News

Members of "The Palpations," a band started by second-year medical students, try to fix a broken guitar string during practice.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

During her first year of medical school, Katherine Hu struggled with the feeling that she didn’t measure up.

“You end up becoming, actually, pretty cynical. I’d be sitting in class, the professor’s speaking a million miles an hour, and I don’t know what’s going on,” Hu said. “It just becomes heavier and heavier … kind of hopeless sometimes.” 

New Life Evangelistic Center is located in downtown St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Board of Building Appeals in St. Louis city board has unanimously voted to require a downtown homeless shelter to seek approval from its neighbors for a new occupancy permit.

The board also voted Thursday to allow New Life Evangelistic Center to continue operating next to a school.

Rochelle Walton Gray
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a post-election edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome state Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray to the program for the first time.

The Democrat from Black Jack provided a thunderbolt of sorts to the St. Louis County political scene on Tuesday when she defeated incumbent St. Louis County Councilman Mike O’Mara, D-Florissant, in the primary. Her resounding victory marks a big change for the politics of north St. Louis County — and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s ability to push controversial items through the St. Louis County Council.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was dismissive of the Rams' 29-page document explaining why the team wants to relocate to Los Angeles.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

For years, the public defender system in Missouri has fought to alleviate a growing caseload it says leaves them unable to fairly represent clients.

Now, the man blamed for the crisis is being asked to help alleviate the crunch by heading into the courtroom.

Citing his authority under Missouri law, Michael Barrett, director of the Missouri State Public Defender system has ordered Gov. Jay Nixon to represent a criminal defendant in Cole County.

Michael Brown Sr. surrounded by a crowd holding red and blue balloons. A pink cell phone is in the foreground.
CAROLINA HIDALGO | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Between the steady stream of media interviews, final logistical planning and volunteer coordination, it’s been a busy week for the Brown family and members of the Chosen for Change Foundation. They started working on the second annual memorial weekend that will celebrate the life of Michael Brown Jr. nearly a year ago.

Fruit and vegetables
U.S. Department of Agriculture | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2avfETu

In the midst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, a group of friends in St. Louis started cooking meals in the kitchen of a church. These meals were distributed to seven people they knew who were living with the disease.

That small group of friends quickly grew into a non-profit organization called Food Outreach.  

Today, 28 years after it was founded, Food Outreach provides nutritional counseling and meals to low-income individuals with HIV/AIDS or cancer.

The World Bird Sanctuary is home to over 200 animals.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

From the moment Katrina (“Trina”) Whitener met “Lonesome George” – the last tortoise of his kind - in kindergarten, she knew she wanted to dedicate her life to making sure no animal had to experience what George experienced ever again.

Paul Sabelman | Flickr

In March 2014, Rose Marie Hewitt was pulled over in St. Louis, where she lived at the time. Police found Vicodin in an unmarked bottle — narcotics Hewitt says she was holding for her boyfriend at the time to keep him from taking too many.

Police charged her with two counts of drug possession. "And that's a felony," she said.

Hewitt originally wanted to take her case to trial. But her lawyer told her that would probably result in two years of probation and a criminal record. Instead, she took a chance on the circuit attorney's Felony Redirect Program.

SLPS science teachers Ninfa Matiase, LaJuana Stidmon and Jeremy Resmann practice an experiment Aug. 3, 2016 during training provided by the National Math and Science Initiative.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Two weeks before the new school year, St. Louis Public School teachers Ninfa Matiase, LaJuana Stidmon and Jeremy Resmann cut red agar into squares before dropping them into vinegar. It’s an experiment to test how quickly the cubes absorb the vinegar — one of several lesson plans the teachers have learned over the past two weeks during training provided by the National Math and Science Initiative.

Stidmon, a science teacher at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, says the training has given her a framework to focus her AP biology class.

Detail of Katherine Dunham in Choros, undated
Missouri History Museum | Provided

Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, before Freedom Riders headed to segregated bus stations, before Martin Luther King Jr. led his first march, there was Katherine Dunham.

