Metro Utilities Board meets March 10

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Utilities Board will meet in a regular session meeting on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 p.m. Meetings take place at the Metro Utilities Department (MUD) Building located at 705 Fayetteville Highway.

There are two new items to be discussed: 1) a system-wide meter replacement program, and 2) the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant head works. Both items will require financing and thus will be presented for approval to the Metro Council at a later date.

For more information, contact the Metro Utility Department offices at 931-759-4297 or learn more at their 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.}

Lynchburg Leapling: Staples celebrates “eighth” birthday

Holly recently celebrated the milestone of her “eighth” birthday by heading to Sewanee with local photographer Jill Mansfield for a birthday shoot. {Photo Credit Grass Roots Photography}

By Tabitha Evans Moore | Editor & Publisher

She’s one in a million … well one in four million to be exact. And as far as we can discern, the only leapling in Lynchburg. Despite the fact that she’s a Motlow College student who can legally drive, Moore County native Holly Staples will celebrate her eighth “official” birthday today (Saturday, February 29).

She’s the second oldest of four children born to Steve and Shirley Staples of Lynchburg and she says her birthday’s always been a source of a little friendly teasing.

“Growing up my siblings used to always pick on me on birthdays,” she said. “They’d wait until the very last minute to say, Happy Birthday.”

Being a Leap Year baby does make her feel special and different though her parents really never made a big deal about it.

“We’d usually just celebrate on the last day of February or the first day of March, whichever came closer to the weekend, really,” she said. “I had skating parties and sleepover parties just like any other kid.”

Leap Year babies are known for their unique personalities and abilities. Superman is a leapling. So are celeb like Ja Rule, Tony Robbins, and Winchester native Dinah Shore. Working towards a Mass Communications degree, Staples uses her writing and photography to express her individuality.

“I strive to be a great writer and storyteller,” she says.

In addition to her studies, she runs a personal blog, The Vintage Writer, as well as her photography Instagram page @wandering_compass29 where she shares images from Tims Ford Lake, local back roads, and places she’s explored .

Surprisingly, her elusive birthday’s never caused her much legal or technical issues. She got her driver’s license on time with no hassle. Registering for college was no big deal.

“The only problem I ever had ironically was on my 21st birthday. My friends and I went to spend the night at the Opryland hotel in Nashville. I ordered a bottle of our local product to celebrate and room service didn’t believe me.”

Staples plans to spend her “eighth” birthday in style. She recently hired local photographer Jill Mansfield of Grass Roots Photography to take a birthday shoot in nearby Sewanee to commemorate the day. She also says she and her parents have plans to celebrate at High Pointe in Monteagle.

“After that, my friends and I will probably just go to Broadway in Nashville to have dinner and listen to some live music,” she says. “It will be a great eighth birthday.” •

{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.}

Raiders travel for first round Regional Boys Tournament action

LOCAL NEWS — The Moore County High School Raiders (8-14, 1-3) will travel to Hendersonville on Saturday, February 29 to take on Merrol Hyde Magnet School in the first round of the TSSAA Region 4-A Boys Basketball Tournament. If they win, they’ll move on to play the winner of the Fayetteville vs. STEM Prep Academy game on March 3 at Eagleville High School.

Led by Head Coach Heath Hardin, the Raiders finished third in District 8 play. Fayetteville snagged first place with Eagleville edging out Moore County for second. The Raiders defeated Cascade 70-64 in overtime in the consolation game. In District 8 play, Brayden Cashion made the All Season and All District teams. Riley Hollman and Andrew Copeland both made the All Tournament team and Cashion was also named All Season.

The Merrol Hyde Hawks are led by four outstanding shooters: seniors Matthew Sykes and Asher Wolthers, as well as juniors Ethan Hansen and Kolton Garvon, who all tie for their season high scorers. Wolthers manages 68 percent from the field.

For Moore County, one interesting note is that senior Raider Ben Fletcher is currently tied for the Moore County record for most charges. Currently Wade Harder holds that record with 31.

If you plan to go, tip off will be at 7 p.m. The school is located at 128 Township Drive in Hendersonville. You can also watch a live broadcast on the NFHS Network. •

{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.}

UPDATE: MC holds cheerleading tryouts on new date

LOCAL NEWS — Organizers have changed a couple of important dates for students and parent of students interested in trying out for the middle school and varsity cheerleader squads.

Tonight there will be a mandatory parent and potential candidate meeting at MCHS at 5:30 p.m. In this meeting, students and parents will be given all the information they need to participate in tryouts.

