Local News

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
 

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
 

GP Police Jailed Man on Local Warrants Related to Illegal Cannabis Cultivation
Grants Pass Police jailed a man this week on local warrants associated with the illegal cultivation of marijuana. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 61-year-old James Leroy Buschmann at the Josephine County Community Corrections office on NW 4th Street shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Buschmann's corrections officer alerted them to the man's presence at the office and advised he was unaware he was about to be arrested. He was wanted on two Josephine County felony warrants for Probation Violation related to a past arrest for Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and for failing to appear in court on the same charge. James Buschmann was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested Woman for DUII after Hit-and-Run Crash at 6th & Hillcrest
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for impaired driving and hit-and-run this week after she struck another vehicle in the north part of the city and tried to flee. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of NE 6th Street and Hillcrest Drive on Tuesday night. Police said 43-year-old Amanda Leigh Heim was driving a white minivan when she failed to yield at a red stop light, hit a Ford Focus and then nearly hit another vehicle while leaving the scene. The driver of the Ford followed the suspect to the parking lot of Club Northwest where officers made contact with her. Officers said Heim had open containers of alcohol in her vehicle and she admitted to drinking on the drive into Grants Pass from Gold Beach. They said she exhibited signs of impairment, but refused to participate in field sobriety tests. After a search warrant was obtained, she was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a blood draw that documented her impairment. Amanda Heim was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage. Her minivan was parked and secured at Club Northwest.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed GP Woman for Extreme DUII in Traffic Stop after Citizen Calls
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass woman for extremely impaired driving this week during a traffic stop in the north part of the city. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Ford F-250 pickup driven by 34-year-old Teri Jolene Pemberton at the Interstate 5 off-ramp and North 6th Street on Tuesday night. Troopers said they received multiple calls about an intoxicated driver on I-5. Upon contact with Pemberton, strong signs of impairment were observed. She performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she provided a breath sample that was 3-1/2 times the legal driving limit. Teri Pemberton was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. She was lodged at the Sobering Center while her pickup was parked and secured.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Board Tabled Decision on Program for Recruiting More Medical Workers
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners made quick work of a very light agenda during its weekly business session on Wednesday. It lasted just 19 minutes. Following its monthly recognition of employees, the Board had no other action items and moved into the public comment period in which only one person spoke. The Consent Calendar contained just three items including minutes of previous meetings, an order in the establishment and use of the SOAP Fund, and a re-appointment to the Josephine County Rural Planning Commission. Public Health Director Mark Weber testified that the Southern Oregon Association for Providers (SOAP) is an alliance focused on collaborative recruitment of health care providers to the Rogue Valley. He said the Josephine County Public Health Department has agreed to hold and distribute the fund for the association. When questioned about the cost to administer the program, Weber said there is no built-in compensation. But he said the benefit is a better local medical industry that is currently facing widespread staffing shortages. He added that the program is designed to incentivize medical providers and employees to come work here. After voicing concerns about the administrative costs, the Board tabled a decision on the order until next Wednesday. In other business, the Commissioners reappointed Ronald Wright to a four-year term on the Rural Planning Commission.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Command of Smith River Complex North Transferred to New USFS Team from Alaska
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Northwest Incident Management Team 13 has transferred command of the Smith River Complex North to another US Forest Service team as part of its two-week wildfire season rotation. In its first report this morning, the Alaska Interagency Management Team said the Smith River Complex had grown slightly to 85,520 acres with containment holding at 19%. More than 10,200 acres of the fire is located in southwest Oregon. Total personnel assigned to the complex today was 2,577. The Alaska team is now in charge of the northern end of the lightning-sparked wildfire complex while Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2 continues to manage the southern end in northern California. During Northwest Team 13's tenure, 850 firefighters assigned to the Smith River Complex North suppression operation worked more than 216,750 hours building 129 miles of fire line to halt the spread of the fire into the southern Illinois Valley. Helicopters and fixed-wing resources dropped more than 201,000 gallons of retardant along the fire's edge, enabling crews to attack the blaze more directly. The new team said it will continue to aggressively fight the fire, building on strategies and successes established by the outgoing team. The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office reports US Highway 199 is open to all traffic, but it continues to have hazardous conditions and congestion with fire personnel. Delays of 20 to 40 minutes are possible.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Mayor Casts Deciding Vote as City Council Rejects Public Safety Utility Fee
