Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 11/1 – Ashland Halloween Parade Returned In Full Force, Pre-Trial Hearing Held For Grants Pass Animal Neglect Suspect

The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 

Rogue Valley Weather

Cancelled For Two Years Because Of The Pandemic, Ashland Halloween Parade Returned In Full Force

This year families once again donned their costumes and marched down East Main Street in Ashland’s Halloween Parade. More than five thousand revelors flooded the streets as the parade stretched along several blocks.

The Halloween parade was led by “Samba Like it Hot,” a local Brazilian carnival-style band that’s been a staple of the event for years.

 Police estimated that East Main Street was crowded with more than 5,000 people. Here’s a video on Facebook that gives you a good idea on how the parade kicked off:

The tradition dates back to at least the early 90’s, and draws thousands of ghosts and goblins during normal years.

“It really is a wonderful thing to be able to come back together as a community,” says Travel Ashland Director Katharine Cato. “To have the parade, have the family traditions and the costumes. The amazing creativity of Ashland comes alive.”

Pre-Trial Hearing Held For Grants Pass Animal Neglect Suspect

Joseph Larue, the suspect in animal abuse case, appeared in court Monday for a pre-trial hearing. Prosecutors had five witnesses on the stand today.

According to court records, joseph LaRue is facing 37 counts of various criminal charges all related to animal neglect at Pawsitive k9 solutions dog training and boarding in grants pass.

Four of the witnesses were on the scene at Pawsitive K9 Solutions on September 21st when the dogs were rescued. They all testified on the condition of the business saying there were flies, animal urine, and animal feces throughout the kennels and no food or water. The witnesses also shared the conditions of the property in Selma, stating there was no food or water for the animals.

“There is clearly evidence of animal neglect,” says Judge Galli

The fifth witness, from the Josephine County Animal Shelter, was questioned on the health conditions of the animals when they were handed off to the shelter. She then gave a price on how much it costs to care for those animals monthly.

LaRue’s new bond is set at $86,576.55. “Because no trial is set the judge picked a date in the future to set the bond at,” says District Attorney Clayton Wegmann-Rowley

Wegmann-Rowley, says animal neglect cases are typically not as lengthy. However, for the number of animals that are involved, witness testimonies needed to be heard. “Because of the multitude of animals involved and showing their conditions,” says Wegmann-Rowley

If you plan on traveling soon, Interstate 5 drivers going north from Jackson and Josephine Counties should expect weekday traffic delays through southern Douglas County for the next two months.

Oregon Department of Transportation says hazard tree removal starts Tuesday, November 1, as ODOT contractors remove trees along the highway that were damaged by the Milepost 97 Complex Fire south of Canyonville in 2019.

The work should occur 7am-3pm weekdays through the end of the year. ODOT says rolling slowdowns will apply to both directions of I-5 traffic and drivers should expect delays up to 20 minutes as southbound traffic will be affected between Weaver Road (Exit 106) and Canyon Creek Pass (milepost 90) while northbound traffic will have slowdowns from Quines Creek (Exit 86) to milepost 97, near Canyon Creek Road. 

ODOT says flaggers will stop traffic at each on-ramp in these areas for 10-20 minutes. ODOT says the work also could require lane and shoulder closures in both directions and drivers should watch for construction vehicles entering and exiting the travel lanes.

County clerks throughout Oregon are seeing many forms of media that is incorrect and misleading voters regarding Oregon elections

Election Day is fast approaching and sadly so is all of the misinformation. The county clerks throughout Oregon are seeing many forms of media that is incorrect and misleading voters regarding Oregon elections. This includes but is not limited to texts, emails, calls and social media posts. Some are even made to look like they are from a trusted source. Be cautious, know your trusted source. If you hear or see anything from a source other than the County Clerk’s Office or the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, please verify the information with your County Clerk’s Office. Do not be misled.

All Oregon Voters Should Have Their Ballots by Now – Warned of Disinformation and Lies about Voting

Now that November election ballots are blanketing the state, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is sending out the message that voting here continues to be fair and secure. She says that Oregon has a robust system for ensuring the integrity of elections, including regularly updating voter rolls and checking voter signatures to validate the vote.

“Every single signature is checked. Every one. Not just a sample, not just a statistical amount. Every single signature is checked to make sure that’s the person who actually did vote.”

Former president Donald Trump and his supporters are continuing to repeat lies and disinformation about widespread fraud in U.S. elections and specifically about the security of mail-in voting, which Fagan says is affecting the job of county-level election officials here in Oregon.

“Sadly it’s a conspiracy that’s believed by about one in five Oregon voters and that’s a significant amount of our population,” she said. “We know it’s safe and secure here in Oregon. But yes, those conspiracy theories definitely are wearing on our county elections officials.”

