Missouri Minute: Sprint rides regulatory review roller coaster

Good morning, MBA readers,

Sprint and T-Mobile’s share prices rode the regulatory review roller coaster Monday as two reports suggested different fates for the wireless carriers’ proposed merger. Get up to speed on a tumultuous day in telecom, a retailer’s planned closure of more than 20 Missouri stores and a nonprofit looking to help feed kids when school lunches aren’t available.

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Sprint sale gets FCC boost, is said to face DOJ opposition

Monday was a topsy-turvy day for T-Mobile’s proposed $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint. First, federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said he would recommend the deal after concessions were made. Later, reports citing a person familiar with the review said the Justice Department was leaning against the tie-up. (Bloomberg)

Trump approves Missouri disaster declaration

The decision will bring federal funds to help cover infrastructure repairs and emergency response costs after flooding struck the state in March and April. (Kansas City Star)

Data center firm TierPoint looking for investment

The St. Louis company is said to be seeking a financial injection of $250 million to $500 million. (Bloomberg)

University City development to get renewed look

A new deal between the city and Novus Development calling for $70.5 million in tax increment financing is set to be presented next week. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Dressbarn to close all locations

Ascena Retail Group, which owns the women’s clothing chain, said it will close all 650 of its stores in the U.S., including 22 in Missouri, to focus on more profitable brands. (Reuters)

Kirkwood businessman charged with embezzling $3.8 million

Over seven years, Bryan Vonderahe allegedly wrote more than 500 company checks to himself to fund travel, mortgage payments and gambling. (St. Louis Business Journal)

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The share of retirement-age Americans who are still in the workforce has doubled over the last three decades, from about 10% in 1985 to 20% as of this February, according to a report from financial services company United Income. Today’s graphic looks at the rise in labor force participation among Americans 55 and over.

Say that again

“We don’t have the capacity for a huge factory. So these farms provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Monica Bailey, executive director of the Atchison County Development Corp., believes wind farms are a “breath of life” in the northwest Missouri county with fewer than 5,500 residents, the Columbia Missourian reports. The Rock Creek Wind Farm, for example, brings about $1.5 million in tax revenue to Atchison County annually. However, in Atchison County and elsewhere in the state, wind turbines are a divisive issue.

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Some Kansas City moviegoers are lamenting the loss of a low-price cinema option with the closure of the Cinemark Palace. The lone movie theater in the Country Club Plaza restaurant and retail district closed its doors for good Sunday. The theater opened in 1999, offering a premium experience including a VIP room, The Kansas City Star reports. In recent years, as other theaters upgraded their amenities, Cinemark started offering lower ticket prices and more seats.

Go figure

$7.7 million

That’s how much Steak ‘n Shake owes managers in St. Louis and their lawyers. This comes after a lawsuit in 2014 from managers claiming they weren’t being compensated for overtime work, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

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Operation Food Search

The start of summer means the end of subsidized school meals that many children come to rely on. In an effort to address that issue, St. Louis nonprofit Operation Food Search plans to serve 100,000 meals to children for 10 weeks starting next month, St. Louis Public Radio reports. “Food insecurity exists in every single county, in every single city in the state of Missouri,” said Brian Wieher, Operation Food Search’s director of child and family nutrition.


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