Local News

Board of Commissioners Has No Action Items for Weekly Business Meeting
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners should make quick work of a very light agenda for its weekly business session this morning. There are no public hearings, action items, presentations or proclamations on the agenda. There will be Requests and Comments from Citizens in which participants are given up to three minutes to address the Board on virtually any topic pertaining to Josephine County. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 5/29/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh

OEM Shares Evacuation Resources and Best Practices to Stay Safe during Fire Season
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The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is encouraging Oregonians to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by staying informed, having an emergency plan and packing a go-kit. People can find an evacuation checklist, "live" wildfire and evacuation maps, and wildfire preparedness and prevention tips at "wildfire.oregon.gov. OEM Director Erin McMahon said Oregon follows a three-level evacuation notification system structured around the readiness need and threat level. She said people should be familiar with the "Be Ready, Be Set, Go Now" evacuation levels and their meaning. Level One (green) means BE READY to evacuate. Be aware of the danger in your area and prepare to leave. Level Two (yellow) means BE SET to evacuate. There is significant danger in the area and people should be ready to leave with short notice. Level Three (red) means GO NOW. Leave immediately because there is extreme danger and it is unsafe to stay. People should also evacuate anytime they feel unsafe as conditions can change rapidly. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, the 2024 fire season in Jackson and Josephine counties will begin this Saturday, June 1st.
Posted on 5/29/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

Josephine County Wildland Fire Readiness Training Exercise Underway in Merlin
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Multiple fire agencies from across Southern Oregon are participating in a wildland training exercise through Thursday in Merlin. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department are sponsoring the event, which is taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and tomorrow in the Acorn Street area and at the end of Ort Lane. The training event started Tuesday. Grants Pass Battalion Chief Brandon Rigaud said this training is crucial for preparing firefighters to respond effectively to real wildland fire emergencies. During the exercise, participants are practicing critical skills like construction of fire-line, hose deployment, "live" fire evolutions and communication. Rigaud said residents in the vicinity may see a small amount of smoke due to the "live" fire training exercises. He said fire engines and firefighters will be on scene throughout the training to ensure safety and control the fire.
Posted on 5/29/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

