Joseph Leahy

Reporter

Leahy anchors St. Louis Public Radio's weekday afternoon newscasts and produces news on local and regional issues. He previously produced and reported news for WERS 88.9 FM in Boston and is a former correspondent for the Boston Globe’s online news section, "Your Town." He holds a master's degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College in Boston.  

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Joseph grew up migrating almost annually with his family between two disparate homes: rural Missouri and sprawling Los Angeles. He attended the University of California before transferring to the University of Missouri to complete a bachelor's degree in English.

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Veteran Services
1:51 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Missouri Senators Question VA Over St. Louis Mental Health Services

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs  about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.

The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.

According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.

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On Chess
3:31 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

National Chess Championship Kicks Off in St. Louis For Sixth Year In A Row

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Master chess players from across the country have assembled in St. Louis’ Central West End for the 2014 U.S. Chess Championship.

Round 1 of the two-week tournament kicked off Thursday afternoon at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

A local favorite to follow this year is Grand Master Ray Robson, 19, who is a member of Webster University's chess team that won the 2013 national collegiate chess championship, said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich.  

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Politics & Issues
1:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Sen. McCaskill Holds Decisive Role In Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

Clare McCaskill
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could play a crucial role in approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated a vote could be held in the next few days to authorize the pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through the U.S. to the Gulf Coast.

McCaskill is one of the few Senate Democrats in favor of the project. During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, she argued the oil will be flowing regardless of the pipeline’s approval.   

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Features
9:16 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

St. Louis Elders Spur Boom In Care Facilities

Meramec Bluffs senior living community in Ballwin finished construction on a new skilled nursing extension project in March.
Credit Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Perhaps the most visible sign of St. Louis’ baby boomers growing old is the local construction surge of senior licensed care facilities. Over the past three years, construction, renovation and expansion projects in the metro area have added up to nearly one quarter of a billion dollars with more development on the way.

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Politics & Issues
3:26 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

St. Charles County Council To Consider Red Light Camera Ban

(via Flickr/functoruser)

Voters in St. Charles County could decide this August whether to ban red light cameras on their roads.

District 2 Council Member Joe Brazil (R-Defiance) is expected on Monday to propose amending the county’s charter. If approved by the council, the proposal would appear on the ballot Aug. 5.

“Since we are a charter county and we’ve had the ability to do this, we’re just going to go ahead and do it,” he said.

St. Peters is currently the only municipality in the county that employs the controversial cameras, which are set up at seven intersections.

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Politics & Issues
2:29 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Illinois House Weighs Ban On Ticket Quotas

Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman is sponsoring Senate Bill 3411 that would shield officers from discipline for not issuing enough citations in a given time period.
Credit Office of Rep. Jay Hoffman.

The Illinois House is considering whether to ban law enforcement agencies in the state from requiring officers to meet traffic ticket quotas.

The measure which passed the Senate last week would prevent departments from using ticket quotas in officer performance evaluations.

Democratic Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea is sponsoring the legislation.

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Economy
2:29 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Sen. Kirk Calls On Congress To Extend Fighter Jet Production in St. Louis

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois held a press conference Monday after touring the facility where Boeing builds the Navy's EA-18 G Growler.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he will work to extend production of EA-18 G Growlers at Boeing’s defense facility in north St. Louis County.

Kirk, who toured the assembly line and met with company leaders Monday, told reporters he will try to convince Congress to approve and appropriate funds for 22 more of the radar-jamming aircraft.

Building the fighters, he said, supports about 5,000 jobs in the St. Louis area and is critical to the Navy for future conflicts.

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Equal Pay
10:39 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Durbin Pushes Bill To Discourage Discrimination, Pay Inequality For Women

Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is joining President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats in an election-year push to bridge the pay gap between men and women.

Speaking on the Senate Floor Tuesday, Durbin called on his Republican colleagues to help pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“It says that women cannot be discriminated in the workplace simply because they are women,” he said.

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Bicycle
3:53 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Missouri House Weighs Role Of Bike Travel In Transportation Spending

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

Missouri lawmakers are weighing what role bicycles should play in the future of transportation spending. 

A proposed constitutional amendment would raise the state sales tax by a penny to bridge any anticipated shortfalls over the next ten years. Most of the money would be for roads and bridges, but 10 percent could be earmarked by local governments for alternative forms of transportation including bicycle, air, rail, and pedestrian projects.

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Economy
11:18 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Study: Missouri Gave Up $1.7 Billion In Corporate Taxes Since Recession

File photo

Missouri's efforts since the recession to be more business-friendly have cost the state about $1.7 billion in corporate tax revenues.

That's according to a report co-published Monday by the Center for Effective Government, National People's Action and GrassRoots Organizing.

Researchers found that corporations are paying Missouri about 26 percent less in income taxes than they did at the beginning of the recession six years ago.

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