Local News

Local Food Bank Holiday Drive-Thru Event at North Branch of Evergreen Federal is Friday
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A holiday drive-thru donation event benefiting the Josephine County Food Bank is being held tomorrow at the north branch of Evergreen Federal Bank in Grants Pass. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the corner of 6th and Steiger streets. Food bank officials are asking people to help them serve over 18,000 residents this holiday season by donating any non-perishable food items simply by driving thru the Evergreen Federal Bank branch. There are many other ways to donate to the Food Bank's Holiday Food Drive. You can drop off food at the warehouse at 3658 Upper River Road Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. You can drop food off at any barrel location around town. You can also donate funds to the Food Bank. Every dollar provides three meals for our community. Checks can be mailed to: Josephine County Food Bank, PO Box 250, Grants Pass, OR 97528. Donate online at "jocofoodbank.org."
Posted on 12/14/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

BCC Continues Public Hearing on Library Withdrawal Requests until Next Week
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has continued a public hearing on four requests for withdrawal from the local library district until next week. After pausing the hearing to consult with Legal Counsel, the Board voted 3-0 to continue the hearing until next Wednesday morning. During public testimony today, all four petitioners testified that the Josephine Community Library District does not serve or benefit their properties. JCLD Board President Rachele Selvig cited Oregon Revised Statutes when she testified that the library district opposes the Board's approval of the withdrawals, which started last week with a request made by the Mike & Winnie Pelfrey Trust. She named the numerous services provided by the library district and stated the burden of proof to remove properties from the district lies with the petitioners. Selvig argued that Board approval of library withdrawal requests sets a precedent that will affect all service districts in the state. She added that library services are a fundamental component of community infrastructure and the services are available to all property owners in the district that was approved by voters in 2017. Following public testimony, Board Chair Herman Baertschiger paused the hearing to consult with Legal Counsel and the Board voted unanimously to continue it until next week. Baertschiger said they will work to answer questions that were brought up during the proceedings.
Posted on 12/13/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed Woman on Outstanding Warrants after Pursuit of Stolen Vehicle
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a woman on outstanding warrants last night after she was injured during a lengthy law enforcement pursuit. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 25-year-old Lacey Marie Cullison at the Williams Highway Safeway on Tuesday at 7:36 p.m.. Deputies said the incident began when they spotted a stolen pickup that was occupied by three people on Highway 238 near Allenwood Drive. They said the suspects drove south on the highway to Murphy where they turned left onto North Applegate Road and led them out to Kubli Road while speeding and passing other vehicles on blind corners. A load of firewood spilled out of the truck and blocked the roadway during the chase, which continued back toward Grants Pass. Cullison was reportedly injured when the stolen truck hit another vehicle at the intersection of Williams Highway and New Hope Road. She was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment. Cullison was identified as a suspect in a burglary case and when deputies went to the hospital to contact her, they discovered that she had checked herself out. She was located at the supermarket a short time later and found to be in possession of multiple pieces of jewelry that did not belong to her. Lacey Cullison was lodged in jail on two Grants Pass warrants for failing to appear in court for 1st-Degree Forgery and Possession of a Forged Instrument, with other charges pending further investigation. The stolen pickup was recovered and no mention was made about the other two suspects in the vehicle.
Posted on 12/13/23 11:25AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Incarcerated Man for Vandalizing Ex-Wife's Vehicle on SE K Street
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for vandalizing his ex-wife's vehicle at a home in the downtown area yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers placed 58-year-old Gregory Albert Metzger into custody on Tuesday at 3:08 p.m. for the incident that occurred in the 400-block of SE K Street. Police said Metzger was seen and identified by his ex-wife approaching her 2000 Mitsubishi Montero and slashing the front left tire before fleeing on a bicycle. The incident was also witnessed by a neighbor who was outside cleaning their vehicle. Officers searched the area, located Metzger and arrested him without incident. Metzger was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for suspicion of 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was being held without bail. His bicycle and other belongings were logged into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 12/13/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Stealing Merchandise from Grange on His Birthday
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing merchandise from Grange Co-op on his 38th birthday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a shoplifting call at the store on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway on Tuesday around 1:45 p.m.. Police said Brenton Dean Baszler entered Grange Co-op and stole approximately $160 worth of items by passing all points of sale without paying. He was detained by loss prevention and the stolen items were recovered. Officers arrived on scene and placed Baszler into custody. He was charged with 2nd-Degree Theft before being cited to appear in court and then released.
Posted on 12/13/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Evicted 2 Campers from Baker Park for Smoking Fentanyl
Grants Pass Police evicted two campers from a city park after catching them doing drugs yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were performing a patrol check at Baker Park when they spotted Cody Luttrell and Trevor Bowen Monday morning. Police said they observed the two men actively smoking a controlled substance that was later identified as fentanyl. They were detained and the dangerous narcotic was seized for destruction. Luttrell and Bowen were cited to appear in court for the drug violation and both were trespassed from Baker Park for 30 days.
