Local News

One Person Hurt & Another Arrested for DUII after New Hope Crash near Murphy
One person was injured and another was arrested after a weekend crash in the New Hope area just west of Murphy. On Saturday at 5:13 p.m., the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to the single-vehicle rollover crash in the 8100-block of New Hope Road. Deputies said an investigation determined that 47-year-old Justin Ryan Gerlitz was driving a BMW sedan when he lost control of the car on a sharp corner about a half-mile west of Lincoln Savage Middle School. They said the car took out a mailbox before landing upside-down in a ditch. Gerlitz and a passenger identified as "Steven Velasquez" were able to extricate themselves from the wreckage and denied any injuries. The third occupant of the overturned car -- identified as "Michele Gerlitz" -- was removed from the vehicle and transported to Three Rivers Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. According to the report, Justin Gerlitz displayed signs of impairment at the scene and performed poorly in field sobriety tests. He was lodged in jail for Felony Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. The wrecked BMW was hauled to the impound yard. Rural Metro officials praised a neighbor who helped direct traffic through the crash scene, which allowed rescuers to focus on patient care.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:10AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Fugitive on State Warrant after Son Requested Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police apprehended a fugitive wanted on a statewide felony warrant over the weekend after his "distraught" son requested a welfare check on the man. The Police Department reports officers arrested 48-year-old Joshua Ray Reyes at a home in the 900-block of NE D Street on Friday at 11:25 p.m.. Police said Reyes' son called 9-1-1 regarding his father's drug use, stating that he had overdosed on fentanyl. Officers rushed to the scene to find Reyes was not heavily impaired by drugs and that his son left the residence. The man believed his son called the police on him so he could steal his property once he was arrested. A routine records check revealed that Reyes was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous burglary conviction, so he was placed into custody. Joshua Reyes was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:08AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Collared Woman on Local Felony Warrant in Cave Junction Traffic Stop
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a woman on an outstanding felony warrant following a weekend traffic stop in downtown Cave Junction. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies pulled over a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup driven by 52-year-old James Myers in the 100-block of South Redwood Highway around 2:20 p.m. Saturday. Deputies said they quickly learned that Myers' driving privileges were suspended. They also discovered that his passenger -- 53-year-old Mary Jeanene Myers -- was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Probation Violation related to a previous arrest for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Domestic Menacing. Mary Myers was placed into custody and transported to the Josephine County Jail where she was lodged on a no-bail detainer. James Myers was cited to appear in court for Driving While Suspended and then released.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:06AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Apprehended Man on Local Felony Warrant after Merlin Trespass Call
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man on a local felony warrant while investigating a trespassing complaint near Merlin late last week. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 44-year-old Michael Anthony Sullivan, Jr., near the corner of Crow and Galice roads on Friday at 11:44 a.m.. Deputies said they responded to a complaint about a large black van that had been parked on the side of Crow Road for around a week. They found the door to the van was locked, but said they were able to coax Sullivan to come outside. That's when they discovered that Sullivan was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant containing a secret indictment for crimes including Felony Aggravated Identity Theft and 2nd-Degree Theft. He was placed into custody without incident. Michael Sullivan was transported to the Josephine County Jail for booking on the warrant with his scheduled bail set at $50,000. At his request, family members were contacted to retrieve his vehicle.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:05AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed 2 People for Attempting to Steal Trading Cards from Walmart
Grants Pass Police jailed two people for trying to steal hundreds of dollars' worth of merchandise from Walmart over the weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 31-year-old Derrik Ryan Miller and 35-year-old Breeanna Claudette Peaslee at the big box retailer on NE Terry Lane on Saturday at about 2:40 p.m.. Police said Miller and Peaslee were detained by Walmart loss prevention after they proceeded past all points of sale with more than $834 of assorted trading cards that were concealed under their groceries. Both were immediately placed into custody. Miller and Peaslee were lodged at the nearby Josephine County Jail for suspicion of 2nd-Degree Theft. Miller was also charged with Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation as Peaslee is a protected party in a valid no-contact order out of Jackson County. Both suspects were being held without bail.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:04AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Felon for Weapons Crime after Shoplifting Attempt at WinCo
Grants Pass Police arrested a felon for a weapons violation after he tried to steal some potting soil and other items from a local supermarket. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 31-year-old Casey Jay Whitten at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Saturday around 12:35 a.m.. Police said Whitten took some small items from WinCo without paying and was caught by loss prevention who was going to handle the crime in-house. However, when they told the suspect to leave the store, he took a bag of fertilized soil from a front display and walked across the Grants Pass Parkway with it. Whitten was contacted by police a short time later near Taco Bell where the stolen dirt was recovered. A consent search found him to be in possession of a spring-assisted pocket knife. Since he is a convicted felon, he is banned from possessing any weapons. Casey Whitten was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was also trespassed from WinCo.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:02AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Trying to Steal Jewelry from Grange Co-op
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for trying to steal jewelry from the Grange Co-op store over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the store on West Schutzwohl Lane near the intersection of Dowell Road and Redwood Highway on Saturday at 12:45 p.m.. Police said 36-year-old Erica Enriquez stole more than $100 worth of jewelry from Grange Co-op and was detained by loss prevention. Officers arrived on scene, she reportedly admitted to the crime and was cooperative. Enriquez was charged with 2nd-Degree Theft. She was cited to appear in court and then released.
