Local News

Rogue River-Siskiyou Forest Implements Stage 1 Restrictions across Region
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has decided to move to Stage One Public Use Restrictions across the entire forest effective immediately and through November 30th, unless rescinded sooner. Fire danger on the local forest remains moderate and IFPL 1 levels continue at this time. Stage One Public Use Restrictions limit campfires to designated campgrounds only. They do allow propane fire pits outside of designated campgrounds, and for portable lanterns, stoves or campfires that are fueled with gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuels with a shutoff valve in a cleared area at least five feet from any flammable material. Operating chainsaws for the collection of firewood on the local forest is regulated by the permit. The Wild & Scenic Rogue River is currently in Stage One Restrictions that apply both to those traveling down the river in a watercraft as well as those hiking the Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Restrictions are designed to limit fire danger to the extent possible. Additional fire restrictions are expected to be put in place as fire season progresses. If you're planning to recreate or utilize equipment on public lands this summer, please keep current on local fire season regulations.
Posted on 6/29/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
 

Deputies Apprehended 4 Fugitives during Raid on South Kerby Avenue in CJ
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended four fugitives during a raid this week in Cave Junction. According the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested three men and a woman while serving a warrant in the 300-block of South Kerby Avenue on Thursday afternoon. The arrestees were identified as 40-year-old Skylar Thomas Melton who was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Theft and Criminal Trespass, 37-year-old Sabrina Marie Wilson who was wanted on a local warrant for Theft, 30-year-old Joshua Michael Delkittie who was wanted for Parole Violation and 29-year-old Taylor Blue Guion who was also wanted for Parole Violation. All four subjects were placed into custody without incident, transported to Grants Pass and lodged without bail at the Josephine County Jail. One other person -- 38-year-old Anthony David Pope -- was transferred to the Grants Pass Police Department, which later lodged him in jail for 1st-Degree Criminal Trespass. Melton was additionally trespassed from Taylor's Country Store.
Posted on 6/29/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh
 

Josephine County Sheriff's Office Welcomes 3 New Deputies to Local Team
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is welcoming three new deputies. Deputy Zacha and Deputy Serabia chose to start their law enforcement careers in Josephine County in the adult jail facility as corrections deputies. Deputy Jolley comes to the Sheriff's Office as a lateral patrol deputy with six years of experience. Sheriff Dave Daniel said they're excited to have each of them join their family. Welcome to the team!
Posted on 6/29/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
 

