Local News

Flat Fire Crews Working to Finish Targeted Burnout Operations to Protect Agness
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Crews working on the Flat Fire in eastern Curry County completed three small, targeted burnout operations on the northwest flank of the blaze over night to help protect the small community of Agness. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 6 reported this morning that the Flat Fire had grown in size to 15,217 acres with an undisclosed amount of containment. The wildfire that erupted Sunday at the Oak Flat Campground is currently staffed with a total of 908 personnel including 34 hand crews backed by 10 engines, two water tenders, four bulldozers, seven masticators and eight helicopters. Masticators are working around the fire to reduce vegetation to assist firefighting operations and about 30% of the west flank has been completed. Crews are about halfway through securing control lines in the northern section of the blaze. There has been minimal spread to the north with the fire most active on the west flank. Firefighters and South Coast Lumber will continue working together to improve an existing shaded fuel break utilizing Forest Service Road 3318. If conditions permit, crews will be conducting small burnout operations on the western flank of the fire to slow its spread. Structure protection groups are working to prepare buildings. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for Southwest Oregon due to hot, dry and windy conditions. Shifting winds have blown wildfire smoke into parts of the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois valleys.
Posted on 7/20/23 7:34AM by Sam Marsh
 

Board Approved Order to Start Formation of Road District to Hold onto Federal Funds
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday set in motion a plan that may allow the county to hold onto more federal funding and dedicate it toward road maintenance projects. The Board voted 2-0 to approve an order that initiates the formation of a road service district pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes and sets the first public hearing for August 23rd at 9 a.m.. Commissioner Dan DeYoung was absent. Public Works Director Rob Brandes testified that House Bill 2174 allows counties to create road districts in order to dedicate additional federal funding to projects that maintain local roadways. This year, the county was awarded Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding of around $1.9 million, but Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding of $600,000 was deducted so the county received only $1.3 million. By creating a local road district, Brandes said the SRS funding may not be taken away from the PILT and the SRS funding can be dedicated to maintenance projects such as chip-sealing and road repairs. He said they will know if it worked by next spring -- and if it doesn't, he'll inform the Board and they can disband the district. In other business, the Commissioners proclaimed July 16th-22nd as "Probation, Parole and Community Corrections Week."
Posted on 7/20/23 7:31AM by Sam Marsh
 

Residents Invited to Celebrate New Library Site in Downtown Grants Pass on Saturday
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The Josephine Community Library Foundation is inviting the public to help them celebrate the purchase of the property for a new downtown library in Grants Pass. "A Community Celebration" is being held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the location of the new library property on the city block between 6th and 7th streets and J and K streets. Free ice cream, cotton candy and popcorn will be available. Attendees will be part of a historical photo at 11 a.m. to be hung in the future library. The local library foundation purchased the city block for a new library in Grants Pass as part of its support of new and improved facilities for the library district and the community. Thanks to library leaders, individual and foundation donors, and grant funders, the community raised $1,925,000 in private contributions to buy the property. A crowdfund earlier this year raised $254,000 to match a $250,000 capstone gift from the Four Way Community Foundation. Additional supporters include Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Avista Foundation, the Bennett Fund, Echo fund and more than 200 individual donors.
Posted on 7/20/23 7:29AM by Sam Marsh
 

