Local News

Jackson County Launches New Sheriff's App High-Tech Communication Tool
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is pleased to announce the launch of a new high-tech communication tool. The Sheriff's App is available for download right now by scanning the QR code or searching for "JC Sheriff OR" in your devices App store. The Sheriff's App is the quickest way to receive updates from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office on events affecting the community. After downloading the App, choose to allow notifications and important alerts will come directly to your phone. Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler said the App will allow the community to communicate more effectively with his office. He said the App will provide emergency notifications directly to the user as well as alerts for road closures, high-risk incidents, wanted suspects and major crimes. Additional features of the App include the "Submit a Tip" button, the "Contact Us" link to emergency and non-emergency dispatch, the "Jail" link with a current list of who's in custody, the "Permits/CHL" link for concealed handgun licensing and the "Share My Trip" tool that allows Search & Rescue to find missing people faster.
Posted on 8/5/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Department Celebrates Retirement of Former Detective Ryan Brown
The Grants Pass Police Department recently celebrated the life-touching career of Detective Ryan Brown, who decided to hang up his badge after 26 years of service to this community. Detective Brown began his law enforcement career with the Josephine County Sheriff's Office before transferring to the Grants Pass Police Department. He previously served in the United States Navy before joining law enforcement. Brown has served as a patrol officer, narcotics detective, SWAT team member and major crimes detective, just to name a few of his assignments. He has touched the lives of many citizens, victims and officers while sending countless criminals to prison. During his retirement, Ryan will spend more time with his family. Congratulations Ryan Brown!
Posted on 8/5/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
 

ODF Reports All 5 Lightning-Caused Fires in Josephine County have been Extinguished
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All five fires sparked by lightning in northern Josephine County early yesterday have been vanquished. The Oregon Department of Forestry reported the fires had all been caught and lined, with firefighters mopping up. ODF said all the fires were confirmed to be caused by lightning that occurred early Friday morning. The confirmed incidents included the Louse Creek Fire located east of Interstate 5 and southwest of Hugo, the Woodford Creek Fire located east of I-5 and south of Galesville, the Boulder Creek Fire located east of I-5 and northeast of Sunny Valley, the Baker Creek Fire located northeast of Placer and the Evans Gulch Fire also located northeast of Placer. According to ODF, the Boulder Creek Fire was the largest and it was caught at just over a half-acre. No homes were threatened by any of the fires. Multiple resources were deployed to battle the small blazes in an aggressive initial attack that included hand crews, bulldozers and helicopters. Crews will continue to monitor the area for additional lightning-caused fires.
Posted on 8/5/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
 

