Metro Moore seeks FEMA reimbursement

LOCAL NEWS — According to the Tims Ford Dam rain gauge, Moore County received over 11 inches of rain from February 5-12. During that time period, Metro Public Safety officials received 49 calls about flooding and downed trees, according to Director Jason Deal.

On Wednesday, February 12, a severe thunderstorm with intense straight line winds blew through southern, middle Tennessee around 6:30 p.m. That single night the Metro call center received 17 calls reporting downed trees. Thanks to quick work by Metro Public Safety … as well as a few neighbors with chainsaws … all those road were cleared by midnight.

Louse Creek road remains closed from Spencer Ridge Road to Rick Garland Road due to a mudslide and unsafe hillside conditions.

With all these disaster-related events lately, Metro Moore will be seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)re-imbursement for qualifying work, Public Safety Director Jason Deal told the Metro COncil on Monday.

On Tuesday, Director Deal met with FEMA officials to estimate damage. The FEMA re-reimbursement rate is $3.84 per capita and based on the total population of Metro Moor County. According to the latest census data, Moore County’s population is around 6,384 people. This mean Moore County could qualify for a little over $24,000 in federal reimbursement money.

Director Deal will report back to the Metro Council at their next meeting, which takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{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.}

Metro wins traffic signal grant

LOCAL NEWS —Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis just happened to be with a state transportation official last November when he noticed that the traffic lights notifying drivers of a school zone in front of MCHS on Highway 55 were barely visible.

“There’s a transportation grant to help with that,” he told her. “But I’m pretty sure the deadline is today.”

Later that day, Mayor Lewis sat in a doctor’s office parking lot applying for the grant on her mobile phone. Five months later, TDOT awarded Metro Moore County a $31,000 grant to install new traffic signals at the high school.

“I’m pretty sure we had some of the oldest lights in that state,” Mayor Lewis told the Metro Council on Monday. “And their visibility is pretty bad.”

The Traffic Signal Modernization Program (TSMP) grant is a pilot program designed to help Tennessee counties to modernize existing traffic signal equipment, upkeep, and operations. The state funds 100 percent of the TSMP and gave away a total of $250,000. Metro Moore received the highest individual grant.

According to state officials, the goals of the grant include reducing traffic accidents, traffic congestion, improve visibility, save energy, reduce maintenance costs, as well as automate the collection of traffic count data.

According to Mayor Lewis, the state will begin work on the new lights at the same time state officials add a turning lane at the high school. •

{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.}

Mayor: Sanitation ordinances need teeth

LOCAL NEWS — Garbage being thrown out the back door to collect on the lawn … garbage being thrown out the front door and rolling down the hill … properties that look like a junk yard there are so many dead vehicles lying around. Issues like these affect property values, cause neighbor disputes, attract vermin, and tie up local officials with constant complaint calls, according to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, and she needs “teeth” to address them properly.

“We have these laws on the books,” she told the Metro Council on Monday. “But we need teeth to be able to enforce them.”

She’s right. There’s an entire chapter in the Metro Codes book relating to health and sanitation. For example, Metro Code 5-102 states that all persons within Metropolitan Moore County are required to keep their premises in a clean and sanitary condition, free from accumulations of refuse. Metro Code 5-206 addresses health and sanitation nuisances stating that it’s unlawful for any resident to allow any premise owned, occupied, or controlled by them to become and remain filthy. There are also laws revolving around stagnant water, weeds, dead animals and other public health issues.

Sheriff Tyler Hatfield reminded the Metro Council that these offense are civil and not criminal.

“We can cite them into General Sessions court but without consequences and fines, it won’t do much good,” he said.

Mayor Lewis did not come to the meeting without a plan and offered several recommendations which included: official letters from a Metro official to offending homeowners, a fine schedule, the formation of a Metro Sanitation Board, and even charging repeat offenders for clean up and adding it to their property tax bill.

Metro Council member Sunny Moorehead recommended looking at how surrounding counties handle the issue and using the parts of their plans that make sense for the county.

Metro Attorney John T. Bobo also added that Metro would need to handle situation where the offender and the property owner are not the same.

“We’d also want to be very careful not to place ourselves in the middle of private disputes,” he added.

