The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may be over, but it’s clear the lawyers for both sides will be working overtime. The campaign to win public opinion was kick-started yesterday when the Department of Justice called Cliven Bundy a bad rancher, and said his operation “is unconventional if not bizarre.”

Yet Bundy’s case took a distant second on the “bizarre” scale yesterday when Shawna Cox, one of 25 people indicted on federal conspiracy charges for her role in the occupation, filed her own complaint seeking $666 billion (yes, billion) in damages from “the works of the devil.”

The eight-page "counter criminal complaint'' contends that state and federal employees attempted to kill her and "executed'' her "co-witness and co-informant'' Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. Cox was a passenger in Finicum’s vehicle. Meanwhile, the FBI continues processing the wildlife refuge as a crime scene, and claim to have found firearms, explosives, spoiled food and a trench of human feces.

 

Florida Cattle Drive

A cattle drive in Martin County, Florida captured national attention this week. USA Today provided a videoas did the Martin County sheriff’s office.

Florida ranks 12th in the number of beef cows with 915,000 head.

 

Cow Shooter Accepts Diversion

On or about July 4, 2012, nine head of cattle – four cows, four calves and a yearling – were shot and killed in Oliver County, N.D. The cattle belonged to ranchers John Dixon and Miles Tomac and had a value of at least $12,000.

This week the alleged shooter, Dillon Gappert of Hensler, N.D., agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution after signing a pre-trial diversion agreement, which allows the charge to be removed from Gappert's record if he pays the restitution and does not commit an infraction, misdemeanor or felony for nine months. The ranchers, understandably, were not happy with the legal wrangling, but the Oliver County State's Attorney John Mahoney said the case against Gappert was "thin," with circumstantial evidence and no witnesses. 

 

Cuba, U.S. rebuild trade relationship with tractors

A little over a year after President Barack Obama announced plans to normalize relations with the island nation just 90 miles from Florida, the U.S. Treasury has approved the construction of the first U.S.-owned factory in Cuba in more than 50 years. The best part? It’s a tractor factory, run by two retired software engineers who live in Alabama and want to manufacture small farm machinery for Cuba’s family farmers.