Metro-East News

Ameren preparing bid to buy Kansas’ largest utility

The same Ameren that serves the metro-east could soon be serving customers in Kansas if it wins the bid for Westar.
The same Ameren that serves the metro-east could soon be serving customers in Kansas if it wins the bid for Westar.

Ameren, the utility that serves huge portions of both Missouri and Illinois, could become Kansas’ largest utility if a it submits a winning bid for Westar.

Interested parties have a May 23 deadline to submit their bids for Westar, which it was reported last month began a search for for buyers. Westar has a $7 billion share of the energy transmission market in Kansas and covers areas that include Kansas City, Kan., as well as the cities of Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, Hutchinson, Manhattan and Salina.

Ameren’s corporate headquarters are in St. Louis and covers territory in northern, eastern, southeastern and mid Missouri. It also serves the vast majority of Illinois, covering all but the northern reaches of the state.

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Whether you’ve got a hunch about someone you know or you just have time to kill, you might enjoy searching through the Panama Papers database, which earlier this week was posted online for all to see by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The Panama Papers are a trove of documents detaling shell companies and the people who created them. Sometimes offshore corporations are created to evade taxes. The records were kept by the law firm Mossack Fonseca and orginally were leaked to a German Newspaper, which shared the 11.5 million documents with the Consortium. The Consortium broke the story last month.

In a post this week, the anonymous leaker of the documents, who called himself John Doe, cited income inequality as “one of the defining issues of our time...The Panama Papers provide a compelling answer to these questions: massive, pervasive corruption. More than just a cog in the machine of ‘wealth management,’ Mossack Fonseca used its influence to write and bend laws worldwide to favor the interests of criminals over a decade.”

You can also learn more about the Panama Papers here.

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McDonalds eaters in the Dallas area since November have had what no one else has—yet: Burgers made with fresh ground beef.

It’s just a test. Everyone else is still getting frozen patties. And the difference between the patties served in Dallas and those served elsewhere is slim. It’s the same stuff, just not frozen.

According to McDonalds spokeswoman Lisa McComb, “it’s very premature to draw any conclusions” on whether customers like the change and the test has been a success.

The restaurant has been in a testing mood. Last month it announced it was testing two alternative versions of the Big Mac: A smaller sandwich called Mac Jr. and a bigger Big Mac known as the Grand Mac.

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