Missouri Minute: Peabody, Arch Coal to partner; Missouri River reopens

Good morning, MBA readers,

With Peabody Energy and Arch Coal looking to combine some operations, two St. Louis companies are making moves in the Mountain West that are garnering interest across the energy industry. Speaking of consolidation, the St. Louis Blues ownership group led by Tom Stillman has bought out the minority interest of another owner to take full control of the Stanley Cup champs. Today’s headlines include those stories plus jobs numbers, flooding updates and a mayor engaging in Twitter beef with a McDonald’s burger.

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From our newsroom

In Missouri’s fledgling medical cannabis industry, a mother and son hope to cultivate a tribute
When Missouri voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana, Connie Hendren saw her chance. Her efforts since to start a cultivation facility with her son are a testament to the pain she saw her parents experience late in their lives.

Kansas City Life Insurance faces lawsuit alleging excessive charges
A class-action lawsuit filed against the Kansas City Life Insurance Co. alleges the company “systematically overcharged” customers without permission.

Columbia Farmers Market scores grant for specialty crops
The farmers market will receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund educational and promotional efforts designed to increase interest in specialty crops grown in Missouri.

Unemployment stays at 3.3% in May as Missouri adds jobs
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.3% in May, the same as in April, but up slightly from May of last year.

Stay alert

Peabody, Arch Coal combine operations in two states
The St. Louis-based companies will combine mining operations in Colorado and Wyoming in a bid to compete against natural gas and renewable energies. This joint venture between two of the world’s largest coal producers is expected to save the firms about $120 million annually. (Associated Press)

Missouri River reopens, Mississippi restrictions remain
The U.S. Coast Guard reopened the Missouri to barge and boat traffic between Kansas City and St. Louis after about two weeks of closure due to heavy flooding. (Missourinet)

Stillman group takes over St. Louis Blues
The ownership group led by Blues Chairman Tom Stillman has acquired the last remaining minority interest in the team, giving the group 100% ownership. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

eSolutions acquires Houston software vendor
The Overland Park, Kansas-based health care technology firm has acquired Practice Insight, a vendor of revenue cycle management technology that represents 68,000 health care providers. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Digital Ally vows appeal in Taser patent case
The company’s CEO said he is confident Digital Ally will win the appeal. On Monday, Digital Ally lost a $204 million patent infringement case against Taser-maker Axon Enterprise. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Big Lake Park closes for the season due to flooding
Officials at the popular northwest Missouri park plan to redirect efforts from debris cleanup to preparing the park for the 2020 tourist season. (St. Joseph News-Press)

Ascension executive named to Missouri health board
Gov. Mike Parson has appointed Nick Ragone, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at Ascension, to serve a four-year-term on the Missouri State Board of Health and Senior Services. (KHQA)

Say that again

“Our current system of aircraft design and certification has failed us.”

That’s former US Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who gained international fame in 2009 after he safely landed a commercial aircraft on the Hudson River in New York. At a congressional panel Wednesday, Sullenberger blasted Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for their roles in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that have killed 346 people, Reuters reports. He also recommended that pilots of the currently-grounded aircraft receive new simulator training before the plane returns to service. Boeing shares were down 1.6 percent at the end of day Wednesday.

Go figure

That’s how many car wash locations an Arizona firm hopes to own in Kansas City. Gilbert, Arizona-based Go Car Wash on Wednesday acquired five Kansas City car washes from Big Splash Car Wash, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Go Car Wash, which launched in February, acquired two other car washes in the area last month.

Send tweet

He may be nearing the end of his term, but outgoing Kansas City Mayor Sly James is not going out without a fight, out at least when it comes to pride in his hometown barbecue. In a Tuesday afternoon tweet, James told McDonald’s U.K. to “Stay in your lane” after the chain introduced the new “Kansas City Stack” for a limited time.

Hello, my name is

Ryan McClure
The longtime communications director for the Gateway Arch Park Foundation will take over as executive director effective July 1. Outgoing executive director Eric Moraczewski is leaving the foundation to pursue new opportunities, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

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


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