Local News

GP Police Snared Young Motorist for DUII after NW Highland Avenue Crash
Grants Pass Police arrested a young motorist for impaired driving last night after he crashed his vehicle into a residential yard in the northwest part of the city. The Police Department reports officers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle wreck in the 2200-block of NW Highland Avenue on Wednesday at about 7:25 p.m.. Police said the 18-year-old male subject was driving a vehicle in a manner that was endangering people and property when he swerved off the roadway, struck a tree and landed in a yard. They said witnesses observed him fleeing the scene on foot before he was contacted and detained. The young man displayed numerous signs of impairment including red watery eyes, slurred speech, an unsteady gait and a strong smell of alcohol emanating from his person. He was placed into custody and while being placed in a patrol vehicle, he reportedly used physical resistance in an attempt to break free. He was secured in the vehicle for the ride to the hospital and a legal blood draw. The suspect was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving and Resisting Arrest. His wrecked vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 7/11/24 12:24PM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Arrested Dirt Bike Operator for Riding on Street near City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for riding a dirt bike on a public roadway near a city park last night. According to the Police Department, officers pulled over the 40-year-old dirt bike rider on Allen Creek Road after he was observed riding the bike near Tussing Park on Wednesday around 8:30 p.m.. Police said they stopped the rider because the dirt bike had no license plates while it was traveling west on West Park Street. Officers later located the bike at the intersection of Allen Creek Road and Redwood Avenue before pulling it over. The man was riding at a high rate of speed on a sidewalk at the time. The dirt bike rider was "uncooperative," failed to present identification and claimed he did not need ID because he had rights to ride his dirt bike. He was detained and his Oregon ID was located during a pat down. The suspect was lodged in jail for Failure to Carry and Present an Operator's License, Driving While Suspended and No Insurance. His dirt bike was towed.
Posted on 7/11/24 12:23PM by Sam Marsh
 

Firefighters Continue to Strengthen Containment Lines on Salt Creek Wildfire
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Firefighters on the Salt Creek Fire continued to make progress on building and strengthening containment lines yesterday, trying to stop the wildfire's growth. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports the majority of the fire has direct line at the fire's edge. The region's largest fire of the season so far was measured to be 3,815 acres with 16% containment. Strategic firing operations were used on a few small portions of the fire that had areas of indirect line due to steep, rocky terrain. With this work complete, those areas are more secure. On the northern portion of the fire, mop-up operations reached 50 feet into the fire's perimeter. Hose has been established on the southern border, which will greatly aid firefighters in mop-up moving forward. There were 941 total personnel assigned to the wildfire including 12 20-person hand crews backed by 22 engines, 11 water tenders and 10 bulldozers. Aircraft including multiple helicopters and air tankers are available when needed. Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices remain in effect for several areas around the wildfire, but so far no homes or structures are threatened. Salt Creek Road and Wasson Creek Road remain closed off Highway 140. Double Day Road is still closed off Butte Falls Highway. Highway 140 and Butte Falls Highway remain open. The Salt Creek Fire is located between Eagle Point and Butte Falls. It was first reported on Sunday just after 4 p.m.. The cause remains under investigation.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:44AM by Sam Marsh
 

