Local News

GP Emergency Communications Center Received Over 1,200 Calls before July 4th
News Image
The Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center fielded more than 1,200 emergency calls for local first responders even before record-setting summer heat on July 4th. According to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center's weekly post on Facebook, dispatchers received a total of 1,218 emergency calls between June 27th and July 3rd. The Grants Pass Police Department led the way with 969 calls followed by American Medical Response with 290 and Grants Pass Fire & Rescue with 131. Rural Metro Fire Department received 51 calls, Illinois Valley Fire District received 33, the Oregon Department of Forestry received 27, and both the Wolf Creek and Williams Rural Fire Protection Districts got nine. The local 9-1-1 agency also reported receiving 498 internal phone calls and making 512 outbound calls.
Posted on 7/8/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh

Innovative Car Repair Lands Suspect in County Lockup
A 30-year-old man is in the Josephine County Jail following a criminal mischief/vandalism incident late Friday afternoon. Josephine County Deputies were dispatched to the 5000 block of Monument Drive to investigate the report of customer cutting off the hose from a fire extinguisher. The reporting party stated the suspect was still on the scene with a silver Buick Lacrosse with California license plates. The suspect told employees he needed it to fix his car. Deputies made contact with the suspect behind the business, placing him under arrest and transporting him to the county jail where he is being held on a charge of Criminal Mischief II-Vandalism/Crime Dama
Posted on 7/6/24 6:30AM by Chuck Benson

Felon Jailed on Warrant after Camping in Private Graveyard
A convicted felon was jailed by Josephine County Deputies for a parole violation after being found camping in a private graveyard Friday morning. Deputies were dispatched to the 2100 block of Foothill Boulevard at 7:33 a.m. after a report of a vehicle on the cemetery property with people sleeping inside. Deputies investigated a blue Hyundai SUV with a license plate that returned to a Nissan Sentra, that was suspected to be associated with a disorderly conduct Thursday night. Two adult males were contacted, and 32-year-old man was arrested when it was determined he was wanted on a valid warrant from the Oregon Parole Board for violating the terms of his parole from an original charge of attempted assault I.
Posted on 7/6/24 6:12AM by Chuck Benson

Dead Indian Memorial Road Fire 50% Mopped Up
Firefighters working on the Dead Indian Memorial Road Fire, located in the hills northeast of Ashland, made excellent progress on Friday, solidifying lines and mopping up 50% of the fire. Resources were able to extinguish hotspots up to 250-feet into the perimeter around the entire incident. The fire remains 100% lined and 43 acres in size. Last night 78 personnel were assigned to the fire, including three 20-person crews, three engines, two water tenders and various overhead. These resources will continue to work on mopping up the interior of the fire. A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 8 p.m. due to triple-digit temperatures, wind and low relative humidity, however these conditions have not affected the fire as much as expected, and little to no smoke is being detected. Due to the location of the fire, no homes were threatened, and no evacuations were issued.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:26AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Eagle Point Police Jailed Man for Domestic Violence and Tense Standoff Incident
The Eagle Point Police Department jailed a man for numerous crimes this week after he barricaded himself inside a residence following a domestic violence call. EPD reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance between a man and woman at 111 Onyx Street on Wednesday evening. Dispatch advised officers that a neighbor could hear yelling and other noises in a lower-level unit of the apartment complex. As officers approached, they could hear the disturbance and observed a woman in a bedroom through an open window. The male suspect ran out of the bedroom and officers helped the woman escape. The suspect -- later identified as 33-year-old Kevin Heater -- tried to flee out the front door, but officers confronted him, he refused to comply with commands and retreated back into the apartment, locking the door. Additional officers arrived on scene and surrounded the building. EPD Chief Jim Hamilton said investigators determined that Heater had assaulted the woman and restricted her breathing during the altercation. It was also learned that there was an active restraining order protecting the victim from the suspect. Heater refused to come out of the apartment, so the Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded to assist with K-9 units. After several announcements for the suspect to exit the apartment, he began talking with officers through a window while other officers entered the apartment and placed him into custody.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:24AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP Police Jailed Woman for Trying to Light Room on Fire at Sobering Center
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for attempting to start her room on fire at the Sobering Center early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 47-year-old woman at the facility on SW Foundry Street on Friday at 1:26 a.m.. Police said Sobering Center workers called 9-1-1 to report the female subject had a lighter and was using it to try to start her holding room on fire. They said she was also stripping down naked, thrashing around and trying to destroy the room. They were able to take the lighter away from the woman. The suspect identified as "Serenity Shayne Bailey" was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Attempted 1st-Degree Arson and Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief. She was being held on Friday without bail. Bailey had been brought in to the Sobering Center by the Josephine County Sheriff's Office because she was highly intoxicated while allegedly trying to start fires on Spencer Creek Road in the Murphy area on Thursday night. She admitted to using methamphetamine, alcohol and marijuana.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:22AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Oregon Boaters Reminded of State Laws Outlining Duties after Water Incidents
The Oregon State Marine Board wanted to remind boaters that it's state law to help and render aid in cases where another boat is swamped, capsizes or is involved in another incident with property damage or personal injury. Marine Board officials say it's also about being a "good neighbor" on the water. By Oregon statute, failure to fulfill the duties of the boat operator could result in a Class A misdemeanor citation. In cases where the boat operator leaves the scene of a boat accident where there is personal injury or death, the boater may be charged with a Class C felony. Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Coordinator for the Marine Board, said boaters need to pay close attention to other people recreating on the water around them. In many cases, he said everyday boaters become heroes when others go overboard, helping avert further tragedy. Oregon's waterways are increasingly congested, but everyone has the same right to recreate. Please be mindful and remember to share the waterway while recreating responsibly.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:21AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Jackson County Clerk Elected Secretary of National EAC Board of Advisors
Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker has been elected Secretary of the Board of Advisors for the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC is an independent bipartisan commission whose mission is to help election officials improve the administration of elections and help Americans participate in the voting process. Its four commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the US Senate. The EAC's Board of Advisors is a 35-member panel composed of representatives appointed by members of Congress, federal agencies and national organizations including the National Association of State Election Directors and the National Association of Secretaries of State. It serves as an advisory body to the EAC on implementation and best practices of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2022. Oregon Secretary of State Lavonne Griffin-Valade said Walker has years of experience in representing Oregon as a leader among elections officials.
Walker was appointed Jackson County Clerk in November 2008 and has been re-elected in every election since. She has more than 29 years of experience in both the elections and recording programs for Jackson County. In addition to her role on the Board of Advisors, she has previously served as President of the Oregon Association of County Clerks and President of the International Association of Government Officials.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:19AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Total Payroll Employment in Jackson County Increased by 630 in Month of May
Total payroll employment in Jackson County increased by 630 jobs in May. The Oregon Employment Department reports there were 102,522 people working in Jackson County in May for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 4.8%, which was unchanged from April. Job gains were estimated in many published industries. Retail trade and leisure & hospitality had the greatest job gains in May. Other industries adding employment were health care & social assistance, construction, financial activities, and professional and business services. Government employment grew by 140 jobs. Over the past year, payroll employment in Jackson County fell by 680 jobs, a decline of 0.8%. Since May 2023, industries adding jobs included private education & health services (+690), and construction (+160). Industries with over-the-year losses were leisure & hospitality (-430), manufacturing (-360), professional & business services (-260), retail trade (-180), transportation, warehousing & utilities (-180), other services (-120), financial activities (-90), wholesale trade (-70) and information (-60).
Posted on 7/6/24 5:18AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Red Cross Braces for Record Heat in Oregon and SW Washington This Weekend
Most of Oregon and southwest Washington are on track to break high temperature records over the next few days, which creates a health risk for vulnerable people and should be taken seriously. The American Red Cross reports extreme heat is deadly and kills more people than any other weather event. Officials said the climate crisis is making extreme heat events more frequent, more severe and last longer. The Red Cross recommends taking four steps to stay safe in extreme heat: Slow down by postpone or limiting outdoor activities. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. Spend time indoors in an air-conditioned place. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public library, shopping mall or public cooling center.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:17AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

