Economy & Innovation

The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

President signs bipartisan debt ceiling plan into law

A screengrab of CSpan's coverage of the Senate vote.
CSpan

Originally published on Tue August 2, 2011 11:43 am

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET. President Signs Bill:

President Obama has signed into law a bi-partisan bill that raises the debt ceiling and avoids a government default that analysts as well as the White House warned could have had catastrophic effects on the American economy.

Earlier today, the Senate voted 74-26 to send the bill to the president's desk. The AP reports Obama signed the bill privately in the Oval Office.

Our Original Post:

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SSM Healthcare
11:07 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Transition at the top of SSM Health Care staff

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SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center - one of the hospitals in SSM Health Care's St. Louis-area group of medical facilities.

For the first time in its 25-year history, SSM Health Care no longer has a nun as its top executive officer.

Sister Mary Jean Ryan will remain as chairman of the board of SSM. But she says she's reaching an age, 73, when she would prefer to step away from the day-to-day operations of the system, which owns 15 hospitals and two nursing homes in four states, including Missouri.

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Business/Northwest Plaza auction
4:44 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Northwest Plaza up for sale again

A vacant Northwest Plaza is on the auction block, for a starting bid of $1.25 million.
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

It was once the region's largest shopping mall. Some even billed it as the largest mall in the world.

Now, the vacant Northwest Plaza in St. Ann is up for sale by a group of lenders who need to get the 122-acre, 1.8 million square foot site off their books by 2012.

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Shipping / Mo. River Flooding
10:13 am
Mon July 25, 2011

Missouri River flooding hurts barge industry

A barge traveling on the Missouri River.
(via Flickr/roberthuffstutter)

After years of drought, barge operators along the Missouri River got more rain than they had hoped for this year.

The industry had grown optimistic when rising river levels appeared to promise an increase in barge traffic this year. The Missouri Department of Transportation even projected a 15 percent to 20 percent increase.

But then the rains started, causing flooding along the 675-mile stretch from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis. That prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close the river between Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota and Glasgow, Mo.

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Business/Express Scripts merger
2:36 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Express Scripts will buy Medco

Prescription benefit manager Express Scripts will purchase rival Medco in a $29.1 billion deal.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits management companies could become one in the first six months of next year.

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Illinois Unemployment Data
1:15 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Ill. unemployment rises for second straight month

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Unemployment in Illinois increased to 9.2 percent in June, the second straight month the state jobless rate increased.

The state Department of Employment Security on Thursday laid part of the blame on weak consumer confidence they said was hindering the national economy.

The national unemployment rate hit also 9.2 percent in June. That was up from 9.1 percent.

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Tax Credits / Aerotropolis
2:24 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

GOP lawmakers reach agreement on business incentives, Nixon to call special session

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

Updated 5:26 p.m. with further detail and comment from lawmakers

Updated 2:24 p.m. with statement from office of Gov. Nixon on special session

A statement issued today from Scott Holste, a spokesperson for Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, announces that the governor will call the Missouri legislature into special session.

The date of the special session has not been determined.

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Business / Aerotropolis
5:32 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Letter: Delegation headed by Mo. Gov. Nixon to visit China

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 7:51 p.m.

A letter from Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon circulated around Twitter this afternoon, and hosted on the Missouri Chamber of Commerce's website, states that Nixon will be leading a Missouri delegation to China "later this year."

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nixon's office has confirmed that the trip is in the works.

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Economy/MO jobless numbers
5:03 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Mo. jobless rate drops in June

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The unemployment rate in Missouri ticked down slightly last month, according to new data from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Missouri's rate last month was 8.8 percent, down from 8.9 percent in May 2011, and a sharp decrease from June 2010, when 9.2 percent of the state's citizen's were out of work.

The national rate for June stood at 9.2 percent.

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Illinois Foreclosures
2:19 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Illinois home foreclosures up 4 percent in June, down 25 percent from last year

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 4 percent in June compared to the previous month, but was down 25 percent from one year earlier.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 6,541 homes receiving initial foreclosure filings last month.

Another 1,944 properties were scheduled for auction sale and 2,529 properties were repossessed by banks.

Looking at the first six months of the year, Illinois foreclosure activity fell 29 percent compared to the same period last year.

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