Local News

Total Payroll Employment in Josephine County Rose in October and Since October 2022
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Total payroll employment in Josephine County rose by an estimated 60 jobs in October. According to the Oregon Employment Department, there were 34,706 people working in Josephine County last month for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 4.8%, which was up slightly from 4.7% in September. Private education & health services added 80 jobs over the month with a smaller gain of 20 jobs posted in professional & business services. On the other hand, leisure & hospitality shed 60 jobs in October. Government employment was little changed over the month. Local government education added 70 jobs while there were slight declines in federal government and local government excluding educational services. Over the past year, payroll employment in Josephine County rose by 250 jobs, a gain of 0.9%. However, local employment is still 340 jobs below the October 2019 total prior to the pandemic. Industries adding jobs since October 2022 included private education & health services, transportation, warehousing & utilities, and construction. Sectors with estimated losses over the year included retail trade, leisure & hospitality, and manufacturing.
Posted on 11/22/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

Chinese Diaspora Project Gets Award for Fed Partnerships in Historic Preservation
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The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management are proud to be partners in the Chinese Diaspora Project which just received the National Trust Advisory Council Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation. The Chinese Diaspora Project is a grassroots federal, state and local partnership initiated in underserved rural communities in southern and eastern Oregon. This trailblazing project is embedded in local communities, but includes an exceptional public education component that reaches a statewide audience and beyond. The research generated through public archaeology projects is helping to update and re-center the history of the Chinese Diaspora in Oregon. The term "Chinese overseas" is generally used to refer to the approximately 46 million ethnic Chinese living outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. While short episodes of Chinese migration can be traced back through history, the phenomenon generally referred to as "Chinese Diaspora" only dates back to the mid-19th century when many Chinese immigrants helped settle Southern Oregon.
Posted on 11/22/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh

