Local News

ODF Reports Containment on Salt Creek Fire Increasing as Crews Push Forward with Fight
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Containment on the Salt Creek Fire had increased to 7% this morning as fire crews continued to push forward on progress last night. The Oregon Department of Forestry conducted an infrared flight and mapped the wildfire at 3,651 acres, which indicates slight growth from Tuesday when hot and windy weather conditions were pushing the flames in three significant areas. Firefighters have focused on building up those portions of line and will continue to bolster them today. With this work, 80% of the fire has line built around it and as these boundaries are strengthened, containment will continue to increase. For today's shift, a total of 941 personnel are working on the fire including 33 20-person hand crews backed by 37 engines, 25 water tenders, 23 bulldozers and 12 helicopters. A Rogue Valley task force made up of local resources is also available. Very large, large and single-engine air tankers are available upon request. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management have issued Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices for areas near the wildfire including Zones JAC-316, JAC-317, JAC-319, JAC-321 and JAC-325-A. There are no structures threatened at this time. Salt Creek Road and Wasson Canyon Road remain closed at Highway 140, and Double Day Road is closed off Butte Falls Highway. Highway 140 and Butte Falls Highway remain open. The Salt Creek Fire is located 10 miles east of Eagle Point and it was first reported on Sunday just after 4 p.m.. ODF officials said the cause is under investigation.
Posted on 7/10/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

Three GP Supermarkets on Sell List to Clear Path for Kroger and Albertsons Merger
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Kroger has identified which stores in Oregon it would sell off to a competitor to secure regulatory approval for its $24.6 billion proposed merger with Albertsons -- and three of them are in Grants Pass. The parent company of Fred Meyer and QFC announced plans to acquire rival Albertsons -- which owns Safeway -- in October 2022. In a bid to mollify antitrust regulators, Kroger and Albertson said they would sell off more than 500 stores to New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers for $1.9 billion. The two companies plan to sell off a total of 62 stores in Oregon. Supermarkets on that list include the Albertsons at 1690 Allen Creek Road in Grants Pass, the Safeway at 115 SE 7th Street in Grants Pass and the Safeway at 1640 Williams Highway in Grants Pass. No other stores in southwest Oregon are on the list. It's unclear what branding the divested stores in Oregon would carry. The two supermarket giants are awaiting a trial set for August 26th in federal court in Oregon after the Federal Trade Commission and nine states -- including Oregon -- filed suit in February to halt the merger.
Posted on 7/10/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

Grants Pass Cooling Center Open Again Today as Excessive Heat Warning Continues
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The Mobile Integrative Navigation Team (MINT) will open their Grants Pass Cooling Center for at least one more day as the Excessive Heat Warning for southwest Oregon continues through this evening. MINT plans to provide cooling services again today at their Parker Place location at 218 Redwood Highway next to Bi-Mart. The hours are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.. The Cooling Center has been open since last Thursday after the City of Grants Pass made a Heat Emergency Declaration, which is triggered by predicted temperatures of 100 degrees or higher. The City does not operate severe weather event shelters, but it assists groups like MINT who can operate one. For the record, Grants Pass reached a high temperature of 108 degrees on Tuesday, which set a new record by surpassing the old July 9th standard of 105 degrees originally set back in 1919 and equaled in both 2002 and 2021. It was the sixth straight day of double-digit temperatures in Grants Pass, with five of them setting new records.
Posted on 7/10/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh

BCC to Hold Hearing on Library Annexations and Consider Pipe Fork Land Sale
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on library annexations and may finally sell the Pipe Fork property during its weekly business session tomorrow morning. The Board is scheduled to open the meeting with a hearing on three annexations to the Josephine Community Library District. The annexations are by petition of the landowners. Under Administrative Actions, the Commissioners will again consider approval of a purchase and sale agreement with The Conservation Fund for the Pipe Fork property near Williams. They will also consider a contribution agreement with the Williams Community Forest Project for the 320-acre forested parcel. After months of delays, the Board is faced with a deadline for the $2.32 million sale. After July 15th, funding for the sale will no longer be available. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:36AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Reports Salt Creek Fire East of Eagle Point Now Estimated to be 3,300 Acres
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Taking advantage of cooler temperatures, nightshift crews working the Salt Creek Fire were able to tie together, build and improve lines around the fire, pushing containment to 2%. After an overnight infrared flight over the wildfire, the Oregon Department of Forestry used more accurate mapping to place the estimated size at 3,300 acres. Resources are focusing on holding and securing existing line plus building more where possible today. Officials expect vegetation and topography to largely drive the fire along steep terrain and draws. Hazardous trees remain a threat to the safety of firefighters as does dehydration while working in extremely hot conditions. The Salt Creek Fire is located 10 miles east of Eagle Point. It was first reported on Sunday just after 4 p.m. and the cause remains under investigation. Level 1 "Be Ready" evacuation notices remain in effect for some areas around the wildfire, but no homes or structures are threatened at this time. Salt Creek Road and Wasson Canyon Road remain closed at Highway 140, and Double Day Road is still closed off Butte Falls Highway. Highway 140 and Butte Falls Highway remain open. ODF officials remind local residents that the fire danger level in Jackson and Josephine counties is now set at "extreme," with strict regulations in place.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested Motorist for Felony Assault and DUII after Selma Area Crash
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for felony assault and impaired driving after he caused a crash in the Selma area late yesterday. On Monday at 5 p.m., the Sheriff's Office, Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response and Oregon State Police were dispatched to the two-vehicle head-on collision in the 1500-block of Lakeshore Drive. IVFD officials said one person had to be extricated from a Toyota Tundra due to major damage. They said the patient was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center with serious leg and ankle injuries. They did not identify the patient. Deputies said the other driver -- a 38-year-old man -- was not hurt. They said he displayed signs of impairment at the scene, performed poorly in field sobriety tests and was placed into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 3rd-Degree Assault, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage in the wreck and were towed to Cave Junction. The suspect's vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GPPD Investigation Resulted in Arrest of Suspect for Felony Domestic Violence
A Grants Pass Police Department investigation has led to the arrest of a man for felony-level domestic violence. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 32-year-old male subject at Home Depot on NE Mill Street on Monday at 9:52 p.m.. Police said they were on patrol when they spotted the man who was wanted for probable cause in a recent domestic violence case. No other information about the incident was disclosed in the daily log. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 4th-Degree Domestic Assault, Domestic Strangulation and Domestic Menacing. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Captured Well-Known Offender on Local Warrants near Eckstein Park
With some difficulty, Grants Pass Police captured a well-known criminal offender on two outstanding warrants in the southeast part of the city yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers eventually arrested the 41-year-old male subject near Eckstein Park on SE Portola Drive on Monday at 12:12 p.m.. Police said they spotted the subject riding a bicycle near Riverside Elementary School and they knew he was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Escape. After the man realized he had been spotted, he rode his bike through the school and onto a footpath leading to the city park. Officers caught up to him and stopped him near the corner of SE Kayleigh and Shannon Lane. A struggle ensued before he was eventually placed into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrants plus new charges of Resisting Arrest and Probation Violation. He was being held on a no-bail detainer. During a post-arrest interview, the man answered a few questions and then refused to answer any more. He would only reply, "See you in court."
Posted on 7/9/24 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Assisted Community Corrections by Arresting Man on Local Warrant
Grants Pass Police assisted Josephine County Community Corrections by arresting a man on a local felony warrant yesterday. The Police Department reports officers contacted and then arrested the 25-year-old male subject at Debo Park on SW G Street on Monday at 3:49 p.m.. Police said a corrections officer contacted them seeking help in locating the subject who was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for Parole Violation related to a previous conviction for 2nd-Degree Burglary. Officers contacted the subject at the downtown city park and placed him into custody without incident. The corrections client was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and he was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:13AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Fred Meyer Gas Attendant for Stealing Customer's Wallet
Grants Pass Police arrested a gas station attendant for stealing the wallet of a customer last weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident at the Fred Meyer gas station on the Grants Pass Parkway on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m.. About an hour earlier, police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report that she dropped her wallet while getting fuel at the station. Surveillance video showed an employee take the wallet and conceal it in his work vest. The worker never reported the found wallet to his manager prior to leaving for the day. Officers contacted the man at his residence and he was found to be in possession of the wallet. He denied stealing the wallet and claimed that he forgot he had it. The wallet was seized and the suspect was cited to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. The victim picked up her wallet at the police station later that evening.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Firefighters Extinguished Illegal Open Burn on Texas Property near City Park
Grants Pass firefighters extinguished an illegal open burn near a city park last night. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to the fire on the Texas property in the 900-block of East Park Street adjacent to Baker Park on Monday at 9:30 p.m.. Grants Pass Battalion Chief 4 found a small vegetation fire and the alarm was sounded for a grass fire, which brought two engines and a brush truck to the scene. Crews were on scene for just over an hour lining the fire and mopping it up at a final size of 1/10th of an acre. The cause of the fire was under investigation, but it is presumed to be human-caused. No arrests were made and the investigation is ongoing. Due to the recent extreme heat and low humidity, local vegetation is extremely flammable. Fire officials urge everyone in the community to exercise caution with any fire and refrain from reckless burning. All open fires are prohibited.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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Rural Metro Crews Contain Burning Vehicle on South Pass Road in Merlin Area
Firefighters were successful in containing a burning vehicle in the Merlin area last night. On Monday at 7:53 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department was alerted to the vehicle fire on South Pass Road. Rural Metro officials said crews were able to put out the fire and keep it from spreading into nearby vegetation. They said heat from the burning vehicle melted an unoccupied portable toilet. Officials said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The owner told them it had been parked there since early that morning. The incident occurred at the exact same location as a fire that leveled a home and several vehicles one year ago.
Posted on 7/9/24 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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