MCHS hosts Red Cross Blood Drive

Blood supplies in southern, middle Tennessee are low. The Health Occupation Students of America chapter at Moore County High School plan to help by hosting a Red Cross blood drive on Tuesday, January 26. (File Photo)

Blood is a perishable and vital product that can only be replenished through the generosity of live donors. Each blood and platelet donation can save the lives of as many as three friends and neighbors.

Across the country blood supplies remain critically low. Winter months usually make it difficult to collect the blood and platelets necessary to adequately supply area hospitals like Vanderbilt Medical Center at Tullahoma. Seasonal illness, busy holiday schedules, colder temperatures and now, the COVID-19 pandemic make it harder to get donations. In that spirit, the American Red Cross reminds locals that January is National Blood Donor Month.

The Health Occupation Students of America chapter at Moore County High School plan to help. They plan an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, January 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment contact the high school at 931-759-4231 or visit the American Red Cross website and enter the sponsor code MooreCoHSchool.

You can streamline your donation time by pre-qualifying for a blood donation through the Red Cross Rapid Pass process on the website. You can also download the Blood Donor App onto your smart phone.

MCHS will host a second American Red Cross Mobile Blood Drive on Wednesday, March 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

MUD survey push back could cost taxpayers money

The Metro Utilities Department (MUD) needs the community’s help. In order to qualify for a Community Block Development Grant, 24 percent of its customers must respond to a simple income survey. Without those survey responses, the burden of a mandatory MUD water pressure project will likely fall squarely on taxpayers. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Federal dollars – especially free don’t-need-to-be-paid-back dollars like those offered through Community Block Development Grants (CBDG) – often come with strings and documentation requirements. It’s just the way government funding get accomplished.

Each February, counties, cities, and urban communities across the United States apply for CBDG money in the hopes of making community improvements without using taxpayer money. Metro Utilities Department recently started the CBDG application process in order to address water press issues in the southern part of the county. In order to qualify for the grant, MUD must successfully survey a percentage of its Moore County water customers and that’s not sitting well with some locals, who showed up at Monday night’s Metro Council meeting to voice their objections about the “invasion of their privacy.”

As previously reported, the CBDG officials can not pull the required information from the most recent Moore County Census data. Instead, MUD must independently gather survey information in order to show the need in Moore County. Thanks in part to the number of local high paying jobs provided by the distillery and others, tiny Moore County ranks seventh among Tennessee’s 95 counties in per capita income. This often disqualifies us from needs-based grants, which results in higher water and sewer prices than surrounding counties.

At Monday’s meeting, MUD officials told the Metro Council that state law requires the local utility to deliver a minimum pressure of 20 pounds per square inch (psi) to local taps.

“We are dangerously close to hitting under that requirement in some parts of the county,” MUD officials said. “If it’s not corrected, no only would we risk breaking state law but it would also limit growth in the county and the approval of new water taps.”

Metro Council member Bradley Dye reminded his fellow council members as well as members of the audience that whether Metro Moore County gets approved for the CBDG funding or not, “these are issues this county is going to have to fix, so we need to try and get all the help we can get.”

Metro Council member Tommy Brown added that the water pressure project is one that will help everyone in the county.

Bottom line, Metro Moore County needs a 24 percent survey response rate to move forward with the CBDG application process. If MUD fails to receive that percentage of completed surveys then it’s likely that $630,000 that would have been funded by the federal government will fall on local taxpayer shoulders.

The survey includes 13 simple questions like name, address, details of the household make up, and total annual income as well as a signature and contact phone number. All information collected will remain confidential and will only be used for the grant application process. MUD customers may return the survey with their January payment or drop it off separately at the MUD offices drop box or Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis’s office located inside the Moore County Courthouse. All completed surveys are kept under lock and key inside a safe at the MUD offices. Mayor Lewis also says the the survey result will not be tabulated locally but at the South Central Tennessee Development District offices.

