One of the last of Rochester Apache Mall's original stores is closing up shop for good soon.

Evenson's Hallmark Shop recently started a "Going Out of Business" sale in its space by JC Penney.

Store Manager Marie Christianson said no specific closing date is set, though it will wrap up at least by the end of February. The shop has 11 employees on staff.

This closing marks a bittersweet milestone for the Apache Mall.

Minnesota-based Evenson's signed its first lease back in 1967, which the southwest Rochester mall was still under construction. The Apache Mall opened in October of 1969.

In fact, the company had two stores in the mall — the 3,000-square-foot Evenson's Card and Gift Shop and the 1,500-square-foot Evenson's Hallmark Cards — when the Apache Mall first opened its doors.

That means Evenson's Hallmark has more history with customers than only a couple other businesses in the mall.

"We've had some customers in tears in here, since we announced the closing," said Christianson.

After the closing, Evenson's will still have 16 Hallmark Gold Crown stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota. The nearest are located in Northfield and Mankato.

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Biz buzz

The Med City area is well-known for its residents generating a lot of patents and 2018 already looks to be upholding that reputation.

Since Jan. 1, 42 patents involving local people have been issued. There were 18 issued on Jan. 9 and 24 on Jan. 2.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office issues its weekly round of patents every Tuesday.

The bulk of them were from IBM, but there were a few quirky additions. Plus a few familiar local investors have already added to their patent portfolios this year.

Here are a few the patents issued on Tuesday and their inventors:

• Artificial general intelligence system and method for medicine that determines a pre-emergent disease state of a patient based on mapping a topological module

Inventor: Dr. James B. Seward of Rochester.

Applicant: Renew Group Private Limited of Singapore.

• Pseudotyping of retroviral vectors, methods for production and use thereof for targeted gene transfer and high throughput screening

Inventors: Roberto Cattaneo of Rochester, Christian Buchholz of Frankfurt, Germany, Sabrina Funke of Darmstadt, Germany, Klau Cichutek of Langen, Germany.

Assignee: BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, LETZTVERTRETEN DURCH DEN PRASIDENTEN DES PAUL-EHRLICH-INSTITUTS of Langen, Germany.

• Replication-competent vesicular stomatitis viruses

Inventors: Dr. Kah-Whye Peng of Rochester, Dr. Stephen James Russell of Rochester and Camilo Ayala Breton of Rochester.

Applicant: The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

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Business Reporter

Jeff has worked at newspapers as a reporter, columnist, editor, photographer and copy editor since 1992. He started at the Post Bulletin in 1999. Kiger is the PB's business reporter and writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street."