• Jeff Fox: Ennovation Center in the spotlight

  • The Ennovation Center in Independence is getting some TV attention this week.

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  • The Ennovation Center in Independence is getting some TV attention this week.
    In fact, there’s a watch party Thursday evening at the center, 201 N. Forest Ave. (in what once was Independence Regional Health Center).
    The show “Startups: Made in Kansas City” airs at 7 p.m. on KCPT, Channel 19, and it includes a walk through the center, which is a business incubator focused in culinary companies – Hippie Chow, Fine Vines Ketchup, others – as well as bio-tech, and business and technology.
    If you come to the party, you can meet some of the entrepreneurs and sample their products. To register, visit ennovationcenter.eventbrite.com. Or call Independence Economic Development at 816-463-3515.
    Pizza possibilities
    I am not alone in wondering why Valentino’s of America – that’s pizza – has never made its way to the Kansas City area.
    Well, now it might, but there’s a little less to it than meets the eye. The company, based in Lincoln, Neb., says it’s looking to add “To Go” and “Express Units” in Missouri and elsewhere. “To Go” means carryout or delivery from a site in a strip mall, and “Express Unit” means something like a pizza-by-the-slice operation at a convenience store or gas station.
    We’ve gotten used to that model. If you want an A&W Root Beer – one of America’s treasures – the old drive-ins are long gone, but you can find one paired up with another company, such as the Long John Silver’s on U.S. 40 in Independence. So forget the sit-down-for-pizza experience. Fair enough.
    Valentino’s has buffets – there’s a thought – and other sites concentrated in Nebraska, with a handful of sites in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and north-central Kansas, and it’s looking for franchisees to expand into Missouri and elsewhere.
    Sometimes these things take time, and sometimes they just don’t come together. I wrote in this space a few years ago about another regional chain with devoted followers – Maid-Rite – that was looking around, maybe at a city such as Independence. Nothing has come of that. The nearest Maid-Rite is one county over, in Lexington.
    Missing stuff
    State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is persistent when it comes to reminding people that his office has custody of – and is trying to get rid of – unclaimed property.
    The latest twist: An unclaimed property kiosk at the Raytown Department of Revenue office at 6138 Raytown Trafficway. You can search for unclaimed property and begin the claims process while doing your other business at the revenue office.
    Zweifel says in the Kansas City area there is more $100 million in unclaimed property in more than 840,000 accounts. The kiosk walks you through the steps of the search process. More than half of all claims can be filed paperlessly, and if paperwork is needed, you can use the kiosk to have the paperwork mailed to you.
    Page 2 of 2 - The office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
    The treasurer’s office also has a website – www.ShiwMeMoney.com – to search for unclaimed property.
    Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business reporter and editor. Reach him at jeff.fox@examiner.net or 816-350-6313. Follow him in Twitter @FoxEJC or @Jeff_Fox.

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