Springfield, MO

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WAGE SURVEY. Associated Industries of Missouri Sept. 14 released its 1998-99 Wage and Salary Survey for the Springfield Metropolitan Area. The survey indicated hourly workers can expect increases of 3.71 percent and salaried employees will receive increases of 3.94 percent. "This year's survey indicates a continuing move on the part of employers to enhance benefits in order to attract and keep a qualified work force," said Chris Long, president of the business group. "The labor market in 1998 is extremely tight, and the battle is constantly raging for workers who can positively contribute to the overall profitability of a business. Employer benefit packages must reflect this competitive environment." More than 72 percent of survey respondents said they test hourly employees for alcohol and drug use, and just more than 70 percent test salaried employees for substance abuse. The survey covers more than 100 occupations and is broken down into specific job titles that include minimum, maximum and average salaries for each position in the Springfield area. The survey showed that more than half of area employers self-insure their health insurance programs. Copies of the wage and salary survey are available by calling Kathy Lockwood at 573-634-2246.

NEW PREZ. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce will have a new president as of Oct. 1. Daniel P. Mehan will succeed Jo H. Frappier who served as president since 1990. Mehan's appointment was approved by the group's board of directors Aug. 28 at its meeting in Branson. Frappier will retire Sept. 30, but he will continue to consult on special projects. Mehan had been vice president of governmental affairs for the state chamber since October 1995.

BIG ANDY. Beginning Sept. 24 the U.S. Department of Treasury will start distributing $20 bills with a face lift. The change follows similar changes in $100 and $50 notes. In the new bill Andrew Jackson's portrait is enlarged and off-center, among the many changes some minor designed to thwart currency counterfeiting. A release from NationsBank said it will undertake an educational campaign with its customers to prepare them for the new-look notes. "We don't want our customers to be confused when they withdraw cash from an ATM, for example, and see a bill that looks unusual," said Jim Koon, a NationsBank senior vice president of deposit and transaction marketing. The release said the new bills will be appearing in circulation, as well as in ATMs, in late September.

MOUNTAINEER ONLINE. The Mountaineer Book Shop, an outgrowth of The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine with shops in Branson and Kirbyville, has started up a web site to offer its wares online. Barbara Wehrman, owner of the bookshops and publisher of the more than 40-year-old magazine, said the shops and web site feature titles concerning Ozarkiana, regional fiction, biography, crafts, cooking, gardening, herbs, humor and music. The Internet presence will have information about featured authors, samples of stories and chat rooms for discussion. The address to find the Mountaineer Book Shop Online is

UNION PLANTERS IN INDIANA. Memphis-based Union Planters Bank, N.A., with 17 locations in southwest Missouri, will pay about $294 million for 51 bank branches in Indiana. The branches are those of the merging First Chicago NBD and Banc One. Regulators said the companies must divest of certain branches in Indiana where the two overlapped operations. A release from Union Planters said the sale will include about $1.8 billion in deposits, $200 million in consumer loans and $625 million in commercial loans and associated services. The sale is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 1999.

SLICE OF NICE. The United Way has announced its fund-raising goal for its 1998-1999 campaign. Campaign chair Dave Kunze announced that the United Way plans to raise $2,812,000, a 3 percent increase over the 1997 total of $2,730,000 raised. The results of the campaign will be announced Nov. 12 at Drury College. During the campaign, a series of report breakfasts will be held. The next report breakfast will be at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 8.

TWICE OF NICE. You have the choice to walk for one of two good causes Sept. 26. Both the Alzheimer's Association and the AIDS Project of the Ozarks are having fund-raising walks. APO's walk begins at 10 a.m. at Fassnight Park. For more information, please call 881-1900. The Alzheimer's walk actually begins at 11 a.m. at Phelps Grove Park, but registration begins at 9:30 a.m. To get a registration packet, please call 886-2199, or register the morning of the walk.

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