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Business Pulse

With Christmas fast approaching, folks are starting to ask me about what I’m getting Cupcake.
This is always a dangerous subject and I think my struggles in this category have been fairly well documented. When it comes to giving gifts, I don’t have the best track record.
Fortunately, I’m working toward improvement and I’ve made it through Step 1, which is to admit I have a problem with giving thoughtful gifts. It’s been emphasized to me that a thoughtful gift is something that’s totally unneeded, which is perhaps why I don’t grasp the concept.
In years past, I realize I’ve struck out with gifts like an iron and a new set of tires. While these gifts may fill a need, they don’t come with the necessary degree of romance.
That’s why, a few years ago, I thought the 8x10 picture of me would be a smashing hit. My logic was simple – what woman wouldn’t want a large, framed picture of me?
Umm, I can tell you one woman who wouldn’t.
Despite my many failures, I also have to trumpet my success. I hit a grand slam out of the park about five years ago when I gave Cupcake a gorgeous jewelry box. For any guy who may be contemplating such a gift, let me make this sidenote.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. By that I mean once a woman gets a big, new jewelry box, you better prepare for the line item in your family budget devoted to jewelry to multiply by about 15.
With all that said, I’m not about to back down from Christmas 2012. In fact, I’m going to embrace this annual challenge and learn from experience. Note to self: A his and her tool set is not the best way to go.

Scams are

The editors of Business Pulse would like to take a moment to remind local residents to be extremely cautious with their credit card information after two scams targeted local residents last week.
Linda Cooper told me about one thief who called her cellphone claiming to be a representative from Verizon Wireless. The man told Linda she was late on her payment and needed to make arrangements to pay her bill immediately.
When Linda hung up, he called back and insisted she pay immediately or this would be the last call she would receive on her phone. He told her to pay by credit card and asked for her number.
Linda wasn’t about to fall for the scam and give out her credit card information so she hung up again. Of course she never lost service to her cellphone because the man wasn’t from Verizon Wireless. He is a criminal.
“This really bothers me because there are people who would fall for this,” said Linda. “It’s not right for hard-working people to lose their money because stuff like this is going on.”
In a separate incident, our own Standard employee Holly Cantrell had a person hack into her bank account, but she was fortunate to catch the person on the first try. Holly thinks her bank account information was stolen when she paid at the pump at a local gas station.
She noticed a car that was parked unusually close to the pump with two people sitting in it. Criminals often attach card skimmers to ATMs and gas pumps, but they have to be nearby to capture the information by wi-fi. Holly noticed suspicious activity with her bank account two days later, but thanks to her quick work she only ended up losing about $3.
These scams not only threaten the financial stability of local residents, but they are also causing nightmares for banks. In talking with local U.S. Bank manager Brentt Crouch, he said he is constantly dealing with cases of fraud.
“It’s at least two or three times a week,” said Brentt. “Some cases are small and sometimes it’s thousands of dollars. Much of it has to do with people letting their account information get out to the wrong place over the Internet.”
Brentt says once a thief gains your account information, the typical mode of operation is to go phishing. This usually entails making a small withdrawal from the account to see if it’s active. If that withdrawal is successful, the next step is to make a withdrawal for several hundred dollars.
When it comes to scams and ways to avoid becoming a victim, NEVER give out personal information to someone who makes contact with you. That’s your holiday message from Business Pulse.

Bobby Meeks
opens tire shop

The old Frazier’s Service Station on Sparta Street didn’t stay vacant for long. Mechanic Bobby Meeks is leasing the property for his new business, B&B Tire and Brakes.
If Bobby looks familiar it’s because he has operated a tire shop for years. He will be selling new and used tires and doing all types of vehicle repairs.
“I started helping my dad at his tire shop as a 10-year-old,” said Bobby. “By the time I was 13, I was running the shop in the summer. This business is about all I’ve ever done.”
Since Bobby can be considered an expert on tires, I asked him what folks are looking for nowadays. Are used tires popular, or do people prefer new?
“People want a cheap new tire,” said Bobby. “And people want a cheap used tire. Basically, people want the best deal they can get.”
Bobby has used tires starting at $10 and that includes mounting and balancing. He has used tires all the way up to $20. He can also get new tires with next-day delivery. He says he prefers to order new tires as needed because there are so many different types and sizes, it would take a warehouse to stock everything.
Bobby can also do a wide range of mechanic work. This includes alternators, water pumps, brakes, AC work, and oil changes. He says his oil change costs $34.95 and that includes topping off all fluid levels.
“I’ve probably had 50 people stop in and tell me they’re glad to see a shop open up on this side of town,” said Bobby. “It’s real convenient for oil changes and things like that. And I won’t sell gas. The gas pumps have been dug up and I’m glad. Selling gas will get people mad at you more than anything else. They think it’s your fault the price is so high.”
B&B Tire and Brakes is open Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The phone number is 473-3026.

