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Pharmacy makes changes to suit customers


Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

Running any business in a small town is a challenge. Many small towns in Fillmore County have lost businesses, sometimes vital ones, because there is simply not enough business to support them.

Sterling Pharmacy in Harmony, Minn., owned by Astrup Drug out of Austin, Minn., was struggling recently, and owners were looking at options that would help them stay open. Sam Ewing, Vice President of Operations, and Tim Gallagher, the chief operating officer, were facing some hard decisions.

“There are a lot of small communities losing their pharmacies these days,” said Gallagher. He added there are a lot of people on Medicare, and with government cutting reimbursements, pharmacies are making less money.

“It’s a challenge,” he said. “It’s difficult to support a town of less than 2,000 people.”

They were looking at cutting expenses, and the most obvious option was to cut back on payroll by being open fewer hours. They decided to close the pharmacy on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Many people were concerned that the reduction in hours would lead to an eventual closing.

“We all felt it was very important to keep a drug store in town,” said Jean Ingvalson, President of the Harmony Chamber of Commerce. “Any time a business closes or has the potential to close, it hurts small towns.”

The Harmony EDA (Economic Development Authority) also became involved, as well as the City of Harmony. A meeting was held in Austin with Ewing and Gallagher to discuss other options.

Chris Giesen of the Harmony EDA explained the survey they came up with. This survey was sent to residents of Harmony with questions regarding Sterling Pharmacy. People were asked their reasons for not shopping there or using the pharmacy, and asked about things like parking, customer service, prices, and hours. They received 175 responses.

“From a statistical standpoint, that’s a pretty good representation of what people want,” said Giesen.

An overwhelming majority of people had concerns with the hours, and most people said they would like the pharmacy to be open later in the evening and on Saturdays.

“Many people work out of town, and it’s hard to get back by 5,” said Giesen.

Ewing and Gallagher were open to any and all suggestions, and were happy to accommodate the community.

“We really nee .....
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Chatfield Kwik Trip up and running

Fri, Oct 4th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Features

After months of anticipation the city of Chatfield, Minn. has a brand new Kwik Trip with several innovative conveniences for their guests. Not only is the Kwik Trip building brand new, but the manager is new as well. Edward Copeman, 28, is no stran ..... 
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Experience a Nightmare on First Street

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Fountain Features

Screams will be heard in the graveyard, shrieks will echo through the haunted barn, and cries will send shivers down your spine. If this sounds like fun to you, be sure to grab your boys and ghouls and come to the third annual Nightmare on First Str ..... 
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Preston’s “Taste of the Trail” well attended

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Preston Features

Bikers from South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Illinois, the Twin Cities, and from the local surrounding area attended Preston’s “Taste of the Trail” event on September 21. Guests sampled food items at the Preston Trailhead Park donated by Preston A ..... 
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In peace, with honor

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

By Jason Sethre The story of the sword continued on Saturday, September 21, 2013, coincidentally also recognized as the International Day of Peace by the United Nations. Orval Amdahl, along with his wife Marie, traveled from their home in rural L ..... 
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Ann and Jim O’Connor

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Preston Features

Ann and Jim O’Connor share their stalk of corn boasting five ears in front of Preston Dairy & Farm. A normal stalk of corn has 1 - 2 ears. Photo Submitted by Ann O’Connor

Ceremony honors soldiers killed in 1862 Dakota War

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Features

By Joe Chase On Sunday, August 25, Chatfield Mayor Russell Smith and four others from Chatfield (Joel and Andrew Young, Michael Martin and myself) attended a memorial service at the cemetery at Fort Ridgely State Park, near Fairfax, Minn. It was an ..... 
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One man’s souvenir, another man’s heirloom

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb given the name of “Fat Man” was dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. This was the second atomic bomb dropped on a major city in Japan in less than four days, as a measure of response to the Japanese attac ..... 
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Preston Apple & Berry Farm expecting larger crop this year

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Preston Features

By Barb Jeffers Hopes are high for a more bountiful crop this year at the Preston Apple & Berry Farm after several years of lower harvest amounts. Owners Joe and Carol Gosi state that this year’s crop looks better as long as rain and cooler weath ..... 
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