Missouri Minute: Google Fiber issues in Kansas City; Wagner leading charge against CFPB director

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Google Fiber leaves would-be customers frustrated

Deployment of Google Fiber internet service in Kansas City and across the U.S. has veered into uncertain territory. Alphabet, Google Fiber’s parent company, has said it’s pulling back on hard-wire installations while it explores cheaper ways to deliver 1-gigabit-per-second speeds to home customers, including the possibility of beaming internet service over fixed wireless channels. Read more

Rep. Ann Wagner takes aim at consumer protection chief

Rep. Ann Wagner, R Ballwin, is laying the groundwork for President Donald Trump to fire the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s director. Lawmakers created the bureau in 2011 as a response to the global financial crisis, and the agency has since returned about $11.8 billion to 29 million people. Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bureau’s creation, say those results stem from an overzealous crackdown on businesses. Read more

Sales tax advocates say it’s time for all of KC to support inner-city redevelopment

A Kansas City group is appealing to voters to direct compassionate attention — and sales tax revenue — to the corridor along Prospect Avenue in the city’s urban core. The “Central City Economic Development Sales Tax,” proposal, which will appear on the city’s April 4 ballot, would raise an estimated $8.6 million a year for 10 years. It will compete for attention along with three general obligation, or GO, bond questions for infrastructure, flood control and public building improvements. Read more

Monsanto invests in agtech marketplace startup

Monsanto Growth Ventures, the venture capital arm of Monsanto Co., has led a Series A investment of $6.5 million in a Canadian startup called FarmLead, which has developed an online grain marketplace. Read more

Midwest farmers plead with Trump to avoid Mexico trade war

Farmers in the U.S. agricultural heartland that helped elect Donald Trump are now pushing his administration to avoid a trade dispute with Mexico, fearing retaliatory tariffs that could hit over $3 billion in U.S. exports. Read more

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