Douglas County Bank plans new branch
Douglas County Bank has plans to expand into northwest Lawrence.
Ted Haggart, Douglas County Bank president and CEO, said the bank has signed a deal to build a "neighborhood branch" bank at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Folks Road.
Haggart said bank officials decided to move ahead with the plans to prepare for future residential and commercial growth along the Sixth Street corridor. Currently the bank's nearest location to the area is at 15th Street and Kasold Drive.
The 3,000-square-foot office will be the company's sixth Lawrence branch. Work on the bank is set to begin in mid-September, but an opening date has not been determined.
The branch will be located on property currently occupied by the Heritage Baptist Church. The church is building a new facility west of Lawrence.
The site also will contain at least two other lots that will house other financial and real estate companies.
Paradise Cafe to change owners
One of downtown's older restaurants soon will have a new owner.
Steve McCoy, owner of Paradise Cafe, 728 Mass., confirmed Wednesday he has a pending deal to sell his ownership interest of the restaurant to fellow downtown business owner Schuyler Lister.
Lister, who owns Creation Station, 726 Mass., already has begun to make some changes to the restaurant. McCoy said Lister has added a stage to accommodate live musical performances and has begun a refurbishing of the flooring and walls.
The business also is staying open until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday, compared to its previous 10 p.m. closing. McCoy, who expects the deal to be finalized by the end of the year, said currently there are no major changes planned for the menu.
McCoy was part of the ownership group that opened the restaurant in 1985.
Hooters, Vanguard still talking about deal
The owner of the Hooters restaurant chain wants to fund bankrupt Vanguard Airlines Inc. for three more weeks while he decides whether to buy it, the company said.
Atlanta businessman Robert H. Brooks has paid $50,000 a week for three weeks to keep a skeleton staff at Vanguard. But that money runs out at the end of this week, Vanguard spokeswoman Elizabeth Cattell said Wednesday.
Brooks wants to increase the funding to $57,500 a week, and continue it for three more weeks, according to a motion filed by the airline in bankruptcy court on Tuesday.
ONEOK debt downgraded
Moody's Investor Service on Wednesday downgraded the unsecured debt of Tulsa, Okla., utility company ONEOK. It dropped the company's debt rating to Baa1, its third lowest rating for investment-grade bonds.
The company, which is partially owned by Topeka-based Westar, said it was disappointed and believes it has a sufficiently strong balance sheet.