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Education
3:17 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Lack Of Diversity Noted In School Commissioner Search

Mike Jones talks with Missouri education Commissioner Chris Nicastro earlier this year
Credit Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

When Chris Nicastro was chosen as Missouri’s education commissioner in 2009, her experience with school districts in north St. Louis County was cited as a big factor.

Now, as the Missouri state board of education prepares to interview five finalists to succeed Nicastro, they have a list of four white men who have been superintendents in Joplin, Branson, Springfield and Wentzville, plus a white woman who has been actively involved in north county as deputy commissioner but has never served as a superintendent.

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Gas prices drop
2:24 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Why Does Missouri Have The Lowest Gas Prices In The Country?

The Conoco at 3934 S. Grand Blvd was selling gas for $2.07 on Monday.
Credit Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s sticker shock turned upside down.

Filling up your gas tank is almost pleasant as prices at the pump continue to fall. In St. Louis on Monday, a gallon of gas averaged $2.22, but it could be found for as low as $2.07.

While the entire country is seeing lower gas prices, Missouri has averaged the lowest. The American Automobile Association listed the state’s average as $2.25 a gallon on Monday. Meanwhile the average in Illinois was $2.57; in California it was $2.87 and a whopping $2.98 in New York.

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STL250 Cake Auction
1:54 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

You Can Buy An STL250 Birthday Cake -- Here's How

The fiberglass cake at the Shrine of St. Joseph is one of the stl250 sculptures up for auction.
Credit (Courtesy: Linda Gurney)

Approximately 250 fiberglass cakes are scattered throughout the St. Louis region. They’re placed at notable locations to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.

Sixty-seven of the cakes are part of an online auction that opened Monday and lasts through the end of the year. More may be added to the auction because each host location gets to choose what happens to their cake.

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St. Louis on the Air
1:16 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Legal Roundtable: Another Grand Jury For Ferguson Case? Possible But …

December's 'St. Louis on the Air' legal roundtable members discuss law issues on Monday at St. Louis Public Radio. From left, Don Marsh, 'St. Louis on the Air' host; William Freivogel, professor at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute; Roger Goldman, Saint Louis University Law School professor; and Mark Smith, associate vice chancellor of students at Washington University in St. Louis.
Credit Rebecca Smith / St. Louis Public Radio

Many people are unhappy with a grand jury’s decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, and the St. Louis County prosecutor’s handling of the case.

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Politics & Issues
10:44 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Area Lawmakers Make Mark On Budget, Policy Bills -- Growler Funding, Sexual Assault Prosecution

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt, a Republican, and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.
Credit Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Were area members of Congress to sum up this session in a single word, that word would most likely be “Growler.”  The funding for 15 of Boeing’s high-tech E/A 18G Growlers, which are built in St. Louis, is included in the $1.1 trillion government funding package approved by the Senate over the weekend.

Support for the Growler is the one thing most frequently mentioned by Missouri lawmakers.  That bipartisan support helped secure nearly $1.5 billion to keep the Growler going through the end of 2017.

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On The Trail
11:12 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Lawmakers Want To Make It Harder To Amend Missouri's Constitution

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is one of two lawmakers who want to make it harder to get constitutional amendments on the ballot. He's sponsoring a measure requiring more signatures to get an amendment up for a vote through an initiative petition.
Credit Tim Bommel | House Communications

When we last checked on the Missouri Constitution before the November election, it was roughly six to eight times bigger than the federal one – especially after three amendments were added to it in August. 

Flash forward to today and the Show Me State’s constitution is even bigger. Missourians added two amendments in November -- one limiting the governor’s budgetary powers and the other making it easier to prosecute people for sex crimes.

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Municipal Courts
11:11 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Few Participating In Warrant Amnesty Programs In City, County

Credit sxc.hu

Participation in two warrant forgiveness programs has been slow, and officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County are trying to figure out why.

In October, Mayor Francis Slay announced that St. Louis' municipal court would lift arrest warrants for people who had failed to take care of a minor traffic violation. The court ran ads in local media, sent postcards to any address they had on file for individuals with a warrant, partnered with local social service organizations to spread the word, and even recorded a message on the court's phone system.

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Stl250
11:10 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Religious Groups Share Common Goal: Assisting Immigrants

The International Institute of St. Louis provides English classes and other services to recent immigrants. It also helps with job placement.
Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is a city built on immigration – from the early French settlers, to the Germans and Irish in the 1800s, to the more modern immigration of Bosnians and Southeast Asians.

While there have been numerous waves of immigration into St. Louis, the welcome extended by existing religious groups to new immigrants has remained fairly consistent throughout St. Louis' 250 year history.

Providing Resources

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Community Support
8:24 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Southwest Illinois Toy Drive Benefits Military Families

Angela Mayfield picks out toys for her three children at the Belleville VFW on Sunday, December 14, 2014.
Credit Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Military parents in southwest Illinois and the surrounding area were given some help putting gifts under the Christmas tree Sunday.

About 400 toys, plus stocking stuffers and school supplies were distributed to military families at the Belleville VFW hall, just outside Scott Air Force Base.

Parents were able to select one large toy for each of their children from a variety of items donated by individuals and corporations.

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Ferguson Grand Jury
6:44 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Interview With Dorian Johnson Among New Grand Jury Documents Released

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch on November 24, 2014, announcing that Darren Wilson will not be charged with a crime for Mike Brown's death.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch released more grand jury testimony in the case of former Ferguson police office Darren Wilson on Saturday, including the law enforcement interview with Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown when he was killed in August.

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