Local News

GP Man Arrested for Stealing Freeze-Dried Skittles from Convenience Store
A Grants Pass man who made an unwise decision to steal some snacks from a local convenience store found himself behind bars at the start of the weekend. Grants Pass Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at the Arco AM/PM store on NE Terry Lane on Friday around 8:15 p.m.. Police said 40-year-old Jameson Andrew Zottola entered the store and tucked some freeze-dried Skittles into his clothing to conceal them before buying energy drinks. They said the suspect left without making any attempt to pay for the snack and the crime was captured on video surveillance. Officers located Zottola at his residence and he admitted to the theft, stating that he didn't have enough money for the candy. He was identified by the store manager as a "frequent offender." Jameson Zottola was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:14AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Cited Woman for Trying to Steal Pet Supplies from Grange Co-op
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for attempting to steal pet supplies from the Grange Co-op store over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the shoplifting incident at the store on Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway on Saturday at 1:35 p.m.. Police said 34-year-old Britnee LaFrance selected over $38 worth of dog flea and tick products, which she concealed on her person in an attempt to deprive Grange Co-op of its property. She was detained by store security until officers arrived on scene. Britnee LaFrance was charged with 3rd-Degree Theft. She was cited to appear in court and then released.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:13AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Collared Canyonville Man on Outstanding Warrants after North GP Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Canyonville man on outstanding warrants during a weekend traffic stop in north Grants Pass. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Toyota RAV-4 occupied by 47-year-old David Wayne Bell near the intersection of NE 6th Street and Hillcrest Drive at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The driver was not identified in the report. Troopers said they stopped the vehicle for failing to maintain its lane and they noticed Bell wasn't wearing a seatbelt. They also discovered that he was giving them a fictitious name to conceal the fact that he had outstanding warrants. The warrants contained charges of Probation Violation and failing to appear in court. David Bell was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrants along with a new charge of Furnishing False Information to Police. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:11AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Nabbed 2 Motorists for Impaired Driving Over Weekend in Illinois Valley
The Oregon State Police arrested at least two motorists for impaired driving over the weekend in Josephine County -- both of them in the Illinois Valley. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Friday at 10:05 p.m. when state troopers pulled over a Toyota Tundra driven by 62-year-old Clive Anthony Crook near the intersection of Fir Drive and North Old Stage Road in Cave Junction. Troopers said they stopped Crook for multiple traffic violations and he displayed signs of impairment. After performing poorly in field sobriety tests, he was taken to the substation where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal limit. He was cited for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. The second incident happened on Saturday at 11:35 p.m. when troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Impala driven by 33-year-old Eric Doss Warren on Redwood Highway near Kerby-Mainline Road. Troopers said Warren was traveling 90 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour speed zone and he continued to race through Kerby. Upon contacting the driver, signs of impairment were observed and he was placed into custody. He was taken to the Josephine County Jail where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal limit. He was lodged for DUII-Alcohol and Reckless Driving.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Elderly Merlin Man Evaluated by Medics after Crash into Freeway Guardrail
An elderly Merlin man was evaluated after he crashed a vehicle into a guardrail on Interstate 5 in the North Valley area. The Oregon State Police reports troopers responded to a hit-and-run accident where the driver of a vehicle struck a guardrail and left the scene near milepost 61 of I-5 early Saturday morning. Troopers were able to locate the suspect vehicle and contacted its driver -- a 90-year-old Merlin man. They determined he was having a medical episode when the crash occurred. He was evaluated by medics at the scene. The man's Honda HR-V sustained minor damage in the wreck and it was towed into Grants Pass. No citations were issued.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Crews Doused Mysterious Vehicle Fire on I-5 in Sunny Valley
Rural Metro Fire Department extinguished a mysterious vehicle fire on Interstate 5 in the Sunny Valley area late last week. On Friday at 12:18 a.m., Rural Metro crews from the North Valley Station were dispatched to the vehicle fire on I-5 near milepost 74. They were joined by the Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation. Rural Metro officials said arriving units found an abandoned vehicle off the freeway fully-involved with flames. Crews doused the flames and left the charred carcass of the vehicle in place until tow arrangements could be made. Firefighters wrapped it in colored ribbon to reduce the number of additional calls to 9-1-1. Officials said due to the absence of the driver, the cause of the fire was unknown.
