Local News

Redwood Highway Crash at Hayes Hill Claims Life of Motorist on Monday Night
A motorist was killed this week when they crashed their vehicle on Redwood Highway at Hayes Hill. On Monday at 7:07 p.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response, Illinois Valley Fire District and the Oregon State Police responded to the single-vehicle wreck on US Highway 199 west of Wonder. Upon arrival, rescue crews confirmed the single occupant of the vehicle was deceased. No other vehicles or persons were involved. During the accident reconstruction and investigation that followed, northbound traffic on the highway was detoured onto the Old Hayes Hill bypass road. State troopers said they would release details of the fatal crash when it's deemed appropriate.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:55AM by Sam Marsh

Motorist Hurt after Crashing Vehicle into Trees at Interstate 5 Hugo Interchange
A motorist was injured early yesterday when they crashed a vehicle off the northbound Interstate 5 Exit near Hugo. On Tuesday at 8:34 a.m., Rural Metro Fire Department, American Medical Response, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Police were dispatched to the single-vehicle wreck off I-5 at milepost 66. Rural Metro officials said the vehicle traveled toward the frontage road near Jumpoff Joe Creek Road before striking trees and catching on fire. Engines from Rural Metro and ODF Southwest got quick containment on the fully-involved vehicle and small spread to surrounding vegetation. Officials said the driver had already self-extricated and was tended to by AMR. The patient was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center with moderate injuries. He claimed not to know why he crashed his vehicle. OSP was investigating the cause of the wreck. The remains of the burned vehicle were towed to Grants Pass.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:53AM by Sam Marsh

IV Firefighters Educated Two Property Owners about Burn Ban in Fire Season
The Illinois Valley Fire District has educated at least two property owners about open debris burning during fire season since it started last weekend. On Sunday at 8:27 p.m., IVFD crews responded to an illegal open burn in the 2,000-block of Caves Highway. IVFD officials said the fire was a 10-foot-by-10-foot pile of various items including trash. The blaze was quickly extinguished. The property owner was cited and educated about the current burn ban. On Tuesday at 7:59 a.m., IVFD and the Oregon Department of Forestry were dispatched to an illegal open burn near Hayes Hill Summit. The fire was put out and the property owner was warned before being educated about the burn ban. Officials remind Southern Oregon residents that all outdoor debris burning -- including piles and barrels -- is prohibited during fire season.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:48AM by Sam Marsh

Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Adoption of Fairgrounds Permanent Fund
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the second reading of an ordinance creating a permanent funding mechanism for the Fairgrounds during its weekly business session this morning. Following the hearing, the Board is expected to adopt the ordinance which would amend the Josephine County Code by adding a chapter establishing the Fairgrounds Permanent Fund. Proceeds from the sale of The Flying Lark building to River Valley Community Church for $9.5 million would be used in the fund to pay for projects and other financial needs of the Fairgrounds. The Commissioners and Fair Board would oversee the $9 million fund. Loans could be taken out, but they must be paid back. The Board will open the session with the presentation of the Raskin Awards, which are handed out each year to individuals and organizations who make a difference at the Josephine County Animal Shelter. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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Josephine Community Transit Announces First Friday Bus from Medford to Downtown GP
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First Friday in Grants Pass is a monthly celebration of local makers, restaurants, musicians and boutique shops in historic downtown. Locals and visitors alike can explore the public art, eat dinner and shop the stores from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Now, Josephine Community Transit (JCT) is making it even easier for Rogue Valley neighbors in Medford, Gold Hill and Rogue River to get to the festivities in Grants Pass. Launching this Friday, June 7th, enjoy hassle-free transportation from Medford, Gold Hill and Rogue River to downtown Grants Pass. All you need to do is use JCT's Route 100 departing from Medford with stops in Gold Hill and Rogue River as well. Fares are only $2 each way. You can catch the JCT bus at Rogue Valley Transportation District's Front Street Station at 3:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. and arrive in Grants Pass 55 minutes later. The return bus departs from JCT's Transit Hub at 300 NW 5th Street in Grants Pass, leaving for Medford at 8:30. Public parking is available in Medford right across from the bus stop. There are different First Friday activities to enjoy each month. For more details, go to "visitgrantspass.com/First-Friday."
Posted on 6/5/24 5:35AM by Sam Marsh
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Applications Now Open for Position on GP Historical Buildings & Sites Commission
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Applications are being accepted for a position on the Grants Pass Historical Buildings & Sites Commission. This position expires on December 7, 2026. The Historical Buildings & Sites Commission's purpose is to review proposed alterations to any historic district or designated structure in the urban growth boundary, to promote the community's historic preservation, to advise other interested agencies on matters related to historic preservation, and to identify areas or buildings of historic or archaeological significance. All applicants for this position must be at least 18 years of age and reside within the City of Grants Pass. This position is for a representative who owns a business located within the Central Business District of the City of Grants Pass. Applications are available at the City Administration Office at 101 NW A Street or online at "grantspassoregon.gov." Completed applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, July 5th.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:33AM by Sam Marsh
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Local Fire Agencies Participated in Wildland Fire Training Exercise Prior to Fire Season
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Multiple fire agencies from across the Rogue Valley participated in a wildland fire training exercise in Merlin last week. Grants Pass Fire & Rescue and Rural Metro Fire Department sponsored the event, which was crucial for preparing firefighters to respond effectively to real-world wildland fire emergencies this summer. Firefighters practiced using chainsaws to clear excess brush and vegetation. They also learned how to use drip torches to lay down low-intensity fire and how to prepare areas around homes in the wildland-urban interface areas. The readiness review happens annually in the spring to help prepare everyone for fire season. The last day of the readiness review happened on Friday, the day before fire season started in Josephine and Jackson counties.
Posted on 6/5/24 5:31AM by Sam Marsh
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Brazen Shoplifter Arrested at Downtown Safeway
An employee of the downtown Safeway Supermarket called Grants Pass City Police at 5:30 Monday afternoon to report a man left the store with a shopping cart full of items without paying. The report stated the man was getting into a black Dodge in the east parking lot. Responding officers made contact with the suspect and confirmed the theft of $132.07 worth of merchandise. The suspect was loading everything into a friend’s vehicle. The friend had done his shopping and paid for his merchandise and was unaware of the theft. The suspect confirmed he was the only one who stole.
Posted on 6/4/24 9:00AM by Chuck Benson
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Suspected Tree-Felling Vandal Jailed
The discovery of trees being cut down on a residential property on Beacon Drive led to a Grants Pass Police investigation beginning Monday at 11:40 a.m. Several trees, valued at $1,500 each, were found cut down in the patio area along with damage to piece of pottery valued at $120. The incident, which occurred overnight between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. was recorded on video that showed a white male adult with distinctive tattoos as the perpetrator. A suspect was contacted at 5:19 p.m. and resulted in the arrest a 35-year-old man who had a lengthy record of contact with city police with at least five arrests since August of 2023.
Posted on 6/4/24 8:19AM by Chuck Benson
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IV Chamber of Commerce Announces Return of Concerts in the Park This Year
The Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the return of their Concerts in the Park series this summer. In 2024, the community event will take place on Thursdays from June 20th to August 15th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jubilee Park in Cave Junction. There is no show scheduled for Independence Day, July 4th. In an effort to prioritize the health and safety of Illinois Valley community members, this year's concert series will start earlier than usual. The decision to start the series early is a proactive measure to mitigate the potential impact of wildfire smoke, which has historically affected the region in mid- to late-August. The Chamber invites local musicians and vendors to participate in this year's Concerts in the Park series. Interested performers and vendors can access applications at "ivchamberofcommerce.com." It's an excellent opportunity for local artists and artisans to share their talents with the Illinois Valley community while gaining exposure to a broad audience.
Posted on 6/4/24 4:41AM by Chuck Benson
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Historic Jackson County Cemeteries Get Grants from Oregon State Commission
The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC) has awarded more than $60,000 in grants to 11 historic cemetery projects throughout the state through the Historic Cemeteries Grant Program. Three of them are in Jackson County. The funds will help support preservation efforts, tree care and access. Individual award amounts ranged from $2,500 to $10,900. In Jackson County, grants were awarded for monument repair at the IOOF Eastwood Cemetery in Medford, to trim trees and remove dead trees at Logtown Cemetery and to remove hazard trees at Phoenix Pioneer Cemetery. Historic cemeteries are documented by OCHC and must include the burial of at least one person who died 75 years before the current date. The grant program is offered annually by the OCHC, which is part of the Oregon Heritage Program at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It's supported by lottery and other funds.
OCHC maintains a list of all pioneer and historic cemeteries in the state. The seven-member appointed commission helps people and organizations document, preserve and promote designated historic cemeteries statewide.
Posted on 6/4/24 4:39AM by Chuck Benson
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GP City Council Modifies Public Comment Rules
The Grants Pass City Council during its Monday workshop adjusted the rules governing the public comment period of the official business sessions. Individual times to speak is reduced from three minutes to two minutes with the total time allotted for the public is 30 minutes. The blue cards must be submitted to be allowed to speak and they must be in place prior to the public comment period. The cards will indicate the topic to be discussed must be related to city business.
Posted on 6/3/24 2:50PM by Chuck Benson
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