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Jonesburg receives grant

Sep 26, 2013

In April, CertainTeed Corporation, which has 60 plants across the nation, chose Jonesburg, Mo., to build an asphalt roofing shingle manufacturing and distribution facility.

The small town of Jonesburg, with just more than 700 residents, is receiving major help in developing the infrastructure to support the new facility

The White House announced in a press release that the U.S. Department of Commerce is giving $1.9 million to Jonesburg.

City Administrator Gerard Ritter said this grant will keep the project process running smoothly.  

A miscalculation by Brookside apartments is costing some Columbia residents up to $35 per week.  The Downtown Leadership Council hosted a public forum Tuesday to discuss parking issues in Columbia. One full time downtown worker says he has to pay for parking daily now because Brookside residents are taking up all the free spots. Council members say Brookside estimated 25 percent of their residents would bring cars to Columbia.

Columbia Leadership Council discusses Brookside parking overflow

Sep 25, 2013
Feifei Lei / KBIA

A miscalculation by Brookside apartments is costing some Columbia residents up to $35 per week. 

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri businesses could face significantly higher costs for workers' compensation insurance next year.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance projects Missouri insurers will see an 11.6 percent increase in their claim costs in 2014.

This increase is driven partly by a new Missouri law that seeks to shore up the Second Injury Fund, which is for disabled workers who suffer additional on-the-job injuries. The law shifts some types of claims out of that fund and into traditional workers' compensation insurance.

A tavern built around 1830 that was the first stopping point in the frontier days for those going west from Columbia is moving.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and some Missouri social welfare advocates are concerned about the impact of the cut on rural Missourians. SNAP, formerly food stamps, was already expected to receive a fund cut this November.

Residents of Jefferson City continue to voice their concerns with the City Council’s proposal for a new conference center.

The Council held its second public hearing on Thursday, to listen to comments on two existing proposals.

The proposals came from two different local companies, the Farmers Holding Company and the Erdhardt Hotels Group.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

It’s about that time of year when hog farmers begin the annual process of pumping a year’s worth of manure out of the pits under their barns. The nutrient-rich slurry will fertilize cropland. But there’s an ongoing problem in these pits: a mysterious foam that sometimes forms on the manure. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer explains, no one quite understands why gases get trapped in the pits, but the foam has been causing explosions. That’s right; this is a story about exploding manure pits.

Scott Pham / KBIA

  This week the Como Explained team goes to Startup Weekend, the premier event for Columbia's booming (really!) tech scene:


Scott Pham / KBIA

  

  Startups are an important part of any community, but they’re especially important for a city that’s adding population, but shedding jobs in sectors like manufacturing. Businesses that are being built now could be the badly needed employers of the future.

Ameren Missouri is finishing up plans to clean up property it owns in downtown Columbia that is contaminated by gas plant tars, which can contain carcinogens.

The property is in the North Village Arts District, which is attracting commercial and residential development.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Ameren's fact sheet on the cleanup says it will remove about 36,000 tons of contaminated soil but the utility has not determined where the soil would be dumped.

New veterans' court opens

Sep 9, 2013
World War I Veterans
File Photo / KBIA

A veterans' treatment court is now up and running for Missouri's 13th Circuit, which includes Boone and Callaway counties.

The Veterans United Foundation has given 100-thousand dollars to operate the court, which deals only with cases involving veterans. Clayton VanNurden is the court's administrator.  He says having a single court for veterans will give them the opportunity to undergo treatment programs with other veterans.

thisisbossi / Flickr

Security checks at the Kansas City International Airport apparently will be quicker soon for some passengers.

The Transportation Security Agency announced Thursday that KCI will be among 60 U.S. airports that will install its PreCheck expedited screening program, beginning Oct. 1.

The expedited screening allows qualified passengers to avoid removing shoes, belt and outerwear such as a jacket. They also won't have to remove laptops or quart-sized plastic bag for gels, liquids and aerosols from their luggage.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

State officials say a market shift is behind the recent decline in real-estate related tax credits redeemed by Missouri businesses and individuals.

