Local News

Board of Commissioners Races Narrowed to 4 and Voters Defeat Primary Election Measures
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The race to replace two departing members of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners appears to have been narrowed from eight down to four candidates after the second run of ballots in the May Primary Election. For Position #2 on the Board, Chris Barnett had a substantial lead with 44.74% of the ballots with Colene Martin in second place with 24.66%. For Position #3 on the Board, Pat Fahey was the leader with 39.65% of the vote while Ron Smith was second with 25.86%. Meanwhile, Josephine County voters sent all three ballot measures down to defeat. Measure 17-116 to replace the County Charter was losing 66.64% to 33.36%. Measure 17-117 to fund the Animal Shelter and Animal Control was losing 59.41% to 40.59%. Measure 17-118 to authorize a bond for Three Rivers School District building improvements was also losing by a 68.07% to 31.93% tally. For Senate District 2, it was Republican Noah Robinson defeating Christine Goodwin by a count of 60.04% to 31.93%. For State Representative District 3, Democrat Mark Seligman was defeating Dustin Watkins by a tally of 60.12% to 37.56%. Josephine County Clerk Rhiannon Henkels reported that more than 10,000 ballots were hand-delivered over the past two days and her staff was extremely busy. As of 11 o'clock last night, the local turnout was 39.42%. Elections staff will continue counting ballots and the next returns are expected by 5 p.m. today.
Posted on 5/22/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh

Sheriff's Office Announces Rogue River Closures for Annual Boatnik Festival in GP
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The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has announced Rogue River closures related to the Boatnik Festival in Grants Pass this coming holiday weekend. During the Boatnik races, the Rogue River will be closed in designated areas and during designated times. All spectators will remain off the water until the races are over and they must remain 50 feet from the waterway at all times. On Friday, the Rogue will be closed between 6 and 10:15 p.m. from Baker Park to Caveman Bridge. On Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10:15 p.m., the river will be closed between Baker Park and Caveman Bridge. On Monday, the Rogue will be closed from 9 a.m. to noon from Baker Park to Caveman Bridge for the Memorial Day ceremony, and from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge for the Tom Rice Memorial Whitewater Hydroplane Race. Movement on the water during closure times is restricted to law enforcement, rescue personnel and authorized race officials. For safety purposes, private boats are not allowed to assist with crash or rescue operations.
Posted on 5/22/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

Evergreen Federal Bank & City of Grants Pass Present "BearFest 2024" This Summer
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It's that time of year again in Grants Pass. The Boatnik Festival begins tomorrow and the bears are coming out to play. Evergreen Federal Bank and the City of Grants Pass present BearFest 2024, celebrating 21 years of displaying those beautiful bruins on the streets of River City. A total of 56 bears will be on display in Grants Pass through Labor Day. In the downtown area, you'll find perennial favorites such as "Huckle Beary," "Post Office Bear," "Barry Potter" and "Carmen Bearanda." At the north end of town, watch for "Butter Cup," "Teddy" and "Sister City Bear." At the south end of town, look for "Mama Bear," "One Bear Band" and Rockabilly Bear." BearFest was inspired by former Evergreen Federal Bank President Brady Adams, who enlisted the help of talented local artists to create bears to line the streets of Grants Pass each summer. Evergreen Federal Bank is celebrating 90 years of serving Southern Oregon.
Posted on 5/22/24 5:52AM by Sam Marsh

