Local News

GP Man Died in Monday Night Crash after Pulling Prank & Driving Recklessly
A Grants Pass man was killed this week when he crashed his vehicle during an incident involving the Josephine County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office reported yesterday that 25-year-old Brooks Kimball died in the crash near milepost 6 of Lower River Road on Monday night. The Sheriff's Office was notified around 7:35 p.m. about a small silver hatchback hiding in the bushes off Lower River Road. The reporting party advised the driver would wait for other vehicles to drive by and then rev up the engine, which made machine gun-like noises. A deputy responded to the area to attempt to locate the suspicious activity when he observed a vehicle matching the description traveling eastbound at 90 miles per hour. The deputy turned around to stop the vehicle, came around a corner and observed a cloud of dust near the roadway where the vehicle had crashed. Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response responded to the scene due to heavy damage to the vehicle and injuries to its two male occupants. Kimball was driver and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The unidentified passenger was transported by AMR to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford with serious injuries. The investigation has been turned over to the Oregon State Police and the OSP Crash Reconstruction Team was processing the fatal crash scene.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:51AM by Sam Marsh
 

One Person Injured in Rollover Crash on Illinois River Road West of Selma
One person was injured last night in a motor vehicle accident on Illinois River Road west of Selma. On Tuesday at 6:57 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District and American Medical Response were dispatched to the single-vehicle rollover crash. Arriving units found a vehicle on its top in the middle of the roadway. IVFD Chief John Holmes said one unidentified person was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the wreck. Holmes said traffic was reduced to one lane during the active call. Jerry's Towing removed the vehicle from the road and hauled it to Cave Junction.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Snared Woman for Bad Behavior & Spitting on Officer at City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for her boorish behavior at Riverside Park this week. The Police Department reports officers contacted 43-year-old Adora Angelina Wicker-Espinoza during a patrol check at the city park on Monday morning. Police said Wicker-Espinoza had been issued a 30-day exclusion at about 8 a.m. and they returned to the park to find she had made no effort to gather her things and leave. They said the woman had garbage and debris scattered over a 15-square-foot area and she was placed into custody. Upon being told she was under arrest, Wicker-Espinoza jumped up from a seated position and tried to run away. After being placed in handcuffs, she tried to pull away and twist her body to avoid being arrested. After being subdued and lying face down, she reportedly spit saliva on an officer's boot. Adora Wicker-Espinoza was transported to the Josephine County Jail where she was booked for Felony Aggravated Harassment, Resisting Arrest, Offensive Littering and Criminal Trespass. Her belongings were placed in safe-keeping.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested 2 Men on Outstanding Warrants after Vehicle Theft Report
Grants Pass Police arrested two men on outstanding warrants early yesterday while investigating a report of vehicle theft in the Allen Creek Shopping Center. The Police Department reports officers responded to the reported incident in the Albertson's supermarket parking lot on Tuesday shortly before 3 a.m.. Police said 53-year-old Aharon Demille Hook told them 29-year-old Steven Robert Cooke took a truck from his property without permission after making incomplete payments to purchase the vehicle. Officers contacted both men and discovered that they were wanted on outstanding warrants. Cooke was wanted on a Curry County felony warrant for Probation Violation related to an arrest for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Hook was wanted on two Josephine County warrants for failing to appear for Contempt of Court. Both Cooke and Hook were lodged at the Josephine County Jail on their warrants. It was unclear in the report what happened to the vehicle in question, a 2003 Toyota Tundra.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Extinguished Small Blaze along Interstate 5 North of Grants Pass
Firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out along Interstate 5 just north of Grants Pass late yesterday. On Tuesday evening, Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the reported fire on the north side of I-5 near milepost 60. Arriving units found a half-acre blaze burning along the freeway on Merlin Hill. Several engines plus Type 2 and Type 3 helicopters were ordered, and an aggressive initial attack was launched. By 7 p.m., Rural Metro reported crews had a line around the small fire and forward progress was halted. By 7:35 p.m., ODF reported crews had extinguished all active flames and were making good progress, with the fire 40% mopped up. The final size of the fire was estimated to be one acre. The cause is under investigation. Traffic on the northbound side of I-5 was impacted while the scene was active.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Board to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Formation of Road Service District
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will consider the formation of a road service district during its weekly business session this morning. The Board will hold a public hearing on an order that forms a Josephine County Road District for the purpose of providing road maintenance and improvement services. The Commissioners will then set a date for a second public hearing. The findings of fact indicate the formation of a road service district is consistent with comprehensive planning for the area as well as economic, demographic and sociological trends and projections. The district would include all territory in the county including county-maintained roads in Grants Pass and Cave Junction. That is the only action item on the Commission agenda, but there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens in which residents are allowed to address the Board for up to three minutes on topics that include just about anything. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Smith River Complex Wildfires Moved into SW Oregon and Continued to Increase in Size
