Deputy, subject exchange fire on Saturday

MOORE COUNTY — On Saturday, Moore County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) responded to an armed, suicidal subject that ended in an exchange of gun fire.

According to Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield, deputies arrived on scene at a Powell Hollow Road home around 2:40 p.m. Once on scene, deputies attempted to make contact with the subject inside his home but were unsuccessful. As deputies checked other buildings on the property for the subject, he appeared at the garage door and confronted deputies before going back inside.

“Before other personnel could arrive, the suspect exited the home and began walking in the back yard with a weapon. At 3:13 pm, the suspect fired two rounds from a handgun and soon walked into a barn located on the property and closed all the doors,” according to a press release.

Around 3:25 p.m., additional MCSD personnel arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the home to protect neighbors. Moore County Volunteer Fire Department, Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, and Tennessee Highway Patrol also closed all surrounding roads. Moore County EMS remained staged nearby in case of emergency medical needs.

The armed suspect then exited the barn and started a dialogue with deputies who were trying to prevent him from re-entering the home because MCSD believed more weapons were inside. Soon after, the suspect started walking toward a gate that led back into home.

That’s when a MCSD deputy attempted to stop him by non-lethal means and used a taser.

“When the taser was deployed, a deputy advanced on the suspect in an attempt to subdue him in conjunction with the taser deployment. At this time, the suspect retrieved a 9mm pistol from his waistband, fired a shot, and was subsequently shot by the deputy,” according to the press release.

The deputies and EMS rendered aid on scene before transporting the suspect to Tullahoma Airport, where he was flown to Vanderbilt Hospital for further treatment. According to Sheriff Hatfield, the suspect remains there in stable condition.

Local authorities notified District Attorney General Robert Carter and requested that TBI investigate. No other details are available at this time. •

{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 resident tests positive for COVID-19

LYNCHBURG — According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, a resident at Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) has tested positive for COVID-19. That will raise Moore County’s total case count to four. Due to HIPPA privacy laws, no other patient details were available.

Life Care Centers of America owns Lynchburg Nursing Center as well as 200 other skilled nursing centers across 28 states. In early March, they announced that they’d be limiting visitors significantly due to the COVID-19 situation.

LNC removed the COVID-19 positive patient and transferred them to an area hospital for advanced medical care. All staff, residents, and their families were immediately notified.

According to Mayor Lewis, should the patient return to LNC they will stay in a prepared isolation area away from other patients for at least 14 days.

Free COVID-19 testing is available weekdays at the Moore County Health Department. To make at appointment, call 931-759-4251. The state also announced this weekend’s drive thru testing locations which include the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center on Saturday and the Giles County Agripark on Sunday. For a full list of weekend testing sites, 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.}

April 28 COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know Today

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 10,052 (a 134 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 188 deaths (four more since yesterday). According to the state, 4,921 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 49 percent of reported cases. As of today, 161,928 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | Moore County continues to hold steady with just three cases. Regionally, Bedford County has the most cases with 167 – a two case increase since yesterday. Coffee County has 33 cases. Franklin County has 32 cases and Lincoln County reports 12 cases.

2 | Today COVID-19 cases in the state exceeded 10,000. Part of that increase is likely due to an East Tennessee hotspot. Over 50 residents and nine staff members at an Athens nursing home have tested positive for the virus.

3 | Tennessee will begin antibody testing soon in two phases. According to Governor Bill Lee’s office, the state will test 10,000 healthcare workers first. Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey stressed that the tests will be used “disease monitoring” only since the presence of antibodies does not necessarily correlate with immunity.

4 | In his press conference today, Governor Lee state that he will offer guidance of re-opening gyms and churches later in the week.

5 | According to the mobility data clearinghouse, Unacast, Tennessee now gets a D in social distancing, on their most recent Social Distancing Scrorecard report, which is based on citizen cell phone data. Earlier in April, our state had earned a C. Moore County earned a B overall, with just three confirmed cases and a 40-55 percent reduction in mobility. Click here to see that data. •

{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.}

Essential: Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital’s Brittany Parks

{Editor’s Note: This is the ninth 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.}

Brittany Parks of Moore County has worked at the Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital for the last seven years. She says pandemic or not, giving animals the best possible care is always their mission. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

Life looks a little different these days at the Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital (LVH) located on Majors Boulevard just off the historic Lynchburg Square, according to vet tech student Brittany Parks. Parks, a Moore County resident, has worked at LVH for the past seven years.

