Local News

GP Police Evicted 3 People Who Failed to Remove Illegal Camps from Parks
Grants Pass Police evicted three campers on Wednesday who failed to remove their illegal campsites after they had been posted in city parks. At Lawnridge Park, a man was cited for Nuisance Dog because his dog was off its leash. Six campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN). At Westholm Park, a woman was cited for Illegal Camping after she failed to remove her previously posted campsite. She was trespassed for 30 days. Seven campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Fruitdale Park, a man was cited for Illegal Camping after he failed to remove his previously posted campsite. He was issued a 30-day exclusion. Four campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Riverside Park, a man was cited for Illegal Camping after he failed to remove his previously posted campsite. He was also trespassed for 30 days. A total of 14 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN.
Posted on 6/27/24 11:41AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Cited Motorist for Causing Collision on Williams Highway near Murphy
The Oregon State Police cited a motorist for causing a multi-vehicle crash that injured another motorist on Williams Highway near Murphy yesterday. According to OSP, troopers and emergency personnel responded to the three-vehicle collision near milepost 7 of Highway 238 on Wednesday at 3:14 p.m.. Troopers said a Dodge Ram pickup driven by a 61-year-old man rear-ended a Chevrolet Camaro that was stopped in the eastbound lane for a Dodge pickup stopped in front of it. The Ram rear-ended the Camaro, pushing it into the Dodge. The 47-year-old male driver of the Camaro injured his elbow in the crash, but it was unclear in the report whether he was transported to the hospital. No one else was hurt, but the Ram and Camaro were damaged and towed to Grants Pass. Following the investigation, troopers cited the Ram driver for Following Too Closely.
Posted on 6/27/24 11:40AM by Sam Marsh

GP Fire Officials Investigating Cause of Rogue River Highway Dumpster Fire
Grants Pass fire officials were investigating the cause of a dumpster fire that broke out on Rogue River Highway late yesterday. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue was toned by the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center for a reported dumpster fire in the 1200-block of Highway 99 on Wednesday at 5:55 p.m.. Battalion 4 and Engine 7308 staffed with three firefighters arrived to find a well-involved dumpster with flames extending to the exterior of an adjacent structure. Crews were able to control the fire with no extension to the interior of the building. No injuries were reported and no damage estimate was available. Mutual aid was provided by Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Police.
Posted on 6/27/24 11:39AM by Sam Marsh

