Early voting ends Saturday

Early voting in Moore County ends this Saturday, August 1. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — Early voting for the August 6 General Election ends this Saturday, August 1.

The ballot will include a primaries for US Senate, U.S. House of Representatives District 4, Tennessee Senate District 14, and Tennessee House of Representatives District 39 as well as local offices in the County General Election. Those up for re-election this year include Metro Council District 1 and District 3, and District 4, Assessor of Property, Road Superintendent, and Metro School Board District 2, District 4, and District 5. Voters will also choose an Urban Services District representative and decide whether or not Western Division Court of Appeals Judge Carma Dennis McGee should be retained or replaced. To view a sample ballot, click here.

All Moore County early voting takes place at the Moore County Building in the Moore County Elections Administrator Jim Sander’s office. Locals may cast early ballots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The County Building is located at 241 Main Street and Administrator Sanders’ office is Suite 201.

If you have question or concerns, contact Sanders at 931-759-4532 or moore.commission@tn.gov. You may also request an absentee ballot at the contact email. •

{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.}

Metro Mayor: No mask mandate in Moore County

Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis says she and Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield are in agreement that a mask mandate would be difficult to enforce in Moore County. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, she will not issue a mask mandate in Moore County. On July 3, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 54, granting Tennessee county mayors and executives the power to issue individual mask mandates in their locations. The Governor’s office official position is that they high recommend but will not require masks.

The following day on Metro Moore County’s Facebook Page, Mayor Bonnie Lewis issued a public statement saying she had no plans to issue such a mandate.

“I do not plan on issuing a mandate in Moore County saying our citizens have to wear a mask,” Mayor Lewis stated. “Sheriff Hatfield and I are in agreement. We don’t have the manpower to police any such action and we don’t think it is the right thing to do here. I understand why the governor wanted to give the decision to the local governments because one size ruling does not fit all. Since the beginning, he has also recommended that we need to be responsible.

“It is obvious that folks are at different levels of comfort with the coronavirus,” she continued. “People are ready to make decisions about what they feel is best for them and their family. I have faith our citizens will be considerate and respectful of others by giving everyone their space – literally and figuratively.”

Larger communities like Davidson County (Nashville), Williamson County (Franklin), Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Robertson County (Springfield), and Sumner County (Gallatin) all issued mandatory mask mandates.

Many officials in southern, middle Tennessee’s smaller, more rural counties choose not to mandate masks. In addition to Moore County, mayors in Coffee, Franklin, Giles, and Lawrence counties have publicly stated that they do no intend to issue a mask mandate.

To express your opinion for or against a mask mandate in Moore County, contact Mayor Lewis at 931-759-7076. •

{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.}

Farmers Market will happen in Wiseman Park again on Friday

LYNCHBURG — Due to an increased chance of rain Friday afternoon, the Lynchburg Farmers Market will once again take place at Moorehead Pavilion in Wiseman Park from 2-5 p.m.

The Lynchburg Farmers Market happens again Friday afternoon and we’ve confirmed a local meat producer will be there to sell to the public. {File Photo}

Vendors will offer locally-grown fruits and veggies, herbs, fresh flowers, local honey, and Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis confirmed Thursday afternoon that a local producer would be on hand selling fresh, USDA-inspected steaks, ground beef and pork sausage.

“Maybe one day they will get to try their new venue on the hill,” Mayor Lewis joked.

The Lynchburg Farmers Market will happen every Friday … either at the corner of Majors Boulevard and Mechanic Street or in Wiseman Park from 2-5 p.m. •

{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.}

Summer extended school program will open on June 1

MOORE COUNTY — Moore County Schools officials announced today that Moore County Extended School Program (ESP) will open on June 1 and will remain open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“This summer;s program will be considered as emergency childcare so to speak,” said ESP Director Karen Blankenship. “We want to help those parents that are working and need childcare.”

Summer ESP will follow all CDC guidelines for sanitation, group size, social distancing, etc. Summer groups will also not take field trips nor have guest speakers as usual.

“The program will look very different,” Blankenship says. “But we will still provide lots of fun activities for the children.”

Limited spots are available and your child must be a Moore County resident to attend. ESP provides breakfast, snacks, and lunch. Residents can pick up registration packets on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All applications will need to be turned in by Friday, May 29 at noon to be considered for the summer program. There is a $25 per child application fee, which will be used for supplies.

For more information, call 931-759-7388. •

{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.}

April 24 COVID-19 Update: 6 Things You Should Know

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Friday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 8,726 cases and 168 deaths. According to the state, 4,370 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 50 percent of reported cases. As of today, 131,298 of Tennessee’s 6.6 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | For the third straight day, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state has jumped by over 400: April 22 (448), April 23 (424), and today (460).

2 | Moore County continues to report just three confirmed case. There are only two counties in the state that still have a zero count: Hancock and Pickett counties. Regionally the counts are as follows: Bedford (138), Coffee (27), Franklin (29), and Lincoln (11).

3 | Drive thru testing happens again this weekend. The two closest locations to Lynchburg will be Southern Middle Tennessee Pavilion in Winchester from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and Rotary Park in Lawrenceburg from 12-3 p.m. on Sunday. For a complete list of drive thru testing sites, click here.

