- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

The Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken with the remaining armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The Oregonian reports ( https://bit.ly/1PTCRw2 ) that a spokesman for Graham confirmed that he communicated by phone with the four occupiers and federal officials.

Todd Shearer told the newspaper that Graham had no comment beyond that statement.

The last four occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge had asked Graham to help them negotiate their departure. They have said they want assurances they won’t be arrested.

Group leader Ammon Bundy and others remain behind bars following arrests. The standoff began Jan. 2 as a protest over federal land-use policy.

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5:50 p.m.

Leaders of the Oregon county where an armed group has been occupying a national wildlife refuge are rejecting calls that they resign.

In a statement Tuesday, Harney County said it was responding to demands from the Pacific Patriots Network, which has organized rallies in support of the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The statement said Judge Steve Grasty, Sheriff David Ward and two county commissioners would not step down.

The county statement also said the county lacked the authority to remove FBI personnel from federal lands, another demand by the PPN, “particularly in light of the continuing occupation of a federal facility.”

Four occupiers remain at the refuge, the last remnants of a standoff that began Jan. 2 over federal land-use policies.

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5 p.m.

An Arizona man arrested in the occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge remains in federal custody after a judge held off ruling on prosecutors’ request to keep him detained as he awaits trial.

Jon Eric Ritzheimer of Peoria, Arizona, was a vocal presence in the occupation in Oregon before leaving to visit his family on Jan. 25. The FBI arrested him the next day in Arizona.

Ten others also have been arrested in the standoff that began Jan. 2 when an armed group opposed to federal land policy took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Ritzheimer faces a federal felony charge in Oregon of conspiracy to impede federal officials in their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Ritzheimer’s repeated rejection of federal authority makes him a flight risk and unsuitable for court-ordered supervision.

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1:30 p.m.

One of the men charged in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge can return home while his case goes through the court system.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman approved the conditional release of Joseph O’Shaughnessy. The judge said Tuesday that the government offered insufficient evidence that O’Shaughnessy was a risk to the community or wouldn’t show up at future court dates.

Defense attorney Amy Baggio offered witness statements from Ammon Bundy and others that O’Shaughnessy disagreed with the armed occupation.

Baggio said her client went to the refuge daily to de-escalate the situation and act as a security buffer between the occupiers and law enforcement. She said his goal was to prevent another Waco.

Also Tuesday, Mosman delayed a decision on Pete Santilli’s release from custody. The Internet radio host was among the eleven arrested so far in the standoff.

Santilli, like O’Shaughnessy, spent nights at a motel instead of the refuge. Government lawyers contend the Ohio man doesn’t respect federal authority and won’t return to Portland for court hearings.

They pointed to threatening statements he made against federal agents on his radio show. Santilli’s lawyer countered that his client is a “shock jock,” and it’s his radio personality to amp things up.

Mosman said he can’t judge the provocative comments without additional context. He scheduled a hearing for Thursday.

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1 p.m.

The four occupiers of a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon aren’t showing any sign that they are ready to leave in the latest interview with them.

The last holdouts gave an interview Monday with an Internet radio show.

One of them, David Fry, said they were waiting for people to come and support them.

Fry repeated the occupiers’ concerns that if they left they would be arrested.

The standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon began Jan. 2 as a protest over federal land policy.

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12:15 p.m.

The jailed leader of an armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon says “the land belongs to the people” and should be turned over to local authorities.

In a statement read Tuesday by his attorney, Mike Arnold, Ammon Bundy reiterated his calls for the four remaining occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon to leave. He said that would allow federal and state authorities to also depart.

Bundy says county authorities should then take over the site, something local officials have said is impractical.

Bundy’s statement tracks with a letter his father, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, sent to local authorities on Monday saying federal and state police should be removed from the area and the refuge should be placed under local control.

Bundy says he has been in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and hasn’t spoken with his father.

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10:20 a.m.

The leader of an armed group that took over an Oregon wildlife refuge will be staying in jail after a judge called off his court hearing.

Ammon Bundy’s attorney requested more time to gather evidence, postponing a hearing scheduled Tuesday. Bundy wants to be allowed to return home to Idaho with a GPS monitoring device and orders that he not leave the state except for court appearances.

Bundy is among 11 people arrested for their roles in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman will still consider Tuesday whether to release two other members of the group, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Peter Santilli.

Four holdouts remain at the refuge. Bundy has asked them to go home.

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8:10 a.m.

A detention hearing is scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Phoenix for an Arizona man arrested in the occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge.

Jon Eric Ritzheimer of Peoria, Arizona, has been jailed since the FBI arrested him Jan. 26 after he went to the Peoria Police Department and surrendered.

Ritzheimer faces a federal felony charge in Oregon of conspiracy to impede federal officials in their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

He is among 11 people arrested in the standoff that began Jan. 2 when a group opposed to federal land policy took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, is expected to consider whether leader Ammon Bundy should remain in jail Tuesday as well.

Some holdouts remain at the refuge.

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