Economy

KCUR News
9:24 am
Tue October 27, 2009

Ford Workers At Claycomo Plant Vote Down Contract Changes

Kansas City, MO – Union workers at the Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant have soundly rejected contract change concessions and the Sunday vote has national implications.

According to UAW local 249 officials, eight percent of rank and file voted in favor of concessions, soundly rejecting company proposals.

Ford wanted the changes to cut labor costs to put them on par with Chrysler and General Motors.

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KCUR News
9:06 am
Fri October 16, 2009

Kansas Offers $230 Million In Incentives For Soccer And Office Park

Kansas City, MO – A new Wizards soccer stadium and Cerner Corporation office park is closer to becoming reality with an offer from the Kansas Commerce Secretary. It adds up to nearly $230 million in incentives.

Five weeks ago the Unified Government of Wyandotte County asked for $155 million in help from the STAR Bond program. The offer yesterday is ten million dollars short of that but includes $85 million in cash incentives and state tax credits.

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KCUR News
8:31 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Lawsuit Seeks To Overturn Tax Incentives To Stop St. Louis Development

St. Louis, MO – Two St. Louis residents have asked a court to strike down Missouri's latest economic incentives law in an attempt to halt tax credits for a massive redevelopment project.

A lawsuit against the state claims the tax credits for assembling large tracts of land violate a constitutional ban on granting public money to private entities.

The suit also claims the law expanding the annual tax credits, passed this year, is unconstitutional because the legislation included too many topics and went beyond its original intent.

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KCUR News
4:56 pm
Fri October 9, 2009

Bioscience Authority Give $50 Million To Venture Capital Firms

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Bioscience Authority is providing $50 million to increase investments in Kansas companies. The funding will be split between eight venture capital firms. The groups are each required to raise at least $25 million from other sources, to bring the total capital available to $250 million. The money, in turn, will be invested in Kansas-based bioscience companies. Tom Thornton, with the Kansas Bioscience Authority says goal is growing the industry in the state.

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KCUR News
2:04 pm
Fri October 9, 2009

Kansas City Nonprofits Get Grants

Kansas City, MO – Two Kansas City nonprofits have been recognized for their efforts to address critical social issues. They'll receive $400,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.

Communities Creating Opportunity provides tools and training to tackle issues like health care, housing, and economics. And the Charlotte Street Foundation supports the local arts community with annual cash awards, free studio spaces, and other opportunities.

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KCUR News
7:39 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Kansas City Breaks Even As Sprint Center Profits

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Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center is doing well, paying the Kansas City, Missouri a $1.8 million dollar bonus for the year. That's because the city gets 50 percent of the arena's profits after Anschutz Entertainment Group reaches its guaranteed profit amount. But AEG also manages Kemper Arena, and Oscar McGaskey, who is in charge of the city's revenue-producing properties, says the contract estimates on the older arena just didn't pan out.

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KCUR News
7:31 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Kan. Revenues Fall Below Estimates

Topeka, KS – September may have been a bad month for the Kansas budget as corporate and income taxes fell below estimate.

Kansas officials say the state's revenues in September came in $67 million below expectations. So far in the fiscal year that began July 1, state revenues are $65 million below the forecasts that formed the basis for the state budget.

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KCUR News
2:43 pm
Thu September 10, 2009

Auto Jobs Demise Exaggerated, Governor Nixon Says

Governor Jay Nixon meets reporters at Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant.
Dan Verbeck KCUR

Claycomo, MO – The Missouri automotive jobs situation is on sound footing, according to a panel drawn together by Governor Jay Nixon. He summarizes the task force conclusions as "poised for growth" and said so at the Ford Claycomo Plant.

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KCUR News
1:39 pm
Thu September 10, 2009

Soccer, Cerner Cited By Mayor: 4K Jobs

Proposed site of Wizards Stadium in Village West complex.(click to enlarge)
kcur photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, Kansas – Kansas City Missouri's apparent loss is Wyandotte county's gain. Negotiations are free to begin between the Unified Government and owners of the Wizards for a soccer stadium at Village West next to Kansas Speedway.

