Local News

OSP Nabbed Motorists for Impaired Driving Last Weekend in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police arrested three motorists for impaired driving last weekend in Josephine County. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Friday at 11:13 p.m. when state troopers pulled over a Toyota 4-Runner driven by 39-year-old Jeremy Sorenson of Cave Junction near milepost 27 of Redwood Highway. Sorenson was stopped for a traffic violation and he displayed signs of impairment. He performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he was lodged for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The second incident happened on Saturday at 5:49 p.m. when troopers responded to a single-vehicle crash involving a Ford pickup driven by 78-year-old Geoffrey Williams of Grants Pass on US Highway 199 at Ingalls Lane. Williams ran into multiple mailboxes before getting stuck in a ditch. He showed signs of impairment and became verbally non-compliant with law enforcement. He was eventually taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw and then lodged at the Josephine County Jail for DUII-Alcohol and Reckless Driving. The third incident took place on Sunday at 12:05 a.m. when troopers pulled over a Dodge Caravan driven by 32-year-old Kiya Nianne Hodge of Wolf Creek on Caves Highway at Laurel Road. Hodge was stopped for a traffic violation and she showed signs of impairment. She performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was lodged at the Sobering Center for DUII-Alcohol and Reckless Driving.
Posted on 6/6/23 10:16AM by Sam Marsh

Authorities Recover Body of GP Woman Swept Down Rogue at Indian Mary Park
Authorities have recovered the body of a Grants Pass woman who was swept down the Rogue River at Indian Mary Park last month. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office said the body of Lynn Boyum was located in the Rogue near the Argo Recreation Site on Saturday. She was reported missing and presumed drowned after being swept downriver in a tragic May 12th accident. On May 12th, the Sheriff's Office was notified about two adult subjects in distress near the boat ramp at Indian Mary Park. Lynn Boyum had gone into the Rogue to retrieve the family dog that had crossed the river and refused to swim back. She became overwhelmed by the swift current and her husband threw a rope to her without success. Dan Boyum then entered the water to rescue his wife, but he was overwhelmed by the current and went underwater. Bystanders were able to pull Dan from the water and started CPR. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. An extensive search effort was launched to locate Lynn Boyum with personnel walking the riverbanks and a Sheriff's Office marine boat combing the river. The search was eventually called off and Lynn remained missing until Saturday. Dan Boyum graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1968 and Lynn Boyum graduated from GPHS in 1970. The Grants Pass Broadcasting Corporation once again sends its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh

RADE Detectives Arrested GP Man in Search of West Harbeck Road Home
Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) arrested a Grants Pass man for drug and weapon crimes last week when they served a search warrant on a south-city home. Last Thursday morning, RADE -- with assistance from the Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) -- executed a search warrant in the 1600-block of West Harbeck Road. Seized during the search were over one pound of cocaine, digital scales, packaging materials, a handgun and more than $30,000 in cash and assets. According to RADE, 34-year-old Robert Matthew Garland was arrested at the scene and then lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Manufacture and Possession of Cocaine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. In mid-May, RADE seized over one ounce of cocaine, a digital scale, packaging materials and two handguns while arresting 22-year-old Chance Cannon Calaustro for felony drug and weapon crimes. Detectives said the arrest of Calaustro led to the subsequent search warrant on West Harbeck Road. Anyone with information regarding the mentioned cases is encouraged to call (541)-450-6371 or e-mail "rade@grantspassoregon.gov."
Posted on 6/6/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Man for Warrant and Multiple Felony Crimes at Walmart
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on a local warrant and for multiple felony-level crimes associated with a recent violent incident. The Police Department reports officers arrested 58-year-old Gregory Albert Metzger at Walmart on NE Terry Lane around 10 a.m. Sunday. Police said they received an anonymous tip that Metzger was inside a vehicle parked in the Walmart employees' parking lot. They said he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for 4th-Degree Assault -- but more importantly, he was wanted for probable cause in a criminal investigation. Gregory Metzger was placed into custody and lodged at the nearby Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus probable cause of crimes including 1st-Degree Assault, 1st-Degree Robbery, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, 2nd-Degree Kidnapping, Menacing and Criminal Mischief. No details about the crimes were provided by the Police Department, but Metzger was being held without bail and he was still in custody on Monday.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Saved Most of Jerome Prairie Home after Monday Garage Fire
Firefighters were able to save most of a Jerome Prairie area home after a garage fire erupted there early yesterday. On Monday at 10:19 a.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the structure fire in the 3200-block of Woodland Park Road. First arriving units from Grants Pass Fire's Redwood Station initiated an attack from inside the living room, holding the blaze from advancing as additional crews from Rural Metro knocked down the garage which contained a car. Firefighters were aided in stopping the flames due to construction features including a fire wall. Upon achieving control of the fire, crews turned their attention to salvaging furniture and contents, then pulling down the ceiling to look for hidden smoke and embers. There were no reported injuries. The Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting with the investigation. The Illinois Valley Fire District and Jackson County Fire District #1 assisted by covering the district during the incident. The Oregon Department of Forestry monitored surrounding fields, watching for spot fires and thankfully finding none.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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Two People Hurt When Their Vehicle Struck Deer on Highway 238 near GP
Two people were hurt last weekend when their vehicle struck a deer on Williams Highway just south of Grants Pass. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle crash near milepost 3 of Highway 238 on Saturday shortly after 7 p.m.. Troopers said 37-year-old Jessica Davidson of Grants Pass was driving a Toyota 4-Runner east and negotiating a curve when a deer entered the roadway. They said the vehicle struck the deer head-on and came to a controlled rest on the shoulder. According to OSP, both Davidson and her passenger were transported by ground ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center with minor injuries. Their vehicle had significant damage and was hauled into Grants Pass by A-1 Roadside Towing.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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RR-Siskiyou National Forest Welcomes New Deputy Supervisor Brillenz
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is welcoming a new addition to its Forest Leadership Team. Dave Brillenz will serve as the Deputy Forest Supervisor to Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr.. His start date is June 20th. George said the Forest appreciates Jeremy Dorsey, who recently served as the Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor on a 120-day temporary detail assignment before returning to his permanent position as the Hume Lake District Ranger on the Sequoia National Forest in California. Dave Brillenz grew up in Oregon and served as a District Ranger on the Lakeview-Bly District on the Fremont-Winema National Forest from 2014 to 2018. He is currently the District Ranger for the Feather River District on the Plumas National Forest in California. Prior to joining the US Forest Service, Brillenz worked as an Environmental Engineer with the US Department of Defense and he worked with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in California and Nevada. He is a retired Marine Corps Officer with a Master's degree in Total Quality Management and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He also completed Marine Corps Command College.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Favors Utility Fee and Levy Renewal to Fund Public Safety Services
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The Grants Pass City Council made some important decisions regarding the long-term funding of public safety services during its weekly workshop on Monday. Following a presentation from Finance Director JC Rowley, the City Council held a discussion of funding options for police and fire services including the $1.79 public safety levy, a public safety utility fee and a public safety sales tax. Rowley said expenditures have been outpacing revenues over the past few years and the annual funding goal for public safety is $15.4 million, based on the 2024 Fiscal Year Budget. He said how the revenue is achieved is at the discretion of the Council, which has been grappling with the issue since the first of the year. Following a lengthy discussion, the majority of the City Council arrived at a decision to implement a $30.51 monthly public safety utility fee starting on January 1st as well as a vote on a five-year renewal of the $1.79 public safety levy in November. If the public safety levy were to fail this fall, the Council would have the option to increase the public safety utility fee to make up the funding deficit.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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State PUC Seeks Public Comment on Avista's Proposed 8% Natural Gas Rate Increase
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The Oregon Public Utility Commission is hosting a virtual public comment period on Wednesday at 6 p.m.. The event provides customers of Avista an opportunity to comment via Zoom on the impacts of the utility's proposed increase in natural gas rates. Customers may also submit comments in writing or by phone through June 22nd to be included in staff's opening testimony of this case. Avista filed a request to increase rates by 7.4% on average to all 106,000 Oregon customers. This would impact customer rates differently depending on usage and customer type -- residential, business or industrial customers. For a residential customer in a single-family home using an average of 47 therms per month, a current monthly bill is about $77. With Avista's proposed increase, the average residential customer bill would increase to around $83 per month. For the average residential customer, this represents an increase of 8.06%. If approved, new rates are expected to go into effect January 1. 2024. View the meeting agenda to access the Zoom link and phone-in details at "bit.ly/439Je5x."
Posted on 6/6/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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RCC Seeks Osprey Mural Contest Entries from Community, Staff and Students Until June 30th
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A region-wide competition to design and install "We are Ospreys" murals on each of the three Rogue Community College campuses is open for entries. Students, RCC employees and community artists are invited to participate. The theme for the art project is "Spread Your Wings at RCC." The contest aims to create a sense of belonging. The winged theme for the murals reflects the college's Osprey mascot and mirrors a current, inspiring social media phenomenon. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on June 30th. RCC is seeking submissions from local professional and amateur artists to design and produce a mural for each campus in Grants Pass, Medford and White City. The three locations offer indoor and outdoor options for mural placement. Winners will be selected by mid-July and the projects will be installed in September of this year. Public unveiling events are scheduled for mid-October. For more information, visit the RCC contest web information page at "roguecc.edu/mural" or contact Elizabeth Butler at (541)-956-7073.
Posted on 6/6/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man on Local Felony Warrants while Checking Transient Camp
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man who was wanted on two local felony warrants while performing a weekend patrol check on transient camps located in the hills just north of Grants Pass. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 46-year-old Mark Lewis Radley at a homeless encampment off Granite Hill Road on Saturday morning. Deputies said they located Radley and his wife -- 49-year-old Jennie Lee Radley -- at the third of three transient camps they found in that area. He was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for 2nd-Degree Burglary, 2nd-Degree Robbery and 1st-Degree Theft as well as a Jackson County felony warrant for Contempt of Court. According to the report, the Radley's campsite was covered in trash and they were illegally camping on BLM land. Mark Radley was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrants along with charges of Offensive Littering and Criminal Trespass. Jennie Radley was also lodged in jail for Offensive Littering and Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 6/5/23 10:37AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Booted 5 People for Illegally Camping at Tiny City Park
Grants Pass Police booted five people for illegally camping in one of the city's smallest parks. According to the Police Department, officers contacted Bartholomew Lewis and five other people with the surnames Stene, Sullivan, Peters and Green during a Saturday patrol check at Ogle Park on NW Washington Boulevard. Police said all five were advised of resting hours and they agreed to remove their tents from the park. Lewis was contacted while packing up a tent and found to be wanted on two Grants Pass warrants for 2nd-Degree Theft and Criminal Trespass. He was cited to appear in court and then released. According to the report, a woman identified only as "Rose" became verbally aggressive with officers and attempted to interfere with law enforcement. She was warned for Disorderly Conduct and advised of Oregon Revised Statutes regarding False Impersonation of a Law Enforcement Officer.
Posted on 6/5/23 10:32AM by Sam Marsh
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