POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Big Springs Resource Conservation & Development Council Inc. received the Missouri Earth Team Partnership Award for 2009 from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. J.R. Flores, NRCS state conservationist, presented the award to Virgil Wagner, chairman of the Big Springs RC&D Council, at a NRCS awards workshop in Cape Girardeau. The award recognizes Big Springs' outreach support in promoting NRCS programs and for developing partnerships to promote forestry, recreational opportunities and community development.
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Embroidery Town, 2188 N. Westwood Blvd., will close its doors March 31.
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Preparations are underway at Three Rivers Community College for the Merchants Showcase, sponsored by the Marketing Management Association and coordinated by Three Rivers business students. Area merchants are invited to purchase a booth to display and sell their products in the Bess Activity Center April 23 and 24. An estimated 6,000 people attend the event each year. Proceeds from booth sales support students in the MMA. For more information or to purchase a booth, call (573) 840-9636.
Families who have owned farms for 100 consecutive years are encouraged to have them recognized as Missouri century farms. The University of Missouri Extension says farms that have been in the same family since Dec. 31, 1910, can be recognized this year. Applications must be postmarked by May 17. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and contribute financially to the family. Visit extension.missouri.edu/centuryfarm for more information.
KENNETT, Mo. -- A new business, causbiesbakery.com, is available for customers to have cakes and cookies shipped to a specific location. According to owner Ray Causbie Jr., the business is separate from Causbie's Bakery in Kennett, although the items are all prepared in the store.
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Maco representatives held a ribbon cutting recently to open the Vine Street Apartments at Fifth and Vine streets in downtown Poplar Bluff.
PacSun, an Anaheim, Calif.-based clothing store that caters to teenagers, closed its location at West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau.
CASA of Southeast Missouri Inc. was awarded certification by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. Certification recognizes that CASA of Southeast Missouri Inc. is in compliance with National CASA's high standards for quality child advocacy.
Ganix Market has opened at 238 N. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, with a grand opening planned for May 8. The store sells local, organic foods and an assortment of wines and beers. The business is operated by a father-son team of James Thomas and Shane Parker.
The Cape Girardeau Public Library received two Missouri State Library Grants in the amount of $14,409. The website makeover grant will be used to redesign the library's website, making it easier for patrons to use the online catalog, manage accounts and access program information. The intermediate term grant will be used to provide extended outreach programs to children and teens and increase community awareness of the summer library program. The Secretary of State's Missouri State Library Excellence in Library Service Grants are funded by the Library Services & Technology Act through The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums.
PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Perry County Middle School received the Missouri School of Character award, sponsored by the Character Education Partnership and participating State Schools of Character sponsors. As a state winner, the school serves as a model for sharing best practices and developing a state-level mentoring network among educators. According to Principal Velda Haertling, the school is one of only nine in Missouri to receive the award. In addition, the Missouri School of Character Committee forwarded the Perry County Middle School application on to the Character Education Partnership with a recommendation to have it recognized as a National School of Character.
John Wyman of Merriwether Investments opened Big Country Saloon, 107 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau. The saloon will be at the site of the former Club Moxy.
DEXTER, Mo. -- Richland Schools has received the 2010 Outstanding Rural School District Award from the Missouri Association of Rural Education, an organization focusing on the needs and concerns unique to rural educators. The group annually recognizes a school district operating in rural Missouri for its excellence in education. Superintendent Mike Kiehne will accept the award on behalf of Richland Schools at MARE's annual conference at Lake of the Ozarks this March.
Three Southeast Missouri communities have received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awards. The city of Risco will receive $9,100 to purchase and install new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in its city hall, library and community center. The city of Caruthersville will receive $219,900 for road repair. The New Madrid County Ambulance District will receive $12,200 to purchase base communication and radio equipment for use by emergency medical technicians.
ST. LOUIS -- Verizon Wireless ranked highest among wireless providers in the Southwest Region, which includes Missouri, in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, Volume 1, issued Feb. 19. The study measures call quality among the major U.S. wireless service providers in six regions based on factors that impact overall carrier performance. More than 24,300 wireless phone subscribers were surveyed between July and December 2009 about their experience with dropped calls, static/interference, failed connection on the first try, voice distortion, echoes, no immediate voice mail notification and no immediate text message notification. Verizon scored better than the industry average in key categories and ranked highest in five regions, including the Southwest Region. Verizon Wireless was also recognized for highest call quality in the Southwest Region in last year's study, issued in August 2009.
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The South Central Missouri Community Action Agency purchased the former Family Counseling building with help from USDA Rural Development.
Despite Movie Gallery's announcement that it will close 760 stores, locations in Jackson, Dexter, Kennett, Sikeston, Poplar Bluff, Bonne Terre, Perryville, Fredericktown, Ste. Genevieve and Malden, Mo., appear to be safe, according to the company's website. The store in Caruthersville, Mo., will be closed. On Feb. 3, the Wilsonville, Ore.-based chain filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, allowing the company to restructure its debt while continuing to operate its business. The move affects its Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores. "We are closing these because they are not profitable and because funds from liquidating them can help us moving forward," a statement posted on Movie Gallery's website said. The company said it anticipates closing additional locations during the bankruptcy process, its second since 2007. The news comes after Movie Gallery closed Hollywood Video in Cape Girardeau on Oct. 28.
