MEDFORD, Ore. — Dazzle, our NewsWatch 12 Pet of the Week, is a 4-month-old tortoise shell cat from C.A.T.S., the Committed Alliance to Strays . To adopt Dazzle or any of her friends, call C.A.T.S. at 541-779-2196. It’s located at 104 N. Ross Lane in Medford. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MEDFORD, Ore. — Police arrested 38-year-old Manoah Hall for a string of arsons in Medford. Investigators say Hall has a fixation with fire crews. In fact, officers say they saw him on scene of a few fires this summer. “He had also videotaped fire scenes prior to the arrival of emergency crews as well as significant footage of fires in general so that was a bit odd in itself,” said Chief Tim George. Videos posted to his YouTube account show local engines responding to emergencies. Police took down one of the videos. They say it actually shows a structure fire burning well before crews arrived on scene.
“It basically just documented verbally what was happening at the time, it was taken at night there was some conversation about the causation of the fire,” said Jim Williams, a detective with Medford Police.
His online presence, his presence at the scene and forensic evidence led police to his arrest. Investigators from Medford Police, Medford Fire, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms all teamed up on the case. Hall is facing charges for five fires, totalling $110,000 in damages. After his arrest, officers found methamphetamine in his home, so he’s also facing drug charges.
Police are waiting until trial to reveal any more details. “The method of operation is something we’re going to keep close to the vest at this point,” said Chief George.
On Friday morning, Governor John Kitzhaber held a news conference announcing mill improvements in Southern Oregon, including the revival of Rough & Ready Lumber Mill. NewsWatch12′s Justin Bourke explains more in the video above.
NewsWatch12 will have more information Tonight in the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.
MEDFORD, Ore. — The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed the names of the suspects involved in a shooting and car chase in Medford.
Wayne Pearson and Shavon Willard were apprehended in Medford on Thursday. They were originally being sought for several warrants out of Bonneville County and Jefferson County in eastern Idaho. Both suspects are still recovering after surgery at Rogue Regional Medical Center for gunshot wounds.
Bonnevile County Sheriff’s Office confirms that 29-year-old Wayne Pearson and Shavon Willard are the suspects in this case.
Thursday night, Medford Police Chief Tim George held a news conference to explain the sequence of events Thursday:
Police say federal officers from the Department Of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and firearms were tracking the two suspects on Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m.
The pursuit started at the Motel 6 on Biddle Road. Police say the driver of the truck intentionally ran into a police officer’s car, and then four police officers opened fire. The truck then drove through a neighbor’s fence in a cul-de-sac on Northcrest Circle.
Both the man and woman who are suspects in this case are two wanted suspects from what police are calling a similar incident in Idaho. Police say of the four officers who opened fire at the truck, two are from Medford Police, one from ATF, and the other from the Department of Justice.
The investigation is ongoing and will include a review of officers’ use of deadly force.
High pressure will build into the Northwest today. This is going to keep temperatures very mild and bring quiet weather to our forecast area. Low lying clouds and fog will break and lead to mostly sunny skies for the afternoon. Temperatures will climb into the 50′s & 60′s for the second half of the day.
Skies will start off mostly sunny on Saturday across inland locations, but clouds will gradually roll in from our west as our next storm prepares to move through the West. This is going to bring rain showers to the Coast between 3 & 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Inland, most of Saturday will be dry with the exception of the Cascades where showers will likely start developing into the evening.
By midnight, rain showers will move into West Side Valleys. Sunday will bring two waves of rain to the region. The first will be early around 5am and the second later in the day around 5-7pm. In between these two waves of widespread rain, rain showers will fall.
Snow levels are going to be around 9,000′ Sunday before dropping to 4,000′ Sunday night and Monday morning. Showers will continue to Monday and these will be in the form of snow for most of the higher elevations. Following this system, high pressure will build back into the West and bring in some drier air.
Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese
MEDFORD, Ore. — An investigation is ongoing on Hilton Road after police opened fire on two suspects with warrants out of Idaho. Medford Police said a 1998 Dodge truck carrying two wanted suspects from Idaho was spotted around 3p.m, Thursday by officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbacco and Firearms and the Oregon Department of Justice near the Motel 6 on Biddle Road. Police said the suspects were believed to be armed and dangerous. Officers followed the truck as they turned onto Hilton Road and into Northcrest Circle. Witnesses said they saw a pick-up truck crash into a yard, and was soon surrounded by officers with their guns drawn.
The specifics of their warrants aren’t being released, but Medford Police Chief Tim George said, “I can tell you it was stolen vehicle information and also information on another similar type incident, similar to this, in an effort to arrest them in Idaho previously.” Chief George said the suspects began realizing they were being followed and turned into the Northcrest Circle cul-de-sac. Law enforcement didn’t follow and instead attempted to set up spike strips. Before the spike strips could be deployed, police said the suspects intentionally ran into an occupied officer’s vehicle. The suspects then crashed into a near by yard and were soon surrounded by law enforcement.
The suspects were then taken into custody after multiple shots were fired by law enforcement. Police said they were both transported to the Rogue Regional Medical Center to be treated for gunshots wounds. Police said both suspects have undergone surgery. The conditions of the suspects are not being released. The officer inside the rammed car is now recovering from minor injuries.
The investigation is ongoing and will include a review of officers’ use of deadly force. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
MEDFORD, Ore. — Fear is something gymnasts inevitably feel at some point in their careers.
“It’s scary and there’s a big wall between who can and who can’t and you are either scared or you’re not,” said Laci-Mae James. “I’ve learned how to overcome literally anything and overcome fear and being completely scared standing at the corner of the floor crying and just going for it because that’s all you can do.”
That’s exactly what James does, ever since she first walked in to the ABK Gym in the sixth grade.
“I came in with a t-shirt and shorts on,” said James. “I was like, ‘OK, yeah, let’s do this gymnastics thing.’”
Now a senior in high school, James is a level nine gymnast and one of the best in Southern Oregon. She is also the best in her gym, which the younger gymnasts take note of.
“She still has no airs,” said Chris Blache, her coach. “She’s just down to earth just like anybody else. That’s pretty cool, and all the other kids here love her because of it. They love it because of the tricks she does and because they want to be her.”
“A lot of the times they’ll just have me come in and hang with the kiddos and teach them and so whenever I see something I just pick it up and just say, ‘Hey, change this’ or ‘do this,’” said James.
James is a presence in the gym. She’s there five or six days a week and everyone watches her in awe.
“If you come and hang out here, you’ll hear spontaneous applause happening from the audience just because the parents of other kids, or other kids watching will say, ‘Oh, that’s so cool,’” said Blache.
The opportunity to perform is one of the reasons she chose the sport.
“Gymnastics is a really big spectator sport so it’s like an extreme sport,” said James. “When people come to watch literally just because it’s cool and so it’s scary stuff that not everybody can do and so they want to see it. It’s something they see on TV in the Olympics and so when they see it in person, it’s awesome.”
HORNBROOK, Calif. — An investigation is underway at a small volunteer fire department in Northern California. Hornbrook firefighters were ordered to return to their fire house Thursday after walking out earlier this week.
A special all-staff meeting Thursday morning included an equipment inventory and safety check. The fire district’s board president says taking the inventory is a part of the current investigation.
Details of the investigation aren’t being released. However, both the board president and assistant chief say it centers on safety.
“It’s a total safety issue, it has to do with the solvency of this board and this district,” said Kimberly Olson, President of Hornbrook Fire Protection District.
“The fire department, we officially quit due to the fact the board will not address our safety concerns,” said Assistant Chief Lee Buckley.
The assistant chief and two other people also faced a disciplinary hearing on Thursday. They are accused of theft and failure of duty. CalFire will continue to respond to fires in the Hornbrook area, but says there could be a longer response time.