Missouri Minute: Sprint considers selling headquarters campus; Burns & Mac growth spurs expansion

Here are today’s top headlines from across Missouri:

KC soybean event attracts Chinese delegation but no sales to China

An annual conference for U.S. soybean exporters drew a delegation from China to Missouri this week, but the event wrapped Wednesday without any known sales to Chinese buyers. Trade tensions and tariffs on U.S. soybeans didn’t stop a Chinese contingent from attending the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s Global Trade Exchange in Kansas City and visiting a farm about 60 miles to the northeast, in Norborne. Read more

Burns & McDonnell plans $42 million expansion amid hiring surge

Engineering firm Burns & McDonnell announced Wednesday that it’s embarking on a $42 million expansion of its Kansas City headquarters to make room for what it says is a record number of new hires. Burns & McDonnell has hired 1,000 new employees in 2018 and plans to bring on about 200 more by year’s end. The firm expects to continue hiring 1,000 employees per year “for the foreseeable future,” according to a press release. That growth has been driven by favorable trends in several sectors Burns & McDonnell serves. Read more

New law to simplify state hiring stokes concerns of political payback

A new law governing how state employees are hired took effect Tuesday amid concerns that it could enable political retaliation in hiring. The new law eliminates the requirement that employees rank among the top 15 applicants, or in the top 15 percent of applicants, to be hired. Now, applicants must meet only minimum requirements of their particular job class. Read more

Sprint considers selling headquarters campus

Sprint is mulling the sale of its 4 million-square-foot headquarters campus in Overland Park, Kansas, the company’s chief executive officer announced Wednesday. CEO Michel Combes said Sprint is considering offers to sell the campus and lease back the space it needs for employees. Read more

Staff shortages, surge in complaints slow state ag department responses

The combination of staff shortages at the Missouri Department of Agriculture and a surge in claims — especially ones related to dicamba drift — across the state has led to slow response times in investigating those claims, state agriculture officials say.Read more

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