State launches new COVID website for citizens

The new state website includes a COVID dashboard specifically for Moore County. Here is shows the number of cases reported per day along with the seven day average. (Graphic Provided)

This week, the Tennessee Department of Health launched a new state website (covid19.tn.gov) to help citizen get information and track the virus in their communities.

The new site addresses prevention including masks, which reduce COVID exposure by as much as 80 percent, according to the site. It also encourages frequent hand washing, social distancing, frequently cleaning and disinfecting, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you feel sick.

It also explains the symptoms of COVID-19, which included a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It offers a self screening tool and helps those concerned that they may have been infected find the nearest testing site.

The website provide both state and county level dashboards. It shows total cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and inactive/recovered cases. It reports numbers of cases reported per day, testing per day, and the seven day positivity average.

To view the new Moore County dashboard, click 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.}

Library is open but sign-ups required for programs

The Moore County Public Library continues to remain open to the public but patrons must sign up for programs ahead of time in order to keep the number of people in the library at one time small. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Over 8,000 patrons and over 15,000 items circulated. Those are just some of the annual number reported by the Moore County Public Library in their 2019-2020 annual report. Their shelves also boast over 12,000 items and 2,304 local folks registered for library cards.

According to Director Peggy Gold, the Moore County Library is open for business but with a few changes to try and control the number of patrons inside the library at one time to keep folks safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Library staff ask that all patrons enter through the front doors located just off Majors Boulevard. Masks are not required at this time but masks and hand sanitizer will be available when you enter.

“We will continue to host our October scheduled programs but sign-ups are required, again, to control the number of people within the library,” explained Director Gold.

This includes the Brown Bag Book Club, Little Bookworms, and Story Explorers.

Curbside service are also available and free, public WiFi is always available 24/7 in the rear library parking lot. Copies and faxing are also currently available. The Library’s current hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“The last hour of the day is spent cleaning and sanitizing the library in order to keep our patrons and community safe,” says Director Gold.

If you have questions, or would like to sign up for any of the Library’s programming, call 931-759-7285. You can also get daily updates on their Facebook page. Click here for that link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Students can now earn their high school equivalency virtually in all 95 TN counties

The state of Tennessee recently announced that adult learners in all 95 counties can now acquire their high school equivalency online. (File Photo)

EDUCATION | Learn online. Graduate online. That’s the motto of the new Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development statewide campaign to make adult education available to everyone … especially during the pandemic.

The state of Tennessee recently announced that adult learners in all 95 counties can now acquire their high school equivalency online and Moore County Public Library can help.

“There are still several adult education programs whose classrooms are closed due to COVID-19,” said Jay Baker, interim Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education. “We want everyone interested in improving their math, literacy, and English language skills to know they never have to leave home and they can still work to change their future. And that includes earning a high school equivalency diploma—all of it can be done completely online.”

The Moore County Public Library works as an adult education provider in our area in association with the Lincoln County Literacy Council.

“At this time, it is up to the teacher and student whether they meet face-to-face,” says Moore Library Director Peggy Gold. “But online is an option and if we have a Moore County resident interested, the teacher may be willing to meet them here at the library.”

The online exam is identical to the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)taken in physical testing centers in terms of content, format, on-screen experience, and scoring

“Earning a high school equivalency diploma can really change a person’s life,” Baker added. “An adult who has a diploma can earn much higher wages and unlock more opportunities for education and career advancement.”

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s HiSET Voucher Program covers all costs associated with the exams. To receive a voucher from a local Adult Education program, a test taker must be a Tennessee resident and demonstrate test preparedness through a qualifying practice test.

To learn more, call the TDLWD at 800-531-1515 and they will connect you with someone at the local adult education provider. You can also contact the Moore County Public Library at 931-759-7285. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Moore County COVID Update: 6 Things You Need to Know This Week

(Graphic courtesy of TN Dept. of Health)

With the announcement of Friday’s numbers at 2 p.m., Tennessee reported 198,403 total confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to the state, 182,166 total COVID-19 patients have recovered or have inactive cases. Here’s the top six things you need to know for this week:

1| Moore County adds 20 new cases this week. On Friday, the seven day total for new cases in Moore County was 20. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there are currently 33 active cases in Lynchburg and 189 total cases since the pandemic began. Moore County has experienced a single COVID-related death.

2| Coffee County leads regionally in active cases. Regionally, the active case counts are as follows: Bedford County 78 active cases with 17 deaths, Coffee County 225 active cases with 14 deaths, Franklin County 97 active cases with 10 deaths, and Lincoln County with 55 active cases and one death.

3| Visitation will not yet resume at Lynchburg Nursing Center. Based on new state guidelines, visitation will not resume at Lynchburg Nursing Center just yet. A center must remain new case free for at least 14 day to offer outdoor visits or limited indoor visits. LNC must remain new case free for 28 days to allow essential caregiver visits. To learn more, click here.

4| Governor lifted most COVID restrictions on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee lifted COVID-19 restrictions on 89 Tennessee counties including Moore County and the surrounding counties. He also signed Executive Order No. 63 which extended local county mayor’s authority to institute individual mask mandates. He extended the State of Emergency through the end of October.

