Local federal agencies slowly reopen after shutdown

After 16 days of the government shutdown, local federal agencies have reopened, but some services may be delayed.

The VA Regional office in Winston-Salem reopened Thursday to provide counseling and benefit claim services for veterans and their families.

VA representative Norris Jones said there will be a delay in claim processing, but exactly how long is still under assessment.

During the shutdown, 1,000 benefit claims should have been processed–but were not.

The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park also reopened for the public, but park rangers will have to wait to be paid for their hours lost.

Superintendent Charles Cranfield said two of twelve park rangers remained on staff during the shutdown to monitor safety. The other ten will have to wait a few more weeks for their back pay. 

“When we do get it [back pay], it will make up for what we lost, but for people who are living paycheck to paycheck it does make you stretch the dollar,” Cranfield said.

 

Cranfield said because of sequestration the visitor center hours of operation have been changed to Tuesday through Saturday.

The Women Infant and Children Food and Nutrition Service that provides food benefit vouchers resumed in Guilford County last Friday.

WIC Director Rebbeca Gilliland said there are no clients on the waiting list any longer and they are readily accepting new client applications.

“I’m just happy it back up and running,” Gilliand said.