Local News

GP City Council to Interview Urban Area Planning Commission Candidates Today
The Grants Pass City Council will open its bi-weekly workshop session today with interviews of candidates for the Urban Area Planning Commission (UAPC). The UAPC consists of eight members appointed by the City Council. It is the advisory agency for the Council on land use procedures. Next up on the agenda is "Private Streets and Home Builders Association Timing" followed by the First Quarter Work Plan Update and a review of the agenda for Wednesday night's regular meeting. Following the workshop, Mayor Sara Bristol will convene a Special Meeting in Executive Session. The closed-door meeting will be led by the City Attorney on current and/or likely litigation. Today's workshop begins at 11:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Grants Pass City Hall, 101 NW A Street.
Posted on 5/13/24 6:49AM by Sam Marsh

CJ City Council to Consider Ordinances, Park Use & OLCC Recommendation
The Cave Junction City Council meets tonight to consider two new ordinances, a park use request and an Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission recommendation. Following the regular Council Update from Public Works Director Alex Ponder, the panel will hear planning updates and consider a request regarding a Skatepark Memorial event on June 21st. The Council will also decide whether to provide an OLCC recommendation for Li'l Pantry Market & Deli. Two ordinances will be under consideration. One would amend the Zoning Map and Comprehensive Plan while the other would make rate changes for city water and sewer services. Tonight's meeting starts at 7 in the City Council Chambers at 222 Lister Street in Cave Junction.
Posted on 5/13/24 6:48AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police & Firefighters Logged Busy Week of Activity Protecting Community
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged a busy week of activity while protecting citizens and structures. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 592 calls for service along with 253 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 41 arrests, 30 citations, 35 warnings and five highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 55 traffic stops in the city and made 24 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The GPPD Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 182 potential trouble-makers while arresting six people, citing 12 more and warning 38 others. The CRT unit also trespassed six individuals, posted 110 transient camps and removed trash from five campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 113 calls last week including 67 for emergency medical service, one report of fire or smoke, 15 lift assists, 10 rescue situations, five assists to other agencies and seven false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,120 emergency calls in addition to 739 non-emergency calls for service.
Posted on 5/13/24 6:47AM by Sam Marsh

