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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Ignore the fake news, Dingus alive and well
Dingus Fake AD 1 Web

              Operating a small business is difficult. Operating a restaurant successfully, that serves alcohol in the city limits is near impossible now with the flurry of confusion over the newly adopted alcohol laws.
        Now, throw into the mix a "fake news" story circulating on social media that your business is closing and it becomes even more challenging. This is the situation one of Statesboro's longest operating restaurants is facing.
        Dingus Magees owners started receiving calls regarding their demise only to learn that a fake website had picked their popular business to generate what is known as "click bait."
        Advertisers purchase ads on websites based on the unique visits (clicks) to a site. So less scrupulous website operators create sensational stories that draw viewers by tempting them to click on the story to learn more. That is exactly what is doing.
        It is a "prank" website that allows anyone to make up a crazy story. In this case the fake story shows a picture of Dingus Magees sign with the words: "Dingus Magees finals days: local bar set to close in March."
        However, when you click on the story is takes you to a second page telling you that you have been pranked.
        The concern for local business owners is that people will not click on the link and instead take it at face value. The frustrating part is how difficult it is for a business owner to get the erroneous information deleted or removed from the internet.
        "Next month we will celebrate 39 years in business in Statesboro," said Stephanie Owens, co-owner of Dingus Magees.
        "Our support from locals and students is very strong and business is good.
        "We have NO plans of closing a successful business. Please help us spread the word that this is not an accurate story. We look forward to seeing all of you at Dingus Magees soon."

GSU coliseum feasibility study commissioned
        Georgia Southern University's Athletic Foundation has taken a bold step forward in beginning the process to determine the feasibility of constructing a new coliseum to replace the aging Hanner Field House.
        Local governmental entities and GSU have been in discussions for the past three years regarding the need for a larger facility to accommodate the needs of the university and the community. Two popular locations they will explore to construct a proposed 6,500-seat coliseum is the corner of Fair Road and Tillman (which was the location of the original football practice fields) and across the bypass from Paulson Stadium in what is now called the South Campus expansion area.
        The Athletic Foundation confirmed the study in a statement released this week.
         "The Athletic Foundation recently approved an economic impact and feasibility study associated with the building of an arena that could be used by Georgia Southern Athletics and other organizations," said Bryan Johnston, assistant AD for Athletics Communications. "The process to begin this study has been ongoing for three years and is just now materializing. Information from this study may guide us in making the best decision regarding a potential arena."

Meinhardt Winery closes
        Ken and Jan Meinhardt purchased a large track of land in southern Bulloch County in 2000 and began the development of what would become Meinhardt Winery.
        Along with their son Ken II, they initially planted 17 acres of grapes and then an additional 15 acres. They opened the Winery to the public in 2004 and built a production facility that had the capacity of producing 27,000 gallons of wine.
        The winery became a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The beautiful venue hosted many corporate and community events and weddings through the years.
        A few years later they opened a retail location in City Market in Savannah. The Meinhardts invested significantly in our community and worked tirelessly to produce a product that would be desired by many.
        Through the years they had several struggles, including a costly law suit regarding the access road to their property and arcane alcohol laws affecting the sale and distribution of wines manufactured in Georgia.
        After operating for 12 years, the Meinhardt family made the very difficult decision to close the winery in December of last year. They entered into bankruptcy last month and the future of the operation and property will be determined through the bankruptcy process.

L&D Produce remains open while looking for a buyer
        L&D Produce, located at 231 East Main Street, has been continuously operating as a local farmers market since it was established in 1970.
        Husband and wife duo Leona and David Gerrald purchased the market in 1994 and have been operating it ever since. L&D is known for their daily selection of the freshest, quality locally grown and sourced produce in the area.
        Late last year the Gerrald's put the market up for sale and there has been a good bit of misinformation that the market has closed. They are currently operating under their winter hours which is 9 to 6, Wednesday through Saturday. Once fresh produce begins to hit the market in the next few weeks they will expand their hours, closing only on Sunday.
        With David's health failing and the couple looking to slow down, they are in hopes that they can locate a local entrepreneur interested in purchasing the market. They own the land and the business and are willing to work with a motivated buyer to teach them the business side of the operation.
        Several years ago Leona saw a need in the community to help families who are less fortunate. She began a Wednesday lunch program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feeds anyone who needs a meal, no questions asked.
        The business is more than a livelihood for the Gerrald's as it has become a way to help serve many needs in our community. They really hope to see someone step up who shares their passion to continue the wonderful Statesboro jewel.
        For more information on purchasing the business contact David at (912) 687-1835.

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