DJ's to close after 30 years in business

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A business known for its work on pipes, drains and faucets is closing up shop this week after 30 years of operation.

DJ Plumbing, 661 Newton Road, will celebrate its last day of business Friday, said co-founder Pam Johnson. She and husband Donnie started the business in 1981.

She expressed gratitude to "each and every customer that has supported our business through the years" and said she'll miss visiting with customers over the phone. Johnson especially recognized the work of Jim Bryson who will also retire after years of "faithful service." She also acknowledged the work of Mike and Jesse Velazquez who are working on their own plumbing business.

Johnson also said the many years of operating DJ Plumbing were bolstered by assistance from her mother-in-law, Connie Johnson, and sister-in-law, Collie Parsons, in the office, as well as the support of family and friends.

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Walla Walla Clothing Co. is preparing for its annual "Tee Party" this weekend.

The downtown store, 103 E. Main St., will hold a special spring event to usher in "tee" season, said owner Teresa Morasch.

A huge selection of styles and spring colors from Michael Stars, Three Dot and other brands will be 10 percent off Friday and Saturday.

The same discount will be offered on denim, including crops and shorts, Morasch said. Free gifts and drawings for tees and denim will be part of the event. For more details, call 525-4783.

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The Washington State Penitentiary is one of 148 employers across the nation named as a semifinalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award is the highest recognition given to employers for their support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. Three Washington employers made the cut of semifinalists. The other two are Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and Western Systems amp; Fabrication Inc., according to an announcement.

More than 4,000 nominations were filed by service members. Those chosen as semifinalists support their Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives, including providing the difference between military and civilian salary during deployments, continuation of full benefits, sending care packages and supporting the families of employees fulfilling military obligations, the announcement said.

A national review board will narrow the semifinalists to 30 finalists for the Freedom Award. From there a national selection board of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior award-winners will select the 15 recipients for the 2011 Freedom Award. Finalists will be announced in May, and the award recipients will be chosen in early summer. The 2011 recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on September 22, 2011. Last year's recipients met privately with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates prior to the ceremony.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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