Local News

ODF Mopping Up Elkhorn Butte Fire that Erupted NW of Sams Valley Area
The Oregon Department of Forestry spent most of Thursday extinguishing a fire that broke out the night before northwest of the Sams Valley area. ODF Southwest was alerted to the Elkhorn Butte Fire near the right fork of Sardine Creek Road late Wednesday night and crews were on scene by 1:30 a.m. Thursday. By 1 p.m. yesterday, firefighters had the blaze fully-lined and started the mop-up process. By 7 p.m., 80% of the fire was mopped up at just over 9-1/2 acres. Most resources were released, but some crews stayed on scene overnight to continue mopping up and to ensure the blaze stayed within the fire-line. Resources that assisted four ODF 20-person hand crews included the BLM, some contract firefighters and several engines. According to ODF, no homes were ever threatened by the wildfire and its cause remains under investigation.
Posted on 5/26/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
 

IVFD Investigating Exact Cause of Two Fires Extinguished in Cave Junction
The Illinois Valley Fire District extinguished two outdoor debris burns in the Cave Junction area yesterday. On Thursday at 12:31 p.m., IVFD crews were dispatched to an unattended open burn in a pile of wood chips on West Side Road. IVFD officials said the fire was quickly put out with minimal spread to the nearby wildland. All units cleared after the blaze was mopped up. A short time later, firefighters responded to an open burn on Redwood Highway across from the Holiday Motel. Officials said the fire was very visible from Highway 199 and it was putting out a lot of smoke. It was also extinguished in short order. IVFD is investigating the exact cause of both blazes.
Posted on 5/26/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
 

Three Rivers District Announces 2023 High School Graduation Ceremonies
The Three Rivers School District has announced the dates and times for graduation ceremonies this year. Hidden Valley High School will hold its graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 30th, at 7 p.m.. Illinois Valley High School will hold its graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 31st, at 7 p.m.. North Valley High School will hold its graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 1st, at 7 p.m.. Southern Oregon Success Academy will hold its graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 6th, at 6 p.m.. Congratulations to all the graduates in the Class of 2023!
Posted on 5/26/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
 

