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Everlene Falconer, 64, waves to her family after receiving her diploma from the University of Missouri-St. Louis on December 15, 2018.
August Jennewein | UMSL

‘I did it my way’: St. Louis grandmother earns her college degree

When it comes to her education, Everlene Falconer won’t let anything stand in her way. The 64-year-old received her Bachelor of Educational Studies on Saturday from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Falconer earned her degree in less than four years, while also working part-time, completing internships and caring for her five grandchildren.

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(L-R) Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, Amina Musa and Kristy Jackson discussed the advancement of women in the workplace.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

2018 has been coined as another “year of the woman” due to the political strides made during the midterm elections, where women voting in record-breaking numbers and entered more political offices. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh explored other platforms where women are advancing and how various local organizations are creating environments for women to thrive and grow professionally.

Joining Marsh were three women whose organizations are collaborating and focusing on empowering women in the workplace. 

Nicole Galloway poses for a portrait at St. Louis Public Radio. March, 22, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It appears to be up to Missouri’s last remaining statewide Democrat – Auditor Nicole Galloway – to investigate the validity of allegations of campaign violations made against outgoing state Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Galloway said Friday that she’ll comply with the request of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican who initially had been charged with examining a formal complaint filed against Hawley.

The complaint alleges Hawley, also a Republican, used public money to support his Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. Hawley defeated McCaskill and will take office in January.

Zenique Gardner-Perry (at left) is Safe Connections' prevention education manager. Katie Zezima is a Washington Post national correspondent whose recent reporting looks into the killings of women in cities across the U.S.
St. Louis Public Radio & The Washington Post

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went behind the headlines on a newly published investigation by the Washington Post. That report found that 48 of the 148 women killed in St. Louis from 2007 to 2017 were murdered by an intimate partner – and that one-third of those men were publicly known to be a potential threat before the attacks occurred.

“We analyzed homicide data of women in 47 major U.S. cities, and it was 4,484 killings of women,” national correspondent Katie Zezima explained while talking with Marsh and Zenique Gardner-Perry, prevention education manager for Safe Connections. “And what we found was that [overall] 46 percent of these women died at the hands of an intimate partner. What we did then was we closely analyzed the homicides in five of the cities, including St. Louis.”

St. Louis Alderman Jack Coatar, D-7th Ward, speaks during debate on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, over legislation to pay for convention center renovations.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5 p.m. Dec. 14 with final passage — The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has authorized borrowing $105 million to upgrade America's Center in downtown.

The result of Friday's vote was not a surprise, as aldermen had given initial approval to the bonds on Dec. 7 by a wide margin. The upgrades, including a larger ballroom and expanded loading dock space, are meant to help the city's convention business rebound.

The initials of Barbara Taylor are engraved into the keep of the new USS St. Louis at a Wisconsin shipyard in 2017,
U.S. Navy

The latest in a long line of military ships called the USS St. Louis goes into service Saturday.

A christening will be held at a shipyard in Wisconsin to launch the ship, which will be able to operate closer to the shore than other military vessels, as well as in the open ocean.

State officials are testing the Marriott St. Louis West after two guests who stayed at the hotel this fall were diagnosed with the bacterial lung infection Legionnaires' disease.
Google Maps

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is investigating a west St. Louis County hotel after two recent guests developed Legionnaires’ disease.

Two people stayed at the Marriott St. Louis West during separate visits this fall, a release from the department said. One person was diagnosed with the bacterial infection in October and the other in November. The illness is fatal in about 10 percent of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Max, a 14-year-old African elephant, at Grant's Farm.
Grant's Farm

The last remaining elephant at Grant’s Farm has died this week, following the deaths of two others this month.

Max, a 14-year-old African elephant, died on Wednesday night. Two elephants, Toby and Mickey died earlier this month. Grant’s Farm did not release a cause of death for them, but Mickey had lived with a brain tumor. Another elephant, Bud, died in March due to pneumonia. 

Grant’s Farm did not release a cause of death for Max. 

A pair of bald eagles.
Christopher Grau

Conservation groups are looking for volunteers to contribute their birdwatching skills for the 119th annual Christmas bird count.

Between now and Jan. 5, experienced birders around the world are holding events where people can help count local birds. In Missouri, there are 20 counts taking place in areas that are good for observing wildlife, such as state parks and wildlife refuges.

Citizen surveys like the Christmas bird count can help scientists track bird populations, said Jean Favara, conservation manager at the Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton.

Michelle Purdy is an assistant professor of education at Washington University and the author of "Transforming the Elite: Black Students and the Desegregation of Private Schools."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Wanda Ward. Jannard Wade. Malcolm Ryder. Those names probably don’t sound as familiar as Ruby Bridges or the “Little Rock Nine,” who are celebrated figures in the history of American civil rights. But during the same era in which Bridges and so many other black students were bravely challenging public school segregation in the South, some of their peers were also taking bold steps to integrate private institutions.

That topic first piqued Michelle Purdy’s interest about 20 years ago, when she was an undergrad at Washington University exploring the history of education and particularly black education. Now a faculty member at her alma mater, she’s published a new book on the subject, and she joined Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss it with host Don Marsh.

Fans at LouFest 2017 basked in tunes and perfect weather. Sept. 2017
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Logic Systems Sound and Lighting, the Valley Park-based company that had been hired to work the 2018 festival, is suing LouFest’s promoter for breach of contract.

In a suit filed last month in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Logic Systems detailed over $70,000 it claims Listen Live Entertainment owes it for work on the canceled festival, plus three other events held earlier in the year.

Logic Systems owner Chip Self said he considered it a “long shot” that the suit will yield a payday. He sued, he said, in part to stand up for other vendors who haven’t been paid for their services.


St. Louis on the Air

Monday: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson highlights priorities ahead of session

Political reporter Jason Rosenbaum’s wide-ranging interview with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will discuss workforce development, infrastructure, healthcare, right-to-work and other issues.

Special Report

How McKee’s rehab plans made big promises to St. Louis but left buildings to rot

Nearly a decade after Paul McKee sold St. Louis on a vision worth billions to rehab more than 150 properties on the north side, roofs have caved, walls have crumbled and residents have lost patience.