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Ferguson Historical Society

Ferguson's yesterdays offer clues to the troubled city of today

The photo is an iconic image of post-World War II America: A bustling downtown main street lined with sturdy Chevys, Fords and Chryslers. Pedestrians strolling past a hodgepodge of storefronts with flashy light-up signs: Barbays Self-Service Market, King Drugs, Florsheim shoes, Coca Cola. This was Ferguson, Mo., in the late 1950s, just past the midpoint of its 120-year history.
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Union Avenue Opera's "Rigoletto"
John Lamb | Union Avenue Opera

Reflection: From 'Rigoletto's' dark welter of decay, contrast offers a path to goodness

Musicologists have had a field day divvying up the operas of the towering Italian genius Giuseppe Verdi. “Rigoletto” -- performed this weekend with artistic muscle and dramatic agility by Union Avenue Opera – is pigeonholed in his middle period, along with the Il trovatore and La traviata.
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Cityscape

Becoming Spellbound! at Stray Dog Theatre

Told through a mash-up of fairy tales and fables, Spellbound! A Musical Fable details one woman’s quest for self-acceptance and strength—and its world premiere is August 6 here in St. Louis.

Classical Music

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Provided by candidate

Amid their hunt for a bunch of statewide candidates, Missouri Democrats now have at least one well-known contender for secretary of state:  former KMOV reporter Robin Smith.

Smith, who just retired from her 40-year TV career, announced Sunday that she plans to run for the statewide post – which will be open in the 2016 election because Democratic incumbent Jason Kander for running for the U.S. Senate.

Rev. Steve Lawler of St. Stephen's Episcopal and Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr. of Wellspring Church teamed up to organize a week of workshops at Wellspring ahead of the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.
courtesy Open Road PR

Two Ferguson churches are teaming up to create an "incubator" for racial and economic justice. St. Stephen’s Episcopal and Wellspring churches are launching the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice with a week of workshops leading up to the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Sunday, Aug. 9.

The center will be on the Wellspring campus and house several small nonprofits dedicated to supporting education and small businesses.

After meeting with female veterans and healthcare providers, Blunt walks to the VA Women's Clinic in St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

After stopping at the VA medical center in Jefferson Barracks, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he continues to be concerned about the long waiting lists of veterans seeking treatment. 

Blunt says he’s particularly worried about growing delays in treating combat-related mental illness and emotional problems. He says the VA should be responding quickly to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and should be committed to offering the nation’s best treatments.

stock photo
Kurhan | sxc.hu

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., believes Medicare needs a few tweaks, but must remain to provide health care coverage to the tens of millions of Americans.

A panel largely made up of local medical experts agreed with her.  “Medicare has been very successful in achieving its basic mission,” said Brit Pim, Vice President & General Manager of Government Programs for Express Scripts Inc.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The city could pay developer Paul McKee for his redevelopment rights, as well as his land, if the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency chooses the north city site.

St. Louis Development Corporation executive director Otis Williams confirmed that this week. He told St. Louis Public Radio the city is negotiating with McKee over both.

Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice
YouTube | Fair Housing conference

Updated 4:30 p.m. with comments from Civil Rights Division and react - A 20-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice has found the St. Louis County Family Court violates the constitutional rights of children in its custody.

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

It will be this fall at the earliest before Congress begins negotiating provisions in a cyber-security bill. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says he’s disappointed a bill wasn’t ready to be debated next week, before senators leave town for their month-long August break. The House left Wednesday night.

Author Jeff Lindsay
Hilary Hemingway

If you’re one of the thousands of die-hard fans of Dexter Morgan, vigilante serial killer, you may not be familiar with Jeff Lindsday; but you nevertheless owe him quite a lot.

Lindsay is the author of the original books from which the immensely popular Showtime series “Dexter” are based, and the creator of the series’ anti-hero. He spoke on “Cityscape” about Dexter’s final book, “Dexter Is Dead,” and about his experience as the author of its murderous but oddly beloved main character.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, presides over the Missouri Senate on Wednesday. Dempsey missed the final two days of session to attend his daughter's college graduation.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The top Republican in the Missouri Senate is stepping down.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey announced on Friday he will resign from his St. Charles County-based Senate seat next Friday. In a lengthy statement, the Republican legislator cited a return to the private sector and a desire to be closer to his wife and three children.

Rep. Lacy Clay
St. Louis Public Radio

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, is appointing Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, to the House Natural Resources Committee.  “Since my earliest days in the U.S. House, I’ve been a dedicated advocate for cleaning up contaminated sites, stronger clean air and water standards, and protecting our precious forests, coastlines and wilderness refuges,” Clay said, in a statement released from his office.

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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