TVA, DREMC partner to keep the lights on in Moore County

STATE NEWS — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) are doing their part to make sure the lights stay on.

On Thursday, TVA announced their intention to extend $1 billion of credit support to local power companies, like Duck River, to give utilities more flexibility in working with customers during the COVID-19-related financial crunch. TVA will defer a portion of any power cooperative or local power company’s monthly TVA wholesale power payment throughout the COVID-19 response.

DREMC also confirmed its commitment to the community on March 19 by announcing that it has stopped disconnections for non-payment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These actions were taken in recognition of the financial hardships some members may face due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand electricity is essential for the health and safety of you and your family during these difficult times.” said Duck River Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Scott Spence.

Moore County residents will continue to receive regular monthly bills and DREMC says that continued payments by those who can pay will be important to keeping future electrics prices low.

“We cannot solve many of today’s national or international problems, but we want to do what we can to help you,” Spence said.

DREMC posted an employee video on their Facebook page on Friday to explain the changes and put customer’s minds at ease. You can view that video by clicking here. Questions? Contact the DREMC Lynchburg office at 931-759-7344. •

{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.}

State cash assistance to needy families is live now

STATE NEWS — The program we told you about earlier in the week goes live today.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services now offers monthly cash assistance to Moore County families adversely affected by COVID-19. The program, which is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Benefits, offers cash assistance from $500 to $1000 per household depending on size. Benefits will be available for up to two months.

To qualify, a family must have children in the household, be at or below the eighty-fifth percentile of the state media income, and be able to show they been impacted by COVID-19. Documentation will include birth certificates, tax returns, school attendance records, or other documentation that verifies that children live in the household.

To apply for the program, 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.}

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.}

Weather Service says Moore County should brace for severe weather on Tuesday

On Monday, water levels at Lynchburg’s Wiseman Park were already unusually high. More thunderstorms are forecast for Tuesday. {A Lynchburg Times Photo}

LOCAL NEWS — The Huntsville National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook notice on Monday afternoon for Moore County. Locals should anticipate widespread thunderstorms associated with a northward moving warm front. NWS says that severe thunderstorms with large hail and gusty winds are possible. A second set of storms that could bring tornado activity could happen in the evening hours.

On Monday morning, the Mulberry Creek and it’s tributaries were already straining their banks. Metro officials issued high water warnings for Winchester Highway, Dick McGee Road, Highway 129 near Booneville, and Main Street. •

{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.}

Bell Buckle cancels Daffodil Day

Daffodil Day cancelled

Updated on March 17: Organizers have cancelled this year’s Daffodil Days scheduled for this Saturday due to COVID-19 public health concerns.

REGIONAL NEW | Bell Buckle — Each spring the rolling back roads leading into tiny Bell Buckle, Tennessee transform into a sea of bright yellow daffodils. Their history dates back to the 1800s, when Webb School founder Sawney Webb took a grim view of students absentmindedly snatching leaves off local plants. To teach them a lesson, Sawney assigned them to bulb planting duty all along the roads that converge into historic downtown Bell Buckle an up towards the school.

The daffodil trail as it’s called by the locals still exists today and many locals have added to it by planting thousands of their own bulbs. Each spring as the original bulbs and the newly planted ones, burst open in the warmer temperature, the town hosts one of the first spring events, Daffodil Day.

Here are three “must dos” the we picked for this year’s event:

1| Beekeeping Seminar – If you’re interested in apiculture or beekeeping as it’s commonly called, you won’t want to miss the Honey and Beekeeping Seminar with Dr. Ed Perryman. An avid local bee enthusiast and member of the Duck River Beekeeper’s Association, Perryman bursts with knowledge about all stages of beekeeping from hive construction to carrying your hive through its first winter. If you’ve ever considered starting your own hive, don’t miss this free seminar.

2| Local Author Book Signings – We’re a big supporter of the #buylocal movement and this includes local authors. The Bell Buckle Coffee Shop and Book Swap will feature three regional authors during Daffodil Day: John T. Wayne, Cabot Barton, and Lathan Hudson. Wayne is the grandson of the legendary John Wayne and a western fiction writer. Barton’s opened for artists like Emmylou Harris and the Georgia Satellites. He writes fiction based on his real world experiences. Lathan Hudson’s authored a memoir about his years in Nashville as a singer, songwriter called Once Upon a Time … There Was a Tavern, Volume 1.

3 | Free Tree Seedlings – Bell Buckle in officially the smallest town in Tennessee to earn the Tree City USA designation. Each spring the city celebrates Arbor Day during the festival and offers free tree seedlings to anyone in attendance. It’s just like taking a piece of Bell Buckle home with you.

Daffodil Day takes place in and around the historic downtown area on March 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information check out the Bell Buckle Chamber of Commerce website. Or for up-to-the-minute events updates, visit 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.}

Live Updates: Moore County Coronavirus Closings

LOCAL NEWS — Sometimes life comes at your fast. Over the past week, we’ve witnessed the coronavirus situation evolve quickly … even in our small town. Things seem to change rapidly. So we’ve gathered a comprehensive list of all the Moore County related closings and postponements in one handy list.