Tryouts will take place on March 5. Routine reviews and mock tryouts will take place at 5:30 p.m. Regular tryouts will take place on March 6. For questions or additional details, contact Head Cheerleading Coach Erin Bell Rutledge. •

{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.}

In the wake of toddler disappearance, state lawmakers consider Evelyn’s Law

Pictured is 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell, who remains missing. An online petition seeks to make waiting to report a missing child a crime. {Photo Courtesy of the TBI}

STATE NEWS — It’s a missing child case that has even the least skeptical among us scratching our collective heads. Evelyn Boswell, a 15-month-old toddler from Sullivan County was last seem by family members in December. Despite that fact, no one reported her missing until February 18. According to published reports, Evelyn’s grandfather reported her disappearance to the Department of Children’s Service, stating that family members had not seen the child in two month. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert the following day.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, they’ve received over 500 tips in the search for Boswell but there have been no credible sightings.

Though authorities still are clear on the why there was a delay and Evelyn’s still missing as of press time, an online petition with over 17,000 signature is calling for Tennessee lawmakers to create Evelyn’s Law, which would make it illegal to wait longer than 24-72 hours to report a missing child. You can view the petition by clicking here.

One Bristol lawmaker feared the law could do more harm than good. Senator Jon Lundberg told reporters that most parents report missing children immediately and that the Boswell case seemed like an “anomaly.”

To voice your opinion, contact Moore COunty’s Representative Iris Rudder at 615-741-8695 or Moore County’s Senator Shane Reeves at 615-741-1066. If you have information that might help find the toddler, call 1-800-TBI-FIND.•

{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.}

Jack Honey makes $15K donation to National Museum of African American Music

Pictured is an artist rendering of the new National Museum of African American Music schedule to open in Nashville this summer. Jack Daniel Distillery recently contributed to the project. {Art Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — Bristol birthed country music. Memphis is the home of the blues. Now Nashville will be home to the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and celebrating the unique accomplishments of black musicians and their influences across all genres and folks in Lynchburg can take pride in one of its “benevolent sponsors.”

Jack Daniel’s Honey recently made a $15,000 contribution to the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM).

Scheduled to open this summer in downtown Nashville, the NMAAM will be a 56,000 square foot facility dedicated to telling the unique story of the influence black musicians have had across all genres of music. To take a virtual tour of the museum, click here.

Exhibits will explore the timeline of African American music; as well as the stories behind black gospel, the Blues, jazz, and R&B. The Message exhibit explores the story of Hip-Hop music in post-Civil Rights Movement America. There’s also an extensive onsite research library and multipurpose rooms that can be used as classrooms or meeting spaces.

According to a press release, the donation is an extension of Jack Daniel’s Distillery’s partnership with Cult Creative’s Art, Beats and Lyrics (AB+L) program. It celebrates artwork from nationally and internationally known visual artists who span a variety of styles and genres. Throughout the years, the “museum meets concert” experience has showcased innovators and creatives from both the art and music worlds.

“For 15 years AB+L has been a platform dedicated to celebrating culture through music and visual art,” says Keenan Harris, Senior Multicultural Marketing Manager, Brown-Forman. “Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is excited to expand the celebration of AB+L to support the anticipated grand opening of the National Museum of African American Music.” •

{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.}

Everything you’ll want to do in Middle Tennessee in March

1| Becky Buller Band at SJCC – It’s exciting when a two-time Grammy Award-winning musician plays one of our quaint, smaller venues. It’s even more exciting when one of Lynchburg’s own plays in the band. The Becky Buller Band, featuring Lynchburg’s Daniel Hardin on bass and vocals will perform at the South Jackson Civic Center in Tullahoma on March 7. To learn more visit our full article by clicking here.

2 | Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast – Dr. Seuss’s birthday happens on March 2, so it only seems fitting to celebrate the American children’s author with an event that raise money for a local literacy initiative. The annual Green Eggs and Ham Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, March 7 at Damron’s Restaurant in Tullahoma from 8-10 a.m. The cost is just $8 per ticket and all proceeds benefit the Imagination Library of Coffee County. To learn more, click here.

3 | Conquer the Fiery Gizzard – The 13-mile Fiery Gizzard hike isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s strenuous and long but rewards with massive rock formations, waterfalls, and panoramic overlooks. There no better way to conquer it than on a guided hike. On March 8 South Cumberland State Park Ranger Harris will guide you through one of Tennessee’s Top 25 Hiking Trails. Click here for more info.

4| Daffodil Day – It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the first official day of spring on March 21 and the unique charms of one of our sister small towns. Bell Buckle’s Daffodil Day will feature a beekeeping seminar, local author signings, and the Arbor Day Foundation will be onsite giving away free tree seedlings. To learn more visit our full article by clicking here.

