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Business Journal: Stem Express, Country Club Plaza, Milagro Centre

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

A Placerville biomedical company is now caught up in the national Planned Parenthood debate over abortion.

Stem Express collects stem cells and tissue for medical research institutions around the world. About 10 percent of that business involves human fetuses - including some from abortions.

Jack Robinson with the Sacramento Business Journal says there's no evidence the company has violated any laws or ethics rules.

"The law allows the sale of tissue like this, so long as the sellers are only covering their costs. And researchers say the company plays a really vital role in research that couldn't be done any other way. But obviously, there are moral and political dimensions to this that could really become a challenge for this company." 

Stem Express was founded five years ago with just $9,000. Now, it has a staff of 30 and takes in millions of dollars a year.

One of the Sacramento region's more downtrodden shopping centers is getting a big boost.

The new owners of Country Club Plaza at the corner of Watt and El Camino have signed a deal to bring in a 12-screen high-end movie theater.

"That only fills one of the vacant spots, but experts say that theaters draw shoppers, and that could help the owners sign up new tenants."

Jack Robinson with the Sacramento Business Journal says the center's success could set a precedent.

"Country Club Plaza is really sort of the poster child for the decaying suburban mall. If it can turn it around, the others can too."

The grocery store chain WinCo is also coming to the plaza. It's remodeling the old, long-vacant Gottschalk's building.

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