Local News

GP Police Captured Man on Warrant after He Reported Vehicle Stolen in County
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man on a local warrant after he showed up at the station early yesterday to report a stolen vehicle. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 58-year-old Robert Vincent Jones at the GPPD headquarters on NE 7th Street at 2:15 a.m. Thursday. Police said Jones arrived in the GPPD lobby to report his 1996 Crown Victoria had been stolen from the 800-block of Plumtree Lane which is in the jurisdiction of the Josephine County Sheriff's Office. Officers advised the Sheriff's Office of the auto heist and patrol deputies were on the lookout for the dark-green vehicle. Jones' information was run through dispatch and there was a valid Jackson County warrant for his arrest. He was wanted for failing to appear in court for Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Harassment, Disorderly Conduct and Driving While Suspended. Robert Jones was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. It was not disclosed whether deputies had located his stolen vehicle.
Posted on 1/26/24 11:22AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Collared Woman on Felony Warrant during City Park Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police apprehended a woman wanted on a local felony warrant while performing a city park patrol check yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 48-year-old Jenavee Marie Smith at Westholm Park on SW Wildwood Avenue on Thursday at 12:13 p.m.. Police said they contacted Smith in a tent while she was under the influence of methamphetamine. They discovered that she was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a larceny conviction. She was reportedly uncooperative while being placed into custody. Jenavee Smith was lodged in jail on the local warrant and she was being held on a no-bail detainer. She was also warned for Resisting Arrest and Criminal Trespass before being trespassed from Westholm Park for the next 30 days.
Posted on 1/26/24 11:20AM by Sam Marsh

Portland Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Eagle Point Pot Robbery
A Portland man with a lengthy criminal history has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in an armed robbery targeting a Southern Oregon marijuana grower. The US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon reports 35-year-old Kenan Dizdarevic was sentenced this week to 107 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to victims. According to court documents, Dizdarevic and another individual entered a home located on a secluded marijuana grow near Eagle Point in the early morning hours of November 2, 2019. Wearing dark clothing, gloves, body armor and ski masks, and armed with multiple firearms, the two suspects shouted, "police search warrant" before handcuffing and placing two individuals face down on the floor. Dizdarevic and his accomplice demanded money and guns from the two victims and eventually made off with more than 30 pounds of marijuana and one of the victim's vehicles. Law enforcement located the stolen vehicle traveling with another car on Interstate 5. During the lengthy pursuit that exceeded 120 miles per hour and traversed three counties, the stolen vehicle successfully eluded police. After being disabled by a spike strip, the second vehicle came to a stop in Douglas County and the driver fled on foot. A search warrant executed on the vehicle found ski masks, zip ties, handcuffs, tactical vests and multiple firearms. Investigators determined that Dizdarevic and a third individual traveled together to the Eagle Point robbery in the vehicle after they found fingerprints and personal belongings. Dizdarevic was eventually arrested in June 2022 and in August 2023, he pleaded guilty to charges of Interfering with Commerce by Robbery and Conspiring with Others to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

