School Board votes to revise school-closing trigger at Monday’s meeting

The Moore County School Board moved the “school building closure” trigger Monday night at their regular season meeting.

Previously, the board approved a Reopening Framework that stated as long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reached above 33 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

On Monday, the Board changed that decision-trigger to be based on absenteeism at any given school rather than the amount of community spread. At the time of the meeting there were 26 active COVID-19 cases in Moore County.

After the meeting, Director of School Chad Moorehead said he preferred a plan that allowed parent the most personal choice.

“I felt that it was important that this section of our framework for reopening be changed.  Since our school system is allowing parents to choose between in-person and remote learning, we have a hybrid model now that is responsive to individual homes,” he said. “There may be a point that we have to transition to full remote learning for a period of time but I feel like personal choice is the best option.  If the spread of the virus increases rapidly parents can choose to move to remote learning for their own children.  We are all working hard inside the schools to be as safe as possible and to be able to keep the buildings open.”

The revised plan also stated that community events like the rate of sickness, hospitalization rates, etc will also be considered in addition to school absentee rates. It also states that administration may choose to close individual schools for 3-5 day for thorough disinfecting should smaller outbreaks occur.

To read a complete copy of the Metro School Board Reopening Framework, click this link.

School Board meetings take place the second Monday of each month at the Central Office Building located on the Lynchburg Elementary Campus. Each meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can also be attended virtually. The next meeting takes place on September 14. •

{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.}

Census workers start knocking on Moore County doors today

Heads up. If you haven’t already voluntarily replied, a U.S. Census worker may be headed to your front door as early as today. {File Photo}

Because of the U.S. Census, we know things about the population of Moore County. There are approximately 6,322 folks living in Lynchburg and their average age is 45. Moore County encompasses 129.2 square miles with 48.9 people per square mile. Moore County is 51% female.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution – Article 1, Section 2 to be exact – the federal government must take an accurate count of all living persons inside the United Stated every 10 years. Census numbers help determine how billions in federal dollars are spent. They also determine how many seats in Congress the State of Tennessee gets.

We told you back in June that U.S. Census workers would be heading to Moore County doors soon. This morning, a little birdie told us they are now on their way. Moore County citizens who have yet to respond to the 2020 Census should expect a knock at their door … maybe as early as today. If you aren’t home or don’t answer, by law, they can come back up to six times.

It’s a short questionnaire with less that 10 questions per person. It includes your first and last name, sex, age, and race. That’s it. Click here to view a sample of the questions. Census takers will never ask about your religion, political affiliations, or income. They will also never ask for your Social Security number of financial information.

All U.S. Census worker wear official identification complete with an ID badge number. If you suspect the person, get their badge number and call the U.S. Census Regional Office to verify them. Tennessee is located in the Philadelphia Regional office along with Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. You can reach them at 800.262.4236 or via email at Philadelphia.Regional.Office@census.gov.

And remember, by law, your answers on the U.S. Census can never be used against you by any government agency or court. Getting an accurate count of every person living in Moore County is important. For more information, visit the U.S. Census website. •

{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, 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.}

Jack Daniel hosts virtual music festival to benefit musicians affected by COVID-19

Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard (left), singer, songwiter Nathaniel Rateliff (top right), and California indie band Cold War Kids (bottom right) will headline Jack Daniel’s Distillery virtual music festival this Friday and Saturday to support musicians affected by COVID-19. {Photos Provided}

Our local product and live music have a storied history together. From Frank Sinatra’s professed love of Old No. 7 to the recent release of the limited edition Eric Church Single Barrel Bottle … where you find great music, you’ll usually find a bottle of Jack.

Live musicians like the ones we flock to see on Lower Broadway or at Bonnaroo … well, they are struggling. Festival cancellations and music venue closings have upended their livelihoods.

Enter Jack Daniel’s Distillery … together with Crash the Couch, they are raising funds for the Sweet Relief COVID-19 Musicians Fund. On this coming Friday and Saturday (August 14 and 15), Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Cold War Kids will headline the two-day, online festival on Jack Daniel’s YouTube channel.

Denver-based singer, songwriter Rateliff and California indie rock band the Cold War Kids will headline Friday night along with opening acts like Tank and the Bangas, Hiss Golden Messenger, the Suffers, and Goldlink. Alabama Shakes lead vocalist Brittany Howard will headline night two along with Black Pumas, Brandy Clark, Houndmouth, Durand Jones, and Yola. All performances will be filmed from the artist’s homes all around the country. There performance will be interspersed with live cocktail demonstrations.

So login, make a donation, and raise a glass. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned, 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.}

Library book club picks The Crane Wife for August read

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County Brown Bag Book Club recently announced they’ll be reading The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness for their August pick.

