Local News

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

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

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

OSU Extension in Josephine County Launches "4-H Stockings for Soldiers" Program
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The Oregon State University Extension Service in Josephine County has a special way to say "Thank You" to our military veterans. It's called "4-H Stockings for Soldiers." For the past 14 years, Josephine County's 4-H youth -- in collaboration with the local community -- has sent holiday cheer to soldiers who are overseas. This year, they're collecting items to fill stockings for veterans located in Josephine County. Commonly requested items include socks, gloves and beanies; blankets; disposable razors; lotion, lip balm and other toiletries; chocolate; sugar-free candy; beef sticks, nuts and jerky; snacks; pencils, pens and notepads; and more. Donations can be mailed or delivered to the OSU Extension Office at 215 Ringuette Street in Grants Pass (97527). Drop off hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The office is closed from noon to 1 p.m.. The drop-off deadline is December 15th. For more details about 4-H Stockings for Soldiers, please call (541)-476-6613.
Posted on 11/10/23 6:41AM 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 last night. 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 11/9/23 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Fugitive, Cited 5 Campers and Evicted Them from City Park
Grants Pass Police apprehended a local fugitive, cited several campers and evicted all of them during a patrol check at Riverside Park early yesterday. The Police Department reports 53-year-old Bruce Alan Peterson was determined to be wanted on a Jackson County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Probation Violation related to Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. He was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. Meanwhile, Peterson was cited for Scattering Rubbish and Misuse of Open Space, Ryan Burrows was cited for Scattering Rubbish and Misuse of Open Space, Ashley Strempel was cited for drug possession, John Hanson was cited for Scattering Rubbish and Illegal Camping, and Timothy Teige was cited for Public Urination. All five subjects were trespassed from the park for 30 days while Peterson's personal belongings were logged into evidence for safekeeping. A kitten in his possession was taken to the Animal Shelter. A total of 11 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping at Riverside Park on Wednesday and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network. One load of trash containing four soiled and drug paraphernalia-filled tents was taken to Southern Oregon Sanitation for disposal.
Posted on 11/9/23 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man Who was Caught Inside Vacant NE City Apartment
Grants Pass Police arrested a man who was caught inside a vacant apartment on the northeast side of the city early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 34-year-old Timothy Evan Hall at an apartment complex in the 1,000-block of NE A Street on Wednesday at about 9:20 a.m.. Police said the complex manager called 9-1-1 to report that a male subject was inside a vacant apartment and had locked himself in the bedroom. The caller reported the same man broke into the apartment a few days ago and broke a window. Maintenance personnel repaired the window, but it does not lock. Officers arrived on scene and contacted Hall inside the apartment. They also found him to be in possession of drugs, which were seized for destruction. Timothy Hall was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was also cited to appear in court for the narcotics violation.
Posted on 11/9/23 11:03AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Transient Who Set Up Camp at Downtown Post Office Found Himself in Jail
A male transient who decided to camp at the Grants Pass Post Office and refused to identify himself to police found himself lodged in jail early yesterday. Grants Pass Police responded to a trespassing call involving a male subject at the downtown post office on NW 6th Street on Wednesday at 7:40 a.m.. Police said the caller reported the man was camping at the back exit of the post office. The caller said the man refused to leave when asked to do so and he started calling him names. The suspect was crouched down and covered with a multi-colored blanket on the walkway along the railroad tracks when officers arrived on scene. He refused to identify himself to officers and refused to leave the property under lawful orders. The suspect was taken to the Josephine County Jail where fingerprinting identified him as 43-year-old Robert Michael Musella. Musella was booked on a charge of 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 11/9/23 11:01AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Man for Violations after He Set Up Camp in City Parking Lot
Grants Pass Police cited a male transient for two violations after he set up camp in a downtown parking lot early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a trespassing call at the Beaver Parking Lot at the corner of SE 7th and G streets on Wednesday at 9:23 a.m.. The caller was identified as a city employee. Police said they contacted Michael Ledbetter sleeping in a handicapped space in the parking lot near the alleyway. They said he had several trash items including cigarette butts around him. After Ledbetter was awakened, he was cited for Scattering Rubbish and Illegal Camping in the Downtown Area. He was ordered to clean up his mess and move on.
Posted on 11/9/23 11:00AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Cited 3 People for Unpermitted Activities in Illinois Valley Forests
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office cited three people for unpermitted activities in the Illinois Valley yesterday. According to the Sheriff's Office, the first incident occurred on Wednesday at noon when deputies contacted two people on Caves Highway. They were cited for Collecting Forest Products Without a Permit. The second incident happened on Wednesday around 1 p.m. when deputies contacted a person on a nearby Forest Service Road. They were cited for Cutting Forest Products Without a Permit. After deputies ordered them to appear in court, the arrestees were released. None of them were identified in the Sheriff's Log.
Posted on 11/9/23 10:58AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Team Arrested CJ Man after Raiding Illegal Marijuana Growing Operation
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The Oregon State Police arrested a Cave Junction man while raiding an illegal marijuana growing operation last week. In a Wednesday afternoon press release, OSP reported that its Drug Enforcement Section Southwest Region Marijuana team served a search warrant on a property in the 400-block of Pinewood Way last Thursday. During execution of the warrant, 1,644 illegal marijuana plants and approximately 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana were seized and destroyed. In addition, about $9,000 in US currency was seized as evidence. OSP detectives said 41-year-old Randall Meisenburg was arrested and charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana. Due to the unsavory living environment, the Oregon Department of Human Service's Child Welfare Division was contacted and responded to assess the condition of two small children on the property. The OSP team was assisted by the OSP Special Weapons & Tactics team and Jackson County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET). Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and no additional details will be released at this time.
Posted on 11/9/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Unregistered Sex Offender on Warrant after Laundromat Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a local warrant and tacked on a charge of being out of compliance with his sex offender registration after a trespassing complaint at a laundromat this week. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 63-year-old William Ward Fleming, Jr., at EZ Wash Laundromat on SW G Street on Tuesday night. Police said they responded to a call about a man smoking something out of a pipe while sitting under a table at the laundromat. They contacted Fleming and learned that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Furnishing False Information to Police. A methamphetamine pipe was seized. It was also discovered that Fleming was a convicted sex offender who had not registered locally since August 2022. William Fleming was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. He was being held without bail after being additionally cited for the narcotics violation.
Posted on 11/9/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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