Local News

Construction Now Underway for Illinois Valley Branch Library Renovation Project in CJ
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Construction is underway at the Illinois Valley branch library in Cave Junction. Josephine Community Library leaders and partners broke ground last week on the Illinois Valley Library Renovation Project. Those in attendance included people from the Library District, Library Foundation, City of Cave Junction, Ausland Group, and ZCS Engineering and Architecture. Library leaders have worked with ZCS since 2021 to plan the project, which will expand the library on West Palmer Street from 4,264 to 5,764 square feet and add a seismic retrofit, new roof and energy-efficient fixtures. Ausland Group won the public construction bid to complete the project that includes a new community room with a teaching kitchen, an early learning center and maker space, and an outdoor recreation area. The Illinois Valley Library Renovation is funded by a Community Development Block Grant through the City of Cave Junction, American Rescue Plan Act funds, a 2021 Crowdfund campaign, and private grants from additional organizations. The IV Library is currently closed for the remodel. Community members are asked to visit one of the other library branches in Josephine County for computer access, WiFi, programs and browsing. Temporary services are available at the Illinois Valley Senior Center at 520 River Street in Cave Junction. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of this year with a community grand opening and celebration to follow.
Posted on 4/1/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police and Firefighters Closed Out March with Strong Community Protection
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged a busy week protecting the community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 843 calls for service along with 249 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 31 arrests, 28 citations, 54 warnings and six highly intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 76 traffic stops in the city and made 21 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). The GPPD Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 153 potential trouble-makers while citing 24 people and warning 36 others. The CRT unit also trespassed nine individuals, posted 91 transient camps and removed trash from five campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 75 calls last week including 40 for emergency medical service, two for reports of fire or smoke, nine lift assists, eight rescue situations, four assists to other agencies and three false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 947 emergency calls.
Posted on 4/1/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Chief Congratulates New Officers for Graduating from Public Safety Academy
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The Grants Pass Police Department is congratulating two new officers who graduated from the Oregon Public Safety Academy on Friday. Officer Darron O'Donnell and Officer Ben Glaeser graduated from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem. GPPD Chief Warren Hensman and other local officials proudly looked on as both officers marched across the stage at the academy to receive their certificates. Both O'Donnell and Glaeser have returned to Grants Pass to begin their field training to become patrol officers. Chief Hensman encourages the community to congratulate the new officers on their accomplishments and wish them well as they enter their careers of service for the City of Grants Pass.
Posted on 4/1/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh

Wolf Creek Man Jailed for Several Crimes after Kidnapping Incident in Glendale
A Wolf Creek man has been arrested and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on a number of charges including kidnapping after an incident in the Glendale area. On Thursday shortly after 1 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers in Douglas County received a call from a man who said his mother had been taken against her will. The victim was able to send information to her son, which he relayed to law enforcement. Deputies learned the male suspect -- 35-year-old Richard Goodin of Wolf Creek -- was in a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup which had been reported stolen earlier in the day. During the investigation, the victim was able to get away and called 9-1-1 which allowed deputies to get an approximate location of the suspect. Deputies converged on the area, located Goodin and placed him into custody without further incident. Douglas County Sheriff's Lieutenant Brad O'Dell said the unidentified victim was located and taken to safety. Richard Goodin was lodged at the jail in Roseburg for suspicion of 2nd-Degree Kidnapping, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Wanted Felon for Trying to Cash Forged Check at Business
Grants Pass Police arrested a man this week for attempting to cash a forged check at a downtown business. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 61-year-old man at ACE Cash Express on SE 7th Street on Thursday evening. Police said the man tried to cash a personal check for $1,800 that had been altered to appear it was addressed to him. A clerk at the business was suspicious, called law enforcement and stalled the suspect at the service window until officers were able to arrive on scene. Upon arrival, officers placed the man into custody and then discovered that he was wanted on a statewide felony warrant for Parole Violation related to a past assault conviction. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Forgery. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man on Warrant and for Drug Possession in City Park Patrol
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant and for narcotics possession during an early morning patrol at a city park yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers contacted and then arrested the 27-year-old man at Baker Park on Friday at 4:21 a.m.. Police said they observed the man actively lighting up a controlled substance while inside a park restroom. The man was told he was not free to leave and he did not wish to comply -- most likely because he was wanted on a warrant out of Medford. The MPD warrant charged the man with failing to appear in court for Furnishing False Information to Police. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus the narcotics violation. He was also trespassed from Baker Park for 30 days.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:27AM by Sam Marsh
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IVFD & Rural Metro Extinguished Large Vehicle Fires in Separate Friday Incidents
