Local News

Deputies Arrested Two People for Entering a Vacant Residence in Cave Junction
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested two people for entering a vacant residence in Cave Junction early yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a trespassing complaint at a home in the 300-block of South Kerby Avenue on Wednesday at 7:41 a.m.. Deputies said the owner called 9-1-1 to report two people and a white van were on his property. The owner lives in Washington state and was alerted to the suspects by a neighbor who said they were removing wiring from the house. Trail cameras took photos of the suspects and minivan that were automatically forwarded to him. Upon arrival, deputies found 38-year-old Anthony Pope and 30-year-old Tara Hanson on the property, which had clearly posted "No Trespassing" signs on the fence and the home. Both suspects had made entry with no right or lawful reason to be there. They were placed into custody. Anthony Pope and Tara Hanson were transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. They were being held without bail.
Posted on 2/29/24 10:47AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Snared Woman on Outstanding Warrant after Illinois Valley Traffic Stop
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant yesterday following a traffic stop in the Illinois Valley. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over a vehicle driven by 40-year-old Stacy Schwarz at the Rough & Ready Creek Botanical Wayside off Redwood Highway on Wednesday at about 12:40 p.m.. Deputies said they thought the passenger in the vehicle was a 40-year-old woman they had a probable cause warrant for, but it was not her. The passenger was then identified as 36-year-old Sabrina Wilson. Further investigation revealed that Wilson was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. She was cited to appear in court on March 20th and then released.
Posted on 2/29/24 10:45AM by Sam Marsh

Northbound Lanes of Interstate 5 Shut Down in East GP Due to Semi-Truck Crash
The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 were temporarily shut down yesterday due to a crash at the East Grants Pass Interchange. The Oregon Department of Transportation issued a bulletin on Wednesday at 3:51 p.m. alerting motorists to a crash near Exit 55 of I-5. The Oregon State Police did not release any information about the incident in its report this morning. ODOT officials said the temporary closure was due to a commercial vehicle crash and that northbound traffic was initially getting through on the freeway shoulder. They said a full closure was expected during removal of the wrecked semi-truck. Emergency crews worked quickly to remove the vehicle and reopen I-5. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue reported the freeway was reopened at 4:10 p.m. and ODOT urged caution as there was still some traffic congestion in the area.
Posted on 2/29/24 10:44AM by Sam Marsh

