Local News

Board Approved First Reading of Ordinance to Reduce Hazards on Public Roadways
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance designed to reduce hazardous conditions on public roadways during its weekly business session yesterday. The Board voted 2-0 to approve the ordinance that amends the Josephine County Code by adding a chapter regarding hazards on public roads and rights-of-way. Commissioner Dan DeYoung was not present for the meeting. Assistant Legal Counsel Alison Smith testified there would be three types of violations under the amendment including leaving property on a public road, leaving hazardous waste on a public property and leaving a vehicle parked on a public road for more than 72 hours. She said the violations would be enforced by the Sheriff's Office and added that the City of Cave Junction would be included -- but not the City of Grants Pass. The next public hearing was set for August 9th. In a second public hearing yesterday, the Board approved the Business Oregon Grant Closeout. Finance Director Sandy Novak shared a report from AllCare Health on the Community Development Block Grant funding of $400,000. She said the money was used for a 22-month housing rehabilitation program contracted out to the Rogue Valley Council of Governments and Mid Rogue Foundation.
Posted on 7/27/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Citizens Invited to Participate in Community Survey on Redesign of Owl Parking Lot
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The City of Grants Pass is working to redesign the Owl Parking Lot at the northeast corner of 5th and H streets, and it's conducting a community survey to help choose a design. City officials said the new design will maintain the public parking lot and allow for the space to be transformed into a public plaza that can be used for a variety of community events. The architect working on the project said the area is intended to be "the living room for downtown, just waiting for guests to arrive." An early step in the process is the public survey that offers two redesign concepts to consider. Both options can interchangeably accommodate a variety of activities and events such as concerts and outdoor markets. A key piece to consider is whether to design the plaza with curbs along the sidewalk or to make the plaza level with the streets. Please take a few minutes to review the two conceptual designs and take the survey so city staff may better understand which design is most appealing to citizens. The City will use the feedback to help with the final redesign of the Owl Parking Lot. For more information and to find the survey, visit "grantspassoregon.gov."
Posted on 7/27/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
 

Board Approves 1st Reading of Ordinance to Reduce Hazards on Public Roads
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance designed to reduce hazardous conditions on public roadways during its weekly business session this morning. The Board voted 2-0 to approve the ordinance that amends the Josephine County Code by adding a chapter regarding hazards on public roads and rights-of-way. Commissioner Dan DeYoung was not present for the meeting. Assistant Legal Counsel Alison Smith testified there would be three types of violations under the amendment including leaving property on a public road, leaving hazardous waste on a public property and leaving a vehicle parked on a public road for more than 72 hours. She said the violations would be enforced by the Sheriff's Office and added that the City of Cave Junction would be included -- but not the City of Grants Pass. The next public hearing was set for August 9th. In a second public hearing today, the Board approved the Business Oregon Grant Closeout. Finance Director Sandy Novak shared a report from AllCare Health on the Community Development Block Grant funding of $400,000. She said the money was used for a 22-month housing rehabilitation program contracted out to the Rogue Valley Council of Governments and Mid Rogue Foundation. Under Administrative Actions, the Board approved an order authorizing the sale of county-owned property on Pine Cone Drive in Cave Junction for $289,000. The Commissioners started the meeting with the annual Raskin Awards, which honor the legacy of Josephine County Spay & Neuter Fund founder Carl Raskin. The organization award went to Operation Rambo, which pairs disabled veterans with service dogs. The individual award went to Nancy Lindquist, a long-time animal shelter volunteer who recently took over the Toby Fund.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:47AM by Sam Marsh
 

