Business and economy news and issues in the Ozarks.

More than 100 to Attend Century Farms Salute

Sep 24, 2014
MU Extension

Committed to preserving the state’s agricultural history, the University of Missouri Extension each year honors farms that have been in the same family for 100 years or more. This year, Greene County is hosting its first Salute to Century Farms event.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

A vote on the City of Springfield’s non-discrimination ordinance will take place two weeks sooner than had been previously announced.

During public testimony on the bill this week, Mayor Bob Stephens said a vote by the council would take place Oct. 27. The city now says that vote will take place at its Oct. 13 meeting.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Mayor Bob Stephens thanked citizens for their civility during a congested public comment period as the Springfield City Council on Monday night considered bills adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

Springfield City Hall

A bill adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the City of Springfield’s non-discrimination ordinance goes before City Council on Monday.

The scheduled first reading of the bill comes more than two years after council tabled the controversial item and later formed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Task Force. After months of review, the task force released its recommendations in November 2013.  

Alissa Zhu / KSMU

“Your perfect match is just a click away” promises 417 Fling, a dating website exclusively for relationship seekers in southwest Missouri. As KSMU’s Alissa Zhu reports, it’s just one of many new startups in Springfield.

The dating site was the brainchild of 19-year-old Shaun Borneman, a sophomore at Missouri State University. Borneman created 417 Fling as a summer project after he decided that large national online dating services were not meeting his expectations.

Springfield City Hall

The City of Springfield Community Survey gauges citizen satisfaction in various areas. KSMU’s Simone Cook has details on the results of this year’s survey, which is distributed every three years.

Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

The new president and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is expected to be in place this fall. On Wednesday, the Chamber announced the appointment of Matt Morrow to the post. KSMU’s Alissa Zhu spoke with the Bolivar native and has this report.

Morrow attended college in his home town at Southwest Baptist University. A radio broadcaster in the 1990s, Morrow then expanded his horizons to politics.

Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

A former southwest Missouri resident and Springfield executive has been named president and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Alissa Zhu / KSMU

Springfield city officials have begun work to repair sight line concerns at the intersection of Bennett Street and Jefferson Avenue that prompted criticism earlier this summer.

According to a news release by the city, the northbound lane of Jefferson Avenue will be closed in the area directly south of Bennett Street beginning for bridge modifications. Lane shifts will be used to maintain one northbound lane and one southbound lane through the construction zone. Lane drops will be in place for approximately three weeks.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

The start of K-12 classes this week brought an uptick in morning and mid-afternoon traffic to Springfield. But as college courses resume next week, crews will still be working to complete construction along a major thoroughfare near the Missouri State University campus.

Rush hour has produced heavy congestion this summer at the intersection of Grand Street and Kimbrough Avenue, where crews have been performing repairs to aging utility lines. The $658,765 project is funded by the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax.

City Utilities

Springfield citizens and businesses may soon have another renewal energy option. City Utilities on Friday held a dedication ceremony for a 40-acre solar farm northeast of Springfield that officials say can power approximately 900 homes each year. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has details.

The site, which was constructed and will be operated by North Carolina-based Strata Solar, consists of nearly 22,000 panels, making it the largest solar farm in Missouri. The project was developed by St. Louis-based Solexus Development. It is capable of producing 4.95 megawatts of energy.

(Logo courtesy City of Springfield)

The Springfield Art Museum will reveal a public art project Thursday, Aug. 14, titled “Springfield Neighbors.”  It was created by Memphis artist Richard Lou, and is intended to spark dialogue within the community regarding race, identity and diversity.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Grants to Missouri State University increased nine percent in Fiscal Year 2014 compared to the previous year. The university’s Office of Research Administration announced this week that a total of 289 grants donated to faculty and staff set a new record of $22 million.

These externally funded grants are used for a broad spectrum of ventures at Missouri State, says Dr. Erin Parrish, director of Research Administration. One example, she says, is funding from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which aids teaching training.

Park Board Implements New Photo Policy

Jul 24, 2014
KSMY/Taylor Vance

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has implemented a new photography policy outlining how photographers and videographers may operate in public parks. KSMU’s Taylor Vance has the story.

The policy is designed to help preserve the parks and help reduce potential damages that can occur from photography sessions.

KSMU archives

MoDOT is partnering with the city of Springfield and Greene County on an upcoming project to begin Monday.  Construction beginning July 21st on south Campbell Avenue/Route 160, and Plainview Road will expand the area to six lanes.  MoDOT says drivers should expect lane closings at night with most of the work occurring between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and some daytime delays are also possible.