Blount County school bus route stopped by government shutdown

Blount County school bus route stopped by government shutdown

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School officials say a bus load of children is usually taken home to the Top of the World community, but without Foothills Parkway open, other roads to the community are just too steep for buses to travel. School officials say a bus load of children is usually taken home to the Top of the World community, but without Foothills Parkway open, other roads to the community are just too steep for buses to travel.
"As far as we know, they will have to take their children and pick them up until the federal government returns back to work," said school spokesperson Nancy Kemp. "As far as we know, they will have to take their children and pick them up until the federal government returns back to work," said school spokesperson Nancy Kemp.
"We'll this was just a surprise to me," said Joel Sanner. "I came out for my usual ride here on the Foothills Parkway, came up to the parkway, guess what it's closed." "We'll this was just a surprise to me," said Joel Sanner. "I came out for my usual ride here on the Foothills Parkway, came up to the parkway, guess what it's closed."

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

WALLAND (WATE) - The government shutdown is already having a big impact on the lives of many Americans. It is also impacting families here in East Tennessee.  

Blount County school officials say the shutdown led to a field trip being canceled and an urgent call to some parents letting them know their children would need another way home from school Tuesday.  

The problems for the Blount County School System first started at the Foothills Parkway. Park officials closed this road because of the government shutdown.

"Bus 49 which runs along the Foothills Parkway will not be able to deliver children this afternoon," said school spokesperson Nancy Kemp.    

School officials say a bus load of children is usually taken home to the Top of the World community, but without this road open, other roads to the community are just too steep for buses to travel.

"As far as we know, they will have to take their children and pick them up until the federal government returns back to work," said Kemp.     

Joel Sanner, of Knoxville, was ready to ride his bike on the parkway Tuesday.

"We'll this was just a surprise to me," said Sanner. "I came out for my usual ride here on the Foothills Parkway, came up to the parkway, guess what it's closed."    

The shutdown is also causing problems for business owners.

Clay Aalders owns Smoky Mountain Gillies in Knoxville. He takes groups on fly fishing expeditions to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"I have a client up in Kentucky who was supposed to come down tonight and stay at Elkmont campground," said Aalders. "We were supposed to fish tomorrow and he's canceled the trip because he doesn't feel like coming and staying in a hotel and not be able to come to the park."  

Aalders says his business will really suffer if the shutdown last a long time.

"October is the busiest, or the second busiest time of the year," he said. "I probably have eight to 10 trips if I try to book solid." 

The park's closures also may cancel a field trip.

"We are anticipating a group of students from Walland Elementary will not be able to go to Tremont as was scheduled," said Kemp.

Everyone 6 News talked with Tuesday hopes this shutdown will not last long.

"I just hope it ends soon and it gets worked out," said Sanner.

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