Lynchburg Farmer’s Market kicks off May 22

The Lynchburg Farmers’ Market kicked on Friday, May 22. Due to heavy rain, there first market took place in Wiseman Park but future events will take place just off Major’s Boulevard as an open air market. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — Homegrown fruits and veggies, local honey, artisan foods, fresh flowers, crafts, fresh-made breads, handmade soaps … you can find it all at local farmers’ markets. Plus, there’s no better way to support our local farmers.

The very first Lynchburg Farmer’s Market kicked off last Friday. But due to heavy rainfall, organizers were forced to forego plans to kick off the season as an pop-up, open-air market in the open lot at the corner of Majors Boulevard and Mechanic Street directly across from the Moore County Public Library. Instead, the inaugural farmers’ market took place at Moorehead Pavilion in Wiseman Park.

The next public market will take place on Friday, June 5 in the new location and every Friday after that from 2-5 p.m. There will be onsite parking available for around 15 or so, and Mayor Lewis says she’s working on securing overflow parking. Market attendees are asked not to park along Majors Boulevard or Mechanic Street as it presents safety issues.

If you are interested in being a vendor at this year’s market, 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.}

Organizer cancel 2020 41-A Festival

{Art Courtesy of the 41-A Festival}

TULLAHOMA — Wednesday afternoon, the Highland Rim Kiwanis – the sponsors of the annual 41-A Festival – announced that they will be cancelling this year’s event due to the COVID-19 situation.

The event’s been held every September in historic, downtown Tullahoma for the last 10 consecutive years. The event raises money for children’s charities throughout southern, middle Tennessee as part of the Kiwani’s mission to “change the world one child at a time.”

According to the group’s social media, the festival will resume on September 24-25 in 2021. •

{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.}

Motorcyclist critically injured on Norman Wiseman Road

MOORE COUNTY — A Winchester man was critically injured Saturday afternoon in Moore County when he drove his motorcycle into an embankment, according to a preliminary accident report supplied by the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP).

Sixty-one year old Ronnie Stinson, of Winchester, was riding his 2015 Harley Davidson north along Norman Wiseman Road on Saturday around 6:15 p.m. when he crossed the center line on a left-handed curve, quickly corrected back across the line, and then ran off the right side of the roadway. He then struck an embankment and overturned before coming to rest facing northwest to the right side of the road, according to the THP report.

The driver sustained serious injuries in the single vehicle accident and was transport to Vanderbilt Medical Center via air ambulance. According to the hospital, Stinson remained in critical care on Tuesday. No further details were available. •

{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.}

May 5 COVID-19 Update: 4 Things You Need to Know Today

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Dept. of Health}

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 13,690 (119 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 226 deaths (seven more since yesterday). According to the state, 6,356 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 47 percent of reported cases. As of today, 218,795 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top four things you need to know for today:

1| Lynchburg’s official count remain three. Moore County continues to reflect three cases with 184 Moore County residents tested. Regionally, the counts are as follows: Bedford County (201), Coffee County (45), Franklin County (36), and Lincoln County (16).

2 | State stops updating Mayor Lewis daily. According to Mayor Lewis, the Tennessee Department of Health will no longer update her office daily about new confirmed cases. Instead they will personally update every time that number increases by a factor of five.

3 | Republican officials want COVID restrictions listed. On Tuesday, Republican Party leadership from eight Middle Tennessee counties sent an open letter to Governor Bill Lee asking for a repeal of the state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions. The letter was signed by leadership from Coffee, Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Perry, and Wayne counties. Membership from Moore County did not sign the letter.

4 | Mass prison testing begins this week. According to Governor Lee’s Unified Command Group, every Tennessee Department of Corrections prison inmate and state will be tested for COVID-19 this week.

{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.}

Public Library will offer boat safety exams … by appointment

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County Public Library (MCPL) announced today that they will offer the TWRA Boating Exam test by appointment beginning on May 18.

Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show a TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam to drive a boat on public waters. The certification is not required if there is an adult (18 years old or older) on board to take immediate control of the vessel.  However this adult, if born after January 1, 1989, must have the boating education certification. 

According to the library, the test takes around two hours to complete and appointments will be available on on Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in either a 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. time slot.

By law, all boating students must pass a proctored exam administered by an approved TWRA representative. Boating study guides are available at MCPL or online by clicking here and go to the Tennessee section.

