Local News

GP Police Evicted 5 Campers from 2 City Parks during Daily Patrol Checks
Grants Pass Police evicted five campers from two city parks during daily patrols on Tuesday. At Tussing Park, a woman was cited for Failure to Renew Vehicle Registration and Violating Parking Rules, another woman was cited for Misuse of Open Space and Scattering Rubbish, a man was cited for Misuse of Open Space and Buffer Zone Violation, and another man was cited for Possession of Fentanyl. All four subjects were trespassed from Tussing Park for 30 days. At Lawnridge Park, officers responded to reported ordinance violations regarding tent locations and one neighbor who claimed a male camper defecated along their fence. While checking the park, officers found no ordinance violations. However, they did locate a female camper who was in possession of a marijuana pipe. The pipe was seized while she was cited and issued a 30-day exclusion.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh
 

Medford Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Fatal Drug Overdose of Local Teen
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A Medford man has been sentenced to 6-1/2 years in federal prison for distributing fentanyl that caused the overdose death of a local teenager. The US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon reports 31-year-old John Rocha was sentenced this week to 78 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release. According to court documents, officers from the Medford Police Department on September 7, 2021, responded to a report of an overdose death of a 17-year-old high school student. Investigators soon learned that the teenager had taken counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl. Within days, investigators identified Rocha as the victim's fourth-level drug supplier and -- when confronted by law enforcement -- he admitted to having recently sold counterfeit pills. On February 3, 2022, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a five-count indictment charging Rocha and four others with Distributing Fentanyl, Possessing with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. On February 20th of this year, Rocha pleaded guilty to Distributing Fentanyl. This case was investigated by the FBI and the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) Team. MADGE is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven and prosecutor-supported approach.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
 

Ashland Police Arrested Two Men for Robbery of Man Walking Home from Work
The Ashland Police Department has arrested two young men for an armed robbery that occurred in that city last weekend. On Saturday shortly before 10 p.m., Ashland police officers responded to a report of an armed robbery that occurred on Walker Street near East Main Street. APD Chief Tighe O'Meara said the investigation revealed that an adult male victim was walking home from work when he was approached by two people. One of the suspects produced a handgun, menaced the victim and demanded his property. The victim turned over property to the suspects who then fled the scene on foot. Detectives from the APD Criminal Investigations Division were called in and tracked the suspects to a home in the 200-block of Tolman Creek Road. APD set up surveillance of the home and on Sunday, one of the suspects left the home in a vehicle and was stopped as it pulled into a supermarket parking lot. During the high-risk traffic stop, 24-year-old Seth Cluff of Ashland was placed into custody. The second suspect -- 18-year-old Cole Matthew of Medford -- was placed into custody at the Tolman Creek Road residence. Both Cluff and Matthew were lodged at the Jackson County Jail on charges of 1st-Degree Robbery, 2nd-Degree Theft, Menacing and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. Chief O'Meara said a charge of Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Robbery was added to their criminal bills because the investigation indicates this was a targeted robbery, not a random occurrence.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
 