BCC to Hold Public Hearing on Creating Fairgrounds Fund from Flying Lark Sale
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on setting up a fund to serve the future financial needs of the Fairgrounds during its weekly business session tomorrow. Following the hearing, the Board will consider an ordinance that would amend the Josephine County Code to create the Fairgrounds Permanent Fund which would hold money to be accumulated and expended for the purpose of financing the cost of projects, property, services and equipment at the facility in Grants Pass. The interest-bearing account is being funded with proceeds from the sale of The Flying Lark to River Valley Community Church. The value of the fund must be maintained at no less than $9 million. The Commissioners and the Fair Board can authorize loans from the fund for Fairgrounds projects and financial needs. A second reading and adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for June 5th. In two other public hearings, the Board will consider three annexations to the Illinois Valley Fire District and one annexation to the Josephine Community Library District. The annexations are by petition of the landowners. Wednesday's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.
Posted on 5/21/24 1:17PM by Sam Marsh
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Sheriff's Office Investigation Recovered Stolen Truck that Led to Hugo Arrest
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a man for multiple crimes including stealing a vehicle after an investigation in the Hugo area early yesterday. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested a 24-year-old male subject at a home in the 200-block of Keeta Way on Monday at 10:02 a.m.. Deputies said they received a call from a person who stated that they saw a pickup parked at that address that matched their stolen 2000 Chevrolet Silverado, with an extended cab, long bed, black wheels and tool box. Further investigation revealed that the property owner had been trying to evict the current tenant. Upon arrival, deputies confirmed that the pickup had been stolen by the tenant who was rumored to have five shotguns stashed throughout his residence. He was placed into custody without incident and the stolen pickup was recovered. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle and 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief plus two counts each of 3rd-Degree Theft and Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail. He was also trespassed from three homes on Keeta Way.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:42AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Snared Man on State Warrant after Trespass Call at Animal Shelter
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant while investigating a trespassing complaint at the Animal Shelter. According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the call at the facility in the 1400-block of Brookside Boulevard on Monday around 3 p.m.. Deputies said a caller reported a dark-colored Chevrolet sport utility vehicle had been parked on the property and they wanted it removed. They responded and contacted the 42-year-old male driver and discovered that he was wanted on an Oregon State warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a previous conviction for Intimidation that included a Stalking Violation. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer. He was trespassed from the Animal Shelter as well as the Safeway store in downtown Grants Pass due to another unrelated incident.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:40AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Outstanding Warrant in North City Patrol Check
Grants Pass Police arrested a man on an outstanding warrant during a patrol check in the north part of the city last night. According to the Police Department, officers spotted a man and woman looking in vehicles parked at Kelly's Automotive on NE 6th Street near Hillcrest Drive on Monday at about 8:40 p.m.. Police said they contacted a 35-year-old man and he gave them a false name before fleeing on foot. With help from his female companion, he was identified and then located in a room at the Sweet Breeze Inn. The suspect was found hiding in the bathroom and detained until it was discovered that he was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for Probation Violation related to a recent arrest for a traffic violation. He was lodged in jail on a no-bail detainer. Charges of Furnishing False Information to Police were referred to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office for consideration.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:38AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Two Campers during City Park Patrol Checks on Monday
Grants Pass Police made two arrests while patrolling city parks on Monday. At Riverside Park, officers contacted a 57-year-old man and placed him into custody for remaining in the park after being trespassed on May 15th. He was lodged in jail for Criminal Trespass as well as Felony Parole Violation and was being held on a no-bail detainer. Jail records showed the man has been arrested six times for violating his post-prison supervision since last June. At Morrison Centennial Park, officers contacted a woman for observed city ordinance violations and discovered that she was wanted on a Jackson County warrant for failing to appear in court for Petty Theft and Furnishing False Information to Police. She was cited to appear in court and then released.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:37AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Nabbed GP Man for Impaired Driving after Williams Highway Traffic Stop
The Oregon State Police arrested a Grants Pass man for impaired driving after an afternoon traffic stop on Williams Highway. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a black Tesla driven by a 53-year-old man near the intersection of Highway 238 and New Hope Road on Monday at 3:36 p.m. Troopers said they stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and the driver showed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests, so he was taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that was well over the legal driving limit. The suspect motorist was lodged at the Sobering Center on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving. It was unclear in the report if the Tesla was impounded.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:36AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Cited GP Motorist for Causing Redwood Highway Wreck West of City
No one was hurt, but a Grants Pass motorist was cited yesterday for causing a wreck on Redwood Highway about five miles west of the city. OSP reports troopers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle crash near milepost 5 of US Highway 199 on Monday shortly before 4 p.m.. Troopers said evidence at the scene and witness statements indicated a Dodge Journey driven by a 26-year-old Grants Pass woman failed to make sure the intersection was clear before making a left turn and it was struck by a southbound Honda Ridgeline driven by a 50-year-old Grants Pass woman. According to OSP, the Honda was towed while the Dodge was able to be driven from the scene. Both drivers were provided with a copy of the crash report. The 26-year-old woman was cited for multiple unspecified traffic violations.
Posted on 5/21/24 11:34AM by Sam Marsh
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RADE Arrested Two People While Raiding Property in Southern Illinois Valley
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Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) arrested two people late last week while raiding a property in the southern Illinois Valley. The Grants Pass Police Department reports the RADE team served a search warrant in the 35,000-block of Redwood Highway in O'Brien last Thursday. RADE detectives said the search warrant uncovered around a quarter-pound of methamphetamine, 34 firearms including four suppressors, six blasting caps and detonation cord, and over five pounds of red phosphorus. Two individuals located at the residence -- identified as 57-year-old Kurtis Kern Korff and 49-year-old Grace Helen Polk -- were arrested, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Possession of Meth and 34 counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Additional charges are pending. RADE was assisted by the Oregon State Police SWAT and Clandestine Laboratory teams along with the OSP Explosives Unit. RADE is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts and dismantles local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency, prosecutor-supported approach. RADE is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, composed of members from OSP, GPPD, Josephine County Community Corrections and the Josephine County District Attorney's Office.
Posted on 5/21/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Man on Felony Warrant and for Fighting with Officers at Park
Grants Pass Police jailed a man on an outstanding felony warrant and for fighting with officers at Riverside Park last weekend. The Police Department reports officers eventually arrested the 30-year-old male subject near the upper gazebo at the city park on Sunday at 3:25 p.m.. Police said the man was the subject of a disorderly conduct call involving a gun. They said he actively resisted arrest and fought with officers, covering an officer's nose with his hand while wrestling, impeding the officer's ability to breathe. The man has a history of resisting arrest and he was wanted on a Josephine County warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief and Furnishing False Information to Police. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrant and for new charges of Felony Attempted Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct. The case has been forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution. A search of the park was conducted, but no firearm was located.
Posted on 5/21/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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