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Robins Air Force Base, Ocmulgee Monument feel effects of government shutdown

Museum hosts robotic competition despite government shutdown

Elementary and middle school students converged on the Museum of Aviation for the 13th annual Central Georgia FIRST Lego League regional tournament Saturday. About 30 teams from schools around the State competed in the robotics tournament, which c
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Elementary and middle school students converged on the Museum of Aviation for the 13th annual Central Georgia FIRST Lego League regional tournament Saturday. About 30 teams from schools around the State competed in the robotics tournament, which c

The federal government shutdown is trickling down to some midstate agencies, departments and parks. The U.S. government officially shut down at 12:01 a.m. Saturday when Republicans and Democrats failed to make a deal to continue funding government services.

Robins Air Force Base is "beginning the process for an orderly government shutdown," according to a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon. More than 21,400 people are employed at Robins Air Force, with 13,300 appropriated-fund civilians, about 5,550 military members and more than 2,500 other employees, said Geoff Janes, with Robins Air Force Base Public Affairs.

It's not clear how many of these employees will be impacted by the government shutdown, he said. Military and civilian personnel have been instructed to report to work Monday to receive more information and contact their supervisors with questions.

The Museum of Aviation, Airman and Family Readiness Center and the base's main fitness center will be closed. The Travel Management Office will offer limited services; the Commissary will be open until Wednesday; and the Medical Group will be open but delays are expected.

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The visitor center and Earth Lodge at Macon's Ocmulgee National Monument will be closed, and scheduled programs will be canceled during the shutdown, according to a Facebook post Saturday. Employees will not be able to answer emails or phone calls or monitor social media accounts. Park roads and trails will still be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but visitors use them at their own risk.

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U.S. federal courts, including district courts, have wiggle room to stay open for about three weeks, according to uscourts.gov. Most cases and hearings would go on as planned.

"Despite a government shutdown, the federal judiciary will remain open and can continue operations for approximately three weeks, through Feb. 9, by using court fee balances and other funds not dependent on a new appropriation," the website states.

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