Missouri Minute: Inflation hits 40-year high; Parson names supply chain task force

Hello, MBA readers,

Prices are up again. The Consumer Price Index released Wednesday showed that year-over-year inflation hit 7% last month, its highest level since 1982. Economists say that’s not necessarily the peak, either. Consumers are hurting, and as businesses raise their prices to keep up, they risk losing customers. Public school officials in Kansas City received better news this week. For the first time in a decade, Kansas City Public Schools are accredited after a unanimous vote by the Missouri State Board of Education. “We’re gonna celebrate today because we deserve that,” Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “But tomorrow we roll up our sleeves.” Across the state in St. Louis, Missouri’s largest utility continues to face challenges related to its coal-fired power plants. Ameren was denied permission to continue dumping waste from two of those coal plants into nearby pits. The Environmental Protection Agency said the utility must stop that dumping, which could lead at least one of the facilities to shut down earlier than previously anticipated.

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Ameren’s request for dumping extension deniedThe St. Louis-based utility has been dumping coal ash and gypsum into pits at two power plants, which is at odds with new federal environmental guidelines. The denial could accelerate the closure of at least one of the plants. (Missouri Independent)Kansas City Public Schools receive full accreditationThe district lost accreditation in 2012 but has improved student growth in core academic subjects, resulting in a unanimous vote Tuesday by state officials. (Kansas City Beacon)Governor appoints members to supply chain task forceFive members were named to the state task force created to address international supply chain issues. The first meeting will be held on Jan. 20. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)Appliance parts supplier Marcone acquires Chicago firmThe Creve Coeur-based distributor of home appliance parts has acquired Munch’s Supply, a distributor of HVAC equipment with 65 locations across Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. (St. Louis Business Journal)ReeceNichols absorbs St. Louis franchise, adds 500 realtorsBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty, which is operated by ReeceNichols, has acquired Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate, absorbing its 500 real estate agents and 30 staff members in the St. Louis area. (Kansas City Business Journal)Mariner Wealth Advisors acquires California firmThe Kansas City-area firm has purchased Viewpoint Financial Network, adding 15 associates and about $950 million in assets under management. (Kansas City Business Journal)Mercy Health System requires medical grade masksAnyone who enters the St. Louis health system’s facilities must now wear a surgical, KN95 or N95 face mask, rather than a cloth mask. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

“Neither the United States Constitution nor the Missouri Constitution are entitled to take ‘sick days.'”That’s Judge Zel Fischer’s take on the legality of virtual trials in Missouri courts. Even as spiking COVID-19 infections turn more and more Americans’ routines virtual, the Missouri Supreme Court determined that defendants have a right to face their accusers the old-fashioned way, the Missouri Independent reports. The decision is supported by the language of the Missouri Constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution.

Go figure

7%That was the year-over-year increase in consumer prices for December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. That represents the highest inflation rate in almost 40 years. Consumers and companies alike are hurting, with no end in sight despite the assurances of President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve Bank. “U.S. inflation pressures show no sign of easing,” James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, told the Associated Press. “It hasn’t been this high since the days of Thatcher and Reagan.”

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World News, a newsstand that has operated since 1967 in downtown Clayton, announced it’s closing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The cause: an ongoing absence of steady foot traffic, which the shop relies on for sales. COVID-19 has reduced crowds in central business districts as more people opt to work from home or isolate to avoid spreading the virus. For mom-and-pop shops and larger chains alike, that decrease in foot traffic can be detrimental to business.

Hello, my name is

Saucy PorkaSt. Louis-raised siblings Amy and Phil Le are bringing their Chicago-based eatery home. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the Asian and Latin quick-service restaurant will open its first St. Louis location in the Central West End neighborhood on Jan. 24. Saucy Porka has two Chicago locations. Before its St. Louis debut, the restaurant is working on its decor, including art that’s personal to the owners. “When we look at this mural, we see ourselves as kids who have come full-circle and continued our family traditions,” Amy Le said.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.


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