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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Airport Security
5:34 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Lambert Airport to loosen security screenings for frequent fliers

Lambert Airport will loosen security screening measures for some frequent fliers.
via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

Some passengers at Lambert Airport will be allowed to keep their belts and shoes on while passing through security checkpoints.

The Transportation Security Administration is including St. Louis in a program to make check-in more convenient for frequent fliers. The TSA says the program, which has been tested at seven major airports, will expand to 28 others, including Lambert, this year. 

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2012 Elections
4:02 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

St. Louis officials endorse Montee for lieutenant governor

Former Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee is welcomed to the podium by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (R) and supporters at St. Louis City Hall, as she announces she will run for the office of Missouri Lieutenant Governor, in St. Louis on February 7, 2012.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and other local leaders are endorsing Susan Montee in her campaign for Lieutenant Governor. None of the four Democrats in the race for the office are from St. Louis -- Missouri's largest voting bloc. Thus, Montee's endorsement from St. Louis city officials gives her a strong lead as she seeks the nomination.

Montee, the former state auditor, kicked off her campaign at St. Louis City Hall Tuesday saying she knows how to fight for veterans and seniors.

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Chop Suey
6:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

From Far East to Midwest: chop suey's last stand

Aiden Chen bags an order of chop suey at Dragon Chop Suey on Kingshighway Blvd.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

America’s obsession with chop suey may have ended almost a century ago, but in St. Louis chop suey shops remain in large numbers.  As St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, the city is just one of three where this food fad continues to hang on.

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Ameren Rate Increase
1:47 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Ameren Missouri seeks 14.6 percent rate hike

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

Updated 5:08 p.m.

Ameren Missouri is seeking approval from state regulators to raise electricity rates by almost 15 percent. Ameren President and CEO Warner Baxter said the company needs the additional $376 million to cover infrastructure upgrades and higher fuel costs. 

"With this electric rate increase filing," he said, "we are simply seeking to recover the costs and investments we have made to meet our customers' expectations for a safe and reliable clean energy." 

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Catholic Education
8:11 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Archbishop asks Catholic schools to give more

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson outlined his ten priorities for the archdiocese's 147 schools Thursday afternoon at John F. Kennedy High School in Manchester.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson says some schools in the archdiocese will have to close in the years ahead to sustain Missouri's oldest and largest school system.

"I just think it's inevitable when you look at the number of children families are having," he said.

The Archbishop said school consolidations are also likely to play a bigger part in addressing shrinking enrollment and tuition revenue, as when three south county elementary schools consolidated last year to create Holy Cross Academy. 

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Local Control
4:54 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Signature campaign kicks off for local control initiative

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association (left), and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay sign petitions to let voters decide whether St. Louis should control its own police department.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and the St. Louis Police Officers Association are throwing their support behind a voter's initiative proposal that would give St. Louis direct control of its police department.

The Safer Missouri Citizens Coalition is seeking 100,000 signatures by May sixth to put the proposal on this November's ballot. Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, said opponents who argue the bill would limit public oversight and access to records are misleading the public.

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Morning Round-up
8:05 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, January 27, 2012

Tobacco Free St. Louis wants no businesses to be exempt from St. Louis County smoking ban
(file photo)

Anti-smoking advocates want more smoking bans

Groups against smoking are urging the St. Louis County Council to make changes to the smoking ban that went into effect last year.

Currently, businesses whose food sales result in 25 percent of gross sales including food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are eligible for an exemption from the smoking ban. There are 145 businesses that currently allow smoking in the county.

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Morning round-up
9:32 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, January 26, 2012

The St. Louis Arch.
Flickr/jdnx

Gateway Arch project may not be finished by anniversary

The 50th anniversary of the Gateway Arch is three years away, but the project to improve and expand the grounds by then may not be finished on time.

Walter Metcalfe, director of the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, which is leading the effort, says it's more important to get it right than to get it done in time for the anniversary.

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St. Louis Business
9:40 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Arch Grants aims to anchor start-ups in St. Louis

Ten grants are up for grabs for new businesses that set up shop in St. Louis. A local non-profit, Arch Grants, says it will award the $50,000 grants this May in an effort to bring innovative businesses to the city.

Arch Grants Co-founder Joe Schlafly said the for-profit start-ups that are selected will be required to stay for at least one year.

“St. Louis is not a dog-meat, down place," Schlafly said. "It is a place where things are happening. We’re open for business. We want to be on the short list, not just [on] no list.”

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Cannabis Petition
4:29 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Pot petitioners protest permit citation

(via Flickr/peter.a_photography)

A Missouri marijuana advocacy group is protesting the citation of two petition gatherers in St. Charles over the weekend.  The volunteers for Show-Me Cannabis Regulation say they were detained by police shortly after midnight while collecting signatures. 

Dave Roland, an attorney representing the two, says no ordinance was violated because collecting signatures is a First Amendment right. 

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