Senate Passes Alexander, McConnell, Corker, Paul Amendment Opposing Corps’ Fishing Restrictions

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) announced that the Senate passed the budget resolution amendment he sponsored with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would allow Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing proposed fishing restriction on the Cumberland River.

“This amendment sends a clear message to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: that it should stop wasting $2.6 million in taxpayer money enforcing these unnecessary and unreasonable fishing restrictions,” Senator Alexander said. “Instead, the Corps should work with the wildlife agencies in Tennessee and Kentucky to develop a sensible plan to promote public safety when water is spilling through the dam.”

Senator Alexander’s amendment opposes a $2.6 million Corps plan to erect physical barriers restricting access to tailwaters fishing areas below 10 dams on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky. The senator has asked the Corps to explore alternatives – such as signs, sirens and lights – and work with wildlife agencies in Tennessee and Kentucky to satisfy safety and regulatory requirements to improve safety.

Senator Alexander said, “The tailwaters are only dangerous when the water is spilling through the dam, which on average is about 20 percent of the time. Closing off the tailwaters 100 percent of the time would be like keeping the gate down at the railroad crossing 100 percent of the time. The track isn’t dangerous when the train isn’t coming, and the tailwaters aren’t dangerous when the water isn’t spilling through the dam.”

In addition to various legislative efforts, Senator Alexander has also held several discussions with Corps officials, including Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, whom he encouraged to reconsider the $2.6 million expenditure in light of the sequester’s automatic spending cuts.

Tellico Hatchery Announces Winter Hours

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced winter hours for the Tellico Hatchery in Tellico Plains. Holidays along with hours of daylight and alterations in operations are the primary reasons for changes. Fish eat less during colder months. This reason, along with a reduction of seasonal responsibilities such as mowing grass and hatchery upkeep, means fewer people on staff. ... (click for more)

Wildlife Officer Pete Geesling Honored In Veterans Day Observance Ceremony

Brandon “Pete” Geesling, a wildlife officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Warren County, was one of five veteran state employees recognized during a Veterans Day observance event held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza.     Previously, Mr. Geesling served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a combat engineer which included a deployment ... (click for more)

Christina Strickland, 35, Shot On Thursday

Christina Strickland, 35, was shot on Thursday.  Chattanooga Police were informed that a shooting victim had arrived by personal vehicle at a local hospital. A Violent Crimes investigator responded and interviewed her. She  suffered a single non-life threatening injury to the ankle. She  was unable to provide any information about her location when she was injured ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)