Local News

GP Police Arrested Man for Vandalizing Vehicle Parked in Front of Courthouse
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for vandalizing a vehicle parked in front of the Josephine County Courthouse yesterday -- after he reported the incident. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at the Courthouse in the 500-block of NW 6th Street on Monday around 2:55 p.m.. Police said 39-year-old Daniel Edwin Williams was drunk when he intentionally broke the window of a sport utility vehicle parked in front of the courthouse. They said Williams had called 9-1-1 and reported the incident while screaming at the dispatcher. Then he changed his story and said he broke the window with his bike. According to the report, Williams told the call-taker that he was a disabled veteran. The owner of the damaged SUV responded and wanted to press charges. After reviewing surveillance camera footage that captured the criminal act, officers placed Daniel Williams into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief.
Posted on 9/26/23 10:41AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Collared Sandwich Shop Worker for Stealing from Employer
Grants Pass Police arrested a worker at a local sandwich shop on Monday for stealing from her employer. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident at the Subway on NE Agness Avenue around 12:45 p.m. yesterday. Police said 38-year-old Melissa Renae Routenberg was observed on surveillance deleting cash orders off the register and later pocketing the cash to ensure the till matched the amount in the register. Routenberg was also observed taking two $50 bills out of the register and hiding one of them in her palm while putting the other in the safe. Melissa Routenberg was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for suspicion of 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 9/26/23 10:40AM by Sam Marsh

GP Bicyclist Cited for Causing Downtown Crash that Sent Him to the Hospital
A Grants Pass bicyclist was cited for causing a crash in the downtown area that sent him to the hospital late yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers and emergency crews responded to the collision between a bicycle and Toyota Camry near the corner of SE 6th and J streets on Monday at about 4:20 p.m.. Police said David Paoli was riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in an area where the activity is prohibited. They said he was heading southbound on SW 5th Street opposing traffic when he crossed an alley/parking lot outlet for US Bank and was struck by a car that was lawfully exiting the parking lot driveway. Paoli was knocked into the bushes next to the bank and was hurt. He was taken by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of unspecified injuries. Following an investigation, Paoli was cited at the hospital for Unsafe Operation of a Bicycle on a Sidewalk. The car driver was provided with a crash report and instructed to contact DMV within 72 hours.
Posted on 9/26/23 10:38AM by Sam Marsh

