New Castle News

TOP STORIES

March 4, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: ‘Cash mob’ keeps Butz hopping

NEW CASTLE — It was, well, a mob scene.

Nearly 100 people crammed into Butz Flowers on Saturday morning, creating foot traffic that the East Washington Street business — or any downtown merchant, for that matter — likely hasn’t seen in decades.

The shoppers were responding to a call from New Visions for Lawrence County to form a “cash mob.” Participants — some wearing sweatshirts, others carrying signs saying “Stand Up for New Castle” — met at Washington Center, then walked together to Butz, where they were asked to spend $20 each.

“I stopped counting at 90, and there were still more people left,” noted Jo Ann McBride, director of Lawrence County’s Tourism Promotion Agency.

The event is to be repeated on the first Saturday of each month, with a different merchant chosen each time.

Butz had been informed in advance that it would kick off the mob series. However, “I didn’t expect this,” said Ken Kauffman, who co-owns the store with his brother, Mark.

“We didn’t know how many would be coming. I told our people it could be 15, it could be 50. This is just wonderful; it’s a very nice downtown outcome.”

In addition, it quickly became obvious that people were not limiting themselves to the suggested $20. One man purchased multiple angel figures totaling over $200.

“They’re spending more than ($20),” Kauffman confirmed. “We get so much support from the community, that’s why we stay. Mark and I both believe in the downtown.

“We do a lot of business on the Internet and the phone, but we still have a lot people who come in. We love it here.”

John Nichols and his wife Alison McNeal live in the city and have been involved in various efforts to revitalize it.

“I love Butz,” McNeal said. “Mr Butz was such a friend of the community; I’m happy they decided to stay here.

“This is fabulous. It offers so much potential. I talked to one lady who was looking a purses, and she said she never knew Butz had purses.”

Pointing to his translucent plastic bag, Nichols showed what the couple had purchased.

“Two pillows for our third floor — and I don’t know what THAT is,” he shrugged, indicating what appeared to be a black, silver-beaded belt.

“I’m attracted to shiny things,” McNeal confessed.

Ann Antognoli also believes it’s important to support the city, and that’s why she joined the mob.

“In the city and the country, you have the haves and the have-nots,” she said. “It’s important for the haves to give back. We’ve been blessed, so I want to do what I can to try to keep the community going.

“The program, maybe it’s flawed, but it’s a program, and when people try to do something good, you should support it.”

Susan Linville, the New Visions committee member who came up with the cash mob suggestion, couldn’t have been more pleased with the initial turnout.

“There are a lot of people who support the community who don’t always voice that support,” she said. “This is a chance for them to do that. It’s a great first start.”

(Email: d_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • Earthquake.jpg Geologist: Ohio’s response to earthquakes ‘inadequate’

    A Youngstown State University geologist called Ohio’s official response to the 12 earthquakes that occurred last month in Poland Township, Ohio “inadequate.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg Wilmington board debates ‘free expression’

    Wilmington Area school directors weighed student safety concerns against free speech rights Monday. A proposed policy on student free expression and posting of materials drew concern from one board member.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • meehan.jpg Meehan named Neshannock superintendent

    Terence P. Meehan is the new superintendent at Neshannock Township School District. Board members voted 5-4 last night to fill the post that will be vacated June 30 with the retirement of Dr. Mary Todora.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire.jpg Fire guts Union Township house

    The state police fire marshal is investigating a fire in that broke out in a vacant Union Township house Monday. Union Township firefighters responded at 3 a.m. to 314 Smithfield St.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Poll

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed “unprecedented” legislation yesterday to expand gun rights in his state. Good idea?

Yes. Expanding the scope of where people can carry guns can help halt violent crimes and make those places safer.
No. Carrying guns into bars and schools is NEVER a good idea. I think it will lead to more violence.
Not sure, but I don’t plan to visit Georgia any time soon.
     View Results