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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

St. Louis incomes down since Great Recession

Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:40 Published in Local News

   If it feels like you are making less money now than you were before the Great Recession, you just might be.  

   Census data released Wednesday indicates that inflation in St. Louis has increased faster than income since 2007.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that when adjusted for inflation, median household income for the region was just over $52,000 last year, compared with more than $58,000 in 2007.  

   And the poverty rate has jumped to 14.3 percent this year from 11 percent six years ago.  

   Its a national problem.  Inflation has outpaced income in 95 of the largest 100 metro areas.

Layoffs possible as Boeing ends C-17 production

Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:31 Published in Local News

   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Boeing Co. announced Wednesday that it will end production of its C-17 Globemaster III military cargo jet and close the final assembly plant in Long Beach in 2015, putting as many as 3,000 jobs at risk as orders plunged in the fragile world economy.  That includes about 300 workers in St. Louis.

   "Our customers around the world face very tough budget environments. While the desire for the C-17's capabilities is high, budgets cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open," Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement. "What's more, here in the United States the sequestration situation has created significant planning difficulties for our customers and the entire aerospace industry."

   Last week, the Long Beach plant delivered the last of 223 C-17s produced for the U.S. Air Force. Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager, said the company will complete 22 final aircraft: seven for the Indian Air Force, two for an international customer that she declined to name, and 13 that have not yet been sold.

   "Despite strong international interest, we did not receive sufficient orders" to continue production, she said.

   Boeing said it expects the announcement to result in a charge of less than $100 million this quarter, and that will not impact financial guidance for the year.

   The company will begin reducing the C-17 workforce in 2014 at plants in Long Beach; Macon, Ga.; Mesa, Ariz.; and St. Louis. However, Boeing will make efforts to provide jobs elsewhere with the company, Bouchard said, and had plans to continue a repair and spare parts program for the planes through 2017 at least, Bouchard said.

   With modernization and upkeep, the big planes are expected to last for decades, she said.

   The massive, four-engine C-17 made its first flight in 1991, and military deliveries began about two years later. The plane is used to airlift tanks, supplies and troops as well as performing medical evacuations. It quickly became a war and disaster workhorse, prized for its ability to operate from basic airstrips and cover intercontinental distances with a full load without refueling.

   With a payload of 160,000 pounds, it is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and their equipment.

   Design work on the plane began at the million-plus square-foot Long Beach facility in 1981, when it was a McDonnell Douglas facility. Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s. Boeing has so far delivered 257 planes worldwide, at a cost of about $311 million each when research, development and construction costs are included.

   The Long Beach plant has about 2,000 employees.

   "It will be sad that we're closing this last major production facility in Southern California but again, we're all very proud to be part of that heritage," Bouchard said.

   Boeing has about 20,000 employees in California, working on a variety of projects. That includes commercial aircraft, new markets such as cyber security and the largest satellite design and manufacturing factory in the world, Boeing said.

No Powerball millionaires in MO or IL

Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:09 Published in Local News

   There were no million dollar winners in Missouri or Illinois from Wednesday's Powerball drawing.  

   One winning ticket was sold in South Carolina.  That ticket is worth an estimated $400 million.  

   Lottery officials report the top prize won in Missouri was $10,000 for one lucky player who matched four white balls and the Powerball.  There were nine such $10,000 winners in Illinois.

   The Powerball numbers for Wednesday, Sept. 18:   07 - 10 - 22 - 32 - 35 and the Powerball was 19.  

   The jackpot for the next drawing on Saturday, Sept. 21 is expected to be $40 million.

 

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