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Heard On The Street

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HIGHER CALLING. Silver Dollar City President and Chief Executive Officer Cary Summers announced July 30 that he is stepping down from his position at SDC to begin a Christian ministry designed to help small and mid-sized businesses achieve their goals and objectives, according to a news release from SDC. "Summers, a committed Christian for 25 years, believes that, as the Lord brought him to Silver Dollar City six years ago, he is now guiding him to this new endeavor," the release said. Summers will leave SDC at the end of August. His responsibilities will be divided among the vice presidents in each market: Mike Hutcherson, Ozark Mountain/Branson properties; Ken Bell, Pigeon Forge/Dollywood properties; and Paul van Leeuwen, Atlanta properties.

MORE POWER TO YOU. Springfield's Pennypower Shopper has been sold once again, this time to a newly-formed publishing company called Lionheart Newspapers. For those who are keeping score, this will be the fourth owner of the free weekly publication in a year. ABC Inc. sold its shoppers group, which included the Pennypower, Sept. 30, 1997, to Harte-Hanks, which then divested of the shopper, in March of 1998, selling to Central States Publishing LLC. Lionheart Newspapers July 23 purchased a group of community newspapers in Minneapolis; the Stillwater Gazette, the oldest daily newspaper in Minnesota; three shoppers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area; the Springfield Pennypower; and the Wichita, Kan., Pennypower. Richard L. Connor and John Coots, partners with Weiss, Peck & Greer LLC's Private Equity Group in Lionheart, will be heading the operations of the new company. Connor will be chairman and chief executive officer and Coots will be president and chief operating officer.

R-RATED BARNEY. In a PR debacle that's a lesson for all us media types, Nina Stern Public Relations of California, the company that represents Barney, the famous purple dinosaur beloved of toddlers everywhere, issued an apology to the media July 28 regarding a recent news release on new Barney Sing Along music titles. The release "apparently was tampered with electronically resulting in the addition of inappropriate language to our final master. Unfortunately, this bogus master is the one that was printed and disseminated to the media," said Nina Stern in her July 28 letter. How inappropriate was it? Following a legitimate quote from Debbie Ries, of Lyrick Studios (Barney's music label), about how the tapes are "perfect for a short or long car trip anywhere," some wit added "Instead of having those little shits clamoring to stop at the next McDonald's, or those interminable whines of 'When are we gonna get there' or 'I really gotta go, Mommy,' plug their ears with these latest banalities from Lyrick and you're guaranteed to arrive free of stress."

SLICE OF NICE. The fourth annual "Not-So-Newlywed Game" will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14 at the Landers Theatre. The event raises money for the Ozark Counseling Center. Jerry Jacob will be the host for the event, which will feature married couples Gary and Donna Lou Deaver, Nick and Jennifer Russo, Rick and Kay Van Pelt, Enoch and Debbie Morris, and Richard and Teresa Ollis. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please call 869-9011.

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