Local News

Multiple Agencies Engaged Rural Fire Friday Morning
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Rural Metro Fire responded to the report of flames seen in the woods in the area of Dutchy Way just after midnight Friday morning. After searching for access, firefighters found a collection of motorhomes and other vehicles ablaze, and approximately 1/2 acre spread into the surrounding vegetation. A full response was mobilized that included assistance from Grants Pass Fire, Illinois Valley Fire District, ODF Southwest Oregon District and Pacific Power. The over 8-hour campaign was wrought with challenges, including aggressive dogs, unearthed military ordinance, and the remote access that required water to be shuttled into the location 500 gallons at a time. Mop-up was completed after daybreak.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:38AM by Chuck Benson
 

Case of Medford Nurse Suspected of Stealing Fentanyl Spotlights System Failure
The news out of Medford in December 2023 was explosive: A nurse in the intensive care unit of a local hospital had reportedly stolen patients' intravenous fentanyl and replaced it with unsterile tap water for months. Dozens of patients developed infections. At least three died. But the Oregonian reports it wasn't the first time Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center had discovered an employee stealing narcotics. A pharmacy technician stole drugs from the hospital from August 2016 through July 2017, according to a disciplinary order from the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. The board found Asante Rogue Regional hadn't adequately secured the drugs or supervised the technician. The board imposed a $20,000 penalty, but the hospital got to pay just $5,000 for complying with board-approved plans to fix the pharmacy's issues over the next three years. Six years later, the hospital faces an $11.5 million lawsuit over the most recent drug thefts. More suits are expected, as attorneys say they have been approached by dozens of former patients so far. The families of at least three patients who died have said the hospital notified them their loved one's fentanyl was likely replaced.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:36AM by Chuck Benson
 

Deputies Incarcerated Sunny Valley Man for Shooting Out Tires on Wife's Vehicle
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a 41-year-old man for shooting out the tires on his wife's vehicle while she was behind the wheel during a domestic altercation in the Sunny Valley area this week. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the man for the incident that occurred near the corner of Sunny Glen Way and Green Leaf Way on Thursday evening. Deputies said an 11-year-old child called 9-1-1 to report the incident after she ran to a friend's home on Leland Road. She told dispatchers her stepfather used a gun to shoot out the tires on her mother's vehicle so she could not leave while they were arguing about money. The child was also inside the vehicle at the time.
According to the report, the child stated there was an ongoing issue with domestic violence between her parents. She said her stepfather had been physical with her mother in the past, but not with the children. Deputies responded to the scene, interviewed the involved parties and surveyed the damaged vehicle before placing the male subject into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Coercion plus misdemeanor charges of Domestic Assault, Domestic Menacing and Reckless Endangering. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:34AM by Chuck Benson
 

