Local News

Josephine County Mounted Posse Members Rescued Horses from Recent Fire
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office still has a Mounted Posse as evidenced by a heroic incident in the Willamette Valley late last week. While attending a stock horse cattle cutting contest in Harrisburg last Friday night, Josephine County Sheriff's Posse members Pat Smith and Terry Cooke responded to help evacuate 40 horses due to a fire. The Sheriff's Office provided limited information about the incident, but all the horses were saved due to the efforts of Smith, Cooke and others. The two Posse members called the situation "pretty intense." The Josephine County Sheriff's Mounted Posse was formed by Sheriff Lloyd Lewis in the fall of 1946 for the purpose of county disaster and emergency services. In addition, members may assist the sheriff's office in community events or as needed, stimulate horsemanship and good fellowship, and perpetuate the customs, traditions and pageantry of the early days of the State of Oregon. The Mounted Posse is a non-profit organization with a Constitution and By-Laws. Each member is a duly sworn Special Deputy of Josephine County. It stands ready to serve this community whenever it's needed.
Posted on 8/11/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

National Weather Service Posts Excessive Heat Warning for SW Oregon from Sunday-Thursday
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A potentially dangerous heatwave is looking likely for southwest Oregon through much of next week. The National Weather Service has posted an Excessive Heat Warning for Josephine, Jackson, central Douglas and eastern Curry counties that runs from 1 p.m. Sunday through 11 p.m. Thursday. Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures between 105 and 110 degrees is expected. At times, overnight low temperatures will not fall below 70 degrees for some locations. Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those without air conditions or those participating in outdoor activities. The hot weather will challenge high temperature records. Residents are encouraged to monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation. Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned environments, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during hot weather when vehicle interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. If possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is an emergency -- call 9-1-1!
Posted on 8/11/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh

ODOT Redwood Highway Paving Project Starts Sunday Night between CJ and California
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Motorists should expect congestion and delays along Redwood Highway between Cave Junction and the California border over the next three weeks as paving work begins Sunday night. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports construction will require lane closures both day and night Monday through Friday through the end of the month. Most delays will be less than 20 minutes. ODOT contractor Knife River Materials will grind and pave US Highway 199 between Cave Junction and O'Brien on week nights, Sunday evening to Friday morning. Additional work -- such as installing safety features and performing electrical work -- will take place during daylight hours. On the week of August 21st-25th, contractors will apply a chip seal surface between O'Brien and the California border. This work will take place during daylight hours. Due to loose rock on the highway, motorists are advised to slow down and allow additional space between vehicles. In areas where the highway is limited to a single lane for construction, local residents are asked to wait at the end of their driveways for a pilot car before turning onto the highway. The final week of the month for the $8.5 million project may involve striping, cleanup and other work.
Posted on 8/11/23 5:55AM by Sam Marsh

Popular Truck and Tractor Pulls Take Over Grandstand at 2023 Josephine County Fair
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It's Day #3 of the 2023 Josephine County Fair in Grants Pass where there is still plenty of "Fun for the Whole Herd" and admission is free. Following concerts by Colt Ford and Josh Turner the past two nights, the popular Truck and Tractor Pulls take over the Grandstand this evening. The event starts at 6 p.m.. General admission is just $10 and it's free for children 12 & under. On the Carnival Stage, the group "Heart to Heart" performs at 8 p.m., preceded by Sound Stage Revue at 6:30. Gates open at 6. The Pavilion Stage features the Old Time Fiddlers at noon, followed by the Family Hour at 1:30, Johnny Young at 3:30, The Giantess Band at 5, Trevor Hanks at 6:30 and Jesse Leigh at 8. Plenty of exhibits are available for viewing in the Pavilion, Floral, Agriculture and Arts & Crafts buildings. Plus, there is the Extreme Dogs Stunt Show at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.. Don't miss seeing the animals, experiencing the carnival and eating fair food. The Fair is open today and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.. For more information about the 2023 Josephine County Fair, please visit "josephinecountyfairgrounds.com."
