Local TV stations wait until June 12 to make switch

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tuesday was supposed to be the day when television stations throughout the country would make the switch from analog to digital signals. For months, stations spent airtime and money to educate viewers before making the transition.

But President Obama's administration asked Congress to delay the shutoff until June 12. While some stations will make the switch Tuesday, many will continue broadcasting their analog signals through June and others will elect to make the transition sometime in between.

According to the Associated Press, nearly 500 stations intend to shut down their analog signals on Tuesday rather than wait for the June deadline. Those include local stations WDKA TV 49 and KBSI Fox 23.

WSIL TV 3, KFVS12 and WPSD Local 6 will wait until the June deadline to make the switch.

While some have argued the federal government was not ready for the millions of people who had yet to make preparations for the switch, television stations argue delaying the switch not only allows proscratinators to delay even longer but costs stations thousands of dollars for analog equipment that will be used for only a few more months.

Clearly this has been a mess. We can only hope Congress won't consider delaying the switch again come the summer.

n Infant day care to open March 2: Donnie Harris, who owns McAlister's Deli in Cape Girardeau and Just Kids day cares in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Perryville, Mo., announced another day care on the horizon. Just Babies, a day care for children up to 2 years old, is scheduled to open March 2 near the Just Kids building at 6 Girardeau Court in Cape Giradeau. A waiting list is already forming. For more information, contact manager Kara Amos at 332-0450.

"We've been looking to do this for a long time," Harris said. "The state approached us and we applied for a grant to help with payroll and supplies. It's something that's badly needed in this area."

n Beef O'Brady's ribbon cutting rescheduled for Tuesday: The January ice storm canceled the original ribbon cutting at Beef O'Brady's in Cape Girardeau. Sponsored by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, the ribbon cutting at the family sports pub is now planned for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Some people have wondered why the Jackson chamber would hold a ribbon cutting in Cape Girardeau. Chamber executive director Brian Gerau said one reason is to branch out to certain businesses outside his city.

"Some businesses approach us and want to draw in Jackson residents," Gerau said. "Some, like Beef O'Brady's, cater to residents of both towns.

"Granted, we'd never approach a Burger King or McDonald's in Cape Girardeau because both towns have one," he said. If a business fills a certain niche, Gerau said, he would love to include them in the chamber.

n Kelsey sells property near future Huddle House in Jackson: Activity continues in the area near Wal-Mart in Jackson. Last month I passed along news that the former Jackson Diner will be home to a Huddle House soon.

Broker Tom Kelsey of Lorimont Place Ltd. told me his company has sold tracts near Huddle House to an investor from New York City.

Kelsey said the investor is considering a small retail or office building, though no other details are known at this time.

n Buchheit opening third Illinois store: In late December, Buchheit announced its trucking operation was expanding its warehousing and logistics division with the purchase of a 160,000-square-foot building in Morehouse, Mo.

And recently Buchheit announced the opening of its sixth retail store, a 72,000-square-foot building in Greenville, Ill., most recently occupied by a Value City Furniture department store. Buchheit has three stores in Missouri -- in Herculaneum, Perryville and Jackson -- and two Illinois stores in Sparta and Jacksonville. Value City announced in February 2008 it would close the Greenville store and four other locations in the St. Louis region.

"We feel that Buchheit is a perfect fit for our rural community and are extremely excited and very thankful that Buchheit has chosen Greenville for their newest store location," said Greenville Mayor Dave Willey. "We realize that Buchheit could have chosen any number of other Missouri or Illinois towns, and we are very proud that they selected Greenville."

n Cape Chamber Business After Hours reminder: The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce monthly Busines After Hours meeting is at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Cedar Street Restaurant and Bar, next to the Drury Lodge. I'll be there with my camera taking pictures to be included in an upcoming issue of Business Today.

n Chamber schedules ribbon cutting: Cross Trails Medical Center, 408 S. Broadview St. in Cape Girardeau, will showcase its new dental waiting room, reception room and patient entrance during a 3 p.m. ribbon cutting Wednesday. The event is sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

n Kissing for a cause: Some may call them the airplane kissers. I call them five people who went to extreme lengths to win a pretty cool Valentine's Day getaway for two to St. Louis.

According to reader Kim Stricker, earlier this month five contestants competed for a chance to win airfare to St. Louis from Cape Girardeau, a gift certificate to the Old Spaghetti Factory, a set of sheets from the Mattress Guys, a BlackBerry Storm from JCS Tel-Link, a one-hour cruise on Gateway Arch Riverboats, an overnight stay at any St. Louis Drury hotel, tickets to the Missouri Botanical Gardens and Gateway Arch Tram vouchers.

Sponsors for the Kiss 93.9 FM "Kiss-A-Plane" contest were Mississippi Radio stations, St. Louis Convention Visitors Center, Mattress Guys and the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport.

The event at the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport began at 9:30 a.m., with contestants locking lips on a Beechcraft G-36 Bonanza owned by Rust Communications co-president Rex Rust. By noon three contestants remained. Winner Sylvia Janes of Jackson had her name drawn out of a basket by airport manager Bruce Loy.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Brian Blackwell can be reached at 388-3628 or bblackwell@semissourian.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: