A satellite store of ASHLEY FURNITURE HOMESTORE in Springfield should be open in Jacksonville near the end of the year.

Barry Seidman, owner of Ashley Furniture and Barney’s Furniture in Springfield, said the store in Jacksonville’s Lincoln Square shopping center is part of a parent company strategy targeting furniture stores to smaller communities.

“Corporate has started identifying smaller markets,” Seidman said. “They feel there’s a need for these stores they can serve.”

Seidman opened the Springfield Ashley’s Furniture in 2006 in the Prairie Crossing development at Veterans Parkway and Interstate 72. Family owned Barney’s Furniture is in its 78th year. The store moved from South Grand Avenue to 1987 Wabash Ave. in 2015.

The Jacksonville store will be about half the size of the Springfield location, said Seidman, who added the remodeling has begun toward the goal of opening by the end of the year. Local chief operating officer Scott Nation, who began work in the local Ashley Furniture warehouse 16 years ago, is a partner in the Jacksonville store.

Stores in smaller communities operate as companion locations to stores in larger, nearby markets under the Ashley Furniture strategy, and Seidman said it was possible other markets in the area would be added at some point.

“We think this is a good opportunity and good for Jacksonville,” Seidman said.

Parent company Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., based in Arcadia, Wisconsin, operates 750 stores in 36 countries.

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COMCAST has dropped the local weather and radar channel from its cable lineup. Viewers who tune to Channel 17 are greeted with “Tune to The Weather Channel or your local broadcaster for local and national weather information.”

Company spokesman Jack Segal said the change reflects the widespread availability of weather apps and channels.

“As part of  this process, we decided to discontinue offering the Weatherscan channel,” Segel said.

The Weather Channel, available on Channel 44 for local Comcast subscribers, provides local forecast updates every 10 minutes.

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THR & ASSOCIATES founder JEFF PARSONS is due in a federal courtroom in Springfield on Dec. 20 in the case of more than $12 million owned former THR employees in overtime and penalties.

Parsons has been making token $500-a-month payments toward the amount. A hearing scheduled this month was continued to December after a judge concluded Parsons’ financial status had not changed. THR and Parsons filed for corporate and personal bankruptcy in 2012, but both were denied debt relief based on trustee allegations of fraud. Parsons now lives in Texas, according to court records.

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Springfield added nearly 100 VIDEO GAMBLING TERMINALS from June 2016 to June 2017, according to figures from the Illinois Gaming Board and a recently completed gambling update from the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

The 635 terminals at the end of June compared with 542 a year earlier.

Springfield took the lead in terminal numbers statewide early on after video gaming began in the fall of 2012. Others in the top five for terminal numbers as of June 2017 were Rockford, 451; Decatur, 402; Joliet, 308; and Lake County, 278. The commission report is available online, http://bit.ly/2xtw7hf.

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Crews were completing demolition of a former branch bank last week to clear the way for construction of BICENTENNIAL PLAZA. The landscaped pedestrian plaza on Jackson Street between Fourth and Fifth streets is scheduled for completion in time for the August celebration of 200 years of Illinois statehood.

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The next phase of construction should begin in the summer of 2018 for the STANFORD AVENUE extension between 11th Street and Fox Bridge Road, according to minutes of a recent transportation committee meeting at the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. The first phase between Fox Bridge Road and Taylor Avenue was completed this summer.

Once finished, the projects will create a new east-west corridor between Dirksen Parkway and Veterans Parkway.

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BAILEY FAMILY INSURANCE has relocated to 3013 S. Sixth St. from Koke Mill Road. Christine and Mark Bailey are the owners. The phone number is 441-2342. The website is www.baileyfamilyinsurance.com.

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Construction permits continue to come in at Springfield Building and Zoning toward the planned summer opening of KIDZEUM OF HEALTH & SCIENCE in the 400 block of East Adams Street. Major interior renovation work is well, along with plans to begin moving exhibits in early next year.

Also at Building and Zoning:

* ON TRACK CAR WASH, 840 Stanford Ave.; new construction.

* OLDE TOWN APARTMENTS, 702 Bruns Lane; foundation repairs.

* FREE PRESS COFFEE SHOP, 916 South Grand Ave. W.; renovation.

* LIBERTY PLAZA, 2450 Liberty Drive; retail strip center.

* ST. JOHN’S HOSPITAL, 301 N. Eighth St.; remodel First Floor infusion center.

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A ribbon cutting for CENTRAL COUNTIES HEALTH CENTER, 5220 S. Sixth. St., is scheduled for Nov. 9 through The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

— Contact Tim Landis: tim.landis@sj-r.com, 788-1536, twitter.com/timlandisSJR. Listen to his WUIS/SJ-R business report Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning on WUIS 91.9 FM, 89.3 FM and WUIS.org, or online at www.sj-r.com.