Majority of Josephine County Commissioners Votes to Defund 4-H Extension Service District
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The Oregon State University Extension Service must now decide if it will continue to provide services in Josephine County after the Board of Commissioners voted to defund the 28-year-old service district on Friday. Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West voted in favor of a revised resolution that allocates $0 to the 4-H Extension Service budget in the next fiscal year while collecting no taxes for the district established by voters in 1996. Commissioner Dan DeYoung voted against the revised resolution after first making a motion to fund the district for one year before placing a measure on the November ballot asking voters if they want to continue to fund services provided by the OSU Extension. The motion died due to lack of a second from the two other Board members. The negative votes by Baertschiger and West came after a public hearing in which seven citizens spoke in favor of funding the district and two spoke against it. Baertschiger and West said they might entertain a future ballot measure, but asserted that it was not part of the motion to defund the district.
Posted on 6/29/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Southwest to Increase Southern Oregon Fire Danger Level to "High" Starting on Monday
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The Oregon Department of Forestry has announced that it will increase the fire danger level in southwest Oregon to "high" and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to "2" on Monday. This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and BLM lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The primary difference between current fire prevention restrictions and those beginning on Monday affects the public use of power-driven machinery such as chainsaws, mowers, weed-eaters and more. The use of this equipment and the cutting, grinding and welding of metal along with other spark-emitting equipment like wood-splitters and generators will be prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.. This does not apply to the mowing of green lawns. All other fire prevention regulations will remain in effect including no outdoor debris burning, no fireworks within 1/8th of a mile of ODF-protected lands, and no exploding targets or tracer ammunition. For more information about current fire season restrictions, visit "swofire.com."
Posted on 6/29/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh
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GP School District & RCC Foundation Forge Partnership to Increase Student Opportunities
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The Grants Pass School District and Rogue Community College Foundation are partnering to expand educational opportunities for local students. District 7 is transferring approximately 350 acres of land on Stringer Gap Road that is valued at more than $1 million to the RCC Foundation. In return, the RCC Foundation will provide scholarships that will cover the cost of RCC college classes for Grants Pass students for years to come. The agreement was approved by both governing boards this week. Under the partnership, the RCC Foundation plans to sell the donated land and establish an endowment to fund tuition scholarships for District 7 students. This endowment will grow over time, ensuring that tuition scholarships for Grants Pass students are available in perpetuity. Starting this fall, the RCC Foundation will award $20,000 in annual tuition scholarships for D7 students, with the annual scholarship amount increasing in the 2029-30 academic year as the endowment matures.
Posted on 6/29/24 5:49AM by Sam Marsh
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Two Out of Three Commissioners Vote to Defund 4-H Extension Service District
The Oregon State University Extension Service must now decide if it will continue to provide services in Josephine County after the Board of Commissioners this morning voted to defund the 28-year-old service district. Commissioners Herman Baertschiger and John West voted in favor of a revised resolution that allocates $0 to the 4-H Extension Service budget in the next fiscal year while collecting no taxes on the district established by voters in 1996. Commissioner Dan DeYoung voted against the revised resolution after first making a motion to fund the district for one year before placing a measure on the November ballot asking voters if they want to continue to fund services provided by the OSU Extension including local 4-H programs. The motion died due to lack of a second from the two other Board members. The negative votes by Baertschiger and West came after a public hearing in which seven citizens spoke in favor of funding the district and two spoke against it. Baertschiger and West said they might entertain a future ballot measure, but asserted that it was not part of the motion to defund the district. There are unappropriated funds of more than $300,000 that OSU Extension could use to pay for services in the coming year, but no future money will be added to the account that funds 4-H, Master Gardeners and several other programs. In other business, the Board unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budgets for Josephine County and the Law Enforcement Service District while making appropriations and levying property taxes. However, no presentations were made by Finance Director Sandy Novak and there was no public comment.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:45AM by Sam Marsh
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Direct Line Increases on Upper Applegate Fire following Nighttime Operations
Firefighters working overnight on the Upper Applegate Fire near Ruch were able to increase the direct line around the fire to 70%, leaving only 30% of the wildfire indirectly lined. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports strategic firing operations last night were used in the cooler temperatures and higher humidity, helping to close the gap between the fire's edge and the indirect line at the north end of the fire. This has provided a much more secure buffer between the fire and homes in the area. As of this morning, ODF said the fire remains at 937 acres and 15% mopped up. Resources will continue that work today. The night shift walked the southern part of the fire with infrared cameras where the majority of mop-up operations have been taking place to identify hot spots that are not easily detected otherwise. More than 370 personnel are working on the wildfire today including 13 20-person hand crews backed by five engines, four bulldozers, eight water tenders, 10 tree fallers and 10 medical personnel. Evacuation notices put in place by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management remain in effect. Zone JAC-434 is on a Level 1 "Be Ready" notice while Zone JAC-436 remains at Level 2 "Be Set." The BLM has issued a closure order for lands it manages in the fire area including Grouse Creek Road. Little Applegate Road and Applegate Lake remain open, but firefighters are working near and on the side of the road. Fire-related traffic may also impact the Provolt area, so motorists should be aware when driving that stretch of Highway 238.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Man Jailed for Domestic Violence after Drug-Fueled Altercation with Wife
A Grants Pass man was jailed for domestic violence following an altercation with his wife on Thursday. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in the 900-block of NW E Street at 12:56 p.m. yesterday. Police said a 52-year-old man got into an argument with his wife and began destroying their home with a Samurai sword. During the altercation, he caused physical injury to his wife by pushing her to the ground and hurting her ankle. According to the report, the man was uncooperative during a law enforcement interview and he displayed numerous indicators of impairment from a narcotic stimulant. He was placed into custody without further incident. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault. He was being held without bail. A domestic violence form was filled out by officers and the man's wife was provided with resources to seek assistance.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:42AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man on Outstanding Warrant after Stealing Tent from Big 5
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant last night after he stole a tent from a local sporting goods store. The Police Department reports officers responded to a theft complaint at Big 5 Sporting Goods off NE Agness Avenue on Thursday around 6:40 p.m.. Police said a 35-year-old man entered the business and selected a Coleman tent valued at $299. They said he bypassed all points of sale with the tent with the intent to deprive the business of its property. The suspect climbed into another man's recreational vehicle and fled the area as a passenger. Officers located the RV and pulled it over in the Grants Pass Shopping Center where they detained the man for the tent theft. Further investigation revealed that he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for a traffic offense. He was placed into custody and the tent was returned to Big 5. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant plus a new charge of 2nd-Degree Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:40AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man on Warrant and Added New Charge for Hostile Behavior
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on a local warrant and added another charge after he became hostile with officers in the downtown area late last night. According to the Police Department, police spotted the 41-year-old male subject at Mock's Ford Sales on SE 6th Street on Thursday at about 11:20 p.m.. Police said the man appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants when they contacted him in front of Mock's. A routine records check revealed that he was wanted on a Grants Pass warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Criminal Mischief, so he was placed into custody. While an officer was transporting the subject to the Josephine County Jail, the man became hostile by bashing his head in the back seat of the patrol car. He sustained a self-inflicted injury and was placed in ankle restraints before being transported to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment. The suspect was medically discharged from the hospital and lodged in jail on the warrant plus a new charge of Disorderly Conduct.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:39AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Coos Bay Woman for Impaired Driving after Local Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Coos Bay woman for impaired driving during a traffic stop in Josephine County yesterday. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Subaru Outback driven by a 45-year-old woman in an unspecified location of the county on Thursday at 4:47 p.m.. Troopers said they had received a complaint describing a vehicle that was speeding and failing to maintain its travel lane. Upon contact with the driver, she displayed signs of impairment and performed poorly in field sobriety testing. The suspect driver was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances as well as Reckless Driving before she was lodged at the Grants Pass Sobering Center. Her vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 6/28/24 11:37AM by Sam Marsh
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