Local News

GP 911 Communications Center Received More Than 1,400 Emergency Calls
The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center fielded well over 1,400 emergency calls this past week. According to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center's weekly post on Facebook, a total of 1,437 emergency calls were received between July 4th and July 10th. The Grants Pass Police Department received the vast majority of the calls with 896. GPPD was followed by American Medical Response with 327 and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue with 128. Rural Metro Fire Department received 77 calls over the seven-day period while the Oregon Department of Forestry received 41, the Illinois Valley Fire District got 25 and the Williams Rural Fire Protection District got 8. There were no calls for the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District. Dispatchers also reported receiving a total of 504 internal calls and making 610 outbound calls.
Posted on 7/13/24 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
 

Senator Ron Wyden to Host Jackson County Town Hall Meeting Next Week
US Senator Ron Wyden will finish a swing through Oregon next week with a town hall meeting in Jackson County. The Jackson County Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17th, at Rogue X on Rossanley Drive in Medford. Prior to that, he will be holding town halls in Linn, Yamhill and Columbia counties. Heading into these four town halls, Wyden will have held 1,089 town halls in Oregon -- including 24 this year -- in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one each year in each of the state's 36 counties. Wyden said he's very much looking forward to hearing directly from Oregonians during this upcoming round of town halls because their ideas, questions and concerns all help him represent the entire state. The Democratic lawmaker said Oregonians should always have these opportunities for conversations with elected officials about the challenges in their communities and the solutions that make all parts of the state even better places to live.
Posted on 7/13/24 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
 

Federal Jury Finds City of GP Did Not Violate Rights of Street Preachers Protesting Abortion
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A federal jury this week sided with the city of Grants Pass in finding that police haven't used Oregon's disorderly conduct statute to quash the free speech rights of street preachers protesting abortion. The Oregonian reports Abolish Abortion Oregon in 2020 sued Grants Pass, alleging the city had harassed its members for years with threats of arrest to chill their freedom of speech and religion. The Christian evangelists and anti-abortion activists travel the state "to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and to call for the abolition and criminalization of abortion throughout the United States," according to the organization's lawyers. The group's open-air street preachers attend various events in Grants Pass, including the First Friday monthly celebration of the arts and the Saturday Growers Market, and they regularly preach outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on NW Franklin Boulevard, sometimes using bullhorns and electronic amplifiers. Three of its members filed complaints with the city for threatening to arrest them on second-degree disorderly conduct allegations. Other received citations alleging they were obstructing traffic. The attorney for the city testified that its police officers appropriately enforced the law against the preachers for creating "unreasonable noise," even if their speech was otherwise protected by the First Amendment. City Attorney Robert E. Franz testified the officers often were responding to complaints from businesses. The verdict came at the end of a four-day trial in US District Court in Medford before US District Judge Karin J. Immergut.
Posted on 7/13/24 6:24AM by Sam Marsh
 

