Local News

OSP Nabbed Motorist for Impaired Driving after US Highway 199 Stop in Selma
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving after a traffic stop on Redwood Highway in Selma last night. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Ford F-150 driven by 63-year-old Susan Wanda Bryant-Grissom of Selma near milepost 20 of US Highway 199 on Monday shortly before 7 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Bryant-Grissom for traffic violations and she showed signs of impairment. After performing poorly in field sobriety tests, she was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided a breath sample that was nearly twice the legal driving limit. Susan Bryant-Grissom was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and lodged at the Sobering Center. A family member arrived to take possession of her pickup.
Posted on 11/14/23 10:38AM by Sam Marsh
 

OSP Makes 3rd Arrest in Three-Month-Old Shooting Death of Grants Pass Man
News Image
The Oregon State Police has made another arrest in connection with the shooting death of a Grants Pass man that occurred more than three months ago. Josephine County Jail records show 19-year-old Alex Jaden Mersino was arrested and lodged last Friday night. One week earlier, 24-year-old Julian Cendejas and 23-year-old Isaac Simonian were jailed for the death of 35-year-old Dustin Allen Carstensen on August 4th. Cendejas, Simonian and Mersino are all being held on charges of Murder in the 2nd-Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Criminal Conspiracy. OSP has not provided any additional details of its investigation, which is ongoing. The Josephine County District Attorney's Office has taken the unusual step of having probable cause affidavits sealed until the investigation is completed. Carstensen's death notice in the local newspaper announced it occurred on August 4th in Grants Pass, with no other information available. Court records indicate the homicide is the ninth to occur in Josephine County in 2023.
Posted on 11/14/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Jailed Woman Sunday for Downtown Rampage Using Jack Handle
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for a weekend rampage in which she used the handle to a hydraulic jack to threaten motorists and break a restaurant window in the downtown area. The Police Department reports officers arrested 33-year-old Morgan Delin Weber for the incident that started at Debo Park on Sunday at 1:03 p.m.. Police said Weber was identified by multiple callers as a disorderly female near the park on SW G Street who was in and out of traffic and striking vehicles with the jack handle. No damage to any vehicles was reported, but the suspect's behavior caused public alarm as she broke out a large window at Climate City Brewing. Weber actively resisted being placed into custody by pulling away from officers and attempting to slip out of handcuffs while spitting and blowing mucous out of her nose. A spit hood was applied to prevent exposure to officers and the public. During transport to the Josephine County Jail, Weber struck her head against the divider in the patrol vehicle multiple times while using what was described as "colorful language." Her corrections officer requested she be placed on a detainer. Morgan Weber was booked into jail on charges including Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and the resulting Parole Violation related to convictions for Harassment, Disorderly Conduct and Escape.
Posted on 11/14/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested Man for Harassing TRMC Staff Treating Him after Crash
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for physically harassing staff members at Three Rivers Medical Center who were treating him for injuries sustained in a weekend motor vehicle accident. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 20-year-old Ulric Hill for the incident at the hospital on SW Ramsey Avenue on Monday around 1:30 a.m.. Police said Hill was transported to Three Rivers by ambulance as a result of a crash that occurred in Josephine County. While at the hospital, they said he became very agitated, hostile and aggressive with staff members. The suspect reportedly showed signs of impairment and blood-alcohol results were sent to the Sheriff's Office. Officers located Hill in imaging where he leaped from the examination table and slapped a security guard. He was escorted back to his room where staff assisted officers with securing him in restraints due to his hostility and violent behavior. He also reportedly struck a charge nurse, causing a small cut with limited bleeding. Ulric Hill was charged with two counts of Physical Harassment and one count of Minor in Possession of Alcohol by Consumption. He was cited to appear in court and left in the care of medical staff.
Posted on 11/14/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP Police Arrested Pair for Theft, Weapon & Drug Crimes at Home Depot
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for theft, weapon and drug charges after a shoplifting incident at Home Depot last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint at the store on NE Mill Street on Saturday night. Police said 33-year-old Samantha Jean Brown was identified as a suspect who passed all points of sale with over $100 worth of merchandise and failed to pay for the items. They said she admitted to the theft and other stolen goods were found in her vehicle along with drug paraphernalia. Officers said 29-year-old Eric Bryan Weldon was associated with a theft at Home Depot. During a consent search, he was found to be in possession of two stolen packs of batteries concealed in his shirt. He admitted to stealing the batteries as well as some lights hidden in the wheel well of a vehicle. He was also found to be in possession of a dagger and he was confirmed to be a convicted felon. Brown was lodged in jail for 2nd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. Weldon was lodged in jail for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and 3rd-Degree Theft. All the stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to Home Depot. The dagger was seized as evidence and the drug paraphernalia was destroyed.
Posted on 11/14/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Josephine County Fair Board Holding Final Meeting of 2024 with Full Agenda
The Josephine County Fair Board will hold its final meeting of the year this evening with plenty of business on the agenda. Following the public comment period, Fair Board members will hear reports from the Auction, Facilities and Capital Improvement committees as well as a report on "Friends of the Fairgrounds." Fairgrounds Manager Tamra Martin's report will include updates on the grounds and finances along with the 2024 Josephine County Fair from August 7th-11th. New business items include Commercial Building Usage and Upcoming Events such as the Last Minute Gift Sale on December 16th and Santa's Workshop. Also on the agenda are Board Elections for Chair, Vice Chair and Friends of the Fairgrounds Liaison. The next meeting is set for January 16, 2024. Tonight's Fair Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Fairgrounds Floral Building.
Posted on 11/14/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