Josephine County Man Died in Motor Vehicle Crash on Lower Grave Creek Road
A Josephine County man was killed in a motor vehicle accident in the Sunny Valley-Wolf Creek area this week. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies and emergency personnel responded to the single-vehicle crash in the 4,000-block of Lower Grave Creek Road late Tuesday afternoon. Prior to law enforcement arrival, the driver -- 60-year-old Joseph John Tracey -- was pronounced deceased by medical personnel. Next of kin have been notified. Sergeant Craig Ricker said evidence at the scene indicated that Tracey was driving a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee north on Lower Grave Creek when he failed to negotiate a curve. The Sheriff's Office was assisted at the fatal crash scene by Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response, Oregon State Police and 3 Boys Towing.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:43AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man for Harassing Girlfriend at SW Rogue River Avenue Home
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for harassing his girlfriend during an argument at a southwest city residence early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 37-year-old male subject for the incident at a home on SW Rogue River Avenue on Wednesday at 2:56 a.m.. Police said the subject got into an alcohol- and drug-fueled argument with his girlfriend. The girlfriend claimed he slapped her with an open hand three times as she was walking away. The woman declined any medical attention. Upon arrival, officers interviewed both parties and placed the man into custody. Connected to the man's keys was a double-sided, spring-assisted switchblade knife that he described as a "novelty" and claimed to be holding for someone else. He is a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing any weapons. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Domestic Harassment. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Investigating Burglaries of Marijuana Operations in Southern Oregon
Authorities are investigating multiple burglaries of marijuana farms and storage facilities in Jackson and Josephine counties. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office reports the suspects are targeting licensed marijuana farms during the nighttime hours and they are possibly armed. Owners and workers of these facilities should be alert for these types of crimes and report any unusual activity. Perimeter fences and surveillance cameras should be checked to be sure they are intact and operational. Jackson County Public Information Officer Aaron Lewis said these cases are active and ongoing, with detectives following additional leads. Anyone with information on these burglaries or anyone who has not yet reported a previous burglary crime at a local marijuana facility is encouraged to call the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center at (541)-776-7206 and ask to speak with a deputy.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:39AM by Sam Marsh
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NE A Street near GPHS Closed to Through Traffic for Sewer Main Installation
The City of Grants Pass has announced the month-long closure of a busy arterial street for a summer construction project. Starting today and running through August 16th, NE A Street between 8th and Baker streets will be closed to through traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The street closure next to Grants Pass High School is for a sewer main installation. A Street will be open for local access only and detours will be in place. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternate routes. Emergency vehicles will be not be allowed through. For more information, contact the City of Grants Pass at (541)-450-6110.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West Refused to Approve Pipe Fork Sale
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It appears a years-long effort to sell the Pipe Fork property near Williams to a nature conservancy ended yesterday when two of the three members of the Board of Commissioners refused to approve it. During the Board's weekly business session on Wednesday, Commissioner Dan DeYoung made a motion to approve a purchase and sale agreement with The Conservation Fund along with a contribution agreement with the Williams Community Forest Project for a total of $2.32 million for the 320-acre property. Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West refused to second DeYoung's motion so it died and no second motion was made. Baertschiger said he could not support the sale without deed restrictions that prohibit logging the property and guarantee that the land would remain open to public access. West claimed that Port Orford Cedar Root Rot Disease has already infected trees on the property. The Board was facing a July 15th deadline to approve the sale as funding to pay for the property will no longer be available after that date. During the public comment period, the Board heard from several supporters of the Pipe Fork sale as a large contingent of Williams residents was present in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium. Two members of The Conservation Fund were standing by via Zoom, but they were not consulted by the Commissioners.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Council and Citizens "Listened" to City Response to Recent Supreme Court Ruling
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City Manager Aaron Cubic started last night's City Council listening session with an outline of the legal situation that Grants Pass still faces following the United States Supreme Court decision that overturned the 9th Circuit Court ruling which forced the city to allow camping in nearly all city parks. Cubic announced the City Council would be taking no action during the meeting and the first revelation was the city is still subject to the 9th Circuit's injunction until it is lifted, likely within 90 days. The City remains under federal, state and local laws that define time, place and manner regulations affecting homelessness. Oregon House Bill 3115 stipulates that cities regulate resting in places and on public property, and campers may be moved only with 72 hours' notice. Oregon House Bill 3124 states designated campgrounds must be safe and sanitary with proper restroom facilities and public safety. The City asked attendees to electronically vote their preference for which parks should be designated as campgrounds. The four -- in order of preference -- were Baker Park, Tussing Park, Redwood Park and Eckstein Park. Attendees were then asked which parks where camping should not be allowed. Those four were Reinhart Volunteer Park, Riverside Park, Lawnridge Park and Morrison Centennial Park.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:25AM by Sam Marsh
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ODOT Announces 30-Day Closure of Millers Gulch Bridge for Seismic Resiliency Work
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The Oregon Department of Transportation is continuing work on the bridge retrofit project on Rogue River Highway between the cities of Rogue River and Gold Hill. ODOT reminds motorists that Millers Gulch Bridge is closed for approximately 30 days beginning this week. Please use an alternate route and watch for workers. The contractor has provided a pedestrian transport vehicle that can accommodate at least two ADA passengers, a maximum of 10 able-bodied pedestrians and up to three bicycles with a secured rack during the bridge closure. The multi-million-dollar project is replacing bridge structures at Millers Gulch, Birdseye Creek and Foots Creek for earthquake resilience. The estimated date for completion of the project is June 2025.
Posted on 7/11/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Council Listened, Legalities Outlined & Citizens were Heard at Cities Listening Session
Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic began the City Council listening session with an outline of the legal situation the city still faces following the Supreme Court Decisions that overturned the 9th Circuit Court ruling forcing the city to allow camping in all city parks save one. He announced the Council would be taking no action during the meeting and the first revelation was that the city is still subject to the 9th Circuit’s injunction until it is lifted, likely within 90 days. The city remains under federal, state and local law that basically defines time place and manner regulations affecting homelessness. Oregon House Bill 3115 stipulates cities regulate resting in places and on public property and campers may be moved only with 72 hours’ notice. Oregon House Bill 3124 states designated campgrounds must be safe and sanitary with proper rest room facilities and public safety. The city asked attendees to electronically vote their preference for which parks should be designated as campgrounds. The four, in order of preference were Baker park, Tussing Park, Redwood Park and Eckstein park. Then attendees were asked which parks camping should not be allowed. Those four, in order of preference, were Reinhart Volunteer Park, Riverside, Lawnridge and Morrison Park.
Posted on 7/10/24 7:28PM by Chuck Benson
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Commissioners Baertschiger and West Refuse to Approve Pipe Fork Land Sale
It appears a years-long effort to sell the Pipe Fork property near Williams to a nature conservancy ended today when two of the three members of the Board of Commissioners refused to approve it. During its weekly business session this morning, Commissioner Dan DeYoung made a motion to approve a purchase and sale agreement with The Conservation Fund along with a contribution agreement with the Williams Community Forest Project for a total of $2.32 million for the 320-acre forested property. Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West refused to second DeYoung's motion so it died and no second motion was made. Baertschiger said he could not support the sale without deed restrictions that prohibit logging the property and guarantee that the land would remain open to public access. West claimed that Port Orford Cedar Root Rot Disease has already infected trees on the property. The Board was facing a July 15th deadline to approve the sale as funding to pay for the property will no longer be available after that date. During the public comment period, the Board heard from several supporters of the Pipe Fork sale as a large contingent of Williams residents was present in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium. Two members of The Conservation Fund were standing by via Zoom, but they were not consulted by the Commissioners. In other business, the Commission unanimously approved three annexations to the Josephine Community Library District. One property in Wolf Creek and two in Murphy were added by petition of the landowners, increasing the size of the library district by a total of 44.84 acres.
Posted on 7/10/24 12:33PM by Sam Marsh
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