Local News

Grants Pass Police Snared Community Corrections Client on Local Warrants
Grants Pass Police arrested a Josephine County Community Corrections client on two local warrants yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were notified on Monday at 2 p.m. that 25-year-old Dylan Michael Blatchford was at the Community Corrections Office on NW 4th street. Police said Blatchford was reporting in to his probation officer when the officer discovered that he was wanted on a 2017 Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and 3rd-Degree Theft as well as a 2016 Josephine County warrant for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. Dylan Blatchford was unaware police had been contacted. They placed him into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail on the outstanding warrants.
Posted on 8/8/23 10:43AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Snared Man for Alarming Public by Jumping into Traffic
Grants Pass Police arrested a man who caused public alarm by jumping into traffic in the Redwood area last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the disturbance at the corner of Willow Lane and Redwood Avenue on Sunday around 7:20 p.m.. Police said 51-year-old Rafael Diaz-Olivas was reported to be jumping into traffic and causing several vehicles to abruptly stop in the roadway to avoid hitting him. They said one caller reported the suspect walked up to his vehicle and starting hitting his hood. Upon arrival, officers found that Diaz-Olivas had dropped his wallet in the road, which made it easy to locate him at his nearby residence. He was placed into custody and lodged at the adult jail facility for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 8/8/23 10:42AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Collared Man Who Trespassed at Pita Pit and Chased Some Kids
Grants Pass Police arrested a man who entered a south-city restaurant and chased some children last night. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint at Pita Pit in the 1600-block of Williams Highway on Monday at about 6:15 p.m.. Police said 53-year-old Michael Eric Maxwell had been trespassed from Pita Pit earlier in the day, but he returned, entered the business, started harassing some juveniles and then began chasing them. No one was hurt and the suspect fled. Officers located Maxwell near the Burger King on Rogue River Highway and placed him into custody without incident. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was also trespassed from the Pita Pit.
Posted on 8/8/23 10:40AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Responded to 3 Motor Vehicle Crashes in Josephine County Monday
The Oregon State Police responded to at least three motor vehicle accidents in Josephine County on Monday. OSP reports the first incident occurred on Monday at 5:01 a.m. when state troopers were dispatched to a reported hit-and-run crash on Interstate 5 in the southbound lanes near milepost 61. Troopers said a black sport utility vehicle sideswiped a Chevrolet Bolt driven by 56-year-old Christina Nunn and did not stop. A passenger in the Bolt complained of back pain and the vehicle was towed to Grants Pass. The second incident happened at 6:42 a.m. when troopers and emergency crews responded to a single-vehicle crash near milepost 26 of Redwood Highway. It was reported a Jaguar sedan driven by 61-year-old Jose Interiano of Medford hit a bear while traveling south on the highway. No one was hurt. The car had significant front-end damage, but was able to be driven away. The bear ran off into the woods. The third incident took place at 5:03 p.m. when troopers and emergency crews responded to a single-vehicle crash near milepost 37 of Redwood Highway. It was reported a Mazda sedan driven by 68-year-old Gary Palmer left the highway and struck a tree. No one was injured, but the car sustained heavy damage and it was towed to Cave Junction.
