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Friday, September 29th, 2006 -- 8:30 AM

Loyal's Mayor is sending out an S.O.S. on behalf of his town?s grocery store.

"I would say within the next 90 days, if things don't turn around, we won't have a grocery store in town," predicts Randy Anderson.

You might remember the Loyal Grocery Store sat empty for a couple years. Finally, after much grumbling from area residents, Deeanne and Jerry Wells of Withee reopened the store as Loyal Foods last April.

Anderson says business was initially good, but the store has since fallen on hard times.

"(People) just slipped into old habits. As long as they are wherever, Marshfield or wherever they're working, they'll make a quick stop before they come home," explains Anderson.

"I'm trying to get them to make that quick stop in Loyal."

While some in the community obviously have the means to shop elsewhere, that isn?t true of everyone ? especially Loyal?s elderly population, who Anderson says are "great" about shopping at the store.

"With all the other type(s) of development - the residential development that we're doing, the downtown development we're trying to do... even the Industrial Park - we need the store," Anderson says.

"We need to have that to bring people into town."

Anderson?s message is simple, utilize the local grocery store, or lose it again.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.