Posted on 12/13/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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Eagle Point Police Nab Suspect in Series of Thefts from Vehicles & Residences
The Eagle Point Police Department has arrested a suspect in a series of thefts from vehicles and homes that occurred between late November and early December. According to EPD, 23-year-old Adam James Guenther was arrested last week in connection with break-ins in the area between Arrowhead Trail and Robert Trent Jones Trail. Officers were investigating the multiple cases and were patrolling the area on December 5th when they contacted Guenther in the area of Arrowhead Trail. He initially tried to avoid being contacted, but additional officers arrived, he was detained and found to be wanted on three separate warrants charging him with Probation Violations related to original charges of burglary and theft. Further investigation revealed evidence of thefts from vehicles and Guenther was positively linked to at least one burglary from a nearby residence. Officers were able to recover property indicating the suspect was involved in several outstanding cases. Multiple stolen items have been recovered and returned to the victims while the investigation continues. Adam Guenther was being held in the Jackson County Jail on the warrants plus charges of 1st-Degree Burglary, 1st-Degree Theft, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Trespass and Furnishing False Information to Police. Anyone with additional information in this case is encouraged to contact the Eagle Point Police Department at (541)-826-9171.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:58AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man for Breaking into Vehicle at Automobile Dealer Lot
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for breaking into a vehicle on an automobile sales lot in the north part of the city early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a report of suspicious activity at Best Auto on NE Hillcrest Drive around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday. Police said 45-year-old Floyd Terry Rose broke into a Honda Element on the lot with the intent to commit a crime. The lot owner saw the incident on a surveillance camera and called 9-1-1, prompting the rapid response of officers. Upon arrival, officers determined Rose intentionally caused more than $400 in damage to the Honda while attempting to steal $500 worth of vehicle parts. He was initially non-compliant with law enforcement, but he was challenged and placed into custody. Floyd Rose was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and Attempted 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:56AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Jailed GP Man for Parole Violation When He Updated Sex Offender Registry
The Oregon State Police jailed a Grants Pass man for violating his post-prison supervision this week when he showed up at their office to update his registry as a convicted sex offender. OSP reports troopers arrested 42-year-old Justin Lee Kennedy at the office in the 1400-block of NE 7th Street on Monday afternoon. Troopers said they contacted Kennedy in the OSP lobby during his annual sex offender registry. They discovered that he was wanted on a local warrant for Felony Parole Violation and placed him into custody. Justin Kennedy was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Uncooperative Motorist for Three Violations in North Part of City
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for three violations this week following a traffic stop in the north part of the city. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Michael Scott Gibson on NE 7th Street late Monday night. Police said they observed the vehicle pull out of the driveway of the Super 8 Motel and cross all three travel lanes instead of turning into the closest lane of travel. The suspect then exited into the special turn lane for Diamond Home Improvement before swerving back into the right-hand travel lane. Officers stopped Gibson, identified him and discovered that he did not have proof of insurance. During the contact, the suspect refused to provide a current address or phone number. He also contended that he was "traveling and not driving." Whether Gibson was traveling or driving, he was cited for Improper Left Turn, Failure to Drive Within Lane and Failure to Carry Proof of Insurance.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Hold Public Hearing on 4 More Withdrawals from Local Library District
Prompted by last week's controversial decision by the Josephine County Board of Commissioners to approve a withdrawal from the local library district, at least four more property owners have made the same request. The Board this morning will hold a public hearing in the matter of withdrawing four properties from the Josephine Community Library District that was approved by a majority of voters in 2017. According to the Weekly Business Session agenda, the Bertsch, MacDonald, Millard and Marshall families have petitioned the Board to be removed from the district. Last week, Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West approved a withdrawal request made by the Mike and Winnie Pelfrey Trust. The Josephine Community Library District has vowed to take legal action to stop the Board from approving any more withdrawals, citing a legal precedent that will be felt both locally and across the state. The public hearing is the only action item on the agenda, which also has Requests and Comments from Citizens. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Being Accepted for Seat on Solid Waste Agency Budget Panel
Applications are being accepted for one opening on the Josephine County/City of Grants Pass Solid Waste Agency Budget Committee. The Solid Waste Agency is a seven-member board, three each from the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County and one from the City of Cave Junction. The purpose of the agency is the mutual sharing of responsibilities to provide Solid Waste Management to Josephine County, oversee franchise agreements on behalf of all three jurisdictions, rate setting and rate changes, and the collection and allocation of the environmental program fee. The Budget Committee consists of seven citizens. Its purpose is to receive and review the proposed budget and recommend a spending plan for agency approval. Qualifications to serve on the Solid Waste Agency Budget Committee include a residence within Josephine County and voter registration. Experience in evaluation and analysis of the delivery of services is beneficial as well as a background in civic and community volunteer programs. Applications are available in the Grants Pass Public Works Office at 101 NW A Street, Room 205, or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application. All applications must be returned by 5 p.m. on January 19th.
Posted on 12/13/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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