Local News

GP Police Jailed Man for Threatening Restaurant Manager and Others with Knife
Grants Pass Police incarcerated a man for threatening the manager of a fast food restaurant and others with a knife. The Police Department reports officers arrested 44-year-old Danial Bryan Cook for the incident at Carl's Jr. on NE Terry Lane on Saturday at 12:54 p.m.. Police said Danial Cook was asked to leave by the restaurant manager due to his disorderly behavior. They said Cook pointed a large fixed-blade knife at the victim and threatened to kill him. The suspect reportedly remained in the general area of the restaurant swinging the knife around and threatening other people, generating at least four more callers due to his conduct that was causing public alarm. Responding officers tracked down Cook south of WinCo Foods and placed him into custody. The suspect had dropped the knife, but a search of the area located the weapon and it was seized as evidence. Danial Cook was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing and Disorderly Conduct. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/1/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Man for 6 Crimes after He Tried to Steal Gas from U-Haul Yard
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for six alleged crimes after he was caught trying to steal gasoline from trucks at the new U-Haul facility in the north part of the city. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint at the U-Haul yard in the 2300-block of NW Hawthorne Avenue early Friday morning. Police said the manager called 9-1-1 to report a male subject was walking around the trucks with a fuel can before the yard opened for business. Responding officers contacted 30-year-old Chance Vaughn-Edward Kersten amongst the trucks while carrying a fuel can, a rubber hose and smelling like gasoline. Kersten admitted to unsuccessfully attempting to siphon fuel from at least one of the trucks. While he was being placed into custody, he was found to be in possession of a counterfeit driver's license that had his photo but the name and information of another person. The fake identification was seized as evidence. Chance Kersten was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Aggravated Identity Theft, Identity Theft, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, 1st-Degree Theft, Attempted 3rd-Degree Theft and Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/1/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Collared Local Fugitives during Weekend Patrol Check in Illinois Valley
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested two men on outstanding warrants during a weekend patrol check in the Illinois Valley. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies contacted 44-year-old Justin Dwaine Eidem and 54-year-old David Lesley Ingram near the intersection of Happy Camp and Takilma roads on Saturday around 11:35 a.m.. Deputies said Eidem and Ingram were cutting firewood without permits and both were warned for Unlawful Collection of Forest Products. It was determined that Ingram was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Probation Violation related to 3rd-Degree Theft. He was placed into custody. Eidem reportedly gave deputies a false name -- but once his true identity was revealed, it was determined that he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for Probation Violation related to 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. He was charged with Furnishing False Information to Police and placed into custody. Justin Eidem and David Ingram were transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on no-bail probation detainers. Their vehicle was towed.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

GP Man Facing DUII Charges after Crashing Car into Power Pole near City Park
A Grants Pass man is facing charges of impaired driving after he crashed a vehicle into a power pole near Westholm Park and deprived local residents of electricity. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash near the corner of SW Wildwood Avenue and G Street on Saturday at 10:40 a.m.. Police said residents in the area reported a small blue car speeding down the street before hitting a utility pole and dropping the pole and attached wires into the road. The callers said the car was upside-down and smoking. Residents worked to free the male driver from the wreckage. He was identified by police as "Rhett Bassett." Witnesses said Bassett was traveling at about 60 miles per hour before he left the roadway, striking a retaining wall and cable box before fish-tailing across both travel lanes and striking the utility pole, completely severing it and knocking out power to the area. The suspect was extricated and transported to the hospital. Bassett was interviewed at Three Rivers Medical Center and probable cause for impaired driving was established after a legal blood draw was completed. Rhett Bassett was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. He was cited to appear in court and released to the care of hospital staff. His damaged car was impounded and Pacific Power crews arrived to restore electricity to affected customers. Service restoration took several hours.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Investigating Fire at Remote Vehicle Dumpsite near Sunny Valley
Authorities were investigating a weekend fire that broke out at a vehicle dumpsite in the Sunny Valley area. On Saturday at 3:25 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to the reported fire on BLM land off Copper Queen Road. Rural Metro officials said arriving units found abandoned motorhomes and vehicles on fire at the remote location. They said firefighters from both agencies extinguished the flames with little spread to the surrounding wildland. Officials said there was evidence that someone may have been occupying one of the RVs, but no one was located at the scene. There were no injuries reported.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon DMV Fees and Transactions Increasing Substantially for 2024 Starting Today
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Many Oregon Department of Vehicle fee increases are going into effect today. Driver's license and identification cards, renewal of vehicle registration tags and taking a driver's test among other DMV services will see increased fees in 2024. Officials said the fee increases are a result of legislation passed last year designed to help the DMV recover costs and temporarily avoid service reductions. Plate transfers, replacement plates and stickers, VIN inspections, plate manufacturing, camper/travel trailer/motorhome registrations, and dealer document fees are included in House Bill 2100. Other fees such as vehicle registration and the road usage charge will see their fourth and final step increase today as part of Oregon's historic House Bill 2017 transportation investment package. Identification card issuance increases from $44.50 to $47, Class C driver license issuance increases from $60 to $64, motorcycle endorsements increase from $87 to $98, commercial driver licenses increase from $75 to $160, and learner's permits increase from $23 to $40. Most renewal and replacement fees will also increase. New fees for DMV testing are also going up. The Knowledge Test will cost $7, while the Skills Test will increase from $9 to $45. The Commercial Driver Skills Test is more than doubling from $70 to $145.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:51AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police and Firefighters Closed Out 2023 with Strong Community Protection Effort
