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National Govt & Politics
Volunteer power during shutdown: “We’ve got to help take care of our [National] park.” 
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Volunteer power during shutdown: “We’ve got to help take care of our [National] park.” 

Volunteer power during shutdown: “We’ve got to help take care of our [National] park.” 
Someone's soggy, long-lost football was among the garbage collected along the Chattahoochee River Tuesday morning. Photo: Jennifer Brett

Volunteer power during shutdown: “We’ve got to help take care of our [National] park.” 

If the partial government shutdown continues much longer, a local conservancy group will likely organize volunteer teams to go out and pick up trash.  

There's not yet a serious problem of trash over-flowing containers along and inside the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. But that could soon change says Sally Bethea, board president of the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy (CPC). 

"With no end in sight for this shutdown we've got to help take care of our park,” Bethea tells WSB Radio. 

The CPC works with the National Parks Service to assist in programs and volunteers for the CRNRA.  

Over the past week, the Conservancy has been assessing all 15 park units within the Rec Area - which stretches 48 miles from Buford Dam to the city of Atlanta. Two of the most popular sites within the National Recreation Area are Paces Mill and Cochran Shoals.      

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trash

In the days since the shutdown began, there have been individuals who have taken it upon themselves to clean up areas where they hike. Bethea says her group has already lent support to local hiker groups in the trash collection effort, but a more organized effort could soon be forthcoming. "We'll be finishing our assessment here in the next couple of days and seeing where we need to really allocate volunteers to help,” says Bethea. "We'll assume that there will be more cleanups going on in the next week and certainly if this lasts into February, we'll be working very hard." 

WSB Radio
On January 9, 2019, the visitor's center parking lot at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park remains closed during the partial government shutdown.
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Kennesaw Battlefield park

Photo Credit: WSB Radio
On January 9, 2019, the visitor's center parking lot at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park remains closed during the partial government shutdown.

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is not the only recreation tract in metro Atlanta affected by the gridlock in Washington D.C. In Cobb County, access to the visitor’s center parking lot at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is closed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports trash cans in that park have been sealed-off. And one handwritten sign left behind reads: “The government is currently shut down. To keep our park beautiful, PLEASE TAKE YOUR TRASH WITH YOU.”

Bethea understands the emotional tug by many who make park and recreation area visits part of their routine – to pitch in to help. "This is one of the areas in which people do get emotional about this shutdown, is not being able to access some of their parks." 

Bethea’s message to anyone using the parks and rec areas: “Do the right thing. Leave no trace. That means take everything out of the park except your footprints."

As for what is – or is not happening in D.C. "Hopefully the shutdown will end soon. It's...it's sad." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News

