Local News

Deputies Jailed GP Men for Using Rented Truck to Steal Skid Loader & Trailer
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed two Grants Pass area men for using a rented vehicle to steal heavy equipment and a trailer from a business in Roseburg. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 60-year-old Ivan Raymond Schuoler, Jr., and 57-year-old Daniel Lee Turner in the 500-block of Greens Creek Road on Saturday afternoon. Deputies said Schuoler and Turner rented a Nissan Titan, drove to Roseburg, and stole a 2020 Caterpillar Skid Loader and dump trailer from a Peterbilt dealership on NW Mullholland Drive. Video surveillance showed the suspects committing the heist and pulling the loaded trailer with the rented truck. According to the Sheriff's Log, the theft was reported Saturday morning and OSP tracked the suspect truck heading south on Interstate 5 before alerting the Sheriff's Office that they might be heading to Grants Pass. A Greens Creek property owner reported suspicious activity and seeing the vehicles, so law enforcement swooped in for the arrests. Ivan Schuoler and Daniel Turner were both lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. The stolen equipment and trailer were returned to Roseburg. The rental company requested that their truck be recovered.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Snared Young Man & Teens for Acting Like Gang Members near GP
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a young man and three juveniles for pretending to be gang members in a rural area west of Grants Pass last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies were alerted to the incident near the western intersection of Redwood Avenue and Redwood Highway on Sunday at 3:27 p.m.. Deputies said a motorist called 9-1-1 after she observed four subjects walking on Redwood Avenue toward Grants Pass. The caller reported two of the subjects were wearing masks while walking down the middle of the road and all were "throwing" gang signs at her. She sped up to get past them and saw what she believed to be a gun in the waistband of one of the young subjects. According to the report, the subjects also approached a man at the Jerome Prairie Market while wearing masks, threatened the man and frightened him. Responding deputies contacted the subjects, finding one of them with a plastic pistol in his waistband and another with a large can of mace in his pocket. All four teens were placed into custody. Eighteen-year-old Preston Glenn Curtis admitted to engaging in conduct with the others and causing public alarm. Curtis was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Riot and Disorderly Conduct. The three other teenagers were lodged at the Juvenile Justice Center on the same charges.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Nabbed Motorist for DUII near Merlin after She had DUII Crash in GP
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for impaired driving in the North Valley area last weekend. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over a Toyota Camry driven by 83-year-old Susan Baker in the 3500-block of Merlin Road on Saturday afternoon. Deputies said they were alerted to Baker by a fellow motorist who reported that she was following the Camry which was all over the roadway, ran through a stop light, nearly hit another vehicle, and almost went over the parking barrier at Ray's Food Place. Upon arrival, deputies said Baker displayed signs of impairment and she admitted that she was driving a rental car because she had totaled her own vehicle in an impaired driving crash in Grants Pass last week. She even noted that the rental car was damaged after she backed into a retaining wall at her Colonial Valley home. Susan Baker was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw and then to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where she was lodged for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:25AM by Sam Marsh

2023 Statistics Show 2023 was Very Busy Year for Grants Pass Fire Department
Statistics show 2023 was a busy year for the Grants Pass Fire Department. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 5,168 calls for service in the community last year. Although total calls for service were up by less than 1%, the agency saw a 13% increase in fire call volume over 2022. Grants Pass firefighters responded to 67 structure fires, 72 vegetation fires and 111 other fires in 2023. In addition, there were 2,039 emergency medical calls, 1,296 service calls, 1,193 good intent calls and 249 false alarms. All other incidents were responsible for 141 calls. Department officials said their comprehensive annual report will be available soon.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Salvation Army Offering Free Guitar Classes for Youth 7 and Older
The Salvation Army in Grants Pass is excited to announce the launch of free guitar classes for youth over the age of seven. The program -- made possible through the generosity of the Carpenter Foundation, Arthur R. Dubs Foundation and local supporters of the Salvation Army -- aims to provide a creative and enriching musical experience for youth in the community. The free guitar classes will not only include expert instruction but also provide participants with the use of instruments during the program. This initiative reflects the Salvation Army's commitment to fostering talent, creativity and personal development among young individuals in Grants Pass. Captain Corrin Perry is the dedicated instructor for the classes and is passionate about sharing the joy of music while believing in the positive impact it can have on young minds. The new program was kicked off recently so interested individuals are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to secure their spot. Call (541)-955-1017 for more information and to secure your spot as space is limited.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Southern California Man Jailed for Stealing Guns from GP Store Faces Total of 25 Crimes
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A Southern California man jailed last week for stealing firearms from a store on Redwood Highway in Grants Pass has been charged with a total of 25 crimes. On Friday afternoon, a Grants Pass Police SWAT team arrested 27-year-old Antone Wayne Bayard when he tried to run from a rental home on Willow Lane. A GPPD investigation revealed that Bayard had broken into a firearms retail store in the 200-block of Highway 199 last Wednesday evening. Responding officers discovered the front doors of the business had been smashed open and multiple guns had been stolen. Video surveillance showed the suspect used a pickup truck to break through the doors and the suspect quickly gathered guns before fleeing. A GPPD School Marshal advised detectives he had seen a subject matching the description at a local grocery store the day of the break-in. That led to the suspect's identification and subsequent arrest. It was also discovered that the suspect was wanted on a Riverside County, California, fugitive warrant for Parole Violation. After Bayard's arrest, detectives from GPPD, OSP, Medford Police, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement, the US Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives served a search warrant on the Willow Lane rental and seized at least 10 firearms stolen from the Grants Pass store.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Southwest District Recruiting Workers for Upcoming 2024 Summer Fire Season
