TVA, DREMC partner to keep the lights on in Moore County

STATE NEWS — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) are doing their part to make sure the lights stay on.

On Thursday, TVA announced their intention to extend $1 billion of credit support to local power companies, like Duck River, to give utilities more flexibility in working with customers during the COVID-19-related financial crunch. TVA will defer a portion of any power cooperative or local power company’s monthly TVA wholesale power payment throughout the COVID-19 response.

DREMC also confirmed its commitment to the community on March 19 by announcing that it has stopped disconnections for non-payment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These actions were taken in recognition of the financial hardships some members may face due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand electricity is essential for the health and safety of you and your family during these difficult times.” said Duck River Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Scott Spence.

Moore County residents will continue to receive regular monthly bills and DREMC says that continued payments by those who can pay will be important to keeping future electrics prices low.

“We cannot solve many of today’s national or international problems, but we want to do what we can to help you,” Spence said.

DREMC posted an employee video on their Facebook page on Friday to explain the changes and put customer’s minds at ease. You can view that video by clicking here. Questions? Contact the DREMC Lynchburg office at 931-759-7344. •

{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 orders in-person courts, including Moore, closed through March

On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffery Bivins declared a state of emergency … essentially closing all state and county courts to in-person proceeding except in cases where the proceedings are “necessary to protect the constitutional rights of a defendant.”

According to the order, essential individual courts and court personnel will remain in office and “will remain open under all circumstances” but most in-person proceedings will be postponed.

“Each day across the State of Tennessee, thousands of people attend court proceedings in-person when they come to the courthouse as jurors, witnesses, litigants, or in another capacity. Public spaces in courthouses tend to be small, tightly packed bench seats that provide the type of situations public health officials have encouraged people to avoid during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins.

“However, judges, court clerks, and others provide essential constitutional functions that must be carried on. In issuing this Order, the Court struck a balance in limiting the public’s exposure to the virus with continuing essential court functions judges must provide to ensure the administration of justice.”

Exceptions to the order would include orders of protection, emergency child custody hearings, emergency matters of child protection, temporary injunctive relief, mental health orders, emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable individuals, and any proceedings directly related tot he COVID-19 public health emergency.

Court proceedings will be limited to necessary individuals only and closed to the general public. In the event the court offices are closed to the public, those office would remain “open” through telephone and email during regular business hours. Drop boxes would be used to file official court documents.

“This is new territory for everyone,” Chief Bivins said. “We encourage judges, court clerks, attorneys, law enforcement, and others to work together to develop creative solutions that work for their individual jurisdictions. The goal is to limit the number of people coming into court each day while continuing to meet our duty and administer justice. We may amend this Order as the situation evolves, and we understand more about the obstacles judges and court staff are facing.”

To read the order in full, click here. •

{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.}

Attention Moore Elderly: Grant dollars available for emergency home repairs

STATE NEWS — The South Central Tennessee Development District (SCTDD) office wants Moore County citizens over the age of 60 to know about a state program that funds emergency repairs on local properties. The Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is for residents who own their own home, have paid their 2018 property tax, occupy the home as their primary residence, and have a household income below 60 percent of area median income.

The grants can be used to repair roofs, electrical systems, septic tanks, heating and air systems, structural repairs, and to modify a home to make it accessible to the homeowner (ie. wheelchair ramps, etc.). It can not be used for renovation for beautification purpose or to upgrade a home.

SCTDD serves Moore, Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Perry, and Wayne counties. To apply, contact Robin Rochelle at 866.836.6678 or 931.379.2957 for an application. •

{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 asks state officials to address line worker safety

Pictured (from left to right) DREMC Board Member Brent Willis, Director of Operations Patrick Jordan, President & CEO Scott Spence, Director of Finance Shelia Orrell, Rep. Bricken, DREMC Board Member Baxter White and DREMC Board Member Mike England.

STATE NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) representatives met with nine lawmakers last week with line worker safety at the top of their collective minds.

According to a press release, more than 200 electric cooperative members from across Tennessee were in Nashville Feb. 4 for the legislative conference asking for commonsense rules to protect the state’s electric line workers.

More and more, electric consumers are opting to install personal generation sources, like solar panels, on personal property. However, when not installed properly, those sources can pose a real threat to the safety of local line workers. Utility professionals asked lawmakers to support legislation that would require property owners installing a generation source to notify their local power provider, comply with safety codes, and install a switch that would allow the generation source to be disconnected during an emergency.

“The safety of our line workers and first responders is our top priority,” said President and CEO Scott Spence. “I believe this legislation will help protect our hard-working employees allowing them to return home safely to their families at the end of the day.”

According to the press release, other topics during the visits included legislation that would allow certain utility-owned vehicles to display the Powering Tennessee specialty license plate. Funds from the sale of the plate benefit the Tennessee Line Worker Lifeline Fund, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to assisting line workers and their families who may have been injured or killed in the course of their duties.•

{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 Daniel gets famous first tonight during Super Bowl

Jack Daniel’s “Our Responsibility” ad marks the first time the distillery’s run an in-game advertising spot during the Super Bowl. {Photo Courtesy of Brown-Forman)

Sunday night’s Super Bowl is full of firsts.

