MCHS hosts Red Cross Blood Drive

Blood supplies in southern, middle Tennessee are low. The Health Occupation Students of America chapter at Moore County High School plan to help by hosting a Red Cross blood drive on Tuesday, January 26. (File Photo)

Blood is a perishable and vital product that can only be replenished through the generosity of live donors. Each blood and platelet donation can save the lives of as many as three friends and neighbors.

Across the country blood supplies remain critically low. Winter months usually make it difficult to collect the blood and platelets necessary to adequately supply area hospitals like Vanderbilt Medical Center at Tullahoma. Seasonal illness, busy holiday schedules, colder temperatures and now, the COVID-19 pandemic make it harder to get donations. In that spirit, the American Red Cross reminds locals that January is National Blood Donor Month.

The Health Occupation Students of America chapter at Moore County High School plan to help. They plan an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, January 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment contact the high school at 931-759-4231 or visit the American Red Cross website and enter the sponsor code MooreCoHSchool.

You can streamline your donation time by pre-qualifying for a blood donation through the Red Cross Rapid Pass process on the website. You can also download the Blood Donor App onto your smart phone.

MCHS will host a second American Red Cross Mobile Blood Drive on Wednesday, March 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. •

{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.}

Area state parks offer first day hikes

Several area Tennessee State Parks will kick off New Year’s Day with Guided First Day Hikes. (File Photo)

Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day. Many state parks will host its own special hike. It’s a great way to safely spend time with friends and family to kick off the new year. Here are those happening closest to Lynchburg:

WINCHESTER | Tims Ford State Park — Local rangers will lead locals on a 2.5 mile loop hike out the Lost Creek Overlook Trail to the Lost Creek Overlook and return on the Overlook Trail. Online registration is required and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be limited to 50 hikers. This is a free hike, however donations are encouraged and will go toward firefighting supplies and equipment to keep the parks safe and beautiful. Hikers should meet at 10 a.m. at the Visitors Center. Click here for more information.

MANCHESTER | Old Stone Fort State Park — Meet Ranger Caleb Doster at the Old Fort State Park Museum Roof at 1 p.m. for a two hour strenuous hike along the 3.5 mile Backbone Trail. Hikers will walk along the Enclosure Trail and see the prehistoric Native American Mounds while discussing their cultural significance to the area. As you hike, you will see both the Big and Little Duck Rivers, as well as the three magnificent waterfalls. Temperature on Friday will hover around 70 degrees but there is an 80 percent chance of rain, so dress accordingly. Hikers are encouraged to bring their own water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, click here.

BEERSHEBA SPRING | South Cumberland State Park — There is no more picturesque spot in south central Tennessee that Stone Door located inside South Cumberland State Park. Park Ranger Kristin Willis will lead hikers on a two mile hike to the best overlook in the park. Meet at 1183 Stone Door Road at 9 a.m. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain on Friday and temperatures should be in the mid-sixties. Dress appropriately. Click here for more information.

Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. Most hikes are free but each state park accepts donations. To see all the First Day Hikes being offered in our state on January 1, 2021, 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.}

Give blood at the Moore County Battle of the Badges

Members of the Metro Fire Department and Metro Sheriff’s Department challenge Moore County citizens to show their big hearts on January 25 by giving blood at the Moore County Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. (File Photo)

EVENTS — Blood supplies across Tennessee, and much of the U.S., are at dangerously low levels due to recent severe weather and the holidays.  With that in mind, Lynchburg Mayor Bonnie Lewis issued a challenge to our local fire department and sheriff’s department to see which department can recruit the most eligible blood donors in the community during the annual Blood Assurance Moore County Battle of the Badges.

Metro Moore Volunteer Fire Department and Metro Moore County Sheriff’s Department will co-host a blood drive on Monday, January 25 from 12-5 p.m. at the Moore County Volunteer Fire Department located at 301 Majors Boulevard.

Fire Chief Mark Neal reminds locals that a single blood donation can support three or more medical needs in an area hospital.

“This is for anyone that would like to help a good cause,” said LES SRO Mike Rainey. “It would ne great to show how our small community can show up in large numbers.”

So, whether you are Team Sheriff’s Department or Team Fire Department, roll up you sleeves and help area blood banks. Blood Assurance encourages all donors to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water, and avoid energy drinks prior to making a donation.

