Local News

Hidden Valley High School Student Arrested for Making Bomb Threat in Class
A Hidden Valley High School student was arrested this week for making a threat in one of his classes. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the incident at the high school on Murphy Creek Road on Tuesday afternoon. Deputies said the 15-year-old boy passed a note in class stating that he had a bomb in his backpack, which caused panic and alarm at the school. They said the student was searched by HVHS staff, but they did not locate any explosives or weapons. Upon contact with deputies, the student said he was making a joke when he passed the ill-advised note. School staff and law enforcement did not find it funny. The student was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Juvenile Justice Center for 1st-Degree Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 9/14/23 6:38AM by Sam Marsh
 

California Section of US Highway 199 to be Closed Twice Daily to Finish Wildfire Repairs
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Starting today, the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office will shut down a section of US Highway 199 twice a day in order to complete repairs to the roadway due to damage from the Smith River Complex. Redwood Highway will be closed from the Collier Tunnel to Patrick's Creek from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. The highway will be open to one-way controlled traffic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday until further notice. US Highway 199 will be open to one-way controlled traffic on Saturdays, Sundays and before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. Motorists should anticipate up to one-hour delays during all open hours. Caltrans will continue to pilot southbound traffic from Oregon Mountain Road to Patrick's Creek and northbound traffic from Patrick's Creek to Oregon Mountain Road. By "timing it right" to arrive slightly before and during these open windows, travel impacts can be greatly reduced as crews continue their work on the highway. The work on Highway 199 involves the removal of hazardous trees, repairing and replacing damaged guardrails, and slope stabilization due to damage from the fires. By closing this section of highway to motorists for short periods, the contractors can focus on completing the necessary repairs to get the road fully reopened before the rainy season begins. This plan is subject to change if there is a safety risk to the traveling public and/or contractors.
Posted on 9/14/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
 

