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Harney County residents pack standoff meeting

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 12:55:26-05

People poured into tonight's community meeting at the Harney County Fairgrounds with standing room only as the sheriff addressed the concerns over the armed takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

"I am here today to ask those folks to go home so we can get back to our lives here in Harney County," said Sheriff David Ward.

Tensions were very high. It was clear there are many different opinions as to what should happen moving forward.

"I think they are doing a damage towards our county.  I was at the rally, I walked in the rally, the rally was awesome it was a great thing. But what Bundy did and what they're doing down there isn't right," said one meeting attendee.

"I just want, from my exposure down there with the Bundy group, I can't say that I don't appreciate what they have done," said another.

A common theme was felt throughout. It's time to take a stand and start a conversation about what is currently going on in the county.

"We the people have the power to do what needs to be done in Harney County and in America," said one speaker.

It was clear that people are proud to be residents of Harney County, regardless of its current situation.

There was no perfect solution given tonight but a sense of relief as people felt that a conversation has been started.

Many families addressed concerns about the Hammonds and trying to get something done about their sentence but it was only just the start of what will surely be long talks about what can be done.