Local News

JMET Raided 2 More Illegal Cannabis Growing Sites in Cave Junction Area
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided two illegal cannabis growing sites in the Cave Junction area this week. JMET -- with assistance of US Homeland Security Investigations and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served search warrants in the 600- and 900-blocks of Garner Road on Monday. During execution of the warrants, more than 3,300 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed. The grow sites also had multiple electrical, water and solid waste code violations that could result in criminal forfeiture of the properties. According to JMET, the primary suspect was not at either site during the searches. If located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacture and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana as well as Unlawful Appropriation of Water. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:32AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Collared Man Wanted on State Warrant after US Highway 199 Stop
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant during a traffic stop on Redwood Highway early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a sedan with two occupants including 47-year-old John Patrick Youngbar on US Highway 199 at Allen Creek Road on Tuesday around 12:20 a.m.. Police said they stopped a driver identified only as "Beck" for traffic violations and discovered that his passenger -- Youngbar -- was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation related to a felony conviction for drug possession. During a consent search, Youngbar was found to be in possession of a small baggy with a white crystal substance that he admitted was methamphetamine. The meth was seized for destruction. John Youngbar was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on the no-bail warrant. He was also cited to appear in court for the drug violation.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested Young Man for Causing Disturbance at Park near School
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for causing a disturbance at a city park near a public school this week. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at Eckstein Park on SE Portola Drive on Monday around 12:45 p.m.. The park is located next door to Riverside Elementary School. Police said 18-year-old Jason Anthony Mitcheff caused public alarm by his words and actions at the park. They said he placed one individual in fear for their physical safety. Mitcheff's ex-girlfriend reported that he showed up at the park and threatened to stab her friend while acting aggressively toward everyone. It was also reported that the suspect was waving a gun, but no knife or gun were located. Jason Mitcheff was placed into custody without incident. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail for Menacing and Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
 

RVCOG Posts Creek Safety Watch for 5 Waterways in Bear Creek Watershed
The Natural Resources Department of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) has posted a Creek Safety Watch for the Bear Creek Watershed. According to RVCOG, routine monthly water quality testing results indicate that five creeks have exceeded state bacteria standards for contact recreation including swimming and wading. Residents are encouraged to use caution when in contact with any waterways and especially to avoid ingestion which may cause illness and contact with open wounds which may cause infection. Very young children should be fully supervised when playing in the water to avoid swallowing it. Waterways identified as having exceeded state bacteria standards are Ashland Creek at Granite Street in Ashland, Bear Creek at Blue Heron Park in Phoenix, Bear Creek at Table Rock Road in Medford, Jackson Creek between Beall Lane and Dean Creek Road in Central Point, and Bear Creek between Pine Street and Kirtland Road in Central Point. The advisory does not cover all creeks in the Bear Creek Watershed or Jackson County.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Expected to Approve Road Service District at Weekly Business Session
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a new road service district following a public hearing this morning. After hearing testimony from county staff and citizens, the Board will consider an order forming a Josephine County Service District for Road Services. The district will not cost taxpayers any money -- it's designed to allow the county to retain more of its annual federal funding. Typically, the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding is subtracted from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). A new state law may allow counties to keep both the SRS and PILT funding. Under Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will consider an interagency agreement with the City of Grants Pass for a Public Transit grant award, a transit agreement with Rogue Community College for the Student/Staff Pass Program and the Findings of Fact in the recent approval of a local subdivision. The Consent Calendar includes a reappointment to the Collaborative Economic Development Committee (CEDC).
