Local News

Multiple Agencies Responded to Treat Person with Gunshot Wound in Wolf Creek
Multiple agencies mobilized to treat a person with a critical gunshot wound in the Wolf Creek area early yesterday. On Thursday at 11:38 a.m., the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Wolf Creek Fire District, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response rushed to the scene of the shooting. Even an Oregon Department of Forestry unit on patrol in the area assisted with traffic control to help make a landing zone safe as the unidentified patient was airlifted by Mercy Flights helicopter to a local hospital for treatment. The Sheriff's Office was investigating the events leading up to the shooting. No other information was available on the incident. Rural Metro officials said incidents like this one show the importance of having adequate response personnel and volunteers to save lives and property in rural communities. As the Wolf Creek Fire District continues to rebuild its presence in the community, they are always looking for more volunteers.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
 

First Responders Busy with Rollover Crash near Sunny Valley & Fire near Hugo
Emergency first responders were busy in northern Josephine County late yesterday with a rollover crash on Interstate 5 near Sunny Valley and a brush fire near Hugo. On Thursday at 4:52 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response and the Oregon State Police were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 70. Rural Metro officials said one person was extricated out of the overturned vehicle after the windshield was removed. The unidentified patient was transported by ambulance with serious injuries to Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. On Thursday at 4:54 p.m., multiple calls were received by Josephine County 9-1-1 about a brush fire in the 8600-block of Monument Drive which mobilized units from Rural Metro, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and the Oregon Department of Forestry. Arriving units found a half-acre of grass burning that was easily contained. Per ODF, the fire was caused by an open burn that is currently prohibited since the start of fire season in southwest Oregon on June 1st. It was not disclosed whether any citations were issued.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
 

ODF Crews Pounced on Suspected Lightning-Sparked Fire East of Shady Cove
The Oregon Department of Forestry pounced on a suspected lightning-caused fire near Shady Cove late yesterday. On Thursday afternoon, ODF crews responded to a fire in the hills east of Shady Cove. Firefighters estimated the blaze to be a half-acre in size and burning in heavy timber. Crews mounted an aggressive initial attack, with ODF firefighters hiking in and the BLM also sending resources to assist with the incident. By 6:05 p.m., the wildfire was declared 100% contained at 3/4 of an acre. Mop-up operations continued through the evening. ODF officials said the exact cause of the fire was under investigation, but it was suspected to be sparked by lightning. The agency continued patrolling areas where lightning was reported last night and that effort will continue today.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
 

