Jack Daniel’s, Eric Church collaborate on new limited-edition bottle

Each bottle of the new Eric Church Single Barrel Select gets a specially designed black and gold embossed label featuring Eric Church’s “Double Down” eagle. {Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery}

LYNCHBURG — As everyone in Moore County knows, all the best whiskey is made on the top floor of a local rickhouse. The swings in temperature – warmer in the summer and colder in the winters – create barrels with more complex tasting profiles and a little extra something that’s hard to define.

Last year, Jack Daniel Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, Assistant Master Distiller Chris Fletcher, country music star Eric Church, and a small group of friends met in the top floor of the Coy Hill warehouse with a special project in mind. As Arnett pulled samples from barrels he had a hunch about, Church considered each pour thoughtfully. The result is the new limited-edition Eric Church Single Barrel bottle.

According to Church, his grandfather inspired his love of Old No. 7 but what started with a fondness for the charcoal-mellowed Tennessee whiskey soon evolved into a love of the spirit of Lynchburg.

“My love for Jack Daniel’s is for the whiskey but it’s also about a can-do, small town attitude, where community, loyalty and hard work are the qualities the crafters of this American icon hang their hats,” said Eric Church.

Independent spirit in a glass

Had they lived at the same time and in the same place, Jasper Newton Daniel and Eric Church would have likely been friends. Both exude southern grit: honesty, realness, a passion for their path, and fierce independence.

At 94 proof, the new bottle’s a perfect sipping whiskey. It boasts aromas of vanilla and caramel with that signature charred oak heat. Like most barrels pulled from the top floor, the whiskey is complex and full.

“This special whiskey is reflective of Eric himself – bold, rich in character, forward and something that can be enjoyed by those with a taste for a well-rounded whiskey and a unique and memorable sipping experience,” Master Distiller Jeff Arnett added.

Jack Daniel’s Eric Church Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey is now available in southern, middle Tennessee liquor stores as well as the White Rabbit Bottle Shop inside the Jack Daniel’s Distillery Visitor’s Center. •

{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.}

Library hosts Meet the Author event for native Rodney Syler

LYNCHBURG — The tall hickory saplings, the family farm, and the river that runs through it all. To Moore County readers who pick up a copy of native Rodney Syler’s new book, Yellow Fever, they’ll feel awfully familiar.

Yellow Fever, 274 pages, Archway Publishing

“Growing up in Lynchburg and the surrounding area was very influential,” says Syler. “The JuJu scene came from a few similar rides on tall hickory saplings back on the family farm with brothers or friends. The river in the book seems a bit bigger, but the Elk River it certainly comes to mind.”

Syler will visit the Moore County Public Library on Friday, August 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. for a Meet the Author event. He will bring copies of his novel for purchase and signing.

Set in a rural southern town, the book reminds the reader of the pure fun of imagination-fueled childhood adventure. It’s a nostalgic tale, of Don, Ray, and Amber as they navigate their friendship and the rural county looking for treasure and a sense of belonging. It an engrossing story of resilience and the power of childhood friendships. It’s Home Alone meets Treasure Island with a small town southern twist.  

There’s no doubt that local readers will see familiar images and scenes in his book. Though it’s not set in Moore County, Syler says much of the setting was inspired by a childhood spent hunting, fishing, camping, and working on his family’s farm.

“The cave is a combination of Motlow Cave, Silvertooth Cave, Bishops Cave, Chicken House Cave and a few more,” Syler told The Times. “I expect that even subconsciously, I included familiar local places that shaped the dialog.”

A native of Moore County, Syler hails from the Hurdlow community where he grew up with his parents, Clayton and Maggie Syler, and four siblings Kerry, Rickey, Craig, and Tanya. He graduated from Moore County High School and then attended both Motlow State and MTSU. He worked at Jack Daniel’s Distillery for many years as the assistant production controller.

He now lives in Franklin with is wife, Lisa. The couple have three children and four grandchildren. Syler is also a designer and inventor who holds 13 U.S. patents for various designs.

Yellow Fever is the first in a series, Syler says.•

{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.}

Tims Fords State Park, others issue mask requirement

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center. {File Artwork}

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors during the COVID-19 health situation but do so safely. That’s the message from Tennessee State Park officials this week as they add a mask requirement to facilities at most parks.

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center.

Tennessee State Parks re-opened on April 24 after remaining closed under Governor Lee’s Stay at Home order. Since then, they’ve be a popular weekend spot for lots of locals.

Park officials also remind locals to stay home if your feel sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19. While inside parks, only visit areas where it is possible to maintain six feet of social distance at all times and avoid crowded areas.

On weekends, parks tend to fill up quickly, so park officials say it’s best to arrive early in the day. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, it’s probably best to leave and come back at a different time. Park officials also ask that visitors not park along the shoulder of roadways and instead only park ion designated areas.

In most cases, park officials try to keep public restrooms open but say visitors should prepare for limited or no bathroom access.