Posted on 8/11/23 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Multiple Crimes after Road Rage Case near Park
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for multiple crimes following a road rage incident that occurred in a southwest city neighborhood yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 45-year-old David Israel McDonald on Wednesday at 3:54 p.m. for the incident that occurred on West Park Street near its intersection with Plummer Avenue. Police said an investigation determined that McDonald passed another man driving in the opposite direction and flipped him off. They said the suspect slammed on his brakes, conducted a U-turn and chased the other motorist down the street until he passed him and stopped his vehicle in the middle of the roadway, blocking both travel lanes. McDonald then reportedly got out of his truck and approached the victim, who intentionally struck the suspect with his vehicle because the suspect had previously texted him with a threat to stab him, which placed him in fear of imminent harm. Officers said McDonald's actions caused public alarm and he drove in a manner that placed the public in immediate danger. The suspect was checked out by medics at the scene and he was placed in an ambulance, but he refused further treatment, exited the emergency transport vehicle and was taken into custody. A fixed-blade knife fell out of the suspect's pocket and was seized as evidence. David McDonald was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Menacing, Reckless Driving and Disorderly Conduct. A dog and chicken that were in the back of his pickup were taken by Animal Control. The truck was impounded for no insurance and towed away.
Posted on 8/10/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Man Jailed for Assaulting Girlfriend at Kokanee Lane Home
A Grants Pass man was jailed for beating up his girlfriend last night at a residence in the Redwood area of the city. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 48-year-old Jason Hall Wells for the incident in the 1200-block of Kokanee Lane on Wednesday at about 10:50 p.m.. Police said the 45-year-old female victim called 9-1-1 to report that she showed up at Wells' home and was assaulted by him. They said the victim first called friends for help after the suspect kicked her multiple times and poked her, causing physical injury. She later told officers the suspect also used his forearm to choke her. According to the report, the woman was treated at the scene but not hospitalized. Upon arrival, police interviewed the involved parties, determined that Wells was the primary aggressor in the physical altercation and placed him into custody. Jason Wells was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 4th-Degree Assault, Strangulation and resulting Felony Parole Violation. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 8/10/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Harassing Another at or near the Fairgrounds
Grants Pass Police arrested a man last night for harassing another man during an incident that started at or near the Josephine County Fairgrounds. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to the incident in the 1400-block of Fairgrounds Road on Wednesday around 9:50 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that 42-year-old Richard Randall Jaynes was "trying to fight someone in a truck." The caller identified Jaynes as her ex-husband and advised she was a passenger in the vehicle that he was following. According to the report, Jaynes' ex-wife said he was driving a Ford F-350 with an ATV in the back with a flag on it. The chase continued into downtown Grants Pass where Jaynes reportedly pushed the woman's friend in the Rogue Theater parking lot. The suspect then left the scene, but officers pulled him over near the corner of NE 7th and E streets. Richard Jaynes was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Harassment. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 8/10/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man on Felony Warrant after Helping Owner with Eviction
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man on a local felony warrant while assisting a Selma area property owner with evicting a former tenant last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 34-year-old Wesley Wayne Handshy at a residence in the 2500-block of Reeves Creek Road on Wednesday at 9:37 p.m.. Deputies said they had been contacted by the property owner in Washington state who reported he had just evicted the tenant and replaced the gate. A neighbor called the landowner and stated that two males in two vehicles had broken down the gate to get on the property and they were gathering items from the house. Upon arrival, deputies located four subjects -- including Handshy -- who said they were there to collect the former tenant's belongings. The removed items appeared to correspond with their statement. Upon further investigation, it was determined that Handshy was wanted on a Jackson County felony warrant for failing to appear in court on charges including Unlawful Manufacture, Delivery and Possession of Heroin as well as Unlawful Possession of a Schedule 3 Controlled Substance. He was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail awaiting transfer to Jackson County.
