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USSanta tracker will still run despite government shutdown

22:05  23 december  2018
22:05  23 december  2018 Source:   msn.com

Will NORAD's Santa Tracker still monitor St. Nick's journey even if there's a government shutdown?

Will NORAD's Santa Tracker still monitor St. Nick's journey even if there's a government shutdown? NORAD's Santa Tracker has monitored the Jolly Ol' Man's journey across the globe on Christmas Eve for more than 60 years.

DENVER (AP) — The government may be partially shut down , but that won't stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming.

The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won't be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense's budget that was approved earlier this year. Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became

Santa tracker will still run despite government shutdown© The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2014, file photo, NORAD Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Charles D. Luckey takes a call while volunteering at the NORAD Tracks Santa center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. Hundreds of volunteers will help answer the phones from children around the world calling for Santa when the program resumes on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, for the 63rd year. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

DENVER — The government may be partially shut down, but that won't stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming.

NORAD Will Track Santa Despite Government Shutdown

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The NORAD Tracks Santa operation won't be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in

The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won't be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in

The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won't be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense's budget that was approved earlier this year.

Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1955. CONAD, as it was known, had the serious job of monitoring a far-flung radar network for any sign of a nuclear attack on the United States.

When Col. Harry Shoup picked up the phone that day, he found himself talking not to a military general, but to a child who wanted to speak to Santa Claus. A Colorado Springs newspaper had run an ad inviting kids to call Santa but mistakenly listed the hotline number.

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DENVER — The government may be partially shut down , but that won't stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming.

The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won’t be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense’s budget that was approved earlier this year. Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became

Shoup figured out what had happened and played along. The tradition has since mushroomed into an elaborate operation that attracts tens of thousands of calls every year.

For the 1,500 civilian and military volunteers who will answer the phones for kids calling 1-877-HI-NORAD, it infuses the holiday with childlike wonder.

"They're all really sweet, small voices," said Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer the phones in two previous years.

"I had a little girl tell me good night instead of goodbye," she said. "It's really sweet."

The North American Aerospace Defense Command — a joint U.S.-Canadian operation based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that protects the skies over both countries — has taken over the Santa tracker since the tradition started. The military command center embraced and expanded the Santa-tracking mission and has been rewarded with a bounty of goodwill and good publicity.

No government shutdown can keep NORAD from tracking Santa's journey on Christmas Eve

No government shutdown can keep NORAD from tracking Santa's journey on Christmas Eve The guessing days are over.

The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won’t be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense’s budget that was approved earlier this year. Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became

DENVER (AP) - Hundreds of volunteers are ready to answer the phones when children from around the world call to ask when Santa will bring presents to their house - despite the federal government shutdown .

Last year, NORAD Tracks Santa drew 126,000 phone calls, 18 million website hits, 1.8 million followers on Facebook and 179,000 more on Twitter.

It takes 160 phones to handle the calls that pour in. New volunteers get a playbook that briefs them on the questions kids might ask. Big screens on the walls show a Santa icon making blistering progress around the globe. U.S. and Canadian officers do live TV interviews from the phone rooms.

"It really gets you into the Christmas spirit," said Hill, a student at Mississippi State University who got involved through Air Force family members stationed in Colorado Springs.

"There are Christmas carols in the background, everyone's very friendly, happy to be there," she said.

One year, she took a call from a boy who began reading a very long Christmas list. "I remember having to cut him off after the 10th present or so," she said, explaining to him that she had to take calls from other children.

A girl told Hill she wanted to warn Santa not to bump into a bell hanging on her door. "I think she wanted Santa to be quiet and not wake her up," Hill said.

Trump takes calls from children who want to find Santa Claus

Trump takes calls from children who want to find Santa Claus President Donald Trump answered Christmas Eve telephone calls from children anxious to locate Santa. Trump asked one child whether he still believed in Santa and told another "I'll talk to you again." The NORAD Tracks Santa program wasn't affected by the government shutdown. The program became a Christmas Eve tradition after a child mistakenly called the precursor to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1955 seeking an update on Santa's location.

The government may be partially shut down , but that won’t stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won’t be affected by the government shutdown because it is run by volunteers Peterson Air Force Base in

DENVER—The government may be partially shut down , but that won’t stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in It’s the 63rd year for NORAD Tracks Santa , and the military says it won’t be affected by the federal government shutdown . Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve

Sometimes the volunteers have to handle the unexpected. In 2012, a child from Newtown, Connecticut, asked if Santa could bring extra toys for families who lost children in the mass shooting that year at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"If I can get ahold of him, I'll try to get the message to him," replied the volunteer, Sara Berghoff.

NORAD's commander, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, will also take a turn answering the phones Monday.

"This is my first NORAD Tracks Santa," said O'Shaughnessy, who took command in May. "I'm really excited."

O'Shaughnessy was even asked about the program during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in April to confirm him as NORAD chief.

"I assume this committee can count on your commitment to continue that venerable tradition," Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton deadpanned.

"Yes sir, especially since my son Sam would want to see that as well," O'Shaughnessy replied.

___

Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP.

What happens in a partial government shutdown? Smithsonian museums, National Zoo close doors.
The Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington, DC, closed their doors Wednesday as the partial government shutdown entered its 12th day. The 19 museums in the Smithsonian Institution's collection and the National Zoo initially remained open during the shutdown, which started on December 22. In a tweet on December 27, the institution said the museums and zoo would close Wednesday, January 2 if there was no deal to fund the government passed into law and signed by President Donald Trump.

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