Missouri Minute: Competitors eye Sprint, T-Mobile assets; Garmin co-founder dies

Good morning, MBA readers,

The U.S. Justice Department has a short list of bidders for T-Mobile and Sprint’s assets while a senior regulator believes the process to approve a merger of the two companies was rushed. Meanwhile, Amtrak’s partial restoration of service between St. Louis and Kansas City may be a sign of receding flood waters. Since it’s not quite the weekend yet, let’s get you caught up on these and other top Missouri business headlines this morning.

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From our newsroom

Kansas City lands two USDA agencies, more than 500 jobs
The United States Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that it will move the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service to the Kansas City region.

Meet the graduating class of Missouri’s new prison entrepreneurship academy
ASPIRE MO is the first in-prison program in Missouri that aims to teach entrepreneurial skills to inmates, with the goal of addressing employment issues and reducing recidivism rates for female offenders.

As basketball grows in India, US brands bank on boost
Basketball is gradually taking root among young people in India, a country known more for cricket wickets than basketball hoops. The NBA and other American brands are taking advantage of this budding interest to grow internationally.

From sunlight to styrofoam, businesses share sustainability tips
An array of businesses got together recently in Columbia to discuss best practices for reducing waste and cutting energy expenditures.

Boeing tops Forbes list of best Missouri employers
Forbes partnered with Statista to identify employers in each state liked best by workers. Boeing earned Missouri’s top spot.

Stay alert

Competitors have eyes on Sprint, T-Mobile assets
Dish Network and Charter Communications are among a list of favored bidders for assets Sprint and T-Mobile plan to sell to win regulatory approval for their $26.5 billion merger. The list, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, comprises firms that are best positioned to become viable competitors to the merged telecom giant. (Bloomberg)

Garmin co-founder dies at 81
Gary Burrell, who helped form the GPS product maker in 1989, retired a billionaire in 2002 and was named chairman emeritus in 2004. Burrell and his co-founder, Min Kao, grew the firm into a global powerhouse that shipped almost 15 million units last year. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Nancy Rice out as Better Together leader
Rice will be succeeded by Dave Leipholtz as executive director after the group’s fruitless attempt to bridge the county and city governments of St. Louis. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Amtrak partially restores trips between St. Louis and KC
Morning departures between the two cities will resume while afternoon trips remain suspended. Due to flooding issues on the Union Pacific Railroad network, freight trains are being diverted to the Missouri River Runner route. (Columbia Missourian)

KC’s Schlitterbahn could be getting a new owner
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has a $6 million option to buy the currently dormant waterpark after purchasing Schlitterban’s waterparks in Texas for $261 million. (Kansas City Star)

MU Health Care unveils plan to serve more patients
The university health care system will gain 34 pre/post-surgical operation rooms, 29 hospital beds and new emergency department rooms, exam rooms and operating rooms. (Columbia Missourian)

National coworking space enters KC market
Industrious, the New York-based coworking firm with locations in 40 U.S. cities, plans to open a 30,000-square-foot, two-story space at the Country Club Plaza. (Kansas City Star)

Colorado restaurateur buys KC property
Drew Shader, owner of the Atomic Provisions restaurant group in Colorado, plans to bring the Denver Biscuit Co., Atomic Cowboy, Fat Sully’s and Frozen Gold brands to Kansas City’s Westport district. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Wentzville aldermen approve purchase of Lindenwood Ice Arena
The city will pay Lindenwood University $2 million over 20 years for the arena, which has two NHL-sized ice rinks. The move comes amid a substantial population boom in Wentzville, anchored by the General Motors plant there. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Chairman emeritus of KC firm killed in Missouri plane crash
John N. McConnell Jr., chairman emeritus of Kansas City lab equipment maker Labconco, piloted a dual-prop airplane that crashed into a grain bin near Butler. (Kansas City Star)

Say that again

“This is highly unusual. … This is just the worst of what people expect from Washington. It looks like some backroom dealing.”

That’s Jessica Rosenworcel, the senior Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission. In her testimony before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday, Rosenworcel voiced concerns over the way the FCC has reviewed the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, The New York Times reports. She said the commission moved toward approving the $26.5 billion deal without adequate economic and legal analyses.

Show me

About half of former prisoners don’t have any earnings within a year of their release, according to a Brookings Institution study. That’s one issue that has spurred new Missouri programs teaching entrepreneurial skills to prisoners and formerly incarcerated people.

Go figure

$330 million
That is the estimated incentive cost of the Missouri-Kansas “border war” of the past decade, Missourinet reports. According to the Hall Family Foundation in Kansas City, over 10,000 jobs moved across state lines in that time. Gov. Mike Parson, who signed a bill earlier this week calling a truce in the economic rivalry, said Missouri has likely spent more than $100 million in its efforts to lure Kansas firms to the state.

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The St. Louis Blues gave all their fans reason to celebrate on Wednesday night, but they gave one fan 100,000 reasons. Back in January, Scott Berry placed a $400 bet at a Las Vegas sportsbook that the Blues would win the Stanley Cup, the Action Network reports. The Blues were among the worst teams in the NHL at the time, and Berry got 250-to-1 odds. That meant he won $100,000 when St. Louis claimed its first Stanley Cup on Wednesday. How’s that for cashing in on a championship?

Hello, my name is

The Orlando-based science attraction is coming to Branson later this year, the Springfield News-Leader reports. WonderWorks is said to appeal to all age groups with hands-on activities and themed areas. WonderWorks Branson is currently under construction at the former site of the Baldknobbers theater.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Have a great weekend. And enjoy your parade, St. Louis.


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