Local News

No Growth on Anvil & Flat Fires with Containment Static
Crews were able to complete a challenging section of handline on the western edge of the Anvil fire yesterday with the fire remaining within its footprint. No growth has been reported so the fire remains at 22,170 acres with containment still listed at 54%. Personnel staffing has been reduced to 847 with 20 crews on hand backed by 22 engines and six helicopters. Chipping on that western edge was also completed and equipment will turn the corner to work further south today. Engines are working on the northern half of the fire doing suppression repair on Forest Service Roads. On the northeastern tip of the fire, crews put in direct handline and are assessing other points where indirect line will benefit suppression efforts on the ridgetop. Along the southern edge of the fire, crews and equipment continue to repair suppression lines. The chipper in this area is moving south, down the dozer line towards Forest Road 5502. Chipping on the south side of the 5502 is ongoing, working back to the west. Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) flew the northeast line of the fire, looking for heat and gaining information in the deep, thick drainages. These flights will continue today and help ground crews make plans for the coming days. The Flat Fire is also showing no growth beyond the 34,242 acres and containment remains at 93%. One crew backed by three engines remain, a total of 51 people
Posted on 10/6/23 9:46AM by Chuck Benson

Employee Jailed after Arriving at Work Under the Influence
An employee was incarcerated after arriving at work Thursday morning under the influence. Thursday at 7:05 a.m. Grants Pass City Patrol units were requested at 2320 Williams Highway to investigate the driving arrival of an employee suspected of being intoxicated and were to meet in the cafeteria. Officers contacted Michelle Rene Cayton, 39, and observed multiple signs of impairment. Ms. Cayton requested a lawyer and was taken into custody for driving under the influence of intoxicants. A telephonic search warrant was granted for a blood draw prior to Ms. Cayton’s lodging in the county jail. She remained in custody this morning. Jail records show a current charge of DUII-misdemeanor and previous charges on September 16th of unlawful use of a weapon illegally possessed and menacing-aggravated assault. The address of 2320 Williams Highway is the location of Allen Dale School
Posted on 10/6/23 8:50AM by Chuck Benson

Art Along the Rogue Chalk Festival Kicks Off this Afternoon
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The 20th "Art Along the Rogue" chalk festival kicks off today with a theme of "Blockbusters on the Block." Whether it's a classic film like "Star Wars" or the latest Indiana Jones movie, artists will use a favorite to fuel their inspiration. Art Along the Rogue is one of the leading street chalk and music festivals in the state and it attracts thousands of visitors to Grants Pass each autumn. This year's schedule is this afternoon from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. This year, more than 40 artists will be drawing on the streets at 5th and H in the Historic District of downtown Grants Pass. Featured artists Evar Galvez and Sharyn Chan will be creating their works in 3-D. Since its inception in 2003, Art Along the Rogue has grown into one of Grants Pass' premier community events. This year, more than 20 community sponsors are supporting the artists and festival like never before.
Posted on 10/6/23 6:31AM by Chuck Benson

