Economy & Innovation

Airport improvements
4:16 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Main runway reopens at St. Louis Downtown Airport

Construction on a now-finished runway at St. Louis Downtown Airport.
(via St. Louis Downtown Airport Facebook page)

Officials say the completion of improvements to the main runway at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia will help the facility expand its clientele and generate new business. 

The six-month, $7.4 million project widened and lengthened the runway and improved the runway’s lighting system. Airport director Bob McDaniel says they also strengthened the runway to support larger aircraft like the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320.

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from St. Louis on the Air
4:53 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

St. Louis County debates budget shortfall, park closures

2012 Proposed St. Louis County Park Closures, explore full map via the link in the story below.
(via St. Louis County website)

St. Louis County Council members gather tonight at 6:00 p.m. to discuss County Executive Charlie Dooley’s proposed budget for 2012.  Facing flat revenues and a budget shortfall, Dooley has proposed $10 million in spending cuts that would close 23 county parks and eliminate up to 133 Parks & Recreation Department employees.

The budget has been under fire from council members, citizens, and environmental groups, many of whom are calling for more equitable cuts across county departments.

Former County Park Ranger Marty Koch joined Dooley’s Senior Policy Advisor Mike Jones today on St. Louis on the Air.

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Missouri Unemployment Rate
12:33 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Missouri unemployment rate declined in Oct. to lowest point in over 2 years

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Missouri's unemployment rate declined last month to its lowest point in more than 2 1/2 years.

The state Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in October - down two-tenths of a percentage point from September. It was the lowest mark since an 8.4 percent rate in February 2009.

Missouri's unemployment rate also was better than the national average of 9 percent in October.

UMB Bank / Mamtek
11:56 am
Mon November 7, 2011

UMB Bank files lawsuit against Mamtek over Mo. plant

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the company responsible for a failed artificial sweetener factory in Moberly.

Mamtek U.S. Inc. planned to employ several hundred people at the central Missouri plant, and Moberly issued $39 million in bonds to pay for the project.

But Mamtek missed a bond payment and the plant still is under construction. Moberly has said it does not plan to pay off remaining bonds.

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Scott Air Force Base
3:20 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Scott AFB cutting more than 300 civilian jobs

The Belleville Gate entrance to Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill.
(via Wikimedia commons/SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF)

Scott Air Force Base plans to cut more than 300 jobs as part of an Air Force restructuring plan and could get rid of more positions.

Base spokeswoman Karen Petitt said 321 jobs will be cut. Of those 122 are vacant. The base about 25 miles east of St. Louis has 5,085 civilian jobs so the cuts represent 6.3 percent of its civilian positions.

The Air Force is cutting about 9,000 jobs around the country to save money and restructure civilian operations.

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GM / Wentzville
12:12 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Wentzville plant will build the Chevy Colorado

Workers at the GM Wentzville plant get the first look at the Chevy Colorado, which will be produced at their facility starting sometime next year thanks to a $380 million expansion.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 4:50  p.m. with comments from Nixon, company and union officials, and employees.

The General Motors plant in Wentzville, Mo. got some welcome news this morning.

A $380 million investment in the plant, negotiated into the latest contract between GM and the United Auto Workers, means the Chevrolet Colorado will be built at the St. Charles County plant beginning some time next year.

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Nixon in China
5:01 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

Mo. gov strikes import deal with another Chinese province

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he has closed a deal with another Chinese province to import products from Missouri.

Nixon said Thursday the government of Zhejiang Province has agreed to import $100 million of Missouri products over the coming years. The province also agreed to help facilitate an additional $100 million of investment in Missouri businesses.

Nixon in China
12:11 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Chinese province to increase imports from Mo., invest additional $100M

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and China's Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong during a state dinner in Feb. 2010.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a Chinese province has agreed to increase its imports from Missouri by $100 million over the next three years.

Nixon's announcement Wednesday about the Hebei province came as part a weeklong trade trip to China. The governor previously announced that a new agreement with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade would increase imports of Missouri goods by $1 billion over three years.

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Peabody Energy
12:54 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Coal giant Peabody's 3Q net income rises 22 percent

Peabody Energy Corp. CEO Gregory Boyce.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Coal-mining giant Peabody Energy Corp. says its third-quarter earnings climbed 22 percent and demand for coal is still rising for power generation in Asia and Europe.

Separately, Peabody says the steel maker ArcelorMittal has pulled out of their joint bid to buy Australia's Macarthur Coal Ltd. for about $5 billion, and will sell its interest to Peabody.

Peabody shares fell 1.7 percent to $40.25 in premarket trading.

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Ameren
12:23 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Ameren offers some employees voluntary retirement as "belt-tightening" measure

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

An announcement Friday from St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation says that the company is offering certain employees an opportunity to retire early. Ameren is an electric and natural gas utility provider for many residents of the St. Louis region.

The move comes as a cost management measure during what the company calls a "challenging economic period."

According to Ameren, here are the requirements for employees to be eligible for the offer:

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