For more information about the survey, contact the MUD offices at 931-759-4297 or the Metro Mayor’s office at 931-759-7076. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Attention MCHS Class of 2022: DREMC invites you to enter writing contest for scholarship dollars

February 19 is the deadline for MCHS juniors to enter the DREMC Creative Writing Contest. At least one student from Moore County will win. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) invites high school juniors across their service area – which includes Moore County – to enter their 2021 writing contest. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the year’s winner will not tour Washington D.C. as a group. Instead, applicants will be eligible to win higher education scholarship funds. The deadline to enter is Friday, February 19 and the winners will be announced after March 26.

One student from Moore, Maury, and Giles counties and two students from Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, and Marshall counties will be selected. Home school students are also invited to apply.

To enter the DREMC Creative Writing Scholarship Competition, students should submit a 750 to 900 word short story that explores how Tennessee’s electric cooperative help build a brighter Tennessee. Entries will be judged on appropriate treatment of the theme, originality, as well as grammar and composition.

The top essay winners will qualify for additional college scholarship dollars awarded by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association (TECA) for the state’s top-judged stories.

“I’ve been working with the TECA for my whole teaching career with this essay contest,” said MCHS’s Lisa Price Moorehead. “It’s a fabulous opportunity.”

MCHS students with questions should contact Moorehead at the high school or DREMC’s Connie Potts at cpotts@dremc.com or 931-680-5881.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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 plans to return to campus in Fall 2021

As spring semester approaches at Motlow State, the college turns an eye toward returning to on-campus learning in the fall. (Photo Provided)

LOCAL NEWS — Spring 2021 remote and virtual classes begin on January 19 but Motlow College says its eye is on a return to in person learning by fall 2021. That plan, of course, is contingent upon the status and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Currently, new COVID cases continue to trend upward but more slowly than during the after Thanksgiving surge. Moore County gained two new, active cases overnight and have confirmed 47 new cases over the last seven days. Our positivity rate is currently 25.5 percent and we rank eleventh in daily new cases among all Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Students, employees, and visitors are currently still required to complete a self-assessment health form before coming to campus during the Spring 2021 semester. Additionally, those on campus will continue to be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and follow additional protective measures.

According to a press release, Motlow remains optimistic about its fall plans but leadership will make a final determination about fully returning to in person learning by late summer. Motlow says that current planning is based on Tennessee’s vaccination plan and Motlow’s pattern of success in its pandemic response.

The approaching Spring 2021 semester will continue to operate using an alternate schedule. The alternate schedule allows most classes to meet online in a virtual environment, with on-campus exceptions made for required course completion in programs such as nursing, mechatronics, and emergency medical services. College faculty and staff are available virtually Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Motlow’s new website, which debuted recently, includes easy and intuitive navigation to apply to the College, review updated campus and COVID-19 information, choose a course or program, and contact critical services such as the library and disability, counseling, and advising.

New students planning to attend Motlow beginning Summer or Fall 2021 are encouraged to apply by Mar. 31 to ensure completion of payment, planning, financial aid processing, orientation scheduling, and any needed placement testing before their term begins.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Partners for Healing wins mental health grant

Partners for Healing Nurse Practitioners Heather McAlister (left) and Faith LeGrone (right) will help more local working uninsured patients receive mental health treatment thanks in part to a grant from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. (Photo Provided)

REGIONAL NEWS — Social isolation due to the global pandemic, the stress of working from home and remote learning, our state’s opioid crisis … it can all feel overwhelming. But thanks to new grant, one local healthcare provider will be able to allocate more resources toward mental health.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) recently awarded Partners for Healing – a non-profit organization serving the working uninsured in Moore, Coffee, and Franklin counties – a $5,000 grant to address mental health issue in this area. According to Partners, the funding will allow them to expand its relationship with Centerstone Mental Health Care and increase the number of mental health appointments made.

“I am so excited to work with Partners for Healing to address the mental health and improve the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Partners for Healings Nurse Practitioner Heather McAlister.

Partners was among the 350 nonprofits across 40 Middle Tennessee counties that received their share of over $2.2 million in grants during the 2020 annual grantmaking process. Established in 2001, Partners for Healing serves as a free primary medical clinic for those who live or work in Moore, Franklin and Coffee counties. To qualify for services, applicants must have a total household income of less than 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and at least one member of the household must work a minimum of 20 hours each week.

