Missouri Minute: Boone Hospital seeks independent management; MU enrollment up 16%

Good morning, MBA readers,

People using public transit in St. Louis may have noticed unusual delays Monday morning. That’s because a large number of operators didn’t show up to work, although their union denies that any labor strikes are taking place. Meanwhile, a legal drama in Jackson County has come to an end with a controversial feedlot closing its doors in the face of a lawsuit from its neighbors. Plus, after weighing other management arrangements, Columbia’s Boone Hospital Center is opting for independence. Scroll on for these stories and other top business news from around the state.

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Boone Hospital Center seeks independent management
Boone Hospital Center’s trustees announced Monday that the Columbia hospital will seek an independent management option to “better address patients’ needs.” During a meeting of the trustees on Monday, Chairman Brian Neuner announced he will step down. (Columbia Missourian)

Indiana bank plans St. Louis expansion
Indiana-based Old National Bank announced it will establish a full-service commercial banking presence in St. Louis. The bank hired a Wells Fargo banker to lead the expansion as a regional market president. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis railroad manufacturer to expand with new market tax credits
The St. Louis Development Corp. has awarded tax incentives to Evertrak, which makes railroad ties out of recycled plastic. The St. Louis firm plans to hire another 22 people and quadruple production by 2021. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

MU enrollment up 16%
Preliminary numbers released Monday show freshman enrollment of 5,459 students at the University of Missouri in Columbia for the new school year, marking the second straight year of double-digit percentage growth. (Springfield News-Leader)

Transit union denies work stoppage amid unusual delays in St. Louis
Metro Transit says an “unusually high number of MetroBus operators” were not on the job Monday, causing significant delays. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788, which is currently in negotiations with the city, said the workers were not engaged in a labor strike. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Lucas to unveil affordable housing for domestic violence survivors
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is expected to announce a new affordable housing project this week that would cater to families who have survived domestic violence. Linwood Property and Prairie Fire Development Group are collaborating on the 32-unit property called Linwood Gardens. (KCUR)

Baseball team booted over unpaid rent
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has served an eviction notice to the Kansas City T-Bones baseball club. The team has more than $750,000 in delinquent rent and utility payments. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Rams could pay $32 million to settle lawsuit over tickets, merchandise
St. Louis Rams fans could get a 25% refund on tickets and merchandise they purchased between April 2010 and January 2016 as part of a proposed legal settlement. The settlement announced Monday could be worth up to $25 million and would also cover up to $7 million in legal fees for plaintiffs. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri businessman gets 10 years in prison for $142 million grain fraud
Randy Constant, a prominent businessman in northwest Missouri, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for misleading customers into buying grain that they thought was certified organic. (Missourinet)

Say that again

“For the future of all Missourians, urban and rural, we hope that people will rely on the science of modern agricultural techniques and methods, and not be swayed by persons and organizations who sow seeds of fear and distrust for their own personal gain and profit.”

That’s the statement from Jackson County’s Valley Oaks Steak Company, which announced Monday it will shut down operations, The Kansas City Star reports. Valley Oaks became the target of a lawsuit by nearby residents after it announced plans to multiply its feedlot in Lone Jack from 999 cattle to about 7,000. Dozens of residents in the Jackson County town sued Valley Oaks, citing insects and other quality of life issues stemming from the company’s operation. Valley Oaks employed about 80 people.

Go figure

On average, that’s how much less veterinarians make in some Missouri counties compared to the national average wage of $105,240, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Some say the disparity is to blame for a shortage of vets in rural Missouri, which often puts farmers and ranchers in a difficult position when their animals get sick or injured. In places like Vernon County, there is only one veterinarian for every 206,000 farm animals, according to documents filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Due to the heavy debt burden of attending veterinarian school, graduates often pursue better-paying opportunities, leaving gaps in rural areas.

Hello, my name is

Michael Williams
Gov. Mike Parson has appointed Williams, a founding partner of the Williams Dirks Dameron law firm in Kansas City, as a new voting member of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, the Columbia Missourian reports. Williams, an MU graduate, is also an adjunct professor in the MU School of Law. In 2016, the attorney was tapped by the Missouri Senate to serve on the UM System Review Commission.

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


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