Local News

District Attorney Says Shooting by Grants Pass Police Officers Justified Under Oregon Law
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The Josephine County District Attorney has ruled that three Grants Pass police officers were justified in the shooting of a man who shot and wounded his landlord near the M Street Market on August 24th. District Attorney Josh Eastman on Thursday announced that he has concluded the review of the officer-involved shooting that occurred at 1024 SE M Street. Eastman said after reviewing officer reports, body camera video, civilian video and other parts of the investigation, the use of deadly force against 69-year-old Dennis Paul McGuire by Officers Kyle Hodge, Tim Artoff and Jason McGinnis was "wholly justified" under Oregon Revised Statutes. He said "no further action in this matter is anticipated nor merited." The Grants Pass Police Department responded to the shooting and found the victim -- 63-year-old Robert Mills -- suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers quickly identified McGuire as the shooter and located him still armed with a rifle. The incident quickly escalated and culminated in an officer-involved shooting that wounded the suspect. Both McGuire and Mills were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. McGuire was released from the hospital on Monday and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on seven criminal counts including multiple felony charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder, 1st-Degree Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Following his arraignment, he is being held without bail.
Posted on 9/8/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
 

ODOT Announces Resumption of Paused Paving Project between Cave Junction and CA
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US Highway 199 reopened last weekend between O'Brien and the California border following a reduction in fire evacuation levels and the reopening of the highway in California. The highway was closed for 18 days due to fire activity from the Smith River Complex. The Oregon Department of Transportation reminds motorist that the wildfire complex remains active. Watch for fire vehicles in the area and be prepared for the possibility of future closures if fire conditions change. Paving work on Highway 199 between Cave Junction and the California border paused in late August because of hazardous air quality from wildfires. The project will resume on Sunday, so watch for lane closures -- primarily at night. Flaggers and pilot cars will provide traffic control. Motorists should expect congestion and delays of up to 20 minutes. Travelers should slow down, drive with caution and allow extra space between vehicles. With the combined delays for construction and the shuttling of traffic in California, ODOT officials said those traveling between the Rogue Valley and the coast may wish to continue using alternate routes or delay their trips. Oregon Highway 42 at Winston is the next best option.
Posted on 9/8/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
 

New Free Virtual Communication Booth Opens for Public at Grants Pass Library Branch
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Thanks to AllCare Health, a new communication booth for virtual meetings is available for community use at no charge during open hours at the Grants Pass branch of Josephine Community Library. The virtual meeting booth features a space large enough for up to two people to conduct a virtual interview, take an important call or FaceTime with a loved one in a private space. The Zenbooth Duo is equipped with lighting, acoustic insulation and motion-activated ventilation. It also has a height-adjustable desk, outlets and the ability to hardwire a device to the library's high-speed internet for seamless connections. Patrons can bring their own device or borrow a library laptop, if needed. Community members can reserve the communication booth by e-mailing "info@josephinelibrary.org," calling (541)-476-0571 or in-person at the Information Desk at the Grants Pass branch library. The Grants Pass branch is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Posted on 9/8/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
 