  • A full year before the first round of presidential primary voting finds diversity already a hallmark of the field of possible Democratic contenders. Four of those who have either moved toward a campaign or declared their candidacy are women, and one of them is African-American. Another White House hopeful is Latino, and one is gay. The diversity is likely to expand in the coming weeks as other Democrats enter the race. The field that's taking shape follows a successful midterm election in which Democrats elected a historically diverse class of politicians to Congress. The president of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, Neera Tanden, says she hopes the Democratic primary campaign will bring 'a lot of people into the process.
  • The rainwater collection system is broken at the environmental research station on a remote, rocky Pacific island off the California coast. So is a crane used to hoist small boats in and out of the water. A two-year supply of diesel fuel for the power generators is almost gone. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel ordinarily would help with such problems. But they haven't been around since the partial federal government shutdown began a month ago, forcing researchers with the nonprofit Point Blue Conservation Science to rely on volunteers to haul bottled water and 5-gallon (18-liter) jugs of diesel to the Farallon Islands National Refuge, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from San Francisco. Still, the scientists are pressing on with their long-running study of elephant seals during the crucial winter breeding season. They tag and monitor the lumbering creatures, whose numbers are recovering after being hunted to near-extinction, and study how warming oceans could affect them. 'We've found some creative solutions, but things will get more strained the longer the shutdown is continued,' said Pete Warzybok, a marine ecologist with Point Blue. The impasse has delayed, disrupted and now threatens to derail environmental research projects across the nation — and not just those conducted by government agencies. Scientists with universities, nonprofit organizations and private companies say their inability to collaborate with federal partners, gain access to federal lands and laboratories, and secure federal funding is jeopardizing their work on a vast array of subjects, including invasive and endangered species and air and water quality. Researchers might miss court-ordered deadlines for reports involving endangered plants or animals. Warm-weather field studies that must be planned months in advance could be delayed or canceled. And studies that rely on strict monitoring or testing schedules could be compromised. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the damage could range from inconvenient to irreparable. Scientists with a constant presence on the Farallones since 1968 might have to leave if their agreement with the government isn't renewed by the end of March. Besides opening a gap in decades of data collection, their absence would leave the islands and their wildlife vulnerable to trespassers. Nobody from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was available to respond because employees are not allowed to work during the shutdown, according to voicemail messages. Scientist Harvey Bootsma needs to book a National Park Service boat for summer experiments involving quagga mussels in Lake Michigan, where the invasive pests are suspected of causing a decline in perch, whitefish and other prized species. If the government doesn't reopen soon, 'it could really mess us up,' said Bootsma, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One increasingly likely casualty is the world's longest continuous study of a predator-prey relationship in one location. For 60 years, biologists have documented population shifts and interactions between gray wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Much of the data is collected during winter, when scientists use planes to observe the wolves forming packs, battling over territory and killing moose, but the team is shut out of the park. The seven-week mission isn't dead yet, but prospects fade daily. The loss of a season's worth of data would be 'devastating,' said Rolf Peterson of Michigan Technological University, the co-leader. 'Continuity is what's at the core of a lot of observational science, especially long-term projects. At some point, the loss of continuity degrades the integrity and value of the work itself. And there are things that don't come around a second time.' The timing is particularly bad because the park recently began a multiyear effort to replenish its wolf population, which had fallen to two. Four were flown to Isle Royale from the mainland last fall — one later died — and researchers planned to relocate several others this winter. Peterson's group also wants to dart 20 moose and fit them with radio collars to gauge their reaction to the arriving wolves. 'Both of these projects, while partially supported by other funds, require National Park Service personnel and facilities to operate,' agency spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said. 'Until there is an approved funding source to support those functions, both operations are suspended.' Also at risk are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's aerial surveys of endangered Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico, which usually happen in late January and early February. A California mission to gather data on fish and study how climate change is affecting oceans, which began 70 years ago, also is in limbo. A research ship was reserved for this winter's operation, carried out by a federal, state and university partnership. But because it's owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the San Diego-based vessel is off-limits until the shutdown ends. No suitable replacement is available, said program director Brice Semmens. Data gaps from a lost mission would be harmful because 'the ocean is changing so rapidly now,' he said. 'We need to understand how these changes are going to affect populations we care about, like shellfish or Dungeness crab.' The shutdown also is taking a toll on the next generation of environmental researchers. Federal scientists teach and monitor graduate students' projects at universities nationwide. Now, the schools may cancel some courses and students are worrying about graduating on time. Three experts with the U.S. Geological Survey teach in the wildlife and fisheries program at the University of Georgia, where a statistical modeling class was scratched because the government instructor isn't allowed to work, biology professor John Maerz said. 'We depend on them being there; we build our curriculum and projects around them,' Maerz said. 'You can't replace that expertise.' Many students are struggling to do research with federal laboratories and other facilities shuttered. Professors are hesitating to accept another class of graduate students because they don't know whether they'll get federal grants to pay the newcomers and fund their work. 'I applied for a bunch of grants last year and am waiting to see if I'll get funding so I can determine whether to admit a grad student and if so, how many,' said Andrew Dessler, an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M. 'The way things are going, I may not take any.' ___ Flesher reported from Traverse City, Michigan, and Webber from Chicago. AP reporter Susan Montoya Bryan contributed from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Three weeks after giving birth to Gaston County's first baby of 2019, a woman is accused of using the same vehicle to sell drugs. >> Read more trending news  Jessica Killian, 32, was arrested Tuesday morning at the Econo Lodge on Broadcast Street with 36 grams of meth that police believe she planned to sell, according to the Gaston Gazette. Police said she had baggies and scales inside her 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, which she not only used to run her drug operation, but to give birth to her son, Atom Bomb. >> Related: Mother delivers baby in car on side of interstate in Cleveland County] Killian delivered Atom Bomb in the front of her car New Year’s Day on the side of Interstate 85 near Kings Mountain with the help of her boyfriend. Just three weeks after giving birth, Killian was charged with felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She also has pending drug charges from December for possessing and manufacturing drugs. >> Trending: Jurors convict dad in under an hour in baby's diaper rash death It's not clear who has custody of her newborn baby.
