Business memo 11/18/02

Monday, November 18, 2002

Shelter Insurance to close Cape branch

Shelter Insurance Cos. will close its Cape Girardeau branch claims office and consolidate the Cape Girardeau claims operations into the companies' branch office in St. Louis, the company announced last week.

The closing, which affects about 11 employees, will take effect Feb. 1. The Cape Girardeau office is at 20 S. Mount Auburn Road.

Pat Gruber, Shelter's vice president of claims, said the employees would be offered positions as resident adjusters and work out of their homes, or they would be offered a severance payment when the office closes.

Area growers to get session on weeds, pests

Crop producers and advisers from Southeast Missouri will receive special attention during the annual Crop Management Conference, Dec. 18 and 19, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

A breakout session on insect and weed pests of the Bootheel will be featured, said Andy Kendig, weed scientist at the MU Delta Center in Portageville, Mo.

The annual conference provides early warnings for the coming year on crop pests and how to control them. The program allows farmers to get the latest alerts and new research results.

The section for Bootheel farmers will be taught by faculty from the Delta Center. Topics include: cotton, rice and other crops; crop insects; weed management; and crop diseases.

Participants from the Southeast can also hear topics covered in other general sessions.

Pre-registration is $150 per person before Dec. 11. A $25 late fee is added after that. Registration information can be obtained from Amber Martinez, (573) 882-8320, or via e-mail.

Brisk labor market in store for area, group says

Job postings will be plentiful in Southeast Missouri this winter if the first-quarter employment outlook survey issued by Manpower last week is right.

In its regular survey of the January-March period, 30 percent of the firms questioned said they plan staffing level increases, 10 percent projected reductions and 60 percent expected no change during the winter months.

Job prospects in the new year appear most likely in durable and non-durable goods, manufacturing, transportation/public utilities, and financial/insurance/real estate, according to Manpower. Cutbacks are forecast for construction and wholesale/retail trade. Mixed readings come from services.

Hospital group gives St. Francis ad award

The Missouri Hospital Association has awarded St. Francis Medical Center with Best of Show for its obstetrics outdoor advertising. At its annual Show-Me Excellence Awards, the MHA recognized nine marketing and public relations projects submitted by St. Francis and its agency of record, The Roberts Group Inc.

St Francis Medical Center received awards for the several health care projects, including several first- and second-place awards.

Founded in 1922, the Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit membership association. The awards were accepted by Steven C. Bjelich, president and CEO of St. Francis Medical Center.

-- From staff reports

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