Local News

CJ City Council will Devote Tonight's Meeting to 2024-25 Fiscal Year Budget
The Cave Junction City Council will devote most of tonight's regular meeting to the spending plan for the next fiscal year. Following approval of minutes from the previous meeting and public comments, Mayor Meadow Martell and Councilors Ethan Lane, Tina Casey Jones, Jean Ann Miles and Jesse Dugas will consider four resolutions pertaining to the budget. Resolution 982 will adopt the City of Cave Junction Budget for Fiscal Year 2025. Resolution 983 will Recertify Reserve Funds for Fiscal Year 2025. Resolution 984 will authorize Josephine County to invest property taxes for the next fiscal year. Resolution 985 will elect to receive State Revenue Sharing Funds for 2024-25. Tonight's meeting starts at 7 at Cave Junction City Hall, 222 Lister Street.
Posted on 6/24/24 10:24AM by Sam Marsh

Upper Applegate Fire is Completely Lined and GPS-Mapped at About 756 Acres
Firefighters have completed lines around the perimeter of the Upper Applegate Fire as resources spent Sunday holding the fire in its current footprint through hot and windy conditions. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports GPS mapping has estimated the fire to be 756 acres in size. Crews were able to meet their goal yesterday of securing water access to the southern portion of the fire. They also were able to bolster contingency lines. Hot, windy weather continued, which prompted a few small spot fires near the top of a ridge, but firefighters were able to quickly knock them down and begin mop-up. More than 160 personnel were assigned to the incident last night including five 20-person hand crews, three engines, four bulldozers, three water tenders and several overhead. Aircraft flew as needed until nightfall. Level 2 "Be Set" evacuation notices remain in place for Zones JAC-434 and JAC-436. These residents need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. The Upper Applegate Fire is affecting private, BLM and US Forest Service land on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. It was first reported last Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police and Firefighters Worked to Keep City Safe during Final Week of Spring
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters worked hard to keep the city safe during the final week of spring. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 686 calls for service and 249 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 37 arrests, 32 citations, 56 warnings and two highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 76 traffic stops in the city and they made a total of 29 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The GPPD Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 205 potential troublemakers while arresting five people, citing 36 more and warning 44 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 23 individuals, posted 88 transient camps and removed trash from two campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 104 calls last week including 42 for emergency medical service, 13 lift assists, five rescue situations, 14 assists to other agencies and nine false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,160 emergency calls in addition to 708 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh

Ashland Police Department Arrested Uncooperative Shoplifter Armed with Gun
The Ashland Police Department arrested an uncooperative shoplifter who was armed with a gun late last week. On Friday at 12:44 p.m., APD officers responded to the incident at Market of Choice on Siskiyou Boulevard. APD Chief Tighe O'Meara said officers were given information that the suspect fled to the Pines Trailer Park across Walker Avenue from the supermarket. He said the suspect was hiding within a defined area of the trailer park, so they set up a perimeter and requested assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office K-9 team. The K-9 team tracked the suspect and found him hiding underneath one of the trailers. He was placed into custody without incident and -- a short time later -- the weapon the suspect pointed at a loss prevention officer was located. It was found to be a pepper spray gun which is very similar in design to a handgun. The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Thomas Harley Epperson of Ashland. He was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Menacing, Disorderly Conduct and 3rd-Degree Theft. Chief O'Meara said APD is grateful for assistance from their partner agencies in bringing this situation to a quick and safe resolution.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Extinguished Three Illegal Weekend Outdoor Burns in Illinois Valley
Some Illinois Valley residents apparently did not get the memo that it's fire season and all outdoor debris burning is prohibited as firefighters extinguished three small fires over the weekend -- two of them last night. On Saturday at 7:57 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry were dispatched to an illegal open burn in the 7,000-block of Holland Loop Road. A small spot fire was located, extinguished and the property owners were fined. On Sunday at 9:07 p.m., IVFD crews responded to a small trash fire near milepost 2 of Reeves Creek Road near Kerby. The blaze was quickly extinguished and mopped up. There was no one around at the time of firefighters' arrival. On Sunday at 9:14 p.m., IVFD and ODF responded to an illegal open burn in the 2,000-block of Holland Loop Road. The small fire was extinguished and a citation was issued to the responsible party.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Sheriff Celebrates Recent Graduation of Corrections Deputies
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is celebrating the recent graduation of three corrections deputies from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards & Training in Salem. The Jackson County graduates were Deputy Botti, Deputy Economon and Deputy Midgley. Deputy Botti earned the Victor G. Atiyeh Award for being the outstanding student and Deputy Midgley was the class leader. Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler congratulates the graduates and looks forward to their continued service at the Medford jail facility.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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State Fire Marshal Encourages Oregonians to Keep Fireworks Use "Legal and Safe"
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When fireworks went on sale on Sunday, "Keep It Legal, Keep It Safe" was the message from the Oregon State Fire Marshal. The 2024 fireworks retail sales season began yesterday and it runs through July 6th in Oregon. The state fire marshal would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use, where fireworks can be used and how to use them safely. To reduce the risk of starting a fire, some local governments have firework sales or use restrictions in place. Oregonians are encouraged to check local regulations and follow them where they live or where they may be traveling for the Fourth of July. Consumer-legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks stands and retailers. State regulations limit where those fireworks may be used including public lands and parks. For those who purchase legal fireworks, authorities encourage everyone to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use: Be Prepared, Be Safe, Be Responsible and Be Aware. Oregon law prohibits the possession, use or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the state fire marshal. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a Class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:03AM by Sam Marsh
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OSU Extension Unveils 4-H Service District Budget Prior to Board Hearing & Decision
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The Oregon State University Extension Service has released a detailed budget in preparation for a public hearing by the Josephine County Board of Commissioners this week. During its weekly business session on Wednesday, the Board will hold a hearing on the 4-H Extension Service District spending plan for the 2025 Fiscal Year. The Commissioners will hear public comments on whether or not to continue funding local extension services including 4-H, agriculture, forestry, family and community health and other programs offered to Josephine County residents since 1916. The Josephine County Budget Committee approved the service district budget by a 3-2 vote this month, but two members of the panel -- Commissioners John West and Herman Baertschiger -- have vowed to end district funding because they feel the Extension Service has become too liberal and what they called "woke." The three-member Board is scheduled make a final decision by Friday morning. Josephine County encourages citizen involvement in public meetings and the OSU Extension is encouraging those who support 4-H and other services to speak out. If the Board of Commissioners decides not to fund the district, Josephine will be the only county in the state not to have services provided by the OSU Extension.
Posted on 6/24/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Department's 3rd Annual Citizens' Police Academy Starts in August
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The Grants Pass Police Department will be holding its 3rd annual Citizens' Police Academy beginning on Tuesday, August 27th. This 12-week academy is designed to educate the public about the city police agency and to involve citizens in an interactive opportunity to get to know the officers of GPPD on a more personal level. The academy will provide instruction on department history, hiring process, community policing, criminal law, search and seizure, arrest procedures, ethics, community service officers, gang and youth related issues, patrol procedures, traffic enforcement, firearms, pursuits, defensive tactics, crime scene probes, officer survival, crime prevention, dispatch, drones and much more. There will also be a complete tour of the Grants Pass Police Department, which is located at 726 NE 7th Street. Approximately 25 citizens will be allowed to attend the Academy. Signups are on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't delay. Get your application today. For more information and/or to apply, visit "grantspassoregon.gov/Citizens-Police-Academy."
Posted on 6/24/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Seek Drone Pilot Who Shut Down Air Ops over Upper Applegate Fire
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office was looking for the pilot of a drone who shut down air operations over the Upper Applegate Fire last night. The Sheriff's Office reports fire personnel spotted an illegal drone flying in the area of the Ruch-area wildfire on Friday evening. Firefighting aircraft are unable to fly if a drone is in their operating area, so flights were grounded for the night. The Sheriff's Office and Oregon Department of Forestry are currently searching for the drone operator. The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information about the illegal drone, call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at (541)-774-8333.
Posted on 6/22/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Multiple Agencies Battled Large Vegetation Fire on Holland Loop Road near CJ
Multiple agencies battled a large vegetation fire in the Illinois Valley on Friday. The Illinois Valley Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry initially responded to the blaze in the 6,000-block of Holland Loop Road at 12:53 p.m. yesterday. Once IVFD and ODF units arrived on scene, the alarm level was bumped up to a Second Alarm Vegetation Fire. This brought units from Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department along with more IVFD units to assist in control of the fire which burned primarily in a large grass field. IVFD Chief John Holmes said the fire was declared out after it burned a total of 19.7 acres. He said crews remained on scene most of the day to mop-up hot spots. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 6/22/24 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Fire Marshal Increases Fire Danger Level to "Moderate" Inside City
Falling in line with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the City of Grants Pass has also increased the fire danger level to "moderate." ODF raised the bar on Thursday. Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt said warm weather in the area has dried out vegetation enough to prompt increased fire prevention regulations in the city, too. As of now, smoking in areas of flammable vegetation is prohibited. Open wood-fueled fires are prohibited including camp fires, cooking fires and warming fires except at locations designated by the City Fire Marshal. Wood smokers, charcoal and propane barbecues, and natural gas-fueled ornamental fires are allowed. The use of power saws, motorized mowing of dead or dry grass, and cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m.. The same goes for any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine in areas of flammable vegetation. The mowing of green lawns is permitted with no restriction. Motor vehicles -- including motorcycles and ATVs -- are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. The City Fire Marshal or an authorized representative may -- in writing -- approve a modification or waiver of these requirements. For more information about fire season regulations in the City of Grants Pass, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (541)-450-6200.
Posted on 6/22/24 6:25AM by Sam Marsh
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