Local News

City of GP to Conduct Public Safety Listening and Learning Session Next Thursday Night
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The City of Grants Pass will convene a listening and learning session next 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 next 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 combined with a utility fee. 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 1/20/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

Sheriff 's Office Receives Several Complaints about Scams Being Perpetrated on Citizens
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has received several complaints this week regarding scams being perpetrated on citizens. Deputies report residents are being called by an individual claiming to work for the Sheriff's Office and demanding they discuss a legal matter with him. Variations of the scam include having an outstanding warrant, missing jury duty or citations that will be escalated if they are not taken care of immediately. In all of the reports filed so far, citizens did the right thing by hanging up the phone. The call-back number that the scammer is providing is not from the Sheriff's Office. Typically, scammers will demand some sort of payment over the phone, through an app or by purchasing gift cards. Law enforcement agencies do not operate in this fashion. As with any of these sorts of scams, it's always a good idea to simply hang up and not provide any information over the phone. If you believe the call might be real, search for the phone number and call to verify any information that was relayed to you. Citizens are encouraged to take the time to share this warning with their family and friends that are not on social media.
Posted on 1/20/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

GoFundMe Account Set Up to Support GP Family and Business Devastated by Fire
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A Grants Pass area family faced devastation earlier this week when their sole source of income was lost to a fire. A two-alarm fire in the 5500-block of Jerome Prairie Road on Monday badly damaged a shop housing River City Eurotech. Two vehicles inside the shop along with miscellaneous tools and equipment were lost in the blaze. However, several vehicles parked outside the burning building were pushed away and not seriously damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured. For over 20 years, Matt Duncan has used his skills as a master automotive technician, not just as a profession but as a means to help community members. Matt helped countless people in the community with vehicle repairs at little or no cost. He also volunteers his time at a local church and homeless shelter. The local community is being asked to come together to support the Duncan family and River City Eurotech through a GoFundMe fundraiser. All proceeds will go to rebuilding the business and providing basic needs for the family. To donate, visit "gofundme.com/f/healing-through-rebuilding-duncan-family."
Posted on 1/20/24 5:54AM by Sam Marsh

