Local News

Grants Pass Police Officers and Firefighters Logged Busy Week Protecting Community
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters were busy protecting the community last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 634 calls for service along with 348 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 47 arrests, 29 citations, 51 warnings and six highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 125 traffic stops in the city and made 17 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 222 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting two people, citing 39 more and warning 50 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 25 individuals, posted 89 transient camps and helped remove trash from five campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 83 calls last week including 39 for emergency medical service, one report of fire or smoke, 15 lift assists, nine rescue situations, three assists to other agencies and five false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,069 emergency calls in addition to 744 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 2/19/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
 

Oregon Department of Revenue has Begun Issuing First Tax Refunds of 2024 Season
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The annual refund hold that is part of the Oregon Department of Revenue's fraud prevention effort has been completed and the agency began issuing the first refunds of the 2024 tax season last week. Oregon is returning $5.61 billion in surplus revenue to taxpayers in the form of a "kicker" tax credit in 2024. Taxpayers will receive their kicker as part of their refund, or the kicker can reduce the tax they owe. Most refunds are issued within two weeks, but returns that need more review may take up to 16 weeks before a refund is issued. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund by using the department's "Where's My Refund?" tool at "oregon.gov/dor." A video outlining the refund process and timelines is also available to help taxpayers better understand the process.
Posted on 2/19/24 5:37AM by Sam Marsh
 