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The Smith River Complex has moved into Southern Oregon and continues to grow as the US Forest Service tries to corral the lightning-caused fires. Northwest Incident Management Team 13 and California Interagency Management Team 15 reported this morning that the Smith River Complex had grown to 45,934 acres with 0% containment. There are 1,227 personnel assigned to the complex. Fire suppression efforts are progressing on the north flank of the complex as resources put in a dozer line from Monkey Creek Ridge to US Highway 199. Team 13 is working with local fire departments to create a coordinated structure protection plan in the event of significant fire behavior moving toward homes. Firefighters are conducting structure protection assessments in the Dwight Creek area while crews are providing structure protection in the Elk Creek area. Local fire departments are on patrol in the southern Illinois Valley. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is maintaining a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice for the Illinois Valley south of Rough & Ready Creek to the California border including the communities of O'Brien and Takilma. The Sheriff's Office on Tuesday added a Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice for the forested area between Lone Mountain Road and Buckskin Peak.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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USFS Reports Flat Fire Continues to Grow Slowly as Crews Strengthen Containment Lines
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The Flat Fire continues to grow very slowly as the US Forest Service strengthens containment lines around the human-caused blaze. Southwest Incident Management Team 3 reported this morning that the Flat Fire was still 34,242 acres and containment remained at 58%. Total personnel assigned to the wildfire today is 443 including 10 hand crews backed by 16 engines, 17 water tenders, four helicopters, four masticators and three bulldozers. Incident commanders said fire behavior consists of low rates of spread, with backing, creeping and smoldering limited to scattered pockets of heat in the interior islands. Single tree torching continues, but containment lines are not threatened. Firefighters continue to identify behavior conditions that could result in rapid fire spread and engaging those areas with suppression tactics. Smoke from the Smith River Complex is impacting various air and ground operations as well as local communities. A Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation status remains in place for all areas in the vicinity of the Flat Fire, which started July 15th at the Oak Flat Campground.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Patrons Encouraged to Check Out Books in Williams as Part of "The Great Escape"
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Patrons are encouraged to help the books escape from the Williams branch of the Josephine Community Library District before Saturday, September 16th. It's being called "The Great Escape." Next month, thousands of pounds of books must be moved to the new Williams library branch location which sits just over a half-mile away from the current site. During The Great Escape, library staff and volunteers from the Williams branch are asking the community to check out as many books as possible from the branch by September 16th to help with the move. The loan period on all items checked out from the Williams branch will be extended until Saturday, October 14th. The Josephine Community Library Foundation contracted with Vitus Construction, which started construction in mid-July. The new library, located at 159 Tetherow Road, will replace the existing library located at 20695 Williams Highway. Construction is scheduled through this month, and the grand opening and community celebration is tentatively planned for late-September.
Posted on 8/23/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Board to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Formation of Road Service District
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will consider the formation of a road service district during its weekly business session tomorrow morning. The Board will hold a public hearing on an order that forms a Josephine County Road District for the purpose of providing road maintenance and improvement services. The Commissioners will then set a date for a second public hearing. The findings of fact indicate the formation of a road service district is consistent with comprehensive planning for the area as well as economic, demographic and sociological trends and projections. The district would include all territory in the county including county-maintained roads in Grants Pass and Cave Junction. That is the only action item on the Commission agenda, but there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens in which residents are allowed to address the Board for up to three minutes on topics that include just about anything. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 8/22/23 1:29PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed for Attacking Cousin at Crowded House in the Downtown Area
A Grants Pass man was jailed for attacking his cousin at a home in the downtown area early yesterday. Grants Pass Police responded to the disturbance in the 400-block of SW H Street on Monday around 8:25 a.m.. Police said 28-year-old Joseph Ethan Allen Parks and his cousin were involved in a verbal dispute and Parks tackled the other man to the ground and held him down. They said Parks admitted to knowing that his cousin had a bad back and the victim stated that he was in extreme pain after the tackle. According to the report, the victim refused medical treatment, Parks apologized and things calmed down, so they wanted to cancel the call -- but it was too late for that. Officers noted there were 11 people living in the house, but the incident was not witnessed by any children. Joseph Parks was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Assault.
Posted on 8/22/23 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Violating Stalking Order after Fish Hatchery Area Stop
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for violating a court order by visiting a protected party -- twice. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies pulled over a 1997 Ford minivan driven by 61-year-old Boyd Christopher Swan in the 4800-block of Fish Hatchery Road on Monday at about 7:50 p.m.. Few details about the incident were disclosed, but Swan allegedly went to the home of a person protected by a stalking order two times recently and he was placed into custody at the scene of the traffic stop. Boyd Swan was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on two counts of Contempt of Court-Stalking Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 8/22/23 11:18AM by Sam Marsh
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