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Michael Brown's mother, Lezley McSpadden, listens on March 5 as attorney Daryl Parks announces the family's intent to sue former police officer Darren Wilson and the city of Ferguson for her son's death.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

PHILADELPHIA – Michelle Argento may be living proof of the vast impact of Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Argento lives in Gillette, Wyo., a 30,000-person town in the middle of the Mountain West. The Bernie Sanders delegate paid close attention to what happened in Ferguson – and added that it showcased a need to overhaul America’s criminal justice system.

Centene announced plans for this new claims center shortly after the death of Michael Brown
Centene Corporation

The head of St. Louis-based Centene is shooting down speculation it will bid on any units being unloaded by larger companies that are considering a merger. There have been reports the St. Louis-based health insurer is interested in trying to acquire units that would have to be divested by the potential combinations of  Aetna  and Humana or Anthem and Cigna.

Jo Mannies, Rachel Lippman and Dave Robertson discussed Missouri's Aug. 2 primary and answered listener questons on July 26.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Next week, Missourians will go to the polls in their Aug. 2 primaries.  A week before the primaries, three guests joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what issues and positions you should keep an eye on.

St. Louis Public Radio reporters Rachel Lippmann, who is covering the city primary, and Jo Mannies, who is covering the statewide primary, broke down what you need to know with the help of UMSL political science professor David Robertson.

Workers carry and install sheet rock in late August.
Willis Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has restored the length of the state’s unemployment benefits to 20 weeks, by tossing out the General Assembly’s action last year that reduced payment of benefits to 13 weeks – the shortest in the country.

Republican lawmakers and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce say they’ll try again next session.

For the court, the issue was timing. The court ruled, in effect, that the Missouri Senate waited too long to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill. It cut benefits when the state’s unemployment rate is less than 6 percent.  The state’s current unemployment rate is less than 5 percent.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

After successful organizing campaigns with part-time faculty at Washington University, Saint Louis University and St. Louis Community College, a union is now turning its attention to the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

And a top UMSL official wants to make sure that teachers on campus know what is at stake.

Rescue crews from the Monarch Fire Protection District work at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on May 3, 2016.
Monarch Fire Protection District | Facebook

Updated July 26, 2016 with appeals court ruling. — A Missouri appeals court says firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District can continue working under their old contract while negotiating a new one.

Tuesday's ruling upholds an "evergreen" clause that says the current contract, negotiated in 2013, remains in effect as long as good faith negotiations are going on between the board and the union. The district provides fire and ambulance service for parts of west St. Louis County.

Joann Martin and Fay Zerbolio are two St. Louis-based miniaturists who run the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis in Bevo Mill.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to the world of St. Louis’ amateur miniaturists, you work with the supplies at hand.

“I once painted with the whiskers of a cat,” said Joann Martin, president of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis.

While that’s a little out of the box as far as supplies go, it serves as a good example of just how tiny miniatures can be and how precise the artisanship is.

Anheuser-Busch interior
File Photo | Tom Nagel | Beacon

Updated 7:55 a.m., July 26 with details of revised offer - Anheuser-Busch InBev has made what the brewing giant calls a “final offer” for rival SABMiller. The revised $103 billion proposal works out to an increase of roughly $1.30 per share, compared to the previous offer. SABMiller shareholders have been concerned about the overall value of the deal after the British Pound declined more than 10 percent in recent weeks.

Rick Stream and Andrew Koenig
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of daylight between Rick Stream and Andrew Koenig: The two Republican contenders for the 15th District Senate seat won House seats through intense door-knocking campaigns. They’ve both served four terms in the Missouri House. And they can point to big accomplishments during their legislative careers.

Jason Kander skipped Philadelphia to travel the roads of Missouri. The incumbent he's challenging, Sen. Roy Blunt, will travel  next week.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

On two points, Missouri’s two major candidates for the U.S. Senate seem to agree:

  • Skip your presidential convention.
  • Hit the road in a campaign bus.
The United Soybean Board | Flickr

Missouri agriculture officials are looking into widespread misuse of pesticides in in the Bootheel region.

Judy Grundler is division director for plant industries within the state's Department of Agriculture. She told a state House committee on Thursday that there have been 115 complaints in four counties of pollution caused by pesticides in the past month alone.

Michaella Thornton and Tina Casagrand discussed "The New Territory" magazine on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Likely every single person in St. Louis has either heard someone refer to the Midwest as “fly-over” country — or maybe they’ve even used the term themselves. At best, the Midwest is viewed as behind-the-times. At worst, people ignore it entirely. A new Missouri-based publication, aptly-named The New Territory, is trying to change that.

Mike Carter, Anne Zerr and Bill Eigel are running for the St. Charles County-based 23rd District Senate seat.
Courtesy of Carter and Eigel's campaigns and House Communications

There are probably few legislative races in Missouri with stakes as high as the GOP primary for the 23rd Senatorial District.

The St. Charles County-based district has been vacant since former Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey resigned nearly a year ago. And the race to replace him features three candidates with vastly different philosophies and political experience. It’s one of several competitive state Senate primaries in the St. Louis area, and perhaps the one where the end result could matter quite a bit.

The Witherspoon family

Most of us, at some point, will know someone who is struggling with a life-threatening illness. More than one in three U.S. residents are diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetime, and one in nine adults over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

But when a close friend or loved one shares that they have a serious health issue, we’re often left not knowing what to do or what to say.

Jacob and Jahede Parker picked out almost identical gray camo coats at the Back-to-School Store. Jacob's had a bright yellow lining, while Jahede's lining was white.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Eight-year-old Jahede Parker has brand new red sneakers and a gray camo coat to start his new school year at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis.

