Local News

GP Police Arrested Man for Driving Recklessly for Third Time in Three Weeks
For the third time in three weeks, Grants Pass Police arrested a man for driving recklessly in the downtown area. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a large sport utility vehicle driven by 64-year-old Thomas Michael Campbell at SW 6th and K streets on Saturday around 8:30 a.m.. Police said Campbell was reported by two independent witnesses to be driving recklessly in a manner that endangered public safety. The suspect was speeding, cutting off other vehicles and veering sharply across travel lanes, nearly hitting another vehicle. He was also said to be peeling out in a bank parking lot. Court records show Campbell's license had been suspended for 90 days due to two similar arrests in late-January and early-February. Nevertheless, he defied the court order by continuing to drive and doing so recklessly. Campbell was charged with Reckless Driving and Driving While Suspended. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail and his SUV was impounded.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:54AM by Sam Marsh

GP City Council Workshop Today Features Projects, Funding & Loan Programs
The Grants Pass City Council will take up projects, funding and loans during its workshop session today. The bi-weekly workshop was moved up one week because next Monday is the Presidents Day holiday. The City Council will begin the session with a staff presentation on Urban Renewal Agency projects and funding. That will be followed by the Non-Urban Renewal Agency Economic Development Grant Program and Urban Renewal Agency Grant Loan Program. Also on the agenda is a staff presentation on the Riverside Park Caretaker's Cottage. The Historical Buildings & Sites Commission has recommended the aging cottage be renovated instead of being torn down. The session will close with a review of agendas for upcoming workshops and regular meetings. Today's workshop begins at 11:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Grants Pass City Hall, 101 NW A Street.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:51AM by Sam Marsh

CJ City Council will Consider Construction Contract for IV Library Renovation
The Cave Junction City Council meets tonight to tackle a handful of action items. The City Council will open the meeting with the monthly update from the Public Works Department followed by a Consent Agenda that includes planning updates and two OLCC liquor license recommendations. After Council Liaison Reports and Public Comment, the CJ City Council will consider construction contract approval for the Illinois Valley Library remodel. The Council will also receive the annual Parks & Recreation Commission update and consider a Request for Change for the final inspection of the Cave Junction KOA campground. Tonight's meeting starts at 7 at Cave Junction City Hall, 222 Lister Street.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:50AM by Sam Marsh

Oregon State Treasurer Returning Unclaimed Property in Checks Without Claims Program
News Image
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read has announced that his department will be proactively returning approximately $10 million in unclaimed property this month as part of the agency's 2024 "Checks Without Claims" initiative. State Treasurer Read said they're excited to reconnect thousands of individuals with their unclaimed funds without requiring any action on their part. In addition to collecting and safeguarding Oregonians' unclaimed property, he said his agency is committed to returning these assets and helping to bolster citizens' financial health. Through "Checks Without Claims," the Oregon Treasury will proactively disburse payments to over 25,000 verified owners of unclaimed property reported to the state's Unclaimed Property Program in 2021 and 2022. Payments, via check, will be mailed to individuals this month, accompanied by a confirmation letter from the Treasurer. In 2023, the Unclaimed Property Program conducted "Checks Without Claims" and reconnected more than 18,000 individuals -- from Oregon and 47 other states -- with their unclaimed funds. With over $1 billion in unclaimed funds currently held by the state, "Checks Without Claims" is one of many efforts to reconnect Oregonians with their unclaimed money and property. Common examples of unclaimed property include uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, tax refunds, credit balances, investment accounts, payroll checks, refunds and more.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:48AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Police and Firefighters Started February with Strong Community Protection Effort
News Image
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters started the month of February with a strong community protection effort. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 599 calls for service along with 331 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 44 arrests, 33 citations, six warnings and six highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 67 traffic stops in the city and made 34 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 139 potential trouble-makers while arresting one person, citing 21 more and warning 32 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 14 individuals, posted 98 transient camps and removed trash from three park campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 95 calls last week including 47 for emergency medical service, six for reports of fire or smoke, 18 lift assists, 10 rescue situations, six assists to other agencies and four false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 939 emergency calls.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:40AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Southern Oregon University's Highest Award Goes to Three Retired Faculty Members
News Image
Southern Oregon University President Rick Bailey presented three retired faculty members with the highest recognition of service to the college during a celebration in the Rogue River Room of SOU's Stevenson Union in Ashland last month. On January 9th, the SOU President's Medal was awarded to poet Lawson Fusao Inada, artist Betty LaDuke and linguist Grace Tapp Kocks. President Bailey said "these three extraordinary scholars and teachers served our university with brilliance for a combined 99 years, and also distinguished themselves as significant innovators in their individual fields of study." The SOU President's Medal was established in 1984 and it's the university's highest tribute, awarded as often as once per year to one or more community members who are distinguished by their actions and contributions. It has previously been awarded to 59 individuals and organizations. Recipients of the medal are recognized for their exemplary service to SOU and the community, and for demonstrating compassion, integrity, generosity, leadership and courage.
Posted on 2/12/24 5:38AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