If you’d like more information about COVID-19 closures as well as social distancing tips for visitors, visit the Tennessee State Parks 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.}

School Board votes to revise school-closing trigger at Monday’s meeting

The Moore County School Board moved the “school building closure” trigger Monday night at their regular season meeting.

Previously, the board approved a Reopening Framework that stated as long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reached above 33 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

On Monday, the Board changed that decision-trigger to be based on absenteeism at any given school rather than the amount of community spread. At the time of the meeting there were 26 active COVID-19 cases in Moore County.

After the meeting, Director of School Chad Moorehead said he preferred a plan that allowed parent the most personal choice.

“I felt that it was important that this section of our framework for reopening be changed.  Since our school system is allowing parents to choose between in-person and remote learning, we have a hybrid model now that is responsive to individual homes,” he said. “There may be a point that we have to transition to full remote learning for a period of time but I feel like personal choice is the best option.  If the spread of the virus increases rapidly parents can choose to move to remote learning for their own children.  We are all working hard inside the schools to be as safe as possible and to be able to keep the buildings open.”

The revised plan also stated that community events like the rate of sickness, hospitalization rates, etc will also be considered in addition to school absentee rates. It also states that administration may choose to close individual schools for 3-5 day for thorough disinfecting should smaller outbreaks occur.

To read a complete copy of the Metro School Board Reopening Framework, click this link.

School Board meetings take place the second Monday of each month at the Central Office Building located on the Lynchburg Elementary Campus. Each meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can also be attended virtually. The next meeting takes place on September 14. •

{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.}

Census workers start knocking on Moore County doors today

Heads up. If you haven’t already voluntarily replied, a U.S. Census worker may be headed to your front door as early as today. {File Photo}

Because of the U.S. Census, we know things about the population of Moore County. There are approximately 6,322 folks living in Lynchburg and their average age is 45. Moore County encompasses 129.2 square miles with 48.9 people per square mile. Moore County is 51% female.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution – Article 1, Section 2 to be exact – the federal government must take an accurate count of all living persons inside the United Stated every 10 years. Census numbers help determine how billions in federal dollars are spent. They also determine how many seats in Congress the State of Tennessee gets.

We told you back in June that U.S. Census workers would be heading to Moore County doors soon. This morning, a little birdie told us they are now on their way. Moore County citizens who have yet to respond to the 2020 Census should expect a knock at their door … maybe as early as today. If you aren’t home or don’t answer, by law, they can come back up to six times.

It’s a short questionnaire with less that 10 questions per person. It includes your first and last name, sex, age, and race. That’s it. Click here to view a sample of the questions. Census takers will never ask about your religion, political affiliations, or income. They will also never ask for your Social Security number of financial information.

All U.S. Census worker wear official identification complete with an ID badge number. If you suspect the person, get their badge number and call the U.S. Census Regional Office to verify them. Tennessee is located in the Philadelphia Regional office along with Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. You can reach them at 800.262.4236 or via email at Philadelphia.Regional.Office@census.gov.

And remember, by law, your answers on the U.S. Census can never be used against you by any government agency or court. Getting an accurate count of every person living in Moore County is important. For more information, visit the U.S. Census website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Jack Daniel hosts virtual music festival to benefit musicians affected by COVID-19

Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard (left), singer, songwiter Nathaniel Rateliff (top right), and California indie band Cold War Kids (bottom right) will headline Jack Daniel’s Distillery virtual music festival this Friday and Saturday to support musicians affected by COVID-19. {Photos Provided}

Our local product and live music have a storied history together. From Frank Sinatra’s professed love of Old No. 7 to the recent release of the limited edition Eric Church Single Barrel Bottle … where you find great music, you’ll usually find a bottle of Jack.

Live musicians like the ones we flock to see on Lower Broadway or at Bonnaroo … well, they are struggling. Festival cancellations and music venue closings have upended their livelihoods.

Enter Jack Daniel’s Distillery … together with Crash the Couch, they are raising funds for the Sweet Relief COVID-19 Musicians Fund. On this coming Friday and Saturday (August 14 and 15), Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Cold War Kids will headline the two-day, online festival on Jack Daniel’s YouTube channel.

Denver-based singer, songwriter Rateliff and California indie rock band the Cold War Kids will headline Friday night along with opening acts like Tank and the Bangas, Hiss Golden Messenger, the Suffers, and Goldlink. Alabama Shakes lead vocalist Brittany Howard will headline night two along with Black Pumas, Brandy Clark, Houndmouth, Durand Jones, and Yola. All performances will be filmed from the artist’s homes all around the country. There performance will be interspersed with live cocktail demonstrations.

So login, make a donation, and raise a glass. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned, community 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.}

Library book club picks The Crane Wife for August read

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County Brown Bag Book Club recently announced they’ll be reading The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness for their August pick.

It’s the retelling of a Japanese folktale. In Ness’s retelling, he imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man might be transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that mysteriously lands in his backyard.

“One night, groggy American expat George finds himself tending to an injured crane that bizarrely appears in his London backyard. The next morning, Kumiko — a quiet, independent woman — soars into George’s life. She vaguely reminds him of the crane and leaves him wondering whether he was dreaming. As if in a storybook, Kumiko brings opportunity, human interaction and love to the lonely man but remains an enigma. George’s yearning to know more about her threatens their relationship and endangers their lives,” their synopsis reads.