For more information about receiving mental health or other healthcare from Partners for Healing, call them at 931-455-5014 or to learn more visit their website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Moore County citizens can now pre-register for COVID vaccine

According to the state website, there’s no new COVID-19 vaccine headed to Moore County this week but there’s now a state website where citizens can pre-register for the next round. (File Photo)

STATE NEWS — Despite the fact that there are again no additional shipments of COVID-19 vaccine headed to Moore County this week, Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis says she feels optimistic that that will soon change and that the next round of public vaccinations in Lynchburg will go much more smoothly than the first.

“The Tennessee Department of Health recently launched an online registration portal so that Moore County residents can make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Mayor Lewis through Metro’s social media page. “We will do what is needed to assist our seniors set appointments.”

You can now pre-register for a vaccination by clicking here.

Vaccine rollout changing constantly

Like any major health initiative that requires federal, state, and local coordination things tend to evolve quickly. Such is the case with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Moore County. On December 21, Assistant EMA Director Hunter Case became the first person in Moore County to receive the vaccine. For the next two weeks, local health department officials focused on vaccinating all Moore County 1a1 and 1a2 individuals like high exposure health care workers, first responders, and healthcare workers with direct patient exposure. On January 2, Moore County held it’s first public vaccination date for citizens 75 years of age and older.

It was a frustrating day for both local health care workers and those trying to get the vaccine. Mayor Lewis says local officials learned lessons that day and that future public vaccination dates will be by-appointment, drive thru events held at the new ballpark located along Main Street.

Originally the plan was to move vaccination events to Wiseman Park but after some deliberation, Mayor Lewis and local health care workers decided it would be easier to control the temperature for those administering the vaccine with a tent at the new park rather than an open air pavilion.

“The plan is to have the tent up and ready by the time we get the next shipment of vaccines,” said Mayor Lewis.

As of Monday, there was still no next shipment headed to Moore County, according to the state website. The Vaccine Information Sheet for Monday, January 11 stated that limited vaccine would be available in Bedford County but Coffee, Franklin, and Lincoln counties would also no receive additional vaccines this week. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Former Lynchburg resident living in D.C. explains what she experienced on January 6

Former Moore County resident and 1988 graduate of MCHS Pamela Pipes now lives in Washington D.C. She witnessed the events of January 6 first hand. (Photo Provided)

July 4, 1776 … January 1, 1863 …September 11, 2001 … these dates are instantly recognizable to most Americans. As the story of last Wednesday continues to develop, January 6, 2021 will likely join those infamous dates as one defining American history.

A timeline of January 6, 2021

Around 6 a.m., thousands of Donald Trump supporters began to gather near the White House and National Mall for the Stop the Steal Rally. Organizers scheduled it to begin around 11 a.m and President Trump began speaking just before noon.

“Our country has had enough,” Trump told the crowd. “We will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”

Whether he meant those words to incite the crowd or they were simply fiery rhetoric will be debated in the public square for a long time. Regardless, after he uttered them, the crowd — many waving Trump flags and others dressed in tactical gear — headed toward the Capitol Building. When they arrived, some remained on the grounds and protested peacefully while others had a different plan.

By 1 p.m., portions of that crowd stood on the Capitol steps facing off with law enforcement who attempted to block their entrance. By 1:30 p.m., they’d muscled their way through the east entrance and into Statuary Hall. Thirty minutes later, others in the crowd breached the west side of the Capitol and both seemed headed toward the House and Senate chambers where members of Congress were executing the official Electoral College vote count. As those outside chanted, “hang Mike Pence,” Secret Service whisked the Vice President to safety and instructed members of both chambers to shelter in place for their own safety.

All this happened as a shocked nation watched on social media as well as television and those who work and live in D.C. fled to safety.

A local perspective from a former Lynchburg resident

Former Lynchburg resident Pamela Pipes was one of them. A 1988 graduate of Moore County High School, Pipes made her way to D.C. via North Carolina after attending the University of Florida in Gainesville where she studied American Sign Language.

We reached out to her on social media to give us some insight as to what it was like to witness the events of January 6 first hand.