  • General Mills has issued a recall for 5-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour over fears of potential salmonella contamination. >> Read more trending news  The possible presence of the bacteria was discovered during sampling of the 5-pound bags, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The recall only affects the one flour product and is focused on bags with the “better if used by date” of April 20, 2020. “Food safety is our top priority, and though we have not had any confirmed illnesses, we are voluntarily recalling this specific lot of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour to prevent potential illnesses,' the president of General Mills’ Meals and Baking Division, Jim Murphy, said in a statement. 'This recall does not involve any other flour products, and we are continuing to educate consumers that flour is not a 'ready to eat' ingredient. Anything you make with flour must be cooked or baked before eating,' Murphy said. >> Related: Johnsonville ground pork patties recalled over possible rubber contamination Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, it can cause more severe illnesses, according to the FDA.  
  • A former prison guard trainee who recently moved to Florida from Indiana killed five people during a standoff at a small town bank before surrendering to a SWAT team that stormed the building, police said. Investigators said Zephen Xaver, 21, called police from inside the SunTrust Bank branch Wednesday to report that he had opened fire. He barricaded himself inside and when negotiations failed, the SWAT team burst in, capturing Xaver and discovering the bodies, police said. Investigators did not offer a possible motive, and a police spokesman said he did not know if the attack began as a robbery. The victims were not immediately identified. Late Wednesday, police investigators still swarmed the bank, which sits between a hotel and a hair salon located in a business district of U.S. 27. The four-lane highway passes through farming communities and small towns as it connects South Florida and central Florida. Sebring, with 10,000 residents, is known internationally for its annual 12 Hours of Sebring endurance auto race that draws world-class drivers. 'Today's been a tragic day in our community,' Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said during a news conference. 'We've suffered significant loss at the hands of a senseless criminal doing a senseless crime.' He said more information would be released at a Thursday morning press conference. Florida Department of Corrections records show that Xaver was hired as a trainee prison guard at Avon Park Correctional Institution on Nov. 2 and resigned Jan. 9. No disciplinary issues were reported. Public records and neighbors said Xaver had arrived in Sebring last fall with his mother, living in a non-descript pre-fabricated home about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the bank. No one answered the door Wednesday night after police finished searching the home. Public records and neighbors say he and his mother moved to Sebring in the fall from Plymouth, Indiana, a town south of Notre Dame University. John Larose, who lives next door, said Xaver kept to himself, but he could hear him playing and yelling at video games in the middle of the night. Xaver briefly was an online student of Salt Lake City-based Stevens-Henager College. A spokeswoman for the college, Sherrie Martin, confirmed that Xaver was enrolled from September 2018 until December, when he withdrew. Gov. Ron DeSantis was in the region for an infrastructure tour and traveled to Sebring after the shooting. He said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would assist Sebring police and the Highlands County sheriff's office. 'Obviously, this is an individual who needs to face very swift and exacting justice,' DeSantis said of the suspect. SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers released a statement saying the bank was 'working with officials and dedicating ourselves to fully addressing the needs of all the individuals and families involved.' The bank's 'entire team mourns this terrible loss,' he said. ___ David Fischer contributed to this report from Miami.
  • The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 is still underway with no end in sight as a stalemate between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders over his demand for more than $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border continues. >> Read more trending news The president proposed a plan over the weekend to trade protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in exchange for the money to build the wall, though Democrats called the proposal a “non-starter.” Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Late Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump indicated that he would give the State of the Union after partial government shutdown ends:  “As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!” Moments following the president’s tweet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied asking for support of a House-passed package expected in the Senate on Thursday: “Mr. President, I hope by saying “near future” you mean you will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow. Please accept this proposal so we can re-open government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences.” Update 4 p.m. EST Jan. 23: After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the U.S. House of Representatives would not consider a resolution to allow him to hold his State of the Union address in the House Chamber amid the shutdown, Trump accused her of being “afraid of the truth.” “We just found out that she's cancelled it and I think that's a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love,” the president told reporters Wednesday. “She doesn't want the American public to hear what's going on and she's afraid of the truth.” Update 2:45 p.m. EST Jan. 23: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday in a letter to Trump that the U.S. House of Representatives will not consider a resolution authorizing him to make his State of the Union address in the House Chamber until after the government shutdown ends. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Pelosi to Trump: No State of the Union until shutdown is over 'When I extended an invitation on January 3rd for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th,' Pelosi wrote. 