NWS Issues Hydrologic Outlook for Potential Flooding in Parts of SW Oregon
The National Weather Service has issued another Hydrologic Outlook warning of the potential for flooding in parts of southwest Oregon. The short-term outlook is for quick rises and potential flooding along streams and creeks as well as ponding of water in low-lying areas and poorly drained urban areas in Curry, western Josephine, Coos and western Douglas counties. The NWS says a front will stall along the Southern Oregon coast today through Saturday, producing a prolonged period of moderate to heavy rain over those areas. Precipitation could potentially exceed six inches in some areas over less than 24 hours. The heaviest rain is expected to fall in central and southern Curry County. As soils are already saturated, this period of heavy rainfall could result in flooding along area waterways along with ponding of water in low-lying areas. The rainfall could also lead to increased occurrences of rock-falls and landslides. A Flood Potential Outlook is issued when there is potential for significant rises or flooding along rivers and streams. The exact scenario remains uncertain. Watches and Warnings may be issued by the Weather Service if the situation worsens.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Grants Pass Police Corralled Violent Woman after Bridge Street Disturbance
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for causing a violent disturbance in a west-side neighborhood and then fighting with responding officers this week. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the incident involving 45-year-old Sarah Lavonne Henderson in the 1100-block of SW Bridge Street on Wednesday morning. A man identified as Henderson's boyfriend had called 9-1-1 to report that she had been smoking "crack" and was on a "binder." The woman was in possession of her boyfriend's dog as the incident unfolded. Police said Henderson was causing a commotion in front of a residence. They said she had destroyed the interior of the home, walked outside and began shouting at passing vehicles. Her actions caused public alarm and she threatened to fight officers who tried to place her into custody. Henderson reportedly twisted and pulled her arms away to prevent arrest and she kicked at officers multiple times. Due to her violent behavior, she was placed in handcuffs and ankle restraints. Her boyfriend who made the call had to assist by unhooking his dog from the leash she had tightly wound around her wrist. Sarah Henderson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP Police Jailed Man for Vandalizing Josephine County Courthouse Door
Grants Pass Police jailed a young man for vandalizing an entrance to the Josephine County Courthouse early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 20-year-old Jackson David Sutton for the crime on Thursday at 3:04 a.m.. Police said Sutton was reported to be banging on the glass doors at the north entrance to the building. Upon arrival, they observed the suspect writing on a glass door. Announcements were made and the suspect turned to face officers while yelling nonsensical statements such as "I am God" and "I'm in charge of the alien police force." He then placed his hands in his pockets and refused to remove them. Sutton refused to comply when told to turn around and acted in an unpredictable manner. However, he immediately complied upon seeing the activation of a Taser. Further investigation revealed that the suspect had used a permanent marker to deface the glass door with vulgar tags. Jackson Sutton was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was also provided with a citation for other graffiti-related violations.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Deputies Arrested Woman for Breaking into CJ Residence and "Moving In"
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman after she broke into a Cave Junction area residence this week and tried to make it her own. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a break-in at a home in the 200-block of Honeybee Lane on Wednesday night. Deputies said 50-year-old Shannon Leann Petersen illegally entered the home and was discovered taking a bath by the homeowner who reported the suspect had gone through the entire house, opening doors and drawers, eating food and preparing to do her laundry. The suspect reportedly lived at the home several years ago. Upon arrival, deputies discovered that the homeowner had kicked Peterson out of the house completely naked and threw her clothing on the porch. They contacted her at the corner of Laurel and Old Stage roads before placing her into custody. Shannon Peterson was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Burglary and 3rd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

