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  • Ribbon-cutting
    in Blue Springs
    A ribbon-cutting for Salon Adiktd is set for Friday.
    It’s at 9 a.m. at the store, 1400 W. Main St., Blue Springs.
    For more information, go to business.bluespringschamber.com/events.
    Local aggregate
    firm purchased
    Vance Brothers Inc., based in Kansas City, has acquired Mid-America Sand LLC, a construction materials provider in Independence.
    Mid-America Sand provides sand and other aggregate products mainly used in asphalt and concrete paving. It has a facility on Missouri 291 in Independence. Vance Brothers specializes in asphalt manufacturing and contracting at 10 locations.
    Laclede closes
    purchase of MGE
    ST. LOUIS – Laclede Gas Co. says it has finalized a $975 million deal to buy Missouri Gas Energy, which serves Eastern Jackson County.
    Laclede announced Tuesday that the purchase has been completed. The deal combines Missouri’s two largest natural gas companies under one entity that will serve more than 1.1 million customers across the state.
    St. Louis-based Laclede had served about 630,000 customers in St. Louis and 10 eastern Missouri counties. Missouri Gas Energy had served about 500,000 customers in about 30 western and central Missouri counties, including the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Joplin areas.
    Laclede had announced the deal last December. State utility regulators approved it in July.
    H&R Block posts
    continued losses
    H&R Block Inc.’s loss widened by 7 percent in its fiscal first quarter, as the tax preparer booked higher operating expenses and other costs, offsetting a sharp rise in revenue.
    The company, based in Kansas City, typically reports an operating loss in the May-July quarter, which follows the peak U.S. tax filing season.
    In a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday, management said the company had asked its regulator over the past 12 months for permission to buy back shares, but has not received approval to do so.
    Block’s shares slid almost 4 percent in after-market trading.
    The nation’s largest tax prep company said that it benefited in the latest quarter from growth in tax services revenue, primarily due to business from international customers. Growth in revenue from products and interest income helped drive overall revenue 32 percent higher in the quarter.
    But those gains were offset by operating expenses, which grew 14 percent due to higher variable costs, foreign exchange currency losses, higher legal fees and costs related to the company’s divestiture of its banking unit.
    Block agreed in July to sell its H&R Block Bank assets to Republic Bank and Trust Co. After the deal is complete, H&R Block Bank will close by surrendering its charter. Republic has an application filed with regulators to convert into a national bank, but doesn’t anticipate it will receive a decision before the end of this month. As a result, Block said it expects to continue offering financial services through H&R Block Bank in the upcoming tax season.
    Page 2 of 2 - H&R Block reported Tuesday that it recorded a loss of $115.2 million, or 42 cents per share, for the quarter ended July 31. That compares with a loss of $107.4 million, or 39 cents per share, last year.
    Popular pub
    will come back
    MARYVILLE, Mo. – A popular downtown Maryville bar is expected to reopen later this month, two years after the 100-year-old building that housed it partially collapsed, the building’s owner said.
    The Pub was forced out of business when the south wall collapsed on Sept. 1, 2011, sending some people scrambling for cover. No one was injured, and the cause of the collapse was not determined.
    An exact opening day has not been set because more interior work needs to be done and the renovation has to pass inspections, building owner Jeff Zeller told the Maryville Daily Forum.
    Zeller, who was not involved in running the bar, said it would have been more financially viable to tear the building down and sell the empty lot. Because the collapse left most of the building’s facade intact, Zeller decided to save a part of the city’s architectural history.
    “It’s a 100-year-old building,” he said. “But it’s taken a lot of time and a lot of effort.”
    Most of the south wall had to be rebuilt, along with replacing roof joists, the ceiling and the floor. The bar’s interior also was completely redone.
    Zeller will take over as bar manager when The Pub opens. He has added a stage and hopes to promote the bar as a live music venue, as well as improving the beer selection.
    Staff and wire reports

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