Our neighboring city of Independence, Mo., is going green with its lighting over the few years.
At the 81st annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas last past weekend, Independence announced its plans to partner with Philips Lighting on an energy and maintenance saving project.
Lawsuits filed by the Missouri Attorney General's office against three companies that provide phone services have been settled, and their customers in Missouri will receive nearly $300,000 in refunds.
The companies were accused of engaging in a practice called "cramming." Joe Bindbeutel, chief of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, says cramming occurs when a phone company levies unauthorized charges onto its customers' monthly bills.
Crop insurance is a big part of the farm bill debate in Washington this year. The Senate recently passed a bill that would expand the heavily subsidized program. And now the House is zeroing in on the issue. Several amendments to the farm bill pending in the House would curb how much the government provides to cut the cost farmers pay for crop insurance. But, premiums aren’t the only part of the system supported by tax payers. Crop insurance companies also enjoy lots of government largess. Harvest Public Media’s Frank Morris reports.
Four-year-old Jack Sander is picking up puzzle pieces in his living room. For a four-year-old, he’s got it pretty good: loving parents, a beautiful home on a golf course, a little brother, and some pretty cool toys. But there’s one thing he’s never been able to do.
“Jack has never been able to even try to go to the movies before,” says Dawn Sander, his mother.
“He’s so sensory-seeking—he can’t sit still now—that there’s no way he could go to an hour-and-a-half movie, where the lights are off, and you sit still, and you don’t talk, with the noise very loud,” Sander says.
The mayors of Hallsville and Centralia, along with one Missouri legislator, have reached out to gun and ammunition manufacturers in an effort to attract those businesses as other states tighten gun restrictions.
State Representative Caleb Rowden said the decision to reach out to gun businesses is about improving the economy.
“This is a matter of jobs,” Rowden said. “If this was a different industry where it was so public that it made national news that these companies need relieving, I would have sent the same letter with some different bullet points.”
The Governor made the announcement during a trade mission in Western Europe. He told reporters via conference call that Boeing will add a new technology information center to its campus in St. Louis County. Both Nixon and Boeing officials were in attendance this week at the International Paris Air Show in France.
The multi-billion dollar makeover of the greater downtown Kansas City area over the past decade was intended in part to draw businesses, but census figures show the area has lost nearly 20 percent of its private employees in that period.
Indeed, the Kansas City Star reports that U.S. Census data from 2001 to 2011 show that greater downtown lost more than 16,000 jobs.
That decade covers the period from shortly before the downtown redevelopment boom began to just after the major redevelopment projects, such as the Kansas City Power and Light District, were completed.
Drought conditions in much of the country have eased, but the Great Plains region is still in rough shape. Last year’s dryness pushed the nation’s cattle herd to its lowest numbers since the 1950s. Dry conditions this summer could cause the herd to dwindle even further. As Harvest Public Media's Luke Runyon reports from Colorado, that means beef prices are on the rise this summer just in time for grilling season.
On this week's Business Beat: 47 million Americans are enrolled in the SNAP program, or food stamps, including nearly 16 percent of Missourians. SNAP is the biggest spending item in the farm bill. And the program has a big bulls eye on it as Congress debates new legislation. As Grant Gerlock reports for Harvest Public Media, the economic considerations go beyond who receives SNAP benefits to how and where the money is spent.
Revenue collections in Missouri slowed a bit last month, but continued their overall upward trend.
From July of 2012 through the end of May, the state took in $7.3 billion in revenues, an increase of 10.4 percent from May of 2012. The year-to-date increase from April of this year, though, was 11.2 percent. Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering blames it on a drop in sales tax collections.
"People are still a little bit concerned about spending a lot of money, given the economy and the uncertainty at the national level," Luebbering said.
The Columbia City Council approved a plan Monday to improve traffic flow along Providence Road near Stadium Boulevard in the city’s Grasslands neighborhood.
In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the city will remove the traffic signal at Providence and Rollins Street and will add new traffic signals on Providence at Turner Avenue and at Burnam Road.
For the second time in two years, Lambert Airport in St. Louis is cleaning up after a storm caused significant damage to Missouri's largest airport.
Strong storms, including tornadoes, ripped through the St. Louis region Friday night. The store caused extensive damage to two aircraft hangars, three buildings and a parking lot. Repair costs have not been determined.
On April 22, 2011, a strong tornado hit Lambert, significantly damaging a terminal and knocking out dozens of windows. Total damage was $25 million.
The collapse of a factory in Bangladesh that killed more than a thousand workers caused a flurry of outrage and widespread calls for sweatshop reforms. But so did the fire four months earlier that killed more than a hundred workers at another Bangladesh garment factory.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty in Missouri to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.
Dozens of Ste. Genevieve County residents met last night (Tuesday) with the company applying to open up a sand mine in their neighborhood. Locals fired questions at Mark Rust, owner of Summit Proppants, for four hours about health concerns, traffic safety and property values.
Missouri voters will get the chance to consider a constitutional amendment next fall that would affirm the rights of farmers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices. The state House and Senate passed the measure during the end of the legislative session last week. Harvest Public Media reports.
Summit Proppants owner Mark Rust (right) and Ste. Genevieve Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson (left) answer questions from residents about the possible sand mine that Rust wants to open in the county.
Dozens of Ste. Genevieve County residents met Tuesday night with the company applying to open up a sand mine in their neighborhood. Locals fired questions at Mark Rust, owner of Summit Proppants, for four hours about the mine’s potential impact on the community.
The biggest points of contention between locals and the company included regulation on air and water quality, the 50 semis traveling in and out of the facility daily, the possible decrease in property value and a guarantee that the company would only operate during the day.
The City of Columbia announced today that no money will come out of the Air Service Revenue Guarantee fund for the month of April. This is the second month in a row which American Airlines did not require a payment from the fund.
With a new farm bill, farmers may have access to fewer dollars for conservation. For 27 years, the popular Conservation Reserve Program has transformed small parcels of land, contributing to cleaner water, more habitat for migrating birds and less soil erosion. But as Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports from Iowa, the program has been enrolling fewer acres in recent years and it’s not just budget cuts that could make it smaller still.
Edited at 3:30 pm with quotes from Columbia Public Works
Columbia Regional Airport (COU) issued a press released Friday afternoon announcing it had received word that its tower will remain open thanks to new federal funding. As we've reported before, the air control tower serving Columbia Regional Airport was on a list [pdf] of regional towers that the FAA was planning to close.
Coming up we’ll hear about the new grocery store opening up show in downtown Columbia. But first, more than 20 years after being listed as an endangered species, the pallid sturgeon is just treading water in the Missouri River. Manmade channels, impounds and dams, commercial fishing and environmental contaminants all had been fingered in the demise of the species.
Thad Huenemann of Nebraska Game and Parks steers his boat down the Missouri River with Nebraska City, Neb., in the background. The economic interests of cities and businesses along the river are often at odds with the ecological interests of endangered species.
The volunteer crew members pulled on their life jackets and climbed into a flat-bottomed aluminum boat at a ramp near Nebraska City, Neb. They came out early on a cold, gray April morning hoping to catch an endangered pallid sturgeon.
Lucky’s Farmers Market, based in Boulder, Colo. is setting up shop where the Osco Drug building used to sit. Aside from possibly creating about 100 jobs, the opening of the grocery store fills another need in Columbia.
According to Luis Zamora, Southwest Regional Director of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Columbia’s considered to have limited grocery options. Bo Sharon, president of Lucky’s Farmers Market, says the new store should help alleviate the issue.