Economy

Business
8:15 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Third Shift Workers Start At Claycomo Ford Plant

Ford F-150s roll out of an assembly line at the Claycomo Plant in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

As promised in May, Ford Motor Company began a third assembly line shift Monday at the Claycomo Plant.

The 900-worker expansion brings the total of rank and file UAW jobs to some 4,500. The emphasis of the additional team will be making the F-150 pickup.

Plant manager Dan Jowiski said potential workers went through pre-interview testing to see if they were qualified to do the job. That was in late April, just before Ford started beefing up the force.

Jowiski cited strong company ties to the area when the jobs were announced this spring. 

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Central Standard
6:16 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Interest Rates And How They Affect You

Historical 5 year nominal treasury rates (July 2005 to July 2013)
Credit US Department of the Treasury

When people say interest rates are at historic lows what does that even mean and more importantly what are the implications for our daily lives and in the long term? The Cash Money Crew with Alex Petrovic, of Petrovic services; David Jackson, from Waddell & Reed; and ​Lucas Bucl of KHC Wealth Managment, help us make sense of these questions and address how you can save when traditional instruments of savings are impacted by these low interest rates.

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Business & Tech
3:36 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

KCP&L: KC Would See No Pause In Solar Rebates

Kansas City Power and Light says it has tried to ease the sting of its request to Missouri regulators for suspension of some popular solar rebates.  The stated utility plan would keep the bulk of Kansas City inside payment territory.

The request to the Missouri Public Service Commission earlier this month asked some suspension of solar paybacks take effect September 3.   

There was a swift outcry over the payments mandated by law. The program grew out  of a 2008 statewide referendum.

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Business & Tech
4:52 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Protest Of Proposed Solar Rebate End By Kansas City Utility

Requested end to solar rebates are not expected to affect solarization of Kansas City church.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

A Kansas City-based alternative energy company will protest a request by KCP&L to stop giving solar rebates in Missouri. The utility calculates the rebates are too costly.

The program is an outgrowth of 2008 passage of Proposition C to support a renewable energy standard. It required utilities to start offering solar rebates in 2010 and indefinitely.  

KCP&L argued funds have been depleted, and the utility has requested permission to stop offering solar rebates after September 3.

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Business & Tech
4:06 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Street naming Dispute Ends As IKEA Construction Begins In Merriam

Earth-moving equipment was more than window dressing at IKEA's newest job site in Merriam, KS.
Credit Dan Verbeck / kcur

The world’s largest furniture business group IKEA has started construction at its newest site, along the I-35 corridor in Merriam, Kan.

The Swedish retailer is billing itself as a destination attraction and promises 300 permanent jobs.

Five hundred construction jobs are expected in the 18 months to build the complex.

Company officials say further that retail employees working over 20 hours a week get full-time benefits, 401(k) matching and paid vacation.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Techsperts: Social Media and Home Technologies

Over the years, technology has slowly, but surely been taking over the home. Our Techsperts tell us automation systems could be next.
Credit Tom Taker - CC

Change your home thermostat setting while you’re shopping at the grocery store. Lock the back door after you’ve backed out of the driveway.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, our Techsperts return to talk with Steve Kraske about the future of home automation systems and how these new technologies will change daily life. 

And, did you just get used to Twitter? The tech gurus will also look at the growing rise of new, trendy social media platforms that have a photo and video emphasis. 

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Business & Tech
7:16 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Governor Attends Paris Airshow To Meet With Industry Officials

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says the state is serious about attracting investments from aircraft and aviation companies.

Brownback attended the Paris Air Show last month to meet with industry representatives. He says the air show, which bills itself as the world's largest, provides an opportunity to showcase Kansas as a place for aviation business.

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KC Currents
11:36 am
Mon July 1, 2013

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

Reporter Mark Davis covers Sprint and the wireless industry for the Kansas City Star. He sat down with KCUR's Susan Wilson to discuss the details of the Sprint-SoftBank deal, and what it means for Sprint customers and the Kansas City area at large.

Here are four major takeaways from the interview:

1. Sprint customers should see better service

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Business & Tech
9:32 am
Fri June 28, 2013

RIP Kansas City Board Of Trade

Credit goatling / Flickr--Creative Commons

The open pit trading of winter wheat at the Kansas City Board of Trade has quieted down during its 157 year history, not quite silenced from its loud, rowdy past, when one journalist wrote that traders were “yelling as if a panther were at them.”

