Local News

Free Guided First Day Hikes at Three Southern Oregon Locations.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with America’s State Parks for free guided First Day Hikes in state parks on New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1. Visitors have three hikes to choose from in the Grants Pass, Central Point and Cave Junction areas: Valley of the Rogue State Park, Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside and TouVelle State Recreation Site. If you have questions about access or to request any reasonable accommodations needed for your participation in these hikes, please contact Park Ranger Rudy Ordonez, 541-659-1463 by close of business today.
All three local hikes begin at 11 a.m. Dogs are welcome on six-foot leashes. Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and snacks, as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing.The $5 day-use parking fee is waived that day for all state parks that require a parking permit and are open.
Posted on 12/29/23 4:40AM by Chuck Benson

Speeding Driver Jailed after Citation and Peel-Out
An unhappy driver was jailed following Trooper’s contact with the driver’s probation officer. A State Trooper stopped a Ford Ranger for speeding on Pinecrest Drive Wednesday at 12:36 p.m. According to the Trooper’s report the driver was argumentative and agitated. He was issued a citation for speed and release. The Driver, 37-year-old Jameson Brandt Vischer, then broke traction his rear tires at the intersection of Plumtree Lane and Camp Joy Road, prompting the Trooper to contact Vischer’s probation officer who placed a verbal detainer on him. The Trooper proceeded to lodge Vischer in the County Jail. The Ford Ranger was picked up by his girlfriend at his request.
Posted on 12/28/23 10:45AM by Chuck Benson

High Levels of Flu Virus Circulating in Jackson County
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Jackson County Public Health Officials have declared that influenza activity level is high and circulating widely in Jackson County. Currently, Southern Oregon has the highest flu test positivity rate in Oregon. Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness have increased in Jackson County. All age groups are being seen in the emergency department for influenza-like illness; there has been a sharp increase in the number of children 17 years and younger in the emergency departments for influenza-like illness. It is important to note that the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who are sick with the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Posted on 12/28/23 10:28AM by Chuck Benson

