ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The lines are longer at licensing centers as Minnesotans try to beat the possible suspension of many state services scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Friday.

One block from the state Capitol, the Driver and Vehicle Services office is packed. Jennifer Greunzer of St. Paul rushed to renew her drivers’ license which is set to expire in a few weeks. And she had plenty of company. Branch manager Katie Orth says drivers’ license renewals hit a record this week. She says many people are worried their licenses may expire during a possible government shutdown.

The Department of Driver and Vehicle Services isn’t on the list of essential state offices that will remain open during the shutdown. But, Minnesota Public Radio News reports limited services, such as license renewal or a state ID application, will be provided during a possible closure.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation already started closing down rest stops in the state. Kevin Gutknecht, from MnDOT, said they planned to have all rest stops shut down by 5 p.m.

Park rangers are planning to spend the afternoon telling campers at state parks to pack up and prepare to leave. According to the DNR, state parks will close at the scheduled time Thursday.
People across the Twin Cities scrambled to get their business taken care of.

At the Hennepin County Service Center for drivers licenses at the Midtown Exchange, people started lining up an hour before it opened Thursday. The place was packed.

At Fort Snelling State Park, which seemed quiet for a day leading up to a holiday weekend, Laura Lundgren of Highland Park brought her kids for a swim. She said she’s frustrated about the possible shutdown and says she’d like to see a compromise between the governor and GOP leaders.

“It’s just such a waste. The zoo, this is a big month for state parks and we planned to camp later this summer and that won’t happen. Those plans are canceled,” Lundgren said. “Shutting down should not be an option. I’m glad that some vital things are shutting down so that the impact should be great, so that people feel it and realize it just shouldn’t be option.”

While the Minnesota Zoo will close if the government shuts down, a small staff will be kept on to take care of the animals. The zoo will also stay open for the scheduled concerts.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (40)
  1. joe says:

    Thank-you richest 2% of Minnesotans. Thanks for making my life harder once again.

    1. Matt says:

      Why is it someone else’s job to make your life easier? Most well off people work very hard to get where they are, either through an education that leads to well paying jobs or starting there own successful business. Why don’t you try one of these and stop looking for someone else to help you out?

      1. pepperguy4 says:

        Boy, are you full of IT!

    2. bummer for poor joe says:

      Joe, you deserve what you endure. If a government shut down wlll affect you, you must be on the dole. I welcome it because I do not use any of the services however I pay for them heavily. Tabs for my cars, boats, snowmobiles, quads and everything else I may have actually needed were purchased in advance. It is called planning. By the way I am in the top 2% and yes I did work hard and smart to get here. The words you typed above would have never came from my fingers and thus the diference. You bottom 2%, me heading up to my large and hard earned third home on Gull for the week. I think I’ll do some jet skiing today,

      1. Les Johnson says:

        “If a government shut down wlll affect you, you must be on the dole.”

        I’m not on the dole. I have a 6-figure income. The shut down affects me because I would like to use the state parks.

        1. Carla says:

          I think figuring out the budget is a bit more important than your weekend at a State Park.

      2. betts says:

        ha..i hope we shut down for one week and you will see how much you “dont use/depend on the government…

        1. Carla says:


          What exactly do you use the Govt for on a weekly basis that you will miss it so much?

          1. Enjoy the weather says:

            Really interesting point….I can’t wait for the response!

            1. quentin says:

              I’d like to respond. I believe the state workers’ unions when they say that if the government shuts down there will be dead veterans littering the streets, dieing because they were unable to get care. Apparently, the guard rails on highways also will give way, with cars hurtling off into the woods. Life as we know it will stop. Much as happended with Y2K and the recent Rapture. Be very afraid.

      3. keep charging says:

        Nicely worded Joe. You and I are quite similar it sounds. Hard working individuals that invest their life savings to give birth to a start up business certainly have earned the right to enjoy the good life. Combined federal and state taxes we find ourselves contributing on a yearly basis are in the low seven figure range, so please don’t “assume” that we are not paying our fair share.

        By the way, we also have a beautiful lake home on Gull Lake and are also heading that way this weekend for fun and frolic. Cocktails at Bar Harbor Saturday eve?

        Congrat’s on being successful. Time to spend more of our hard earned money.

        1. GOPSUX says:

          All repukelicans are dirty filth. If you actually have what you say you do, you likely stole it, or cheated someone to get it.

          1. dan says:

            Sorry GOPSUX, you obviously have a pethetic life no real career or income potential that most College Graduates have. No wonder you hate success

            1. GOPSUX says:

              I don’t hate success, (I am rather successful), I just hate filthy republican trash.

              1. GOPSUX says:

                Hi I am GOPSUX – I have NOTHING. I am a loser! All I do is complain! WAHH WAHH
                I hate republicans because they don’t give me anything! WAHH WAHH

                I am just going to sit at home and sulk all day now!

