Local News

GP Chamber of Commerce Holiday Window Decorating Contest Runs Thru December 29th
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With the official lighting of the Christmas tree on Friday night, downtown Grants Pass is fully decorated for the holiday season. The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Holiday Window Decorating Contest is now underway. Local businesses invite you to view their beautifully decorated storefronts and then vote for your favorite. Public voting runs through December 29th. Gift baskets will be awarded to the winning merchants for first, second and third places. While you're taking in the holiday sights in Grants Pass, be sure to patronize these local businesses. Chamber officials say we are very fortunate to have so many one-of-a-kind shops featuring unique Christmas gifts. To see a list of participating locations and to cast your vote, please visit the Chamber website at "grantspasschamber.org." The 2023 Holiday Window Decorating Contest is brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce and Home Depot.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh

Child Exploitation Task Force Probe Results in Prison for Eagle Point Woman
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An Eagle Point woman was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison this week for taking sexually explicit photos of a young child and sending them to multiple individuals she met online. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports 31-year-old Kayla Dee Lester was sentenced to 156 months in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release. This case was investigated by the Sheriff's Office, Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force and US Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office of the District of Oregon. The initial investigation began in January 2020 when Jackson County detectives received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of child pornography being uploaded from an address on East Archwood Drive in Eagle Point. According to court documents, Lester took sexually explicit photos of an 8-year-old child and distributed them to several people online. When interviewed by police, Lester admitted using Whisper and other social media applications to meet people and solicit child pornography. She further admitted to sending the images she took of the child to others in hopes they would send her child pornography in return.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:22AM by Sam Marsh

GPPD Investigation Led to Arrest of Man for Stealing Items from Pawn Shop
A Grants Pass Police Department investigation has led to the arrest of a man for stealing items from a local pawn shop. The Police Department reports officers arrested 42-year-old Brenton David Bruso for the incident at the Jewelry Center on SW 6th Street on Thursday afternoon. Few details about the investigation have been released, but Bruso was caught on video surveillance stealing an item or items valued at more than $1,000. The items have been recovered and returned to the Jewelry Center. Brenton Bruso was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for probable cause of Felony 1st-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:20AM by Sam Marsh

