Local News

GP Police Collared Fugitives Wanted on Statewide Felony Warrants at Parks
Grants Pass Police apprehended two fugitives wanted on statewide felony warrants during separate incidents at city parks yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Tuesday around 11:15 a.m. when officers arrested 53-year-old Antonio Zapata Guindazola at Baker Park after he parked his vehicle in a handicap space. Police said Guindazola admitted to driving into the park and parking in the space without a proper permit. They said he was given numerous chances to identify himself, but refused to do so. He was placed into custody for Failure to Carry and Present an Operator's License when it was discovered that he was wanted on an Oregon State Parole Board warrant for Felony Parole Violation. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the no-bail warrant and he was cited to appear in court for Unlawful Parking in a Space Reserved for a Handicapped Person. The second incident happened on Tuesday at 2:47 p.m. when officers arrested 44-year-old Joseph Aaron Mendivil after contacting him at Riverside Park. No details about the encounter were disclosed, but police said Mendivil was also wanted on an Oregon State Parole Board warrant for Felony Parole Violation. He was lodged at the adult jail facility on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 5/3/23 11:30AM by Sam Marsh
 

OSP Jailed Wolf Creek Man on Warrant after Identifying Himself as Brother
The Oregon State Police jailed a Wolf Creek man on an outstanding warrant plus new charges after a traffic stop in northern Josephine County last night. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Volkswagen Passat driven by 35-year-old Jordan Gipson-Costa near the intersection of Frontage and Speaker roads on Tuesday at 8:19 p.m.. State troopers said they stopped Gipson-Costa for a traffic violation and they recognized him as an individual with an out-of-county warrant for Probation Violation. They asked the man for identification and he provided his brother's name. The suspect was informed he was lying, but he continued to provide the false name until his recent booking photo was shown to him. Jordan Gipson-Costa was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant along with new charges of Felony Identity Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held without bail and his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 5/3/23 11:27AM by Sam Marsh
 

