Farmer's market providing funds for education

A two-month downtown farmer's market has raised $661 for a scholarship at Southeast Missouri State University.

The Downtown Merchants Association Scholarhip Garden group sold fresh vegetables each Sunday afternoon from July 15 through Sept. 15.

Sponsored in part by Rhea Optical Co., Chuck Ross, Bill Dunn and Megwyn Sanders volunteered labor and time in the growing, harvesting and selling of fresh produce. A number of DMA and Downtown Neighborhood association members assisted in the weekly operation.

Dunn's father, Alvin Dunn of Whitewater, helped raise many of the vegetables for the weekly market, providing the land, plants and fertilizer.

Dunn's mother, Charlotte Dunn of Cape Girardeau, contributed hand-made aprons, baby blankets and towels, which were popular items at the sale.

Plans for next year's Scholarhip Garden are already in the planning stage said Dunn, who has asked the city if the group can use some city properly adjacent to the Spanish Street parking lot to raise some of the DMA Scholarship Garden vegetables next summer.

Kennett plant won't be cut

Emerson Electric Co. is cutting 4,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its salaried work force, and will close about 20 of its 350 plants worldwide because of a decrease in customer demand and a downturn in the economy aggravated by last month's terrorist attacks.

But an upside of this devastating news could be a plus for the Emerson manufacturing facility at Kennett.

Officials at the Emerson plant in Kennett have been told that it may receive some more assembly lines, which would result in the hiring of more employees.

The Emerson plant in the Bootheel opened in 1959, with 79 employees. Today, there are 543 employees.

About 70 percent of Emerson's national cuts have already occurred, said Emerson spokesman Mark Polzin. No timetable was specified on when the rest of the cuts would be made.

Polzin would not say where the layoffs are coming or which plants will close. He said more details could be announced Nov. 6, when quarterly and fiscal-year earnings are announced. Polzin said the company will focus the restructuring in the areas of electronics and telecommunications.

New state wine Web site

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has unveiled a new Missouri wine Web site -- -- that highlights the state's 36 wineries.

Winemakers have been perfecting the art of growing grapes and making quality wine in Missouri for more than a century, and the new Web site will project that image to a wider audience, said Jim Anderson, coordinator of the department's Grape and Wine Program."The site provides information about the dedicated people, industrious programs and fertile farm land that makes Missouri's wine industry so successful."

The site features a brief history of Missouri's wine industry, a complete list of the state's 36 wineries and maps to their locations, and a list of regional merchants and wholesale distributors that sell Missouri wines. The site also offers an events calendar that lists activities offered at area wineries and special "how to" pages with helpful hints on buying, tasting and enjoying Missouri wine.

Speaking of wine, Jerry Smith, winemaker at River Ridge Winery near Commerce, announced two new wines that will debut next month -- River Ridge Winery's 1999 Joie de Riviere, a classic blend in the Heritage wine tradition and River Ridge Zinfandel.

Joie de Riviere will mark a milestone in the history of winemaking in Missouri, said Smith, who will release the new wine Nov. 1.

The blended, dry red wine will consist of 55 percent Merlot, 37 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8 percent Cabernet Franc grapes.

"It was aged one year in new French oak barrels and subsequently bottle-aged one year prior to release," said Smith Friday. The release of Joie de Riviere and the Zinfandel is a combined effort with grape growers Dr. Mark and Lois Kasten at SweetBrier Vineyard near Dutchtown, Mo. The Kastens specialize in growing vinifera grapes, which River Ridge has an exclusive contract.

The new Zinfandel, also a dry red wine, will also be released Nov. 1. This is the first Zinfandel to be grown, produced and bottled in Missouri, said Smith.

New DMA members

The Downtown Merchants Association signed up some new members last week.

Bill and Jan Wilkinson has purchased The Wine Cellar, and Mike and Sherry Yaeger have opened the Renaissance Shop, next door to the Wine Cellar.

Plans are also coming along for an antique mall, to be located in the former Save-A-Lot store building, 19 N. Spanish. The building is owned by John and Jerrianne Wyman. Brick Street Antiques and Art gallery is moving operations from 5. N. Main to the grocery store building, which will offer more parking facilities.

There's some news about the Downtown Merchants Association Christmas Lights Parade this year.

The parade, scheduled the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, will feature some patriotic symbols along with a Christmas theme. It is to be hoped that some firefighters and policemen will serve as grand marshals.

Kent Zickfield, a downtown jeweler, will be coordinating the parade again.

Over the next week, we'll be looking at some new businesses, including a new Candy Bouquet Store, which specializes in creating specialty gifts. We understand the business, owned by Elizabeth Hileman, will move to a new location.

And Cape Art Mart, 21 Plaza Way has taken on a new doll line, "Newborn Nursery Adoption Center."

Doris' Antique Store, a fixture on Good Hope Street, and Carol's Closet and Carol-Cyn's Fashion at 19 N. Main will be observing store anniversaries.

More on all this next week.

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