The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 1, 2013

Shutdown: Mail to run; military on guard; national parks, NASA closed

By Budd McLaughlin
bud@athensnews-courier.com

— Neither rain, nor sleet nor dark of night – nor government shutdown – will stop the mail from being delivered.

And the mail will include Social Security checks.

However, if you’re waiting on approval for that gun permit for hunting season – you’ll have to keep on waiting and hope that there are plenty of rabbit and squirrel – and other game - still left when the shutdown ends.

It’s a mixed bag of agencies and services that are not open for business while there are others that are open, because they’re not subject to federal funding.

Nationwide, about 700,000 government employees were sent home Monday on mandatory unpaid leave. Of that group, about 2,400 work at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The number of military civilian employees at Redstone Arsenal who would be furloughed was not available Tuesday. Workers should visit the Redstone website for information: http://www.garrison.redstone.army.mil,

The furloughed employees won’t be immediately affected. They will be paid Oct.15 for working the last week but, after that, no paychecks.

While some services through the U.S. Department Agriculture will continue to be provided – including food stamp benefits for October, fighting forest fires and inspecting meat, poultry and grain - the county offices of the Farm Service Agency are closed.

No employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority will be furloughed because the giant utility is a totally self-financed corporation. It also means that the TVA’s campgrounds will be open.

But, if you planned to take a hike in the Bankhead National Forest or participate in Saturday’s Sipsey Challenge, you’ll have to change your plans. Bankhead is closed along with national parks, the national museums and zoos.