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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East St. Louis
1:47 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Durbin shares plans to boost security in East St. Louis public housing

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is touting new measures to increase security for public housing residents in East St. Louis. The federally-funded plan includes installing cameras at six high-rise properties and hiring a new security coordinator.

"We're going to be putting up lighting and fencing," Durbin said. "We're going to move forward to try to make sure the almost 4,500 residents of public housing in East St. Louis have a safer place to live."

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Senate Redistricting
6:12 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Redistricting stalls in fight for Missouri Senate seats

Senate Apportionment Commission member Nick Meyers (left) listens to redistricting concerns at a public hearing in St. Louis.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Time is running out for a bipartisan commission tasked with agreeing on a new Missouri Senate district map. The filing period for senate candidates begins next week, but without definitive district boundaries, they won't know exactly which district they would be running to represent. 

The commission's chairman Doug Harpool says if seven of the ten commission members fail to agree on a map, a federal judge will be appointed to determine the district boundaries.

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Black History Month
5:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Lambert Airport honors black pilot pioneers

Former Tuskegee Airman Christopher Newman's portrait is included in the mural "Black Americans in Flight" at Lambert Airport.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public)

Lambert Airport is honoring African American pilots who broke color barriers in the sky with a re-dedication of its mural “Black Americans in Flight.”

Solomon Thurman, one of the mural's co-artists, said the five-panel mural depicts the aviation achievements of African Americans from WWI to the NASA shuttle mission. 

"St. Louis is the only place where you can see an encapsulated story of the Tuskegee Airmen," he said. "There are many Tuskegee paintings around the country and perhaps around the world, but none tell the cohesive story."

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Farmers' Markets
9:22 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

County health director proposes longer farmers' market permits

St. Louis County Health Director Dolores Gunn says the new permit ordinance will be a better deal for local vendors.
Joseph Leahy St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County is considering changing farmers’ markets ordinances to make it easier for food venders to do business. Instead of a $35 permit which lasts two weeks, the new permits would last seven-months, and cost $75. 

St. Louis County Health Department Director Dolores Gunn says the seven-month length – as opposed to a year – is intended to prevent abuses of the system.

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Preserving the past
11:29 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Roll it away: Rock Hill residents fight to save historic church

Rock Hill residents hold a candle-light vigil at the Rock Hill Presbyterian Church.
Joseph Leahy St. Louis Public Radio

Some residents in the St. Louis suburb of Rock Hill are fighting to save the historic church their town is named after. The Rock Hill Presbyterian Church on the corner of McKnight and Manchester Roads is slated for demolition to make way for a gas station this spring.

Linda Lemen is among a group of citizens seeking to relocate the limestone structure. 

“It may be radical," she said, "but you have to choose your battles in life and you have to choose what is important.”

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Rebuilding Joplin
5:03 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Missouri sports organizations team up to build homes in Joplin

Governor Jay Nixon (left) outlined his challenge to Missouri sports teams to help rebuild Joplin.
Joseph Leahy St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon is putting Missouri's athletic organizations to work in helping to rebuild Joplin.

Teaming with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, Nixon is challenging members from the St. Louis Rams and Cardinals among other teams across the state to build 35 houses by June.

 "When people know that these sports teams are coming, and when they see the players and the other folks, it really really helps," said Nixon.

Mortgage Settlement
8:21 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Missouri nets $196 million in mortgage settlement

Attorney General Chris Koster has directed $40 million of Missouri's mortgage settlement to the state budget.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Troubled Missouri home owners can expect a degree of relief from a national mortgage settlement that has been reached with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

The Show-Me State is being awarded more than $196 million of a $25 billion settlement with banks -- including Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase -- over allegations of lending abuses and improper foreclosure procedures.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the settlement does not close the door on possible criminal charges against mortgage lenders.

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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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