Local News

Eagle Point Man Killed in West Diamond Lake Highway Accident Last Weekend
A Jackson County man was killed last weekend when he was ejected from a vehicle that crashed on West Diamond Lake Highway. The Oregon State Police reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the single-vehicle accident on Highway 230 near milepost 10 in Douglas County on Sunday at 8 a.m.. State troopers said the preliminary investigation indicated a southbound Ford F-150 pickup driven by 24-year-old Jason Michael Ettenberger of Portland went off the shoulder of the highway on a left-hand turn. The driver overcorrected back across the highway before rolling the truck several times down an embankment where it came to rest on its passenger side. The passenger in the vehicle was ejected. According to OSP, the passenger -- 31-year-old Austin Cordell Belford of Eagle Point -- was declared deceased at the scene. He did not appear to have worn a seatbelt during the crash. Ettenberger sustained injuries and was transported to an area hospital. Highway 230 was impacted for approximately 4-1/2 hours during the on-scene investigation. Speed and occupant safety are considered the primary causes of the fatal crash. OSP was assisted by Diamond Lake Resort First Responders, Umpqua Valley Ambulance and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:29AM by Sam Marsh

Deputies Jailed Man for Roughing Up Woman & Threatening Her Two Children
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for roughing up a woman and threatening two of her children at a south Grants Pass home last weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies were alerted to a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 100-block of Wilmar Avenue on Sunday at 8:29 p.m.. Deputies said a young woman called 9-1-1 to report that her mother had been punched in the face and pushed to the ground by a 37-year-old man with whom she lives. The caller advised there were multiple children in the home, adding that a 15-year-old female had been hit in the face and a 9-year-old boy had been pushed to the ground as well. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported. According to the report, there had been a prior domestic violence incident at that address in 2012. The female victim was trying to collect her personal items and leave, but the male suspect was preventing her escape. The caller was not there, but told dispatchers she witnessed the altercation via Facetime. Upon arrival, deputies interviewed the involved parties and then placed the suspect into custody. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Attempted Assault and two counts of Menacing. He was being held without bail. The Oregon Department of Human Services was notified about the incident.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:20AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Felon for Threatening Motel 6 Worker with Restricted Weapon
Grants Pass Police jailed a man for threatening a motel employee with a knife last weekend. The Police Department reports officers responded to a disturbance at Motel 6 on NE 7th Street on Sunday around 4:25 p.m.. Police said a 66-year-old male subject got into a verbal altercation with a motel employee in the parking lot. They said he removed a pocket knife from his pocket, opened the blade, pointed it at the worker and threatened to kill him. The suspect fled the location on foot and was located a short time later at Tractor Supply. He was found to be in possession of a black folding knife that contained a spring-assisted opening feature. A records check showed he was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing any weapons. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon and Menacing. He was being held without bail. The knife was seized as evidence.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:19AM by Sam Marsh

