Economy & Innovation

11:24 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Suit accuses rehab firm RehabCare of fraud

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A civil lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in St. Louis accuses the therapy provider RehabCare Group Inc. of paying more than $10 million in kickbacks to gain access to nursing home Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that suburban St. Louis-based RehabCare is accused of a revenue-sharing agreement with nursing home chain owner Health Systems Inc. that defrauded Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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4:34 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Mayor urges CVC to reject Rams' request, but remain open for debate

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission to reject the Rams’ request for $700 million in upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the team is on its way out of town.

Speaking on St. Louis on the Air, Slay said the Ram’s requests was a “best-case scenario” for the team, and did not reflect a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

The city’s plan calls for upgrades totaling $124 million—a figure which Slays says is a starting point for further negotiations.

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Transportation needs
5:50 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

State transport panel hears from St. Louis metro region

(Missouri Dept. of Transportation/via Flickr)

Missouri state and local officials are looking for ways to maintain the state’s transportation infrastructure during a climate of limited funds.

The so-called "Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri Transportation Needs" met in Chesterfield and will hold similar meetings around the state this spring and summer. 

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the agency has roughly half the money to spend that it did just several years ago.

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Edward Jones Dome
10:52 am
Mon May 14, 2012

A roof that opens, 6K additional seats, more in released proposal for Edward Jones Dome

A look at an outdoor rendering of proposed changes to the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams.
(Released by Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster)

The details of proposals to improve or change the Edward Jones Dome have been kept secret - until today.

Last week, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he would release the details of the proposals, in response to an open records request, and he's done so.

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2:52 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Carnahan says changes coming for Postal Service

St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan.
(Official Photo)

The U.S. Postal Service is on track to run out of cash as early as October.

The agency has temporarily shelved plans to close some 3,700 underperforming post offices. 

The Postal Service has been hurt by the drop in first-class mail as more people switch to the Internet to communicate and pay bills.

But St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan says the agencies’ biggest problem stems from a requirement to prepay health benefits for future retirees.

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MSD - Minority Hiring
5:53 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

MOKAN to MSD: employ more local businesses, women, minorities

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN organized this protest outside of MSD’s Missouri River treatment plant today.
(Véronique LaCapra)

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN says the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is not doing enough to include local minority and female workers in its sewer upgrade projects.

MOKAN executive director Yaphett El-Amin says her group wants MSD to increase the transparency of its hiring practices and invest at least $23.5 million in worker training programs.

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Harrah's St. Louis
1:55 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Harrah's St. Louis casino to be sold, renamed

(via Flickr/Hakan Dahlstrom)

Caesars Entertainment Corp. says it will sell its Harrah's hotel-casino outside St. Louis to rival Penn National Gaming for $610 million.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Caesars and Penn National gave different reasons for the all-cash transaction that could close later this year.

Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman says the company is looking at other growth markets. Caesars is opening the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland next week and Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati next year.

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Fortune 500 St. Louis companies
1:15 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

St. Louis lands nine on new Fortune 500 list

Express Scripts headquarters in St. Louis.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The new Fortune 500 list has been released. Fortune Magazine has released its annual ranking of the top U.S. companies by revenue Monday.

Last year, St. Louis had ten companies on the list. It’s down to nine this year, as Smurfit Stone Container dropped off because it was purchased by Rock-Tenn in 2011. The companies are:

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Arch Grants
11:12 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Arch Grants announces 15 recipients of $50K startup grants

Arch Grants Executive Director, Sarah Spear, and CEO, Jerry Schlicter, announced the 15 winners of the program's global business plan competition Monday..
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Fifteen start-up companies are getting a boost from St. Louis business accelerator Arch Grants. The winners of Arch Grant’s global business plan competition will each receive $50,000 to help them get started in the city.

Arch Grants co-founder and president Jerry Schlichter says the recipients were selected from more than 400 applicants.

“Arch Grants will be working hard to make these entrepreneurs a success," he said.  "And, we’re going to be working equally hard to try to continue to build Arch Grants to make it a true game-changing program for St. Louis."

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Unemployment Rate
12:41 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Ill. unemployment drops below 9 percent in March

(via Flickr/KellyB)

Illinois' unemployment rate fell below 9 percent in March in what continues to be a slow, sometimes unsteady recovery from recession.

The state Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment fell to 8.8 percent in March. It was the first time the jobless rate was below 9 percent since February 2009 and the seventh straight decrease. February unemployment in Illinois was 9.1 percent.

Illinois unemployment still remains higher that the nation as a whole. The U.S. rate in March was 8.2 percent.

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