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Mayor Sara Bristol cast the deciding vote last night after the Grants Pass City Council deadlocked on a decision to implement a public safety utility fee to increase funding for police and fire services. The City Council voted 4-4 on the second reading of the public safety utility fee -- and to break the tie -- Mayor Bristol voted "no." The vote came after public comment in which several community members spoke both for and against the fee, which would have been tacked on to city utility bills starting in January. However, everyone agreed that fully funding public safety is the #1 challenge in the Grants Pass community. During Council discussion, other funding options emerged such as a food and beverage tax or a sales tax. Those options will be discussed by the panel in the near future. Grants Pass voters will decide whether to renew the current $1.79 public safety levy in the November election. Public Works Director Jason Canady reported that the Oregon State Emergency Management Board has accepted the city's BRIC grant application to help fund construction of the new water treatment plant after not accepting it last year. The city was chosen out of 803 applicants and is now one of 124 communities vying for a total stake of $3 billion. The city is hoping for up to $50 million.
Posted on 9/7/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Registration for Fall Term Classes at RCC is Now Open for New & Returning Students
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Registration for fall term classes at Rogue Community College is open for new and continuing students. Fall classes begin September 25th and end December 8th. New students should apply by September 20th to get started this fall. Apply for admission online at "roguecc.edu" or visit Rogue Central offices at the Redwood Campus in Grants Pass, Riverside Campus in Medford or Table Rock Campus in White City. A placement test or waiver and meeting with an advisor are required prior to registration. Students who have previously been admitted at RCC can register for fall classes through their "myRogue" account or visit Rogue Central for assistance. RCC offers a variety of educational programs to help students meet their education and employment goals including two-year associate and college transfer degrees, skill certification programs, GED preparation and English language classes. Students who wish to explore options may access virtual tours of select RCC programs at "roguecc.edu/guidedpathways."
Posted on 9/7/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Commissioners Table Decision on Program for Recruiting More Medical Workers
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners made quick work of a very light agenda during its weekly business session this morning. It lasted just 19 minutes. Following its monthly recognition of employees, the Board had no other action items and moved into the public comment period in which only one person spoke. The Consent Calendar contained just three items including minutes of previous meetings, an order in the establishment and use of the SOAP Fund, and a re-appointment to the Josephine County Rural Planning Commission. Public Health Director Mark Weber testified that the Southern Oregon Association for Providers (SOAP) is an alliance focused on collaborative recruitment of health care providers to the Rogue Valley. He said the Josephine County Public Health Department has agreed to hold and distribute the fund for the association. When questioned about the cost to administer the program, Weber said there is no built-in compensation. But he said the benefit is a better local medical industry that is currently facing widespread staffing shortages. He added that the program is designed to incentivize medical providers and employees to come work here. After voicing concerns about the administrative costs, the Board tabled a decision on the order until next Wednesday. In other business, the Commissioners reappointed Ronald Wright to a four-year term on the Rural Planning Commission.
Posted on 9/6/23 11:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Jailed Man for Parole Violation after Suspicious Activity Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating his post-prison supervision after investigating a report of suspicious activity near the downtown area late last night. The Police Department reports officers responded to a call about a male subject sitting motionless in a Jeep Cherokee with loud music playing near the corner of SW 5th and J streets on Tuesday at 11:25 p.m.. Officers responded to perform a welfare check and they found 39-year-old Dustin Paul Taetz passed out behind the wheel of the vehicle. They said two straws used for narcotics were located on the seat next to him and he advised they belonged to a female he had given a ride to. However, he said he couldn't remember her name. One of the conditions of Taetz's corrections supervision was no association with known drug users. He was placed into custody after a call to his parole officer. Dustin Taetz was lodged at the Josephine County Jail where he was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 9/6/23 11:51AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Probation Violation after East Park Street Incident
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for violating her probation yesterday after she provided officers with a false name and then tried to run away from them. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 28-year-old Kaitlyn Marie Pigg in the 900-block of East Park Street on Tuesday at 12:44 p.m.. Police said they contacted Pigg while investigating a trespassing complaint on the property near the Grants Pass Parkway and the Rogue River. A neighbor had called to report dogs barking all night from a homeless encampment on the vacant land. Upon contact with Pigg, officers said she gave them a fake name -- but she was identified through other means. She was advised that she was under arrest for violating terms of her probation related to arrests for 1st-Degree Arson and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. That's when she attempted to flee on foot. Kaitlyn Pigg was caught and placed into custody. She was lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail for Felony Probation Violation and 3rd-Degree Escape.
Posted on 9/6/23 11:50AM by Sam Marsh
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