Larry Rice
5:36 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

New Life Evangelistic Center To Close In May Unless Changes Are Made

Protests erupted after the Board of Public Service ruled on Dec. 23 that the New Life Evangelistic Center is a detriment to the neighborhood and will have to close in May unless it makes changes.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The city's Board of Public Service has ruled that the emergency homeless shelter at the New Life Evangelistic Center is a detriment to the neighborhood and must close in May unless it changes the way it operates.

Tuesday's unanimous vote by the board provoked shouts of "Shame!" and "What would Jesus do!" from a standing-room-only crowd, followed by chants of "homeless lives matter!" Crowd members also accused the board of holding an illegal meeting because they allowed no time for public comment. 

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Coal Ash
5:26 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Environmental Group: Ameren’s Labadie Landfill Plans Do Not Comply With New Federal Coal Ash Rule

In Dec. 2008, a dike collapsed at TVA's coal-fired power plant near Kingston, Tenn., releasing 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash into the Emory and Clinch rivers and covering about 300 acres of land.
Credit Tennessee Valley Authority

A local environmental group is asking state regulators to deny Ameren’s request to build a new coal ash landfill next to its Labadie power plant in Franklin County, on the basis that the landfill would not comply with new federal regulations.

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Faith-Based Organizing
4:51 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

New Report: Community Organizing Creates Jobs

Community organizing efforts led to the hiring of 138 women and minority construction workers on the recently opened Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. The report by Gamaliel found that the project drew $4.6 million in funds for workers who likely would not have been employed otherwise.
Credit Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Community organizing pays off.

That’s the message in a report released Tuesday by Gamaliel, a national faith-based network with affiliates in 16 states, including Metropolitan Congregations United in the St. Louis region and United Congregations of Metro East.

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Beyond Ferguson
4:13 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

'I Love Ferguson' Committee Gives To North County Reconstruction Effort

Former Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher holds a big $50,000 check symbolizing a $50,000 donation to Reinvest North County. Fletcher's group -- I Love Ferguson -- raised the money through selling t-shirts, mugs and hats.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been a few months since a group called I Love Ferguson started selling t-shirts, mugs and hats aimed at boosting the beleaguered town.

Since then, former Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher said the committee’s wares have been sold worldwide.

“We’ve shipped shirts to the United Kingdom, Italy and France. Our products are in 33 different countries,” said Fletcher, who is part of the I Love Ferguson committee. “They’ve been sent by relatives or they’ve been picked up at the I Love Ferguson store and brought back to those countries.”

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St. Louis on the Air
1:44 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

From Fingerprints To Beer Distribution, Exploring St. Louis' Firsts

'Famous Firsts of St. Louis'

First use of fingerprinting. First drive-up bank teller. First cocktail party. First nighttime Major League Baseball season opener.

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Beyond Ferguson
10:48 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Lawmakers Produce Ideas Responding To Ferguson Unrest — But Can They Deliver?

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Just after the sun set on Nov. 24 — the day that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fate would be disclosed to the world — Missouri's Gov. Jay Nixon faced a throng of reporters at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Appearing before cameras that would simulcast his words across the globe, the Democratic governor talked  at length about how law enforcement officials were ready to respond to the grand jury’s decision. 

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10:30 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Commentary: Germany Has A Lesson For St. Louis City And County

Berlin 1986
Credit selbst fotografiert | Wikipedia

People in Berlin and throughout Germany recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. These commemorations should prompt some reflection closer to home, specifically on the state of local government in the St. Louis area. Doing so raises a fundamental question: If it’s possible for East and West Germany to be reunited, why can’t there be meaningful municipal reorganizations in St. Louis city and county? Whatever barriers we perceive in our community are minuscule in comparison with those that had to be dismantled in Germany.

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5:39 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

School Segregation, The Continuing Tragedy Of Ferguson

Normandy High School principal Derrick Mitchell has been tasked with turning around a high school where most students read, write and do math below grade level.
Credit Whitney Curtis | For ProPublica

Michael Brown beat the odds by graduating from high school before his death — odds that remain stacked against black students in St. Louis and the rest of the country.

On August 1, five black students in satiny green and red robes and mortar boards waited inside an elementary school classroom, listening for their names to be called as graduates of Normandy High School. The ceremony was held months after the school’s main graduation for students who had been short of credits or had opted not to participate earlier.

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Art and Activism
4:39 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

RAC Social Impact Awards Go To Circus Harmony, Others For Ferguson Projects

The Arches of Circus Harmony
Credit Jessica Hentoff

St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission announced its very first Social Impact Fund grants today, with nearly one-third of the 28 winning projects related to Ferguson.

One of the winners is Circus Harmony, an organization that promotes social change though circus arts. The group will use its $2,200 grant to bring kids from Ferguson into the tent.

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Restorative Justice
4:39 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Missouri's Prison Garden Program Donates Record Haul Of Fresh Produce To The Needy

Offenders harvest fresh fruits and vegetables at gardens located at Missouri Department of Corrections' institutions to donate to the needy.
Credit Missouri Department of Corrections

A record donation of produce to more than 80 food pantries and other sites around the state is coming from an unlikely source: the Missouri Department of Corrections.

For the third year in a row, prisoners in the Department's Restorative Justice Garden Program have harvested and donated a record haul of fresh fruits and vegetables to pantries, churches, nursing homes and school districts throughout Missouri.  This year, the offender-grown produce weighed in at 178 tons, topping last year's donation of 163 tons.

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