The dancer and choreographer stood up to discrimination as far back as 1944. She railed against a system in which hotels wouldn’t book her and theaters wouldn’t let her black and white fans sit together, according to Washington University professor Joanna Dee Das. Das has written a book about the legendary artist and activist who lived in East St. Louis off and on starting in the mid'60s. The book, “Katherine Dunham:  Dance and the African Diaspora,” is set for release early next year.

Levon Aronian, left, defending Sinquefield Cup Champion and Fabiano Caruana, defending 2016 U.S. Champion play in last year's Sinquefield Cup.
Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

As athletes from all over the world are headed to Rio for the summer Olympics, the best chess players in the world will gather in the chess capital of the U.S. to battle it out over 64 squares. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will once again host the Sinquefield Cup. This year, the tournament runs from Aug. 5-16 and has a prize fund of $300,000.

Now that the 2016 primaries are in the books, most people are looking ahead to what could be an expensive and contentious general election cycle.

But before Tuesday becomes part of Missouri political history, perhaps it’s worth answering the 10 questions posed before voters went to the polls. After all, it wouldn’t be very useful to throw out errant questions without answering them.

Rachel Lippmann, Dave Robertson and Jason Rosenbaum broke down what happened in Missouri's Aug. 2 primary and gave context behind each race on Wednesday's <i>St. Louis on the Air</i>.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The results of Missouri’s primary are in and there were some pretty big surprises on city, county and state levels.

In November, Eric Greitens (R) will be facing off against Chris Koster (D) to become Missouri's next governor. Former Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley won the Democratic nomination for attorney general and she'll be facing off against Republican candidate Josh Hawley this fall. For more results and analysis of state-wide races, read this.  

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri attorney Lauren Hamvas, left, chats with project director Amanda Schneider at Family Care Health Centers in the Carondelet neighborhood of St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Your doctor can refer you to a specialist … but what if she could refer you to free legal help, too?

In St. Louis, attorneys for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri are making the rounds at community health clinics to help patients whose health issues may need a legal remedy.

Virginia Commonwealth University mapped severe health disparities in north St. Louis County by comparing census tract-level data for life expectancy.
provided by Virginia Commonwealth University

People who live in different parts of north St. Louis County may have a 12-year difference in how long they can expect to live, according to an analysis of census tracts by Virginia Commonwealth University.

The school’s Center on Society and Health has released two dozen maps of life expectancy gaps in selected metro areas over the past three years. The findings in St. Louis closely mirror the results of the For the Sake of All study in 2014, which used zip code-level data to reach its conclusions.

Mo. Dept. of Corrections

Ernest Lee Johnson came within minutes of being executed last November when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay.

He challenged Missouri's use of pentobarbital, saying it could cause severe pain because he still has a brain tumor, even though most of it was removed during surgery eight years ago.

U.S. Lacy Clay raises the arm of Kim Gardner in victory at the Exodus Gallery after the primary election. Gardner made history as the first African-American to hold the office of circuit attorney. Behind her is Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, and to the right is s
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

For the first time, an African-American will be the top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis. And in St. Louis County, County Executive Steve Stenger has lost a well-known ally on the County Council, after a big upset in the District 4 Democratic primary.

 Eric Greitens, Republican, left, and Chris Koster, Democrat
Jason Rosenbaum and Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Greitens has emerged victorious from a bruising, four-way contest to be the Republican nominee for governor. He will face Attorney General Chris Koster, 51, who coasted to win the Democratic primary.

Dr. Joan Luby and Stephen Zwolak discussed how to help a child dealing with mental health issues.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the mental health issues facing young children and how to address them. Joining the program were Joan Luby, a doctor and professor of child psychiatry with the Washington University School of Medicine and Stephen Zwolak, the executive director the University City Children’s Center.

Chess Pieces
Adrian Askew | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2ad3M7e

The game of chess has a rich and somewhat elusive history. Where did it come from? Who invented it? Perhaps most intriguingly: What makes it so special? Why has it continued to exist when other games have not?

