By: Bob McCarty
Bob McCarty Writes
A story that bears many similarities to the one involving Solyndra, the Fremont, Calif., “green energy” company that received $500 million in federal loan guarantees shortly before filing for bankruptcy, is taking place in tiny Moberly, Mo.
Founded in 1866, Moberly is a town that, according to the city’s website, seemed to spring from the prairie overnight in 1873, earning it the title, “The Magic City.” One-hundred-thirty-eight years later, the city of almost 14,000 lost a little bit of its magic when a start-up newspaper founded by Janet Morales closed its doors.
Morales, 54, founded The Moberly (Mo.) Mirror & County Observer after working three years at the long-established daily newspaper, the Moberly Monitor-Index, as a news reporter. Unfortunately, her newspaper venture would end also — in April 2011 — after she caught flak for having had the gumption to ask local officials questions about an economic development project Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) announced July 9, 2010, would bring 612 jobs to the community.
That economic development project involved Mamtek International, a sucralose-production company that needed a U.S. location for a new facility where it would use a new “green” approach to make its artificial sweetener/sugar substitute, Sweet.Zero™.