Winter Weather Makes for Hazardous Travel Conditions in Many Parts of Oregon
Crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation are working to make roads safe as a new round of winter storms hits Oregon. High winds plus heavy snow and rain will make travel hazardous in many corners of the state. ODOT officials said the road surface is just one concern during winter storms. High winds and precipitation often cause debris such as trees and rocks to fall onto roadways. In the mountains and high elevation areas, heavy snow and high winds can create whiteout conditions, severely limiting visibility. Travelers should stay aware and be prepared for delays and closures. Motorists should consult "tripcheck.com" and check weather forecasts on their planned routes. "Tripcheck.com" provides "live" cameras showing road conditions around the state along with other information that can help travel planning including altitude and temperature. If you must travel during a winter storm, be prepared. Pack your vehicle with the essentials like tire chains, blankets, warm clothing, food, water and medications. Make sure your vehicle's fuel tank is full and your phone battery is fully charged. Plan your route ahead of time -- and if you're following GPS navigation, make sure it sticks to main roads because most rural roads are not maintained in severe weather.
Posted on 2/29/24 10:43AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Apprehended California Fugitive after Interstate 5 Traffic Stop in East GP
The Oregon State Police apprehended a fugitive wanted by authorities in California after a traffic stop on Interstate 5 in Grants Pass this week. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Dodge Durango driven by 21-year-old Emilio Salvador Macias in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 55 on Tuesday morning. Troopers said they stopped Macias for traffic violations and they quickly learned that he had a felony warrant for his arrest out of California. The charges in the warrant were not disclosed by OSP. Emilio Macias was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail where he awaits extradition proceedings that will send him back to California. He was also cited for the traffic violations and his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Office of OSP Jailed Salem Sex Offender Who Reported Seven Years Tardy
The Oregon State Police jailed a Salem man who came to the Grants Pass Office to register as a convicted sex offender -- around seven years too late. OSP reports 66-year-old Larry Dennis Staton reported to their local office in the 1400-block of NE 7th Street on Tuesday afternoon. State troopers said Staton told them he wanted to register as a sex offender and they discovered that he had not registered as such since 2017. He was immediately placed into custody. Larry Staton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Motorist for Impaired Driving after Traffic Stop in Downtown GP
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving this week during a traffic stop in the downtown area. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Silverado driven by 63-year-old George Alan Marconi near the corner of SE 7th Street and Voorhies Way late Tuesday night. Troopers said they stopped Marconi for a traffic violation and he appeared to be impaired. They said he refused to participate in field sobriety tests, so he was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was more than twice the legal driving limit. George Marconi was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. He was cited to appear in court and released, but his pickup was impounded.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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US Senator Jeff Merkley to Hold Southern Oregon Town Halls This Weekend
US Senator Jeff Merkley is scheduled to make a swing through Southern Oregon this weekend with town hall meetings in Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties. The Douglas County Town Hall will occur on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg while the Jackson and Josephine County Town Halls will take place on Sunday. The Jackson County Town Hall starts at 12:30 p.m. at Ashland High School and the Josephine County Town Hall begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Redwood Campus of Rogue Community College in Grants Pass. The three events will kick-start Merkley's 2024 town hall tour of Oregon when he will hold community conversations in each of the state's 36 counties. Since taking office in 2009, Senator Merkley has kept his promise to hold an open town hall meeting for each county every year. Merkley said he holds the town halls every year because there is simply no substitute to hearing directly from his constituents about the ideas and priorities that matter most to them and their communities.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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BLM District Reschedules Conifer Mortality Field Trip Due to Winter Storm
Due to the forecasted winter storm, the Bureau of Land Management has rescheduled a public field trip to see ongoing conifer mortality in southwest Oregon. The Medford District BLM field trip was scheduled for Friday, but it is now set for March 15th. During the field trip, BLM specialists will discuss the Bureau's plan to strategically address the crisis. More trees in southwest Oregon died between 2015 and 2019 than in the previous four decades. Increasing tree mortality is leading to concerns about increased fire danger and public safety issues. To help address the problem, the BLM is proposing to remove dead and dying trees from up to 5,000 acres over the next five years. The work would focus along roadways, near homes and in locations where fire managers will have the best opportunities to stop fires while they are small. The March 15th field trip will start near Ruch in the Applegate Valley at 11 a.m. and end around 3 p.m.. To RSVP for the field trip, contact Todd Boren at (541)-618-2365.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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National Weather Service Extends Winter Storm Warning for SW Oregon Until Saturday Morning
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The National Weather Service has extended the Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory for southwest Oregon until Saturday morning. The Winter Storm Warning in Jackson, Josephine, eastern Curry and eastern Douglas counties remains in effect for areas above 2,500 feet until 10 a.m. Saturday as does the Winter Weather Advisory above 1,500 feet. Heavy snow is expected above 2,500 feet, with total accumulations of between one and four feet. Winds could gust as high as 65 miles per hour. Snow is expected above 1,500 feet, with total accumulations of six to 12 inches and up to 18 inches above 2,000 feet. Winds could gust as high as 30 miles per hour at low elevations. Affected areas include Cave Junction, Selma, O'Brien and Williams along with Highways 199, 238 and portions of Interstate 5 including the passes north of Grants Pass, as well as on 199 at Hayes Hill and the Collier Tunnel. Chains were required on all vehicles on I-5 over the Siskiyou Summit this morning. Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility. Strong winds could cause tree damage. Travel is strongly discouraged because of dangerous driving conditions. If you must travel, keep tire chains, a flashlight, blankets, food, water, medications and a fully-charged phone with you. For the latest road conditions, visit "tripcheck.com."
Posted on 2/29/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Board Approves Adoption of Ordinance on Wildfire Safety Standards for New Dwellings
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the adoption of an amendment to the Rural Land Development Code pertaining to wildfire and emergency safety standards for new homes on forested properties. Following a public hearing on Wednesday, the Board voted 3-0 to approve the second reading and adopt the ordinance that amends the development code criteria for the permitting of new dwellings in forest commercial and woodlot zones. Assistant Legal Counsel Stephanie Nuttall testified that the first reading of the ordinance was held February 14th after being continued from the January 31st meeting. She said the amendment changes language in the existing ordinance, dropping the requirement for developers of forested properties to obtain additional fire protection before a permit can be issued. Redundant language was eliminated. Board Vice-Chair Herman Baertschiger said the only state requirement for new homes on forested land is that there is fire protection. He added that the Oregon Department of Forestry charges an annual fee for fire protection on those lands and that satisfies the requirement.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Advisory Committee Makes Call for Artists for 2024 "Art in Motion" Projects
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The Grants Pass Committee on Public Art invites artists 18 years of age and older to submit original artwork to be displayed on public transit. The artwork can be created in any 2-D or 3-D media except for video, film, installation or performance art for the Art in Motion project. The public art project is essentially a gallery on wheels. They will be displayed on 54-by-34-inch vinyl print on both sides of the Josephine Community Transit buses. The art is there to engage people, expand public art visibility, create opportunities for citizens to experience art in everyday life, and enhance the overall artistic climate of the City of Grants Pass. This proposal solicits submissions for two exhibition periods. The first is from late April through late October this year and the second is from October 2024 through March 2025. One or two artists may be chosen for each exhibition period. The work will be selected based on originality, artistic conception and quality. An effort will be made to represent a broad diversity of styles, media and disciplines.
Posted on 2/29/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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