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Furloughs begin at Conn. sub base, national guard

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October 2, 2013 10:29 AM EST | AP


GROTON, Conn. — GROTON, Conn. (AP) — Hundreds of employees at the Navy's submarine base in Connecticut and National Guard facilities around the state were sent home Tuesday by a partial government shutdown that forced furloughs for 800,000 workers nationwide.

At the base in Groton, where 750 workers were forced off the job, commanding officer Capt. Carl Lahti said it will continue to carry out its missions despite the stress caused by the shutdown.

"We recognize the angst and uncertainty this creates for our civilians, sailors, and their families," he said.

A dispute in Congress over President Barack Obama's signature health care law led to the first partial government shutdown in nearly two decades. In Connecticut, some 9,000 federal workers were expected to be out of work indefinitely.

Col. John Whitford, a spokesman for the Connecticut National Guard, said 540 of its employees around the state were furloughed.

"We're hoping this is a very short shutdown. The longer this goes, this will endure hardships," he said.

The Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton was also closed. Other Connecticut attractions affected by the shutdown include Weir Farm, a national historic site in Ridgefield and Wilton; the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook; and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.