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ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Construction Continues on Arch Museum Renovation
Visitors to the Historic Old Courthouse, can enjoy the newly opened Luther Ely Smith Square, which includes more than 300 feet of benches, inviting and accessible pathways, lighting, and more than 220 new trees.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 29, 2015 - The Luther Ely Smith Square, which includes the Park Over the Highway, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, has opened to the public.
Construction began on Luther Ely Smith Square in December of 2014 to re-landscape the park just east of the Old Courthouse and join it with the new one-block land bridge over I-44. The park will lead to the new entrance of the Gateway Arch visitor center and museum.
New features of Luther Ely Smith Square include more than 300 feet of benches, inviting and accessible pathways, lighting, and more than 220 new trees. Hundreds of shrubs and perennials will create a unique colorful landscape all year. Crews also installed underground cisterns that can hold up to 65,000 gallons of storm water to be reused for irrigating the park, one of the many green components of the CityArchRiver project.
This redesigned section of the park is intended to provide new gathering places for visitors before entering the Arch visitor center and museum. It will also be a great place for downtown workers and residents to enjoy a meal, relax, exercise, or play. A temporary viewing platform is installed in Luther Ely Smith Square so that visitors can watch construction of the visitor center and museum renovation. Other components of the CityArchRiver project are expected to open in 2016 and 2017.
The renovation of Luther Ely Smith Square and landscaping of the Park Over the Highway was funded privately through the CityArchRiver Foundation. The square is named in honor of Luther Ely Smith (1873-1951), a civic booster and philanthropist whose advocacy led to the creation of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
Missouri's Export Sales Top $10 Billion
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 29, 2015 - Missouri's top export sector for the third quarter was transportation equipment, with sales reaching $2.7 billion, an 18.7 percent increase when compared to the same quarter of 2014.
This top selling sector was led by motor vehicles. Missouri's major auto plants, which include Ford in Kansas City and GM in Wentzville, are manufacturing some of the country's top-selling and ranking vehicles. As a result, Missouri's large network of automotive supplier companies are expanding and hiring new workers to keep up with the demand for parts production.
Over the past few years, more than 60 suppliers have added or announced plans to add nearly 4,700 jobs, retain 220 existing workers, and make more than $613 million in capital investments.
Just last week, Continental Casting announced plans to expand its workforce at both the Monroe City and Palmyra production facilities, creating 75 new full-time positions. This is the second expansion in three years for the company. Governor Nixon joined the company in 2012 to announce a $2.6 million expansion which included 80 new jobs for the company's two production facilities in Missouri.
"The market has seen resurgence in the demand for top quality American made products," said Tina Brown, Chief Financial Officer for Continental Casting. "As a result, we are expanding employment opportunities in our two production facilities to meet that demand."
Missouri total export sales for the first three quarters of 2015 reached $10.1 billion, a 2.3 percent increase over the same period last year, Gov. Nixon said in an announcement. The Governor made this announcement during a panel discussion with a bipartisan group of five former Missouri governors in support of the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic growth in Missouri.
"Thanks to exporters and job creators throughout the state, Missouri's unemployment rate has dropped to 5 percent, an eight-year low," Gov. Nixon said. "We will continue to focus on those efforts which will grow our economy, create jobs and bring prosperity to every corner of the Show-Me State."
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