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Farewell 2009, opportunities are waiting in 2010

We are not sure if anyone is happier to see the year 2009 passon into history as we are. It seems every step forward found twosteps backward. The economy with its effect on jobs in our areaseemed to be the forefront of stories we produced last year – badnews just seemed to overshadow good news.

But such has been the mood of the country, not helped by apresident of hope, whose polices are dragging down the nationalpsyche; a shamelessly political Congress more interested inpopulism than pragmatism; nor a national news media whose interestis more in immediacy and sensationalism than accuracy andcredibility.

Goodbye 2009 and welcome 2010!

Looking around our own community, we see opportunity. Thepainting and refurbishing of downtown buildings is bringing newlife to tired buildings. Dirt work is being completed on a newfive-story retirement center – a multimillion-dollar investmentthat not only will bring more new life to downtown but also fill adesperate need for the area.

On the corner of Highway 51 and Brookway Boulevard, theabandoned buildings of the old Gibson Shopping Center are no more,as investors await a better economy to bring new life into animportant but blighted commercial area of our community.

Farther west, the new Interstate lighting on I-55 welcomesnighttime travelers to our front door. Nearby a new shopping centeris awaiting a better economy to fill up its retail space inventory.A new restaurant building is under construction replacing its oldfacility and the framework of a new hotel waits better economictimes. Longtime businesses have changed ownership with newenthusiasm and entrepreneurship just waits for better times.

A bit farther to the west, lies one of the largest businessparks in the state. It too, waits for better economic times andrepresents a wise-investment in this area’s future.

For the past 12 months one can summarize the public mood asbeing one of just maintaining the status quo.

A new decade and a new year brings with it new opportunities.Locally we have positioned ourselves to take maximum advantage ofbetter times ahead.