Camille Phillips

News Producer and Weekend Newscaster

Camille Phillips began working for St. Louis Public Radio in July 2013 as the online producer for the talk shows. She grew up in southwest Missouri and has a Master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Camille has also worked at public radio stations in Columbia, Mo. and Kansas City, Mo. As an intern for Harvest Public Media her work aired on KCUR, KBIA, NET Nebraska, Kansas Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio.

In her free time, Camille enjoys reading, dance, hiking and canoeing. She was drawn to journalism as a profession by a passion for hearing different perspectives and a desire to provide a platform for conversation.

Ways to Connect

Left: Audience members at an Ameren employee diversity festival clap when Ameren's $2.5 million donation is announced on Sat. Oct. 3, 2015 in St. Louis. Right: Rev. Earl Nance Jr. of Heat Up St. Louis shakes hands with Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

​Updated at 10 a.m. Oct. 4 with more detail on recipients - Ameren Corporation has pledged $2.5 million dollars to programs that support the Ferguson Commission’s priorities to reduce poverty and improve educational opportunities in St. Louis. The commission’s other priorities include justice and racial equity.

Ameren announced the funding Saturday during an employee festival celebrating diversity.

With class canceled due to a teacher strike, East St. Louis students spend school hours outside district offices Thurs. Oct. 1, 2015.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Updated Thursday, Oct. 1,  2015

School is canceled Thursday for 6,000 students in East St. Louis as teachers walk the picket line. About 400 union teachers and staff members went on strike at 7 a.m.

East St. Louis School District 189 spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins said Wednesday the superintendent is hopeful teachers will meet Thursday and reconsider the district’s contract offer. The district’s 400 union teachers rejected it Tuesday before voting to go on strike.

Mike Morrison talks with two staff members at Bridgeway's detox center in St. Louis.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

(Part 3 of 3)

In November 2013 Kari Karidis was in her office at Collinsville High School when a local hospital called to tell her that her son Chaz was in cardiac arrest. When she arrived at the emergency room she was told her son had died. All she could do was go into his room and say goodbye.

“He still had the tube — the breathing tube in,” Karidis recalled, sitting in that same office earlier this year. “I just sat there. I don’t know how long. I just remember thinking I can’t look at this but I can’t leave.”

A dose of naloxone, the opiate overdose antidote.
Openfile Vancouver | Flickr

(Part 2 of 3)

Earlier this month, a new anti-heroin law went into effect in Illinois. The measure requires first responders to carry the opiate overdose antidote naloxone and expands the amount of addiction treatment paid for by Medicaid. But how the drugs and treatment will be paid for is unclear. State funding for addiction treatment is also in limbo as Illinois enters its 13th week without a budget.

Meanwhile, there have been a number of legislative attempts in recent years aimed at fighting the heroin epidemic in Missouri. But the only bill to become law is a measure allowing law enforcement to carry the overdose antidote. And so far very few police departments have taken advantage of the law.

Michael and Kelley McDonald and Laura and Pete Stenger reminisce about their sons Sean McDonald and Mitch Stenger at Cottleville Wine Seller in St. Charles County. Both Sean and Mitch died of heroin overdoses in 2014. Mitch used to work at the Wine Seller
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

(Part 1 of 3) - On an April morning in 2014, Kelley McDonald woke up in her suburban St. Charles home and went downstairs to remind her son Sean to take his bipolar medication.

“I go over to the couch and I kind of shake him and I’m like come on buddy you’ve got to take your medicine. And that’s when I looked at him and he was kind of blue and I started screaming,” said Kelley McDonald, her voice shaking as she sits next to her husband Michael at a restaurant gazebo one year later.

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.”

St. Louis city hall now has monarch habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is being recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a leader in the effort to restore the monarch butterfly habitat.

Flickr | DIGITIZEDCHAOS

St. Charles County remains the fastest growing county in the St. Louis region, according to U.S. census data released Thursday.

New numbers from the 2014 American Community Survey show that the population of St. Charles County has grown by about 5 percent since 2010, from an estimated 361,602 to an estimated 379,493.

Demographics analyst and Saint Louis University professor Ness Sandoval points to the county’s relatively low cost of living as the cause of the growth.

Granite City Steel Mill
Davd Schaper|NPR

Stakeholders on both sides of the Mississippi River are ramping up recruitment efforts due to a shortage of workers pursuing careers in construction. In the Metro East, those recruitment efforts also include manufacturing.