OSP Snared Medford Man on Outstanding Warrant after Highway 238 Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Medford man on an outstanding warrant this week during a traffic stop on Williams Highway in southern Josephine County. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Honda Pilot driven by 43-year-old Shane Nathan Elder near milepost 9 of Highway 238 on Wednesday night. Troopers said they stopped Elder for a traffic violation and quickly discovered that he was wanted on a local bench warrant for failing to appear in court. He was taken into custody without incident. Shane Elder was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. The vehicle was handed over to his passenger, who was identified as a 21-year-old Grants Pass man.
Posted on 1/26/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Grants Pass High School Officials Celebrate Highest Graduation Rate on Record in 2023
News Image
Grants Pass High School has announced its highest graduation rate on record for the Class of 2023. With a graduation rate of 88.3%, GPHS surpassed the Oregon state average by an impressive seven percentage points. Principal Michele Napier said this is an exciting milestone for GPHS, adding that the district is incredibly proud of their students' hard work and the dedication of school staff and supportive Grants Pass community. English Learners and Students with Disabilities at GPHS graduated at even higher rates of 93.1% and 90.9%, respectively. GPFlex achieved a graduation rate of 90.3% -- its second-highest on record. The flexible learning school continues to grow, prompting the construction of a new campus that is opening on Dean Drive. Gladiola High School -- District 7's alternative education campus -- celebrated its largest-ever graduating class in 2023, with a graduation rate of 47.5% and a 65.6% completer rate. Overall, the Grants Pass School District's graduation rate for 2022-23 was 76.9%, a dip from the previous year. However, the district saw significant improvements in four-year graduation rates for homeless students, with increased graduation rates for English Learners and Students with Disabilities as well.
Posted on 1/26/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Three Rivers District Touts Outstanding High School Graduation Rates for Classes of 2023
News Image
The Three Rivers School District has announced remarkable graduation rates achieved by the Class of 2023. This was the first class of graduates that made it completely through the pandemic, marking a significant accomplishment. While the ultimate goal remains a 100% graduation rate, Three Rivers takes pride in surpassing the statewide average of 81.3%. The four-year graduation rates for 2023 were 95.2% at Illinois Valley High School, 90.3% at North Valley High School and 84.3% at Hidden Valley High School. The district's alternative school -- Southern Oregon Success Academy -- increased its completer rate that includes GEDs to 47.27% from just 2% two years ago. Three Rivers Superintendent Dave Valenzuela said this accomplishment reflects the dedication and hard work of the students, educators and administrators in the school district. He added that the district made substantial progress despite the challenges of the pandemic. In a school district spanning over 1,200 square miles, Valenzuela said Three Rivers has shown resilience in providing education to students with diverse needs. He said the district serves students facing limited internet connectivity, economic stability and housing security.
Posted on 1/26/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

OR Education Department Opens Nominations for State's 2024-25 Teacher of the Year
News Image
Nominations are now open for Oregon Teacher of the Year. Honor a special educator in your life on the Oregon Teacher of the Year website through February 21st. Nominees for Oregon Teacher of the Year should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled licensed public school educator in grades pre-K-12. The program is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Lottery. The Oregon Teacher of the Year serves as the face and voice of educators across the state. As a representative of the profession, this teacher leader is asked to engage and inspire other teachers and community leaders. After the nominations close on February 21st, all eligible teachers who have been nominated will be invited to apply. Candidates who submit an application will then be in the running to be selected as a Regional Teacher of the Year from one of the 19 Education Service Districts statewide. Every Regional Teacher of the Year will be awarded $1,000 and be celebrated across the state in September. The Oregon Teacher of the Year receives a gift of $10,000 as well as a special fund to cover all travel costs for the year.
Posted on 1/26/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Authorities Searching for Man Who Eluded Police with CJ Woman as Passenger
UPDATE: Billy James Best has been arrested and is lodged in the Douglas County Jail.

Authorities were on the lookout for a man who eluded law enforcement following a police pursuit in Douglas County late yesterday. His passenger -- a Josephine County woman -- is in custody. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reports deputies tried to stop a 2008 Ford Focus in Oakland on Wednesday shortly after 5 p.m., but the driver failed to yield and eluded law enforcement at a high rate of speed heading south on Interstate 5. A Sutherlin police officer successfully deployed spike strips on the eluding car, causing the driver -- identified as Billy James Best of Seaside -- to crash into a ditch and flee on foot near Interstate 5 in Sutherlin. Best is considered to be armed and dangerous, so a "reverse 9-1-1 call" notification system was used to warn local residents. The community was asked to be vigilant and report suspicious activity. The Sheriff's Office, Sutherlin Police Department and Oregon State Police searched the area for hours with the assistance of canines without success. There remains a heavy law enforcement presence in the area searching for Best, who has multiple warrants for his arrest including new crimes committed during the elude. A female passenger identified as Christina Marie Dominguez of Cave Junction was taken into custody for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. She was lodged at the Douglas County Jail in Roseburg.
Posted on 1/25/24 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
Read more