Local News

OSP Nabbed Wilderville Man for DUII & Local Warrant after IV Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Wilderville man for impaired driving and an outstanding warrant last night during a traffic stop on Redwood Highway in the Illinois Valley. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Dodge Ram 2500 driven by 35-year-old Jason Adam Post on US Highway 199 near Finch Road at 10:27 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said they stopped Post for a traffic violation and he displayed strong signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was found to have a local warrant for his arrest. He was taken to the Cave Junction Substation where he provided a breath sample that was well over the legal driving limit. Jason Post was then transported to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. He was criminally cited to appear in court and released to the Sobering Center staff.
Posted on 12/7/23 11:06AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Cited Motorist after Crash into City Light Pole on Highway 199
Grants Pass Police cited a motorist for two violations after he crashed his vehicle into a light pole on Redwood Highway near Bi-Mart last night. According to the Police Department, officers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck in the 200-block of US Highway 199 on Wednesday at about 7:20 p.m.. Police said Jason Brisbine was traveling southbound on the highway when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with a city street pole. They said his vehicle continued to travel into the center median of the highway and his airbags deployed. Upon arrival, officers found Brisbine's vehicle facing in the wrong direction with minor to moderate damage. The light pole was damaged and city streets crews were notified. There were no signs of impairment. Brisbine was not injured, but he was cited for Driving While Suspended and No Insurance. He was ordered to report to his corrections officer this morning and his vehicle was towed away.
Posted on 12/7/23 11:04AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Evicted 3 Campers from 2 City Parks during Daily Patrol Checks
Grants Pass Police evicted three campers from two city parks during patrols performed early yesterday. During a patrol check at Baker Park, Derek Hood and Maria Guerrero were cited for Scattering Rubbish and Misuse of Park Open Spaces. Both were trespassed from the park for 30 days. Officers said a camper identified as "Cummings" had two tents at the park and advised he was getting rid of one of them. Two campers identified as "Pitts" and "Jensen" had trash and items outside their tent and they were warned to clean up the mess. A camper identified as "Hills" also had trash outside her tent and she was given one hour to clean it up. A shopping cart was returned to a local store. During a patrol check at Riverside Park, Patrick Gaither was cited for Misuse of Park Open Spaces and Alcohol in a Park. He was given a 30-day exclusion from the park. A woman identified as "Diana Reynolds" was advised that some of her property had been logged into safekeeping during a recent arrest.
Posted on 12/7/23 11:03AM by Sam Marsh

Authorities Capture Suspect in Tuesday Shooting at Medford Apartment Complex
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Authorities have arrested the suspect in the most recent shooting in Medford that wounded a man on Tuesday. The Medford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies arrested 37-year-old Michael Joseph Gregory Seems on Wednesday afternoon in relation to the shooting that occurred at an apartment complex in the 2100-block of Roberts Road. On Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m., a Medford police detective spotted Seems as a passenger in a vehicle in Medford and followed the vehicle as it got onto Interstate 5 northbound. The detective coordinated responding units and police were able to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle in the City of Gold Hill. According to MPD, the vehicle briefly eluded the traffic stop, but eventually stopped on Lampman Road adjacent to the Rogue River. Seems fled from the vehicle down the embankment and into the river. He became trapped on the rocks, partially in the river, and remained uncooperative with police officers who were negotiating with him to exit the river. Officers were eventually able to rescue the suspect and assist him up the bank where he was placed into custody. Michael Seems was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on multiple felony charges including Attempted Murder and Attempted Assault in the First Degree. All known witnesses and participants in this case have been identified and interviewed. The firearm believed to have been used in the shooting has been recovered. Detectives said the victim in this case is recovering from his injuries. They said the shooting resulted from the victim confronting Seems and two others who were loitering near the back of his apartment. MPD would like to thank members of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Central Point Police Department and Oregon State Police who assisted in the capture of the suspect.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
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Southern Oregon Woman Sentenced for Using False Identity to Get Student Aid
A Southern Oregon woman was sentenced in federal court this week for using her deceased husband's identity to unlawfully claim federal student aid. The US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon reports 56-year-old Cynthia Pickering of Central Point was sentenced to 36 months of probation and ordered to pay more than $36,000 in restitution to the US Department of Education. According to court documents, Pickering devised a scheme to use her deceased husband's personally identifiable information to submit multiple applications for federal student aid and enroll her husband at three different universities and colleges in Oregon. These fraudulent applications caused Western Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University and Rogue Community College to disperse $36,341 in federal student aid into Pickering's personal checking account. To conceal her scheme, Pickering attended online classes pretending to be her former husband so that her husband would remain eligible for the student aid. In October 2022, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a nine-count indictment charging Pickering with Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Student Loan Fraud. She was arrested at her residence in Central Point on November 15, 2022. In August of this year, Pickering pleaded guilty to three counts of Wire Fraud and three counts of Student Aid Fraud.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Incarcerated Man on Outstanding Warrant after North City Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on an outstanding warrant after an early morning patrol check in the north part of the city. The Police Department reports officers contacted and arrested 46-year-old Andrew Burdette Peak near Hays Oil Company on NW Vine Street at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Police said they were on patrol when they spotted Peak who they knew was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Contempt of Court. Andrew Peak was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and was being held pending transfer to the Jackson County Jail in Medford.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:40AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man Wanted on 2 MPD Warrants at NE B Street Residence
