Local News

State Heritage Commission is Offering Grants for Oregon Museum Projects
The Oregon Heritage Commission is offering grants to qualified museums for collections, heritage tourism, and education and interpretation projects. Awards typically range between $2,000 and $10,000. Museums may apply for a variety of projects. Collections projects may include cataloging, archival storage, disaster preparedness and conservation. Heritage tourism projects may include museum marketing and promotions, enhancing visitor experience and training for museum staff. Education and interpretation projects may include exhibits, online education, school classes, workshops and camps. Museums may also partner with other organizations for projects that might be outside of the museum, but still meet the museum's mission. The online grant application is simple to use and includes plenty of support. A free online workshop specific to this grant and how to use the online grant application will be offered on February 20th. Advance registration is required. Recorded trainings and tips are also online. To learn more about museum grants, visit "oregonheritage.org."
Posted on 2/9/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

JMET Statistics Show Team Put Large Dent in Illegal Cannabis Growing Industry in 2023
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) put a big dent in the illegal cannabis industry in 2023. According to JMET statistics released this week, the local task force conducted searches on 53 properties in Josephine County last year. JMET officials said the team seized and destroyed a total of 129,648 illegal pot plants as well as 13,865 pounds of processed cannabis. The local team also seized 49 firearms and nearly $94,000 in cash. Many of these searches were conducted in partnership with other law enforcement agencies. They were also performed with agencies such as Josephine County Code Enforcement, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon State Health Administration, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC). Due to the ongoing nature of the investigations, names of suspects, locations, dates and times of the 2023 operations are not being released. The black-market marijuana industry remains a big issue for the Josephine County community, and the Sheriff's Office is committed to combatting the illegal grows. Tips on illegal local marijuana activity can be submitted to the JMET Tip Line at (541)-474-5252 or by visiting "josephinecounty.gov/government/sheriff/josephine-marijuana-enforcement-team."
Posted on 2/9/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh

Oregon Health Officials Remind Parents Child Immunizations are Due by February 21st
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With the February 21st deadline fast-approaching for updating child vaccinations, the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP) reminds parents and caregivers that their children may miss out on school or childcare if their records show missing shots. The third Wednesday in February is known as "School Exclusion Day." Under Oregon law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified childcare facilities must submit documentation showing they are up-to-date on their required immunizations or have an acceptable exemption. If a child's vaccination records do not show up-to-date immunizations by February 21st, their school or childcare center will send them home. Leading up to School Exclusion Day last year, local health departments in Oregon sent 26,688 letters to parents and caregivers informing them that they needed to submit records showing up-to-date immunizations for their children. That led to a total of 4,048 children being sent home and not being able to attend school until their families provided the necessary vaccination records. Parents and caregivers seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or local health department.
Posted on 2/9/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh

Rural Metro FD Recognized Several Workers at 44th Annual Employee Awards Ceremony
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Rural Metro Fire Department honored several recipients of the company's 2023 recognition awards last weekend during its annual banquet at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. Attended by about 100 people, the event revisited the more than 2,800 emergencies handled by Rural Metro employees as well as the many training, public education and community activities performed throughout the year. Special employee recognition was presented to Steven Teague for Firefighter of the Year, Pat Reilly for Reserve Firefighter of the Year, Thomas Ward for Recruit Firefighter of the Year and Captain Ethan Coates for Company Officer of the Year. Fleet Maintenance Chief Brett Provost received the award for Support Services Excellence while the Instructor of the Year was David Tackett. During an emotional moment, Captain Lance Shaw made a special presentation to fellow teammates who came to his aid after a traumatic accident, ultimately saving his life. Rural Metro Fire Chief Steve Nelson made a special presentation to Operations Chief Austin Prince in recognition of his 35 years of service.
Posted on 2/9/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Texas and Douglas County Warrants during Patrols
Grants Pass Police apprehended a fugitive wanted on out-of-state and out-of-county warrants during a routine patrol check in the south part of the city last night. The Police Department reports officers arrested 50-year-old Douglas Hale Wiggins, Jr., in the 600-block of Redwood Highway shortly after 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Police said they were on patrol when they observed a Chevrolet Trailblazer with switched license plates and contacted Wiggins who told them he knew the plate did not belong on his vehicle. A subsequent records check revealed that he was wanted on a Liberty County, Texas, felony warrant for narcotics possession and a Douglas County misdemeanor warrant for failing to appear in court for impaired driving. After confirming the Texas warrant was extraditable, Wiggins was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail without bail. Officers removed the license plate from Wiggins' vehicle and planned to return it to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Probation Violation after She Trespassed at Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for violating terms of her probation when she was found trespassing at a northwest city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers contacted 46-year-old Rose Marie McLaughlin at Gilbert Creek Park on Wednesday around 9:15 a.m.. Police said McLaughlin returned to the park two days after she had been trespassed from the facility for 30 days. They said she faked not being able to walk and stated it was due to being hungry. When an officer offered to buy her something to eat, she responded with anger and vulgarity so she was placed into custody. McLaughlin was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass and the resulting Probation Violation related to past arrests for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Criminal Trespass. She was being held on a no-bail detainer. Also at Gilbert Creek Park, Jordan Haas and Ashley Stremple were cited for Scattering Rubbish and Illegal Camping. Both were issued 30-day park exclusions.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:51AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Transient for Squatting and Littering on Railroad Property
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trespassing on railroad property and interfering with a clean-up crew yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 40-year-old Jacob Steven Miller on Wednesday at about 1:51 p.m.. Police said an employee with Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad called 9-1-1 to report a male subject refusing to leave their property while scattering his trash and personal belongings all around him. Officers contacted Miller and he admitted to living on the railroad property for months. They said he had created a mound of trash which detracted from the natural beauty of the area. Railroad workers planned to dispose of the trash. Jacob Miller was placed into custody and charged with 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and Offensive Littering. He was lodged in jail and his bicycle was logged into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:49AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Motorist on Outstanding Warrant during NB Interstate 5 Contact
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist on an outstanding warrant during an Interstate 5 contact in the North Valley area last night. OSP reports state troopers stopped for a disabled Chevrolet C-250 pickup driven by 46-year-old Amber Denise Tacia in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 64 shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said they contacted Tacia and discovered that she was wanted on a local bench warrant for failing to appear in court. She was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The pickup was left on the side of freeway at Tacia's request as it was not a hazard and an acquaintance of hers was on the way to retrieve it.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:47AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested GP Man for DUII and Drug Possession after Fruitdale Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving and drug possession after a traffic stop in southeast Grants Pass late last night. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Blazer driven by 38-year-old Lionell Augustus Lims of Grants Pass near the intersection of Fruitdale Drive and Poplar Drive on Wednesday around 11:20 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Lims for traffic violations and he displayed signs of impairment. They said he then performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was positive for alcohol but below the legal limit. A drug recognition specialist responded to assist with the investigation which revealed the use of narcotics. Lionell Lims was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances as well as Possession of Cocaine. He was also cited for Failure to Drive Within Lane, Unsignaled Turn and Expired Registration. After being cited to appear in court, Lims was released and given a courtesy ride home. His vehicle was parked and secured at the scene of the traffic stop.
Posted on 2/8/24 10:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Using Weapon to Threaten Victim in Tuesday Robbery
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for using a weapon to threaten another person while committing a robbery this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 41-year-old Travis Llammar Rough on Tuesday morning and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail. No details about the incident were disclosed, but Rough was charged with Felony 3rd-Degree Robbery, Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was still in custody without any scheduled bail on Wednesday. The charges indicate Rough used a weapon to threaten the victim during a heist that involved an item of under $100 in value. No other details were available.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on State Warrant after He Stole Beer from WinCo Foods
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant this week after he stole a beer from a local supermarket. The Police Department reports officers arrested 40-year-old Philip Raymond Nerpel for the incident at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Tuesday. Police said Nerpel was detained by loss prevention for stealing a beer. They said he provided a fictitious name to officers, but he was properly identified and then found to be wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Parole Violation. Philip Nerpel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the statewide warrant plus charges of 3rd-Degree Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held on a no-bail detainer. Jail records show Nerpel was also arrested for Parole Violation on January 8th of this year and June 20th of last year.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Snared Man Implicated in Recent Fraud Case at Fields Home Center
A Josephine County Sheriff's Office investigation has led to an arrest in a recent fraud case perpetrated on a popular local home improvement store. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 43-year-old Alexander Neuman in connection with an incident at Fields Home Improvement Center at the Grants Pass Walmart on Wednesday at 3:09 p.m.. No details about the investigation were disclosed, but Neuman was charged with 1st-Degree Forgery and 1st-Degree Theft. He was cited to appear in court and then released. Deputies said they spotted Neuman in the Walmart parking lot, confirmed details of the case and swooped in to detain him.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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