Local News

OSP Nabbed Motorist for Impaired Driving after Citizen Complaint on Freeway
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 in east Grants Pass yesterday. OSP reports troopers responded to a citizen complaint regarding driving behavior of a northbound Mazda MZ6 near milepost 55 of I-5 on Tuesday at 1:28 p.m.. Troopers located the suspect vehicle and contacted the driver who was identified as 51-year-old David Allen Breshears. They said he pulled into the parking lot of WinCo Foods and displayed indicators of impairment. An investigation was performed and he was placed into custody. Breshears was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. He was lodged for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. His vehicle was left secured in the parking lot.
Posted on 1/24/24 11:36AM by Sam Marsh
 

DA Eastman Says Police Shooting that Killed GP Murder Suspect was Justified
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The Josephine County District Attorney has concluded that an officer-involved shooting that killed a murder suspect last month was justified by Oregon law. District Attorney Josh Eastman announced on Tuesday that he has concluded his review of the officer-involved shooting that occurred just after noon on December 15th near the intersection of Redwood Highway and Allen Creek Road. Eastman said officers from all three local law enforcement agencies -- the Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police -- were actively looking for Kelly Lynn Mason who was wanted on a nationwide warrant for Murder, Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Robbery and Burglary stemming from a November 21st homicide on Rogue River Highway. Officers from the local agencies had attended briefings to inform them about what vehicle Mason was driving, where he was most likely staying, that he was likely in possession of firearms, that he had said "goodbye" to a family member one day prior to the incident and had made statements about "shooting it out with police." On December 15th, a deputy spotted the suspect vehicle heading toward Grants Pass on Redwood Highway. The deputy began following the vehicle but did not try to pull it over because he had been instructed to wait for additional units. A high risk traffic stop was attempted on Highway 199 near Dowell Road, but Mason accelerated and began weaving in and out of traffic using the shoulder. After a successful PIT maneuver brought the chase to a halt, the suspect started firing gunshots at law enforcement, hitting two Sheriff's Office patrol vehicles and causing minor injuries to a Corporal who was struck with glass and projectiles. Because Mason was shooting at them, seven officers returned fire and eventually killed the suspect who was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and ammunition while wearing body armor. Eastman concluded that all seven officers' use of deadly force was justified under ORS 161.242 and there was no "reasonable opportunity" to attempt any type of de-escalation. He thanked the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for their assistance and thorough investigation.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
 

Community Corrections Assists GP Police with Apprehension of Local Fugitive
With assistance from Josephine County Community Corrections, Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a local felony warrant this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 43-year-old Peter Anthony Rivera at the Community Corrections Office on NW 4th Street on Monday afternoon. Police said Rivera's corrections officer notified them that he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous conviction for 2nd-Degree Assault and 1st-Degree Rape. The suspect has been arrested numerous times since April 2023 for crimes including Parole Violation, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Falsifying a Drug Test, Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass. Peter Rivera was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on the outstanding warrant. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
 