Sheriff Announces River Regulations, Closures and Race Schedules for 2023 Boatnik Festival
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has announced water use regulations and the race event schedule on the Rogue River during the 2023 Boatnik Festival. During the Boatnik races, the Rogue will be closed in designated areas and during designated times. The Rogue will be closed this evening from 6:30 to 10:15 p.m. from Baker Park to the 6th Street Bridge. On Saturday, the river will be closed from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge, and from 1 to 5 p.m. from Baker Park to the 6th Street Bridge. The river will be closed Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge, and from 1 to 10:15 p.m. from Baker Park to the 6th Street Bridge. The Rogue River will be closed on Monday from noon to 3 p.m. for the Boatnik Memorial Day Ceremony at Riverside Park along with the Tom Rice Memorial Whitewater Hydroplane Race that will be run in four legs between Riverside Park and Robertson Bridge. All spectators must remain off the water until the races are over and all spectators must remain 50 feet from the waterway at all times. Movement on the water is restricted to law enforcement, rescue personnel and authorized race officials during the closures. Private boats are not allowed to assist with rescue operations. Law enforcement will be patrolling the river during all race events.
Posted on 5/26/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Department Reminding Citizens of Boatnik Festival Parade Information
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The Grants Pass Police Department is reminding citizens of important information in preparation for Saturday's Boatnik Festival Parade. On Saturday, 6th Street will be closed to all vehicle traffic from A Street to the Rogue River including Caveman Bridge. The road closure will be from 8 a.m. until after the parade at approximately 1 p.m.. During the Boatnik Parade, traffic will be diverted from 6th Street at A Street to Beacon Drive and onto the Grants Pass Parkway. Those wishing to travel south of the river need to leave earlier or plan to use the Parkway Bridge. Access across the river will only be on the Parkway Bridge or northbound on the 7th Street Bridge. No parking will be allowed on 6th Street from A Street to Caveman Bridge or on Voorhies Way between 6th and 7th streets from midnight tonight until after the parade. Parade attendees must stand or sit no closer to the parade route than immediately adjacent to the curb within the parking stalls on 6th Street. This will ensure the safety of attendees, keep pedestrians out of the roadway and allow everyone to see the parade from a good vantage point. Dogs are discouraged on the parade route.
Posted on 5/26/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Most Recent Run of Ballot Returns from May 16th Election Yields No Difference in Results
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The Josephine County Clerk's Office has released its third run of ballot returns from the May 16th Special Election with no significant difference in the results. All candidates who were leading races for the Grants Pass School Board, Three Rivers School Board, RCC Board of Education and Josephine Community Library Board last week were still leading. That includes four candidates for the Grants Pass School Board and two candidates for the Three Rivers School Board who were endorsed by the Josephine County Republican Party in the non-partisan election. The only difference in the unofficial election results is the turnout, which increased to 26.5% in the latest run of ballots. Out of 69,581 registered voters in Josephine County, 18,436 ballots had been counted.
Posted on 5/26/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Currently Engaged in Attacking Elkhorn Butte Fire NW of Sams Valley
The Oregon Department of Forestry is currently engaged in attacking a fire that was reported late last night northwest of Sams Valley. According to an ODF report this morning, the Elkhorn Butte Fire was burning on both BLM and private land near the right fork of Sardine Creek Road. It was estimated to be between 10 and 15 acres in size. ODF was first alerted to the fire by a 9-1-1 call around 11 p.m. Wednesday. The agency was able to get firefighters to the scene around 1:30 a.m. today and they have been working to order additional resources ever since. Four 20-person hand crews and numerous engines are on scene and dedicated to the fire today. Additional resources -- including aircraft -- will be ordered as needed. There are no homes threatened by this wildfire incident. ODF said the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:53AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Violating Restraining Order in DHS Child Visitation
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating an out-of-state court order when he made contact with a protected party during a child visitation at the local office of the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Police Department reports officers arrested 51-year-old Michael VanDeStroet at the DHS Office on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Wednesday at 10:55 a.m.. Police said VanDeStroet arrived at the office with a woman to visit their two children who were in protective custody. They said DHS officials discovered that there was a restraining order between the pair issued out of Washington state and the suspect was in violation of the court order by being with the protected party. After confirming the order was still valid, officers placed Michael VanDeStroet into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Man on 2 Outstanding Warrants during Traffic Stop in North GP
The Oregon State Police arrested a man on two outstanding warrants last night during a traffic stop in north Grants Pass. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Ford Expedition driven by 51-year-old Shawn Sterling Leson, Sr., near the corner of NE Savage and 6th streets on Wednesday at 6:38 p.m.. Troopers did not disclose why they stopped Leson, but said they discovered he had multiple warrants for his arrest. Specifically, he was wanted on two out-of-county warrants for failing to appear in court. He was also found to be driving with a suspended license. Shawn Leson was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the bench warrants as well as for Driving While Suspended. His SUV was parked and secured.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:51AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited Motorist for Unlawful Pot Possession during US Highway 199 Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for drug possession last night during a traffic stop on Redwood Highway between Wilderville and Wonder. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Blazer driven by 24-year-old Brighton Christopher Hayes near milepost 9 of US Highway 199 on Wednesday at 7:32 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Hayes for a traffic violation and determined that he was in possession of approximately one pound of processed marijuana which was more than the legal amount one person is allowed to possess in Oregon. The cannabis was seized for destruction. Brighton Hayes was cited to appear in court for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Driving While Suspended and No Insurance before being released. His vehicle was impounded and towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:49AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Netted Parole Violator, Cited 3 and Trespassed 2 in City Park Patrols
Grants Pass Police captured a parole violator, cited three people and trespassed two during city park patrol checks yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 32-year-old Luke Adam Boger at Debo Park on Wednesday at about 9:45 p.m.. Police said Boger and another man were fighting at the park and one of them was hitting the other with a belt. They said an investigation determined that Boger was the aggressor in the altercation and his corrections officer requested a detainer on his client. He was lodged in jail without bail for Felony Parole Violation. Earlier in the day, Brianna Bailey and Heather Dixon were observed ingesting fentanyl at Baker Park. Both were cited for Possession of a Controlled Substance and trespassed from the park for 30 days. In another incident, Jessica Green was cited for Scattering Rubbish at Tussing Park. Since it was her first such violation, she was allowed to remain there but warned that another violation would result in a park exclusion.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:47AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Man for Trying to Steal Candy & Ice Cream at Li'l Pantry Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trying to steal candy and ice cream from a southeast city convenience store last night. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at Li'l Pantry Market & Deli on Rogue River Highway shortly after 6 p.m.. Police said 34-year-old Bartholomew James Robert Lewis was observed on video surveillance taking around $10 worth of candy bars and ice cream from the store. He reportedly left without paying and headed east toward Morrison Park. Further investigation revealed that Lewis tried to steal the items, but he placed them back before leaving. He was located a short distance away and detained before being cited and released for 3rd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 5/25/23 10:46AM by Sam Marsh
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