Local News

GP Police Arrested Two People for Nearly Simultaneous Walmart Thefts
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for nearly simultaneous theft incidents at Walmart late last week. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Friday at 2:20 p.m. when officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 39-year-old January Jean Marie Fish at the store on NE Terry Lane. Police said Fish grabbed a purse valued at $23 off the shelf and loaded it with her personal items. She took the stolen purse past all points of sale and exited Walmart without paying before being detained by loss prevention. The crime was captured on surveillance and she was lodged in jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. The second incident happened on Friday at 2:22 p.m. when officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 22-year-old Kane Nathaniel Cooper at Walmart. Police said Cooper collected $174 worth of merchandise while in the store and passed all points of sale with the intent of depriving the business of its property. He was detained by loss prevention, placed into custody by police and lodged in jail for 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 1/22/24 10:22AM by Sam Marsh
 

Ashland Police Arrested 2 for Assaulting Victims in Designated Camping Area
Authorities have made two arrests for an assault that happened early last week at a designated camping area in Ashland. Last Monday night, the Ashland Police Department, Talent Police Department and Ashland Fire-Rescue responded to reports of an explosion and multiple assaults at the camping area located behind 1175 East Main Street. APD Chief Tighe O'Meara said the investigation led to the arrests of two suspects identified as 19-year-old Noah Brennan and 48-year-old Jocelyn Cotner. Both were lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of 2nd-Degree Assault, Menacing and Reckless Endangerment. Chief O'Meara said the investigation revealed that Brennan and Cotner assaulted one of the victims. During the assault, the suspects struck a victim with a small butane-fed burner, which caused the container to break, ignite and create a fireball that seriously injured another victim and two other victims in a nearby tent. All three victims were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. They were not identified in the report, so their conditions are unknown.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
 

