Local News

GP Police Jailed Man for Intentionally Setting Fire to Tree Stump near Business
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for intentionally setting fire to a tree stump in the downtown area over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 38-year-old Travis Randal Davenport for the incident near Burton's Rare Coins on SE I Street on Saturday at 12:49 p.m.. Police said multiple callers reported Davenport tried to light the coin business on fire and then lit a nearby tree trunk on fire, putting the business in danger. People with fire extinguishers were able to put out the flames and Grants Pass firefighters responded to make sure they stayed out. The suspect fled the scene on foot, but he was tracked down near the Purple Parrot on SE J Street and placed into custody. Travis Davenport was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Arson. He was being held without bail pending his court arraignment today.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed GP Man for Roughing Up and Threatening Woman East of City
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Grants Pass man for roughing up and threatening a woman at a residence located just east of the city. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 65-year-old Kim Lee Franklin for the incident that occurred in the 2200-block of West Jones Creek Road on Saturday at 6:15 p.m.. Deputies said a caller reported that Franklin was holding the 50-year-old female victim against her will and threatened to use bear spray on anyone who came near his property. The caller reported their mother had also been assaulted by the suspect, but they were not sure exactly where the suspect lived. According to the report, the caller asked what would happen if he beat up the suspect and he was advised not to do that as it would not be safe and he could face criminal charges. Deputies said the victim was able to escape and she met them in the parking lot of the Sheriff's Office. Following an interview, deputies responded to Franklin's home, placed him into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail for Domestic Menacing and Domestic Harassment.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Motorist for Felony Weapon and Drug Crimes in Traffic Stop
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for felony weapon and drug crimes after a weekend traffic stop on Redwood Highway. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Devonte Lovell Clark on US Highway 199 near Ringuette Street on Sunday around 12:15 a.m.. Police said they stopped Clark due to unreasonable noise and expired registration tags on his vehicle. They said a consent search uncovered a short-barreled shotgun and a large amount of cocaine. He was placed into custody while the shotgun and narcotics were seized as evidence. Devonte Clark was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on four felony charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Short-Barreled Shotgun, Possession of Cocaine and Delivery of Cocaine. He was also cited to appear in court for No Valid Operator's License, No Insurance, Failure to Register Vehicle and Illegal Window Tinting. A female companion with Clark was detained and then released.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Nabbed Motorist for DUII during Weekend Patrol Check at City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving after a weekend patrol check at a city park. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 56-year-old Scott Dary Adams at Gilbert Creek Park on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Saturday shortly after 8 p.m.. Police said they observed Adams driving on a public roadway and they knew that his driving privileges had been suspended. Upon contact, the suspect displayed signs of narcotics use and he admitted to using methamphetamine before driving. Adams reportedly made mention of an attorney, provided a negative breath sample for alcohol and refused to provide a urine sample that would detect narcotics use. He was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw. Scott Adams was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance, Driving While Suspended and Refusing to Provide a Urine Sample.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Holding Executive Session before Bi-Weekly Workshop Today
The Grants Pass City Council will gather today for a Special Meeting in Executive Session that precedes its bi-weekly workshop session. The closed-door meeting is being held for real property transactions and/or negotiations. It was not disclosed why the Executive Session is being held before the workshop when it normally comes afterward. Following the Executive Session, the first topic for the workshop is the Allenwood and Sky Crest properties along with a staff presentation on Reinhart Volunteer Park vegetation. The City Council will conclude the session by reviewing the agenda for upcoming meetings that include motions from the Parks Advisory Committee, Historical Buildings & Sites Commission and Tourism Advisory Committee. 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 8/28/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Law Enforcement Agencies Monitoring School Zone Speeds as Classes Begin
Schools are coming back in session all around Southern Oregon and local law enforcement agencies say speed zones will be in effect and monitored closely. The school zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour in Oregon, but each zone may have different requirements. Some of the speed zone requirements include school days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., whenever children are present or when the school zone light is flashing. Law enforcement officials encourage motorists to be cautious when driving in school zones and help keep kids safe. Please remember to slow down in school zones and refresh on your duties as a motorist at bus stops. Children entering new schools -- such as 6th-graders and freshmen -- will be in class today while the rest of the student bodies will join them on Tuesday.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Windy Conditions over Weekend Increased Activity on Kelly Fire of Smith River Complex
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Windy conditions increased activity over the weekend on the Kelly Fire as it continues to move northward into the Illinois Valley. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 13 reported this morning that the Smith River Complex had grown to 70,620 acres with 6% containment. The complex was started by lightning on August 15th. It is staffed by 2,661 personnel. Incident commanders said wind gusts of up to 18 miles per hour and ongoing hot and extremely dry conditions drove fire spread. A new spot fire started just west of Gilligan Butte, but it did not breach the primary containment line protecting the Illinois Valley near O'Brien. Protecting structures in this area and keeping the fire from crossing the containment line is a top priority for fire personnel. Firefighters are working day and night shifts, and three additional Hot Shot crews have arrived to engage in this effort. The Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order remains in place for the Highway 199 area south of O'Brien from milepost 38 to the border. A Level 2 "Get Set" evac notice is in place for the O'Brien and Takilma areas. A Level 1 "Get Ready" evac notice is in place throughout the Illinois Valley south of Cave Junction. The American Red Cross has set up an emergency evacuation shelter at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass. Livestock can be sheltered at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. A public meeting for the Smith River Complex North is being held at 6 p.m. today at Illinois Valley High School on East River Street in Cave Junction. The meeting will be simulcast on the Smith River Complex North Facebook page.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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DEQ & NWS Extend Air Quality Advisories until Tuesday Due to Persistent Wildfire Smoke
