Rattlesnake spotted at Normandy campsite

Folks visiting the Cedar Point Camping area in Normandy recently spotted a rattle snake. {Photo courtesy of Tara Mestrez via the Tennessee Snake Identification Page on Facebook}

NORMANDY — As COVID-19 numbers spike, more and more Moore Countians head outdoors for a little summer, socially-distanced fun. But if you camp near Cedar Point in Normandy be aware that campers have spotted large rattlesnakes in the area.

According to Tennessee wildlife officials, Timber Rattlesnakes are the largest and most venomous of the four venomous snakes found in our state including Timber Rattlesnakes, Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Cottonmouths. Timber rattlers can grow up to six feet long and can be spotted easily by their large, triangular head, vertical pupils, and the characteristic rattle at the end of the tail.   

Colors vary greatly. Some Timber Rattlesnakes appear grey and light tan while others can look yellow and dark brown. According to wildlife officials, they prefer mature, heavily wooded forests with rocky, south-facing hillsides; often associated with bluffs or ledges.   They can also be found around mountains, swamps, cane thickets, wooded stream corridors, and rural habitats.   It is common to see Timber Rattlesnakes coiled near fallen logs or sunning on rocks.

According to TWRA officials, the rattle, which is used to warn predators, is tan or gray in color and consists of hollow, interlocking segments made of keratin. Newborn rattlesnakes have a single segment on its rattle, called a “button.” Each time the snake sheds a new segment is added to the base of the rattle. Shedding is variable and rattles break off, so counting the segments is not an accurate way to determine the age.

The snakes, even young ones, are extremely dangerous and contact should be avoided. However, wildlife officials remind locals that it is illegal to kill a Timber Rattlesnake unless it is a direct threat to you, your family, or your animals.

If you or someone in your party is bitten by a rattlesnake, you need to get to the closest hospital as soon as possible for a dose of antivenom. There is no on-the-scene intervention that is helpful.

For more information about Timber Rattlesnakes in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency website by clicking 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.}

State wildlife officials seek Moore County anglers public feedback

Moore County anglers can ask questions and give feedback during the TWRA online public meeting on July 9. {File Photo}

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) announced this week that they plan three separate Facebook live events in the month of July to get public feedback about fishing in Tennessee. The three events will focus on three distinct regions of fishing in Tennessee. TWRA will discuss Middle Tennessee on Thursday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m. on the TWRA Facebook page.

West Tennessee will be discussed on July 14 at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) and East Tennessee on July 16 at 5:30 p.m. (CDT).

Moore County anglers can provide questions or comments in advance by emailing ask.twra@tn.gov, or on TWRA Facebook or Instagram via direct message during the event.

“We want to hear what people are experiencing on the water, what they like and don’t like, and any questions they might have,” said TWRA Fisheries Chief Frank Fiss. “We will have our local Fisheries managers available to answer questions during the event do our best to answer questions live.”

All meetings can easily be attended virtually and seen live on Facebook by clicking here. The TWRA encourages everyone to watch live and send in questions or comments before or during the meeting. There is no other option to attend these meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings and social distancing requirements. •

{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.}

New state laws as of July 1

Over 20 recently passed, new or expanded Tennessee state laws went into effect on July 1. {File Photo}

The state “slow poke” law, a new law to address the state’s teacher shortage, and a law to keep animal abusers from owning pets … these are part of the over 20 laws that took effect on July 1 in Tennessee. Here are a couple, we thought that might interest you:

1 | An Extension of the State’s Slow Poke Law | People driving slow in the left lane bug you? Good news. State lawmakers extended the state’s “Slow Poke” law to include not only the interstates by also any divided highway with two or more lanes in each direction. Tennessee drivers could face a $50 fine if they creep along in the passing lane.

2 | Law to Address Teacher Shortage | The General Assembly also passed a law to help Local Education Agencies (LEAs) fund a Grow Your Own scholarships to train high school students and non-teaching staff to become certified educators in a three-year program at an area college.

3| Teacher’s License Revoked for Certain Crimes | Teachers will now have their state license pulled by the State Board of Education if found guilty of certain crimes such as communicating a threat concerning a school employee, arson, aggravated arson, burglary, child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, aggravated child endangerment, providing handguns to juveniles, sexual offenses, and violent sexual offenses. In addition, it includes teachers or administrators whose name is placed on the state’s Vulnerable Persons Registry or the state’s Sex Offender Registry, or those identified by the Department of Children’s Services as having committed child abuse, severe child abuse, child sexual abuse, or child neglect.

