Two Midtown Crossing restaurants opened their outdoor patios for the first time Friday to a new breed of customer -- dogs.
Cantina Laredo at 120 S. 31st Ave., and Black Oak Grill, 220 S. 31st Ave. have received approval from the Douglas County Health Department to allow dogs -- accompanied by their owners, of course -- to enjoy their respective outdoor patios.
Friday, both restaurants posted outdoor signs welcoming customers and their canines.
To receive health department approval, both establishments have created dedicated dog patio entrances, posted signage and are keeping specific cleaning supplies handy.
Managers Marcus Woodworth at Cantina Laredo and Mike Cizek at Black Oak Grill say providing a place where people and their pups can relax outdoors was something needed at Midtown Crossing.
A vote of confidence from the National Science Foundation helped a Lincoln-based medical technology startup company attract and close its first round of funding, Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Thursday.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Cedarville Investments Ltd. has invested in the specialty pharmaceutical company, which has devised a new way to produce radioactive pharmaceutical chemicals used in advanced medical imaging.
Company officials said the private financing and grant award will help take the radioactive isotopes it produces out of labs and into hospitals, where they are administered to patients undergoing scans using positron emission tomography, or PET scans.
Ground Fluor announced a $726,000 award from the National Science Foundation earlier this month.
Stephen DiMagno, the company's co-founder, said the compound produced by Ground Fluor has been used in humans before. But its isotopes are made using a patented process that results in a higher purity chemical that is produced in about half the time required by traditional methods.
"The problem with this particular compound is that it is quite difficult to produce," DiMagno said, adding that the compound's half-life is only about 110 minutes. "That means every 110 minutes, you have half the drugs for use that you synthesized."
Because the drugs are radioactive, they must also be made at or near the site in which they are administered to patients.
DiMagno said another benefit of Ground Fluor's process is that it can make a drug with higher radioactivity than the same compounds produced using current methods. That means patients require lower doses of the drug to produce a PET image.
"The reason I got into this was because I wanted to see this tech get into the hands of physicians and to patients who could benefit from it," DiMagno said.
The company was founded in 2012 with help from NUtech Ventures, an affiliate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that helps companies commercialize new technology.
Fortress Wealth Advisors of Omaha has joined Securities America of La Vista, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.
Dana Webb and Curren Webb, formerly financial advisors with Manarin Investment Counsel of Omaha, opened Fortress in January and manage nearly $100 million for clients.
In a press release, Curren Webb said the relationship with Securities America, a broker-dealer, adds "next-level resources, support and oversight."
Fortress will use advisory services from Arbor Point Advisors LLC, also from La Vista, a joint venture by Securities America and NorthStar Financial Services Group LLC.
Garbo's Salon and Spa is celebrating the first anniversary of its Midtown Crossing location by expanding the salon.
"The expansion will allow us to add up to 12 new styling stations, a small service 'bar' and an additional waiting area for our guests," said Darcy Michalek, Garbo's owner and president. Michalek and husband Mike are local owners who also operate the Garbo's locations at Village Pointe shopping center and Oak View Mall.
All three locations offer a wide selection of hair, nail and skin care.
The expansion will involve some renovation to Garbo's current Midtown Crossing space at 3220 Farnam St. A lobby wall will be removed, opening an entrance to a new loft area.
"We feel like the loft addition will bring a new dynamic to the salon and set it apart," Darcy Michalek said.
The salon and spa will remain open during the expansion, which is expected to be completed this summer.
Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion will kick off its "Sounds of Summer" series May 30.
The live band performances from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays will go through Aug. 22 at the Bellevue Medical Center Amphitheatre stage, in the center court of the shopping center at 72nd Street and Nebraska Highway 370.
Various merchant prizes and kids' activities and giveaways will be offered each week. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring portable chairs.
Shadow Lake Towne Center restaurants, including Nebraska Brewing Co., Texas Roadhouse, Old Chicago, Hy-Vee, Red Robin and Morning, Noon & Night, will rotate as weekly hosts offering food and beverages for purchase. Outside alcohol is prohibited by City of Papillion open container laws.
The band schedule:
<b>May 30:</b> The Personics, '70s, '80s and today's fun rock.
<b>June 6:</b> Mistaken Blues Band, modern blues rock
<b>June 13:</b> Hott 2 Trott, high energy rock 'n' roll
<b>June 20:</b> The 402, past and present super hits
<b>June 27:</b> The Innocence, mix of rock, country and jazz
<b>July 4:</b> Daybreak, feel-good music of the '60s and '70s
<b>July 11:</b> eNVy, classic and modern top 40 hits
<b>July 18:</b> High Heel, classic and current female pop hits
<b>July 25:</b> Lemon Fresh Day, current and classic hits
<b>Aug. 1:</b> HiFi Hangover, high-energy rock 'n' roll
<b>Aug. 8:</b> McKenzie River Band, classic rock and country
<b>Aug. 15:</b> Soul Dawg, funk and dance tunes
Aug. 22: Velvet Crush, classic and current pop hits
A new indoor play center is open at 120th and I Streets.
