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Our neighbors in St. Louis and Kansas City are two of 25 cities in the U.S. to get a perfect score on the 2013 Municipal Equality Index, or MEI. Columbia and Jefferson City fell further down the list. The MEI is conducted by a national organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The study looks at equality issues including nondiscrimination policies in cities and states.

Columbia Regional Airport logo
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia Regional Airport and American Airlines announced Wednesday they are adding another daily nonstop flight between Columbia Regional Airport and Chicago O’Hare.

The new flights will begin on April 2. American Flight 3376 will take off in Columbia at 6:00 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:05 a.m. The returning flight 3737 will head out of Chicago at 6:35 p.m. and return to Columbia at 7:45 p.m.

Missouri cities score well in LGBT study

Dec 11, 2013
Rainbow flag
File Photo / KBIA

St. Louis and Kansas City are two of 25 cities to get a perfect score on the 2013 Municipal Equality Index. The MEI is conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, which works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The MEI is the nation’s only rating system of LGBT inclusion. The study looked at 291 cities across the nation, including five in Missouri, rating each city with a score of one through 100. Cathryn Oakley is the author of the index. She said she is very impressed with Missouri

River shore
File Photo / KBIA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is picking up where it left off in clearing rock from barge channels in the Mississippi River.

newsy on kindle fire
Newsy

Media company E.W Scripps has acquired Columbia-based media startup Newsy for $35 million according to this press release.

Fast- Food workers protest for higher wages

Dec 6, 2013
Caitlyn Gallip / KBIA

Protestors took the sidewalk on Thursday demanding higher wages and the ability to form a union for the 2300 Fast-food workers in Columbia.

In more than 100 cities across the country, protests brought together various industry workers asking for a higher, more livable wage and the ability to form unions.

Passersby honk as a group of protestors chant "We cannot survive on $7.35" in front of the Burger King on Business Loop-70 in Columbia. Standing in 20 degree weather, the protestors demand higher wages and the ability to form a union.

short street parking garage
Chris Gothner / KBIA

Columbia’s new Short Street parking garage opened this Tuesday, but workers are still constructing nearby buildings.

Non-profit moves to new facility

Dec 5, 2013

CoMo Cares, the non-profit organization that helps children five years old and younger, started operating for the first time at its new location Wednesday. The organization is designed to help struggling parents receive resources like diapers, bottles and clothing.

   Executive director Sabrina Lambrecht expanded the organization from her basement to a new facility off of Paris Road. CoMo Cares has already helped 150 children. Mothers like Jasmine Williams, are taking advantage of the resources.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA News

 


The USDA estimates that more than 2 million people live in rural food deserts, or low-income communities more than 10 miles from a grocery store.  

Four years ago, the last grocery store in Pilot Grove, Mo., closed its doors, turning the town into a rural food desert.  The town had only a convenience store from which to bu food.   

That is, until 23 community investors came together to open Tyler's Market, a fully-stocked grocery store.  On the market's first day open, Pilot Grove residents gathered at the store.  

 

MFA Oil approved to purchase Mamtek property in Moberly

Dec 3, 2013
mamtek
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

MFA Oil announced this afternoon it has been approved to purchase property in Moberly that would have housed the Mamtek facility. MFA officials could not comment on the sale price, but say a bankruptcy court has approved the sale of the 33 acre property. 

Corey Mehaffy is the President of Moberly Area Economic Development. He said the city is looking forward to assisting MFA in preparing the facility for use after the previous trouble the city had with the space.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

The special session aimed to pass legislation that will help Missouri attract Boeing's new commercial jet plant will convene Monday, Dec. 2. Gov. Jay Nixon called for the session Friday afternoon.

Nixon has asked the General Assembly to pass legislation that will annually add up to $150 million for large-scale aerospace projects under four of Missouri’s existing economic development program.

steakpinball / Flickr

A new lawsuit is seeking $30 million from an investment banking firm and 10 employees because of a failed factory project in central Missouri.

Morgan Keegan, which has merged with Raymond James Financial Inc., was the underwriter in 2010 for a $39 million bond issue for a failed artificial sweetener factory for Mamtek US Inc. in Moberly. Construction on the factory stopped in August 2011 when Mamtek failed to make a required bond payment.

Parking construction in downtown Columbia
KBIA

This week CoMo Explained shows how something called the C-2 zoning ordinance determines how Columbia is built. 


The expansion of a bio technology start-up company in Columbia is expected to create 50 new jobs within five years. Nanova Biomaterials, Inc.’s expansion includes $1.5 million in capital investment.

The research and development company uses nanotechnology to manufacture orthopedic and dental products, such as dental fillings and bone screws. Its parent company was founded in 2007 by a group of four researchers, two of whom are from the University of Missouri.

The city of Moberly made a Yahoo Homes top ten list of the nation’s cheapest markets for family homes. The report says the average listing of a four bedroom, two bathroom house is just under 100 thousand dollars. In comparison, the most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. is Malibu, California which has an average price of more than 2 million dollars.

