Local News

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
 

Deputies Assisted Community Corrections by Capturing Illinois Valley Felon
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office assisted the Community Corrections Office this week by apprehending an Illinois Valley felon who was wanted on a local warrant. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 42-year-old Michael Allen Martinho at a residence in the 25,800-block of Redwood Highway on Wednesday. Deputies said Martinho's corrections officer requested assistance in locating his client because he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Attempting to Elude Police, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering. Martinho was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the adult jail facility where he was being held without bail.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
 

Motorist Seriously Hurt after Crashing Vehicle into Fish Hatchery Area Canal
A motorist was seriously injured this week when they crashed their vehicle into an irrigation canal in the Fish Hatchery area. Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office responded to the single-vehicle wreck on Fish Hatchery Road near Bull Creek Road on Wednesday night. Rural Metro officials said the driver was rapidly extricated from the vehicle and transported by ambulance to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford with serious injuries. They did not identify the motorist. Three adult dogs were passengers in the vehicle including a Chihuahua that was nursing three small puppies. All appeared to be uninjured, but one became scared and ran off in the dark. It was described as small with light-colored curly hair. The dog is very skiddish and non-compliant. It bit a firefighter attempting to care for the driver. Anyone who is able to capture this dog or knows of its whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office, the Rural Metro Station in Wilderville or the caretakers at Fish Hatchery Park.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:32AM by Sam Marsh
 