City Council Okays Citizen Survey to Identify Preferred GP Public Safety Funding Options
News Image
Less than a week after Grants Pass voters overwhelmingly approved the renewal of a local option levy to help pay for public safety services, the City Council decided to mail out a survey to citizens to identify their preferences for additional funding. During its weekly workshop on Monday, the Council heard from City Manager Aaron Cubic, Police Chief Warren Hensman, Fire Chief Randy DeLonge and City Finance Director JC Rowley. Cubic said the City of Grants Pass is at "a critical point" in maintaining service levels for the police and fire departments. He said each department is experiencing fatigue and frustration while voicing the need for additional personnel. Chief Hensman said his department feels like it's on an island as the only police agency in Josephine County providing 24/7 service. Finance Director Rowley said it will take an estimated $4.5 million in additional funding to maintain current service levels, with $3 million more needed to increase fire and police personnel. The City Council has identified a total of six options for additional funding: a public safety utility fee, a food & beverage sales tax, a citywide retail sales tax, a combination of the utility fee and food & beverage tax, a combination of the utility fee and retail tax, or a significant reduction of police and fire services. The Council decided to mail out a citizen survey as soon as possible to identify public preferences among the listed options.
Posted on 11/14/23 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Grants Pass Police Must Comply with House Bill 3124 When Storing Homeless Property
News Image
The Grants Pass Police Department continues to comply with House Bill 3124 when dealing with the unhoused population residing in city parks. The law -- which became effective in September 2021 -- requires cities to provide for storage and care of property taken from known and unknown property owners. Grants Pass police officers must retain property removed from an established campsite occupied by a known individual. The property must be kept in storage for 30 days. Found or abandoned property with apparent value or use must be retained for 90 days. Police officials said storage space within the city is challenging to find. They currently use space usually occupied by equipment at the City Shops. Due to the limited space and continued property being brought in, the need to find additional storage options has become critical. Storage locations must, by law, be located within the jurisdiction from which it was removed. Options being considered so far include the now vacant A-1 Exterminators building next to the police department, Conex boxes behind the A-1 building or the City Shops.
Posted on 11/14/23 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP School District Announces Winners from Annual Holiday Card Design Contest
News Image
The results are in -- the Grants Pass School District has announced the winners of the 2023 Holiday Card Contest. District-level winners in the annual competition are Hudson A. from Highland Elementary School in the K-1 division, Hayden K. from Riverside in the 2-3 division, and a tie in the 4-5 division between Canaan W. of Allen Dale and Juliette W. of Highland. Zayne J. of South Middle School earned first place in the 6-8 division and Peerada G. of Grants Pass High School grabbed top honors in the 9-12 division. The People's Choice winners were Canaan W. of Allen Dale and Peerada G. of GPHS. The Grants Pass School Board will recognize the winners at its meeting today. Nearly 700 people voted for their favorite holiday card designs, which are now heading to the printer. If you would like to purchase holiday cards from this contest, please visit "parentsquare.com/feeds/26062122."
Posted on 11/14/23 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Deputies Jailed Felon for Parole Violation after Merlin Supermarket Disturbance
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for violating his post-prison supervision following a weekend disturbance at a Merlin area supermarket. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 29-year-old Dustin Michael Fontana for the incident at Ray's Food Place on Saturday shortly after 6 a.m.. Deputies said they contacted Fontana and determined he was under the influence of a narcotic stimulant, most likely methamphetamine. They said he was found to be in possession of a fiberglass stick approximately three feet long as well as what appeared to be a meth pipe. Supermarket workers reported that Fontana was making threats toward people and swinging the green plastic stick around. The suspect alarmed employees by hitting shopping carts near the store entrance. One worker had to be escorted into the store by another to avoid any interaction with and/or getting struck by the suspect. Dustin Fontana was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Felony Parole Violation related to past convictions for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Disorderly Conduct and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 11/13/23 10:57AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP Police Arrested Pair for Theft, Weapon & Drug Crimes at Home Depot Store
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for theft, weapon and drug charges after a weekend shoplifting incident at Home Depot. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint at the store on NE Mill Street on Saturday around 8:20 p.m.. Police said 33-year-old Samantha Jean Brown was identified as a suspect who passed all points of sale with over $100 worth of merchandise and failed to pay for the items. They said she admitted to the theft and other stolen goods were found in her vehicle along with drug paraphernalia. Officers said 29-year-old Eric Bryan Weldon was associated with a theft at Home Depot. During a consent search, he was found to be in possession of two stolen packs of batteries concealed in his shirt. He admitted to stealing the batteries as well as some lights hidden in the wheel well of a vehicle. He was also found to be in possession of a dagger and he was confirmed to be a convicted felon. Brown was lodged in jail for 2nd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. Weldon was lodged in jail for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and 3rd-Degree Theft. All the stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to Home Depot. The dagger was seized as evidence and the drug paraphernalia was destroyed.
Posted on 11/13/23 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP Police Snared Man for Violating Court Order after Domestic Violence Call
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for violating a court order following a weekend report of domestic violence at a downtown supermarket. The Police Department reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the Safeway on SE 7th Street on Sunday around 10:30 a.m.. Police said they contacted 59-year-old Clint Edward Robertson in a vehicle with a woman after they received a report that he struck her during a verbal dispute. The caller told dispatchers they were screaming at each other in a Buick sedan. Both parties denied a physical aspect to their argument, but it was determined that there was a valid no-contact order in place protecting the woman from Robertson. Clint Robertson was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court. He was advised that he would continue to be arrested every time the order was violated.
Posted on 11/13/23 10:54AM by Sam Marsh
Read more