Local News

GPPD Says December is National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month
The Grants Pass Police Department has announced that December is "National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month." Each December, people go out for fun including parties and drinks with family and friends. But law enforcement asks you to stop and think about being responsible. Since the holiday season has a higher accident rate than other times of the year, police say it is important to echo the message of being in a proper and legal state of mind when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to the National Safety Council, over 40,000 people died in alcohol- or drug-related traffic accidents last year. This year, GPPD says to stay safe and encourage others to do the same during the holidays.
Posted on 12/15/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh

Rogue Community College Board Expands Footprint of Table Rock Campus in White City
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The Rogue Community College Board of Education has approved the purchase of land adjacent to the school's Table Rock Campus. The addition of nearly 10 acres will grow RCC's footprint in White City by more than 50%. RCC President Randy Weber said the college remains rooted in Grants Pass and committed to its Medford campus, but the opportunity to expand facilities in White City allows the school to imagine the campus in ways beyond prior conversations. Weber said the purchase allows RCC to plan for Career and Technical Education growth more effectively and to identify ways the school can offer better student supports at its Table Rock Campus. RCC was able to secure the opportunity for future growth in Josephine County in November when the Grants Pass City Council voted to annex college property into the city. Without this action, RCC was capped at 3,000 more square feet at the Redwood Campus. As a result of the annexation, that restriction no longer applies. For RCC's Riverside Campus in Medford, the college's leadership is exploring how to better leverage its Student Success Center. Recent considerations include improvements, expansion or rebuilding. Environmental assessments are underway to better inform this decision.
Posted on 12/15/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Firefighters and Other Agencies Participating in Annual Structure Fire Drill
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Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and other local agencies have been participating in the annual multi-agency structure fire drill this week at Rogue Community College. This intensive training exercise started Wednesday and continues today on the Redwood Campus of RCC. The training provides a valuable opportunity for local firefighters to practice critical firefighting skills in a controlled environment, using simulated smoke and fire in a realistic scenario. Firefighters have been practicing search and rescue techniques in a smoke-filled structure, working together to extinguish a simulated fire using various hose lines and nozzles, and improving incident command strategy and tactics. The goal of the exercise is to build teamwork and communication with firefighters from other agencies including Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response and the Grants Pass 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. Officials said the training is essential for ensuring the safety of local firefighters and the community they serve. By working together and honing their skills, they can be confident in their ability to respond to any emergency situation.
Posted on 12/15/23 6:11AM by Sam Marsh

