Morning round-up
9:31 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mo. lawmakers seek requirements for officials involved in economic development projects

A House panel heard testimony Monday on eight measures aimed at increasing scrutiny of businesses that ask for government money. The legislation would require local governments to get insurance for municipal bonds for economic development projects and to hold public hearings before issuing bonds.

State and local officials would also have to share information they have about companies seeking development incentives.

Read more
Morning News Round-up
9:35 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A view of Forest Park in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Slay authorizes $64 million in bonds for St. Louis parks

Funding for St. Louis City parks will no longer be siphoned into other capital improvement projects, following a bill signing by Mayor Francis Slay Monday night.

Read more
Nixon on Mamtek, MOSIRA
3:51 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Nixon comments on Mamtek hearings, MOSIRA lawsuit

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his administration wisely handled the vetting of a Los Angeles-based company that began building an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly, then pulled out after missing its bond payment to the small northeast Missouri town.

Moberly officials told a State House committee this week that the governor’s Department of Economic Development withheld emails from a DED consultant revealing that he could not verify whether Mamtek had a functioning plant in China.  Nixon did not address that accusation when talking with reporters today, but he did say no taxpayer dollars went to Mamtek.

Read more
Mamtek investigation
11:12 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Mo. jobs chief defends review of sweetener maker

Mo. DED Dir. David Kerr testifies at a Mo. House hearing on Mamtek on Nov. 30th, 2011.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is defending its role in the Mamtek controversy, in which the town of Moberly issued $39 million in bonds to build an artificial sweetener plant which never opened.

DED Director David Kerr told the House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability that his agency carefully reviewed Los Angeles-based Mamtek’s request for state incentives, which were not issued – but he also said that it’s not DED’s role to double-check every claim made by every company seeking tax credits.

Read more
Morning round-up
9:23 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn has reached a deal with lawmakers to keep seven state facilities open through the end of the current fiscal year.

Quinn and lawmakers reach deal on state facilities

A budget deal reached among Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers will save seven state facilities and the jobs at those locations, at least for now.  The plan won General Assembly approval Tuesday.  Quinn had targeted a handful of developmental centers, prisons and psychiatric hospitals for shutdown after the legislature failed to provide enough money to keep them operating. 

Quinn’s budget director, David Vaught, says the deal to shift money in the budget is a better solution…

Read more
Mamtek investigation
5:41 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Mo. House committee begins Mamtek hearings

The Mo. House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability meeting Nov. 29th, 2011, at the Mo. Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two days of hearings are underway at the Missouri Capitol to explore why an artificial sweetener facility in Moberly never opened and why the small town’s bond rating took a hit.

The House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability is focusing on conflicting documents over the trustworthiness of the company Mamtek. Corey Mehaffy heads the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation. He testified that the state Department of Economic Development never shared emails with the city revealing that a DED official could not verify whether Mamtek had a functioning plant in China.

Read more
DED Director stepping down
5:36 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Kerr stepping down as Mo. Economic Development Dir.

(Mo. Dept. of Economic Development)

The director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development is stepping down at the end of the year.

In a news release Tuesday from Gov. Jay Nixon, department director David Kerr cited a desire to spend more time with his family after working for 35 years in the public and private sectors. Nixon said he would move quickly to select a new director.

Kerr took office in November 2009.

Read more
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.

Read more
Morning News Round-Up
9:19 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

County confirms salad bars at Schnucks focus of E. coli investigation

St. Louis County officials have acknowledged that salad bars at Schnucks are the main focus of an investigation into an E. coli outbreak.

Read more
5:15 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Mo. Senate committee requests development documents in Mamtek matter

The Mo. Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability questions two employees from the Dept. of Economic Development regarding the agency's role in bringing Mamtek to Moberly, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri Senate committee has requested that the state’s Economic Development Department hand over all documents related to a failed attempt to build an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly.  The northeast Missouri town agreed to issue $39 million in bonds to Los Angeles-based Mamtek.  But the project fell through, and Moberly was stuck with a $39 million tab when the company missed its bond payment.  Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia was appointed to the Governmental Accountability C

Read more