For more information, visit the TWRA’s Boating Education website. To set up an appointment to take the exam, call the public library at 931-759-7285. •

{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.}

DREMC: Monday night’s storm increases power outages

Monday’s night’s thunderstorms brought more downed trees, broken power poles, and damaged transformers. DREMC reports just 49 Lynchburg residents still without power. {File Photo}

Southern, middle got hit hard on Sunday leaving 19,000 Duck River Membership Corporation (DREMC) customers without power at the height of the outages. Broken poles, downed power lines, and damaged transformers plus a host of fallen trees were reported from Columbia to Sewanee.

Then on Monday night, our area got hit again with another round of severe thunderstorm only compounding the issue. As of Tuesday morning an additional 5,000 homes were without power including 200 Moore County customers. By the publishing of this article that number reduced to 49.

According to DREMC, they’ve restored power to over 10,000 homes and crews will continue to work throughout the day to restore power.

You can get updates 24/7 at DREMC Outage Viewer 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.}

Deputy, subject exchange fire on Saturday

MOORE COUNTY — On Saturday, Moore County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) responded to an armed, suicidal subject that ended in an exchange of gun fire.

According to Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield, deputies arrived on scene at a Powell Hollow Road home around 2:40 p.m. Once on scene, deputies attempted to make contact with the subject inside his home but were unsuccessful. As deputies checked other buildings on the property for the subject, he appeared at the garage door and confronted deputies before going back inside.

“Before other personnel could arrive, the suspect exited the home and began walking in the back yard with a weapon. At 3:13 pm, the suspect fired two rounds from a handgun and soon walked into a barn located on the property and closed all the doors,” according to a press release.

Around 3:25 p.m., additional MCSD personnel arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the home to protect neighbors. Moore County Volunteer Fire Department, Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, and Tennessee Highway Patrol also closed all surrounding roads. Moore County EMS remained staged nearby in case of emergency medical needs.

The armed suspect then exited the barn and started a dialogue with deputies who were trying to prevent him from re-entering the home because MCSD believed more weapons were inside. Soon after, the suspect started walking toward a gate that led back into home.

That’s when a MCSD deputy attempted to stop him by non-lethal means and used a taser.

“When the taser was deployed, a deputy advanced on the suspect in an attempt to subdue him in conjunction with the taser deployment. At this time, the suspect retrieved a 9mm pistol from his waistband, fired a shot, and was subsequently shot by the deputy,” according to the press release.

The deputies and EMS rendered aid on scene before transporting the suspect to Tullahoma Airport, where he was flown to Vanderbilt Hospital for further treatment. According to Sheriff Hatfield, the suspect remains there in stable condition.

Local authorities notified District Attorney General Robert Carter and requested that TBI investigate. No other details are available at this time. •

{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.}

May 1 COVID-19 Updates: 6 Things You Need to Know

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Department of Health}

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Friday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 11,891 (1,156 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 204 deaths (five more since yesterday). According to the state, 5,546 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 47 percent of reported cases. As of today, 186,132 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top six things you need to know for today:

1 | Moore County starts May with four total cases. In April, Moore County ended with three new Tennessee Department of Health confirmed cases as well as a single case at Lynchburg Nursing Center that’s not included in that total. As of May 1, those were still out numbers with 155 Moore County citizens being tested.

2 | Regionally, the state identified Bedford County as a hotspot. On Friday, their confirmed cases number had increased to 184 – that’s five times more than any of Moore County’s other surrounding counties. Bedford Counties official point to resent spike in cases at the Tyson Chicken Plant as the cause. Tyson official recently closed the plant for deep-cleaning before re-opening.

3 | Nearly 150,000 more tested in April. During the month of April, Tennessee added 8,052 new COVID-19 cases. There were also 175 deaths in April. Overall, Tennessee ramped up testing efforts with 177,626 citizens tested in April – that’s a 145,174 increase.

4 | Two percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases result in a death. Of the 11,891 total cases in the state, 204 have died. However, there are 6.8 million residents of Tennessee. If that two percent continues, it would result in 136,000 deaths.

5 | State will test all nursing home resident and patients. Governor Bill Lee stated on Thursday in a conversation with President Trump that Tennessee has plan to test all 175,000 residents and staff at the state’s 700 long-term care facilities for COVID-19.

6 | Drive thru testing will happen again this weekend. On Saturday, they’ll test at the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and again on Sunday at the Giles County Agripark from 12-3 p.m.

