SOUTH-CENTRAL : Locally Owned Gas Station to Open

Civic leaders and a gospel choir are expected to help celebrate the opening this week of a locally owned gas station purchased with the help of Mobil Oil Co.

The ribbon cutting for Phillip Barnett's Mobil station at 1406 W. Manchester Blvd. is planned for 10:30 a.m. Thursday with a free raffle, giveaways and refreshments to follow. Grand opening activities scheduled through the weekend include a performance by a local gospel choir and an information fair highlighting services offered by area nonprofit organizations.

Fred Darley, who represents the Virginia-based oil company locally, said the petroleum giant helped Barnett, a longtime community activist, buy the franchise through a pilot program aimed at increasing minority ownership of Mobil outlets. Barnett is the first recipient of the program, which puts together specially arranged financing packages for would-be owners.

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