'At that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.' Trump told reporters at the White House that he was “not surprised” by Pelosi’s reaction. “It’s really a shame, what’s happening with the Democrats,” Trump said. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Jan. 23: Trump said Wednesday that he plans to deliver his State of the Union address as planned on Jan. 29, despite a request from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reschedule the speech as the partial government shutdown continues. >> State of the Union: White House moves forward with plans for speech next week Pelosi had invited Trump to deliver the State of the Union in the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, but in a letter sent two weeks later, she rescinded the invitation, citing security concerns. Trump said he was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service prior to Pelosi's letter and that both agencies have reassured him that 'there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event.' 'Accordingly, there are no security concerns regard the State of the Union Address,' Trump said. 'Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United State of america regarding the State of our Union.' Update 7:00 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) has introduced a measure in the Senate to prevent future government shutdowns. It’s called the Stop Stupidity (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act. It would automatically renew the previous year’s funding, guaranteeing the government would remain open if lawmakers don’t agree on a budget, but it doesn’t include the legislative or executive branches of government. Warner said in a press release that the measure would “protect federal government workers from being used as pawns in policy negotiations,” according to The Hill. “It is disturbing that the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of workers are at the mercy of dysfunction in Washington,” he said.  “Workers, business owners and tax payers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that.” The shutdown is affecting some 800,000 government workers.  Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he expects a vote on Trump’s immigration proposal Thursday. However, it remained unclear whether the proposal would win approval as the shutdown dragged on into its 32nd day. Democrats have passed several bills in the House aimed at funding the government, though McConnell has declined to hold votes for the measures, citing the president’s unwillingness to sign any budget that excludes money for the wall. The Senate last voted on a government funding bill on Dec. 19, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. Update 11:30 a.m. EST Jan. 21: The partial government shutdown entered its 31st day Monday. Democrats and Republicans took first steps over the weekend toward reaching a compromise in the ongoing budget battle, however, it remained unclear Monday whether negotiations would prove fruitful. Trump on Sunday pressed Democrats to accept a deal he offered Saturday, which would give temporary protections to some immigrants in the United States in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. The president also pushed back against critics who accused him of offering amnesty for immigrants who came into the U.S. illegally. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump denies offering amnesty, hits Democrats over shutdown, border wall Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote on the president's plan as soon as Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 19: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans Senate action this week on President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the partial government shutdown. Democrats, who control the House, said they find the president’s offer unacceptable. The plan faces an uphill path in the Senate and virtually no chance of survival in the Democratic-controlled House, according to The Associated Press. Update 3 p.m. EST Jan. 19: President Donald Trump announced a proposal for Democrats in a televised speech Saturday afternoon to end the the 29-day partial government shutdown. In his speech, he said he wants to trade temporary protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for money to build his wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s proposal as a “nonstarter” moments before for the announcement. Democrats want the protections to be permanent and want him to reopen government before negotiating on border security. Update 6 p.m. EST Jan. 18: President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he will make a major announcement on the government shutdown and the southern border on Saturday afternoon from the White House. Saturday will mark the 28th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in US history. Update 2:10 p.m. EST Jan. 18: The Office of Management and Budget released a memo Friday barring Congressional delegations from using aircraft paid for with taxpayer money amid the ongoing shutdown. The memo, from Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, was released one day after Trump abruptly pulled military air support for a planned Congressional delegation that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Under no circumstances during a government shutdown will any government owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft support any Congressional delegation, without the express written approval of the White House Chief of Staff,” Vought said in the memo. “Nor will any funds be appropriated to the Executive Branch be used for any Congressional delegation travel expenses without his express written approval.” Pelosi told reporters Friday that lawmakers had planned to continue their planned trip to Afghanistan after it was scrapped by Trump’s announcement. 'We had the prerogative to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that we were traveling commercially and that endangers us,” she said. Update 11:50 a.m. EST Jan. 18: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she canceled plans to travel to Afghanistan after Trump pulled military travel support for the trip one day earlier and shared that she planned to visit a war zone. Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said Thursday that the House speaker planned to travel with a Congressional delegation to Belgium and then Afghanistan to visit troops on the front lines. Trump pulled military air support for the trip one day after Pelosi asked him to postponed his State of the Union address, scheduled to take place on Jan. 29, in light of the ongoing shutdown. The president also cited the shutdown and suggested that lawmakers could make the trip on a commercial airline.  Hammill said Friday that Pelosi and the rest of the delegation were prepared to fly commercially but he said the plan was axed after the Trump administration “leaked the commercial travel plans.”  “In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights,” Hammill said. Update 10:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: President Donald Trump has canceled the U.S. delegation’s trip later this month to an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that out of consideration for the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid, the president has nixed his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum. Trump had earlier pulled out of attending the forum because of the shutdown. Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17:  An overseas trip that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set leave for on Thursday, before Trump abruptly announced he had pulled military travel support for the trip, was intended to show appreciation for American troops abroad, Pelosi’s spokesman said. In a letter sent Thursday to Pelosi’s office, the president said a Congressional Delegation, or CODEL, that Pelosi had planned was canceled amid the ongoing government shutdown. Trump said the CODEL intended to make stops in Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said the speaker planned to stop in Brussels, as required to give the pilot time to rest, and meet with top NATO commanders before continuing on to Afghanistan. He said the trip did not include any stops in Egypt. “The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security briefings from those front lines,” Hammill said. “The president traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL (Congressional Deligation) led by Rep. (Lee) Zeldin.” Update 2:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump on Thursday pulled military travel support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ahead of a planned trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. Pelosi had planned to leave for a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip, also known as a CODEL, later Thursday, CNN reported. According to the news network, Trump has “the authority to direct the Department of Defense to not use military assets to support a congressional delegation to military theaters.” However, CNN noted that it was not immediately clear whether the Defense Department was notified of the cancellation ahead of time. The cancellation came one day after Pelosi asked Trump to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown. Update 2:25 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump said Thursday that he's postponing a trip planned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan amid the ongoing partial government shutdown. >> From Cox Media Group’s National Content Desk: In escalating shutdown fight, Trump cancels plane for Pelosi overseas trip 'It would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown,' the president said. 'Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.' Trump addressed the letter to Pelosi’s office one day after she asked him to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown. The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed several bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall. Update 1:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: The State Department ordered U.S. diplomats in Washington and at embassies around the world to return to work starting next week, saying in a message to employees that they will be paid despite the shutdown. It was not immediately clear where the money was found, but the department said it had taken steps to 'make available additional funds to pay the salaries of its employees, including those affected by the current lapse.' “Employees will  be paid for work performed beginning on or after January 20,” the notice, from Deputy Under Secretary for Management Bill Todd, said. “Beyond (that pay period), we will review balances and available legal authorities to try to cover future pay periods.” Officials noted that employees would not be paid for work done between Dec. 22, when the partial government shutdown started, and Jan. 20 until after the shutdown ends. Department officials said they were taking the step because it had become clear that the lapse in funding is harming efforts 'to address the myriad critical issues requiring U.S. leadership around the globe and to fulfill our commitments to the American people.'  Officials added that the department's leadership was 'deeply concerned' about the financial hardships employees are facing. Update 12:45 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump signed a bill Wednesday that requires the government to compensate federal workers affected by the ongoing shutdown for wages lost, work performed or leave used during the shutdown. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 passed in the House last week. It requires that employees be compensated “on the earliest date possible after the lapse ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates.” Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that despite the partial government shutdown, federal officials are prepared to deal with issues that might arise when Trump delivers his State of the Union address later this month. “The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” Nielsen said in a statement posted on Twitter. Her comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president to delay the address, scheduled January 29, due to security concerns as the shutdown dragged into its 26th day. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: TSA: “Financial limitations” causing airport screeners not to show up for work Update 10:25 a.m. EST Jan. 16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked Trump to delay his State of the Union address, which is expected later this month, as the partial government shutdown continues. >> Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union amid shutdown “Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said in a letter sent Wednesday. Update 1:41 p.m. EST Jan. 15: A federal judge has denied a request from unionized federal employees who filed a lawsuit requiring the government pay air traffic controllers who are working without pay during the shutdown, CNN reported. >> FDA restarts inspections during shutdown, inspectors working without pay Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 14: A group of federal employees who was ordered to work without pay amid the ongoing shutdown filed suit last week against the government, comparing their situations to involuntary servitude and accusing Trump and other officials of violating the 13th Amendment, according to The Washington Post. In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday by four federal workers from Texas and West Virginia who are employed by the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Transportation, attorneys said the workers could face discipline or removal if they failed to continue working despite the fact that they were not getting paid during the shutdown. The Post reported the lawsuit also accused officials of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. >> Atlanta airport security lines more than an hour long amid federal shutdown “Our plaintiffs find themselves in the exact same boat as virtually every other furloughed federal employee: bills to pay and no income to pay them,” the workers' attorney, Michael Kator, told the Post. “As this drags on, their situation will become more and more dire.” The partial government shutdown entered its 24th day Monday, making it the longest in history. The second-longest government shutdown lasted 21 days in the mid-90s, during President Bill Clinton's time in office. Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 14: Trump railed against Democrats on Monday morning as the partial government shutdown entered its 24th day. 'I've been waiting all weekend,' Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. 'Democrats must get to work now. Border must be secured!' The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed six bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump heads to see farmers with shutdown in fourth week Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall. 