Hillsboro experiences business expansion in 2003

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Business starts were strong in 2003, especially in Hillsboro. A near-record wheat crop and beef prices that were all-time highs were highlights in the field of agricultural production.

January

Rod and Brenda Hamm have assumed ownership of Thee Bookstore at 105 N. Main. Brenda Hamm and Nadine Friesen will manage the store.

Three new storage units were in various stages of development in Hillsboro. Roger and Cynthia Fleming were opening Fleming’s Mini Stor-All in Hillsboro Heights. Doug Wright, owner of Wright’s Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealership, began construction on Wright’s Rentals Mini Storage just west of the dealership building. Eldon Pankratz recently purchased land to build a mini-storage unit tentatively named Santa Fe Storage.

Owner Dale Franz announced plans to expand Dale’s Supermarket this year. With the closing of Total Image II, Nancy’s Fashions will take the full front of the Schaeffler Building that faces Main Street. Dale’s Supermarket will expand into the back portion of that part of the building.

February

JTJ Inc., the family corporation that owns and operates Vogt’s IGA on East Grand, broke ground Feb. 6 for a new and significantly larger grocery store to be built in Hillsboro Heights.

Members of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce gathered Feb. 3 for a ribbon-cutting marking the opening of I-Tech Graphics, a custom screen-printing business started by brothers Lonnie Isaac and Lyle Isaac.

Reign and Marlene Andruss of Peabody reopened the Ramona Cafe.

David and Laura Yates broke ground in the Marion Industrial Park to open a business that will manufacture Tiffany marble countertops. Plans call for the construction of a 2,132-square-foot plant.

An imminent initiative by the federal government intended to enhance reporting of defective tires would seriously hurt Marion County’s three trailer manufacturers, according to Wendell Dirks, owner of Circle D Corp. in Hillsboro.

March

Farmer-owned cooperatives in the area said they expected to remain in good shape despite writing off millions of dollars in Farmland Industries equity as the bankruptcy procedures for the regional supply cooperative neared completion.

After opening his business in early January, Lowell Peachey reported that Peachey Leadership Solutions Group LLC was off to a good start. The consulting business opened an office in the east end of the Hillsboro State Bank building.

Joel Franz retired as a longtime dealer of window treatments in Hillsboro.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce organized ribbon-cuttings for Thee Bookstore, Wright’s Mini Storage, Peachey Leadership Solutions Group and Inspirations hair salon.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon cutting ceremony March 19 for the new storage units built by Roger and Cynthia Fleming in Hillsboro Heights.

Willard Glasgow opened Glasgow Construction in Hillsboro with an emphasis on “honey-do” odd jobs as well as full construction projects.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Mennonite Mutual Aid office on Hillsboro Main Street.

April

Hillsboro Industries announced it would be expanding its trailer-manufacturing business into the former Reynolds Aluminum building in the Hillsboro Industrial Park. The building will be used to expand the company’s growing Endura line of aluminum trailers.

Rick Turner, owner of the Florence Market, described his plans for the grocery store he purchased recently in Peabody. The former “Jim’s Jack & Jill” will be known as “Peabody Market.”

Lowell Jost and Jost Service Station in Hillsboro were featured on “Hatteberg’s People,” a feature of KAKE-TV Channel 10 out of Wichita. Jost is one of the few service stations in Kansas that still offer full service for its customers.

James R. Hefley of Hillsboro was elected president of Marion National Bank at the April 24 board of directors meeting. He will assume his new duties in July.

June

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of Santa Fe Storage, a new mini-storage facility built by Eldon Pankratz in the Hillsboro Industrial Park.

Area farmer reported above-average yields during this year’s wheat harvest, which didn’t take off until late June.

July

After an extensive search, Hillsboro Community Medical Center began offering mobile mammography July 3 after a brief interruption of those service by Via Christi of Wichita. Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital from El Dorado will supply the mobile service.

Area merchants echoed the concern of fellow merchants across the state in the wake of an approaching change in the Kansas sales tax law. The new law was expected to add significantly to their administrative burden and could mean a loss of revenue to county and local governments.

Alan and Jean Regier and their daughters, Jenny Epp and Sarah Regier, opened The Igloo, a snowcone business that quickly generated significant business in Hillsboro.

Local cooperatives reported that the 2003 wheat crop was second in size only to the 1997 crop in Marion County.

Melissa Bartel of rural Hillsboro opened her new catering service, Panhandlers Catering Co. Her newly constructed professional kitchen was licensed June 24.

August

Vicky’s School of Dance moved into its downtown location on West Grand in Hillsboro. Owner and teacher Vicky Mohn had been teaching dance classes the past 20 years in rented facilities at Hillsboro High School.

Rachel and Stephen Koehn purchased the old dulcimer factory in Burns with the intention of expanding their popular restaurant, the Burns Cafe.

The China Buffet at 117 S. Main in Hillsboro closed its doors. The restaurant opened on Mother’s Day 2001 and served its last customers Aug. 3.

Marisa Root, a 10-month resident of Lehigh, opened a coffeehouse on North Main Street in Hillsboro called “Little Pleasures.”

The Hillsboro City Council and Hillsboro Community Medical Center agreed on a strategy for bring the hospital’s utility bills current. The hospital had developed the practice of paying them 90 days late.

September

Joel Smith joined the Tippin Dental Group after moving to the Hillsboro community in June. He began seeing patients in late August.

Hillsboro Community Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital in Marion jointly launched a 32-week “Healthy Fit” program of individual activities and health assessments for interested residents.

Owner Brian McMillen vowed to rebuild Sure-Wood Specialities Inc. in Durham after fire destroyed his state-of-the-art workshop
Sept. 25.

October

A new public foundation in Marion announced goals of building a two-screen theater with a large community center by spring in Batt Industrial Park. The name of the foundation is Marion Advancement Campaign.

Dale’s Supermarket celebrated its grand reopening Oct. 17-18 following the completion of its expansion project.

Like their counterparts across Kansas, Marion County cattle producers were enjoying record-high prices for their cattle. After a low of 74 cents a pound in August, prices had risen to $1.08 per pound by mid-October.

Braden Computers in Hillsboro announced it would be adding office supplies to its business starting in November.

Vogt’s Hometown Market opened its doors for business Oct. 22. The new grocery store, located in Hillsboro Heights, more than doubled the square feet of space of the old store in downtown Hillsboro.

November

Forget-Me-Not Floral Shop opened its doors at 105 E. Grand in Hillsboro Nov. 1. Jan Frantz is the owner and operator.

Physician Randolph Whitely announced he would be leaving the PMA-Hillsboro Family Practice Clinic Dec. 31. In mid-November, Melissa Batterton was hired by the clinic as its new advanced registered nurse practitioner. She succeeded Teresa Regier in that role.

A Bennington man bought a $100,000 Kansas Lottery ticket from the Ampride store in Marion. Art Davis and his wife, Betty, were the guests of honor at a celebration barbecue at Ampride Nov. 15.

The Prairie Arts arts and crafts mall opened in Burns. It is owned and operated by an association of interest residents.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce organized a ribbon-cutting ceremony for ASAP Autoglass, owned and operated by Stew and Lana Bichet at 114 S. Date.

December

Three days after its Nov. 28 grand opening, Arlene’s Family Restaurant in Hillsboro apparently closed its doors for good. Its owners, Karl and Arlene Trudell, were scarcely seen in town after that date. More than a dozen employees said they were owed wages, and numerous local businesses were also owed money. A community Christmas Fund raised $900 for the former employees.

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