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Federal employees struggle as shutdown continues

More than a month into the federal government’s partial shutdown—the longest in history—the approximately 800,000 government employees affected have been working hard to make ends meet, waiting until this most recent impasse comes to an end.

Locally, personnel with the U.S. Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife Service are the most readily seen reminders of the fallout of the shutdown.

For Coast Guard personnel and civilian workers deemed “nonessential” like Emergency Management Specialists Tim Molly and Kevin Kelly of Gloucester, furloughs have meant no work and no pay for 33 days and counting.

Both Molly and Kelly provide instruction relating to “command and control” of emergencies like search and rescue operations, hurricanes, oil spills and tornadoes. With these specialists furloughed, this instruction must be offered by other personnel who may lack the same expertise.

“People who don’t normally teach this are being asked to ste...

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