All donors must be 18 years or older. Chief Neal says those who are short on time can visit the website to make an appointment for quicker turn around. For more information, visit the blood drive’s 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, 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.}

The best place to see the rare “Christmas Star”

An astronomical phenomenon known as the Christmas Star or the Great Conjunction of 2020 will reach peak brightness in Lynchburg on December 21. (File Photo)

Many of us top our Christmas trees with a star or decorate with stars at the holiday. It’s a nod to the Nativity story found in Matthew 2:2 in which a group of foreigners come looking for the new king and use a bright “star in the east” to find him.

Now through December 21, if look up right after sunset, you just might see something similar – and astronomical phenomenon many are calling the Christmas Star or Bethlehem Star of 2020.

The so-called Christmas Star really isn’t a star at all. Instead, our solar systems two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, will move very close together – so close, in fact, that they will look like a single bright planet. Astronomers are calling this event the Great Conjunction of 2020, and it’s causing a buzz in both astronomer and social media circles.

It’s an event 400 years in the making and the most visible the phenomenon has been in the last 800 years.

“The last time Jupiter and Saturn have been this close was 1623 and Galileo wrote about it,” says local astronomer Billy Hix. “So, when you view it, you are standing on the shoulders of someone like Galileo who saw the same view many years ago.”

Hix says the “Christmas Star” will reach peak brightness on December 21 and the best spots in Moore County to view the Christmas Star will be hilltops, away from city lights, with unobstructed views to the south-southwest. Hix says you won’t need a telescope or binoculars to see it and because these planets are located near the horizon, viewing will be best just after sunset.

“A nice open field, a ball field, any place that is high and gives you a clear view of the horizon,” says Hix. “Don’t go outside at 8 p.m. and wonder where to look – it is too late. This is only going to be visible about one hour after sunset.”

It’s genuinely a once-on-a-lifetime event. It hasn’t happened since 1623 and won’t happen again until 2080. Hix says he encourages locals, especially those with young kids, to participate.

“I beg you to take the kids to see this event,” he says. “The last time it was visible in the night sky for everyone to see was in the fall of the year 1226.   Think about the world at that time.   That was the first year that the Julian calendar took effect.”

To learn more about the Great Conjunction of 2020, read the article on Astronomy Magazine by clicking here. •

{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 Don’t miss things happening at Promise Manor’s Holiday Open House

Promise Manor will transform into a magical Christmas spot on Sunday where locals can make a magic Santa key, reindeer food, or shop at area buy local vendors. The free event starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday. (Photo Provided)

Local historic venue Promise Manor will host their second annual Christmas Open House on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. It’s a free community meant to inject a little magical, Christmas spirit into this crazy year. The event is free to attend but organizers ask that you bring a donation for Children of Christmas Past, a local non-profit who delivers gifts to residents of the Lynchburg Nursing Center. Here are the five “don’t miss” things happening that day.

1 | Make a Magic Santa Key – Don’t have a chimney? Lot’s of little ones wonder how Santa will get into their house without a chimney. It’s no problem. You can stop by Promise Manor on Sunday and make a Magic Santa Key that lets him enter right through the front door.

2 | Meet Local Children’s Author Katrina Douglas – Did you know that Lynchburg boasts its very own children’s author, Katrina Douglas, who recently penned Promise Song. The book would make a great stocking stuffer for a local child. To learn more about the book, click here.

3 | Shop at Their Buy Local Market – In November, Promise Manor started posting about some of their favorite local vendor and businesses. Many of whom will be on hand on Sunday selling gift items like local honey, candles, handmade ornaments, locally-ground coffee, homemade jams and jellies, and so much more.

4 | Decorate a Christmas Card for a Local Nursing Home Resident – Keep your eye out for a Christmas Card Decoration Station for Lynchburg Nursing Home residents. Kiddos of all ages can decorate, seal, and address cards, which will be delivered right down the road to Promise Manor’s favorite neighbor.

5 | Make Reindeer Food – Santa’s reindeer have a lot of work to do on December 25 and we’re sure they could use a little snack. Each child will get to create their own special reindeer mix and then spread it on their yard Christmas Eve to insure Dancer, Prancer and the lot get a little treat while Santa’s busy doing his thing.

The event will be held mostly outside with plenty of opportunities for social distancing and those who attend are encouraged to wear a mask when inside or when social distancing is not possible. Promise Manor is located at 686 Motlow Barns Road. For more information about the event, check out Promise Manor’s Facebook page by clicking here. •

{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.}

Dustin Lynch performs, Moore County home featured in Caroling for Kids fundraiser

Local boy Dustin Lynch released his “tip of the hat” album Tullahoma last December. The country crooner will appear in a virtual fundraiser for the Tullahoma Day Care Center on Sunday. (Photo Provided)

If you are a fan of local boy turned country star, Dustin Lynch, and you’d like to get a peek inside the home of Moore County’s Janice Harder, then we’ve got a cool virtual event for a good cause for you. On Sunday, Caroling for Kids: A Virtual Fundraiser will take place at 4 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Tullahoma Day Care Center, a nonprofit facility for at-risk children with the mission of “providing affordable, safe, healthy and nurturing pre-school child care” for area students.

