T.G.I. Freitags shop closed, but owner could reopen

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Anyone driving by the strip mall on First Avenue SW has probably noticed the local rent-to-own shop T.G.I. Freitags is closed and empty, but owner Bob Freitag says he hopes the move is just temporary.

Freitag closed his Austin location, 1415 First Ave. SW, on June 8 but worked with current customers there through June 14. Freitag said he’s not sure what direction they’re going, but he will continue to service accounts they have and see where that takes the business.

Freitag, who also owned T.G.I. Freitags in Owatonna and Rochester, closed those locations in 2011. Customers can still call the Austin number, 507-434-9404, the Rochester number, 507-285-5956, or the Owatonna number, 507-446-0996. Freitag is also taking payments by mail at P.O Box 815 in Blooming Prairie.

Email newsletter signup

T.G.I. Freitags is an equipment rental/leasing company specializing in appliance rental, and provides services for consumer electronics and appliances rental.


New nurse practitioner at medical center

Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin has welcomed Joanne McGaffey, a certified family medicine nurse practitioner. According to a news released, McGaffey received her Bachelor’s degree from Bethel College in St. Paul and completed her Master’s degree from Clarkson College in Omaha, Neb.

McGaffey is originally from Lewis, Iowa, a small town near Council Bluffs. She did her clinical rotations at MCHS-Austin and prior to that was a registered nurse in the organ transplant department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for eight years. Before that, she was a patriot missile system operator in the United States Army.

To schedule an appointment with McGaffey in either family medicine or occupational medicine, call 507-433-8758.


Firecrackers and hearing loss

Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin is joining the Better Hearing Institute in urging people to use sound judgment — literally — and ear plugs in celebrating the Fourth of July, America’s noisiest day of the year.

The single bang of a firecracker at close range can permanently damage hearing, and the medical center is also encouraging caution when participating in other loud summertime activities, including concerts, stock car races, the use of lawn mowers and power equipment, shooting practice and power boating.

Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, according to the BHI.

Disposable ear plugs, made of foam or silicone, are available at local pharmacies. They’re practical because you still can hear music and conversation when using them. But when they fit snugly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.

MCHS-Austin also reminds local communities that regular hearing checks are critically important for detecting hearing loss early and getting appropriate help to minimize the negative impact. BHI offers a free and confidential online hearing check at www.hearingcheck.org.

Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk of personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, reduced income, and diminished psychological and overall health.