“I love the medical aspect of it,” she says referring to working with the LVH patients. “I just prefer animal medical instead of people medical. The animal stuff isn’t as contagious as the people-to-people stuff is.”

She says in late March – for their safety and the safety of their patient’s human companions – Drs. Wendy and Bryant Morton as well as the LVH staff decided to work curbside until further notice. Today, they give pet vaccines, help sick animals, and handle emergencies … all while owners wait patiently outside.

“We go out, get the patient, do their exams, and then go back out and go over what we found with the owners,” Parks say. “We don’t bring the owners inside at all.”

Parks says the back and forth increases the amount of time it takes to see each animal.

In addition, they now work with limited staff. Two of LVH’s five normal staff members chose not to work through the COVID-19 situation because they fall into the high-risk population. Parks, along with vet assistant Tessa Metcalf, receptionist Macey Cross, and Dr. Morton now work four days a week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Lucy, the office cat, stays in house twenty-four seven. Parks says, the LVH staff now does twice the cleaning, twice the laundry, and executes more steps per visit with just a staff of three.

Even in a global pandemic, local animals still experience emergencies. Animals get hit crossing local rural roads. They accidentally ingest poison. Pets suffer accidents and falls just like humans do.

“It’s also spring dog fighting season, and things need to be stitched up,” Parks says.

Parks says that Dr. Morton often works after hours emergency calls on his own but sometimes, he needs assistance. She says as a group they felt as if shutting down completely just wasn’t an option.

When we ask her what the one part of a “normal workday” she misses most, she says having the ability to truly comfort an owner who’s made the difficult decision to euthanize their beloved pet. Not being able to be hands on is difficult, she says.

“I can still be in the room with them,” Parks says. “But I can’t put my arm around them or hug and comfort them.”

Parks lives in the Harry Hill area of Moore County with her husband Dale, stepsons, Bradley and Joshua, and daughter, Ashlee. A third stepson, Daniel lives nearby in Shelbyville. When she is not at work, she says her family takes the same precautions of everyone else and fills their quarantine days outside gardening and working on her family farm with the goats, horses, chickens, a calf, cats, and five new Australian shepherd puppies.

In the end, Parks says that even with a reduced staff and different procedures, all of the staff at LVF are doing their best to give all animals the best possible care with as little frustration as possible.

“If we weren’t there, where would they go?” •

{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.}

School Board meets Monday … virtually

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County School Board will resume business on Monday night but not as usual. April’s regular session meeting will be held online. To listen, click here.

On the agenda for the April 27 meeting, the Board will review policies based on TSBA recommendations, as well as vote on as Board resolution to suspend some policies due to COVID-19.

Director Moorehead will present a request from the annual Bike to Jack and Back fund-raising ride to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The group requested the use of the LES campus for camping during their October 17-18 event. October’s set to be a busy month for Lynchburg. The second annual Lynchburg Music Fest will take place at a yet undisclosed location on Oct. 2-3 and the Jack Daniel World Championship Invitational BBQ will take place in Wiseman Park on a new date this year, Oct. 10. The Oak Barrel Half Marathon – which normally takes place in April – will happen on October 24.

Director Moorehead will present a letter of resignation from varsity boys head basketball coach Heath Hardin. He will also discuss with the Board how refunds for this year’s senior trip – which was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns – will be allocated. Varsity cheer sponsor Erin Rutledge will also request permission for the 2020-21 squad to attend cheer camp at Tennessee Tech University.

Driector Moorehead will give a report on the construction progress at MCHS, graduation plans, prom, and the LES Gym floor replacement.

To view a full agenda, click here. The online meeting is available to the public beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Moore County Schools 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.}

Essential: Jack Daniel Lead Lexie Amacher

{Editor’s Note: This is the eighth 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.}

“Since 1866, we’ve never done anything like this,” says Lexie Amacher of Jack Daniel’s, referring to the pivot from making whiskey to hand sanitizer. {Photo Provided}

“Since 1866, we’ve never done anything like this,” says Jack Daniel’s Lead Lexie Amacher. We caught up with her recently to talk about the transition from Jack employee to essential employee during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She’s one of dozens of employees who usually oversee the day-to-day tasks of making our local product that gets shipped all over the globe from the tiny town of Lynchburg. Today, her mission is much closer to home.

