Local News

GP Man Jailed after Eluding Law Enforcement following Domestic Violence Call
A Grants Pass man was jailed after a day-long dragnet this week in which he eluded law enforcement after a domestic violence incident in the downtown area. The Grants Pass Police Department reports officers eventually arrested 32-year-old Casey Jay Whitten in the 600-block of SW 6th Street late Monday afternoon. Police said Whitten unlawfully entered a woman's residence on Monday morning by climbing through her bedroom window. They said he left the location before officers could catch him and he was last seen running toward Western Avenue. Units checked all around the area and were unable to locate him. According to the report, the Women's Crisis Support Team was contacted and an advocate responded to the woman's home. A safety plan was formed and the team will be providing follow-up assistance to the victim. Officers learned that Whitten had taken the woman's phone, so they located him downtown by pinging it. The suspect took off running, but he finally surrendered and was placed into handcuffs near the intersection of 6th and L streets. During transport to the Josephine County Jail, Whitten began to have medical issues so he was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for evaluation. Though he was supervised by officers and hospital staff, he attempted to escape custody by using physical force. He was ultimately subdued and placed back in handcuffs. After being medically cleared at the hospital, Whitten was lodged in jail for 1st-Degree Burglary, Domestic Strangulation, 2nd-Degree Escape and Criminal Trespass. An additional Escape charge was referred to the District Attorney for consideration.
Posted on 7/24/24 6:00AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Arrested Man for Breaking into Downtown Safeway to Steal Donuts
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for breaking into a downtown supermarket and stealing food items early yesterday. The Police Department reports officers responded to the burglary incident at the Safeway on SE 7th Street on Tuesday around 2:45 a.m.. Police said the Grants Pass 9-1-1 Communications Center received several calls about a male subject who shattered the front door of Safeway, entered the store and stole food items. Reports indicated the subject then left the scene on foot. Officers arrived on scene and located a man who matched the description of the burglary suspect. He was detained without incident. Further investigation determined that the report was accurate and 47-year-old Brandon Wayne Newton shattered the front door with a shopping cart and entered Safeway to steal donuts. He admitted to the crimes and stated he was hungry. Newton was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on felony charges of 1st-Degree Burglary and 1st-Degree Criminal Mischief plus a misdemeanor charge of Petty Theft. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/24/24 5:59AM by Sam Marsh

GP Police Snared Woman Allegedly Using Drugs by RADE Building near Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a woman who was allegedly using narcotics near a building occupied by Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE). According to the Police Department, officers responded to a report of two men and two women shooting up drugs at the building near the entrance to Baker Park on Monday night. Police said they searched the area and located a 31-year-old female subject who was walking away from a hypodermic needle and burnt foil on the ground. She denied using any drugs, but admitted that she had been trespassed from the city park on June 25th. She was three days short of adhering to the trespass violation. The suspect was placed into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Criminal Trespass. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 7/24/24 5:56AM by Sam Marsh

