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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Pluto on July 14, 2015.
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suggest that a syrupy ocean filled with ammonia could dwell beneath Pluto's icy shell. There is no direct evidence for an ocean on Pluto, but scientists argue it's very likely , given that a subsurface ocean would explain the planet's particular rotation and tectonics. In a recent paper published in the journal Nature , researchers mused that an ocean at extremely low temperatures could be maintained if it contained ammonia. Ammonia has also been detected by the New Horizons probe on two of Pluto's moons. "It expands our ideas on what oceans can be," said Bill McKinnon, a Washington University professor and co-principal investigator of the New Horizons Mission. "We'll probably find, ultimately in our exploration, that things are even stranger than we think."

Paul Ziegler, new executive director of EducationPlus
Provided | Education Plus

Paul Ziegler, the superintendent of the Northwest R-1 school district in Jefferson County, will become executive director of EducationPlus on July 1, 2017. Ziegler will succeed Matt Goodman, who has been interim executive director of the area school collaborative. Don Senti stepped down as head of the agency in April following questions about finances.

Jarl Mohn has been NPR's CEO since 2014.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louis Public Radio had a special visitor: Jarl Mohn, the CEO of NPR. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh had a few moments to talk with him about the future of public radio, his thoughts on covering the Trump administration and the state of media literacy. Mohn joined NPR as CEO on July 1, 2014. Prior to that, Mohn founded E! Entertainment Television and held senior leadership positions at MTV, VH1 and CNET. Below, we’ve summarized some of the most interesting points from the...

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club plans to put pressure on state lawmakers to make sure St. Louis and Kansas City are better represented on the Missouri Air Conservation Commission. The commissioners are responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act in Missouri. Members are appointed by the governor and approved by the state Senate. There are currently five commissioners and two vacant seats, which have been empty for some time. Environmental activists say that the current commissioners have been ineffective at addressing air quality in Missouri's metro areas. The St. Louis area doesn't meet federal air quality standards for ozone and Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, does not meet the federal air quality standards for sulfur dioxide. Both pollutants at elevated levels can pose a risk to children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues.

Violinist Leila Josefowicz plays with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in this photo taken earlier this fall.
Dilip Vishwanat

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra can claim some of the glory in a Grammy Awards nomination announced today. Violinist Leila Josefowicz was nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her performance on John Adams' Scheherazade.2, in a February 2016 recording with the SLSO. Music Director David Robertson conducted the performance. In a September 2016 review , NPR said the piece was “masterfully illuminated by conductor David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.” The SLSO is...

In these Nov. 28, 2016 photos, Jaimie Hileman, on the left, looks at threatening posts on Facebook. On the right, Amber Winingham and Gus stand on the corner where she said a truck veered toward them.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Every day, Amber Winingham walks around her south St. Louis neighborhood with her dog Gus, a Pointer-mix rescue dog who’s about a year old. When Amber and her wife adopted Gus, he was skittish. Now he has a new reason to be on edge. The day after the Nov. 8 election, Winingham and Gus had just stepped out onto Magnolia Avenue at Louisiana Street, when she saw a man in a truck, barreling toward her.

Allen Roth and Jerry Eastman both contributed objects to the St. Louis Blues memorabilia exhibit.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Bruce Brodsky will never forget watching St. Louis Blues center Doug Wickenheiser score the winning goal — after what seemed like sure defeat — in Game Six of the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs. “The rafters were shaking the people were banging their wooden seats, cheering, hugging, high fiving,” Brodsky said. Today, Brodsky’s tickets to the game now known affectionately among fans as the Monday Night Miracle are on display at the St. Louis Public Library’s new exhibit: “50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers-A Tribute to the St. Louis Blues and their Fans.” It runs at the library's central branch through March 4.

Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens listens as wife Sheena talks about her expirence of being robbed to reporters in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Updated after Eric and Sheena Greitens' Tuesday press conference - Gov.-elect Eric Greitens is praising the quick work of law enforcement, and expressing sentiments of forgiveness, after Missouri's future First Lady was robbed at gunpoint on Monday night. St. Louis police said in an emailed statement to St. Louis Public Radio that Sheena Greitens was sitting in her car near Cafe Ventana in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood. Her car door was suddenly opened by a suspect, who then pointed a gun at Sheena Greitens and demanded her property. She gave the suspect her laptop and cell phone.

Hazy photo of the Mississippi River with a tugboat and the Gateway Arch in the distance.
Paul Sableman |Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Transportation is funding efforts to increase container-on-barge traffic along the Mississippi River. Federal and local officials on Monday announced six Marine Highway Grants, including two aimed at boosting freight at the Port of St. Louis and America’s Central Port in Granite City. Increasing containers on the nation’s inland waterways will be necessary to meet increasing demand over the next 30 years, said U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator...

Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Nine people were arrested Monday in the Metro East as part of a state and federal public corruption task force operation. Known as Operation Watchtower, the joint task force began this spring. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced the arrests at a press conference at the Illinois State Police Headquarters in Collinsville. Kelly says his office has prosecuted a large number of public integrity cases but they still present a unique challenge. “They are difficult to do,” said...

Katie Herbert Meyer and Stephen Legomsky discussed the efforts of Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project in St. Louis on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Since Nov. 9 and the results of the presidential election, the phones have been “ringing off the hook” at St. Louis’ Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project . MICA is a local nonprofit that provides immigration law services at a reduced cost for documented and undocumented immigrants who cannot afford to pay the thousands of dollars it would take to retain an attorney in asylum, work authorization and other kinds of immigration cases. “There is a lot of fear right now,” said Katie...

 In this photo by Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce updates members of the media on her strategies to reduce crime on Monday, December 5, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In 2015, circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce announced several new initiatives to help combat gun violence. On Monday, she met with the media to discuss whether she thinks those plans are working. The efforts focused on three main areas: Resolve — Making it clear to the community how much the office needs its help to solve gun violence. Redirect — Moving low-level or first-time gun offenders out of the criminal justice system through diversion programs or stricter terms of probation. Remove — Finding ways to get tougher sentences for those prosecutors consider a real danger to society.

Joe Buck doesn’t like NPR. You might not be able to tell this fact from the number of interviews he’s had on the network about his first memoir “Lucky Bastard,” but there it is. St. Louisan and national sportscaster Joe Buck has distaste for public radio. Just not for the reason you think. “I was getting operated on for hair procedure three, four, five or six and under local anesthetic,” Buck told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I’m wincing in pain with every slice in the hair...

Tony Twitty, 55, founded his auto shop in 1999. Before the Affordable Care Act,it was hard for him to buy health insurance on his own.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

After running on a platform that included calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act, president-elect Donald Trump will take office alongside a Republican-controlled Congress in January. This leaves an estimated 20 million people who gained coverage through the law unsure of how their coverage will change. In the weeks since the election, the general consensus among health law experts is that it’s unlikely that congressional Republicans will repeal the law entirely without a plan to replace it, particularly because Senate Democrats have enough seats to filibuster.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say that state Rep. Stephen Webber is used to getting questions about how his age parlays with his ability to succeed in politics. While working at the Columbia Daily Tribune in 2008, I was the first reporter to call Webber when he announced his candidacy for a Columbia-based state House seat . He was 24 when he jumped into the race, the youngest possible age someone could be to run for the Missouri House.

Shammara Smith's son Ahmon is a sophomore at Oakville High. Her daughter Ahmiya is in fifth grade at Blaze Elementary in the Mehlville school district.
Provided by Shammara Smith

With the Riverview Gardens School District regaining provisional accreditation in January, parents who transferred their children to other districts under the state’s student transfer law are considering their options. Even though the change means Riverview no longer has to pay for transfers, the district has made arrangements allowing all 436 transfer students to at least finish out the school year. But because Riverview will stop providing transportation in June, Shammara Smith doesn’t know if she’ll be able to keep her son, who’s a sophomore in high school, and her daughter, who’s in fifth grade, enrolled in Mehlville.

Gov.-elect Eric Greitens and Gov. Jay Nixon talked about transition on Nov. 10, 2016
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Weeks before the new Missouri governor is about to take office, he’s faced with a state-government budget shortfall that requires immediate cuts of several hundred million dollars. But the governor-elect in question isn’t Republican Eric Greitens, who will be sworn in Jan. 9 amid concern over a current state budget that may need trims of $200 million. The governor-elect with the much larger budget headache was Democrat Jay Nixon in January 2009, as he prepared to become Missouri’s new governor.

A needle exchange kit uploaded to Flickr in 2008.
Todd Huffman | Flickr

Needle exchange programs could become easier to operate in Missouri under a bill pre-filed for the state’s 2017 legislative session. The programs make sure intravenous drug users have access to clean needles to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Dec. 3 to reflect the results of the party's office elections : After taking a beating in last month’s elections, top Missouri Democrats have picked new leaders charged with bringing the party out of the political wilderness. Members of the state Democratic committee chose outgoing state Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, to be the party's chairman . Webber served four terms in the Missouri House and narrowly lost a highly competitive state Senate race on Nov. 8 to Republican Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia.

Road map of Forest Park and the Central West End in St. Louis, MO.
Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

Forest Park Parkway near Barnes-Jewish Hospital in the Central West End is closing until at least next summer starting Monday. The road, which runs below Kingshighway, will be filled in to connect at-grade with the intersection. The $10 million project is designed to improve access and safety for patients, visitors and neighbors, according to June Fowler, BJC’s senior vice president of communications. “We thought it was important to have a traditional intersection so folks who are traveling...

