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Briefly in the News

Veterans United receives national recruiting award

Veterans United has both a local and national reputation for being a great place to work. This April the home loan company received yet another accolade: the 2013 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award for its new hire orientation program.

2nd Place

The Bank of Missouri was awarded second place for the 2013 Small Business Association’s Top 10 Community Bank Lenders in the St. Louis region.


The University of Missouri System invested up to $250,000 in MedSocket, an MU School of Medicine startup that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.

The university’s Enterprise Investment Program, which aims to spur economic development throughout Missouri, chose MedSocket above 13 other applicants. The startup has also obtained $250,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation and $166,500 from Centennial Investors.

“We are thrilled to partner with the University of Missouri and local investors to help accelerate research from the laboratory to the marketplace,” says Jason Hall, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “MedSocket represents another exciting breakthrough to grow Missouri’s economy through entrepreneurship and the creation of new high-tech companies.”


Former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole has been put under GPS monitoring. Cole is currently under house arrest, awaiting his trial from California, and was previously subject to electronic monitoring, which he was seeking to remove from the conditions of his bond. GPS monitoring will allow enhanced monitoring of Cole’s whereabouts in real time.

$40 Million

Ameren Missouri nearly doubled its first-quarter earnings from $21 million in 2012 to $40 million in 2013.
The increase, Ameren’s report says, is due to the difference between average winter temperatures in 2013 and warmer-than-average winter temperatures in 2012. Earnings also benefited from new electric service rates effective in January 2013.

Baby Booms (and Busts)

Economic factors outweigh medical concerns and cultural influences when it comes to fertility rates, according to a recent study lead by MU anthropologist Mary Shenk.

“Improvements in economic development, such as higher educational attainment, increasing employment in the formal labor market and the shift away from agriculture, seem to have a doubly powerful effect because they not only raise individuals’ standards of living but also correlate to declining fertility rates, according to the results of our study,” Shenk says.

1st Place

1st Place

Three William Woods University business students took first place in entrepreneurship at the Collegiate DECA International Competition in Anaheim, Calif. Lacee Floyd, Olivia Koselansky and Naomi Starr presented their business project, Breathtaking Bridal Boutique, to a panel of judges and an audience of entrepreneurs.


University of Missouri Health Care earned an “A” rating for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group. The national health care quality organization rates hospitals nationwide on prevention of medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

3rd Place

MU engineering student Hua Zhu won third place at a National Science Foundation workshop for his work in producing a new thinner variety of blast-resistant glass.

“Bomb attacks often occur in different parts of the world,” Zhu says. “One of the most significant effects is that the blast will break nearby windows of buildings, and those fragments can seriously hurt people.” Of the 508 injuries sustained after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Zhu notes that more than 200 were related to broken glass.

Zhu, a doctoral candidate, was one of 11 students invited from around the country.

The City’s First Performance Report Results

According to the City of Columbia’s first performance report, satisfaction with local government’s customer service is down 8 percent, from 75 percent in 2003 to 67 percent in 2011.

Columbia has continued to have lower unemployment levels than the state and the nation and persists in closing the $2.9 million gap between general fund revenues and expenses.

Respondents’ satisfaction with quality of life has dropped 10 percent, from 88 in 2003 to 78 in 2011. Dissatisfaction with maintenance of major city streets has continued to increase from about 28 percent in 2003 to about 46 percent in 2011, while turnover of city workers has remained relatively stable between 8 and 10 percent.

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Steve Moeller of Lone Cottonwood Farms at his spot at the Columbia Farmers marker. Photo courtesy of Columbia Farmers Market