Local News

Drive Carefully on State Highways - It's Peak Migration Time for Wild Animals
Vehicle collisions with deer and elk tend to peak in the fall months of October and November. This is when migration and breeding puts them on the move, making them more likely to cross roads. Fewer daylight hours and rainy weather also reduce drivers' visibility. Each year, Oregon Department of Transportation crews remove about 6,000 carcasses of deer struck and killed by vehicles near Oregon's public roadways. Many more die away from highways or on county, city and private roads. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife research with GPS collars shows mule deer faithfully follow their migratory route, no matter how many roads or other obstacles get put in the way. They often have no choice but to cross roads to get to food and shelter. This is also the time of year when the most road-killed deer and elk are salvaged for meat. If you hit a deer or elk or see one that is struck, don't forget that you must fill out a free permit and turn the head in within five days so ODFW can test for Chronic Wasting Disease.
Posted on 11/4/23 5:27AM by Sam Marsh

State Geologists Urge Local Residents to Be Alert for Landslides Across SW Oregon
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for portions of Josephine, eastern Curry and Del Norte counties for today. The watch is in effect through this afternoon. Heavy rain may result in landslides in areas of steep terrain as well as debris flows in and near burned areas from recent wildfires including the Smith River Complex. Debris flows are rapidly moving, extremely destructive landslides. They can contain boulders and logs transported in a fast-moving soil and water slurry down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons. They can easily travel a mile or more. A debris flow moves faster than a person can run. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk. This includes the area from the southern Illinois Valley south to Gasquet, California, including US Highway 199. If your home, work or route is in a Fast Flood Watch area, stay alert, track the watch through media or online and if told to evacuate, do so immediately.
Posted on 11/4/23 5:13AM by Sam Marsh

GP and Josephine County Voters Deciding 2 Law Enforcement Funding Measures
Voters in Grants Pass and Josephine County are deciding whether to support two measures that would fund local law enforcement in next Tuesday's election. Grants Pass residents are voting on Measure 17-114, which is a five-year renewal of a $1.79 local option tax that has funded city police and fire services for over 10 years. Josephine County residents are voting on Measure 17-115, which is a permanent taxing district to fund the Sheriff's Office at 99 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value. The City of Cave Junction is included. Grants Pass is not. So far, voter turnout has been low for these important law enforcement issues. The Josephine County Clerk's Office reported late Thursday that the turnout was about 22.5%, with just over 22% of the ballots accepted. Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to place their postage-free ballots in the mail or to drop them off at designated drop-boxes throughout Josephine County.
Posted on 11/4/23 5:11AM by Sam Marsh

