Local News

ODF Investigating Cause of Wildfire on Placer Road in the Sunny Valley Area
The Oregon Department of Forestry found itself in the unusual position this week of battling a wildfire in the Sunny Valley area just two days before Thanksgiving. Rural Metro Fire Department reports that ODF crews were working late Tuesday to knock down a fire about four to five miles up Placer Creek Road. The fire was reported to be around 15 acres in size and it was not threatening any structures. ODF Southwest reached full containment by Tuesday night. Smoke from the fire may have been visible to residents in the Sunny Valley-Wolf Creek area. The cause of the fire was under investigation. The 2023 fire season has long been over, but officials remind people who live in southwest Oregon that they need to be concerned about fire all year long. Some fuel types that are shaded or protected from soaking rains may still remain drier than expected for this time of year. It takes a lot of moisture to penetrate larger fuels like logs that can carry flames to other fuels. Fog often sinks low in the valleys during high pressure systems that also produce sunshine in the higher elevations. While we are damp and cold from the fog, the mountains are exposed to sun and warmer weather which dries out fuels. It also reminds us to monitor our open burns and safeguard against them escaping.
Posted on 11/23/23 6:39AM by Sam Marsh

Ashland Police Prepare for 31st Annual Festival of Lights Celebration on Friday
The City of Ashland's 31st annual Festival of Lights Celebration takes place on Friday. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. in front of the Ashland Public Library and it will move west along East Main Street toward the Plaza. The Ashland Police Department said East Main Street between Gresham and Water streets will be closed from 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, and Lithia Way will be set up for two-way traffic needs within the downtown corridor during that time. APD hopes everyone will have a safe and enjoyable kickoff to the holiday season.
Posted on 11/23/23 6:37AM by Sam Marsh

Members of Sheriff's Office Recognized for Courage in Violent 2022 Rest Area Incident
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Four members of the Josephine County Sheriff's Office have been recognized for their courage during a violent incident at an Interstate 5 rest area that occurred last year. Every year, the Oregon Peace Officers Association presents awards to law enforcement personnel and citizens who have performed exemplary deeds or services on behalf of their communities.Josephine County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Watson received the Life Saving with Valor Award while Medal of Valor Awards were received by Deputy Gerald Bayard, Sergeant Craig Ricker and Undersheriff Travis Snyder for their professional and courageous actions. Deputy Tanner Sherrow was honored for his valor by the Josephine County Board of Commissioners earlier this year. Members of the Oregon State Police received valor awards as well. On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, Josephine County sheriff's deputies and state troopers responded to a call at the northbound Manzanita Rest Area. The situation was violent and turbulent, with citizens' lives being threatened along with the lives of responding law enforcement officers by a man armed with a pistol and semiautomatic rifle. The male suspect had already shot a female twice before law enforcement arrived. The situation ended with an exchange of gunfire and the suspect succumbed to his injuries. The female victim received medical care by law enforcement and survived.
Posted on 11/23/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh

Triple Impact: Pacific Power to Match Your Contributions to Oregon Energy Fund
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Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more. Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find they include an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program, customers can call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-(888)-221-7070 or visit "pacificpower.net." Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need within the same county in which the donor resides. This year, Pacific Power will match up to $144,000 in donations.
Posted on 11/23/23 6:28AM by Sam Marsh
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State Agency Offers Free Parking at Oregon State Parks on the Day after Thanksgiving
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The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites residents to head outside on the day after Thanksgiving. Popularly known as "Green Friday," the day after Thanksgiving has become a tradition for many families. State parks will once again waive day-use parking fees in the 24 parks that are open tomorrow and normally charge for parking. Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks. The waiver applies to the parks that charge $5 daily for parking. Fee parks include popular destinations such as Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, Silver Falls, Champoeg, LL Stub Stewart, Smith Rock and Milo McIver. A complete list of parks that require day-use parking permits is available online at "stateparks.oregon.gov." The fee waiver applies from open to close on Friday except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 4 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs through New Year's Eve.
Posted on 11/23/23 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Office Seeks Help Locating Man Whose Family Reported Him Missing

