Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Joseph Leahy

Reporter and afternoon newscaster

Joseph Leahy began his career in broadcast journalism at St. Louis Public Radio in 2011. He moved to Delaware in 2012 to help launch the state’s first NPR station, 91.1 FM WDDE, as a general assignment reporter, afternoon newscaster and host. Leahy returned to Missouri in 2013 to anchor St. Louis Public Radio’s local newscasts during NPR’s All Thing’s Considered and produce news on local and regional issues. He worked with St. Louis Public Radio from 2011 to 2017. His education includes a master’s degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri. He graduated high school at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, California and grew up migrating almost annually with his family between rural Missouri and sprawling Los Angeles. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1982.

Waters continue to rise around I-55 near Butler Hill on Wednesday morning. May 2017
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated May 4 at 7 p.m. with information about West Alton — Officials with the Rivers Pointe Fire Protection District are urging residents east of Highway 67 in West Alton who plan to evacuate, particularly those who are elderly or have a disability, to do so immediately. Those planning to ride out the flooding, officials said in a Facebook post, should secure provisions.

Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of church bells of the St. Louis Archdiocese and other local congregations have hung silent since Holy Thursday, but will sound again, as is tradition, for Easter Vigil on Saturday. For generations, the handmade metal signals have called on local communities to mark the significant moments of life.

Red and blue, circular logo of the American Cricket Academy & Club.
American Cricket Academy & Club

A cricket field opening Saturday in St. Charles County signals how much the sport is growing in the region.

The venue at BaratHaven Park in Dardenne Prairie will, for the first time, give the American Cricket Academy and Club of St. Louis a dedicated home to practice and play.

Local enthusiasm for the sport has been largely driven by Indian and other immigrant communities, said ACAC founder and executive director Ajay Jhamb.

Two yellow signs indicate a streetcar crossing on Delmar Blvd.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in more than 50 years, trolley cars – a few of them, at least – will be rolling down the streets of St. Louis. Construction on the Loop Trolley’s 2.2-mile stretch between Forest Park and University City wrapped up in November and, according to trolley officials, test runs on Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue are set to begin in the next week or so.

File photo | Cathy Carver

The city of Maplewood faces a federal lawsuit for alleged discriminatory housing practices against black and disabled residents and victims of domestic violence.

The city's "chronic nuisance ordinance," which was instituted in 2006, is enforced "selectively" and ignores "similar conduct" by residents who aren't African-American, according to the lawsuit filed late Monday by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, or EHOC.

Three men stand at a podium with microphones at St. Louis City Hall.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft kicked off a media campaign in the marbled rotunda of St. Louis City Hall on Monday to inform the public about Missouri's new voter ID law, which takes effect June 1.

The law that voters gave legislators the constitutional authority to enact in November will require any voter who can’t show a valid photo ID to either provide supplemental documents and their signature or cast a provisional ballot. The first election to be affected takes place Aug. 8.

Hazy photo of the Mississippi River with a tugboat and the Gateway Arch in the distance.
Paul Sableman |Wikimedia Commons

A new agreement between the Port of New Orleans and the St. Louis Regional Freightway aims to boost cargo shipments on the Mississippi River.

Officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding in New Orleans on Thursday to coordinate their efforts in working with regional shippers and carriers. The goal is growing trade and building upon existing and new business relationships between the two regions and critical ports.

Adrian Levin, of St. Louis County, visits Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery to check on the headstones of his wife's relatives. (Feb. 21, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Mike Pence is speaking out against an act of vandalism this past weekend that left 154 gravestones toppled at one of Missouri's oldest Jewish cemeteries.

Pence made a surprise stop at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City on Wednesday afternoon, where more than 700 people gathered to help clean up and attend an interfaith vigil.

Pence said the outpouring of support showed "the heart of the state."

A sidewalk along Bellefontaine Road in Bellefontaine Neighbors doesn't quite make it to the Metro bus stop.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Liane Constantine and her 6-year-old son, Ashton, live about half a mile from where he takes taekwondo classes in a small strip mall in Kirkwood. It would be easy enough to walk there, if only they could safely cross Manchester Road.

“ … I’d have to grab him by the hand and say ‘run when we don’t see any cars’,” she said, standing on the unpaved street corner that doesn’t have a crosswalk. Instead, they’re forced to drive, unnecessary as it seems.

The difficulty in traveling even short distances without a car prompted Constantine to ask our Curious Louis project why sidewalks are often so few and far between in St. Louis County.

Joe Edwards poses with a green and white trolley car purchased in Seattle for the Loop Trolley.
Synergy Group

The Loop Trolley project is still on track to begin giving rides this spring despite delays in getting some of the street cars to St. Louis.

Construction on the 2.2 mile route between Forest Park and the Delmar Loop wrapped up last fall, but two of the trolleys remain at a facility in Ida Grove, Iowa, for testing.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Since the Rams went west (and south, if you count their record), who did St. Louis pay attention to in the NFL this season?

Black semi-automatic pistol
(via Flickr/kcds)

A new law in Missouri this year allows most adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Lawmakers got final approval for the measure after overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto last September.

Gun owners are now no longer required to take safety training or have a criminal background check to carry their weapon concealed in most public places.

s_falkow |Flickr

A comprehensive rewrite of Missouri’s criminal code will take effect Jan. 1. The overhaul stems from legislation passed in 2014 and marks the first complete revision since the late 1970s.

“Overall, the idea was just to make the code logical, coherent and consistent — both structurally and internally,” said Amy Fite, president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Hammering out the wide-ranging legislation took nearly eight years and two legislative sessions, involving significant contributions from state prosecutors, a special committee of the Missouri Bar and other law enforcement groups.

