Local News

Deputies Arrested Man for Roughing Up and Choking Woman in Wolf Creek
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for roughing up a woman in the Wolf Creek area last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the 900-block of Old Highway 99 on Tuesday at about 6:50 p.m.. Deputies said a crying female victim called 9-1-1 to report she had been choked by 33-year-old Erik Andrew Baca. They said a dispatcher advised them the woman was having trouble breathing and speaking over the phone. The victim was still gasping and coughing when she told the call-taker that the suspect pushed her down on a bed, got on top of her and choked her. She said three children were present and witnessed the incident. Responding deputies arrived on scene, interviewed the victim and her oldest child, and then placed Baca into custody. The victim had visible scratches and bruising, but she refused medical transport to the hospital. Erik Baca was arrested, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Domestic Strangulation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/31/24 11:53AM by Sam Marsh

GP Motorist Faces Numerous Charges after DUII Crash on Redwood Highway
A Grants Pass motorist is facing numerous charges after he crashed into the back of another vehicle on Redwood Highway last night. Grants Pass Police and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision on US Highway 199 at Ringuette Street on Tuesday at 7:40 p.m.. Police said 31-year-old Nicholas Thomas Ryder was both impaired and suspended while driving his truck with his two juvenile children inside. They said he crashed into the back of a vehicle that was lawfully stopped at a red light at the intersection. Fortunately, no one in either vehicle was hurt. Upon contact with officers, Ryder displayed numerous indicators of impairment including bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. His truck was disabled in the center of the highway and his children were escorted to safety at the nearby Dairy Queen. Ryder refused to participate in sobriety tests, so a search warrant was obtained and he was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that revealed impairment by alcohol. After providing a breath sample at the Josephine County Jail, Ryder was booked for Felony Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Felony Driving While Revoked, five counts of Reckless Endangering and Probation Violation related to a previous arrest for Felony Driving While Suspended. He was also cited for No Insurance.
Posted on 1/31/24 11:52AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Nabbed Medford Woman for DUII after She Wrecked Car off RR Highway
The Oregon State Police arrested a Medford woman for impaired driving last night after she crashed her vehicle over an embankment off Rogue River Highway near Grants Pass. According to OSP, troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 4 of Highway 99 on Tuesday at 7:08 p.m.. State troopers said 60-year-old Julia Parnell was driving a Dodge Neon north on the highway near Royal View Lane when she lost control and drove down an embankment. They said she was highly impaired at the time and placed into custody on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Parnell was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided a breath sample that was nearly three times the legal driving limit. She was charged with DUII-Alcohol before being cited to appear in court. Her car was impounded.
Posted on 1/31/24 11:50AM by Sam Marsh

No One Injured When Jeep Nearly Collided with Motorcycle in Downtown CJ
No one was injured when a Jeep nearly collided with a motorcycle in downtown Cave Junction late yesterday. The Oregon State Police and emergency crews responded to the incident at the intersection of Redwood and Caves highways on Tuesday at 5:19 p.m.. Troopers said a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 67-year-old Vicki Shump of Selma entered US Highway 199 from State Route 46 and nearly hit a motorcycle operated by 31-year-old David Swanagan of Cave Junction. According to OSP, Swanagan swerved to avoid the Jeep and ended up laying down the motorcycle on the roadway. The street bike was damaged and had to be towed, but neither Swanagan nor Shump was injured. It was unclear in the report whether any citations were issued.
Posted on 1/31/24 11:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Sheriff's Office Has Identified White City Shooting Suspect
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect arrested for the Sunday night shooting in White City. The suspect -- 27-year-old Hector Cruz Orozco of White City -- was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of 2nd-Degree Attempted Murder, 1st-Degree Assault and two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Meanwhile, the unidentified victim has been flown to an out-of-area hospital for further treatment and remains in critical condition. Through the initial investigation, detectives learned Orozco and the victim were at a mobile home in the 3700-block of Falcon Street on Sunday evening. Orozco shot the victim at close range as they exited the residence and then fled on a bicycle. Deputies responded to the call for gunshots in the area of 29th Street and Avenue G, but Orozco was no longer at the scene. On Monday, the investigation led detectives to a house in the 7800-block of Laura Lane in White City. A search warrant was served with assistance from SWAT, K-9 and Crisis Negotiation teams. Orozco was placed into custody at 5:54 p.m.. The Jackson County District Attorney's Office will prosecute the case, which is still under investigation.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Felon for Weapons Violation after He Fired Rifle at Residence
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a felon for a weapons violation after he allegedly shot a firearm toward a rural residence west of Merlin this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 48-year-old William McCurdy Spangler for the incident in the 2200-block of Galice Road on Monday night. Deputies said a resident in that area reported that they got a call from a neighbor who advised a male subject was "lurking around." The resident and his friends started yelling at the man when he fired shots from a rifle at them. No one was hurt and the man -- later identified as Spangler -- started walking toward Hog Creek. Responding deputies contacted Spangler and disarmed him. The resident and his friends did not want to pursue charges, but the suspect was placed into custody due his status as a convicted felon. The rifle was seized as evidence. William Spangler was transported to Grants Pass and booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Weapon. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited CJ Man for Causing Redwood Highway Crash at Riverbanks Road
The Oregon State Police cited a Cave Junction man for causing a motor vehicle accident on Redwood Highway near the Applegate River this week. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of US Highway 199 and Riverbanks Road on Monday afternoon. Troopers said 35-year-old Dillon Duke Scott was driving a Nissan minivan when he became upset with the driver of another vehicle and was aggressively trying to get the other driver to pull to the side of the highway. They said the minivan was in the right turn lane with its signal on and hit a Subaru Impreza driven by a 27-year-old Cave Junction man. There were no reported injuries, but both the Nissan and Subaru sustained damage and were towed into Grants Pass. Following an investigation, Scott was identified as the at-fault driver and cited for an unspecified traffic violation.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigating Theft of Chevrolet Pickup off RR Highway in SE Grants Pass
The Oregon State Police was investigating the theft of a motor vehicle off Rogue River Highway in southeast Grants Pass. According to OSP, the theft of a Chevrolet Silverado from milepost 2 of Highway 99 was reported by a 61-year-old man on Monday afternoon. No other details about the theft were available, but the Chevy pickup is described as tan in color with Oregon license plate ZZR 499. The victim signed a stolen vehicle report, but there was no suspect information. Anyone with information on the vehicle theft is encouraged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Set to Consider New Fees for Assessors Office & Recreation Department
CORRECTION: Board of Commissioners agenda incorrectly named the Assessor's Office as being under consideration for a new fee schedule. It should be the Animal Shelter and Recreation Department.

