Federal Shutdown Ripples through Nevada Facilities

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), October 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Federal Shutdown Ripples through Nevada Facilities


LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Federal law enforcers were at work in Nevada on Tuesday, military units at Nellis Air Force Base remained at the ready, and federal prosecutors were in court.

But the Las Vegas office of Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid was locked, and a note on the door cited the partial government shutdown resulting from a stalemate in Congress over health care and the federal budget.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller's former office down the hall also was locked. But Chandler Smith, a spokeswoman for the Republican senator, said the office recently moved to another location and would remain open during work hours.

About 1,100 civilian employees were furloughed at Nellis, the base library was closed and service members waited to hear whether the base hospital, exchange store and other services would be affected.

"Essential services to national security and public safety will continue," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Taylor Worley, a base spokeswoman. "As of now, we haven't heard what agencies will be available and what will not."

Ripples of the political battle in Washington, D.C., were felt from national forests to military bombing ranges to the vast Nevada National Security Site in the state where more than 85 percent of land is federally controlled or administered.

Water and land management employees in the state were among 800,000 federal workers furloughed nationwide, and barricades went up at federal parks and conservation areas in Nevada such as Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area.

The scenic canyon, just 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, usually draws more than 1 million visitors a year.

"Anything with a gate is closed," JoLynn Worley, a federal Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman, said before she shuttered her own office. …

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