Local News

Off-Duty Medford Firefighter Saved Lives of Three Children in NW GP House Fire
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An off-duty Medford firefighter is being credited with saving the lives of three children in a house fire that occurred in northwest Grants Pass earlier this week. On Tuesday morning, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 1800-block of NW Candler Avenue. Manny Sharp -- an engineer with the Medford Fire Department -- noticed black smoke coming from one street over, so he jumped in his vehicle and responded to the blaze. Upon arrival, he found the garage well-involved with flames and learned that there were still people inside the residence. Sharp kicked the front door open and quickly located two children who were sleeping on couches in the living room. He grabbed them both and removed them from danger before going back inside for the older sibling. With smoke entering the house, he made his way to a back bedroom where he located the older child, wrapped him in a curtain and assisted him out the bedroom window. Grants Pass fire officials said Sharp's quick action and courageous effort saved the lives of all three children.
Posted on 8/17/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh

Divided Council Approves Public Utility Safety Fee, Final Vote September 6th
A divided Grants Pass City Council approved an ordinance amending the Municipal Code by adding a chapter that established a Public Utility Safety Fee, establishing the bases for the implementation and administration of the fee. Current estimations project an approximate $6.4 million gap in revenues to continue the current level of Public Safety services. The ordinance does not set the monthly fee rate that would provide the necessary resources to continue these services at the present level. The actual fee rate would be set by a separate resolution. This ordinance restricts the revenues generated by this fee would be used for the provision or costs directly related to public safety services. The calculation method is similar to the City’s existing Transportation Utility Fee. School Districts and government buildings will be exempt. A 4 to 3 split vote by council refers the second reading of the code amendment to a future meeting for a final vote, likely September 6th. Councilor verbalized the desire for more public input. Earlier the Council approved the annexation of the Blackberry Lane Subdivision consisting of 39 tax lots covering approximately 4.67 acres. All lots currently receive municipal services. The Homeowners Association secured a triple majority of homeowners the annexation qualifies and is not subject to a public vote. The Council also approved a resolution to purchase a multi-purpose fire apparatus, a Pierce Enforcer Pumper at a cost of $819,068. The unit at the time of delivery will replace a unit that will be 18 years old. Currently this is sufficient funding to pay for the apparatus.
Posted on 8/16/23 8:32PM by Chuck Benson

