Moore County early voting totals skyrocket

Early Voting in Moore County just started last week and as of the first five days a larger percentage of locals voted early this year than compared to that same point in the 2016 Presidential Election. As of the latest number from the Tennessee Secretary of State, 1,154 locals have voted early so far and 39 have cast absentee ballots for a total of 1,193 votes. In 2016, only 612 local folks voted early through day five. There are an estimate 4,962 registered voters in Moore County.

It’s a trend happening statewide. As of Monday, 909,388 total ballots had been cast in Tennessee. That’s 23 percent of the estimated 3.9 million registered voters in the state.

“Our office and election commissions across Tennessee have been preparing for this election and specifically the new challenges of running a safe election during COVID-19 since March,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “It is because of their hard work and diligent planning that we are seeing voters have a smooth voting experience.”

Early voting for the State and Federal General election runs Monday to Saturday until Thursday, Oct. 29. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Tennessee voters can find their early voting and Election Day hours, polling locations and more with the GoVoteTN app or online at GoVoteTN.com. The GoVoteTN app is free to download in the App Store or Google Play.

While visiting the polls, Tennesseans are encouraged to wear a face covering and maintaining a six-foot distance from poll officials and other voters. Visit the Secretary of State’s Facebook Page for updates on voting totals. •

{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.}

Raiders tied with Greenfield for #5 in latest AP poll

The Moore County Raiders moved up two spots to tie with Greenfield as the number five Division 1, Class 1A team in the state, according to this week’s AP Tennessee Football Prep Poll. {File Image}

SPORTS | According to the Associated Press’s (AP) Tennessee Football Prep Polls, released on Monday, Moore County earned their way back into the top five Division 1, Class 1A teams in the state after a 21-0 victory over Eagleville last Friday. To view the complete, AP poll click here.

The Raiders (5-1) were tied with Greenfield (5-0) for the number five spot. Perennial powerhouse South Pittsburg (5-0) continues to reign in the number one spot followed by: 2. Copper Basin (6-0), 3. Fayettville City (5-1), and 4. Coalfield (4.-1).

Lake County (2-2), who previously ranked number two in Class 1A, dropped to number seven after their second loss of the season on September 25 to Westview. Huntingdon (4-2), Cornersville (5-1), and Monterey (4-0) round out the top ten.

Eagleville game statistics

Against Eagleville, QB Kyler Parker connected on 11 of 17 passes for 142 yards.

Parker also led in rushing yards with 110. Dawson White contributed 28. Tyler Smith added another 26 and Kaden White hustled for 25 yards. Brayden Cashion managed 12 yards on four carries. In total, the Raiders rushed for 201 yards on 39 carries for a 5.2 yards per carry average.

Kaden White led the Raider receiving corp with six catches for 60 yards through the air. Cashion followed with 50 and Dawson White added 32 more. In total, the Raiders managed 142 yards through the air on 11 receptions for a 12.9 per catch average.

Parker, Dawson White, and Tyler Smith all contributed a touchdown each and Raider kicker Chase Bradford was three of three on extra points.

The Raider offense managed 343 yards against Eagleville.

Defensively, Kaden White and Donavin Pearson did the heavy lifting with 10 tackles each. Tyler Smith followed with nine tackles, caused a fumble, and got a quarterback sack. Hayden Carter added another eight tackles. Both Zac Carawan and Joseph Trice got a huge second quarter sack on Eagleville QB Collins that forced a punt on fourth and five.

The Raiders gets a bye week this Friday during Moore County Schools fall break. They will return to Raider Stadium on Friday, October 9 to take on Jo Byrn for homecoming.

The game will kick off in Lynchburg at 7 p.m. If you can’t attend, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM with Joe Abraham and the Moore County Sports Network team, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{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.}

Raiders drop two spots, remain in AP Top 10

The Raiders were ranked #7 in this week’s AP High School Football Top 10. {File Photo}

SPORTS | After losing a close one in Lincoln County last Friday to the Fayetteville City Tigers (4-1), the Moore County Raiders (4-1) remain one of the top 10 Class 1A teams in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP). In the new AP Tennessee High School poll released on Monday, Moore County dropped two spots to number seven.

Fayetteville City – who beat the Raiders 28-22 in week five – rose one spot to number five. Fellow Region 5 team the Cornersville Bulldogs (4-1) moved down one spot to number nine. Number one South Pittsburg (5-0) and number two Lake County (2-0) continue to battle out for the top spot.

In Region 5A action, the Raiders (1-1) remained tied with Cornersville (1-1) for the third spot. Fayetteville City leads with a perfect record in region play followed by Richland (1-0). Both Huntland and Mount Pleasant remain winless in region play.