Earlier this week, the Siuslaw News reported on a conservative group called the “Florence Liberty Alliance, which put up a post on its Facebook page asking for volunteers for a “Ballot Box Watch Team.” Fagan’s office is encouraging Oregon voters to “know their rights” and urging anyone who feels someone is trying to intimidate them at the ballot box or elsewhere to report it to her office online, by calling 503-986-1518 or emailing

“Intimidation can include aggressive or harassing questions about whether someone is qualified to vote that are intended to interfere with the right to vote … questions about citizenship status, criminal record, residency or other personal information or questions about how you intend to vote.”

Fagan says she hopes that their education campaign “Voting in Oregon Feels Good,” will resonate with Oregonians and encourage voter turnout. Ballots in the November election must be turned in or postmarked by Nov. 8.

All registered voters in Oregon should have received their ballots in the mail by now. Those who have their ballots must be sure to get them turned in or postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to have their votes counted. Ballots put into any official ballot drop box by 8 p.m. that night will be counted.

Anyone who did not get a ballot or received a damaged ballot should contact their county’s elections office to get a new one right away. Find your county elections office

According to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, if someone requests a new ballot, their old ballot will be canceled, to prevent any attempts at voting more than once.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan assures Oregonians our upcoming election next week will be safe and fair. She outlined the process they are going through to assure election credibility. It starts with accurate voter registration records.

Oregon works with Federal, State and county elections officials to keep the list up to date and accurate. With accurate voter registration records we know only eligible voters are sent a ballot. Next, they take steps to prevent fraudulent voting. Every ballot envelope gets a unique barcode matched to a voter, and every signature on every returned ballot is verified.

These and other measures ensure that voter fraud in Oregon is exceedingly rare. When it happens, we catch it and the votes don’t count. Finally, they conduct post-election audits to verify the accuracy of the results. That’s how we know the results of the election match the will of the voters.

You can find this information in an infographic on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and I encourage you to share it. Knowing these basic facts helps prevent people from falling for false information they may encounter online. Learn more at

Mayors From Cities Across Oregon To Press 2023 Legislature For More Help To Fight Homelessness

More than two dozen Oregon mayors want the state to provide consistent, ongoing money to cities to address the state’s homelessness crisis.

In a news conference on Monday, they said they hope to persuade the Legislature next year to allocate nearly $125 million, which would be distributed statewide based on the population. From there, they want cities to continue to receive annual funding. The money would allow local officials to use the money as they deem necessary based on local needs. Cities could staff homelessness outreach programs, stock food pantries, clean homeless camps or invest in affordable housing. Separately, they plan to develop a request for up to $175 million for shelter and housing projects statewide.

They said they need consistent, annual funding so cities can be nimble and flexible as they respond to the state’s growing homelessness crisis.

The Oregon Mayors Association homelessness task force, with input from 25 mayors, developed the bi-partisan proposal. The group represents urban centers like Portland and Eugene as well as small, rural communities like Hermiston and Vale. Tent cities with homeless people are a visible reminder of the crisis in Oregon’s urban areas, but homelessness also runs throughout the state’s mid-sized and rural communities.

“When it comes to Oregon’s homeless crisis, we must ensure the state funding can reach all corners of the state,” said Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando.

Homelessness is a key issue among candidates running for election Nov. 8, with Republicans bashing Oregon’s Democratic leadership for the problem. On any day as of January 2020, nearly 14,700 people in Oregon had no stable housing, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homeless. The group estimates about 4,300 were chronically homeless.

“We need funds that we can put to work as quickly as possible,” Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis said.

Here’s how it would work: Each city would get $40 per resident, with small communities guaranteed to receive at least $50,000.

The mayors said cities need funding they can depend on – and flexibility to use it based on local circumstances. Rather than a one-size-fits-all program, the money could go toward whatever cities determine is necessary. They want cities to have the flexibility to spend the money by working with community groups and advocates and shift tactics as needs evolve.

For Oregon’s small cities, the funding mechanism would be fairer than competitive grants for homelessness programs that favor larger cities with high profiles.

“All cities have residents struggling,” said Dayton Mayor Beth Wytoski, stressing that direct funding is key for cities to have flexibility.

City leaders say the annual funding would eliminate uncertainty that often surrounds grant-funded homelessness programs that may only have money for a limited period of time. With annual funding, a program can be discontinued – or a new one started without the need to apply for competitive grants.

In Eugene, efforts to combat homelessness include the establishment of designated “safe sleep sites” where people can pitch tents and sleep in vehicles legally.

“The danger that we’re facing is that without continued financial support from the state, we won’t be able to sustain the work that we’ve done,” Vinis said.

Mayors say the issue is nonpartisan and not tied to any political party or ideology. A recent survey reflects that. Thirty-seven percent of 1,878 Oregonians surveyed identified the state’s homelessness crisis as the state’s most pressing issue, according to a survey by the Portland-based nonpartisan Oregon Values and Beliefs Center.

