Local News

Well-Known Jackson County Drug Dealer Sentenced to 15 Years in Fed Prison
A well-known Jackson County drug dealer was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison after law enforcement located large quantities of drugs -- including fentanyl -- and a firearm in his abandoned vehicle. According to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon, 36-year-old Anthony Ross Minneci was sentenced this month to 188 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. According to court documents, following his release from prison for drug trafficking and possessing a firearm in January 2019, Minneci resumed selling drugs throughout Southern Oregon. From early 2019 to March 2022, the suspect was charged in multiple cases in Jackson and Josephine County Circuit Courts for drug trafficking, illegally possessing firearms and eluding police. On January 1, 2022, a Jackson County sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle failing to stop at an intersection and driving at a high rate of speed. The deputy identified Minneci as the driver and pursued him briefly before he got away. Later that evening, investigators found the vehicle unoccupied in a rural area, but were unable to locate the suspect. Four days later, investigators executed a search warrant on the vehicle and located fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine as well as a firearm, ammunition and drug paraphernalia. They also found Minneci's driver's license and other identifying items.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh

Local Firefighters Busy with Weekend Blazes on Stringer Gap & Lonnon Roads
Local firefighters were busy with two weekend fires in the New Hope area of south Grants Pass. On Friday at 5 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry were dispatched to a large vehicle fire on Stringer Gap Road. Upon arrival, crews found a fully-involved truck camper that was abandoned and had been sitting in a turnout for a few days. The fire had spread to 1/100th of an acre of wildland. Both blazes were quickly knocked down and mopped up. The cause of the incident was unknown. On Saturday at noon, Rural Metro and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a structure fire in the 1800-block of Lonnon Road. Arriving units found smoke from an exterior wall of a residence. Crews had to dismantle the siding to access the fire and prevent further damage to the structure. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:30AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Incarcerated Motorist for DUII after Weekend Stop on Merlin Road
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for impaired driving during a weekend traffic stop near Merlin. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over a white Toyota pickup driven by a 29-year-old man in the 300-block of Merlin Road on Friday at 10:34 p.m.. Deputies said they stopped the motorist for a traffic violation and he displayed signs of impairment. They said his driving privileges had also been suspended after a previous impaired driving arrest in 2020. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving and Driving While Suspended. His pickup was impounded and towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh

Driver and Dogs Escaped Injury in Sunday Morning Crash on Caves Highway
A motorist and their dogs escaped injury when their vehicle crashed on Caves Highway near Cave Junction early yesterday. On Sunday at 10:03 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police responded to the single-vehicle accident on State Route 46 at Bear Creek Road. Few details were disclosed about the crash, but IVFD officials said the occupant and dogs were not injured. They called friends to remove the vehicle from the scene. OSP was conducting an investigation into the cause of the wreck.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Workshop Features Surplus Properties & Land Use Noticing
The Grants Pass City Council will take up the topics of city surplus properties and land use public noticing during its bi-weekly workshop session today. The City Council is scheduled to open the workshop with a staff presentation on city-owned surplus properties followed by discussion on what to do with them. The Council will also receive a staff presentation on the radius of land use public notices. The panel will then discuss how far away from subject properties public notices should be sent. A review of the agenda for Wednesday night's regular meeting will conclude the session. 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 6/17/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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State Holding Two Local Open House Meetings on Wildfire Hazard Map and Programs
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After two completed sessions in central and northeast Oregon, residents are being reminded of four remaining open houses about the state's new community wildfire risk reduction programs. The next two are in Jackson and Josephine counties. This week's scheduled Oregon Department of Forestry events are in Central Point and Grants Pass. They are set for tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jackson County Expo Park and for Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grants Pass High School. The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the highest levels of wildfire hazards within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs. Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand the statewide wildfire programs. Those agencies include ODF, Oregon State University, Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Building Codes Division, Oregon Division of Financial Regulation and Oregon Wildfire Programs Advisory Council.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police & Firefighters Preparing for Summer of Resident & Visitor Protection
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters are gearing up for summer when they protect both residents and visitors in this community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 627 calls for service last week along with 230 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 51 arrests, 43 citations, 60 warnings and three highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 84 traffic stops in the city and they made 27 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The GPPD Community Response Team (CRT) contacted a total of 166 potential troublemakers while arresting two people, citing 32 more and warning 75 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 26 individuals, posted 78 transient camps and removed trash from four campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 109 calls last week including 33 for emergency medical service, six reports of fire or smoke, 11 lift assists, five rescue situations, nine assists to other agencies and eight false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,220 emergency calls.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Residents Encouraged to Pay City of Grants Pass Bills and Parking Tickets Online
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Paying a bill to the City of Grants Pass has never been easier. By following links on the city website, users can pay a variety of bills generated by Grants Pass. Bookmark and follow the mentioned links for easy access to online bill-paying portals. You'll need your customer account number to pay utility bills or your citation number for paying a parking ticket. For Grants Pass utility bills, visit "grantspassoregon.selectpaytoday.com." To pay city parking tickets, go to "grantspassormrpt.myrelayview.com." The city's website homepage at "grantspassoregon.gov" also has easy-to-use icons for accessing both portals.
Posted on 6/17/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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Former Asante Nurse Pleaded Not Guilty to 44 Counts of Felony Assault
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Former nurse Dani Marie Schofield pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging her with 44 counts of second-degree assault on suspicion of harming nearly four dozen patients in Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit by stealing fentanyl prescribed to them to ease their pain. Jackson County Circuit Judge Laura Cromwell on Friday told Schofield that she did not qualify financially for a court-appointed lawyer and no defense lawyer was present as the judge kept Schofield's bail at $4 million despite a pretrial officer's recommendation to lower it to $1 million. Schofield complained to the court that she's been locked down in isolation in jail, hasn't received her medication, has had no contact with anyone and barely has running water. She said she believes her family has contacted a lawyer to represent her and asked the judge how they should inform the court. According to the Oregonian, the judge instructed Schofield to file a grievance with the jail about the conditions and that a retained lawyer should contact the court. A pretrial conference was scheduled for June 24th. Police and prosecutors say Schofield took patients' fentanyl for her own personal use and replaced the liquid drug with non-sterile tap water, causing them to develop life-threatening infections. She was arrested Thursday near Shady Cove. During a Thursday afternoon news conference, Medford Police Chief Justin Ivens said of the 44 patients identified, 16 died -- most in the hospital but others after they were discharged.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Identify Man Who Intentionally Set Fire to 3 Crosses at Church
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for three felony-level crimes after he intentionally lit Christian crosses on fire at a local church early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested a 44-year-old male subject for the incident at Newsong Christian Fellowship on NE Evelyn Avenue on Friday at 1:24 a.m.. He has since been identified by the agency as Jeremy Robert Johnson. Police said an employee at the new Pinnacle 365 gas station at 6th Street and Manzanita Avenue called 9-1-1 after a customer witnessed a man lighting three crosses on fire at the church. Officers and firefighters responded to the scene to find the fire already extinguished, but the crosses were still smoldering. According to the report, the fire caused approximately $1,000 in damage. The suspect was detained at Taser point a short time later. During contact, he reportedly made numerous statements that indicated he was responsible for the fire. He also was found to be in possession of fuel-drenched clothing. Johnson was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of 1st-Degree Arson, 2nd-Degree Bias Crime and 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man for Violent Incident at Apartments & City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for several crimes after a violent incident at an apartment complex and at Morrison Centennial Park. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident at Rogue View Gardens on Fruitdale Drive on Thursday afternoon. Police said the complex manager called 9-1-1 to report that a male subject was yelling that his wife had been murdered. The caller told dispatchers the man left the complex and walked toward baseball fields at the adjacent city park. Officers contacted the 37-year-old man at the park a short time later and the man was immediately hostile toward them, threatening to kill them and screaming profanities. After the man demonstrated an unwillingness to obey commands and displayed pre-fight indicators, a Taser was deployed twice -- but it had no effect because he was wearing thick clothing. Pepper spray was utilized after the subject charged at an officer. That de-escalated the man's violent behavior until additional officers arrived on scene to help. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Attempted Assault on a Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest, Menacing and Disorderly Conduct. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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Three Occupants Escaped Injury in Friday PM Accident in Cave Junction
Three people escaped injury when their vehicle crashed in Cave Junction late yesterday. On Friday at 5:20 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Josephine County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the single-vehicle mishap at the intersection of East River Street and North Old Stage Road. IVFD officials none of the three occupants was injured. No one was identified. The vehicle was removed by Jerry's Towing. The Sheriff's Office was conducting an investigation into the cause of the wreck.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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