Local News

BLM Still Seeking Public Input on Bear Grub Vegetation Management Project
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on a plan to promote more resilient forests near Ruch, Jacksonville, Talent and Medford -- but time is running out. The Bear Grub Vegetation Management Area is one of the most at-risk locations for wildfire in Oregon. The BLM project is designed to develop large, fire-tolerant trees and reduce the severity of wildfires. The plan includes nearly 5,000 acres of fuels reduction work including prescribed fire and removing small diameter trees. These actions would implement the Rogue Forest Partner's West Bear All-Lands Restoration Project. The plan also includes less than 1,500 acres of commercial thinning. The BLM issued a decision in 2020 that was protested. The Medford District addressed the protest by rescinding the 2020 Decision Record and Environmental Assessment (EA) to address concerns of the public and is now issuing a revised EA. The administrative protests delayed implementation of planned fuels reduction work. Douglas fire mortality in the area has also compromised the integrity of some of the merchantable timber. The BLM released its revised EA on June 8th and all written comments must be received by this Friday, June 23rd. A decision on the project will not be made until after public comments have been considered.
Posted on 6/20/23 5:35AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP City Council Favors Placing Buffer Zones in Parks & Keeping Same Number of Restrooms
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The majority of the Grants Pass City Council is in favor of placing buffer zones in parks and maintaining the existing number of porta-potties for homeless people in parks along the Rogue River. During its weekly workshop session on Monday, seven members of the Council supported a plan for park buffers created and revealed by City Attorney Augustus Ogu. Councilor DJ Faszer was absent. Ogu said the plan includes 50-foot buffers around playgrounds, splash pads and waterways along with 20-foot buffers around park walkways. Inside these buffer zones, tents or temporary structures would be prohibited. However, the unhoused population would still be allowed to "rest" within the buffers. City Manager Aaron Cubic said the new park rules are set up with an emergency clause so they can go into effect immediately if the Council approves them during their regular meeting on Wednesday night. If the vote is not unanimous, a second reading would take place at the next meeting in early July and the panel has the option of keeping Riverside Park closed until then. The City Council voted 6-1 to maintain the existing number of porta-potties for campers at five for three parks along the Rogue River. Once Riverside Park is reopened, one of the facilities at Tussing Park would be moved back to Riverside Park west of Caveman Bridge which is where all future campsites must be situated. The Council will revisit the park restroom situation in three months.
Posted on 6/20/23 5:33AM by Sam Marsh
 

US Senators Announce Oregon Counties will Receive Over $27 Million in PILT Funds
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US Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have announced that all 36 Oregon counties will receive more than $27 million this year from the federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program that helps cover the costs of important services. Local governments cannot tax federal lands, so annual PILT payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the US Interior Department including the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. PILT payments also cover federal lands administered by the US Forest Service and US Army Corps of Engineers. Payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county and the population of that county. Here in Josephine County where more than two-thirds of the land is administered by the federal government, the 2023-24 PILT payment is $1,469,614. In Jackson County, the PILT payment is $1,676,529. It's $746,359 in Douglas County. These federal resources will be invested in local law enforcement, schools, road construction and firefighters.
Posted on 6/20/23 5:29AM by Sam Marsh
 

