Local News

GP Police Arrested Motorist for Felony DUII after Multiple Traffic Complaints
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for felony impaired driving last night after multiple traffic complaints that started in the city and ended on Interstate 5. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over a Nissan Crossover driven by 37-year-old Matthew Gary Beard in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 56 on Thursday around 9:30 p.m.. Police said Beard had been called in as a traffic complaint because he could not maintain his travel lane and nearly struck several motorists. The reports began on the Grants Pass Parkway near SE M Street and continued on the Parkway when one motorist followed the suspect vehicle onto the freeway. OSP was notified. Beard reportedly struck a guardrail on I-5 and nearly crashed with several other cars before he was pulled over. He showed indicators of impairment due to the use of multiple narcotic substances and performed poorly in field sobriety tests. Matthew Beard was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Endangering and Driving While Suspended. His vehicle was towed to the impound yard.
Posted on 11/10/23 11:29AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Arrested Woman for Causing Disturbance at Merlin Supermarket
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a woman for causing a disturbance at a Merlin area supermarket yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a report of suspicious activity at Ray's Food Place on Merlin Road around 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Deputies said a male caller reported that 50-year-old Shannon Leann Peterson showed up at the store half-naked and advised her husband had been abusing her. They said she was contacted a short time later at the nearby Dollar General store and she was covered with dried blood from small cuts. Peterson was given a blanket to cover herself while deputies investigated and determined that her claims of spousal abuse were unfounded. American Medical Response arrived on scene to help, but she declined medical treatment. Shannon Peterson was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 11/10/23 11:27AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Woman for Starting Cooking Fire in Downtown Area
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for starting a cooking fire in the downtown area late yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident involving 54-year-old Amanda Marie Ahulau in an alley near the 600-block of SE 7th Street on Thursday at about 4:25 p.m.. Police said Ahulau gathered combustible materials and started a cooking fire in the alley. They said this caused public alarm to nearby residents and when they told her to stop, she began to scream and yell incoherently. The small fire was quickly extinguished and there was no spread to any structures. Amanda Ahulau was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct. She was also trespassed from the area.
Posted on 11/10/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh

Squatters Nabbed for Moving into Vacant CJ Home without Permission
Two squatters who moved into a vacant home in the Cave Junction area were arrested yesterday. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a trespassing complaint in the 5600-block of Westside Road on Thursday afternoon after they received a call from a neighbor earlier in the day. Deputies said the next door neighbor noticed at least four people inside the vacant house and they contacted the property owner to advise them about the squatters. The suspects told them they were renting the house, but the owner refuted that claim and the Sheriff's Office was contacted. Upon arrival, deputies contacted 44-year-old Julie Love and 30-year-old Joe Thompson who admitted to moving in to the vacant home without permission. Both were charged with 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and 3rd-Degree Criminal Mischief because they cut the lock on a gate to gain access. Love and Thompson were cited to appear in court and released. They had several dogs, a trailer and other belongings that needed to be removed from the property.
Posted on 11/10/23 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Evicted Campers from Tussing Park after Citizen Complaint
Grants Pass Police evicted seven campers from a city park early yesterday after receiving a citizen complaint about ordinance violations. The Police Department reports officers responded to Tussing Park after a person reported trash all around the property, someone using a park bench as a tent and a male subject dancing around. Officers arrived on scene and determined the complaint was unfounded, but they found several other reasons to intervene. Ashley Hanson, Timothy Wood, Mark Huff, Melissa Koenig and Antoine Roberson were all cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their already posted campsites. Roberson, John Hanson and Cory Russell were cited for Scattering Rubbish. All seven were trespassed from Tussing Park for 30 days. A campsite belonging to Joseph Hislip was removed the park and placed in safekeeping. Three shopping carts were recovered and returned to local stores.
