Local News

Grants Pass Salvation Army Offering Free Guitar Classes for Youth 7 and Older
The Salvation Army in Grants Pass is excited to announce the launch of free guitar classes for youth over the age of seven. The program -- made possible through the generosity of the Carpenter Foundation, Arthur R. Dubs Foundation and local supporters of the Salvation Army -- aims to provide a creative and enriching musical experience for youth in the community. The free guitar classes will not only include expert instruction but also provide participants with the use of instruments during the program. This initiative reflects the Salvation Army's commitment to fostering talent, creativity and personal development among young individuals in Grants Pass. Captain Corrin Perry is the dedicated instructor for the classes and is passionate about sharing the joy of music while believing in the positive impact it can have on young minds. The new program was kicked off recently so interested individuals are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to secure their spot. Call (541)-955-1017 for more information and to secure your spot as space is limited.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh

Southern California Man Jailed for Stealing Guns from GP Store Faces Total of 25 Crimes
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A Southern California man jailed last week for stealing firearms from a store on Redwood Highway in Grants Pass has been charged with a total of 25 crimes. On Friday afternoon, a Grants Pass Police SWAT team arrested 27-year-old Antone Wayne Bayard when he tried to run from a rental home on Willow Lane. A GPPD investigation revealed that Bayard had broken into a firearms retail store in the 200-block of Highway 199 last Wednesday evening. Responding officers discovered the front doors of the business had been smashed open and multiple guns had been stolen. Video surveillance showed the suspect used a pickup truck to break through the doors and the suspect quickly gathered guns before fleeing. A GPPD School Marshal advised detectives he had seen a subject matching the description at a local grocery store the day of the break-in. That led to the suspect's identification and subsequent arrest. It was also discovered that the suspect was wanted on a Riverside County, California, fugitive warrant for Parole Violation. After Bayard's arrest, detectives from GPPD, OSP, Medford Police, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement, the US Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives served a search warrant on the Willow Lane rental and seized at least 10 firearms stolen from the Grants Pass store.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh

ODF Southwest District Recruiting Workers for Upcoming 2024 Summer Fire Season
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The Southwest District of the Oregon Department of Forestry has begun recruiting for multiple positions for the 2024 fire season even though the danger is still a few months away. ODF Southwest is looking for experienced firefighters, entry-level firefighters, detection specialists and dispatchers totaling approximately 130 jobs in Josephine and Jackson counties. These seasonal positions usually span from June through October. However, the duration may vary depending on weather and fuel conditions in Southern Oregon. Both Grants Pass and Medford offices are actively recruiting. Benefits include medical, dental and vision health coverage and paid holidays as well as personal business, vacation and sick leave. The deadline to apply for all positions is May 30th, but interviews will take place starting in early March. Applying early is highly encouraged. Job descriptions and applications can be found at "swofire.com." For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry, please call the Grants Pass Unit at (541)-474-3152, or the Medford Unit at (541)-664-3328.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:12AM by Sam Marsh