OSP Snared Young Motorist for DUII after Highway 199 Disabled Car Contact
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving early yesterday following a contact on Redwood Highway between Wilderville and Wonder. OSP reports troopers responded to a disabled Volkswagen Jetta driven by 19-year-old Hayden Wheeler Jones near milepost 11 of US Highway 199 on Thursday at 12:42 a.m.. Troopers said they contacted Jones and he displayed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was well over the legal driving limit. According to OSP, Hayden Jones was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. He was cited to appear in court and released to the Sobering Center staff. His vehicle was impounded and towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Pacific Power Offers Tips to Reduce Electricity Costs in Summer Heatwaves
With high temperatures and warm nights in the forecast for the coming week, Pacific Power expects its customers to turn on air conditioners and fans to stay comfortable. The use of air conditioners and fans can impact electricity bills, but utility officials said there are some easy ways to help manage seasonal energy costs. In order to stay comfortable and save money, set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or as high as possible. Open windows in the late evening or early morning hours to let cool air in. Run appliances like ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers at night or early in the morning. Use a programmable thermostat that can be set to cool only during the times you are in the home. Use fans instead of your air conditioner, but make sure you turn them off when no one is in the room. Running a portable fan instead of an air conditioner at night can save the average home around $32 per month. Customers can also save money and power by signing up for Pacific Power's Time of Use program and shifting energy use to lower cost off-peak hours. See more ways to save and find out about discounts for home cooling equipment by visiting "pacificpower.net."
Posted on 8/4/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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Flat Fire Grew Slightly as USFS Prepares to Transfer Command of Incident to New Team
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Oregon's largest wildfire grew slightly on Thursday and the US Forest Service is continuing to reduce the number of people assigned to fight it. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 reported this morning that the Flat Fire was 31,921 acres and containment was holding at 28%. The wildfire started on July 15th at the Oak Flat Campground. Investigators say it was human-caused. There is a total of 1,104 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire today including 16 hand crews backed by 38 engines, 31 water tenders, nine helicopters, four brush-clearing masticators and one bulldozer. Helicopters had excellent success with continued aerial ignitions achieving added depth from the containment line into the unburned interior in the southwest corner of the fire near the Lawson Creek drainage and Game Lake. A 10-person helitack crew returned to the Fantz Ranch area along the eastern edge of the blaze to cool areas of heat identified through infrared imaging and to eliminate hazard trees. Firefighters used helicopter water bucket drops on areas of heat in the north fork of Indigo Creek to secure the containment line. Crews mopped up areas of heat close to the containment line in the northeast corner. Leadership provided by the Type One incident management team is nearing the end of its 14-day rotation and it will be replaced by Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 early Saturday morning.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Moves to "Extreme" Fire Danger in All Ranger Districts
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As daytime temperatures continue to rise and fuels continue to dry out in southwest Oregon, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has moved to "extreme" fire danger on all five of its ranger districts. As of 12:01 a.m. today, public use restrictions on the local forest have increased to "Level 2". That means campfires are no longer allowed in the forest area. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level remains at "2." Public use restrictions remain at "Stage 2" on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. The Oregon Department of Forestry moved its fire danger level to extreme in southwest Oregon on July 29th, bringing increased public use restrictions to Josephine and Jackson counties. For up-to-date information regarding fire season, ongoing fires and public use restrictions, follow the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted on 8/4/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Mount Ashland Offers Adventure & Events during Final Weeks of 2023 Summer Season
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Mount Ashland is winding down its final weeks of summer operations, but it's not too late to enjoy the local ski resort when it doesn't have any snow. With the end of summer in sight, there are four sessions of the Youth Adventure Days program. Children ages 7-12 still have the opportunity to make new friends and explore all Mount Ashland has to offer during the summer. Participants can expect hiking, games, nature, arts & crafts, exploration and lots of adventure. The program continues in three-hour sessions both mornings and afternoons, or kids can stay for the whole day. The final days of the program are this weekend -- August 5th and 6th -- and August 19th and 20th. Music on the Mountain concerts are set for August 12th, 13th, 26th, 27th and September 2nd. September 3rd is "Tye-Dye Family Day."
Posted on 8/4/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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US Forest Service Gaining Traction on Flat Fire & Downsizing Human Resources
The US Forest Service is gaining traction on the largest wildfire currently burning in Oregon. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 reported this morning that the Flat Fire had grown to 31,472 acres and containment remained at 28%. The wildfire started on July 15th at the Oak Flat Campground. It was caused by human activity. As of this morning, there was a total of 1,104 personnel assigned to the Flat Fire including 16 hand crews backed by 39 engines, 24 water tenders, one bulldozer, four brush-clearing masticators and nine helicopters. That's down significantly from the more than 1,900 personnel who were battling the blaze last weekend. Helicopters continued with aerial ignitions to achieve additional depth from the containment line into the unburned interior in the southwest corner of the fire in the Lawson Creek drainage bordering the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. With fuels drying out where the fire had been backing down slopes, some uphill runs are now occurring. Crews also used aerial ignition in the Game Lake area to improve the depth of burned fuels from containment lines. A helitack crew was inserted into the Fantz Ranch area along the eastern edge of the fire to cool areas of heat identified through infrared imaging. Firefighters are monitoring an area of increased heat identified through infrared in the north fork of Indigo Creek and using helicopter bucket drops as needed to secure the existing line. The western and northern containment lines are being actively mopped up and patrolled. The northeast corner of the fire near Agness has been fully prepared for firing operations if the need arises due to changes in weather and/or fire activity. Incident managers said they are no longer providing an evening update on the Flat Fire, but current information will continue to be posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted on 8/3/23 11:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Troopers and 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 last night. 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 at about 8:30 p.m.. 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. According to OSP, the stolen vehicle was recovered and released to its registered owner.
Posted on 8/3/23 11:38AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man Suspected of Stealing Property from Local Residence
Grants Pass Police arrested a man suspected of recently stealing property from a local residence. The Police Department reports officers were on patrol in the 1100-block of NE 10th Street when they spotted 41-year-old Daniel Jack Brabham on Wednesday at 10:37 p.m.. Police said Brabham was wanted for probable cause of committing 2nd-Degree Theft. No other information about the case was provided, except that he was trespassed from addresses in the 1300-block of NE 9th Street, the 1900-block of SW Bridge Street and the 700-block of SE Riverside Avenue. The charge of 2nd-Degree Theft indicates the value of the stolen items was between $100 and $1,000. Daniel Brabham was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 8/3/23 11:36AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Woman for Damaging Cousin's Home in the Williams Area
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman for damaging a home in the Williams area early yesterday. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a reported disturbance in the 500-block of Powell Creek Road on Wednesday around 12:45 a.m.. Deputies said the property owner called 9-1-1 to report that her cousin -- 29-year-old Rhiannon Derby -- was intoxicated and causing problems. The caller stated that the suspect ripped screens off windows and destroyed them beyond repair before beating on the front door. There were small children trying to sleep in the home. Derby reportedly lives in a school bus parked on the property. She was contacted there by deputies and placed into custody without further incident. Rhiannon Derby was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Sobering Center for Criminal Mischief. Deputies said they advised her that she would be going to jail if she was uncooperative.
Posted on 8/3/23 11:33AM by Sam Marsh
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