Local News

BCC Okays Order Creating New Policy for Disposition of Foreclosed Properties
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners this morning approved an order creating a new policy for the disposition of tax-foreclosed real property. The Board voted unanimously to approve the order, which is the result of a United States Supreme Court ruling in 2022. The nation's highest court ruled that if a property is foreclosed upon due to delinquent taxes, it is unconstitutional for the government entity to keep the proceeds of a sale over the amount of taxes owed. In order to satisfy the ruling, Josephine County's new policy on tax-foreclosed properties gives the prior owner of record 180 days to make a claim that allows them to keep the property if they pay the past due taxes. The new policy applies to all properties foreclosed upon since May 25, 2017 -- a period of over six years. The Commissioners then approved an order returning a foreclosed property to its prior owner of record in exchange for full payment of delinquent taxes. The Board opened the meeting with a public hearing on the annexation of three properties into the Josephine Community Library District. After Library Director Kate Lasky testified that the property owners had petitioned to be included, the Commissioners unanimously approved the annexations of properties on Board Shanty Road in Murphy, Saint Parris Drive in Williams and Lower River Road in Grants Pass into the taxing district.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:31AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Arrested Pair for Stealing Truck after North Valley Area Traffic Stop
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested two people for stealing a vehicle last night following a traffic stop in the North Valley area. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies pulled over a Ford F-150 pickup driven by 48-year-old Robby Lee Frenna near the intersection of San Francisco Street and Trolley Lane on Tuesday around 9:45 p.m.. Deputies said Frenna's pickup was towing another Ford F-150 that was reported stolen out of California by the Oregon State Police. State troopers rushed to the scene while Frenna and his passenger -- 29-year-old Sunshine Ruth -- were placed into custody at gunpoint. Robby Frenna and Sunshine Ruth were both charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Frenna was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail while Ruth was cited to appear in court and then released. The registered owner of the stolen pickup was contacted and he arranged for his vehicle to be towed into Grants Pass.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:29AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Woman Wanted on State Warrant after Finding Her at Park
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman who was wanted on a statewide felony warrant after locating her at a city park yesterday. The Police Department reports 46-year-old Rose Marie McLaughlin was arrested at Gilbert Creek Park on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Tuesday at 11:55 a.m.. Police said an officer with Josephine County Community Corrections contacted them to report seeing McLaughlin sitting in a wheelchair at the park. She was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from previous convictions for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Criminal Trespass. After the warrant was confirmed by the Oregon State Parole Board, McLaughlin was located, placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. Her property was logged into evidence for safekeeping. Jail records show Rose McLaughlin has been arrested for violating her post-prison supervision six times since July 10th of this year.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:28AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Man for Theft & Drug Possession after Dollar Tree Heist
Grants Pass Police arrested man for theft and drug possession after a shoplifting incident at the north Dollar Tree store yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint at the Dollar Tree on NW 6th Street on Tuesday around noon. Arriving units searched the area and located 35-year-old Bartholomew James Robert Lewis near the corner of NW 6th Street and Midland Avenue. They said he had changed his jacket, ditched his bicycle and backpack, and clearly made efforts to avoid contact with law enforcement. He was in possession of the stolen items. Lewis was also found to be in possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. His backpack and bike were placed into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Woman for Stealing Dog Food and Treats from Grange
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing pet food and treats at the Grange Co-op store late yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to the shoplifting incident at the store on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway at 4:11 p.m. Tuesday. Police said 52-year-old Wendi Michelle Wilder was caught by store security while stealing dog food and treats by concealing them in her pockets and purse. According to the report, Wilder told officers she did not have the money to buy food for her dog that was not eating well. However, a consent search revealed that she had more than $400 in cash on her at the time. Wendi Wilder was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. She was also trespassed from Grange Co-op.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested 2 People, Cited Others and Trespassed All from Parks