Go Kids' Gym, located at 4223 S. 120th St., features 800 square feet of padded flooring, trampolines, a foam pit, hula hoops, scooters and other equipment for kids under age 10.
It also hosts gymnastics, taekwondo, theater and theme-based educational classes, plus a "Mommy and Me" class for infants under 18 months. Summer camps will start in June, owner Traci Cadwallader said.
Free play in the gym is available every day from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
On May 2, the gym will host "Parents Night Out" from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parents can leave their children to make crafts, eat pizza and play games.
Cadwallader, a former teacher, said she wanted to open a space where "kids can be kids."
"That's kind of what we're all about," she said.
Community woodworking space Bench is on the move.
The business, which operates as a co-working space for woodworkers and craftsmen, offering machinery, tools and space for its members, plans to move into a warehouse at 12th and Nicholas Streets by June 1, owner Ben Petersen said. "It's an industrial space more suitable to what we do at Bench," Petersen said.
Bench will be closed June 1 for the move.
Petersen said the current space at 2452 Harney St. is at capacity, with a handful of professionals working there full time along with several part-time hobbyists.
The new space also will feature more diverse offerings, including a metal shop, print shop and textiles shop along with the woodworking space.
"North downtown is perfect for us because of the things and development happening there already,"
Petersen said, mentioning the Mastercraft building, home to several startups and creative agencies, Hot Shops Art Center and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture. "All of them are good friends, and we're excited to be in the neighborhood working with them."
The retail space, which opened in September, will also relocate, though not necessarily to the new warehouse, Petersen said. "We're working with some other local makers on a more permanent retail shop, but that's still in the works."
The shop has launched an Indigogo campaign (igg.me/at/finishbench) to raise money for the new space and to purchase a new air-conditioning unit.
Three years ago, Anne Schulte began designing her own line of stationery and invitations and selling them on Etsy and her e-commerce site, Letterbeepaperie.com.
But she quickly became wrapped up in her job.
"It's taken over from being a part-time thing at night to full time," Schulte said. For that reason and others, Schulte said, she has decided to open a shop in Lincoln.
Letter Bee Paperie and Party Boutique will open its doors May 17 in Lincoln's historic Haymarket district.
The new store at Eighth and P Streets will offer invitations, stationery, cards, party decor, gifts, personalized cards and invitations for birthday celebrations, baby showers, the bride-to-be and other occasions.
Letter Bee also will carry national brands such as Kate Spade, Hester and Cook, Crane & Co., William Arthur, Thimble Press and Sugar Press, and will offer event planning.
GROW Nebraska, a non-profit economic development organization and purveyor of Nebraska-centric goods, is gearing up for MarkeTECH, an annual marketing and technology conference.
This year's event will be Wednesday, April 23, at the Kearney Ramada Inn.
The event features breakout sessions as well as four general sessions focused on leveraging marketing and technology to improve company bottom lines. Presenters this year include representatives from Oxbow Animal Health of Murdock, Neb., and Grain Place Foods Inc. of Marquette, Neb., who will give examples of success in international exports and in e-commerce initiatives.
Representatives from the UNL Extension and Ogallala Bay Rum will also present on the importance of content marketing through strong website landing pages. For more information or to register, visit grownebraska.org.
The Walmart Foundation awarded more than $193,000 to a half-dozen Nebraska nonprofits this week.
Six grants, ranging from $25,500 to $40,000, were presented Tuesday in Lincoln at the Walmart Supercenter, 8700 Andermatt Dr.
U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb, helped Walmart recognize the beneficiaries: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha, City Impact, Madonna School, Tabitha Inc., The Society of St. Andrew and TeamMates Mentoring Program - Lincoln.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation look for organizations that address community needs and make a significant social impact on a local and state level, company officials said.
Walmart operates more than 44 locations throughout Nebraska, including 34 Walmart Supercenters, four Sam's Clubs and six Omaha-area Walmart Neighborhood Markets. A seventh Omaha Neighborhood Market is being built on the site of the former Target on Saddle Creek Road and is expected to open later this year.
Walmart also is constructing a Sam's Club at the Settlers Creek development near 72nd and Cornhusker Road in Papillion. The 138,000 square-foot warehouse store is expected to open this fall.