Highway 25 Liquor reopened Tuesday after a minivan drove through the building, causing extensive damage, a few days before Christmas.
The store is on Mill Avenue in northeast Brainerd.
Owner Paul Andersen said a woman's accelerator stuck. When she hit the building, she took out the entry door and about 10 feet of masonry wall. The motorist did not have a driver's license or insurance.
Because the crash came on Dec. 21, it took some time for the insurance company to green light the repairs, Andersen said. Repairs put cedar siding outside and tongue and groove pine inside. Andersen said his insurance company has been good to work with and he had business interruption insurance to ease the forced downtime.
The damage came in a year where business was already disrupted by the Mill Avenue construction. Andersen said he was glad to put 2008 behind him. When he reopened, he said customers were coming back and telling him, "It's about time."
Work continues on a new Walgreens in Little Falls just off First Avenue Northeast and 11th Street near Coborn's Superstore. As of Nov. 30, there were 121 Walgreens in Minnesota and 6,630 drug stores in 49 states the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Brainerd Dispatch/Renee Richardson
"The local support I have here is exceptional," Andersen said.
Downtown improvements in Staples will be the subject of a public meeting from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 17 at T-Maxwell's.
The Staples Downtown Revitalization Board is hosting the session, which is described as an opportunity to "develop a retail strategy for the downtown Staples area. The meeting will be on the Staples downtown appearance, awnings, retail growth and maintenance ideas."
The revitalization board is encouraging downtown business owners and members of the public to attend.
The Photo Center, on Excelsior Road in Baxter, is closing Jan. 31. The photo business has been around since 1985 and has been in its current location for about 10 years.
Owner Tim Anderson said the vast majority of sole proprietor shops like his have already disappeared, dropping like flies for the last five years or so. Anderson said because The Photo Shop has such a strong customer base it helped him last longer than most but it was becoming difficult to make a profit.
B Dirt workers were busy in Brainerd. Rafters were recently installed at the Laurel Street Office Park on the corner of Laurel Street and Southwest Fourth Street. The office space is expected to be ready in the spring.
Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Forces for the business closure came from the move to digital photography, the Internet and mass merchandisers, Anderson said. The current economy didn't help. Anderson said some people come in and print all their digital photos, others never print any and store the images on their computers, print at home or order prints from companies online.
As for his next challenge, Anderson said he's been working on building a fishing guide business, Tim Anderson's Big Fish Hunt Guide Service. Anderson specializes in big fish, particularly muskies. He plans to pursue the guide service and do more writing and speaking engagements related to fishing and strategies. He also is looking for ministry opportunities with area churches and working with Kinship Partners.
Anderson said he's more excited about the future than apprehensive about the changes ahead. And he wanted to thank customers who stuck with the business and weren't lured away by discount stores.
"They've been loyal and you get to know people," Anderson said. "You watch their kids grow up. I've printed the pictures of their families for 20 years. Now it's kind of sad I won't see them. I thank them for their loyalty and I appreciate it for all these years."
Anderson said he's got faith God has a great plan for him, he's just doesn't know what it is yet. "I'm excited about the prospects."
Trina Sutton, who has been Anderson's right hand for several years, plans to pursue free-lance photography.
Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp. is hosting its annual meeting at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 5 at Timbermist with speaker Terry J. Fitzgerald, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Fitzgerald's talk is titled "The Recession in Perspective." Other speakers are expected to talk about local success stories. Tickets are $15 and include lunch. RSVPs are requested by Feb. 3 by e-mailing email@example.com or by calling 828-0096.
Northern Blend, in the FitQuest building in Baxter, expanded to include a health-oriented food menu of sandwiches, wraps, homemade soup and salad with vegetarian options.
Wausau Paper announced Bedford Park , Ill., a Chicago suburb, was selected as the company's new Printing and Writing distribution hub. Wausau reports the site was selected because of its proximity to key Midwestern commercial printing markets and the company's network of merchant distribution partners.
The hub is expected to be fully operational in mid-2009. The move is part of the company's $6.6 million capital project within its Printing and Writing business, the segment that includes Wausau's Brainerd mill.
Verizon Wireless Service announced it launched its network operations in northern Minnesota and northeastern South Dakota today.
The move is part of Verizon Wireless' acquisition of Rural Cellular Corp., which customers knew as Unicel.
Verizon Wireless reported it will complete an upgrade of the cell sites to the company's high-speed broadband network. The new network will include Brainerd, Baxter and Wadena among a host of regional cities across the central and northern part of the state. Unicel customers can expect to receive mailings on any changes to their service, which may include the need for new handsets or data cards before the a billing conversion to Verizon Wireless takes place on March 22.
The Unicel store in Baxter is a company-owned Verizon Wireless Communications store.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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