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KCUR News
2:42 pm
Tue August 25, 2009

Is 'That New Car Smell' Dangerous?

Kansas City, MO – Anyone who has jumped behind the wheel of a brand new car might themselves saying, "There's just nothing like a new car smell!" In fact, go to the car wash, and "New Car" is one of the scents you're offered. But toxicologist Marcus Iszard wants us to think twice before we get too carried away with the fresh smell of new vehicles. Susan stopped by his office and he told her all about the hidden dangers of new cars.

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KCUR News
12:50 pm
Mon August 17, 2009

Investing During An Uncertain Recovery

Kansas City, MO – The recent recession has many people completely rethinking how they manage their money. KCUR's Susan Wilson recently caught up with certified financial planner David Jackson, of Waddell and Reed, to find out whether changes in the economy should prompt major changes in people's investments.

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KCUR News
11:53 am
Sat August 8, 2009

Panel Weighs Risks And Benefits Of Gardner Railyard

Olathe, KS – A panel of experts says the U-S Army Corps of Engineers assessment of the environmental risks posed by a planned shipping facility near Gardner is deeply flawed. They presented their critique at a public meeting in Olathe on Thursday. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson was there, and filed this report.

Find out more about the Kansas Health Series on Kansas Public Radio here

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KCUR News
11:52 am
Thu August 6, 2009

Freight Industry Still Reeling

Dee Jones has tough making now enough to cover expenses
Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – First thing Saturday morning at the big truck stop out in Oak Grove, Missouri the restaurant is not quite half full of truckers.
Jones: My name is Dee Jones. Dee is a nick name that I've gone by for 66 years, and I'm known nationwide by it.

Like many of the other guys Dee Jones is here killing time, and making calls, looking for work.

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KCUR News
9:27 am
Mon August 3, 2009

Tips For Navigating The Housing Market

While many people are still trying to dig out from under bad mortgages, new data shows that foreclosures are actually down in the Kansas City area, compared to the first six months of last year. And some people are finding that it's a pretty good time to buy a house. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson spoke to Certified Financial Planner David Jackson, of Waddell and Reed, for his thoughts on buying, or keeping, a home.

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KCUR News
1:08 pm
Fri July 31, 2009

YRC Worldwide Faces Quarterly Loss

Kansas City, MO – Trucking companies are posting big losses as the recession drags on. One of the largest, YRC Worldwide, lost more than 300 million dollars in the second quarter, and may be headed for bankruptcy. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.

The amount of stuff shipped by truck, as measured in tons, fell off steeply last year, and hasn't come back. It was down more than 13% in June. That makes for a lot of idled or under filled semis and steep losses for trucking companies.

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KCUR News
4:13 pm
Tue July 28, 2009

Sprint To Acquire Virgin Mobile

Kansas City – In this recession pre-paid, the low end of the mobile phone market, is hot. Sprint established itself as a price leader in that segment early this year, coming out with its Boost, 50 dollar a month, unlimited voice plan. Virgin Mobile matched that. Now with Sprint taking over Virgin, the Overland Park based company will gain more than 5 million customers . But analyst Christopher King doesn't see a lot in the deal for Sprint, beyond that.

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KCUR News
9:52 am
Mon July 20, 2009

Twitter? What's Twitter?

Kansas City, MO – The social networking site, Twitter, seems to just keep gaining in popularity. Even we're trying our hand at it @kccurrents.

And it's not just the media, all sorts of organizations are reporting about their work through the site. Just recently Children's Mercy Hospital tweeted a surgery, possibly the first in the nation.

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KCUR News
11:00 am
Thu June 25, 2009

Cordish Adapts Dress Codes; Some Patrons Adapt Dress

Kansas City, MO – After a little more than a year, the new Power & Light District is drawing tens of thousands of people downtown in a weekend, according to the developers. But with that huge influx has come some controversy. The venues' dress codes and a recently botched concert by a hip hop DJ have led to charges of discrimination. The city has responded by passing laws that limit the use of dress codes. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross stopped by last weekend to see how these restrictions are playing out at the velvet rope.

