State Park offers guided hike to Horsepound Falls

Horsepound Falls is located the the northeast corner of South Cumberland State Park in the Savage Gulf area. {Map courtesy of Friends of South Cumberland }

MONTEAGLE — The Mountain Laurel and other late spring wildflowers will be blooming. Creeks will be flowing and at your final destination, a gorgeous Tennessee waterfall. South Cumberland State Park officials plan an organized hike to Horsepound Falls on Saturday, June 20.

The strenuous to moderate hike will also pass by Suter Falls and the overlook on the way to the main falls. You’ll experience elevation changes and may need to navigate boulders, so be sure to wear sturdy, closed toed shoes. Snakes are always a possibility.

In case of rain, the trail could be muddy. Also, creek and river crossings may require up to knee-deep wading. Wet conditions could also create slick spots in the trail.

Both falls are located in the Savage Gulf area of South Cumberland State Park. Hikers should meet at the Collins West trail head located at 2689 55th Avenue North in Gruetil Lager, about an hour drive from Moore County. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page by clicking 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.}

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, mild temperatures 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 comes to pets, Dr. Morton advises that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of veterinary cure, which can often be lengthy, expensive, and largely unsuccessful. Dogs 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 ticks 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. 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 case illness symptoms develop later. 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.}

Chattanooga becomes National COVID hotspot

According to a recent published report by The New York Times, Chattanooga (Hamilton County) reported 186 new cases and two additional deaths since Friday, making them a national Coronavirus hotspot. Their report is based on a recent Dataminr study that identified 22 small metropolitan and rural counties across eight states. The story also identified Nashville (Davidson County) as a national hotspot among major urban counties.

According to the report, Chattanooga’s rate of new cases per day is the fifth highest in the nation, doubling about every nine days.

On Sunday, the state reported 70 more cases in Chattanooga, which was the largest one-day jump since the global pandemic began. On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 642 total Chattanooga cases and 15 deaths.

Local health officials attributed the jump in number to an increase in testing stating that 14,000 more residents (or four percent of the population) have now been tested.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes stated that despite the uptick, Chattanooga still had enough open hospital beds to handle the surge including 52 adult intensive-care unit beds and 361 adult ventilators available. •

{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.}

Manning and friends launch new whiskey

Shots of their new whiskey line up at the first tee at Sweetens Cove. {Photo Provided}

It’s no secret that in Lynchburg many local college football fan’s blood bleeds bright orange. When you combine former UT quarterback Peyton Manning and an expertly blended 13-year old Tennessee Whiskey together with one of the state’s best kept golf secrets … well, it’s a tempting combination.

On May 26, pre-sale on Manning’s Sweetens Cove Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey will open to Tennessee residents only. It’s a limited run of just 14,000 bottles.

Down a gravel road in the Sequatchie Valley

It all started right down the road in South Pittsburg just 69 miles from Moore County at a place called Sweetens Cove. It’s a real find and ones that’s developed a cult following in the Volunteer State and beyond.

The quirky little Golf Week Top 100 nine hole course enjoys an interesting ritual. Before golfers tee up for the first time at the first hole, they go into the tiny little clubhouse, named The Shed, and throw back a shot of whiskey.

It’s a tradition dating back to the beginning and one that’s led to an impressive collection of bourbons and whiskeys as golfers pay-it-forward by taking their shot and leaving the bottle behind for the next person.

One day while playing a round with tennis great Andy Roddick, the two decided to bottle that particular lightening and a new bourbon offering was born. Now with help from Tom Nolan, Rob Collins, Mark Rivers, Skip Bronson and Drew Holcomb the first bottle goes on sale today.

Friends (from left to right) Tom Nolan, Andy Roddick, Rob Collins, Mark Rivers, Peyton Manning as well as Skip Bronson and Drew Holcomb created a bourbon to honor their favorite golf course. {Photo Provided}

Blended by Master Distiller Marianne Eaves

The group knew they wanted their new distilled spirit to be something special, so they enlisted the help of Marianne Eaves — one of the top whiskey makers in the country. Eaves, the first female bourbon master distiller in Kentucky since prohibition, wasn’t an easy get.

