Local News

Rural Metro Officials Remind Motorists to Pull Over for Responders' Safety
Rural Metro Fire Department is reminding motorists to pull over for their safety. First responders are routinely called to emergencies along busy roadways. Rural Metro officials said firefighters, law enforcement, ambulance, public works, tow trucks and various other roadside workers contend with not only the hazards of an incident, but also passing vehicles. Speed and distraction greatly increase the chances of a secondary incident. Smoke crossing the road doesn't help, either. Motorists are encouraged to scan ahead, watch for flashing lights and slowing traffic, and reduce speed and move over whenever possible. Please give roadside workers the safe zone they need to do their jobs.
Posted on 5/17/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh

US Senator Wyden Announces Four Town Hall Meetings in Southern Oregon
US Senator Ron Wyden announced he will hold four town hall meetings in southwest Oregon at the end of this month. Town halls in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties initially scheduled in April were postponed due to Senate votes in Washington DC. Wyden will hold the first town hall in Josephine County on Tuesday, May 28th. It's set for 12:45 p.m. in the South Middle School gymnasium at 350 Harbeck Road in Grants Pass. The senator from Oregon will also hold a town hall in Curry County at 5:30 p.m. on May 28th, with meetings slated for May 29th in Coos and Douglas counties. Heading into these four town halls, Wyden has held a total of 1,081 meetings throughout Oregon -- including 16 this year -- in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall every year in each of the state's 36 counties. Wyden said he's glad to be able to reschedule these town halls so quickly because it's crucial that all Oregonians get the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas and offer suggestions.
Posted on 5/17/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

US Forest Service to Invest Millions to Reduce Wildfire Risk in Pacific NW Communities
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Communities that have limited resources and face high risk from wildfire are getting additional support from the US Forest Service. In an announcement made this week, Oregon will receive more than $24 million and Washington will receive more than $26.6 million in Community Wildfire Defense grant awards. These grants are part of more than $250 million being invested in 158 projects across 31 states, two territories and 11 tribes. A total of 22 projects were funded across Oregon and Washington. In Southern Oregon, the funded proposals include $250,000 to the Josephine County Emergency Management Director, $191,700 to the City of Grants Pass and $249,959 to the Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council. Funding from the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program is designed to assist communities with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks, and for critical infrastructure to help confront the nation's wildfire crisis. The funding supports developing or revising Community Wildfire Protection Plans as well as completing projects that are identified in these plans. The program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and includes $1 billion to reduce wildfire risk over five years.
Posted on 5/17/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