But on Friday (June 28) it will go silent, with the final ring of the trading day at 1:15 p.m. Central time, ending an era when this city put its name on a crop that became the crucial piece of our daily bread.

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Central Standard
6:59 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Implications Of The Board Of Trade Closing

Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Some of the famous names Kansas City – Kemper, Latshaw, Ohlmann – were people who at one time were chairman of the Kansas City Board of Trade.  Since 1856 the KC Board of trade has been home for commodity trading, such as hard red winter wheat, and as that history comes to an end on Friday Michael Braude, former President & CEO of the KCBT and Frank Stone, Chairman in ‘07, President of Clearing Corporation in ‘88 & ‘04, explore the impact the board of trade has had on the region and what the implications are for its closing.

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Business & Tech
10:21 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Sprint Shareholders Approve $21.6 Billion Deal With SoftBank

Shareholders in Sprint Nextel Corp. have approved a $21.6 billion sale of 78 percent of the company to Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp.

The vote in Overland Park, Kan. Tuesday comes at the end of months of negotiations that originally included a $25.5 billion offer to buy all of Sprint from Dish Network. Dish Network has since retreated from that offer, but may still pursue shares of Sprint network provider, Clearwire.

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Business & Tech
8:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Kan. Delegation Visits Paris Air Show

A Learjet plane flies overhead. Learjet is part of Kansas' robust aviation industry.
Credit Josh Beasly/Flickr--CC

Gov. Sam Brownback is leading a trade delegation to the Paris Air Show this week. The trip to France is aimed at attracting aviation business to Kansas and drumming up sales for the aircraft industry in the state.

"You could travel all over the world for a month to try and get these meetings that you can get in three days at these major air shows, " says Brownback.

"And, it is such a major industry for us as a state that we need to push it and we need to make sure we're on everybody's front and center mind if they're looking to expand."

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Central Standard
6:51 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Sandwich Generation

Credit Vinoth Chandar / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The Sandwich Generation--it’s made up of people who are generally between the ages of 45 and 65. On one side of the sandwich is that college grad who came back home to live. On the other side are one’s aging parents.  The strains are not just in time and energy, but are most acutely financial.  Alex Petrovic, of Petrovic Financial Services; Sandi Weaver, of Financial Security Advisors  and Corey Rasmussen of the Rasmussen Law Firm discuss the financial and legal issues that surround the care of an aging parent.

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Consolidation
12:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Halls Plans To Close Plaza Location, Expand At Crown Center

The new 60,000 square-foot Crown Center location will open late next year.
Credit blog.halls.com

Local retail icon Halls has announced it plans to close its Country Club Plaza store, coinciding with expansion at Crown Center.

The expansion, which Crown Center President Bill Lucas called “the latest step in Crown Center’s evolution” in a statement released Tuesday, includes a new 60,000 square-foot store that will take up the entire third floor of the Crown Center Shops.

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Up To Date
11:23 am
Tue May 28, 2013

K.C. To D.C., Driven By Social Media

MindDrive's converted 1967 Karmann Ghia
Credit MindDrive.org

The goal: Have at-risk students take an old rundown car, restore it and convert it to run on electric power then drive it from K.C. to D.C.   If that's not enough, have it powered solely by social media interaction.

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Central Standard
2:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

After The Recession, What The Housing Market In KC Looks Like

The latest report from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors suggests that the average sales price of an existing home is up 15 percent from a year ago, and the average sales price of a new home is up about 16 percent from December 2011.  On the other hand 4% of homes currently on the market are in foreclosure.  As the housing market begins to recover from the Recession, those buying and selling houses are facing different issues. Mary Hutchison, a Kansas City relator and Mike Cash, Senior Loan Officer at a1 Mortgage talk about this shift on this Central Standard. 

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Business & Tech
4:03 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

K.C. Gas Price Leap Is Termed An Aberration

Credit kenteegardin

Gasoline prices may have leveled off in Kansas City, following a dramatic one-week leap in the cost of fuel.  

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Central Standard
7:51 am
Fri May 17, 2013

The Cash Money Crew On How To Handle Kids Moving Back Home

The recession and recovery have been hard on many.  But, among those most effected are those between 20-24, with an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent-  almost twice the national average

With these challenges to financial independence many young adults are returning to their parents for financial and housing assistance. 

