Local News

Oregon Health Authority Recommends Getting Your Vaccinations This Winter Season
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Respiratory virus season is in full swing -- and so is the season for holiday celebrations when viruses are more likely to be spread. According to the Oregon Health Authority, it's not too late to protect yourself and others from severe illness during the holidays by getting vaccinated and to know you'll be protected through the winter when people spend more time socializing indoors. OHA officials said COVID-19 transmission in Oregon has been steady over the past month with a percent positivity of 9.3% for the first week of December. Omicron is still be predominant variant, and no single subvariant has emerged that is predicted to cause more severe disease. The rate of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Oregon is predicted to remain stable into early January. Respiratory syncytial virus -- or RSV -- transmission in Oregon is steadily increasing with a percent positivity of 7.9% for the first week of December. Influenza transmission in Oregon remains low, but it is steadily increasing with a percent positivity of 3.5%. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts a steady increase in flu-related hospitalizations in Oregon through the first week in January. Everyone six months and older is recommended to get a flu vaccination.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh

GP Residents Invited to Attend Monday Forum on Rent Burden and Housing Production
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Residents are invited to attend and participate in a community forum hosted by the City of Grants Pass early next week. The goal of the forum set for 6 p.m. Monday is to learn more about current issues related to housing production, rent burden, fair housing and more. Information will be shared on current housing statistics, causes and consequences of rent burden, barriers to reducing rent burden and local resources. Feedback from this community discussion will be used to help guide city housing strategies and initiatives to address current rental housing challenges. Grants Pass has been identified by the Oregon Housing & Community Services Department as a city that is severely rent-burdened, with 28.6% of all renters paying more than half of their income on rent. Paying too much for housing often prevents households from paying for other necessary expenses including medical care, food, utilities, education, transportation, childcare and more. During this event, community members are encouraged to share experiences, ask questions and provide input on potential solutions to ease the local housing crisis.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:07AM by Sam Marsh

Triple Impact: Pacific Power to Match Your Contribution to Oregon Energy Fund
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Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more. Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find they include an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program, customers can call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-(888)-221-7070 or visit "pacificpower.net." Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need within the same county in which the donor resides.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:05AM by Sam Marsh