4| Governor will open restaurants and retail stores in 89 counties next week. Friday morning Governor Bill Lee’s office released guidance for which businesses will be allowed to re-open next week prior to his Stay at Home order’s expiration on April 30. Restaurant can re-open on Monday, April 27 and retailers can re-open on Wednesday, April 30. Both must only operate at 50 percent and employees are encouraged to wear masks.

5 | Over 68,000 new state unemployment claims were reported this week. That’s for the week ending April 18. In total more than 400,000 Tennesseans (or six percent of the population) have file for unemployment in the past five weeks.

6 | The state number of COVID related deaths actually went down today. Yesterday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 170 COVID-19 related deaths. Today that number went down to 168. According to the THD, they corrected a data entry error from Thursday in today’s numbers.

{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 23 COVID-19 Update: Four Things You Should Know

{Graphic Credit: TN Dept. of Health}

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Thursday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 8,266 cases and 170 deaths. According to the state, 4,193 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 51 percent of reported cases. As of today, 123,100 of Tennessee’s 6.6 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1| State numbers jumped by over 400 for the second day straight. Yesterday’s number increased by 448 cases and today’s number jumped by another 424 cases. Since April 21, the state’s been reporting about 7,000 new tests each day.

2| Moore County’s confirmed COVID-19 remains at three. On April 15, Moore County reported it’s first official COVID-19 case. Three days later, the state confirmed our second case and a third case appeared in the April 22 numbers. According to the report, as of today, 93 people from Moore County have been tested.

3 | Bedford County’s numbers jumped significantly this week. On Monday, Bedford County reported just 76 cases. By Tuesday that number skyrocketed to 105. Thursday’s count was 128. According to multiple news reports, the spike comes from a large number of positive cases at the Tyson Chicken plant in Shelbyville. The plant employees around 1,000 people.

4 | Governor Bill Lee plans to reopen 89 of 95 counties on May 1. On Tuesday, Governor Lee announced his plan to let his Stay at Home order expire on April 30 and re-open large portions of the state on May 1. Some business will be allowed to re-open as early as Monday, April 27 but the governors office has yet to release guidance for which businesses. Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan counties – where there are the largest concentration of cases – will re-open on their own timelines.

To view the state’s complete report, 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.}

Live Updates: Moore County Coronavirus Closings

LOCAL NEWS — Sometimes life comes at your fast. Over the past week, we’ve witnessed the coronavirus situation evolve quickly … even in our small town. Things seem to change rapidly. So we’ve gathered a comprehensive list of all the Moore County related closings and postponements in one handy list.

{Editor’s Note: This list is in alphabetical order and will be updated daily. Last update March 17 at 11 a.m.}

Jack Daniel’s Distillery – Brown-Forman will closed the distillery to public tours beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice. Miss Mary Bobo’s and the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store will also close. The Distillery will continue to operate normally. Click here for more details.

Lynchburg Nursing Center – In an effort to protect their vulnerable patient population, the Lynchburg Nursing Center will significantly limit visitors for the time being. The Center is helping families communicate in alternative ways including telephone, texting, and video calls to residents.

Metro Utilities Department – As of Monday, March 16 the lobby of the MUD office in Lynchburg will be closed to walk in traffic. Employees will continue to report to work and the drive through will be open during regular business hours to accept payments.

Moore County Court System – Per an order from the Tennessee Supreme Court, most in-person judicial proceedings in Tennessee will be postponed for the remainder of the month of March. This includes Moore County General Sessions and Moore County Circuit Court hearings. Click here for more details.

Moore County Public Library – The library remains open regular hours but is closed to foot traffic. Patrons may borrow books, videos, and other materials on a drive thru/curb side basis. There are also several ways to access materials online. Click here for more info.

Moore County Schools – All Moore County schools will close on Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed through March 31. Click here for more details.

Motlow College – College officials have decided to extend spring break until March 22. Classes will resume online only on Monday, March 23. Click here for more details.

Oak Barrel Half Marathon – In response to COVID -19 and Distillery’s decision to suspend some operations, the organizer have postponed the annual Oak Barrel Half Marathon until October 24. The event usually takes place in April. Click here for more details.

{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.}

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.}

Pre-K registration happens April 3

LOCAL NEWS — Many educators swear by it and decades worth of studies confirm it. Pre K programs lead to greater success in academics and in life … especially for at risk students. It’s just a simple fact that kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t.

In Tennessee, over $85 million in public funding operates 935 Pre K classrooms that serves almost 18,000 four year olds and allows them an opportunity to develop school readiness skills … including Moore County’s Pre K Program.

Registration for Moore County Pre K will take place on Friday, April 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To qualify, your child must meet certain qualifications including being a resident of Moore County and the child must turn four years old before August 15. To register, you’ll need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residency ( a driver’s license or ID card with a Moore County address), proof of income (two recent pay stubs or your most recent W2), and your child’s current immunization records.

For more information, call 759-7388 and ask to speak with Karen Blankenship. •

{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, 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.}