Law Enforcement Agencies to Honor Officers Lost in Line of Duty at Courthouse on Tuesday
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May 12th through May 18th is "National Police Week," which honors all law enforcement officers throughout the United States who have given their lives to safeguard our rights and freedoms. Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel invites citizens to join him in remembering those officers and showing appreciation for the sacrifices they and their families have made. Please join the Sheriff's Office, Grants Pass Police Department and Oregon State Police to salute their memory on the steps of the Josephine County Courthouse at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Roll call of local law enforcement personnel who have paid the ultimate price and lost their lives in the line of duty include Trooper Burrell Baucom in July 1933, Search and Rescue Captain Emmett Blackmun in September 1968, Deputy Alice Moran and Deputy Glenn Allen in November 1971, Sergeant Marvin Brewster in April 1972, and Deputy Thomas Rice in May 2002. For those wishing to attend the ceremony but are unable to make it, Sheriff Daniel said it will be live-streamed on their social media platforms.
Posted on 5/13/24 6:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue Valley Area Transportation Commission (RVACT) to Meet Virtually on Tuesday
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The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation (RVACT) will meet virtually on Tuesday morning. The RVACT meeting runs from 9 to 11 a.m. tomorrow. It is open to the public and time will be set aside for public input. RVACT meetings are held to discuss state transportation projects and issues in Jackson and Josephine counties. Tuesday's agenda includes Connect Oregon Projects, the Oregon Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP), construction project updates and regional updates. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities and alternate forms of printed material are available upon request. For more information, contact Mary Dillinger at (541)-621-3074.
Posted on 5/13/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Domestic Disturbance Lands Ex-Husband in Jail
A 27-year-old man is in the Josephine County Jail after calls for help from ex-wife and 11-year-old son.
Josephine County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 7900 block of Deer Creek Road Friday night at 10:26 following a call from a woman stating her ex-husband is drunk and hit her in the face. The woman was able to get away but the husband remained on the property. According to the Sheriff’s log a second call, this time from the 11-year-old son stated his dad is really drunk. The narrative stated dispatchers could hear screaming and horns honking. The log stated the dad’s girlfriend also joined the melee. An AMR ambulance was on the scene and evaluated the girlfriend who was bleeding heavily from her head. She declined transport and she fell and hit her head.
Posted on 5/11/24 7:33AM by Chuck Benson
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JCSO Deputies Lodge 1 in Jail & 1 in Sobering Center
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies lodged one man in jail on a warrant and a woman in the sobering center on Friday. At 11 a.m. Friday morning a Deputy observed a blue Toyota Celica being driven by a 56-year-old man known to have active warrants and executed a traffic stop on the Redwood Highway near Little Cheyenne Trail. The Deputy arrested the suspect without incident and lodged him in the county jail on charges including Theft I, Criminal Mischief I, Attempt to Elude Police and Possession of Methamphetamine. At 7:29 p.m. Deputies were dispatched to the 1400 block of Ort Lane to the report of a female throwing rocks at the complainant’s vehicle. The complainant stated the “weird tweaker lady” came up a friend’s driveway and was trying to shut the gate, then started throwing stuff at their vehicle. The caller also reported the woman picked up a large stick and was threatening other cars with it.
Posted on 5/11/24 6:42AM by Chuck Benson
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OR Supreme Court Orders Immediate Release of GP Woman from State Prison
The Oregon Supreme Court this week ordered the immediate release of a Grants Pass woman who had been sent back to prison after Governor Tina Kotek revoked an earlier commutation of her sentence. The Oregon Capital Chronicle reports the court found Kotek lacked the authority to return the woman to Coffee Creek Correctional Institution because her sentence had expired. It is the second time in two years that Oregon appellate courts have weighed in on the governor's clemency powers, which can include reducing a person's sentence or granting pardons. In the latest ruling, the Oregon Supreme Court found the governor's clemency power -- specifically the ability to yank a person's commutation and return them to prison -- "is not without its limits." The case centered on Terri Brown, a 49-year-old woman sentenced in 2017 to a total of five years in prison and two years of post-prison supervision for mail theft convictions out of Josephine County. In December 2020, then-Governor Kate Brown commuted Terri Brown's sentence as part of a large wave of pandemic-era early releases. The commutations were conditional -- people could be returned to prison to serve out the rest of their sentence if they broke any laws. Terri Brown walked out of prison on December 23, 2020. About four months later, she was back in court, accused of violating the terms of her probation. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a 30-day jail stint. In February 2023, Brown got word from the state that her post-prison supervision had concluded and, as the court ruling notes, "was no longer subject to any sentence."
Posted on 5/11/24 5:26AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Police Jailed Man for Violating Court Order by Stalking Fruitdale Resident
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for violating a court order following a domestic disturbance at a residence in the Fruitdale area early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested a 34-year-old male subject for the incident in the 100-block of Saradan Lane on Friday around 4:30 a.m..
Police said a man called 9-1-1 to report a silver Honda sedan occupied by the subject was parked outside his residence and the resident had a valid stalking order against the subject. When the subject realized the protected party noticed him outside, he left in his vehicle toward town. Officers located the subject parking his vehicle at the downtown 7-Eleven store about 15 minutes after the call and boxed him in. The man reportedly denied ever being at the Saradan Lane residence, but he was placed into custody.
Posted on 5/11/24 5:24AM by Chuck Benson
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Jerome Prairie Man Jailed for Assaulting Father & Threatening Parents with Knife
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for multiple crimes after he violated a court order, assaulted his father and threatened both of his parents with a knife in the Jerome Prairie area. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the 38-year-old male subject for the incident at a home in the 5800-block of Demaray Drive on Thursday morning. Deputies said the man lives in a separate house on the same property as his parents and he violated a court order when he went to their house to talk about a phone issue that he was upset about. While on the front porch, a physical altercation occurred that resulted in the man injuring his father by taking him to the ground. At one point, the man pulled out a knife and pointed it at his father before pointing it at his mother and ordering her not to call law enforcement. Both parents feared their son would hurt them with the knife. The son threatened to commit suicide and used the knife to cut himself on the neck. After being placed into custody, the man was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of the self-inflicted injury.
Posted on 5/11/24 5:23AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Collared Statewide Fugitive while Investigating Fish Hatchery Trespass
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant this week while investigating a trespassing complaint in the Fish Hatchery area. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the complaint at a home in the 2600-block of Fish Hatchery Road on Thursday night. Deputies said a woman called 9-1-1 and reported a male subject with a bandaged hand walked inside their house and said he was being chased by people with guns. The man stated that he hurt his hand and kept repeating that he needed the "cops." The caller told dispatchers the man was "freaking out" and seemed to think he was seeing people in the dark before he left the residence and walked away. Deputies searched and found him near the day-use area of Turtle Lane County Park. The man was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of his injured hand. That's when he was identified and discovered to be wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a burglary conviction.
Posted on 5/11/24 5:21AM by Chuck Benson
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New Effort Aims to Bring Back Shuttered Chateau at Oregon Caves Monument
The Oregon Caves Chateau has been closed since 2018. Now the Oregonian is reporting a group of preservation and tourism agencies is trying to rally support to fund structural improvements and reopen the historic lodge. The six-story chateau, completed in 1934, is in the base of Cave Creek Canyon near the entrance to the Oregon Caves. The lodge has 23 overnight rooms, a 1930s era diner, gift store and formal dining room. Part of nearby Cave Creek actually diverts into the chateau and flows through the dining room. In 1987, the Oregon Caves Chateau received a National Historic Landmark designation. But over the years, the chateau struggled to meet modern hotel needs. Too many cell phones plugged in at the same time would knock out electricity to the whole building. The six-story lodge had no elevator to assist guests with mobility needs. In 2018, the chateau closed for an $8.6 million project to update wiring and plumbing and bring the building up to Americans with Disability Act standards. Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau initially planned to contribute an additional $4 million toward the project. But by 2020, the project to update the chateau had exposed bigger problems with the building's structural foundation. An additional $4.5 million was allocated by the National Parks Service for "an immediate stabilization project." And while the immediate stabilization work continues, plans to reopen the chateau have stalled. A coalition of groups held a media briefing this week to drum up support for the funding. They represented the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau, Travel Southern Oregon, the National Parks Conservation Association, Restore Oregon, Visit Grants Pass, and the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Posted on 5/11/24 5:19AM by Chuck Benson
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