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Shop Local

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circa. Urban Artisan Living is participating in Small Business Saturday.

The Small Business Association encourages Americans to shop at small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, is part of an effort to get people to support community businesses on the year's biggest shopping weekend.

The Fondren Association of Businesses is asking stores in the area to stay open until 7:30 p.m. each of the four Thursdays in December. Organizers are calling them "Fondren's Four Fabulous Thursdays" and hope to lure people who work in the area to shop in Jackson instead of heading to big shopping centers out of town.

The association plans to have live holiday music on those Thursday evenings and a search for "Fonzy the Fondren Reindeer," a stuffed reindeer that will be hidden at businesses in Fondren until Christmas Eve. When shoppers find Fonzy, they can visit fondren.org/fonzy to enter a drawing for a $500 gift certificate from participating Fondren merchants. People may enter once per day, and a winner will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Miss. Toyota Factory Starts Production

A new Toyota plant celebrated the start of production in Mississippi last week. The Blue Springs plant, located outside Tupelo, will build Corollas and employ nearly 2,000 people.

Toyota celebrated the plant's opening Nov. 17. Akio Toyoda, the company's president, and Gov. Haley Barbour attended.

Toyota broke ground on the plant in April 2007 but did not begin production until this year. The plant can produce 150,000 vehicles per year, a statement from Toyota said.

Cystic Fibrosis Education Day

Families and patients living with adult cystic fibrosis can get information about the genetic disease during a Jackson conference Dec. 3. Health-care professionals, social workers and dietitians are also invited to attend.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Mississippi will host the event, and Dr. Bruce Marshall, vice president for clinical affairs at the foundation, is the featured speaker. The conference will address topics such as nutrition, exercise and maintaining airway health.

The conference is at the UMMC Conference Center at the Jackson Medical Mall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It costs $75 for physicians, $50 for non-physician health care providers and is free for patients and UMMC students or residents. For information, email Brea Cole at [e-mail missing] or call 601-984-1300.

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