Local News

GP Police Snared Woman for Five Crimes after Violent Theft Try at Safeway
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for multiple crimes yesterday after she tried to steal from a downtown supermarket and hit an employee who stopped her. The Police Department reports officers responded to the shoplifting incident at the Safeway on SE 7th Street at about 11:35 a.m. Wednesday. Police said 54-year-old Amanda Marie Ahulau entered Safeway, put $280 worth of groceries in a cart and tried to push the cart out of the store without paying. Ahulau was stopped by an employee and she struck the worker several times in the back while demanding return of the stolen items. She eventually left the store and temporarily entered the passenger side of a customer's vehicle before exiting. Amanda Ahulau had been previously trespassed from Safeway. She was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Robbery, 2nd-Degree Theft, Harassment, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and Criminal Trespass. She was still in custody this morning.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:24AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Nabbed 3 People for Stealing from Walmart in Separate Incidents
Grants Pass Police arrested three people in two separate shoplifting incidents at Walmart before noon yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. when officers arrested 38-year-old Elizabeth Ellen Fox at the store on NE Terry Lane. Police said Fox proceeded past all points of sale with about $78 worth of female clothing items. They said she admitted to not scanning all the items in her cart prior to leaving the store. She was charged with 3rd-Degree Theft and lodged in jail. A charge of 2nd-Degree Theft was referred to the District Attorney's Office for a prior theft this week when she was observed using the same method. The second incident happened on Wednesday at 11:04 a.m. when officers arrested 43-year-old Jerimiah Scott Ballard and 31-year-old Shanae Alysse Cleveland for stealing from Walmart. Police said Ballard and Cleveland past all points of sale with nearly $370 worth of stolen items. They were detained by loss prevention and held until officers arrived on scene to place them into custody. Both were jailed for 2nd-Degree Theft.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Motorist for Impaired Driving after Hit & Run Complaint
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving yesterday following a complaint about a hit-and-run collision in the south part of the city. According to the Police Department, a motorist who claimed to have been struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe near the intersection of Williams Highway and Harbeck Road came to the agency lobby to file the complaint on Wednesday shortly before 1 p.m.. Police said the victim told them the suspect struck his Ford Explorer near the South Middle School football field and fled the scene. Fellow motorists had witnessed the crash and followed the suspect to the 400-block of West Harbeck Road. Officers responded and found Matthew Piggott out of his vehicle, on the ground and displaying extreme indicators of impairment. Field sobriety tests were not possible, so a search warrant was obtained and Piggot was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw that documented strong inebriation. Piggott was cited to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and released to the care of hospital staff. A charge of Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage was referred to the District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 1/18/24 11:20AM by Sam Marsh

Local Deputies Assisted US Marshals Service with Capture of California Felon
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office assisted the United States Marshals Service with capturing a California fugitive in the Grants Pass area yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies and marshals arrested 28-year-old Chance Nicholas Lopez in Grants Pass on Wednesday. On January 12th, the Sheriff's Office was contacted by a law enforcement agency in California regarding the wanted subject who was believed to be living in the Wolf Creek area. Deputies and US Marshals conducted research and surveillance to learn about Lopez's regular routine. Based on the information that Lopez could be armed, Detective Sergeant Heinrich said an operational plan was created to take him into custody. Chance Lopez was placed into custody without incident in an industrial area on the outskirts of Grants Pass. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on California warrants for Armed Robbery, Attempted Carjacking and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime. He was being held without bail pending extradition back to California.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:41AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Collared State Fugitive during Redwood Highway Patrol
Grants Pass Police captured a fugitive wanted on a statewide felony warrant during a patrol check on Redwood Highway early yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers arrested 38-year-old Ciera Michelle Lokken in the 200-block of US Highway 199 at 4:11 a.m. Wednesday. Police said they spotted Lokken sleeping the backseat of a parked vehicle at that location and they knew she was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Felony Patrol Violation stemming from a previous conviction for a weapons offense. Ciera Lokken was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Police Jailed Man for Probation Violation after Traffic Stop near Shopping Mall
Police arrested a man for violating terms of his probation this week after a traffic stop near the Grants Pass Shopping Center. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a Volkswagen Jetta driven by 24-year-old Travis James Head near the corner of NE D Street and Beacon Drive late Tuesday night. Police said they stopped Head due to his poor driving skills while using a clutch in vehicle. They said it was apparent he had little experience operating a vehicle with manual transmission. Officers contacted Head's corrections officer who opted to detain his client. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Probation Violation and was being held on a no-bail detainer. Jail records show he has been arrested four times since May 8th.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh
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NW GP Businesses Evacuated after Hazardous Materials Left at Disposal Yard