BCC Approves Order to Start Formation of Road District to Retain Fed Funds
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners this morning set in motion a plan that may allow the county to hold onto more federal funding and dedicate it toward road maintenance projects. The Board voted 2-0 to approve an order that initiates the formation of a road service district pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes and sets the first public hearing for August 23rd at 9 a.m.. Commissioner Dan DeYoung was absent. Public Works Director Rob Brandes testified that House Bill 2174 allows counties to create road districts in order to dedicate additional federal funding to projects that maintain local roadways. This year, the county was awarded Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding of around $1.9 million, but Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding of $600,000 was deducted so the county received only $1.3 million. By creating a local road district, Brandes said the SRS funding may not be taken away from the PILT and the SRS funding can be dedicated to maintenance projects such as chip-sealing and road repairs. He said they will know if it worked by next spring -- and if it doesn't, he'll inform the Board and they can disband the district. In other business, the Commissioners proclaimed July 16th-22nd as "Probation, Parole and Community Corrections Week." Today's meeting started with a presentation on Tom Pearce Park led by Recreation Director Tamra Martin who said the community has responded in a very favorable way to improvements made at the park including a new playground.
Posted on 7/19/23 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Felony Warrant after He Stole Backpack at Nursery
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on a local felony warrant yesterday after he stole another person's backpack at a Redwood area nursery. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint at Redwood Nursery on Redwood Avenue on Tuesday around 1:20 p.m.. Police said the male victim advised that he was shopping at the nursery and left his backpack outside near his bicycle. They said the suspect -- 23-year-old Jesse Charles Nelson -- arrived as a passenger in a pickup, got out and grabbed the backpack before getting back in the truck and leaving. According to the report, officers tracked down the suspect vehicle, located Nelson at a residence in the 4100-block of Redwood Avenue and placed him into custody. The suspect directed officers to the stolen backpack and it was returned to the victim. During the investigation, it was discovered that Nelson was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for Probation Violation related to a previous arrest for two counts of Mail Theft. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus a new charge of 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/19/23 11:42AM by Sam Marsh
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Wilderville Man Snared for DUII and Local Warrant after Illinois Valley Stop
A Wilderville man was arrested for impaired driving and an outstanding warrant last night following a traffic stop on Redwood Highway in the Illinois Valley. The Oregon State Police reports troopers pulled over a Dodge Ram pickup driven by 35-year-old Jason Adam Post near milepost 31 of US Highway 199 on Tuesday at 10:38 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Post for multiple traffic violations and he showed signs of impairment. They said he was also found to have a bench warrant for his arrest. The suspect performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Cave Junction Substation where he provided a positive breath sample. According to OSP, Post was taken back to his vehicle where he left his dogs. He was cited to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving and the outstanding warrant before being released from custody.
Posted on 7/19/23 11:41AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited Motorist for Causing Wreck with Semi on Interstate 5 at Sexton
The Oregon State Police cited a motorist for causing a wreck on Interstate 5 at Mount Sexton yesterday. According to OSP, troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 70 on Tuesday at 3:27 p.m.. Troopers said the crash occurred when a Nissan pickup driven by 66-year-old Philip Dale Crisp rear-ended a semi-trailer being pulled by a 32-year-old truck driver. There were no injuries, but the Nissan was towed to Grants Pass. Following an investigation, OSP cited Crisp for Following Too Closely.
Posted on 7/19/23 11:39AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Booted 8 Campers for Repeat Ordinance Violations at City Parks
Grants Pass Police evicted a total of eight campers for repeat ordinance violations at city parks early yesterday. During a Tuesday morning patrol check at Baker Park, officers cited Kassandra Sinks, Andrew Urenda and Heather Dixon for Unlawful Utilization of Park Space; and Gayle Hooper, Derek Hood and Maria Guerrero for Camping in a Buffer Zone. All six had been cited before, so they were trespassed from the park for 30 days. During a patrol check at Morrison Centennial Park, officers cited Kristopher Young after he was observed with fentanyl at his campsite. He was cited to appear in court for narcotics possession and trespassed from the park for 30 days. During a patrol check at Gilbert Creek Park, officers cited Billy Woods for Camping in a Buffer Zone and Unleashed Dog. He was trespassed from the park for 30 days. Two tents were posted for Illegal Camping along with a white van.
Posted on 7/19/23 11:38AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Felon for Parole Violation after Altercation at Sobering Center
Grants Pass Police jailed a local felon for violating his post-prison supervision this week following an altercation at the Sobering Center. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 24-year-old Zachary Randall Holmes after he struggled with them at the detox facility on Monday night. Police said Holmes was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for medical clearance at the request of Sobering Center staff. While returning to the facility, they said he made numerous threats to harm officers and actively resisted arrest by throwing his body weight around, bracing his legs against the door frame and kicking backward while pushing officers onto a wall. No one was seriously hurt. Zachary Holmes was eventually subdued and placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Resisting Arrest as well as Felony Parole Violation stemming from previous convictions for crimes including Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Manufacture and Delivery of Drugs within 1,000 Feet of a School, Reckless Endangering, Unlawful Contact with a Child, Identity Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/19/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Assaulting Daughter while Impaired by Alcohol
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for allegedly assaulting her daughter this week while heavily impaired by alcohol. The Police Department reports officers arrested 64-year-old Barbara Lynn O'Dell for the incident in the 1700-block of NW Daffodil Lane on Monday night. Police said O'Dell's daughter called 9-1-1 to report that she and her mother had been drinking when they became involved in an argument. She stated that she started videoing her mother which made her upset and she starting throwing items in the residence, ultimately striking her daughter with a bottle. Upon arrival, officers observed swelling on the 38-year-old victim and they took O'Dell into custody. The daughter refused medical treatment. Barbara O'Dell was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault.
Posted on 7/19/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Felon for Parole Violation after She Stole Sodas from 7-Eleven
Grants Pass Police jailed a felon for violating her post-prison supervision after she stole soda pop from a downtown convenience store early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 30-year-old Whitney Ann Word at the 7-Eleven on SW 6th Street around 4:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police said a store employee reported that Word entered 7-Eleven, took two 20-ounce sodas from the cooler and left without paying for them. They said she was in possession of the pops when she was contacted a short time later on J Street. Turns out she had been trespassed from the same store on January 27th. Whitney Word was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft, Criminal Trespass and the resulting Felony Parole Violation. She was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/19/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Multiple Agencies Extinguished Grass Fire along Interstate 5 near Central Point
Multiple agencies extinguished a grass fire that erupted next to Interstate 5 north of Central Point yesterday. Late Tuesday morning, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Jackson County Fire District #3 and Jackson County Fire District #1 responded to the reported fire on the southbound side of I-5 near milepost 36. Upon arrival, firefighters found the blaze to be around one acre in size. Crews extinguished the flames and completely lined the fire in short order. They worked to put out hot spots and mop up. The Oregon State Police and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office temporarily blocked off the slow lane of southbound I-5 where firefighters were working. The freeway was reopened at about 12:30 p.m.. ODF officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 7/19/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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