{Editor’s Note: This list is in alphabetical order and will be updated daily. Last update March 17 at 11 a.m.}

Jack Daniel’s Distillery – Brown-Forman will closed the distillery to public tours beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice. Miss Mary Bobo’s and the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store will also close. The Distillery will continue to operate normally. Click here for more details.

Lynchburg Nursing Center – In an effort to protect their vulnerable patient population, the Lynchburg Nursing Center will significantly limit visitors for the time being. The Center is helping families communicate in alternative ways including telephone, texting, and video calls to residents.

Metro Utilities Department – As of Monday, March 16 the lobby of the MUD office in Lynchburg will be closed to walk in traffic. Employees will continue to report to work and the drive through will be open during regular business hours to accept payments.

Moore County Court System – Per an order from the Tennessee Supreme Court, most in-person judicial proceedings in Tennessee will be postponed for the remainder of the month of March. This includes Moore County General Sessions and Moore County Circuit Court hearings. Click here for more details.

Moore County Public Library – The library remains open regular hours but is closed to foot traffic. Patrons may borrow books, videos, and other materials on a drive thru/curb side basis. There are also several ways to access materials online. Click here for more info.

Moore County Schools – All Moore County schools will close on Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed through March 31. Click here for more details.

Motlow College – College officials have decided to extend spring break until March 22. Classes will resume online only on Monday, March 23. Click here for more details.

Oak Barrel Half Marathon – In response to COVID -19 and Distillery’s decision to suspend some operations, the organizer have postponed the annual Oak Barrel Half Marathon until October 24. The event usually takes place in April. Click here for more details.

{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.}

State orders in-person courts, including Moore, closed through March

On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffery Bivins declared a state of emergency … essentially closing all state and county courts to in-person proceeding except in cases where the proceedings are “necessary to protect the constitutional rights of a defendant.”

According to the order, essential individual courts and court personnel will remain in office and “will remain open under all circumstances” but most in-person proceedings will be postponed.

“Each day across the State of Tennessee, thousands of people attend court proceedings in-person when they come to the courthouse as jurors, witnesses, litigants, or in another capacity. Public spaces in courthouses tend to be small, tightly packed bench seats that provide the type of situations public health officials have encouraged people to avoid during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins.

“However, judges, court clerks, and others provide essential constitutional functions that must be carried on. In issuing this Order, the Court struck a balance in limiting the public’s exposure to the virus with continuing essential court functions judges must provide to ensure the administration of justice.”

Exceptions to the order would include orders of protection, emergency child custody hearings, emergency matters of child protection, temporary injunctive relief, mental health orders, emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable individuals, and any proceedings directly related tot he COVID-19 public health emergency.

Court proceedings will be limited to necessary individuals only and closed to the general public. In the event the court offices are closed to the public, those office would remain “open” through telephone and email during regular business hours. Drop boxes would be used to file official court documents.

“This is new territory for everyone,” Chief Bivins said. “We encourage judges, court clerks, attorneys, law enforcement, and others to work together to develop creative solutions that work for their individual jurisdictions. The goal is to limit the number of people coming into court each day while continuing to meet our duty and administer justice. We may amend this Order as the situation evolves, and we understand more about the obstacles judges and court staff are facing.”

To read the order in full, click here. •

{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 School Board meet March 9

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro School Board will meet Monday night in regular session beginning at 6 p.m. New business on the agenda includes policy reviews, field trip to be presented of board approval, and an update on teacher resignations. Director of Schools Chad Moorehead will also give a MCHS and MCMS construction update, discuss budget priorities for the 2020-21 budget, and present system maternity leave. To view the complete agenda, click here.

All Metro School Board meeting take place at the Central Office located behind Lynchburg Elementary School. All meetings are open to the general public. To have your item added to an upcoming meeting or for questions, call 931.759.7303. •

{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.}

MUD announces billing, due date changes

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Utilities Department announced on Tuesday that they’ll be making significant billing changes beginning in July. As a result, your due dates, invoice format, and account numbers will all be changing.

According to a press release, the changes will happen “to allow enhanced usage information and more online options for reviewing and paying your water bill.” Consequently, all water meters will be read on the last full week of any given month and all MUD bills will arrive the first week of the month. Then bills will be due no later than the 15th of each month.

“We understand that you may have to make adjustments to accommodate the new due date,” MUD officials told The Times. “During the months of July and August, we will waive any penalty or late fee for bills due on the 15th and not paid until after the 25th of the month. Any payment received after the 25th of the month will incur a 10% penalty.”

After the month of August, all due dates and penalties will be applied as stated on the bill. Any customer on automatic payments through ACH, will see those payments post on the 15th unless that date falls on a weekend. In that case, automatic payments will be processed the first business day after the 15th.

Starting in July, members can also login into the Metro Utility Department website to view their usage, or pay their bills online.

“We’re excited about many of the new offerings we will be able to provide in the future as a result of this change but we also understand how changing the due date can be disruptive. That’s why we will work with you to make this transition as easy as possible,” MUD officials said.

For more information, contact the MUD offices at 931.759.4297. •

{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.}