Missouri Minute: KCI to restart modernization effort; payday loans decline in Missouri

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

KCI modernization effort will take off again with listening sessions

With voter approval of Kansas City’s $800 million infrastructure bond package now in the rearview mirror, officials are looking ahead to modernization of Kansas City International Airport. The issue has been off the table since last May, when Mayor Sly James pulled the plug on an effort to place a $964 million single-terminal modernization plan on the August 2016 ballot. Read more

Peabody works to help rescue US West’s biggest coal plant

Peabody Energy Corp., the St. Louis-based coal company, has joined the fight to help save one of its biggest U.S. customers. On Thursday, the mining giant released a report it commissioned showing the 2,250-megawatt, coal-fired Navajo power plant in Arizona, the largest in the western United States, is capable of making money through 2040, even in an era of cheap natural gas. Read more

Why the payday loan industry is declining in Missouri

In Missouri, home of some of the most relaxed consumer lending laws in the nation, the payday loan industry has been shrinking for years. Today, there are 653 licensed lenders operating, down from 1,335 in 2005. The 1.62 million loans taken out last year, according to a recent state survey, was a little more than half of what it was a decade before. Read more

Four-day school weeks aid rural Missouri districts

More and more schools in Missouri, mostly rural, are switching to four-day school weeks. With tight budgets and high transportation costs, the schools make the choice out of desperation. Since 2011, schools have been able to make the switch to shorter weeks thanks to a change of state statute that lifted the 174 school-day requirement and lowered it to 142 days but with the same 1,044 hour requirement. Read more

Some buyers are desperate in Kansas City’s housing crunch

An inventory-starved housing market in Kansas City is leading to desperation among some buyers, causing some to skip home inspections so deals don’t fall through and leading others to put down offers on homes sight unseen so they don’t miss out. There are 5 percent fewer homes on the market nationwide than a year ago. In Kansas City, the figure is nearly 14 percent. Read more

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