Kansas City Power & Light wants to build a solar farm in southeastern Jackson County, near Greenwood.

If the Missouri Public Service Commission greenlights the application next month, the solar farm could be online as soon as April.

“The sun and sunshine is free, so to the extent we can harness that, there’s very little operational cost to running this solar farm,” says KCP&L spokesman Chuck Caisley.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Union workers at Ford’s truck assembly plant in Claycomo have dented the push to ratify the new labor agreement worked out between Ford and the UAW. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City area residents have joined a nationwide effort petitioning Sprint to keep offering internet for nonprofit organizations through its WiMax service.

WiMax provides low-cost, high-bandwidth internet access with no data caps through mobile hotspots. Providers Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen use the service to hook up schools and other nonprofits.

Sprint acquired WiMax along with telecommunications company Clearwire in 2013, and decided to shut down the service and migrate customers over to its LTE service instead.


The prepaid debit cards Kansas and Missouri use to pay state employees without bank accounts got a thumbs-down this week from a consumer advocacy group.

“Most cards don’t charge you if you want to find the balance is on your card,” says Lauren Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center, “but the Kansas card, if you go up to the ATM and ask what the balance is, they’re going to charge you a dollar.”

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Few will argue against the notion that the Royals' recent run to a World Series title has been a good thing for Kansas City. The New York Times is lauding the metro's "resurgence" and newfound "swagger." Deadspin is fawning over the record-breaking turnout at Tuesday's victory parade. 

Aguilar Hernandez

On a sunny day, two workers had a big job ahead of them — removing the 7-foot bars that for years covered the front windows of El Paso del Norte, a bakery and taqueria on Independence Avenue in northeast Kansas City.

Mike Iniguez and his brothers run the restaurant. He says the neighborhood was “kind of sad” when his father opened the business in 1998.

It was a working class area, and many of the homes and businesses there were rundown. But low home prices drew Latinos and other immigrants to the historic neighborhood.

It’s time for metro-area companies to start thinking about business opportunities outside of their own zip code, Greater Kansas City Chamber President Jim Heeter said Wednesday, announcing the release of an export market assessment for the region.

The Global Cities Initiative has spent the last six months studying opportunities for Kansas City businesses to expand abroad.

“When Kansas City companies sell Kansas City goods and services internationally, they’re bringing new dollars into our economy, and they’re creating new jobs in our communities,” said Heeter.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Sprint will move to cut up to $2.5 billion in operating costs over the next six months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal obtained an email detailing the move from the Overland Park-based telecommunications company's CFO Tarek Robbiati Thursday. So far, the company hasn't announced how they plan to cut the money, but layoffs are likely.

Ke’shauna Spratt was one of more than 1,300 young Kansas Citians who participated in the first Summer Job League, a Missouri workforce development program.

Spratt, 18, sent her summer answering phone calls at Children’s Mercy, helping patients start the scheduling process, and other administrative tasks.

“I actually want to get my bachelor’s in nursing, so it was a great opportunity to sit there and be able to work in a health care facility to be able to watch nurses,” Spratt says.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is back in court to hold Walgreens accountable for what he says is purposefully deceptive pricing.

Koster filed a motion for contempt Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, accusing Walgreens of violating a 2014 legal order to remove expired price tags and stop charging customers more than the prices listed on shelves. An investigation launched in July of this year found more than 1,300 expired tags in 49 stores across the state.

GM Media -- Creative Commons

Kansas City, Missouri could soon be home to a new auto parts manufacturer and 375 new jobs.

The Kansas City Council's Planning and Zoning Committee Wednesday advanced plans for Challenge Manufacturing Co., a contractor for General Motors, to move into a space near Kansas City International Airport.

The company requested $56 million in bonds and 75 percent tax abatement for 10 years from the city. 

Planning and Zoning Chair Scott Taylor says the company had considered several different sites, including Kansas City, Kansas, but its first pick was near KCI.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says having a skilled workforce is key to the state’s future as a global leader in auto manufacturing.

Nixon toured a newly completed facility Monday in Liberty built by auto parts maker LMV Automotive Systems to provide needed skills like welding to its growing workforce.

“Companies like LMV understand that in a fiercely competitive worldwide economy, highly-skilled workers are vital to their success,” Nixon said.

With the expansion of its $90 million facility, the LMV space has doubled in size since last year.

Mike Mozart / Wikimedia Commons--CC

Applebee’s is leaving the Kansas City area after bouncing around the region for decades, collecting tax incentives.   

Applebee’s parent company DineEquity announced Friday that it’s moving executive functions for the Kansas City based restaurant chain to California.

Digital Ally

A Lenexa-based company that makes body cameras for law enforcement says sales “quadrupled” last year after unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Digital Ally is working with more than 1,000 agencies across the country, including Ferguson, says Heath Bideau, in charge of international sales and marketing for the company.

“I really don’t think anybody could have expected it to increase as quickly and dramatically as it did,” Bideau says.

Chris Murphy / Flickr-CC

Overland Park's Corporate Woods commercial park is for sale, less than 10 years since it was last on the market.

The 22 building, 2.2 million square foot park was bought by Stoltz Real Estate Partners in 2006. Back then, Stoltz paid $290 million, which the Kansas City Business Journal reports as the largest real estate sell in Kansas City history.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Back when terrorism was a vague threat, and security was light, airlines let kids go right up into the cabin and get a set of plastic wings from the pilot.  

Air Force Bases were relatively easy to enter, air shows were regular happenings, pretty much any kid could touch the planes. 

