Moore County added five new COVID cases this week

Cases in Moore County are spiking as shown in this TN Department of Health graphic. {Graphic Provided)

Things are moving fast on the COVID-19 front in Moore County and across Tennessee. Each week, we try to highlight the things you need to know to keep you and your loved one safe.

1 | Cases are increasing in Moore County. Moore County added 5 new cases this week. On Saturday, July 4 the state reported just 12 cases in Moore County. By Friday, that number had jumped to 17. The Tennessee Department of Health as labeled Moore County as one to watch because we’ve gotten more than 10 new cases since July 3.

2 | Cases are surging statewide. On Wednesday, Tennessee experienced it’s biggest one-day jump in confirmed cases since the Tennessee Department of Health started updating daily numbers. Confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 55,986 – a 2,472 one day increase. On Friday, the state experienced it’s second biggest increase with 1,955 more than the previous day.

3 | Shelbyville continues to be a regional hotspot. Bedford County continues to be a southern, middle Tennessee hotspot ending this week with 598 confirmed cases – 39 more than the previous week.

4 | Tests are free to anyone who wants one. Anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19 in Tennessee may do so – regardless of symptoms – and the state will pay for it. This week, locals experienced long lines at the drive through testing center at the Coffee County Health Department in Manchester. Locals can also be tested at the Moore County Health Department on Majors Boulevard. Call 931-759-4251 for testing hours or to make an appointment.

5 | Positivity rate is a key metric. Many argue that more testing equals more positive results. That true but the metric that really matters is the positivity rate, which calculates the number of positive test based on the total number tested. The World Health Organization recommends that the positivity rate should be less than five percent or below for social distancing measure to be relaxed. Tennessee’s current positivity rate is 8.9 % and Moore County’s is 3.1%.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover 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.}

Iconic 80’s films play at drive in

A trio of iconic eighties films, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, and The Empire Strike Back, will play at the Montana July 10-16. {Images Provided}

ESTILL SPRINGS —Watching a classic blockbuster again on the big screen enjoys a certain cool factor. Beginning on Friday, the Montana Drive in will play a trio of iconic eighties flicks: Ghostbusters (1984, rated PG), Karate Kid (1984, rated PG), and The Empire Strikes Back (1980, rated PG).

Starting Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Sigourney Weaver, the original Ghostbusters is a hoot. Released on June 8. 1984, Aykroyd conceived the films plot as a comedy device for John Belushi and himself. When Belushi died, he partnered with Harold Ramis to re-write the film – setting it in New York City. In 2015, the Library of Congress selected Ghostbusters for preservation in the National Film Registry. It will show nightly at 8:30 p.m.

Wax on … wax off. Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, and Elizabeth Shue star in this first installment of the Karate Kid franchise. The plot follows a teenager as he learns karate to protect himself against a couple of bullies. The film earned critical acclaim for its action sequences, writing, storyline, acting, and music. Morita earned both Academy Awards and Golden Globe nods for his role as Mr. Miyagi. It will show directly following Ghostbusters each night.

Easily the most popular of the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strike Back follows the original Star Wars as Luke Skywalker and friends pursue Darth Vader. It stars Mark Hammil, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and others. It was the highest grossing film of 1980 and was also selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. It will play nightly following the 2015 Disney Pixar film Inside Out.

Through the summer, the drive in showings are $10 a carload. The restrooms are open but only two individuals are allowed in the at one time. To encourage social distancing, they’ll serve a reduced menu at their outside concession stand only. For more information, visit their website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

Celebration will move forward despite COVID-19 concerns

The Celebration Board of Directors announced on Wednesday that this year’s event will take place with a few COVID-19 accommodations to keep fans safe. {Photo Credit Shane Shiflet via The Celebration}

SHELBYVILLE — Organizers say they plan to move ahead with the 82nd annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Their board of director announced on Wednesday that they were in the process of finalizing plans for this year’s show slated to begin August 26.