GP Man Jailed for Roughing Up Mother at Redwood Area Home Last Weekend
A Grants Pass man was jailed yesterday for roughing up his mother last weekend. The Grants Pass Police Department reports 60-year-old Donald Lee Kinzel was arrested at 2:32 p.m. Monday for the incident that occurred at a home in the 1500-block of Sun Glo Drive on Sunday night. Police said Kinzel pushed his 80-year-old mother, causing her to fall and fracture her wrist. They said there was a history of abuse between the man and his mother, and that his mother was attempting to keep him inside the house so he would not leave to buy drugs when he pushed her. According to the report, Kinzel's niece called 9-1-1 to report the crime and she requested immediate law enforcement response or she "would take care of him" after she returned home from work. Officers said the female victim had her hand bandaged and she provided hospital release papers confirming the fractured wrist. Kinzel was placed into custody. Donald Kinzel was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony 2nd-Degree Assault. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 11/21/23 11:20AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed GP Man for Probation Violation after Allegedly Attacking Wife
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Grants Pass man for violating terms of his probation by allegedly attacking his wife last night. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the 3200-block of Pearce Park Road on Monday around 9 p.m.. Deputies said a male juvenile called 9-1-1 to report that his stepfather -- 39-year-old Anthony Jacob Yates -- assaulted his mother and made her bleed. The child whispered to dispatchers that he had blood on him, too. He also stated that his stepfather had been drinking. Upon arrival, deputies noted that the female victim had a black eye and was bleeding. However, she declined medical treatment. Yates was contacted while lying in bed and highly intoxicated. He was placed into custody without incident. Anthony Yates was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Probation Violation and he was being held on a no-bail detainer. Domestic assault charges were referred to the District Attorney's Office for consideration and prosecution.
Posted on 11/21/23 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man for Breaking into Gas Station Restroom & Staying Night
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for breaking into the restroom of a Williams Highway gas station and spending the night there. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint involving 57-year-old Lance Joseph Cardinal at the Chevron station in the 1500-block of Highway 238 on Monday around 7:30 a.m.. Police said a gas station attendant reported that Cardinal had slept in the restroom after forcing entry into the facility the night before. While inside the restroom, the suspect charged his cell phone. Cardinal was contacted as he was walking away from the station. He admitted to using a card to open the door so he could stay warm. The suspect's corrections officer was contacted and requested his client be placed on a no-bail detainer. Lance Cardinal was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for a felony charge of 2nd-Degree Burglary, a misdemeanor charge of Theft of Services and the resulting Probation Violation related to arrests for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Menacing, Criminal Mischief, Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass.
Posted on 11/21/23 11:18AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Woman for Using Tool to Steal Stroller & More from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman for using a tool to steal a baby stroller and other merchandise from Walmart yesterday. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint involving 39-year-old Rianna Kae Orcutt at the store on NE Terry Lane at about 1:15 p.m. Monday. Police said Orcutt used a set of bolt cutters to cut the cable lock off a child stroller inside Walmart. They said she then loaded the stroller with items from the store, passed all points of sale and exited the business without paying. The total value of the items was more than $1,136 and Orcutt had been trespassed from Walmart in April. The suspect was said to be under the influence of drugs and company policy prevents store workers from contacting impaired suspects, so police placed her into custody as she was loading the items into her vehicle. Rianna Orcutt was booked into the nearby Josephine County Jail for Felony 1st-Degree Theft, 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief and 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. The stolen merchandise was returned to Walmart and the bolt cutters were seized as evidence.
Posted on 11/21/23 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Resisting Arrest after Performing Welfare Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for resisting arrest after he was called in as a welfare check near an assisted living center along the Parkway early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to perform a welfare check on 21-year-old Ulises Leonel Saldivar in the 1300-block of Parkdale Drive near The Suites Assisted Living on Monday around 2:30 a.m.. Police said they contacted Saldivar while he was seated in a parked pickup in front of the Parkway Fire Station in the "Keep Clear" zone facing in the wrong direction. They said he was passed out in the driver's seat, with beer cans strewn about his vehicle. He refused to open the door and repeatedly tried to put his pickup in gear, even though it was not running. Despite receiving several orders in English and Spanish to open the door, Saldivar refused to do so and began looking for his keys. That's when an officer broke out the window and manually restrained the suspect until another officer arrived to assist with removing him from the pickup and placing him in handcuffs. Saldivar reportedly stated that he drank all the beer after arriving at the location. However, due to a 30-minute delay and no one actually seeing him drive, there was no probable cause for an impaired driving arrest. Ulises Saldivar was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Resisting Arrest and he was being held without bail. He was also cited for Stopping in a Roadway. His pickup was impounded as a hazard.
Posted on 11/21/23 11:15AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Motorist for Driving Onto and Damaging Construction Site
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for driving his vehicle onto a construction site and causing damage before fleeing the scene yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to a vandalism complaint at a construction site in the 1900-block of Cloverlawn Drive on Monday at 4:25 p.m.. Police said the property owner reported a male subject in a Chevrolet Silverado pickup drove onto his development, ran into the footing and stem walls, and got stuck. They said the suspect was rude to construction workers, refused to provide any information and left the scene as soon as he became unstuck. Officers tracked the suspect vehicle to a home on Saradan Lane where they contacted 75-year-old Michael John Blank. Blank admitted to driving onto the construction site and offered to pay for damages, which were more than $2,000. He also admitted to knowing that his driving privileges had been suspended. Michael Blank was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Driving While Revoked, Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief and Hit-and-Run Causing Property Damage.
Posted on 11/21/23 10:43AM by Sam Marsh
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Medford Police Jailed Man for Attempted Murder after Random Saturday Assault
Medford Police arrested a man for attempted murder after he randomly assaulted a woman near North Medford High School last weekend. On Saturday at 6:16 a.m., Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon (ECSO) began receiving calls about a disturbance on North Keene Way. Some of the callers reported a female screaming and a male assaulting the female. ECSO then received an immediate call from the involved male -- identified as 22-year-old Anthony Siple -- who told dispatchers he had just assaulted a woman and made somewhat incoherent statements. MPD officers arrived on scene within three minutes and the first responding officer contacted Siple as he was walking away from the scene with evidence that he had been involved in an assault. He was placed into custody immediately. Other officers located the 51-year-old female victim nearby seriously injured. Medical responders arrived and transported the victim to a nearby hospital where she was listed in critical condition. Anthony Siple was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Attempted Murder and 1st-Degree Assault. The investigation is ongoing, but MPD detectives believe that the suspect and victim were unknown to each other. The suspect used a blunt object during the assault and the object has been recovered. The female victim frequently made morning walks and lives in the area of the assault. Detectives are attempting to determine a motivation for the assault. Records indicate the suspect is homeless and from the Ashland area. He has had minor contacts with law enforcement in Jackson County over the past year including arrests for relatively minor crimes.
Posted on 11/21/23 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Reports Jacksonville Man Died in Friday Afternoon Crash on Highway 238
A Jackson County man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 238 late last week. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle crash on the highway near milepost 25 on Friday at 3:15 p.m.. OSP said a preliminary investigation indicates a Ford Aspire driven by 79-year-old Seaven James Wyatt of Jacksonville made a left turn onto Upper Applegate Road, crossing into the path of an eastbound Toyota Tacoma driven by 70-year-old Ramon Rios-Duran of Medford and causing a side-impact collision. Wyatt was transported to a local hospital where he was declared deceased. Rios-Duran suffered only minor injuries. Troopers said the highway was impacted for approximately 2-1/2 hours during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Applegate Valley Fire District, Mercy Flights and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Snared Man on Local Warrant after Fight at Wolf Creek General Store
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on an outstanding warrant after a weekend disturbance at the Wolf Creek General Store. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the reported disturbance involving 27-year-old Allen Totten Behrle at the store in the 300-block of Old Highway 99 on Sunday around 8:45 a.m.. Deputies said Behrle broke an item at the store and got into a fight with a worker who believed the suspect was "high on drugs." There was minimal damage and the employee requested the suspect be trespassed from the business. After contacting Behrle near the store, deputies discovered that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for Intimidation and Resisting Arrest. Allen Behrle was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant. He was also trespassed from the Wolf Creek General Store for one year.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Investigating Citizen Report of Person Jumping Off Robertson Bridge
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office was investigating a weekend report of a person jumping off Robertson Bridge into the Rogue River. On Friday at 9:49 p.m., the Sheriff's Office received a report about a person jumping off the bridge which is located near Merlin about 12 miles west of Grants Pass. Deputies said a citizen driving their vehicle across Robertson Bridge reported seeing a person dressed in all black clothing who jumped into the river. The age and gender of the person who jumped was unknown. Deputies responded to the area and searched for a person in or near the water. Rural Metro Fire Department and American Medical Response assisted with searching the area, but nobody was located. A Sheriff's Marine Deputy responded and checked the river by boat and was also unable to locate anyone. Anyone who has information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:56AM by Sam Marsh
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