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Julia Lacher, Clayvon Wesley and Patrick Allie joined host Don Marsh to talk about an oral history project collecting veterans' voices.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Oral storytelling is an age-old tradition that the Missouri Historical Society is making the most of when it comes to sharing veterans’ personal experiences. While construction is finishing up downtown at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, an oral-history project is currently underway that will soon highlight the detailed accounts of 30 veterans from the St. Louis area.

A 3D rendering of the "Romeo and Juliet" stage.
Margery and Peter Spack

Neon lights and the colors of young love will brighten Forest Park over the next three weeks, when Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the bard's "Romeo and Juliet" for the first time since 2001.

The play runs June 1 through June 24 at 8 p.m. every night except Tuesdays. A prelude performance starts at 6:30 p.m. before each show. All performances are held on this year's outdoor stage in the Shakespeare Glen, near the St. Louis Art Museum.

The set this year mixes modern pop sensibilities with architectural features inspired by Verona, Italy, where the love story and tragedy play out. 

 This image is from Sarah Paulsen's film White by Law which is part of her The Invention of Whiteness exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum.
Sarah Paulsen

For most of her life, St. Louis artist Sarah Paulsen was oblivious to what it means to be white, and the privilege it confers.

Then in 2008, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton shot and killed six people at Kirkwood City Hall.  Thornton was a black man; his victims were white. The tragedy threw a spotlight on the racial, class and wealth divide that had long existed in the St. Louis suburb. It also prompted Paulsen to begin exploring the social construct of race in America and how being white means never having to think about it.

Simone Townsend, 52, sits on the stoop of her Penrose home. She says she sees an increase in crime during the summer months in her neighborhood.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

The start of summer means more time outside, but for Simone Townsend, rising temperatures lead to anxiety about safety in her Penrose neighborhood.

“The time frame I start to worry is when it starts to warm up, whether it’s in May or June or April,” Townsend said.

So her 12-year-old son and her grandchildren aren’t allowed to go outside without her or another adult. Townsend said she’s seen violence just outside her home in north St. Louis, and when summer starts, the risk only increases.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would become governor if Eric Greitens left office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Lt. Gov. Mike Parson becomes governor on Friday, the clock will be ticking to fill several seats on the board that oversees Missouri’s K-12 schools. Yet the soon-to-be governor’s platform on education is thin.

Kamil Dragun (left) won Group B and Vasif Durarbayli won Group A in the 2018 Summer Chess Classic
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The Summer Chess Classic has come to an end. After 10 long days, nine grueling rounds and one exciting playoff, the winners for Group A and Group B were crowned. Before we discuss the winners and their grand style, let’s review the tournament’s purpose, format and fields.

Democrats hope that Gov. Eric Greitens will be an albatross for GOP state legislative candidates.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Grietens' shocking resignation on Tuesday elicited an array of emotions from Missourians following nearly five months of political and legal scandal.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri’s new governor Friday at 5 p.m. This comes after accusations against Greitens of sexual misconduct related to a 2015 extramarital affair, and alleged campaign finance violations involving donor lists tied to Greitens’ nonprofit The Mission Continues.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The morning after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced he was resigning, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley was in Springfield highlighting his endorsement from the political arm of Missouri Right to Life, the state’s top anti-abortion group.

The attorney general’s apparent aim was to reach out to social conservatives – and quickly change the subject from the political cloud that Greitens’ sex scandal has cast over Missouri Republicans for months.

That move fits in with the advice offered by former state Republican Party chairman John Hancock.

“There’s no question but that a lot of the grassroots were divided on how they felt about things,” Hancock said. “So I think Job One for candidates is to get the base to coalesce and unite.”

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Today was the actual last day of Missouri’s 2018 legislative session, as the heads of the House and Senate each placed their signatures on every bill that’s headed to the governor’s office.

But it’s unknown which governor will be signing them.

(L to R) Legal experts Bill Freivogel, Michael Wolff and Mark Smith discussed the legal implications of Gov. Greitens' resignation.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the political and legal fallout surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' resignation.

Joining him was St. Louis Public Radio statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin and several legal experts.

Along with the Greitens saga, the legal panel also touched on several other current issues pertaining to the law.

On the panel:

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens entered office in 2017 with the opportunity to become the most impactful Republican governor in Missouri history. Never before had a GOP chief executive had so many Republicans in the General Assembly, giving the former Navy SEAL the opportunity to make a policy mark.