Lynchburg Times: How did you get to Washington D.C. and what do you do there?

Pipes: In North Carolina, I pursued a second degree in sign language interpretation. My dream job has always been to be a sign language interpreter. To put myself through school, I started working part time at Starbucks. I thought it would be a means to an end but found out that with 20 hours a week, I could get full benefits. So I moved forward working at Starbucks and interpreting — working two jobs part time. Then in 2018, Starbucks decided to open its only United States signal language store in Washington D.C. and I moved here. My goal in October of 2018 was to stay here for one year and help the new store get off the ground. By 2019, I was so in love with this city that I decided to stay.

LT: Did last Wednesday feel monumental to you leading up to the events or just like any other day?

Pipes: I had strong concerns. Was I fearful? No. Was I concerned and paying attention? Yes.

Pipes says she gets up a sunrise six days a week to exercise. Based on the vibes leading up to January 6, she decided to take Wednesday as her rest day and just stay inside.

LT: Where were you when things escalated at the Capitol Building and how did what was happening alter your day?

Pipes: I’m currently doing virtual sign language interpreting for the local public school system. Normally, I interpret at an elementary level but that day they asked me to interpret for a high school government class. The subject that day was our two party system.

Pipes says she knew it would be an extraordinary day even by D.C. standards. The Stop the Steal Rally was happening and Vice President Mike Pence planned to be on The Hill for a joint session of Congress and the vote count.

Pipes: When Pence is on The Hill, it’s a big deal. The rally added to the excitement, so I could feel all of that building up but I didn’t expect what happened. No.

Pipes says as she interpreted virtually inside her basement level D.C. apartment, she could witness things developing through the street level window opposite her desk.

Pipes: I live in a very residential neighborhood called Capitol Hill less than 10 blocks from the Capitol. It’s little row homes and nannies out pushing strollers in the middle of the day. It’s usually very quiet. So when I saw one police vehicle, then a second, and then an ambulance I knew something was going down. When I finished my session, I looked at my phone and my notifications said protestors had breached the Capitol. It was a 9/11 moment for me.

Pipes says Wednesday brought the same disbelief she felt on September 11 when a plane hit the Pentagon with her father Dr. John Pipes, inside. Dr. Pipes worked at AEDC as an Aerospace Engineer when the Pipes family lived in the Ledford Mill area of Moore County. He then took a spot at SAIC in Huntsville before landing at the Department of Defense.

Pipes posts photos of Washington D.C. nearly every day on her social media and the iconic Capitol Building seems to be one of her favorite subjects. (Photos Provided)

LT: We follow you on social media and you post wonderful, iconic shots of your current city almost everyday. It’s clear you have a love affair with the place. Can you speak to that?

Pipes: This city is absolutely more than I could have imagined. It’s much more outdoor friendly that I expected. It’s definitely a walking city. The beauty of the horticulture here — the gardens, the green spaces — as well as the iconic buildings … it’s just this melding of the architecture and the outdoors. It feels obvious to me that our founders were very proactive about creating a special space.

The photos started out as just a me thing but then I received such an overwhelming positive response from my friends that I just kept going. Then COVID hit and people just really needed to see something pretty, so I dialed it up a notch.

LT: The Capitol Building seems to be one of your favorite photography subjects. Can you tell us what makes it so special to you?

Pipes: Again, the architecture just blends beautifully with the surrounding open green spaces. I see these things daily. The beauty of that space with the sacred idea behind it is just special. Every time I see that building, it just fills me with hope. I can’t look at it every day and not be inspired with the “today we’re going to get it right, America” energy. That’s what that building represents to me — the idea that we can have a difference of opinion, two sides if you will, but we can also bring it together for the greater good.

Pipes says she still remembers being in Washington D.C. in 1988 during the annual MCHS Senior Trip and loves comparing images from then and now.

Pipes: I never expected to fall in love with it this much but I did.

LT: Your daily walks are a ritual for you. How has the scenery changed since January 6?

Pipes: I didn’t leave my apartment Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. I stayed inside for 72 hours because of what happened. I went for a walk on Saturday and the landscape has definitely changed.

