• Last modified 1663 days ago (Dec. 30, 2014)


The past as prologue

Economic development, growth, or the lack thereof quite dominated 2014 news — and continues in the thoughts of more than 30 Marion County residents interviewed about their hopes for 2015 headlines.

County businesses experienced their share of ups and downs in 2014. Here is a sampling of the year’s business activity.

With the opening of Marion County Hardware in Marion, county residents have another option for home improvement supplies, while the openings of Subway and Jake’s Dog House, a food truck, provide people with more places to eat.

In Hillsboro, Vogt’s Hometown Market was taken over by Heartland Foods, which operated for less than a year before announcing that it was pulling out of the Hillsboro location not long after Alco publicized its corporate bankruptcy and subsequent closing of all stores nationwide.

Wal-Mart announced that it would open a Neighborhood Market — selling food, pharmaceuticals, and gasoline — in Hillsboro in the spring of 2015. Construction commenced in 2014.

Quick Flick/Radio Shack’s closure in Hillsboro opened the door for Instaboro, a locally owned Redbox-like movie rental service.

Wagon Wheel Express ran out of food three days straight when it reopened after remodeling and expansion. The closing of Zimmerman’s Deli and Coffee Shop and Country Lakes Café left two downtown Marion stores unoccupied, but CiboTech, a food forensics lab, opened in another.

Florence welcomed Woody’s Creations, and Auntie Em’s Cafe changed hands to become On the Corner Cafe. A Newton man chose downtown Peabody as the location for a bike shop and hostel.

The Bait Bucket started selling bait near the reservoir, a salon dubbed the Beauty Bar opened in Marion, and Shear Ambition opened in Hillsboro. A longtime Marion day care, Kountry Kids Childcare, closed.

The county now has its very own licensed mead distillers at Vinduska Apiaries, but the upcoming closing of Key Convenience in Lincolnville will likely inconvenience more than a few.

Swamp Fox Country Club opened temporarily in Marion’s youth center, but swiftly closed when volunteers reopened the center.

On the farm and in the range, beef prices hit an all-time high in 2014. However, corn yields were lower than expected, while wheat yields were lower than 2013’s crop, but better than expected.

Last modified Dec. 30, 2014