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Government Shutdown Sows Confusion Among Motorists And Workers

Robert Ashworth

The National Park Service Thursday tried to sort out confusion among motorists about the extent of the partial government shutdown: State highways crossing federal land remain open to thru traffic.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold gives an example of how that shakes out at her park.

"SR 410 and 123 remain open. Those are state routes -- thru routes that go through the park," says Wold. "However all the trails in the park are closed. So the trails along that roadway are all being posted with closure signs, along with all the other trails accessible from outside the park."

But here's a different example of confusion sowed by the federal shutdown. Washington state's employment department says furloughed government workers may apply for jobless benefits. But the agency sent out a reminder that applying for unemployment these days is done via the internet or a phone hotline. Some federal workers are mistakenly showing up at WorkSource job counseling centers according to the agency. They don't accept unemployment applications there anymore.

On the Web:

U.S. agency shutdown contingency plans - White House

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.