Jan. 10: Fitzgerald’s in Princeton closed its doors on Jan. 1 and reopened later in the year under new ownership. The R & B Dutch Diner in Tampico also closed its doors after Butch and Rita McNinch, who bought the eatery in 2009, were losing too much money on the old-time restaurant first opened in 1981 and named after the village’s most famous former resident, the former President Ronald Reagan, who was born in this village in 1911.
Jan. 17: TCI Manufacturing and Equipment Sales in Walnut is expanding its operations on Route 92 west of Walnut by building a 32,000-square-foot manufacturing building and a 4,000-square-foot office.
Jan. 24: The Coffee Cup, a longtime restaurant in Princeton, closed its doors to undergo remodeling. It re-opened for business a month later.
Jan. 31: Mike Maynard, president of TCI Manufacturing in Walnut, decided to buy Kory Farm Equipment of Manlius along with 12 other investors, including five farmers, to keep the manufacturing business open.
Feb. 7: TCI Manufacturing and Equipment Sales in Walnut started a Learning Center designed to properly train potential employees in the areas of steel fabrication and welding for the manufacturing facility.
Feb. 14: Tim Lehr of Van Orin operates Wildman Hobbies out of buildings next to his home. The business, operated by Lehr and his wife, Jackie, sells $500,000 to $750,000 worth of products each year to model and large-size rocket enthusiasts.
March 7: Vince Mazarrisi of Dixon has bought the former Nelson Drug Store in Princeton and plans to remodel it into Maria’s Pizza 2. He opened for business in July with his son, Anthony, being the manager.
March 14: Fifty-three local celebrities are competing against each other in a Train Like a Celebrity 12-week contest co-sponsored by Anytime Fitness of Princeton and Sophisticuts Salon and Day Spa.
March 21: Randy Burkart and John Hansen have started Burkart and Hansen Auction Service LLC in October 2012 in the former St. Gertrude’s Catholic Church in Seatonville.
April 25: Central Bank in Princeton is undergoing a 1,220-square-foot expansion consisting of three additional offices on the north side of the building toward Company Street. Additional storage plus a larger teller area on the southeast corner of the building for an expanded teller line is also included in the expansion project.
May 2: Princeton Pharmacy, formerly Kirby-Henning Pharmacy, opened at its new location at 610 N. Main St. in Princeton in Harvest Commons, a new building complex developed by Ray Mabry of Princeton.
May 9: Jim Maloney, owner and operator of Malones Repair, has opened a new Ladd facility at 201 S. Main Ave., the former site of Ziel’s Texaco.
May 16: Jason and Jenny Judd of Hennepin are the new owners of a longtime Princeton business that also has a new name. The Judds recently purchased Tastee Freez on West Peru Street from Gerald and Pam Miller and renamed it Grandma Rosie’s Sweet Treats.
May 23: Finders Keepers opened recently at 306 E. Backbone Road in Princeton, the first building east of Prime Quarter, with all funds from the resale shop going to Friends of Strays No-Kill Animal Shelter.
June 6: Jackie Johnson recently opened Princeton Pony Mail Box Inc., located within Harvest Commons at 616 N. Main St. in Princeton, where businesses and customers can to compare prices for Fed Ex, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service to determine the best shipping deal for them to ship their packages. Illinois Valley Agri Systems has opened a new facility in Cherry.
June 13: Registered dietitian Kim Park of Princeton recently opened Rejuvenation Station Nutrition and Weight Management Solutions at 432 S. Main St. in Princeton to help those who struggle with losing weight.
June 20: A longtime Princeton business dating back to the 1920s will close its doors at the end of the month. Frank Bouxsein, current owner of Wind Power Electric, plans to close the doors to the business by the end of June.
June 27: Lara and Jay Schneider recently reopened their seasonal German brat stand, named Zum Alten Kautz (Ye Olde Owl), next to the Apollo Theater, which the Schneiders also operate.
July 4: Tom Yourek has opened Canal Area Tackle Shop at 719 S. Wyanet/Walnut Road near Lock 19 of the Hennepin Canal.
July 18: Maggie Juarez of Neponset sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothing plus household items at Rounds 2, a resale shop located in the former Dunbar’s building on the Courthouse Square where the Princeton Chamber of Commerce’s operates Opportunity Knocks.
July 25: Gateway Services Inc., and Jonathan and Juli Mabry entered a partnership to build a new group home, located on North Main Street in Princeton, for Gateway consumers. Construction started in mid-July and was completed in October.