The Raiders play the fourth of four consecutive road games this Friday night in Eaglesville. According to Moore County Athletic Director Josh Deal tickets will be limited to this away game and will be offered to the families of players, managers, and cheerleaders first. All available tickets can be purchased through the MCHS front office. (Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday: MC’s allotment of tickets is now sold out.) For more information, call 931-759-4231. •

{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.}

Friday Night Lights: #5 Raiders take on #6 Fayetteville on Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — It will be a battle of TSSAA ranked teams on Friday as the number five Moore County Raiders (4-0, 1-0) travel to face off with the Fayetteville Tigers (3-1, 2-0) in Lincoln County. The Raiders defeated the Forrest Rockets 35-14 last Friday in Chapel Hill while the Tigers beat Mount Pleasant 56-20 at home.

This battle of ranked team should be great game. In fact it’s gotten the attention of Tennessee High School Football Live, which will live stream the game. Click here for that link.

Moore County will need to correct needless penalties and sloppy play to bring their A game to the Tigers. Against the Rockets, Moore County had several key first downs and a touchdown called back for penalties. The Raider offense will also need to establish a ground game. Against Forrest, Moore County put up 248 yards through the air and just 98 on the ground.

Defensively, the Raiders look daunting. Moore County defenders fly to the ball, tackle smart, and hit hard. Many Moore County defenders are first year football players but seasoned athletes. What they lack in experience, they make up for in instinct and athletic ability … especially senior Ryder Morey and junior Will Harder, who combined for 10 tackles against the Rockets.

Moore County will also need to capitalize on any Fayetteville mistakes. The Rockets turned the ball over seven time against Moore County but the Raiders only converted two of those opportunities into points.

Patient Tiger QB and solid offensive line

On the Fayetteville side of the ball, Raider fans will want to keep an eye on junior running back #7 Graham Pace who has rushed for three touchdowns through four games for the Tigers. He leads Fayettevile with 20 total points. Receivers junior #11 Corian Cash and #9 sophomore Isaiah Thomison are the Tigers best hands. Freshman #3 KJ Jackson leads the Tigers in all purpose yards. Tiger QB sophomore #16 Sam Holdmeyer is 24 of 45 for 195 total yards so far this year and his offense line gives him time to find receivers.

On defense, there are several key players including junior #6 Cam Sheridan, sophomore #24 Braxton Wilson, junior #72 Antonio Ibarra, and senior #2 Jayson Pullen. They’ve combined for nearly 100 tackles through four games. Freshman #27 Calvin Hughes is quick off the ball with eight QB sacks this year.

The game will kick off in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. For those who plan to travel, the GPS address is 1800 Wilson Parkway, Fayetteville, TN 37334. If you can’t travel to the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page. •

{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.}

Tourism up and COVID counts down several weeks after Jack tours resume

According to numbers provided by both Jack Daniel’s and the Tennessee Department of Health, tourism number are up in Moore County since the Visitor’s Center resumed public tours while active COVID cases are trending down. {Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery}

LOCAL NEWS — Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but the re-opening of Jack Daniel’s Distillery to public tours doesn’t appear to be causing a local spike in COVID-19 numbers.

In early August, the distillery quietly resumed public tours at the Visitor’s Center and re-opened both the Hardware and General Store on the square and Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant, though all three modified things a bit. Masks are required. Hand sanitizer is at the ready, and in order to encourage social distancing, the number of folks allowed in all three at one times has been greatly reduced.

So we wondered, what effect (if any) is this having on both local COVID numbers and the many local business that cater to tourism in Lynchburg.

Weekly COVID numbers trend down in Lynchburg

Despite the fact that Jack Daniel’s draws tourist from not only around the state but around the world, the weekly numbers reported by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) seem to be trending down. Just prior to the reopening, Moore County gained 17 new COVID cases for the week ending August 7. Since then, that number has been trending down. For the week ending August 14, there were 13 new cases, 11 new cases the following week, and just eight new case the final week in August.

As of Wednesday’s 2 p.m. COVID numbers provided by the TDH, there were just 36 active cases in Moore County — a decrease from the previous week.

Small businesses get bump but still struggle

We spoke to three historic district small businesses recently and all three reported seeing a small increase in foot traffic but numbers that were no where near 2019.

“Last year on this day, I was $500,000 in sales above my sales today,” one small business owner said. “The COVID situation has really impacted our businesses.”

Another local business manager said she’d noticed a slight difference but no major increase in foot traffic since tours resumed. In part, she attributed this to the fact that the Visitor’s Center stopped utilizing buses on tours as a COVID 19 precaution. This means the distillery is not currently dropping off tourists on the Lynchburg Square as the last part of its public tour.

