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Heard On The Street

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CORNERED. The status of the corner office isn't much of an employee incentive anymore, according to the Steelcase Workplace Index, a semiannual survey that gauges workplace trends in the United States. According to the study, which asked people where they would prefer to work, open-ended answers ranged from Air Force One to the great outdoors. The top work area the majority of respondents (34 percent) preferred was a home office. Other top choices included shared team space (15 percent), a cubicle (7 percent) and a think tank where individuals can have privacy (5 percent). When asked what they would change about their current workspaces, the top demand was for more storage (27 percent), better technology support (18 percent), more privacy (18 percent), a more comfortable chair (17 percent) and better lighting (14 percent).

BUSTED. The New York-based securities firms of Meyers Pollock Robbins Inc. and LT Lawrence and Company have handed over to Missouri Secretary of State Rebecca Cook their licenses to sell securities in Missouri. Both firms were named in cease and desist orders issued by Cook May 28, 1997, for numerous violations of Missouri securities laws. Missouri Securities Commissioner Douglas F. Wilburn instituted an investigation of the two firms after receiving complaints from investors in Missouri and other states. The firms had solicited Missouri residents to purchase low-priced speculative stocks through intensive high-pressure telemarketing campaigns. "Both these companies are examples of the kind of firms we do not want doing business in this state," Cook said. "In their course of doing business, both firms showed a definite pattern of operating as a fraud upon our citizens. Therefore, they were no longer welcome to do business in our state."

RAPID ROY. Dozens of legendary Ozarks auto racers are expected at the Ozarks Area Racers Reunion Jan. 24 at University Plaza, according to a news release from reunion organizers. Among the highlights of the event will be a discussion of early stock car racing by racing pioneer now Missouri associate circuit court judge E. Michael Hough, as well as other early stock-car racers. Also on the agenda are appearances by five-time NASCAR "Winston Series" Champion Larry Phillips, of Springfield, and Fair Grove's Dean Roper, three-time United States Auto Club stock-car champion. Some of the "colorful characters" of Ozarks racing are also planning to attend, the news release states, among them 76-year-old Vic Elson, of Ash Grove, and 80-year-old Roy Hansen, of Camdenton. Hansen raced until two years ago and "I'm thinking about getting back in," he said. "I've got an unrestricted medical on my pilot's license, and if I can fly an airplane, I for darn sure can still drive a race car."

IF YOU BUILD IT ... Someone will open a branch bank location to serve it, in this case, Guaranty Federal. Taking advantage of the recently completed extension of South National to Briar, Guaranty Federal Savings Bank opened its fifth location in November with the addition of a temporary facility at 4300 S. National, just south of Republic Road. Construction on a permanent facility will begin this year. Lobby hours for the new branch are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and drive-through hours are 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 8:30 a.m.-noon.

A VERY GOOD YEAR. That's the verdict of the Missouri Department of Economic Development regarding job creation, business expansion and exports in 1997. Preliminary figures, reported at the end of December, indicate 62,000 jobs were created in 1997; more than 225 businesses in areas tracked by the DED either located new facilities or expanded existing ones in Missouri; and exports reached $8.1 billion, up from $7.5 billion in 1996. The gross state product the sum of all goods and services produced in Missouri rose by 2.5 percent in 1997, topping $140.1 billion.

SLICE OF NICE. Unite. of Southwest Missouri presents the Multi-Cultural Opportunity Festival 1-5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19 (the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday) at the University Plaza Convention Center. Admission is free to the event, which will feature exhibitors from around the area who will provide information and answer questions about a variety of resources available to Springfield and surrounding communities. Other highlights include performances by area groups, including the Grupo Latinoamericano Musical Group, Voices of Deliverance Choir, Springfield Little Theatre, the James River Assembly Vocal Group and others.

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