PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Migrating gray whales will once again be passing along the Oregon coast this winter, where visitors and volunteers will gather for the annual Winter Whale Watch Week. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the five-day event is organized by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and will run from Dec. 27 to 31.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Today is the first full business day of the partial government shutdown. So far, the public and federal workers have largely been spared inconvenience and hardship because government is closed on weekends and federal employees were excused from work on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The shutdown began at midnight last Friday. Trump said Tuesday that the closed parts of the government will remain that way until Democrats agree to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a statement over the holiday weekend, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said 61% of the Department of Agriculture’s employees would continue to work through the first week of the shutdown, but that number would decrease the longer the shutdown continues. Some of the agency’s offices to be hit hardest by the closure include the office of Food and Nutrition Services that oversees the Child Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). By the end of the fifth day of the shutdown, staffing will be cut by 95%. Eligible households will still receive monthly SNAP benefits for January. But other domestic nutrition assistance programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, WIC, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations will only be operational based on available resources. Additional federal funds and commodities will not be provided during the shutdown. Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will continue through February.
Despite the partial government shutdown, Indian Health Service will continue to provide direct clinical health care services as well as referrals for contracted services that cannot be provided through IHS clinics.