US Forest Service Opens Bear Camp Road in Time for 2024 Summer Recreation Season
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The US Forest Service has announced that Bear Camp Road is now open for public use. Road crews from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Umpqua National Forest have removed all snow drifts from Bear Camp Road. In coordination with the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management, the mountain road is now open for public use during the summer recreation season. Next month, the Josephine County Public Works Department will be chip-sealing Bear Camp Road from Burnt Ridge Road east to the junction with the BLM road. Crews plan on working the week of June 24th on chip-sealing operations. There will be traffic delays of up to 20 minutes during the construction work. This is the final phase of a project funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. Bear Camp Road is roughly 37 miles long. The east side starts at the county road near Galice and the road ends at the Agness Road/Forest Service Road junction. The first 12.3 miles of the road is managed by the Medford District BLM. There are gates that close the lower section of the road near the Galice Slide. They will be reopened when the road becomes passable.
Posted on 5/17/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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City of Grants Pass Announces 10 Winners in 2024 Drinking Water Week Poster Contest
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The City of Grants Pass has announced 10 winners in the 2024 Drinking Water Week Poster Contest. For more than 40 years, Grants Pass and the American Water Works Association have celebrated Drinking Water Week. As part of the annual celebration, the City created a Drinking Water Week Poster Contest. This year, more than 20 local students submitted original artwork focused on the theme "Reimagine Our Water Future." The artwork was submitted in three categories: grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Entries were judged based on creativity, originality and relevance to the theme. In the K-2 division, 1st place and $75 went to Zoey Jenkins, 2nd place and $50 went to Charlotte Brownell and third place and $25 went to Sierra Parker. In the 3-5 division, Olivia Christian grabbed first place while Silas Oldham placed second and there was a tied for third between Mya Mears and Olivia Ryther. In the 6-8 division, first place went to Haley Horst, second place went to Parker Cease and third place went to Ezra Hulet.
Posted on 5/17/24 5:54AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Damaging Vehicle She Stole Out of Jackson County
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for allegedly stealing a vehicle out of Jackson County between South Medford and Phoenix. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 32-year-old female subject at a home in the 1500-block of NW Lawnridge Avenue on Wednesday around 4 p.m.. Police said the Jackson County Sheriff's Office used a remote locator to ping a stolen vehicle in northwest Grants Pass. The vehicle is a white BMW 740I. Officers responded to the Lawnridge Avenue residence and contacted the resident who advised the vehicle belonged to a friend. The friend came out of the house to speak with officers and she admitted to stealing the vehicle. She was found to be in possession of the stolen car's key fob. There was also a large scratch along the passenger side of the car and the suspect admitted to striking a guard rail. Damage was estimated to be well over $1,000. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/16/24 11:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman on Warrant and for Drugs after WinCo Trespass Call
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant and for narcotics possession while investigating a trespassing complaint yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a call at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.. Police said the WinCo manager called to report a black El Camino and a red Camaro in the store parking lot. The caller said the vehicles were there for three hours, and he observed a man and woman loading property into a gray minivan that was parked on the street. He wanted them trespassed for suspicious behavior. Officers arrived on scene and the male suspect fled, but the 32-year-old female subject was detained. She was found to be wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for impaired driving. She was also found with small amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl, which were seized for destruction. The woman was cited to appear in court for the warrant and drug violations. She was released, but not before being trespassed from WinCo.
Posted on 5/16/24 11:25AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Netted Five for Warrant and Corrections Violations in Park Patrols
Grants Pass Police arrested five people for warrant and corrections violations during city park patrol checks on Wednesday. At Fruitdale Park, officers contacted a 64-year-old man for ordinance violations and discovered that he was wanted on three Grants Pass misdemeanor warrants. He was cited to appear in court and released. At Riverside Park, police contacted a 19-year-old woman for ordinance violations and contacted her corrections officer. The officer wanted her arrested for Probation Violation and she was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. At Kesterson Park, officers observed a 43-year-old man they knew from previous contacts. He was lodged in jail on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Larceny. He was being held on $35,000 bail. Also at Kesterson Park, officers contacted a 53-year-old man for an ordinance violation and discovered that he was wanted on a Douglas County warrant for failing to appear in court for 3rd-Degree Theft. He was cited and released. At Lawnridge Park, officers contacted a a 46-year-old woman for Illegal Camping. Her corrections officer was contacted and directed them to place her into custody. She was lodged without bail for Criminal Trespass and Felony Parole Violation.
Posted on 5/16/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Evicted 3 Campers from Riverside Park for Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police evicted three campers out of one city park for repeat ordinance violations on Wednesday. At Riverside Park, a man was cited for Scattering Rubbish, a second man was cited for Buffer Zone Violation and Misuse of Open Space, and a third man was cited for Illegal Camping and Buffer Zone Violation. All three were trespassed for 30 days. A total of 16 campsites at Riverside Park were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN).
Posted on 5/16/24 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Seized Stolen License Plate Off Car Stopped on Grants Pass Parkway
State troopers seized a stolen license plate off a vehicle that was pulled over on the Grants Pass Parkway late yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers stopped a white Hyundai Sonata driven by a 45-year-old Grants Pass woman on US Highway 199 near NE Terry Lane on Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped the suspect vehicle for failing to properly display a license plate. During the course of the investigation, they discovered that the license plate had been previously reported as stolen. During a field interview, it was learned that the driver was in possession of one of the stolen license plates. The woman was not arrested, but she was warned and the stolen license plate was seized and submitted for destruction.
Posted on 5/16/24 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Transportation Safety Commission Hosts Open House at GP Fairgrounds
The Oregon Transportation Safety Commission wants to make sure they hear from each corner and from all communities in the state with feedback, project ideas and concerns to better serve citizens. This spring, the commission is hosting eight in-person sessions where community members can make their voices heard. One of those sessions is taking place today in Grants Pass. It runs in an open house format from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. If you're interested in transportation safety in Josephine and Jackson counties, stop by the open house before 6.
Posted on 5/16/24 10:20AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF and Keep Oregon Green Urge People to Burn Responsibly to Prevent Fires
The Oregon Department of Forestry and other five prevention experts urge the public to exercise caution when disposing of yard debris this spring. Over 70% of wildfires in Oregon are human-caused, with debris burning being the #1 cause. As the weather gets hotter and fuels begin to dry out, the risk of a debris burn escaping increases. Now is the time to trim trees, bushes and tidy up plants around your home to create a "defensible space" around your property. As you begin spring clean-up, the Oregon Department of Forestry and Keep Oregon Green urge you to put some extra thought into how you plan to dispose of your yard debris. Call your local ODF office before burning to make sure the weather conditions are safe. You can also cover part of the pile with plastic and keep it dry until the rainy fall and winter seasons and when it's safer to burn. Delaying your plans will give the debris more time to cure and avoid spring holdover fires as fire risk increases with hotter, drier weather. By choosing alternative disposal methods or burning under safe conditions outside of fire season, Oregonians can significantly reduce the risk of creating a large wildfire. Remember, outdoor debris burning is prohibited in southwest Oregon during fire season. ODF officials said the 2024 fire season will begin on or before June 1st.
Posted on 5/16/24 10:05AM by Sam Marsh
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