Blake Farmer

One of Nashville's most prolific hit-makers died Sunday. Mel Tillis spent the last year dealing with intestinal issues, according to his publicist. He died at a hospital in Ocala, Florida, at age 85.

TennCare has tightened controls on opioid prescriptions in recent years, and the state's Medicaid program plans to go a step further next year. It's an effort to decrease the use of highly addictive narcotics — and save some money.

This year's Country Music Association Awards were meant to provide healing for an industry shaken by the massacre at a festival in Las Vegas last month. Wednesday night's show paid tribute to the fans who became victims, but it also reinforced how few of the artists want to talk about the gun debate reignited by the tragedy.

The head the Southern Baptist Convention's political arm says there's no gun control policy outlined in the Bible. And so the powerful Nashville-based denomination isn't taking a position, even after more than 20 members of a Texas congregation were murdered in their own sanctuary on Sunday.

Tennesseans may end up paying less for insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace this year — that's as average rates went up by as much as 42 percent. Even the people who assist in signups for coverage were surprised by the final costs they're seeing.

So-called health care navigators in Tennessee are making the most of a downsized open enrollment period for Obamacare insurance plans. They're holding kickoff parties Wednesday as the shortened 6-week window begins.

Congressman Marsha Blackburn is blaming the Drug Enforcement Administration for not speaking up if legislation she co-sponsored is causing such a problem. An investigation by "60 Minutes" and the Washington Post highlighted her role in a law that made it tougher for the DEA to regulate opioids.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn's office is responding, after being named in an investigation by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes for her role in legislation that "aided" in the explosion of the opioid epidemic.

A spokesman suggests the measure may have produced "unintended consequences" that Congress could revisit.

A bump in Tennessee's average ACT score this year is being linked to a new program that allows students to retake the college entrance exam for free. The state's composite score hit 20.1 for the first time, up from 19.9 in 2016.

Officials with Metro Water Services will make another pitch Tuesday evening for a $100 million flood protection system to keep downtown Nashville dry. The hearing was scheduled after the city of Houston flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

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