Local News

OSP Snared California Woman for Disrupting Interstate 5 Mount Sexton Traffic
The Oregon State Police arrested a California woman for disrupting traffic on Interstate 5 near the Sexton Summit this week. OSP reports troopers responded to multiple complaints about a female subject walking in the median of I-5 near milepost 69 on Wednesday morning. Troopers said they contacted 34-year-old Karla Elaine Stafford of Santa Ana, California, and warned her -- but she continued to walk on the freeway, causing a hazard to herself and passing motorists. Stafford was placed into custody without incident, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh

GP Motorist Nabbed for Impaired Driving after Traffic Stop on US Highway 199
A Grants Pass motorist was arrested for impaired driving after a traffic stop on Redwood Highway early yesterday. The Oregon State Police reports troopers pulled over a Honda sedan driven by 29-year-old Oscar Alvarado on US Highway 199 near Allen Creek Road on Thursday at about 12:30 a.m.. Troopers said they stopped Alvarado for a traffic violation and he displayed signs of impairment. The suspect performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that topped the legal driving limit. Alvarado was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. He was cited to appear in court and released. Four juvenile passengers in his vehicle were taken home by the Grants Pass Police Department.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh

Multiple Agencies Rushed to Scene of Vehicle Fire on Highway 199 near Selma
Multiple agencies rushed to the scene of a commercial vehicle fire on Redwood Highway near Selma yesterday. On Thursday at 1:03 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Police and American Medical Response were dispatched to the semi-truck fire on US Highway 199 just south of Anderson Creek. IVFD officials said the fire was out when the first unit arrived. They said one person received minor burns from the blaze, but they were not transported to the hospital. There was no spread to the surrounding wildland. Traffic was slowed during the action by the Oregon Department of Transportation. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh

US Forest Service Lifts Health Advisory for Water Recreation on Applegate Lake
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is lifting the advisory issued this week for water recreation on Applegate Lake. In a Thursday press release, forest officials said water samples taken on Tuesday were substantially below the state standard for E. coli bacteria. The samples taken by the Forest Service and tested by a local lab produced results that measured Hart-Tish Beach at 7 mpn and Hart-Tish Boat Ramp at 5 mpn. The state water quality standard is 406 mpn for a single sample. The single sample that produced the higher results from a private party is suspected to have been contaminated, possibly by waterfowl in the area. The Forest Service is working on a plan to monitor sites and collect samples for analysis in the Applegate Lake area in cooperation with a local organization.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Josephine Library Hosts History of Grants Pass BearFest Program on Saturday
Community members are invited to join local artist Bob Eding to learn about the history of the Grants Pass public art installation known as "BearFest" tomorrow. The history program takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Grants Pass branch library located at 200 NW C Street. During this program, Eding -- one of the original BearFest artists -- will share the history of this community art project and talk about his other public arts works. BearFest is a public art project that showcases the talent of Southern Oregon artists. Originally created in 2003, Evergreen Federal Bank introduced BearFest with 20 life-sized fiberglass bears displayed as public artwork throughout downtown Grants Pass. Since the beginning, nearly 200 bears have been created and some have been auctioned off to raise money for non-profit organizations. Bob Eding is a local artist who has been creating public art in Southern Oregon for 25 years. He was at the forefront of creating fiberglass bears for BearFest while many other local artists joined the team and contributed to the journey. This program is offered at no charge and is open to the public. A library card is not needed to participate.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Oregon DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory in SW Oregon Due to Smoke from Flat Fire
News Image
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has extended an Air Quality Advisory for southern Curry County and expanded it to all of Josephine County due to smoke from the Flat Fire. DEQ also issued a new advisory for the Medford-Ashland area due to elevated levels of ozone pollution or smog. Smoke from local wildfires is combining with hot temperatures in these areas to produce smog. DEQ expects air quality in these areas to decline in late afternoons as smog forms. Smoke is expected at moderate to unhealthy levels throughout southern Curry County and Josephine County, with the Air Quality Advisory expected to last until at least Saturday evening. Health officials are encouraging the public to be prepared for air quality levels to be impacted by surrounding wildfires this summer. Smoke levels can rise and fall quickly depending on weather factors such as wind direction and how much smoke a wildfire produces. People should be aware of air quality during wildfire season. Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of air pollutants that are harmful to human health. Exposure to pollutants in wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function, exacerbate chronic heart and lung disease, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Posted on 7/21/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

West Nile Virus Detected Earlier This Week in Mosquitoes Collected in East Medford
News Image
West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes collected in east Medford this week. The Jackson County Vector Control District reports this is the first West Nile virus detection in Jackson County in 2023. Last year, West Nile virus was found in a total of eight mosquito samples with all the detections occurring in August and September. The mosquitoes were collected by the district as part of a routine surveillance program and tested using a process called "reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction -- or RT-PCR." Local residents are advised to take basic precautions against mosquitoes since the virus is spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People should contact their health care providers if they experience any flu-like symptoms. Care providers can contact the Jackson County Health Department for information on West Nile virus testing. The Vector Control District suggests several steps to protect against mosquitoes including eliminating or treating any sources of standing water around your home. For more information, visit the district's website at "jcvcd.org."
Posted on 7/21/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