Posted on 3/11/24 10:00AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Man for Drug Possession in Patrol Check at Baker Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for drug possession during a weekend patrol check at a city park. The Police Department reports officers were patrolling Baker Park late Saturday night when they contacted 45-year-old Donald Steven Arthur. Police said they surprised Arthur and he attempted to conceal about eight grams of a white crystal substance that was later determined to be methamphetamine. The drugs were seized as evidence and for destruction. Donald Arthur was lodged in jail for Methamphetamine Possession and he was trespassed from Baker Park for 30 days.
Posted on 3/11/24 9:59AM by Sam Marsh
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IVFD Responded to Vehicle Fire in O'Brien and Vehicle Crash in CJ Area
The Illinois Valley Fire District responded this past weekend to a large vehicle fire in O'Brien and a motor vehicle accident near Cave Junction. On Saturday at 7:41 p.m., IVFD crews were dispatched to a large vehicle fire at an unspecified address in O'Brien. Arriving units extinguished a pickup truck that was on fire at a residence. No one was hurt and the fire was under investigation. On Sunday at 5:52 p.m., IVFD crews responded to a vehicle in a ditch off Redwood Highway in the Cave Junction area. No one was hurt and the vehicle was flagged for future towing.
Posted on 3/11/24 9:57AM by Sam Marsh
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National Weather Service Posts Wind Advisory for Many Parts of SW Oregon
The National Weather Service has posted a Wind Advisory for many parts of southwest Oregon through tonight. The Wind Advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today in central Douglas, eastern Curry and Josephine counties. South winds from 15 to 25 miles per hour are expected in the advisory area, with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour possible. There is a low chance of wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour in the coastal mountain range to the west. Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Secure loose or lightweight outdoor objects. Winds this strong can make driving difficult for high-profile vehicle, so use extra caution while traveling through the advisory area.
Posted on 3/11/24 8:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Investigating House Fire that Claimed Resident of Jerome Prairie Area
Authorities are investigating the cause of a structure fire that claimed the life of one person in the Jerome Prairie area late last night. On Sunday at 11:11 p.m., an alert neighbor reported flames coming from a home on Timberridge Road, mobilizing units from Rural Metro Fire Department and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue. Arriving firefighters observed a vehicle in the driveway and flames coming from the front of a single-story dwelling, prompting an aggressive search of the interior for occupants. Unfortunately, the only known occupant was found deceased inside. Rural Metro officials said an investigation with the assistance of the Oregon State Fire Marshal would be conducted after daylight. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office was handling next of kin notifications.
Posted on 3/11/24 5:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Jailed Woman for Assaulting Boyfriend at Start of Weekend
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for felony assault after she allegedly roughed up her boyfriend in the Cloverlawn area at the start of the weekend. The Police Department reports officers arrested 57-year-old Jeani Renee Miller for the incident at a home in the 1500-block of Ben Aire Circle on Friday at 5:23 p.m.. Police said a man called 9-1-1 to report that he was tired of his girlfriend hitting him and wanted it to stop. They said an investigation determined that Miller and her boyfriend had been drinking most of the day when they began arguing. During the argument, Miller began hitting her boyfriend with her hands and she scratched his face, causing him to bleed. Officers documented the victim's injuries before placing the suspect into custody. Jeani Miller was charged with Felony 4th-Degree Domestic Assault and lodged at the Josephine County Jail where she was being held without bail.
Posted on 3/11/24 5:46AM by Sam Marsh
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