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

LouFest vendor sues festival over unpaid bills

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.

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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.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signs a ceremonial transfer document. 12/13/18
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has transferred 97 acres of land to the federal government to build a $1.75- billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus. The transfer to the U.S. Air Force is part of St. Louis’ deal with the agency, which will establish a new headquarters for the agency in the St. Louis Place neighborhoodin north St. Louis.

Officials who spoke at the transfer ceremony heralded the project as the largest investment ever made in St. Louis. The campus will have 3,100 permanent employees and construction will create 1,500 additional jobs, according to city representatives.

Irene Agustin (left) and Teka Childress joined Thursday's St. Louis on the Air to discuss homelessness in the St. Louis area during the winter season.
EVIE HEMPHILL AND TEKA CHILDRESS

Temperatures have yet to reach their coldest levels this season in the St. Louis area, but people experiencing homelessness are already enduring the unforgiving conditions of a winter without shelter.

Director of the St. Louis Department of Human Services Irene Agustin told host Don Marsh on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air that the city last counted “a little over 1,300 [unhoused people] both in shelters and on the street.”

But Teka Childress, founder of the volunteer-powered St. Louis Winter Outreach, suggested that this count could be incomplete, due to how challenging it can be to attain an accurate total.

A Washington, D.C. based think-tank has released a report showing just how hard Saudi Arabia is trying to influence the American government using lobbyists and PR campaigns. One senator from Missouri made the top 10 list of politicians taking campaign contributions from firms representing the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Four years ago, Chris Miner decided to apply to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Then 40-years-old, Miner was encouraged to apply by a counselor at the community college he attended. He was told he was a shoe-in.

He sat down at his computer and started the application. But then Miner faced this question: Have you ever been convicted of a crime?

“I just sat there and stared at the screen for like 10 minutes,” he said. “It was like everything, every advancement I had made so far might be over with, maybe this is the end of the ride.”

A stand of trees in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri looks a little more sparse than what is often depicted in a forest.

The trees are eight to ten feet apart, and that’s on purpose, fire management officer Greg Painter said.

Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Americans have until Saturday to sign up for coverage on the federal, online insurance marketplace. The Affordable Care Act set up healthcare.gov to help people find affordable health care and access income-based subsidies to help pay for it.

But the federal government is cutting funding for outreach and the enrollment period has been cut in half. As a result, fewer people are signing up nationwide. Missouri has one of the highest drops in enrollment.

(from left) Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, Jason Purnell and Monika Kincheloe joined Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air to discuss the intersections between health and education.
Evie Hemphill and Monika Kincheloe

A recent situation involving a first-grade student in the University City School District prompted teachers and administrators to consider an unconventional approach.

Rather than immediately focus on any instruction or behavior in the classroom, the district sought to provide the student and his family with basic needs – a trip to the doctor, food and toiletry items.

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking to remove thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of waterways from Clean Water Act protections.

The EPA said Tuesday it believes the proposed changes to the “Waters of the United States” rule will reduce inefficiencies and allow landowners to have the freedom they need over their property.

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St. Louis on the Air

BTH: The Washington Post’s analysis of domestic violence in the St. Louis area

Host Don Marsh will go behind the headlines on a newly published investigation by the Washington Post.

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.