Local News

Detectives Investigating Jail Inmate's Death Say Subject Died of Natural Causes
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has announced that the death of an inmate at the Medford jail facility late last month was due to natural causes. Detectives were investigating an adult-in-custody death that occurred on July 27th at the Jackson County Jail. The unidentified inmate was booked into the jail on July 25th for local and out-of-state charges. On Thursday, July 27th, at approximately 5:50 p.m., Jackson County corrections deputies and jail medical staff responded to a 64-year-old inmate in apparent medical distress. Jail staff began life-saving measures and called for emergency medical services. The inmate was pronounced deceased at 6:30 p.m.. An autopsy was conducted last week and a forensic pathologist from the Oregon State Police revealed the inmate died of natural causes. The Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) was activated, which is standard procedure with in-custody deaths at the jail. OSP is the lead agency on the case and the investigation is ongoing. Out of respect for the family's privacy during this difficult time, the deceased inmate's name is not being released.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
 

Deputies Jailed Man for 3 Crimes after Responding to North Valley Disturbance
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a local man for three crimes after responding to a disturbance in the North Valley area this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 36-year-old Troy Richard Wagerle at a home in the 300-block of Cherokee Lane around midday Monday. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that her roommate -- Wagerle -- was threatening to shoot her. They said the caller was attempting to gather her property after being evicted by the landowner. She advised that she had until August 10th to leave, but Wagerle was screaming at her to get off the property immediately. Upon arrival, deputies interviewed the involved parties and determined that the disturbance was only verbal. However, they discovered that Wagerle was wanted in connection with a separate criminal investigation. Troy Wagerle was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for probable cause of Felony 4th-Degree Assault, Strangulation and Menacing. He was still in custody this morning.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
 