His twin brother Jacob picked out an almost identical coat Sunday, when the two joined more than a thousand other local elementary kids shopping at the free back-to-school fair sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Danielle Washington of the Wyman Center walks Ozzie Furlow through financial aid literacy training at St. Louis Graduates' High School to College Center. Furlow plans to enroll as a freshman at Arkansas Baptist in August 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ozzie Furlow graduated from Hazelwood East High School in June, he planned to attend Missouri Western State University in the fall.

But there was a problem.

“They wanted me to be part time, and I have nobody to stay (with) down there,” Furlow said.

PHILADELPHIA – In some ways, Hillary Clinton’s impending presidential nomination has been a long time coming for U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

The Kansas City Democrat was a strong supporter of Clinton in 2008. He said he felt immense pressure to back then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama – who, of course, would go onto become America’s first black president.

Courtesy Madison County Fair Association

Organizers of the Madison County Fair say the 120-year-old event will go on as usual this week, despite the ongoing lack of funding from the state of Illinois.

This is the second year for the state's budget impasse, which has held up funds earmarked for county fairs. Organizers from across the state have scrambled to make do, said Wayne Steiner, president of the Madison County Fair Association.

Jim Schroeder checks the grill outside the dome where the St. Louis Rams used to play. He tailgated with family and friends Saturday, July 23, 2016 before going to an exhibition game played by members of the 1999 championship team.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Rams fans had a chance to relive some memories from the team’s glory days Saturday.

Former Rams players, including members of the 1999 Super Bowl championship team, played a game of flag football in the Dome at America’s Center. It’s likely one of the last times Rams players, past or present, step foot on the Dome’s turf now that Stan Kroenke has moved his team to Los Angeles.

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, leads the Democratic end-of-session press conference as state Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis, looks on.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio |file photo

Updated July 23 with the nominee — Democratic committee members in St. Louis and St. Louis County have nominated House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, as their party’s candidate to replace former state Sen. Joe Keaveny.

Keaveny resigned as the state senator for Missouri’s 4th District after the 2016 legislative session to become an administrative law judge.

Provided by Bi-State Development Agency

Updated Friday, July 22 at 5:07p.m. with statement from Ameren Missouri — Ameren Missouri and the Sierra Club reached a $2 million settlement Thursday in U.S. District Court over the utility company's alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

Provided by University of Missouri-Columbia/Julianna Jenkins

According to surveys by scientists and avid bird-watchers, many songbird species are declining in the U.S. Losing the birds that provide a natural soundtrack in our backyards is a critical environmental issue, since they also serve to control insect populations and as pollinators.

William Bailey | St. Louis Planning Department |Provided

After a two-day delay, a new homeless shelter in St. Louis is back on track to being ready to operate.

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment on Friday approved a $360,000 contract with St. Patrick Center, which will run the facility at the old Biddle Market north of downtown. Mayor Francis Slay and Comptroller Darlene Green voted to approve the funding; board president Lewis Reed maintained his opposition from Wednesday.

St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies covered the Republican National Convention last week.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh looked back on this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland and ahead to next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

We were joined by:

University of Missouri-Columbia

If a candidate for the presidency of the University of Missouri asks interviewers about their priorities for the system and the themes that are part of the school’s vision, what should the answers be?

That was the topic of a meeting of the university’s Board of Curators in Kansas City on Friday. For anyone who has been following the up-and-down fortunes of the university in recent months, the list they came up with will look familiar:

St. Louis vocalist Erin Bode recently released her seventh album "Here and Now."
Erin Bode Group

In her recently-released seventh album “Here and Now,” St. Louis vocalist Erin Bode decided to try to something a little different.

“We’ve been getting requests for a few years now to do another record of standards, which goes back to the first album that I made,” she explained to St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.

For “Here and Now,” Bode’s group recorded songs originally written by artists such as Frank Loesser, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin.

Clockwise from bottom, Gerard Craft, Dave Bailey, Kevin Nashan, Nick Luedde
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

What makes us choose favorite restaurants?

On the latest edition of Sound Bites, Sauce Magazine’s art director Meera Nagarajan explained that diners look for consistency. In other words, we want to know that when we go to a restaurant, we’re going to have a positive, delicious experience.

In Sauce Magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Poll, St. Louisans identified the top four restaurateurs in the area:

Democrats Judy Baker and Pat Contreras are each running for state treasurer.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’re wondering why there’s a competitive battle for Missouri state treasurer, look no further than the innards of the Missouri Constitution.

If the Show Me State’s pre-eminent legal document didn’t restrict a state treasurer to two terms, it’s a good bet that incumbent officeholder Clint Zweifel would be running for re-election – and probably without competition from his fellow Democrats. But it does. And with Zweifel taking a hiatus of sorts from electoral politics, two Democrats – former state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, and Kansas City native Pat Contreras – are seeking to capture the weighty, but slightly low profile, statewide office.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple speaks at the Missouri Democratic Party convention in Sedalia. Temple will be leading the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say Jimmy Loomis has accomplished a lot in a short period of time.

The 21-year-old Washington University student is president of the school’s College Democrats chapter. He’s also a Democratic committeeman in St. Louis County, which means he’ll get a say in who will follow state Sen. Joe Keaveny in the Missouri Senate.

But perhaps Loomis’ most impressive feat may have been besting dozens of people to become a national delegate for likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. That means he’ll get to go to Philadelphia next week with some of the Show Me State’s most prominent activists and political figures. And he’ll get to be an active participant in what’s been a historic presidential election.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

CLEVELAND – Regardless of who they backed before, Missouri’s GOP delegates are leaving their convention committed to electing Donald Trump for president.

And his acceptance speech was a hit.

“He was confident, he was strong, he was energetic, enthusiastic’’ said delegate Chuck Williams of Town and Country. “He had the crowd fired up.”

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