Union members clap in appreciation at a rally against overriding 'right-to-work' on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 in Arnold, Mo.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Union members are making sure Missouri Republican lawmakers who voted against ‘right-to-work’ earlier this year know that they will have union support during the next election.

Missouri's chapter of the AFL-CIO held a rally and knocked on doors Saturday in Jefferson County ahead of the General Assembly’s veto session next Wednesday. That's when a vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a  "right-to-work" bill could be brought to the floor. The measure would bar making union dues a condition of employment.  Currently a business or union can require dues when a majority of workers have voted to organize.

Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

The first I-70 interchange west of the Missouri River is getting an $18 million update. Construction starts next spring to replace Fifth Street’s partial cloverleaf interchange with a diverging diamond.

It’s the latest project in a decade-long plan to improve the main corridor through the St. Louis region’s fastest growing county.

East St.  Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The mayor of East St. Louis says she is being left out of the decision-making process at city hall. She’s also accusing the city manager of violating the policies of the city council.

“I will not be circumvented without letting the citizens know exactly what is going on because I will not and do not want to be held accountable for decisions being made without my input or for situations that are out of my control,” Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks told St. Louis Public Radio ahead of a Sunday afternoon news conference billed as an emergency discussion.

police car lights
Jason Rojas | Flickr

Law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Mississippi River are out in force this weekend to try and keep a deadly trend in check. Historically Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest holidays to travel in both Missouri and Illinois.

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones diverges from Knowles and Curtis when it comes to how municipal courts affect predominantly black cities.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones is following through with her campaign promises to help reduce the number of St. Louisans without a banking account and increase the number of St. Louis children who go to college.

Through a partnership with national nonprofit Operation Hope and five area banks, the treasurer’s office is hiring a financial counselor to offer St. Louisans free advice on how to improve their credit scores, buy a home and start a business.

futureatlas.com | Flickr

Gas prices are on the rise again in St. Louis after a volatile couple of weeks. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $2.33 in St. Louis Saturday.

Prices bottomed out on Friday at an average cost of $2.14 a gallon in the Metro area, a 60 cent drop in less than two weeks. A Festus gas station went down to $1.85.

Interim Ferguson Police Chief Andre Anderson announces the arrest of De'Eris Brown for the shooting death of nine-year-old Jamyla Bolden Thursday Aug. 27, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

An O'Fallon, Mo., man is facing six felony counts including murder in the second degree in last week's shooting in Ferguson that killed 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden and wounded her mother.

Police said Thursday De'Eris Brown, 21, confessed to shooting into Bolden’s home. Brown is being held on a $750,000 cash-only bond. Court records show Brown previously pleaded guilty to felony robbery.

St. Louis attorney Pamela Meanes points her hand like a gun as she talks about the the law governing police use of force Sunday, August 23, 2015 at Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Standing in the annex of the Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Sunday, St. Louis attorney Pamela Meanes told congregants that increased attention to African Americans shot by police has yet to translate into substantial changes to laws and policies.

The immediate past president of the National Bar Association, Meanes was the fourth speaker in the church’s lecture series on “The Ferguson Effect.” She spoke about the impact of Ferguson on the legal system.

“The legal effect on Ferguson is that we’ve shined a light on where the gaping holes are. In a year we haven’t fixed any of them,” said Meanes, a partner at Thompson Coburn. “We have debated cameras, but does Missouri have a camera law? No. We’ve debated training. Has Missouri passed a codified training program? No.”

Members of the Local 23 firefighters union pass out school supplies to parents and children Saturday, August 22, 2015 in East St. Louis' Lincol Park.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

East St. Louis city government is in flux after a contentious city council meeting left both officials and residents divided.

On Thursday, the City Council replaced Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks' pick for city manager with former mayor Alvin Parks Jr.

“This is not to say anything bad about the past administration, but the past administration was there for eight years. And if the people wanted him back they would have voted him back,” Jackson-Hicks told St. Louis Public Radio Saturday. “I'm just not sure where we're going from here.  I really don't know.”

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson speaks to the press on Friday afternoon after Mansur Ball-Bey's preliminary autopsy.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 9 p.m. Friday with announcement from Jennifer Joyce - St. Louis is on high alert after police released the preliminary autopsy of an 18-year-old man shot and killed by a police officer earlier this week.

At a Friday afternoon press conference, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson confirmed that Mansur Ball-Bey was killed by a gunshot wound to the back. This came after Dotson and other police officials told reporters that Ball-Bey had pointed a gun an officer before he was shot and killed in St. Louis’ Fountain Park neighborhood.

