Local STEM educator hosts NASA Observe the Moon Party

Local STEM outreach and science educator, Billy Hix, will host the NASA Observe the Moon Party on September 26. Hix is a former Motlow College professor and familiar face in Moore County Schools. {Photo Provided}

EVENTS | Usually it requires a trip to Huntsville, but this year you can join the fun from anywhere. On Saturday, September 26 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., local STEM educator Billy Hix will host the International Observe the Moon Party presented by the NASA Planetary Missions Program and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

It’s an event meant to celebrate our fascination with the moon. Over 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 crew led by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins used 7.5 million pounds of thrust to propel themselves into space and history. As more than half a million people watched from home including President Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth, Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon and American’s have been obsessed ever since.

Hix took early retirement from teaching science at Motlow College to turn his attention towards STEM outreach in Tennessee schools. He zig zags across the state with his portable planetarium to visit nearly 100 schools and over 71,000 students each year. He visits Moore County students several times a year.

The live stream event on Saturday will be live planetarium show with interviews with Planetary Scientists. It’s a fantastic opportunity for both the science-curious and home or virtual school students. On the day of the event, click here to join. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page. •

{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.}

5 Things to Do This Weekend

A regional art show and a fall festival in Cowan, a guided day hike at Walls of Jericho, a benefit barn dance in Lynchburg, and live music at Bean’s Creek Winery … yeah there’s a lot to do this weekend from an appropriate social distance. {Photos Provided}

We get it. Everyone grows weary of being stuck inside. As fall approaches, there are lots of outdoor or small venue events happening in southern, middle Tennessee that present an opportunity to safely get out. So mask up, grab the hand sanitizer, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and enjoy a little socially-distanced fun.

Regional Art Show in Cowan— It’s a real bummer. Due to increasing concerns about COVID-19, the Franklin County Arts Guild made the difficult decision to cancel its annual Arts & Ales fundraisers. No worries though, you can still support local artists with at their Regional Arts Show at the Artisan Depot. The show will run September 17-20 from 12-5 p.m. each day and will feature painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, jewelry, and more for southern, middle Tennessee artists. For more information, click here.

Fall Heritage Festival in Cowan — Each third weekend in September folks gather in the charming hamlet of Cowan to celebrate life at the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau. It combines the history of the area with live music, and art for a fun kick off to the fall season. This year will feature fireworks, food trucks, art and crafts, arts demonstrations, a composting workshop, live music, and more. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there won’t be a kid’s zone, beauty pageant, cruise-in, or living history events this year. For more information, vist their website by clicking here.

Hike at Walls of Jericho in Franklin County — Located around 12 miles from Winchester, the Walls of Jericho sits just along the Tennessee Alabama state line. The “walls” refer to the impressive geological feature that forms a large bowl-shaped amphitheater with steep 200-foot sheer rock. Water drains through the wall creating a unique water feature. On Saturday, Alpha Expeditions will lead hikers through this iconic landscape on a day hike begging at 8 a.m. It’s a seven mile hike through some difficult terrain but worth the effort. To reserve your spot, click here.

Barn Dance to Benefit HorsePlay — Looking to a fun, small town night out for a good cause with plenty of social distancing measure baked into the event. Come check out the Swing and Sway for Hors Play Barn Dance in Wiseman Park in Lynchburg on September 19 at 6 p.m. Tullahoma’s South Jackson Street Band will play live music. The event will also feature a live auction, door prize drawing, and concessions. According to event organizers, the dance will practice social distancing protocols and follow CDC guidelines throughout the event. To read out full coverage, click here.

Live Music at Bean’s Creek Winery — Grab your quaranteam and some lawn chairs and enjoy the End of Summer Party at Bean’s Creek Winery in Manchester. Utopia will provide the rump-shaking live music and there will be food trucks. No outside alcohol is allowed but they will service wine slushees and Old She’d beer. The fun starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Click here for more details. •

{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.}

MCHS plans PSAT on Oct. 14

Moore County High School freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can sign up for the PSAT to be given at the high school on October 14. {File Photo}

EDUCATION NEWS | Staff invites Moore County High School (MCHS) freshmen, sophomores, and junior to register to take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14. The cost is $20 per student.

The PSAT – also known as the Preliminary SAT – gives students a practice run at the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) used by many universities and colleges to determine aptitude for college classes.

Students can only take the PSAT once per year, and many students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade. If you earn a high score on the PSAT your junior year, you could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship—$180 million dollars in merit scholarships are awarded to students each year. The PSAT is two hours and 45 minutes long and tests your skills in reading, writing, and math. Unlike the SAT, the highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520, according to their website.

