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Short Takes

The sign of the times in downtown

THUMBS UP:

The new large red light sign on the Gambler building is more evidence of the effort by merchants to make downtown Marshall a vibrant shopping, eating and entertainment destination. Workers erected the new sign Friday morning. According to AP Design owner Brian Kor, it might be the second largest sign he has installed in the Marshall area. The largest sign happens to be at the Red Baron Arena. Other businesses recently added renovations to the front of their buildings or inside. The new serving bar and furniture inside Fuzzy’s Bar and the Main Stay Cafe’s facade improvement come to mind. Main Stay also made renovations inside. Several downtown businesses continue to make their retail locations attractive to shoppers. Soon, the municipal building will have a new look after renovations are completed. However, the hotel building next to the municipal building continues to be a downtown eyesore.

A lot of smoke coming from feds

THUMBS DOWN:

At the same time the federal government is raising the smoking age to 21, U.S. health officials will ban most flavored e-cigarettes popular with underage teenagers. However, their plan includes major exceptions that benefit vaping manufacturers, retailers and adults who use the nicotine-emitting devices. The Trump administration announced that it will prohibit fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes that are popular with high school students. But menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes will be allowed to remain on the market. The federal government is not showing a whole lot of consistency with the new policies when it comes to young people.

Let the good times roll

THUMBS UP:

As we start a new decade, it’s a time to reflect on the past decade. It was a pretty good decade for economic growth in the Marshall area, especially the past two years. Yes, Marshall lost a major retailer in Shopko, but it gained Hobby Lobby, Ashley HomeStore and Aldi grocery store.

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