A few items that caught our attention on Thursday:

(Daniel Britt/Washington Post) - Amputee Patient Care Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Daniel Britt/Washington Post) – Amputee Patient Care Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Civilian medical staffers leaving Defense amid furloughs: Pentagon officials say thousands of Defense Department medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, clinicians, scientists, and researchers, have left their jobs for work outside the federal government during the months when sequester furloughs were threatened or being carried out, according to a USA Today report.

Agencies’ budget planning “tied up in knots” by uncertainty: With no deals in sight for ending the sequester or even funding the government for fiscal year 2014, a former White House budget official from the George W. Bush administration says the situation is far from optimal for budget planners, according to an interview with Federal News Radio.

IRS tech chief striving for world-class IT program: IRS chief information and technology officer Terence Milholland led the agency through an overhaul of its once-antiquated tax-processing system, a project that had largely failed for 20 years. He is a finalist for one of the so-called “Sammie awards” that recognize federal workers, according to a Washington Post profile.

Wave of retirements from federal workforce:  Many employees within the aging federal workforce have found little reason to remain in government at a time of budget cuts, furloughs and low morale, according to a Washington Post report.  

What’s legal and not legal with feds’ private lives?: The racist and homophobic Web site of Homeland Security employee Ayo Kimathi led to administrative leave for the worker and raised questions about freedom of speech for public servants. Reporter Shefali Kapadia examines the issue in a Federal News Radio article.

Predator drone joins California wildfire battle: Fire commanders have said they will use a Predator drone to identify flare-ups in Yosemite National Park, where a wildfire has spread to cover 300 square miles, according to a Politico report.

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