Local News

GP Police Arrested Man for Theft & Drug Possession after Dollar Tree Heist
Grants Pass Police arrested man for theft and drug possession after a shoplifting incident at the north Dollar Tree store yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint at the Dollar Tree on NW 6th Street on Tuesday around noon. Arriving units searched the area and located 35-year-old Bartholomew James Robert Lewis near the corner of NW 6th Street and Midland Avenue. They said he had changed his jacket, ditched his bicycle and backpack, and clearly made efforts to avoid contact with law enforcement. He was in possession of the stolen items. Lewis was also found to be in possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. His backpack and bike were placed into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Nabbed Woman for Stealing Dog Food and Treats from Grange
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing pet food and treats at the Grange Co-op store late yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to the shoplifting incident at the store on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway at 4:11 p.m. Tuesday. Police said 52-year-old Wendi Michelle Wilder was caught by store security while stealing dog food and treats by concealing them in her pockets and purse. According to the report, Wilder told officers she did not have the money to buy food for her dog that was not eating well. However, a consent search revealed that she had more than $400 in cash on her at the time. Wendi Wilder was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. She was also trespassed from Grange Co-op.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested 2 People, Cited Others and Trespassed All from Parks
Grants Pass Police arrested two people, cited a few more and evicted all of them during city park patrol checks yesterday. On Tuesday morning at Lawnridge Park, officers observed 39-year-old Teresa Ann Batts who had been trespassed from the park on Monday. She was found with drug paraphernalia containing fentanyl residue, lodged at the Josephine County Jail and once again trespassed from the park for 30 days. Meanwhile, Bart Lewis was cited for Scattering Rubbish and he was also excluded from the park for the next month. On Tuesday morning at Baker Park, David Wilson was cited for Open Fire and Marijuana Possession in a City Park. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. Officers said he was aggressive with them and initially refused to identify himself. On Tuesday night at Baker Park, 35-year-old Jonathan Michael Bull was contacted and it was discovered that he had been trespassed from the park on Halloween. He admitted that he knew he had been excluded, so he was arrested and lodged in jail for Criminal Trespass. His 30-day exclusion was updated.
Posted on 11/29/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Violating Court Order by Contact & Text Messaging
Grants Pass Police jailed a man this week for violating a court order by contacting the protected party in person and through numerous text messages. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident at Rogue View Gardens on Fruitdale Drive on Monday morning. Police said a friend of the 40-year-old female protected party called 9-1-1 to report that the woman told her an ex-boyfriend identified as 48-year-old John Robert Leblanc had just been there and left, but he would be returning. The friend asked for a welfare check because the suspect is a drug user and he had threatened her. According to the report, Leblanc violated a valid restraining order by showing up at the protected party's apartment and he had also sent her over 30 text messages. The court order prohibited contact by any means and prohibited him from being within 150 feet of her home. He was on video from a neighbor's ring camera. John Leblanc returned to the apartment complex a short time later and was placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation and was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:51AM by Sam Marsh
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Physical Altercation between GP Man and Mother Led to Arrest on Warrant
A physical altercation between a Grants Pass man and his mother this week landed the man in jail on an outstanding warrant. According to the Grants Pass Police Department, officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the Hawk's Inn Motel on NW 6th Street late Monday night. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report her son -- 22-year-old Raymond Robert Lee Amos -- pushed her after she slapped him across the face. The mother wanted to press charges, but she initiated the physical contact and her son pushed her away in self-defense before he left the scene on foot. Officers contacted Amos a short time later and discovered that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for two counts of failing to appear in court for Menacing. He was placed into custody without incident. Raymond Amos was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant with his bail set at $10,000.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
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IV Man Cited for Two Violations after OSP Pulled Him Over in Downtown CJ
An Illinois Valley man was cited for multiple traffic violations this week after a traffic stop in downtown Cave Junction. The Oregon State Police reports troopers pulled over a Lincoln Limousine driven by 30-year-old Joe Randall Thompson of Cave Junction at the intersection of Redwood and Caves highways late Monday night. Troopers said they stopped Thompson for a traffic violation and discovered that he was driving with a suspended license and no insurance. Joe Thompson was cited for Driving While Suspended and No Insurance. His limo was impounded and hauled away by Jerry's Towing.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Citations Pending after IVFD Crews Extinguished Trash Fire in Cave Junction