She’d fielded lots of calls about blending a celebrity whiskey before and wasn’t tempted. But something about the Sweetens Cove story hooked her. When she discovered 100 barrels of 13 year-old Tennessee-made whiskey aging in a Kentucky rickhouse, she brought it home and got to work.

Marianne Eaves
Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since Prohibition, Marianne Eaves, blended the new bourbon. {Photo Provided}

“I only want to work with brands who insist on continually raising the bar, for themselves and the industry as a whole,” she says. “Sweetens is definitely in the latter category.”

The result is five distinct, hand-blended batches each with an overarching theme of caramel and warm oak notes but as diverse as the place that inspired them. One tastes like citrus. Another leans toward white pepper. While yet another heads in the direction of burnt marshmallow.

Eaves also says that there are four barrels in particular she felt we’re far superior and worthy of a future single barrel release later in 2020.

Manning and Roderick say they are decidedly hands off when it comes to the whiskey making trusting Eaves instincts and years of experience.

Bottles went on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26 and one will be auctioned off for COVID-19 relief. To learn more, visit the Sweetens Cove Spirits website. •

{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.}

May 15 COVID-19 Update: 4 Thing You Need to Know Today

{Graphic Courtesy of TN Dept. of Health}

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Friday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 15,544 confirmed cases (271 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 290 deaths. That’s three more than yesterday. According to the state, 9,280 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 52 percent of reported cases. As of today, 309,756 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top four things you need to know for today:

1|Weekly numbers show moderate increases. This week (from Saturday to Friday) 2,529 more Tennesseans tested positive for COVID-19. That’s a 17 percent increase from last Friday’s total. According to state reports, 66,178 more people were tested. That’s a 28 percent increase from last Friday. Forty nine more Tennesseans died this week from COVID-19 related illness.

2|Tennessee continues to test aggressively. According to a state-by-state analysis conducted by NPR, Tennessee continues to stand out nationally for its “when in doubt get a test” mentality … even if someone is symptom-free. According to the report, Tennessee can test everyone who wants a test because the state’s paying for it … they aren’t relying on federal dollars.

3|Weekend testing stopped. There are no weekend testing sites planned for this weekend. State official originally planned weekend tests for April 24-25, May 2-3, and May 9-10.

4|Fourth Tennessee inmate dies of COVID-19. On Friday, the Tennessee Department of Corrections announced that a 71-year old inmate at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center had died … making him the fourth state prisoner to die from COVID-related illness.

{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.}

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.}

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.}

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.}

April 28 COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know Today

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 10,052 (a 134 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 188 deaths (four more since yesterday). According to the state, 4,921 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 49 percent of reported cases. As of today, 161,928 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | Moore County continues to hold steady with just three cases. Regionally, Bedford County has the most cases with 167 – a two case increase since yesterday. Coffee County has 33 cases. Franklin County has 32 cases and Lincoln County reports 12 cases.

2 | Today COVID-19 cases in the state exceeded 10,000. Part of that increase is likely due to an East Tennessee hotspot. Over 50 residents and nine staff members at an Athens nursing home have tested positive for the virus.

3 | Tennessee will begin antibody testing soon in two phases. According to Governor Bill Lee’s office, the state will test 10,000 healthcare workers first. Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey stressed that the tests will be used “disease monitoring” only since the presence of antibodies does not necessarily correlate with immunity.

4 | In his press conference today, Governor Lee state that he will offer guidance of re-opening gyms and churches later in the week.

5 | According to the mobility data clearinghouse, Unacast, Tennessee now gets a D in social distancing, on their most recent Social Distancing Scrorecard report, which is based on citizen cell phone data. Earlier in April, our state had earned a C. Moore County earned a B overall, with just three confirmed cases and a 40-55 percent reduction in mobility. Click here to see that data. •

{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 will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{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.}