Local News

IVFD Responded to Motor Vehicle Crash & Vehicle Fire Over the Weekend
The Illinois Valley Fire District reported a motor vehicle accident and a vehicle fire over the weekend. According to IVFD, the first incident occurred on Saturday at 7:54 p.m. when crews responded to a vehicle in a ditch on Redwood Highway at Airport Drive. IVFD officials said they were requested to respond by the Oregon State Police. They said no one was hurt in the crash and the owner arranged for their own tow. Jerry's Towing arrived and hauled the damaged vehicle to Cave Junction. The second incident happened on Sunday at 12:40 a.m. when crews responded to what was reported to be an open burn on South Redwood Highway. However, the incident was upgraded to a vehicle fire in the back parking lot of the property. The burning trailer was extinguished and the fire was being investigated.
Posted on 12/18/23 10:24AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Threatening Black Man with Weapon near Post Office
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for threatening another man with a weapon near the downtown post office in a weekend incident related to the victim's race. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 46-year-old David Israel McDonald in the 100-block of NW 6th Street on Saturday at 2:21 p.m.. Police said McDonald was placed into custody for publicly insulting a black male adult in front of the post office, calling him a racial slur and making derogatory statements regarding the man's ethnicity. During the incident, officers said McDonald brandished a sharp-edge weapon which was described by the frightened but unharmed victim. The suspect also reportedly spit on the man. David McDonald was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony allegations of 1st-Degree Bias Crime and Unlawful Use of a Weapon along with a misdemeanor charge of Menacing. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/18/23 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Woman for Causing Library Disturbance & Fighting Officers
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for causing a disturbance at the local branch library and then fighting with responding officers. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 43-year-old Adora Angelina Wicker-Espinoza for the incident at the library branch on NW C Street on Friday afternoon. Police said Wicker-Espinoza was reported to be acting disorderly and refusing to leave the library. They said she refused multiple requests and commands to leave after making threats toward library workers. While attempting to place the suspect in custody, she took a fighting stance and held up a large walking stick at officers. According to the report, the female suspect attempted to strike one officer with the stick, but she was quickly taken to the ground and placed into custody. Adora Wicker-Espinoza was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for felony crimes of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Attempted Assault on a Peace Officer as well as misdemeanor crimes of Menacing, Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/18/23 6:01AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Man for Trying to Steal Money from Store Cash Register
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trying to steal money from a cash register at a Redwood area convenience store over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 37-year-old Dustin J. Brown at Taser point for the incident at the Willow Lane Market on Friday at 9:26 p.m.. Police said Brown entered the market and intentionally attempted to steal $500 out of the cash register. They said he was met with physical resistance from employees to prevent him from taking the money and he used physical force against them. No injuries were reported and the suspect's theft attempt was thwarted by the workers. K-9 officers were brought in to search for an alleged firearm Brown said he may have discarded in the area, but nothing was found. Dustin Brown was booked into the Josephine County Jail on charges of 3rd-Degree Robbery and Attempted 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 12/18/23 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Alert Neighbor Credited with Rapid Response to Douse Grants Pass RV Fire
An alert neighbor who smelled smoke coming from a recreational vehicle in southeast Grants Pass is being credited for a rapid response from firefighters. On Saturday at 12:54 p.m., a call to the Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center mobilized units from Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department to the incident in the 1900-block of Rogue River Highway. Firefighters arrived on scene to see smoke coming from large 5th-wheel trailer, but no visible flames. Crews entered the RV, which was being used as a primary residence, and extinguished the interior blaze. There were no injuries reported. Rural Metro officials said the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature. They said numerous items were plugged in, most likely causing an overload. Officials said the limited damage to the RV and adjacent RVs on the property was the result of quick action by the neighbor and the automatic aid system employed between Rural Metro and Grants Pass using "closest engine response" regardless of jurisdiction.
Posted on 12/18/23 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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GP City Council Slated to Review Public Safety Funding Survey at Workshop
The Grants Pass City Council will take another step toward solving the public safety funding problem during its bi-weekly workshop session today. The City Council is scheduled to review the public safety funding survey results and engage in level-of-service discussions. Grants Pass voters overwhelmingly approved the $1.79 public safety levy in the November election, but the levy amount is not keeping up with the rising costs of running police and fire departments. The City Council put out a survey last month asking citizens to select one of six possible options for additional funding. Following a review of the agenda for the next regular business meeting, Mayor Sara Bristol will convene a Special Meeting in Executive Session. During the closed-door meeting, the Council is slated to discuss current labor negotiations and performance evaluations of public officers. Today's workshop begins at 11:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Grants Pass City Hall, 101 NW A Street.