GP Firefighters & Police Busy Responding to Fireworks-Related Calls in the City
Grants Pass firefighters and police officers were busy late Thursday night and early Friday morning responding to fireworks-related calls. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 10 calls for grass or trash fires that had started. Officials said eight of the fires were likely caused by fireworks and two of the calls in or near trash receptacles early yesterday were likely caused by the improper disposal of fireworks. The Grants Pass Police Department responded to five calls between midnight and 1 a.m. Friday as well as 43 calls on Thursday regarding people setting off fireworks.Today is the last day in Oregon to legally purchase fireworks.
Posted on 7/6/24 5:14AM by Chuck Benson
Read more

Firefighters Halted Progress of Dead Indian Memorial Road Fire near Ashland
Firefighters were able to stop the progress of a new wildfire that started late Thursday night in the foothills northeast of Ashland. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports the Dead Indian Memorial Road Fire is now 100% lined and has been GPS-mapped at 43 acres. At midnight last night, it was estimated to be more than 100 acres. The cause is under investigation. According to ODF, the fire was first reported at 10:15 p.m. in the 5400-block of Dead Indian Memorial Road. However, when firefighters arrived and began working, it was determined to be closer to the 4500-block. Numerous engines from ODF Southwest, Jackson County Fire District #5 and Ashland Fire-Rescue responded initially. More resources were quickly ordered including three 20-person hand crews, one 10-person crews, three engines and a bulldozer. Rogue Valley Strike Team #1 composed of resources from Josephine County was dispatched as well. Additional resources were ordered for today. Six 20-person crews, six engines, four water tenders, two bulldozers and two tree-fallers are assigned to the fire today. Firefighters will work to strengthen and further secure lines as well as begin mopping up and extinguishing hot spots. Difficult weather conditions will be working against firefighters including high temperatures well over 100, low relative humidity and winds. Dead Indian Memorial Road is currently closed near the fire due to a large amount of firefighting personnel and equipment in the area. ODF was working to open one lane of the road with a pilot vehicle this morning and the agency was anticipating the road to be fully-opened by the end of the dayshift if progress continues. No homes have been threatened and no evacuations were ordered.
Posted on 7/5/24 11:12AM by Sam Marsh
Read more