Authorities Investigating Vehicle Fire on National Forest Service Land West of GP
Authorities are investigating a vehicle fire that occurred on National Forest Service land in the Riverbanks Road area earlier this week. On Monday afternoon, Rural Metro Fire Department responded to a small vehicle fire about four miles up Shan Creek Road off Riverbanks on Forest Service land. Rural Metro officials said there was no driver located and the fully-involved Audi sedan appeared to have been burning for a while. Due to the location in a wide gravel turnout, there was no spread into the surrounding wildland which allowed firefighters to focus on cooling off the car. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Josephine County Sheriff's Office are now investigating suspicious circumstances surrounding the vehicle's recent history and subsequent destruction. Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Woman for Causing Disturbance at Southeast City Apartments
Grants Pass Police arrested a "frequent flyer" this week for a disturbance on the southeast side of the city. The Police Department reports officers responded to a report of a female subject attempting to follow a woman into her apartment in the 1600-block of SE N Street on Monday night. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report the subject tried to follow her into her apartment, but the subject did not get physical with her. The caller said the woman was wearing what appeared to be a jail bracelet and was mumbling to herself about having "a clean bill of health." The subject followed other residents around as well. Upon arrival, officers contacted the 64-year-old woman and directed her multiple times to stay out of the road. She responded by sitting down in the bicycle lane, refusing to get up and leave while throwing two cigarettes on the road and refusing to pick them up. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Offensive Littering. Due to her numerous recent contacts with law enforcement, she was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:10AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Holding 4 Public Hearings on Adoptions of Ordinances Changing Code
The Board of Commissioners is holding four public hearings this morning on the second readings and adoptions of ordinances that will change the Josephine County Code. Three of the ordinances are repealing chapters concerning the Southern Oregon Library Information System, Law Enforcement Data System and Public Works Revolving Fund because the County no longer participates in those programs. The fourth ordinance will amend the chapter regarding the County's Law Library to make it more accessible to legal staff and the public. There are no other action items on the agenda for today's meeting except for the Consent Calendar. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when participants are given three minutes to address the Board on virtually any topic pertaining to Josephine County. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:03AM by Sam Marsh
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Secretary of State Says May Primary Election is Underway with May 21st Ballot Deadline
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Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade says the May primary election is underway. Oregon's 36 county clerks began mailing out ballots on May 1st. If you have not already returned your ballot, please remember to do so before 8 p.m. on May 21st. You can mail your ballot back to your county clerk. Postage is already included. Don't forget to sign your envelope and make sure your ballot is postmarked by Election Day. You can also return your ballot to any county clerk's office. They'll make sure it gets sent to the county in which you're registered to vote. Otherwise, drop your completed ballot at any official, secure dropbox. Want to know if your ballot has been received? You can always check the status of your ballot through the Secretary of State's "My Vote" website. Lost your ballot? Made a mistake? Your county elections office can help you get a new one. Didn't see a candidate on your ballot when you were expecting to? In Oregon, the major political parties have chosen to hold closed primaries. That means you must be a registered member of that party to vote in their primary. Any other questions? You can learn more at "OregonVotes.gov" or at your county elections office.
Posted on 5/15/24 6:01AM by Sam Marsh
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Seasonal Fire Ban and Parking Restrictions Renewed in 2024 on Illinois River Corridor
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The US Forest Service has announced the beginning of the seasonal fire ban and parking prohibitions on the recreation section of the Illinois River Corridor. The seasonal ban includes the building, maintaining, attending or using of fire -- except in designated Forest Service fire rings. It also prohibits parking or leaving a vehicle inside the white lines along Illinois River Road. This order is effective from May 13th through October 31st, unless rescinded sooner. The Wild and Scenic Section of the Illinois River is renowned for its outstanding values including blue-green, crystal-clear waters, its spectacular and varied landscapes, and its botanical biodiversity. Along the approximate four-mile recreation section of the Illinois, there have been ongoing and significant issues with illegal campfires and road safety over the years. Forest officials said these violations were creating safety and access issues for recreationists, emergency personnel and whitewater enthusiasts with permits. Law enforcement patrols help keep recreationists safe during heavy use periods.
Posted on 5/15/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass PD Asks Citizens to Observe Moment of Silence for Fallen Officers
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The Grants Pass Police Department is asking residents to observe a moment of silence this week to honor the police officers and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities and nation. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as "National Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the calendar week in which May 15th falls as "National Police Week." Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America's law enforcement community. On Tuesday morning, the Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police paid tribute to six fallen local officers in a special ceremony on the steps of the Josephine County Courthouse.
Posted on 5/15/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh
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BCC Holding Four Public Hearings on Adoptions of Ordinances Changing Code
The Board of Commissioners is holding four public hearings tomorrow morning on the second readings and adoptions of ordinances that will change the Josephine County Code. Three of the ordinances are repealing chapters concerning the Southern Oregon Library Information System, Law Enforcement Data System and Public Works Revolving Fund because the County no longer participates in those programs. The fourth ordinance will amend the chapter regarding the County's Law Library to make it more accessible to legal staff and the public. There are no other action items on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting except for the Consent Calendar. As always, there will be Requests and Comments from Citizens when participants are given three minutes to address the Board on virtually any topic pertaining to Josephine County. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 5/14/24 12:24PM by Sam Marsh
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Two Monday Afternoon Vehicle Fires Kept Rural Metro Fire Department Busy
Two vehicle fires within one hour yesterday kept Rural Metro Fire Department busy. On Monday at 12:23 p.m., Rural Metro crews responded to a truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer that caught fire while descending from Sexton Pass on Interstate 5. Pulling over near milepost 67, the driver was able to exit without injury. An attempt to use a fire extinguisher came up short due to rapidly advancing flames. Firefighters responded as quickly as possible over the pass to Sunny Valley and then back to the scene where they found the pickup fully involved. The blaze damaged the front exterior of the RV, but suppression efforts saved the contents. The cause of the fire was deemed to be a mechanical failure. On Monday at 1:23 p.m., Rural Metro responded to a fully-involved vehicle about four miles up Shan Creek Road beyond the National Forest boundary. Rural Metro officials said there was no driver located and the vehicle appeared to have been burning for a while. Due to the location in a wide gravel turnout, there was no spread to adjacent wildland which allowed crews to focus on cooling the car. The US Forest Service and Josephine County Sheriff's Office are investigating suspicious circumstances surrounding the vehicle's recent history and destruction. Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff's Office at (541)-474-5123.
Posted on 5/14/24 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Nabbed Woman for Causing Disturbance at SE City Apartments
Grants Pass Police arrested a "frequent flyer" last night for a disturbance on the southeast side of the city. The Police Department reports officers responded to a report of a female subject attempting to follow a woman into her apartment in the 1600-block of SE N Street on Monday around 8 p.m.. Police said a woman called 9-1-1 to report the subject tried to follow her into her apartment, but the subject did not get physical with her. The caller said the woman was wearing what appeared to be a jail bracelet and was mumbling to herself about having "a clean bill of health." The subject followed other residents around as well. Upon arrival, officers contacted the 64-year-old woman and directed her multiple times to stay out of the road. She responded by sitting down in the bicycle lane, refusing to get up and leave while throwing two cigarettes on the road and refusing to pick them up. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Offensive Littering. Due to her numerous recent contacts with law enforcement, she was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/14/24 11:08AM by Sam Marsh
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