City of GP Invites Residents to Participate in Online Open House for Allen Creek Project
News Image
The City of Grants Pass is inviting residents to participate in an online open house through August 4th where you can learn about the final design for Allen Creek Road. Allen Creek Road between West Harbeck Road and Denton Trail is currently a two-lane rural road with narrow shoulders and no bicycle or pedestrian facilities. The Allen Creek Road Improvement Project will bring this section of roadway to city standards with improvements that include wider travel lanes, new sidewalks, wider shoulders with bicycle lanes and traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speeds. City officials said the project will create a safer and smoother roadway for drivers while improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. You are now able to view an interactive map of the project area, learn about road features, and submit feedback and questions. Find out more by visiting "publicproject.net/allen-creek-road."
Posted on 7/21/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP City Council Okays Public Safety Option Tax Renewal for November Ballot
The Grants Pass City Council opened its Wednesday night business session with a public hearing that ended with the approval of an ordinance to amend development residential codes to simplify and modernize existing solar standards. The ordinance makes the code more compatible with new solar standards for infill development and middle housing. The amendments preserve existing and future investments in roof-mounted solar systems, and they provide greater flexibility in the administration of solar setback standards. The City Council then approved the annexation of a 4.44-acre property at the intersection of Harbeck and Allen Creek roads at the request of the owner -- the Housing Authority of Jackson County -- which intends to build a multi-family residential complex. An Oregon Department of Environmental Quality permit issued to the city for a municipal separate Storm Sewer System contained a five-year implementation period to reach compliance. This is the final year for implementation of the system, so the council adopted the stormwater management, erosion and sediment control manuals on a unanimous vote. The panel also approved a code amendment adding a separate storm sewer system and erosion control. A resolution adopting the city's Housing Production Strategy was approved. It's an eight-year plan mandated under Oregon Revised Statutes that identifies strategies to meet the housing needs of Grants Pass. A renewal of the public safety local option tax for five-years at $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed value beginning next July was approved to be placed on the November 7th ballot, along with a resolution authorizing the submission of the explanatory statement. The City Manager was authorized to enter into an agreement with the Mid-Rogue Foundation using American Rescue Plan Act funds in the amount of $747,500 to design and build a water main to service the Glen Crest Development off Cloverlawn Drive. Councilors also approved Destination Downtown’s painted crosswalks at the four corners on SW G Street and 5th street near the Caveman Plaza. (Thanks to Chuck Benson for covering this meeting)
Posted on 7/20/23 12:34PM by Sam Marsh
Read more

GP City Council Moves City Park Navigation Service Events to Future Workshop
The Grants Pass City Council's third agenda item at last night's business session was an ordinance amendment regulating clothing, food, and navigation services on public property -- but no action was taken following lengthy public comment. The proposed ordinance would amend the municipal code to regulate non-profits engaging in events that distribute food, clothing, and other materials to homeless individuals staying in city parks and other public property. The code amendments would also prohibit the dissemination of drug paraphernalia and compressed materials such as propane tanks, and ban engaging in clothing and food-sharing events without a permit, valid for three months. The permit requires a refundable $250 maintenance deposit, insurance and legal indemnity for the city. The ordinance would place limitations on the duration of navigation service events that may take place in any city park or public property The rationale behind the limitation of events is to discourage services and events from being concentrated in one area on an ongoing basis. Currently, the city has no regulations that govern such events and it does not have the information to know what events are taking place or where they are happening. Following a presentation of the proposed ordinance, public comment went on for over two hours with testimony presented from nonprofit organizations and private citizens that included a significant representation of unhoused park residents. On a 6-2 vote, the City Council moved the motion to an upcoming workshop. (Thanks to Chuck Benson for covering this meeting)
Posted on 7/20/23 12:33PM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Deputies Jailed Man for Beating Up & Choking Girlfriend at Jerome Prairie Home
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for beating up and choking his girlfriend in the Jerome Prairie area yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 29-year-old Rodolfo Emmanuel Arteaga-Bobadilla on Wednesday at 2:51 p.m. for the incident that occurred at a home in the 100-block of Bolt View Road. Deputies said they were alerted to the incident by a neighbor who reported the female victim ran over to her property and informed her that she had escaped from her boyfriend whom she identified as Areteaga-Bobadilla. The woman said she had been beaten and choked by the suspect, but she declined medical treatment. Upon arrival, deputies interviewed both parties and documented the victim's injuries before placing the suspect into custody. Arteaga-Bobadilla was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Coercion and Felony Strangulation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/20/23 11:53AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Deputies Snared Man for Probation Violation after Peckerwood Lane Disturbance
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for violating terms of his probation yesterday after he harassed neighbors in an area east of Grants Pass. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a disorderly conduct call involving 62-year-old Richard Kenneth Elardi on Peckerwood Lane on Wednesday around 1 p.m.. Deputies said a woman called to report Elardi had been harassing her by coming to her door and asking for money. They said the suspect lives in a nearby trailer and he was also reported to be yelling at others in the neighborhood. The woman initially contacted Concierge Security about the disturbance, a guard responded and was forced to use pepper spray on Elardi. Sheriff's officials said the security guard was justified in using pepper spray on the suspect who was treated at the scene by medics. Richard Elardi was subsequently transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Felony Probation Violation. He was being held a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/20/23 11:52AM by Sam Marsh
Read more