Rogue Valley Agency Posts Water Safety Watch for Four Creeks in Jackson County
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Routine water testing results indicate that four creeks in Jackson County have exceeded state bacteria standards for contact recreation such as swimming and wading. According to the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, a Safety Watch is in effect for Neil Creek at Dead Indian Memorial Road in Ashland; Bear Creek between Suncrest Road and Coyote Trails Nature Center in Medford, Phoenix and Talent; Jackson Creek between Jacksonville and Beall Lane in Central Point; and Bear Creek between Pine Street and Kirtland Road in Central Point. Possible causes of high levels of bacteria in the creeks include pet waste, livestock waste, wild animal waste, leaking septic systems, illegal dumping from portable toilets or recreational vehicles, or any other activity that results in the discharge of fecal matter directly into creeks through storm drains. Residents are urged to use caution when in contact with any of these waterways and especially to avoid ingestion which may cause illness and contact with open wounds which may cause infection.
Posted on 8/5/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorists Should Expect Delays on Interstate 5 Siskiyou Pass for Rock-Scaling Work
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Starting Monday, travelers headed south on Interstate 5 through the Siskiyou Pass can expect delays due to a rock-scaling project. The Oregon Department of Transportation said crews will be completing a safety project to help prevent rocks and boulders from falling onto the freeway. Motorists will see rolling slowdowns in the southbound lanes of I-5 between mileposts 11 and 4 during daytime hours, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, while crews complete rock-scaling work. The project is scheduled to last about two weeks. During a rolling slowdown, traffic control vehicles hold traffic to a slow but steady pace to give crews time to complete work. This allows crews to work safely while avoiding lengthy road closures. Emergency vehicles are allowed to pass through as needed. If you plan to drive through this area over the next two weeks, expect delays and factor in extra travel time. Visit "tripcheck.com" for the latest updates.
Posted on 8/5/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Reports Lightning Storm has Sparked 5 Small Fires in Josephine County
The Oregon Department of Forestry is reporting the unexpected lightning storm that rolled through the region early today has sparked at least five small fires -- all of them in northern Josephine County. According to ODF Southwest, confirmed incidents include the Louse Creek Fire located east of Interstate 5 and southwest of Hugo, the Woodford Creek Fire located east of I-5 and south of Galesville, the Boulder Creek Fire located east of I-5 and northeast of Sunny Valley, the Baker Creek Fire located northeast of Placer and the Evans Gulch Fire also located northeast of Placer. ODF officials said this afternoon that all the fires were estimated to be 1.5 acres or less and all were either staffed by firefighters or had engine companies looking for the best access. At last report, there were no homes threatened by the fires. Multiple resources are being used where needed including bulldozers for cutting containment lines and helicopters for water bucket drops. All resources were engaging in aggressive initial attacks on these incidents. ODF reported crews were continuing to investigate a few more smoke reports in Josephine and Jackson counties.
Posted on 8/4/23 2:20PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Tossing Rocks at Vehicles near Downtown Post Office
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for throwing rocks at vehicles during a drug-fueled incident that occurred in the downtown area early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 44-year-old Corey Daniel Names near the Dutch Bros coffee stand in the Town Center Plaza at 6:53 a.m. Thursday. Police said Names was acting in a violent and tumultuous manner while throwing rocks at passing motor vehicles near the downtown post office. They detained him and he reportedly admitted to being under the influence of both methamphetamine and mushrooms. He then began throwing soda cans at patrol vehicles. According to the report, none of Names' targets reported any serious damage. Corey Names was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 8/4/23 11:57AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Apprehended 4 Fugitives after Separate Josephine County Encounters
The Oregon State Police apprehended four fugitives yesterday during separate encounters in Josephine County. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Thursday at 7:04 a.m. when state troopers contacted the driver of a Ford Escape with expired registration tags at the northbound Manzanita Rest Area off Interstate 5. Troopers said 34-year-old Erik Eugene Davis of Roseburg admitted he was wanted on a warrant for two counts of Felony Parole Violation out of Douglas County. The second incident happened on Thursday at 9:27 a.m. when troopers pulled over a Toyota Corolla driven by 24-year-old Nathan Wayne Adams of Grants Pass near milepost 7 of Redwood Highway. Troopers said they stopped Adams for a traffic violation and discovered that he was wanted on a local bench warrant for failing to appear in court. The third incident took place at 11:09 a.m. when troopers responded to reports of a woman wearing only undergarments who was running on Williams Highway near milepost 5 and disrupting traffic. Troopers said 28-year-old Cierra Shay Powers was placed into custody and lodged in jail on a no-bail detainer at the request of her corrections officer. The fourth incident occurred at 2:53 p.m. when troopers pulled over an Acura sedan driven by 36-year-old Carrie-Michelle Miller of Palo Alto, California, near milepost 61 of southbound I-5. Troopers said they stopped Miller for a traffic violation and discovered that she was wanted on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 8/4/23 11:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared 2 People for Stealing Walmart Merchandise within 1 Hour
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for stealing merchandise from Walmart in less than an hour yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Thursday at 2:23 p.m. when officers were alerted to a shoplifting complaint at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane. Police said 31-year-old Zipporah Rott selected items valued at nearly $144, put them in a reusable bag and proceeded past all points of sale without paying for them. Rott was detained by loss prevention until officers arrived on scene and arrested her for 2nd-Degree Theft. She was cited to appear in court and released. The second incident happened at 3 p.m. yesterday when officers responded to another theft complaint at Walmart. Police said Ryan McMillion collected more than $114 worth of items from the store and exchanged barcodes on them so he only paid $1.50 for the products. He was detained by loss prevention until officers arrived on scene and arrested him for 2nd-Degree Theft. He was also cited to appear in court and released.
Posted on 8/4/23 11:52AM by Sam Marsh
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Unexpected Thunderstorm Caused Lightning Activity Today in Southwest Oregon
An unexpected thunderstorm in southwest Oregon early today caused lightning activity primarily in northern Josephine County and northeast Jackson County. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Rural Metro Fire Department reported the storm rolled through the region around 1 a.m. today and crews were investigating lightning strikes in the trees around Sunny Valley. ODF officials said firefighters patrolling the area had not located any lightning-sparked fires as of this morning, but crews were looking into a report of a smoke column near Jack Creek east of Hugo. A reconnaissance flight was scheduled for this morning to continue searching for any additional fires from the storm. As of this morning, officials said there had been four strikes recorded in Jackson County northeast of Medford and additional thunderstorms remain in the forecast for today. If you see smoke or fire in any of these locations, please report it as soon as possible by calling 9-1-1. While southwest Oregon continues to see a heightened risk of wildfires from lightning, the public is encouraged to help firefighters by following all current regulations that are designed to naturally decrease human-caused fires.
Posted on 8/4/23 11:00AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Jailed Pair after Raid on Illegal Cannabis Growing Operation near Murphy
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) arrested two people during a raid on an illegal cannabis growing operation in the Murphy area this week. JMET -- with assistance from the Oregon State Police and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served a search warrant on a property in the 1,000-block of Grays Creek Road on Wednesday. During execution of the warrant, more than 5,700 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed. The property also had multiple water, electrical and solid waste code violations that could result in criminal forfeiture. One of the many violations was a makeshift dam which was built in Grays Creek for the purpose of diverting water for the marijuana plants. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officers responded to investigate the water diversion and wildlife concerns. According to JMET, 31-year-old Pedro Cruz-Ortiz and 24-year-old Alejandrina Ruiz-Garcia were placed into custody during the raid. Both were lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and Unlawful Appropriation of Water. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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Troopers & GP Police Worked Together to Jail Man for Stealing Auto at YMCA
The Oregon State Police and Grants Pass Police Department combined resources to jail a man for stealing a vehicle from the Grants Pass Family YMCA this week. According to OSP and the Police Department, 34-year-old Eric Thomas Hermes was arrested in the area of Front Street and Tavis Drive in Merlin on Wednesday night. Police said Hermes unlawfully entered and stole a Toyota RAV-4 that was parked in front of the YMCA shortly before 6 p.m.. The victim reported he exited the Y, thought he lost his keys, went back inside and returned to find his vehicle gone. He said his identification, phone and a computer were inside the vehicle. The iPhone was tracked and later found discarded along Redwood Highway near Dawn Drive. State troopers were alerted to the vehicle theft and they located it driving recklessly in Merlin. They initiated a high-risk traffic stop and arrested Hermes, who showed strong signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol. He was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a blood draw that documented his impairment. Eric Hermes was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. The stolen vehicle was recovered and released to its registered owner.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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