Despite their intention to move forward, they will be making some changes to accommodate local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. For example, if they prefer, box seat holders will be allowed to work with Celebration staff to move their seats to a less crowded area of the arena.

“The move will be a one-year temporary move and the customer will not lose the right to the original box they’ve previously had,” they stated. “Also, if the customer moves to a different location they will be refunded the difference in price if the new box is less expensive and charged the difference if the new box is more expensive than their original box.”

The Blue Ribbon Circle Club will continue this year but in a new, outside location in the front lawn of the current Blue Ribbon. Table tops inside the Blue Ribbon Circle Club will be spread out. Food selection may be limited and will no longer be self serve.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will not be a corporate sponsors party this year. There will also not be any Celebration sponsored after-show parties or entertainment including live music.

“The board just didn’t feel comfortable with the current executive orders in place of having that many people in one confined location,” they said.

Individual barns can still have gatherings, food and normal customer entertainment but they won’t be allowed to bring in outside entertainment.

Also this year, organizers will require all entries to stable 48 hours prior to their performance. For more information about this year’s changes, visit The Celebration website bu clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

Spotted Saddle Horse Show planned for Aug. 8

Organizers plan the annual Spotted Saddle Horse show for August 8. It benefits MCHS Project Graduation. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — The American Spotted Saddle horses blends Spanish-American type gaited pinto ponies with gaited horse breeds like the world-famous Tennessee Walking Horse. They are colorful and often favored for both pleasure and trail riding.

The Metro Moore County Volunteer Fire Fighters recently announced that they are making plans for their annual Spotted Saddle Horse Show in Wiseman Park. The event is slated to take place on Saturday, August 8.

It’s an annual fundraiser for Project Graduation. This year’s event will benefit the Moore County High School Class of 2021. They are currently looking for event sponsors. Sponsors names will be announced before the class of your choice including a full class sponsor, half class sponsor or ribbon sponsor.

For more information, contact the Class of 2021 by clicking here. You can also mail your sponsorship to MCHS Class of 2021 c/o Jill Stewart, 412 Dick McGee Road, Lynchburg, TN 37352. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover 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 extends pandemic food assistance deadline

Moore County families who need a little extra food assistance during the pandemic should apply for the P-EBT by July 13. {File Photo}

State Department of Human Services officials have extended the deadline to apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) but time is running out to apply. The new application date is Monday, July 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Does your child qualify for free or reduced-price meal at school? If so, your family may qualify for extra food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tennessee Department of Education announced this week that under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Moore County children could receive Pandemic EBT benefits or P-EBT.

The benefits were designed to help cover the food costs associated with days that children would have otherwise been in school. P-EBT benefits do not replace any child nutrition program meal being offered through the local school system. Children may continue to receive “grab and go” meals at the Lynchburg Elementary Cafeteria.

To qualify, student must attend a Moore County school and qualify for free or reduced lunches. The program will provide $5.70 per child per day and families will receive P-EBT support in two installments.

Families who currently receive SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TAFN) benefits do not need to apply. Funds will be added to their program EBT card. All others can apply by clicking here. If you have questions or need assistance filling out the form, call the Tennessee Department of Human Services at 833-496-0661 and select option 3. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover 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.}

5 Things to Do This Weekend

FridayFight Like a Girl Benefit for Breast Cancer at Twin Creeks Marina: Four female country music artist will play at Twin Creeks’ open air event center, The Honeysuckle, on Friday to perform for a good cause. Trick Pony’s Heidi Newfield, Anita Cochran, Suzanne Alexander, and Jamie O’Neal will play from 7-10 p.m. at the Fight Like a Girl Concert to benefit the Love Anchors Breast Cancer Fund. There will be limited seating due to social distancing. To get yours, click here. Doors will open at 5 p.m. For more information visit the event’s Facebook page.