Mid-March, Jack Daniel’s and their parent company, Brown-Forman, decided to shut down public tours here in Lynchburg due to COVID-19. Soon after, the research and development department in Louisville, along with the production staff here in Lynchburg, got busy pivoting from whiskey to another type of alcohol … namely the high-proof variety that gets used to make hand sanitizer.

It’s a quick change that came with the some unique hurdles.

“The very few times we’ve ever tried a new recipe it’s always come with its own obstacles,” she says. “We do a pilot run in the lab, but you never really know what it’s really gonna be like until we do it on a large scale.”

The high-proof ethyl alcohol the distillery now produces gets mixed with glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients into a CDC and WHO approved formula meant to be sprayed on surfaces and allowed to air dry. At first, the distillery’s goal was just to produce small batches for employees and local front line workers. It wasn’t long until they realized the demand would quickly outpace that supply. Today, Amacher says the distillery has partnered with two other companies to put out over two million gallons of the stuff a month … and counting.

Amacher says day-to-day the steps in making whiskey and making neutral, distilled alcohol aren’t that different but it’s the social distancing that makes it unique. Like every other essential business, distillery employees clean multiple times a shift, wear face masks, and work further apart than usual. In the end, Amacher says her goal and the goal of every distillery and Brown-Forman employee is to just keep each other safe.

When she’s not busy at the distillery, Amacher says she and her fiancé, Josh Phillips, who works in Single Barrel production, stay busy with projects just like the rest of us. They’ve given the landscaping an upgrade and refinished the kitchen cabinets.

“We’ve also done lots of spring cleaning,” she jokes.

When we asked her what she’s misses most about “normal” life, she’s quick to answer.

“I really just miss people … my friends and my family. Talking on the phone is one thing but not getting to see anyone for long periods is just not what we’re used to … you really take it for granted until it’s gone.” •

{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.}

Essential: The seamstresses of Moore County

{Editor’s Note: This is the seventh 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.}

Jack Daniel’s Steve May and local seamstress Lisa Swift discuss plans to make temporary masks for the distillery’s production staff. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

Lynchburg Homeplace Director Steve May sits on the Lynchburg Square in his shiny black pick up … waiting on an important meeting. He’s got a box filled with bandanas, coffee filters, shoe strings, and other materials. His mission: to enlist an army of Moore County seamstresses to fashion handmade masks for the 650 employees of Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

“Each seamstress, on a good day, can make 10-20 masks,” he says. “So I’m looking for all the help I can get.”

A few minutes later, Diamon Gussett Manager Lisa Swift arrives. She’s traveled from her hometown of Petersburg to enlist. They discuss design options, materials, and a timeline and then she’s off. A few days later, May reports that he’s found nearly 20 local seamstresses to help with his mission.

“They are a huge asset to our community,” May says. “We are very fortunate to have these unsung heroes among us.”

It’s a sentiment Jack Daniel’s representative Svend Jansen echoes.

“We made the decision very early on to close all of our visitor experiences at Jack Daniel’s. At the same time, we’ve worked extremely hard to keep our employees safe while also being able to make our Tennessee whiskey. As the demand for face masks increased, our team came up with an innovative way to create temporary masks for our production employees out of Jack Daniel’s bandanas until we are able to secure more permanent sewn masks.” 

Around the corner, Barbara Hills of Honey Bunny Mercantile is also making masks as fast as she can. She’s delivering her masks to the distillery and letting officials there distribute them wherever there is the most need. She also says she’s making masks and shipping them to family members in New Jersey, which has the second highest rate of infections in the U.S.

“I feel that by making the masks, we’re helping to stop the spread of this virus,” Hills says. “It is the only way to do it besides staying at home.”

Moore County masks of love

Across town, Moore County local Norma Stone sit busy at her sewing machine. On a normal day, you might find her at the Lynchburg Ladies Handiworks Store on the historic Lynchburg Square. Today, she’s making as many masks as she can to hand out to area first responders and medical professionals like her granddaughter Stonie Read, who recently graduated from nursing school at Martin College. She’s also been making masks for other essential folks, like the cashiers at Woodard’s Market and the Dollar Store. At press time, she’d made nearly 250 masks.

“I wanted to help people,” Stone says. “And give people who had to be out some protection.”

