Local News

ODOT Says with Winter Coming, It's Time to Sharpen Your Foul Weather Driving Skills
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Winter is fast-approaching with road conditions expected to be a little worse this year than in years past, so improving our winter driving skills has never been more important. Todd Harris, president of the Pro Driving Racing School in Portland, said the most common mistake motorists make is overestimating their vehicles' capabilities and their own driving skills. This year, with costs increasing and fuel tax revenues trending down, the Oregon Department of Transportation will be forced to scale back maintenance and services around the state. They won't be able to clear roads during winter storms as quickly in the past. There may be more snow and ice buildup, more chain requirements, and longer days and more frequent road closures. The change in average road conditions means we could all use a little sharpening of our winter driving skills. If you have to head out in the snow or ice, make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition, with clean headlights, good brakes, working windshield wipers and good tires. Check your route before leaving -- not just your destination but conditions along the way. Slow down when approaching off-ramps or bridges. Allow extra stopping distance. In bad visibility -- heavy fog or snow flurries -- being able to see is as important as being seen. Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to others. Carry chains and know how to use them. Slow down and allow extra time to get where you're going.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:38AM by Sam Marsh

BLM District Closing Bear Camp Road Gate on Thursday as Winter Weather Approaches
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As winter weather approaches, the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is closing the gate on Bear Camp Road near Galice on Thursday. The gate -- which is closed annually for public safety ahead of winter weather -- will remain closed until spring snow conditions allow for safe passage for public travel. Travelers are advised to use US Highway 199 as an alternate route. Bear Camp Road -- which is managed by both the BLM and US Forest Service -- is a remote, mountainous route that connects the Rogue Valley to coastal areas. It is not plowed during the winter and weather conditions can often change quickly, making road conditions hazardous. The BLM and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest remind the public that it is critical to "Know Before You Go," especially this time of year. Be aware of predicted weather and road conditions that provide access to public lands. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and road conditions. Know the predicted weather for your route and how it can possibly affect your travel plans.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

Energy Trust Presenting City of GP with Rebate Check for Heat Exchanger Project
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The Energy Trust of Oregon will present the City of Grants Pass with a rebate check for $130,000 on Thursday. Grants Pass Public Works Director Jason Canady said the rebate is for the recently completed Heat Exchanger Conversion Project at the city's Water Restoration Plant, which is located at 1200 SW Greenwood Avenue. The new digester heat exchanger and boiler project started in the latter part of 2022 and it was finished this past summer, having taken eight months to complete. The entire unit was installed through an open roof with a crane and set on a preinstalled concrete equipment pad. Canady said the new boiler will help reduce energy usage by using methane that the digester produces instead of natural gas from the utility.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh

Board will Consider Library Annexations & New Policy on Tax Foreclosures
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has one public hearing and two action items on its agenda for tomorrow'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. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when citizens are given up to three minutes to address the Board on topics pertaining to Josephine County. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 11/28/23 1:16PM 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 for violating a court order yesterday 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 around 9:45 a.m.. 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 11/28/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Violating Court Order after Bridge Street Contact
Grants Pass Police contacted two people who were walking down the middle of SW Bridge Street and discovered that they were the subjects of a court order filed in Washington state. The Police Department reports officers contacted 44-year-old Vanessa Pauline Duran and a man identified as "Jason C. Beals" on Bridge Street near Vicki Lane on Sunday around 11:30 p.m.. Both were warned for Improper Pedestrian Positioning on a Public Roadway. Police said Duran and Beals do not live in the Grants Pass area, and they were acting suspicious and hostile toward law enforcement. Beals was found to be the protected person in a protection order out of Kitsap County, Washington, listing Duran as the restrained individual. Duran was immediately placed into custody. Vanessa Duran was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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Physical Altercation between GP Man & Mother Led to Arrest on Local Warrant
A physical altercation between a Grants Pass man and his mother last night 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 on Monday at 11:15 p.m.. 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 11/28/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman on Outstanding Warrants in Sunday Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on two outstanding warrants during a weekend patrol check at a motel in the north part of the city. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 22-year-old Priscilla Marie Pacheco in a car parked at the Grants Pass Travelodge at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday. Police said they spotted Pacheco and knew that she was wanted on a Medford felony warrant for Methamphetamine Possession and Supplying Contraband as well as a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. Pacheco initially refused to talk with police before being placed into custody. She was lodged at the Josephine County Jail. During transport to the jail, officers said Pacheco's cell phone, identification card and beanie cap were left on the hood of the patrol car. The items fell off and were lost. Officers searched the area with no luck locating the items. She was notified.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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Gold Hill Man Arrested on 2 Felony Warrants by OSP after GP Traffic Stop
A Gold Hill man was arrested on two outstanding felony warrants following a weekend traffic stop in north Grants Pass. The Oregon State Police reports troopers pulled over a Subaru Impreza driven by 37-year-old Kurtis Neil Knutson on NE Mead Street near 7th Street on Saturday at 10:23 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Knutson for a traffic violation and quickly discovered that he was wanted on two Jackson County felony warrants. He was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. His car was released to a friend. Jail records show Knutson posted $15,000 cash bail and was released on Sunday.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Walmart Hit by Multiple Shoplifters with Four People Arrested
The Grants Pass Walmart was hit by multiple shoplifters yesterday with at least four people being arrested. The Police Department reports the first incident occurred on Monday at 8:22 a.m. when officers arrested 49-year-old Daniel Reese Wise, Jr. for stealing a shirt, meat and a gun case valued at just over $85. Wise reportedly removed the foam from the gun case and filled it with stolen items. He was lodged The second incident happened on Monday at 1:39 p.m. when officers arrested 25-year-old Haylee Raeanne Sumner and 22-year-old Dazlyn Rae Riggins for teaming up to fill a shopping cart full of items totaling more than $1,000 before exiting the store. Sumner's three children were with her during the attempted heist. The third incident took place on Monday at 2:25 p.m. when officers arrested 52-year-old Nancy Corrien Freitas for trying to steal more than $156 in items by "skip-scanning" them and leaving with the unpaid-for merchandise. Freitas was detained by loss prevention who provided police with evidence that she had skip-scanned items on two previous occasions, resulting in a loss of about $300.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Detained Impaired Motorist & Took Him to Detox Before He Drove Away
The Oregon State Police detained a heavily impaired motorist and took him to the detox center before he had a chance to drive away early yesterday. According to OSP, troopers contacted 39-year-old David Aaron Xaros in the parking lot of the Burger King on Rogue River Highway on Monday at 10:15 a.m.. Troopers said Xaros appeared to be attempting to get into his Nissan Versa to drive. They observed multiple indicators of impairment and the man admitted to using drugs earlier in the day. David Xaros voluntarily agreed to go to the Grants Pass Sobering Center until the effects of the narcotics wore off. The Nissan was released to its owner.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Young Motorist Cited for Violating Basic Rule after Williams Highway Wreck
A young Williams man was cited for driving too fast for the weather conditions after he crashed his vehicle on Highway 238 near Murphy early yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle rollover wreck on Williams Highway near Crystal Drive on Monday around 9 a.m.. Troopers said a 19-year-old man was driving a Toyota Prius west on the highway and traveling too fast for the foggy and icy conditions. They said he lost control of the car, left the roadway, struck a ditch, rolled and struck a power pole. The young motorist was not hurt, but the damaged car was towed into Grants Pass. Pacific Power crews responded to fix the damaged utility pole. Following the investigation, the motorist was cited for Violating the Basic Rule.
Posted on 11/28/23 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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