New Art Installation in Downtown GP Honors 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion
To kick off First Friday in downtown Grants Pass, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce at a new historic art piece at the corner of 5th and H streets late yesterday. The new installation sits at the northeast sidewalk corner and it commemorates one of Oregon's most significant World War II stories. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was a segregated unit of African American recruits who were given the opportunity to work as airborne soldiers. They were dispatched to Oregon to work as smokejumpers, fighting fires started by balloon bombs that were sent over the state by Japan. Because of the role this battalion played in World War II, the 555th was one of the first military units to be integrated. Members of the Smokejumper Museum were at the dedication ceremony to share stories and artifacts about this important part of our community's history.
Posted on 11/4/23 5:10AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Collared for Three Crimes after He Assaulted Investigating Officer
A Grants Pass man was jailed for multiple crimes last night after he assaulted a police officer who was investigating an alleged restraining order violation. The Grants Pass Police Department reports 51-year-old William Henrey Beshears, II, was arrested outside a Redwood Avenue bar on Thursday at 8:37 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that she was the protected party in an active restraining order with Beshears as the respondent. Beshears was prohibited from having any contact with the woman, but he reportedly sent her a letter. He was known to frequent the bar, so he was contacted there and denied ever sending the letter. With evidence that Beshears did send the letter, officers told Beshears he was under arrest before he was placed in handcuffs and escorted to a patrol vehicle. That's when he put his foot on the side step and head-butted an officer before the officer took him to the ground by using a hip toss maneuver. Additional officers arrived on scene to help secure the suspect. William Beshears was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Resisting Arrest and Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/3/23 10:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Multiple Violations after WinCo Shoplifting Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for theft, drug and probation violations after a shoplifting incident at a local supermarket early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane around 9:25 a.m. Thursday. Police said loss prevention officers detained 22-year-old Priscilla Marie Pacheco after she passed all points of sale with more than $345 in unpaid merchandise hidden under her shopping cart. They said she provided false information to store security, but was more forthcoming with law enforcement. During a consent search of Pacheco, police located stolen earrings, nearly seven grams of methamphetamine, a quarter-gram of fentanyl and a phony $100 dollar bill that she said was passed to her in the sale of a butane torch and other items. Also found on the suspect were a scale and drug paraphernalia with traces of fentanyl and heroin. The drugs, paraphernalia and bill were seized as evidence. Priscilla Pacheco was subsequently booked into the Josephine County Jail without bail for Felony Attempted Delivery of Meth, 2nd-Degree Theft and the resulting Probation Violation. She was also cited for the narcotics violation and trespassed from all WinCo stores for 100 years. All the stolen items were returned.
Posted on 11/3/23 10:14AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Medford Men on Outstanding Warrants after GP Traffic Stops
The Oregon State Police arrested two Medford men on outstanding local warrants during separate traffic stops in the Grants Pass area yesterday. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Thursday at 1:32 p.m. when state troopers pulled over a Toyota 4-Runner driven by 58-year-old Randall Scott Granger on Rogue River Highway near Nancy Place. Troopers said they stopped Granger for a moving violation, and they discovered that his license was suspended and he was wanted on a local arrest warrant. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The second incident occurred on Thursday at 6:02 p.m. when troopers pulled over a Ford Expedition driven by 34-year-old Kevin Ronald Markle near the corner of Highland Avenue and Pony Lane. Troopers said they stopped Markle for a traffic violation and discovered that he was wanted on a local felony warrant for failing to appear in court for 1st-Degree Theft. He was also lodged at the adult jail facility.
Posted on 11/3/23 10:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Causing Thursday Afternoon Crash that Hurt 2
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for causing a Thursday afternoon crash that sent two drivers to the hospital. The Police Department reports officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to the three-vehicle collision near the intersection of SE M and Fern streets around 2:20 p.m. yesterday. Police identified the involved vehicles as a Honda Civic, a Ford F-150 and an Aspen sport utility vehicle in the chain-reaction crash, but they did not identify the drivers by name. According to the report, two drivers were hurt, but they declined medical transport and chose to be taken to the hospital in private vehicles. The Honda Civic was damaged and towed from the scene. Following an investigation, a person identified as "Driver 1" was found to be at fault and cited for Following Too Closely.
Posted on 11/3/23 10:09AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Motorist Heading Wrong Way on Freeway Crashed while Turning Around
A Grants Pass motorist was either cited or warned by the Oregon State Police after he crashed his car near the East Interchange of Interstate 5 early yesterday. OSP reports troopers responded to reports of a wrong-way driver in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 55 on Thursday at 7:20 a.m.. Troopers said they were alerted to a Ford Mustang heading south in the northbound travel lanes of the freeway. They said the driver -- identified as 69-year-old William Clopton -- realized he was traveling in the wrong direction and crashed into a fence while attempting to turn around on the shoulder of the roadway. According to the report, Clopton denied medical attention and was able to drive his car away from the crash scene. The OSP log shows he was either cited or warned for an unspecified traffic violation.
Posted on 11/3/23 10:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Allegedly Threatening Neighbors with Gun NW of GP
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for allegedly threatening others with a gun during an ongoing dispute between neighbors near Grants Pass. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 22-year-old Jackie Pearson Paul Willis for the incident in the 1100-block of Plumtree Lane midday Wednesday. Deputies said a man called 9-1-1 and reported that Willis and another man were "shooting at them and threatening them" while waving a sawed-off shotgun in his face. At one point, the caller advised the suspect told him, "You are all dead," and shot at him with the shotgun. There were no injuries reported, but the caller said the suspects were up all night stealing his property. The other suspect was not identified. According to the report, Willis and the other man fled the scene in a Nissan Pathfinder which deputies located and pulled over in the 1500-block of Pinecrest Drive. Both men were detained, but only Willis was placed into custody. Jackie Willis was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for three counts Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, three counts of Menacing and one count of Pointing a Firearm at Another. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/3/23 5:41AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Jailed GP Man for Multiple Crimes following RR Highway Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police jailed a Grants Pass man for multiple crimes including impaired driving and drug possession following a traffic stop on Rogue River Highway this week. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Ford F-350 driven by 42-year-old Jason Lee Amundson on Highway 99 near Clara Avenue on Wednesday evening. Troopers said Amundson was the subject of a driving complaint and -- upon locating the vehicle -- they observed poor driving behavior. Signs of impairment were displayed, but the suspect refused to participate in field sobriety tests and he had to be physically extracted from the truck. During a search of the vehicle, a large amount of methamphetamine and money were located. The drugs and currency were seized as evidence. Amundson was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented impairment by both alcohol and drugs. He was lodged in jail for two counts of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest and Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. Based on the large quantity of meth found in the stop near Fruitdale Elementary School, a charge of Delivery of Meth within 1,000 Feet of a School was referred to the District Attorney's Office for consideration. The truck was impounded.
Posted on 11/3/23 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Williams Man Jailed for 4 Crimes after Trying to Elude Jackson County SO
A Williams man was jailed for multiple crimes after he crashed his vehicle near Gold Hill this week while trying to elude deputies. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports 38-year-old Anthony Leonard took off from a traffic stop in White City after giving deputies a false name late Wednesday afternoon. Deputies said a pursuit led from East Gregory Road through side streets to Kirtland Road and onto Interstate 5 northbound. Around milepost 39, Leonard veered off the freeway toward Blackwell Road and rolled through a fence. He was placed into custody and no one was hurt. The initial traffic stop was for expired registration and it took place in the parking lot of the Dollar Tree in White City. Leonard appeared to be impaired when deputies first contacted him. After providing a false name, he took off at a high rate of speed in his full-sized GMC van. Due to high amounts of vehicle traffic and the suspect's reckless driving, deputies did not initially pursue him. The suspect vehicle was spotted by deputies a short time later while traveling west on East Gregory. The pursuit started after the suspect failed to yield to emergency lights and sirens. Leonard later admitted to using multiple drugs including fentanyl prior to the incident. He was also wanted in Josephine County for burglary. Anthony Leonard was transported to Providence Medford Medical Center for an evaluation and legal blood draw. He was then lodged at the Jackson County Jail on the warrant plus new charges of Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Giving False Information to Police.
Posted on 11/3/23 5:31AM by Sam Marsh
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