March 27 Update: TN cases hit 1,203; six state deaths now reported

{Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more facts become available. This story was last updated on March 27 at 2 p.m.}

COVID-19 update

On Thursday, March 27 at 2 p.m. the Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 numbers. There are now 1,203 confirmed cases in the state – a 246 increase from the previous day. Click here to see that report. The report states that the total number of people tested for the virus so far is 16,091. There are 6.77 million people in Tennessee. This represents less than one percent of our total population.

The state reported no confirmed cases in Moore County or Coffee County. This week confirmed cases popped up in Bedford, Franklin, and Lincoln counties. There are now confirmed cases in 57 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

On Thursday, the number of death in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 outbreak rose above a thousand for the first time. According to the CDC website, there have now been 1,246 total deaths related to the virus. In Tennessee, that number increased to six – from three the previous day.

The total number of U.S. cases is now 85,356 — making America the epicenter of the pandemic. We now have more confirmed cases than any other country. On Friday, the House passes the $2 trillion Coronavirus Bill and it’s now on it’s way to the President’s desk.

Here’s a timeline of COVID-19 pandemic:

Late December | Chinese health officials report a cluster of 41 patients with a mysterious “pnemonia” to the World Health Organization (WHO).

January 11 | China records it’s first COVID-19 related death. Two days later, Thailand records the first case outside of China.

January 20 | Washington State records the first U.S. case.

January 24 | A Tennessee Tech student in Cookeville tests negative for the virus. His recent travel history met the criteria for testing.

January 30 | WHO declares a global public-health emergency.

February 17 | An East Tennessee woman tests positive for Coronavirus while on the Diamond Princess cruise ship just off the coast of Japan. According to published reports, she remains in quarantine and has not returned to Tennessee.

February 26 | The first possible case of “community spread” coronavirus on American soil. This brings the total number of infected Americans to 60, according to the CDC.

March 5 | The first confirmed case of the virus in Tennessee happens in Williamson County. That 44-year-old patient remains in quarantine. His family members tested negative.

March 11 | WHO declares the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Two days later on March 13, officials declare a U.S. national emergency. By March 19, nearly all 50 states declare a state of emergency.

March 19 | The first confirmed COVID-19 case in southern, middle is announced by Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady. The couple who tested positive owns houses in both Davidson County and Sewanee. Officials say they had not been in Grundy County since March 5.

March 21 | Life begins to return to normal for folks in Wuhan, China where the virus began. No new cases reported there in the past three days.

March 22 | The first two COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee are reported. There’s also now a confirmed case in Franklin County.

March 24 | Tennessee Department of Health reports a confirm case in Lincoln County.

March 25 | Tennessee Department of Health reports a confirm case in Bedford County.

March 27 | At 85,356 cases, the U.S. become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Tennessee surpasses the 1,000 case mark.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TVA, DREMC partner to keep the lights on in Moore County

STATE NEWS — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) are doing their part to make sure the lights stay on.

On Thursday, TVA announced their intention to extend $1 billion of credit support to local power companies, like Duck River, to give utilities more flexibility in working with customers during the COVID-19-related financial crunch. TVA will defer a portion of any power cooperative or local power company’s monthly TVA wholesale power payment throughout the COVID-19 response.

DREMC also confirmed its commitment to the community on March 19 by announcing that it has stopped disconnections for non-payment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These actions were taken in recognition of the financial hardships some members may face due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand electricity is essential for the health and safety of you and your family during these difficult times.” said Duck River Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Scott Spence.

Moore County residents will continue to receive regular monthly bills and DREMC says that continued payments by those who can pay will be important to keeping future electrics prices low.

“We cannot solve many of today’s national or international problems, but we want to do what we can to help you,” Spence said.

DREMC posted an employee video on their Facebook page on Friday to explain the changes and put customer’s minds at ease. You can view that video by clicking here. Questions? Contact the DREMC Lynchburg office at 931-759-7344. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg Teddy Bear Hunt planned for April 4

big blue bear
Help us get an accurate count of the number of Teddy Bears in Moore County and you could win this Jumbo Melissa & Doug bear plus a $20 gift card to Velma’s Candy.

#sponsored content | We’ve been cooped up in our houses long enough. Let’s go on an adventure. We’ve been getting increasing reports that an unusually high number of Teddy Bears have been spotted in Moore County and we need your help to count them.

Velma’s Candy and The Lynchburg Times will be hosting the Lynchburg Teddy Bear Hunt on Saturday, April 4. All you need to do is convince mom or dad to drive you around so you can count them. Once you’re finished, email your total to editor@lynchburg-times.com. Whichever kiddo spots the most bears will win a $20 gift card to Velma’s Candy plus a Melissa and Doug Jumbo Blue Teddy Bear.

