Clovis News

Word on the Street: Fresno Pet Extreme opens

Pet Extreme has opened its 10th store, this time in Fresno's Fig Garden Village.

The Turlock-based retailer has a store in Clovis on Shaw Avenue across from Sierra Vista Mall. That store is about 21,000 square feet.

The Fig Garden store, near Whole Foods, is much smaller, at 8,700 square feet, said Joe Perkins, the company's general manager.

"We've started to realize we can get the majority of our best-selling products in about 10,000 square feet," he said.

The store opened last week and celebrated its grand opening over the weekend.

The store sells pet food and supplies and offers services like vaccination clinics on weekends. It will begin offering teeth cleaning next month. The store also has a self-service dog-wash area in which dog owners use a bathing station provided by Pet Extreme.

"We clean up the mess," Perkins said.

The store joins locally owned Whitie's Pets, and national chains PETCO and PetSmart in the Fresno-area market.

Hanford wants In-N-Out

A campaign to bring In-N-Out Burger to Hanford is gaining steam.

A "Bring In-N-Out to Hanford" Facebook page has 6,100 "likes," and a written petition gathered 3,000 signatures in one week.

Junior high math teacher Travis Paden and the 2011 Hanford "Man of the Year" winner Bill Gundacker started the campaign after church one day when chatting about how they wished Hanford had an In-N-Out.

"Any time we're in Visalia, we're stopping at In-N-Out," Paden said. "That's just something that every Hanford person does. We just absolutely love it."

The pair has met with a list of city and county officials and talked with In-N-Out corporate executives.

At the Kings County Homecoming parade two weekends ago, supporters decked out an antique fire-truck with banners encouraging the fast-food restaurant to locate in Hanford. The parade participants handed out 1,500 business cards donated by All Valley Printing with information about how to contact In-N-Out and encourage it to locate there.

Locking out thieves

A Prather man's business is expanding, selling a product many people don't even notice: a locking metal lid for the utility box that holds underground copper wiring.

Zack Rix was working as a contract employee for the city of Clovis when thieves repeatedly stole the copper wiring -- which was fetching top dollar at recyclers -- attached to streetlamps and sprinkler systems. Fed up with the pricey fix, Rix's boss instructed him to find a solution.

Rix invented Lockjaw, a metal locking lid that is impossible to get into without the proper tool to open it. He created a company, SIPRA Corp., around it and is selling Lockjaw to municipalities around California.

He recently expanded, selling to customers beyond the Valley, including the Bay Area and Southern California.

Rix, who runs the company with Jim Chisum, is also about to launch two new products. One is a lock designed for storm drain covers. Another is a device that works in conjunction with Lockjaw, attaching the box to rebar so it can't be dug up and stolen.