FridayWaterfall Photography Class at Old Stone Fort:  Photographers love to take pics of waterfalls, but it’s a little more complicated than point and shoot. On July 10, David Duplessis of Tennessee Photographers will host an All Day Outdoor Waterfall Photography Class at Old Fort State Park in Manchester. Students should bring a DSLR camera, lenses, a tripod with shutter release, and wear clothing they don’t mind getting wet. There will be a small amount of hiking and since the class does not provide lunch or water, students should plan to bring their own. To learn more, click here.

FridayRolling Stones Havana Moon at Montana: In May 2016, the Rolling Stones played a historic concert in front of over 500,000 Cubans. It marked the first time a foreign rock band played an open-air concert in Cuba to a crowd that size. Director Paul Dugdale had the foresight to produce a concert film around it. That film, The Rolling Stone: Havana Moon, will play on Friday at the Montana Drive In. See our complete coverage here.

FridayNight Hike to Stone Door: Hiking to Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park is always fun but a guided night hike under a new moon is sure to be special. Ranger Spencer will guide this two mile hike through the beautiful Savage Gulf area. This hike is limited to the first 10 people to register and is $10 per person. Please meet the ranger at the Stone Door Station about 15 minutes before the start of the hike to check in. To register, click here.

SaturdayQuarantine Chameleon opening at Tullahoma Art Center: The COVID-19 quarantine has brought out a lot of unique expressions. On Saturday, local artist Joy Snead will open her Quarantine Chamelon show at the Tullahoma Art Center. The self-taught artist will show her works inspired by her time at home during the global pandemic. The opening takes place from 12-2 p.m. at the TAC located at 401 South Jackson Street. Click here for more details.

SundayBeginners Cookie Class at Promise Manor: Tullahoma-based small business Sami Kay’s Cookies will host a Beginner’s Cookie Class on Sunday at Promise Manor from 1-4 p.m. Students will learn tips, tricks, and secret to creating gorgeous iced cookies with a summer theme. To register for the event, click here.

Metro Mayor: No mask mandate in Moore County

Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis says she and Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield are in agreement that a mask mandate would be difficult to enforce in Moore County. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, she will not issue a mask mandate in Moore County. On July 3, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 54, granting Tennessee county mayors and executives the power to issue individual mask mandates in their locations. The Governor’s office official position is that they high recommend but will not require masks.

The following day on Metro Moore County’s Facebook Page, Mayor Bonnie Lewis issued a public statement saying she had no plans to issue such a mandate.

“I do not plan on issuing a mandate in Moore County saying our citizens have to wear a mask,” Mayor Lewis stated. “Sheriff Hatfield and I are in agreement. We don’t have the manpower to police any such action and we don’t think it is the right thing to do here. I understand why the governor wanted to give the decision to the local governments because one size ruling does not fit all. Since the beginning, he has also recommended that we need to be responsible.

“It is obvious that folks are at different levels of comfort with the coronavirus,” she continued. “People are ready to make decisions about what they feel is best for them and their family. I have faith our citizens will be considerate and respectful of others by giving everyone their space – literally and figuratively.”

Larger communities like Davidson County (Nashville), Williamson County (Franklin), Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Robertson County (Springfield), and Sumner County (Gallatin) all issued mandatory mask mandates.

Many officials in southern, middle Tennessee’s smaller, more rural counties choose not to mandate masks. In addition to Moore County, mayors in Coffee, Franklin, Giles, and Lawrence counties have publicly stated that they do no intend to issue a mask mandate.

To express your opinion for or against a mask mandate in Moore County, contact Mayor Lewis at 931-759-7076. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

Tims Ford plans outdoor survival school

Learn the keys to outdoor survival at Tim’s Ford Forged at the Ford. {File Photo}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Think you could survive for three days and two nights on an island in Tims Ford Lake with just a handful of gear? Then you should definitely register for Forged at the Ford Outdoor Survival School, which will take place July 17-19. Registration ends on July 10, and there are limited spots available.

