Local News

IV Chamber of Commerce Announces Return of Concerts in the Park This Year
The Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the return of their Concerts in the Park series this summer. In 2024, the community event will take place on Thursdays from June 20th to August 15th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jubilee Park in Cave Junction. There is no show scheduled for Independence Day, July 4th. In an effort to prioritize the health and safety of Illinois Valley community members, this year's concert series will start earlier than usual. The decision to start the series early is a proactive measure to mitigate the potential impact of wildfire smoke, which has historically affected the region in mid- to late-August. The Chamber invites local musicians and vendors to participate in this year's Concerts in the Park series. Interested performers and vendors can access applications at "ivchamberofcommerce.com." It's an excellent opportunity for local artists and artisans to share their talents with the Illinois Valley community while gaining exposure to a broad audience.
Posted on 6/4/24 4:41AM by Chuck Benson

Historic Jackson County Cemeteries Get Grants from Oregon State Commission
The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC) has awarded more than $60,000 in grants to 11 historic cemetery projects throughout the state through the Historic Cemeteries Grant Program. Three of them are in Jackson County. The funds will help support preservation efforts, tree care and access. Individual award amounts ranged from $2,500 to $10,900. In Jackson County, grants were awarded for monument repair at the IOOF Eastwood Cemetery in Medford, to trim trees and remove dead trees at Logtown Cemetery and to remove hazard trees at Phoenix Pioneer Cemetery. Historic cemeteries are documented by OCHC and must include the burial of at least one person who died 75 years before the current date. The grant program is offered annually by the OCHC, which is part of the Oregon Heritage Program at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It's supported by lottery and other funds.
OCHC maintains a list of all pioneer and historic cemeteries in the state. The seven-member appointed commission helps people and organizations document, preserve and promote designated historic cemeteries statewide.
Posted on 6/4/24 4:39AM by Chuck Benson

GP City Council Modifies Public Comment Rules
The Grants Pass City Council during its Monday workshop adjusted the rules governing the public comment period of the official business sessions. Individual times to speak is reduced from three minutes to two minutes with the total time allotted for the public is 30 minutes. The blue cards must be submitted to be allowed to speak and they must be in place prior to the public comment period. The cards will indicate the topic to be discussed must be related to city business.
Posted on 6/3/24 2:50PM by Chuck Benson

