Category: News

Coffee Middle School, North Coffee Elementary to close for remainder of week due to COVID-19 concern

UPDATE, 5:05 P.M. AUG 4 – North Coffee Elementary School will also be closed for the remainder of the week (Aug. 5-7) due to COVID-19 related concerns, announced director of schools Dr. Charles Lawson.

Originally, it was announced that Coffee Co. Middle would be closed and no other schools would be affected. Lawson later announced the closure of North Coffee under similar circumstances. 

All other schools in the district remain open.


Coffee County Schools is announcing the closure of Coffee County Middle School for the remainder of this week, August 5 through August 7.  Director of Schools Dr. Charles Lawson confirmed the closure Tuesday afternoon.

“This decision was reached through an abundance of caution over COVID-19. Parents will be contacted directly if there is any reason for concern with an individual student,” Lawson said in a release.

According to Lawson, the staff will be working to prepare for the distribution of learning materials to students on Thursday and Friday so the curriculum can be started regardless of what should happen after this week. The middle school anticipates releasing information by noon on Wednesday, August 5, concerning when materials can be retrieved at the school. Thunder Radio will announce this information for the public. 

“This closure does not affect any other school in the district,” Lawson explained.  “All other schools for Coffee County Schools should be in session under normal hours. More information will be available by Friday, August 7, as the district continues to monitor the situation. We apologize for the lateness of this notice. These decisions are being made with the welfare of our students as our leading concern.”

Manchester City Schools employee tests positive for COVID-19 virus, no students exposed

An employee with Manchester City Schools has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school district announced Tuesday afternoon.

The district is working closely with the health department and the COVID-19 liaison. The health department will work with the individual to identify, contact, and quarantine anyone who may have been in close contact and had potential exposure with the individual according to TN Department of Health guidelines.

According to current guidelines, students who were in attendance at registration on August 3  would not be considered “in close contact” with this individual.”

Manchester City Schools will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary. Should the situation require a change in our procedures, our families will be notified.

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Election Day is Aug. 6; Thunder Radio will broadcast results live

Election day is Thursday, Aug. 6.

There are several local races of interest.

In Manchester, incumbent Mayor Lonnie Norman and challenger Steven Jones are both vying for the Mayor’s seat. Meanwhile, there are six candidates vying for three Manchester alderman seats.

In Tullahoma, there are three candidates on the ballot for Mayor seeking to replace Lane Curlee, who did not seek re-election. Meanwhile, there are three candidates seeking two alderman seats. There are four candidates seeking three Tullahoma School Board seats.

Those voting in the Republican Primary will be selecting between Rush Bricken and Ronnie Holden in the primary for Tennessee House of Representatives District 47.

There are other various positions that are uncontested, such as two Coffee County School Board seats.

Thunder Radio will be on hand at the Coffee County Election Commission office to bring you live election returns Thursday, Aug. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. at 107.9 FM, 106.7 FM, 1320 AM and streaming on the Manchester Go app and

Hillsboro Homecoming Association offering free hot dog lunch Saturday

The Hillsboro Homecoming Association was unable to host its annual truck and tractor pull this year – the Rumble on the Hill.

But the association is inviting everyone to have free lunch this Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Hillsboro park.

The directors of HHA will serve a hot dog, chips, cookie and a bottle of water to anyone who stops by while supplies last.

This event will be a drive-thru situation and you will not need to exit your vehicle.

The association plans to return the Rumble on the Hill truck and tractor pull in August of 2021. (see map below for picking up free lunch)

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Active COVID-19 cases drop by two on Tuesday

There are 221 active cases of COVID-19 virus in Coffee County as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to data released by Tennessee Department of Health. This is two fewer cases than yesterday and 13 fewer cases than two days ago.

Since testing began in March, there have been 421 total cases in Coffee County. Of these, 221 have reported as recovered and two have passed away. This leaves the 221 active cases.

There have been 8,575 negative tests in Coffee County.

Meanwhile, across the state active case numbers dipped by 601. This after active cases fell by about 1,400 the previous day.

