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Workers Back On Job As Area Historic Sites Reopen

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Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a "morning drive" reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert and Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The government shutdown, which ended Wednesday night, was especially hard on people who don’t work for the government, but were still affected by the federal shutdown.

Diane Smedley works for a catering company that runs the Independence Café in the Visitors Center on Independence Mall:

“I wasn’t actually a federal employee, but affected by the federal shutdown because of the building the café is in.”

Since she’s not a federal employee, she’s not eligible for any retro pay lost during the shutdown:

“I’m not eligible for that, it’s lost money to me.”

But she says, while she’s disappointed, she’s excited to be back at work:

“I love this job, it suits me.”

She says she hopes the temporary deal holds so she’s not back in a similar situation in a couple of months.

Tourists were also especially affected by the shutdown.

A retired history teacher from Texas, Donna Rosamond, says she is most looking forward to seeing “Everything — the removal of the barricades!”

KYW’s Hadas Kuznits reports that tourists got to finally see the historical sites around Independence Mall this afternoon.

At the Liberty Bell, it only took a couple of minutes for a line to form around the building once the site reopened.

Some kids on a school field trip said they felt lucky that the Liberty Bell pavilion reopened when it did.

“And now that it’s open we get to go see more and to actually be inside instead of watching outside,” said one.

(UNEXPECTED ACCESS.  The Liberty Bell pavilion was reopened to the public on Thursday after Congress voted to end the government shutdown.  Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(UNEXPECTED ACCESS. The Liberty Bell pavilion was reopened to the public on Thursday after Congress voted to end the government shutdown. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

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“They planned it from, like, June of last year,” said a chaperone, “and they’ve been saving up money and booking the buses and everything for a long time.”

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