Grants Pass Police evacuated some businesses in the northwest part of the city this week after hazardous materials were discarded at a waste disposal yard. The Police Department reports officers and firefighters responded to the haz-mat incident at Republic Services in the 1900-block of NW Washington Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon. Police officers and firefighters from the Hillcrest Station arrived on scene, started evacuating nearby businesses and assessing the situation. Once it was determined to be an extremely flammable substance, the Medford Fire Department Hazmat Team was called in to assist with identification of the substance and next steps. The situation was resolved within two hours and all emergency units cleared the scene. Authorities advise residents to always seek appropriate disposal methods for any hazardous materials.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Homeless Man for Turning City Property into Garbage Heap
Grants Pass Police arrested a homeless man early yesterday for turning a city-owned property into a giant trash heap. The Police Department reports officers responded to an ordinance violation at an illegal campsite near the corner of NE Agness Avenue and SE Gladiola Drive on Wednesday around 4:30 a.m.. Police said they contacted 45-year-old Daniel Beier at his encampment. They said the man had accumulated an immense amount of refuse including bicycle parts, discarded clothing and hazardous waste which he had thrown onto the ground, into the trees and into a nearby waterway. An extensive site cleanup will be required. Beier refused to speak to officers and he was placed into custody. He was taken to the nearby Josephine County Jail where he was booked for Offensive Littering and 3rd-Degree Criminal Mischief. More charges are pending further investigation. He was also trespassed from all city and railroad properties.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Investigating Hit & Run Crash that Damaged Fence along Riverbanks Road
The Oregon State Police was investigating a hit-and-run crash that damaged a fence on Riverbanks Road last weekend. OSP reports troopers responded to the crash in the 3500-block of State Route 260 on Sunday morning. Troopers said the property owner stated a small pickup truck crashed through their fence and fled the scene. The reporting party -- a 51-year-old Grants Pass woman -- was unable to provide any further details about the suspect vehicle. Photographs were taken of the damaged fence and the reporting party was given a crash report. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is encouraged to dial *OSP.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Sheriff's Office Participating in Special Olympics Fundraiser
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is gearing up for the 2024 Polar Plunge that benefits Special Olympics Oregon. "Team Belly Floppers" is once again plunging for a purpose in what has become one of their favorite events supporting one of their favorite organizations. Special Olympics Oregon enriches the lives of thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Josephine County and the state through the power of sports. Last year, the Sheriff's Office team raised $4,200 for Special Olympics. This year, they've upped their goal to $7,500. If you would like to donate to "Team Belly Floppers," here is the link: 'support.soor.org/team/534673." You can donate to the team as a whole or pick your favorite flopper.
Posted on 1/18/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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Commissioners Approved Library Annexations and Set Date for Hearing on Fee Changes
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved five annexations to the local library district during its weekly business session on Wednesday. Prior to a public hearing on the annexations, the Board voted to lift a 60-day moratorium on all annexations and withdrawals pertaining to the Josephine Community Library District. The library district has filed a lawsuit allowing the annexations to move forward, but preventing the Commissioners from approving any more withdrawal petitions. The state has rejected the lone approved petition. Board Vice-Chair Herman Baertschiger voted in favor of lifting the moratorium, but said he had some reservations because "we are not through with this process." He said Oregon statutes pertaining to special districts are antiquated and need to be revised. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Board approved setting a date for a public hearing on fee changes for the Animal Shelter and Recreation Department for Wednesday, January 31st at 9 a.m.. The Commissioners approved a proclamation declaring Sunday, January 21st, to be "Sanctity of Human Life and Respect for Life Day." The proclamation was received by Steve Raycraft of Josephine County Right Life who said there would not be a March for Life in Grants Pass this Sunday. A march will be held in May.
Posted on 1/18/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Dutch Bros Plans to Move Some Corporate Functions from GP Headquarters to Arizona
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Oregon drive-thru chain Dutch Bros plans to move some of its corporate functions from its headquarters in Grants Pass to an office near Phoenix, Arizona, closer to its fastest-growing markets in the southern and southwestern United States. The Oregonian reports Dutch Bros' headquarters will remain in Southern Oregon, but the company's new CEO Christine Barone will live in Arizona. That's where she worked before Dutch Bros hired her last year. Dutch Bros said it will shift 40% of its support staff to Phoenix, relocating some positions from Oregon and hiring in Arizona to fill other positions. The company said it hasn't determined just how many jobs will move to Arizona and cannot be more specific because it's in a regulatory quiet period before the release of its fourth-quarter financial results. Dutch Bros founder and chairman Travis Boersma said, "Grants Pass is always going to be home. Our roasting plant is here. We'll have offices here. A large portion of our people are going to stay here." He said he will continue living in Grants Pass and still considers Dutch Bros to be an Oregon company. Dutch Bros finished last year with 831 shops in 16 states. It's expanding rapidly in Texas and Oklahoma, with plans to push into Florida and it expects to have nearly 1,000 locations by the end of 2024.
Posted on 1/18/24 5:52AM by Sam Marsh
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