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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and National Weather Service have extended air quality alerts and advisories for southwest Oregon until Tuesday. Both agencies expected the current Air Quality Alert to last until at least Tuesday afternoon as DEQ and its partner agencies continue to monitor smoke in the area. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality levels to fluctuate and they could be unhealthy at times. The alert may be extended beyond Tuesday, but wind patterns are expected to change tonight and the areas under the alert may change. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather. People at highest risk include infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease. Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high. Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it's too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location. Use high-efficiency air filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. DEQ officials said cloth, dust and surgical masks don't protect people from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn. Respirators won't work for children as they don't come in children's sizes. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their health care provider before wearing a respirator.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police and Local Firefighters Coping with Unhealthy Air while Protecting Community
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters coped with unhealthy air from local wildfires while protecting the community last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police responded to a total of 786 calls for service along with 356 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 53 arrests, 38 citations, 53 warnings and two inebriated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 140 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting seven people, citing 46 and warning 89 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 40 individuals and posted 91 new transient camps. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 119 calls last week including 40 for emergency medical service, two reports of fire or smoke, 12 lift assists, seven rescue situations, five assists to other agencies and four false alarms. Firefighters also performed 17 business inspections, assisted the public five times and properly installed five child car seats for young families. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,242 emergency calls as well as 1,059 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 8/28/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Catch & Incarcerate Wanted Felon After Pursuit
A 46-year-old man was arrested and jailed on statewide felony warrants after attempting to elude Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies with a high-speed pursuit Friday afternoon. A Deputy relayed he was attempting to overtake a street bike at 2:46 p.m. He reported the yellow motorcycle turned onto Camp Joy Road, then was on Plumtree Lane headed toward the tracks. The rider, identified as Daren James McLeod, was stopped and detained. He was found to be wanted on a Columbia County felony warrant for assault II, and an Oregon State Parole Board felony warrant for a parole violation again for an original charge of assault.
Posted on 8/26/23 7:27AM by Chuck Benson
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Evacuation Orders Remain in Effect & Caves Highway Now Closed
The latest evacuation notices for Josephine County issued by the Sheriff’s office continue due to the activity of the Smith River complex of fires. In addition, the Oregon Department of Transportation have closed the Caves Highway, Oregon-46, due to a wildfire in the area and the closure is expected to extend throughout the weekend. No detours are available. A Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order for the community of O'Brien south of milepost 38 on US Highway 199 to the California border remains in effect. The Red Cross has set up an emergency evacuation shelter at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass. Livestock can be taken to the Josephine County Fairgrounds. The Sheriff's Office also issued a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice for O'Brien and Takilma from Highway 199 south of Rough & Ready Creek to milepost 38 and Rockydale Road at Waldo Road to the California border. Residents in this area should be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. A Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice was issued for the southern Illinois Valley south of Cave Junction including the Bridgeview and Holland areas. Preparedness resources can be found at "rvem.org." The two-week closure of Redwood Highway continues, and it was moved north to Lone Mountain Road from the California border due to activity associated with the Smith River Complex. Drivers are urged to avoid the area and use alternate routes.
Posted on 8/26/23 6:24AM by Chuck Benson
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ODF Responds to 5 Fires Sparked by Thunderstorms
ODF has responded to four fires in Josephine County, all on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, following Thursday night thunderstorms, and one fire in Jackson County from Saturday’s storm on private land. The fires range in size from 10 acres down to a quarter-acre and are in various stages of operations. At this time, there are no homes threatened on any of the fires, and no evacuations or road closures are in place. Due to the nature of the lightning starts, most of these fires are in remote, steep locations. The largest is the Thunder Ranch fire, southeast of Galice in Josephine County. It’s estimated to be 10 acres in size, and is staffed with three engines, a 20-person crew, a bulldozer and two Type 1 helicopters. Visibility hindered aircraft early in the day, but smoke cleared late Friday afternoon, allowing helicopters to respond. Windy conditions prompted the fire to spread, however with all resources engaged, firefighters are making good progress on lining the fire. The second largest fire is the Whiskey Creek Fire, near the west fork of Whiskey Creek north of the Whiskey Creek Campground. It’s estimated to be five acres with limited fire activity. Three engines, a 20-person crew, two water tenders, a tree faller, a bulldozer and a Type 2 helicopter are on scene and working to create fire lines and extinguish hot spots. The Cheney Creek Fire, south of Wilderville on Cheney Creek road, was stopped at an estimated five acres and is currently 100% lined. The Crooks Creek Fire, located south of Wonder, was caught at a quarter-acre, is 100% lined and 60% mopped up.
Posted on 8/26/23 6:09AM by Chuck Benson
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