Essential: Volunteer firefighter Scott Parks

{Editor’s Note: This is the first of a multi-part series highlighting all the essential folks in Moore County. Readers nominated each interview subject. To nominate someone, email editor@lynchburg-times.com.}

Metro Volunteer Fire Captain Scott Parks
Metro Volunteer Fire Captain Scott Parks says pandemic or not, when the tones go off, you get up and go. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

First responders usually rush in when everyone else heads out. During a quarantine, they go when others stay in. That was the case recently for Metro Volunteer Fire Department Captain Scott Parks.

When he arrived on scene, the car sat over 75 feet from the road, ripped in half. The driver, who’d been ejected in a one car crash on Flippo Road, lay on the banks of a nearby pond. The bystanders who called the wreck in rushed to the scene and pulled him out — likely saving his life. Parks says the severity of the accident plus the COVID-19 precautions made things feel surreal.

“We made sure everyone had on gloves,” Parks said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have, and still don’t have masks. Everyone was much more deliberate in everything they did but when you are getting a patient out, you definitely have to break the six foot rule. That’s just the nature of it.”

A native of Tullahoma, Parks moved to Moore County in 1994. He met his wife Tara Tucker Parks in 1995 and says their first date was a Moore County High School football game. The couple and their two children, Emily and Sawyer, now live in the Ridgeville area of Moore County. Tara works as the assistant logistics manager at Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Emily attends the University of Tennessee as a junior and Sawyer is an eighth grader at Moore County Middle School.

In addition to his volunteer work with the MVFD, he also works at Jack Daniel’s Distillery in the IT department. He’s currently one of dozens of employees working from home rather than onsite in the Holler.

“We’re taking every precaution,” he says. “Everyone who can, works from home. Everyone else practices the six foot rules and there’s lots of disinfecting going on.”

As for his volunteer work with the fire department, less movement means fewer emergency calls. Parks says he’s definitely noticed a lower volume since Governor Bill Lee’s Stay at Home order. But it wouldn’t matter if they weren’t.

“When the tones go off, you get up and go,” he says.

Helping is just the nature of Moore County

As of Sunday, Moore County was one of seven Tennessee counties without a confirmed COVID-19 case. When asked what he attributes this to, he’s got nothing but praise for our local leaders.

“I think Metro EMS and Mayor Lewis have done an outstanding job,” he says. “I also feel like the distillery’s decision to stop public tours was a big part of the mitigation here.”

When we asked Parks if he felt essential, he demurs.

“It’s never about me,” he says. “We have a team. There aren’t a lot of us who do this and every one of us are essential. But I feel as if I have an obligation to my community.”

Parks also says he’s bracing for the worst of the pandemic.

“We haven’t hit the apex yet. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better,” he says. “But we’ll get through it together. Neighbor helping neighbor is just the norm for Moore County … pandemic or not.” •

{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.}

Metro Utilities updates COVID-19 changes; drive thru is closing

LOCAL NEWS — Based on Governor Bill Lee’s Stay at Home order, the Metro Utilities Department (MUD) is updating their operating procedures, again. Beginning on Monday, April 6, employees will stop taking drive thru payments. Citizens will need to either drop off their payment in the night depository or mail it to the MUD post office box.

Their new hours of operation for office staff will be Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Office staff will be splitting shifts so that no two employees are in the office at the same time. Representative Brooke Fanning also reports that one water department employee is basically “sheltered in place” at the Metro Water Plant … not because he has any COVID-19 related illness but rather to ensure he isn’t exposed to any.

“Citizens need their water to get through this,” Fanning said. “So we are taking every precaution.”

Fanning also said that MUD will also not be assessing penalties or service interruption until further notice. To mail in a payment, send it to P.O. Box 503, Lynchburg, TN 37352. For questions, go to the M.U.D. website, Facebook page, or call them at 931-759-4297.•

{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.}

TWRA says boating, fishing, and hunting okay during Stay at Home order

STATE NEWS — Feeling antsy and wanna get out there and fish, Hunt, and boat? Go ahead, state wildlife officials say.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), boating, fishing, and hunting are “essential” outdoor activities in alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 23 … as long a social distancing rules are observed.