Citations were pending investigation after firefighters extinguished a trash fire in Cave Junction early yesterday. On Tuesday at 12:16 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District was dispatched to what was reported to be a grass fire in the 100-block of South Boundary Avenue. IVFD officials said arriving units found the grass fire was actually a trash fire that measured 10 feet by 10 feet. Crews quickly extinguished the blaze. Officials said the responsible party is facing three citations -- one for burning trash, another for burning at night and another for burning without a permit.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Fire Department Offers Tips for Thawing Out Frozen Water Sources
One of the most valuable home defense tools to stop a fire is a readily accessible garden hose with attached nozzle. Quick action with a hose has saved many homes in Josephine County -- but with the cold weather, it won't do much good if it's frozen. Rural Metro Fire Department says protecting the hose and faucet against freezing is very important because you never know when the hose might be needed to suppress unexpected flames inside or outside your home. If thawing out anything frozen, consider using warm water rather than using torches or open flame. Be sure to follow recommendations on portable heaters by providing adequate space of three feet from anything flammable.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Board will Consider Library Annexations and New Policy on Tax Foreclosures
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has one public hearing and two action items on its agenda for this morning's weekly business session. The Board will open the meeting with a public hearing on three annexations to the Josephine Community Library District. The requests were made by petition of landowners in the Grants Pass, Murphy and Williams areas. Under Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will consider an order on a new policy for the disposition of tax-foreclosed real property. Current policy calls for the Board to make a timely decision on real property acquired through foreclosure and to ensure that proceeds from a sale are properly distributed. In related business, the Board will decide whether to sell a foreclosed property back to the original owner of record in exchange for payment of past due taxes. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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ODOT Says with Winter Coming, It's Time to Sharpen Your Foul Weather Driving Skills
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Winter is fast-approaching with road conditions expected to be a little worse this year than in years past, so improving our winter driving skills has never been more important. Todd Harris, president of the Pro Driving Racing School in Portland, said the most common mistake motorists make is overestimating their vehicles' capabilities and their own driving skills. This year, with costs increasing and fuel tax revenues trending down, the Oregon Department of Transportation will be forced to scale back maintenance and services around the state. They won't be able to clear roads during winter storms as quickly in the past. There may be more snow and ice buildup, more chain requirements, and longer days and more frequent road closures. The change in average road conditions means we could all use a little sharpening of our winter driving skills. If you have to head out in the snow or ice, make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition, with clean headlights, good brakes, working windshield wipers and good tires. Check your route before leaving -- not just your destination but conditions along the way. Slow down when approaching off-ramps or bridges. Allow extra stopping distance. In bad visibility -- heavy fog or snow flurries -- being able to see is as important as being seen. Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to others. Carry chains and know how to use them. Slow down and allow extra time to get where you're going.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:38AM by Sam Marsh
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BLM District Closing Bear Camp Road Gate on Thursday as Winter Weather Approaches
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As winter weather approaches, the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is closing the gate on Bear Camp Road near Galice on Thursday. The gate -- which is closed annually for public safety ahead of winter weather -- will remain closed until spring snow conditions allow for safe passage for public travel. Travelers are advised to use US Highway 199 as an alternate route. Bear Camp Road -- which is managed by both the BLM and US Forest Service -- is a remote, mountainous route that connects the Rogue Valley to coastal areas. It is not plowed during the winter and weather conditions can often change quickly, making road conditions hazardous. The BLM and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest remind the public that it is critical to "Know Before You Go," especially this time of year. Be aware of predicted weather and road conditions that provide access to public lands. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and road conditions. Know the predicted weather for your route and how it can possibly affect your travel plans.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Energy Trust Presenting City of GP with Rebate Check for Heat Exchanger Project
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The Energy Trust of Oregon will present the City of Grants Pass with a rebate check for $130,000 on Thursday. Grants Pass Public Works Director Jason Canady said the rebate is for the recently completed Heat Exchanger Conversion Project at the city's Water Restoration Plant, which is located at 1200 SW Greenwood Avenue. The new digester heat exchanger and boiler project started in the latter part of 2022 and it was finished this past summer, having taken eight months to complete. The entire unit was installed through an open roof with a crane and set on a preinstalled concrete equipment pad. Canady said the new boiler will help reduce energy usage by using methane that the digester produces instead of natural gas from the utility.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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