government shutdown

United Soybean Board

Kentucky farmers will soon be getting crops reports they use for market information and to make decisions about spring planting. The U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Kentucky that does those reports was closed during the government shutdown, but now - it’s open.

David Knopf is regional director for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, based in Louisville. He said crop reports that were due out on Jan. 11 are now scheduled to be published Feb. 8.

Knopf said the report on corn, soybeans and wheat that’s in storage is especially valuable to Kentucky farmers. 

Creative Commons

The partial government shutdown that had furloughed some 800-thousand employees is a stark reminder to workers that a regular paycheck is not a guarantee. 

Jeanne Fisher, a Certified Financial Planner with Argi Financial in Bowling Green, said the key to surviving a financial interruption is to be proactive.

"If you have some medical debt out or your mortgage payment (and) it’s a Community bank, no matter what it is, contacting them and explaining you know this is the situation I’m in, asking for extensions, asking for fees and penalties to be waived.  Anyone that you are struggling to make a payment to is going to appreciate and probably respond more positively if you are proactive as opposed to if you just ignore them.”

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The longest government shutdown in history ended after President Trump signed a bipartisan three-week stopgap funding measure late Friday. Several agencies had been partially shuttered for 35 days.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," Trump said earlier Friday in the White House Rose Garden, announcing the long-awaited bipartisan breakthrough.

Mary Meehan

The partial shutdown of the federal government is affecting families depending on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program, or SNAP. Benefits for February have come early as a temporary fix to avoid anticipated disruptions should the shutdown drag into another month.

But the leader of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Kentucky, said the threat of hunger remains. 

CEO Mike Halligan pushed open the door to a huge warehouse serving 50 Kentucky counties. Pallets of beans, pineapple, bottled water, and rice wrapped in a clear plastic stretch to the top tier of the scaffolding, which warehouse workers call “the sky”.

J. Tyler Franklin

Police in Kentucky were called to a protest by a group of federal government workers at a field office for Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The protestors arrived at the Lexington office in hopes of handing off some letters to the senator's staff about the government shutdown, said Chon Jung, an organizer. Jung said it was a "peaceful demonstration" though some protesters banged on windows of the office.

Updated at 1:15 a.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday night he won't be looking for an alternative place to give the State of the Union address. Earlier in the day, asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisting he could not speak on the House floor until a partial government shutdown is over, the president said, "We'll do something in the alternative."

Updated on Jan. 23 at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Senate is set to consider two competing proposals Thursday that could reopen the government — but probably won't.

Republicans are planning a vote on President Trump's proposal to end the stalemate. But Democrats are reiterating that his offer — with $5.7 billion for a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and temporary protected status programs — is a nonstarter, meaning there's no realistic end yet in sight for the shutdown.

Tri-State Food Bank/facebook

The partial federal government shutdown is sending unpaid workers across the country to food pantries as they struggle to pay essential household bills. 

In Kentucky, more than 600,000 residents get some of their food from the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The USDA issued February SNAP benefits earlier than usual. It’s unclear whether money will be  appropriated for SNAP in March if the shutdown continues.

Glenn Roberts is executive director of Tri-State Food Bank in Evansville, Indiana, which distributes food to soup kitchens and food pantries in parts of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. He said local food pantries are starting to see more people come in, but that could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Federal Medical Center Lexington / facebook

Workers at federal prisons in Kentucky are among those feeling the financial pressure of the partial federal government shutdown. A nurse who works at a prison in Fayette County said working without pay is raising the level of stress for employees.

Robin Goode works at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington. It’s a prison for about 1,500 male and female inmates who require medical or mental  health care.

Goode is president of Local 817, the local union with about 400 members that’s part of the American Federation of Government Employees.

She said she’s heard a lot of sad stories from prison workers since paychecks were suspended during the shutdown.


A federal judge is delaying a lawsuit seeking to overturn Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s Medicaid changes. Judge James Boasberg granted the Department of Justice one additional week to respond to the suit because of the government shutdown.

Lawyers for the federal government are on furlough and therefore have limitations on what cases they can spend time on, according to the DOJ’s request. The DOJ originally asked for a stay in the case until the shutdown ends. 

Kentucky Association of Food Banks/WKMS

The partial government shutdown is beginning to affect Kentucky food banks as federal workers struggle to live without paychecks. 

Federal workers in Kentucky who are furloughed and or working without pay are feeling the financial strain on their grocery budgets.  

“What we are noticing is a large increase in inquiries," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. "People are calling, they’re sending social media saying, 'I’m impacted by the federal shutdown. What do I need to do to get help?' That’s why food banks and food pantries are here, we are here to help between paychecks, as you’re waiting for your next paycheck to come.”

Lisa Autry

Friday marks the third week of a partial government shutdown stemming from the debate over funding for President Donald Trump’s southern border wall.  One of the towns feeling the effects of the debate is Hodgenville, Kentucky, the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln. 

When you drive through Hodgenville, you soon notice that it's Lincoln country.  The presence of our nation’s 16th president is felt everywhere: statues in the middle of the town square, the Lincoln Museum, Lincoln National Bank, the Lincoln’s Loft Bookstore, and the local radio station, Abe 93.7.

Friends of Mammoth Cave

The partial government shutdown has suspended visitor services at national parks, but the message has not reached many people arriving at one of Kentucky’s most popular sites.

A volunteer group is greeting visitors who continue to show up at Mammoth Cave National Park, including some from other countries.

Friends of Mammoth Cave set up a temporary information table at the national park after some members of the volunteer organization saw many people surprised to find locked doors at the visitors center. Volunteers are offering brochures on area attractions provided by tourism groups from Barren, Edmonson and Hart counties, where the national park is located.

The partial government shutdown is having an impact on some outdoor enthusiasts in the southern Kentucky region. The Green River Ferry at Mammoth Cave National Park is closed and that’s affecting some hikers and cyclists.

The visitors center at Mammoth Cave National Park is closed and no tours are being held as a result of the government shutdown, but the hiking and bicycling trails at the park are still open the public.

Eddie Bruner is director of Cave Country Trails, a group that promotes cycling, horseback riding, canoeing and hiking in the cave area of southern Kentucky.

WKDZ Radio

The partial shutdown of the federal government has impacted U.S. Department of Agriculture offices in Kentucky. 

One victim of the government shutdown is the USDA Rural Development program. Some of the services in that program include mortgage loans and grants to individuals in rural areas; investment in rural broadband and electric infrastructure; improved roads and ports; funding for water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Here’s part of the recorded message from a call today to the USDA Rural Development Kentucky State office:

“We are on furlough due to the lapse in federal government funding. Please leave a voicemail or email. Please note that we do not have access to email or voicemail due to the current lapse in funding. We look forward to returning your message once funding has been restored.”