Blind Man and Service Dog Rescued from Extreme Heat on Rogue River Recreation Trail
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US Coast Guard rescuers lifted a blind man and his service dog up from the Rogue River National Recreation Trail and onto a helicopter this week after he was overcome by heat and spent at least one night waiting for help, officials said. The Oregonian reports the 55-year-old man, whose name hasn't been released, was hiking with a friend in Josephine County last Saturday when he started showing signs of heat exhaustion. The man couldn't walk anymore and there was no cell service in the area, so the friend left him at a campsite with a tent and some food and water and went to get help, reaching authorities by phone Sunday. Coast Guard Commander Jay Kircher received a call around 5 p.m. Sunday from the state's search-and-rescue coordinator asking for a helicopter to pluck a stranded man off of the trail. As they discussed options and tried to make a plan they learned that the friend wasn't completely sure about the man's location. Instead of flying out right away, they coordinated with the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Department of Emergency Management to have a deputy and a Bureau of Land Management ranger walk the trail the following morning, find the man and then relay his precise location to the Coast Guard via a satellite phone. The deputy and the ranger found the man around 9 a.m. Monday, and they sent the Coast Guard their coordinates. A four-man unit departed from North Bend around 10 a.m. and got there less than half-an-hour later.
Posted on 7/13/24 6:21AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Heritage Grants Awarded to Historic Property and Archaeology Projects
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Oregon Heritage -- a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department -- has awarded 18 grants totaling nearly $300,000 for historic properties and archaeology projects. Six of the grants were awarded in the "Diamonds in the Rough" category, which funds façade improvements that restore the historic character of a property. The other 12 grants were in the "Preserving Oregon" category for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and for archaeology projects. One of the archaeology projects being funded is a Southern Oregon University lab for study of the Maxville site in Wallowa County. Local historic properties receiving grants include the Elks Lodge building in Medford, the Butler Perozzi Fountain in Ashland and Hanley Farm near Central Point. These grants were approved by the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, a nine-member group that reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about the grants program, visit "oregonheritage.org."
Posted on 7/13/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed for Twelve Crimes after He Fled from Police Across Rogue River
A Grants Pass man was jailed on a total of 12 charges early yesterday when he fled from police on a motorcycle and was caught after he swam across the Rogue River. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 42-year-old Daniel Edward Wisener near the Grants Pass Wastewater Treatment Plant on Thursday at 10:20 a.m.. Police said they initiated a traffic stop on a dirt bike Wisener was riding near the Royal Trailer Park on Lewis Avenue when he accelerated and attempted to elude. They said he eventually stopped, fled on foot and swam across the river where he was placed into custody at Taser point by another officer. During questioning, Wisener reportedly admitted to committing crimes in three other cases that were under investigation by GPPD. He also admitted to stealing the dirt bike, which was impounded. Wisener was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for three counts each of 2nd-Degree Burglary, 1st-Degree Theft and 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief plus single counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Felony Attempt to Elude Police and Misdemeanor Attempt to Elude Police. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:51AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed IV Man for Beating Up Girlfriend at Trailer Park in Kerby Area
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed an Illinois Valley man for beating up his girlfriend at a trailer park in the Kerby area early yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the 44-year-old male subject for the incident in the 100-block of Pugetville Road on Thursday at 9:10 a.m.. Deputies said they were alerted to the domestic violence incident by a California man who reported his sister was being abused by her boyfriend. The boyfriend was said to be under the influence of methamphetamine after relapsing into drug abuse. Upon arrival, deputies found the female victim had been punched in the face and was bleeding. She advised she discovered her boyfriend smoking meth and when she confronted him, he hit her. She declined medical attention that was offered. The suspect told deputies he thought his girlfriend was coming after him with a knife when he hit her. He was laying in the living room with his hands behind his back, saying that he wanted to go to jail. He was immediately placed into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:50AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Drug-Fueled Outburst at Community Corrections
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for a drug-fueled outburst at the Josephine County Community Corrections Office early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident at the local corrections office on NW 4th Street on Thursday around 8 a.m.. Police said the 39-year-old corrections client was reported to be throwing things and making a scene. Officers contacted the woman and she showed numerous signs of being under the influence of a narcotic stimulant which was a violation of her post-prison supervision for an unspecified criminal conviction. While being placed into custody, the woman reportedly attempted to kick officers and tensed up her body, refusing to be placed in handcuffs. She was subdued and arrested without further incident. The outburst was witnessed by her corrections officer. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempt to Assault a Public Safety Officer, Resisting Arrest and the resulting Felony Parole Violation. She was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Apprehended IV Woman on Local Felony Warrant at CJ Supermarket
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested an Illinois Valley woman on a local felony warrant at a Cave Junction supermarket last night. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies spotted the 35-year-old female subject in the parking lot of Shop Smart on Thursday at about 7:50 p.m.. Deputies said they recognized the subject as being wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. They contacted her and -- with some difficulty -- placed her into custody at Taser point. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged in jail on the warrant plus new charges of Resisting Arrest and Escape. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Frequent Trespasser at Local Bar after Messing Up Bathroom
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for trespassing at a local bar and making a mess out of their bathroom. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at the Lucky Lizard on Rogue River Highway at about 10:20 a.m. Thursday. Police said the bar manager called 9-1-1 to report the 37-year-old male subject had been in the bathroom for more than 30 minutes. The caller told dispatchers the man advised that he was constipated when told to leave and he refused to do so. According to the report, the subject severely clogged the toilet. The manager was very upset because he was not a paying customer and wanted him trespassed from all the company's locations in Grants Pass. The man was already wanted on a GPPD warrant for trespassing at the other businesses. He was placed into custody without incident. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and for a new charge of Criminal Trespass. He was also trespassed from the Lucky Lizard, River City Bar & Grill, Purple Parrot and Mario's.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:45AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Teens for Throwing Rocks at Interstate 5 Semis in Sunny Valley
The Oregon State Police arrested two teenage boys and questioned another after they allegedly threw rocks at commercial vehicles passing through Sunny Valley on Interstate 5. According to OSP, state troopers responded to several reports of male juveniles throwing rocks at semis traveling in the southbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 71 early yesterday. Troopers searched the area and located the young suspects who eventually confessed to the crimes. They also admitted to having done it on several other occasions. An investigation determined at least 10 truck drivers had reported damage to their mirrors and windshields totaling several thousand dollars. Two of the juveniles -- a 15-year-old Wolf Creek boy and a 13-year-old Sunny Valley boy -- were charged with Criminal Mischief and lodged at the Josephine County Juvenile Justice Center. A 13-year-old Grants Pass boy was questioned, but he was not arrested.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Investigating Small Fire that Erupted Last Night near Shan Creek
Authorities were investigating a small wildfire that erupted in the Shan Creek area of Josephine County last night. Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to a fire burning in brush and trees near the 500-block of Dutchy Way on Thursday at 9:21 p.m.. Rural Metro officials said the after-dark blaze presented only a moderate rate of spread and was easily contained. They said additional ODF resources were called in to finish mop-up overnight. It was halted at about a half-acre. Officials said the fire burned near an area that firefighters had visited on May 31st, which also involved about a half-acre and damaged a number of vehicles. The remote location with limited access for fire apparatus that day resulted in a suppression effort that lasted eight hours.
Posted on 7/12/24 11:42AM by Sam Marsh
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