4 | New law banning animal abusers from owning pets in the future | Legislators also passed Senate Bill 1800, which bans some convicted animal abusers from ever owning any pet again. The new law prohibits individuals convicted of some of the worst offenses against animals from owning companion animals for at least two years from the date of conviction and may impose a lifetime prohibition.  Upon a subsequent offense, the court shall prohibit the individual from having custody of any companion animal for the person’s lifetime.

For a complete list of all new Tennessee laws that went into effect on July 1, 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.}

Water bills get new due date

Heads up Moore County … your MUD bill now has a new due date. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — Officials at the Metro Water Department would like to remind its customer that water/sewer/garbage bills will now be due on the fifteenth of each month beginning in July.

MUD offices closed early on June 26, in order to complete the new software installation that will not only implement the new due date but also give customers additional payment options. Currently, customers can pay by mail, automatic bank draft, arrange bill pay through your financial institution, or drop off payment in person at the MUD offices.

They also added the ability to pay your bill online. You just need to update your information with MUD customer service to activate online bill pay.

MUD mailed out new utility bills on June 30. Those will be the first due on the new billing cycle. For questions or concerns about the changes, contact the MUD offices at 931-759-4297. •

{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.}

7 Things To Do July 4 Weekend

All Weekend — Going to the drive in is as American as baseball or apple pie. Southern, middle Tennessee is lucky to have one of our very own located in Estill Springs. The Montana Drive In will show a couple of vintage flicks this weekend that are perfect for a little socially distanced fun. They’ll play Gremlins (1984, PG), Batman (1989, PG-13), Curse of la Llorona (2019, R), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, R), The Jungle Book (2016, G), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, PG-13) this weekend. Click here for showtimes.

Friday — Oh hello grandmother … kick off July 4th weekend with the musical styling and overall entertaining DJ Dusty D at Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina from 5:30-8:30 p.m.. He’s a local fourth grade school teacher and Jack Daniel’s tour guide who also spins a few mean tunes. You’ll have a good time … we promise.

Friday — A July 4th weekend shrimp boil? Yes please. The Mercantile Cafe offers a Friday night shrimp boil each first Friday of the month and in July that lines right up with the July 4th holiday. The Shrimp Boil starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. and take out is available. Click here for more info.

Friday — The River Bistro is one of the hidden gems in the southern, middle Tennessee dining scene. Nestled in quaint downtown Normandy, they offer seafood, pasta, steaks, as well as a meat and three lunch menu. On Friday night, they’ll host live music by Rosenthal + Fox. Seating is limited due to social distancing and reservations are highly recommend. Click here for more details.

Saturday — Pssst. Come here and we’ll tell you a secret. A certain Moore County resident throws a huge Independence Day bash each year complete with fireworks. Though it’s a private event, the fireworks rival anything that a surrounding county puts on. You can view them from anywhere near the intersection of Highway 129 and Highway 55 on Saturday starting around sundown.

Saturday — There may not be a Frontier Days celebration this year but one Moore County tradition lives on. The Metro Volunteer Firefighters will be on the Lynchburg Square on Saturday with their famous roasted corn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will offer corn for a donation and all proceeds will go to Moore County-based non-profits.

Saturday — July 4th and fireworks go hand-in-hand. Drafts and Watercrafts Restaurant at Twin Creeks will host their annual Light Over the Lake event on Saturday at 9 p.m. Seats at the restaurant will be available via reservation only. Call 931-201-5516 to reserve your spot. Even if you don’t snag a spot, the fireworks will be visible at both the Dry Creek Boat Ramp and the Winchester Bass Club area. Click here for more information.

{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 Musict 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.}

MCHS Juniors: Motlow offers free Mechatronics degree

Jesse Donaldson (left) recently graduated with a Mechatronics degree from Motlow before he graduated from Franklin County High School. Jessie is one of 11 graduates to complete the program in May 2020. {Photo Provided}

MOORE COUNTY — Motlow’s dual enrollment program allow Moore County High School (MCHS) juniors to get a jump on their college careers. Many MCHS students graduate high school with their Associates Degree already in hand. Now, Motlow State offers another outstanding educational opportunity for local students … free dual enrollment courses to high school juniors interested in pursuing a degree in Mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a synergy of mechanical, electrical, and computerized technologies that together form a complex system used in product engineering, manufacturing, and packaging operations. Opportunities for employment with a Mechatronics degree are wide-ranging across the business landscape.

