Local News

RCC Board of Education to Interview Candidates for Vacant Zone 3 Seat
The Rogue Community College Board of Education will spend a good portion of Tuesday afternoon interviewing candidates for an open position on the panel and then making the appointment. The RCC Board has scheduled interviews with seven candidates for the open Zone 3 interim position tomorrow between 3:30 and 5 p.m.. The Zone 3 candidates are Kathryn Ann Brooks, Hogan Sherrow, Paul Hay, Karen Thornton, Joe Spurgeon, Vanessa Jones and Bill Whalen. After the candidate interviews, the RCC Board is expected to appoint its selection to replace former interim board member Jeff Lang who chose not to seek election to the seat in May. The RCC District is divided into seven zones including five in Jackson County and two in Josephine County. Zone 3 covers a portion of northwestern Jackson County including Central Point, Gold Hill, Rogue River and Wimer. Tuesday's RCC Board meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Room 129-A of the Higher Education Center on the Riverside Campus in downtown Medford. Both the interviews and the meeting will be livestreamed via Zoom.
Posted on 7/17/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh

RR-Siskiyou National Forest Battling 1st Major Wildfire of 2023 near Oak Flat & Agness
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The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is battling the first major wildfire of the year in southwest Oregon. The Flat Fire is located near Oak Flat around two miles southwest of Agness. As of this morning, the wildfire was estimated to be 5,477 acres. On Sunday, firefighters focused on structure protection in the communities of Oak Flat and Agness. Approximately 40 structures were threatened by the flames. An evacuation shelter has been opened at Gold Beach High School. Fire behavior has been active, with the blaze making the biggest gains in the Lawson Creek Drainage. The fire is fully-established on both sides of the Illinois River and burning inside the 2002 Biscuit Fire scar. Pacific Northwest Team 6 assumed command of the Flat Fire at 6 a.m. today. Resources on the wildfire today included total personnel of 332 including 10 hand crews backed by seven helicopters, 19 engines and one bulldozer. Air tankers and the Coos Forest Protective Association also continue to work the fire. A Red Flag Warning is predicted for late tonight into tomorrow morning along with poor overnight humidity recovery. Weather conditions and terrain are not favorable and rapid growth is expected over the next few days. According to a press release, the cause of the Flat Fire is under investigation.
Posted on 7/17/23 6:10AM by Sam Marsh

Forest Service, BLM and ODF Increase Public Use Restrictions Throughout SW Oregon
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As the weather continues to trend toward warming and drying, officials with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Forestry are prohibiting campfires on lands located within the boundaries of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. Effective today at 12:01 a.m., building, maintaining, attending or use of a fire is not permitted. Commercially produced pressurized liquid or gas stoves are allowed with cooking areas only permitted in areas free of natural vegetation. Each group must have a shovel and bucket with them. Smoking is only permitted while on watercraft on waterways, or on vegetation-free sand and gravel bars located between the river and high-water mark. Additional fire restrictions will be put in place as fire season progresses and they will remain in effect until November 30th unless conditions allow them to be rescinded sooner. The Medford District BLM has moved its fire danger level to extreme, which adds more public use restrictions. Campfires are no longer allowed anywhere in the district including Hyatt Lake Campground.
Posted on 7/17/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

