Local News

Motorist Hurt and Cited after Careening into "It's a Burl" Business in Kerby
A motorist was both hurt and cited after he crashed into a well-known business off Redwood Highway in Kerby. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck in the 24,000-block of US Highway 199 at 6:05 p.m. Friday. Troopers said the 29-year-old man stated that was driving a Subaru Forester south when he had a mechanical issue with the car's steering. He advised that he over-corrected, causing him to turn sharply to the right and crash into the side of the "It's a Burl" building. According to OSP, nobody inside the building was hurt. The driver of the Subaru sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment. The car sustained moderate damage and was towed to Cave Junction. Following the investigation, the motorist was cited for Driving While Suspended and warned for Operation of an Unsafe Vehicle.
Posted on 5/20/24 10:50AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Nabbed 2 Motorists for Weekend Impaired Driving in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police arrested two motorists for impaired driving in Josephine County over the weekend. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Friday at 11:29 p.m. when state troopers pulled over a Kia Frontier driven by a 53-year-old Selma man on US Highway 199 near Willow Lane just west of Grants Pass. Troopers said they stopped the motorist for a traffic violation and he displayed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was well over the legal driving limit. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. His vehicle was impounded and his dog was taken to the Josephine County Animal Shelter. The second incident happened on Saturday at 11:51 p.m. when troopers pulled over an Acura sedan driven by a 35-year-old Rogue River man on Rogue River Highway near Avalon Place. Troopers said they stopped the motorist for a traffic violation and he showed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in sobriety tests and was transported to the Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was nearly twice the legal driving limit. He was lodged at the Sobering Center for DUII-Alcohol, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering. His 9-year-old son was in the vehicle at the time, so OSP notified the Oregon Department of Human Services. His wife took possession of the car.
Posted on 5/20/24 10:49AM by Sam Marsh

Investigators Looking into Friday Night Fatal Motorcycle Crash in NE Medford
The Jackson County Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) team was investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred in northeast Medford. Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon received a call reporting a motorcycle crash in the 2700-block of Delta Waters Drive at 10:51 p.m. Friday. Medford police and medical personnel arrived on scene to find a bystander with medical training performing life-saving measures on an unconscious motorcyclist involved in the crash. The unconscious motorcyclist was unable to be revived and was pronounced deceased. He was identified as 39-year-old Benjamin McFarland. Members of the STAR team and a MPD detective responded and learned that two motorcycles were involved in the crash, with the other operator alert with minor injuries. That rider has not yet been identified. MPD Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold said the cause of the fatal crash was still under investigation, but speed was believed to be a factor. Arnold said MPD would like to thank the witnesses and bystanders who assisted at the scene of the fatal crash. He said they hope this tragic incident reminds everyone of the serious risks associated with speeding.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh

Multiple Fire & Rescue Units Responded to Fully-Involved Griffin Road Home
Multiple fire and rescue units from several agencies converged on a fully-involved two-story home in the Shan Creek area last night. On Sunday at 6:58 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue, American Medical Response and others were dispatched to the reported structure fire in the 400-block of Griffin Road. Initial reports received by the Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center indicated an occupant was trapped on the second-floor and unable to escape. Arriving units found the nearly 4,000-square-foot house in flames, with spread to surrounding vegetation and several vehicles. Thankfully, the occupant made it outside the house -- but they required medical care at the scene by AMR before being airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital. The multiple fire apparatus operating at the scene created congestion along Griffin Road as water was pulled from the Rogue River at Griffin Park. The cause of the fire was under investigation. The three-alarm fire brought numerous agencies to the scene as well as for back-fill coverage for additional alarms. In addition to Grants Pass, Rural Metro and AMR, those agencies included the Illinois Valley Fire District, Applegate Valley Fire District, Jackson County Fire District #1, Williams Rural Fire Protection District, Evans Valley Fire District, ODF Southwest, Mercy Flights, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Fire Marshal.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Sheriff Looking for Missing Person along Rogue River Trail
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in a possible missing person investigation along the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. On Friday at about 4:45 p.m., the Sheriff's Office received a citizen report of a backpack and dog leash that were found on the Rogue River Trail and there appeared to be no sign of a person or dog in the area. The reporting party stated that they noticed the backpack on their way down the trail. Upon seeing the backpack and belongings still in place later that afternoon on their way out, the citizen made a report to the Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's deputy hiked the trail Saturday and located the backpack on the trail approximately one mile northwest of the Grave Creek Boat Ramp. A search with verbal callouts did not locate a person or dog. A drone was also utilized to try to locate anyone, but that effort was also unsuccessful. Further investigation revealed the backpack had possibly been in that location since last Wednesday. The contents of the backpack suggested the owner was preparing to start a multi-day camping trip and items in the backpack did not appear to have been used. There was also no identifying information located. The Sheriff's Office is concerned the owner of the backpack may have become injured or lost. So far, no missing person reports have been filed that match the situation nor is there any evidence of foul play. The Sheriff's Office is actively trying to locate the owner of the backpack. If you have any information regarding this investigation, please call (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford Police Department Apprehended Suspect in Friday Robbery of Bank
The Medford Police Department has arrested a suspect in the robbery of a bank that occurred late last week. On Friday at approximately 1:50 p.m., Medford police officers responded to a reported robbery at Key Bank on East Barnett Road. MPD Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money from a teller. He said the male suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the bank in a dark-colored Ford Escape. MPD detectives and local FBI agents responded to the scene to investigate. They worked diligently throughout the night and were able to identify the suspect as 52-year-old Timothy Michael Spencer of Medford. On Saturday, a vigilant MPD officer located Spencer and the suspect vehicle in Medford. He was placed into custody and was being held at the Jackson County Jail as the investigation continues. Arnold said Spencer is being investigated for the Medford bank robbery as well as a robbery that occurred at a Rogue River bank last week. He said charges against the suspect are pending at this time.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Trying to Use Funny Money to Buy Items at Store
Grants Pass Police arrested man for trying to use counterfeit money to purchase items at a southwest city convenience store and then stealing the items after the clerk refused to honor the funny money. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at Speedway Express on Allen Creek Road on Friday around 10:45 p.m.. Police said an investigation determined that a 33-year-old male subject uttered two counterfeit $100 bills at the store and when the cashier did not accept the forged notes, he exited the store with two packs of cigarettes and a large bottle of beer. Officers searched the area, located the suspect on a trail at Tussing Park and placed him into custody at Taser point. The stolen items were recovered. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on suspicion of 1st-Degree Forgery and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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IVFD Assisted California Firefighters with Putting Out US Highway 199 Blaze
The Illinois Valley Fire District assisted California firefighters and citizens in putting out a weekend fire off Redwood Highway near the Collier Tunnel. On Saturday at 2:15 p.m., IVFD, Gasquet Fire, Cal-Fire the US Forest Service and the National Park Service responded to a small vegetation fire at milepost 34.5 of US Highway 199. IVFD officials said arriving units found the fire being extinguished by bystanders who pulled over as well as a nearby property owner. They said the citizens did a fantastic job in stopping the blaze from spreading into the surrounding wildland. The small fire was mopped up and lined by firefighters before being turned over to Gasquet Fire to continue operations. The California Highway Patrol assisted with traffic control while the scene was active. Officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation, but it may have started from a faulty catalytic converter on a passing vehicle.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Clerk Reporting Meager Turnout So Far for Tuesday's Primary Election
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The Josephine County Clerk's Office was reporting a low turnout for the May 21st primary election. On Friday evening, the Clerk's Office reported that only 13,366 out of 69,909 registered voters -- or 19.12% -- had returned their ballots. Out of the 13,366 ballots received, 12,815 had been accepted. Tuesday's primary election in Josephine County features a total of eight candidates running for two positions on the Board of Commissioners, a ballot measure that would replace the Josephine County Charter, a local option tax to financially support the Josephine County Animal Shelter, and a bond levy to improve safety and security in aging Three Rivers School District buildings. The ballot deadline for the election is Tuesday at 8 p.m.. Completed ballots can be mailed in or hand-delivered to designated drop sites before the deadline. However, due to recent delivery delay issues with the US Postal Service, election officials recommend dropping ballots off at designated sites before the deadline. The Postal Service now sends all mail from Josephine and Jackson counties to Portland for processing before returning it to addresses in Southern Oregon. It's possible that ballots mailed in tomorrow may not receive the all-important May 21st postmark.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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State Agencies Seek Community Feedback on Future of Upper Rogue River Recreation
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The Oregon Departments of Parks and Recreation (OPRD), Fish and Wildlife, State Lands and Oregon State Marine Board are seeking to better understand how Jackson County residents and visitors would like to enjoy and protect a 31-mile stretch of the Upper Rogue River between Gold Hill and Lost Creek Dam. The agencies have hired Oregon's Kitchen Table, a community engagement organization, to assist in the effort. The organization will conduct a survey and convene several community conversations now through July 5th. This effort stems in part from an earlier OPRD community engagement last year about the possibility of a jet boat concessionaire at TouVelle State Recreation Site. That process revealed community concerns about the impacts of jet boats on recreational access and fish and wildlife habitat. The concessionaire did not move forward. Community members and visitors are encouraged to share their viewpoints about the Upper Rogue River. A Zoom meeting will be held on Tuesday followed by in-person meetings on May 30th at Shady Cove Middle School, June 4th at TouVelle State Park and June 17th at the Medford branch Jackson County Library.
Posted on 5/20/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County GOP Women Announce 2024 Essay Contest Scholarship Winners
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The Josephine County Republican Women are proud to announce the three finalists of their second annual US Constitution Scholarship Essay Contest. Three young women in the Class of 2024 have been chosen from a total of 24 applicants in Josephine County. This year's essay question was "Since the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution states, 'Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech or the press,' what is the effect of social media on our decision making and our elections in the 21st Century?" First place and a $5,000 scholarship was won by Evie Hitchcock of the Mountain View Academy Homeschool Program. Second place and $4,000 went to Rebekah Guymon of Grants Pass High School and third place and $3,000 went to Brynna DeLonge of Grants Pass High School. All three young women will be introduced at the Josephine County Republican Women's luncheon on Tuesday at the Grants Pass Golf Club.
Posted on 5/20/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Evasive Phone 911 Call Results in Domestic Violence Arrest
Multiple charges are being levied against a 30-year-old man after an evasive phone call lead Sheriff’s Deputies to the 200 block of Turtle Lane. At 10:35 Friday night a 911 dispatcher received a call from a female who said she needs to talk to someone and then went silent. The woman did not answer questions until the dispatcher asked if she wanted police and the answer was yes. The caller was at a neighbor’s house and did not know the address, but it was discovered electronically. The woman stated the man put his arm around her throat, then tackled her in the driveway and tried to get her to go home. Deputies separated the two for interviews and arrested the man, lodging him in the Josephine County Jail and charges of menacing/aggravated assault and strangulation/aggravated assault.
Posted on 5/18/24 7:40AM by Chuck Benson
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