Local News

GP Police Jailed California Men for Using "Funny Money" to Defraud Walmart
Grants Pass Police jailed two California men for using counterfeit money to purchase items at Walmart after they returned to the scene of the crime last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 49-year-old Richard Lane Kaufman and 30-year-old Blake Joshua Hammercord at the store on NE Terry Lane on Sunday at about 3:45 p.m.. Police said Kaufman and Hammercord purchased merchandise at two separate Walmart registers using counterfeit $100 bills on Saturday night. Both men returned to the store on Sunday afternoon and managers immediately called 9-1-1. Kaufman was contacted and found to be in possession of another phony $100 bill, and he ultimately admitted to knowing the C-note he used on Saturday was fake. Hammercord was detained and found to be in possession of two counterfeit bills. Further investigation determined Kaufman and Hammercord are from California, and that they are suspects in additional theft cases in that state. Kaufman was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Forgery, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and 2nd-Degree Theft. Hammercord was jailed on the same charges plus an additional count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. Both men were being held without bail.
Posted on 2/6/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Arrested Man for Once Again Trespassing at Dollar Tree
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trespassing at the north Dollar Tree store last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the complaint involving 29-year-old Kraig Dean Toothman at the store in the 1200-block of NW 6th Street on Sunday around 11:45 a.m.. Police said Dollar Tree workers reported that Toothman attempted to pay for items with a "bad" $100 bill. The suspect had been trespassed from the store before and he left the business empty-handed, walking southbound on 6th Street. Officers caught up to Toothman and detained him a few blocks away. They said he had been trespassed from Dollar Tree last July. The $100 bill he had did not appear to be counterfeit, the store did not know what was taken and he had no stolen merchandise on him. Kraig Toothman was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was once again trespassed from Dollar Tree.
Posted on 2/6/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Arrested Man for Warrant & Moving Violations near GP Shopping Center
The Oregon State Police arrested a man for warrant and moving violations during a weekend traffic stop near the Grants Pass Shopping Center. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Toyota Sienna driven by 55-year-old David Alan O'Rourke, Sr., near the corner of NE F Street and Fire Mountain Way on Sunday at about 8:40 a.m.. Troopers said they stopped O'Rourke for traffic violations. They discovered that he had an active misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and his driving privileges had been revoked. He was placed into custody without incident. David O'Rourke was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and for Driving While Revoked. His vehicle was legally parked and secured at his request.
Posted on 2/6/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

Applications Being Accepted for Seat on Joint Bikeways & Walkways Panel
Applications are being accepted for one vacancy on the Grants Pass and Josephine County Bikeways & Walkways Committee. This term expires on June 30, 2025. The purpose of this committee is to seek input from the community, coordinate and disseminate information for public education about biking and walking routes and rules, and serve as a resource and advisory group regarding bike and pedestrian trails for the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County. Applicants for this vacant position must be city residents. The special qualification is any person who represents the interests of bikers and walkers. Applications are available at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application." Completed applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1st. Applications will be reviewed by the committee on March 12th. The appointment will be made by the City Council during its regular meeting on April 3rd.
Posted on 2/6/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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House Republicans Launch "Back to Basics" Plan to Lead Oregon into Brighter Future
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As the 2024 Oregon Legislative short-session began in Salem on Monday, House Republicans launched "Back to Basics," the caucus' vision for the policy needed to lead the state into a brighter future. The "Back to Basics" plan focuses on the issues that matter most to Oregonians: affordable housing, clean and safe streets, an end to the drug crisis, and a strong economy. House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich of Hood River said "it is time to end this radical left-wing experiment and get back to the basics." He said they can find a bipartisan path forward if they can put polarizing politics aside and focus on the real issues that matter most. Helfrich said it's too expensive to build in Oregon due to overregulation, which has led to a lack of affordable housing and -- in some cases -- homelessness. He said Measure 110 opened the floodgates to access to deadly drugs like fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, adding that Oregon leads the nation in new opioid overdose deaths. The House Leader stated that overregulation and taxes make it harder and more expensive to do business in Oregon. He said House Republicans want to open the door to opportunity so that working families can thrive. He also said Oregonians deserve to feel safe where they live, work and play.
Posted on 2/6/24 5:51AM by Sam Marsh
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City of Grants Pass has Created Pre-Approved Accessory Dwelling Unit Plans for Developers
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The City of Grants Pass has developed pre-approved Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) building plans for property owners and developers as it moves to increase affordable housing. According to the 2021 American Community Survey, 30.3% of Grants Pass households are one-person and 34% of city households are two-person. The city has a shortage of studio and one-bedroom housing units, with only 5.3% available rentals in 2023 being studios and only 14.9% being one bedroom. An Accessory Dwelling Unit cannot exceed 1,000 square feet. Grants Pass is offering building plans for three different sizes of ADU structures. Option A is 728 square feet, Option B is 576 square feet and Option C is 416 square feet. ADUs must meet applicable zoning district setbacks for the front, rear and side yards. Applicants for these plans may submit for a building permit with three complete and "to scale" sets of building plans provided on the City of Grants Pass website. There must also be three copies of a site plan "to scale" as well as completed and signed Residential Development and Building Permit applications, which include all submittal requirements.