Alleged Speeding in Park Led to Arrest of GP Man for Crimes on Two People
An alleged weekend speeding incident at Riverside Park led to the arrest of a man for committing several crimes against the alleged offenders. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers detained two people after another person reported they were speeding through the city park near the boat ramp on Saturday around 3:30 a.m.. Police said the anonymous caller was identified as 37-year-old Tyler William Stewart. The detainees reported that they were parked at the top of NW Starlite Place eating when Stewart arrived in his vehicle and blocked them in. They said the suspect brandished a large rock while threatening to kill them and break a window. The rock was thrown at the side door of the pickup, causing damage and placing the pair in fear by his actions and behavior. One of the detainees disclosed that she and Stewart had been involved in a fight and admitted to throwing a bag of coffee at his head. She said Stewart put her in chokehold by wrapping his arm around her throat, which hampered her breathing. She showed officers an injury she suffered while her children were present in the home, but she said they did not witness the incident. Stewart was contacted at a residence on SW Central, interviewed and arrested for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, 4th-Degree Assault, Strangulation, Menacing and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Incarcerated Man for Threatening to Harm His Wife & Teenage Son
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for threatening to harm his wife and teenage son during a weekend argument at their residence. According to the Police Department, officers responded to domestic disturbance at a home in the 1600-block of Nunnwood Lane on Friday at about 5:30 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that her husband -- 45-year-old Billy Leon Garrett -- threatened to punch her and their 15-year-old son after she refused to let him drive her vehicle. Dispatchers could hear the man cursing and yelling as he was searching for the keys. At one point, Garrett lunged at his wife but did not hit her. Officers said he is a very large man, so his words and actions placed the victims in fear they would be assaulted. He reportedly had never been physical with his family before, but he was placed into custody. Billy Garrett was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Menacing. The case was reported to the Oregon Department of Human Services because of the threat against his son and the presence of a 2-year-old child in the home.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Breaking Windows with Hatchet in North Part of City
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for multiple crimes after he went on a weekend rampage in the north part of the city while breaking out windows with a hatchet. The Police Department reports officers arrested 42-year-old Brandon David Chipps near Denny's on NE Morgan Lane on Saturday at 5:04 a.m.. Police said they responded to reports of multiple glass windows being smashed by a male subject wielding a small axe in the area including McDonald's and Remax real estate. Turns out the incident started when Chipps was trespassed from the fast food restaurant. He initially refused to leave and returned with a hatchet. Chipps was located and placed into custody outside Denny's where he was pacing back and forth in front of the restaurant. He was compliant with law enforcement, his hatchet was found and logged into evidence. Officers checked the area from Morgan Lane to Washington Boulevard and found no other damage. Brandon Chipps was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a
Posted on 1/22/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro and Grants Pass Firefighters Extinguished Fire on Monument Drive
Firefighters from two local agencies extinguished a Sunday night structure fire in the Hugo area. On Sunday at 10:31 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue were dispatched to a reported fire in the 9900-block of Monument Drive. Arriving units found a fully-involved garage containing two vehicles that had extended into the attic of the residence. Crews searched the interior of the home for occupants and confirmed that no one was inside. The fire was extinguished with no injuries reported. Damage to the residence and vehicles was not disclosed. The Oregon State Fire Marshal was assisting with the investigation.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Workshop Features Reports from Committees & Commissions
The Grants Pass City Council will spend the majority of its workshop session today with members of advisory committees and commissions. The City Council will hear from leaders of these advisory panels regarding their accomplishments in 2023 and goals for 2024. Following the assignment of Council liaisons for these panels in the new year, the Council will review the agenda for upcoming regular meetings and workshops in February. The first regular meeting of 2024 is set for February 7th. After the workshop, Mayor Sara Bristol will convene a Special Meeting in Executive Session. The closed-door meeting is being held to discuss real property transactions and negotiations. Today's workshop begins at 11:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Grants Pass City Hall, 101 NW A Street.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police & Firefighters Logged Busy Week of Activity Protecting Community
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged a busy period of activity while protecting the community last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 621 calls for service along with 296 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 36 arrests, 30 citations, 43 warnings and two highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 93 traffic stops and made 20 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team contacted a total of 106 potential trouble-makers while arresting three people, citing 19 more and warning 25 others. The CRT unit also trespassed seven individuals, posted 65 transient camps and removed trash from 11 campsites -- primarily in city parks. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 97 calls last week including 43 for emergency medical service, five for reports of fire or smoke, eight lift assists, nine rescue situations, 11 assists to other agencies and four false alarms. Fire crews also performed 12 business inspections, assisted the public five times and installed 11 child car seats. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,115 emergency calls.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:38AM by Sam Marsh
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City Accepting Applications for Collaborative Economic Development Committee Vacancy
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The City of Grants Pass is accepting applications for an open position on the Collaborative Economic Development Committee due to a vacancy. The term is set to expire on June 30, 2025. The Collaborative Economic Development Committee (CEDC) is an advisory committee to the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County. The CEDC is responsible for the implementation of the Joint Economic Development Strategic Plan adopted by the Grants Pass City Council and Josephine County Board of Commissioners. The plan can be found on the City of Grants Pass website. Target areas include Services, Infrastructure and Workforce Development. The special qualification for this position is Business Retail. All members of the CEDC must be at least 18 years of age and reside within the boundaries of Josephine County. Applications are available at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16th. Applications will be reviewed by the CEDC on February 23rd. The Grants Pass City Council will make the appointment at its regular meeting on March 6th.
Posted on 1/22/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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GoFundMe Account Set Up to Help Grants Pass Family & Business Devastated by Fire
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A Grants Pass area family faced devastation last week when their sole source of income was lost to a fire. A two-alarm fire in the 5500-block of Jerome Prairie Road badly damaged a shop building housing River City Eurotech. Two vehicles inside the shop along with miscellaneous tools and equipment were lost in the blaze. However, several vehicles parked outside the burning building were pushed away and not seriously damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured. For over 20 years, Matt Duncan has used his skills as a master automotive technician, not just as a profession but as a means to help community members. Matt helped countless people in the community with vehicle repairs at little or no cost. He also volunteers his time at a local church and homeless shelter. The Josephine County community is being asked to come together to support the Duncan family and River City Eurotech through a GoFundMe fundraiser. All proceeds will go to rebuilding the business and providing basic needs for the family. To donate, visit "gofundme.com/f/healing-through-rebuilding-duncan-family."
Posted on 1/22/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Southern Oregon Traffic Stop Led to Seizure of Large Amounts of Narcotics
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A Southern Oregon traffic stop this week led to the seizure of large amounts of dangerous drugs. Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) intercepted a vehicle on Interstate 5 south of Ashland on Tuesday evening. MADGE investigators had received information that a vehicle was transporting large amounts of narcotics into this area. With assistance from the Oregon State Police and the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET), detectives stopped the vehicle and Medford Police K9 "Brodie" alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search warrant was obtained, and a search of the vehicle yielded 105 pounds of methamphetamine and 12 pounds of fentanyl. Detectives arrested 31-year-old Cruz Bernardo Lopez-Ramos and lodged him at the Jackson County Jail for commercial drug offenses of Unlawful Possession and Distribution of Meth, and Unlawful Possession and Distribution of Fentanyl. The MADGE team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts and dismantles local, out-of-state and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, prosecutor-supported approach. MADGE is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is a nationally-sponsored program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives.
Posted on 1/20/24 6:22AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Central Point Man for DUII & More after Interstate 5 Crash in GP
The Oregon State Police arrested a Central Point man for multiple crimes and an outstanding warrant after he crashed his vehicle on Interstate 5 in Grants Pass early yesterday. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews were dispatched to a single-vehicle wreck in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 56 on Friday at 12:34 a.m.. Troopers said arriving units found a Subaru Legacy off the freeway and the driver had fled on foot. A short time later, 32-year-old Bradley Lyle Lesh was located and he showed strong signs of impairment. He was placed into custody and transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was nearly three times the legal driving limit. Bradley Lesh was subsequently transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Felony Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving, Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage, Criminal Mischief and Driving While Suspended along with an out-of-county warrant for Probation Violation. A 55-year-old Central Point woman was identified by OSP as a witness and Lesh's Subaru was impounded.
Posted on 1/20/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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