Local News

RADE Search Warrant Nets Drugs, Guns, Money and Arrests of Three Suspects
The Grants Pass Police Department assisted Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this week with the arrests of three people associated with a local drug trafficking enterprise. On Thursday around 9 a.m., RADE and the DEA served a search warrant in the 1800-block of NW Burns Avenue in Grants Pass. The search warrant revealed approximately four pounds of fentanyl, about $35,000 in suspected illegal drug proceeds, 13 firearms -- three of them stolen, more than 12 ounces of methamphetamine, an ounce of cocaine, an ounce of psilocybin mushrooms and other controlled substances. GPPD reports 47-year-old Brandon Gregory Ruppel and 52-year-old Laura Jean Berry were arrested and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Manufacture and Delivery of Controlled Substances within 1,000 Feet of a School, Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance and Felon in Possession of a Weapon. An additional occupant of the residence -- 50-year-old Jason Ruppel -- was cited to appear in court and released for multiple drug and firearms charges. 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.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:20AM by Sam Marsh
 

Deputies Arrested GP Man for Possessing Pickup Stolen Out of Douglas County
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Grants Pass area man this week for being in possession of a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Douglas County. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the 55-year-old suspect at a home in the 11,000-block of Peco Road off Azalea Drive late Thursday afternoon. Deputies said the Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported a 2004 Dodge Durango had been stolen that morning and the local man had been identified as the suspect. The Peco Road residence was listed as the address for the man, and that's where he was located and the vehicle was recovered. Upon contact with the suspect, he advised deputies that he had called the victim's parents, told them he didn't steal the vehicle and that he had permission to drive it. However, the parents and law enforcement disagreed so he was taken into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and he was being held without bail. The victim traveled to Grants Pass from Douglas County and picked up his vehicle.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Incarcerated Male Transient for Trespassing & Acting Aggressively
Grants Pass Police arrested a male transient this week for trespassing on railroad property and acting aggressively toward law enforcement. According to the Police Department, officers responded to a trespassing complaint near the railroad tracks in the 400-block of NW F Street behind American Medical Response late Thursday night. Police said AMR employees called 9-1-1 regarding a man making unreasonable noise on the railroad property next to their headquarters. Dispatchers advised they could hear the man yelling that he was going to kill someone along with some other vulgar statements. Responding officers contacted the 30-year-old man near Debo Park and he began acting aggressively toward them. A brief struggle took place before they placed him into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass. He was being held without bail.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:17AM by Sam Marsh
 

