Local News

Josephine County Right to Life Hosts "March for Life" in Grants Pass on Sunday
Josephine County Right to Life is hosting the annual "March for Life" on Sunday in Grants Pass. Participants will meet in front of the Josephine County Courthouse at 1 p.m., with the march through downtown Grants Pass starting at 1:30. The event will culminate with a Right to Life Rally at the main pavilion of Riverside Park at 2 p.m. The program will include "live" worship music, prayer with local pastors, pro-life messages from local and state representatives, and a "Sanctity of Life" proclamation by the Josephine County Board of Commissioners. Organizers say free refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Steve Raycraft at "sraycraft54@gmail.com" or Rick Nelson at "gpcats@charter.net."
Posted on 5/3/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh

May Delared "Wildfire Awareness Month" to Encourage Public to Prevent Human Fires
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May is Wildfire Awareness Month. Oregon experiences its heaviest wildfire activity during the summer months, but fires occur all seasons of the year including spring. Keep Oregon Green -- in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies -- will be spreading the word about the steps we all can take to prevent the start of careless, unwanted wildfires this summer as well as encouraging Oregonians to create defensible space around homes and outbuildings. Each year, over 70% of Oregon's wildfires are started by people. Many are a result of escaped debris burn piles or gas-powered equipment and vehicles casting sparks or catching on fire. During the 2023 fire season, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported that people were directly responsible for sparking 823 wildfires that burned 6,197 acres. Any spark can gain traction in dry vegetation, spread quickly and impact lives, personal property and the many benefits provided by scenic natural areas. Before heading outdoors this summer, contact the agency or landowner who manages the land at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions. Any visitor to Oregon's natural areas should be familiar with these restrictions before building campfires or using equipment that could ignite a wildfire.
Posted on 5/3/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh

OHCS On Track to Help Disaster Survivors with Homeowner Assistance Program (HARP)
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Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is moving into the application phase of the Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program (HARP) after receiving nearly 800 eligibility questionnaires from survivors of the 2020 Labor Day wildfires. OHCS officials said this is a significant milestone only made possible because of the partnership of local organizations. ReOregon -- an OHCS program -- launched HARP at the end of March to help homeowners with low to moderate incomes who still need assistance to repair, rebuild or replace their homes in the wake of the disasters. ReOregon is now working on notifying more than 300 of the 800 people who submitted questionnaires with instructions on how they can apply for HARP. Local culturally-specific organizations are helping households that may need additional support navigating the application process. Program officials estimate there may be more survivors who may be eligible for assistance in later phases of HARP. Those who are interested can still fill out the Eligibility Questionnaire on the "re.oregon.gov" website where eligibility requirements are also listed.
Posted on 5/3/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh

USDA Sending $4.4M in Grants to Renewable Energy Projects including One in Williams
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US Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently announced that the US Department of Agriculture is sending a total of more than $4.4 million in Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grants to support 20 renewable energy projects in rural communities across the state. The investments will be used to help farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners adopt renewable energy technologies, conduct critical energy audits, and cut costs and carbon pollution with energy efficiency improvements. Since launching in 2008, the REAP program has proved essential to rural America by providing grants and loans to help agriculture producers and small business owners expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy. Standing Tree Properties, LLC, of Williams will receive $50,672 to help it purchase and install a 19.44 kilowatt ground-mounted solar PV on their unused plot of land. The solar array will replace 72% of the business's energy use with renewable electricity, reducing its energy bill by $2,740 per year.
Posted on 5/3/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Seriously Injured in Jerome Prairie Area Crash that Sparked Brush Fire
A motorist was seriously injured last night when he apparently crashed a minivan into a power pole and sparked a brush fire in the Jerome Prairie area. Rural Metro Fire Department was initially dispatched to reports of a brush fire in the 2100-block of Stringer Gap Road on Tuesday at 10:26 p.m. Arriving units found a small fire burning in brush and trees, with arcing power lines in the area, prompting a call to Pacific Power. Rural Metro officials said an adult subject was located lying in the roadway with apparent injuries to his face, which prompted a call for an ambulance to American Medical Response. Crews extinguished the fire and located an overturned minivan inside the perimeter that was fully-involved with flames. The patient was transported by AMR to a Medford trauma hospital with serious injuries. The relationship of the injured subject to the crash was pending an investigation by Rural Metro and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office. Officials said the incident was being investigated as a vehicle crash that knocked down a utility line, sparking the fire.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Strangling and Assaulting Woman on SW Topaz Lane
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for multiple crimes yesterday after he allegedly strangled and assaulted a woman at a residence in a southwest city neighborhood. The Police Department reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in the 1800-block of SW Topaz Lane on Wednesday at 11:20 a.m.. Police said the 31-year-old male subject had strangled the female victim a few days prior to this call for service, which restricted her airway and blood-flow. They said the man punched the woman early yesterday, causing her to lose consciousness and suffer substantial pain. His actions put the victim in fear of serious injury or death. Responding officers interviewed both parties and documented visual injuries to the woman before placing the suspect into custody. He was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Domestic Strangulation, Domestic 4th-Degree Assault and Domestic Menacing. The victim refused medical treatment. She contacted GPPD later in the day to report finding a small baggie of methamphetamine in a suitcase owned by the suspect. Officers responded, seized the meth and booked it into evidence for destruction.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Probation Violation after Motel Trespassing Complaint
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for violating his probation early yesterday after he trespassed at a north-city motel. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint at Hampton Inn & Suites on NE Morgan Lane on Wednesday shortly after 3 a.m.. Police said a motel worker called 9-1-1 to report a male subject sleeping in the entryway. They said the caller told them they didn't feel safe going out there and wanted the man trespassed from the business. Officers arrived on scene, contacted the 39-year-old man and ordered him off the property. He initially left the motel, but returned about five minutes later and was placed into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Criminal Trespass plus the resulting Probation Violation. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man on Warrant after Performing Highway 238 Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant after responding to perform a welfare check on Williams Highway last night. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a male subject in a wheelchair who was on the shoulder of Highway 238 near the 7th Street onramp on Wednesday around 8:45 p.m.. A caller said the handicapped man was in danger. Police said they contacted the 44-year-old man a short time later at Walgreens and discovered that he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. He was also found to be in possession of narcotics. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and cited to appear in court for the drug violation. The methamphetamine was seized for destruction and the rest of the man's belongings were placed in safekeeping.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Park Patrol Checks Yield Felony Assault Suspect, Citations and Exclusions
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for suspicion of felony assault following a patrol check at a city park on Wednesday. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 44-year-old man at Riverside Park at about noon yesterday. He had been contacted and found to be wanted for probable cause of 2nd-Degree Assault and Probation Violation related to another assault charge. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail. Also at Riverside Park, a camper was cited for narcotics possession and trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 26 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN). At Morrison Centennial Park, two men were cited for Buffer Zone Violation and one of them was also cited for Misuse of Park Open Space. Both were issued 30-day exclusions. A total of 11 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Kesterson Park, a man was cited for Illegal Camping after he failed to remove a previously posted campsite. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 11 campsites were posted and an e-mail was sent to UCAN. At Fruitdale Park, a man and woman were cited for Scattering Rubbish. A total of 19 campsites were posted and an e-mail was sent to UCAN.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Responded to Reports of Fire in Mountains above Jumpoff Joe
Rural Metro Fire Department responded to reports of fire in the mountains between the Hugo and Sunny Valley areas late last night. Rural Metro crews located several large slash piles burning in the Jack Creek area above Jumpoff Joe Creek Road. Officials said there was no threat to any homes or private property, but the glow of the flames could be seen from the North Valley area and Placer Road. Rural Metro advised the Oregon Department of Forestry and said they would be handling the incident.
Posted on 5/2/24 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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SOCET Arrested Medford Man for Soliciting Sex from Underage Victims Across US
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The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint interagency task force arrested a Medford man in Eagle Point yesterday. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Eagle Point Police Department assisted with the arrest of 22-year-old Zachary Elijah Bowen on Wednesday at a business near the intersection of Highway 62 and West Linn Road. During their investigation, SOCET discovered the suspect was communicating nationwide with at least five underage victims through social media sites. SOCET investigators identified a 13-year-old victim from Kansas City, Missouri, and were attempting to identify the additional underage victims. Bowen was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on 12 felony charges including Using a Child in a Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct, 10 counts of 2nd-Degree Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse and Luring a Minor. SOCET started investigating Bowen after more than a dozen cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to multiple residences where he lived in Portland and at a licensed marijuana farm in Trail. A search warrant was served at the marijuana farm in the 4700-block of Highway 227 where investigators seized digital devices for examination by the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force. The case remains under investigation with detectives following additional leads and attempting to identify other victims. The case will be prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 5/2/24 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Elderly Man for Threatening Wife & Stepdaughter with Firearm
Grants Pass Police jailed an elderly man for threatening his wife and stepdaughter with a firearm at a northwest city residence. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 81-year-old man at a home in the 700-block of NW A Street on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the man got upset with his wife and stepdaughter after he believed they were throwing away his belongings. An investigation determined the suspect made contact with his family members in the upstairs master bedroom, pointed a .45-caliber revolver at them and ordered his stepdaughter to leave the house. Both family members were able to leave the residence without harm and the man was said to be cooperative with law enforcement. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts each of Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Misdemeanor Menacing. He was held without bail. At his wife's request, at least five firearms -- including a rifle, handguns and the revolver -- were collected by police for safekeeping.
Posted on 5/2/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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