The Metro Council will address the issue further at a future meeting. The next Metro Council meeting takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{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.}

Locals raise money for Special Olympics Basketball team

Three Lynchburg athletes play on the Independents Special Olympics Basketball Team, the Independents: brother Brad and Thad Reeves, and Tim Sullenger (all far right). {Image Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — For such a small town, Lynchburg really does have an enormous heart. Two local businesses have partnered to support three Moore County Special Olympians.

Lynchburg boasts three outstanding athletes on the Special Olympics Tennessee Area 13 – Lower Cumberland Region basketball team: Tim Sullenger, and brothers Brad and Thad Reeves. Two Moore County small businesses are hosting a public fundraiser to help get their team, The Independents, new jerseys.

Velma’s Candy and Lynchburg T Shirt Company are working together to purchase not only new jerseys but matching shorts for players. They’re using the Facebook fundraising feature to raise money. Their goal is $600. As of this article, they reached $465 of that goal. Click here to donate. Or if you would prefer to give in person, please stop by Lynchburg T Shirts located at 359 Majors Bolevard. One hundred percent of all money raised will go to the team. Any additional money raised will be donated to the team to help cover their team travel expenses. •

{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.}

Sandefur competing for Inked Magazine cover girl

Sara Grace Sandefur, formerly of Lynchburg, is competing to be Inked Magazine’s newest cover girl. She is the daughter of Dean and Kellie Sandefur of Moore County. {Photo Provided}

Inked Magazine named one of Lynchburg’s own a contender to be its newest cover girl. Sara Grace Sandefur, formerly of Moore County and currently of New York City, is competing for the coveted spot, which also happens to come with a $25,000 cash prize.

She now lives in New York City and works as a barber at Artisan Barber. She self-describes on the contest website as an “animal lover, humanitarian, tattoo collector, and huge supported of doing what you need to do to make yourself happy.”

She says first first tattoo was the crescent moon on her left hip that she got for her mother, Kellie Hope Sandefur of Lynchburg. She says that if she wins the prize she’ll use part of the cash award to support Care.org’s Women Empowerment Fund.

She’s currently #1 in her group. If you’d like to vote for her, click here. Voting will end on Thursday, February 20 at 11 p.m. As winner, Sara Grace would also win an opportunity to work with celebrity photographer Christopher Kolk for the cover shoot. •

{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.}

Weather Officials: 100% chance of rain in Lynchburg on Wednesday … here’s what you need to know

LOCAL NEWS — Moore County’s experienced 2-3 inches of rainfall over the past 48 hours according to the National Weather Service’s Huntsville office. The ground’s saturated and water levels are already near flood stage at most local water bodies. Here’s a run down of all the facts you need for Wednesday to be weather aware:

• Moore County will be under a Flash Flood Watch beginning around 4 p.m. on Wednesday and extending through Wednesday night. The watch also included parts of Franklin and Lincoln counties.

• Residents who live in low lying areas or poor drainage areas should have a plan. Local officials also warn drivers to avoid driving through standing water on the roads. Remember … turn around don’t drown.

• On Wednesday, storms could produce wind gusts as high a 35 mph. The ground’s already saturated, so the possibility of power outages due to down trees is high. To report a local outage, call the Lynchburg office at 931-759-7344. If the line is busy, do not call 9-1-1, simply hang up and try again. If you have Internet access through your mobile phone, you can view their outage map by clicking here.

Items to have on hand in case of an outage include a flashlight, batteries, a manual can opener, and a battery operated radio. Also, if someone in your home uses power operated medical equipment be sure to have a back up power source on hand. Also, always have a back up location planned in the case of an extended outage.

• Parts of Louse Creek Road between Spencer Ridge Road and Rick Garland Road remain closed due a mudslide with unstable hillside conditions. Until the ground dries, there isn’t much the local highway department can do. Locals should detour around the area.

Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for constant updates throughout the day. •

{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.}

DREMC plans workshop to help Moore County residents lower energy bills

LOCAL NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) will host free Home Energy Workshops in six local communities, including Lynchburg, during the month of March. The Lynchburg event takes place on Tuesday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m. at the American Legion Building.

Launched in 2017, over 750 southern, middle Tennessee residents have attended the workshops, which aims to help locals reduce their electric consumption through proper attic insulation and air selling as well as other money saving tips. Each family that attends will receive a free Home Energy Kit, which includes caulk, outlet and switch gaskets and more, to begin making energy efficiency improvements.  

