U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

The divisions among House Republicans over the funding of Planned Parenthood that contributed to Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down next month will not force a government shutdown this week, according to Ballwin Republican Ann Wagner.

Lorie El Atlassi brought her toy poodle Zach and mini poodle Pepper to protest Petland in Lake St. Louis Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.  She says her dogs were both rescued from breeders.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Tuesday, September 29 with comments from one of the store owners.

Animal rights activists continue to push for an end to what they call “puppy mills” in Missouri, five years after voters passed a proposition tightening dog breeding regulationsA year later, Gov. Nixon signed a compromise bill into law that reduced some of those regulations.

About 20 people picketed Petland in Lake St. Louis Sunday, carrying signs that read “Honk for a shelter dog” and “Boycott stores that sell puppies.”

Leanne Fritsch of University City organized the protest for “Puppy Mill Awareness Day.” She said a smaller group meets at Petland every Saturday.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin visited Scott Air Force Base on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 for a news conference warning about the economic impact of federal government shutdown.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

With a possible federal government shutdown on the horizon, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Friday the consequences for his home state would be especially dire if it occurs while Illinois remains without a state budget.

“When we have government shutdown in Washington as we did several years ago, innocent people are going to suffer as a result of it,” Durbin said, standing in front of military planes at Scott Air Force Base. “And we can certainly know the impact it’s going to have on some groups, not the least of which will be federal employees.”

Eric Greitens kicks off his campaign for Missouri governor at Westport.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Billing himself as the “conservative outsider” that Missouri needs, Republican Eric Greitens has officially launched his 2016 campaign for governor by seeking to assure the GOP’s base that he’s committed to their cause.

Courtesy of Raven

Joe Eulberg  doesn't remember what made him so upset that he flipped a table during an argument with his wife 20 years ago.

He does remember the outcome.

"A few days after that, Barbara, my wife, came and said you need to get help or I'm going to leave and take the kids,” Eulberg said in a recent interview with St. Louis Public Radio.

Eulberg turned for help to the Raven.

Alex Heuer

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and statistics from the recently released ‘World Alzheimer Report 2015’ show that by 2050, an estimated 131.5 million people across the globe will have dementia. Currently, that number sits at about 46.8 million people worldwide. A shift in the proportional growth of older populations is the root cause of that increase, but still, the numbers are startling.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio
Medill DC | Flickr

House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise announcement that he will resign from the House at the end of October prompted quick responses from the area’s congressional delegation. Boehner, 65, was first elected to the House in 1991.

Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, joined other Republicans in praising Boehner's decision as a selfless act.

The St. Louis Chamber Chorus' composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, smiles with artistic director Philip Barnes on "Cityscape."
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus begins its diamond jubilee season Sunday, September 27, in celebration of its long tradition of introducing a cappella music—familiar, unfamiliar, new, traditional—to St. Louis audiences.

Ernest Brooks

In 2015, it is hard to imagine a scuba diving trip that would not include at least 400 selfies. Not the case for world-renowned ocean photographer Ernest Brooks, whose exhibition "Silver Seas: An Odyssey" is now on display at the International Photography Hall of Fame.

Aine O'Connor, St. Louis Public Radio

Next week, New Line Theatre will celebrate its 25th anniversary by opening the regional premiere of “Heathers” in its brand-new digs: The Marcelle Theater, a new 150-seat black box theatre space in Grand Center built by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg.

It’s a move back to a black box for Artistic Director Scott Miller, which he says he has been hoping to do for years. In addition to changing up the set design, a challenge Scenic and Lighting Designer Rob Lippert is eager to meet, the move also heralds a change in show lineup: The theatre company will now do four shows per season.

Zines like those stacked on Nickey Rainey's table will be available at the Small Press expo
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Update 9/29:  Organizers for the St. Louis Small Press Expo report attendance at 900 people, roughly double the number of participants during the event's inaugural year.

The St. Louis Small Press Expo is designed to promote St. Louis writers and book makers from marginalized communities.

“It’s important that each of us not only represent a community of the kind of books and art that we make but we also tend to represent different communities in terms of our contributors and the kind of stories they’re telling,” said Jared Rourke who publishes Queer Young Cowboys, "And so we focus on queer issues; we have a lot of women’s issues; we have issues that are important to people of color.”

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A half-size, movable version of the Vietnam Veterans memorial wall is now on display at the Missouri Capitol.

The "Moving Wall," as it's officially known, is not the only traveling version of the memorial in Washington, D.C., but it's the only version sanctioned by Congress.

Wellspring Church in Ferguson, September 21, 2015.
Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

Now that the Ferguson Commission has made its report, what are St. Louisans thinking? Monday at Wellspring Church in Ferguson, many expressed frustration — with officials, obstacles and each other. But another note sounded clearly through the discontent: determination to press forward.

POST Commission members include Emanuel Cleaver III (left) and Sgt. Jeffery Hughley Jr., (center).
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri state commission tasked with developing new training and professional standards for law enforcement held a public hearing on Thursday. More than a dozen residents, elected officials and members of law enforcement took to the podium to voice their opinions in the student center at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley over the course of two hours.  

Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

If you’ve been to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dogtown, or even stepped foot in John D. McGurk’s in Soulard, you probably understand how a town with such Irish heritage as St. Louis could shape a future U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Kevin O’Malley, the native St. Louisan who is now serving in that role, paid a diplomatic visit to the “St. Louis on the Air” studio on Thursday to talk with host Don Marsh about what he does.

Ameren's power plant in Labadie is the largest in the state.
Art Chimes

Updated 5:00 p.m., Sept. 24 with vote result - The Missouri Air Conservation Commission has voted to designate parts of Franklin and St. Charles counties as "unclassifiable" for sulfur dioxide pollution.

Thursday's vote follows a recommendation by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources earlier this week.

Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

When she was just 17 years old, Zuhal Sultan founded the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq during a time of great turmoil in her country. A pianist herself, she wanted to unite fellow Iraqi youth through music, paving a path to peace by bringing together members from the country’s many varied religions and sects.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

“Trade is a two-way street.” That’s the message U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wants President Barack Obama to deliver to Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two men meet this week in Washington. Xi begins an official state visit here Friday.

“Missouri farmers have to be able to sell our products in China on a level playing field and right now they’re being treated unfairly,” McCaskill told St. Louis Public Radio.

Antonia Banks and her son John Paul testify on Thursday at the Board of Aldermen's Ways and Means Committee. They were speaking in support of a bill exempting sheltered workshops from a mnimum wage hike.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is closer to exempting sheltered workshops from the city’s new minimum wage law.

When the city raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, it didn’t exempt sheltered workshops. Those are facilities that provide job opportunities to people with developmental disabilities – and often pay less than the minimum wage.

Eugene Redmond, Professor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

In the past year, St. Louis has been saturated by a groundswell of art related to social justice concerns, specifically issues of the region’s racial inequalities. For scholars, fans and former members of St. Louis’ Black Artists Group (BAG), the trend is remarkably familiar.