City of Grants Pass Announces Caveman Pool Now Open for 2023 Summer Season
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A fixture in the Grants Pass community for more than 50 years is now open for the summer. Caveman Pool will be open every day until August 25th, except for July 4th. The YMCA operates Caveman Pool under contract with the City of Grants Pass. The public swimming pool is located at 801 NE 9th Street. Daily admission fees range from free for four years and under with a paid adult, $5 for youth ages 5 to 17 and $6.50 for adults over 18. A family of four can swim at the pool for $12. There are also season passes available for youth, adults and family. Children under the age of 10 must have a parent or guardian present. All non-swimmers are required to always have a parent or guardian with them. The hours of operation at Caveman Pool vary, but there are open swims on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 4:15 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:15 to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.. For more information, contact the Grants Pass Family YMCA at (541)-474-0001.
Posted on 6/20/23 5:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Searchers Found Body of Shan Creek Woman Missing Since June 6th on Sunday
The body of a Shan Creek woman missing for nearly two weeks has been found. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports search and rescue crews located the body of 80-year-old Berna Leahy on Sunday about a quarter-mile from where she was last seen on June 6th. Leahy was seen walking in the 800-block of Shan Creek Road, but her direction of travel was unknown. An extensive search for the woman took place immediately after she was reported missing and the effort was increased the following weekend. Deputies said there is no foul play suspected in the death of Leahy and no further information is being released.
Posted on 6/19/23 1:49PM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Warrant & Other Charges after Struggle on RR Property
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a local felony warrant and other charges after he struggled with officers on the railroad property on the west side of the city. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 35-year-old Matthew Braden Draina on the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad property near the corner of SW Eastern Avenue and Foundry Street on Friday afternoon. Police said they contacted Draina on the railroad land from which he had been previously trespassed. They said he elected to flee on foot while being ordered to stop and then resisted being placed into custody, which resulted in all parties getting scratched up by blackberry bushes. After being subdued, Draina was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center where he was medically cleared. While at the hospital, it was discovered that he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Probation Violation related to a recent arrest for 1st-Degree Burglary. Matthew Draina was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus new charges of Resisting Arrest and 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 6/19/23 10:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman for Stealing Hundreds in Merchandise from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing hundreds of dollars' worth of merchandise from Walmart. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to a shoplifting complaint involving 30-year-old Jillian Nichole Roberts at the store on NE Terry Lane on Saturday shortly before 3 p.m.. Police said Roberts was detained by Walmart loss prevention when she passed all point of sale with nearly $400 in unpurchased items. They said she admitted to the theft and all the stolen items were recovered. Jillian Roberts was lodged at the nearby Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. Because of her cooperative nature, she was not trespassed from Walmart.
Posted on 6/19/23 10:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Causing Crash at Intersection of 7th & A Streets
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for causing a Sunday afternoon crash at a busy intersection. According to the Police Department, officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision at the intersection of NE 7th and A streets at about 12:45 p.m. yesterday. Police said Josiah Rassmussen ran through a red light while driving north on 7th Street and T-boned another vehicle at the crossing. They identified the involved vehicles as a Subaru and a Toyota Tacoma, but did not disclose which vehicle Rassmussen was driving. No injuries were reported among several occupants including small children. Both vehicles were heavily damaged and towed away. The Subaru had heavy front-end damage and the rear axle was dislodged from the frame of the Tacoma. Following a brief investigation, Rassmussen was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.
Posted on 6/19/23 10:10AM by Sam Marsh
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No One Hurt When Vehicle Crashed into Tree on Takilma Road Early Sunday
No one was hurt when a vehicle crashed into a tree in the Illinois Valley early yesterday. On Sunday at 5:19 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District and American Medical Response were dispatched to the single-vehicle wreck in the 10,500-block of Takilma Road. IVFD officials said arriving units found a vehicle that had struck a tree at that location. They said there were no injuries and only a minor traffic disruption due to the early hour of the day. Jerry's Towing hauled the vehicle into Cave Junction. According to the report, the cause of the crash was under investigation.
Posted on 6/19/23 10:08AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Seek Public Assistance in Finding Woman Reported Missing Saturday
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office was seeking public assistance in locating a woman who went missing over the weekend. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, 32-year-old Rene Salazar was last seen on foot in the 3,000-block of Camp Joy Road on Saturday around 11 a.m.. Deputies said Salazar's direction of travel was unknown. She is described as a Hispanic adult female, 5-feet-4-inches tall and 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with "Search and Rescue" on it, dark-gray yoga pants and no shoes. If you locate Rene Salazar, do not confront her -- call 9-1-1. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 6/19/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Incarcerated IV Woman for Violent Weekend Incident in Cave Junction
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed an Illinois Valley woman for a violent weekend disturbance in Cave Junction. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the incident in the 200-block of Honeybee Lane on Saturday at about 3 p.m.. Deputies said 53-year-old Mary Jeanene Myers struck a man in the head and pulled a gun on him at that address. They said the incident was the result of allegations of stolen property. No one was seriously injured. Mary Myers was in possession of two guns when she was placed into custody. She was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on charges of Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing.
Posted on 6/19/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Weekend Shoplifting Incident Led to Arrest of GP Man for Multiple Local Thefts
A weekend shoplifting incident at Home Depot led to the arrest of a Grants Pass man for multiple thefts at local businesses. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint involving 28-year-old Kyle William Poole at the hardware store on NE Mill Street on Saturday around 6:20 p.m.. Police said Poole was observed by Home Depot loss prevention stealing a couple of items by walking out of the store without paying for them. He was contacted by officers a short time later and the stolen merchandise was retrieved. During a subsequent interview, Poole reportedly admitted to this theft and other thefts as well as trading stolen goods for drugs. He was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia, which was seized for destruction. Kyle Poole was booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Theft, 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and the narcotics violation.
Posted on 6/19/23 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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