Deputies Jailed Man for Hitting Rural Property Owner with Hammer in Heist
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for multiple felony-level crimes after he attacked a Williams area property owner with a hammer while committing a robbery yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 45-year-old Kevin Andre Chatelain for the incident in the 1,000-block of Kincaid Road on Tuesday at 11:41 a.m.. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that Chatelain was trespassing on her property and he struck her husband in the head with a hammer. The victim was checked out by medics, but he refused transport to the hospital for treatment. Chatelain had fled on foot before deputies arrived on scene, but they located him at a campsite in the China Basin area and placed him into custody. It was determined that he was also wanted on two local warrants for Driving While Suspended. Kevin Chatelain was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for felony crimes of 1st-Degree Robbery, Attempted 1st-Degree Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon as well as a misdemeanor crime of Criminal Trespass and the outstanding warrants. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:15AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Violating Court Order by Entering Woman's House
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating a court order by breaking into a residence occupied by a protected woman this week and then returning the next day. The Police Department reports officers arrested 60-year-old Stuart Aaron Gamble for the most recent incident that occurred in the 1700-block of Harbeck Road on Tuesday right before 6 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that Gamble was sitting in her backyard outside a glass sliding door. The caller also said the suspect had broken into her house the night before and watched her sleep. The suspect left when the woman woke up. Officers checked with the Josephine County Circuit Court system and confirmed the woman had a valid restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. Stuart Gamble was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Burglary and Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Felon for Vandalizing Window of Downtown Business
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for two crimes and an outstanding warrant after he allegedly shattered the window of a business in the downtown area last night. The Police Department reports officers responded to a report of vandalism at Rogue Cleaners in the 200-block of SE G Street on Tuesday around 8:25 p.m.. Police said 36-year-old Hap Michael Hoffman was positively identified as the suspect who punched the window and broke the glass. They said he was also found to be wanted on a Klamath County Corrections warrant for failing to appear in court for Flight to Avoid Prosecution. As Hoffman was told he was under arrest, he reportedly told officers to shoot him and his dog, and became highly confrontational with law enforcement. The suspect commanded his dog to attack officers and physically resisted being placed into custody. After being handcuffed, he continued to yell and say outlandish things. Hap Hoffman was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief, Resisting Arrest and the no-bail felony warrant. He was being held without bail. His dog was taken to the Animal Shelter.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:12AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Assault Suspect & Evicted Campers during City Park Patrol
Grants Pass Police arrested an assault suspect, cited three campers and evicted them from a city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were performing a patrol check at Riverside Park on Tuesday around 10:45 a.m. when they contacted 25-year-old Anthony Calvin Jolly-Santyna in the camping area west of Caveman Bridge. Police said Jolly-Santyna was wanted in connection with an assault investigation. He was placed into custody before being lodged at the Josephine County Jail for suspicion of Felony 3rd-Degree Assault and Probation Violation. He was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine and was cited for the violation. Officers also contacted Anna Newell and James Redden, citing them for Scattering Rubbish and Misuse of Park Space. Newell and Redden joined Jolly-Santyna on the 30-day park exclusion list. During the area check of Riverside Park, a total of 44 tents were posted for Illegal Camping. An e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Motorist for DUII and More after 2-Vehicle Crash in Downtown CJ
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving and several other crimes after he crashed his vehicle into another vehicle in Cave Junction last night. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision near the corner of South Kerby Avenue and Lister Street on Tuesday at 8:50 p.m.. Troopers identified 27-year-old Jason Dewayne Roberts as the at-fault driver and said he showed signs of impairment at the crash scene. They said he did poorly in field sobriety tests, so he was taken to the Cave Junction Substation where he provided a breath sample that was well over the legal driving limit. A total of four people were involved in the crash including Roberts, a 39-year-old Grants Pass woman and her two teenage passengers. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Jason Roberts was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving and three counts of Reckless Endangering. He was cited to appear in court and released at his residence. Both vehicles were recovered by their owners.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nailed Motorist for Drugged Driving after Getting Traffic Complaints
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for drugged driving after they received some traffic complaints in the downtown area early yesterday. According to the Police Department, a man called 9-1-1 to report that he was nearly struck by a reckless driver in the parking lot of Safeway off NE 7th Street around 6:25 a.m. Tuesday. Police said 63-year-old Sean Dennis O'Keefe was also reported by a citizen as driving a pickup recklessly on 7th Street while another witness described him as "stumbling and unsteady" on foot while he was inside Safeway. O'Keefe had left the supermarket before officers arrived on scene, but they were able to track him down and pull him over on North 7th Street. The suspect showed signs of impairment by narcotics and there was drug paraphernalia in plain view. After O'Keefe was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw, he was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. He was also cited for No Insurance and his truck was impounded.
Posted on 8/16/23 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Trespassing at Former Drug House on Blossom Drive
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trespassing at a former drug house in the northwest part of the city -- he had been arrested there last week for breaking in. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespass call at a home in the 200-block of NW Blossom Drive on Tuesday around 3:45 a.m.. Upon arrival, officers contacted 34-year-old Evan Timothy Hall who was seated in a chair on the front porch of the vacant residence. They said Hall admitted to being arrested last week for breaking into the house, which he said was his property. During a consent search, Hall was found to have methamphetamine in his backpack, which was seized for destruction. Evan Hall was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass and the narcotics violation.
Posted on 8/16/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Pair for Scattering Trash & Bike Parts at Morrison City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for depositing a large amount of trash in a city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 42-year-old Trevor Bowen and 28-year-old Ashley Cressy at Morrison Centennial Park on Tuesday shortly before 4 a.m.. Police said Bowen and Cressy had a mound of trash, bike parts and wooden pallets strewn over a 600-square-foot area of the park. They said Bowen appeared to be building something and had spray-painted the lawn. The back of a patrol car was filled with trash and bike parts that were on the ground and hanging from trees. Bowen and Cressy were cited, issued 30-day park exclusion orders, and advised to clean up their trash and be out of the park by 8 a.m.. They were also advised that they would be arrested if they moved to another park and did the same thing. Meanwhile, Daren Norrington was cited for Scattering Rubbish and told to contact his corrections officer. Lisa Deitert was warned for Scattering Rubbish and she elected to clean up items she had removed from the trash.
Posted on 8/16/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Wolf Creek Man for Felony Violation after Freeway Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Wolf Creek man for a felony violation this week following a traffic stop on Interstate 5 in the North Valley area. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Chrysler Cirrus driven by 73-year-old Kyle Bruno Holtz in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 63 on Monday. Troopers said they stopped Holtz for a traffic violation and discovered that his driver's license had been felony suspended. They said he admitted to the violation, but was on his way to a medical appointment. He had visible surgery injuries and an open container of alcohol was found inside his vehicle. Holtz was cited and released for Felony Driving While Suspended and Open Container. He was given a courtesy ride to his medical appointment, but his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 8/16/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Board of Commissioners Weekly Business Session Contains No Action Items
It won't take long for the Josephine County Board of Commissioners to take care of its weekly business session this morning. There are no public hearings, administrative action items, presentations or proclamations on the agenda -- only a Consent Calendar that contains the minutes of previous meetings and legal counsel updates. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when people are allowed to address the Board for up to three minutes on just about any topic. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 8/16/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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