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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On Aug. 28 I broke the story that Morlan Auto Group (with locations in Sikeston, Mo., and Dexter, Mo.) plans to open a dealership in Cape Girardeau. Those of you on my e-mail and text alert list were the first to know that by early October, Morlan Chrysler will occupy the former Saturn building at 374 Siemers Drive.

That's not the first time I've broken business news on my blog and sent it to readers on both lists. To sign up for this free service, all you have to do is visit http://my.textcaster.com/ServePopup.aspx... for the text alerts and go to http://www.semissourian.com/blogs/ to sign up for blog mailing lists.

* Postal Planet under new ownership: Mike Lackamp has purchased Postal Planet and is moving to a new location in Jackson.

The deal for the business that ships FedEX, UPS and U.S. Postal Service products was finalized last week.

For now, Lackamp plans to keep the same services previously offered. About the only change will be moving from 2114 E. Jackson Blvd. to 2905 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite B.

Postal Planet can be reached at 204-8222 and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

* Jackson streetscape project: Jackson city leaders last week broke ground on a project that merchants hope will revitalize uptown Jackson. From the three meetings that I've attended regarding the streetscape project, there's much hope that this will change the face of the historic district and boost tourism in the area. Enhancements to High Street between Main and Adams streets will include historic lighting, sidewalk pavers, waste receptacles, bicycle racks and benches. Construction is set to begin today, with a completion date of Feb. 5.

* Pharmacy accredited: The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics has approved a three-year accreditation for Park Pharmacy at 37 Doctors' Park in Cape Girardeau. The pharmacy is accredited in the area of off-the-shelf orthotics and ancillary assistive devices.

Park Pharmacy received the accreditation for achievements in areas of organizational management, patient care standards, quality assurance, supplier compliance and safety management.

* Old Town Cape, River Heritage Mural Association merge: Two organizations active in the life of downtown Cape Girardeau have merged.

Old Town Cape and the River Heritage Mural Association merged Sept. 1. The move will bring the responsibilities, murals and assets of the Mural Association under Old Town Cape. The association's board will become a subcommittee of Old Town Cape's design committee and will have input and help direct decisions about the murals.

"For over 20 years the River Heritage Mural Association has worked to paint murals that shared with the world the heart and history of our fine community," association board member Tim Blattner said in a written statement. "Keeping that effort going is very important."

A nationally accredited Main Street Program, Old Town Cape is active in downtown revitalization efforts. The River Heritage Mural Association was formed in 1987 and maintains seven murals throughout Cape Girardeau, such as the Missouri Wall of Fame and Mississippi River Tales.

* Rhea Optical moves: After nearly 40 years at 1105 Broadway in Cape Girardeau, Rhea Optical has changed locations.

The eye care business recently completed its move to 1901 Broadway, owner Chuck Ross told me.

"We wanted to stay on Broadway, so we found a great location to move to that was still on the same street," said Ross, who has owned the business for 13 years.

With all the talk about razing buildings to make room for a parking lot, I called historic preservationist Terri Foley to find out the scoop on the fate of the building that once housed Rhea Optical. She assured me that as far as she knows, there are no plans to raze the building.

Rhea Optical is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. You can reach them at 335-9149.

* Life insurance month: Rock Finch of Marathon Benefits Group in Cape Girardeau reminds us that September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. While financial experts have varying opinions on life insurance, Finch believes making right choices such as not smoking and losing weight are essential to receiving the lowest rate possible. He also advises those who already hold an insurance policy to conduct a review each year to ensure they are receiving the most bang for their buck.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Brian Blackwell may be reached at 388-3628 or bblackwell@semissourian.com.<I>

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