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Business Pulse - Just what the doctor ordered
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There are differing thoughts about what will eventually wipe out humanity and when we’ll go the way of the dinosaur.


Will our demise be related to global warming and our planet becoming inhabitable? Will there be a great flood?


The past two years have shown us a pandemic could be responsible. Now that COVID appears under control, we have monkeypox to worry about.


The pandemic has shown us more than ever the need to have quality healthcare providers and that’s why I’m pleased to offer this great bit of news. Ascension Saint Thomas River Park Hospital has worked to bring a new primary care provider to McMinnville and it’s a familiar face.


Dr. Steve Cooper will be opening his practice here on S. Chancery Street in the office formerly occupied by Dr. Trey Kirby. Saint Thomas workers were on hand Friday when I stopped by, including Detra Whiles, and they are busy getting the office ready for Dr. Cooper’s arrival.


Dr. Cooper lives in Smithville and practiced here for about 20 years before exploring other ventures. Most recently, he served as medical director of Erlanger Community Health Centers in Chattanooga where he managed three clinics devoted to serving the uninsured and under insured.


“I really had a yearning to get back to my roots and return to rural medicine,” said Dr. Cooper. “One of the privileges of having a practice in a community like McMinnville is you get to know the patients and their families and you can see how what you do impacts their lives.”


During his previous tenure in Warren County, Dr. Cooper was known for his good rapport with his patients and officials at River Park have told me they are thrilled he’s returning. He will see all age groups from children to adults and has an emphasis on preventive care.


“Traditionally, we wait for a disaster to happen before we do anything,” said Dr. Cooper. “A better way to do it is to reinforce the dam before it starts to develop cracks and holes. A healthy diet, exercise, proper sleep and stress management are the four pillars to good health.”


Dr. Cooper calls this functional medicine, which is an approach to treating the whole patient. He says supplements can be key in maintaining proper nutrition and, when needed, he can offer hormone replacement therapy. “I have taken five modules in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine covering their functional medicine approach to endocrinology, cardiology, gastroenterology, and neurology,” said Dr. Cooper.


He noted that we can often take medication to help with a medical problem, but that medication can often be extremely expensive and sometimes it produces other side effects.


“Body weight is key too because obesity is linked to a higher rate of cancer,” said Dr. Cooper.


Dr. Cooper is fluent in Spanish after taking a concentration of Spanish courses in college and then doing his residency in Fort Worth, Texas. Because there is no language barrier, Dr. Cooper is able to work effectively with Latino patients and he welcomes them to his practice.


Dr. Cooper says he’s aiming for an early September opening of his McMinnville office. The phone number is (931) 668-2273. I say having a new primary care physician is a great addition to our medical community.


No more General Shale


The General Shale facility on Morrison Street seems like it’s always been there. It’s been part of the Warren County landscape for so long, I drive by and don’t even notice it.


That will be even easier now since General Shale has closed its local office. General Shale still owns the property and I understand it will be making its way to the market in the near future.


According to Warren County tax records, the property is a little over 11 acres and there are buildings of all shapes and sizes scattered around it.


Alley Cassetty Brick and Block has taken over General Shale’s distribution network in Warren County and is pleased to serve all types of customers needing brick and block for their commercial and residential needs.


Alley Cassetty will be serving local customers through three of its nearby offices in Cookeville, Winchester and Murfreesboro.


Alley Cassetty serves a 14-county area in Middle Tennessee.


I had a chance to chat with Alley Cassetty representative Sam Strang on Friday. He is president and CEO of the company’s Nashville office.


“Demand is extremely high right now and not just for brick,” said Sam. “There’s very high demand for any type of product used in home or office construction.”


Alley Cassetty has a large fleet of vehicles to make brick and block deliveries straight to your job site. Sam says Alley Cassetty provides brick and block for any type of building project, from a new school to a downtown Nashville skyscraper.


For more information on Alley Cassetty and the brick and block it has available, the Cookeville office can be reached at (931) 528-9118 and the Winchester office can be reached at (931) 967-5035.


Block is made at the Winchester office and brick is made at both locations. Products can be viewed in a showroom if desired.


A world of Dollar Generals


I don’t mean to show my age, but I remember a time, many years ago, when Warren County only had two Dollar General locations. This may be difficult for many people to believe.


The two locations were in downtown McMinnville on Main Street where Pioneer Pediatrics is located now, and at Cumberland Plaza shopping center next to Taco Bell. That was it! No more.


Back in those days, there wasn’t a Dollar General in Centertown, Dibrell, and Morrison. How could those folks survive? What did they do?


When a new Dollar General opens in Irving College in the next couple weeks, it will be the 14th Dollar General in Warren County. It won’t be too much longer before we have one Dollar General per resident.


The bigger question surrounding the Dollar General in Irving College is the ability to sell beer. It’s not just that store, but county regulations prevent selling beer if an establishment is closer than 2,000 feet to a school or church.


I don’t see how this makes sense.


If you’re talking about an off-premises permit, that means the person pulls up to the store, buys their beer, and then goes home, or wherever, to drink it. I don’t see how it matters how close that business is to a church or school if the customers are buying beer and leaving.


It’s an entirely different argument for on-premises consumption. I can certainly see how it wouldn’t be the best scenario to have an active bar next door to a school. That might not be the best thing for the kids. But if they are buying beer and leaving with it in a bag, what’s the big deal?


I realize this isn’t a pressing matter for the Warren County Commission like a new Animal Shelter or a new convenience center for Morrison. But I think we, as a county, need to have a pro-business mentality as much as possible.


If we want stores like Dollar General to come here – and apparently we do – we need to try and cater to their needs within reason so they can be profitable.


I think county officials, when they get sworn in and get settled down, need to reevaluate the beer distance restrictions outside the city limits.


That’s all folks


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