Local News

ODF Has Identified Five Fires Sparked by Lightning in Josephine & Jackson Counties
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The Oregon Department of Forestry has identified five fires that were sparked by lightning in Josephine and Jackson counties late yesterday. According to ODF, public lands in southwest Oregon received over 700 lightning strikes on Tuesday. In Josephine County, ODF firefighters have been working overnight with local and federal partners on three fires. All three fires are lined and in mop-up stages. The Valley Heights Fire located northwest of Selma was caught at just over a half-acre. The Hayes Hill fire located just east of Redwood Highway between Selma and Wonder was caught at less than a quarter-acre. The Slate Creek Fire located east of Wonder was stopped at just over a half-acre. A report of smoke near Williams has not yet been located. In Jackson County, ODF responded to two reports of smoke and fire this morning. The Eagle Drive Fire located in the hills north of Sams Valley was estimated to be a quarter-acre. The second report was of smoke in the Holcomb Springs area north of Sams Valley. Both locations are difficult to access and crews were hiking in. The US Forest Service planned to conduct a reconnaissance flight this morning over the areas where lightning struck including ODF-protected lands. Agencies continue to work on these incidents and are ready to respond to additional reports.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:28AM by Sam Marsh

RR-Siskiyou National Forest Identified 2 Fires on High Cascades District
As a result of thunderstorm activity late yesterday, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has identified two new fires on the High Cascades Ranger District. According to Forest Service officials, firefighting resources responded to the Wolf Fire which is 3/4-acre and has fire-line completed around it. BLM Crew 10 and two engines are continuing with mop-up efforts today. The Ten Fire at 1/10th of an acre in size is also lined and being mopped up today. The Forest has three Type 2 initial attack crews including one BLM crew and two Grayback Forestry crews, 14 engines, two water tenders, one bulldozer, two falling modules and two 10-person suppression modules on standby to assist resources. The extra resources are staged at the Siskiyou Mountains, Wild Rivers and High Cascades Ranger Districts to assist with response to additional starts. Firefighters will continue to patrol by air and ground. The Reeder Fire near Ashland showed no smokes during monitoring yesterday and will be checked again today. Outdoor recreationists are asked to be vigilant with fire prevention by thoroughly dousing campfires, avoiding parking over dry vegetation and not allowing tow chains to drag on pavement.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:26AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Felon for Weapon & Drug Crimes after SE Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police jailed a local felon on weapon and drug charges early yesterday after performing a welfare check in the southeast part of the city. The Police Department reports officers arrested 39-year-old Michael Cecil Mokres near the corner of SE 12th Street and Riverside Avenue on Tuesday at 7:58 a.m.. Police said Mokres was asleep inside his vehicle with engine running and windows down. They said brass knuckles were observed in plain view and what appeared to be the handle of a firearm was sticking out between the center console and seat. A contact team was formed and the suspect was placed into custody without incident. Mokres gave consent to search the vehicle and he was found to be in possession of several restricted weapons along with baggies of crystal-like substances that were later identified as methamphetamine and fentanyl. All were seized as evidence. Michael Mokres was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on four counts of Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and the narcotics violations. He was still in custody this morning without any scheduled bail.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:25AM by Sam Marsh

