Tullahoma PD seeking Moore County man in shooting

{Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Each update will be timestamped.}

TULLAHOMA — A Moore County man is accused of a shooting in Tullahoma and local authorities are actively looking for him.

Tullahoma Police Officers responded to a shooting on July 2, 2020 at 1:30 a.m. at 2113 North Jackson Street, the location of the Baymont by Wyndham hotel. The victim was transported to the Tennova Healthcare-Harton helipad and Vanderbilt life flight flew him to a trauma hospital.

Police are looking for the alleged shooter, Benny Robert Reese, age 51 of Moore County, Tennessee. This is an ongoing investigation, and Police believe the two individuals knew each other.

If you have information regarding this incident, please contact Investigator Johnny Gore at 931-455-0530 or  jgore@tullahomatn.gov. •

{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.}

Manhunt: Authorities seek help in locating Northgate Mall shooting suspect

{Editor’s Note: Updated at 5:00 a.m. on Friday. We will update this story as it develops along with a time stamp of the update. }

Hugh “Adam” Keckritz, age 22

TULLAHOMA — If someone in southern, middle Tennessee knows where Hugh “Adam” Keckritz is hiding, they aren’t talking to local law enforcement.

It’s been over a week and authorities still haven’t made an arrest in the June 4 shooting at Northgate Mall.

Local authorities are encouraging any citizen with information to call it in.

Keckritz attended Moore County High School and once lived in Lynchburg.

Shots fired after an altercation

Last Thursday around 5:30 p.m., shots were fired following an altercation near the arcade at the mall. According to the victim’s family members, Kechritz pistol whipped the victim and then shot him in the back as he turned to run. The 19 year old victim suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen area and was transported to Tennova Harton’s Emergency Room initially and then transported via helicopter to an area level one trauma center, according to family members.

Tullahoma Police Department dispatched a large presence and placed the mall on lock down. Shoppers at nearby stores were also immediately evacuated.

Law enforcement from the surrounding counties and Tennessee Highway Patrol are assisting in the search for the suspect, who is considered armed and dangerous. If you have information, call Investigator Johnny Gore with the TCP at 931-455-0530 or email him at jgore@tullahomatn.gov. Moore County residents can also call the Metro Moore County Sheriff’s Department at 931-759-7323.•

{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.}

Middle Tennessee in urgent need of blood donations

According to the American Red Cross, there’s currently an urgent need for blood donation in southern, middle Tennessee. So much so, that if you donate blood with them through June 30, you’ll receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

There are no Lynchburg American Red Cross Blood Drive planned in the next two weeks, but there are opportunities in surrounding counties: Heritage South Community Credit Union on June 15, Sir Pizza in Shelbyville on June 19, and the Fayetteville Parks and Rec Building on June 23. For a full list of Red Cross blood drives happening 25 miles from Lynchburg in the next two weeks, click here.

Blood Assurance is also looking for individual who have recovered from COVID-19 to be plasma donors for those currently fighting the disease as well as blood donations. They will be hosting mobile blood drives throughout the month to bolster local supplies including: Home Depot in Decherd on June 17, Franklin County Co-op on June 22, and Tullahoma Utilities on June 18. Click here for a complete list of Blood Assurance donation opportunities. Also donation can always be made at the Blood Assurance Donor Center located at 604 North Jackson Street in Tullahoma.

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, donations by healthy, eligible individuals are perfectly safe and necessary to maintain adequate local supplies. Blood donation locations also practice frequent disinfecting, personal protective gear, and social distancing of donors.

“Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the blood donation process or via a blood transfusion, since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to report that there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19 to date. In addition, no cases of transfusion-transmission were ever reported for the other two coronaviruses that emerged during the past two decades (SARS, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, and MERS-CoV, which causes Mideast Respiratory Syndrome),” according to their website.

{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.}

COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Dept. of Health}

With the announcement of Friday’s numbers at 2 p.m., Tennessee reported 25,520 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last seven days (3,435 more than the previous week). Our state experienced 48 new deaths this week. According to the state, 16,925 total COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 66 percent of reported cases. As of today, 482,172 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | COVID cases are on the rise. The seven day period from Saturday to Friday saw an increase of 3,435 cases this week. That’s a 1,545 increase over the previous seven day period.

2 | Judge rules in favor of mail in voting. On Thursday, a Davidson County judge ruled that Tennessee must allow all 4.1 million registered voters to vote by mail due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision overrules Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office who’d stated that fear of catching the virus was not a reason to expand absentee voting.

3 | Fairs, festivals, and parades are a go. Also on Thursday, Governor Bill Lee announces that the state would lift restrictions on larger events in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Attendees are still encouraged to social distance and wear a mask.

4 | Tennessee’s Lake County leads U.S. in number of active cases per capita. After an outbreak at an area prison, Lake County — a small town in the northwest corner of the state with a population of just over 7,500 — has reported 352 new cases over the past seven days. Local officials attribute the spike to an outbreak at Northwest Correctional Complex. However, online records for the prison show only 230 inmates as positive for the virus, according to the Associated Press.