It’s the first time the Kansas City Chief’s and San Francisco 49ers have ever faced off in a Super Bowl. Kyle and Mike Shanahan will become the first father-son duo in NFL history to appear in a Super Bowl as head coaches … the younger with the 49ers and the elder with the Denver Broncos. It also marks the first time in the history of the brand that Jack Daniel will air an in-game Super Bowl commercial.

The spot entitled “Our Responsibilities” features lots of local faces and tells the story of the various “responsibilities” at the distillery from whiskey taster to warehousing to Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade to tour guide … and even the local dog. To view the 30-second commercial, click here.

It’s a little known fact that the National Football League banned liquor advertising during it’s broadcasts until as recently as 2017. This year’s spots are going for an estimated $5 million per 30-second spot.

It’s a logical fit for our local product as they already supports the NBA, MLB, and NHL with national advertising dollars. Arnold Worldwide created the spot and it’s paired with Uber discount codes on social media and in select bars to encourage “drinking responsibly.” According to officials, the ad will air in nine markets including Nashville, so keep your eyes pealed. Cheers y’all. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated 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.}

Join others across the state and plant a tree on Tennessee Tree Day

STATE NEWS — It’s our state’s largest single-day tree planting effort and it takes place on Saturday, March 21 – the official first day of Spring. Thousands of folks across all Tennessee’s 95 counties will come together to plant trees for generations to come.

The Tennessee Environmental Council wants to help you participate by offering tree seedlings for a small donation to the state non-profit. Those trees can be picked up by Moore County residents in surrounding counties. Regionally, you may pick up seedlings in Bedford, Coffee, or Lincoln counties.

Why plant trees? Because they’re crucial to a happy and healthy environment. They filter the air we breathe, filter water, and help reduce the ozone layer. Most importantly, they sequester carbon, which helps remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from our air, which in turn cools the earth. They also provide habitat for animals and provide the key ingredients in up to 25 percent of medicines.

In Bedford County, trees can be picked up at the UT Extension Office located at 2105 Midland Road in Shelbyville. In Coffee County, trees can be picked up at the Coffee County UT Master Gardeners located at 1331 McArthur Street in Manchester. In Lincoln County, trees can be picked up at Don Davidson Park at 1701 Wilson Parkway in Fayetteville. Pick up locations will not be able to take cash. Those who wish to participate must order and pay for their seedlings online. To view a list of the types of seedlings available at each pick up site and order trees, click here. The deadline to order tree seedlings is March 1.

According to their website, since 2007, the Tennessee Tree Project has mobilized over 60,000 Tennessee residents in planting 637,100 native trees in Tennessee and beyond. For more information, visit the Tennessee Tree Day 2020 website.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated 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.}

Flu cases increase; Vaccine still available locally

LOCAL NEWS — If you’re sick … stay home. This is the take away this week from the recent uptick in confirmed flu cases … especially in the student population here in Moore County.

On Tuesday, Metro Director of Schools Chad Moorehead decided to close all Moore County schools for the remainder of the week due to illness. Previously scheduled athletic events remain scheduled at this time but Moorehead cautioned any sick fans to “stay home and get well.” Following suit, the organizers of the annual Miss Lynchburg Pageant decided to postpone their event until February 8 for similar reason. The event was originally scheduled for this Saturday.

It seems to be a prudent move. Also on Tuesday, the State Department of Health confirmed the eighth pediatric death in Tennessee related to the current flu season. Three of those deaths took place in Middle Tennessee. As of last week, 45 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had at least one confirmed flu case. According to the CDC, Tennessee continues to rank high in flu activity.

Lori Neal Russel of the Lynchburg Medical Clinic says her office did see a slight spike in cases last week.

“I think it’s been bad in kids,” she told The Times. “But not too bad in adults.”

Flu symptoms include a fever of over 100 degrees plus aches, fatigue, weakness, cough, and a headache. Symptoms usually happen abruptly. Medical professional say it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re feeling sick, stay at home as patients remain contagious for three to four days.

Flu vaccines are still available at the Metro Moore Health Department as well as Lynchburg Medical Clinic. LMC also has high dose vaccines recommended for patients 65 years and older. To make an appointment with the Health Department, call 931-759-4251. To make an appointment with the Lynchburg Medical Clinic, call 931-759-4197. •

{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.}

Authorities release more details in Belvidere shooting death

Christopher Maxwell, age 48, has been charged with first degree murder and homicide related to the fatal shooting of his wife< Holly, on January 25. His teenage sons remain hospitalized. {Photo Courtesy of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department}

{Editor’s Note: We updated this article on January 29 based on newly available public information.}

FRANKLIN COUNTY — More details are coming to light in a domestic case that turned fatal in Belvidere … touching the lives of two MCHS students who remain hospitalized.

