Last updated: July 30. 2014 8:46AM - 416 Views
Foster Senn Contributing Columnist

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We’re fortunate in Newberry to have a vibrant small business community with a good mix of long-time and new entrepreneurs. Recent months have seen a great deal of small business activity.

In Newberry Realty’s beautifully renovated Carpenter Building on Main Street, Angie Goings recently opened Krazy Daisy, selling ladies apparel and accessories. Vicki Fischer opened Newberry Flag and Banner with a fun selection. And Elizabeth’s on Main, a longtime downtown favorite, is back in its old spot, and Beth Hipp says she’s getting a very good response.

Also downtown, Sally Crossland Cockrell has taken over Fabulous Finds and is excited. Paige Young opened a Boutique on Main, selling ladies apparel and accessories, beside Illusions Hair Studio. Bob Shirey will open the much-anticipated Figaro Market in August, and Kirk and Elaine Kohler will open Antiques, Etc. beside the Grille on Main.

Many downtown businesses have new paint, awnings or other improvements. Thank you for supporting our downtown merchants and restaurants.

On Wilson Road we’re excited Ronald and Wilda Cotney will open R&W’s Fish House on Friday in the old Sunset location. Other locals investments include Joe Trainor’s modern, very nice renovations at Stokes-Trainor and Tony Hedgepath’s impressive new Hedgepath Outdoor Equipment.

The city is working on several beautification and park improvements, including to the square in front of Community Hall. Removing concrete and the 1970’s cobblestone and planning to add more grass, the city was surprised to find the original bricks, laid in 1911.

Those brick will be cleaned and then grass added in the landscaped areas, returning the square to approximately how it looked 100 years ago. The city Public Works Department has done an outstanding job on this project in the hot summer sun and is appreciated.

For the College Street streetscaping, the final steps will be old-style light posts, crepe myrtles and roses for the islands and brick stampings at the intersections of Smith Road, Fair Avenue and Evans Street. Completion is scheduled for August.

The new football field in Mollohon is nearly done and looking good with new sod installed and goalposts and bleachers on the way. The city football league games will be there this fall.

The city Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department will host two events in August, including National Night Out on Aug. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m at Marion Davis Park. This includes free pizza and games. It’s also a great night to get safety tips from our outstanding police and fire departments and to meet new Police Chief Dennis Brown. He’s a nice guy and easy to talk to.

PRT will show the popular Lego Movie on Aug. 15 at Memorial Park as Moonlight Movie Night in a fun, free, family event.

Our nation’s military continues to serve our country so well, including the Newberry-based National Guard 751st. Our hometown Guard is nearing the end of its year in the Middle East and expects to be home in mid-September. In an email exchange I had with an officer this weekend, he said, “We are doing great. The deployment is drawing to a close. Our soldiers have accomplished a lot, and we are very proud of them.”

I told him we appreciate all they are doing and asked if Newberry could do anything for them. He said, “please continue to pray for us.”

Finally, I get to hear many visitors brag on Newberry and its institutions. For example, at a recent meeting in Columbia, two people from another part of the state told the story of a mutual friend who was traveling South Carolina on I-26. Overcome with pain, the young adult decided to exit at Newberry and made his way to Newberry County Memorial Hospital.

The doctors at NCMH identified his problem, performed immediate surgery, and then over the next week the doctors, nurses and staff nursed him to recovery. His parents, who had much experience in the medical field, thought the care by the staff and the facilities at NCMH were as good as their son could have received anywhere. Kudos to the NCMH staff.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as mayor. If you have any questions, you can call me at 405-9004 or email at fsenn@cityofnewberry.com.

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