5| Titans experience multiple positive tests. This week, the Tennessee Titans announced that multiple players and other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus. Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed. The club is not allowed to disclose whether the players tested positive or are only quarantining, per a union agreement.

6 | Senator Marsha Blackburn being tested after exposure. On Friday, President Trump announced that both he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Moore County’s Senator Marsha Blackburn flew with President Trump to the Ohio debated and stated Friday that she will also be tested for COVID-19.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Moore County COVID-19 Update: 6 Things to Know This Week

This map represents cases by county as of Friday at 2 p.m. {Graphic Provided}

With the announcement of Friday’s numbers at 2 p.m., Tennessee reported 189,454 total confirmed COVID-19 cases. Our state experienced 136 new deaths this week but the deceased rate remains at around one percent. According to the state, 172,618 total COVID-19 patients have recovered or have inactive cases. Here’s the top six things you need to know for this week:

1| Moore experiences it’s largest one week increase. According to today’s numbers, Moore County gained 24 new COVID cases in the past seven days – from 145 on September 19 to 169 today. This is the largest weekly increase since the state began tracking numbers in March. There were more recoveries (17) than new active cases (11) in the past seven days. Moore County has experienced one COVID-related death.

2| Coffee County replaces Bedford as regional hotspot. Regionally, Coffee County experienced that greatest seven day increase with 141 followed by Franklin County (88), and Lincoln County (35). Previous regional hotspot Bedford County experienced the smallest increase this week with 33.

3 | More new state cases than recoveries reported this week. In state numbers, there were more new COVID cases (8015) in the past seven days than recovered/inactive cases (7636). Tennessee had 136 new COVID deaths this past week for a total of 2,352. Nearly three percent of Tennessee residents have reported confirmed cases.

4 | Regional testing moves from Manchester to Tullahoma. This week regional testing moved from the Old Southern Family Market in Manchester to Waggoner Park in Tullahoma. Free COVID-19 testing will take place at 1208 East Carroll Street in the pavilion closest to Industrial Boulevard. Locals may remain in their cars for testing.

5 | Nashville names hotspots. If you are headed to Nashville this weekend, it’s best to avoid COVID hotspot identified by the Metro Health Department this week including 49 sites and six downtown bars. These location have been linked to more than 2,600 cases of coronavirus and include Loser’s, Tootsie’s, Dogwood, Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk, Dawghouse Saloon, and Winners.

6 | Flu vaccinations are especially important this year. Health officials say in the midst of the COVID 19 health situation it’s now more important that ever to get a flu shot. According to the CDC, the flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this year and recommends that all people six months and older get a yearly flu vaccine. It’s best to get your flu vaccine before the end of October. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Unemployment work search requirement resumes

job searching
Tennessee will resume its work search requirement for those receiving unemployment benefits beginning the last week of September. {File Photo}

STATE NEWS | According to the latest numbers available from the Tennessee Department of workforce and development, the unemployment rate in Moore County is 6.4 % – as compared to 9.5% for the state. That’s down from the 7.5% rate from June but up from the 3.9% unemployment rate for the same time period last year.

Unemployed citizens collecting unemployment benefits will need to once again complete weekly work searches beginning Sunday, October 4, according to a state press release.

Claimants who choose to continue receiving unemployment benefits will start work search activities during the week of Sunday, Sept. 27. They will then document those searches during their weekly certification for Sunday, Oct. 4, and each week after that date.

Furloughed or temporarily laid off claimants who currently have a definitive return to work date do not need to complete this requirement. Self employed individuals currently receiving benefits will be required to call on clients, submit bids or proposals, apply for contract or gig work, and / or attend training. Claimants who are out of work due to one of the COVID-19 reasons listed in the CARES Act may be exempt from performing job searches if they self-certify that they are unable to look for work due to one of the designations and are otherwise able and available, according to the state.

For one-on-one assistance, career specialists at Tennessee’s more than 80 American Job Centers can work with job seekers at no cost to provide customized job searches, job fairs, re-employment services, and eligibility assessment (RESEA) appointments, and help them determine if job training assistance is available. Centers are located regionally in Decherd, Fayetteville, Winchester, and Tullahoma. Click here for contact information.

Traditional job search methods also satisfy the requirement to remain eligible to receive benefits. If a claimant fails to complete their work searches, they will be denied benefits for the week they did not meet eligibility requirements. •

{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.}

Region 5 teams Mt. Pleasant, Cornersville game postponed due to COVID

high school football news
Fellow Region 5 opponents Mount Pleasant have cancelled practice and two games due to a COVID-19 exposure by at least on player. {Lynchburg Times Graphic}

MOUNT PLEASANT — We knew it was only a matter of time until an area high school football team was affected by COVID-19. On Monday, fellow Region 5A team Mount Pleasant announced they were cancelling practice and two regular season games due to a COVID-19 exposure.

According to Mount Pleasant Athletic Director Eric Hughes, the Mount Pleasant versus Cornersville game scheduled for September 18 is being postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test by at least one player. The Tigers also cancelled their game against Wayne County on September 25. The team isn’t currently practicing so that their facilities can be deep cleaned.

