State Officials: 2020 tick season could be worse ever

With so many people flocking outdoors, health officials say we should be extra diligent about avoiding tick bites. {File Photo}

Forget Murder hornets … state officials say locals should worry more about ticks in 2020. According to officials with the UT Ag Extension office, a mild temperature and lots of rain this winter will combine for higher than normal number of the creepy little bloodsuckers – especially in May and June when they tend to be more active.

According to local vet Dr. Bryant Morton, he’s already seeing both dogs and cats suffering the affects of tick bites this year and the season’s barely begun.

When it come to pets, Dr. Morton advise that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of veterinary cure, which can often be lengthy, expensive, and largely unsuccessful. Dog most commonly suffer from rickettsial disease, which causes shifting leg lameness, reoccurring fevers, and overall malaise. In cats, bobcat fever is more common. Both collars and topicals are available for both dogs and cats that kill tick but they are notoriously difficult to repell, according to Dr. Morton. Owners can also give dogs oral monthly products.

Human exposure greater due to COVID-19

In Tennessee, there are 15 different ticks species many whose bite can cause serious disease in humans too. In fact, 60 percent of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever cases in the United States come from just five states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Experts expect another trend to affect the number of local tick bites this season. Due to COVID-19 concerns, a greater number of people are spending time outside now more than ever.

When spending time outdoors, especially in wooded areas and tall grass where ticks like to hide, experts recommend wearing long pants or spraying your clothes with tick repellent. Experts say throwing your clothes immediately in the washer or in a hot dryer for 10 minutes when you get home will keep ticks from lingering. You should also shower within two hours.

It’s a good idea to thoroughly check yourself and others for ticks when you return. If you locate one of the creepy little hitchhikers, pull it off with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. It’s also a good idea to throw the specimen into a plastic container and preserve in the freezer in cast illness symptoms develop. This will make both diagnosis and recovery easier.

For more information about tick-borne diseases, check out the state health department’s website.

{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.}

COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

1| Moore County holds steady at three cases. On April 22, Moore County got its third confirmed COVID-19 case but has not added an additional case since. That’s 30 days without a new case. According to local officials, all three local cases have recovered and are doing well.

2| There are now cases in all Tennessee counties. On Wednesday, the state health department reported the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Hancock County. This mean there are now at least one confirmed case in all 95 counties.

3| Restaurant, retail increase capacity. On Friday, updated guidelines for restaurants and retail stores went into effect by allowing them to operate at full capacity. Attractions and large non-contact venues can now re-open with appropriate social distancing and capacity restrictions. Under the new guidance, bars should remain closed unless used for seated, in-restaurant dining.

4| Free child care for essential workers extended. This week, Tennessee also extended free pandemic child care for essential workers until mid-August. At the same time they also expanded the categories of essential workers – allowing more workers to qualify. Those working in the financial, religious, utility and hotel industries, among others can now qualify.

5| State unemployment claims now highest in state history. According to new numbers released on Thursday, Tennessee’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is now 14.7 percent. There have been 532,580 new unemployment claims filed in the state of Tennessee between March 15 and May 16, according to the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

{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.}

Tim’s Ford State Park Pool will not open this summer

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Tennessee State Park officials announced this week that all public pools located inside state parks will not open this summer due to COVID-19 concerns. Tim’s Ford State Park Pool was already scheduled to be closed this summer for maintenance.

State park official stated they made the decision because there is no way to safely social distance at a pool. They also cited the unique challenge of keeping lifeguards safe.

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges for managing pools. Pools are confined spaces not conducive to social distancing,” park officials said. “The very nature of lifeguarding requires close contact with pool users and creates potential for unnecessary risk in life saving situations.”

The state parks system re-opened on May 1 and offers many other water-based summer activities like swimming along shorelines, fishing, boating, and paddling.

For more information about the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 response and guidelines, click here. For more information about Tims Ford State Park, click 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.}

Wartrace gets new fresh produce market

Locally-made baked goods like these all-butter tea cakes adorned with pansies by Heaven Hill Farm will be available this weekend at Wartrace’s new fresh produce market. {Photo Provided}

WARTRACE — It’s the home of the annual Wartrace Strawberry Festival and now this charming southern, middle Tennessee hamlet’s got a new, fresh produce market.

Officials in Wartrace announced this week that Wartrace Produce will open in the historic district this weekend and will offer local strawberries, homegrown veggies, strawberry-themed baked goods, flowers, and other local items. The market will be located at 103 Main Street in Wartrace beginning on Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Many of the local shops at The Shoppes at 31 Main and the Iron Horse Pizzeria will also be open. They will all be following all CDC guidelines. Personal masks are encouraged but not required. For more information, visit the Wartrace TN Events and Recreation Facebook page 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.}

American Pickers headed to southern, middle Tennessee in June

Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe of American Pickers will be in our area in June. {Photo Provided}

They adore traveling the rural back roads looking for dusty barns and piles of grimy junk to explore. Why? Because there might just be a rare vintage find or a forgotten relic just begging to be restored.

American Pickers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, will be headed toward southern, middle Tennessee in June. And hey, if you’ve got interesting stuff they might just visit you. The duo are looking for items to show off on there oh-so-popular History Channel show. If you or someone you know has unique items you’d be willing to share, you should contact them via email, phone, or on Facebook to be considered.

The duo only explores private collections so they won’t be interested in retail stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auction, or any business that’s open to the general public.

You can contact them via email at americanpickers@cineflix.com, leave them a voicemail at 855-old-rust, or message them on their Facebook page. To be considered let them know your name, location, phone number, where your collection is located,and a description of the items.

They also own a retail store in Nashville called Antique Archaeology that sells vintage items, collectibles, and unique home decor all picked personally by Mike. It’s located at 1300 Clinton Street. •

{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.}

State parks plan virtual 5K; proceeds benefit the Honey Project

You can run the Honey Bee Virtual 5K any day between May 17-23. {Art Provided}

Get out of the house. Get moving and get out there and save the bees.

May 20 is World Bee Day and to celebrate Tennessee State Parks will host a virtual 5K with all proceeds benefiting the Tennessee State Park Honey Project. Both Henry Horton State Park and South Cumberland State Park participate regionally.

The race takes place May 17 through 23. Locals can run (or walk) the virtual race from anywhere and at their own pace. The registration fee is $20. All participants will receive a bib by email. A finisher’s medal and certificate will be sent by mail.

The Honey Project helps establish honeybee hives in parks across Tennessee to help folks learn about pollinators. Since pollinator health is critical to Tennessee’s agricultural, environmental and ecological health, these tiny insects open the door to discuss a myriad of environmental issues. TSP also bottles and sells state park honey in area gift shops.

To register for the race, click here. To learn more about the TSP Honey Project, click 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.}

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.}

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.}

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.}

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.