Local News

BCC Meeting Features Medals of Valor, New Ordinance and Sale of Property
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel will present Medals of Valor to some of his employees during the Board of Commissioners weekly business session today. Special recognition awards for extraordinary personal action tops the agenda for the morning meeting. The Board will then hold a public hearing on the first reading of an ordinance which would amend the Josephine County Code pertaining to public peace, morals and welfare, and implement changes related to public intoxication. If approved, a second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for October 4th. Under Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will consider a purchase and sale agreement for property located at 1389 and 1399 Pansy Lane. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 9/20/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

GP City Council Considering Permit System for Groups Serving Homeless People in Parks
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The Grants Pass City Council is considering a permitting system that will allow it to monitor groups who are providing services to the unhoused population currently residing in city parks. During its workshop session this week, the Council was led by Grants Pass City Attorney Augustus Ogu in the park permit consideration. Representatives of two service groups -- MINT and PATH -- were present and included in the discussion. Ogu stated that groups such as MINT and PATH have been providing food, clothing and health care to people living in the parks. MINT volunteers provide services at Riverside, Baker and Tussing Parks, primarily on Thursdays. PATH is a group working on "sustainable solutions" to the homeless situation in city parks. Ogu said a permit system can help provide oversight on the groups helping park campers including when the services are provided, where they are provided and how many people are being served. With liability for the city a big concern, he recommends a permitting ordinance or a contract with the groups that includes legal indemnification for Grants Pass. Dr. Bruce Murray of MINT said his group wants to work with the city while still providing services to the homeless population. He said a lack of affordable housing is the biggest problem and added there are several misconceptions about homeless people including the element of lawlessness that is exhibited by some campers. He also said they would like to have a more central location instead of the three parks.
Posted on 9/20/23 5:58AM by Sam Marsh

NW Incident Management Team 8 Takes Over Command of Smith River Complex North
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Northwest Incident Management Team 8 has taken over command of the north end of the Smith River Complex in southwest Oregon. Team 8 shadowed the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team before assuming command early Tuesday. The new US Forest Service team reported this morning that the Smith River Complex had grown slightly to 92,727 acres and containment had increased to 77%. Approximately 12,460 acres of the two-state complex is in Oregon. Total personnel assigned to the complex today was 1,526 including 35 hand crews backed by 45 engines, 28 water tenders, 10 masticators, eight bulldozers and six helicopters. Crews continued to patrol and secure the north and northwest edges of the fire perimeter yesterday. Masticators, feller bunchers and chippers were working the secondary containment line to the west along Forest Road 1106. Suppression repair continued around Monkey Ridge and Sanger Peak. Caltrans is continuing with scheduled road closures and lane restrictions on US Highway 199 in Del Norte County. Weekdays will continue to have a combination of closures and restrictions while crews repair highway damage from the complex. When the highway is open, pilot cars are shuttling one way traffic between Collier Tunnel and Patrick's Creek. Motorists should expect up to one-hour delays.
Posted on 9/20/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