Stone is one of several local seamstresses working together through the Moore County Family Consumer Science (FCE) Club’s Masks of Love project – organized through the UT Extension office. Club members, local 4-H students, and volunteers have worked day and night recently to provide 780 masks to folks in Moore County. The team of seamstresses includes including Stone, Valerie McKenny, Linda Wolaver, Rita Watkins, and Sara Hope.

Staff at Woodard’s Market show off there protective masks made by the seamstresses of Moore County through the FCE Masks of Love project. {Photo Provided}

“They have put in countless hours,” says UT Extension’s Brenda Hannah. “They deserve the highest honor for having a gift that can be used for our county for a time of need.”

If you or your organization needs masks, contact Hannah at the UT Extension office at 931-759-7163 or through their Facebook page. •

{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.}

Get a “Career in a Year” with Motlow’s new program

LYNCHBURG — Education is the pathway towards more success but not all high-paying careers require a two or four-year degree. That’s the idea behind Motlow College’s new Career in a Year program. They developed it to help local students determined to build a new profession in a short period of time.

Adult learners age 25 and older can use the Tennessee Reconnect scholarship to attend Motlow tuition-free as receive certification in one of seven programs: mechatronics, paramedic, supply chain management, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technician advanced, early childhood education technical, and customer service.

“The Career in a Year concept supports individuals who are looking to explore, create, or build a new profession in a short period of time,” said Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Melody Edmonds. “We offer a variety of one-year certificate programs that can provide the right path for any of these motivations.”

For more information about the Motlow Career in a Year program go to mscc.edu/careerinayear or contact the MotlowAdmissions Office at (931) 393-1520 or email admissions@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.}

State parks will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{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.}

Essential: Patsy Kennemer and the Moore County school nutrition staff

{Editor’s Note: This is the sixth 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.}

School nutrition staff (from left to right) Edde Warwick, Patsy Kennemer, Sybil Dye, Tammy Weddington, Helen Neece, Lisa Locke, Lynette Ivey, JoAnn Bean, Susan Thomas, and Joy Byrom have prepared over 9,000 meals since March 17. {Photo Credit: Stacy Preston}

For School Nutrition Supervisor Patsy Kennemer and the Lynchburg Elementary school nutrition staff life looks very different today than it did just two months ago. Before, their weekdays typically filled with the sounds of student chatter and the comfort of daily routine. They’d come in early, get their tasks accomplished, and then reset for the next school day. Then the COVID-19 health crisis hit and local officials closed Moore County schools after a recommendation from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

Today, no students roam the halls of Lynchburg Elementary. There are no filled classrooms, no recesses, and no buses lining up in the afternoon. Even so, Kennemer says the school nutrition staff is busier than ever. They went from preparing just 60 meals each day to over 200. Students pick up meals on Mondays and Thursdays. On those days, student receive not only a hot lunch but also pre-wrapped meals for the following days.

“It feels surreal now going to work and not hearing the laughter of the children echoing through the cafeteria,” says Kennemer. “But our day-to-day tasks are still about the same at the school.”

School Nutrition Supervisor Patsy Kennemer
School Nutrition Supervisor Patsy Kennemer {Photo Credit: Stacy Preston}

For many students, lunches to go are an opportunity to get out of the house, see familiar faces, and maintain a sense of normalcy. For others, it’s a saving grace during these uncertain times.

“I have heard many parents say they are so thankful for this service because they have lost jobs or income just isn’t coming in like it used to,” says Kennemer. “This helps people who normally don’t have issues with feeding their children.”

Kennemer says LES cafeteria changes aren’t just for students. She’s also working hard to keep her staff safe. They reworked their kitchen layout and the meal pick up area to keep staff separated.

When we ask her about the moment she felt most essential, she demurs and instead gives much of the credit to her dedicated staff.

“There are truly many people who are deserving of the title of hero,” she says. “Since we began serving meals on March 17, we have served over 9000 meals. I know firsthand the amount of time, dedication, and preparation that it takes to make it all happen.”

She says some of her staff stand out front offering a warm smile and a hot meal … even in the pouring rain … while others works behind the scenes preparing food as quickly as possible but they all deserve recognition for the outstanding public service they are doing.

When we asked what part of “normal” life she and her staff miss most, she answers immediately.

“The daily interaction we have with kids … it’s great to start your day with a smile from a child.” •

{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.}