Fresh new faces aren’t just limited to the children headed back to area schools this fall: Regency Mall is also headed for some spiffing up with an influx of investment by its new owner, Hull Property Group. In a two-phase project, the Racine shopping center will see an investment of $7.5 million to transform the mall, stabilize it and bring in new tenants.

“You’ve got to orchestrate a new look and feel for the property,” John Mulherin, Hull’s vice president of government relations, said this week.

Work on the extensive interior and exterior renovations is scheduled to begin next month and should be completed by early next summer. Long-term plans for the mall envision restaurant out-lot developments and, perhaps, a 160-unit housing complex that could result in an as much as $31 million in capital improvements. That would indeed put a shiny new face on the venerable property and potentially reinvigorate the entire shopping area.

Another fresh change in that area came Friday with the finalized sale of the Ridgewood Care Center nursing home, which Racine County sold to Altitude Health Services. Evanston, Illinois-based Altitude, which purchased the county-run facility for $10 million, plans to invest $750,000 in the operation. The sale shifted more than 200 former county workers to the private operation and was the source of some concern. We hope the new operators continue the high level of care for which the center has been known.

Where are the rally caps? Milwaukee Brewers fans were savoring the team’s spot atop the National League Central at the All-Star break and anxiously eyeing the second half of the season. Now it’s crunch time and after getting swept by the bottom-dwelling Cincinnati Reds and falling 4½ games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs and still in the mix for a wildcard playoff berth, the Brew Crew needs to shake off its second half doldrums in a hurry. That begins tonight as the Brewers head to Wrigley Field for the start of a three-game series. Go Brewers!

We continue to be amazed at the reach and scope of the Internet and its potential to do good and nowhere was that more in evidence than the story of Brad Blanton of Wind Lake and the Cajun Navy Relief, an ad hoc group of boat owners who took to their crafts to rescue those stranded in the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey as it swamped southeast Texas. Blanton, a petty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, set up a home dispatch center in his Wind Lake dining room to coordinate and dispatch the rescue workers on his days off, helping more than 100 people.

That included a grandmother in Port Arthur, Texas, who was trapped in her apartment until Blanton dispatched an airboat to rescue her. The thankful grandmother said, “It’s crazy that someone a thousand miles away could help us make it. It’s amazing.”

Thumbs up to Blanton and the Cajun Navy as even now they, and other good Samaritans, get set to do what they can as Hurricane Irma threatens Florida.


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