“Since the popular holiday tour of homes had to be canceled this year, we wanted to give everyone something as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support in 2020,” said Board president Reba Walters. “We have planned a Facebook Live virtual fundraiser that we think will be enjoyed by everyone.”

The event will be a 45-minute video accessible through the day care center’s Facebook page by clicking here. Hosted by Tullahoma Alderman Rupa Blackwell, board vice president, the video includes a tour of the Tullahoma Day Care Center by Justin Holder that features interviews with staff and special guests. Also featured will be an online tour of the Moore County home of Janice Harder, and special musical performances by Lynch, Tullahoma Alderman Sernobia McGee, Michael McGee, alumni of the THS AristoCats, and Greg Gressel.

The annual tour of homes has been the center’s largest fundraiser for decades, according to Walters, but this year the board decided to offer an alternative as a kick-off to the holiday season.

“We couldn’t hold our tour of homes this year because of COVID-19, but we wanted to offer the public something to lift our spirits this time of year,” said Walters. “The event replaces our largest annual fundraiser, but we also wanted it to be available for everyone to enjoy. Donations to support the nonprofit center will be accepted during the event, or anytime afterward.”

The center is at 707 Trinity Lane behind Trinity Lutheran Church in Tullahoma and has remained open to preschoolers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Facebook, www.tullahomadaycare.com, or call Emma Coleman, director, at 931-455-4197. •

{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.}

Promise Manor named official Santa letter drop off location

Elves set up this official Santa Letter Drop Off Box over night at Promise Manor. Local kiddos can drop off letters beginning Monday, December 7. Those who include a return address will receive a special surprise in the mail all the way from the North Pole. (Photo Credit: Promise Manor)

We’ve got some exciting news for children in Moore County. Officials at the North Pole recently named local historic venue, Promise Manor, as an official Santa Letter Drop Off location. Beginning on December 7, local kiddos can mail their Santa letters at the bright red drop box in front of Promise Manor. Santa asks that you drop off your letters no later than Sunday, December 13 to give Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves plenty of time to check their lists and process your requests by Christmas Eve. The folks at Promise Manor tell us that if local kiddos furnish a return address, Santa will send them a special surprise in the mail all the way from the North Pole.

“The kids and our community deserve some Christmas magic,” said Promise Manor owner Kayla White.

They will host an open house on Sunday, December 13 with a special Santa Letter Writing Station set up so that local kids can write, stuff, stamp, and seal their very own letters. Also that day, kids who don’t have a chimney can create their own special Santa key to make life easier on the jolly old man on December 25.

Their will be also be vendors for a little buy local shopping, an opportunity to tour the historic venue, and plenty of holiday photo backdrops.

The Christmas Open House is a free, community event but Promise Manor asks that you bring a donation for this year’s non-profit partner, Children of Christmas Past. Adam Baker founded the Lynchburg non-profit, which seeks to provide gifts for residents of the Lynchburg Nursing Center. Donated items could include colored pencils, board games, playing cards, lotions, slippers, bathrobes, sweat pants and shirts as well as sugar free and nut free snacks.

Promise Manor is located at 686 Motlow Barns Road in Lynchburg. For more information visit their Facebook Page or their website. •

{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 Don’t Miss Things Happening at Christmas in Lynchburg on Saturday

The historic Lynchburg square and gazebo are decorated an ready for an old fashioned small town Christmas tomorrow during Christmas in Lynchburg. (Lynchburg Times Photo)

The first Saturday in December is always a magical time in downtown Lynchburg as our bustling small town transforms into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees everywhere. The air smells like fresh baked cookies and Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, and even The Grinch lurk around every corner.

Here are our five “don’t miss” things happening on Saturday.

1| Special Christmas Postmark at the Lynchburg Post Office • If you’ve got holiday cards to mail out, bring them on down to the Lynchburg Post Office on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and mail them with a special unique postmark. This happens for one day only each year during Christmas in Lynchburg.

