Local News

GP Council Okay’s City Expansion & Affordable Housing
The Grants Pass City Council was called to order with three councilors absent, Dwight Faszer, Brian DeLaGrange and Rob Pell missing. Councilor Pell did arrive after the first vote. Later in the meeting Councilor Lovelace recused herself for one vote. An ordinance annexing the property at 2117 Allen Creek Road into the city limits to facilitate the expansion of Allen Creek Road to include the development of a regional stormwater facility. The total property is 3.25 acres. The Public Works Department requested the annexation. The ordinance was approved unanimously with five yes votes. The Council then approved the zoning of the annexed property to R-2 with five voting yes and one abstention after Councilor Pell arrived late. The 2nd reading will be at the next business session.
An ordinance amending the comprehensive plan map and the zoning map for property located at 235 Northwest Scenic Drive was approved unanimously. The land will be transferred to Home Bridging G.P. to create a moderate-high density development of 22 moderately priced cottages available for seniors 62-years-old and older. The fifth ordinance of the night vacating the property lines between three lots at 670 and 680 Rogue River Highway.to allow the further development of a self-storage facility was also approved unanimously. A resolution revising the development agreement with Chrisman Development, Inc. reducing the number of affordable housing units from 66 to 51 units on the surplus property known as the Southwest Ramsey Avenue. The project has had funding problems but with fewer units the project is more financially feasible. The approval was unanimous
Posted on 5/15/24 8:01PM by Chuck Benson

GP Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Terry Hopkins as New CEO and President
The Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Terry Hopkins has been selected as its new CEO and President. A local entrepreneur with deep roots in the community, Hopkins brings over 25 years of business management experience in Southern Oregon to his new role. A lifelong resident of Grants Pass, Hopkins is a graduate of Grants Pass High School. His career has been marked by a commitment to the local economy and community, with an extensive background in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Hopkins has worked with Thomason Hospitality Group and served as a business advocate for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. Most notably, he opened and currently operates the popular Grants Pass bar and restaurant Steam Distillery which launched in 2021. Hopkins' appointment marks a promising new chapter for the Chamber of Commerce as it continues to support and advocate for local businesses and economic growth in the region.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:27AM by Sam Marsh

Board Adopted Four Ordinances to Make Needed Changes to Josephine Code
The Board of Commissioners this morning adopted four ordinances that made some necessary alterations to the Josephine County Code. Following public hearings on the second readings of the ordinances, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the changes involving the Southern Oregon Library Information System (SOLIS), Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS), Public Works Revolving Fund and Law Library. Assistant Legal Counsel Leah Harper testified that SOLIS was adopted in 1999 as a library network connection for Josephine, Jackson and Klamath counties -- but since Josephine Community Library District is no longer run by the County, it is being repealed. The chapter on LEDS was created in 2002 for Human Resources (HR) to conduct background checks on employees and volunteers, but HR is now using a third-party system and no longer needs LEDS. It is also being repealed. Harper testified that Public Works Revolving Fund was established in 1991 to administer state funding for road maintenance and repairs, but it was closed about 20 years ago and is being repealed. A chapter on the Law Library was amended to offer more flexible hours for legal staff and the public. The Law Library will stay open as long as the state continues to fund its operation.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:26AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Jailed Man for Four Crimes after Catching Him with Stolen Vehicle
Grants Pass Police jailed man for multiple crimes last night after catching him driving a stolen vehicle on Rogue River Highway. The Police Department reports officers pulled over a Toyota Tacoma driven by the 45-year-old man on Highway 99 near Parkdale Drive on Tuesday at 8:03 p.m.. Police said they spotted the Tacoma, which had been reported stolen from the 5900-block of Jerome Prairie Road by the Josephine County Sheriff's Office. While contacting the driver, they discovered that his driving privileges had been suspended. During a consent search, he was found to be in possession of both methamphetamine and fentanyl. The narcotics were seized for destruction and the registered owner of the truck was notified of its recovery. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle along with misdemeanor charges of Driving While Suspended, Possession of Meth and Possession of Fentanyl. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:24AM by Sam Marsh
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Grants Pass Police Arrested Man for Obstructing Traffic in South Part of City
Grants Pass Police arrested a man last night for obstructing traffic in the south part of the city. According to the Police Department, officers responded to the incident near the corner of Marion Lane and Ringuette Street on Tuesday around 6:30 p.m.. Police said a motorist called 9-1-1 to report a man was blocking his vehicle on Ringuette. They said the 29-year-old man's behavior initiated additional calls for service due to him standing in the middle of the roadway. Upon arrival, officers contacted the suspect and placed him into custody. His corrections officer was contacted and requested that his client be lodged in jail. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and the resulting Felony Parole Violation. He was being held without bail. Jail records showed the man has been arrested for violating his parole eight times since October of last year.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:23AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Motorist for Impaired Driving after Crash at 7th Street Bridge
Grants Pass Police arrested a motorist for impaired driving after he crashed his vehicle into another near the 7th Street Bridge late last night. The Police Department reports officers and emergency crews responded to the two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Rogue River Highway and East Park Street on Tuesday at about 11:50 p.m.. Police said a caller reported that he was driving a Nissan Altima when he was struck by a medium-sized sedan driven by another male motorist. The caller said the suspect vehicle ran through a red light and struck the front driver-side of his car, partially jamming the door so he had trouble getting out. According to the report, the 42-year-old suspect appeared to be impaired and told the other driver he had no insurance or registration for his vehicle. The suspect displayed signs of impairment and admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana about two hours before the crash. He was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances and Reckless Driving before being cited to appear in court and released. His wrecked vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:22AM 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 late yesterday during a traffic stop on Williams Highway in the Applegate Valley. According to OSP, troopers pulled over a Toyota Prius driven by the 58-year-old motorist near milepost 8.5 of Highway 238 on Tuesday at 4:39 p.m.. Troopers said they stopped the suspect vehicle for traffic violations and the driver displayed signs of impairment. They said he performed poorly in field sobriety tests, so he was placed into custody and taken to the Grants Pass Sobering Center where he provided a breath sample that exceeded the legal driving limit. The suspect was lodged at the Sobering Center for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving. It was unclear in the report if the car was towed.
Posted on 5/15/24 11:21AM by Sam Marsh
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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
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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
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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
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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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