|Judge Steve Grasty (Facebook)|
By Travis Gettys
An Oregon judge says he will bill Ammon Bundy up to $70,000 a day to reimburse Harney County for security costs related to the ongoing occupation of a wildlife refuge.
Local schools reopened Monday for the first time since Bundy and other militants seized a visitors center Jan. 2 at the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve and demanded the transfer of federally owned land to the county, reported KTVZ-TV.
Bundy and other militants used a backhoe owned by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove fences separating federal land from property owned by a local rancher.
#Oregonstandoff breaches fence between government and private ground. pic.twitter.com/s74SMJtWkaBundy said the militants had rifled through files at the occupied building looking for evidence of wrongdoing, but he insisted they had not accessed computers — although public radio reporters witnessed them doing that.
— Anna King (@AnnaKingN3) January 11, 2016
WATCH: Teen chokes up at town meeting asking Bundy to leave, says ‘I shouldn’t have to be scared in my own hometown’Some of the Fish and Wildlife employees have been relocated from their homes “out of an abundance of caution” in case their personal information, including home addresses, had been accessed by the militants.
They have also changed a sign outside the wildlife refuge to identify the occupied building as the “Harney County Resource Center,” although it’s not clear how the notoriously cash-strapped militants paid for the new sign.
"At least the gov't gives us a vote; I didn't get a vote on that sign" #Oregonstandoff pic.twitter.com/J3njMJlLczSheriff David Ward, who has said he agrees with the militants’ views but not their tactics, has set up concrete barriers and other security measures around his office and the courthouse after the militants or their supporters threatened him and other county officials.
— Dave Killen (@killendave) January 12, 2016
Ward issued a statement Monday vowing that he and other law enforcement officials “will not be intimidated,” and he repeated his call for the out-of-state militants to leave the area.
“There’s an hourglass, and it’s running out,” Ward said as cheers erupted at a public meeting Monday night. “Go home.”