Local News

GP Police Nabbed Man for Trying to Steal Merchandise from Home Depot Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for shoplifting after he was caught stealing items from Home Depot yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint involving 49-year-old Daniel Reese Wise, Jr., at the store on NE Mill Street on Wednesday at about 1 p.m.. Police said Wise stole around $200 in merchandise from Home Depot by filling a five-gallon bucket with items, taking them past all points of sale and exiting the business without paying. He was confronted by loss prevention as he was trying to leave the property and they recovered the stolen items as he fled on foot. Daniel Wise was contacted at the south end of Fire Mountain Way and placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft and trespassed from Home Depot.
Posted on 11/16/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Man for Dumping Truckload of Trash on Downtown Sidewalk
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for placing a truckload of trash on a city sidewalk in the downtown area and refusing to clean it up early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the ordinance violation at the corner of SE 8th and I streets on Wednesday at 9:16 a.m.. Police said citizens reported a man later identified as 59-year-old Brian Scott Chapman removed a large amount of trash from his parked minivan and placed it on the sidewalk. When asked to clean up his mess, he reportedly refused to do so and community service officers were brought in to haul away the rubbish. Chapman was placed into custody at the scene and found to be in possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Offensive Littering and the narcotics violation. He and his female companion were warned. Two five-gallon buckets of marijuana were located and seized for destruction. A bucket of feces and bottles of urine were also disposed of.
Posted on 11/16/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Collared Local Fugitive on Felony Warrant in City Park Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police apprehended a local fugitive during a patrol check at a city park late last night. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 23-year-old Jesse Charles Johnson at Baker Park on Wednesday at 11:15 p.m.. Police said they were patrolling the park when they spotted Johnson and knew that he was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Probation Violation related to an arrest for Mail Theft. He was placed into custody and lodged at the adult jail facility. Earlier in the day at Baker Park, officers cited a man they identified as "Heartfelt" for Illegal Camping and Public Urination. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 20 camps were posted with a removal date of November 18th. An e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network. Earlier in the day at Westholm Park, officers cited Melissa Koenig and Mark Huff for Illegal Camping since their campsite had already been posted for removal.
Posted on 11/16/23 11:21AM by Sam Marsh

RR City Council Meeting Features Two Proposed Ordinances & One Resolution
The Rogue River City Council will focus its attention on new business during its monthly meeting this evening. The City Council normally holds its regular meeting on the last Thursday of each month, but next Thursday is Thanksgiving. The Council will open new business by considering two ordinances. The first would rezone a property at 5450 North River Road and the second would establish a building code administration program known as the Rogue River Municipal Code Title 15. If the second is approved, two previous ordinances would be repealed. Also on the agenda is a resolution adopting amended job descriptions for the City of Rogue River, specifically for the position of Police Chief. There is also an addendum to the Engineer of Record agreement between the city and Engineering Support Services, LLC, regarding insurance coverage and payment reconciliation. The panel will close the session by reviewing previous minutes from meetings of the Tree City USA Committee and the Council Advisory Committee. Tonight's meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Rogue River City Hall, 133 Broadway Street.
Posted on 11/16/23 10:30AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

California Fugitive Tracked Down & Arrested at Remote Forest Camp near Trail
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office tracked down and arrested a fugitive wanted in California this week. The Sheriff's Office reports its patrol deputies located 24-year-old Tyler Thomas Burrow in a remote forest camp northeast of Trail on Tuesday afternoon. Deputies said Burrow was wanted on a Trinity County, California, fugitive warrant for unspecified crimes. He was placed into custody and is being held at the Jackson County Jail awaiting extradition back to California. Humboldt County detectives are in Jackson County doing follow-up investigations. There is no more information for release at this time. Further information will come from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Police Jailed Felon for Violating Parole by Failing to Register as Sex Offender
Grants Pass Police jailed a felon this week for violating his post-prison supervision by failing to register as a convicted sex offender. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 56-year-old Eric Conner in an unspecified location of the city on Tuesday. Police said Conner has a prior conviction for a sex crime, which requires he register as a sexual offender with 10 days of his birth date. He was placed into custody after it was discovered that he failed to do so. Eric Conner was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Failure to Report as a Sex Offender and the resulting Felony Parole Violation. He was being held without bail. Per Conner's request, his dog and vehicle were left in the care of a friend.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Police Apprehended Statewide Fugitive at WinCo Foods Early Wednesday
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant at a local supermarket early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 33-year-old Brandon Alexander Lorenzi at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Wednesday at 1:33 a.m.. Police said they received an anonymous tip that Lorenzi was sitting in a vehicle parked on the north side of WinCo. They said he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous burglary conviction. Brandon Lorenzi was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer
Posted on 11/16/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