MCHS juniors who take the test will compete for the National Merit Scholarship program. Freshmen and sophomores can still take the test and use it as a practice test to assess strengths and weaknesses in advance of the their junior year PSAT.

The number of tests available is limited, according to MCHS officials, and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Test fees should be delivered to Amy Cashion at MCHS. •

{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.}

Virtual talent competition seeks video auditions

Country hit maker and Grand Ole Opry member Craig Morgan will share his music industry insights and experiences with the 2020 Path to Fame Virtual Talent Competition grand champion. {Photo Credit: Nate Griffin}

You’ve heard of talent competition shows like The Voice, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent right? What if we told you that the folks at Pigeon Forge did their very own version, Path to Fame, and that auditions will be coming to two towns less than an hour’s drive from Lynchburg?

Path to Fame 2020 will be the third consecutive year for the Tennessee-based talent scout … and this year due to COVID-19, there will be a virtual twist. In previous years, Path To Fame traveled with a team of talent scouts to various markets in the Southeast. To accommodate restrictions and venue closings due to COVID-19, the talent competition has been re-engineered to accommodate video auditions. 

“We know that performers were affected by the economic shutdown and operating restrictions necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Pigeon Forge Executive Director of Tourism Leon Downey. “Pigeon Forge’s theater community would like to help those performers, along with other talented folks, by bringing the Path To Fame Virtual Talent Competition online for 2020. We hope easy access to the competition will encourage performers to make a video and take advantage of this great career-building opportunity.”    

The grand champion will claim a prize package that includes tools to help launch the winner’s own path to fame, including a virtual career consultation with country star Craig Morgan. 

Anyone over the age of 18 who fits the search criteria can audition but officials have designated four hometown markets for this year’s auditions:  Asheville, North Carolina, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Huntsville, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Contestants may showcase their talent in one of four categories: vocalist, instrumentalist, comedian and specialty act. Individuals and groups of five or fewer can may compete. All contestants must register and submit an audition video following the contest rules and regulations to be eligible to win.

Judges will select four finalists to represent each of the hometown markets. The 16 finalists will compete for the grand champion title and the prize package that includes 12 monthly consultations with a Nashville-based talent executive and a virtual meeting with Broken Bow Records country music star Craig Morgan. 

Morgan possess strong ties to Pigeon Forge. The Tennessee native and Grand Old Opry member served as master of ceremonies at the award-winning Country Tonite show before finding success with country hits like That’s What I Love About Sunday, Almost Home, and Redneck Yacht Club. Morgan will share his music industry insights and experiences with the 2020 Path to Fame Virtual Talent Competition grand champion.


“We’re thrilled to work with Craig Morgan this year in part because he also began his own ‘path to fame’ in Pigeon Forge,” said Downey added. “Given the success of Path to Fame Talent Competition over the past two years, we’re eager to discover more talent this year, and we hope the virtual nature of this year’s contest will encourage even more people to audition.”

The grand champion prize package is comprised of career-building tools, including a one-year mentorship with Nashville-based talent executive John Alexander who discovered Kelsea Ballerini and spent more than a decade at Great American Country television network. Alexander will assist in establishing consultations and industry meetings for the grand champion. Additionally, the winner will perform in Pigeon Forge during a complimentary return trip and receive assets and experiences to advance his or her career. 

Pigeon Forge helped launch the careers of Janelle Arthur, Carly Pearce, and Mandy Barnett. For more information and details to enter are available PFFame.com. •

{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.}

Barn Dance in Wiseman Park benefits local non-profit

Horse Play Inc. provides therapeutic riding opportunities for local special needs kids. They will host a fund raiding barn dance on September 19 in Lynchburg. {Lynchburg Times graphic}

EVENTS — Local non-profit Horse Play Inc plans their second annual barn dance fund raiser – Swing and Sway for Horse Play – for Saturday, September 19 at Moorehead Pavilion inside Wiseman Park.

Tullahoma’s South Jackson Street Band will play live music. The event will also feature a live auction, door prize drawing, and concessions. According to event organizers, the dance will practice social distancing protocols and follow CDC guidelines throughout the event.

Horse Play is a local 501(c)3 non-profit that provides recreational horseback riding opportunities for children with mental or physical challenges. It’s run by a board of directors as well as a dedicated team of volunteers, medical professionals, and horse enthusiasts. Their stable of eight horses play a vital role in the well being of many Moore County special needs kids. Horse Play operates under the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH).