Posted on 8/8/23 10:38AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Raided Yet Another Illegal Marijuana Growing Site in Cave Junction Area
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided yet another illegal cannabis growing site in the Cave Junction area late last week. JMET -- assisted by Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served a search warrant on a property in the 6,000-block of West Side Road last Thursday. During execution of the warrant, more than 1,200 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed. The illegal site also had multiple water, electrical 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 raid. If located, he or she 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 8/8/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Violent Disturbance at Local Residential Care Center
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for a violent disturbance at a residential care center in the Fort Vannoy area last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 61-year-old Tracy James Barry at Forest Meadows on Barbara Drive shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday. Deputies said employees of the center called 9-1-1 to report Barry was yelling and threatening people. The callers said it appeared Barry was intoxicated, the incident location is a care center and he is not allowed to be there. At one point, the suspect threatened to hit the reporting party while holding a vase. No one was injured. Upon arrival, deputies contacted Barry, calmed him down and placed him into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Menacing and Disorderly Conduct. He was also trespassed from Forest Meadows and warned for trespassing earlier in the day at Three Rivers Medical Center.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GPPD Investigation into Domestic Violence Case Led to Capture of Fugitive
A Grants Pass Police Department investigation into a domestic violence case led to the arrest of a man on a statewide felony warrant. The Police Department reports officers were performing a patrol check at the Bottle Drop Center on Rogue River Highway on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. when they contacted 39-year-old Alan Paul Davis. Police said Davis was contacted as a passenger in a vehicle associated with a past domestic violence case. They said he was found to be wanted on an Oregon state warrant for Felony Parole Violation. He was placed into custody after the warrant and his identity were confirmed. Alan Davis was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Woman on Local Felony Warrant after Walmart Theft Call
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on an outstanding felony warrant while investigating a weekend shoplifting complaint at Walmart. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 32-year-old Melia Lei Mitchell at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane on Sunday at 3:50 p.m.. Police said Mitchell was the subject of a theft complaint at Walmart, but no details about the incident were provided. They said she was found to be wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for 1st-Degree Theft and Larceny. Melia Mitchell was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant as well as a new charges of 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Vandalizing Attorney's Office in Downtown Area
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for vandalizing a local attorney's office in the downtown area this past weekend. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to the incident involving 50-year-old Nate Justin Wheeler at the Simcoe Law Offices on NE E Street around 1:40 p.m. Sunday. Police said Wheeler wrapped a can of beans in a sock and intentionally shattered the west window of the attorney's office. The suspect told officers he broke the window with the intent of getting arrested because he was angry at his lawyer. Nate Wheeler was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. An employee with the attorney's office requested evening patrols due to people sleeping on their porch.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Unhurt after Striking Tree off Redwood Highway in the Illinois Valley
A motorist escaped serious injury or worse when they struck a tree in the southern Illinois Valley late yesterday. On Monday at 4:57 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police were dispatched to the single-vehicle crash in the 38,000-block of Redwood Highway near O'Brien. According to IVFD, the driver was not injured, but the vehicle was heavily damaged and towed to Cave Junction. The driver was not identified in the report. The cause of the crash was being investigated by OSP.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Senator Merkley Secures Funding for La Clinica and Southern Oregon University
As a member of the US Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon announced he is working to deliver major investments that will expand affordable health care as well as increase childcare, early education, and career and technical training options throughout the state. The funding comes from the Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill that passed out of committee with bipartisan support. Federal funding for the LHHS bill includes over $28.5 million for 19 community-initiated projects in Oregon. Merkley secured $2 million for the La Clinica Acute Care Center Expansion Project designed to improve access to urgent care services to nearly 80,000 low-income, uninsured and under-insured residents in Jackson County. This expansion will enable La Clinica to add 12 exam rooms, on-site pharmacy services, an ancillary lab for same-day specimen processing, and in-house imaging capabilities. The Oregon Senator also secured $500,000 for the Southern Oregon University Chinese Diaspora Project for SOU students to assist with a comprehensive statewide inventory of Chinese heritage sites in order to document this population in the settlement and development of Oregon.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Southern Oregon Dairy Farm near Grants Pass Pleads Guilty to Violating Clean Water Act
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A family-owned dairy near Grants Pass pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court last month for violating the Clean Water Act by negligently discharging cow manure into a nearby creek that flows into the Applegate River. The US Attorney's Office in Oregon reported Noble Family Dairy pleaded guilty in July to one count of Negligently Discharging a Pollutant in violation of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. According to court documents, the commercial dairy consists of a farm and large concentrated animal feeding operation located about 13 miles southeast of Grants Pass off Williams Highway. In early 2019, the dairy had 130 more head of cattle than it was permitted under its state-issued waste management plan permit. This caused its manure lagoons to fill more rapidly. As a result, Noble Dairy operators applied manure to its fields through the rainy season and dug a trench to capture the runoff. In February 2019, heavy rainfall and flooding caused the dairy's runoff trench to fail and discharge manure into Caris Creek and, ultimately, the Applegate River. The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency with assistance from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and ODA.
Posted on 8/8/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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