So, the weatherman says this week we should have seen the last snowfall of the season. Hopefully, that holds true and we can all look forward to warmer, dryer, and sunnier days.
Our community received another dose of bad news this week when Bon-Ton, owner of Elder Beerman stores, announced on Wednesday they would be closing all of their locations. The closings should begin nationwide in the near future, but no final date has been announced for the Chillicothe location. This closure leaves 3 retail spaces available in the Zane Plaza Shopping Center after Radio Shack and FYE closed their doors. In December, the USA Today reported there were over 20 retail chains that had filed for bankruptcy and some were liquidated. Locally, that included Radio Shack, Sears, and HHGregg. New signage has been put on the old HHGregg building in the Chillicothe Mall to welcome Harbor Freight. Hopefully, those vacancies will not remain that way for long, as our city continues to be the retail shopping hub of southern Ohio.
Part of our county is currently without representation in the Ohio House of Representatives after the resignation of Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Huntington and Franklin townships were part of Rosenberger's House District. After announcing his resignation, he had originally said he would leave his position May 1, but left his office last week instead. A replacement in the speaker position has not been announced and may not be until sometime in early May. Likewise, a replacement named by the GOP hasn't been announced to fill his seat for the remainder of the year, but that also may happen in May.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Meeting on Wednesday in Columbus. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Larry Kidd, presided over the meeting. Larry is president and CEO of Reliable Staffing Services in Jackson, with offices in Chillicothe. He also was re-elected to serve on the board of directors for the upcoming year along with Robert Reder, VP of finance and assistant general manager of specialty papers for Glatfelter. Congratulations to both.
Next week a couple of exciting events will be taking place. On Monday, Heritage Ohio will be back in town to give their assessment results of their earlier visit in February on the possibility of bringing the national Main Street Program to our community. It is anticipated the news will be that we are an excellent candidate and the process of establishing a new 501c3, board of directors, and hiring of an executive director can begin...as well as fundraising to run the organization. The grassroots effort to bring this program to our downtown received momentum last fall.
And finally, Second Street will soon see major construction after the board of directors of the Majestic Theatre holds a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday. The work of adding a new lobby, restrooms and other space should be completed by the end of summer.
Have a great weekend!