Friday Night Crash on Interstate 5 near Wolf Creek Due to Pedestrian Fatality
A Friday night crash caused delays for southbound traffic on Interstate 5 one mile south of Wolf Creek. Unconfirmed sources report a pedestrian was struck and killed on the freeway, but so far no details have been provided by the Oregon State Police. The Oregon Department of Transportation reported the incident near milepost 75 of I-5 on Friday at 6:48 p.m.. Crews were directing traffic in one lane. Motorists were encouraged to use caution and watch for emergency personnel in the area. The freeway was reopened later in the evening. For updated road conditions in Oregon, always visit "tripcheck.com."
Posted on 12/9/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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One Person Injured in Caves Highway Collision Just Outside Cave Junction
One person was injured in a motor vehicle accident on Caves Highway near the City of Cave Junction early yesterday. The Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash on State Route 46 at Laurel Road on Friday at 9:32 a.m.. IVFD officials said one person was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt. Caves Highway was shut down for only a few minutes. Jerry's Towing removed the vehicles from the crash scene. The scene was turned over to OSP for an investigation.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Forest Service Reports Bear Camp Road Damage from Large Falling Rocks
Due recent heavy rains, rocks are starting to fall onto forest roadways. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest reports Bear Camp Road has recently sustained significant damage from large rocks. Officials said conditions on Bear Camp Road will continue to deteriorate with winter weather and maintenance will not begin again until late next spring. As a reminder, Bear Camp Road is closed for the winter on the section managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The remote road is not maintained and travel on this route is not recommended during the winter due to public safety issues. Signs are installed on the west side of Bear Camp Road near Agness, which is managed by the US Forest Service. The signs warn motorists that travel is not advised. The gate is not closed on this side to allow drivers a way out if they happen to access Bear Camp Road via another Forest Service Road. Forest officials urge motorists to make the safe choice and choose an alternate route for winter driving.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Health Authority Recommends Getting Your Vaccinations This Winter Season
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Respiratory virus season is in full swing -- and so is the season for holiday celebrations when viruses are more likely to be spread. According to the Oregon Health Authority, it's not too late to protect yourself and others from severe illness during the holidays by getting vaccinated and to know you'll be protected through the winter when people spend more time socializing indoors. OHA officials said COVID-19 transmission in Oregon has been steady over the past month with a percent positivity of 9.3% for the first week of December. Omicron is still be predominant variant, and no single subvariant has emerged that is predicted to cause more severe disease. The rate of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Oregon is predicted to remain stable into early January. Respiratory syncytial virus -- or RSV -- transmission in Oregon is steadily increasing with a percent positivity of 7.9% for the first week of December. Influenza transmission in Oregon remains low, but it is steadily increasing with a percent positivity of 3.5%. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts a steady increase in flu-related hospitalizations in Oregon through the first week in January. Everyone six months and older is recommended to get a flu vaccination.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Residents Invited to Attend Monday Forum on Rent Burden and Housing Production
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Residents are invited to attend and participate in a community forum hosted by the City of Grants Pass early next week. The goal of the forum set for 6 p.m. Monday is to learn more about current issues related to housing production, rent burden, fair housing and more. Information will be shared on current housing statistics, causes and consequences of rent burden, barriers to reducing rent burden and local resources. Feedback from this community discussion will be used to help guide city housing strategies and initiatives to address current rental housing challenges. Grants Pass has been identified by the Oregon Housing & Community Services Department as a city that is severely rent-burdened, with 28.6% of all renters paying more than half of their income on rent. Paying too much for housing often prevents households from paying for other necessary expenses including medical care, food, utilities, education, transportation, childcare and more. During this event, community members are encouraged to share experiences, ask questions and provide input on potential solutions to ease the local housing crisis.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Triple Impact: Pacific Power to Match Your Contribution to Oregon Energy Fund
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Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more. Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find they include an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program, customers can call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-(888)-221-7070 or visit "pacificpower.net." Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need within the same county in which the donor resides.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:05AM by Sam Marsh
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One Person Dead & Another Seriously Hurt after Illinois Valley Crash into Tree
One person was killed and another person was seriously injured when the vehicle they were riding in crashed into a tree near Cave Junction last night. On Thursday at 9:45 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police rushed to the single-vehicle wreck in the 100-block of White Schoolhouse Road. IVFD officials said arriving units found a vehicle had collided with a tree. They said one occupant was deceased at the scene while the other was critically injured and transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. No other details were available including the identities of the occupants. Officials said the Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into the fatal crash.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Montana & Local Warrants after Shoplifting Incident
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on out-of-state and local warrants yesterday after a shoplifting incident at Walmart. The Police Department reports officers arrested 48-year-old Zack Caine Herrell for the incident at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane at 11 a.m. Thursday. Police said Herrell collected around $30 worth of items from Walmart and passed all points of sale without paying. They said he got into a recreational vehicle driven by his friend and the pair attempted to get away before being stopped by officers. Herrell initially gave police a false name before his true identity was discovered. It soon became apparent why he lied -- he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Powell County, Montana, for Probation Violation and he was also wanted on a Josephine County warrant for Probation Violation related to a traffic offense. Zack Herrell was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on the warrants along with new charges of 3rd-Degree Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held without bail. Herrell and his friend -- identified by police as "Morgan" -- were trespassed from Walmart.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Corralled Man on Outstanding Warrant during RR Highway Contact
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant while patrolling Rogue River Highway this week. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 35-year-old Ian Seiwell Hogue near the corner of Highway 99 and Cloverlawn Drive on Wednesday. Police said they spotted Hogue and knew that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for Resisting Arrest, Escape and Criminal Trespass. He was placed into custody without incident. Ian Hogue was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on $15,000 bail.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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