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Business Pulse: 6/2/13
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Here we go again in the Dog Controversy Capital of the World. A pitbull attacks, this time killing a lapdog, then folks proceed to write the paper explaining how the pitbull is not to blame
Is it just me, or does anyone else think the pitbull is at fault here? Sure, the pitbull’s owner could have done a better job, but it’s not the owner who is running around the neighborhood attacking things.
To me, owning a pitbull isn’t much different than owning a tiger. It can be cute and cuddly around the kids, but it’s only a matter of time before something goes horribly wrong. Then folks wonder why.
But at least Warren County isn’t alone in our dog problems. Here we have a problem with people refusing to keep their dogs up. In London, Ky., apparently it’s just the opposite.
A 47-year-old woman was arrested in that town last week for breaking into her neighbor’s house to let her dogs out. According to the sheriff’s department, the woman smashed the front-door glass, unlocked the door, and let two dogs outside. Investigators say they know who let the dogs out, they just have no idea why.
Speaking of controversy, there is global tension over the fact countries like North Korea and Iran want to possess nuclear weapons. With those countries trying so hard to create a nuclear program, they might find it disheartening to learn a Wyoming high school senior built a nuclear reactor to enter in the state science fair.
The student is 18-year-old Conrad Farnsworth, who is believed to be one of the few high school students in the world to build a working nuclear fusion reactor.
If you think Farnsworth would be the easy winner, here’s where the story takes another interesting twist. He was disqualified by the science fair director under a little-know technicality that he had competed in too many science fairs. Upon issuing that bizarre ruling, the science fair director was fired.
The moral of this story is the world of science may be getting just a bit too competitive for me. If the kid with a nuclear reactor can’t win a blue ribbon, the standards have really intensified since I was in high school.

New clinic
coming to town


The old Social Security office on the corner of the bypass and Old Smithville Road is expected to have a new tenant in July. Fast Pace Urgent Care Clinic has bought the property for $500,000 and is doing massive renovations inside.
The interior has been completely gutted as workers are constructing an office that will include seven exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a procedure room.
Fast Pace Urgent Care marketing director Jesse Kimes told me Friday there are 14 locations currently open with three more on the way. In addition to McMinnville, offices are under way in Fayetteville and Union City. An office just opened in Sparta in early March.
“We have opened five in the last six weeks,” said Kimes. “Our offices are open seven days a week and Sunday is always a big day for us.”
The building has 7,344 square feet, has plenty of parking in front and back, and is at a highly visible location. Fast Pace Urgent Care must have a successful business model because the company is experiencing rapid growth.
Kimes told me considerable work will be done to the front of the building and a digital sign will be placed by the road. He said the clinic will be run by a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant under the supervision of a doctor.
The clinic will be open seven days a week and no appointment is necessary. Office hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
I like the concept of a clinic with expanded hours because, as we all know, people get sick and need medical care 24 hours a day. An emergency room is an extremely expensive way to get treatment, due in large part because of the people who visit the ER for a headache or sore throat, then don’t pay their bill.
There are also people who use the ER as their primary care doctor because they have government-funded insurance and don’t have to pay for it so they don’t care if a trip to the ER costs $1,200.
This could be the topic of a college thesis paper, and certainly not something that can be covered appropriately in this column, so I will move along to another subject. But I will say it will be nice to have another medical clinic in McMinnville with night-time and weekend hours in addition to the clinic operated by Teresa Hill.

Shopping Bag
closes on Main Street


Roxie St. John certainly has a unique perspective when it comes to the downtown business climate. She began her retail career in 1968 when she went to work for Catos when it was located on Main Street next to City Drug.
Roxie owned the local Catos franchise from 1976 to 1986 and was the owner when the store moved from Main Street to Three Star Mall in 1981.
“We were one of the first stores in the mall,” said Roxie.
All of this has very little to do with Roxie’s store called The Shopping Bag, which closed Saturday after nine years on Main Street.
“This little store was fun and I wanted to have it here because I wanted to help downtown go,” said Roxie. “But it’s time for me to move on. I’m going to devote my attention to my tanning business.”
Roxie is the owner of Tan 4 U, which she says does a very steady business at Plaza Shopping Center.
As for Main Street, it continues to be in a perpetual state of moving one step forward, then taking two steps back. The closing of The Shopping Bag follows the closing of Grizzell’s Jewelry, which was located next door.
“Time has changed the way people shop,” said Roxie. “You wouldn’t believe the number of sales we had when Catos was down here. But that was during a different time. Main Street had Cook’s, Magness Drugstore, Fraley’s, King’s, Locke’s, Lay’s. The whole street was full. Now with technology the way it is, people shop online or shop from TV.”
While The Shopping Bag and Grizzell’s Jewelry have closed, all hope is not lost. There was already interest in those spots from Chad Jones, the owner of Planet Nutrition. Chad said he is considering a move to Main Street, although nothing is definite at this time.

