Local News

GP Police Arrested Woman for Leaving Garbage at Downtown Florist Business
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for leaving garbage in front of a downtown florist shop from which she had been repeatedly warned for trespassing. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident involving 41-year-old Gayle Lee Hooper at Grants Pass Florist & Gifts on SW 6th Street on Monday around 8:15 a.m.. Police said Hooper had been warned multiple times to leave the incident location and pick up garbage she had strewn about, but she refused officer orders and was placed into custody. Gayle Hooper was lodged in jail for Offensive Littering and Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 10/31/23 9:41AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Nabbed Motorist for DUII after She Crashed into 2 Parked Vehicles
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving after she crashed into two parked vehicles near the downtown area. According to the Police Department, officers and emergency crews responded to the three-vehicle wreck in the 300-block of NW A Street on Sunday at 3:15 a.m.. Police said 27-year-old Tasha Marusa Hill was driving a Kia when she lost control and crashed into two parked vehicles. They said she displayed multiple indicators of impairment, performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was transported to the Josephine County Jail where she provided a positive breath sample. Tasha Hill was booked into jail for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. Her vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage and was towed to the local impound yard. Based on the damage to Hill's vehicle, officers were on the lookout for additional crash victims. The suspect told them she was coming from NW Evelyn Avenue and was heading to the Merlin area.
Posted on 10/31/23 9:40AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Cited GP Motorist for Causing Weekend Crash on Rogue River Highway
The Oregon State Police cited a Grants Pass motorist for causing a weekend crash on Rogue River Highway in the southeast part of the city. According to OSP, troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision near milepost 2 of Highway 99 on Sunday at 1:25 p.m.. State troopers said evidence at the scene and witness statements indicated a Kia Sorrento driven by 28-year-old Trenton William Pruitt was following a Mitsubishi Eclipse too closely when the Mitsubishi slowed down to turn into a parking lot and the Kia rear-ended the Mitsubishi. No one was seriously hurt, but both vehicles were damaged and had to be towed. Following an investigation, Pruitt was cited for Following Too Closely.
Posted on 10/31/23 9:38AM by Sam Marsh

Detectives Release More Details on DV Suspect Death in Hills near Ashland
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has released more information about the death of a domestic violence shooting suspect near Ashland. Detectives said the deceased suspect is 31-year-old Juan Jose Castro of Ashland. His next of kin has been notified. The unidentified victim suffered a gunshot wound during an altercation in the 8,000-block of Dead Indian Memorial Road early Sunday morning. The victim also suffered injuries in the head-on crash with a Jackson County Fire District #5 truck that claimed the life of Castro. During the altercation, the victim attempted to leave the scene in a vehicle when Castro shot them at close range. Castro then attempted to drive the victim to the hospital when he collided with the responding fire truck on Dead Indian Memorial Road. Firefighters extricated the victim immediately, but Castro died while crews were trying to extricate him from the car. The Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) team responded to the scene of the crash to investigate. The team estimated the suspect's car was traveling well in excess of the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit in the 1992 Subaru Legacy. The car was moving fast enough to create sufficient energy to move the 35,000-pound truck with 400 gallons of water on impact and tear the front axle off the frame. Jackson County detectives are continuing the investigation and there is no further information available for release at this time.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Two Men for Stealing Vehicle & Trailer from Industrial Park
Grants Pass Police jailed two men for stealing a vehicle and flatbed trailer valued at nearly $80,000 from the Spalding Industrial Park last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 45-year-old Richard Dale Chalker, Jr, and 58-year-old Stephen Paul Kiyak in the 900-block of SE N Street at about 7:32 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the crime was reported. Police said a male caller to 9-1-1 reported that a Land Rover Explorer and a flatbed trailer were stolen from the 2200-block of NE Spalding Avenue. They said the Land Rover with British plates was on the trailer. The vehicles had been barricaded on the property, but the suspects removed the rocks in front of them in order to commit the heist. Responding officers pulled over a Ford F-250 that was towing the stolen trailer and Land Rover on SE N Street. Chalker was placed into custody without incident, but Kiyak fled into the backyard of a nearby home where he was eventually arrested with assistance from the Oregon State Police. The stolen vehicle and trailer were recovered, and the suspect vehicle was towed. Damage to the trailer axle was reported, which will cost around $2,000 to repair. Richard Chalker and Stephen Kiyak were both lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a total of seven charges including two counts each of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, plus single counts of Felony Aggravated Theft, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and Criminal Conspiracy.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Arrested Man for Firing Shots from Gun in Redwood Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for shooting a gun at a city park in the Redwood area last weekend. The Police Department reports officers responded to multiple calls regarding shots fired near Redwood Park on Sunday at about 12:40 a.m.. Police said 22-year-old D'Angelo Diego Romano was called in as suspicious by residents living across from the park on Dowell Road. They said he was reported to be firing shots from a gun while screaming about his father and mother. Several gunshots were heard coming from within the park, so officers set a perimeter and a contact team moved into the city-owned property. Romano was observed on the east side of the park and he ran south into the dog park area where officers chased and challenged him. He initially refused to comply, but did so after several commands and was placed into custody. He admitted to firing shots in the area and a K-9 officer subsequently located a Glock 9-millimeter handgun with four rounds of ammunition. D'Angelo Romano was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Disorderly Conduct. The firearm and bullet casings found in the backyard of a home on Annabelle Lane were entered into evidence.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:15AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Homeless Woman for Weekend Incident at Best Western
