Local News

Grants Pass Police Officers and Firefighters Active while Protecting Community Last Week
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters were very active while protecting the community last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 804 calls for service that resulted in 56 arrests, 35 citations, 48 warnings and four people lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 30 traffic stops in the city. The Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 103 potential trouble-makers while arresting four people, citing 31 more and warning 47 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 33 individuals and posted 84 new transient camps. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 119 calls last week including 40 for emergency medical service and six for reports of fire or smoke along with 11 lift assists, seven rescue situations, 12 assists to other agencies and six false alarms. Firefighters also performed 24 business inspections, led one education program and assisted the public 12 times. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,369 emergency calls last week in addition to 1,065 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 7/24/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh

New Public Restroom in Osprey Parking Lot First of 5 Coming to Downtown Grants Pass
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The City of Grants Pass has announced that the downtown area has a new public restroom. After several weeks of construction, the restroom at the Osprey Parking Lot at 5th and H streets is now open for business. The steel single-stall, free-standing facility is the first of five new public restrooms planned for downtown Grants Pass. A second loo will be constructed in the Beaver Parking Lot at 7th and G streets, and the renovated Downtown Welcome Center building will eventually have three exterior-facing restrooms on the west side. Meanwhile, seasonal parks crews were busy last week pressure-washing shelters at Reinhart Volunteer Park. Several dry-rotted facia boards were replaced at the Agnew-Lytle baseball field dugout in preparation for painting. The City of Grants Pass thanked Josephine County Public Health for restocking the life jacket station at Baker Park last week and posting new water safety signs. This project was aided with funding from AllCare Health.
Posted on 7/24/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh

Flat Fire Continues to Grow and Additional Resources Brought in to Battle Blaze
The largest wildfire in southwest Oregon so far this summer continues to grow as does the number of people assigned to fight it. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 6 reported this morning that the Flat Fire had increased to 18,643 acres with 0% containment. The acreage had not been updated since Thursday due to heavy smoke preventing infrared aerial mapping. The wildfire burning in eastern Curry County near Agness is now staffed with a total of 1,040 personnel including 32 hand crews backed by 25 engines, 11 water tenders, eight brush-clearing masticators and 10 helicopters. Fire managers said crews are working on extinguishing hot spots where they have completed burnout operations in the north and northwest areas of the blaze while working to keep the fire within control lines and away from local communities. In the southern area, crews are working with South Coast Lumber resources using heavy equipment to clear vegetation and create a fuel break to slow any spreading. In the northeast, timber fallers continue dropping standing dead trees so crews can start burnout operations when possible. Structure protection groups are working to set up sprinkler kits around threatened buildings. The areas of Oak Flat, Old House Creek Road and Spud Road have been downgraded from a Level 3 "Go Now" evacuation order to a Level 2 "Be Set" notice. Pacific Northwest Team 3 arrived Friday night and are shadowing Team 6 today in preparation for taking over command of the Flat Fire on Sunday morning. A community meeting will be held at 3 p.m. today at Gold Beach High School.
Posted on 7/22/23 10:10AM by Sam Marsh

