CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio sites closed during the partial shutdown of the federal government began welcoming back visitors Thursday, as relieved federal employees returned to work after a late deal was reached in Washington.
Visitor centers, restrooms and other areas at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio were reopened, and doors opened to visitors at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio.
A statement from the Cuyahoga park's chief ranger said the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad was also resuming operations. The Air Force museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base had been open only one day since the shutdown began Oct. 1, and immediately resumed normal operating hours Thursday.
"We are excited to continue our vital mission of inspiring our youth and sharing the Air Force story with the world," Museum Director Lt. Gen. (retired) Jack Hudson said in a statement.
The Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio said all employees were recalled and they had begun re-opening facilities to the public. Some campgrounds and trails won't be open until Friday.
In downtown Cincinnati, federal offices began re-opening.
Renee Yankey, a federal alcohol and tobacco tax specialist, said she was pleased to be back on the job, although admittedly grouchy over lack of sleep.
"My big complaint is that they took so long to get this done," she said.
She lives in Highland County, more than 50 miles east of Cincinnati, and needs to rise by 4 a.m. to get ready for work and make the drive. After staying up watching the final hours of Congress reaching a deal, she said, she got only about 4 hours of sleep before reporting to work at 6 a.m.
"I can tell that the alcohol industry missed us," said Yankey, a federal employee for 25 years.
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