“High school juniors are now able to earn an associate degree, at no extra cost to them or their families, while they earn their high school diploma,” said Motlow Administrator of High School Initiatives Sally Pack. “The high demand for qualified employees in Mechatronics, along with this free opportunity, is a win-win for families, area industries, our students, and the college.”

Motlow leads the state in the number of dual enrollment students it matriculates each year. In May 2020, 11 high school seniors became the first graduates from the Middle College Mechatronics program, funded by a grant awarded to Motlow in 2018. Michael Walton of Murfreesboro earned his associate degree in Mechatronics from Motlow and his high school diploma from Oakland in the spring of 2020.

“Earning my Associate Degree in Mechatronics through the Dual Enrollment program at Motlow, with no debt, and graduating from Oakland at the same time gives me a head start on my career,” said Walton. “The program is challenging, the last three months even more so, but I completed it. I’m starting MTSU this fall to earn my bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics.”

The Mechatronics program’s goal is to prepare local students for high-wage employment as high skilled technicians. Many Motlow graduates have gone on to successful careers at Nissan, Bridgestone, and many other Tennessee companies.

“We are very proud of our dual enrollment program in mechatronics,” said Motlow Dean of Career and Technical Programs Fred Rascoe. “High school students are taking advantage of this offering and obtaining their certificate or AAS degree in Mechatronics. They are well on their way toward a gratifying career.”

Motlow Mechatronics is nationally recognized and certified by the Association for Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) as a premier educational program with a high job placement rate of graduates. Motlow Mechatronics instructors have been awarded two National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1 million in the last three years.

Additional to partnerships with high schools, Motlow engages in 2 + 2 partnerships with universities and colleges. An example is the Mechatronics 2 + 2 partnership with Tennessee State University, allowing Motlow graduates to pursue their bachelor’s degree in mechatronics and remain on a Motlow campus.

For more information, visit the Motlow State website by clicking 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.}

Unemployment rates decrease in all 95 TN counties

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development}

Re-opening the state is causing a marked increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases but it is causing an important decrease in one other area … unemployment. According to the latest numbers by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), the unemployment rate in all 95 Tennessee counties went down during the month of May.

Moore County’s unemployment rate went down to 9.4 percent – down from 12.2 percent the previous month. Franklin County experienced the greatest regional change – down 14.4 percent from 21 percent the previous month. In other surrounding counties, Coffee County is down 5.6 percent from 19.8 percent to 14.2 percent. Bedford County reported 13.9 percent – down 4.7 from 18.6 the previous month. Lincoln County reported an 11.8 percent unemployment rate – down 4.4 percent from the previous month.

This follows a sizeable state wide unemployment rate across Tennessee as business shuttered temporarily as a COVID-19 precaution.

Even with marked improvement, 42 counties had unemployment rates greater than 5 percent, but less than 10 percent. Fifty-three counties, more than half of the counties in the state, had rates greater than 10 percent, but less than 20 percent.

Weakley County had Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate in May. The county’s new rate of 7 percent is 2.5 percentage points lower than it was in April.

Fentress County had the second-lowest figure in May at 7.1 percent, down from 9.9 percent the month before. Williamson County’s unemployment rate was the third-lowest statewide. At 7.4 percent, the rate is down 3.1 percentage points from the county’s all-time high of 10.5 percent recorded in April.

Sevier County continued to have the highest rate of unemployment in Tennessee. Still, the county’s new rate of 18.5 percent is a staggering drop of 10.6 percentage points from April’s record high of 29.1 percent.

At 17.6 percent, Warren County recorded the second-highest unemployment rate in May, down 7.5 percentage points from April’s rate. Marshall County had the third-highest rate for the month with a rate of 17.5 percent, a decrease of 6.6 percentage points from the previous month’s rate.

The statewide unemployment statistic from May also decreased significantly. The new preliminary rate of 11.3 percent is down from the revised April rate of 15.5 percent. Nationwide, unemployment decreased to 13.3 percent in May, down from the 14.7 percent rate recorded the month before. Unlike the statewide rate, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. To see all county rates, 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 Musict 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 County Public Pool opens on July 1

According to the Mayor’s office, the Moore County Pool will re-open on Wednesday, July 1. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — Splish, splash … the Moore County Public Pool will re-open on July 1. According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, hours of operation will be the same as the previous year: Monday through Saturday from 12 – 5 p.m. and closed every Sunday. They will also be closed on Saturday for the July Fourth holiday.

