Local News

Wyden and Colleagues Call for Federal Funding to Support Rural Businesses
US Senator Ron Wyden has joined his colleagues in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure federal investment for small businesses in rural Oregon and nationwide through the Rural Development Grant Program. The senators wrote: "Since launching in 2015, Rural Business Development Grant Program (RBDG) funding has provided support for planning, technical assistance, job training and other business development needs in rural areas of all 50 states." They added: "Small businesses provide the majority of jobs in rural communities, yet often have less access to credit and capital when compared to urban areas." The senators requested $37 million for the RBDG. This program specifically supports the development and growth of rural small and emerging businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. The senators concluded: "Investing in our rural businesses ensures that communities in every corner of the country can continue to thrive and cultivate a strong local economy."
Posted on 7/4/24 8:54AM by Sam Marsh
 

Authorities Seek Public Assistance in Locating Missing Girl from Grants Pass
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UPDATE: MAKENA BESSETTE WAS LOCATED BY THE EUGENE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND RETURNED TO HER MOTHER.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in locating a missing girl from Grants Pass. The Sheriff's Office reports 12-year-old Makena Bessette was last seen at her residence on East Jones Creek Road. Her mother returned home and found that she had packed a bag of belongings and left some time that afternoon. Bessette did not give any indication she was leaving or where she may have gone. She has friends in the Eugene area and her mother believes she may have tried to hitchhike there. There was a confirmed sighting of the girl in Eugene on Wednesday, and the Sheriff's Office has since received information that she could be traveling to California with another female and male. Bessette is described as a white female, 5-feet-3-inches tall and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Makena Bessette is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 7/4/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
 

IMET Task Force Busts Shady Cove Black Market Pot Grow at Former School
The Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) raided an illegal black market cannabis grow at an old schoolhouse near Shady Cove this week. IMET detectives served a search warrant at the grow site in the 20,400-block of Sawyer Road on Tuesday. The property was once the site of a school, but it was modified to grow marijuana. During execution of the warrant, IMET seized 1,108 illegal marijuana plants, 3.5 grams of cocaine, four firearms and $1,600 in cash. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling or processing at this location. Jackson County Code Enforcement responded to the scene and issued citations totaling $13,000 for violations related to unpermitted construction, failure to obtain approval for marijuana production and camping vehicles used as dwellings. IMET was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and Medford Police Department. No arrests were made, but the investigation is ongoing with detectives working additional leads.
Posted on 7/4/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Woman Seriously Injured after Being Struck by 2 Vehicles on RR Highway
A Grants Pass woman was seriously injured this week when she was struck by two vehicles on Rogue River Highway near Morrison Centennial Park. Grants Pass Police and emergency personnel were dispatched to the vehicle versus pedestrian accident in the 1,000-block of Highway 99 late Tuesday night. Police said the female victim unlawfully entered the south side of the highway and ran across the travel lanes where she was struck by one vehicle and then grazed by a second vehicle while she was down. They said she was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center where the trauma system was activated. An investigation determined the woman was at fault and she was issued a citation for Pedestrian with Improper Position on a State Highway at the hospital. No word on her medical condition today. One of the drivers who struck the woman was cited for Driving While Suspended.
Posted on 7/4/24 6:03AM by Sam Marsh
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Large Vehicle Fire near CJ Prompted Response of IVFD, ODF & Sheriff's Office
A large vehicle fire in the Illinois Valley this week prompted the response of three local agencies. Late Tuesday night, the Illinois Valley Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry and Josephine County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the fire at the Mine Trail Campfire Lookout which is located at a dead end off Oregon and West 6th streets in Cave Junction. IVFD officials said the vehicle fire jumped the road and spread into blackberries and nearby brush. They said the blaze was quickly extinguished and mopped up. The cause of the fire was under investigation. Due to the Wildland Up-Staffing Grant from the Oregon State Fire Marshal, officials said they are able to have more personnel on scene during fire season.
Posted on 7/4/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Independence Day Celebration Set for Today at Josephine County Courthouse
Former President Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." A special celebration of Independence Day will take place today on the steps of the Josephine County Courthouse in Grants Pass. The program is sponsored by the Josephine County Republican Party and the Josephine County Republican Women. It starts at 11 a.m.. There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by the singing of patriotic songs. An Independence Day meal will be served at noon at the GOP Headquarters across 6th Street from the Courthouse. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.
Posted on 7/4/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Fire Officials Announce Rules and Safety Tips for Fireworks Use Inside City Limits
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Grants Pass Fire & Rescue wants everyone to enjoy their Independence Day celebrations safely -- especially in the current Excessive Heat Warning. Only Oregon-safe fireworks are allowed within the city limits of Grants Pass today between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. only. Fireworks are not allowed in the area west of NW Highland Avenue and Dimmick Street, the area north of Interstate 5, all city parks and all public schools. Firefighters will be patrolling and issuing citations. Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt said the use of any fireworks is prohibited in the city when the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fire Weather Zone 620. To safely enjoy fireworks in Grants Pass, you can attend the public display at Reinhart Volunteer Park tonight. If you choose to set off fireworks at home, please follow some important safety steps. Never give fireworks to small children and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable vegetation. Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Keep a supply of water close by. Ensure the person lighting the fireworks always wears eye protection. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a "dud." Keep pets indoors this evening as exposure to fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma. Many pets are fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented.
Posted on 7/4/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue River-Siskiyou Forest will Increase Fire Danger Level to "High" on Friday
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The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is increasing the fire danger level to "high" on all five of its ranger districts on Friday. Starting at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, the local forest is also raising the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to "2." Acting Fire & Aviation Staff Officer Jeremy Delack said the current heatwave associated with critical fire weather conditions over the holiday weekend and beyond requires extreme caution on everyone's part to prevent wildland fires. The Forest currently has nine engines, five hand crews, two heavy helicopters, one bulldozer and the Medford Air Tanker Base where both the large air tanker and the very large air tanker ramps are operational. In addition, the Dutchman, Halls Points and Rustler lookouts are staffed. Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 is also known as "partial hoot owl," which allows power saws, cable yarding and blasting, welding or cutting of metal between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time. Public use restrictions are already in place along the Wild and Scenic Rogue River and Stage 1 Public Use Restrictions are in place across the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Posted on 7/4/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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Board of Commissioners Once Again Delays Sale of Pipe Fork Property near Williams
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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners once again delayed the sale of the Pipe Fork property near Williams during its weekly business session yesterday. The Board was scheduled to approve a purchase and sale agreement with The Conservation Fund and a contribution agreement with the Williams Community Forest Project valued at just over $2.3 million for the 320-acre forested property. Commissioner Herman Baertschiger made a motion to table consideration of the agreements because the Board recently received some new information from the Bureau of Land Management and he wanted more time to review it. The motion passed unanimously. County Legal Counsel Wally Hicks said the Board is facing a deadline to sign the sale agreement because funding won't be available after July 15th. He said the final contract must be signed by August 15th. In the public comment period, the Board heard complaints from two Williams residents about the Pipe Fork sale delays that may ultimately jeopardize the transaction which has been years in the making.
Posted on 7/4/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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Commissioners Once Again Delay Sale of Pipe Fork Property near Williams
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners once again delayed the sale of the Pipe Fork property near Williams during its weekly business session this morning. The Board was scheduled to approve a purchase and sale agreement with The Conservation Fund and a contribution agreement with the Williams Community Forest Project valued at just over $2.3 million for the 320-acre forested property. Commissioner Herman Baertschiger made a motion to table consideration of the agreements because the Board recently received some new information from the Bureau of Land Management and he wanted more time to review it. The motion passed unanimously. County Legal Counsel Wally Hicks said the Board is facing a deadline to sign the sale agreement because funding won't be available after July 15th. He said the final contract must be signed by August 15th. In the public comment period, the Board heard complaints from two Williams residents about the Pipe Fork sale delays that may jeopardize the transaction, which has been years in the making. Other public comments included a complaint against an unnamed Board member for his conduct at a recent meeting and promotion of the Independence Day Celebration at the Courthouse tomorrow. The meeting opened with a presentation from the Illinois Valley Soil & Water Conservation District regarding its Agricultural Water Quality Monitoring Program.
Posted on 7/3/24 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Glendale Man for Violating Court Order by Harassing Wife
Grants Pass Police jailed a Glendale man yesterday for twice violating a court order by harassing his estranged wife. The Police Department reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1800-block of Rogue River Highway on Tuesday around 9:45 a.m.. Police said the 21-year-old male subject is the respondent in an active restraining order where his spouse is the protected party. They said the subject violated the court order by contacting the woman at her residence twice on Saturday in order to harass and intimidate her. According to the report, the man threw eggs and watermelon on a friend's vehicle in one of the incidents. The victim showed police pictures of the vandalism. Officers contacted the suspect via phone and he agreed to meet them at the police station where he was placed into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation and he was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/3/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Jailed Man for Violating Court Order by Contacting Grandmother
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for violating a court order by contacting his grandmother at a home located south of Grants Pass this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the 6100-block of Cloverlawn Drive on Tuesday at about 9 a.m.. Deputies said they had responded to a similar call regarding the 27-year-old male subject the day before, but there were unable to find him. Turns out he had hidden himself in a small room in the house that serves as his grandmother's bedroom. According to the report, the grandmother let the man inside the house without her husband's permission. She is protected from her grandson by a court order. When deputies returned yesterday, they searched the residence and located the suspect hiding in the same room. He was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Contempt of Court-Restraining Order Violation. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/3/24 11:17AM by Sam Marsh
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