Active Warrant Sends Flying Lark Camper to Jail
A late-night report of a man in the area of the empty Flying Lark building at the Fairgrounds earns Grants Pass Police attention. The first report to 911 came at one minute to eleven Wednesday night stating the sighting of man carrying box inside a gated area. Arriving Officers contacted 49-year-old Sean William MacDowell found sleeping under the covered area. MacDowell’s information was run through the city’s dispatch and a valid and serviceable warrant returned so the arrest was conducted, and MacDowell was lodged in the County Jail. The warrant returned on a failure to appear charge for a theft III-shoplifting charge levied on May 25th. MacDowell was also arrested on July 21st for disorderly conduct II.
Posted on 12/28/23 10:03AM by Chuck Benson
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Driver Jailed on No-Bail Warrant Plus Reckless Driving and DUII Charges
A wild trip to the hospital Wednesday night earned the driver at least a week’s stay in the crowbar hotel. A 911 call at 9:33 p.m. alerted authorities to a reckless driver and concern for the female passenger. The caller reported being passed on the Redwood Highway by a white four door Toyota Camry at a very high rate of speed. The caller thought it had broken down when she passed it at the weigh station, but the Camry again passed her, passed the light at Taco Bell, miss judged a turn and spun out. The caller stopped and asked if everything was okay and the response from the male driver was “I hope so.” The caller followed the Camry to the hospital after observing the female passenger that did not seem to be very alert. A call from hospital security stated they were with the man and woman in the parking lot neat the hospital cafeteria. The man was heard on the phone saying, “you told me to bring her to the hospital, now what do I do with her?”Responding officer contacted the driver, 27-year-old Luke Wyatt Mulligan, and took him into custody. Mulligan demonstrated impairment and admitted to drinking while driving and exceeding speeds over 100 miles per hour. He consented to field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUII and reckless driving.
It was determined Mulligan also had a no bail warrant from the Josephine County Sheriff’s office active. He remains in custody.
Posted on 12/28/23 9:34AM by Chuck Benson
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Aberrant Public Behavior Lands Man in County Jail
Aberrant behavior described in the police report as violent and tumultuous, landed a man in the Josephine County Jail Wednesday afternoon. City Police began receiving calls at 3:09 that a man on Terry Lane near the Walmart, Taco Bell entrance was throwing things around, yelling, stopping traffic and bullying occupants. Responding Officers contacted Justin Harley, 34, who became very cooperative and was taken into custody without incident. He was lodged in the county jail on a charge of disorderly conduct II and the resulting probation violation.
Posted on 12/28/23 8:43AM by Chuck Benson
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Warrant Lands Man in Jail following Trespassing Complaint
A trespassing complaint Wednesday afternoon resulted in the arrest of one man for the third time since September. The incident began with a trespassing complaint at 12:47 from the Gospel Rescue Mission concerning two transients smoking and drinking in the middle of the property in the area of Booth and Foundry Streets near Booth Mini Storage. The responding Officer contacted the individuals and in the process of entering trespass notices identified Beau Thomas Beard, 46, also known as Fish and Cat. Beard had an active warrant for failure to appear on criminal mischief II charges stemming from a September 30th incident for which he was arrested. Beard was also arrested October 13th on the same charges. The Failure to appear warrant stems from those arrests. Beard remained in custody this morning.
Posted on 12/28/23 8:17AM by Chuck Benson
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Jack-In-The-Box Intruders Evicted & Jailed
Security Patrols spotted intruders early Wednesday morning in the vacant Jack-in-the-Box at Hillcrest and 7th Avenue. Grants Pass Police responded to assist resulting in the arrest of a man and woman.
The incident began with City Police being notified by Concierge Security at 11:13 p.m. Tuesday that they suspected people may be in that building. The caller stated the door was open and blocked by a metal umbrella and assistance was requested to confirm if people were inside. The door has been checked earlier in the day and found to be locked at that time. The security guard, while standing by at AllCare Health, called again stating he had eyes on the intruder in the hot water room facing 7th Street. Responding officers challenged two individuals, who were both compliant, and found no evidence of forced entry. The man was identified as Steven Elijah Robison, 38, and the woman as Rubyrose Satyaloha Markey, 30. Both were found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia that tested positive for methamphetamine.
Posted on 12/28/23 4:46AM by Chuck Benson
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Parkway Traffic Jumper Jailed for Disorderly Conduct
Jumping in front of moving traffic on the Grants Pass Parkway is not wise, particularly if you jump in front of a Josephine County Deputy A local man was jailed Tuesday night after creating a traffic hazard by jumping in front of vehicles on the Grants Pass Parkway, including a Sheriff’s Deputy. At approximately 9:44 Tuesday night a Josephine County Deputy was outbound on the Parkway near ‘M’ Street and observed a man on the side of the road, As the Deputy drove closer, traveling at about 45 miles per hour, the man jumped in front of the Deputy’s vehicle. The Deputy was able to slow enough to miss the man, identified as 43-year-old Robert Michael Musella, As the Deputy was stopping Musella proceeded to jump in front of another vehicle on the opposite side of the Parkway. The Deputy arrested Musella and lodged him in the Josephine County Jail on disorderly conduct charges.
Posted on 12/28/23 4:37AM by Chuck Benson
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Rogue River City Council Deals with Lengthy Agenda Wednesday Night
The Rogue River City Council will convene a regular meeting tonight at 6:00 p.m. facing a lengthy agenda. The meeting will begin with the approval of minutes for seven meetings dating from July through November followed by ten committee reports. The new business portion of the agenda includes a resolution declaring support for an application for a grant to review parking management, followed by a canvass of November general election votes. The council will then decide on two local government recommendations to the OLCC regarding liquor licenses.
Posted on 12/28/23 4:36AM by Chuck Benson
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Local Job Losses in November Typical
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Total payroll employment in Josephine County fell by 130 jobs in November according to the Oregon Employment Department. Private-sector industries with estimated losses included leisure and hospitality down 110 jobs, construction and professional and business services were each down 30. On the other hand, industries posting jobs gains over the month were private education and health services (+40), retail trade (+20), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities up a total of 80 jobs. Government employment was little changed with a gain of 40 jobs in local government offset by losses in state and federal government for a net loss of 10 jobs. Over the past year, payroll employment in the Grants Pass Metropolitan Service Area rose by 440 jobs, an increase of 1.6%. Industries adding jobs since November 2022 included private education and health services
Posted on 12/28/23 4:34AM by Chuck Benson
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OSP Busy with 100+ mph Speeders, DUII’s & Warrants Since Christmas
The Oregon State Troopers have been busy with speeders, DUII drivers and warrants since the Christmas holiday. Tuesday morning just after ten a Trooper stopped a red Honda Civic for going 109 miles per hour in a 65 zone on Interstate-5 near milepost 64 southbound. The driver, 43-year-old Jeramiah Scott Ballard, was cited for speed, driving uninsured and failure to register the vehicle. The Civic was towed. At 2:43 that afternoon Troopers were dispatched to investigate a crash at milepost 78 on I-5 but the vehicle was found to be disabled. The driver later identified as 28-year-old Colton Jerome Shults fled into the woods when the Trooper arrived. His female passenger provided his name and it returned with a wanted warrant. The vehicle was towed as a hazard. At 8:42 Tuesday night a Trooper stopped a Dodge R-15 at the intersection of Front Street and Tavis Road in Merlin because of warrants for the registered owner. The owner, 45-year-old Mark Lonnie Eaves Jr. was taken to the County Jail and lodged on the warrants, then released after being cited for driving while suspended misdemeanor. Just after nine that night a Trooper investigating a single vehicle crash at milepost 4 of state route 46, Cave Junction observed the driver showing signs of impairment. The driver, Damon Trey Brooks, 46, was arrested, taken to the Cave Junction Substation where he submitted a breath sample confirming .16 blood alcohol content. He was issued a criminal citation and released.
Posted on 12/27/23 10:44AM by Chuck Benson
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