Director for the Moberly Chamber of Commerce Debbie Miller says Moberly is an affordable place to live because it is predominantly a rural area; but, the city is in close proximity to larger metro areas.

The City of Moberly

The city of Moberly made a Yahoo Homes top ten list of the nation’s cheapest markets for family homes. The report says the average listing of a four bedroom, two bathroom house is $99, 593. In comparison, the most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. is Malibu, California which has an average price of more than $2 million dollars.

acephotos1 / dreamstime

A new clinical facility will be coming to Columbia in early 2014.

BioPharma Services Incorporated is based in Toronto, and its clinical operations facility in Columbia will be the company’s first in the U.S. Mayor Bob McDavid said BioPharma will fit in nicely with Columbia.

“I think it’s just terrific that we can sort of blend the research creativity innovation that comes from BioPharma into our culture of healthcare and life sciences,” McDavid said.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A new railroad bridge over the Osage River between St. Louis and Jefferson City is now open for both passenger and freight train use.

The new bridge cost $28 million, with most of the funds coming from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo says the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

beer tap
bighamdesign / flickr

Columbia bartenders and store clerks who sell alcohol have to complete a training course and obtain certification required under a new city ordinance.

The Columbia health department is issuing new server photo IDs under the ordinance approved by the Columbia City Council last November. The measure requires every liquor store clerk, grocery store checker, bartender and waiter in Columbia to complete the online training by Jan. 1.

The city says it's issued about 400 certificates and expects many more people to take the course in the coming weeks.

Missouri has acquired about 300 acres in south-central Missouri that had been forfeited after the owner was convicted of federal drug charges.

The state Department of Conservation said Monday that Missouri State Parks acquired at auction the 330 acres of property in Shannon County that had been owned by James Tebeau. Tebeau was sentenced last year to 30 months in prison and ordered to forfeit the land, known as "Camp Zoe," after he was convicted of holding music festivals where drugs were sold.

Image by Evan Townsend

Missouri businesses will have to shell out more money for unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down debt the state owes to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing federal dollars in 2008 to pay for jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund.  Brendan Cossette with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that led to the feds levying a surcharge on Missouri businesses to repay the borrowed money.

Kyle Winker / KBIA

Missouri's colleges and universities continue to educate an increasing number of international students.

A report from the Institute of International Education says more than 17,300 international students enrolled at a Missouri college of university during the 2012-13 academic year. The Joplin Globe reports that's a 7.7 percent increase over the previous academic year.

The University of Missouri-Columbia has the largest number of international students, with 2,490.

money
File Photo / Flickr

Missouri businesses will pay higher unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down a state debt to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing from the federal government in 2008 to pay jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund. That debt has remained outstanding for several years.

Businesses are paying a surcharge of $42 per employee this year to help pay down that debt. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses will have to pay $63 per employee in 2014.

University of Missouri curators have approved the merger of university-owned St. Louis Public Radio with the online St. Louis Beacon newspaper.

The National Public Radio affiliate is based at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and one of three public radio stations owned by the university system. The Beacon is a nonprofit news site started in 2008 by former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters and editors.

The merger will also mean more involvement by the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia with its sister St. Louis campus.

A top senator says he supports special tax incentives to entice the Boeing Co. to build a new airplane in Missouri.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard said Friday that it should be "a no-brainer" for lawmakers to authorize incentives for Boeing. He says it could mean thousands of jobs and a massive boost to the economy.

Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that he's working quickly and aggressively to lure Boeing. Missouri is competing with several other states to produce the Boeing 777X. Nixon says a decision could come as soon as January.

train
ianmunroe / flickr

A new railroad bridge east of Missouri's capital city is opening with hopes of clearing the final major bottleneck for train traffic between St. Louis and Jefferson City.

Meg Goddard knows how hard the transition is for international students going to college in the United States.  That’s why she and fellow Columbia College student Jovan Ilic are starting a business called “Fresh Start” to help students coming from other countries feel a little more at home right away.

Report shows declines in Mo. unemployment rate

Nov 19, 2013
Unemployment office
ForwardSTL

Newly released figures show Missouri's unemployment rate declined in September and October and now stands at 6.5 percent.

The state Department of Economic Development released employment figures Tuesday. The two months were combined in the same report because of the partial federal government shutdown in October.

Payrolls in September declined by 5,500 jobs, including a drop of 3,700 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector. Trade, transportation and utilities increased by 3,300 jobs.

Student associations push for later bar closing time

Nov 19, 2013
beer tap
bighamdesign / flickr

Columbia nightlife may be extended for an extra hour. 

Airports contribute $11 billion to Missouri's economy

Nov 18, 2013
airplane
clarkmaxwell / Flickr

The 108 airports in Missouri contributed $11 billion to Missouri’s economy, with $3.1 billion of that coming from 100,621 jobs, according to a study released by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The study looked at direct impact money, which includes the salaries of airport workers, ticket revenue and contractors hired for construction. In addition to the direct impact, there is indirect impact money that includes hotel room and rental car sales.

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