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National Park Service Hiring Staffers For Ben Franklin Museum

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The National Park Service is still hoping to open the refurbished Ben Franklin Museum by August or September.

A federal hiring freeze has thawed a little so that the National Park Service can now begin hiring staffers for the Ben Franklin Museum.

The underground museum at 3rd and Market was closed two years ago for a $23 million modernization.

But National Park Service spokeswoman Jane Cowley says the NPS has permission to hire staffers for the museum, but she says reopening is still months away.

"We never announced an opening date. So we never had a targeted date, we always had summer 2013 as our anticipated opening -- which, around here, summer means the Fourth of July. But we had never set a date. So we're still hoping to get it open this summer, possibly early September," says Cowley.

She says because of the federal sequester, hours at other park service attractions are being curtailed for the peak tourist season.

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