QUESTION: What is the projected completion date for the traffic signal at Hawkins Parkway and Good Shepherd Way?

ANSWER: It looks like we could be weeks away from the signal’s completion.

Work started on the project around the end of January with expectations for it to be done in early to mid-summer, but there have been some delays associated with relocation of utilities in the area.

“Most have been moved,” said Dwayne Archer, interim public works director for the city of Longview. “The move of lines by the last utility is scheduled for next week. Like many of us, the utility companies have been experiencing issues with parts availability. After all utilities have been moved, we expect to finish the signal within just a couple of weeks.”

Q: Is it true that life insurance companies don’t have to pay if a person has had their COVID shots and were to die? We heard that since it is not FDA approved, they don’t.

A: It sounds like you saw or heard a rumor that was circulating on social media, and which the American Council of Life Insurers said is not true. Paul Graham, the council’s senior vice President, policy development, issued this statement earlier this year:

“A social media post appears to be behind the spread of entirely false information, suggesting a COVID-19 vaccine could be a factor a life insurer considers in the claims-paying process. The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations. Policyholders should reach out to their life insurers, agents or financial professionals for their COVID-related questions. They will be happy to help.”

RUMOR PATROL: This past week, I wrote a story for the News-Journal about Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, which has been closed in Longview for some time and recently removed the signs from the building.

First, the company did tell me that our Red Robin is permanently closed and the company is “in the process of reevaluating its real estate portfolio.”

Second, I saw a Facebook comment in which someone said Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux had planned to locate in the former Red Robin but had been denied a permit by the city of Longview because of zoning. Development Services officials for the city of Longview have told me more than once that they’ve had no contact with anyone from Walk-On’s and have not received any applications from the restaurant chain. Walk-On’s also hasn’t responded to my attempts to reach the restaurant. Longview continues to be listed as a “sold” location on the Walk-On’s website.

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