Rachel Lippmann, Mike Wolff, Bill Freivogel and Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air's "Behind the Headlines" segment on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the past and the future on “Behind the Headlines.” Earlier this week, Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman died at age 69. He was considered a leading liberal voice in the Missouri legal community. We heard from two of his colleagues, SLU Law School Dean Mike Wolff and SIUC Journalism Professor Bill Freivogel, in reflection of his life and service. We also heard from reporter Rachel Lippmann who spoke with a number of people who...

Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon (center) talks with state board member John Martin (left) and deputy education commissioner Ron Lankford at the state school board meeting in October 2015.
File photo |Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:30 p.m. with comments from superintendent — After almost a decade without accreditation from the state of Missouri, the Riverview Gardens School District in north St. Louis County will be reclassified as provisionally accredited effective Jan. 4. The state board of education voted Friday for the classification upgrade to take effect on the first day of Riverview Gardens’ second semester on the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Education. Riverview was last provisionally accredited in 2007.

The St. Louis landscape was Eugene Mackey’s architectural canvas; his palette was integrity, artistic genius and spirituality. “You work on a project until you find the soul of it,” his longtime friend, Van Brokaw, said he once told him. “Spirituality was an important underpinning in his life." In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Mr. Mackey infused more than 3,000 spaces with a spirit of humanity, inextricably interwoven with beauty and functionality. He died on Sunday (Nov. 27) of an aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 77 and had lived in Ladue.

Elizabeth Herring, who turned 90 on Oct. 26, practives for her trapeze show in this photo taken in October of 2016.
Provided | Elizabeth Herring

As a teenager, Elizabeth Herring of Ladue escaped a life luxury by joining the circus. Tonight, she’ll be back in the ring, celebrating her 90th birthday at a party benefiting St. Louis’ Circus Harmony . When she turned 80, Herring debuted her City Museum trapeze act to raise money for the circus group, which helps kids build skills and confidence through practices and international performance. It’s a cause that means a lot to her for many reasons. “Because of the great teachers and...

Dred Scott's grave is one of the most frequently visited graves at Calvary Cemetery. This photos was taken in November 2016.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Why aren’t Dred Scott and his wife buried in the same cemetery? Pamela Richardson posed that question to Curious Louis recently after a visit to Calvary Cemetery in north St. Louis, where Dred Scott is buried. “I wondered, ‘Is she not buried with him — and why not?’ I had been to Calvary many times. I had seen his place of rest, but her name was not on the tombstone,’’ said Richardson, who has family members buried at the cemetery.

An uncooked egg sits in stone, the shell turned transluscent by white vinegar. Through it the yolk is visible.
Provided by the Catalina Ouyang

Catalina Ouyang’s sculptures are an amalgam of unexpected materials: a raw egg soaked in white vinegar, marble, fake bones, a printed copy of Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities” and basketball shorts. Ouyang uses the objects to examine her Chinese-American identity and challenge social pressures placed on immigrants to conform to North American norms. She specifically aims to provoke questions about how society asks immigrants to assimilate into white culture. She wants people to consider what for her is a consistent dilemma: “How to contend with what I call the aspirational fantasy of whiteness in what I think persists as an imperialist and colonialist power structure."

Donald Trump leaves the stage after a March 2016 speech at the Peabody Opera House.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

In the weeks since the General Election, both those who voted for Donald Trump and those who didn't have been processing what many saw as a surprising outcome. Some have expressed concern about how policies from the Obama administration will be affected: What will happen to the Affordable Care Act? What about immigrants and Muslims? Others are more fearful, or even angry in response to apparent race- or religious-based acts of aggression, carried out, presumably, by Trump supporters. But, especially in Missouri, where Trump won the state’s 10 electoral votes, there are many people who voted decidedly for him, and those who were more strongly motivated to vote against Hillary Clinton.

Hundreds gathered at Graham Chapel at Washington University to honor and remember Court judge Richard Teitelman on Dec. 1, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds packed Graham Chapel at Washington University Thursday to remember Missouri Supreme Court judge Richard Teitelman. Teitelman died overnight Monday at his home in St. Louis at the age of 69. A native of Philadelphia, he moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University Law School and never left the state. After two years in private practice, he joined Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in 1975 and became its executive director in 1980. Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 1998. Another Democrat, Bob Holden, elevated Judge Teitelman to the state high court in 2002.

Kea Wilson recently published her first novel, "We Eat Our Own," with Scribner.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“Canny, funny and impressively detailed.” That’s what the New York Times had to say about Kea Wilson’s first novel “ We Eat Our Own ,” published earlier this year with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. While you may not meet a New York Times-reviewed author walking the streets of St. Louis every day, chances are if you’ve visited independent bookstore Left Bank Books in the past few years, you’ve met Wilson, who works as the bookstore’s events coordinator. The novel, Wilson’s...

Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Rep. Michael Butler to the program for the second time. The St. Louis Democrat recently won his third term in the Missouri House without major opposition. He was recently elected to House Democratic leadership, taking on the role of minority caucus chairman.

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