The Illinois Valley Fire District and Rural Metro Fire Department extinguished two large-vehicle fires in separate incidents yesterday. On Friday at 7:42 a.m., IVFD crews responded to a vehicle fire on Thompson Creek Road in Selma. Upon arrival, firefighters found a travel trailer fully-engulfed in flames. The fire was put out and its cause is under investigation. On Friday at 2:51 p.m., Rural Metro crews responded to a commercial vehicle fire in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 between the Hugo Exit and Sexton Summit. Rural Metro officials said a flatbed tow truck hauling a vehicle and towing another vehicle behind caught fire. They said the driver was able to escape without injury after jack-knifing the load in order to stop the vehicle from rolling backwards. He had lost the ability to put the tow truck into park or set the emergency brake. The Oregon State Police provided traffic control as firefighters mopped up the scene. Officials said the cause of the fire was mechanical in nature, likely originating in the transmission.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:25AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Deputy Fire Chief Randy DeLonge Celebrated in Friday Retirement Ceremony
A retirement ceremony was held last night to celebrate Grants Pass Deputy Fire Chief Randy DeLonge's 27-year career with the department. DeLonge began his career with Grants Pass Fire & Rescue in 1997 as a student firefighter and he rose through the ranks to become Deputy Chief and Interim Fire Chief. DeLonge is well-known for his dedication to the department and the community. The Grants Pass Fire Department thanks DeLonge for his service and wishes him well in his retirement.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:23AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine Community Library District Budget Committee Meeting is Wednesday
The Josephine Community Library District will hold a budget committee meeting next week. The library budget meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Ben Bones Room of the Grants Pass branch library at 200 NW C Street. The agenda will include the Fiscal Year 2025 budget message, appointment of the budget committee chair and secretary, budget discussion, public comment and the schedule for upcoming budget hearings. A copy of the budget document may be inspected or obtained during open hours at the Grants Pass branch. For more information, visit "josephinelibrary.org."
Posted on 3/30/24 5:22AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Lawsuit Contends Goodwin Never Eligible for Run for Current House Seat
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Grants Pass voters trying to oust state Representative Christine Goodwin and prevent her from running for the state Senate say she was never eligible to run for her current House seat. The Oregonian reports documents filed as part of a lawsuit alleging that Goodwin lives outside the House district she represents show that she listed the Myrtle Creek home where she lived for decades, but that is just outside her district as her address on a state business registration dated July 6, 2022. Goodwin signed the document attesting under penalty of perjury that the Myrtle Creek address was correct. To be eligible to run for her House seat, Goodwin had to have lived within the House District 4 boundary as of January 1, 2022. The lawsuit contends that the document helps to prove Goodwin was never eligible to run for the District 4 seat because she hadn't lived in the district for the requisite amount of time. Five days ahead of the residency deadline to run for a House seat in 2022, Goodwin switched her voter registration address from her longtime Myrtle Creek home to a residential property in Canyonville, within District 4 lines, the Douglas County Clerk's Office confirmed to The Oregonian earlier this month. Goodwin, a Republican, won the uncontested election to represent House District 4, which stretches from south of Myrtle Creek to the area east of Grants Pass. She's now seeking the Republican nomination for Senate District 2 to replace outgoing Senator Art Robinson.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:18AM by Sam Marsh
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US Rep Bentz Leads Letter to Urge Agency to De-list Gray Wolves as Protected Species
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US Congressman Cliff Bentz led 19 of his Republican colleagues this week in sending a letter to the US Fish and Wildlife Service urging its director to delist the gray wolf as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act. The letter to USFWS Director Martha Williams follows the agency's decision last month to not re-list the wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains because it found the wolf was not in danger of extinction anywhere in the western United States. Despite this finding, the Service has done nothing to allow those bearing the burden of an apex predator's reintroduction to protect themselves, livestock or even deer and elk populations from devastation by the wolf. Congressman Bentz said the Service should move immediately to de-list the gray wolf as a protected species, which would allow the use of accepted methods of predator control to be used by ranchers and state agencies including the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Bentz said the substantial growth in population of gray wolves throughout Oregon and the western United States poses significant challenges for ranchers, farmers and outdoorsmen alike.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP 9-1-1 Communications Received Total of 947 Calls in Last Full Week of March
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The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center reported another busy week while fielding emergency calls throughout Josephine County. In its "Week in Review" post on Facebook, the local dispatch center said it received a total of 947 emergency calls between March 21st and March 27th. As usual, the bulk of the emergency calls -- 843 -- were directed to the Grants Pass Police Department. GPPD was followed by American Medical Response with 267 calls and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue with 75. Rural Metro Fire Department received 41 calls over the past week while the Illinois Valley Fire District received 21, Williams Rural Fire Protection District received six, and both the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District and Oregon Department of Forestry got three. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center also reported 323 total internal phone calls received and 460 total outbound phone calls made.
Posted on 3/30/24 5:12AM by Sam Marsh
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