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Jan. 22, 2015 issue

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Grand opening held for Andy's Floral in Mankato

Burr Oak mail carrier retires after 44 years

Walker Automotive opens in Mankato

Mankato Chamber board holds annual meeting

The Cyber Express-Record

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 22 January 2015


Photo Archive


Grand opening held for Andy's Floral in Mankato

Jan. 14, Aundrea Gardner, proprietor of Andy's Floral, located at 101 S. Commercial, Mankato, held the store's grand opening.
"The day was wonderful. We had lots and lots of people in and out all day long, and I am very excited," said Aundrea.
Aundrea, known as Andy, grew up in the Burr Oak area. Her parents are Rick Gardner and Sonya Harris. She graduated from Rock Hills High School with the Class of 2009. Following graduation she attended Cloud County Community College and studied agronomy, horticulture and art. At the present time she is finishing a business degree through Northcentral Tech College.
"I like working with flowers and gardening. When I was little, Mom worked in a flower shop and I would go to work with her and the owner would let me make things with the flowers, so I guess that is where my interest started. We always had a garden at home and I enjoyed working in my grandparents' garden also," said Andy.
Andy worked for Kim Davis making flower arrangements when she owned Kountry Kreations in Red Cloud. She also worked for LouAnn Harris, delivered only, when she had the flower shop here in Mankato.
At Andy's Floral there will be fresh cut flowers on hand every day, with delivery two times a week.
"Anytime someone wants a specific flower or a specific flower used in any arrangement or bouquet, having flowers coming in twice a week I will be able to do this," said Andy.
Not only will the shop have flowers, there will be several local people with items for sale. Also Andy will have available tuxedo rental and possibly rental of prom dresses.
"Tammy Whitaker, Tammy Lynn Designs, jewelry is available to purchase; Renita and Cody Volker who make pallet furniture, have items to purchase; Peggy Wilson is bringing in some quilts that can be purchased; Buffalo Creek Creations, birdhouses made by Becky Blair and Amber Grace, also have items that can be purchased," said Andy.
Her goal is to have something for everyone. In the future she will be adding other outdoor living items, camo items.
"I am open to having other locals who would like to display, come in and visit with me to sell items they have made," said Andy.
This spring as the weather warms Andy will be carrying live green house plants, probably by the first of March, and possibly later some small gardening flowers that can be transplanted.
"There are plenty of things to do around this store to keep me busy and the doors are always open," said Andy, who also plans to continue her art work and hopefully have some of it available for customers. At the present in her spare time you will find Andy working on her business course.
Andy has set up a facebook page, andy'sfloral, where she has several specials running.
"I am open to suggestions of what is of community interest, what the community would like to see in the store, including but not limited to just flowers," said Andy.
Andy's Floral hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Burr Oak mail carrier retires after 44 years
Residents in the Burr Oak area will have to get used to a different mail carrier after having the same one for 41 years. Dave Belden retired after accumulating 44 years.
"This time includes three years that I served in the Army," said Dave.
To start with, 1972 to 1979, Dave was the sub mail carrier for the area. At that time there were three routes and the mail carriers were Ralph Smullins, Clell Hancock and Stanley Johnson. Jim McCormick was the postmaster.
"I mostly subbed for Ralph Smullins," said Dave.
He started out driving an International Scout and the route was around 45 miles. There were also lots and lots of mud roads.
"When I started there were probably around 145 people that we delivered to and that included some town folks," said Dave.
Now Dave says there are probably 150 households that have mail delivered to them and that includes all of the town. There is only one route.
"Now don't misunderstand me, some of the town folks get their mail at the post office here in town so there are actually more than 150 households total in the Burr Oak postal service area," said Dave.
All 44 years for Dave has been worked in the Burr Oak area. Probably the biggest change Dave has noticed over this time period as been the number of people who live in the country and now there is a lot more rock roads.
During this time Dave has seen nine postmaster changes and he himself has had five subs.
Dave has had lots of different vehicles that he has driven on the routes, too many to remember. When looking for a new vehicle Dave wanted them to have a bench seat. He never had a steering wheel mounted on the right side of a vehicle, just drove from the center, and only one time did he have a vehicle that was a stick shift.
Even though Dave has retired from the postal service he is still filing fire reports for the Burr Oak Volunteer Fire Department; is an officer of the American Legion; and president of the Lebanon Golf Course.
"Now that I am retired I hope to get back to golfing," said Dave.
Dave Belden officially retired from the postal service on Dec. 1. Marilyn Warneking, who was Dave's sub, is now the Burr Oak mail carrier.

Walker Automotive opens in Mankato

Dakota Walker has opened an auto mechanic business at 216 W. North Street in Mankato. The business will be known as Walker Automotive.
Dakota is a 2011 graduate of Mankato High School and a graduate of Salina Area Tech College with a two year degree in automotive tech.
"I've always been interested in mechanics. As a kid I was always out at my dad's body shop working on something," said Dakota. Some readers may remember Dakota built a racing lawn mower and also raced go-karts that he had built.
Following his graduation from Salina Tech, Dakota moved to Hoxie and went to work for Davis Engine Service, where he worked on building engines and machine work.
"At Hoxie I worked on just a little bit of everything and really I probably learned more from working that job than I learned in school. Gave me great experience," said Dakota.
Now Dakota is back in Mankato where he will be working on cars, pickups, trucks, anything other than semis.
"I'm very excited to finally open my mechanics' doors and serve my hometown and community. It has always been my dream to open a mechanics shop in Mankato," said Dakota. His parents are Tracy Walker and Ken Walker, both of Mankato.
You will find Dakota on the job Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Mankato Chamber board holds annual meeting

Because of support from members, the chamber has been able to help sponsor many activities this past year: community clean-up; community garden; Jewell County Bloodmobile; Relay for Life; $300 scholarship to a Rock Hills senior; downtown trick or treating; free hot dog feed in conjunction with homecoming; 5K fun run, 2 mile walk and kids triathlon; free swimming during the threshing bee; band for the threshing bee; Christmas Chamber Bucks giveaway; Santa's visit; free movie in December; garage sale mall during the Highway 36 garage sale.
In addition to helping support community events the chamber pays dues to the following organizations: Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Secretary of State and Rock Hills Booster Club.
Chamber Bucks continue to be a success for Mankato businesses. All of the money from these stay in Mankato, which makes them a great gift to give and receive. Chamber Bucks can only be redeemed at Chamber member businesses.
The $300 Mankato Chamber of Commerce scholarship was awarded last year to Emma Menhusen.
The chamber's website is a tool for getting information out about your business. Chamber membership allows you to have pictures added and any information about your business that you would like. Our community calendar is a great way to let the public know about upcoming events. The website had 18,823 page hits in 2014.
The chamber meets the second Wednesday of each month. Members and guests are always encouraged to attend.
The Mankato Chamber of Commerce is an organization made up of business owners, entrepreneurs and citizens in and around Mankato. Its goal is to provide representation to members in the form of leadership and volunteerism, as well as assisting its members in bettering their business within the community. The Mankato Chamber of Commerce prides itself on its efforts to make Mankato a better place to live by helping to improve our downtown business district, as well as volunteering in numerous events and activities throughout the year. We invite you to renew your annual membership with the chamber at this time. Your membership is an effective way to promote your business and your community.
Officers for the 2014-15 year are:Jason Ortman (Ortman Insurance), president; Lori Zadina (Mankato Housing); Brian Shulda (State Exchange Bank); Paul Wilson (Paul Wilson, CPA); James Berry (Kiers); Trevor Elkins (Central National Bank); Monica Walker (Ken's Body Works).

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