Local News

Grants Pass Police & Firefighters Logged Busy Week of Activity to Close Out January
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged a busy week of activity as the calendar changed from January to February. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 687 calls for service along with 226 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 53 arrests, 26 citations, 34 warnings and five highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 115 potential trouble-makers while arresting one person, citing 22 more and warning nine others. The CRT unit also trespassed 14 individuals, posted 89 transient camps and removed trash from one campsite in a city park. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 82 calls last week including 41 for emergency medical service, 21 for reports of fire or smoke, nine lift assists, 11 rescue situations, four assists to other agencies and seven false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 984 emergency calls.
Posted on 2/5/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Parks Workers Stayed Busy Last Week with Winter Maintenance Projects
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Grants Pass parks workers stayed busy last week with winter maintenance projects. Riverside, Westholm, Lawnridge and Croxton parks received detailed landscape bed pruning and the addition of fresh wood chips around trees to ensure a vibrant and well-cared-for landscape. Two trees were removed from Ogle Park last week due to root system failures, but staff planted a new tree at Reinhart Volunteer Park that was purchased through the Memorial Tree Program. At Baker Park, the contractor has poured the foundation base that the Portland Loo restroom will be anchored to near the boat ramp. The Grants Pass Parks Department is thanking volunteers from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) for their effort in installing a pollinator garden at Reinhart Volunteer Park. A pollinator garden is designed to grow specific plants to provide food and shelter to bees, butterflies and birds that pollinate plants.
Posted on 2/5/24 6:09AM by Sam Marsh

Medford Police Arrested Two of Three People Involved in Thursday Gunfight
The Medford Police Department has arrested two out of three people who were involved in a gunfight at a local apartment complex this week. MPD said officers responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting shots fired in the area of Poplar Drive and Progress Drive on Thursday at 8:43 p.m.. One person stated that an unknown person was shooting at him as he fled the area. MPD patrol units arrived on scene within minutes and -- based on evidence at the scene and eyewitness statements -- it was quickly determined that gunshots were exchanged between three men associated with a nearby apartment. It was not immediately clear if anyone was hit in the exchange of gunfire. The investigation continued until early Friday morning and resulted in the arrests of 38-year-old Matthew Ryan Pierpoint and 30-year-old Devon James Wright, both of Medford. Both had recently been released from prison and both were charged with parole violations -- Pierpoint for Felony Domestic Strangulation and Wright for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Additional charges against the men are likely. An additional suspect who has not yet been identified remains outstanding and the investigation is ongoing.
Posted on 2/3/24 6:37AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed Local Felon on State Warrant after New Hope Disturbance
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a local felon on a statewide felony warrant after responding a domestic violence incident in the New Hope area this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 35-year-old Jonathan Lee Messer for the incident at a home in the 4,000-block of New Hope Road late Thursday night. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that she came home from visiting a neighbor and a male subject later identified as Messer started "attacking her." The caller said she was deaf in one ear from the attack and requested an ambulance. Responding deputies contacted the victim and located Messer in a house at the back of the property. They discovered that he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a conviction for a weapons offense. Messer briefly struggled with deputies before being placed into custody. Jonathan Messer was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on the warrant along with new charges of Domestic Harassment and Resisting Arrest. He was still being held without bail on Friday.
Posted on 2/3/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Wolf Creek Man for Possessing Car Stolen in Central Point
A Wolf Creek man was arrested early yesterday after he was found to be in possession of a vehicle that had been stolen in Jackson County. The Oregon State Police reports troopers located a stolen Toyota Camry in the 200-block of Old Highway 99 on Friday at 12:37 a.m.. Troopers said 38-year-old Joshua Gary Young was found next to the stolen car, he had belongings inside the vehicle and the vehicle's keys were on his person. The man admitted to driving and being in possession of the stolen vehicle on Thursday. The Camry had been reported stolen from a 39-year-old Central Point man. Joshua Young was transported to Grants Pass and booked into the Josephine County Jail on a felony charge of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. According to OSP, attempts were made to contact the registered owner of the car and they were unsuccessful, so they had it towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 2/3/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Assisted RADE with Arrest of Trio Wanted on Active Warrants
Grants Pass Police assisted Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) this week with the arrests of three people wanted on state and local warrants. The Police Department reports officers were requested by RADE to make a traffic stop on a Chevrolet Tahoe containing 66-year-old Donald Ray Gregg, 52-year-old William Leon Bradley and 35-year-old Alicia Louise West in the 1900-block of NW 6th Street on Thursday afternoon. Police said they were informed that Gregg was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation while Bradley was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Theft and Negotiating a Bad Check, and West was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for Criminal Contempt of Court. Donald Gregg was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. William Bradley and Alicia West were lodged in jail on their outstanding warrants. The Tahoe pickup and a trailer behind it were towed to the local impound yard.
