Local News

GP Police Arrested Transient for Squatting and Littering on Railroad Property
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trespassing on railroad property and interfering with a clean-up crew yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 40-year-old Jacob Steven Miller on Wednesday at about 1:51 p.m.. Police said an employee with Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad called 9-1-1 to report a male subject refusing to leave their property while scattering his trash and personal belongings all around him. Officers contacted Miller and he admitted to living on the railroad property for months. They said he had created a mound of trash which detracted from the natural beauty of the area. Railroad workers planned to dispose of the trash. Jacob Miller was placed into custody and charged with 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and Offensive Littering. He was lodged in jail and his bicycle was logged into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:49AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Arrested Motorist on Outstanding Warrant during NB Interstate 5 Contact
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist on an outstanding warrant during an Interstate 5 contact in the North Valley area last night. OSP reports state troopers stopped for a disabled Chevrolet C-250 pickup driven by 46-year-old Amber Denise Tacia in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 64 shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said they contacted Tacia and discovered that she was wanted on a local bench warrant for failing to appear in court. She was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The pickup was left on the side of freeway at Tacia's request as it was not a hazard and an acquaintance of hers was on the way to retrieve it.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:47AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Arrested GP Man for DUII and Drug Possession after Fruitdale Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving and drug possession after a traffic stop in southeast Grants Pass late last night. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Blazer driven by 38-year-old Lionell Augustus Lims of Grants Pass near the intersection of Fruitdale Drive and Poplar Drive on Wednesday around 11:20 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Lims for traffic violations and he displayed signs of impairment. They said he then performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was positive for alcohol but below the legal limit. A drug recognition specialist responded to assist with the investigation which revealed the use of narcotics. Lionell Lims was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances as well as Possession of Cocaine. He was also cited for Failure to Drive Within Lane, Unsignaled Turn and Expired Registration. After being cited to appear in court, Lims was released and given a courtesy ride home. His vehicle was parked and secured at the scene of the traffic stop.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:44AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Using Weapon to Threaten Victim in Tuesday Robbery
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for using a weapon to threaten another person while committing a robbery this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 41-year-old Travis Llammar Rough on Tuesday morning and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail. No details about the incident were disclosed, but Rough was charged with Felony 3rd-Degree Robbery, Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was still in custody without any scheduled bail on Wednesday. The charges indicate Rough used a weapon to threaten the victim during a heist that involved an item of under $100 in value. No other details were available.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on State Warrant after He Stole Beer from WinCo Foods
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant this week after he stole a beer from a local supermarket. The Police Department reports officers arrested 40-year-old Philip Raymond Nerpel for the incident at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Tuesday. Police said Nerpel was detained by loss prevention for stealing a beer. They said he provided a fictitious name to officers, but he was properly identified and then found to be wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Parole Violation. Philip Nerpel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the statewide warrant plus charges of 3rd-Degree Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held on a no-bail detainer. Jail records show Nerpel was also arrested for Parole Violation on January 8th of this year and June 20th of last year.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Snared Man Implicated in Recent Fraud Case at Fields Home Center
A Josephine County Sheriff's Office investigation has led to an arrest in a recent fraud case perpetrated on a popular local home improvement store. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 43-year-old Alexander Neuman in connection with an incident at Fields Home Improvement Center at the Grants Pass Walmart on Wednesday at 3:09 p.m.. No details about the investigation were disclosed, but Neuman was charged with 1st-Degree Forgery and 1st-Degree Theft. He was cited to appear in court and then released. Deputies said they spotted Neuman in the Walmart parking lot, confirmed details of the case and swooped in to detain him.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Used Video Footage to Capture Man Who Stole Blower from Motel
