Missouri Minute: Regulators OK $1 billion wind project; USDA meets pushback

Good morning, MBA readers,

Welcome to a new week. Let’s get down to business. A U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to move two research agencies to the Kansas City area is encountering pushback from the agencies’ employees, who are responding with “a mixture of outrage and resignation,” according to one researcher. Elsewhere, a $1 billion wind energy project in southwest Missouri has received regulatory approval. Plus, our Speaking Startup podcast is back with a new episode. Read on for those stories and much more.


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Stay alert

Missouri regulators OK $1 billion wind project
Liberty Utilities-Empire District will build turbines at two locations in southwest Missouri and a third in southeast Kansas. The two sites in Missouri are expected to generate 150 megawatts each. (Joplin Globe)

Publisher will keep Missouri newspapers open despite bankruptcy
Lakeway Publishers, the Tennessee-based owner of community newspapers in Missouri and two other states, said it will not close any of its publications as it undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. The company, which owns nine newspapers in Missouri, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of May. (Associated Press)

St. Louis County expects up to 20,000 appeals after jump in home prices
After this year’s home appraisals, the median home value in the area has increased 15% since 2017 with some residents reporting jumps as high as 153%. Residents who disagree with the county’s appraisals have until July 8 to appeal to the county Board of Equalization. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC-area medical imaging firm expands
Diagnostic Imaging Centers, which runs nine imaging offices in the Kansas City metro area, has acquired Watson Imaging Centers in St. Joseph for an undisclosed amount. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Supplements maker building $20 million facility on former Chrysler site in Fenton
1st Phorm broke ground on the 182,400-square-foot facility Friday morning and plans to relocate there by early next year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri doctors reluctant to certify for medical marijuana
After meeting resistance from physicians, some would-be users of medical marijuana are turning to pop-up and specialty clinics advertising certification for $200 or less. (Associated Press)


Speaking Startup

Entrepreneurship education comes to prison
The Speaking Startup podcast is back to explore more news and issues important to Missouri entrepreneurs. This week we travel to a correctional facility in Vandalia, where the state piloted a new program designed to teach entrepreneurship skills to inmates. Then we discuss the future of transportation with Jy Maze, founder of Kansas City-based logistics company Maze Freight Solutions.


Hello, my name is

NextGen Precision Health Institute
That’s the new name for a new University of Missouri System research complex that broke ground Friday. System President Mun Choi said the new name would be much easier to recognize than the previous name, Translational Precision Medicine Complex, without losing its spirit of innovation. The $220 million facility is scheduled to open in October 2021 and will house 60 researchers in over six fields.


Say that again

“It’s a mixture of outrage and resignation. Nobody wants to move — nothing against Kansas City.”

That’s Andrew Crane-Droesch, one of 550 U.S. Department of Agriculture workers whose jobs will be shipped from Washington to Kansas City. News of the move has sparked internal backlash from workers like Crane-Droesch, a researcher, who says he’s unwilling to uproot his family life and move across the country to stay with the agency, The Kansas City Star reports. While it is unclear how many workers will make the transition, experts expect a high rate of turnover from the relocation of two principle USDA research agencies.


Go figure

6.2%
That is the estimated year-over-year growth in number of new startups for Kansas City in 2018, making it the fastest-growing startup scene in the nation, according to a new report from real estate blog Commercial Cafe. Out of 20 cities included in the report, Kansas City ranked second for startup density behind Austin, Texas, and sixth in tech employment growth with a 29% increase last year. The city ranked ninth overall on the list.


Mark your calendar

Columbia
Columbia Chamber Membership Dinner & Awards Banquet | Tuesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m. | $50 | University Club
Top of the Town | Thursday, 6-9 p.m. | $35 | Rose Music Hall
Network Like The 90s | June 29, 4-9 p.m. | VIBEZ
Kansas City
Accessing Capital in KC | Tuesday, 9 a.m. – noon | $20 | Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
Sprint Accelerator Program Demo Day | Thursday, 9-11 a.m. | Free | National World War I Museum and Memorial
KC Pitch Practice | Thursday, 4-5 p.m. | Free | Plexpod Westport Commons
KC Startup Chowdown | Thursday, 5-6 p.m. | Free | Plexpod Westport Commons
Southwest Missouri
Efactory speaker Series: Brent Brown | Wednesday, 4-5 p.m. | $10 | Efactory
Rural Strong: Powering Rural Small Business | Thursday, Noon – 1 p.m. | Free | El Dorado Springs Youth Center
St. Louis
Leadercast Women rebroadcast | Tuesday, 6:30-8 p.m. | Free | St. Louis County Library – Daniel Boone Branch


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

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