Pipes says fencing and concrete walls now surround the Capitol on all sides keeping folks both local and visiting far away from it. She also says there is a glaringly obvious National Guard presence in D.C. with two soldiers seemingly posted every 50 feet or so.

LT: What does is feel like to know that bombs, Molotov cocktails, and a functioning gallows complete with noose were found after the events of January 6?

Pipes: It does not feel good. It’s gotten to be very scary. The FBI also asked everyone in my neighborhood to submit their Nest and security footage from January 6 and there’s a reward for any information that leads to an arrest. I’m now living in neighbor where the FBI is actively looking for clues. That doesn’t feel great.

Pipes says that Tuesday morning she herself noticed and reported an abandoned backpack near the a building on First Street that faces the Capitol.

“It just looked out of place,” she said. “But I didn’t stick around. I’ll never know if it was a thing. I just reported it and kept on walking.”

Pipes says she fully supports the rights of Pro-Trump folks to protest but it’s the guys dressed in all black tactical gear who seem to be highly organized that get her attention.

“The majority of the people I’ve seen as these MAGA marches are just people coming to D.C. to exercise their First Amendment rights,” she says. “It’s the ones that are highly organized, systematic, and strategic that I think we have to worry about. They also stand out. They clearly aren’t protestors and obviously not locals.”

LT: Can you juxtapose the vibe in D.C. prior to January 6 and after? Is there a different feel now or is it business as usual.

Pipes: It is not the same. It is not business as usual. Obviously, the National Guard presence and the fencing leave little uncertainty that things are changing. Everybody is hyper aware.

LT: Many fear that because those who forced their way into the Capitol have yet to face consequences that they’ll be back on Inaugural Day but possibly armed this time. Can you speak to that?

Pipes: That’s my biggest concern. I’m now anxious about January 17 – 20. January 17 is now the publicized date for the so-called Million Militia March meant to be a series of protests leading up to the Inauguration on January 20.

Though Pipes admits she’s left leaning on social issues but mostly center, she says that regardless of who won, she was excited to attend her first Inauguration but now her plans have evolved first by COVID and now by the riots at the Capitol.

“I just can’t go knowing that between my front door and the Capitol Building there could be potential bombs,” she says. “And that my America right now as I speak to you. I have to worry about bombs in my quiet little neighborhood. It just makes me sad.”•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Surprise deliveries of free books showed up in Moore County mailboxes this week

Local kindergartener Abriella Smart, says she felt excited this week when an unexpected box of books arrived in her mailbox. All Moore County students in grades K-3 received the book packs as part of a state literacy program aimed at preventing the “COVID slide.” (Photo Provided)

Did your local kiddo receive a mysterious book delivery in the mail this week? It’s part of a a new state literacy program aimed at preventing so called “COVID slide” in kids grades kindergarten through third grade.

Moore County was one of over 50 school districts participating in the K-3 School Year Book Delivery Program, which will deliver books and literacy resources directly to the homes of students and teachers, at no cost to families or participating school districts. Book packs consist of ten high-quality, grade appropriate books with guided activities and tips for parents to engage with students as they read. Book packs and resources are expected to begin being delivered to students’ and teachers’ homes by the end of 2020 and began arriving at Moore County homes this week. Additionally, K-3 families will gain access to engagement tips via text.

“The School Year Book Delivery program is an incredible opportunity for our state to make important early literacy gains,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This partnership could not have come at a more important time, as many students, families and teachers are working hard to make up for classroom time lost last spring. Building literacy skills early is foundational to lifelong educational success and the department is grateful to GELF and Scholastic for their work to expand access to high-quality books and literacy resources and help students and families read together at home.”

The new book delivery program comes on the heels of a successful summer reading pilot where GELF and Scholastic distributed 2,100 book packs to students. The response from children, parents and caregivers was overwhelmingly positive, sharing feedback about the excitement of receiving new books in the mail, the joy of sharing stories together and the magic of escaping through a good book.

