Local News

Police Nabbed Well-Known Duo for Violations after RR Highway Traffic Stop
Grants Pass Police arrested a well-known couple for warrant and moving violations during a traffic stop on Rogue River Highway late yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a vehicle driven by 51-year-old Joelle Kathleen Dewitt and occupied by 58-year-old Gregory Albert Metzger in the 900-block of Highway 99 on Thursday around 5:40 p.m.. Police said they observed Dewitt driving and knew her license had been suspended at the criminal level. After stopping the vehicle, they were aware that Metzger was wanted on two Grants Pass warrants for failing to appear in court for Menacing and 2nd-Degree Theft. Both were placed into custody at the scene of the stop. Gregory Metzger and Joelle Dewitt were lodged at the Josephine County Jail. A friend picked up the vehicle with their pet cat inside.
Posted on 1/5/24 10:56AM by Sam Marsh
 

OSP Cited Two CJ Residents during Redwood Highway Stop near Wilderville
The Oregon State Police arrested two Cave Junction residents during a traffic stop on Redwood Highway near Wilderville last night. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Chevrolet sedan driven by 44-year-old Crystal Anna Partain at milepost 8 of US Highway 199 on Thursday at 9:52 p.m.. Police said they stopped Partain for a traffic violation and discovered that her passenger -- 43-year-old Daren Alan McCollum -- had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. According to OSP, Partain was cited for the unspecified traffic violation and McCollum was cited on the warrant. Both were released from custody.
Posted on 1/5/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Evicted Campers & Removed Truckloads of Trash from City Park
Grants Pass Police evicted two campers for ordinance violations and removed a large amount of trash from Riverside Park during a patrol check early yesterday. The Police Department reports Mark Lyon and Ann Warfield were cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their previously posted campsites. Clint Palomino was cited for Misuse of Park Open Space and Scattering Rubbish. Lyon and Palomino were trespassed from Riverside Park for 30 days. Officers said they posted a total of 28 campsites for Illegal Camping in the park on the west side of Caveman Bridge. They said six truckloads of garbage, soiled tents and drug paraphernalia were removed from the park and disposed of at Southern Oregon Sanitation.
Posted on 1/5/24 10:50AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Jailed Man for Violent Vehicle Theft and Attempting to Elude Officers
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for multiple felony-level crimes after he allegedly entered a woman's house, struck her in the face and stole her vehicle this week. The Police Department reports officers responded to a reported motor vehicle theft at a home in the 1,000-block of Darneille Lane on Wednesday morning. Police said 25-year-old Jordan Taylor Huggins broke into a house and hit a woman in the face before stealing her Mazda CX5. Responding officers located the suspect and attempted a traffic stop, but he refused to yield and tried to elude them. The law enforcement pursuit continued out to the Beaver Creek Trailer Park near Merlin and then back into Grants Pass on Interstate 5, with the Oregon State Police and Josephine County Sheriff's Office assisting. The chase ended on NW 6th Street near Manzanita Avenue after police flattened the vehicle's tires with spike strips. Jordan Huggins was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Burglary, Physical Harassment, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Felony Attempt to Elude Police. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Store Disturbance and Then Biting Deputy at Jail
Grants Pass Police incarcerated a woman this week for her disorderly behavior at a downtown convenience store and then biting a deputy at the Josephine County Jail. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident involving 34-year-old Marissa Elizabeth Winters at the 7-Eleven store on SW 6th Street on Wednesday night. Police said Winters was called in for yelling, cursing and threatening customers at the store. They said she refused to obey lawful commands and walked away from officers, throwing a Slurpee on the ground and exploding the contents on the street. She also walked into traffic and was nearly hit by a truck. Winters reportedly walked nearly two blocks before she was eventually placed into custody. During intake at the jail, she bit a deputy's leg but did not cause an injury. Marissa Winters was lodged in jail for Felony Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct, Escape and Offensive Littering. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Sheriff's Office Jailed Man for Attacking Deputy with Weapon
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man this week for attacking a deputy. The Sheriff's Office reports 48-year-old Michael Lawrence Williams was arrested on Wednesday in an unspecified location. The Sheriff's Log included no entries about the incident, but Josephine County Jail records show Williams was booked on charges including Felony Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Harassment, Menacing and Resisting Arrest. Michael Williams was still being held without bail on Thursday.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Snared Man for Failing to Maintain Sex Offender Registration
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for failing to maintain his mandatory sex offender registration after a patrol check at a city park this week. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 31-year-old Justin Matthew Webber at Riverside Park on Wednesday morning. Police said they spotted Webber pushing a stolen shopping cart in the park, so they detained him and discovered that he was wanted on Grants Pass and Josephine County warrants for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the outstanding warrants. Two additional charges of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender against Webber were referred to the District Attorney's Office because he failed to register in the past year and he failed to submit his residence, which apparently is Riverside Park. Webber's personal belongings were logged into evidence for safekeeping and the stolen shopping cart was returned to Walmart.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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Eagle Point Police Department Recorded Record Number of DUII Arrests in 2023
