Local News

2023 Application Window Still Open for Community Wildfire Defense Grants
The 2023 application window is still open for Community Wildfire Defense Grants. They will be accepted through October 31st. Community Wildfire Defense Grants help at-risk communities plan for and reduce the risk of wildfire by awarding grants for creating and updating Community Wildfire Protection Plans and implementing community-based projects that reduce wildfire risk and improve community resiliency in response to wildfires. This program is authorized and funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The initial round funded 100 projects for $197 million in 2022. Local governments representing communities located in an area with a risk of wildfires -- including homeowners associations that assist such communities -- and state forestry agencies are eligible for the program. Applicants must be registered in "SAM.gov." Registration is free with no-cost assistance. Communities recently impacted by a severe disaster, with lower-than-average incomes that are in a high-risk area may receive priority consideration. Grants must be used to fund work that reduces the risk of wildfire to people and property. For more details on this program, visit "fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/grants."
Posted on 10/24/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh

Firefighters Demobilized from Anvil and Flat Fires in Northwest Team 12's Final Report
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With a little help from Mother Nature, firefighters met the established deadlines for accomplishing all work on the region's remaining wildfires last weekend. In its final report, Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 12 said the Anvil Fire about eight miles east of Port Orford was holding at 22,170 acres with containment at 80%. The majority of the remaining fire resources have been demobilized and only a few pieces of equipment remained in place to carry out the last cleanup tasks including pulling down ribbon and signage around the fire area. Crews have dismantled the rest of the fire camp and the Incident Command Post. All work was completed on the Flat Fire over the weekend and the remaining resources have also been demobilized. Northwest Team 12 has transitioned both the Anvil and Flat fires back to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The team would like to thank the local communities for their hospitality and support. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest lifted all public use restrictions on its lands last week. The fire danger rating and industrial fire precaution levels were removed from all five local ranger districts.
Posted on 10/24/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

Butte Falls & BLM Host Public Meeting about Community Forest & Trail Projects on Thursday
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The City of Butte Falls and the Bureau of Land Management invite the public to attend an open house meeting this week to learn about and comment on two related projects: the Butte Falls Community Forest Recreation Plan and the BLM's Fredenburg Butte Trails Project. The open house will take place on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Butte Falls Community Hall, 555 East Main Street. Butte Falls officials will explain and seek input on the recreation development plan for its recently acquired community forest. Following acquisition of the land in 2022, the town began developing its forest recreation plan with the support of the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program. The town held a public workshop in May to solidify an initial plan. Now Butte Falls and the Community Forest Commission are seeking input from residents and the larger community on the draft plan. To complement Butte Falls' plans for its community forest, the BLM is proposing a new non-motorized trail system in the Fredenburg Butte area north of town.
Posted on 10/24/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