Commissioners Approve Formation of Road Service District to Maximize Federal Funding
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved the formation of a road service district in order to potentially maximize federal funding. The Board voted 3-0 to approve the order to create the Josephine County Road Service District following a second public hearing on the topic. Public Works Director Rob Brandes testified that the federal government provides annual funding in the form of Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). He said the SRS amount is typically subtracted from the PILT amount, but a new state law may allow counties to keep both payments. This year, the SRS payment of $600,000 was subtracted from the PILT payment of $1.9 million for net funding of $1.3 million. If it doesn't work, the district can be dissolved next year. In other business, the Commissioners approved an interagency agreement with the City of Grants Pass for the 2023-25 Public Transit Division Discretionary Grant Award. Transit Director Scott Chancey testified that including Grants Pass allows his department to receive the grant with a 25% match instead of a 50% match. The Board also approved the renewal of an agreement between Josephine County and Rogue Community College for the RCC Student/Staff Pass Program. Chancey said RCC pays the county $30,000 so its students and staff can ride buses for free.
Posted on 9/14/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Resident Donated Over $435K to Four Way Community Foundation Through Fund
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A Grants Pass resident has donated over $435,000 to the Four Way Community Foundation by transferring their donor advised fund to the charitable foundation. In exchange, the donor will be able to recommend to the Four Way board of directors which local nonprofit organizations in greater Josephine County will benefit from the investment proceeds. Four Way Community Foundation President Greg Fishwick said the gift brings their total holdings to more than $13 million and the growth allows them to make more grants and to become stronger internally. The donor -- who prefers not to be named at this time -- stated that they elected to move their funds to the care of the local foundation specifically to help it grow stronger through the 1% administrative fee assessed on all funds as well as to support local nonprofit organizations. Donor advised funds and customized endowments for local charities can be established with the Four Way Community Foundation by calling (541)-474-9774. Proceeds from investments build a brighter future in Josephine County. Learn more about your community foundation at "fourwaycommunityfoundation.org."
Posted on 9/14/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Approves Formation of Road Service District to Maximize Federal Funding
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the formation of a road service district this morning in order to potentially maximize federal funding. The Board voted 3-0 to approve the order to create the Josephine County Road Service District following a second public hearing on the topic. Public Works Director Rob Brandes testified that the federal government provides annual funding in the form of Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). He said the SRS amount is typically subtracted from the PILT amount, but a new state law may allow counties to keep both payments. This year, the SRS payment of $600,000 was subtracted from the PILT payment of $1.9 million for net funding of $1.3 million. If it doesn't work, the district can be ended. In other business, the Commissioners approved an interagency agreement with the City of Grants Pass for the 2023-25 Public Transit Division Discretionary Grant Award. Transit Director Scott Chancey testified that including Grants Pass allows his department to receive the grant with a 25% match instead of a 50% match. The Board also approved the renewal of an agreement between Josephine County and Rogue Community College for the RCC Student/Staff Pass Program. Chancey said RCC pays the county $30,000 so its students and staff can ride buses for free. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Commissioners reappointed Robert Schaller to a three-year term on the Collaborative Economic Development Committee. The Board proclaimed September 17th-23rd as "US Constitution Week" before adjourning the meeting after 50 minutes.
Posted on 9/13/23 12:24PM by Sam Marsh
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Section of US Highway 199 to be Closed Twice Daily to Finish Wildfire Repairs
Starting Thursday, the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office will shut down a section of US Highway 199 twice a day in order to complete repairs to the roadway due to damage from the Smith River Complex. Redwood Highway will be closed from the Collier Tunnel to Patrick's Creek from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. The highway will be open to one-way controlled traffic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday until further notice. US Highway 199 will be open to one-way controlled traffic on Saturdays, Sundays and before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. Motorists should anticipate up to one-hour delays during all open hours. Caltrans will continue to pilot southbound traffic from Oregon Mountain Road to Patrick's Creek and northbound traffic from Patrick's Creek to Oregon Mountain Road. By "timing it right" to arrive slightly before and during these open windows, travel impacts can be greatly reduced as crews continue their work on the highway. The work on Highway 199 involves the removal of hazardous trees, repairing and replacing damaged guardrails, and slope stabilization due to damage from the fires. Because the repair work involves multiple contractors working at several locations, traffic is unable to go through the area smoothly without completely stopping the work. By closing this section of highway to motorists for short periods, the contractors can focus on completing the necessary repairs to get the road fully reopened before the rainy season begins. This plan is subject to change if there is a safety risk to the traveling public and/or contractors.
Posted on 9/13/23 12:23PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Threatening Twin Brother during Verbal Argument
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for threatening his twin brother during a verbal altercation that occurred yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 30-year-old Dylan John Krehbiel at a residence in the 900-block of NW B Street on Tuesday at 4:42 p.m.. Police said a man called 9-1-1 to report that he became involved in an argument with his twin brother Dylan Krehbiel. During the altercation, the suspect brother used slurs to insult him and told him he would slit his throat. The victim said he'd never seen his brother act this way and he was so disturbed by his behavior and level of anger, he hid all the knives in the house and called law enforcement. Upon arrival, officers interviewed both parties before placing Krehbiel into custody. Dylan Krehbiel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Domestic Menacing.
Posted on 9/13/23 11:58AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man Wanted on Felony Warrant during Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a local felony warrant while performing a welfare check at a city park yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 22-year-old William George Patterson Garten at Reinhart Volunteer Park on Tuesday around 2:30 p.m.. Police said a citizen called 9-1-1 to request a welfare check on a woman who was acting strangely at the restroom next to the Harry & David Shelter at the All Sports Park. The woman reportedly kept walking in and out of the restroom while a male subject sat in a nearby vehicle. Responding officers pulled over the vehicle containing the woman and driven by Garten on Lincoln Road after it left the park. That's when they discovered that the driver was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for 1st-Degree Burglary and 1st-Degree Theft. During a consent search, Garten was found to be in possession of a controlled substance that he admitted was fentanyl. It was seized for destruction. William Garten was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant along with the narcotics violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/13/23 11:57AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Captured Washington Fugitive after Responding to Theft Call
Grants Pass Police apprehended an out-of-state fugitive while investigating a theft complaint at Walmart yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 49-year-old Patrick James Henry at the store on NE Terry Lane at about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday. Police said they contacted Henry as a suspected shoplifter at Walmart. They said he decided not to attempt the theft, but he was found to be wanted on a felony warrant issued by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office in Washington state. Charges against Henry included Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Unlawful Imprisonment and a drug court violation. No other details were available, but officers said he was associated with a woman in a large white minivan parked outside Walmart. Patrick Henry was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail where he awaits extradition proceedings that will likely send him back to Washington.
Posted on 9/13/23 11:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Corrections Client Snared after Drug-Fueled Incident in Downtown GP
A Josephine County Community Corrections client was arrested early yesterday after a drug-fueled incident in the downtown area. Grants Pass Police responded to a trespassing complaint involving 41-year-old Charles Jason Howard in the 300-block of SW 5th Street on Tuesday shortly before 9 a.m.. Police said Howard was high on methamphetamine, punching windows and blocking traffic at that location. They said he admitted to meth use and was placed into custody. On the way to the Josephine County Jail, he bashed his head in the patrol car, injured himself and had to be taken to Three Rivers Medical Center. While at the hospital, Howard attempted to fight and had to be restrained before he was medically cleared and returned to the jail. Charles Howard was booked into jail for Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest and the resulting Probation Violation related to an arrest for Felony Criminal Mischief. He was also trespassed from First Call Resolution and Rapley Motors.
Posted on 9/13/23 11:54AM by Sam Marsh
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Hidden Valley High School Student Arrested for Making Threat in Class
A Hidden Valley High School student was arrested yesterday for making a threat in one of his classes. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the incident at the high school on Murphy Creek Road on Tuesday around 3:30 p.m.. Deputies said the 15-year-old boy passed a note in class stating that he had a bomb in his backpack, which caused panic and alarm at the school. They said the student was searched by HVHS staff, but they did not locate any explosives or weapons. Upon contact with deputies, the student said he was making a joke when he passed the ill-advised note. School staff and law enforcement did not find it funny. The student was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Juvenile Justice Center for 1st-Degree Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 9/13/23 11:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Occupants & Pets Escaped Early Morning House Fire on West Pickett Creek
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Occupants and pets escaped a house fire in the Pickett Creek area without injury early yesterday. On Tuesday at 3:42 a.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Illinois Valley Fire District were dispatched to a structure fire in the 200-block of West Pickett Creek Road. Rural Metro officials said the occupants were awakened by the sound and glow of the flames as the fire grew on the other side of the bedroom wall. Arriving units found the structure already 50% involved with flames. The fire had also spread into surrounding vegetation, but it was quickly contained. Upon gaining full control of the blaze, firefighters transitioned to help the occupants salvage priority contents from their charred residence. The Oregon State Fire Marshal is assisting Rural Metro with the investigation. As part of the Rogue Valley Fire Chiefs Mutual Aid System, engines from the Applegate Valley Fire District and Jackson County Fire District #1 moved into the area to help cover additional calls.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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