Troopers Collared Motorist on Local Felony Warrant after South GP Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist on an outstanding felony warrant this week after a traffic stop in south Grants Pass. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Subaru WRX driven by 52-year-old Rachelle Kirtland near the intersection of Williams and Redwood highways late Monday afternoon. Troopers said they stopped Kirtland for a traffic violation and discovered that her driving privileges had been suspended and she had no automobile insurance. It was also learned that she was wanted on a local bench warrant for failing to appear in court for Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Marijuana, and Unlawful Manufacture of a Marijuana Item. Rachelle Kirtland was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. Because of the traffic violations, her Subaru was impounded.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed GP Woman for DUII after Williams Highway Crash near Murphy
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass woman for impaired driving this week following a motor vehicle accident on Williams Highway near Murphy. According to OSP, troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle crash near milepost 7 of Highway 238 on Monday at 6:53 p.m.. Troopers said they arrived on scene and contacted 54-year-old Crystal Diane Bunker who was not hurt but exhibited obvious signs of impairment. They placed her into custody and transported her to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she submitted a breath sample that was more than twice the legal driving limit. Bunker was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. She was cited to appear in court and released to her husband. The Chevy Silverado pickup was impounded.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Charged Kansas Man with DUII after He Flipped Car at Interstate 5 Exit
The Oregon State Police arrested a Kansas man for impaired driving after he flipped his vehicle upside-down off the southbound off-ramp of Interstate 5 near Merlin last night. On Tuesday at 7:31 p.m., OSP, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to the single-vehicle rollover crash at Exit 61 of I-5. Troopers said 33-year-old Brandon Lee Cline of Derby, Kansas, was driving a Dodge Charger on the freeway when he took the southbound exit, lost control of the car and rolled. The first arriving units found the vehicle on its top in the grassy infield between the on- and off-ramps. The driver was not seriously injured. According to OSP, Cline displayed signs of impairment, performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was exactly twice the legal driving limit. Brandon Cline was lodged at the Sobering Center for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and his wrecked vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Consider Supplemental Budget and Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year and consider a collective bargaining agreement with certain employees during its weekly business session this morning. The Board is expected to approve a resolution adopting a supplemental budget and making appropriations and budget adjustments for Fiscal Year 2023-24. There are no major changes to the current budget, only adjustments to ensure it is balanced. As part of Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will consider a collective bargaining agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America Local 737 as well as the publishing of the Annual Financial Report. Following Requests and Comments from Citizens, the Consent Calendar contains various minutes from recent meetings, a plan of action letter to the Oregon Secretary of State and Participation in Federal Planning Coordination Letters. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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City of GP to Conduct Public Safety Funding Listening & Learning Session on Thursday
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The City of Grants Pass will convene a listening and learning session this week related to funding public safety. It's the next step for the City Council in its quest to select supplemental funding for police and fire services. The session is slated for Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Grants Pass City Council Chambers. According to the meeting agenda, city staff will present an overview of the issue while addressing why the city needs this funding and the various options that have been previously attempted. Staff will then present the options being considered -- a general sales tax, a utility fee, a food and beverage tax, or different combinations. The City Council and staff will address public safety funding questions submitted in advance of the forum and at the forum. People in attendance will have a chance to provide their brief verbal comments to the Council that will help them determine a solution to this important issue. Members of the public are encouraged to submit written questions or comments to the City Council before 3 p.m. on Thursday. They can be submitted via e-mail to "kfrerk@grantspassoregon.gov" or by phone to (541)-450-6000. The session will be streamed "live" via RVTV and on the City of Grants Pass YouTube channel.
Posted on 1/24/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Total Payroll Employment in Josephine County Climbed by Estimated 80 Jobs in December
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Total payroll employment in Josephine County climbed by 80 jobs in December. According to the Oregon Employment Department, there were 34,576 people working in Josephine County last month for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5%, which was up from 4.6% in November but down sharply from 6.6% in 2022. Gains included estimated increases in private education & health services, retail trade and leisure & hospitality. Sectors with job declines over the month were construction and federal government. Other industries showed little change. Over the past year, payroll employment in Josephine County rose by 570 jobs -- an increase of 2.1%. The county is now 50 jobs above the December 2019 total prior to the pandemic. Industries adding jobs since December 2022 included private education & health services (+520); leisure & hospitality (+100); transportation, warehousing & utilities (+80) and manufacturing (+50). Sectors with estimated losses over the year included retail trade (-100), professional & business services (-80) and financial activities (-50).
Posted on 1/24/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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RCC Hosting "2024 Oregon Transfer Days" at Medford and GP Campuses This Week
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For students considering transferring to a four-year university, Rogue Community College and TRIO are hosting Oregon Transfer Days in Medford and Grants Pass. The college transfer days will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Riverside Campus Higher Education Center in Medford and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday at the Redwood Campus Student Center in Grants Pass. Oregon Transfer Days is an important event for university-bound students. There will be several colleges and universities in attendance to answer questions and provide guidance regarding their transfer processes. Guests will have the chance to meet recruiters and talk about various options and available resources. Advisors and faculty are also encouraged to attend so they may learn about potential transfer opportunities for their students. For more information about Oregon Transfer Days, contact Pam Green at (541)-956-747 or e-mail "pgreen@roguecc.edu."
Posted on 1/24/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Consider Supplemental Budget and Bargaining Agreement with Workers
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year and consider a collective bargaining agreement with certain employees during its weekly business session tomorrow. The Board is expected to approve a resolution adopting a supplemental budget and making appropriations and budget adjustments for Fiscal Year 2023-24. There are no major changes to the current budget, only adjustments to ensure it is balanced. As part of Administration Actions, the Commissioners will consider a collective bargaining agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America Local 737 as well as the publishing of the Annual Financial Report. Following Requests and Comments from Citizens, the Consent Calendar contains various minutes from recent meetings, a plan of action letter to the Oregon Secretary of State and Participation in Federal Planning Coordination Letters. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 1/23/24 11:32AM by Sam Marsh
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DA Eastman Says Police Shooting that Killed GP Murder Suspect Last Month was Justified
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The Josephine County District Attorney has concluded that an officer-involved shooting that killed a murder suspect last month was justified by Oregon law. District Attorney Josh Eastman announced this morning that he has concluded his review of the officer-involved shooting that occurred just after noon on December 15th near the intersection of Redwood Highway and Allen Creek Road. Eastman said officers from all three local law enforcement agencies -- the Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police -- were actively looking for Kelly Lynn Mason who was wanted on a nationwide warrant for Murder, Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Robbery and Burglary stemming from a November 21st homicide on Rogue River Highway. Officers from the local agencies had attended briefings to inform them about what vehicle Mason was driving, where he was most likely staying, that he was likely in possession of firearms, that he had said "goodbye" to a family member on day prior to the incident and had made statements about "shooting it out with police." On December 15th, a deputy spotted the suspect vehicle heading toward Grants Pass on Redwood Highway. The deputy began following the vehicle but did not try to pull it over because he had been instructed to wait for additional units. A high risk traffic stop was attempted on Highway 199 near Dowell Road, but Mason accelerated and began weaving in and out of traffic using the shoulder. After a successful PIT maneuver brought the chase to a halt, the suspect started firing gunshots at law enforcement, hitting two Sheriff's Office patrol vehicles and causing minor injuries to a Corporal who was struck with glass and projectiles. Because Mason was shooting at them, seven officers returned fire and eventually killed the suspect who was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and ammunition while wearing body armor.
Posted on 1/23/24 10:44AM by Sam Marsh
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