Local News

Josephine County Sheriff Looking for Missing Person along Rogue River Trail
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in a possible missing person investigation along the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. On Friday at about 4:45 p.m., the Sheriff's Office received a citizen report of a backpack and dog leash that were found on the Rogue River Trail and there appeared to be no sign of a person or dog in the area. The reporting party stated that they noticed the backpack on their way down the trail. Upon seeing the backpack and belongings still in place later that afternoon on their way out, the citizen made a report to the Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's deputy hiked the trail Saturday and located the backpack on the trail approximately one mile northwest of the Grave Creek Boat Ramp. A search with verbal callouts did not locate a person or dog. A drone was also utilized to try to locate anyone, but that effort was also unsuccessful. Further investigation revealed the backpack had possibly been in that location since last Wednesday. The contents of the backpack suggested the owner was preparing to start a multi-day camping trip and items in the backpack did not appear to have been used. There was also no identifying information located. The Sheriff's Office is concerned the owner of the backpack may have become injured or lost. So far, no missing person reports have been filed that match the situation nor is there any evidence of foul play. The Sheriff's Office is actively trying to locate the owner of the backpack. If you have any information regarding this investigation, please call (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh

Medford Police Department Apprehended Suspect in Friday Robbery of Bank
The Medford Police Department has arrested a suspect in the robbery of a bank that occurred late last week. On Friday at approximately 1:50 p.m., Medford police officers responded to a reported robbery at Key Bank on East Barnett Road. MPD Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money from a teller. He said the male suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the bank in a dark-colored Ford Escape. MPD detectives and local FBI agents responded to the scene to investigate. They worked diligently throughout the night and were able to identify the suspect as 52-year-old Timothy Michael Spencer of Medford. On Saturday, a vigilant MPD officer located Spencer and the suspect vehicle in Medford. He was placed into custody and was being held at the Jackson County Jail as the investigation continues. Arnold said Spencer is being investigated for the Medford bank robbery as well as a robbery that occurred at a Rogue River bank last week. He said charges against the suspect are pending at this time.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Man for Trying to Use Funny Money to Buy Items at Store
Grants Pass Police arrested man for trying to use counterfeit money to purchase items at a southwest city convenience store and then stealing the items after the clerk refused to honor the funny money. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at Speedway Express on Allen Creek Road on Friday around 10:45 p.m.. Police said an investigation determined that a 33-year-old male subject uttered two counterfeit $100 bills at the store and when the cashier did not accept the forged notes, he exited the store with two packs of cigarettes and a large bottle of beer. Officers searched the area, located the suspect on a trail at Tussing Park and placed him into custody at Taser point. The stolen items were recovered. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on suspicion of 1st-Degree Forgery and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh

IVFD Assisted California Firefighters with Putting Out US Highway 199 Blaze
The Illinois Valley Fire District assisted California firefighters and citizens in putting out a weekend fire off Redwood Highway near the Collier Tunnel. On Saturday at 2:15 p.m., IVFD, Gasquet Fire, Cal-Fire the US Forest Service and the National Park Service responded to a small vegetation fire at milepost 34.5 of US Highway 199. IVFD officials said arriving units found the fire being extinguished by bystanders who pulled over as well as a nearby property owner. They said the citizens did a fantastic job in stopping the blaze from spreading into the surrounding wildland. The small fire was mopped up and lined by firefighters before being turned over to Gasquet Fire to continue operations. The California Highway Patrol assisted with traffic control while the scene was active. Officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation, but it may have started from a faulty catalytic converter on a passing vehicle.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Clerk Reporting Meager Turnout So Far for Tuesday's Primary Election
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The Josephine County Clerk's Office was reporting a low turnout for the May 21st primary election. On Friday evening, the Clerk's Office reported that only 13,366 out of 69,909 registered voters -- or 19.12% -- had returned their ballots. Out of the 13,366 ballots received, 12,815 had been accepted. Tuesday's primary election in Josephine County features a total of eight candidates running for two positions on the Board of Commissioners, a ballot measure that would replace the Josephine County Charter, a local option tax to financially support the Josephine County Animal Shelter, and a bond levy to improve safety and security in aging Three Rivers School District buildings. The ballot deadline for the election is Tuesday at 8 p.m.. Completed ballots can be mailed in or hand-delivered to designated drop sites before the deadline. However, due to recent delivery delay issues with the US Postal Service, election officials recommend dropping ballots off at designated sites before the deadline. The Postal Service now sends all mail from Josephine and Jackson counties to Portland for processing before returning it to addresses in Southern Oregon. It's possible that ballots mailed in tomorrow may not receive the all-important May 21st postmark.
Posted on 5/20/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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State Agencies Seek Community Feedback on Future of Upper Rogue River Recreation
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The Oregon Departments of Parks and Recreation (OPRD), Fish and Wildlife, State Lands and Oregon State Marine Board are seeking to better understand how Jackson County residents and visitors would like to enjoy and protect a 31-mile stretch of the Upper Rogue River between Gold Hill and Lost Creek Dam. The agencies have hired Oregon's Kitchen Table, a community engagement organization, to assist in the effort. The organization will conduct a survey and convene several community conversations now through July 5th. This effort stems in part from an earlier OPRD community engagement last year about the possibility of a jet boat concessionaire at TouVelle State Recreation Site. That process revealed community concerns about the impacts of jet boats on recreational access and fish and wildlife habitat. The concessionaire did not move forward. Community members and visitors are encouraged to share their viewpoints about the Upper Rogue River. A Zoom meeting will be held on Tuesday followed by in-person meetings on May 30th at Shady Cove Middle School, June 4th at TouVelle State Park and June 17th at the Medford branch Jackson County Library.
Posted on 5/20/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County GOP Women Announce 2024 Essay Contest Scholarship Winners
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The Josephine County Republican Women are proud to announce the three finalists of their second annual US Constitution Scholarship Essay Contest. Three young women in the Class of 2024 have been chosen from a total of 24 applicants in Josephine County. This year's essay question was "Since the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution states, 'Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech or the press,' what is the effect of social media on our decision making and our elections in the 21st Century?" First place and a $5,000 scholarship was won by Evie Hitchcock of the Mountain View Academy Homeschool Program. Second place and $4,000 went to Rebekah Guymon of Grants Pass High School and third place and $3,000 went to Brynna DeLonge of Grants Pass High School. All three young women will be introduced at the Josephine County Republican Women's luncheon on Tuesday at the Grants Pass Golf Club.
Posted on 5/20/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Evasive Phone 911 Call Results in Domestic Violence Arrest
Multiple charges are being levied against a 30-year-old man after an evasive phone call lead Sheriff’s Deputies to the 200 block of Turtle Lane. At 10:35 Friday night a 911 dispatcher received a call from a female who said she needs to talk to someone and then went silent. The woman did not answer questions until the dispatcher asked if she wanted police and the answer was yes. The caller was at a neighbor’s house and did not know the address, but it was discovered electronically. The woman stated the man put his arm around her throat, then tackled her in the driveway and tried to get her to go home. Deputies separated the two for interviews and arrested the man, lodging him in the Josephine County Jail and charges of menacing/aggravated assault and strangulation/aggravated assault.
Posted on 5/18/24 7:40AM by Chuck Benson
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Domestic Violence Incident Lead to Arrest of Repeat Offending Felon
A domestic violence call sent Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies flying to the 4200 block of Galice Road Friday afternoon just after 4:00 p.m. According to the Sheriff’s log, a 911 caller reported the incident stating the man living in a trailer below them in an altercation with the wife and 11-year-old who was slapped when he tried to intervene. The caller said the man was choking the wife and took her back to the trailer while she was screaming for help. Deputies initially detained two persons and located two firearms, one reported as stolen. One suspect was arrested during the course of the investigation and was found to be a repeat offender. The 32-year-old man was lodged in the county jail facing four charges including being a felon in possession of body armor, theft by receiving, being a felon in possession of a weapon and a post-prison sanction. He remained in custody Saturday morning.
Posted on 5/18/24 6:51AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Box in Stolen Vehicle, Arrest One in C.J.
Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies recovered a stolen vehicle and arrested a 39-year-old man Friday afternoon in Cave Junction. Deputies ran the license plate of 2013 silver Chevy Cruise backed up at Napa. It returned stolen and the Deputies boxed it in, detaining one man associated with the Chevy. The suspect initially denied being affiliated with the Chevy but later admitted driving it there. He stated he saw the car at the north end of Grants Pass Thursday night and knew it belonged to the victim. He continued he planned to return to her and had messaged her stating he would return it but needed to get some money first. He volunteered his phone and no messages were found to the victim.
Posted on 5/18/24 6:24AM by Chuck Benson
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KFalls Motorcyclist Died in Jackson County Crash with Log Truck on Highway 66
A Klamath Falls motorcyclist was killed earlier this week when he crashed into a log truck in southern Jackson County. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle collision near milepost 11 of Highway 66 on Wednesday morning. OSP said the preliminary investigation indicated a westbound Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by 66-year-old George Henry Macomber of Klamath Falls crossed the double yellow line into the eastbound lanes for unknown reasons and crashed head-on into an eastbound Kenworth log truck driven by 44-year-old Robert David Sandene of Cave Junction. According to OSP, Macomber was transported to and declared deceased at a local hospital. Sandene was not injured in the collision. Troopers said the exact cause of the fatal crash remains under investigation.
Posted on 5/18/24 5:24AM by Chuck Benson
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Deputies Apprehended Man on Nationwide and Statewide Warrants in South GP
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man wanted on nationwide and statewide felony warrants in south Grants Pass this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the 35-year-old male subject in the 1500-block of Williams Highway on Wednesday afternoon. He was placed into custody at gunpoint. Few details have been disclosed about the apprehension, but the man was wanted on a US Marshals warrant for Probation Violation related to a weapons arrest and an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous weapons conviction.
Posted on 5/18/24 5:22AM by Chuck Benson
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