In Their Words: Stories Of 3 Northern Coloradans Struggling Through The Shutdown

Colorado is far from Washington, D.C., but impacts of the partial government shutdown are hitting the state's workforce. More than 2,000 federal workers in Colorado have applied for unemployment since the shutdown began last month. Most are in Jefferson County, but a large concentration also work in Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. KUNC has been asking for your stories. This week we heard from three individuals in northern Colorado. These are their experiences, in their own words.

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Members of the Le family were excited, and nervous. They were moments away from being reunited — after 35 years — with sailors and officers from the USS Kirk. They'd always wanted to thank the ship's crew for its kindness when they were refugees fleeing South Vietnam.

This past summer, the Le family heard an NPR story about the Kirk, a small escort destroyer. The Kirk's crew spoke about how they'd been haunted by the death of an infant they'd tried to save. That child was their son, Bao Le.

Apple and Cider, the two plump turkeys that President Obama pardoned today, were no doubt the luckiest of the 8.3 million birds the poultry company Foster Farms raised this year.

A jury in Norfolk, Va. convicted five Somali men Wednesday of international piracy, in what the Justice Department calls the first international piracy conviction in the United States since 1820.

Each of the defendants stood quietly, listening to an interpreter reveal their fate: guilty on all counts, including international piracy.

U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said that conviction alone could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.

Just in time for the giving season, Panera Bread Co. is following up on an interesting social experiment by opening its second shop where customers don't have to pay the suggested prices for sandwiches and other food -- rather, they're allowed to pay what they can.

This one's in Dearborn, Mich., right in the heart of one of the hardest-hit (economically) parts of the nation. The first such Panera Bread Foundation nonprofit cafe is in Clayton, Mo.

Better coverage. Health insurance premiums lower than they would have been otherwise. Millions of Americans eligible for rebates in just a little over a year. Take insurer executives’ giant salaries out of health costs.

One day after what's been called the "worst act of aggression" by North Korea in more than 50 years, the two Koreas "traded retaliatory measures ... with Seoul halting aid and Pyongyang nixing future family reunions," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency writes.

Each year as millions of Americans pack their bags for Thanksgiving pilgrimages, we're bombarded with tales of travel nightmares and advisories that seem a lot like leftovers from Halloween.

The highways will be jammed with lines of cars, the price of gas to get from A to B will break the bank, and a plane ticket will cost an arm and a turkey leg.

The pace of new home sales fell to a near-record low in October, the Census Bureau just reported.

Is said just 283,000 units (that's an annualized rate) were sold, down 8.1% from September. The all-time low since Census started keeping such records in 1963: The 275,000 rate in August.

Earlier, we passed along word on the day's other economic data.

A "day of action" has brought thousands of students into the streets of London, Manchester, Sheffield, Edinburgh and other cities in England and Scotland as they protest plans for tuition hikes and budget cuts at U.K. universities.

As you can see from the live coverage being streamed and blogged by the BBC, there's been some violence. There's also live-blogging over at The Guardian.

The latest economic numbers to consider:

-- The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits declined to 407,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says, from 441,000 the week before. The last time weekly claims were this low: July 2008.



Colorado Edition

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains…