Local News

IVFD and ODF Extinguished Two Small Fires near Cave Junction on Thursday
Crews from the Illinois Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry extinguished two small fires near Cave Junction yesterday -- with one of them leading to citations for burning debris during fire season. On Thursday at 2:56 p.m., IVFD and ODF were dispatched to an escaped open burn in the 2500-block of Westside Road. Firefighters quickly put out and mopped up the blaze. IVFD officials said citations were issued to the property owner. On Thursday at 7:15 a.m., IVFD and ODF responded to reports of a small brush fire on South Old Stage Road. After the fire was extinguished, the incident was turned over to ODF for mop-up and an investigation. All outdoor debris burning is prohibited during fire season. Outside fire season, permits are always required for debris burning in the Illinois Valley.
Posted on 6/23/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
 

Medford Unit of ODF Conducting "Live" Training Exercise near Central Point
The Medford Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry has been conducting a "live" burn training exercise near Central Point this week. According to ODF Southwest, the fire training along Truax and Newland roads started Thursday and will conclude today. Officials said new firefighters are learning in a controlled environment with experienced firefighters and supervisors available to coach and intervene. Approximately 22 acres will have been burned by the end of the exercise today. Smoke may be visible in the Central Point area during the training.
Posted on 6/23/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
 

RCC Invites Citizens to Revive the Rogue Bowl Festival at Redwood Campus
Rogue Community College is inviting the public to a weekend event to help revive the Rogue Bowl on its campus just southwest of Grants Pass. The community festival is set for Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m. at RCC's Redwood Campus located at 3345 Redwood Highway. The festival will help kick-off a multi-phased, multi-year campaign to revitalize the Rogue Bowl to bring it into ADA-compliance with a refurbished stage and ramp access, infrastructure for modern sound and lighting, increased capacity, additional parking, a ticket booth, a variety of entry points and more restrooms. The event will feature "live" local bands throughout the day, a food truck row, "live" theater by Barnstormers and others, Kids Zone with fun activities and crafts, cornhole and bingo games, and Rogue Bowl tours. There will also be a "donation station" where citizens can purchase a brick or star that will memorialize your name or business as well as T-shirts for sale. If it gets hot during the festival, there will be cooling stations. Put on your sunscreen and bring a chair for RCC's Revive the Rogue Bowl on Saturday!
Posted on 6/23/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
 