Grants Pass Police arrested a homeless woman who caused a weekend disturbance at a motel on the east side of the city. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident at the Best Western Grants Pass Inn on NE Agness Avenue on Saturday around 2:45 a.m.. Police said motel workers reported that 59-year-old Marjorie Rose Anderson was trying to gain access to the locked office by ramming a shopping cart into the front door. The callers also said the female subject was throwing food and trash at cars. Upon arrival, officers located Anderson at the nearby Elmer's Restaurant where she had scattered trash throughout the area. They said she was in possession of a plant that she had completely uprooted. The plant was destroyed because of her actions. Marjorie Anderson was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. She was also cited to appear in court for Scattering Rubbish.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Investigators Believe Livestock Heat Lamp Started Structure Fire in Merlin Area
A heat lamp is believed to be linked to a house fire in the Merlin area on Monday. Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a reported structure fire on Tomoe Court at 12:36 p.m. yesterday. Rural Metro Engine 7505 from the Merlin Station arrived to find the fire had already climbed up the outside wall of the house and was actively burning through the attic and out the roof. All occupants were safely outside. The fire was quickly contained, but the structure still sustained significant damage. However, most of the contents were saved. An Oregon State Fire Marshal investigator found evidence that a heat lamp being used to keep livestock warm in a pen just outside the bedroom window was the likely culprit. Fortunately, no animals were harmed. With the onset of cold weather, fire officials are urging anyone using heating devices to keep livestock warm to guard against practices that may result in a fire. Each year, Rural Metro responds to several chicken coop fires resulting from lack of oversight in the use of heating devices.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Escaped Open Burn near Cave Junction Results in Citation for Property Owner
An escaped open burn near Cave Junction last night resulted in a citation for the property owner. On Monday at 6:33 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District was dispatched to an escaped burn near the corner of Dick George and Takilma roads. IVFD officials said the fire was extinguished at just 1/100th of an acre. There was no spread to any structures or the surrounding wildland. Officials said the person conducting the burn did not have a required permit and was cited for not adhering to outdoor debris burning rules in the district.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Still Available for CDBG Weatherization & Rehabilitation Program
Applications for the Grants Pass Weatherization/Rehabilitation Program are still available. The program gives low-income homeowners residing within the city a chance to apply for grants to help with accessibility, weatherization repairs or rehabilitation of their homes. The City of Grants Pass -- through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) -- is offering the program for city residents who own and occupy stick-built homes. No mobile homes or manufactured homes will be eligible, nor will rentals be eligible for the program this year. The CDBG program allocates funds each year for these types of projects based on the annual award the city receives from the US Housing and Urban Development Agency. The funds are limited, applications must meet prescribed income levels and not all repairs are eligible. Application packets have been distributed around the city as well as at the Grants Pass Community Development located in Suite 202 of City Hall, 101 NW A Street. You may drop off the completed application at the Community Development Office or e-mail it to Amber Neeck at "aneeck@grantspassoregon.gov." For more information on the program, call (541)-450-6060.
Posted on 10/31/23 5:00AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Gives OK to Proceed with Redesign of Owl Parking Lot as Public Plaza
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The Grants Pass City Council has given the green light to proceed with redesigning a downtown parking lot for use as a community gathering place. During its bi-weekly workshop session on Monday, a majority of the City Council approved plans to move ahead with the Owl Lot Plaza Update. Community Development Director Brad Clark affirmed that the primary purpose for the Owl Lot will continue to be parking, but he acknowledged the need for a community gathering space for large events such as Art Along the Rogue. Citizens who participated in a survey said the lot could benefit from increased shade, areas for seating, public art and historic interpretation. Clark said around $350,000 is available for the redesign and construction of the lot. Monday's discussion was the end of Phase 1 of the project, with Phase 2 being a draft of a Request for Proposal and Phase 3 the award of a construction contract. In other business, the Council voted 6-2 to hold a strategic planning session every two years instead of every year. A special workshop will be held in the off years to hear from the city's advisory committees and commissions. The first one will be held in January 2024. A motion to pay $15,000 to a consultant to facilitate the strategic planning session was defeated by a 5-3 vote.
Posted on 10/31/23 4:57AM by Sam Marsh
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City of GP Encourages Public to Tour Riverside Park Cottage and Help Decide Its Future
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It's time to consider the future of the Caretaker's Cottage in Riverside Park and the City of Grants Pass is seeking public input to help inform its decision related to demolition or rehabilitation of the historic structure. The public will have an opportunity to walk through the cottage from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 2nd. The Grants Pass Historical Buildings and Sites Commission has been studying the Caretaker's Cottage -- which was built in 1920 -- because it's the only remaining original structure in Riverside Park, which was recently named a National Historic Landmark. The HBSC has recommended keeping and repurposing the structure. People can use an online link to take a brief survey to share their thoughts on whether to demolish the building or suggest a suitable use for the structure if the Grants Pass City Council decides to keep it. To take the survey, visit "grantspassoregon.gov/FormCenter/Community-Development-3/Caretakers-Cottage-in-Riverside-Park-103."
Posted on 10/31/23 4:53AM by Sam Marsh
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