Local News

GP Police Snared Woman for Bad Behavior and Spitting on Officer at City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for her boorish behavior at Riverside Park early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers contacted 43-year-old Adora Angelina Wicker-Espinoza during a patrol check at the city park on Monday at 10:45 a.m.. 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 8/22/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Nabbed GP Woman for DUII after She Crashed Subaru on Riverbanks Road
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass motorist for impaired driving after she crashed her vehicle on Riverbanks Road early yesterday. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 21 of State Route 260 on Monday at 5:11 a.m.. Troopers said 49-year-old Rebecca Hellen Howard was driving a Subaru Outback when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed. They said fire personnel stated that prior to their arrival, Howard admitted to drinking alcohol. They confirmed that she displayed several signs of impairment, adult beverages were found inside the car and she admitted to taking shots of Fireball prior to driving. Howard was transported by AMR Ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. She was unable to recall how the vehicle crashed or which way she was driving. The damaged Subaru was towed to the impound yard. Following the investigation, Rebecca Howard was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. She was cited to appear in court and released to the care of hospital staff.
Posted on 8/22/23 11:15AM by Sam Marsh

GP Man Arrested for Returning Again to Shuttered House on NW Blossom Drive
A Grants Pass man was arrested for once again returning to a shuttered house in the northwest part of the city last weekend. Grants Pass Police were alerted to a trespassing complaint involving 34-year-old Evan Timothy Hall at 225 NW Blossom Drive early Sunday morning. Police said a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report that Hall had returned to the former drug house that was boarded up and classified as unsafe to occupy by the City of Grants Pass. They said Hall was located on the front porch of the house, he had previously been trespassed from that location and he was placed into custody. During a search of Hall's backpack, a small screwdriver was located as was a small clear baggie containing a white crystal substance that was methamphetamine. The screwdriver was seized as evidence and the meth was seized for destruction. Evan Hall was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and he was cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation.
Posted on 8/22/23 11:13AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Woman for Entering Store, Eating Ice Cream & Not Paying
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for entering a store on Rogue River Highway last weekend and eating ice cream without paying for it. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to the complaint at the Market & Deli in the 1,000-block of Highway 99 on Sunday at 1:25 p.m.. Police said 43-year-old Diana Marie Reynolds entered the store and began eating ice cream. When asked to pay for the ice cream, she left the store and returned with a plastic cup that she threw at the manager. Reynolds was contacted outside the store and placed into custody for 3rd-Degree Theft and Disorderly Conduct. She was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and trespassed from the market.
Posted on 8/22/23 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET and Others Raided Illegal Cannabis Growing Operation near Wolf Creek
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided an illegal cannabis growing operation in the Wolf Creek area late last week. JMET -- assisted by the Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET), Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT), Oregon State Police, Homeland Security Investigations and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served a search warrant in the 400-block of Brimstone Road on Thursday. During execution of the warrant, more than 2,300 marijuana plants and over 60 pounds of processed marijuana were seized and destroyed. The illegal grow site also had multiple electrical, water and solid waste code violations that could result in criminal forfeiture of the property. According to JMET, the primary suspect was not at the location during the raid. If located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana and Unlawful Appropriation of Water. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Man Jailed for Harassing Mercy Flights Ambulance Workers
The Medford Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff's Office worked together last weekend to arrest a man who was harassing and interfering with ambulance crews at different locations throughout the city. On two separate Saturday morning incidents, MPD received reports that a known subject -- 31-year-old Parker Joseph Latham -- was interfering with separate Mercy Flights Ambulance crews. The reports were that the suspect was driving a Toyota 4-Runner and that he was blocking in ambulances using his vehicle. MPD officers responded to those cases and were unable to locate Latham until about 3:05 p.m. when they received another report of the same suspect vehicle boxing in and harassing another Mercy Flights crew near the Olive Garden at Crater Lake Highway and Delta Waters Road. Officers and Jackson County sheriff's deputies arrived based on previous cases they were aware of with the same suspect, who had a history of uncooperative behavior and eluding police. As law enforcement was contacting Latham in his vehicle, he accelerated over landscaping and out onto the roadway where he drove recklessly through northeast Medford. MPD discontinued the pursuit, but deputies were able to keep the vehicle in view and provide updates. The suspect drove recklessly in neighborhoods and passed vehicles at extremely reckless speeds. He eventually collided with a Sheriff's Office vehicle and was placed into custody. No one was injured. Parker Latham was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Felony Attempted 1st-Degree Assault, Felony Attempted Assault on a Police Officer, Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Reckless Driving, Disorderly Conduct and Driving While Suspended.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Stealing from Walmart Twice in Past 2 Weeks
