Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • LOCAL ANGLE: Government shut down releases received by News-Press

  • Watch her for the press releases being sent out from government agencies about shutdowns. Will update as they come in.Latest: Corps cancels meeting about riverThe Oct. 8 meeting that had been set at the MRB Lewis & Clark Center, Nebraska City, has been cancelled by the The Army Corps of Engineers due to the ...
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  • Corps cancels meeting about river - The Oct. 8 meeting that had been set at the MRB Lewis & Clark Center, Nebraska City, has been cancelled by the The Army Corps of Engineers due to the government shut down.
    More than 1,000 full-time federal technicians furloughed
    Drills scheduled Oct. 1-10 and community outreach missions also cancelled until shutdown resolved
    As a result of the federal government shutdown due to the expiration of the Continuing Resolution at midnight on Sept. 30, the following actions have been directed by the Department of Defense and immediately executed by the Iowa National Guard:
    -More than 1,000 full-time employees of the Iowa National Guard were furloughed on Oct. 1 and will remain furloughed until the shutdown is resolved. These furloughed employees are classified as federal technicians; approximately 1,030 of these technicians are uniformed members of the Iowa National Guard, with approximately 45 civilian federal government employees. Furloughed employees will not receive pay for the duration of the furlough, may not be in a paid leave status, but will retain and accrue benefits. Of the nearly 1,100 full-time federal technicians employed with the Iowa National Guard, only approximately 50 of those technicians are classified as "excepted" and are currently on duty. Approximately 1,000 full-time employees remain on duty, including Active Guard and Reserve military personnel and State of Iowa civilian employees.
    -Effective immediately, drill is cancelled for all Iowa National Guard units and personnel scheduled for training Oct. 1-10, with the exception of the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, which may tentatively conduct limited training in support of its worldwide mission. The 185th ARW will make a determination on its training schedule by noon on Thursday, Oct. 3. Rescheduling of all cancelled training assemblies will be announced at a later date after the shutdown has ended.
    -At this time, the Iowa National Guard is authorized to expend funds only for "excepted" activities, like deployment or re-deployment of Soldiers and/or Airmen, recruiting, safety, or protection of life or government property. All other activities are classified by the Department of Defense as "non-excepted" and will not be funded until the shutdown ends.
    -By direction of the Department of Defense, all military community outreach efforts must be immediately curtailed until the conclusion of the government shutdown, which includes all tours of Iowa National Guard facilities, performances by the 34th Army Band, demonstrations, color guards, static displays of military equipment, speaking engagements, etc...This directive includes cancellation of the previously-scheduled performance of the 34th Army Band at the Ottumwa Oktoberfest parade on Saturday, Oct. 5. Funeral honors will continue for eligible veterans.
    Page 2 of 3 - -Iowa National Guard military retirees and annuitants will continue to be paid without interruption as those benefits are resourced from annually appropriated funds.
    The Iowa National Guard will provide periodic updates as this situation unfolds. Follow us at the following locations for current information:
    Medicaid/CHIP not Affected by Federal Shutdown,
    Other Programs OK for Now
    Lincoln – Kerry Winterer, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services, said today that Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will not be affected by the federal shutdown and that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) has funding through at least October.
    "We've received calls from people concerned about these programs," Winterer said.
    Other programs, such as Aid to Dependent Children, the Child Care Subsidy program and the Women, Infant and Children program (WIC) currently have funding but may be impacted if the shutdown continues and federal funding is not extended. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) typically receives federal funding for the heating season in November, so could also be impacted if the shutdown continues.
    "We continue to monitor the situation. The question we're facing is how long this will last because that determines potential impacts," said Winterer.
    DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's employees that work in USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) facilities will be working from alternate locations during the federal government shutdown and can be contacted through the Department's office in Des Moines. Iowans with questions for state soil secretaries and state soil technicians can contact the Department's office in Des Moines at 515-281-5258 for assistance.
    All other areas of the Department continue to operate and will continue to evaluate any further impacts from the federal government shutdown.
    Homestead National Monument of America Closes
    With the federal government shutdown Homestead National Monument of America will be closed. This closure affects all visitor facilities and services. All scheduled programs and permitted activities during this shutdown period will be canceled or postponed. Hiking trails, picnic areas and parking lots will also not be accessible during this period.
    For the duration of the shutdown, all Homestead National Monument of America employees will be furloughed with the exception of a limited number of staff needed to secure and provide for law enforcement.
    Mark Engler, Homestead Superintendent, urges visitors to monitor news activities surrounding the shutdown, since a number of special programs and activities are planned at the monument in the coming days. Once the shutdown is lifted, Homestead will resume its traditional hours of operation and public program schedule.
    Page 3 of 3 - Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge (Iowa) Closed
    This facility is closed as current funding expired on October 1, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware that any lapse in appropriations imposes hardships on those we serve. However, due to this lapse in appropriations this facility is closed to the public and all public activities are cancelled.
    Only limited functions will continue, such as those necessary to respond to emergencies, perform essential functions and to protect human life or personal property. While the lapse in appropriations remains in effect, public access to Service properties will be prohibited, fish and wildlife management activities and all public programs will be cancelled.
    Additional information is available at www.DOI.gov/shutdown.
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