Local News

Grants Pass Follows ODF Southwest in Reducing City Fire Danger Level to High
The City of Grants Pass has followed the Oregon Department of Forestry by reducing the fire danger level from "extreme" to "high." ODF Southwest dropped the fire danger level in Josephine and Jackson counties to "high" and lowered the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to "2" on Friday. Cooler weather and rainfall have improved conditions, allowing Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt to lower the city fire danger as well. While conditions have improved, Hyatt said it's important to remember summer is not over and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent fire. The primary change to fire prevention regulations is to move the shutdown time for power-driven machinery to 10 a.m.. This includes the use of chain saws, mowing and cutting of dry grass, and the cutting, grinding and welding of metal. Open wood-fueled fires are still prohibited including campfires, cooking fires and warming fires -- except at locations designated by the Grants Pass Fire Marshal. Wood smokers, charcoal barbecues as well as propane- and natural gas-fueled ornamental fires are allowed.
Posted on 9/2/23 5:36AM by Chuck Benson

Portland Loo Public Restroom Installation in Beaver Parking Lot Starts Tuesday
The City of Grants Pass has announced that it will be installing a second public restroom in the downtown area next week. A Portland Loo restroom is now open in the Osprey Parking Lot at the intersection of 5th & H streets and a second restroom is coming to the Beaver Parking Lot on the southwest corner of 7th & G streets. The installation of the second Portland Loo will begin on Tuesday, September 5th. The Beaver Parking Lot will remain open, but parking spaces along the 7th Street side will be restricted. There will be a limited shutdown for a minimal time one morning when the lot will be closed for a couple of hours.
Posted on 9/2/23 5:35AM by Chuck Benson

City of CJ Holding Groundbreaking for Jubilee Park Playground and Spray Pad
The City of Cave Junction is holding a groundbreaking ceremony today to celebrate the new Jubilee Park playground expansion and installation of a spray pad. The concept that was introduced 10 years ago was funded in 2020 and it will come to fruition this month. Construction of a 2,270-square-foot spray pad with over 17 features will begin next Tuesday, September 5th. The spray pad will be connected to a newly-expanded playground that will be home to three new all-inclusive pieces mounted on a rubber surface. The expected completion date for the project is mid-October. The projects are a culmination of hard work and cooperation by Cave Junction Parks & Recreation Commission members, city staff and city engineers. The Parks Commission has worked to obtain community input for the final designs of the playground and spray pad, which were developed with assistance from engineers
Posted on 9/2/23 5:33AM by Chuck Benson