5| Tennessee stops distributing free sock masks after discovering that they had been sprayed with the chemical known as Silvadur. According to North Carolina manufacturer who supplied them, Silvadur is an anti-microbial agent commonly applied to fabrics to reduce growth of bacteria that cause odor. The state ordered an independent safety study and asks those who already possess the masks to use them “at their own discretion.”

{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.}

Lynchburg native John Majors dies

Most folks in Lynchburg knew him as John but assistant coaches and players called him Johnny. John Terrill Majors died on June 3 at the age of 85. {Photo Provided}

Checkered board flag will be lowered to half mast across the state today as Tennessee fans learn that legendary UT coach and Lynchburg native John Terrill Majors has died at the age of 85.

Born in Lynchburg o n May 21, 1935 to Shirley and Elizabeth Majors, John and his siblings Larry, Shirley Ann, Bill, and Joe grew up in Lynchburg. Moore County’s Majors Boulevard is named for the famous family.

Though most Lynchburg folks and family called him John, as both a player and coach he was better known as Johnny Majors. Majors played at Moore County High School, Huntland High School, and the University of Tennessee as a player. Famed UT coach Robert Neyland once famously stated that Majors was, “greatest single-wing tailback in Tennessee history.”

He began his coaching career as the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones, where he stayed for five seasons before moving on to the same position at Pittsburgh. It was with the Panthers that Majors earned the majority of his collegiate coaching success.

Majors coached two different stints at Pittsburgh. From 1973-76, he served as head coach at Pitt. During that time he not only helped running back Tony Dorsett win the Heisman, but also put together a perfect 12-0 season and a national championship run. The Panthers beat Georgia 27-3 in the Sugar Bowl to take home the trophy.

Afterwards, Majors headed back to the Volunteer State to take over at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee in 1977. He remained there until 1992. Following his UT coaching career, he returned to Pitt as head coach from 1993-96 and stayed on as a Special Assistant to the Athletic Director and Chancelor until the summer of 2007.

In a statement released by the family, John’s wife of 61 years, Mary Lynn Majors said, “It’s with a sad heart that we make this announcement. John passed away this morning. He spent his last hours doing something he dearly loved: looking out over his cherished Tennessee River.”

John Majors was preceded in death by his parents, Shirley and Elizabeth Majors; and two brothers, Bill Majors and Joe Majors. In addition to his wife, Mary Lynn (Barnwell) Majors, Coach Majors is survived by his two children, John and Mary; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is additionally survived by his sister, Shirley Ann Husband; brothers Larry and Bobby; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service at St. John’s Cathedral will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for contributions to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra or a charity. •

{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.}

Lynchburg native killed overnight in crash

Thomas Sullenger, better known as Matthew by close friends, died in an overnight two vehicle collision in Mulberry. {Photo Courtesy of Facebook}

Many in Lynchburg woke up Wednesday morning to shocking news, one of their own died unexpectedly overnight in a horrific car crash in Mulberry. According to family members, Thomas (Matthew) Sullenger died Tuesday night. He was just 45 years old.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Sullenger was traveling east on the Lynchburg Highway in Mulberry around 5:30 p.m. when his 1997 Oldsmobile struck a guardrail and then traveled into the left lane striking a 2003 Ford Ranger driven by Richard Wiser, age 77, of Fayetteville.

After the collision, Sullenger’s vehicle came to stop pinned against the guardrail, according to THP’s preliminary report. Wiser was transported to Huntsville Hospital, according to family members.

Graveside service held on Friday

Born on September 12, 1974 in Tullahoma to Thomas and Debra Sullenger, Matthew lived in Lincoln County and worked at Higgins Funeral Home as a funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Moore County High School before attending Faulkner University, Slidell Baptist Seminary, and graduated from John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science.

According to his full obituary, “Matthew was of the Baptist faith. He loved his boys, his family, and his baseball boys very much. He enjoyed coaching baseball, spending time with family and friends, bass fishing, as well as, making everyone smile.”

In additional to his parents, he is survived by his children,Gavin and Breyer Sullenger, of Huntsville and Joey Hobbs of Fayetteville; brother, Mark Sullenger of Tullahoma; nephew, Miles Sullenger of Winchester; and niece, Courtney Sullenger of Winchester; along with several aunts and uncles.

Graveside services will be held at Lynchburg Cemetery on Friday, May 29 at 2 p.m. You can view the full obit by clicking here. •

{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.}

May 11 COVID-19 Update: 4 Things You Need to Know Today

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Monday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 15,544 confirmed cases (559 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 251 deaths. That’s eight more than yesterday. According to the state, 8,038 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 52 percent of reported cases. As of today, 273,277 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top four things you need to know for today:

1| Moore at low risk for second wave. A Nashville-based healthcare data company called Decode Health released a map of counties in the state showing where they believe people are most at-risk of being hospitalized. Bedford, Davidson, Sumner, Robertson, Montgomery, Wilson, Rutherford, Williamson, and Maury counties were most at risk in Middle Tennessee (Level 4). Moore County was a Level 1, the lowest risk. The group also identified Coffee County as Level 4. Franklin and Lincoln counties were identified as Level 3 risks. (Source: https://bit.ly/2LkSgqo)

2 | Cases now confirmed in 94 of 95 counties. Pickett County confirmed it’s first COVID-19 case on Sunday leaving Hancock County as the lone Tennessee county without a confirmed case. Hancock County has tested 96 people.