SIKESTON, Mo. -- A grand reopening was held Feb. 6 for All Things Whimsy, 120 W. Front St., Sikeston. The new owner is Katie DeLaRosa-Newman.
Electronics Boutique moved into the Game Stop store at Cape Girardeau's West Park Mall. Employees said the move had been planned for some time because consolidating the stores, both owned by the same company, made sense.
KENNETT, Mo. -- Manac's Kennett plant is looking to start production and hire and rehire employees following a reduction in assembly in 2009. Lisa Mills, general manager of the company's U.S. operations, said the company would begin production in the next few weeks. In March 2009, Jan McElwrath, executive director of the Kennett Chamber of Commerce, explained that Manac would temporarily centralize the U.S. Flatbed final assembly. The final assembly was scheduled to take place at the Oran, Mo., plant as the Kennett plant significantly reduced assembly.
Postal Planet, 2905 E. Jackson Blvd., Jackson, moved to 1166 Greenway Drive, Suite A4, on March 1. The new location offers additional services, including secure document shredding and notary services. Dr. Wayne and Sharon Sarno assumed control of the business Jan. 1.
The FBI's satellite office in the old federal courthouse building is planning a move to another area of Cape Girardeau. According to spokeswoman Rebecca Wu, the FBI's new home will be in Auburn Park Place, 3065 William St.
The Jasper's at 1008 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau will reopen as Sunset Spirits and Smoke Shoppe.
A photography studio is scheduled to fill a spot in West Park Mall left vacant since mid-December by Playmoors video game club. JJab studios, currently at 1217 N. Kingshighway, Suite 225, plans to move into the mall on April 1, said business manager Donna Bridges. She said the studio, which specializes in promotional, family and senior portraits, is moving to the mall for more exposure.
An Italian restaurant that left Jackson 15 years ago has returned. Mario's Pasta House has opened at the old Sidetracks location at 252 E. Jackson Blvd. Owner Mario Grippo closed his Advance, Mo., store at the end of December after months of slow business.
Kelvin Birk has opened a law office at 106 Farrar Drive, Suite 107, Cape Girardeau. Founded by the Jackson resident in 1999, the firm was originally located in his home. Birk's expertise includes business and estate planning law.
Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart and Sears Grand stores, recently announced it will close 21 stores throughout the United States, but it appears that the Cape Girardeau Kmart and Sears Grand are safe for now. According to the Associated Press, about 1,000 jobs will be affected when the closures happen this spring. While none of the stores scheduled for closure were in Missouri.
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- On Feb. 15, Jean Johnson and her daughter, Beth Caldwell, opened Station 2 Cafe in the former Ste. Genevieve Fire Department Station 2 on Main Street. The menu features sandwiches, soups, chili, salads and quiche, specialty teas and coffees, and Johnson's homemade cookies, pies, cakes and pastries.
Work on a new commercial subdivision in Cape Girardeau is underway. Crews are working on the water and sewer lines at Boulder Crest development next to Cape County Park. AJE Homes purchased the development from 360 Land Development. Six lots are available.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Department of Natural Resources' Division of Energy issued $23,138 in weatherization subgrant funds to South Central Missouri Community Action Agency (SCMCAA) and $179,043 to East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) to help low-income Missourians reduce home energy costs. They are two of 18 Missouri agencies that implement the state's Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program, enabling low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. SCMCAA serves Butler, Carter, Dent, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon and Wayne counties. Subgrants to SCMCAA include $3,965 allocated under a service area agreement with AmerenUE Natural Gas; $15,918 from Laclede Gas; and $3,255 from Atmos Gas. EMAA serves Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve and Washington counties. Subgrants to EMAA include $88,971 allocated under a service area agreement with AmerenUE; $50,189 from AmerenUE Natural Gas; $27,537 from Laclede Gas; and $12,346 from Atmos Gas. Funds are provided through agreements made in rate adjustment cases by Missouri utilities to weatherize additional homes in their service areas.
DEXTER, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued a construction permit to Lemons Landfill LLC to construct the Lemons Horizontal Expansion in Stoddard County. Lemons will use the new horizontal expansion to dispose of nonhazardous waste. The facility is a sanitary landfill located approximately one mile north of US Highway 60 in Dexter.
Buildings at 633 Broadway and 621-623 Broadway in Cape Girardeau have been demolished. Kenny Pincksten of Prestige Development, acquired the buildings in early January and plans to turn the property at 621-623 into a parking lot. He said the use of the property where the building at 633 Broadway once stood is still undetermined. Pincksten also owns 635-637 Broadway and hopes to use the space for commercial development. He expects work to begin this month and be complete by March 2011.
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- A new truck weigh station will open in Ste. Genevieve County. The Missouri Department of Transportation said the new station will be constructed on the ramp from I-55 South to U.S. 61. The station will be a "virtual weigh station," including a weigh-in-motion scale built into pavement and several specialized cameras and electronic equipment. MoDOT does not expect traffic problems as a result of the installation of the new weigh station.