Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

Corinne Ruff

Economic Development Reporter

Corinne Ruff joined St. Louis Public Radio as the economic development reporter in April, 2019. She grew up among the cornfields in Northern Illinois and later earned degrees in Journalism and French at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has since reported at the international, national and local level on business, education and social justice issues.
 

Her written work has appeared in a variety of publications including: Retail Dive, The Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News & World Report, C-U Citizen Access and The News-Gazette. Before moving to St. Louis to join the public radio family, she worked in Washington D.C. for more than three years. There, she founded the business podcast Conversational Commerce and co-hosted a weekly show on the public radio station WPFW about the intersection of higher education and social justice. When she’s not on the hunt for a good story, you can find her scoping out the local music scene and looking for good eats that don't involve whatever Provel "cheese" is.

 

Alderwoman Megan Green, the sponsor of the St. Louis ordinance, said lawmakers in special session are spending "taxpayer money to do essentially nothing."
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A series of bills introduced at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting on Friday aim to hold elected officials accountable to stricter ethics standards.

Alderwoman Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is one of six sponsors of the bills. Two of the proposals mirror state-level ethics legislation Clean Missouri. The constitutional amendment limits lobbying gifts to $5, among other things. Last November, it passed with 62% voter approval state-wide and 80% approval in St. Louis.  

Green said that shows St. Louis residents want to see more accountability from their local government officials.

Provided on 05-08-19
Evolution St. Louis

When consumers hear the words, “Made in the USA,” Jon Lewis wants them to think, “Made in St. Louis.”

That’s the broader mission of the construction of a new $5 million garment-manufacturing facility in St. Louis’ Grand Center neighborhood, which was announced at a media event on Thursday.

Lewis is the CEO of Evolution St. Louis, which he co-founded with fellow fashion veteran John Elmuccio. The 32,000-square-foot facility will bring in more than 50 jobs over the next three years.

Alderman Brandon Bosley, April 2017
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brandon Bosley doesn’t want anything to do with the St. Louis Port Authority. He’s been vocal about that fact. Last week, the 3rd ward St. Louis alderman introduced a bill putting that into writing.

If passed, the bill would exempt his northside ward from any possible expansion of the Port Authority. It’s a preemptive measure that comes just a month after a bill that would have broadened the Port Authority’s jurisdiction on the matter stalled. It would have expanded the power of the Port Authority from just 19 miles along the Mississippi River front to the entire city.

Many homeowners are using services like Airbnb to make some extra cash, while the option is becoming more popular among travelers
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis assessor’s office on Friday sent out letters to the owners of 235 properties listed on Airbnb, informing them that their property value — and taxes — are going up.

The properties have been reclassified from residential to commercial, taking their property tax rate from 19% to 32%.

St. Louis Assessor Michael Dauphin said his office combed through hundreds of properties listed on Airbnb to find ones they believe are commercial enterprises, where the owner lives off-site. They found that the owners of more than half of the reclassified properties live outside of St. Louis, in states as far as California, Colorado and Arizona.

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The Better Together plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County was polarizing, but there was one aspect that many acknowledged would have been a big win for the region — a single vision for economic development.

Now the question for many economic development leaders is how to move forward with that vision with Better Together being put on hiatus this week.

Experts say that under the status quo, the regional economy has lagged for more than a decade, in part because economic development groups have spun in circles using tax incentives to compete for the same business.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Alderwoman Cara Spencer is trying again to force a public vote on the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Spencer, D-20th Ward, on Friday introduced Board Bill 19, which largely resembles one she co-sponsored that stalled in the transportation committee last session. Then-chair of the committee Marlene Davis, D-19th Ward, at the time said it was too early to consider the bill and added that she feared a vote would discourage bidders.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment quickly passed a measure to refinance bonds for the city’s airport on Tuesday.

The 15-minute meeting stood in stark contrast to a long, heated meeting two weeks ago.

At that meeting Mayor Lyda Krewson and Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen, grilled Comptroller Darlene Green about a bill aimed to refinance $93 million in bonds for St. Louis Lambert International Airport at a lower interest rate from when they were first issued in 2009.

The proposed stadium would seat up to 22,500 for soccer. It could also be a site for concerts and other events.
HOK

St. Louis is edging toward a win for local soccer fans who have long hoped the city would score a Major League Soccer team.

For Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology, this is the second attempt he’s been part of to bring MLS to the region. Kavanaugh is part of the ownership group along with Carolyn Kindle Betz, president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, and other members of the Taylor family.