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BIZ BUZZ: Charter to expand HD channels this winter

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Just when the cold weather makes staying inside a pleasant idea, Charter Communications reports it is going to expand its high definition channels with 23 new HD offerings.

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The new HD channels will be available by Dec. 13.

Earlier this week, Charter launched its 3D on Demand content for those with 3D televisions. Charter reported it now has more than 8,000 movies and shows on Demand and more than 1,000 in high definition.

Charter quoted a May 2011 report by Scottsdale, Arizona-based In-Stat in Home Media Magazine, as it expects all TVs with screen sizes larger than 40 inches will be 3D compatible going forward.

The research firm stated 3DTV units will top 300 million by 2015.

Melissa Morris, Charter vice president and general manager of Minnesota Operations said interest and demand for 3DTV has grown, prompting Charter to provide 3D programming.

“The addition of movies in 3D is another enhancement to their TV experience,” Morris said.

Matt Taylor and Phillip Holbrook were granted an on-sale and Sunday liquor license for Sunshine Kitchen, which plans to open in the former Varsity Bar and Grill location on Mill Avenue, which was previously home to Chopper’s.

Taylor was a partner with Jessie Borkenhagen in the E Squared Cafe, which closed on Washington Street in late August. At the time, Taylor said the plan was to open a new restaurant in the former Chopper’s before year’s end if details could be worked out with a Brainerd bank. Taylor owned the Eclectic Cafe in Brainerd before he was part of E Squared Cafe.

Brainerd reports Sunshine Kitchen hopes to open later this month.

Rachel’s Bakery in Nisswa is now making and offering free delivery of sandwiches. Rachel Carter reported the bakery just off Main Street in Nisswa is making a “Stuffed Baguette Sandwich” with its homemade French bread dough “wrapped around a sandwich of the day, proofed for two hours and baked.”

Carter reported the whole sandwich comes hot out of the oven at noon and the sandwiches are served until 1:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Sandwiches come with a special dipping sauce.

ChamberMaster, Nisswa, continues to grow. The business, which trailblazed a member management software for chambers of commerce, signed its 1,100th chamber client last month with the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce in Chesterton, Ind.

The web-based member management system allows chambers to manage membership communication, events, registration, billing, and social networking,

ChamberMaster reported. The company, which has grown from its roots on Washington Street in Brainerd and from a Baxter location off Highway 371, reports by using LiveEdit, ChamberMaster give chambers the option to edit and expand websites without a web background.

Costco representatives met with Baxter officials recently to talk about the transportation study by the proposed building site on Elder Drive across from Home Depot. Costco representatives told the city their goal is to obtain city approvals for their plans by the end of the year.

Baxter has recently experienced more development activity and interest than it’s witnessed since the Great Recession took hold. Prairie Bay’s expansion also was before Baxter’s Planning and Zoning Committee as a conditonal use permit was sought to allow the patio and building additions to the Edgewood Drive restaurant. Mike Bullinger, Prairie Bay Grill and Catering owner, was listed on the application signed by Boser Construction.

Other names that continue to surface in the area include Olive Garden and a tire business chain store. An unconfirmed report included talk of Big Lots expressing interest in the area. And Michaels and Petco remain out there after the retailers planned to move into Baxter before the developers of the site found they couldn’t continue plans to redevelop the Gander Mountain building, which was partially vacated when Ashley Furniture closed its store.

Brainerd Lakes Integrated Health Systems was before the Baxter City Planning and Zoning Commission this week requesting a conditional use permit to allow multiple pylon signs at the new medical park on Isle Drive.

Forestview Middle School requested a CUP from Baxter for exterior lights on a hockey rink, wind break with bench and warming house by the tennis courts.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

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