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Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

For classmates of Jamyla Bolden, teddy bears and books help ease heartbreak

Pastor Willis Johnson of Wellspring Church led fourth graders at Koch Elementary in an affirmation. “I am somebody!” Johnson exclaimed. “I am somebody!” students replied. Johnson was there to hand out teddy bears donated by Build-A-Bear and books from the American Federation of Teachers. The effort was organized by his church’s Center for Social Empowerment and Justice, which was launched to support local business and schools in the Ferguson area.
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Clockwise from upper left: Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson
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Missouri Republicans bank on more presidential attention in 2016, and a trickle-down effect

At least six Republican presidential hopefuls will be headed to St. Louis in less than two weeks to address conservatives at an Eagle Forum convention. State Republican Party chairman John Hancock predicts those visits are only the start.
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St. Louis on the Air

Joyce joins legal roundtable to discuss Ball-Bey investigation, more

On the docket today: The shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey, municipal courts bill, takedown of Missouri's red light cameras, and more.

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Senator Claire McCaskill is embarking this week on an agricultural tour of the state.

The Democrat began Monday with a stop at the Danforth Plant Science Center, a non-profit research institute, in suburban St. Louis. The center’s campus also includes Bridge Park, an incubator that houses and helps develop life science startups.

After touring the facility, McCaskill said such research is key to the future of agriculture.

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones diverges from Knowles and Curtis when it comes to how municipal courts affect predominantly black cities.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones is following through with her campaign promises to help reduce the number of St. Louisans without a banking account and increase the number of St. Louis children who go to college.

Through a partnership with national nonprofit Operation Hope and five area banks, the treasurer’s office is hiring a financial counselor to offer St. Louisans free advice on how to improve their credit scores, buy a home and start a business.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, left foreground, and attorney Frankie Freeman, second from right, were featured at the Democrats' Truman Dinner.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Reflecting party leaders’ desire to change things up, the Missouri Democratic Party chose an unusual venue for Saturday night’s renamed Truman Dinner: the field of Busch Stadium.

The “unusual” extended to the evening’s highlight – a surprise video by Hillary Clinton, displayed on the “jumbo-tron” – and the closing: fireworks.

futureatlas.com | Flickr

Gas prices are on the rise again in St. Louis after a volatile couple of weeks. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $2.33 in St. Louis Saturday.

Prices bottomed out on Friday at an average cost of $2.14 a gallon in the Metro area, a 60 cent drop in less than two weeks. A Festus gas station went down to $1.85.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay speaks to the media before signing a minimum wage increase into law on Friday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Aldermen completed a harrowing process to raise the city’s minimum wage – a decision that supporters say will help the city's low-income workers.

But few believe that Friday’s affirmative vote marks the last word in the minimum wage saga, especially if businesses or business groups pursue legal action to invalidate the newly enacted ordinance.

Deborah Gambill and Ronald Montgomery display their collaborative effort, "Let's Heal STL."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

In November 2014 a St. Louis County grand jury ruled against indicting Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. Announcement of the decision sparked protest, and later on in the night, violence wracked Ferguson and parts of St. Louis.

Gallery 201 director Terry Suhre (left) talked with artists Brett Williams (middle) and Deborah Alma Wheeler (right) about their work in the exhibit "Exposure 18: Nervous Laughter."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

A trio of St. Louis-based artists featured at UMSL’s Gallery 210. Their work examines—and prompts—the kind of anxious and inappropriate reactions we display when a situation feels like it’s gone awry.

The exhibit, “Nervous Laughter,” is meant to engender some degree of unease for viewers; critiques of medicine and society, discussions on homosexual guilt and reason, and commentary on pop culture and the self are made with dark humor and subtle subversion. But the ultimate aim of the artists’ works is to snap viewers to attention and incite them to think.

A farm pond in southern Illinois
Deb Rednour

Missouri is one of 13 states that won a reprieve from a new Environmental Protection Agency rule that expands the definition of a navigable waterway.

The ruling comes after the states sued, claiming that the new Waters of the U.S. definition went too far, to the point of including ponds, channels that are dry most of the time, and streams that only flow when it’s raining.

Karin Hagaman
Provided by Grand Center Inc.

Grand Center Inc., which oversees development in the Midtown arts district, will be led by Karin Hagaman starting in mid-September. Currently head of project development at Cortex Innovation Community, Hagaman has experience in planning and executing the large-scale developments there.

school lunch - can't use more than 300 pixels wide
U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Rep. Vickie Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, Mo., is sponsoring legislation she says will allow some school districts to avoid a federal requirement to increase the cost of student lunches. The National School Lunch Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helps students who don’t qualify for free or reduced lunches to get a good meal, but the program requires participating schools to charge at least a threshold price of $2.70. 

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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