Attention MCHS Class of 2022: DREMC invites you to enter writing contest for scholarship dollars

February 19 is the deadline for MCHS juniors to enter the DREMC Creative Writing Contest. At least one student from Moore County will win. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) invites high school juniors across their service area – which includes Moore County – to enter their 2021 writing contest. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the year’s winner will not tour Washington D.C. as a group. Instead, applicants will be eligible to win higher education scholarship funds. The deadline to enter is Friday, February 19 and the winners will be announced after March 26.

One student from Moore, Maury, and Giles counties and two students from Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, and Marshall counties will be selected. Home school students are also invited to apply.

To enter the DREMC Creative Writing Scholarship Competition, students should submit a 750 to 900 word short story that explores how Tennessee’s electric cooperative help build a brighter Tennessee. Entries will be judged on appropriate treatment of the theme, originality, as well as grammar and composition.

The top essay winners will qualify for additional college scholarship dollars awarded by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association (TECA) for the state’s top-judged stories.

“I’ve been working with the TECA for my whole teaching career with this essay contest,” said MCHS’s Lisa Price Moorehead. “It’s a fabulous opportunity.”

MCHS students with questions should contact Moorehead at the high school or DREMC’s Connie Potts at cpotts@dremc.com or 931-680-5881.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Moore County will not receive COVID-19 vaccine shipment this week

According to the state, Moore County will not receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine for the public this week. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis says state officials informed her Monday afternoon that Moore County would not receive an additional shipment of COVID-19 vaccine this week — January 4-8.

Other counties, including those larger than Moore County, will also receive drastically reduced to none also, according to Mayor Lewis.

Shipments headed to county health department will instead go to area drugstore, who are responsible for administering COVID-19 vaccinations to long term care facilities.

The Tennessee Health Department assigns vaccination priorities. They are not controlled at the local level.

Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis says as soon as a new vaccine shipment comes in all those citizens aged 75 and older who showed up to get vaccinated on January 2 but were turned away when supplies ran out will be notified.

“We will work together to assure all our citizens are assisted with the process … whatever it is,” said Mayor Lewis. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Vaccine Scene: Long lines, short supplies lead to frustrations

Despite showing up early, many locals aged 75 and older left without getting the COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday due to short supplies. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — This past Saturday marked the first date citizens throughout the state could receive the Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine and things were kind of a mess everywhere.

In nearby Tullahoma, citizens 75 and older could be seen lining the streets of Wilson Avenue as early at 7 a.m. in 40 degree temperatures waiting their turn to get vaccinated. The debacle made national news.

In Moore County, local senior citizens lined up well before the 8 a.m. start time as well but thanks to quick thinking by local officials, they remained in their vehicles instead of braving the elements.

“We knew our older citizens would show up early and we tried to anticipate that,” says Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis. “This is the age group that survived polio. They know what it’s like to watch a deadly virus sweep across the country.”

Despite their best efforts, some citizens who showed up on Saturday still walked away empty handed. The local health department ran out of doses before 2 p.m. — so did Coffee, Grundy, and Franklin counties.

“No health department anywhere got sufficient supplies of the vaccine for the numbers that showed up to be vaccinated,” Mayor Lewis says.

Mayor says vaccinations will be drive thru moving forward

The press release the state department of health issued on Wednesday stated that vaccinations would be given on a “first-come, first-served” basis and without an appointment leaving local health care workers trying to accommodate both those who just showed up as well as those who called ahead.

“It’s important to realize that health care workers remain the state-defined vaccination priority,” said Mayor Lewis. “No matter when they show up, they move to the front of the line.”

Moving forward, Mayor Lewis says that all future vaccination days will take place in Wiseman Park so that drive thru vaccinations can be offered without congesting local traffic.

Mayor Lewis also says that health officials are developing a pre-registration process to help public vaccination dates run more smoothly in the future. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Area state parks offer first day hikes

Several area Tennessee State Parks will kick off New Year’s Day with Guided First Day Hikes. (File Photo)

Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day. Many state parks will host its own special hike. It’s a great way to safely spend time with friends and family to kick off the new year. Here are those happening closest to Lynchburg:

WINCHESTER | Tims Ford State Park — Local rangers will lead locals on a 2.5 mile loop hike out the Lost Creek Overlook Trail to the Lost Creek Overlook and return on the Overlook Trail. Online registration is required and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be limited to 50 hikers. This is a free hike, however donations are encouraged and will go toward firefighting supplies and equipment to keep the parks safe and beautiful. Hikers should meet at 10 a.m. at the Visitors Center. Click here for more information.

MANCHESTER | Old Stone Fort State Park — Meet Ranger Caleb Doster at the Old Fort State Park Museum Roof at 1 p.m. for a two hour strenuous hike along the 3.5 mile Backbone Trail. Hikers will walk along the Enclosure Trail and see the prehistoric Native American Mounds while discussing their cultural significance to the area. As you hike, you will see both the Big and Little Duck Rivers, as well as the three magnificent waterfalls. Temperature on Friday will hover around 70 degrees but there is an 80 percent chance of rain, so dress accordingly. Hikers are encouraged to bring their own water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, click here.