St. Louis police chief Dotson speaks beside clergy and Mayor Francis Slay Thursday in Fountain Park, calling for calm after a night of unrest.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Friday with preliminary autopsy report:

St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson defended Thursday the tactics city police used the previous night during unrest that broke out in north St. Louis after the fatal police shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey. Later that night St. Louis police officers held back as a group marched to the intersection of Euclid and Maryland avenues and blocked traffic there for almost an hour.

On Friday morning, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released a statement saying that the city's medical examiner's preliminary autopsy "indicates Ball-Bey sustained a single gunshot wound to his back."

The grandmother of Kajieme Powell holds a sign on the steps of the Carnahan Courthouse as a speaker shouts in a bullhorn Wed. Aug. 19, 2015. Powell died one year ago Wed.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

On the first anniversary of the death of Kajieme Powell, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said her office is still investigating whether charges should be filed against the two St. Louis police officers who shot and killed Powell as he allegedly approached them with a knife.

East St.  Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

East St. Louis employees across all departments could be facing layoffs due to a budget deficit approaching $5.7 million by 2016.

“We will make every effort as an administration to review all legal options and only look at layoffs as a last resort. However at this point we really do not see how the city will avoid layoffs,” said Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks in a prepared statement to news outlets Sunday afternoon.

Kindergartner Asia Boles holds out her hands for a backpack full of school supplies Saturday, August 15, 2015 beside her brother Javion Bell, who is entering 7th grade and her mother Annette Boles.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Normandy Schools kicks off its third year without accreditation Monday. Fellow north St. Louis County school district Riverview Gardens also remains unaccredited.

Saturday non-profit Beyond Housing held a resource fair designed to get families ready — and excited — for the school year.

A young girl walks near a memorial for Michael Brown. Hundreds of people converged near the spot where Brown was killed to honor the 18-year-old
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Sunday was the first time Erica Garner stepped foot in Ferguson.

She’s the daughter of Eric Garner, a man who was choked to death by a New York police officer. She ventured to the St. Louis region to pay tribute to Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who became a symbol for a growing movement to change policing.

Michael Brown Sr, family and supporters march 4.8 miles from Ferguson to Normandy High School on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Surrounded by family, supporters and media, Michael Brown Sr. laid down a teddy bear on the middle of Canfield Dr. Saturday morning before leading the crowd on a 4.8 mile march from Ferguson to Normandy High School.  Sunday marks a year since his son, Michael Brown Jr., was shot and killed by then Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

The length of the march was chosen as a reference to the four and a half hours Brown’s body lay on Canfield Dr. on August 9, 2014.

St. Louis County Lt. Col. Ken Gregory talks to Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles (bottom right) and Michael Brown Sr. (bottom left) along with many area leaders attended a St. Louis County NAACP brunch Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County NAACP is launching two new initiatives on the eve of the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown: one to provide free legal services to children and one to push municipalities to improve police training.

In response to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Justice, the NAACP branch is starting a program for attorneys to represent children facing long-term school suspension or charges in the juvenile justice system on a pro-bono basis.

Mayor Francis Slay, at podium, introduces his nominees for the cvilian oversight board. They are, from left, DeBorah Ahmed, Ciera Simril, Heather Highland, Jane Abbott-Morris, Bradley Arteaga, Steve Rovak and Lawrence Johnson.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says his nominations for the city's first Civilian Oversight Board will help reduce crime by improving the relationships police have with the community. He introduced his nominees Thursday in his office by saying they reflect the diversity of the city and have the best interest of St. Louis and the police department in mind.

“The most important priority in our city now, is to reduce crime. I believe that civilian involvement in our police department is a key component of our comprehensive approach to reducing crime,” Slay said. 

Clockwise from the upper left: Janice Thomas, Katie Banister, George Lenard and Greg Gibson.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 5 of 5

The death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis last August. But it’s the people who live here who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has almost passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We’ve asked you a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: Did the death of Michael Brown and the related protests change your beliefs or affect your life?

Clockwise from the upper left: John Powell, Greg Gibson, Amy Peach and George Lenard.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Part 4 of 5

The death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson brought the eyes of the world to St. Louis last August. But it’s the people who live in St. Louis who were impacted most directly.

Now that a year has almost passed, St. Louis Public Radio is inviting you to share how Brown’s death affected your life, as well as your thoughts about how the events that followed impacted the region as a whole. We’ll be asking you a different question every day this week.

Today’s question: Is St. Louis as a region moving in the right direction to bridge gaps of race and class? If so, how so? If not, what needs to be done differently?

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