Authorities Investigating Vandalism to Historic Cabin on RR-Siskiyou Forest
The US Forest Service is investigating the recent vandalism of a historic cabin located on the Gold Beach Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Forest Service personnel discovered that Packer's Cabin had been broken into and vandalized. The quaint three-bedroom historic cabin is located approximately 90 minutes from Brookings. Damage was extensive including removal of the doors, window frames and shutters, plus lots of graffiti and trash. The cabin is a recreational rental. It had been temporarily closed due to roof damage and the need to replace the woodstove. Packer's Cabin was originally built around 1930 and served as the headquarters for the Forest Service packer who supplied fire lookouts and field crews by horse or mule pack trains. The structure is believed to have been built by the Civilian Conservation Corps to replace an earlier structure during the Great Depression. Back in the 1930s and 40s, many of the fire lookouts were in extremely remote locations, often only accessible by horse, mule or foot as there were no roads to these sites. Workers staffing the lookouts lived there the entire fire season.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:32AM 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 6/1/24 5:30AM by Chuck Benson
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GP Police Officer Recently Graduated from Oregon Police Academy in Salem
A Grants Pass police officer recently graduated from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Last week, GPPD Officer Daniel Varela graduated from the Oregon Basic Police Academy in Salem. Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman and Captain Justin DeKrueger were present as Officer Varela proudly marched across the stage at the academy to receive his training certificate. He has since returned to Grants Pass and started his field training program.
Posted on 6/1/24 5:28AM by Chuck Benson
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Remote Fire Quashed after 8-Hour Battle by Multiple Agencies
Rural Metro Fire responded to the report of flames seen in the woods in the area of Dutchy Way just after midnight this morning. After searching for access, firefighters found a collection of motorhomes and other vehicles ablaze, and approximately 1/2 acre spread into the surrounding vegetation. A full response was mobilized that included assistance from Grants Pass Fire, Illinois Valley Fire District, ODF Southwest Oregon District and Pacific Power. The over 8-hour campaign was wrought with challenges, including aggressive dogs, unearthed military ordinance, and the remote access that required water to be shuttled into the location 500 gallons at a time. Mop-up was completed after daybreak.
Posted on 5/31/24 1:10PM by Chuck Benson
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Fire Season Restrictions Also Go into Effect on Saturday within City of GP
Following the Oregon Department of Forestry's declaration that the 2024 fire season in southwest Oregon starts tomorrow, restrictions will also go into effect in the City of Grants Pass. Fire season begins on Saturday at 12:01 a.m.. The fire danger will start at "low" and the City Municipal Code 9.15 Regulated Closure Fire Restrictions will take effect at that time. Beginning Saturday in Grants Pass, smoking in areas of flammable vegetation is prohibited. Open fires are also prohibited including campfires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations designated by the Fire Marshal. Still allowed will be natural gas, propane and charcoal barbecues and smokers as well as natural gas and propane-fueled ornamental fires. With low fire danger, power saw use is permitted all day. Power saw use must include one shovel and one fire extinguisher of at least 8-ounce capacity. A Firewatch of at least one hour is required following the use of each saw. The cutting, grinding and welding of metal in areas of flammable vegetation is permitted all day as is the mowing of dry grass. Motor vehicles -- including motorcycles and ATVs -- are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for agricultural uses. The City Fire Marshal or an authorized representative may -- in writing -- approve a modification or waiver of these requirements. For more information, contact the Grants Pass Fire Prevention Bureau at (541)-450-6200.
Posted on 5/31/24 11:16AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Incarcerated Sunny Valley Man for Shooting Tires on Wife's Car
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a 41-year-old man for shooting out the tires on his wife's vehicle while she was behind the wheel during a domestic altercation in the Sunny Valley area late yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the man for the incident that occurred near the corner of Sunny Glen Way and Green Leaf Way on Thursday at 6:22 p.m.. Deputies said an 11-year-old child called 9-1-1 to report the incident after she ran to a friend's home on Leland Road. She told dispatchers her stepfather used a gun to shoot out the tires on her mother's vehicle so she could not leave while they were arguing about money. The child was also inside the vehicle at the time. According to the report, the child stated there was an ongoing issue with domestic violence between her parents. She said her stepfather had been physical with her mother in the past, but not with the children. Deputies responded to the scene, interviewed the involved parties and surveyed the damaged vehicle before placing the male subject into custody. The suspect was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Coercion plus misdemeanor charges of Domestic Assault, Domestic Menacing and Reckless Endangering. He was being held without bail. The Sheriff's Office reported the incident to the Oregon Department of Human Services due to the child being in the car when the suspect shot out the tires.
Posted on 5/31/24 11:14AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Impaired Driver after Interstate 5 Crash in Josephine County
The Oregon State Police arrested a Douglas County motorist for multiple crimes after she crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 5 in northern Josephine County while impaired last night. OSP reports troopers and emergency personnel responded to the two-vehicle wreck in the northbound lanes of I-5 near milepost 78 on Thursday at about 9 p.m.. Troopers said an investigation determined that a 38-year-old Winston woman was driving a Ford Fusion when she rear-ended a Toyota Prius driven by a 74-year-old Bandon woman who had a 76-year-old female passenger aboard. The passenger was transported by ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center with chest pains. According to OSP, the Winston woman showed signs of impairment at the scene. She refused to participate in field sobriety tests and was taken to the Josephine County Jail where she provided a breath sample that was more than twice the legal driving limit. Both vehicles were heavily damaged and towed to Grants Pass. The female suspect was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, two counts of Reckless Endangering and Criminal Mischief. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/31/24 11:11AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Woman on Warrant and Found Her with Stolen Scooter
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman on an outstanding felony warrant and found her to be in possession of a stolen scooter yesterday. The Police Department reports officers were searching for the 27-year-old female subject before they found her at a home in the 1,000-block of East Park Street on Thursday shortly after 2 p.m.. Police said the woman was wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Identity Theft. They said she was well known to them from previous law enforcement contacts and was staying with her grandmother. She ran out the back door, but was placed into custody at a nearby parking lot. The woman advised officers that there was a man was inside the residence with a stolen scooter. He was contacted and denied stealing the scooter, stating that he bought it from another man for $50. The scooter was seized for safekeeping as it is believed to be stolen. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant as well as for suspicion of 2nd-Degree Theft. Her bail was set at $30,000.
Posted on 5/31/24 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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Firefighters Doused Grass Fire that Escaped from Burn Barrel on Foots Creek
Firefighters extinguished a grass fire that had escaped from a burn barrel near the City of Rogue River yesterday. On Thursday at 2:53 p.m., Jackson County Fire District #1 responded to the blaze in the 900-block of Foots Creek Road. Arriving units found a fire that was spreading and spotting up a hill. Due to the rate of spread, a second alarm was requested to bring additional resources including Grants Pass Fire & Rescue, Rural Metro Fire Department, Evans Valley Fire District and the Oregon Department of Forestry. Jackson County Fire District Chief Mike Hammond said crews were able to stop the fire at about two acres. He said an investigation determined that a resident was burning debris in a barrel when flames escaped, spread quickly across the ground and sent embers aloft, which resulted in spot fires on the nearby hillside. Hammond reminded residents that the 2024 fire season starts on Saturday and all outdoor debris burning will be prohibited.
Posted on 5/31/24 11:07AM by Sam Marsh
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