Corrections Client Jailed for Bringing Weapon to Meeting with Probation Officer
A Josephine County Community Corrections client was jailed on Tuesday for bringing a weapon to a meeting with his probation officer. The Grants Pass Police Department reports 43-year-old Peter Anthony Rivera was arrested at the Community Corrections Office on NW 4th Street during the noon hour yesterday. Police said Rivera showed up to speak with his probation officer and was found to be in possession of a spring-assisted knife, which is a direct violation of his post-arrest supervision. He was on probation related to previous arrests for Felony Rape and Assault in April of this year, and Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass in May. Peter Rivera was charged with Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and the resulting Probation Violation. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. The case will be prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Man for Shooting Another with Pellet Gun near Wilderville
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for shooting another man with a pellet gun at a residence near Wilderville late yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a disturbance at a residence in the 400-block of Cheney Creek Road on Tuesday around 4:15 p.m.. Deputies said the victim called 9-1-1 to report that 61-year-old Boyd Christopher Swan shot him with a pellet gun and he wanted to press charges. They said the man declined medical treatment and added that the suspect was also shooting his trailer. Upon arrival, deputies located Swan and placed him into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Assault. After being lodged behind bars, Swan was served with a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim and his unidentified female companion.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Felon & Female Companion for Stealing Items from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a felon and his female companion for trying to steal hundreds of dollars' worth of merchandise from Walmart yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to a shoplifting complaint at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane on Tuesday shortly before 3 p.m.. Police said 31-year-old Aliczandr Mikal McClymonds and 23-year-old Caitlin Caidence May Fossen collected more than $441 worth of items at Walmart and bypassed all points of sale with the intent of depriving the business of its goods. Officers located the suspects in a Honda SUV parked at the nearby Arby's and found both of them to be in possession of drugs. They were placed into custody and the merchandise was returned to Walmart from which they were trespassed. McClymonds and Fossen were both lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. McClymonds was also charged with Parole Violation stemming from a 2022 felony conviction. He was being held on a no-bail detainer. Both suspects were cited to appear in court for the narcotics violations.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Involved in 2 Vehicle Pursuits and Troopers Identified One of the Drivers
The Oregon State Police was involved in two vehicle pursuits late yesterday. Both of the motorists got away, but state troopers know the identity of one of the drivers. According to OSP, the first incident occurred at 5:56 p.m. Tuesday when troopers attempted to pull over a vehicle near milepost 19 of Redwood Highway outside Selma. Troopers said the driver refused to yield and started passing other vehicles on the shoulder. The chase was ended due to public safety. An investigation is on. The second incident occurred at 8:21 p.m. yesterday when troopers initiated a traffic stop on a Toyota RAV-4 near the corner of Cloverlawn and Fruitdale drives in southeast Grants Pass. Troopers said the driver fled the traffic stop and no pursuit was attempted. They identified the driver as 24-year-old Talisia Marie Farrell of Cave Junction and said the investigation is ongoing. A 20-year-old Grants Pass woman was the passenger in the vehicle and she was identified as a witness.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:41AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Booted Camper Out of City Park for Drugs Nearly Causing Overdose
Grants Pass Police booted a camper out of a city park early yesterday after he was found with drugs that nearly caused the overdose of a fellow camper. According to the Police Department, officers were called to Riverside Park at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday to perform a welfare check on an unresponsive woman in a tent at a campsite west of Caveman Bridge. Police said they were alerted to the incident by another camper who walked by the tent and saw the woman lying on her back with her mouth open. The caller advised they were unsure whether the woman was alive and there was evidence of drugs. Officers rushed to the scene and located the woman who did not require medical assistance. They seized a bag of methamphetamine that was in plain sight and contacted Aleksandr Uchytil who claimed ownership of the drugs. Uchytil was cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation and then trespassed from the park for 30 days. He was given a few hours to pack up his tent and leave the park or he would be arrested for trespassing.
Posted on 7/26/23 11:40AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Arrested 2 Men during Raid on Illegal Cannabis Operation near Merlin
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The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) arrested two men when it raided an illegal cannabis growing operation in the Merlin area earlier this week. On Monday, JMET -- with assistance from Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served a search warrant on a property in the 500-block of Verde Lane. During execution of the warrant, 1,500 pounds of processed marijuana was seized and destroyed. The property also had several water and solid waste code violations that could result in criminal forfeiture of the property. According to JMET, 34-year-old Alberto Garcia-Mendoza and 29-year-old Jesus Mario Arizmendi were placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Manufacture and Possession of Marijuana. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further information in the case is being released at this time.
Posted on 7/26/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Woman for Violating Court Order & DUII at Merlin Market
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman for multiple crimes including impaired driving after she violated a court order by visiting a protected party at a store in downtown Merlin. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a restraining order violation involving 46-year-old Yolanda Rae Silva at Li'l Pantry Market & Deli on Monday morning. Deputies said a female employee at the store had a valid restraining order against Silva, but she was seen driving a Honda minivan in the parking lot of the business. They said one of the stipulations of the court order prohibits Silva from contacting the other woman at her place of employment. Upon contact with Silva, deputies smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from her breath. The suspect consented to and performed poorly in field sobriety tests, so she was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where she provided a breath sample that was twice the legal driving limit. Yolanda Silva was booked into jail for Contempt of Court/Restraining Order Violation, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving.
Posted on 7/26/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Snared Woman for Trying to Steal Purse from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for attempting to steal a purse from Walmart this week. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday. Police said 36-year-old Christina Ann Michelle Derenzo selected a purse valued at $27 and removed the tag. They said she went past all points of sale while making no attempt to pay for the purse. Derenzo was detained by loss prevention as she tried to leave Walmart. She was placed into custody and lodged at the nearby Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. She was also trespassed from the store.
Posted on 7/26/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Quick Action by Citizens Helped Stop Vehicle Fire at Landmark Merlin Store
Quick action by a motorist and well pump technician helped stop a vehicle fire that erupted in a downtown Merlin parking lot this week. Rural Metro Fire Department reports the incident happened in the parking lot of Victoria's Station in the 100-block of Galice Road on Monday shortly after 1 p.m.. With the use of a readily-available garden house and serviced fire extinguishers, the driver and a technician from Quinn's Well Pump Service kept the fire from damaging the landmark business. The blaze was nearly out when Rural Metro engines from the Azalea Drive and Monument Drive stations arrived on scene. Rural Metro officials said there were no injuries reported and the cause of the vehicle fire was unknown. Officials said they extend their appreciation to those who helped contain the fire and kept it from becoming a major problem. They said it provides a good example of how a fire extinguisher that is properly serviced and accessible water can be of tremendous value when small fires are detected. According to Rural Metro, carrying a fire extinguisher or one gallon of water are minimum tools motorists should carry with them during fire season.
Posted on 7/26/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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