It’s the retelling of a Japanese folktale. In Ness’s retelling, he imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man might be transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that mysteriously lands in his backyard.

“One night, groggy American expat George finds himself tending to an injured crane that bizarrely appears in his London backyard. The next morning, Kumiko — a quiet, independent woman — soars into George’s life. She vaguely reminds him of the crane and leaves him wondering whether he was dreaming. As if in a storybook, Kumiko brings opportunity, human interaction and love to the lonely man but remains an enigma. George’s yearning to know more about her threatens their relationship and endangers their lives,” their synopsis reads.

The Crane Wife book cover

Ness is a southern-born author who grew up in Hawaii and now lives in London. He has won the Carnegie Medal twice, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award.

The Brown Bag Book Club meets every Friday at the Moore County Public Library. The group usually ends and begins a new book on the last Friday of each month. However, they will finish this novel early on Friday, August 14 so that they can move on to “the perfect suspense, mystery book,” according to their social media post. We’ll post that pick as soon as they release it. •

{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’s active COVID count increased by 19 this week

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Department of Health}

MOORE COUNTY — According to Saturday’s confirmed COVID-19 numbers released by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), Moore County’s total new confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 19 in the last seven days – from 42 on August 2 to 61 today.

Regionally, Bedford County gained 56 new cases. Coffee County gained 111. Franklin County increased by 40 and Lincoln County gained another 29 cases.

Active cases could trigger school hybrid plan

Of particular importance is the number of active Moore County cases. According to today’s numbers, there are 28 active and 33 recovered cases. This number is important because there are active case triggers in place in the Moore County School System to help Director Moorehead and the School Board decide when it’s appropriate to close Moore County school buildings and transition to remote learning.

As long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reaches above 32 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

If the number of active cases rises above 65 (or 1%), then all learning will happen remotely. If Moore County sustains it’s new active case rate, students could transition to a hybrid schedule in the next two weeks.

However, on Friday, Director Moorehead stressed that the active cases benchmark is not a state mandate but rather a school board approved threshold that could be revisited.

Hospitalization seems to be stabilizing

After a jump of over 100 new patients hospitalized with COVID-19 the third week in July, the hospitalization rate in Tennessee seems to be stabilizing. After hospitalizing an nearly an additional 2,000 COVID patient is July (286 week one, 369 week two, 471 week three, and 465 week four), the rate increase by a 466 the first week in August.

According to the TDH, there are 338 of 2,030 (or 17 %) of available ICU beds in the state. In a bit a good news, 67% of Tennessee’s ventilators are available as of Saturday. To see complete hospital capacity numbers, click here. To view the state’s COVID statistics site or learn more about rates in individual counties, click here. •

{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.}

Bradshaw shocks in Democratic primary

A Memphis environmentalist and single mom defeated a Nashville attorney last night in an upset win that had political tongues wagging on Friday morning.

Five candidates vied for an opportunity to run against the Republican nominee to replace retiring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. Marquita Bradshaw won with 117,345 votes in a staggering upset win. She will face off with Bill Hagerty in the November election.

Others vote totals were Gary Davis (30,733), Robin Kimbrough (87,846), James Mackler (78,568) and Mark Pickrell (16,012).

Noelle Bivens and Christopher Hale faced off for an opportunity to run against incumbent Scott DesJarlais for U.S. House of Representatives District 4. Hale got 16,089 (58.9%) of the vote compared to Bivens 11,218 (41.1%). In Moore County, Hale also beat Bivens by a 145 to 74 margin.

Chase Clemons ran unopposed for Tennessee Senate District 14. He will face off with Shane Reeves in the November election. •

{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.}

Harrison and Cauble win in County General Election

Moore County is an interesting place to be on Election Nights. Locals gather around the Lynchburg Gazebo waiting on results to be written in on the big board. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

As polls closed in Moore County at 7 p.m. on Thursday, as is tradition, folks started gathering near the gazebo on the square for election results. Local General Sessions Judge Terry Gregory served as the “unofficial” town crier as he moved back and forth from the County Building bringing out the new precinct totals. Election nights in Lynchburg are a charming, small town affair.

There were only two contested race this year in the County General election: Metro Council District 4 and Assessor of Property. Road Superintendent candidate Shannon Cauble was officially running unopposed but local Chris Bateman ran as a write in candidate.

Four candidates vied for three seats on the Metro Council District Four. The final votes were Peggy S Blackburn 190 votes, Arvis N. Bobo 220 votes, Bradley K. Dye 229 votes, and Patrick A Maynard 175 votes. The top three won. New members Blackburn and Dye as well as incumbent Bobo will represent District Four at the next Metro Council meeting.

Two candidate competed for Metro Assessor of Property. Incumbent Wayne Darrin Harrison won with 1,058 votes. Rhonda L Sawyer earned 592 votes.