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A group that advocates for low-income Missourians is warning that a drop in revenues two months ago could get worse unless lawmakers take action next year.

Amy Blouin is executive director of the Missouri Budget Project.  She says revenue is currently projected to grow at only 4.1 percent, meaning that the state is facing a budget shortfall of $216 million.

Provided by the Sierra Club

A St. Louis pastor heads to Chicago on this week to tell Environmental Protection Agency policymakers that a program under the Obama administration's clean energy plan should consider the needs of low-income communities. 

At the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis, many people in the congregation struggle to pay their utility bills, the Rev. Rodrick Burton said. Most live in the 27th Ward, which Burton described as an economically depressed area where many folks are on fixed incomes. 

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Jazz St. Louis and leading national institution Jazz at Lincoln Center are again joining forces to show area students how a treasured musical art continues to evolve.

The organizations will bring nationally recognized musicians into schools to give high school students an up-close view of jazz, a music rich in tradition that relies heavily on improvisation. Musicians also will speak on the role jazz musicians played during the music’s heyday a few generations ago and to the continuing importance of jazz in the 21st century.

 

Name

Jennifer Michelle Simeone

 

What your friends call you (on a good day)

Jenny!

 

Town you consider your hometown

I have no home town — I've moved 21 times all in California — but I do consider California "home" in the general sense.

 

Your role at STLPR

I'm the newsroom's Diversity Fellow, which is a fellowship designed to make the station's content and staff more inclusive.

The cold ramen bowl at Kounter Kulture, 3825 Watson Road.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of August.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

The four restaurants they particularly suggest?

An artist's rendition of what a solar roadway could look like.
Solar Roadways | http://bit.ly/29OOZKM

The year is 2091 and you have a business trip to make to Kansas City. You wake up in the morning, ask the speaker in your wall for a car to be brought to your door to take you there. A car arrives, no driver, naturally, and you set up camp in the back seat with your laptop to prepare for a big meeting. The car, dodging traffic reported along Forest Park Parkway, hops onto I-70 and into a line of other driver-less cars along a solar-paneled highway.

St. Louis Public Radio reporters and staffers are embarking on an initiative to hear about what matters to you. Join us Aug. 4 at Ferguson Public Library, our first stop, from 3-6 p.m.
Jay Morrison | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2au48SN

As a St. Louis news organization, we often hear that we’re not getting things right. We aren’t talking about the things that matter to you — and if we are, we’re missing important details, people, places and things. We want to do better. We need your help to start.

After all, our station’s motto is “News that Matters.” Maybe what we should be saying, too, is “news that matters to you.”

John Brunner tilts his head back as Eric Greitens speaks at St. Louis Public Radio's GOP gubernatorial candidate debate.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA – You could say that Missouri’s 2016 primary cycle was a bit unwieldy.

This election has everything: An unpredictable and incredibly expensive governor’s race, statewide contests that turned thermonuclear nasty, and high-stakes legislative contests. For St. Louis voters, there’s a critical four-way race for circuit attorney and even a scramble for sheriff.

Treasure Shields Redmond, her mother Elsie Lee Shields, and her grandmother Mary Shields. Meridian, Mississippi 1995
Provided by Treasure Shields Redmond

A St. Louis-area poet is lending her voice to the small but growing movement of activists calling for protests that disrupt U.S. society to spur social and economic justice.

Treasure Shields Redmond is a professor at Southwestern Illinois College and author of a book on civil rights trailblazer Fannie Lou Hamer. She is calling for a St. Louis-area strike by black workers during the Labor Day weekend. She’s calling the event Strike for Black Lives in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

St. Louis Public Radio file images

Tomorrow's primary election is notable for the divisive and expensive ads (especially for the Republican races for governor and attorney general). But voters have a lot of choices to make all the way down the ballot.

In the months before the primary, all of the major candidates for statewide office appeared on our Politically Speaking podcast. For those who haven't yet discovered it, the podcast is a place where politicians talk about issues and introduce themselves to listeners in an informal setting. Below, you will find links to each of those podcasts and more

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