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Hoover Headstone Headaches


n a town that values Tourism more than most, the government shutdown has thrown up a roadblock in front of the main attraction in West Branch, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum and Library and now it could get worse.  The Hoover site is scheduled to hold its 49th annual gravesite ceremony this Sunday, but as part of the National Park system the entire area is closed.  Jerry Fleagle, Executive Director of the Presidential Library Association says if the signs are on the barricades, the service is off.   Wed expect 2, 3, 400 people, we have people flying in and were even working with an ambassador coming in from Belgium so thats creating some additional difficulties. 


Thats just more challenging news for main street and Pink Pony owner Brenda Welsch.  We talked to the ice cream shop owner on the first day of the government shutdown and she told us a few days without the Hoover visitors would be an inconvenience.  Now, 15 days without traffic from the library and museum she says a short term loss of business is on the verge of turning into a long term concern about cash.  I have a great group of loyal regulars who have been great here in town, but the tourists are the extras, theyre the frosting .. but theyre not here so right now Im eating cake without the frosting.


Fleagle says Tuesday night he was optimistic the ceremony might still happen, but now he puts the odds about about 50 50.  The Library Association  will make a decision sometime Wednesday afternoon whether it must cancel the gravesite anniversary ceremony.


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