Economy & Innovation

Ballpark Village
5:57 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Cardinals' Ballpark Village could break ground by end of year

An artist rendering of the exterior of the latest iteration of Ballpark Village.
(Courtesy St. Louis Cardinals)

Officials with the St. Louis Cardinals say construction should begin on the much-delayed Ballpark Village by this coming fall.

The $100 million project received support Thursday from the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority—known as MODESA.

MODESA’s support frees up $17 million in bonds set to expire by the end of the year—a fact which has the Cardinals, their developer Cordish Co. and the City of St. Louis moving quickly to clear these last few hurdles.

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Health Insurance Rebates
4:58 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Check your mailbox: Health insurance rebates are on the way

UPDATED on Friday, July 6, 2012, to add a correction from Anthem's Deborah Wiethop.

Some 588,000 Missourians will get money back from their health insurance companies this month.

The federal healthcare law requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care and quality improvement. The rest can go to administrative costs, marketing and profits.

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Business
5:55 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Anheuser-Busch InBev buys Mexican brewer Modelo

Modelo controls 4 percent of the U.S. beer market.
via Wikimedia Commons

The world's largest brewer is getting even bigger. Anheuser-Busch InBev announced plans early on Friday to buy a remaining 50 percent of the Mexican brewing giant, Grupo Modelo, for $20 billion.  

The purchase will give A-B InBev complete control of the company and access to Modelo’s popular Corona, Modelo, Negra Modelo and Pacifico brands.

Speaking in a conference call Modelo CEO Carlos Fernandez says the move is necessary step to export his brands around the globe.

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Monsanto
10:11 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Monsanto 3Q profit soars, maintains year view

A field of soybeans grown with Monsanto's genetically-modified Roundup Ready seeds.
(via Monsanto)

Monsanto says its fiscal third-quarter net income soared 35 percent as its seeds and traits business benefited from a mild winter that drove farmers to plant crops earlier and in large numbers.

The U.S. agricultural giant also maintained its full-year earnings forecast after boosting it last month.

The St. Louis company, which produces genetically engineered seeds and the herbicide Roundup, earned $937 million, or $1.74 per share, in the quarter ended in May. That's compared with $692 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

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Business
5:03 pm
Sun June 24, 2012

St. Louis County unveils $7.5 million biotech innovator on Monday

An up-close view of a microscope.
(via Flickr/breahn)

The St. Louis County Economic Council is opening the doors to its new biotech incubator on Monday afternoon and the agency says it will serve as a launching pad for biotech businesses.

Officials say The Helix Center Biotech Incubator is a 17,000 square foot facility loaded with lab and office space with a prime location next to the Danforth Plant Center.

Entrepreneurial efforts are nothing new to the council, which runs four other incubators in the region.

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Arch Coal
12:57 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

St. Louis-based Arch Coal to lay off about 750 workers in Appalachia

Updated 4:42 p.m. with additional layoffs and information.

One of the world's largest coal producers, St. Louis-based Arch Coal, says it will lay off about 750 workers in the Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coalfields.

It's the latest setback for an industry struggling for market share as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives.

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Economy
5:54 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Study: St. Louis needs more immigrants to fuel local economy

via Flickr/KellyB.

St. Louis needs more immigrants. That’s the gist of a new report from St. Louis University.

Professor Jack Strauss presented the findings of his study Tuesday to city and county leaders, including St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, at a regional economic development conference.

At about 4.5 percent, Strauss says St. Louis has the lowest rate of immigration among the nation’s largest 20 cities.

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Energy Electric
1:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Southern Ill. power plant Energy Electric Inc. to cut 44 jobs

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

A coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois will shed nearly four dozen jobs in the next two months.

Energy Electric Inc. President Bill Sheppard says 19 of the 44 job cuts will be management personnel with the Joppa-based company. Twenty-five union workers in the company with about 233 employees will be laid off Aug. 11.

Sheppard says the reductions are fallout from the struggling economy and wholesale supplier prices that had fallen by 60 percent in 2008 and an additional 15 percent last year. He says drop-offs in the price of natural gas also are a factor.

Unemployment Rate
1:27 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Illinois unemployment rate drops for ninth straight month

via Flickr/KellyB.

Unemployment continued to drop slowly across Illinois in May, partly due to job growth in manufacturing.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that unemployment fell to 8.6 percent in May. It was the ninth straight monthly decrease and was down from 8.7 percent in April.

The federal government reported earlier this month that the May national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. That was up slightly from April's 8.1 percent.

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Asian Carp
10:11 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Developers detail planned Asian carp-processing plant in Grafton, Ill.

Cleaning an Asian carp for food preparation.
(via Flickr/lsgcp)

Updated 5:04 p.m. with more details.

The tiny riverfront community of Grafton, Ill. has announced plans to build a plant to process Asian carp culled from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

The plant represents a $5.4 million joint venture between American Heartland Fish in Grafton, Falcon Protein, based in Alabama, and Wuhan Hui Chang Real Estate, a Chinese investment group.

Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson says the new plant will provide a welcome influx of good paying jobs.

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