Local News

Deputies Incarcerated Uncle for Assaulting Niece in North Valley Industrial Park
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for assaulting his niece in the North Valley Industrial Park late last week. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the 200-block of Tech Way on Friday shortly after 11 a.m.. Deputies said an employee from Dutch Bros headquarters called 9-1-1 to report a female subject in front of their building was crying and screaming hysterically. The caller said the woman stated that she had been assaulted by her uncle. She was not seriously injured. Responding deputies contacted the distraught victim and then identified her uncle as 63-year-old Dennis Ray Lokken. He was located and placed into custody. Dennis Lokken was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Passing Counterfeits at Grocery Outlet & Fred Meyer
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for passing counterfeit money at two local retailers late last week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 36-year-old Russell Ellis Davis for the alleged incident at Grocery Outlet on Friday at 1:06 p.m.. Police said Davis was identified from video surveillance having passed two fake $100 bills on Friday at Grocery Outlet and on Thursday at Fred Meyer. They said he was found to be in possession of property from the Fred Meyer incident. Davis admitted to the crimes, but he was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on only one count of Felony 1st-Degree Forgery as the admissions from the Fred Meyer incident were not yet corroborated. The investigation was continuing. Russell Davis was being held without bail at the adult jail facility.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Arrested Employee for Stealing from Grange Co-op Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing from his employer late last week. The Police Department reports officers responded to an employee theft incident at Grange Co-op on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway on Friday at about 3:50 p.m.. Police said 32-year-old Nick Ryan Weaver was a Grange Co-op worker who was observed by loss prevention on video surveillance placing $40 under the keyboard of the cash register and later moving the money into his pocket. Responding officers contacted Weaver, he admitted to taking the money and stated that he believed it was a tip. He advised the stolen money was in his wallet inside his vehicle and consented for officers to retrieve the cash. Nick Weaver was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and he was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Still Accepting Artist-in-Residence Apps
Do you want to spend two weeks creating art in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument? The Bureau of Land Management has announced that applications are still open for the annual Artist-in-Residence program. Applications must be submitted by this Thursday, February 29th. The selected artist receives a one- to two-week residency at the monument in the month of June. Artists will create work while immersed in a beautiful environment and share their art with the public. All artists are encouraged to apply, and there is no preference given to any style or medium. The Artist-in-Residency program is in its eighth year. It has translated the national monument's natural and cultural resources into images, objects and performances. During their stay, the artist will share their experience and artistic vision in a public presentation. Following the residency, artists are asked to donate an original piece of artwork to which they will retain the rights. One artist and one alternate will be selected based on entry materials, residency proposal, professionalism and creative vision. Interested artists can learn more and find an application at the Artist-in-Residence website, which is "bit.ly/CSNMart," by e-mailing "jduwe@blm.gov" or by calling (541)-618-2320.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Grants Pass Police and Firefighters Kept Heat on Criminal Offenders and Off Structures
News Image
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters kept the heat on criminal offenders and off structures in the community last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 592 calls for service along with 302 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 48 arrests, 13 citations, 70 warnings and three highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 95 traffic stops in the city and made 12 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 215 contacts with potential trouble-makers last week while arresting seven people, citing 53 more and warning 74 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 30 individuals, posted 79 transient camps and removed trash from 30 campsites -- primarily in city parks. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 79 calls last week including 26 for emergency medical service, one report of fire or smoke, 19 lift assists, three rescue situations, two assists to other agencies and one false alarm. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 904 emergency calls in addition to 778 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:38AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Salvation Army Appeals for Community Support to Replace Disabled Box Truck
News Image
The Salvation Army in Grants Pass is facing a critical challenge as its box truck has broken down. Salvation Army Regional Director Sharre Whitson said this unforeseen event has severely impacted their ability to provide crucial services -- particularly their food pantry -- which supports individuals and families in need across the area. Whitson said the box truck has been instrumental in transporting food supplies, clothing and other necessities to those who rely on their assistance. With its recent breakdown, the organization has been forced to resort to renting a truck, which limits their outreach efforts and amount of aid they can provide to the community. The organization is reaching out to businesses, community leaders and individuals to rally behind their cause and contribute toward the replacement of the box truck. Every donation -- no matter the size -- will make a significant difference in restoring The Salvation Army's ability to serve those who rely on their assistance during challenging times. Those wishing to support The Salvation Army Grants Pass can make donations online at "salvationarmy.org" or by contacting their office at (541)-237-8671.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:35AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Chamber of Commerce Passes Out Awards at 100th Birthday Banquet on Friday Night
News Image
The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th birthday while passing out awards at its annual banquet on Friday evening. The event was held at the Grants Pass Boys & Girls Club and the masters of ceremonies were Jason Allen and Ashley Main of the Grants Pass Broadcasting Corporation. Melissa Vierra of Evergreen Federal Bank was presented with the Community Spirit Award and Mark Stutzman of Farmer's Building Supply was named Person of the Year. The Rising Star Award went to Nick Alexander of Nick Alexander Films. The architecture award was given to the Williams branch of the Josephine Community Library District. The Small Business Excellence Award was presented to Logan Design and the Large Business Excellence Award went to Evergreen Federal Bank. Outgoing Chamber of Commerce board members Win Howard, Greg Roe and Lawton Leseuer were honored as was Chamber CEO Josie Malloy, who is leaving her post later this week.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:33AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Suspected Forger Jailed After Passing 2 $100 Bills at Major Retailers
Grants Pass City Police arrested and lodged a man in jail on a forgery charge after passing multiple $100 bills at different retailers. Friday morning City Police received a call from Grocery Outlet that a man had passed a fake $100 bill and security footage was available along with the bill. City Police contacted the suspect in Riverside Park just before one o’clock Friday afternoon and placed him into custody. According to the City Police narrative Russell Ellis Davis, 36, was identified from surveillance as having passed two fake, $100 bills, one at Fred Meyer and one at Grocery Outlet, where he was initially caught on video. Davis retained the property from Fred Meyer and admitted to the crimes but was only lodged on one count of forgery I because the admissions from the Fred Meyer incident were not yet corroborated
Posted on 2/24/24 7:49AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

