Local News

GP Parks Staff Continues Working to Maintain and Improve Recreation Spaces
Batter up! Grants Pass Parks staff renovated the softball infield at Eckstein Park over the last couple of months -- measuring and removing overgrown outfield turf -- to bring it back to the original infield dimensions. Staff also incorporated two tons of Turface, a calcined clay soil additive, to enhance soil management, preventing oversaturation and maintaining optimal playing conditions. Renovating ballfields is crucial for maintaining safe and enjoyable recreation spaces for the community. Meanwhile, the pond at Reinhart Volunteer Park was restocked with 300 legal-sized rainbow trout last week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. More bark was spread to freshen up the landscape beds at Morrison Centennial Park last week. Staff also removed some concrete to gain access to a couple of valve repairs at Reinhart Volunteer Park and took proactive measures to enhance safety by removing the decaying railroad ties and installing a new concrete curb, effectively eliminating a potential trip hazard. Staff also removed several stumps throughout the parks system, and pruned trees at the Grants Pass Skate Park and Tussing Park where the bucket truck was needed to reach some of the higher limbs.
Posted on 3/25/24 5:11AM by Sam Marsh

Oregon Now Ranked Second in the Nation for Number of Firewise USA Communities
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With 290 Firewise USA sites in good standing, the Oregon Department of Forestry is proud that the state is ranked #2 in the nation for number of Firewise USA sites. In 2023, Oregon added 39 new sites creating more fire-adapted communities. Along with being #2 as a state last year, Oregon is also home to the #4 and #5 counties with the most sites in the nation: Jackson County with 75 sites and Deschutes County with 73. Firewise USA is a program that helps guide communities in the process of protecting their homes and neighborhoods from wildfire. The program is run by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters and US Forest Service. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for administering the program in Oregon and is a resource to help communities create a wildfire protection plan, find grants to fund projects and give expert advice. This work is not done alone. Through the help of ODF's partners -- like the Oregon State Fire Marshal, community coordinators and local fire departments -- they all work together to complete assessments and help the community develop action plans for implementing wildfire risk reduction activities.
Posted on 3/25/24 5:02AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police & Firefighters Active in Community Protection as Season Changed to Spring
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters were active in community protection as the seasons changed from winter to spring. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 880 calls for service along with 244 officer-initiated calls last week, which resulted in 43 arrests, 60 citations, 22 warnings and one highly-intoxicated person being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 37 traffic stops and made 32 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The GPPD Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 136 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting seven people, citing 18 more and warning 37 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 13 individuals, posted 92 transient camps and removed trash from four campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 113 calls last week including 40 for emergency medical service, four for reports of fire or smoke, 11 lift assists, two rescue situations, six assists to other agencies and three false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,115 emergency calls.
Posted on 3/25/24 5:00AM by Sam Marsh

