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U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, greets teens at the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment in downtown St. Louis on Feb. 9, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democrats launch pitch for urban and suburban votes

For Missouri Democrats, success or failure this fall will likely hinge on whether they can persuade about 300,000 area voters to drop their habit of skipping mid-term elections.

Most of those infrequent voters are believed to be urban and suburban Democrats. And their absence at the polls in 2010 and 2014 are among the reasons why the state’s Democrats have found themselves seriously outnumbered in the Missouri Capitol. Which helps explain why the state party set up an unusual schedule for Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who’s vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, when he flew into St. Louis earlier this month.

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St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger announces St. Louis County has earned Certified Work Ready Community status at a press conference on Feb. 21, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County has joined 50 other Missouri counties in receiving Certified Work Ready Community status. County officials announced the designation Wednesday, saying it highlights the county’s competitive workforce.

“A skilled workforce is the heart of a strong economy,” said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. “As a CWRC, St. Louis County is sending a signal to the world that our workforce is highly skilled and businesses can expect to grow and thrive here.”

 

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis aldermen will wait a few months before voting on a bill that would change the city’s residency requirement.

A committee heard public testimony on Alderwoman Carol Howard’s bill earlier this month but did not take a vote. The current session of the board essentially ends in March, and Howard, D-14th Ward, now says she will wait until lawmakers come back after the break for a new session in April to get a different version approved.

Kristen Goodman performs her original song 'I’m Ready' for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert in January 2017.
Kristen Goodman via YouTube

Updated Feb. 21 with St. Louis on the Air conversation about contest starting  Tiny Desk Contest is now live! Use this entry form to enter, and tag your entry with #TinyDeskSTL so we can share it here in the St. Louis area. Good luck, Tiny Desk musicians.

Calling all St. Louis musicians: The 2018 Tiny Desk Contest from NPR Music officially begins Feb. 20.

You may submit a video of you or your band playing an original song behind a desk — any desk — and you could win a chance to play your own Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., before embarking on a nationwide tour. The winner will also appear at a taping of NPR’s "Ask Me Another." Submissions are due March 25.

Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 21 with St. Louis on the Air conversation with reporter Chris McDaniel

Original story from Feb. 20 — A BuzzFeed News investigation has found that a St. Louis-area compounding pharmacy with a troubled safety history has provided execution drugs to the state of Missouri for the last four years.

Sources told BuzzFeed News reporter Chris McDaniel that Foundation Care, based in Earth City, supplied the drugs for 17 executions since February 2014. Foundation Care denied its participation in executions to McDaniel, and did not respond to requests for comment from St. Louis Public Radio.

Culinary professionals Alex Feick (at left) and Josh Charles (center) joined Sauce Magazine editor Catherine Klene to talk about how they manage demanding careers alongside parenthood and other aspects of their lives.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like many new parents, Josh Charles sensed that a major switch had been flipped the moment his baby was born 11 months ago. He knew right away that the days ahead would look different for him, professionally speaking, than the previous decade he’d spent cooking in fine-dining kitchens.

“The typical restaurant hours were just something that I could not do anymore,” the chef said this week on St. Louis on the Air. “I had been used to working Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at minimum, and I just knew that being locked into that restaurant wasn’t going to be cohesive for the hours that I needed to be there for my family.”

Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

Saint Louis University's School of Business will be renamed the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business after a $15 million donation from Richard A. Chaifetz and his wife Jill Chaifetz.
Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University’s School of Business will be renamed the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. The university announced Tuesday that Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, the founder, chairman and CEO at ComPsych Corporation and his wife, Jill Chaifetz, have contributed $15 million to the school. The change is effective immediately.

Richard Chaifetz, a SLU alumnus and trustee, said while his gift contribution does not have set requirements, he hopes it will boost the reputation of the business school that is ranked ninth nationally in undergraduate entrepreneurship.

(L-R) Nicole Roach, Catrina Salama and Kenneth Pruitt talked about recognizing unconscious bias, how to manage it and how that can help further understanding and inclusion.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Workplaces and institutions are implementing un-bias trainings to promote inclusivity. According to Kenneth Pruitt, director of diversity training at Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP), training without follow-ups or contextualization can backfire.

The head of the St. Louis Regional Chamber is resigning, effective at the end of the month. Joe Reagan has been president and CEO of the organization since 2012. The chamber's board already has a replacement lined up — at least on a temporary basis.

The prolific author and TV and radio host will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at Powell Hall.
Rick Steves’ Europe

With more than 50 guidebooks to his name, Rick Steves is a go-to authority on international travel – particularly when it comes to Europe. But whether one’s destination is Italy or India, his main piece of advice is to travel thoughtfully.

“You just have to decide,” Steves said in a St. Louis on the Air interview just prior to his Feb. 20 visit to the Gateway City as part of the St. Louis Speakers Series. “Do you want to lie on the beach with a bunch of other Americans, or do you want to actually get out into the local culture and check things out?”

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St. Louis on the Air

Thursday: Homelessness in St. Louis and a local film addressing the issue

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will talk about a new documentary film that features the stories of homeless people in St. Louis and, more broadly, about the issue of homelessness.

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