Local News

GP Police Arrested Felon for Parole Violation after Disturbance at Supermarket
Grants Pass Police arrested a felon for violating his post-prison supervision last night after he harassed customers outside a downtown supermarket and was found to be in possession of dangerous narcotics. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint at Safeway on SE 7th Street on Wednesday around 9:45 p.m.. Police said store employees called 9-1-1 and reported that 29-year-old Dustin Michael Fontana was trying to fight customers outside the main entrance. They said he was also reported to be "saying sexual things to minors." Officers rushed to the scene and detained Fontana, who told them he was in possession of methamphetamine. However, a field test determined the drug was actually a small amount of fentanyl. It was seized for destruction. Dustin Fontana was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and the resulting Felony Parole Violation stemming from convictions for Physical Harassment and Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle as well as the drug violation. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/4/24 11:13AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Man on State Warrant for Parole Violation during Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on a statewide felony warrant during a patrol check in the north part of the city early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were patrolling the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel on NE 7th Street when they spotted a vehicle occupied by two people on Wednesday around 3:25 a.m.. Police said they contacted 53-year-old Larry Edward Roff and a woman identified as Amanda Gerken in the vehicle. They quickly discovered that Roff was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a past conviction for Delivery of Methamphetamine. Larry Roff was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/4/24 11:12AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Police Snared Man for Breaking Window at or near Riverside Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for vandalizing a window at or near Riverside Park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 37-year-old Jacob Donald Farias at the park on Wednesday morning. Police said they developed probable cause that Farias had thrown a rock through a window in the vicinity of the park, possibly at a Mexican restaurant where he sought refuge while trying to elude law enforcement. They said he ignored commands to stop and entered the restaurant where he was placed into custody. Jacob Farias reportedly admitted to using a rock to break the window, which was valued at more than $1,000. He was booked into the Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Resisting Arrest, Escape and Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/4/24 11:10AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Evicted Campers from City Parks for Various Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police evicted five campers for ordinance violations that occurred in city parks yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred at Riverside Park where Marylynn Humphrey was cited for Illegal Camping and Park Buffer Zone Violation. She was trespassed from the park for 30 days. Another female camper was warned for Buffer Zone Violation. The second incident happened at Tussing Park where Tyson Hutchinson, Austin Cecil, Shon Asbury and Raven Baysinger were all cited for Illegal Camping after they failed to remove their previously posted campsites. Asbury was also cited for Smoking Marijuana in a Park. All four were issued 30-day exclusions.
Posted on 1/4/24 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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MPD Confirms Investigation into RVMC Nurse Stealing Patient Pain Medications
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The Medford Police Department confirms that they're one month into investigating allegations that a former employee of Southern Oregon's largest hospital stole medication from patients, resulting in an untold number with "adverse" outcomes. In a Wednesday afternoon press release, MPD shared few other details and declined to verify explosive allegations reported by KOBI-5 News in Medford late last week that confidential sources said eight to 10 patients who were treated at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center may have died after an employee they identified as a nurse allegedly stole controlled substances -- specifically fentanyl -- and replaced it with non-sterile tap water that was then administered to patients. The Oregonian reports tap water may have led to patients' fatal infections, the sources were quoted as saying. Medford Police Lieutenant Geoff Kirkpatrick declined to comment on any of those allegations, including whether the "controlled substances" believed to have been stolen was fentanyl, the number of patients affected and whether any patients had died. Kirkpatrick said police began looking into what might have happened at the hospital after Asante contacted them with information about potential crimes. Kirkpatrick asked for the community's patience as police investigate. He said police have received "numerous calls" from community members asking if they or their family members were affected by the theft of medications. The hospital didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Police, however, said the hospital "has informed MPD that they have identified the involved patients and have notified or are in the process of notifying them or their families."
Posted on 1/4/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Jailed GP Felon for Parole Violation and More after Jerome Prairie Pursuit
The Oregon State Police jailed a Grants Pass man for violating his post-prison supervision and several other crimes after he led troopers on a short pursuit while driving impaired this week. OSP reports troopers attempted to stop a GMC Sierra driven by 39-year-old Mark Alan Grater on Jerome Prairie Road near Stringer Gap Road late Tuesday night. Troopers said they tried to stop Grater for traffic violation, but he refused to yield for about half-a-mile before parking at a residence in the 2600-block of Demaray Drive. They said he was initially hostile and failed to obey commands. He was placed into custody after displaying several signs of impairment. According to OSP, Grater had a long-barreled hunting rifle in plain sight in the back of the pickup. A records check revealed that he was a convicted felon who had absconded on his parole and had a felony warrant for his arrest. Ammunition and restricted weapons were found on his person and in his truck. Grater was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented his impairment. He was then lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts each of Felon in Possession of a Weapon and Reckless Driving plus single counts of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Felony Attempt to Elude Police and Felony Parole Violation. Mark Grater was being held on a no-bail detainer. His pickup and a dog were left in the custody of a family member at the Demaray Drive residence.
