Local News

ODF Southwest Reports Prescribed Burning Currently Underway in the Region
With an abundance of rain in the forecast this week, a lot of projects involving prescribed burning are currently underway in southwest Oregon. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports smoke and flames may be visible as this work continues and all prescribed fires are under control. According to ODF, prescribed fire is done when weather conditions don’t support rapid fire growth, typically from late fall through early spring. Different than residential debris burns, this large scale or industrial work helps to reduce fuels during a safer time of year. It requires the landowner in charge of the burn to control, mop up and patrol any prescribed fire used as a tool. If a fire escapes, the responsible party can face paying up to $300,000 in fire suppression costs.
Posted on 12/4/23 10:26AM by Sam Marsh

GP Teenager in Custody for Weekend Shooting at Buffalo Wild Wings in Medford
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The Medford Police Department has arrested a Grants Pass teenager for attempted murder and other crimes following an investigation into a weekend shooting at a local restaurant that critically injured another person. On Friday at 11:25 p.m., an MPD officer was on routine patrol near the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings on Delta Waters Road when multiple gunshots were heard coming from the front of the restaurant. According to MPD, the officer found a victim lying on the ground next to the front door and immediately began providing medical aid. Several individuals were seen running to a vehicle and then fleeing toward Highway 62. A description of the suspect vehicle was broadcast to other officers who located and stopped it on Crater Lake Highway near Bullock Road. The vehicle occupants, including the suspected shooter -- 18-year-old Joseph Larry Lopez of Grants Pass -- were detained and interviewed. Joseph Lopez was placed into custody and lodged at the Jackson County Jail for felony charges of Attempted Murder, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and 1st-Degree Assault. He was being held without bail. Police believe that a confrontation between two groups of people precipitated the shooting. As of Saturday, the unidentified victim was in critical condition and undergoing surgery. A Sunday night update stated the victim remains in very serious condition.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh

Medford Police Detectives Investigate Double-Homicide at Apartment Complex
The Medford Police Department is investigating a double-homicide that occurred early yesterday at a local apartment complex. On Sunday at about 5:40 a.m., MPD officers responded to a reported disturbance with shots fired at the Charles Point apartment complex on Highgate Street in south Medford. Upon arrival, officers located two individuals with gunshot wounds in the parking lot near an apartment. Both subjects were transported to a local hospital where one of them was pronounced deceased and the other succumbed to their injuries later in the day. According to MPD, names or any other specifics of the victims will not be released at this time. Officials confirmed the case is not related to the shooting incident that occurred late Friday night at Buffalo Wild Wings. Medford police detectives and detectives from assisting agencies continue to work the case to determine the circumstances surrounding the disturbance that led to the deaths of the victims. Officials said there is no further information at this time and additional details will be released as they become available.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh

Weekend Fight at South Grants Pass Bar Resulted in Arrests of Husband & Wife
A weekend fight at a south Grants Pass bar resulted in the arrests of a man and his wife. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers were alerted to a disturbance at the 238 Bar on Williams Highway on Friday around 10:20 p.m.. Police said they responded to reports of a large physical altercation at the bar and they were advised that subjects were starting to disperse after the fight spilled out of the bar and into the parking lot. An investigation determined that 37-year-old Dustin Quentin Simas was involved in a confrontation with another group inside the bar. He claimed he was hit when he came out of the restroom and witnesses said he was wildly swinging at anyone he could find in the business. Meanwhile, his wife -- 37-year-old Rebecca Christine Simas -- started engaging in threatening behavior toward another woman and started yelling at individuals in the bar. The victim advised Simas struck her with a closed fist and another patron had video of the woman grabbing his phone while he was recording. Dustin Simas and Rebecca Simas were placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct while she was jailed for Physical Harassment and Disorderly Conduct. Both were being held without bail.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Felon for Graffiti Tagging & Possession of Brass Knuckles
Grants Pass Police jailed a felon for two crimes after he vandalized a business in the downtown area and was found to be in possession of brass knuckles. According to the Police Department 35-year-old Anthony John Gambale, IV, was arrested for the incident at Ace Cash Express in the 400-block of SE 7th Street on Friday at about 7:30 p.m.. Police said Gambale was observed by a citizen spray-painting graffiti on the south wall of the business. He was located one block away and a can of green spray paint was recovered from his clothing. He admitted to tagging the building and a consent search found him to be in possession of brass knuckles. As a confirmed convicted felon, Gambale was prohibited from having the weapon. Anthony Gambale was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Three People Hurt and One Arrested for DUII after Weekend Crash near RCC
Three people were hospitalized and one of them was arrested for impaired driving after a weekend crash near Rogue Community College. On Friday at 7:20 p.m., the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to the two-vehicle collision in the 3500-block of Demaray Drive. Deputies said an investigation determined that 25-year-old Matthew Trevino was driving a Ford Focus with his father as a passenger when he turned right in front of a Toyota Corolla driven by a woman identified only as "Cover." Trevino, his father and Cover had to be extricated from their wrecked vehicles and all were taken by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of various injuries. Trevino reportedly displayed signs of impairment at the crash scene. He admitted to drinking a beer and taking two shots of hard alcohol before driving. His father said he did not remember the crash and did not wish to pursue charges against his son. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and were towed away. Matthew Trevino was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving and 4th-Degree Assault. He was cited to appear in court and released to the care of hospital staff.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council to Focus on Survey & Caveman Pool in Bi-Weekly Workshop
The Grants Pass City Council has two main topics on its agenda for today's bi-weekly workshop session. The City Council will open the workshop with a staff update on the results of an Organizational Engagement Survey by Star360. The municipal policy panel will then engage in further discussion surrounding the future of Caveman Pool. The session will conclude with a review of the agenda for Wednesday night's regular meeting. Today's workshop begins at 11:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Grants Pass City Hall, 101 NW A Street.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford District of BLM Addresses Dying Douglas Fir Trees across SW Oregon Region
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More Douglas fir trees have died in Southern Oregon in the last four years than the last four decades combined and the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management wants to know why. BLM leaders want your feedback on the best strategy for how to respond to increasing tree mortality. The agency is concerned about public safety along roadways, increased fire risk, change in wildlife habitat and economic impacts. Medford District BLM Manager Elizabeth Burghard said their top priority is to decrease risk to local communities. She said they are very concerned about the impacts of Douglas fir mortality on safe and effective wildland firefighting and they need the public's help to decide where and how to take the most effective action. The BLM is proposing to remove dead and dying trees in strategic areas to improve community safety, assist with evacuations during wildfire events, provide access for emergency services, and provide firefighters safe and effective means to engage fire when it occurs. Foresters hope to remove these dead and dying trees while the timber still has commercial value. The Medford District BLM anticipates that the environmental analysis will cover an estimated 5,000 acres of commercial salvage, non-merchantable removal, and activity fuel treatments. Input would be most beneficial if received by January 7th. Additional information can be found at "eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2027249/510/."
Posted on 12/4/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Officers and Firefighters Logged Active Week of Community Protection
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters put in an active week of protecting citizens in the community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 528 calls for service along with 295 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 49 arrests, 38 citations, 19 warnings and seven highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 178 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting five people, citing 38 more and warning 90 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 23 individuals, posted 80 transient camps and helped remove trash from two campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 72 calls last week including 29 for emergency medical assistance, three for reports of fire or smoke, 12 lift assists, two rescue situations, four assists to other agencies and two false alarms. Fire personnel also inspected 25 businesses, assisted the public three times and installed two child car seats.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
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Holiday Tree Arrival & Lighting Ceremony to Prompt Street Closures in GP This Week
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A 40-foot-tall Christmas tree will be installed in downtown Grants Pass this week, which will prompt seasonal and temporary street closures. The City of Grants Pass has announced that 5th Street between G Street and the alley will be closed from today through January 3rd at 10 a.m. as it will be the location of the Holiday Plaza. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place this Friday at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Plaza. In the interest of public safety, G Street between 4th and 6th streets along with 5th Street from the alley to H Street will be closed Friday from 3 p.m. to about 10:30 p.m.. Detours will be in place. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternate routes during the event.
Posted on 12/4/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man Wanted on Local Felony Warrant at North-City Motel
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a local felony warrant during a routine patrol check in the north part of the city early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 37-year-old Zachariah Patrick Peugh at the Grants Pass Travelodge on Friday at 12:25 a.m.. Police said Peugh was contacted inside a vehicle at the motel and found to be wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Possession of a Prohibited Firearm or Silencer. Peugh was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia during a consent search. He was placed into custody and the drug items were seized for destruction. Zachariah Peugh was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and he was cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation.
Posted on 12/2/23 6:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Fugitive Wanted on State Felony Warrant Surrendered at GP Police Department
A fugitive wanted on a statewide felony warrant turned himself in to the Grants Pass Police Department this week. According to the Police Department, 37-year-old Braide Preston Shipman arrived at the station on NE 7th Street and surrendered to officers late Wednesday night. Shipman was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a past conviction for Flight to Avoid Prosecution. This time, he didn't run. Braide Shipman was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 12/2/23 6:52AM by Sam Marsh
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