“We’ve seen a slight increase,” she said. “But it hasn’t been huge.”

Another business owner estimated that her business was up by about 25 percent since tours resumed.

“We would love for things to be back to ‘normal’, but we are optimistic that things will get better,” she said.

Situation that’s constantly evolving and monitored

Distillery officials say the active case counts and trends are something they are monitoring weekly.

“In terms of the COVID numbers, we evaluate these on a weekly basis as well as being informed anytime there is a new case,” Jack Daniel’s senior leadership told us. “Our HR team is responsible for tracking and contact tracing. This team includes our onsite nurse who serves as point for this work. We have a Homeplace review every Friday and this is one of the factors considered. Ultimately, senior leadership will make the decision if we adjust any operations in response.”

Jack Daniel’s say they would not hesitate to shutdown public tours again if that’s what the data suggested was in the best interest of both the distillery and the community but at the moment the numbers seem to be trending down. When we asked them what impact (if any) resumption of tours had had on local COVID numbers, they responded with a confident, “none.”

“In terms of resumption of tours impacting COVID cases in Moore County, we are confident it is none,” distillery officials told us. “The daily cases have dropped considerably.”

Distillery officials say they believe the summer spike was completely driven by the summer vacation season.

This graphs provided by Jack Daniel’s Distillery shows that there has been no real spike in new COVID-19 cases in Moore County since the Visitor’s Center re-opened to public (if modified) public tours in early August. {Graphics Provided}

“Daily guest count continues to climb as COVID cases have dropped back to near zero as vacation season wrapped up.”

Officials say the next trend they’ll monitor will be the impact of return to school.” •

{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.}

Raiders face first test at Cornersville on Friday

The MCHS Raiders prepare for their first conference match up this week in Cornersville. The away game kicks off at 7 p.m. {Photo Courtesy of the Moore County Sports Network}

SPORTS — If you’ve been paying attention so far this season, you’ve noticed that new Head Coach Kris White is well on his way to creating a memorable season for his 2020 Raider team. He has managed to lure a host of athletes from other sports to play football. The MCHS roster is now packed with not only returning stars from last year but also starters from the basketball and baseball teams plus a class of freshman talent who won the state middle school championship last year.

Players are excited to play for Coach White and his assistants, TJ Christian, Manny Buchanan, Randy Morey, Wes Black, and Schuvaud Whitaker. In fact, just last week the Raiders added three new players: Noah Blankenship, Will Baker, and Landon Lavergne.

So far this season, MCHS has stacked up two early season non-conference home wins: a 15-0 victory over Cascade and a 41-8 shellacking of Community. On Friday, they travel to Cornersville for their first conference match up against a rival with a winning streak and an eye on the playoff.

The Bulldogs beat Community 36-6 at home on August 21 and glided past Eagleville 35-13 in Cornersville last week.

So what’s the trick to maintaining their winning streak?

The Raider spread offense has played smart, consistent football so far this year but the Bulldogs’ hard-hitting defense isn’t likely to just lay down. The Raiders will need execution on both the rushing and passing side of the offense to keep the Cornersville D on it’s heels.

Led by Bulldog left-handed QB Jackson Farler the Cornersville offense clicks on several fronts including tight end Eli Welch, who is both big and fast, as well as, Alex Hilliard, who ran for 106 yards against Community. They are helped by a O-line led by Brady Callahan and Cason Warner that does not yield.

Friday night’s game could end up being the battle of the safeties. Cornersville boast two ball hawks protecting it backfield. But Moore County boasts it’s own defensive weapons — the White brothers. Freshman free safety Dawson White and senior strong safety Kaden White have combined for 22 tackles and an interception through two games.

If they can keep the Raiders from being burning by the long pass, the defensive line led by Donavin Pearson (20 total tackles, 10 solo tackles) and Tyler Smith (17 total tackles, 8 solo tackles) can handle the inside run game, hopefully preventing the dynamic Cornersville offense from gaining momentum.

The Raiders played mistake football against Community with zero fumbles and zero interceptions. It’s a trend that will need to continue for the Raiders to come back to Lynchburg with a W on Friday night. Cornersville has won the past three straight match ups.

Coach White says that Cornersville will be returning numerous players including their QB and several defensive players.

“We’ll have to be able to stop the run,” he says. “Based on film through two games, they like to run the ball and do so almost 80 percent of the time,” he said.

Coach White also said that one of the keys to success will be for Moore County’s players not to get rattled by a loud away game.

“They have a DJ who plays music in between plays. It’s loud,” Coach White says. “It’s an awesome game atmosphere but one that can’t serve as a distraction.”

The game kicks off in Cornersville at 7 p.m. If you can’t travel to the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page.

{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.}

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.}