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Government shutdown snags N.M. firefighter widow's benefits

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. The partial shutdown of the federal government has snagged the survivor benefits of the widow of a Forest Service firefighter found dead in northern New Mexico.

Hiedi Adams, the widow of Token Adams, told KOB-TV that a meeting scheduled for Wednesday to finalize the benefits was canceled because of the shutdown.

Token Adams disappeared on Aug. 30 while checking on a report of smoke near Jemez Springs in Santa Fe National Forest. The 41-year-old engine captain and Navy veteran was found dead on Sept. 6. Investigators say it appears he crashed his ATV.

Hiedi Adams said she was told it could be as long as four weeks before the benefits begin. She gave birth to a daughter two weeks ago. The couple also has a 3-year-old son.

The now-single mother said she's making do with donations from the community as she tries to return to Rockport, Maine, to be close to her family.

"That's what I'm living off of," she said.

Adams said she's lucky to have the support, adding that her family is just one of many affected by the shutdown.

"You have families who are both on government pay and you think up to four weeks without a paycheck, what's that going to do for their families?" she said. "I feel for them. It's going to be really tough."

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