Local News

IRS Warning against Scams Targeting Seniors on "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day"
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Today is "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day" and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is joining other federal agencies to warn against scams targeting seniors. The IRS recently issued a warning about the rising threat of impersonation scams. These scams are targeting older adults by pretending to be government officials, aiming to steal sensitive personal information and money. By posing as federal agency representatives such as IRS agents, these fraudsters use fear and deceit to exploit their victims. The IRS has identified a concerning trend where fraudulent actors are increasingly targeting unsuspecting individuals, particularly senior citizens, by masquerading as IRS agents. Victims are pressured into making immediate payments through unorthodox methods such as gift cards or wire transfers under the pretense of resolving fictitious tax liabilities or securing false refunds. These scammers deploy advance techniques to fabricate a veneer of credibility including the manipulation of caller IDs to appear legitimate. Do not return the call using the number provided by the caller or the one displayed on the caller ID. If taxpayers are uncertain about the legitimacy of IRS communications, they can contact IRS customer service for verification at 1-(800)-829-1040.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
 

State Holding 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. Next week's scheduled Oregon Department of Forestry events are in Central Point and Grants Pass. They are set for Monday 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 6/15/24 6:08AM by Sam Marsh
 

Grants Pass Skate Park Opened Friday and Caveman Pool will Open on Monday
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The Grants Pass Skate Park reopened on Friday and Caveman Pool will open on Monday, giving local kids some great choices for summer recreation. The Grants Pass Family YMCA will operate Cavemen Pool under contract with the City of Grants Pass from June 17th-August 25th. The municipal swimming pool is located near Grants Pass High School at 801 NE 9th Street. Mornings at the pool are devoted to swim lessons, lap swimming and swim clubs, but every afternoon there is open swim between noon and 5 p.m.. The daily fee for open swim is $6.50 for adults, $5 for youth ages 5-17 and $12 for families. Kids 4 & under with an adult get in for free. Season passes are also available at $75 for youth, $125 for adults and $175 for families up to four, with $40 for each additional household member. Reservations are available for private parties or events from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information about Caveman Pool, call (541)-479-2569. The Grants Pass Family YMCA can be contacted at (541)-474-0001.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:05AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Jailed Man for Setting Fire to 3 Christian Crosses at Local 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 this morning. The Police Department reports officers arrested a 44-year-old male subject for the incident at Newsong Christian Fellowship on NE Evelyn Avenue at 1:24 a.m. today. 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. The suspect 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 6/14/24 11:32AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed IV Man on Warrant & More after Domestic Incident in Selma
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed an Illinois Valley man on a local felony warrant and added another crime to his criminal bill following a domestic violence incident near Lake Selmac yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to the domestic disturbance in the 900-block of Lakeshore Drive on Thursday at about 1:40 p.m.. Deputies said a crying woman called 9-1-1 to report that she and her boyfriend got into an argument when she attempted to leave. The caller told dispatchers the man threw her around, pushed her, hit her car and broke the windshield before taking the keys to her 1993 GMC pickup. The female victim fled in her car to Lake Selmac where she awaited the arrival of law enforcement. She was not seriously hurt. Responding deputies located the 43-year-old suspect driving the truck and they pulled him over on Lakeshore Drive at Redwood Highway. A routine records check showed that the man was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Probation Violation related to an arrest for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus a new charge of 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. The GMC truck was recovered and returned to the victim.
Posted on 6/14/24 11:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man for Violent Incident at Apartments and City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for several crimes yesterday 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 around 3:45 p.m.. 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 6/14/24 11:29AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Female Transient for Breaking into Car & Stealing Sweater
Grants Pass Police incarcerated a female transient for breaking into a vehicle and stealing clothing at a residence in the Redwood area early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint in the 1400-block of Kellenbeck Avenue on Thursday at about 8:45 a.m.. Police said the 31-year-old female subject entered a vehicle in a residential garage and stole a sweater valued at $80. The owner reported the intruder slept in the car, urinated in it and entered her residence while she was inside. She said the woman left some of her own clothing inside the vehicle. The suspect then left the home and walked to the Town & Country Market on Redwood Avenue where she was placed into custody. She was lodged in jail for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and 3rd-Degree Theft. Officers said the suspect was still wearing the sweater when she was booked into jail, but the victim did not want it back due to the potential biohazard.
