Local News

GPPD Lodge Suspect on Las Vegas Hold Warrant
A disorderly conduct call sent City Police to the area of 9th and ‘H’ Streets at about 9:45 Tuesday morning to investigate a man wearing dark clothing was repeatedly walking out in front of traffic. Officers contacted 39-year-old Russell Giorgianni near Town Center Mini Storage and found he was wanted on multiple warrants, one from Las Vegas for buying, possessing and receiving stolen property and one from Curry County for theft of services and criminal trespass.
Posted on 6/14/23 8:15AM by Chuck Benson

Road Closures, Speed Reductions & No Parking Laws Adjusted for Rogue Music Fest Traffic
The Rogue Music Fest is this Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17, at the Jackson County Expo. Law enforcement, firefighters, and medics will be on hand to ensure the safety of the concertgoers. Traffic will be severely affected in the area so please plan accordingly. A portion of Penninger Road will be closed during the duration of the festival. There will also be increased congestion to Pine Street, Upton Road, 10th Street, and other roads in close proximity. There will be temporary speed reductions and no parking restrictions in place. The Greenway will be closed between Upton Road and Pine Street. The attached map shows the best routes for concert attendees to use for arrival to the festival. Oregon Department of Transportation, Jackson County Roads, City of Central Point, and Gage It Construction will be augmenting traffic flows to the same locations during the music festival.
Posted on 6/14/23 4:57AM by Chuck Benson

SAR Personnel Intensify Search for Woman Missing from Shan Creek Area
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The search for a missing Josephine County woman continues with personnel out daily looking for 80-year-old Berna Leahy. 80-year-old Berna Leahy was last seen Tuesday, June 6th, in the 800-block of Shan Creek Road. She was on foot and her direction of travel was unknown. Leahy is described as a white female adult, 5-feet-8-inches tall and 165 pounds, with white hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue-striped shirt, blue pants, gray sneakers and black socks. Search and rescue personnel have been out daily with 160-man hours expended yesterday by the California-Oregon Search and Rescue teams. The teams utilized four K-9's and were trained with rope and rappelling techniques.
Posted on 6/14/23 4:43AM by Chuck Benson