3 | Harvard Study show Tennessee ahead in testing. A new Harvard Global Health Institute / NPR Study show that the Volunteer State is ahead of the curve national when it comes to testing. At 8,365 tests per day, the state is doing far more than the 3,266 daily tests recommended. (Source: https://bit.ly/2Lw4ay1)

4 | Sen. Lamar Alexander  exposed and in self quarantine. On Sunday, officials announced that Sen. Lamar Alexander is in self quarantine after a member of his staff tested positive for the virus. Sen. Alexander tested negative for COVID-19 last week. •

{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.}

Deputy, subject exchange fire on Saturday

MOORE COUNTY — On Saturday, Moore County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) responded to an armed, suicidal subject that ended in an exchange of gun fire.

According to Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield, deputies arrived on scene at a Powell Hollow Road home around 2:40 p.m. Once on scene, deputies attempted to make contact with the subject inside his home but were unsuccessful. As deputies checked other buildings on the property for the subject, he appeared at the garage door and confronted deputies before going back inside.

“Before other personnel could arrive, the suspect exited the home and began walking in the back yard with a weapon. At 3:13 pm, the suspect fired two rounds from a handgun and soon walked into a barn located on the property and closed all the doors,” according to a press release.

Around 3:25 p.m., additional MCSD personnel arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the home to protect neighbors. Moore County Volunteer Fire Department, Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, and Tennessee Highway Patrol also closed all surrounding roads. Moore County EMS remained staged nearby in case of emergency medical needs.

The armed suspect then exited the barn and started a dialogue with deputies who were trying to prevent him from re-entering the home because MCSD believed more weapons were inside. Soon after, the suspect started walking toward a gate that led back into home.

That’s when a MCSD deputy attempted to stop him by non-lethal means and used a taser.

“When the taser was deployed, a deputy advanced on the suspect in an attempt to subdue him in conjunction with the taser deployment. At this time, the suspect retrieved a 9mm pistol from his waistband, fired a shot, and was subsequently shot by the deputy,” according to the press release.

The deputies and EMS rendered aid on scene before transporting the suspect to Tullahoma Airport, where he was flown to Vanderbilt Hospital for further treatment. According to Sheriff Hatfield, the suspect remains there in stable condition.

Local authorities notified District Attorney General Robert Carter and requested that TBI investigate. No other details are available at this time. •

{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.}

April 28 COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know Today

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 10,052 (a 134 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 188 deaths (four more since yesterday). According to the state, 4,921 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 49 percent of reported cases. As of today, 161,928 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | Moore County continues to hold steady with just three cases. Regionally, Bedford County has the most cases with 167 – a two case increase since yesterday. Coffee County has 33 cases. Franklin County has 32 cases and Lincoln County reports 12 cases.

2 | Today COVID-19 cases in the state exceeded 10,000. Part of that increase is likely due to an East Tennessee hotspot. Over 50 residents and nine staff members at an Athens nursing home have tested positive for the virus.

3 | Tennessee will begin antibody testing soon in two phases. According to Governor Bill Lee’s office, the state will test 10,000 healthcare workers first. Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey stressed that the tests will be used “disease monitoring” only since the presence of antibodies does not necessarily correlate with immunity.

4 | In his press conference today, Governor Lee state that he will offer guidance of re-opening gyms and churches later in the week.

5 | According to the mobility data clearinghouse, Unacast, Tennessee now gets a D in social distancing, on their most recent Social Distancing Scrorecard report, which is based on citizen cell phone data. Earlier in April, our state had earned a C. Moore County earned a B overall, with just three confirmed cases and a 40-55 percent reduction in mobility. Click here to see that data. •

{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.}

COVID-19 drive thru testing sites open this weekend

COVID-19
The state will begin offering free, drive thru COVID-19 testing this weekend. {File Image}

The State Department of Health will open 33 drive thru COVID-19 testing sites this weekend – one as close as Bedford County and a second in Coffee County. Tests will be available to any Tennessean concerned about their health or the health of a family member.

On Saturday, the two closest testing sites will be Shelbyville Central High School at 401 Eagle Boulevard or the Rutherford County Health Department located at 100 West Burton Street in Murfreesboro. On Sunday, the closest testing site will be the Coffee County Administrative Plaza in Manchester.

According to the state, the testing will be provided at no cost to the participants and all those on site to be tested can remain in their vehicles throughout the process of collecting a sample. Samples normally take 72 hours to process. For a complete list of testing sites, click here.

Tennessee’s Coronavirus Public Information Lines are also open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., CDT daily at 833-556-2476 or 877-857-2945. •

{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.}