Local News

Progress Made on Flat Fire included Carefully Considered Decision by Team
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 made a written request to the Pacific Northwest Regional Forester for permission to use heavy equipment in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness for Flat Fire suppression. The request was approved Sunday morning and fire operations moved forward with implementation during the day shift. Firefighters utilized an existing mining road near Forest Service Trail 1174, which was also used as a suppression line for the Klondike Fire. The dozer line starts at Game Lake and heads east, traversing the wilderness area at its northern boundary. Acting Forest Supervisor Jake Winn said by taking this action, they have an opportunity to check the wildfire on the south side. He said this approach reduces risk and exposure to firefighters because the only alternative to utilizing dozer line is to construct hand-line, which requires considerably more people and more time. According to Winn, it can make the difference between life and death in such a challenging environment. Winn said there are minimal viable options to stop the Flat Fire on the southwest flank, creating potential for a longer and larger duration blaze and associated increased costs. Increasing east winds as fire season progresses raises the chance the blaze could potentially put the communities of Brookings, Hunter Creek, Pistol Creek and Carpenterville at risk.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Jailed Man for Numerous Crimes after Investigating Mail Theft Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for numerous crimes last weekend after they caught him stealing mail in the southeast part of the city. The Police Department reports 32-year-old Kenneth Scott Corfman was arrested near the intersection of Fruitdale Drive and Williams Highway late Saturday night. Police said Corfman and another man were contacted at the south Burger King in regard to reports they received about two male subjects who were going through mailboxes and stealing mail while walking along Fruitdale Drive. Some of the mail had been thrown into the parking lot of Herb's La Casita restaurant. Upon contact, Corfman told police he'd taken mail in the form of magazines and leaflets out of mailboxes. However, a consent search found him to be in possession of multiple fraudulent checks as well as stolen mail including checks from various addresses around the city. He was also found to be in possession of user amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl. A routine records check revealed that Corfman was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. He was lodged in jail on the warrant along with 11 counts of Mail Theft, six counts each of 1st-Degree Forgery and Identity Theft, one count of Offensive Littering and the two narcotics violations. He was being held without bail. The other man was released.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
 

Grants Pass Man Collared for Vehicle Theft, Weapon & Probation Violations
Grants Pass Police jailed a felon for vehicle theft, a weapons crime and probation violation related to numerous other charges last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 26-year-old Timothy Joseph Sigala at the Town & Country Market on Williams Highway at 10:12 a.m. Sunday. Police said Sigala was called in as a traffic complaint on Allen Creek Road and the suspect vehicle was located at O'Aces on Highway 238 a short time later. The Jeep Grand Cherokee had been reported stolen, the suspect had fled the scene prior to officers' arrival and ran inside the market. He went into the back storage area and hid in the attic crawl space, but he was located and eventually surrendered. According to the report, Sigala was found to be in possession of brass knuckles. The stolen Jeep was secured until the registered owner could be contacted. Timothy Sigala was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon as well as Probation Violation related to charges including Felony 3rd-Degree Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Robbery, Burglary, Identity Theft, Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and Theft. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
 

