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Shutdown Leads to Family Tragedy Donation Problems

UTICA (Tom Bosco/Kellie Hanna) -- A woman already dealing with a tragedy may have to deal with additional costs related to the death of her 2-year-old daughter, and the government shutdown may be to blame.

Jocelyn Runyon was shaken to death last week, but her family can't get the tax-exempt status for donations from the community to help pay for funeral expenses.

The little girl's grandfather said donations are being accepted at PNC bank and in a few jars in local businesses. Mark Swetnam said most of the donations are from strangers.

"Seventy-five to 80-percent that I don't know," he said. "And I really appreciate it."

Right now, the IRS is not issuing Employee ID Numbers or EINs which would mark the donations as tax deductible.

Swetnam said a congressman told him when the government comes back online the number will be issued retroactively, but he said he's taking a wait-and-see attitude.
 
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