Oregon sheriff meets with armed group in bid to persuade them to end occupation

BURNS, Ore. - Three Oregon sheriffs met with leaders of an armed group to try to persuade them to end their occupation of a federal wildlife refuge after many local residents made it plain that's what they want.

See Full Article

But it was unclear whether the Thursday meeting at a snowy intersection in southeastern Oregon would lead to an end of the occupation by Ammon Bundy's group any time soon.

"There are some positives that could come out of this," Harney County Sheriff David Ward, accompanied by colleagues from two other counties, told Bundy and his group.

"Before this thing turns into something negative, which would ruin all of that, I think we need to find a peaceful resolution to help you guys get out of here," Ward said.

Bundy said his group poses a threat to no one. He also said his demands that federal land in Harney County be turned over to local residents to manage are being ignored.

"I didn't come to argue," Ward said. Bundy said neither had he.

Ward offered to escort Bundy and his followers out of the refuge, which Bundy scoffed at.

"I'm not afraid to go out of the state," Bundy told reporters after the meeting. "I don't need an escort."

Ward said he plans to talk with Bundy again on Friday.

The encounter came as pressure mounts on Bundy to end the occupation of headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, south of Burns.

Bundy's demands are a continuation of long-running arguments that federal policies for management of public lands in the West are harming ranchers and other locals. Bundy is the son of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who in 2014 was at the centre of a tense standoff with federal officials over grazing rights.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday called the occupation of the wildlife refuge "unlawful" and said it had to end.

"It was instigated by outsiders whose tactics we Oregonians don't agree with. Those individuals illegally occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge need to decamp immediately and be held accountable," she said.

Bundy's group - calling itself Citizens for constitutional Freedom - comes from as far away as Arizona and Michigan.

Sheriff Ward has repeatedly said the occupation has to end and violence be avoided. He got a lot of support during a packed community meeting Wednesday night.

At that meeting, local residents said they sympathized with the armed group's complaints about federal land management but disagreed with their tactics and called on Ammon Bundy and his followers to leave.

Bundy came to Burns to rally support for two local ranchers who were sentenced to prison on arson charges. The ranchers - Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond - distanced themselves from Bundy's group and reported to prison Monday.

The Hammonds were convicted of arson three years ago and served no more than a year. A judge later ruled that the terms fell short of minimum sentences requiring them to serve about four more years.


Latest Canada & World News

  • More than 27,000 Virginians register to vote after extension

    World News CTV News
    RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Elections says more than 27,000 people registered to vote during a brief extension of the state's voter-registration deadline. A federal judge granted the deadline's extension Thursday after heavy demand prevented some voters from registering online. Source
  • Clinton campaign preparing for post-election, even if Trump refuses to concede

    World News CBC News
    Hillary Clinton's campaign is increasingly preparing for the possibility that Donald Trump may never concede the presidential election should she win, a development that could enormously complicate the crucial early weeks of her preparations to take office. Source
  • 100 mostly barefoot inmates escape Haiti lockup: officials

    World News CTV News
    ARCAHAIE, Haiti - Officials say more than 100 mostly barefoot inmates have overpowered guards and escaped from a Haitian prison. Judge Henry Claude Louis-Jean says Saturday's jailbreak occurred in Arcahaie, a coastal town about 30 miles north of Haiti's capital. Source
  • Toddler dies in Wash. fire with his dog huddled at his side

    World News CTV News
    SEATTLE -- A toddler who died in a house fire was found with his dog and teddy bear next to him and authorities believe the dog tried to protect the boy, a spokesman for Spokane's fire department said Saturday. Source
  • Hacked emails show Clinton campaign weighing Keystone XL decision

    Canada News CBC News
    Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton's campaign wrestled with how to announce her opposition to construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without losing the support of labour unions that supported the project. Emails published this past week by WikiLeaks show debate and confusion within the Clinton camp as it faced down the unexpectedly strong primary challenge by liberal Senator Bernie Sanders, who opposed the pipeline. Source
  • Ottawa man convicted of sexually abusing young girls facing new charges of public nudity, mischief

    Canada News CTV News
    An Ottawa daycare operator convicted last year of sexually abusing young girls in his care is now facing new charges, including public nudity and mischief to property. Jeffrey Wills, 42, was arrested on Thursday at his home in the city’s west end after police received a call about a naked man in the area. Source
  • Ex-Habs coach Jacques Demers hospitalized after suffering stroke

    Canada News CBC News
    Former NHL coach Jacques Demers has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke, Radio-Canada is reporting. The gravity of the stroke is not known. He is 72 years old. Demers also suffered a stroke on April 6 that was followed by three months of intensive rehabilitative therapy. Source
  • Jehovah's Witnesses defend pushing for bloodless surgeries

    Canada News CBC News
    Hospital visits by Jehovah's Witness elders, aimed at defending the right of members to refuse blood transfusions, are under scrutiny following the death of a 27-year-old Quebec woman who hemorrhaged earlier this month. One former Witness described the hospital liaison committees as "intimidating. Source
  • AT&T set to announce purchase of Time Warner for $85B US

    World News CBC News
    AT&T Inc. is set to announce as early as Saturday an $85 billion US deal to buy Time Warner Inc, sources familiar with the matter said, giving the telecom company control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros. Source
  • Father sentenced to 1,503 years in prison in daughter’s rape

    World News Toronto Sun
    FRESNO, Calif. — A Fresno man was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period. The 41-year-old was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported. Source