Oregon’s next Legislature and governor will play a critical role in whether the proposal moves forward. Mayors have shared their proposal with each of the three gubernatorial candidates and legislative leaders

“I’m looking forward to partnering with mayors across the state to take on our homelessness crisis on day one – and I will hold everyone accountable for delivering results,” said Tina Kotek, former House speaker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, in a statement.

Republican candidate Christine Drazan, former House minority leader, has criticized Democratic leaders, including Kotek, for the homelessness crisis.

“Christine Drazan will declare a homeless state of emergency to unlock all tools available to ensure homelessness is rare and temporary,” said John Burke, a spokesperson for Drazan’s campaign. “She looks forward to partnering and supporting local governments in their shared mission to get people off the street and into safe housing.”

Independent gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson said the state needs to “end inhumane, dangerous tent cities all across Oregon.” Her campaign didn’t directly indicate whether it’s open to the plan, but acknowledged that areas outside the Portland region need more help.

“Counties and cities outside the Portland tri-county area will need more financial support from the state to address homelessness,” Johnson said. “However, any distribution of funds would need to be through an objective process that doesn’t disadvantage small cities and there need to be real, measurable deliverables.”

Oregon’s New Veteran Dental Program Launches November 1

Oregon House Bill 4095, which creates the state’s first Veteran Dental Program for Oregon veterans who do not qualify for Oregon Health Plan (OHP), passed in the 2022 Legislative Session. Administered by Oregon Health Authority, this state-funded program is separate and distinct from the dental benefit offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Beginning November 1, 2022, veterans can apply for the program using the OHP application.

For veterans who qualify, dental care will start January 1, 2023. Eligible applicants must be veterans as described in Oregon Revised Statute 408.225, except the veteran may be discharged or released under honorable or other conditions and must be at or below 400% of the federal poverty guidelines.

To apply, veterans can visit to login or create an account or have an application mailed by calling OHP Customer Service at 1-800-699-9075. Help filling out an application is also available through a network of local certified community partners statewide. You can find a community partner at

If approved for the Veteran Dental Program, members will be enrolled in a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) to access dental care. The Veteran Dental Program offers the same dental care as OHP Plus, such as teeth cleanings, filling and extractions and emergency dental care. Individuals do not need to pay for dental care covered by the Veteran Dental Program.

Funding is limited for the program, so eligible individuals are encouraged to apply now.  

“The Oregon Veteran Dental Program will bridge a significant gap in veterans’ access to accessible and affordable oral care in Oregon, which is critical for physical health, confidence and their overall wellbeing,” said Kelly Fitzpatrick, Director of Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “This new program reflects our state’s continuing commitment to serve and support our Oregon veteran community.”

For more information, visit:

Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran service office online at

Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team Make Meth Arrest


On Saturday, October 29th, Detectives with the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT) arrested two California men for trafficking large amounts of narcotics into Douglas County.  

As part of an ongoing investigation, DINT detectives contacted 53 year old Roberto Silva Diaz of Red Bluff, California, and 60 year old Feliciano Bobadilla, of Corning, California, in the parking lot of a business in the 3,000 block of Aviation Drive in Roseburg.  Detectives had information indicating the two were trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine and counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.  

Roseburg Police K-9 “Trapper” searched the exterior of the suspects’ vehicle and gave an alert indicating he could smell the odor of narcotics coming from inside.  

A search of the vehicle revealed approximately 13.9 grams of suspected heroin, 300 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing suspected fentanyl, and 3 pounds of suspected methamphetamine.

Both suspects were lodged at the Douglas County Jail on charges of Possession and Delivery of Heroin, Possession and Delivery of Methamphetamine, Possession and Delivery of Sch. II Controlled Substance, and Conspiracy.  

The DINT team 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.  DINT is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and is composed of members from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Roseburg Police Department, Oregon State Police, Bureau of Land Management, and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.  The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including DINT.  

Beaver Marsh Rest Area on Hwy 97 Closure

Oregon Travel Information Council (OTIC) has temporarily closed the Beaver Marsh Rest Area, which is located on U.S. Highway 97 South, 5 miles south of Chemult, Oregon. Both the northbound and southbound rest areas may be closed for up to four weeks. OTIC is committed to re-opening the rest area as soon as possible. OTIC regrets any inconvenience to the traveling public. Midland Rest Area south of Klamath Falls, Peter Skene Ogden Rest Area north of Terrebonne, and Cow Canyon Rest Area, north of Madras, will remain open. For further information, please contact OTIC at (503) 378-4508. Oregon Travel Information Council 

Voting in Oregon feels GOOD

It’s time to get #VoteReady: Just grab your ballot and a blue or black pen!☑️ You don’t even need a stamp☑️ It’s not a test: you can vote on every candidate and measure, or leave some blank☑️ How you vote is private. Make a plan to vote!

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