Photo of three dogs and their handlers at Lambert Airport.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

The Transportation Security Administration has increased its security staff at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport by more than 30 people in time for the busy Christmas holiday travel season.  

The boost in personnel this year will coincide with an expected 11 percent increase in travelers, said Missouri’s Federal Security Director Jim Spriggs.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro speaking at lectern at St. Stansilaus Kostka Church in north St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Department Housing and Urban Development awarded St. Louis a $29.5 million grant on Monday to help revive the city’s near north side.

Profile photo of CKE Restaurants Chief Executive Andrew Puzder.
CKE Restaurants Inc.

Donald Trump has chosen a former St. Louis lawyer to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.

The president-elect plans to tap Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Junior, Hardees and other fast food chains, to lead the department which oversees the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees.

Hazy photo of the Mississippi River with a tugboat and the Gateway Arch in the distance.
Paul Sableman |Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Transportation is funding efforts to increase container-on-barge traffic along the Mississippi River. 

Federal and local officials on Monday announced six Marine Highway Grants, including two aimed at boosting freight at the Port of St. Louis and America’s Central Port in Granite City.

Increasing containers on the nation’s inland waterways will be necessary to meet increasing demand over the next 30 years, said U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.

Road map of Forest Park and the Central West End in St. Louis, MO.
Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

Forest Park Parkway near Barnes-Jewish Hospital in the Central West End is closing until at least next summer starting Monday.

The road, which runs below Kingshighway, will be filled in to connect at-grade with the intersection. The $10 million project is designed to improve access and safety for patients, visitors and neighbors, according to June Fowler, BJC’s  senior vice president of communications.

“We thought it was important to have a traditional intersection so folks who are traveling to the campus would have a more intuitive way to access services,” she said.

Dozens of cannabis clones grow under high-intensity lights at BeLeaf's growing and processing facility in Earth City, Missouri.
File photo | Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri failed to pass the state legislature last session or qualify for the ballot next week, but nine pot-related measures are up for votes in other states on Election Day.  As laws and public opinion toward the cannabis plant continue shifting nationwide, the Show Me State is taking a wait-and-see approach.

Renovating the Eads Bridge involved sandblasting nine coats off old paint off and replacing more than a million pounds of steel.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The historic Eads Bridge is now fit to carry MetroLink and motor traffic over the Mississippi River until at least the year 2091 with the completion of a four-year, $48 million rehabilitation project.

East-West Gateway Council of Governments

St. Louis County will be chipping in to study a possible light rail expansion that would run south from Ferguson through downtown St. Louis to the Meramec River.

MetroLink train at station
File photo | Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio

A new initiative is asking St. Louis-area residents to re-imagine the role of three MetroLink stations as vibrant public spaces where visitors can do more than just catch a train.

Map of major watersheds in the St. Louis area.
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

The "cloud burst" that drenched a mid-section of St. Louis County with nearly four inches of rain early Monday morning is only part of why local streams and creeks swelled their banks, flooding businesses and several busy streets.

Forecasters called it a 25-year rain event, but similar flooding took place just eight months ago and to many county residents it's also reminiscent of flooding in 2008.

A MetroLink train
File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Parking Commission is putting up $2 million to study a possible north-south MetroLink expansion. Members voted unanimously Thursday to spend funds from the Parking Division’s unrestricted reserves to re-examine the 17-mile route that would connect St. Louis’ downtown to north and south St. Louis County.

The director of Missouri’s Center for Education Safety wants the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to require all schools to have plans for responding to active shooters and other emergencies.   

Jacara Sproaps became principal of Dunbar Elementary School in July 2013.
Provided | St. Louis Public Schools

Updated July 15 with suspect’s name, charges — St. Louis Public Schools has lost a second educator to violence in less than a year. Dunbar Elementary School Principal Jacara Sproaps was killed Wednesday night in south St. Louis.

Police said Thursday Sproaps, 38, was shot and killed outside her home in the Gravois Park neighborhood by a man angry with her over their past relationship.

Her boyfriend, Maurice Partlow, was also killed, and her 18-year-old son is in critical but stable condition at an area hospital.One of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers who responded to the scene was grazed in the shin by a bullet.

Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is touting progress in the city's efforts to employ teenagers and young adults over the summer.

STL Youth Jobs launched nearly four years ago as a collaboration between the city and civic partners to offer paid positions and training opportunities for at-risk youth.

Missouri History Museum Photograph and Print Collections

It has been 100 years since a lavish downtown restaurant closed, signaling the end of an era in St. Louis.

On June 30, 1916, Tony Faust’s Oyster House and Restaurant gave its final last call, after four decades of serving as St. Louis’ social epicenter — for the rich and famous and working class alike. 

Faust’s restaurant at Broadway and Elm Street was renowned for extravagant meals, rooftop dining and being the first in St. Louis to offer electric lighting.

Companies like Uber say they employ cutting-edge technology to pick up riders and allow them to pay electronically.
File photo | Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio / Uber, MTC

Thousands of UberX drivers continue giving rides in St. Louis and St. Louis County despite efforts by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission to ticket them for doing so.

The MTC announced last March it would begin citing the ride-hailing company’s drivers for failing to have a vehicle-for-hire license, which requires a fingerprint background check under state law. So far, MTC enforcement agents have issued about 18 citations, said Executive Director Ron Klein.

View of North Gateway construction site.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

The Gateway Arch is clearing space for more foot and bicycle traffic by making most motor vehicles park off site.

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