According to Franklin County Public Information Officer Chris Guess, local officials have charged Christopher Maxwell, age 48, with first degree murder and homicide in the shooting death of his wife, Holly Raquel Maxwell, age 46 at their Vernon Ridge Road home in Belvidere on Saturday. He’s also charges with criminal attempt, aggravated child abuse, and neglect, for shooting his two teenage sons, according to a press release.

According to authorities, they received a domestic disturbance call at the residence on Saturday around 4:30 p.m. While en route to the scene, dispatch informed deputies that they’d received a report that shots had been fired at the home. When deputies arrived, they discovered Holly Maxwell deceased and laying on the floor in the residence. Deputies also discovered the Maxwell’s two teenage sons, ages 13 and 14, “adjacent to the residence” and suffering from gunshot wounds.

As authorities attempted to secure the scene, they discovered Christopher Maxwell in an adjacent milk barn. Deputies arrested Maxwell and transported him to Southern Tennessee Regional Health Systems in Winchester for treatment for chest pains. Doctors later released him into local authority’s custody and he was immediately transported to the Franklin County Jail.

At the scene, both teenagers were initially also transported to Southern Tennessee Regional Health Systems, and then again transported to state level one trauma centers via air ambulance. Authorities transported the 14 year old to Erlanger Hospital via Life Force helicopter and the 13 year old to Vanderbilt Hospital via LifeFlight helicopter. According to Franklin County officials, both remain hospitalized in stable condition.

Chris Maxwell remains in custody in Franklin County where he is being held without bond. He’s scheduled to appear in Franklin County General Sessions Court on March 5. According to an arrest affidavit related to the case, Maxwell told deputies that he shot his wife in the head because he believed she was cheating on him.

Members of the Moore County community are working to help the two juvenile victims. Click here for more information on those efforts.•

{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 now registered apprenticeship provider

the Motlow Workforce Development team
Motlow State is now a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) provider as approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Pictured is the Motlow Workforce Development team (from left to right) career services specialist Penny Sevier, executive director of workforce development Kathy Parker, coordinator of non-credit activities Andy Lyon, executive director of the Automation & Robotics Training Center Larry Flatt, and workforce development specialist, Michelle Cox. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS —Modern American apprenticeships are on the rise. And why not? It’s a great deal for both workers and employers. Workers get paid on-the-job training and exposure to mentors in their fields. Employers get to develop highly-skilled employees who usually stay longer and work more efficiently. It’s a win-win.

Motlow State recently became a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). This means the college may now quickly design apprenticeship programs the meet the needs of area employers.

“Many of our industry partners are anxious to add apprenticeships to their portfolio of training programs,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow president. “There is a sense of urgency and opportunity in pursuit of both formal and informal apprenticeships.”

RAP’s allow employers access to a wider talent pool and reduces overall unemployment in southern, middle Tenneessee.

According to Torrence, “Apprenticeships are another public-private partnership win-win. For employers, apprenticeships help identify and vet talent early in the pipeline and support strong candidates through job-readiness training that can often qualify for funding support. For future workers, apprenticeships are important pathways toward high-wage skills without taking on the debt traditionally associated with high-demand credentials.”

Last year the USDOL announced awards totaling $183.8 million to support the development and expansion of apprenticeships for educational institutions partnering with companies that provide a funding-match component. The Department is also making an additional $100 million available for efforts to expand apprenticeships and close the employee skills gap.

For more information contact Kathy Parker, Motlow executive director of workforce development, at 931-393-1760 or kparker@mscc.edu. •

General Assembly considers legalizing, decriminalizing recreational marijuana

STATE NEWS — On Friday, State Sentor Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced a bill (SB 1849) that would legalize recreational marijuana in Tennessee. If approved, the legislation would create a 12 percent tax on the sale of regulated weed up to half an ounce. According to the bill, 20 percent of that money would go to the General Fund, 30 percent would fund state infrastructure, and the remaining 50 percent would go toward public education. To read that bill, click here.

Under the bill, sellers would need a registered business and a license from the state to legally sell weed. Additionally the bill would apply to the growing, processing, manufacturing, delivery and sale of marijuana. Those licensed would also be able to sell only at locations zoned for sale.

A corresponding House Bill (HB 1610) sponsored by Representative Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) would allow each county governments to hold a referendum vote to decide whether the legal marijuana industry is right for their county. That bill would also decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession statewide. To read that bill, click here.

Proponents of the bills say they could reduce Tennessee’s opioid epidemic, create jobs, free up law enforcement resources, and add billions to state coffers. Opponents claim legalization will lead to increased teen use, more pot-related traffic accidents, and harm the environment.

According to state figures, more that 2,600 farmers are already licensed to grow hemp in Tennessee. It’s similar to marijuana but does not contain THC, the chemical that causes individuals to feel high. Hemp can be used to make cloth, rope, construction materials, and produce cannabidiol or CBD.

If approved, the new proposed bills would be scheduled to go into affect on July 1, 2020. To let your representative know how you feel, contact Representative Iris Rudder at 615-741-8695 or Senator Shane Reeves at 615-741-1066. •

{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.}