The program will also offer parent, teacher resource through Best for All Central, Tennessee’s Hub for Learning and Teaching. You can visit it by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Op-Ed: MCPL Director Peggy Gold retires leaving a “Mother Theresa” sized hole

By Jill Rael, Mulberry| Former President of the TN Library Association and Former Assistant Regional Director

Moore County Public Library Director Peggy Gold retired on January 1 after 25 years of service to her community. (File Photo)

As Moore Countians rang in the new year, the community also bid a heartfelt farewell to long-time library director, Peggy Gold. After 25 years of service, “Miss Peggy,” as she is affectionately known, officially began her retirement on January 1. In tribute to her service, I am grateful to The Lynchburg Times for this platform through which to share a small piece of Miss Peggy’s story and the impacts she made upon this community and the broader collective of Tennessee libraries.

After eight years on staff at the Moore County Public Library (MCPL), the governing board appointed Peggy as director, a position she held for over 17 years. During her tenure, Peggy completed the Public Library Management Institute in 2006, a three-year intensive program offered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), which trains and educates library directors without a master’s in library science degrees. To further complement her training and advance her skillset, Peggy completed an associate’s degree at Motlow State Community College in 2008 and continued to earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and personnel administration at Athens State University in 2010 (Suma Cum Laude).

Like all effective leaders, Peggy understood her role in the library and the importance of building a team that reflects not only the mission and vision of the library board but also the attitude of unyielding service, compassion, and dedication to free and equal access to information so ingrained in a librarian’s heart and soul. With these tenants of librarianship, Miss Peggy created an environment where her staff openly expressed ideas, received trust and encouragement, and offered enriching programs to the community.

A primary example of the unique and empowering programs hosted by MCPL is the Finding My Family genealogical project for local elementary-aged children. It was a personal favorite of Peggy’s. Finding My Family provided participants with an opportunity to discover their roots under the guidance of Miss Peggy and the outstanding resources provided by MCPL locally, TSLA, and other online and local resources. With their research completed, the children presented their findings to the community through visual displays at the library. Other unique programs are the children’s painting classes, where my own son created his first masterpiece, and the lunchtime speaker series where, for example, local adults like my mother learned of Tennessee’s Drive 55 program that led them to complete their own degrees and certifications.

Most library directors agree that finding ways to partner with their local schools and attracting the interest and participation of teenagers is among the most daunting and intimidating goals for their libraries to accomplish. Yet, Peggy has done so for years. As explained by Moore County Middle School teacher Jonah Deal, “she was the person to call if a student needed school supplies, and she provided a way for our students to also give back.” Students assisted Peggy with gifts during the Angel Tree and back to school supplies programs hosted by MCPL. Through a mutually passionate partnership between MCPL and the Moore County High School Student Council, local youth worked with Peggy to prepare Thanksgiving baskets. Two years ago, Deal reports, the program began with the preparation of 30 baskets, which Peggy delivered. However, with the uncertainties and chaos of 2020, the students prepared 60 baskets this Thanksgiving. Peggy located those in need and made deliveries. She is, Deal related, “someone who always put others before herself. She was Moore County’s own Mother Teresa.”   

Like most public libraries in Tennessee, MCPL operates under specific laws, regulations, and guidelines overseen by TSLA and administered through the secretary of state’s division. Through its field offices, known as regional libraries, TSLA provides public libraries with specific funding, training, guidance, and generally serves as a consultant to directors and boards. MCPL is a part of the Stones River Regional Library, which operates from offices based in Murfreesboro. The region consists of 26 libraries within 11 counties located as far north as Trousdale, east as Grundy, and south as Franklin. These libraries are large and small, some better funded than others; yet, they all share a passion for their communities. Moore County very often stood as a beacon of possibility within the region. When others felt limited by their small size and even smaller budgets, the accomplishments, innovations, and examples of “embedded librarianship” exhibited by Peggy and her staff afforded state and regional leadership an example of the unique opportunities that only small libraries often possess.

