Local News

Children Escaped Injury When Vehicle Rolled on Interstate 5 in Sunny Valley
Three child passengers escaped injury when the vehicle they were riding in rolled over on Interstate 5 in Sunny Valley late yesterday. On Thursday at 4:13 p.m., the Oregon State Police, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash near milepost 73 in the southbound lanes of I-5. Rural Metro Engine 7502 and Battalion 5 along with an AMR Ambulance crew found the 13-, 12- and 5-year-old children had self-extricated and were not hurt. However, the adult driver of the vehicle -- identified by OSP as 36-year-old Tiffany Ladonna Stuelke -- was still inside and unable to exit. Firefighters were forced to remove the windshield to extricate Stuelke, who was not injured. The vehicle -- a Honda Accord -- sustained heavy damage and was towed to Grants Pass. The cause of the crash was being investigated by OSP.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Snared Motorcyclist for Reckless Riding near City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorcyclist for riding in a careless manner near a city park early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a motorcycle ridden by 30-year-old Levi Genel Torres on West Park Street near Tussing Park on Thursday shortly after 3 a.m.. Torres was observed by officers riding carelessly and popping wheelies on the motorbike. He was found to have a suspended operator's license and had no emergent reason to be riding. He was placed into custody at the scene. Levi Torres was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving While Suspended and he was warned for Careless Driving. The motorcycle was parked and left in the care of bystanders at his request.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh

OR Pedestrian and Bike Advisory Committee Seeking 2 New Panel Members
The Oregon Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee has two openings for people passionate about supporting active modes of travel. The state committee is seeking a new at-large member as well as a new member who represents environmental interests. These positions will join the committee that advises ODOT on bicycle and pedestrian issues around Oregon. All Oregon residents are eligible to apply. Appointments are non-binding and appointees may serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Appointees are eligible for a stipend and travel reimbursements for their service on the committee. The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OPBAC) strives to have panel representation that reflects the diverse geography, demographics and abilities of everyone who walks, bikes or rolls in Oregon. OBPAC envisions Oregon as a state in which people of all identities -- including age, income, race and ability -- can access destinations in urban and rural areas on comfortable, safe and well-connected active transportation infrastructure. Application materials must be submitted by February 5th to be considered in the first review.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh

USFS Announces Comment Period Deadline Correction for NW Forest Plan Amendment
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The US Forest Service has announced that a correction has been issued to extend the comment period for its published Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal to amend the Northwest Forest Plan. The comment period on the 17 separate land management plans has been extended to February 2nd to allow additional time for the public to review and submit their feedback on this initiative. The Notice of Intent identifies changed conditions that are driving the need to amend the plan with a focus on five key areas: wildfire resilience, climate change adaptation, tribal inclusion, sustainable communities, and conservation of old-growth ecosystems and related biodiversity. The US Forest Service is committed to preserving the elements of the plan that are working well while incorporating the latest science to help forests adapt to social, economic, cultural and ecological changes. The Forest Service has scheduled a series of informational winter webinars and a virtual open house to help provide a better understanding of the Northwest Forest Plan and Notice of Intent. These events will offer an opportunity for individuals to learn more about the current amendment effort and how to submit their comments.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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City of GP Awarded Funding from Department of Energy for Studies on Three Solar Projects
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The City of Grants Pass has been awarded funding from the US Department of Energy that it plans to use for environmental studies on three of its properties. Grants Pass was awarded $76,430 from a total of $20.5 million in funding for 32 states, territories, local governments and tribes through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The money will be used to fund a feasibility study of the Economic Performance, Environmental Resiliency, Sustainability and Social Benefits of solar projects at the Foothill and Merlin Landfills as well as the Redwood Pump Station. The Foothill Landfill is the oldest of the two landfills and it consists two tax lots totaling 15.97 acres. The Merlin Landfill is capped and comprises more than 300 acres. However, the substation at this site can only support an amount equivalent to what can be produced on approximately 8 to 10 acres. The Redwood Pump Station is located on about seven acres of land. Once the feasibility study is completed, Grants Pass will know which options might be the best for each specific site and then can apply for grants tailored to each site. The deadline for submission of proposals is February 8th.
Posted on 1/19/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Excellent Skiing and Riding on New Snow Expected This Weekend at Mount Ashland
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Winter storms finally came to Southern Oregon in a big way, with Mount Ashland receiving 10 inches of new snow in the past seven days. Twilight skiing began Thursday night, with sessions running from 3 to 9 p.m.. For the next several weeks, the local ski resort will be open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Mount Ashland officials said the weekend outlook is moderate temperatures, snow showers and some wind. They said the groomers expect excellent skiing and riding conditions, but overnight conditions do include the possibility of some ice. Expert terrain in The Bowl is closed at this time due to an unstable and reactive snowpack. Ski patrol will assess this area daily and open as soon as possible. A temporary park has been set up on Lower Juliet that includes boxes and rails. The usual parks will be built as soon as they get more snow. Expected this weekend on Mount Ashland are five lifts, 35 trails with 18 groomed, one park and a 45-to-50-inch base. For more information, visit "mtashland.com."
Posted on 1/19/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed on Felony Warrant after Grand Jury Indictment for Domestic Case
A Grants Pass man was jailed on a local felony warrant last night after a grand jury indicted him on three felony-level charges related to a domestic violence case. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 29-year-old Brandon William Sousa Measel at a home in the 1600-block of NE A Street on Wednesday at 10:09 p.m.. Police said Measel was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant containing a secret indictment for alleged crimes including 2nd-Degree Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Domestic Strangulation. They said he was observed going inside the house and permission was given for them to enter and place him into custody. Brandon Measel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and he was being held in lieu of posting $250,000 bail.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man on Warrants after He Crashed Stolen Car near Sunny Valley
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man on three outstanding warrants and he may be facing additional charges after a hit-and-run accident in the Sunny Valley area yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 34-year-old Michael David Brenden in the 8300-block of Lower Grave Creek Road on Wednesday at 3:24 p.m.. Deputies said Brenden was driving a Honda sedan with no license plates when he crashed through a gate and got stuck on the side of Grave Creek. They said he took off running into the woods, but the property owner detained him at gunpoint and restrained him with private handcuffs until law enforcement arrived on scene. An investigation determined that Brenden was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Felony Criminal Mischief and 1st-Degree Theft; a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for impaired driving; and an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation related to a previous traffic offense. Brenden complained of back pain, so he was checked out by American Medical Response and cleared for lodging at the Josephine County Jail. He was booked on the warrants and was being held without bail. The Honda he wrecked had been reported stolen out of Washington State and additional charges are pending.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Charges Related to Car Theft after Redwood Stop
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for charges related to vehicle theft yesterday after a Redwood area traffic stop. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a Subaru Impreza driven by 28-year-old Michael Dean Smith on Redwood Avenue near Allen Creek Road on Wednesday around 2:30 p.m.. Police said they stopped Smith because he was driving a stolen car with a license plate belonging to a Subaru Crosstrek. Further investigation was needed to learn the identity of the original vehicle theft suspect, but Smith was placed into custody. Michael Smith was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. He was being held without bail. The stolen Impreza was recovered and returned to its registered owner. The stolen license plate was seized and the investigation was continuing.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Five Crimes after Violent Theft Try at Safeway
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for multiple crimes yesterday after she tried to steal from a downtown supermarket and hit an employee who stopped her. The Police Department reports officers responded to the shoplifting incident at the Safeway on SE 7th Street at about 11:35 a.m. Wednesday. Police said 54-year-old Amanda Marie Ahulau entered Safeway, put $280 worth of groceries in a cart and tried to push the cart out of the store without paying. Ahulau was stopped by an employee and she struck the worker several times in the back while demanding return of the stolen items. She eventually left the store and temporarily entered the passenger side of a customer's vehicle before exiting. Amanda Ahulau had been previously trespassed from Safeway. She was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Robbery, 2nd-Degree Theft, Harassment, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and Criminal Trespass. She was still in custody this morning.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed 3 People for Stealing from Walmart in Separate Incidents
Grants Pass Police arrested three people in two separate shoplifting incidents at Walmart before noon yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. when officers arrested 38-year-old Elizabeth Ellen Fox at the store on NE Terry Lane. Police said Fox proceeded past all points of sale with about $78 worth of female clothing items. They said she admitted to not scanning all the items in her cart prior to leaving the store. She was charged with 3rd-Degree Theft and lodged in jail. A charge of 2nd-Degree Theft was referred to the District Attorney's Office for a prior theft this week when she was observed using the same method. The second incident happened on Wednesday at 11:04 a.m. when officers arrested 43-year-old Jerimiah Scott Ballard and 31-year-old Shanae Alysse Cleveland for stealing from Walmart. Police said Ballard and Cleveland past all points of sale with nearly $370 worth of stolen items. They were detained by loss prevention and held until officers arrived on scene to place them into custody. Both were jailed for 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist for Impaired Driving after Hit & Run Complaint
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving yesterday following a complaint about a hit-and-run collision in the south part of the city. According to the Police Department, a motorist who claimed to have been struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe near the intersection of Williams Highway and Harbeck Road came to the agency lobby to file the complaint on Wednesday shortly before 1 p.m.. Police said the victim told them the suspect struck his Ford Explorer near the South Middle School football field and fled the scene. Fellow motorists had witnessed the crash and followed the suspect to the 400-block of West Harbeck Road. Officers responded and found Matthew Piggott out of his vehicle, on the ground and displaying extreme indicators of impairment. Field sobriety tests were not possible, so a search warrant was obtained and Piggot was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented strong inebriation. Piggott was cited to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and released to the care of hospital staff. A charge of Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage was referred to the District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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