86°F
weather icon Clear

Oregon community meeting on wildlife refuge standoff canceled

A community meeting slated Monday night in Burns, Ore., to discuss the ongoing standoff with an armed militia group occupying a federal wildlife refuge has been canceled over concerns for public safety.

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a militia group led by Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy is entering its fourth week.

The brothers, sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, also were involved in an April 2014 armed standoff near the elder Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville. That confrontation with federal agents who rounded up his cattle over unpaid grazing fees for using public federal lands in Gold Butte ended when federal agents released the cattle.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty announced the community meeting’s cancellation in a Sunday news release. “Preparations to protest and block entrance to the Senior Center have led me to determine that it’s time to take a time out,” the release stated.

The move is prudent, Grasty said in the release, “in order to maintain the safety of our community and everyone in it, and because an open and honest conversation cannot take place in this type of atmosphere. Further, I will not give these agitators what they want most, which is attention.”

The Oregon protest initially began over the case of Oregon ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond.

A jury convicted the Hammonds in 2012 of starting fires on public lands, burning about 140 acres. Federal prosecutors said the fires were set to hide poaching, while the Hammonds, who turned themselves in earlier this month to start five-year federal prison sentences, maintained the fires were set to protect their property from invasive plants and wildfires.

In addition to calling for the Hammonds’ release, protest leaders have said lands under federal control in Harney County must be transferred to locals.

In another development Sunday, Glenn Palmer, the sheriff of nearby Grant County, gave a statement to The Oregonian/OregonLive that said “the government is going to have to concede something” to end the occupation. He mentions freeing the Hammonds from prison and sending the FBI home as options, according to the newspaper’s website, OregonLive.

 

 

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
GOP quick to criticize Pelosi’s plan to lower drug prices

Putting her stamp on the health care issue that worries consumers the most, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday unveiled an ambitious plan to lower drug prices for seniors on Medicare and younger people with private insurance.

Gun negotiations going ‘very slowly’ says Trump

President Donald Trump is pouring cold water on prospects for a bipartisan compromise on gun legislation, even as his aides circulate a draft plan on Capitol Hill.

Both sides seek unity after vote shows deep Israeli divisions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival, Benny Gantz, on Thursday each called for the formation of a unity government following Israel’s inconclusive national election. But with both men demanding to be prime minister, there were no signs they could break the deadlock.

Canada’s Trudeau tries to contain furor over brownface photo from 2001

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign moved to contain a growing furor Thursday after a yearbook photo surfaced of him in brownface at a 2001 “Arabian Nights” costume party and two other similar incidents came to light.

Schiff says whistleblower’s claim still unclear after hearing

The chairman of the House intelligence committee says he cannot confirm a press report that said a whistleblower’s complaint concerned a promise President Donald Trump made on a phone call to a foreign leader.

Imelda draws comparisons to Harvey; hundreds rescued overnight

The remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda unleashed torrential rain Thursday in parts of Texas, prompting hundreds of water rescues, a hospital evacuation and road closures as the powerful storm system drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

Suicide bomb at Afghanistan hospital kills 20, says governor

A powerful suicide truck bomb devastated a hospital in southern Afghanistan early Thursday morning, killing 20 people and wounding 97 others, according to the province’s governor, while a deadly drone strike in the country’s east was blamed on U.S. forces.