Economy & Innovation

Business
7:22 am
Tue November 27, 2012

ConAgra Foods To Buy Ralcorp

Credit ConAgra Foods

Packaged food giant, ConAgra Foods, is buying St. Louis-based food producer Ralcorp for $4.95 billion.  The buyout will make ConAgra the top producer of store-branded foods in the U.S

ConAgra’s stable of brands include the likes of Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, and Reddiwhip, to name a few.  The deal creates a packaged food giant with $18 billion in annual sales

Erin Lash is Sr. Analyst at Morningstar.  She says Ralcorp has struggled recently in the face of increased manufacturing and distribution costs, as well overall tightening of the marketplace.

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4:46 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Household Debt In America, In 3 Graphs

Lead in text: 
The Planet Money team shows how mortgage and home-equity debt fit into the financial profile of American households.
U.S. households owe a bit less than they did at the peak of the bubble. But they still owe a lot: $11.4 trillion, give or take a few billion. Mortgage and home-equity debt is still by far the biggest chunk of that debt. Total U.S.
Business
5:16 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Arch Grants: Round Two

Credit Flickr/jdnx

A local organization trying to build successful companies in St. Louis is now accepting applications for round two of its startup competition. During the first round, Arch Grants awarded fifteen lucky startups $50,000.

What's on TV?

Twenty-six-year-old Sergi Turabelidze started his company, Iveria, out of necessity. He’s from Georgia (the country), and when family came to visit, they just couldn’t find anything to watch on TV.

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Business
4:23 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

MO High Court To Hear Northside Case

Next week, the Missouri Supreme Court will hear a legal challenge to Paul McKee's massive plan to remake north St. Louis.

But Mayor Francis Slay is confident development will happen even if the high court rejects the incentives.

A St. Louis judge ruled in 2010 that the legislation approving nearly 400 million dollars in tax incentives for the Northside Regeneration Initiative did not contain enough specific projects.

An appeals court in June agreed, but punted to the Supreme Court because of the interest in the topic.

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St. Louis on the Air
2:09 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Missouri Ranks Among Worst States For Widening Income Inequality

(via Flickr/SodanieChea)

Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened.  That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.

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Business
5:24 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Hostess Ordered Back Into Mediation With Union

Twinkies
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

A bankruptcy judge in New York has ordered Hostess Brands Incorporated back into mediation with its second-largest union, meaning for the time being the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread will not shut down.

The company had begun the process of liquidating its assets following a Nov. 9 strike by its bakers' union.   The Hostess plant in St. Louis employed 360 people before it was closed last week.

Dave Douglas has worked for the company for 28 years and says he can’t afford to give up any more in wage and benefits to keep the job.

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Hostess shuts down
5:31 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Missouri Grocers: 'We Expect To Be Out Of Twinkies Within 24 Hours'

(via Flickr/sekimura)

Grocery stores across Missouri are running out of Twinkies and other Hostess products, following today’s announcement that the company is going out of business.

Shoppers had already been snapping up Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other Hostess-made snacks prior to the announcement that the company was closing.  Lori Willis is spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based Schnucks grocery chain.  She says they expect to completely run out of Hostess snack products by Saturday.

“As a retailer, this is the very last thing you want to hear, that you’re not going to be able to meet the needs of your customers, so we’re working very hard with a lot of other suppliers to make sure that we can fill in where we can," Willis said.

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Business
5:24 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Army Corps Moving Forward With Plans To Reduce Flow On Missouri River

Low water on Mississippi River could get lower
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Businesses that work and ship on the Mississippi River are seeking a presidential declaration keep water flowing out of reservoirs on the Missouri River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes dams in South Dakota at this time every year to store water to maintain levels later in the spring and summer.

The Missouri River accounts for roughly 60 percent of the water flowing by St. Louis. In a drought-year like this year, George Foster of St. Louis’ J.B. Marine says reducing river levels would risk closing the shipping channel.

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Economy
5:05 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Mo. Minimum Wage Increasing - But Is It A Good Thing?

(via Flickr/JD Hancock)

Missouri's minimum wage will rise by a dime to $7.35 an hour in 2013.

For the past several years, Missouri has followed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That's because the federal rate was equal to or greater than the state's minimum, which is adjusted annually based on the cost of living.

But inflation has now pushed Missouri's minimum wage above the federal standard. The new wage is posted on the website of the state labor department.

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Business
2:49 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Northwest Plaza Mall Redevelopment Under Way

Northwest Plaza Mall in 2010
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Demolition crews are set to make way for a $106 million overhaul of the old Northwest Plaza Mall in St. Ann.

The nearly two-million square foot property has sat vacant for years and will be rebranded as “The Crossings at Northwest”.

On Tuesday elected officials took turns taking a sledgehammer to the old Sears Automotive Center, located at the corner of Lindbergh and St. Charles Rock Road.

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