The Eagle Point Police Department saw a record year for impaired driving arrests in 2023. In 2022, there was a total of 27 DUII arrests made by Eagle Point police officers. By the end of last year, officers had made 61 arrests of impaired drivers. While most of these arrests were made while officers were on scheduled patrol shifts, thanks to dedicated funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation, officers also worked on DUII patrols during holidays and high traffic times to help reduce the number of impaired drivers on local roadways. EPD Chief Jim Hamilton said the first DUII arrest of 2024 was made just after midnight on January 1st, showing this trend does not seem to be slowing down. He said officers will continue their focus for this year, and they are determined to work to reduce the number of crashes and injuries caused by impaired drivers. Chief Hamilton -- formerly a Captain with the Grants Pass Police Department -- said his new agency will take part in focused enforcement with partner agencies in Jackson County during 2024.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:32AM by Sam Marsh
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Jo Co Sheriff Congratulates New Deputy for Graduating Oregon Police Academy
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is congratulating one of its newest deputies on recently graduating from the Basic Police Academy in Salem. Sheriff Dave Daniel said Deputy Topham joined the local agency last March to begin his field training. Deputy Topham then went to the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training for 18 weeks. Sheriff Daniel said Topham will complete his field training with seasoned deputies before being released to patrol Josephine County solo.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Killed and Two Hurt in Multi-Vehicle Pileup on Interstate 5 near Central Point
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One motorist was killed and two others were injured in a multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 5 near Central Point this week. The Oregon State Police and local emergency first responders were dispatched to nine-vehicle wreck on northbound I-5 near milepost 35 on Wednesday at about 5:30 p.m.. OSP said the preliminary investigation indicated that a Chevrolet Suburban driven by 64-year-old Helen Marie Cain of Central Point crashed into the center wire barrier for unknown reasons. The initial crash led to multiple subsequent crashes. Troopers said the driver of a Toyota Tercel -- 81-year-old Douglas James Flood of Gold Hill -- was pronounced deceased following transport to a local hospital. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Cain and the driver of a Ford Focus -- 38-year-old Courtney Marie Clark of Grants Pass -- were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Six additional vehicles were damaged in the crash with no reported injuries. Three of them were identified as Grants Pass residents, with one from Central Point. According to OSP, the freeway was impacted and traffic was detoured for around five hours due to the crash.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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New Oregon Traffic Laws Approved in 2023 Designed to Promote Safety on Roadways
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The Oregon Legislature passed hundreds of bills during the 2023 session, revising some existing transportation laws and creating new ones. Most of the changes went into effect on January 1st. Kris Strickler, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, said the updates in speed enforcement and impaired driving laws allow their partners in law enforcement to better deter behaviors that have proven to be dangerous. House Bill 2095 gives all cities in Oregon the authority to use mobile photo radar for traffic enforcement -- as long as they pay their own operational costs -- and removes limits on the number of hours it can be used. The bill also allows cities to lower the speed limit on certain streets at up to 10 miles per hour below the statutory speed but not less than 20 miles per hour. House Bill 2316 changes definitions and potential penalties for impaired driving. An "intoxicant" now includes any substance or combination of substances that can cause mental and physical impairment. Some fines are reduced for people who are convicted of DUII while riding a bicycle.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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National Weather Service Posts Winter Storm Warning for SW Oregon Region on Saturday
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The National Weather Service has upgraded a Winter Storm Watch predicted for southwest Oregon and northwest California tomorrow to a Winter Storm Warning. The Winter Storm Warning is in effect for elevations above 2,500 feet on Saturday from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.. It includes Josephine, Jackson, eastern Douglas and eastern Curry counties in Oregon along with western Siskiyou County in California. Heavy snow is expected above 2,500 feet, with total accumulations of five to 10 inches. Winds gusting as high as 35 miles per hour are also expected. Affected areas include the foothills of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness as well as portions of Interstate 5 and Highways 62, 140 and 227. Travel could become very difficult with snow-covered roads and reduced visibility. Travel is strongly discouraged during the warning period because of dangerous driving conditions. If you must travel on Saturday, keep tire chains, a flashlight, batteries, food, water, medications and a fully-charged phone with you.
Posted on 1/5/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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