Mike Saxton thinks all that exposure inspired young people to pursue aviation careers, and he wants to bring a little of that back with the freshly-restored bright red, 28-year-old MD83 airliner his organization, TriStar, just brought to the Wheeler Airport in downtown Kansas City.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A health care company that serves veterans and their families is adding 500 jobs in Kansas City.

“Our privilege as a corporation is to do one thing,” said David McIntyre, president and CEO of TriWest, “and that is to be there for the federal government to assist them in serving those who serve.”

McIntyre says TriWest picked Kansas City because of Missouri’s “Show-Me Heroes” program, an initiative to get business to hire veterans.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

We live in a time where pretty much anything you need can come right to your door, thanks to technology — that is, if you live in a big city like New York or San Francisco.

Whether it’s driving services like Uber, groceries that come right to your door, on-demand laundry, or someone who will come over in a minute to change a light bulb — the proliferation of these services, available through an app, has created what the start-up world calls “The Convenience Economy.”

But a trend that has exploded in big cities has been slower to arrive in the Kansas City metro.

Blake Miller, Partner & Director of the Accelerator at Think Big Partners in Kansas City attributes part of that to the physical layout of the city.

“A lot of it is our sprawl, we’re 319 square miles of a city. For a lot of these companies to become truly successful it’s [about] density and the clusters of people around it,” Miller told Up To Date host Steve Kraske.

That sprawl, Miller says, has led to a driving culture in the metro.

There’s a new warehouse going up at the Intermodal BusinessCentre near the Kansas City International Airport.

The KC Aviation Department, Trammell Crow Company and Clarion Partners will break ground on the facility Tuesday.

It’s the third such building in the industrial park.

There’s no tenant yet, but David Hinchman with CBRE real estate says it’s an ideal location for companies that want a Midwest distribution center.

Courtesy photo / AMC Entertainment Inc.

AMC Entertainment Inc. will be getting new leadership.

The Leawood-based movie theater chain announced Tuesday morning that CEO Gerry Lopez will step down Aug. 6 to “pursue another opportunity.”

The greeting card industry is struggling to stay relevant in the digital age.

Hallmark has announced that it's closing its distribution center in Enfield, Conn., and cutting 570 jobs there, as it consolidates operations elsewhere.

For decades, the greeting card maker held a reputation as the type of company where good employees had a job for life.

Julie Elliott, Hallmark's PR director, says layoffs, like the ones announced this week, are especially painful.

Ford's auto assembly plant in Claycomo employs 6000 auto workers. In a town of only 1500. We explore the relationship between Claycomo the factory and Claycomo the place.


  • Dan Verbeck, former KCUR reporter, Northland resident
  • Lonnie Bush, auto worker, Ford
Julie Denesha / KCUR

Like many entrepreneurs, Henry Bloch’s first business idea wasn’t the one that took off.

Henry and his brother, Richard Bloch, opened a small, bookkeeping office at Westport Road and Main Street in Kansas City. In 1955, they had decided to stop preparing tax returns, but an ad salesman for the Kansas City Star had a different idea.

Courtesy Photo / Chipotle

Do you have good taste?

Some companies think you do, just because you live in Kansas City.

Kansas City has seen several new products before the rest of the country. Think Wendy’s breakfast menu in 2011 or the McDonald’s Blitz Box 2013, which offered a bundled meal for our Chiefs parties. If you've been here long enough, you might even remember a McPizza.

Now Chipotle is testing out its new chorizo meat option in the Kansas City metro — it started appearing in area locations about a month ago.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Skepticism from the Missouri Public Service Commission didn’t stop a company that wants to build a pipeline across the state to harness Kansas wind energy from signing a jobs agreement Thursday.

Clean Line Energy announced it will work with Kansas City-based PAR Electrical Contractors Inc. to create 1,300 jobs for Missourians during construction of the Grain Belt Express.

State and local leaders joined with activists at the launch of a campaign to change payday laws in Missouri and nationwide. The event was hosted by Communities Creating Opportunities (CCO).


Payday loans sap roughly $26 million dollars a year from the Kansas City economy according to a figure from the Center for Responsible Lending. Mayor Sly James says this needs to change.


“There are more payday loan shops in Missouri than Walmarts, McDonalds, and Starbucks combined,” says Mayor Sly James.


Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City boasts being one of the best cities to launch a startup. But the city that hopes to be America’s “most entrepreneurial city,” is still missing one key ingredient — seed capital to get young businesses of the ground.

KCSourceLink, which is a network of organizations that support the creation of small businesses, released a study last week detailing the city’s shortcomings when it comes to funds available for entrepreneurs.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Just a few years ago, downtown Hamilton, Missouri, looked a lot like many other forgotten, rural towns. Abandoned, forlorn buildings marred the main drag.

But in recent years, an explosively fast-growing startup business in rural northwestern Missouri has shaken up a staid industry, producing a YouTube star and revitalizing a town with a proud retail history.

That's why Dean Hales, who has lived here 77 years, is so delighted now.

Maria Carter / KCUR

Development, even redevelopment, isn’t unusual in the Kansas City area, but concrete examples of successfully working across state or county borders to do that are harder to come by. Yet that’s what happening at the district surrounding 47th and Mission.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The American Nurses Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, SkillsUSA – all groups Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James says would have held conventions in the metro if not for a lack of hotel space.

"They love Kansas City," James says. "They were going to look out at the hotels, and when they came back, they said, 'We can't come.'"

James and other civic leaders hope to remedy the problem with a new, $300 million hotel across the street from the Kansas City Convention Center.