Rural Metro Hosted Successful Fire Training and Flag Retirement on Murphy Creek Road
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Rural Metro Fire Department hosted a successful "live" fire training event on Murphy Creek Road this past weekend. After approximately two months of preparation on a donated structure slated for demolition, firefighters from several agencies gathered at the location Saturday to learn more about the science and behavior of fire, water supply, hose management techniques, and the principles of ventilation and air flow paths. For nearly a dozen firefighters, this was their first "live" fire training exercise. Despite the rain and muddy conditions, crews completed the training successfully and the building was left to burn completely. Before the final ignition, an American Flag Retirement Ceremony was conducted for more than 85 flags collected from the community over the past couple of weeks. The ceremony included a few words by one of the chief officers, the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence as six firefighters walked final flags into the center of the building to join the other flags in their final resting place.
Posted on 3/25/24 4:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Violent Collison Sends Two to Hospital & Creates Temporary Power Outage.
Two individuals were transported to the hospital following a two-car collision that left one on its top and the other significantly damaged along with a power pole. Rural Metro fire was called to the intersection of New Hope and Lonnon Roads Friday morning at 10:13. They stated the victims likely had non-life-threatening injuries. The crash also damaged a power pole; however, lines did not come down. Traffic was cautiously moved through the incident scene by Rural Metro Firefighters, being mindful of the low-hanging lines and tall profile vehicles. Over 400 power customers experienced the temporary outage. Power was restored as of 3:40 Friday afternoon.
Posted on 3/23/24 5:40AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Arrest 4 and Lodge 3 Friday
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested and lodged three individuals Friday, one on a warrant service. According to the Sheriff’s log, whose first entry is at 11:38 p.m., contact had already been made with a 24-year-old man and 22-year-old woman in the 900 block of Lakeshore drive with a tow vehicle dispatched. The man was lodged on a probation violation from an original charge of criminal mischief I, crime damage and he remained in custody Saturday morning. The woman was cited to appear in court on April 3rd for a failure to appear charge. A second arrest was being executed almost simultaneously at Shari’s Restaurant after locating a suspect’s vehicle in the parking lot. Deputies detained a 58-year-old man on two active warrants, a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear for criminal driving while suspended or revoked, and a felony warrant tor unlawful possession of a destructive device. He was lodged and also remained in custody Saturday morning. The Shari’s manager advised the vehicle could not remain on the property, so a tow was summoned.
Posted on 3/23/24 5:21AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Stiffing Taxi Driver after Ride to Discovery Inn
Grants Pass Police arrested a "frequent flyer" again this week, this time for stiffing a taxi driver. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint at Discovery Inn on SE 7th Street late Thursday night. Police said a 31-year-old woman requested a taxi cab to transport her to Three Rivers Medical Center, but she changed her mind and wanted to be taken to the motel in the downtown area. The cab picked her up at a local convenience store. Upon arrival at the motel, the woman told the taxi driver she did not have any money, lost her debit card and refused to pay the cab fare.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:15AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Nabbed Motorist for Impaired Driving after Downtown CJ Traffic Stop
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for impaired driving this week following a traffic stop in downtown Cave Junction. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies pulled over a Nissan Pathfinder in the 200-block of West Watkins Street late Thursday night. Deputies said they stopped the Nissan and contacted the 26-year-old male driver because of observed traffic violations. They said he displayed multiple signs of impairment and performed poorly in field sobriety testing. A search warrant was obtained and the suspect was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented his impairment.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:13AM by Chuck Benson
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Rural Metro Hosting Fire Training Exercise Today at Donated Home in Murphy
Rural Metro Fire Department is hosting a "live" fire training exercise today at a donated house in Murphy. Numerous fires will be lit on the structure at 1500 Murphy Creek Road and teams of firefighters will rotate in to extinguish the flames. Students include some of the newest firefighters across the region who recently graduated from the local Firefighter Academy. The donated house will be left to burn completely after the rotations have ended. A special American flag retirement ceremony will also be conducted during the final burn. Rural Metro has collected nearly 100 old flags from the community to be officially retired. Murphy area residents will likely see the fire or smoke from this training event.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:11AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Fire Officials Welcome New Battalion Chief Vehicle as Significant Upgrade
Grants Pass Fire & Rescue is proud to announce the official in-service of its new Battalion Chief vehicle. C-Shift firefighters commemorated the occasion earlier this week with a traditional "wet down" ceremony -- a time-honored tradition in the fire service. The ceremony symbolizes the official "blessing" of the new equipment and its duty to safeguard the community. Firefighters use hoses to drench the new vehicle with water, highlighting the vital role water plays in firefighting and serving as a powerful reminder of their commitment to public safety. This state-of-the-art vehicle equips the Battalion Chief to effectively manage major emergencies in the city including commercial fires, structure fires, wildland fires and mass casualty incidents. Packed with advanced features, the unit boasts specialized equipment, multiple radios and dedicated management software. Replacing a 2007 Dodge that faithfully served the community since 2008, this new vehicle represents a significant upgrade in technology and functionality.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:09AM by Chuck Benson
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Britt Festival Announces 6 Shows for Summer Season with Wide Array of Talent
The Britt Music & Arts Festival has announced the next slate of six shows for the 2024 summer season. While there are more announcements to come, this group of shows features a wide array of musical artists that will appear on the outdoor stage in Jacksonville. Country artists Chris Young and Randy Houser will make their first visit to Britt while Michael Franti & Spearhead and Chris Izaak will make much anticipated returns to the annual festival. Also featured this summer will be Jamaican reggae legend Ziggy Marley with Lettuce, The California Honeydrops, Nickel Creek and Andrew Bird. Tickets for these shows went on sale to the general public on Friday. Tickets for many Britt Shows have already been on sale including Pink Martini featuring China Forbes, The Infamous Stringdusters, Jason Mraz & The Superband, and The Dead South. Britt Festival Orchestra tickets are also for sale. Additional "Britt Presents" show announcements will occur in the coming weeks.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:07AM by Chuck Benson
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GP 9-1-1 Communications Center Reports 1,115 Emergency Calls over Past Week
The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center continues to function at a very high level, with well over 1,000 calls received over the past week. According to its "Week in Review" post on Facebook, the local Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,115 calls between March 14th and March 20th. The vast majority of the calls were directed to the Grants Pass Police Department, with 878. American Medical Response was second with 283 calls and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue was third with 112. Rural Metro Fire Department received a total of 61 calls over the past week while the Illinois Valley Fire District received 29, the Oregon Department of Forestry received two, and the Williams and Wolf Creek Fire Departments each got one.
Posted on 3/23/24 4:05AM by Chuck Benson
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