Grants Pass Police arrested two people, cited a few more and evicted all of them during city park patrol checks yesterday. On Tuesday morning at Lawnridge Park, officers observed 39-year-old Teresa Ann Batts who had been trespassed from the park on Monday. She was found with drug paraphernalia containing fentanyl residue, lodged at the Josephine County Jail and once again trespassed from the park for 30 days. Meanwhile, Bart Lewis was cited for Scattering Rubbish and he was also excluded from the park for the next month. On Tuesday morning at Baker Park, David Wilson was cited for Open Fire and Marijuana Possession in a City Park. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. Officers said he was aggressive with them and initially refused to identify himself. On Tuesday night at Baker Park, 35-year-old Jonathan Michael Bull was contacted and it was discovered that he had been trespassed from the park on Halloween. He admitted that he knew he had been excluded, so he was arrested and lodged in jail for Criminal Trespass. His 30-day exclusion was updated.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Violating Court Order by Contact & Text Messaging
Grants Pass Police jailed a man this week for violating a court order by contacting the protected party in person and through numerous text messages. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident at Rogue View Gardens on Fruitdale Drive on Monday morning. Police said a friend of the 40-year-old female protected party called 9-1-1 to report that the woman told her an ex-boyfriend identified as 48-year-old John Robert Leblanc had just been there and left, but he would be returning. The friend asked for a welfare check because the suspect is a drug user and he had threatened her. According to the report, Leblanc violated a valid restraining order by showing up at the protected party's apartment and he had also sent her over 30 text messages. The court order prohibited contact by any means and prohibited him from being within 150 feet of her home. He was on video from a neighbor's ring camera. John Leblanc returned to the apartment complex a short time later and was placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation and was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:51AM by Sam Marsh
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Physical Altercation between GP Man and Mother Led to Arrest on Warrant
A physical altercation between a Grants Pass man and his mother this week landed the man in jail on an outstanding warrant. According to the Grants Pass Police Department, officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the Hawk's Inn Motel on NW 6th Street late Monday night. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report her son -- 22-year-old Raymond Robert Lee Amos -- pushed her after she slapped him across the face. The mother wanted to press charges, but she initiated the physical contact and her son pushed her away in self-defense before he left the scene on foot. Officers contacted Amos a short time later and discovered that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for two counts of failing to appear in court for Menacing. He was placed into custody without incident. Raymond Amos was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant with his bail set at $10,000.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
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IV Man Cited for Two Violations after OSP Pulled Him Over in Downtown CJ
An Illinois Valley man was cited for multiple traffic violations this week after a traffic stop in downtown Cave Junction. The Oregon State Police reports troopers pulled over a Lincoln Limousine driven by 30-year-old Joe Randall Thompson of Cave Junction at the intersection of Redwood and Caves highways late Monday night. Troopers said they stopped Thompson for a traffic violation and discovered that he was driving with a suspended license and no insurance. Joe Thompson was cited for Driving While Suspended and No Insurance. His limo was impounded and hauled away by Jerry's Towing.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Citations Pending after IVFD Crews Extinguished Trash Fire in Cave Junction
Citations were pending investigation after firefighters extinguished a trash fire in Cave Junction early yesterday. On Tuesday at 12:16 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District was dispatched to what was reported to be a grass fire in the 100-block of South Boundary Avenue. IVFD officials said arriving units found the grass fire was actually a trash fire that measured 10 feet by 10 feet. Crews quickly extinguished the blaze. Officials said the responsible party is facing three citations -- one for burning trash, another for burning at night and another for burning without a permit.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Fire Department Offers Tips for Thawing Out Frozen Water Sources
One of the most valuable home defense tools to stop a fire is a readily accessible garden hose with attached nozzle. Quick action with a hose has saved many homes in Josephine County -- but with the cold weather, it won't do much good if it's frozen. Rural Metro Fire Department says protecting the hose and faucet against freezing is very important because you never know when the hose might be needed to suppress unexpected flames inside or outside your home. If thawing out anything frozen, consider using warm water rather than using torches or open flame. Be sure to follow recommendations on portable heaters by providing adequate space of three feet from anything flammable.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Board will Consider Library Annexations and New Policy on Tax Foreclosures
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has one public hearing and two action items on its agenda for this morning's weekly business session. The Board will open the meeting with a public hearing on three annexations to the Josephine Community Library District. The requests were made by petition of landowners in the Grants Pass, Murphy and Williams areas. Under Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will consider an order on a new policy for the disposition of tax-foreclosed real property. Current policy calls for the Board to make a timely decision on real property acquired through foreclosure and to ensure that proceeds from a sale are properly distributed. In related business, the Board will decide whether to sell a foreclosed property back to the original owner of record in exchange for payment of past due taxes. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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