Local News

Grants Pass Announces Month-Long Closure of Riverside Park for Large Cleanup Effort
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In light of a huge crowd that was unhappy with a lack of action by the Grants Pass City Council on unhoused people living in parks, Mayor Sara Bristol announced the realignment of the agenda at the start of the regular business session last night. Prior to public comment, City Manager Aaron Cubic and Police Chief Warren Hensman announced the closure of Riverside Park for one month beginning next Tuesday when the park is leased to the Active Club to conduct the annual Boatnik Festival. Riverside Park will remain closed to overnight camping for three weeks following Boatnik to clean up the facility out of concern for the health, safety and welfare of the public. Notices have already been handed out to those "resting" in the parks. Chief Hensman reported additional patrols have been active in the park in the late night and early morning hours to talk with those who are not resting in the park. Cubic stated that during the closure, the city will be reconsidering and rewriting codes concerning time, place and manor of conduct. He said the park is scheduled to reopen on June 22nd. The public comment period was flooded by citizens who -- one-by-one -- cajoled, demanded, cried and came just short of threatening to see changes made in city parks.
Posted on 5/18/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP City Council Approves Parklet Program as well as Sustainability & Energy Action Plan
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The Grants Pass City Council on Wednesday night approved a downtown parklet grant program as well as a Sustainability & Energy Action Plan for the future. The City Council approved the downtown parklet grant program for the coming season. Three different engineering options are available to parklet participants plus an art requirement. The grants are being funded with $38,000 of remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In a 7-to-1 vote, the Council approved a resolution adopting the Sustainability & Energy Action Plan. The plan has five elements that include managing energy costs, energy resiliency, reducing emissions, integrating sustainability, and establishing a standing committee to monitor progress, advise new technologies and engage in citizen outreach. The plan theoretically saves $900,000 to $2 million a year by 2045 and results in net-zero emissions. There is no cost for adopting the plan. The City Council postponed a public hearing on an ordinance that would amend Development Code Article 22 regarding residential development and Article 30 regarding existing solar standards.
Posted on 5/18/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
 

Board Approves 1st Reading of Ordinance to Adopt US Highway 199 Corridor Plan
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the Transportation System Plan to include adoption of the US Highway 199 Corridor Plan. The unanimous approval followed a public hearing in which Deputy Community Development Director James Black testified that the Rural Planning Commission approved the amendment in April after presentations from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Josephine County Public Works. Public Works Director Rob Brandes said his staff worked with ODOT for 18 months on the project, which is designed to improve safety on Redwood Highway and enhance future funding opportunities. There was no public comment. The second reading and adoption of the ordinance was scheduled for May 31st. In other business, the Board approved two timber sale contracts with Boise Cascade Wood Products. County Forester Dave Streeter testified that revenue from the timber sales will be $234,000.
Posted on 5/18/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
 