Posted on 2/6/24 5:48AM by Sam Marsh
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GPHS Project Graduation Sponsoring Will-a-Thon Fundraiser for Class of 2024
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Do you have a will? Grants Pass High School Project Graduation is once again sponsoring a "Will-a-Thon" to raise money for a safe drug- and alcohol-free party for the Class of 2024. Participants will consult with one of 12 volunteer attorneys to have a basic will, power of attorney and advance directive prepared. The cost is $300 for single people and $350 for couples. Participating attorneys include Richard Adams, Kendell Ferguson, Brett Claar, Greg Day, Adrianna Reinhart, Eric Fournier, Alison Smith, Christopher Mecca, Deborah Sorenson, Jaskamal Dhillon, Rebecca Peterson and Clayton Rowley. Appointments run from from February through early April and they are limited in number. Call Victory Walker to make an appointment at (541)-285-7674. If you already have a will but would still like to support the GPHS graduating seniors, please send your contributions to GPHS Project Graduation, 830 NE 9th Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526.
Posted on 2/6/24 5:40AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Jailed Albany Man for Kidnapping and Assaulting GP Woman at Rest Area
The Oregon State Police jailed an Albany man for kidnapping and assaulting a Grants Pass woman at an Interstate 5 rest area yesterday. OSP reports troopers responded to a call about a woman who had just been assaulted at the southbound Manzanita Rest Area in the North Valley area on Sunday at 11:20 a.m.. State troopers said the victim -- a 55-year-old Grants Pass woman -- reported being held against her will by 48-year-old John Michael Joseph Reagan in a Dodge Caravan minivan for multiple hours. When the victim tried to escape, the suspect assaulted her. When she tried to call 9-1-1, the suspect stopped her from doing so. According to OSP, the victim was eventually able to escape the minivan and she contacted law enforcement using a phone at a local business. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office responded, and both troopers and deputies surrounded Reagan in the rest area. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the suspect to exit the vehicle peacefully, two troopers approached the minivan with a shield, broke out the van's back windows and physically removed him from the vehicle. John Reagan was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Kidnapping, 4th-Degree Assault and Interfering with Making a Police Report. He was found to be wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation and was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 2/5/24 10:35AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Woman on Felony Warrant after Walgreens Trespassing Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman on a local felony warrant following a weekend trespassing call at Walgreens. The Police Department reports officers responded the complaint at the store at the corner of Williams Highway and Union Avenue on Sunday around 1:40 p.m.. Police said 41-year-old Molly Allen Huerta and a male companion identified as "Pierre Razo" were in a motorhome parked at Walgreens and the store manager requested they be trespassed. Officers arrived on scene, contacted the pair and discovered that Huerta was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Possession of a Prohibited Firearm. Molly Huerta was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and was being held on $50,000 bail. Both she and Razo were trespassed from Walgreens.
Posted on 2/5/24 10:34AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Deputies Arrested IV Woman on Outstanding Warrant in Cave Junction
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested an Illinois Valley woman on an outstanding warrant over the weekend in Cave Junction. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies contacted and then arrested 36-year-old Sabrina Marie Wilson in the 300-block of South Junction Avenue on Saturday at 12:35 p.m.. Deputies said they spotted Wilson and knew that she was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. The charge was related to a 2021 theft arrest at the Dollar General store in Cave Junction. Wilson was placed into custody without incident, but deputies temporarily stopped transport to Grants Pass at Elliott Creek Road in order to put another set of handcuffs on her. The trip resumed and she was lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 2/5/24 10:31AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Motorist on Outside Warrant after Weekend Stop on I-5 in East GP
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist on an out-of-county warrant after a weekend traffic stop on Interstate 5 in east Grants Pass. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Mitsubishi Lancer driven by 47-year-old Clifford Harold Brown in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 55 on Saturday at 3:55 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Brown for speeding and quickly discovered that he had an active bench warrant for failing to appear in court for an unspecified crime. Brown was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and the vehicle was released to his passenger, who was identified as a 45-year-old woman from Crescent City, California.
Posted on 2/5/24 10:29AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Motorist for DUII after Parking Car Illegally in South Grants Pass
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving after he parked his vehicle illegally in south Grants Pass. According to OSP, troopers conducted a traffic stop on a Toyota Corolla driven by 41-year-old Cameron Lee Frey at the corner of Ringuette Street and Union Avenue at 1:43 a.m. Saturday. Troopers said Frey had parked his car illegally and he showed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests and they transported him to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a positive breath sample. Cameron Frey was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving before he was cited and released. His car was impounded.
Posted on 2/5/24 10:28AM by Sam Marsh
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