“Governor Lee’s Executive Orders 22 and 23 identify outdoor activity as an essential activity provided that individuals follow health guidelines. As the Chairman of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, I want to assure all hunters and fishers that Tennessee’s turkey hunting season will open Saturday as scheduled and public lands controlled by the TWRA will remain open. Likewise, Tennessee’s lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by the TWRA will remain open to anglers and recreational boaters,” Chairman Kurt Holbert stated.

Readers should note that a “prank” story from a fictional Channel 22 News circulated on social media on Thursday stating that the “TWRA would be issuing $500 fines and possible jail time for anyone caught fishing ot using a recreational watercraft.” The headline on the false story was, “TWRA closes waterways to all recreational boating.”

The TWRA offices are closed to the public but continue to be available by email, ask.TWRA@tn.gov. Several TWRA ranges are also closed, so you should call before you go. Hatcheries are also closed to the public and WNA Check Stations are closed. Report your harvest on the TWRA On the Go app.•

{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.}

Moore County ranks #1 in Census responses

LOCAL NEWS We’re number one. We’re number one.

In this upside down world we’re all collectively living in right now, we could use a bit of good news. According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, the Census Bureau informed her on Thursday, that Metro Moore County leads the state of Tennessee in the number of completed 2020 Census responses. More precisely, we’re barely number one. Loundon County in East Tennessee (46.7 percent) and Williamson County (46.5 percent) are right behind us.

So you know what that means, right? You’ve got time on your hands today. Fire up those laptops and head on over to the 2020 Census website and fill yours out. You should have received a postcard or mailer in the past several weeks that offers you step-by-step instructions as well as a personally identifying number.

The Census Bureau has done a great job of putting together a website that answers any questions, click here to visit it. Or you can check out our What Moore County Needs to Know about the 2020 Census article here. We’ll check in with Mayor Lewis regularly for updates. •

{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.}

Now could be perfect time to start Motlow ACE Program

LOCAL NEWS — Stuck at home with nothing to do? Now could be the right time to begin Motlow College’s Adult College Express (ACE) program.

Everyone knows that a college degree gives you an edge in today’s competitive jobs market. The ACE program is an adult centered (25+) cohort-based program. Cohort refers to adults who begin the program together and support each other throughout the path to earn an Associate of Science in General Studies or an Associate of Applied Science in Business Office or Entrepreneurship. ACE features flexible class options. Degree completion is possible in 24 months.

“Attending Motlow improved my life and my family’s life,” said Daniel Owens, Motlow ACE graduate. “When I decided to go to college, I knew it would be a tough decision because of family and work demands. Luckily, Motlow offers Adult College Express. It’s perfect for working adults.  It complemented my schedule and allowed me to take on the challenge of college.”

The ACE program offers a convenient schedule, serves as a peer support group, and helps student build a professional network.

ACE encourages the development of study groups to help reinforce learning. Motlow ACE cohort students are more successful in retention, graduation, and four-year institution transfer than non-cohort-based students. The ACE Program is an accelerated program intended for highly motivated, independent learners. Contact ACE today at ace@mscc.edu. •

{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.}

Spring Rabies Clinic held April 4 … curbside

Skunks, raccoons, and other rabies-carrying animals get more active in the spring. Protect your pets at the annual Moore County Spring Rabies Clinic on April 4. {File Photo}

LOCAL NEWS — If your dog or cat needs their annual rabies vaccination or booster, mark you calendar for Saturday, April 4. It will be the only Moore County Spring Rabies Clinic date in 2020. This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, additional clinics will not be held at the usual places like Jiffy Mart, Wiseman Park, etc.

Vaccinations will be available at Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital (LVH) located at 96 Major Boulevard from 8 a.m. to noon. It will be curbside services only. When you arrive, call the LVH at 931-759-5550 and a member of their staff will come out to get your pet. Once inside, they will receive vaccinations, diagnostics, or treatments while you wait outside. Once completed, Dr. Morton will discuss his findings with you.

Rabies vaccines will be $10 per pet, on this date only. Most rabies only shots can be executed in the parking lot. LVH requests that you bring all cats in carriers. If you have questions, contact LVH at 931-759-5550. •

{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.}

Friends of Animals launches new website

Pallo dog
Pallo is just one of the animals available for adoption that you can now view on the Friends of Animals new and improved website. He’s eight months old and gets along great with kids and other animals. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — Donate, foster, volunteer … all of these things are now just a click away for folks in Moore County.

Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center in Lynchburg recently launched a new and improved website. On it, you can meet all the animals currently housed at the center, view adoption fees, and fill out an adoption application. There’s also a calendar of upcoming events and a link to their Facebook page.

The site offers information on how you can donate, foster an animal, or volunteer for the organization too. Locals can donate directly or make donations through Kroger Reward or Amazon Smiles and other affiliate programs. There’s an online store where you can by t-shirts, hoodies, and other items too.

Since it’s launch in 2013, the center’s facilitated adoptions of over 300 pets. Each rescued animal receives vet care including a microchip. To learn more, check out their website. •

{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.}

Promise Manor featured on Tennessee Crossroads

Lynchburg’s Igniter Productions shot a music promo at Promise Manor in January. The local historic home and private events venue will be featured on Tennessee Crossroads this week. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — If you’ve exhausted your Netflix cue recently, one of Lynchburg’s own will be on the small screen beginning Thursday night.

National Public Television’s Tennessee Crossroads will feature local historic home turned special events venue Promise Manor this week. The episodes will air on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. or Sunday, March 29 at 10 a.m.

The first episode of Tennessee Crossroad aired in 1987. Since then, they’ve been crisscrossing the state highways and back roads highlighting the people, places, food, events, and crafts that make our state unique. In the past, they’ve featured other Lynchburg locales like Barrel House BBQ, the Lynchburg Cake and Candy Company, Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant, and others.

Birdie Evans, the mother of Mary Evans Bobo of Miss Mary Bobo’s fame, on the porch at what would become Promise Manor. {Historic Photo}

Promise Manor exists in the historic Green-Evans-Hudgens House on Motlow Barns Road. The NPT crew stopped by to chat with venue owners Dennis and Kayla White last November. The 1850-era home was once the home of Birdie Evans – the mother of Miss Mary Evans Bobo’s for whom Lynchburg’s famous restaurant is named.

The charming locals venue hosts baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, and other private and public special events. It’s built in the Greek Revival style and feature historic murals, and sprawling, landscaped grounds.

To learn more about them, visit their Facebook page or website. If you happen to miss the NPT airing of the episode, you can watch it at the Tennessee Crossroads website. •

{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.}

Lynchburg Nursing Center needs masks, gloves

LOCAL NEWS — On Monday, the staff of the Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) put out a call on social media asking the general public for donations of unused personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical gowns, or exam gloves.

“In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, there has been an increased need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you or anyone you know have extra, unused and unopened N95 masks, isolation/surgical masks, isolation/surgical gowns or exam gloves (vinyl, latex or nitrile), please consider donating them to your local hospital, nursing facility or urgent care facility. Any donations will be put to great use and appreciated by health care’s frontline heroes,” they stated on their Facebook page.

On March 18, LNC made the tough decision to close the facility to visitors, non-essential employees, and vendors. They also stopped all group activities and communal dining temporarily. Despite this decision, the staff is still working hard to connect patients with their friends and families through mail, telephone, video calls, and other technology.

To contact them about a PPE donation, call 759-6000. LNC is located at 40 Nursing Home Road on Highway 55 across from Moore County High School. You can also learn more by visiting their Facebook page or website. •

{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.}

One County, One Call: New Metro department launched during COVID-19 pandemic

LOCAL NEWS — We’re all in this together. It’s in that spirit that Metro Moore County launched a new department aimed at helping our citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, the Metro Mayor’s office, Metro Emergency Management, and Metro Sheriff’s Department announced a new public number to address any unmet needs in our community.

It’s for all Moore County citizens but especially for the elderly and health compromised among us. It’s for things like shopping for a specific grocery item, rides to essential appointments like doctor’s visits, or a wellness check on a friend or neighbor. They can also help with special medical equipment or other needs.

The new number is 931-307-6508. It’s currently manned seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There’s also an answering machine for after 4 p.m. calls. Mayor Lewis reminded citizens that all emergency calls should still be routed to 9-1-1. The Metro Sheriff’s Department also has a non-emergency line 931-759-7323 to report crime.

If you are willing to volunteer or donate services, click here to fill out a simple online form. If you have questions, call Mayor Bonnie Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}