Bill Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Bill Smith

Bill Smith

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - At Kirkwood City Hall, where the wait to vote was two hours shortly after the polls opened at 6 a.m., voters were casting their ballots in about 40 minutes by late morning.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - Dorothy Ward said she could not sleep at all Monday night.

"It was the anticipation, the excitement of Election Day," said the St. Louis woman who described herself as "40ish" and an employee of the Sara Lee bakery office in Earth City.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 3, 2008 - For Demetrius Braxton, a 36-year-old employee of a St. Louis drug and alcohol treatment center, the decision on who will get his vote for president of the United States is coming down to a single question.

While jobs, high energy prices and health care all are serious issues, Braxton said, what he really needed to know on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon in November, was this:

"When I go to sleep at night, who will make me feel most safe?"

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 30, 2008 - Cape Girardeau - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin brought her pro-life, pro-gun rights and pro-family campaign to southeast Missouri this morning, just five days before voters will be asked to decide on the country's next president.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 29, 2008 - Earl Cowens says if Barack Obama is elected, it will mean America has woken up.

If there is an ounce of bitterness in Earl Cowens' heart, he won't admit it. His country never was evil, he said. It was more that when it came to equal rights and equal opportunities for whites and blacks, things had gotten broken somewhere along the way -- "all messed up," he calls it --- and nobody was quite sure how to fix them.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - Inside a dilapidated building in the 4300 block of Manchester Avenue this week, as rainwater streamed through a leaking window just a few feet away, Jeff Ordower braced himself against a storm of another kind.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 2, 2008 - Gov. Sarah Palin gave a strong performance in Thursday night's vice-presidential debate at Washington University -- but so did Sen. Joe Biden, said those attending the 90-minute face-off, as they exited the hall.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - Perhaps, it's because the race remains so tightly contested -- with polls in recent weeks showing narrow leads by first the Republicans and then the Democrats. Perhaps, it's because of a continuing curiosity over surprise Republican vice presidential choice Sarah Palin.

Or perhaps, it's because the political drama will be playing out in their own back yard.

Whatever the reason, most voters interviewed by the Beacon this week said they plan to pay unusually close attention to Thursday night's vice presidential debate between Palin and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 23, 2008 - Maybe it IS the economy, stupid. But it's also the environment, the war, education, abortion, immigration, fuel prices, taxes, retirement and a seemingly endless list of other issues - both large and small - that could prove crucial in deciding how St. Louisans will vote in the upcoming presidential election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - It has been the quintessential mail order company for generations of consumers. Known for its quirky knick-knacks and handy-dandy household items, Miles Kimball made its name -- and its fortune -- by offering everything from mouthwash decanters to pineapple slicers to a public hungry for gizmos and gadgets.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - Never, Mark Wells said, has he felt the kind of electricity about an election that he feels about this one.

"It is like a dream come true," the self-employed contractor from Pine Lawn said of Barack Obama's candidacy for presidency. The campaign, he says, has energized him, excited many of his friends and galvanized African-Americans in St. Louis in a way that politics has never done before.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 15, 2008 - Just eight years ago, more than 15.3 million passengers boarded flights at Lambert St. Louis International Airport, nudged by a booming U.S. economy and a pre-terrorist attack enthusiasm for flying that filled gates to near capacity, crowded bars and gift shops and kept everyone from ticket agents to shoeshine men scrambling to keep up with the business.

Today, the falloff has been dramatic and precipitous. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 9, 2008 - Telling supporters that a deteriorating national economy has put "the whole notion of the American dream on hold," Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden said the Republican ticket presents a serious threat to middle-class workers.

Rich Thyer (left) gets help from instructor Larry Sisson at Ranken Technical College on Finney Avenue in St. Louis
Provided by Rich Thyer | Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - Chad Risenhoover has some simple advice for the 2,400 autoworkers facing layoffs at Chrysler's sprawling assembly plants in Fenton: "Life isn't over; the sun will still rise tomorrow.

"Sure, you may have to sell some of your toys; sure, you may have to downsize. But there is life after Chrysler, after Ford, even after Chevy."

For 17 years, Lawrence Davis says, he did everything he thought a father was supposed to do.

He kept a roof over his children's heads; he fed them. He paid for their school, their clothes and their toys.

"I always told myself I wasn't like those other fathers you hear about. I had a good job; I had two houses. I had my own truck.

"But it was an illusion."

For his children

 

Need help? Call 2-1-1

Jun 5, 2008
2008 photo, 300 pixels, ID of people not given
Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - Just short of its first birthday, Missouri's new 2-1-1 phone system, a referral service for non-emergency help, is within months of completing an ambitious plan to expand its reach into nine counties in Illinois. Once the program is up and running, it would make the Metro East region among the first in the state to become part of a 2-1-1 system, according to United Way 2-1-1 director Kay Archer.

Health-care officials in Missouri are gearing up for a major campaign this summer to convince uninsured, low-income women to take advantage of free vaccinations to guard against human papillomavirus or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.

A poster for prevention

Health-care foundation of greater Kansas City

Dr. Joshua Dowling is part of a team positioning a patient to use a Gamma Knife
Provided by the hospitals | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Despite significant medical advances in dealing with many types of cancers over the past decade, aggressive brain tumors remain extremely difficult to treat successfully.

As a result, Sen. Ted Kennedy and patients like him have a only a slight chance of surviving more than a couple of years.

That is the grim assessment of two of the St. Louis area's top experts on brain cancer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This year' 36th annual Gypsy Caravan marks a kind of homecoming for Belleville antiques dealers Al and Jeannine Meinen, as the giant Memorial Day crafts and antiques market returns to the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus after a seven-year hiatus.

"It's always a lot of fun," said Al Meinen, who with his wife, has sold vintage furniture and other primitives at 20 Gypsy Caravan events. "We certainly sell, but we're always buying too, always looking," he said. "And we love visiting with people from all over the country."

Ameren Vice President Richard Mark shows the type of cables that are being put under ground to improve reliability.300 pixels 2008 photo
Provided by AmerenUE | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even as AmerenUE battled a new round of power outages brought on by weekend storms, the Missouri utility giant continues to ramp up its plan to move more and more of its most vulnerable electrical lines underground.

Even as AmerenUE battled a new round of power outages brought on by weekend storms, the Missouri utility giant continues to ramp up its plan to move more and more of its most vulnerable electrical lines underground.

Underground wires

 

Photo courtesy of AmerenUE

Ameren Vice President Richard Mark shows the type of cables that are being put under ground to improve reliability.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Just weeks from the start of another summer travel season, St. Louisans are taking a hard look at whether escalating gasoline costs have priced them out of their dream vacations.

Michael Right, vice president for public affairs for the AAA Auto Club of Missouri, notes that the average price of a gallon of self-service regular unleaded averaged $1.39 in the month of May just five years ago.

King huddles with Pam Whitcraft of the Human Society in St. Louis. Until the trials are over concerning the dogfights King participated in, he can't be adopted.
Bill Smith | Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In a small, fenced exercise yard off Macklind Avenue, Humane Society of Missouri employee Pam Whitcraft and King -- a 3-year-old male pit bull with a coat the color of yellow sand -- were taking full advantage of the warm sunshine for a few precious minutes of outside playtime.

A strong wind was kicking up clouds of dust inside the pen, but it was not the wind that was bothering the animal this Thursday morning.