Missouri Minute: A-B doubles down on solar investment

Good morning, MBA readers,

It’s World Environment Day, and people around the globe are focused on ways to #BeatAirPolution. Here in Missouri, Anheuser-Busch marked the occasion by announcing new investment in solar energy. The day’s top stories also include an array of high-profile lawsuits dealing with meat substitutes, weed killer, tax credits and baby powder.

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Meat label lawsuit enters settlement talks
The suit, filed by producers of vegetarian foods, has challenged a Missouri law making it a misdemeanor crime to promote plant-based food products as “meat.” (Associated Press)

Australian gardener sues Monsanto over cancer link
According to court documents, 54-year-old Michael Ogalirolo was diagnosed with a type of leukemia after using Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. His suit seeks not only damages from Monsanto, but also punishment for “supplying a product that is not safe.” (Reuters)

St. Louis law firm wins $325 million in J&J talc case
The law firm Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd represented a couple’s claim that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder products caused terminal mesothelioma. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Anheuser-Busch partners with solar farm to meet energy goals
The St. Louis brewer will purchase energy credits from Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco-based solar developer that will build a 2,000-acre solar farm in Texas. (Associated Press)

Enterprise expands to Sweden
The St. Louis-based car rental giant, one of the largest private firms in the area, has opened its first location in Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC’s Plaza Vista sells for over $118 million
The 10-story office building, which is anchored by law firm tenant Polsinelli, sold to real estate investment firm Platform Ventures. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Yield Lab raises $23.6 million for European ag-tech fund
The Creve Coeur-based agricultural startup investor plans to raise more money over the next 12 months for the new fund focused on crop sustainability. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri drops tax credit fraud lawsuit against Northside Regeneration
The lawsuit, filed in 2018 by then-Attorney General Josh Hawley, sought the repayment of $2.62 million in tax credits from the St. Louis-based developer Northside Regeneration. Instead, Northside agreed to pay the state just under $324,000 in a settlement. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Columbia passes affordable housing resolution
The resolution passed Monday night defines housing as “fair” when a person pays no more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income on housing costs and utilities. (Columbia Missourian)

Show me

The population of the St. Louis metropolitan area grew by 4.7 percent between 2000 and 2018, about four times lower than the national and Kansas City rates, according to a new report. Today’s graphic looks at projected and actual population growth for different parts of the St. Louis area over that period.

Say that again

“Everyone who seeks employment with the County should have the opportunity to compete for a job at a fair and equitable rate of pay, regardless of sex, gender, or race.”

In his first executive order, signed Tuesday, new St. Louis County Executive Sam Page banned the use of salary history for new hires in the county government, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Page also announced the creation of a task force to improve working conditions for female county employees. Page took office in April after Steve Stenger resigned amid corruption probes.

Go figure

That is the number of new jobs that Missouri’s medical cannabis industry could create in the next year, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. According to James Yagielo, co-founder and CEO of Florida-based recruiting firm HempStaff, Missouri stands to gain 3,000 new jobs from its 60 cultivation licenses, another 3,000 from 86 processing facilities and 1,500 from 192 dispensaries. These jobs are expected to pay between $12 to $15 for entry-level gigs and as much as $180,000 a year for executive or engineering positions.

Hello, my name is

That’s the nickname for the geospatial innovation center set to open in downtown St. Louis later this year. Geosaurus will be housed inside T-Rex, the St. Louis startup incubator and coworking space. The center is a collaboration between Bayer, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, T-Rex and others. Its arrival is part of what government and business leaders hope will be a period of growth for the St. Louis geospatial industry, coinciding with the construction of the NGA’s new $1.75 billion facility in the city, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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