Local News

Applications Being Accepted for Seat on GP Urban Tree Advisory Committee
Applications are being accepted for a position on the Grants Pass Urban Tree Advisory Committee due to a vacancy. This volunteer position will expire in April 2025. This committee's purpose is to review, develop and implement programs and activities that promote, protect and enhance the urban forest as part of the Tree City USA program. Applications are available at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application." Completed applications must be received before 5 p.m. on Friday, August 2nd.
Posted on 6/21/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh

ODF Managing Two Wildfires that Erupted on Opposite Sides of Jackson County
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The Oregon Department of Forestry is managing two wildfires that erupted late yesterday on opposite sides of Jackson County. ODF reports the first fire broke out along Highway 62 south of Shady Cove while the second started a short time later in the 3900-block of Upper Applegate Road. As of 10:20 p.m. Thursday, the Highway 62 Fire was holding at 75 acres and was 40% lined. More than 60 firefighters were assigned to the blaze overnight. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has placed a Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice in the area of Highway 62 and Hammel Road. The Upper Applegate Fire was estimated to be 120 acres and was only 5% lined. More than 90 personnel were assigned to the wildfire overnight. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has placed a Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice from Eastside Road south of Little Applegate Road to north of McKee Bridge. In both incidents, ODF officials said afternoon and evening winds fanned the flames, causing both fires to grow despite an aggressive initial attack that included the first use of a large air tanker this year. Fire behavior decreased after sunset on both incidents and crews were working overnight toward full containment. According to ODF, the causes of both fires were under investigation.
Posted on 6/21/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

Medford District BLM Implements Public Use Restrictions Across Southern Oregon
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As the weather warms up and fire danger increases, the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has implemented public use restrictions on lands it manages in Southern Oregon. As of Thursday, certain activities on BLM-managed lands in Josephine and Jackson counties are restricted to prevent human-caused fires and to reduce the overall wildfire potential. Campfires are only allowed at the Hyatt Lake Campground and the lower section of the Rogue River below the high-water mark. In all other areas, visitors can use portable cooking stoves that utilize liquefied or bottled fuels. Otherwise, campfires or any other type of open fire -- including the use of charcoal briquettes -- is banned until further notice. Smoking is only allowed while inside a vehicle or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of flammable vegetation. Operating a motor vehicle and parking off-road is only allowed on roadways clear of flammable vegetation. Using fireworks, exploding targets or tracer ammunition is prohibited. Using a chain saw or other equipment with internal combustion engines for any type of operation is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.. For updated information on public use restrictions, visit "blm.gov/orwafire."
Posted on 6/21/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh

Mount Ashland Ski Area Now Open for Summer Season Adventures and More
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The Mt. Ashland Ski Area is now open for the summer season. The mountain lodge opens its restaurant and retail shop to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. The restaurant serves hot entrees, ice cream and adult beverages. The ski area will offer events throughout the summer including movie nights, tie-dye events, a disc golf tournament and other activities for all ages. Mt. Ashland is also launching an Alpine Adventure program for kids. Children ages 8-13 can enroll in camps and mini-camps including hiking, nature, arts and crafts, and mountain sports. The resort also invites interested youth groups to take field trips for mountain programs during the week. The summer season for Mt. Ashland comes on the heels of a successful ski season that saw more than 95,000 visitors for skiing and snowboarding. The local ski area had the most successful spring season pass sale in its history, surpassing the previous record by 10.5%. For more information, visit "mtashland.com."
Posted on 6/21/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Gets Assist from OSP in Locating & Arresting Felony Assault Suspect
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office got an assist from the Oregon State Police in tracking down and arresting a North Valley man wanted in a felony assault case. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies and state troopers arrested 41-year-old Brian Edward Simpson at a home in the 7,000-block of Monument Drive on Wednesday at 7:01 p.m.. Deputies said they were on patrol when they spotted a silver Dodge Challenger known to be associated with Simpson near the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Merlin roads. The suspect fled on Merlin Road toward Interstate 5, so deputies contacted OSP to watch for him in the area of the freeway. The Sheriff's Office and OSP continued to search the area of Monument Drive until they once again spotted the suspect vehicle, swooped in and placed Simpson into custody. No information on the details of the case have been disclosed. Simpson was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Assault, which is defined under Oregon law as "intentionally or knowingly causing serious physical injury to another person with a deadly or dangerous weapon." He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed North Valley Woman for Attacking Boyfriend at Hugo Residence
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a North Valley woman for attacking her boyfriend at a Hugo area residence last night. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested the 30-year-old female subject for the incident in the 6900-block of Tunnel Loop Road on Wednesday at 10 p.m.. Deputies said the male victim called 9-1-1 to report the attack in which the woman reportedly hit him with a piece of metal and threatened him with a butter knife. He also told dispatchers that his girlfriend hit him in the face with an old-fashioned camera lens. He said he shoved her because he thought she was going to stab him. Responding deputies contacted the man and confirmed his injuries, but he declined medical treatment. They found the woman walking up the driveway and placed her into custody in short order. No other information was available. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Elderly GP Man Arrested for Trying to Fight Police on NW Hawthorne Avenue
An elderly Grants Pass man was arrested last night for trying to fight with police officers who responded to an incident at the man's northwest-city residence. The Police Department reports officers were on patrol on Wednesday at about 6:45 p.m. when they observed the 83-year-old man striking a male transient while trying to kick him off his property in the 1300-block of NW Hawthorne Avenue. Police said the elderly man was intoxicated while trying to physically evict the transient who had established a campsite on his property. No one was seriously hurt. While trying to separate the combatants, officers said the older man came at them in an aggressive manner and attempted to strike them with a closed fist. After being placed into custody, he then tried to "mule kick" the officers. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Attempted Assault on a Police Officer. He was being held without bail. The unidentified transient was advised to leave and he was trespassed from the property.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Young Man for Stealing Food from Dollar General Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for stealing food items from a Redwood area store yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at Dollar General in the 1200-block of Redwood Avenue on Wednesday during the noon hour. Police said an investigation determined that a 19-year-old man was caught by store workers selecting food items valued at $11.50 and putting them in his pants. They said the suspect admitted to stealing the food because he was hungry. A records check showed the young man had already been trespassed from Dollar General for similar crimes. He was placed into custody without incident. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. Due to several recent run-ins with law enforcement, he was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:50AM by Sam Marsh
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GPPD Evicted 9 Campers & Posted 70 Illegal Campsites in City Park Patrols
The Grants Pass Police Department was very active in patrolling city parks on Wednesday -- evicting nine campers and posting a total of 70 illegal campsites. At Fruitdale Park, officers cited a man for Scattering Rubbish. A total of 16 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN). At Morrison Centennial Park, one woman was cited for Buffer Zone Violation and Misuse of Open Spaces while another woman was cited for Misuse of Open Spaces and Staking a Tent. Both were trespassed from the park for 30 days. Seven camps were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Baker Park, one man was cited for Scattering Rubbish while another man was cited for Misuse of Open Spaces and Staking a Tent. Both were issued 30-day exclusions from the park. A total of 14 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Riverside Park, a woman was cited for Smoking Cigarettes in the Park and a man was cited for Smoking Methamphetamine in the Park. Both were trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 24 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. Patrols were also performed at Lawnridge, Kesterson and Ogle parks.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Extinguished Wednesday Afternoon Grass Fire on Holland Loop
Firefighters extinguished a Wednesday afternoon grass fire near Cave Junction. The Illinois Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the reported fire in the 6,000-block of Holland Loop Road at 3:47 p.m. yesterday. IVFD officials said arriving units quickly located and snuffed out the half-acre vegetation fire. After the blaze was declared out, mop-up work was completed. ODF was investigating the cause of the fire.
Posted on 6/20/24 10:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Adjusts Public Comment Rules for Regular Business Meetings
Rules to address the Grants Pass City Council during regular business meetings were changed by a unanimous vote last night. The primary change was reducing the amount of time citizens may speak during the public comment period from three minutes to two minutes. In the current rules, citizens must submit a public comment card prior to the public comment section of the meeting. The cards are available at the city administration office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cards will be received up to the time of public comment. The Council may ask two questions during public comment with citizens being given one minute to respond. The public comment period will be limited to a total of no more than 30 minutes. In special circumstances, the City Council has the discretion to extend the period. City councilors also adjusted their own rules of attendance. Current rules state that Council members can only attend electronically six times per year. The vote was to expand that to 10 times annually. The current rule was only two councilors could attend electronically, but that rule was dropped. All executive sessions must be attended physically.
Posted on 6/20/24 8:52AM by Sam Marsh
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Detectives Arrest White City Sexual Abuse Suspect and Seek Additional Victims
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Following a month-long investigation, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) has arrested a 20-year-old Medford man for multiple counts of sex abuse of an underage victim. According to the Sheriff's Office, detectives arrested 20-year-old Brayden Cyrus Edelman on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Medford. He was charged with one count of 1st-Degree Sex Abuse and two counts 2nd-Degree Sex Abuse before being lodged at the Jackson County Jail. Jackson County Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis said the investigation into Edelman started in mid-May. Although Edelman lives in Medford, he said the crimes occurred in White City. SVU detectives believe Edelman may have other victims who have yet to come forward. They said the case remains under investigation and it will be prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office. Anyone with information on Brayden Edelman is asked to call SVU Detective Jill Wenzel at (541)-770-8928.
Posted on 6/20/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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