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Business & Tech
4:56 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Truck Sales Tie To Home Building, Kansas City Jobs

"The Line" at Claycomo, Ford Pickups
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

In  announcing it would add 2,000 jobs to its Claycomo Assembly Plant, Ford Motor cited increased  sales tied to new stability in the home building market.   At the truck factory, Ford executives drew parallels that are being seen industry-wide.

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Business & Tech
3:04 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Jobs To Nearly Double At Ford Northland Truck Plant

The well-selling Ford F-150 truck, one here on the assembly line at Claycomo, MO.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

One of the most poorly kept secrets in the auto industry was completely revealed Thursday. Ford Motor Company will add some 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Claycomo plant.

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Business & Tech
10:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Economic Factors Could Affect Kansas Job Growth

Jeremy Hill is the director of Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research.
www.wichita.edu

A new report projects an increase in the rate of job growth in Kansas this year. There are some economic forces that could temper that growth in the future.

The report from Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research projects modest job growth in Kansas this year. It’s driven partially by the energy, construction and services sectors.

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Business & Tech
6:09 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

KC Region New Home Building Booms 30 Percent In First Quarter

Credit armchairbuilder.com

Housing construction is showing a 30 percent gain in the first quarter in the Kansas City region, compared with the same period of 2012.The reference is to permits for residential building  and amounts to 832 single family houses. There were 640 in the first three months of last year.

The numbers bear watching, as the  executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City notes.  Sara Corless said, should the trend hold or increase, construction might be back at 2007 levels by end of the year. 

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Managing An Online Business Reputation

Yelp and TripAdvisor logos

Do all those reviews on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor really matter for small businesses

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Business & Tech
10:30 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Green Bay Packers Player Promotes Kansas Made Products

Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson in Kansas City, Kansas this weekend. The Kansas native will be the new public face of a marketing campaign for Kansasproducts.
Credit Laura Ziegler

Good ad campaigns often have high profile spokespeople, and now so does a campaign to promote Kansas products.

The tag line is From the Land of Kansas, and this weekend Governor Sam Brownback was in Kansas City, Kansas to introduce  the  big name that will be behind this campaign - Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson .                                      

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Business & Tech
5:21 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

New Buy Offer Is Speculation Fodder For Sprint Watchers

Credit sprint

It’s too early for people in the Kansas City area to worry about further loss of jobs at Sprint, as executives sort through a higher price offer from a second potential buyer.  At least one analyst says the chief question is, whether Dish Network will make one or more attempts to outbid Toyko-based SoftBank Corporation.

As Overland Park-based Sprint is working to consummate selling 70 percent of its assets to SoftBank, Dish has boosted the ante by some $5.5 billion. The Dish offer is $25.5 billion. The Softbank offer is $20 billion.

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Up to Date
10:49 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Getting The Particle-ulars Of The Higgs-Boson

An example of simulated data modeled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.
wikimedia commons

The Higgs-Boson is said to be the key to understanding why mass exists and how atoms are possible. Some call it "The God Particle."

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Business & Tech
8:42 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Dish Network Makes $25 Billion Bid For Sprint

Sprint now has two suitors: Japan's SoftBank and Colorado-based Dish Network.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:36 am

Satellite TV distributor Dish Network has offered to buy telecom giant Sprint Nextel Corp. in a $25.5 billion deal, a move that could derail a similar offer by the Japanese phone company SoftBank.

Dish says that it has offered $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock for Sprint. After the news was announced on Monday, Sprint's stock jumped 15 percent in pre-market trading, according to The Associated Press.

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Business & Tech
2:40 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Is Austin's Google Gain KC's Loss?

The Home for Hackers offers three-month, rent-free accomodations for internet entrepreneurs on State Line Road.
Sylvia Maria Gross KCUR

Google announced yesterday that it’s building a new high-speed fiber-optic network -- this time in Austin, Texas. It’s been two years since the company announced it would build its first fiber-optic network here in Kansas City, and many residents hoped it would be everywhere by now.

Planning for the network has Kansas Citians rethinking the future of many aspects of life and business here.

Ground Zero for Google Fiber

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Business & Tech
4:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Austin Is Latest Testbed For Google's High-Speed Experiment

Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."

Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

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Central Standard
7:42 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Cash Money Crew: Tax Preparation

Taxes are due in one week and that may have most of your attention, but now is also the perfect opportunity to begin planning your tax preparation and behavior for next year.  Our Cash Money Crew with Alex Petrovic, of Petrovic Financial Services; Sandi Weaver, of Financial Security Advisors and Julie Welch, of Meara, Welch Browne; help you navigate the complicated and ever changing world of tax

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