Local News

Cascade Policy Institute Sides with City of GP in Supreme Court Hearing on Homelessness
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The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in the case of Johnson vs. the City of Grants Pass. According to John A. Charles, Jr., of the Cascade Policy Institute, the central question is whether local ordinances that prohibit people from camping on public property constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth Amendment. Based on prior rulings in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, western states have been limited since 2018 in what they can do to prevent people from using parks, sidewalks and streets as campgrounds. A successful class action lawsuit against the City of Grants Pass on behalf of homeless people has resulted in long-term camping in all city parks except Reinhart Volunteer Park, preventing residents from using the other parks for recreational purposes. Although some people have criticized Grants Pass for allegedly making it illegal to be homeless, Charles said that is not the issue. He said cities and counties simply need clear authority to prohibit camping in certain public spaces, while designating other spaces as legal places to sleep for people who lack permanent shelters.
Posted on 4/26/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh

Three Rivers District Announces Grandma Jean Library Endowment at Applegate School
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The Three Rivers School District is pleased to announce the recent establishment of the "Grandma Jean Hall Applegate School Library Endowment." It's a tribute to the extraordinary dedication of Jean Hall, affectionately known as "Grandma Jean." As Jean celebrates her 90th birthday this month, her legacy of promoting literacy and learning will continue to thrive through this initiative. Initiated by Principal Steven Fuller and Fred Hall, Jean's husband, the endowment was established in collaboration with the Redwood Foundation for Education. By recognizing Grandma Jean's longstanding commitment as a volunteer at Applegate School, the endowment will provide perpetual support to the school library. In lieu of birthday presents, more than $10,000 was generously donated to kickstart the endowment, ensuring that future generations of students will benefit from Grandma Jean's passion for reading. This legacy initiative coincides with "School Library Appreciation Month," underscoring the vital role libraries play in education and literacy.
Posted on 4/26/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh

Sheriff's Office Seeking Public Help in Locating Missing Grants Pass Area Man
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in locating a missing Grants Pass area man. The Sheriff's Office said they received a report that 75-year-old Stephen David Bowen went for a nature walk on Wednesday at about 4 p.m. and he had not returned to his home in the 100-block of Sunflower Lane off Highland Avenue as of this morning. Bowen is described as a white male adult, 5-feet-5-inches tall and 170 pounds, with long gray hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a T-shirt, lightweight coat, jeans and tennis shoes. Josephine County Search & Rescue was activated late last night and volunteers joined deputies in the search until around 5 a.m. today. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Stephen Bowen is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:57AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Snared Dirt Bike Rider Who Tried to Elude Them in the Illinois Valley
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorcycle rider who tried to outrun deputies in the Illinois Valley last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies initially tried to stop the 27-year-old dirt bike rider in the 400-block of South Redwood Highway in Cave Junction at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies said the man refused to yield and led them out Caves Highway at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. They said the suspect turned onto White Schoolhouse Road and then onto Chapman Creek Road before he became trapped at a dead end. That's where he was placed into custody and discovered to be in possession of a Glock .17-caliber snub-nosed handgun. The gun was temporarily seized for further investigation and the 2019 Honda CRF450X motorcycle was impounded. According to the report, the dirt bike rider briefly struggled with deputies during the arrest. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving and Resisting Arrest.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Man Arrested on Warrant after Patrol Check on BLM Land
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on a local felony warrant yesterday during a patrol check on Bureau of Land Management property. According to the Sheriff's Office, a BLM deputy spotted a white Ford F-150 pickup in an unspecified area of the county on Wednesday around 2:25 p.m.. The deputy contacted the 46-year-old male driver of the truck and discovered that he was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation related to a past conviction for Attempt to Elude Police. After the warrant was confirmed, the suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:54AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Statewide Warrant during Patrol Check at City Park
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant during a patrol check at a city park early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested the 45-year-old male subject at Lawnridge Park on Wednesday at 10:42 a.m.. Police said they contacted the camper at the park and quickly discovered that he was wanted on an Oregon State Parole Board warrant for Felony Parole Violation, with the underlying charge not disclosed. He was placed into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. At his request, his personal belongings were taken to his father's place of employment.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Nabbed Woman for Loitering at Three Rivers Medical Center
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for loitering at Three Rivers Medical Center last night. The Police Department reports officers responded to a trespassing complaint at the hospital on SW Ramsey Avenue on Wednesday at 9:12 p.m.. Police said the 41-year-old woman was highly intoxicated and refused to leave when asked to do so by TRMC Security. They said the woman was there with a friend causing a disturbance and she was not there to get medical care. The suspect was placed into custody and charged with Criminal Trespass. Due to her highly-intoxicated state, she was checked out by hospital staff before being lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Frequent Shoplifter for Stealing Merchandise from WinCo
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for stealing merchandise from a supermarket yesterday and he may be facing additional charges related to alleged thefts at the store that occurred over the past couple of months. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting call at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Wednesday during the noon hour. Police said the 64-year-old suspect entered the store and concealed items worth about $20 in a bag and on his person. He passed all points of sale and left the store, but was detained by loss prevention until officers arrived on scene. Upon further investigation, loss prevention advised police that the man has been stealing from WinCo frequently over the past two months and they would be providing additional information for those thefts. They estimated the thefts had totaled around $300. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft, with the additional charges forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for consideration.
Posted on 4/25/24 10:50AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Trespassed Campers from City Park for Repeat Ordinance Violations
Grants Pass Police evicted two campers from a city park on Wednesday for repeat ordinance violations. At Morrison Centennial Park on Rogue River Highway, officers cited a woman for Buffer Zone Violation, and a man for Buffer Zone Violation and Staking a Tent. Both campers were trespassed from the park for 30 days. A total of 16 campsites were posted for Illegal Camping and an e-mail was sent to the United Community Action Network (UCAN).
Posted on 4/25/24 10:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Animal Shelter Levy Presentations Scheduled for Cave Junction and Grants Pass
The Josephine County Public Health Department is making a public presentation on the Animal Shelter and Control Levy tonight in Cave Junction, with another presentation taking place in Grants Pass in early May. Citizens are invited to join Public Health Director Michael Weber and Animal Shelter Supervisor Laura Jansen for the presentations. Find out what this levy would provide for the community including sketches for the proposed new shelter facility. Afterwards, Weber and Jansen will hold an open question and answer session so Josephine County voters can be well-informed before they cast their ballots. Tonight's presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Wild River Brewing and Pizza Company in Cave Junction. The second presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 7th, at 7 p.m. at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium in Grants Pass.
Posted on 4/25/24 9:27AM by Sam Marsh
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RR City Council Faces Busy Agenda Devoted to Upcoming Events This Evening
The Rogue River City Council faces a busy agenda when it gathers for its monthly meeting this evening, with much of the agenda devoted to upcoming events. The City Council will open the meeting with a proclamation naming April 25th as "Arbor Day" in Rogue River followed by consideration of a request from the Rogue River Greenway Foundation for a banner to advertise "Ride the Rogue." Two other requests will be considered including the Cal Ore River Racers marine permit endorsement for the Rooster Crow Hydroplane Race on June 29th & 30th, and a rate increase of 2.58% for solid waste collection service from Southern Oregon Sanitation. Also on the agenda are the appointment of Barb Gregory as the representative for the Rogue River Community Center and a local government recommendation for a temporary use permit for Rooster Crow Weekend at Rogue Pub-N-Putt. Ordinances under consideration include establishing regulations for mobile vending and food truck sites, and updating the Flood Damage Protection standards of the city to comply with recommendations from the State of Oregon. Resolutions under consideration include adopting rules of the Common Council and establishing fees for the city's Building Department. Tonight's meeting begins at 6 at Rogue River City Hall, 133 Broadway Street.
Posted on 4/25/24 9:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Early Morning Burglary Investigation Leads to 2 Arrests in Rural Central Point
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office arrested two suspects after an early-morning burglary call in rural Central Point on Wednesday. A Jackson County Community Service deputy took a report from 9-1-1 dispatch just after 8 a.m. yesterday of a burglary in the 5700-block of Upton Road. Several suspects were identified and tracked to an address in the 100-block of Laurelhurst Street in Central Point. The Sheriff's Office obtained a search warrant for the property and identified a female suspect. During the initial search of the property, deputies located another suspect hiding under a shed. The man did not respond to commands to come out and barricaded himself in the crawl space. After a lengthy standoff, deputies persuaded the man to give up through the use of pepper spray and a K-9. Detectives responded to assist in the arrests and search of the property. During the search, investigators discovered 10 firearms including a stolen pistol and an AR-style rifle with no serial number. Deputies also found body armor, an illegally-manufactured silencer, methamphetamine, heroin, butane honey oil, 35 pounds of processed cannabis, more than 58 grams of fentanyl and nearly $19,000 in cash. The first suspect -- 44-year-old Kelli Margaret Hernandez of Medford -- was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Hindering Prosecution. The second suspect -- 28-year-old Mickey Ray Galatz of Central Point -- was jailed on 15 charges related to the incident in addition to five outstanding warrants. Jackson County Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis said the case remains under investigation with detectives following additional leads.
Posted on 4/25/24 6:42AM by Sam Marsh
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