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Joplin: Antique Mansion opens at I-44 and 32nd

The Antique Mansion, a 32,000-square-foot antique and collectibles mall, opened April 1 at the crossroads of Interstate 44 and 32nd Street in Joplin.

"We have 45,000 to 50,000 cars going by daily on I-44, and the columns on the building will certainly make the place recognizable," said Steve Cope, co-owner with Linda and Stan Cope.

"We're about five feet from the right-of-way."

With its tall columns, the building resembles a Southern mansion.

Inside, a 30-by-40-foot mural, chandeliers and floral carpet carry out the Southern scene.

The Copes designed anti-theft glass cases, which are arranged in a giant X 65 feet long and 6 feet tall.

The cases are accessible from the back by employees.

The mall is open seven days a week.

Jaycees honor local McDonald's owner

Mike Jennings, owner of nine McDonald's restaurants in the Joplin area, recently was honored by the Missouri Jaycees as one of the Outstanding Young Missourians for 1999.

Jennings has worked for the company since his father, the late Bob Jennings, bought the franchise in 1962.

Mike Jennings has done every possible job at McDonald's, from fry cook to owner.

Jennings attended Missouri Southern State College and McDonald's Hamburger University.

He is active in Joplin Daybreak Rotary, is president of Joplin's Ronald McDonald House and serves on the board of Mercantile Bank of Western Missouri.

He also is a member of Joplin's Food Advisory Board and is a founding board member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Unemployment drops to 2.6 in Joplin MSA

The unemployment rate for the Joplin Metropolitan Statistical Area of Jasper and Newton counties dropped to 2.6 percent in January, the most recent month for which statistics are available.

This is the lowest unemployment figure for the Joplin area in 20 years, according to Bill Niblack, chief administrator for the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Joplin follows a national trend of decreasing unemployment rates.

The state unemployment rate is 2.6 percent.

The national rate is 4.3 percent.

Arvest Bank announces promotions

Deron Burr has been named assistant vice president/commercial loan officer at Arvest Bank, located at Seventh and Main streets in Joplin.

Burr has a master's degree in finance from Southwest Missouri State University.

He has eight years of banking experience.

Diane Sirmon was promoted to branch manager at the same location.

She joined Arvest in October 1997 and has 20 years' banking experience.

Pulaski Furniture buys Dawson Furniture

Dawson Furniture Co., Webb City, has been purchased by Pulaski Furniture Co. of Pulaski, Va.

Jim Dawson, company president, said the only changes at the Webb City and Carl Junction factories will be an increase in sales and production. Dawson has 150 employees.

Both companies manufacture curio cabinets and entertainment centers, which are sold by J.C. Penney and other companies.

Dawson said the Pulaski company is similar to the Dawson family-run business, except it is eight times larger.

Pulaski reached sales of $172.4 million in 1998 with record net income of $6.4 million or $2.25 per share. Pulaski is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol PLFC.

With Dawson's added $21 million in sales, the combined company expects to exceed $200 million in sales this year.

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