Grants Pass Police Corralled Bicyclist While Looking for Fugitive at Baker Park
Grants Pass Police corralled a local fugitive while looking for another fugitive at a city park early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were on a patrol check at Baker Park when they contacted 38-year-old Clifford Andrew Peek shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday. Police said officers spotted Peek riding a bicycle while wearing a facemask and when they ordered him to stop, he refused and rode away. They followed him and eventually detained him near the South Y intersection. Further investigation revealed why he refused to cooperate. Clifford Peak was wanted on two Jackson County warrants for failing to appear in court on charges including Hit-and-Run, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and his bike was placed into safekeeping.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Snared Man on Two Local Warrants during Patrol Check at City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on two local warrants during an area check of a city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were performing a patrol check at Tussing Park when they contacted 36-year-old Bradley Andrew Peckham shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday. Police said they knew Peckham was wanted on two Grants Pass warrants for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft and 3rd-Degree Theft. They said he attempted to obscure his identity, but they already recognized him. Bradley Peckham was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigating Criminal Incidents that Occurred Sunday in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police was investigating two criminal incidents that occurred in Josephine County last weekend. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Sunday at 10:34 a.m. when state troopers responded to a hit-and-run crash at the Provolt Store on Highway 238. Few details have been released, but the victim was identified as a 44-year-old man who was driving a Volkswagen Tiguan. The investigation is ongoing. The second incident happened on Sunday at 7:36 p.m. when a 23-year-old man reported that his Ford 500 sedan was broken into near milepost 32 of Redwood Highway. Troopers said total value of the stolen items was about $3,500 while the damage estimate to the car was around $500. They said there are no suspects and the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information on either of these incidents is encouraged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:32AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Hold Hearing on 2nd Reading of Ordinance Regulating Public Hazards
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing on an ordinance regulating hazardous conditions on public property and roadways during its weekly business session this morning. Following the hearing, the Commissioners will consider whether to adopt the ordinance that would amend the Josephine County Code by adding a chapter on hazardous conditions. The first public hearing and reading were held July 26th. There are no other business items on the agenda on what looks to be a fairly brief meeting. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when the public is given three minutes to address the Board on just about any topic. The Board will start the session with its monthly recognition of employees. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Mayor Says She's Not Resigning Despite Successful Recall Petition Campaign
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Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol said she's not resigning despite a successful recall campaign by a citizen group that gathered enough signatures to force a vote. The citizen group turned in roughly 4,300 signatures on the recall petition to the Grants Pass City Recorder late last month and the Josephine County Clerk verified on Friday that at least 2,462 signatures were valid voters living inside the city -- the number necessary to force a recall election. At least some of the signature gatherers said the Mayor was responsible for the situation involving the unhoused population living in city parks. On Tuesday, Mayor Bristol said she submitted Statement of Justification Form SEL 352 to the City Recorder and issued a statement saying she believes the recall attempt is "a misleading, highly partisan attempt to scapegoat someone for a crisis that has been years in the making and was the subject of a federal lawsuit the city lost before I even took office." Bristol contends the recall petitioners have been dishonest about the Mayor's role and limited authority, adding that the claims against her are "vague and lack substance." Specifically, she said the Mayor does not vote and the City Council sets policy; she has not stopped the Council, City Manager or the Police from taking action to address homelessness in local parks; and she endorsed the June 21st ordinance that gave police more authority to enforce rules in the parks.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Dutch Bros Announces Christine Barone will Take Over as Chief Executive Officer in 2024
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Oregon drive-thru chain Dutch Bros said company President Christine Barone will take over as CEO on January 1st. A former Starbucks executive, Barone will succeed Joth Ricci, who has run Dutch Bros since 2019. Dutch Bros sells cold drinks and coffees at 754 shops on the West Coast, in the Southwest and the South. The Grants Pass-based company aims to have 4,000 stores nationwide within the next 15 years. The Oregonian reports the company hired Barone last February. She spent five years as a Starbucks vice president, running various parts of the business, and then spent six years as CEO of an Arizona-based restaurant chain called True Food Kitchen. Ricci, who previously ran the Portland specialty coffee brand Stumptown, led Dutch Bros through years of rapid growth and the biggest initial public offering in Oregon history. Ricci has become increasingly prominent in state business affairs, serving as the on-stage host for the annual Oregon Business Summit and taking a leading role in public policy discussions. Dutch Bros didn't immediately say what Ricci will do next. The company said the next five months will serve as a transition period for him and for Barone.
Posted on 8/9/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Fair Day One Features Entertainer Colt Ford and a Whole Lot More
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It's Day One of the 2023 Josephine County Fair and everyone is encouraged to head to the Fairgrounds where there will be "Fun for the Whole Herd." The featured entertainer in the Grandstands this evening will be Colt Ford, an American singer, rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and former professional golfer best known for his music fusing the country and rap genres. The 8 p.m. show will follow local country singer Gretchen Owens at 6:30. Gates open at 6. Daily highlights include the Extreme Dogs Stunt Show at 4, 6 and 7:30 p.m., Family Hour on the Pavilion Stage at 4:15 p.m. The Wizard of Oz on the Carnival Stage at 5, and Jim Lesher & The Western Express on the Pavilion Stage at 7:30. All Day Attractions include Annie the Clown, Butterscotch Block, Rockin' Rentals and the Farm Life Petting Zoo. That's in addition to the exhibits in the Pavilion, Floral, Agriculture and Arts & Crafts buildings. Of course, there will also be kids, animals, fantastic fair food and carnival rides. The Fair is open today from 2 to 10 p.m.. For more information about the 2023 Josephine County Fair, please visit "josephinecountyfairgrounds.com."
Posted on 8/9/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Board to Hold Hearing on 2nd Reading of Ordinance Regulating Public Hazards
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing on an ordinance regulating hazardous conditions on public property and roadways during its weekly business session tomorrow. Following the hearing, the Commissioners will consider whether to adopt the ordinance that would amend the Josephine County Code by adding a chapter on hazardous conditions. The first public hearing and reading were held July 26th. There are no other business items on the agenda on what looks to be a fairly brief meeting. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when the public is given three minutes to address the Board on just about any topic. The Board will start the session with its monthly recognition of employees. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 8/8/23 1:07PM by Sam Marsh
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Limited Growth Recorded on Flat Fire with Containment Continuing to Increase
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There was little growth on Oregon's largest wildfire yesterday while containment inched closer to 40%. Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 reported this morning that the Flat Fire was 33,291 acres and containment was estimated to be 39%. The fire erupted on July 5th at Oak Flat Campground and investigators say it was human-caused. There was a total of 792 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire today including 21 hand crews backed by 20 engines, 27 water tenders, seven helicopters, four brush-clearing masticators and three bulldozers. Helicopters conducted water and retardant drops yesterday to cool a small hotspot 400 feet inside the containment line and limit the potential for fire growth in the Indigo Creek area. Water and retardant drops may be utilized again today in the Indigo Creek and Game Lake areas bordering the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. Stabilization crews and equipment have arrived to begin work in areas impacted by fire and suppression efforts. These crews will begin installations of water bars and other water mitigation activities to prepare the impacted areas for future rain events while maintaining the integrity of the existing lines. Today was expected to be a little warmer before temperatures drop a few degrees and slightly higher humidity moves in, further hindering the ability of the wildfire to spread. Firefighters remain ready for any potential changes in fire activity.
Posted on 8/8/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for 3 Crimes after Responding to North Valley Disturbance
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a local man for three crimes after responding to a disturbance in the North Valley area yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 36-year-old Troy Richard Wagerle at a home in the 300-block of Cherokee Lane on Monday at 11:56 a.m.. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that her roommate -- Wagerle -- was threatening to shoot her. They said the caller was attempting to gather her property after being evicted by the landowner. She advised that she had until August 10th to leave, but Wagerle was screaming at her to get off the property immediately. Upon arrival, deputies interviewed the involved parties and determined that the disturbance was only verbal. However, they discovered that Wagerle was wanted in connection with a separate criminal investigation. Troy Wagerle was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for probable cause of Felony 4th-Degree Assault, Strangulation and Menacing. He was still in custody this morning.
Posted on 8/8/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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