Herald-Whig

Ameren Missouri's massive wind farm in Adair, Schuyler counties will generate jobs

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 8, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Jul. 9, 2018 4:00 pm

Ameren Missouri's new 400-megawatt wind farm in Northeast Missouri will create both power and jobs.

Plans are calling for 175 450-foot-tall wind turbines on land in Adair and Schuyler counties. Ameren will be leasing land from farmers as part of the project, which will be spread out over about 70,000 acres.

The wind farm will create enough power to serve 120,000 homes within two years and be the largest in Missouri.

The wind farm is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and about 20 permanent jobs.

Ameren Missouri officials call the concept "a significant step" toward the company's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Scam attempts

Ameren is in the news on another count, too.

Ameren Illinois is warning customers about a recent spike in scam attempts.

Scammers posing as Ameren Illinois representatives have been targeting businesses and some residents, and threatening immediate disconnection of service if payment is not made within an hour. Scammers want to be paid through a prepaid money card.

Ameren Illinois has shared the warning signs of a scam attempt:

º Threat to disconnect: Scammers might aggressively tell the customer that the utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made -- usually within less than an hour. Ameren Illinois sends disconnect notices through the mail and always tries to work with the customer on a solution before shutting off power.

º Requests for personal information: Social Security and bank account numbers, as well as particulars about your Ameren Illinois bill, are common scam requests.

º Requests to pay with a prepaid card: Scammers instruct the customer to make payment with a prepaid card, which are widely available at retail stores. When the customer calls back, the scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's number, which grants the scammer instant access to the card's funds, and the victim's money is soon gone.

º Suspicious phone numbers: Scammers often call or ask to be called back at a number with a local area code, but not a number that belongs to Ameren Illinois.

Anyone who suspects they have received a scam call should call 800-755-5000 to report it to Ameren.

They said it

º Forbes: "We just ended a record-breaking quarter (for feature films) at the domestic box office. The second quarter of the year, specifically April, May and June, have earned $3.3 billion in domestic ticket sales. That includes a record-setting $1.268 billion in June alone."

º U.S. News and World Report: "American factories expanded at an unexpectedly fast pace in June, another sign of strength for U.S. industry. ... The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchase managers, says its manufacturing index rose last month to 60.2. That's the highest level since February and up from 58.7 in May. Anything over 50 signals growth, and U.S. factories are on a 22-month winning streak."

º CNN Money: "Dollar General plans to open 900 stores this year, and to relocate another 100, while Dollar Tree plans to open 650 Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores in 2018."

The top five

According to Bloomberg writers Eben Novy-Williams, Ira Boudway and Scott Soshnick, LeBron James once again shifted the basketball world when he agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"The move pairs the NBA's biggest star with its most iconic franchise and stands to improve the fortunes of more than just the team's fans," the trio reported.

Here are some of the biggest winners from what has been the NBA's biggest offseason news.

1. Forbes last year pegged the Lakers' value at $3.3 billion, trailing only the New York Knicks ($3.6 billion), thanks largely to the team's brand strength and local media deals that bring in more than $150 million a year. Snagging James should propel the Lakers to the top of the list.

2. James has been public about his business ambitions, and he's likely to benefit more in his business dealings by playing in L.A.

3. James is the most important basketball ambassador for Nike not named Jordan and has been with the brand his entire pro career. He recently signed a lifetime deal and can sell shoes no matter where he's playing, but the added exposure from L.A. should boost the company.

4. The move is great news for the Lakers' corporate partners that include Wish, the San Francisco-based e-commerce site that last year became the team's first jersey patch sponsor. Wish reportedly agreed to pay $12 million to $14 million for the sponsorship. With James in L.A., Wish may get as much as $35 million a year in exposure, Apex Marketing Group estimates.

5. The Lakers routinely sold out home games even without James, filling the Staples Center to 99 percent of capacity in 2017-18. The boost will be in the secondary ticket market. Market aggregator TicketIQ says the average price for the team's home opener this coming fall has already more than doubled, to $1,761 from $780, after the James announcement.

Words of wisdom

º Bronze medal: "One finds limits by pushing them." -- Herbert Simon, U.S. economist.

º Silver medal: "Business opportunities are like buses; there's always another one coming." -- Richard Branson, English business magnate, investor and philanthropist.

º Gold medal: "My son is now an ‘entrepreneur.' That's what you're called when you don't have a job." -- Ted Turner, U.S. businessman.