Economy & Innovation

Business
10:45 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Patriot Coal Sues Peabody, Asks Bankruptcy Court To Relieve Pension Obligations

Coal miners protest in front of St. Louis Federal Courthouse last January
Credit (Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal Corp. has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to modify collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers of America, allowing the coal company to cut health care coverage for retired miners.

Patriot was created by St. Louis-Based Peabody Energy Corp., as a stand-alone company in 2007.  In creating Patriot, Peabody also transferred a hefty chunk of Peabody’s outstanding pension obligations onto Patriot’s books.

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Hostess
2:03 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

'Twinkie Panic' Over? New Brand Owner Says Cakes Coming Back

(via Flickr/sekimura)

Updated 2:26 p.m.

Hostess is moving ahead with plans to sell its Twinkies and other snack cakes to two investment firms after no other competitive offers were made.

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Gambling
11:55 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Revenue Down At All Six Casinos In St. Louis Region

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/RamblingGambler)

New figures show that February was a down month for St. Louis-area casinos.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that all six casinos in the St. Louis region reported lower revenue last month compared with February 2012.
 
Figures released by regulators in Missouri and Illinois showed the number of gamblers at the area's casinos also fell.

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Picketing Nurses
3:44 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Nurses Picket Outside SLU Hospital

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Close to 100 nurses from Saint Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital picketed in the cold outside of SLU Hospital on Monday morning, saying they are required to do too much with too little staffing and insufficient equipment.

Marchelle Bettis is an RN on the trauma unit, and works with critical victims of stabbings, shootings and accidents. She says it's hard for her and her coworkers to do their jobs appropriately with the current staffing.

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Lambert Airport
5:29 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Lambert Airport Approves Parking Rate Increase

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/dbking)

If you're flying out of St. Louis, you might soon pay more for parking.

On Wednesday, Lambert-St. Louis Airport Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a parking rate increase for most of the lots.

Director of Lambert Airport, Rhondha Hamm-Niebruegge says the higher rates are to encourage visitors picking up travelers to use the cell phone lots instead of parking in the garage or circling the pick-up line.

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Unemployment Rate
9:44 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Mo. Unemployment Rate Edges Lower

Credit (via Flickr/KellyB.)

A new report says Missouri's unemployment rate edged lower in January while the state recorded a net loss  of 4,700 jobs.

Tuesday's report from the Department of Economic Development says the state's jobless rate stood at 6.5 percent in January, down one-tenth of a point from December.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector reported the largest decline in jobs with a drop of 2,700 positions. The manufacturing sector lost 1,400 jobs, and the information sector lost 1,200 jobs.

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St. Louis Home Prices
9:34 am
Wed March 6, 2013

St. Louis Home Prices Get A Boost

Credit (via Flickr/401K)

A new report says the region's home prices rose 4.3 percent in January from the same month in 2012.

The real estate analysis firm CoreLogic released the report Tuesday. The firm says the data offer more evidence that a housing recovery is finally under way in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that excluding distress sales, prices in January were up 3.6 percent.

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Business
10:10 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Express Scripts Reporting U.S. Spending Less On Traditional Drugs

Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Citing data released by Express Scripts Holding Co., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that for the first time in more than 20 years, there was a decrease last year in U.S. spending on traditional prescription drugs.

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MAP Grants
9:51 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Illinois Program For Needy Students Runs Out Of Money

The campus of the University of Illinois' flagship institution.
Credit (via Flickr/ilovebutter)

Illinois has once again run out money to help needy students go to college. The cutoff to be considered for a MAP grant expired over the weekend.

If students didn't have their financial aid application in by Friday, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission says it probably won't have enough money to give them a Monetary Award Program, or MAP Grant.

Commission spokesman John Samuels, says March 1 is the earliest the state has run out of money for the program.

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Budget Address
9:34 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Quinn To Present Annual Budget Address This Week

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Ill. Governor Pat Quinn will present his budget address in Springfield on Wednesday.

The state is reported to have the worst-funded pension system in the country - and has about $97 billion in unfunded obligations.

"Obviously, our pension reform will be part of the address, the need for getting that done right and getting it done now," said Quinn.

Quinn has said the pensions are unsustainable and are taking money away from other key government services.

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