'The package presented yesterday by Democratic leaders can only be seen as a time wasting act,' he said on Jan. 3. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Jan. 11: Trump said Friday that it would be easy for him to declare a national emergency to get a wall along the country’s southern border built, but that he has no plans to do so. “I’m not going to do it so fast,” the president said during a discussion about border security with state, local and community leaders at the White House. “This is something that Congress can do.” Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck on Friday, and Washington is close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Update 1:25 p.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump said Thursday he will not travel later this month to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum amid the ongoing partial government shutdown. The president was scheduled to leave for the trip Jan. 21. “Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”  Last year, a brief government shutdown threatened to derail his trip to Davos, where he asserted that his 'America First' agenda can go hand-in-hand with global cooperation. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the U.S. delegation to the annual Davos event, which courts high-profile businesspeople and political figures and other elites. Other members of the Cabinet are scheduled to attend as well as Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump will travel Thursday to Texas to visit the southern border after negotiations to end the partial government shut down crumbled. The president walked out of discussions Wednesday with Congressional leaders after Democrats again refused to approve of $5.7 billion of funding for his border wall. “The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don’t want to give ‘Trump’ another one of many wins!” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter. The president is set to travel to McAllen on Thursday, where he plans to visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security. Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 9: The president walked out of discussions with leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday amid the ongoing government shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would agree to fund his border wall and that he walked out of the meeting when she answered in the negative. “He said, ‘If I open up the government, you won’t do what I want,’” Schumer said. The president wrote on Twitter that the meeting was “a total waste of time.” “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” he wrote. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are standing beside the president Wednesday as the debate over border wall funding continues. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their party lunch Wednesday afternoon. “The Republicans are unified,” Trump told reporters after the meeting. “We want border security. We want safety for our country.” The president accused Democrats of blocking funding for the wall, “because I won the presidency and they think they can try and hurt us.” Democrats have called the proposed wall costly, ineffective and 'immoral' and say Trump's 'manufacturing a crisis.' Trump and Pence are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House. Update 1:30 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Trump said Wednesday that his border wall has 'tremendous Republican support” ahead of a meeting with GOP lawmakers as the shutdown drags into its 19th day. 'I think we're going to win,” Trump said. “We need border security, very simple.” In response to a reporter’s question about how long the president would be willing to let the shutdown last in order to secure funding for the wall, Trump said, “whatever it takes.” Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 9: During a bill signing at the White House on Wednesday, the president pushed again for funding of his border wall, arguing that human trafficking can’t be stopped without it. 'As long as we have a border that is not secure, we're going to suffer the consequences of that,' Trump said. The president brushed off critics who have said a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be ineffective to address immigration issues. “They say a wall is a medieval solution, that’s true,” Trump said. “It worked then, it works even better now” Democrats have called Trump's promised wall costly, ineffective and 'immoral' and say he's 'manufacturing a crisis.' The bill Trump signed is designed to enhance an annual State Department report that measures global efforts to eliminate human trafficking. Update 10:35 a.m. EST Jan. 9: Officials will hold a series of meetings Wednesday in an attempt to end the government shutdown that began 19 days ago, according to Politico. The president, Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will meet Wednesday afternoon with Senate Republicans for their party lunch, the news site reported. Then, at 3 p.m., the president will meet with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House, Poliltico reported, noting it will mark “the third such bipartisan meeting in a week’s time.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday morning that Trump is still considering the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built. '(It's) something we're still looking at, something that's certainly still on the table,' she said, according to Bloomberg News. 'The best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this done.' The president did not mention the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built Tuesday night, during his first address from the Oval Office. He wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter, “we MUST fix our Southern Border!” Trump is scheduled to visit the border Thursday. Update 10:50 p.m. EST Jan. 8: In his first ever televised Oval Office address, President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his border wall Tuesday night, blaming illegal immigration for the scourge of drugs and violence in the U.S.  Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain. He argued for spending some $5.7 billion for a border wall on both security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid the extended shutdown. He will visit the Mexican border in person on Thursday. Update 8:07 p.m. EST Jan. 8: The New York Times is reporting that Trump will not declare a national emergency this evening in order to circumvent Congress to get funds to build the wall. According to the times, “administration officials who had seen a draft copy of his speech said the president was not preparing to do so.” Update 10:45 a.m. EST Jan. 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response to Trump's planned prime time address, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree. Update 1:50 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump said he plans to address the nation Tuesday night as Democrats continue to stand firm on their refusal to fund the president’s border wall. “I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security  crisis on our Southern Border Tuesday night at 9 P.M. Eastern,” Trump said Monday afternoon in a tweet. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Trump to visit Mexican border as White House pushes for security funding The announcement came after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump plans to visit the southern border on Thursday. Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump on Thursday will visit the southern border amid the ongoing shutdown impasse, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Update 9:10 a.m. EST Jan. 7: The partial government shutdown entered its 17th day Monday with no end in sight despite meetings over the weekend meant to help bring the shutdown to a close, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump said Friday that he’s considering using his executive authority to get a wall built on the U.S.-Mexico border. “We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely,” Trump said. “I haven’t done it. I may do it.” The president spoke with reporters Friday after meeting with congressional leaders amid the ongoing budget impasse. He said he’s designated a team to meet over the weekend with lawmakers to resolve the standoff.  Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: At a news conference Friday, Trump confirmed he told congressional leaders that he would be willing to allow the government shut down to continue for months or years if Democrats refuse to fund his border wall. “I don’t think (the government will remain closed that long) but I am prepared,” Trump said. “I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days.” Trump met with top leaders from the House and Senate on Friday morning to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown and his demand for $5.6 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump: Shutdown could go ‘months or even years’ in border wall dispute The president said Friday’s meeting was “very, very productive,” though top Democrats told reporters after the meeting that little was accomplished. “How do you define progress in a meeting?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked reporters after the meeting. “When you have a better understanding of each other’s position? When you eliminate some possibilities? If that’s the judgement, we made some progress.” Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Top Democrats said a meeting with Trump aimed at bringing the ongoing partial government shutdown to an end was contentious on Friday, with neither side willing to budge in the ongoing battle over funding for a border wall. “We told the president we needed the government open,' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting. 'He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time -- months or even years.' Update 9:20 a.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump is set to meet Friday morning with congressional leaders, though it was not clear whether the meeting would help bring to an end the partial government shutdown that began nearly two weeks ago. The meeting, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m., will include newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders from the House and Senate, NPR reported.  House Democrats approved of a spending bill Thursday to re-open the government, prompting a veto threat from Trump. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump threatens vetoes as House passes bills to end partial shutdown “If either H.R. 21 or H.J. Res. 1 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a veto threat against the plans passed by House Democrats in the opening hours of the 116th Congress, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. Update 11:45 p.m. EST Jan. 3: House Democrats have approved a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.  The largely party-line votes by the new Democratic majority came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room to pledge a continued fight for his signature campaign promise.  The Democratic package to end the shutdown includes a bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8 as bipartisan talks continue.  It was approved, 239-192. Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump said he remains “ready and willing” to work with Democrats to pass a government spending bill even as he refuses to budge over funding for his long-promised border wall.  Trump tweeted “Let’s get it done!” as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight. Trump has invited the group back for a follow-up session Friday, the day after Nancy Pelosi is expected to become speaker of the House. Earlier, they met Trump at the White House Wednesday for a briefing on border security. The session did not yield any breakthroughs according to The Associated Press, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Schumer said Trump could not provide a “good answer” for opposing the bills. He added that Trump and Republicans “are now feeling the heat.” Update 9:30 a.m. EST Jan. 2: Congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown continues, The Associated Press reported. Among the lawmakers expected to attend the meeting are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to the AP. Top incoming House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are also expected to attend. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m., The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper noted that few, if any, compromises are likely to be offered at the session, which comes one day before Democrats take control of the House of Representatives. Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Trump has invited congressional leaders to a border security briefing scheduled for Wednesday. The Associated Press reported the top two Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate have been invited. Other possible attendees and agenda have not been released. The White House has not commented on the apparent invitations, the AP reported. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Dec. 28: Trump threatened Friday to close the southern U.S. border if Democrats continued to refuse to fund his border wall. “We build a Wall or we close the Southern Border,” he said in a series of tweets Friday morning. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Friday that Trump had canceled his plans for New Year’s Eve in light of the ongoing shutdown. Still, Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, told The Associated Press on Friday that Democrats won’t fund the president’s “immoral, ineffective expensive wall.” “While we await the President’s public proposal, Democrats have made it clear that, under a House Democratic Majority, we will vote swiftly to re-open government on Day One,” Hammill said. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 27: The partial government shutdown that started Saturday is expected to last into the new year.  House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement obtained Thursday by C-SPAN that no votes were expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the shutdown continues. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday showed 47 percent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the partial government shutdown, despite the president’s assertion that Democrats are at fault. The poll found 33 percent of adults blame Democrats in Congress. In a pair of tweet Thursday, the president accused Democrats of “obstruction of the needed Wall.” Update: 3:35 p.m. EST Dec. 25: President Trump spoke to members of the five branches of the U.S. military via video conference Tuesday, sending them his well-wishes before discussing the partial government shutdown and the country's need for a wall:  “I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.' Update 3:50 p.m. EST Dec. 23: Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the shutdown could continue into the next year. “It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said. Update 3:55 p.