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January 26, 2016 07:13 PM

Update: arrests have been confirmed, one, LaVoy Finicum, aka "Tarpman," is deceased, according to media reports. Santilli has been arrested. See full press release below.

Pete Santilli of the "Pete Santilli Show," who has been posting videos from the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, posted a video Tuesday evening saying Ammon Bundy has been arrested and shots have been fired. This has not been confirmed with law enforcement as of 6 pm.

Santilli identifies himself on Twitter as a "proud 'Leave-Me-The-Heck-Alone-ist' Don't mess with me. Don't take my stuff. Exposing violations of our Constitutional rights; especially the Police-State's." He posts on Facebook as "Talk Network News."

Santilli is live streaming from the hospital. OPB news has confirmed the hospital is on lockdown.

Les Zaitz of The Oregonian is reporting a local governement official says occupation leader Ryan Payne was shot. Zaitz says that the highway between John Day in Burns is blocked by police. Zaitz has been covering the occupation since it began. Follow his updates on Twitter.



At approximately 6:30 p.m. (PST), the FBI arrested Peter Santilli, age 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in Burns, Oregon. He faces the same federal felony charge as the individuals listed below.

The arrest was without incident. At approximately 4:25 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police (OSP) began an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

During that arrest, there were shots fired. One individual who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased. We will not be releasing any information about that person pending identification by the medical examiner's office.

One individual suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was arrested and is currently in custody.

The arrested individuals include:

* Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho

* Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada * Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada

* Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah

* Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Montana

These probable cause arrests occurred along Highway 395.

In a separate event in Burns, Oregon, at approximately 5:50 pm, Oregon State Police arrested the following individual:

* Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, age 45, Cottonwood, Arizona

All of the named defendants face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.

We continue to work with Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and his deputies; Oregon State Police; and the United States Attorney's Office to address any further outstanding issues. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.

All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

January 25, 2016 05:34 PM

Above: City Manager Jon Ruiz

Checking the public email inboxes of the mayor, city manager and City Council can offer unusual insight.

The city emails — open public records — exchanged about Kesey Square/Broadway Plaza and its potential development might confirm the suspicions that many had all along about the process: It's a done deal.

Those suspicions, which have been expressed in emails written to the city by citizens of Eugene (see last week's story, "Kesey Square Decision: What's the big rush?"), as well as expressed in public forums (such as the Downtown Solutions Forum Dec. 2), that the city had long ago decided to put a building on Kesey Square and is merely humoring the citizens who want a public process for their city square.

Last week, in Mayor Kitty Piercy responded to an email from Christopher and Deb Michaels of Seven Stars Childcare.

In a Jan. 15 email, the Michaels wrote:

“The people of Eugene are awake to the issue of Kesey Square. The people want to keep it where it is and to work with government and business to make Kesey Square work for all the people. We know the voice of the business community speaks loud in your ears. Please hear the voice of the people and consider their creative ideas and suggestions.”

To which Mayor Piercy responded on Jan. 18:

Thanks for writing. As you know we are working on making our public spaces function better for everyone and to share these spaces in a way that's comfortable to all. It's not easy. Most of us are pretty nice people and a few aren't. We are working on adding to our public spaces and green spaces and connecting these spaces in a great way that we can all benefit from. In truth Kesey has been a sore spot for some time and not just for businesses. There are elderly folks at the Eugene Hotel, Olive Plaza, and Aurora who find it difficult to traverse downtown and the plaza. Many people simply won't bring their children and families downtown because they don't want to be confronted. Women in particular, young women, have experienced a lot of nasty comments and touching. I understand these are the problems that can be found in every city. I think the developers made their proposal with good will and they are all long time supporters of our community as a whole. Kaz for example has had a rug store, an art gallery, and the very popular Peraginos. He is a good person. I think Amani has also proposed opening his stores to the plaza if resources can be found. And lots of folks have a new heartfelt desire to have the plaza stay open and function better. I am looking for a way all of these things can come together in the interest of our city. We have been doing some very good things and we need to keep on doing so. Kitty.”

Some questions arise: Is Piercy vouching for the character of Kaz Oveissi, the defacto spokesman for the group pushing the 2E Broadway proposal — a Rowell Brokaw Architects project — which intends to put a building on Kesey Square?

Does the city lack a healthy cynicism about the developers, mirroring the same lack of sophistication that brought to Eugene Capstone’s 13th & Olive student housing behemoth with little to no oversight (see "Tax Exempt, Design Optional")? By nature, developers have different interests than cities do, who ideally should be looking out for the public good.

After saying Oveissi is "a good person," the mayor writes of an opposing proposal: “I think Amani [sic] has also proposed opening his stores to the plaza if resources can be found.”

The city has known about Ali Emami’s proposal since October, if not earlier (see "One Flew Over Kesey Square").

The question of “if resources can be found” should be of interest to those following the Kesey Square issue closely. The city and the developers behind the 2E Broadway have called into question the validity of Emami’s financials several times, questioning if it’s realistic. However, the 2E Broadway proposal is only financially feasible if the city gives them a MUPTE (a 10-year tax exemption) and a loan from the city.

Above: Mayor Kitty Piercy


Also in the inbox, this past week City Manager Jon Ruiz is forwarding emails to the council that are in favor of building on the square. However, there has also been a flood of emails against building on Kesey Square.

Councilor Betty Taylor responded to Ruiz: “I hope you have read all the others with opposing arguments.”

Regardless of where you stand on developing Kesey Square, citizens should pay attention to how the city manages this process and others. The same development group — Rowell Brokaw Architects — that got the City Hall contract despite a backlash and allegatons of shady negotiations. According to coverage by OPB, a rival firm called the City Hall process "deeply flawed."

There is a “Save Kesey Square” rally planned for 6 pm in Kesey Square tonight (Monday, Jan. 25), which will move to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at 6:30.

This blog has been updated.

January 25, 2016 02:00 PM

OSU has published information this week on research linking endangered primates in the Amazon with carbon sequestration.

January 25, 2016 06:09 PM

Kelly Gneiting, one of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has apparently issues a challenge to Governer Chris Christie (and I'm really hoping that this is as fake as the satirical story about the old birdwatcher pulling a high school wrestling move, but I'm afraid it's not). 

With comments such as challenging Christie to fight "mano a mano" while "wearing diapers and slapping bellies just like when we were toddlers," Gneiting takes Christie to task for suggesting the Oregon "militia" disband and says if Christie wins one of 10 wrestling matches "the Oregon Occupation will disperse."

Gneiting has said previously "God wants us here."

Just when you thought VanillaISIS couldn't get any weirder.

January 21, 2016 03:47 PM



The FBI recognizes that many in the community have questions about why we are here and our role in helping to end the occupation of the wildlife refuge. We are here to work closely with Sheriff Ward and our local, state and federal partners to protect the safety and welfare of this community. This occupation has caused tremendous disruption and hardship for the people of Harney County, and our response has been deliberate and measured as we seek a peaceful resolution.