Top Stories

An illustration of what it feels like to experience schizophrenia.
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri looks to improve access to mental health care

Missouri could be one of the first states in the nation to test a new mental health care program designed to expand access to treatment. The pilot program was created by the Excellence in Mental Health Care Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) and signed into law in 2014 as part of a broader Medicare reform measure. It sets quality standards for community mental health centers in participating states and more fully funds treatment for Medicaid patients.
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futureatlas.com | Flickr

A federal mandate and a record supply are leading to the low gas prices in the St. Louis area. The monitoring site GasBuddy.com says the average price at the pump is $1.56 a gallon (as of Feb. 12), roughly 60 cents cheaper than a year ago.

And even with a recent spike in the past couple of days, at least one expert says prices are still poised to go even lower.

Composer Francis Pott and Phillip Barnes, aristic director, Saint Louis Chamber Chorus.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Love is not all sunshine and roses, especially when it comes to Valentine’s Day. That is something Saint Louis Chamber Chorus artistic director Phillip Barnes was very aware of when booking this year’s concert to be held on Feb. 14 at Second Presbyterian Church.

State school board President Charlie Shields and education Commissioner Margie Vandeven listen to Tuesday's discussion.
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

In the wake of progress made by schools in St. Louis and Riverview Gardens, state education officials want appointed boards to continue in both districts for another three years.

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Eric Greitens is responding to a YouTube video questioning his military service.
Screen capture | YouTube

Almost a year after Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Schweich killed himself because of an alleged “whispering campaign,’’ the Missouri GOP is again roiled by similar controversies.

Lieutenant governor candidate Bev Randles, a Kansas City lawyer, has sent out “cease-and-desist’’ letters to party activists accused of spreading the false rumor that she has been disbarred or faced disciplinary action.

Michael Brown Sr. stands at the back of the Ferguson Community Center's event space during the public comment portion of Tuesday's city council meeting.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Poetter discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. There was one story on everyone's mind this week that needed further explanation and analysis: the Ferguson consent decree. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Principal dancer Makensieie Howe in Saint Louis Ballet's "In It For Love."
Saint Louis Ballet

This Valentine’s Day, Saint Louis Ballet is “In it for the Love” with contemporary flair and a world premiere of a piece set to Beatles music.

St. Louis area native and principal dancer Makensie Howe joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss the world premiere and the company. 

Choreographer and former New York City principal dancer Christopher d’Amboise is the mastermind behind the Beatles-themed piece entitled “Bedtime Stories,” which also features fun sleep-themed costumes.

barge shipping, Mississippi River
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

A barge and transportation industry group is sharply criticizing the president’s budget request for river infrastructure and upkeep.

Waterways Council Inc. called President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for the U.S. Army Corps the "most disappointing to date." The budget proposes $4.6 billion for the Corps’ civil works program, nearly 30 percent less than the current appropriation by Congress.

Sen. Jill Schupp, at the podium, introduces The Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program.
Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Two Democratic legislators from St. Louis County, Rep. Tracy McCreery and Sen. Jill Schupp, are introducing The Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program. 

President Bill Clinton’s Family and Medical Leave Act has been around for 23 years. And these two legislators think it’s time for a change. 

The Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee is weighing a series of new bills that aim for criminal justice reform. One would increase educational and job opportunities for inmates.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III answers question from reporters following Tuesday's city council meeting.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 12 with comments from Mayor James Knowles III. -- The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, alleging widespread constitutional violations in its police department and municipal courts.

The suit came less than 24 hours after the Ferguson City Council voted to attach conditions to a consent decree that would have eliminated the need for a lawsuit.

Ferguson's decision raised a number of questions about what comes next. We tackled a few of them here.

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St. Louis on the Air

Monday: Legal Roundtable tackles Scalia's death, Ferguson lawsuit, more

On Monday’s monthly Legal Roundtable, a panel of legal experts will join Don Marsh to discuss the implications of Justice Scalia's death, the DOJ's Ferguson lawsuit and other issues.

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Become part of our Public Insight Network. We use the PIN to get insight from people like you. Today's question: College grads or near grads, how do you decide to stay in or leave St. Louis?