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KCUR News
2:47 pm
Mon June 22, 2009

Our Relationship With The Automobile

Kansas City, MO – A lot of people are calling the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler the end of an era and a turning point in the history of the American auto industry. Ever since Henry Ford developed the Model T, cars have been a way of life for many Americans. That's as true in sprawling Kansas City as in any place. Our KC Currents intern Ashly Kissman took to the streets to find out what kind of relationships people have with their automobiles.

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KCUR News
3:55 pm
Mon May 11, 2009

Economy Hits Architects In Kansas City

Kansas City, MO – According to a recent report from the Commerce Department, unemployment rates for artists have risen even more rapidly than the rates for U.S. workers as a whole. That doesn't surprise architect Ryan Townsend. He was recently laid off, just one of many Kansas City architects who've been directly affected by a dramatic drop in architectural billings, which reached their lowest point in 13 years this January.

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KCUR News
10:20 am
Mon May 11, 2009

Job Seekers Band Together In Johnson County

Johnson County Job Club
Photo By Laura Ziegler

Overland Park, Kansas – Nearly 50 percent more workers in Johnson County are without jobs today than they were this time last year. The increase in unemployment is still well below the national average of 8.9%,and lower than that of neighboring Wyandotte County. But the job base in Johnson County historically has been high wage and highly skilled, and most are accustomed to job security.

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KCUR News
2:18 am
Thu May 7, 2009

Minority Enterprise Program Leaders Respond To Audit

K.D. Human Relations Director Phillip Yelder.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG. Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – About three weeks ago, an audit of Kansas City's program to ensure that minority and women-owned business get a share of city contracts said it took too long to certify the businesses that applied. Yesterday, the city human relations department gave its response.

Human Relations Director Phillip Yelder told the committee that the problem wasn't a slow process or lost applications - it was in the applications that were filed.

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KCUR News
9:40 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Hazel Baldwin lives in the Green Impact Zone

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
2:19 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Renters Have Little Protection From Foreclosures

St. Louis, MO – In Missouri, homeowners get at least 20 days notice when banks decide to foreclose. Not so for renters.

When a landlord loses a property tenants often don't learn they have to move until a court summons arrives.

Legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly would help renters, but Maria Altman tells us that some groups say more notice is needed.

If a tenant is concerned that their landlord may default on his/her mortgage there are steps the tenant can take to find out.

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KCUR News
12:09 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Green Impact Zone resident Hazel Baldwin

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
11:51 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Green Zone resident Hazel Baldwin.
Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
11:28 am
Fri April 24, 2009

Regional Jail Deal Okayed; Airport Privatization Dead

Councilman Russ Johnson gets dramatic as he admonishes his colleagues to give more consideration to privatizing the airport.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. Right click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City will partner with Jackson County in a regional jail, but won't investigate privatizing the airport. And citizens won't have to try to remember which week is recyclables week.

There was no last minute debate as the council reversed its plan for collecting recyclables at curbside every other week and approved a new contract to continue every week collection.

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KCUR News
9:24 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Peter Barrett: My Two Cents

Overland Park, Kansas – Pete Barrett's a casualty of the consolidating media market. A long - time marketing manager for a local television station, he was laid off 8 years ago. He looked around and saw the health care field was a potential growth industry, and went to work in marketing for a radiology office. Now, he's lost that job now, too.

Here's Pete Barrett's story for the latest in our occasional series, My 2 Cents.

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KCUR News
1:09 am
Tue April 14, 2009

Hallmark Cards Cuts Jobs

Kansas City, MO – Hallmark Cards announced Wednesday it will cut between 6 and 8 percent of its US workforce, up to 750 people. The greeting card maker will first see how many employees take voluntary severance packages.

Spokeswoman Julie O'Dell says the layoffs then will come from across the company. "The jobs will be impacted across different divisions and departments in different ways, so they really cut across the entire organization."

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