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story.lead_photo.caption A sign on the door of the Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock informs visitors it is closed during the government shutdown. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

The federal government shutdown is being felt in Arkansas, including at some of the state's tourist attractions.

The Clinton Presidential Center will mostly close until the shutdown ends, but its restaurant and gift shop will stay open and offer "shutdown specials," officials said on Saturday.

The Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock on Saturday was closed with signs taped on each door telling visitors that it was shut "because of a lapse in federal appropriations."

Among those disappointed to find the locked doors was Oddette Adderley, a 53-year-old history teacher from Miami who stopped as part of a driving tour of historic sites with her 21-year-old daughter. They drove from Memphis on Saturday and learned upon arrival that they couldn't get into the museum, which sits just northeast of Central High School.

[Related Story: Shutdown negotiations expected to resume]

Adderley said she knew about the shutdown, but it "wasn't connected to me that this was a federal property until we got here."

She said she's taught about Central High School and the Little Rock Nine in her lessons, and had looked forward to seeing the museum and picking up some souvenirs from its gift shop.

"I'm disgusted," Adderley said, sitting in her SUV outside. "I'm beyond disappointed. This is a momentous thing for me."

Elsewhere in Arkansas, Hot Springs National Park was set to remain accessible to visitors, with some changes. Emergency and rescue services will be limited, the park said in a statement, and all park programs have been canceled. National Park Service-provided visitor services including restrooms, trash collection and maintenance won't be offered.

At the Clinton Center, the permanent and temporary exhibits will be closed until the shutdown ends.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ERIC E. HARRISON
Interior of 42 bar and table
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ERIC E. HARRISON Interior of 42 bar and table

The center said that the restaurant — 42 bar and table — will offer daily specials, including one on Saturday called a grilled cheeseburger, which is a burger pressed between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The gift store in the center's lobby will offer a 42 percent discount on most items.

The center is one of Little Rock's top tourist attractions and has drawn more than 4.5 million visitors since it opened in 2004.

The center, including the restaurant and gift shop, will be closed on Christmas and New Year's day.

At least one federally funded program in state won't be affected. The Arkansas Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program said its services and benefits would continue as normal.


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