Shady Cove Motorcyclist Died from Injuries in Highway 62 Crash in White City
A Shady Cove motorcyclist was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 62 in White City early yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle collision near milepost 7 of Crater Lake Highway on Wednesday at about 7:33 a.m.. OSP said a preliminary investigation indicated a Yamaha motorcycle operated by 38-year-old Jamie Davenport of Shady Cove was southbound and turning east on Avenue H when a Toyota Highlander driven by 65-year-old Vickie Kuras of Medford was northbound on the highway traveling through a green light. Troopers said the Yamaha made a left turn in front of the Toyota and the driver was unable to avoid crashing into the motorcycle. According to OSP, Davenport was critically injured and transported to a local hospital where they were later pronounced deceased. Kuras was not hurt. Highway 62 was impacted for approximately two hours during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Mercy Flights and Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Unlawfully Entering Vacant House on SE 12th Street
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for unlawfully entering a vacant home in the southeast part of the city last night. The Police Department reports officers arrested 40-year-old Stephen Joseph Wilkerson for the incident in the 700-block of SE 12th Street on Wednesday at 6:50 p.m.. Police said a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report seeing the garage door open and thinking someone might be inside. There was a writ of execution for trespass issued by the Josephine County Circuit Court attached to the front door of the house. Officers responded with a K-9 to search the premises for an intruder. Upon arrival, officers found the front door of the home was unsecured and upon making announcements, Wilkerson alerted them to his presence and surrendered because of the K-9. He admitted he did not have permission to be in the house. Stephen Wilkerson was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Burglary and 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Entering Upper River Road Home & Scaring Resident
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for causing a disturbance in a neighborhood located about three miles west of Grants Pass last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a report of a male subject in the middle of the roadway in the 3500-block of Upper River Road shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. The man was jumping in the road and throwing things at cars. Deputies said a resident in the area reported the same man walked inside her house while she was watching television in a bedroom. The caller said the half-naked man was saying things like "white power" and "KKK" before he exited her home. An Oregon State Police trooper was flagged down and alerted to a man hiding in the bushes on Azalea Cutoff Road. Deputies and troopers searched the area and found 31-year-old Dennis Randall Thomas Cook. He was placed into custody. Cook was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:18AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Male Transient for Lighting Fire near Interstate 5 in Grants Pass
The Oregon State Police arrested a male transient for intentionally lighting a vegetation fire near the Interstate 5 interchange in north Grants Pass early today. OSP reports troopers were dispatched to a vegetation fire near milepost 58 of I-5 just after midnight this morning. Upon arrival, troopers located a lone male subject who was camping in the area. They identified the man as 63-year-old Bryan L. Spath and said the fire was about 75-feet-by-50-feet in size when they arrived on scene. It was extinguished by crews from Grants Pass Fire & Rescue. During the investigation, troopers discovered that Spath was in possession of a lighter. They said there was also trash strewn around his campsite, so they placed him into custody. Bryan Spath was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Reckless Burning and Offensive Littering.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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DA Deciding Whether to Charge Man for Crashing RV into Post Office Fence
The Josephine County District Attorney's Office is deciding whether to charge a man found responsible for crashing his motorhome into a fence at the downtown post office last night. Grants Pass Police and emergency crews responded to the mishap at the post office on NW 6th Street on Wednesday shortly before 8 p.m.. Police said an investigation determined that Shane Wright was in the city parking lot west of the post office when he attempted to jumpstart his motorhome. They said he did not know his motorhome was in drive at the time and it lurched forward striking him, some city-owned pylons and the post office fence. Wright -- who was not hurt -- jumped into his motorhome and drove away from the crash scene before being stopped by officers at NW 5th and E streets. He was cited for No Insurance and Failure to Renew Vehicle Registration. Charges of Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage and Criminal Mischief were forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review and possible prosecution.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Causing Parkway Crash by Running Red Light
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for causing a T-bone crash on the Parkway near Baker Park early yesterday. Police officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle wreck on the Grants Pass Parkway at East Park Street on Wednesday around 10:25 a.m.. Police said an investigation determined that Michael Drake was driving a GMC Sierra pickup north on Parkdale Drive when he ran a red light and struck a Chevrolet Express box van driven by Matthew Wytcherley. No one was hurt, but both vehicles were blocking the intersection and they were towed away. According to the report, Drake admitted to running the red light which was corroborated by several witnesses. He was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue assisted with traffic control and cleaning up fluids that leaked onto the Parkway.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Motor Vehicle Crash into Utility Pole Caused Power Outage for IV Residents
A motor vehicle accident caused a power outage for some Illinois Valley residents early yesterday. On Wednesday at 6:50 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Josephine County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash in the 6200-block of Takilma Road. IVFD officials said arriving units found a vehicle had crashed into a power pole. They said they searched for the driver, but no one was around. Traffic was fully-blocked on Takilma Road and then reopened to one lane. The wrecked vehicle was hauled to Cave Junction by Jerry's Towing. Pacific Power crews were contacted and they responded to complete repairs.
Posted on 9/7/23 11:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Ashland Area Transient Indicted for August 30th Stabbing of Man at City Park
An Ashland area transient has been indicted for stabbing a man at a city park late last month. According to the Ashland Police Department, a Jackson County grand jury this week indicted 45-year-old Thai Webb on felony charges of 1st-Degree Assault, 2nd-Degree Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara said the indictment is the result of an incident that occurred the morning of August 30th in a public parking lot at North Mountain Park. He said the investigation revealed that Webb and another man were inside a motorhome when they became engaged in an argument, which led to the suspect stabbing the victim multiple times with a knife. Chief O'Meara said the victim was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect fled prior to officers' arrival, but he was arrested by APD officers on August 31st. Webb was lodged at the Jackson County Jail where he remains on a $100,000 bond. The victim has not been identified. APD was assisted throughout this incident by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Phoenix Police Department and Ashland Fire & Rescue.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigating Stolen Vehicle Recovered on Williams Highway in South GP
The Oregon State Police was investigating a stolen vehicle that was recovered on Williams Highway in south Grants Pass this week. OSP reports troopers contacted two people in a Toyota TK near milepost 2 of Highway 238 on Tuesday night. The vehicle had been reported stolen from a Rogue River man. Troopers identified the occupants as 42-year-old Roy Ervin Morgan of Glendale and 36-year-old Amanda Jean Harrell of Medford, but neither was identified as a suspect in the vehicle theft. Charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle against Morgan were referred to the District Attorney's Office for consideration. Harrell was detained, but not charged. According to OSP, the victim was contacted about the recovery of his vehicle and he had a friend retrieve it. OSP reports information was gathered on the identity of the vehicle theft suspect and the investigation is ongoing.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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