Local News

Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol Says She Plans to Veto Humanitarian Service Ordinance
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Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol plans to veto a recently-passed humanitarian services ordinance because she says it would add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and red tape in the city park system. In a Tuesday news release, Mayor Bristol said she believes this ordinance is expedient, redundant and opens the door to potential litigation against the city. Bristol wrote: "To be clear, I am strongly opposed to the use of drugs in our city parks. It is already illegal under Municipal Code to possess or deliver drugs, needles or other drug paraphernalia in city parks and public properties. It is already illegal to have propane tanks and kerosene tanks on public property. And it already regulates special events on public property, including established standards for denial and an appeals process, without singling out a specific type of use as the proposed ordinance does." The mayor said if the Grants Pass City Council is serious about reducing the homeless presence in city parks, she suggests stopping the tactics of excessive regulation that only burdens law enforcement while starting to focus on actions that will provide shelter for unhoused people so city parks can be reclaimed.
Posted on 3/13/24 5:00AM by Sam Marsh

Oregon Transportation Panel Holding Regular Monthly Meeting in Medford This Week
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The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) is holding its regular meeting in Medford this week. The Thursday meeting at 9 a.m. will be hybrid, originating in the Prescott Room of the Medford Police Department at 219 South Ivy Street. Items on the OTC agenda include 2024 Legislative Summary and Recap, Urban Mobility Office Update and Local Project Updates such as the Interstate 5 South Medford Interchange Area Management Plan and a presentation on the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation (RVACT). Citizens are encouraged to view the meeting at "youtube.com/c/OregonDOT." Please note that participation will be limited to one representative per organization. People and organizations who are providing public comment to the OTC for the first time will be given priority for the limited available testimony spots. Today, Commissioners are joining ODOT staff and others on a tour and site visit to several locations in Jackson County including the Oregon Highway 140-Foothill Road Roundabout, Highway 99 in Phoenix and Highland Barnett Exit 27.
Posted on 3/13/24 4:58AM by Sam Marsh

Three Rivers School District Touts "Student Success" with 2024 Science Fair Results
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The Three Rivers School District Science Fair this year boasted an impressive turnout with 78 outstanding projects submitted by 100 enthusiastic students. To recognize and reward students' hard work, gold, silver and bronze certificates were distributed based on average scores. In the Chemistry & Earth category, the winner was Giovana Guimaraes of Applegate School. Charlee Stacey of Fort Vannoy won in Consumer Products Testing. For Behavioral & Social Science, Danny Kent of Lincoln Savage was the winner. In the Engineering category, Quinton Quigley of Fort Vannoy was tops. Cameron Williams of Fruitdale picked up top prize for Energy & Transportation while Rowan Zamber of Fort Vannoy was the winner in Medicine & Health. Top prize in Physics-Electromagnetic went to Jace Searle of Lorna Byrne while in Physics-Mechanics, Maeby Jane Leonard of Applegate picked up the gold. Other winners included Morrigan Wright of Fort Vannoy in Plant Biology, Wyatt Fitting of Applegate in Environmental Science and Kylee Moline in Animal Science & Microbiology.
Posted on 3/13/24 4:55AM by Sam Marsh

