Local News

National Weather Service Posts More Powerful Winter Storm Warning for Southwest Oregon
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Winter weather is heading for southwest Oregon again -- and this time it's packing a more powerful punch. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Warning for the region above 2,000 feet from 1 a.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday. Heavy snow and blowing snow are expected above 2,000 feet in Josephine, Jackson, eastern Douglas and eastern Curry counties. Total accumulations of up to 12 inches is expected, with up to 24 inches possible over the highest terrain. Winds could gust up to 50 miles per hour. Affected areas include the foothills of the Cascade, Siskiyou and Klamath mountains. Affected roadways include portions of Interstate 5 and Highways 62, 140, 199 and 227. Travel could be very difficult to impossible due to the weather conditions. Blowing snow could cause whiteout conditions. Significant winter weather impacts are possible for the Interstate 5 passes between Grants Pass and Canyonville if snow levels are only 100 to 200 feet lower than expected. The most likely time for this to occur will be Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening. Travel is strongly discouraged because of dangerous conditions. If you must travel, keep tire chains, a flashlight, blankets, food, water, medications and a fully-charged phone with you. The safest place during a winter storm is indoors.
Posted on 1/8/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Officers & Firefighters Started 2024 with Strong Community Protection Effort
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Grants Pass police officers and firefighters started 2024 the same way they finished 2023 -- working hard to protect the community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 659 calls for service along with 232 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 40 arrests, 36 citations 34 warnings and six highly-intoxicated people being lodged at the Sobering Center. Cubic also reported that officers conducted a total of 104 traffic stops in the city and made 17 referrals to the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 89 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting six people, citing 32 more and warning 30 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 19 individuals, posted 63 transient camps and cleared trash from 28 campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 97 calls last week including 36 for emergency medical service, two for reports of fire or smoke, nine lift assists, five rescue situations, five assists to other agencies and three false alarms.
Posted on 1/8/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh

Sign Up for 'Dolly Parton's Imagination Library' through Josephine Community District
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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has a local presence through a partnership with the Josephine Community Library District. Sign up your child to receive a free age-appropriate book in the mail each month. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book-gifting program that mails free books to children. All children under the age of 5 living in Josephine County qualify to receive a book by mail -- at no cost to their families -- every month until their 5th birthday. Since launching the Imagination Library in May 2018, more than 4,500 Josephine County children have received over 120,000 books. A diverse batch of books is selected for each age group including bilingual books in English and Spanish, with options for Braille and audiobooks. Register your children for free online or stop by your nearest library branch in Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Williams or Wolf Creek during open hours and fill out a paper form. Use your residential address to sign up. For more details, visit "josephinelibrary.org," e-mail "info@josephinelibrary.org" or call (541)-476-0571.
Posted on 1/8/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Collared Man at Gospel Rescue Mission Wanted for 2 Sex Crimes
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a local warrant for felony-level sex crimes this week. The Police Department reports officers arrested 21-year-old Caden John Morrison at the Gospel Rescue Mission on Wednesday afternoon. Police identified Morrison as an unhoused person who had recently moved into the local mission. They said the mission did not know that he was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for two counts of 1st-Degree Sex Abuse. No details about the crimes were provided by the local law enforcement agency. Caden Morrison was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and he was being held in lieu of posting $250,000 bail.
Posted on 1/6/24 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine County Man Incarcerated for Allegedly Stealing Multiple Vehicles
A Josephine County man has been jailed for multiple counts of vehicle theft. Josephine County Jail records show 37-year-old Kacy Kyle McCaulay was arrested by the Grants Pass Police Department on Thursday. No information about the investigation that led to McCaulay's arrest was available, but he was booked into jail on five counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle plus single counts of 1st-Degree Burglary and 1st-Degree Theft. All are felonies. Kacy McCaulay remained lodged in jail on Friday and was being held without bail.
Posted on 1/6/24 6:04AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Firefighters Snuffed Out Friday Morning Dumpster Fire in Downtown Area
Grants Pass firefighters extinguished a dumpster fire in the downtown area early yesterday. On Friday at 1:20 a.m., Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and the Grants Pass Police Department responded to the reported trash fire in the 400-block of SE 7th Street. GPPD arrived first and reported a fully-involved dumpster with no extension to nearby buildings or other objects. Engine 7328 from the Parkway Station arrived and quickly extinguished the blaze. The cause of the fire was under investigation. Officials said dumpster fires can be challenging for firefighters as many discarded items are hazardous when burning. In addition, dumpsters are often placed next to buildings, causing them to catch on fire as well. Fire prevention tips include avoiding smoking near dumpsters to deter placing hot discarded cigarettes inside the dumpster, keeping dumpsters at least 10 feet away from buildings when possible, and implementing security measures such as surveillance cameras or fencing to deter arson and unauthorized access.
