State Officials: 2020 tick season could be worse ever

With so many people flocking outdoors, health officials say we should be extra diligent about avoiding tick bites. {File Photo}

Forget Murder hornets … state officials say locals should worry more about ticks in 2020. According to officials with the UT Ag Extension office, mild temperatures and lots of rain this winter will combine for higher than normal number of the creepy little bloodsuckers – especially in May and June when they tend to be more active.

According to local vet Dr. Bryant Morton, he’s already seeing both dogs and cats suffering the affects of tick bites this year and the season’s barely begun.

When it comes to pets, Dr. Morton advises that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of veterinary cure, which can often be lengthy, expensive, and largely unsuccessful. Dogs most commonly suffer from rickettsial disease, which causes shifting leg lameness, reoccurring fevers, and overall malaise. In cats, bobcat fever is more common. Both collars and topicals are available for both dogs and cats that kill ticks but they are notoriously difficult to repell, according to Dr. Morton. Owners can also give dogs oral monthly products.

Human exposure greater due to COVID-19

In Tennessee, there are 15 different ticks species many whose bite can cause serious disease in humans. In fact, 60 percent of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever cases in the United States come from just five states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Experts expect another trend to affect the number of local tick bites this season. Due to COVID-19 concerns, a greater number of people are spending time outside now more than ever.

When spending time outdoors, especially in wooded areas and tall grass where ticks like to hide, experts recommend wearing long pants or spraying your clothes with tick repellent. Experts say throwing your clothes immediately in the washer or in a hot dryer for 10 minutes when you get home will keep ticks from lingering. You should also shower within two hours.

It’s a good idea to thoroughly check yourself and others for ticks when you return. If you locate one of the creepy little hitchhikers, pull it off with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. It’s also a good idea to throw the specimen into a plastic container and preserve in the freezer in case illness symptoms develop later. This will make both diagnosis and recovery easier.

For more information about tick-borne diseases, check out the state health department’s 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.}

Moore 4-H plans (virtual) fishing tournament

Moore County 4-H will sponsor a virtual kid’s fishing tournament May 22-29. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — Can you social distance and participate in a Memorial Day fishing tournament? Heck yeah.

UT Extension, Tennessee State Extension, and Moore County 4-H are partnering for a virtual fishing tournament for kids 9-18 this weekend through next Friday. Just take a photo of that catch and boom … you are entered. The category will be for longest fish (large mouth bass, small mouth bass, striped bass, crappie, walleye, trout, or catfish). All photos must show your fish on a measuring board or next to a measuring tape with the head to the left. Any photo without a measure will not be judged.

It’s free to enter. Simply email your photo to lburtts@utk.edu or text it to 931-675-1590 by no later that 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 29. Submitted fish do not have to be caught in Moore County. •

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

Tim’s Ford State Park Pool will not open this summer

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Tennessee State Park officials announced this week that all public pools located inside state parks will not open this summer due to COVID-19 concerns. Tim’s Ford State Park Pool was already scheduled to be closed this summer for maintenance.

State park official stated they made the decision because there is no way to safely social distance at a pool. They also cited the unique challenge of keeping lifeguards safe.

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges for managing pools. Pools are confined spaces not conducive to social distancing,” park officials said. “The very nature of lifeguarding requires close contact with pool users and creates potential for unnecessary risk in life saving situations.”

The state parks system re-opened on May 1 and offers many other water-based summer activities like swimming along shorelines, fishing, boating, and paddling.

For more information about the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 response and guidelines, click here. For more information about Tims Ford State Park, 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.}

5 Things to know to eat dandelions (safely)

They’re not just for making flower crowns or making wishes. Dandelion are completely edible and come with lots of health benefits. {File Photo}

Just because you can’t buy it at the local grocery store doesn’t mean it’s not nutritious and delicious. The common Dandelion (yeah, that thing in your yard you think is a weed) is rare among edible wildflowers because humans can consume every part.

The wildflower is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Native Americans boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach.

You can make tea with it, eat it raw in salad, or make it into wine. It’s a fresh spring green that’s very versatile. Here’s how to forage it safely:

1 | Make sure they aren’t sprayed. Dandelions are everywhere in spring but not every homeowner and landowner is a fan. Make sure you’re picking dandelions in a spot that hasn’t been sprayed with fertilizer or pesticides.

2 | Clean them thoroughly. Small, microscopic insects often cling to the bottom of dandelion leaves. Swish the green around in a deep pan and cut open the crowns to make sure you don’t have any stowaways.

3 | Start small. Even you’ve never eaten dandelions before it’s best to try a small amount first. Eating too much could spark an allergic reaction or stomach discomfort.

For more information of recipes to make with dandelions, check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac 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.}

Spring Honey Bee Swarm: What to do if you spot one in Moore County

Honey bee swarms are basically a cluster of bees out in the open. They’re just looking for a new home. If you see one, call a local beekeeper or the local UT extension office. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — It’s a little unnerving. You’re out for a casual walk in the woods when suddenly you spots a large cloud of bees on a nearby tree. Sometimes they show up in your mailbox or inside the walls of your home. It’s loud and a sting seems unavoidable. But no need to worry, it’s just honey bees looking for a new, bigger home. They’re harmless and might need some help. Here’s what to do if you spot one:

1| Don’t panic. During a swarm, honey bees are very docile. They’ve outgrown their hive and are laser-focused on finding a new, bigger space. They aren’t really worried about you.

2 | They aren’t mad. Honey bee swarms put off a lot of energy but they aren’t mad or defensive. It’s very unlikely you’ll get stung.

3 | Don’t kill the bees. No honey bees, no food … as pollinators, honey bees are crucial to the food supply chain. A swarm means they are growing and spreading and that’s a good thing. Don’t destroy them or throw rocks or spray them with water or pesticides.

4 | Call a professional. The best thing to do is walk away and call a local beekeeper who will be more than happy to relocated the swarm for you. In Moore County, Kerry Syler, Billy Allen, and John Ferrell are three local producers of honey. You can also call the Moore County UT Extension office at 931-759- 7163 and they’ll direct you. •

{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 plan virtual 5K; proceeds benefit the Honey Project

You can run the Honey Bee Virtual 5K any day between May 17-23. {Art Provided}

Get out of the house. Get moving and get out there and save the bees.

May 20 is World Bee Day and to celebrate Tennessee State Parks will host a virtual 5K with all proceeds benefiting the Tennessee State Park Honey Project. Both Henry Horton State Park and South Cumberland State Park participate regionally.

The race takes place May 17 through 23. Locals can run (or walk) the virtual race from anywhere and at their own pace. The registration fee is $20. All participants will receive a bib by email. A finisher’s medal and certificate will be sent by mail.

The Honey Project helps establish honeybee hives in parks across Tennessee to help folks learn about pollinators. Since pollinator health is critical to Tennessee’s agricultural, environmental and ecological health, these tiny insects open the door to discuss a myriad of environmental issues. TSP also bottles and sells state park honey in area gift shops.

To register for the race, click here. To learn more about the TSP Honey Project, 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.}

Wildlife Officials: Leave fawns where they lay

State wildlife officials say the best thing you can do for any newborn fawn you discover is to leave it where it lays. The mother will usually return soon. {File Photo)

Bambi doesn’t need your help and you don’t want to be guilty of fawn-napping. That’s what state wildlife officials say.

It’s that time again … fawn season. Mama deer seems to have their babies in the oddest places … under your azaleas, in the hay field, or on your back lawn. As deer populations increase and natural habitats decrease, the likelihood that a deer mistakes your yard for the forest are good.

Many locals discover fawns and immediately think they’ve been abandoned by their mom and need help. Not true, say Tennessee Wildlife officials.

Fawns, unlike foals, don’t walk right away. They often need several days to get their legs under them. In the meantime, their spotted pelts look like dappled sunlight on the forest floor and offer great camouflage. Fawns don’t carry a natural scent, so predators won’t be drawn to them unless humans interfere.

Even if you can’t see her, Mama Deer isn’t far away. She’s likely feeding out of sight, so as not to unnecessary alert a predator to her newborn. She’ll come back, usually around dusk, but certainly not if her fawn has been moved or humans are hovering nearby.

It’s also not a good idea to take the fawn to keep as a pet because it’s illegal. In Tennessee, deer (as well as American black bears and wild turkeys) can only be kept by bona fide zoos and TWRA authorized wildlife rehabilitators.

There are some case when a Good Samaritan should intervene. For example, if the fawn is clearly injured or there’s a dead doe nearby. In that case, you should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitators. For a list of rehabilitators in this area, 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.}

Lynchburg Farmer’s Market kicks off May 22

The Lynchburg Farmers’ Market kicked on Friday, May 22. Due to heavy rain, there first market took place in Wiseman Park but future events will take place just off Major’s Boulevard as an open air market. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — Homegrown fruits and veggies, local honey, artisan foods, fresh flowers, crafts, fresh-made breads, handmade soaps … you can find it all at local farmers’ markets. Plus, there’s no better way to support our local farmers.

The very first Lynchburg Farmer’s Market kicked off last Friday. But due to heavy rainfall, organizers were forced to forego plans to kick off the season as an pop-up, open-air market in the open lot at the corner of Majors Boulevard and Mechanic Street directly across from the Moore County Public Library. Instead, the inaugural farmers’ market took place at Moorehead Pavilion in Wiseman Park.

The next public market will take place on Friday, June 5 in the new location and every Friday after that from 2-5 p.m. There will be onsite parking available for around 15 or so, and Mayor Lewis says she’s working on securing overflow parking. Market attendees are asked not to park along Majors Boulevard or Mechanic Street as it presents safety issues.

If you are interested in being a vendor at this year’s market, 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.}

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.}

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.}