Josephine County Fairgrounds & GP Toyota Host 4th Annual "Trunk or Treat" on Saturday
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The Josephine County Fairgrounds will be hosting the 4th Annual "Trunk or Treat" this coming weekend. Trunk or Treat is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fairgrounds' indoor covered arena. It's being presented by the Fairgrounds and Grants Pass Toyota. Join them for a spooktacular time to help celebrate this year's Halloween season. Bring the whole family to enjoy a day of trick-or-treating from trunk to trunk, with over 30 different trunks filled with candy, decorations and plenty of photo opportunities. When you arrive on Saturday, enter through the main gates, park in the parking lot and then go to the west arena entrance that faces the horse racing track. Be sure to arrive early as you don't want to miss out on all the sweet treats. For more information, e-mail "fairgrounds@josephinecounty.gov" or call the main office at (541)-476-3215.
Posted on 10/24/23 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Assisted Deputies with Pursuit of Motorcyclist Who Crashed near I-5 Exit
The Oregon State Police assisted the Josephine County Sheriff's Office with the weekend pursuit of a motorcyclist who crashed at the Interstate 5 Interchange near Merlin. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies tried to pull over a Honda motorcycle ridden by 44-year-old Lance Taylor Huggins of Grants Pass near the intersection of Merlin Road and Ort Lane on Saturday at about 10:40 p.m.. Deputies said Huggins failed to yield, leading them and state troopers on a pursuit toward I-5 where he ran out of gas at the intersection of Merlin Road and Highland Avenue. They said the suspect bailed off the bike, ran away and hid in some nearby bushes. He was eventually placed into custody at the point of a Taser. According to the report, Huggins had a hatchet in a sheath on his belt which was seized. Huggins was found to be wanted on two Josephine County warrants for failing to appear in court for 4th-Degree Assault, Felony and Misdemeanor Attempt to Elude Police, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief and Interfering with Making a Police Report. Lance Huggins was transported to Grants Pass and lodged in jail on the warrants along with new charges of Felony and Misdemeanor Attempt to Elude Police, and Reckless Driving. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Felon on Weapons Charge & Warrant after Courthouse Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a felon on a weapons charge as well as an out-of-state fugitive warrant following an incident at the Josephine County Courthouse. The Police Department reports a woman came to the door of the Courthouse in downtown Grants Pass on Saturday at 11:37 a.m. to report that she was trying to get away from a man she identified as 49-year-old John Dee Wilkins. Police said a Courthouse employee let the woman in and helped her contact GPPD. They said she reported that Wilkins was her estranged boyfriend, he was armed with a gun and he had a warrant out of California for his arrest. Officers contacted Wilkins a short time later in a high-risk traffic stop on NE 7th Street in front of the old Millie's Sandwich Shop. He reportedly admitted that he was in possession of a gun and he is a convicted felon, so he was placed into custody. The Italian 25 automatic pistol was seized as evidence. John Wilkins was found to be wanted on a Placer County, California, warrant for unspecified crimes. He was lodged in the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and the outstanding warrant. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:10AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Getting into Altercations with Restaurant Patrons
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for getting into verbal and physical altercations with several people at a popular Mexican restaurant near the Parkway. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a reported disturbance at Si Casa Flores in the 200-block of NE Beacon Drive on Saturday at 7:35 p.m.. Police said 45-year-old William Earl Hill engaged in tumultuous behavior by getting into verbal altercations with restaurant patrons, asking them to step outside. One verbal argument escalated into a physical altercation where Hill punched a man in the face, causing pain and injury. He also reportedly hit a woman. Officers said they reviewed video footage of the incident that showed Hill to be the aggressor. They said it appeared that he was highly intoxicated at the time. William Hill tried to get away in a sport utility vehicle, but he was stopped by police a short distance away from the restaurant. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for 4th-Degree Assault and Disorderly Conduct. He was also trespassed from Si Casa Flores.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Looking for Idaho Man Who Assaulted Another Man at Store in Murphy
The Oregon State Police was looking for an Idaho man who allegedly assaulted another man at a convenience store in Murphy before fleeing the scene. OSP reports troopers responded to the incident at Pinnacle 365 at the corner of Williams Highway and New Hope Road on Saturday at about 12:45 a.m.. Troopers said they were dispatched for two men fighting inside the store. They contacted the victim who had minor injuries and wished to press charges against 38-year-old Jason Allen Eldred of Spirit Lake, Idaho. The suspect had fled the scene prior to the arrival of OSP, but he was identified by the victim. According to the report, Eldred also spoke with the victim's girlfriend, which was a violation of a no-contact order. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jason Eldred is encouraged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Man on Local Warrant while Investigating Vandalism of Pickup
The Oregon State Police arrested a man on a local warrant while investigating a weekend report of vandalism to a disabled vehicle on Redwood Highway near Wonder. According to OSP, troopers responded to the incident on US Highway 199 at Elliot Creek Road on Friday at 6:52 p.m.. Troopers said they responded to reports that a disabled Ford F-250 pickup that was in the process of being vandalized. They contacted 29-year-old Austin Lee Buell who was removing tires from the vehicle. An investigation determined that the pickup belonged to Buell's mother. Further investigation revealed that Buell was wanted on a Josephine County misdemeanor warrant for 4th-Degree Assault. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and the pickup was returned to his mother.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:04AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Nabbed Man for Stealing Merchandise from Home Depot
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing merchandise from Home Depot over the weekend. The Police Department reports officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the store on NE Mill Street on Friday shortly after 9 p.m.. Police said Home Depot loss prevention observed 29-year-old Austin Glenn Ganey stuffing items in his pants and bypassing all points of sale on his way out of the store. He was detained by security guards until officers arrived on scene and placed him into custody, finding him with a small quantity of methamphetamine. Austin Ganey was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. His corrections officer declined to place him on a detainer, but advised him to report in this morning.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:02AM by Sam Marsh
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One Person Hurt in Weekend Crash on Rogue River Highway near GP
One person was hurt in a two-vehicle collision on Rogue River Highway at the start of the weekend. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the head-on crash on Highway 99 near Brock Lane on Friday shortly after 9 p.m.. Troopers said an investigation indicated 29-year-old Patrick James Lee of Grants Pass was driving a Volkswagen sedan south on the highway when he swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid a deer and crashed into a northbound Hyundai Tucson driven by 26-year-old Elijah David Phillips of Grants Pass. One minor injury was reported, but no one was transported to the hospital. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage and were hauled into town by Goodfellas Towing. No citations were issued.
Posted on 10/23/23 11:01AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Multiple Crimes after Downtown Road Rage Incident
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for felony and misdemeanor crimes following a road rage incident in the downtown area. The Police Department reports officers arrested 24-year-old Jason Patrick Keene for the incident that occurred at the corner of NE 6th and A streets on Friday at about 1:25 p.m.. Police said Keene and another motorist were involved in a road rage incident when Keene displayed a firearm and pointed it at the other man's vehicle, which was occupied by a total of four people. They said the act placed the occupants in fear of imminent serious injury or death. Fortunately, no one was hurt. According to the report, the victim motorist followed the suspect to the 1300-block of F Street -- which was later determined to be a residence owned by the suspect's grandmother. That's where he was contacted and placed into custody. Jason Keene was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and four counts of Menacing. The firearm was seized and placed into evidence.
Posted on 10/23/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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