ODF Increased SW Oregon Fire Danger Level from "Low" to "Moderate" Starting Today
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The fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Josephine and Jackson counties has increased to "moderate" today. This level change means that additional fire restrictions for the public are now in effect. The fire danger level was increased due to seasonal high temperatures and dry fuels on the 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands protected by ODF's Southwest Oregon District. Public fire restrictions in effect -- such as no debris burning, fireworks or exploding ammunition -- remain in effect. Beginning today at 12:01 a.m., all open fires are prohibited including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed in areas clear of vegetation. The use of chainsaws, the mowing of dead or dried grass and the cutting, welding and grinding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. during moderate fire danger. During hours outside this time frame, these activities will be allowed with extra precautions such as tools, water, fire extinguishers in areas free of flammable vegetation. Motorized vehicles -- including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles -- are allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. For more information about ODF fire season public restrictions, please call the Grants Pass Office at (541)-474-3152, the Medford Office at (541)-664-3328 or visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 6/23/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass City Council Adopts $207.1 Million Budget during Regular Meeting This Week
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The Grants Pass City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget during its regular meeting this week. By Oregon statute, local governments must adopt a balanced budget by June 30th each year. The $207.1 million spending plan was approved on a 5-2 vote. City Manager Aaron Cubic testified that the Grants Pass Budget Committee began its work on May 6th and approved the budget on May 25th. He said the spending plan was based on the Strategic Planning Session at the beginning of the year when the Council identified its top priorities for the year. Cubic said revenue for the budget is mainly derived from utility fees and property taxes, which this year are set at a rate of approximately $4.13 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. While nearly all of the General Fund is spent on police and fire services, around 57% of the entire budget goes toward personnel costs including public safety. As part of the budget, the City Council also approved State Revenue Sharing that will provide the city with $510,000. By statute, all cities in Oregon must declare their intention to use the revenue that comes from state taxes on liquor, marijuana and gasoline. The 2024 Fiscal Year Budget is available for public viewing on the city's website, which is "grantspassoregon.gov."
Posted on 6/23/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Gains in Leisure & Hospitality Led to Josephine County Employment Increase in May
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Total payroll employment in Josephine County increased by 290 jobs in May, with leisure & hospitality leading the way. According to the Oregon Employment Department, 34,320 people were working in Josephine County last month for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5.2%, which was down from 5.5% in April but up from 5% in May 2022. Leisure & hospitality had the largest monthly gain, up by 140 jobs. Private education & health services (+40) and construction (+30) also added jobs over the month. Government employment rose by 70 jobs over the month with gains in federal, state and local government. Over the past year, payroll employment in Josephine County declined by 80 jobs, a loss of 0.3%. Industries adding jobs since May 2022 included private education & health services (+280), other services (+110) and construction (+60). Industries losing jobs over the year were retail trade (-170), manufacturing (-170), leisure & hospitality (-150), professional & business services (-110) and wholesale trade (-110).
Posted on 6/23/23 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Office Seeking Public Assistance in Locating Missing Grants Pass Man
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in locating a missing Grants Pass area man. According to a press release, 53-year-old Shannon Dixon Beckett was reported missing on June 22nd after he was last seen by his family on June 19th. Deputies said Beckett walked to the store from his residence on Barbara Drive in the Fort Vannoy area, but he did not return. They said he was spotted in downtown Grants Pass on June 20th. Shannon Beckett is described as a white male adult, 6-feet-1-inches tall and 190 pounds with black hair, a graying beard and brown eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 6/22/23 2:09PM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Increasing Fire Danger Level to "Moderate" in Southwest Oregon on Friday
The fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Josephine and Jackson counties will increase to "moderate" on Friday. This level change means that additional fire restrictions for the public will be in effect. The fire danger level is increasing due to seasonal high temperatures and dry fuels on the 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands protected by ODF's Southwest Oregon District. Public fire restrictions currently in effect -- such as no debris burning, fireworks or exploding ammunition -- will remain in effect. Beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m., all open fires will be prohibited including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will still be allowed in areas clear of vegetation. The use of chainsaws, the mowing of dead or dried grass and the cutting, welding and grinding of metal will be prohibited between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. during moderate fire danger. During hours outside this time frame, these activities will be allowed with extra precautions such as tools, water, fire extinguishers in areas free of flammable vegetation. Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned is not allowed between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m.. Motorized vehicles -- including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles -- will only be allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. A shovel and one gallon of water or a 2.5-pound or larger fire extinguisher are required while traveling. Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations. For more information about ODF fire season public restrictions, please call the Grants Pass Office at (541)-474-3152, the Medford Office at (541)-664-3328 or visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 6/22/23 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Snared Young Woman for Violating Jail Release Agreement
Grants Pass Police arrested a young woman for violating a court order by entering the property of a protected person late last night. The Police Department reports officers responded to a disturbance involving 18-year-old Lily Ann Fettig at a home in the 900-block of SW L Street on Wednesday around 10:45 p.m.. That's where she reportedly snuck in her boyfriend's window. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that Fettig was inside the residence, which was protected from Fettig as part of her jail release agreement. They said Fettig was contacted about 45 minutes later at the corner of SW K Street and Greenwood Avenue where she initially denied entering the property. According to the report, Fettig eventually admitted to being inside the home and knowing it was a violation of her jail release agreement. She was re-lodged at the Josephine County Jail for suspicion of Contempt of Court.
Posted on 6/22/23 10:35AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Cited Man for Breaking Window of Vehicle Owned by Ex-Wife's Beau
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for vandalism yesterday after he allegedly broke out a window on a vehicle parked at a boat ramp on the Rogue River. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies were alerted to the incident at the Hog Creek marina west of Merlin on Wednesday at 8:36 a.m.. Deputies arrived on scene and contacted the victim who stated he was sleeping inside his vehicle when he woke up to 46-year-old Jeffrey Foster striking a window with "some sort of object." The victim said Foster was hitting and kicking his SUV before the suspect went to his truck, retrieved an object and used it to break out the rear passenger window. The altercation was verbal and no one was hurt. Deputies contacted Foster who stated he went down to the boat ramp to confront the victim, who is dating Foster's ex-wife. He admitted to hitting the window, but said the window was still intact when he drove away. Evidence at the scene indicated otherwise. Jeffrey Foster was cited to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief.
Posted on 6/22/23 10:34AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Local Warrant after Shoplifting Incident at Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant while investigating a shoplifting incident at Walmart yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint involving 37-year-old Joseph Curt Wilder at the store on NE Terry Lane on Wednesday at about noon. Police said Wilder concealed nearly $50 worth of Walmart merchandise in his pants and passed all points of sale without paying for the items. They said he was discovered to be wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Joseph Wilder was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant along with a charge of 3rd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 6/22/23 10:32AM by Sam Marsh
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Washington Man Nailed for DUII after Interstate 5 Crash in Sunny Valley Area
A Washington man was arrested for impaired driving yesterday after he wrecked his vehicle on Interstate 5 in the Sunny Valley area. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 72 on Wednesday shortly before the noon hour. Troopers said 71-year-old Ronald Max Fisher of Shelton, Washington, told them he was driving a Mercedes Benz convertible when he swerved into a roadside ditch to avoid a crash with a semi-truck that changed lanes in front of him. They said he displayed signs of impairment at the scene and was detained. He was not hurt. According to OSP, Fisher performed poorly in field sobriety tests and he was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was over the legal driving limit. He was lodged at the Sobering Center for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and his wrecked convertible was impounded.
Posted on 6/22/23 10:30AM by Sam Marsh
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