Forest Service announces free dates

The Daniel Boone National Forest has announced that it will waive fees on several dates in 2021.

Fees will be waived at most recreation areas and day-use sites as well as some campgrounds, the Forest Service said in a statement.

The dates include Jan. 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Feb. 13-15 in observance of President’s Day, June 12 in observance of National Get Outdoors Day, Sept 25 in observance of National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

In addition, boat ramp fees will be waived June 5-6 at Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake at boat ramps outside of developed campgrounds to observe National Fishing and Boating Week.

Beshear sets in motion one-time payments to unemployed

Gov. Andy Beshear has signed an executive order setting in motion the distribution of one-time payments for thousands of unemployed Kentuckians.

The program earmarks $48 million of federal coronavirus aid to be paid out. Two groups are eligible for the supplemental payments, he said Tuesday.

One-time checks of $1,000 will go to people who have yet to receive their benefits and have been without a job since late October, the governor said.

“That’s a failing on the part of government,” Beshear said. “And again, we want to help these people until we can get to their claims.”

About 16,500 people will receive the $1,000 payments, the governor said.

The other group will receive one-time $400 checks, he said. Those payments will go to about 25,000 people who missed out on supplemental jobless benefits last year, he said.

The state’s unemployment insurance system was inundated by record numbers of claims caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beshear hoping for virus case plateau after holiday surge

Kentucky is possibly seeing a leveling off of new COVID-19 cases after a holiday gatherings surge, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

Beshear announced 3,053 new cases of the virus and reported 22 new deaths. The state has recorded 2,944 deaths since the pandemic reached Kentucky in March.

Beshear said gatherings by family and friends over Thanksgiving and Christmas fueled a spike in cases but people perhaps have “changed their behavior back to being very careful.”

“If that’s the case, then hopefully we’ll see a leveling off,” the governor said during his daily briefing Wednesday. But he added that future data would have to bear that out.

Kentucky has seen a surge of new coronavirus cases in the new year, with more than 15,000 over a three-day period last week.

Beshear said Tuesday there were no plans at this point to issue new public restrictions.

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