Posted on 1/4/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed for Allegedly Subjecting His Wife to Offensive Physical Contact
A Grants Pass man was jailed for allegedly subjecting his wife to offensive physical contact at a home in the downtown area this week. The Police Department reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 400-block of SW I Street on Tuesday morning. Police said the wife of 44-year-old Kristoffer Ryan Schattschneider call 9-1-1 to report that her husband threw water on her while she was sleeping in bed, had argued with her that morning and she was afraid he was going to hurt her. The victim stated he had been physical with her in the past and she was frightened. Upon arrival, officers interviewed both parties as well as the suspect's 22-year-old son before placing the suspect into custody. Kristoffer Schattschneider was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Domestic Harassment and he was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/4/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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No One Hurt When Vehicle Hit Tree off Redwood Highway near Wild Park Lane
Emergency agencies responded to a motor vehicle accident on Redwood Highway near Selma early yesterday. On Wednesday at 6:45 a.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police were dispatched to a report of a vehicle into a tree off US Highway 199 just north of Wild Park Lane. Few details were available about the wreck, but IVFD officials said there were no injuries. Redwood Highway traffic was slowed in the area while the scene was active. Officials said OSP was handling the investigation into the cause of the crash.
Posted on 1/4/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Two Jackson County Deputies Retired on Same Day after 25 Years of Service
Two Jackson County sheriff's deputies recently retired on the same day after 25 years of dedicated service to the community. During a late-December ceremony, Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler presented Deputy Eric Johnson and Deputy Mike Hermant with a shadow box made by Records Manager Walt Haussner. Deputies Johnson and Hermant also completed their final sign-off with Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon 9-1-1 Dispatch. Both Johnson and Hermant started their careers with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office on May 7, 1998. Both went on to work in Corrections, Patrol and the SWAT Team. Johnson worked for many years as the Bureau of Land Management deputy, patrolling deep in the Jackson County wilderness. Hermant was an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course instructor and he was most recently assigned as a Community Oriented Policing deputy. Thank you to Deputies Eric Johnson and Mike Hermant for 25 years of service to the Jackson County community!
Posted on 1/4/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh
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John West Elected as Chair of Josephine County Board of Commissioners for 2024
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will be led by John West in 2024. West was named Board Chair yesterday after the Commissioners voted 2-1 to have him succeed Herman Baertschiger. West nominated himself for the post. Dan DeYoung also nominated himself as Chair, but he was defeated by his colleagues. Baertschiger was then unanimously voted in as Vice-Chair for 2024. DeYoung started the meeting with a point of order, stating that the County Charter calls for the Commissioners to select Chair and Vice-Chair during the first session of each year. It had not been included in the meeting agenda. In the only action item of the meeting, the Board unanimously approved a grant agreement between the Josephine County District Attorney's Office and State of Oregon. The VOCA/CFA grant will pay for additional staffing in the DA's Office to administer the Victims' Assistance Program.
Posted on 1/4/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Assessor's Office Offering Online Filing for Personal Property Taxes
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Josephine County is making it easier for local merchants to file their annual Business Personal Property Tax returns. Starting this month, the Josephine County Assessor's Office will offer online filing through Smartfile, an integrated solution of Tyler Technologies, Inc.. Business owners and operators received a notice about the move to online filing with their personal property tax statements in October. Businesses will be receiving confidential filing letters containing personal identification numbers in the coming days. Newly sworn-in Assessor Chris Parton said Smartfile will reduce time and money businesses spend filing their annual returns and reduce the department's processing time, which will result in improved customer service and efficiency. For more information and to file online, visit "josephinecounty.gov/smartfile." Those with questions or concerns can call the Assessor's Office at (541)-474-5260.
Posted on 1/4/24 5:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue Community College & TRIO Program Hosting Oregon Transfer Days This Month
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For students considering transferring to a four-year university, Rogue Community College and TRIO are hosting Oregon Transfer Days this month in Medford and Grants Pass. The college transfer fairs will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 25th at the Riverside Campus Higher Education Center and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 26th at the Redwood Campus Student Center. RCC and TRIO officials said it's an important event for university-bound students. There will be several colleges and universities in attendance to answer questions and provide guidance regarding their transfer processes. Guests will have the chance to meet recruiters and talk about various options and available resources. TRIO programs help low-income individuals, first-generation college students, veterans and people with disabilities. For more information about Oregon Transfer Days, contact Pam Green at "pgreen@roguecc.edu."
Posted on 1/4/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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