Posted on 2/26/24 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Sheriff Seeks Public Help in Finding Runaway Teenage Boy
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office was seeking public assistance in finding a missing teenage boy who ran away from his home late last week. In a Friday evening press release, the Sheriff's Office reported that 14-year-old Kaiden Eugene Thayer left his residence on Hubbard Lane on Thursday around 6:30 p.m.. Thayer is described as a white male teenager, 5-feet-5-inches tall and 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing black pants, a black sweatshirt over a gray and white sweatshirt and black shoes. Kaiden is believed to be in Grants Pass or surrounding areas. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kaiden Thayer is encouraged to call the Josephine County Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 2/26/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man on Warrant & He Faces Additional Charges Pending Probe
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man on an outstanding warrant last weekend, but he faces several more charges after he was found driving a stolen vehicle near Merlin. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 49-year-old Robby Lee Frenna and another unidentified person at gunpoint in the 100-block of Merlin Road around 10:20 p.m. Saturday. Deputies said Frenna was driving a 2006 Toyota Tacoma that had been reported stolen by the Grants Pass Police Department. They said he was also wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Methamphetamine Possession. According to the report, additional charges against Frenna were pending further investigation. They include 1st-Degree Burglary, 1st-Degree Robbery, Aggravated Theft, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Robby Frenna was lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The registered owner of the stolen pickup was contacted and responded to pick up their vehicle.
Posted on 2/26/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Incarcerated Uncle for Assaulting Niece in North Valley Industrial Park
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for assaulting his niece in the North Valley Industrial Park late last week. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the 200-block of Tech Way on Friday shortly after 11 a.m.. Deputies said an employee from Dutch Bros headquarters called 9-1-1 to report a female subject in front of their building was crying and screaming hysterically. The caller said the woman stated that she had been assaulted by her uncle. She was not seriously injured. Responding deputies contacted the distraught victim and then identified her uncle as 63-year-old Dennis Ray Lokken. He was located and placed into custody. Dennis Lokken was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Passing Counterfeits at Grocery Outlet & Fred Meyer
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for passing counterfeit money at two local retailers late last week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 36-year-old Russell Ellis Davis for the alleged incident at Grocery Outlet on Friday at 1:06 p.m.. Police said Davis was identified from video surveillance having passed two fake $100 bills on Friday at Grocery Outlet and on Thursday at Fred Meyer. They said he was found to be in possession of property from the Fred Meyer incident. Davis admitted to the crimes, but he was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on only one count of Felony 1st-Degree Forgery as the admissions from the Fred Meyer incident were not yet corroborated. The investigation was continuing. Russell Davis was being held without bail at the adult jail facility.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Arrested Employee for Stealing from Grange Co-op Store
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing from his employer late last week. The Police Department reports officers responded to an employee theft incident at Grange Co-op on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway on Friday at about 3:50 p.m.. Police said 32-year-old Nick Ryan Weaver was a Grange Co-op worker who was observed by loss prevention on video surveillance placing $40 under the keyboard of the cash register and later moving the money into his pocket. Responding officers contacted Weaver, he admitted to taking the money and stated that he believed it was a tip. He advised the stolen money was in his wallet inside his vehicle and consented for officers to retrieve the cash. Nick Weaver was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft and he was being held without bail.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Still Accepting Artist-in-Residence Apps
Do you want to spend two weeks creating art in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument? The Bureau of Land Management has announced that applications are still open for the annual Artist-in-Residence program. Applications must be submitted by this Thursday, February 29th. The selected artist receives a one- to two-week residency at the monument in the month of June. Artists will create work while immersed in a beautiful environment and share their art with the public. All artists are encouraged to apply, and there is no preference given to any style or medium. The Artist-in-Residency program is in its eighth year. It has translated the national monument's natural and cultural resources into images, objects and performances. During their stay, the artist will share their experience and artistic vision in a public presentation. Following the residency, artists are asked to donate an original piece of artwork to which they will retain the rights. One artist and one alternate will be selected based on entry materials, residency proposal, professionalism and creative vision. Interested artists can learn more and find an application at the Artist-in-Residence website, which is "bit.ly/CSNMart," by e-mailing "jduwe@blm.gov" or by calling (541)-618-2320.
Posted on 2/26/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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