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters closed out 2023 with a strong effort in community protection. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, officers responded to a total of 338 calls for service along with 248 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 51 arrests, 39 citations, 29 warnings and five highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 72 traffic stops in the city and made 19 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 88 contacts with potential trouble-makers that led to 18 citations and 26 warnings. The CRT unit trespassed 19 individuals, posted 93 transient camps and removed trash from four campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 85 calls last week including 43 for emergency medical service, 13 reports of fire or smoke, 12 lift assists, four rescue situations, 11 assists to other agencies and one false alarm. Firefighters also performed 42 business inspections, led three education programs and assisted the public five times.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Several Local Deputies and Troopers Honored with Awards of Valor by OSSA in Bend
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Several members of the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police were honored last month by the Oregon State Sheriff's Association (OSSA). Five members of the Sheriff's Office and four members of OSP traveled to Bend in December to receive OSSA Awards of Valor, which are presented to a deputy or state trooper who in the line of duty distinguishes themselves by the performance of an act of courage involving the risk of immediate danger to their life. These Awards of Valor are directly related to the local law enforcement officers' courage in the 2022 Manzanita Rest Area Incident in which an armed individual who shot a woman was terminated during a gunfight with deputies and troopers. From the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Awards of Valor were presented to Undersheriff Travis Snyder, Sergeant Craig Ricker, Deputy Gerald Bayard, Deputy Chris Watson and Deputy Tanner Sherrow. From the Central Point Command of OSP, Awards of Valor were presented to Lieutenant Mike Benson, Sergeant Mike Hawkins, Trooper Anthony Griffith and Trooper Corey Harris.
Posted on 1/1/24 5:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Threatening Statements Lands Man in the County Jail
Threatening statements prompt Sheriff’s Deputies response and ends with suspect in Josephine County’s Jail. 911 received a call at 7:30 Friday night from the victim saying the suspect “threatened to kill him and blow off his head and told him he was dead. The suspect, identified as Ross Emerson Allen, 49, kept trying to get the victim to come outside. Allen allegedly said he was going to get some friends and come back and kill him. The victim stated Allen tried to break the son’s window and attempted to put a bottle through the front door glass. Allen had been flagged for threats to kill law enforcement so multiple Deputies responded and by 7:52 Allen was in custody and in route to the County Jail.
Posted on 12/30/23 6:54AM by Chuck Benson
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Woman Wanted with a Secret Indictment for Child Neglect Arrested & Lodged
A suspect wanted on a secret indictment was arrested at the Sheriff’s office Friday afternoon while accompanying another person attempting to get a vehicle release. The Sheriff’s receptionist notified Deputies the suspect and her friend were missing insurance paperwork and returned to a vehicle to retrieve it. In the suspect’s absence the warrant was confirmed, and the receptionist was to notify deputies upon her return. At 4:16 p.m. the suspect, 27-year-old Kelcey Dawn Stevenson returned to the lobby and was detained, arrested and lodged in the county jail facing a charge of 1st degree child neglect with her bail set at $50,000.
Posted on 12/30/23 6:16AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Lodge Suspect for Gun Assault
A Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested a suspect following an alleged assault with a gun. The Sheriff’s incident log begins at 3:20 Friday afternoon in the 2300 block of Upper River Road when 44-year-old Jose Luis Rivera was taken into custody. Details remain sketchy but the incident narrative stated the victim had a laceration on the side of his head which the victim said, and witnesses corroborated, Rivera hit him over the head with a gun. Rivera is being charged with menacing-aggravated assault, unlawful use of a weapon-aggravated assault and assault II-aggravated assault. The Sheriff’s log stated the same charges would be referred for Rivera’s brother, who was not specifically mentioned in the narrative.
Posted on 12/30/23 5:57AM by Chuck Benson
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Start the Year with a Free Guided Hike through Local Parks on the 1st.
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You are invited to begin the new year with an outdoor Oregon experience being guided through some of this state’s beautiful countryside by park rangers and volunteers through the free First Day Hikes courtesy of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on Monday, January First. Visitors have three hikes to choose from in the Grants Pass, Central Point and Cave Junction areas: Valley of the Rogue State Park, Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside and TouVelle State Recreation Site. The Valley of the Rogue hike is two miles while the other two are one mile. All three local hikes begin at 11 a.m. Dogs are welcome on six-foot leashes. Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and snacks, as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. The $5 day-use parking fee is waived that day for all state parks that require a parking permit and are open.First Day Hikes is a national initiative to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, promote exercise and encourage connecting with nature. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has participated since 2012. For more information, 541-582-1118.
Posted on 12/30/23 5:38AM by Chuck Benson
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