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on two outstanding warrants at a northeast city residence early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 28-year-old Allen Totten Behrle at a home in the 100-block of NE B Street on Wednesday at 5:18 a.m.. Police said they observed Behrle and knew him from previous criminal contacts. They said a routine records check revealed that he was wanted on two Medford Police Department warrants for 1st-Degree Theft, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and 3rd-Degree Criminal Mischief. After confirming the warrants with MPD, officers placed Allen Behrle into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Causing Motel Disturbance Based on Middle East War
Grants Pass Police jailed a man this week for causing a disturbance at a north-city motel that was based on the current conflict in the Middle East. The Police Department reports 29-year-old Nishad Vishwas Dawkhar was arrested at the Motel 6 on NE 7th Street around midday Tuesday. Police said Dawkhar was observed at the motel yelling at the manager. They said he was detained by officers and displayed indicators of impairment. Management presented video of the incident showing the suspect claiming that he had a gun and yelling about Hamas. During a consent search, no firearm was located. Nishad Dawkhar was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and he was being held without bail.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Being Accepted for One Seat on GP Parks Advisory Committee
Applications are now being accepted for an open position on the Grants Pass Parks Advisory Committee. This is a three-year appointment. The purpose of this committee is to review and make recommendations related to the needs and locations of new parkland and trail locations, park planning, allocation of recreation resources between users, preservation of park resources, and funding. The Grants Pass City Council desires to have a balance of viewpoints and demographic representation on the committee including individuals with interest or experience representing athletic leagues, individuals knowledgeable in natural resource preservation, people involved with recurring park events, frequent park users and individuals who use park family-friendly play facilities. Applications are available at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov/committee-application." Completed applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 5th.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Board of Commissioners Approves Library District Withdrawal Petition in Split Decision
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Following a lengthy public hearing on Wednesday, the Josephine County Board of Commissioners approved a citizen petition that withdraws a property from the local library district. The Board voted 2-1 to approve the petition submitted by the Mike & Winnie Pelfrey Trust to withdraw their property from the Josephine Community Library District. Commissioner Dan DeYoung cast the lone dissenting vote. Both Mike and Winnie Pelfrey testified that the library district does not benefit their property, but a district representative contended that the "wrong" decision sets a bad precedent that will be felt across the state. There was ample public testimony both for and against the withdrawal petition. For the record, withdrawing their property from the library district will save the Pelfreys $111.63 each year in taxes. It should be noted that Mike Pelfrey is an outspoken government critic who was defeated in a recent attempt to be elected to the JCLD Board of Directors. Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West said since property owners have the right to opt in to the library district, they should also have the option to opt out. In other business, the Board unanimously approved the certified results of the November 7th special election and formed the Josephine County Law Enforcement District.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass City Council Dispatched Several Action Items in Efficient Business Meeting
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The Grants Pass City Council took care of several action items on Wednesday night during an efficient regular business meeting. In the public hearing section of last night's meeting, the City Council passed two resolutions. They accepted the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program's 2022 Annual Report and the revised CDBG Citizen Participation Plan. The Council then moved on to approving the annexation of property located at 2495 Allen Creek Road into the city limits and amending the zoning map for the same property. A much-needed residential subdivision with multiple types of housing is planned for that property. On the legislative side, the panel passed an ordinance amending Grants Pass Municipal Development Code Article 7 to remove Josephine County appointments from the Urban Area Planning Commission. They also approved an amendment to the Grants Pass Parks & Recreation Master Plan and Comprehensive Community Development Plan. In other business, the City Council approved the Ordinance amending Grants Pass Municipal Code Chapter 9.40 on Reimbursement Districts.
Posted on 12/7/23 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Four Local Organizations Received Grants from the Oregon Heritage Commission
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The Oregon Heritage Commission has awarded more than $381,000 in grants to 33 organizations throughout the state -- including four in Southern Oregon. The grants will help fund a variety of projects including collection preservation and access, research, oral history, exhibits and performance projects. Award amounts ranged between $1,000 and $20,000. Locally funded projects include the Big Butte Historical Society to update the Butte Falls Discovery Loop, Crater Rock Museum in Central Point to rehouse the lithic artifacts collection, Southern Oregon Historical Society in Medford to digitize over 6,000 glass plate negatives of photographer Peter Britt, and the Eugene Debbs Potts Foundation in Josephine County to improve access and increase displays at the local museum. This competitive grant program is for qualifying organizations and is offered once per biennium for projects that conserve, develop or interpret Oregon's heritage. To learn more about the Oregon Heritage Commission, visit "oregonheritage.org."
Posted on 12/7/23 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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