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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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45

Correction

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

In the August 19 edition of the Fillmore County Journal in the article titled “Harmony discusses musician carving project,” it was stated that a motion was made to place one of the statues at the town hall. However, it should have been specified ..... 
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Special Oympics Eagles Team enjoy ‘Elvis’ at fundraiser

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

A night filled with food, music, dancing and fun is just what the Eagles Special Olympics team of Fillmore County experienced. On Friday, July 26 the Eagles held their annual fundraiser at the Harmony, Minn. Community Center, and a large crowd of pe ..... 
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Niagara Cave adds a maximum feature

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

Niagara Cave in Harmony, Minn. has added something new and fun to its list of available activities. Owners Mark and Jennifer Bishop, along with their sons, Aaron and Ryan, are proud to announce the opening of a miniature golf course at Niagara Cave ..... 
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Harmony celebrated Fourth of July with a Bang

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

By Barb Jeffers Residents of Harmony, Minn., area visitors, and folks coming “back home” were thoroughly entertained from Wednesday, July 3 until Sunday, July 7, 2013 with Harmony’s Fourth of July Celebration. The town of Harmony hosts a spec ..... 
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Celebrate Independence Day in Harmony

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

Whether it’s the sight of fireworks, the sound of the parade, or the smell of delicious food cooking, or all of the above, Harmony’s Fourth of July Celebration draws a crowd every year. The Fourth of July Celebration in Harmony, Minn. does not ..... 
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Habitat for Humanity holds housewarming in Harmony

Fri, Jun 21st, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

By Barb Jeffers The population of Harmony, Minn. has grown by six. On Monday, June 17, 2013 a housewarming was held for Harmony’s newest residents. Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore County invited volunteers, Habitat for Humanity representat ..... 
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“Joining Julie” during her presentation in Harmony

Fri, Apr 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

It is no mystery why a group of more than forty people attended a book-signing event and presentation by author Julie Kramer at the Harmony Public Library in Harmony, Minn. on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Kramer started her presentation by stating s ..... 
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Relay for Life returns to Harmony after 17 years

Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

It has been seventeen years since Relay for Life started up in Fillmore County, and seventeen years since the annual event was held in Harmony. LaVonne Mensink has been a part of the organization since the beginning, but this is the first year she i ..... 
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