The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is set to hold a public hearing on setting new fees for two departments during its weekly business session today. The Commissioners will then consider making changes to the fee schedules for the Assessor's Office and Recreation Department -- which includes Parks and the Fairgrounds. The Board will also hear a presentation on the current state of the Josephine County Animal Shelter as well as a citizen proposal for a new funding levy. Following Requests and Comments from Citizens, the Commissioners will consider the Consent Calendar which contains various minutes of previous meetings along with resolutions for an appointment to the Fair Board and a reappointment to the Bikeways & Walkways Committee. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium
Posted on 1/31/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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RR City Council & Staff Workshop to Address Variety of Topics on Thursday
A City Council and Staff Workshop in Rogue River tomorrow will address a variety of topics ahead of the regular meeting at the end of next month. First up on the agenda are staff reports from the Police Chief, Public Works Director and City Administrator. City Engineer Loree Pryce will present an introduction and update on current and future task orders. As part of Old Business, there is a resolution proposing new Council Rules and continued discussion on the City of Rogue River Park Reservation Policy. New Business includes annual committee appointments, a resolution adopting city representation in the updates to the Jackson County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan and the annual agreement with the Rogue River Kiwanis for the National Rooster Crowing Contest in June. Public input will be accepted at the end of Thursday's workshop, which starts at 10 a.m. at Rogue River City Hall, 133 Broadway Street.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford Police Captured Laundromat Murder Suspect at Savage Creek Residence near GP
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Following a multiple day manhunt, a Medford murder suspect is now in custody. The Medford Police Department reports 18-year-old Jesus Armando Pena, Jr., was arrested on Tuesday in the 300-block of Savage Creek Road -- between the City of Rogue River and Grants Pass along the Jackson-Josephine county line. MPD detectives and officers had been following up on leads and tracking down the suspect for three days. The MPD SWAT team was used for numerous operations including an attempted contact with the suspect at a residence in the 800-block of Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday morning. Pena was not located there, but investigators continued to develop information that led them to the Savage Creek Road residence where he was located unarmed and he surrendered peacefully. Pena was wanted for the fatal shooting that occurred Saturday night at Weldon's Laundromat on Crater Lake Avenue in east Medford. He is accused of shooting and killing 51-year-old Justin William Keaton inside the laundromat before he fled the scene. Jesus Pena was interviewed and then lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of Murder and other related crimes. He recently escaped from the Oregon Youth Authority and had only been in the Medford area a few days before the homicide.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:32AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Revenue Office in Medford will Help Taxpayers with Electronic Filing This Year
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The Oregon Department of Revenue has announced that all resident taxpayers preparing their own returns in 2024 can file electronically at no cost using one of the state's free file options. Taxpayers in Southern Oregon can now file their returns using a special kiosk set up in the Medford Regional Office at 3613 Aviation Way, Suite 102. The kiosk can be used to file taxes through the free fillable forms and Oregon e-file options. The Medford office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but it's closed for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.. No appointment is necessary. Use of the computer to file taxes is on a first-come, first-served basis. Employees can't help prepare returns, but they can answer basic questions. E-filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund two weeks sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks. Oregon Free Fillable Forms performs basic calculations and is ideal for taxpayers who don't need help preparing their returns and want the convenience of filing electronically. The Internal Revenue Service offers a similar option for filing federal taxes electronically.
Posted on 1/31/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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