INDICE DE GALERIAS
MASON CITY, Iowa - It's back to work for thousands of federal government employees who have been furloughed for more than two weeks during the government shut down.
Last night lawmakers reached a deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling until February.
"Thank you, thanks for your service, welcome back."
President Obama welcomed back thousands of federal workers including a few close to home.
For 16 days this is about what the Cerro Gordo County Farm Service Agency looked like... empty.
"Things are just backed up."
Barry TerHark is the County Executive Director of the Agency and works with the Farm Bill.
They’re responsible for running different programs like the conservation reserve program.
"CRP payments, Conservation Reserve Program payments, they were supposed to be issued October 1. Needless to say we're still waiting for applications to be up and running,” explains TerHark
They’re also trying to catch up on commodity loans to producers.
"Typically guys are out in the field, right now, they're harvesting crops, they come in to some seal grain yet, get a commodity loan, low interest loan for 9 months on the grain... That has been backed up,” he continues.
But on day one of being back to work he says it's important to take their on-the-job duties one step at a time and have a plan of action.
"Websites e-mail things of that nature, they're still trying to get those up and running so those need to be in place before we can start payments, I'm hoping that either tomorrow or Monday we can start issuing payments."
President Obama addressed the nation Thursday afternoon and talked about the government being re-opened, he also had a special message for federal workers like TerHark.
”What you do is important, it matters."
The holiday spirit is being felt in southern Minnesota.
The different weather conditions has the Minnesota DNR urging people to not let their guard down when hitting the ice.
When the temps start dropping, going outside to start your car a few minutes before you have to leave becomes a winter routine.
A local housing trust fund is receiving some grant money that will go into a new project to provide housing for people with disabilities.
The unemployment rate for the country dropped again and experts say it's reflecting locally as well.
The Kensett man faced vehicular homicide charges.
We're expecting frigid conditions throughout the rest of the week but one group in Floyd County is helping to bring energy efficient heating to families in need.
People were strapping on their fun Christmas gear and getting ready to run or walk to celebrate the 18th annual Festival of Trees.