Local News

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

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

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

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
Read more

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
Read more

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
Read more

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
Read more

GP Police & Firefighters Logged Impressive Week of Community Protection
Grants Pass police officers and firefighters logged another impressive week of protecting residents and visitors in the community. According to the Weekly Report filed by Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic, police officers responded to a total of 612 calls for service and 298 officer-initiated calls last week that resulted in 47 arrests, 16 citations, five warnings and three people being lodged at the Sobering Center. The Community Response Team (CRT) made a total of 132 contacts with potential trouble-makers while arresting four people, citing 37 more and warning 34 others. The CRT unit also trespassed 20 individuals from homes and businesses, posted 93 transient camps and removed trash from seven campsites. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue responded to a total of 66 calls last week including 25 for emergency medical service, one report of fire or smoke, nine lift assists, three rescue situations and eight false alarms. Firefighters also performed 48 business inspections and led several public education and prevention programs. The 9-1-1 Dispatch Center fielded a total of 1,033 emergency calls along with 813 calls for non-emergency service.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:54AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Rural Metro Fire Department Asks: "Is Your Chimney Ready for the Winter?"
As the summer threat of fire to homes has diminished, the threat of fire from within increases. Flue fires are one of the leading causes of house fires during the colder months. Failure to clean the chimney of creosote buildup can lead to an ignition inside the flue. A flue fire isn't necessarily a problem, but heat or embers escaping through cracks or separations in the mortar, liner or pipe can ignite the walls, attic or roof. In the event a flue fire occurs at your home, call 9-1-1. Firefighters have special equipment for suppressing flue fires and checking for extension of flames into the structure. Fire that spreads into the structure can becoming damaging very fast. The sooner firefighters arrive, the less damage there could be. While you wait for their arrival, 9-1-1 will provide some basic instructions such as placing water-soaked newspaper inside the woodstove or fireplace. Wet paper will produce steam that will begin the cooling process up inside the flue. Since many house fires start in the middle of the night while you sleep, make sure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are adequately placed and working. Installing a "monitored" fire alarm system is even better and it can alert firefighters when you are not home. Early detection is the key to keeping fires small.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:52AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Authorities Investigating Double-Fatal Shooting and Second Shooting in Cave Junction Area
News Image
Two men were jailed last weekend for the shooting deaths of two other men at a residence near Cave Junction -- plus there was another shooting in Cave Junction. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office reports deputies and the Oregon State Police responded to the shooting incident in the 1700-block of White Schoolhouse Road on Saturday at 3:44 p.m.. Undersheriff Travis Snyder said deputies and troopers located two deceased males with apparent gunshot wounds. Due to the nature of the incident and the lack of investigative resources, the Sheriff's Office requested OSP investigate the incident. Josephine County Jail records show two men were arrested in connection with the incident. OSP lodged 47-year-old Javier Martinez-Avalos and 40-year-old Sergio Calderon-Martinez for the slayings. Both are being held on two counts each of Aggravated Murder and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. The victims were not identified and the investigation is continuing. Meanwhile, deputies and troopers responded to another shooting in the 100-block of South Kerby Avenue in Cave Junction on Sunday at 12:44 p.m.. When deputies arrived on scene, they located a male subject with gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was transported to a hospital and is in stable condition. Snyder said at this time, there is nothing connecting this incident to the incident on White Schoolhouse Road. If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:49AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

City of Grants Pass Sending Out Public Safety Funding Survey to Residents & Businesses
News Image
Despite passage of the public safety levy earlier this month, Grants Pass police and fire services still face a critical funding shortfall. Grants Pass has created a survey that is open to residents and business owners in the city, so they may tell the City Council how they would like to resolve the funding issue. The respondent's address or business address is required to verify residency or business ownership. The survey presents six options: a public safety utility fee that would start around $27 a month per household and $88 a month for most businesses and nonprofits, a food and beverage tax that would implement a 7% tax on prepared food and beverage purchases within the city, a general sales tax of about 2% on retail purchases that would not include groceries and some other items, a combination utility fee and food & beverage tax, a combination utility fee and retail sales tax, or a reduction in police and fire staffing. The City Council voted to survey taxpayers before making a decision to choose a funding option. Grants Pass residents and business owners wishing to take the electronic survey can use the following link: "survey.alchemer.com/s3/7615203/City-of-Grants-Pass-Public-Safety-Funding-Options." The deadline to submit the survey is 10 a.m. on December 4th.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
Read more

Local Chamber of Commerce Invites Citizens to Participate in "Operation Joy" Program
News Image
The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce invites organizations, civic groups, churches, schools, teams and individuals to participate in the annual "Operation Joy" program. "Operation Joy" is designed to provide some holiday cheer for those in assisted living centers. There are four participating facilities and participants are welcome to address cards for some or all of the locations including Highland House, Royal Gardens, Regency Care and Oak Lane. Participants in the program can secure holiday cards from the Chamber or provide their own cards. Gather your family, co-workers and group members to address the cards. Due to the constant fluctuation of residents in care, the Chamber asks that cards be generally addressed such as "Dear Friend" or "Dear Neighbor." Return completed cards to the Chamber to be delivered by December 20th. The Chamber is currently accepting donations of unused Christmas cards. Please drop cards off at 1995 NW Vine Street between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Posted on 11/21/23 5:37AM by Sam Marsh
Read more