Posted on 11/10/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigation Led to Capture of Suspected Drug Dealer in Josephine County
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An Oregon State Police investigation in Josephine County resulted in the arrest of a suspected drug dealer, the seizure of more than 100 grams of fentanyl and the recovery of multiple firearms this week. On Monday, OSP Drug Enforcement Section troopers located 35-year-old Jesse Michael Rigel who was wanted on an outstanding warrant for parole violation stemming from previous convictions for Assault, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Hit-and-Run and Possession of Methamphetamine. According to OSP, Rigel had been evading police for more than a year. While searching an associated property in the 17,000-block of Redwood Highway, detectives located and recovered two stolen vehicles. Detectives additionally located and seized seven firearms including one that had been reported stolen, body armor, about 108 grams of suspected fentanyl and three grams of methamphetamine. Also found was evidence of narcotics distribution. Jesse Rigel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the outstanding warrant. Jail records indicate he has since been transferred to another agency. However, he still faces additional local charges pending the conclusion of the investigation. OSP was assisted by the Grants Pass Police Department and Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE). Detectives said the investigation is ongoing.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Jailed Man for Attempting to Stab Motorist in Downtown Area
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for attempting to stab a motorist and damaging his vehicle in the downtown area this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 39-year-old Daniel Lee Wells for the incident at SW 6th and G streets near the Downtown Welcome Center around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Wells was crossing the street against a no-walk signal when a truck driven by a man had to brake abruptly to avoid striking him. They said a verbal argument ensued and Wells withdrew a large knife, charged at the man's truck and swung the knife through the open window so the man had move around to avoid being stabbed. Wells then stabbed the exterior of the man's driver-side door, causing damage where the tip of the knife penetrated the metal door panel. The suspect was arrested a few blocks away a short time later and the knife was seized as evidence. Daniel Wells was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempted 2nd-Degree Assault, Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Looking for Driver Who Smashed Car into Tree in the Illinois Valley
Authorities were looking for the driver of a vehicle that smashed into a tree near Cave Junction late yesterday. On Thursday at 4:33 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 1 of Dick George Road near Shadywood Drive. Arriving units found a heavily-damaged vehicle lodged head-first into a tree. No driver or occupants were found after emergency crews searched the area. Deputies flagged the crash scene and the Sheriff's Office was investigating.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:51AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Intoxicated Man Who Called 9-1-1 to Escape Cold Weather
Grants Pass Police arrested an intoxicated man who wanted to go to the "drunk tank" early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to perform a welfare check on 54-year-old John Bush at the downtown Safeway store around 1 a.m. Thursday. Police said Bush called 9-1-1 to report that he was intoxicated at the supermarket. They said he admitted he was trespassing at the store because he returned there after being trespassed earlier this year. He told dispatchers that he was "freezing to death" and wanted "to go to the drunk tank." Bush got his wish to get out of the cold. He was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center due to his high level of intoxication. After he was cleared, he was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:50AM by Sam Marsh
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ODOT Says Drivers Should Prepare for Heavy Traffic on Veterans Day Weekend
The Oregon Department of Transportation says motorists should prepare for heavy traffic this Veterans Day weekend, especially in the Willamette Valley. Interstate 5 will be particularly busy because Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have home football games on Saturday. That's in addition to Veterans Day parades and events planned around the state through the weekend. Traffic is likely to be heavy all day Saturday in the Willamette Valley, with the Beaver game starting at 2:30 p.m. and the Duck game starting at 7:30 p.m.. Fans traveling to and from these games will clog local roads and highways. Several Oregon communities are hosting Veterans Day events that might affect highway traffic directly. ODOT officials say always remember to put your traveling plan together now. Leave early, be patient and stay alert so you can react to sudden stops in traffic, quick lane changes by other vehicles, and leave plenty of distance between you and others. Keep current on road and travel conditions by visiting "TripCheck.com."
Posted on 11/10/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue Valley Fire Agencies Get More Tools to Save Lives with New Pet Oxygen Kits
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Thanks to a generous donation from an Arizona-based foundation, six pet oxygen kits -- also called "Fido Bags" -- are now being carried by four more Rogue Valley agencies. Rural Metro Fire Department got its first kit in 2010 and now nearly all local fire agencies in Josephine and Jackson counties carry the kits due to similar donations. Rural Metro -- working in coordination with The Fetch Foundation -- facilitated a presentation in Grants Pass this week. Receiving agencies included the Illinois Valley Fire District, Jackson County Fire District #1, Evans Valley Fire District and Greensprings Rural Fire Protection District. The primary tool inside the Fido Bag is the specially-designed mask that concentrates oxygen more efficiently than those designed for humans. Pets are family members, too, and treatment of smoke inhalation in animal fire victims is equally important. The top of the kits includes the number 19, in honor and memory of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished in 2013 as well as the badge number of the firefighter son of The Fetch Foundation's founder who died from occupational cancer. To learn more about The Fetch Foundation or to donate to the ongoing effort of getting these kits into every fire engine in America, please take time to visit "thefetchfoundation.com."
Posted on 11/10/23 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford District BLM Announces Upper Table Rock Trailhead & Trail Reopening to Hikers
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The Butte Falls Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management will reopen the Upper Table Rock trailhead and trail today. According to the Medford District BLM, the re-routes have been completed and the new route will provide a more enjoyable experience for hikers. Upper Table Rock is now 1.5 miles one-way to the top, an increase of around 1/4-mile to avoid the steepest sections. The re-routed sections also lead to new vistas from the trail and pass by other unique trail features. Approximately 250 yards of gravel was placed along the trail to help reduce mud and erosion. This project was funded with Secure Rural Schools Title 2 money. Under the act, Title 2 funds are designed to make investments in public lands through projects that improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land health and water quality. BLM projects are authorized by the Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states including Alaska on behalf of the American people.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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