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Detention has never been so much fun
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Landon Minton cracks a smile Friday while riding on the bumper cars at Warren County’s newest entertainment venue called Detention at The Elementary. The facility has been conducting a soft opening for friends and family and will open to the general public on Friday, Feb. 12.

In an informal survey, 10 out of 10 people agree they’d like to have more fun.


Having fun is enjoyable. It can be exhilarating. It’s a pleasure.


Love can be overrated. What we all need is more fun!


To that end, Dwayne and Bernadette Doud are in the process of opening Detention at The Elementary. The new business is an oasis of video games, laser tag, bumper cars, and tasty food.


“We’ve built our school of dreams,” said Dwayne. “This is something the community has requested for years and we’re thrilled to be able to open it.”


The new entertainment center is opening at the old Morrison School, which Dwayne and Bernadette purchased a couple years ago. They have been operating a weight room and rec center there, but this is a bold new venture which gives Warren County residents a variety of different options.


“We didn’t want to do what anyone else is doing,” said Dwayne. “Laser tag and bumper cars and a climbing wall, nobody else has that. We wanted to get all this rolled out and we’re happy with how everything looks, but we’re not done yet. Be on the lookout for more to come.”


After checking out Detention at The Elementary on Friday night, I have reached this conclusion. It is perhaps the greatest addition to Warren County’s entertainment offerings in the past 20 years.


The only things which would compare, in my estimation, would be Park Theater, which is a city government entity funded by taxpayer dollars, and Hot Wheels Skate Center, which opened nearly 21 years ago and wouldn’t fall in the 20-year window.


Detention at The Elementary is polished, clean, and well done all the way around. The restaurant capitalizes on the school theme and has menu items named after local schools.


For example, the Eastside Bulldog pizza is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, beef, bacon and ham. The Boyd Bronco pizza is topped with all veggies.


All the latest and greatest video games are available with players accumulating tickets as they go. Tickets can be redeemed for prizes at the end of a visit or saved up to get something meaningful like a tablet. The game room features over 30 arcade games.


“What really makes me happy is seeing all the smiles,” said Dwayne.


He doesn’t have to look far. Keagan Thompson showed a big smile after racing to the top of the climbing wall. Allison Cutrell and Grant Seaborn flashed big smiles as they adjusted their laser tag gear and prepared for battle. And Landon Minton had a face full of smile as he darted around the bumper car arena, smashing into everyone he could.


For those eager to give The Detention a try, you’ll have to wait a couple more weeks. Friends and family members are currently being welcomed into the facility so employees can work out the kinks. It will open to the general public on Friday, Feb. 12.


“We are taking reservations now for birthday parties and we already have a few scheduled,” said manager Heather Myers. The business can be reached at (931) 773-7529.


After the Feb. 12 opening, hours will be Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Monday thru Wednesday will remain available for school groups or other groups by reservation only.


“We can accommodate groups with special needs,” said Bernadette. “If we need to turn the music down or turn the lights down because some kids are sensitive to that, we can do it no problem.”


Mask company Headquartered here


I can’t mask my excitement about a new company that’s headquartered right here in McMinnville.


The Masque Corporation has opened for business and is working to distribute it’s Breathe Easy protective facemasks. The company is the collaborative effort of two Warren County High School graduates, Cliff Davidson, who still lives here, and Kevin Smith, who lives in San Francisco.


The two keen businessmen put their heads together and determined facemasks are not likely to disappear any time soon. So they wanted to produce a mask people wouldn’t mind wearing.


“The big part of wearing a mask is that if it annoys you to no end, you’re going to take it off, no matter what the rules are,” said Kevin. “We were determined to design something that’s comfortable, that’s easy to wear, a mask that you forget you have on because it’s easy to breathe and it doesn’t bother you. That’s what we’ve done.”


The Masque Corporation has built an inventory of about 30,000 masks, which come in sizes of small, medium, large or extra large. The masks can be ordered in a variety of colors and you can have your company logo attached.


If a company like Bridgestone wants to buy 1,000 masks for all its employees, the Bridgestone logo could be placed on the mask. The same goes for schools. The masks can be made in school colors with the school mascot on the front.


The masks are currently being manufactured in South Korea with the capability of producing 1 million per week. Yes, that's 1 million. Cliff and Kevin say they would like to bring production to Warren County in the near future.


