Army Corps delays some fee hikes at Nashville district lakes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is holding off for now on fee hikes at some facilities at five lakes in its Nashville district.

A Corps news release says the fees that were scheduled to increase March 1 will stay the same for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact. That includes fees for improved access, freshwater lines, electric lines, water withdrawal and marine railways.

The district collects the fees from adjacent landowners for facilities in conjunction with private docks and moving permits.

There are currently 2,800 shoreline licenses at Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky and Cheatham Lake, Old Hickory Lake and Center Hill Lake in Tennessee.

Beshear urges Kentuckians to sign up for health coverage

Gov. Andy Beshear has joined in urging Kentuckians who lack health insurance to take advantage of new opportunities now available to sign up for coverage.

The sign-up window for government insurance markets runs through May 15. President Joe Biden ordered those markets that ended their annual enrollment periods in December to reopen.

Beshear, who calls health care a basic human right, said the coronavirus pandemic has underscored how “expanded health care in Kentucky has helped us to have fewer deaths than most states.”

“It is critical for every Kentuckian to have health care coverage, and I urge those still needing coverage to take time to enroll during this period,” the Democratic governor said.

Kentuckians needing help to enroll for health care coverage can visit kynect.ky.gov, a one-stop portal for finding health coverage and other benefits, state officials said. The site is run by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Parton asks Tennessee not to put her statue at Capitol

Dolly Parton is asking Tennessee lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would erect a statue of her on the Capitol grounds in Nashville.

“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton said in a statement issued Thursday.

Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle introduced the bill last month that aims to honor Parton “for all that she has contributed to this state.”

Aside from her status as a music icon, Parton is a lifelong philanthropist. She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of 5 across the world to improve child literacy, and her million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville.

In advocating for the statue, Windle said, “At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is (a) kind, decent, passionate human being? (She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”

In her Thursday statement, Parton thanked the legislature for their consideration of the bill and said she was honored and humbled by their intentions.

Although she asked lawmakers to withdraw the bill for now, Parton said “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

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