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate does not estimate a vote on a deal to end the partial government shutdown until next Thursday at the earliest, tweeted Jamie Dupree, Cox Media Group Washington correspondent. The Senate Cloakroom, a Twitter account for the Republican side of the Senate floor, tweeted the following schedule for the Senate: “Following today’s session, the Senate will convene on Monday, December 24th at 11:00 am for a Pro Forma Session. Following the Pro Forma Session, we will next convene at 4:00 pm on Thursday, December 27th and consider business if a deal has been reached on government funding” President Trump has been active on Twitter today, saying he’s in the White House today “working hard,” and reaffirming his support for tough border security. “I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!” the President tweeted. Update 3:00 p.m. EST Dec. 22: White House officials are warning that the government shutdown will last through the holidays, as Trump is not relenting on his demand, tweeted New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers. 'We have continued to put forth what we think is an important expectation ... which is $5 billion in border security,' a senior White House official told reporters, according to Rogers’ tweet. Update 12:30 p.m. EST Dec. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an update on government funding negotiations. He said a procedural agreement was made to “create space” to allow discussions between Senate Democrats and White House. There will be no votes until Trump and Senate Democrats reach an agreement. Update 9:06 a.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate is expected to meet today at noon to see if they can hammer out an agreement that President Trump will sign. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told press Friday night that “constructive talks are underway,' for such an agreement, reported CNN. If any new deal is announced, lawmakers would be given 24 hours notice to return to Washington for a vote. Update 1:31 a.m. EST Dec. 22: In a joint statement released shortly after the partial government shutdown went into effect, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y,) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were critical of President Donald Trump and called the government closures the “Trump shutdown.” 'President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted,' Schumer and Pelosi said in the statement. “Democrats have offered Republicans multiple proposals to keep the government open, including one that already passed the Senate unanimously, and all of which include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security -- not the president’s ineffective and expensive wall. “If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January.” Update 10:45 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With a partial government shutdown expected at midnight, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney instructed agencies to plan for a shutdown. Mulvaney says in a memo for government executives that “we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” but that employees should report to work when scheduled to “undertake orderly shutdown activities.” Update 8:19 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The Senate adjourned without a deal on spending, just after 8 p.m. Friday evening ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday. Senators expect to return at noon Saturday as talks continue. Update 7:09 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The House adjourned Friday evening and will return Saturday at noon which will likely trigger a partial shutdown. Update 5:55 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With just over 6 hours left until the midnight deadline, Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote advanced the 47-47 tally after a marathon, five-hour voting session in the Senate that dragged on as senators rushed back to Washington. The move doesn’t immediately end the threat of a partial federal shutdown, but it kick-starts negotiations as Congress tries to find a resolution to Trump’s demand for the wall. Senators say they won’t vote on a final bill to fund the government until Trump and congressional leaders all agree to a deal. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 21: Trump spoke with reporters before signing a criminal justice reform bill Friday.  'It's possible that we'll have a shutdown,” the president said. “I think the chances are probably very good because I don't think Democrats care so much about maybe this issue, but this is a very big issue” The Republican-led House approved funding Thursday for Trump's border wall and sent the bill to the Senate. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: With impasse over wall funding, federal workers gear up for shutdown Senators are holding a procedural vote Thursday afternoon to determine whether to move forward with the bill. During a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer last week, Trump said he’d shut down the government if lawmakers failed to secure $5 billion in funding for a wall to span the U.S.-Mexico border. “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government,” Trump said. “I’m going to shut it down for border security.” >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 21: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials plan to discuss “the funding bill and the importance of border security” at 10:30 a.m. The president insisted on Twitter Friday morning that, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” Ten days earlier, Trump said during a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.” >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown Original report: A potential government shutdown looms and President Donald Trump is tweeting, saying that if a spending plan isn’t passed and signed by midnight, it will be the Democrats fault when the government closes. On Thursday night, after a meeting between House Republicans and the president, the House passed a spending bill that included $5 billion for Trump’s border wall.  >>From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: With Friday night deadline, funding fight shifts to Senate The vote was 217-185, CNN reported. The bill is in the hands of the Senate whose members have to act on it before the midnight deadline or the government closes.  >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Shutdown chances jump as Trump demands money for his border wall Washington watchers believe the bill will not pass because of the money earmarked for the wall, CNN reported.  Democrats have said they will not support the money for the border and both sides of the Senate aisle are needed if the spending plan is to pass. >> Government shutdown: What will close; will you get your Social Security check, SNAP, WIC? In a series of morning tweets by the President, he placed the blame on Democrats if the government shuts down. The president said he would not sign the Senate-backed spending bill that does not include money for the border wall. The Senate plan would grant funding to keep the government operating until Feb. 8, The Washington Post reported.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.