Across Tennessee there are approximately 36,763 active cases. Since March, there have been 1,079 confirmed deaths related to the virus in Tennessee and 4,900 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Third Franklin County murder suspect has been apprehended by US Marshals

A man wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred in the Pleasant Grove area of Franklin County in June has been located and taken into custody, according to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

Paul Wayne Fletcher was located in the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 3, and taken into custody by U.S. Marshall’s.

Fletcher was booked into the Rutherford County jail and was then transferred to Franklin County Sheriff’s Office authorities. Fletcher was transported to the Franklin County Jail and booked on charges of Criminal Homicide and Especially Aggravated Robbery. Fletcher is currently being held under no bond and has a court date set for 8 a.m. Oct. 8 in Franklin County General Sessions Court.

Fletcher is the third suspect to be arrested and accused of homicide in this case.

J’Shaun Laquan Myrick was arrested Thursday, July 9. Brent Paul Moon, 21, of Tullahoma, has also been arrested and charged with homicide.

Active COVID-19 cases drop by 11, according to TDH

Coffee County saw a reduction in COVID-19 active cases as of Monday afternoon, according to Tennessee Department of Health.

According to TDH, there are 223 active cases in Coffee County. This is a reduction of 11 from the previous day.
Since testing began in March, there have been 417 total cases in Coffee County. Of these, 192 have recovered and two have passed away. This leaves 223 active cases. Coffee County’s population is approximately 57,000.

Meanwhile, statewide numbers in Tennessee declined by about 1,417 on Monday – this comes after days of large increases across the state. There are approximately 37,392 active cases across the state as of Monday afternoon. In total, 4,808 people have been hospitalized since March, and 1,055 people have passed away.

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Second tax-free holiday weekend coming Aug. 7-9; order from your favorite local restaurant

For the first time, Tennessee will have a second sales tax-free holiday weekend this year.

Coming up this weekend, you will be able to dine-in at restaurants, order takeout food and alcohol without adding sales tax. This will be for 2020 only.

The second sales-tax free weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9

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TDH: Negative test not necessary to return to work after COVID-19

The Tennessee Department of Health now recommends that individuals infected with COVID-19 should isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (including 72 hours symptom-free).

Reports indicate that there is no requirement to have a negative laboratory result to be released from isolation, as long as these time and symptom criteria are met. In other words, you don’t have to test negative to return to work, as long as you follow the Department of Health guidelines.

State Epodemiologist John Dunn says, “When an individual has a positive laboratory result indicating current infection with COVID19, TDH requires them to isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (and they must be afebrile and well for at least 24 hours). There is no requirement to have a negative laboratory result to be released from isolation, as long as these time and symptom criteria are met.”

The steps suggested by officials in the Volunteer State are consistent with the CDC’s recommended time-based strategy. Click here to learn more. 

There is substantial evidence that an individual may continue to have positive laboratory results beyond their infectious period. As long as the individual recovers and remains asymptomatic after recovery, the stated does not recommend retesting for COVD-19 within the 3 months from the initial onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

Dunn said in a letter, “We strongly recommend that businesses implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission within the workplace: encourage all to wear cloth face masks, screen employees for symptoms upon entry, require individuals to stay home when they are ill, and socially distance within the workplace.”

Active COVID-19 count in Coffee County at 234

As Thunder Radio news reported to you at Friday afternoon, there have now been two COVID-19 related deaths in Coffee County – the first two since the pandemic began.

As of 2 p.m. Sunday, there are now 234 active cases in Coffee County, according to Tennessee Department of Health. Coffee County’s population is approximately 57,000.

Statewide, hospital capacity numbers continue to look good. As of Aug. 1, ICU bed capacity is at 17%, while available ventilators capacity is at 68% and available floor beds are at 23% capacity.

Since testing began in March, approximately 411 positive tests have occurred in Coffee County, with 175 recoveries and two deaths.

Across the state of Tennessee, there have been 1,036 confirmed deaths and 4,756 hospitalizations since testing began in March. A total of 1,561,021 tests have been performed. There have been 108,350 confirmed cases, with 68,471 people recovered.