One Person Dead & Another Seriously Hurt after Illinois Valley Crash into Tree
One person was killed and another person was seriously injured when the vehicle they were riding in crashed into a tree near Cave Junction last night. On Thursday at 9:45 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police rushed to the single-vehicle wreck in the 100-block of White Schoolhouse Road. IVFD officials said arriving units found a vehicle had collided with a tree. They said one occupant was deceased at the scene while the other was critically injured and transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. No other details were available including the identities of the occupants. Officials said the Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into the fatal crash.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Montana & Local Warrants after Shoplifting Incident
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on out-of-state and local warrants yesterday after a shoplifting incident at Walmart. The Police Department reports officers arrested 48-year-old Zack Caine Herrell for the incident at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane at 11 a.m. Thursday. Police said Herrell collected around $30 worth of items from Walmart and passed all points of sale without paying. They said he got into a recreational vehicle driven by his friend and the pair attempted to get away before being stopped by officers. Herrell initially gave police a false name before his true identity was discovered. It soon became apparent why he lied -- he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Powell County, Montana, for Probation Violation and he was also wanted on a Josephine County warrant for Probation Violation related to a traffic offense. Zack Herrell was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on the warrants along with new charges of 3rd-Degree Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held without bail. Herrell and his friend -- identified by police as "Morgan" -- were trespassed from Walmart.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Corralled Man on Outstanding Warrant during RR Highway Contact
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant while patrolling Rogue River Highway this week. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 35-year-old Ian Seiwell Hogue near the corner of Highway 99 and Cloverlawn Drive on Wednesday. Police said they spotted Hogue and knew that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for Resisting Arrest, Escape and Criminal Trespass. He was placed into custody without incident. Ian Hogue was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on $15,000 bail.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Arrested One, Cited Three and Evicted All from City Parks
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant, cited him and two others for city ordinance violations and evicted all of them during park patrols on Thursday. During a patrol check at Fruitdale Park, officers contacted 43-year-old Elijah Samuel Greene and discovered that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Petty Theft. He was lodged at the adult jail facility. Earlier in the day, Greene had been trespassed from Fruitdale Park for 30 days after being cited for Scattering Rubbish and Unlawful Utilization of Park Space. A total of seven illegal campsites were posted at the park and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN). During a patrol check at Baker Park, William Jensen and Jessica Pitts were cited for Scattering Rubbish and Misuse of Park Open Space. Both were given 30-day exclusions from the park. A total of 11 illegal campsites were posted and an e-mail was sent to UCAN.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Medford Woman Who Fled Scene of Crash on US Highway 199
The Oregon State Police arrested a Medford woman who fled the scene of a motor vehicle accident on Redwood Highway near the Applegate River late yesterday. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to a two-vehicle crash on US Highway 199 near Riverbanks Road on Thursday around 4 p.m.. State troopers identified one of the involved drivers as 36-year-old Cheryl Four Lakota Winds Larvie of Medford and said she fled the scene on foot, leaving behind the Dodge pickup she was driving. Troopers searched the area, located Larvie and placed her into custody for Driving While Suspended. She was lodged at the Josephine County Jail. According to OSP, no injuries were reported to Larvie or the other unidentified motorist.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited & Warned Motorist Who Caused Crash on Redwood Highway
Grants Pass Police cited and warned a motorist who caused a crash on Redwood Highway late yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision on US Highway 199 at Ringuette Street on Thursday shortly after 4 p.m.. Police said Matthew Beard was driving a Nissan Murano when he rear-ended a Toyota Camry that had stopped for a red light at the intersection. They said the crash occurred at low speed and no one was hurt. Both drivers were interviewed and their statements were similar. During the investigation, officer discovered that Beard's driving privileges had been suspended and he had no emergent reason to be behind the wheel. He was cited for Driving While Suspended, warned for Following Too Closely and his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 12/8/23 11:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Former Williams Resident Gets Over 12 Years in Prison for Booby-Trapping House
A 72-year-old man was sentenced to 12 and a half years in federal prison after he booby-trapped his former manufactured home in Southern Oregon and injured an FBI agent. After Gregory Lee Rodvelt lost his property in rural Josephine County in an elder abuse case, prosecutors said he didn't want anyone to take it without a fight so he placed homemade spike strips at the bottom of the driveway, rigged a rat trap to fire a shotgun shell when someone tried to open the door to a detached garage and set other traps. The Oregonian reports state and FBI bomb technicians had gone to the 15-acre property off Dreamhill Drive in Williams at the request of a real estate lawyer who was working to sell it. Federal investigators said Rodvelt also set up a minivan to block the gate, affixed steel animal traps to a gate post, barred the home's windows from inside and set up a wheelchair in the entryway to fire a .410-caliber shotgun shell. The technicians used an explosive charge to breach the front door and carefully entered the home only to bump the wheelchair. The shot hit FBI bomb technician Andrew Sellers below the knee. In June, a jury found Rodvelt guilty of Assaulting a Federal Officer with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon and Using and Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence.
Posted on 12/8/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Rescued after Spending Night on Galice Road near Almeda County Park
A motorist was forced to spend the night in their vehicle this week after crashing off Galice Road near Almeda County Park. Rural Metro Fire Department reports a civilian passerby made the discovery in the 14,000-block of Galice Road on Wednesday morning. Rural Metro officials said the driver was attempting to turn around at the barricade when they backed their vehicle off the roadway and it rolled down an embankment and into a tree above the Rogue River. Due to a lack of cell service in that area, the driver was unable to call 9-1-1 for assistance. Uninjured but also unable to exit the vehicle, the driver remained inside until they were discovered. A Josephine County BLM deputy was the first to arrive on scene, confirming the need for emergency assistance due to the steep slope and precarious position of the vehicle. Bulldog Towing responded and secured the vehicle from falling further downhill and possibly into the river. Rescue crews then were able to successfully extricate the driver out of the vehicle and up to the road. The driver was transported by American Medical Response to Three Rivers Medical Center for evaluation of overnight exposure to the cold and wet weather.
Posted on 12/8/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Vandalizing Vehicle and Battling Responding Officers
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for vandalizing a woman's vehicle and then fighting with officers who responded to arrest him this week. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 49-year-old Daniel Reese Wise, Jr., by deploying a Taser near the corner of 6th and G streets early Wednesday. Police said Wise had kicked the front of a woman's vehicle in the 1300-block of NW 6th Street, intentionally causing more than $100 in damage. The woman said the suspect was carrying a big stick on the handle of his bicycle, and was punching her window and kicking her car. She was afraid to get out of her vehicle due to concerns that he might come back. Officers contacted Wise a short time later and informed him he was under arrest. He refused to comply with lawful commands and physically resisted being placed into custody before the Taser was deployed and he was subdued. Daniel Wise was initially taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for an evaluation. He was medically cleared and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and Resisting Arrest. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/8/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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