Posted on 2/3/24 6:24AM by Sam Marsh
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Commercial Truck Driver Lost Some Logs after US Highway 199 Accident
No one was hurt when a log truck lost some of its cargo in a Friday morning crash on Redwood Highway in Selma. The Oregon State Police, Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Illinois Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Transportation were dispatched to the crash on US Highway 199 at 7:26 a.m. yesterday. IVFD officials said the truck driver was not hurt in the wreck, but some of the logs he was transporting fell off the trailer and temporarily blocked the highway. ODOT handled traffic control while the scene was active. The Sheriff's Office was investigating the cause of the accident.
Posted on 2/3/24 6:04AM by Sam Marsh
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New GP Officer Recently Graduated from Basic Police Academy in Salem
The Grants Pass Police Department is congratulating Officer Michael Potts, who graduated from the Oregon Public Safety Standards Training (DPSST) Academy late last month. Officer Potts has now entered into the GPPD Patrol Training Program that started this week. GPPD officials said Officer Potts is one of those people who always has a smile on his face and somehow makes your day better just by being around him. They look forward to the great things he will accomplish in his career as a police officer. Congratulations Officer Potts and best of luck as you continue your training here in Grants Pass!
Posted on 2/3/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Caltrans Says Repairs to Resume Tuesday on Wildfire-Damaged Redwood Highway
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Motorists heading to the coast from Southern Oregon should expect delays starting next week as construction resumes on US Highway 199 to repair damage done by the Smith River Complex. CalTrans District 1 has announced that Redwood Highway construction between the Collier Tunnel and Gasquet will begin on February 6th. Starting Tuesday, travelers should anticipate up to one-hour delays weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Crews have removed hazardous trees, replaced damaged guardrail and signage, and addressed impacted slopes in the Smith River Corridor with the installation of net drapery and rockfall catchment systems. Work to repair the highway from wildfire damage continues, with Caltrans not providing a date for completion of the project. The Smith River Complex temporarily shut down Redwood Highway between the Illinois Valley in Southern Oregon and Gasquet in Northern California last summer while burning a total of 95,107 acres in Josephine, Curry and Del Norte counties. Before heading to the coast, motorist are encouraged to check on the latest road conditions by visiting "quickmap.dot.ca.gov."
Posted on 2/3/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Ashland Awarded $10 Million USDA Program Loan for Energy Efficiency Improvements
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US Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the City of Ashland has received a $10 million loan from the US Department of Agriculture to help finance a re-lending program for the implementation of energy efficiency measures. The USDA's Rural Energy Savings Program will help finance a re-lending program in that city for qualified consumers to implement energy efficiency measures that will help combat "climate chaos" and save consumers money. The USDA lending announcement heading to Ashland Municipal Electric Utility comes from a bipartisan program Merkley authored that has helped thousands of families and businesses in rural communities across America make critical energy efficiency improvements to their homes and workplaces. Low-cost loans from the program are provided to rural electric cooperatives and utilities, which helps provide homeowners and businesses the opportunity to make energy improvements with favorable financing options. This lending is expected to benefit 21,600 Ashland area residents over the course of the next 20 years.
Posted on 2/3/24 5:54AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Department Received Bulk of Calls in "9-1-1 Dispatch Week in Review"
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The Grants Pass Police Department received the vast majority of calls in the latest 9-1-1 Dispatch Week in Review. Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications reports GPPD received 913 calls for service out of a total 984 calls fielded by dispatchers between January 25th and 31st. American Medical Response received the next highest number of calls during that time period with 273 while Grants Pass Fire & Rescue got 82. Rural Metro Fire Department was next with 48 followed by the Illinois Valley Fire District with 27. The Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District and Oregon Department of Forestry each received three emergency calls while the Williams Rural Fire Protection District got just one. Local 9-1-1 dispatchers thanked their "Partners in Protection" for all they have done and continue to do in order to protect our community.
Posted on 2/3/24 5:51AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Collared GP Man for Assaulting Family Member at Azalea Drive Home
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Grants Pass man for assaulting a family member and threatening him with a firearm at a local residence last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 37-year-old Kelly Griffith for the incident at a home in the 2600-block of Azalea Drive on Thursday at 9:33 p.m.. Deputies said a man they identified as "Calvin Griffith" called 9-1-1 and the call-taker could hear an altercation taking place between two men. The dispatcher said they could hear one man complaining of pain and stating that the other man pulled a pistol on him. The other man -- later identified as Kelly Griffith -- dismissively said "I barely touched you." The Oregon State Police was called in to assist. Responding deputies and troopers interviewed both men while noting the victim's injuries. American Medical Response was placed on standby, but the ambulance was canceled when the victim refused transport to the hospital. No other details were available in the Sheriff's Log except that a 40-caliber pistol was seized. Kelly Griffith was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 2nd-Degree Assault and Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/2/24 11:45AM by Sam Marsh
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