California Motorist Warned for VBR after Rolling Vehicle off Williams Highway
A California motorist was warned for violating the basic rule after she rolled her vehicle off Williams Highway in the northern Applegate Valley yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash on Highway 238 near Water Gap Road on Monday around 12:45 p.m.. State troopers said 32-year-old Christine Scrape of Canoga Park, California, was driving a Toyota 4-Runner east on the highway when she entered a corner too fast for the wet traveling conditions. They said she lost control of the vehicle, which entered the westbound ditch and rolled. Scrape was not hurt, but her vehicle was damaged and towed to Grants Pass. Following an investigation, Scrape was warned for Violating the Basic Rule -- which is Driving Too Fast for the Conditions.
Posted on 9/26/23 10:37AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Interfering with Traffic and Then Punching Officer
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for interfering with traffic in the north part of the city and then punching an officer last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 28-year-old Cierra Shay Powers for the incident in the 1400-block of NE 6th Street on Sunday around 7:30 a.m.. Police said multiple callers reported Powers was yelling and screaming profanities at people while disrupting traffic near NE Midland Avenue. They observed her acting in a disorderly manner and interfering with southbound traffic on 6th Street. Powers was told to sit on a curb, but she refused to follow commands and was displaying signs of recent stimulant use. When told she was under arrest, she threatened to shoot one officer and then punched him in the side of the head. She had to be taken to the ground in a controlled fashion to place her into custody. Cierra Powers was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempted Assault on a Peace Officer, Disorderly Conduct and the resulting Parole Violation stemming from past convictions for Methamphetamine Possession, Offensive Littering and Disorderly Conduct. She was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Parole Violation after Disturbance at Caveman Bridge
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating terms of his post-prison supervision after a reported weekend disturbance near Caveman Bridge. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to two men involved in a fight in the 700-block of SW 6th Street on Sunday at about 1 p.m.. Police said they stopped 32-year-old Brian Fletcher Ellington, Jr., for his role in the disturbance with another man they identified as "Charles Howard." They said he elected to starting throwing rocks at passing vehicles and he was detained while displaying signs of narcotic stimulant use. Ellington's corrections officer was contacted and requested his client be placed on a detainer for failing to report and his use of controlled substances. He was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Parole Violation. Meanwhile, Howard was trespassed from a property in the 1300-block of Rogue River Highway.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Incarcerated Motorist for Leading Them on Fish Hatchery Area Chase
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a motorist for leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit in the Fish Hatchery area last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies eventually arrested 22-year-old Damin Tyler Decker in the 6100-block of Fish Hatchery Road on Sunday at 9:02 p.m.. Deputies said Decker was driving a 2017 Ford Fiesta when they attempted to stop him for running through a stop sign. They said he refused to yield and led them on a pursuit that reached up to 100 miles per hour. The suspect vehicle pulled away on some curves and the Sheriff's Office wasn't sure which direction he went, so they sent deputies to intercept him on New Hope Road and at the Wilderville scales. The Oregon State Police was out of position, but sent a unit to assist deputies. After Decker was tracked down at the Fish Hatchery Road residence, he was taken into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempt to Elude Police and Reckless Driving. It was unclear in the report if his car was impounded.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Motorist for DUII after Weekend Call near South Y Crossing
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving following a weekend traffic complaint near the South Y intersection in the south part of the city. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a Kia Optima driven by 29-year-old William Mijangos-Perez at a market on Willow Lane on Sunday at about 2:20 p.m.. Police said Mijangos-Perez was the subject of a traffic complaint in which the caller reported seeing the man drinking from a bottle of tequila and unable to maintain his travel lane on Redwood Highway near Rogue River Highway. Officers picked up the trail and followed Mijangos-Perez on Redwood Highway to Willow Lane. In addition to displaying signs of impairment, the suspect was using his cell phone while driving and his vehicle registration had expired. He performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was placed into custody. After providing a positive breath sample at the Josephine County Jail, William Mijangos-Perez was booked for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and warned for his traffic violations. His vehicle was parked and secured.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Emergency 1st Responders Scramble to Interstate 5 Crashes near Grants Pass
No one was seriously injured when emergency first responders scrambled to four crashes on a four-mile stretch of Interstate 5 north of Grants Pass yesterday.The Oregon State Police reports the weather-related crashes happened between 1:30 and 5 p.m. Monday on I-5 between mileposts 71 and 75. According to OSP, all the crashes occurred due to people driving too fast for the prevailing weather conditions. There was at least one person transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Warnings were issued for Violating the Basic Rule. Rural Metro officials are reminding motorists that fresh rain contributes to pooling of water on roadways and oils seeping to the surface of the pavement. They said unsuspecting motorists can be easily caught off-guard if speeds are not adjusted according to the weather conditions. As the seasons shift from summer to fall and then to winter, officials encourage all motorists to drive safely.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:03AM by Sam Marsh
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Southern Oregon Organizations Receive Oregon Cultural Trust Grant Awards
The Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) has awarded close to $3 million to 136 local organizations throughout the state including six here in Southern Oregon. The OCT Fiscal Year 2024 grant awards will be distributed to arts, heritage and humanities organizations across the state. They are made possible by generous Oregonians who invested $5.2 million in the Cultural Tax Credit in 2023. Cultural Development Program award recipients feature 21 organizations getting their first-ever awards and 45% of them are located outside Portland. Local first-time recipients include Friends of the Oregon Caves Chateau, which is receiving $21,403 to complete the Chateau's first Historic Furnishings Report. The report and its accompanying maintenance plan are vital elements to ensure that the restored and reopened Chateau remains a National Historic Landmark. Other local OCT grant award recipients include the Southern Oregon University Foundation/Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Peter Britt Gardens Music and Arts Festival in Jacksonville, Southern Oregon Public Television in Medford, Rogue World Music in Ashland and Anima Mundi Productions in Phoenix.
Posted on 9/26/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Smith River Complex Firefighters Working on Suppression Repairs and Backhauling Ops
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With most of their containment objectives achieved on the Smith River Complex, crews continued suppression repairs and backhauling operations on the north end of the wildfire. Northwest Incident Management Team 8 reported this morning that the Smith River Complex was holding at 94,508 acres with containment still at 85%. Just over 12,400 acres of the wildfire complex that started August 15th was in Oregon. A total of 1,091 personnel were assigned to the complex today including 22 hand crews backed by 26 engines, 16 water tenders, eight bulldozers, four masticators, three helicopters and one skid steer. Over the weekend, construction progressed on the secondary control line that is situated northwest of the fire along Forest Service Road 1106. To the southwest, the other secondary control line is now in the final stages of clean-up. Fire managers are monitoring the progress of the weather system that was in full force Monday and lasting into today. Heavy rains were predicted along with flood and wind advisories. The event has implications for the safety of firefighters, contractors and support staff. Operational contingencies are in place that include directing fire personnel to stand down for safety for up to 24 hours until weather conditions improve. Firefighters remain prepared to respond to natural resource-related hazards such as downed trees, rock falls and mudslides.
Posted on 9/26/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Recent Cool & Wet Weather Prompts GP Fire Marshal to Lower Fire Danger to "Moderate"
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Cooler weather and significant rainfall have improved conditions enough that the Grants Pass Fire Marshal has lowered the fire danger level in the city to moderate. But while conditions have improved, Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt said it is important to remember that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent fire. The primary change to fire prevention regulations was to move the shutdown time for power-driven machinery to 1 p.m.. Any spark-emitting internal combustion engines in areas of flammable vegetation -- including chain saws, mowers and weed-eaters -- are not allowed between 1 and 8 p.m.. Outdoor burning and wood-fueled fire pits remain prohibited. Wood smokers and charcoal barbecues as well as propane- and natural gas-fueled ornamental fires are allowed. Motor vehicles -- including motorcycles and ATVs -- are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for the culture and harvest of agricultural crops. Smoking in areas of flammable vegetation is prohibited. The City Fire Marshal or an authorized representative may -- in writing -- approve a modification or waiver of these requirements.
Posted on 9/26/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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