Lynchburg’s Top 7 stories of 2022

From the highest proof whiskey ever made in Lynchburg to a new UT landmark, there were lots cool things happening in Lynchburg in 2022. (File Photos)

Lots of publications will do a Top 10 year-in-review but here in Lynchburg, we do things a little different. Here’s a list of what our staff thinks were the Top 7 stories of 2022.

#7 | Moore County gets Hoss the bloodhound — In May, Metro Emergency Management Services (EMS) welcomed its newest (and arguably it’s cutest) new member – a floppy-eared, cuddle bug named, Hoss. But don’t let his drooling self fool you, the purebred bloodhound is a serious member of the local EMS crew who’s already saved lives. His arrival here in Moore County is a cool story of one local farmer who turned tragedy into an opportunity to pay it forward. Combined with a donation from The Jack Daniel Distillery, Robert Darden sponsored Hoss in memory of his son, Daniel. To read the entire Hoss story, click here.

#6 | Tims Ford named Bill Dance Signature Lake — Everyone in the state of Tennessee and beyond knows that Bill Dance is a world-class fisherman but not everyone realizes that the Outdoor Channel host hails from right here in Lynchburg. Before he became the host of Bill Dance Outdoors … well, he learned to fish right here on the Mulberry Creek. In January of last year, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) announced that they would invest $15 million in improvements both above and below the water at Tims Ford Lake in Dance’s former backyard and 18 other state lakes as part of the Bill Dance Signature Lakes Initiative. To read the entire story, click here.

#5 | Moore County gets new UT mural — Just at the height of Vol mania and fresh off their historic 52-49 win over Bama, a new, local homage to the University of Tennessee popped up in Lynchburg. In late October, the University of Tennessee System added its 33rd statewide UT Everywhere mural on a barn located on the Wiseman Farm just off Highway 55 in Moore County.  It was the perfect spot and timing for the new mural. UT’s root in Lynchburg run deep. As the childhood home of Johnny Majors, we not only boast a Majors Boulevard but also a citizenry packed with Vol fans. To read the entire story, click here.

#4 | Jack releases highest proof whiskey ever — Innovation is the word of the year over at The Jack Daniel Distillery. In May, they released two new whiskeys from their popular Bottled-in-Bond line: Jack Daniel’s Bonded Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash Blended Straight Whiskey. In October, Assistant Distiller Lexie Amacher Phillip and her Jack Daniels Taster husband Josh Phillips co-released two new Distillery Series ryes whiskeys. In November, they released the Goose Baxter Distillery Series and the ever-popular Twice Barreled Special Release. But the release that got our attention was both innovative and unprecedented. In June, folks down in the Holler released Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Special Release Coy Hill High Proof. It’s the highest proof whiskey ever made here in Lynchburg. If you can still find a bottle, it’s definitely worth it. To read our original coverage of that release, click here.

#3 | South Central Tourism opens Lynchburg Welcome Center — Did you know that tourism in the second overall industry here in the state of Tennessee? And as many as 350,000 of those folks head straight to Lynchburg. That’s why it made perfect sense in November for South Central Tennessee Tourism Association (SCTTA) to open a Welcome Center right here. Through a partnership with the Jack Daniel Distillery, the new, regionally-focused Welcome Center showcases literature placement from across the state with a heavy emphasis on local and regional destinations. In addition to being an information hub, the site will also feature programs aimed at encouraging more shopping within the town of Lynchburg itself. To read that original story, click here.

#2 | Local BBQ team heads to World Food Championship — Everyone knows that we crown the winner of the “Super Bowl of Barbecue” each October when The Jack takes places but another local barbecue team has been quietly making a name for themselves. In April, the Barking Pig BBQ Team – led by local vet Dr. Bryant Morton – won a “golden ticket” to the World Food Championships (WFC) in Dallas for an opportunity to earn World’s Best BBQ bragging rights. “America’s Most Watched Food Sport Event” gets televised every year on the Food Network and is judged by a panel of celebrity judges. Ultimately in November, they finished third overall in the EAT division and seventh in the World Championship Round. To read the entire story click here.

#1| Jack continues Feeder Cow Program — In May, many Moore County farmers felt like they’d been punched in the gut when they received letters stating that the Jack Daniel Distillery planned to phase out the Feeder Cow Program. For those who don’t know what that is, every day that Jack makes whiskey they also produce around 500,000 gallons of of spent distiller grains otherwise known as slop and that slop is practically given away to local cattle farmers. With a production expansion on the horizon, Jack needed to look at other, more environmentally sustainable ways to handle that byproduct. Two weeks later after speaking to numerous local producers, including those who work at the distillery, management decided to compromise. At a town hall on May 26, then Jack Daniel General Manager Larry Combs told the group that “after meeting with many of you in this room, we’ve decided to continue to the slop program in a different way.” The distillery decided to continue to offer the Feeder Cow Program to existing customers at the current capacity until a proposed anaerobic digester plant comes online in 2023. Then capacity will be at about half until JD II comes online. To read that entire story, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}