GP Police Incarcerated Man for Placing Woman in Fear of Serious Injury or Death
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for placing the mother of his child in imminent fear of serious physical injury or death yesterday. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 26-year-old Mitchell Aaron Raymond for the incident in the 1200-block of Rogue River Highway on Thursday at 1:50 p.m.. Police said Raymond sent the woman several messages in which he stated that he was coming over to her mother's house to kill her. They said he included a photo of himself holding a large kitchen knife. The suspect was intercepted by his mother and sister on the way to the woman's house and he returned to his own residence. According to the report, Raymond and the woman share a child and were once in a romantic relationship. Officers responded to the Highway 99 apartment and placed Mitchell Raymond into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Menacing and was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:47AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on State & Local Warrants after Disturbance at Restaurant
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on statewide and local warrants after responding to a violent disturbance along the Rogue River near Taprock NW Grill on Thursday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 40-year-old Kyle William Waycott for the incident that occurred in the 900-block of SE 6th Street on Thursday around 9:45 a.m.. Police said Waycott was yelling at people to get away while brandishing a crowbar that he also used to chase a restaurant employee. They contacted the suspect under Caveman Bridge and placed him into custody. A routine records check revealed that Waycott was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Parole Violation related to a burglary conviction as well as a Jackson County warrant for Criminal Mischief and Criminal Trespass. Kyle Waycott was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrants and he was still in custody this morning on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Deputies Apprehended Fugitives in Cave Junction & Near Grants Pass
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended two local fugitives yesterday -- one in Cave Junction and the other just east of Grants Pass. According to the Sheriff's Office, the first incident occurred on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. when deputies contacted 23-year-old Andrew Benito Cruz Martinez at the corner of East Watkins Street and South Junction Avenue. Deputies said they were looking for Martinez because he was wanted on an Oregon Supervisory Authority felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a past conviction for 2nd-Degree Arson. He was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. The second incident happened on Thursday at 6:13 p.m. when deputies contacted 28-year-old Brittanie Marie Miller on Foothill Boulevard near Averill Drive. Deputies said they responded to a report of a female juvenile walking up and down the road for around 20 minutes. The female juvenile turned out to be Miller, who was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. She was lodged at the jail facility.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Accosting Parents and Children at School Bus Stop
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for accosting parents and children while they were waiting for a school bus early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to the disturbance involving 47-year-old Marvin Dale Engman, Jr., in the 200-block of West Park Street at about 7:15 a.m. Thursday. Police said multiple callers reported that Engman was yelling at families and children at a school bus stop. They said he was threatening to shoot people and "assassinate" them, and he called parents and children "pedophiles." Turns out the man had been warned for similar behavior in the same location on August 30th. He was warned at that time that he could be arrested for Disorderly Conduct if his behavior continued. Upon contact yesterday, he confirmed he was yelling at people, said he did not care about the warnings and he would continue. Marvin Engman was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Crimes after He Bailed Out of Mother's SUV and Ran
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for two crimes after he bailed out of his mother's vehicle near Allen Dale Elementary School, started running along an irrigation canal and refused to stop for law enforcement. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a welfare check on the man -- identified as 21-year-old Joseph Randall Bakewell -- in the 300-block of West Harbeck Road on Thursday during the noon hour. Police said Bakewell jumped out of his mother's vehicle while it was moving and ran along a nearby irrigation canal. They said they tried to contact him, but he ran into residential backyards, hopped fences and fled through blackberry bushes. At one point, he ran into a roadway, forcing traffic to stop in order to miss him. Bakewell was eventually taken to the ground by officers and placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Escape. It was unknown why Bakewell jumped out of his mother's vehicle.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:42AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Removed Abandoned Tents & Evicted Campers from Riverside Park
Grants Pass Police removed seven abandoned tents, cited three people and evicted them from Riverside Park yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were performing a patrol check at the city park when they spotted several unoccupied tents that had been posted for illegal camping on Monday. The tents were dismantled and placed into storage. Officers said two other unoccupied tents along with two mattresses were found with syringes and garbage. They were collected for disposal. Several transients were contacted and provided with guidance and support for relocation. Meanwhile, Dawn Cruz and Trevor Bowen were cited for Misuse of Park Space and Scattering Rubbish while Jesse Rosario was cited for drug possession. All three campers were trespassed from the park for 30 days.
Posted on 9/1/23 11:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Department of Forestry Lowers SW Oregon Fire Danger Level to "High"
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Cooler temperatures and higher humidity combined with precipitation have prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to reduce the fire danger level from "extreme" to "high" in southwest Oregon. As of 12:01 a.m. today, the fire danger level for local lands protected by ODF was decreased to "high" and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) was lowered to "2." This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and BLM lands in Josephine and Jackson counties. The primary difference between the former regulations and the new decrease to "high" fire danger affects the public use of power-driven equipment such as chainsaws, mowers, weedeaters and more. The use of power-driven machinery, the grinding, cutting and welding of metal, and other spark-emitting equipment -- such as wood-splitters and generators -- will now be allowed until 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.. Power-driven equipment use on green lawns is never prohibited. Other fire prevention regulations remain in effect including no outdoor debris burning including burn barrels, no fireworks on or within 1/8th of a mile of ODF-protected land, and no exploding targets, tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base. Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 -- which is a "limited shutdown" for industrial operations and separate from public use restrictions -- operations may occur after 8 p.m. and up until 1 p.m. daily. For more information about current fire season restrictions, visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 9/1/23 9:18AM by Sam Marsh
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SOCET Task Force Jailed Phoenix Man for Cyber-Sex Crimes Involving Kids
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The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) jailed a Phoenix man this week on charges of child cyber-sex crime. The SOCET joint interagency task force arrested 40-year-old Joshua Ray Pool on Wednesday after serving a search warrant at his apartment in the 600-block of North Main Street in Phoenix. SOCET began the investigation after receiving a report from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office about a child being sexually exploited through the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. Pool is charged with Using a Child in a Display of Sexually Explicit Content and 1st-Degree Encouraging Child Sex Abuse. During execution of the warrant, investigators seized digital devices that will be examined by the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force for further evidence of child exploitation. Investigators believe Pool may have been communicating with other child victims from throughout the United States. If you have any information on the suspect, contact investigators through the Sheriff's App "Submit a Tip" feature. You can also call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at (541)-774-8333.
Posted on 9/1/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed IV Woman on Outstanding Warrant after Investigating Threat
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested an Illinois Valley woman on an outstanding warrant this week while investigating a threat near Cave Junction. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the incident involving 51-year-old Maria Elena Martinez in the 1500-block of White Schoolhouse Road around midday Wednesday. Deputies said a nearby homeowner called 9-1-1 to report that Martinez came to their door and threatened them before fleeing on foot. The caller said the woman threatened to "take her out" and she was scared so she called for help. Upon arrival, deputies found Martinez standing in the middle of the road and obstructing traffic. She was found to be wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Reckless Endangering and Disorderly Conduct. Maria Martinez was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant along with a new charge of Disorderly Conduct. She was awaiting transfer to the Jackson County Jail in Medford.
Posted on 9/1/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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