Be sure to watch both Velma’s Candy and The Lynchburg Times Facebook pages for hints and sightings leading up to April 4. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Ruby-throated hummingbirds return to Lynchburg

ruby-throated hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate back into Tennessee soon. Wildlife experts say if you put out feeders, it’s best to skip the red dye. {Stock Photo}

It’s Saturday and I’m minding my own business … sipping coffee on my patio …  my red hair stacked on top of my head in a messy bun. Suddenly, I’m buzzed by two tiny red-throated Jedi. I’m not sure if it’s the two feeders full of sugar water I put out the night before, the new red petunia hanging basket, or the hair, but I’ve apparently created a hummingbird paradise right here in Moore County.

One sits on the feeder and sips for a moment before the other one dive bombs him from above. The first retreats and then hovers around my new petunia before getting run off again. At one point, I can sense (but not see) the two little guys facing off on either side of my hair.

“They think you’re the mother ship,” my friend laughs before going back to his crossword.

Spring means hummingbirds return to middle Tennessee

It’s entertaining behavior for sure, but not unusual. It’s spring in southern, middle Tennessee and the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds don’t have time to mess around. They’ve just flown 600 miles from southern Mexico. It’s a tough trip across the Gulf of Mexico that, even in ideal conditions, can take 18-20 hours … their tiny wings beating an average of 53 times a second, continuously the whole way. You really can’t blame them for being cranky and hungry when they arrive.

Hummingbirds are small (measuring just three and three quarters inches long) but they don’t seem to know it. Two males, like the ones fighting over my patio, will staunchly defend what they consider to be “their” territory. A single male hummingbird will attempt to defend up to a quarter acre at a time.

The Ruby-Throated variety are the only hummingbirds that breed in eastern North America and often the only variety you’ll see east of the Mississippi.

They swarm into southern, middle Tennessee around April 1 with loving on their mind. Now, it’s time to find a nest, find a mate, and get to making their happy, little bird families. And to do this they’ll need energy. This is where you come in. Nectar, like that found naturally in blooming spring flowers or placed artificially by you in feeders, helps the hummingbird replenish the energy zapped by the long flight in.

Feeders and red flowers attract birds

In order to attract hummingbirds to your yard, it’s often a good idea to hang multiple feeders filled with a simple nectar made from one-part white table sugar and four parts water. Avoid store bought nectars that add artificial red dyes, as these can be harmful to the birds. Bright red objects do attract them though, so hanging plants with bright, red blooms also helps.

Most experts recommend changing the sugar water every three days and cleaning the feeders once a weak with a diluted white vinegar solution. If you see signs of black mold, clean the feeder immediately but never use soap.

Most hummingbirds leave again in the fall, usually around October, but some can stay all winter. People often take down their feeders early out of a fear that the hummingbirds will stay too long and die in the harsh winter if artificially feed. But that’s an old wives’ tale. Hummingbirds only use nectar for stored energy. They’re actually carnivores who subsist on small insects. They’ll  depart for Mexico when their food source goes away or their tiny internal clocks tell them it’s time to migrate … with or without an available feeder. Homeowners should remove feeders from their yard when they stop seeing hummingbird activity, according to the UT Institute of Agriculture. For more information, check out their Hummingbird Gardening in Tennessee guide by clicking here. •

Friends of Animals launches new website

Pallo dog
Pallo is just one of the animals available for adoption that you can now view on the Friends of Animals new and improved website. He’s eight months old and gets along great with kids and other animals. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — Donate, foster, volunteer … all of these things are now just a click away for folks in Moore County.

Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center in Lynchburg recently launched a new and improved website. On it, you can meet all the animals currently housed at the center, view adoption fees, and fill out an adoption application. There’s also a calendar of upcoming events and a link to their Facebook page.

The site offers information on how you can donate, foster an animal, or volunteer for the organization too. Locals can donate directly or make donations through Kroger Reward or Amazon Smiles and other affiliate programs. There’s an online store where you can by t-shirts, hoodies, and other items too.

Since it’s launch in 2013, the center’s facilitated adoptions of over 300 pets. Each rescued animal receives vet care including a microchip. To learn more, check out their website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

State cash assistance to needy families is live now

STATE NEWS — The program we told you about earlier in the week goes live today.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services now offers monthly cash assistance to Moore County families adversely affected by COVID-19. The program, which is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Benefits, offers cash assistance from $500 to $1000 per household depending on size. Benefits will be available for up to two months.

