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Business Pulse: 7/14/13
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For what’s been dubbed a horrible B-movie, the latest Syfy thriller “Sharknado” is getting heaped with attention. It’s a case of a movie being so bad, it’s got everyone talking.
“Sharknado” made its premier Thursday night and, like its name suggests, involves sharks getting swept up by a tornado and terrorizing people as they are hurled through the air.
In one scene, a man gets swallowed whole by one of these sharks. Fortunately he is holding a chainsaw at the time and is able to cut his way out of the shark’s belly. This goes to show yet another use for your trusty chainsaw that wasn’t mentioned in the owner’s manual.
For anyone interested, Syfy has scheduled another airing of “Sharknado” this Thursday at 6 p.m. Get your shark repellent ready.
I’m sure many of you remember Warren County is home to its own laughable B-movie in “The Cursed,” which was filmed here in May and June of 2007. If you ever want to have your way in McMinnville, just film a movie. You can get Main Street shut down with the snap of a finger if you’re the director. I saw it happen.
We were talking Friday in the newsroom about how we could localize a horror movie to give it Warren County flavor, yet make it totally ridiculous like “Sharknado.”
Taking first place was “Nursery Ant.” Imagine a world where chemicals used in the nursery industry create giant, 8-foot ants. These ants terrorize the community by riding The Strip at breakneck speeds and making meth in every parking lot. The ants focus their attention on downtown and try to burn every building which hasn’t already burned.
But these ants have a weakness, a kryptonite so to speak. If you can trick them into drinking Sundrop after midnight, they return to normal-sized ants, sort of like “Gremlins” in reverse.
Taking second place was “Cemetery Forcefield.” Imagine a world where a group is trapped inside the confines of Riverside Cemetery and forced to endure perpetual walking tours given by lovable Mayor Jimmy Haley. Only a bowl of homemade chili from Depot Bottom Country Store will convince the evil wizard to turn off the forcefield and allow the group to return home.
Umm, I think my rambling is digressing into a horrible B-column, Here’s Business Pulse.

Kester begins Critter Control

Many of us have seen the popular TV show “Call of the Wildman” on Animal Planet starring Ernie Brown as “Turtleman.” In the show, Turtleman goes on all sorts of crazy adventures to catch wild animals that are causing people problems around their home.
John Kester says he’s not going to dive into a wild animal situation with the same reckless abandon as Turtleman, but he says he’s just as effective. If you have an animal that’s causing a nuisance around your property, you can give Kester a call at (931) 314-0277.
“I’m doing this for a business, but I’m also doing it for the animals,” said John. “If there’s not somebody like me, the animal is either going to get shot or hit over the head with a shovel. I will catch them and take them to a better place.”
Since Kester has distributed his business cards all over town, he’s already received a few calls about his developing business. One of them has been from the 911 Center.
“They told me they get 911 calls about animals all the time and they wanted to know if they could use me in those situations,” said John. “I’m ready any time I can help.”
Kester says he can help with any type of animal in any type of situation. This can include snakes, possums, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, horses or other creatures. He is available 24 hours a day.
“I got the idea when a lady asked me to help her get a possum out of her basement,” said John. “It was a piece of cake. I walked down there, picked up the possum, and put it in a cage. There was nothing to it.”
John used to work for a local termite and pest control business so he’s familiar with crawling under houses and what that can entail. He said he has already dealt with an animal nuisance situation in that line of work.
“A lady called and wanted to know if we could get a snake out of her kitchen,” said John. “When we got there it was up in her cupboard wrapped around some cans. It turned out to be a four-foot copperhead. I picked it up and put it in a Kroger bag.”
This line of work seems like it will lead to some awfully good stories if nothing else.
John also stressed a key part of his job is prevention. If you have an animal that’s getting in your attic and causing problems, like a squirrel, John says it’s crucial to make repairs to your home.
“You don’t want a reoccurrence so I can inspect your home and find out where the animal is getting in,” said John. “A squirrel can get in a hole as small as one or two inches so I can fix the hole so it doesn’t keep happening.”
If you have an animal that’s causing headaches around your home, give John a call. His prices are extremely reasonable and he says he doesn’t want to charge more than $50 an animal. That price can fluctuate depending on certain variables such as where you live, and how long it takes to catch the varmint.