          2. dan says:

            Sorry GOPSUX, before you pull out the dictionary police, “Pathetic”

          3. bo ment says:

            a greedy taker who has bought the liberal (media accomplice aided) lefts chants pitting the haves against the have nots. most libs love john kennedy and his famous quote ” its not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” well, what i want to know is when are takers going to give back to the country instead of taking. this practice of pitting groups against one another is pure evil and wrong.

        2. bummer for poor joe says:

          Keep an eye out for the blue and white Chaparral SSi Well be hopping around.

          1. keep charging says:

            OK Bummer,

            We’ll be in a Red and White Malibu Wakesetter enjoying the waves, trying not to splash the poor people!!!

            1. Enjoy the weather! says:

              ba ha ha ha!

      4. frustrated worker says:

        You realize that the shutdown affects more than thos on the “dole”? I come from a middle class family with an average income and we pay our taxes respectfully. My family receives absolutely ZERO assitance, but my paycheck comes from the state.

        If the government shuts down, I can’t work, along with tens of thousands more. So before you assume that those affected by the shut down are those who need the services, pull your head out of you-know-where and think about the fact that tens of thousands of people who contribute to society are now unable to for who knows how long.

        1. jus sayin says:

          OH BOO HOO. It’s how many days? Get a grip. Take a vacation.

        2. Was a good union voter says:

          You have Tom Dooher and the rest of the unions to thank for this. They wanted Dayton so bad and they got him.

      5. Enjoy the weather! says:

        Freakin Love it! I’m not in the top 2% nor do I really want to be because they already pay most of the taxes. Im also not in the bottom 2% that drag down the rest of us hardworking folk. I never could understand the argument for taxing the wealthy more then they already are. Im guessing that the house you own up on Gull has a huge property tax bill too. how about this….If I didn’t meet deadlines given to me by my boss I would be fired so heres an idea… your jobs!

        So hey….you go have fun jet skiing today! The weather is perfect for it. Im gonna head out of my office and go have a beer. Pretty sure I wont notice the government is shut down. I feel bad for some of the state employees and its sucks that I can’t go to a state park, but I think Ill live.

  2. Not standing in line says:

    Maybe standing in line in the urban areas isn’t the fastest way. People can go to any county for this.

  3. Let's all just go to Wisconsin for the Govt. Shutdown says:

    Are any drivers licenses even valid if you can’t get them? They are seriously going to shut the govt down over whether it’s a 5% or 15% increase? Either way my taxes are going up. They going to block the MRT in the twin cities so I can’t ride my bike into Snelling? Should we even be paying for non-essential things anyways? Let alone threaten the public because the governor gets elected on a fluke and thinks he’s ordained by God to “help the poor”? This sounds like a horror movie. Good news is Wisconsin and it’s state parks are open for business.

    1. just sayin says:

      Yeah but your cry baby liberals will just whine that they don’t want to drive 25 miles into Hudson, and pollute the air with their car! Then you tell them to get a hybrid and they can’t afford one… but want one some day… and then they use their bikes, but don’t want to bike so far away, even then, if they do, they ride in the road.

  4. See BS says:

    Class Warfare is a Nazi tactic, that’s why the Weimer Republic made inciting class warfare a crime after the war.

    1. Ronald Raygun says:

      So if it were a crime in the US, then all repubs would be in prison. What a nice idea.

  5. See BS says:

    Look up “Executive Order 9066”

  6. Don says:

    Thank You 2% of Minnesotans .If you have a good business. Who’s going to buy your products. The poorest Minnesotans not the 2%.

  7. Union Destroyer says:

    I do not have alot of money but I do not hate rich people and think we should not tax them so we can give there money to greedy poor people. Liberals and poor people make me sick all I see them do is complain that nothing is fair. Get of you a$$ and get a job and stop worrying about everyone else. Then maybe your life will be better. And stop telling people what to do with there money and there life or move to the USSR.

  8. Wanting my food on a stick says:

    So if the government is still closed in late august does that mean the Minnesota State Fair will be closed this year to???

    1. dan says:

      Think of all the vegetable oil we will save and all those fat people can try eating something healthy instead of a deep fried snickers on a stick dipped in whipped cream!

  9. I wish they would get this resolved says:

    the government shut down will mean a loss of money for the state. they will lose all the revenue that the state parks would have generated especially because it is a three day weekend and so they would have generated a lot. drivers will not be able to stop at rest stops and such so this brings down more revenue and loss of tourism. It is so sad.

  10. bo ment says:

    Myth ” the left is for the people” the left uses the people they represent. they only want their vote and continue to give a little piece of red meat using our hard earned tax dollars just so they can say their for the little guy and get their vote. when are people going to wake up. as long as the government keeps stealing from the working class the left will continue to ask for more, thats why were broke, because of all the promises with our tax dollars. flat tax is the way to go. everybody who works pays equally. now thats fair!

  11. Dennis says:

    this is just the first state wait for the others to start droping over !!!!! What do they call that again ???? domino Effect ! This is all the super rich plan to bring foward our new word order . Wake up america its not about what side they are on . Its about FEAR

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