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is seeking public assistance in locating a man whose family has reported him missing. According to the Sheriff's Office, 45-year-old Eric Rossiter is a transient from the Cave Junction area -- although he has a history in Grants Pass. It is currently unknown if Rossiter is still in the area or who he may associated with. His family has not spoken with him in over one year. Rossiter is described as a white male adult, 5-feet-9-inches tall and 285 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Eric Rossiter is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123. Please reference Case #23-29092.
Posted on 11/22/23 2:29PM by Sam Marsh
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Troopers Collared Motorist for Parole Violation in Highway 238 Stop near Murphy
The Oregon State Police arrested a motorist on a local warrant for violating his post-prison supervision during a traffic stop on Williams Highway near Murphy this week. OSP reports troopers pulled over a GMC Sierra driven by 38-year-old Jason Allen Eldred of Spirit Lake, Idaho, near milepost 7 of Highway 238 on Monday evening. Troopers said they stopped Eldred for traffic violations and discovered that his driving privileges had been suspended in Oregon. They contacted his corrections officer who requested he be detained on a local warrant. Jason Eldred was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged for Felony Parole Violation and was being held without bail. His pickup was towed to a Grants Pass impound yard.
Posted on 11/22/23 10:52AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Jailed Man for Entering Unlocked Vehicle & Stealing CD Case
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for entering an unlocked vehicle and removing a CD case in the north part of the city early today. The Police Department reports officers responded to the incident at the Lucky Duck on NW 6th Street around 1:45 this morning. Police said an employee of the Lucky Duck reported a white male wearing a black sweatshirt and blue jeans entered her unlocked Toyota Camry and stole a CD case valued at about $25. The caller advised the suspect fled north on 6th Street. Officers searched the area and located 37-year-old Matthew Gary Beard at the nearby McDonalds restaurant. He was placed into custody after probable cause was established that he committed the crime. Matthew Beard was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and 3rd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail and he was also trespassed from the Lucky Duck.
Posted on 11/22/23 10:50AM by Sam Marsh
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Riverside Park Camper Arrested for Trespassing after Returning Before 30 Days
A Riverside Park camper was arrested for trespassing when he returned to the park after being excluded from the facility earlier this month. Grants Pass Police contacted 61-year-old Timothy Sern Teige on the west side of the city park during a patrol check around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police said Teige returned to Riverside Park after having been given a 30-day exclusion on November 8th. He was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. His park exclusion was extended for another 30 days. A shopping cart and trash were taken to the City Shops, and two large trash bags of Teige's property were logged into evidence for safekeeping.
Posted on 11/22/23 10:48AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Camper on Outstanding Warrant at Morrison Centennial Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a young camper on an outstanding warrant during a patrol of city parks early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers contacted 18-year-old Alexis Shoesmith at Morrison Centennial Park on Tuesday at about 10:55 a.m.. Police said they determined that Shoesmith was wanted on a local warrant for an unspecified crime. She was placed into custody without incident. Alexis Shoesmith was lodged at the Josephine County Jail, but she was released before the end of the day.
Posted on 11/22/23 10:46AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Cited Motorist for Violations after Traffic Stop near Shopping Center
Police cited a motorist for three violations after an unusual traffic stop near the Grants Pass Shopping Center. Grants Pass Police pulled over a Jeep Cherokee driven by Patrick Erwin in the 900-block of NE D Street on Monday night. Police said Erwin was observed towing a trailer held together with two straps. The trailer was missing a wheel, so it sent sparks from the rear left axle as it traveled down the street. During contact with Erwin, he told officers he was by himself. However, officers were surprised when they heard a female banging on the walls of the trailer and yelling to be let out. The woman in the trailer stated that she was not being held against her will, but she wanted to make sure she was not left in the trailer. Erwin claimed he strapped the woman in the trailer because that was the only way he could close it. He was ultimately cited for Driving While Suspended, No Insurance and Operation of an Unsafe Vehicle. The Jeep and trailer were towed.
Posted on 11/22/23 10:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Searching for Armed and Dangerous Suspects after Shooting
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The Grants Pass Police Department was actively searching for armed suspects who fled the scene of a shooting last night in the 1400-block of Rogue River Highway. Police on Tuesday night were asking citizens living in the area to shelter in place and to call 9-1-1 immediately if they saw or heard anything suspicious. Police also asked motorists to avoid the area and find alternate routes while Rogue River Highway was temporarily closed for the search and investigation. Officers were searching the area with K-9s. At 3:19 this morning, the Police Department issued an update that the highway had been reopened, but the investigation was continuing and the agency was asking citizens to avoid the area if possible. Anyone with information related to the shooting or the suspects' whereabouts is urged to call the Grants Pass Police Department at (541)-450-6260. Additional information will be released as the investigation continues.
Posted on 11/22/23 6:51AM by Sam Marsh
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