Local News

Firefighters Encountered Numerous Obstacles Before They Could Fight Plumtree Lane Blaze
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Firefighters encountered many obstacles before they could battle a structure fire in the Merlin area last night. On Tuesday at 9:27 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a reported fire in the 1,000-block of Plumtree Lane. Rural Metro officials said the incident was initially called in to Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications as an open burn and crews searched driveways near the railroad tracks before they eventually located the blaze. They said the fire had been burning for a while and the structure was already collapsing. Firefighters had to navigate hose and equipment through a property littered with vehicles, RVs and other obstacles to reach the fully-involved structure. They were able to extinguish the fire and keep it from spreading. It was unclear if anyone was living at the location, but it appeared that someone had been dismantling parts of the structure. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
Posted on 1/17/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

Signup Deadline for 2024 Josephine County Search Rescue Academy is February 7th
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue (SAR) Division is hosting its annual Academy to train new volunteers starting next month. The Search & Rescue Academy -- which is held at 250 Tech Way north of Grants Pass -- covers Basic Survival Skills, First Aid/CPR, Land Navigation and more. Completion of the academy qualifies participants as SAR volunteers and allows them to actively participate in trainings and missions. The cost for the academy is $55. Additional requirements include a background check, criminal history check, personal equipment purchase and a $50 refundable uniform deposit. The SAR Academy runs from February 20th through March 21st. It's held every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. There is a final overnight exercise scheduled for April. For registration and more details, visit "bit.ly/3RQah1J."
Posted on 1/17/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