Josephine Community Library Invites Public to Historic Celebration in Downtown GP
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The Josephine Community Library District is inviting citizens to join them this coming weekend for a historical community celebration in downtown Grants Pass. Next Saturday, July 22nd, from 10 a.m. to noon, the local library district will be at the new Grants Pass Library location on the city block between 6th & 7th streets and J & K streets. JCL officials said residents can be a part of library history when they join them at the gathering to celebrate the purchase of the city block for a new library branch in downtown Grants Pass. Enjoy free ice cream and popcorn at 10 a.m., hear remarks from library leadership at 10:30 and be part of a historic photo at 11. Thank you to all the donors, grant funders and supporters who have helped JCL reach this important milestone. Josephine Community Library hopes to see you there!
Posted on 7/17/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Battling First Major Wildfire of 2023 in Oak Flat Area
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The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is battling the first major wildfire of the year in southwest Oregon. US Forest Service firefighters responded to the Flat Fire burning near the Oak Flat Campground two miles southwest of Agness on Saturday evening. By 8:30 p.m., the wildfire had grown to more than 100 acres and -- by Sunday morning -- it was estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000 acres. Due to high winds and the fire's close proximity to Agness, a robust response of air and ground resources were dispatched to the incident which initially was reported to by just 20-by-40-feet in size. Fire behavior was extreme with 1/4-mile spotting and fire spread on both sides of the Illinois River. On Saturday night, the Forest Service worked on the east flank of the wildfire with a Coos Forest Protective Association bulldozer, multiple engines and a hand crew to protect the community of Oak Flat. Additional resources were arriving this morning and throughout the day including Pacific Northwest Team 6. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is committed to protecting the small communities of Oak Flat and Agness. However, weather conditions and terrain are not favorable and rapid growth is expected over the next few days. According to a press release, the cause of the Flat Fire is under investigation.
Posted on 7/16/23 1:59PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrest One for DOC After Multiple 911 Calls
A 31-year-old man was jailed by Grants Pass Police after multiple callers to 911 related information about a knife wielding suspect making threatening moves near Riverside Park. The calls began Friday afternoon at 12:57 with the report of a man with a knife in his hand making gestures like he was wanting to slash tires on passing vehicles. A second call came in at 12:58 with a description of a white male adult in his 30’s with no shoes, blue jeans, green shirt, shaggy hair and scruffy face with at least a four-inch knife. The suspect was also described as very agitated and was reported at various locations throughout the park, under the gazebo, and at the playground by the bathrooms. The suspect was taken into custody by 1:22 p.m. and identified as Alex Dewayne Jeffers from Alabama. The police narrative listed several calls to 911, six of them mentioning a knife, however officers were unable to locate the weapon.
Posted on 7/15/23 8:46AM by Chuck Benson
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Vehicle Fire & Wildland Spread Slows I-5 Traffic While Crews Respond to 2nd Blaze
A Friday night vehicle fire slowed Interstate-5 traffic and spread to the adjacent wildland at about 7:13 p.m. at milepost 39. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Fire District 3 firefighters were able to stop the fire at half an acre, and it is completely extinguished at this time. Our firefighters will be on scene continuing to mop up the remainder of the grass fire portion of this incident. Oregon Department of Transportation will be in the area and determining the need for lane closures. Please be aware of firefighters may still be working near the roadway and slow down or change lanes as directed. Shortly after the vehicle fire was brought under control a second alarm sent ODF firefighters to a fire near East Evans Creek Road south of Wimer. At 7:50 p.m. ODF reported firefighters on the ground being supported by a type 3 helicopter. By 9:20 p.m. the forward progress of the fire had been stopped containing the burn to 1.3 acres with no active fire, but hot spots remained. Fire hose was constructed around the burns perimeter with firefighters continuing to hand line the fire. A small spot fire was found near the top of the fire and it was engaged quickly.
Posted on 7/15/23 6:29AM by Chuck Benson
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Heat Advisory Remains in Effect Through 9 P.M. Sunday
The Heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect through Sunday night at 9 p.m. High temperatures of 100 to 105 degrees expected in Eastern Curry County and Josephine County. This includes the Illinois Valley and the communities of Agness, Grants Pass, Selma, Obrien, Cave Junction and Williams. High temperatures will peak on Saturday. Overnight temperatures will be in the low to mid 60s, which will limit relief for those without access adequate cooling resources. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.
Posted on 7/15/23 5:39AM by Chuck Benson
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Powerline Conversion Project will Cause Traffic Delays on Forest Service Road
Coos Curry Electric Cooperative plans to relocate an existing overhead powerline to an underground line in the prism of Forest Service Road 33 between Agness and Powers. The project in Skookumhouse Canyon is planned for US Forest Service Road 33 at milepost 15. This electrical line provides power to the community of Agness and is proposed for conversion due to environmental and safety hazards posed with future maintenance of an overhead line in this location. The Agness Company plans to work on this project starting Monday, July 17th, through September 15th. Motorists can expect potential traffic delays of up to 30 minutes in duration from Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.. Overhead poles of the existing powerline will be cut and removed via helicopter once seasonal restrictions that protect threatened, endangered or sensitive species are lifted.
Posted on 7/15/23 5:21AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Police & Firefighters Conducted Training Exercises at Fruitdale Area House
Sounds of explosions and smoke alarms were heard in a southeast Grants Pass neighborhood this week as police officers and firefighters took advantage of a rare opportunity to train on a structure that is going to be demolished. On Wednesday, GPPD SWAT team members conducted their first-ever explosive breach training exercise in the 1100-block of Fruitdale Drive. The house will be demolished due to structural issues and the owner offered it for training. The training was led by Officer Sal Garcia of the Medford Police Department, who set charges on various doors and walls. Such tactics are used in high-risk situations such as hostage crisis incidents. On Thursday, Grants Pass firefighters used the same house to conduct search training. They filled the house with smoke to simulate a fire and then searched for "dummy" victims. During this training, one crew took several dummies and placed them in the house followed by a second crew who attempted to locate them.
Posted on 7/15/23 5:20AM by Chuck Benson
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OHA Offers Tips for Staying Cool to Prevent Illness during Summer Heatwaves
With heat advisories in place due to temperatures forecast to be in the upper 90s to lower 100s around much of the state this weekend, the Oregon Health Authority is reminding people to take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses. High temperatures can seriously affect the health of older adults, infants and children, those who live or work outdoors, have low incomes, or who have a chronic medical condition. OHA officials said heat waves are occurring in Oregon more than usual and at higher temperatures. They said this is expected to worsen in coming years.OHA offers several tips to stay safe and healthy during extreme heat conditions. Stay in air-conditioned places when temperatures are high, if possible. Limit exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. when it is hottest and avoid direct sunlight. Try to schedule outdoor activities in the early morning and late evening. If you don't have air conditioning, use portable electric fans to send hot air out or draw in cooler air, but don't rely on a fan as a primary cooling device. Open your windows in the morning and evening hours. Close shades on south- and west-facing windows during the afternoon hours. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing to keep cool and protect your skin from the sun. Use cool compresses, misting and cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
Posted on 7/15/23 5:19AM by Chuck Benson
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Authorities Warning Residents Not to Fall Victim to New Local Telephone Scam
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is warning residents not to fall victim to a new local phone scam.
The Sheriff's Office has received recent reports of scam calls to local residents coming from a Jackson County Lieutenant Hart. The scammers are asking for residents to call a number regarding law enforcement matters. As a reminder, do not send money to someone representing themselves as law enforcement over the phone. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies will never call you to collect money. When in doubt, hang up and immediately call your local law enforcement agency.
Posted on 7/15/23 5:17AM by Chuck Benson
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