Spec Building 3 nears completion

The finishing touches are being put on Spec Building 3 at the Mt. View Industrial Park. Director of economic development George Burke tells me the building is almost done and ready for a tenant.
I guess you could say building the structure is the easy part. The hard part is finding an industry willing to locate there and create jobs.
George tells me one company, identified at Project Parrot, is currently interested in the site. He says it’s an automotive supplier looking to make a $15 million investment and create 100 jobs. In case you haven’t noticed, nearly all of the jobs being created in this area are automotive related.
Warren County hasn’t made the short list for Project Parrot, but George says a decision on that is expected by the end of the month so we should know pretty soon if we’re still in the running.
The last company to express interest in Spec Building 3 decided to locate elsewhere. While that might seem like bad news, I’m hearing from super secret sources the company has picked another spot right here in Warren County and there will be a big announcement in the coming weeks.
I just love big announcements, especially if cake is involved.

Frosty Treats on the streets

If you attended the Dr Pepper Fireworks Show at the Civic Center on July 4, you might have noticed an ice cream truck making its rounds. The truck, called Frosty Treats, is operated by Dusty and Holly Donovan, who are from the Chattanooga area.
The Donovans told me on Tuesday they will be making two trips to McMinnville each week. Once will be during the week and once will be on the weekend.
“This is the best route we’ve ever had because we just love the people here,” said Dusty. “Everyone is so nice. It’s 74 miles one way from our home base in Chattanooga and we have to travel over two mountains, but so far the business has supported it and the people have been great.”
While it might be difficult to pin down where the ice cream truck is going to be, Dusty says they are available for birthday parties and other special events. They will show up at no charge, just as long as there are some hungry people willing to buy ice cream.
“The best part of this job is you get to brighten someone’s day because everyone loves ice cream,” said Holly.
Holly went on to say the ice cream truck business has gotten a somewhat negative stigma because of a few bad ice cream truck drivers who have resorted to criminal behavior. But she stresses they are a family operation with children of their own and are not up to mischief.
If you’d like to see about getting Frost Treats at your special event, call (423) 867-5005. Otherwise, keep your eye on the streets and be listening for that famous ice cream truck music.

Marketville set for next weekend

After months of planning, the Southern Standard’s Marketville and Car Show is set for next weekend at Warren County Fairgrounds. I’m expecting nothing short of an extravaganza filled with food, music, cornhole and professional wrestling.
As of Friday afternoon 94 booths have been reserved. Organizer Dale Stubblefield says he will accept six more booths this week but he is adamant he will not exceed 100.
Of the booths already reserved, Dale estimates there are around 25 which will be selling yard sale items. The rest are craft and food vendors with a wide variety of merchandise.
I noticed an antique gun dealer has reserved one booth. Another booth has been reserved by someone selling knives. If we can find someone willing to sell deadly poison, I think we’d have all our bases covered.
Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and admission is absolutely free. Registration begins at 8 a.m. for the car show and I’m expecting a huge turnout. The cost to enter the car show is just $10.
Entertainment will include The Billy Wood Band, also known as Marooned. The band sounds great and you can find Billy playing drums.
One of the hits at this year’s Relay for Life was professional wrestling and that same organization will be performing a free wrestling show at our Marketville event. The show is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.
Registration for a cornhole tournament begins at 1:30 p.m. with the tournament starting at 2 p.m. A cash prize will be awarded to the winning team so get a good partner and start practicing this week. The cash prize will be determined by the number of teams entered.
Make plans to make a trip to the fairgrounds Saturday, July 20, for a day of excitement. Marketville hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Gardens of Memory now has lawn crypts

Lawn crypts are becoming a more popular form of burial. Gardens of Memory grabbed some attention in recent weeks with its newly constructed lawn crypt garden.
The lawn crypt garden was eye-catching because so many crypts – 32 in this case – were lined in a row. For passing motorists, many wondered if Gardens of Memory had the inside scoop on some horrible catastrophe.
“It’s definitely gotten attention,” said Gardens of Memory employee Grace Hampton.
Gardens of Memory operations manager Chris Norton explained the system has long been used in military cemeteries. He said one military cemetery in Georgia has 17,000 of the pre-installed crypts.
“It’s the least expensive form of burial,” said Chris.
The cost savings comes because one large hole is dug initially instead of having to go to that trouble 32 times. When it comes time for burial, only a small portion of the dirt has to be re-moved and the casket is then lowered into the crypt.
Grace and Chris can explain the entire process much better than I can. For more information, call Gardens of Memory at 473-4444.

New Mexican restaurant opens

Taqueria Tex Mex BBQ opened on Monday next to L&M Floors on Smithville Highway. It combines the satisfying food of a taco stand with the enjoyment of being able to eat outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.
The steak and chicken items come fresh off a large cooker that’s set up in the parking lot. An awning has been constructed that covers several outdoor tables. The taco stand will open at 11 a.m. seven days a week.

That’s all folks

At a time when many folks are relaxing on a beach, I’m still cranking out business news and looking for your hot tips. Give me a call at 473-2191.