Local News

Council Workshop to Address Housing Incentives, the Caveman Pool & Public Comment Rules
A relatively long agenda is awaiting the Grants Pass City Council when it convenes its weekly workshop this morning at 11:45. The Council will discuss minimum density and multi-family permits and how system development charges can affect builder’s incentives. A discussion on the future of the Caveman pool is second on the agenda. The third item is consideration of public comment rules and procedures for Council’s business sessions, which have become lengthy and occasionally raucous. Councilors will review upcoming agendas before reconvening in executive session for labor negotiations and real property transactions.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:10AM by Chuck Benson

Suspect in Custody for Rural Shady Cove Homicide
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A Shady Cove man is in the Jackson County Jail charged with 2nd degree murder following a Saturday homicide. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call Saturday at 11:03 a.m. in rural Shady Cove. Dispatch received the call for a possible homicide with an armed suspect on scene at a property in the 23000 block of Highway 62 north of Shady Cove. Deputies arrived with the SWAT Bearcat to locate the armed suspect. Dispatch received a 2nd 911 call for the potential suspect at the Trail Market. Deputies responded and took the suspect into custody without incident. The victim’s name will be released pending next-of-kin notification. Medical Examiners arrived at the scene to begin the death investigation. Cause of death is pending the autopsy by an Oregon State Police forensic pathologist. Jackson County Detectives from and Central Point Police responded to assume the homicide investigation. The suspect, Travis Clayton Driver, 34, of Shady Cove, is in custody charged with second-degree murder. He is lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:08AM by Chuck Benson

First Drowning of the Season Saturday in the Illinois River
The Josephine County Sheriff’s office has reported the first drowning of the season. A call to 911 Saturday morning at 11:53 reported the incident in the Illinois River at Forks State Park in Cave Junction. The Sheriff’s Office along with OSP, IV Fire, and AMR responded to find Zeke Grant, 39, of Cave Junction had drowned while swimming at a popular swimming hole accessed from the park. Witnesses at the park had seen Grant swimming in the water but then found him submerged approximately 15 minutes later. There were no witnesses when the drowning occurred. Next of kin have been notified and no further information will be released by the Sheriff's Office at this time.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:07AM by Chuck Benson

GP Police Jail 3 for Weapons Charges in Separate Incidents.
The Grants Pass City Police jailed three individuals on weapons charges over the weekend in separate incidents. Saturday afternoon at 3:36 Police were notified of two shop lifters detained at Walmart. The suspects were cooperative however a 33-year-old woman was arrested and lodged in jail for the theft amounting to $33.96. On being searched incident to the arrest the woman was found to have a concealed firearm without a permit. She is facing charges of theft III and unlawful possession of a firearm. Just before 7 p.m. due to multiple calls, Police were alerted to a man in front of the Josephine County Courthouse pointing a firearm at oncoming traffic. Units arrived, deployed a contact team and took the 47-year-old man into custody without incident and recovered a “replica” firearm, later logged into evidence. The man was jailed on charges of menacing/intimidation and disorderly conduct II. It was the suspects 6th incarceration since September. Later that evening, at approximately 8:23 p.m., a 911 caller reported a suspected verbal altercation between a male and female in the 600 block of 7th street. Responding officers contacted the man walking away from the incident towards the High School. The 36-year-old man was determined to be a convicted felon and found to be in possession of two daggers and a baton that, with centrifugal force, could open to 24 inches. He was lodged in jail on a charge of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon and carrying concealed.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:04AM by Chuck Benson
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Observant Law Enforcement Officers Corral 3 Fugitives
Alert Law enforcement officers corralled three fugitives Saturday. Saturday morning just before 6 a.m. a Josephine County Deputy observed a figure behind a restaurant in the 200 block of Redwood Highway headed north behind Bigfoot. The suspect of contacted and found to have a “do not cite and release warrant due to overcrowding” warrant on two charges of failure to appear on animal abandonment and two charges of animal neglect II. The 43-year-old man was lodged in the County Jail. At 7:32 a.m. Saturday, a Grants Pass Police officer observed a man he knew to have an outstanding warrant and arrested the 31-year-old man and lodged him on the warrant for failure to report as a sex offender. This was the 4th arrest for the same charge since January. Saturday at 12:23 p.m. a City Police officer recognized a man known to have an active warrant and took him into custody, lodging him in the County Jail. The 37-year-old man was wanted on a charge of theft III. It was his third arrest since September of last year.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:03AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Public Safety Active in May to June Transition
Grants Pass Public Safety agencies remain active post Boatnik in the May to June transition. City Police answered 708 calls for service plus 217 officer initiated contacts that resulted in 57 arrests, 21 citlations, 29 warnings, 36 traffic stops, 22 referrals to the Department of Human Services and six persons lodged in the sobering center. The Community Response Team executed 203 contacts that caused 94 warnings, 23 citations, 3 arrests, 12 trespass warnings. They posted 99 camps and removed trash from five camps. Fire Rescue rolled to four fires and 42 medical calls, 11 lift assists and four rescues. They assisted other agencies 12 times and the public six times. Four false alarms were responded to and 31 businesses were inspected plus four car seats were installed.
Posted on 6/1/24 7:51AM by Chuck Benson
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Man Jailed on Multiple Charges following Attempt to Start Fires.
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 49-year-old man Friday night for attempting to start fires around his home. The incident began at approximately 9:30 p.m. when a 911 call came from a woman saying her husband is intoxicated and trying to light things on fire thinking he was saving the property from fire hazards. According to the Sheriff’s log the woman pushed him down when he tried to light some dried grass and foxtails on fire. He had already started a fire about one foot by one foot.
The situation continued to escalate with both parties screaming at each other as the husband continued to attempt to ignite the yard. Dispatch stated they were hearing sounds like the two were physically fighting over the lighter with the phone now on the ground and the wife saying she would stop restraining him when he stops trying to burn the yard.
Posted on 6/1/24 6:23AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Closes Tussing Park for 5 Days for Maintenance
The City of Grants Pass has announced the closure of Tussing Park for five days for maintenance. The park will be closed beginning Monday, June 3rd. It will remain closed through Friday, June 7, and is scheduled to re-open on Saturday, June 8, 2024. Last year the city did a partial closure to do needed maintenance and repair. This year, the decision was made to close the entire park instead of performing maintenance in sections. Tussing Park is located at 800 W Park St, Grants Pass, OR 97527
Posted on 6/1/24 5:47AM by Chuck Benson
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Suspect Jailed & Children Safe following Hostage Situation in Ashland
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Two children are safe, and a Central Point man is in jail today after Ashland Police Department (APD) responded to a call for a suicidal, potentially armed man taking children hostage in an Ashland apartment last night. The call came at 5:53 p.m. on Thursday, with information the man was holding two children, ages 4 and 7, hostage in an apartment in the 300 block of Engle Street in Ashland. After a nearly 7-hour standoff with police, the man is in the Jackson County Jail, and the children are safe. APD lodged the suspect, Erik Macias, 36, of Central Point, on charges of felony fourth-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence menacing, coercion, and driving while suspended. Macias also had two outstanding felony warrants including fourth-degree domestic violence/assault and driving under the influence of intoxications.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:39AM by Chuck Benson
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Multiple Agencies Engaged Rural Fire Friday Morning
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Rural Metro Fire responded to the report of flames seen in the woods in the area of Dutchy Way just after midnight Friday morning. After searching for access, firefighters found a collection of motorhomes and other vehicles ablaze, and approximately 1/2 acre spread into the surrounding vegetation. A full response was mobilized that included assistance from Grants Pass Fire, Illinois Valley Fire District, ODF Southwest Oregon District and Pacific Power. The over 8-hour campaign was wrought with challenges, including aggressive dogs, unearthed military ordinance, and the remote access that required water to be shuttled into the location 500 gallons at a time. Mop-up was completed after daybreak.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:38AM by Chuck Benson
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Case of Medford Nurse Suspected of Stealing Fentanyl Spotlights System Failure
The news out of Medford in December 2023 was explosive: A nurse in the intensive care unit of a local hospital had reportedly stolen patients' intravenous fentanyl and replaced it with unsterile tap water for months. Dozens of patients developed infections. At least three died. But the Oregonian reports it wasn't the first time Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center had discovered an employee stealing narcotics. A pharmacy technician stole drugs from the hospital from August 2016 through July 2017, according to a disciplinary order from the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. The board found Asante Rogue Regional hadn't adequately secured the drugs or supervised the technician. The board imposed a $20,000 penalty, but the hospital got to pay just $5,000 for complying with board-approved plans to fix the pharmacy's issues over the next three years. Six years later, the hospital faces an $11.5 million lawsuit over the most recent drug thefts. More suits are expected, as attorneys say they have been approached by dozens of former patients so far. The families of at least three patients who died have said the hospital notified them their loved one's fentanyl was likely replaced.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:36AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Incarcerated Sunny Valley Man for Shooting Out Tires on Wife's Vehicle
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a 41-year-old man for shooting out the tires on his wife's vehicle while she was behind the wheel during a domestic altercation in the Sunny Valley area this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the man for the incident that occurred near the corner of Sunny Glen Way and Green Leaf Way on Thursday evening. Deputies said an 11-year-old child called 9-1-1 to report the incident after she ran to a friend's home on Leland Road. She told dispatchers her stepfather used a gun to shoot out the tires on her mother's vehicle so she could not leave while they were arguing about money. The child was also inside the vehicle at the time.
According to the report, the child stated there was an ongoing issue with domestic violence between her parents. She said her stepfather had been physical with her mother in the past, but not with the children. Deputies responded to the scene, interviewed the involved parties and surveyed the damaged vehicle before placing the male subject into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Coercion plus misdemeanor charges of Domestic Assault, Domestic Menacing and Reckless Endangering. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:34AM by Chuck Benson
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