Posted on 1/6/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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IVFD Units Responded Friday to First Structure Fire of 2024 on Krauss Lane
The Illinois Valley Fire District responded to its first structure fire of 2024 early yesterday. On Friday at 7:09 a.m., IVFD, Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported barn on fire in the 100-block of Krauss Lane. Upon arrival, officials said crews encountered an issue with a blocked driveway. However, they were able to make entry by stretching out a hose line to extinguish the burning barn. There were no injuries reported to humans or animals. IVFD Chief John Holmes said the fire was overhauled and crews will come back for re-inspections to ensure no fire is present. The cause was under investigation. Holmes said the Rural Metro engine was cancelled and it covered the district while the scene was active.
Posted on 1/6/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation to Meet Tuesday Morning
The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation (RVACT) will meet virtually next Tuesday morning. The 9 a.m. meeting is open to the public and time will be set aside for input. RVACT meetings are held to discuss state transportation projects and issues in Jackson and Josephine counties. Tuesday's agenda includes an Intercity Network presentation, ACT work plan discussion for future meetings, advisory committee guidance training, a Connect Oregon presentation, construction project updates and regional updates. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities and alternate forms of printed materials are available upon request. Please call the statewide relay at 7-1-1 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Posted on 1/6/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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Jackson County Sheriff's Office Adds Officer & Dog to Local K-9 Unit in 2024
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office welcomes a new K-9 officer to its ranks in 2024. K-9 Sjeffie (Sheffie) is a 2-1/2-year-old male Dutch Shepherd who recently graduated from a five-week training along with his handler, Deputy Ridout. Deputy Ridout reported K-9 Sjeffie is very smart and learns quickly. The dog did very well in handler school which included daily physical training, canine care, tracking, building searches, obedience, legal parameters and case law, and apprehension training. At the end of handler school, Deputy Ridout and Sjeffie passed the Oregon Police Canine Association (OPCA) standardized certification. Ridout said his long-term goal was becoming a K-9 Handler during his six years in law enforcement. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit now has four full-time patrol teams, ensuring 24/7 coverage for the community. All four patrol dogs come from the same local breeders and trainers -- Dutch Canine and Emma Delacruz.
Posted on 1/6/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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Authorities Collared Level 3 Sex Offender for Attempting Contact with Teen Girl
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Authorities have arrested a Level 3 Sex Offender for writing a letter to a teenage girl. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday received a report that 44-year-old Uriah Shawn Strauss of Roseburg sent a letter to a juvenile at a local high school, which outlined his desire to strike up a romantic relationship with a teenage female student. Strauss was located at the Roseburg Rescue Mission where he was interviewed and taken into custody for Attempted Unlawful Contact with a Child. He was lodged at the Douglas County Jail. The Sheriff's Office previously notified citizens in southwest Oregon that Strauss was sending letters that were filled with sexually explicit content, causing alarm and apprehension regarding personal safety to various women across the region. Lieutenant Brad O'Dell said the agency is renewing its request to anyone who has received a similar letter from Strauss -- especially anyone under the age of 18 -- to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at (541)-440-4450. O'Dell said they believe Strauss has likely attempted contact with other juveniles. He said it is important that they hear from anyone who Strauss has contacted or attempted to contact.
Posted on 1/6/24 5:50AM by Sam Marsh
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Winter Storm Warning in Effect for SW Oregon and NW California Until Late Tonight
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Travel in the upper elevations of southwest Oregon and northwest California could be dangerous today. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Warning above 2,500 feet that runs until 10 o'clock tonight. Snow is expected above 2,500 feet, with total accumulations of five to 10 inches and winds gusting as high as 35 miles per hour. Affected areas include the foothills of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains, and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Affected roadways include portions of Interstate 5 along with Highways 62, 140, 199 and 227. Travel could be very difficult with snow-covered roadways and reduced visibility. Travel is strongly discouraged during the warning period because of dangerous driving conditions. However, if you must travel, keep tire chains, a flashlight, blankets, food, water, medications and a fully-charged phone with you. A Winter Storm Warning means that severe winter weather is likely and poses a threat to life and property. The safest place during a winter storm is indoors. For updated road conditions, visit "tripcheck.com."
Posted on 1/6/24 5:48AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Economic Development Presents at Soroptimist International Gathering
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The Grants Pass Economic Development Department presented this week at the monthly meeting of Soroptimist International of River Valley. Soroptimist International is a civic organization of multi-generational women who develop community service programs and provide educational scholarships. Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic said the presentation provided information on city goals and how they relate to economic development. Members inquired about filling empty storefronts in the downtown area and continuation of citywide events such as 4th of July, Art Along the Rogue and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Meanwhile, Grants Pass staff members visited several potential locations for a temporary Downtown Welcome Center this week. The building at the corner of 6th and G streets will be under construction for remodeling beginning in February.
Posted on 1/6/24 5:45AM by Sam Marsh
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