JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is calling state lawmakers back to the Capitol to consider incentives aimed at attracting a massive Boeing Co. production facility to the state.
Officials are hoping to entice Boeing to produce its 777X passenger jet in Missouri. Several other states also have been discussing trying to land the project, and Boeing hopes to make a decision early next year.
Nixon called the special legislative session Friday. It will start Monday, Dec. 2, which is about a month before lawmakers convene their regular session on Jan. 8.
Boeing is already one of Missouri's largest employers, with about 15,000 people including thousands of machinists in the St. Louis area.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses will pay higher unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down a state debt to the federal government.
Missouri began borrowing from the federal government in 2008 to pay jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund. That debt has remained outstanding for several years.
Businesses are paying a surcharge of $42 per employee this year to help pay down that debt. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses will have to pay $63 per employee in 2014.
The chamber says Missouri is one of 14 states being hit with a higher tax rate to help pay down its federal loan. The chamber says Missouri owes $308 million to the federal government.
Governor Nixon was on hand for the grand opening of a high-tech bioscience research company in the Central West End. Cofactor Genomics celebrated the opening of their $3.8 million dollar headquarters at the corner of Clayton and Sarah Streets. Jarret Glasscock is the CEO and founder, and he says the biotechnology industry is key to improving the St. Louis work force.
"We're hiring individuals and talent that is considering being on the west coast or the east coast and that's the talent we're competing for" said Nixon. "So as we continue to invest in this area and we gain that reputation, it becomes easier. It's like a snowball effect, getting more talent here. So that's what we're hoping to have."
As part of the 10,000 squat foot expansion, Cofactor plans on hiring 24 new employees.
TORONTO (AP) - BlackBerry has agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion to a group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax.
BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.
Fairfax head Prem Watsa is a former board member who owns 10 percent of BlackBerry. Watsa stepped down when BlackBerry announced it was considering a sale last month. The billionaire is one of Canada's best-known value investors. .
Trading of the company's stock was halted ahead of the news. BlackBerry shares plunged after the company announced Friday a loss of nearly $1 billion and layoffs of 4,500 workers.
The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, was once the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple's iPhone debuted in 2007.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield utility is planning to partner with two companies to build what would be the largest solar farm in Missouri.
City Utilities says it will work with Solexus Development in St. Louis and Strata Solar of North Carolina to build the 4.95 megawatt system, with construction to begin next spring.
The Springfield News-Leader reports the companies expect to finalize a contract Monday. The system will be built on 57 acres next to an existing City Utilities generation station near Springfield.
Under the 25-year agreement, Solexus will develop the project and Strata Solar will build, finance and operate it. City Utilities' will connect the system to existing infrastructure, then buy the solar power the system produces.
The system is expected to produce about 9.6 million kilowatt hours per year.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports that layoffs with Patch.com are headed to St. Louis.
Across the company up to 500 employees are expected to lose their jobs and a total of 300 Patch sites could be closed. Patch employs 15 people to operate 24 Patch websites in the area.
Patch.com provides extremely local news.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate edged up slightly even though businesses added thousands of jobs in June.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that employer payrolls grew by 12,800 jobs in June, compared with the previous month.
Despite that growth, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also inched up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in June.
The largest job growth occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 5,400 jobs. An additional 4,700 jobs were added in retail and wholesale trade, and 2,000 jobs were added in durable goods manufacturing.
A bomb threat has forced the evacuation of an Afton business this afternoon.
Fox 2 reports that all employees at Kerry Ingredients were ordered out of the building around 1:30. The St. Louis County Police say the threat indicated the bomb would go off "within an hour and a half." Bomb squads are on the scene.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A new state report that Illinois coal once shunned for its high sulfur content is enjoying record demand overseas.
The Illinois Office of Coal Development said Wednesday that the report it had done by Energy Ventures Analysis Inc. showed that 13 million tons of Illinois coal was exported last year. That's a five-fold increase from the 2.5 million tons shipped out of the U.S. in 2010.
Officials attribute the increase to the state's wealth of coal, competitive pricing and Illinois' proximity to shipping routes including the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Total Illinois coal output rose 25 percent to 47.2 million tons in 2012, up from 37.8 million tons in 2011.
The Office of Coal Development is a division of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - SSM Health Care, one of the largest Catholic health care providers in the U.S., plans to purchase the Dean Health Systems group in Wisconsin.
The merger announced Tuesday is pending approval of Dean physician shareholders and regulators. SSM says the transaction could be complete by this summer. Terms were not disclosed.
St. Louis-based SSM is a non-profit organization with 18 hospitals and other health care operations in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
Dean Health Systems is a Madison, Wis.-based physician-owned organization with more than 60 clinics, plus eye care and pharmacy operations. It already partners with SSM for the Dean Health Plan insurance provider in Wisconsin.