OSP Arrested 3 Motorists for Impaired Driving in Illinois Valley Last Weekend
The Oregon State Police arrested three motorists for impaired driving in Josephine County last weekend -- all of them in the Illinois Valley. OSP reports the first incident occurred on Friday at 8:13 p.m. when state troopers pulled over a Mazda MZ6 driven by a 29-year-old Selma woman at the intersection of Caves Highway and White School House Road. Troopers said they stopped the driver for failing to maintain her lane and she displayed signs of impairment. The second incident happened on Sunday at 12:43 a.m. when troopers pulled over a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 21-year-old Cave Junction woman at Highway 199 and East River Street in Cave Junction. Troopers said they stopped the driver for a traffic violation and she showed signs of impairment. The third incident took place on Sunday at 2 a.m. when troopers pulled over a Nissan Armada driven by a 33-year-old Grants Pass man near the intersection of Caves Highway and Caves Avenue in Cave Junction. Troopers said they stopped the driver for speeding and he exhibited signs of impairment.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Investigators Believe Malfunctioning Lawn Equipment Caused Small Grass Fire
Investigators believe malfunctioning lawn equipment caused a small grass fire in the Wonder area last night. Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the reported fire on Elliott Creek Road on Monday at about 6:20 p.m.. Rural Metro Engine 7504 from the Wilderville Station arrived to find a 1/10th of an acre grass fire and quickly extinguished it before it could spread any further. Quick action by the property owner also kept the fire from growing any larger as they were able to utilize buckets of water that they had kept readily available. Units from Rural Metro and ODF Southwest completed mop-up of the incident. ODF was handling the investigation, but preliminary findings show a malfunction of lawn equipment may be the cause. Rural Metro would like to remind everyone that fire season is here and to be alert of any sparks or embers when using equipment.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:14AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Parks Staff Conducting Regular Playground Inspections to Ensure Safety
The Grants Pass Parks Department is conducting regular playground inspections to ensure safety and functionality. Recently, parks staff identified a malfunctioning component on the teeter-totter at Reinhart Volunteer Park. Swift action allowed the department to get a replacement part from the local playground manufacturer, restoring this feature for children. Staff have been working hard to cut tall grass and manage blackberry growth in undeveloped areas across the city parks system. They've also pruned trees to enhance clearance around trails and parking areas. A commitment to consistent irrigation repairs ensures optimal park conditions. As the City of Grants Pass prepares for the upcoming swimming season, the parks team is diligently working on Caveman Pool. Tasks have included repainting the shallow end of the pool and installing a refurbished ADA lift along with new electronic components. The public swimming pool is expected to open next Monday.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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OR State Library Grants $50K for Computer Basics Program in Josephine County
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The State Library of Oregon has awarded a $50,000 grant to Josephine Community Library District to support its new computer basics program that will benefit residents throughout the county. The state grant will fund the program from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025. It will pay for a digital outreach specialist who will manage the program. The Computer Basics Program will offer computer and internet skills classes, provide one-on-one technology assistance for library patrons, and reach out to the community at-large about technology access and digital skills available through the library branches in Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Williams and Wolf Creek. While the library will focus on reaching out to seniors, Spanish speakers and those with lower incomes, the classes and individual assistance are available to all who are interested. It will expand beyond the library facilities by partnering with WorkSource Rogue Valley to offer more opportunities for people wanting to learn more about computers. The program kicks off with assessment and planning in July. Classes will start later this summer. They will be free and open to anyone interested. Library cards are not required for participation.
Posted on 6/11/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh
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Long-Term Camping and Occupancy Closure Order Renewed on RR-Siskiyou Forest
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A forest closure order that prohibits long-term camping and/or occupancy within the boundaries of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest was recently signed by Acting Forest Supervisor Dan Quinones. The order prohibits occupancy for more than 14 consecutive days in one location and more than 28 calendar days annually. All developed campgrounds and dispersed camping sites -- including fee and non-fee sites -- are included. The closure is in effect through June 5th, 2026, unless rescinded sooner. Supervisor Quinones said the Forest has communicated the proposed stay limit with external stakeholders including local county commissioners, community and tribal leaders. He said they have expressed support for the two-week stay limit. Long-term public use for camping purposes has increased in recent years. Since the stay-home executive order issued by former Oregon Governor Kate Brown in March 2020, this increased use has intensified. Long-term camping at high-use sites and in general forest areas is limiting opportunities for fair and equitable use of forest lands by other campers and forest users.
Posted on 6/11/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon Marine Law Enforcement Annual Drift Boat Training Set on Rogue This Week
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Marine law enforcement from around the state are learning and perfecting their drift boating skills on the Rogue River this week. The Oregon State Marine Board reports the students will be learning to swim in whitewater, practicing rescue techniques, navigating Class 3 rapids, and operating in remote environments with drift boats, rafts and catarafts. Eddie Persichetti, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Marine Board, said running whitewater takes training and practice. He said the best way to learn is hands-on experience on a dynamic waterway such as the Rogue River with experienced instructors. The skills the officers gain give them a strong foundation in their law enforcement roles when they return to their patrol areas. Recreational boaters can expect to see law enforcement students drifting on the Upper Rogue from Rogue Elk Park to TouVelle Park in Jackson County from today through Thursday. They will be on the Middle Rogue from Ennis Riffle to Argo Canyon in Josephine County on Friday.
Posted on 6/11/24 5:57AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Corralled 2 Local Fugitives on Outstanding Warrants over Weekend
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office corralled a couple of local fugitives on outstanding warrants over the weekend. The Sheriff's Office reports the first incident occurred on Friday at 9:18 p.m. when deputies arrested a 30-year-old man in the 300-block of Redwood Highway right in front of Affordable Truck & RV in Grants Pass. Deputies said they spotted the man driving a vehicle and knew that his driving privileges had been suspended. He was also wanted on a Josephine County warrant for Probation Violation and one of the conditions was for him not to drive without a license. He was lodged at the Josephine County Jail and his vehicle was towed. The second incident happened on Saturday at 2:42 p.m. when deputies arrested a 37-year-old woman in the 100-block of South Hussey Avenue in Cave Junction. Deputies said the woman was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for 2nd-Degree Theft. She was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged in jail.
Posted on 6/10/24 11:06AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Four People for Trying to Steal Merchandise from Walmart
Grants Pass Police arrested at least four people for attempting to steal from Walmart during the first half of the weekend. The Police Department reports the first incident occurred on Friday afternoon when officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at the store on NE Terry Lane. Police said a 43-year-old man passed all points of purchase with more than $295 worth of Walmart merchandise. They said the man made no attempt to pay for the items and he was detained by loss prevention. Officers placed him into custody and lodged him at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. The second incident happened on Saturday morning when a 41-year-old woman was detained for trying to steal more than $227 worth of items from Walmart. She was placed into custody and -- when she was escorted to a patrol vehicle -- she fell down and claimed a medical emergency. After being cleared by doctors at Three Rivers Medical Center, she was lodged in jail for 2nd-Degree Theft. The third incident took place on Saturday evening when two 21-year-old women stole around $34 worth of items from Walmart by skip-scanning. They were seen committing the crime by loss prevention and detained. Because they cooperated with the investigation, both women were cited for 3rd-Degree Theft and released.
Posted on 6/10/24 11:05AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed Boys for Throwing Rocks & Damaging Vehicles on Highway 199
The Oregon State Police arrested two juveniles for throwing rocks at and damaging vehicles on Redwood Highway near Wilderville late last week. According to OSP, troopers responded to multiple reports on Thursday and Friday of two boys throwing large and small rocks at vehicles in the 10,800-block of US Highway 199. Troopers said they were able to locate the two young suspects with the help of driver and witness statements. Both admitted to throwing rocks and hitting passing vehicles. One of those vehicles was an OSP patrol car. The victimized drivers included a 50-year-old Central Point man, a 68-year-old O'Brien man, a Medford man and a state trooper. Combined damages to the vehicles was well over $1,000. A 14-year-old Grants Pass boy and a 14-year-old Wilderville boy were charged with Felony 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief, Disorderly Conduct and Reckless Endangering. They were cited to appear in court and released to their parents.
Posted on 6/10/24 11:03AM by Sam Marsh
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