National Weather Service Posts Wind Advisory for Parts of SW Oregon Starting Today
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Strong winds are expected in parts of southwest Oregon through tomorrow. The National Weather Service has posted a Wind Advisory for Douglas, Josephine and eastern Curry counties that runs from 1 p.m. today through 7 p.m. Wednesday. Southeast winds from 20 to 30 miles per hour and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected in the advisory areas. The biggest impacts will affect areas of Douglas County above 2,000 feet. This includes portions of Interstate 5 near Canyon Creek Pass, Highway 138 and the communities of Steamboat, Toketee Falls and Azalea. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Secure outdoor objects and prepare for the potential loss of electricity. Motorists are urged to use extra caution when driving in these areas, especially if they are operating a high-profile vehicle like a commercial truck or an RV.
Posted on 1/30/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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Weekend Theft Incident in West GP Led to Arrest of Felon for Weapons & Drugs
A weekend shoplifting incident in west Grants Pass led to the arrest of a local felon for weapon, drug and probation violations. Grants Pass police officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 44-year-old Christopher Michael Owens at the Dollar General on SW Bridge Street around 9:45 p.m. Friday. Police said Owens was contacted while stealing approximately $30 worth of sticky wall tiles from Dollar General. They said the suspect had been arrested before for stealing from the store. A female accomplice was detained, but not arrested. Owens was placed into custody and a consent search found him to be in possession of two stolen firearms and a substantial amount of fentanyl. The guns and drug were seized as evidence. Christopher Owens was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Felony Possession of Fentanyl, 3rd-Degree Theft and Probation Violation related to past theft arrests. He was being held on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:56AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Felony Robbery after WinCo Shoplifting Incident
Grants Pass Police reminded a woman that when you use force during a shoplifting incident, it becomes a felony. The Police Department reports officers arrested 42-year-old Heather May Jameson at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Friday at 6:51 p.m.. Police said Jameson selected around $79 worth of merchandise and bypassed all points of sale without attempting to pay. When she was contacted by two agents from loss prevention, she tried to push past them in an attempt to flee. She also kicked at one of the agents, but did not connect. After Jameson was placed into custody, she was found to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine. She remained uncooperative with police. Heather Jameson was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 3rd-Degree Robbery, Misdemeanor 3rd-Degree Theft and the narcotics violation. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:55AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman for Shoplifting at Supermarket, But Man Got Away
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for stealing merchandise from a supermarket plus an outstanding warrant over the weekend. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at WinCo Foods on NE Terry Lane on Friday shortly before 9 p.m.. Police said 32-year-old Melia Lei Mitchell and an unidentified man entered the store, gathered over $200 in grocery items and passed all points of sale without paying. Loss prevention staff stopped Mitchell and detained her, but her male counterpart fled on foot and was not located. Mitchell was found to be wanted on a Douglas County warrant for Disorderly Conduct and Furnishing False Information to Police. She was lodged in jail on the warrant along with a new charge of 2nd-Degree Theft and trespassed from WinCo.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:54AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Young Man for Trying to Enter Patrol Vehicle near City Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a young man for trying to enter an occupied patrol vehicle near Baker Park at the start of the weekend. According to the Police Department, the incident involving 20-year-old Jackson David Sutton occurred Friday evening at the intersection of the Grants Pass Parkway and East Park Street. Police said an officer was stopped at a red light at the intersection when Sutton opened the passenger door to the patrol vehicle and attempted to enter unlawfully. They said he was quickly detained and arrested. He refused to identify himself, but was later identified because he was wearing a hospital bracelet on his wrist. Jackson Sutton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and Disorderly Conduct. News archives show he was arrested last week for vandalizing the north entrance of the Courthouse with a black marker.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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IVFD had Busy Start to Weekend with 3 Injury Crashes on Friday & Saturday
The Illinois Valley Fire District had a very busy start to the weekend with three motor vehicle accidents that resulted in injury between Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning. The first incident occurred on Friday at 2:51 p.m. when IVFD, American Medical Response and the Oregon State Police were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash into the water in the Kerby area. One person was transported to the hospital with injuries and their vehicle was towed. The second incident happened on Friday at 9:03 p.m. when IVFD, AMR and OSP were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision in the 100-block of North Redwood Highway in Cave Junction. One vehicle hit a parked vehicle, sending one person to the hospital. Jerry's Towing removed the damaged vehicles. The third incident took place on Saturday at 1:20 a.m. when IVFD, AMR and OSP responded to a single-vehicle rollover wreck in the 24,800-block of US Highway 199 in Kerby. Arriving units found the vehicle on its side and in a ditch. One person was transported to the hospital. Jerry's Towing removed the vehicle. OSP was investigating the cause of all three motor vehicle accidents.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:50AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Incarcerated Klamath Falls Man for Causing Chain-Reaction Crash on I-5
The Oregon State Police arrested a Klamath Falls man for causing a chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles on Interstate 5 in northern Josephine County. OSP reports troopers initially responded to a single-vehicle wreck in the south lanes of I-5 near milepost 79 on Saturday shortly after 7 p.m.. While troopers were responding, three other vehicles collided with the original vehicle since it was blocking the fast lane. Troopers said witnesses stated a BMW 330 driven by 44-year-old David Ray Hoy was speed-racing another vehicle in the heavy rain just before the crash. They said Hoy was found to have a suspended license. He was also arrested for two counts of Reckless Driving and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. The other involved motorists were identified as a 48-year-old Grants Pass man, a 64-year-old Grants Pass man and a 50-year-old Medford man. The incident was witnessed by a 34-year-old North Bend man. No one was injured, but all four vehicles were towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Troopers Netted 4 Motorists for DUII Over the Weekend in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police arrested four motorists for impaired driving over the weekend in Josephine County. According to OSP, the first incident occurred on Friday at 9:18 p.m. when state troopers and emergency crews responded to a two-vehicle crash at milepost 28.4 of Redwood Highway. A 61-year-old Kerby man was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center due to complaints of pain. The other driver -- 52-year-old Russell Eric Scott of Cave Junction -- was arrested for two counts each of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. The second incident happened on Friday at 10:51 p.m. when troopers pulled over a BMW driven by 26-year-old Benjamin Joseph Brickey of Grants Pass near the corner of Merlin Avenue and Pleasant Valley Road. Brickey was stopped for a traffic violation and showed signs of impairment. He performed poorly in field sobriety tests and provided a breath sample that was nearly twice the legal limit. The third incident took place on Friday at 11:05 p.m. when troopers pulled over a Chevrolet Malibu driven by 55-year-old David James Navarro of Myrtle Creek near milepost 66 of northbound Interstate 5. Navarro was stopped for multiple violations, he displayed signs of impairment, performed poorly in sobriety tests and provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal limit. The fourth incident occurred on Saturday at 1:21 a.m. when troopers responded to a single-vehicle rollover crash with an injury near milepost 27.5 of US Highway 199. An investigation determined that 43-year-old Gregory James Roland of Cave Junction was impaired when he lost control of his Jeep Cherokee.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:47AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Nabbed Motorist for DUII after She Wrecked Van on Redwood Avenue
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a motorist for impaired driving after she crashed her vehicle into a ditch just west of Grants Pass. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies and emergency crews responded to reports of a minivan in a ditch in the 4400-block of Redwood Avenue on Friday at about 8:45 p.m.. Deputies said 67-year-old Amy Lamachia wrecked her van into a ditch on the south side of the roadway and was not hurt. They said she displayed multiple signs of impairment and performed poorly in field sobriety tests. She then provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. Lamachia was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. Friends retrieved her belongings from the van, which was flagged for towing to the impound yard.
Posted on 1/29/24 10:44AM by Sam Marsh
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