Posted on 8/10/23 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman and Issued Citations during City Park Patrols
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for violating her probation after she was seen fondling herself in front of citizens at a city park late yesterday. Police officers responded to Tussing Park on West Park Street on Wednesday at about 5:30 p.m. after receiving reports involving the lewd conduct of a woman they identified as 29-year-old Carly Brooke Jensen. Police said Jensen was observed sitting on a park bench partially undressed and fondling herself in a sexual manner. Several children were among the witnesses. She was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Public Indecency and the resulting Probation Violation related to other recent arrests. During a patrol check at Riverside Park earlier in the day, officers cited Michael Cowan for Scattering Rubbish and Camping in a Buffer Zone. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. At Gilbert Creek Park, officers cited Matthew Fournier, Derek Hood and Maria Guerrero for Debris in a Public Parking Space, and Matthew Williams for Unlicensed Dog. They were warned that a second violation means exclusion. At Debo Park, Lisa Lawrence was cited for camping in a Buffer Zone and Dog Off Leash. She was trespassed from the downtown park for 30 days.
Posted on 8/10/23 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Crews Battling Flat Fire Embracing Current Weather, But Prepping for Heatwave
Firefighters battling Oregon's largest wildfire are embracing the current weather conditions while preparing for hot weather predicted next week. Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 reported this morning that the Flat Fire was 33,817 acres with containment increased to 44%. The wildfire started July 15th at the Oak Flat Campground and investigators say it was human-caused. There is a total of 718 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire today including 23 hand crews backed by 19 engines, 27 water tenders, nine brush-clearing masticators, five helicopters and four bulldozers. Helicopters have been conducting more water drops to help reduce wildfire activity. Smaller fuels are burning, but brush is still slow to ignite which limits the ability of the fire to spread. Today is expected to be cooler with slightly higher humidity before temperatures begin to rise over the coming weekend. Crews remain ready for any potential changes in fire activity. The National Weather Service is predicting the hottest weather of the year next week. On Sunday, the high temperature is expected to reach 103 degrees in Grants Pass followed by highs of at least 106 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Posted on 8/10/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford Man Jailed for Seven Crimes after Standoff with Jackson County SWAT
A Medford man was jailed for multiple crimes early yesterday following a standoff with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office SWAT team. According to the Sheriff's Office, the SWAT team responded to a domestic dispute turned hostage situation in the 2400-block of Agate Meadows in White City early Wednesday morning. At 12:24 a.m., emergency dispatchers received a call from a domestic violence victim in distress. The victim gave their address and the line quickly disconnected. Dispatchers received information that the suspect had a gun to the victim's head. A few minutes later, deputies arrived on scene, and the victim and a child were able to escape out a bedroom window. SWAT surrounded the house and Crisis Negotiation Team members attempted to communicate with the armed suspect, who was identified as 33-year-old Jordan David Johnson. About 90 minutes later, the suspect still had not responded, so SWAT deployed an explosive noise diversionary device -- also known as a "flashbang." Ten minutes later, the suspect put down his rifle and surrendered. Johnson was booked and lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Domestic Menacing, two counts of Recklessly Endangering, two counts of Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms and Interfering with Making a Police Report. He also had three active warrants for his arrest filed by the Medford Police Department for Unlawful Use of Weapon and two counts of Reckless Endangering. Detectives applied for a search warrant and seized a total of 24 firearms including two illegal short-barreled AR-style rifles and over 10,000 rounds of ammunition. The investigation is open and ongoing, with additional charges likely.
Posted on 8/10/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on State Warrant and Weapons Charges after Citizen Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a statewide felony warrant and added two weapons charges to his criminal bill early yesterday following a report of suspicious activity in the southeast part of the city. The Police Department reports officers arrested 38-year-old Eric Ray Rice near the corner of SE Portola Drive and Priscilla Lane on Wednesday at 4:30 a.m.. Police said a resident in the neighborhood called 9-1-1 to report subjects were rummaging around properties in the 1900-block of SE Portola Drive. Officers contacted Rice for riding a bicycle without a light and a consent search found him to be in possession of two unspecified weapons. Further investigation revealed that Rice was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Parole Violation related to a recent drug conviction. He was placed into custody and the weapons were seized. Some property taken from neighborhood trash cans was returned. Eric Rice was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the statewide warrant along with two counts of Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 8/10/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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