Authorities Looking for Trail Man Who Abandoned Children in Rural Jacksonville
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office rescued an infant and toddler after they were abandoned in rural Jacksonville by their father as he fled from law enforcement on Friday afternoon. The suspect -- 24-year-old Justin Ryan Trompeter of Trail -- is wanted for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault, 3rd-Degree Robbery, 1st-Degree Theft and Reckless Endangerment for a February 7th incident that occurred in Shady Cove. While searching for Trompeter yesterday, deputies discovered the suspect was hiding with two children -- ages 6 months and 1-1/2 years -- deep in the woods surrounding Jacksonville. Deputies quickly located a vehicle at the top of Wagon Trail Drive with the two young children abandoned and alone at 1:30 p.m..Trompeter fled the scene before deputies' arrival. The children were checked out by Mercy Flights medics and then turned over to the Oregon Department of Human Services for safe-keeping. New charges of 1st- and 2nd-Degree Child Neglect are being added to Trompeter's criminal bill by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office. Justin Trompeter is known to frequent the Shady Cove and Trail areas. Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at (541)-776-7206.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:24AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Man Jailed for Allegedly Beating Up Girlfriend at Home on Schutzwohl Lane
A Grants Pass man was jailed for allegedly beating up his girlfriend at a home in the Redwood area this week. The Grants Pass Police Department reports 22-year-old Jareth Tate Wallis was arrested for the domestic violence incident in the 1400-block of Schutzwohl Lane on Thursday night. Police said an investigation determined that Wallis caused physical injury to his 21-year-old girlfriend during a physical altercation. They said the suspect impeded the breathing of the victim by choking her. This placed her in fear of serious injury while he kicked and punched her. A witness said the victim also had bite marks. According to the report, Wallis was highly impaired by alcohol during the incident. Jareth Wallis was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Domestic 4th-Degree Assault, Domestic Strangulation and Domestic Menacing. He was being held without bail. The victim -- who refused medical treatment -- was provided with information about the Women's Crisis Support Team.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Felon Wanted on Statewide Warrant after Baker Park Contact
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a statewide felony warrant after contacting him in a city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 54-year-old Antonio Zapata Guindazola at Baker Park on Friday at 1:11 a.m.. Police said Guindazola was a passenger in a vehicle parked near the entrance to the city park. They said a routine records check revealed that he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a conviction for Felon in Possession of a Weapon. After the warrant was confirmed with the Oregon State Parole Board, Guindazola was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:21AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Injured after Crashing into Tree off Redwood Highway near Wilderville
A motorist was injured yesterday when they crashed their vehicle into a tree off Redwood Highway in the Wilderville area. Engine Company 7504 from Rural Metro Fire Department's Wilderville Station was alerted to a crash in the 8,800-block of US Highway 199 at 1:55 p.m. Friday. Arriving units found a vehicle off the highway and into a tree. The unidentified driver was transported by American Medical Response to Three Rivers Medical Center with moderate injuries. No one else was hurt. Rural Metro officials said southbound traffic was backed up for miles due to the crash. There are no alternate routes in the area. By 4 p.m., traffic was beginning to move freely. The Oregon State Police was investigating the cause of the accident.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP 9-1-1 Communications Center Answered Over 1,000 Calls during Past Week
The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center answered more than 1,000 calls over the past week. In its Week in Review post on Facebook, the local 9-1-1 Dispatch Center reports that it received a total of 1,069 emergency calls. The bulk of the calls -- 982 -- were for the Grants Pass Police Department, with 286 calls recorded for American Medical Response. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue accounted for 83 calls, followed by Rural Metro Fire Department with 49. The Illinois Valley Fire District received 20 calls while the Oregon Department of Forestry received 6, the Williams Rural Fire Protection District received 4 and the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District got 3. Dispatchers also answered 383 inbound calls from their administrative lines and made 442 outbound calls from the 9-1-1 center.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Touts Opportunities for Prospective Emergency Service Workers
Are you a young person thinking about a career in emergency services? If so, there are three free "camps" coming up that are designed to present an introductory look at what is involved. For high school seniors, Rogue Community College has two camps in March for firefighters and emergency medical technicians. To learn more and to apply by February 28th, visit "roguecc.edu/emergencyservices." For young ladies ages 16 to 20, the 2024 Rogue Girls Fire Camp will be held June 21st-23rd at Jackson County Fire District #3 in White City. To learn more, e-mail "roguegirlsfire@gmail.com" or call (541)-774-2320. Anyone wishing to speak directly with a first responder about working in the emergency services field can stop by their local Rural Metro Fire Department station and ask questions.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Pacific Power Asks Oregon Regulators to Approve 17% Rate Hike Starting Next Year
The Oregonian is reporting that Pacific Power is asking state regulators to approve a 17% rate increase for residential customers and businesses starting next year. The public-owned utility says it needs the roughly $304 million the rate hike would generate for new renewable energy projects and investments in transmission infrastructure that would allow it to add those sources to the grid. The money also would pay for reducing wildfire risks, including vegetation management in wildfire-prone areas, creating a catastrophic fire fund and paying for Pacific Power's rapidly growing wildfire insurance premiums, according to the utility. If the Oregon Public Utility Commission approves the increase, the average residential customer with typical energy usage would pay an additional $29.47 per month. It would be the third double-digit rate increase within three years – on top of the 12.9% increase for residential, business and industrial customers that took effect in January and the 21% rate hike for residential customers in 2023. Pacific Power serves about 618,000 customers in Oregon. In recent years, Pacific Power’s parent company, PacifiCorp, has been hit with multiple wildfire-related lawsuits and has been on the hook to pay related damages. The rate increase would not cover wildfire-related litigation costs but does seek to pay for preventive measures to address issues brought up in those lawsuits.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Illinois Valley Library Branch in CJ Closing for Renovations from March 3rd until This Fall
The Josephine Community Library District has announced that the Illinois Valley branch in Cave Junction will be closing for renovations early next month. The IV library branch on West Palmer Street will close on Sunday, March 3rd, and the last day of service before the closure will be Saturday, March 2nd. The library branch is expected to reopen to the public in mid- to late-fall of this year. During the library closure, temporary library services will be available at the Illinois Valley Senior Center at 520 East River Street. Services there will include a book drop open Mondays-Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and item pick-up service on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.. To take advantage of the weekly pick-up service, patrons can use their library card account to place requests on books and other items through the online catalog at "josephinelibrary.org." Patrons will be notified when requested items are ready. For technical assistance, calls to the IV branch will be forwarded to library staff. The renovated library will include a meeting space with a maximum capacity of 80 people along with a teaching kitchen and dedicated ADA-accessible restroom, an early learning center, outdoor space for library programs and more.
Posted on 2/17/24 6:04AM by Sam Marsh
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Two Josephine & Jackson County Deputies Honored for Their Work in Local Schools
Two deputies from the Josephine and Jackson County Sheriff's Offices were honored this week for their work in local schools. Josephine County Sheriff's Deputy Rob Konieczny and Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Cote were recognized by local districts on Thursday, which was "School Resource Officer Appreciation Day." The Three Rivers School District stated that Deputy Konieczny goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of its school community. Officials said "his dedication, compassion and commitment to fostering a positive and secure environment makes him an invaluable asset to the district." Deputy Cote works with more than 25 public and private schools in Jackson County much like a school resource officer. As a School Safety Deputy, he also provides important training for staff and students while helping to create safety plans tailored for each school. Thank you Deputy Konieczny and Deputy Cote for your hard work, vigilance, unwavering support, genuine connection to students, and tireless efforts to create a safe space for learning and growth!
Posted on 2/17/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed for Allegedly Beating Up Girlfriend at Schutzwohl Lane Home
A Grants Pass man was jailed for allegedly beating up his girlfriend at a home in the Redwood area last night. The Grants Pass Police Department reports 22-year-old Jareth Tate Wallis was arrested for the domestic violence incident in the 1400-block of Schutzwohl Lane on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.. Police said an investigation determined that Wallis caused physical injury to his 21-year-old girlfriend during a physical altercation. They said the suspect impeded the breathing of the victim by choking her. This placed her in fear of serious injury while he kicked and punched her. A witness said the victim also had bite marks. According to the report, Wallis was highly impaired by alcohol during the incident. Jareth Wallis was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Domestic 4th-Degree Assault, Domestic Strangulation and Domestic Menacing. He was being held without bail. The victim -- who refused medical treatment -- was provided with information about the Women's Crisis Support Team.
Posted on 2/16/24 10:45AM by Sam Marsh
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