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The Southwest District of the Oregon Department of Forestry has begun recruiting for multiple positions for the 2024 fire season even though the danger is still a few months away. ODF Southwest is looking for experienced firefighters, entry-level firefighters, detection specialists and dispatchers totaling approximately 130 jobs in Josephine and Jackson counties. These seasonal positions usually span from June through October. However, the duration may vary depending on weather and fuel conditions in Southern Oregon. Both Grants Pass and Medford offices are actively recruiting. Benefits include medical, dental and vision health coverage and paid holidays as well as personal business, vacation and sick leave. The deadline to apply for all positions is May 30th, but interviews will take place starting in early March. Applying early is highly encouraged. Job descriptions and applications can be found at "swofire.com." For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry, please call the Grants Pass Unit at (541)-474-3152, or the Medford Unit at (541)-664-3328.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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National Weather Service Posts Wind Advisory for Parts of SW Oregon Starting Today
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Strong winds are expected in parts of southwest Oregon through tomorrow. The National Weather Service has posted a Wind Advisory for Douglas, Josephine and eastern Curry counties that runs from 1 p.m. today through 7 p.m. Wednesday. Southeast winds from 20 to 30 miles per hour and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected in the advisory areas. The biggest impacts will affect areas of Douglas County above 2,000 feet. This includes portions of Interstate 5 near Canyon Creek Pass, Highway 138 and the communities of Steamboat, Toketee Falls and Azalea. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Secure outdoor objects and prepare for the potential loss of electricity. Motorists are urged to use extra caution when driving in these areas, especially if they are operating a high-profile vehicle like a commercial truck or an RV.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Weekend Theft Incident in West GP Led to Arrest of Felon for Weapons & Drugs
A weekend shoplifting incident in west Grants Pass led to the arrest of a local felon for weapon, drug and probation violations. Grants Pass police officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 44-year-old Christopher Michael Owens at the Dollar General on SW Bridge Street around 9:45 p.m. Friday. Police said Owens was contacted while stealing approximately $30 worth of sticky wall tiles from Dollar General. They said the suspect had been arrested before for stealing from the store. A female accomplice was detained, but not arrested. Owens was placed into custody and a consent search found him to be in possession of two stolen firearms and a substantial amount of fentanyl. The guns and drug were seized as evidence. Christopher Owens was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Felony Possession of Fentanyl, 3rd-Degree Theft and Probation Violation related to past theft arrests. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:56AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Felony Robbery after WinCo Shoplifting Incident
Grants Pass Police reminded a woman that when you use force during a shoplifting incident, it becomes a felony. The Police Department reports officers arrested 42-year-old Heather May Jameson at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Friday at 6:51 p.m.. Police said Jameson selected around $79 worth of merchandise and bypassed all points of sale without attempting to pay. When she was contacted by two agents from loss prevention, she tried to push past them in an attempt to flee. She also kicked at one of the agents, but did not connect. After Jameson was placed into custody, she was found to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine. She remained uncooperative with police. Heather Jameson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 3rd-Degree Robbery, Misdemeanor 3rd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Shoplifting at Supermarket, But Man Got Away
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing merchandise from a supermarket plus an outstanding warrant over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Friday shortly before 9 p.m.. Police said 32-year-old Melia Lei Mitchell and an unidentified man entered the store, gathered over $200 in grocery items and passed all points of sale without paying. Loss prevention staff stopped Mitchell and detained her, but her male counterpart fled on foot and was not located. Mitchell was found to be wanted on a Douglas County warrant for Disorderly Conduct and Furnishing False Information to Police. She was lodged in jail on the warrant along with a new charge of 2nd-Degree Theft and trespassed from WinCo.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:54AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Young Man for Trying to Enter Patrol Vehicle near City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for trying to enter an occupied patrol vehicle near Baker Park at the start of the weekend. According to the Police Department, the incident involving 20-year-old Jackson David Sutton occurred Friday evening at the intersection of the Grants Pass Parkway and East Park Street. Police said an officer was stopped at a red light at the intersection when Sutton opened the passenger door to the patrol vehicle and attempted to enter unlawfully. They said he was quickly detained and arrested. He refused to identify himself, but was later identified because he was wearing a hospital bracelet on his wrist. Jackson Sutton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and Disorderly Conduct. News archives show he was arrested last week for vandalizing the north entrance of the Courthouse with a black marker.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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