BEERSHEBA SPRING | South Cumberland State Park — There is no more picturesque spot in south central Tennessee that Stone Door located inside South Cumberland State Park. Park Ranger Kristin Willis will lead hikers on a two mile hike to the best overlook in the park. Meet at 1183 Stone Door Road at 9 a.m. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain on Friday and temperatures should be in the mid-sixties. Dress appropriately. Click here for more information.

Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. Most hikes are free but each state park accepts donations. To see all the First Day Hikes being offered in our state on January 1, 2021, 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.}

AT&T says no recovery timeframe for Internet back online due to building damage and investigation

AT&T officials says Internet services in the state, including Moore County’s Monster Broadband, can not be restored until commercial power can be turned back on in the damaged data center. (File Photo)

STATE NEWS — Based on information given both through a company press release and the 1 p.m. press conference, there is currently “no recovery timeframe in hand” for an all clear on AT&T-fed Internet in Tennessee as well as parts of Kentucky and northern Alabama. This includes Moore County’s Monster Broadband.

According to AT&T mechanical engineers, they confirmed that there is roughly three feet of water in the basement of the data center from overnight efforts to fight a fire in the building. That water has the potential to do damage to mechanical equipment in the area. Also, that standing water is preventing commercial power from being restored, which is preventing restoration of Internet services.

Both AT&T and TEMA have generators on site, which has restored some 3G cellular services, but commercial power will need to be restored to get Internet back online. That power remains shut off near the area of the explosion so that FBI and ATF can safely continue their investigation.

U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, Don Cochran said his office had received over 500 tips and leads since Friday and investigators were following up on all of them.

Cochran stated that the area near the AT&T data center was like a giant jigsaw puzzle filled with clues.

He also stated that over 250 FBI agents were on the ground in Nashville and profilers at Quantico were working to help narrow the manhunt.

“We ask that you be patient,” said Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake.

No one at the 1 p.m. press conference named any suspect or persons of interest in the bombing. CBS News released the name of Anthony Quinn Warner, age 63, of Nashville as a person of interest in the bombing earlier today. Click here for that link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Moore COVID cases skyrocketing

New cases of COVID more than doubled in Moore County over the weekend. Moore County now has the eighth highest rate of infection per population in the state of Tennessee. (File Photo)

Lynchburg seems to be hitting a tipping point in the COVID 19 pandemic — and not in a good way. New, active COVID 19 cases have skyrocketed in Lynchburg over the past seven days. We now sit at 522 total cases, including 24 new cases overnight and 27 new cases over the weekend. In the last seven days, we’ve added 84 new cases — over twice the number of the previous seven day period of 34 new cases. Our positivity rate is now 27.1 percent. To learn more about Moore County specific date, visit the state’s COVID 19 dashboard by clicking here.

According to state rankings by county, Moore County has the eighth highest rate of infection per population. Regionally, Lincoln County continues to be a hotspot with 56 new cases overnight and 346 over the last seven days. Lincoln has the highest rate of infection per population out of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Bedford County sits at number 11. Coffee County is at number 18. Franklin County is ranked number 39.

Nationally, COVID 19 is now the leading cause of daily deaths in U.S. — moving ahead of heart disease, according to the latest report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. On average, the U.S. loses 2,353 Americans from heart disease each day. On December 8, the U.S. surpassed that number with 2,661 COVID death a day — a number that continues to rise.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, if Tennessee were an independent country, we’d have the eighth worst outbreak in the world. Only Rhode Island is fairing worst than the Volunteer State. Tennessee suffers from the second highest rate of infection per population with 107 new cases per 100,000 citizens per day.

The rising case numbers cause concern for overwhelming area hospitals. On Monday the state Hospital Capacity site provided by the Tennessee Department of Health showed that just 10 percent of the state’s ICU beds were available for new COVID patients. A surge of new patients could easily overload local systems. Even if beds are available, most hospitals are short staffed with doctors, nurses, and support staff stretched to their limits. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Dustin Lynch performs, Moore County home featured in Caroling for Kids fundraiser

Local boy Dustin Lynch released his “tip of the hat” album Tullahoma last December. The country crooner will appear in a virtual fundraiser for the Tullahoma Day Care Center on Sunday. (Photo Provided)

If you are a fan of local boy turned country star, Dustin Lynch, and you’d like to get a peek inside the home of Moore County’s Janice Harder, then we’ve got a cool virtual event for a good cause for you. On Sunday, Caroling for Kids: A Virtual Fundraiser will take place at 4 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Tullahoma Day Care Center, a nonprofit facility for at-risk children with the mission of “providing affordable, safe, healthy and nurturing pre-school child care” for area students.

