Business

Business Beat
4:52 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

GM seeds and a new Columbia housing ordinance

Researchers at Monsanto chart the progression of a corn plant over 10 weeks: seed, immature plant, callus, early shoot, shoots, early rooting and advanced rooting. Monsanto fills growth chambers reflecting diverse climate conditions with myriad seed samples.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Coming up we’ll kick off a three-part series from Harvest Public Media on the Science of the Seed. For the introductory report, Amy Mayer explores the origins of gene transformation.

But let’s first start in Columbia where as of February, landlords are required to maintain a list of all tenants. It’s part of a new occupancy limitation disclosure ordinance recently passed by the City Council. KBIA’s Andrew Yost reports that the ordinance deals with several overcrowding issues concerning neighbors.

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Business
8:46 am
Mon February 18, 2013

UPDATE: Columbia airport says Frontier flights will end in May

Columbia's Mayor Bob McDavid announcing new flight options for Columbia travelers, last March.
Matt Veto KBIA News

The Columbia Regional Airport announced Frontier Airlines will stop services to and from Orlando, Fla. effective May 13, leaving passengers who had already booked flights for the summer out of luck. The carrier began flying to and from Orlando last November.

In a statement, airport officials said they are still trying to find out why Frontier is stopping its services. What’s more, officials said they only found out about the discontinued flights from passengers – not the airline.  

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Business
8:24 am
Fri February 15, 2013

State tax-credit bill makes its way through senate, but comes with a price

Karl Skala (in background, right), seen here talking with Columbia residents, says tax credits from Missouri Senate Bill 120 could promote business, but could come with a price.
Credit KBIA

Sponsored by Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County, the Missouri Export Incentive Act would create some new tax incentives, and put caps on others. The bill creating new tax credits cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.

The bulk of the bill is dedicated to tax credits for technology facilities and data storage centers. Exporters and self-employed Missourians also would benefit.

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Business
5:28 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rural Mo. town now a 'ghost of a past settlement'

Jim Rives' former school house in Goss, Mo. was converted into a home years ago.
Credit Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Listen to the story about a town with zero residents.

Goss stands as one of the smallest towns in Missouri. While driving by, you might miss it if it weren’t for a few green road signs marking the town’s location along Route 24 in Monroe County.  If you stopped in Goss to ask for directions – you’re most likely out of luck because, well, nobody lives here. At least that’s what the 2010 U.S. Census reported.

The census shows the nation’s population is in flux. While some towns grow rapidly, others – like Goss – continue to dwindle.

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Business Beat
4:43 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rural Mo. town: Population zero

MU Professor Brian Dabson stands in a tattered workshop of the defunct Joe Gilliam Mining Company, which used to mine clay. Former owner, Bob Gilliam, said he bought up the property as the residents of Goss moved away.
Credit Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

The most recent U.S. census shows the nation’s population is in flux. While some cities across the country are growing, many small towns are dwindling. KBIA’s Lukas Udstuen takes us to Goss, one of the smallest towns in Missouri. You might miss it if it weren’t for a few road signs marking its location along Route 24 in Monroe County. And you’re most likely out of luck if you stop in Goss for directions because the 2010 Census reported the town has zero residents.

Check out more details about how Goss came about and see an audio slide show here.

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Business
3:23 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

UMKC’s new ‘Digital Sandbox’ joins a growing list of startup incubators in Missouri

UMKC Innovation Center
University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City's Innovation Center is starting a new program to help entrepreneurs build sustainable high-tech startups and create jobs.

Gov. Jay Nixon and top executives from Sprint, Hallmark, Cernert Corp. and other businesses will be at the university Friday to inaugurate the Digital Sandbox KC.

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Business Beat
5:20 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Why EPA and USDA are tweaking standards

USDA poultry inspection changes have been in the works for some time now.
Credit Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

Later, we check in with a revised Environmental Protection Agency standard that could help some wastewater treatment facilities struggling to comply with part of the Clean Water Act’s deadline.

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Business
1:00 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Twinkies And PBR Together? A Deal May Be Near

(via Flickr/sekimura)

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 2:10 pm

The announcement from Hostess that it would be shutting down three of its bakeries (St. Louis, Seattle and Cincinnati) and then, shutting down as a company entirely, evoked a "Twinkie panic."

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Business
12:14 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

EPA approves change to state water quality standards rules

The change to state water quality standards rules provides greater flexibility in Missouri’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.

The state's regulations previously allowed no more than three years for a permittee to come into compliance with its NPDES permit.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources submitted proposed changes, allowing longer than three years, to EPA in December for review and approval.  The decision to approve the changes was recently announced.