Tickets are currently on sale and all proceeds benefit the non-profit. Single tickets are $15 and couples tickets are $25. Children 10 and under will be admitted free. You may also reserve of table for eight people for $125 donation. The event takes place from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets in advance visit their website and click on the “Give” tab and you will be redirected to the Horse Play Giving Fund PayPal page. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, contact Loretta Christian at 931-434-1291, Jean Kelly at 931-247-5292, or Patsy Freeman at 931-581-1626. •

{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.}

5 Things to Do This Weekend

A hike past Adams Falls, an art show on the picturesque Monte Sano Mountain, and a whiskey tasting at a charming Winchester distillery … yeah there are lot of safe, small venue, socially distanced things to do this weekend. {File Photos}

We get it. Everyone grows weary of being stuck inside. As fall approaches, there are lots of outdoor or small venue events happening in southern, middle Tennessee that present an opportunity to safely get out and explore. So mask up, grab the hand sanitizer, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and enjoy a little socially-distanced fun.

Hike in Tullahoma — Summer is winding down and with the first day of fall right around the corner, locals better grab all those opportunities to explore outside. On Sunday, you can explore the Short Springs, Adam Falls area with Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath. The guided 2.5 mile hike will begin and end at the parking lot on Short Springs Road. Hikers will enjoy the moderate Adam’s Falls Trail past Machine Falls while enjoying gorgeous flora and fauna of the South Cumberland along the way. This hike will be limited to 12 people and you can sign up by calling 931-455-1121. Masks are recommended. For more information, click here.

Antique Tractor Show in Eagleville — If you are heading to the Moore County versus Forrest game on Friday anyways and you happen to have a little man who is all about tractors, leave a little early and stop by the Pioneer Days Antique Tractor Show on the way. Hosted by the Tennessee Valley Pioneer Power Association, and features lots of makes and models of antique tractors, trucks, cars, lawn tractors, and other gas powered engines. The free event takes place on Friday and Saturday. For more information, click here.

Art Show in Huntsville — It’s been an end of summer tradition on Monte Sano Mountain for two decades, and it will happen in 2020 with a few social distancing measure in place to keep everyone safe. The Monte Sano Art Festival kicks off on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will feature over 100 local and regional artists as well as area food trucks. Attendees must wear a mask. For more information, click here.

Whiskey Tasting in Winchester — There’s a charming little distillery located right off the historic Winchester Square call Branchwater. Master Distiller Bud Kelley makes some fabulous (and potent) southern, middle moonshine there. On Thursday, they’ll host a Ladies Night. Local gals are invited to come from 3-7 p.m. and taste some of what they have to offer including their new frozen drinks. For more information, click here.

Food Trucks at Beans Creek Winery — A local winery is great. A local winery with a food truck is outstanding. On Saturday Mark’s Specialty Seafood will return to Bean’s Creek Winery in Manchester for both lunch and dinner. Enjoy a refreshing wine slushy as well as seafood favorites like fried scallops, conch fritters, lobster roll, catfish fingers, and more. For more information, 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.}

Local Farmers: Required Beef Quality Assurance classes held Sept. 12-15

If you need to attend a Beef Quality Assurance class to qualify for state ag grant dollars, one will be held in Franklin County on September 12-15. {File Photo}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Attention Moore County cattle farmers: Planning on applying for state agricultural grant dollars? Then you’ll need to plan to attend one of the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) classes planned in Franklin County next week.

The two-hour class covers cattle management and care and is sponsored by the Tennessee Cattle,man’s Association. BQA classes are volunteer based but must be completed to qualify for state dollars.

The annual Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) application period is October 1-7 and grant seekers must complete a BQA class to qualify.

Th state established TAEP in 2005 to provide cost share dollars to agricultural producers in the state. It’s goal is to invest in both Tennessee farms and their communities. Over the past 15 years, the state program invested more than $185 million in over 60,000 Tennessee farmers. On average each dollar invested generates $6.09 in local economies, according to the state.

Classes will be held at the UT/TSU Extension Office in Winchester on September 12 at 8 a.m., September 14 at 9 a.m., and September 15 at both 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. UT Extension will limit class size to 15 participants for each class so reserving your spot is important. To RSVP, call 931-967-2741. According to state ag officials, online classes are also available.

Questions? Contact Moore County Extension’s Larry Moorehead at lmooreh1@utk.edu.