Board to Interview Commissioner Candidates and Make Appointment Today
There's not much happening for the Josephine County Board of Commissioners at its weekly business session this morning. The real action takes place after the meeting. The Board will open the weekly business session with Requests and Comments from Citizens when participants are given three minutes to address the Board on virtually any topic related to Josephine County. As part of the Consent Calendar, the Commissioners will consider approval of a plat map for Phase 1 of the SSPX Elk Crossing development. At 10 a.m., the Board will reconvene to interview candidates for the seat vacated by former Commissioner Dan DeYoung on July 15th. The Commission is expected to appoint DeYoung's replacement after the interview process. Eleven candidates applied for the position, which was narrowed down to three for today's interviews. Today's public meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Anne G. Basker Auditorium. The appointment of the new Commissioner will take place in the Board's Conference Room in the Courthouse. Both meetings can be viewed via Zoom or the Josephine County YouTube page.
Posted on 7/24/24 5:52AM by Sam Marsh
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Swiped Swine Pens Returned to Josephine County Fairgrounds Ahead of August Event
Thanks to the intervention of Josephine County leaders and Oregon State University Extension staff, swine pens that had been removed from the Fairgrounds last Sunday have been returned to their original location. According to a Josephine County news release, volunteers and children with local agricultural programs were on hand at the Fairgrounds to unload and set up the pens on Tuesday morning. The swine pens were removed from the Fairgrounds in Grants Pass by members of the public unaffiliated with Josephine County government or the OSU Extension. OSU stated at the time the action was not part of the Extension's planned closeout of local operations after the Board of Commissioners voted to defund the district. The Commissioners and Fairgrounds staff worked closely with the OSU Extension to secure the return of the pens ahead of the Josephine County Fair, which begins August 7th. Josephine County Recreation Director Tamra Martin said the fair is about kids and the livestock community is the heart of the fair. She said they're thrilled to get the pens back and ensure a successful fair for everyone. In a Facebook post, Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said deputies escorted the semi-truck returning the pig pens back to the Fairgrounds yesterday. He said he is proud of how everyone handled this unfortunate situation with calm resolve.
Posted on 7/24/24 5:50AM by Sam Marsh
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ODOT Warns Motorists about Chip Seal Project on Highway 66 East of Ashland
Motorists should expect daytime lane closures and delays along Oregon Highway 66 east of Ashland due to a two-day chip seal project that starts tomorrow. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports flaggers and pilot cars will provide traffic control through the work zone, which starts at Dead Indian Memorial Road and ends near the east end of Emigrant Lake. According to ODOT, crews will be in that six-mile stretch of highway to complete prep work ahead of the chip seal project. Chip seal projects can result in loose rock on the roadway. Motorists are advised to slow down, drive with caution and allow additional space between vehicles. While lane closure are in effect, ODOT asks local residents to wait at the end of their driveways for a pilot car before turning onto the highway. ODOT will post signs at each driveway and flaggers will provide traffic control at intersections. Through mid-August, drivers should watch for intermittent daytime lane closures for striping and sign installation. For updated information about road conditions and active work zones, visit "tripcheck.com."
Posted on 7/24/24 5:41AM by Sam Marsh
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City of Grants Pass Issues Call for Artists for Utility Box Art Project Proposals
The City of Grants Pass -- in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation -- has an agreement to wrap utility boxes with vinyl artwork. Grants Pass officials said this project will further the City's goal of creating vibrant art to be enjoyed by all citizens and visitors. All art must be original and proposals will be recommended by the Grants Pass Committee on Public Art, with final approval from the City Council and ODOT. Local artists, artist teams and students are encouraged to apply. There will be an artist stipend given for each of the boxes, depending on the method used. The art should be whimsical, fun, family-friendly and highlight nature with animals, wildlife and plants. The proposed utility box art must cover all four sides and the top of the box. The goal of the public art program is to transform traffic control boxes into distinctive works of art to create a more vibrant and attractive cityscape. For more details, please visit "grantspassoregon.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3351."
Posted on 7/24/24 5:39AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested Man for Roughing Up Girlfriend at Hilltop Drive Residence
Grants Pass Police arrested a man for roughing up his girlfriend at a home in the south part of the city. The Police Department reports officers responded to the domestic disturbance at a residence on Hilltop Drive on Sunday at 7:55 p.m.. Police said a 55-year-old male subject and his girlfriend were involved in a loud argument that lasted more than an hour. They said neighbors called 9-1-1 after they could hear a man and woman screaming at each other. An investigation revealed that the man chased the woman and grabbed her by the hair, forcing her to come back. The woman said she did not wish to pursue any charges -- but after speaking with officers, her boyfriend was placed into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Domestic Menacing, Disorderly Conduct and the resulting Felony Parole Violation. He was being held on a no-bail detainer. Jail records showed the male suspect has been arrested for violating his post-prison supervision three times since March 27th.
Posted on 7/23/24 11:47AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Collared Man on Local Felony Warrant after Service Call in Wolf Creek Area
The Oregon State Police apprehended a man wanted on a local felony warrant after a weekend incident in the Wolf Creek area. OSP reports troopers responded to a call for service near the corner of Edgewood Road and Old Highway 99 on Sunday at 7:54 p.m.. No other details about the call were disclosed, but troopers contacted a 31-year-old man who was wanted on an active arrest warrant for Parole Violation stemming from a past conviction for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. The suspect was placed into custody without incident. He was transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail on a no-bail detainer.
Posted on 7/23/24 11:46AM by Sam Marsh
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OSP Snared Salem Man with 200 Pounds of Marijuana in Illinois Valley Contact
The Oregon State Police arrested a Salem man for possessing a large amount of illegal marijuana during a weekend traffic stop in the Illinois Valley. According to OSP, troopers stopped for a Chevrolet Colorado driven by a 43-year-old man on Takilma Road on Saturday during the noon hour. Troopers said the pickup was parked on the shoulder of Takilma Road and probable cause was developed that a criminal amount of marijuana was being transported by the vehicle's driver. The driver gave consent to search the truck and approximately 200 pounds of marijuana was seized for destruction. The suspect was charged with Felony Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. He was cited to appear in Josephine County Circuit Court and released. His pickup was impounded. The suspect's passenger was identified as a 23-year-old Cave Junction man. He was detained, but not arrested.
Posted on 7/23/24 11:44AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Arrested 2 People for Trying to Steal Items from Rite Aid & Bi-Mart
Grants Pass Police arrested two people for trying to steal merchandise from south-city retailers in separate incidents yesterday. According to the Police Department, the first incident occurred on Monday at 11:23 a.m. when officers were alerted to a shoplifting incident at the Rite Aid in the Williams Highway Plaza. Police said a 32-year-old woman concealed $42 worth of merchandise in the front pocket of her jacket and walked past all points of sale without making any attempt to pay. She was placed into custody in the store parking lot and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. The second incident happened on Monday at 2:25 p.m. when officers responded to a shoplifting call at Bi-Mart. Police said a 37-year-old man concealed $30 worth of 9-millimeter ammunition and passed all points of sale without making any attempt to pay. They searched the area and found the suspect on the west side of Riverside Park. He was placed into custody and lodged in jail for 3rd-Degree Theft. The suspects were trespassed from Rite Aid and Bi-Mart, respectively.
Posted on 7/23/24 11:43AM by Sam Marsh
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ODF Investigating Cause of Monday Night Grass Fire near Pomeroy Dam in IV
The Oregon Department of Forestry was investigating the cause of a vegetation fire that broke out last night near Pomeroy Dam in the Illinois Valley. ODF and the Illinois Valley Fire District responded to the reported fire between two US Forest Service roads off West Side Road on Monday at 10:38 p.m.. Arriving units found a 2/10th of an acre blaze burning in blackberries and brush. ODF and IVFD crews mounted an aggressive attack and limited the fire to around a half-acre. An IVFD water tender remained on scene to assist ODF with mopping up the fire. The scene was eventually turned over to ODF for an investigation.
Posted on 7/23/24 11:41AM by Sam Marsh
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