GP Police Got Assist from Deputies in Arresting Impaired Wrong-Way Driver
Grants Pass Police received an assist from the Josephine County Sheriff's Office when they arrested a motorist for impaired driving early yesterday. The Police Department reports sheriff's deputies pulled over a vehicle driven by a 53-year-old man near the corner of SE 6th and G streets on Friday at 2:45 a.m.. Police said deputies had stopped the motorist for driving north on southbound 6th Street. Since the traffic stop occurred in the downtown area, they requested police officers take over the investigation. Officers contacted the driver who showed multiple indicators of impairment. He was hostile toward them and found to be driving with a suspended license. The man performed poorly in field sobriety tests, so a search warrant was obtained and he was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for a legal blood draw. Based on the results of the blood draw, the suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving and Driving While Suspended. His vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:15AM by Sam Marsh
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Oregon River Trip Planning Just Got Easier with National Project and BLM
Oregon river information is now more accessible than ever on the National Rivers Project's (NRP) recreational river map. In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, the River Management Society recently added over 1,000 miles of Oregon rivers to the NRP site. This includes nearly 700 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, iconic whitewater reaches and beginner-friendly sections. The NRP website offers intuitive search features for both beginners and experienced paddlers. Users can sort sections by difficulty and recreational amenities such as fishing, camping and boat ramps. Each listing provides river access and permit details, with links to more information. Some of the recently added sections are very accessible with developed launches, while others are more wild and remote. BLM rangers remind boaters to check local weather conditions, water levels and permit requirements before department on a river trip. NRP Coordinator James Major said all their river and access information is sourced and reviewed by managing agencies, so boaters can feel confident when they begin their trip-planning on their website at "nationalriversproject.com."
Posted on 4/20/24 6:13AM by Sam Marsh
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US Supreme Court Set to Hear GP Lawsuit on Monday that May Bring Nationwide Changes
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A lawsuit that began in Grants Pass in 2018 will be argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court next week, potentially paving the way for nationwide changes in the ways cities address certain elements of the homelessness crisis. The Oregonian reports sitting at one of the counsel tables on Monday will be Ed Johnson, litigation director at The Oregon Law Center, a small legal nonprofit that filed the lawsuit against the City of Grants Pass six years ago. The suit, brought on behalf of all unhoused individuals in Grants Pass, claimed that it was unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to cite and fine people for camping or sleeping outside if they had nowhere else to go. Johnson, whose professional mission is to achieve justice for low-income Oregonians, will sit at the counsel table to support the Washington DC-based attorney who will argue Grants Pass versus Johnson in front of the country's highest legal decision makers. In court documents, lawyers for Grants Pass have argued that the city is obligated to protect the health and safety of its residents and that the lower courts’ "decisions stand in the way of solutions to this complex problem and harm the very people they were intended to help" by allowing individuals to remain on the street.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:11AM by Sam Marsh
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Thirty Oregon Counties will Receive More Than $47.7 Million in Federal SRS Payments in 2024
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US Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Friday that 30 Oregon counties will receive more than $47.7 million in federal payments under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS). The SRS funds are allocated from the US Forest Service for schools and road maintenance, youth job training, wildfire prevention, watershed restoration and habitat conservation. Locally, Douglas and Klamath counties will receive by far the largest amount of SRS funding with $6.67 million and $6.37 million, respectively. Jackson County will receive more than $1,462,000 and Josephine County will get $950,157.29. Nationwide, SRS provides critical funding for schools, roads and other municipal services to more than 700 US counties. A portion of US Forest Service funds generated through multi-use activities such as timber production, grazing and special use permits supports rural counties with federal forestland to improve the health of forested communities. More funding for rural counties is expected from the Bureau of Land Management in the near future.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:08AM by Sam Marsh
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Rogue-Siskiyou Forest Employee Receives Pacific NW Region Engineering Award
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The US Forest Service recently selected a Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest worker as the Pacific Northwest Region's Technology Applications Employee of the Year for 2023. Troy Phillis, a Rogue-Siskiyou employee and 1992 graduate of Oregon Institute of Technology, received the award from the federal agency. Phillis was among the recipients identified for annual Engineer of the Year awards in four categories in March. He was nominated by his supervisors, peers and employees for being known to consistently deliver a high caliber of performance and for taking initiative in completing priority work for the agency. Acting Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Dan Quinones said Phillis has helped them further develop one of the best fleet organizations in the region. He said their shop and crews follow impeccable standards of safety, quality and service, adding that Troy has also significantly enhanced fleet capabilities and efficiency while doing so.
Posted on 4/20/24 6:07AM by Sam Marsh
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Deputies Arrested GP Man for Possessing Stolen Douglas County Pickup
The Josephine County Sheriff's Office jailed a Grants Pass area man yesterday for being in possession of a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Douglas County. The Sheriff's Office reports deputies arrested the 55-year-old suspect at a home in the 11,000-block of Peco Road off Azalea Drive on Thursday at 4:20 p.m.. Deputies said the Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported a 2004 Dodge Durango had been stolen that morning and the local man had been identified as the suspect. The Peco Road residence was listed as the address for the man, and that's where he was located and the vehicle was recovered. Upon contact with the suspect, he advised deputies that he had called the victim's parents, told them he didn't steal the vehicle and that he had permission to drive it. However, the parents and law enforcement disagreed so he was taken into custody. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and he was being held without bail. The victim traveled to Grants Pass from Douglas County and picked up his vehicle.
Posted on 4/19/24 11:09AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Snared Man on Two Warrants after He Backed into Vehicle at Park
Grants Pass Police arrested a man wanted on two local warrants early yesterday after he backed his car into another vehicle at a city park. The Police Department reports officers responded to the reported collision at Morrison Centennial Park on Rogue River Highway around 9:40 a.m. Thursday. Police said the 46-year-old man was backing out of a parking space at the park when he struck another vehicle. Upon contact, they discovered that his license was suspended, he had no insurance and he was not driving for emergency reasons. Further investigation determined that the man was wanted on a Josephine County felony warrant for failing to appear in court for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment and Suspended Driving. He was also wanted on a Grants Pass felony warrant for DUII and Suspended Driving. The suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the warrants. He was also cited for the traffic violations and his vehicle was impounded.
Posted on 4/19/24 11:07AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Jailed Woman for Struggling with Officers after SW City Complaints
Grants Pass Police jailed a woman for multiple crimes yesterday after she caused a disturbance in a southwest city neighborhood and struggled with law enforcement. According to the Police Department, officers eventually arrested the 31-year-old female subject near the corner of SW Alder and I streets on Thursday at 1:48 p.m.. Police said the woman had generated multiple calls for service due to causing public alarm by knocking over trash cans and walking in the middle of the street. One caller reported the woman was standing on their front porch and pounding on the door. Responding officers contacted the suspect and advised her she was under arrest. The woman said "No, I'm not" and walked away. Officers made physical contact to effect the arrest, but the subject began to resist and physically pulled away. She was eventually subdued and placed into custody. The uncooperative suspect was lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Escape. She was being held without bail.
Posted on 4/19/24 11:05AM by Sam Marsh
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GP Police Collared Man on Statewide Warrant after Grange Co-op Shoe Theft
Grants Pass Police apprehended a man wanted on a statewide felony warrant after he tried to steal a pair of shoes from Grange Co-op late yesterday. The Police Department reports officers arrested the 32-year-old subject at the store on West Schutzwohl Lane near Redwood Highway on Thursday at 5:22 p.m.. Police said the man selected a pair of shoes from the Grange, put them on, placed his old shoes into the box and returned the box to the shelf before walking out of the store without paying. He was detained by loss prevention and placed into custody by responding officers. A routine records check revealed that the man was wanted on an Oregon State Parole Board warrant for Felony Parole Violation related to a previous criminal conviction. He was lodged in jail on the warrant plus a new charge of 3rd-Degree Theft and was being held on a no-bail detainer. The suspect and his girlfriend were both trespassed from Grange Co-op.
Posted on 4/19/24 11:04AM by Sam Marsh
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