The Crane Wife book cover

Ness is a southern-born author who grew up in Hawaii and now lives in London. He has won the Carnegie Medal twice, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award.

The Brown Bag Book Club meets every Friday at the Moore County Public Library. The group usually ends and begins a new book on the last Friday of each month. However, they will finish this novel early on Friday, August 14 so that they can move on to “the perfect suspense, mystery book,” according to their social media post. We’ll post that pick as soon as they release it. •

{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.}

Moore’s active COVID count increased by 19 this week

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Department of Health}

MOORE COUNTY — According to Saturday’s confirmed COVID-19 numbers released by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), Moore County’s total new confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 19 in the last seven days – from 42 on August 2 to 61 today.

Regionally, Bedford County gained 56 new cases. Coffee County gained 111. Franklin County increased by 40 and Lincoln County gained another 29 cases.

Active cases could trigger school hybrid plan

Of particular importance is the number of active Moore County cases. According to today’s numbers, there are 28 active and 33 recovered cases. This number is important because there are active case triggers in place in the Moore County School System to help Director Moorehead and the School Board decide when it’s appropriate to close Moore County school buildings and transition to remote learning.

As long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reaches above 32 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

If the number of active cases rises above 65 (or 1%), then all learning will happen remotely. If Moore County sustains it’s new active case rate, students could transition to a hybrid schedule in the next two weeks.

However, on Friday, Director Moorehead stressed that the active cases benchmark is not a state mandate but rather a school board approved threshold that could be revisited.

Hospitalization seems to be stabilizing

After a jump of over 100 new patients hospitalized with COVID-19 the third week in July, the hospitalization rate in Tennessee seems to be stabilizing. After hospitalizing an nearly an additional 2,000 COVID patient is July (286 week one, 369 week two, 471 week three, and 465 week four), the rate increase by a 466 the first week in August.

According to the TDH, there are 338 of 2,030 (or 17 %) of available ICU beds in the state. In a bit a good news, 67% of Tennessee’s ventilators are available as of Saturday. To see complete hospital capacity numbers, click here. To view the state’s COVID statistics site or learn more about rates in individual counties, click here. •

{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.}

Bradshaw shocks in Democratic primary

A Memphis environmentalist and single mom defeated a Nashville attorney last night in an upset win that had political tongues wagging on Friday morning.

Five candidates vied for an opportunity to run against the Republican nominee to replace retiring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. Marquita Bradshaw won with 117,345 votes in a staggering upset win. She will face off with Bill Hagerty in the November election.

Others vote totals were Gary Davis (30,733), Robin Kimbrough (87,846), James Mackler (78,568) and Mark Pickrell (16,012).

Noelle Bivens and Christopher Hale faced off for an opportunity to run against incumbent Scott DesJarlais for U.S. House of Representatives District 4. Hale got 16,089 (58.9%) of the vote compared to Bivens 11,218 (41.1%). In Moore County, Hale also beat Bivens by a 145 to 74 margin.

Chase Clemons ran unopposed for Tennessee Senate District 14. He will face off with Shane Reeves in the November election. •

{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.}

Harrison and Cauble win in County General Election

Moore County is an interesting place to be on Election Nights. Locals gather around the Lynchburg Gazebo waiting on results to be written in on the big board. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

As polls closed in Moore County at 7 p.m. on Thursday, as is tradition, folks started gathering near the gazebo on the square for election results. Local General Sessions Judge Terry Gregory served as the “unofficial” town crier as he moved back and forth from the County Building bringing out the new precinct totals. Election nights in Lynchburg are a charming, small town affair.

There were only two contested race this year in the County General election: Metro Council District 4 and Assessor of Property. Road Superintendent candidate Shannon Cauble was officially running unopposed but local Chris Bateman ran as a write in candidate.

Four candidates vied for three seats on the Metro Council District Four. The final votes were Peggy S Blackburn 190 votes, Arvis N. Bobo 220 votes, Bradley K. Dye 229 votes, and Patrick A Maynard 175 votes. The top three won. New members Blackburn and Dye as well as incumbent Bobo will represent District Four at the next Metro Council meeting.

Two candidate competed for Metro Assessor of Property. Incumbent Wayne Darrin Harrison won with 1,058 votes. Rhonda L Sawyer earned 592 votes.

In uncontested races, Amy L. Cashion, Sunny Rae Moorehead, and Shane E. Taylor were all elected to the Metro Council’s three First District seats. Keith Moses will continue to represent District 3 at the Metro Council.

Shannon F. Cauble (1,301 votes) will become our next Road Superintendent. She bested write in candidate Chris Bateman (298 votes).

Three new Metro School Board members won in uncontested races: Greg Thompson, District 2; Nathan Buchanan, District 4, and Tanya Vann, District 5.

William Noles was also elected to the Urban Service District. He also ran unopposed. •

{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.}