Because of the close contact required, the public pool will not offer swimming lessons this year.

Things will be a little different this year in order to balance the need to socially distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because communities around us may not open [their pools] this year and we have a small pool, supported by taxpayers, folks will need to prove they either live or work in Moore County for admission,” says Mayor Lewis. “You will only have to show that proof one time and we will keep your family’s name on file.”

Proof of residency will include: a copy of a water or electric bill, proof of attending Moore County schools, or proof of employment in Moore County.

Lifeguards will also be checking temperatures upon entrance. No one with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be allowed to enter. Therefore, pool officials ask that parents wait to make sure their children pass a temperature check instead of just dropping them off.

“No one will be allowed to enter with a temperature of 100.4° or above. If someone’s temperature reads above the limit, they will be allowed to sit and cool off a minute if they feel sure they are not sick and we will recheck it,” the Mayor said.

Also, due to safety concerns, masks will not be allowed to be worn while in the water. Mask will not be mandatory when outside the water.

“According to CDC and health guidelines chlorine kills most viruses while in the water. We will have someone available to wipe down vending machines and public seating on a regular basis. Soap and water is available in the restrooms for hand washing and hand sanitizer will be readily available as well,” said Mayor Lewis.

The admission prices will be the same as the previous year: ages three and under, free; ages 4-17, $2; and 18 and older, $3.

To reach the Moore County Public Pool call 931-307-4222 or to schedule a pool party call Pool Manager Erica Coons at 931-307-4189. Any questions regarding the new guideline should be directed at Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076. •

{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.}

Tullahoma man sought in Estill Springs murder

Authorities are looking for Brent Moon, of Tullahoma, in connection with a June 27 Estill Springs murder. {Photo Provided}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Law enforcement across southern, middle Tennessee and the state ask area residents to be on the look out for a Tullahoma man, Brent Moon, suspected in the first degree murder of an Estill Springs man on June 27.

According to a report by Franklin County Sheriff’s (FCSD) Office Public Information Officer Chris Guess, Moon and two associates appeared at the Pleasant Grove Road home of James Eric Hanger around 5 p.m. According to the initial report, Moon appeared at the front door asking to speak to Hanger. After Hanger allowed him inside, two unidentified black males wearing all black clothing and black mask also entered.

One or more of the suspected perpetrators then produced a weapon and demanded money. An argument ensued and as the men struggled for control of the weapon, one of the perpetrators fired the weapon striking Hanger. Then all three fled the scene. Hanger died at the scene.

Officials have issued a first degree murder warrant for Moon. He should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached by civilians. If you have any information about his whereabouts, contact FCSD Lieutenant George Dyer at 931-308-9420. •

{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 medical lab tech program earns accreditation

Motlow officials say Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor has been instrumental in developing their new Medical Lab Technology Program. It recently earned national accreditation. {Photo Provided}

MOORE COUNTY — Interested in a high-wage, high-demand medical or health-related career? Good news … you can attend a nationally accredited program right here in Moore County.

The Motlow State Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program cleared a significant hurdle in April when it earned full accreditation with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). 

“We encourage anyone who has an interest in a medical or health-related career to explore the Medical Laboratory Technology program,” said MLT Program Director Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor. “Motlow’s MLAB 1301 pre-requisite course is an excellent way for students to find out more about this exciting and fulfilling career opportunity.”

Dr. Tutor spearheaded the development of the high-wage, high-demand program, which officially began in the fall 2018 semester with the seven graduates.  Every member of the class earned national certification through either the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or American Medical Technologists (AMT).  Both certifications are recognized by the Tennessee State Medical Laboratory Board for applicants seeking an MLT license. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Statistics website, the forecasted growth nationally in MLT employment over the next ten years is almost 14 percent.

Many employers require certification because they know that certified allied health professionals are committed to their profession and patient care. Certified individuals also tend to enjoy higher wages and more significant promotional opportunities.

For more information on the MLT program at Motlow, click here or go to or contact Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor at ktudor@mscc.edu, or 615-220-7912. •

{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.}