Community Corrections Client Arrested for Driving Herself to Work Detail
A Josephine County Community Corrections client was jailed early yesterday after she drove herself to a work detail with a suspended license. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers arrested 50-year-old Jeanine Lynn Winder at the Community Corrections Office on NW 4th Street at about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police said Winder was observed by two corrections officers driving a Jeep to the work detail when her driving privileges had been suspended from a recent arrest for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. They said she had also failed to install an ignition interlock device on her vehicle. She was not intoxicated at the time. After being informed of her Miranda rights, Winder admitted to driving to the office. She was placed into custody on two counts of Felony Driving While Revoked and she was lodged at the Josephine County Jail to begin a 45-day sentence for violating her probation related to the DUII arrest.
Posted on 5/3/23 11:25AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Snared Transient for Repeatedly Camping on Railroad Property
Grants Pass Police arrested a homeless man late yesterday for repeatedly camping on railroad property on the east side of the city. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing call involving 48-year-old Kevin Alexander Darnall on Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad land located off the 800-block of SE Gladiola Drive on Tuesday shortly before 6 p.m.. Police said a nearby property owner called 9-1-1 to report that Darnall had set up a tent, was drinking alcohol and acting in a hostile manner. The caller was concerned that the man might go on his property when he wasn't there. A brief investigation determined that Darnall had already been trespassed from the property, but he returned anyway. Officers said Darnall was uncooperative when they placed him into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and his belongings were placed in safe-keeping.
Posted on 5/3/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Cited Unruly Campers during City Park Patrol Checks
Grants Pass Police cited at least three unruly campers at city parks during patrol checks on Tuesday. The Police Department reports the first incident occurred at 7:54 a.m. yesterday when officers contacted Larry Knight at Debo Park on SW G Street. Knight was cited for Scattering Rubbish and -- because it was his second such citation -- he was trespassed from Debo Park for 30 days. Three tents were posted for illegal camping and an e-mail was sent to United Community Action Network. The second incident happened at 1:51 p.m. yesterday when officers contacted Ian Vischer and Celia Alvarez at Baker Park. They were cited for violating park rules by staking their tent. Vischer and Alvarez had been trespassed from Riverside Park for Scattering Rubbish on Monday. A total of 23 tents were posted for Illegal Camping at Baker Park. Once again, an e-mail was sent to UCAN.
Posted on 5/3/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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Skeletal Remains Discovered in April Identified as Missing Ashland Woman
Authorities have identified skeletal remains found last month in southern Jackson County as a missing Ashland woman. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports the remains discovered April 14th in a remote area near the 3700-block of Highway 99 were positively identified as Kris Heywood, who was 77 years old when she was reported missing to the Ashland Police Department in September 2022. Heywood's next of kin was notified. The Sheriff's Office sends its condolences to her family and friends. When Heywood's remains were discovered, the suspicious nature of the scene led detectives and medical examiners to respond. Due to the rugged terrain and remote area, search and rescue personnel were called in to assist with recovering the body. Detectives said the case does not appear to be criminal, although the investigation is continuing.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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Tuesday Afternoon Fire Damaged Former IV Swimming Pool Building in CJ
A structure fire in Cave Junction damaged the former Illinois Valley Swimming Pool building yesterday. On Tuesday at 1:38 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Pacific Power were dispatched to the reported fire in the 500-block of East River Street. IVFD Chief John Holmes said arriving units found an active fire just inside the front door to the building, with smoke showing from the roof. He said the fire was quickly extinguished and the cause will be investigated. Chief Holmes said there were no injuries and no damage estimate was available. Rural Metro Fire Department was initially dispatched to the scene, but was re-directed to cover the district from the IVFD Station in Selma.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Involved in City Park Disturbance Booked into Jail for 8 Crimes
A Grants Pass man who was involved in a Sunday night disturbance at Riverside Park is now in custody facing a total of eight criminal charges. The Grants Pass Police Department reports Elijah Greene was arrested on Monday afternoon. Police said Greene admitted that he was the aggressor in a fight at the city park that resulted in damage to his car and the arrest of a woman on local warrant. When the suspect got out his car to fight another man, the vehicle rolled until it was stopped by the woman who the suspect grabbed because he thought was trying to steal it. No other details about Greene's arrest were available from police or deputies. Elijah Greene was booked into the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing, Criminal Mischief, 1st-Degree Forgery, 3rd-Degree Robbery and 2nd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist on Local Warrant in Highland Avenue Stop
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist on an outstanding local warrant early yesterday during a traffic stop in the northwest part of the city. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a Subaru sedan driven by 45-year-old Russell Gene Thompson on Highland Avenue near Pony Lane around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday. Police said they stopped Thompson for a traffic violation and quickly discovered that he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. They said he initially refused to identify himself, but eventually revealed his name. The warrant was confirmed and Russell Thompson was booked into the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Rise in Home Burglaries Prompts Local Law Enforcement to Alert Public
A rise in residential burglaries has prompted local law enforcement agencies to alert the public. Authorities are encouraging local residents to take several steps to protect their homes from burglars. There are both "dos" and "do nots." Do invest in an alarm system and assure you're turning it on when leaving the house. Do install security cameras for both the interior and exterior of your property. Do secure all valuables -- including jewelry, cash and precious metals -- in a safe. Do keep an eye out for your neighbor's home and property. Do not assume all alarms are false. Do not advertise vacation plans on social media. Do not include interior pictures of your residence on social media. Do not post pictures of expensive items on social media. For more information on how to protect your property, do contact your local law enforcement agency.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC to Consider ODOT Grant Agreement Amendments at Weekly Session
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners should make quick work of a light agenda for its weekly business session this morning. There are no hearings, administrative action items, presentations or proclamations on the agenda. The Consent Calendar contains two amendments to grant agreements with the Oregon Department of Transportation along with approval of minutes from past meetings, hearings, workshops and legal counsel updates. There will be Requests and Comments from Citizens in which attendees can address the Board on topics pertaining to Josephine County. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon State Fire Marshal Says Kick Off Month of May by Creating Defensible Space at Home
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During the month of May, the Oregon State Fire Marshal is asking Oregonians to take part in Wildfire Awareness Month by creating defensible space around their homes. A defensible space zone can prevent embers from igniting your home or prevent flames from reaching it. Another important advantage of defensible space is it creates a safe space for firefighters to work during a wildfire. Creating defensible space can seem like a daunting task for some homeowners, but tackling one project at a time over the course of Wildfire Awareness Month can make all the difference. Oregonians should tackle those projects now before the heat of summer arrives. Start with a plan. Walk around your home and identify areas where an ember could land and ignite. Look at the base of your home and work outward. Studies show the leading cause of home fires during a wildfire is embers igniting combustible materials and spreading flames to the house. State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said pick a project to complete this weekend like making sure your gutters are clear of needles and leaves. Next weekend, limb your trees to ensure flames can't reach the lower branches. She said simple steps over time can culminate in added protection against a wildfire.
Posted on 5/3/23 6:09AM by Sam Marsh
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