BCC to Hold Public Hearing on Library Annexation Requests on Wednesday
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the annexation of five properties into the local library district as part of its weekly business session tomorrow. The Board had delayed these annexation requests last month by putting a hold on all annexations and withdrawals from the Josephine Community Library District while it gathered more information on the legality of the process. Since that time, the library district has filed a lawsuit against the Commissioners preventing them from approving any more withdrawals from the district. The one withdrawal it approved in December has been rejected by the State of Oregon. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Board is expected to set a public hearing to consider fee changes for the Animal Shelter and Recreation Department, which covers Parks and the Josephine County Fairgrounds. In addition to a proclamation, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when people are given three minutes to address the Board on virtually any topic. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:29AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed Man for Felony Crimes & Warrant after IV Trespassing Call
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for two felony crimes and an outstanding warrant after investigating a trespassing call in the Illinois Valley late yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a complaint involving 60-year-old Timothy Joe Cross in the 4300-block of Caves Highway on Monday around 4:40 p.m.. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that Cross was back on her property after he had been served with a restraining order the day before. She said a man named "Mike" had chased the suspect off the property and that he retreated onto nearby BLM land. Cross was cornered by the other man until deputies arrived. Upon arrival, deputies contacted Cross and discovered that he was wanted on a Crook County warrant for Probation Violation related to previous arrests for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Driving While Suspended. Timothy Cross was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the no-bail warrant. Since his booking, charges of Felony 2nd-Degree Assault, Felony Coercion and Interfering with Making a Police Report were added to his criminal bill. However, no information on those crimes was disclosed.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Local Felony Warrant during Downtown Patrol
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a local felony warrant following a patrol check in the downtown area late last night. The Police Department reports officers arrested 54-year-old Michael Lewis Swift in the 100-block of NE E Street near Oregon Books & Games on Monday at 11:22 p.m.. Police said they were on patrol when they spotted Swift and knew that he was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for an alleged crime of Methamphetamine Possession. He was placed into custody after the warrant was confirmed with the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. Michael Swift was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and he was still in custody this morning.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Causing Disturbance at Fred Meyer Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for causing a violent disturbance at Fred Meyer last night. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 33-year-old Lillian Miller at the store along the Grants Pass Parkway on Monday shortly after 7 p.m.. Police said Miller was reported to be yelling at loss prevention and patrons while refusing to leave. They said she told everyone she was the CEO of Fred Meyer, accused individuals of assaulting her and sparked a physical disturbance with an unknown subject while on the store property. Miller fled the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement, but she was refused entry at the nearby Arco AM/PM and then fled from officers onto the Parkway where she once again tried to run away. She resisted being placed into custody, but was eventually subdued and handcuffed. Lillian Miller was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Arrested Woman for Disrupting North City Traffic
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for disrupting traffic in the north part of the city yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a complaint involving 50-year-old Shannon Leann Petersen in the 1300-block of NW 6th Street on Monday around 1:40 p.m.. Police said a local business owner reported that Petersen was walking in the middle of the roadway and causing vehicles to swerve and hit their brakes to avoid hitting her. The caller said she was walking in circles while picking up dirt and other items before crossing the street to the corner of 6th and Steiger streets. When officers contacted Petersen at that location, she gave them a false name -- but her true identity was confirmed. Her corrections officer was contacted and he agreed to place her on a detainer. Shannon Petersen was booked into the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and she was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed 2 Motorists for Impaired Driving in GP Over the Weekend
The Oregon State Police arrested at least two people for impaired driving over long holiday weekend. OSP reports the first incident occurred on Saturday at 1 a.m. when state troopers pulled over a Honda Civic driven by 29-year-old Frank Calzada near the corner of 7th and B streets in Grants Pass. Troopers said Calzada was stopped for driving without headlights in the downtown area. They said he displayed signs of impairment, performed badly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. He was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. The second incident happened on Saturday at 7:50 p.m. when troopers pulled over a Nissan Sentra driven by 43-year-old Rene Faye Pruitt near the corner of NE F and Mill streets in Grants Pass. Troopers said they stopped Pruitt for driving the wrong direction on a one-way street. They said she appeared to be impaired and was asked to perform sobriety tests, which she did poorly. She was taken to the Sobering Center where she was charged with DUII and Reckless Endangering.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Evicted 2 Campers from 2 City Parks for Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police evicted two campers from city parks during patrol checks early yesterday. At Westholm Park, officers noticed that Austin Cecil was still there after a 72-hour notice was given to him last week. He was cited for Illegal Camping and Scattering Rubbish before being trespassed from the park for 30 days. Two trashed and abandoned tents at Westholm Park were taken to Southern Oregon Sanitation (SOS) for proper disposal. At Baker Park, Andrew Urenda and Jonathon Babb were cited for Illegal Camping after being there past their 72-hour notices. Urenda was also cited for Buffer Zone Violation and issued a 30-day exclusion. Dakota Thomas was warned for Buffer Zone Violation. Three truckloads of garbage at the park were picked up and disposed of at SOS.
Posted on 1/16/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Structure Fire on Jerome Prairie Road Damaged Automotive Repair Business
A two-alarm fire in the Jerome Prairie area last night brought multiple agencies to a fully-involved shop being used as an automotive repair business. On Monday at 6:02 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response were dispatched to the reported structure fire in the 5500-block of Jerome Prairie Road. Two vehicles inside the shop along with miscellaneous tools and equipment were lost in the blaze. However, several vehicles parked outside were pushed away from the building and not seriously damaged. The main house on the property was not damaged and there were no injuries reported. Rural Metro officials said investigators would return to the scene this morning to look into the cause of the fire. Agencies assisting at the scene included the Illinois Valley Fire District, Williams Rural Fire Protection District, Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications and Pacific Power. Agencies assisting with coverage of additional incidents during the fire were the Applegate Valley Fire District and Jackson County Fire District #3.
Posted on 1/16/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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Monday Night Structure Fire Damaged Warehouse Building in the Illinois Valley
A Monday night structure fire damaged a warehouse building in the Illinois Valley. The Illinois Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response rushed to the scene of a reported structure fire in the 3800-block of Takilma Road near River Grove Drive and Holland Loop Road at 10:51 p.m.. IVFD Chief John Holmes said crews were on a CPR incident when the fire was reported by Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications. He said arriving units found a 30-foot by 60-foot metal-framed warehouse ablaze. Chief Holmes said the fire was extinguished and crews were planning to check on it throughout the night to make sure there was no rekindle. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Total equipment at the scene included three engines and two water tenders plus an air trailer, rescue unit, rehab unit and command vehicle. Pacific Power crews also responded to the scene.
Posted on 1/16/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Felony Warrant after Sunday Welfare Check at City Park
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on an outstanding felony warrant after performing a weekend welfare check at a northwest city park. The Police Department reports officers arrested 35-year-old Kevin James Chapman at Gilbert Creek Park on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Sunday at 4:45 p.m.. Police said a citizen reported that Chapman was down in the bushes near the creek, stumbling around and appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. He was located directly across the street from Siskiyou Community Health Center. Officers arrived on scene, determined that Chapman was okay and then discovered that he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from past convictions for 4th-Degree Assault, Resisting Arrest and Furnishing False Information to Police. Kevin Chapman was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/16/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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