Local News

OSP Arrested Motorist for DUII after RR Highway Traffic Stop in Grants Pass
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving and endangering his passenger during a weekend traffic stop on Rogue River Highway in Grants Pass. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Ford Mustang driven by 45-year-old Stanley Lee Miller near milepost 2 of Highway 99 on Friday at 11:52 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped Miller for a traffic violation, he showed signs of impairment and performed poorly in field sobriety tests. They said Miller's female passenger was also impaired and both were taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. Stanley Miller was lodged at the Sobering Center for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Endangering. His passenger was placed on a detox hold. His Mustang was parked and secured at the scene of the traffic stop at his request.
Posted on 12/11/23 10:54AM by Sam Marsh
 

Weekend Explosions & House Fire in New Hope Area Claims Lives of Pet Dogs
Reports of explosions in a New Hope area neighborhood prompted numerous calls of a weekend house fire that claimed the lives of two dogs. Rural Metro Fire Department, Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response were dispatched to the structure fire on Genverna Glen on Saturday at 9:08 a.m.. Arriving units found the back porch of the home fully-involved with fire, with flames and smoke rapidly moving through the interior of the dwelling. Crews got a quick knockdown of the flames and then worked to search for two missing dogs inside. The occupant escaped without injury, but the dogs did not survive. Rural Metro received help from the Oregon State Fire Marshal in determining the cause of the fire was related to a propane heater. Officials remind residents to ensure adequate space of at least three feet away from any combustibles and to not remove any shields designed to deflect heat. The American Red Cross is assisting the occupant with post-fire support.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Captured California Fugitive for Stealing Vehicle Out of Coos County
Grants Pass Police jailed an out-of-state fugitive for stealing a car and outstanding warrants following a high-risk traffic stop on the east side of the city last weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 37-year-old Justin Reid Carr at gunpoint on SE N Street near Peter James Lane on Friday around 10:45 p.m.. Police said they spotted a Nissan 350 driven by Carr on Redwood Avenue near Allen Creek Road and the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Coos County. They followed the suspect and initiated a traffic stop where they challenged the suspect after he jumped out of the driver seat and attempted to flee on foot. According to the report, Carr admitted to knowing the Nissan was stolen and said he purchased it in Cave Junction with hopes to sell it for drugs. He was found to be wanted on three Del Norte County fugitive warrants charging him with Obstruction of Justice and two California penal code violations. Justin Carr was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and the out-of-state warrants. He was being held without bail. The registered owner of the stolen vehicle was notified about its recovery. It was impounded and towed away.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Snared Woman Wanted on MPD Felony Warrant for Drug Trafficking
Grants Pass Police apprehended a woman wanted on a local warrant for drug trafficking during a patrol check near the downtown area late last week. According to the Police Department, officers contacted and then arrested 49-year-old Holly Nicole Heffner-Kriss at the corner of SW Booth and Foundry Streets on Friday afternoon. Police said they spotted Heffner-Kriss in front of the Reaching Our Community food pantry and knew that she was wanted on a Medford felony warrant for Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine. She was quickly placed into custody. Holly Heffner-Kriss was lodged at the Josephine County Jail awaiting transfer to the Jackson County Jail in Medford.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man Wanted on Two Warrants after WinCo Theft Complaint
Grants Pass Police arrested a man wanted on outside and local warrants while investigating a weekend shoplifting complaint at a local supermarket. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft call at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Friday around 6:25 p.m.. Police said 32-year-old Timothy Jordan Brenden passed all points of sale with no attempt to pay for more than $100 in items he had stolen from WinCo. He was detained by store security and placed into custody by officers who discovered he was wanted by two law enforcement jurisdictions. Brenden was wanted on a Douglas County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for two counts of 3rd-Degree Assault and one count of Disorderly Conduct. He was also wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Furnishing False Information to Police. Timothy Brenden was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the outstanding warrants along with a new charge of 2nd-Degree Theft. He was held without bail.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Incarcerated Man for Stealing Merchandise from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing merchandise from a store from which he had already been trespassed for similar reasons. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a shoplifting call at Walmart on NE Terry Lane on Friday afternoon. Police said 37-year-old Kelcey Edwin Cummings attempted to deprive Walmart of just under $100 worth of merchandise when he passed all points of sale and fled from the store on foot. They said he crossed the Grants Pass Parkway, but was located near Jersey Mikes and was placed into custody without incident. Kelcey Cummings was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. Since he had been trespassed from Walmart earlier this year, a charge of 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass was added to his criminal bill.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police and Firefighters Remained Active Protecting Community
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters remained active in protecting the city and its residents last week. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 657 calls for service along with 289 officer-initiated calls that resulted in 42 arrests, 39 citations, six warnings and seven highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 130 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting eight people, citing 27 more and warning 33 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 17 individuals, posted 67 transient camps and helped remove trash from 12 campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 96 calls last week including 38 for emergency medical service, one report of fire or smoke, 16 lift assists, three rescue situations, four assist to other agencies and three false alarms. Firefighters also performed 19 business inspections, led one education program, assisted the public eight times and properly installed two child car seats. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,039 emergency calls in addition to 1,011 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Residents Invited to Attend Community Forum This Evening on Rent Burden & Housing