Multiple Structures Threatened by Grass Fire on Holland Loop Road East of CJ
Multiple structures were threatened by a two-alarm fire in the Illinois Valley before the blaze was extinguished by numerous local agencies yesterday. On Friday afternoon, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Illinois Valley Fire District, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue, Rural Metro Fire Department and the US Forest Service all responded to a grass fire in the 7500-block of Holland Loop. Arriving units found a two-to-three-acre fire that was spreading quickly. ODF launched Type 2 and Type 3 helicopters as well as an air attack plane to slow down the flames that were threatening multiple structures in the area. By 3:10 p.m., forward progression of the fire had been halted. By 3:30 p.m., an estimated 80% of the blaze had been extinguished. However, a few spot fires kept crews engaged in their initial attack from the ground and the air. At 3:55 p.m., ODF reported the Holland Loop Fire was completely knocked down and firefighters were switching to mop-up operations. The fire was estimated to be six acres by the time it was stopped. An abandoned outbuilding was damaged, but all homes in the surrounding area were undamaged and safe. No one was hurt. IVFD Chief John Holmes reported a barn, a box trailer, a tractor and two old cars were destroyed by the fire. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Raided Two Illegal Cannabis Growing Operations in Cave Junction Area
The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) raided two illegal cannabis growing operations in the Cave Junction area this week. On Wednesday, JMET served search warrants in the 3,000-block of West Side Road and the 30,000-block of Redwood Highway. Detectives were assisted by US Homeland Security Investigations and Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety. During execution of the warrants, more than 8,000 marijuana plants and 3,800 pounds of processed marijuana were seized and destroyed. Both properties also had multiple water and solid waste code violations that could result in the criminal forfeiture of the illegal grow sites. JMET detectives said the primary suspect was not at either location during the searches. Once they are located, they will be charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Unlawful Appropriation of Water, Felony Criminal Mischief and Offensive Littering. According to JMET, the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released at this time.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Motorist for Drugged Driving and Weapon Crimes after GP Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for drugged driving and weapons crimes during a traffic stop on Williams Highway in Grants Pass early yesterday. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Ford F-350 pickup driven by 38-year-old David Scott Anderson near milepost 1 of Highway 238 around 12:45 a.m. Friday. Troopers said they stopped Anderson for multiple traffic violations and he showed signs of impairment. After performing poorly in field sobriety tests, the suspect was arrested and a loaded firearm was found concealed in the vehicle. Anderson was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he provided a negative breath sample. A drug recognition evaluation was performed and it was determined that he was under the influence of narcotics. David Anderson was lodged in jail for Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances, Reckless Driving, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Contempt of Court. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Using Counterfeit Money to Purchase Beer from 7-11
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for using "funny money" to purchase beers from a downtown convenience store early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 35-year-old Travis Carrasco Boget for the incident that occurred at 7-Eleven on SW 6th Street on Friday at 2:18 a.m.. Police said store workers called 9-1-1 to report that Boget used a counterfeit $20 bill to purchase three beers earlier that night. When contacted a short time later, the suspect did not have the beers on his person or any more of the fake $20 bills. Boget tried to deny the crime, but he had been captured on surveillance video using the phony bill to buy $19.53 worth of beer and cigarettes. Travis Boget was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Forgery, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Petty Theft.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man for Unruly Behavior on SW Bridge Street This Week
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for exhibiting extremely unruly behavior in a southwest neighborhood this week. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a male subject hitting street signs and cars while yelling and walking in the middle of SW Bridge Street on Thursday night. Police said 49-year-old Sean William MacDowell was engaging in violent and tumultuous behavior that prompted multiple calls for service. They contacted him and he was cooperative when they placed him into custody. MacDowell was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Department Welcomes 2 New Officers to Local Law Enforcement
The Grants Pass Police Department is asking residents to join them in welcoming two new officers to the local law enforcement agency. Officer Ben Glaeser and Officer Daron O'Donnell took the oath of office and dedicated themselves to the Peace Officer Code of Ethics earlier this week. Both Glaeser and O'Donnell began their law enforcement careers as correctional deputies. O'Donnell came from the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Glaeser came from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Both officers grew up in the Grants Pass area and said they look forward to serving the community they call "home."
Posted on 7/22/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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US Senator Merkley Announces Committee Action to Boost Dozens of Projects in Oregon
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, US Senator Jeff Merkley announced he is working to deliver major investments to expand affordable, rural and veterans housing options; renewable energy projects; and infrastructure for water and transportation throughout the state -- including Southern Oregon. The funding comes through the Fiscal Year 2024 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) bill and the Energy and Water Development (E&W) bills that passed out of committee with bipartisan support. Among the community-initiated projects in the THUD bill is $400,000 for the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation for their projects to secure wildlife crossings on Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon, which bisects the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The funding will complete design and engineering for fencing to accompany two high-priority overcrossings in the Rogue Valley. Among the community-initiated projects in the E&W bill is $3.65 million for the Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery on the Rogue River for repairs to the fresh water supply system. This will prevent the complete failure and loss of fish at the hatchery as well as help create a more climate-resilient hatchery that meets its mitigation obligations.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford Police Announce New Red Light and Speed Camera Installation Starts Monday
The Medford Police Department has announced the installation of a new red light and speed camera in that city will begin next week. MPD is dedicated to traffic safety for those driving on city roadways. One of the methods they used to improve traffic safety is their fixed-site photo red light and speed cameras, which have been in operation since 2004. Currently, there are four intersections in Medford that have photo radar installed: East Barnett Road and Stewart Avenue, East McAndrews Road and Biddle Road, Riverside Avenue and 8th Street, and Central Avenue and 4th Street. Starting Monday, the public may start seeing construction for the installation of a photo red light and speed camera at the intersection of Crater Lake Highway and Delta Waters Road. The system for this intersection should be operational and begin capturing violations on August 21st. In order to make sure the public has plenty of time to adjust to the system as well as improve communications, there will be an educational period in which MPD will send warning letters to those seen committing violations at the intersection. The educational/warning period will start on August 21st and last for 30 days.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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JCL Groundbreaking Held Earlier This Month for New Library Branch Serving Williams Area
Board members with the Josephine Community Library District participated in a recent groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of construction on the new library branch in Williams. The Josephine Community Library Foundation has contracted with Vitus Construction, which started actual construction of the rural library on Friday. The new library located at 158 Tetherow Road will replace the existing library located at 20695 Williams Highway, which is about one mile away. The library foundation purchased the property last year with funds from local donations and a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act via the Oregon Legislature and District 3 State Representative Lily Morgan. Library leaders have been working with ZCS Engineering & Architecture for the past year designing the renovation of the 1,000-square-foot building into a public library space. Construction is scheduled through August, with the grand opening and community celebration set for late September.
Posted on 7/22/23 6:04AM by Sam Marsh
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