Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 1, 2013

Local shutdown affects the Park Service most noticeably

CUMBERLAND — A plan is in place for local Social Security Administration offices and for National Park Service offices and parks, if a federal government shutdown occurs overnight.

The impact on national parks will be among the most severe and noticeable, according to government officials.

All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo in Washington, according to The Associated Press. Visitors using overnight campgrounds or other park facilities would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park, the AP said.

The Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission and local Head Start programs could be affected by a shutdown, depending on the length of the event.

“There are several scenarios. ... short term we will operate as long as funds allow,” said HRDC executive director Courtney Thomas. Thomas is optimistic that an agreement may be reached, at least avoiding a shutdown for a few weeks. This has happened before, but Thomas said this is the closest things have gotten to a deadline that she remembers.

The HRDC would have to consider closing the county’s Head Start centers and other programs if the shutdown is prolonged. The HRDC’s senior programs and other federally funded programs could also be affected. “Everyone is very anxious,” Thomas said.

Congressional offices are a different matter. U.S. Rep. John Delaney’s office in Hagerstown will not be affected if a shutdown occurs.

“Our offices in Washington, Gaithersburg and Hagerstown will remain open in the event of a shutdown. Although we will have to postpone our additional office hours, we will continue regular constituent services by phone, email and by appointment,” said Will McDonald, one of Delaney’s staff members. Delaney’s office also offers hours at the Allegany County Library on Washington Street.

Delaney has called for a resolution to the impending shutdown.

Social Security offices will likely remain open, and a contingency plan is in place, officials at the national media office for Social Security said. Reporters were referred to a copy of the plan.

The plan outlines services that will be curtailed and/or continued at field offices. Among those curtailed will be issuance of new or replacement Social Security cards. Applications for benefits will still be accepted. Social Security payments will continue to be made, the plan states.

 Passports may be hard to get, according to a press release from AAA Mid-Atlantic.  

“It’s regrettable that travelers may have to change plans due to the ongoing congressional gridlock,” said Ragina C. Averella, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “AAA Mid-Atlantic is hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that travelers looking forward to visiting our national parks, monuments and museums are not disappointed.”

Passport processing centers and all activities supporting passport processing would be suspended according to an August Congressional Research Service Report, “Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects.”

 During the last government shutdown in 1996 approximately 20,000 to 30,000 applications by foreigners for visas reportedly went unprocessed each day; 200,000 U.S. applications for passports reportedly went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in lost revenue, the AAA said.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • 43-year-old receives prison time for molesting his niece

    CUMBERLAND — A 43-year-old city man was sentenced Wednesday to a 10-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl, according to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Allegany County.

    April 24, 2014

  • House of cards House of cards

    Sixth-graders James Patalinghug, left, and Nina Cutter build a multilevel tower out of index cards Tuesday afternoon at Washington Middle School. The activity was part of a science, technology, engineering, math, known as STEM, lesson designed to teach students about load distribution, friction and gravity.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORY ORNDORFF Green Spring man sentenced to 40 years for toddler’s death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced 22-year-old Cory A. Orndorff of Green Spring to 40 years in prison for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Glen Bell, a public information officer 900-acre Bear Den wildfire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — A 900-acre wildfire on Wills Mountain in Bedford County was said Wednesday to be “the largest fire in Pennsylvania this spring season,” according to Cecile Stelter, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry public information officer.
    The fire that was reportedly situated mostly on state game lands began Saturday at about 2 p.m., with initial firefighting efforts handled by the Cumberland Valley Township Volunteer Fire Department at Centerville.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • System to provide firefighters quick access could be required in new Mineral businesses

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commission agreed to look into the possibility of implementing an ordinance that would require new commercial businesses to install a KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System.

    April 23, 2014

  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement over claims they sold synthetic drugs

    CUMBERLAND — Charles and Traci Casey, owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale, have agreed to forfeit $173,988.61, to settle claims that they sold synthetic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall maulers

    Chad Trail, Rick Ryan, Mike Lawrence and Rusty Pyles, Cumberland Street Department employees, work on replacing the concrete strips that run between the bricks on the Downtown Cumberland Mall between Centre and Liberty streets.

    April 23, 2014

  • CHARLES  SEVERANCE W.Va. judge orders Severance extradited to Virginia

    WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A man wanted for questioning in relation to three unsolved slayings in Alexandria, Va., in the past decade should be extradited to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge, a West Virginia judge ruled Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keyser man faces charges in Easter incident

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Courrier is faced with deciding whether to charge a Keyser man with disturbing a religious worship.

    April 23, 2014

  • 43-year-old receives prison time for molesting his niece

    CUMBERLAND — A 43-year-old city man was sentenced Wednesday to a 10-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl, according to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Allegany County.

    April 23, 2014

Must Read
News related video