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Children at the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program line up to play dodgeball last Tuesday. The camp takes place at Greater St. Mark Family Church's school, which had its air conditioning units stolen earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the Trail: Church that played 'vital role' in Ferguson unrest is literally feeling the heat

On a balmy Tuesday afternoon, dozens of young children could feel the competitive spirit floating through the hallways of Greater St. Mark Family Church’s school. Youngsters enrolled in the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program filed into a gymnasium to play a spirited game of kickball. It’s one of numerous activities offered at the camp, which caters mainly to low-income children from north St. Louis County. But competitiveness wasn’t the only thing wafting through the building. Walk into certain classrooms, and the sticky, sweaty aura of heat is unmistakable.
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Unidentified artist, Helmet mask, wood. length of 30 and one-half inches. The Arti Institute of Chicago, African and Amerindian Purchase Fund, 1963:842
Provided by St. Louis Art Museum

Reflection: 'Senufo,' at St. Louis Art Museum, shows the wellspring of modernism

“Senufo Unbound: Dynamics of Art and Identity in West Africa,” an exhibit of extraordinary interest that opened recently at the St. Louis Art Museum, is the rare bird that flies between two branches with grace and a keen sense of intelligent direction.
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Cityscape

St. Louis improv theater finds community in comedy

When you think of improv comedy, you’re more likely to think of Chicago than St. Louis. But St. Louis has a theater of its own, and it’s attracting a growing number of students and audiences.

Classical Music

Classical 90.7 KWMU-3

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Jamala Rogers (bottom left) and John Chasnoff (bottom right) after the civilian oversight board they have championed for 30 years received initial approval on April 15, 2015
Katelyn Petrin/St. Louis Public Radio

The process of getting the new St. Louis police civilian oversight board up and running has taken another small step forward.

The Veiled Prophet and his Queen of Love and Beauty at the 2015 VP Parade in Forest Park.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Crowds decked out in red, white and blue were treated to a feast for the eyes and ears at the VP Parade Saturday morning in Forest Park. The parade had something for everyone, from marching bands and massive floating balloons to elaborate floats and superheroes driving four-wheelers and passing out candy. There were even Elvis impersonators and a Chinese dragon brigade.

But tucked in-between Elvis and a gardening float was a scene out of a bygone era. A troupe of men carrying javelins rode up first on horses decked out with the VP emblem. Then came two floats designed to look like chariots: the first pulled by a dragon, the second by a pair of swans. Enthroned on both chariots were women in elaborate gowns and men with their faces obscured by lacy veils.

Sarah Kellogg

Most of the major waterways in the St. Louis region have crested or are near their crests following the wettest June on record.  More than 13.1 inches of rain fell last month, nearly an inch more than the previous record set in 2003,

High water levels on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers are declining and the Missouri River at St. Charles is forecast to crest at about four feet above flood stage Saturday afternoon.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Around 400 people crowded onto the South Lawn of the Missouri Capitol Friday to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the laying of the building's cornerstone and to learn which items will be placed inside a new time capsule.

Courtesy Union Avenue Opera

Union Avenue Opera opens its 21st festival season on July 10 with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” When “Cityscape" host Steve Potter pointed out that age 21 in people usually indicates adulthood, UAO Artistic Director Scott Schoonover responded, “We have actually played around with that imagery, thinking about coming into our own at 21. We actually have a pretty serious season this year … a bit heavier in that sense. I think people will still enjoy it and get a lot out of it, but coming into our own, yes.”

Carmellena Blockton (black pants) and Diva Sweat Girls
Ambee's Photography

In March, Carmellena Blockton set out to provide an outlet for young girls in St. Louis to develop social skills, learn physical fitness and to increase self-confidence. Straying away from the traditional mentoring program, she chose a different approach and created a hip-hop inspired majorette dance team entitled “Diva Sweat Girls.”

Diva Sweat originally began in 2013 as an adult dance class. As time went on, Blockton noticed a need in her community and decided to take action.

Jefferson Barracks cemetery
Mary Delach Leonard I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County government is planning public meetings later this summer about expanding Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, which has been a longtime priority for veterans groups.

For years, the county has been negotiating about selling part of Sylvan Springs Park with the Veterans Administration so it would have more cemetery space. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger told reporters that public meetings will take place in mid-July, and will include staffers from the county parks department and the VA.

Author Eric Greitens talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on March 16, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Greitens, author and former Navy Seal, has yet to officially announce whether he’s seeking Missouri’s Republican nomination for governor in 2016.

But St. Louis-based Greitens already has collected at least $1.4 million in 2015 in large donations of more than $5,000 apiece. His largest monthly haul -- $540,000 – was in June.

So far this year, Greitens has been Missouri’s undisputedly biggest recipient of large donations.

Fireworks, fourth of july, reflected, horizontal, arch
Rachel Heidenry | 2008

Journalists can be an irreverent lot, yet most of us believe devoutly in the sanctity of the First Amendment. The Fourth of July is its holy day, and we are its acolytes. But this year, the celebration of a free press ought to be tempered with doses of concern and reality.

Sarah Kellogg

The St. Louis Fire Department is cautioning St. Louis area residents against setting off fireworks this weekend.

The use of consumer fireworks is legal in Missouri, but illegal in St. Louis city and county.

“We hear them in South City, North City, the West End, downtown, they’re illegal. It’s illegal in the city of St. Louis to shoot fireworks: bottle rockets, firecrackers, sparklers, anything,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said.

Some surrounding counties do allow the use of consumer fireworks.

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Community Engagement

The Listening Project: Why is it hard to find affordable housing?

Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing explains that few new units are built and roadblocks can trip up those looking