“Proper attic insulation is a key element in making your home more energy efficient and comfortable,” says DREMC’s Residential Energy Advisor Pat Garrett. “For all-electric homes, heating and cooling accounts for about 50 percent of your electric bill. In the workshops, we not only share how much insulation is recommended for your home but also over 100 other energy efficiency tips to help lower your energy bills.”

DREMC will provide lunch. The event is free but reservations are required. If you can’t attend the Lynchburg workshop, workshops will also be held in Decherd, Manchester, Chapel Hill, Columbia and Shelbyville. For complete detail, 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.}

TVA releasing water at Tims Ford

LOCAL NEWS — It’s great weather for daffodils and ducks but water levels are reaching maximum capacity at Tims Ford Lake. As such, TVA announced today that they’ll be releasing water at Tims Ford Dam until further notice.

So far in February, the Tims Ford Dam rain gauge recorded 9.1 inches of rain. That’s after an also wet January of over eight inches of rain in Moore County. And more rain is on it’s way.

The Huntsville National Weather Service office reports that Moore County remains under a Flash Flood Watch until 6 p.m. tonight. Rain will begin again Tuesday night and heavy rainfall is expected Wednesday including a risk of severe thunderstorms. Saturated top soil and gusty winds on Wednesday could topple trees, resulting in power outages.

As always, locals should use extreme caution on all local water bodies due to high rainfall amounts but especially those below the dam, like the Elk River, where water levels and water flow rates can change quickly.

For more information on TVA lake levels, visit their website or download the TVA Lake Info App on both iPhone and Android. •

{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.}

Time to register for presidential primary running out

LOCAL NEWS — The Presidential Primary is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 and those who haven’t already need to make getting registered to vote a priority. County primaries and primaries for state judicial officers will also be held that day. The voter registration deadline is Monday, February 3.

Moore County resident may register online to vote. In order to do so, voters must have a valid driver’s license or Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID. If you don’t have either of these, you can print the voter registration form (click this link) and submit it by mail.

In Tennessee, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Tennessee, at least 18 years of age on or before election day, which takes place on Tuesday, November 3 this year.

If you’ve been convicted of a felony, your eligibility to vote depends on the crime you were convicted of and the date of your conviction. Example of ineligible offense include voter fraud, treason, first-degree murder, misconduct involving a public official, aggravated rape, and sexual offense with a minor. For complete information about the restoration of voting rights, click here.

Early voting will begin on Wednesday, February 12 and end on Tuesday, February 25. The absentee ballot request deadline is also Tuesday, February 25.

If you miss the voter registration period for the primary, there will still be time for new voters to register before the November election. All new voters must register 30 days before the election.

To register to vote online, click here. The easiest way to keep up with election day deadline, find a polling place, or see a sample ballot is the GoVoteTN app available on iPhone and Android. Click here to learn more. For local questions, call the Moore County Voter Registration office at 931-759-4532.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated community 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.}

Motlow’s business program accreditation reaffirmed

Motlow State’s business programs were recently reaffirmed accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Pictured is Dr. Jeff Horner, executive vice president for academic affairs and student success, during a presentation to Motlow faculty. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — Motlow isn’t just interested in offering business programs to check off some box in a course catalog. In 1991, the local community college sought and received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) … making them one of the first to achieve the honor. The ACBSP recently reaffirmed that accreditation … verifying that the programs offer a rigorous educational experience and demonstrate continuous quality improvement.

“Motlow submits its academic programs through the review process for the purpose of reaffirmation as a mechanism to make certain our programs meet current industry needs,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow president. “We want to ensure students that the programs we offer and develop meet the agile nature of industry to be warranted as market-relevant.Our students deserve programs that emphasize application beyond and alongside theory so they can compete for the best jobs.”

So who is the ACBSP? It’s a leading specialized accreditation for business education. It currently accredits business programs at nearly 1,200 campuses in 63 countries.

“It’s important for families to understand that ACBSP accreditation is at the program level,” said Dr. Jeff Horner, Motlow executive vice president for academic affairs and student success. “Motlow is regionally accredited institution-wide by SACSCOC. Regional accreditation is a must for any college. What we’re talking about here is program-level accreditation. Program accreditation is an optional, deeper level of quality commitment that we electively pursue to ensure the highest level of instruction for our students. We do this because we are vigilant in ensuring the quality and value of our curriculum.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated community 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.}