for the week ending October 6, 2017

Hayes Joins MTIA Team:  Kari Hayes joined the MTIA staff  September 25 as  business manager, succeeding Rose Dey, who is retiring after nearly thirty years with the association.  Kari has an extensive background in human resources management, training and meeting planning with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Office of State Courts Administrator, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.  She has also held similar HR positions in the private sector.  Kari completed her bachelor’s degree in management and human relations at MidAmerica Nazarene College.  She and her husband Mark and their two teenage children live in rural Maries County near Vienna.

Judge Vacates Co-Op Verdict, Case Still Pending: A federal judge last Friday vacated a $130.5 million trespassing verdict against a Missouri electric co-operative and its telecommunications affiliate, finding it was against the weight of the evidence.  The case goes back to 2011, when a group of landowners sued Sho-Me Electric Cooperative and Sho-Me Technologies, LLC for trespass and unjust enrichment for adding fiber-optic cables in the easements originally granted to the co-op for power.

In an earlier decision in 2015, the court had rejected a $79 million damage verdict in the case, and ordered a new trial to assess damages for trespass.  With the judge’s order to vacate the new $130.5 million award, the case will once again go back to court to determine a new award amount.  Despite the judge’s action, it is very likely that the co-op association will seek a legislative solution next session to address perspective easements used by utilities and how joint-use of the easement should be accommodated.

Miller Seeking Combo Tech:  MTIA member Miller Telephone Company is  looking to recruit a combination technician to replace long-time industry veteran Rick Rose, who is retiring after 41 years on the job.  A description of the position and job requirements are available upon request.  Interested candidates should send their resume ASAP to resume@millertelephone.com.

Third Quarter Muni Annexations  Available:  A statewide listing of recent annexations by Missouri municipalities is now available on the MTIA website at Third Quarter Annexations . A careful review of the list will assist telecom carriers to collect the correct municipal taxes for services provided in the newly-annexed areas.  Additional information is available from the technical support section for the local tax unit of the Missouri Department of Revenue by contacting localgov@dor.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-4876.

 Industry Partner of the Week:  MTIA member-company Telquip LLC is a manufacturer’s representative with a focus on serving the outside plant construction and maintenance needs of Missouri’s telecom carriers. For more information, contact Vicki Story-Agro, sales and support, at 913-972-1199, or visit them online at www.telquip.com.

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