Business Briefs

SoutheastHEALTH joins Mercy

SoutheastHEALTH leaders announced an official partnership with St. Louis-based Mercy on Aug. 1, affiliating the hospital network with Mercy, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems. The two organizations signed a letter of intent to merge in January. In time, SoutheastHEALTH will likely become known, officials said, as Mercy Southeast.

Solar project proposal

Florida-based NextEra Energy presented its latest proposal on July 24 to Cape Girardeau’s county commission for a 1,500-acre solar farm in the southwestern part of the county near Delta. The planned site is currently farmland bordered by County Road 244 on the north and Highway 25 to the south. 217 construction jobs would be created by the Lutesville Solar Project. No buyer for the energy produced by the farm has been identified to date. Landowners, under the plan, would lease their land to NextEra and see it returned after decommissioning after 30 years.

Ford Groves partnership

Ford Groves auto dealership and Cape Catfish majority owner Andy Patel have announced the formation of a partnership to be called Blue Oval Auto Group. Bob Neff will continue to lead 109-year-old Ford Groves, with its locations in Cape Girardeau and Jackson. Ford Groves is the oldest auto dealership in Cape Girardeau and one of the 20 oldest Ford dealerships in the U.S.

Jackson Walmart renovates

With a new 21,682-square-foot ALDI grocery store planning to open in the fall nearby, Jackson Walmart Supercenter is renovating its outlet at 3051 E. Jackson Blvd. “A better Walmart is coming soon with improvements and updates to make the most of your shopping experience,” read a large banner put up in Walmart’s parking lot.

Museum changes

*Cape River Heritage Museum., 538 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, has changed its name to “Cape Girardeau Heritage Museum” to reflect “the museum’s broader scope to better communicate the city’s rich and colorful heritage.” The museum was birthed in 1977 as Southeast Missouri Museum and became Cape River Heritage Museum four years later after relocating to the city’s former fire and police station — its current home.

* American Tractor Museum, 508 W. Main St., Perryville, will double its floor space by mid-2024, allowing for “rare and historical collections to be housed under one roof." The museum opened Aug. 8, 2020.

Not-for-profit coffee store opens in Cape

Grace Coffee & Café opened July 29 at 1865 Broadway in Cape Girardeau, former longtime home of Zoi’s Gyros Corner, which closed in 2022 after 28 years in business. On their Facebook page, Grace Coffee & Café states their mission of providing equal opportunity to everyone and employing a diverse group of talented individuals with disabilities.

Regional economic growth

Jeff Pinkerton, chief economist with Missouri Department of Economic Development, told a group of elected officials and business leaders that as a Southeast Missouri region, little or no economic growth has occurred in the past decade in the 14-county area. However, Pinkerton said if the focus is limited to Cape Girardeau, Perry and Scott counties, the growth rate is nearly 9%.

Labor shortage causes closing

SoutheastHEALTH announced it has closed Southeast Home Health in Cape Girardeau and Dexter in August, citing labor shortages and continuing declines in payer reimbursement.

Cape County Transit leader retiring

Tom Mogelnicki, longtime Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority (CGCTA) executive director, will retire Sept. 30. Mogelnicki, a Southeast Missouri State University graduate has headed the government transportation agency since 2007.

Burger King remodels

Midamerica Hotels remodeled its Burger King outlet at 2346 Broadway, near the intersection with North Kingshighway, in Cape Girardeau. Cape Girardeau-based Midamerica operates three dozen Burger King restaurants in four states: Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Sign company purchased

Canedy Sign, 4857 Nash Road in Scott City, has been purchased by Washington, Missouri-based Ziglin Signs.

Jackson restaurant changes hands

Hickory House, 2259 E. Jackson Blvd. in Jackson, is under new ownership. Jarod Handley, who opened T-Ravs, an Italian restaurant at 3582 E. Jackson Blvd. in April 2022, said he and his partners “quietly” bought the 12-year-old American-style eatery in January from Ron and Bobbie Nevils.

Food “desert” ends

Rise Community Market formally opened June 16, in Cairo, Illinois, ending what residents called the river city’s seven-year “food desert,” in which no grocery store operated in the Alexander County seat. Until the opening of Rise Community, the closest supermarket to Cairo was 30 miles away in Sikeston, Missouri.

Parson cuts loan for Southeast Missouri company

Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a $8.5 million set-aside for a no-interest loan for pollution controls at Magnitude 7 Metals, an aluminum smelter plant in Marston, Missouri, in New Madrid County. Parson, in a statement, said the loan violated a Missouri Constitution provision dating from the Civil War prohibiting “lending of public credit to any private person, association or corporation except under special circumstances that don’t exist here.” Magnitude 7 opened in 2018 on the site of the former Noranda plant.

Poplar Bluff VA opens pain clinic

John J. Pershing VA Medical Center opened its pain management clinic in June, holding a grand opening for it Aug. 8.

In fiscal year 2021 alone, 1,757 Veterans in the John J. Pershing system were referred for off-site pain management care. Offering the same services at the local VA facility will ease the burden on those patients, officials said.

Pain management is one of the largest and most expensive types of care that is sent to the community, they said. The clinic will be a hub where patients can get complete, veteran-centered care for their pain using an interdisciplinary approach.

Bushwood’s raises funds for Shop With a Hero

Bushwood’s, which offers sports-oriented entertainment and food, helped raise funds during the summer for Shop With a Hero.

The sports bar and golf simulator recently gave 10% of its gross profits for a day to the local charity, said Bushwood’s co-owner Ted Liszewski.

The local not-for-profit gives needy children approximately $100 to shop for Christmas, and the chance to shop with a first responder.