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An "out of order" sign hangs from the pipes of a water fountain at Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Worried about lead? Here’s what you need to know

When preliminary tests by St. Louis Public Schools found that dozens of faucets and water fountains contained traces of lead, the district shut them off before the school year began. District spokesperson Patrick Wallace said that to his knowledge, the schools’ water had not been tested for lead within the past 10 years. A full survey released Thursday found elevated lead levels found in 88 district water fountains and sinks.
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Legacy nuclear waste at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton was thought to be contained behind this fence, but a new study has detected radiation in trees offsite.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

A special master has allowed the state to proceed with groundwater testing at wells in the portion of the West Lake Landfill where World War II-era radioactive waste has been detected. The decision Wednesday in a circuit court of St. Louis County comes after landfill owner Republic Services tried to stop the testing from moving forward. The tests were scheduled to begin Aug. 22, but the work was delayed when Republic Services attorney Peter Daniel wrote Assistant Attorney General Thais Folta to inform him the company would not permit the sampling.

Gateway ARch Sunshine
(photo by Tim Tolle via Flickr Creative Commons)

The superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial says the work to renovate the ground around the Gateway Arch could be an example for other national parks as they deal with the possibility of under-funding by the federal government.

Sam Moore shared this photo of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park in 2014.
Sam Moore | @museumsamstl | http://bit.ly/2bQ80A7

August 25th marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. In observance of the anniversary, St. Louis on the Air talked with those who have had experience inside the parks about what exactly could be done to ensure the parks' sustainability (financial, environmental and otherwise) amid calls to privatize the parks.

paper ballot voting places
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

(Updated Aug. 25 with ruling on campaign donations) – A Cole County judge has sided with supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to restore campaign contribution limits.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 contains language that would ban campaign donations from investor-owned utilities and state chartered banks. Circuit judge Patricia Joyce ruled Thursday that that particular ban would not violate Missouri's constitution.

Cora Faith Walker
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jenny Simeone welcome state Rep.-elect Cora Faith Walker to the show for the first time.

Walker recently won a Democratic primary to represent the 74th District, which takes in portions of north St. Louis County. Because she has no Republican opponent, she will take office next year. (Even if she did have a GOP opponent, her district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so she most likely would have still won. )

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Environmental attorneys have petitioned the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to ban commercial trapping of the state's freshwater turtles. 

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Great Rivers Law Center filed the petition Wednesday, arguing that harvesting turtles has led significantly to the decline of many species. In the last five years, more than 17 million freshwater turtles have been exported from the U.S. to Asia to be processed into food and traditional Chinese medicine.

Missouri is one of a few states that doesn't impose a limit on how many turtles anyone with a commercial fishing permit may take. 

Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club, presents a check to Jeffery Xiong after he won the 2016 U.S. Junior Closed tournament in St, Louis. At right is Mike Kummer, deputy arbiter.
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

I've had the pleasure of knowing Jeffery Xiong since he started taking his first pawns. Jeffery is the current rock star of the junior chess world, having last week won the World Junior Championship in Bhubaneswar, India.

The tournament brought together the strongest players from around the world age 20 or younger, and it was the 15-year old grandmaster from Coppell, Texas, who achieved the remarkable. It was the first time in 19 years that the title went to an American - already quite notable. However, and perhaps most impressive, Jeffery is the youngest player in history to have won this title.

A person filling in a standardized test bubble sheet with a pencil.
Flickr | Alberto G.

The latest statewide averages for ACT scores are out, and for the first time both Missouri and Illinois have a complete picture of how well their students did.

With 100 percent of 2016 graduating seniors participating, Missouri students scored an average of 20.2 and Illinois students scored an average of 20.8 out of 36.

District website

A Ladue high school student who filed suit saying he was harassed by classmates who called him names like “faggot” will receive $75,000 from the district under a settlement unsealed Wednesday.

The settlement also calls on the district to conduct training in bullying and harassment and for parents of students subjected to such behavior to be notified as soon as possible.

Mizzou's Columns
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The committee searching for a new president for the University of Missouri system is working to narrow the list of candidates from a few dozen before starting interviews.

Committee co-chair Jim Whitaker of Kansas City said Wednesday the group made up of the system’s curators plus representatives of all four campuses still hopes to have a successor to Tim Wolfe chosen by the end of the year.

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St. Louis on the Air

Friday: Behind the Headlines — Remembering George Curry

On Friday's program, we'll remember George Curry and his many contributions to journalism both nationally and in St. Louis as well as his efforts in mentoring aspiring young journalists.

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