St. Louis Public Radio
Construction continues on the 802,000-square-foot replacement hospital and outpatient care center for SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Aug 16, 2018
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Workforce shortage casts shadow on St. Louis construction sites

The construction industry is booming. Nationally, employment in the sector increased by 303,000 over the past year, reaching a 10-year high, according to an analysis of the latest government data by the Associated General Contractors of America Association. In the St. Louis region, contractors and unions report they are near full-employment, but a shortage of next generation tradesmen and women is making recruitment a top priority for many local construction companies.

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Protestors against dark money make their presence known in Washington.
Dark Money, a PBS Distribution release

With a growing lack of transparency clouding money’s influence on politics around the United States, a new film digs into the issue by zooming in on one state in particular: Montana.

Why Montana? The choice of setting came down to three factors: the presence of whistleblowers, diligent enforcers of campaign-finance law and a watchdog press.

“We could actually tell the story there,” the documentary’s director, Kimberly Reed, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air.

Latasha Johnson's eviction story was at the center of a case that has implications for Missouri tenants and landlords.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on a case that “We Live Here” zeroed in on at the beginning of the podcast's season. 

The podcast’s most recent episode is about the case of Latasha Johnson, whose eviction proceedings made it to the state's highest court because of its importance to tenants’ rights. The court ruled in favor of Johnson's landlord but it also laid out some important new guidelines for tenants’ rights. However, the ruling did nothing to change Johnson’s situation or expunge the eviction from her record.

Charles "Drew" Juden was one of former Gov. Eric Greitens' earliest picks for his Cabinet. Juden will step down as DPS director on Aug. 31.
File photo | Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is replacing one of the Missouri Cabinet members he inherited from former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charles “Drew” Juden has served as public safety director since January 2017. He was among three Cabinet picks Greitens announced before his inauguration.

Col. Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will serve as interim director while a search for a successor is conducted. She will continue to head the Highway Patrol as well.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Tory Knight takes inventory at The Lost Whiskey in June. Part of the new proposal includes raising the amount of an establishment's revenue that must come from food sales to 60 percent.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Charles City Council plans to introduce an ordinance next week aimed at taming North Main Street’s late night revelers. The new plan comes after an initial proposal of an early ‘last call’ ignited an uproar from area bar owners and failed to advance.

Dave Beckering, a council member and backer of both proposed ordinances, said disturbances from people exiting bars and nightclubs on North Main Street have spun out of control in the last two years, creating late-night traffic that police can’t handle.

Cancer researcher Samuel Achilefu telling a story at the Story Collider podcast's live taping at the Ready Room in June 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The reason someone chooses to pursue science can be complicated. For Samuel Achilefu, a cancer researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine, his interest in science can be traced back to a traumatic childhood. At the Story Collider’s most recent live taping in St. Louis, he described growing up in Nigeria during the 1960s, when civil war forced him and his family to leave their home and spend years looking for a safe place to live.

The John Robinson Homes opened in 1943 as a segregated apartment complex for black families in East St. Louis.
William Widmer | Special to ProPublica

The door is off its hinges in Farlon Wilson’s bathroom. Wilson said that’s an improvement from when she first moved in, when there was no bathroom door at all. She said she’s putting in work orders to fix the problems nearly every week.

“The tub won’t stop leaking and the floor is about to fall,” Wilson said while demonstrating how the floor bends under the pressure of her foot. “I have no access to my bathroom water, period. I’ve had to turn it off because it’s leaking in my kitchen.”

Downstairs in the kitchen, she motioned to a patch in the ceiling where water once leaked through and later talked about how she and her family’s breathing has been affected by mold. She pays less than $100 a month in rent.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Although Mike Parson has been a regular fixture at the Missouri State Fair for several years, the 2018 fair is his first as governor of the state.

And he spent much of Thursday preaching the need to improve infrastructure to help the state’s agriculture industry.

Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon, Illinois, is one recipient of a set of grants targeting arts organizations in rural areas. 8/16
Arts and Education Council

Nine arts groups in Missouri and Illinois will share $45,000 in grants announced Wednesday by Arts and Education Council, a nonprofit agency funded by private donations.

The money is split between two programs, each funded by Monsanto Fund. One offers general, organizational support to established arts organizations in rural areas; the other funds smaller groups planning new programs or events.

Mitch Margo is also the author of “Black Hearts White Minds,” a novel set in 1964.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with attorney Mitch Margo, the Missouri Valley Conference’s general counsel, about the legal aspects of employer policies regarding protests, especially by team sports players, and the racial implications of them.

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St. Louis on the Air

Monday: Disappearing data

Host Don Marsh will discuss the importance of preserving data and other information resources, particularly in the public sector.

25 years later: Remembering the Great Flood of '93

Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 1, 1993, the Mississippi River crested in St. Louis at the highest level ever recorded — 49.58 feet. Residents can still feel the impact of the watershed disaster today.