue minivan in a parking lot adjacent to NE Fairview Avenue and he was allowing his large dog to run loose. They said people reported the German shepherd mix was running out in the street, causing public alarm. Officers arrived on scene and contacted Wells, placing him into custody when they discovered that he was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for 1st-Degree Theft. After being warned to keep his dog on a leash, Wells was lodged at the adult jail facility. Since no Animal Control officers were available, temporary custody of his dog was given to a friend.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist for Crashing into Parked Trailer & Running Away
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for crashing into a parked truck trailer and running away last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident in the 500-block of SE Mill Street on Sunday around 7:25 p.m.. Police said 45-year-old Bradley Robert Seavey was driving his vehicle on Mill Street when he collided with a parked truck trailer and disabled his vehicle. One caller reported the impact of the crash destroyed the right front side of the vehicle and ripped off the tire. The truck trailer sustained minimal damage. Seavey fled the crash scene on foot without attempting to notify law enforcement or the trailer's owner. He was located about one hour after the wreck near the Grants Pass Skate Park. Bradley Seavey was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage. His badly damaged vehicle was towed.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:12AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited CJ Man for Causing Redwood Highway Crash at Riverbanks Road
The Oregon State Police cited a Cave Junction man for causing a motor vehicle accident on Redwood Highway near the Applegate River late yesterday. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of US Highway 199 and Riverbanks Road on Monday at about 4:30 p.m.. Troopers said 35-year-old Dillon Duke Scott was driving a Nissan minivan when he became upset with the driver of another vehicle and was aggressively trying to get the other driver to pull to the side of the highway. They said the minivan was in the right turn lane with his signal on and hit a Subaru Impreza driven by a 27-year-old Cave Junction man. There were no reported injuries, but both the Nissan and Subaru sustained damage and were towed into Grants Pass. Following an investigation, Scott was identified as the at-fault driver and cited for an unspecified traffic violation.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for DUII and Drug Possession after Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving and drug possession after responding to perform a welfare check on her in the Redwood area last night. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to a female motorist who was passed out behind the wheel of a running vehicle in the parking lot of the Dollar General store in the 1200-block of Redwood Avenue on Monday around 8:30 p.m.. Police said the store manager reported a 2012 Cadillac sedan was parked and running with the music blaring for about 90 minutes. They were uncertain if anyone was inside the car, so they requested a welfare check. Responding officers located 23-year-old Celeste Jeanne Lowell slumped over in her car. They said she showed signs of impairment by narcotics and admitted to taking a double-dose of prescription medication prior to driving to the store. She performed poorly in field sobriety tests before she was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided breath and urine samples. Celeste Lowell was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. She was lodged at the Sobering Center while the keys to her vehicle and her dog were turned over to a friend.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Motorist for DUII after She Crashed Car into Ditch near GP
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for impaired driving after she wrecked her vehicle into a ditch in a rural area southwest of Grants Pass. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the single-vehicle crash in the 3300-block of Elk Lane on Saturday just before midnight. Deputies said they were alerted to the crash after an open line call to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. A Rapid SOS message advised "the owner of this iPhone was in a severe crash." A short time later, a nearby property owner reported the wreck and said they could see someone standing near a four-door sedan. Responding deputies contacted 21-year-old Vanessa Bozzer and said she showed signs of impairment at the crash scene. They said she was not hurt, but she did poorly in field sobriety tests and was placed into custody. Bozzer was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she was lodged for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Her wrecked car was impounded.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Evicted Campers from City Parks for Various Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police evicted a total of seven campers from four city parks for various ordinance violations early yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred at Gilbert Creek Park where Charles Williams was cited for Offensive Littering after he dumped a truck load of his belongings and trash in the park. He was told to clean up his mess and trespassed from the park for 30 days. He does not have a valid driver's license. A short time later at Lawnridge Park, John and Ashley Hanson were cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their previously posted campsite. They were trespassed from the park for the next month. At Tussing Park, Dereck Lawrence was cited for Illegal Camping and Misuse of Park Open Spaces after he failed to remove his previously posted campsite, and Janique Kocst was cited for Buffer Zone Violation and Nuisance Dog. Both were trespassed from the park for 30 days. At Morrison Centennial Park, Kory Russell was cited for Illegal Camping and Misuse of Park Open Spaces after he failed to remove his previously posted campsite, and Cathena Hills was cited for Misuse of Park Open Spaces. Both were issued 30-day exclusions.
Posted on 1/30/24 11:05AM by Sam Marsh
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White City Shooting Suspect in Custody after Jackson County Sheriff Operation
The suspect from Sunday's shooting in White City is in custody after an operation involving the Jackson County Sheriff's Office including its SWAT, K-9 and Crisis Negotiation teams. The name of the suspect was not provided in the press release that was issued at 6:50 p.m. Monday. Detectives said the investigation is continuing, with further details to be released later. On Sunday at 6:51 p.m., Jackson County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a report of someone calling for help after gunshots were heard in the area of 29th Street and Avenue G. The suspect fled the scene after the shooting and was on the run until yesterday. The unidentified victim was listed in critical condition at a local hospital. If anyone has information about the shooting, they are encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-776-7206.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed GP Men for Using Rented Truck to Steal Skid Loader & Trailer
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed two Grants Pass area men for using a rented vehicle to steal heavy equipment and a trailer from a business in Roseburg. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 60-year-old Ivan Raymond Schuoler, Jr., and 57-year-old Daniel Lee Turner in the 500-block of Greens Creek Road on Saturday afternoon. Deputies said Schuoler and Turner rented a Nissan Titan, drove to Roseburg, and stole a 2020 Caterpillar Skid Loader and dump trailer from a Peterbilt dealership on NW Mullholland Drive. Video surveillance showed the suspects committing the heist and pulling the loaded trailer with the rented truck. According to the Sheriff's Log, the theft was reported Saturday morning and OSP tracked the suspect truck heading south on Interstate 5 before alerting the Sheriff's Office that they might be heading to Grants Pass. A Greens Creek property owner reported suspicious activity and seeing the vehicles, so law enforcement swooped in for the arrests. Ivan Schuoler and Daniel Turner were both lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. The stolen equipment and trailer were returned to Roseburg. The rental company requested that their truck be recovered.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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