Missouri Minute: Schools take precautions for reopening; petition would put St. Louis airport privatization on ballot

Good morning, MBA readers,

Summer schools in parts of the St. Louis region are opening, and some schools in the Kansas City metro are also preparing to open soon. The schools will attempt to observe coronavirus safety precautions as much as possible, but parents, teachers and administrators acknowledge that those guidelines can be difficult to enforce among young children in crowded classrooms. In Kansas City, an affiliate of T.E.H. Realty has filed for bankruptcy. T.E.H. operates dozens of apartment complexes across the state and faces numerous lawsuits and tenant complaints of substandard living conditions. And, in the midst of frequent news about layoffs and job losses, an Accenture subsidiary is offering an antidote to that in St. Louis County. The global consulting firm’s federal services arm expects to hire up to 1,400 people over five years in the area.


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T.E.H. Realty affiliate files for bankruptcy
KM-T.E.H. Realty 10, a Kansas City affiliate of corporate landlord T.E.H. Realty, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. T.E.H. owns low-income apartment complexes in Kansas City and St. Louis, among other cities, and faces widespread allegations of neglecting its properties. A lawsuit filed earlier this year is cited as a contributing factor in the Kansas City affiliate’s bankruptcy filing. (KCUR)

St. Louis, Kansas City schools take precautions for reopening
Some outlying districts in the St. Louis area began a cautious return for summer school last week, while some Kansas City schools look to return in mid-July. Both areas are taking precautions in doing so, with meals eaten in classrooms and masks being “strongly encouraged” by at least one Kansas City-area district. (St. Louis Post-DispatchKansas City Star)

Petition submitted to put St. Louis airport privatization on ballot
Proponents of privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport have submitted 38,000 signatures on a petition to see the measure appear on the November ballot. The measure would require the city to lease all or a majority of the facility if private operators can pay at least $1.7 billion. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

MU Health Care to open family medicine clinic in Boonville
This new clinic will fill a void left by the January closure of Pinnacle Regional Hospital. It is set to open July 6 and will employ two former doctors employed by Pinnacle. (Columbia Missourian)

Ranken Technical College to open new $7.5 million campus in Troy
In a partnership with Troy Buchanan High Schools, this new facility will begin instructing students in an accelerated program to receive a bachelor’s degree in applied management. It is set to open in fall, 2021. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Ozarks Technical College promises students almost $2 million in incentives
In an effort to bolster fall enrollment, the Springfield college will offer incentives to students, such as grants and class credits. This is being facilitated through CARES Act funding as well as existing scholarship funds. (Springfield Business Journal)

Plan would give independent restaurants $120 billion in federal aid
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to create a new coronavirus relief fund specifically for independent restaurants. Restaurants have said the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness terms don’t meet their needs. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Many outdoor contact sports will resume in St. Louis County
These sports will start up, with some restrictions, on June 29. Teams will not be permitted to huddle or high-five, and equipment will be sanitized regularly. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Branson store draws Black Lives Matter protesters
For a second consecutive weekend, protesters gathered outside Branson retailer Dixie Outfitters to protest the display and sale of Confederate flag merchandise. This drew counter-protests from supporters of the store, leading to non-violent clashes between the two factions. (Springfield News-Leader)

St. Louis-area company accused of selling fake medical marijuana investments
Cannabis Plus Missouri sold at least $10,000 of investments but was not registered to do so with the state. The Missouri secretary of state’s office claims that the funds were used on personal expenses by the company’s owners. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Google searches reflect optimism about economy in St. Louis
New data show many St. Louisans have begun searching for vacations, homes and new cars on Google. These numbers are consistent with a national trend, which some believe is a sign of consumer confidence returning. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Guy Fieri opens restaurant in Branson
The celebrity chef opened his themed restaurant last week. Fieri, known for his TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” is the second celebrity chef to open a restaurant in Branson, following Paula Deen. (Springfield Business Journal)

Mixaba brings new wrinkle to virtual happy hours
The new video conferencing app, created by Kansas City developer Andrew Carlson, randomly assigns participants to small breakout rooms every 15 minutes in an effort to enable more meaningful conversations and connections. (Startland News)


Say that again

“We need to invent the future, not have it land on us.”

That’s what Contemporary Productions CEO Steve Schankman said about the need for creativity in planning events due to the coronavirus, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The cancellation of live events has been a blow to nonprofits and other organizations that rely on big fundraising events to help pay their bills. The companies and organizations overseeing those fundraisers, such as Schankman’s Clayton-based event production company, have considered a variety of new techniques because of the pandemic, from grab-and-go concessions to live-streamed events.


Go figure

241

That’s how many jobs T-Mobile is cutting in a round of layoffs at the former Sprint headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas, The Kansas City Star reports. T-Mobile, which closed on its merger with rival wireless carrier Sprint in April, notified state regulators of the cuts. T-Mobile, which is based in the Seattle area, pledged the merger would create thousands of jobs, and a spokesperson said the company plans to hire 5,000 for new positions. However, the Communication Workers of America Labor Union predicted that the deal could result in as many as 30,000 jobs lost. T-Mobile said it would be finished with job cuts by late June.


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That’s St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, celebrating the decision by Accenture Federal Services to bring jobs to the county. The company is a subsidiary of Accenture, the global consulting firm. Accenture already has a St. Louis presence and launched a local workforce development program in the area last year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The project aims to train mid-career workers who are either unemployed, or whose jobs are at risk of being automated, for jobs in information technology. Accenture Federal Services is expected to bring about 1,400 jobs to the area over five years.


Hello, my name is

BioRankings

This St. Louis-based consulting firm just received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The startup was launched in 2013 out of Washington University in St. Louis, and it provides consulting and data analysis for life sciences research. BioRankings plans to use the funding to continue developing software for data analysis in molecular research.


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


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