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing from Walmart last weekend and doing the same thing earlier this month. The Police Department reports officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane on Sunday at about 8:30 p.m.. Police said Walmart loss prevention called in a female who was actively stealing from the store and they advised the woman was the same suspect who stole several high-priced headphones from an electronics showcase on August 10th. This time, the suspect stole clothing items and got into the passenger side of a Toyota Tundra. Officers initiated a traffic stop on the Grants Pass Parkway and the driver of the vehicle yielded in the Fred Meyer parking lot. The driver was identified as James Johannes and the passenger was identified as 33-year-old Brittany Marie Marty. Marty was discovered to be wanted on an active Grants Pass warrant for 2nd-Degree Theft. She eventually admitted to both thefts as well as reselling the stolen items on Facebook Marketplace. A search was conducted and revealed that she had a large quantity of items in their original packaging for sale on her profile. Brittany Marty was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Theft, Theft-by-Receiving, 3rd-Degree Theft and the warrant.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Responded to Numerous Lightning-Sparked Fires Across SW Oregon
The Oregon Department of Forestry responded to numerous fires last weekend, largely due to thunderstorms that impacted Jackson and Josephine counties. Just under 300 lightning strikes were recorded by the National Weather Service during the storms, mainly in Jackson County. As a result, many lightning-sparked fires were reported and detected. In all, ODF responded to 12 lightning fires. The Heppsie Mountain Fire, located on Heppsie Mountain south of Highway 140 and east of Lake Creek, became the largest and was stopped at nine acres. It was reported Sunday afternoon as a grass fire on the hillside. Firefighters on the ground worked with aircraft throughout the afternoon to create temporary fire lines with retardant. Overnight, resources worked to solidify those lines and as of Monday morning, the fire was 100% lined. Resources have since worked to mop it up. The second-largest fire -- the Collings Mountain Fire -- is located on private land north of Applegate Lake. As of Monday morning, it was reported to be 90% mopped up. Steep, rocky terrain had made it difficult to dig a fire line, so crews are working to thoroughly extinguish each hot spot and to monitor fire perimeters. The other 10 fires were extinguished by Monday morning, aside from two that firefighters continued to mop up yesterday.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Multiple Agencies Extinguished Small Fire at Illinois Valley Logging Site
Multiple agencies battled a small fire at a logging site in the Illinois Valley on Monday afternoon. At 3:45 p.m. yesterday, the Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry, Grayback Forestry and private logging crews were dispatched to the fire in the Tarter Gulch area near Browntown and Beebe roads. Arriving units found a 3.25-acre vegetation fire that was quickly extinguished and mopped up. There were no injuries reported and no structures were threatened. IVFD Chief John Holmes said the cause of the fire is being investigated by ODF Southwest.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Incident Management Teams in CA and OR Working to Corral Smith River Complex Fires
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Due to the complexity and expansive geographic area of the Smith River Complex, Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 13 has joined with California Interagency Management Team 15 to manage the lightning-caused incident. According to the Six Rivers National Forest, both teams will be working closely together as they share a mutual interest to provide for the safety and welfare of the affected public and firefighting personnel. The Smith River Complex was reported this morning to be 38,955 acres with 0% containment. Additional resources will continue to arrive to the incident including six strike teams of both structure and wildland engines. The engines will be incorporated into the suppression efforts to protect communities and critical infrastructure. Additional engines and hand crews are on their way. Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions are assisting with incident safety and security. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has issued a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice for the Illinois Valley from south of Rough & Ready Creek to the California border including O'Brien and Takilma. From the border to Gasquet, a Level 3 "Go Now" order has been implemented. The Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds in Crescent City. The Illinois Valley Fire District, Williams Rural Fire Protection District, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Applegate Valley Fire District are out patrolling the O'Brien area.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Releases More Details about Monument Drive Fire and Robust Response
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Rural Metro Fire Department has released more details about the Monument Drive Fire that brought numerous local agencies to respond to protect lives and property. On Sunday at 3:35 p.m., Rural Metro and the Oregon Department of Forestry were alerted to two columns of smoke by an American Medical Response ambulance crew driving on Interstate 5 near the Manzanita Rest Area. The smoke columns were observed between the southbound rest area and North Valley High School. Rural Metro Engine 7502 rolled from the Monument Drive Station, immediately spotted the smoke and upgraded the call to a "working fire." Without an exact address, units from Rural Metro, ODF and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue scrambled up driveways in the 6300-block of Monument Drive attempting to find the best access to the blaze. Crews attempted stretch hose lines into the brush and timber to attack the flames, supported by an ODF helicopter. The fire was a half-acre in size, but it grew to between 15 and 20 acres. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Josephine County Emergency Management initiated door-to-door notifications for a Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order that was issued for residents south of the fire up to the North Valley Industrial Park.
Posted on 8/22/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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Dangerous Wildfire Smoke in GP Prompts Early Closure of Caveman Pool for 2023 Season
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Wildfire smoke has claimed its first official summer recreation casualty: Caveman Pool in Grants Pass has closed for the 2023 season. The Grants Pass Family YMCA -- which manages the public swimming pool under contract with the City of Grants Pass -- made the difficult decision to close the pool early due to poor air quality. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Grants Pass on Monday afternoon was 155, which is considered "Unhealthy." Last night, the AQI soared to 389, which is considered "Hazardous." The Air Quality Alert runs at least through today. For those wishing to stay cool in the late-summer heat, the splash pads at Riverside and Morrison Centennial parks will remain open until Labor Day -- and perhaps a bit longer if the weather remains hot. The splash pad at Riverside Park was closed Monday for maintenance, but it was scheduled to be reopened today.
Posted on 8/22/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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