Jess Jiang

NPR Reporting Fellow

Jess Jiang has spent the last three years producing NPR’s Planet Money. She recently worked on the team’s T-shirt project, where she followed the start of the manufacturing process. She went to Mississippi to see how modern-day cotton is harvested and farmed. And also went to Indonesia to find out why the cotton is sent halfway around the world to be spun.

Jess got her start in public radio at Studio 360. She graduated from Yale College in 2008, majoring in economics and environmental studies.

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A recent Brookings Institution report looks at millions of job openings across the country to see how hard it is to fill science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions in a hundred metro areas. The answer: hard.

Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Watch how manufacturing beer at Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis brewery (making 15 million barrels a year) looks different from Perennial Artisan Ales's microbrewery in south city.

Missouri History Museum, St. Louis

Forest Park is expecting to have just under 50,000 visitors this July 4th weekend for Fair St. Louis. Officials and St. Louisans have been worried about crowds, parking and congestion. But 100 years ago, the park saw much bigger crowds for the city's 150th birthday celebration. Perhaps the planners of Fair St. Louis can learn a lot from the Pageant and Masque St.

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Historically, the nation's barges have transported much of the nation's coal. In fact, barges are second only behind rail for moving the nation's primary energy source to the power plants that use it.  But in June, the EPA put out a new rule to cut carbon emissions by thirty percent by 2030. The rule's impact on power plants is direct. But what about the impact on the barge industry?  

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

If voters approve a 0.75 percent sales tax increase this August, the St. Louis area will get bus rapid transit, a light rail stop, a better port and an expanded I-270, among other things. 

That's according to a list the Missouri Department of Transportation released Friday of $5-billion dollars worth of projects that would be funded by the tax increase. 

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

A  year ago today, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that students who live in unaccredited school districts should be able to transfer to better schools, with their home districts having to foot the bill. The decision opened the door for about 2,000 kids in the north county districts of Normandy and Riverview Gardens to transfer to nearby schools. 

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

The Department of Justice is charging 14 people with Medicaid fraud in Illinois.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen Wigginton, said over the past few years, dozens of people have fleeced a Medicaid program that pays personal assistants to help disabled or sick Medicaid recipients live at home. The intention is to save the state money by keeping people in their homes and out of costly institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes.

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Super bugs — those bacterial diseases that are resistant to antibiotics — are growing, according to a recent World Health Organization report. Not only are the bugs getting stronger, the report explains, but pharmaceutical companies are also not developing enough new antibiotics to replace the ones that become ineffective. As a result, patients are suffering as the arsenal of antibiotics to fight infections dwindles.

Hazel Watson is one of those people.

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

After 14 months of preparation, the "For the Sake of All" authors released their final report Friday at the Missouri History Museum. Hundreds of St. Louis community members attended the presentation. Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis University showed how poverty, race, and education can impact health and life expectancy for African Americans in the region. 

St. Louis VA hospital
Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., calls it "outrageous" that the the Department of Veterans Affairs hasn't answered questions about quality and timeliness of mental health care in the VA St. Louis Health Care System. The senator met with hospital officials in St. Louis Wednesday, after allegations from the former chief of psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, that mental health doctors weren't seeing enough patients and veterans were waiting a month or more to see a psychiatrist. 

Sergio Ruiz ( / Flickr

The courtroom battle between ride-sharing app Lyft and the taxi commission came to a close Wednesday. After four days of testimony. Both sides have called their last witnesses. The taxi commission is seeking a preliminary injunction in St. Louis Circuit Court to prevent Lyft from doing business. 

Lyft's strategy during the trial was essentially tit for tat. For every expert the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission called, Lyft had one to match -- and more.

Sergio Ruiz ( / Flickr

The legal battle between the ride-sharing app Lyft and the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission continued for a third day today at the Carnahan Courthouse. 

Lyft representative Joseph Okpaku spent yet another day on the witness stand. Okpaku testified Monday that the company is not a cab service, that its cars are not "vehicles for hire," and that Lyft's insurance was better than what St. Louis requires of its taxis. The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, which is seeking a preliminary injunction against Lyft to stop doing business in St. Louis, challenged Okpaku's assertions Tuesday. 

Courtesy of Lyft

Missouri's Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, weighed in on a St. Louis matter Monday. He took the stand on behalf of Lyft in a court hearing over whether or not the ride sharing app should be considered a car or a taxicab. In his testimony, Kinder explained how he tried to book a Lyft car a few weeks ago, only to learn, to his dismay, that St. Louis's taxi commission was blocking the startup. 

Striking fast food workers in south St. Louis, MO.
Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Fast food workers around the globe and in St. Louis went on strike Thursday. Workers, wearing black T-shirts that say "Show Me $15," rallied in front of a Wendy's in south St. Louis. The workers are asking for $15 an hour, about double what many workers currently receive. 

Courtesy of Lyft

Lyft, a ridesharing app that connects passengers to drivers, is in a legal battle for its existence in St. Louis.

The Metropolitian Taxicab Commission is asking a judge to issue an injunction to prevent Lyft from operating in the city. Lyft started its operations in late April. But after the commission won a temporary restraining order against Lyft, the company had to stop services.

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Michael Sam, the only openly gay professional football player, was introduced at a news conference at Rams Park Tuesday. 

Sam received unprecedented attention for a 249th pick in the NFL draft. He answered questions for nearly half an hour during the news conference. That's much longer than what even No. 2 draft pick, fellow St. Louis rookie, Greg Robinson, had to endure.