Posted on 9/13/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Level 2 Evacuation Notice Remains in Place West of US Highway 199 in the Illinois Valley
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Evacuation levels were reduced on Monday to Level 1 "Be Ready" for the Illinois Valley east of US Highway 199, but the evacuation remains at Level 2 "Be Set" west of the highway while firing operations continue on the north end of the Kelly Fire. The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team this morning reported the Smith River Complex was holding at 86,748 acres and 21% containment. Most of the complex is in northern California, but more than 10,200 acres is in Oregon. Total personnel assigned to the complex today was 1,712 including 41 hand crews backed by 75 engines, 26 water tenders, 15 masticators, 14 bulldozers, 10 helicopters and two skid steers. Progress continues on the secondary control line along Forest Road 1106, but hot dry conditions over the next few days will expose interior pockets of heat and air assets will assist in extinguishing them. Behavior has moderated on the northeast side of the fire, which is allowing crews to construct containment line, monitor status and remain available for any initial attack. The communities of Cave Junction and Grants Pass will likely see intermittent smoke through tonight, with some clearer skies in the afternoons.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Voters Soundly Defeat Recall Try on Mayor Sara Bristol in Special Election
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Grants Pass voters on Tuesday soundly defeated a recall attempt that was aimed at removing Mayor Sara Bristol from office. According to the Josephine County Clerk's Office, 64.3% of those who cast ballots voted "no" while 35.7% voted "yes." The unofficial tally was 5,455 no votes and 3,032 yes votes. As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, the voter turnout was 30.66% and 29.96% of the ballots had been accepted. County Clerk Rhiannon Henkels said the next update will be when the recall election results are certified -- no later than Monday, October 9th, at 5 p.m.. Mayor Bristol contended that signature gatherers for the recall attempt were dishonest about their reasons for trying to remove her from office. The mayor challenged the chief petitioner to two public forums and the chief petitioner was a no show at both events.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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GPHS Senior Bruxton Leair Wins MFG National Welding League Championship in Ohio
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A talented senior from Grants Pass High School is a national welding champion. The Grants Pass School District is celebrating Bruxton Leair, who recently brought home first place from the Project MFG National Welding League Championship at Lakeland Community College near Cleveland, Ohio. Leair was among 25 skilled high school and college students who competed for the top prize of $10,000. To secure his spot in the competition, Leair showcased his exceptional skills by fabricating and welding models of a Black Hawk helicopter and an F-18 fighter jet. At the national championships, Bruxton and the other competitors replicated the USS Abraham Lincoln. District 7 officials said they could not be more proud of Leair's accomplishment.
Posted on 9/13/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Expected to Approve Road Service District during Weekly Business Session
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a new road service district following a public hearing tomorrow morning. After hearing testimony from county staff and citizens, the Board will consider an order forming a Josephine County Service District for Road Services. The district will not cost taxpayers any money -- it's designed to allow the county to retain more of its annual federal funding. Typically, the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding is subtracted from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). A new state law may allow counties to keep both the SRS and PILT funding. Under Administration Actions, the Commissioners will consider an interagency agreement with the City of Grants Pass for a Public Transit grant award, a transit agreement with Rogue Community College for the Student/Staff Pass Program and the Findings of Fact in the recent approval of a local subdivision. The Consent Calendar includes a reappointment to the Collaborative Economic Development Committee (CEDC). Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 9/12/23 1:08PM by Sam Marsh
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Two Hurt Monday When Vehicle Crashed Through Fence on Williams Highway
Two people were hurt when their vehicle crashed through a fence on Williams Highway in the Applegate Valley early yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews were dispatched to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 10 of Highway 238 at 7:22 a.m. Monday. Troopers said evidence at the scene and driver statements indicated 43-year-old Peter Michael Fontana was driving a Chevrolet Impala when he failed to negotiate a curve, left the roadway and destroyed approximately 300 feet of wooden fence before coming to rest in a nearby field. According to OSP, Fontana and his 14-year-old female passenger suffered minor injuries and both declined medical treatment. The property owner was identified as 56-year-old Larry Noble. Following an investigation, Fontana was either cited or warned for an unspecified moving violation. His damaged vehicle was towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 9/12/23 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Violating Court Order Protecting His Sister from Him
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man last weekend for violating a court order protecting his sister from him. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 40-year-old David Rich for the incident that occurred in the 12,400-block of Redwood Highway on Sunday. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report her brother was at her residence and he was harassing her even though she had obtained a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting her. They said the woman was highly emotional and she told them she had retreated into her house before closing and locking the doors. Upon arrival, deputies contacted the victim and she directed them to a trailer on the property where her brother was staying. He was placed into custody after the court order was confirmed. David Rich was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/12/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Young Man for Causing Disturbance at Park near School
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for causing a disturbance at a city park near a public school yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at Eckstein Park on SE Portola Drive on Monday around 12:45 p.m.. The park is located next door to Riverside Elementary School. Police said 18-year-old Jason Anthony Mitcheff caused public alarm by his words and actions at the park. They said he placed one individual in fear for their physical safety. Mitcheff's ex-girlfriend reported that he showed up at the park and threatened to stab her friend while acting aggressively toward everyone. It was also reported that the suspect was waving a gun, but no knife or gun were located. Jason Mitcheff was placed into custody without incident. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail for Menacing and Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 9/12/23 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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