In uncontested races, Amy L. Cashion, Sunny Rae Moorehead, and Shane E. Taylor were all elected to the Metro Council’s three First District seats. Keith Moses will continue to represent District 3 at the Metro Council.

Shannon F. Cauble (1,301 votes) will become our next Road Superintendent. She bested write in candidate Chris Bateman (298 votes).

Three new Metro School Board members won in uncontested races: Greg Thompson, District 2; Nathan Buchanan, District 4, and Tanya Vann, District 5.

William Noles was also elected to the Urban Service District. He also ran unopposed. •

{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.}

Motlow encourages graduates to stay on track during the pandemic

Officials at Motlow State encourage would be college freshmen to move forward with their fall college plans. {File Photo}

As we enter the month of August, there are so many unknowns. For recent high school graduates, one of those is the uncertainty of the on-campus experience at college campuses across the country. In fact many would-be freshman may be considering sitting out this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they could lose $90,000 in lifetime earnings, according to Motlow State Community College.

That opinion’s based on a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that stated that taking a gap year reduces the return to college by a quarter and can cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost lifetime earnings.

CBS News, referencing the same report, says, “About half of the long-term earnings losses come from forgoing the $43,000 salary that new graduates typically earn in their first year of work after graduation.”

Wage increases are steeper at the beginning of young professionals’ careers — the graduate who earns their degree at age 22 can, by the time they are 25, expect to earn an average of $52,000, according to the analysis by economists Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz. 

“Being a year behind, these differences add up each year, so that those graduating later never catch up to those who graduated earlier. Together, these costs add up to more than $90,000 over one’s working life, which erodes the value of a college degree,” Abel and Deitz write. 

As such, Motlow State encourage the class of 2024 to enroll and reminds them that there is still time to do so. Classes begin Aug. 24, and there is still time for prospective students to apply. Returning students should register for fall 2020 classes as soon as possible. Motlow will hold an on-campus Enrollment Day on Monday, August 10 in Fayetteville. You can also enroll online at this link. •

{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.}

Second Harvest addresses COVID-19 related food insecurity

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is looking to help Moore County non-profits address food insecurity in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Tennessee Community CARES Program. {File Photo}

Did you know that one in eight Middle Tennesseans including one in seven children struggle with hunger daily? The COVID-19 pandemic and all it’s complications has only made things worse but help is on the way for Moore County non-profits seeking to make life easier.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee announced today that they will serve as one of six administrators across the state to help distribute $150 million in grant monies made available by the Tennessee Community CARES Program. Grant applications will remain open through August 15. Click here to access the application.

The point of contact for Moore County non-profits interested in receiving grants that address food insecurity will be Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. You can apply by following this link. The point of contact for other COVID-19 related needs will be the United Way of the Mid-South. Click here for to learn more about their grant administration process. All eligible recipients must be a 501(c)(3) organization.

“We are grateful to be chosen as one of six grant administrators for the Tennessee Community CARES Program to help families suffering increased food insecurity due to the pandemic and encourage local groups and non-profits to apply for these grants,” said CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank Nancy Keil. “This funding will be crucial in helping our partner agencies and other non-profits across the state make sure no children or family goes hungry during this difficult time.”

Funds can be used for expenses occurring from March 1, 2020 through November 15, 2020 and related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The intention of the grants will be to address situations created by or made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of activities that might receive funding include educational support for school-aged children and their families exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak, workforce training, emergency food assistance, care for at-risk populations, emergency assistance to help locals avoid eviction or foreclosure, etc. For a full list of qualifying activities, click here.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the state’s press release. Grant awards will also include a monthly reporting requirement and a de-obligation date of November 15.

Other statewide non-profits assisting in administering the funds include United Way of Great Chattanooga, United Way of Great Knoxville, United Way of Great Nashville, and Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. •

{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.}

Tims Ford plans evening canoe, kayak floats

Tims Ford State Park will offer an evening float for both canoers and kayakers on Friday. {File Photo}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Floating on the picturesque Tims Ford Lake is always fun but a sunset float adds a bit of drama.

Officials at Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County plan an Evening Canoe Float and an Evening Kayak Float on Friday, August 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Participants should meet at the Fairview Campground Check In Station. If you prefer to kayak, the state park will also host a Sunset Kayak Float at the same time.

Life jackets can be provided for either float for both adults and youths but the state park can not supply vest for children weighing under 50 pounds.

The cost of the Evening Canoe Float is $25 and you can register by clicking here. There were eight spots available at press time. The cost of the Evening Kayak Float is also $25 and you can register by clicking here. There were six spots available at press time.

For information about event at Tims Ford State Park visit their website or like their Facebook page. •

{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.}