The state Revenue Department reports a $103 million overall annual decline in tax credits cashed in the fiscal year that ended in June. That includes a $55 million plunge in the historic preservation tax credit and another $20 million drop in the low-income housing credit.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia City Council members approved stricter requirements for a controversial potential housing development near Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. KBIA’s Kate Grumke reports dozens of residents spoke up about their concerns at Monday’s meeting.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia City Council members amended and approved stricter requirements for a controversial potential housing development near Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

The tougher ordinances affect the amount of impervious surfaces the new development is allowed to have.  Impervious surfaces are surfaces such as streets or sidewalks that reduce the amount of water that soaks into the ground. The changes come on the heels of dozens of water concerns community members voiced about the project.

Kirksville Regional Airport gets new director

Sep 4, 2013
kirksville regional airport
City of Kirksville

Kirksville Regional Airport’s new director Glenn Balliew began his new job last week.

Balliew retired from the U.S. Army after most recently working as a deputy assistant commander in Fort Rucker, Ala. He has worked in the private airline industry for more than five years.

One of the challenges that Balliew will face at the smaller airport is attracting private and corporate flights to Kirksville. Balliew said that the number of planes at the Kirksville airport has been cut in half over the years, and bringing in business is difficult.

Laclede Gas completes purchase of Mo. Gas Energy

Sep 3, 2013
selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

Laclede Gas Co. says it has finalized a $975 million deal to buy Missouri Gas Energy.

Laclede announced Tuesday that the purchase has been completed. The deal combines Missouri's two largest natural gas companies under one entity that will serve more than 1.1 million customers across the state.

St. Louis-based Laclede had served about 630,000 customers in St. Louis and 10 eastern Missouri counties. Missouri Gas Energy had served about 500,000 customers in about 30 western and central Missouri counties, including the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Joplin areas.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Kansas City a $20 million grant to help build its streetcar route through about two miles of downtown.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said in a news release Friday announcing the grant that the streetcar project will "encourage housing, construction, and business development in the city." And she said that will mean for jobs for the region.

"Can't survive on $7.35  -- can't survive on $7.35." 

A new report from the US Department of Agriculture has found that through voluntary conservation measures, farmers reduced the amount of nitrogen that washes off their fields into Mississippi River watershed waterways by 21 percent. That's good news for water treatment plants that spend millions of dollars each year to remove farm chemicals from drinking water supplies. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson takes a look at the particular challenge posed by the nitrogen in fertilizer, which has been running into Midwest streams at concerning levels this summer.

Matt Veto / KBIA

The City of Columbia announced today that it did not have to use money from the Air Service Revenue Guarantee fund to pay Ameircan Airlines for July 2013. This is the fifth consecutive month in the past six where the city didn’t have to use the funds.  

The guarantee fund comes from several private businesses and government entities in mid-Missouri.

American Airlines began service from Columbia in February, with flights to Dallas and Chicago. 

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • 600 jobs coming to Wentzville by way of the affordable care act.
  • Gov. Nixon backs up his veto on a bill affected sex offender registries
  • A former suspect in a Warrensburg murder returns to his home in Saudi Arabia

President Barack Obama's health care reform is unpopular in parts of Missouri, but it is bringing 600 new jobs to the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Virginia-based government contractor Serco Inc. will hire 600 people over the next three months for a processing center in Wentzville, handling applications for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. 

matias Garbedian / Flickr

  Columbia was once a hot-spot of  hot air ballooning.  But you can still see a lot of balloonists flying over downtown on a clear afternoon.


Judge OKs Patriot Coal, miners' union deal

Aug 20, 2013
Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

Patriot Coal Corp. has a bankruptcy judge's go-ahead to enter into a new labor agreement with the nation's biggest miners' union, ending a long, acrimonious dispute.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States on Tuesday granted St. Louis-based Patriot's request to put in place the collective bargaining deal ratified Friday by the United Mine Workers of America.

The settlement restores most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization. Pension benefits for thousands of retirees are maintained, and active employees will continue earning pension credit.

  Regional news from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Mo. unemployment rate topped 7 percent in July
  • 2013-2014 enrollment at MU tops 34,000
  • Rep. Hoskins picked by GOP for Mo. House post
  • Midwestern Farmland Values Continue To Rise
forwardstl / flickr

Missouri's unemployment rate is back above 7 percent for the first time in a year.

After weeks of being out of commission, Ameren's Callaway nuclear energy plant is back in service.

After fewer than 21 months on the job, NPR CEO Gary Knell announced at mid-day Monday that he's leaving the organization to become president and CEO at the National Geographic Society.

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