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Update: Shutdown nears an end as federal agencies in Cook County start workweek

Gunflint Ranger District.jpg
Gunflint Ranger District.jpg

Update: Democrats got behind a plan to reopen the federal government Monday as the Senate began a key vote. The House will have to vote on any measure the Senate passes before the government officially reopens.

As of early Monday, both the Grand Portage National Monument and Superior National Forest websites mention the government shutdown in large font at the top of their respective sites. Phone calls to both locations went unanswered at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.

These are typically working hours for the Grand Portage National Monument and the Gunflint Ranger District in Grand Marais.

In an email exchange with WTIP, Michael Crotteau, the district ranger for the Gunflint Ranger District on the Superior National Forest, said staff were making preparations for the shutdown but that nothing was final. However, the district office is currently closed, Crotteau noted.  

Meanwhile, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Voyageurs National Park remain open. Isle Royale National Park is typically closed at this time of the year regardless of a government shutdown.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell raised some Democrats' hopes for a quick end to the government shutdown Monday, telling the New York Times "I hope and intend" to reach agreement soon on immigration and other contentious issues — if the Democrats agree now to a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.

The Senate is scheduled to vote later in the day on that measure. The shutdown began at midnight Friday, but in Cook County and other parts of Minnesota the major effects are only now being felt with the beginning of the workweek.

Check back for updates on this story.