By Friday afternoon, Greitens will become a cautionary tale for Missouri politicians. He’ll exit office after five months of scandal and disgrace — leaving his successor, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, with the opportunity to enact policy change that’s eluded his party for decades.

In statements to the news media, Nordstrom Rack spokeswoman said normal procedures for calling police were not followed in the May incident.
File photo

The anti-bias training that closed Starbucks stores across the U.S. for a few hours Tuesday is over. Will it change anything?

That’s what one St. Louisan is asking after he was recently racially profiled at a local Nordstrom Rack. Mekhi Lee, 19, and his two friends were shopping at the store in early May when employees accused them of stealing. Lee said they had receipts to prove they paid for items.

The incident happened a couple of weeks after two men in Philadelphia were arrested after waiting in a Starbucks, an incident that led to nationwide anti-bias training for company employees.

The St. Louis County Council passed a resolution Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, asking municipalities to spend Proposition P solely on policing. The resolution is non-binding.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County voters will likely weigh in this summer on the ongoing power struggle between the St. Louis County Council and County Executive Steve Stenger.

The council voted 6-1 today to override five of his vetoes. Three of the measures are proposed changes to the county Charter that will be placed on the August ballot.

One of the changes would set campaign-donation limits of $2,600 for candidates for countywide office or the council. All three have provisions that would increase the council’s powers.

ONE TIME USE ONLY - DO NOT USE AS A FILE PHOTO
Robert Cohen | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who once aspired for national office, has announced he will resign after months of swirling controversy surrounding an extramarital affair and subsequent investigations about his campaign finances.

Greitens said Tuesday afternoon from his office in Jefferson City that he will step down at 5 p.m. on Friday. The move will elevate Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, a former Republican state lawmaker, to the governor’s office.

"I came to office to fight for the people of Missouri, to fight for the forgotten," Greitens said. "I love Missouri. And I love our people. That love remains."

Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The modern two-party system has dominated U.S. politics for decades – but it’s also led to deep-seated divisions among American voters. Mickey Edwards, former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, said political parties are “undemocratic,” citing the American Founding Fathers’ warnings about the rupture political parties can cause among U.S. citizens.

“George Washington’s farewell address said, ‘don’t create political parties.’ He begged us not to create political parties. The founder James Madison said that; James Monroe said that, and we did it – and now we’re paying the price for it,” Edwards said.

Edwards, vice president of the Aspen Institute, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Tuesday for a conversation on the structure and function of political parties and party leadership. Also joining the discussion were St. Louis 8th Ward alderwoman Annie Rice and Wally Siewert, director of civic engagement at FOCUS St. Louis.

Calvin Lai is an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University as well as the director of research for Project Implicit.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In April, the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia sparked outrage across the U.S. The incident prompted the company’s announcement that it would close thousands of stores for one afternoon this spring in order to conduct nationwide training on implicit biases.

As that training got underway on Tuesday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked with Washington University’s Calvin Lai, who is the director of research for Project Implicit.

An assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, Lai is interested in thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness or control. Those thoughts and feelings can influence how we make sense of and judge other people, Lai said, and are reflective of “both the culture and the person.”

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Missouri Senate extends its session to investigate possible wrongdoing by the governor, it’s also prolonging the state school board’s inability to function normally.

The State Board of Education has three members currently, not enough for the board to have a five-member quorum and hold meetings. Yet under state law, the board must meet in June. If and when that meeting will take place is not certain, and what happens if it doesn’t is also a question.

Bram Sable-Smith | Side Effects Public Media

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has designated nine hospitals in St. Louis County as priority heart attack centers to ensure that the most at-risk patients receive help as fast as possible.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi during a visit to the University of Missouri-St. Louis on April 18, 2017.
File photo I Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum is pleased to welcome University of Missouri System President Mun Choi to the program for the first time.

Choi oversees four University of Missouri campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis. He took on his job on March 1, 2017, succeeding interim President Michael Middleton.

House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick helped deauthorize the low-income housing tax credit earlier this month.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Since Gov. Eric Greitens’ scandal broke wide open in January, there’s been a well-accepted assumption that if the GOP chief executive resigns it would lead to Lt. Gov. Mike Parson restarting the shuttered low-income housing tax credit.

House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick has a message for fans of that program: Not so fast.

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