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Downtown Sonora restaurants rise, fall

    A family of restaurantours announced plans to open an American-style breakfast and steakhouse after refurbishing a downtown Sonora building that was damaged by fire two years ago.
    The building at 293 S. Washington St. was once occupied by Koto Japanese restaurant, and a martial arts gym. It was damaged after the adjacent Bombay Indian Cuisine building caught fire in December 2009 after an electrical wiring problem sparked the blaze. The structures have remained unoccupied ever since.

Wood is greenest building material

    The U.S. Forest Service is pushing for builders to use more timber products in construction projects after a new report found that using wood is environmentally friendly and has several economic benefits.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed report found that timber harvesting and lumber production can have several job-creating and ecological benefits.
    The study analyzed homes in the Minneapolis and Atlanta areas and found that wood products had lower environmental emissions over the life of the building materials compared to steel framing or concrete. It also found that houses built of wood required 15 percent less energy to manufacture.

Shopping habits welcome at Arnold store

    A new clothing store in Arnold is trying to convince habitual shoppers to get their fashion fix closer to home.
    Harper’s Habit opened on Oct. 1 after mother-daughter team Cynthia Stacy, 55, and Veronica Formento, 31, decided there weren’t enough places in the Arnold area to shop for new clothing styles.
    They are joined by Formento’s 7-month-old daughter, Harper, who lent her name to the shop.

Business notes for Oct. 26, 2011

Sonora Lowe’s to stay open despite nationwide closures

Staff and Wire Reports

    Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. said Monday it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states and cut 1,950 jobs in order to focus on more profitable locations. The Sonora Lowe’s is not included in the list of stores on the chopping block.
    Ten locations were closed Sunday; the other 10 will close in a month. They include three closings in New Hampshire and two each in California, Illinois and Maine. The home improvement giant will close stores in Los Banos and Westminster.
    Before the closures, Lowe’s operated 1,725 stores.

Martenson returns to Mother Lode

    Mother Lode residents got a crash course in preparing for a world economy that will work very differently in the near future.
    More that 200 people filled the Telele Lodge at Black Oak School in Twain Harte on Friday to hear a presentation from noted scientist and economic guru Chris Martenson. The two-hour town hall style presentation focused on ideas contained in his “Crash Course” video series and his 317-page book.

Business notes for Oct. 19, 2011

Big Lots set to open next week in Sonora

    The closeout discount retailer Big Lots will have its grand opening in Sonora at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 The event will kick off with a ribbon cutting and the presentation of a $2,500 check to Sonora Elementary School.
    Big Lots will occupy part of the space that formerly served as a Mervyns in the Sonora Crossroads shopping center. The same building also will house national retailers Jo-Ann Fabric and PetSmart.

Livestock pushes growth in ag report

    Agricultural production rose in Tuolumne County last year, driven largely by strong growth in the livestock industry, according to an annual report from the Tuolumne County Agriculture Commissioner’s office.
    The value of agricultural commodities produced in the county increased by more than $1.6 million in the 2010 growing season, following three consecutive years of decline, according to the Tuolumne County Crop and Livestock report.

Diamondback Grill celebrates 20th year

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