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Guilford Courthouse National Military Park Closed Because of Shutdown

11:00 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. - The federal shutdown has closed every national park across the country.

In Washington, D.C., World War II Veterans from Mississippi pushed through barricades to get to their monument.

READ:WWII Veterans Visit Memorial Despite Shutdown

In North Carolina, visitor centers along the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed and the gates are locked along the Camp Hatteras National Seashore at the Outer Banks.

In the Triad, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is closed.

It takes 11 employees to keep the national park up and running but Tuesday, 9 of those were sent home without pay until further notice.

"We went from the essential to the non-essential now to the accepted and non-accepted and imagine yourself having to come into work and tell one of your fellow employees that 'hey, you're labeled as non-essential or non-accepted'," said Chief Ranger Kevin Wyrick, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

Employees came in early Tuesday morning to complete closing procedures. They posted bulletins about the closures, locked all the gates, changed the office voicemail and completed payroll.

After those duties were complete, Wyrick handed out furlough notices to his fellow employees -- and even his boss.

"It was tough."

"This furlough notice that we had could last up to 30 days. It could be renewed for another 30 days but for now, it's up to 30 days and of course the employees knew that they were going home without pay," said Wyrick.

Wyrick and one other law enforcement officer are still on duty at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park -- and although on the clock - they don't know when they'll see their next paycheck.

"Technically right now we are not and we do not know when we will be paid. We were told we would be paid we just don't know when," he explained.

Twenty-two North Carolina Department of Transportation employees were also given a furlough notice on Tuesday. At this point, the department doesn't know how the government shutdown will affect road projects.

Greensboro's Federal courthouse will remain open for at least 10 days; federally subsidized Amtrack is expecting to run as scheduled, and Guilford County's Head Start program is safe for now.

Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx have closed all their state offices.  Congressman Howard Coble has opted to keep his open.

While they, and other congressional leaders try to sort out the shutdown, Wyrick continues to work, and hopes his co-workers can soon join him.

"You have to have faith. Yes we do work for Congress but we have to have faith they'll work it out and come to an agreement," he said.

This is a busy time for school groups to visit the park and Wyrick said he had to call a couple schools and cancel their trips. 

READ: More Questions/Answers About The Shutdown Impact

Some other things that have come to a halt because of the shutdown: loans from the Small Business Administration have stopped and Freedom of Information Requests will not be processed.

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