Aug. 8: Brian Emmerson, service technician/owner of Wind Power Electric Appliance Repair in Princeton, wants people to know he is focused on keeping the service of all major appliances going for the customers in Bureau and surrounding counties, after owner Frank Bouxsein recently closed the retail portion of the longtime Princeton business.
Aug. 22: Ground should be broken next spring for the Sullivan’s Foods grocery store planned in Spring Valley. The 32,000- to 35,000-square-foot building is set for a seven-acre site next spring at the former Bassick property located on Route 6 near Hall High School.
Aug. 29: Illinois Valley Public Action to Deliver Shelters (PADS) will open its doors for service to the homeless and those in crisis the first day of September at shelters in Peru at 1320 Menards Drive and in Ottawa at 1120 Canal St.
Sept. 5: Johannes Bus Service, based in Rock Island, has opened its second branch office this summer in Spring Valley in the Richwoods Building located at the Wolfer Industrial Park in Spring Valley.
Sept. 12: Kayla Hunt is the new owner of The Dog House located in Princeton.
Sept. 19: Jackpot Bingo opened for business at 2700 May Road in Peru. Located where Off Track Betting was before it closed in 2003, Mary Jo Boland and Rick Kwit of Peru, Celie Smith and Jim Smith of LaMoille are the owners of the business.
Sept. 26: David Husemann Jr. is the new owner of Chapel Hill Golf Course located south of Princeton on Route 26. Formerly known as Hunter’s Ridge and the Bureau Valley Country Club, Husemann bought the course July 25.
Oct. 3: Construction has begun on a new Pizza Hut in Princeton with doors to the new facility expected to be open next March, according to John Addis, co-owner of JV Enterprises of Illinois based in Kewanee, which owns the franchise for the Princeton restaurant on North Main Street.
Oct. 17: Ace Hardware’s Retail Support Center in Princeton marked its 20th anniversary with tours of the location which first opened for business in 1993. Zearing Child Enrichment Center Board of Directors announce Heidi Lott has accepted the position as Zearing Child Enrichment Center director, and Nicole Sampson has accepted the position of assistant director.
Oct. 24: Liberty Village of Princeton opened its Bounce Back Neighborhood consisting of 13 private suites and 14 companion suites for short-term residents recovering from surgery or an illness.
Oct. 31: Kirsten Johnston of Walnut decided in August to buy a building and open Pass It Along, a non-profit store selling used clothing and household items, at 124 Main St. in Walnut.
Nov. 7: Terri Zearing and her daughter, Sallee, will open in Princeton The Flour House Bakery on North Main Street by the end of November.
Nov. 14: Suzi McAfoos is the owner of Suzi’s Video Poker and Slots which opened at 1669 N. Main St. in a building located next to the Sherwood Antique Mall.
Nov. 21: Many Princeton businesses offered Early Black Friday specials to lure shoppers to their stores as part of the full slate of Princeton Christmas Open House activities.
Nov. 28: A five-million gallon biodiesel production facility will be built adjacent to the Patriot Renewable Fuels’ ethanol plant in Annawan. Patriot’s Board of Directors recently approved the formation of a new subsidiary called Patriot Fuels Biodiesel LLC to build the plant that will utilize corn oil extracted from the 40 million bushels of corn that Patriot Renewable Fuels processes annually.
Dec. 7: Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the construction of a facility for the new DMC Fabrication and Service Center located at 1111 Ace Road in Princeton. DMC is a joint venture company between McKeown International and Dalian Dashan Metallurgical Engineering Technology. The first phase of the project will consist of the construction of a 10,000-square-foot building. Two other phases call for two 5,000 square-foot additions for the facility.
Dec. 14: The 275 employees of LCN Closers in Princeton celebrated their new ownership. Allegion PLC, a $2 billion-a-year compnay with headquarters in Ireland, became a standalone, publicly-traded company on Dec. 2 following its spinoff from Ingersoll Rand, the former owner of the longtime Princeton plant.
Dec. 19: St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley is undergoing an $11 million construction project. The project has been split up into three phases. The first phase, completed in June, took 18 months to enlarge the operating suite. The second phase consists of a Colon and Esophageal Cancer Prevention Center that will be finished in 2014. The third phase, due to be finished in early 2015, will also expand the pre- and post-operative bays in the outpatient surgery department.
Dec. 28: Chris Carey and Ian Cardosi are the co-owners of BC Tech Group,which opened for business at 727 S. Main St. in Princeton.