Three Rollover Crashes & a Vehicle Fire in Less than 2 Hours Keep 1st Responders Busy
The Josephine County 911 Agency received reports of 3 rollover crashes and a vehicle fire in less than 2 hours, keeping Rural Metro Fire crews busy Tuesday afternoon. At 4:42 a single vehicle with 3 kids rolled on Stringer Gap Hill. All were considered minor or non-injury due to seatbelt use, but 1 was taken by ambulance to the hospital for a precautionary evaluation. At 5:08 a large log loader caught fire near the Rendata Industrial Park due to a mechanical issue. There was no spread to the adjacent wildland.
At 5:23 a 66K pound front-end loader rolled off the road after a mechanical failure in the Orofino Mine Road area near Winona Road. The driver of the machine was able to jump free as it rolled off the road. The driver was taken to the hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries. At 6:35 a single vehicle rolled over in the 6800 block of Lower River Road. Both occupants denied injury. An oil and fuel spill was mitigated.
Posted on 6/14/23 4:42AM by Chuck Benson
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Traffic Violations Lead to Arrest & Jail for Drugs, Weapons & Driving Suspended
Traffic violations caught the attention of an Oregon State Trooper Monday evening just before 8:00 p.m. and landed the driver in jail facing multiple charges. The Trooper stopped a black Ford F150 on North Applegate Road and found the driver, 61-year-old Gregory Scott Hicks, to have criminally suspended driving privileges plus there were a criminal amount of marijuana plants in plain view. Hicks was taken into custody and restricted weapons were found on his person. Hicks was transported and lodged in the Josephine County Jail on four charges: driving while suspended-misdemeanor, possession of marijuana-greater than eight ounces but less than eight pounds and two counts of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
Posted on 6/13/23 2:19PM by Chuck Benson
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Troopers Corral Reckless I-5 Driver
An Oregon State Trooper corralled what was reported to be a reckless driver by multiple callers from Interstate-5 Monday morning. The Trooper was dispatched to search out a white Toyota 4-Runner that callers stated was driving at a high rate of speed and passing on the shoulder from milepost 30 to 48 northbound. The Trooper caught up with the Toyota at the milepost 55 northbound off ramp. The driver, Rudy M. Guerrero, 29, of Coachella, California, showed signs of impairment and admitted drinking alcohol. He consented to field sobriety tests and was arrested for driving under the influence. The Trooper listed the possible charges that could be levied against Guerrero that included three counts of reckless driving and eight counts of reckless endangering. Those charges are up to the District Attorney’s office.
Posted on 6/13/23 2:02PM by Chuck Benson
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Lucky Grants Pass Lady Wins Oregon Lottery “Win for Life” Game
A Grants Pass woman decided to play Oregon’s Win for Life draw game for the first time - only to end up a jackpot winner. Ruth Salvatore, 73, purchased five tickets for the June 4th drawing and learned of her $52,000 annual prize when she scanned the last ticket on the Oregon Lottery app. At first, Salvatore saw she had won $2 on a ticket and was thrilled she won something. When her last ticket scanned as the jackpot winner, she ran into the living room to share the news with her sister and husband Ed. Salvatore and her husband are planning to use the money to remodel their home and take a trip to Cancun. Coincidentally, the couple will be celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary this month – making “52” a special number for them. The winning ticket was purchased at the Grants Pass Fred Meyer store.
Posted on 6/13/23 11:28AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Arrest Suspected Sexual Predator Monday in Walmart Parking Lot
A local man is in the Josephine County Jail facing three felony charges for attempting to lure a minor online. June 7th the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding an adult male attempting to communicate with a minor female via an online source. Based on the content of the messages that included explicit sexual descriptions of the male subject’s intent, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the male who was identified as John Morgan. Monday morning, after Morgan described what his intentions were, he agreed to meet the female at Walmart. When Morgan arrived at Walmart in his vehicle, members of the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office were in place and ultimately arrested him for the crimes involved. John Morgan, 73, was arrested and lodged in the Josephine County Jail for Luring a Minor and Online Sexual Corruption.
Posted on 6/13/23 11:21AM by Chuck Benson
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GPPD Arrest 2 for Kidnapping, Torture & Involuntary Servitude
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Grants Pass City Police responded to a call Sunday at 5:12 p.m. from a young man who had just escaped from months of slavery that ultimately resulted in two adults jailed facing many felony charges. The Grants Pass Police Department received a 911 call from a 22-year-old man claiming to have fled from a residence in the 1500 block of Ben Aire Circle after allegedly being forced into involuntary servitude for months by his cousin, 35-year-old Eastwood Mohammed Hamman, and Cassie Jo Gudino, a 27-year-old female. Officers located the fleeing victim and assisted with ensuring his safety. Detectives responded and determined the victim had been lured from New York, along with his 19-year-old sister, with promises of freedom and a job. The female victim was reportedly still being held at the residence. The suspects allegedly forced the victims to work by using fear of serious physical injury and use of torture, such as burning them with a torch, ice baths, beatings, and starvation. The victims were required to give all money earned from online remote employment to the suspects. On Monday morning, detectives, with the assistance of the Grants Pass SWAT and detectives from the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team, executed a search warrant at the residence located on Ben Aire Circle. The suspects were arrested at the scene, and the female victim was rescued. Both victims received medical attention at the hospital and will be reunited with family in New York. Eastwood Mohammed Mannan and Cassie Jo Gudino were lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of 1st Degree Kidnapping and two counts of 1st Degree Subjecting Another Person to Involuntary Servitude. Mannan was additionally charged with two counts of 2nd Degree Assault.
Posted on 6/13/23 11:08AM by Chuck Benson
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Tip from Florida Leads to Capture of Domestic Violence Suspect
Multiple felony charges of assault IV aggravated assault and strangulation are pending against a 37-year-old man now being held in the Josephine County Jail. At 7:42 Monday morning, a caller from Ft. Meyers, Florida notified Grants Pass City Police that she was familiar with Daniel Ryan McMillen, and after learning of the County’s elude case and wanted to alert local authorities that McMillen had been released from the Ft. Meyers jail with a GPS tracker. McMillen was located in room 16 of the Hawks Inn. Permission was obtained to enter the room and were working on obtaining a key but had plans to breach with the use of force and K-9’s standing by. Neighbors on Midland were advised to shelter in place. The incident was concluded by 3:21 Monday afternoon. Negotiations began with holes in the door and windows and the incident was ended after McMillen surrendered peacefully. He is currently lodged in the county jail on a no bail detainer.
Posted on 6/13/23 9:06AM by Chuck Benson
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GPPD Arrest Armed DUII Driver in Front of County Jail
A 43-year-old man drove to the Josephine County Sheriff’s office just after midnight this morning looking for protection from people who were shooting at him. Kristopher Everett Kelley pulled up to the jail in his Dodge Dart. He stated someone pointed a rifle at him in front of the Police Department Building on sixth street. Kelley’s account of people with guns following him were impossible and, according to the city police log, were figments of his imagination. He was taken into custody by City Officers for operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants, likely methamphetamine. A drug recognition expert was requested. Kelley consented to a search of his person and vehicle and was found to be in possession of two assisted opening knives and a loaded Taurus .357 magnum under the driver’s seat.
Posted on 6/13/23 8:31AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Collar Alleged Burglar & Lodged the Young Man on 2 Felony Charges
Deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s office arrested and lodged a 20-year-old man at about 2:25 p.m. Monday afternoon. Details are very sketchy but Giovanni Vincent Bours was arrested on six charges including two felonies: 1st degree burglary at a residence and 1st degree criminal mischief including crime damage. There were two 2nd degree criminal trespass charges, a 1st degree criminal trespass, all with damage enhancements and a hit and run charge with property damage.
Posted on 6/13/23 5:34AM by Chuck Benson
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