US Forest Service Waiving Recreation Fees for "National Get Outdoors Day" on Saturday
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The US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Region will be waiving fees at most day-use recreation sites in national forests across Oregon and Washington this Saturday in celebration of "National Get Outdoors Day." National Get Outdoors Day aims to connect Americans with the great outdoors and inspire them to lead healthy, active lifestyles. By waiving fees on this day, the Forest Service hopes to encourage the public to take advantage of the many recreational opportunities available on their national forests. This fee waiver applies to day-use fees at trailheads, picnic areas, visitor centers and other recreation sites across the region's 17 national forests and grasslands. Other fees -- such as those for camping, cabin rentals or special permits -- will remain in effect. Sites operated by concessionaires may participate at their own discretion.
Posted on 5/29/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Murphy Area Man Incarcerated for Racially-Motivated Crime Involving Guns
A Murphy area man was jailed last night for a racially-motivated crime involving weapons. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a disturbance in the 100-block of Stanford Way on Monday around 9:40 p.m.. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that a male subject came to her home brandishing a firearm and threatened her husband, telling him that he wanted to use his shotgun on him. The caller described the firearm as a handgun. She said she did not know the man and he walked away toward Williams Highway with his dog. Responding deputies located the man and found him with multiple firearms. The man stated that he is a neighbor to the female caller even though she claimed not to know him. Statements were taken from all parties and he was placed into custody. The 53-year-old suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on charges of 1st-Degree Bias Crime, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Menacing and 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail. The guns were seized as evidence.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:28AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Snared Motorcyclist for Riding Recklessly with Young Child in Lap
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorcyclist for endangering his young daughter while riding recklessly just north of Grants Pass yesterday. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a road rage incident in the 700-block of Granite Hill Road on Monday shortly before 2 p.m.. Deputies said an off-duty police officer called 9-1-1 to report a motorcycle rider was trying to hit another vehicle and caused the other vehicle to crash. There were no injuries reported. The motorcyclist had his 4-year-old daughter in his lap. The 37-year-old suspect was riding a 2022 Harley Davidson and he was finally pulled over next to the Josephine County Courthouse on NW C Street. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for Reckless Endangering and Reckless Driving. His motorcycle was picked up by a friend. The suspect's young daughter was picked up by her grandmother. She was not hurt, but deputies notified the girl's mother as well as the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:26AM by Sam Marsh
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DA Deciding Whether to File Charges on Wolf Creek Man for Theft of Vehicle
The Josephine County District Attorney's Office is deciding whether to file charges against a Wolf Creek man who was caught driving a stolen vehicle when he was stopped by the Oregon State Police in Merlin yesterday. OSP reports troopers pulled over a 28-year-old man driving a GMC Sierra pickup on Merlin Avenue near Pleasant Valley Road on Monday at 1:11 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped the motorist for traffic violations and discovered that the truck had been stolen from the Portland International Airport on May 23rd. However, the vehicle theft had not been reported due to the owner traveling. According to the report, the investigation is continuing and no arrest was made. Charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and 1st-Degree Theft against the suspect were referred to the DA's Office for consideration. The stolen vehicle was towed to a local impound yard.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:25AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared State Fugitive in Morrison Centennial Park Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police apprehended a fugitive wanted on a statewide felony warrant while performing a patrol check at a city park on Memorial Day. According to the Police Department, officers spotted the 55-year-old male subject at Morrison Centennial Park on Rogue River Highway on Monday at 9:06 a.m.. Police said the city park camper was known to them from previous contacts and a records check showed that he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Parole Violation. While being placed into custody, he was found with a small amount of methamphetamine which was seized for destruction. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the no-bail warrant and he was cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation. He was also trespassed from the park for 30 days.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Pair for Trying to Steal Walmart Items on Memorial Day
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for attempting to steal merchandise from Walmart yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the store on NE Terry Lane on Monday at about 11 a.m.. Police said a 37-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were observed and admitted to stealing more than $100 in items from Walmart by concealing them in a purse and backpack. The suspects were placed into custody and during a consent search, the female subject was found with over two grams of methamphetamine. It was seized for destruction. Both the man and woman were lodged without bail at the nearby Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. The drug possession charge was added to the woman's criminal bill. Both were also trespassed from Walmart.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested 4 Motorists for Holiday Weekend DUIIs in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police arrested four motorists for impaired driving in Josephine County over the Memorial Day Weekend. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Friday afternoon when troopers pulled over a Toyota Tacoma driven by a 66-year-old Jacksonville man near the intersection of Williams Highway and Hyde Park Road. Troopers said the driver was known to be wanted on a warrant for Driving While Suspended and he showed signs of impairment. The second incident happened on Saturday at 11:08 p.m. when troopers pulled over a Toyota Prius driven by a 33-year-old man from Pico Rivera, California, near the corner of 7th and B streets in Grants Pass. Troopers said they stopped the man for traffic violations and he displayed signs of impairment. The third incident took place on Sunday at 1:23 a.m. when troopers pulled over a Dodge Challenger driven by a 30-year-old woman from Eureka, California, on Redwood Highway near Willow Lane. Troopers said they stopped the woman for failing to maintain her travel lane and she displayed signs of impairment. The fourth incident occurred on Sunday at 6:43 p.m. when troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash at Bridge Lane and Old Highway 99 in Wolf Creek. Troopers said the 54-year-old male driver of a Jeep Patriot left the roadway and crashed into some trees. The Jeep driver called 9-1-1 to report that he was a drunk driver.
Posted on 5/28/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Motorist Seriously Hurt in Redwood Highway Rollover in Southern Illinois Valley
A motorist was seriously hurt when he crashed a rented moving van on Redwood Highway in the southern Illinois Valley early yesterday. On Monday at 6:22 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police responded to the single-vehicle rollover crash on US Highway 199 near Arrowhead Drive and Dwight Creek Road. IVFD officials said the motorist was trapped inside the overturned U-Haul moving van and heavy extrication was needed to free him. Rural Metro Fire Department was called to the scene for manpower and more extrication tools while Jerry's Towing was called in for vehicle stabilization. The patient was extricated from the wreckage, transported to the Illinois Valley Airport by AMR and transferred to Reach Air Ambulance which flew him to a local trauma center with serious injuries. The Oregon Department of Transportation provided traffic control while the scene was active. OSP was conducting the crash investigation.
Posted on 5/28/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Deputies Snared Man for Sunday Assault on Neighbor in Redwood Area
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for assaulting his neighbor in the Redwood area west of Grants Pass last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a disturbance in the 5,000-block of Leonard Road on Sunday shortly before 6 p.m.. Deputies said the victim called 9-1-1 to report that his 65-year-old next door neighbor walked up to him and hit him in the face. The caller said he was bleeding, but he did not need ambulance. However, he did want to press charges. No reason was given for the punch. Two women in an adjacent space witnessed the assault, but wished to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation from the suspect. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Assault. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/28/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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