Local News

GP Police Snared Woman on Warrant after Disturbance at Riverside Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant after responding to a weekend disturbance at Riverside Park. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident on the east side of the park off SE Vista Drive on Sunday around 7:50 p.m.. The incident was called in by a neighbor. Police said a verbal argument between two men in the lower parking lot led to them cursing in front of children. They said Elijah Greene was the aggressor, he failed to put his vehicle in park and it started to roll. A woman identified as 27-year-old Kara Eileen Baldwin attempted to stop the vehicle and Greene grabbed her because he thought she was trying to steal it. Multiple people started to come up to fight and an unknown person utilized pepper spray to stop the altercation. The neighbor reported people chasing each other and shooting at each other with slingshots. The caller also said many of them climbed into two vehicles and sped away when they realized that law enforcement was responding. Upon arrival, officers found most of the people had fled the scene -- but they contacted Baldwin and discovered that she was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. She was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 5/2/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
 

ODOT Says Campaign Signs Not Allowed on State Highway Right-of-Ways
As the May 16th Special District Election draws near, campaigners and their friends should remember that the Oregon Department of Transportation will remove political signs posted on the state highway right-of-way. Every election season, ODOT receives complaints from the public and from campaigns regarding the improper placement of political signs in right-of-ways where only official traffic control signals and devices are allowed. According to ODOT, improperly placed signs can distract drivers and block road safety messages. Improperly placed political signs will be taken down and held at a nearby ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days. To reclaim signs, go to the ODOT office. The width of the right-of-way varies depending on location and it's up to the campaigns to make sure their signs are not on the right-of-way. If unsure about a specific location, citizens should ask their nearest ODOT maintenance office. Signs are prohibited on trees, utility poles, fence posts and natural features within highway right-of-ways. They are also prohibited within view of a designated scenic area. Local municipalities may also regulate the placement of political signs.
Posted on 5/2/23 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
 

Oregonians Invited to Provide Feedback on Draft State Transportation Plan
Residents are invited to provide feedback tomorrow morning on the draft Oregon Transportation Plan. This 25-year plan guides transportation-related decisions that impact communities, the state and the region -- now and into the future. Join the public hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m. to share your input on the draft plan. You can also review the draft plan on the ODOT website and provide comment through the agency's online form. Visit "oregon.gov/ODOT." Oregon's transportation system provides access to jobs, healthcare, childcare, food, housing, recreation and so much more, and it plays a critical role in the state's economy. With your help. ODOT is creating a plan that addresses important issues tied to transportation such as climate change, social equity, population growth, new technologies and more. ODOT officials said your participation is essential for creating a plan that supports a more sustainable and equitable transportation system for all Oregonians.
Posted on 5/2/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
 