Deputies Seek Assistance to Find Woman Reported Missing in Shan Creek Area
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office was asking for public assistance in locating a woman who was reported missing by her family earlier this week. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, 80-year-old Berna Leahy was last seen on Tuesday 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. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Berna Leahy is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123. Please reference Case #23-14241.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Emergency Management Touts Disaster Preparedness Guide
Southern Oregon is a beautiful place to live, but our region is vulnerable to disasters such as fires, floods, severe storms, earthquakes, dam failures, landslides and hazardous spills. Josephine County Emergency Management says many of these disasters have already occurred here and they undoubtedly will again. During a disaster, residents may be able to stay in their homes -- but it could be without power or water. A special preparedness guide and family workbook can help residents be ready for whatever emergencies may occur. Josephine County Emergency Management has hard copies of this handbook available upon request. Digital copies are also available. For more information, visit "rvem.org."
Posted on 6/9/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Ashland City Council Looks to Ban Residential Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
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Ashland may be the next city in Oregon to ban natural gas in some of its buildings in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve indoor air quality. The Ashland City Council this week directed the city's staff and attorney to draft an electrification ordinance that would bar natural gas hookups in new residential construction. The city also hopes to eventually draft a similar ordinance for commercial and industrial buildings and for building remodels. The Oregonian reports Ashland is one of several cities in the state that have adopted climate action plans and hope to institute a natural gas ban -- despite opposition from Oregon's natural gas industry and a federal lawsuit filed in California that seeks to halt similar ordinances nationwide. In February, Eugene became the first city in Oregon to prohibit natural gas hookups in new residential construction. Eugene's ordinance was to take effect for building permits submitted on or after June 30th, but opponents -- funded largely by Oregon's largest investor-owned gas utility, NW Natural -- submitted enough signatures to put it to a citywide vote in November. In April, a court decision put the Eugene ordinance further in jeopardy when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down Berkeley, California's first-in-the-nation natural gas ban.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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ODOT Says Ashland Area Bridge Decks and Interstate 5 will Receive Summer Improvements
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The Oregon Department of Transportation has announced the East Main Street Bridge over Interstate 5 in Ashland reopens today -- it was the first of two bridges to get a deck facelift. Starting Monday, lane restrictions begin for the rehabilitation of the Highway 66-Ashland Street bridge deck over the railroad overpass. This work will take about 10 weeks. Drivers should expect a single lane in each direction over the bridge through early August. ODOT officials said the timing of both projects allows the East Main Street Bridge to reopen before the height of the southwest Oregon fire season. Starting next Thursday and running through July 5th, bridge deck corrective work will close the southbound Exit 6 to Mount Ashland and Callahan's Lodge. Through traffic southbound on I-5 will narrow to a single lane while the old deck seal is replaced. Due to the on-ramp closure, local traffic wishing to travel south from Exit 6 will detour on Old Siskiyou Highway to the I-5 Exit 1 on-ramp just north of the state border. The contractor will perform the same work on the northbound side from June 29th through July 19th. Interstate 5 between Exits 11 and 19 near Ashland will also see improvements this summer.
Posted on 6/9/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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"Hunger Hero Awards" to be Presented at Josephine County Food Bank Fundraiser
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Hunger Hero awards will be presented at a fundraiser for the Josephine County Food Bank later this month. "The Shining a Light on Hunger Fundraiser" will be held at Weekend Brewing Company on June 22nd from 6 to 9 p.m.. The Toni Drew Service Award is in memory of Toni Drew, the former program coordinator at the food bank and her dedication to the local fight against hunger. This award recognizes exceptional service in the fight against hunger in our community. It comes with a cash award of $200. Eligible recipients include employees and volunteers of local pantries as well as partner agencies in the Josephine County Food Bank network. The Individual/Group Rising Star Youth Award also recognizes exceptional service in the fight against hunger. This award is open anyone up to 17 years of age. Individuals 18 and older can be nominated for individual or group awards. For more information on the Hunger Hero Awards and the Shine a Light on Hunger Fundraiser, please contact the Josephine County Food Bank at (541)-479-5556 or visit "jocofoodbank.org."
Posted on 6/9/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff Seeks Help to Find Woman Reported Missing in Shan Creek Area
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is asking for public assistance in locating a woman who has been reported missing by her family. According to a Sheriff's Office press release, 80-year-old Berna Leahy was last seen on Tuesday 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. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Berna Leahy is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123. Please reference Case #23-14241.
Posted on 6/8/23 10:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Felon in Custody after Turning Himself in to Corrections
A Grants Pass felon is in custody after he turned himself in to his corrections officer late yesterday. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 44-year-old Jason David McMasters at the Josephine County Community Corrections office on Wednesday shortly before 5 p.m.. Police said McMasters was wanted for Felony Parole Violation stemming from a conviction for an unspecified crime. He was placed into custody without incident. Jason McMasters was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 6/8/23 10:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Collared Man on Bench Warrant during Missing Person Probe
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man wanted on a bench warrant last night during a missing person investigation. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 53-year-old Richard Dennis Martin at a home in the 5900-block of Cloverlawn Drive on Wednesday at 9:44 p.m.. Deputies said Martin's son contacted the Sheriff's Office to report his father as missing. The caller advised he had not been able to contact his father for nearly a month after his mother passed away and his father moved to an unknown location. Martin's son told deputies his father's last known address was in the Williams Highway-Cloverlawn Drive area. They were able to track him down and learned that he was wanted on a 2022 Josephine County warrant for Contempt of Court. Richard Martin was lodged at the adult jail facility and deputies contacted his son to advise that his father was no longer missing.
Posted on 6/8/23 10:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Patrol Check at GP City Park Results in Arrest, Citations and Exclusions
A patrol check at a Grants Pass city park early yesterday led to the arrest of a man on an outstanding warrant along with citations and exclusions for other campers. Grants Pass Police were performing a patrol check at Baker Park on Wednesday morning when they contacted and arrested 25-year-old Joshua Connor Rose. Rose was spotted smoking fentanyl and he provided officers with two false names before it was discovered that he was wanted on a Douglas County warrant for a traffic crime. He was lodged in jail on the warrant and the narcotics violation. He was also trespassed from Baker Park for 30 days. Meanwhile, Misty Lapine and Samantha Brown were cited for Scattering Rubbish while William Jensen was cited for an unlicensed dog. Since it was their second citations within the past year, all three were trespassed from the park for 30 days. Anthony Jolly was cited for Inoperable Vehicle after he had been warned several times for having a truck with an expired registration inside city parks. Shopping carts taken from Winco Foods, Safeway and Bi-Mart were returned to the stores.
Posted on 6/8/23 10:41AM by Sam Marsh
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