2 | Lynchburg Christmas Parade • We’re all looking for safe ways to enjoy the holiday while continuing to embrace as many traditions as possible. The annual Lynchburg Christmas Parade will happen on Saturday at 2 p.m. It begins an ends in Wiseman Park and there is plenty of room along the parade route to spread out. For those who would like to participate, line up starts at 12:30 p.m.

3 | Queen Bee Calendars at the IBIS Building • Did you ever watch the 2002 movie Calendar Girls? In it, a group of women put together a calendar to raise money for a cause they love. Lynchburg now boasts our own calendar girls with the Queen Bee 2021 Calendar and it’s fabulous. The center gave local Marie Bobo the honor of being the first “cover girl” but it’s filled with all the gorgeous, sassy, older women of Lynchburg. They cost just $15 and all proceeds benefit the Moore County Senior Center. You can buy one this week during Christmas in Lynchburg in the IBIS Building. Click here for more information.

4 | The FCE Cooke Sale • It’s no secret that the women of Moore County can bake y’all. Every year the Moore County Family and Community Education (FCE) ladies show up and show out during their annual Christmas Cookie Sale inside the IBIS Building. All shoppers will be required to wear a mask while choosing cookies. Let us give you a hint: Get there early because they will run out. The sale starts at 9 a.m.

5 | The Trees of Christmas • Mask up and stroll through the Trees of Christmas and support a good cause. Dozens of Lynchburg folks have decorates themed Christmas trees and you get to vote for your favorite. One dollar equals one vote and all donations will benefit Moore County High School (MCHS) Project Graduation, which provides seniors a fun and safe graduation night experience.

If you’d like to see a complete schedule of everything happening tomorrow, visit the Christmas is Lynchburg Facebook Page by clicking here.

Saturday will also be a great time to visit the many unique boutiques and stores in and around the historic Lynchburg Square and do a little #buylocal Christmas shopping. •

{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.}

Virtual Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree lighting happens Saturday

Local folks and those from around the globe can join together on Saturday for a virtual Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree Lighting event. (Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

LOCAL NEWS — For years, the lighting of the Jack Daniel Barrel Tree each year has been a big deal. Locals, residents of neighboring counties, folks from across the United States, and even those from abroad gather each year in Lynchburg to kick off the holiday season. This year due to COVID-19 things will need to be a little different.

“We won’t be able to celebrate in person this year, but we don’t see why that should stop us from enjoying each other’s company,” the company said.

In that spirit there will be a virtual Holiday Kick Off and Barrel Tree Lighting on Saturday, November 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. If you’d like to attend simply click here. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be sent an invitation to the event.

Kevin ‘the Barrel Man’ Sanders will be on hand sharing some history about the Barrel Tree and the barrels that were used to craft it. Lynchburg Mayor Bonnie Lewis will update folks about Lynchburg, and the folks at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House will offer some holiday entertaining advice. There might even be a bit of holiday music. •

{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.}

Area state parks plan Day After Thanksgiving Hikes

Four area state parks — Old Stone Fort, Henry Horton, Cumberland Trail, and South Cumberland — will offer Day After Thanksgiving Hikes on November 27. (Photos Provided)

Mark your calendar for November 27, skip the Black Friday shopping, and work off a few of those turkey calories with these four Day After Thanksgiving Hike at Middle Tennessee state parks.

MANCHESTER — Join Park Ranger Keith Wimberley for a guided hike around Old Stone Fort State Park. Hikers will walk a leisurely 1.25 mile path that follows along the Little Duck and Duck Rivers while discussing the pre-history, history, and geology of the area. The event is free (though donations are welcome) and will be limited to 50 people. Registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

MONTEAGLE — South Cumberland State Park in Grundy County and Ranger Jessie plan a guided hike through the picturesque Grundy Forest Natural Area to discuss the native plants and animals that inhabit the area. This two mile hike is rated as moderate due to rocky terrain, exposed roots, and some minor elevation change. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CHAPEL HILL — Rangers at Henry Horton State Park in nearby Chapel Hill plan an organized hike through the Hickory Ridge and River Trails. It’s a easy, 3.5 mile hike that’s suitable for all ages and hiking abilities. Ranger Julia and Park Manager Ryan will stop along the way to point out various natural and historical features along the way. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CROSSVILLE — Exchange Black Friday for Black Mountain at this Cumberland Trail State Park Guided Hike. Ranger Mike Croley will guide hikers across the northern rim of the Sequatchie Valley to the stunning boulder formations. It’s a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike that should take around two hours. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

All hikers should wear good walking shoes (no sandals), and bring their own drinking water. Daytime highs that day will be around 63 degree, so dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, visit the Tennessee State Parks website. •

{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.}