Historically, libraries served a simple purpose: to enrich the lives of those within a community through the lending of books. However, the 21st century library is nothing short of an amazing evolving institution able to provide services and enrichment on seemingly unlimited platforms. Those which continue to not only survive but also succeed possess leadership that understands and embraces the beautiful chaos of our modern existence. These leaders, and their dedicated staff, must possess knowledge of traditional services like reader’s advisory and reference, while also continually learning and adapting to new and ever-changing technology and public expectations. Additionally, those libraries which thrive in today’s world possess the ability and confidence to nimbly and quickly adapt to the spontaneous changes around them. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, state leadership through TSLA and the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) endeavored to provide libraries with ever-changing information and offer guidance on how these most democratic of institutions could continue to safely serve their communities. We received inspiration from libraries like MCPL, which immediately began offering a full range of services remotely and through contactless curbsides. This tiny library was among the first, perhaps the actual first, in Tennessee to do so and it both inspired and guided many others that followed suit.

When speaking of Peggy the words “inspiration,” “mentor,” and “friend” often find their way into the conversation. “As Jonah Deal put it, “Peggy Gold started off as a librarian to me … then a classmate, then a coworker, but Peggy is going to end as an inspiration.” In a heartfelt note to Peggy on Facebook, MCPL Assistant Director Cheryl Eason said, “[w]e are so sad to lose our mentor, our sometimes mother, our biggest cheerleader, and most of all our friend! … Thank you for seeing something in me that I did not see … Thank you for always seeing the best in people and trying to help when you see a need.” I think so many of us in Moore County share these sentiments. For myself I would like to thank Peggy for just being herself: a great leader with a passion for service and the courage to stand alone, embrace change, and appreciate the unique qualities of those around her. You are, truly, one of the greats. Cheryl perhaps put it best when she said, “Peggy is well named because she truly has a heart of gold.” You leave an indelible mark upon Moore County, and as Lisa Riggs (MCPL staff) put it, “I can only hope we live up to the legacy you left behind.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

COVID-19 Snapshot: What you need to know this week

{Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving with lots of variables to consider when making decisions about how best to keep both you and your loved one safe. Each Wednesday, The Lynchburg Times will publish a weekly snapshot. It’s our attempt do collect all the important metrics is a single place for our citizens.}

Moore County gained 20 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours and now has 98 active cases and 649 inactive or recovered cases.

20 new cases in the past 24 hours. On Thursday at 2 p.m., the Tennessee Department of Health stated that Moore County reported 20 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 753 since the global pandemic began in 2020. For comparison, our four surrounding counties reported the following increases over the past 24 hours: Bedford County 88, Coffee County 91, Franklin County 55, and Lincoln County 81.

52 new cases over the past seven days. According to the state numbers, Moore County gained 52 new, active cases over the past seven days. For comparison, our four surrounding counties reported the following increases over the past seven days: Bedford 407, Coffee 365, Franklin 257, and Lincoln County 254.

Eighth highest rate of infection. According to the COVID Act Now website, Moore County currently reports the 8th highest rate of infection among Tennessee’s 95 counties. Nearby Giles County ranks number one. Our surrounding counties ranks as follows: #11 Bedford County, #12 Lincoln County, #39 Franklin County, and #55 Coffee County. These ranking are based on daily new cases per 100,000 population.

Moore County is currently in vaccine phase 1a2. This means that vaccine will be available to all 1a1 phase persons (all high exposure health care workers, residents and staff of long term care facilities, first responders, and adults who cannot live independently) as well as 1a2 phase persons (outpatient healthcare workers with direct exposure including mortuary services). Any citizen aged 75 or older is also eligible to be vaccinated. All 1a1 person are considered priority – meaning that they go to the the front of the line regardless of which risk-based or age-based phase Moore County is in. To determine your vaccine phase, click here.

No COVID vaccine shipment for the week of January 4-9. According to state officials, Moore County will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine shipment this week for the public. Instead, those available vaccines for all counties are being redirected to area drug store, who are responsible for administering doses to long-term care facility like Lynchburg Nursing Center.

Less than two percent of Moore County currently vaccinated. According to the state, 1.6 percent of residents in Moore County are currently vaccinated. That’s a little over 100 people. By comparison, less than three percent of Tennesseans are currently vaccinated. According to the state, more that 157,000 total vaccinations have been administered across Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents. That’s around 2.3 percent.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}