Missouri Minute: Feds probe Mallinckrodt; NGA breaks ground in St. Louis

Good morning, MBA readers,

Let’s talk turkey — as in, the bird that will be the centerpiece of Thanksgiving feasts across the country tomorrow. There will be about 240 million turkeys produced in the U.S. this year, and Missouri farmers make a sizable contribution to that tally. There’s more turkey talk in today’s graphic story, which is stuffed with all sorts of data related to the economics of Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, before commencing holiday celebrations, officials in St. Louis and Kansas City celebrated historic occasions for their cities on Tuesday. In St. Louis, state and local leaders were joined by members of Congress to break ground on a $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency facility, which they hope will help spark a geospatial renaissance in the city. And in Kansas City, the Royals officially welcomed new owner John Sherman, who becomes the third majority owner in the franchise’s five-decade history.

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Federal prosecutors probe Mallinckrodt in opioid case
At least six companies, including Mallinckrodt, have received grand-jury subpoenas as part of a criminal investigation into their role in the opioid crisis. (Wall Street Journal)

Spire fights court decision, delays $12.2 million in refunds
An appeals court ruled last week that St. Louis-based natural gas company Spire had overcharged customers around $12.2 million. The company released a statement late Monday that challenged the ruling and said it’s unclear how much money, if any, customers will be refunded. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Former Hazelwood UAW leader appears in federal court
Vance Pearson, a United Auto Workers leader from the St. Louis area, made his first appearance in federal court Tuesday for charges alleging he conspired with other union leaders to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars of members’ dues. (Reuters)

Companies battle over KC Hemp Co. trademark
KHC Enterprises and KC Hemp Co. are dueling for rights to a “KC Hemp Co.” trademark and website. Lawyers expect more cases of the sort as companies scramble to make a name for themselves in the hemp industry. (Kansas City Business Journal)

OSHA fines KC-area construction company $210,000 for multiple violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Blue Nile Contractors for failing “to protect employees from trench collapse and electrical hazards.” (KSHB)

KC-area man pleads guilty to swindling online pharmacy buyer
Jeffrey Wilson of Olathe, Kansas, pleaded guilty to placing an ad on Craigslist to sell online pharmacy Medx1.com. A buyer paid $120,000 only to realize the site had no revenue and had been shut down. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Anheuser-Busch employees admit to committing disability fraud
The employees admitted in federal court to paying a chiropractor some $3,000 to receive more than $150,000 in disability payments. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Show me

The nominal price of Thanksgiving with all the fixins has barely budged over the last several years. Since 2011, the meal’s average price in current dollars has not dropped below $49.04 or risen above $50.11. Missouri plays a significant role in supplying the centerpiece of that feast. The state is projected to raise 19 million turkeys this year, accounting for about 8% of domestic turkey production.

Say that again

“This project symbolizes a beacon of hope. The city of St. Louis must now partner with this community to bring it back by advocating and pushing for complementary development and vital public services it badly needs and deserves.”

That’s what U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, said Tuesday as officials broke ground on the $1.75 billion campus for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Clay called on St. Louis to complement the development with more affordable housing, health care facilities and infrastructure improvements. The celebration took place after years of planning and included Gov. Mike Parson, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who held a community outreach event Monday night, said the new NGA facility has drawn new geospatial businesses to the area. About a dozen local residents protested that event, claiming the development won’t be in their best interest.

Go figure


That was Missouri’s per capita income in 2018, up 4.4% from the previous year, according to figures released last week by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Ste. Genevieve County saw the biggest boost with an annual growth rate of 9.9%. St. Louis and Jackson counties’ per capita income grew at 5.9% and 3.8%, to $71,360 and $47,054, respectively. The income measure shrank in nine counties, including Atchison, which saw the biggest dip of 9%.

Hello, my name is

Eric Stonestreet

Yes, that Eric Stonestreet. When John Sherman was officially introduced as the new majority owner of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, the minority partners in the new ownership group were unveiled for the first time. Stonestreet, a native of the Kansas City area and star of ABC’s “Modern Family,” was among the high-profile names on the list, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Besides Sherman and Stonestreet, the ownership group features a collection of well-known local entrepreneurs, former Inergy executives and Wall Street bankers.

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


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