Deputies Jailed Colonial Valley Man for Pulling Switchblade on Roommate
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Colonial Valley man for pulling a knife on his roommate last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 42-year-old Colby Hulme for the incident that happened in the 700-block of Soldier Creek Road on Saturday night. Deputies said a man called 9-1-1 to report that his roommate was very intoxicated when he pulled a switchblade-style knife on him. The caller was advised to leave the house, which he did by seeking refuge in the garage. No one was injured. Upon arrival, deputies contacted the victim and then Hulme, seizing the knife as evidence and placing the suspect into custody. Colby Hulme was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Menacing. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Felon for 2 Crimes after He Tried to Outrun Them on Suzuki
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a local felon for two crimes after he tried to outrun deputies on a motorcycle in the Murphy area last weekend. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies eventually arrested 52-year-old Joseph William Gargano in the 5900-block of Williams Highway at 9:36 p.m. Sunday. Deputies said they attempted to stop Gargano while he was riding a Suzuki SL6 on Highway 238, but he refused to yield and led them on a brief pursuit. They said he eventually pulled over and they placed him into custody at Taser point. Gargano was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempt to Elude Police and Felon in Possession of a Weapon.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Teen Motorist for Cannabis Possession after I-5 Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a young motorist for marijuana possession during a weekend traffic stop on Interstate 5 in the North Valley area. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Mitsubishi Mirage driven by an 18-year-old Glendale woman in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 64 on Sunday at 6:35 a.m.. Troopers said they stopped the young woman for traffic violations. Upon contact with the driver, marijuana was seen in plain view on the passenger seat of the car. Since the driver was under 21 years old, she was cited for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana along with the traffic violations and then released from detainment. The driver voluntarily forfeited the marijuana for destruction.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Investigators Still Probing Exact Origin of Flat Fire, But Confirm Blaze was Human-Caused
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Cooler temperatures and higher humidity aided in suppression efforts on the Flat Fire yesterday. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 reported this morning that the Flat Fire had grown to 22,697 acres with 3% containment. Total personnel assigned to the fire is now 1,528 including 36 hand crews backed by 46 engines, 24 water tenders, nine bulldozers, eight brush-clearing masticators and eight helicopters. The exact origin of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators confirmed it was human-caused. Firefighters continued tactical firing operations along the western and southwestern flanks to strengthen control lines. The narrow fire growth toward the southwest that's recently become visible on the map is due to successful ignitions that have occurred over the past few days. Unstaffed Aerial Systems (UAS) were deployed Monday afternoon to ignite vegetation in areas of the wildfire's interior to establish more depth along control lines. Crews also continued to patrol recently burned areas and extinguish sources of heat along the fire's edge. A special medical team has arrived that will be at the fire camp. The team will be able to provide rapid care to firefighters experiencing symptoms of poison oak. A Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notice remains in effect from Agness to Quosotana Creek, Oak Flat, Old House Creek Road and Spud Road.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory through Wednesday Night Because of Flat Fire Smoke
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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has extended the Air Quality Advisory for southwest Oregon through Wednesday night. DEQ expects intermittent smoke from the Flat Fire combined with forecasted weather conditions to cause air quality levels to fluctuate and they could be unhealthy at times. The local advisory area includes the cities of Brookings-Harbor, Gold Beach, Nesika Beach, Ophir, Pistol River, Grants Pass, Merlin, Wilderville, Cave Junction, Selma, Medford, Ashland and the Howard Prairie area. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather. People most at risk include infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with heart or lung disease. Protect yourself and family members when smoke levels are high. Stay inside if possible and keep doors and windows closed. Avoid strenuous activity. Use high efficiency particulate filters on air conditioning systems. When air quality improves to moderate or healthy, open doors and windows to air out homes and businesses. Cloth, dust or surgical masks do not protect you from harmful particles in smoke -- use approved respirators only. Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
Posted on 7/25/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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City of GP Calling for Artist Applications for Utility Box Art Project in Downtown Area
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The City of Grants Pass -- in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation -- has an agreement to wrap utility boxes with vinyl artwork. This project will further Grants Pass' goal of creating vibrant artwork throughout the city to be enjoyed by citizens and visitors. The Art Box Project is a public art program intended to transform traffic control boxes into distinctive works of art, creating a more attractive cityscape. The program celebrates local artwork, deters graffiti and involves residents in contributing to the beautification of Grants Pass. All artwork must be original -- proposals will be recommended by the Grants Pass Committee on Public Art, with final approval from the City Council and ODOT. There will be an artist stipend given for each of the boxes, depending on the method used. This is intended to be an ongoing project with a goal of five boxes completed by the end of this year. Artists, teams and students are urged to apply. Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on August 23rd. Please submit all required application materials by e-mailing "jconway@grantspassoregon.gov."
Posted on 7/25/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Numerous Crimes after Investigating Mail Theft Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for numerous crimes over the weekend after they caught him stealing mail in the southeast part of the city. The Police Department reports 32-year-old Kenneth Scott Corfman was arrested near the intersection of Fruitdale Drive and Williams Highway on Saturday around 11:30 p.m.. Police said Corfman and another man were contacted at the south Burger King in regard to reports they received about two male subjects who were going through mailboxes and stealing mail while walking along Fruitdale Drive. Some of the mail had been thrown into the parking lot of Herb's La Casita restaurant. Upon contact, Corfman told police he'd taken mail in the form of magazines and leaflets out of mailboxes. However, a consent search found him to be in possession of multiple fraudulent checks as well as stolen mail including checks from various addresses around the city. He was also found to be in possession of user amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl. A routine records check revealed that Corfman was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. He was lodged in jail on the warrant along with 11 counts of Mail Theft, six counts each of 1st-Degree Forgery and Identity Theft, one count of Offensive Littering and the two narcotics violations. He was being held without bail. The other man was released.
Posted on 7/24/23 11:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Colonial Valley Man for Pulling Switchblade Knife on Roommate
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Colonial Valley man for pulling a knife on his roommate. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 42-year-old Colby Hulme for the incident that happened in the 700-block of Soldier Creek Road on Saturday at 9:01 p.m.. Deputies said a man called 9-1-1 to report that his roommate was very intoxicated when he pulled a switchblade-style knife on him. The caller was advised to leave the house, which he did by seeking refuge in the garage. No one was injured. Upon arrival, deputies contacted the victim and then Hulme, seizing the knife as evidence and placing the suspect into custody. Colby Hulme was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Menacing. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/24/23 11:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Collared Man on State, Local and Idaho Warrants in Weekend Incident
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man wanted on state, local and out-of-state felony warrants after a weekend encounter on Williams Highway in south Grants Pass. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies contacted 64-year-old David Alan Cimino as he was walking on the white line of Highway 238 with a walker on Saturday at 5:10 p.m.. Deputies said Cimino had been called in as a welfare check due to the danger he was in by walking on the highway. They said a routine records check revealed that he was wanted on a statewide felony warrant for Parole Violation stemming from convictions for Aggravated Battery, Assault on a Peace Officer, Flight to Avoid Arrest, Resisting Arrest and Interfering with Police. Cimino was also wanted on a warrant issued by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for Attempt to Elude Police. In addition, he wanted on an Idaho felony warrant for Assault on Law Enforcement and multiple domestic assault charges. As deputies tried to place him into custody, Cimino reportedly refused to follow lawful commands and resisted being handcuffed by locking his right hand on the walker. An additional unit arrived on scene and the suspect was finally subdued. David Cimino was lodged without bail on the warrants as well as an additional charge of Resisting Arrest. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/24/23 11:38AM by Sam Marsh
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