City of Grants Pass Invites Residents to Enter 2023 Water Quality Report Photo Contest
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The City of Grants Pass is inviting residents to enter the 2023 Water Quality Report photo contest. Winning photos will be featured in the 2023 Grants Pass Water Quality Report. The first place winner will receive $200 and the second place winner will receive $100. The deadline to enter the contest is 5 p.m. on Friday, December 22nd. There are three categories for the contest including K-12 students, Amateurs and Professionals. Participants should submit an original photo that demonstrates the theme of "Go with the Flow." Photos must be submitted in a digital format suitable for simple reproduction. The agreement form must accompany each entry. Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality and theme relevance. Photos must be taken in Southern Oregon in Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Curry counties. All entries become the property of the City of Grants Pass and the judges' decision is final. For more information, visit "grantspassoregon.gov/1434/Photo-Contest-Water-Quality-Report."
Posted on 12/15/23 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Collared Three Fugitives during Patrol Sweeps in CJ & Illinois Valley
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended three local fugitives yesterday during patrol sweeps in Cave Junction and the Illinois Valley. The Sheriff's Office reports the first incident occurred on Wednesday at 2:16 p.m. when deputies arrested 28-year-old William James Holmen in the 200-block of South Redwood Highway in Cave Junction. Holmen was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Mail Theft, Receiving Stolen Mail, 2nd-Degree Burglary, 2nd-Degree Theft and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief. He was transported to Grants Pass and lodged in jail. The second incident happened on Wednesday at 2:53 p.m. when deputies arrested 43-year-old Joshua David Scott in the 100-block of East O'Brien Street. Scott was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The third incident took place on Wednesday at 3:53 p.m. when deputies arrested 53-year-old Mary Jeanene Myers at a transient camp off a US Forest Service Road. Myers was wanted for Probation Violation related to a June 17th arrest for Felony Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing. She was lodged in jail and cited to appear in court for Providing False Information to a Forest Service Officer.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Corrections Client on Felony Warrant for Probation Violation
Grants Pass Police jailed a corrections client on an outstanding felony warrant yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested 40-year-old Zacharey Michael Costa at the Josephine County Community Corrections office on NW 4th Street on Wednesday at 2:47 p.m.. Police said Costa's corrections officer contacted them and reported that his client was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Probation Violation related to a previous arrest for 3rd-Degree Robbery and 3rd-Degree Theft. According to the report, the suspect was unaware he was about to be arrested. Zacharey Costa was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. His bail was set at $25,000.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Felon for Parole Violation while Performing Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a local felon for violating his post-prison supervision while performing a welfare check near Home Depot early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a citizen report of a male subject lying face-up with his pants down around his ankles near the corner of NE Mill Street and Fire Mountain Way on Wednesday shortly before 9 a.m.. Police said they found 30-year-old Kody Tyler Halverson lying in a puddle with his pants down and covered in feces. They said he admitted to using inhalants and consuming alcohol, which are both violations of his supervision agreement. Halverson's corrections officer was contacted and requested he be put on a detainer. Kody Halverson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Parole Violation stemming from past convictions for 2nd-Degree Theft, 3rd-Degree Theft and 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist for DUII after He Hit Pedestrian near Hospital
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving yesterday after he struck and injured a pedestrian near Three Rivers Medical Center. The Police Department reports officers responded to the reported mishap at the corner of Allen Creek Road and SW Ramsey Avenue at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Police said a motorist they identified as "Zachary Knowlton" was driving a Chevrolet Suburban while impaired when he lost control of the vehicle, went up onto the shoulder and hit a pedestrian. They said he showed signs of impairment at the scene and performed poorly in field sobriety testing. According to the report, the unidentified pedestrian was transported by ambulance to the nearby hospital with visible injuries. Knowlton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested 2 Campers and Cited 3rd in Wednesday Park Patrols
Grants Pass Police arrested two campers and cited a third during patrol checks at city parks yesterday. During a patrol check at Riverside Park, officers discovered that 61-year-old Timothy Teige had returned to the park for the fourth time since he was originally trespassed for 30 days on November 29th. He was arrested for Criminal Trespass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. During a patrol check at Tussing Park, officers cited Donnie Snow for Scattering Rubbish. No other ordinance violations were observed. During another patrol check at Riverside Park, officers contacted 33-year-old Ryan Burrows after he placed a mound of trash on the west side of Caveman Bridge. He was arrested for Offensive Littering and lodged in jail. He was also cited to appear in court for Methamphetamine Possession.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited 2 People for Possession of Inhalants after Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police cited two people for possession of inhalants yesterday after responding to a citizen-requested welfare check in a northwest neighborhood. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a man and woman passed out in a Dodge Ram pickup parked in the 500-block of NW C Street on Wednesday at about 2:20 p.m.. Police said they arrived on scene to find William Gragg and Wendy Kohler in possession of inhalant canisters. They said Kohler admitted that she had ingested an inhalant while Gragg admitted he intended to ingest at a later time. Neither Gragg nor Kohler had a prior violation for inhalant use, so both were cited to appear in court and counseled on their behavior.
Posted on 12/14/23 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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US Attorney's Office Announces Federal Prison Sentences for Drug Traffickers
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The US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon has announced that three federal prison sentences have been imposed in separate criminal cases following multi-agency drug trafficking investigations in and around Medford. James Michael Cody Whelchel of Carson, California, was sentenced last week to 130 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release. Terril Jacob Boss of Reno, Nevada, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release. Earl Richard Shamblin of Medford was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. Investigators said Whelchel -- a known drug trafficker with a lengthy criminal history -- was dealing drugs in the Medford area while running his operation from a local motel in July 2021. After observing multiple individuals come and go from his motel room, detectives arrested him. A search of his motel room uncovered more than two and half pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, $51,000 in cash and two firearms. Two more guns and narcotics were found inside his vehicle. In July 2020, law enforcement obtained information that Boss was at a fast-food parking lot in White City while in possession of methamphetamine and a firearm. He reached for a firearm and was shot twice by responding deputies. He was taken to a local hospital, treated and then booked into the Jackson County Jail. Three days later, investigators located and seized quantities of methamphetamine and heroin in his truck and a large zipper bag with meth and heroin concealed in the gas tank of his motorcycle. Between November 2019 and January 2021, law enforcement conducted multiple purchases of heroin from Shamblin, a known Jackson County drug trafficker. In February 2021, investigators arrested him and found digital scales, drug packaging material, records of drug transactions and more than $4,000 in cash in his RV and on his person. The next day, investigators obtained a recorded jail call on which the suspect coordinated with other individuals to move and conceal a large sum of cash and bury heroin in the backyard of his residence.
Posted on 12/14/23 6:38AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Woman on Outstanding Warrants after Pursuit of Stolen Vehicle
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a woman on outstanding warrants this week after she was injured during a lengthy law enforcement pursuit. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested 25-year-old Lacey Marie Cullison at the Williams Highway Safeway on Tuesday night. Deputies said the incident began when they spotted a stolen pickup that was occupied by three people on Highway 238 near Allenwood Drive. They said the suspects drove south on the highway to Murphy where they turned left onto North Applegate Road and led them out to Kubli Road while speeding and passing other vehicles on blind corners. A load of firewood spilled out of the truck and blocked the roadway during the chase, which continued back toward Grants Pass. Cullison was reportedly injured when the stolen truck hit another vehicle at the intersection of Williams Highway and New Hope Road. She was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment. Cullison was identified as a suspect in a burglary case and when deputies went to the hospital to contact her, they discovered that she had checked herself out. She was located at the supermarket a short time later and found to be in possession of multiple pieces of jewelry that did not belong to her. Lacey Cullison was lodged in jail on two Grants Pass warrants for failing to appear in court for 1st-Degree Forgery and Possession of a Forged Instrument, with other charges pending further investigation.
Posted on 12/14/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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