Local News

Authorities Suspect Arson in 10 Bear Creek Greenway Fires Over Past Week
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating 10 small fires that started along the northern end of the Bear Creek Greenway over the past week. Fortunately, firefighters stopped all the fires before they had a chance to spread. Jackson County Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis said law enforcement and fire officials are investigating the possibility of a potential arsonist on the loose. He said the Sheriff's Office and fire officials need the public's help. If you see any suspicious activity along the Greenway, please report it immediately so law enforcement can investigate. The best way to report criminal activity is through the Sheriff's App "Submit a Tip" feature. You can also call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office Tipline at (541)-774-8333. To report a crime in progress or if you see a fire start, always call 9-1-1.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police & Firefighters Logged Busy Week of Activity Protecting Community
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged a busy week of activity as they protected citizens from crime, fires and other emergency situations. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 819 calls for service along with 246 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 51 arrests, 31 citations, 64 warnings and six highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 112 potential trouble-makers while arresting three people, citing 33 more and warning 65 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 27 individuals and posted 88 new transient camps. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 116 calls last week including 38 for emergency medical service, seven reports of fire or smoke, 15 lift assists, seven rescue situations, six assists to other agencies and three false alarms. Firefighters also performed 73 business inspections, led three education programs and assisted the public four times. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,440 emergency calls in addition to 1,027 call for non-emergency service.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
 

Applications Being Accepted for 7 Posts on GP Sustainability & Energy Panel
Applications are being accepted for seven positions on the newly-formed Grants Pass Sustainability & Energy Action Committee. These will be staggered three-year positions. The Sustainability & Energy Action Committee will monitor and report to the Grants Pass City Council all progress on the Sustainability Energy Action Plan implementation. The committee will also support the City of Grants Pass in achieving its long-term greenhouse gas emission and energy reduction goals. This includes outreach to the community, evaluating feasibility studies and providing recommendations for project advancement. Special qualifications and experience for these positions ideally includes an energy efficiency specialist, a solar energy technology specialist, a data analyst, people with solid waste or recycling experience, and a student. 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, August 25th.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
 

Firefighters Extremely Busy Battling Southwest Oregon Wildfires Over the Weekend
News Image
The Oregon Department of Forestry, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department were dispatched to a vegetation fire between North Valley High School and the southbound Manzanita Rest Area late Sunday afternoon. ODF estimated the fire to be 15-20 acres in size when they arrived on scene. Crews engaged in an aggressive initial attack that included helicopters and two single-engine air tankers. Retardant drops by the air tankers stopped the forward progress of the blaze and by 6:30 p.m., the fire had been lined with water and blaze behavior dropped dramatically. Door-to-door Level 3 "Go" evacuation notifications were made by the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Josephine County Emergency Management. Officials said the evacuation notice for structures from the high school south to the North Valley Industrial Park was precautionary. There were no structures damaged or threatened, and the evacuation notice was dropped to Level 2 "Be Set." The notice was lowered further to Level 1 "Be Ready" at 8 p.m. and the evacuation notice was lifted at 9 p.m.. Meanwhile, the Smith River Complex prompted the Josephine County Sheriff's Office to issue a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice on Saturday for all residents living south of Rough & Ready Creek to the Oregon border including O'Brien and Takilma. Affected residents were urged to be ready to evacuate immediately.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP Mayor Invites Chief Petitioner to Two Public Forums Before Special Recall Election
News Image
Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol has invited the chief petitioner in a recall campaign against her to square off at two public forums prior to next month's recall election. Grants Pass voters will decide whether or not to recall the mayor in the September 12th special election. In a prepared statement, Mayor Bristol said she would like city voters to have an opportunity to learn more about the special recall election so they can make an informed decision. The mayor said she's never met chief petitioner Suzanne Barber, so she's interested to hear more about why Barber decided to launch the recall effort against her. Pat Fahey will moderate the forums, which are scheduled for this Friday, August 25th, at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium and on Tuesday, August 29th, at the Fruitdale Grange. Both 6 p.m. events are free and open to the public.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

RCC Hosting Two More Open House Events for Public to "Discover the Possibilities"
News Image
Rogue Community College is hosting two more free open house events this month for the public to "Discover the Possibilities at RCC." The first open house was held at the RCC Riverside Campus in Medford last week when the college shared its academic programs and non-academic offerings. On Tuesday, RCC will hold an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Table Rock Campus in White City. On August 29th, an open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Redwood Campus in Grants Pass. Visitors will be able to meet RCC instructors, talk with admissions specialists, tour the campus, learn about the application and registration process, and discover ways to pay for college through financial aid, scholarships and military benefits. Fall term registration is now open and enrollment help will be available for classes that begin September 25th.
Posted on 8/21/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Firefighters Extremely Busy Battling Wildfires Throughout SW Oregon This Weekend
News Image
It has been an extremely active weekend for firefighters in southwest Oregon. The Oregon Department of Forestry, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department were dispatched to a vegetation fire between North Valley High School and the southbound Manzanita Rest Area late this afternoon. ODF estimated the fire to be 15-20 acres in size when they arrived on scene. Crews engaged in an aggressive initial attack that included helicopters and two single-engine air tankers. Retardant drops by the air tankers stopped the forward progress of the blaze and by 6:30 p.m., the fire had been lined with water and blaze behavior dropped dramatically. Door-to-door Level 3 "Go" evacuation notifications were made by the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Josephine County Emergency Management. Officials said the evacuation notice for structures due south from the high school to the North Valley Industrial Park was precautionary. There were no structures damaged or threatened, and the evacuation notice was dropped to Level 2 "Be Set." The notice was lowered further to Level 1 "Be Ready" at 8 p.m.. Meanwhile, the Smith River Complex prompted the Josephine County Sheriff's Office issued a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice on Saturday for all residents living south of Rough & Ready Creek to the Oregon border including O'Brien and Takilma. Affected residents were urged to be ready to evacuate immediately. The Smith River Complex has moved across the Oregon border and into the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Earlier today, the lightning-caused complex of wildfires was measured at 25,419 acres with 0% containment. The two fires closest to the Illinois Valley -- the Kelly and Holiday fires -- were around 22,500 acres. In Jackson County today, the Sheriff's Office issued a Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice for residents living from the South Fork of Little Butte Creek to Latgawa Camp near Eagle Point due another lightning-sparked wildfire. There was another lightning-sparked fire near Applegate Lake called the Collings Mountain Fire. The National Weather Service in Medford recorded 286 lightning strikes in Jackson and Josephine counties between Saturday afternoon and this morning.
Posted on 8/20/23 8:24PM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

USFS Southwest Incident Management Team 2 Now in Command of Flat Fire
News Image
The fight against Oregon's largest wildfire so far this summer is being managed by a new team as part of the US Forest Service's two-week command rotation. Southwest Incident Management Team 3 replaced Northern Rockies Team 2 on Friday morning. The team reported no changes in its first report on the Flat Fire, with acreage at 33,895 and containment at 58%. There was a total of 479 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire today including 13 hand crews backed by 17 engines, 19 water tenders, 5 helicopters, 4 brush-clearing masticators and 3 bulldozers. Hot and dry weather conditions continue to influence low rates of spread in the fire's interior unburned fuels. Isolated single tree torching was not unusual and it did not threaten containment lines. Smoke will continue to have intermittent impact on local communities, depending on winds. Firefighting assets are watching containment lines and paying attention to isolated heat sources. Concentration on wind and slope alignment in drainages and ridge-top winds from the northwest that may induce rapid spread in a primary mission. Deployment of several crews to support the Six Rivers National Forest on the Smith River Complex of fires south of the Oregon border is ongoing. Air resources remain available to support initial attack efforts as required. Full suppression is the objective for the Flat Fire and crews continue working toward that goal. Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation status remains in place for all areas in the vicinity of the fire.
Posted on 8/19/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Firefighters Find Success with Aggressive Response to New Lightning Starts
Cloud to ground lightning strikes on the High Cascades Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest resulted in a new fire start yesterday. The Pole Fire was met with a robust and aggressive initial response from air and ground resources including the Siskiyou Rappel Crew and numerous engines. Resources quickly converged on the new fire and held it to just 1/4 of an acre. Crews will continue to work the fire through the coming days to ensure no additional fire activity comes from this start. Meanwhile, control of the Red Fire incident was returned to the Klamath National Forest mid-shift crew and all engines that responded to that fire have returned to their duty stations for initial attack coverage in the event of more new local starts. Resources were still engaged on the Mile Fire on the Wild Rivers Ranger District yesterday and it was expected to be controlled within the next few shifts. Lightning is forecast again for various areas of southwest Oregon with continued hot temperatures and heavy smoke impacts in local valleys from neighboring fires. The National Weather Service has posted an Air Quality Alert that runs until noon Sunday.
Posted on 8/19/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

GP Police Jailed Corrections Client Wanted on Wisconsin Fugitive Warrant
Grants Pass Police jailed a Josephine County Corrections client who was wanted on an out-of-state fugitive warrant this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 49-year-old Nicholas Richard Cook at the Community Corrections Office on NW 4th Street on Thursday. Police said Cook was contacted and found to have an extraditable warrant out of the Wood County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin for failing to appear in court for a sex offender registry violation. Cook was unaware that he was about to be arrested. A corrections officer assisted police with placing him into custody. Nicholas Cook was lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail where he awaits extradition proceedings that will likely send him back to Wisconsin.
Posted on 8/19/23 6:24AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Police Collared Man Wanted on Statewide Felony Warrant in Downtown GP
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant in the downtown area this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 30-year-old Damien Michael Clark at the Four Seasons Chinese restaurant on SE 7th Street Wednesday night. Police said they spotted Clark near the nearby River City Grill and knew that he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from recent convictions for Felony 4th-Degree Assault, Menacing and Harassment. Clark was located in the lottery machine area of Four Seasons a short time later and placed into custody. He was found to be in possession of a glass pipe with a white crystal residue that tested positive for methamphetamine. Damien Clark was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer and he was also cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation.
Posted on 8/19/23 6:22AM by Sam Marsh
Read more
 

Jackson County SO Snared 3 during Bear Creek Greenway Fire Safety Patrol
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office made three arrests this week while conducting a fire safety patrol on the Bear Creek Greenway. Sheriff's deputies patrolled the Jackson County-owned areas of the Greenway from south Medford to Talent to ensure no one was violating the fire season ban on open burning and campfires. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners ordered the closure of all county-owned, off-trail areas of the Bear Creek Greenway for the safety of the public during the current fire season. Community members can still use paved areas, but everything off the path is closed. Deputies said they encountered multiple homeless encampments containing trash and human excrement. Among the three arrests, two were for trespassing and offensive littering while the other was for an outstanding warrant. Detailed maps were passed out to other homeless people showing closed areas and a list of resources. Fire safety patrols on the Greenway are conducted routinely during fire season.
Posted on 8/19/23 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
Read more