BCC OKs 1st Reading of Ordinance to Adopt US Highway 199 Corridor Plan
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners this morning approved the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the Transportation System Plan to include adoption of the US Highway 199 Corridor Plan. The unanimous approval followed a public hearing in which Deputy Community Development Director James Black testified that the Rural Planning Commission approved the amendment in April after presentations from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Josephine County Public Works. Public Works Director Rob Brandes said his staff worked with ODOT for 18 months on the project, which is designed to improve safety on Redwood Highway and enhance future funding opportunities. There was no public comment. The second reading and adoption of the ordinance was scheduled for May 31st. In other business, the Board approved two timber sale contracts with Boise Cascade Wood Products. County Forester Dave Streeter testified that the Ridgetop 20 and Lone Elk sales were made during a competitive bid process last month. He said revenue from the timber sales will be $234,000. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Commissioners approved plat maps for the new Alberta Rose and Jumpoff Joe Creek subdivisions.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:50AM by Sam Marsh
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Ruch Woman Killed in Tuesday AM Crash on Highway 238 in Jackson County
An elderly Ruch woman was killed early yesterday in a crash on Highway 238 in Jackson County. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the single-vehicle wreck near milepost 26 of Highway 238 on Tuesday at about 10:45 a.m.. State troopers said a preliminary investigation indicates a 2005 Chrysler Sebring driven by 91-year-old Dena Bell Duval-Arns was traveling east on the highway when the vehicle traveled across the westbound lane for unknown reasons, left the roadway and overturned in a field. According to OSP, Duval-Arns was determined to be deceased at the scene. Traffic on Highway 238 was not impacted during the course of the investigation. OSP was assisted by the Applegate Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Wilderville Man Injured in Redwood Highway Crash after Being Stung by Bee
A Wilderville man was hurt last night when he wrecked his vehicle on Redwood Highway near Hayes Hill. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle mishap near milepost 16 of US Highway 199 on Tuesday around 7:15 p.m.. Troopers said an investigation determined that 32-year-old Moke Keoni Martinho was driving a Dodge Caravan when a bee flew through an open window and stung him, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle. According to OSP, Martinho sustained minor injuries and drove himself to Three Rivers Medical Center. He was met at the hospital by Jerry's Towing, which hauled the damaged minivan to Cave Junction.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:48AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Unruly Camper for Causing Disturbances at Lawnridge Park
Grants Pass Police incarcerated an unruly camper for causing multiple disturbances at Lawnridge Park yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 43-year-old Peter Anthony Rivera at the neighborhood park on NW Hawthorne Avenue on Tuesday at 11:07 a.m.. Police said Rivera was the subject of numerous calls generated at the city park. In the first call, he was contacted with trash strewn around his tent after he was seen urinating with his pants down to his ankles, exposing his backside. He was cited for Scattering Rubbish, trespassed and given an hour to remove his belongings. After several more calls, officers developed probable cause for crimes including Rivera threatening to harm a pedestrian and scaring children near the playground. He was reported to be swinging his arms and yelling at some kids who ran away. Peter Rivera was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass plus Probation Violation. He was also cited to appear in court for Methamphetamine Possession. His belongings were picked up by a Community Service Officer and his dog was seized by Animal Control. Officers said there was no more storage space available at City Shops.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Causing Disturbances at North-City Businesses
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for causing disturbances at several businesses in the north part of the city yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 35-year-old Adrian Alejandro Diaz at Taco Bell on NE 6th Street on Tuesday at 2:35 p.m.. Police said Diaz was the subject of multiple calls regarding an unruly male subject asking for help at local businesses. They said he would enter a business and yell for help, then leave and return multiple times. He was contacted by American Medical Response, but refused help and continued his strange behavior. One witness said the man was wearing a hospital bracelet, and it appeared that he had been punched and was sporting a bad case of road rash. Diaz refused to answer questions from police at Taco Bell and continued yelling for help. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:44AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Crews Responded to Two Fires Sparked by Lightning in Jackson County
The Oregon Department of Forestry responded yesterday to two fires that were sparked by lightning from Monday night's thunderstorm in Jackson County. ODF reports the Johns Peak Fire located southwest of Central Point was caught by firefighters at two acres. It has been completely lined and mopped up. The West Fork Sardine Creek Fire northwest of Sams Valley was estimated to be three acres and it was burning on a steep slope. Four ODF engine crews mounted an aggressive initial attack assisted by a 20-person hand crew. Firefighters worked through the night to contain the blaze. ODF officials said these two fires were the only one's spotted during Tuesday's reconnaissance mission, thanks to help from the Douglas County Forest Protective Association's air attack platform. They said a second reconnaissance mission was planned for today in order to catch potential lightning fires at small sizes. Fires sparked by lightning can smolder for days before putting up visible smoke. If you see smoke in areas that were hit by lightning, please report it.
Posted on 5/17/23 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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IV Man Jailed for Domestic Violence and More after Incident near Cave Junction
An Illinois Valley man was jailed for domestic violence, vehicle theft and other crimes this week following an incident near Cave Junction. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports 36-year-old Alexander Roland Peterson was arrested for the incident in the 2900-block of Holland Loop Road on Monday morning. Deputies said they received a 9-1-1 call from a woman who stated that Peterson hit her in the head with a rock before stealing her Mercedes Benz and fleeing from the residence. The victim advised she broke up with the suspect and he threatened to kill her. She obtained a restraining order against him, but it had not been served. The woman was bleeding from her head, but she refused medical transport. Her daughter told dispatchers she would drive her to the hospital for treatment. A responding deputy spotted the Mercedes heading north on Redwood Highway near Wonder a short time later. The vehicle was pulled over at Elliott Creek Road and the suspect was placed into custody at gunpoint. Alexander Peterson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Domestic Menacing and Interfering with a 9-1-1 Call. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/17/23 6:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Trespassing Call near GP Mini Storage Led to Capture of Fugitive from Portland
A trespassing complaint near mini-storage units in downtown Grants Pass this week led to the apprehension of a fugitive wanted in the Portland area. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 35-year-old Trevor Lee Van in the 300-block of SE I Street on Monday. Police said an employee of the mini-storage called 9-1-1 to report a tent set up in a vacant lot across the street from the business. The caller advised the property is owned by the business and they wanted the tent dweller trespassed from the site. Upon arrival, officers contacted Van and quickly discovered that he was wanted on a Multnomah County felony warrant for 4th-Degree Assault. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the no-bail warrant. A check of jail records on Tuesday showed that Van had already been transported to back to Portland.
Posted on 5/17/23 6:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Deputies Corralled Fugitive Wanted on 2 Josephine County Warrants
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office corralled a fugitive wanted on two local warrants this week. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 33-year-old Brendan Thomas Love in an unspecified location on Monday afternoon. Few details were available in the new abbreviated press log format, but deputies said Love was wanted on two Josephine County warrants for crimes including Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Criminal Mischief, Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage and Probation Violation related to a 2019 DUII arrest. Brendan Love was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 5/17/23 6:46AM by Sam Marsh
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