Posted on 6/14/24 11:27AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Arrested Motorist on DUII Warrant after Interstate 5 Traffic Stop in GP
The Oregon State Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant during an Interstate 5 traffic stop in Grants Pass last night. OSP reports troopers pulled over a Pontiac sedan driven by a 28-year-old Grants Pass man in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 57 at 7:20 p.m. Thursday. Troopers said they stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and discovered that the driver was wanted on a local arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for impaired driving. The man was lodged in jail on the warrant. His car was parked and secured.
Posted on 6/14/24 11:25AM by Sam Marsh
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Crews Doused Small Fires in Illinois Valley & Williams Areas Late Thursday
A couple of small fires in the Illinois Valley and near Williams had crews scrambling late yesterday and last night. On Thursday at 4:53 p.m., the Illinois Valley Fire District responded to a grass fire on Redwood Highway at Deer Creek Road in Selma. Arriving units discovered and quickly extinguished the small vegetation fire. IVFD officials said a neighbor heard a big boom and saw what looked like two balloons fall from the powerlines. They said the cause is under investigation. On Thursday at 9:38 p.m., the Williams Rural Fire Protection District was dispatched to an illegal open burn that could be seen from Davidson Road facing Cedar Flat Road. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in short order and advised the residents that no outdoor debris burning is allowed during fire season.
Posted on 6/14/24 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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Butte Falls Man Arrested for Ramming Police Car Now Facing More Charges
A Butte Falls man who was arrested last week for using a vehicle to intentionally ram a Central Point Police Department patrol car is facing additional charges after law enforcement searched his vehicle. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports deputies executed a search warrant on 34-year-old Joshua Edward McLaughlin's vehicle this week, locating body armor and a 9-millimeter pistol. Additional charges were added including Felon in Possession of Body Armor and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. McLaughlin is being held at the Jackson County Jail on a total of 32 criminal charges and is not eligible for pre-trial release. McLaughlin was arrested last Friday afternoon at the OK Market in Medford. He was already wanted on eight warrants when he eluded law enforcement earlier that day by intentionally crashing into a CPPD patrol car. While ramming the patrol car, he also struck an officer with his side-view mirror. The officer was hurt, but is expected to make a full recovery. He or she was not identified in the report. In addition to the most recent charges, McLaughlin is being held on probable cause of Felony Eluding Police, Felony Hit-and-Run, Reckless Driving, three counts of Reckless Endangering, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief, Interfering with Police, 3rd-Degree Assault, Attempted 3rd-Degree Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Assault on a Peace Officer plus warrants for Burglary and Attempt to Elude. The case will be prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 6/14/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
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SOCET Task Force Served Child Porn Search Warrants in Eagle Point and RR
The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint interagency task force served search warrants this week in Eagle Point and near Rogue River. According to the initial investigation, the cases do not appear to be connected. Detectives are interviewing possible involved parties and witnesses, and the investigations are ongoing. SOCET served the first search warrant on Tuesday at a residence in the 100-block of Keystone Way in Eagle Point. The investigation began after a suspect sent child exploitation imagery to undercover law enforcement. The Eagle Point Police Department assisted with the warrant service. Investigators served the second search warrant that afternoon at a converted school bus on a property in the 6500-block of Rogue River Highway near the City of Rogue River. The investigation began after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That led to subpoenas followed by the search warrant at the residence. Josephine County Community Corrections assisted with the warrant service. SOCET was also assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force. Investigators seized digital devices that will be forensically examined for further evidence of child exploitation. SOCET is a joint interagency task force that started in June 2020 to combat child exploitation.
Posted on 6/14/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Accosting Utility Work & Resident on Midland
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for accosting a utility worker and resident in the northwest part of the city this week. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident in the 700-block of NW Midland Avenue on Wednesday. Police said the 76-year-old woman asked a utility worker to call 9-1-1 because she was "having a medical emergency and was going to die." The worker rolled up his window, which prompted the woman to break nearby planter pots and throw dirt and rocks at him and the utility truck. The female subject then attempted to have the resident call 9-1-1 for her. She tried to enter the residence, but a woman closed the door in her face. This prompted the suspect to go into the front yard and break a large terra cotta vase valued at about $70. That's when officers arrived on scene and placed her into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Conduct, both in the 2nd-Degree. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/14/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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