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Local News

October 4, 2013

Local impact small from federal shutdown

(Continued)

The shutdown has closed the Internal Revenue Service office in Plattsburgh, as well as Congressman Bill Owens’s office.

Signs on the doors of those offices apologized to visitors for the inconvenience.

WIC STILL HONORED

Clinton County Clerk John Zurlo said that applications for passports were still being taken at his office at the Clinton County Government Center, but there was no word on how long applicants might have to wait to receive their documents.

“We have not been informed of any changes, so it is business as normal here,” he said.

And Thursday, the Clinton County Health Department sent out a notice saying the WIC Program “has been instructed to continue business as usual by the NYS Department of Health. ... Families are encouraged to utilize the program’s services by keeping their appointments and cashing their checks.”

The federal program provides special supplemental nutrition to women, infants and children through checks good for specific foods including baby formula and milk at participating stores.

The benefit checks would still be honored at those vendors, the release said.

‘IT’S OUTRAGEOUS’

Franklin County law enforcement is feeling the federal shutdown, and residents can see the impact with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol vehicles parked along roadways, said District Attorney Derek Champagne.

“People are realizing they are seeing more of them sitting,” he said. “It’s outrageous. They have a set number of miles they can travel per shift.

“In a rural area, when it takes an effort to get somewhere, it is ludicrous,” he said. “There is a certain number of miles they’re allowed, so on an eight-to-10-hour shift, you better not go over the set amount of miles.”

Fewer patrol vehicles means a chance more crime can occur or more time elapse before law-enforcement can respond to an incident, he said.

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