63-Year-Old Man Jailed Following Alleged Assault
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 63-year-old man Friday afternoon after allegedly assaulting his niece. According to the Sheriff’s log the incident began the female approached the Dutch Bros location in the 200 block of Tech Way in a hysterical state saying she had been assaulted by her uncle. Multiple calls documented the female’s escalating behavior and being in a verbal confrontation with a male. Deputies arrived and placed Dennis Lokken into custody, transported him to the Josephine County Jail and lodged him on a single charge of assault IV. No bail was listed in the jail’s information.
Posted on 2/24/24 6:05AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Sheriff’s Department Asking Help in Locating Missing 14-Year-Old Boy
News Image

The Josephine County Sheriff’s office is asking the public’s help in locating a missing 14-year-old boy.
Thursday the Sheriff’s office received a report that Kaiden Eugene Thayer had left his residence on Hubbard Lane in Grants Pass around 6:30pm that same day on foot. He was wearing black pants, a black sweatshirt over a gray and white sweatshirt and black shoes. Kaiden is described as young white male with black hair and brown eyes. Kaiden stands 5’5” and weighs about 120 pounds.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:44AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Douglas County Sheriff's Office Reporting Familiar Scam is Making a Comeback
Subjects posing as officials from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in an effort to scam community members out of their money. Deputies have once again started receiving reports from people contacted via phone by individuals posing as DCSO employees such as Lieutenant Brad O'Dell and retired-Lieutenant Mike Root. The scammer will tell the intended victim they have missed a court appearance, owe fines or have a warrant for their arrest and then demand payment. The victim is often directed to immediately make payment or they will face consequences including arrest. These tactics are never used by real law enforcement agencies. It is critically important that the community is aware of these tactics and shares them with their family members and friends -- especially those who may be vulnerable to falling victim to the scams such as elderly people. Do not focus too much on specific scam tactics as scammers often change their methods over time. They can easily obtain new phone numbers and change them often. They may use "spoof" programs to make your Caller ID show an agency's actual phone number. They may use the names of actual employees to make the call seem legitimate.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:33AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

US Senator Wyden Urges Park Service to Keep Crater Lake Operations Running
US Senator Ron Wyden is urging the National Park Service to keep Crater Lake operations running as the federal agency decides whether to dissolve a contract with the company that manages lodging, dining, retail and boat tours in the park. The Oregonian reports Wyden's letter comes one week after news that the National Park Service has threatened to terminate a contract with Philadelphia-based Aramark, which has operated in the Southern Oregon park since 2018. Aramark, under its subsidiary Crater Lake Hospitality, is currently under contract through 2030. It also provides services at the Oregon Caves National Monument. Federal officials have accused Aramark's subsidiary of a litany of management issues at the park, including shabby living conditions for park employees, park buildings in a state of disrepair and serious environmental hazards. The National Park Service plans to terminate the contract unless the company "shows cause as to why NPS should not do so." That decision came two months after Wyden sent out his first public letter on the issue, laying bare a number of "serious concerns" about operations by Aramark's subsidiary, and asking the federal agency to "take immediate action to prevent concessionaire mismanagement from continuing to threaten Crater Lake National Park, its visitors, or the employees who live and work there." National Park Service documents released since Wyden’s complaint have backed up the senator's accusations, and former employees have confirmed additional problems in the park, including payroll issues that led to withheld paychecks – an incident filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries. Federal officials have not said how long they're giving Aramark to respond, or what might happen to park services should the termination go through. The National Park Service's concession guidelines note that contract termination can be "time consuming," but offer no specific timeline, as the circumstances can vary.
Posted on 2/24/24 5:32AM by Chuck Benson
Read more