YMCA Proposes City Partnership to Develop New Pool Facility South of River
The Grants Pass City Council voted to pursue a partnership with the YMCA on a new pool/recreation facility south of the Rogue River on the 10-acre Allen Creek reserve property that is designated for a park area. The YMCA asked for a long-term lease for 100 years at one dollar a year. The envisioned facility would cost approximately $65 million dollars. The YMCA estimated fund raising, planning, and building the facility to opening would be approximately four years. The vote was irrespective of any final decision on the future of the Caveman Pool. A base estimate of cost for renovating the pool is $13.5 million, slightly more for enhancing the pool.
Posted on 6/3/24 2:49PM by Chuck Benson
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OSP Weekend Activity
An Oregon State Trooper stopped a gray Honda Civic Friday night at the intersection of Agness and the Grants Pass Parkway for the illegal alteration of a license plate and discovered the driver had a statewide felony warrant from the Parole Board. The 38-year-old driver was lodged in the Josephine County Jail. Saturday night at 5:30 Troopers in the Fish and Wildlife Division received a call from a Cave Junction landowner that had just shot a nuisance bear that was damaging his property and attacking his livestock. The bear was destroyed and was salvaged. Early Sunday morning a Trooper stopped a gray Chevrolet that was the subject of a driving complaint at 10th and “L” Street. The driver, a 50-year-old woman, was found to have an active felony arrest warrant. She was cited and given a court date and time. A two-vehicle rollover crash at the intersection of Robertson Bridge Road and Azalea Drive drew a Trooper response Sunday night at 9:20. A white Ford truck was traveling on Azalea when a maroon Nissan truck entered the intersection, failing to stop at the stop sign. The Ford, that had the right of way, struck the Nissan on the right rear side causing it to roll onto its side. Both drivers denied medical attention and the Nissan was towed. There was no mention of a citation in the Trooper’s statement.
Posted on 6/3/24 9:08AM by Chuck Benson
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Boyfriend Jailed following Assault on Girlfriend in Van
Grants Pass City Police arrested a 30-year-old man Sunday evening following an altercation with his girlfriend. The initial 911 call came at 7:45 p.m. reporting a woman screaming for help in a white van with a blue tarp because a man was attacking her in the parking lot above the boat ramp near the end of Vista Drive. According to the police log the man was throwing things in the back of the van at the woman. The woman advised he threw a metal jug at her. The man walked away and was contacted at the entrance to Baker Park. The police narrative stated the woman was placed in fear of her serious injury when her boyfriend lost his temper and began throwing thin
Posted on 6/3/24 8:10AM by Chuck Benson
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Council Workshop to Address Housing Incentives, the Caveman Pool & Public Comment Rules
A relatively long agenda is awaiting the Grants Pass City Council when it convenes its weekly workshop this morning at 11:45. The Council will discuss minimum density and multi-family permits and how system development charges can affect builder’s incentives. A discussion on the future of the Caveman pool is second on the agenda. The third item is consideration of public comment rules and procedures for Council’s business sessions, which have become lengthy and occasionally raucous. Councilors will review upcoming agendas before reconvening in executive session for labor negotiations and real property transactions.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:10AM by Chuck Benson
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Suspect in Custody for Rural Shady Cove Homicide
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A Shady Cove man is in the Jackson County Jail charged with 2nd degree murder following a Saturday homicide. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call Saturday at 11:03 a.m. in rural Shady Cove. Dispatch received the call for a possible homicide with an armed suspect on scene at a property in the 23000 block of Highway 62 north of Shady Cove. Deputies arrived with the SWAT Bearcat to locate the armed suspect. Dispatch received a 2nd 911 call for the potential suspect at the Trail Market. Deputies responded and took the suspect into custody without incident. The victim’s name will be released pending next-of-kin notification. Medical Examiners arrived at the scene to begin the death investigation. Cause of death is pending the autopsy by an Oregon State Police forensic pathologist. Jackson County Detectives from and Central Point Police responded to assume the homicide investigation. The suspect, Travis Clayton Driver, 34, of Shady Cove, is in custody charged with second-degree murder. He is lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:08AM by Chuck Benson
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First Drowning of the Season Saturday in the Illinois River
The Josephine County Sheriff’s office has reported the first drowning of the season. A call to 911 Saturday morning at 11:53 reported the incident in the Illinois River at Forks State Park in Cave Junction. The Sheriff’s Office along with OSP, IV Fire, and AMR responded to find Zeke Grant, 39, of Cave Junction had drowned while swimming at a popular swimming hole accessed from the park. Witnesses at the park had seen Grant swimming in the water but then found him submerged approximately 15 minutes later. There were no witnesses when the drowning occurred. Next of kin have been notified and no further information will be released by the Sheriff's Office at this time.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:07AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Police Jail 3 for Weapons Charges in Separate Incidents.
The Grants Pass City Police jailed three individuals on weapons charges over the weekend in separate incidents. Saturday afternoon at 3:36 Police were notified of two shop lifters detained at Walmart. The suspects were cooperative however a 33-year-old woman was arrested and lodged in jail for the theft amounting to $33.96. On being searched incident to the arrest the woman was found to have a concealed firearm without a permit. She is facing charges of theft III and unlawful possession of a firearm. Just before 7 p.m. due to multiple calls, Police were alerted to a man in front of the Josephine County Courthouse pointing a firearm at oncoming traffic. Units arrived, deployed a contact team and took the 47-year-old man into custody without incident and recovered a “replica” firearm, later logged into evidence. The man was jailed on charges of menacing/intimidation and disorderly conduct II. It was the suspects 6th incarceration since September. Later that evening, at approximately 8:23 p.m., a 911 caller reported a suspected verbal altercation between a male and female in the 600 block of 7th street. Responding officers contacted the man walking away from the incident towards the High School. The 36-year-old man was determined to be a convicted felon and found to be in possession of two daggers and a baton that, with centrifugal force, could open to 24 inches. He was lodged in jail on a charge of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon and carrying concealed.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:04AM by Chuck Benson
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Observant Law Enforcement Officers Corral 3 Fugitives
Alert Law enforcement officers corralled three fugitives Saturday. Saturday morning just before 6 a.m. a Josephine County Deputy observed a figure behind a restaurant in the 200 block of Redwood Highway headed north behind Bigfoot. The suspect of contacted and found to have a “do not cite and release warrant due to overcrowding” warrant on two charges of failure to appear on animal abandonment and two charges of animal neglect II. The 43-year-old man was lodged in the County Jail. At 7:32 a.m. Saturday, a Grants Pass Police officer observed a man he knew to have an outstanding warrant and arrested the 31-year-old man and lodged him on the warrant for failure to report as a sex offender. This was the 4th arrest for the same charge since January. Saturday at 12:23 p.m. a City Police officer recognized a man known to have an active warrant and took him into custody, lodging him in the County Jail. The 37-year-old man was wanted on a charge of theft III. It was his third arrest since September of last year.
Posted on 6/3/24 5:03AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Public Safety Active in May to June Transition
Grants Pass Public Safety agencies remain active post Boatnik in the May to June transition. City Police answered 708 calls for service plus 217 officer initiated contacts that resulted in 57 arrests, 21 citlations, 29 warnings, 36 traffic stops, 22 referrals to the Department of Human Services and six persons lodged in the sobering center. The Community Response Team executed 203 contacts that caused 94 warnings, 23 citations, 3 arrests, 12 trespass warnings. They posted 99 camps and removed trash from five camps. Fire Rescue rolled to four fires and 42 medical calls, 11 lift assists and four rescues. They assisted other agencies 12 times and the public six times. Four false alarms were responded to and 31 businesses were inspected plus four car seats were installed.
Posted on 6/1/24 7:51AM by Chuck Benson
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