BCC will Consider State Justice Reinvestment Grant Pact in Business Session
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has only one action item on its weekly business agenda tomorrow morning. Under Administrative Actions, the Board will consider approval of a Criminal Justice Commission Justice Reinvestment Program grant agreement. The two-year agreement with the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission is worth a total of $2,454,684, which would be disbursed in four equal installments of $613,671 through January 5, 2025. Unless it's extended, the contract would expire in March 2026. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens in which residents are allowed three minutes to speak to the Commissioners on virtually any topic. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 3/12/24 12:25PM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Still Investigating Cause of Fire that Killed Jerome Prairie Resident
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has issued a press release regarding the fatal structure fire that occurred last weekend in the Jerome Prairie area, but the identity of the deceased has not yet been disclosed. Sheriff's deputies, Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the structure fire in the 600-block of Timber Ridge Road late Sunday night. Upon arrival, rescue personnel searched the single-story residence and located a deceased adult inside. No other injuries were reported. Because of the death, Lieutenant Jim Geiger said the Oregon State Fire Marshal has begun an investigation into the cause of the fire. He said investigators are continuing to work on identifying the decedent and locating their next of kin. Lieutenant Geiger said this morning that no further information on the fatal fire is available at this time.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:34AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Fighting with Officers after Motel Trespass Call
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman yesterday for fighting with officers at a local motel after she was called in as a trespassing complaint. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 33-year-old Janique Lee Kosct for the incident at Holiday Inn Express on NE Agness Avenue on Monday at 3:15 p.m.. Police said they contacted Kosct in the parking lot of the motel where she was organizing her property and refusing to leave the property. When told she was under arrest, she replied "No, I'm not" and physically resisted law enforcement. According to the report, Kosct kicked multiple officers in the groin area in an attempt to avoid being placed into custody. Focused blows to the suspect were administered with no effect, so a Taser was deployed during the close-quarters struggle and she was ultimately subdued. Janique Kosct was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Criminal Trespass and the resulting Probation Violation. She was still being held without bail this morning.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:33AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Woman Wanted on State Warrant after Disturbance Call
Grants Pass Police apprehended a woman wanted on a statewide felony warrant after she caused a disturbance near the downtown area late yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 33-year-old Morgan Delin Weber in the 1300-block of SW G Street at 5:09 p.m. Monday. Police said they responded to complaints about a female subject walking back and forth near the laundromat, stopping traffic and asking for rides. One of the people the suspect asked was an employee of the Josephine County Jail who called 9-1-1. Officers contacted Weber near corner of G and Booth streets a short time later. She was found to be wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a conviction for Harassing Communication. Morgan Weber was lodged without bail at the adult jail facility.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:31AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Bad Behavior & Abusing Dog at Med Offices
Grants Pass Police arrested a man who was unable to control his boorish behavior against a pet dog and humans in the northwest part of the city yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were alerted to the incident at AllCare Medical Group on NW Midland Avenue on Monday around 2:25 p.m.. Police said an employee called 9-1-1 to report that 38-year-old Matthew Richard Williams was screaming at and abusing his dog outside the medical facility. The caller said he was hitting the dog and grabbing it by its collar while insulting those who tried to intervene. His behavior was described as "violent and threatening." Responding officers contacted Williams and placed him into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and was being held without bail. His belongings were logged into evidence for safekeeping. The dog -- a female pit bull named "Angel" -- was picked by Animal Control and transported to the Animal Shelter.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:28AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man on Warrant after He Tried to Steal from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant after he tried to steal more than $100 worth of items from Walmart. According to the Police Department, officers were alerted to a shoplifting call involving 36-year-old Ehric Pedersen at the store on NE Terry Lane on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.. Police said Pedersen stole approximately $106 worth of Walmart merchandise by bypassing all points of sale without attempting to pay for the items. He was detained by loss prevention until officers arrived and discovered that he was wanted on a Medford warrant for failing to appear in court for Criminal Trespass. Ehric Pederson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus a charge of 2nd-Degree Theft which will be prosecuted by the District Attorney.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:26AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Five-Time Trespasser for Returning to WinCo to Steal
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for returning to a supermarket and stealing some items after he had already been trespassed from the store five different times. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 20-year-old Jackson David Sutton at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Sunday around 4:45 p.m.. Police said Sutton returned to WinCo with the intent to commit theft. They said he intentionally passed all points of sale with around $4 worth of store goods without paying. He was detained by loss prevention and placed into custody by officers. Jackson Sutton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:25AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed GP Motorist for Impaired Driving after Weekend Stop in City
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass motorist for impaired driving after a weekend traffic stop in the southeast part of the city. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Mazda Tribute driven by 34-year-old Collin Patrick Quinlan near the corner of SE M and 11th streets on Saturday around 12:40 a.m.. Troopers said they stopped Quinlan for multiple traffic violations and he displayed multiple signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was more than twice the legal driving limit. Collin Quinlan was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. He was cited to appear in court and released. His vehicle was parked and secured.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Motorist Cited for Warrant and Violations after Crashing Van into Store
A Grants Pass motorist was arrested on a local warrant and cited for multiple violations after he crashed his vehicle into the front of a store on Rogue River Highway on Monday. Grants Pass police officers and emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle crash at Market & Deli in the 1,000-block of Highway 99 at 3:10 p.m. yesterday. Police said an investigation determined that 58-year-old Christian James Sargeant was driving a Nissan minivan when his foot slipped under the brake and he coasted into the open front of the market, cracking the glass panes on both doors. Upon contact with officers, Sargeant stated he knew he did not have a license or any insurance because he purchased the vehicle the night before. He was also found to be wanted on a Jackson County misdemeanor warrant for two counts of Failure to Register as a Convicted Sex Offender. Christian Sargeant was cited to appear in court on the warrant as well as the traffic violations. As officers left the scene, he was making payment arrangements with the store manager.
Posted on 3/12/24 10:21AM by Sam Marsh
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