Local News

Eugene Man Died in Motorcycle Crash on Interstate 5 in North Josephine County
A Eugene man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Interstate 5 in the Wolf Creek area last weekend. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the single-vehicle wreck in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 80 at 5:40 p.m. Sunday. Troopers said a preliminary investigation indicated 50-year-old Caseton Paul Burruss was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle when it left the freeway and overturned. He was thrown from the motorcycle during the crash. Burruss was declared deceased at the scene. I-5 was not impacted during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by Glendale Fire, Azalea Fire and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Allegedly Subjecting Girlfriend to Domestic Violence
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for allegedly subjecting his girlfriend to a brutal incident of domestic violence last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 38-year-old Justin Raymond Beltran for the incident at a home in the 1600-block of NE A Street on Sunday at 10:37 a.m.. Police said Beltran's girlfriend called 9-1-1 to report a domestic disturbance, but the call was quickly ended. Officers searched the area until they located the house and they found the woman crouched down and crying in a ransacked room. The victim told police that Beltran had placed a rope around her neck and applied enough pressure to leave ligature marks and cause her to lose consciousness. He then tied the rope to the outside of a door and secured it to the front door handle, preventing the woman from leaving through the house. The rope was seized as evidence. According to the report, Beltran was interviewed and he told police that his girlfriend had strangled herself to get him in trouble, explaining that he was the victim. Officers did not buy his story and placed him into custody. Justin Beltran was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of Attempted 1st-Degree Assault, 2nd-Degree Kidnapping and Unlawful Use of a Weapon along with a misdemeanor charge of Domestic Strangulation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh

Drug Overdose at South GP Apartments Led to Arrest of Man for Two Crimes
A reported drug overdose at a south Grants Pass apartment complex led to the arrest of a man for weapon and behavior violations. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers and emergency personnel responded to the reported overdose at Rogue View Gardens on Fruitdale Drive around 7:45 p.m. Sunday. Police identified the overdose victims as Devonte Clark and Kaiden Oduane and said they likely ingested Xanax. Oduane was transported via ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center while an uncooperative Clark denied medical evaluation. Clark reportedly possessed a small bag with a knife fixed upon it. He made a threatening statement to American Medical Response personnel and grabbed the handle of the knife. He was quickly controlled by officers and taken into custody. During a pat-down search of Clark, he was also found to be in possession of concealed brass knuckles. He continued to be uncooperative, moved his handcuffs in front of his body, and continuously kicked and hit the back of the patrol vehicle. After being secured with handcuffs and leg restraints, the 20-year-old Clark was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Disorderly Conduct. The knife and knuckles were seized.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh

California Man Jailed for Leading State Troopers on I-5 Pursuit While Impaired
The Oregon State Police jailed a California man for multiple crimes after he led law enforcement on a weekend pursuit on Interstate 5 in the Grants Pass area. OSP reports troopers eventually arrested 44-year-old Aaron Joseph Rubacalva of Monterey in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 59 on Sunday at 1:17 a.m.. Troopers said they were dispatched to a complaint where an Audi sedan driven by Rubacalva was all over the freeway, crossing both travel lanes and even driving on the shoulder. They attempted a traffic stop, but the suspect refused to pull over. Troopers initiated a pursuit of the suspect vehicle and were able to pin it in without any injuries reported. Upon contact with the driver, signs of impairment were observed and he was placed into custody. Aaron Rubacalva was lodged at the Josephine County Sheriff's Office for Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances and Reckless Driving. His vehicle was towed to the local impound yard.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Aggressive Attack by Multiple Agencies Stops Freeway Fire near Wolf Creek
An aggressive initial attack by multiple agencies and aircraft held a fire along Interstate 5 in northern Josephine County to about three acres late yesterday. On Monday at 3:28 p.m., the Oregon Department of Forestry, Rural Metro Fire Department, Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District and Glendale Fire were dispatched to a 3/4-acre grass fire on the southbound side of I-5 near milepost 79. In addition to engine companies, ODF launched its Type 2 helicopter and ordered a single-engine air tanker out of Roseburg. The Douglas Fire Protection Association also sent a Type 2 helicopter. The fire was near the freeway and impacting traffic. All the agencies worked under the direction of ODF to advance hose around the perimeter to stop the spread. By 5:15 p.m., forward progress of the blaze had been halted and a small spot fire was contained about 1/4-mile south of the main fire. Resources continued to work on lining the fire as aircraft continued to drop water. By 8:30 p.m., ODF reported the fire was 100% lined and crews worked on mopping up the blaze until early this morning. One lane of southbound I-5 remained closed. ODF Southwest said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Crews from Multiple Agencies Pounced on Vegetation Fire near Colonial Valley
Crews from multiple agencies pounced on a vegetation fire in the Colonial Valley area just off Interstate 5 early yesterday. Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the reported fire along Lloyd Drive northeast of Interstate 5 Exit 61 on Monday at about 10:30 a.m.. A passerby alerted Rural Metro after seeing a smoke column. Rural Metro and ODF units scrambled to the area and found fire burning on a large plot of undeveloped land. Firefighters stretched approximately 600 feet of hose into the brush, halting any spread and containing the blaze to 1/3 of an acre. After forward progress of the fire was stopped, crews remained on scene to line and mop up the blaze. ODF was looking into the cause of the fire, but investigators said it was located in an area with evidence of transient activity.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Public Works Announces Closure on Cloverlawn at Hamilton
Josephine County Public Works has announced a three-week closure of a section of Cloverlawn Drive will begin this week. The northbound lane of Cloverlawn Drive at Hamilton Lane will be closed from Wednesday through October 11th for improvements. Curb, gutter and intersection improvements will be installed for the Silverbrook Subdivision. Northbound motorists will be detoured onto Hamilton Lane to avoid the work zone. Robco is the contractor performing the work. Public Works Director Rob Brandes said they understand this is an inconvenience for some residents and the traveling public, but they appreciate your patience and cooperation during the project. For more information, contact Josephine County Public Works at (541)-474-5460.
Posted on 9/19/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Significant Progress on Smith River Complex Allows Evacuation Level Reduction for O'Brien
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Due to significant progress on the north end of the Smith River Complex, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office has reduced the evacuation notice for the O'Brien community west of US Highway 199 to Level 1 "Be Ready." The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team this morning reported the Smith River Complex was 92,180 acres and containment had increased to 72%. Around 12,460 acres of the two-state complex was located in southwest Oregon. The containment line protecting the southern Illinois Valley was increased last weekend and fire managers said they were confident the fire will not cross that line, even when challenged with changing weather conditions. Minimal activity remains in the interior of the wildfire area, with crews cleaning up pockets of unburned vegetation on the northwest edge of the complex. Crews continued to monitor, mop up and secure control of the north and northwest portions of the fire boundary on Monday. 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 9/19/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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DEQ Issues another Air Quality Alert for SW Oregon Region through Wednesday Night
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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued another Air Quality Alert for southwest Oregon -- but this one should be short in duration. The Air Quality Alert for Curry and parts of Josephine County runs through Wednesday at 11 p.m.. It includes the cities of Brookings, Gold Beach, Pistol River, Grants Pass, Merlin and Wilderville. Jackson County will see intermittent smoke at times. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality levels to fluctuate and they could be at unhealthy levels at times. The alert is due to the Anvil and Smith River Complex fires. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather. Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. Those most at risk include infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease. Residents are urged to keep windows and doors closed when it's smoky outside. If it's too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location. Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels. For additional information, please visit "oregonsmoke.org."
Posted on 9/19/23 5:54AM by Sam Marsh
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Board of Commissioners Hosting Thursday Night Town Hall on Potential New Fire District
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The Board of Commissioners is hosting a town hall meeting this week to discuss the concept of a fire district for the unprotected areas of Josephine County. The town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at North Valley High School. The Board will solicit feedback from residents and facilitate conversation on the topic of a potential fire district. The district would cover areas outside the City of Grants Pass and other fire district boundaries. It would provide taxpayer-funded fire protection services to residents of the district. A Josephine County Fire District was defeated by voters a few years ago, but the Commissioners have heard a great deal of citizen feedback that one might be needed now since County Fire ceased operations earlier this year.
Posted on 9/19/23 5:52AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Parole Violation after Encounter on Parkway Bridge
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating his post-prison supervision over the weekend by possessing drug paraphernalia after he was stopped while riding a bicycle. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 44-year-old Joseph Aaron Mendivil on the Debbs Potts Memorial Bridge on Saturday at 10:15 p.m.. Police said Mendivil was wearing all-black clothing when he rode his bicycle out into traffic on the Parkway Bridge and they stopped him for no bike light. He is a corrections client and was found with a methamphetamine pipe during a consent search. He tried to throw the pipe off the bridge, but it hit a curb and shattered. Mendivil tried to conceal another meth pipe in the back of the patrol vehicle, but it was located. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Parole Violation and the narcotics violation. Both meth pipes were seized and destroyed.
Posted on 9/18/23 10:53AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Drug-Related Disturbance at Grandmother's House
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for causing a drug-related disturbance at his grandmother's home over the weekend -- and he is no longer welcome there. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident involving 28-year-old Jordan Taylor Longoria in the 2300-block of NW Highland Avenue on Saturday around 8:30 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report her grandson -- Longoria -- damaged her property by dropping burnt drug residue on it, deliberately smashed some of her glassware and pushed her. The caller told dispatchers her grandson was passed out from drug use and she wanted officers to respond immediately. Officers arrived on scene and placed Longoria into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Domestic Harassment, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and 3rd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was also trespassed from his grandmother's house.
Posted on 9/18/23 10:51AM by Sam Marsh
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