Local News

Washington Man Badly Hurt When Struck in Cave Junction by Hit & Run Driver
A Washington man was seriously injured when he jumped out of a vehicle and into the path of another vehicle in Cave Junction last weekend. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to a hit-and-run crash near the intersection of Caves Highway and Junction Avenue on Sunday at 9:25 p.m.. Troopers said 21-year-old Angel Anthony Hernandez of Yakima, Washington, was a passenger in a BMW 745 driven by 29-year-old Michelle Spelce of Yakima, he jumped from the moving vehicle and was run over by another vehicle in the oncoming travel lane. They did not say why Hernandez jumped from the BMW. According to OSP, the suspect vehicle did not stop after striking Hernandez, who was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this incident is urged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh

JMET Detectives Discover Illegal Pot Grow on Quartz Creek Road near Merlin
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided another illegal cannabis growing site yesterday -- this time in the Merlin area. On Monday, JMET and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety responded to a call for service in the 3,000-block of Quartz Creek Road and discovered an illegal marijuana growing operation on the property. As a result of the discovery, more than 2,770 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed. The site also had multiple 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 search. If located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh

Vegetation Fires near Wimer Prompted Evacuation Notices for Local Residents
Two vegetation fires near Wimer prompted evacuation notices for local residents before they were snuffed out by multiple agencies yesterday. On Monday around 1:30 p.m., the Oregon Department of Forestry, Evans Valley Fire District and Jackson County Fire District #1 were dispatched to a fire in the 13,600-block of East Evans Creek Road. Crews were able to extinguish the blaze at just 1/4-acre. Later in the afternoon, firefighters were called out to a fire in the same area and they were able to stop it at 3/4 of an acre. Crews remained on the scene of both fires to mop-up. Numerous engines, aircraft and other resources allowed crews to knock down the fires quickly. Both fires are currently under investigation. A Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notice was issued for East Evans Creek and May Creek roads in the vicinity of the fires. No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged. ODF officials urged residents to be aware that fires can start and spread more easily in these hot and dry conditions. If you see a fire, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh

Quick Response by Hugo Road Resident Kept Fire from Getting Out of Control
Quick action by a Hugo area resident with a garden hose kept a fire from getting out of control late yesterday. On Monday at 6:36 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department was dispatched to a fire in the 7200-block of Hugo Road. Firefighters finished the work already started by the occupant by completing a containment line around the perimeter and completely mopping up all hot spots. Rural Metro officials said the cause of the fire was unknown. They said the fire occurred directly across the street from the ignition point of the 2018 Hugo Road Fire that scorched nearly 200 acres while destroying two homes and threatening dozens more. Thankfully, there was no wind to fan the flames. Fire officials continue to stress the critical importance for residents to use extreme caution in any activity that may produce a spark. Under the current conditions, they said a new fire has the potential to become catastrophic very quickly. Both Grants Pass and Medford set new high temperature records on Monday with 111 degrees. The old record for August 14th in Grants Pass was 106 degrees while it was 108 degrees in Medford.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Multiple Agencies Extinguished Wolf Creek Structure Fire that Spread to Brush
Multiple agencies extinguished a structure fire that spread to nearby vegetation in the Wolf Creek area late last weekend. Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to assist the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District with a structure fire on Bloom Road near Interstate 5 Exit 76 on Sunday night. Rural Metro officials said arriving units found a fully-involved structure with flames spreading to the adjacent wildland. By 10:30 p.m., the structure fire had been knocked down and the wildland fire spread had been stopped. Crews began mop-up operations that lasted until early Monday morning. There were no injuries reported and a damage estimate was not available. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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American Red Cross Reports Donation Shortfall May Impact US Blood Supply
The American Red Cross has seen a shortfall of about 25,000 blood donations in the first two months of the summer, which makes it hard to keep hospital shelves stocked with lifesaving blood products. By making an appointment to give blood or platelets in August, donors can keep the national blood supply from falling to shortage levels. Right now, the Red Cross especially needs Type O negative, Type O positive, Type B negative and Type A negative blood donors as well as platelet donors. For those who don't know their blood type, making a donation is an easy way to find out this important personal health information. The Red Cross will notify new donors of their blood type soon after they give. The Red Cross needs donors now. Schedule an appointment to give by visiting "RedCrossBlood.org," downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App or by calling 1-(800)-RED-CROSS. All who come to give throughout the month of August will get a $10 e-gift card to a movie merchant of their choice. Find details at "RedCrossBlood.org/Movie."
Posted on 8/15/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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City Council Considering Futures of Riverside Park Shop Building and Caretaker Cottage
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The Grants Pass City Council toured the maintenance shop and caretaker's quarters at Riverside Park yesterday before meeting for a workshop to discuss what to do with those facilities. The City Council opened the workshop by discussing the caretaker's cottage -- also known as the Reed Building -- led by Community Development Director Brad Clark. Clark told the panel that the Historical Buildings & Sites Commission had made two motions regarding the Reed Building -- to include it on the local landmarks list and affix a bronze plaque, and to fund repairs and maintenance of the old structure. The building was listed among 13 features that helped honor Riverside Park as an historic landmark in 2020. Clark said a renovation estimate for the building is around $150,000 while an estimate to demolish the building is about $17,000. He said no matter what the Council decides, the work must be done in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office. Parks Superintendent Josh Hopkins told the Council that the current maintenance shop has been deficient in meeting the needs of south-city parks for several years. He said the facility has many needs including exterior storage, better security lights and cameras, and a minor remodel of the employee quarters.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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GP School District 7 Announces Installation of Vape Sensors on GPHS Campus This Year
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The Grants Pass School District has announced an important safety feature that will be implemented for the upcoming academic year. In an effort to further enhance student safety, District 7 has installed vape sensors throughout the Grants Pass High School campus. GPHS Assistant Principal Hector Santiago said the sensors have been put in place to detect any vaping activity and to alert staff immediately so appropriate action can be taken. He said smoking incidents have quadrupled in D7 since 2017. High school students nationwide are now using e-cigarettes or vape pens at higher rates than adults. GPHS staff wants to create a healthy, safe, drug-free campus that fosters a positive learning environment for all students. Santiago said student privacy remains a top priority and the vape sensors are solely focused on detecting the chemical released from the smoking devices. He said they appreciate parent support in communicating with their children about the harmful effects of vaping and encouraging them to make responsible choices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that adolescent nicotine use can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning and impulse control.
Posted on 8/15/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Working to Prevent Flat Fire from Jumping Lines during Extreme Heatwave
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Hundreds of firefighters are working to prevent Oregon's largest wildfire from jumping containment lines during the current heatwave. Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 reported this morning that the Flat Fire was 33,887 acres with containment still at 56%. The human-caused fire started July 15th at Oak Flat Campground two miles southeast of Agness. Total personnel assigned to the Flat Fire today is 487 including nine hand crews backed by 17 engines, 21 water tenders, nine brush-clearing masticators, three helicopters and three bulldozers. Incident commanders said there is potential for increased fire behavior especially on ridge tops within the fire perimeter as extreme fire weather conditions continue. They said most of the activity remains in the Lawson Creek and Indigo Creek drainages and along the southern end of the fire near the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Heavy equipment operators are strengthening contingency lines while crews patrol and provide visual assessments for changes in fire behavior. Firefighters and air resources are available to support scouting for heat in the perimeter and initial attack if necessary.
Posted on 8/15/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Passenger Hurt When Truck & RV Rolled on Interstate 5 in Josephine County
One person was injured yesterday when a truck and recreational vehicle overturned on Interstate 5 in northern Josephine County. On Sunday at about 2:30 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response and the Oregon State Police were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of I-5 at milepost 72 between Sunny Valley and Wolf Creek. According to OSP, arriving units found a truck and "toy hauler" RV had rolled over. The trailer completely separated from its frame and spilled a Polaris side-by-side, a Yamaha ATV and other contents into the freeway median. The occupants were identified as 59-year-old Steven Michael Potter and 54-year-old Ann Kathleen Potter, both of Phoenix, Oregon. Ann Potter was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center with a hand injury, while Steven Potter was not hurt. The Oregon Department of Transportation responded to assist with traffic control and some minor delays were experienced by southbound travelers.
Posted on 8/14/23 10:42AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigating Hit & Run Crash that Hurt Bicyclist on Redwood Highway
The Oregon State Police was investigating a hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist on Redwood Highway in the Wilderville area. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the vehicle versus bicycle crash that occurred near milepost 8 of US Highway 199 on Saturday at 4:40 p.m.. Troopers said the bicyclist -- identified as a 28-year-old Merlin man -- reported that he was run off the road by a southbound gold-colored Ford pickup. The driver of the pickup did not stop to assist the bicyclist they struck. According to OSP, the bicyclist had minor injuries to his leg from hitting the guard rail.
Posted on 8/14/23 10:40AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited Two Young Men for MIP Marijuana after Interstate 5 Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police cited two young men for marijuana possession following a weekend traffic stop on Interstate 5 in the North Valley area. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Honda CRV driven by 20-year-old Brian Jacoby Tratar in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 63 on Saturday at about 11:40 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Tratar for speeding and immediately noticed a heavy odor of cannabis coming from inside the vehicle. They said marijuana items were located and it was discovered that no one in the vehicle was over the age of 21. Tratar was cited for Speeding. He and his passenger -- 20-year-old Jared Joseph Bojorquez -- were both cited for Minor in Possession of Marijuana. The marijuana and marijuana items were seized for destruction.
Posted on 8/14/23 10:39AM by Sam Marsh
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