JOCO Deputies Arrest & Jail 3 Friday
Josephine County Sheriff’s deputies executed three arrests Friday with all three listed as incarcerated. Friday morning at 10:09 Melia Lei Mitchell, 33, made contact at the Sheriff’s office and was determined to have valid warrants from the Winston Police Department for failure to appear on criminal mischief charges. The Sheriff’s log indicates Mitchell was lodged. Friday afternoon at 1:50 Christopher Harwood, 36, also made contact at the Sheriff’s office and was determined to have a valid warrant from Lawrence Colorado for aggravated assault. The Sheriff’s log also indicated Harwood was lodged, however neither Harwood of Mitchell remained in custody Saturday morning. Deputies made contact with 46-year-old Donald Merrill Doney in the 100 block of Deer Creek Road and arrested him on two Josephine County Sheriff’s office warrants.
Posted on 2/10/24 6:06AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

34th Annual Ross Roe Memorial Youth Tree Plant Wraps Up Today near GP
The Josephine County Forestry Department is wrapping up the 34th Annual Ross Roe Memorial Tree Plant today on timber land located southwest of Grants Pass. Thousands of youth from local schools, scout groups, 4-H clubs and other groups in Josephine and Jackson counties participate in this event every year. It's a great hands-on and fun experience for youth in our community to learn about trees and the forest. The late-Ross Roe started the event to get kids out of the classroom and into nature. It is now named in his honor by volunteers and coworkers who worked alongside him to hold the annual event. The three-day event at the site off Stringer Gap Road is the only continuous youth tree plant in the state of Oregon. Each year, the Josephine County Emergency Communications Team uses their radios to communication with the volunteers and Early Day Gas Engine Tractor Club to give hay rides while transporting the kids up and down a one-way road. Participating youth are allowed to place a personal tag on trees they plant so they can come back to see their work in the future.
Posted on 2/10/24 5:34AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

US Senator Wyden Holding Monday Town Hall Meeting at RCC Campus in GP
US Senator Ron Wyden will be holding a town hall meeting in Josephine County early next week. The town hall will take place in the Rogue Community College Redwood Campus Student Union Building on Monday at 3:30 p.m.. It's located at 3345 Redwood Highway in Grants Pass. Senator Wyden makes an effort every year to visit every county in Oregon, and these town halls are great opportunities for residents to share concerns and to thank the lawmaker for his work. Wyden has held a total of 966 town hall meetings where he refrains from speeches, listens to the concerns of Oregonians and answers questions. Learn more about the senator's priorities in Washington DC.
Posted on 2/10/24 5:32AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Oregon SNAP Households in 27 Counties with Food Destroyed Can Get Benefits
Oregonians who lost food purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits due to the recent winter storms and power outages are encouraged to request replacement benefits from the Oregon Department of Human Resources. Locally, households who receive SNAP and live in Douglas, Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties have until February 16th to request replacement benefits for food that was destroyed or spoiled due to winter storms and power outages. Households who live outside of these and 23 other counties must request replacement benefits within 10 days of the loss per the normal process. Households who disposed of food bought with SNAP benefits that was destroyed due to these events can request that replacement benefits be issued for the cost of the lost food. The maximum amount of SNAP that can be replaced is the value of the food up to the normal monthly benefit for the household. Households should be prepared to provide a list of the lost food, the cost to replace it and they may have to provide proof of the event that destroyed the food.
Posted on 2/10/24 5:30AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

City of Medford Approved $23,000 Grant to Attract Local Health Care Providers
The City of Medford recently approved a $23,000 grant to help attract local health care providers. The Rogue Valley Times reports the recipient of this grant is the newly-formed Southern Oregon Alliance of Physicians & Providers (SOAPP). With a current budget of $75,000, SOAPP will recruit primary care providers to Southern Oregon using the funds for transportation, food and lodging. Brent Kell, SOAPP Board Chair and CEO of Valley Immediate Care, said though the pay scale is low, emphasizing the quality of life in Southern Oregon hopefully will outweigh more attractive offers in other areas. He said it's about creating awareness of that makes the Rogue Valley a good place to live and work. One key factor that makes Southern Oregon unique is Oregon House Bill 2902, which requires insurance companies to reimburse at the same rate for any health care provided by physician assistants as doctors. Another is Oregon has one of the lowest Medicare reimbursement rates in the nation. Kell also believes having a residency program in Southern Oregon would attract new recruits.
Posted on 2/10/24 5:28AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Josephine County Search & Rescue Unit Announces Passing of K9 Rex This Week
With deep regret and sadness, Josephine County Search & Rescue has announced the passing of its lead K-9 "Rex." It's a sad time for the Search & Rescue Team and particularly for Rex's handler Melissa Madsen. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. K-9 Rex joined the local Search & Rescue unit in July 2015. During his time with the unit, he became certified in wilderness air scent by the Oregon State Sheriff's Association. Rex recorded numerous hours of training, mission searches and community events for Josephine County as well as neighboring counties.
Posted on 2/10/24 5:27AM by Chuck Benson
Read more