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing a leaf blower from a north-city motel this week. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the theft at La Quinta Inn & Suites on NE Morgan Lane around midday Tuesday. Police said a motel worker called them to report his backpack blower -- valued at $900 -- was stolen. The worker advised that the motel surveillance camera caught a male subject taking the blower and driving away in a gray Nissan Frontier. A short time later, another La Quinta employee reported a vehicle matching that description was parked at the downtown liquor store on SE 8th Street. Contact was made with 69-year-old James Cecil Black who matched the suspect description in the video footage. The leaf blower was located in the back seat of his vehicle. James Black was charged with 2nd-Degree Theft and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The stolen leaf blower was returned to the motel worker.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Being Accepted for GP Urban Tree Advisory Committee Position
Applications are now being accepted for a position on the Grants Pass Urban Tree Advisory Committee. This term expires on February 1, 2025. The purpose of the Urban Tree Advisory Committee is to review, develop and implement programs and activities that promote, protect and enhance the urban forest as part of the Tree City USA program. The special qualification for this position is an interest in the enhancement and promotion of the urban forest in Grants Pass. 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 no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1st. Applications will be reviewed by the committee on Monday, March 11th. The Grants Pass City Council will make the appointment on Wednesday, April 3rd.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Sheriff's Office Looking for Search & Rescue Team Volunteers
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue (SAR) Team assisted with the SkiMo Summit Race last weekend at the Mount Ashland Ski Area. SAR was staged on the west side of Mount Ashland as well as the Grouse Gap area to assist with any injuries during the race. SAR volunteers took the opportunity to do side-training while on standby, which included skiing skills, winter fire building and avalanche safety. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is looking for Search & Rescue volunteers. If you are interested in joining the SAR Team, go to the Sheriff's Office website, search for SAR volunteer and fill out the form. Visit "jacksoncountyor.gov."
Posted on 2/8/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Favors 3% Food & Beverage Tax + $9 Utility Fee for Public Safety Funding
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The Grants Pass City Council last night voted in favor of a 3% food and beverage tax combined with a $9 utility fee to fill the funding void for public safety. The non-binding vote was 5-3, with DJ Faszer, Dwayne Yunker and Valerie Lovelace casting the dissenting votes. City staff will now create ordinances to institute the proposed new revenue streams to maintain current funding levels and add three police officers, a crime analyst, three firemen and an administrator. Councilors are expected to cast a final vote on the ordinances at the February 21st regular meeting. Prior to Council's discussion and vote, they heard over an hour of public testimony related to the public safety funding discussion. Citizens voiced different opinions both for and against a sales tax, for and against a utility fee, and against the food and beverage tax. The City Council started the meeting by unanimously approving an ordinance that amends the Development Code to relax some residential development standards. The amendments reduce the requirement of 30% open space for multi-family housing developments, streamlining requirements while maintaining high-value recreation areas. The setback standards for multi-family developments next to single-family residences were retained.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Commission Approved Collective Bargaining Agreement and Delayed Animal Shelter Levy
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners approved a collective bargaining agreement and delayed a decision on whether to refer an animal shelter levy to voters during its weekly business session on Wednesday. The Board voted unanimously to approve the collective bargaining agreement with the Laborers International Union of North America Local 737. The new contract with 75% of Public Works employees had been continued from last month. Public Works Director Rob Brandes said the three-year agreement includes a 4.5% cost of living increase with Josephine County picking up the 6% contribution to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). He added that the workers covered under this pact have agreed not to seek another cost of living hike for three years. A resolution to refer to voters a five-year local option tax levy for the Animal Shelter was tabled until next week because the language for the Voters Pamphlet had not yet been completed. If approved by the Board, a proposed levy charging 47 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value will appear on the May 21st election ballot.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Chamber of Commerce President Josie Malloy Leaving CEO Post to Move to Wyoming
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The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce will be searching for a new leader after the current CEO announced plans to depart the organization in March. In a recent press release, Chamber of Commerce President Josie Malloy said she will be leaving Grants Pass next month as she and her family will be moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be closer to loved ones. Malloy leaves the Chamber in a strong position, financially stable, with talented staff members and an effective board of directors to ensure the continuation of the positive work the organization does for the local business community. Malloy has initiated effective collaboration with partners and brought together diverse voices to drive positive change in the community. The Chamber Board of Directors soon will be conducting a search for Malloy's successor. During the transition period, it is the Board's priority to find the best individual to lead while maintaining a stable and effective organization.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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