{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.}

Motlow instructor wins science grant

Omar Tantawi, Motlow Mechatronics Instructor {Photo Provided}

Regionally, there’s a shortage of qualified, well-trained robotics technicians. Thanks to a recent $108,000 National Science Foundation Grant, Motlow College and Principal Investigator Omar Tantawi plan to change that. The award is the second federal grant that Motlow’s Mechatronics department has received in the last two years, bringing the total federal funds granted to more than $650,000.

The money will fund train-the-trainer workshops on intelligent industrial robotics at Motlow’s Smyrna campus and will fund a collaborative robot unit.

“We are very pleased to work with other community colleges and universities to offer this robotics training to support our high-technology industries,” said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs. “I am very excited to be a part of a wonderful consortium of educators and technology experts in robotics. The delivery of this training is exactly what industry needs to continue its delivery of products and processes in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Motlow’s lasered in on becoming a leading institution in mechatronics and robotics on both the state and the national levels as well as leading the charge in regional workforce development.

The project is a diverse collaboration of four academic institutions: Motlow, UT Chattanooga, Chattanooga State, and Lawson State. It impacts major manufacturers in the eastern and central regions of Tennessee and Alabama through training for high-demand skills to sustain the development of the regions’ manufacturing industry.

Work within the project includes developing intelligent robotics curricular modules, train-the-trainer workshops for educators, identifying skill sets needed for handling next-generation robotics, developing a knowledge base of next-generation robotics for secondary and post-secondary educators, and providing awareness of next-generation robotics. Peer-reviewed publications are expected by the end of the project.

Essential: Moore County Public Library’s Peggy Gold

{Editor’s Note: This is the tenth of a multi-part series highlighting all the essential folks in Moore County. Readers nominated each interview subject. To nominate someone, email editor@lynchburg-times.com.}

Moore County Director of Library Services Peggy Gold says her staff strives to make the public library the space the community needs … pandemic or not. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

It’s your library … your way … even in a global pandemic, at least according to Moore County’s Director of Library Services Peggy Gold.

For example, it’s a weekday and an unnamed Moore County Public Library (MCPL) patron needs help creating a Regional eBook and Audiobook Download System (READS) account on her iPad. Normally she and a MCPL employee would huddle together to walk through the steps. Today, they are separated by a pane of glass at the front entrance while playing a clever game of follow the leader.

“They were outside the door with their iPad and we were holding up our iPad, and walking her through the steps,” says Director Gold. “It worked and she got connected.”

Just two months ago things looked a lot different. Preschoolers gathered in the morning for story time. At noon, local readers lingered in the stacks browsing the new books. By the afternoon, local students spilled out of school buses and into the library as Gold met them at the front door. Teenagers could be found huddle in beanbags in every corner. Staff were eagerly planning programs and activities for locals.

“Here in Lynchburg, we don’t have a community center, so we took on that roll,” Director Gold says.

Gold says every time she sees a community need, the library tries to fill it. They’ve done quilting workshops, crafting projects, book clubs, and even yoga classes … whatever the community showed an interest in. That’s because the library belongs to the citizens, she says.

“I don’t think people in this county understand that this library belongs to them. Tax payers paid for everything in this library,” Director Gold says.

Gold and her staff know their patrons intimately. They know their reading habits, the days of the week they usually visit, and whether they prefer large print or audio books. When the pandemic hit, they were forced to limit the library to curbside services only but they’ve tried to bring that same patron-focus to this new way of serving the community.

Citizens still check out Chromebooks and laptops … now, they simply sit in the library parking lot to use them. Staff even come out and give car side tech support when necessary. Books are still checked in and out, but now that happens mainly through the library’s two book drops. Staff then thoroughly disinfects all materials before they are returned to circulation.

Director Gold says one of their biggest “contact less” services has been the themed book bags staff have put together for local students based on the their interests … from American Girl dolls to farming. They’ve created over 200 since the curbside services began.

“We’ve noticed that many kids come by on Mondays when they go to LES to pick up food for the week,” Director Gold says. “We just kind of stand at the window and wave big.”

Director Gold says she isn’t sure when the library will open back up for walk in services. Officially, all state libraries fall under the Secretary of State’s office and don’t fit in any of the categories the governor often references. As such, the MCPL will look to the Regional Library System for guidance as well as the local Metro Mayor’s office. Once they get a plan in place, it will need to be approved by the MCPL Board.

When we ask her what she misses most about library business as usual, she says it’s interacting with patrons.

“I like to talk,” she says. “I like people.” •

{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.}