NE GP Disturbance Led to Capture of Man on Josephine County Warrant
A disturbance in a northeast Grants Pass neighborhood early yesterday led to the apprehension of a man wanted on a local warrant. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers responded to a disorderly male subject at a home in the 1400-block of NE Grable Drive on Tuesday at 9:16 a.m.. Police said 30-year-old Nicholas Leo Yeley spent the night at the home and was refusing to leave. They said he was pounding on the front door and there were two children inside the residence. Upon arrival, officers contacted Yeley and discovered that he was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Contempt of Court. He was placed into custody and lodged at the adult jail facility.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Woman on Warrant during Early Morning Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant during a patrol check outside a local restaurant early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers spotted two people sleeping inside a vehicle in the Applebee's parking lot in the 200-block of NE Agness Avenue on Tuesday at 2:20 a.m.. Police said they stopped and contacted a man and woman whom they identified as 33-year-old Tiffany Marie Braget and her boyfriend Stephan Malone. A routine records check showed that Braget was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. After the warrant was confirmed, Tiffany Braget was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The vehicle was left with her boyfriend.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Booted 4 People from City Parks for Repeat Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police booted four people out of two city parks yesterday for repeated ordinance violations. According to the Police Department, officers contacted Cory Russell, Kristopher Young and Lance Cardinal in a Tuesday morning patrol check at Tussing Park. Police said Russell and Young were both cited for Illegal Camping and Scattering Rubbish, while Cardinal was cited for Illegal Camping. All three subjects were trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 14 campsites were posted. During a patrol check at Fruitdale Park, officers contacted Michael Cowan and cited him for Scattering Rubbish. Since it was Cowan's second such citation, he was trespassed from the park for 30 days. One additional campsite was posted.
Posted on 6/7/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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California Motorist Killed in Fiery Crash off NB Interstate 5 near Central Point
A California man was killed earlier this week in a motor vehicle accident just off Interstate 5 near Central Point in Jackson County. On Monday at about 3:30 a.m., the Oregon State Police and emergency crews responded to a single-vehicle crash near milepost 33 of I-5. State troopers said a preliminary investigation indicated a Tesla Model 5 driven by 29-year-old Douglas Kroll of Oakley, California, was traveling northbound on I-5 when -- for an unknown reason -- the vehicle drifted off the freeway onto the shoulder and through a fence, striking a tree and catching on fire. According to OSP, Kroll was pronounced deceased at the scene. The roadway was not impacted during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Central Point Police Department, Jackson County Fire District #3 and Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested GP Man for Impaired Driving after Wreck on Williams Highway
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass man for impaired driving early yesterday after responding to a crash on Williams Highway. According to OSP, troopers and emergency crews rushed to the scene of a single-vehicle accident on Highway 238 near Shadow Mountain Way on Tuesday around 1:50 a.m.. Troopers said the wreck occurred when 36-year-old Cole William Ready lost control of the Geo Metro he was driving. They said he displayed strong signs of impairment at the scene and consented to field sobriety tests where further signs of impairment were observed. Ready was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was nearly three times the legal driving limit. He was lodged for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. His damaged Geo was hauled to the local impound yard by Caveman Towing.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:48AM by Sam Marsh
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JMET Detectives Snared Two Women during Cannabis Bust near Cave Junction
The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) arrested two people while dismantling an illegal cannabis growing operation near Cave Junction yesterday. On Tuesday, JMET -- with assistance from Josephine County Public Health & Building Safety -- served a search warrant at a property in the 1,000-block of Laurel Road. During execution of the warrant, more than 760 marijuana plants and 50 pounds of processed marijuana were seized and destroyed. The property also had multiple electrical, water and solid waste code violations that could result in the criminal forfeiture of the property. According to JMET, Lalani Allen was charged with Unlawful Manufacture and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana as well as Unlawful Appropriation of Water. Tina Young was charged with Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. Both were cited to appear in court and then released. JMET detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no further details about the case are being released at this time.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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Lightning Strikes Responsible for Small Fires on Illinois River Road & Hayes Hill
Firefighters were monitoring two areas in the Illinois Valley overnight after lightning strikes caused at least two small fires. On Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry and US Forest Service responded to a vegetation fire off Illinois River Road west of Selma. IVFD officials said the blaze was caused by one of many lightning strikes in the area. It was extinguished in short order, mopped up and monitored overnight. On Tuesday at 7 p.m., IVFD, Rural Metro Fire Department and the Forest Service rushed to the scene of another lightning-strike fire at the top of Hayes Hill. By 8 p.m., crews managed to hold the 1/10th of an acre fire within its perimeter and were extinguishing all hot spots. Units monitored the scene throughout the night.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Forest Service Contained Lightning-Caused Fire at Reeder Reservoir near Ashland
US Forest Service crews contained a lightning-caused wildfire near Ashland late yesterday. According to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Reeder Fire was fully-contained by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Resources will continue to mop-up over the next few days. The 1/2-acre blaze near Reeder Reservoir was discovered Monday night. The Wild Rivers, Siskiyou Mountains and High Cascades Ranger Districts were the recipients of continued lightning strikes late yesterday and last night. A Tuesday evening reconnaissance flight showed no additional starts in the local forest, but officials said they will continue patrolling by air and ground for the foreseeable future.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Consider Law Enforcement District and Cutting Ties with OSU Extension
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is set for a two-part weekly business session this morning that includes a meeting of the 4-H Extension budget committee. The Board will open with Administrative Actions which contains an order in the formation of a law enforcement service district and sets the first public hearing. Sheriff Dave Daniel approached the Board last week with his intent to form the district that would appear on the November election ballot. In other business, the Commissioners will consider a purchase order for a set of eight high-support automotive stands and an agreement with the Public Transit Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation. The Board will also convene as the governing body of the 4-H/Extension Service District to repeat last week's budget hearing and receive public comment. On the agenda is a termination agreement between the Oregon State University Extension and the local 4-H service district. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 6/7/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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