To qualify, a family must have children in the household, be at or below the eighty-fifth percentile of the state media income, and be able to show they been impacted by COVID-19. Documentation will include birth certificates, tax returns, school attendance records, or other documentation that verifies that children live in the household.

To apply for the program, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Promise Manor featured on Tennessee Crossroads

Lynchburg’s Igniter Productions shot a music promo at Promise Manor in January. The local historic home and private events venue will be featured on Tennessee Crossroads this week. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — If you’ve exhausted your Netflix cue recently, one of Lynchburg’s own will be on the small screen beginning Thursday night.

National Public Television’s Tennessee Crossroads will feature local historic home turned special events venue Promise Manor this week. The episodes will air on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. or Sunday, March 29 at 10 a.m.

The first episode of Tennessee Crossroad aired in 1987. Since then, they’ve been crisscrossing the state highways and back roads highlighting the people, places, food, events, and crafts that make our state unique. In the past, they’ve featured other Lynchburg locales like Barrel House BBQ, the Lynchburg Cake and Candy Company, Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant, and others.

Birdie Evans, the mother of Mary Evans Bobo of Miss Mary Bobo’s fame, on the porch at what would become Promise Manor. {Historic Photo}

Promise Manor exists in the historic Green-Evans-Hudgens House on Motlow Barns Road. The NPT crew stopped by to chat with venue owners Dennis and Kayla White last November. The 1850-era home was once the home of Birdie Evans – the mother of Miss Mary Evans Bobo’s for whom Lynchburg’s famous restaurant is named.

The charming locals venue hosts baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, and other private and public special events. It’s built in the Greek Revival style and feature historic murals, and sprawling, landscaped grounds.

To learn more about them, visit their Facebook page or website. If you happen to miss the NPT airing of the episode, you can watch it at the Tennessee Crossroads website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg Nursing Center needs masks, gloves

LOCAL NEWS — On Monday, the staff of the Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) put out a call on social media asking the general public for donations of unused personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical gowns, or exam gloves.

“In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, there has been an increased need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you or anyone you know have extra, unused and unopened N95 masks, isolation/surgical masks, isolation/surgical gowns or exam gloves (vinyl, latex or nitrile), please consider donating them to your local hospital, nursing facility or urgent care facility. Any donations will be put to great use and appreciated by health care’s frontline heroes,” they stated on their Facebook page.

On March 18, LNC made the tough decision to close the facility to visitors, non-essential employees, and vendors. They also stopped all group activities and communal dining temporarily. Despite this decision, the staff is still working hard to connect patients with their friends and families through mail, telephone, video calls, and other technology.

To contact them about a PPE donation, call 759-6000. LNC is located at 40 Nursing Home Road on Highway 55 across from Moore County High School. You can also learn more by visiting their Facebook page or website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Weather Service says Moore County should brace for severe weather on Tuesday

On Monday, water levels at Lynchburg’s Wiseman Park were already unusually high. More thunderstorms are forecast for Tuesday. {A Lynchburg Times Photo}

LOCAL NEWS — The Huntsville National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook notice on Monday afternoon for Moore County. Locals should anticipate widespread thunderstorms associated with a northward moving warm front. NWS says that severe thunderstorms with large hail and gusty winds are possible. A second set of storms that could bring tornado activity could happen in the evening hours.

On Monday morning, the Mulberry Creek and it’s tributaries were already straining their banks. Metro officials issued high water warnings for Winchester Highway, Dick McGee Road, Highway 129 near Booneville, and Main Street. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Small Town, Big Coronavirus Rumors: FEMA sets the record straight

Telephone. Telegraph. Tell a friend. In small towns like Lynchburg … and now with the help of social media … word seems to travel fast … especially in these uncertain times.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed a special webpage recently called Coronavirus Rumor Control, so we thought the newspaper might help you separate fact from fiction with their help.

1 | Myth: A national lock down is coming. Truth: According to FEMA, there is no national lockdown.  As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information.

2 | Myth: FEMA is deploying military assets. Truth: FEMA doesn’t have military assets. According to the agency, “Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported.  Each state’s governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.”

3 | Myth: I need to stockpile supplies. Truth: It’s better for everyone if you only buy what your family will need for one week at a time. FEMA reminds citizens that, “many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.”

4 | Myth: The government will soon be sending each of us $1000 checks. Truth: According to FEMA, the U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.

5 | Myth: Only those over 60 or with existing health problems are at risk. Truth: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC. So far in Tennessee, four cases have been under the age of 10 and 20 cases from persons aged 11-20. The highest number of cases in the state are individuals between the age of 21-30 … 122 cases in total as of Saturday.

To stay updated on the latest myths versus facts according to FEMA, visit the Coronavirus Rumor Control page by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}