“Since the popular holiday tour of homes had to be canceled this year, we wanted to give everyone something as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support in 2020,” said Board president Reba Walters. “We have planned a Facebook Live virtual fundraiser that we think will be enjoyed by everyone.”

The event will be a 45-minute video accessible through the day care center’s Facebook page by clicking here. Hosted by Tullahoma Alderman Rupa Blackwell, board vice president, the video includes a tour of the Tullahoma Day Care Center by Justin Holder that features interviews with staff and special guests. Also featured will be an online tour of the Moore County home of Janice Harder, and special musical performances by Lynch, Tullahoma Alderman Sernobia McGee, Michael McGee, alumni of the THS AristoCats, and Greg Gressel.

The annual tour of homes has been the center’s largest fundraiser for decades, according to Walters, but this year the board decided to offer an alternative as a kick-off to the holiday season.

“We couldn’t hold our tour of homes this year because of COVID-19, but we wanted to offer the public something to lift our spirits this time of year,” said Walters. “The event replaces our largest annual fundraiser, but we also wanted it to be available for everyone to enjoy. Donations to support the nonprofit center will be accepted during the event, or anytime afterward.”

The center is at 707 Trinity Lane behind Trinity Lutheran Church in Tullahoma and has remained open to preschoolers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Facebook, www.tullahomadaycare.com, or call Emma Coleman, director, at 931-455-4197. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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 adds thermal temp scanners to Moore County campus

Motlow’s Moore County campus recently added no-contact, thermal temperature scanners at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration buildings. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL NEWS — As COVID-19 cases rise throughout Middle Tennessee, Motlow College is stepping up their safety precautions by placing new, no-contact temperature scanners at building entrances.

Each thermal scanner provides a non-contact fever inspection kiosk that provides detection of temperature, with or without a mask, in less than one second. The thermal scanners are now provided as a supplemental aid to Motlow’s existing on-campus requirements. Students, staff, and visitors are still required to submit a self-assessment health screening form before coming to any Motlow campus. Scanners were added at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration on the Moore County campus.

The scanners are simple to use. Walk towards the scanner and it will detect your presence. It will display your temperature on the screen and tell you if you are cleared to enter the building. If your temperature is 100.4 or above, you are not cleared to enter the building and you should leave campus immediately.

To learn more about Motlow College’s on-campus COVID safety requirements, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

Area state parks plan Day After Thanksgiving Hikes

Four area state parks — Old Stone Fort, Henry Horton, Cumberland Trail, and South Cumberland — will offer Day After Thanksgiving Hikes on November 27. (Photos Provided)

Mark your calendar for November 27, skip the Black Friday shopping, and work off a few of those turkey calories with these four Day After Thanksgiving Hike at Middle Tennessee state parks.

MANCHESTER — Join Park Ranger Keith Wimberley for a guided hike around Old Stone Fort State Park. Hikers will walk a leisurely 1.25 mile path that follows along the Little Duck and Duck Rivers while discussing the pre-history, history, and geology of the area. The event is free (though donations are welcome) and will be limited to 50 people. Registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

MONTEAGLE — South Cumberland State Park in Grundy County and Ranger Jessie plan a guided hike through the picturesque Grundy Forest Natural Area to discuss the native plants and animals that inhabit the area. This two mile hike is rated as moderate due to rocky terrain, exposed roots, and some minor elevation change. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CHAPEL HILL — Rangers at Henry Horton State Park in nearby Chapel Hill plan an organized hike through the Hickory Ridge and River Trails. It’s a easy, 3.5 mile hike that’s suitable for all ages and hiking abilities. Ranger Julia and Park Manager Ryan will stop along the way to point out various natural and historical features along the way. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CROSSVILLE — Exchange Black Friday for Black Mountain at this Cumberland Trail State Park Guided Hike. Ranger Mike Croley will guide hikers across the northern rim of the Sequatchie Valley to the stunning boulder formations. It’s a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike that should take around two hours. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

All hikers should wear good walking shoes (no sandals), and bring their own drinking water. Daytime highs that day will be around 63 degree, so dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, visit the Tennessee State Parks website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}

DREMC warns about local phone scams

DREMC recently sent out a press release warning Moore County residents about an area phone scam. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) warns Moore County residents to be alert to an area phone scam aimed at Duck River customers.

The caller, from a 615 area code, identifies themselves as DREMC personnel and demands immediate payment to avoid a disconnection of services. The would-be scammers apparently do several things that would be considered red flags including using abusive language, requesting payment through gift cards or a non-DREMC app, and making the calls outside of normal business hours.

DREMC reminds it’s Lynchburg customers that local offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and a local call would always come in that time frame and from a 931 area code. Duck River also does not accept prepaid gift cards of any type for payment.

Legitimate payment may be made only through the DREMC website or by calling the Lynchburg office 931-759-7344 during regular business hours. Members are encouraged to hang up and call their local DREMC office to verify their account status should they receive a phone call requesting a balance be paid. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. 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.}