SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield utility is planning to partner with two companies to build what would be the largest solar farm in Missouri.
City Utilities says it will work with Solexus Development in St. Louis and Strata Solar of North Carolina to build the 4.95 megawatt system, with construction to begin next spring.
The Springfield News-Leader reports the companies expect to finalize a contract Monday. The system will be built on 57 acres next to an existing City Utilities generation station near Springfield.
Under the 25-year agreement, Solexus will develop the project and Strata Solar will build, finance and operate it. City Utilities' will connect the system to existing infrastructure, then buy the solar power the system produces.
The system is expected to produce about 9.6 million kilowatt hours per year.
Fans of the one and only Cher will have a chance to see the music icon in the Gateway City next year as the she announced Monday that she will kick off her “Dressed To Kill” North American Tour beginning in Phoenix on March 22. The 67 year old will embark on the 49 city tour which will include stops in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Las Vegas. Cher will appear in St. Louis at Scottrade Center on Wednesday, June 4. She has scheduled concerts in Kansas City and Louisville in the days before she is in St. Louis, and in Milwaukee and Chicago in the days after. Updated ticket information can be found on Cher.com. Cher will also be appearing as a mentor with Blake Shelton on NBC’s The Voice airing in October.
The many issues surrounding education in Missouri has lawmakers taking a closer look at student transfers, teacher evaluations and school safety. An interim House committee on education is holding hearings on those and other topics this week in several communities. Meetings today in St. Charles and St. Louis will focus on student transfers out of unaccredited districts. This fall, students from the Riverview Gardens and Normandy districts became the first in Missouri to transfer to neighboring districts. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Education has scheduled a hearing October 1 in Jefferson City focused solely on student transfers.
A wetlands restoration project, which will help improve the habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl in both Illinois and Missouri, has received a grant and matching funds totaling $3-million. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved $1 million in funding for a project to protect and restore almost 2,900 acres of breeding, migration and winter habitat in southwestern Illinois and St. Charles County, Mo. The oversight company, Ducks Unlimited for Bottomlands of the Great Rivers, and its partners, will provide more than $2 million in matching money. Residential and commercial development has hurt wetlands and caused erosion and runoff. The project will focus on the Big Muddy River Bottoms and Cache River Basin areas within the Shawnee National Forest and the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Two men have been arrested this morning in relation to the stabbing death of a North County woman on Sunday. St. Louis County Police arrested a 47 year old and 48 year old man following the homicide investigation of 31 year old Shrelia Barnes. Barnes was attacked near Chambers and Duke in North County yesterday. Officers responded to Christian Northeast Hospital at about 3 o'clock Sunday morning after the injured woman was dropped off by two unknown individuals. She died shortly thereafter. During the investigation, one of the two individuals who had dropped Barnes off at the hospital returned and spoke with investigators. The stabbing allegedly occurred during an argument between Barnes and the suspects over money. Warrant applications will take place later today. The suspects names will be released if charges are filed.
In response to neighborhood complaints, the St. Louis Board of Public Service will consider revoking a permit held by the Reverend Larry Rice. Reverend Rice operates the New Life Evangelistic Center in downtown St. Louis where neighbors have complained about the homeless committing crimes. The hearings are in response to a petition from the neighborhood. The first of three hearings on the fate of the homeless shelter will start on Tuesday. Rice claims the shelter is constitutionally protected because it operates as a religious facility.
Gasoline prices trended downward in St. Louis this past week. According to GasBuddy.com, prices have fallen 11.3 cents per gallon, averaging $3.20 a gallon on Sunday. GasBuddy surveys nearly one-thousand gas outlets in St. Louis everyday. The national average has fallen 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.49 per gallon. Yesterday's prices in St. Louis were 38.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and 35.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.
On October 1st, the federally mandated health insurance exchanges open enrollment. And that includes Missouri.
State voters passed a law last year that effectively barred the governor from setting up an insurance exchange, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.
The federal government will operate Missouri’s online marketplace, which is currently being set up. The federal website, healthcare.gov says it will be ready in time for enrollment to begin.
Under the new healthcare law, those who don't have insurance through their employers, schools, parents, a private policy or a public plan like Medicaid or Medicare will face fines next year. And many of them are expected to be young adults. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that 25% of young adults in the Missouri are currently uninsured.
Illinois did set up a health insurance exchange.
Residents in both Missouri and Illinois can get more information about affordable coverage at healthcare.gov.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Fees will be rising on some consumer loans under a law enacted when Missouri legislators overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon.
The fee increase will primarily affect smaller loans that are repaid over several months or years. It's not meant to affect payday loans, which can last no more than 31 days.
The measure doubles the origination fee that lenders can charge from 5 percent to 10 percent of the principal. But it leaves in place a $75 fee ceiling. The means lenders can charge the full 10 percent fee only on loans of up to $750 and can collect a few more dollars on loans of up to $1,500.
Lending industry lobbyists describe it as a minor change. But some consumer advocates don't like the new law.
Hundreds of new jobs are coming to the St. Louis area because of the Affordable Care Act.
The contract service company, Serco is hiring 600 people in Wentzville to do health insurance processing. Serco is a private firm that specializes in providing management, technical and other services to the federal government.
Starting today (Monday) through Friday Serco representatives will be meeting with job applicants at the National Information Solutions Cooperative at One Innovation Circle in Lake St. Louis. The company is asking that applications be submitted online at Serco's website.
Anyone who wants to apply in person can do so on Friday only, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.