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Business
4:18 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Southeast Mo. air pollution comes from miles away

Government and civic leaders in southeast Missouri believe reducing ozone levels is largely out of their control because the pollutions drifts in from hundreds of miles away.

A committee of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission met Friday in Perryville to review data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The committee is fighting to keep the region from being designated a "nonattainment area," with pollution readings that routinely exceed EPA standards.

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Business
4:11 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Economist casts doubt on Mo. business incentives

Credit File Photo / KBIA

A university economist is casting doubt on whether Missouri's job-creation incentives actually result in more jobs.

Economist Howard Wall of Lindenwood University testified Monday before the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee about the effectiveness of the Missouri Quality Jobs program. The initiative offers tax breaks to businesses that add jobs with good wages and health benefits.

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Business
8:08 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Union numbers drop, in Missouri, Illinois

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:49 pm

The percentage of Missouri workers who are members of a union dropped to less than 9 percent in 2012, following two years of slight gains.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on Monday. It showed that 51,000 fewer Missouri workers were in a union in 2012 than 2011. The state was part of a larger national trend, but that 2 percent drop was among the largest.

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Business Beat
5:08 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

For dairy and organic farmers, Farm Bill extension not much help

Liz Graznak, who runs Happy Hollow Farm in Jamestown, Mo., is one of many farmers who may not re-certify her operation organic without federal support.
Credit Abbie Fentriss Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and ranchers across the country expected to start the New Year with a new farm bill, the all-important legislation setting agricultural policy for the next five years.

As House and Senate negotiators worked feverishly at the turn of the year to come to a fiscal cliff deal, word leaked that the Agriculture Committees had finally come to an agreement on a long-awaited new farm bill. But the final fiscal cliff deal ditched new legislation and merely extended parts of the bill that expired in October. Jeremy Bernfeld reports the extension left many farmers frustrated.

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Business
4:39 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Number of Lambert Airport passengers increases

St. Louis' Lambert Airport
Credit dbking / Flickr

The number of passengers traveling through Lambert Airport in St. Louis is on the rise.

Airport officials said Tuesday that Lambert served more than 12.7 million passengers in 2012. That included 6.4 million departing passengers and 6.3 million arriving passengers, both up a little more than 1 percent over 2011.

Lambert officials say 47 percent of passengers last year flew on Southwest Airlines, an increase of 2 percent over 2011. American Airlines was second with 16 percent of passengers, followed by Delta with 13 percent.

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Business
4:26 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Company seeks enforcement of supplement settlement

Credit Brian Turner / Flickr

A three-judge federal appeals panel is weighing whether a Missouri company violated a settlement agreement with a Kentucky-based competitor in advertisements about a dietary supplement.

Judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati quizzed attorneys for Lexington-based Cogent Solutions Group and Hyalogic, a Missouri company, about the specifics of an agreement meant to keep Hyalogic from directly criticizing a supplement called Baxyl.

Baxyl is the brand name for a dietary supplement advertised for use in joint function.

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PM Newscasts
5:38 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Newscast for January 21, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

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Business
5:14 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Mo. Red Cross seeking volunteers

Ozarks Red Cross Flickr

The Heart of Missouri chapter of the American Red Cross needs more volunteers.

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Business
5:51 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Mamtek CEO waives preliminary hearing

Joe Gratz Flickr

The former CEO of a failed artificial sweetener facility in Moberly has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of theft and securities fraud.

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Business Beat
4:58 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Wal-mart and the local farmer; Mississippi River and barge business

Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill.
Credit Jacob McCleland / KRCU

The lingering drought continues to keep the Mississippi River at historically low levels. But now the Army Corps of Engineers says the river will likely stay open for transportation at least through this month. But many grain and energy industries that send products up and down the river aren’t yet breathing a sigh of relief. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports from the Corn Belt where a lot of grain begin its journey south down the Mississippi.

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Business
8:01 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Nixon begins second term with auto-industry execs in Detroit

Gov. Jay Nixon plans to be one of about 770,000 people taking in the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this weekend. The AP reports Nixon's interest is in protecting state factories.
Credit jpower65 / Flickr/Creative Commons

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to talk with representatives of General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. this week while also attending the North American International Auto Show.

The governor is starting his second term in office by traveling to Detroit to meet with the automobile manufacturers. The trip marks the fourth time Nixon has visited Detroit to meet with auto industry executives since he took office in January 2009.