{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.}

Art show explores evolution of local female creators

Women artist from around southern, middle Tennessee collaborated for a show that is as relevant today as it was 10 years ago. {Graphic Provided}

TULLAHOMA — 2020 has been … well normal-shattering. Working from home, remote learning, social distancing … for women, it can sometimes feel like being pecked to death by a thousand ducks.

For women artists, the ever-evolving COVID lifestyle can be disruptive to the creative life, so can the simple act of growing older. To recognize and celebrate this truth, a group of women artist will present “Out of the Kitchen, Out of the Box: Reflections of a Decade” beginning September 5 at the Tullahoma Arts Center. It a revisit of show many participated in 10 years ago.

It’s the first gallery show for TAC since it’s COVID shutdown and the exhibit will display through September. TAC officially re-opened on September 1.

The show’s meant to explore the art of women “trying to reclaim themselves as artists, after feeling like the responsibilities of life” had pushed their God-given talents to the wayside. It features works by Karen Ingle, Jennie Roles-Walter, Kathy Mullins, Carol Ann Stephens, Jennie Couch, and Sharon Prosser.

These women hale from throughout southern middle Tennessee. Ingle lives in Winchester. Roles-Walter resides in Fayetteville. Mullins and Prosser live in Tullahoma. Stephens lives in Estill Springs.

These six women agreed to throw caution to the wind and paint uninhibited, unaltered views from their lives. Many explored themes like cancer, motherhood, mentors, body image, as well as painting pieces meant to honor their fellow favorite female artists.

The original show travelled the country showing in several galleries including the National Women’s Artist Association gallery in New York City. This second iteration, “Reflections of a Decade” explores how the women have evolved over the past 10 years. It will include both their original pieces and as well as new art created specifically for this revisiting.

The Tullahoma Art Center (TAC) will host Reflections of a Decade with an opening reception happening Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. Admission will be free for TAC members and $5 for non-members. The art center is located at 401 South Jackson Street.

{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.}

Local book club “heads West” with September pick

The MCPL’s Brown Bag Book Club picked The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent as their September read. {Graphic Provided}

EVENTS — The Moore County Public Library Brown Bag Book Club picked a historical fiction for their September read. The local book club will read The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent this month.

The Dallas-based author has authored three best-selling, historical novels including The Heretic’s Daughter, The Traitor’s Wife, and this novel. She say she was inspired to write by reading a lot of Dickens, Poe and James Michener as a child.

Here’s the summary provided by the publisher:

It’s the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she’d been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them both rich, chasing rumors of a pirate’s buried treasure.

Meanwhile, Nate Cannon, a young Texas policeman with a pure heart and a strong sense of justice, is on the hunt for a ruthless killer named McGill who has claimed the lives of men, women, and even children across the frontier.

Who – if anyone – will survive when their paths finally cross? As Lucinda and Nate’s stories converge, guns are drawn, debts are paid, and Kathleen Kent delivers an unforgettable portrait of a woman who will stop at nothing to make a new life for herself.

Normally the book club meets each Friday at 1 p.m. but there will be no meeting this Friday, September 11. The group ends and begins a new book on the last Friday of each month, so they will discuss The Outcasts on both September 18 and 25.

For more information, visit the Moore County Public Library’s Facebook page or call them at 931-759-7285. •

{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 Music Fest announces Justin Moore as it’s final headliner

Igniter Productions announced Saturday that Big Machine Records performer Justin Moore will headline the Lynchburg Music Fest on Saturday. The three-day festival is planned for October 2-4. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL EVENTS — On Saturday, the Lynchburg Music Fest announced Justin Moore as the final of its headliners for the three-day music festival planned for October 2-4. Moore will headline of Saturday. Josh Turner will headline on Friday night and Kip Moore will headline on Sunday night.

Igniter Productions, the events promoter, announced months ago that the festival would expand to three days and move to a new venue in its second year. This year’s three-day festival will take place in “Music Hollow” a sprawling, rural farm located near Louse Creek Road in Mulberry.

Arkansas Native Justin Moore should be a familiar name to country music fans. He’s produced five studio albums and now performs under the umbrella of Toby Keith’s Big Machine Records. He’s charted 16 times since his self titled debut in 2009 including hits like “Small Town USA”, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” and “You Look Like I Need a Drink.”

He also won the Academy of Country Music Awards New Artist of the Year in 2014.

Moore plays to the rowdy kids with a good heart from a small town crowd and is a perfect fit for a music festival in the most famous small town in America.

Igniter has not announced the complete 2020 lineup but promises those details are coming soon. For more information, visit their social media pages. To buy tickets to this years event, visit the Lynchburg Music Fest 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.}