New restaurant
coming next year

I realize Business Pulse readers may find this difficult to believe, but there’s a new restaurant opening in the old Shooter’s location at Sunnyside Heights. And the new business will be … drum roll please … a Mexican restaurant.
I know you are startled and amazed by this revelation, but it’s true. The new restaurant is scheduled to be open the second week of January and it will be called El Coyote. Roughly translated, this means The Coyote.
Lucio Diaz and Miguel Romo are the two owners. I talked to them Friday and they said they are experienced restaurant owners. Miguel, who is no relation to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, says his family owns a number of Mexican restaurants in the Nashville area.
In addition to the new Mexican restaurant, Miguel has another surprise. He says he will also be operating a taco stand. When informed that McMinnville has had as many as three taco stands at one time, Miguel replied, “Only three. There’s definitely room for four.”
I’m anxious to see if one day we have more Mexican restaurants in McMinnville than we have people. By my current projections, that should take place in the year 2037.

Baby born
on 12/12/12

Speaking of the future, one baby was born in Warren County on the historic date of 12/12/12, which was Wednesday. The next time there will be a repeating date will be 01/01/01, as in Jan. 1, 2101. Yes, that’s quite some time in the future.
The baby born Wednesday at River Park Hospital was Dallas Cagle, the son of Tiffany Cagle. He was born at 6:48 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Dr. Dawnmarie Riley delivered Dallas.
I don’t think I’ll still be around when the next baby is born on repeating dates. So this little segment is a Business Pulse first, and last.

It’s time
to get Chubby

Nana’s Kountry Kupboard may be known for its breakfast and its meat and three at lunch, but owner Chad Coppinger is working to change that. He’s unveiled two new menu items called the Chubby Boy and the Chubby Girl that have been wildly popular in their first week.
The Chubby Boy is a half-pound burger and the Chubby Girl is a quarter-pound burger. Both are served with a mountain of fries.
It didn’t take long for Standard reporter Duane Sherrill to get on the Chubby Boy bandwagon. He ripped into his burger like a pack of wolves and probably would have eaten the tablecloth had there been one. So stop by Nana’s and try the Chubby Boy if you’re really hungry or the Chubby Girl.

Gas won’t be
25 cents cheaper

In last week’s Business Pulse report, I made the incorrect claim that when the new gas station opens in Mt. Leo, the owner would sell gas for 25 cents cheaper than anywhere else in town.
After that article was published Sunday, I got a call from the owner on Monday saying that wouldn’t be the case. Mrs. Patel told me she is working to get the market remodeled and open in January and she doesn’t want people to expect her gas to be cheaper than anywhere else.
I apologized and said I would correct the mistake in my next column. She then told me she had taken heat from several other gas station owners of Indian descent about my incorrect information. She said they were mad at her because if she were to sell gas for 25 cents cheaper, it would violate their agreement to sell gas at the same price.

Knowles named
executive director

Levoy Knowles keeps climbing the ranks in the telecommunication industry. As some of you may recall, Levoy left his job as CEO of Ben Lomand to accept a promotion as chairman of Telecom Management Services, which oversees several telecommunication companies.
Now Levoy has been named executive director of the Tennessee Telecommunications Assoc. In his role, Levoy will focus on lobbying and regulatory and advocacy issues on behalf of the Tennessee Telecommunications Assoc. membership.
In his new role, which takes effect Jan. 1, Knowles will work with Tennessee’s elected and regulatory officials to develop relationships and foster a deeper understanding of independent telecommunications issues among policymakers.
“Cooperatives and independently owned telecommunications companies have an important mission,” Knowles says. “They provide critical connections to millions of people across Tennessee, many of whom reside in low-density areas where there are far fewer customers per mile of line than in larger cities.”
Congratulations Levoy and keep up the good work.

That’s all folks

With Christmas approaching, the goose is getting fat. I also expect the business news to get lean for the holidays. If you have tips, call 473-2191.

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