According to Hughes, he’s working with both teams to get those games rescheduled.

Moore County is scheduled to play Mount Pleasant as the final regular season game on October 30. The Raiders beat Cornersville 33-23 on September 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.}

Local blood supplies are critically low

Low blood supplies are low due to multiple recent traumas. Several area mobile blood drives are planned. {File Photo}

Multiple traumas in southern, middle Tennessee over the past several days have nearly exhausted local blood supplies and local blood banks are asking for donations … especially from O-positive, A-positive, A-negative, O-negative, and platelets donors.

“Multiple traumas used over 100 blood products a few nights ago and have exacerbated the already struggling blood supply,” Blood Assurance officials stated.

Regionally, local blood banks plan several area blood drives:

SUNDAY – Mobile blood drive at First United Methodist Church located at 100 South Jefferson Street in Winchester from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

THURSDAY – Mobile drive at Walmart located 1224 Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

THURSDAY – Mobile drive at Advantage Realty Partners located 861 McArthur Street in Manchester from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition, the Blood Assurance Donor Center is located at 604 North Jackson Street and they schedule donation Monday through Friday and each third Saturday (September 19) and third Sunday (September 20) of the month. For more information visit their website or call them at 931-461-5773.•

{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.}

As number of dumped pets rises, local shelter needs donations and fosters

COVID-19 is causing a spike in dumped and abandoned pets in Moore County. Lynchburg Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center needs your help to keep them safe and get them the medical care they need. {File Photo}

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local shelters across the country report a spike in dumped and abandoned pets.

One needs to only read Moore County social media posts from the past week to know it’s true. On August 31, a local found a boxer mix on Turkey Creek Run. Four days later, a litter of eight puppies was found in a ditch on Goosebranch Road. Later that same day, a mother and her four puppies were found less than a mile away. A day later, a local found two more pups on Nolen Road. Just yesterday, another set of dogs were discovered around Pleasant Hill Methodist Church.

What do they all have in common? The Lynchburg Friends of Animals and Rescue and Adoption Center will try to care for all of them. It’s an tough job during “precedented” times but one that’s becoming overwhelming during the pandemic. Four of the puppies found last week require treatment for PARVO.

“We have to hospitalize them with a veterinary hospital leaving us with an estimated $2400 for vet care and hospitalization of all four pups,” said LFoA Director Brandi Harrell. “That was the cheapest I found in such short notice. These babies need our help.”

Moore County does not offer animal control as a county service. Without intervention from a caring, local shelter animals like these are destined for heartbreak, trauma, and often death. That’s where Lynchburg Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center comes in. And you can help. Supplies like dog food, cat food, litter, and puppy pads can be dropped off at the shelter located at 1980 Fayetteville Highway. A full wish list of needs can be found by clicking this link.

Harrell also says that the shelter desperately needs fosters to give vulnerable animals off local roads. Without fosters and with a full shelter, LFoA might need to turn animals away. She says the more fosters, the more lives they can save. LFoA pays for all vet bills, food, as well as related supplies.

You can also make a donation via PayPal through a link on their website.

If you’d like to help with the medical care for the four puppies battling PARVO, donations can be made at the vet clinics currently providing care: All Creature Veterinary Clinics in Tullahoma (931-455-6723) or Manchester (931-723-0551). •

{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 announces new COVID mental health helpline for Moore County

The state recently announced a COVID-19 Crisis Helpline for Moore and 20 other Middle Tennessee counties. Call 888-460-4351 if you need to talk to someone. It’s free and confidential. {File Photo}

A COVID-related illness or death of a loved one, the isolation of social distancing, unemployment, the stress of working from home, remote learning … it’s a lot. According to a recent East Tennessee State University poll more than half of Tennesseans reported feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in the week before the poll.  More than two in five respondents reported feeling depressed (43.4%) and lonely (42.8%).

But help is available for those who reach out.

The Tennessee Department of Health recently announced a new mental health tool for those suffering from mental health stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moore County will be one of 21 counties in Middle Tennessee supported by the Tennessee Recovery Project’s COVID-19 helpline at 888-460-4351.

The new helpline will also serve Bedford, Cheatham, Coffee, Davidson, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Perry, Robertson, Stewart, and Wayne counties.

A volunteer staff will answer the new helpline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s available to anyone struggling with emotional stressors due to the pandemic. Staff will connect callers with local resource that can help.

“There are a lot of people out there, dealing with stress, anxiety, fear, and depression, who are hurting right now.  We want people to know that it’s OK to not feel OK right now and that help is available, and thanks to this grant, the department and our community providers will be able to help more people,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “We are grateful to our federal partners for this funding, and the department is committed to leveraging all available resources to support the needs of Tennesseans and the community providers who serve them.”

Federal grant dollars fund the new helpline through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and in partnership with Centerstone, the Tennessee Recovery Project, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. It’s part of a larger grant that seeks to offer crisis counseling in all 95 Tennessee counties.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Recovery Project Disaster Crisis Counseling Program’s Facebook 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.}