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Residents are invited to attend and participate in a community forum hosted by the City of Grants Pass this evening. The goal of the forum set for 6 p.m. is to learn more about current issues related to housing production, rent burden, fair housing and more. Information will be shared on current housing statistics, causes and consequences of rent burden, barriers to reducing rent burden and local resources. Feedback from this community discussion will be used to help guide city housing strategies and initiatives to address current rental housing challenges. Grants Pass has been identified by the Oregon Housing & Community Services Department as a city that is severely rent-burdened, with 28.6% of all renters paying more than half of their income on rent. Paying too much for housing often prevents households from paying for other necessary expenses including medical care, food, utilities, education, transportation, childcare and more. During this event, community members are encouraged to share experiences, ask questions and provide input on potential solutions to ease the local housing crisis. If you have additional questions, please contact Grants Pass Housing Specialist Amber Neeck at "aneeck@grantspassoregon.gov" or by calling (541)-450-6068.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:27AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Department Adds Another Officer to Community Response Team Unit
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In a proactive move designed to enhance public safety and the overall quality of life in the community, the Grants Pass Police Department has expanded the ranks of its Community Response Team (CRT) to three officers. Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said this strategic decision aims to fortify the team's efforts, particularly in the parks with the enforcement of municipal codes and state laws. The CRT -- now consisting of three dedicated officers -- has a primary focus on addressing quality-of-life issues within city parks. Recognizing the importance of these public spaces in fostering community well-being, the team has committed itself to ensuring the parks remain safe, enjoyable and free from criminal activity and code violations. A noteworthy aspect of the CRT's operations is the inclusion of new police officers waiting to attend the Police Training Academy in Salem. These officers are assigned to the CRT during their pre-academy period, providing them with valuable hands-on experience and exposure to community-oriented policing. Chief Hensman said the addition of a third officer and integration of pre-academy recruits into the team underscore the commitment of GPPD to fostering a safe and thriving community.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Chamber of Commerce Holiday Window Decorating Contest Runs Thru December 29th
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With the official lighting of the Christmas tree on Friday night, downtown Grants Pass is fully decorated for the holiday season. The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Holiday Window Decorating Contest is now underway. Local businesses invite you to view their beautifully decorated storefronts and then vote for your favorite. Public voting runs through December 29th. Gift baskets will be awarded to the winning merchants for first, second and third places. While you're taking in the holiday sights in Grants Pass, be sure to patronize these local businesses. Chamber officials say we are very fortunate to have so many one-of-a-kind shops featuring unique Christmas gifts. To see a list of participating locations and to cast your vote, please visit the Chamber website at "grantspasschamber.org." The 2023 Holiday Window Decorating Contest is brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce and Home Depot.
Posted on 12/11/23 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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Child Exploitation Task Force Probe Results in Prison for Eagle Point Woman
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An Eagle Point woman was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison this week for taking sexually explicit photos of a young child and sending them to multiple individuals she met online. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports 31-year-old Kayla Dee Lester was sentenced to 156 months in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release. This case was investigated by the Sheriff's Office, Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force and US Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office of the District of Oregon. The initial investigation began in January 2020 when Jackson County detectives received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of child pornography being uploaded from an address on East Archwood Drive in Eagle Point. According to court documents, Lester took sexually explicit photos of an 8-year-old child and distributed them to several people online. When interviewed by police, Lester admitted using Whisper and other social media applications to meet people and solicit child pornography. She further admitted to sending the images she took of the child to others in hopes they would send her child pornography in return.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:22AM by Sam Marsh
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GPPD Investigation Led to Arrest of Man for Stealing Items from Pawn Shop
A Grants Pass Police Department investigation has led to the arrest of a man for stealing items from a local pawn shop. The Police Department reports officers arrested 42-year-old Brenton David Bruso for the incident at the Jewelry Center on SW 6th Street on Thursday afternoon. Few details about the investigation have been released, but Bruso was caught on video surveillance stealing an item or items valued at more than $1,000. The items have been recovered and returned to the Jewelry Center. Brenton Bruso was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for probable cause of Felony 1st-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/9/23 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
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