MPD Confiscated Gun from High School Student Who Brought It to Campus
Authorities confiscated a gun from a South Medford High School student after they brought the firearm to campus this week. The Medford Police Department reports the resource officer assigned to the high school was contacted Tuesday by staff and made aware that they received a report that a student was in possession of a handgun in their backpack while on campus. The information was brought to school officials' attention by other students. The School Resource Officer quickly acted to locate the student and learned they had left campus. The SRO and school officials responded to the student's home and -- in cooperation with the parents - recovered the gun at the residence. According to MPD, the source of the firearm and the circumstances surrounding its possession are under investigation. So far, no arrests have been made. The Medford School District notified parents of SMHS students about the incident via e-mail, outlining the cooperation with MPD and the importance of students speaking up when they see something suspicious. Parents were urged to encourage their students to "say something if they see something."
Posted on 11/16/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

New Solar Arrays Moving Southern Oregon University Toward Self-Sufficiency
Southern Oregon University is taking big strides toward becoming the first public university in the United States to produce all of the daytime electricity used on its campus. SOU signed a $1.56 million contract this fall to install new solar arrays and a battery storage facility, with onsite construction work set to begin this winter. The new installations on Lithia Motors Pavilion and The Hawk Dining Commons will increase SOU's photovoltaic output by 86% -- from the current 455 kilowatts to a total of 848 kilowatts. The two new solar facilities -- combined with existing arrays -- will enable the university to generate just over 12% of the electricity it uses. The contract with Ashland's True South Solar also includes a battery charge storage bank that will be built adjacent to The Hawk, enabling SOU to support community resilience by providing power in The Hawk in the event of an emergency. The university anticipates generating 100% of its own electricity by 2033, and is already planning subsequent rounds of solar expansion. SOU has been awarded $1 million in each of the past two years from the Oregon Department of Energy's Community Renewable Energy Grant Program, plus it received a $2 million appropriation from Congress last December.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Library Branch Features Local Author Discussion Followed by Book-Signing
Citizens are invited to meet local author Jennifer Sherman Roberts for a discussion featuring her debut novel "The Village Healer's Book of Cures" on Saturday at the Grants Pass branch of Josephine Community Library. Saturday's discussion runs from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the library branch on NW C Street followed by a book-signing event at Oregon Books & Games at 150 NE E Street from 2 to 4 p.m.. The "Village Healer's Book of Cures" takes place in 17th century England. A female healer enflames the fury of a witchfinder in this propulsive novel about murder, revenge and the dangerous power of knowledge. Jennifer Roberts is a writer, researcher, teacher and a facilitator for Oregon Humanities Conversation Projects. She received a PhD in early modern literature from the University of Minnesota. She became interested in early modern recipes and recipe books as she researched the medicinal properties of folk cures. "The Village Healer's Book of Cures" can be placed on hold for checkout at the library and is for sale at Oregon Books & Games. This program is offered at no charge and it's open to the public. A library card is not needed to participate.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Authorities Disrupt Drug Trafficking Groups Operating in Grants Pass & Josephine County
News Image
Authorities concluded an 18-month drug investigation this week when nine search warrants were served simultaneously in Grants Pass and Josephine County. On Tuesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Police Department and multiple interagency narcotics teams served warrants resulting in 24 arrests and the seizure of 37 firearms and $33,000 in cash as the culmination of the lengthy investigation into a local drug trafficking organization. According to OSP, the search warrants also resulted in the seizure of 2,000 grams of methamphetamine, 636 grams of fentanyl pills, 52 grams of fentanyl powder, 58 grams of cocaine, 250 pounds of marijuana and some illegal mushrooms. Detectives said the investigation had already yielded 40 pounds of meth, 9.25 pounds of fentanyl, three pounds of cocaine and a half-pound of heroin over the course of 18 months. They said these quantities are significant and their removal from the local distribution chain is a significant outcome of the investigation. Very small amounts of fentanyl -- as little as two milligrams -- can be deadly. The fentanyl seized had the potential to yield more than 144,000 deadly doses. In Oregon, the DEA has seized more than 3.84 million deadly doses of fentanyl so far this year, which is double the amount seized in 2022. The names of the two-dozen arrestees and their alleged crimes has not yet been released. The case is being prosecuted by the Josephine County District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP City Council Awards Five Tourism Grants and Reallocates Funds for Warming Shelter
News Image
The Grants Pass City Council last night approved the dispersal of tourism grants and reallocated American Rescue Plan Act funds to facilitate a warming shelter. Five applicants will be awarded transient lodging tax funds following submission for the fall application cycle of the City's Sustainable Tourism Grant program. The program aims to encourage tourism from outside a 50-mile radius from the city. The Council's resolution authorizes the award of $5,000 each to the Grants Pass Rotary Club Foundation and Grants Pass Downs. The Grants Pass High School Band Boosters and the Grants Pass Museum of Art will each receive $3,750. Rogue Valley Classic Cruisers will be awarded $3,500. Councilors also approved the reallocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in the amount of $67,500 from public infrastructure to affordable housing and unhoused services on a 4-3 vote. The movement of funds was in response to an announcement from the United Community Action Network (UCAN) that there is no money to operate a warming shelter. UCAN stated that it is willing to offer operational support. The group "Partners Assisting the Homeless" is also available to assist with volunteers. The funds will ensure the availability of a warming shelter in Grants Pass this winter. The City Council also filled seven openings on the Sustainability & Energy Action Committee.
Posted on 11/16/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
Read more