Hartman selling
metal detectors


Jim Hartman is well known around these parts for his career in law enforcement. Now that Jim has retired as an officer, he has opened McMinnville Metal Detectors from his home on Viola Road.
The business is an exclusive dealer of White’s Metal Detectors, a company Jim says is first rate when it comes to quality.
“I started this in 1980 as a hobby and I just love it,” said Jim. “One of my friends was looking for someone to go hunting with so he loaned me his metal detector for a couple months while he was at home with a broken leg. I took it out and I dug up enough money to buy my own metal detector and it’s gone from there. It’s a hobby that’s turned into a business.”
Jim has all sorts of metal detectors to get you started. There is a basic model that costs $169, all the way up to a top-of-the-line model that costs $1,699. There are also different models depending on where you expect to use them and what you would like to find. Some models are better suited to look for coins on the beach, where others are geared toward finding artifacts in a remote location.
“You can’t go wrong with a good metal detector if the interest is there and you’re going to use it,” said Jim. “What I would recommend, once I get some trade-in models in stock, is to come in and try one for a day to see if it’s something you might like. That’s the best way to find out.”
Jim says he is accepting trade-ins that are in good working order, regardless of the manufacturer. He also has a variety of related merchandise such as digging spades, sand scoops, web belts, and knee pads.
White’s is a U.S.-based business headquartered in Sweet Home, Ore. It has been a family run business since 1950 and Jim says it’s a great company to work with. He can order any White product you like and it will be delivered the next business day.
For any questions, please call Jim Hartman at 808-7954. You can also peruse White products at www.whiteselectronics.com. In the space that says “Dealer Box,” type in 37110 to visit Jim’s page.

IDB says
funding low


The Industrial Development Board is inching closer to finishing Spec Building 3. Work is also well under way on a 50,000-square-foot addition at Miniature Precision Components. With these two projects combining to cost over $2 million, the IDB is feeling the economic pinch.
“When we agreed to do the MPC addition without any additional funding from the county, we basically threw all our available money at that one project,” said IDB treasurer Mark Brown.
With heavy interest in Spec Building 3, this puts the IDB in a tough spot should that building be snatched up. There won’t be much available funding to start another construction project, for instance Spec Building 4.
“We really have to make it count what we get for Spec Building 3 because we don’t know what we’ll have coming after that,” said director of economic development George Burke.
The county has done a noteworthy job of funding economic development projects since 2006. According to records, the county has provided over $4.3 million in funding over a seven-year period from July 2006 to the present. This year the county appears willing to give the IDB $250,000.
I think our city and county leaders need to be formulating a plan for what to do when a manufacturing company decides to locate in Spec Building 3, which I predict will happen by the end of the year. There’s too much automotive activity in this region for Spec Building 3 to sit vacant for long.
When Spec Building 3 is snatched up, where will the prospects go? I believe city officials need to be forward thinking and identify some possible sites for industry within McMinnville city limits. Companies are looking for new construction, not an aging Powermatic building. We need to identify some spots for new industry within the city and do it quickly.

Cookeville family sole
owners of funeral home

 
Cookeville business owners Herb and Shirley Sweetland have assumed full ownership of Signature Services, the company that operates Gardens of Memory Funeral Home, and Gardens of Memory Cemetery in McMinnville.
Herb and Shirley are joined in this family endeavor by their daughter, Deborah Sweetland, and son, David Sweetland, director of operations.
In all, the Sweetland family owns five funeral homes and three cemeteries. The other funeral homes are located in Sparta, Cookeville, Spencer and Gainesboro.
“We’re not just a small outfit, but a pretty large operation,” said Danny Barnes who manages Gardens of Memory Funeral Home, which handles around 75 funerals a year.
The Sweetlands have had a presence in the Cookeville business community since 1983 and understand the somber nature of the funeral home business.
“The people of the communities we serve need and deserve only the very best care when dealing with the loss of a loved one,” said Herb Sweetland. “The sole purpose of our company is to provide care and service for the residents of these communities and our success comes only from the complete satisfaction the families see and feel when they memorialize the life of their loved one.”
Gardens of Memory can be reached at 473-4444.

That’s all folks

For business news, the number to call is 473-2191.