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Addie Bond, a St. Louis parent, Special Administrative Board member Richard Gaines and legal counsel Jonathan Dalton listen to a presentation during a governance task force meeting Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Task force recommends St. Louis public schools return to local control … eventually

A task force on the future governance of St. Louis’ public schools says control of the district should eventually return to local, democratic oversight, but members struggled to agree on much else. In a noon meeting that lasted well into Wednesday evening, a committee assigned with determining St. Louis Public Schools’ future recommended the restoration of an elected school board, but with the caveat that in seven years voters would get to choose whether to keep that elected board.

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A perplexus chess set and board created by Victor Vaserly, edition 210/1500, collection of Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield
Michael DeFilippo

When Victor Vasarely, the father of op art, first began to experiment with optical illusions, he needed a canvas on which to put down his thoughts. That canvas had to be square. His two other choices were round, which was totally impractical, or rectangular, which would beg the question: Which way to hang the finished work? So he chose the shape of a chessboard, the square.

A view looking out on the rotunda from the second floor of St. Louis city hall.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to change the city of St. Louis charter and eliminate the residency requirement for city employees is underway.

Aldermen on the city’s legislation committee heard about two hours of testimony on the measure Wednesday night. A vote by the committee and the full Board of Aldermen will come on later dates. Because it’s a charter change, eliminating the residency requirement would also take a 60-percent vote of the people.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

It was a short but busy day for the Missouri House, as they sent three bills - on lobbyist gifts, human trafficking and hair braiding - to the Senate on Wednesday.

For the third year in a row, the House passed legislation banning most gifts from lobbyists to elected officials. The exceptions allowed in the lobbyist gift ban include flowers for weddings, funerals and similar events, and free food at catered events as long as every lawmaker and statewide elected official is invited.

Anna Crosslin (left) and Betsy Cohen (right) address the decline of refugee resettlement in St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

This year, the International Institute estimates the arrival of only 450 refugees arriving to St. Louis. That’s a sharp decline compared to the amount of refugee resettlement in previous years – 659 refugees in 2017 and 1135 refugees in 2016.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh addressed the decline of refugees arriving to St. Louis over the past couple of years. Joining him for the discussion was Betsy Cohen, executive director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project and Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis.

Author Daniel Pink talks about the science of timing and how to work efficiently.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Author Daniel Pink researched the science of timing to see how time of day affects what we do and how we do it.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Pink about his latest book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” where the bestselling author drew on research from psychology, biology and economics to reveal how to live and work efficiently.

Time of day influences our performance

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman wants to lift the requirement that St. Louis employees have to live in the city.

Carol Howard, D-14th Ward, said she introduced the measure after hearing from the director of personnel that requiring people to move into the city was making it hard to fill vacant positions.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is pledging to accept no campaign donations for his Republican campaign for St. Louis County Council. And if elected this fall, he says he’ll work for a county charter change that would limit campaign donations for county officials.

At his campaign kickoff today in Sunset Hills, Fitch blamed the lack of donation limits for some of the rancor between council members and County Executive Steve Stenger.  He contends that large contributions to Stenger, in particular, have exacerbated some of the disputes.

The Northside-Southside Consulting team presented the results of its ongoing study at the first of three open houses.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Thirty percent of people in the St. Louis region who might rely on a north-south MetroLink route do not have access to a car, according to an ongoing transit study.

The Northside-Southside Consulting Team shared the results of its study and other information Tuesday during an open house at the Five Star Senior Center in the Benton Park West neighborhood of south St. Louis.

A north-south MetroLink route could help more people in St. Louis travel to jobs and spur job development, said Dan Meyers, a senior transportation planner for AECOM, a consulting firm for the rail system.

Eddie Albarran, who is studying photography, took photos of a DACA rally held outside the St. Louis office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. on Sept. 6 2017. He spoke at the rally.
Provided | Eddie Albarran

A St. Louis woman from Haiti is among immigrants who are concerned about the future of family members and others without documentation, despite the recent restoration of certain protections.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it is accepting renewal applications from young people seeking protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Obama-era program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16 and were under the age of 31 when the grant took effect in 2012. President Donald Trump sought to end DACA. A federal judge temporarily blocked that decision this month.

Nurse Thomas Pacatte draws blood from Gary Newcomer, a volunteer of Saint Louis University's Zika vaccine trials in 2018.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

In what looks like a typical doctor’s office, Gary Newcomer, 26, waited to have his blood drawn for the last time as a participant in a trial for a Zika virus vaccine.

Newcomer has visited Saint Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development 16 times since November 2016. But a cut in federal funding is bringing a halt to the trial before a vaccine can be developed.

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Thursday: What was gay life like in St. Louis during the 1940s?

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will discuss the “Gay Home Movie” documentary by St. Louis filmmaker Geoff Story.

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