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Business
5:02 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Elks Lodge demolished by tornado reopens

The 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado destroyed many buildings.
Credit Courtney Flatt / KBIA

Members of the Joplin Elks Lodge that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado are holding a grand reopening.

The Joplin Globe reports that the lodge is holding its grand reopening Saturday, nearly 20 months after the May 2011 tornado destroyed the lodge, scores of other Joplin buildings and killed 161 people, including four people who were at the lodge.

The Elks have been meeting in a large garage on the lodge property. But with the help of insurance and donations, members broke ground on the new $2.7 million lodge a year ago.

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Business
4:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. auditor confirms insolvency of disability fund

There's not enough money in the state's Second Injury Fund to compensate for unpaid obligations.
Credit Andrew Magill / Flickr

A report from the Missouri auditor confirms that a state fund for disabled workers is insolvent.

State Auditor Tom Schweich said Friday that Missouri's Second Injury Fund had barely $3 million as of the end of 2012 but had unpaid obligations of $28 million.

The fund covers workers' compensation claims for employees who have previous injuries or disabilities and then suffer a new job-related injury. Auditors and financial analysts have warned for several years that the fund was on a path toward insolvency. But lawmakers have done nothing to address it.

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Business
9:16 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Triplett takes over Pednet

Annette Triplett

The new executive director of Pednet has almost finished her first week on the job. Annette Triplett took over for departing director Ian Thomas on Monday.

Pednet is an organization that advocates for alternative modes of transportation. Triplett was a childhood nutrition expert with the University of Missouri Extension for 5 years before coming to Pednet. She says her experience in nutrition is easily parlayed into her new role at Pednet.

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Business
8:59 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Mo. receivership cases end for 2 insurers

Credit Brian Turner / Flickr

Court oversight of two financially troubled insurance companies has finally come to an end in Missouri.

The state insurance department says receiverships have been closed for Transit Casualty Co. and International Financial Services Life Insurance Co.

Receivership is a legal step in which a court appoints the state to take control of a financially troubled insurer to pay claims by using the company's assets.

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Business Beat
5:42 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Drought hurts fish farmers; USDA open to helping women, Hispanic farmers

Fish farmer Steve Kahrs stands between a drained catfish pond and an active one.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Coming up we’ll take a look at how the drought affected an outdoor industry completely dependent on water. But first, the United States Department of Agriculture is currently accepting claims from female and Hispanic farmers who believe the agency discriminated against them in farm loan or loan servicing programs. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, the claims process is complex—but the payouts could be large.

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Business
4:33 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Mo. finances to take hit from higher federal tax

Federal Social Security payroll taxes increased by 2 percent.
Credit Andrew Magill / Flickr

Missouri's finances could take a $60 million annual hit because of a recent 2 percentage point increase in federal Social Security payroll taxes.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says the lost revenues resulting from the federal Social Security tax already had been taken into consideration for budget projections. She says the reduced revenue should not come as a surprise to state officials.

The Social Security tax reverted to 6.2 percent this month after the expiration of a 2 percentage point cut that had been in place for a couple of years.

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Business
8:16 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Boonville now owns former Union Pacific bridge

Boonville now owns the bridge across the Missouri River.
Credit bikekatytrail.com

Boonville residents are celebrating the end of a long effort to take ownership of a former Union Pacific Railroad bridge.

The Boonville City Council on Tuesday approved a deal to transfer ownership of the bridge to the city.

City officials are already discussing plans for redevelopment of the Boonville bridge, which was built in 1931, with an eye toward making it a major part of the Katy Trail biking and hiking trail.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the city has a four-phase plan that would cost an estimated $4 million over eight to 10 years.

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Business
5:56 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Centralia approved for EEZ

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced Monday the approval of Enhanced Enterprise Zone, or EEZ, designation to the city of Centralia, Mo.

In the program, businesses could receive tax incentives as encouragement to open up shop in a certain area of the city. Zone designation is based on certain demographic criteria, the potential to create sustainable jobs in a targeted industry and a demonstrated impact on local cluster development, the department says.

Business
9:00 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Mo. insurer recovers after Joplin tornado claims

Credit Matt Evans / KBIA

An insurance company that nearly went under after the Joplin tornado is back in better financial condition.

Missouri's insurance department says a judge has granted its request to release Barton County Mutual Insurance Co. from department control. The company was placed in rehabilitation in December 2011 when it was on the brink of insolvency because of claims from the deadly tornado that hit Joplin earlier that year.

Barton Mutual had premiums of $32 million in 2011 but reported claims of $48 million related to the Joplin tornado.

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Intersection
7:06 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Development in downtown Columbia

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

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