GP Firefighters Assisted Public When Tree Fell onto Car in Downtown Area
Grants Pass firefighters assisted the public this week when a large tree fell onto a vehicle in the downtown area. On Tuesday at 9:24 p.m., Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to the mishap near the corner of SE 9th and J streets. Firefighters said no one was hurt when the tree fell over. Engine 7308 from the Parkway Station along with Battalion Chief 4 assisted with removal of the tree and clearing of the roadway. The Grants Pass Streets Division assisted by bringing a tractor to the scene. Officials said this intercity teamwork is essential to keep Grants Pass operating smoothly and safely.
Posted on 6/27/24 11:37AM by Sam Marsh
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Interim Director of OSU Extension Asks BCC to Approve Funds for 4-H District
During the public comment period of Wednesday's business meeting of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners, the Interim Director of the OSU Extension Service testified remotely about the value of services it provides. The comments from Interim Director Kristopher Elliott were in response to the potential that the Board of Commissioners could vote to defund the 4-H Extension Service District on Friday morning. The district was created by voters in 1996. Elliott said he agreed with the Board's focus on the importance of transparency and clarity in the use of public funds. He said the agency also believes this is critical and they are confident that current practices -- including routine accounting, regular audits and open communication -- provide for this. Elliott said they also want to make it clear that everyone is welcome in 4-H and all services provided by the OSU Extension. He said their program procedures and guidelines clearly outline the many ways that personal religious expression and private religious activity may occur within the context of 4-H programming while ensuring that as a program they follow applicable laws and policies. Elliott concluded by stating "Josephine County funds have supported local OSU Extension program delivery including 4-H, agriculture, forestry and health for county residents for more than 100 years." The Interim Vice Provost for Extension and Engagement said they hope the Board of Commissioners will also recognize the value of these programs and vote on Friday to collect and allocate service district funds that are essential for support.
Posted on 6/27/24 10:30AM by Sam Marsh
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BLM Temporarily Closes Lands in Upper Applegate Fire Area for Safety Concerns
The Ashland Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management has temporarily closed BLM-managed lands in the Upper Applegate Fire area for public and firefighter safety. Members of the public may not enter closed areas and all uses -- including hiking, hunting and dispersed camping -- are prohibited. The closure order encompasses BLM lands within the immediate fire area as well as critical access roads that firefighters are using. Grouse Creek Road is closed to facilitate access for firefighters. Visit the closure map at "blm.gov/orwafire." BLM officials said public and firefighter safety are the highest priority. They said the closure will allow fire suppression crews to continue to safely respond to the incident. As it becomes safe to do so, firefighters will begin to assess the closure and its impacts in alignment with sound risk management practices. Please call 9-1-1 to report any signs of new fires.
Posted on 6/27/24 9:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Commission Heard Passionate Testimony in Favor of Funding 4-H Service District
The Board of Commissioners will not be voting on budgets for Josephine County, the Law Enforcement Service District and 4-H Extension Service District until Friday morning, but the Board heard plenty of testimony on one of the spending plans on Wednesday. Finance Director Sandy Novak made brief presentations on all three budgets, but there was no public testimony in hearings pertaining to Josephine County or the Law Enforcement Service District. As expected, there was plenty of testimony on the 4-H Extension Service District budget after two of the Commissioners -- John West and Herman Baertschiger -- vowed to defund the district that 2/3 of Josephine County voters approved in 1996. An unofficial tally showed 17 citizens testifying in favor of the service district and five testifying against it. The OSU Extension Service had multiple representatives at the meeting and offered to answer questions from the Board, but none were asked. Testimony in favor of the district was passionate and included several prominent members of the community such as two members of the Cave Junction City Council and a Commissioner candidate. Perhaps the most reasonable suggestion to solve the problem came from veteran Commissioner Dan DeYoung who stated the Board should fund the district for one year and then place a measure on the November ballot asking voters whether they want to continue to pay for OSU Extension Services. Public hearings and final decisions on the budgets will occur on Friday at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County SO Arrested Central Point Man for Starting Table Rock Road Fire
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Central Point man for starting a fire on Table Rock Road yesterday. On Wednesday at 11:56 a.m., a call was received by Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon regarding a possible structure fire at 4600 Table Rock Road. Additional callers believed that dry grass in a field was burning and that the fire was rapidly approaching a building. Jackson County Fire District #3 responded and found a grass fire, with winds pushing it toward a storage unit on the property. Crews encountered locked gates at the driveway that required cutting to gain access. Multiple engine companies from Fire District #3 and Medford Fire-Rescue were able to stop the spread of the blaze, but the building sustained both exterior and interior damage. Investigators found that the fire originated on the west side of the building. They determined the fire was human-caused and involved the use of power tools. Jackson County Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis said a male adult was located on the property and he was detained before being arrested by sheriff's deputies. He said 68-year-old Andrew Joseph Ragsdale was lodged in jail for Reckless Burning, Interfering with a Firefighters and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Threatening Sister with Baseball Bat & Hatchets
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for threatening her sister with a baseball bat and throwing hatchets at her and others in the northwest part of the city this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 35-year-old female subject for the incident at a home in the 900-block of NW Donna Drive on Tuesday. Police said the subject's sister called 9-1-1 to report the woman was throwing hatchets at the family car and nearly hitting her and other witnesses. The caller said her sister first came at her with a baseball bat while intending to cause bodily harm. At least three witnesses corroborated the victim's account of the incident. According to the report, the hatchets struck the victim's car numerous times -- but no one was injured. The suspect reportedly lives in a tent in the home's backyard. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Domestic Menacing. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Assisted CHP with Finding Hit & Run Suspect after Cave Junction Stop
The Oregon State Police assisted California Highway Patrol (CHP) with locating a suspect involved in a hit-and-run crash with serious bodily injury in California. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Impala driven by the 49-year-old Prineville man near the intersection of Redwood Highway and Hanby Lane in Cave Junction on Tuesday night. Troopers said they stopped the motorist for several traffic violations and several indicators of impairment were observed. The man was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center where a telephonic search warrant for two vials of his blood was granted and executed. Based on the results of the blood draw, he was arrested. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Driving While Suspended and two bench warrants for failing to appear in court. His vehicle was impounded. According to OSP, an investigation is ongoing regarding the hit-and-run collision by CHP.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Officers Snared Uncooperative Motorist for DUII after Traffic Stop near GPHS
Grants Pass Police arrested an uncooperative motorist for impaired driving this week following a traffic stop near Grants Pass High School. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a black Dodge 4x4 pickup driven by a 22-year-old man near the corner of NE 8th and Olive streets on Tuesday night. Police said they stopped the vehicle because the young driver was doing several burnouts near the intersection of NE 8th and A streets. They said he exhibited signs of impairment, but twice refused to participate in field sobriety tests and requested the presence of an attorney. A search warrant was obtained and the suspect was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented a high level of impairment. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Due to his uncooperative nature, he was being held without bail. His vehicle was released to a neighbor.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Being Accepted for Seat on Grants Pass Parks Advisory Committee
Applications are being accepted for a position on the Grants Pass Parks Advisory Committee. This is a three-year appointment. The purpose of the committee is to review and make recommendations to the Grants Pass City Council related to the needs and locations for new parkland and trail locations, park planning, allocation of recreation resources between users, preservation of park resources and funding. The City Council desires to have a balance of viewpoints and demographic representation on the PAC including individuals with interest or experience representing athletic leagues, individuals knowledgeable in natural resource preservation, people involved with recurring park events, frequent park visitors, and individuals who use family-friendly park facilities. Applications can be found at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application." Completed applications must be received before 5 p.m. on Friday, August 2nd.
Posted on 6/27/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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