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Alaa Alderie, a Syrian refugee, is the owner of Cham Bakery in St. Louis.
File photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A 'lucky' St. Louis refugee fears others like him now have nowhere to go

Alaa Alderie sought refuge in the United States several years ago, not long after Syrian authorities started looking for him because of his involvement in political demonstrations against President Bashar Al-Assad. In 2012, he and his parents came to St. Louis, where his brother had arrived earlier, finding success in their new home. Alderie, who is Muslim, considers himself a “lucky refugee.”

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Gov. Eric Greitens sits down for an interview with St. Louis Public Radio in downtown St. Louis on July 17, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Friday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

In the span of week, Gov. Eric Greitens unveiled two high-profile proposals: A proposal aimed at reducing violent crime in St. Louis and a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.

Critics of the Republican governor contended the plans lacked specificity – and questioned whether either proposal would stem the tide of St. Louis violence or opioid abuse. But in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio on Monday, Greitens positioned his two plans as "bold" action that should have been taken a long time ago.

 Terry Johnson, 25, uses a computer at St. Louis Public Library's central branch on Thurs., July 20, 2017. Starting in October, students will be able to use computers like this one to obtain an online high school diploma
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The more than 80,000 adults in the St. Louis region who didn’t earn a high school diploma will soon have two different ways to finish their degrees.

Enrollment will begin in October for the online program jointly run by the St. Louis Public Library and the St. Louis County Library. And a new Missouri law is paving the way for an adult high school to open in St. Louis sometime in the next two years.

Luke Terrell, Amelia Weil and Brian Chao joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the documentary "Gabe," about Gabe Weil.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louisan Gabe Weil was a child, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe form of the hereditary disease that decreases muscle mass and produces progressive weakness over time. Life expectancy for those with the disease is short, but Weil made it his goal to get a college degree.

In December 2013, Weil did just that, graduating from Washington University, at which point doctors also told him he was misdiagnosed and might live well into his 50s. He had to start rethinking how he would approach his life knowing he had many more years.

Priscilla Block, Ariana Johnson,  Jasmine Digs and Byron Rogers joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss ArtWorks on Thursday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A local non-profit is teaching essential life and job skills through a year-round artist apprenticeship program that pays teens to work on art projects around the region and matches them with artistic mentors. The program is called St. Louis ArtWorks.

It took several years for members of St. Louis' skating community to renovate the old St. Liborius church. A company called Hogan Street Partners owns the building; a nonprofit called Liborius Urban Arts Studios operates the space.
File photo | Provided | Ashley Seering

In recent years, St. Louisans have turned abandoned buildings into apartments, art galleries and restaurants.  But a grassroots effort has repurposed a north St. Louis space into a much more active venue.

Campers listen to Katie Dreas of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explain foliage during a summer camp at Little Creek Nature Center on July 17, 2017.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Children benefit from a balanced diet of screen time and outdoors time, studies show.

In the St. Louis area, several camps and summer youth jobs focus on environmental education and exploration. St. Louis Public Radio visited a smattering of them to see what kids are learning.

The 2017 U.S. Junior Champion, IM Awonder Liang, and 2017 U.S. Girls' Junior Champion, WIM Akshita Gorti pose for a picture with Chess Club executive director, Tony Rich (L) and Chess Club founder, Rex Sinquefield.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The U.S. Junior Championship was held July 8-17 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The tournament kicked off with early leaders in both sections: Kayden Troff, the Junior Champion of 2014 in the Open Section, and Emily Nguyen, the defending champion in the Girls’ Section.

St. Louis-based Express Scripts has announced a new initiative to combat opioid abuse. June 7, 2017
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s statewide prescription drug monitoring database will come online next month. There’s a key difference between it and databases throughout the U.S. and even in St. Louis County, which actually covers nearly 60 percent of the state.

The program, created by Gov. Eric Greitens by an executive order, will collect who is writing opioid prescriptions and dispensing the drugs, but only the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services can access the data. In every other state, pharmacists and doctors can see that type of data — which is the most successful way to stem opioid abuse, according to Sherry Green of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.

The majority of people housed at the Medium Security Institution in St. Louis do not have air conditioning. (July 19, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:40 p.m. with state representative's request — Activists say this week’s near-record heat is dangerous for inmates at St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution and is one more reason the jail needs to be shut down.

The majority of the 700 inmates at the jail, also known as the Workhouse, live in portions that don’t have air conditioning, St. Louis corrections commissioner Dale Glass said. Temperatures are routinely 5 to 10 degrees warmer inside the 51-year-old building than outside; activists allege that’s another violation of inmates’ rights.

Most of the operations at Granite City Steel were put on hold in early 2016.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

 

Hundreds of Metro East steel workers are still waiting to be called back to the job in Granite City. U.S. Steel idled the plant in early 2016 and there is no indication of when the company will resume full operations. 

United Steelworkers officials are organizing a rally Thursday to bring attention to what the union calls unfair international trade practices and the plight of members who have been out of work for more than a year.

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