Posted on 12/18/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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GPPD Welcomes New Officer with Strong Passion for Local Law Enforcement
The Grants Pass Police Department is welcoming Officer Daniel Varela who was recently sworn in by Chief Warren Hensman. Officer Varela has lived in the Grants Pass area for nearly 20 years and formerly worked as a regional manager for Verizon and then as a corrections deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Varela said he chose a career in law enforcement to utilize his communication skills, his empathy and awareness to protect his community. He said his passion for law enforcement has come from his mission to set the standard and show his daughter that she can always follow her dreams. Varela added that he chose the Grants Pass Police Department because its core values align to create a strong sense of community safety through earned trust, courage and accountability. Welcome to the Grants Pass Police Department Officer Daniel Varela!
Posted on 12/18/23 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Team Leading Investigation into Officer-Involved Shooting Death in GP
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The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting that killed the fourth suspect in a November 21st Grants Pass homicide on Rogue River Highway. The Oregon State Police reported late Friday afternoon that the incident involved the Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and troopers who were searching for 48-year-old Kelly Lynn Mason. According to OSP, Mason was located in a vehicle on Friday at about 12:10 p.m. and he fled from law enforcement officers who pursued him to the intersection of Redwood Highway and Allen Creek Road. The suspect fired a gun at officers who returned fire from their duty weapons. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office confirms one deputy was injured during the gunfight. The deputy was treated for a minor injury at the hospital and released. All the involved officers have been placed on traumatic event leave as is standard protocol in deadly force incidents. The Jackson County Major Crimes Team is comprised of investigators from several local agencies and it's being overseen by the Josephine County District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 12/18/23 5:50AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Seeks Applicants for New Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee
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Josephine County is seeking applicants to serve on the citizen's advisory committee for the newly-formed Josephine County Law Enforcement Service District. Approved by voters in the November 7th special election, the law enforcement district will be advised by a five-member panel of Josephine County residents from various member communities. Those communities include Cave Junction, the Illinois Valley, Sunny Valley, Wolf Creek, Murphy and the greater Grants Pass area outside the city limits. The Josephine County Law Enforcement Service District covers Josephine County outside the City of Grants Pass and certain areas within the urban growth boundary of Grants Pass with existing public safety and annexation agreements. The Citizens Advisory Committee will advise the district governing body on matters concerning the district including expenditures, enforcement priorities and general operation of the district. Anyone who is interested in serving on the committee is invited to apply at "josephinecounty.gov/apply." Applications are due on January 12, 2024, by 4 p.m..
Posted on 12/18/23 5:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Officers & Firefighters Put in Impressive Week of Community Protection
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters put in an impressive week of activity as they protected citizens in this community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, officers responded to a total of 671 calls for service and 245 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 42 arrests, 32 citations, eight warnings and six highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 80 contacts with potential troublemakers while arresting four people, citing 21 more and warning 15 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 17 individuals, posted 96 new transient camps and removed trash from six campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 93 calls last week including 30 for emergency medical service, two for reports of smoke or fire, 19 lift assists, six rescue situations, four assists to other agencies and three false alarms. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,086 emergency calls last week.
Posted on 12/18/23 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Local Sheriff's Offices Teamed Up with Child Welfare for Foster Kid Toy Drives
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office helped deliver more than 400 Christmas gifts to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Welfare Division office in Medford this week. In a program called "Foster the Love," the Sheriff's Office partnered with DHS to provide Christmas presents to kids in foster care in Jackson County. The toy drive collects and distributes hundreds of toys each Christmas to local kids in foster care. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is involved in a similar program to benefit local foster children each holiday season.
Posted on 12/16/23 5:39AM by Chuck Benson
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Mount Ashland Forced to Postpone Planned Opening Day Due to Lack of Snow
The Mount Ashland team is anxious to get the season started, but they have had to postpone opening day due to a lack of snow on the mountain. The Mount "A" team does not have a new targeted opening date, but they are committed to getting the lifts spinning and mountain open as soon as the snow allows.
Officials said they need a solid winter storm cycle in order to safely open up for skiing and riding. They did have a couple of storms that brought snow over the past few weeks, but they have also seen some rain and warmer temperatures. As of Friday, the snow base was only a few inches.The team is standing ready and will work quickly to open as soon as Mother Nature provides enough snow. If you have purchased day tickets or products for any dates that they are not open, you will be automatically refunded
Posted on 12/16/23 5:37AM by Chuck Benson
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