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Federal shutdown hits Battle Creek
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) For the first time in 17 years, part of the U.S. government has been forced to shut-down.
Congress failed to agree on a temporary spending bill before Mondays midnight deadline, triggering the closure of parks and monuments and forcing thousands of workers off the job.
One of the local organizations most affected by the shutdown is the Air National Guard base in Battle Creek.
On a day that was supposed to be a celebration, there was instead a difficult one at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.
Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of the bases new drone mission, but that mission is now on hold as half of the bases staff was put on furlough, a total of 120 guard members.
Were here when the country needs us, said Col. Ron Wilson, 110th Airlift Wing Commander. We make sure we train and were ready and we can operate when the country calls, this hampers that.
Col. Wilson is one of those now on furlough.
For me, what I see is the families and the impact on the families, said Col. Wilson. The struggles weve already been through and the struggles were going to go through, and this is open-ended.
In the downtown Battle Creek Federal Building, a few employees were sent home Tuesday, but the majority who work with the Defense Logistics Agency are safe for now.
As I said, its pretty much business as usual for the Defense Logistics Agency folk, said Timothy Hoyle, Defense Logistics Agency. We are a large portion of the building.
The Veterans Affairs Hospital in Battle Creek was flooded with calls from veterans, wanting to know if they were open.
We want the community to know that were still operating as we would have otherwise, said Damian McGee, Battle Creek VA Heath Care. All appointments are taking place, all clinics are still opena dn well continue to conduct business as usual.
Open or not, everyone is hoping the shutdown is short lived.