A Tims Ford Park Ranger will teach campers a variety of survival basics using minimal equipment and resources. Participants will learn friction fire, shelter building, knots, and more. During the three days, campers will live off the land by learning wild edible plants, trapping, fishing, and outdoor cooking. Rangers designed the program for all skill levels but campers must be at least 14 years old to attend and campers 14-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

The list of required gear includes a fixed blade knife, ferrocerium rod, screw top water bottle, hatchet or axe, 8×10 tarp, 50 feet of paracord, a flashlight or headlamp, a small metal pot, a sleeping bag, fishing line with assorted hooks, and a extra set of clothes in a waterproof container. Optional gear will include a hand saw, insect repellent, and a small first aid kit. All campers will be inventoried upon arrival.

Forged at the Ford is a rain or shine event. The price is $200 per camper. For more information, contact the Tims Ford Park Office at 931-958-3536 or visit their website. To register for the event, 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.}

Two new bills seek to fix local beef supply chain woes

Two new bills in Congress seek to help local producers with processing woes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. {File Photo}

Congress introduced two bills this week intended to help local beef producers avoid losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 introduced by Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota would allow meat processed at state-inspected facilities to be sold directly to consumers across state lines through e-commerce.

A second bill, the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP UP) Act, would provide federal grants for existing meat processors to move from state to federal inspection, which will similarly allow for increased interstate meat sales.

Currently in Tennessee, in order to sell beef to the public, Moore County beef must first be processed by a USDA-approved company. Many of those processors have been offline due to COVID-19 and those that are online are getting inundated with product. That bottleneck is responsible for the recent spike in beef prices.

These two bills seek to resolve the supply chain woes by allowing smaller, state meat processors to help ramp up production of beef during the most desirable window for the best beef – when the cattle weighs around 1,200 pounds. They also seek to allow producers to sell their products directly to consumers online and across state lines.

To voice you opinion for or against these bills, contact Moore County’s representatives in Congress: Representative Scott Desjarlais, Senator Lamar Alexander, or Senator Marsha Blackburn. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

Dickel releases Bottled in Bond 2.0

{Editor’s Note: Since we are the unofficial whiskey capital of the South, each #WhiskeyWednesday we bring you headlines from not only Jack Daniel Distillery but also other distilleries in both southern, middle Tennessee and around the state. Cheers!}

George Dickel Master Distiller Nicole Austin handpicked both sets of barrels used for her Bottled in Bond iteration. The new release recently hit liquor stores and is selling fast. {Photo Courtesy of George Dickel}

TULLAHOMA — Cascade Hollow is a magical place. Moderate temps 365 days a year lead to a slow, steady mellowing process that ages their George Dickel whiskey just right.

Last year, George Dickel Master Distiller Nicole Austin explored their local rickhouses looking for forgotten treasure and hit pay dirt. She happened upon a long-forgotten batch of 13-year-old stock, all distilled in a single season. This just happens to be the very same requirement of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. Once she tasted these 2005 barrels, the whiskey immediately stood out. The folks at Whisky Advocate Magazine seem to agree. George Dickel’s first Bottled in Bond was number one on the 2019 Top 20 Whiskies of the Year.

Now, Austin’s at it again with a second Bottled in Bond that consumers are snapping off the shelves. This time, it’s an 11 year old whiskey that’s 84 percent corn, eight percent rye and eight percent malt. It’s a bit younger than the first Bottled in Bond but identical in meeting the strict definition of a bottled in bond whiskey: 100 percent pure whiskey produced at a single distillery during one distilling session that at least four years old and 100 proof.

This iteration pours dark honey colored and enjoys notes of pecan and apple and a distinct nuttiness. It’s warm but with very little bite. In fact, served neat with a single ice cube brings out the maple, caramel, and oak.

And at it’s $40 price point, it’s a heck of a southern, middle Tennessee whiskey buy … if you can find it. To learn more, visit the George Dickel website 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, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}