NWS Issues Hydrologic Outlook Showing Potential for Flooding in Region
The National Weather Service has issued a Hydrologic Outlook that shows there is potential for flooding in southwest Oregon this weekend. This could lead to the Weather Service posting a Flood Watch for Josephine, Jackson, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties. The outlook calls for snow melt flooding, quick rises of streams and creeks to near bank-full, and ponding of water in low-lying areas as well as poorly-draining urban areas. A long duration atmospheric river event is forecast to bring between one and five inches of rain to the region from tonight through Monday morning. Rainfall amounts are expected to be highest in Josephine and Curry counties in Oregon along with Siskiyou County in California. However, excessive rainfall with snow levels consistently around 6,000 feet and melting snowpack raises the risk for widespread flooding throughout the region. As well as flooding concerns, this rainfall could also lead to increased occurrences of rockfalls and localized landslides. A Flood Potential Outlook is issued when there is potential for significant rises or flooding along rivers and streams. The exact scenario for flooding remains uncertain and this outlook may be updated with a Flood Watch of Flood Warning.
Posted on 1/19/24 1:52PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Drug-Fueled Rampage with Pipe in Redwood Area
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for going on a drug-fueled rampage while wielding a large metal pipe in a Redwood area neighborhood yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 44-year-old Ely Benjamin Smith at the Redwood Center on Redwood Avenue on Thursday at 3:05 p.m.. Police said officers responded to a report of a disorderly male subject armed with a metal pipe on Annabelle Lane. They contacted a highly-intoxicated Smith, who refused to drop the three-foot metal fence post and claimed he was "God." Several de-escalation tactics were used -- but the suspect still refused to drop the pipe, and he threatened officers with the weapon and his alarming behavior. Smith fled from police through private property and he was recontacted at the Redwood Center where he continued to flee until he was subdued by deployment of a Taser. After being cleared by doctors at Three Rivers Medical Center, Ely Smith was booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing, Resisting Arrest, Escape and Disorderly Conduct. He was still in custody this morning without any scheduled bail.
Posted on 1/19/24 11:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Threatening Brother with Gun in Home Sale Dispute
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for threatening his brother with a gun during a violent dispute over the sale of their deceased mother's residence last night. The Police Department reports officers arrested 72-year-old Thomas Michael Austin for the incident in the 700-block of NE Riddle Drive at 7:35 p.m. Thursday. Police said Thomas Austin and Bradley Austin were in a dispute regarding the sale of the home and -- during the confrontation -- Thomas took Bradley's phone, which Bradley was using to record the dispute. They said Thomas then brandished a firearm, placing his brother in fear of serious physical injury or death. Officers arrived on scene, interviewed the brothers and seized the firearm as evidence before placing Thomas into custody. Thomas Austin was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/19/24 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Snared Man for Harassing Couple in Store Parking Lot
Grants Pass Police arrested a man early yesterday for nearly hitting a couple with his vehicle in a supermarket parking lot and becoming aggressive with them after they confronted him about his poor driving habits. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a disturbance at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Thursday shortly after 6 a.m.. Police said 65-year-old John Rondall Logan drove his vehicle into the parking lot and nearly hit a couple while they were putting groceries into their pickup. The husband confronted Logan about his driving and Logan became aggressive while charging at them and putting his hands in their faces. The wife began recording the incident and it showed Logan putting his hand on her mouth. In defense of his wife, the husband threw a punch at the back of Logan's head. The suspect declined medical attention and was placed into custody. John Logan was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Menacing, Harassment and Disorderly Conduct. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/19/24 11:41AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Nabbed for Impaired Driving after Disturbance with Estranged Wife
A Grants Pass man was arrested for impaired driving last night following a domestic disturbance at a northeast-city residence. Grants Pass police officers were alerted to a disturbance involving 49-year-old Clay Martin on NE 10th Street on Thursday around 9:20 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that her ex-husband was trying to get into her house. The caller advised dispatchers that her ex was highly intoxicated, and she and her son were trying to keep him from coming inside. The call-taker could hear arguing in the background. Upon arrival, officers learned that Martin and his wife had been separated for 11 months. He was allowed to live in a shop building on their property, but he was banned from entering the house. The suspect left the scene at a high rate of speed and in a careless manner. He was pulled over at NE 7th and A streets. Martin displayed multiple indicators of impairment and admitted to being too impaired to be driving his truck on a public roadway. He did not perform field sobriety tests, but he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. He was jailed for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and his pickup was impounded.
Posted on 1/19/24 11:39AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Attempting to Steal Groceries from WinCo
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for trying to steal groceries from a local supermarket yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to shoplifting complaint at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Thursday at about 11:30 a.m.. Police said 33-year-old Brittany Rae Adams was stopped by loss prevention after she walked out of the store without paying for $45 worth of grocery items. She initially refused to provide identification, but she became cooperative while being placed into custody. Brittany Adams was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. She was also trespassed from WinCo.
Posted on 1/19/24 11:37AM by Sam Marsh
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New Charges Filed Against GP Man Found with Body Armor & Sheriff's Shirt
New charges have been filed against a Grants Pass man who was arrested last weekend on a statewide felony warrant and discovered to be in possession of body armor and a law enforcement uniform shirt. Grants Pass Police initially arrested 27-year-old Vinnie Dale Shuler in the 300-block of SE H Street on Saturday. Shuler was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous assault conviction. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a soft armor vest as well as a Josephine County Sheriff's Office uniform shirt. Both items were seized as evidence. Further investigation revealed that Shuler had entered a residence in the 600-block of SE Riverside Avenue and had stolen the body armor, three Sheriff's Office uniform shirts and a Sawzall tool. All of the items have been recovered. In addition to the warrant and a charge of Felon in Possession of Body Armor, Vinnie Shuler was additionally charged with 1st-Degree Burglary and 2nd-Degree Theft. He remains in custody without bail.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Incarcerated after Threatening Wife in Front of Their Two Children
A Grants Pass man was jailed for threatening his wife in front their two young children early yesterday. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 60-year-old Richard Alan Webster, Jr., for the incident at a home in the 200-block of Southridge Way on Thursday at 2:42 a.m.. Police said Webster was intoxicated when he intentionally placed his wife in fear for her life as he used physical force to throw her to the ground and hit her head into a door multiple times while in the presence of their 12- and 8-year-old kids. Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt and she declined medical transport. Webster's wife and children locked themselves in a bedroom away from Webster who was said to be highly intoxicated. There had been no history of domestic violence in the family. Officers arrived on scene and placed Richard Webster into custody without force. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Domestic Menacing and was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Truck Driver Not Injured in Fatal Crash in North Klamath County
A Grants Pass truck driver was involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash in northern Klamath County this week. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle collision on US Highway 97 near milepost 197 on Wednesday at 6:28 p.m.. OSP said the preliminary investigation indicates a northbound GMC pickup driven by 78-year-old Michael Randolph Lasley of Clearlake, California, crossed into the southbound lane and struck a southbound Peterbilt commercial vehicle and trailer operated by 29-year-old Zachary Ryan Sprangler of Grants Pass. Lasley was declared deceased at the scene while Sprangler was reportedly not hurt. Highway 97 was impacted for approximately five hours while the scene was active and the exact cause of the fatal crash remains under investigation. OSP was assisted by the Chemult Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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