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BURNS, OR -- Life has almost returned to normal for at least one business in the town that was invaded during the militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During the standoff, America’s Best Value Inn in Burns saw a big uptick in business, ranging from law enforcement to international media. 

 

But, it's now been about a month since occupiers surrendered to authorities, and hotel manager Vickie Allen is enjoying the calm. “Well, I miss the business but I am relieved that it’s done. They got them out of there, at least something got accomplished anyway.” She tells KBND News,  “It's [now] almost like a normal winter - almost. I've still got Fish and Wildlife in. They’re cleaning up the mess out there.” Those officials are working to reclaim the refuge, following the 41-day occupation.

 

Allen is bracing for the next invasion of outsiders to Burns; this time a welcome onslaught of bird watchers. The Harney County Migratory Bird Festival begins April eighth. 

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