Roommates Fight, One Hospitalized, One Jailed
An overreaction to cats getting out of the house resulted in Josephine County Deputies being dispatched to the 100 block of Ken Rose Lane at approximately 11:30 Thursday morning and ended with one roommate in jail and one in the hospital. The Sheriff’s log picks up with a 911 call about a roommate breaking a window and then attacking the complainant. Then came the 2nd call from the alleged attacker saying he was attacked by the original party. The Deputies narrative outlined one saying he was spit on then attacked but there were no details about the attack. He responded alleging he defended himself by punching the roommate with both fists 15 to 20 times. The roommate who was struck with fists was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center with facial bruising, swelling to the right ear and left eye, which was almost shut and a bloody nose. A CAT scan was to be conducted.
Posted on 10/6/23 6:16AM by Chuck Benson
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Mother Calls 911 When Son Violates Active Restraining Order
A 38-year-old man is in custody after violating an active restraining order protecting his mother and her husband. At 6:31 Thursday evening Josephine County Deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of Tetherow Road following the mother’s call to 911 saying her son had returned to their property and was chasing the horses in the pasture, yelling and trying to get the woman and her husband to come out of the house. The son, identified as William George Muir, was flagged as being hostile to law enforcement. He was known to use drugs and alcohol, but it was unknown if he was under the influence during this episode.
Posted on 10/6/23 5:33AM by Chuck Benson
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Medford Mayor Announces Candidacy for Mayor
Thursday, Medford mayor Randy Sparacino announced his candidacy for Jackson County Commissioner. Mayor Sparacino has filed for sitting Commissioner Dave Dotterrer’s seat and has the Commissioner’s endorsement. Sparacino, the retired Medford police chief has a 30-year-record of public service, and in addition to his experience in law enforcement and the Mayor’s office, he has served on many local committees
Posted on 10/6/23 4:49AM by Chuck Benson
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Training Exercise Scheduled for 7 this Morning near Grandview Ave. & Ringuette
This morning, around 7 a.m., a mass casualty training exercise will be taking place near Grandview Avenue and Ringuette Street in Grants Pass. Several emergency response personnel and vehicles from fire, law enforcement, and ambulance services, possibly even a helicopter, will be in the area for several hours. Ringuette Street will be closed between Grandview Avenue and Southgate Cinemas. If possible, please avoid this area to help prevent congestion.
Posted on 10/6/23 4:36AM by Chuck Benson
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Sheriff’s Office Continues Search for Drowning Victim
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The Josephine County Sheriff’s office continues to search for a presumed drowning victim from September 28th . according to a Sheriff’s office press release Thursday afternoon. That day, the Sheriff’s Office was notified of a drowning that occurred at Wild Cat Rapids in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River. Information provided indicated a group of 11 people, with 5 rafts, were navigating the Wild and Scenic section of the river when one of the rafts got stuck in the middle of Wild Cat Rapids approximately 5 miles below Grave Creek Boat Ramp. While trying to free the raft, the victim slipped on a rock and fell into the water. Due to the swift and dangerous water, the victim was immediately pushed into a large “strainer” made by two large rocks. David Bartecchi, a 46-year-old male from Colorado, was pinned to the side of the rock under water. Several people in the group attempted to pull him out, however, due to the pressure of the water they were unable to. Rescue crews from the Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, and Bureau of Land Management responded to the incident. During the recovery, the river was shut down due to several rope systems being set up across the river. Rescue teams utilized long poles and rope systems in the attempt to recover Bartecchi, however, the swift water pulled him under the rock and down river.
Posted on 10/6/23 4:34AM by Chuck Benson
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The Anvil & Flat Fires Remain Stable with Slow Progress Reported Due to Windy Conditions
Progress on the Anvil Fire was limited because of windy conditions limiting helicopter capabilities to transport crews on Wednesday. The fire size does remain at 22,170 acres according to latest report from the Forest Service. Total personnel assigned to the fire is now 962 including 29 crews, 7 helicopters and 30 engines. Containment remains at 54 %. Firefighters were unable to access the uncontained section of the western edge of line but progress was made on the lower half of this section. Crews are removing pumps and hose around homes on Elk River Road and staging this equipment as a precaution for residents. Suppression repair continues to take place around the fire. Chipping operations continue along Sixes River Road. Plans to create more separation between the east edge and values at risk are being developed. Chipping work on the southern half of the fire will switch to the south side of the road and begin working back to the west. The eastern edge of the fire is being monitored and benefited from the rain and cooler temperatures early in the week. The Flat Fire remains stable with its 34,242 acres 93% contained. One crew with three engines equaling a total of 51 personnel are tending the fire.
Posted on 10/6/23 4:33AM by Chuck Benson
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Training Exercise Scheduled for Friday Morning near Grandview Ave. & Ringuette
Tomorrow morning, around 7 a.m., a mass casualty training exercise will be taking place near Grandview Avenue and Ringuette Street in Grants Pass. Several emergency response personnel and vehicles from fire, law enforcement, and ambulance services, possibly even a helicopter, will be in the area for several hours. Ringuette Street will be closed between Grandview Avenue and Southgate Cinemas. If possible, please avoid this area to help prevent congestion.
Posted on 10/5/23 3:07PM by Chuck Benson
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Local Agencies Execute 2 Water Rescues Wednesday
Grants Pass Fire Rescue crews responded to two separate water rescue incidents Wednesday about one hour apart. Both rescues utilized an inflatable rescue boat referred to as an IRB. In the first rescue, a boater fell from their kayak near Chinook Park at about 10:45 a.m. and was unable to get back in. The boater was wearing a life jacket, but the current was too strong to swim to shore. The person was stuck in the middle of the river and was quickly being affected by the colder water temperatures. Grants Pass Fire Rescue crews worked with the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Rural Metro Fire, and American Medical Response to rescue the boater. The boater was uninjured and transported to shore by trained swift water rescue personnel utilizing the IRB. In the second rescue at about 11:45 a.m, an individual along with a civilian attempting rescue ended up under Deb Potts bridge in the water clinging to the water intake structure, both without life jackets. Both individuals were in the water for at least 15 minutes prior to 911 notification. Grants Pass Fire Rescue crews again worked with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Rural Metro Fire, American Medical Response, and Grants Pass Police to quickly launch the boat and retrieve the individual from the river. One person was then transported to Three Rivers Hospital for further care while the other refused care.
Posted on 10/5/23 3:03PM by Chuck Benson
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Wednesday A. M. Crash at Parkway & Agness Ends with Vehicle Upside Down; No Injuries
Grants Pass City Police were dispatched to a three-vehicle accident at 9:19 Wednesday morning at the intersection of the Parkway and Agness. According to the police report, a Nissan Rogue with Florida license plates was going east on the Parkway and Agness in the north bound turn lane, ran a red light and turned through the intersection and crashed into a grey Honda Accord. The Nissan then collided with a third vehicle staged at the red light. The crash blocked Agness for a short time with one of the vehicles on its top. The driver of the Nissan, identified only as a Mitchell, admitting going through the red light and was cited for driving while suspended, failure to obey a traffic control device and careless drivin
Posted on 10/5/23 10:33AM by Chuck Benson
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