Dean Wolfe, the Owner of Wolfe Properties LLC, says the St. Louis area has seen a boom in development, especially in the retail sector, in the last several months.
Wolfe's company owns the St. Louis Premium Outlets in Chesterfield, and he is celebrating news that IKEA plans to come to St. Louis. Wolfe says when you look at the whole picture--the outlet malls opening, plans for an IKEA and Whole Foods in the city, and the possibility of landing a new Boeing facility--this is a special time.
"I am guardedly optimistic that this is an indication that people are figuring out that the Midwest has numerous advantages, St. Louis, in particular, with our central location" says Wolfe.
Wolfe says things are going great the outlet mall. He believes national figures that show retail shopping lagging this holiday season only tell part of the story.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - With the fight over solving Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall moving to the courts, the state faces a grim possibility: The plan could be tossed, and Illinois could wind up in an even deeper fiscal hole.
Lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday that they say eliminates the $100 billion unfunded pension liability, largely by cutting benefits.
Labor unions say it's unconstitutional and plan to sue once Gov. Pat Quinn signs it.
Court rulings on similar cases elsewhere have varied.
A bankruptcy judge in Detroit said Tuesday that city pensions can be cut.
But in Arizona a court said asking employees to contribute more to their retirement was illegal and made the state repay workers, with interest.
Experts say that could happen in Illinois, which has some of the country's stronger pension protections.
A pair of men from the Detroit area facing charges for allegedly robbing a jewelry store on Tuesday.
Police say Stefan Douglas and Treymane Kinsey tried to steal a Rolex from a Clarkson Jewelers in Ellisville. When the men tried to run out of the store, a sales clerk caught one of the the suspects. There was an altercation in the parking lot and during the confusion, the store owner pulled out a gun and shot at the suspects.
After a short chase, the suspects crashed near Chesterfield mall. Now the men face charges of robbery in the second degree.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have passed legislation offering up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades for Boeing to assemble a commercial airplane in St. Louis.
Senators passed the bill 23-8 Wednesday while meeting in a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon. It now goes to the House.
Missouri is one of more than a dozen locations invited by Boeing to bid on assembling the new 777X airplane.
Most other states are crafting their proposals privately. But Nixon called a special session because he wanted to offer more incentives than currently allowed under state law.
Under Missouri's plan, the amount of incentives Boeing gets would depend on the number of jobs created.
Supporters say the Boeing project includes 2,000 to 8,000 company jobs, plus thousands of more at its suppliers.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A 23-year-old southwestern Illinois man is jailed on $2 million bond after being accused of fatally stabbing a man who police say spent the past several years trying to help the troubled defendant.
Prosecutors in St. Clair County on Wednesday charged Joshua Rogers with first-degree murder in the death of Richard Feldt of Mascoutah.
Police asked by Feldt's relatives to check on his well-being found Feldt's body Monday night on his living room floor, with Rogers relaxing on a nearby couch.
Mascoutah Police Chief Bruce Fleshren says Feldt had not been seen since Thanksgiving Day and when found had been dead at least a day.
Online court records don't show whether Rogers has an attorney. He does not have a listed home telephone number.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri has a new chancellor for its flagship campus in Columbia.
University system President Tim Wolfe plans to announce the new hire at a Thursday morning news conference. The campus leader will replace Brady Deaton, who retired in November after nine years as chancellor.
The university hired an executive search firm to help recruit candidates for the confidential search. An 18-member advisory committee representing faculty, staff, alumni and students interviewed an unspecified number of finalists.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House interim education committee is recommending changes to student transfers, more funding for early childhood education and increased learning time for students.
The panel held 11 public meetings throughout the state this fall and released its report Tuesday to the House speaker.
One of its major topics was Missouri's law allowing students in unaccredited districts to transfer to neighboring districts.
The committee recommended setting a fixed rate of tuition that schools receiving transfer students could charge. It also suggested prescribing the scope of receiving districts' control over the numbers and conditions of transfers they accept.
The panel also recommended that the Legislature look at providing more money for early childhood education, and longer school days for students, especially those who struggle academically or attend troubled districts.
Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation are preparing for expected winter weather this week.
MoDOT crews are ready to plow and treat roads as needed. They want to remind drivers that even a light precipitation can cause roads to become slick. Motorists should allow for extra time when there has been inclement weather.
One of the easiest ways to check road conditions is the MoDOT Traveler Information Map which can be found at modot.org.
MoDOT also released some tips for driving in inclement weather:
·Steer and brake gently.
·Accelerate slowly at intersections.
·Allow extra space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
·Stay back 100 feet from snow plows that may be spreading salt.
· Avoid passing snow plows, even when on a multi-lane road.
·Be aware that bridges and overpasses generally experience freezing conditions first.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - An East St. Louis man turned himself in to southwestern Illinois police after authorities wanted to question him in connection with last weekend's stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend.
Illinois State Police say the 25-year-old surrendered Tuesday night at an Alorton home.
He's being held in a Belleville jail on $200,000 bond related to an alleged probation violation. As of Wednesday morning, he has not been charged in the death of Michelle Rowling.
Authorities say the 25-year-old mother of two was found last Saturday after she'd been repeatedly stabbed in her apartment.
Police have said Rowling and her ex-boyfriend had a turbulent relationship, and that the man stabbed her in the neck in 2012 and spent a year in jail.
That man again was arrested in August for allegedly assaulting Rowling.
The NTSB and FAA are investigating a plane crash in Puerto Rico that killed a St. Louis native.
Monday night, 28 year old Steven Gullberg II and his co-pilot were killed when the cargo plane they were flying crashed along Puerto Rico's north coast. Authorities say the plane had been en route from the Dominican Republic when it descended rapidly over the mountains.
Gullberg was a Hazlewood Central High School graduate.
For the past three months Gullberg had worked for Fort Lauderdale based IBC Airways. Gullberg's family says he had expressed concerns about problems with the maintenance of the company's planes, even questioning their safety.