Motorist Jailed for Manslaughter and DUII after Allegedly Hitting and Killing Man at Walmart
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A Grants Pass motorist was jailed for manslaughter and more after she allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian at Walmart while impaired last weekend. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers and emergency personnel responded to the incident at the store on NE Terry Lane on Saturday shortly after 10 p.m.. Multiple vehicles and a pedestrian were reported to have been hit. Upon arrival, police determined a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Tanya Allen had been parked in the Walmart parking lot prior to the crash. After a conversation with another person in the vehicle, Allen accelerated rapidly through the parking lot striking other vehicles. Even after hitting the vehicles, she continued to drive recklessly at a high rate of speed through the lot. Police said 65-year-old Kenneth Nickerson was outside his vehicle when he was struck by Allen. He was not responsive to life-saving efforts by emergency first responders and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Tanya Allen was first taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for an evaluation and then transported to the Josephine County Jail where she was lodged on charges of Manslaughter, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. Additional charges are pending further investigation.
Posted on 5/2/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Has Recommended Reducing Budget Reserve to Balance 2024 Spending Plan
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The Grants Pass City Council has recommended drawing down the budget reserve fund by just over 1% to help balance the spending plan for Fiscal Year 2024. During its workshop on Monday, the City Council's continuing discussion on the 2024 budget centered around the city policy of maintaining a 30% reserve at the end of each fiscal year. The panel had already okayed $2.1 million in budget cuts. City Finance Director JC Rowley stated that by dropping the reserve to 28.86%, Grants Pass would not have to lay off any current staff and would be able to keep funding certain community events such as Art Along the Rogue. He also said it would likely provide enough money to cover the operating costs at Caveman Pool. Several Council members favored keeping Caveman Pool open this summer due to the problems associated with the unhoused population living in city parks. The final vote was 4-3 to send the plan to the Grants Pass Budget Committee. City Manager Aaron Cubic said staff needed direction to prepare the budget document as soon as possible. The Budget Committee has scheduled its first meeting on May 16th. The statutory deadline to adopt the city budget is June 30th.
Posted on 5/2/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Smokey's Hat is Focus of Campaign Kicking Off Wildfire Awareness Featuring Ty Burrell
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May is "Wildfire Awareness Month." Keep Oregon Green -- in partnership with federal, state and local agencies and organizations -- celebrates May as the ideal month to create defensible space around homes before fire season and prevent the start of careless, unwanted fires this summer. Each year, more than 70% of Oregon's wildfires are started by people. Many are a result of escaped fires from debris burn piles or gas-powered equipment casting sparks or catching fire. During the 2022 season, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported that people were directly responsible for sparking 616 wildfires that burned 1,255 acres. Any spark can gain traction in dry fuels, spread quickly and impact lives, personal property and Oregon's scenic landscapes. This year, Keep Oregon Green is launching a new wildfire prevention campaign and releasing five new public service announcements to help raise awareness of the risks. The ads feature Emmy Award-winning television, movie and voice actor Ty Burrell. Burrell was born in Grants Pass and graduated from Hidden Valley High School.
Posted on 5/2/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Motorist Jailed for Manslaughter after Killing Man in Walmart Parking Lot
A Grants Pass motorist was jailed for manslaughter and more after she killed a pedestrian at Walmart while impaired. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers and emergency personnel responded to the incident at the store on NE Terry Lane on Saturday shortly after 10 p.m.. Multiple vehicles and a pedestrian were reported to have been hit. Upon arrival, police determined a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Tanya Allen had been parked in the Walmart parking lot prior to the crash. After a conversation with another person in the vehicle, Allen accelerated rapidly through the parking lot striking other vehicles. Even after hitting the vehicles, she continued to drive recklessly at a high rate of speed through the lot. Police said 65-year-old Kenneth Nickerson was outside his vehicle when he was struck by Allen. He was not responsive to life-saving efforts by emergency first responders and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Tanya Allen was first taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for an evaluation and then transported to the Josephine County Jail where she was lodged on charges of Manslaughter, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. Additional charges are pending further investigation. Anyone with information about the fatal crash is asked to call Grants Pass Police Detective Shali Marshall at (541)-450-6260.
Posted on 5/1/23 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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Strong Winds Dropped Large Oak Tree into Powerlines on Cheney Creek Road
Hot weather and strong winds did more than whip up outdoor debris burns over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Rural Metro Fire Department was alerted to a large oak tree that fell into powerlines on Cheney Creek Road in the Fish Hatchery area near Wilderville. Upon arrival, firefighters found the tree suspended in the lines which caused crews to shut down Cheney Creek Road. There was no fire started by the downed tree. Electrical outages were reported by customers of Pacific Power, which dispatched crews to repair the damage. The repairs and cleanup were complete by the evening.
Posted on 5/1/23 10:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Chamber to Release Results of 2022 Business Retention & Expansion Survey
The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce is set to release the results of its 2022 Business Retention & Expansion Survey tomorrow morning. The event takes place Tuesday at The Hivve at 164 SE G Street. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the presentation is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.. The 2022 Business Retention & Expansion Survey will be presented by Charles Run, President of Charlton Research Company. The title sponsor of the presentation is the Rogue Community College Small Business Development Center. Survey partners included the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County.
Posted on 5/1/23 10:37AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Incarcerated Man Who Interfered with Planned Burning Operation
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office incarcerated a man who interfered with a prescribed burn operation in the Wonder area late last week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the incident in the Waters Creek Road area on Friday afternoon. Deputies said the unidentified man interfered with a planned burning operation on US Forest Service land in the Waters Creek area, refused to stop when ordered to do so and then led law enforcement on a pursuit in a vehicle and on foot. The man was placed into custody at gunpoint after being Tased. Deputies said the suspect injured his ankle while running away, but he refused medical attention. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony and Misdemeanor Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving and Interfering with a Firefighter. He was cited for Damaging a Tree, No Insurance and Failure to Renew Vehicle Registration. Due to the Sheriff's Office changing its format for incident logs to local media and not publishing a Jail Log for several days, it was impossible to identify the suspect.
Posted on 5/1/23 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Investigating Cause of Fire that Erupted Saturday in Hog Creek Area
The Oregon Department of Forestry was investigating the cause of a fire that broke out over the weekend in the Hog Creek area west of Merlin. ODF and Rural Metro Fire Department were dispatched to the reported fire around three miles north of Hog Creek County Park on Saturday. At the time, the fire was estimated to be four acres and burning in steep terrain. ODF and Rural Metro crews mounted an aggressive initial attack with numerous engines, extinguishing the blaze by Saturday evening. In an update at 6:16 p.m., ODF reported the Hog Creek Fire was 100% lined and 95% mopped up. It was GPS-mapped at 2.75 acres. ODF officials said no homes were threatened and the cause of the fire was under investigation. They thanked Rural Metro for its mutual aid assistance. Officials cautioned residents to be aware that fires can start and spread easily when the weather is hot and windy as it was Saturday afternoon.
Posted on 5/1/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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One Person Injured When Open Debris Burn Escaped in Applegate Valley
One person was injured over the weekend when an open debris burn escaped in the northern Applegate Valley. On Saturday at 1:04 p.m., the Applegate Valley Fire District was dispatched to the reported fire in the 8200-block of Highway 238. Arriving units found approximately 1/10th of an acre burning on the hillside with no structures threatened. It was reported that there might be a burn victim at the scene. Firefighters located the patient and rendered aid while requesting a Mercy Flights helicopter. The unidentified patient was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. The fire was contained and no structures were damaged.
Posted on 5/1/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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