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Black Mold Displaces Businesses

By Dawn Russell

At least one suite in a shopping and business complex in Flowood has shut its doors because of mold. Some people who still work there are worried about the problem.

If you shop at the Cavalier Shoppe, you're out of luck for now. The clothing store, which is located in a shopping and business complex off Lakeland Drive, has closed it's doors because of a mold problem. The owner says the mold was caused by a leak in the roof.

Some employees who work at other businesses here want to know if they could be affected.

Lashelle Williams, who works in one of the suites nearby, says "Since I'm expecting a baby, I am concerned. I was having a lot of problems."

Williams says a few months ago the Community Bank branch in the same complex evacuated the building and moved down the street.

Williams says, "I saw them in full suits throwing everything away. We asked what was going on. They said they couldn't say and didn't know what it was."

A spokesperson for Community Bank says they moved out because an environmental company detected mold in their office. That's why Williams wants to know if it's safe for her to work here in the same building.

Williams says, "I was just wondering what was going on since everyone was getting sick down there."

Duckworth Realty owns and manages this property. Ted Duckworth says they have tested the building for mold. He says the initial report shows that there is no reason to move out or close. However, they are still waiting for the final results.

In the meantime Fred Conserdine says his business, Cookies by Design, which is a few doors down from the Cavalier Shoppe will not close, because there is not a mold problem there.

Conserdine says, "We're a national chain. We're guarded by the health department and the franchise. Everybody has checked us out. We're good to go."

But according to a sign on the door written by the owner of the Cavalier Shoppe, Mike Caples, his store won't be good to go until the problem is resolved. He says the store will re-open once the landlord, Duckworth Realty, fixes the damage...which he hopes is sooner rather than later.

The Cavalier Shoppe has been in business at the Lakeland Drive location for more than 7 years. The store owner says he will take care of all gift certificates, returns or other issues as soon as the store re-opens.

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