The Bass Country Inn, former Comfort Inn and Gateway Theater are set to be sold at foreclosure March 3. C.M.S. Properties LLC defaulted on a $4 million loan from Empire Bank. The corporation filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors in June 1997, fending off a foreclosure sale of the North Glenstone property at that time. On Jan. 16, however, the bankruptcy court granted a relief from stay and officials with Empire said the foreclosure was set to go ahead. Phil Stocker, a principal in one of the corporations that owns C.M.S., is trying to purchase the property, and Empire officials characterized the efforts as amicable. Stocker did not return phone calls. In addition to Empire's $3.84 million claim on the unpaid balance of the loan, Stocker is listed in bankruptcy court documents as a creditor owed $682,000. A 1997 market-value estimate by the county assessor's office valued the property and its improvements at $4.2 million.
SUPREMES BACK BANKS
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 25 against credit unions, saying the institutions must follow rules limiting their memberships. The ruling was sought by commercial banks. Bankers bristle at credit unions' tax-exempt status and their until-now broadening membership criteria. Credit union officials frame the debate as a consumer-choice issue. "This ruling will strengthen our resolve to clarify credit union field-of-membership issues through the legislative process," said John Gallagher, president of the Missouri Credit Union System, in a release. Indeed, legislation is already in the congressional pipeline. The legislation is "plan B if the Supreme Court goes against us," said Steve Pierson, president of Postal Federal Community Credit Union, in June, when the legislation had already been proposed. No credit unions in Springfield are federally chartered, but credit union officials here said last summer that trickle-down enforcement will affect state-chartered credit unions.
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
It's nearing spring and the fax machine is blooming with releases from candidates for public office. Among the first of the local folks to announce their civic intentions are Mark Wright, Mark Fitzsimmons and Mike Schilling (if only his name were Mark, we might see some conspiracy). Wright, a 29-year-old Springfieldian, announced Feb. 24 his candidacy for state representative in the 137th District. Chuck Wooten, the current occupant of that seat, is retiring. Wright, like Wooten, is a Republican. And a union member. "I consider myself a working man's Republican," Wright said in a release. Fitzsimmons announced he will run for associate circuit judge as a Republican. Fitzsimmons, 45, is a partner in the firm of Fitzsimmons & Banning. Schilling announced he will run for re-election to his 136th District seat as a state representative. If successful, the 53-year-old Democrat would serve his fourth term in the Missouri General Assembly.
Manpower Inc. has released its latest poll of the area's employers' hiring plans. The majority of survey respondents, 51 percent, said they forecast no change in their payrolls in the second quarter. Lory Hobbs, of Manpower in Springfield, said the survey showed 43 percent of Springfield area employers will hire more workers in April, May and June. The results are identical to findings for the second quarter of 1997. "In general, employers tend to express a renewed interest in hiring emerging from the slower winter months," Hobbs said.
Yes sir, my name is Carlson,
I am a council man.
I'll stay put and keep my mouth shut,
here in the other Holy Land.
SLICE OF NICE Nominations are now being accepted for the Gift of Time Awards. Outstanding volunteers in the Ozarks can be nominated until March 11. The event is sponsored by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Council of Churches of the Ozarks, city of Springfield and Springfield News-Leader. Volunteers can be nominated in 10 different categories: education, arts/culture, environment, government service, health/well-being, human services, youth services, senior services, support services and junior division. Nominees will be judged on their ability to work for and with others, contribution to nominating organizations, creativity, initiative, dedication, commitment, dependability, involvement with other organizations and impact on meeting community needs. Nomination forms are available in the Busch Municipal Building, at the Springfield News-Leader, the Springfield-Greene County Libraries and the Council of Churches, or by calling 862-3595. The Gift of Time Awards will be announced at 10:30 a.m. April 16 at the Busch Municipal Building.
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