“Our goal is to get production here because it’s a safer, more reliable supply line than dealing with South Korea,” said Cliff. “Logistically speaking, Tennessee is centrally located and this would be a great distribution point.”


Cliff was nice enough to drop off several masks at the Southern Standard office on Thursday. When I put the mask on, the first thing that stood out is that it's a snug fit and it didn't slide down my face when talking. The mask is snug, yet it doesn't hurt the back of my ears like I’ve found other masks to do.


Also key is the masks are not suffocating. I found it’s very easy to breathe and talk when wearing one.


“This is our third iteration,” said Cliff, indicating they experimented with two other designs before this final version was selected. “We did a lot of R& D to make it comfortable and breatheable.'


Another plus is the masks have been treated with a natural anti-microbial substance that has shown in laboratory testing to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants, most notably coronavirus.


Kevin has frequently done business in Asia and Europe over the years and he said he noticed people in those areas wearing facemasks as long as 15 years ago to protect themselves against things like the flu and air pollution.


“In America, we’re just getting used to this,” said Kevin. “It’s certainly been a different reaction to the masks in America than in other countries that have been doing this for some time. We think the masks are something which will be with us for the long term.”


Added Cliff, “The world is finding out how important it is to keep kids in school. Wearing masks is a good way to accomplish that goal.”


The two have developed a quality product. The next challenge is establishing a distribution network and points of sale. Locally, Cliff is talking to area pharmacies to get the facemasks in stock. But with the ability to manufacture 1 million masks in a week, they are in the process of exploring much larger venues.


“Because we’re from here, we wanted to start here,” said Cliff, who added the goal is for sales to expand throughout Tennessee and beyond.


To check out The Masque Corporation, visit its website -- www.masque.us. Email inquiries can be directed to info@masque.us.


From a personal standpoint, I don’t think anyone truly enjoys wearing a facemask. But if it’s something we’re going to have to do moving forward to keep our society from being paralyzed by illness, the mask developed by Cliff and Kevin is a great way to go.


For phone inquiries about buying the masks or serving as a distributor, call (931) 933-7973. The phone number goes to voicemail so leave a message and your call will be returned in the order it's received.


'We need to get them on shelves to make them accessible,' said Cliff. 'A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon of making masks. I like these masks so much because they're stylish and they're comfortable. We're looking to get them in stores like Dollar General, Lowe's and Harbor Freight.'


Powermatic Foundry Has a new owner


I feel like one of those TV commercials where the good news keeps coming. “But wait … there’s more!” In a week of glowing business developments, here’s one more. The old Powermatic foundry on Old Morrison Road has been purchased by Justin and Steve Caten and they’re in the process of establishing a pallet manufacturing facility there.


“We’re going to make that site relevant again,” said Justin. “It’s going to be a little bit of a process. It will probably take us two to three months to get it up and running. We have to do some clean-up and some patch-up work.”


I remember visiting the old Powermatic foundry the last week it was open to do a story which appeared in this column. In lieu of spending hours sifting through old volumes to try and determine an exact date the foundry closed, I’m going to estimate it was 18 to 20 years ago.


I stopped by the old foundry building on Friday to give it another look and it still has a reasonable measure of health. There are repairs to be made, no doubt, but it will be a great spot for this blossoming pallet operation.


Justin said they will be doing the entire process from start to finish at that location. It all starts with buying logs and then having the machinery necessary to do the rest of the work.


“It looks like we’ll be able to bring some jobs to this area,” said Justin.


Justin was kind enough to say he’d give me a call in a few months when the business gets up and running. I’ll be able to provide a more comprehensive report at that time. I wanted to get a few paragraphs in today’s edition to let people know what’s happening if they start to notice activity at the old foundry.


Unemployment Inches higher


The latest unemployment numbers released Thursday by the state show that unemployment increased in all 95 Tennessee counties in December.


As is typical, Williamson County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.2%. Lake County had the highest and was the only county in double digits at 10.6%, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


In Warren County, unemployment increased to 7.0%, up from 5.4% in November. Unemployment in other surrounding counties is as follows: Rutherford 4.9% Cannon 5.3% Coffee 5.9% White 5.9% Putnam 5.9% DeKalb 7.3% Van Buren 8.1%


That’s all folks


Business news took its traditional nap around the beginning of the year but it’s beginning to pick up as we barrel toward Valentine’s Day, a day of love.


Email your business tips to editor@southernstandard. com.