Missouri Minute: Monsanto weedkiller responsible for cancers; Perficient to acquire software consulting firm

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Mark Zuckerberg turns 35 today, meaning the Facebook founder has accumulated about $2 billion of net worth for every year on Earth. Closer to home, there are plenty of other numbers to ponder, like a $2 billion judgment against Monsanto, $8 soybean bushels and hundreds more electric scooters hitting the streets of St. Louis.

Stay alert

Jury rules Monsanto weedkiller responsible for couple’s cancers
A California jury awarded the plaintiffs more than $2 billion in the third such verdict against Monsanto since August. (Associated Press)

St. Louis officials plan to extract additional revenues from Airbnb operators
Staff from the city assessor’s office sent letters to properties operating as Airbnb establishments notifying them that their property values and taxes are increasing. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Perficient to acquire software consulting firm
Town and Country-based Perficient will add about 100 employees with the purchase of Sundog Interactive. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Soybeans take a hit as trade war with China escalates
Soybean futures fell to the lowest level in a decade, going below $8 per bushel for the first time since 2008. (Bloomberg)

Golf course owners sue law firm after failed attempt at tax break
RP Golf filed a lawsuit against Lathrop Gage for $7.3 million after a failed attempt to get a conservation easement that would have netted a tax deduction. (Kansas City Business Journal)

University to shutter undergraduate program at one of its campuses
Lindenwood University will close its undergraduate program at its location in Belleville, Illinois. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Hannibal newspaper to change hands
Gatehouse Media will sell the Hannibal Courier-Post to Quincy Media. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

Say that again

“We know that this group of people is a huge untapped talent pool here in St. Louis, and really in America in general.”

Leah Freeman, spokeswoman for the coding boot camp LaunchCode, identified veterans in St. Louis as a pool of untapped potential in the tech industry. However, veterans sometimes struggle to get a foot in the door without a formal education in computer science. Programs like LaunchCode provide coding training for veterans to enter the field, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

Go figure


That’s how many medical marijuana testing facilities could be approved in Missouri, state officials announced Friday. State law requires at least two such facilities, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Missourians have until Wednesday to comment on proposed rules for the state’s medical marijuana industry, which is expected to reach $100 million in sales by 2025.

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Monday’s $2 billion ruling against Monsanto by a California jury added to a difficult few days for Creve Coeur-based Monsanto and its German parent company, Bayer. On Friday, French prosecutors opened an inquiry after the newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto had compiled a list of 200 prominent people aimed at influencing their beliefs about pesticides, Reuters reports.

Hello, my name is


That’s the name of (yet another) company that is dropping off its electric scooters in St. Louis. Spin is competing with Lime and Bird, which each have 500 to 600 scooters in the city. Spin’s pricing is exactly the same as Lime: $1 to unlock, and 15 cents per minute, the St. Louis Dispatch reports.

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