A business that has had a successful run on East 32nd Street is kicking it up a notch by moving to a higher-profile location on Range Line Road.

Tel-A-Rent, formerly in Concorde Plaza, has occupied the storefront that previously was the home of Hurts Donut Co., 1602 S. Range Line Road. It’s next door to CiCi’s Pizza in the Range Line Plaza shopping center.

Tel-A-Rent is a leading provider of rent-to-own furniture, appliances, electronics and computers. If you are looking for someone to help you finance a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, a living room sectional or a three-piece bedroom suite, this is a place you might want to check out.

Hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A store manager told me the new store is smaller than the old one, but “the foot traffic here is much higher.” It probably does not hurt to have one of Joplin’s most popular pizza buffets located next door.

The opening of this store probably closes the door on the possibility that Hurts Donut Co., based in Springfield, might reopen a shop in Joplin. When Hurts closed in early March after a two-year stint on Range Line, the company said it was hoping to find a new franchisee to take over the Joplin store. That did not happen.

But all is not lost on the doughnut front. There’s still a persistent rumor that a new doughnut shop could be coming to South Range Line Road.

Dollar General to open

The new Dollar General store at 46th Street and South Range Line Road opened as scheduled last week despite the rain and an unfinished entrance. This store will employ six to 10 people.

It will give the residents of Wildwood, Leawood, Silver Creek and Saginaw another shopping option. In fact, there are only a couple of shopping options available on Range Line south of Interstate 44. These stores have about 10,000 to 12,000 products, including some food items.

There are more than 435 Dollar General stores in Missouri, including 25 in our area.

Dollar General was founded in 1939 as a family-owned business in Scottsville, Kentucky. It is now headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with 16 distribution centers, more than 15,500 stores in 44 states and 135,000 employees.

New look

I’m not sure what the motivation might be, other than pride in ownership, that could explain the ongoing rebranding and updating that is taking place in the midtown section of Main Street.

The latest to get a facelift is Joplin ProPrint, 1302 S. Main St. This business provides commercial business printing, full graphic design services, one-color and full-color printing, and products such as business cards and billboards.

Curt Medlin, the owner, told me that the former DataGraphics Printing became Joplin ProPrint about three years ago and that new ProPrint signs recently were installed on the storefront. Of particular note is a sign that wraps around the northeast corner of the building.

The corner sign was designed by Mark Norris, a graphic designer with ProPrint. It’s a nice touch, and I can see where a similar design might be used elsewhere. I suggested to Medlin that ProPrint has gone “all uptown and fancy on us” with its new signage. He was pleased that someone had noticed.

If I have missed noting in this column a recent facade improvement on Main Street, or Range Line for that matter, please forgive the oversight. Each one of these makeovers contributes to a more vibrant Joplin in the eyes of people who might be seeing it for the first time.

Range Line upgrade

Talk about makeovers. Range Line Road in Joplin and part of Madison Street in Webb City are getting resurfaced under a $6.2 million contract with Blevins Asphalt Construction Co., of Mount Vernon, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

A separate contract for $2.1 million, with D&E Plumbing & Heating Inc., of Nixa, will upgrade sidewalks, curb ramps and pedestrian signals to comply with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Webb City, the work will take place between 10th and 12th streets on Madison, and from Turkey Creek Boulevard to Hammons Boulevard on Range Line in Joplin.

Motorists will find gravel at some business entrances as crews remove sections of sidewalks that run across them so that new pavement can be installed. Contractor crews, working with the businesses, are ensuring access to all businesses remain open during the work.

The project, which should be completed by mid-November, includes the addition of a center turn lane on Range Line Road south of 44th Street that should make it safer for motorists to access businesses on that part of the strip.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to wkennedy@joplinglobe.com; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

Wally Kennedy is a reporter and columnist for The Joplin Globe.

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