5 | First Day Hikes – Tennessee State Parks encourages you to get out there and get moving with free First Day of Spring Hikes every March 21. Hikes vary from a short nature trail hike to strenuous all-day endeavors. In Middle Tennessee, hikes will be offered at Tims Ford State Park (Winchester), Henry Horton State Park (Chapel Hill) Old Stone Fort (Manchester), and South Cumberland State Park (Monteagle). To learn more, click here.

6 | Elk River Volunteer Clean Up Day – The Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers will launch Spring 2020 with a good deed and you can help. Gather at Woodard’s Market in Lynchburg on March 21 around 7 a.m. to eat breakfast before heading to Tims Ford Dam for a volunteer clean up day. Volunteers needs to bring their own gloves and dress for cooler weather. When the clean up finishes, there will be time for fishing. Click here for more details.

{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.}

Metro Moore seeks FEMA reimbursement

LOCAL NEWS — According to the Tims Ford Dam rain gauge, Moore County received over 11 inches of rain from February 5-12. During that time period, Metro Public Safety officials received 49 calls about flooding and downed trees, according to Director Jason Deal.

On Wednesday, February 12, a severe thunderstorm with intense straight line winds blew through southern, middle Tennessee around 6:30 p.m. That single night the Metro call center received 17 calls reporting downed trees. Thanks to quick work by Metro Public Safety … as well as a few neighbors with chainsaws … all those road were cleared by midnight.

Louse Creek road remains closed from Spencer Ridge Road to Rick Garland Road due to a mudslide and unsafe hillside conditions.

With all these disaster-related events lately, Metro Moore will be seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)re-imbursement for qualifying work, Public Safety Director Jason Deal told the Metro COncil on Monday.

On Tuesday, Director Deal met with FEMA officials to estimate damage. The FEMA re-reimbursement rate is $3.84 per capita and based on the total population of Metro Moor County. According to the latest census data, Moore County’s population is around 6,384 people. This mean Moore County could qualify for a little over $24,000 in federal reimbursement money.

Director Deal will report back to the Metro Council at their next meeting, which takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro wins traffic signal grant

LOCAL NEWS —Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis just happened to be with a state transportation official last November when he noticed that the traffic lights notifying drivers of a school zone in front of MCHS on Highway 55 were barely visible.

“There’s a transportation grant to help with that,” he told her. “But I’m pretty sure the deadline is today.”

Later that day, Mayor Lewis sat in a doctor’s office parking lot applying for the grant on her mobile phone. Five months later, TDOT awarded Metro Moore County a $31,000 grant to install new traffic signals at the high school.

“I’m pretty sure we had some of the oldest lights in that state,” Mayor Lewis told the Metro Council on Monday. “And their visibility is pretty bad.”

The Traffic Signal Modernization Program (TSMP) grant is a pilot program designed to help Tennessee counties to modernize existing traffic signal equipment, upkeep, and operations. The state funds 100 percent of the TSMP and gave away a total of $250,000. Metro Moore received the highest individual grant.

According to state officials, the goals of the grant include reducing traffic accidents, traffic congestion, improve visibility, save energy, reduce maintenance costs, as well as automate the collection of traffic count data.

According to Mayor Lewis, the state will begin work on the new lights at the same time state officials add a turning lane at the high school. •

{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.}

Vann runs for Metro School Board

LOCAL NEWS — Tanya Syler Vann announced today that she intends to run for Metro School Board member from the Fifth District.

Tanya Syler Vann
Tanya Syler Vann

Vann recently retired from the Moore County school system where she worked as Moore County High Assistant Principal for six years. An educator with 28 years experience, she’s also worked in the local school system as an elementary school teacher, as well as in the Central Office, working with federal programs, specifically Title 1.

Vann says her wide and varied educational experience will help her make good decisions for the Moore County school system.

“I have found in working with so many areas of education that they are all different. The skill set I needed for each job was very different and what I thought I knew about the job, I quickly learned involved so much more than I had imagined. Each change in job was a learning experience where I did my best to grow and excel. If I am given the privilege to serve as Fifth District school board member, I will bring with me an attitude of learning and understanding. I will work to do what is right for the students and parents of the Fifth District and Moore County Schools.”

Tanya Syler Vann is a Moore County native and graduated from Moore County High School in 1981. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education as well as a Masters in Administration and Supervision, both from Middle Tennessee State University.

School Board Members will be voted on in the Thursday, August 6 General Election. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, July 7. •

{Editor’s Note: If you intend to run for public office in the August 6 General Election, please forward your press release and photo to editor@lynchburg-times.com and we’ll be happy to announce your candidacy.}