BLM Celebrating National Public Lands Day with Free Day-Use Access on Saturday
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is waiving recreation day-use fees for visitors on Saturday in celebration of the 30th annual National Public Lands Day. National Public Lands Day is the country's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands held every year on the fourth Saturday in September. To recognize 30 years of care and community and increased recreation access to public land, BLM leaders invite people to explore unique and diverse natural landscapes and visitor facilities. In Southern Oregon, the BLM's standard amenity day-use fees will be waived at Hyatt Lake Recreation Area in Jackson County. The standard amenity fee waiver does not guarantee admission to some busy recreation areas where reservations for day-use, group sites and overnight camping are recommended. BLM Oregon and Washington State Director Barry Bushue said National Public Lands Day serves as a connection between people and public lands. He said they invite everyone to get outside and enjoy these national treasures in the Pacific Northwest.
Posted on 9/20/23 5:54AM by Sam Marsh
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IV Woman Jailed for Breaking into CJ Home and Trying to Steal Several Items
An Illinois Valley woman was jailed for breaking into a Cave Junction area home and trying to steal several items last night. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 45-year-old Nicole Ann Koeller for the incident in the 28,200-block of Redwood Highway on Monday at 7:34 p.m.. Deputies said the property owner came home shortly after 6 p.m. and saw Koeller's Kia sedan parked in his driveway. The caller said he did not know the woman and no one was supposed to be at his house. He stood by waiting for law enforcement. Upon arrival, deputies said Koeller was using her car to push a couch. They said she had accessed the inside of the home, changed the locks, tore out the carpeting, removed appliances, removed the hot water heater, broke a shop door and disabled the lock on a nearby pump house. She also removed the owner's tax documents. Nicole Koeller was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Burglary, 2nd-Degree Burglary and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:37AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Local Fugitive While Performing Patrol Check at Baker Park
Grants Pass Police apprehended a local fugitive while performing a patrol check in a city park yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 34-year-old Jonathan Michael Bull at Baker Park on Monday at 3:09 p.m.. Police said they recognized Bull and knew that he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a recent conviction for 1st-Degree Burglary. Upon contact, they found him to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine which was seized for destruction. Jonathan Bull was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer and he was cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation. He was also trespassed from the park for 30 days. Meanwhile, officers posted 20 campsites at Baker Park with 72-hour notices and sent an e-mail to the United Community Action Network (UCAN).
Posted on 9/19/23 10:36AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man for Stealing Mail from Former Roommates on NE D
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing mail in the northeast part of the city last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a theft complaint in the 1800-block of NE D Street on Sunday at 8:50 p.m.. Police said two people reported that 50-year-old William Joseph Contos stole their mail. They said one of the victims confronted the suspect who relinquished some of the stolen property including an identification card. They said he admitted to possession of the ID, but could not explain why he had it for multiple days. Additional witnesses stated Contos has a history of taking mail from that location. They said he was a former roommate who moved out and stole from them. William Contos was placed into custody and booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felony Mail Theft and 3rd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:35AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Arrested for Returning to Grandmother's House after Being Trespassed
A Grants Pass man who was jailed for causing a drug-related disturbance at his grandmother's house last weekend was arrested a second time after he returned to her residence. Grants Pass Police responded to a report of suspicious activity at a home in the 2300-block of NW Highland Avenue on Sunday shortly before 5 p.m.. Police said the homeowner believed her grandson -- 28-year-old Jordan Taylor Longoria -- might be inside her house and playing music. They said Longoria had been trespassed from his grandmother's house on Saturday night after he dropped burnt drug residue on her property, deliberately smashed some of her glassware and pushed her. No one was hurt, but the woman wanted to press charges. Upon arrival, officers located Longoria inside the house and placed him into custody after he refused to comply with orders to exit the dwelling. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:34AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Disrupting Downtown Traffic with Wild Behavior
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for disrupting traffic with some wild behavior in the downtown area early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident involving 63-year-old Cathy Ann Young at the intersection of SW 6th and G streets on Monday around 8:30 a.m.. Police said an employee of the Downtown Welcome Center and several other people reported that Young was on foot blocking traffic at the intersection while yelling and cursing at people and causing public alarm. They said she also was throwing things at vehicles and flashing motorists as they drove by. Responding officers placed an uncooperative Young into custody and then lodged her at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:33AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Washington Woman for Drugged Driving in North Valley Contact
The Oregon State Police arrested a Washington woman for drugged driving during an unusual contact in the North Valley area last night. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Cruze driven by 36-year-old Amber Shirley Hanson of Vancouver in the 5,000-block of Monument Drive on Monday at 7:50 p.m.. Troopers said they responded to a call from Hanson who claimed she was being followed by several vehicles while traveling north to her home in Washington. Upon further investigation, the woman displayed several indicators of impairment. Hanson was placed into custody and transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided a breath sample that was negative for alcohol. A urine sample determined that she was under the influence of narcotics at the time. Amber Hanson was lodged at the Sobering Center for Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances. Her vehicle was parked and secured.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:31AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Causing Redwood Highway Collision near RCC
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for causing a rear-end collision on Redwood Highway near Rogue Community College early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle crash on US Highway 199 at Hubbard Lane on Monday at 8:15 a.m.. Police said a man they identified only as "Lawson" was driving a vehicle that ran into the back of a Subaru Outback driven by a 45-year-old woman. They said one unidentified person was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for an unspecified injury. At least one of the vehicles had to be towed into town. Following an investigation, Lawson was cited for Following Too Closely.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Quickly Doused Shed Fire on Lonnon Road in New Hope Area
Firefighters made quick work out of a shed fire in the New Hope area yesterday. On Monday at 1:05 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the small structure fire in the 1300-block of Lonnon Road. Arriving units found the shed already fully-involved with flames. The resident chickens were out in the yard and away from the attached coop, which also sustained significant damage. The Oregon Department of Forestry also responded, but there was no fire spread due to the irrigated lawns surrounding the shed. ODF crews stood by in case of any embers falling downwind of the smoke column. Rural Metro officials said investigators determined the cause of the fire to be related to ash from a food smoker discarded too close to combustible materials.
Posted on 9/19/23 10:28AM by Sam Marsh
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